Picture taken on July 3, 2014 and released by the Presidential Press Service on June 3, 2014 shows former Ukrainian Defence minister Colonel-General Mykhaylo Koval (L) and newly appointed Colonel-General Valery Geletey during a ceremony in the ministry in Kiev.

Russia’s actions have shattered a post-Cold War consensus.

Explaining Russian Behavior

October 2014, Number 05.04

“Harrowing accounts of events unfolding daily in Ukraine over many months add a grim reality to a turn in international affairs unexpected in the 21st century — the actuality of Europe’s largest state confronting an existential challenge launched by the territorial aspirations of a neighbor. “Europe, whole and free” came to be understood as a common aspiration completely within the grasp of all modern European countries. But Ukraine’s experiences throughout much of 2014 have bitterly reminded Ukrainians that history has not ended for Eastern Europe.

Whatever mistakes have been made by Ukraine and its neighbors and partners — mistakes of unrealistic expectations, unquenchable ambition, misperception and too little or too much trust — there is one lesson from Ukraine’s situation that can be drawn by everyone. Ukraine’s current agonies are not exclusive to that country alone; they are shared by a continent. The security of both Ukraine and its partners is key. In the absence of security, there is no long-term prosperity. In the absence of security, there is no enduring liberty...”

Excerpt from Gregory Gleason, “Explaining Russian Behavior,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 5, No. 4, 2014: 10-14.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.