March 20th, 2014
04:12 PM ET

How Putin lost Ukraine

By Fareed Zakaria

Ukraine is the most important country in the post-Soviet space that Russia seeks to dominate politically. If Europe wanted to help Ukraine move west, it should have planned a bold, generous and swift strategy of attraction.

Instead, the EU conducted lengthy, meandering negotiations with Kiev.

But let us not persist in believing that Moscow's moves have been strategically brilliant. Vladimir Putin must have watched events unfold in Ukraine in February with deep frustration – as a pro-Russian government was swept out of power – because the Sochi Olympics were underway, which limited what he could do.

When the Olympics ended, he acted quickly, essentially annexing Crimea. But it was a blunder. In taking over Crimea, Putin has lost Ukraine.

Read the Washington Post column

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Topics: Ukraine

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