Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognise the independence of the self-styled separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbas may very well be the beginning of the end of Ukraine as an independent nation. For Ukraine, a nation of almost 44 million people, catastrophe looms large on the horizon. For Europe, these events are the harbinger of the end of an era. Europe’s post-Cold War order is no more.
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