Global Affairs

The looming shadow over Ukraine and why it matters for Taiwan

Recent Russian troop movements and Putin’s ‘red line’ demands pose a challenge to the West: Exactly how iron-clad are its security pledges when an invasion occurs?

The Independence Square in Kiev. For many centuries, the Ukrainians were divided between Russia and other neighbouring empires.
The Independence Square in Kiev. For many centuries, the Ukrainians were divided between Russia and other neighbouring empires.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Normally, the Europeans are those who fret about Russia’s intentions, while the United States is there to calm them down. Over the past few days, however, the roles were reversed: it is now the turn of the US intelligence agencies to raise the alarm about the prospects of a Russian military incursion, while the Europeans scratch their heads.

The flashpoint is, as has been the case for many years, the future of Ukraine, that big European state sandwiched between Russia and countries that mostly belong to the European Union and Nato, the US-led military alliance in Europe.

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