The following article is from my colleague Paul Roderick Gregory in The Hill
Vladimir Putin’s nightmare is a prosperous, rule-of-law Ukraine integrated into the affluent West on Russia’s border. Such a Ukrainian success story would trace back to its popular revolution on Maidan Square in February 2004. Might Ukraine not give the Russian people ideas to do the same?
It is for this reason that the Kremlin has conducted a frantic propaganda war to demonstrate Ukraine’s abject failure, its rampant corruption, and to instruct others in Russia’s “sphere of influence” not to follow Ukraine’s example.
It seems that Ukraine cannot get a lucky break in its quest to turn from Russia to become part of Europe. From its founding in August 1991 to today, Ukraine navigated an Orange Revolution (2004-5), lost Crimea to forced Russian annexation (April 2014) and fought the Russian-backed invasion of its eastern territory — largely with volunteers while it organized a national army.