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You're reading: Open Democracy: Ukraine, and a Europe-Russia crack

Now, amid fading memories of the period, mass demonstrations in post-Soviet eastern Europe – such as the ones in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, from late November 2013 – prompt a subtly different reaction in the west. Among western populations, there is a degree of confusion and some concern, reflecting the fact that no one is quite sure what is at stake this time; since 1989, after all, people have come to take it for granted that the eastern Europeans had won back their freedoms. 

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