There is a case to be made for not creating panic – as long as it’s not used for avoiding the realities at the geopolitical level.
Last week, Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, said he could take Kiev in two weeks. This week, he disavowed a cease-fire, then proposed a peace plan. Now a cease-fire is in effect. These zigzags did their job, leaving the West confused about his intentions, just as the European Union and NATO were meeting to figure out how to counter them.
[…] What makes the Ukrainian conflict consequential is that it is not a civil war. It is an annexation of territory, the invasion of one European country by another. As Carl Bildt, the Swedish foreign minister, argued in a speech in Berlin in June, Europe’s entire security structure is built on the agreement that this would never happen again.
“The principle of respecting existing borders was laid down as one of the key foundations of peace in our Europe,” Mr. Bildt said. “And it has been adhered to up until March of this year.”
In other words, Russia has broken Europe’s geopolitical rules, and thereby changed them.