Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 November 2019
The Orange Revolution initially appeared as a victory for democracy in Ukraine and as a geopolitical victory for the West. Those two ideas – democratic revolution and geopolitics – became tightly linked in the eyes of Russian leaders, but whereas western thinkers saw democracy as fostering peace, Russia saw it as a weapon. The Orange Revolution also made Ukraine appear to be the fulcrum of security dilemma politics in central Europe. Both Russia and the West saw the other’s designs on Ukraine as threatening their security and as undermining the status quo. Meanwhile, the Orange Revolution fizzled, Viktor Yanukovych made a remarkable comeback, and Russia reasserted itself, bolstered by Putin’s popularity and by booming energy prices.