KYIV -- What happens in Ukraine -- not the financial standoff with Greece -- will be the ultimate test of whether European and transatlantic unity endure. The fault lines extending from Ukraine are undermining the fundamental values that have underpinned Europe's postwar peace and prosperity. Failure to defend those values in Ukraine will cause them to unravel far beyond our borders.
Does Putin want Europe and the United States to feel threatened by a possibility of a larger war with Russia -- in order to push them into continuing talks with him? If the talks fail, Putin might want the West to believe Russia will have no choice but to expand militarily. Or does Putin really care about the negotiations, not the war? By pushing the rebels to take more territory in eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin is trying to create new facts on the ground that Putin can use as leverage in the impending talks.
Enmeshed in a deadly struggle with Russian separatists, many Ukrainians are seeking to fashion their own nationalist ethos. While that is somewhat understandable, Bandera is a poor model. Seventy years after the end of World War II, Ukrainians must eschew such symbols and look elsewhere in the search for a national identity.