On the evening of the 9th of November 1989, when the message came in that the Berlin Wall was open, I was sitting in the Chancellery in Bonn, in a meeting on the issue of housing migrants from the German Democratic Republic. The session wasn't continued. Everyone stormed to the nearest television sets.
The end of the Cold War, epitomized by the Berlin Wall destruction, quickly came to be seen by the West as its own triumphant victory and the USSR/Russia's unconditional surrender. Hence Russia was to be treated as a second-rank country, a regional power at best, that was expected to obediently follow whatever directions may have come from Washington and Brussels. The problem was the Russians did not share this view of themselves as a defeated nation obliged to accept the victors' terms.