For months, Ukraine appeared ready to face down pressure from Russia and sign an association agreement and free trade pact with the European Union at its upcoming Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius. And polls showed that public opinion -- albeit by a small margin -- as well as much of the country's business elite, supported this course.
And then, at the 11th hour, after President Viktor Yanukovych made a trip to Moscow for closed-door meetings with Vladimir Putin, they flip-flopped, illustrating Moscow's continued sway over its neighbors.
In the latest "Power Vertical Podcast," we discuss Russia's policy toward its neighbors in advance of the EU's Vilnius summit.
Joining me are co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, an expert on Russia's security services, and author of the blog "In Moscow's Shadows" and special guest Edward Lucas, international editor for "The Economist" and author of the book "Deception: Spies, Lies, and How Russia Deceives the West."
Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to "The Power Vertical Podcast" on iTunes.