The European Union has been using its soft power to woo Ukraine away from Moscow by offering a more attractive alternative vision of the future. Why be Russia when you could be Poland?
Unfortunately, Russia has soft power of its own. Over the past decade it has exported so much of its sleaze to Western European financial sectors that it now has a large say in deciding EU foreign policy.
In its handling of the crisis the EU has demonstrated its power is very soft indeed. On the plus side, this undermines Putin's "anti-fascist" rhetoric warning of an imminent Fourth Reich on Russia's doorstep. The panzers are hardly going to be rolling eastwards when German bankers are distraught at the idea of delivering Putin the mildest slap on the wrist.