The Washington PostThe Washington Post

In just 72 hours, Europe overhauled its entire post-Cold War relationship with Russia

By Michael Birnbaum, Missy Ryan and Souad Mekhennet

01 Mar 2022 · 6 min read

Just last week, many European countries were still so somnolent about the threat Russia posed to Ukraine that Germany's spy chief was caught unawares in Kyiv when the Kremlin invasion started. He had to be extracted in a special operation.

But over just a handful of days, Europe has been shocked out of a post-Cold War era - and state of mind - in which it left many of the democratic world's most burning security problems to the United States.

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