The New York TimesThe New York Times

Year of conflict in Ukraine has left Europe forever changed

By Roger Cohen

25 Feb 2023 · 12 min read

Editor's Note

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought about a seismic shift in Europe's perspective on security and strategy. The NYT's Roger Cohen assesses how the continent has been transformed one year on.

HELSINKI — A year ago, the day Russia invaded Ukraine and set in motion a devastating European ground war, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto declared: “Now the masks are off. Only the cold face of war is visible.”

Niinisto, in office for more than a decade, had met with Russian President Vladimir Putin many times, in line with a Finnish policy of pragmatic outreach to Russia, a country with which it shares a nearly 835-mile border. Suddenly, however, that policy lay in tatters, and, along with it, Europe’s illusions about business as usual with Putin.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content