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Lionel Laurent

A Decade of Illusions Over Putin That Led to War

Ex-French President Francois Hollande rues the missteps that emboldened the Russian leader.

At the Minsk peace talks.

At the Minsk peace talks.

Photographer: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu

If a week is a long time in politics, as the UK’s Liz Truss has found out, a decade can be another era.

Ten years ago, the G7 was the G8, with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pitching his country as open for business, in keeping with investor hype for emerging markets. The US was in a modest recovery, led by its first Black president. The UK was inside the European Union but outside its crisis-ridden euro area. The EU, seen as a paragon of postwar reconstruction, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.