But while the Russian Army's latest showing was far better than its blundering in Georgia in 2008, Crimea offered advantages that the Kremlin is unlikely to see elsewhere.
As it mulls how to deal with Russia's intervention in Ukraine, the EU announced it is sending 1,000 troops to Central African Republic for the first time.
A newspaper editor in Vologda posted a tongue-in-cheek letter to Putin, asking him to help topple the Russian city's 'corrupt oppressors.' Vologda's governor was not amused.
France's new prime minister has a reputation for strength and decisiveness, characteristics seen as lacking in President Hollande's unpopular administration.
Former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has experience in political dealings with the Kremlin – something that NATO now needs in abundance.
The US may be correct that there are tens of thousands of troops near Russia's border with Ukraine. But experts say that's not enough to launch an invasion.
President Hollande's Socialists were trounced in municipal elections where the far-right National Front saw minor gains. But the real winner may be the Socialists' rival, the center-right UMP.
As the state-owned mining company drills deeper in northern Sweden, the earth underneath a small town is giving way. Instead of halting extraction, the town plans to move.
Regardless of the winner of today's mayoral election, a woman is guaranteed to lead Paris for the first time. But she will have to take on a sense of the city being in decline.
Dutch researchers are trying to reconstruct a social-media platform from 1994, raising questions over how to preserve humanity's digital heritage.
It won't be cheap, but the Kremlin's plan to supplant foreign bank card companies with a national card could dull Western sanctions – and set a trend of new Russian self-reliance.
Having forced Ukraine around a historic corner, demonstrators are still encamped in Kiev. Their goal: Hold the new government to its promises.
European leaders' vision of an integrated Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals has vanished with the crisis in the Ukraine, but many countries remain wary of going too far with sanctions.
Russia's new state media is helping shape perceptions in Ukraine and the rest of the Russian-speaking world. It is slick, professional, and rooted in heavily spun truth.
Investors have pulled billions of dollars out of Russia, fearing further fallout from Moscow's annexation of Crimea.
The treaty organization has been suffering from a lack of direction since the end of the cold war, but Russian aggression in Ukraine may rejuvenate its role in Europe.
Though the G-8 will meet sans Russia in Brussels instead of Sochi, experts say the Kremlin had already been moving away from the group.
The winner of Sunday's mayoral election, Mayor Alain Juppé, a former prime minister, inspires optimism among voters at a time when far-right parties are ascendant in France.
The gravitational pull of Russia is being challenged amid generational change and a renewed sense that Ukraine is home.
The post-Crimea sanctions are meant to squeeze top Russian officials and businessmen. But will the measures just push them closer to the Kremlin?