The US and EU failed to anticipate President Putin's response to events in Ukraine. But as Andrew Wood writes, the west can benefit from the situation - provided it is firm and sticks together.
The escalating crisis in Crimea has set a number of western powers against Russia in a battle of words that includes threats of "costs" and allegations of illegal behaviour.
The Ukrainian government has put the army on full combat alert and warned invasion would lead to war, after Putin obtained the permission of his parliament to send soldiers into Ukraine.
All was going well for German Chancellor Angela Merkel on her one-day visit to Britain - until Europe's most powerful woman headed down to the palace for a cup of tea and a bun.
Eyebrows have been raised. France was heard muttering an obscenity. That is essentially how George Osborne's "reform or perish" speech on Europe will be received in Paris or Berlin.
The Formula One legend continues to recover after suffering a near-fatal head injury while skiing, his manager says.
The condition of the former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher has improved slightly after an operation to relieve pressure on his brain. Reports he was going at speed have been denied.
Attackers fired upon the German embassy in Athens in the early hours of this morning in an apparent attempt to sour relations between Greece and its biggest bail-out creditor.
Former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher is fighting for his life after a skiing accident, and it is not clear how his condition will progress, doctors confirm.