Ukraine crisis: Europe's leaders respond to Russia
Events have stripped Europe's leaders of their illusions. They are gathering in Brussels for an emergency summit on Ukraine in a sombre mood.
The heady rhetoric of European officials declaring "the future of Ukraine belongs with the EU" has long been discarded. The image of protesters waving EU flags has faded. The understanding of the protests, which included nationalist groups, is far more nuanced.
As Europe's leaders meet there is widespread understanding that if the crisis is to be defused then the tug of war between East and West over Ukraine's future will have to end. As the former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger wrote: "If Ukraine is to survive and thrive it must not be either side's outpost against the other - it should function as a bridge between them."
At the summit there will be two instincts; to punish Russia for having violated the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine and the need to lure Russia into constructive dialogue and lower tension.
As often in Europe there are divisions. Many of the countries from Eastern and Central Europe, which know the Russian playbook only too well, want Russia to pay a price.
Ukraine: How will the West respond?
I had been absent from Kiev for less than three days. The lightness, the hint of a Kiev spring, the sudden smiles of a week before were already waning. Now the mood is much darker; there is defiance and rage against Moscow and Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
Just seven days earlier some had dared to speak of "victory"; now the talk is of war. Speaking of Russia's actions in Crimea, the new Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said "this is the red alert, this is not a threat, this is actually a declaration of war".
Ukraine's dangerous days ahead
On Tuesday the crowds were still filing into Kiev's Independence Square and the surrounding streets where most of the killings took place. Many of them carried flowers to place at the scores of shrines.
They were a quiet, serious, absorbed crowd. There was no hint of celebration or victory. A mother took a picture of her two young daughters as they added to the piles of flowers.
Italians keen to gamble on unelected Matteo Renzi
Italy is about to gamble. It is placing its bet on youth, on style, on energy. And on the unknown.
Almost certainly, Matteo Renzi will be sworn in as prime minister in the next 48 hours.
Europe elections: Swiss lessons for Brussels
It is often said that the Swiss are different. They enjoy most of the benefits of the European Union but are not in it. They believe in direct democracy, in consulting the people, in a way that most other European nations would shy away from.
And now the Swiss voters have defied Brussels and their own government. They were warned that the free movement of workers was integral to participating in the EU's single market. Any restrictions would damage relations with the EU. The business community argued that limiting migrants would undermine the economy.