Stuck between Russia and the European Union, and chafing at the need to choose between them, the Ukrainian government faltered Thursday as threats from its big Slavic neighbor mounted.
The cabinet suspended Ukraine's preparations to sign an "association agreement" with the E.U. next Friday — after spending all year declaring its intention to do so and ushering through parliament a packet of laws aimed at helping it meet the 28-member bloc's expectations.
Part of the dilemma it faced is homegrown, involving the fate of Yulia Tymoshenko, the imprisoned former prime minister whose release Europe insists on. The other part has to do with Moscow.