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On February 24, when Vladimir Putin rolled his tanks into Ukraine and violently breached the sovereign border and territorial integrity of an independent state, I received a message from a friend. “Mark this date,” it read. “Today, like 9/11, something profoundly shifted in the world and its consequences will be huge.”

Writing in the Financial Times last weekend Francis Fukuyama — who famously suggested that the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the “end of history” and the rise of a peaceful era of globalisation premised on the permanence of liberal democracy — gave a gloomy update. “February 24 has been seen as a critical turning point in world history. Many have said it definitively marks the end of the post-Cold War era we thought emerged from after 1991 [with the dissolution of the Soviet Union] … the end of the end of history,” he wrote...

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