By Liana Fix and Michael Kimmage | Foreign Affairs | April 20, 2022
Featured image: Mourning at a cemetery in Bucha, Ukraine, April 2022. Zohra Bensemra / Reuters
ll wars end, and their closing moments are often vivid and memorable. Take, for instance, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in April 1865, which brought an end to the U.S. Civil War. Or the armistice that terminated World War I, signed by Germany and the Allies in a train car near Paris in November 1918. Or the end of the Cold War, symbolized by the toppling of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and, later, the lowering of the Soviet flag from the Kremlin on Christmas Day of 1991. These scenes loom large in the cultural imagination as decisive moments that provided the sense of a definitive ending.
LIANA FIX is Programme Director at the Körber Foundation and a former Resident Fellow at the German Marshall Fund, in Washington, D.C.
MICHAEL KIMMAGE is Professor of History at the Catholic University of America and a Visiting Fellow at the German Marshall Fund. From 2014 to 2016, he served on the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State, where he held the Russia/Ukraine portfolio.