Posted to Washington in 1990, the diplomat Hugues Pernet was given the urgent task of creating the first French representation in Ukraine, which was still part of the Soviet Union. This account, seen from Kiev, describes the triangular relationship between Ukraine, the decaying Soviet Union and the young Russian Federation, which was in the process of establishing itself. By proclaiming its independence on 24 August 1991, Kiev severed the Gordian knot that had linked it to the heart of the Russian Empire for centuries. Suddenly, the geopolitical balance resulting from the Second World War was upset: the United States saw their enemy collapse without a fight and new markets opened up to them. The West had won the Cold War, but had it laid the foundations for a lasting peace?