Matt Rojansky: Ukraine's Yanukovych 'miscalculated'
3 December 2013 Last updated at 20:37 GMT
Kennan Institute president Matt Rojansky has told BBC's Katty Kay that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych miscalculated when he backed away from an association deal with the EU.
If the Ukrainian leader does not act quickly, he may lose his grip on power, Mr Rojansky said.
Russia only recently realised that Ukraine could be creating a permanent bond with the EU that would threaten Russian interests, Mr Rojansky said. Despite this, the protests in Kiev are not anti-Russian.
"They're pouring out into the streets because although they're very close to Russia... they're fundamentally a European country, and they're frustrated and sick of Soviet-style government, of corruption, of this personalisation of power," Mr Rojansky said.
On Tuesday, a no-confidence vote aimed at pushing Mr Yanukovych from power failed in the Ukrainian parliament. Also on Tuesday, Nato foreign ministers condemned the use of "excessive force" against pro-European protesters there.