The former Yugoslavia can help us better understand what is happening in Ukraine, with regard to three dimensions: discourse, the war itself and the actors involved.
How about the military operations and crimes on the ground? There are differences, of course: neither the geography of the terrain nor the military configuration are the same. In Ukraine, there are no blue helmets and militias do not play a central role. But the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk republics resemble the Republic of Serbian Krajina, which was built on the same concern for the protection of supposedly threatened minorities. Donetsk and Luhansk also granted Russia plausible denial of involvement in 2014, allowing the government to refer to "the little green men" or "patriots on vacation in Donetsk" instead.