East-Central Europe is at odds with itself regarding the response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Why are “postcommunist” democracies not standing together as one with a fledgling democracy that is under attack by a dictatorship? The answer lies in the material and political benefits that individual politicians and political parties receive from Russia. Two consequences follow from this dynamic: the validation of “Russian imperial claims” and reduced support for Ukraine. This analysis shows that the immediate interests and profits of domestic politicians matter far more than the long shadows of history, leading to a complex tapestry of responses in the region. The diversity of these countries’ approaches to Ukraine is just one reason why East-Central Europe is now more remarkable for its divisions and contrasts than a collective past or a common future.