Ukraine was propelled into the international spotlight not when it declared independence but when it claimed ownership of the nuclear weapons inherited from the Soviet period. This was not well received by much of the international community. The nuclear powers closed ranks, labelled Ukraine a pariah state and excluded it from international financial assistance. Security experts began writing more about the threat of nuclear proliferation. For Ukraine's part it was a deliberate and possibly desperate act to bring its power struggle with Russia into the international arena, since it felt that the United States and other major powers were refusing to take its security concerns seriously. Immediately after the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine and the other post-Soviet states were treated like Russia's satellites, despite the fact that they received formal diplomatic recognition. When they were unable to get their message across any other way, Ukraine's elites decided to play the nuclear card.