The Crimea Crisis: Views from Moscow & Ukraine

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The international community is on edge as the crisis between Ukraine and Russia continues to develop. Russia's takeover of the Crimean peninsula has put 16,000 troops in control of the region's security and administrative infrastructure.

Today Russian President Vladimir Putin justified the intervention in Crimea, saying that the crisis in Ukraine is the result of an "illegitimate" revolution instigated by nationalists, bringing forth an “unconstitutional coup” by protesters in Kiev. He added that Moscow's intervention in Crimea is necessary to protect Russian citizens living in the region.

But yesterday Ukraine's acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had some harsh words for Russian leaders.

“They tried to squeeze Ukrainian assets, they tried to confiscate Ukrainian property, they tried to disarm [the] Ukrainian army,” he said, referring to the Russian troops stationed in Crimea. “For these kinds of issues, they will be prosecuted under domestic and international law—and they have to know this.”

Meanwhile, U.S. officials had their own strongly-worded warnings for Putin's government. President Barack Obama warned yesterday that the takeover of the Crimean peninsula will be a "costly proposition." He pledged that American and Western allies would impose painful economic sanctions to "isolate" Russia if Moscow does not stand down.

“What cannot be done is for Russia with impunity to put its soldiers on the ground and violate basic principles that are recognized around the world,” President Obama said yesterday from the Oval Office. “If in fact they continue on the current trajectory they’re on, then we are examining a whole series of steps—economic, diplomatic—that will isolate Russia and will have a negative impact on Russia’s economy and status in the world.”

Dmitry Babich, political analyst for the Voice of Russia Radio, explains the Crimean crisis from the view of Moscow and why Russia, under Putin's leadership, has staked out this position on Ukraine. Representing the Ukrainian-American perspective is Borys Potapenko, former president and current vice chair of the Ukrainian Congress Committee in Detroit. 


Dmitry Babich and Borys Potapenko

Produced by:

Mythili Rao


T.J. Raphael

Comments [7]

Jerrold Richards from Lyle, Washington

It is politics 101 for a regime that feels itself insecure, in trouble, to stir up foreign adventures. Putin looks well established, but maybe he doesn't feel that way. Perhaps he perceives at least dimly that more and more Russians consider him to be pathetic, in a broader sense irrelevant.

Has Putin jumped the shark? Is that what really is going, a desperate effort to cling to the disappearing smoke of influence?

Mar. 04 2014 06:32 PM
Susan from Philadelphia, PA

It is Putin who is using the Cossacks. The Cossacks have a long history of vicious antisemitism. During the Cossack revolt, 100,000 Jews were murdered by the Cossacks. Why didn't you include that information?

Mar. 04 2014 05:09 PM
Bob Fry from Sacramento, CA

It's laughable the comments from John Kerry, Pres. Obama, and of course the pack of self-righteous neocons. Oh, the outrage about invading another country! Hypocrite, take the log out of your own eye, then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from another's eye.

Mar. 04 2014 04:01 PM
Jack from Manhattan

Regarding the Tatars you omitted that until the late 1700s the Tatars for centuries ran a lucrative slave trade, marauding the surrounding regions above Crimea, supplying human chattel to the Ottoman Empire.

Mar. 04 2014 03:37 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Russia will enter The Ukraine and take over the oil fields which were discovered there this summer.

Here is a New York Times article about Chevron making a deal with The Ukraine for 350 million dollars to start and a potential of it turning into 10 billion dollars!

Nobody should be fooled by any other reason for a war to start in The Ukraine.

Nobody would potentially start World War III if it were not for the greed and power that comes from oil and gas control.
It is about, "Let There Be Blood." It is that simple.

Mar. 04 2014 01:30 PM

I agree with the previous comment, Dimitry Babich has a very selective memory of the area's history. I understand that the TakeAway wants to introduce both side's of view -- but when listening to Babich, I felt like more Russian lies are being spread around to listeners. I appreciate John's control of the situation. From personal contacts in Crimea and all parts of Ukraine -- people do not want Putin's "protection". What's next, other foreign countries with Russian populations? It's outrageous to just walk in there with troops like you own the place.

Mar. 04 2014 01:00 PM
Tammy from Westchester County

Dimitry Babich is twisting himself into knots to try and make Putin a human rights defender, defender of Jews in Ukraine. Oh please. How dare he use the Holocaust to defend Russia's present criminal military actions. Ukraine's Jews do not agree with his logic or need his "protection". Do Russians not learn in school that Mother Russia allied itself with Nazi Germany for two years - until Germany invaded.

Mar. 04 2014 09:20 AM

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