If you’ve turned on your television, the radio or read any on line news, you know there was a revolution in the Ukraine that overturned the government of Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych refused to step down, even after he was removed by the Parliament and a warrant for his arrest was issued for the deaths of protesters when the police used snipers to kill unarmed demonstrators in Kiev. Yanukovych disappeared showing up in Russia where Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the deposal of Yanukovych an unconstitutional coup d’etat, On Friday, Putin sent troops into Ukrainian Peninsula of Crimea and blockading the Black Sea deep water port of Sevastopol. The UN Security Council met at the New York City headquarters yesterday and NATO will meet for the second time in three day in Brussels at the request of member nation Poland that shares a border with Ukraine.
• We will not go to war with the Ukrainian people, says Putin
• Claims ousting of Ukrainian president was ‘coup d’état’
• Yanukovych ‘still legitimate head of state’
• Pro-Russian troops and Ukrainian soldiers in tense standoff
Vladimir Putin ruled out war with Ukraine on Tuesday, but also reserved the right to use force “as a last resort” days after his forces took control of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.
Breaking his silence for the first time since the revolution in Ukraine toppled Viktor Yanukovych, Putin denounced the takeover as an unconstitutional coup d’etat, insisted Yanukovych was still the legitimate head of state, although he declared him politically dead, and said he would not recognise presidential elections being held in Ukraine at the end of May.
Putin emphasised that Russia had no intention of invading Ukraine, or of annexing territory. But he also kept his options open by claiming Yanukovych had written a letter asking for Russian help.
It appeared that Putin was also seeking to send signals to the west, keen to ward off growing US-led pressure for sanctions against his regime and to sow divisions among the Europeans who are economically much more engaged in Russia than the Americans.
He also warned that sanctions were a two-way street that would effect those applying them.
KIEV, Ukraine – In a demonstration of support for Ukraine’s fledgling government, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived here on Tuesday with an offer of $1 billion in American loan guarantees and pledges of technical assistance, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday.
The purpose of the loan guarantee is to support Ukraine’s efforts to integrate with the West and to help offset the reduction of energy subsidies from Russia, which has challenged the new government’s legitimacy and occupied the Crimean Peninsula.
The United States will also send technical experts to help Ukraine’s national bank and finance ministry, provide advice on how to fight corruption and train election monitors to help establish the legitimacy of Ukraine’s coming election.
In the face of the diplomatic maneuvering over how to confront a bellicose Russia in Ukraine, one country appears to hold the key to any long-lasting entente: Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse and one of Russia’s primary trading partners.
Whether it is importing fuel from Gazprom or selling Mercedes-Benz to billionaire oligarchs, trade with Russia has played an important role in Germany’s emergence as an economic superpower over the last decade. Germany is now heavily reliant on Russia for its energy needs, importing more natural gas from Russia than any other country in Europe.
But Germany’s enhanced status on the world stage – combined with the end of the commodity boom and the onset of economic stagnation in Russia – has also shifted the balance of power. Some analysts argue that it is Russia that has the most to lose if economic sanctions are ever imposed.
This dynamic could offer insight into the role that the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, will play in any negotiations with the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin.
Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale University and Ray McGovern, activist and former senior CIA analyst joined Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! to discuss the crisis and who is provoking the unrest.
Russia is vowing to keep its troops in the Ukrainian region of Crimea in what has become Moscow’s biggest confrontation with the West since the Cold War. Ukraine’s new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said Russian President Vladimir Putin had effectively declared war on his country. Concern is growing that more of eastern Ukraine could soon fall to the Russians. Earlier today, Russian troops seized a Ukraine coast guard base in the Crimean city of Balaklava. On Sunday, the new head of Ukraine’s navy defected to Russia
Transcript can be read here