Clashes in Kiev on Tuesday left at least 25 people dead as police set fire to the city’s main protest camp. Demonstrations began in November when President Viktor Yanukovych rejected an economic deal with the European Union to maintain stronger ties with Russia. We’ll discuss the latest crisis, and talk about the road ahead for Ukraine, formerly the second-largest republic in the Soviet Union.

Steve Pifer, visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, former ambassador to Ukraine and former senior director at the National Security Council in the Clinton administration
Roman Shportko, organizer of Euro MaydanSF
Hellmuth Tromm, editor for Bloomberg News in Eastern Europe
Serhii Plokhii, director of the Ukrainian Research Institute
Alexander Motyl, professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark

  • Guest

    Ukraine needs better suitors. It is caught in a tug of war between a wife-beater in the northeast (Moscow) and an indebted gambler to the west (the EU). Each would make a bad partner.

  • Sean Dennehy

    The protesters are violent too. Why doesn’t your guest acknowledge that?

    • Ttk Ciar

      Perhaps he doesn’t consider it worth mentioning that good people, when attacked, will defend themselves.

  • Dan

    There is lot of talk about the Russian “hidden” agenda and Putin’s desire to reassemble the SU. Unfortunately, the US and EU do not care about Ukraine as an independent country either. Looks like they continue to play the “geopolitical chess game” of Brzezinski, where Ukraine is an unfortunate pawn. They only want to weaken Russia, because in their warped worldview, weak Russia still means stronger US and EU. Both sides are at fault. Whether Ukrainians like it or not they are bound to Russia economically and culturally. EU/US and Russia NEED to work on this together, but Western leaders continue to burn bridges with Russia.

  • Fish in the Water

    What do your guests think about the timing of the propaganda film “The Biochemistry of Treason” that was aired in Russia over live Olympics coverage a few days ago (just as the Americans took the gold medal in ice dancing) and how it relates to the events in Ukraine. On the face of it, the message was anti-American, but seems to me that it’s primary goal could be to pacify its own citizens from following the Ukrainians’ lead. I found a blog of one of the filmmakers ( that suggests that the film was put together in just three weeks, which would mean that it was conceived around the time the anti-protest laws were passed on Jan 16th and protesters re-occupied Maidan.

    Thank you,
    Tanya Vernitsky
    (born and raised in southern Ukraine, whose unfortunate contribution to the current events is the steady supply of “titushkas” (government-sponsored thugs) to Kiev)

  • cooper29

    Your guests are completely disingenuous with regards to US motives in Ukraine. How about discussing the leaked conversation between US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland and the US envoy to the Ukraine in which she famously utters “F…k the EU” because they are not moving fast enough with sanctions. I encourage your listeners to hear another side of the story. Go to Youtube and search on the following:
    “victoria nuland ukraine”

    The US does not give a hoot about the people of Ukraine. Washington wants to put missiles aimed Russia in Ukraine and bring more our own neoliberal policies to them.

    Please ask yourselves how our government would react to a Ukrainian style protest here? Look what they did to Occupy. DHS and cops would not be shooting rubber bullets.

  • Chris OConnell

    I love the job Michael Krasny does on Forum. But once again, whenever geopolitical issues are analyzed, the American Exceptionalist blinders are on. I wonder what John Mearsheimer would have to say but I don’t doubt that it would be infinitely more illuminating because it would be fair. There would not be the necessary assumption, like the oxygen in the air, that the US is only motivated by “Democracy” and “Freedom” and a Better World for Everyone.

    The US is not to be treated as a nation-state actor with selfish interests, like every other nation but almost as a benevolent deity. And so this program, despite a presumed desire to present a full and fair account, devolves into pure propaganda.

    Somewhere in Russia, on state-sponsored radio, sophisticated parties are discussing Ukraine in a reasonable way. They are bemoaning the meddling of the EU and the US, and shaking their heads at the misguided, minority mob in the streets. Maybe even one caller can get through to burst the bubble. But he or she will be easily dismissed, like Paul was here..

  • Menelvagor

    America is stirring discontent and most probably financing it. As it does all over the world. Why dont we ever get news out of Russia or east Europe?–we might have a more accurate view of the governments and the people. Not just American propaganda. Perhaps the Ukrainian who want to stay close to Russia dont want to lose health care and housing and be thrown out in the street when the capitalists come marching in with canes and top hats.

  • Menelvagor

    Capitalist regimes will treat people with equal disdain. The only true society is a direct and deliberative democracy–free of unbridled captialism.

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