NATO accused Russia of violating Ukrainian sovereignty by sending equipment and combat troops into eastern Ukraine to support pro-Russian rebels. Russia denies this. In response, European leaders planned to meet Saturday to discuss the possibility of further sanctions. We’ll discuss the latest developments in Ukraine.

Michael McFaul, political scientist at Stanford University and former U.S ambassador to Russia
Edward W. Walker, professor of political science at UC Berkeley
David Stern, journalist with the BBC in Kiev, Ukraine

  • Sean Dennehy

    I agree that it’s wrong for Russia to directly fight Ukrainian soldiers, but why is it ‘wrong’ to send equipment to the pro-Russian rebels? There’s plenty of precedent for arming rebel groups and the US was thinking about doing just that with Syria.

  • Sam Badger

    I think it is critically important to oppose Russian Imperialism in the Ukraine, but I don’t think the West has any credibility in this. Since 1980, the US has intervened numerous times, invading countries without any motive outside colonial self interest (Grenada), lying to the international community to justify war (Iraq 2003), shooting down unarmed Civilian airliners (Iran Air), arming somewhat questionable rebel movements (the Contras and Cuban terrorists) and so on. The EU countries have turned a blind eye or even helped and participated in such affairs, or have their own dubious geopolitical practices. If anything, Putin is just proving the old chiche, “monkey see, monkey do”

    The only difference between Russia and the West is that Russia is generally poorer and more vulnerable to sanctions. Nobody would sanction the US because of its dominant status in the global economy, and the fact that its allies are amongst the remaining dominant world powers (the UK, France, Germany). I think we should oppose *all* states acting this way.

  • darqmyth

    Does anyone notices the similarities between this situation vis a vis land routes to disputed territories, annexations, “protecting ethnic___” to the 30’s in Germany. I am not saying Putin is Hitler or the Russians are Nazis, just the similarities can’t be ignored.

  • Robert Thomas

    No one in North America or Europe fired a shot to make Russia abandon its empire.

    The only reason Russia did this is that the Russian people woke up from a thousand years of slumber and became disgusted with the injustice of the Soviet state,

    The idea that Russia would make a belligerent move against the Baltic members of NATO is ridiculous.

    But if the Russian people decide to roll over and go back to sleep, letting their bellicose front man do what he pleases, there is nothing that will stop him in Ukraine, Belorussia, Georgia, Moldova or the Asian former Soviet republics.

  • Ellis

    Dear KQED,

    Again, we hear a completely one sided
    discussion; which of course supports the US/NATO narrative of events
    in Ukraine.

    May I point your listeners to a very
    powerful article by Mike Whitney from just this past weekend on

    Pay particular attention to the video
    by the military commander of the rebel forces in Donetsk.
    He states in the video that commanders on both sides of the civil war
    were trained at the Russian Military Academy. He also describes how
    his forces were organized.

    Lastly, it’s clear that
    the defeat that has been inflicted on the Kiev Military has been
    nothing less that catastrophic. A force of thousands Kiev troops was
    completely destroyed, leaving 200 survivors.

    • darqmyth

      And your point is????? Russia good….everyone else bad??

      • Ellis

        Not at all Sir, please read the article and view the embedded video.

        • darqmyth

          A rebel commander says…..and I should believe him. Kiev suffered a military defeat….so…. Once again, your point is?

  • The history of Russia is littered with dead putins (tyrants) and the the history of the Russian people is a history of self defeat. Throughout their history, the Russian people have managed to trade one tyrant for another in hope the next putin would give them better stale bread and beat them less. If you need proof, just start counting backward. Putin, Medvedev, Putin, Yelsin, Gorbachev….. Stalin, Czar Nicolas, etc. It’s quite a disappointing history really.

    This Putin will soon follow a long line of dead putins, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Saddam, Kim, Qaddafi, etc.

  • Rozalina Gutman

    I am increasingly concerned about the most recent approval of the new major Russian-German oil deal by German government. This speaks beyond any lip service about sanctions by European Union.

  • Livegreen

    Economic sanctions are long term, and have PROVEN ineffective for the immediate. They simply take too long vs facts on the ground. I agree with no troops on the ground, but how does President Obama openly pursuing a Chamberlain-esque policy of no military support help deter Putin? (Not even air strikes). What options are left to prevent Russia from pushing further into the Ukraine if it choses?

    • darqmyth

      Since Vladi Putin’s actions are threatening to Europe…Why can’t the Europeans stand up and exercise some “options”? Why is it once again left to the US. Chamberlain-esque policy really…how is it we should decide what is done with regards to EUROPE.

    • Botanist

      Let me get it straight, are you advocating for “air strikes” on Russia?

  • MaxFactors

    Why could not NATO and the US take the tact that, ok, Russia refuses to acknowledge their military presence. So, we will arm Ukraine to resolve their internal problem. The arms will be to help Ukraine with a struggle with rebels and not represent direct conflict with Russia.

  • Roger

    Would you guest pleas comment on the aftermath of the shooting down of Malaysian Flight 17? It feels as though I dreamed it because it vanished from the news and no one has mentioned it anywhere. How can such a horrendous event be so ignored? No responsibilities were ever determined, though it seems there was plenty of evidence that Russia had a hand in it.

  • Botanist

    I’m quite confident about US spy satellites’ capabilities – for example see photo of Bin Laden’s house made from space. The fact that US (which obviously sides with Ukraine’s new government) did not present any pictures, makes this more like a blaming game.
    PS: same is true for the story of shot down Malaysia Airlines jet.


    One important remark that I have heard today that needs deeper hardening in USA-Russia relations – Russia’s concerns for its own national securities. Therefore Russia, not Putin, needs the assurances that NATO is not going to get closer to its borders. I think before the crisis in Ukraine the threat was perceived not from direct military intervention per say BUT from the anti-Russian-speaking/ultranationalist forces in near boarder states reckless and provocative behaviors “protected” by the NATO. We see this igniting the conflicts in Georgia and very recently in Ukraine. The outcome of the EuroMaidan would be very different if the power was not taken by ultranationalist groups that for years were calling to kill and displace Russian-speakers from Crimea and SouthEast of Ukraine. USA and EU failed to react to the change in the course of events back in February/March 2013 and left to be aligned to government that escalated the tensions through Anti Terrorist Operation ( ATO) against 4 million of its own citizens. We (in the West) failed to recognize who is who in Ukraine. Who under the cover of democracy ideals calls for “extermination” of essential civil rights, neglects alternative point of views and seeks the use of force to resolve political crises (eg massacres in Odessa) in the name of “United Ukraine”. The World’s threat is not in Putin behaviors or in Russia’s inspiration for respect and prosperity. As much as Putin is not without controversies, his response is more reactive and opportunistic. In respect of Ukraine’s and EU integration, watch Mr. Putin suggestions that Russia would have to change its trade policies with Ukraine, therefore he proposes a staged approach so two economies would have time to adjust. I think West & Russia DONT need a “RESET” but the RESPECT. So far the action of USA and NATO serving good deeds in escalation of the conflict not resolving one, getting Ukraine deeper into debts and less sovereignty!

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