Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
The histories of Russia and Ukraine have been intimately linked for centuries – nowhere more so than on Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, where many ethnic Russians live today.
But how do average Russians view the region? And how does Crimea fit into President Vladimir Putin's broader ambitions?
Atika Shubert sat down with two Russian experts to learn more.
Uilleam Blacker, a Professor in Russian Literature, acknowledged that a large majority of Crimean residents identify as Russian, and even speak the language. But he cautioned that ethnic background doesn't necessarily equate to support for joining Russia.
"Even with the Russian population," Blacker says, "There's no evidence to suggest that there's actually overwhelming support for joining Russia."
Freelance Russian journalist Masha Karp says the Crimean peninsula plays directly into Putin's plans for a resurgent Russia.
"I think this is part of his very powerful rhetoric," Karp says. "Russia is getting off its knees. Part of his propaganda is we are trying to become again a world power."
The possibility of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula re-joining Russia is – in many ways – a return to the past.
Russia's Soviet Empire once spanned all the way from the Kuril Islands – North of Japan – to Ukraine and Crimea in the West. That empire was quickly dismantled at the end of the Cold War, splitting into fifteen independent states.
Despite the geo-political changes brought about by time and history, Crimea remains a region that looms large in both Eastern and Western Europe. It's a place that has featured in literature, artwork, and national myth-making.
We look back at the Crimean peninsula's role in historic conflicts, and popular lore.
Legendary journalist Sir David Frost passed away last year, aged 74.
He began his career in the 1960s as a satirical TV host, where he revelled in lampooning members of the political establishment. In 1977 Frost paid $600,000 out of his own pocket to secure a series of interviews with former U.S. president Richard Nixon. These interviews, and Nixon’s admissions in them, became a sensation and were later brought to the big screen in the Hollywood movie 'Frost/Nixon'.
During his long life in the media Frost interviewed eight British prime ministers and seven U.S. presidents.
This week his memorial was attended by royals, celebrities, and journalists from all over the world.
David Frost's son Wilfred created this video as a tribute to his late father. In it, he speaks to former British Prime Minister John Major, who shares his memories of Frost.
Major says that "as an interviewer he was a deadly interviewer, but he was always a fair interviewer. He didn't play cheap tricks. He didn't look for a cheap headline. His determination was to get out of the interviewee what they had to give."
Frost constantly asked "the questions that need to be asked". He "had a light touch, and a delicious sense of humour. And it was wry and self-deprecatory, and that's very charming, and it builds a bond."
And his personal life was as full and varied as his life on our TV screens. "I know absolutely no one who had such a wide range of people who would call themselves friends."
Text: When Frost landed Nixon
Nearly a week after the search started, the world is still wondering – how does a plane go missing?
New evidence shows that an automated reporting system on the airliner was pinging satellites for hours after its last reported contact with air traffic controllers. This means that the flight may have remained airborne much longer than previously thought.
Becky spoke to David Gallo, an Oceanographer from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He helped in the search for the Titanic, and co-led the successful international effort to locate Air France Flight 447.
Despite all his experience, he's as confused as the rest of us about the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. "I'm astounded by this. It's been perplexing all along but the latest twist about how long the plane may have been airborne has really thrown me for a loop. I hope this is true, I hope it sticks because it's one thing we can cling on to as a solid bit of evidence."
Becky asked Gallo what he personally would do next if leading this investigation. Gallo replied that if it's true that the plane may have reached the Indian Ocean, it's time to mobilize for a "different kind of search.”
"The water depths in the Indian Ocean can get upwards of 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 meters in some spots, depending on where we're talking about,” Gallo said. “Very different from the shallow waters of the Gulf of Thailand."
Text: Missing Malaysian plane: Could it have landed?
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