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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Lord Owen Slams Russia Sanctions

April 13th, 2014
01:02 PM ET

One of the chief negotiators in the Kosovo conflict tells Becky Anderson that sanctions against Russia won't resolve the crisis in Ukraine. Hear the former UK Foreign Secretary's views on the complex relationship between Moscow and Crimea.


Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Breaking News • Crimea • General • Russia

Ambassador: Sanctions must be "painful to Russians"

March 18th, 2014
03:21 PM ET

As the fallout from Crimea's Sunday referendum continues, Becky spoke to Volodymyr Khandogiy, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United Kingdom. She asked him whether the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the European Union go far enough.

Khandogiy said a lot more can be done.  According to him, two things are key to any actions that will make Russia take notice: "First of all they have to be effective and second of all they have to be painful to Russians."

He went on to say that there is more that can be done to help Ukraine. "Of course we will be happy to receive military technical assistance from our partners."  Khandogiy says that kind of help was the subject of recent talks between the Foreign Minister of Ukraine and the Secretary General of NATO.

Though Khandogiy says he doesn’t know Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motivations for certain, he says that one possible motive resonates the most with him - Putin's "perception that Ukraine does not deserve to be an independent state."

Text: US imposes sanctions on Russia

Text: West's sanctions on Russia: Are they just for show?


Filed under:  Crimea • Europe • European Union • NATO • Russia • Ukraine • United Kingdom • United States

Inside the Russian mind

March 14th, 2014
09:04 PM ET

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."


Filed under:  Analysis • Europe • Russia • Ukraine • Video

Crimea's place in Russian history

March 14th, 2014
08:48 PM ET

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.


Filed under:  Analysis • Europe • Global Connections • History • Protests • Russia • Ukraine • Video

Russia-Ukraine: Whose side is law on?

March 12th, 2014
02:49 PM ET

Ahead of the scheduled Sunday referendum in Crimea, Becky discovered more about the legal issues surrounding the Ukrainian crisis by speaking to Marc Weller, Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge. 

Weller told her that one significant fact was that Russia has formally confirmed in the past that it has no territorial claims towards Ukraine.

According to Weller, the upcoming Crimean referendum would not be recognised under international law.  "You cannot hold a referendum ever under circumstances of use of force of a neighbouring state."  Weller also said that a referendum should be the “final step” in a long process towards independence – a process which would normally include investigating whether they have a claim to self-determination, and the subsequent necessary negotiations with the Ukrainian government.

On the ousting of ex-president Yanukovych and the increased Russian presence in Crimea, Weller says that "if he cannot be president then certainly he cannot invite a foreign armed force into the country, and that's the key issue. Even if you say that formally he should still be regarded as president, if you lose control over the country to an extent that the majority of the population of parliament disowns you, you no longer have the right to ask foreign armed forces to come in."

Text: Ignoring West, Crimea readies vote on joining Russia

Text: Pro-Russians tighten security as Crimea heads for vote on joining Russia


Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Russia • Ukraine
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