Apr 14 2014

Civil War in Ukraine and Prospects for US-Russia Relations

Just weeks after Crimea’s vote to secede from the Ukraine and join Russia, Ukrainians are preparing for a Presidential election on May 25th. The lead-up to the election is highlighting tensions between Russia and the West.

Fears of Russian expansionism are driving speculation over the motivations of tens of thousands of Russian troops stationed near Russia’s border, recently apparently exposed by satellite photos. NATO officials have warned that Russia could deploy those troops at a moment’s notice. President Vladimir Putin’s administration has argued that NATO is exaggerating and, in the words of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, authorities are harboring “groundless fears, phobias and ambitions of a minority of [NATO] members.”

Meanwhile, the Eastern Ukrainian towns of Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk have faced serious pro-Russian protests. Just this morning, pro-Russian protesters took over a government building in the city of Horlivka. The Washington Post is reporting that “Ukraine’s acting president said he would welcome United Nations peacekeepers to help establish order by conducting a ‘joint counterterrorist operation’ with Ukrainian forces.”

GUEST: Katrina Vanden Huevel, editor and publisher of The Nation, a long time expert on US-Russia relations

Click here to read Vanden Heuvel’s recent blog about US-Russia nuclear talks

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