Daily VideoMarch 13, 2014
New Ukrainian PM appeals to Obama for support
As tensions with Russia continue to rise over Crimea, Ukraine’s new Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk arrived at the White House to seek backing from the president and appeal to other Western nations.
Crimea is on the cusp of a vote on whether to leave Ukraine and become a part of Russia, a move opposed by Ukraine’s government and world leaders.
“Mr. President, it’s all about the freedom,” said Prime Minister Yatsenyuk. “We fight for our freedom. We fight for our independence. We fight for our sovereignty, and we will never surrender.”
Russia continues to hold Ukrainian military bases in Crimea and says it’s acting to protect ethnic Russians, which make up a majority of Crimea’s population. But Ukraine argues a 1994 agreement obligated Russia, the U.S. and Britain to protect its territorial integrity, after Ukraine gave up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons. So far, Russians have ignored such claims.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with the Russian foreign minister in London on Friday in an attempt to negotiate ahead of the Crimea vote. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee also endorsed sanctions against Russia yesterday, which would target Russian officials deemed responsible for the Crimea incursion.
Warm up questions
- Where are Russia and the Ukraine located? How can geography play a role in politics?
- In the last few months the political crisis in Ukraine has gone from bad to worse. Here are some of the critical events:
- President Viktor Yanukovych makes an unpopular agreement with Russia to strengthen ties between the two countries
- Protests against the agreement grow and become violent
- Yanukovych is ousted from power
- Ethnic Russians in the region of Crimea unite in an effort to split from Ukraine and join with Russia
- Russia steps up military presence in and around Ukraine
- Can you identify any point in the story that could have been handled differently that might have deescalated the situation? Which events do you think intensified the situation and why?
Discussion questions and writing prompts
- What political message does President Obama meeting with the new Ukrainian Prime Minister send to the world?
- The publicized meeting between the two leaders was one non-military way to intervene in the political conflict in Ukraine. What are some other strategies (military and non-military) that Western countries like the U.S. can employ to shape the situation? What are the risks and benefits to each strategy?
- Why are Western countries so worried about Russia annexing Crimea from Ukraine? If ethnically Russian Crimeans want to become part of Russia, what is the problem?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
The Democratic National Convention wrapped up its third day on Wednesday in Philadelphia with speeches by President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The Democratic National Convention began on Monday amid protests from supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders and calls for unity to back Hillary Clinton. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
While Clinton has topped the annual Gallup poll of “most admired woman” each of the last 14 years, a CBS poll last month showed nearly two-thirds of Americans say they don’t think she is honest or trustworthy. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Born and raised in Queens, New York, to a family of privilege, Donald Trump grew up in a 23-room house and was driven to private school by the family chauffeur. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump chose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice president, despite the two disagreeing on a number of political and social issues. Pence has served as governor of Indiana since 2012, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 12 years. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld