90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Ukraine Splits Over East-West Economic Rivalry

The battle over Ukraine. The reach of the West. Russia’s sphere of influence. Ukrainians in the streets.

People rally outside of the presidential administration building in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. Ukraine's opposition failed to force out the government with a parliamentary no-confidence vote Tuesday, leaving political tensions unresolved and a potential standoff between protesters and the country's leaders looming. (AP)

People rally outside of the presidential administration building in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. Ukraine’s opposition failed to force out the government with a parliamentary no-confidence vote Tuesday, leaving political tensions unresolved and a potential standoff between protesters and the country’s leaders looming. (AP)

In a flash, Ukraine’s capital looked like old Orange Revolution or even Berlin Wall-toppling days last weekend.  Massive crowds, brutal police, an East-West tug-of-war.  A certain Cold War cast and a touch of Soviet power play.  But this was completely up to date.  Ukraine’s government turned away from a European Union tie.  Toward Russia.  And a whole lot of Ukrainians took to the streets to say no.  No to Moscow.  Yes to Western European values.  But it’s complicated.  Ukraine is right in the middle.  This hour On Point:  old ties, new ties, and the fate of Ukraine.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Sergei Loiko, Moscow correspondent for The Los Angeles Times, covering the protests in Kiev.

Serhii Plokhii, professor of Ukrainian history at Harvard University. Author of “Ukraine And Russia; Representations of the Past” and “The Origins of the Slavic Nations: Premodern Identities in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.”

Gwendolyn Sasse, professor of politics and international relations at the University of Oxford. Author of “The Crimea Question: Identity, Transition And Conflict,” “Europeanization and Reorganization in the EU’s Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe: The Myth of Conditionality” and “Ethnicity and Territory in the Former Soviet Union: Regions in Conflict.”

Alisa Ruban, organizer in the Ukrainian protests. International secretary for the Democratic Alliance, a Ukrainian opposition party.

From Tom’s Reading List

Los Angeles Times: Ukrainian opposition fails to pass no-confidence vote in parliament — “After several days of of mass protests over President Viktor Yanukovich’s refusal to sign the trade and association agreement with Europe, the opposition leaders counted on support from communist lawmakers and defectors from the ruling Party of Regions faction to pass the measure. A vote of no confidence was seen as a first step in bringing down the government.”

Reuters: Ukraine government survives in parliament while rage boils outside — “The government’s November 21 decision to reject a deal on closer trade ties and integration with the EU has laid bare once more a split in world view between Ukraine’s Russian-speaking East and Ukrainian-speaking West.Protesters see the rejection of the EU trade deal as a fundamental shift in the future outlook of their country, away from the European mainstream and back into the orbit of their former Soviet masters in Moscow.”

The Economist: Battle for Ukraine – “Ukraine is not Belarus. It has a vibrant middle class, television is controlled by oligarchs (many of whom are extremely angry with Mr Yanukovych) and, most importantly, a diverse population. Although Mr Yanukovych, whose popularity rating is less than 20%, is still backed by his native Russian-speaking industrial region of Donetsk, he has never had much legitimacy in the Ukrainian-speaking west of the country. His latest actions could lead to a split in the country, with its western part and Kiev simply refusing to recognise the government’s authority.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 24, 2014
In this photo taken Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Silicon Valley pioneer and Silent Circle co-founder Jon Callas holds up Blackphone with encryption apps displayed on it at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.  (AP)

We’ll look at privacy, security, and the battle heating up between intelligence agencies and tech companies that are moving to encrypt your communication.

Nov 24, 2014
Homeless people stay with their belongings under the Pontchartrain Expressway overpass in New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The city’s health department put up notices Monday giving the estimated 150 homeless people 72 hours to leave the area. (AP)

Smashing the assumptions about what it’s really like to live in poverty in America.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

 
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: November 21, 2014
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We offer a panel of hand-drawn digital sheep, and wonder how to best lead the rest of you to programs that matter.

More »
2 Comments
 
The Explicast, Episode Five: What Is Net Neutrality?
Friday, Nov 14, 2014

The Explicast dives into tech policy territory with a quick look at the real meaning of a complicated bit of tech policy known as ‘Net Neutrality.’

More »
2 Comments