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America’s Stake In The Ukrainian Crisis

We’ll talk about what the US should do or not do about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Pro-Russian soldiers block the Ukrainian naval base in the village of Novoozerne, some 91 km west of Crimean capital Simferopol, Ukraine, on Monday, March 3, 2014. Ukraine says Russian forces controlling the strategic region of Crimea are demanding that the crew of two Ukrainian warships in Sevastopol's harbor must surrender. (AP)

Pro-Russian soldiers block the Ukrainian naval base in the village of Novoozerne, some 91 km west of Crimean capital Simferopol, Ukraine, on Monday, March 3, 2014. Ukraine says Russian forces controlling the strategic region of Crimea are demanding that the crew of two Ukrainian warships in Sevastopol’s harbor must surrender. (AP)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Ukraine today.  In Kiev, as Russian troops crawl over Ukraine’s Crimea and protests denounce invasion.  In Washington yesterday, President Obama warned of consequences for Russia.  “We are examining a whole series of steps – economic, diplomatic,” said the President, “that will isolate Russia and will have a negative impact on Russia’s economy and its status in the world.”  How far should the U.S. go in brining Russia to account for events of the past week?  For what may yet come?  This hour On Point:  What the U.S. should do, or not do, about Russia and Ukraine.

– Tom Ashbrook


Margaret Coker, senior reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@margaretwsj)

Indira Lakshmanan, U.S. foreign policy reporter for Bloomberg News. (@Indira_L)

David Ignatius, columnist at the Washington Post. Author of “The Director,” “Bloodmoney,” “The Bank of Fear” and “America and the World.” (@IgnatiusPost)

Kori Schake, research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: Putin’s error in Ukraine is the kind that leads to catastrophe – “Perhaps inevitably, given Washington’s political monomania, the big subject over the weekend wasn’t Putin’s criminal attack on Crimea but whether Obama had encouraged it by being insufficiently muscular. There are many valid criticisms to be made of Obama’s foreign policy, especially in Syria, but the notion that Putin’s attack is somehow the United States’ fault is perverse.”

The Wall Street Journal: Russia Seizes Border Posts in Crimea, Says Ukraine — “Ukraine’s State Border Service said Russian forces were also massing armored military vehicles on its side of a narrow sea crossing separating the region from Russia, increasing pressure on Ukrainian forces still in the region. The movement suggested that Russia was planning to stay in Crimea for the long haul. Ukraine’s newly appointed prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said there was little chance of resolving the standoff in the short term. But he added there was no evidence that Russian forces have tried to push out of Crimea into mainland Ukraine and that he doesn’t believe they plan to do so.”

Bloomberg News: Cold War Ghosts Haunt East Europe in Moves for Crimea — “As Ukrainians steel themselves against a full invasion by Russian troops into Crimea and political leaders across the globe engage in marathon diplomacy with President Vladimir Putin to quell soldiers and sailors already there, people in central and eastern Europe say their mistrust of Russia is as strong as it has ever been. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Kiev today, the latest of politicians from the West to show support to the new government.”

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Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

Dec 17, 2014
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The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

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