News / Europe

Putin Critic Floats Scotland Option for Crimea

Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky gives students a lecture on human rights and freedom in Kyiv on March 10, 2014.Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky gives students a lecture on human rights and freedom in Kyiv on March 10, 2014.
x
Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky gives students a lecture on human rights and freedom in Kyiv on March 10, 2014.
Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky gives students a lecture on human rights and freedom in Kyiv on March 10, 2014.
Reuters
Scottish-style devolution could be the best solution for the crisis in Crimea, a former Russian oligarch and critic of President Vladimir Putin told an audience in Ukraine on Monday.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, released by Putin in December after a decade in jail, told university students in Kyiv that giving the region the kind of autonomy from Ukraine that Scotland has inside the British state could ease Crimean demands for union with Russia, whose forces took over the peninsula a week ago.

Saying Moscow risked wrecking ties with its neighbor, the former oil magnate said, "The best option might be to keep Crimea within Ukraine, but with the broadest possible autonomy - for example, akin to what Scotland has within Great Britain.''

Crimea, transferred from Russia to Ukraine in Soviet times and home to an ethnic Russian majority, already has the status of an autonomous republic. Local leaders who took power after last month's overthrow of Ukraine's pro-Moscow president have called a referendum for Sunday to seek union with Russia.

Khodorkovsky, 50, has offered to mediate in the crisis, though so far to little apparent effect.

Jailed for fraud after challenging Putin, Khodorkovsky was widely seen in the West as a political prisoner. Having left Russia on his release after being pardoned, he said he would not involve himself in politics, but arrived in Kyiv last week saying he wanted to help avert war in the former Soviet state.

On Monday, he said Russia risked damaging itself by "adopting 19th-century practices of settling territorial disputes'' and described himself as a staunch defender of Russia's own national, state interests, including against separatist movements in its Muslim North Caucasus regions.

"I call on my compatriots to defend land that belongs to Russia, including in the North Caucasus, including by force of arms,'' he said. "I must recognize that the Ukrainian people also have that right.''

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid