News / Europe

Putin Unfazed as Ukraine Crisis Continues

Putin Unfazed as Ukraine Crisis Continuesi
|| 0:00:00
March 06, 2014 8:25 AM
Russian President Vladimir Putin's intervention in Ukraine may have raised the consternation of the West, but at home he remains popular and his economy is, so far, intact. VOA's Michael Eckels reports.
Putin Unfazed as Ukraine Crisis Continues
Mike Eckels
Russian President Vladimir Putin's intervention in Ukraine may have raised the consternation of the West, but at home he remains popular and his economy is, so far, intact.
"Even if we, I were to make the decision to use force, it would be legitimate... And it is our interest and responsibility to defend those people closely related to us, historically, culturally and economically tied to us," said Putin during a press conference.
These views are largely shared by the population in Moscow. Natalya has relatives in Yevpatoria, a city in Crimea, a strategic military region being contested.
"All my friends, relatives, and neighbors there say that Crimea wants to be part of Russia," said Natalya.
Yevegeny, another Muscovite, shared Putin's views that the new Ukrainian government is illegitimate.
"Really it's an internal Ukrainian problem, but from a legal standpoint it's certainly an illegal change of powers," said Yevegeny.
Meanwhile, flowers outside the Ukrainian embassy symbolize the close ties between Russia and Ukraine, but they may also hint at solidarity with the ideals of the Ukrainians now in power.
Russian defense analyst Pavel Felgenhauer said opinions could change if life in Russia changes drastically under strict U.S. and EU sanctions.
"Russia is very much integrated into the international financial system. And sanctions will be very punishing if they are really serious sanctions," said Felgenhauer.
At Russia's stock market, the Moscow Exchange, Roman Sulzhyk said the conflict has only caused a predictable reaction with some investors selling off stocks.
"The way that Russian market and the exchange withstood the sell-off -- like we've seen some stocks drop by something like 20 percent. The main index drop by 10 percent. Obviously it's not pleasant to see this, but the way the Russian market withstood the sell-off, the trading continued, we've had really good volumes," said Sulzhyk.
Foreign investors own 40 percent of stock traded on the Moscow Exchange.
Putin sees economic sanctions by the West as a tit-for-tat game.
"In the modern world where everything is interconnected, and everybody depends on everybody one way or another, of course damage can be caused, but it will be mutual damage," said Putin.
Mutual damage seems the only clear inevitability for all parties involved.
"I don't think that Ukraine after reorganizing itself, after having legitimate elections, reorganizing its military will actually settle for part of the country being under Russian yoke. They're going to push back eventually. That means that this thing is going to continue and continue. Putin will be stubborn and the Ukrainians will be stubborn. And the West most likely will also have to be stubborn," said Felgenhauer.
Stubbornness and diplomacy do not go hand-in-hand. The G-8 meeting planned for Sochi is disintegrating, reports from Ukraine speak of volunteers lining up to fight and Putin has yet to reveal his weak spot.

You May Like

Video Egyptian Journalists Call for Press Freedom

Despite release of al-Jazeera journalists and others, Egyptian Journalist Syndicate says some remain imprisoned More

Turkey Survey Indicates Traditional Distrusts, Shift to the West

Comprehensive public opinion survey also found a large majority of those interviewed distrust all countries other than country’s neighbor, Azerbaijan More

Pakistan Court Upholds Death Sentence in Blasphemy Killing

Highest court upholds sentence of Mumtaz Qadri convicted of 2011 killing a provincial governor for criticizing country’s controversial blasphemy law More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Music Brings Generations Together

When musicians over the age of 50 headline a rock concert, you expect to see baby boomer fans in the audience. Boomer rock stars have boomer fans. Millennial rock stars have millennial fans. But this isn’t always the case. Take the Lockn’ Music festival which took place in mid-September in rural Arrington, Virginia. Here, Jacquelyn de Phillips discovered two generations of people who are considered quite different in the outside world, spending 4 days together in music-loving harmony.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs