The instability in Ukraine has the world watching and waiting. Following Crimea’s return to the Russian fold, separatists in the rest of the country are demanding the same for the rest of Ukraine. The west-leaning government in Kiev says the separatists are Russian proxy agents. Russian troops are near the border, and civil war is threatened.
The government of Ukraine, independent since 1991, finds itself in a position of unprecedented vulnerability. Internal disagreement over economic policy toward the European Union sparked larger discussions of identity and alignment throughout Ukraine. A pro-European movement ended up toppling the government, and deposed President Yanukovych fled the country on Feb. 22.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, wants to offer the Republic of Georgia a "memorandum of understanding" to join NATO. While that wouldn't constitute full membership, Durbin says it could serve as a way to build up that country's military.
Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:07 pm
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Just before residents of Crimea voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, a group of U.S. senators visited Kiev. They were showing support for Ukraine's new government, and also offering U.S. help. Among them was Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin. We reached him by phone in Chicago, and asked if the U.S. and Europe have to accept that Crimea is now part of Russia.
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