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Last on

Sat 8 Mar 2014 20:00 BBC Radio 4

Duration:
15 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 08 March 2014

It was meant to be a moment of glory for Vladimir Putin, basking in the glow from a successful winter Olympics. Instead the world's attention was drawn away from the ski slopes of Sochi and towards the barricades of central Kyiv. The violence on the streets was the latest chapter in the long and unpredictable aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union. For the Kremlin, the Ukrainian revolution was a takeover by fascist elements of a nation which lies at the core of Russian history, with Kyiv the birthplace of the Russian Orthodox Church. President Putin has responded with a show of military force. For his critics, his reaction exposes his extreme view of Russian nationalism and his lack of regard for international norms. Meanwhile a nervous world watches and waits to see whether the angry words and tensions on the ground explode into open conflict.

The BBC's diplomatic correspondent, Bridget Kendall, draws on her deep knowledge of the region to discuss these events with a distinguished panel, including the historians Ben Judah and Anne Applebaum. In front of an audience at the London School of Economics and Political Science, she will try to put the dramatic events of recent days into the longer historical context and ask what they mean for Ukraine, Russia and the world.

Producer: Simon Coates.

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