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Russia, Ukraine and Us


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Speaker(s): Anne Applebaum, Sir Rodric Braithwaite, Ben Judah, Olexiy Solohubenko
Chair: Bridget Kendall

Recorded on 7 March 2014 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building.

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. For pro-European elements in Ukraine, the events exposed the hollow bluster of Putin's rhetoric. Meanwhile a nervous world watches and waits to see whether the angry words explode into open conflict across national borders.

The BBC's diplomatic correspondent, Bridget Kendall, draws on her deep knowledge of the region to discuss these events with a distinguished panel. She will try to put the dramatic events of recent days into the longer historical context and ask what they mean for our relationship with Russia.

This public discussion will be recorded and will be broadcast at 8.00pm on Saturday 8 March, on BBC Radio 4 (@BBCRadio4).

Anne Applebaum (@anneapplebaum) is the author of, among other books, Putinism: The Ideology; Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956; Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe; and Gulag: A History. She is currently writing a history of Ukraine. Anne was the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at LSE IDEAS for the 2012-13 academic year.

Sir Rodric Braithwaite is a former British Ambassador to Russia, former foreign policy adviser to the prime minister (John Major) and former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. Among his books are: Russia in Europe, Across the Moscow River and, most recently, Afgantsy: the Russians in Afghanistan.

Ben Judah (@b_judah) is a Russianist and published last year, Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin. Ben is a fellow at the European Stability Initiative.

Olexiy Solohubenko is executive editor, Americas and Europe Region of BBC Global News. He was previously executive editor for Eurasia, which includes BBC services for Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. Prior to that he was head of the BBC's Ukrainian Service.

Bridget Kendall is the BBC's diplomatic correspondent and former Moscow correspondent.

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