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Crisis in Ukraine

September 18, 2014

Listen to the report on the crisis in Ukraine on CNN Student News:

Ukrainean Crisis

The transcript:

CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: CNN STUDENT NEWS starts right now. I`m Carl Azuz. Things are changing rapidly in Ukraine. Yesterday, more Russian troops reportedly entered Crimea, it`s a southern region of Ukraine where there is a lot of support for Russia. A Crimean official said things there were quiet last night, there were no signs of fighting. Ukraine`s ousted President Viktor Yanukovych said he asked Russia to send in its military to establish peace and to defend the people of Ukraine. The United States is considering sanctions, economic punishments against Russia. It says Russia broke international law by sending troops to Ukraine. It`s also offering money to support Ukraine`s new government.


Some of the ripple effects – Russia`s stock market was down, Europe`s were down, America`s was down. Corn, wheat and oil prices were up. Ukraine`s a top grain producer for Europe, so a conflict there could disrupt that. And Russia supplies about 25 percent of Europe`s natural gas, much of that flows through pipelines in Ukraine. It shows you how the global economy is connected and affected by events in the nation that`s about the size of Texas.




JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There`s been a lot of questions about Russia`s interests in Ukraine as well as the West`s interests. So, we could look at the map and we`re going to get a much better sense. First of all, a reminder here: Ukraine is in Europe, it`s not a million miles away, the capital just a few hundred miles from cities that Americans travel to all the time: Rome, Paris, London. And look here, on its western border, four key American allies: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania. All members of NATO and under NATO, the U.S. has an obligation, a treaty obligation to defend them, if they come under threat.


Now, Ukraine not a member of NATO, but in recent years there`s been a lot of talk about bringing them in to a closer relationship.


Let`s get a better sense now of Russia`s interests there. You look at Crimea, on the tip of that peninsula, the Sevastopol Military Naval Base, this is the headquarters of Russia`s Black Sea Fleet. It`s their only warm water port, all the ports up north, they are frozen in winter. Access to the Black Sea, to the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, essential for Russia, and that`s the first place that many of those 6,000 and even more Russian troops went when they crossed the border from Russia into Crimea. I remind you, sovereign Ukrainian territory. But let`s look inside the country as well, because there`s a real split between east and west there.


Western part of the country here leans towards Europe, only five percent of the population in this part speaks Russian, ethnic Russians. Eastern part of the country, 75 percent here, they speak Russian. They are ethnic, they feel the pull towards Russia. This part of the country feels the pull towards the West and Europe. Jim Sciutto, CNN, New York.




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