tv Real Money With Ali Velshi Al Jazeera March 19, 2015 10:30pm-11:01pm EDT
vladimir putin makes no apology. the russian president is celebrating the event that put the world on edge and plunged america and russia into this new cold car. one year since he seized crimea the fighting rages on in ukraine, and vladimir putin shows no sign of backing down as if dearing the west to stop him. america tried to squeeze him with sanctions, and vladimir
putin's top opponent inside russia was mysteriously murdered. all of this puts russia and the west on a dangerous collision course. where does it end, who if anyone wins in the end. i'm ali velshi - a special report on the new cold war starts now. it's a new cold war. a year ago this week the crisis in ukraine escalated from an internal dispute between ukrainians into a wider international clash that pits russia against the west. last march russia annexed crimea. since then russia has thrown its support behind separatist rebels fighting in eastern ukraine, and that triggered a sanctions war between the west and russia, polarizing trade and threatening security in europe. new front lines between east and west have hardened into a new
iron curtain of sorts of the this one runs through russian controlled territories in ukraine, moldova and georgia, where russia announced a treaty with the secessionists that controlled south ossetia. all the nations in blue responded with more defense deployment. increasing tension that russia has with the n.a.t.o. alliance. europeans were hoping to celebrate the end of the last war. symbolized by the fall of the wall a quarter of a century ago. europe opened up to a cold war, one dividing the continent between east and west. the refusal by russia and the west to acknowledge the interests of the other means the conflict is here to stay for the foreseeable future. ukraine's crisis was the
catalysters it was russia's moves crimea that made it attractable. rory challands is in crimea where they are marking the one year anniversary of the annexation. >> for many, this was our choice. they voted for it in the referendum. and our victory. they did it despite the the objections of the west. polls done recently suggest 80 to 85% of crimians suggest what happened was a good decision viewing it as a homecoming to mother russia. crimea's celebrations may be stage managed but they are genuinely felt by the region's majority ethnic russians.
in crimea's administrative center the mood is jub lapt. >> we are very glad. we doubted it in the beginning, but now are sure of the future with russia. we have sentiments about joining russia. >> translation: i lived here for 25 years, during the ukranian period we didn't see anything good now with russia life is easier. you can feel free. russia is a big state and a big future a powerful future. there were organised celebrations in moscow and a few words from a man who posted that he handled the take over the crimea personally. we will go forward, strengthen our state hoot.
overcoming all difficulties. and, of course we'll overcome the problems and difficulties that they throw at us from outside. these are useless attempts against russia. thank you for your support. long live russia the kremlin says that crimea is russian now, and will be forever more. case closed effectively. but crimea is likely to be a geopolitical sore for many years to come. >> west end governments view what happened a year ago as an illegal land grab given a veneer of legitimacy by a quick and dirty referendum. they refused to recognise crimea as russian, and it seems destined to join the ranks of other disputed regions of the world. crimea's leaders insist that it will not share the same fate as
those economically stunted territories. >> crimea is not an autonomous region. crimea is an integral part of the russian state. the same russia as moscow and other parts and regions. we are part of a big great country. >> but for the crimean issue to be resolved someone will have to change their tune. either russia has to hand it back, or ukraine and the west must swallow objections and recognise it as russian. >> the crimean spring as it's called in russia may be popular with most crimeans. but it has been a difficult year of transition. the act of moving from ukraine to russia has weighed very heavily on crimea's economy, particularly when you take into account the sanctions that have been levied against it. then there's a troubling issue
of human rights. minority groups like the tar tars and activists said it's a year of abductions murder and spurious prosecutions against them. >> rory challands for us in crimea. there was a lone member of the douma, russia's parliament who stood up to vladimir putin, and against the annexation of crimea. he is paying a high price. he's been banned from russia accused of embezzlement but is trying to rally russians to spark change and is here with me now. >> no i'm a current member. >> i like how you define essentially russian parramatta. it is. it's a mimic. >> why were you the only one to vote against it. >> it was very much clear what would come next. that it would be a bloodshed. enemies with the brother nation of ukrainians.
our closest ally. like the u.s. would declare war on great britain. when i come back i want to ask about the murder of his friend boris nemtsov, and why the killing was meant as a message to russian elite and the west and said the criminal charges are trumped up to punish him. our special report on the new cold war is back in 2 minutes.
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russian authorities are investigating the murder of boris nemtsov. despite the arrest of five suspects there's a deal of suspicion about who is really responsible. many believe it was a literal warning shot to foes of the russian president vladimir putin. whatever the motivation the murder made the opposition leaders nervous. one has a history of standing up to vladimir putin, and is now banned from returning to russia. it's a complication for you, because you are a member of the
douma. how do they ban a member of the douma - essentially a member of the parliament. >> they can't arrest or detain me but they can close the border for me. they situated until i would be outside russia and made a court decree to close the border. i am stuck. >> you literally can't go back. >> my wife is in eastern europe she doesn't have a visa for the u.s. it's problematic. >> let's talk about boris nemtsov, did you know him? >> yes, of course. >> tell me what you think has happened here. >> boris is a decent and honest person, but not the most popular person inside russia. that was one of the most precise reasons why he was chosen as a victim. very well-known in the west and literally supported in the country. he was in front of the kremlin, and it was security people who
started this. i think it was a powerful message to invitin himself, that he is not fully in control. situation, and a message to the west. so you see what is going on in russia, we are in charge we are in control. and it was a kind of recreation of 1934 which was on excuse for stalin to start in russia in 1937. start a campaign of terror against the opposition. >> if there is a campaign to come, you are likely to be a victim, are you scared. >> i'm already a victim. that's my job. i think that by summer time i hope the court will or will not expire and i'll come back. >> you are keeping your job as a representative. your argument is the same as a u.s. congressman. i was elected, i have to serve them. you were the on one to vote against the annexationful crimea. was there -- annexation.
was there a network? >> 15% of russian population is against the war or the annexation of crimea. it means 20 million people and to be the one member of personal is not that bad. also before actually vote engine my home constituency we have one week in a row, making six meetings a day and talking to people. usually that makes me sure. it makes you understand when you communicate with them. after that we come in on the streets and talk to people and those against the vote by itself. but you say you are a true siberian man. you manage to fight on who or what you believe in. >> is that the democracy of which you speak. the democracy that you speak sounds like western.
>> democracy is what you make it. >> is that existing in russia. can you act like a we were politician standing for a constituency against a powerful president and administration. >> the only issue we can't befreely elected. the electoral process is under control. we were previously elected so they were a little deluded. if the party accepts you as a member of the party and a social democrat. that's how we are elected. now it would be more like american system where 15-20% support is not enough to get elected. i worry for my safety. >> in a little while on the show we have steven cohen who has written a great deal about a narrative in the west and western media, which is ipp correct about vladimir putin, and russians are legitimately concerned about incursions and
intrusions into the eastern european states that are nato states that were in violation of the agreements that russia had. that russia is in its - with respect its rights to want a buff ever zone between itself and the western units. >> it identified the south on the west side of the spectrum. and there's a phrase identifying them as useful idiots. they don't understand what they are talking about. if you try to defeat one with another imperialism you are stuck in a society with a 19th or 20th century causing so much bloodshed for the humanity. we are living in the 21st century, in a network society, in a society of facebook. it's no longer as far as of influence. the agreements are that and those politicians who don't
acknowledge this are responsible for the blood. >> media coverage in russia - are they feeling boxed in by the west and n.a.t.o. is this putting the russians in a cornerer and now they are rushing out. >> i wouldn't say they are the corner. vladimir putin is cornered. russians feel two different things. firstly, that the west brought misery here. corruption. during the 1990s, the forums associated with the new liberals come into the country. some serve for pam yes, and people are angry about that that's what is happening. secondly, they think that it's the west who started the revolution in kiev and brought to power neo-nazis, fascists fascist junta and we are the
liberators. we are like americans, missionary people we have a mission in life. america is trying to liberate other countries against their will is the same thing as russians do. we are fighting against fascists and ready to sacrifice ourselves during the fight. >> there are russians in lithuania, in latvia estonia, in other yooern european countries, and this administration said that we are going to extend an umbrella of protection towards them. there are russians in some that never took citizenship. will that happen will we see russia extend on umbrella of protection over russians that live outside of russia in european countries. >> no, i'm, as a member of parliament advocating and protecting the russians and getting them involved and provided with jobs and education in russia and picking up the
most talented people to come to russia to make business to prosper and develop russian economy. we have never done anything like that. several legislation acts that i was introducing were turned down by vladimir putin's administration. what he thinks about is the spheres of influence that they are talking about. he thinks about military interference. military protection and the guys don't need military protection, they need humanitarian protection for the language, culture. it is needed. it's what they need to do. >> thank you for joining us pleasure to talk to you. a russian member of the douma, russian parliament russian president vladimir putin is vilified for starting a cold war. steven cohen says washington is to blame. he responds next. you are watching our special coverage - the new cold war - back in 2 minutes.
steven cohen is a professor studying russian history for more than four decades and the author of nine books on russian history. steven says it's not vladimir putin, and the conflict was inspired in washington before vladimir putin came to power. but as you just heard, many disagree including one of
vladimir putin's top opponents in the russian government. thank you so much for being with us. ilia would like to talk to you, but says you are not correct in this that vladimir putin is more responsible for this an anybody else. tell me your thesis, why do you believe the west has done this? >> it doesn't matter unless you want to resolve it. >> that's correct. >> so if our government and our congress and there are maybe four opponents to this official point of view in the united states - i being one - if we take the view of our government that russia is to blame, we make no mistakes in the russian policy - there's nothing to discuss. that leads to war. i would say we are spitting distance from war - about the way we were during the cuban missile crisis. >> you talk between n.a.t.o. and russia, america and russia the only two that matter. they are both armed to the teeth
with 1,000 nuclear war pieces. >> it's our money, weapons, organizations and commander. >> we have called this a new cold war. you have been talking about this for some time. when everyone else thought it was fine you thought there was something. >> we began, expanding our military alliance our cold war military alliance n.a.t.o. like pak men gobling up along the way. what has been driving the ukranian crisis the worst in modern times - there's several factors. primary is the idea in the west that ukraine should be in n.a.t.o. that is more than the border it's part of russia's civilisation in a broad way. >> why more so than latvia where there are russians a quarter of
the population or more. they will argue that's russian civilisation. >> russia does not argue that. those people ended up there through the soviet occupation during world war ii of the small baltics republics. that resentment is understandable. people say my aim were born there. they didn't want to go back to russia. they are at a legal disadvantage. that's a separate issue. ukraine is part of eastern ukraine, not only. is part of russian civilitionation. what does it mean. they speak the same language they worship the same religion. they are intermarried. for example, all of europe viewers will know who gorbachev was, his mother and wife was ukranian. is he a russian or ukranian? >> that's a good question.
pacman gobbles up the dots that don't want to be gobble the up. these n.a.t.o. countries willingly destroyed. >> you want to have that discussion do you? >> they chose an imperial power to join. >> the official position of n.a.t.o. and russia is any country that qualifies - ukraine doesn't qualify - it doesn't meet the specifications. >> that's correct. >> any country that qualifies can be a member. no, it can't. nato is a security organization not a sorority. a country joins n.a.t.o. if it increases that country's security and your security. are you going to tell me looking at what happened the worst international crisis is the cuban crisis the possibility of a war between the united states and russia that n.a.t.o. expansion increased. >> i'm saying to your point. it was america that forced this.
it's almost as if we forced ourselves upon them. they wanted us. >> we made an offer. >> they made choice. >> what they say in the god father, make them an offer they can't refuse. >> if someone says "i will pay your bills, your security." i'm protect your borders. >> "i'll protect your borders" you don't have to do what we do spend billions on defense. we'll do that. you can be about americans, plus big bad russia is there, we can protect you. you'd say why not. the fact is in ukraine, that's the pivot. before the crisis 75% of ukrainians across the country were against joining n.a.t.o. they understood what i told you. now with all the killing, all the bloodshed, with russia nonetheless 62% think joining n.a.t.o. not a good idea. >> in other words the battered people of ukraine understand better than washington and
brussels that ukraine should not be in n.a.t.o., and more offer, if you want -- more over, if you want to end the crisis the first step is for the west to say that never - that doesn't mean the day after tomorrow that's what we are saying. never will ukraine become a member of the n.a.t.o. it acquires the status during the cold war. you know economics. finland did well. >> one has to assume that the moves made in ukraine a year and a half ago to strengthen its alliance, it's trading alliance with the west versus with the alliance that vladimir putin was putting forward. didn't have to be a step towards n.a.t.o., could they not have had a greater trading alliance with the west. we look at a world where everyone trades with partners. >> you should run for public office. that's a common sensical position. here is what happened.
two, before the west told the president of ukraine, it's the west or russia instead of trade. vladimir putin said why not a tripart platter. why can't it trade as it has for 500 years, and he was told no. >> it's either or. >> the other thing, you can look it up. in the 1,000 page documents of trade relations. eight pages of security. when i read them it says that had ukraine signed that it would have had to follow the defense policies of europe and they are fill in the blanks nato. it was an attempt to smuggle ukraine into n.a.t.o. through the back door or as the lawyer would say in the tiny print - had n.a.t.o. not been involved. we would not be on the verge - that's too dramatic. the risk of war with russia would not exist. >> we can't have the whole