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tv   BBC World News  BBC America  March 18, 2014 7:00am-8:01am EDT

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major nearby open in the tourism market. even if it's only 20% of the people visiting niagara falls. they are more valuable to have in the local economy. hello. i'm geeta guru-murthy with "bbc world news". our top stories. president putin signs a bill allowing crimea to become part of russia. he's due to make a special address to parliament shortly. the search for the missing malaysia airlines plane covers 2.2 million square nautical miles. a suicide bomb attack in northern afghanistan has killed 15 people, including women and children. . and the rolling stones have
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canceled their first concert in their australian tour following the sudden death of mick jagger's girlfriend l'wren scott. hello. after sunday's hastily organized and hotly disputed referendum, russia seems determined to absorb crimea as speedily as possible. president putin is set to address both houses of the russian parliament around now. let's have a look at the pictures we're getting in as members of the duma settle awaiting president putin to start speaking. there is speculation that he could sign a bill incorporating crimea into russia by the end of the day. it might still to be approved by the constitutional court before
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it comes into effect. you can see the assembled gathering waiting in moscow for president putin. let's speak to our correspondent also in moscow richard galpin. richard, what are we expecting here now? >> reporter: you know, geeta, it is very difficult to be absolutely certain. but certainly all indications are that there might be some kind of signing of this agreement. we know mr. putin has signed off on the draft treaty already. but we don't know the exact timing. but assuming it does take place during the assembly inside the kremlin, which is about to start now. as you say, it has to go to the constitutional court in st. petersburg. they have to look at it to make sure it does comply within the russian constitution. after that it needs to come back to the russian parliament to both houses, the upper and lower
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houses of parliament for them to ratify it. and actually just recently now russian television has been speaking to members of parliament who apparently have been saying they do expect that this process will be completed by the end of this week. >> the mood there in russia. to bring crimea back into russia been universally welcomed or only by supporters. >> i wouldn't say universally. certainly what it seems is the majority of people think it's a good thing. certainly we have seen mr. putin's popularity ratings increase as a result of the intervention, the military intervention into crimea. having said that, there is definitely a constituency of people who are not happy at all. we witnessed that saturday when there were two rallies. one in favor of mr. putin's
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policies which numbered 15,000. and then a rally of mr. putin's opponents specifically on this issue. unusually, they were given permission by the authorities to hold a legal demonstration. and they turned out in very, very large numbers given the circumstances. there were up to 50,000 people who marched in the streets. the most monday word i heard was shame or shameful. horrified at the military intervention in russia describing the referendum as illegal. obviously very unhappy about mr. putin's policies. >> interesting, though, to see the former soviet president gorbachev added his voice to all this hate in crimea's vote. it is a happy event. said it showed people really wanted to return to russia.
quote
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saying a referendum should be now held in eastern ukraine. i mean, the question that many are asking is what next? >> yes. we are just seeing pictures of president putin walk in to the main room there in the kremlin to start this much anticipated speech. let's listen in now. >> translator: members of the council, member of the states, duma representatives of the republic of crimea. there are among here citizens of russia, crimea.
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[ applause ]. >> thank you. >> translator: today we are here about the issue that has historic significance for all of us. on the 17th of march in the crimea there was a referendum in full correspondens of democratic interest and international legal norms. more than 82% of the voters took part in the referendum.
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more than 96% spoke for reunification of russia. these figures are more than convincing. [ applause ]. >> translator: to understand why this particular choice has been made the is enough to know the history of crimea. what russia means for crimea and what crimea means for russia. where everything is permeated with our common history and pride. this is where the prince was baptized. it determined the fundamentals that unite the peoples of russia, ukraine.
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the grace of the russian soldiers that incorporated the soldiers into russian state. crimea, the city of great faith, the city of fortress. and the russian black sea navy. crimea is set up on a mountain. all these places are sacred for us. they are symbols of russian military glory and valor. crimea is also the convergence of different nations. and in that sense he is very much like great russia. where not a single ethnic group.
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crimea and other nations lived and worked together in the crimea peninsula preserving their ethnicity, their identity and language and their faith. of the residents of crimea, there are a million and a half russians, 300,000 aou rain yanns who speak russian. and 290,000 of them are towards russia. yes, there was a prerd when as many as a few other ethnic groups of people were unjustly repressed. many people of many nation alita
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nationalities suffered. i believe all legal measures have to be taken to process the rehabilitation of the people. the decisions that will rein state the rise in full volume. we are very respectful of all ethnic groups who live in crimea. this is their common house. this is their motherland. and i know that crimeans supported three state languages, russian, ukrainian and crimean tar tarian. in the conscious of people, crimea has always been a part of russia. this conviction was unshakeable and was transferred from generation to generation.
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time and circumstances were in front of this conviction. of the historic changes of our country in the 20th century. after the revolution the bolshevics for different reasons included many regions of historical russian part of the ukraine. and today these regions is in the eastern part of ukraine. and in 1954 the decision was made to transfer into crimea the -- ukraine. even though it was the city of federal subordination. general secretary made this decision. was he trying to count his guilt
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for mass repreparations in the ukraine? let historians make that judgment. what's important for us is that this decision was made with obvious violations of even then constitutional norms. it was decided behind the scenes in the tal tear yann state nobody was asked their opinion. everybody was put before the fact. people even though asked why was the crimea transferred to ukraine. but we understand that primarily the decision was taken as a -- was accepted as a formality. the territory was transferred into one major state. no one could imagine that russian and ukraine could not be together, would become different states. but this happened.
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what seemed improbable unfortunately became reality. the uss r. has broke up. the events were moving so fast how anybody understood the dramatic events of those nature and the circumstances, many hope that the commonwealth of independent states will become the state with promised economic space, common military forces. but all that was just promises. and each country was no more. and when crimea suddenly found itself in a different state, then russia felt that it was robbed. at the same time, we have heard
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that russia facilitated the breakup of the soviet union. millions of russians went to that and woke up the next morning in a different country. suddenly they found themselves as national ethnic minorities. for many years i have heard, in 1991, were givens from hands to hands as a sack of potatoes. and it's hard to disagree. russia bowed its head and
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swallowed its defense. we were in such a difficult situation that we could not protect our interest. but people would not put up with this historical injustice. for many years, many citizens, many public figures were raising the issue. they were saying that crimea was russian land and russian city. we understood all of that our heart, with our soul. but we have to base on the new historics and to build good neighboring relations in independent ukraine. and relations with ukraine with our brotherly state are most important significant, crucial. >> [ applause ].
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>> today openly say and i can share with you the details of the negotiations in early 2000. then the ukrainian president asked me to facilitate the process of legitimationization of the ukrainian/russian borders. russia accepted ukraine. stating all the complexities of the process and nevertheless instructed russian agencies to speed up this work and we accepted and recognized crimea as ukrainian territory and thus we were closing the issue. we were moving away towards ukraine by limiting the equity
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toral strait. the basic assumption that good realizes with ukraine are the most important thing for us and they should not be hostage of territorial disputes. but recounting that ukraine would be a good neighbor and russian-speaking people in ukraine, especially in the southeast, live in conditions of friendly, democratic civilized state that their legal interests will be provided to the norms of international law. but the nation was developing differently. time and again russia tried to devoid the language and become the object of forceful assimilation. and russians, as well as other citizens of ukraine, were suffering from constant,
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permanent crisis that has been shattering ukraine over two decades. we understand that people in ukraine wanted changes. the authorities, the power really made people sick. presidents were changing. prime ministers were changing. parliament were changing. the attitudes towards their country and the nation was not changing. they are milking ukraine. they were fighting for authorities for positions and for finances. and the powers that be were hardly interested in why regular commentators -- why they do not see any prospectus for themselves at home and go abroad. to daily jobs.
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only in russia there were 3 million ukrainians working in russia. by some estimates the total earnings is $20 billion, which is a quarter of the entire national income of ukraine. i understand people came out against corruption, of peaceful process and just elections. elections are there to change the power that is not good for people. but those who are behind the latest events in ukraine. they were preparing cue deta. coup detat.
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the main figures in the coup were anti-semites, neonazis. and they determined a lot of what's happening in ukraine. one of the first act was scandals the revisioning of language. the sponsors of this current politician, decorators of current powers that be tried to stop this. and they understand the attempts of educate tphael kael clean state.
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the draft was postponed. now there is silence. it is clear exactly the logical errors of nazi collaborator have in mind. there is no legal and executive power in ukraine. many of the government borders are reserved by imposters. they do not control anything in ukraine. this is not a joke. this is the area of debate. those resisting were atlantaed with repreparations and
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punishment. the first was crimea, russian-speaking crimea. therefore citizens of crimea want to present their lives. in what is hoping in donetsk and other cities. we could not leave this address without attention. we could not leave them in trouble. otherwise it would be just betrayal. >> they had to create additions for peaceful and freewill of people so the crimean people could discern and say for themselves for the first time in history. in western europe and the united states tell us that they violate
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international laws. better late than never. but secondly, it is not important. the president of the russian federation received the right from russian parliament to use military force in ukraine. so far this has not been used. military forces of russia have never entered crimea. they were there in accordance with international agreement. this strengthened our troops. i want to underline we have not competed the limited number of troops in crimea. 25,000 troops. there was no necessity for that.
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crimean parliament was acting in accordance of the status of you u.n. i want to remind when ukraine was declaring leaving the uss r. did very much e the same almost by the letter the same. they protected the right to use it. it was created by our western parties with their own hands in a situation that was absolutely similar to crimea and they recognize kosovo separate illegal.
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and to prove there was no need for the bipartisan finish. the united nations agreed with that. and their decision on july 22nd, 2010. there's no common ban on one-sided proclamation of independence from the united nation status. international law does not stipulate any ban on declaring independence. it is all very, very clear. i do not like to quote. let me make another quote from an official document. this is the written memoranda of the usa 17 april, 2009. which was presented to the international court with about
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the hearing in kosovo. again i quote, "declaration of independence can and it often happens violate internal law. but that does not mean that there is a violation of international law. "this is what they wrote. this is what they were parading around the world. and now they are angry. why? actions of crimeans are strictly observant of this instruction. why what is possible for albanians to respect the right is prohibited to russians. why? again, the question is why?
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united states and europe say kosovo is a special case. what is so special in the opinion of our colleagues? in kosovo there were many victims. is it justified argument of international law? they say nothing about it. this is not even double standards. this is surprising, shocking and straight cynicism. you can't have the same thing black today and white another day. so every conflict needs to be brought to human sacrifices, human victims. i should say straight away if crimean self-defense did not take this under control there have been victims there as well. thank god it never happened.
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not one single military confrontation in crimea. there were no victims. why do you think it happened? the answer is simple. because, again, it is difficult or next to impossible to fight against people's will. in that connection i want to thank the 22,000 people. i want to thank those ukrainian military who did not start bloodshed. they would not stain themselves with blood. [ applause ]. in that respect, there are other things to talk about intervention, aggression. it is really strange for me to
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hear. i can't remember an act of intervention without one single shot or one single victim. after the elimination of bipolar system, stability ceased to be in the planet. international institutions are not strengthened and our western partners with the united states prefer to be guided not by international law but by the right of the force. they are always right. they do whatever they feel is just. they use force against sovereign states. they build coalitions on the principal who is not with us.
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to make aggression legal. they ignore the united nations. that's what happened in yugoslavia in 1999. that's hard to believe. i couldn't believe my eyes. but in the end of of -- >> this is "bbc world news". i just want to welcome viewers around the world and in the uk. special coverage from moscow of an address by president putin on crimea very much defending russia's actions over the weekend welcoming crimea members to moscow. let's continue to listen. >> translator: instead of no fly zone, there were bombings. there was a whole string of
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revolutions. it is clear that people who live in those countries were tired of tyranny and the lack of perspective. countries were improved. instead of democracy and freedom, they received chaos and a string of coups. similar scenario in ukraine when in 2004 to push their candidate to the election they organized the so-called third round of election that was not predetermined by the law. this was a mockery over the constitution. now they use the army of militants. we understand what is happening. we understand these actions were against the ukraine and russia. and against space.
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this was the time when russia was sincerely aiming towards the west. we want to strengthen the level of trust. we want our relations to be equal, open and honest. but we did not see any steps in our direction. on the contrary. time and again the decisions were made behind our backs and the same happened with the stapbgz to the east. we were told it was not our concern. well, it's easy to say it's not our concern. despite all our concerns, the machine is still working. the same was with the visa.
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today we are threatened with sanctions. but even now in the conditions of the number of limitations for our economy. they prohibit the sale of the . uu u.s.s.r. a long list of equipment. i am not being hypocritical but
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there's a limit to everything. but everything has its limit. in the case of ukraine, our western partners have broke the border, overreached the limit. they knew they behaved irresponsibly. they knew very well that there are millions and millions of russian people. how they could have lost the political sense. they could not step back any more. if you press the spring it will release at some point. we should accept the obvious thing. russia is an independent participant of international live as many other countries has its national interest that needs to be taken into consideration and respected.
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wr grateful to all those who understood our steps in crimea. we are grateful to china leadership. crimea and all of its historical integrity. the value receipt tense. today i want to address myself to the people of the united states. the people who since the founding of the state, since the declaration of the independence are proud that freedom is about
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isn't the people of crimea, it is not the same value? please understand us. i trust that we will build by europeans and primarily by germans. i want to remind you that in the course of political consultation of reunification of germany on the very high level, representatives have not every country we are supporting the idea of reunification. our country was immediate supported. i'm confident that you have not forgotten that. and i count the people of germany will also support the russian world for historic russia to its reunification.
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i address the ukraine. in no way do we want to damage you, to insult your national feels. we have always respected tear tore yon integrity of the ukrainian state, unlike those who brought the integrity of ukraine as a victim of political ambitions. they talk about ukraine but it was they who did everything to split the country. the civil confrontation in the ukraine today is entirely their responsibility. i want you to hear me, my dear friends. don't trust those who frightened you with russia. those who say that crimea will be followed by other regions. we do not want split ukraine. we do not need split ukraine.
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as to crimea, it was and will remain both russian and ukrainian. [ applause ].
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otherwise, difference for the ukrainians and the russians, we, russians and ukrainians, could lose crimea altogether. and not that far away. think about these words. i want to remind you that there were auto peels in kiev. what would that mean for ukrainians? the city of russian military glory will be the base for nato
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navy. there will be a threat for the entire south of russia. i don't think an aerial threat but a very concrete threat. and that's what would have happened if not for the chairs of crimea. and i want to thank them for this. we are not against a corporation with nato. we are against a military alliance of nato with all the internal processes. we are against a military organization to be next to our border, our historic territories. i can't imagine to be able to be visiting nato. they are nice guys.
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but it would be better if they come to visit us than we come to visit them there. >> i will tell you straight away we are of course deeply concerned with what's happening in ukraine. people are suffering. our concern is understandable. we are not just neighbors. we are, as i said many times, one nation. kee kiev is the mother of russian cities. all russia is our common route. our common fundamental. millions of russians live and will continue to live in ukraine. and russia will always protect their interests. politically, diplomatic, legal
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needs. but -- >> [ applause ]. >> ukraine itself should be interested in the rights of these people are guaranteed. this is the end for stability and integrity. we want friendship with ukraine. we want them to be strong state. it's one of our leading partners. we have lots of joint projects. and i believe in spite of everything that they are successful. we want that peace and agreement comes to the land of ukraine. and we are prepared to facilitate this process. but i want to repeat, it is only citizens of ukraine that can bring order into their own home.
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the residents of crimea, all russia has been admiring your courage, your bearing and your dignity. you decided the fate of crimea. these days -- we were closest never. we were supporting each other. these were genuine, feelings of solidarity. in moments like this, historic moments, the maturity and the strength of the nation is being tested. and people of russia have proved this maturity and this force. they supported their compatriots. strength of foreign policy of russia was based on the idea of national unity. on the support of political and social forces.
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i want to thank everybody for this patriotic feeling. everybody, without exception. this is important for us to retain this consolidation resolve the issues that russia are facing. we will of course be facing. but we have to decide for ourselves. are we prepared to protect our self interests or will we give them several western politicians are frightening us with sanctions and with the sharpening of of eternal problem. are they counting on national traders or counting on worsening living standards and instigating people of anger? i see these statements as aggressive and irresponsible. and they are not going to rest
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on them. we will never have a confrontation with our partners, being the east or the west. on the contrary, we will do everything in our powers to build civilized, neighborly relations as it should be in the contemporary world. dear colleagues, i understand crime yans that posed aggressio at the referendum very clearly and distinctly whether it should be with ukraine or russia. i can say the leadership of ukraine, the deputies of parliament formulate the questions in the referendum and were guided by the interests, giant interests of the people. any other options of the legacy. no matter how attractive it could be. but historic democratic and
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political and economic characteristics of this region would be temporary and unstable and would bring to further participation around crimea and would negatively damage the life of the people. crimeans pose the question rigidly without compromise, without any tones. the referendum was open and honest. people in crimea clearly and convincingly suppressed their will. they want to be with russia. [ applause ]. russia has taken a variety of difficult steps.
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a different position, a different point of view. i want to undermine that the position of majority, absolute majority of the people is clearly. most polls prove 95% of russian population think that russia should protect the the interest of russians and other groups of people, acting groups in crimea. 95%. [ applause ]. and more than 83% believe that russia should be doing this will worsen our relations. that's 83%. 86% of russian citizens are convinced that crimea is still russian territory.
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and this is an important figure. 92% for crimea joining russia. so absolute majority of citizens of crimea and russian federation support reunification republic of crimea. with the russian federation. [ applause ].
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[ applause ]. we just have to take a political decision. and this decision can be based only on the will of the people. it is only the people who are the source of any power. dear members of the federation council, dear members of the state duma, citizens of russia, residents of crimea, today, basing on the results of the referendum that happened in crimea and basing on the will of the people, i bring in constitutional law joining russian federation.
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the republic of crimea and the city of stop el. [ applause ]. and also, and also rectify the agreement about incorporating the republic of crimea and the russian federation. i have no doubt in your support. [ applause ].
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in a few minutes there will be a ceremony. please remain seated. well, this is "bbc world news". we've been bringing you live coverage. you can see president putin's
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speech in moscow. absolutely rousing speech starting and ending there with a standing ovation for president putin. there's foggy to be a signing ceremony now as far as we can see with members of the -- both houses of parliaments remaining seated. but president putin there getting a round of applause repeatedly for saying that they will be reunified with russia and there is mass support in crimea and russia for that move. let's just bring in richard galpin, our correspondent in moscow. richard, what did you make of that speech? >> well, a very, very strong, sweeping speech going right the way through the history and emphasizing the wrongs, essentially, saying how strong the relations between russia and
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ukraine have always been. you know, the fact that chris khof gave away russia since the 17th century. and that was wrong of nikita. it was done behind closed doors. and following the collapse of the soviet union, russia basically not able to hold on to crimea at that point. and all these russians who had been in different soviet republics stranded emphasizing that. and bringing up to date until the current situation in ukraine describing the situation inside the country as absolutely kay on the onic, nobody in control and neonazis, fascists on the loose. people being repressed and crimea was the first target. therefore russia, in those
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circumstances had to respond. they could not, as he put it, betray the people of crimea. therefore russia got involved. he was denied that russia had used or there had been any military intervention, saying that the forces in crimea were within the agreed limits of up to 25,000 at the back sea fleet. they have not yet reached those limits. and then obviously talking about the referendum, stressing it was legal and democratic. >> very interesting. because he started off very emotionally, didn't he? it was very, very powerful to listen to, saying basically addressing people around the world saying you must realize that these places, these are sacred for us. these are the birthplaces of the russian black sea navy. they are symbols of russian military valor and glory. you need to know the history of crimea and russia. common history, common pride.
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this is one nation. even he said again at the end, ukraine and russia, we are one people. and aimed very interestingly again at the end they are worried about the people suffering in russia. kiev is the mother of russian cities. we cannot live without each other. we will always defend the many russian speakers in ukraine. but saying he wants friendship with ukraine and that it must be up to the people of ukraine to take the decision about their future. now, what does that mean politically? >> well, you know, it's a very interesting point. and he specifically ruled out. he was saying that russia did not want to divide ukraine. and basically saying that oregon implying there will not be further military intervention in ukraine. as you say, it's up to the people of ukraine to sort out their own issues.
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as i was saying before, he is saying there is chaos. there is no government. only radicals seem to be in control. one other really important point, geeta. i was struck by how angry he is with the west, talking about how russia essentially since the the collapse of the soviet union has been pushed into a corner constantly. and the national interests not being taken into consideration. he would essentially if you push a spring down and down and down and down, eventually it will snap back up. and ukraine was that point. >> threatening us with sanctions. he sees this as an act of aggression. that we should reject the rhetoric of the cold war and russia should be respected. grateful to china for understanding their history and saying he wants to address the
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people of the united states saying this is about freedom of choice. why do people in kos sroe and albania have freedom of independence and the crimeans don't. we have to leave it for our special coverage of that speech by president putin. much more throughout the day on bbc news. thanks for being with us. i'm geeta guru-murthy. you need a permit... to be this awesome. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. and only national is ranked highest in car rental customer satisfaction by j.d. power. (aaron) purrrfect. (vo) meee-ow, business pro. meee-ow. go national. go like a pro. reckless seeding. a backyard invasion. enter homeowner, and ortho weed b gon max. kills weeds without harming innocent lawns. guaranteed. ortho weed b gon max.
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[ phone ringing ] i said, no. a sapphire waterfall. it's a waterfall made of sapphires. this enormous jewel, the size of a glacier, reaches the cliffs of oblivion, and then shatters into sapphires at the edge. they fall 100,000 feet into a crystal ravine. i bet you say that to all the girls. oh, come on, they're boarding now. it's no fun if i see it on me own. four hours, that's all it'll take. no, that's four hours there and four hours back -- that's like a school trip. i'd rather go sunbathing.

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