As a championship boxer, Vitali Klitschko is used to a tough fight. Now, as a Ukrainian opposition leader he is in the middle of a whole new battle. He is one of the leading voices for his country, and last year even suggested he may run for the Presidency. He tells Anderson he wants people in the U.S. to know he appreciates the support his country is receiving from the West.
Street protests in Ukraine get heated. A U.N. envoy is threatened by gunmen in Crimea. Ukraine's prime minister invokes the Cold War in his demand for Russia to withdraw forces. Anderson takes a look at the last 24 hours in the Ukraine crisis.
Anderson got the latest on the situation in Crimea from Ben Wedeman, who is on the ground there.
Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian counterpart in Paris. Secretary Kerry described the talks as "the beginning of a negotiation" and told reporters "all parties agreed… it is important to try to resolve these issues through dialogue." Can dialogue defuse the Ukraine crisis? Anderson spoke with former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson.
Liz Wahl is an American who until today worked for the Russian state-owned news network RT. She announced her resignation on air and accused her employers of glossing over Putin's actions in Ukraine. She told Anderson she decided the time was right because "the propagandist nature of RT came out in full force."
CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto reports there are now indications the invasion of Crimea was "not a vastly premeditated decision by Putin." But there are serious questions about why the U.S. did not have more warning the crisis was coming. Anderson discussed how well America's intelligence agencies can keep tabs on Russia with Sciutto and former CIA officer Bob Baer.
There is plenty of Cold War rhetoric being used to describe Russia's invasion of Crimea. Putin has made no secret of his nostalgia for the old Soviet Union. But some say his ambitions in Ukraine are to build a new Russian empire to go up against the European Union and NATO. Anderson discussed this with CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto and Stephen Hadley, who is a former national security adviser to President George W. Bush.
During a private fundraiser, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared Putin's claims of protecting minorities as justification for invading Ukraine to similar actions by Hitler in the 1930s. Anderson discussed these remarks and Putin's strategies with author Masha Gessen and Ariel Cohen, who is a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation who interviewed Putin several times.
Senator Lindsey Graham criticized President Obama's handling of the Ukraine invasion by tweeting:
It started with Benghazi. When you kill Americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this type of aggression.
Chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash asked Senator Graham about this line of criticism.
Former RT anchor Liz Wahl just spoke with Anderson Cooper about her decision to resign on-air over the network's coverage of the Ukraine crisis. RT just released the following statement on Ms. Wahl's resignation.
"Ms. Wahl's resignation comes on the heels of her colleague Abby Martin's recent comments in which she voiced her disagreement with certain policies of the Russian government and asserted her editorial independence. The difference is, Ms. Martin spoke in the context of her own talk show, to the viewers who have been tuning in for years to hear her opinions on current events, the opinions that most media did not care about until two days ago. For years Ms. Martin has been speaking out against US military intervention only to be ignored by the mainstream news outlets - but with that one comment, branded as an act of defiance, she became an overnight sensation. It is a tempting example to follow.
When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organization,
the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor, and, if they cannot be resolved, to quit like a professional. But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt.
We wish Liz the best of luck on her chosen path".
There are serious questions about how far Russian President Putin really thought through the Crimea invasion. There is late word that President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed a possible "off-ramp" for Russia to end the crisis. Anderson discussed Putin's motivations with CNN political commentator Carl Bernstein and Fareed Zakaria, host of Fareed Zakaria GPS.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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