Russia's military incursion into Ukraine has many asking: Is Ukraine on the brink of war?
If President Putin wants to be the president who started a war between two neighbouring and friendly countries, so he has reached this target with a few inches. We are on the brink of the disaster. Ukraine's new Prime Minister, Arseny Yatseniuk
Western allies, including Canada and the United States, say it's an act of aggression and a violation of international law. Today, Russian troops not only remain in Crimea, there is news that Russian planes flew over Ukrainian airspace overnight over the black sea and Russian demonstrators have taken over some government buildings in the industrial town of Donetsk. One Moscow newspaper is predicting Russian troops will not be far behind
Yet there are some in Ukraine who say they welcome Russia's incursion -- a move Moscow says is necessary to protect both its interests and Russian speakers in the country.
I do hope that the whole Ukraine will come under Russian rule because I am tired of the Ukrainian language which I hear everywhere here. And of course it's difficult to occupy this country and to bring law and order back but I'm sure that President Putin is capable of doing this. And the United States of America and the Europe can only instigate protests and mastermind violence but people in Ukraine want law and order and they want their salaries, pensions and new government of Ukraine is unable to provide pensions and salaries.Victor Mishenko, English teacher in Donetsk, pro-Russian east
For the latest from Ukraine, we reached CBC National News Europe Correspondent Margaret Evans in Simferopol in the Crimean Peninsula.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper held an emergency cabinet meeting over the weekend to discuss Canada's role in the Ukraine crisis. Ottawa has recalled the Canadian ambassador to Russia, and yesterday Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird urged President Vladimir Putin to back down on his military involvement in Ukraine.
But with Canadian military intervention off the table, some observers are asking -- or else what?
To discuss Canada's position on the evolving crisis, we were joined by James Bezan. He's the Conservative MP for Selkirk-Interlake, Manitoba. He was part of the Canadian delegation that accompanied Minister Baird on his trip to Ukraine last week. James Bezan was in our Ottawa studio.
For their thoughts on Russia versus Ukraine and just how serious this confrontation is, we were joined by two long-time observers of the region:
- Aurel Braun is a professor of political science and international relations at the University of Toronto and a visiting professor in the Department of Government at Harvard University. His latest book is The NATO-Russia Relationship in the Twenty-First Century. Aurel Braun was in Toronto.
- Piotr Dutkiewicz is a Russia expert and Professor of Political Science at Carleton University. We reached him in Ottawa.
Have thoughts you want to share on this discussion?
This segment was produced by The Current's Idella Sturino.