Ukraine, Dave De Canto, Soviet Union discussed on Morning Edition


Nantucket several of the main downtown roads were covered in a foot of seawater There are videos where it's really hard to tell where the ocean ends and roads begin in front of the local movie theater And at one point a group of high school students were even paddling the streets in a canoe So what about for people who live really close to the ocean They must be concerned about the long-term impact of storms like this one on their homes Oh absolutely Beyond flooding beach erosion is a really big problem for a number of those homes And a lot of attention right now is specifically on the sand dunes across the region because they're incredible They provide this service to the coast every time big waves come they act like this cushion But the problem comes when people build their homes on top of the dunes because they're eroding also So in this one town called sandwich there are several dozen homes built on top of a dune And we don't yet know exactly how much erosion the storm caused but a state official who monitors coastal damage told me the dune has definitely changed Before the storm there's this kind of healthy slope down to the beach below Now it's a steep 8 foot drop And sandwich isn't alone There are other towns across the region where you can clearly see this storm has damaged the dunes Okay so given that what's top of mind for officials in these towns is to start to think about the reality of climate change there are likely more severe storms like this one in the future Absolutely I think that preparation is key for coastal towns generally One sandwich town official named Dave de canto said he's focused on cleaning up what's just come through of course but his mind is also on potential storms of 2023 already It's a long-term process and the planning has to go so far ahead We should be planning for storms now for next winter Storms like this underscore that sea level rise more frequent and intense storms all these impacts of climate change are forcing some in these towns to ask whether we need to rethink where we're building and perhaps whether we need to retreat altogether in some areas Eve took off with member station W C AI Thank you eve Thank you Layla Back in 2021 long before Russian troops began massing on the borders of Ukraine Russian president Vladimir Putin published a long and rambling essay His writing referred to centuries of history and he argued that Russians and Ukrainians are essentially the same people He also suggested that the Ukrainians did not deserve to keep their current borders Putin was at least correct that Russians and Ukrainians share a lot of history but Ukrainians have a very different view of the past And Pierre's Greg Meyer reports Ukraine was the breadbasket of the Soviet Union in the 1930s when Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin sees the rich fertile land from the local farmers They were forced into a collectivized state run agricultural system So these farmers had something that the Soviet Union considered to be too much and oftentimes this was something like they had a cow or a little bit of land It didn't mean that they were rich John Citigroup is a fulbright scholar He's been in Ukraine studying this period for his doctorate in history at Michigan state They are working in the fields and they are producing everything for the state and the state is giving them really nothing to eat The result one of the worst famines of the 20th century Between three and 5 million people died Survivors protested in rebelled for the next 20 years They were crushed but those events still resonate with Ukrainians when they talk about today's crisis And Ukrainians and especially the ones I talked to it comes up often It's a point of reference Well look what happened to my grandmother in 1932 33 or look what happened to my family I reached John shut toshka as he was reluctantly packing to leave Ukraine for neighboring Poland due to the threat of a Russian invasion The U.S. State Department told him to leave he's unsure when he might return When the Soviet Union was falling apart back in 1991 Ukraine held a referendum on independence A whopping 92% voted in favor Accelerating the collapse of the Soviet Union Professor Sergey plucky heads the Ukrainian research institute at Harvard He said some were surprised by that lopsided vote He wasn't That was the 5th attempt in Ukraine to declare and maintain independence in the 20th century Just last month Ukraine marked 30 years of independence but plucky says The sad irony of the situation is that we see Ukraine on that Ukraine's independence has been rocky plagued by weak governments rampant corruption and a feeble economy Putin has made it even harder by repeatedly meddling in Ukrainian politics seeking to keep pro Russian leaders in power In 2004 Ukrainians pushed back with massive protests The so called orange revolution In a decade later in 2014 another round of demonstrations sent the country's president fleeing to Russia Putin has been a serial bungler when it comes to Ukraine Andrew Weiss is with the Carnegie endowment for international peace He says Putin's moves in Ukraine have often produced the opposite of what he wanted He's reanimated the NATO alliance He's given Ukraine more national cohesion and a stronger national identity and frame that identity on an anti Russian trajectory When Putin lost out politically in Ukraine in 2014 he sent the Russian military to seize Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula Today he's massed more than a 100,000 troops near Ukraine's borders He claims he's not planning to invade but also says he doesn't consider Ukraine a real country Scholar Sergei plucky says Putin should ask Ukrainians how they feel The answer of the Ukrainian people will Ukrainians We want to live in Ukraine And we want this nightmare to end For now they're waiting for Putin's next.

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