Show hosts: Peter Lekarev
Let’s have a look at the Ukraine situation. The US Department of State has made another attempt to exonerate Kiev from responsibility for what's happening in eastern Ukraine. Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the United States Department of State, predictably accused Russia of failing to provide sufficient evidence confirming that Ukraine was indeed behind the July 13 cross-border mortar shelling in which a Russian citizen, a father of four, was killed.
Listeners of Radio VR and readers of the voiceofrussia.com and en.ria.ru/radio/ discuss present, past and future of Afghanistan. Afghanistan is on crossroads – what do the elections hold? What kind of future will the country have? We have interviewed a number of experts and gathered your input. Outlook is not so bright. Afghan presidential contender Abdullah Abdullah dubbed the preliminary results of the presidential runoff held last month as "a coup against the people". He refused to recognize the victory of his rival Ashraf Ghani. So, what do experts think?
Let's see, what's happening in Afghanistan. Abdulkader Sinno Associate Professor of Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies at Indiana University gave an exclusive interview to Radio VR: "If Abdullah Abdullah wins the election, the Pashtun are probably going to increase the support of the Taliban because they never did accept a non-Pashtun ruler of Afghanistan in the past and it is unlikely that they will accept one now." At the same time, David Gibbs, Professor of History and Government at the University of Arizona said that the US has reasons to leave Afghanistan, other than feeling its inability to do something in the area. For the US it’s an important assumption that it’s a big power and it doesn’t want to be in a position of losing war, like it lost the war in Vietnam. The article analyzing the present and future of Afghanistan has prompted a lot of comments from our listeners.
Voice of Russia has an exclusive interview with Mark Mason, political and social analyst from Los Angeles, California. Americans feel increasingly unhappy and neglected by their government and are losing interest in who and how is running their nation, opinion polls show. Why could that be and where could it take America? The expert believes that "The US has never been a democracy. It is a culture that is characterized by authoritarian institutions. According to a recent academic study that compared the US government policies with public opinion on those government policies over a period of 20 years, there is no connection whatsoever between what 80% of Americans want and government policies". Read the full interview at voiceofrussia.com and tell us what you think!
Voice of Russia's continue the conversation - why do leading media companies prefer to stay away from though-provoking content and instead feed easily-digestible information which may or may not be the whole story, but definitely presented in an appealing manner.
Have you noticed that lately – well, for quite some time – instead of news and programming that makes you think you see and hear purely entertainment content? Seemingly informative programs are wrapped in a pretty and easy-to-swallow coating. Perhaps you have, and perhaps there's a reason for it. Let's kick off with an exclusive interview. Italian journalist Giullietto Chiesa believes that fact-based information has been replaced with infotainment. "in general, this is... information plus entertainment. This is a new wave… or not so new, for 20-30 years I hear this kind of infotainment. You cannot speak about serious things, because it is out of the agenda. We should try to avoid the serious problems for the intellectuals. Every one of us believes that we are intellectuals, we know something and we project on all the other people the same knowledge we have.This is a huge mistake, because the majority of the people have no knowledge or ours." Read the full interview as part of the Burning Point issue dedicated to the problem of information – or misinformation – in the modern media world, at voiceofrussia.com.
This, as the previous two broadcasts, is largely dedicated to the deteriorating situation in the Middle East – both experts and regular listeners generally agree that things are not looking good. For example, as in an interview to Voice of Russia Paul Rogers, professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University in England, explained that the latest American UAVs deployed in Iraq are heavily armed and have already been used in a number of countries, notably Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, in an offensive and very destructive capacity. So what's the problem with that, if drones are used to eliminate terrorists? Well, the expert warns that "any kind of targeting with the system like the Predator depends on accuracy of the intelligence". The US might receive information with a location of radicals but can well fail to realize that there are civilians in the area as well. In such a common scenario the latter usually get hurt. Read the full interview at voiceofrussia.com and tell us what you think!
"Iraq crisis is brewing" - this is a one of the hottest headlines in World madia. Voice of Russia has an interview with Andrew Korybko, a Moscow-based political analyst and journalist. He believes that ISIS is aiming to become the spiritual successor to Al-Quada – and seems to be quite successful in this endeavor, as it has more gains on the ground than its notorious counterpart ever did.
What's going on in the Middle East? Let's take a closer look at the new Iraq conflict. With the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant declaring a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq, other nations may become jeopardized as well. International experts are trying to get to the bottom of things and find out what exactly led to this situation. For example, The Washington Post has blamed CIA in a story entitled "CIA blew it in Iraq, blamed for failing to warn about rise of Islamic State." So, who dropped the ball on this one, allowing a new Iraq crisis to brew? And how is the Middle East likely to change as a result of the ISIS operation in Iraq? Halil Karaveli, senior fellow at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center, shares his insight with VR's Burning Point. "We should, first of all, state the obvious, which is that we have the ongoing disintegration of the states in the ME. The Arab Spring, if anyone still remembers it, three years ago gave rise to big hopes. And now we are actually seeing the results of the so-called Arab Spring, together with other developments that took place before that." Read the full story at voiceofrussia.com and share your thoughts with us!
The ever-increasing involvement of the European Union with the Ukraine situation, Voice of Russia listeners and readers are speaking their mind. We have a lot of feedback on this subject.
Present and future of the European Union – The EU summit has opened in Belgium a month after the unprecedented victory of rightist groups and parties at the recent elections to the European Parliament. Back in 2012 Herman Van Rompuy, the head of the European Council and the host of the summit, accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the EU for turning Europe "from a continent of war to a continent of peace." Now the war is back, the economic solutions are short-term, and the right and the euroskeptics are on the rise. Our own Ekaterina Kudashkina has talked with leading experts on the Burning Point issue on the topic of the EU as a massive and, perhaps, failing. Not surprising, we have a lot of feedback on this subject.
Voice of Russia continues receiving correspondence from our listeners from all over the world, who share their thoughts on ongoing events with us. There is a distinct growing discontent with the European Union, especially noticeable in some of the members which have struggling economies. We have received a lot of feedback from our audience as well.
President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko announced that the ceasefire in the south-east of the country stops, saying that "the protection of the territorial integrity of Ukraine "requires not only defensive, but offensive action."