Coffee House The View from 22

Podcast: Ukraine special, with Matthew Parris, Anne Applebaum and John O’Sullivan

6 March 2014

Should we leave Ukraine to the Russians? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Matthew Parris debates Anne Applebaum on whether the crisis should concern Britain and whether Vladimir Putin has valid reasons to intervening in Crimea. Would Putin have acted differently if Ukraine had NATO membership? What should America do now? And will the West’s behaviour so far embolden other dictators?

John O’Sullivan also discusses his Spectator cover feature this week on why we shouldn’t be afraid of Putin. With a lack of actions from the West, is it game, set and match to Putin? Why is he perceived to be so strong? Is John Kerry a dying breed of Americans who really care about Europe?


Plus, James Forysth and Isabel Hardman discuss how the Ukrainian crisis is playing out in Westminster. Why is David Cameron appearing less hawkish over this situation? Is there a cross-party consensus on how to deal with Russia? Is Germany speaking for Britain through the EU?

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  • wchancellor

    Mrs Applebaum-Sikorski offers an appalling and mistaken take on events and the historical underpinnings. Matthew Parris tried valiantly to get a word in, but the wife of the Polish foreign minister’s account should be viewed with scepticism and more.

    Matthew’s points are worthy of basing ongoing discussion. Dame Anne will expand Putin’s political mandate.

    John Sullivan’s analysis of the “change of government” in Kyiv will be tested in the days ahead. Again, Putin is not the Russian Bear.

    Under what “history” and understanding of the EU would Washington “leave the running of Europe to France and Germany?”

  • Dean Jackson

    Why is The Spectator providing us with hogwash on events taking place inside the USSR the last 23-years? We want real news from those who know that the collapse of the USSR was a strategic ruse, and in this current situation how the non-government approved demonstrations are doing: How many more statues of Lenin have been toppled the last week (dozens were toppled two weeks ago), statues that were supposed to have been toppled 23-years ago. This is why Russian troops are in the eastern part of Ukraine–to assist the stretched-thin Ukrainian security services.

  • Jez

    Just watched Kissenger on Charlie Rose.

    The wisdom of the man is something a lot of people must study quite quickly.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    ‘Would Putin have acted differently if Ukraine had NATO membership?’

    These kind of hypothetical Niall Ferguson-style questions are tiresome at best and reflect the increasing cluelessness of the British politcal elite (what was hague doing in Kiev?) and perhaps even a confirmation of the largely irrelevant British position when it comes to the real efforts of expanding the European realm.

    We could freeze oligarch assets, we could stop buying steam coal and increase Colombian imports. So whattt?

    What is our v.i.s.i.o.n for the future? Splendid isolation is no longer an option so stop worrying about UKIP, for Fawke’s ake. They are pensioners – may I suggest we give them all a free home in Benidorm (that will shut up most of them) and then get on with the pressing issues?

    • Cyril Sneer

      “stop worrying about UKIP, for Fawke’s ake. They are pensioners”

      You should stop listening to propaganda – UKipper here, I’m 39.

      • Liberty

        Are you lonely?

  • Jez

    Please can you cut through the smoke and mirrors and best interpret this communication.

    It has already been buried but it is very important for the integrity of your case that you describe in your own words what you think has happened there.

    If you do not, then you have no core strength to you underlying argument.

    • hyperides

      Jez, it’s simply Russian black propaganda placing selected bugged snippets on the intertnet – see

      • Jez

        Thanks for this reply. If this is the simple answer, then fair enough. It needs to be solidified though as it is quite a weak response (not by you but the EU, et al) i think.

        The Ukrainians need to have their case water tight. They deserve this.

        Applebaum may be married to the Polish Foreign Minister so people then see her as a Globalist lackey. This is wrong and it is important to look at the suffering that the Poles endured under the German/Soviet & then Soviet occupations. They suffered just behind the Jewish populations with the Holocaust. This must be addressed when understanding the past subjugated peoples of the East. Stuff like that conversation above (that will have probably been intercepted by the Russian Secret services) undermine the Ukrainians case.

        In school we were taught that it was understandable that the USSR occupied the Eastern Part of Europe because she had been invaded so many times. This was Left Wing propaganda by a corrupted education system. Now they are not Communist, the same people want to march on Moscow. They want control their assets, raw materials and financial resources it seems.

        • Makroon

          For every Polish story of Russian bullying and atrocities, there is a similar but opposite Russian story, which we don’t usually hear. When Russia was young, it was considered fair game for rape and pillage by the Poles.

          It is fairly irrelevant isn’t it ? But, ‘do the Poles have an agenda against Russia ?’ Yes, of course they do.

          • Jez

            I’ve just seen this on the BBC. For once it is to the point and has no agenda;

            14:21: The BBC’s Mark Urban, who is at the EU summit in Brussels, writes about the history haunting the EU leaders in his blog: “The problem is that it’s a different history that preoccupies each of them and hinders the search for consensus.”

            • Makroon


              • Jez


                This is the only link i could find so far.

                It is excellent. Kissenger is a voice of reason on the matter.

                You can pick the whole episode up on Bloomberg Channel.

          • Jambo25

            Really. So the Poles were mistaken when they thought that Russia had stripped Ruthenia away from the old Polish/Lithuanian Commonwealth. They were wrong in thinking that Russia was a leader in the Partitions. They were wrong in thinking that Russia violently suppressed Polish revolts in the 19th century on several occasions. They were wrong in thinking that Russia invaded Poland at the end of WW1 and tried to deny Polish independence. They were wrong to think that Russia (in he guise of the USSR) partitioned Poland again, with the Nazis, in 1939. Russians didn’t deport and murder Polish intellectuals

            • Makroon

              Thanks, that has usefully exposed your agenda.
              I don’t deny any of it, Poland has plenty of justified grievances, but the myth that Russia is the pure evil suppressor, and Poland the blameless, shining christian light (and every one of it’s men over 50, a “war hero”), is just unbalanced tosh.

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