The Times podcast: Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine obsession

A woman holds a sign saying "Say no to Putin."
A demonstration in Kyiv, Ukraine, in January.
(Efrem Lukatsky / Associated Press)

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his country would recognize the independence of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine and send Russian troops there for “peacekeeping” purposes. The move immediately drew worldwide condemnation — but signaled the culmination of a decades-long desire by Putin to bring Ukraine closer to Russia’s control.


Today, we talk to our reporter on the ground about this past, what’s happening now — and what’s next.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times Middle East bureau chief Nabih Bulos

More reading:

Russian troops move into eastern Ukraine, EU says, as fear of war grows

Artillery fusillades from Russian-backed separatists set Ukraine’s east on edge

Will war come to a town called New York in Ukraine?

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producers Denise Guerra, Shannon Lin and Kasia Broussalian and producers Melissa Kaplan, Ashlea Brown and Angel Carreras. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our editors are Lauren Raab and Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmín Aguilera and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.