Skip to main content

tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  December 21, 2013 11:30am-12:01pm EST

11:30 am
al jazeera. i'm richelle carey. for news updates check out our website >> after the chaos of the post selsoviet 90s, russia and president putin wants everyone to know that they're pack. a resurgent russia is the inside story. >> hello, i'm ray suarez. when the soviet union died russia was a mess. it's economy was a mess. the
11:31 am
ruble were plunging in value as were numbers and life expectancies. several former sel soviet members went their own way. fast forward, boris yeltsin is dead, and yeltsine successor vladimir putin has reasserted russia's place in the world. >> russian president vladimir putin had a few surprises up his sleeve thursday as he announced the prisoner releases in his announcement. most notable, mikhail khodorkovsky. he has spent ten year in jail.
11:32 am
he was found guilty of tax invasion in 2015 and i am bes embezzlementment in 2010. >> he's citing humanitarian reasons, his mother is ill. i think taking that into circumstances it is possible to make the relative decision. >> reporter: the russian president also announced a new amnesty bill which will free several political prisoners. prisoners not involved in violent crimes, minors, women, small children and first time offenders. the bill will grant release of greenpeace activists involved in an arctic demonstration and members of the punk group pussy riot who was arrested at .
11:33 am
>> it was denigrating to women. >> reporter: pew ton cut neighboring ukraine 's natural tax tax 30% and promised to helped the nearly bankrupt country $30 million. >> we just see that ukraine is in a difficult state, and it is necessary to support it. >> reporter: for almost a month now thousands of pro west ukrainians have taken over independent square in the country's capitol of kiev. they're protesting viktor yanukovych's decision to reject an agreement with the e.u. and instead tied ukraine to russia. many see that as a way to polish its image just before the world descends upon russia just before the owe olympics.
11:34 am
>> we are the host country, and the main thing for us is to create equal conditions for all the sports men so every one of them, no matter which country he represents can show his best qualities, make our and his fans feel happy and bring significant contribution into the development of olympic movement. >> reporter: but in the background is a question of human rights. putin has been cracking down on the press and others against homosexuality. president obama will not be going to the sochi games and instead named two gay sports figures to represent the u.s. at opening and closing ceremonies. >> the fact that we've got folks like billie jean king or brian boyntano who everyone
11:35 am
acknowledges their excellence and character who also happen to be members of the lgbt community, they should take that for what it's worth. >> and putin touched upon relations with the u.s. by absolutely addressing the nsa surveillance program. russia has been harboring leaker edward snowden for months, although putin said he never met him. >> i envoy president barack obama. i envy him because he's able to do this. there is not much to rejoice about all this, though, but on the other hand there is no big reason to be unhappy about it either. >> this is not the first time the russian president has tried to clean up his public persona, formerly head of the kgb, putin frequently broadcasts himself as an all around tough guy. publishing photos of himself hunting, fishing, riding horses without a shirt.
11:36 am
shirtless or not, his gestures will have outcomes on the amnesty bill and an expected 2,000 people could be released from prison. >> is president putin's pardon of khodorkovsky a token gesture to western nations or something else entirely. here to talk about this question and others , katherine stoner and tamori yakamashivili. he's now a trans-atlantic fellow. katherine stoner, let me start with you. you heard what president putin
11:37 am
had to say about his motives, what do you think this has t this is about? >> i don't think this has nothing to do with khodorkovsky khodorkovsky's ill mother. i think it has everything to do with the olympics. >> is it really that important? >> it depends on what you call state. it's a lot of money and the most expensive olympics. and the second stake is the participation. putin is expecting to have high level international participation, and that is exactly the reason
11:38 am
, it's to give those leaders who want to come, but they cannot come under current circumstances. it's kind of a giving and, cues more than shap --excusing the shaping of russia. >> so they feel safer coming and they won't have to have public relations blow back if they visit russia during the games. >> yes, exactly. if you look at how russians behave from their imperial past, they amount certain problems, that this should not be a problem at all. then they start to sort one by one. khodorskovsky, the pussy riots, and the notorious arrest of the greenpeace activists people were very surprised.
11:39 am
but those who are russian are not surprised. going back to normalities is doing a favor to somebody. in this case, people who do not belong to prison, it's a sign of normalization, but in reality it's a sign that putin want high level of participation in sochi because he's invest there . >> khodorkovsky literally went right from his cell to the plane and onto berlin. is part of he being free mean he is out of the country. >> i think so, that he will be completely out of russia, and therefore not being able to become a political leader. >> is he still rich? rich.
11:40 am
we can see that there are organizations that are well off. >> katherine stoner, did people reign in their ambitions seeing what could happen from trying to fly too high in putin's russia? >> yes, he was really an example that putin made for the others. around the same time we have others like boris and those who control important media assets and oil and gas assets, and we saw them withdraw more and more from politics, and they had been warned by putin to stay out of politics when he came in as
11:41 am
president in 2000 k.h.o.d.o.r.k.o.v.s.k.y. was warned, many others had left russia. khodorkovs ky stayed, and he took the risk of being arrested, and he was pulled off his plane and then the court cases from there. >> we're going to take a short break. and when we come back we'll talk about russia's moves and where >> al jazeera's investigative unit has tonight's exclusive report. >> stories that have impact... that make a difference...
11:42 am
that open your world... >> this is what we do... >> america tonight weeknights 9et / 6pt only on al jazeera america on august 20th, al jazeera america introduced a new voice in journalism. >> good evening everyone, welcome to al jazeera. >> usa today says: >> ...writes the columbia journalism review. and the daily beast says: >> quality journalists once again on the air is a beautiful thing to behold. >> al jazeera america, there's more to it.
11:43 am
>> evey sunday night, join us for exclusive, revealing, and suprizing talks with the most interesting people of our time. this sunday, >> i spent my whole life thinking about themes and thinking about how to structure movies, so this is highly unusual. >> the director of the sixth sense, says there are five things we can do to fix education in america >> the united states has
11:44 am
education apartheid, that's the facts... >> talk to al jazeera with m. night shayamalan sunday at 7et / 4pt on al jazeera america
11:45 am
11:46 am
11:47 am
11:48 am
11:49 am
11:50 am
11:51 am
11:52 am
the stream is uniquely interactive television.tñ
11:53 am
11:54 am
>> welcome back to inside story. our discussion on vladimir put putin's rush. again we're joined by anders aslund, senior fellow at the peter's constitution for economic. kathryn stoner, and temuri yakobashvili at the german marshall fund. and just before the break we heard anders aslund talking about how russia is still a very poor country in comparison of its global rivals. it is not concentrating on becoming a richer country as far as it's people's standard of living.
11:55 am
what do you make of this behavior? >> i think the shaefer there to hide the major problem that russia has, and that is an identity problem. they never transitioned into a nation-state, i can claim that putin is not a patriot of russian federation but something that would include form soviet union, but something else, probably eurasian union. and to put that in place, it' it's partly an idea to be homophobic, and it's not a local kind of thing. he's now trying to gain more of the moral authority in those who opposed lgbt community.
11:56 am
this is a part of a larger plan. isn't russia has not been a nation-state, for them it is a quest for identity. not only economy, oil, gas, pipelines or something else, it's very much part of their identity crisis, at only economic crisis. that's why because there was never russia that would fit into the existing borders and this is the country that has a problem with notion of borders, it's very problematic for georgia and other neighbors, that's still the process of the new russian identity. >> let me though that to kathryn stoner. are every day russians willing to remain poor compared to their western european brothers and sisters in order to live out this grand vision of something
11:57 am
else that hasn't gotten here yet? >> i'm think the short answer is no, they're not. i would just want to point out just to give perspective. russia was growing rapidly between 200 2000 and 2008 gdp year on year. well, isn't that the sell of natural resources and october tracting industries. it's not on the basis of productive capacity. >> right, exactly. that's the problem is that in those rich times they didn't diversify the economy, and putin is directly responsible for that. the russian economy has reached it's maximum capacity and it has to diversity. growth rate this year means a lot to the average russian. national i am is
11:58 am
ism is important, and te temuri is right, they talked about conservative values juxtaposing russia to the west in that regard. you can talk about values all you want, but you still have to earn a living. russians got used to earning a better living for eight or so years, and now in the long run hence forth it's difficult to see how that would continue in their economic trouble. >> the 1.4% economic growth rate, for those who want more, does butting heads with the united states and the u.n. security council. >> yes, the falling economic growth, the economic decline, that is the serious problem that
11:59 am
i think we should focus on. >> well, i'm wondering what happens--what happens now? should we look for short-term changes, or is the table for the world pretty much set for the near term? >> i think short term president has a very stable situation that is politically controlled. this is more of a system , and a authoritanauthoritarian state. oppression is not much. but you can't organize opposition. >> that brings us to the end of this edition of inside story. "inside story," thanks for being with us. in washington i'm ray suarez.
12:00 pm
>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey. here are the stories we're following for you. several u.s. soldiers are wounded in south sudan as they attempt to rescue americans. delicate operation in space as astronauts try to make critical repairs on the international space station. and cumber memorial of those killed in an act of terrorism 25 years ago. >> the violence in south sudan continues to escalate. two u.n. peace keep percent


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on