Fear and Fatalism in Kiev

From Our Own Correspondent Podcast

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Fear and Fatalism in Kiev

From Our Own Correspondent Podcast

More than a hundred and twenty thousand Russian troops are sitting on Ukraine’s border, with talks still underway to reduce tensions, but no sign of success so far. Yet Ukraine has already experienced Russia's invasion of Crimea, and Russian backed troops taking over an eastern region of the country. When James Waterhouse arrived to take up his new post as Kiev Correspondent, he found local people sometimes fearful, but also rather stoical in the face of this threat. The face-off between Ukraine and Russia has in turn provoked division, over how the US and Europe should respond if Russian troops were to cross the border and invade. This debate is particularly acute in Germany, which has traditionally avoided getting involved in conflicts abroad. As Jenny Hill explains, that is in part because of the country's history, and specifically the Second World War. The death toll Germany inflicted on both Ukraine and Russia means some in the country argue that they should not intervene there now. Children from Romania continue to be coerced into a life of prostitution - hundreds every year, it seems. Many of the adult prostitutes on the country’s streets started out when they were girls, and many of these are then trafficked abroad. Jean Mackenzie has found that even children from responsible and loving homes are not protected from those determined to make money out of them. It was a mark of pride for Cameroon, when the country was chosen to host football’s Africa Cup of Nations. Some did have doubts, given that Cameroon still has a major insurgency going on, led by people in the English-speaking part of the country who want to secede. Yet when disaster befell the tournament, it was not of a military kind, but fans being crushed as they tried to get into a stadium in Cameroon’s capital. Nick Cavell was watching the match that day. Politics in Senegal is a lively affair. When the country held local elections last week, one mayoral candidate in the capital had previously been jailed for corruption, and an opposition candidate had been arrested on a rape charge. Meanwhile, the country’s previous president has accused the current president of coming from a cannibal family, with parents who ate babies. However, it is not only the candidates who make for colourful characters. When Lucinda Rouse rented a room in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, she found herself living above the home of a community leader with considerable political influence.
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More than a hundred and twenty thousand Russian troops are sitting on Ukraine’s border, with talks still underway to reduce tensions, but no sign of success so far. Yet Ukraine has already experienced Russia's invasion of Crimea, and Russian backed troops taking over an eastern region of the country. When James Waterhouse arrived to take up his new post as Kiev Correspondent, he found local people sometimes fearful, but also rather stoical in the face of this threat. The face-off between Ukraine and Russia has in turn provoked division, over how the US and Europe should respond if Russian troops were to cross the border and invade. This debate is particularly acute in Germany, which has traditionally avoided getting involved in conflicts abroad. As Jenny Hill explains, that is in part because of the country's history, and specifically the Second World War. The death toll Germany inflicted on both Ukraine and Russia means some in the country argue that they should not intervene there now. Children from Romania continue to be coerced into a life of prostitution - hundreds every year, it seems. Many of the adult prostitutes on the country’s streets started out when they were girls, and many of these are then trafficked abroad. Jean Mackenzie has found that even children from responsible and loving homes are not protected from those determined to make money out of them. It was a mark of pride for Cameroon, when the country was chosen to host football’s Africa Cup of Nations. Some did have doubts, given that Cameroon still has a major insurgency going on, led by people in the English-speaking part of the country who want to secede. Yet when disaster befell the tournament, it was not of a military kind, but fans being crushed as they tried to get into a stadium in Cameroon’s capital. Nick Cavell was watching the match that day. Politics in Senegal is a lively affair. When the country held local elections last week, one mayoral candidate in the capital had previously been jailed for corruption, and an opposition candidate had been arrested on a rape charge. Meanwhile, the country’s previous president has accused the current president of coming from a cannibal family, with parents who ate babies. However, it is not only the candidates who make for colourful characters. When Lucinda Rouse rented a room in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, she found herself living above the home of a community leader with considerable political influence.
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