On 'Morning Edition': NPR's David Greene speaks with 'New York Times' Moscow correspondent Steven Lee Myers
(We updated this post at 11:55 a.m. ET.)
Russian soldiers have not occupied government buildings and surrounded Ukrainian military bases on the Crimean Peninsula, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted Tuesday during a news conference near Moscow at which he gave an account of recent events that contradicts reports from the ground.
Instead, he told reporters that the heavily armed men are "local self-defense forces."
In the last 12 months there has been a series of political trials in Russia. First there was the punk rock group Pussy Riot. Then, demonstrators from the anti-Putin protest movement faced the court followed by the rising star of the opposition, Alexei Navalny. Some say Putin is using the justice system to shut down their political rivals and that this kind of injustice is accelerating.
When This Whole Thing Started
It began ten years ago with the arrest of the oil billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky. He has been in prison ever since. First, he was in Siberia. Now, he's at the edge of the Arctic. His mother travels vast distances to visit him.
Today on KUOW Presents, we join her on that long, cold train ride.