Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss two sides of international education. China has charged an education advocate in Tibet with inciting separatism, and a one-room basement library in Afghanistan is providing books to citizens once ruled by the Taliban.

Then contributor Joshua Landis talks with Jeffrey Mankoff from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He argues the U.S. tried to outsource solving the Ukraine crisis onto German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They’ll also discuss Russia’s involvement in Syria.

Jeffrey Mankoff during an October 2014 Center for Strategic and International Studies forum on Russia's war, Ukraine's history, and the West's options.
Center for Strategic and International Studies / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Russia rapidly moved to the front of the world stage when President Vladimir Putin returned to power in 2012, setting off an adversarial relationship with the West not seen since Cold War tensions thawed in the 1980s.

The country’s ascendancy includes the 2014 invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea region, and a greater role in Syria on the side of the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Syria is fighting rebels opposed to Assad’s minority Alawite-led government as well as Islamic State, or ISIS, militants bent on establishing a caliphate in the Middle East.

Suzette Grillot and Brian Hardzinski discuss Catalonia's push for independence from Spain, and Russia's "frozen zone" in the troubled region of eastern Ukraine.

Then Rebecca Cruise talks with Peter Lochery. He’s the Director of Water for the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, or CARE, and won the University of Oklahoma WaTER Center's 2015 Internaitonal Water Prize.

Heavy weaponry is moved through eastern Ukraine, disrupting day-to-day life.
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

It’s been almost two years since pro-Russian unrest took hold in Ukraine, dividing the country along ideological lines and leading to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

As the second anniversary of the Euromaidan movement’s genesis approaches, nearly three million people are living in what The New York Times' Andrew Kramer describes as a “frozen zone.”

Provided / World Neighbors

Kate Schecter’s passion for internationalism started almost before she could talk. Her dad was a journalist for Time Magazine, and she spent the first dozen years of her life overseas in Hong Kong, Japan, and Russia. Her childhood in Moscow coincided with the height of the Cold War.

“My parents made a decision to send all five kids to Soviet public schools,” Schecter told KGOU’s World Views. And we’re the first American children to go to Soviet Schools. And I learned Russian [laughs]. Very quickly.”

Syria Comment blogger Joshua Landis provides analysis of President Bashar Assad’s interview this week with the BBC, and Rebecca Cruise discusses German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit with President Obama, and what they’re trying to accomplish regarding Ukraine. 

Then Rebecca talks with Kathryn Bolkovac, who sued her employers for unfair dismissal after she lost her job for trying to expose sex trafficking in Bosnia. Her story was dramatized in the 2010 film The Whistleblower.

President Obama said Monday Russian aggression against Ukraine has reinforced the unity of the U.S. and its partners in Europe and around the world.

Obama spoke at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He says if Russia continues on its current course, its political and economic isolation will worsen.

Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis discuss the turmoil in Iraq caused by ISIS. Rebecca Cruise reports on state of Ukraine and its possible cease fire with Russia.

Later in the program, an interview with Boston College Near East Historian and political scientist Franck Salameh about the many dialects of Arabic and the future of teaching it.

Conditional Ceasefire Reached In Eastern Ukraine

Sep 5, 2014
Insurgents in Donetsk.
Andrew Butko / Wikimedia Commons

The Ukrainian Government announced Friday it signed a preliminary protocol to start a ceasefire with pro-Russian rebels.

Brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Minsk, Belarus, the ceasefire went into effect at 6 p.m. local time (10 a.m. Central). Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko confirmed the agreement on Twitter:

There are new reports today that Russian troops are on the ground in eastern Ukraine. Moscow continues to deny that. And as President Obama heads to Estonia today, a top Russian official says his country will alter its military doctrine toward NATO in response to what it says is the alliance’s aggressive stance on what’s happening in eastern Ukraine.

Yesterday, NATO’s secretary general said the alliance will develop a quick response strike force of several thousand soldiers who could be on standby to respond to a crisis.

Suzette Grillot talks with University of Oklahoma political scientist Keith Gaddie about West Africa's worst Ebola outbreak in history, and Monday's anniversary of Britain's entry into World War I.

Later, a conversation about education and development in Africa with OU economist and international and area studies professor Moussa Blimpo.

Government of the United Kingdom / Wikimedia Commons

Monday marked 100 years since the British declared war on Germany, after the Germans ignored Belgium’s refusal to allow troops to pass through its borders to France.

Four years and 16 million lives later, World War I set the stage for the rest of the 20th century. A century later, University of Oklahoma political scientist Keith Gaddie says the hot points of global conflict in the 21st century can be traced to the consequences of “the Great War” in Europe and Asia.

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grillot focus on the aggression in the east of Ukraine, and the well as the historical importance of Ukraine in Russian history. They also discuss how the war in Syria has affected the country’s ancient history and cultural heritage.

And later, a conversation with Israeli scholar Zaki Shalom. He says the Arab Spring has shifted focus away from the Middle East’s more long-standing discord.

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2009.
World Economic Forum / Flickr Creative Commons

After hours of negotiations Thursday, top diplomats from the United States, Europe, and Russia agreed to halt any violence, intimidation or provocative actions in Ukraine.

University of Oklahoma historian Joshua Landis, a regular contributor to KGOU’s World Views, says a Ukrainian use of military force could provoke a Russian counterattack, but Putin still has his eye on Eastern provinces.

To say that the town of Perewalsk in eastern Ukraine has fallen on hard times would be an enormous understatement. The small industrial town near the Russian border is a collection of concrete buildings with no windows, falling-down houses and empty, abandoned factories; there's a chemical smell in the air.

In the middle of this dystopian landscape, there's an even more unexpected sight: an 80-year-old woman in a bright purple coat and headscarf, happily digging with a shovel in the dirt.

She introduces herself as Lida Vasilivna.