And joining us to talk about Putin's intentions in Ukraine and beyond is the editor of the New Yorker, David Remnick. He's a former Moscow correspondent and is recently back from Sochi. His latest New Yorker column is titled "Putin Goes To War." David, welcome back to the program.
DAVID REMNICK: It's good to talk to you, even though the subject is so grim.
BLOCK: Well, let's talk about that. I was wondering if you heard a very familiar Vladimir Putin world view reflected in those comments at the news conference today.
Troops under Russian command scream orders to turn back before firing warning shots at the Belbek airbase in Crimea. The troops were reacting to a large group of unarmed Ukrainian troops who approached them.
Secretary of State John Kerry made a high profile visit to Kiev today, showing political support for Ukraine's new government. He promised a billion dollars in loan guarantees. With lesser due, a team from the International Monetary Fund arrived. They're there to assess the state of Ukraine's finances.
Among the delegations heading to Kiev this week, a team from the International Monetary Fund. Its task: to come up with a plan to help Ukraine's ailing economy. And Ukraine's interim government says it needs a lot of help. There are fears it will default on its debt. And that government pensions and state salaries could soon go unpaid.
Joining us is Anders Asland, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Welcome to the program.
NPR Music writer and editor Stephen Thompson joins us each week to introduce us to a new song. This week it’s “Fall in Love” by New York electronic rock duo Phantogram. Thompson says Phantogram’s sound is catchy but a little bit challenging.
IBM was once one of the country’s largest employers. Considered a major innovator in the high tech world, IBM was also a place where workers could count on having a job throughout their entire career.
But IBM is now going through a major restructuring after sustaining years of losses. These changes could result in some 13,000 layoffs, both in the U.S. and abroad. Some of these layoffs have already started, but the company will not confirm any numbers.
Federal officials are cutting off water to some California farms stuck in the worst drought on record. At the same time Arizona farmers are irrigating their fields with the diminishing Colorado River.
They’re using the water to grow most of the country’s winter vegetables, and even shipping some crops to China. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Laurel Morales of Fronteras Desk looks at the controversy of indirectly exporting water overseas.
Ukrainians line up to get money from a bank machine in the western city of Lviv on Feb. 20. The country's political crisis has also created economic turmoil. The international community is expected to pump billions of dollars into Ukraine's struggling economy.
Credit Yuriy Dyachyshyn / AFP/Getty Images
The ousted Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, had dozens of luxury cars at his country estate outside the capital, Kiev. Ukraine has been plagued by widespread corruption and an economy that is near bankruptcy.
Ukraine was known as the breadbasket of the Soviet Union for its fertile fields of wheat. Now it's just a basket case. The outgoing finance minister said the country needed $35 billion to stave off bankruptcy over the next couple years.
Some analysts say that figure may be on the high side. Still, such admissions usually send potential donors dashing for the exits. Yet one thing Ukraine has in abundance these days, in addition to political turmoil, is a long line of financial suitors.
Al 'Carnival Time' Johnson performs with New Orleans All-Star R&B Revue hosted by Deacon John at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds Race Course on April 26, 2009 in New Orleans. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
On this Fat Tuesday, the music of Mardi Gras will ring through the streets of New Orleans — during parades, at bars and from residents’ homes.
Producer and DJ George Ingmire of WWOZ in New Orleans tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson two quintessential Mardi Gras songs are “Mardi Gras Mambo” by the Hawketts and “Carnival Time” by Al “Carnival Time” Johnson.
Unarmed Ukrainian troops gather outside their garrison before marching to confront soldiers under Russian command occupying the nearby Belbek airbase in Crimea on March 4, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
There have been standoffs between Russian and Ukranian troops outside the bases that the Russians have been occupying since the weekend.
Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kiev today promising financial aid to the new Ukranian government and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for the first time since he sent the troops into Crimea.
NPR’s Peter Kenyon joins Here & Now’s Robin Young from Simferopol, Crimea, with the latest.