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Vladimir Putin appears to be lowering tensions between Russia and Ukraine by announcing a pullback of troops from the border and support for elections.  Does he really mean it?  What about Western predictions that he'll continue to provoke confrontation? Also, a Thai court ousts Prime Minister Yingluck, and Monica Lewinsky goes public again. What is she revealing that we didn't already know?

Banner image: President Putin and Didier Burkhalter, President of Switzerland and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, reply to journalists' questions, Mar 7, 2014. Photo: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office

Thai Court Ousts Prime Minister Yingluck 7 MIN, 29 SEC

After six months of protests, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of Thailand has been ordered to step down due to charges of abusing her power. It's another incident that has raised questions about the stability of one of America's major trading partners in Asia. Patrick Winn is senior Southeast Asia correspondent for the Global Post, a source of international news online. He joins us from Bangkok.

Patrick Winn, Global Post (@bkkapologist )

Is Vladimir Putin Changing the Game in Ukraine? 36 MIN, 34 SEC

Yesterday, as bloody violence continued to increase in Ukrainian cities, Germany's foreign minister warned that the country was on the "threshold of war." Britain's foreign secretary said Russia was creating a pretext for military intervention. Today, Vladimir Putin stunned diplomats by announcing a troop pull-back from the Ukrainian border and voicing support for upcoming elections. The Pentagon sees no evidence of troop movements yet, but Russia's President may have undercut Western accusations that he's trying to scuttle Ukraine's democracy. We hear from Moscow and Ukraine. Will European observers assist a transition from confrontation to dialogue? Has Putin's announcement demonstrated how completely he's in control?  What's the lesson for the Obama Administration and superpower politics?

Dmitri Trenin, Carnegie Moscow Center (@DmitriTrenin)
Simon Denyer, Washington Post (@simondenyer)
Keith Gessen, novelist and journalist (@keithgessen)
Andrew Kuchins, Center for Strategic and International Studies (@CSISRussia)
Peter Beinart, City University of New York / Atlantic (@PeterBeinart)

Beinart on claims that US policies abroad will embolden enemies, undermine allies
Carnegie Moscow Center on the crisis in Ukraine
Center for Strategic and International Studies on the crisis in Ukraine
Denyer on Putin's call to postpone referendum on Eastern Ukraine
Gessen on whether Ukraine can hold together
Kuchins' 'The Russia Balance Sheet'

The Russia Balance Sheet

Anders Aslund

Monica Lewinsky Gives Her Past a Purpose in Vanity Fair 6 MIN, 29 SEC

Monica Lewinsky says she hasn't been heard from in public for ten years. In the May issue of Vanity Fair she says, "The buzz in some circles has been that the Clinton's must have paid me off" — adding that "nothing could be further from the truth." She says she picked this moment to go public after the suicide of a young man whose photo kissing another man went viral reminded her of her of the "shame, scorn and fear" she felt when her relationship to then-President Bill Clinton was revealed. Robin Abcarian is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times (@robinabcarian)

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