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VOA慢速英语:是什么导致了俄罗斯想要占领克里米亚?

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What Led to Russian Occupation of Crimea?

Hello and welcome. I’m Jim Tedder in Washington. It’stime to improve your American English while you learnabout our world …As It Is. Today we will ask theexperts. Russian leader Vladimir Putin has taken overCrimea. Why did he do it?

Then, is it just my imagination, or is the weather gettingwarmer, and I do not mean just because it is springtime in the northern hemisphere? What is going onwith this crazy weather? We’ll have some answers. This is VOA, and we are happy you have joined us.

Russia has taken complete control of Ukraine’sCrimean peninsula. Now, observers are debating whatled Russian President Vladimir Putin to make such amove.

Western nations have called Russia’s occupation of Crimea illegal. RobertLegvold is a professor at Columbia University in New York City. He says theoccupation shows President Putin wants to be remembered by futuregenerations of Russians.

“From his point of view, it would be a far more substantial legacy than (the)Sochi Olympics, which everybody has been talking about as something that he wanted to be his legacy. But to have brought Crimea back into thehistorical place that it has had in the fold of Mother Russia, I think he sees this (as) probably the single most important thing that he will accomplish aspresident.”

俄罗斯军人
 

Professor Legvold says Mr. Putin believes he is correcting what he sees as the historical injustice of 1954. That was when then-Soviet leader NikitaKhrushchev gave control of Crimea to Ukraine, which was then a Sovietrepublic.

Matthew Rojansky is an expert on relations between the former Sovietrepublics and the United States. He works at the Woodrow WilsonInternational Center for Scholars in Washington. He says that by seizingCrimea, Mr. Putin has destroyed the image of Russia being a responsiblepartner on international issues.

“But there is another image that he may care much, much more about. And that is his image at home as not only the defender of the Russian people --which certainly the argument about defending Russians in Crimea andeastern Ukraine would help -- but also as defender of a greater Russia. Youknow, of a vision of Russia which is more powerful and bigger and which istaken seriously perhaps more out of fear than out of love.”

Brent Scowcroft served as national security adviser to two Americanpresidents. He told VOA before Russia’s seizure of Crimea that PresidentPutin wants his country to be seen as a strong power.

“Putin nurses a grudge because what he says is that at the end of the ColdWar, when Russia was flat on its back, we walked all over them. And we didit because they were weak. Technically, he has a point. We pushed theborders of NATO right up into the former Soviet Union. We denounced theABM (anti-ballistic missile) treaty and so on and so forth. We didn’t do it toweaken the Russians. We did it because we thought it was useful. But thatgnaws at him.”

The United States and its Western allies have ordered economic actionsagainst Russian officials because of what happened in Crimea. The Russiangovernment answered the orders by placing travel restrictions on U.S.officials.

Professor Legvold says the crisis over Crimea could affect Americancooperation with Russia in such areas as Iran and the Syrian conflict.

“In Syria, they’ve been a problem all along the way. They helped in animportant way on chemical weapons. But the notion that somehow we canfind common ground for achieving a political outcome grows more remotebecause again the Russians have no desire to seem like a cooperativepartner when they are defining us, not merely as misguided in our policy, buteven malevolent in our policy. That is, beginning to think of us as anadversary, not simply a difficult interlocutor.”

Professor Legvold and others are closely watching relations between Russiaand the United States. They say if tensions rise over Ukraine and otherissues, there could be a new Cold War.

Is It Hot in Here?

The World Meteorological Organization says 2013 was the sixth-warmestyear since officials began collecting temperature records. The United Nationsagency says the new information confirms that temperatures on Earth’ssurface are rising.

Last week, the agency released a report called the Status of the Climate. Itshows many extreme weather events took place throughout the world lastyear. Christopher Cruise has been watching the thermometer rise.

The World Meteorological Organization says 13 of the 14 warmest years onrecord have happened in this century. And it says each of the past threedecades has been warmer than the one before it. A decade is defined as aperiod of 10 years. The WMO says the 10 year period from 2001 to 2010 was the warmest decade ever measured.

Michel Jarraud is the secretary-general of the WMO. He told VOA thetemperature records show our planet is growing warmer.

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Smoke rises from power plant

“Since 2001, the first year of this century, the coldest year that we haveobserved since 2001 is actually warmer than any year before 1998. So I don’tthink this can be used in seeing a contradiction of the stop in the climatechange. The climate change is not stopping.”

There were very low temperatures in parts of the United States and Canadalast year. But Mr. Jarraud says that does not mean the Earth is not gettingwarmer. He says many other areas had higher temperatures than normal.

The WMO climate report provides details of ice cover, ocean warming, risingsea levels and gases linked to climate change. It says these events are alllinked, and show that our world is changing

The report says many parts of the Asian continentreceived more rain than usual in 2013. And it saysBritain received more rain than at any time in the past250 years.

The report says there was little rainfall in the Americanstate of California, in the Sahel area of Africa and inparts of southern Africa. And it notes extremely dryweather was linked to record high temperatures inAustralia.

Michel Jarraud says weather events such as more intense heat and heavierrainfall or snow are what one would expect as a result of human-producedclimate change. He also is concerned about the condition of Arctic ice.

“What is worrying is that an increasing fraction of this ice is actually recentnew ice. This ice is normally very thin and therefore it’s more vulnerable to thevariability and the change in the climate. So, this is the fact that the ice surfaceis a little bit more than the previous year is actually not in contradiction with theglobal warming. Actually the volume continues to decrease.”

He also says there is a strong possibility of an El Nino developing near the endof this year. El Nino is a complex weather interaction between theatmosphere and the ocean. Mr. Jarraud says if that happens, the world canexpect higher than normal temperatures in 2015.

I’m Christopher Cruise.

Thanks, Chris. By the way, here is a towel to mop that extra perspiration offyour forehead! It’s time for us to go cool off as we await more LearningEnglish programs. And don’t forget, world news follows at the beginning of thehour on VOA. I’m Jim Tedder in Washington. We’ll see you tomorrow!


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