In this episode of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan talks to Natalia Narochnitskaya, a Russian historian and former member of the Duma, or Russian parliament, for the ultra-nationalist party Rodina (Motherland).
Narochnitskaya was also a member of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and currently heads the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation in Paris, a conservative think-tank.
It's the West who wanted to create a battlefield between East and West in Ukraine.
We discuss with her Russia's intervention in Syria and Ukraine and the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, and the consequences of these actions for its relationship with Western powers and NATO. We also discuss President Vladimir Putin's rule and examine the country's human rights record.
Is Crimea the beginning of an expansionist drive to reclaim the old Soviet Union borders? Is Russia maligned and misunderstood in the West? And is Putin fighting ISIL or protecting the Syrian regime?
Joining the discussion are:
Masha Karp, a London-based journalist from Russia and a Trustee of the Rights in Russia NGO;
Martin McCauley, a British historian and author, and a former lecturer at University College London;
Vasyl Myroshnychenko , the co-founder of the Ukraine Crisis Media Center and director of the Ukrainian British City Club.
Follow us on: facebook.com/AJHeadToHead; and @AJheadtohead
Head to Head is Al Jazeera's forum of ideas, a gladiatorial contest tackling big issues such as faith, nationalism, democracy and foreign intervention in front of an opinionated audience at the Oxford Union.
Watch previous Head to Head shows here.
Source: Al Jazeera