PunditFact checks Russia and Ukraine claims

3:35 PM, Mar 3, 2014   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- The situation in Ukraine dominated the Sunday talk shows. Secretary of State John Kerry made the rounds, discussing the repercussions Russia could face if it continues to intervene militarily.

Secretary Kerry will arrive in Kiev on Tuesday, March 4 to meet with government officials. But Sunday in interviews, he talked about the United States and its allies being prepared to isolate Russia if it continues to keep troops near the Crimean Peninsula of Ukraine.

Related: St. Petersburg woman reacts to Russian troops in Ukraine

Here's what he said on CBS' Face the Nation about those repercussions:

"The ruble is already going down. Russia has major economic challenges."

PunditFact looked into the state of Russia's economy. Fact-checkers found the ruble did decrease 15 percent since this time in 2013. But it's not entirely related to the Ukraine situation.

"Part of this is a monetary policy by the Russian Central Bank to try and reduce inflation and to try and make domestic manufacturing with Russia more competitive internationally," says Katie Sanders with PunditFact.

PunditFact rates his claim MOSTLY TRUE.

The Russia/Ukraine relationship was also discussed by Washington Post writer David Ignatius. He said he believes Russia wants to annex the region of Crimea.

Here's what he said:

"Crimea became part of Ukraine only in 1954. Crimea was historically part of Russia, and [Nikita] Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine in a gesture that mystified some people."

To give you an idea, Crimea is an eastern Ukrainian peninsula on the Black Sea, connected by a small strip of land. Out of its two million people, about 60% speak Russian.

"Khrushchev did give this to Ukraine and a lot of people thought it was just a show, a kind gesture because he had Ukrainian roots... but the motives aren't entirely known," says Sanders.

Because the history is correct, PunditFact rates this claim TRUE.

A similar claim was made by U.S. Representative Mike Rogers on Fox News Sunday. The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said the Russians would love to see Crimea part of the Russian Federation.

That's also rated True.

More stories on Ukraine and Russia...

Ukraine mobilizes troops after Russian declaration

Russian invasion could be 'beginning of war'

Palin on Russian action in Ukraine: Told you so

Republicans: Obama 'weak' in Ukraine crisis

Thousands march in favor of Ukraine invasion in Moscow

G-7 nations suspend planning for Russia summit

Social media is lifeline to relatives in Ukraine

East Ukraine aflame as Russia poised to strike

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