Then and Now: Ukraine and Russia, Money and Politics

Men hold Russian (R) and Soviet Union flags in Simferopol's Lenin Square on March 16, 2014. Polls opened yesterday for a referendum on the peninsula of Crimea.

On today’s show: Historian Serhii Plokhy argues that disagreements between Russia and Ukraine played a major role in the collapse of the Soviet Union. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, who’s been called one of the greatest classical musicians of her generation, on playing at the New York Philharmonic’s Biennial. Smith Henderson talks about his latest novel, Fourth of July Creek. Kenneth Vogel tells how American politics came to be dominated by very rich people with rather outsized personalities.