This Sunday residents of Crimea will vote on whether or not to reunite with Russia. The de facto authorities in Kiev have called the impending referendum illegal, and the Obama administration says it will not recognize it. Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel joined a panel on MSNBC to discuss the political situation in Ukraine, the disputed legitimacy of the upcoming referendum and the so-called “masculinity crisis” facing President Obama. A precondition to the emergence of a democratic and economically stable Ukraine, she says, is that we drop the Cold War framing and bluster. Rather, the US should promote a negotiated settlement that includes “fair and free elections, a promise not to expand NATO into Ukraine, and an agreement that Ukraine can be part of both the EU and the Russian customs union.”

—David Kortava