(CNN) – Ukrainian interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is coming to the U.S. and will meet with President Barack Obama on Wednesday, as upheaval in Ukraine has spiraled into an increasingly tense dispute between Russia and the West.
But it seems like Ukraine's Crimea is already lost, as former defense secretary Robert Gates told Fox News Sunday; Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely not going to withdraw Russian troops from there the southern peninsula.
So what is the end game now?
"It's a little bit too negative to say that Crimea is lost," said president of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass. "We've got to give it a little more time. For all we know, Russians are going to feel the effects of the sanctions, of some of their diplomatic isolation."
CNN's Saima Mohsin (@saimamohsin) joins an aerial search and rescue mission for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. It was the first time Malaysian Minister of Defense and Transportation Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and the Chief of Defense Force have been out to survey this massive operation.
"I just want to find the plane – at all cost. As long as we are still standing and people are out there praying for us, we will continue to persevere. I will not stop...this is what I promised the families," Hussein said.
According to Nielsen Fast National data, the premiere of CNN Original Series: Death Row Stories was #1 in cable news last night (9-10:00pm) averaging 255k in the key demo adults 25-54 rating, outperforming the combined delivery of MSNBC (117k) and FOX (103k). In total viewers, CNN placed second with 719k, a +196% advantage over MSNBC’s 243k. FOX averaged 990k in total viewers at 9pm.
CNN also showed the most growth at 9pm vs. the prior four Sundays, increasing +99% among adults 25-54 (255k vs. 128k). MSNBC declined 19% (117k vs. 145k) and FOX was off 9% (103k vs. 113k).
In prime time (8-11:00pm) last night, CNN was also top-rated in the key demo 25-54 with 201k, while MSNBC placed second with 175k and FOX was third with 139k. FULL POST
In a CNN exclusive, Anna Coren (@amcoren) has a tense encounter with armed Russian forces at a checkpoint on a highway that links Ukraine with Crimea. After CNN's camera is taken and shut off, one local soldier in charge agrees to speak on camera about their operation.
"We're defending our people. This is not about Russia, but protecting our homeland."
Coren also spoke to local residents about the military buildup on their doorstep.
"I'm frightened about the future. We don't want a war – we just want to work, live peacefully and feed our families."
For more on the crisis in Ukraine, visit http://www.cnn.com/ukraine.
CNN's Brian Stelter spoke with Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy about his plans to expand his conservative website into television.
Ruddy described his new venture to CNN:
RUDDY: We have 5 million opt-in email subscribers. That's bigger, I believe, than the core audience of FOX news, which is 3-4 million on cable. So online, we're already I think a significant power house, and I think this is just the next step for us...The boomer market which we're focusing on has 80 million Americans. There's really not much on cable, servicing them. The other thing is I think everybody is focused on cable, but it's much broader now than cable; The Internet, over the top devices, smart phones. There's 100 million smart phone users. And they can all go to newsmax now, where they won't be able to go to FOX news. So I think the future is um, rapidly developing and we're going to be there. FULL POST
On the Sunday, March 09, 2014, edition of FAREED ZAKARIA GPS, featured interviews with former U.S. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon about recent developments between Russia and Ukraine, Israel’s Minister of Economy Neftali Bennett on whether there is hope for peace between Israel and Palestine, and a panel discussion with Canadian MP and writer Chrystia Freeland, Princeton and New York University Russian and Soviet studies professor (emeritus) Steve Cohen and Princeton University Russian studies professor Stephen Kotkin on the role that history and culture play in the current crisis in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.
On the current level of crisis in the Crimean peninsula, Donilon said, "The Russians have put in place a full occupation of Crimea. They are intensifying their position there. They're reinforcing their position there. They've become much more aggressive. They turned away monitors from the OSCE and the U.N. yesterday again through firing shots. It's an exceedingly dangerous situation right now. And you have a dynamic where you have Ukraine soldiers on bases basically held hostage by Russian soldiers. In a situation like that anything can happen. And I think it's just an exceedingly dangerous and tense situation right now because if you did have, God forbid, an exchange of fire, between Ukraine and Russian soldiers, you would have a real escalation of this crisis..."
The full transcript of today's program may be found here: http://bit.ly/1hYtrLs
FAREED ZAKARIA GPS airs Sundays at 10:00am and 1:00pm on CNN/U.S. and at 3:00pm on CNN International.
Deputy National Securty Advisor Tony Blinken joined CNN anchor Candy Crowley on today's STATE OF THE UNION to discuss some alarming recent security developments related to the missing Malaysian airliner in the China Sea and the Russian incursion in Ukraine.
Blinken described the U.S. personnel contributing to the investigation into what happened to the Malaysian aircraft. In response to reports that two passengers on the aircraft may have used stolen passport identification to board the aircraft, Blinken asserted that it was too early to know if terrorism was the reason for what appears to be a downed airplane. FULL POST
In a CNN worldwide exclusive, chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour sat down for an in-depth interview with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. On the situation in his country Maduro told Amanpour the United States would respond the same way that he has. "What would happen in the United States if a group said they were going to start something in the United States so that President Obama leaves, resigns, to change the constitutional government of the United States?" Maduro said, according to a CNN translation of his remarks. "Surely, the state would react, would use all the force that the law gives it to re-establish order and to put those who are against the Constitution where they belong."
Maduro told Amanpour that a minority group among the opposition is responsible for a "violent plan." That group, he said, has put the opposition in a "dire situation."
Asked if he had a message for the United States, Maduro said: "Well my message is respect, dialogue. That we overcome the visions they have of our country. Precisely, I made a decision to appoint a new ambassador to the U. Don’t go to a stalemate, to a blind alley regarding Venezuela and Latin America. Our message to the – those ruling the U.S. is ‘Respect Venezuela, respect Latin America, and let’s establish new levels of relation."
Translation for the interview was provided by the President's office.
President Maduro's message to the United State:
CNN International correspondent Anna Coren told Anderson Cooper on tonight’s AC360° that the hotel she has been staying in Crimea has asked them to stop broadcasting or they will be asked to leave.
CNN lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer was honored by the National Press Foundation for his career and his “energy, encyclopedic knowledge of politics and unique ability to handle multiple story lines while continuing to inform the public.” Blitzer was honored to receive the Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.READ: National Press Foundation Annual Award Announcement