Former Secretary of State Clinton Awarded UCLA Medal
LONG BEACH — Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is scheduled to deliver a lecture at UCLA and receive the university's highest honor Wednesday, one day after arriving in the Southland for a two-day visit and comparing Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.
Clinton will deliver the third annual Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership at UCLA's Royce Hall at noon Wednesday and will accept the UCLA Medal, which UCLA says it bestows on individuals whose work "illustrate the highest ideals of UCLA, and whose career has manifestly benefited the public ...".
Following the lecture, Clinton will participate in a question-and-answer session with UCLA political science professor Lynn Vavreck.
The past lectures have been delivered by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Tickets are $250 and $500. Proceeds benefit the greatest needs fund of UCLA's College of Letters and Science.
Clinton began a two-day visit to Southern California Tuesday by speaking at a $1,500-per-person luncheon fundraiser in Long Beach benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach.
She discussed Russia's military advance into Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and fielded questions on a variety of subjects, including what is her favorite flavor of Girl Scout cookie, the Press-Telegram reported. Her answer — peanut butter.
Clinton compared recent actions by Putin in the Ukraine to those implemented by Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s. The Russian president's desire to protect minority Russians in Ukraine is reminiscent of Hitler's actions to protect ethnic Germans outside Germany, she said.
Putin has been on a campaign to give Russian passports to anyone who has Russian connections, Clinton said, adding that he has recently done so in Crimea, which, she said, is similar to what happened in Nazi Germany in the late 1930s.
"Now if this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the '30s" with ethnic Germans living in such countries as Czechoslovakia.
"...Hitler kept saying they're not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that's what's gotten everybody so nervous," Clinton said.
Putin "believes his mission is to restore Russian greatness," Clinton said.
That includes reasserting control of what used to be countries under the former Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, she said.
So far in the crisis, Russian troops have been deployed in Crimea, where the Russians lease military facilities, joining Russians who have come out of their bases. But no Russian troops have been reported in other parts of Ukraine.
If Ukraine and Russia are to reach any kind of compromise, negotiations may start in Crimea, Clinton said.
"...It's a real nail-biter, right now, but nobody wants to up the rhetoric," Clinton said. "Everybody wants to cool it in order to find a diplomatic solution and that's what we should be trying to do."