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tv   The Bottom Line  Al Jazeera  May 9, 2022 9:00am-9:31am AST

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[000:00:00;00] ah ah ah matheson window at the top stories and al jazeera russia's preparing to hold its annual military parade in moscow's red square to celebrate victory over nazi germany in world war 2. this year's event is taking place against the backdrop of the war in ukraine where russian forces are struggling to gain the upper hand. president vladimir putin is expected to speak of the parade in the next few hours. the cranes president says 60 people have been killed during a rush, an air strike on a school in the eastern region of the hans. at least 90 civilians were in the
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building when it was hit on saturday. emergency workers are still working to remove bodies from the debris. the last of the civilians trapped in mario polls as of style plant. i've now reached the safety of zap alicia convoys of bosses have been arriving in the city. the latest carried a $175.00 evacuees, including 40 from the still works. it's not only civilians from the seal plan to arriving is up. patricia maria, pull residence. i mean, fling there, city often making their own way to safety trolling, which i used to work at a school. now, there is no school, nothing, no work, no place to live, nothing to return to. how did we escape? our house was bombarded? we were sitting in the cellar and then we left. we simply walked ahead. we did not know where we were walking. all we wanted is to get away and we did get away. saying, i have never seen such a destruction. we have seen many wars in films,
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but have never seen such a distraction in any war. it's a mockery. people in the philippines voting for their next president time candidates vying for the top job, frontrunner shuttled on marco's junior cost, whose ballot earlier is the son of a former dictator, that he's hoping to win a 6 year term forms where he has more from a polling station in the capital manella or the government has declared monday a public holiday, so people get more people can come out to vote. down voter turnout has usually been has consistently been quite high in philippines for the elections. usually around 80 percent is too soon to bring you those numbers, but we have been seeing people queueing out of the police station even before polls were open at 6 in the morning. now polls will stay open till 7 in the evening. those are longer hours than usual. the election commission says this is to accommodate cove at 19 safety measures, but they also said that people outside of polling stations past 7 pm, they will be allowed to vote beyond that time in those areas. we have already
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started getting reports of voting irregularities, inconsistencies, as well as vote by in one instance, a vote that was cost did not match the voting slip that was issued by a vote counting machine. but it's too early to tell just how wide spread this is. it has to be noted though, that in 2016 back general election was considered what i'm considered free and fair . now, elections in the philippines in the past can sometimes be march, my political violence, and that has happened in this as well. on sunday though, police said that the recorded incidents of poll related violence is far fewer than in the 2016 pulse. and also in the mid term elections in 2019. but on this morning we've also received reports of 3 people being shot dead in a southern province in the philippines, in an election related crime. costa rica new president. rigo chavez has promised to revive the economy,
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invest in education on fight corruption. the former old bike executive is also vowed to tackle the sexual harassment. others resign from the global lender falling allegations of sexual misconduct or beijing loyalist. john lee has met outgoing hong kong leader county lamb for the 1st time since being named his successor. lee was chosen by a committee of about 1500 people who had been vetted to ensure their loyalty to china. he was the only candidate women's rights activists and mexico are demanding justice for victims of gender based violence. dozens of march towards the presidential palace in the capital, mexico, city, and firefighters. in the us state of new mexico have urged people in a mountain village to leave before it's too late for fighters. se time's running out for them to reach safety before a mass of wildfire cuts off their only way out. those are the headlines. the news continues here,
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donalds 0 after the bottom line. good bye. ah . hi, i'm steve clemens in today. i have 2 questions. first is nader, succeeding and walking. the fine line between defending ukraine and direct confrontation with russia and later in the show, what's going on in president landscape mind these days? let's get to the bottom line. ah, one of the major effects of the war in ukraine is that it has revive nato. just a couple of years ago, the alliance of western countries was being bashed on a daily basis by former us president donald trump, who constantly said that america pays too much to defend europe. but now the u. s. government has poured billions into ukraine and president joe biden has asked for another $33000000000.00. the flow of weapons from the west to ukraine is the biggest supply since world war 2. but all of this also comes at the expense of europe stability,
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which was the point of creating nato in the 1st place. moscow is now demanding that nato stop supplying weapons, the ukraine, and stop trying to recruit more eastern european countries to the pro western alliance. so what should we expect in the coming months, especially as the war drags on with no end in sight? today, we're talking with the deputy secretary general of nato mer chair joe. not a diplomat and politician from romania who served this is countries foreign minister and president of the senate directory general. thank you so much for joining us. i want to ask you right now, is we watch the intensity of fighting in ukraine? we see this crisis. we see the escalation and rhetoric from people like rushing foreign minister, sergey lab. rob is nato ready for a potential escalation if this war spills into nato territory. how will nato respond? we are indeed entering co decisive stage of the war that russia has waged against ukraine in the don't boss in the south. so anticipate the next few weeks to be
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really decisive, even if the war could really drag on for a longer period of time. for the time being other than the, the rhetoric, oh, which you condemn her by russian leaders. we do not see in military terms, indications for russia are willing or able to escalate the situation. would nato, probably the fact that nato has be mobilizing a significant addition of forces on the some flank that we have activating for the 1st time in history. the defense plans for, for these them flank countries a, is a significant symbol of deterrence and strength of the alliance. so the war probably will, will rage on even more intensely with even more casualties with more sacrifice. but this time in point to do not see a risk of escalation between russia, nato, and we also trying to avoid an escalation between nathan rush. i cannot imagine how complex your job is there. a lot of members of nato. there are new ones like
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finland and sweden that are talking about joining. ah, that still on the table for other states as well. i think before this crisis, nato was kind of taken for granted. i think people felt nato's there. but now we see a new purpose, we see a revived sense of purpose of that alliance. how healthy is it? tell us about the inner workings that you have to deal with every day, with these different delegations, different militaries. i just love to give our audience a sense of the inner picture. i been in this in this game and that this line of war for many years as you, as you said, steve, i've never seen nato so united are never seen a common sense of purpose in a way this, this war that, that the russia waged against ukraine. galvanized in a way, nato, but also a public opinions. something that i think is just extraordinary is not only the fact in which governments, u. s. government, england, u. k. romania,
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whatever. nato. yes, dr bro, myself will react on these crises in a very professionally united way, but all public opinions, all businesses when russia waged a cyber attack against ukrainian satellite, providing telecom and international ukraine, all of a sudden an american private company came to the rescue. we're seeing and g o is raising money for, for, for ukraine, refugees. so what i think is just remarkable is not only the political or military side of nato re galvanized, but nobody ma, chris's all public opinion. so businesses, our citizenry. and this is something i believe is nothing short a formidable, and we hope to keep this momentum going forward. has there been a kind of, i don't know how to put it otherwise than a kind of polite surprise at the resilience of, of ukrainians after this invasion? ah, a polite surprise about vladimir zalinski is ah, resilience. in this moment, in his leadership,
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we have been training as nato or nato countries individually the on forces of ukraine since 2014, after the legal annexation of crimea, and the occupation of eastern part of the dumbass. so we knew that ukraine as a military has been to inform dean to a quiz. i nato standard why russia has remained as a post soviet army. and i think the difference in command and control in, in, in the quality of, of leadership in the military was not something that surprised us. what i think everything was surprised by the immense bravery of ukrainian people as a whole, beyond the military. the fantastic um, initiate communication skills and harry's but present zalesky and he's theme. so this is where i say we were pleasantly surprised by the resolve of by deep level of sacrifice, by the level of, of, of ambition that he found a land. this is where we're surprised,
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but in terms of the transformation of the ukrainian armed forces, we are not surprised because they already a modern arby. and with a support to get from nato allies, they're becoming even more affordable, formidable as we speak. and this is our intention to continue to help you train in his just fight against her. the aggression of russia were chairman, to take the liberty of asking you a question. not about nato. i mean, you and i have known each other for many, many years. and you are a leading off face of romanian, civil society and civic engagement. you've been president of the senate there, foreign minister ambassador there. i'm just interested in how this crisis has changed, how an average romanian citizen feels about their place because they're pretty close to russia. they're also part of nato. but as it changed the internal dynamic of identity and how romanians feel in this moment. you know, many of the younger generations were taking democracy and freedom for granted in
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a way because you are part of nato because we are part of european union because we are part of the western family of nations. but i think this war is, was also a brutal wake up coal for many of our citizens, not only in romania, i think all the countries in the eastern flank, but even more importantly, for countries in western europe. germany look at the see change of the public attitudes and the strategic culture in berlin, which was absolutely formidable. look at the change in edaly, look at the change in france in the u. s. in, in, in, in canada, in the you k. so i think for all of us, new commerce into nato, like my country, older members of nato, from the very beginning, we were basically in, in face of the reality and the brutal reality that war is possible in europe. something we concede it will never happen again. after the 2nd world war and look, worries back in europe, so eat away. this is a, a drama for ukrainians and for europe. but he's also
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a fantastic wake up coal. as short re, re knowing our vows to democracy and nato and security. and that's how my fellow romanians feel. we are so lucky to be nato. we're so lucky to be in the you and we have the obligation to have ukrainians down down dep legitimate way to join us in european union. let me just ask you finally mister, deputy secretary general and 1st thank you for your service and what you're doing it for joining us today. i know in november that you were hoping that the russians would agree to an honest dialogue, to diffuse tensions that they would go there. we haven't seen that take part. i don't know our way out of this. but one of the obvious questions is, is this now a permanent new cold war where we have essentially another dark line across nations in their futures? as we've seen, how sanctioned russia is to day, we see other complicit nations with, with what rushes doing and belarus and others. you lived on the other side of that
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wall with the west, from the west when you grew up. and so, you know, a lot about walls and you know, a lot about bleakness. when it comes to futures. what is your since, ah, what does your gut tell you? is this something now we're going to be at for decades ahead or do you see any off ramp in the near term where we can avoid that dark future of another harsh line between russia and its interests and the rest of the world? it is no mystery that, oh, the russia, nato, russia. oh america, russian, europe, europe relationship is the lowest point in many decades. that's affect and as long as russia would continue to be an aggressive, her player will occupy east neighbors illegally. of course, the relationship will stay at the very low level. at the same time, we're not in the business of ruling out a future relationship with russia,
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which is a big country, a great people, great history, great culture. so when russia were realised that this is not the way to approach european secuity and to engage is neighbors and, and its partners in europe. i dunno. draw out a moment in time. i don't know when, but the moment in time when things were, if not come back to normal. when some form of, of, of dialogue, russia would resume. but as long as they occupy the territories they behave like they behave will be very difficult for us to, to, to do that. but again, we are not ruling out that in the future and a moment of rushes choosing in away. when they changed course. i know that would be ready to re engage with them. was that the changing the way in which they approach a security politics and also values. and this is something very important for nato, deputy secretary general of nato mac. jonah, thanks so much for your candid thoughts. and joining us today now we turned to the
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issue of what's going on inside the head of ukrainian president vladimir zalinski these days. and we're fortunately talking with a journalist who shadowed to lensky scheme for 2 weeks and interviewed him in his compound key of simon schuster is a correspondence for time magazine. and his cover story comes out this week. how zalinski leads, simon, it's an incredible bit of reporting. i had chills, reading what you were sharing about being with ukraine's president under extraordinary circumstances. you were there, i guess my 1st comment to you is you don't get it share with our viewers right now at what the sense of that is. and i would also just ask you as a, you know, a fellow in this, how have, how, as you're reporting in this incredible, me put here, you know, anti magazine says this incredible document not shared with the russians, his habits and where he's going. so yes, as you said, i've spent about 2 weeks i basically with the,
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the president's team at the presidential compound. he hasn't made any secret of where he is. that's one thing that really surprised me from the beginning of the invasion. on day 2, he posted a video of himself standing outside in the courtyard of the presidential compound there and q on bunker was street. and when i saw that video is like what, what is still there? what is he do? how was he not run? but that was the, the message of the video that he is not running. he's not going away. there's been no secret as to where he is. and, you know, the, his message explicitly and implicitly to the russians as you know, come and get me. i'm, i'm not going anywhere so, so my, my request to, to him and his team was to go in there and essentially see what their life has been
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like while they experience this war. and they allowed me to do that. you know, you interviewed him and you knew him when he was a comedian. ah, which was fascinating. bit of background that you had with him personally. what are some of the changes you've seen since the invasion of ukraine and since his remarkable leadership in these horrible circumstances? yeah, i, i've been lucky enough to know him for about 3 years. i 1st profile him for a piece of time magazine at the time, not a cover story. when he ran for president in 2019, there was a bit of a quirky story. not, not a huge one as far as the global news agenda, a comedian running for president. and, you know, emerging in the, in the polls is the likely winner. so i went to key at the time and i met him next stage of his comedy show, which was kind of doubling as his campaign platform. his campaign
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rally. it was a variety show and here where he was, the. busy star, there was singing and dancing, and sketch acts and things like that. so. so of course, you know, the, the zelinski i met back stage of that show was a very different person than, than the one that we've seen. you know, in this invasion at the time he was quite naive about politics. generally, he was very optimistic and confident in his ability to, you know, find a way to strike a piece, deal, or reach, reach some kind of a chord with vladimir putin and russia. and indeed he tried to do that for the 1st 2 years of his tenure as president after he won those elections. um, he grew more and more disillusioned with the possibility of doing that in those 2 years. and then, you know, since the invasion it's, it's a very different man. he's, he's grown a lot more hard
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a tougher. you could say um, in some ways, much more confident in his own, his own sense of his role as a leader. he doesn't doubt himself as much as i saw him a doing in earlier interviews. so this is, this interview for this cover was my 4th interview with him over his career as a politician and, and the changes have been, you know, pretty interesting to observe and, and, and dramatic in this pretty extraordinary career. he's had, we know that ukraine as it divided country was a divided country in some ways. what have been those that sort of thought they were tilting wanted to tilt more towards russia? have they been moved by seeing this invasion? are they impressed now with the lansky, have you talked to people that might not all have been in lock step but, but before present zalinski before this invasion? yes, i don't think it honestly that a group of voters will make up a significant block, you know,
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at the end of this war. and i think that the invasion has absolutely disgusted, everyone i spoke to who may have been more open to some kind of restoration of normal relations with russia in the past. that's all over, you know, there, there was maybe a constituency that you could say was pro russian before this invasion. there was certainly a of significant party in the parliament of ukraine. they represented in some ways, russia's interests or acted as a proxy or stand in for russia, and it's talking points politically and ukraine. that part is essentially gone as a, as a political player. i don't think it has a power base anymore. i mean, think about it. so russia promised or claimed that it was invading ukraine in order to save the people of eastern ukraine. the regions of the country where, you know, people say they're, they're more, can russia leaning voters. but what's happened to those regions?
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they've been totally decimated by this war. thousands of people have been killed by this invasion, were supposedly, you know, the electorate of, of the pro russian forces in the cranium parliament. so there's just, there's not a leg to stand on politically after this conflict during this conflict, for any politician in ukraine who says, you know, let's, let's get along with russia. and let's make nice and let's, let's try to try to follow some of vladimir putin's ideas. about what ukraine needs to look like that those days are over. i don't think there's any realistic scenario where russia has a kind of political vehicle for, for pursuing its interests inside ukrainian politics after this is done. now, you know, you're a real reporter, you're in the middle of it, you can, you can take for sandra, porting, but we're seeing the signals i'm interested in information and what the north star is in a mo, at a moment. when there is, there are major efforts at dis,
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information out there. but, but when you're in the middle of this and you see, you know, a presence zalinski wanting to raise the hopes of people. how do you yourself advise people who are looking in this to be able to separate fact from fiction? from i this this tough. i mean i report what i can hear from reliable sources the know to be true. again, i'm not sure it's, it's my role to educate your viewers or, or my readers and media literacy. i hope they read and watch reliable sources of information. you know, i think, yeah, every side in a war, generally fries to win over the hearts and minds of the other side and the global community that's watching the conflict. president zalinski has certainly devoted a lot of his time. you know, when i was there hanging around the presidential compound, you know,
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i'd say the bulk of his time is devoted to what you might call, you know, communication strategy, right? giving speech, writing speeches, meeting with foreign leaders and addressing, you know, various venues from the parliament of south korea. right? them in the world bank. he spoke at the grammy awards. so all of these things you could perhaps cynically classify as part of the information front in this, in this conflict. but yes, he's, he's trying to get his message across as forcefully as he can because he knows that his ability to do that. his ability to grasp and hold the world's attention and maintain the support of the world. a will in many ways determine whether his country lives or dies. and he's been doing a pretty good job of keeping the world engaged and supportive of ukraine on his he worry that that he may not be on the cover of time magazine as frequently as he
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needs to be to, to maintain attention. yeah, that's definitely a concern he as the last time we sat down and was april 19th. so he asked me whether i felt that the the world's attention was, was flagging. and so it's, it's clearly a concern. you know, he's, he said that he thinks a lot about how people outside of ingrained perceive this conflict understand is conflict mostly through social media, through outlets like, you know, instagram on their instagram feeds. and he expressed his concern that you know, the war has been so horrifying to, to observe, to watch, you know, as, as he put it, there's a lot of blood and there's a lot of emotion. and he felt a concern that eventually people would just start to turn away because it was just on, you know, unbearable to watch. it's just as constant stream of,
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of pain atrocities, you know, bombings, cities and communities being destroyed. and he was concerned that the international community and international leaders would just eventually not, not be able to, to take it any more would, would essentially turn away, closed, arrives. and that he said, you know, is a real danger for you. great. you know, another thing that he shared with you and it was so interesting to read it in such raw form, that he himself worried that his military will be crushed by the russian mid tilt military. so much larger. does he think that it supplies and systems that are coming in can preclude that fear that his own military will be crushed by the russians? i think bradley, the since i got from him and his closest advisors, is there very confident in their own ability to when i mean they understand the
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risks they understand the risks of russia dropping some enormous bomb on the compound where they live and work. they understand the risks that their armies will be surrounded and partly, or completely defeated in the battle for eastern ukraine, that just is ongoing. now, the level of morale in society and in the military is extremely high. it's extremely high among lensky and his advisors. i think as a corollary to that, there isn't a huge enthusiasm for jumping head long into peace talks with russia on the great side. so i, i do think that, and then zaleski said this in no uncertain terms that an outcome of this current battle for eastern ukraine will in many ways shape our dialogue at the negotiating table. to put that more simply a, you know, let's, let's see how well we can do in pushing the russians back militarily. and depending
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on the outcome of those battles, we'll, we'll see where we stand on the, at the negotiating table. or we're going to have to leave it there, time magazine correspondence, simon, schuster fresh, back from kiev. extraordinary reporting, i highly recommend people take a look at, how's the lensky leads? it's the cover story of time magazine a right now. ok, thank you so much for joining us. thank you. so what's the bottom line, regardless of what you think of the war in ukraine yet? you really have to hand it to president lensky. he's a guy who started out as a comic until 3 years ago. and now he's looked upon by his partners in america and europe as a kind of church chilean figure, keeping hope alive even in the dark his days. but here's the rub. this war has gone from a sprint to a marathon, and the world is a massive case of 80 d or attention deficit disorder. so what happens when people start skipping over the ukraine videos on their phones? is it game over for zalinski and his vision for ukraine? the zaleski have to be the entertainer indefinitely. where will the west find the resolved to commit itself for the long haul? no matter what?
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the future of what it means to be a sovereign state is what is at stake. and that's the bottom line ah. from the al jazeera london broke our sentence to people in thoughtful conversation with no haste and no limitation of the artist by nature. they are a person who are lost party love, i way, way and in me. skipper society is not interested in the individuality the freedom. the spirit of the young person studio b unscripted on al jazeera from ha to politics. national pride to early advertising al jazeera world tells the stories
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behind for songs from kuwait, oman, hatton, and era meeting song writers, performance and musicians celebrating the social and cultural importance of songs of the gulf on al jazeera. ah matheson and doha, the top stories on al jazeera, russia's preparing to hold its annual military parade and moscow's red square. to celebrate a victory over nazi germany and world war 2. this year, that's taking place against the backdrop of the war in ukraine, where russian forces are struggling to gain the upper hand. president vladimir putin is expected to speak at the parade in the next few hours. the cranes president says 60 people have been killed during a rush, an air strike on

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