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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 18, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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05/18/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> [indiscernible]
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amy: primary voters went to the polls in five states tuesday, many chose progressive democratic candidates like summer lee in pennsylvania who hopes to become the first black woman to represent the state in congress. we will speak with david sirota who says democratic leaders are joining with oligarchs to try to permanently destroy the progressive movement. and we will talk to former bernie sanders advisor nina turner, who just lost her ohio congressional primary after facing massive spending and attackfrom super pacs. then we go to the front lines of donbas to speak with iependent rerter billyessen in severodonetsk wich is under constant attack. >> this is -- explosions now, probably three minutes of mtly shells going back and forth between thekrainianorces and
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the russian forces. the city of 130,000 is strategic point, a barometer of which way this thing is going to go, if ukrainians can hold the city i think it is the end of any russian advances, at least in this part of the country. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president biden visited buffalo, new york, tuesday, three days after an 18-year-old white supremacist shot dead 10 people at a supermarket in a -- the heart of a black community. biden denounced the attack as an act of domestic terrorism and described white supremacy as a poison. pres. biden: we have seen the mass shootings in charleston, south carolina, el paso, texas, pittsburgh, lastear in
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atlanta, this week in dallas, texas, now in buffalo. buffalo, new york. white supremacy is a poison. it is a poison running through -- it really is. amy: biden's trip to buffalo comes as more details emerge about how the gunman spent months plotting to carry out the mass shooting. multiple news outlets are reporting the gunman used the online platform discord to share details about his plot with a small group of people about 30 minutes before the massacre. no one who saw the messages is known to have alerted law enforcement to the imminent attack. in texas, police have arrested a man in connection with last week's shooting at a hair salon in the koreatown neighborhood of dallas. three korean women were injured in the shooting. authorities are investigating the shooting as a hate crime. the suspect's girlfriend said her partner had delusions about asian people. a new report by the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives shows there has been
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a massive surge in guns made and sold in the united states over the past two decades. the total number of guns produced in the u.s. has jumped from about 4 million in 2000 to over 11 million in 2020. demand for semiautomatic ndguns h grown t faste. by one count, there are noover 400 million guns in the united states. that's more than one gun for every adult and child living in the country. voters went to the polls for primary elections in pennsylvania, kentucky, oregon, north carolina, and idaho on tuesday. in pennsylvania, state senator doug mastriano won the republican gubernatorial primary. he is a far-right politician who was endorsed by donald trump. an election denier, mastriano took part in protests outside the capitol on january 6, 2021, and funded charter buses to take supporters to washington, d.c., ahead of the insurrection. he has long claimed trump won the 2020 election. if mastriano wins in november, he could appoint pennsylvania's
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next secretary of state to oversee elections. pennsylvania's closely watched republican senate primary is too close to call. television doctor dr. mehmet oz, who was backed by trump, has a narrow lead over hedge fund executive dave mccormick. the winner will face democrat john fetterman, who defeated congas number conor lamb even though lamb had been endorsed by much of pennsylvania's democrat establishment. fetterman, who is pennsylvania's lieutenant governor, had to miss his victory party on tuesday night. he suffered a stroke on friday and spent election day in a hospital where he had a pacemaker implanted. in oth races, the progssive candidte sumr lee ha decled victoryver stev irwiin a closely watch ngressiolace in nnlvaniaut theace has not yet en calle vin reived majorunding froaipac, themerican isel publ affairs committee, and the democratic majority for israel.
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lee is aiming to become the first black woman to represent pennsylvania in congress. in north carolina, the trump-backed republican congressmember madison cawthorn lost on tuesday. the 26-year-old was seen as a rising star of the republican party, but his campaign faltered following a number of scandals including allegations of insider trading. meanwhile, in kentucky, charles booker has won the democratic primary for u.s. senate, becoming the first black candidate in kentucky to win a major party nomination for senate. he will face republican senator rand paul in november. we will have more on these races and other results from tuesday after headlines. finland and sweden formally applied to join nato today , ending decades of neutrality. nato secretary-general jens stoltenberg described the event as a historic moment. >> we welcome the request i finland and sweden to join nato. you are our closest partners and
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your membership in nato would increase our shared security. amy: if nato approves them as members, it would more than double the border between nato countries and russia. current nato member share 750 mile border with russia. finland alone has an 830 mile border with russia. in news from the ukrainian city of mariupol, the russian military says nearly 1000 ukrainian fighters surrendered in total this week at the azovstal steel plant where they have been holed up for many weeks. ukraine has not confirmed the numbers. ukrainian officials have called for a prisoner swap but some russia politicians are calling for the soldiers to be put on trial or executed. "the new york times" reports talks to end the war have collapsed with russian and ukrainian negotiators further apart from an agreement that at any other during the war.
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point russia claims ukraine still has not responded to a draft peace agreement it submitted on april 15. "the times" reports ukraine has been bolstered by a flood of weapons from the united states and its allies. the u.s. senate is expected to vote today to approve an additional $40 billion in military and economic aid. meanwhile, leaders of france, germany, and italy are publicly calling for negotiations to end the war. on friday, german chancellor olaf scholz wrote on twitter, "there must be a ceasefire in ukraine as quickly as possible." he made the comment after a call with russian president vladimir putin. last week, french president emmanuel macron told the european parliament europe's duty should be to achieve a cease-fire, not wage war with russia. italian prime minister mario draghi has also embraced pushing for negotiations to reach a ceasefire. bloomberg is reporting the united states is preparing to offer india $500 million in military aid as part of an effort to reduce india's dependence on russian arms.
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india is currently the world's largest purchaser of russian weapons. president biden is expected to meet with the indian prime minister narendra modi next week at a summit in south korea. the pentagon has decided not to hold anyone accountable for an airstrike in the syrian town of baghuz in march 2019 that left as many as 70 women and children dead. defense secretary lloyd austin ordered a full review of the attack after "the new york times" disclosed details of the strike last year. according to "the times," the death toll was almost immediately apparent to military officials, with one legal officer flagging the attack as a possible war crime, but the pentagon covered up key details about the strike. the bombing was carried out by a classified special operations unit known as task force 9. pentagon press secretary john kirby spoke tuesday. >> we are committing, y, killed some innocent civilians, women and children, in 2019 in
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syria. it is all out there for you to see. we are admitting we made those mistakes, that we killed -- that our operations ended up in the killing of innocent people. amy: the u.s. treasury department has eased some sanctions on venezuela's oil industry as part of an effort to increase oil supplies to eope. bloomberg reports the agreement could also eventually lead to the u.s.-based company chevron resuming operations in venezuela. the announcement comes just over two months after the biden administration sent senior officials to caracas. u.s. officials say the sanctions were lifted to promote talks between the government of nicolás maduro and opposition leaders. the justice department has asked the house committee investigating the january 6 assault on the u.s. capitol to hand over its transcripts of witness depositions. the panel has rejected the request. the chair, congressman in bennie thompson, telling reporters that
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the depositions were the property of the committee. a new study in the lancet's planetary health journal finds that pollution kills nine million people across the globe annually, with the death toll attributed to emissions from cars and industry rising 55% since the year 2000. the study claims that pollution kills approximately the same number of people per year as cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke combined. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by democracy now! co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick, new jersey. hi, juan. juanhi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. and when we come back, primary voters went to the polls in five states tuesday. many chose progressive democratic candidates. we will look at the republican and democratic primaries. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "false company" by garcia peoples. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. voters went to the polls in tuesday's primary elections in pennsylvania, kentucky, oregon, north carolina, and idaho. in pennsylvania, state senator doug mastriano won the republican gubernatorial primary. mastriano is a far-right politician who backed the overturning of the 2020 presidential election and funded charter buses to take supporters to washington on january 6 ahead of the insurrection. meanwhile, pennsylvania's closely watched republican senate primary is too close to call. television doctor mehmet oz, who was backed by donald trump, has a narrow lead over hedge fund executive dave mccormick. though he is expected to make up a lot of the difference with mail-in votes. the winner will face democrat john fetterman, who defeated congressmember conor lamb even though lamb was endorsed by much of pennsylvania's democratic
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establishment. fetterman, who is pennsylvania's current eutenantovernor, had to miss his victory party on tuesday night. he suffered a stroke on friday and spent primary day in a hospital where he had a pacemaker implanted. in other races, the progressive summer lee has declared a victory over steve irwin in pennsylvania's 12th congressional district. but the race has not been called yet. erwin received a major funding from the neck and his republic affairs committee and the democratic majority for israel. she addressed supporters last night. >> when we cross all over the county, -- [indiscernible] amy: in north carolina, the
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trump-backed republican congressmember madison cawthorn los the primary tuesday. the 26-year-old was seen as a rising star of the republican party, but his campaign faltered following a slew of scandals, including allegations of insider trading. also in north carolina, trump-endorsed ted budd beat incumbent and former governor pat mccrory. meanwhile, in idaho, trump-endorsed lt governor janice mcgeachin lost her primary to incumbent governor brad little. and in kentucky, charles booker has won the democratic primary for u.s. senate, becoming the first black candidate in kentucky to win a major party nomination for senate. he will face republican senator rand paul in november. for more, we're joined by two guests. we begin with david sirota, investigative journalist, founder of the news website the lever, editor at large for jacobin, and former advisor for senator bernie sanders during his presidential campaign. i nephew minutes, we will also turn to nina turner, who earlier
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this month lost her race for congress in ohio after facing massive spending and attacks by superpacs. david, let's begin with you. you have a piece headlined "they are not even pretending anymore: democratic leaders are joining with oligarchs to try to permanently destroy the progressive movement." talk about this and what -- why don't we go to the states in the primaries that you feel are most significant right now. >> looked, i think the leadership and the super pac you mentioned really did make an effort to rigged these primaries, many of which you reviewed the results on, to rank them in a way to preference corporate candidates. there was millions of dollars that flooded into the key races in oregon and pennsylvania and north carolina to try to reference the conservative candidates over the progressive candidates in those races. there is some good news this morning, as you mentioned, which is many of the progressive candidates seemed to at least
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right now have overcome that effort to defeat them. summer lee, a great example, huge amount of money spent by pac and other super pacs to try to preference steve irwin, guy who had been a corporate lawyer running a corporate law firm, try to proffered some over summer lee. it looks like if the results hold, she will win that race. in oregon, two congressional races out there, the incumbent democrat kurt schrader, he cast a key up to go president biden and democrats drug pricing legislation. he was very tight with the pharmaceutical industry. a form suitable front group put a lot of money -- a pharmaceutical front group put a lot of money to try to preference him and that race. presidt biden endorsed schrader despite schrader try to stop biden's own purported agenda. it looks like is opponent is
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going to defeat him in that race. also in oregon, a crypto billionaire, one of joe biden's biggest billionaires, put a ton of money into a relatively unknown candidate and andrea salinas ended up winning that race. one of the biggest takeaways, you add in the fetterman race where he won the primary in pennsylvania for senate, taken together, i think you have seen is surprising backlash at the voter level to all of the money that is flooded in. it is been a pretty good night for progressive candidates despite all that money. juan: david, could you talk a little more about pennsylvania? obviously, it is always a critical state. talk about the lieutenant governor john fetterman, the front runner in the pennsylvania race. what is his history come if you can come as well as of the republican candidates in that
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race? >> fetterman is a guy who run for senate before. he ran in a primary to defeat an incumbent and when that lieutenant governor slot a few years back. he is a progressive candidate. he has run as an establishment candidate. i should have mentioned before, a couple of these candidates portrayed themselves on the trail as the opposite of joe manchin. that includes john fetterman. john fetterman running is the oppositef joe nchin ia ste that nghbors w viinia, andhen wiing tt contted primy. agn, thatsuge tng in that rac. fettern wonn a ra wre ere wereany candidates and one candidate, nor lamb, h gottenackingm a lot of the statesoliticachine, had a per p forim, a per pac that the lever rorted, h
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linkto healtinsuranc industry fettern ended nonetheless winning that primary. again, i think that is a very, very big success for the progressive movement. fetterman is organized, sorta seen as the progressive candidate. him being able to when such a high profile primary i think, against the establishment, that is a significant blow to the democratic -- amy: even as he had a stroke and had a pacemaker put in on election day. >> absolutely. that assistance to his credit of how much organizinand grassroots support he had. i should add he made the case throughout the state the democrats keep putting up effectively centrist candidates, "centrist" who have trouble getting working-class voters. fetterman is making an argument that democrats have to win back the working-class, and the way
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to do it is to make more progressive populist arguments. juan: and republicans in that race, dr. oz seems to have a slight -- a tiny lead right in that race? >> that's right. we d't know who the nominee is going to be. it is dr. oz versus another candidate, comes from wall street, neck and neck in that race. dave mccormick, if he wins, he could end up being the tougher general election on many in the sense he could portray himself as a glenn youngkin like candidate, now the governor. i thinkoz potentially is a weaker candidate in the general election but we don't know who is going to be there. you mentioned the mastriano race and the governor race. hugely important race nationally and in pennsylvania. pennsylvania is a purple state,
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a swing state, but there is been such gerrymandering in that state that there is republican legislature -- doug mastriano is a far right republican gubernatorial nominee going up against the democratic nominee, i guy i grew up with an happen in no josh sapiro for years, a progressive candidate who has gone up against trump election deniers, student debt company, major pipeline company. if mastriano wins the race, the republican legislature could quickly end abortion rights in that state. mastriano and republican legislature could also send a republican electors and at the four presidential campaign, despite what voters in pennsylvania decide in that campaign. that gubernatorial race i would argue is one of the most important races in the entire country. juan: wanted to ask you about something not on the ballot
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yesterday but will be very important come november, the date -- the redistricting in new york state. the democrats attempted to basically politically gerrymanr the state to capture what republicans havbeen doing in other stas. that was thrown out by the courts. and now the imposed redistricting lines have pitted a whole bunch of veteran democrats in very tough situations jerry nadler has been put into district with carolyn maloney. they will have to fight each other. you have veterans like jeffries, considered potential speaker of the house. redrawn out of districts, no longer living in the districts they represent. can you talk about this attempt in york has essentially backfired? >> it sure looks like a
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situation where republicans could actually make gains in new york and if you believe the polls at the top of the ticket, joe biden's approval rating, i think democrats are facing headwinds. yet a situation in new york were democrats could maximize the representation and because of the core process, of the situation where republicans will have a lot more -- potentially a lot more competitive races to run in in a year when joe biden may pull down parts of the ticket. you may have a situation where a reliably blue state is action producing more republicans for the house of representatives, which could prove decisive to the midterm elections in terms of the house majority. amy: this issue of redistricting is important all over the country. we are speaking to david sirota, investigative journalist, founder of the news website the lever. editor at large for jacobin. former advisor for bernie
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sanders during his presidential campaign. he wrote a piece this week headlined "they are not even pretending anymore." i also want to bring into this conversation nina turner, the progressive former ohio state senator who earlier this month lost her race for ohio's 11th congressional seat after facing massive spending and attacks by superpacs. she co-chaired bernie sanders' 2020 presidential campaign. nina, welcome back to democracy now! your take on the primaries yesterday? particularly, the role of big money and how you saw it laying out? then we would like you to talk about what you saw happening in your own race. >> i certainly agree with my colleague david sirota there are some wins yesterday for progressives. we know the super pacs, along with the corporate and oligarchs
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, we have cryptocurrency billionaires, oil barons, other corporate interests injecting themselves into these local races, it is a problem. what they do is they drowned out the voices. we don't truly know what -- if the super pacs would then check in and in way that they do. they particularly target women of color and going even deeper than that, black women. let's take state representive summer lee. she had a 25 point lead before they came in there. that is reminiscent of the lead i had last year when the evil forces jumped in, closed in and it was a squeaker and still is till this moment, although the representative is claiming a victory, victory that was hard-fought but it should not have ever been that close. thank god you had some democratic leaders in her state, in her city that stood up to both won and dmfi and called it
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out for what it was. i'm so proud for what her and her team have done. it is very much a reflection on the dark money, super pacs money that comes in to sway the wheel of the voters. one more point on this, those forces do not care about the quality of life or lack thereof for the people who actually live, work, and play in these communities. all they care about is buying elections. this caution is vitally important for all -- those of us who do believe in democracy, regardless of what candidate you support. this is about making sure the voices of the people who actually live in these communities are not drowned out, and that is happening all over this country.
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it is coming to a district near you. juan: nina turner, could you talk about the role of aipac and the democratic majority for israel in your race and why they felt it was so important to defeat you? >> twice, i mean, they spent over combined between special election last year of the election this year, upwards of $6 million combined. last year, the special elections, $12 was spent between both campaigns and the super pacs who came in. very expensive race for a seat that is the democratic seat. certainly, i was told by some of my allies, allies that i have that do the dance with corporate from time to time but support me, ask the question, why are these people coming at you like this? i am talking about the alliance between a corporatist democrat and the super pacs, and his person was told i was not the
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right kind of democrat stop that they meant i don't bend, that i come from congress woman shirley chislm school of democrats. these people are pouring in this kind of money because they want to be able to control the outcome that happens on the congressional level. this is it, plain and simple. you don't invest that kind of money without expecting a return. there's nothing spectacular about the people who they endorsed and supported, whether it was my race in particular, especially so, or any other races across the country. they are investing in corporate assist democrats because they want to return on their investment. many of us remember one of the biggest foreign policies accomplishments of president obama's presidency. you got president biden pushing for that and you have the person who benefited from dmfi money and aipac money standing with other democrats, thick about 18 in total, against that deal.
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one great example of them getting a return on their investment right away. but what happens the district like mine? ohio is the poorest city in the country right now. the poorest. one in every two children go to bed hungry. . at night you have sufferingn cleveland for the greater cleveland area but those packs that come in here, they don't care about that. they think that does she think they care whether the babies get a chan to eat her parents are making a living way? elections are being decided in boardrooms instead of valid boxes. amy: what does that say about the well-known progressives in congress last year you rent in a special election, congressional progressive caucus supported you, but this year they endorsed your opponent who had become the
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incumbent, commerce member chantel brown. why do you think this is? the have that many cpuc and progressive members from cori bush, ayanna pressley, jamaal bowman who did not endorse any candidate last -- this year, though they did you, last year? >> i can't answer for the individuals. they have to make a decision for themselves as to why to endorse or not endorse. i get that as a political person. i truly get that. what i will say about the progressive caucus is they were wrong. i'm excited to see progressive leaders across the country -- i'm talking about leaders who lead caucuses from california to nevada to new mexico, to iowa, those progressive leaders, about 11 of them in total all across the country, once the cbc did
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what they did come they came out and made it very clear who the real freedom fighting progressive in my race was. i applied the and i hope -- the progressive leadership elected leadership has a decision to make. either they are going to side with corporatist democrats and not do anything immensely different from them or they are going to be different. either they are going to complement the movement or they are not. i will say congresswoman jive paul in an article did say after being -- saying they may have to rethink or should rethink, how they do endorsing -- not to endorse people right away. and look at the kind of entities are supporting these candidates to determine whether or not they are truly progressives. the person in my race joint that caucus because she knew full well i was going to run again.
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people are suffering this country all over this country, not just in my district. we need the progressive inside that congress to be the one to stand up and call it what it is. that was not done in my race this time around. i do want to thank senator bernie sanders w was with me the rst time, with me the second time, and congresswoman acosta at his -- lc bang as well. juan: looking for the progressive candidate and progressive agendto move forward? >> the agenda is strong. we know the -- if we don't put the label on it, they agree with that agenda. gas in ohio is $4.55. it is going up all of the
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country. the minimum wage here is a dollars $.80, little higher than the federal minimum wage, which iseven i was $.25. look at what people have to do just to survive. they are barely surviving. the agenda that is being put forward by those on my side of this movement, medicare for all, living wages, making sure ople can unionize, protecting the voting rights, the overwhelming majority of people believe in it. what is missing is the fortitude on the side of the democratic party. the democratic party as a whole has to make a decision. is this the part of the corporatist? the child tax credit expired [indiscernible] going. those children that were pulled out are back in at a critical moment we have the pandemic --
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the pandemic is not done with those. you have inflation that is eating every little dollar that the poor and working middle-class have. we are going to keep on pushing for the policies that change conditions and the democratic party has a decision to me. one more point on that, -- amy:. >> the corporatist wing will do anything to try to defeat candidates. we cannot stand for that. weust continue to fight and we will. amy: uniturner, candidate for the ohio's 11th congressional seat. cochaired bernie sanders 2020 presidential campaign. david sirota. when we come back, a rare interview from the front lines of the battle of dundas in ukraine. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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, coda group won 2022 song
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contest over the weekend in italy and then live back to ukraine and were honored by president zelenskyy. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we end today's show on the front lines of the war in ukraine. in the city of mariupol, the russian military says nearly 1000 ukrainian fighters surrendered in total after leaving the azovstal steel plant where they have been holed up for ma weeks. is comes as "the new york times" reports talks to end the war ve collapsed with russn and ukrainian negotiators further art than at any other point during the war. meanwhile, the u.s. senate is expected to vote today to approve an additional $40 billion in military and economic aid tokraine. on tuesd, on the front lines, i oke to the indendent jourlist willi "billy" nessen who is in the ukrainian town of severodonetsk, east of kramatorsk, which is right up against the russian lines and under constant shelling.
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after having some trouble connecting with him, we did manage to reach him, although there were explosions throughout the broadcast until they blew the video image off the air, though billy could continue to speak. this is what he hato say. you just came back. we did not hear a word you said. can you tells what you're doing? what is happening in the city >> this is -- the explosions now i would say probably three minutes,ostly shells going back and forth between the ukrainian forces anthe russn forces. the city of 130,000 is a strategic point, barometer of which way this thing is going to go. if the ukrainians can hold the city, i think it is the end of any russian advances -- at least in this part of the country. so far the russians have made several attempts after constant
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artillery russia's to get into the city of the last couple of weeks starting about seven or eight. they first came from the et and came from the north and then have tried to encircle the city and cut it off from theity just to the west. there is fighting on the outskirts of the city. mostly artilleryuel that goes on probably three shells a minute and counting. will go 24/. the place where i sleep at night in basent, it was hit by about 50 shells all around it. even though there is no sttegic no military police or anything essential to t ukrainia, they often, besides barraging the ukrainian force someays theyust start elling citie
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there seems to be no logic or reason for some of the places that they attack. they have drones operating over the city, but the russians and ukrainians, so they know what they're hitting and not hitting. the hospital was hit several times last week. i was in a sports palace that was hit threeimes. the office where i was working out of, which is a humanitarian center, the back part of it was hit by a rocket and then a few days ago a mortar went through the roof. if i have been sitting in the chair where i usually said, i would have been killed. amy: talk about the people who were there -- do you want to put yr helmet? i can't bear to be interviewing u as we hear these explosions in the background. >> no, i'm ok. if it ts a little closer -- what happens here, after you
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have been here for a little bit, you can judge what is comg in close and what is not. it is city of 130,000 people. probably 15,000 people are left. you walk most of the streets that i walked down are completely empty and occasionally you see people walking out and about. people are used to the shelling. they can judge what is >> and what is not. 100 meters, 300 meters, that is considered close. half a k, no one even flinches anymore. the people who are left are overwhelmingly older people who are used to being here and d't want to lve. they are scared to leave. accompanying themre there children who are adults, you know, in their 40's. so you have this older population and then you have the next generation, and then
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complicating that is the fact the next genation has children. so the whole family ends up staying here. there are evacuations going on but people who are here right now, it is unlikely they're going to leave. as i said, the russians are trying to take the city and this will war be a baromer of the war. amy: billy nessen, you have had a long story career in journalism. you worked with the united nations covering south africa in south africa. in the global south, there's a lot of criticism of the united states and nato really provoking this war, not to say there isn't criticism of the brutality of the invasion but ever eastern inching of nato toward russi and i have sweden and fnland say they're going to join.
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why did you decide to come to ukrae? >> i was not only a journalist, but an activist and working d oriented toward issues of this out and what we usedo call the third world. i'm very much attuned to that stuff i actually put down -- i stopped working as a journalist and focused on raising a family. when russia invaded ukraine, i thought i had to come here. i can understand the perceptions the south has that this is somehow a battle of west and east some kind of world versus american imperialism. but i thought even though those issues are there, i got there was also a russian imperialism. if you know the history and the perceptions of people all around
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russia, you begin to understand there is something called russian imperialism and at times it can be worse than arican imperialism. i thought this is one of those times. amy: we are talking to you right as the soldiers have given up, the ukrainians, the azovstal steel plant in mariupol. how much information you getting? how does that affect the ukrainians where you a? >> we have -- i should say we don't have cell phones. we d't ve any water. we don't have electricity except the generator. we have this star link from elon musk is the only waye are speaking to you. everyone is cooking outside. there is no fuel to cook, just would. as all people and field people cutting down dead trees today in order to cook the food.
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people here are staying alive because of humanitarian aid coming in and i'm speaking to you from t center of that. we get news from the outside and we also hear from talking to soldiers and special forces and the police every day. people see that situation, mariupol, and the people who fought tre, as heroes, their lions, they clal them. even though they have now been defeated, they see it as an a norma's victory of ukraine -- enormous victory of ukraine. they're going to fight. if they don't fight, then russia is going to take over. so there is no choice for them. as i say, ty looko mariupol fenders as the heroeat this country. if putin went in to get rid of
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the nazis or fascists, he has enobled those people by the west who are considered conservative or rht-wing or fascists. we get a lot more information in talking to people -- i have talked to people in the asov battalion or brigade. they long ago were put into the national guard and their profesonal and for a lot of people, the fight that they waged showed how professional they are. i don't think -- amy: can you talk about the azov battalion, brigade? it is a white supremacist right-wing brigade and the idea that you are saying that it becomes mainstream -- there was a time
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when the u.s. put restrictions on weapons being sent that would and up in the hands of this brigade. >> well, listen. you know, the job first as a journalist i think is to communicate with the people in place feel or think, and then secondarily is the analysis. i think figuring outxactly w is who and what was what is something that is going to go on for a long time. if you say to them, the people here, that azov are fascists, they laugh at you. or you say that fascists have a lot of support in ukraine, people say, but the one party that was considered out of 39 parties i think it was considered sort of far right or fascist got less than% of the vote i think. in a field of 39 other candidates. zelenskyy is jewish.
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he won 73% of the vote in the second round. i think, one, they also say here there might be some fascists, but in russia, they are in power. they look to the vote in france or they know about trump and they think, well, america and france have far more far right people than they do in ukraine. people laugh at it. they don't have populist support at all in terms of an ideology, but they have got even more support azov as a fighting unit. i don't think it is a far right battalion anymore. it once was, but it has been integrated in the army and i think people in america and some in europe on the left, generally , what to say that means that the military, therefore the
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government, is far right or fascist rather than these far right people don't dominate that battalion and don't dominate the military in any way. amy: billy, i want to ask about restrictions being put on you by the ukrainian military or local officials that u can ta about. >> i will talk about it. i think every journalist, photographer, videographer who has been here -- and i do all 3 -- very frustrated by it. we have been stopped from covering the war itself. no one has gotten or rarely, it is accidentally anyone has gotten to the front lines covering the war. they might be there in some battle and something happens, but we have been chaperoned everywhere.
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i think it is a huge mistake by the ukrainian government. that is one of the troubling things that every journalist here has encountered. amy: why do they say they are imposing it, billy? >> they say they are concerned with our safety. we respond, t we came here knowing -- [explosions] ok. that we know the dangers. amy: why don't you put on the helmet. >> no, i'm still in a safe place. it is just so loud, it echoes in here. that was prettclose. so that is the first thing they say, our safety. and we try to explain and they ignore that. and the other thing is, they're worried that we will ge out some sort of military secrets. which is also silly because th ha drones flying a over.
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there are people, especially here, o do support russia so within this 10% of the population that stayed in this ci, i have met a number of themho are pro-russia. these people will obviously -- not obviously, but they are more likely to give information about acement of ukrainian troops than any other journalists. amy: as an american, do you think e united states is doing enough to end the war or is the u.s. helping to prolong it? >> as an american, i think the right thing is to help the ukrainians. amy: if you can talk more about -- go ahead. >> against an invasion. we should do everything we can to help them. amy: are you the only american there? have you seen american advisers? any talk about people from
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around the world you have met where you are? >> yeah. i am i contact with some soldiers and police here. overwhelmingly, the people i have met here in this town have been humanitarian aid workers. they are 99% ukrainian. there are a number of, you know, japanese, belgian, swiss, american -- i met a guy from mexico today. people are still being evacuated from here and they have to go along a road which is shelled by the russians, so these humanitarian aid workers are very brave to drive in a big van, -- [explosion] that was loud.
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that was close. amy: that was very loud. we heard the explosion and you froze for a minute. >> so i am not seeing -- you know, the american advisers are probably here. i am sure they are them real-time access to every bit of information that the american satellites in european, british spy satellites -- you know, their means are able to gather. obviously, the west is determined thatkraine has to win this war. our lisners, viewers might have different feelings about that but i think the determination is there and we are not seeing obviously a lot of what is going on. there have been foreign fighters here, but i think a lot of them, from what i hear from
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ukrainians, are not very effective ones. there are probably some. it is mostly not ex-special forces. [explosion] [sirens] amy: billy? really, are you ok? >> i'm ok. just right next door to us. amy: oh, my god. [alarms] >> that landed right here. amy: put on your helmet. >> i am inside now. qhoa. amy: describe what is happening even though we don't have image but can hear you. >> it wasn't explosion right next door. we don't have a video? amy: no, not right now. >> the shell hit right next door to this building.
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amy: it looks like your camera turned off. >> yeah, i don't know what happened. whoa. that was very close, within 100 meters. less than 50 meters away. [bleep] there's a lot of people camped out in a bunker over there, people that have been made homeless right where it hit. there is no military targets over there. this is ridiculous. amy: describe where you are. talk about the hospital. >> i am in a humanitarian aid center. just 50 meters to 100 meters away is where a lot of people were living underground and that is where that shell hit. an empty lot with people cooking outside. amy: do you see people fleeing?
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>> i can't see because it is blocked by a truck,. but it is all smoke. you can't see anything. [beep] they're not just going to hit one shell. we have to go inside. [beep] amy: should we let you go so you can deal with everything? >> it's ok. it's ok. that hit -- i mean, i was the closest person to it. what else -- i'm sorry, what else do you want to ask? amy: you have the sense that the russians like nato and ukraine working together? do you have the sense that they know what they are hitting? >> they know what they're hitting. they have drones all over the city. they know exactly what they are hitting. these are not mistakes. 99% of the shells are hitting ukrainian troops. 1% is enough to kill lots of people here.
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this is basically homeless people. it is like plaza must goni center. amy: are there many children left? >> yes, their children. anyway, it was -- that is homeless people over there, people. amy: in the hospital that has been hit a number of times, is it still functioning? as of the only hospital in severodonetsk? >> it is. there's a military hospital. they keep hitting the civilian hospital. they know. it is a big building. there is no mistake here. there are drones flying. yesterday, i saw a unit of ukrainians shooting down a drone. i heard a buzzing in the air, a drone. ukrainians shot it out of the air. i was there. they know exactly what they're doing. they could level this town. they're not doing that, but 1%
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-- every building in the city has windows that have been broken. almost every blog there has been an explosion, rocket or artillery or mortar round has landed. it is not leveled, but this is like, you know, slow-motion mass destruction of this city. amy: did we lose really? billy, if you're speaking, we don't hear you. after that, we lost contact with independent journalist billy nessen, who is in the ukrainian city of severodonetsk, right up against the russian lines under constant shelling. it is the easternmost city still held by ukrainian forces after almost three months of war. we later did hear from him sterday that he was ok, at
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least, for now. we have tried to reach him today and we have not been able to reach him yet. that does it for today's show. special thanks to renée felts and hany masood. (sophie fouron)
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there's something about the rice fields that is calming. the rice farming culture actually represents the balinese society. it's probably one of the most organized and structured societies in the world. the organization of the home, the village, the community; they're very welcoming. they smile all the time. and even if they welcome millions of tourists every year, they've maintained their strong cultural and spiritual identities throughout the years. they keep doing offerings all day and you see

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