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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  March 11, 2022 1:00pm-3:00pm PST

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♪ everybody dance now ♪ get 5 boneless wings for $1. with any handcrafted burger. only at applebee's never be afraid of your strength, because your body is capable of amazing things. own your strength, and see how far it takes you. tonal. be your strongest. hi there, everyone. 4:00 in new york. this afternoon the world stands riveted by the images of what is still a tragic and rapidly evolving crisis in ukraine. the u.s. accusing the kremlin of gaslighting the international community. the u.n. security council meeting earlier represent ifrs
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of moscow accused washington of supporting biological labs inside ukraine. again, that is a lie. an outlandish accusation with american research and birds, weaponizing migratory birds to spread disease. that tall tale in contrast to the brutalities on the ground. russian forces killed more civilians than soldiers. as american officials wrestle with the best way to provide ukraine with war planes why new economic sanctions announced this afternoon. president biden announcing bans on imports of russia and calling on eu to outline a plan for countries to deny russia the ability to borrow foreign money. this is how he described it this morning. >> putin is an aggressor and
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must pay the price. he cannot pursue a war that threatens the very foundations of international peace and stability and then ask for financial help from the international community. >> meanwhile evidence that we are closing in on a violent new stage, colleague courtneykube is reporting to watch what happens in kyiv right now. moscow's forces stalled there for ten days and made some progress in the last 48 hours. as for the russian convoy that we have been monitoring, satellite imagery suggests it's dispersed and deploying elsewhere. the fear now are they maneuvering for the assault? russia's offensive expanding west ward. one of them just an hour's drive if the polish border.
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things can change in a moment. the snap of a finger. he's's what's going on today in war-torn ukraine. >> 350,000 sandbags have been filled by these people in the last 2 weeks alone. while they do that, they fear that out there in the black sea there is a build-up of russian military navy with plans to try to mount some kind of an assault on the beaches of odesa. >> ukraine offers the first glimpses of the occupation after two weeks kerr son is first and only major city to fall to russian forces. last week they proudly protested. but that's all changed. >> not only are they blockade us
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from food and medicine and basic necessities but also preparing to imprison those who disagree, those who protest. >> this is on the northwest edge of the capital. and we found multiple vehicles and homes which had been hit apparently indiscriminately. those that can't or won't leave live below the booming war signs. about half of the population of the capital fled the city according to the mayor. smells good. smells good. >> translator: we're just waiting for victory and everything to be good again and trying not to cry. >> these are the bravest of women tending to some of the community's most vulnerable and frightened. >> as we shoot we are startled by the sound of an attack jet. a ukrainian plane racing from the camera's view.
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ukrainian's air force still in the fight and still so are the ukrainian people. does this send a message to the russians about the willingness of people to fight and defend their homes? >> for russians i can tell just one. >> reporter: the answer in russian profanity laden telling mr. putin what he can do. >> that's where we begin the coverage today. richard engel joins us live from kyiv. i wonder if you can tell me what that city is bracing for. >> reporter: they are bracing for what they're already seeing in kharkiv, in mariupol. they are worried that russia is regrouping somehow, that convoy which had been stalled for days is moving in some capacity. there are reports that it is
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reconfiguring, sweeping around to other parts of the city and there are the reports from the pentagon that those vehicles have been like sitting ducks on that road because they have been there for so long and now just moving to get out of the way of ukrainian fire and hiding under trees but everyone knows that the russians are not giving up. vladimir putin is not giving up and has tremendous amount of firepower to bring to bear. as you mentioned in that report just a second ago about half of the city's population is already gone and the people here are ready far fight. i was at a gun range and volunteers there, local people who are now deputized to join the police department. it is almost like the wild west in a sense that young men expressing an interest to fight
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they can go up and they literally the police will pin a badge on them and give them a gun and say you're the new sheriff on the block. this is new police deputies who are practicing with the weapons in a firing range, underground not far from where i am. people here are getting ready. training the sights. getting ready to find ambush locations and i can tell you they were excited for the fight. they want the russians to come and think that when they come they have a tough fight in this city. >> richard, i hear the air sirens behind you. president zelenskyy and members of parliament we speak to is calling for the skies above ukraine to be protected. short of that what is the strategy to protect kyiv?
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>> reporter: to protect kyiv there's a multilayered strategy. the army is here. they do have air defense systems. they have the legions of volunteers. thousands, maybe tens of thousands of volunteers manning checkpoints or in a restaurant in the abandoned restaurant loading bullets into their rifles. they are getting ready for guerrilla war and if there's battles in the city and the russians want to take it they probably have to do a tremendous amount of bombardment, damage because if this city is intact and the russians dismounted on foot or rolling around in jeeps here they will face a tremendous resistance from assault rifles,
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shoulder launched missiles, land mines that i have seen by the side of the road ready to be installed and had time to prepare and has prepared. >> if there's something you're supposed to be doing with the sirens going off walk and don't run away from us and tell me what is happening behind you. >> reporter: the sirens go off quite often. every several hours and sometimes hear incoming strikes and sometimes we don't and indications of fighting on the edge of the city. here in the center there's not been much violence and very few air strikes in the heart of the city. most violence and incoming fire seen so far on the northern edge of the city. the northeast and the northwest. but whenever there's fighting even there the sirens go off so
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it is something that people here are getting used to but one day there is the concern, maybe one day soon that every time the sirens go off it will be because there's a much more imminent threat. >> we had your incredible report yesterday. on patrol and something to the effectuating to turn a corner and see russians. did that happen? >> reporter: that was in irpin, the northern edge of the city. a small, little district for those that know new york well. it is described as hoboken. young families moved they could get a bigger home and a backyard and more space and it was a very
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popular area and growing quickly and russian forces have been stalled there for several days and not able to take the little suburb on the northern edge of the city? we went in to see what was going on. the front line is quite fluid. ukrainians have about half. the russians have about half but it's in pockets. you have to be careful not to run into a russian patrol. we didn't run into a russian patrol and we were with the mayor and tried to avoid them and they could open fire on you. >> and your reporting earlier in the week and i'm sorry to go back all week and been benefiting from the reports, first time to talk to you live. the harrowing scenes of the failure to secure corridors for
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evacuations. what is the latest on that in that part of the country? >> reporter: so a lot of the attention is focused on the 2.5 million refugees who left this country and they're heading to poland, hungary, eastern europe. and there are also many, at least 100,000 according to the government, maybe more internally displaced. i would say 100,000 is just the number the government said taken advantage of the humanitarian corridors and many other left the homes and every ukrainian is dealing with a relative that's displaced but there are about a dozen different corridors and these are corridors that are vaguely negotiated with the russians to try and stop the bombings so that people can move you out of kharkiv and mariupol
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and a number of cities that have been under attack and oftentimes they break down. they will be open for an hour or two and then shelling and the humanitarian corridor will close but people are taking advantage of them or just trying to escape and leave to other areas by any means possible and now feels like everyone is on the move and planning to look after the relatives, family. trying to get medicines to a family, cash to another. trying to reach people who haven't been able to communicate without internet or cell phones. everyone feels like they're trying to keep in touch with displaced relatives in a shelter or on the move or leaving the country. >> how much is the brutality of
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the attacks, the bombing of the maternity hospital in the minds of the military and newly apointed law enforcement folks with guns to defend the city? did the brutality of that attack and the city and the gruesome nature of mass graves and women and children targeted by the russians changed the calculation in kyiv? did that alter anything? is that on their minds today? >> reporter: oh, it is on their minds. people are glued to their phones here and everything is shared on social media. people are aware of what's happening in mariupol and in kharkiv and each image, there's two reactions. be intimidated and afraid or make you angry and want to fight and i think we are seeing both
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in equal measure but generally and it's sort of an old-fashioned division here breaking down very much along traditional signs where the women and children leave and the men stay behind to fight and seeing that from the east to the west, north to the south where the families will go to the train station and the men will be waving from the tracks as the family goes off and staying to fight. about half this city's population has left and the half that has remained behind is predominantly male. >> this is what you do but it's worth repeating you do it better than just about anything else. everything you send back we have aired here and great to see you and thank you in person. please stay safe. >> reporter: any time.
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we're here. we are not here for tourism. >> not sleeping. >> reporter: here to bear witness. >> thank you. thank you. >> reporter: glad to do it. >> thank you. igor novakov is with us, a former adviser to president zelenskyy. you, too, i wanted to check in with. our team reaches out often. how are you? >> i'm fine. i heard the sirens. got an alarm as well. richard is a perfect example of what it is like in kyiv. so many air raid alert that is we have a system to know where you are in danger and what part of town you are not. we hear them and then make a decision to run and hide or kind of stay up. at the moment the worse that will happen is some explosions. but i think it's really for the russians to strike around midnight and then they strike a second time 4:00 or 4:00 in the
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morning and then 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning. i'm not running the cellar just yet. >> how is your family doing? earlier in the week when we talked one of your daughters feeling the understandable stress of this. i wonder how she is doing. >> well, she is doing okay. there are a couple observations i wanted to share. the most surreal experience of my life. it is relatively quiet and enjoying the quiet at the moment. the relative quiet and really worried at the moment with the rest coming from russia about chemical weapons and sharing the poems about kem cam weapons
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compounds and how to remember what to do depending on the weapon is used. i mean, that's as surreal as my life got to this point. i'm not yet 40 but that's surreal. the younger daughter that's 2 1/2 said thank you to you and producers have it and they'll share it with you some point. >> i want do see it! i want to see it. there it is. is it okay to play it on tv? >> sure, sure. >> all right. let me see it. >> i love you! >> i love you! >> america. >> america. [ speaking foreign language ] >> you tell her -- >> doesn't know that much english. >> beautiful. tell her when this is done i'll take her to disney world. >> please, please do not. i'll have to -- you can imagine the universe. but the older daughter, she had a surreal experience, as well.
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doing interviews on american tv she reached out to me and grabbed my arm and said i want to talk to you. what happened? she goes like why, you know, why do you tell me that americans support me when they don't? that surprised me. she was watching tucker carlson. tucker carlson is, you know, probably not the typical american. just imagine the predicament to explain this. so just a quick message to him. we'd be happy to welcome him at our house in kyiv and see if he is still sticking by the beliefs. so that's how -- >> what would you say to him? >> look. i'm -- i don't argue with him but invite him to kyiv why calling himself a journalist there's a tiny bit in there why
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not see firsthand and then form an opinion? kids watch him in ukraine. it is difficult to explain to ukrainian teenager that there are more arguments in this conversation that she knows and she's a sincere as she gets. by the way, another interesting story, i'm trying to keep positive. people ask me why i keep smiling. a war against positivity and human nature and i think every opportunity to put a smile on my face and other people's faces. there was a baby born in a bomb shelter two days from us and the community was collecting different things. baby food and, you know, clothes and -- it's beautiful. like look. shouldn't happen but when it happens you have to see the positive in it so it's really incredible. >> can we go back to the
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chemical weapons story? it is a huge story here. this is russian disinformation amplified and i'm guessing why your 13-year-old knows who carlson is. the american ambassador to the united nations has been knocking it down today that american department of defense, state department, cia director, director of national intelligence have all called this out for what it is. russian propaganda. they seem to leave open the possibility that it's some sort of projection that putin is accusing ukraine of having or planning to use bio weapons because he plans to use them himself and you said you were teaching your daughters through poems what to do. is that a real fear? >> well, there are two factors that kind of unnerve me to do with potential chemical weapons
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attacks. we have been proven wrong time and time again about the fact that putin has red lines. he doesn't. we have seen maternity wards bombarded and the foreign minister say it was a set-up. she gave birth to a baby girl and there are pictures if they are watching. so they've kind of -- we have mass graves in bustling cities. that kind of makes you wonder where he stops and i don't think it's chemical weapons. secondly his obsession with kyiv. i agree with richard on before me. it is impossible to take it with conventional weapons. half the population left but still nearly 2 million people and plenty of guns and high-rise buildings. the city's been preparing for
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two weeks. you can't take a city like that. hitler used a million people to take kharkiv. so if he is still adamant that -- by the fact to take it, makes you wonder how because use of chemical weapons could be that advantage to use. look. also the stories they post. yeah. pigeons bombing russian cities with viruses is a bit too much even for me. you know? i have been dealing with misinformation for five years now. >> that's a harrowing scenario you outlined intent on taking kyiv and the convoys seemed to stall and it is one scenario that you have to at least contemplate. what does that do to you as a ukrainian, as a former adviser
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to the president and a father? to have to contemplate that. >> personally, we had a conversation with my wife yesterday and said to her that there's a line that we're not going to cross. if it is too dangerous and looking at chemical weapons you're leaving. as long as she has an escape route she and the girl cans stay. i'm staying. i finally figured out how to answer the favorite question of every interviewer. why is zelenskyy like that? why are you like that? are you insane? why don't you just move to poland and start fresh? look. the boast people to talk to about that is american veterans. why don't you just ask them why fight for your country?
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why not just move to mexico? why protect the people? why protect the women and children? you need to ask the veterans. kudos to america. you're just like us in that sense. you kind of cherish and respect and support the veterans. talk to them. they'll explain to you why ukrainians are like that and why american soldiers are like that. that's the best way to answer that question. >> former u.s. ambassador to ukraine marie yovanovitch made the same point that you value the freedom in a way that american history suggests we should value ours and not positive, not at the brightest point as a country as i'm sure you know. we have a shot through this interview of kyiv and a sense among the press that covers --
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the pentagon, the state department here of real anxiety and fear as today turned to night and the two attacks from putin that were not on the front lines took place as the wreckage in mariupol becomes clear. as the targeting of civilians becomes obvious and indisputable and the arrest of museum directors and where putin gained an advantage. can you give me a sense of the damage that your country has surred over the last 14 days? >> well, there are two kinds of levels. and dimensions to the damage. physically and infrastructurely we have lost our best people. we have seen numerous civilian deaths and as mentioned yesterday by the defense ministry russia killed more
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citizens than soldiers in ukraine. they are doing that intentionally. plus kind of planning to invite foreign mercenaries from syria to kill ukrainians. it is not about demilitarization and conventional geopolitics. it is genocide, a massacre. funny story. trying to see positivity in everything. we have intercepts of the syrian mercenaries and chatter that they will run to the eu as refugees. putin might be in for a surprise and out of a lot of money. it is terrible. literally leveling everything. destroying churches and schools and more than military bases.
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that tells the story. there's an important moral to the story. there's a certain lesson to be learned. everyone in the west talk about where do we draw the line? world war iii. it doesn't work in his world. if he wants to fight with you and wants a war with you he'll go to war over sanctions or a weaponized pigeons or whatever. look. there are only two possible scenarios here. either completely unhinged and therefore there's no need to be afraid of provoking him. he'll provoke himself. or he is sane and evil and basically he is playing you for a fool and wants you to be afraid of him to reset the maps back to 1945. in either case you fight him at some point. why not do it now and save the civilians? that's one thing that kind of
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like i can't understand. and the second thing i can't understand is why does multinational business stay in russia? trying to speak with international law firms. yeah? they're saying we will stay in russia. guys, you're paying taxes to get bombed. it is like dealing with al qaeda after 9/11. we probably need your help. try to reason with them. we are giving up on that front and no way rational ukrainian can understand why that's the case. >> the multinational firms stay there and put the money into a country that's as you said either evil or maniacal? those are the two choices? >> do the international law foirms and companies draw a line at chemical weapons? will we see an exodus from russia when they use chemical
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weapons? that's -- that's a scary thought. what's the world come to if it takes chemical weapons to realize they sponsor terrorism that's bad. i might be wrong. i'm ukrainian. maybe it's the bombs talking. >> igor, will you please tell masha that i will take her to diz nir world as soon as she gets here. as soon as you are free and check in with you over did weekend and hope to see you back here on monday. please stay safe and keep your family safe. >> thank you so much. >> thank you so much. we are grateful. >> thank you. >> thank you. when we come back, our esteemed panel will weigh in as igor said as the world watches russia's brutal assault, the war in ukraine. experts fear putin could be looking for another target after ukraine. how some of the more vulnerable european countries prepare and
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watching closely. how the world is and is not reacting. in the effort to get fighter jets in ukraine, it is notable to remember when the ex-president withheld military aid for ukraine. for his own political benefit. we'll revisit that scandal in light of today's assault. later back to ukraine and new reporting on those who have decided to stick and and fight. folks like igor. cal perry is talking to people who are preparing themselves for the circumstances there. all those stories and more when we continue after a quick break. stay with us.
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it is nearing midnight in kyiv, ukraine. the capital city where as we came on the air with richard engel air sirens were heard. as that city preparing for an increasingly aggressive russian military attack. artillery fire was heard throughout kyiv today. let's welcome in retired general vindman. with me on set for two hours is john heilemann. just back from the region. your thoughts to everything we have heard today? >> it is -- i think the question
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i think that i want to jump ahead. i don't mean to but i want to jump ahead to sort of the we have -- everybody that predicted that it would look we have seen in the cities where the bombardment, the humanitarian crisis, the war crimes, what look on the face to be war crimes, targeting of civilians, it is all worse and now we talk about as we sit here on tinder hooks and you hear from everyone with military expertise say you can have a six to eight-week campaign of trying to take this city and it raises the question of no one -- everyone agrees vladimir putin can't win this war and yet the other piece is that the ukrainians don't seem
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like they will be strong enough without actual troops on the ground that are not just them to drive putin out. what are we headed for? are we looking at potentially months of a bloody quagmire? what's the -- i don't mean to try to -- everybody wants to get to the end game and the reality is sitting in this moment we recognize how terrible this is. we talk about the refugees and a lot but i keep spinning that in my head which is that one gives me a scenario of how does this end? if putin can't end does he pull out? is there a world for that happen? i haven't seen a scenario of the outcome we want which is for putin to go home, at the best case, how that will play out and happen and what everyone seems to be bracing for is this assault on the city and days, weeks, months of this
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indiscriminate slaughter and what will do that to the pressure on the west to do more? that's the questions that are in the front of my mind. >> you are the first to prepare me for exactly what was going to happen and then anyone that heard you. you want to take a stab at john heilemann's question? >> yeah. i'd say just starting with the near term target we are ready far second offensive. russian forces around kyiv, kharkiv make sure there's logistics in place and try to get the convoy northeast -- northwest of the city moving and go for round two. i think frankly they come up with the same resistance. they're better prepared epa
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stiff resistance and not faced a force fighting for the capital entrenched. with regards to prepared defenses, 5 to 1. there's no way that the russians have nearly enough combat power to secure let alone assault the city. so he's going to resort to aerial bombardments and devastating attack on the jewel of i would say the eastern world in a lot of ways. the garden city is what it is referred to and wreck it in his effort to try to seize the city. the center of gravity for the campaign. if he believes he can secure kyiv he can move on and potentially get compel of surrender of other cities. you would need the military
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force in the country to accomplish the objectives in the city so this is going to play out in months. but it takes him -- seems to be hard to learn. the chauvinism of russian power and exceptionalism, not getting the message and as this goes on and frustrated i think there are things that we could see unfolding. attack on the maternity hospital in mariupol is the tip of the iceberg. i think a lot of political class doesn't understand how difficult this is going to be. how many civilian casualties there are going to be in the city over kyiv with a population of 2 million even after refugees departed. this will get worse and we will get involved and wishful thinking about the u.s. removed
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from this and the war not spilling over. >> that's the question. you laid out in detail the thing i said in one second. vladimir putin can't win and not only can't win this war but in terms of kyiv can't take and hold kyiv. looking at the kind of shelling you see happen in a much larger city like mariupol. that devastation playing out over days, weeks, potentially months but putin never achieving the military objective he seems to want. other side is the other premise is that ukraine though performing heroically and not having the kind of strength even with the weapons we are sending and the money we send and the planes that they want and we just don't do it as publicly as some suggested this week not being able to expel him.
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so is that not a recipe for a bloody stalemate? if that is a recipe for a bloody stalemate what breaks it? what are the plausible paths to breaking that stalemate? unless i'm wrong that you believe that ukraine could actually on its own with the assistance of the west currently expel the russian forces from the country entirely? >> i think ukraine can do this. they may be able to do it on their own but a long, bloody campaign. so really the question is, can the ukrainian military and the ukrainian population wear down the russian armed forces sufficiently quickly to avert a human tan disast ir? it doesn't look like it. the u.s. forces can reduce the
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costs by arming ukraine. providing ukraine with unmanned combat vehicles, air defense, pour in the equipment as the ukrainian armed forces need the ukrainians could very well achieve the effects on their own and grind down the russian armored formations. strike targets in russian basins. we could do that and we could avert the catastrophe otherwise it's a long protracted conflict and again the likelihood of spilling over because of the human toll is high. we have to remember in world war i we didn't go in and sat out the first three years of war. war started in 1914. we didn't enter until 1917. second world war the war started in 1939. we didn't enter until the end of 1941. we are dragged into protracted
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wars in europe. the best thing we could do to avoid that is to get involved. i think there's a very kind of famous line from winston churchill. americans will always do the right thing after exhausting the alternatives. that's the formula right now. i think there's a still great deal of wishful thinking from the administration to stay limited. we will be dragged in and need to make courageous decisions now that are not risky. risk informed. we are entrenched based on misplaced fears of risk. >> igor who was just on with us, former adviser to president zelenskyy, reported since off the air near kyiv and reports very loud explosions. we had the shot up since we were speaking to richard engel in kyiv. we continue to hear sirens and
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see signs that an attack may be imminent or at its early stages. colonel vindman, even though it is expected and watched for 14 days as vladimir putin's military seemingly incompetently at times moved kyiv it is still a new trauma, fresh trauma to see that actually seem to enter a new phase here. >> yeah. i have got to say that i really applaud your engagement with igor. i can't imagine a better spokesperson for his country. just an unbelievably charismatic. soaked in the same vein as volodymyr zelenskyy. a good messenger for what this war means to the ukrainian people, to our own values here at americans that believe we're modeling freedoms and individual
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liberties but we see the ukrainians holding the line there thousands of miles away. i applaud that. i think we're still some days away from the russians conducting an all-out assault on kyiv. they have not been successful in encircling the cities and pessimistic views but yesterday i watched some very good reporting. i watched the local stuff from ukraine on telegram channels and they had this amazing footage of a column, a russian regiment which is large. three battalion tactical groups to advance from the south and a close ambush is wrecked. and this -- a voiceover from a russian officer calling in to higher command and talking about what was going on and he said
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that the 6th regiment is gone. the commander is dead. i'm going to go to try to get a handle on the losses and the ukrainians reported these ambushes. i have seen them unfold. i have trained my units with javelins to conduct these things. they could be very, very, very disruptive on armored units. close together like that. and the russians just are not prepared for this resistance. they're going to resoft to aerial bombardments and really wreck beautiful cities like kyiv destroyed. kharkiv and mariupol. that's where -- we will come in and eventually come in and support with the kinds of equipment that we need and it is in this plodding, slow way we seem to consistently operate.
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>> i want to tell the viewers what's happening. and what we're going to do here. keeping an eye on kyiv and check in with igor and richard if there's anything that they have learned since they left the interviews with them. we are also going to keep control knell vindman and john heilemann with us and then turn to igor's fears and the conversations with his daughters about how to prepare for a chemical attack. the unthinkable. stay with us.
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it's a live picture of the capital city of kyiv, which we are watching as russian forces continue to draw nearer to kyiv in the conflict in ukraine grinds on, experts fear what vladimir putin plans next in ukraine and beyond while western forces say former members of the soviet union, moldova and georgia, are some of the most vulnerable. some of the neighbor countries on russia's doorstep are also deeply concerned. our friend, john heilemann, was able to sit down with one of those countries' leaders, the estonian prime minister. how she thinks the conflict will end. take a listen to that. >> right now, the goal is to stop this war, to stop the russian aggression, not to expand the war. and of course, we're trying to
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help ukraine massively, and we are with the military defense weaponry. this is something that has not been there before. >> the human suffering on the ground, we're seeing all this video now of all these indiscriminate bombings, the world is watching with horror. what do you imagine how this ends? >> it is heartbreaking. we are doom scrolling, you know, our phones, all the time, and it's like, really, and i'm asking this question all the time, what else can we do? but also, is there somewhere, somehow putin can back off from this? i mean, in poker terms, he has gone all in, so he either wins or he loses, and i think for us, putin has to lose this war. >> this is a lot of that psychological analysis that you offered that it has to go one
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way or the other for putin to leave. >> well, it's also -- when you spend some time in poland and up in estonia and in the baltics where latvia, lithuania, estonia have spent the last 20 years looking at putin and saying -- and georgia and crimea and donbas, saying, vladimir putin is going to do something larger, and telling the west this, and the west largely saying, you're paranoid. you're russophobic. you guys had a traumatic history with the soviet union, shut up, basically, it will be fine. and now they have this sense of grim vindication. i mean, literally, these former -- current and former presidents and prime ministers coming out and saying, you guys can -- we'll wait for our apologies from the west now. we were right before, and if putin succeeds and somehow takes ukraine, we're next on the menu, so they have this sense of very acute, we live on the border with russia, and we watched vladimir putin up close.
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we don't have illusions. we're clear-eyed. and you know, when they think about the end game, they worry about things like, is there some world where he gets some land in order to back off and they see -- they have seen him take these little bites and get something for his trouble in all these cases, and what she's saying, she's hard core, kaja kallas, 44-year-old prime minister, her mother and grandmother were sent to the gulag and survived. her attitude is, he's got to lose. we don't want to see him -- some negotiated settlement. we must defeat him. >> cut ukraine up into three. >> or there's some partitioning of the country. vladimir putin, dictators only understand strength, we've shown weakness, blinked too much. we must win this war or we're all going to be at risk and you see that in poland, all three of the baltic states, moldova, that same attitude in europe where you're on the front line, either of ukraine or literally of russia, there's a -- the stakes
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feel very high. they feel high here because we know, we think maybe this could be world war iii, but for them, it's life and death and they were what it's like to be part of the soefd union, it was only 30 years ago, and it changes the calculus in the way we see all this. >> colonel vindman, we'll give you the last word on what you think this weekend holds on the ground in ukraine. >> just to that last series of comments, i think there's a risk that the longer this goes, the greater there is a chance of fracturing the alliance. right now, it's ironclad together but the eastern flank really considers this a must-win, so -- and these countries are still sonch independent states. they operate within nato but they could make their own bilateral decisions as we see playing out with this kerfuffle over the mig-29s so this is one of the ways i saw this spilling over. the eastern europeans make decisions on their own about what they need to do to support ukraine, that might even end up being with troops or safe
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havens, whatever the case might be, and that is a real danger of how this devolves and how nato gets drawn in. this next -- the rest of this next couple days is going to be like roughly more of the same, it's not going to get really sharp and acute. i'm still very worried about mariupol, which is holding out. but not yet kyiv. i mean, that's probably still several days down the road. terrible thing to say, that's the city of my birth, and i hate to see anything happen there, but it's certainly not going to fall any time in the next several days or weeks. >> if at all. colonel vindman, thank you very much for joining us. we benefit so much from your expertise. the next hour of "deadline white house" starts after a very short break. ne white house" starts after a very short break. pnc has helped over 7 million kids develop their passion for learning through our grow up great initiative. and now, we're providing billions of dollars for affordable home lending programs... as part of 88 billion to support underserved communities... including loans for small businesses
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parents because there was so many explosions. and there was bombing every time. so, we had no choice to leave kharkiv and to travel. i have only one desire, that everything -- i want everything to finish as soon as possible. and to live in peace. >> live in peace. hi again, everyone, it's 5:00 in new york. midnight in kyiv, where just in the last hour, we heard air raid sirens going off. according to a senior u.s. defense official, russians have moved closer to that city over the last 24 hours and are between 12 and 19 miles from its center. the mayor of kyiv telling reuters this morning that two million people remain in the city and there are enough vital supplies to last a couple of
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weeks. the advancements on kyiv just part of russia's expanding and brutal offensive there. the city of dnibro, which had so far escaped russian attacks, was hit. and in western ukraine, russia struck airfields there for the first time since the war began. the number of refugees from ukraine now reaching 2.5 million as evacuation attempts are still very much under way. ukrainian president zelenskyy said that as many as 100,000 civilians have been brought to safety over the last two days. as russians stepped up their attacks, the u.s. and our allies have stepped up the penalties. earlier today, president joe biden formally called on congress to end normal trade relations with russia while also announcing new bans on russian imports and exports. he emphasized the importance of a united front against vladimir putin. watch. >> many issues divide us in washington, but standing for democracy in ukraine, pushing russia's aggression, should not be one of those issues.
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the free world is coming together to confront putin. we're going to hit putin harder because the united states and our close e allies and partners are acting in unison. totality of our sanctions, export controls, is crushing russian economy. >> and pentagon press secretary john kirby asserted that the horrors we are seeing and that we've seen over the last few weeks are due to one man and one man alone. >> it's a war of choice. mr. putin can stop this war right now. by agreeing to a diplomatic solution or at least just stopping the bombing. and the death and the destruction that he is causing against a nation that provoked nobody. against a nation that presented no threat to russia. all of this is by his choice, and all that blood is on his hands, and he could stop it right now if he wanted to. >> kirby today also disputing the bizarre and alarming disinformation coming out of russia around questions about
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biological weapons. today, in a meeting of the u.n. security council, russia accused, without a shred of evidence, that the united states supports a biological weapons program in ukraine. it involves birds. u.s. ambassador to the u.n., linda thomas-greenfield hit back against russia's lies and said moscow may be laying the groundwork for using biological or chemical weapons themselves against ukraine. we begin this hour on the ground in ukraine. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel is back from kyiv. cal perry is also with us in lviv. richard, we talked to you an hour ago. it seemed the sirens continued. we heard from igor that there had been some loud explosions. he's outside of kyiv, and we just wanted to check back in with you about what's happening on the ground right now. >> reporter: yes, back so soon. so, there have been explosions on the outskirts of kyiv. they have been coming from the
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east of the city, in the direction of brovary. there are several different fronts and approaches the russians are using to push in on the city. the main approaches are to the north, the northwest around irpin but also the northeast and then this relatively new front from the due east has been more active over the last several days. it was also in that area that a russian column of vehicles was destroyed, according to a ukrainian account in a ukrainian video of the incident. but the southern flank of the city still remains open, which allows ukrainians to leave the city. it also allows supplies, weapons, food, to come into the city. so, we're seeing a russian approach that is coming in from the top and the side of this city, but not surrounded it yet. >> richard, after we spoke to you, we spoke to igor, who talked about -- former advisor
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to president zelenskyy, who talked about speaking to his young daughters, the 13-year-old and a 2-year-old, about a bioweapon attack, about what to do, and about these difficult conversations with his wife about how bad it would have to be for her to leave kyiv with the kids. i imagine those are conversations happening all across ukraine. >> there's a lot of speculation, and then once you add in this idea of weapons of mass destruction attack, it brings a whole new level of concern. and we are now having that discussion because vladimir putin has put the weapons of mass destruction conversation on the table. first, he said that one of the reasons that he needed to carry out this special military operation is that ukraine was secretly developing nuclear weapons. and in all of vladimir putin's
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speeches, he kept saying that this country is developing nuclear weapons. it was -- and it was imminently going to get them, and then that it would be a threat to russia, therefore, he needed to preemptively strike. and then in the last several days, russian officials and russian propaganda have been talking about chemical and biological weapons, and once you start injecting this conversation into the bloodstream, and i think that's why so many officials are concerned at the pentagon and at the white house, why? why do this? why bring all of this up? unless you plan to carry out some sort of chemical attack and then you've already laid the propaganda base for it. i wouldn't say that there is panic here about that. at this stage, they're more concerned about the incoming fire, more concerned about the artillery, the things that are actually happening. but lingering now in the background and coming more to the forefront is this very
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menacing talk about weapons of mass destruction and why would putin be injecting this into a conversation, particularly at a moment where his army is not doing very well on the battlefield? and chemical weapons are weapons that are used out of weakness. they are used when you don't have another choice. they were used in syria because bashar al assad couldn't send his ground forces into villages. that's why he used them so often in villages, because when you want to go into a village and your soldiers don't have the equipment or the courage or the supplies, you don't send them in. you drop gas on to the village, and you empty it that way. so, the worst that russia does here, potentially the greater the risk, but at this stage, it's just talk, but it is menacing talk. >> it's horrific, and it is back to this conversation, is putin more dangerous when he's humiliated and losing?
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it seems that the answer is always, yes. richard engel, thank you so much for coming back twice in one day. please stay close and if anything drops, come back again. thank you, my friend. cal perry is live in lviv. we've missed you over the last couple days, but i want to ask you what you're seeing in lviv, if you can sort of take us through how the mood and the tempo of that city has changed with the horrors and the atrocities happening in other parts of the country. news of those, images of those in mariupol and other parts of the country obviously being shared on social media and to the degree there's still television news, all over ukraine. >> reporter: yes, i think the city is reflective of what's happening around the country because so many people here are either waiting for the war to get here or they're very keeping
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close tabs on it because they have relatives they left behind or they've left their houses behind and they want to get home. mariupol is becoming a place where the focus is really starting to center not just because of that bombing of that hospital but because of the situation there has deteriorated so much that we now associate what was a beautiful port town with this trench and this mass grave. that's how people now are talking about that city. it's this continued loss of identity as the war spreads. the same is true for kharkiv. kharkiv is now a place that is being discussed and defined by bodies laying in the streets. we heard today from the mayor of kharkiv, saying that in a 24-hour period, there were 89 strikes on that city, and it's just sort of impossible to imagine that folks there don't even have time to bury the dead, but that is the situation that exists there, and we know that the russians are taking heavy casualties there because there are russian soldiers laying dead in the streets there as well. in kyiv, you know, the attention
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is focused on that where my colleague richard engel remains, and in his words, it's tightening there, and people here can feel that. they can feel that the russian army is tightening their grip on these cities and indiscriminately bombing them from the air. today was a wake-up call, i think, for folks in the western part of the country. there was a strike about 90 miles from where i am on an airfield that is the first strike we've seen this far west since the conflict began. so, these air raid sirens that we hear kind of consistently hear have a new meaning now. for so many days, i think there were a number of people in the city who didn't take them seriously because again, i'm 350 miles from the capital and even yesterday morning, at about 5:00 a.m., they went off, and there was a number of people who didn't go to the bomb shelters and that's now changing because the strikes are now closer. what richard saw, i would say, weeks ago in kyiv, we're now seeing here in lviv, which is a city that is hardening itself for a potential invasion, and it is, again, it's sort of bizarre to say, because i'm 350 miles
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from kyiv, but you now have preparations. you now have checkpoints going on. you have these hedgehog barriers, these metal barriers that are supposed to stop armored personnel carriers being fashioned, being put out, and i spent part of the day at a gun store, which has been overrun with folks trying to buy guns. they've sold two-thirds of their supply already. they're basically down to hunting rifles and it is this story of everyday ukrainians who are not soldiers, who do something else with their lives entirely now buying guns out of fear they're going to have to defend their home. i spoke to somebody who said they're a program manager, and they've never held a gun in their life and here was a bit of their discussion with me. take a listen. what brought you here? what motivated you to come here? >> it's probably safety. that's number one. i just want to feel safe, and my family, safe. so, that's why, basically, i'm here. i want to have this ability to
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protect them from, like, other people that are invading our country and our cities. i'm not going to leave the country. my wife is not going to leave either. >> reporter: so, if the russians come, you'll stay and fight the russians? >> yep. >> reporter: is it hard to think about? is it hard to imagine? >> definitely. i hope i'll not have to kill the russian soldiers, but if it will be needed, i'll do it. >> reporter: it feels a little like this war is starting to be defined by the things that are impossible to imagine. we started with the invasion of kyiv is something impossible to imagine. we've arrived now in richard's incredibly comprehensive reporting about chemical weapons where people are starting to take that seriously and beyond that because of what the ukrainian president said, they're starting to anticipate and prepare for it. and then chernobyl. i've been reporting on chernobyl for a few weeks. the power was supposed to be restored there today. the russians said in the
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negotiations that happened in turkey they would allow ukrainian engineers to get there and rehook it up with power. that has not happened. and while the iaea, the international atomic energy agency, says there is not an immediate need, and that there is not an immediate danger, people here are worried about it because it is chernobyl, and you have that second nuclear power plant under russian control, which people here are concerned about because at any moment, the power could go off. so those are the issues that people here are dealing with, and again, you're now talking about more than 2.5 million people have fled. internally, at least 2 million people are displaced, and these cities are filling up. we heard just in the last hour from the mayor of krakow that poland is running out of room. it is larger issues and discussions that people are having. >> you've done some of the most extraordinary reporting on the trauma that those who were displaced from their homes within ukraine and those who are coming through where you are in lviv on their way to poland or
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other places. you sort of get their thoughts on their way out or their way through. and i wonder if those conversations have turned to what you alluded to at the beginning of the week, anger. >> reporter: yes. it is happening. so, these interviews we did at the gun store today, when you're asking somebody, and again, i sort of stacked the deck against these folks, when you're buying a hunting rifle for urban combat and a reporter asks you about a nato no-fly zone, i suppose the answer is more often than not going to be, nato needs to do more, and america needs to do more. but that is the conversation that's happening here, and again, you know, the playbook that exists that we've talked about so many times, that the russians have carried out in syria and in grazny before, that is a daily discussion that people have. they're expecting these hospitals to be bombed. the bombing in dnipro yesterday hit a kindergarten and people now talk about that without any surprise. so, you know, i don't know that
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it's -- the anger is palpable, but people are upset, and they're upset that they don't feel like they're getting enough support, certainly, when it comes to that no-fly zone. >> what is the sort of intensifying dynamic between president zelenskyy and his population, who, you know, that interview is from today, people are still taking up arms, willing to kill russians to save and protect their country. we talked to igor nobikov, a former advisor to president zelenskyy, who is staying with his very young family in kyiv until or unless things get even worse. hard to imagine from our safe distance here. tell me about the role that president zelenskyy's constant presence on the air waves and in western media plays in sort of steeling this country. >> reporter: so, i've been using this english cricket phrase, in an attempt to make keir simmons laugh, but also because it's very true. cometh the hour, cometh the man.
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it's a british saying. and before this conflict, this was a man who was a reality tv star, who was just a comic. he wasn't seen as more than that by many ukrainians. i'm sure there were some that saw him in that way, but every morning, he puts out a video. every single day. and it's partly proof of life, but it's partly to tell this narrative and to really flesh out this narrative that ukrainians know what they're fighting for, that they're fighting for their homes, fighting for their cities, and the russians don't know what they're fighting for. he also looks the part. i mean, he's in trenches drinking coffee with his soldiers. and there's this split screen that's developed between him and vladimir putin, where zelenskyy's in a trench, drinking coffee with his soldiers in the morning or in downtown kyiv, showing his office, and then you have putin at this long table, feeling detached. there's an interesting strategic discussion happening as well. he's staying in kyiv for now, and he's starting to rally the resistance around him.
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the americans in their discussions with him early in this conflict were talking about him moving here to lviv. this was always supposed to be the site where he would move or he would try to control the government from here. he hasn't done that. he's clearly made at least for now a calculation that he is willing to stay. there are people here who believe he's going to stay until the very end and even if that means it will cost his life, that's his purpose for staying. we'll see. he's clearly a top target for the russians. he's clearly making that calculation, and again, i think it's fair to say he's grown into this role in a way that most people did not expect. >> it's just amazing. i mean, the stakes for them are just what you articulated but still alarming to hear, even if it costs him his life. nbc's cal perry live in lviv, ukraine. very nice to see you, my friend. thank you so much for your reporting. please stay safe. >> reporter: thank you, nicole. joining our conversation, former u.s. ambassador to ukraine, william taylor, vice president for russia and europe at the u.s. institute of peace. john heilemann is back with us
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onset. ambassador taylor, please tell me what you're hearing from your friends and contacts in ukraine about the fight, about the damage and the brutality of the attacks and mariupol and about this capital city bracing for impact. >> so, nicole, i am in touch with good friends, people i have worked with and stayed in touch with over the years. i worked a couple times, met people -- my first trip there, my first service there, and stayed in touch and have talked to them, of course, since then. they are grimly determined, nicole. it is striking to talk to them about their decisions, and i have talked to people who are -- have decided to stay, as you've indicated. igor nobikov is a good example. president zelenskyy is a good example. they decided to stay, and a good friend of mine is now in the military. he wasn't. he was a civilian before.
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he decided to join the military and take up arms against -- he's saying he put his family out to the west and then came back and joined the army. so, there are these decisions that are being made every day. there are others who have made it into poland. i had a good talk with one person who was with her daughter, and she's in poland, and she's in touch with people staying in kyiv. they've made these anguished decisions all the time. it is horrific. it is brutal. it is unconscionable what the russians are doing to the ukrainians. >> ambassador taylor, i know i mentioned this last time you were on, but i'm constantly reminded of your impactful testimony in donald trump's first impeachment trial. and you talked about -- you described a country that's been at war for many years, and i wonder if you could just offer me your assessment of their military strength. i mean, the world seems so surprised by how well they're
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doing, but it seems that with an understanding of the fact that ukraine has been at war in the donbas for many, many years, that maybe we shouldn't be. >> the reason we're somewhat surprised, nicole, is that in 2014, when the russians invaded the first time, when they first invaded crimea and then invaded donbas, the ukrainian military was not in good shape. it had been hollowed out by the previous president, the previous pro-russian ukrainian president. it had been hollowed out. it was not able to withstand. it pushed back valiantly against russian regulars, but nonetheless, it was not in good shape. and exactly what you say. they've been fighting. ukrainian military have been fighting for eight years. fighting the russians for eight years, and they've developed now into a formidable force. we've seen them. so, it is certainly not a surprise to the ukrainians, that they're doing so well. it is certainly not a surprise
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to the military, who understand exactly where they're coming from and where they are now. they're the most battle-hardened army in europe at this point, so they are proud of that, and my friend who has joined the military recently was not a supporter of president zelenskyy in the beginning, and now, he's very proud to be led by president zelenskyy. so, this is a motivated force, capable force, well-trained and high morale. >> see, and these seem to be some of the contours that, if the assessment that vladimir putin had some assumptions incorrect, all of this plays into it. the other thing seems to be, and this is a question, not an assumption that i want to make, that while there were plenty of people with a natural affinity for russia, they are ukrainians first, that perhaps vladimir putin underestimated ukrainian nationalism. is that a factor in your view? >> absolutely. so, president putin, i am convinced, never met the man,
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but i'm convinced he doesn't understand ukraine. he may think of ukraine in soviet times or may even think of ukraine in pre-2014 terms. but this is a different ukraine. he has unified ukraine like no other ukrainian leader and it has crystallized into a hatred for him and a hatred for russia and hatred for those russian soldiers who are attacking ukrainians. yes, this is a strongly motivated people, military, nation that is not going to give in, and he -- president putin doesn't understand that. he made a terrible decision, a blunder. it's going to be seen, historically, as a blunder for him to have made this intervention, this invasion. because he didn't understand. his understanding was so bad. >> ambassador taylor, one other thing that's going on in addition to the fact that this is a battle-hardened ukrainian military, it's also they're very well armed. they may not be as well armed as
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they could be but there's a lot of arms flowing across the borders from the bordering nato countries, from poland, from non-nato countries like moldova. below the radar. i mean, having been over there for the last two weeks, i think americans in general are not as aware as they might be of how much -- how many arms are being pumped across from nato, and so i guess i ask you this question. if it's the case that the united states and nato are going to remain resolute in the notion they're not going to do a no-fly zone, what more would you say they could do in a concrete way on top of what they're already doing, to further the cause of the ukrainian defense? >> so, there are other weapons systems that you know that are from the ground, that can attack aircraft, that could be provided. there are electronic measures that the -- that nato can use against the russian military, the russian air force, that's trying to jam the ukrainian air force.
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there are those kinds of things, but you're absolutely right about the flow of weapons, the flow of these stingers that are anti-aircraft, low aircraft are vulnerable to these stingers as well as, and you're showing the effects of these javelins. the javelins were the ones that blew up that convoy. that's -- that is -- and if the guns come to smaller units, the javelins and the stingers are very good for that so those need to continue to flow in large numbers, not just from the united states, but from all over. those -- that's what needs to happen. >> we're going to ask ambassador taylor and john heilemann to stick around. when we come back, inside russia, amid growing fears that the iron curtain has slammed back down, how the russian people are now paying the price for vladimir putin's awful decisions to go to war in ukraine. putin's awful decisions to go to war in ukraine. later in the program, the far-right in this country is obsessed with and seems to agree with propaganda coming straight from the kremlin. a certain fox news host doubled down last night on those
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egregious lies about biological weapons in ukraine. a republican member of congress called ukraine's president zelenskyy a thug. that happened. we'll get to it later in the program. "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. eadline whis after a quick break. at intra-cellular therapies, we're inspired by our circle. a circle that includes our researchers, driven by our award-winning science, who uncover new medicines to treat mental illness. it includes the compassionate healthcare professionals, the dedicated social workers, and the supportive peer counselors we work with to help improve - and even change - people's lives. moving from mental illness to mental wellness starts in our circle. this is intra-cellular therapies. ♪ ♪ ♪a little bit of chicken fried♪ ♪cold beer on a friday night♪ ♪a pair of jeans that fit just right♪ ♪and the radio up well i've seen the sunrise...♪ get 5 boneless wings for $1 with any handcrafted burger.
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there's an astonishing resilience and perhaps a realization they have no option. it's not difficult for us to fight, he tells us. we're defending our land and will continue to protect it. but then he delivers a rousing
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call, not just to his fellow ukrainian men and women but also the rest of the world. everyone has to stand together, he says. glory to ukraine. our army will win. >> we've been discussing for the last hour and a half, ukrainian people and military that has exceeded everyone's expectations and thoughts. right there, another example of the stunning courage that we're all witnessing. that was reporting from our colleague from sky news, alex crawford, who's reporting there with ukrainian soldiers who are in the hospital after they were hit by russian strikes. as the violence escalates in ukraine, a call to action from jailed putin critic navalny who posted a new message that reads, quote, mad maniac putin will most quickly be stopped by the people of russia now if they oppose the war. go to anti-war rallies every weekend, even if it seems that everyone has either left or become scared. you are the backbone of the
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movement against war and death. currently, at least 13,000 people have been detained in russia for protesting the war since it began. that's according to protest monitoring group obd info. joining our conversation, william taylor. john heilemann is still here. ambassador taylor, what is the -- what do experts believe is actually getting through to russians beyond alexei navalny's many, many, many millions of supporters? but potentially, cracking into putin's sort of hold on his base of support in that country. >> so, nicole, it's a very good question. we are seeing the journalists, the russian journalists, leaving russia. they're swarming out, which is sad to see, because there's the journalists, the few independent journalists that are still there, are leaving. so that is making it very difficult for -- and for the -- for these news organizations who
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themselves are being shut down to get through to the russians. you know, one interesting thing, nicole. undersecretary newland gave an interview to tas, part of the kremlin news organization, and she gave a message, an interview to tas and said, people of russia, these sanctions can go away if you stop, if you stop. admiral kirby just mentioned that putin can make a decision tomorrow to stop this carnage and pull back. ceasefire and withdraw. he could make that decision. and there's a way to get through to these -- to the russian people, secretary newland was using that but you're exactly right. it's very difficult to get through to this -- to the russian people who are bombarded by the kremlin's story. >> and i wonder, you know, it seems to me that the -- the only
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way in which it is newsworthy that there are some people here at home parroting things that every u.s. official across -- we've counted five agencies today, the engagement, the cia, the dni, the state department, and u.s. u.n. knocking down as propaganda this russian talk of bioweapons program in ukraine. when it's parroted by a prominent american cable host, the most damage that's done is nowhere here. it's in russia on state media, and i wonder, with your understanding of putin's grip on his base, if you could explain how that's used by the kremlin. >> well, the kremlin uses every angle. the kremlin uses every fissure within the united states or within europe, and they try to take advantage of those cracks, exactly what you say. so, they're certainly going to take advantage of this craziness and this mad story. coming from some of our -- from our news anchors.
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so, this is going -- they'll take advantage of this for sure. that said, there is a remarkable unity -- i mean, you just described it. not just within this government. it's across the political spectrum, this unity against that kind of fissure. so, the russians have to be seeing that there is remarkable unity here as well as in europe. >> are you optimistic that -- i mean, i guess my question is, if you seek it, it sounds like you can still find it on a telegram channel, but if you don't know to seek it, it seems like putin's crackdown may have effectively shut out news from outside the country. >> so, i'm glad you showed the navalny clips. there are people who are speaking out. there are a large number of people going to the streets, a large number of people. large number of people being arrested, but that suggests that these protests are extensive and across the nation. so, putin may be trying to clamp it down. it's much harder. it's much harder to do that
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among people who know how to get through the internet and go -- know how to go through telegram channels, exactly what you say. so, the story is going to get out, and when the economics make it very clear to russian families that their rubles are not worth anything any longer on the market, that is going to -- that's going to -- they're going to be asking, why? when the russian soldiers come back for burial, the russian families are going to be asking, why? the story is going to be there. the story is not -- he's not going to be able to suppress it. >> ambassador bill taylor, it's a privilege to get to talk to you. thank you so much for making some time to spend with us. we're grateful. >> can we say one thing? very quick thing because i like to help clarify one thing. news anchor is not the appropriate term. i know that i'm not trying to criticize the ambassador. >> the ambassador is too elegant. >> he's too elegant to say what he really is, which is a fox news host of, a fox news employed multimillionaire kremlin prop began dis is who
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that person is. it's not -- i know he was just saying what you are supposed to say because we refer to them that way but i think we should start using the proper terms because that's what he's turning out to be. he's not just a right-wing -- not just pro-trump, not just anti-democratic. he is right now serving as a kremlin propagandist for a mass murdering dictator who commits war crimes every day. that's what that man is doing on national television every day. >> and notably, as somebody who monitor what's happening there, in the hour after him, there are now fact checks. i mean, we're going to turn the conversation in that direction. mr. ambassador, thank you again. john sticks around. when we come back, we turn fulsomely to russian disinformation and the strain of it that's taking root in this country from the individual who shall not be named. we'll have much more. ividual wh shall not be named we'll have much more hey lily, i need a new wireless plan for my business,
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russia is attempting to use the security council to legitimize disinformation and deceive people to justify president putin's war of choice against the ukrainian people. i will say this once. ukraine does not have a biological weapons program. there are no ukrainian biological weapons laboratories supported by the united states.
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not near russia's border or anywhere. >> u.s. ambassador linda thomas-greenfield in front of the u.n. security council today, speaking clearly, firing back at russia's representative, who echoed moscow's propaganda about secret u.s.-funded chemical and biological weapons labs in ukraine. she called out the meeting -- he called for deceiving the world. as the white house and top u.s. intelligence officials work to dismantle the nonsense they say russia could use, the threat from within the united states, which we covered here yesterday, america's own tucker carlson. he doubled down on the russian and chinese-backed propaganda again last night, calling it a story that matters. and as you might have expected, his comments are now appearing on russian state tv as the ambassador predicted. joining our conversation, msnbc national security analyst frank
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figliuzzi, former assistant director for counterintelligence at the fbi. also joining us, daniel goldman, who is front and center as lead counsel during that first impeachment trial over the ex-president's extortion attempts over the ukrainian leader, and jim warren, former managing editor of the "chicago tribune," now executive editor of news guard, msnbc national -- what's your title? >> who knows. >> let's just be clear. john heilemann and i are at the other end of the spectrum of legal analysts. jim, i'd like to speak to you first time, not about whether or not tucker carlson has the right to say whatever he wants, we're all blessed all of us here by the first amendment, but a former fox insider explained to me that while the internal dynamic as fox turned into a trump propaganda machine was this resignation that at least the trump story was commercial,
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vladimir putin is -- this person said, is neither literally or figuratively commercial. i mean, the world does not do business anymore in vladimir putin's russia, literally, and figuratively, 90% of americans think he's evil. what is the why in your view for someone as prominent and successful on cable news as tucker carlson to carry the line of someone terrorizing people living in a democracy? >> well, nicole and john, i don't want to get into his head, but obviously, he's got some clear purposes with what has been so far fairly effective misinformation and whether it's russian-speaking residents of the donbas being, you know, victims of genocide or the ukrainian military going after a kindergarten, that stuff is having some traction and when you talk about profit, be apprised that of about 123 news sites that are spreading misinformation in russia that
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news guard found, a lot of them are also benefitting from american technology and the placement of ads on those sites, notably google. now, a lot of the companies whose ads are appearing there don't know it and it's a result of something called programmatic advertising or algorithms which shove stuff their way, but nevertheless, there's big money to be made, and when it comes to the traction it's sort of getting, guys, take a look at a story the associated press put up a couple hours ago about how in this country, there are sites which are read by trump adherents, by qanon adherents and also covid-19 conspiracy theorists, which is relevant to us at news guard because a.p. wouldn't know, but the single biggest category of misinformation we have found in our three years ain't politics, nicole. it's health. and this was even before the pandemic started. and the sad bottom line, i think, is it's not just 70-year-old russians who pine for the old, great, mythological
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days of the soviet union, and it's not just small-town trump adherents in this country. it's also pretty bright teenagers in big cities and fancy private schools and good public schools like my kids who don't really know the difference between "the new york times" and tiktok and don't know the difference between the nbc news site and sites that are spewing crazy misinformation such as infowars. there's a real difficult in differentiating between trustworthy and untrustworthy news sources. >> you know, frank figliuzzi, we have had conversations about disinformation in this country for as long as you and i have been speaking, and it seems that its application has been more and more disastrous, that it's going in the wrong direction. i mean, as jim's talking about, covid disinformation literally killed people in this country. disinformation about the election being stolen from the defeated ex-president led to a deadly insurrection. at the united states capitol. and now, disinformation is
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propping up support for war crimes in ukraine. where is the coalition to fight back against the deadly effects of disinformation? >> we're behind the curve. look, there's nothing new, historically, about tribes and even nations in early history using something called perception management and disinformation, particularly when they're doing battle with each other. armies pretending to be bigger than they are or having men in more places than they actually have. it's all throughout history. what's different right now, social media with the speed of pressing the send button at 24-hour cable news where, as you pointed out, just a second ago, you're free to say whatever you want because you're entertainment, really, not news, and then the third factor, we had a president and we still have senior government leaders perpetuating and clinging to the
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disinformation. we are literally watching something that's never happened before. disinformation in battle, of course. perception management, you bet. social media on steroids, disinformation on steroids, aiding and abetting an enemy when even the former president now is still in that corner, still saying positive things, refusing to call putin evil, 31 republicans voting against aid to ukraine. we've never had the impact of social media and senior leadership together pushing propaganda. so, where's the solution? we're behind the curtain. we need to legislate, to regulate social media. we need to get those who still sponsor and advertise on this so-called entertainment channel we're talking about and the others to pull off of them. if we can pull out of russia, if mcdonald's can pull out of russia, they can pull out of fox news. we need an all hands on deck, holistic approach to stop what's hurting us the most,
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disinformation on a deadly level. >> dan goldman, it's all front and center, everything the case that you put together against donald trump in his first impeachment, and i want to ask you about the disinformation about ukraine and about the vote acquit donald trump for holding military assistance for this country. please don't go anywhere. r this country. please don't go anywhere
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we are back with our panel. i had a chance to interview the ambassador of ukraine. she lays out in details. i wonder your thoughts. the republicans voted to acquit donald trump for blackmailing president zelenskyy and withholding military aid. >> yeah, the line of that impeachment to where we are today is pretty clear. we are talking about this information well that's exactly what donald trump wanted volodymyr zelenskyy to endorse is to completely bogus and made-up theories, information of russian propaganda. fiona hill, another witness, i feel like several on here today
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that she identified that ukraine 's server theory as propaganda that was originated by vladimir putin in early 2017. the relationship between donald trump and the republican party and the russian disinformation, to where we are today completely entangled together. as you point out we don't see donald trump criticizing vladimir putin at all. we see tucker carlson and others on the right chanting vladimir putin and opposing ukraine. it is dangerous because it gives allies to vladimir putin that he does not have. they're using it on state television. the extortion that donald trump tried to use it against
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zelenskyy shows a couple of things. it shows back then president zelenskyy was as tough guy, he did not succumb to donald trump pressure even though we are seeing how desperately he needs that military assistance and the degree donald trump controls and carlson in that wing controls the republican party because they all acquitted donald trump, they all didn't care it seems very much about the military assistance actually got to ukraine. and, he was emboldened and he turned the election into his own personal vendetta to keep power and now here we are today where democracy is imperil in ukraine
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and here in the united states. >> rooted on tv but just bs, they did not give a bleep about zelenskyy defending himself at a time of war. they didn't care about that at all. they didn't vote to convict donald trump. so to any criticism lands at the thut for me. >> yes, it is true they did not care at all about zelenskyy, the greater thing to say is they cared only about one thing which was their plea to donald trump.
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as long as donald trump's skin in the game, they may care about it. that tells you how much they actually cared about it. you know they're in various ways in donald trump's issues. the next week, watch the ways in which republicans are going to play politics on the ukraine, it is already starting to happen now and it is happening on the gas prices and the oil embargo. now we'll beat joe biden for raising gas prices. they tried to get in on this trade relation things and pmtr issued today. republicans we'll start to see a lot of domestic politics creeping. it is going to be pretty cynical. >> the whole thing is cynical. >> of course. i agree with you as i say this. i always do. >> thank you, our time is too short. thank you all, thank you my friend for spending two hours on
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thank you so much for letting us into your home as another week of shows during these extraordinary times. "the beat" with ari melber starts now. >> welcome everyone, tonight as russia expands their attack on ukraine. near the capitol of kyiv. the footage that we got on the ground with ukraine. ukrainian soldiers engaging in direct combat while advancing towards the village that's held by the russians. one soldier could be heard saying, quote, "this is for the bombing of mariupol." the footage was shot by a crew of journalists. journalists are in the danger zone

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