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tv   The Bottom Line  Al Jazeera  May 8, 2022 4:00am-4:31am AST

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spoke al jazeera investigative program fault lines, were tons with a special theories on abuse in the boy scouts of america. lebanon goes to the polls, but will political change helped the country find its way out of its crippling economic crisis may on al jazeera, ah, ah, i moline site in doha. here top story is on al jazeera, ukraine's government says all civilians have been evacuated from the steel plant in the southern city of mario pole. for mon civilians and soldiers had been trapped inside the facility as russia intensified its attacks as had beg has more from ukraine. central city of oman out and safe crane says all women, children, under elderly,
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have been evacuated from the as of stuart steel touch with for months. the sheltered in underground bunkers, while ukrainian fighters from the as of battalion attempts to prevent russian soldiers from completely taken over the port city. president zalinski repeatedly called them the united nations to hope to lead civilians to safety through humanity in corridors. deborah, among them is not. i want to thank the teams of the international committee of the red cross and the united nations for helping us carry out the 1st phase of the as of stall plants evacuation mission, we managed to save more than 300 people. women and children, tional, russia agreed to a number of these fires to facilitate evacuations. both keven moscow repeatedly accused one another of violating the truce. more miss hundreds of civilians were eventually evacuated in multiple operations, led by the united nations. taken to
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a nearby village away from the shelling but to the fate of craning fighters still in still worse, it's unclear if president vladimir putin will be able to declare victory. mary pulled in time for may. 9th, a day where russia celebrates the soviet union's will go to victory over the nazis . i said big a da 0 woman. the director of the u. s. intelligence agency. the cia says he's convinced vladimir putin is doubling down on the war in ukraine. william ban says despite the resistance from ukrainian forces, the russian president is not willing to lease holds of open for the confirmation of hong kong. next leader, an election committee of 1500 people vested by beijing will make the choice. john lee is the only candidate in the race to succeed carry. lamb lee was the head of security during the 2019 pro democracy protests. adrian brown. as the latest from hong kong. we knew what the outcome was going to be when the election campaign
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began. because he is the sole candidate in this selection. now john lee was a performer, security chief here. he was also a courier policeman, spending 40 years in the police force. and i think beijing really likes his kind of tough guy image. his loyalty to beijing is unquestioned. he played an instrumental role in the protest here in 20192020, suppressing those protests. he endorsed the use of rubber bullets of tear gas and occasionally live rounds. he also played a key role in the implementation of a new national security law, which beijing impose on hong kong in 2020 which effectively criminalizes all forms of protest. the question is, you know, john lee has the backing of beijing, but can you get the trust of the people, the 4500000 registered voters of hong kong, who of course will have no say in the selection china had promised hong kong would be able to select, it's the to choose. it's theda by universal suffrage. that is stated in the basic
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law, which is essentially hong kong constitution. but critics say that beijing's commitment to that to the moment is no longer the way it once was. it's diminishing taliban leaders in afghanistan have older women to cover their entire body while in public and decree says if a woman refuses to cover her body from head to toe, her father, a male relative can be sent to prison. a european union envoy will visit iran on she's days block seeks to save the 2015 nuclear coal talks revive the deal have been on hold since march and manual macro has been sworn in for a 2nd term is french president is promised to build a stronger france and avoid the mistakes of his 1st term as he had last nice continues here now does air out bottom line. ok
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. hi, i'm steve clemens in today. i have 2 questions. first is nader, succeeding and walking. the fine line between defending ukraine and direct confrontation with russia and later in the show, what's going on in president to landscape mind these days? let's get to the bottom line. ah, one of the major effects of the war and ukraine is that it has revive nato. just a couple of years ago. the alliance of western countries was being bashed on a daily basis by former us president donald trump, who constantly said that america pays too much to defend europe. but now the u. s. government has poured billions into ukraine and president joe biden has asked for another $33000000000.00. the flow of weapons from the west to ukraine is the biggest supply since world war 2. but all of this also comes at the expense of europe stability, which was the point of creating nato in the 1st place. moscow is now demanding that
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nato stop supplying weapons, the ukraine, and stop trying to recruit more eastern european countries to the pro western alliance. so what should we expect in the coming months, especially as the war drags on with no end in sight? today, we're talking with the deputy secretary general of nato mer chair joe. not a diplomat and politician from romania who served this is countries foreign minister and president of the senate, deputy secretary general. thank you so much for joining us. i want to ask you right now is we watch the intensity of fighting in ukraine? we see this crisis, we see the escalation and rhetoric from people like russian foreign minister, sergey lab. rob is nato ready for a potential escalation if this war spills into nato territory. how will nato respond? we are indeed entering co decisive stage of the war that russia has waged against ukraine in the don't boss in the south. so anticipate the next few weeks to be really decisive. he wouldn't the war could really drag on for
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a longer period of time. for the time being other than the the rhetoric. oh, would you condemn her by russian leaders? we do not see in military terms, indications for russia willing or able to escalate the situation. would nato, probably the fact that nato has be mobilizing a significant additional force is on these them flank that we have activating for the 1st time in history. the, the defense plans for, for these them flank countries is a significant symbol of deterrence and strength of the alliance. so the war probably will, will re john even more intensely with even more casualties with more sacrifice. but this timing point to do not see a risk of escalation between russian nato. and we also trying to avoid an escalation between nathan russian. i cannot imagine how complex your job is there. a lot of members of nato. there are new ones like finland and sweden that are talking about joining. ah,
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that still on the table for other states as well. i think before this crisis, nato was kind of taken for granted. i think people felt nato's there. but now we see a new purpose, we see a revived sense of purpose of that alliance. how healthy is it? tell us about the inner workings that you have to deal with every day, with these different delegations, different militaries. i just want to give our audience a sense of the inner picture. since i've been in this in this game, and that is line of war for many years, as you, as you said, steve, i've never seen nato so united are never seen a common sense of purpose. and in a way, is this war that, that the russia, waves against ukraine, galvanized in a way, nato, but not all public opinions. something that i think is just extraordinary is not only the fact in which governments, u. s. government, england, u, k. romania, whatever. nato, yes, don't turbo myself. will react on these crises, you know,
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very professional in united way. but all public opinions, all businesses, when russia wage the cyber attack against ukrainian satellite, providing telecom and international ukraine, all of a sudden an american private company came to the rescue. we're seeing and g o is raising money for, for, for ukraine, refugees. so what i think is just a remarkable is not only the political or military side of nato re galvanized, but our democracies all public opinions, our businesses, our citizenry. and this is something i believe is nothing short of formidable. and we hope to keep this momentum a going for it. has there been a kind of, i don't know how to put it otherwise than a kind of polite surprise at the resilience of all the ukrainians after this invasion. ah, 8 polite surprise about vladimir zalinski is ah resilience. in this moment, in his leadership, we have been training as nato or nato countries individually the on forces of
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ukraine since 2014, after the legal annexation of crimea, and the occupation of eastern part of the dumbass. so we knew that ukraine as a military has been to inform dean to a quiz. i nato standard, while russia has remained as a post soviet army. and i think the, the difference in commandment control in, in, in the quality of, of leadership in the military was not something that surprised us. what i think everything was surprised by the immense bravery of ukrainian people as a whole, beyond the military. the fantastic um, initiate communication skills and harry's but present zalesky and he's theme. so this is where i say we were pleasantly surprised by the resolve of, by the level of sacrifice, by the level of, of, of ambition to the found a land. this is where we're surprised, but in terms of the transformation of the ukranian armed forces,
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we are not surprised because they already a more than arby and with a support to get from nato allies, they're becoming even more affordable, formidable as we speak. and this is our intention to continue to help ukraine in his just fight against her. the aggression of russia were chairman, i take the liberty of asking you a question. not about nato. i mean, you and i have known each other for many, many years. and you are a leading off face of of romanian, civil society and civic engagement. you've been president of the senate there, foreign minister ambassador there. i'm just interested in how this crisis has changed, how an average romanian citizen feels about their place because they're pretty close to russia. they're also part of nato. but as it changed the internal dynamic of identity and how romanians feel in this moment. you know, many of the younger generations were taking democracy and freedom for granted in a way because you are part of nato because we are part of european union because we
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are part of the western family of nations. but i think this war is, was also a brutal wake up coal for many of our citizens, not only in romania, i think all the countries in the eastern flank, but even more importantly, for countries in western europe. germany look at the see change of the public attitudes and the strategic culture in berlin, which was absolutely formidable. look at the change in edaly, look at the change in france in the u. s. in, in, in, in canada, in the you k. so i think for all of us, new commerce into nato, like my country, older members of nato, from the very beginning, we were basically in, in, in face of the reality and a brutal reality that war is possible in europe. something we can see that will never happen again after the 2nd world war and look, worries back in europe. so eat away. this is a, a drama for ukrainians and for europe. but he's also a fantastic wake up coal. as short re re knowing our vows to democracy and nato and
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security. and that's how my fellow romanians feel. we are so lucky to be nato. we're so lucky to be in the you and we have the obligation to have ukrainians down down dep legitimate way to join us in european union. let me just ask you finally mr. deputy secretary general and 1st thank you for your service and what you're doing. it for joining us today. i know in november that you were hoping that the russians would agree to an honest dialogue to diffuse tensions that they would go there. we haven't seen that take part. i don't know our way out of this. but one of the obvious questions is, is this now a permanent new cold war where we have essentially another dark line across nations in their futures? as we've seen, how sanctioned russia is to day, we see other complicit nations with, with what rushes doing and belarus and others. you lived on the other side of that wall with the west, from the west when you grew up. and so, you know,
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a lot about walls and you know, a lot about bleakness. when it comes to futures. what is your since, ah, what does your gut tell you? is this something now we're going to be at for decades ahead or do you see any off ramp in the near term where we can avoid that dark future of another harsh line between russia and its interests and the rest of the world? it is no mystery that, oh, the russia, nato, russia. oh america, russian, europe, europe relationship is the lowest point in many decades. that's effect. and as long as russia would continue to be an aggressive, her player will occupy east neighbors illegally. of course, the relationship will stay at the very low level. at the same time, we're not in the business of ruling out a future relationship with russia, which is a big country, a great people, great history,
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great culture. so when russia were realised that this is not the way to approach european secuity and to engage is neighbors and, and its partners in europe. i dunno. draw out a moment in time. i don't know when, but the moment in time when things were, if not come back to normal. when some form of, of, of dialogue, russia would resume. but as long as they occupy the territories they behave like they behave will be very difficult for us to, to, to do that. but again, we are not ruling out that in the future and a moment of rushes choosing in away. when they changed course. i know that would be ready to re engage with them. was that the changing the way in which they approach a security politics and also values. and this is something very important for nato, deputy secretary general of nato mac. jonah, thanks so much for your candid thoughts. and joining us today now we turned to the issue of what's going on inside the head of ukrainian president vladimir zalinski
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these days. and we're fortunately talking with a journalist who shadowed to lensky scheme for 2 weeks and interviewed him in his compound key of simon schuster is a correspondence for time magazine. and his cover story comes out this week. how zalinski leads, simon, it's an incredible bit of reporting. i had chills, reading what you were sharing about being with ukraine's president under extraordinary circumstances. you were there, i guess my 1st comment to you is you don't get it share with our viewers right now at what the sense of that is. and i would also just ask you as a, you know, a fellow in this, how have, how has your reporting in this incredible, me put here, you know, anti magnets? is that this incredible document not shared with the russians, his habits and where he's going. so yes, as you said, i've spent about 2 weeks i basically with the, the president's team at the presidential compound. he hasn't made any secret of
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where he is. that's one thing that really surprised me from the beginning of the invasion. on day 2, he posted a video of himself standing outside in the courtyard of the presidential compound there and q on bunker was street. and when i saw that video is like what, what is still there? what is he do? how was he not run? but that was the message of the video that he is not running. he's not going away. there's been no secret as to where he is. and, you know, the, his message explicitly and implicitly to the russians is, you know, come and get me. i'm, i'm not going anywhere so, so my, my request to, to him and his team was to go in there and essentially see what their life has been like, wow, they experience this war and they allowed me to do that. you know,
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you interviewed him and you knew him when he was a comedian, which was fascinating, bit of background that you had with him personally. what are some of the changes you've seen since the invasion of ukraine and since his remarkable leadership in these horrible circumstances. yeah i, i've been lucky enough to know him for about 3 years. i 1st profile him for a piece of time magazine at the time, not a cover story. when he ran for president in 2019, there was a bit of a quirky story, not a huge one as far as the global news agenda, a comedian running for president. and, you know, emerging in the, in the polls, the likely winner. so i went to keep at the time and i met him at stage of his comedy show, which was kind of doubling as his campaign platform. his campaign rally. it was a variety show and here where he was, the. busy star,
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there was singing and dancing, and sketch acts and things like that. so. so of course, you know that the zalinski i met back stage of that show was a very different person than, than the one that we've seen. you know, in this invasion at the time he was quite naive about politics. generally, he was very optimistic and confident in his ability to, you know, find a way to strike a piece, deal, or reach, reach some kind of a chord with vladimir putin and russia. and indeed he tried to do that for the 1st 2 years of his tenure as president after he won those elections. um, he grew more and more disillusioned with the possibility of doing that in those 2 years. and then, you know, since the invasion it's, it's a very different man. he's, he's grown a lot more hard a tougher. you could say um, in some ways, much more confident in his own,
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his own sense of his role as a leader. he doesn't doubt himself as much as i saw him a doing in earlier interviews. so this interview for this cover was my 4th interview with him over his career as a politician and, and the changes have been, you know, pretty interesting to observe and, and, and dramatic in this pretty extraordinary career. he's had, we know that ukraine as it divided country was a divided country in some ways. what have been those that sort of thought they were tilting wanted to tilt more towards russia? have they been moved by seeing this invasion? are they impressed now with the lansky, have you talked to people that might not all have been in lock step but, but before present zalinski before this invasion? yes, i don't think it honestly that a group of voters will make up a significant block, you know, at the end of this war. and i think the invasion has absolutely disgusted. every
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one i spoke to who may have been more open to some kind of restoration of normal relations with russia in the past. that's all over, you know, there, there was maybe a constituency that you could say was pro russian before this invasion. there was certainly a of significant party in the parliament of ukraine. they represented in some ways, russia's interests or acted as a proxy or stand in for russia. and it's talking points politically and ukraine. that party is essentially gone as a, as a political player. i don't think it has a power base anymore. i mean, think about it. so russia promised or claimed that it was invading ukraine in order to save the people of eastern ukraine. the regions of the country where, you know, people say they're, they're more, can russia leaning voters, but what's happened to those regions? they've been totally decimated by this war. thousands of people have been killed by
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this invasion, were supposedly, you know, the electorate of, of the pro russian forces in the ukrainian parliament. so there's just, there's not a leg to stand on politically after this conflict during this conflict. for any politician in ukraine who says, you know, let's, let's get along with russia. and let's make nice and let's, let's try to try to follow some of vladimir putin's ideas about what ukraine needs to look like that those days are over. i don't think there's any realistic scenario where russia has a kind of political vehicle for, for pursuing its interests inside ukrainian politics after this is done. now, you know, you're a real reporter, you're in the middle of it. you can, you can take for sandra, sporting, but we're seeing the signals and i'm interested in information and what the north star is in a mo, at the moment when there is, there are major efforts of disinformation out there. but, but when you're in the middle of this, and you see, you know,
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presidents lensky wanting to raise the hopes of people, how do you yourself advise people who are looking in this to be able to separate fact from fiction? i this this tough, i mean i report what i can hear from reliable sources the know to be true. again, i'm not sure it's, it's my role to educate your viewers or, or my readers and media literacy. i hope they read and watch reliable sources of information. you know, i think you have every side in a war, generally fries to win over the hearts and minds of the other side in the global community that's watching the conflict. president zalinski has certainly devoted a lot of his time. you know, when i was there hanging around the presidential compound, you know, i'd say the bulk of his time is devoted to what you might call, you know,
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communication strategy, right? giving speech, writing speeches, meeting with foreign leaders and addressing, you know, various venues from the parliament of south korea. right of into world bank. he spoke at the grammy awards. so all of these things you could perhaps cynically classify as part of the information front in this, in this conflict. but yes, he's, he's trying to get his message across as forcefully as he can because he knows that his ability to do that. his ability to grasp and hold the world's attention and maintain the support of the world. a will in many ways determine whether his country lives or dies. and he's been doing a pretty good job of keeping the world engaged and supportive of ukraine on his he worry that that he may not be on the cover of time magazine as frequently as he needs to be to, to maintain attention. yeah, that's definitely
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a concern he as the last time we sat down and was april 19th. so he asked me whether i felt that the the world's attention was, was flagging. and so it's, it's clearly a concern. you know, he's, he said that he thinks a lot about how people outside of ingrained perceived this conflict. understand this conflict mostly through social media, through outlets like instagram on there instagram feeds. and he expressed his concern that you know, the war has been so horrifying to observe, to watch, you know, as, as he put it, there's a lot of blood and there's a lot of emotion. and he felt a concern that eventually people would just start to turn away because it was just unbearable to watch. it's just as constant stream of, of pain atrocities,
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you know, bombings, cities and communities being destroyed. and he was concerned that the international community and international leaders would just eventually not, not be able to, to take it anymore. would, would essentially turn away close their eyes. and that he said, you know, is a real danger for you. great. you know, another thing that he shared with you and it was so interesting to read it in such raw form, that he himself worried that his military will be crushed by the russian retail military. so much larger. does he think that it, the supplies and systems that are coming in can preclude that fear that his own military will be crushed by the russians? i think bradley, the since i got from him and his closest advisors is they are very confident in their own ability to when i mean they understand the risks they understand the risks of russia dropping, you know,
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some enormous bomb on the compound where they live and work, they understand the risks that their armies will be surrounded and partly, or completely defeated in the battle for eastern ukraine, that just, it's ongoing. now, the level of morale in society and in the military is extremely high. it's extremely high among lensky and his advisors. i think as a corollary to that, there isn't a huge enthusiasm for jumping head long into peace talks with russia on the great side. so i, i do think that unless he said this in no uncertain terms that an outcome of this current battle for eastern ukraine will in many ways, shape our dialogue at the negotiating table. to put that more simply a, you know, let's, let's see how well we can do in pushing the russians back militarily. and depending on the outcome of those battles, we'll, we'll see where we stand on the,
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at the negotiating table. or we're going to have to leave it there, time magazine correspondence, simon, schuster fresh, back from kiev. extraordinary reporting, i highly recommend people take a look at, how's the lensky leads? it's the cover story of time magazine a right now. ok, thank you so much for joining us. thank you. so what's the bottom line, regardless of what you think of the war in ukraine yet? you really have to hand it to president lensky. he's a guy who started out as a comic until 3 years ago. and now he's looked upon by his partners in america and europe as a kind of church chilean figure, keeping hope alive even in the dark his days. but here's the rub. this war has gone from a sprint to a marathon, and the world is a massive case of 80 d or attention deficit disorder. so what happens when people start skipping over the ukraine videos on their phones? is it game over for zalinski and his vision for ukraine? the zaleski have to be the entertainer indefinitely or will the west find the resolved to commit itself for the long haul? no matter what the future of what it means to be
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a sovereign state is what is at stake. and that's the bottom line, ah, trust in authority is up in all time low. you want to stop for hench h. distrust. this is a baffle about what the truth actually is. oh, just the euros investigative unit holds back the curtain and reveals how fear suspicion and conspiracy theories have become the tools of the powerful. we're in a dangerous and that dangerous territory runs did. what happens now that we've literally diverge that today will be how democracy does the truth illusion coming soon on a, just the euro. from the al jazeera london broadcast center to people in thoughtful conversation with no host and no limitation of the artist by nature. they are person who are lost part to of i way way and denise control. society
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is not interested in the individual ality. the freedom, the spirit of the young person studio b unscripted on al jazeera. ah, i'm on the inside and doe high. your top stories on al jazeera, ukraine's government says all civilians have been evacuated from the steel plant in the southern city of mary pole. for months, hundreds of women, children, and elderly residents have been trapped inside as russia intensified its attacks. the director of the u. s. intelligence agency to see i says he's convinced fly me person is doubling down on the when ukraine william burns says despite the resistance from ukrainian forces, the russian president is not.

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