tv HAR Dtalk BBC News September 28, 2022 4:30am-5:00am BST
this is bbc news, the headlines... the president of the european commission has said sabotage was the cause of gas leaks in two major pipelines connecting russia and europe. ursula von der leyen has warned of the "strongest possible response" if european energy insfrastructure is attacked. ukraine has accused russia of causing the leaks. officials installed by russia in four occupied regions of ukraine have reported huge majorities of votes, in self—styled referendums, in favour ofjoining russia. the us secretary of state has said the votes are a "sham" and that the west will never recognise the four regions. residents of florida are preparing for the arrival of hurricane ian, which is expected to make landfall there on wednesday. the governor has already
declared a state of emergency. in cuba the hurricane knocked out the electricity grid leaving the entire country without power. now on bbc news... hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk. i'm stephen sackur. vladimir putin did not intend to be in the place he's in right now. he didn't want his ukraine invasion to become a protracted war in which his army is losing ground. he didn't plan to forcibly mobilise military—age men across russia, and he didn't want to see internal protests spread. but this is where he is — seemingly in trouble. my guest is putin loyalist, russian mp and influential state media commentator evgeny popov. if putin is growing desperate,
what does that mean for russia? evgeny popov in moscow, welcome to hardtalk. thank you, stephen, for giving me that floor. oh, it's a pleasure to have you on the show. if i may, i want to begin with words from the kremlin chief spokesman dmitry peskov, on september 13th, he stated quite clearly there were no plans for any kind of mobilisation in russia. here we are less than two weeks later with a major mobilisation. what happened 7 it's not major mobilisation.
this is partially mobilisation. wejust mobilised er, 300,000 people from reserve. it's just 1% from our total reserve people. i don't know what is happening with peskov�*s statement, but i know that we are in war with all nato countries. with whole, sorry, nato alliance, with whole nato weapon, and we should respond on nato�*s threat. that's it. well... that's why my country is responding by mobilisation. you just called it a war. you know, you can get locked up for five years in russia for calling it a war. don't live, stephen,
in a world of myths. i called it a warfrom the beginning, but not from the february of 2026... 2022, but from 2014. it's... it was a civil war between ukrainian citizens on the west... 0n the... 0n the east of ukraine. but now it's a war between russia and nato countries. i call it war from the beginning. why is it then... yeah, 0k, well, that's clear, then. putin has called it a special military operation from the very beginning. he insisted that anybody who referred to it as a war was committing a crime. you've clearly changed. lots of things have changed. if you're calling it a war, why is it a war that so many russians of military age who could be called up
are fleeing, trying to get out of your country by any means possible? why? how many people... how many? ..are fleeing? how many? yeah. how many? well, put it this way... you know, stephen, we have... put it this way... mr popov. let me... put it this way. there has been a traffic jam on the land border to georgia of some 20km. it is taking people 70 hours to get across that border. they are desperate to get out. that's why a flight to istanbul costs tens of thousands of dollars. you can't get one, because your countrymen want to get out. why? but much more people is going to their military. much more people is in a patriotic mind and they are going to the war. much more people.
it's 100,000 people now are in reserve and works for the country. people are fleeing because we have a free country. we have freedom and people should do whatever they want to do. some people are not agree with this war. of course. some people are not agree with putin, of course. but it's. .. um... minority of our people. you should know that. majority, most of our people, are for russia. they are patriots. they are going to do whatever they need to do to protect our country... you... ..to protect our land, to protect our people. yeah. you work, as well as being
an mp in the duma, you work for rusia—i, state—run tv. is your network showing the protests by hundreds and hundreds of people in places like dagestan, where mothers are surrounding police who are trying to ensure the conscription process goes smoothly? mothers saying, "you must not take our sons to this war." are you showing those pictures on russian tv? of course we are telling our spectators, our viewers, about some incidents, which has happened... happening in our regions. but, as a deputy, as a member of parliament, i have just sent many, many requests to military of defence, to the government, which is... help to our people to... not to be mobilised following the rules.
of course, it's a new century for russia. we have some mistakes. we made some mistakes. it's ok for every country mobilising people in 21st century. it's a new reality for us. but we should do everything by the rules, by law. and i am, as a deputy, as a member of parliament, as a representative of people in my district, do everything to following the rules, and i'm going to do it... ..24/7. you know what the people... you know what the people in regions like dagestan say? of course, regions which are not eth... dominated by non—ethnic russian people, they say "we, we are mobilised. "we are sent as cannon fodder to putin's war, "while the elites in moscow, their sons and daughters, "they don't get mobilised to fight."
in fact, we saw a popular politics youtube video where a hoax call was made to the son of dmitry peskov, kremlin spokesman. nikolai peskov said, "oh, no, there's been a misunderstanding. "i won't be recruited. i'll deal with this "at a higher level." that's what happens in russia. you just described me two cases. we should understand that we have different people in our country, and, of course, not all people in dagestan are telling and thinking like you told me. most of them are going to the war and going to their... going to help our country to win. of course, it's. .. ..not a good conversation. and i don't want to hear something like that from press secretary...
press secretary's son. it's bad words. and... but he is... do you think... do you think that... ..one of... hang on. do you think that's an isolated... he is one of... hang on, mr... mr popov... ..the 147 million people in russia. we have different people in russia. and i think that he should be punished by his father for these words, that bad words. it's very interesting you say that. do you think there are many sons of well—connected, let's call them elite people in moscow, st petersburg and elsewhere who are avoiding this mobilisation? no. i know many officials and their relatives who is going to be as soldiers by volunteer and they going
to military stations and they are asking military officers tojoin army right now. i know many cases of the situation from kamchatka where some members of parliament are going to the war. i know many cases in state duma when members of parliament are going into the war. are you going to go to the war, mr popov? i am officer of reserve. i have military specification and military speciality. yes. ijust called to my military officer and i told him that i am ready to go to the war any time. i'm... i told him that i'm ready to... ..get an order from my country, from my state, and if i can
help, i will help, wherever — it will be in moscow or it will be in the belgorod region or it will be in donbas. but i've been in donbas... yeah... ..many, many times. if you... if you end up... listen to me. let me answer you. let me answer, please. you asked me. let me answer. i've been in donbas lots of time, dozens time. and i've seen by my own eyes how ukrainian artillery shelling to civilians, killed civilians for last eight years. you should know and you know it, that around 14,000 people are being killed for the last eight years by ukrainian officials, ukrainian government, by poroshenko, turchynov and zelensky. i've seen it by my own eyes.
listen... i've been there a lot of times. if you end up serving on the front line, you may well be serving alongside conscripts, those recently mobilised or young conscripts who have had, at best, two weeks training. you may also be serving alongside hardened russian criminals who've been recruited by yevgeny prigozhin�*s wagner group to go on to the front line from prison. evgeny sighs heavily do you think that is any kind of effective fighting force? stephen, i'm asking you again, don't live in the world of myths. of course, all russian citizens should help our army and should help our state, first of all, should help our state. and whatever our army do on the front line, it's... they do it for the victory. um...
my point is that you're not achieving... i know... you're not achieving victories. mm—hm. in fact, you are losing huge chunks of territory. we saw it in kharkiv 0blast, we now see your forces under real pressure. and... we see your forces under real pressure in the donbas, around lyman. we see your forces under pressure in kherson. we read in the new york times that some of your commanders want to pull out of kherson, but putin will not let them. your forces, your forces, are under intense pressure and are performing badly. why? that's completely lie. 0ur forces are holding front line. and, of course, we left kharkiv 0blast, but we are holding our front line everywhere we have our representatives, everywhere we have our people.
in donetsk region, in luhansk region, in zaporizhzhia region, and in kherson region. we are not going to... ..give up a... ..metre of the land and any human person, which we are protecting right now, because we should protect those people, we should protect it from torture by ukrainian government. we should protect it from repressions by the ukrainian government. yeah, well... and we're not going to... we'll get on to... we're not going to leave these territories. we'll get on to the way russian forces treat ukrainians in a moment. but before we get there, you talk about these areas, luhansk, donetsk. zaporizhzhia, kherson, the russian authorities have just authorised referendums in all of those places. it's clear it's the beginning of a process of annexation,
which may be completed in the next few days. the truth is, it's a sign of weakness, isn't it, not strength? you're annexing regions which yourforces don't even fully control. in zaporizhzhia, you're not even in control of the administrative capital. it's, frankly, ridiculous and illegal. evgeny clears his throat stephen, er... listen, please. you shouldn't left us out of other chances because we have tried to... ..finish this civil war... ..which is beginning... begin... began from 2014. for eight years, we, russia, i mean, have implemented minsk agreements. you did nothing. we... mr popov... russ... mr popov, with the greatest
of respect, we don't have time to go back through the history of the minsk agreements. i want you to tell me why you think any... but you... any... any country in the world would recognise these so—called referendums, which everybody from joe biden to governments across europe to, frankly, the united nations have dismissed as a sham. why do you think we are caring about your opinions? stephen, sorry, but why do you think we are care about western opinion? please. that's my message to the west. don't lecture us how to live. leave us alone. and that's why we should protect our people. we should protect our land. we should protect russia as a state, and we should protect russian people. because... you... you, not me, you are moving your military infrastructure to our borders. to our borders for decades! you are threatening us, our country, by nuclear bomb, by some weapon. you are sending
weapons to ukraine. you are threatening to my people in magadan, in yekaterinburg, in moscow, you, west, not me threatening to you. russia is not a threat. russia is a peaceful country and we are going to protect our borders. we're going to protect russian people. that's clear. mr popov... this isn't a question of you being forced to listen to the west. it's a question of whether russia is prepared to abide by international law, when it comes to the question of illegal annexation, when it comes to the question... no. ..of violating the rules of war, by bombing civilians, by bombing civilian infrastructure, by executing civilians in the land that you hold, by digging mass graves to bury them. the question is — is russia... have you seen the graves? ..happy to... have you seen the graves? ..continue to violate all of the international laws?
first of all, we are not attacking civilian infrastructure and civilians. we are fighting with ukrainian and nato armies and weapon. that's first. but let's think in other view on the referendum. we should protect people, not the land, we don't need other land to russia. we have the biggest country, the biggest country, in the world. but we should protect people who are asking us to protect them. they asking us to protect them! they asking you — stop shelling, stop attacking, stop bombing them. but you are blind and you... you don't want to see them. but we should protect people from ukrainian military, aggressive war. that's it. we should protect our
territory from nato�*s aggression, from nato weapon, because that's a threat for our people, right now. direct threat. you keep bringing it back to the west and nato, to this war, which you now say russia is in with the west. i keep trying to address with you international law and united nations investigations... mm—hm. russia is a member... mm—hm. ..of the permanent... the permanent member of the security council. you, actually, in april of 2021, the russians, signed up to a security council resolution condemning any attacks on civilian infrastructure. what hypocrisy! what hypocrisy, given what russia is doing right now. are you aware that on september 23rd, the un investigator in ukraine, erik mose, concluded that russia... there is evidence, he said, that russia has committed war crimes in ukraine, including the bombing
of civilian areas, executions, torture, and horrific sexual violence. this is the un. it's not the united states. it's not... sexual violence? evgeny scoffs you know... if you have heard lavrov�*s statement in the un, just a few days ago, you should know that we asking you to give us a list of people who have been so—called tortured and killed in bucha. did you give us this list? we don't see any last names. we don't know any evidences from relatives of those people. we don't see nothing. 0nly ukrainian propaganda. and now even you, your correspondents from bbc can't be allowed to make their...
interference ..from so-called kharkiv's mass graves _ because that's a complete lie from ukrainian government. we are ready to investigate any cases and any crimes. but we don't have any direct evidences that our army made some... ..warcriminals. we are ready to investigate it. but give us evidence. you don't have a proof. mr popov, in this interview, it's been clear that even you acknowledge that this war, as you call it, has not gone to plan. how long has putin got to turn things around? your economy in russia is in a terrible mess, contracting at least 6% this year, imports down 50%. you're using microchips from dishwashers in your military equipment because you can't
import microprocessors anymore. you're in big trouble. you're in very big trouble. how long has putin got to turn this around? again... don't live in a world of myths. we don't need to use any microchip from refrigerators. we have our own microchips. we have our own microchips factory. that's first message. um, if you asking me when it's gonna be finished, i mean, this war and conflict, i think that you should... ..sit with us. you, i mean, western countries. you should sit round the table and talk. because the only our goal is a security guarantees for russia and russian people.
we should get security guarantees. but.. and... ..you are... all right... ..instead of this, moving your infrastructure to our borders. final question. vladimir putin has suggested that russia is prepared to use nuclear weapons. first use of nuclear weapons if russia's territorial integrity is threatened. how scared do you think the west should be? well, my answer is simple. you should know that we have nuclear weapons — that's it. don't threat to russian people, don't threat to russian territory, don't threat to russian state. i hope... i know that we are not going to use a nuclear weapon first because we are a peaceful nation. we are peaceful country. and it's insane to think that somebody in the world can use nuclear weapon... ..er...
right now. but you should respect our sovereign state. you should respect our independency. russians as a human being, as a people. we are not going to use nuclear weapon first. you should know. that's my personal opinion. 0k... er... evgeny... because nobody will win this war. sorry to stop you there, evgeny popov, but we've run out of time. i thank you so much forjoining me from moscow. thank you. hello there.
there's been quite an autumnal flavour to our weather story both by day and at nightjust recently. there's more sunshine and showers to come. plenty of rainbows potentially in the sky, but the wind strength will ease through wednesday, still coming from the north, so still a coolish source. now it's this weather front here that could be a key player as we go through wednesday. it's going to enhance some showers in off the north sea. it's these here, they'll gradually drift their way towards newcastle and down to hull area, some of them heavy and thundery. ahead of it, largely fine with some sunshine, a few scattered showers running down through perhaps the west—facing coasts of wales and south west england. we will see temperatures struggling for the time of year, still around 13—16 celsius, and some of these showers could turn heavy and thundery. now, they are likely to drift their way steadily southwards through wednesday night into the early hours of thursday morning. so still there to clear first thing on thursday. but on the whole, this little ridge of high pressure builds
and quietens things down for many on thursday. so some early showers clearing south of the m4 corridor. a few showers still coming in off the north sea for northeast england, but generally fine and settling with a little more sunshine and lighter winds. temperatures will be a degree or so higher, back to where they should be really for this time of year. however, it's all change into friday. we're likely to see some pretty wet and windy weather. so, useful rain for all of us at some point on friday. ahead of it, it is going to be largely fine and dry, so not a bad start. if you've got plans for outside, get out and do it first thing in the morning. that rain turning into western scotland, northern ireland, northwest england as we go through lunchtime and then gradually drifting its way southeast. so probably not arriving into east anglia and southeast england until the end of the day. top temperatures of around 17 celsius. now, as we move into the weekend, that weather front could be a bit of a nuisance for some of us. it's going to continue to push its way
steadily south and east. and as you can see, we trail it all the way back out into the atlantic. so for central and southern england, we could see some rain persisting for the start of the weekend, but, eventually, sunday will see somewhat drier, brighter and once again, warmer conditions returning. take care.
for viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm sally bundock. russia threatens to veto any un security council resolution condemning its self—styled referendums in occupied regions of ukraine. surges, floods and winds as hurricane ian approaches. the international monetary fund warns that the uk government's planned tax cuts could increase inequality across the country. and we report on the former pandemic heroes now struggling to make a living on brazil's streets.
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