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tv   To the Point  Deutsche Welle  September 2, 2022 2:30am-3:01am CEST

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grasping again, well, maybe a couple of late and burned in south africa, people with disabilities more likely to lose their jobs. in the pandemic black lives matter. shine a spotlight on racially motivated police violence, same sex marriage is being legalized in more and more countries, discrimination and inequality, or part of everyday life. for many, we ask why? because life is diversity. make up your own mind. d. w. lead for mines. after weeks of build up, ukraine says it has launched a counter offensive to retake territory seized by russia. in the 1st weeks of its invasion officials in chief said their forces had broken through moscow's defences in several areas of the front line near the city of hassan. as the pushback got
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under way, the e, you agreed on launching its own new mission to provide additional military assistance to ukraine. so we're asking today ukraine counter offensive can kiosk push the russian army back with welcome to to the point. it is a pleasure to greet our guests marina hanker is professor for international relations at the berlin bass tatty school and she's also director of its center for international security and a warm welcome back to the program to christoph fun, bartow, he is diplomatic correspondence for the berlin daily, detach spiegel. and nick connelly is d. w. ukraine correspondent. he's been covering the war on location since it began. let me start out by asking all of you
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to give us your take on what's actually happening on the ground because we haven't been getting a lot of information or images coming from the region around his son. so nick, what are you hearing our officials in here? giving us accurate reports in terms of both the counter offensive having started and also having broken through rushes front lines. and how would you assess the potential, the giving re, quote, and they said that they will keep quiet until they have kind of concrete results. so i think there's not much sense expecting detail from those official speakers. we are seeing lots of images on social media of explosions of things we've seen in recent weeks, but just being intensified. so the cranes were using their high tech western weapons to destroy us logistics, to go off their weapons to pose, to try and really knock out those bridges across the new pro river to base the trap . the russian troops around gifts on the west bank of that very, very wide new pro river. i'm still in touch to people who have stayed there who
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haven't left and they are basically not leaving their houses. they are staying put, having previously been situation where it was basically every evening artillery kind of fire around 9, 10 pm in now seems to be pretty much all day. and people there are just sitting, put and hoping, but this kind of passes them without too much in the way of devastation for the civilian population. although officials in here has that have actually just said that people should be leaving, that they, at least before the cold war gets their cold weather there. i mean that's definitely been the cool long to encourage people to leave. but the question is, how so there are some the safest route has for now until now, been through russian and ex crimea. and then people have been traveling often extraordinary lengths through crimea through russia, georgia, turkey to get to ukraine control tertiary, a more direct route to ukraine control territory was basically unmarked. there was no kind of corridor people were reporting being also basically ransomed by the russian troops. you know them not letting people leave with cash in other valuables and a very dangerous situation. so it's a pre precarious situation,
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and i think bare with people i've been talking to are saying they feel safest in the sellers. marita, the russian defense ministry has actually now acknowledged that a counter offensive or has begun, but it says it quote unquote failed miserably. and that ukrainian forces have sustained heavy casualties just russian, dis, information or, or what are you hearing. what i'm hearing is that the morale is very high among the ukrainian troops and very strong fighting spirit that they also counting on their local population. the ukrainian population that actually had an active resistance to the russian occupation. so they are counting on, on them to deliver an intelligence on russian positions in the city and that overall that the ukrainians really think that they can, you know, at least the push forward. and this is also very important from a political point of view. they want to signal to western and supporters to need to the united states that they can take back territory that they can bring this war exactly. and i want to come back to their point in a moment. krista,
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why is his son strategically and also military important? what's the significance of the fact that the counter offensive begins here near car has son will 1st it's the location at the river sides of food. net or the very broad river, and then generally it's about um, getting this house or off you cream back. and this is the region was all the ports to the black sea. that is very important, not only of warm corn to exports or which we have heard, but, but generally, the ukrainian economy needs access to ports in order to function and herb. at the moment, most of the ports are blocked by russian troops or taken and occupied. so there's a strategically important as now the 3rd theater we at the beginning of the war 6 months ago we saw the battle of kiff. then after a few weeks, it changed to the east to the occupied territories in eastern green. and now the,
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i was become suzy, mean a battle field, and it's important for kids to show at the title of the program that they are able to push back. it's a question whether they will be able to push out the rest. i'm not so sure about that, but putting back as important to get signals that it makes sense to deliver weapons or to make this hassan are so have symbolic emotional significance for ukrainians will definitely, but it's the 1st big rain. steel was taken by the russians beginning this war, and there was also a lot of seeming at me a failure failure on the part of the ukrainian script services senior ukraine officials cooperating with the russians. some of the bridges leading from crimea had been mined in the run up to the war. but then suddenly, when the russians appeared, those mines were gone for present has fired several top security officials who are responsible for that region. so there's real, i think, and a bad blood and me a feeling of shame among lots of high officials in ukraine that they weren't able to kind of route out these collaborators in the lead up to this war. so if there's any that need to kind of show some successes to the population, but also this is
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a reachable and attainable goal. this is a quite comparatively small chunk of territory on the right hand side of the knee pro river. so, you know, compared to try and take all the south back, this is something that is easily definable. and we've heard reports that the american military visors to ukraine had actually pushed for the ukrainians to limit their ambition. and to really focus on kind of more attainable goals rather than trying to do too much on too many fronts have son was in fact taken as mentioned in the early weeks of the war, as events were moving very fast. but deadlock soon said in success in retaking house and could break long, stale made during which neither side managed to make meaningful territorial gains. the goal is to recapture lost territories. the battle in the care sun region has begun. seen here pictures of its preparation. here reports that some villages have already been liberated only what if the russian military wants to
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survive now is the time for russian soldiers to fleet? yes, to go home board, but if the occupiers are afraid to return home to russia on then let them surrender . we guarantee them compliance with all geneva convention norms. in recent days, russia had stepped up its attacks on ukraine, shelling sl of young skin car keefe in the east of the country. residential areas were also hit with many houses completely destroyed. according to british intelligence protein had hoped the intensified attacks would tie down ukrainian troops in the east, weakening the counter offensive in the south. but that clan appears to have failed . the ukrainian counter strike has begun. can ukraine win this war marina, that's the $64000000.00 question. what would you say?
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well, am the big advantage of the ukrainians? is that they have very modern weapon systems now? and as you know, why are they superior to what the russians have? well, it's actually because their precision guided, they can hit from a very long distance, but in depots and at russian military positions. the russians used to have a lot of weapons systems and also a lot of ammunition. but basically they're shooting blind. and as long as the west delivers those weapons as long as they're ukrainians can make use of them through a trained to use them. and this is what you mentioned all that before the new mission to train them. i think ukrainians have a real shot at, you know, like at least pushing them back, pushing them out is a harder question, but pushing them back. and here actually that's also one of the and the successes of the sanctions regime. because russia cannot build those really high, a modern weapon systems right now, because they're quiet microchips. this is one item that where they really rely on.
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and us imports or from south korea, from taiwan. the quality of the chinese ship is much inferior. so yes, ukraine has to a certain degree chance, but, you know, of course there's a massive dependence on the imports from the west. and so the question is, will we continue supporting ukraine and we're going to come back to that later on. but let me ask a few more questions about the counter offensive itself. nick, what would have to happen strategically for this counter offensive to succeed for it did become a major step toward ukraine winning this war? well, i mean, i think the 1st they're trying to knock out those russian communications across the dipper river. so just kind of cut off the garrison, have song from supply line from crimea from place for the reason that is kind of a crucial target. and it seems like the bridge there are very severely damaged in the russians. i mean, to use various pontoons across very wide rivers. i wouldn't want to be on those varies, you know, they move very slowly of
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a very wide river. they are sitting targets and you know, the ukrainians, thanks to american intelligence, see basically everything that the russians are doing there. and the distance is really all that big from those ukrainian front positions. and i think it's also about ukraine getting enough ammunition for these high mas regulatory systems. i think with even that is a picture of the launch a one of those systems up till now. ukraine has had to really, really judge very carefully when they use these high tech weapons, but they just weren't getting the numbers that they were asking for in terms of, you know, refill from the american side. now we've had reports for, at least even from russian telegram channel, saying that the grains are using those high mas systems a lot more liberally, seemingly, and not having to be quite as economical with their use using them even against personnel, against russian troops in trenches rather than just against kind of high value targets. so it does seem like you're great now, at least in this part of battlefield is somewhere close to parity in terms of weapons and not having to kind of play kind of on the back foot kind of catch up as
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has been no place. he has none the less krista has been doing some expectation management in terms of the time table saying that progress is likely to be slow to what degree is ukraine under time pressure here we've got cold weather coming. i mentioned it earlier and also put in is planning to hold a sham referendum in the south to try to create a justification for the occupation. does that mean? does that mean that in a sense he has got his back up against a wall when it comes to timing? timing is important and there's an interconnection between timing inside ukraine. timing was in the was a zones timing with western countries and the willingness to supply further 8. and so they have to show some military success in order to keep up the willingness, not only of the governments, but of western society societies to support this type of policy. here in germany,
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we are not talking about winter a winter when people might be freezing in the homes because there's not enough gas or whatever, or it's so expensive. and that could decrease the support the political support that western countries still still want to give you queens a weapons to push back as the russians and even maybe at some point to push them out of occupied territories. or if there's, are no signs of success, then the western willingness and societies say, yeah, it's worse to, to fight the war. was russia to support ukraine would decrease? and i think that is the most important factor. marina led me before we get, we drill deeper on that. let me ask a bit about the russian side of all of this. russia has now said that it could reinforce its troops to 130000 in january, yet put in, has voided either general mobilization or conscription. why is that?
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what's going on? while shows that actually this war is in to, as popular as their russian wants. it to be a general mobilization, would require that put and says, this is a war we are at war. russia is at war. and you know, then he can justify formalization of the country. but in russia, this war de facto war, so called a and special knowledge operation. and so he tries at, you know, with all means to somehow, you know, like get to that stage of war. and it shows that, you know, he is afraid to take that step. but, you know, and i'm very skeptical that he can actually reach the target of a 170000 new troops and their various techniques he uses. so for example, chest incentivize conscripts so that they sign up for a permanent error like a more permanent contract, infected parentally, son coming from prisons are kind of a convicted felons are being recruited. that's what he was intelligence exactly, report it also they try to get ab at dead, those there and mercenaries,
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right. the wagner group tried to integrate them in the russian army. but the big question is, and let me talk about defensive positions, an offensive position. and to have a successful offensive, you need to have a troop advantage of. no, i've ratio of 3 to one. meaning the ukranian site meets 3 times more troops then russia. and or, you know, like if russia wants to keep its defensive position, it needs to have this and to the advantage. and that's why the true question and how many soldiers are there is the critical on both sides? by the way, nick, what are you hearing about russian morale? we hurried and marina say that your morale among ukrainian troops is quite high. perhaps you can confirm that as well. but what about on the russian side? i mean, definitely this is, you know, in comparable, the koreans are fighting home. they know why they're fighting, and also you're in a weight limit, which is made it easy for the grains. because he said before this war that his basically his goal is to get rid of this country to end ukraine is an independent
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entity. so they know what they're fighting for, they're fighting for the existence of their country. we've had lots of reports from at least ukrainian sources of russians being pretty eager to be taken prisoner to get away from their commanders and the st. specifically, bad with people who've been forced to fight people from doing it's going to hans who are often treated much worse and given the east coast of from east and ukrainian regions that have been under defect to russian control since 2014. and these people are, they are sent in units that are controlled by these quasi republics. and they are much worse supplied in terms of equipment isms of finances. and they are often sent the most dangerous part, the front lines and the reports thereof. mutinies of the troops often using balance there and commanders and a lot of tension. some of that may be ukranian propaganda, but it does seem, you know, there are videos of families internets, trying to prevent their men being conscripted, going to the government offices demanding that their sons be sent home. so there is a real, real problem. the just remind us because of course you have been reporting on the
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ground and again and again, you've emphasized in that reporting how bloody and cruel this conflict is. can you just give us a sense of what you've seen in these months? i mean, beginning to we were in care of and we were here the artillery fire in place like which and is being that we all then late saw images of extraordinary violence use towards civilians there. we couldn't get there. it was. we were basically at a bridge that had been destroyed, we were looking crossing out to revising people desperate to get out my understanding at this destroy bridge and people carrying their grandmother on a stretcher across the destroy bridge. while they are to life, i was going on, people were losing their lives while trying to get out. and then see once it had been re taken by the graham forces, seeing the devastation, seeing what those russian troops had done there. seeing pulls of blood just kind of where basically at every turn i did the mass graves there. i think the scariest thing for civilians is just quite
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a lease. and in the early months of the war quite how unpredictable it was. you know, the front was moving a lot to the time. it's very difficult. if you're not experienced these meetings to understand where they are to refine is coming from what direction it's going in to people woods, living in a kind of permanent sense of high alert. but on the other hand, a strange enough people are often very, very unwilling to leave their homes and to it's often too late. so time time again, hearing stories of people losing their lives or people trying to help others evacuate being wounded because people just refused to believe that this was going to touch them until basically the file was kind of within, within view of the houses in a word if russia is now going to resort to more mercenaries to convicted felons, would you expect the cruelty and the possibility of war crimes to rise? i mean, it's definitely what are you crazy since expect they are often pretty desperate to get you grand control territories. you know, whatever the price may be and, and you look, people are just hunkering down and staying home and trying to avoid leaving your
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home as, as you do that, as well as possible. there really is no kind of clarity on what the rules of engagement offer civilians in this conflict. so all of you have mentioned how crucially important western weapons are to ensuring that this counter offensive can make yes. and it's become something of a mantra in care of as well as among ukraine's friends in the west. if putting is to be defeated, western weapons need to keep coming. the e, you appears to have heard that call shortly after the war began, it took the unprecedented step of offering 500000000 euros indirect funding for military assistance. and now member states, including germany, say they're ready to do more. sending german heavy weapons into conflict zones is no longer taboo. chancellor, olaf shuts speaks of a turning point. ukrainian soldiers are to be brought to germany to learn how to operate a gephardt tank. berlin plans on sending 30 such anti aircraft tanks plus ammunition
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to ukraine. i understood with young if not, we will offer ukraine economic, you know, financial, political, humanitarian, and also military support. if it isn't, if we will maintain the support less for as long as is necessary and after much back and forth, the so called ring swap has also been finalized. germany will supply the czech republic with leopard to battle tanks. in return, prague will send soviet era t 72 tanks to ukraine, where ukrainian soldiers can operate them without instruction. can modern western weapons pushback the russian army we put that question question straight to krista, but also couple it with a question about german support because germany has been criticized for being slow and equivocal in its follow through. on its, on its promises of support is that changing?
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it is changing but not fast enough and not it's not. it's too little or too late. if somebody is saving earth, you can ukrainian army. it's certainly not germany. it's certainly not european uni union. it is u. s. mainly and as the british and some help from poland, the baltics baltic states. and that is of course, a little bit. the shame of the change came far to late shots. chancellor was not so sure about the public support in germany. there's always an idealism that we should come to a political agreements at wash would be ended by negotiations, but the situation on the ground is a precondition for any talks. and i think you crean needs to, to regain territory in order to that they have a real chance in a negotiation table. supposedly germany's hesitancy also has to deal with, with fears on the part of the chancellor and others. that if germany and e,
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you go too far in delivering heavy combat weapons that it could pull nato into what day, what short, sometimes referred to as world war 3. i don't think that is a fair assessment that i mean germany is not delivering enough that this is the real danger of letting me put in germany as a weak point in the whole political discussion. and if, if i put in would like really to threatens the west, he should threatens united states because they are delivering the weapons which, which are needed and see you. european union provides money and that is good that they are providing money, but they don't provide weapons because european union has no weapons on stocks, they just can give money to, to ukraine. and if you compare, if you say, well another half a 1000000000 euro is that is not very much for for 4 days or weeks of war is the west has to deliver weapons in the range of several 1000000000 dollars every month and not just a 1000000 marinez that right?
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yes, correct. and i, i also agree that with mr. marshall, because so, you know, germany thinks that he can, it's really the, they're kind of like the decider in this war. but, you know, like if russia wanted to escalate it would escalate. and because the americans are, you know, like an ad doing steps that you know, like, or proceed from the russian side as escalate tori. so germany is not, you know, like the, the linchpin in this does battle. can i just ask briefly if you would, how convinced you are that europe and germany are going to keep the support coming even as we move into a cold and tough winter where gas supplies are dwindling, where energy prices are soaring and governments are having to give out billions in relief packages. i'm pretty convinced that at germany will make the right decisions, but it will not be whole heartedly. it will be always am with a lot of hesitancy and also that's send signals authentic north to the united
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states, but also it needs sometimes maybe even more importantly to i, eastern neighbors. that's poland. that's the baltic states. and i think they will come out of this war thinking can be really trust germany. can you also trust france colon forward also in a european in you context? and i think that's the real conclusion of that of that debate. let me just very briefly ask us to talk a little bit about the bigger picture and i want to tie that to another offer that we heard from chancellor schultz this week on a trip to the czech republic, he called for a new joint air defense system for europe to enhance the continents security it, nick, do you think that that would significantly improve defense and deterrence for europe as a whole, if russia's imperial ranches, and sets it sites on targets beyond ukraine? i mean, i think the news question also of the timelines winds is actually going to happen. and we've seen lots of fairly seemingly impress of announcements in terms of
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defense from the child sholtes and from the german establishment. but when you then dig a bit deeper, you kind of asks, office is going to be realistic within the next 5 years. i think there still no way around nato. i think the american deterrent is still crucial to all of this. and for now, you know, we saw jimmy and out to 100000000000 euros and extra spending for defense. but still if you look at the, is beyond that and take these 100000000 out of the equation. gemini, still not planning to reach the 2 percent of g d p. contribution to its defense. so i'm kind of hesitant, and i think lots people further east in poland and learn ukraine are still very skeptical that you know, germany, france are willing to step up and basically look off their insecurity. you know, without that american support, even though america is very tied up in the pacific, krista, staying with the big picture mikhail gorbachev, died this week. he was the offer author of the vision of a common european and a europe, whole and free did put ins invasion in february put an end to that vision for good
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. i think even gorbachev was not really as, as he seen in germany as the pick european piece fighter. he wanted to maintain soviet powers a soviet union. and we were lucky enough that he didn't have plugged in and proc and then also, but he did it in lithuania and lexia and so on. so i think containment is the main strategy we needs. and that means europe has to, can contain russia because the u. s might be have all the hands full was containing china. thank you very much. thanks to all of you for being with us today. and thanks to you out there for tuning and see soon with
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