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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 1, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, the war intensifies-- staunch resistance continues as russia hits civilian targets in its increasingly brutal shelling of >> that is not a military operation. it seems they are committing the acts of genocide. >> woodruff: and, a momentous speech-- the president prepares to deliver the state of the union address amid the war in ukraine and economic uncertainty. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: russian forces pounded cities in ukraine today as the war raged for a sixth day. kharkiv, in the east was particularly hard-hit, and the port city of mariupol in the southeast appeared surrounded. nevertheless, a drive by russian forces toward the capital kyiv seems stalled, according to the pentagon. and ukrainian forces continued fierce resistance. again tonight, our nick schifrin begins our coverage from lviv.
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>> schifrin: for years moscow's military has employed scorched earth. today, it brought that brutal reality to ukraine. kharv's central square, named freedom, now mostly rubble and dust. inside the city's main government building, emergency workers removed debris, and carried dead bodies. in total, city authorities said at least five were killed, and more than two dozen wounded, all civilians. surveillance footage captured the attack-a direct hit and a massive fireball. >> schifrin: russia promised its targets would be restricted to military. this is a residential building. homes completely destroyed-- families, and children, killed. >> ( translated ): we're being bombed by the russians. we're all afraid. why us? we're all simple civilians. >> ( translated ): they destroyed a residential building. the rockets hit and many peaceful residents died.
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putin and lavrov are bandits and should be tried. >> schifrin: 300 miles away in kyiv, russian missiles hit the city's main radio and tv tower. firefighters fought to extinguish the fire at the site that's near a memorial to ukrainian jews killed by nazis in world war ii. ukrainian president zelensky today called this, history repeating itself. outside the city, satellite images show a convoy even larger than previously believed, 40 miles long. but a senior defense official said today the advance toward kyiv was stalled. the official said russia wants to encircle kharkiv. russian troops have begun to occupy cities in the south, berdyansk and melitopol, and are just outside mariupol. but once again, zelensky remained defiant, this time, to european lawmakers. even the interpreter got emotional. >> ( translated ): we're fiting just for our land... and for our freedom, despite the
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fact that all large cities of our country are now blocked. believe you me, every square up today, no matter what it's called, it's going to be called, as of today, freedom square in every city of our country. >> schifrin: today ordinary ukrainians fought for their freedom-despite being outgunned. civilians tried to stop russian armored vehicles. their only weapons, their bodies. across the country, ukrainians are rallying, even though some of their cities, are slowing being strangled. >> six months ago, we start prepare a city to live in extraordinary, ordinary situation. we make huge supplies, medical treatment, blood. we bought a lot of diesel generator. we completely change situation. >> schifrin: andriy sadovyi is the mayor of lviv, western ukraine's largest city. it's a unesco world heritage site, usually a hub for
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tourists. but now it's a hub for thousands of ukrainians trying to flee the war in central and eastern ukraine. >> every day, thousand, thousand people from different cities. is my heart completely... >> schifrin: your heart is broken. >> small children, two, three, five years. >> schifrin: and sadovyi said with so many entering the city, security services arrested 10 people he called saboteurs. >> ( translated ): they haven't done anything bad yet, but they wanted to. they wanted to blow up a power sub-station. and there were also some sabotage activities near the blood donation hospital. that is not a military operation. it seems they are committing the acts of genocide. >> schifrin: who were these people, as you understand them and under whose orders were they >> ( translated ): we have special police dealing with
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them, and i understand they have been paid a hefty amount for it. >> schifrin: by the russian government? >> ( translated ): i think yes. who else? russian troops attack civil, uh, citizens and hospital and school. every day, three, four, five time alarm. and missile from black sea or belarus. >> schifrin: are you worried that lviv could be the next russian target? >> ( translated ): all ukrainian cities are targets right now. we cannot predict what's in the mind of a person that attacks small children. we maximum prepare our citizens to war. >> schifrin: what support would you like from the west? >> ( translated ): less talking, more doing.
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i listening about sanctions last one two three year, months. we are deeply concerned, blah blah blah. russia kill children, woman russia oligarchs must feel ver strong sanction and very strong position. today, one part democratic world, next part, totalitarian world. today we talk about future. today we will, we creating our future. today, ukrainian people, david, attack goliath. >> schifrin: david attacked goliath. >> yes. >> schifrin: right outside the mayor's office, one of david's platoons. an assembly line of civilians crafting camouflage nets for
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ukraine's military. young people who already embraced a european future... and grandparents born soviet, now embracing ukraine. jane pasichnaya is 67. her granddaughter maria tiger is 13. >> ( translated ): when i was born in soviet union, we were united. i never felt the borders between nations. today, i have hatred for those who started it all. i feel sorry for all ukrainians, because i'm a ukrainian as well, and i'm proud of that. >> i was raised in a freedom-- in a free country. and i think freedom is very important. and russia is trying to take our freedom. >> schifrin: the family lives in kyiv. on thursday morning, russians shelled their home, forcing them to flee. >> we packed all our stuff in 15 minutes, and we left our house locked, and i don't know when we will come back. >> schifrin: how do you think
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one person doing something in lviv can help ukraine take on russia? >> if one person starts doing something extraordinary, and something, that can actually help if many people do it. the society is power. and if we deliver a message to society it will respond. >> schifrin: if ukraine is david and russia is goliath, do you believe-- do you have faith that ukraine can win? >> i believe. and today a lot of people from world believe to ukraine. it is our victory. >> reporter: ukraine is miles from that victory but social meia is full of examples of courage and heroism by ordinary citizens. you saw that video from kharkiv, not a tank man but a tank squad
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taking on the russian military led by zelensky who got two standing ovations during his speech to european parliament today. >> woodruff: just the spirit of these ordinary ukrainians, nick. you have been talking to u.s. officials at the same time, nick. what are they telling you about the state of the russian operation? >> reporter: yeah, senior u.s. official confirms to me reports of russians having serious logistical proble inside ukraine, inside some examples of some russian troops not having food inside ukraine, some examples of some russian troops not getting paid back home and, of course, leaving vehicles behind as we've seen those on videos especially in eastern ukraine. officials believed before this campaign began that there would be some kind of shock and awe campaign against kyiv and they say they simply have not seen that, at least not yet. they praise ukraine's resistance and zelensky himself but, judy, there is still a lot of fear tonight therwill be more
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bombing, more phibious assaults landing in southern ukraine and more troops to come and more days like we saw today. >> woodruff: a lot of fear. nick schifrin reporting from lviv, thank you, nick. like the united >> woodruff: like the united states and the rest of the nato countries, the united kingdom is not sending troops to fight in ukraine. prime minister boris johnson confirmed that stance during a press nference today. but johnson has called for western nations to continue to supply weapons to ukraine. for more on the russian attack against ukraine and the global response, amna nawaz -- who is on capitol hill -- speaks to the uk's ambassador to the united states. >> reporter: for more on the international response and the effort to deter russia i'm joined by came karen pierce, the united kingdom's ambassador to the united states. ambassador pierce, welcome back to the new year's. thank you for joining us. i'd like to ask for your assessment for the latest on the ground. you heard nick schifrin
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reporting it seems russian advance has stalled but we've seen satellite images, that column of tanks and russian troops approaching kyiv. based on what you've heard, how concerned are you about a major russian assault ahead? >> i think it's true that the russians are finding it much harder going than they had ever expected tore planned for. that's partly because of the fantastic heroic resistance that your correspondent is seeing and showing to us, and it's very moving and it's very inspiring. but i think we do also have to remember the might of the russian army and the fact that they continue to move on kharkiv and on kyiv. and i think, in coming days, we will probably see an intensification of the fighting from the russians, and that's obviously very concerning. it's a harder task than they thought, and there are reasons to be encouraged by that. but i think, in the end, the overwhelming military might of
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the russian forces will sadly lead to a bad result. >> reporter: lull ask you about the united kingdom's support so far. so far you've backed ukraine with humanitarian aid and economic support but also defensive weapons. just yesterday prime minister boris johnson said to zelensky that the u.k. will provide more military support in the coming days. so what will that lack like and when will it go? >> that's right. we've already sent supplies, particularly anti-tank weapons, but i want to express that these are defensive weapons, that's so the ukraian military can defend their country against the russian aggression. we are supplying month lethal equipment like body armor and a few more things armies regularly need. british troops are there on the borders, in the n.a.t.o. country, but helping to get military supplies into the ukrainian military now.
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>> reporter: can i ask, on the provisions of even the defensive weapons, we've heard from some experts some concerns that even as they are moved or stored in neighboring countries, how worried you about russian interdiction, about them striking some of the weapons and storage facilities and taking this battle outside the ukrainian borders? >> nothing the russians might do would, sadly, surprise me at this state. but we are doing our best to get the supplies into ukraine through safe channels, through areas where we don't believe the russians are operating. i won't say exactly where those are for fear of precipitating a bad result. but we are trying our best to help with the forward movement of all these supplies. we've sent 2,000 weapons from britain, n.a.t.o. allies are also sending supplies and, as i say, we're doing our best to get
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em through to where they're needed. >>eporter: madam ambassador, i'like to ask you about the sanctions and particularly back in the united kingdom, your foreign secretary has said that you will be targeting oligarchs' properties and possessions. we know many rich russians have been buying up re estate, sending their children to british schools for years. does that mean you will be seizing some of those assets in the coming days? >> we have something called unexplained wealth orders, which enable us to seize illicit assets and, so, those will be enforced. we're revoking our visa investor scheme, that would also have an effect. we have sanctioned individual oligarchs and those close to putin, and we will be introducing an economic crime bill that will give us more powers to go after these people. >> reporter: you mentioned you hoped the oligarchs around putin
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are talking and pressuring him. do youelieve poobt is listening to them? is he's late or getting reliable information? >> i think that's a really good question. i don't think we know for sure. we know some in the circle are being discomforted about what's happening on the sanctions. does president putin listen to advice? i don't know who in the russian system can speak frankly to him and give him a very honest and frank assessment of the difficulties the russians are encountering in their aggression towards ukraine and what is going wrong with their plan. but i do hope he's getting those briefings because he needs to recalculate, he needs to stop the tanks that are there, and as boris johnson said in pold, he said he needs to turn the tanks around and choose a path of peace. >> reporter: that is dame
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karen pierce, the united kingdom's ambassador to the united states. thank you, "m madam ambassador r your time. >> thank you. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, president biden made ready to deliver his first state of the union address, with russia's invasion of ukraine expected to be a main topic. the speech also comes as mr. biden confronts the worst inflation in 40 years, and sagging public approval ratings. we'll focus on all of this, after the news summary. the 2022 mid-term election season kicked off today with primaries in texas. among republicans: ken paxton, the trump-endorsed state attorney general, was challenged by land commissioner george p. bush and others. among democrats, veteran congressman henry cuellar was pitted against progressive jessica cisneros in a rematch from 2020. across the state, voters who
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turned out today faced new election rules and a switch back to paper ballots in some places. >> it was different, it was new. we used scanners and it takes a little time but it's all worth it because it's all on paper and we can see it as we're voting. >> woodruff: the state's new, stricter id requirements meant thousands of mail-in ballots and ballot applications were rejected. a republican-hired investigator in wisconsin recommended today that the state decertify its 2020 presidential election results. but, his report drew bipartisan criticism. the republican state assembly leader said any talk of decertification was "a fool's errand." president biden won wisconsin by about 21,000 votes. on the pandemic, the u.s. covid death toll reached 950,000, the highest reported number of any country. worldwide, nearly six million
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people have died of the virus. and, in australia, prime minister scott morrison has tested positive. he says he will continue his official duties while isolating. some 40,000 people in southeastern australia are under evacuation orders in the worst flooding in more than a decade. the flood waters moved today from queenand into new south wales, leaving at least 10 dead. thousands some made it to shelters, but left everything behind. >> the only things i salvaged was our clothes, just my dog and my cat and her ashes, that's all i've got. that's all i could save. we lost the cars, the whole lot. >> woodruff: the water is receding in brisbane, and cleanup is under way there. but, more storms are forecast later this week.
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a new deadline came and went after the plashes rejected the owners final offer. the season had been set to begin march 31. instead a lockout continues with no new negotiations planned. the two sides are still divided over minimum salaries, bonuses and other issues. on wall street, worries about ukraine pushed oil prices past $103 dollars a barrel; their highest since 2014. major stock indexes fell 1.5% or more. the dow jones industrial average lost nearly 600 points to close below 33,295. the nasdaq shed 219 points. the s&p 500 slipped 67. and, revelers in new orleans, decked out in purple, green and gold finery for mardi gras. it was cancelled last year due to covid, but today, the party was back on. a series of back-to-back parades full of colorful floats and intricate costumes filled the
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streets. as one man put it: "it's the biggest party in the world." still to come on the newshour: senators from both sides of the aisle discuss the president's upcoming state of the union address. plus much more. >> woodruff: in his upcoming state of the union, president biden is expected to address a long list of topics, including the situation in ukraine and the cost of inflation hitting american pocketbooks. amna nawaz begins our coverage with a look at what's at stake for the president. >> madam speaker... >> nawaz: april of 2021, 100 days into office, president biden, hopeful, in his first speech to congress. >> after just 100 days, i can
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report to the nation: america is on the move again. >> nawaz: now, more than a year in office, as he prepares to deliver his first official state of the union address, biden faces many of the same challenges and some new ones too. pandemic recovery. record inflation. russia's invasion of ukraine. and his domestic agenda stalled in congress. >> my name is hannah. i'm a student calling from marist college. >> nawaz: it's all taking a toll on how americans view the president, according to the latest pbs newshour/npr/mari poll. more than half of americans, 56%, say biden's first year has been a failure. roughly the same grade his predecessor donald trump received after his first year in office. just 39% of americans approve of the job biden is doing, th lowest approval rating of his presidency. >> i think this is both a big challenge and a great opportunity for him. >> nawaz: lee miringoff is the director of the marist college institute for public opinion. >> you've got a lot on the plate
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if you're joe biden because you've got the internationalnd the domestic and his role as the president and the division of the country, the confluence of factors is just enormous. but isn't that what our politics has been about the last few years every day? it's another borderline or realist crisis. >> nawaz: it's something biden can tackle head on tonight. >> when you're low, there's a good opportunity to go up. and that's really where he has right now. the bounce potential is there for him should he take advantage of it in the state of the union. >> nawaz: the state of the union has become the speech for presidents to take a victory lap for accomplishments in the previous year. but in the pbs newshour/npr/marist survey, just 40% of americans say biden has been fulfilling his campaign promises. nearly a quarter of democrats say he has fallen short. >> my nominee for the united states supreme court is judge ketanji jackson. >> nawaz: one big campaign promise he'll likely tout: his selection of ketanji brown
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jackson to join the supreme court, the first black woman to be nominated to the bench. getting her confirmed will be a top priority in coming weeks. and in his speech, biden is expected to outline his other iorities for the year. for the american people, there's one issue they overwhelmingly say should be biden's top priority: rising inflation. nearly four in ten americans agree. after that, a quartet of issues are fighting for attention: coronavirus, voting laws, foreign policy and violent crime. all with about 10% of americans listing them as the to priority. policy priorities break down largely along political lines. for republicans and independents, it's inflation. for democrats, it's voting laws. >> the notion of the nation coming together is probably beyond the expectations, realistically, that can be done by a speech or even by a good six months in office. but he needs to chart a new path for the country. clearly where we've been in the last few years and where he's
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continued to go in his first year is a path of division, a path of polarization. >> nawaz: that is something president biden will likely address too. he campaigned on his ability to bring people together. but more than half of americans say he has done more to divide the nation than to unite it. as biden makes the case for his agenda, nearly two-thirds of americans believe it's more important for lawmakers to compromise to find solutions than to stand on principle and cause gridlock. it's an appeal biden can make directly to the members of congress sitting in the house chamber tonight. >> woodruff: amna joins me now from capitol hill for more. also there, our congressional correspondent lisa desjardins. and, geoff bennett is at the white house. er hello to all three of you. geoff, i'm going to start with you. what more have you been able to learn about what we can expect to hear tonight from the president and how he's been preparing for this? >> reporter: judy, irk tell
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you i have been speaking to democratic aides and white house officials all day about this very thing and i'm told tonight president biden will confront head on the multiple challenges that sit before him, a stalled legislative agenda trying to navigate the country out of this now three year pandemic and confronting a global crisis spurred by rust's invasion of ukraine. given the gravity, the severity of the ukraine crisis, i'm told we can expect foreign policy to be a major focus of the speech, not just because to have the events unfolding in realtime, but also because president biden ran for office touting his ability to build global coalition and rally the allyles. white house p secretary gen psai will high light the president has been able to pull together a global coalition to sanction russia and mitigate the fall out in ukraine.
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the white house doesn't want to short change the domestic issues given the reasons brought out to the fore by the latest poll amna mentioned in the piece. so the president will talk up his ability, the record on job creation, his plans to spur u.s. manufacturing, the steps his administration took over the past summer to ease supply chain issues and his plan to confront inflation, namely the build back tter agenda now stalled on capitol hill. but i'm told the president won't r won't refer to the package of policies by name. the name matters less than the ideas in it. he will talk about his plan to lower prescription drugs and help people pay for childcare and elder care. add to all of that his plan to address the the covid pandemic. he won't declare that the pandemic is over because it's not, but i've talked to democrats who want the president tonight to declare a transition away from some of the toughest measures that were in place to deal with the covid crisis.
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so this will be an opportunity for the president to speak to millions of americans, many of them if the polls are accurate and to be believed are dissatisfied with his performance so far. so i'm told this speech in many ways will be a reset but also will be a road map for the nxt six months or so headed into the midterm electio. >> woodruff: hearing from geoff bennett as well as protesters right outside the white house pass well. lisa desjardins, you have been talking to members of congress on both sides to have the aisle, what are they saying. >> reporter: for the first time in two years, every member of congress is invited to watch the speech. for one side more than the other there are more hopes, the democrats. they know they are at risk of losing one or more chambers in the fall and are sober about the president's low approval ratings at the moment. they want him to tout the highs and also acknowledge the lows.
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what are we talking about, some of the things geoff mentioned, the 6.6 million jobs the president added to the economy, the american rescue plan, the infrastructure bill. those are the highs. on t lows on democrats' mind is the stalled agenda when it comes to childcare, family healthcare and climate change, and in addition afghanistan. judy, what democrats want is a very sober reckoning about inflation, essentially understanding americans are not happy at this moment. republicans, on the other hand, judy, they are looking forward to their response from iowa governor kim reynolds a fiscal and social conservatives, the first woman governor of that state. >> woodruff: a lot on the plate there. amna, we heard you interviewing the ambassador from the u.k. we know the world is going to be paying attention tonight to what thpresident says. how is it thought that that's going to affect everything? >> reporter: judy, the president is not just speaking to the lawmakers in the room, the american public, he is
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speaking to the world tonight and it's a world on edge. remember the russian assault on ukraine continues tonight as the president is speak and we know from released excerpts from the white house the president will speak directly to that andote specifically the unity among n.a.t.o. and western allies and among those watching tonight a few i have been talking to including a senior european official who i asked what they would like to see the president reference toad tonight, the official says they will be watching for resolve, unity and statesmanship. ukrainians sayhey want to hear the president say this is also the u.s.'s fight. otherwise, they say the international alliances mean nothing. another ukrainian i spoke to said they would like to see president biden go further, even invite ukraine into the n.a.t.o. alliance. i will also tell you these are yiewrngians who have been spending time running between home and shelters every time the air raid sirens go off. for them it's a rale reality. they will stay up and watch the president's speech. that's how much it matters to
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them. so, judy, the world is absolutely watching tonight. >> woodruff: for sure. and we will hear more from all of you a little later tonight. our live special our live special coverage of the state of the union begins online at 7:00 p.m. eastern and at 8:00 p.m. here on pbs. thank you. >> woodruff: as we reported, president biden will speak about ukraine tonight. and his speech comes as congress weighs approving billions of dollars in aid for ukraine to use in their efforts fighting russia. senator john thune is the second highest ranking republican in the senate and i spoke with him moments ago. senator thune, thank you so much for joining us. as you know, ukraine has moved to the top of the agenda in time for the state of the union. what is your assessment of how president biden has handled ukraine and russia so far? >> i think at the beginning,
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judy, they were reactive. i think it took them a little bit of time. i don't think, you know, everybody was sort of trying to assess and calibrate what russia may or may not do. but i think now they're doing the right things. you know, i think the economic sanctions and getting the alliance together behind those. i mean, the way to make the sanctions effective is to make sure we are unified in implementing them, and i think the administration is dining a nice job of getting the germans and french and all our n.a.t.o. allies involved and together on that. i think they're doing the right thing in terms of providing lethal aid. we were briefed last night about the relevant players and coming out of that i felt like the administration clearly understands what's at stake and is doing everything they can to make sure the ukrainians can defend themselves against this murderous thug that is coming in and invading their sovereign country. >> woodruff: at the same time, the russians don't seem to be
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deterred. they have been slowed, but i don't think very many people think they are not going to keep pushing forward. what more do you believe the west, that the united states can do to help the ukrainian? >> i think that we are doing most of what we can. we can do a few things additionally. puppet's entire economy revolves around energy, some people describe it as a gas station masquerading as at that country. if we were able to do that i think that could be a pushing blow to their economy. you've seep the ruble crash as a result of some of the sanctions. i think the people will become very frustrated with what's happening there. you're right, that won't deter him. that's about saving face. he's a desperate man and can do desperate things. we have to be prepared for the worst. we're doing everything we can in
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terms of arming ukraians, giving them intense capabilities training. all the things they need. i hope it will be costly enough for putin as he price to move into the interior of the country that he will make a calculation that this is a very bad idea. surprisingly, things that haven't happened in decades are happening. swirtszland is coming off the sidelines. the russian people are rising up against their leader. i think that sort of thing is going to be very, very determinative in whether or not putin can dhont. you're right, i think he's moving and can apply as much force as is necessary to get there, but i think it's going to be very costly both in form of casualties and the russian people when it comes to the economic effect the sanctions are having. >> woodruff: some members of your party have praising vladimr putin. former president trump called
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him a genius, savvy, over the weekend. he called him smart. he said, while our leaders, american leaders are dumb. do you agree with his assessment? >> ithink that vladimir putin is exposed for all the world to see. this is a power grab on his part. he is a thug, he is a criminal. he has to be stopped, and i think that's going to be the view of not only a huge majority of americans but a huge majority of the world which is now why everybody is stepping up and providing assistance. it's remarkable and encouraging to see the number of countries around the world that are stepping into the this equation and doing everything they can to help assist. but, no, vladimir putin, clearly, is a menace to the world and it's important that the world stop him and this is the place to do it, and i'm glad
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everybody is stepping up for the task. >> woodruff: you're saying former president trump is wrong in that assessment? >> well, i -- you know, i don't -- former presidents can have their own opinions, but i can tell you what everybody else can see clearly, and that is that this is a man who is deluded and, frankly, i think a very desperate person, but someone who has no qualms about murdering innocent people and children, and he has to be stopped, and there will be no question about that. there is no question about that. and anybody who sees this otherwise i think is not watching what's infolding in fronof them. >> woodruff: last question, senar. back to the state of the union, what should president biden say tonight is the state of the union right now? >> i think when you get back home -- he's going to talk a lot about ukrae and a there will be a high level of interest in the chamber about that subject and what steps we can work
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together with them on as members of congress, but on the domestic agenda, judy, he's got a lot of work to do. inflation is at a fr-year high, approval ratings are in the tank, the border is a mess, a lieutenant of crime issues in our cities, safety issues people are concerned with, and an energy crisis. gasoline prices are already, you know, going through the roof, and the situation abroad is not going to help with that. so he's got a case i think he needs to make about how he's going to conduct himself differently this next year than the past year. i think the last year has been very partisan, it's been sort of a left-wing agenda with a very narrow majority in the house and the senate. i think the second year of his term, he could pivot to and look at how he can work together to accomplish things in a constructive way to try to solve someo have the problems for the american people. clearly the formula that they have been using certainly hasn't worked, at least as it pertains
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to the runaway inflation we're seeing in some of the other adverse impacts of his policies. >> woodruff: senator john thune, second ranking republican in the senate, we're going to leave it there. thank you very much. >> thanks, judy, nice to be with you. >> woodruff: now for >> woodruff: and now for a democrat's take, let's bring in senator chris coons of delaware. he's also a member of the senate foreign relations committee. senator coons, welcome back to the "newshour". let me ask you first about ukraine. we just heard senator thune saying that, after getting off to a rocky start, not being reactive in the beginning, that he thinks president biden is handling the ukraine crisis well. how much does it matter that you have what appears to be, right now, a largely bipartisan support for the u.s. approach? >> well, judy, it's important that we show bipartisan support for president biden's leadership, and i'm glad to hear that senator thune recognizes that president biden has brought
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the west together to impose crushing sanctions on vladimir putin and putin's russia and that those sanctions will make this unjustified brutal invasion of ukraine cost russia and the russian people. i do think he should give credit where credit is due to president biden for all the hard work that he did over the last year, improving our alliances, strengthening our partnerships, because, frankly, his predecessor spent a lot of his four years dividing the united states from n.a.t.o., from the e.u., from some of our longest and closest alliances. president biden put in the time repairing those partnerships and laying the groundwork for what we're now seeing which is decisive leadership in the face of russian aggression. >> woodruff: how confident are you, senator coons, that the two parties are now united and whatever else needs to be done urgently to support the ukrainian people? >> i was in a meeting last night two two dozen senators and the ukrainian ambassador, and i'm
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confident that we've got enough bipartisan support to deliver a strong supplemental package of funding that will provide both financial assistance for refugees, for our vital allies that are receiving hundreds and hundreds of thousands of ukrainian refugees, and that will provide continued military support for arming the ukrainian resistance. judy, the whole world has been fixed to their tvs and social media devices, watching president zelensky and thousands and thousands of brave ukrainians standing up to and fighting to a standstill the massive invasion of russia in ukraine. i think the coming weeks will be tough and at times grim, but it's important that ukraine and ukrainians know that the united states and all to have the western allies who care about democracy and freak have their back and will continue to provide them with support and having bipartisan support from the congress for that is a critical piece to have the united states showing up in this
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critical moment. >> woodruff: moving on to the state of the union address tonight, senator, you know the president very well. we just heard senator thune and other republicans say this is a president who had a first rough year, even democrats acknowledge that. senator sh thune was ticking upa inflation, price of energy, problems at the border. just how rough a year has it been? how large are the challenges facing the president going into year two? >> we have significant challenges facing our country, but president biden also has a record of substantial accomplishment. his predecessor talked about insurrection b infrastructure. president biden and a bipartisan group of us in the senate got it done. he signed into law the biggest infrastructure investment package in history. we delivered more vaccination nations than anyone thought possible. four-fifths of all americans over alien five are vaccinated. we have a near record amount of
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growth and new jobs created for the first year of my modern presidency. but president biden will ac knowledge there are real challenges facing working families, all families across tour country in terms of inflation, conces about the future and exhaustion with this ongoing pandemic. president biden believes in the american people and he will lay out tonight his vision for how we can come together, tackle the problems that remain and come through this stronger than ever. >> woodruff: how confident are you, though, that when it comes to inflation -- i mean, how much can a president do to reassure the american people that they're not going to continue to suffer because of rising prices? >> he can do a lot to inflation by it takes time. the federal reserve has an absolutely critical role and global events that we have a hard time controlling or driving such as a potential increase in food costs or fuel or energy
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costs pause of the war in ukraine may have an impact that president biden can't make go away with a magic wand. but his administration has shown determination and focus on dealing with supply chain issues, on straightening out issues at the ports as a result of the pandemic and he's going to lay out a clear path forward for how we can tackle the daily cost of living like prescription drug costs, healthcare costs, daycare costs. president biden has put forward credible proposals for dealing with costs that impact american families and i'm hopeful that we in congress will take him up on it and take concrete bipartisan action to make theives of average means easier and better in the year ahead. >> woodruff: i want to ask you about the point senator thune made in the end is that in his view and that of many republicans the president had adopted an agenda last year that was off on the wrong track. he called it a left-wing agenda. he said, now the president has an opportunity for a reset.
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how do you see that? >> i see his first years as one in which, yes, there was a bill the first part of the year that was passed with democrats only, the american rescue plan, which was vital to reopening schools and businesses and supporting state and local governments and public health. it's too bad that got no republican support. i didn't think it was a left-wing bill at all. but his crowning achievement to have the second half to have the year was a strongly bipartisan bill on infrastructure. so, frankly, i don't think president biden has governed as a left-wing president as much as he has governed as a pragmatic president trying to solve the very real challenges facing us from climate change to healthcare to this pandemic. i do think that hi will lay out a unit agenda near the end of his state of the union address tonight. i'll remind you, president biden believes in the american people, he's optimistic, and he still believes that, if we come together, there's no problem that we can't solve together.
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>> woodruff: senator chris coons of delaware. senator, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: and we'll be back shortly with more coverage of president biden's state of the union. but first, take a moment to hear from your local pbs station. it's a chance to offer your support, which helps keep programs like ours on the air. >> woodruff: for those stations staying with us, we take a look at how a renowned dancer and choreographer is interpreting who ¡we' are as a society and a nation. jeffrey brown visits with bill t. jones for our arts and culture series, canvas. >> brown: one man-- bill t. jones-- roams an enormous space, telling a story of himself and
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his country. >> brutality. police. the horrors. unspeakable. >> brown: he's joined by a small group of dancers, who enact and move through that story. and then, by some 90 others, members of the larger community, filling the space, moving as a crowd. >> i know. >> brown: adding their own stories as individuals. it's called "deep blue sea." >> the piece is about the pursuit of the "we." >> brown: pursuit of the we? >> it's thrown around all the time. "we the people." "we shall overcome." politicians use it all the time, this "we." who is this "we" that you're talking about, considering how fractious our country is and how it has been from the beginning? >> brown: jones has used dance to ask big questions of himself and others since the 1980s, when he and his partner in life and dance, arnie zane, first formed a company.
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even as their fame grew, their world was devastated by aids, which would take the life of zane in 1988 and so many others. jones would go on to create jones would go on to create 150 of dances. eay on, "d-man in the waters," which directly addressed the loss of his loved ones. it's now the subject of a new documentary, titled "can you bring it," co-directed by rosalynde leblanc, one of his former dancers. and he's continued to take on big subjects in american life and history, as in a 2009 work on lincoln. his choreography on broadway, for "spring awakening" and "fela" garnered two tony awards. >> brown: last spring, amid the pandemic, he premiered "afterwardsness" in the vastness of new york's park avenue armory-- a dance of distance and loneliness, capturing our moment.
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>> they don't rememb we just don't remember... >> brown: now 69, he returned to the armory with "deep blue sea," a monologue with movement and projection that transforms the space into the sea itself. in it, he recalls reading "moby dick" in school, and years later, realizing he'd forgotten the one young african american character, the cabin boy pip, who loses his mind at sea. jones saw parallels to today's loss of young black lives. >> was it trayvon martin or was it michael brown in ferguson? those things began to happen so regularly. and as we know, in american society, they've never stopped happening. but they suddenly became media-tized. and i was putting together my strong reactions to that, with
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the fact that i had not seen this small, little character, who was, in a way, kind of collateral damage on ahab's ship. >> brown: another "character" here? bill t. jones himself. 10th of 12 children, whose parents were migrant farm- workers, first in florida, then new york state. >> the young boy that i was when i read the book actually felt the world was full of possibility. i don't know if my mother and father felt that. but i did. and that's what they wanted for me-- they wanted a world that was full of possibility. now this piece is asking, what happened to that young boy in me? and how are they doing in you? >> brown: do you want us to see those depths and those revelations as comments on american history, america, and where we are today? >> i want them to resound with you. are you a moral person? do you give a damn?
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because i want to believe, as dr. king believed, that you are basically fair and kind. >> brown: martin luther king artmaking is resistance. i don't know if we're the best for managing a city, hospital or tv station but you knead us there because we're willing to really ask the questions and look for answers in inspected directions. >> reporter: inevitably here, too, the pandemic. the audience was required to be vaccinated and masked. but for jones, again, the issues go deeper >> my question-- is there a "we"-- seemed almost banal now, considering covid had shown us very clearly, oh yes, there is a we. not in the high-minded and
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positive way that you're looking at, but we are heir to, literally, microbes. we are heir to the vicissitudes of health and politics that we can barely name. >> brown: i have seen you describe the pandemic as your "second plague." what did you learn that applies now, or makes you think about making art now? >> well, i guess being the son of a southern baptist woman, even though i'm an atheist, i do believe there is an over-level of consciousness. art can do that. and it will-- it might not take away all of people's pain, but it might do something else, which is just as good: give people a context in which they can endure. that's it. can you make something that invites people in, to congregate, to have a shared experience, and keep living? ah! that's it. can you encourage people to keep living?
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>> brown: bill t. jones retired as a dancer 15 years ago. he's back perfming now, he says, because this work required his full commitment, and he wanted to gather, and help lead, this larger community. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown at the park avenue armory in new york. >> woodruff: our live special coverage of the state of the union will begin shortly here on pbs. to give us a sense of what's happening now on capitol hill, lisa desjardins is back. lisa, the president is expected to address congress and the nation just after 9:00 p.m. eastern. >> reporter: you know, judy, there is over this congress building right now a seriousness, a rising concern and world events and some in this country. but i have to tell you, this speech in particular, it is unusual for the pandemic. things are calm, even though
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every member of congress will be in the chamber. everybody had to pick up a ticket. you had to get a covid test and test negative. people will be unmasked for the first time in this building in i think about a year. overall, it's a sense that maybe things are a little bit normal, not electric, but normal going into this speech. >> woodruff: wouldn't that be something, getting back to normal. lisa desjardins, and we will be looking for your coverage throughout the evening. and that's the "news and that's the newshour for tonight. but don't go anywhere. our coverage of ukraine and president biden's state of the union address continues online right now at and here on pbs, beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern. i'm judy woodruff. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you again shortly. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at
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>> the target foundation, committed to advancing racial equity and creating the change required to shift systems and accelerate equitable economic opportunity. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by dia access group at wgbh
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stol hello, everyone, and welcome to amanpour and company. here's what's coming up. >> i hereby order the minister of defense and the chief of the general staff to place the russian army defense force on combat alert. >> vladimir putin hangs a nuc nuclear damaclese over europe while ukraian forces continue to slow russia's advance. former sim come director david petraeus addresses the battle field day five. and. >> it is forever, and independence is forever. but it looks that every day you need to fight for it. >> those words prove to be prophetic, living under the threat of russian aggression. i speak wh