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tv   France 24  LINKTV  June 16, 2022 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT

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lara: this is “focus on europe.” i'm lara babalola. welcome to the program. we begin our show today in ukraine, where there is no letup in the fighting. bombs, injuries, and death have become a part of everyday life. and the brutality is especially felt in the port city of mariupol. the azov steel plant has been almost completely destroyed by putin's troops. residential neighborhoods are in ruins. the landscape is apocalyptic.
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people trapped in mariupol are desperate for help. some are risking their lives to escape, while others are barely surviving under siege. among those who managed to flee mariupol to safety are mykhailo puryshev and his family. still, mykhailo refused to leave his people behind, and kept returning to the bombed-out city to deliver life-saving aid. our reporter caught up with him after one of his trips. mykhailo: i understood the town was under siege. i understood that nobody was going there. but my employees were there. i promised them i would come, bring aid, and get them out. my friends and i pooled money to buy the van. we packed it up with relief supplies and painted it, so it would be recognizable. it all went really smooth and fast. everything's fine. i'm on
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the road. hopefuy i'll get there okay. suddenly i'd passed the last ukrainian checkpoint in orikhiv. i encountered the war -- the mines, the burnt-out tanks, all the horrors that you see. i had two bibles here and two here. the fear was there nonetheless. but i drove anyway. i had a business in mariupol. it was a club. most of it was in the basement. it had concrete ceilings, so we turned it into a bomb shelter. there was a grill, so we could cook food and boil water. we joked that it was a five-star bomb shelter. it's been snowing, so today we can wash. a bullet hit right here. we often took hits. but nothing that struck the bus hit anyone.
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shrapnel came in here and here anhere. run! down! bloody hell. lucky i parked the car in front of the entrance. it protected us. did you see where the bomb hit? just behind the car. a car was driving by at that moment. the grandmother inside died. her grandson and i dragged her across the road. >> what's in my face? mykhailo: blood. >> a lot? mykhailo: yes.
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it brings tears to my eyes to see the children crying and afraid. i hope god will save them. it's horrific. just horrific. we'll do everything we can. it's terrible. the memories are coming back. the thing i was most afraid of seeing was the body of a dead child. that scared me the most. whenever there were bodies on the street, small piles of them, i always looked away. children have a special place in my life. i'm a father of four. if i'd seen a dead child, i probably would've fallen apart.
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at the first opportunity, we left. we loaded the van with children, pregnant women, and mothers with children. look who my passengers are. >> hello. >> it was awful. we passed mines and tanks. there were lots of manikins -- i mean, dead people. we told them they were manikins. but really they were -- >> bodies, right? >> yes. mykhailo: another van's joined us. we'll call it “the lost one.” there are more and more of us. on my first trip i was the only one. but the third time i queued at the checkpoint for 40 minutes -- a real traffic jam. so many people wanted to help get people out. the only thing putin's achieved
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is to show the whole world who ukrainians are and what ukraine is. people have come together. volunteers have brought thousands out of the city in their own cars. many of them haven't returned. some drove over mines, other were caught in crossfire at night. these are regular ukrainians, everyday people. lara: for people living close to russia in finland, like linda brandt-ahde, the war has marked a turning point. finland was a neutral country for nearly 80 years, staying out of military alliances. it's a stance the vast majority of finns supported. now linda, and many residents in the border town of lappeenranta, are eager for their nation to join nato. it's a move that has sparked anger in moscow, but for most finns, neutrality is now a
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thing of the past. reporter: simulating war to secure peace. with its more than 3000 soldiers and nearly 700 vehicles, the finnish army is holding “arrow 22” exercises in western finland, together with nato. for the first time in the country's history, a majority of finns want to join the alliance. rainer: i think we are ready to enter nato. we have been training together with good partners, which are basically nato partners, doing exercises for years. so, that shouldn't be a problem. reporter: this historic turning point is especially relevant for the people of lappeenranta, on the border with russia. it was also a u-turn for linda brandt-ahde, a local councilor. in this tranquil little town, she couldn't see why her country should join a military alliance. until now, the town and its beautiful cafes enjoyed the
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benefits of its neighborly relationship with russia. she says russian tourists from st. petersburg loved coming to lappeenranta. but times have changed. linda: russia didn't seem a threat before. now, i think only about our 1000-kilometer shared border. reporter: these days, the nearest border crossing is all but deserted. there's little traffic from either side. that's mainly the result of the war of aggression russia is fighting against its neighbor, ukraine. in just weeks, the war has dramatically shifted finnish opinion on joining nato. linda brandt-ahde shows us the old fortress of lappeenranta, built in the 18th century to defend against the russian army. back then, it didn't prevent the russians from conquering the city. she sees it as a symbol of the russian domination she fears today. linda:
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at first, i thought it was better for us not to get involved in military alliances. but now i think we should have decided to join much earlier. my eyes have been opened and i no longer see nato as a war alliance, but as a defense alliance. reporter: and that's what most people in ppeenranta think. there have not been any indications of a confrontation yet, but many here are unsettled. >> russia is so close. not many have a country next door that's huge and dangerous. and you don't know what to expect from it. unfortunately, this neighbor is full of surprises. >> i still have some doubts. sure, the situation is bad, but i haven't yet been able to make up my mind. we don't knoabout the risks of nato membership and what
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finland's obligations would be as a member. >> i live just 11 kilometers from the border. when people ask me if i'm afraid of the russians, i say, “welcome to finland.” let them come and we'll show them how we defend our country. reporter: the nato military exercises simulate expelling an aggressor. it's deterrence as defense, a strategy nato has been pursuing since russia's invasion of ukraine, arming its entire eastern flank as a result. and finnish nato membership would especially strengthen the security of the baltic region. uldis: now it is going crazy, i would say, what is happening. and now the expectation is that we could be dropped back to the middle ages. if we are fighting each other, against people, it is not a 21st century way of thinking. that is my point of view. reporter:
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the view at the joint military exercises is that the western military alliance would benefit from finland's military involvement. the country may not currently be a nato member, but it is a nato partner, working closely with the alliance since 1994. full membership would also help people in the small border town of lappeenranta feel safer, says councilor brandt-ahde. linda: i hope we'll join nato as soon as possible. i want the war in ukraine to end soon, and for europe to live in peace and stability. reporter: then, brandt-ahde hopes, people here will be able to enjoy their free time without worrying. she believes that nato is key to a peaceful and stable finland. lara:
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norway, which also shares a border with russia, has long been a member of nato. the nation is not only well-positioned in terms of security, but also when it comes to energy. in norway, the war in ukraine has not led to any shortages. that's because the country is one of the world's largest exporters of gas and oil. it is also a pioneer in e-mobility. per capita, it has more electric cars than any other nation in europe. and it's set to get even greener. thanks to people like thomas fevang, who is leading norway into the history books as captain of the world's first battery-powered container ship. reporter: containers are loaded onto a freighter in porsgrunn, south of norway's capital, oslo, destined for the port of breivik. at first glance, thomas fevang's bridge looks like any other, but it has quite a few
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more joysticks and monitors. thomas: here, you can see our only drive system. we don't have any diesel or auxiliary engines. we rely entirely on batteries, for all the lights as well as propulsion. generally, ships have at least a diesel engine as a back-up. but here, we've done away with that completely. reporter: as the ship glides down the oslofjord, it leaves no trail of black smoke. it's fully electric. in the engine room, thomas shows us his ship's beating heart -- banks obatteries, charged with power from a hydro-electric plant. a single charge can take the ship about 75 kilometers. that's still a fairly short hop, but electrician björnar flaa sörum is already mulling over solutions for the future. björnar:
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for longer distances, there'll be a kind of power-bank on the sea. ships can stop there and fill up like at a gas station. then off to the next charging station. so, with a network of charging stations, the range would be unlimited. reporter: when it comes to electro-mobility, the norwegians don't just talk big, they put ideas into practice, whether on water or land. even as the yara birkeland container-ship is in its test phase, dozens of car ferries are already plying the fjords on electric power. the ports are equipped with gigantic outlets for the ships. they re-charge while passengers disembark and board. norway's ferry-users are glad to see the country's electric boom take to the water. lene: i like that this ferry's much more modern anmuch quieter. and it's bigger, so it can take
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more cars. reporter: the bastø electric can carry 200 cars and 600 passengers, making it the world's largest electric-drive ferry. the environmentally friendly propulsion also changes the handling. captain erik waskaas had to get used to it. svein: the biggest difference for us is the quiet. as you can tell, you can't hear a thing. diesel ferries react slower to steering commands, the curve is flatter. an electric ferry reacts much faster, similar to electric cars. reporter: making shipping more environmentally friendly is just one advantage of the yara birkeland. norwegian engineers are also using it to see whether ships can sail without a crew on-board. right now, thomas fevang still needs to be on the bridge. but in just two years, the ship should run itself, with the captain on shore. thomas: the ship will make its own
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decisions throughout. my job will be to monitor them, and make sure the boat is doing what it's supposed to. reporter: the maritime trials should be complete in two years. then, norway will have the world's first all-electric and self-piloting container ship. lara: imagine you have a serious illness or accident and no access to healthcare. for many people in great britain, this situation is a reality. the island's national health service, or nhs, is on life support. underfunding, red tape, and chronic staff shortages have left millions of britons without access to proper care. and it's not only the sick who are suffering. the crisis is also taking a toll on medical workers. they feel powerless in britain's ailing health system. reporter: she may be smiling, but lara is fighting for her life. she urgently needs a new kidney.
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preferably, a pancreas too. she has been waiting for a transplant for three years. lara w: in october, i received an offer for a kidney and pancreas, to have simultaneously. and it was a good offer. they were a good match for me. they were good organs. and unfortunately, they di everything they could, but they just couldn't find or free up an icu bed for me. reporter: salvation was within reach. but with the national health service stretched to its limits, even patients like lara sometimes can't get treatment. lara w: you wait so long. and it's like finding a needle in a haystack, trying to get the right match. you know, this isn't something that comes up every day. so it just feels utterly devastating, and frankly, disgusting that an opportunity that's so rare and so special has had to be missed due to a logistical nightmare. reporter: she has no clue when another organ offer will come up. the nhs is in crisis.
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even before the covid pandemic, four million people in britain were waiting for necessary hospital procedures. now, the backlog has hit six million. patients come to london's kingston hospital for cancer treatment. the waiting list here is long. dr. sarb sandhu says this has already had fatal consequences. dr. sandhu: patients who were potentially curable become not curable, but treatable. but we'll still do the best we can. and that's very sad, when that happens. reporter: doctors and nurses can hardly keep up with the workload. with 90,000 posts currently unfilled, there's a shortage of staff to perform necessary procedures. money is a big factor. health care in britain is financed through taxes. but for years, the budget for the nhs has been too tight. dame clare gerada is a gp and president of the royal college
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of general practitioners. she was able to see most of her patients today. but some will have to wait. clare: i have to say, it's due to the flex in our health system. we have fewer beds per head of population than most european countries, certainly. and though we've had money put into the nhs, it's against a backdrop of being one of the lowest funded -- again, in comparison to our european colleagues. reporter: it's not only patients who are suffering from a straining nhs. doctors, nurses, and paramedics also say they're at breaking point. in bedford, ben hawkins answers emergency calls for the east of england ambulance service. for weeks, he's struggled to get his paramedics to where they're needed on time. ben: there are emergency departments that are full, and emergency departments that don't have room to offload our patients
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from our ambulances. and that means unfortunately, our ambulances are waiting to offload patients, so they have still got them onboard their ambulance. but it does mean that we can't always get ambulances back into the community, which means patients are waiting in the community. reporter: it's causing stress for him and his team. extreme cases are on the rise. ben: the decision between, i've got two people not breathing, and one ambulance, which one do i send it to? you know, and actually we don't know these people. we're making decisions about their life and we don't know them. i know some staff that have a bit of cry on the way home, have a moment. reporter: responsibility for the nhs ultimately rests with prime minister boris johnson. in the past few weeks, he's visited several hospitals, partly in an effort to get some favorable media attention. the government has increased national insurance contributions to raise funds for the health system.
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pm johnson: we've got to use absolutely everything in our toolbox to fix the backlogs. investment, massive investment that we're making, but also new technology, and of course on the massive investments that we're making in staff. reporter: however, his government admits that things are likely to get worse before they get better in a year or two. meanwhile, staff at bedford's ambulance service are voluntarily working extra shifts to make up for shortages. some paramedics even leave their beepers on when they're not working. ben: we'd struggled to get an ambulance there because of how far out it is. but they will be first on scene if somebody stopped breathing. so, there's lots of them. there's 47 of them now currently logged on available to respond to emergency calls. reporter: just like here in bedford, it's the tireless commitment of people that's keeping the nhs afloat, at least so far. lara:
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for most of us, the daily commute to and from work can be a real drag. but there are those who say it's the highlight of their day, like cengiz kocak. he gets to enjoy a spectacular view, and the trip comes with an adrenaline rush. kocak works on mount babadag in turkey's mediterranean. despite being at an altitude of 1000 meters, he can make it back down in minutes. so how does he do it? see for yourself. reporter: soaring high above the earth like a bird of prey, then landing smoothly on the ground. for cengiz kocak, it's the perfect end to his working day. kocak's day begins like many other people's in turkey. a last sip of coffee, then he's out the door. the rest of kocak's routine is less typical. for one thing, his workplace is perched at 1200-meters'
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altitude, on mount babadag on turkey's southern coast. his commute involves a cable car. then, he's in his element at dizzying heights like these. cengiz: fear awakens my curiosity. when i'm afraid, i can sense myself. reporter: kocak needs the challenge. during his time as a paratrooper with the turkish armed forces, he discovered base-jumping, with and without a wingsuit. he's one of the few people in turkey who've mastered this extreme sport. kocak arrives at work. he's the manager of the babadag cable car. he hangs his wingsuit up by his desk. but apart from that, his workday has very little to do with extreme sports.
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his job involves monitoring the cable car's technical systems, and keeping an eye on the panorama restaurant and the viewing platform. after kocak puts in his eight hours, it's quitting time, a moment he looks forward to each day. cengiz: i rarely take the cable car home. because i can fly. reporter: he puts on his wingsuit. as this is one of turkey's hubs for paragliders, kocak can get a piggy-back ride up to just the right cruising altitude. then, he just spreads his arms and heads for home, at speeds of up to 180 kilometers an hour. “home” is by one of turkey's
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most beautiful beaches, ölüdeniz. to land safely, all kok has to do is open his chute, and he's almost home. four minutes of flying instead of 40 minutes by cable car. cengiz: now i'll unwind and watch netflix. reporter: the last job is to stow the equipment in his backpack. for most wingsuit flyers, the extreme sport is a rare experience. for cengiz kocak, it's the quickest way home. lara: that's all from us this week here at “focus on europe.” don't forget, you can watch more of our show online at thank you so much for tuning in. take care and see you soon. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.
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>> this is dw news live from berlin. face-to-face in kyiv. the leaders of germany, italy, france and romania say europe stands united with ukraine and are ready for it to receive eu candidate status asap. also coming up. >> russia's war against ukraine poses the biggest threat to our security in decades. >> nato secretge


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