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tv   Quadriga - International Debate from Berlin  LINKTV  September 18, 2022 10:30pm-11:01pm PDT

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it's nothing short of a route. ukraine's two pronged counter offensive has expelled russian troops from a large swathe of territory in the northeastern part of the country at lightning speed in under a week, the ukrainian forces regained more territory than russia captured in over for five months. blindsided and on the defensive russia has responded by striking power plants plunging much of the northeast of the country into darkness. we're asking ukraine's batefield gains putin under pressure. hello
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and welcome to. to the point, it is a pleasure to greet our guests. vandalia fan rado is european business and finance correspondent for the economist magazine. your glow is foreign affairs correspondent at the german weekly deep site and it's very great pleasure to welcome my colleague vladimir osipov back. he works with d w. s russian language desk it's very great pleasure to welcome my colleague vladimir osipov and vladimir. the ukrainian offensive seems to have caught the russian forces and leadership entirely off guard. is that is that should be that the case. it is the russians took off guard indeed, but i would not talk about it like a turning point of this world because it's too early to say. but it's huge success for ukrainian army, huge, very important signal for the ukrainian politics and
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for the ukrainian population in any way. and what is the lightning speed of this campaign? tell us about the state of russian forces. tell us a lot about the state of the ukrainian forces. first of all, ukrainian forces are able to with foreign intelligence obviously with the foreign foreign weapons systems to push back russians from from huge territories and they were completely surprised by surprised by the possibilities of the ukrainian army linda linda linda. this has been one of the biggest, if not the biggest counter offensive since world war two in europe. the russian may treat has been chaotic. the russians have left ample supplies of both ammunition and military kit behind the delight of ukrainian forces of course. but expelling occupying forces is one thing actually retaining newly won territory is another. do you
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think ukraine can do it? yeah, i'm not sure. and i'd be also careful not to make too much of to to say it's a turning point. i don't think it is yet. i think it's comparable to you know at the very beginning, russia thought they could take kiev within days and then the whole thing will be over at the very beginning, russia thought they could take kiev within a week. and that was a big defeat. now this is the second big defeat of this whole campaign but russia still occupies about 20% of ukraine's territory. so you know, we still have a long way to go and i think it will, you know, it will become a war of attrition, sadly, i don't think that's changed let me ask you to comment on exactly that president zelensky, ukrainian president made a surprise visit to the city of izzy. um this week and said that his troops quote, unquote, will press on izzy um is viewed as a gateway to the industrial part of the east to
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the industrial region of donbass, which of course has been the main focus of russia's ambitions. would you say that the industrial region of donbass, which of course has been the ukrainians have a good chance of building on the momentum to actually make real inroads there? i think so is um is a very important logistical hub for defenders it used to be one for the aggressors and this is this is a major step for them, but also the appearance of selenski on scene. i mean, contrast that with putin basically sitting in a bunker all the time and uh, that's that's such a different way of, you know, presenting your case to the world public that i think this also makes, makes a huge difference also for ukrainians and for for the spirit of the defenders there vladimir, do you think putin's aims for the donbass are doomed? i would hope. yes, but i'm afraid not not
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yet, because it's just one step or an episode in this very long war and we should not expect that the war is over in the next weeks. so the russian government and the russian establishment and president obama himself communicating through his press person in moscow, communicating even whether the russian will russia will follow the goals set for the special military operations or the russians doesn't or didn't give up the goals, which is the removing of the ukrainian government and the identification so called unification of the ukraine, the destruction of the civil and military infrastruure is going on as we see after the counter emphasis in in the arctic region, russia struck the power clients. russia struck the them in. so it's the horror is going on and the goals are the same still the same and let's drill a bit deeper on that and take
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a closer look at a counter offensive that stunned not only russian forces and politicians, but also western military experts shattered russian tanks and positions. they testify to the force of the ukrainian attack, but also toto the element of surprise in the rapid advances. this coup, kiev's troops recaptured huge sections of territory in eastern ukraine. within a short period of time, the ukrainian president currently speaks of more than 6000 square kilometers, according to military experts. ukrainian territorial gains thus exceed those of the russians for five months in less than a week. on the one hand, the counter offensive testifies to the military competence of the ukrainians and the effectiveness of western weapons systems. but it also highlights the desert state of the russian military moscow on
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the other hand, speaks only of recruiting its troops to reinforce its units in the donetsk region. but observers now even no longer rule out a rapid collapse of the russian war machine are the recent successes of the ukrainian military. the longed for turning point in this war. let me put that question straight away to you because we've heard both of the other guests say it's not a turning point. how do you see it militarily? it might not be the turning point of the war, but it's very important because it's the first time we've had good news from the battlefield in very many months and it's very important for the ukrainians going into that winter. that will be very hard for them also for europeans. but for the ukraine's it will be very hard and to to make sure that western support will not dry up it's very important for them to present these successes now so i think in that sense it might be not
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a turning point but a very important point in the campaign. i want to talk a little bit about before we come to the west. i want to talk a little bit about what all this means for vladimir putin and interestingly enough, since this counter offensive vladimir, there has been no worthy criticism of putin at home as well as abroad of course. but tell us a little bit about the voices you're hearing at home in russia. what is remarkable, i mean, the news of the dozens of small deputies of the small russian opposition politicians in muslims who are demanding the resign mint of putin. it's not really new. it's very garage, big garage people, but this is not new. what's really new is the voices from the hardliner from the from really military hard liner from ramzan kadyrov, the president of chechnya, who is demanding the rethinking of the russian military strategy in in in the ukraine and who was able even talking about visiting moscow
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and talking to the leadership of the russian military by himself. this is very important science of the parts of the russian military establishment, of the part of russian hotline and not being happy. it's happening in the ukraine at all and it's very strong signals on the on the right side and russia. what would you expect it to mean for vladimir putin? how would you expect him to react? i would be surprised to the moon that if he is not escalating the situation even though i'm not sure in which form it will be happening. but it will be the next step of escalation to the worse i would expect. and elena, would you agree with that assessment, sadly? yes. and we've already seen it. you know he's the russians have bombarded critical infrastructure. um power stations damn. you know, this is very painful for the civilian population. so in some ways the escalation has already started we'll come back to that as well in a in
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a moment. but let me ask you about your assessment of the political situation in russia, your paper this week published an opinion piece by the russian historian historian vladimir kara murza, who reminds us that in the past political upheaval in russia often came with stunning speed. and he predicts that could happen again. should the west start preparing for a russia under putin. well, um how do you prepare for that situation? i mean, it's it's unforeseeable because this person has been in charge for such a long time for for 20 years now, more than 20 years um but it's true that a military defeat has brought sweeping change in russia many times. i mean, we've seen it after the defeat in afghanistan, it opened new possibilities
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for the opposition, but also for opposition within the system to come up and try something else if it's going for the opposition, but also for opposition within the system to be uh the hardliners, the nationalists that vladimir just mentioned, we don't know, it doesn't have to be a turn for the better. yes, absolutely. i have grown up in the soviet union and the war in afghanistan with this elephant in the room. no one was talking about this openly, but this kind of people are not being happy with the government and different levels was supported by the war in afghanistan. it was one of one of the key factors in this self destruction of the soviet union. so, i see the risks of the war in the ukraine to be to inflict this kind of self destruction on the russian politics in the russian society because people at some point, this feeling of the people not being happy with what's going on in the country and they cannot fix it on war on politics and so
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on. but this general feeling of not being happy is increasing the the historian that i mentioned, vladimir karam was says in this article, the collapse of putin's regime is a question not of if, but when can you wager any kind of estimate of what a post putin russia might look like, what direction it could go in. we don't know at all that this is so much unknown in this and it's long. if you look back at the russian history, every previous russian leader was follow it by someone by a very surprised no one was expecting garbage of appearing, no one was expecting yates and appearing and no one was expecting putting appearing so the next one state leader would be someone i would expect, who is not expected right now. you know, the name of the person, it will be someone from the actual establishment
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i would expect. it would be not someone from the martian from foreign country, but it's uh the name, we'll be surprised venda lena coming back to the the effects on the war, there's been some rising concern here in germany and elsewhere in the west that putin with his back to the wall might be more likely to escalate as you have indicated, possibly including with tactical nuclear weapons is that a serious risk. do you think? i do think it's a risk. you know, we cannot just exclude it. we cannot say it won't happen, but putting in his own way of thinking has so far been very rational in his, you know, considering his worldview. and i think in that sense, if we think he's he's acting rationally, it's it's unlikely that he will go as far as that. certainly just one putting on russian politics political
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system is completely thinking outside of the box. so what we expect in the west is not always what's happening in russia. and putin is a man of the big surprises. so it is open and often make things which no one expects from him and we should brace for more surprises. one surprise, he did not deliver your this week was uh chancellor shultz's request that putin withdraw the troops from ukraine in a telephone call. putin made it very clear that he has no regrets regrets whatsoever about the invasion and would do it all over again. would you say that chancellor schulz was right to give diplomacy a chance at this moment in time? and where do you think things could go from here? i think so it's right to make these calls. i mean, no surprises in the answer putin gave obviously, but it's important for
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also a domestic reason for schulz. he has to make clear to the german public that he's trying everything especially if we expect and i do expect that we will have to send more heavy weapons at some point and then being able to say, look, i tried everything, i talked to him, i presented my case and he wouldn't he wouldn't answer. so is a very, is a better position to escalate on in terms of weapons, those repeated attacks on ukrainian infrastructure that blended evangelina mentioned earlier, including most recently on ukraine's water supply, indicate that putin is hardly ready to call it quits. we have this report in kharkiv and other ukrainian cities in the east of
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the country, the russians caused a blackout according to eyewitness reports, the result widespread power outages plunging entire areas and millions of civilians into darkness without light without heat without internet and even without water as pumps run on electricity and in europe too. like here in lille france, people are trying to prepare for a possible blackout as a result of the russian energy war with energy saving measures and further safety precautions ahead of the upcoming winter. but energy prices are climbing to ever new dizzying heights for many consumers and businesses. the situation is becoming increasingly threatening even without a blackout. how well is europe prepared for this winter? and i'll put that question straight away to evangelina, but i'm going to broaden it out a bit and ask you how well prepared you think europe is to stay the course also in terms of support for
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ukraine if the russian energy war on the west does turn things dark and cold here as well as in ukraine, i think europe is relatively well prepared and we let me just start with saying that in germany gas storage facilities are pretty much full, i mean much fuller than we expected them to be at this point. um industry for instance, in germany and other countries have shown that they can save quite a lot of energy much more than they thought individuals we are all, you know, we're all supposed to save energy and we can do, we can do even more it'll be tough. it'll for sure be tough. but i don't i don't eveven think there'll be gas rationing. it depends of course, how cold the winter will be and that's something we don't know. but let's assume it's a it's a normal winter, you know, normal temperatures, we will that's something we don't know. but let's assume it's a be okay. it won't be easy, but we'll be okay vladimir. a central question that has arisen also due to this counter offensive is whether germany will sustain its military
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support for ukraine, germany is now under increasing pressure once again to deliver more and heavier weapons to ukraine. but russia's ambassador to germany said this week that if anything germany has done way too much and in fact, he used the term red line saying that germany's support to date has already crossed a red line. what is he trying to say with that? is that simply a rhetorical device or could it mean that russia is aiming to punish germany with some additional we don't know it yet device or could it mean that russia is aiming to because we don't know if it be any blackouts in germany inflicted from outside. i could not exclude this possibility of such events on german soil which is the russian embassy said using the word's redline, is that germany is now from the russian part of you is a part of the conflict. part of the war on the side of the ukraine as the whole western world, the whole
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nato in the united states because nato and the united states and germany delivering equipment to the ukraine make enabled ukraine to push russia back. so it's not that the western world is outside of this conflict and it's like a war between russia and the ukraine. from the russian point of view it's a war between russia and the rest of the world of the rest. liberal democratic world united and the nato european union you call it. in fact u. s. military advisers are said to have played a key strategic role working with ukraine to design this counter offensive. yeah, let me ask you about something that chancellor schulz said this week. he said he he again region requests that germany send it smarter and leopard battle tanks and said in fact germany's high performance weapons that it has already sent have been very very helpful on the battlefield? is his defensiveness on this point? is it
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really justified or do you think that germany could and should do more right now. i think we could do more and i think chancellor schulz could build on what he stated that the weapons we sent really make a difference on the battlefield so they are even more lethal than the ones that are um asked for now the models that basically infantry fighting vehicles with small cannons mounted on top, they're not as lethal as the bits of 2000 we already delivered. so i don't see why uh saying we already sent weapons and and now we're going to go slow makes really sense. i think the argument that we were not going to go alone is valid
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but it doesn't have to be us going alone. we can take the initiative and bring along nato partners. so and i think that's what the u. s. also wants in this in this phase of the war. that's how i understand the american ambassador saying it's a sovereign decision by germany just don't wait for us to make a decision. if you look at per capita contributions to ukraine germany of course is more populous than many other european countries. it's also an industrial powerhouse and yet its contributions fall significantly short of what a number of other come that's right. i mean for instance poland has done much more than germany and other countries to the baltic states but germany is sort of in the middle you know even considering its size, its strength, its, its population america of course has done in much much more so i don't think germany has done so badly and and one
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thing germany sent which is enormously useful and doesn't really get a lot of that is not mentioned desire s t. it's basicalllly like the israeli dome. it's it's very fancy missile defense shield and it's something that they can't afford because it's so pricey. but we sent it to germany sent it to ukraine. so i think germany sometimes also underplaying a little bit how much it is doing absolutely in germany has a huge transformation in the public opinion in the last six months in terms of what we can deliver it to the ukraine to the conflict zone. and i would not compare the spendings by the baltic states, by poland by the u. s. they have completely different story of relationship historically, poland and baltic states to russia as germany. the population of baltic states are not that kind of pacifistic. like in germany, there is no hole, there's such broad consent in the society like in germany about pacifism and this is a huge factor and domestic and foreign politics in germany nonetheless, there is
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a lot of concern in this country. i mentioned germany being an industrial powerhouse. well after world war two, the u. s. secretary of treasury who was a hardline anti german proposed a plan that would have seen the complete deindustrialization of germany so that it could never wage war again. and that word is now being used here by citizens and media who say that perhaps putin will achieve was what morgan thought didn't. is that a true risk angelina? i've just written about this for the economist and it's it's morgenthau's revenge. um it's it's not a risk that mr morgenthau's plans to really completely de industrialized germany and he wrote a book, germany's our problem in 1945 that will not happen. but some companies will go under and some companies will go abroad. so certain, you know small scale deindustrialization is a real risk and that's why people are so worried about it. is the government doing
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enough to ward that off? well, they're trying, i think we haven't seen the end of it. the the measures that have been taken mostly directed at consumers at the moment and individual households to shield them from the consequences of this economic warfare, much more will have to be done for companies and but but germany is still in a good position to do this. so i'm not defeatist let me come back to our title before we we end the show as you remember ukraine's battlefield gains putin under pressure is our title. let me ask all of you very briefly, as you look ahead now, after this counter offensive, are you more hopeful that the end of this war is in sight. vladimir? no, not at all the worse is yet to come evangelina, sadly, i'm with
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vladimir, that that i think there will be escalation, but i am more hopeful about the strength of the ukrainian military. it's it's totally impressive what they've shown us. i'm more hopeful, i think ukraine can shore up more support that way. and um, i'm very hopeful that something will change also in russia in the debate about the war thank you very much to all of you for being
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