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tv   Velshi  MSNBC  February 20, 2022 5:00am-6:00am PST

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and why this is so vital to our democracy. and then the spoke club, is once again -- i hope you read, or we read to kill a mockingbird today's show. but if you didn't i guarantee you're gonna learn something with my conversation of the legendary scholar amani perry, about why this book is one of the most banned books in american literature. velshi starts now.
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good morning, into sunday february 20th, i'm ali velshi, as of this hour russia has not invaded ukraine. but the fears and concerns that eastern europe may be on the brink of war have not subsided. reports from some parts of the country are increasingly starting to sound like stories out of a war zone. violence is escalating, in new ukraine's done region, it's controlled by referencing new leaders ukraine's defense mueller. due to the heavy intensifying situation in eastern europe, and following president biden's on friday, he's now convinced that russian president vladimir putin has already decided to invade ukraine, other nations have been issuing warnings. prime minister boris johnson weighed in this weekend one he believes putin's power plan is put in motion.
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and he could lead to the biggest one in europe, since 1945, yesterday both. so lovely should leave you to look, reno knows how dire the situation is right now, more so than your president. after delivering a speech at the munich conference yesterday, he sat down for a q&a and how this is a. >> we don't need to sanctions after the bombardment will. they're occupy, but why would he distinctions later? >> >> i want to quickly talk about sanctions for a minute. there are different types of sanctions and one reason why. it's known as the man act, he's
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named after surgery magnitsky. he was a russian, lord who uncovered a massive tax fraud scheme scheme linked to the kremlin. he died under specific circumstances in 2009 in the prison. this law named after him, targets russians who are allegedly humans rights abusers. and mark through to the river to, because. the united states musicians with her and.
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there were multiple incidents of 2018, that prompted new sanctions from the, west including the poisoning of a pair of russian nationals, in the uk. the difference in the 2016 u.s., elections and a series of cyberattacks. in response to those incidents, he was expelled different diplomats, closed the russian consulate, and banned arms sales to russia. it also signaled sanctions, from entities accessing financial institutions. that brings us to today. there have been plenty of discussions imposing the polls, mother of all. in the closest i was darkside, eliza america has now imposed and news. and we could force putin to
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changes ways or else we wouldn't be in the situation right. now on the other, hand sanctions have hit russia's economy hard. but as you heard from president zelensky earlier, if these sanctions are gonna happen, they might happen too late for his country. marvelous. but the ball's defense ministry sided with the escalating situation in donbass, for the reason for keeping those russian forces. really just hours away from kyiv, the capital, where i am. now in terms of the situation
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in eastern ukraine. the violence persists. doubling in recent days and separatist leaders accusing the ukrainian military of planning some sort of attack, something that the ukrainian military denies. separatist leaders evacuating thousands of women and children. and they were also calling on the men in donbass, to carry arms in preparation for a fight. , now ukrainians are saying that they believe that this is a pretext, a potential pretext for escalating the safety. tense situations with you i have left on this one, lifted -- the manual macron had a phone call with putin. he's following that one up with
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a phone call with president zelensky. and there's another meeting scheduled for later. between sergei lavrov, the russian foreign minister, and the u.s. secretary of state, anthony blinken. that means it will only happen if there's no invasion. >> and. one of the conversations i was happening with the quality. are you under some sort of orders to try everything they cannot to engage and provide that pretext but the russians need? as the violence on the borderline, starts to increase, what are they actually doing? how did they not engage? >> well, it's really difficult, both sides are accusing each other of escalating the situation. and in terms of the ukrainian military, there is. but, as you pointed, out sometimes the leaders in.
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does not provoke hutu, we heard from the ukrainian president, pointing out that it. he could potentially lead to one tortures annexed for months, just how intense things are here. . nbc news correspondent here in cues. joining us now from kyiv since the go. and the host of that podcast. another senior fellow with the iterations under. he joins us now easier on politics university. he's the author of putin economics, power and money and as resurgence of russia. thanks for being with us. terrell, you've been out and about and ukraine. we're talking to people there. i want to get a, since we've got a good sense of high-level negotiations, and sanctions, and diplomacy, and military strategy.
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>> people are tired of the anxiety, when something is gonna happen in the, past people don't know where yet, it's funny that there. people are taking it seriously,. that's also older people saying i'm not gonna go away, you're gonna stand and be resolute, basically stand through whatever occupation, or type of attack russia is going to. but generally it is exhaustion. so you walk through this industry, i just left the restaurant to our skull, everything is open there. there was no panic, everything is calm, the traffic is normal. people are going about their
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lives. >> let me ask you, chris, about the fatal new mothers that has something to do nothing with. . talk to me about why this is the key. . and they could be notified. the u.s. is pulling in other countries in europe, pushing in germany to cancel this pipeline. they are refusing. they haven't given it
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regulatory approval, yet and it's going to be the heads of the german government of there is any steps to take. >> terrell i want to ask you about something that joe biden's isn't front easily. boris johnson, the uk prime minister such a good yesterday. this is not likely to be the invasion that i probably will. there seems to be a goal to take you. but whose home we will not become. this is a city that in 2014, faced the state police which more than 100 people were killed. and so this is a very resolute population.
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>> chris, part of the issue here is that whatever putin wants some sort of directional triage. he liked it when ukraine was eastern facing. and he didn't like it wasn't. so try to get my head around, it is just innovation of the country? or is it some method of changing the regime or control or direction that ukraine looks ahead? and how do you see it unfolding? >> if you look at russia's most recent wars in 2008, 2014, 2015,
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the last period of intense fighting in eastern ukraine. what's russia from the top, flocking to police forces in a short period of days or months and georgia feels that the fever is to those of the. we can play massive cords. the wars only lasted for five days. and, so i think the big question is, if there's conflict, how will ukraine respond? will they try to cut a deal with russia, all they refuse? and expand the war to get the concessions that russia was? >> i guess that's the issue he pointed out 2014 but the ukrainians themselves did not like the way that the government was going. they didn't like what the government was doing and at the cost of many lives forced it
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out. part of the issue that putin has is unlike a lot of other european companies labels they bolted from the spheres soon as they could. sometimes the pro-russian, sometimes that perilously. >> absolutely, one of the major differences is that ukraine was much further into the former ussr warsaw pact country. when you think about the baltic states, world war ii, there is a much larger context. more importantly to, this country was in various compasses, colonizing the way those other countries. it's not just ukraine looking behind, they have a very different colonial history, cultural history, linguistic history, sending us the wrong colonization. so i will say this this is 2014. you have the vast majority of people who are not pro nato, now, the vast majority of
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people are infected in favor of joining the nato alliance. putin's invasion into thousand 14 did not hear the results that he wanted. he walked on the street, but not only just here around this country. you see european union flags around the ways that you did not see. i know when i first came here in 2009. this is a country that will never return back to russia's, you know, zero matter how much he pops it. i'll close up by saying, that if he does invade beyond them boss, i don't see the kyiv government giving up, that's not something that will happen. they would've conceded a long time ago. if they hadn't had to do. so i just don't see it happening. if they hadn't had don't impose any sanctions until something happens. once you impose the sanctions, putin has nothing to lose. vladimir zelensky yesterday in munich was saying something
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different. he was saying the sanctions might come to lay. we might lose the country by the time impose st. john's. what is your thinking on that? >> the challenge on that, as you outlined the u.s. has imposed a lot of sanctions over the past decade. i'm think they have been pretty weak, economically. now in the biden administration is threatening really tough changes. a step higher than the u.s. has done before. the question is, to the russians actually believe that they are serious? that is the argument for taking some steps now before action has started. show that the u.s. is willing to impose really substantial cause, cost that the biden installation is threatening to do. cost that putin might not believe. >> thank you so much for your analysis. it has been really crucial. star of the black diplomat complex. the atlanta council eurasia center. chris miller is the -- foreign policy administration. author of putin all makes the russian resurgent.
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breaking news out of great britain. buckingham -- confirms that queen elizabeth has tested positive for covid-19. receiving three shots of the coronavirus vaccine, is experiencing mild cold like systems. she will, quote, continue to receive medical attention and follow all guidelines. she will participate in light duties in windsor castle, the queen's eldest son. prince charles, her daughter in law camilla, has also contracted covid-19 in recent weeks. russia and ukraine, as we have been discussing, on the brink of war. we have been in this position before with russia, plenty of times. it is important to remember how we got here. coming up we have a particularly important history lesson for you. one of the nation's oldest newspapers is taking an introspective route at its own roles as american history of systemic racism and inequality. the trucker protests in canada have taken a turn. police using pepper spray, and
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day of the week thanks to our velshi band book club meeting. today is gonna be a really good one. we listen to the request of our members, you! we are covering the american classic to kill a mockingbird by how poorly. since its publication in the early 1960s, to kill a mockingbird and has been the subject of critical scrutiny, intense debate, and has been frequently banned in school curriculums. even today. one viewer explains why she thinks mockingbird should remain on the required reading list writing in part, quote, i think we also could debate about whether there are other books that could replace this one in so many school curricula. and the answer of course is, yes. it could also be argued that including it prevents students from reading other texts. however, there is a reason why was the most requested book for your band book club. perhaps the answer is that we never read it the same way
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twice, or that it is so delicately captures the web of racism and inequality that lies beneath our pledge of liberty and justice for all. unquote. thou she banned book club reader has plenty of thoughts on this classic. we'll bring you more in the next hour. there is a debate to be had, and we will have it. there is a great guest joining us. she has already examined to kill a mockingbird and publish her own evaluation of the novel. and lonnie perry is the co-author of reimagining to kill a mockingbird and professor of african american studies at princeton university. she will join us. but first. pepper spray, stun grenade, dozens of arrests. the canadian trucker protests have taken a turn. i brought in ensure max protein,
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is escalating. the chief of police in ottawa has resigned, and the new acting chief stepped in quickly to make at least 147 arrests.
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in some cases, at gunpoint. which is decidedly not all that canadian. winters reports quote, at least one military style vehicle was seen downtown, and there is at least eight helmeted officers on horseback, some police carried guns and others would look like tear gas launchers. what's happening in canada continues to take the country in the world by surprise. the anti vax protesters who, let's not forget, are entirely out of sync with the canadian population, with their own trucking unions and fellow truckers, have spread their protests across the country. some of these protests have turned violent. the most troubling things for many canadians is that this looks very much like a american export that canadians don't want to buy, extremism. i want to continue this conversation with ruth lenghi, at a professor and author of strongman. we talked about this in the early days of these protests, you expressed concern that a number of students of history, like you, express that there is
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something going on in canada that is not uniquely canadian. it's not even typically canadian, it's very worrisome and it seems to be powered south of the border, here in the united states. >> yes, well, it's really a global far-right talking point. far-right extremists are opportunists, and for every person involved in those protests who was just a regular person fed up with restrictions, the organizers, like tamara lake and others who have now been arrested, have a history of anti-democratic actions. their goal is to discredit and destabilized liberal democracy, they were involved in secession-ism, islamophobia, all kinds of things. that's the context for this. the whole idea of using trucks to disrupt, to drive people to despair and disrupt the supply chain, is out of the right-wing
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playbook. >> how does this play out for you? because, we saw, they were criticisms in ottawa that the police chief didn't do enough about it. he resigned, new police chief comes in. they have officers on horseback, people ended up getting knocked over. you very rarely see police with guns drawn in canada, in any circumstance. but this is almost a response that the agitators were looking for. they're agitating, now the police are coming at them with more force. there's military backup, there's the royal canadian mounted police, there's provincial police. arrests are being made. these are how these things escalate. how does one deal with the situation? >> there are lessons. we, south of the burger, need to pay attention, because the convoys, if the gop have it at its, are coming to d.c.. they're already in alaska. basic non violent policing, where you invoke regulations that have people use their license nonviolent measures, non-kinetic measures, are where you go. they didn't do that.
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they're forced into this much more aggressive position which is necessary to uphold the rule of law. but, that plays into right-wing extremist narratives. so, now, justin trudeau is some kind of tyrant, and there's that old conspiracy theory that he's fidel castro son, is being trotted out. elon musk is tweeting a mean that trudeau is like hitler, then he deleted it. it plays into this idea, that circulating about biden, to, that liberal democrats are actually tyrants and these people are the freedom fighters. >> there is an element of this that it's really unusual, you and i were talking about it. that is, it's being covered by right-wing media and the united states. they are treating these protesters, i want to remind people, 80% of canadians are vaccinated, 90% of canadian truckers are vaccinated. the canadian trucker unions don't support those, the teamsters's don't support this.
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this is a fringe of a fringe movement. yet, it is being treated by american right-wing media as some uprising by patriots, and something we should be seeing here in the united states. >> yeah, i'm very concerned about this. because, it would look very different in the united states. one of the two major parties, which has become a far-right extremist party, the gop, is inviting this. when senator rand paul says we would like that to come and cram our cities. remember a cost $300 million a day an economic damage. it's what they want? it reveals the hand of how their goal here, to, is to destabilize and discredit liberal democracy. that's why they wanted to coincide with biden's state of the union speech. it's very, very dangerous. you have tucker carlson calling it a human rights protest. again, they are revealing their hand. so, the burden is on the various regulatory agencies and other agencies here to get
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ahead of this. >> i want to ask you while i've got you here, a quick question about what's going on and russia and ukraine. another topic that you know well. foreign policy magazine has written an article that it indicates that russia would like to take control of the ukrainian government. not just the eastern regions that have large russian speaking populations. in fact, they may begin a campaign to target dissidents, political opponents. they even use the term arrest an assassination. what do you make of something like this? >> this is classic. this is what you do, you go in and you have a purge. you kind of decapitate the leadership, causing mass psychological despair. you do it at the same time you are waging all kinds of warfare. i'm very interested in whether this could backfire for putin. because, we see him as all powerful, and indeed he has a fierce military machine ready
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to deploy. but, he's also at a point where his autocracy is not sustainable. young russians are very disenchanted with him, there are polls that show that half of them, 18 to 24, think russia's going in the wrong direction. this is when autocrats, they see that they only have power to lose, and they start doing reckless things. there's a way to read this and think that this could actually work against putin. >> ruth, thanks for joining us. unfortunately, i think we'll have lots of occasion to talk in the coming weeks. i didn't realize we are going to be talking about canada and russia and ukraine. but thank you for being so read in all of these things. ruth benji ott is a professor and author of strongman, from hostility to the president. the philadelphia inquirer is exploring the unfulfilled promise of american democracy. to do this, one of america's oldest newspapers had to take a look back at how it has perpetuated inequality. >> it ha perpetuated inequality >>
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the summer of 2020. a widespread racial reckoning was occurring following the killings of george floyd, breonna taylor, and aim on arbor. for weeks million poured into the streets to protest racial injustice and police brutality, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. one tuesday morning, june 2nd, the philadelphia inquirer ran a front page story with this headline. buildings matter, to.
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that pithy slap in the face of the black lives matter movement caused major fallout. within days the enquirer executive exeter stand with husky resign. the fallout continues to this day. to understand how a tone deaf headline even made it onto the front page in the first place, you have to understand the history of the philadelphia inquirer. the paper has launched a project titled the more perfect union to examine the roots of systemic racism in america through institutions founded in philadelphia, the birthplace of democracy. as the country's second oldest continuously operating newspaper, it has not lived up to the ideas upon which is founded. chapter one of the city, black city white paper, written by wesley lowery. reads in part quote, rather than being an inquiry for all as its motto proudly claims, the paper house for the whole of its history been written largely for and by white
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philadelphians. largely at the expense of black residents who currently constitute a plurality of the city. this is not exactly surprising, given that the paper with first published on june 1st 1829, as the pennsylvania enquirer. for context, 1829 was 34 years before president abraham lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation declaring american slave people in slave states, free. at the papers routes it was a white newspaper, serving white philadelphians. however, the newspaper was not keeping up with philadelphia is rapidly changing demographic. as one chapter state, quote, to read the inquiry than would leave one wondering if black people ever were born, ever died, if they lived lives in between -- or if they simply sprouted fully grown into the city streets, to call for a civil right, seek elected office, and commit various criminal infractions. over the next decades the enquirer took halting steps to
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diverse its newsrooms, but still remained majority white. the day that george floyd was murdered, the enquirer employ just a single blackmail and its news desk, although that philadelphia is 40% black according to an audit. setting a goal to be 35% minority journalist by the end of this year. many black philadelphians remain skeptical of the enquirer. or any recently declared commitments of diversity coming from mostly white institutions. do not move, after the break i will be joined by erin haines, the editor of this philadelphia inquirer series. my go to toothpaste is going to be pronamel repair. age is just a number. and mine's unlisted. try boost® high protein with 20 grams of protein for muscle health. versus 16 grams in ensure high protein. boost® high protein also has key nutrients
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visit in the preamble to the philadelphia inquirer's new series, more perfect union, erin haines writes, quote, the declaration is a living document. we should understand the ideals it contains not as fixed in history, but as building blocks for a new way forward. we, the people, must be the pioneers of this new generation. as the course of human events
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now calls us to be. we must reconcile the inequity of our oranges as inconsistent with who we say we are and want to be. aaron joins me now, she's the editor of the philadelphia inquirer's more perfect union. she is also the editor at large, of our viewers will know, of the 19th magazine. she is a political contributor and a big friend of ours. erin, thank you so much for engaging in this conversation. i want to read just a little bit more about what euro. what you had to say about the declaration of independence. the original declaration was and a rejection of oppression and a collection of truth amid a mission. our present efforts should attempt to correct the record in the true spirit of journalism. we do not honor our heritage by continuing to willfully ignore the unpleasant aspects of our story. i welcome you to this series. >> thank you so much, my
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friend. thank you for that amazing introduction. to the series. it is an introduction to the enquirer. thinking back to the words i wrote in the preamble, which was published last summer on the fourth of july. the anniversary of our declaration of independence. i think about how much has changed a long conversation that we are having. about our history, the value of knowing our history. value of normal full history in this country. this project feels even more urgent than it felt even when i first conceived it in the wake of the national white racial reckoning in 2020. chapter one we knew we could not start this endeavor to talk about institutional inequality, which was at the core of the racial reckoning, without first really examining the history of the philadelphia inquirer. one of the nation's oldest newspapers. more than 190 years old. journalism, as an institution,
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was not immune from this reckoning. to unpack things like the first university the first, police department. the first so many of the first that benjamin franklin and other started in philadelphia. the cradle of democracy. we could not do that without first unpacking not only the history of the philadelphia choir but also what they are doing now. in their endeavor to become, unless they declared, and anti racist institution in 2020. >> in fact the newspapers of record across our country have, for centuries, reinforce some of these miss. these incorrect myths that we have had. i was shocked to learn that the philadelphia inquirer, as you know a city that i share with you, had so few black staff or multiracial staff on his editorial staff. that is how these things happen. this concept, in fact you write about it, seeing the enquirer's role as part of the cities systemic inequality is
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essential to understanding the way for for all of us. tell me how that works? how does changing the way the enquirer sees philadelphia affect our way forward as a nation? >> that is just, it really, it is not just the story of the philadelphia inquirer. this is the story of american journalism. as we know it has not had people of color, women, lgbtq folks, other marginalized community, as a really representative part of the staff even in communities where they claim to want to cover. the enquirer's founder said that they wanted this newspaper to be and enquirer for all. in fact at best it has been an enquirer for some over the past two centuries. if they are going to get their, they have to have goals like increasing the minority representation. not only among the staff but really among the gatekeepers and the decision-makers that are behind the decisions of a lot of the coverage of the city telling the narrative of who in
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what's philadelphia's. where philadelphia is going. that wires people that has a range of lived experiences. who are bringing that lived experience to the pages of the newspaper. >> they have put out the other day publishing a tweet that they have chronicled the baltimore sun's history in covering the black community. we also apologized for the son's failure in that coverage this reckoning, is it sort of national in its scope as far as you can tell? you know, in the wake of the 2020 reckoning, you did have journalism caught up in that reckoning. you had some newspapers that were making apologies for their role in the perpetuating of racist narratives, and a knowledge in that there is ongoing harm. which is really important. the baltimore sun, as you
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mentioned, wrote a fourth as a world op-ed that they published us this week. what was really neat about our project was that this was really an independent inquiry, and exploration into the enquirer. i don't work for the enquirer, others that work for the inquiry, but the newspaper took a hands off approach to allow us to dig deep into the history. but also to talk to past and current staffers about the climate at the inquired that is perpetuated these narratives, and how they move forward from here. >> erin, thank you as always for your contribution. not just for our show, and making our audience more, but this particular project that will have residents across the country. errin haines what is that errin haines is a contributor to the inquiry and author of a more perfect union. it's not as insidious as it seems, it's more insidious. s insidious as i s insidious as i seems, it's
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seize crimea and an exit to russia was made exactly eight years ago. ukrainians, angry about the direction in which their democratically elected but very pro russian president had taken the country, had been protesting in the streets for more than three months. authorities had shot and killed civilians in response, in what came to be known as the revolution of dignity. yet more ukrainian citizens
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took to the streets. as protests mounted, the country's president fled to russia and the ukrainian government was overthrown. that's what the people of ukraine wanted, it's not woodland mere putin wanted. but, the story that russia has gotten about what happened eight years ago is very different. negative images and stories depicting the revolution as violent and unstable dominated russian media at all times. putin's goal was to convince russians, and ukraine sizeable russian speaking population, that life was better inside rush as walls and, if he had to move those walls himself to ensure that russians outside of russia were protected, he would do that. so, that's exactly what he did. he literally decided that the overthrow of the pro-russian government in ukraine was not a rebuke but, rather, an opportunity to reclaim crimea. vladimir putin's intention, then, was pure empire building, or rebuilding, reclaiming, as he put. it today that tension remains
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the same. he would like to think that the world, he would like the world to think, that the west prompted this whole thing by stealing what used to be the soviet satellite republics and countries like estonia, latvia and lithuania and turning them against russia, towards the west. drawing them into nato. the largest mutual defense alliance in the world. but that's misleading, at best. those countries, and several others, jumped at the chance to join the western alliance after the break up of the soviet union. they didn't join nato or the eu for any other reason than they couldn't turn towards the west and its prosperity and its better governance fast enough. putin resigns that the west, and its soldiers, and its tanks, its missiles, are encroaching on russian borders. he'll do anything he can to stop ukraine, which is one of russia's biggest neighbors and a prosperous one, at that, from joining nato. but there's more to it. putin has been reading from a script that is eight years old,
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literally. if you look back to a speech that he gave right after the annexation of crimea in 2014, he sent out a vision of a greater russia. one person described that speech as a de facto manifesto of greater russian iridescent-ism. iridescent-ism seeks to unify all russians outside of russia's borders, unified by the loose believe that russia has the obligation to protect all russians, wherever they may live. the problem is, the russian diaspora casts a very wide net. take a look at this. in estonia, about 27% of the population speaks russian. in latvia, it's 33%. in belarus, ukraine's neighbor to the north, very pro-russian government here, 77% of the population speaks russian. about 30% of the population and ukraine, much of it on the east of the country. even in kazakhstan, the biggest of the former soviet republic, 19% of the population speaks russian. all of the former soviet republics have russian speaking
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populations. russia has been the dominant power in that part of the world for more than 100 years. speaking russia is often a matter of practicality, it doesn't mean that they want russia, a neighboring country, to govern them or influence their politics. this fever dream of having reflexive control over the region was not putin's brain child, it's a russian objective that was launched in the 1990s. it gain momentum in the 2000s. it includes a strategy called passport isaih shun, dating back to the 1990s, russia passes out passports and citizenship to those living in territories bordering the russian federation. with every newly minted citizen, putin's grip on the region titans. first it's crimea, down here. then what's? he takes ukraine, and then latvia, lithuania, estonia. putin wants to believe that extending his protection to russians around the globe is a selfless act but it is an old
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play in regional domination. hitler used it as a pretext to invade poland, to protect ethnic germans who lived there. on september 1st, 1939, that is how world war ii began. the rest of the world, subsequently, decided, wisely, that that's not how things should work. countries don't get to just roll over other countries because they feel like. it or they have some grievance, or they believe that it was once their domain. and that is what the situation is all about. it's not about ukraine joining nato, it's not about nato expanding toward russia. it's about whether people have the right to decide who governs them, or not. decide who govern them, or not good morning, it is sunday severe in the 20th i am ali velshi. tensions remain high in eastern europe right now as russian forces continue to surround the northern and eastern borders of ukraine. this, despite the fact that


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