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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  March 30, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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station and checked thing its ties with russian space. while war riches over terror former, orbit is considered neutral territory, for now. but watch a space, literally. that does it for us tonight. it is time now for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, my friend. >> ali, let's hope that is not the last joint space mission between russia and united states. but something that they can be savage. >> let's hope, lawrence, enjoy your show tonight. >> thank you. my first guest tonight, bob woodward, force mitch mcconnell to do something that he had never done. was people that have served and united states senate had never done what mitch mcconnell did today. today mitch mcconnell for the first time in his 37 years in the senate went to the floor to give a speech pleading with the house and senate not to impeach
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a supreme court justice. >> the last two days, the latest chapter for, this supreme court found its latest outlet. this time in a coordinated effort to nullify the presence of justice clarence thomas on the court, the far left wants another crack and with a tried and failed to do way back in 1991. washington democrats are now trying to belittle this exemplary judge a 30 plus years out of a entire legal subject or off the court altogether. far-left house members are talking about dusting off their parties impeachment induction for a third consecutive year. >> you can live a lifetime in the united states senate and never worry about a supreme court justice being impeached. in fact, you can live and in many lifetimes incentive and
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never worry about impeachment. but mitch mcconnell is worried about that today after reporting by our first gay's tonight, bob woodward and robert costa. clarence thomas's wife's communications with trump's cheapest that mark meadows about illegally overturning the presidential election. there is nothing more rare than the impeachment of a supreme court justice. we had more presidents assassinated than supreme court justices impeached. it happened only once in 1804 when justice samuel chase was impeach by the house for, quote, 20 tending to prostitute the high judicial character with which she was invested, to the low purpose of and electioneering partisan. sound familiar? i evidence revealed by bob woodward indicates that clarence thomas might be guilty of at least that, as well as
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specific violations of federal law as described on this program last night by a harvard law professor. >> it specifically says that no justice said i'll participate in a manner where he has reason to know that his spouse or her spouse has in issues. the interests is very direct. what clarence thomas did was illegal. if he continues to participate in matters that arise from the attempts to get information to the january six committee or anything related to the -- he is going to be violating the law again. >> the majority of senators voted to convict justice chase in 1805, but not a two thirds majority. so justice chase remained on the supreme court who is that in 1811. mitch mcconnell knows that the
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evidence against clarence thomas is so damning at this point that he felt the need today to publicly stress that even if the house were to impeach clarence thomas, the senate would do the same thing that it did for samuel chase. this time, the senate would not come close to a two thirds vote to convict and remove justice thomas. mcconnell has spent his entire political career, beginning in the 1970s, reading earth shattering reporting by bob woodward, including his reporting on the watergate crimes on the nixon administration that force the president to resign. mitch mcconnell knows that when bob woodward reports stories that are very bad for people and power, those stories rarely, if ever, get better for those people as more evidence is revealed. mitch mcconnell knows that bob woodward's reporting of the evidence already gathered by the january six committee about clarence thomas's wife will only get worse as more of her
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communication with the trump administration are likely to be revealed, including possibly with jared kushner. he will surely be asked by the committee when he appears for voluntary interviewing tomorrow. if he is the jarred in one of the texts reported by bob woodward and robert costa. and of ember 13th, she texted meadows about her outreach to jarred, potentially a reference to jared kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior white house adviser. she wrote, just voted to your gmail and email i sent jared this morning. cindy powell and improve coordination now will help the cavalry come and brought exposed and america saved. sydney pal is the eternity that has been sanctioned by a federal judge for her improper conduct for participating in trump election cases. the wife of supreme court justice clarence thomas wanted sydney powell to be the lead lawyer for donald trump in
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cases that mrs. pell and everyone else cheering for those chases hoped would end up in the united states supreme court, where clarence thomas and a majority of the supreme court would then, in this vision, save america. that is what's virginia thomas believed it was at stake in the illegal attempts that she encouraged to overturn the presidential election. in an early morning techs to mark meadows, virginia thomas wrote, mark, don't want to wake you, sounds like sydney and her team are getting inundated with evidence of fraud. make a plan. release the kraken and save us from the left taking america down. release the kraken is a line from the movie the clash of the titans, referring to a giant sea monster. given the delusional nature of virginia thomas's communications, it is not clear whether she is using that phrase literally or
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figuratively. and another techs to mark meadows, virginia thomas supports another delusion. quote, watermark ballots in over 12 states have been part of a huge trump and military white hats sting operation in 12 key battleground states, she wrote. during that period, supporters of the qanon extremist ideology embraced a false theory that trump had watermark mail-in ballots so he could track potential fraud. think about the. virginia thomas was hoping that it was true, that the president of the united states tampered with ballots in over 12 states and had them illegally marked in a way that would allow the president to trace everything that happened to those ballots. it would be a crime if the president did that. it is also impossible for the president to do the. it is impossible on its face. no sane person could believe
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the. you are non-followers believe it. virginia thomas wanted to believe it. the supreme court justice spouse can be delusional. that in of itself is not scandalous. the spouse can have serious problems supporting fact and fiction. the supreme court spouse can have serious problems dealing with reality, recognizing reality, but a supreme court justice cannot have any such problems. he needs to fulfill his oath in office this. a year and two months after the insurrection of the capital, virginia thomas first publicly said in a friendly interview that she attended donald trump's rally near the white house before the attack on the capitol. she told me a trump friendly interviewer that she left early because it was too cold. imagine the scene, at the thomas dinner table, on the night of january six, when the
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capital is still under siege, the clarence thomas and virginia thomas not discuss anything that happened in washington that they, on january six? were they watching tv while they were eating dinner, like everyone else in washington and watching what was happening at the capitol? were they talking about what they were seeing on tv? they clarence thomas and virginia thomas discuss what was happening in washington on january six like everyone else who lived through the in washington, d.c.? did virginia thomas not tell her husband at dinner on january six that she was at the trump rally right before the attack on the capital? the clarence thomas not realize at that moment that he could never participate in any supreme court cases involving generous except? a year after, clarence and
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virginia thomas discuss the whatever they discussed at the dinner table on january six. one full year after the, clarence thomas participated in a supreme court decision about the release of trump administration documents and communications involving the january 6th attack on the capitol. those communications contained by the january six committee included communications written by and received by clarence thomas's wife. clarence thomas was the only supreme court justice, the only one, who voted to prevent those communications from being delivered to the january six committee. clarence thomas recorded decision as a member of the united states supreme court was to side with the people in the trump administration, including donald trump, who were trying to illegally overturn a presidential election, he was the only supreme court justice who made that choice.
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no supreme court justice in history has ever been accused of or suspected of anything worse than what we already know clarence thomas did. leading off our discussion tonight is bob woodward, and to come pulitzer prize-winning author and writer at the washington post, where he has been working and living these reports since 1971. bob, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i just wanted to begin with a new report that we have adding on to your reporting. this today from the guardian, you revealed the seven and a half hour gap in the white house phone logs on january six, the guardian is reporting that at least one call that should have been on those logs was made to senator mike lee. that call came through a michaels phone the way a call comes through when it is officially coming from a white house phone, the two 023950000
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identifier. what do you make of that? that indicates that there was at least one phone call, if that is true, that should have been on the way as logs that is not on those logs? >> there are a number of calls that should have been. for instance, converse -- there are so many, you cannot keep track of it all. this astonishing seven hour and 37 minute gap that you and i go back to the 1970s in watergate. it was only a 18 and a half minute gap. it is astonishing. it is not believable because trump is making calls that day. this is january six, the day of the insurrection, i think arguably the most important day
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of the trump presidency. he is making ten calls in the morning. then this gap of seven hours and 37 minutes, and then he makes a dozen calls in the evening. what's happened? our records and there are accounts of people that he was talking to. clearly, it is incomplete, it is one -- as one law markers to robert costa, my coauthor from peril, the book we did on this, report said that it looks like a possible cover-up. because this is not an accidental time in trump history or american history because it is the seven and a half hours during the violence of the insurrection itself. >> what does it feel like to you? with all your experience
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covering these kinds of stories. i say these kinds of stories because there have only been a couple, the next story now this trump story. compared to your discovery of this seven and a half hour gap to when you discovered there was an 18 and a half minute gap on the nixon tapes? how did you feel about those two moments? >> you feel that trying to be a reporter and try to get more information. make sure you confirmed the accuracy of it, and then ask the question that always lingers, what does this mean? in the case of nixon, if you recall, rosemary woods, his secretary, said she accidentally erased it. there was a famous picture of her stretching to reach the pedal on her desk a racing the
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nixon tapes. a phone call or something else in the office. as sometimes things did not make sense, i think the really interesting point in all of this is, if you think about this country -- i have been reading barbara essays recently, my wife said you ought to look to this. barbara tuchman in 1976 wrote an essay, and what she said is unique about in america is that it is a country founded on an idea. the idea is democracy. were you have in all of this,
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it is a crime to subvert a lawful function of the u.s. government. i think you and i would agree, or most people would agree, that is one of the most important functions of the government is this certification process of saying joe biden won the presidency. in fact, he got all the electoral votes he needed. it was 306 to 2:32 for trump. congress specified in law and constitution made him president. since that time, in fact before that time, trump has been trying to say if i lose the election, it is rigged against me. when he lost, he said that he actually won. that is a subversion of
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democracy. the january six committee, i am sorry to be so long, has said that this is a crime. a judge said that it is likely a crime. if you look at the law in the history. i go back 100 years, there was a chief justice named half who had been president who said this clearly is a crime if it involves this honesty and trickery. of course, that the finds trump actions on this. the ginni thomas texts that you have revealed are exclusively going back and forth between mark meadows and virginia thomas. we see jared kushner's name brigitte mentioned in their. jared kushner clearly going to be asked by the committee, what about your communications with the virginia thomas? so there's conceivably several
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other people, within the trump white house, who will have these kind of communications with virginia thomas that may or may not be revealed. >> that indeed -- bob costa and i checked on jarred and talk to a spokesman for him, and he indicated that he didn't recall getting anything on this. we'll see. as you know so well, this is about the perception of the honest functioning of government, all branches. this is, as my colleague bob costa calls it, a dangerous, looming entanglement between justice clarence thomas and his wife, and it needs to be explained. we have a system, thank god, --
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used to always say, the truth emerges. sometimes it takes a long time. i think it will, once again, take a long time. >> i don't know anyone in washington who's done more to help the truth emerge than bob woodward. bob, thank you very much for starting off discussion tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you. coming up, professor eddie glaad and john heilemann will join us for more. and donald trump's latest requests for a favor from his friend, the mass murder, war criminal, vladimir putin.
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i know there's conflicting information about dupuytren's contracture. i thought i couldn't get treatment yet? well, people may think that their contracture has to be severe to be treated, but it doesn't. if you can't lay your hand flat on the table, talk to a hand specialist. but what if i don't want surgery? well, then you should find a hand specialist certified to offer nonsurgical treatments. what's the next step? well, at least he's consistent. visit today to get started. consistently immoral and unpatriotic. to be appealing to putin at a time when russians are killing ukrainians, once again for dirt on his opponents, it, once
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again, shocks the conscience. but look, he sought russian help in 2016 and made use of it he, try to extort zelenskyy to help him in 2020. so now, here we are in 2022, donald trump is back at it again. still the same unethical, unpatriotic man he's always been. this man, donald trump, cannot change. he will not change. he is who he is. he will always seek to cheat, he will always seek to get foreign help. >> as we report on this program last night, yesterday, in an interview, donald trump asked vladimir putin to release -- about hunter business -- donald trump said, i would think putin would know the answer to that. i think he should release it. today, north dakota senator said he had no idea what donald trump was talking about, but he completely agrees with him. >> i don't know if he has dirt on biden, if he does he should
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reveal it,. but he's a war criminal so i don't expect it. he sitting around thinking about ways you can reveal other information, if in fact he has it. i don't know that he has it, so i don't know if woody might be talking about. >> joining us now, eddie glaude, chair of african american studies at princeton university. and, john heilemann, executive editor of the recount and call host and executive producer of showtime's the circus. professor eddie glaude, there is donald trump mirroring the sociopathic inclinations of vladimir putin. neither one of them carrying one bit about how many babies vladimir putin murdered in ukraine yesterday, went on for me to favor, he's gonna ask his power for a favor. >> absolutely. it's just confirmation, lawrence, of what we already know. one just has to ask oneself the question, how much do we need
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to know in order to hold this man to account? he has affinity with -- andy speaks to quiet part out loud. what we have to confront, i think, over and over again, is why does he have a currency in our politics. we see, even in a time of war, even a time of barbarity and cruelty, by, putin he can still act in this way, and it seems as if he's not being held to account. >> of course, senator kramer spoke for all trump supporters today when he said, i don't know what he's talking about, but of course, i agree with him. let's listen to why mitch mcconnell said today on the senate floor, in his first speech ever, ever, pleading that's supreme court justice not be impeached. >> i have total confidence in justice thomas's impartiality in every aspect of the word, of the court. each of the nine justices should feel free to make every
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single judicial decision they make, with total independence, and complete freedom. what cases they hear, how they hear them, how they rule, whether and when they were clues himself. is whether and when they retire. none of the justices give any of the radical left's during this pressure campaign a minutes thought. >> john heilemann it, was such an extraordinary speech because he, not only set of the house, listen if you impeach him, the same thing is going to happen to -- he's not going to get convicted, but then he said to the supreme court, don't you dare change or ethics practices in any way, don't any of you recuse yourself from anything that you don't like -- he was speaking to chief justice roberts, and the other members of the court, saying, you should protect clarence thomas in the moment like this. >> well, that's the sign,
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lawrence, of the conservative establishment in washington d.c., of whom mitch mcconnell's president pro tem, closing ranks around one of its own, clarence thomas. you seen it across the board. the jimmy thomas, clarence thomas, thing is interesting power couple in d.c., because she clearly revealed herself in these texts to be bat crap crazy. she's the craziest, dumbest relative you have, who puts the craziest, dumbest theories on facebook on a daily basis, about conspiracy theories. she's that nuts. clarence thomas has never given any occasion that he's knots. the conservative establishment loves clerics audience. the far-right activists -- fringe of the party, and their high-rise lawns love ginni thomas. that's a perfect van diagram to take you all over republican washington that circling among him. i've gotta say, i've really heard mitch mcconnell -- you and i have talked about mitch mcconnell many, times over many years, the war that is never come out of his mouth about him is stupid.
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but, the intellectual argument that he's putting forward there is just stupid. it shows that he's taking -- it can't be that mitch mcconnell really believes that every judge should have absolute freedom to determine which cases he refuses himself or, herself, in, or she doesn't. is mitch mcconnell really claiming that if a sitting justice had a vast amount of stock in a company, that that justice should be allowed to resign over that case? clearly not. i just think it's a sign of not being stupid, but just proving this thing, he's so desperate to protect thomas, he'll say things that are beneath his intellect. >> mcconnell obviously doesn't believe any of those things that he said. let's watch the issue. the issue of recusal, as it came up, and as it was answered, by ketanji brown-jackson. let's listen to this.
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>> you are on the board of overseers of harvard, if you're converge, you intend to recuse from this lawsuit? >> that is my plan, senator. >> professor glaude, there seems to be a bit of a difference here. >> right, -- it's not just simply ginni thomas. there's a sense in which there is this one federals for one group of people, for one group of -- and there's another set of folks. some people are okay with being hypocrites, and other people are trying to get some sort of moral consistency. >> bob woodward said something in the other segment, american's an idea, but america's more than an idea. america is an argument. america is a fight, and we've been fighting on democratic forces.
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-- we have in this moment, people who think they're above the law, or outside the norms of democratic life. people who think that america belongs to the rest of them, and the rest of us should be thankful. some people believe there -- so overseeing over and over is an idea of an american us. of an american identity, that we have to trouble, that we have to contest. these people, fundamentally, in my view, you don't believe in democracy. and they're revealing it over and over again. professor eddie s. glaude jr. and john heilemann, if you both for joining us tonight. coming up, reports that russia military officials are too afraid to tell vladimir putin the truth. we will be joined by a former kgb agent jack barsky who will return to this program and once again give us his reading of what is happening inside the
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have lost thousands or hundreds more kids, just kids. today, defense department press secretary john kirby said this -- >> if the russians are serious about the escalating, then they should send them home. but they are not doing that, at least not yet. that is not what we are seeing. >> today, the mayor of one ukrainian city that has been shelled all night by russian forces said this. >> this is yet another confirmation that russia always lies. they are saying about reducing intensity, they have actually increase the intensity of strikes. whatever russia says something, this needs to be checked carefully. >> in a new video tonight, president zelenskyy said, quote, there is a negotiation process that is ongoing, but it is still only words without the specifics. we do not believe anyone in any
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beautiful verbal constructions. there is a real situation on the battlefield. we will not give anything away. we will fight for every inch of our land, for every one of our people. >> u.s. official tells nbc news that vladimir putin is being misinformed by his senior advisers a bob athlete the russian military is performing and how crippling sanctions are, because they are, quote, too afraid to tell the truth. the officials said, quote, putin did not even know his military was using and losing conscripts in ukraine, showing a clear breakdown in the flow of accurate information to the russian president. the official added that the u.s. has information that vladimir putin feels misled by the russian military, creating a persistent tension between putin and the ministry of defense stemming from putin's mistress of the leadership there.
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president biden spoke to president zelenskyy for nearly an hour today. biden pledged to send another $500 million in aid to ukraine. joining us now is nbc news correspondent, ali ira's e in lviv. ali, what's the situation there tonight? >> good evening, lawrence. president zelenskyy confirmed what u.s. officials have been saying and what is on you mentally commanders have been saying, there has not been a dramatic withdrawal of russian troops. the russians said they will scale back their operations in order to build mutual trust but they continue to shell kyiv and fight in its suburbs. they said they would reduce their troops in chernihiv, but that city experienced heavy bombing throughout the night. that continued turn today. further east in kharkiv, they have been fighting heavily again with the russians there. they say now that their focus may shift to the donbas region where the pentagon says 8000
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foreign fighters had joined russian troops. that shift in focus maybe because of the assault on kyiv has been such a disaster. the russian military power -- that has given a renewed confidence not only to ukrainian troops but to ukrainian civilians. but all of this fighting, as it keeps raging on, has also sparked a massive humanitarian crisis. the biggest in europe since the second world war. the numbers are staggering, 4 million ukrainians have been forced to leave their homes. another 6 million ukrainians are displaced within their country. those figures will only keep growing as this war continues to drag on. lawrence? >> ali, is there any indication that peace negotiations or cease-fire negotiations are getting any sense of hope to the ukrainian people, or are they just on hold waiting for
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something real to happen? >> i think any ukrainian that you speak to here are deeply skeptical that these talks will yield any results anytime soon. the reason for that is that they will tell you that vladimir putin has showed no signs of wanting to end this war anytime soon. you talk to all ukrainians here, they say, look, these talks have been going on, there have been several rounds of talks, some high levels between the foreign ministers, but they have not given any tangible results to alleviate the pain that this country and its civilians are going through, especially all the children that we mentioned earlier. no, there is not much hope that these talks will gain much traction at this time. >> idea rudy, thank you for reporting. please stay safe. thank you. joining us now is jack barsky, a former kgb agent at the fact that the united states in 1988. he's the executive producer and
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subject of the podcast, the agent, available on all streaming platforms. thank you for joining us. what do you make of these reports now that we have today of american intelligence reports saying that vladimir putin is sitting in the kremlin and feeling misled by the military about what was happening in ukraine? >> if you don't mind, before i get to that answer, it is about was just said, about what putin says and what he does. if vladimir putin has learned anything in the kgb, it is how to lie. i lived a lie, i learned that two. you cannot trust any word that comes out of his mouth. period. you have to judge him by his actions. when i first came up that it appeared he was misinformed by his intelligence services, i
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already said, the intelligence service knew exactly what would happen. they had tons of agents, and still do in the ukraine, they knew that the ukrainians would fight like hell. but it appears that there is a mix of things, that putin did not want to believe what they told them. as a dictator, you always know better. and, they were afraid to tell the truth, there is this rather infamous video where putin has an interchange with a head, a very powerful man and russia, there's been a shaking in his boots. this is the fate of all dictators. they rule by force, the rule by intimidation and fear, and as such, they will not be told the truth because the messengers are afraid of being punished by
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the message. that is where we are now. that is a dysfunctional hierarchy. >> let's listen to what admiral kirby said today at the pentagon about this. >> if mr. putin is being kept in a dark by his ministry of defence, when he does learn the truth, when he begins to realize how badly his military is doing in ukraine, you do not know what kind of reaction that will cause in him. there is real potential for escalation. again, nobody wants to see that. it could also affect his approach at the negotiating table. if mr. putin is being not informed about what is going on in the ground, it could affect the way they are negotiating and lead to worse outcomes for ukraine. >> what is your reaction to what your admiral kirby said? >> he is right, putin has been unpredictable. i do not even know if you can
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hear the truth. that is not his truth. there is really no good way out for him in this thing. if he opens his ears and somebody is bold enough to tell him the truth, he might actually escalate. he's on a one way street. jack borowski, thank you very much for joining us. thank you. >> you're welcome. >> coming up, we'll get another live report from a reporter in kyiv, who will join us, once again, with his invaluable descriptions of life and, sometimes death, in kyiv. that's next. next. uding nasal congestion, with powerful claritin d, so you can breathe better. feel the clarity and make today the most wonderful time of the year. claritin d. we received information
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yesterday, that the russian forces are moving away from kyiv. it's not true. all night we listen to sirens. and we heard huge explosions,
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east of kyiv, in north of kyiv. that means it's happening there, and people died. >> that was the mayor of kyiv speaking today. also today, the kyiv regional state administration confirmed that, quote, in the last 24 hours, more than sure 30 shelling's of housing estates and infrastructure facilities have been recorded. in some areas around kyiv, russian forces have moved out, but, they have reportedly left land mines behind, preventing residents from safely returning. joining, us once, again andriy kulykov, a ukrainian reporter in kyiv. thank you very much for joining us once again. what is the situation there tonight, and what is the understanding about the russian threat that remains in kyiv? >> the understanding is very acute because yesterday, we had
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incessant fire both incoming and outgoing for six hours. there were sirens in us this kind of stuff. there was an alarm for about four hours or so, around midnight, there were huge series of explosions, mostly from the ukrainian air defense. some of the explosions were very similar to rockets, either being shot down by the ukrainian air defense, or hit putting some targets on the ground. for the last three and a half or four hours, it was a lull, but we know that it can start again any moment. as far as russian troops around the city are concerned, yes they have moved out in some directions, but i honestly think, as many people here think, that this is just a
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regrouping. >> wouldn't you are hearing these attacks, do you have any sense of how close to you they are? >> -- i had to move my, because i lost my connection in my flat, and had to move much closer to the heart of the city. today, the last series of explosions was very near. i think the ukrainian air defense was firing practically above my head. of course, the central part of the city of kyiv is very well protected. again, the center of the city poses a very desirable target for the russians. there are both advantages and
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disadvantages of the center of the city. >> and all of this, how are people, when attacks aren't going on, able to get food and the things they need? >> the air alarm lasts usually for three or four hours. after this, you may go out, and the stores are working, mostly. besides everyone by now has some storage or food, for instance. i have my fridge back home, very much stopped to ability. -- i talked to a lady from mariupol in, southern ukraine, who lived under the russian siege for almost three weeks. when we talked about how she was able to scrape, she said, do you have enough food? i said i have weeks supply of food in my fridge.
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she said, i also thought that a week supply would be enough for me. in kyiv, there's no alarm for food and water. it's more about the pressure that we are in. and some areas of the city -- mind you, the level of air pollution in kyiv is now nine times over the limit, due to the fires that are burning in different places of the city. also, in the chernobyl zone. of course, when the air moves in the direction of kyiv, this poses another threat for us.
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-- they had difficulty breathing, because of the smoke in the air. it also poses a danger of nuclear residue rising into the air, and making our life even more dangerous than it is. >> andriy kulykov, it is remarkable what you have endured, and continue to endure, with other opinions who remain in the city. thank you very much for joining us tonight, and we hope you stay safe. >> thank you. i'll do my best to. >> thank you. tonight's last word is next. and shows me how to get the most out of my workplace benefits. voya helps me feel like i got it all under control. voya. well planned. well invested. well protected. ♪simply irresistible♪ ♪ ♪ ♪simply irresistible♪
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