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Interview With Former Joints Chiefs Of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen; Interview With Ukrainian Ambassador To The United States Oksana Markarova; Interview With NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired February 24, 2022 - 13:00:00   ET




Here's what's coming up.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): Explosions, paratroopers soldiers on the ground in Ukraine, as Russia invades. We have an exclusive interview with the NATO

secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg.

And the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and the former Deputy NATO Commander Richard Shirreff join us on Putin's

military maneuvers.

Then: As her people shelter from the Russian assault, we speak to Ukraine's ambassador to the United States.

Also ahead:

GARRY KASPAROV, CHAIRMAN, THE HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION: Dictators loose. It's not about the outcome. It's about the price we will pay.

AMANPOUR: Russia's chess grand master, Garry Kasparov, tried to run against Putin in a presidential election. He talks to Walter Isaacson about the

madman strategy.


AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

"What we hear now is the sound of the new Iron Curtain going down." Those are the words tonight of Ukraine's embattled President Volodymyr Zelensky.

And he said that Putin's invasion is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Dear world leaders, leaders of the free world, if you don't help us today with a

strong and powerful response, war will come knocking at your door tomorrow.


AMANPOUR: It is a tragic day. It's a day that will live in infamy.

And since dawn, explosions have been reported across the country in cities and airports. There's been a mass exodus of vehicles, as civilians tried to

leave the capital.

Our correspondent Matthew Chance came face to face with Russian airborne forces at an airport on the outskirts of Kyiv.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And we are here at the Antonov Airport, which is about 25 kilometers, 50 miles or so out of

the center.

These troops you can see over here -- Stand up, Louis (ph).

These troops you can see over here, they are Russian airborne forces. They have taken this airport. They have allowed us to come in and be with them

as they defend the perimeter of this air base here, where helicopter-borne troops, these troops, were landed in the early hours of this morning for

take and to form an air bridge to allow for more troops to come.

And you can see.


AMANPOUR: Subway stations are doubling up as bomb shelters. And civilians say they cannot believe what's happening to their country.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are an independent country, Ukraine. And we are totally not same as Russians. And we don't want to be a part of Russia or

any other country.

It's really getting very emotional. And I cannot believe it's happening, really. And I just hope that some people in Russia may see this and just

stand against the Putin and the war. That's it.


AMANPOUR: Indeed, who would believe that Putin would voluntarily marched himself into the ranks of global tyrants and pariahs?

Western powers promise massive and punitive sanctions. We're expecting to hear from the U.S. president, Joe Biden, soon.

The NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, says that Putin has created a brutal war and broken international law.

And he's joining me now for an exclusive interview from headquarters in Brussels.

Welcome back to our program.

I guess I have to ask you, given what's happened and all the warnings, and all the world leaders who went to Putin, and all the punitive sanctions

that were pledged, and more to come, do you think anything can deter him now?

JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL: Well, what you have seen is that our strong message to President Putin that they will have severe

consequences, severe economic sanctions will be imposed, and, also, there will be more NATO presence in the eastern part of the alliance, that hasn't

deterred him from using force against Ukraine.

But this just highlights the danger and the severeness of what he has done. We will continue to provide support to Ukraine. And we will continue to

make sure that we are ready to defend and protect all allies.


AMANPOUR: What kind of support will you provide?

Because, look, I mean, everybody knows that they are not militarily up to fighting off the sophisticated and powerful Russian military, which

apparently has attacked from sea, from the air, and from land. What kind of support can you provide that will actually make a difference?

STOLTENBERG: So, allies And NATO have provided support to Ukraine over many years. We helped to modernize their defensive security institutions. Allies

have provided equipment, training.

NATO's also helped them with strengthening their cyber defenses. And as far as possible, allies are ready to continue to provide support. And that's

exactly what allies are doing.

But, as we speak, it's a very fluid and complex situation the ground. But allies are ready to provide as much support as possible in these very

difficult circumstances.

AMANPOUR: Jens Stoltenberg, what are you being told? What are, I don't know, just pictures telling you about what actually Russia is doing? Is it

-- we hear explosions. We hear our correspondents all over talking about what they hear and what they can see.

Do you see any kind of odor to what he's doing? I mean, is it just the initial barrage on military installations? Is it trying to encircle the

capital? What do you see, and what do you fear now?

STOLTENBERG: What we see is a full-fledged, massive invasion of Ukraine.

And, sadly, that is exactly what was predicted by our intelligence services over many months. So, this is not something that comes as any surprise.

This is actually exactly what especially the U.S. intelligence services, but also other allied intelligence services, told us back in October.

But, of course, we have also then tried to dissuade Putin from not implement these plans. We see attacks from air, ground forces. Naval

capabilities are -- have been used. And we see that they are circling in on the capital. And we have also seen the message, that they want to change

the political course of Ukraine.

So there is all reason to believe that he tries to change the government of Ukraine, a democratic elected government. And President Putin also clearly

has stated that he doesn't, in a way, respect Ukraine as an independent nation.

So, all of this together makes the whole invasion extremely serious. It's a scale of war we haven't seen in Europe for decades. And it's only one man

that is responsible, and that is President Putin.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you about the regime change picture here? Because that is what many people are saying, that would be his aim to do that and

install some kind of puppet regime, pliant puppet regime, that he can control.

And Presidents Zelensky has spoken to the Austrian chancellor. And he said he fears for himself, he fears for his country, he fears that it might not

exist for much longer.

Is that -- tell me what you think about a president who you just saw in Munich, we all just saw him, what he must be going through right now.

STOLTENBERG: It has to be an extremely difficult situation for him, but also for the people of Ukraine.

And what we see is a brutal violation of international law, a brutal violation of the integrity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of an

independent sovereign nation, Ukraine. And we also -- we don't -- we see the massive military force, but we also see the very scary or dark message

from President Putin about that he don't respect Ukraine as a nation, and that the -- that he need to move in to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine,

which is absolutely false claims.

But it tells something of how far he's willing to go, to use false narratives to try to excuse what he's doing in Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: We have just been told that Russian troops have seized the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

What effect would that have? I mean, it's barely active, but it's very dangerous. What do you think that means?

STOLTENBERG: It means that they are now taking control over more and more territory in Ukraine. And then they also are responsible for also making

sure that we don't have incidents or accidents, including with the Chernobyl power plant.


But, again, it's part of the full-fledged invasion. It's part of something they have planned for a long time, because this is a deliberate, bloody,

long-time-planned use of military force. And that's what makes it so serious.

And it's not only an attack on Ukraine, but it's an attack on the security order we have had in Europe for many, many years. And it's an attack on the

idea of a sovereign, independent nation choosing their own path. And, therefore, what we now see is a new security order, a kind of new normal,

where we have a Russia which is a -- is, in an open, blatant way, contesting core values for our security and demonstrating their will to use

force to get their will.

AMANPOUR: OK, well, so that is really troubling to hear you say that. I have to say it's chilling.

And one of the other most chilling statements was from Putin, who said -- and I'm going to play this part of his speech overnight, basically

threatening you and everybody else who might try to stop him in this mad, mad, mad activity that he's undertaken right now.

Let's just listen.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Whoever tries to interfere with us, and even more so to create threats for our country, our

people should know that Russia's response will be immediate, and will lead you to such consequences that you have never experienced in your history.


AMANPOUR: What do you -- I mean, how do you respond to that? I mean, he's directly threatening you, and maybe not just over Ukraine, over even

defending other NATO countries in that region.

STOLTENBERG: Ukraine is a highly valued partner. And we have supported them for many years.

When it comes to NATO allies, we provide absolute security guarantees. An attack on one ally will trigger a response from the whole alliance. And

make no mistake. NATO is the strongest alliance in the world. And we will protect and defend every inch of NATO territory.

And to prevent any room for misunderstanding or miscalculation in Moscow about that, to prevent any attack on a NATO territory, we have increased

the presence of NATO troops in eastern part of the alliance over the last weeks or months. And that just reflects that we were prepared for what we

saw this morning.

We will continue to increase our presence in the eastern part of the alliance. And we need also to have a serious assessment in NATO about long-

term consequences of what we see in Ukraine today.

AMANPOUR: There have been high-level...

STOLTENBERG: So, we have already adjusted our presence, and we will...

AMANPOUR: Sorry. Sorry to interrupt you.

There have been high-level meetings, G7. You have called a virtual meeting of all NATO leaders for tomorrow. What can we expect to see roll out? What

can you do to stop -- and I assume you think that he has -- others are calling him a tyrant. The president of the European Commission has called

this a barbaric invasion.

I mean, has Putin just exited the civilized world? How do you treat somebody who's voluntarily, as I said, marched into the ranks of global


STOLTENBERG: Well, I met earlier today with the G7, with the leaders in the G7 group, and also with the two E.U. presidents earlier today.

And I think it's extremely important that we stand coordinated, united, all countries that believe in democratic values, freedom, the right for every

nation to choose its own path, and we really stand up for these values. And unity is our greatest strength.

Tomorrow, we will have a NATO summit, where also Finland and Sweden will participate, very close partners, and also the European Union. And, again,

this is about coordinating our response, standing together, both when it comes to our military responses to increase the presence of NATO in the

eastern part of the alliance, increase the readiness of our Response Force, but also the importance of implementing sanctions, imposing a real cost on



STOLTENBERG: And then we need to start a discussion tomorrow -- we don't have all the answers now -- about the long-term consequences for how we

engage with Russia, how we provide deterrence and defense in a new reality, a new normal for European security.

AMANPOUR: A new normal, a new reality. It is very chilling to listen to you.

Jens Stoltenberg, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

And watching all of this, of course, happen to her country -- she is afar, though -- the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova.

And she's joining me now from Washington, D.C.

You have just heard the U.N., the -- I keep saying U.N. -- the NATO secretary-general describe what Putin has done as create a new normal. We

have a new European security, de facto, from the invasion of your country.


What is your reaction to that?


Well, this -- unfortunately, this new normal started for Ukraine in 2014, when Russia attacked us, illegally annexed Crimea, and illegally occupied

parts of Donetsk and Luhansk territories. And for eight years, we have been fighting this war.

Now, of course, it's a total new level of this new reality, horrifying reality, when, for the past 14 hours, Ukraine is under attack, military

attack, ordered and directed by President Putin personally, with the armed forces attacking us from the east, west, south, from everywhere,

airstrikes, ballistic missiles, aircrafts and helicopters, and trying also to combat on the ground.


MARKAROVA: So, yes, this is a new reality. It's -- yes, go ahead.


Ambassador, I just wonder whether you think NATO should have taken military intervention off the table from the start?

MARKAROVA: Well, it's not up to me to say it. What I -- what is very important now is how we all together react to this.

I mean, this is a...

AMANPOUR: And how do you think...


MARKAROVA: ... violation of international law.

AMANPOUR: How do you think there should be an all-together reaction to this? What does it look like to you?

Your foreign minister has said that there needs to be immediate and punitive sanctions, cut Putin off from the SWIFT global financing

mechanisms and the like. What do you say is a swift punitive reaction that Putin will hear?

MARKAROVA: Well, with one word, I think all the civilized world should do everything, everything that we can do together to stop Putin.

So, sanction, yes, everything, and nothing should be off the table, support to Ukraine and all the military defensive weapons and everything that our

partners and allies can provide us with, all the humanitarian and financial assistance, everything.

We Ukrainians fight for our home. We defend our country. We will do it ourselves. And our men and women of the armed forces, together with

Ukrainians, together with our president, and together with our -- all Ukrainians, essentially, for this past year have been showing grace under

courage -- under pressure.

And now we are showing the courage under immense pressure. But we need the collective West, or it's not -- it's even wider than the West. We need

everyone who believes in international law, everyone who believes that you can choose to be a democracy, and still not be attacked, you can be a

peaceful country like we are, and live in peace.

Everyone should not only stand together with us with supportive statements, which we value a lot, but also act together. So, yes, sanctions, isolation

of Russia, closing all the diplomatic ties with Russia, making sure Russia that pays for everything they're doing to my country.

AMANPOUR: Ambassador, your president, who I met in Munich, he bravely came to talk to the allies and to ask for help and to tell them that this is not

just about your country, as bad as it is. It's about the whole of the democratic world, and particularly Europe.

He is still there. He clearly worries for the future of his -- of his country and of his people.

This is what he said when he addressed his people and also, also directly addressed the Russian people. Let's just play this.


ZELENSKY (through translator): Russian TV will surely not show this video, but the Russian people must watch it. The truth must be known.

And the truth is that this all needs to stop now, before it's too late. If the leadership of Russia does not want to sit at the table with us to make

peace, perhaps it will sit at the table with you. Does Russia want a war? I would very much like an answer to this question.

But that answer depends only on you, the citizens of the Russian Federation.


AMANPOUR: So, this was overnight, as this invasion was taking place or just before, obviously.

And today, in Moscow, we see at least some protesters, anti-war protesters, Russians, on the street who have been rounded up by Russian police. What do

you think? I mean, do you -- you know Russia as well. Do you think that people will stand for this?

MARKAROVA: I don't know, but they sure should stand for this, because it's not only the responsibility of Putin who gave an order or the combatants

and war criminals that are now at the territory of independent country trying to kill innocent civilians, but it's also a responsibility for all

Russian people.

And we really hope that they also will do something to stop this war.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you very briefly?

Your president tried to keep calm, tried to keep the nation calm, didn't want to panic, didn't want a run on the economy, a run on the banks, et



Do you think, in retrospect, that maybe that prevented a preparation for even defensive methods to try to repel the initial forces?

MARKAROVA: Definitely not.

The president and government did everything to prepare for this. We couldn't afford to panic. That's what Mr. Putin wanted us, to panic, so

that, when he makes this final decision and enters the country, that we will be scared.

But the fact that we were not panicking does not mean we were not preparing ourselves. And during the time of preparation, the only shelves in Kyiv

which were empty, actually, the shelves in the military stores, when people were buying supplies to defend their homes.

So what we ask from the world now, please sanction him, and please help us with all the defensive weapons, so we can defend our home.

AMANPOUR: Your own ambassador to the U.N. last night, as the invasion was happening in real time, confronted the Russian ambassador to the U.N. in

the Security Council.

And, as we know, they hold the presidency of it. And this is what your ambassador said to the Russian ambassador.


SERGIY KYSLYTSYA, UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Because it's too late, my dear colleagues, to speak about de-escalation, too late.

The Russian president declared the war on the record. Should I play the video of your president?

Ambassador, shall I do that right now? Or you can confirm it. Do not interrupt me, please. Thank you.

VASSILY NEBENZIA, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Then don't ask me questions when you are speaking.

Proceed with your statement.

KYSLYTSYA: Anyway, you declared the war. It is the responsibility of this body to stop the war.


AMANPOUR: He also said, Ambassador: "There is no purgatory for war criminals. They go straight to hell, Ambassador.":

I mean, it was a very dramatic moment in a very serious time. And I wonder whether you think Putin will ever be held accountable, and what you think

might happen to the rest of Europe if he's not held accountable and stopped in Ukraine.

MARKAROVA: Well, the future of not only Europe, but the future of the whole world, depends on whether we will be able together to help Ukraine to

defend itself and also hold Putin accountable for it.

This is a brutal violation of international law. This is a violation of peace. This is an action, aggressive action, taken against independent,

sovereign country. If we together cannot hold him accountable, how -- who can feel safe in today's days?

AMANPOUR: Ambassador Markarova, thank you so much. And the world continues to watch and support your country.

Earlier, we saw correspondent Matthew Chance in his encounter with Russian troops on the outskirts of Kyiv. And he's now joining us from inside the


Matthew, that was some drama there. And you came face to face with the airborne paratroopers. What transpired from that encounter, and what more

can you tell us about the encirclement of the capital, where you are?

CHANCE: Well, yes, it was an unexpected encounter. I can tell you that, Christiane, because we were proceeding towards that air base, which we knew

had been the scene of some fighting between Russian airborne troops and Ukrainian forces.

But we had been told by Ukrainian officials that the airport was -- the air base was back in Ukrainian government control. So, we went there anyway to

the gates. There were soldiers at the gates directing traffic away. And I went up to them. I said, look, can we do a quick live shot outside here, a

quick report on CNN?

And they were like, no, no, it's far, far too dangerous. Remember, this was in broken Russian that he was speaking in. And I said, look, who's in

control of this airport? Is it the Russians or the Ukrainians? And they said, what do you mean? And I said, who is it? Who's in control?

They said, it's the Russians. And I said to them, where are the Russians? And they said, well, we're the Russians. And it's only at that point that I

looked down at the insignia and realize that these were the special forces, the airborne troops that had been sent in by Vladimir Putin to secure that

air base a few hours before, and had fought off a defense of it by the Ukrainian military forces there and had pushed them right back.

You saw some video you just played there of a firefight that broke out in the minutes after we spoke. We took cover, obviously, and caught that

glimpse, and did that live report with those Russian troops, the first glimpse that we have had of them, basically, face to face in this massive

nationwide deployment.

It's not just they're based as well, Christiane. They're based in other places. There are units like that at air strips at other places in

strategic locations around the Ukrainian capital. And, of course, it raises the concern that what's happening here is that Ukrainian -- Russian forces

are surrounding this city.


In fact, that's what Ukrainian officials say that they know fear. Within days, that could happen, they say. The plan, they fear, according to

Ukraine officials, is that Vladimir Putin is going to come in, he's going to topple the leadership here, and he is going to install a pro-Russian

government. That's what their concern is tonight.

AMANPOUR: Yes. And we have heard that from international officials as well.

And just briefly, before I let you go, hearing nothing more tonight, right? I mean, you might be hearing something in the overnight hours. But, right

now, is it quiet where you are?

CHANCE: Yes, I mean, it's not -- it's quiet, in the sense there are no big explosions behind us. But I'm hearing jets in the sky, not right now. But

over the past couple of minutes, I have been hearing jets pass overhead. I'm assuming they're Russian jets, because the Ukrainians just don't have

that capability.


AMANPOUR: And not only that.

CHANCE: But let's see what the coming hours bring.


The Russians, we're told, have total superiority of the air right now.


AMANPOUR: Matthew, thank you so much.

Putin says he doesn't want to occupy Ukraine. No one really believes him anymore. But what do the military moves so far signify?

Joining me now is the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. He was in office during Russia's invasion of Georgia back in

2008. Also joining us is General Sir Richard Shirreff, who was NATO deputy military commander. And his book "2017: War With Russia" may very well turn

out to be prophetic.

Gentlemen of the military, welcome to the program.

And help us to understand a little bit from your experience and what you're seeing now how you think the military side of this is going to play out?

Let me ask you first, Admiral Mullen. You have seen Putin firsthand. I said, in 2008, you were in office. What do you think that he is actually

doing now? He's invaded from Crimea and from the east and from the north, from Belarus and, as you heard our correspondent say, may want to encircle

Kyiv and take out the government.

ADM. MICHAEL MULLEN (RET.), FORMER JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: Well, without having any particular insights from an intelligence standpoint, Christiane,

it looks like he's going to take over the country.

He's certainly going to secure as much as he can in the Black Sea. And that is a commerce -- big commerce take and a big commerce lane, if you will. He

clearly is going to secure those eastern districts in Ukraine. And he -- in my view, he wants a regime change.

How significantly he has to take, if you will, Kyiv in order to generate that, I think, is an open question. But I'm sort of, at this point, given

he's got the forces to basically run a full-scale invasion.

No, I'm actually concerned we end up with Russian forces back on the Polish border. And I think that's -- his ability to really secure Ukraine, that,

because he's come this far, he will do everything he can to do that.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me put that question to both of you, then. That means he butts Russia up much, much closer to the West, right on the border of


And then that is the red line. You have heard every NATO leader and the NATO secretary-general just told me.

Let me just quickly ask you, General Shirreff, then what? Do you believe NATO will actually take him on if he threatens -- if he threatens a NATO

country? I know it's the doctrine. I know it's Article 5, but?

RICHARD SHIRREFF, FORMER DEPUTY SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER EUROPE: If Putin, if one Russian soldier steps across one inch of NATO territory, I am in

absolutely no doubt that the alliance will respond in the way that it is a treaty-bound under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which says that an

attack on one is an attack on all.

All 30 member states of NATO will be at war with Russia. The way to avoid this is a seriously robust response on -- by NATO to man the -- man the

ramparts in the Baltic states, in Poland, in Bulgaria, in Romania, to send a very powerful message of deterrence that NATO is ready and will be

prepared to fight if Putin pushes it that far.


So, essentially, we are speaking now assuming that Ukraine is gone, and that now the issue is the red line between NATO states and Russia. Do you

think that that was inevitable? And do you think that the NATO alliance should have abandoned strategic ambiguity and taken military action or some

kind of military response off the table?

Let me ask you, from your point of view as an American, Admiral Mullen.

MULLEN: No, I actually don't.

I don't think there was a lot we could do from a military, from a combat capability to deter Putin from what he's doing.


I actually think Putin in the long run will suffer from this. In the near term, he's probably going to get what he wants. I do think an outcome here

has basically restructured the security requirements in Europe. I think -- I mean, obviously I don't know for sure, but I would think along the lines

of putting forces in the east, you will see more American forces move in that direction.

And I agree, it needs to be strong. It can't just be a token reinforcement. The Baltics, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, always nervous about the old Soviet

Empire. We need to reinforce that and send a strong message. It is from my perspective, it is a red line that he dare not cross.

The possibilities of, you know, going to war in Europe, they're much higher now than they were a few weeks ago, and we need to figure out if we can

take that off the table and the only way I can think of doing that is with a very strong determined response from a unified NATO.

AMANPOUR: General Shirreff, you know, Putin, again, very boldly, and threateningly actually threatened the west, as you heard and I played if

nor Jens Stoltenberg, don't think about stopping me, you will face consequences the likes of which you haven't seen in your history.

How -- because, you know -- I mean, the Baltics are actually worried right now. We have had them on the air. They said, you know, maybe he can see an

access to our territory, obviously, they all hope for an Article V success, but it's not obvious that he's going to stop.

SHIRREFF: It is not. And let's be clear. In a successive recent snap exercises since 2014 in the vicinity of the Baltic States, the Russians

have practiced scenarios which see them biting off chunks or a whole of all or one of the Baltic States and then threatening nuclear blackmail against

any NATO response from Iskander missiles held in Kaliningrad, which are within reach of NATO capitals such as Berlin, Warsaw, Copenhagen, so that

is to be expected from Putin. This is playing out exactly as could have been foreseen, and in fact, many of us have been warning about precisely

this for some time.

So I'm afraid there's an inevitability about it, but I agree completely with Mullen that it is not the clock -- the may have ticked past midnight

for Ukraine, and tragically so as we witness these ghastly scenes -- these ghastly scenes unfolding.

But it has not yet reached midnight for NATO. NATO has not got much time. Token reinforcement is not enough. We're not talking about battle groups,

we're talking about land and comparable forces at sea and in the air, and together, of course, with massive, swinging, punishing, painful sanctions

on the economic front as well.

But any hint of the weakness from the West, and Putin will continue to exploit it, and he has started a dynamic in Ukraine, which could engulf us


AMANPOUR: So, Admiral Mullen, what do you think, we're waiting for president Biden, what do you think Biden should be telling the American

people right now issue obviously and we have heard from others, that whatever sanctions and the like are put against Putin, and Putin is

threatened, oh, you guys won't be able to tolerate spikes in oil prices and gas prices and the like, what should the president and other allied leaders

of the free world be saying to their people to show that there is a spine, a steel spine, and to prepare their people for what we have just heard

General Shirreff describe, as a potential, you know, convulsive war in Europe.

MULLEN: Well, I'll let president Biden speak for himself, I think, you know, the strong deterrence message is critical, and quite frankly, you

mentioned energy and that's clearly going to spike. And part of what I take away from all of this is Europe's going to have to figure out, and we

should help diversify, you know, their energy in the future. One of the things not many people are talking about is the chokehold that Russia and

Ukraine and in a way, China now have on grain supplies. And so, we would expect those costs to go up as well.

So, I would expect in the near term, more inflation here, for example, would be something that's going to happen.


Two areas that are -- have not been discussed much, that I'm hugely concerned about, one is the issue of nuclear weapons. Ukraine gave up their

nuclear weapons in the '90s in great part because of the West's request, and I would hope that, you know, reason would prevail here that other

countries who are thinking about getting them would certainly give great pause to doing that because of the danger and Putin in his own way has

alluded to, you know, the possibilities there.

And the other is, you know, I call almost weapons of mass destruction and cyber. The Russians have the capability there, but he should be very

cautious about that, as good as he is, because so are we and the cost to him would likewise be very, very significant.

So and there's an awful lot in play right now. Hard to know how it comes up, but he's determined, this goes back to when he took over in 2000, and I

think it's playing out in some ways, at least in the near term as he would want. I think in the long-term, he's probably going to be in trouble.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you that as a former army, I think you are, right, General Shirreff, former army. I wonder whether you think that Putin in the

current form in which he occupies, he has a stranglehold on Ukraine, he's got air superiority.

We're told he's got something like 175,000 forces arrayed. Can he occupy, they say they don't want to, and can he fight off an insurgency? You think

as Admiral Mullen says, you know, not just long-term pain, but do you think the Ukrainians can mount any kind of meaningful defense, or is it just

irrelevant, he's going to pluck out the government and leave?

SHIRREFF: In the short-term, we're witnessing, right now, we're witnessing multiple attacks on multiple axes aimed at destroying the country and the

armed forces and the state of Ukraine, and effectively occupying it. For that, I think there's no doubt.

Then Putin has problems. Firstly, the first thing is the Ukrainians are and will continue to fight bravely in defense of their state of their nation.

Assuming Putin finally vanquishes them in a conventional sense. He's then got the problem of dealing with what will be a powerful determined

resistance. I have no doubt it will be supported and must be supported and financed by the West. And he'll bleed, Putin, 175,000 might be enough for

blitzkrieg defensive to take down the state, but it is nothing like enough to maintain and establish security against a powerful insurgency. He's

going to need more like 600,000 or 700,000 minimum, and he hasn't got that.

AMANPOUR: Exactly. Well, it is truly a chilling time right now for all of us, and the poor people of Ukraine, one's heart goes out to them for sure.

General Shirreff, Admiral Mullen, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us.

Now, chess of course is a game of rules, but Putin is demonstrating that he follows no one's rules but his own, a vocal critic, is Garry Kasparov, the

Russian chess grandmaster, who ranked world number one until turning his attention to politics, and once attempting to run for president in Russia.

He's now telling leaders to quote help Ukraine fight against the monster you have helped create.

As we said, around a thousand people have been detained in antiwar protests across Russia as Putin cracks down on demonstrators, Kasparov sat down with

Walter Isaacson.



And, Garry Kasparov, welcome to the show.


ISAACSON: You know, unfortunately, you turned out to be right. As Russia's most famous chess master, you led the democratic opposition to Vladimir

Putin, and in 2015, you wrote a book called "Winter is Coming" and its sub title was: How Vladimir Putin and Enemies of Free World Must Be Stopped.

Now that we see what he's doing, what should our response be?

KASPAROV: As a professional chess player, I always wanted to analyze my mistakes if I lost a game and went wrong before working on my next move and

working with strategy. I think it's important to recognize that Vladimir Putin has been preparing this war for many years.


And unlike 1939 because parallels have been made with the late `30s of the 20th century, this war has been prepared in plain sight. One of the

problems today is we call Putin's decision irrational, he didn't think it was irrational because he saw no consequences for his actions, for his


And I think now it's time to impose the price for what has been done because it is the only way to prevent him from moving even further. I

believe that the free world still has resources to stop Putin at this point because what we know from history, from the 20th century, and Vladimir

Putin's recent history that every day of delay of our response to a brutal dictator is pushing the price to pay for his actions higher and higher.

ISAACSON: You say we can impose a price, and you say that price could slow him down or stop him. What is that price? And as somebody who's lived in

Russia, how could you do the most effective thing to stop him?

KASPAROV: I have been saying all along, it's not about tanks, it's about banks. Of course, now, Ukraine needs tanks, and it's tragic that Ukraine is

not meeting Putin's aggression with sufficient military equipment that could have been supplied to Ukraine ages ago. But right now, it's about

Putin's military machine that has been supported by hundreds of billions of dollars of cash that came from the free world.

So there's still many options to limit or even stop how effective Putin's military machine that meets every day, every minute, needs money, and Putin

has been allocating this cash. He's sitting on a pile of cash, hundreds of billions of dollars, but it may evaporate if the free world cut the supply.

I know that all of these sanctions will be very painful for the free world. No doubt that, again, the price that the free world will pay to stop

Putin's aggression is climbing, and it's not that we can do something to help Ukraine without paying for the consequences here in the free world,

but there's no other choice.

So I think cut Russia from energy sector, Russia gas and oil export, and also us immediately cut Russia from all the financial markets. Those are

first two moves that are so natural.

ISAACSON: Will that help him at home or hurt him at home?

KASPAROV: This is -- I mean, I -- let's stop this nonsense. It's Putin is absolute dictator. He doesn't care about public opinion. He doesn't care

about free press.

So it's one man and his gang that are making all the decisions, and you have to hurt them where it hurts, and of course, they keep their money

abroad. Also hundreds of billions of dollars. Some people say probably --

AMANPOUR: We're going to go now to the White House where President Biden is about to address the nation.


The Russian military has begun a brutal assault on the people of Ukraine without provocation, without justification, without necessity.

This is a premeditated attack. Vladimir Putin has been planning this for months, as I've been -- as we've been saying all along. He moved more than

175,000 troops, military equipment into positions along the Ukrainian border.

He moved blood supplies into position and built a field hospital, which tells you all you need to know about his intentions all along.

He rejected every good-faith effort the United States and our Allies and partners made to address our mutual security concerns through dialogue to

avoid needless conflict and avert human suffering.

For weeks -- for weeks, we have been warning that this would happen. And now it's unfolding largely as we predicted.

In the past week, we've seen shelling increase in the Donbas, the region in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

The Russian government has perpetrated cyberattacks against Ukraine.

We saw a staged political theater in Moscow -- outlandish and baseless claims that Ukraine was -- Ukraine was about to invade and launch a war

against Russia, that Ukraine was prepared to use chemical weapons, that Ukraine committed a genocide -- without any evidence.


We saw a flagrant violation of international law in attempting to unilaterally create two new so-called republics on sovereign Ukrainian


And at the very moment that the United Nations Security Council was meeting to stand up for Ukraine's sovereignty to stave off invasion, Putin declared

his war. Within moments -- moments, missile strikes began to fall on historic cities across Ukraine. Then came in the air raids, followed by

tanks and troops rolling in.

We've been transparent with the world. We've shared declassified evidence about Russia's plans and cyberattacks and false pretexts so that there can

be no confusion or cover-up about what Putin was doing.

Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences.

Today, I'm authorizing additional strong sanctions and new limitations on what can be exported to Russia.

This is going to impose severe costs on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time.

We have purposefully designed these sanctions to maximize the long-term impact on Russia and to minimize the impact on the United States and our


And I want to be clear: The United States is not doing this alone. For months, we've been building a coalition of partners representing well more

than half of the global economy.

Twenty-seven members of the European Union, including France, Germany, Italy -- as well as the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Australia, New

Zealand, and many others - to amplify the joint impact of our response.

I just spoke with the G7 leaders this morning, and we are in full and total agreement. We will limit Russia's ability to do business in dollars, euros,

pounds, and yen to be part of the global economy. We will limit their ability to do that. We are going to stunt the ability to finance and grow

the Russian military.

We're going to impose major -- and we're going to impair their ability to compete in a high-tech 21st century economy.

We've already seen the impact of our actions on Russia's currency, the Ruble, which early today hit its weakest level ever -- ever in history. And

the Russian stock market plunged today. The Russian government's borrowing rate spiked by over 15 percent.

In today's actions, we have now sanctioned Russian banks that together hold around $1 trillion in assets.

We've cut off Russia's largest bank -- a bank that holds more than one third of Russia's banking assets by itself -- cut it off from the U.S.

financial system.

And today, we're also blocking four more major banks. That means every asset they have in America will be frozen. This includes VTB, the second-

largest bank in Russia, which has $250 billion in assets.

As promised, we're also adding names to the list of Russian elites and their family members that are sanctioning -- that we're sanctioning as


As I said on Tuesday, these are people who personally gain from the Kremlin's policies and they should share in the pain. We will keep up this

drumbeat of those designations against corrupt billionaires in the days ahead.

On Tuesday, we stopped the Russian government from raising money from U.S. or European investors.

Now, we're going to apply the same restrictions to Russia's largest state- owned enterprises -- companies with assets that exceed $1.4 trillion.

Some of the most powerful impacts of our actions will come over time as we squeeze Russia's access to finance and technology for strategic sectors of

its economy and degrade its industrial capacity for years to come.

Between our actions and those of our Allies and partners, we estimate that we'll cut off more than half of Russia's high-tech imports.

It will strike a blow to their ability to continue to modernize their military. It'll degrade their aerospace industry, including their space

program. It will hurt their ability to build ships, reducing their ability to compete economically. And it will be a major hit to Putin's long-term

strategic ambitions.

And we're preparing to do more. In addition to the economic penalties we're imposing, we're also taking steps to defend our NATO Allies, particularly

in the east.

Tomorrow, NATO will convene a summit -- we'll be there -- to bring together the leaders of 30 Allied nations and close partners to affirm our

solidarity and to map out the next steps we will take to further strengthen all aspects of our NATO Alliance.


Although we provided over $650 million in defensive assistance to Ukraine just this year -- this last year, let me say it again: Our forces are not

and will not be engaged in the conflict with Russia in Ukraine. Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine but to defend our NATO Allies

and reassure those Allies in the east.

As I made crystal clear, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power. And the good news is: NATO

is more united and more determined than ever.

There is no doubt -- no doubt that the United States and every NATO Ally will meet our Article 5 commitments, which says that an attack on one is an

attack on all.

Over the past few weeks, I ordered thousands of additional forces to Germany and Poland as part of our commitment to NATO.

On Tuesday, in response to Russia's aggressive action, including its troop presence in Belarus and the Black Sea, I've authorized the deployment of

ground and air forces already stationed in Europe to NATO's eastern flank Allies: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.

Our Allies have also been stepping up, adding -- the other Allies, the rest of NATO -- adding their own forces and capabilities to ensure our

collective defense.

And today, within hours of Russia's unleashing its assault, NATO came together and authorized and activated -- an activation of response plans.

This will enable NATO's high-readiness forces to deploy and -- when and where they're needed to protect our NATO Allies on the eastern boundaries

of Europe.

And now I'm authorizing additional U.S. forces and capabilities to deploy to Germany as part of NATO's response, including some of U.S.-based forces

that the Department of Defense placed on standby weeks ago.

I've also spoken with Defense Secretary Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Milley, about preparations for additional moves should they

become necessary to protect our NATO Allies and support the greatest military Alliance in the history of the world -- NATO.

As we respond, my administration is using the tools -- every tool at our disposal to protect American families and businesses from rising prices at

the gas pump. You know, we're taking active steps to bring down the costs. And American oil and gas companies should not -- should not exploit this moment to hike

their prices to raise profits.

You know, in our sanctions package, we specifically designed to allow energy payments to continue.

We are closely monitoring energy supplies for any disruption. We have been coordinating with major oil producing and consuming countries toward our

common interest to secure global energy supplies.

We are actively working with countries around the world to elevate a collective release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves of major energy-

consuming countries. And the United States will release additional barrels of oil as conditions warrant.

I know this is hard and that Americans are already hurting. I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at

the gas pump. This is critical to me.

But this aggression cannot go unanswered. If it did, the consequences for America would be much worse. America stands up to bullies. We stand up for

freedom. This is who we are.

Let me also repeat the warning I made last week: If Russia pursues cyberattacks against our companies, our critical infrastructure, we are

prepared to respond.

For months, we have been working closely with our private -- with the private sector to harden their cyber defenses, sharpen our ability to

respond to Russian cyberattacks as well.

I spoke late last night to President Zelensky of Ukraine and I assured him that the United States, together with our Allies and partners in Europe,

will support the Ukrainian people as they defend their country. We'll provide humanitarian relief to ease their suffering.

And in the early days of this conflict, Russian propaganda outlets will keep trying to hide the truth and claim success for its military operation

against a made-up threat.

But history has shown time and again how swift gains in territory eventually give way to grinding occupations, acts of mass civil -- mass

civil disobedience, and strategic dead-ends.

The next few weeks and months will be hard on the people of Ukraine. Putin has unleashed a great pain on them. But the Ukrainian people have known 30

years of independence, and they have repeatedly shown that they will not tolerate anyone who tries to take their country backwards.


This is a dangerous moment for all of Europe, for the freedom around the world. Putin has a -- has committed an assault on the very principles that

uphold global peace.

But now the entire world sees clearly what Putin and his Kremlin -- and his Kremlin allies are really all about. This was never about genuine security

concerns on their part. It was always about naked aggression, about Putin's desire for empire by any means necessary -- by bullying Russia's neighbors

through coercion and corruption, by changing borders by force, and, ultimately, by choosing a war without a cause.

Putin's actions betray his sinister vision for the future of our world -- one where nations take what they want by force.

But it is a vision that the United States and freedom-loving nations everywhere will oppose with every tool of our considerable power.

The United States and our Allies and partners will emerge from this stronger, more united, more determined, and more purposeful.

And Putin's aggression against Ukraine will end up costing Russia dearly -- economically and strategically. We will make sure of that. Putin will be a

pariah on the international stage. Any nation that countenances Russia's naked aggression against Ukraine will be stained by association.

When the history of this era is written, Putin's choice to make a totally unjustifiable war on Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of

the world stronger.

Liberty, democracy, human dignity -- these are the forces far more powerful than fear and oppression. They cannot be extinguished by tyrants like Putin

and his armies. They cannot be erased by people -- from people's hearts and hopes by any amount of violence and intimidation. They endure.

And in the contest between democracy and autocracy, between sovereignty and subjugation, make no mistake: Freedom will prevail.

God bless the people of a free and democratic Ukraine. And may God protect our troops.

REPORTER: President Biden -

BIDEN: "Associated Press", Zeke.

REPORTER: So, do you have any plans to speak with President Putin at this point? And what interactions have you had with the Russian government?

BIDEN: I heard the first part: Do I have any plans to speak with Putin at this point. And what?

REPORTER: What communications have you had with the Kremlin as far as military ops (ph) in Ukraine and making sure this does not spiral into a

larger conflict?

BIDEN: Well, it's a large conflict already. The way we're going to assure it's not going to spiral to a larger conflict is by providing all the

forces needed in the Eastern European nations that are members of NATO. NATO is more united than it's ever been.

And I have no plans to talk with Putin.

"Wall Street Journal", Tarina.

REPORTER: Mr. President, you didn't mention SWIFT in your sanctions that you announced. Is there a reason why the U.S. isn't doing that? Is there

disagreement among Allies regarding SWIFT and whether Russia should be allowed to be a part of it?

BIDEN: The sanctions that we have proposed on all their banks is of equal consequence -- maybe more consequence than SWIFT -- number one.

Number two, it is always an option. But right now, that's not the position that the rest of Europe wishes to take.

Cecilia Vega, ABC.

REPORTER: Sir, sanctions clearly have not been enough to deter Vladimir Putin to this point. What is going to stop him? How and when does this end?

And do you see him trying to go beyond Ukraine?

And a second question I'll just give to you now: This statement that he gave last night will -- that the -- the threat that he gave -- the West

"will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history." Is he threatening a nuclear strike?

BIDEN: I have no idea what he's threatening. I know what he has done, number one.

And number two, no one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening. That has to -- this is going to take time. And we have to show

resolve so he knows what's coming and so the people of Russia know what he's brought on them. That's what this is all about.

This is going to take time. It's not going to occur -- he's going to say, "Oh my God, these sanctions are coming. I'm going to stand down."

He's going to test the resolve of the West to see if we stay together. And we will. We will and it will impose significant costs on him.

REPORTER: Will he go beyond Ukraine, sir? Do you see him going beyond Ukraine?

REPORTER: Mr. President -- Mr. President --


REPORTER: Thank you. Two topics, just really quick. First, markets are down and gas prices are up.