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Interview With Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); Interview With Former NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe Richard Shirreff; Interview With British Ambassador to the United Nations Barbara Woodward. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired March 02, 2022 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here's what's coming up.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We have hardly slept for seven nights, or we sleep, but anxiously.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): And yet Ukraine keeps up its resistance, as Russia tries to pound it into submission, hitting civilians. How does this end?
I speak to Barbara Woodward, Britain's U.N. ambassador, about mobilizing the world. And I get battlefield insight from former Deputy NATO Commander
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll continue to aid the Ukrainian people as they defend their country and help ease their
AMANPOUR: A rallying cry to save Ukraine. U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen joins me on the worldwide coalition President Biden is building.
JOSHUA YAFFA, "THE NEW YORKER": There's a lot of uncertainty and fear, which is completely understandable.
AMANPOUR: Reporter Joshua Yaffa joins Michel Martin from a metro-station- turned-bomb shelter in Kyiv.
SERENA WILLIAMS, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: I love my tennis career, but where -- what's the next step for Serena?
AMANPOUR: Tennis superstar Serena Williams tells me about Serena 2.0, her latest endeavor investing in diversity.
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
Seven days that have shaken the world, and Ukraine is still standing and fighting, still holding Russia off, still defending the principles of
freedom, democracy and sovereignty for all of us.
A vastly superior Russian military has so far been unable to dominate the skies or the battlefield. And now Moscow is turning to that gruesome
alternative, hitting civilian infrastructure, ordinary people, soft targets, trying to force a surrender.
There are reports of some Russian gains in Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv, and also Kherson in the south. And in Kyiv today, Alex Marquardt
surveyed the damage from the Russian missile strike on a TV tower last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: There are clearly a number of rockets that landed all over here, lots and lots of
Now, we know from Ukrainian authorities that some five people were killed. You can still see some of the blood on the sidewalk.
Now, of course, we are across the street from that tower. But just take a look at this, at this building and the state that it's in now. It is
Here on the ground floor, this is clearly a gym. You can see all the gym equipment, stationary bikes, elliptical trainer. There is still a fire
going on there, lots of smoke coming out of this building, utterly destroyed, John.
Now, this is an area called Babi Yar, which is where one of the worst massacres of Jews in World War II happened, some 30,000 people killed over
the course of two years. So it's a very, very symbolic area.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: But, as we said, Ukrainians are fiercely fighting bad.
Look at this video. Workers at a nuclear plant brought in garbage trucks to help them block the road to deny access to Russian forces.
Meantime, on the diplomatic front, Russia's heavyweight ally, China, got off the fence and expressed concern with the killing of civilians and
offered to play the role of peacekeeper, peacemaker.
And at the United Nations today, nations voted 141-5 to condemn Putin's invasion. The five against were Russia, Belarus, Syria, Eritrea, and North
Korea; 35 countries abstained.
Barbara Woodward is the British ambassador to the U.N. And, before that, she was ambassador to China. And she's joining me now from headquarters in
Welcome, Ambassador, to the program.
Let me start by just stating that this is only the 11th such emergency General Assembly session since the creation of the U.N., the last one being
in 1997. How loud a signal was the vote today? What do you expect it to achieve?
BARBARA WOODWARD, BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Well, good evening, Christiane.
And I have just come up from a packed General Assembly chamber. It was a historic vote this evening, as you say, for two reasons. The first, we
haven't had a vote like this in 40 years here at the U.N., an emergency special session of the General Assembly, and, secondly, for the magnitude
of the numbers, as you said, 141 votes in favor.
So that's nearly three-quarters of the General Assembly standing up to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine, deplore Belarus' involvement in that
invasion, and demand that Russian boots get off the ground and the territory of Ukraine.
AMANPOUR: Do you think that it will -- it's obviously nonbinding, as you said.
What actually really can be done at the U.N.? It is a signal, certainly, to Russia, which likes to -- it often likes to sort of wrap itself up in
international legitimacy. What actually will it mean in the real world?
WOODWARD: I think in the real world, Christiane, first of all, it shows Russia just how isolated they are internationally, in the company of only
four other countries out of a totality of the U.N. membership.
And the second thing it does, it reinforces everything that we have been doing on the economic sanctions front in support to Ukraine, humanitarian
aid. All countries are saying they are behind this and they recognize the threat when a permanent member of the United Nations in an unprovoked and
premeditated way invades another smaller country.
And that's right at the heart of what the U.N. is about. We had a very moving speech from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the smallest country
ever to sit on the Security Council, saying it's the principle of our national boundaries that we are entitled to see observed and protected at
the U.N. that has been violated by Russia in respect to Ukraine.
AMANPOUR: Now, the very real issue, I guess, for all of you and for all heads of government and state that have that have combined to bring massive
sanctions down on Russia and to stand in solidarity with Ukraine is, what is going to bring Vladimir Putin to any kind of table, any kind of
diplomatic solution, and potentially peel his back off a wall that he might have created for himself?
I'm not sure how it's viewed there. But some are saying that, that he's pushed himself into a corner and needs an exit ramp. One of those
potentially could be friendly countries to him like China trying to intercede.
What are you hearing? And, again, you were the ambassador to China. What do you expect China to be able to do and to actually do?
WOODWARD: I think two things of interest here, Christiane. The first is that we have seen China's position shift, I think, over the last seven
days, as they have expressed growing concern about the gravity of the conflict. And, actually, a Chinese citizen was injured yesterday in
Ukraine. And I think that will have brought home to China the wider implications of this conflict.
And, as you say, second, China has historically a very close relationship with Russia. And we all saw President Putin and President Xi Jinping on the
eve of the Winter Olympics just a month ago closely coordinating. And if China can continue its diplomatic channels, and perhaps persuade President
Putin to withdraw and end this illegal invasion of Ukraine, that would be a significant breakthrough.
AMANPOUR: I'm just going to play a little bit of a sound bite, because we heard this news from the foreign minister of Ukraine, still -- still
standing, still there in Ukraine. I reached him last night.
And he talked to me about his conversation with Wang Yi, the foreign minister of China. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: He assured me that China is not interested in this war and is ready to seek peaceful solution
of this conflict through diplomacy.
So I appealed to the Chinese foreign minister and also to the Indian foreign minister to take their -- to take advantage of their leverage on
Putin, of their relations with Russia, and urge Putin to stop this war immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, again, Ambassador, we hear also from Moscow that Putin has spoken to the prime minister of India, Modi.
And, again, you heard the Ukrainian foreign minister suggesting that those two could be very influential interlocutors. Do you see that actually
happening? I know you wish it would.
WOODWARD: We certainly wish it would.
The channels exist. Prime Minister Modi has had conversations with President Putin, as, as you say, have several very senior Chinese leaders,
including President Xi Jinping. So, we do need a diplomatic breakthrough here in order to end the appalling suffering and the very -- the need for
the Ukrainian people to put up an extraordinary, brave defense against this illegal invasion by Russia, which, as you have reported, is already
targeting civilian targets and using munitions that are outlawed under U.N. conventions.
So, a really grave concern to us, which we have joined other countries in asking the International Criminal Court to investigate as well.
AMANPOUR: Well, you have just laid it out there. Obviously, President Zelensky has accused Russia of committing war crimes by doing exactly what
you just said, using prohibited weapons, and on civilians.
And I'm wondering whether you see any road map from what happened all those years ago in Bosnia, again, vastly outgunned, under siege, and the U.N.
created safe areas around some small enclaves, and had a humanitarian airlift into the besieged city.
Is there any talk of that kind of attempt for Ukraine?
WOODWARD: So, the U.N. had a flash humanitarian appeal yesterday, which you will know raised 1.7 billion U.S. dollars for humanitarian aid for
And I know that the head of the U.N. humanitarian agency, Martin Griffiths, is talking about making sure that that humanitarian aid reaches people who
are still in Ukraine, as well as helps the refugees. But the Bosnia lesson, of course, was double-edged. And we all know all too well the awful tragedy
So we have to be very careful with the idea of creating safe havens, because they can become, tragically, sitting targets. But the principle
that you're asking about, is there a humanitarian effort, absolutely, yes. It's massive. The U.K. has contributed $120 million to it -- 120 million
pounds to it. And we're looking to do more, and other countries too.
So, as I say, yesterday, $1.7 billion was raised.
AMANPOUR: And you have been there and you have watched the Ukrainian ambassador to the United Nations ramp up his criticism of Russia's invasion
and his appeal to the other members of the United Nations.
And, on Monday, he was talking about what he said should be looked at, i.e., that, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia simply inherited the
USSR's seat at the Security Council. And this is what he said to the assembled delegates in the General Assembly hall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGIY KYSLYTSYA, UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Anyone? Should I put my glasses, if my vision fails me? And I don't see any hand
raised? Any country? Anyone voted for Russia membership?
I will leave you with that. And think about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Does that have any pathway? Is that symbolic? Or they're looking at the legal ways to try to kick them off the Security Council? Is there
any precedent for that or any route to that? Do you think it would be a good idea?
WOODWARD: And I was in the Security -- in the General Assembly for that moment when he raised that question.
But the truth is, Christiane, there is not a mechanism under the charter to evict a permanent member from the Security Council. So, I think the
critical thing we can do is to try and see that Russia lives up to its commitments and its responsibilities as a permanent member of the Security
And invading Ukraine is not part of that. So we need to see the invasion ended and Russia return home from Ukraine.
AMANPOUR: We will keep watching.
Thank you very much for joining us from the U.N., Ambassador Dame Barbara Woodward. Thank you very much indeed.
WOODWARD: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And now for a better understanding of what's actually happening on the ground, let's turn to General Sir Richard Shirreff, who was NATO
deputy military commander from 2011 through '14, when Putin last invaded Ukraine.
So, I mean, you have seen it before. And here we are. And what we're hearing from the United -- certainly from the United States, their
intelligence suggests that not a huge amount has changed on the battlefield over the last 24 hours. Does that correspond with what you're looking at,
from what you see?
RICHARD SHIRREFF, FORMER DEPUTY SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER EUROPE: Well, I'm getting all my information from the media and from the intelligence reports
that are broadcast on the media.
I mean, I think what it says to me is two things. Number one is that the Ukrainians continue to fight, particularly in the cities, I suspect. And we
should all be inspired by the defense that they're putting up. And the pictures of women filling Molotov cocktails and the like is inspiring
But there's another picture here, which is that we have seen this massive convoy north of Kyiv. It seems to be pretty static. I'm waiting for it to
be attacked. I'm waiting for the Ukrainian air force to go for it. I'm waiting for the Ukrainian armor, such as it is, to get stuck in. And that
does not appear to be happening.
Why is it stuck? A failure, I suspect, of command-and-control.
AMANPOUR: Russian command.
SHIRREFF: Russian command-and-control.
Perhaps a failure of logistics. And it demonstrates to me that the Russian army is much, much closer in thinking to the old Soviet army that we
thought -- that we studied so carefully during the years of the Cold War, and that it has not yet moved on and developed the sort of maneuver
capability that I would expect it to maneuver -- to have developed.
AMANPOUR: So we have a map that we're going to put up in a second, and it shows the country. It shows Ukraine, and it shows with the red arrows where
the Russian forces are coming in, and some of the red spots there is what they have taken and what they're moving in on.
What can you tell us by looking at that in terms of the seven days it's taken for that to happen, the fact that they seem to want to move in on
Kyiv and encircle it?
SHIRREFF: I think the first thing is that it's quite clear that Putin is pushing for a land corridor to Crimea. I mean, that is an obvious
He has had Crimea under his -- in the Russian Federation since 2014. He's only been able to supply it across the Kerch Strait Bridge. And so, of
course, he's looking to establish that land corridor down on the Donbass, the coast of the Sea of Azov.
I think the second thing is the sclerotic way and the problems he's having in securing those key northern cities of Kyiv, obviously, and Kharkiv as
well. And that comes down to, as I said earlier, the Ukrainian defenses.
But also we should take comfort from the fact that, once he gets stuck into -- the Russians get stuck into the cities, they will slow down. Fighting in
cities is really tough on the attacker. It swallows up huge amounts of manpower. Defenses has the very definite advantage.
So, if there's a siege, they try to besiege Kyiv, for instance, the advantage is with the...
SHIRREFF: Well, no, what I'm saying is that if he -- if the Russians start penetrating the city, to try and capture...
AMANPOUR: Yes, street-to-street fighting is really tough, yes.
SHIRREFF: Street-to-street fighting is really tough.
It's manpower-intensive. The casualties are very heavy. Of course, the other concern -- and we're seeing it already -- is the use of
indiscriminate, indirect fire.
AMANPOUR: Well, I was going to ask you that, because many have suggested that this seven days of not being able to do what they may have thought
that they were going to do in two days -- in fact, a Russian news agency reported on the Saturday -- that's two days in -- Ukraine has returned to
Russia, and they had to take it down immediately.
SHIRREFF: Yes. Yes. Yes.
And so what is -- this has demonstrated -- Putin is humiliated here. His military have not delivered. So he is going to be ordering Gerasimov, the
chief of the general staff, to get cracking, to get stuck in, and to use whatever means he needs at his disposal.
AMANPOUR: That means against civilians?
SHIRREFF: It will mean indiscriminate artillery fire in cities.
I fear that we will see increased civilian casualties, increased humanitarian catastrophe and, ultimately, potentially, the leveling of
cities. I'm afraid to say that I don't think we have seen anything yet in terms of the destruction that's likely to happen.
If you want to see what the Russians do when they when they destroy a city, look at what happened to Aleppo. Look at what happened to Grozny.
AMANPOUR: So what does NATO then do? Because all sorts of unprecedented reaction has happened. The E.U. has not only the sanctions with the United
States, which the Russians admit are hurting them, but also for the first time purchasing and financing the purchase and delivery of defensive
weapons to the Ukrainians.
SHIRREFF: Well, NATO and the wider Western world -- it's not just NATO -- continue and ramp up the support of indirect -- indirect support,
logistics, weapons, ammunition, military equipment and the like, to help both -- help the Ukrainians.
However, it's got to be indirect. Any form of NATO active support will generate NATO at war with Russia. And NATO can only do that if NATO has
really thought it through and assembled the sort of force levels to be prepared to fight a general war with Russia.
AMANPOUR: And do you think that is something that's in the offing?
SHIRREFF: I don't know.
AMANPOUR: OK, let's not go there.
SHIRREFF: I'd like to know -- I would like to -- until NATO does do that, A, the eastern flank is not going to be secure. i.e., NATO's eastern flank
is not going to be secure. NATO needs to do it anyway in order to deter any form of incursion.
AMANPOUR: Do you mean the sort of first Gulf War-style coalition of hundreds of thousands of forces and tank brigades and artillery?
SHIRREFF: It's a good analogy.
It's that sort of size and scale of forces.
AMANPOUR: From the Baltics all the way down?
SHIRREFF: Effectively, we're looking at a deterrent force.
Assume the worst. Assume Putin takes Ukraine. Assume he hives off part of it and absorbs it into Russia in the east, Donetsk, Luhansk. Assume the
rest becomes a sort of puppet state dominated by Russia. We're looking at a new Cold War in Europe, which will require really significant deterrent
forces from Estonia to Romania.
But as far as the immediate concern is -- force is concern, the absolute key is to, as I said when we last spoke, man the ramparts, by which I mean
a similar force -- this is old-style stuff. This is not winning wars by drones and special forces and cyber. This is old-style, heavy armored
divisions, and as well as significant air. It's an air-land battle, and it's a maritime battle.
But these are -- this is going to require forces not seen on a scale in Europe since the peak of the Cold War.
AMANPOUR: I really, really hate talking about this, but Putin has done it. He has raised the stakes.
And he has, A, in the first speech, he threatened without saying it consequences like you have never seen in your history if you try to
interfere with us. Most people took that to mean some kind of nuclear response. Then he followed up on the Sunday by putting his nuclear forces
allegedly on high alert.
And I spoke to the former U.S. defense secretary last night, William Cohen, who said that he may think he can use, I don't know, a small tactical
What on earth does that mean? What is small, tactical? And what does it do? Is it even possible?
SHIRREFF: What that will bring is total destruction for Russia, because, ultimately, NATO is defended by the ultimate deterrent, the nuclear
So any hint of use of nuclear weapons by Putin will bring down untold retribution on his people.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you what you think? I know you can't get into anybody's head and you can't get into the military chain of command in
But what's going on? I mean, are the -- did the military not know what they were going to see on the ground? Are they not telling Putin? Do you think
Gerasimov Shoygu are actually sophisticated military commanders, with -- or is Putin calling the shots? What is going on, on the ground?
SHIRREFF: I wish I knew.
As I said earlier, I think this is a failure of Russian command-and- control. And the Russians are demonstrating that they're not as good militarily. They are very, very strong, let's be clear. They have got very
good equipment. And they have kept up with the hunt.
But they're demonstrating an inability to move large forces. And it's a complex business. It requires the science of war. It requires complex
training. And, actually, what they're demonstrating is a Soviet mind-set here, which I don't think is up to the sort of demands.
However, we shouldn't take necessarily take comfort from that, because they will learn, and they will learn very quickly. The other factor is morale,
which is really important.
AMANPOUR: We're hearing talk on the ground of surrenders and things by the Russians. But...
What you have got -- and we're hearing about Russian soldiers who've been told that they will be treated as liberators. They haven't been properly
briefed, and they're suddenly finding that they're not liberators. And don't forget most of those Russian soldiers or many of them will have
Ukrainian cousins or uncles or aunts, because Ukrainian -- Ukraine and Russia, families were split by the division of Ukraine from Russia.
And there will be a real sense, I think, a visceral sense of, what are we doing to destroy and attack our Slav brothers?
SHIRREFF: Meanwhile, of course, on the other side -- forgive me -- the Ukrainians'' morale at the moment is sky-high.
AMANPOUR: It is sky-high.
We have got apparently snow forecasts for the eastern part of Ukraine. That's obviously not good for the attacker either. But very quickly, how
does one get Putin off this ledge?
SHIRREFF: Well, I think we have got to match strength with strength. We have -- we can't give him an itch. He has completely put himself beyond the
And this requires, as I -- again, we go back to the importance of everything in the shop window, but it's got to be capable and deadly. And
we have got to have a total unity of purpose in the West that we're going to use it if necessary.
AMANPOUR: And this is a total show of unity that you haven't seen in your lifetime, right?
But, again, take comfort from the fact, look at the way the European Union has stepped up to the mark. Look at the way NATO has stepped up to the mark
and the imperative, I also just finish, of American leadership here. And it's got to be matched by American power.
AMANPOUR: On that note, we are going to turn to the United States.
General Richard Shirreff, thank you so much, former deputy commander of NATO.
SHIRREFF: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Now, President Biden did begin his State of the Union speech laying out the stakes for everyone, including Americans.
The first lady, Jill Biden, invited Ukraine's ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, to be her special guest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Let's each of us, if you're able to stand, stand and send an unmistakable signal to the world, to Ukraine.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
BIDEN: Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That roar of applause coming from both parties, a rare display of unity in Congress these days.
Here now is Senator Chris Van Hollen. He's a Democrat from Maryland.
Senator, welcome to the program.
You may have just heard the former deputy commander of NATO saying that all of this unity is really impressive, the U.S. gathering this global
coalition as well, but it also has to be matched by us power, in terms of defending Ukraine and really putting a wall of steel against what might be
a new border in Europe. What do you make of that?
SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): Well, Christiane, it's good to be with you.
As you said, President Biden last night spoke on behalf of all Americans, who were inspired by the Ukrainian people standing up, and we're going to
be matching that rhetoric with redeployments, reinforcements of NATO's flank, especially the front-line states. That's already started. More U.S.
forces have been deployed.
And we expect here in Congress to pass approximately an $8 billion emergency supplemental to both support the humanitarian effort, but also
the continued arming of the Ukrainian military in the coming days.
AMANPOUR: What can you tell us, if you can, about what you may have been briefed on the current battleground situation?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, I can speak to what's been in the public domain. And, as you know, that's been reflecting the views of our military.
Even before the invasion started, they did a very good job of getting the intelligence out there. It gave us the time to work with our European
allies in advance to get ready and impose the sanctions, the punishing sanctions.
Look, I think we all believe that Putin thought that he'd be able to march much more quickly into Ukraine, into Kyiv. He's certainly been slowed down
dramatically. The Ukrainian resistance has been huge and inspiring.
And, at the same time, of course, he has overwhelming, massive firepower and troops. But -- so who knows exactly how this will unfold. But I think
what we do know, as your earlier guest was just saying, is that, in the long run, Putin is not going to be able to hold out and occupy Ukraine and
cities like Kyiv, because you have got 44 million Ukrainians who don't want Putin there.
And in the long run, this will be seen as an epic miscalculation, a strategic failure by Vladimir Putin. We need to do everything we can right
now and in a sustained way to make sure that happens. We're doing this. We're taking the steps necessary now, I believe.
AMANPOUR: And as much as these economic sanctions are hurting, and the Russians admit they are -- and, in fact, they said anybody who's putting
sanctions against us will be viewed as unfriendly nations. Anyway, you can imagine what's coming out of there.
But, clearly, European politicians, elected leaders and Americans need to be worried or concerned or explain to their own people the pain that may be
ahead in terms of financial, economic.
I just want to play a little excerpt of what President Biden said in his State of the Union last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I know news about what's happening can seem alarming to all Americans. But I want you to know we're going to be OK. We're going to be
When the history of this era is written, Putin's war in Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Senator, you have your finger on the pulse of people, people who elect you all.
What do you think is the mood in America about what President Biden just said? And then how do you think they will tolerate potentially increased
financial pressure, economic pressure?
VAN HOLLEN: So, Christiane, I think the American people stand behind what President Biden said last night. And, as you reported, he had bipartisan
standing applause for our support for the people in Ukraine.
The president has indicated you're going to see some increases in energy prices here at home. And that's a part of what we're going to have to
absorb in support of this -- the effort. At the same time, the president coordinated with a lot of our allies, of reserves from our strategic
(INAUDIBLE) reserve and others around the country. Obviously, that's not a long-term solution to the energy issue, but it will help mitigate the
But I want to make this point on the economic sanctions. What we've seen are already crushing sanctions on the banking sector, including the Russian
Central Bank. What's only going to begin to grind down the Russian economy are the bans on exports to Russia of high-tech equipment like
semiconductors. And that is also being coordinated not just with our European allies but with Japan, with Singapore, with Taiwan. Those are only
-- will only begin to bite in the coming days.
And so, I think when you see the layers of these sanctions on top of each other, the Russian economy will be hard hit. As you well know, you know,
the Russian economy is about the size of the economy of the State of Texas. So, other than the energy sector, I do believe that we will be relatively
insulated from the punishing economic fallout that Russia is going to experience.
AMANPOUR: That's a really interesting context the way you've compared it to the size of Texas. Just going back to the bipartisan nature of what was
going on in Congress last night, how long do you think that can last? And. because, you know, we've seen some very unseemly praise of President Putin
by senior Republicans, of course, ex-members like, you know, President Trump and his former secretary of state and others. But there has been
quite a lot of unseeming behavior in a rush to praise President Putin by the Republicans.
And, of course, Putin, as you know better than I, would like nothing more than to see a divided U.S., a divided West. Is this now, I guess,
resonating among Congress even amongst with Republicans?
HOLLEN: I think you're going to find, Christiane, an overwhelming support in Congress, including among Republicans for President Biden's position.
There is this faction, the Trump faction, which is very much alive in real in the grassroots, in parts of the country.
But here in Congress, with some exceptions, notable exceptions, I don't think you're going to see people doing what President Trump has done, which
is praising, you know, Vladimir Putin for his genius and his smarts and essentially, siding with Putin in this war. Even some of those voices have
now had to the back pedal given the incredible fortitude and fighting spirit of the Ukrainian people.
So, I do thinks that this unity is sustainable, both the United States as well as with our European partners in the world. And, of course, you saw
the resounding vote at the United Nations today condemning Putin. There were some holdouts that we're going to have to work on, and that will be
one of our big challenges in the days ahead. Some of the folks that abstained that really should have stood with the United States and all of
our allied and stand up for freedom and democracy.
AMANPOUR: Exactly. If I'm not mistaken, Israel was a holdout, too, and it's quite difficult to understand that, but so was China. Perhaps more
importantly, though, it abstained rather than voting with Russia. And it was talked about concern over, you know, the civilian casualties. And the
Ukrainian foreign minister spoke to me last night about his conversation with the Chinese foreign minister who said he try to -- would want to act
as sort of, you know, peace makers.
You know, this is a really important thing for the United States. Do you think there is any room to try to -- I don't know what you want to call it
-- modify the very bad relationship with China right now over this issue and get some good for both nations out of this?
HOLLEN: Well, I know there are conversations going on right now between folks in, you know, our State Department in China, just making it clear to
China that it's really in nobody's long-term interests to allow Putin's killing to go on. And as you just indicated, I think some of the statements
we've heard from Chinese officials have begun to sort of roll back, hedged their bets even more, back off a little bit from being associated with
Putin in Russia on this. But we need to keep the pressure on.
Obviously, we have huge differences with China, but our differences should not include this particular situation. This is one where, as the killing
goes on, I would hope all of those countries that abstained come to join us.
AMANPOUR: And I was wrong. Actually, on this occasion, Israel did vote in favor against. So, I was wrong in that. But anyway, Senator Van Hollen,
thank you very much indeed for joining us.
Now, many civilians, as we said, in Kyiv are seeking shelter in the city subway stations. The New Yorkers' Moscow correspondent and author, Joshua
Yaffa, join Michel Martin from one of them last night. He had a firsthand account, of course, of the toll the way is taking on the people, not just
"in the crossfire," but increasingly, the targets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Joshua Yaffa, thank you so much for talking with us.
JOSHUA YAFFA, AUTHOR, "BETWEEN TWO FIRES": My pleasure. Happy to be here.
MARTIN: I see that you're in Kyiv. Do you mind telling us, you know, where you are? What are your circumstances?
YAFFA: Sure. I'm in Kyiv. I'm actually in the metro station. I came to see a friend of mine of the family who is spending her fifth night now in the
metro station during the evening to hide from regular Russian bombardments of the city. I thought I wanted to come and say hello, support my friends.
See how she and her family are doing and also, get a sense of what it's like for so many people in Kyiv who are facing night after night of
bombardment. And many of whom are hiding out in metro stations which functions as impromptu bomb shelters.
MARTIN: So, tell me a little bit about that, like how are people?
YAFFA: Yes. Sure. Well, let me scan like a little bit and you'll just see the station and the train here. Every night, when curfew starts at 8:00
p.m., the train stations fill up, the metro stations feel with people. Most people are actually sleeping inside the train wagon. It's a little bit
warmer in there than it is on the cold concrete platform.
Many people have bomb shelters under apartment blocks, in their neighborhoods. But for those who don't or want the safety of being deeper
underground and with other people, they come to the metro stations. There's dozens of metro stations like this all across the city every night, they
are filling up with families who are coming to try and get a safe place to hide out from the regular artillery and bombing and missile attacks facing
not just Kyiv, but a number of Ukrainians just about every day now.
MARTIN: Is the bombing happen mainly at night or is it all day long?
YAFFA: There was a big one that went off this afternoon. In fact, I saw it from the hotel where we were staying until we came to the metro, a big
cloud of black smoke erupted at around 4:00 or 5:00 this afternoon. And that was TV tower, the central TV tower in Kyiv, it had been attacked by
But, yes. In general, yes, the missile airstrikes and bomb strikes do tend to occur at night. I mean, you hear the sirens going off all throughout the
day in Kyiv. I mean, any time you're anywhere around town. At any moment, you can hear the air raid siren and people do generally try and hustle into
a building, into a basement or bomb shelter if they can find one.
But it seems like most of the missile attacks, the bombs attacks are happening at night. You know, that separate question from when -- you know,
whether it's tank or armor, small arms, infantry battles are happening -- you know, that happens to a different schedule. But in terms of the area of
bombardment, that does seem to be a nighttime activity.
MARTIN: How would describe the mood there? I mean, I think many people -- you know, most people have never lived through this. I mean, some people
throughout the world have lived through this, but most people from the West have not, frankly.
YAFFA: Well, I mean, the most remarkable thing about Kyiv is until a week ago what absolutely recognizable European Cosmopolitan City it was. I've
been here for about three weeks, and the first two weeks of my time here, I spent my evenings going out to wonderful stylish delicious restaurants with
friends, enjoying the atmosphere of a European capital. And it's remarkable how quickly that's all changed now. Dramatically, that's changed.
A lot of people have left the city. A lot of people left even before Russia invaded on the 24th as U.S. intelligence and others started to warn about
the inevitability of that war. Of course, there was a big exodus on the 24th when Russia began its invasion. And my friend who is here on the metro
has told me that the crowd has even thinned out in the past five days. And some people who didn't manage to leave before the war, in the first day or
two of the war have now managed to find a way out of the city.
And the city is definitely thinned out. I mean, it's really a ghost town, in fact, if you walk around the streets during the day, but that's because
most people who've stayed, and of course, the vast majority of people in Kyiv still have stayed, it's the city of number of million people. So,
people are very much still here. But they're at their homes, in their apartments trying not to go outside, only going outside to go to the
grocery store once every two days, but lines in the grocery, if you can find one that's opened, are around the block. We were at a grocery store
the other day where people said they've been waiting for two and a half hours and they weren't even close to be front of the line.
My friend here who is a journalist hasn't been able to really cover much of this war. And instead, has just been involved in trying to solve the most
elementrial questions of survival with -- for her and her mother, how to get food, how to come in and out of the metro where they've been sleeping
for safety, when to go home to take a shower, when to go home to buy food, to cook food, to bring it back to the metro.
So, people are just trying to make it through the day, really, and trying to stay safe and trying to keep their families safe. I mean, that's the
number one concern for most people. And there's also, I'd say a mix of real pride in how the Ukrainian state and Ukrainian military has been able to
hold off the Russian invasion for the last five days. It seems like, at least, the Russian calculation was that Kyiv would fall in a matter of
days, and it hasn't.
There are Ukrainians that he's following and the Russian troops are moving deeper and deeper into the Ukraine. But nonetheless, the Ukrainian military
has held them off in a way that no one expected. So, there's a real pride and energy for people. But at the same time, there's a real trepidation, a
knowledge that perhaps that can't last forever, they're not going to last. You know, Russia has such a formidable military machine that the Ukrainian,
for all of its success, skill and bravery, might not be able to hold them off forever. And there's a lot of understandable anxiety about that and
There is one young woman here in the metro tonight in Kyiv whose family is living in the Ukrainian City of Kherson, in the south. It's near Crimea.
And Kherson just today was captured today by Russia. There are now Russian troops walking through her hometown. Her parents look out their window and
saw Russian tanks in the streets. And so, of course, has her racked with fear and uncertainty about what comes next. Will she be able to go home,
right? Will she be able to see her parents? How does that work? Will they be able to get to see her? So, of course, there's a lot of uncertainty and
fear, which is, I think, completely understandable given the circumstances of what Ukraine is living through at the moment.
MARTIN: I just did want to ask, if anybody is angry, did they feel that they were ill-prepared? Because you're not the only person who has
mentioned that. Just a couple of weeks ago, people are going to cafes and living their normal 24th century life. And then, all of a sudden, this. I'm
just wondering if anybody feels angry that they feel like they should have been better prepared for this?
YAFFA: Well, the anger that I get is an incredible amount of anger toward Russia and toward Putin. I mean, just the amount of just (INAUDIBLE), all
that fury that I have heard towards Russia has really been remarkable.
Remarkable because it calls into question what is, in fact, Putin's plan here? What's the kind of political endgame to this military campaign? The
idea presumably if we just go by both Putin's statements and the way that he's put his military into battle clearly with the intention of capturing
Kyiv. There's some idea that Russia would take over, at least, some portion of the Ukrainian State and install its own pro-Russian government and have
a kind of client state here in Ukraine. But I don't know how that works just given the degree and depth and scale of anger here and how I've just
heard that from so many different people representing so many different generation, segments of society and it's just so deep at this point.
The way that Russia has really lost Ukraine. A country that I've been coming to for 10 years. And 10 years ago, you had a lot of interests,
sympathy, connection with Russia, people felt close to Russia. There is, of course, a lot of shared history. Many people in Ukraine -- many people Kyiv
speak Russian. They speak Russian at home, they speak Russian with their children, to their friends. The degree to which Russia has managed to turn
Ukraine against them -- Ukrainians against them, I think, for a generation, at least, is really dramatic.
So, when we're talking about anger, it's 99 percent directed at Russia and maybe 1 percent directed at the West, at NATO, at the United States,
Europe, countries that Ukrainians feel like aren't supporting them enough in their struggle and their battle, which they really feel like they are at
the frontlines of a fight with Putin over the future of Europe or the future of the democratic project survival. They feel like they're fighting
that battle and they would like to see more support from the West.
As to anger and frustration with their president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, other Ukrainian politicians who indeed up until the final days before the
invasion were downplaying the likelihood of it. You know, interestingly, no. I don't sense a lot of that. And I just, anecdotally, have picked up a
real send of unification and purpose and patriotism among Ukrainians.
MARTIN: I'm wondering what people are telling you about how they plan to proceed if the Russians do take the capital? Do they plan to resist?
YAFFA: Indeed. The prospects are horrifying, especially if fighting comes the center of Kyiv because I'm convinced just from talking to people around
town over the past weeks, that people in Kyiv will not ghive up easily, even if Russian forces enter the city, even if Russian forces are able to
capture the state of government, take Zelenskyy, depose him from power, I think the residents of the city will necessarily just go along with that
and so readily agree to live under a new Russian regime.
And that's make me question how this all ends and can this all end. And I think what we could see if really protracted and horrific. Street fighting
that could go on for some time. I don't know how else, you know, Russia is able to take the city. It may be able to, you know, sort of capture some of
the key strategic sights just with using sheer overwhelming military force, but has it actually occupied effectively a city of many millions of people
in the long run.
And just to talking with people in Kyiv over these days, I just don't see that being not just easy but maybe even a realistic task for Russia given
the degree of animosity and anger and readiness to resist. You know, you see people all around town. It could be actually quite scary and unnerving
to see people around town, regular people carrying (INAUDIBLE) rifles. There's been a problem to distribute guns to regular citizens to try and
defend their neighborhood.
You see a lot of local self-defense groups who have put up checkpoints, who have put together concrete blocks, sandbags, tires to protect their
neighborhoods. And that's the kind of thing that looks to me like a fight that could go for a really long time and at a really high cost.
MARTIN: We're calling the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia that began in Belarus. I don't know exactly what the tenor of those negotiations
is. I'm interested in if people know about that and what do they think about that? Do they feel that there's anything hopeful about it?
YAFFA: Sure. People are paying a lot of attention in the negation because I think that there's an idea among many Ukrainians that know that at the
end of the day, Russian has the military advantage, that if it's just a pure military fight, sooner or later, Russia will emerge with the upper
hand just because it has such overwhelming firepower.
But if the Ukrainian military and the Ukrainian public can hold out, the longer this goes on and the, you know, less this resembles the kind of
quick, easy victory that Putin seems to have initially wanted or counted on, the better that Ukraine's negotiating position begins. You know, will
Putin be interested of feel compelled to sue for peace as it were?
And I think that -- you know, the odds of that are actually not miniscule, that as the cost of this invasion go up economically and therefore, perhaps
also politically for Putin back in Moscow, Ukrainians are aware of that. Ukrainians are looking at, you know, what are the western sanctions? What's
the U.S. dollar to ruble exchange rate to see how much that's fallen in recent days. People, they are really paying attention to, you know, what's
the cost that Russia is paying for this way.
And as those costs mount day after day, does that mean Russia might be more willing to go for some sort of negotiated solution. And however, for now,
hollow or at least without great result, this negotiation process has been on the border of Belarus because people are paying attention.
MARTIN: You wonder how much information to the Russian public is getting about this? I mean, it's very obvious that Putin has waged this very
aggressive sort of propaganda campaign sort of leading up to this, I wonder if you have any sense of whether the Russian people are buying it?
YAFFA: It's hard to tell because the Kremlin has become too skilled at controlling and having almost monopoly on the information space. Just
tonight, as I was here in the Kyiv Metro, also like everybody else on my phone trying to follow the news. The news I saw out of Moscow is that the
Kremlin has taken off the airwaves, Echo of Moscow and TV Dozhd. Echo of Moscow is a really stories independent radio station, but it's also a
Dozhd or TV Rain is the really best if not only independent television left in Russia. And both of those outlets were just taken off the air today. And
that just shows that how much this war in Ukraine is also really a war back at home by Putin against anyone, any institution or individual who would
question not just this war but really the nature of his rule.
So, with that kind of domination of monopoly of the information space, the Kremlin has been able to sell this war to the Russian public essentially a
war of necessity, to defend Russia against NATO, against the United States. It was to convince Russian people that it was, in fact, Ukraine that was
waging a war against Russian speaking people and the Donbas, these are all the narrative you see on Russian state television.
It's hard to tell how much they're working or not. I think it's really an illustrative, for example, that although there have been spontaneous
antiwar demonstrations that have broken out in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities, this time, unlike in other previous events, the Kremlin has
not even tried to put together a kind of pro-Putin, pro-Kremlin, I don't know what you call it, prowar rally.
But these are the events that before the Kremlin has tried to stage, kind of counter protest where they're bussing state workers, put on a big show
make it look like 50,000 in the stadium support Putin and his policies. The fact that they haven't even gone for that here, I think is telling that
they know there really isn't a deep well spring of support for this war in Russia. That it's dangerous to tell the Russian people too much about this
Because I think deep down, it's very confusing and even distasteful for most Russians to think of Russian soldiers firing on Ukrainians. That's
like a thought I think is disturbing for most Russians. And the Kremlin is doing all it can to keep that thought or keep that awareness from reaching
the Russian people at all.
MARTIN: Before I let you go, Joshua, what is the thing that you would most want us to take away from our conversation with you today?
YAFFA: Really, just the way that war is so transformative. And this sounds kind of (INAUDIBLE) or obvious, but maybe I didn't quite understand it
until I ended up in the middle of one myself. I was in a children's hospital this week where not just children who had been injured in bombing
and artillery (INAUDIBLE), that was horrific and painful to watch, but there are whole wards of children who have cancer, heart ailments,
neurological diseases, many of whom have been waiting and came to Kyiv from other parts of Ukraine for treatment or surgery who are now living in the
dank, moldy basement of the hospital because it's too dangerous to live in the wards above ground and any prospect of them getting the care they need
and any time in the near future is completely made impossible.
And that's an aspect of war I hadn't even begun to think about, right? They're just always stories like that a million times over across the city
and across Ukraine these days.
MARTIN: Joshua Yaffa, thank you so much for sharing this reporting with us. And, of course, we wish you and your friends the best. Thank you much.
YAFFA: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Indeed, we do, and for all of Ukraine.
And finally, I did just get back from Paris where I sat down one on one with the all-time sporting great -- or one of them, anyway -- who also
expressed her heartache for all of those in danger in Ukraine. She is Serena Williams. And she's not giving up on her tennis or smashing records
just yet, she tells me. But the 23-time Grand Slam champion is also looking to the future and how to have an impact off course.
So, she's just announced her new venture capital fund that will focus on investing in diversity, as she explained when we met.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERENA WILLIAMS, 23-TIME GRAND SLAM TENNIS CHAMPION: I just wanted to start investing in different things and trying to see, OK, what is 2.0? I
love my career. I love my tennis career, but where -- what's the next step for Serena? And this is it. This is something that I truly found a passion
for and something that I can -- that affects everyday lives.
AMANPOUR: And what is it? What will it do? Is it about money? Investing in people's -- what will it do?
WILLIAMS: So, our fund really impacts lives and companies and everyday lives. So, what we tried to invest in is companies that are really
impacting everyday lives of everyday people. So, that kind of really broadens our spectrum of who we invest in. And also, it also narrows down
who we do not invest in.
So, whether it's in Fintech or whether it's in consumer goods or technology, we really just want to make sure it has a positive effect of
impacting the lives of everyday people.
AMANPOUR: And who would you not invest in? That's intriguing.
WILLIAMS: Yes. You know, for us, it's really about diversity. And it's not about us not investing in them, it's just about them meeting what our
mission and what we want to invest in. I love investing. And I started it because I was at a seminar, and this woman was speaking about how less than
2 percent of all VC money went to women.
AMANPOUR: Venture Capital?
WILLIAMS: Venture Capital money went to women. And people -- and even less went to people of color. I thought she misspoke. I said, oh, my goodness,
how embarrassing. You know, she must have misspoken. And I just -- my mind couldn't wrap around that. And so, when I learned that -- and, of course, I
went to her and I said, was that a mistake? And she just said, no. And I did my research and it wasn't a mistake.
And so, I had already been investing for four years. And that's when I decided I need to write bigger checks because the only way that number is
going to change is people that are like me, women that look like me can write those bigger checks and to other companies, maybe a founder, you
know, a woman of color, or a woman or, you know, a man. It doesn't matter. We don't want to check a box.
Like I told you before, we just want to be able to impact that life. And -- but when you hire women and you hire people of color, you hire diverse, you
tend to pick more diverse, right? And then it also helps men to say, OK, I shouldn't be giving my money only to other men. Like, let me, you know,
diversify. And so, that's what makes me really excited is that I had a way to impact -- because of tennis, I have a way to impact VC in a different
way and bringing diversity to that as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And stay tuned for the full interview about her incredible tennis life and career.
That's it for now. Thanks for watching. Goodbye from London.