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Interview with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto; Interview with Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to War Crimes Issues David Scheffer. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired March 14, 2022 - 14:00:00   ET



Here's what's coming up.


SAULI NIINISTO, PRESIDENT OF FINLAND: He said that if NATO countries take action, some terrible things will happen.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): As Russian attacks inch closer to NATO territory, Finland's President Sauli Niinisto shares his eye-opening conversations

with his neighbor Vladimir Putin.

And Ukraine's humanitarian catastrophe reaches horrifying heights. Martin Griffiths, the U.N.'s relief chief, joins me on what people need now.


DAVID SCHEFFER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR AT LARGE FOR WAR CRIMES ISSUES: Vladimir Putin incriminates himself every day. His footprints are all over

this war of depression.

AMANPOUR: David Scheffer, America's first ambassador at large for war crimes issues, talks to Michel Martin about ongoing investigations into

Russia's actions and whether anyone will ever be held accountable.


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

And a worrying escalation in Ukraine, as Putin's attacks are creeping closer to NATO's border. Russian strikes hit West of Lviv, less than 15

miles from the Polish border, yesterday. It was a powerful message to the United States and its allies, who are trying to supply and bolster

Ukraine's defenses.

Under huge pressure for the savage siege of Mariupol, Russia claims it is now opening humanitarian corridors for people to evacuate through. As for

the endgame, Finland's President Sauli Niinisto has been speaking regularly with Vladimir Putin. And he tells me the Russian leader may have dropped at

least one idea, regime change in Kyiv.


NIINISTO: Putin has his list. We all know it.

But it seems that changing the government of Ukraine is not anymore, at least. When I asked him, he said that it has never been there. But,

nevertheless, that was the understanding so far.

AMANPOUR: So, when everybody thought that he was going to march on Kyiv and extract the government and enact regime change and put a puppet in, you

think that's off the table now?

NIINISTO: Well, he was very clear when I said that, "Have you given up that demand?"

He said, "But I have never demanded it."


AMANPOUR: The full and fascinating interview on Putin's mind-set in a moment.

But, first, as the humanitarian catastrophe continues, we speak to the U.N.'s emergency relief coordinator.

You might remember this distressing image of a pregnant woman being taken out on a stretcher after Russia bombed that maternity hospital in Mariupol

last week. In a terribly sad update today, the surgeon confirms that both the mother and her baby have died.

The story is emblematic of Putin's war on Ukrainian civilians. And this is what has galvanized global outrage and sympathy. So how does that in turn

affect the humanitarian crisis and the response?

The U.N.'s Martin Griffiths joins me now from New York in H.Q. there,

Martin Griffiths, welcome to the program.

Can I ask you whether, as I posed, this global reaction to what's happening on the ground has actually helped fill your coffers, has helped you in your

humanitarian effort, at least to try to get stuff and raise awareness and funding?

MARTIN GRIFFITHS, U.N. UNDERSECRETARY FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS: Well, that's the one bright story, Christiane, of the humanitarian discussion

Ukraine, is this extraordinary generosity around the world.

Even in my office, we have received donations from 143 different countries, people, ordinary people, averaging $30 a donation in 143 countries. It's a

remarkable outgoing. And we see it also in the generosity of the welcome that people in Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Moldova are giving to the poor

people who flee Ukraine.

So, that is the one good story, public generosity, and, indeed, donor generosity. That's good. We hope, of course, that it doesn't mean that

other crises will be forgotten.

AMANPOUR: Let's just stick with this one for the moment, because it has galvanized the world.


Would you say that Mariupol is the very worst in terms of suffering and the civilians? Is that up there at the highest level of concern for you?


I think it's absolutely fair to say that Mariupol is the center of the hell that we see in Ukraine at the moment. And the most important priority for

that -- for Mariupol is to get civilians safely out, something that the International Red Cross has been trying to agree for some days. And we have

also been trying to make that happen in our discussions with both parties.

AMANPOUR: So, Martin Griffiths, the Russians tend to try to be very specific, and then nothing happens.

So the latest from their Ministry of Defense is that they have opened humanitarian corridors. Specifically, four columns with the total number of

200 buses have been formed, of which 50 have already arrived in Mariupol. All willing residents will be evacuated.

Has that even happened?

GRIFFITHS: Well, my concern -- and I don't know about the specific of that specific -- particular convoy, Christian.

My concern is whether the movements, these safe passage movements, these convoys, are agreed with both parties in advance, with the details of who's

moving at what time in how many trucks with contact numbers to make sure that there's somebody to talk to in the case of a problem, because what we

have seen continually in Mariupol and elsewhere is that, when people move on to these so-called safe corridors, is that there is bombing or there is


And there's a real worry about that in the exit routes out of Mariupol. Great if it works, but I think more needs to be done to bring the parties

together to get those decisions made together.

AMANPOUR: And what about the number of deaths? The Ukrainians say that more than 2,000, maybe 2,500 have been killed in Mariupol alone, civilians.

Can you confirm numbers?

GRIFFITHS: We can't confirm numbers.

I think my colleagues in the High Commissioner for Human Rights do have numbers. I think it's up towards the 2,000 civilian casualties, including

600, 700 dead. But that's got to be, as they are the first to say that's -- throughout Ukraine -- that's got to be a massive understatement of the


And it's because people can't get out to verify the numbers, because it's so dangerous.

AMANPOUR: And they have been cut off from -- they have been cut off by this besieging forces.

So they have no water, no electricity. What is the actual state of what they might have, and how long they could hold out, the civilians there?

GRIFFITHS: Well, Mariupol is, I think, the worst.

In other places, it's different. It's different in each place. As we have heard, in Kyiv, the government has ensured that there is a food supply

carefully prepared for two million people to survive for a few weeks. That's good news, good planning for what may be to come.

Mariupol, what we do know -- and we have our own stuff still in Mariupol -- is that supplies run out. Electricity, water, they stopped a week ago. As

you know, there are bodies on the streets. The hospitals are barely working. I'm astonished. But some of them are working.

So what's needed is to get supplies in and civilians out. It's really comparatively simple, if the will is there.

AMANPOUR: Yes, but that's what it's all about, isn't it, the will?


AMANPOUR: And nobody can quite figure out what the Russians want to do with this particular town, other than capture it. And they haven't done

that yet.

Let me just play you what the Ukrainian economy minister said over the weekend.


YULIA SVYRYDENKO, UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC MINISTER: Every day, our people, they are dying, children dying. We have a humanitarian crisis in several cities,

people lack of water, lack of food. And that's why just we actually -- we have no -- we don't have weeks or months. That's why we need this

assistance right now.


AMANPOUR: So, Martin Griffiths, do you actually have a plan? And are you talking to the Russians about this?

GRIFFITHS: Well, we do have a plan.

First of all, inside Ukraine, the United Nations and its -- all its agencies, the international NGOs and, most importantly, Christiane, the

local NGOs, are going forward eastward towards the areas of need.

There are a number of hubs being set up, warehousing, so that we can move supplies in. That's the first thing. The second part of the plan is to use

cash. Cash can go -- it can be sent to people in areas of encirclement. They don't have to -- cash doesn't have to go and by land routes. And

that's if supplies are available, people can buy them.


Thirdly, the World Food Program is -- David Beasley, their, director their executive director, was there today in Ukraine -- is building up local

procurement, because, as we know, Ukraine is the breadbasket of the rest of the world. It's got a lot of wheat in Ukraine. We need to access it, buy

it, and redistribute it.

And the final point that I want to put forward is that we need, the United Nations needs to have a joint cell with the two parties, the Russian

Federation, the Ukrainian authorities, to sit down together in permanent session on the side of humanitarian issues that you have you have been

discussing on the program.

Only if we can get face-to-face talks on specifically humanitarian issues will I think we be able to make some progress in this worst of times.


And then your other problem is -- and we have heard this, and we have a small sound bite from an elderly gentleman who just cannot and does not

want to leave his home. And this is Irpin, near Kyiv. And we know that it's very dangerous there right now. This is what he said.


VITALIY KARPOVYCH, RESIDENT OF IRPIN (through translator): Where would I go? My legs and my hands hurt? To leave? Where would I go? Shall we go to

Kyiv? I won't go anywhere. What happens happens. I'm too old.


AMANPOUR: So he's apparently 84 years old.

And how much of that are you finding in the NGOs and humanitarian organizations that some people just don't want to leave?

GRIFFITHS: I think the majority actually will not want to leave or risk leaving.

And it's worth noting that still across Ukraine large parts of the system, from the basic services, hospitals, and so forth, still function. By the

way, no schools opening today in Ukraine, bad news for a generation there potentially. But there is -- there are -- there is a functioning system of

administration services.

In our plan for response to the Ukrainian needs inside Ukraine, we estimated that double the number of people would want to stay home, rather

than would be prepared to take the risk of moving. And we need to reach them in their homes. And the way we like to do that, Christiane, is through

local NGOs, who know their communities in those places, who know the people in need, will go to reach them directly, supported by us, by the U.N.

agencies and by the international NGOs.

Ukraine, it can demonstrate a new form of humanitarianism. And I am very, very insistent that we get the chance to do so.

But can I add one mention of one issue which is becoming, I think, quite worrying and quite concerning? And that's the worry about sex trafficking.

And we're beginning to see concerns on that border, on those borders, as people leave Ukraine, that there may be predators, predatory people who

will be taking some of those women and girls away for their own purposes.

And that's an added indecent part of this terrible conflict.

AMANPOUR: I mean, it really is, especially when you consider some of the countries taking them in on the border are welcoming them with open arms.

GRIFFITHS: It's astonishing.

AMANPOUR: I just want to ask -- yes.

I want to ask you, because the U.N. says 2.8 million have already fled. And you're well aware, despite the unbelievable generosity of so many countries

these days for these Ukrainian refugees, there is also a backlash in other parts of the world, which point out that, actually, during the crises in

Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, there was not the same kind of hospitality, that there's a real racism, there's a real double standard,

there's real hypocrisy in the world about this issue.

What can you say about that? I mean, you were fundamentally involved in Syria and Yemen on these issues as well.

GRIFFITHS: Yes, it's a huge worry.

In fact, I'm going to be launching the -- this year's Yemen appeal in two days from now in Geneva, asking for the same kind of generosity to the

people of Yemen that we see to the people of Ukraine.

And it is -- there is a shocking, different set of priorities for people. It's right and proper that people in those neighboring countries should

welcome people in. We know that, by the way. Syrians have been welcomed into Turkey with great generosity, into Pakistan from Afghanistan with

great generosity.

So we have seen that elsewhere. But what I worry about is the way in which the secondary impacts, the rise in prices, consequent upon the war in

Ukraine will also make it more difficult in these other countries.


I'm told that Lebanon, for now, for example, which depends for half of its wheat imports on Ukraine, now has less than a month's supply left in

country. And Lebanon was always of late a fragile country. So we need to keep our eye on the world, as well as on Ukraine. That's for sure.

AMANPOUR: Absolutely.

And just one more question about your dealings with the Russians. I have covered many humanitarian crises. And, as you say, there does need to be

coordination. But -- and, usually, it's the aggressor who needs to give the permission, sorry to say, but they do, because they control the siege.

What are they saying, the Russian MOD, when you say there are people who are starving, people who are dead on the streets, hygiene, no water, no

electricity, hospitals AT breaking point and being attacked, we need to get the humanitarian aid in?

GRIFFITHS: Well, what we're talking to them about in Moscow -- and we have been doing it now for about five or six days -- is about specific

operational arrangements for safe passage.

It's about, this convoy moves on this day from that -- point A to point B. And they engage very professionally with us, the Russian Ministry of

Defense, on that. They could be quicker. I certainly think that. They certainly have their interests. They also say that they can't guarantee

security out there.

Well, that's going to be our problem. We will have to deal with that problem. But I think, as I said earlier, if we can't get the Russians and

the Ukrainians -- and the Ukrainians, by the way, perfectly prepared to do this, to sit together, to talk about these issues -- then we are not going

to get the truth that only comes through eye-to-eye contact.


I mean, just very briefly -- we have about 20 seconds -- you say dealing professionally, but they have been shelling humanitarian corridors and

those attempts.

GRIFFITHS: I'm not for one minute forgiving or forgetting those breaches of international humanitarian law. I'm simply talking about the

negotiations that we're having over safe passage.

Now, look, Ukraine has seen an egregious number of the breaches of that law. That's for sure, also.

AMANPOUR: And we will have more on that later in the program.

But, Martin Griffiths, thank you so much for highlighting what's going on and what you can try to do to alleviate that suffering.

GRIFFITHS: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: Now, as we say brave Russians also continue to protest the war that's conducted in their name. Another 850 people were detained in anti-

war protests across 37 cities on Sunday, according to an independent monitoring group, this on top of the 14,000 or so the CIA believes have

already been rounded up.

And, as we have been mentioned, Finland's President Sauli Niinisto has known Putin for a decade and often acts as a bridge, explaining him to

Western allies and vice versa. He is among a few world leaders who continue to call him aiming to stop this war.

So I met with the president, Niinisto, here in London to get a sense of Putin's endgame.


AMANPOUR: Mr. President, welcome to the program.

NIINISTO: Thank you very much.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you first a very worrying development, the escalation from Russia, sending missiles a few kilometers from the Polish border?

Poland is a NATO country, as you're well aware. Does that worry you?

NIINISTO: That does worry me. That does worry all of us. And it's not only a question about these few missiles, but overall picture. It's, in a way,


AMANPOUR: Do you think, given what you know about Putin himself -- you have met him many times over the last 10 years. You have spoken to him many

times around this crisis.

Do you think he would challenge the call and the consistent warning by NATO that not one square inch, if so much as one square inch of NATO territory

is attacked by Russia, all of NATO will respond? Do you think Putin believes that?

NIINISTO: I guess he believes. He hasn't done that, not yet.

And I do believe that he understands the huge risk he is going to take if he does it.

AMANPOUR: You don't think he's going to breach that line?



What do you think, at this point -- having spoken to President Putin and President Zelenskyy, what do you think a peace or a cease-fire or an end to

this looks like?

NIINISTO: They are negotiating. Fourth round is ongoing at the moment.

And what we heard earlier on is a slight positive comment on both sides. But what the result could be, maybe they are far away from that, even

though we have some positive signals.


And, well, Putin has his list. We all know it.

But it seems that changing the government of Ukraine is not anymore, at least. When I asked him, he said that it has never been there. But,

nevertheless, that was the understanding so far.

AMANPOUR: So, when everybody thought that he was going to march on Kyiv and extract the government and enact regime change and put a puppet in, you

think that's off the table now?

NIINISTO: Well, he was very clear when I said that, "Have you given up that demand?"

He said, "But I have never demanded it."


OK, so let's go through the list of demands. Crimea.


AMANPOUR: He wants it still.

NIINISTO: He wants recognization that it's part of Russia.

AMANPOUR: Eastern Ukraine, Donbass.

NIINISTO: Donbass, a wider Donbass than that one which is now under command of separatists.

AMANPOUR: He wants an even bigger Donbass?

NIINISTO: Yes. It's Donbass by the map how is it there, not just Donbass, as it now is in hands of separatists.

AMANPOUR: Neutrality.


And we have heard some comments also from President Zelenskyy that, well, something could be discussed on that issue.

AMANPOUR: Because he did say earlier, last week, that he had cooled off. I think those were his words.

NIINISTO: Something like that. Something like that.

AMANPOUR: Demilitarization of Ukraine.

NIINISTO: Well, actually, Putin said that it's ongoing. And it is the war. I mean...

AMANPOUR: In other words, de facto, by attacking the Ukraine and the military.

NIINISTO: That seems that's the way Russians think.

AMANPOUR: You have spoken to him many times, including just a couple of days ago. So too have presidents and chancellors, Macron, Scholz, et



AMANPOUR: The Israeli prime minister as well.

They described their calls with Putin as finding a very determined Putin.

NIINISTO: Actually, already in December, I had a call with him. And I described it later that he sounded very decided.

And that continues also during my discussions.

AMANPOUR: Decided?

NIINISTO: Decided.

AMANPOUR: To do what?

NIINISTO: Very decisive, yes, with his list of demands.

But there was one element which I noticed both Scholz and Macron and Putin have said after their calls. that we continue. And for the first time, he

ended my discussion by saying that: "I'm available all the time."

So, can we read something from this? He wants to continue discussions. It might be tactical, but it might be also that he feels a real need to have

contacts and discussions.

AMANPOUR: You know, people have tried to figure out, what does he want? Is it just those things we just talked about? Is it all of Ukraine? Does he

hate Ukraine? Does he want to punish Ukraine?

You said in an interview: "At first, I thought that Ukraine is just the bait for the Kremlin. And the catch is on the general demands towards the

U.S. and NATO. But, maybe in the end, Russia also wants to eat the bait."


And now it looks more and more as a Ukrainian issue. He hasn't been talking about those demands towards NATO or USA lately. But one thing is very clear

to me, that he wants to talk straight to Washington, because it promotes him.

AMANPOUR: And yet he's not.

NIINISTO: Well, maybe in nearby future, hope so.

AMANPOUR: Fiona Hill, the Russia expert and national security advisory for several presidents...


AMANPOUR: ... and yourself have described this sense of punitive bitterness that Putin has ever since, I guess, the Color Revolution, since

the election of the first democratic president in 2004, and on and on and on.


AMANPOUR: Is that what you feel, that he has this need to, I don't know, punish?

NIINISTO: He's very, very bitter, and he, well, grows hate inside.

AMANPOUR: For Ukraine?

NIINISTO: Yes, yes, because somehow, well, starts with mother Russia and Ukraine being a part of that.

It's a -- somehow, he has made a mission for himself about the mother Russia. It's also excuse.


AMANPOUR: I could ask you and I will ask you about the assault on civilians.

I mean, it is the most terrible thing for the world to witness.


AMANPOUR: They blatantly deny it, despite the images. They blatantly deny it. And yet it's happening, and we can all see it.


AMANPOUR: You warned him about it, right? You said that these civilian deaths, the atrocities that are being committed in full view of the whole

world are reverberating very negatively against Russia.

What did he say to that?

NIINISTO: Well, actually, he started by blaming Ukrainians, what they have done in Donbass.

And I answered that, well, but you are having a warfare in Ukraine. People in Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv, they are being killed, that they have nothing

to do with your Donbass.

But he really didn't answer that.

AMANPOUR: What does it do to your public opinion and to public opinion around the world? People have been galvanized all over the world.


AMANPOUR: I mean, Russia is being canceled.


AMANPOUR: And Ukraine has become the rallying cry for so many people, certainly in the West.

What does -- what pressures does that put on your government? Because there are a lot of people who say, don't you think you should do a little bit

more for the Ukrainian military?

NIINISTO: Yes, we find that spirit all over in Europe, and in the States, too, I believe, also with Finland.

And people are a bit confused why the West can't do anything else or more.

AMANPOUR: Well, it won't do.

NIINISTO: And then the risk of escalation is not that clearly in their mind.

If you see civilians being bombed, you don't think about escalation first. You think about the sufferers, that they are suffering. And...

AMANPOUR: And there's a sense of do something, right?


AMANPOUR: That they want you all to do something to stop it.

NIINISTO: Very many voices can be heard.

And it is very difficult. I sometimes think about cups. Here we have people being killed all the time, and, here, risk of escalation. Which is

weighting more?



AMANPOUR: So, when you ask him, Mr. President, you have said all sorts of things about putting your deterrent forces on combat alert. You have said

that the -- anybody who dares to interfere with your project will face consequences the likes of which we have never seen in history.


AMANPOUR: I mean, that is a nuclear threat, isn't it?

NIINISTO: It is. It is something like that.

That reminds me of Dr. Kissinger. He has once said that, whenever peace is under discussion with international actors, they are on the mercy of the

most ruthless.

AMANPOUR: And in this case?

NIINISTO: Seems to be the case.

AMANPOUR: Putin is the most ruthless?


AMANPOUR: Do you believe...

NIINISTO: By indicating that there will be a huge mess.

AMANPOUR: Well, it's more than a mess. It's existential disaster.

NIINISTO: More than a mess. Disaster.

AMANPOUR: Do you believe, and have you asked him, whether he would take that ultimate escalatory step?

NIINISTO: He only repeated that terrible things will happen.

AMANPOUR: So, you directly asked him?

NIINISTO: Yes, I told him that, don't you see that the pressure from ordinary people, close all the time? It's not only anymore that the Russian

reputation is gone, but now they are even more worried what happens with those people being killed. And don't you see that?

Well, then he said that, if NATO countries take action, some terrible things will happen.

AMANPOUR: Are you scared?

NIINISTO: No, I'm not scared. And Finns are not scared.

But, surely, we are full awake.

AMANPOUR: Fully awake.


AMANPOUR: You have known Putin, as I said, for at least 10 years, right?

NIINISTO: Ten years, yes.

AMANPOUR: Ten years.

You have played ice hockey with him? You have pictures.

NIINISTO: I did, yes.

AMANPOUR: If you had to describe him -- he plays ice hockey. That's pretty combative. He plays judo.


AMANPOUR: That's pretty combative.

How do you describe him, his mind-set?

NIINISTO: And the history of KGB officer means that you're all the time in battlefield.

AMANPOUR: You're always in the battlefield.

NIINISTO: Yes. He's a fighter. That is what I told to President Trump also when he -- before he met Putin in Helsinki.

But, on the other hand, there's another element which is linked to mother Russia. You know that Putin has links to Orthodoxy Church, very close.


NIINISTO: You know that Putin has links to orthodox church, very close. If you count these two together, fighter and then this mother Russia thinking

that -- I would say, that he might respect and love mother Russia even more than his own mother. And maybe it's an excuse justification for what he


AMANPOUR: Do you think he's cornered? Do you think something can get his back off the wall?

NIINISTO: Very difficult twist. Very difficult. He is very decisive at the moment.

AMANPOUR: Determined?

NIINISTO: Determined.

AMANPOUR: Some have said, they detect that he feels this is the moment to do this.

NIINISTO: That might be. Maybe the calculation was, well I'm an American living in the United States. A lot of domestic political discussion. And

maybe even Afghanistan gave him some kind of signal that it would be the moment. And on the other hand, we have to understand that if you look at

the situation from Kremlin --

AMANPOUR: From the Kremlin?

NIINISTO: Yes. They undoubtedly saw that Ukraine is economically growing, getting stronger year after year. So, maybe even that was seen and

emphasized that the moment is now.

AMANPOUR: This is the Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Zakharova in Moscow, it's obvious that if Finland and Sweden join NATO, which is first of all a

military organization, it will entail serious military political consequences which would require retaliatory steps by the Russian


NIINISTO: That's what we have heard many times, actually. Putin said it a couple years ago by -- to a Finnish journalist asking that, he said, then

that well, so far, we have seen looking over the border, Finnish frankly soldier, if you join NATO, we see an enemy. So, that's their position. And

they don't hide it. It's good that we know. But we decide.

AMANPOUR: President Niinisto, thank you so indeed much for joining me.

NIINISTO: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: So, where and how does this end? Just a note, Finland is currently conducting a review of its security policy to help decide whether

or not it should actually join NATO.

Now, that Western military base that Russians attacked this weekend was where international arms training and equipment flowed to the Ukrainian

military for years. Thousands of foreigners, including Americans, have now answered President Zelenskyy's call for a, kind of, foreign legion to help

repel this Russian invasion. And Correspondent Jim Sciutto brings us their story in this report.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NEWS ANCHOR (voiceover): One of the bloodiest wars in Europe since World War II, is drawing thousands of foreigners to join the

fight. Kavi, he goes by his military call sign, tells us, he is a Canadian and veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

KAVI, CANADIAN AND VETERAN OF THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN: When Putin rattled a nuclear saber, he threatened the whole world with fire. Canada's right in

between the U.S. and Russia, that's where all these missiles that he's threatening with are going to be flying over. So, that's what brings me


SCIUTTO (voiceover): Kavi is far from alone.

ROMAN: There is more than 20,000 of this military serving all over the Ukraine.

SCIUTTO (voiceover): Roman, he asked we don't show his face for security, vets the backgrounds of all foreign volunteers.

ROMAN: Many of them had a very good experience, even in hotspots, they are serving in hotspots. So -- but now it -- maybe it was -- you know,

nowadays, there are less of these experienced soldiers and more -- many of them are more volunteers. They have some military experience serving in a


SCIUTTO (voiceover): Their resumes range from combat experience to no military training at all. Ryan, a 25-year-old from Minnesota says, he

served two years with the marines in Okinawa, Japan.

RYAN, U.S. MARINE: I'm a U.S. marine. If I have to die to help these people, I will.

SCIUTTO (voiceover): Oscar from Sweden has no formal military training.

OSCAR, VOLUNTEER: We're here to help people. Hopefully, it's going to be over even before we reach (INAUDIBLE), before we need to fire a bullet, or

save someone with medical resources, you know. That's the best for everyone. But if that's what it comes to, we'll be there.


SCIUTTO (voiceover): David, 33, from Canada says, he can help fix tires to keep Ukrainian military vehicles on the road.

DAVID, VOLUNTEER: If it's black and round and made out of rubber, I can fix it. And one of the most important things in the gears of war is keeping

it moving.

SCIUTTO (voiceover): All volunteers get at least some training. But while some can contribute on the battlefield, others may never see combat.

ROMAN: Some of them don't get -- need the training, and some do. And some of -- as I am being told by the military, some of them remain there in this

unite -- in this military unit because they are not apt to this military service. And they just -- they can't go to this -- to the war.

SCIUTTO (voiceover): One additional concern, the risks of deploying and arming thousands of foreign fighters around the country.

ROMAN: They might be dangerous, because such people are always dangerous. But we try to check them. We try to check their biography. We try to check

their pasts as far as we can do it.

SCIUTTO (voiceover): One definite and urgent need for the Ukrainian military are volunteers with combat medical experience. That's what brought

Sky Barkly, a U.S. marine and missionary, to Ukraine along with six other Americans.

SCIUTTO (on camera): You enrolled after 9/11 imagining, I suppose, the war was going to be there. Did you ever imagine yourself witnessing a war in

Ukraine, in Europe?

SKY BARKLY, FORMER U.S. MARINE & MISSIONARY: No, and it's totally different. This does not compare to a slow simmering insurgency. It doesn't

even compare to what we saw with ISIS, because you're talking about -- I mean, the sheer amount of missiles being, you know, launched across the

country. The ability of the Russians to reach out across hundreds and hundreds of kilometers and kill from that kind of distance.

SCIUTTO (voiceover): Maddy, another member of Sky's medical team, is a travel nurse from Missouri, here to help and willing to put her life on the

line to do it. As she's done before in Iraq.

MADDY, MEDICAL TEAM, VOLUNTEER: Yes, it worries me a little bit. But I just -- I'm -- I just have a heart for these people. Like, I just really

want to help them. I don't see my life more valuable than their life.

SCIUTTO (voiceover): Ukrainian officials make clear this is not a calling for adventurers or weekend warriors. It is service against a massive and

ruthless invading army. And thousands have already answered the call.


AMANPOUR: Jim Sciutto there.

Numerous war crimes investigations against the Putin regime are underway as the attacks on Ukraine intensify. David Scheffer was the first U.S.

Ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues. And he joins Michel Martin to evaluate the chances of convicting Putin and his henchmen.


MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Ambassador David Scheffer, thank you for speaking with us.


MARTIN: What we're seeing in Ukraine right now is horrific. We've seen that 47 civilians were killed when Russian airstrikes hit two school and

several apartment blocks. We've seen a maternity ward was bombed. The W.H.O, the World Health Organization says that, there's been a spate of

attacks on health care facilities. Are these war crimes?

SCHEFFER: Yes, they definitely are. There's no question about that. I think the only issue really is if there are investigations, and there are,

of these war crimes, who specifically is responsible for the actual order and commission of a particular war crime? But above that, there's also who

are the commanders? Who are both the military and political commanders that, in general, have unleashed these war crimes upon Ukraine? Because

that will take us up the ladder of command responsibility and of superior responsibility.

The thing that is so easy about Ukraine, quite frankly, is that we know that the orders are coming from the top because they're publicly confirmed

every day. Vladimir Putin incriminates himself every day. His footprints are all over this war of aggression. And so, his generals also clearly must

understand what is going on on the ground because it's publicized so clearly. So, that is inferential knowledge of the war crimes being

committed and they have the responsibility as commanders, not only to prevent them but also to punish those who commit those crimes. So, neither

of those have been shown yet, prevention or punishment.

MARTIN: How do we define war crimes in the modern era?

SCHEFFER: Well, this is a little unique, because what has occurred in Ukraine is a war and thus a crime of aggression.


And, therefore, once you have launched an aggressive war on to the territory of another state, essentially everything you do on the territory

of that state is illegal. In other word, firing any of these munitions is illegal. Moving your troops through and taking over civilian neighborhoods,

is completely illegal because it is a war of aggression. So, that's on a much larger plane that probably has more significance, both politically and

what will ultimately be claimed against Russia for reparations for the damage and the injury they've -- they're inflicting on Ukraine.

But for individual prosecution of war crimes, well, they occur during an armed conflict which clearly undoubtedly is taking place in Ukraine. And

we've had rules built up over the last -- oh, my goodness, since the mid- 19th century, essentially, as to how one can legally conduct warfare, combatant-to-combatant. That's what the law of war establishes. And it also

establishes who must be protected from that combatant-to-combatant fighting, and that includes civilian populations, prisoners of war, those

who are outside of the combat.

And we know from what we're seeing on the screens and from print reporters, et cetera, that civilians are immensely affected. Their civilian residences

are being damaged and destroyed. Hospitals, museums, churches, all of these should be outside of the zone of legitimate combat in any armed conflict.

And we're seeing it completely blow up in Ukraine. So, it's a massive collection of war crimes.

MARTIN: I want to talk about who has jurisdiction and how this prosecution could actually take place in a -- but before we get to that, I think one of

the things, you know, mistakes do happen. I mean, mistakes do happen in war, you know, unfortunately, tragically. Do you think that these civilian

facilities have been specifically and deliberately targeted by the Russians?

SCHEFFER: Well, I think they have admitted as much. That's what's so incredible. They are incriminating themselves every single day. They could

have said that the missile hit on the hospital was a clear mistake, that the missile was aimed for a different location. That it went in error to

hit just outside the hospital. But instead, they actually admitted that they intentionally fired the missile for that location on the -- what we

know, is the bogus claim, that they made about, you know, other individuals being there, they're not patients, et cetera. Which was totally, I mean, no

judge, in any trial would ever even believe that allegation as a defense.

And prior conflicts that have gone before the International War Crimes tribunals, (INAUDIBLE), et cetera, and the ICC, successful defenses have

been raised by defendants regarding the mistakes that are made during armed conflict. And there's a tremendous amount of give and take in the courtroom

about whether it's an intentional hit or a mistaken hit. But here, the Russians are not claiming mistakes at all. They are incriminating

themselves every single day by saying they intentionally make these hits.

MARTIN: So, who has jurisdiction here? How would this be prosecuted?

SCHEFFER: Well, first and foremost, the International Criminal Court is seized with jurisdiction on Ukraine. And therefore, has begun and

continued, actually, an official investigation with the support of 39 member States of the court that have actually referred Ukraine to the


So, I think the lead entity will be the International Criminal Court. They will -- obviously, they're very good at it. They're professional. And they

will be looking at individual war crimes, incidents, and gathering the various forensic and other evidence that is associated with those. And that

includes overhead imagery from satellites and et cetera. It includes intercepts that might be made available by various governments, including

the Ukrainian government to the court.

So, all of that will be pieced together. It's rather painstaking. But in this case, I do think that we may see the ICC be able to arrive at a

command responsibility indictment, sooner than later, simply because they're so public, the Russians, in their command of all of this. That it's

not as if the court has to take lower-level officials, build the case that they committed war crimes and did so under the direction of superior

officers, and of Putin. The Putin and superior officers are already essentially admitting that they're doing this.


And so, therefore, it's -- I think that's going to happen. But I also want to emphasize that we have already underway by the Ukrainian prosecutor

general's office, the prospect that when the time comes, there will be domestic prosecutions in Ukrainian ports of soldiers and officers

committing these war crimes. The leadership will be taken care of by the ICC and perhaps some other special tribunal that might prosecute the war of

aggression which the ICC cannot in this situation. Those will go to commanders and to Putin himself. But for years to come, Ukrainian domestic

courts will be prosecuting Russian soldiers and officers.

MARTIN: But having said that though, Russia is not a party to the International Criminal Court, neither is Ukraine and neither, for that

matter, is the United States. Does that matter?

SCHEFFER: Well, in this case it does and it does not. And the reason is that, Ukraine has, under the authority of the Rome Statute of the court,

vested jurisdiction in this matter to the court. So, it has made that sovereign decision, even though it's not a state party, it is entitled

under the Rome Statute to deliver a declaration, which frankly has been on deck since 2013 and the earlier conflict and then renewed again a couple of

years later. All of those declarations continue into the future as well. And therefore, the Ukrainian government has given jurisdiction to the ICC.

Now, as for Russia, which is not a state party, the problem is they're committing these crimes on the territory of Ukraine. Criminal law is very,

very territorial. And, therefore, the Ukrainian government has vested in the ICC the authority to undertake criminal investigations for crimes

committed on its territory. The big issue will be, well, if they indict -- if the ICC indicts, which in their vernacular sort of issue an arrest

warrant for Vladimir Putin and the generals, how do you ever get custody of them? Because it's not an unsubstantiated jurisdiction. They have to be in

the courtroom and the hay to actually be prosecuted.

And that's where, in the future, the leverage of the West, the United States, the European Union, et cetera, will become a factor in terms of how

this is ultimately resolved. Both in terms of the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine as well as the ultimate surrender of individuals to the


MARTIN: I'm guessing that others who are listening to our conversation might be struggling with the question of, what difference does this make?

He's willing to inflict a lot of pain on his own people in order to wage this campaign. That is -- either he miscalculated badly or he just doesn't

care. I guess, you sort of wondered, like, what difference does this make? This seems like -- the accountability seems awfully far into the future.

Does it seem that way to you?

SCHEFFER: Well, I think everyone needs to recognize first that International Criminal Justice is the long game. I mean, the cases that are

dealt with by the tribunals are 10, 20, 25 years old. In the Cambodia Tribunal, they were even longer, 30, 35 years. But they did result in

convictions ultimately. So, it's the long game. And the accountability, ultimately, both for future generations, for the historic record and to,

sort of, send a clary and call that, ultimately you face justice is extremely important.

I don't think we should place on to the courts and on to the issue of accountability the challenge of resolving the immediate crisis, the

immediate aggression, the immediate war crimes. That requires, quite frankly, the strategized and for military responses, assistance responses,

and what can possibly be achieved through negotiations. That has nothing to do with justice. It is the long game. But it is a very important long game

just as Nuremberg and Tokyo were after World War II, they sent clear messages out.

And it is a fact that if you look empirically at where war crimes trials have, in fact, been taking place since World War II, and particularly the

last 30 years, in front of tribunals and even domestic courts, those societies have not returned to violence and internal conflict and

aggression. They have evolved into relatively peaceful societies. So, I would hope that that ultimately will be the result. But in the short-term,

the challenges are military, political, economic.


MARTIN: What does evidence look like in this situation? It's been remarkable how much we have seen. But we're not always sure what it is that

we are seeing. What constitutes evidence here? And also, we -- just the remarkable social media activity around this. Is that evidence?

SCHEFFER: Well, you know, I'm so glad you asked that question, Michel. Because it is essential that people understand that simply because of a

clip of something or the media is filming something on site, which are clearly war crimes taking place, that that somehow is automatically

available and usable in a courtroom as evidence. Quite frankly, not necessarily is the case because there will be challenges as to the timing,

whether it's been tampered with. All sorts of things take place in the courtroom that can challenge what we see as obvious evidence, but which a

juror, you know, a judge in a courtroom would not necessarily buy into.

Let me just suggest to your viewers and others in the world that there is an app that can be downloaded on a smartphone and most people in Ukraine

have smartphones, not iPhones, which is And if one goes to that site, you can download unto your smartphone a way to video

these incidents in real time. And the video goes immediately into a lock box server with a timestamp, location stamp, everything on it, such that it

can be easily available in the courtroom as incontrovertible evidence of what is being actually viewed. So, it's just important to try to get that


But in terms of the larger question, you know, the evidence includes overhead imagery shots. It includes intercepts. It includes what is being

said publicly by the Russian government. It includes what's found on dead Russian soldiers that, you know, if their pockets are picked, their usually

there are little pieces of paper or other things they -- that indicate where they should be going, et cetera. And also, just very formalized

interviews with refugees, and also ultimately with prisoners of war, Russian prisoners of war under Geneva Convention standards that will

ultimately implicate, you know, not only those who are committing these crimes, but also sort of established precisely what actually happened on

the ground at that moment on that day.

MARTIN: Before we let you go, Ambassador, speaking of the long game, do you think that these structures of accountability themselves need to be


SCHEFFER: I do think that in terms of the structures that are involved, quite frankly, it's not that we need to build new courts. The permanent

court has been built. It does require the support of a broader swath of the international community than the 123 States that currently are member to

it. I think the United States, which was so instrumental in the drafting of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and put a lot of

American thinking into it, a lot of common law thinking into it, a lot of due process protections into that statute. That the United States really

needs to stop -- or at least part of the United States, needs to stop being intimidated by the prospect of international criminal justice.

We're supposed to be a society of the rule of law. If we do something that violates the Geneva Conventions. If we do something that violates the law

of war. If we even dare to think about committing a crime against humanity, which is an assault on a civilian population that is systematic or

widespread, we have a problem in the United States that needs to be dealt with very seriously. We should be standing for the principles of enforcing

these rules. And the court exists to do that as well as our domestic courts.

And I'll finish my point with this that right now, you know, we have the capacity in our federal law to prosecute war crimes and genocide. We do not

have the capacity in our federal law to prosecute crimes against humanity. There's a bill now being developed in the senate, under Senator Durbin's

leadership, to do exactly that. And we should just pass that law. And if we do, no Russian involved in the Ukraine operation would dare set foot in the

United States, because if he or she does, they will be taken down and thrown into a federal courtroom.


So, we need to do things like that ourselves to demonstrate our commitment to the rule of law and that we do not shirk from that challenge.

MARTIN: Ambassador David Scheffer, thank you so much for talking with us today.

SCHEFFER: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.


AMANPOUR: A massively important point by David Scheffer. And finally, tonight, remembering Brent Renaud. An award-winning American journalist,

age 50, who was killed on Sunday in the Ukrainian City of Irpin. According to Ukrainian police, Renaud died after Russian forces opened fire on his

car. A maker of acclaimed documentaries, often collaborating with his brother, Craig. Brent Renaud was in Ukraine working on a film about

refugees across the world. He's the first foreign journalist known to be killed in the war in Ukraine. He leaves behind his parents, his sister, and

his brother.

That's it for now. Thank you for watching and good-bye from London.