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Putin Under Criticism From His Own Side; Interview With Former U.S. Army Europe Commanding General Ben Hodges; Interview With Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams; Interview With U.K. House Of Lords Member, British Filmmaker And Campaigner For Children's Online Safety Beeban Kidron. Aired 1:20-2p ET

Aired September 12, 2022 - 13:20:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: You've been watching King Charles III's speech to the Scottish parliament. I'm Christiane

Amanpour outside Buckingham Palace. As we've been saying here, Stalin ruled the Soviet Union when the queen assumed the throne in 1952. Fast forward 70

years and it's her country that's certainly one of the largest supporters of Ukraine against Russia's invasion. And today, President Zelenskyy signed

a condolence book at the British Ambassador's residence in Kyiv.

Meantime, the battlefield in Ukraine is shifting. It's fast-moving offensive has the Russians retreating in some areas. Correspondent Melissa

Bell got exclusive access to the easter town Kupiansk. And a warning, her report contains some graphic images.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): The tanks spoke to a hasty Russian retreat as Ukrainian forces swept eastward over the weekend.

Triumphantly raising the flag over Kupiansk on Saturday. Local Police forces providing CNN with exclusive access to a key town now meant to be

under Ukrainian control.

We still feel uneasy because we've been bombed for four days in a row, says Basil (ph), and nothing certain yet.

Which only became clearer as we headed further in to Kupiansk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aircrafts, helicopters, certainly, it's everything.

BELL (voiceover): Our first artillery strike, too close for comfort. Then a second, much closer.

BELL (on camera): That was a sound of artillery landing just next to our car -- our armor car. We have come into Kupiansk hoping to get to that flag

to see where it had only been planted only yesterday. But as you can see, this Sunday afternoon, it's still -- this scene have some pretty fierce

fighting. Hearing the sound of outgoing artillery fire, that was the sound of incoming.

BELL (voiceover): Two hit directly targeting our car, says the policeman. Time to go back to what we'd come to see. Those parts of Kharkiv region

fully under Ukrainian control. Like, Zalishchyky, where after six months of occupation, Ukrainian investigators know too well what they'll find. After

Bucha after Borodyanka that were under Russian control for only a month.

Yes, according to our information, we are recording war crimes in almost every village, he says.

This, the body of one of two civilians killed in late February. An early victim of the invasion and evidence now of what six months of Russian

occupation have cost.


AMANPOUR: That was Melissa Bell reporting. Now, despite its setbacks, Russia today claim that it will indeed achieve its goals. But for the first

time since its February invasion, Putin is facing mounting criticism from his own side. Loyal commentators ask now whether he miscalculated or was

misinformed about his plan for war in Ukraine.

Deputies from 18 municipal districts in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and elsewhere are now calling on him to resign as we were discussing. The

former commander of American Forces in Europe, General Ben Hodges joins me now from Germany.

General Hodges, welcome back to the program. So, tell me, how surprised or not are you about these lightning counteroffensives by the Ukrainian



BEN HODGES, FORMER COMMANDING GENERAL, U.S. ARMY EUROPE: Christiane, I am so impressed with the discipline of the Ukrainian general staff and their

soldiers. They're building to protect information. We've known more about what the Russians were doing that what the Ukrainians are doing.

And also, the way they were able to lure Russian troops down towards Kherson away from the place where the Ukrainians actually intended to

attack. This is a higher level of operational arc than -- that I've seen from them. It's impressive and it's paying off.

AMANPOUR: And what -- to what do you attribute this, a part from what you've just described as the discipline and, obviously, the heart of the

Ukrainians who know what they're fighting for. I guess, would you attribute this excess (ph) but also, to Russians dropping weapons and uniforms and


HODGES: When I think there are two or three critical factors here. First, the -- again, the Ukrainian general staff, the -- it takes nerves of steel

to marshal forces when you've got troops under huge pressure to hang on to tanks and new units and build them up to save them for the time when you're

ready to launch a counteroffensive. Because there would have been massive pressure for them to push new stuff, new equipment into the front line

where it would have been traded (ph).

When you and I spoke last, we talked about the likelihood of Russian forces culminating in the month of August. Ukrainians could see this. And so, they

were anticipating an opportunity to launch a counteroffensive after the Russians had culminated.

Now, obviously the critical part of this is the aid that the United States, the U.K. and others have been providing to Ukraine, specifically long range

precision weapons that have seriously disrupted and destroyed Russian logistics, Russian command post, the strikes by Ukrainian special forces in

the rear. The Russians are so vulnerable in their rear area and this adds to the disruption. These are the things, I think, that have contributed

from the Ukrainian side.

The last thing, on the Russian side, these soldiers are exhausted. They don't want to be there. They don't have the will to keep fighting their

logistical system is exhausted. And so, Ukrainian picked the right places to achieve overwhelming superiority. And so, the Russian units in that area

have cracked. That's why you see abandoned equipment, uniforms being shed, and this opportunity.

AMANPOUR: I mean, the last time I saw that was as we all then witnessed in the retreat from around Kyiv and -- I mean, it sounds very much like what

happening right now, at least in these particular localities. I want to play for you something President Zelenskyy told CNN over the weekend about

what they're doing and what their aim is.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Did you know that our goal is to de-occupy our whole territory. The main goal is de-

occupation. We just cannot allow Russia to continue the same occupation that they started back in 2014. We will not be standing still. We will be

slowly, gradually moving forward.


AMANPOUR: So, that was a statement of intent. Do you think that they can hold what they have taken back now? Are they getting enough weapons for

that? Do they have the personnel for that? And can they expand their counteroffensive lines?

HODGES: Well, first of all, let me say what a wonderful example of positive leadership where the president lays out a very clear in state. There's no

doubt what Ukrainians intend to do. This is important for, not only political support but also for the military to understand what their

desired outcome is.

Yes, I do believe that the Ukrainians have the capability to continue this, to sustain what they're doing, as well as to hang on, obviously, to what

they have accomplished. It's not going to be easy. It is too early to be planning victory parades. But it does have this feeling that -- of

inevitability that the Ukrainians now have so much momentum.

And I'm confident in Secretary Austin what he and General Milley did with all of their counterparts in Ramstein last week. 50 nations committed to

helping Ukraine. Here in Germany, where I lived, you can feel the resolve stiffening even as winter approaches. So, I do believe the Ukrainians are

going to have what they need. I'd like them to have more, of course.


AMANPOUR: Let's look at the Russians side right now. I said in the lead into some of the opposition and protests that's coming up from loyalists of

Putin, you know, suggesting that he may have been misinformed about the ease with which he could overcome and occupy all of Ukraine.

You -- we've heard from the, from the foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, talking now -- I mean, I haven't heard this before, about, yes, we should

have negotiations and they shouldn't, you know, they shouldn't drag on. We need to do this quickly. What are you reading from the Russian side?

HODGES: You know, it's very interesting, of course. And I thought, Sir David Manning's comments just before me were really insightful. We don't

know exactly what's going on inside the Kremlin. It's not like the old days where there was some predictability about, you know, the process when the

leaders are in trouble.

I imagine that President Putin has spent 20 years -- what we know, he has spent the last 20 years making himself coup proof. That there would not be

a color revolution. I think that structure and apparatus is in place. But at the end of the day, he does depend on a large number of oligarchs and

others that are in his closest circle, if you will, to keep him in power.

And so, I think we're in the phase now where there's a lot of finger pointing and who's blaming who. It's laughable of course that President

Putin would be excused as well. He was given bad information because, you know, kind of the narrative up until six months ago was that somehow, he

was a genius. He was so much smarter than everybody else. He's a KBG agent.

How could he not know the state of what's going on if he really was all that clever? So, I think they're going to try and excuse it. But I think at

the end of the day, most people are going to blame him.

AMANPOUR: And it's clear that he wanted to shield his people from the daily pain of war, that obviously, as we all know, they don't call it war. At

least he doesn't call it war in Russia. And he has not called for a general mobilization. Obviously, the Ukrainians did that, you know, within the

first hours of the invasion.

I just want to read something that you said over a month ago. You twitted, Russia's logistics system is exhausted. Can't replace systems and parts.

Transport overstretched. Signs of the impending total collapse of Russian forces. Sanctions are working. Send Ukraine what it needs and maintain

pressure on the Kremlin. This could be over by the end of the year.

Well, General Hodges, you obviously know that lay of the land, the battlefield. You were commander of U.S. Army Forces in Europe. But that

time, that prediction was really out of step. Nobody was saying that. In fact, people would say, oh, my gosh. You know, have we miscalculated? Can

Ukrainians do this? Should they (INAUDIBLE). You were very bold. Do you still think it could be over by the end of the year?

HODGES: Well, we know that war is a test of wheel and it's a test of logistics. And it's clear that the Ukrainians have superior will, both

their soldiers and their amazing population to people compared to Russian forces.

We know that the Russian logistics system is exhausted and it's in worse shape now than it was a month ago. Whereas the Ukrainians are benefiting

from, not only their own experience, but also continuing aid from the United States and the U.K. and others.

So, the real test of will is going to be, does the west stick together, stick with the Ukrainian government, or does the Kremlin have the superior

will? I absolutely believe that Ukrainian forces will push Russian forces back at least to the 23 February line by the end of this year. And that

Crimea, early next year, will be totally under control of Ukrainian forces. It could all go faster.

AMANPOUR: A few months ago, in fact, when the whole Russian operation around Kyiv just collapsed. And as we just talked, you know, they were --

they had to withdraw. You said to me on this program that now is a moment of opportunity. This was the end of March, beginning of April. This is a

window of opportunity that NATO, the United States, all the countries need to push through this window, give the Ukrainians exactly what they need to

end this and to turn this all around.

We see what's happening. Do you think there is enough weaponry of the correct sort still, because still the Ukrainian president says we could do

more. We could prove, you know, that you were right for helping and supporting us if we had more of the right types of weapons. What's your



HODGES: Well, the -- my only criticism of our administration which has done a magnificent job supporting Ukraine and keeping the -- this coalition

together and support which is hard, is that they have been reluctant to use the W word that we want Ukraine to win. And that we're going to do

everything necessary to help them win.

If we, if we would commit to that, then we would stop parceling out the critical things, like HIMARS or other rocket launchers or the various

weapon systems that have proven to be so effective. I mean, 16 HIMARS, those 16 trucks. Imagine if they had 30 of them, what that would do along

with other capabilities. And of course, our allies will follow the lead of the United States when it comes to this.

I think that if we would commit to Ukraine winning, then this would, in fact, be over sooner. It's drag on too long because we have -- the

collective we have been too, I think, overly concerned about a possible provocation of the Kremlin. And so, we haven't gone all the way in.

AMANPOUR: I wonder if this current turnaround, at least in these particular locations on the battlefield, might change that. General Hodges, thank you

very much for your insights and your wisdom there. Thank you very much, your expertise.

HODGES: Thanks. Appreciate it.

AMANPOUR: So, there are really only two stories that are taking up all the world news, in many parts of the world from here to the United States, and

that is what's happening in Ukraine. And of course, what's happening here with the death and the ceremonies for Queen Elizabeth.

Now, she from the very start, committed herself to God and to her faith serving as the head of the Anglican Church, wasn't just a ceremonial title

to her. It was a matter of deep personal conviction. Here's what she said during her Christmas message in 2014.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II, QUEEN OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the prince apiece, whose birth we celebrate today is an inspiration

and an anchor in my life. A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness. He stretched out his hands in love, acceptance, and healing. Christ's

example has told me to seek to respect and value all people of whatever faith or none.


AMANPOUR: Though a devout Christian, she engaged closely also with Jews, Muslim, Hindus, and Sikhs. And in the day since her death, we've seen an

outpouring for multi-faith leaders honoring her legacy of acceptance and peace. With me now is the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

He regularly met with the queen when he served from 2002 to 2012.

Welcome to the program Archbishop Williams.


AMANPOUR: You had 10 years to serve as archbishop of Canterbury, as the head of her church. And you interacted with her a lot. On this issue, just

your reflections on how she treated her faith, and also in context with all the other faiths.

WILLIAMS: Thank you. As already been said, she became innocent, more and more explicit about her personal faith as time went on. More and more

willing and her Christmas broadcasts, particularly to say, very uncompromising things about where she came from. But she also said those

things in a way that wasn't aggressive or try and fullest or exclusive. And I certainly noticed over the 10 years I worked as archbishop the

development of a more and more articulate involvement with other faith communities, and that was deeply welcomed.

Quite later on in my time as archbishop, we organized an event for her at Lambeth Palace, meeting a number of faith leaders and offering their

opportunity to speak to them about what she understood by interfaith dialogue and the role of the churches. And what she had to say, really, was

that the Church of England, her church, the legal established church, had a real responsibility to make sure that other communities were not left out

in the cold. That the church was like a doorkeeper for minority communities to get into the mainstream. And that is a powerful message.

AMANPOUR: She was, apparently, the first monarch morning ever to step inside a mosque in the United Kingdom. And as I said, she did visit Hindu,

Sikh temples, Jewish synagogues, and many others. She also talked about, you know, people of other faiths or no faith.

What were your personal interactions with her? How did -- I mean, did she talk about it? In a personal way with you because she called it her

inspiration and her anger, her faith, in her duties and in her life.


WILLIAMS: Obviously there are things from private conversations that I don't -- wouldn't repeat. But we did sometimes talk about these things,

about faith, about the future of faith and faiths in our society. And with me as with others, she shared just some of the feelings and thoughts she'd

had about her own coronation and the enormous sense of vocation that that ceremony had conveyed to her.

I think that went on being very significant. And in that, in understanding all that, I know that my predecessor in the 1950s, Archbishop Geoffrey

Fisher, played a very significant role in guiding her and helping her think through the spiritual side of what she was undertaking. So yes, these

things did sometimes come up. But I have to say sometimes we just gossip about the troubles recently.

AMANPOUR: I want to ask you about something that she actually quoted herself, according to historians who now writing and remembering some of

her speeches and her statement. She said very, very early on -- I mean, decades ago that the great affliction of today's world was the difference

between, as she said, then the developed and the under develop. The inequities are between the two worlds. And this persists, the global north,

the global south.

And we also know that Britain, itself, has become much more diverse than it ever was. I said in my previous interview that in her reign when she

exceeded, it was one in 200 Britains were of color and a different face. And now, it's one in every seven.

Do you think her -- well, we live in very, very difficult cost of living and economic crisis right now. Do you think her -- I guess, her desire for,

you know, to reach out faith and equality and opportunity, has that promise actually being met in this country?

WILLIAMS: I don't think it has entirely. And I think you're right to see it as a central part of her understanding of what a good society ought to be.

I think her instincts were always towards inclusion in -- well, in the widest possible sense. She didn't like the thought of a society where

people were forgotten or ignored, whether for the religious beliefs or for any other reason.

And people have asked sometimes, well what sort of politics did she really have? And I think the answer is probably she was a very old fashioned, one

nation conservative. In some ways, she thought that privilege, met responsibility, and responsibility meant making sure that people were not

left out in the cold. And talking about by being left out of the cold, of course, it's not just a metaphor as we look at the coming winter.

But one personal memory on that is -- I realize it sounds a bit like name dropping, but it is a vivid memory when we were able to entertain the queen

and Prince Philip up to dinner at Lambeth Palace. One of the people we invited to share the table with her was somebody working very much on the

front line with deprived young people in South London. And the sympathetic engagement, the immediate rapport, which both the queen and Prince Philip

had with this quite tongue, quite forceful, representative of the voluntary sector speaking for deprived young people, that was impressive. I know that

that their hearts were with that.

AMANPOUR: That is really interesting. And as you say, it's important as well. And again, we are in such a crisis now in this country and many other

parts of the world. I want to just put you some of the things that King Charles has been saying about faith and about multifaith in his first

speech and his first utterances as monarch. Let's just take a listen.


KING CHARLES III, KING OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: In the course of the last 70 years, we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many

faiths. The institutions of the state have changed in turn. And wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in the realms and territories across

the world, and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect, and love as I have throughout my life.


AMANPOUR: So, he's obviously also devoted. But the facts also state that apparently by some -- by 2025, the membership in the Church of England

could be as low as four percent. That's really drastic. Plus, the Church of England is grappling with very divisive social issue, same sex marriage,

and the like. How do you expect King Charles III to deal with these issues, not in a political way, but in his role as head of the church?

WILLIAMS: I don't expect that King Charles will have any solutions to the practical problems of the Church of England any more than his mother did

and that's not what we expect from them.


But I think that was what he will do, as the queen did, is simply steadily to remind people that whether or not the church is hurrying its own in

terms of numbers. What the church points to or stands for remains humanly significant.

In other words, you may or may not sign up to this. You may or you may not want to put your life into this business and commit to it. But there's no

denying that for a significant part of the human race, past and present, this is one of the things that gives them structure, hope, energy, critical

edge. I think he will go on saying that and it'll be important to hear. And speaking from within the church, I shall be very grateful hear it.

AMANPOUR: Thank you so much. Ron Williams, former archbishop of Canterbury.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: Now, Elizabeth wasn't just a queen. She was also a cultural icon. And the glue holding together a glamorous family haunted by tragedy and

scandal. With me now is Baroness Beeban Kidron. She's a member of the House of Lords, she's a filmmaker, and a tireless advocate for children's rights,

especially online.

Welcome to the program. We've spoken before on this program about your work. I want to first actually start by asking you about the cultural

impact of this monarchy, this queen. But also, you have directed a film of producer film, "Victoria and Abdul". Their cultural impact is kind of brand

written, isn't it? Films. It's theater. It's series. It just doesn't stop. They're endlessly fascinating.


fascinating. And I think that what I've taken away from the last few days is in this time of touch divided opinion. There's sort of outpouring of a

desire for something beyond market forces, beyond the economic. Something that actually is about compassion and civility and care. And that's the

message that we're seeing and that's the story that we keep on trying to tell about ourselves through the royal family.

AMANPOUR: And do you think it's the right story because let's just take your film. Also, we should say you directed the second "Bridget Jones"

film, highly successful. But you also took on a film called "Victoria and Abdul" about -- and we've been talking about empire throughout this

program. So, she was the last empress, the empire, you know, sun never set during her reign. She also had this friendship with an Indian retainer,

which you talk about and you depicted in this film. It was a very fascinating relationship.

KIDRON: It was a fascinating relationship. And I think that what you see is what you're seeing now is the royal family to getting over their history

and through their history. And perhaps, you know, taking a few steps of reparation if you like.

But I think in that particular story, what fascinated us as producers and the filmmaker, Stephen Frears, was actually, it was untold. And we have to

be careful to keep on telling history until we uncover all the stories. Not just the ones that perhaps are the common denominator and have fancy

costumes and official lines. So, I think "Victoria and Abdul" was funny and reverent, but it did actually say that there were relationships that some

meets the eye. And I think that's what interest me, personally, in this moment.

AMANPOUR: It's really fascinating that -- I was talking to an author on the queens, who said that, you know, culture and politics is moving so fast

that 40 or even 10, 20 years ago, she could not recall -- you know, she might have called Victoria the greatest queen. But today, she cannot for

obvious reasons.

You have also worked on the accelerating dynamic and dangers of online particular children. I'm asking you this because, A, you're a Baroness in

the House of Lords. You've managed to get laws passed and approved. B, you have worked with the Princes, Harry and William, on this issue. And they

have been very, very much, I guess, touched, angered, scandalized but involved in what this invasion means.

KIDRON: Yes, I think it's interesting that both of them were early adopters to this issue. And this is obviously an issue that the late queen did not

address, yes. But as they came into their own, as they found their issues that were important to them, both of them in different moments.

So, when he was indeed the Duke of Cambridge, the now Prince of Wales, shared through the royal foundation a commission that was a year and a half

about online bullying.


And he made no secret of the immense disappointment that he found that the industry did not act with more alacrity and voluntarily on this issue. He

made a very public statement at the end of a period where we all sat around that table for 18 months trying to make the change.

And then more recently, the Duke of Sussex through his foundation Archewell, has been very vocal on the subject of mental health. On the

subject of social media. And specifically, in the law that I passed that colleagues in California then passed, he actually welcomed it wisely and

broadly and enthusiastically. Saying, actually we need a new settlement for the kids.

So, I come back to this point about we have this technology that is actually feeding off sorts of divisiveness and encouraging divisiveness.

And yet we have a symbol of, at least, for a moment, a country united at saying actually what we want is compassion, civility, care. These are the

things in their lives that are not driven by profit and abusing, you know, relying on abusing children's experience.

AMANPOUR: And specifically, your bill, the law that you passed here. Is it about privacy of children's data? What is exactly -- what -- how does it

protect kids?

KIDRON: It was. It was part of the government's bill on data protection. And at that time, myself and other colleagues and the lords got together

and said, actually what we want is a product design regime that actually move some of the responsibility away from parents and children who are

overwhelmed by this stuff. And back onto the companies and saying, actually if you're dealing with a kid, how about you design it for that child and

give them the privacy that they deserve?

And we've seen in the light of the change of the law things like Google puts (INAUDIBLE) such as default, Instagram, stopped direct messaging of

unknown adults to children. TikTok stopping notifications through the night for under 15, they stop at 9:00. They stop at 10:00 for 17 and under. And

it's, sort of, a new way of looking at it and saying, OK. If we just think about the child, if we imagine the end users as a child, how would we make

our own product better? And that's what they've done. And the Californians, hey, we would like that for our kids.

AMANPOUR: That's what I was going to ask you. So, they've adopted it in California?

KIDRON: It is actually waiting for the governor's signature.

AMANPOUR: Signature.

KIDRON: So, you'd have to go a stateside colleague.


KIDRON: But governor, please do sign.

AMANPOUR: And it's being picked up by other countries, right? I understand, Australia and other countries.

KIDRON: There are --

AMANPOUR: They are looking at it.

KIDRON: -- there are a lot of countries looking at it. I have to say that the Irish were very quick off the mark and they published the Irish

Fundamentals, which does more or less the same job. And we're seeing across Europe a lot of moves in the same direction. And as you say, Australia. And

I get a lot of inquiries also from other parts of the world.

And I would like to make this point, which is if we have a global settlement for kids, yes, then we can export that global settlement for

privacy and safety and equity exploiting to the global south. Data extraction, danger, and the other thing we're exploiting.

AMANPOUR: And as we speak, especially in this moment, I am struck by the fact that you did get the help in buying from the princes, whose own lives,

particularly Harry has spoken a lot about it, have been, you know, terribly intruded and damaged by invasive social media.

And I'm also interested in our last 30 seconds you say, I turned my back. I ruined my film career to protect children, to try to protect children. When

did it come to you?

KIDRON: You know, every now and again, something happens in your life and you think, it is -- I think what we call the pain of consciousness. You see

it and you cannot unsee it. And I walked into a room I saw a group of children sitting there, and they were all silent, and they were all on

their phone. And I thought to myself, you know, what does it mean to be here but always somewhere around.

And I went on a journey that made me an advocate for their participation in the digital world, but on a much more equitable basis.

AMANPOUR: Marvelous. Baroness Beeban Kidron, thank you very much indeed.

KIDRON: Pleasure.

AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, as mourners morning across the U. K. continue to pay their respects to the queen, as well as people from around

the world, the flowers of piling into small mountains at her different estates.


Here at Buckingham Palace, behind me, the floor of tributes are being moved to nearby green park and they're being arranged into a hearts and crowns

and living memorials. Among them, scores of Paddington Bears, and marmalade sandwiches. So much so that park officials are pleading with the public to

stop with a formal tea party guest and his favorite snack.

That is it for now. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.