Return to Transcripts main page
Interview With Commonwealth Of Nations Secretary-General Patricia Scotland; Interview With University Of Oxford Professor Of European Studies Timothy Garton Ash; Interview With Former Speechwriter For Vladimir Putin Abbas Gallyamov; Interview With "The Fight Of Our Lives" Author Iuliia Mendel. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired September 14, 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 CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone and welcome to AMANPOUR. Here is what is coming up.
The British people continue their long goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II. We have the latest as she lies in state. Then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The real soul of the Commonwealth. The, motor the drive, call it what you will, is provided by people within and without
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The future of the Commonwealth under King Charles III. I am joined by Baroness Patricia Scotland, the organization's secretary-general.
And, how the queen navigated the changing tides of history with author and historian Timothy Garton Ash.
Also, ahead. Ukrainian victories are piling up in piling on the pressure for President Putin. We get inside the Russian leader's mindset with his
former speechwriter. Plus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IULIIA MENDEL, AUTHOR, "THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES": They understand only strength and power. And this is the way to convince the Russian people that
this war must be finished and convince the Russian leadership that they need to get out of our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Walter Isaacson speaks with the former press secretary to the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, about her new book, "The Fight of
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour, outside Buckingham Palace in London.
Rivers of people are stretching from miles through the British capital. Crisscrossing the Thames as mourners' queue. They're are queuing to see the
queens coffin in the Palace of Westminster, where Elizabeth II is lying in the state and will do until 6:30 am on Monday morning. That is the day of
her state funeral. Her coffin's procession through Westminster was swept up in the kind of pageantry that the British do best in the world. Isa Soares
captures the historic day in this report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT AND ANCHOR (voiceover): Silence is Queen Elizabeth lies in a state in Westminster Hall. Mourners
filing past to pay their last respects. After spending her last night at Buckingham Palace, the coffin arrived in solemn procession on an open
carriage of the king's troop royal horse artillery. Behind, on foot, her family, King Charles III, and his siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew,
and Prince Edward. And two of her grandchildren, Prince William and Prince Harry.
On top of the coffin as the procession made its way along the Mile, the imperial state crown. As the cortege moved through iconic landmarks in
London, guns fired from Hyde Park. And the chimes from Big Ben marking each minute.
Among the first to arrive at Westminster Hall, the queen consort, the Princess of Wales, and the Duchess of Sussex, traveling by car. Witnessing
history, thousands watching on as the coffin made its way down Whitehall. And members of the Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force giving the guard
The procession finally arriving at the heart of parliament, Westminster Hall, for a short blessing.
JUSTIN WELBY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you and give you peace. And the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you in remain with you always. Amen.
SOARES (voiceover): Then, finally, a chance for mourners. Some who had waited overnight to have their own personal moment and bid farewell to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Isa Soares there. And as you can see thousands upon thousands of people are hoping to file past the queen as she lies in state. And many, as
you just heard, are still willing to wait overnight for the chance to do so. Let's just take a listen to why it's so important to them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been a constant throughout my life and now she's gone. So, you know, I did have a lot of respect for her. And I just wanted
to be close to her and say goodbye.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just felt like I needed to come and say goodbye. And that's just me. That's me. And also, when my family have children, my
boys have children, I'd like to teach them the history of it all
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was ready for the long stay. It didn't matter whether it was 24 hours, 48 hours, I was ready to stay on. Because this is a woman
that means much more than majesty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The voices of people who've come to pay their respects and the flags of the Commonwealth nations line the funeral procession today. A sign
of how close that issue was to the queen and to her heart. Of course, she was the head of the Commonwealth, which is an association of more than 56
countries that works towards goals of democracy, prosperity and peace.
The Commonwealth has evolved from its roots in the British empire. But for many members, it's a very complex relationship. Joining me now is Baroness
Patricia Scotland. She is Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Welcome back to our program. And I'm sure you --
PATRICIA SCOTLAND, SECRETARY-GENERAL, COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS: Nice to be here.
AMANPOUR: -- and I'm sure all the people of the Commonwealth, leaders of the Commonwealth are feeling sad at this transition. Have you heard from
them? Do you know they are feeling?
SCOTLAND: I think, as you say, we've got 56 leaders, but we have 2.5 billion people, 60 percent of whom are under the age of 30. And I think
what was quite extraordinary is everyone knew they'd be sad. Everybody knew that this would be a moment of transition. Perhaps painful. But no one
really appreciated it would be this profound. So, a lot of people a shocked by how much emotion they're feeling.
AMANPOUR: And you know, you just casually said to a 2.5 billion people. I mean, there is no other associations --
AMANPOUR: -- or nation, even --
AMANPOUR: -- that has that kind of population --
AMANPOUR: -- covering how much of the world?
SCOTLAND: One-third of the world.
AMANPOUR: I mean, it's incredible!
SCOTLAND: Yes, and you think about its five regions. We cross all the oceans, there's the Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, the Americas, Africa,
Asia. And it's like a petri dish. And these countries have come together, not by virtue of treaty, but because they desire to share the values and
principles that they all hold dear.
And this isn't just an anglophone Commonwealth. Because we have had other countries join us, whether it was Cameroon or Kigali, of course --
AMANPOUR: Rwanda, yes.
SCOTLAND: -- you know, Rwanda. And then now we've had Gabon and also what Togo. French, but they are attracted by the values and principles that are
inherent in the Commonwealth family.
AMANPOUR: So, tell me, because that to me was actually something I hadn't realized that countries that never were part of the British empire --
AMANPOUR: -- have also decided to join the Commonwealth.
AMANPOUR: And those are the countries you're talking about?
SCOTLAND: Yes, absolutely.
AMANPOUR: All right. So, there is a controversy. As you know, an evolution, an evolving thought about what the Commonwealth means, its
history, and the turbulence of the past. You say that people tend to conflate issues. What issues are they conflating?
SCOTLAND: I think they deemed to conflate whether you're a realm to whether you're a member of the Commonwealth.
SCOTLAND: And I think they forget that the Commonwealth was created when eight countries decided they wanted independence. They fought independence.
They no longer wanted to be part of the British empire. But they had all chosen to remain part of the Commonwealth family.
And it was right back in 1953, shortly after this new concept of Commonwealth had been created that the queen said, this has got nothing to
do with empire. She said, this is a totally new conception built on the finest qualities of man. Peace, harmony, and this was going to be a
partnership between nation and races.
And that -- the 1953 was an extraordinary comment for someone to make. And yet she made it as head of the Commonwealth. Embodying our principles, our
values, and what the Commonwealth was all about.
AMANPOUR: She's barely been crowned then.
AMANPOUR: That was the year of her coronation.
AMANPOUR: And she also later went to the United Nations --
AMANPOUR: -- and expanded on this as well.
SCOTLAND: Yes, yes.
AMANPOUR: So, I want to play that because it's really interesting to hear her put her marker in the ground on this issue so many decades ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEEN ELIZABETH II, QUEEN OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Common ideals and hopes, not formal bonds. Unite the members of the Commonwealth and promote their
dissociation between them which, in my belief, has contributed significantly to the cause of human freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So that, Baroness Scotland was in 1957. And she says this is about something other than empire.
AMANPOUR: So, what do you make? You're the secretary-general, you're the first female secretary-general.
AMANPOUR: Because we just lost a female queen -- a female monarch. Do you know what some of the countries in the Caribbean are doing? They've already
said, for instance, Barbados in 2025 they will have a referendum. And now others, even in the aftermath of the queen's death. Barbuda and Antigua
have suggested they might do the same thing.
So, what does that mean? Is that, sort of, saying no to Britain, or is it saying we want a different -- what does it mean?
SCOTLAND: No, it means -- just to be clear, Barbados has already become a republic. And out of the 56 countries, we have 36 Republics. So, when the
country says that I wish to no longer be a realm, which is a matter of democratic right --
AMANPOUR: Which means that the queen or the monarch would remain head of state?
SCOTLAND: Yes. At the moment, if you're realm, you have the queen as your head of state. But once you become a full republic, you don't leave the
Commonwealth. Every single republic which has been created has remained part of the Commonwealth.
And what the leaders are saying now in the Caribbean and elsewhere is we too will now think about what our people want to do about whether we wish
to keep the crown as the head of state. But it won't make any difference, and everyone is making absolutely clear, they don't remain part of the
Commonwealth of Nations. That's what the first eight did. That's what everybody else is doing.
AMANPOUR: And how did the queen -- the late queen, welcome the nations that broke off from the realm? That said, ma'am, we love you but we don't
want you as our head of state?
SCOTLAND: Well, she did that, first of all, back in 1953.
AMANPOUR: Right, as you said.
SCOTLAND: Because right at the beginning, and she said to this new concept. If you think about it, she was the head saying, this empire of the
old is gone. It's never going to come back. And gradually there will be more and more republics. But she said to the new concept of union, of
collaboration, of partnership between peoples and races, she said in 1953, to that I will pledge myself every day of my life. And that's what she did.
So, I think one of the things that's wonderful about our Commonwealth is you couldn't create this. You know, you have some of the richest countries,
some of the biggest countries. And then some of the smallest, the most delicate, the most vulnerable countries. India, 1.4 billion people. Nauru,
10,000 to 11,000 people. And all of those leaders sitting around one table. Talking about principles that are critically important to the whole world.
AMANPOUR: So, I want to just state that obviously the queen was above politics. So, whatever she thought she would never have said anything about
the real questions that are popping up now. About reparations, about apology. She would never have done that because I'm told that would have
been a political act. However, she did leave it --
SCOTLAND: To her heir.
AMANPOUR: -- the Prince of Wales did say and did, you know, address that. To be honest with you, I can't find it here right now. Last year in
Barbados, or recently, he said, the appalling atrocity of slavery forever stains our history. Is that enough, that's the first question. And
secondly, how much do you think the queen knew about the historic evils? And there were torture, violence, putting down freedom, or, you know, sort
of protests and things like that. Malaria in other places. How much do you think she knew of that past?
SCOTLAND: Well, I think we need to also be very clear, this is not a subject which has only come up today. The Commonwealth has been in the
vanguard. I think we shouldn't forget that when it came to apartheid, who was it who stood up at the time when everybody else was really quite happy
to not look at the inconvenient truth. That wasn't the secretariat, that wasn't the Commonwealth of Nations. It was a Commonwealth who led that
whole debate on apartheid, and was responsible, according to Nelson Mandela, to making it really push.
That's why when the first -- Nelson Mandela first came to U.K., where did he come? He came secretariat. In 1979, we had the Lusaka Declaration,
talking about racism. In 2020, in October, when the foreign ministers met, we had a whole debate on race again. And they made a clear statement. So,
this has been something which the Commonwealth has engaged in.
The member states have engaged in their whole lives. And if you look at what the queen did, she was quietly supporting her Commonwealth all the way
through. And by her actions she demonstrated what she thought.
AMANPOUR: So, obviously a lot of the wealth of this nation comes from the age of empire. But I'm so interested in what you are saying because I've
read that the queen herself disagreed with her government at the time. In other words, Margaret Thatcher, who did not want to do the sanctions
against the apartheid government of South Africa. And perhaps the queen had a different view. What can you tell us about that?
SCOTLAND: Well, I think if you look back at what Sonny Ramphal, who was then the secretary-general said. He said that the queen was an amazing
diplomat. And she was quite clear that the queen, as head of the Commonwealth stood firmly with her Commonwealth. On these issues of
principle and practice, she has always been one who acted in order to demonstrate where her solidarity left. No one was left in any doubt that
her majesty, the queen, loved her Commonwealth and would do everything within her power to support it. And you only have to go back to the
pictures of seeing her majesty, the queen, with Nelson Mandela.
AMANPOUR: I was going to say --
SCOTLAND: They had a really special relationship.
AMANPOUR: Yes, yes. And he spoke a lot about his fondness for her.
SCOTLAND: Yes, yes. And he's the only one who had ever called her Elizabeth.
SCOTLAND: I mean, even on one occasion, he said -- he used to call her young lady.
AMANPOUR: Yes, yes, yes. I mean, it's brilliant. That is actually brilliant. It just shows, you know, how she viewed these huge historical
figures like Nelson Mandela in her place as well.
SCOTLAND: But she'd known them all.
SCOTLAND: Because if you think about Justin Trudeau today, she first met him when he was a baby.
SCOTLAND: So, many believers --
AMANPOUR: When his father was prime minister.
SCOTLAND: When his father was prime minister. So, this longevity gave her a wealth of understanding and wisdom. And she really understood at the
thirst for peace.
AMANPOUR: So -- yes, and her faith also led her to that as well --
AMANPOUR: -- even in -- obviously, non-commonwealth countries --
AMANPOUR: -- like, Ireland, Northern Ireland, et cetera.
AMANPOUR: But -- so, how do you feel, personally, you know, given all that you've just said, about the passing of this person, this woman, this queen?
SCOTLAND: Well, I think she was an absolutely extraordinary woman. So easy to forget, you know, that people talked about leaders and they forgot that
at 25, she became the leader of a huge part of our world. And she did it with grace and dignity. And she was extraordinarily kind. Very, very kind
to me. I had the privilege of first having lunch with her, I think, in the 1991. And throughout all of the years that have followed, I just think we
won't see her life again. She -- put to one side, whether she was her majesty the queen, she was a phenomenal woman.
AMANPOUR: I love the way you say woman.
AMANPOUR: And you've met King Charles.
AMANPOUR: He was one of the first people --
AMANPOUR: -- you were one of the first people he met as king. Just very briefly, can he measure up in this regard that you're talking about?
SCOTLAND: Oh. Oh, yes. Because you have to know that -- and just watch what happened throughout his life.
SCOTLAND: He has been schooled by two of the greatest diplomats known to man. He has watched her majesty, the queen, go from country to country. He
has visited almost every region. And certainly, most of the countries in our Commonwealth. He has represented the queen on a number of occasions. He
went to Kigali in Rwanda to represent her as head of the Commonwealth knowing he would be the next Commonwealth.
And I think it's important to remember that the leaders chose him. This is the one role which he did not inherit.
SCOTLAND: In 2018, they decided, who did they want to be the next head of the Commonwealth? And they voted unanimously for the then Prince Charles.
Not the Prince of Wales. Prince Charles.
AMANPOUR: All right. Baroness Scotland, thank you very much for joining us.
SCOTLAND: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So, the road to this moment started back in 1936 when Princess Elizabeth became heir presumptive at just 10 years old. Arise in the shadow
of a royal scandal, that saw her uncle, Kinf Edward VIII, abdicate to marry the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. It is hard to comprehend how much
the world has changed since then.
Joining me now and how the queen chartered the choppy waters of the 20th and 21st centuries is the historian Timothy Garton Ash. Welcome to the
program and welcome back, Timothy Garton Ash. Just your reflections on the person, who I know you met because she gave you a civilian honor, a very
high civilian honor.
But put it in the context of what we've just said how she started this journey.
TIMOTHY GARTON ASH, PROFESSOR OF EUROPEAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD: Well, she started, of course, as a child, not thinking that her destiny was
to become the monarch and then because of the abdication. She then had to prepare for that role. And at that time, of course, Britain's was the
empire on which the sun never set. And at the age of 21, she dedicated her service to, "Our great imperial family".
So, what's so extraordinary about her is how she adjusted and became, first of all, an impeccable, impartial head of state for 70 years. Some tabloids
thought they knew what she thought about some big political issue. They even claim she supported Brexit. But nobody knew.
The embodiment of national unity of this very strange nation of our, a nation composed of four nations. The, English the Scottish, the Welsh, and
the Irish. And also, what you've just been talking. Smoothing the transition from empire to Commonwealth. Not many empires have such a smooth
end. Although, of course, there was a great balance between India and Pakistan and then Kenya. And from imperial great power, which is the
Britain in which she grew up to a, somewhat, troubled medium sized Euro- Atlantic power.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you about that. Given the fact that Brexit has happened. Given everything we've talked about that she did oversee at least
her 70 years saw the actual diminishing of, clearly, the power of this country. And Brexit may have increased or accelerated that. So, this is
what the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said about the queen and about her role today. Let's just listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: She was a constant throughout the turbulent and transforming events in the last 70 years.
Stoic and steadfast in her service. But more than anything, she always found the right words for every moment in time. From the call she made to
war evacuees in 1940, to her historic address during the pandemic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Timothy, talk to us a little bit about that. But also, she was praised by von der Leyen and others in Germany for coming there after
the war fell and during the Cold War, and being part of reconciliation on the continent after the second world war.
ASH: Absolutely. Without question. And when Ursula von der Leyen in that very nice tribute said that she found the right words, she found the right
words in English and French because she actually spoke very good French, better than Churchill. And the reconciliation with Germany.
But to come back to that difficult transition, Christiane, from imperial great power to medium sized power, you know, there's famous quote by the
U.S. Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, in 1962 that Britain had lost an empire and not yet found a role.
And I would say that at the time of the queens' golden jubilee, 40 years later in 2002, we might have said that Britain has actually done that. It
found the role which is to be deeply anchored both in the English-speaking world, the anglosphere, and in Europe. Special relationship with
Washington, but also with Paris, with Berlin, with Rome, with Warsaw.
And it feels to me that the tragedy of her reign is that in the last decade we've lost that role. It's very sad to be a country which, you know, had
lost an empire, found a role, and then lost that role again. And so, I feel in this deeply understandable outpouring of emotion also some comfort in
looking back because I think people are very worried about the economic and political future of this country.
AMANPOUR: Right. I mean, let's just know to what you're saying. There is still no trade deal between this country and the E.U. There's a potential
crisis over Northern Ireland. And even the new prime minister, who, again, it was just so remarkable that the queen's last duty was to welcome her
15th prime minister. I mean, that picture is just remarkable. But the very same Liz Truss on the husting said about President Macron, she wouldn't say
whether he was friend or foe.
Now, forget the personal dynamic of that and dimension.
But what does that mean about this government, the queen's last government, is going to deal with its connections around the world and with Europe?
ASH: Well, the issue is with Europe, of course. And, you know, there is the great slogan of global Britain. But the relationship with Europe, and
particularly with the European Union itself is completely unresolved. And there were very few signs that this government is really equipped and ready
to resolve that. And so, I think that feeds into this great sense of uncertainty about the national future. Together with, of course, a very
serious economic situation. Double digit, inflation, the likely recession, soaring public debt, and a chronic productivity problem.
So, there's a great deal to celebrate, indeed, in the queen's absolutely extraordinary reign. But I think there is an undercurrent of anxiety there,
particularly with a very inexperienced prime minister and new cabinet.
AMANPOUR: Well, I was going to ask you that. I mean, you've written that the queen was the rock and now the rock has moved. And you've just spoken
about the underlying economic crisis that is causing that. When you see the outpouring and you see the queues and the miles of people who are waiting
to pay respects, the quiet respect and dignity that the people here have shown, and just saying thank you to her, how do you feel?
ASH: I feel that that shows an extraordinary strength of this country. If you remember, and you will remember Christiane, after Brexit, people said,
this country is going to be divided for decades to come between the two tribes will remain as leaders.
Not a bit of it. This country united around the NHS during COVID and again in mourning for the queen. By contrast, we've the deeply divided United
States. So, I don't think we have to worry about the future of our democracy. And by the way, I think, King Charles III showed every sign of
being a dignified, eloquent and empathetic head of state.
But I do think we have to worry both of our dire economic position and particularly about our position in the world above all in the relationship
with Europe. And I think that 69 percent of Britain asked in a recent poll by the economists, 69 percent agreed that Britain is a country in decline.
I suspect that 10 or 15 years ago, the percentage would have been significantly smaller.
AMANPOUR: And I guess, just finally, I want to read to a quote that actually Tina Brown had written in her tribute to the queen. She basically
said, without the queen, how will anyone know how to be British anymore? She was the last well-behave person in our coarsening, transactional world.
Amid the clamor of ubiquitous narcissism, her cool refusal to impose her views or justify her choices was ineffably soothing.
ASH: Very nicely said. I mean, funnily enough I actually followed Tina Brown up onto the day in that medal ceremony you mentioned at the
beginning. But I think that is probably too pessimistic. As I say, I think, King Charles will step into the role. I think there's the dignified part of
the British constitution is alive and well.
The problem with Britishness is that notably, but not only as a result of Brexit, the Scotts are quite likely to leave the British Union to rejoin
the European Union. And Northern Ireland is getting increasingly close to the Republic of Ireland that is inside the E.U. rather than the rest of the
United Kingdom. So that there was a real question about the future of Britishness because what we might end up with is actually just England and
Wales which takes us back to at least the 16th century.
AMANPOUR: Incredible. What an incredible day. Thank you so much for your insights and your expertise there. Timothy Garton Ash, historian and
Now, world leaders, of course, will be descending on London to attend the queen's state funeral, that happens on Monday. Unsurprisingly, the Russian
president, Vladimir Putin, will not be among them. Extraordinary now to recall that Stalin was in power when Elizabeth II ascended the throne.
But in Moscow today, Putin is under growing pressure, as Ukraine regains more and more territory in a lightning counteroffensive. This footage shows
President Zelenskyy visiting the newly-liberated areas, some of them there in the east. Supporting the soldiers and the civilians.
These kinds of victories are piling the pressure on President Putin as we hear. So, let us try to get some insight into how Vladimir Putin will
process these losses with his former speechwriter Abbas Gallyamov. And he's joining me and now from Israel.
Mr. Gallyamov, welcome to the program. It's always so important, so interesting for us to try to figure out about what's happening in Moscow.
So, I know that you're not a military historian or strategist. But politically, what can you describe for us, how you think, potentially, the
political tide may be shifting against Putin right now? What are you seeing from Moscow?
ABBAS GALLYAMOV, FORMER SPEECHWRITER FOR VLADIMIR PUTIN: You should understand that Russian political system is in a real shock now. This is no
exaggeration. For many years, Russians were -- I mean, the regime, the were treating Ukrainians and -- as somebody inferior. So, they could never
imagine that -- like -- that Ukrainians would be advancing and the Russians -- Russian troops, those invincible troops, how they were viewing them
would have to retreat. And not just retreat, actually to run away.
And this is a real shock. Like, little by little, the Russian public opinion got acquainted to the thought that, OK. Ukrainians are not so bad.
After all, they can defend themselves. They can be on the defensive. But nobody could expect that they can advance so rapidly, so professionally,
and making the Russians.
So, the whole system was in shock and what is -- what makes the situation worse is absolutely inadequate reaction of Putin, personally. Because, like
-- you know, when he is in shock himself, he behaves, like -- when he doesn't know how to act what he's doing, he's trying to show that nothing
bad is happening. So, he didn't change his schedule.
And unfortunately for him, for this particular day, Moscow was celebrating like a city day, a holiday, a great holiday. And Putin was taking part in,
like, festive activities. They were actually making fireworks at that particular moment when his troops were defeated. So, this inadequate
behavior, of course, like really -- like, it really irritated a lot of Russians. Not just opposition, no, no. I'm now not talking about
opposition. I'm talking about regular Russians. So, I would say that Putin's image is tarnished.
AMANPOUR: Right. Mr. Gallyamov, it's incredible, as you say, that scores of deputies are calling for his resignation. And many people are now
questioning him publicly about, did you just get it wrong? Were you badly advised? What happening? How do you think will he react to that? Will he
try to go into negotiations? Will he address this issue? Will he call a national draft? How will he react?
GALLYAMOV: Well, you know, all the options that he has there really bad for him. National draft, theoretically speaking, impossible. But Russians
are not willing to go to wage this war. To take part in this war. They can support, like, you know -- OK. Half of Russians they support -- do support
this war. But their support is purely theoretical, like, they are not ready to go and sacrifice their lives. Especially at the moment when the
Ukrainians are advancing and Russians are retreating.
So, if they didn't want to go to war at the moment when they thought it's going to be a quick Blitzkrieg, definitely they are not going to do it now.
So, if Putin starts making this national draft, he really faces the danger of riots.
And actually, it's not clear if his loyal, you know, national guards will really suppress those riots like before because now those national guards,
they were there at Ukraine -- in Ukraine. And they were burned there by Ukrainian forces, by Ukrainian artillery. So, definitely they are not -- no
longer as loyal as -- to Putin as before.
So, it's not clear what he gets if he makes this national draft. Real, new forces which will be fighting Ukrainians or riots which will overthrow him.
So, this is a bad option. Like negotiations, definitely, they're ready for this now. But who's going to negotiate with them? This is the problem.
Zelenskyy refuses. So, to start negotiations, he should really find a successor.
I think the next thing which is going to happen in the Russian politics within the next, like, several months, maybe up to half a year, is the
elites will start looking for a successor.
And so, the political process will be going around this figure.
AMANPOUR: Abbas Gallyamov, former speechwriter to Vladimir Putin, thank you very much for those insights.
GALLYAMOV: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: We now turn to the view from Ukraine with our next guest. Iuliia Mendel was president Zelenskyy's press secretary before Russia's invasion.
And in a new book, "The Fight of Our Lives", she details HER experience in government and life under Russian occupation. She joins Walter Isaacson to
discuss the recent advances, and her time with Zelenskyy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTER ISAACSON, CNN HOST: Iuliia Mendel, welcome to the show.
IULIIA MENDEL, AUTHOR, "THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES": Walter, it's my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
ISAACSON: You have a great new book out. But let me start with the news which is more than 1,100 square miles of territory have been recaptured by
the Ukrainians from the Russians. Can you give us the latest on what that feels like in Ukraine now?
MENDEL: Well, Ukrainians are really celebrating the recent developments. And we are very proud of our Ukrainian army and volunteers, and all those
people who devoted their lives to help Ukrainian army regain our Ukrainian territories.
From what I've heard, over 300 of settlements have been returned back to Ukraine. And it's amazing how Ukrainians are actually resuming their life
there. The biggest postal services already are returning to the settlements that just have been recaptured and are fully destroyed. Ukrainians are
making connection, trying already some, you know, rebuild. People are coming back. We really want to return our back -- our lives back that
Russia has so cruelly taken away from us on February 24th.
ISAACSON: One of the reasons that offensive succeeded is it was sort of a fake, it seems. As if they were going to go to the southern region of
Kherson, which is where you're from. And there's still 500,000 people there, including people, who, I'm sure, you know and your relatives, who
are under Russian occupation there. Tell me what's happening in that region.
MENDEL: Well, to be frank, I'm talking a lot to people who are under Russian occupation. And believe me it's always causing a lot of emotions
and tears because people just are praying there for Ukrainian army to return.
In fact, you are right. I'm from that region. And I spent my childhood in one of the villages, that is named Oleksandrivka. And I remember myself
being a small girl, going to the local library, reading the books, eating cherries, apricots, you know.
And now, there is no this village anymore at all, in general. My grandmother, she is a survivor. And she actually spent a lot of time under
Russian shelling. She was sitting in the basement, having a wounded leg, and just hearing all this shelling, destroying her home, destroying her
garden. She was lucky to come to Kyiv. We're taking care of her. But the situation there is very sorrowful.
I know that Ukrainian authorities are not giving up. And Kherson region had five settlements liberated from Russians. And furthermore, they have
delayed the fake referenda for the second time already. And this is already a big sign that they understand that Ukrainian army is not going to stop.
But also, some Russian journalists go to online social media and they say, why on Earth we need Kherson? People don't support us here. Which is a
great sign because these are Russian propagandist, and they already start seeing the truth.
ISAACSON: You know, they're right. There's no support, whatsoever, now for Russia in region of Kherson.
MENDEL: It is -- no, there is no support. Of course, there are some -- you know, everywhere, few people maybe who -- maybe were believing of this
Russian propaganda. But the difficulty with the Kherson region was that this was the only region that borders Crimea, the peninsula that Russia
annexed back in 2014.
And this means that Russians are getting there more and more, you know, absolutely openly through the Creamian bridge from Russia. And that's why
there are so many of them there. That it was very difficult for the Ukrainian army at the very beginning to stand for that land.
So, ordinary Ukrainians, they are free too well standing against Russian occupation in different ways. They were protesting a lot. And I have
friends protesting there a lot and there are a lot of partisans. And they are doing big things there, starting from blowing the cars on those who
collaborate with Russia or of Russian leaders.
And even as spreading the Ukrainian flag everywhere on this city. And the more this Ukrainian flag is spread, you know, just put on the fences or --
you know, put on their hoses and where -- the more Russians are disturbed because they do not know how many partisans are there in Kherson.
ISAACSON: You know, reading your wonderful book about your time as press secretary to President Zelenskyy, you talked, too, about the information
wars at times. And I think there's one going on right now. In fact, in the past week we've seen much more of an information battlefield coming from
the Ukrainians. Trying to influence Russian opinion. Can you tell me about that?
MENDEL: Well, thank you a lot for this. I think that the defeat of the Russian army is the biggest influence for the Russian people. Because, of
course, Russian television propaganda will lie a lot. They are to be sad. And their biggest propagandist, they are super rich tycoons. But at the
same time, you cannot hide the truth if mothers and wives and daughters get letters from their beloved ones who disappear or who are brought dead to
And right now, over 53,000 of Russian servicemen who are eliminated, this is a term by ministry of Ukrainian -- the Ukrainian minister defense. So,
in fact it's very hard to not notice went over 53,000 of people disappear or die, you know. Get back wounded, with very severe wounds.
And this is -- the only thing that happens with Russia is that they understand only strength and power. And this is the way to convince the
Russian people that this war must be finished. And convinced the Russian leadership that they need to get out of our country.
ISAACSON: You were born in the late 1980s, right before the collapse of the Soviet Union. So, you don't even remember Soviet occupation of Ukraine.
How does that make you different from your parents and grandparents' generation?
MENDEL: That's a good question. In fact, the Soviet Union did not collapse just with the signed documents. The atmosphere of Soviet Union stayed in
the regions for some time. It was just the change of mindset, the change of the system. More fresh air from the west that was coming in in the borders
that had been closed for enormous time. That actually changed the Soviet Union into a real democratic Ukraine.
But I remember the '90s, they were very dark. They were very difficult for us. And my child was -- childhood was full of fear for the future, was full
of limitations. And I don't think I would ever have this type of life and career if Ukraine, for some big unfortunate, could stay the part of the
Soviet Union, or could, for some reason, stay with Russia.
I think my fate would be, you know, just to become either propagandist or their opposition to the authority that would pursue me. And, you know, with
whom I would need to fight. But in fact, you know, I became the press secretary to the president of Ukraine in open way, winning the contest
around 4,000 of applicants.
And this is what democracy means. And I'm very proud that Ukraine is the biggest territory of freedom and the biggest territory of democracy in the
ISAACSON: You just talked about becoming the press secretary to President Zelenskyy. And reading it in the book, it's sort of an amazing thing. It
was an open contest. How in the world you are in your early 30s then, a woman -- you didn't know President Zelenskyy. It was a somewhat corrupt
society back then. What was this -- how did this happen that you became press secretary?
MENDEL: Well, imagine President Zelenskyy comes to power. And everybody had been watching him on TV screens in comedy for, like, 20 years. Like, he
became as popular as a rock star. And it seemed that, like, everyone wanted to work for him.
And he becomes the first president to open this transparent competition. So, we have like around 4,000 of applications. I learned this number later.
But I decided just, you know, to give it a chance. As soon as I sent my CV, I learned there are already 3,000. I'm like, OK. Let's forget about this.
But they hired an I -- HR companies and I passed through to the level where I had interviewed with Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself.
So, what they did, they tried to pretend that he and his team are media sharks. Testing me as a press secretary. And there was one question that I
think made Zelenskyy make a decision to hire me. He asked about my motivation.
So, I said if he, as a man, of a poor background from some province from Ukraine can become a president of the country in a democratic way. And me,
as a girl, from also the same poor background, but from different region of Ukraine, can openly become his press secretary, what is it if not a
Ukrainian dream where everyone can achieve whatever they want? I think this was the answer that showed him that we shared the same vision of the
country. And that's how I was hired.
ISAACSON: You were press secretary during the every infamous phone calls and conversations with Donald Trump and President Zelenskyy. In which
Donald Trump was pushing Ukraine to do an investigation of Hunter Biden and was threatening to hold up aid to Ukraine unless it was done. And hold up,
like, visit to the White House unless it was done. Tell me about hearing about that and hearing that the aid may have been frozen. What did you
think? what did you do?
MENDEL: So, let me be clear here. I was not present at the call itself. But I was taking all the media inquiries. And I was present at the
negotiations with Donald Trump. And of course, I saw all the reactions of President Zelenskyy and the team which I, somehow, touched in my book.
Everyone in the world now observes that humans of the Ukrainian army. We have great people who stand for democracy and freedom. But at the same
time, we wouldn't be able to do this if we don't have the financing, the support from our partners. If we don't have weapon that we train in.
Ukrainian army was in super poor condition back in 2013 because of very corrupt Russian President Yanukovych.
So, it could weaken our army and who knows what the results could be. Maybe Putin could attack us earlier. Maybe Ukrainian army would not be able to
stand against this. Maybe Ukraine wouldn't be able to be independent now.
And the decision to hold on the so crucial military aid for Ukraine could benefit only one person in the world, and that was Vladimir Putin. That's
why it was threatening in many ways and I'm sure that Ukraine actually passed that period very bravely and very well in diplomatic ways. So, that
we did not lose the support of Republicans and Democrats, which was very, very crucial for Ukrainian army and for Ukrainian people.
ISAACSON: We just said that withholding that aid which Donald Trump did for a while and threatening to withhold it as he did could only help one
person, which is Vladimir Putin. Was that the feeling of those of you in the Zelenskyy administration that this was a mortal threat of what Donald
Trump was trying to do in order to get this investigation of the Biden family?
MENDEL: At that moment there were so many things, only one plate. Let me say that at that moment, Volodymyr Zelenskyy (INAUDIBLE) politics achieved
first results in negotiations with Putin. But he knew that Ukrainian army needed to stay. To stand there because Putin is very unpredicted and he is
So, in fact, we were very likely that this aid was provided back and we had this $400 million. When we today, we look at this army, at Ukrainian army
that makes so much sense. We understand this is the support of our partners in terms of training our soldiers. Of providing a military support
equipment. Helping them to behave correctly on the battlefield. To understand the thinking of the enemy.
So, all of the support was going there. And because of all of this years of this support, Ukrainian army can do all this as successes today. So, I
cannot say that people were strictly talking about this with my words, but definitely this was in the air.
ISAACSON: Now, President Biden, just this past week, has announced I think, $2.8 billion more. What do you think of the Biden administration's
response, Europe's response, should they be doing more or this is something that's very heartening to you?
MENDEL: This is a very important question for the reason that United States and Ukraine would share the same values. And I'm sure that American
people understand what freedom is better than anyone in the world. This is the value for your people as much as for Ukrainians.
And we are very grateful for the support, not only of the government and the president who stands strong for Ukraine but also for all the Americans
who are doing so many amazing things. And for American media who stand there to fight on information space, right?
At the same time, what we need to understand is that we cannot stop. Though I know there is fatigue. I know that the winter is coming and Russia
blackmails the world with energy prices. Russia weaponizes everything, all the resources that it has to fight the world. Russia tried to stop the
grain out, for instance, so many people can get hungry and can die from hunger, right?
But we cannot stop of continuing this fight to get rid of Russia for Ukraine. For the reason, if we show some kind of weakness or if we stop,
Russia will return back and show all its aggression. So, that we don't lose the results that we achieve now, we need to continue. We are heavily
relying on the United States about weaponry supplies and about collaboration in military and intelligence sphere as much as its continuing
ISAACSON: Do you think that if the Ukrainian military is able to push the Russians back all the way to the line before February, before the most
recent invasion, do you think there could be a ceasefire in place for a while or do you think that would be too much of a sign of weakness?
MENDEL: Well, I was talking to different people and the plans, believe me, change all the time. Because the Ukrainian authorities, officials, and
military are flexible because they want to be as effective as possible. At the same time, I understand that Ukrainian authorities are pretty realistic
with the necessity of ceasefire. But it must be done in an appropriate moment.
We cannot just give up, like, 15, 20 percent of our land. Forgive and forget all the people who died there because thousands and thousands of
Ukrainians died with absolutely horrible death in horrible conditions. So, we need to think with all the global community how to hold Russia
accountable because accountability is the only way to move forward.
And in this way, we should move towards the peace deal. But on the conditions of civilized countries and the conditions of Ukraine. We cannot
allow Russia do whatever it wants and just forget it, you know, to move forward. So, I believe that Ukraine will do everything right now to return
the territories that were lost after February 24. But I also believe that the next step for Ukraine, the homework that Ukraine will need to do will
be to align the standards with NATO as much as possible, to train as much as possible, to stay as strong as possible so that Russia do not come back
in two or three or five years.
ISAACSON: Iuliia Mendel, thank you so much for joining us.
MENDEL: It's my pleasure, Walter. Thank you for having me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: A real and important turning point on that battlefield.
And finally tonight, in good times and in trying times. The queen was always there to offer support. In her very first public speech at the age
of 14, she spoke to the children of the Commonwealth in a radio address during the second world war. With her sister, Margaret, by her side, she
offered hope for the future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: When the peace comes, remember, it will be for us, the children of today to make the world of tomorrow a better in happier place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: In that high pitched and childlike voice, eight years later though, she consoled the nation again when COVID locked down this country.
Offering reassurance that this too would pass.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: We will succeed and that successful belong to every one of us. We should take comfort that while we may have more still to
endure, better days will return. We will be with our friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again. But for now, I send my
thanks and warmest good wishes to you all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The queen there echoing Vera Lynn's wartime song, "Well Meet Again", which we will leave you with now. So, thank you for watching and
goodnight from London.