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Interview With Russian Ambassador To The U.K. Andrei Kelin; Interview With Former U.S. Secretary Of State And U.S. Special Presidential Envoy For Climate John Kerry; Interview With Russian Investigative Journalist Yevgenia Albats. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired October 26, 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREI KELIN, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UK: Russia is not going to use nukes. So, it is out of the question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: A firm denial from Moscow's ambassador to the U.K., Andrei Kelin. As we get the Russian view about their struggles on the Ukrainian
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE AND U.S. SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY FOR CLIMATE: The climate crisis still looms largest is the issue that
will change life unalterably.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: A code red for human health as global temperatures keep on rising. U.S. climate envoy, John Kerry, joins me ahead of the anticipated
of the much-anticipated COP 27 climate summit in Egypt. Plus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YEVGENIA ALBATS, RUSSIAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: That's the only choice that was left. I would go to jail or to leave. So, I left.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The other view from Russia. Investigative journalist Yevgenia Albats talks to Michel Martin about threats to her safety and her
heartbreaking decision to flee the country.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
A categoric denial from the Russian ambassador here in the U.K, Andrei Kelin tells me that Moscow using nuclear weapons is, "Out of the question",
in a revealing interview at the embassy here. This, after the British, American, and French governments sent Moscow a stern warning this week.
Fearing that Russia is now preparing for an escalation in Ukraine by planting false flag alarms.
Though the ambassador's firm stance may not calm everyone's fears, after all Russian officials said all along that they were not going to invade
Ukraine, and yet they did.
Kelin is a veteran foreign service officer whose portfolio included arms control and NATO relations. Now, as ambassador, he's tasked with navigating
the rocky relationship with the U.K. during this war. It is rare to hear from such a high-level Russian official these days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Ambassador Andrei Kelin, thank you. And welcome back to the program.
ANDREI KELIN, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UK: Thank you. Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So, I guess you have been involved in this because both the governments of Britain, France, and of the United States have sent a
(INAUDIBLE) to the Kremlin. Telling them to quite these allegations about Ukraine using a dirty bomb or planning a dirty bomb. What is your reaction
to that? Because there's no evidence about it. You know, last March, Russia accused Ukraine of planting weapons of mass destruction, you know,
chemical, biological -- that never came to anything.
KELIN: Look, what has really happened is that the minister of defense, Shoigu, has made telephone calls, not only to three ministers as you
mentioned but also to minister of defense of India, Turkey, and China. We have information. This is very serious information that something is under
preparation, it might be a dirty bomb. So, we are just passing this information and we have offered also professional conversation on that
side. Some ministers has reacted positively. Some, like U.K., has said, just from the outside -- this is lying. This is not a good approach, I will
AMANPOUR: Well, it's -- you know, they have intelligence that they're referring to. But also, as you know, Ukraine has asked the IAEA, the
internationally and Russia supported U.N., you know, arm, to look at any of these issues. The IAEA chief said this Monday that, the IAEA inspected one
of these locations -- that you are talking about, a month ago and all our findings were consistent with Ukraine's safeguard declarations. No
undeclared nuclear activities or material were found there. And they're going back to check again in the next.
KELIN: Now, two -- these two locations, one is in Kyiv, this is an institution, which is doing (INAUDIBLE)is in yellow waters, so they say.
So, the checking will be the best outcome of it.
AMANPOUR: So, will you take their word for it if they check?
KELIN: Well, this --
AMANPOUR: And they say -- the IAEA says, this is not true. Will Russia stop making these allegations?
KELIN: Well, IAEA is supposed to check. And it will -- it is going to provide an answer. Some answers after that.
AMANPOUR: I --
KELIN: They submit to law.
AMANPOUR: The question, Ambassador, really -- I mean, you're a rational man. Why would a country want to create a dirty bomb radioactive disaster
in their own country? Why would a country --
AMANPOUR: -- you know, do what you accuse it of doing back in March, a chemical or biological weapon. Why would it do that?
KELIN: I understand the question. We have a feeling that at this moment, authorities in Kyiv need to attract attention by something. Because,
actually, the offensive attack in -- on different fronts, a counterattack, so they're calling it, it has stopped. Then are losing coal resources. The
frontline has stabilized in all three places -- I men, in Kherson, in the east, and in Zaporhrhizia.
There is no movement. And this country has no more resources. At the moment, it needs something, like, probably, the dam in Kakhovka which is --
it's a difficult place. Because if it will be damaged then we shall have a flood over there, or perhaps something else.
So, our people there are serious people. If intelligence is saying that something is in preparation, then they are right about this. So, the issue
is to verify. If it is not over there, so we will simply be hoping (ph).
AMANPOUR: You know that the west and Ukraine believe that this is a Russian false flag. And the west is very concerned that you are making these
allegations as a cover for some kind of escalation on your side. And you say that the Ukrainian battlefield is now stabilized, in your words, and
not moving. But the Russians also face a lot of push backs. And the west says the Russian military operation is not going as well. Is Russia trying
to escalate this war?
KELIN: First of all, in his conversation -- I mean, the minister of defense, Shoigu, he assured every minister once again that we are not going
to use nuclear weapon. And there was no single statement, neither by the president or responsible guys. I do not take journalists, of course, at the
-- in all of this talks on the television. So, Russia is not going to use nukes. So, it is out of the question.
Second, is that for about a month and a half, already, Ukraine offensive has stopped. Nothing is happening in this area --
AMANPOUR: OK. You said that. I don't want to have you repeat yourself. But this is really important what you've just told me, that Russia will not use
nuclear weapons. Now, tomorrow, in a month, in a year, no matter what happens.
KELIN: I cannot say about next generation.
AMANPOUR: In your conventional scenario --
AMANPOUR: -- are you saying that your country has pledged --
KELIN: Yes, yes, yes.
AMANPOUR: -- your defense minister --
KELIN: His --
AMANPOUR: -- not to use nuclear weapons
KELIN: Yes, yes. This is what I am saying. This is what has been said by defense minister, by our president, and all of that.
AMANPOUR: And your president has said that, too?
KELIN: He never mentioned a possibility of using the --
AMANPOUR: Yes, but he has. You know --
KELIN: But as speculations --
AMANPOUR: -- he's raised veiled threats and he's worried everybody.
KELIN: No, no. There are speculations, and allegations, and issues that are trying to be -- which he has not pronounced, in fact.
AMANPOUR: As you know, President Putin has made veiled threats. Now, the west has seen no movement in Russia's nuclear posture. But again, you're
saying it is off the table.
KELIN: Yes, I am saying that.
KELIN: OK. Is it OK?
AMANPOUR: Oh, yes. It's OK. I mean, I just want to be really clear about this because it is the most important thing that we need to know at this
moment. As you know, many world leaders called it absolutely irresponsible for Russia. Even to have ever mentioned it. So, it's really, really
important to hear what you are saying.
So, then let me ask you about drones. We have seen, certainly in the last couple of weeks, a concerted new Russian tactic, maybe you consider it a
strategy to get Ukrainians to surrender. But a tactic using cruise missiles, airstrikes, and kamikaze drone strikes specifically against
infrastructure. Now, that could be called infrastructure, which actually it is. But it's also, very clearly, energy infrastructure.
KELIN: Christiane --
AMANPOUR: What is the point in that?
KELIN: -- your question is much longer than my answer --
AMANPOUR: OK. Maybe it is.
KELIN: -- as far as I understand.
AMANPOUR: But I need to set it up. Why is Russia --
AMANPOUR: -- doing that? Why attack civilian energy infrastructure? What's the point?
KELIN: Well, drones are being used in this area for many starting 2014, but it -- never mind. The issue is Crimean Bridge, I guess. Crimean Bridge is
very essential for our infrastructure. It is the major thing over the year. And Ukrainians are aware that this is a red line. That they should not
attack it. But they have done it. They have severely damaged it.
And of course, it not a surprise for them that there is a response to that. In what way it is being done, that depends of the general staff (ph). What
means is he using. But the target is -- and actually -- I mean, specialist by confirming it, it is just certain interruption. Not a seal (ph)
But certain interruption in the energetical flow from one region to the others with which we can stop, first of all, the army. We are not targeting
civilian infrastructure. Although it is --
AMANPOUR: Energy is civilian.
KELIN: Energy is important for everyone. For Dmitry --
AMANPOUR: And there's been threats about --
KELIN: Let me finish, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: -- targeting the dam as well which will happen.
KELIN: Let me finish. The energy is important for everyone. For us, the importance is that the counteroffensive that has been started by Ukraine
two months ago which is not a success, as I have said. But they are -- well, moving their forces.
So, I'm just -- I'm a civilian. I'm not a military personnel but I understand what is going on, I spoke for it. We are not targeting -- again,
it's important. We are not targeting civilian population. We are not trying to damage civilian populations because we still believe that we are --
population of Ukraine are -- should, first of all -- of course, this (INAUDIBLE) of this terrible government. And second, we need good relations
AMANPOUR: Yes. I mean, you know, Ambassador, I've actually been there. And I have seen the civilian targets and I have seen the damage to peoples'
homes, to individuals, the mass graves. So, you can say that but it's commensurate with the actual facts.
KELIN: OK. You should go to Donbas. And you will see --
AMANPOUR: Yes, we have.
KELIN: -- the damage --
AMANPOUR: We have our reporters there.
KELIN: -- that has been done.
AMANPOUR: We have reporters there since 2014. Let me move on to something because I know you're not a military official. But even your president,
yesterday, addressed his special council and he said that the basic war effort has to be ramped up. The economic side of it, the production side of
it, the -- more weapons, more ammunitions, even clothing for soldiers are - - in the winter.
How do you interpret that? I mean, I interpreted it as things aren't going very well. That's you're sending huge numbers, particularly of these new
recruits, into a country to go to war with almost no training and with very little equipment and clothing. How do you interpret what the president
KELIN: I will tell you that it is a big mistake to think that Ukraine can win this battle. It is strategic miscalculation. Total. Absolutely. Because
the potential that Russia has and Ukraine has are -- it is noncomparable.
At the moment, Ukraine is nearly a failed state. But it is living on the western donations or western money and on western weapon and well-providing
western weapons. West -- the west -- so-called the west, the U.K., U.S., and whatever it is, it is pushing Ukraine, which is now half of the
previous Ukraine by number of people, by all of that to continue this battle.
What's going to happen? What kind of state will it be after this winter or during this winter? This is our big concern. My understanding that it
should be finished, of course. It should be finished. But otherwise, it will be a catastrophe on the place that is now called Ukraine.
AMANPOUR: Do you see any prospect of Russia wanting to go to diplomatic way and, you know, seeking some kind of way out of this? Because you didn't
answer me about the mobilization and the lack of equipment and the changing dynamic on the battlefield.
KELIN: As for the negotiations. We -- we're -- in April, we were close to a solution. Negotiate a solution with Ukraine. But then --
AMANPOUR: OK. That's the past. What about now?
KELIN: -- in April -- but then, as we understand, a major provocation of a kind we're talking right now has been in Bucha and top negotiations best
of. At the moment -- at the moment, Zelenskyy -- President Zelenskyy, legally, has made negotiations impossible because it is his own decision
that no talks at all. We are saying that negotiations are possible and we will be prepared at any time to find a right solution for the crisis.
AMANPOUR: You call Bucha a provocation. We also -- what happened in Bucha, we heard your own soldiers on intercepted tapes say what happened in Bucha,
it was a massacre and it was done by the Russian side.
So, I want to ask you this, you've probably heard of Boris Bondarev, who is a former Russian diplomat, who has now come out and he's been speaking. And
he wrote a big article on diplomacy in his career as a diplomat. He basically says that diplomats were made to lie for the Kremlin. "For years,
Russian diplomats were made to confront Washington and defend the country's meddling abroad with lies and non sequiturs.
We were taught to embrace bombastic rhetoric and to uncritically parrot to other states what the Kremlin said to us. But eventuality, the target
audience for this propaganda was not just foreign countries, it was our own leadership. In cable and statements, we were made to tell the Kremlin that
we had sold the world on Russian greatness and demolish the West's arguments. We had to withhold any criticism about the president dangerous
plans." And he's talking about President Putin.
What is your response to that? And do you ever feel like you're being kept in the dark, as he says?
KELIN: Well, first of all about Bucha, because we have touched upon this subject. It is -- happens months and months ago and we have -- still have
no results. Who was over there. What are the names. What happened and whatever it is.
AMANPOUR: Actually, I just tell you that being collected --
KELIN: That is an important question. And no one has just given other opinion that it is -- has been staged. Second, about this --
AMANPOUR: Say that again.
KELIN: It has been staged. Staged, I mean, it is --
AMANPOUR: You know that it was not staged. Come on, Ambassador. You and me are talking here. You know that Bucha wasn't staged.
KELIN: No, give us the names so we will know who these people are out there.
AMANPOUR: The names are out there.
KELIN: It has been staged by the BBC. And we know the verification --
AMANPOUR: No, come on.
KELIN: -- the fact checking --
AMANPOUR: You're not accusing journalist of staging Bucha, no.
KELIN: Not, of course, the journalists, but the other so-called fact checking done by the BBC. It is not convincing.
AMANPOUR: OK. Ambassador, I can't argue. But that's a complete and utter -- I'm sorry, it's a lie. So, tell me now, what you make of this.
KELIN: Well, this guy is -- I have never met him personally. But I can tell you that he is not one of us or one of the Russian diplomats. He decided to
change sides and it is his personal opinion. His personal deeds, I will say, what he has then.
I'm not sure -- I'm absolutely sure that in a year time he will be -- what is going to happen with him, perhaps he will change sides again. So, this
type of people. I know that he was unhappy at the ministry because he has never been trusted serious joke.
AMANPOUR: OK. Well, I'm glad I got your response to that. Ambassador Andrei Kelin, thank you very much, indeed.
KELIN: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, the impact of Russia's war in Ukraine is being felt all over the globe, including in the fight against climate change as nations race to
fill fossil fuel supplies that Putin has cut off. Almost 200 countries are meeting next week in Egypt to tackle this issue at the much-anticipated COP
27 summit. Since the previous gathering in Glasgow last year, we've seen a raft of climate catastrophes from Pakistan to the Americas. As post-
pandemic emissions levels also reach record highs.
Meanwhile, a new study by the Lancet Medical Journal says that climate change is spurring an alarming rise in heat related deaths. The U.S.
Climate Envoy, former secretary of state John Kerry will soon be headed to Egypt. But today, he's in London and he's joining me now here on set.
Welcome back to the program.
JOHN KERRY, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE AND U.S. SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY FOR CLIMATE: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So, the whole, as I said, Ukraine and the war -- Russia's war there is also contributing. But are you too much of a diplomat to answer
the question of whether Russian diplomats, as Bondarev said, are they trained to call, you know, the sky blue --
AMANPOUR: -- or black.
KERRY: I think the ambassador's answer with respect to Bucha puts the entire interview into a question. I don't know how you can -- if you say
things like that, you put in doubt your credibility on anything. And Putin, obviously, said he was not going to invade. How many times did he say that
right up until the moment that he did?
So, I don't think anybody is sitting around measuring the words. It's going to be measuring actions. Ukrainian people are extraordinary. This is an
assault beyond anything grotesque -- I mean, it's just so grotesque in every respect. Unnecessary and unprovoked. And I think the world is going
to look for a long time for accountability for this kind of action.
DALY: Did you get any comfort -- I mean, it's not the ambassador saying. He said the defense minister, Shoigu, assured people like the U.S. defense
secretary, Austin, and all the others in NATO that they would not use nuclear weapons. Does that -- is that a comfort that's coming from the
defense minister --
KERRY: I don't want to get in -- I -- you know, my portfolio is climate.
KERRY: And I am not --
AMANPOUR: But this war has exacerbated your challenges.
KERRY: Sure, it has. It's the head of a lot of topics.
AMANPOUR: And if there's a nuclear war, climate is not going to matter a hill of beans, is it?
KERRY: Well, in a terrible way, Christiane, we're undergoing a, sort of, slow, long -- kind of, nuclear war with what is happening with the climate.
It is devastating. And many of the impacts that were living through today are irreversible. I mean, some of the top scientists that I rely on and one
in particular, Johan Rockstrom of the Potsdam Institute, will say that we've reached a point where, perhaps, five separate tracks are now the
tipping points. They've tipped. They've tipped. Arctic, Antarctic, Barents Sea, the coral reefs, and permafrost.
And if you look around the world that the implications of what is happening with the floods, the heat. Heat -- we are losing 10 million people a year
now to extreme heat. Die. We are losing 50 million people a year to the pollution. Greenhouse gases are pollution, by the way.
KERRY: And so, people need to think about, in the context, that we need to get rid of the pollution. What CO2 is polluting. And we're still seeing
coal coming online in various countries around the world that is abated, not mitigated.
So, no one's capturing those emissions. They're going up into the atmosphere. And at this particular moment, there is a rise in those
emissions. Now, I believe that is truly a -- an aberration partly as a result of the war, partly because of COVID, and supply chains, and other
things. But ultimately, I think that the world is going to respond in a way that brings new technologies to the table, new money is coming to the
table. Extraordinary amount of activity and research and development.
I was just at Bill Gates's Breakthrough Energy ventures summit out in the State of Washington. And it was remarkable to listen to some of the things
that these young entrepreneurs are engaged in. So, whether it is battery storage that is longer, or green hydrogen that is cheaper, or -- you know,
fusion which is now offering people hope and possibilities. Amazing things are really being worked on.
AMANPOUR: So, there are. And there are amazing things and great entrepreneurs. And people, lots of people, especially young people are
engaged in everything they can do personally. To lobbying, to voting, to recycling and doing all of those things. But we're told over and over again
that that is not enough. It's big governments, important governments, small governments who have to actually to do it to make it shift.
KERRY: Well, it's not just big governments, Christiane. It's big, powerful, and economic interests.
KERRY: Where you have governments controlling and providing incentives, you can make a lot happen. But the private sector will play an absolutely
critical role here. In fact, I think that in many ways it's going to be this private sector moving on these new technologies. And also living up to
its corporate stakeholder responsibility.
You have CEOs all around the world now in the context of their boardrooms and the ESG requirements that they're trying to live up to, who are making
commitments about getting to net zero by 2050, or by 2030. Doing things that would've been unheard of before.
We need greater finance on the table to help less developed countries be able to transition to clean energy. And we need it to be able to help the
rest of the world, be able to reduce the emissions, and deploy the renewables and the alternative form --
AMANPOUR: OK. So, are you talking about the debate that goes on in countries, for instance, like Pakistan which we've seen has been just -- I
KERRY: 30 million people moved in one climate event.
AMANPOUR: Yes, and it's still -- the lingering effects are still there --
AMANPOUR: -- with these waters. And they say correctly that it's not us. We have no carbon footprint to speak of. It is all you guys. And you need to
help us. So, the idea, "Of reparations", you're saying financing to help these kinds of countries.
KERRY: What I'm saying is --
AMANPOUR: But the U.S., up until now, has said, no. We're not going to pay --
KERRY: No, we haven't said no.
AMANPOUR: Well --
KERRY: What we have said, well, it depends. We're the largest humanitarian donor in the world. The United States is doing more in terms of
humanitarian effort than any other country. And we are doing things with respect to climate. Like, for instance, President Biden has raised a new
level of commitment to adaptation and building resilience. There is no law that says he has to do that. He's doing it because that's what he believes
we should be doing and what a developed country needs to do to help a developing country that's getting hurt by this.
AMANPOUR: OK. So --
KERRY: So -- but we still will be talking about loss and damage at Sharm El Sheikh. We're totally advancing --
AMANPOUR: This is COP 27 next month, yes.
KERRY: In the meeting in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt in about 10 days. And we will have a full-throated discussion about, you know, how to manage that
issue. And in Glasgow, we all agreed that we would have a pathway to a dialogue that was real. We're going to stand up a network that will help
with technical assistance to countries. And we will have a good discussion. I'm confident about financial arrangements overtime as to how you manage
But look, every developed country in the world is being negatively impacted by what is happening.
KERRY: Not enough money for development. Not enough money to help them be able to transition. So, we have to find a way, and I think there are ways
and I think we'll hear more about them in the next week --
AMANPOUR: So --
KERRY: -- to deploy some of the private trillions of dollars into this transition And that's not a giveaway. It is an investment.
AMANPOUR: So, the growing cause --
KERRY: And there are ways to make that happen.
AMANPOUR: OK. I understand that. So, this is kind of what I was saying, growing cause for financial transfers from rich countries with the highest
per capita of gas emissions to poor countries that emit less. As we said --
KERRY: Yes, but -- absolutely --
AMANPOUR: -- U.S. to --
KERRY: -- and that --
AMANPOUR: -- but the U.S. and Europe and other wealthy countries have opposed up until now, the creation --
KERRY: No, what they said is --
AMANPOUR: -- of such a fund.
KERRY: No, they -- what people are wary of, and for proper reasons is how this gets framed in terms of viable liability --
KERRY: -- or --
AMANPOUR: I know, because you're all trying not to spook your population or your business.
KERRY: No, it's not a question of not spooking people. It's not creating something that is a legal process which politically you will never have the
ability to be able to affect. And no, you won't get anywhere. The question is, how do you do this in a thoughtful way that manages to help countries
be able to help themselves?
I mean, you have -- loot at -- I mean, the 48 sub-Saharan African countries that equal 0.55 percent of all of the emissions in the world. Then there
are 20 developed and nearly developed countries, including United States and China, the two largest emitters, and many other countries, 20
countries. They equal 80 percent of all of the emissions.
So, we're -- the only way we win this battle, in terms of the climate crisis, is to the get 20 countries with the biggest economies to reduce
their emissions. And once that's happening, you've set the template for everybody else, then you can follow.
AMANPOUR: So, are they compared to the promises that were made at COP 26, just last November?
KERRY: That's part of what Sharm El Sheikh will call to account.
AMANPOUR: But are they -- given this war, given the so-called headwind --
KERRY: I think -- no, I think --
AMANPOUR: -- given OPEC shoveling up --
KERRY: Well, let me give you an example --
AMANPOUR: -- productions.
KERRY: Let me give you an example. Germany is living out the lesson of what has happened with Ukraine and energy and with COVID. Germany is now working
overtime to be able to deploy 80 percent of its energy production that's going to come from renewables. Think about that. 80 percent. That is about
70 to 80 -- 75 percent more than a whole bunch of countries in the world they're doing.
And Germany will get there. And they will have economic security and energy security in doing that but to make certain that they're not depriving their
population of an economy that works, they've withheld, for a moment, closing some coal down.
KERRY: They are looking at the issue of nuclear for the meantime. But that is temporary. As they build up, the lesson of Ukraine is, don't empower
dictators to weaponize energy.
AMANPOUR: Does that mean Saudi Arabia as well?
KERRY: The more you can be -- any country in the world, you need to try to have your own independence for the production of energy. And what
renewables, and the new energy economy say to us is, that's feasible and it's cheaper. It is also cleaner and it'll provide a new wave of jobs in
AMANPOUR: So, some of these countries who you've labeled like Germany who are resorting to coal, you say, temporarily. But other countries which are
very, very important in this problem, such as China, such as Vietnam which are still committed to their coal producing endeavors.
You've always tried to breakthrough the -- you'd tried diplomacy on this with China. It's really difficult. Has it got more difficult now with
President Xi cementing his status as supremo authoritarian, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, making her human rights visit to Taiwan, which they
got all upset about. Does that hurt the idea of climate negotiations? Does it slow them down?
KERRY: Well, I'll let you know. What I'll do is -- has it slowed it down up until today? Yes, because China is suspended. But I'm hopeful that, you
know, by Sharm El Sheikh conceivably, we may be able to come together. We may be able to talk. I am hopeful.
What I know is that China is a paradox, in a sense. It is deploying far more renewable energy today than all the other countries in the world. It's
eclipsing, by far, the amount of solar field or wind that we're able to deploy. So, China is working diligently. Not only did they -- are they the
biggest producer of renewable energy in the world, they're the biggest deployer of energy renewable -- renewable energy in the world.
But -- here's the but, we obviously -- we, many people in the world, have a difference sub-opinion on some critical issues. They are critical issues.
And so, Climate should not be and cannot be wrapped into a bilateral issue because there's nothing bilateral about it. Climate is a multilateral
existential threat to the planet.
AMANPOUR: Do you have hope that you can carve that out?
KERRY: I have hopes that we will get back to discussing what we must discuss. To be able to make a COP 27 is Sharm El Sheikh successful. What
the world wants us to discuss which is to figure out how do China and the United States, the two largest emitters in the world, the two largest
economies in the world, how do they help the world to accelerate solving this problem? And my hope is that in Sharm El Sheikh, we'll find a way to
be able to get together and talk further.
AMANPOUR: You're here in London, you know, we almost has -- well, yes, we did have Liz Truss giving out, you know, 100 new licenses for fracking, and
this and that here. The new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has reversed that. What are you doing in London and what role, do you think, Britain will
play? obviously, they hosted the Glasgow COP.
KERRY: Well, I'm here for a series of meetings with colleagues and counterparts to be able to talk about Sharm El Sheikh, prepare for it. And
I'm also here taking part in some quiet meetings that now his majesty, King Charles, has started this initiative called the Sustainable Markets
Initiative, which many of us want to continue with one way or the other. So, we are going to talk about how that can happen.
AMANPOUR: Would you like to see him at COP?
KERRY: Well, I'd like to, yes. I think he's --
AMANPOUR: Do you think he should go?
KERRY: I think he would -- I -- look, I think the Queen attended one, if I recall correctly. He has --
AMANPOUR: Because Liz Truss didn't invite him.
KERRY: -- he has spoken previously at these COPs. And his voice is a 60- year consistent voice on these issues. I think his leadership is respected. Would it be great to hear from him there? Yes. But obviously, in the form
of government you have here, it is up to the government to make that decision. But I personally, as an envoy for the United States, would love
to see him there and hope he will be.
AMANPOUR: So, you know, you're a very hopeful person, you're very energetic, you're optimistic. You work really hard to try and do this. But
each time there is one of these meetings and we, kind of, hear that, oh, yes. Those promises were made but actually they have not been kept.
KERRY: We are making incredible progress. Notwithstanding the fact that we're going fast enough, we're not going big enough. But we are making
progress. We have more and more companies coming to the table. Let me give you an example. We have this thing called the First Movers Coalition. We
have about -- you know, we've got this -- I mean, FedEx, and Apple, Microsoft, Google, Boeing, Volvo, automobile companies in Germany and the
United States, they're making commitments that 10 percent of the steel they use now is going to be green steel.
They're making commitments in the area of operations, you know, different people are making different commitments, but they'll be five percent
sustainable -- aviation fuel. 88 percent reduction in emissions. If that can be brought to scale, if you commercialize that, you have Maersk, the
largest container shipper in the world, has promised that the next eight ships it purchases or builds are going to be carbon-free.
KERRY: So, we're sending a demand signal to the marketplace. And more and more -- there are things happening, that I think, you are going to see the
private sector could beginning to embrace the move. An example, Ford Motor Company --
AMANPOUR: 15 seconds left.
KERRY: -- and General Motors company, they have spent tens of billions of dollars retooling their plants. They're going to make electric vehicles by
2035, only electric vehicles. They're not going back. And a whole huge number of entities in our economies are going to do the same thing.
KERRY: The question is not when we get to a low-income economy, but we'll get there in time to avoid the worse consequences.
AMANPOUR: Let's hope.
KERRY: We can.
AMANPOUR: John Kerry, thank you so much indeed.
Now, Nigeria is one of those countries grappling with the devastation of the worst flooding it's seen in a decade, following an extremely rainy wet
season that is being blamed on climate change. More than 600 lives have been lost in floods across the West African country, its government says.
And almost one and a half million people have been displaced. Larry Madowo reports now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Our communities still submerged nearly a month after the flooding began with no end in sight.
Boats have become the only way to get around much of Bayelsa State in Southern Nigeria. The streets have turned to rivers driving entire
communities away from their homes.
Mama Obique (ph) takes us to what is left of her home, the water is still waist high. We have really suffered, she says, tell the government to help
MAMA OBIQUE (PH): Again, tell them to come help us.
MADOWO (on camera): Everything you own is here under the water and this is your house?
MAMA OBIQUE (PH): Yes. Everything.
MADOWO (voiceover): Some are living rough on the streets, washing with this water, cooking with it and bathing in it.
MADOWO (on camera): Even people's homes and businesses and livelihoods are already submerged, it's still raining and there is more expected. The
Nigerian government is warning this could go on through November, so even more of this.
MADOWO (voiceover): This is Nigeria's worst flooding in a decade. Aniso Handy has remained in this house through it all.
ANISO HANDY, FLOOD VICTIM: Nigerians are used to manage. If not, we would have all died. We have not seen this situation where people are not cared
for. But Nigerians care for themselves. We are just like infants that have no father, no mother.
MADOWO (voiceover): The feeling of abandonment runs deep here. The victims are disappointed with the Nigerian government's response which hasn't
declared the flood a national emergency.
HAPPINESS MESHACK, FLOOD VICTIM: We're not very comfortable. Another fear for (INAUDIBLE).
MADOWO (on camera): We're next to the local cemetery, and residents have reported seeing bodies floating here in this water. This flood has
displaced not just the living, but also the dead.
MADOWO (voiceover): The floods have affected 33 of Nigeria's 36 states partly due to well above average rainfall. Bayelsa is among those cut off
from the nation with major highways underwater. The situation has been exacerbated by poor drainage infrastructure and an overflowing dam in
neighboring Cameroon. But with a warmer climate causing more intense rainfall, authorities have also blamed it on climate change, angering some
In this community though, there are more short-term consequences.
MADOWO (on camera): So, you're worried about the children mostly?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, my children. They won't go to school again. No way. Now, that's (INAUDIBLE) me.
MADOWO (voiceover): It is a tough life to navigate for humans and animals alike. But life must go on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Larry Madowo reporting there. Literally standing in the middle of a situation that we were just discussing, you know, with John Kerry talking
about the perils of having to get to grip with this. And now, we get back to Russia's war in Ukraine but with a very different view from Ambassador
Kelin earlier in the program, as you heard.
Russian journalist, Yevgenia Albats, editor in chief of the "Political Weekly" the new times fled Moscow in August after a court found her guilty
of, "Spreading false information". Another casualty of the Kremlin's ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression and independent media in the
country. And Albats tells Michel Martin why she will never stop fighting for the truth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Yevgenia Albats, thank you so much for talking with us once again. We are so glad to see you.
YEVGENIA ALBATS, RUSSIAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Thank you very much for having me.
MARTIN: And I think that many people may remember that you recently left Russia at the advice of your lawyers and even some friends who are already
imprisoned. I think, if people remember our previous conversation, you've been very reluctant to leave Russia. You were one of the last remaining
independent journalists in Russia. What was the final straw that caused you to leave?
ALBATS: There were several straws. We lost four cases, so-called, administrative charges. Basically, I was accused of intentional spread of
disinformation about the Russian army. Why? Because we wrote that Russian army bombed cities in Ukraine, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Odessa. So, that was
considered by the judge as intentional spread of false information about the Russian army.
And then after that, after these four charges and, you know, about $14,000 in fines, I was pronounced -- well, I was pronounced (INAUDIBLE). After
that, it became clear that the next left was a criminal charge. Criminal charge meaning you get in jail. So, therefore, you know, my lawyers and
specially my friends who are in jail, they said it was ridiculous, you know. I wouldn't be able to walk out of jail, so there is no point of going
Yes, I was quite reluctant, as you said, to leave Russia because obviously it's not the same to write about Russia sitting in the safety environment
of the United States. However, I guess, that's the only choice that was left, either go to jail or to leave. So, I left.
MARTIN: How have you been since you arrived in the United States? What are some of the things that have gone through your mind?
ALBATS: I watched what's happening in Ukraine. I see that Russian army at the order of Putin, bombs civilian infrastructure of Ukrainian cities. And
that's what makes me terrified because winter is coming, it means that millions and millions of people in Ukrainian cities are going -- not to
have no heat, no water, no (INAUDIBLE), scarce electricity of any. So, it is going to be a disaster.
I also see that there is a quite a battle going on here in the United States whether to keep supporting Ukraine or not to support Ukraine. But I
plan to -- Putin's enablers here in the United States. And I'm just amazed how easily it is for Putin to engage some of the lobbyists. And even, you
know, the one -- some of them are very rich, very powerful like Elon Musk. They don't know a thing about what's going on there. But, of course, you
know, they have their own understanding and judgment on what's going on there.
And they suggest, you know, these land for peace deal. Meaning that Ukraine should agree for -- on annexation of its four territories as Putin annexed
-- several weeks ago, Putin annexed four territories of Ukraine. It's involved 18 percent of the territory of the entire country. And so, the
idea is that Ukraine and its President Zelenskyy should agree on that in exchange for peace.
The trick is that those who suggest this deal which they do not understand that Putin is not going to stop. Putin needs a break. Putin needs a break
because he's lacking -- he's out of cannon fodder, he's out of ammunition. He is out of weapons. So, he needs a break.
So, you know, he thinks that he will be able to regroup his army to higher -- to draft more Russian male. To buy more Iranian built drones or Norther
Korean artillery and et cetera. Regroup and then start the offense once again.
MARTIN: It has been widely reported how many Russian men are fleeing the country rather than being drafted. And so, I think many of us have
interpreted that as them finding out or knowing, at some level, that this war is not going well for Russia. And that the stated goals are false and
that are being lied to. Do you understand it that way as well that somehow the truth is getting, at least to some people, does that seem right to you?
ALBATS: Of course, Michel. You know, basically, Russians are voting with their feet. They were, you know, whether they were in favor of the war or
against the war, but when they came to the serving and, you know, being hold and killing Ukrainians, they just chose to leave the country. We don't
know the exact numbers but it's somewhere close to one million people who left Russia since the war starting.
And we're talking predominantly about young people in their 20s to their 40s. People of, you know, (INAUDIBLE), creative people, creative
professionals, you know. These -- if you allow me to say it so, creme dela creme of the Russian society. These are, you know, people who are capable
to produce their (INAUDIBLE).
And now, you know, they left Russia. And they're trying to find jobs in different countries in Kazakhstan, in Georgia, some in Europe, very few in
the United States, of course, and then such.
MARTIN: So, this week marks eight months since Russia invaded Ukraine. How would you describe where we are in this content?
ALBATS: I think we are at the critical junction right now. Because, obviously, there is a war fatigue. And people in the west, they start
asking themselves questions, why should we pay for this war.
And you know that in Europe, electric bills went three-fold up. In the United States inflation and gas prices and those kinds of stuff. So, people
are getting tired of that.
And you can hear -- by the way, here in the United States, you can hear that Ukraine's not the west. Ukraine is not part of NATO. Ukraine is not
part of the European Union. Therefore, there is no need to protect, to help Ukraine anymore. Yes, we keep giving them some weapons but basically, you
know, we shouldn't, you know, go into proxy war with Putin. And I think it is a very shortsighted view.
So, I think that in order to avoid much bigger war, the west should do its best in order to help Ukrainians virtually fighting with their bodies. And
west should provide Ukrainians more weapons to fight this war. And trust me, Michel, I'm reluctant to say that because there is army of my country.
I'm a citizen of the Russian Federation, I was a tax-payer in the Russian Federation. And this is my army, and my soldiers, and my officers who are
dying there in Ukraine. And, you know, they are part of this crime. This unimaginable crime in the 21st century, you know, they involved in killing
I feel awful and ashamed about that. And so, it's -- it gives me no pleasure to say give more weapons to Ukrainians. But I do say this because
I do understand that Putin is extremely dangerous. It's no longer about my fellow citizens because my fellow citizens don't have a say. They cannot
stop the war because, you know, they will be imprisoned right away. You know, whoever is going out on the streets in Moscow or in any other city
across the Russian Federation gets arrested right away. You can get out with a blank piece of paper and you are going to get arrested. And receive
-- either be fined or even, you know, sometime in jail.
And here we are again and again and again. And children are killed, civilians are killed. Putin's bombing cities each day he's bombing cities.
He's destroying power plants. 30 percent of all power plants in Ukraine are destroyed. Already destroyed, you know, and nothing can be done to stop it,
MARTIN: Do you really believe that that nothing can be done to stop it? What should the west --
ALBATS: I don't see because, you know, as you said, we're already eight months into the war. And war is keep going and going and going. And there
is no end of this war in sight.
MARTIN: So, I wanted to ask you about something. Over the past few days, the Russian minister of defense has called several, several NATO defense
ministers, including the U.S. defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, claiming that Ukraine was planning on detonating a dirty bomb in Russia. Ukraine
obviously denies this. What do you think is going on here?
ALBATS: I think it's totally ridiculous. I think they're playing games. Right now, we see the beginning of battle for Kherson. It's the only city
that Russian army managed to occupy during this nine -- eight months. So, there is a big concern in Russia and in Ukraine that Putin is going to use
tactical nuclear weapons in Kherson in order to prevent Ukrainian forces from getting this city back.
I don't believe it, to be honest with you.
MARTIN: You don't.
ALBATS: I don't think that -- no. Putin is not suicidal. He's very pragmatic. He loves life. Look at him, you know, this guy wants to live.
It's obvious. He's not going -- ready to die. And he and his entourage, they were busy robbing the country and stay budget for 22 straight years.
They created immense wealth. I don't believe that they're ready to turn all these wealth and their own lives and the lives of their close ones into the
nuclear waste, no. I don't believe for a second. Putin is keeping the world a hostage to -- and, you know, he's using nuclear weapons as a blackmail.
And that's exactly what he'll do.
And unfortunately, you know, Americans are so susceptible to that. I don't want to say all Americans. I'm sorry. You know, I'm exaggerating, of
course. But there are plenty, as I said, you know, Putin is an ableist, including the wealth of a guy on this -- in this country, Elon Musk who are
-- they're so frightened and -- by Putin's nuclear blackmail. That they're ready to do whatever he -- Putin asks them to do.
MARTIN: Yevgenia, you mentioned Elon Musk. So, let's talk about him for a minute. Earlier this month, he asked his 100 million Twitter followers to
vote on a plan that looked like it had been drawn up by the Kremlin. I mean, essentially suggesting that Ukraine accept Russian sovereignty over
Crimea. And when Ukraine's President Zelenskyy responded very forcefully to this, Musk reassured him in another tweet saying that he supports Ukraine
but he, "Fears massive escalation". How do you understand this? What do you think is going on here?
ALBATS: Michel, I know quite a few super rich and many of them are decent people. But unfortunately, some of them and Elon Musk is a great example of
that they believe that because they're genius businessman, they're also, you know, genius politicians. And unfortunately, they are not. Elon Musk
know -- doesn't know everything about my part of the world. But he believes that he can give advice what Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, should do and
what he shouldn't do.
I think that Ukrainians are very, very grateful to Elon Musk for Starlink. If not for Elon Musk's Starlink, Ukrainians wouldn't have internet which is
crucial for their success on the battlefield. So, let's give him a credit. Elon Musk is a genius businessman and he belong to support Ukraine.
However, he was played out by Putin, it's clear. Obviously, he was given this argument that the reason why Ukraine should agree on annex --
annexation of 18 percent of its territory because, you know, Kherson region supplies water to Crimea Peninsula. And Crimea Peninsula, according to Mr.
Musk is Russian.
I can tell you, you know, I have my own personal story with Crimea. You know, for my -- you know, one of the best days of my life were there in
Crimea, you know, on the beach, you know, with my husband, my husband ashes are buried there. I cannot go to Crimea since 2014. And now Elon Musk tells
me that, oh, you know, Crimea belongs to Russia.
No. Unfortunately, no. It doesn't belong to us. But, you know, it was part of the Ukrainian territory. Putin annexed this territory. And there's no
reason in the 21st century to pretend that we agree with the robbery. I cannot imagine that this kind of argument can exist in the 21st century. We
lived through this, you know.
Europe lived through all these awful annexation and wars. And now, you know, somebody who is very -- is great in making money says, oh, you know,
Crimea belongs to Russia. You know, it should go to -- it should stay with Russians, you know. Putin is OK. Putin is OK that he annexed territory.
MARTIN: What is your message to people who are listening to our conversation right now? Particularly people in the west who, as you said,
are becoming sort of fatigued there -- with the cost of the war. With the, sort of, the economic fallout of the war and the effect on their own lives.
Is there something you would want them to think about?
ALBATS: I would say don't be a naive and don't be stupid. We are, as humankind, you know, as -- you know, good people, we are supposed to know
better. We have such a huge experience. I mean, our civilization went through awful wars of the 20th century.
So, don't be naive. Don't be stupid. Don't untie Putin's hands. Don't allow him to destroy Ukraine and turn it totally into pieces. Just stop the war.
Just do, you know, what you did back in the late 1960s and 70s when United States was conducting and unjust and aggressive war in Vietnam. Just recall
this for a second and imagine that once again this is happening in Europe. And once again, as it was in 1970's, another Hitler is trying to destroy
the continent and to conduct an assault on the western civilization.
It's about your days (ph), your world, your understanding of what is meaningful in life. Putin is fighting you in your days, that's what I would
MARTIN: Yevgenia Albats, thank you so much for talking with us once again. I do hope you'll remain well. And thank you so much for talking with us
ALBATS: Thank you very much, Michel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Such a powerful warning from someone who knows Yevgenia Albats. That is it for now. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.