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Interview With Former Senator Carol Moseley Braun (D-IL); Interview With The Republican Accountability Project Founder Sarah Longwell; Interview With Russian Opposition Politician And Former Russian Deputy Energy Minister Vladimir Milov; Interview With "How To Stand Up To A Dictator" Author And Rappler CEO And Journalist Maria Ressa. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired December 07, 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's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): The people have spoken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: A decisive Democrat win in Georgia. Giving the party a majority in the Senate. What this means for the country with former Democratic
Senator Carol Moseley Braun and Republican political strategist Sarah Longwell.
Plus, raw emotion as a prisoner swap brings these Ukrainian soldiers back home. A report from the frontier. Then, as hundreds of thousands of
Russians flee the motherland, I talk to a high-level defecto from Moscow, the former deputy energy minister.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA RESSA, AUTHOR, "HOW TO STAND UP TO A DICTATOR", JOURNALIST AND CEO OF RAPPLER: I think I had 10 arrest warrants in less than two years starting
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Nobel Peace prize winning journalist Maria Ressa talks to Michel Martin about standing up to dictators.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I am Christiane Amanpour in London.
Georgia has turned into a real peach for Democrats in the Senate. Raphael Warnock beating his Republican opponent, Herschel Walker, in the runoff
election which keeps both of state seat in the Senate blue. And in an emotional victory speech, the reverend paid tribute to his mother and her
long road to this moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): I want to say thank you to my mother who is here tonight. She grew up in the 1950s in Waycross, Georgia picking
somebody else's cotton and somebody else's tobacco. But tonight, she helped pick her youngest son to be a United States senator.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: What a journey indeed. This victory here in Georgia is a major triumph for President Joe Biden as well, making him the first president
since Franklin Roosevelt to seat all his parties', senators up for reelection win. And that one extra Senate seat for a 51-49 majority will
impact everything from committee chairs to legislation.
We are going to discuss all this and its impact with my first guest tonight, the former Democratic Senator from Illinois, Carol Moseley Braun,
and Republican political strategist, Sarah Longwell.
Welcome to our program. So, Carol Moseley Braun, Senator, I saw your face beaming as Raphael Warnock pay tribute to his mother and laid out the
really terrible journey that took for her to get to this moment.
CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN, FORMER U.S. SENATE DEMOCRAT: Thank you for having me, Christiane. I am delighted and over the moon about this victory. And I must
say that the joy of his re-election is matched only by the prayers that went up to make sure it would happen. And I want to say thank you, also, to
the young voters who came out -- I mean, the young voters and the millennials and the generation Z, whatever that means. But anyway, they
came out big time and secured this victory for the whole country.
Our -- the shift of our -- of state might have been listing (ph) before Georgia. But now we write it and democracy is safe. So, I want to thank the
young voters who made this possible.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me just ask you. You were the first black senator -- female black senator when you are elected. And, you know, the president has
been talking about trying to expand the diversity of not just of the party, but the leadership and the institutions to it moving the first primary. He
wants to do that. Move it from Iowa to South Carolina. Do you think what Senator Warnock has achieved will do that?
BRAUN: Well, actually, that's another kind of conversation but I think it will help. And I believe that the Democratic Party is going to move its
primary, because, again, it's a difficult situation to start out in Iowa. It's a wonderful state with great people but at the same time it's not a
blue state. And for Democrats, it's a hard road to hope but I believe that going to South Carolina will help us, as Democrats, choose somebody that
Democrats can rally around.
And I really think that it is an important initiative by the president.
AMANPOUR: Let me turn to you, Sarah Longwell, because, you know, Georgia used to be reliably red in all aspects. And what do you attribute? You just
heard the Senator Moseley Braun thank the young people and the high, high turnout. What -- how do you attribute Herschel Walker's loss and Raphael
SARAH LONGWELL, FOUNDER, THE REPUBLICAN ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT: Well, look, I think that Georgia is still -- if not totally red, it's still kind
of pink. And, you know, looking at the other people who won in the state, Republicans won up and down the ballot. I mean, Governor Kemp won what is
the equivalent of a blowout election.
However, you know, Herschel Walker was, in many ways, a bridge too far for a lot of these suburban voters, college educated voters who often vote
Republican or willing to vote Republican but did not want to vote for both Herschel Walker himself but also a Trumpy candidate. I mean, one of the
things that has happened in his 2022 midterm is we have seen independent swing voters and even soft republicans really reject the people that Donald
Trump put forward and, kind of, dragged across the finish line in this Republican primaries.
You know, the base has been picking. The base of the Republican party has been picking these extreme Trumpy candidates. And there's a lot of
independent and swing voters that don't want to vote for them. I mean, you know, Walker ran about 200,000 votes behind Brian Kemp, the Republican
governor in the general election. And last night, if you look at where Warnock actually improved his margins from the general election, a lot of
it was in those suburban areas that are historically pretty favorable for Republicans.
AMANPOUR: Sarah, let me just build on that because, you know, we've heard a lot about this, you know, even right after the midterms. Republican
leaders complaining about so-called candidate quality. And now, Georgia's lieutenant governor has said to CNN, the only way to explain this, you
know, Warnock's win, Herschel's -- Herschel Walker's loss. The only way to explain this is candidate quality. If we don't take your medicine here, it
is our fall. Every Republican in this country ought to hold Donald Trump accountable for this.
So, of course, everybody likes to, you know, see whether this is going to mean what? What for Donald Trump? Is this finally, kind of, his death nail
for the Republican Party, do you think, Sarah, or not?
LONGWELL: I would certainly like it to be. However, I have watched Trump fight his way out of corners before that looked insurmountable. The number
one place being, you know -- the number one-time being January 6th.
And so, here's the question for Republicans, they all know that Trump has caused them enormous losses over the last three cycles. And right now, what
I am watching them do though is have a familiar pattern of, kind of, keeping quiet about the former president. If they don't find their voice.
If they don't condemn him -- some of them, they're more likely to, sort of, blame him for the losses, that's true. But they need to be unequivocal that
this person cannot be the 2024 nominee and they need to take action to ensure that that does not happen.
They need to start backing, you know, they -- encouraging people to run against him. There is still this weird fear among Republicans because they
are very afraid of the base that Trump controls that they won't, sort of, condemn him outright. No matter how many white supremacists he is dinner
with, no matter how many elections he cost them, he still has this, kind of, control.
But they have to recognize that this a moment of extreme weakness for Donald Trump and it is their opportunity for offense, but it doesn't just
happen. You know, they have to do something about it which they have been reluctant to do over the last seven years and that's what gives Donald
Trump this continued life within the party.
AMANPOUR: And so, Senator, obviously, the Democrats are going to be able to do something with now a convincing majority in the Senate. It's no
longer the vice president, as a Democrat, who would have to cast her deciding void -- vote in a tie. From what you know, obviously, through
experience of how the system works, what does this margin mean for Democrats?
BRAUN: Well, it's very important obviously, Christiane. And let me say also, it's the old expression that success is a thousand parents and
victories -- and failure is an orphan. Quite frankly, looking at Senator -- Mr. Walker -- I'm losing my voice. I do not know the man personally. But he
was a great football hero. And as Barack Obama said, you know, just because somebody is -- have been running beside the plane, you're not going to ask
them fly it.
So -- and that is what, kind of, the voters of Georgia were confronted with. A situation in which someone who had been a hero in a lot of
different areas of life but couldn't cut the mustard when it came to being a Senate candidate. That's my first point.
And so, now to change the subject to Donald Trump, which I think is important too, who -- you know, after January 6th, I mean, I'm stunned that
Republicans did not have more to say about what happened on January 6th. And they still, kind of -- I mean, hand Mike Pence, seriously. They are
still being quiet about that. I don't exactly understand it, but I'm not a Republican. So, your other guest articulate it -- articulated it very
But we have to move on. I mean, Donald Trump, I think, is part the past. He should be the past for Republicans, we'll see. But -- and move forward and
figure out a way to do it by speaking to the needs of the American people. All of them. You cannot just isolate yourself and talk to one constituency
and expect to win elections. It just doesn't work that way.
And that's what I meant about our safe for democracy, having riding (ph) itself. This is a return to normalcy in a lot of ways. It's not unusual or
should be seen as unusual that the American people wanted their democracy to work. And that's kind of -- that happened in Georgia is really
phenomenal. I had a dream last night, if I may, there are three -- four living black United States senators. Me, being the first. Barack Obama,
Roland Burris, and now Senator Warnock.
And so, given the fact that we're -- I mean, I'm old enough and I don't want to talk about my age, but the fact that I'm old enough to remember,
you know, colored and water fountains. You couldn't drink out of the water fountains and what it was like in those days. And we have come this far, is
I think, a great testament to the American spirit and the character of our people.
And again, particularly the young people of not having it anymore. And saying, we're moving past identifying by race. We want to go into the next
level. And I think that's very healthy and very important for our country to acknowledge and embrace.
AMANPOUR: Yes, we hear that loud and clear. And it is something incredible to watch. I want to ask you, Sarah, maybe counterintuitively, maybe I
should ask the senator.
But I want to ask you what you think about this, because President Biden seems not to have got the credit where credit is due on many, many things
that he's done in the last two years. Not to mention, winning the election in 2020 where everybody said he'd be, you know, he was in a basement and
that Trump would beat him. You know, all the legislation he did it. Winning the midterms when everybody said that it was going to be a red wave.
And now, this in Georgie, which is important, his own chief of staff congratulated Warnock, twitting, congrats to Senator Warnock. POTUS becomes
the first president since FDR 1934 to see every senator in his party re- elected, who was seeing re-election. 51. Do you think, even as an opposition, that this is actually a pretty formidable president with a
pretty formidable machine answering the needs of the people?
LONGWELL: Well, look -- yes, I am a republican but I also am somebody who has been very anti-Donald Trump. And I supported Joe Biden in the 2020
election. And frankly, I think that Joe Biden was probably the only candidate in that 2020 election that could've defeated Donald Trump. I
think, you know, if you've gone a couple standard deviations more progressive, it would've been very difficult to pick up a lot of these
I do focus groups all the time with swing voters. I talk to them. And Joe Biden was able to convince people that he was, you know, normal enough that
a lot of these soft Republicans and independent voters felt comfortable with him. And I don't think anybody should downplay that achievement.
And this midterm achievement, I think, is real. You know, I think it's very incredible that the party did that -- did this well. I'm just not sure you
could overread these results as an endorsement of Democrats. I think that you can read them more as a rejection of Donald Trump and the candidates
who were endeavoring to, sort of, imitate him.
I think you're seeing swing voters -- you know, the fundamentals of this elections were terrible for Democrats. Joe Biden's approval ratings were
low. We had high inflation. We are in a rough economic situation. High gas prices. For Democrats to over perform in that environment, is amazing. But
a lot of them were running very far ahead of Joe Biden.
And so, I don't want to not give him credit, but I think that, you know, voters often talk about things in terms of the lesser two evils. And I
think that Republicans just put up such crazy election denying candidates who also happen to be very extreme on abortion. And listening to these
swing voters, they just thought they were too extreme.
And I think that the lesson the Democrats should learn from this is that these swing voters are up for grabs. And if they, you know, push into the
center, to some degree, they can pick them up and they can build a durable majority. And that voters are going to reject extremes on either side and,
sort of, the more candidates that's willing to most -- sort of, tip to the middle is the one that seems to be emerging.
In the primaries, as your -- as the Senator said, it was a vote for sanity against chaos or sort of normality. And I think that's what it is going to
be about going forward.
AMANPOUR: And obviously, Senator, the out polls, or whatever they call, exit polls, suggested that voters did look at the economy. There was
inflation. They just didn't call it Biden's inflation. They thought Biden and the Democrats would handle it better. And they did look at democracy,
and that's a big deal apparently from what we get from those exit interviews.
So, it wasn't -- well, I guess if you -- yes, I mean, Donald Trump is the threat to democracy, so, it's anti-Donald Trump. Do you agree, Senator,
with what Sarah just said, that this an opportunity for, you know, Democrats to seize the swing votes to really govern from the center?
BRAUN: I do, and I think she articulated it very nicely. Thank you very much, Sarah. I don't -- we don't know each other, but she was right on
point with everything she said. And I'm delighted that she said it the way that she did because it makes -- she makes an important point.
The American people want sanity. They want predictability in government. The idea of government by fiat and, I guess -- we don't put up with
dictators in this country. At least we haven't in my lifetime. And so, I think that this really is a vote to stabilize the ship of democracy to make
our government work better, and it will. And I think Joe is doing -- Joe Biden is doing a laudable job. Actually, with all the legislative
accomplishments he's achieved, with the -- his -- with his position on the world state. I mean, he's done a great job so far with those things.
And so, I think this was a vote for normalcy by the American people. And that it happened in Georgia, actually, I think, is astonishing. And again,
back to my dream, the people who had gotten elected before to the United States Senate, well, from Illinois, me, Roland Burris, and Barack Obama.
We're all Illinoisians.
So, Warnock is the first from Georgia, from the deep south to breakthrough and to make -- and it makes a huge difference in the narrative about what's
happened to the black community, what's happening in America, and what's happened with his candidacy. And I just congratulate him. He ran a
brilliant campaign --
AMANPOUR: Yes. Well, listen, we are really grateful to both of you. Really interesting. And, you know, if Republicans and Democrats could get together
the way that you can, maybe we'd have some, you know, hope for the future in terms of real governing. Thank you so much. And on your note, I hope we
can play now before I turn to my next story, the clip of the Senator Walker's victory speech which speaks to exactly what you both just said.
Thank you so much.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARNOCK: After a hard-fought campaign, or should I say campaigns, it is my honor to utter the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy.
That people have spoken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And on that note, a majority in the Senate will bolster President Biden's efforts also to support Ukraine which continues to take
the fight to the Russian invaders while the peoples' fierce resistance continues to inspire.
Today, Time Magazine announced its much-awaited Person of the Year. And that is President Zelenskyy and the spirit of Ukraine. When I recently
spoke to the president alongside the first lady, Olena Zelenska, they told me, Ukrainians will never give up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLENA ZELENSKA, UKRAINIAN FIRST LADY (through translator): There is no fear. There is resilience. There is bravery. All we need is swifter and
powerful support than we're getting now.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): And this dignity, Ukrainian dignity, is very important. And that's why we have this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Resilience indeed.
And while prospects remain dim forgetting Moscow to negotiate a just end to this war, there are regular deals between the two sides on prisoner
exchanges, for instance. Another 60 Ukrainian 60 Russian soldiers were released on Tuesday. And Correspondent Will Ripley met with Ukrainian
servicemen and women as they felt freedom for the first time in a long time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): At an undisclosed location near the Russian border, two buses arrived with 60
Ukrainian soldiers. Prisoners of war just released in POW swap with Russia. Two women, 58 men. Their first minutes of freedom. This marine tells me
about his four-year-old daughter.
It is so emotional, he says. I cannot wait to tell her I love her and that I've missed her so much. Some are parents. Others, grandparents. Most
defenders of Mariupol, the southern Ukrainian port city that fell to the Russians in May.
All of us from Mariupol worry so much, he says. We lost the city. We could not fight them off. We do not know how people will react to us.
They will get a heroes welcome, of course. As we go inside, they each get a cellphone. The first time they have called their families in months.
How's mom? How's dad? He asks. Are they alive?
Their bodies bear the scars of months of captivity.
We didn't have medical treatment, he says.
It has been eight days since he has had a shower.
RIPLEY (on camera): A lot of these guys have physical injuries, scars. But the emotional scars, the mental scars from this kind of hellish ordeal are
going to take even longer to heal.
RIPLEY (voiceover): One of the two rescued women are radio intelligence operator describes months of psychological torture, lies that half of
Ukraine was now part of Russia. Brainwashing, forced to read Russian poetry, sing Russians songs, pledge loyalty to mother Russia.
I wondered, when will this be over, she says.
RIPLEY (on camera): And now you're here.
RIPLEY (voiceover): Sorry for my tears. For this former POW, there are no tears left. Her six-year-old daughter is still in occupied Mariupol. She
has no way to contact her or her husband, a sailor. They surrendered on the same day.
RIPLEY (on camera): How does it feel to be out and know that your husband is still there, still in Russia?
RIPLEY (voiceover): I worry so much about him, she says. They torture men much more than women. She's not ready to talk about how she was physically
treated. She, like everyone here, just wants to see family. Wants to go home. For most, from devastated in occupied Mariupol, going home is not an
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Will Ripley reporting there. Such an important insight.
Meantime, Moscow continues to target Ukraine's key energy infrastructure as winter bites. And Russians are fleeing economic pain as the pressure of
sanctions mounts. Along with the ever-present fear of conscription, it is no wonder then that hundreds of thousands of Russians have left the
My next guest has been in exile since last year. He's the former Russian Deputy Energy Minister, Vladimir Milov, and he is a vocal critic of
President Putin, joining me now from Lithuania.
Vladimir Milov, welcome to the program. When -- you know, you see and you can hear these reports of these prisoner exchanges. And also know that so
many Russians are fleeing Putin's war. What do you make of the fact that Russians are doing that and do you think it'll affect the course of the war
or Putin at all?
VLADIMIR MILOV, RUSSIAN OPPOSITION POLITICIAN AND FORMER RUSSIAN DEPUTY ENERGY MINISTER: Good afternoon. Thanks for having me here. And obviously,
I have to begin with saying that most great majority of the Russian people have never expected any of this. That my country will be involved in such a
horrific genocidal, barbaric aggression against Ukraine. There are dozens of millions of people who are against it, and believe me, they will speak
Yes, some are fleeing and many of those people who are fleeing are afraid of being mobilized than sent to fight against their will to the battle
lines. But there are many more who are forced to stay because they have nowhere to go. Many just don't have international passports to begin with.
And I just want to stress how difficult it is, what horrible conditions they are facing inside this totalitarian regime which is threatening them
with real prison terms just for speaking out against the war.
AMANPOUR: Vladimir Milov, we said that you left, I think around 19 -- 2021. Why did you leave?
Explain the circumstances of what took you from being a deputy energy minister, i.e. in the inner circle, to an opponent, and a critic, and
somebody who is now willing to live in exile?
MILOV: Well, I left the government 20 years ago and has been in vocal opposition since then. I used to work with late Boris Nemtsov with Alexei
Navalny. As a matter of fact, I voted against Putin at the presidential elections back in 2000 when I was a government official. It was possible at
the time. Russia was a relatively free country.
So, what made me leave? You know the story when Alexei Navalny returned and people staged a major protest in Moscow. I had about 20 policemen at my
doorstep waiting for me to get arrested. So, I quickly understood that if I did not flee the country, I will end up in jail just like Alexei Navalny or
Ilya Yashin or Vladimir Kara-Murza, my fellow comrades.
I think and many of us have chosen, and that's the message from Alexei Navalny that we need to prioritize to continue the positive word. We'll --
yes, we serve some time in jail already. We'll yet, probably, have this opportunity again.
But right now, it is important that many prominent oppositioners are staying free and continue working, broadcasting for the Russian audience
and spreading the message of freedom, spreading the message of supporting Ukraine, and ending this horrific war.
AMANPOUR: So, on that level, I then want to ask you about TV Rain. It was of the very, very few independent Russian outlets. It was trying to tell
the truth, obviously, after the war. They left and they set up shop in Latvia. And now, now, just recently over the last few days, their license
has been revoked by that country. And Ukraine and Latvia have, sort of, suggested that they are working to further the Russian war propaganda and
the war aim.
What is going on? Because I've spoken, you know, to the people who run TV Rain and they didn't seem to be wanting to promote any Russian war aims.
MILOV: No, they do not do this at all. TV Rain is the most important independent media outlet which operates from exile. Its audience in Russia
is dozens of millions of people. And it continuously spread's anti-Putin, anti-war messages exactly what we need right now.
Listen, I would just refer to very recently issued statement by European Federation of Journalist which called Latvia to immediately revoke the
decision on suspending TV Rain's license and called it disproportionate and did not really considering the context of what was going on in terms of
I can explain this. It's very simple. In Latvia, there are perpetual tensions between Latvian population and very significant local Russian
population, part of which, unfortunately, happen to be pro-Putin. That, you know, perpetual conflict sparks onto any Russians which are arriving and
maybe couple of times, you know, saying some unfortunate things, doing some slip of the tongue and so on.
So, I think clearly Latvian response was disproportionate and I would stick to the position of the European Federation of Journalists and many other
prominent speakers who say that TV Rain should be allowed to continue to operate.
AMANPOUR: So, you know, we've spoken in the past, to many of the Baltic leaders. And there is a fear of a so-called fifth column. They talk about a
threat to national security, so does Ukraine. Some people have said, you know -- sort of, you know, Russian security, maybe FSB people are
infiltrating defectors. Trying to come and make trouble in these places, as you say, which have sizeable Russian-speaking and Russian leaning
minorities. This is what the Estonian Prime Minister told CNN a few months ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAJA KALLAS, ESTONIAN PRIME MINISTER: Our Russian population is not a homogeneous group and they have different worries. Of course, in the
eastern part of Estonia, there are also people who are more in the propaganda sphere of Russia. So, that they are hearing these narratives
that Russia is presenting. But we are working on keeping our society together. While well we have different views of our past, we have a common
future with those people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, I heard what you said about, you know, about them and they should take the European report about this. Do you not think though that
shutting down something like TV Rain actually helps Russia rather than hurts it?
MILOV: This is exactly right. It is a legitimate security concern about many Russians coming in and some of them probably spreading messages that
help Putin. But, listen, I think that shutting the door and canceling and refusing all Russians, including dozens of millions of pro-democracy
Russians who are opposed to Putin, that's a wrong thing to do. Exactly, this is helping Putin more than doing him harm. This demoralizes a lot of
people who look at Europe as the beacon of hope in this age of darkness.
It also -- I mean, Putin's spokesman, all of the Kremlin propaganda, they were ecstatically happy about Latvia shutting down TV Rain. They say,
listen, we told you, it's not a real democracy. It's the same kinds of censorship, lawless censorship that we have here in Russia. So, that's a
very counterproductive move. I just hope that Latvia reconsiders.
AMANPOUR: Well, to that point, I just want to emphasize what you just said because Putin's own spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said yesterday. It always
seemed to some people that somewhere is better than home. That there is freedom somewhere, but at home, there is no freedom. This is one of the
clearest examples that demonstrates the falsity of such illusions.
So, it is interesting that these, you know, these decisions can have that kind of backlash reaction. But I want to ask you to turn your attention to
the sanctions, et cetera. You know, Putin has said a lot about how actually his economy is fine. That, you know, yes, they have to be a bit, you know,
more careful and vigilant but they're reaping the benefits of the skyrocketing oil prices and the lot.
But others suggest that the sanctions are hurting and will continue to hurt even more. Can you tell me, from your perspective as a former minister and
what you are seeing there, how you think it's affecting them?
MILOV: As a matter of fact, to put it shortly, sanctions are having devastating impact across the board, across all sectors, supply side,
demand contraction, investment like everywhere. And Putin has been only able to stay afloat P.R.-wise because he's been concealing a lot of
statistics, a huge pile of statistics since the beginning of the war.
On top of that, you have a very narrow number of (INAUDIBLE), indicator which are manipulated GDP, unemployment, or Ruble exchange rate. As a
matter fact, Central Bank had shut down completely free convertibility of Ruble, something unseen in more than three decades.
If you look, like, unemployment, on paper, it is lowest on record. But there are about 5 million people, according to official statistics, who are
under hidden forms of unemployment, unpaid, downtime, partial working week, and so on. You see across different indicators, you see major economic
contractions which is significantly higher than the official numbers that are stated by the Russian propaganda.
AMANPOUR: And it appears that Putin has created a new, sort of, council, government coordination council to coordinate supplies for the army and the
like. Because either it's sanctions or generations of mismanagement but we can see the lack of everything for Russians in the field. What is the
future, do you think, from your knowledge inside, for Russia if this war continues for even, you know, six more months?
MILOV: Yes, it's an important point that you mentioned this wartime council. We're effectively moving towards a wartime redistribution economy.
Something very similar, in a lot of ways, that what the Soviet economy what was.
So, forget private ownership. Forget private investment. And obviously, we're really heading towards government taking the -- all of the commanding
hides (ph). And the economy, nationalizing the essence of foreign investors and redistributing profits and so on. We remember how this happened in
1980s. Actually, this command administrative economy have led Soviet Union to an utter collapse.
And the -- you know, the progression of negativity in various economic indicators across the board is a sign that the remaining market economy,
which still exist in Russia, takes these signals very, very negatively. We will always see further downturn in months and years to come. Again, if
this war continues and if this interventionist economic policies continue.
AMANPOUR: Thank you so much for your insights. Vladimir Milov, thank you for joining us.
Now, As Russians are standing against Putin's authoritarian rule, our next guest is no stranger to taking on dictators. Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa is
a journalist and fearless defender of freedom. Exposing corruption and abusive power in the Philippines. She joins Michel Martin to discuss her
new book, "How to Stand Up to a Dictator", and offers ways to fight authoritarianism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Maria Ressa, thank you so much for joining us.
MARIA RESSA, AUTHOR, "HOW TO STAND UP TO A DICTATOR", JOURNALIST AND CEO OF RAPPLER: Thanks for having me, Michel.
MARTIN: I do want to say, congratulations on the Nobel Peace Prize. It is a great honor and very much deserved. And your new book is about "How to
Stand Up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future". You talk about just how difficult the fight has been for journalists around the world. And also, it
has to be said for you and for your colleagues in the Philippines.
I mean, the book is sort of, I would say, a memoir and a manifesto. And it tells the story of your love and commitment to journalism, but it a warning
to the rest of the world that what you've been experiencing in the Philippines is spreading, is coming for the rest of the world. Why do you
say that the Philippines is the canary in the coal mine and that democracies around the world need to pay attention to what has happened
RESSA: It already has spread all around the world. I mean, just look at what happened in the United States on January 6th. And then look at the
kinds of the way identity politics has been hit with information operations splintering American society. It is almost like when you look at what has
happened, you have Russian disinformation, and information operations able to go to the molecular level of American democracy.
This is what has happened anywhere around the world where these American social media platforms -- now you got -- you're going to have to add
TikTok, but where the technology has insidiously manipulated us. And the book lays out all the data. It is evidence-based, our discovery of it. But
essentially, where we are living today, is a world that is completely upside down because what is rewarded are lies when.
And so, when news organizations lost our gatekeeping powers to technology. Technology abdicated responsibility. Not only did it not distinguish
between fact and fiction, it actually prioritized the spread of lies over these really boring facts.
And beyond that, you know, why? Why did it do that? Because in the end, in an attention (ph) economy, the end goal is to keep the reader, the viewer,
the watcher scrolling, right. So, there's mild addiction that's there. You have elevated levels of dopamine, the part of our brain, the amygdala which
triggers fear, anger, hate. Us against them.
I would argue it's the worst of humanity. That this is what is rewarded. And then what happens to societies when that happens? These three sentences
I've said repeatedly in the last six or seven years. When you don't have facts, you don't have truth. Without the truth, you can't have trust.
Without these three, we have no shared reality. We cannot solve any problems and you cannot have democracy.
And what we're seeing globally is a rollback of democracy, back to 1989 levels. You have 60 percent of the world now living under autocratic rule
and we still keep having elections, right? So, the transformation is happening in front of our eyes.
MARTIN: So, Maria, go back to the Philippines, if you would. How did you see this start to take hold? And why did it start to take hold so
thoroughly in the Philippines? I mean, is it because Filipinos, for whatever reason, have been very diligent adopters of social media?
RESSA: We're first adopters. You know, in -- we were -- before social media, we were the texting capital of the world, SMS, short messages. We
were among the first to go mobile first. And then with social media, as early as 2017, 97 percent of Filipinos on the internet are on social media.
Today, it is 100 percent.
So, the 100 percent of Filipinos on the internet are on Facebook. Facebook is our internet. So, this is part of what you see. And then because Rappler
was born on Facebook and we monitor the data that comes through, we can see the behavior that it encourages, right. Like, I was a reporter at a time
when governments would talk about the CNN effect, this is before 1996. Well, now we have social media impact. And it is not in one country. It is
global. And the impact tears down shared reality. It tears down democracies.
MARTIN: The people with autocratic impulses in the Philippines, did they see what you saw or was this just a happy accident for them? Do you see
what I'm saying? Like, how is it that their impulses were the ones that took hold as opposed to others, as opposed to pro-democracy, pro-civil
RESSA: It's because of the incentive structure, right. What -- I think, the Duterte force, so this was around 2015, 2014. 2015 was when news
organizations lost our gatekeeping powers detach (ph). And what wound up happening is that it's, kind of, like throwing spaghetti against the wall.
There were a lot of Filipinos on social media. Before social media, before Facebook, it was Multiply.
And so, then the -- it became a large group of people that were then first for entertainment and then shifted to politics. And this is part of what I
laid out in the book. How did it happen? How did we discover it? Who discovered this? And how did young kids work in a political campaign and
shift, you know, drugs, for example, was a number eight concern during our 2016 campaign. And because it was a key concern for Rodrigo Duterte who was
then a mayor, it rose to number one, largely with the help of social media.
So, it's the same thing. It's -- bottom up, you know, they -- there were lies, half-truths that were pounded, metanarratives that were pounded
online for a year. And then the same thing would come top down from the campaign or from the president himself. In our case, I was targeted with a
metanarrative that I was a criminal.
Filipinos -- some Filipinos believe I'm a criminal, right, because then a year later, President Duterte says the exact same thing. Reinforces the lie
and says it in his State of the Nation Address. And then that's quickly followed a week later by the first criminal charges, the investigations. We
had 14 investigations in 2017, 2018. By 2019, I was getting arrested, like, I think I had 10 arrest warrants in less than two years starting in 2019.
MARTIN: So, you are obviously seeing what was going on with former president Trump --
MARTIN: -- who became a very aggressive user of Twitter to demean lots of different people, but particularly journalists.
MARTIN: Whom he repeatedly called them sick or, you know, enemies of the people, and so forth. But the question I have for you is, you know, why do
people believe that because it wouldn't work if people just dismissed it?
RESSA: Well, you have to look at the technology separate from the content, right. There is -- in the Nobel lecture, and this is part of the date that
I included in the book, it is very clear that it is a behavior modification system. That's why I started with, what are the algorithms pushing? What
kind of behavior is rewarded, right?
So, when -- I mean, Duterte was Trump before Trump was Trump. If you really, look at it this way, right? And what did it reward? When Duterte
attacked, that was rewarded. You know, it was -- I mean, there are all sorts of new words that came out of this. Gaslighting, right? Information
When President Duterte, in July 8th -- and I will never forget this. I wake up and President Duterte attacks me. And I wake up to this and it gets
viral spread on social media. And when that happens, it's almost like a brigade coming at you, pounding you. It's not -- it isn't something like,
you know, in the physical world where there are people in the room and people realize, oh, that's not civilized. I'm not going to do that. It
isn't like that. This is programed.
The algorithms of distribution choose. And that's the incentive structure they put in place. So, someone like Duterte got tremendous reach,
tremendous distribution, and as the government -- and this is something that laid -- is laid out in the book, you can see that both Duterte and
Marcos information operations worked hand in hand. These networks worked together.
And they would have -- they would, for example, be told, oh, let -- attack Michel today. Choose her post. This is the post. Attack it in one spot. And
this is how you're going to attack it. And it comes. But that kind of attack becomes personal. It is information warfare.
MARTIN: You know, you've actually talked to Mark Zuckerberg about this, the founder of Facebook. You've actually spoke to him about this and you've
laid all this out for him. What did he say when you did?
RESSA: I think the main problem is that the company and Mark and the officers there, because he certainly has the final say on everything,
they're so focused on growth, you know. One of the sayings he used is company over country. They're so focused on growth and it is clear, it is
at great cost.
And the harms which these reports started coming out in 2016, it was very clear what was happening in the Philippines, you know, it took five years
to come out with a policy that addressed the kinds of attacks we were getting in the Philippines where, you know, it's not inauthentic behavior.
They're not fake accounts. They're real people that are attacking you on command, and it's called brigading.
And it wasn't until December last year -- yes. December 2021, that, you know -- I mean, when did I first feel it? 2016, 2017, and December 2021 was
when -- in the meantime, here I am, battered. So, I think part of it is that unless you are under attack, you don't feel it. You don't see all the
attacks. You will see a fraction of the attacks if you were to search for me. But I can see it, I can pull the data, and that's part of what's given
me the certainty.
I think the other part is even for men who aren't attacked, gender disinformation is a new tool against women, against LGBTQ. If you are
marginalized in the real world, there is something that gives permission for certain viciousness that comes at you at exponential pace.
And until you're targeted, you don't know this, but the impact again is three ways, right. It's personal, psychological. It's groups, it changes
group dynamics. It's sociological. And then finally, it is emergent human behavior. It is the worst of us that is encouraged. That is what is shaping
our future, I think it's extremely alarming.
MARTIN: Your online news site, Rappler. You've mentioned Rappler several time, you're one of the founders. You know, it's been a leader in exposing
corruption and malfeasance within the government. But Rappler's early use of Facebook kind of helped to fuel its growth. So, if you could go back in
time, is there anything you would do differently?
RESSA: I would sound the alarm much sooner because you know I gave Facebook the benefit of the doubt. I mean, I still continue to give them
the benefit of the doubt. But I know that the inertia to stay with a business model that has frankly killed democracy in different parts of the
world, has sparked violence in different countries around the world. I think this is something that I wish I had known a little bit sooner.
But, you know, having said that, Facebook, YouTube, Google, Twitter, these are going to be part of the solution. They have to be. It doesn't all drop.
And what I'm hoping to do what the book is really to show you our discovery of this. And also, to show you how simple it could be.
On January 6th, Facebook did something that they could do and this is to turn up the news ecosystem quality. It's one -- it was one of their great
glass measures, you know, when the violence happened, everyone was scared. And so, what they did, they turned up quality news, essentially, like a
And when they did that on crowd tangle, you can see NPR, New York Times, CNN, right? You could see quality news come up. And they kept that on for a
few weeks. But then they realized they made marginally less money. I mean, why would a company that controls the public sphere let that little amount
of money control the future of democracies? I think these are some of the things we -- that could be easily done in tools they already have, the news
MARTIN: Do you take any comfort from the fact that in Brazil, say, Jair Bolsonaro was defeated. In the United States, former President Trump was
defeated. In France, for example, the far-right party did not prevail. Much of the world has organized itself to resist Vladimir Putin's predations in
Ukraine. Does that suggest -- what does this tell you?
RESSA: It's not as bad as you feared, but it is still going on, right. Jair Bolsonaro only lost by one percent. The statistical surveys actually
had him losing by far more. So, you know, Brazil shifted slightly because civil society came out. In the United States, you know, the death by 1,000
cuts is still continuing because the -- our data, our private thoughts, you know, the clone of us that each of these social media platforms has is
still being used to microtarget, is still being used to change our behavior.
So, I think, in my case, what we see is I continue to warn you. The system is flawed. It's like, the factory is still spewing out things that will
kill us. We are still getting cut and we're ignoring each cut because we're saying, oh, it wasn't as bad as it was. I mean, your 2024 elections, the
2024 elections will be pivotal because there are three key elections that year.
And if the United States, if nothing has shifted in our information ecosystem and we continue the same trend, it's going to be very close.
The problem hasn't been solved. And the only way to solve it -- look, there's three ways. In the long term, it's really education. Our people
need to know they're being insidiously manipulated. In the medium term, the government needs to jump in and actually legislate, right.
This is -- I mean, should it be legal that I am hit with at least 90 hate messages per hour with information operations? I have evidence the
information operations comes from China. And that's the medium term. Legislation, in the short term, it's hand-to-hand combat. It is trying to
figure out to stop being a user or a consumer and be a citizen.
Look, the reality is that America has long known that it has been the target of information operations. I mean, there's s 1000-page Mueller
report that lay -- set out. There's so many footnotes there. And yet, has anyone held -- been held accountable? Has there been justice? And I think
that's what we struggle with. The January 6th Committee has come through and it's moving slowly. But even as your solving January 6, 2021, it is
still moving forward, in the same thing, we are still bleeding out.
MARTIN: Before I let you go, Maria, what are you going to do? I mean, the fact is you are still in legal jeopardy if you go back to the Philippines,
RESSA: I will keep working. We keep working. Because the end goal of all these attacks is to stop us from doing our jobs. And I feel like, you know,
I try to swat away the Damocles sword. My team in Rappler, we know that it's critical to do our job well now.
And I think whether or not I go to jail will depend on what I do now. I haven't done anything wrong. I'm a journalist. Very proud of it. I think
there's, you know, the standards and ethics of journalism of CNN, which is where I grew up, this made me who I am. And at a time when the mission
matters, we'll continue doing our jobs.
MARTIN: Maria Ressa, thank you so much for talking with us today.
RESSA: Thank you so much for having me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And the Philippine government is still piling on. Maria Ressa faces what her lawyers call, Trumped up charges of tax offenses and cyber
And finally, tune in tomorrow for my conversation with Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, "The New York Times" journalists who helped bring down Harvey
Weinstein by exposing his decades of sex abuse in Hollywood. Plus, actress Zoe Kazan, star of "She Said". The new movie based on their investigation.
They tell me what it was like to see this reporting make it to the big screen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JODI KANTOR, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: We wanted to take everybody on a journey back to the beginning and the early days of the
investigation. The very first hushed phone calls with actresses. The feeling that it might be that even if we published something, people
wouldn't necessarily care. The, sort of, last minute confrontations with Harvey Weinstein. The difficulty of doing a story like this.
ZOE KAZAN, ACTRESS, "SHE SAID": I think for all of us working on this film, we felt missionized to tell the story, not because it was about our
industry but because it reflects a problem in our larger society. As you see in the film, the aim of this reporting was greater, at least that's how
it felt to me. And I think the impact of the reporting has echoed far beyond our industry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Amazing women. Amazing work. That's tomorrow.
That's it for now. If you ever missed our show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. On your screen now is a QR
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Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.