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Interview with U.S. National Security Council Former Director of Border Management and Vice President Andrea R. Flores, Interview with "The Cranes Call" Director Laura Warner; Interview with "The Cranes Call" Executive Producer Evan Williams; Interview with Center for American Women and Politics Director Debbie Walsh. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired June 05, 2024 - 13:00   ET




BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: There is a worldwide migrant crisis. And if the United States doesn't secure our border, there's no limit to the number of

people who may try to come here.


GOLODRYGA: Biden takes executive action on the border. We delve into what it means for people there and for election year politics.

Then --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just explain that we already documented several cases where they executed local people. Tell them that we need anything. Call

signs or names or whatever they might have.


GOLODRYGA: -- "The Cranes Call," a new film charts one woman's fight for justice in Ukraine.

Also, ahead --


DEBBIE WALSH, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR AMERICAN WOMEN AND POLITICS: This just may be a reminder of what you get when you get a Donald Trump presidency.


GOLODRYGA: Michel Martin speaks to Debbie Walsh, head of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University about how Donald Trump's

conviction may influence women voters.

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.

It is a major election issue, immigration. And now, President Biden is taking action. New restrictions came into effect almost immediately

overnight. They see migrants who cross the southern U.S. border illegally barred from seeking asylum once a daily threshold is reached. Biden said he

was left with no choice but to take executive action, blaming Republicans for blocking a bipartisan border deal.

As crossings surge to record highs late last year, it's a huge shift for the Democratic Party, who for years criticized President Trump's policies

on immigration. Of course, beyond the politics are real people at the border. The American Civil Liberties Union says Biden's move will "put

thousands of lives at risk."

Here to discuss is Andrea Flores, former deputy director for the Policy for the ACLU's Equality Division and former adviser to President Obama and

President Biden on immigration policy. Andrea Flores, thank you so much for joining the program.

Obviously, your views on this are pretty apparent. You've been disappointed by this executive order. You've written an opinion piece about it in "The

New York Times." I want get to that in a moment. But first, let's just begin with what drove this action from the president now.

Cynics will say that this is simply a political stunt by the president, given that his approval ratings on immigration specifically are very low,

around 28 percent. Others say that he had no alternative, given that he had a Congress that was not willing to act, even though there was a bipartisan,

tough -- some of the toughest legislation ever presented available, and a speaker who was not willing to push it forward.


the Biden administration, President Biden has faced major challenges with the border and this issue. And part of that is simply because Migration

levels are higher than they have been in a very long-time post-pandemic, post, you know, economic collapse in many countries along sort of the

migratory route in Latin America, Central America.

But, you know, he had other options other than to pursue an order right now that would shut down asylum in a much more restrictive way than he has in

the past. And as a great example, you can look at his own work that his team did by negotiating with Mexico after the last big surge in border

crossings, and they actually helped reach an agreement with Mexico that led to a decrease by over 50 percent in an unauthorized border crossings. So,

that's where we've been actually, the last five months.

So, it's kind of an open question as to why he chose to issue yet another restrictive ban when we've looked at the past three years, these types of

bands rarely work. We saw -- he kept Title 42, which was just as an expansive of an asylum ban, and we actually saw the highest numbers for the

last three years in the past decade.

So, these are policies that really lead to the same kinds of results as you actually saw him get by using foreign policy tools to address migration

that way. So, it's probably not the right approach to border politics and fixing the issue, but it's also why we're arguing that he needs to broaden

out the conversation on immigration to also talk about the things he's doing to help immigrants who are here today.


GOLODRYGA: But if a legal boarding -- a border crossing surpassed 2,500, which they have throughout most of his presidency, we saw what, 3,500 just

earlier this week, is that not viewed, in your opinion, as a crisis? Because as you noted, in your view, there are alternative options for the

president that that were -- you said that there are some options that were already going into effect and working. That doesn't seem to be the case,

though, just looking at the numbers themselves,

FLORES: It's a great question on numbers. So, I've been on the record. It is a crisis. It actually has been for the last 10 years, right? That

started under President Obama. It got worse under President Trump. And it's continued to be an upward trend in migration. So, there's no question that

policy action is actually needed here, but it's a question of which policies actually have the evidence behind them to fix the problem, right?

So, we're not arguing that he should not address the border crisis or talk about the importance of border security or really short vulnerabilities on

this issue, but why isn't he talking about his own policy? So, he created pearl options for some of the highest sort of nationalities that were

crossing the border.

So, let's take Venezuela. For example, 8 million people are displaced right now from Venezuela. That's a huge number and it's why we're seeing such a

high number of border crossings these past three years from Venezuelans. He created an option for them. Instead of having to use a smuggler, instead of

them having to come up to the border, he created a pathway that allowed them to apply for temporary legal status in the United States, come with an

American sponsor and, you know, fly into the U.S.

And those -- that was a much better option, say, than just simply restricting them from coming to the border and seek asylum. And what you

saw when that policy went into place, and he expanded it to three other nationalities, that also decreased unauthorized crossings.

So, we're living in an outdated place on sort of border security policy and tools. Asylum bans have failed the last 10 years, and so many of us are

just asking for him to take a better evidence-based approach to solving the border crisis.

GOLODRYGA: It's also the question of where these people go, where these migrants go. They don't just disappear. It is much easier for them to go

back to Mexico, to go back to some Central American countries like Guatemala and Honduras who already have people provisions in place to take

them back. That's not necessarily the case, though, as you mentioned with Venezuela.

And now, we're seeing many coming from far away countries, Africa, for example, where there is no deal on the table. It's very difficult in

reality to send these migrants back to their home countries. There's just news today that Mexico and the United States are nearing an agreement for

non-Mexican migrants to be deported directly to their home countries other than Mexico. I'm not sure what that looks like, given that many of these

countries don't have these types of agreements with the U.S.

FLORES: This is such a great question. And when we just talk about border numbers, what we miss is the fact that, exactly to your point, different

nationalities get treated differently at our border, which makes it really, really hard to set border policies that will impact everyone in the same

way, which is exactly why you do want fewer people having to access our immigration system at the border.

So, for example, if Congress, as I point out in the piece I wrote, they have not meaningfully changed who actually gets to come to the U.S. since

1990. So, we are going on decades of not updating visa categories for employers, for families, for people seeking, you know, protection, whether

through asylum or the refugee program.

So, we are using an outdated system. And there's no -- it's no wonder why we're seeing people from around the world who can't get a visa, who --

there's no line for them to join. You see them now using the asylum system at our border. That's a bad outdated situation.

But the problem with the current order policy conversation is just that we keep talking only about ending asylum. We're not talking about building out

the pathways that we actually want as a country because we want immigrants for labor shortages, to reverse population decline. We have real national

needs here. But if we're only talking about asylum, we're missing the whole bigger picture.

GOLODRYGA: I want to get to your piece in "The New York Times" where you say that President Biden is falling into a trap laid out for him by

Republicans. Explain what you mean by that.

FLORES: It's a real win if immigration is only defined by what's happening at the border, right? It means that President Biden doesn't get to talk

about DACA recipients and DREAMers and all of the ways they've contributed to our country for the last 12 years. It means he doesn't get to talk about

the horrors of family separation in some ways because he's talking instead about what he will do or not do differently at the border.

He's not talking about the fact that, you know, President Trump restricted legal immigration, and that had a huge economic impact on let's look at

university towns. President Trump tried to fully ban international students from coming to the United States. There was a huge outcry over that.


And so, if you flatten immigration, you're not talking about all the different ways immigrants already live in our communities, already work and

contribute, then you are losing the conversation because Trump will always go further to the right than President Biden on the border. He will always

offer a more cruel alternative.

What President Biden can do of what he campaigned on in 2020, in which President Obama did, was he said, we have had long time undocumented, you

know, members of our communities and I'm going to keep fighting for -- not just going to secure the border.

So, I talk about the fact that President Biden can right now help up to like 1 million American families, particularly married couples who cannot

adjust their status. So, undocumented spouses who could adjust their status, if not for our outdated immigration laws that have not been updated

since 1990. President Biden can actually give them temporary admission and help them get a work permit. And in many cases, help them actually access

that back to citizenship.

These are powers that President Bush used, that President Obama used. So, we're really just making an argument that there has to be something also

protected for the immigrants who are here today and for the undocumented, because they're part of the Democratic Party base, right? Democrats always

say we are going to keep fighting for the undocumented, who have been waiting and waiting across multiple presidential administrations.

But luckily, President Biden does have options. He's already used some of them like temporary protected status. He could use more of them, but he

still has time. And I think that, you know, President Trump is not going to talk about protecting American citizens and their spouses. He's going to

talk about tearing those families apart.

GOLODRYGA: And you're saying he can do this unilaterally because, obviously, you need Congress to provide a permanent path to citizenship

here. And just in terms of the timing, is this something realistically, do you think, that would be smart for him to do politically, given that the

two, Biden and Trump, are polling neck and neck. This is a top issue for many voters. Democrats have seen to be weaker on this issue historically,

and we're just months away from the election.

FLORES: I think it's a huge political advantage. Look, when President Obama, in 2012, also in the middle of a re-election year, did something

immensely bold by creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or the DACA program, helping once again up to around 1 million people who now,

over the course of 12 years, started families, they've started businesses, they're really, you know, contributing to our economy in enormous ways.

It is popular to help the undocumented family members of American citizens, because let's consider the alternative. In this election, he can really

draw a contrast and say, I, as president right now, will protect your family and I will give them a more stable status, and I will protect them

against, you know, political candidates like Donald Trump whose sole goal is to, you know, take -- there's 4 million American citizen children who

have undocumented parents right now. Imagine the human toll of President Trump coming in and doing what he has promised to do.

So, the question is, what is Biden promising to do to stabilize -- take care of those children, take care of those family members? And, you know,

we just want to show a policy that's -- an immigration policy that's better aligned with our party's values.

GOLODRYGA: I'm wondering --

FLORES: Look at the impact of only talking about the border for the last three years, I'll just say you saw no protections for the undocumented for

the first time in 20 years in the Senate border bill, right? So, you lose momentum in making the argument of why immigrants need to be protected now.

GOLODRYGA: I'm wondering if the mood in the country notwithstanding, you know, where Republicans are, but even among Democrats, if it has shifted a

bit further to the right on this issue. Yes, there are progressives who are disappointed and have spoken out against this executive order, but you have

many Democrats, like from Hakeem Jeffries to those in border states, Sherrod Brown is another example of a senator who have come out in support

of this. Many are pointing to the campaign that New York Representative Tom Suozzi led as sort of a blueprint moving forward.

So, how does that align with where you're saying he should be going? Because it seems you're pointing to examples that worked maybe four years

ago, eight years ago, but today perhaps are not the most enticing even for middle of the line Democrats.

FLORES: There's no question that the politics on immigration have shifted, and there's been a very direct cause, which is if Democrats don't have a

vision for how to make the border safer, more orderly, how they get people to comply with current law, then you've seen what we've seen the last three

years, right, which are horrible conditions at the border, which are, you know, a new crisis in cities that are ill-equipped and not receiving

federal support to manage new arrivals. Those have real consequences to the politics of this issue.


But as someone who's been in this space, you know, through this massive shift, what shocks me andgives me hope today is that there is still

bipartisan support to protect the undocumented. That's very significant, right, in poll after poll. You even see Trump voters pulling in favor of

saying, we still need to protect the undocumented.

So, these recommendations are actually very in line with saying, you can be for border security. Now, as a border expert, I might recommend different

policy solutions. But aside from that, you could also and should be for protecting the long time undocumented in this country, because it's

politically popular.

And you saw Tom Suozzi actually do this in his own tough reel -- in his special election. He didn't just talk about the border. That gets a little

bit lost. He paired it. He said, I want to advance border security, and I also want to create legal pathways and protect the undocumented. That's a

two-part message, and that's exactly how -- why, you know, we're advocating for President Biden to do the same.

GOLODRYGA: We mentioned your affiliation with the ACLU. So, I don't have to tell you that the ACLU has already threatened legal action following

this executive order. We know that the court struck down a similar provision taken by President Trump in 2018.

Now, the Biden administration says that its asylum ban is different from Trump's. They've taken more nuance, more provisions and more exceptions for

humanitarian emergencies and that this can be toggled on and off as opposed to just a flat order. Given that, do you think that the courts will uphold

this executive order or do you think that they also will turn it away?

FLORES: So, it's hard to predict in this current legal environment that we're in. I will say the text of the law is really clear. So, you know, it

says you can apply for asylum regardless of where along the border you enter.

Now, maybe that should be changed and I think Democrats should consider, you know, the ways we operationalize the asylum system and to make it far

more orderly than we've seen it. But if we are saying, you know, you support the rule of law, you cannot just ignore a whole statute that lays

out the fact that people are permitted to seek asylum regardless of how they enter.

And so, what the Biden administration is doing is trying to create restrictions and completely block people from access to asylum. So, it's a

tough legal argument that this is much different than what Trump did.

GOLODRYGA: Yes. Andrea Flores, thank you so much for your time today. We appreciate it.

FLORES: Thank you so much.

GOLODRYGA: Well, just hours after announcing that executive action on immigration, President Biden left Washington for Paris, touching down in

France for a five-day trip to celebrate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the historic day when U.S. and allied forces stormed French beaches from air

and sea in World War II. Obviously, a pivotal step in liberating Europe for Nazi Germany.

But amidst the celebration, there is a diplomatic agenda too as the president seeks to deepen ties with European allies in the face of growing

Russian aggression. He'll be meeting with Ukraine's President Zelenskyy to discuss the state of play. And Melissa Bell joins us now from Normandy.

Melissa, you, I'm told, are at Gold Beach, a beautiful picture there behind you. Talk to us more about what. You're seeing what you're hearing.

MELISSA BELL, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the beach amongst the Normandy beaches, Bianna, where some of those servicemen

arrived 80 years ago tomorrow. That's what all of these people out here are celebrating. The sacrifices that were made here on Gold Beach by British

soldiers further down Juno that way, Omaha the other way, where so many American servicemen and women died.

And Harry here is very kind -- and kindly allowed us onto his vehicle. This is one of those that was used on D-Day. There are a lot of Dutch people as

well here paying homage to the Dutch servicemen who lost their lives and who fought so bravely on that day.

And really, what's been extraordinary these last couple of days is seeing how many people have come out bravely to mark this event. Of course, as you

said, the heads of state will be here. President Zelenskyy is coming. Joe Biden is already here. The French president has been making speeches

throughout the day across Normandy to pay homage to the very many tens of thousands of civilian victims.

But this is really about marking our respects to those servicemen, specifically those who came from the United States, came to a country

they'd never seen to liberate a people they hadn't known. And I think that's something we're likely to hear a great deal from the president --

the American president about, the sort of historical line that can be drawn before -- between what was done on these beaches 80 years ago tomorrow by

these very young men in the name of freedom, all that followed throughout the Cold War -- historical line that the American president is going to

want to draw.


And we have here, in Normandy, over the course of these couple of days of events -- served. Of course, they're very old now. The youngest, Bianna,

are 96. And they go out --

GOLODRYGA: Yes, sadly, we've lost Melissa's incredibly beautiful live shot there. Quite phenomenal to see her on that jeep there as she walked us

through the events playing out today. Obviously, highlighting the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Our thanks to Melissa Bell for joining us from


Well, as world leaders reflect on the sacrifices made 80 years ago in Normandy, many look to Ukraine as a reminder of the ongoing battle to

protect democracy. Its resistance to Russia's invasion is at a dark moment. After a surprise attack on Northeastern Kharkiv last month opened up a new


Meanwhile, there are critical efforts underway to investigate and document the horrors happening on the ground. A new documentary, "The Cranes Call,"

focuses on women doing just that.

Long time human rights expert Anya Neistat, alongside her Ukrainian colleague Solomiia Stasiv. Here's a clip from the film in which they visit

a mass burial site in Izyum.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know that there were some bodies found there with signs of executions, kind of hands tied behind and signs of torture. We

need to find the families who can talk about it.


GOLODRYGA: Well, joining me now from London is the film's director, Laura Warner, and executive producer, Evan Williams. Welcome, both of you.

Congratulations, really, on a stunning piece of work. Obviously, this is something so recent, as we're commemorating 80 years ago today, or

tomorrow, actually, in Normandy, to now reflect on a war that's just two years, but still ongoing.

And given all the technology we have now to document some of the same war crimes, sadly, that we've seen in wars of the past, thanks in large part to

the women that we see in this film, largely led by Anya. Laura, tell us more about Anya.

LAURA WARNER, DIRECTOR, "THE CRANES CALL": I mean, Anya is an extraordinary human being. She's been documenting Putin's war crimes for

the last 20 years. So, she has been documenting war crimes in Chechnya and Georgia and Syria. And as soon as the war broke out in Ukraine, Anya said,

we need to go onto the ground. We know that war crimes will be committed, and we need to be there to document them. And that's exactly what she did.

And, you know, we're really privileged that she allowed us to come along and document her work while she was on the ground, putting together these

quite extraordinary lawsuits.

GOLODRYGA: Anya herself, being of Russian heritage, being born in Russia, her family has a history being human rights crusaders. Obviously, that was

a different time in the country. She says she no longer recognizes Russia today. You portray that in the film as well. She's left the country and now

has returned to living in Ukraine, actually, after living in Paris as she continues her important work in Ukraine.

Evan, the film opens with a staggering number, over 120,000 potential documented war crimes reported. How did this particular project come to you

and talk about your vision in seeing it through?

EVAN WILLIAMS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "THE CRANES CALL": Well, when Russia invaded Ukraine, as filmmakers, we all got together and discussed we wanted

to do something on what was going on. And the big question was what would be the most appropriate and the best way forward?

Many films were being made about the actual conflict and the fighting. And then through context, we discovered that the Clooney Foundation for Justice

had this project up and running through Anya and that they very generously accepted our application for exclusive access to Anya and her team as they

then went through the process of that extensive war crimes investigation.

Our commitment was to be with them from the beginning all the way through as much as we could, on the ground with them at every point and to follow

through the process and to present to the world what it was that they are trying to do with not just the investigation, but also in the way they're

presenting the findings to criminal courts across Europe.

And the hope is that they can open up these cases under what's called universal jurisdiction. These are criminal cases that will then go forward,

and that Russians -- the Russian commanders and soldiers will be on notice that they could be facing criminal charges, criminal courts, in European

criminal courts, and that this in a way may curtail, if not prevent future war crimes from occurring.


GOLODRYGA: A very difficult task at hand. Obviously, it's laudable for her to be doing, she and others that you've worked with to do the work they've

been doing. But it's very difficult, not only to get brave witnesses to come forward, but to find concrete evidence as well.

And it was interesting at one point in the film where Anya is quoted as saying that she's never seen so much evidence laid out, left behind, by

some of these Russian soldiers. I want to play a moment from the film where she and her partner, another Ukrainian, who was her translator and played

an important role in these investigations, actually came upon some of that evidence.


SOLOMIIA STASIV, PROJECT COORDINATOR, CLOONEY FOUNDATION: Oh my God, this -- I found something really good for you here. You're really going to like

it. Look.

ANYA NEISTAT, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Here, there are call signs, names. Some numbers. I mean, we need to go through it. But in theory, something

like that could help us to establish who were the people and units that were involved in the executions that we've just documented.

STASIV: So, we found the list. They wrote places, like areas or towns or villages. And then on the right side, code names.

NEISTAT: Does piece of paper identify the commander of the 4th Battalion?

STASIV: You know what? That's a freaking goldmine.


GOLODRYGA: It's a freaking goldmine to quote Solomiia. Laura, walk us through what Solomiia and Anya actually discovered there.

WARNER: I mean, in that particular instance, it was a former school that the Russians had used as a base in a place called Izyum. And we arrived in

Izyum literally two days after the Ukrainian soldiers had liberated it from the Russians. So, it was -- you know, everybody was very traumatized. It

was a very difficult place for everybody to be working, Anya and ourselves included.

And what they were trying to do was to find and document war crimes that had happened on the ground while the Russians had been there. And one of

the cases that we discovered was of a Ukrainian writer and he had been abducted and ultimately executed by the Russians. And we spoke to his

mother. And Anya then basically went on the trail to try and find out what had happened to him, you know, who had taken him, what they had done to


Because ultimately, until they can actually ascertain who the individuals were on the ground that had committed this crime and who their commanders

are, they don't have a case. And so, in many ways, although, you know, this film is set in a war zone, this is kind of -- it's much more of a, sort of,

crime drama, a crime thriller in many ways because they are literally looking for evidence on the ground of who has done it.

And, you know, there is the added threesome, of course, that anybody that decides to work with Anya and take their cases forward will ultimately be

standing up in the public eye and saying, you know, I want accountability from Putin and his commanders.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, and you portray that so effectively in this documentary. At times it does feel like a real thriller. And this particular writer, a

famous poet, whose death they tried to seek justice for and learn more about. I just have to say I commend you for just giving him so much justice

and such a beautiful way of really honoring his work and life in this film.

Evan, you've covered other war stories and the war crimes that have come out of them in some of your work. I'm just wondering where this particular

war and some of the work that Anya and her team uncovered, where that and how that stacks up in the sense of just the evidence that they were able to


WILLIAMS: Absolutely. And as Laura says, I've been blown away working with Anya and Solomiia and the team, following the way that they then approach

these situations. They've got to do it in a way which is very open-minded and yet very professional. They can't get emotionally engaged in these

things because they've got to acquire the information and the evidence in a certain way, which will then eventually be presented in courts.

So, being part of that process for the first time was a real eye-opener to me, about how these things actually work, what you actually need, how you

then go after the perpetrators, what information you need to put that case together.


Normally, I've been in situations, for example, similar mass war crime situations where it's very much after the event. People are very

traumatized. They remember, half remember things. There's no documentary evidence often about what happened. And so, you have to piece it together

in that way. But this is following people who are then getting the documentary evidence with the witness statements. Then all the open-source

information, all the extra details they can get to put it together in a case.

And following that process, I think, has been really amazing from a filmmaking point of view. And I must say also, Solomiia there is very much

the Ukrainian heart of the investigation. During the course of the filming, she started off not being involved in this sort of thing at all. Anya then

brought her on board, and she very quickly became a very important and integral part of the investigation.

And of course, through her eyes, as you see in the documentary, she's living and breathing the daily terrors and the conflicts of living in the

war zone that all the Ukrainians are living every day.

GOLODRYGA: And Solomiia, I have to say, I have a special place in my heart for her as well.

WARNER: We all do.

GOLODRYGA: Hearing her singing Bob Marley is just a really poignant moment in this documentary. And, Laura, as much as Anya and even Solomiia are

focused on doing their work and trying not to become too emotionally involved, the fact that you're able to win the trust of some of these

victims to come forward, to tell their stories as they seek justice, especially for someone like Anya, who Russian-born, right, and getting them

to trust her with their stories, with their dignity, that is really admirable. And that is something that you highlight in this film as well.

She asked them numerous times, are you OK if you're on film? Can we use your name? And they were all determined to tell their stories because,

again, they want to hold those perpetrators accountable.

WARNER: I mean, it was -- when we first started -- when -- I say we first started filming, but obviously were filming Anya arriving in Ukraine at the

very beginning of the full-scale invasion. And I think one of the things that we really tried to put across, but it's almost impossible is the sheer

scale of what we're talking about.

You know, as Evan just said, there were -- you know, the Ukrainian prosecutors have now documented over a hundred thousand war crimes. And so,

you imagine, we arrive in the country and it's like, where do you go? Who do you talk to? It is village after village after village of traumatized

individuals who have lived through, I mean, some of the most horrific experiences. Some survived and some didn't.

And, obviously, we -- well, we're filming Anya doing her work, but there were numerous people who were really way too traumatized to be filmed by

us. And of course, we would respect their wishes. But there were others who -- you see in the film, who were absolutely adamant that what they want is

justice. And it was quite extraordinary to see that, you know, what Anya is offering them through her legal work is agency.

You know, they get a chance to stand up and say, what happened to me is unacceptable and I want justice and I don't care if that justice is against

Putin and his generals. I deserve it. And it's great to see. These survivors actually, you know, getting accountability.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, and there were so many in this film who I just found so touching. Their story is heartbreaking, especially moved by a father who

survived a missile strike and his home. The father of a young son who was having a sleepover. I mean, again, what makes these stories so powerful

now, two years into the war, is when you're hearing from everyday citizens who just want to lead a normal life. They're much more relatable, I think,

sometimes, than even the most detailed reporting.

We hear from this father about this terrible night and this missile strike, where his wife -- in one moment, his wife, his son, his friend are all

alive, and then tragedy struck. I want to play a clip of him speaking.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We ran downstairs but (unintelligible) there was a second more powerful (INAUDIBLE). My son was

thrown out of my arms somewhere, my wife and I fell on the porch steps. We were covered in rubble and metal.


I don't think I lost consciousness. I turned on the flashlight. I started screaming, Nadya. She was lying nearby. I touched her lips and shouted,

Nadya, Nadya. She showed no signs of life. And we stayed like that.


GOLODRYGA: His son, his wife, sadly cannot come back, Evan, but the film closes with Anya trying to seek justice for him, for this father and many

others by sending an e-mail to German prosecutors. That really is a chilling and poignant moment in the film.

WILLIAMS: Exactly. So, all the work that they do, that we follow them doing in Ukraine, it comes -- it culminates in the moment where they pull

the files together and they file the first three cases with German federal prosecutors. The cases are involving the poet you just mentioned and other

men that were detained and executed.

It also involved the case of Andre (ph) there, whose family was tragically killed in that huge missile explosion. In fact, two missiles that were

fired at that civilian site. And the German prosecutors have accepted the case files and are now going through their own due diligence to pursue the

criminal cases, which is a major landmark advance, first of all, for Anya's work and the team, but also, in terms of using universal jurisdiction in

this way in the Ukrainian war.

And more and more cases are coming forward. The team is not stopping there. They're going to be filing in other jurisdictions around the world and in

Europe. So, this is just the beginning point, but it shows that the work actually does work.

GOLODRYGA: All of this under the Clooney Foundation as well. And we should note for our viewers at home who want to see more of Anya, they can go back

and look at Christiane's Amanpour --Christiane Amanpour's interview with her from 2014 from another film where she is highlighted in, that's called

"E-Team," about documenting war crimes in Syria.

Laura Warner, Evan Williams, thank you so much for joining the program.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

WARNER: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: And congratulations on this really powerful film.

WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.

WARNER: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: And now, we return to the U. S. presidential election. And a question on minds of many people these days is how will Donald Trump's

recent conviction influence women in the polling booth?

Debbie Walsh is the director of the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University. And she spoke with Michel Martin on this and what

energizes women to go out and vote.


MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Bianna. Debbie Walsh, thank you so much for talking with us.


MARTIN: So, Debbie, you've spent a long time studying how women vote, how they run for office, basically how they function, sort of in public life,

as director of the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers.

So, in that vein, just briefly, I was just curious what your reaction was when the -- you know, Former President Donald Trump became the first former

president convicted, you know, of a felony.

WALSH: I think my big takeaway from this is that this was not a surprise in his behavior. It was -- this was not out of character for who he has

been. So, the behavior wasn't shocking. I think I was a little amazed that they managed to get unanimity on all 34 counts. And I'm very curious to

see, and I've been very curious watching since then how this plays out and how the public is reacting to all of this.

MARTIN: Based on your read of the data and based on your kind of knowledge of the subject, do you think this current event, this latest event will

have any impact on how women voters perceive him?

WALSH: You know, Michel, I think that in some ways is the $64,000 question. I think for a lot of us, after the Access Hollywood tape, we

thought, well, this is not-- this is going to clinch the election of Hillary Clinton. But we did see that those folks that are devoted to him

were willing to let that go.

Now. I think it's really important to always remember that women voters are not monolithic. There are women who are college educated women and women

without a college degree, there are women that you break down the women's vote by demographics and you get some very different outcomes. So, they're

sort of not that sweeping notion of how will women vote.

But I think for the women who are solidly in his camp, the MAGA women, I don't think this will have an impact on how they feel. I think that, in

some ways, it may even solidify how they feel about them.


I think that for some of those more marginal women voters who have supported him, particularly the first time around, they have become what I

think of, in some ways, as swing voters, that they could walk away from Donald Trump, that they are not happy with some of the policies that have

come out of this -- of his time in the presidency, particularly around reproductive health issues. And this just may be a reminder of what you get

when you get a Donald Trump presidency, and it may be more than they can handle, and they may turn away.

Now, will they vote for Joe Biden? I don't know. They may just not be engaged. They may disengage from the political process.

MARTIN: This verdict comes after a different jury found Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing the advice columnist E. Jean Carroll. Of

course, this happened before he was a candidate, but the testimony itself was very sort of disturbing. She was awarded, you know, millions of dollars

as a judgment.

So, I guess the reason I raise that is that this comes after that. And I just sort of wonder just the political impact of both of those things

together. Do you think that that has any sort of cumulative effect?

WALSH: Donald Trump has changed the nature of our politics and what is seen as acceptable. The idea, frankly, that you could get elected president

of the United States after the Access Hollywood tape was shocking. Then you have the E. Jean Carroll case. Now, you have the hush money case. All of

these things in another era would have been disqualifying to be -- frankly, to be convicted of -- on 34 counts of felony offenses, we would have

thought that would be completely disqualifying.

So, all of the norms have really been disrupted by Donald Trump and the MAGA movement. And that is what has been so confounding in terms of

watching how gender plays out in all of this, because I think there was the assumption always that, well, he would lose women. I'm not sure he cares

anymore about picking up and expanding his base, right? He is happy with his base.

You know, the fact that after all of this, where was he seen after the trial? He was seen at a wrestling match with a lot of, you know, bros,

frankly cheering him on, and I think he's comfortable with that as his base.

MARTIN: Well, one of the things that you've pointed out in your own writings and your analysis of polling data going back for years is that

white women have voted Republican in every election since 2000 in Bush v. Gore. Why do you think that is? I mean, because what it could mean is that,

you know, party affiliation trumps -- no pun intended, trumps all.

WALSH: And I think that was true in the first go round. I think white women were uncomfortable with the Access Hollywood tape. But at the end of

the day, they were Republicans and they voted Republican. I think it's also important to note that white women are not monolithic.

So, there are college educated white women who are more likely to vote Democratic. There are non-college educated white women who are more likely

to vote Republican. There are single white women who have leaned more towards the Democratic Party. Economics has something to do with this,

college education has something to do with this. And so, there is variation even within that demographic.

MARTIN: One of the issues that we see driving voters is the Dobbs decision. And we find that women are still having abortions, but it's

become very difficult, especially in certain parts of the country. And we've seen that this has had an effect on women's voting behavior. Can you

sort of talk about that? I mean, so far, the only way this has played out has been in the states. But what effect do you think this might have?

WALSH: I think this is a mobilizing issue. And it's a mobilizing issue that the Democratic Party learned from the midterms could be powerful for

them. You know, the red wave that was predicted in the midterm elections didn't happen, and it largely didn't happen because of that energy that

went into -- the campaigning that the Democratic Party did, the prioritizing of the abortion issue.

And Donald Trump has said, you know, I did this, I'm responsible. And the Democratic Party is now pinning it on him and saying, he did this, this is

Donald Trump. And we've seen that even in some early ads from the Biden campaign.


So, campaigns are about informing voters around issues and energizing them to get out to vote. And if there's not something that is an impetus to

actually show up to vote, even if you're a solid Democratic voter, if you don't feel energized and you don't show up on election day, it doesn't

matter. So, this is an issue that can help with turnout, that can get people out to vote, women out to vote in an election that they might be a

little -- you know, a little disinterested.

I mean, we've seen some Pew data that shows that voters are tired, that they are tired and exhausted by the news carrying so much about this

election already and about politics, and they're getting burnt out. But this issue is very pressing, and I think it can be an issue that will turn

out women voters, energize them and get them to the polls. We saw that to be a powerful force in those midterm elections.

MARTIN: OK. So, let's wheel it around then and talk about the Democrats, especially, you know, President Biden, a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll released

this month, which was prior to the Trump conviction, I have to say, show that President Biden is losing support among voters without college

degrees. And that's a big group. And it's a diverse group. It includes a lot of black voters, a lot of Latinas, young voters, suburban women. Why do

you think that is?

WALSH: I think the party has to be speaking to issues that folks in these communities care about and making the case, which is what this campaign

will need to be about, making the case that the priorities of this administration, not just what they've done, but what they plan to do really

speaks to those needs.

That's why, particularly for women voters, speaking to these issues around reproductive health care are critical and important, also for young women,

critically important. But there -- we know that those top issues for voters or the economy and immigration, when the most recent polling that I've

seen, still has those two issues at the very top, and abortion coming in as a third top issue. It has definitely moved up in the hierarchy.

This used to be something that was -- when it was settled and people thought this was safe, they didn't go there. That wasn't on the top of

their agenda. It has definitely moved up. But there has to be a case made to those voters that this administration has done things that benefit them.

And it has to make a case that the plans for the future also include them.

And this is a challenge, I think, that the Democratic Party has had, which is taking groups of voters for granted. You know, black women voters have

been the backbone of the Democratic Party. They have been the group that has been most consistent, most there for the Democratic Party and gotten

candidates elected across the board. But black women voters are demanding, as they should, to see actual benefit from that vote. You know, what is it

that you have done for us? And that's what the campaign has to be about.

MARTIN: Do you think that the Democrats and the Biden campaign, in particular, have spoken enough about the future. I mean, Former President

Trump has, he said what he plans to do. He's going to try to purge the federal bureaucracy of people who he thinks are obstructionist. Have the

Democrats answered that with anything?

WALSH: I think that the challenge that the Democrats have had is clearly enunciating what has been done over these four years and the ways in which

it's benefited people, because I think that it doesn't -- in day-to-day life, even if inflation seems to be coming down and the economy seems to be

on a better footing, the general public isn't feeling it. And if they don't feel it, it's not real for them.

But I think you're absolutely right. I think there has to be statements about what's coming in the future. And it can't just be, be very afraid of

Donald Trump. It also has to be about the value added that four more years of the Democrats holding the White House and the Senate and possibly

gaining control of the House, what that will mean in their lives. And that has to be articulated in a very clear way. So that folks feel that it's to

their advantage to have Democrats in control.


MARTIN: I want to ask you to drill down again on women as voters, recognizing, as you said, that women are certainly not a monolith, but is

there something that has changed for women in the way women see elections?

WALSH: I will say that even in this upside-down world, where the conventional wisdom is out the window, we still see, when you aggregate the

women's vote, a gender gap. We still see women voting in a different way than men. We see that women overall are more likely to support the

Democratic candidate than men, less likely to support the Republican candidate than men. And even within the support that Donald Trump gets, it

is less than -- it is more from men than from women.

So, there is still gender gap. And we still have seen women outvoting men. In the last election, you know, 10 million more women voted than did men.

So, at the end of the day, even in all the chaos, even in all the upside- downness of the world, we are still seeing that pattern of women voting differently than men and seeing women out voting men.

MARTIN: So, the problem then for the Democrats is the enthusiasm gap, that is their big --

WALSH: That is a big challenge for the Democrats, that turning out those women from various demographic groups, from various education backgrounds,

getting them to show up at the polls to feel they have a stake in this election that they are not so turned off completely from politics.

One of the things that Donald Trump did do by getting elected was he energized women, right? We saw women running at record numbers in 2018.

We're not seeing that this time. We're not seeing women running, but we're not breaking records. We're -- we saw women engaging in activism in ways

that we had not seen in a long time. You know, women who, I think, felt like they didn't have to be involved in politics suddenly felt like they

needed to be involved in politics.

But I think there's a certain level of exhaustion from politics. I think there's watching. Congress looks broken, looking like this system doesn't

work and they're tired and they're just tired of it. And so, making sure that they're tapping into some issues that are really key, and again,

making voters feel like they have a real stake in the outcome that it matters to their lives what the outcome of this election is.

Regardless of, you know, your position about Donald Trump and the issues he cares about, he has made his voters believe that their futures are

dependent on him getting elected, that their lives and their livelihoods and their futures hinge on his election. And in some way, the Biden

administration has to -- the Biden campaign has to -- and the Democrats have to make Democratic voters and independent voters believe that about

electing Democrats.

MARTIN: As part of your work at the Center for American Women and Politics, you keep track of what women voters are doing, but you also keep

track of what women candidates are doing. What are you paying attention to? What are you keeping your eye on as we head to November?

WALSH: Well, we're keeping our eye on candidates across the board. Our state legislative numbers are actually looking a little bit better than our

federal candidates. And I think we may be seeing record numbers there. We're still -- there's still lots of primaries left to happen.

But we're looking particularly at the states now, because so much of what's going on is happening at the states. And I think for a lot of women who are

-- who may have been thinking about running, you know, they're looking, again, at Congress as a place that's broken. But state legislatures have a

real impact on people's lives, particularly around these issues around reproductive health, right?

We're also looking now in ways that we haven't in the past, looking at women as donors to candidates and also the money that flows into women --

women's candidacies and really trying to do some deep dive analysis and understanding about women as donors, who are they? We may not love the fact

that money plays such an important part in politics, but that is the reality.

So, hoping that women are helping get the candidates they care about elected by supporting them financially as well.

MARTIN: Debbie Walsh, thank you so much for talking with us.

WALSH: Thank you.


GOLODRYGA: And finally, remembering Alexey Navalny, the opposition leader who died in a Russian prison in February, is seen as a hero by many on both

sides, inside and outside of his country. And yesterday would have been his 48th birthday.

In Berlin, thousands attended a concert in his memory, chanting the slogan, Russia will be free.



GOLODRYGA: Navalny's wife, Yulia, who also attended the concert, has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of murdering her husband. The

Kremlin has denied any involvement in his death. And he, of course, will not be forgotten.

Well, that is it for now. Thank you so much for watching, and goodbye from New York.