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The Amanpour Hour

Can Dream Of Two-State Solution Survive The Current Carnage; Journalist Who Captured Dawn Of Putin's War Sound Alarm; The Many Voices Of Grammy-Winning Musician Jacob Collier; No Place Like Home For Romanians Who Rebuilt Their Lost Lives; 10 Years Since The Uprising That Led To Putin's Ukraine Invasion. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired December 02, 2023 - 11:00   ET



CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: The political aisle

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, JOURNALIST, "NEW YORK TIMES": The political aisle. And that is causing an absolute crisis in the matrimonial prospects of this country. And that has, as you can imagine, created a bit of kerfuffle on the left, who, and wonderful article in Slate basically asked why should young liberal women be sort of lowering their standards.

So I have to tell you, this made me think a lot about this country. We talked about the American dream. And I wanted to end on an optimistic note of matrimony which is to say everyone should come together.

WALLACE: All right. Thank you all for being here.

Thank you for spending some time with us.

And we'll see you right back here next week.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Welcome to "THE AMANPOUR HOUR"

And in the next 60 minutes we'll take you around the world to ask the tough questions, tackle the big problems and let history be our guide.

Here is where we're headed this week.


AMANPOUR: Up first, after the slaughter. What happens when the dust finally settles in Israel and Gaza? I ask two women for a road map to peace, security, and rights for all.

Also ahead.

MSTYSLAV CHERNOV, UKRAINIAN JOURNALIST: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) you want to forget all this. But the camera will not let it happen.

AMANPOUR: The only journalist to witness the fall of Mariupol at the start of Putin's brutal war. He warns the west not to forget Ukraine with his powerful new documentary.

Then from the archive, back to 1990. There's no place like home for rural Romanians who rebuilt their lost way of life after the Iron Curtain fell.

And finally --


AMANPOUR: From bedroom harmonies to international stardom, the many voices of musical prodigy Jacob Collier.

JACOB COLLIER, PERFORMER: And the thing about the voices, everybody has one and everyone is different and that's beautiful.


AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

For Israelis and Palestinians, what happens the day after tomorrow? This horrifying cycle of blood-letting has left some 1,200 dead in Israel on October 7th, according to the government, and more than 12,000 Palestinians dead in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Authority ministry of health in Ramallah.

So if and when this current violence ends, what can be done to stop it happening all over again? More and more of Israel's friends and neighbors are making it clear even now that a two-state solution is the only solution to this endless war.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can't tell you how long it is going to last. But I can tell you, I don't think it all ends until there is a two-state decision.


AMANPOUR: And that's been the vision since 1993, when the Oslo Accords provided a framework for peace. But is that the only way?


AMANPOUR: Joining me now to discuss this is May Pundak, an Israeli human rights lawyer and chief executive of the peace organization called A Land for All. Her father took part in the Oslo Peace Accord negotiations. And now, she has a dream for what she calls two-state solution 2.0.

And also with us, Rana Salman, co-director of Combatants for Peace who shares that dream. And she is joining us from Bethlehem in the Occupied West Bank.

Now our colleagues of "The New York Times" first told their story, and now we want to learn more. So May Pundak, Rana Salman -- welcome to the program.

So Rana, your organization is called Combatants for Peace, and you're working, I think, with people who actually were actual combatants and who now want to do things in a different way.

RANA SALMAN, COMBATANTS FOR PEACE: Yes, so I work with the Combatants for Peace, which has actually started in 2006 from ex combatants. So Israelis who served in the Israeli army, and Palestinian fighters who spent time in Israeli jails for many years. And they both recognize that there is no military solution for the conflict. They both decided to lay down their weapons and join their forces to fight against the occupation and oppression on all of this oppressive system.

And our fighters, they already have experienced violence and the conflict for many years, so they know that there is no solution afterwards. And because of this experience, we also have been embodying the nonviolence principle of our main DNA of the organization and keeping that as our method for resisting the occupation for many years.

AMANPOUR: And May, your father, as we said, was one of the negotiators in the Oslo Peace Accord. What did you learn from him about occupation, i.e., Palestinian rights, and what would make Israel safe and secure as well?


MAY PUNDAK, ISRAELI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, A LAND FOR ALL: Yes, well you know, we see now that there really is no military solution to this conflict. I mean there's no military solution that will ensure not Israeli security and definitely not Palestinian security.

And so I think that that's one of the realizations that I hope that everyone understands, since October 7th, there will not be a military solution.

And also after investing billions of dollars of a huge wall and putting all of the IDF technology in, they still haven't gained security for Israel.

So I think that we learn a few things from that. A, we won't have security and safety or any viable future if we don't choose, right now, a political solution, and that the Netanyahu government has invested in Hamas (INAUDIBLE) as an asset. Instead of investing in peace and negotiation, I hope that that is number one that we learned.

And the other one is that, you know, even if you separate and build a huge wall between Israel and Palestine, the Palestinians don't have security and safety. And their interests met, of course, side by side, by Israelis having their safety and security needs interest met, we won't have security for anyone. We are tied together in this homeland, which is one.

We are two people, but this land is very, very, very small and interconnected and interdependent and that's what we need to understand and realize. And thinking about my father, what I have learned is that, you know, I treasure -- I treasure my values. I treasure my Jewish tradition and history.

But with the values of equality and justice, with being committed to my people, and my own liberation, I know that that is dependent on my partner's liberation and peace and security.

I know that those two have to go together. And if we disintegrate those two, you know, if we punch a hole in this boat, we will all sink together.

AMANPOUR: It is incredible to hear you, as a Jewish-Israeli talking about your own liberation, and how dependent that is on your neighbor.

PUNDAK: Yes. Well, I think that first of all, I hope the one other thing that we've learned on October 7th is that there is no shrinking this conflict, there is no managing this conflict. We can't normalize this conflict.

And the only maybe silver lining is that conflict can and should be solved. And I think the international community has also been a part of not solving this conflict, not understanding that it has to come to an end.

Putting Palestinians behind a big wall and not taking into consideration their interests as well, of course, as Israeli Jewish interests -- that just won't cut it. We have to think together. We have to co-create and come together to build the sustainable, viable future that we all deserve.

AMANPOUR: So Rana, from your perspective, Palestinian perspective, what is your vision for how you can implement what you're both talking about?

SALMAN: I think it is commonly known now basically that a two-state solution might be physically impossible to implement because of how long the occupation has been going through. And the facts on the ground that have been created, especially about when we talk about the illegal settlements within the West Bank, there are over 500,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank.

So politically now, I think we need to talk beyond the two-state solution and discuss new strategies and come up with maybe an alternative solution that would guarantee that all people will live in peace, security, dignity, and civility. And an end actually of the conflict and the occupation.

AMANPOUR: So I know that May has talked about this kind of a confederation. What does a confederation mean?

PUNDAK: So I think that maybe the best way, to try to imagine the impossible, which I know is really difficult to imagine right now, but I think it is really important to imagine a different future.

I would go to the European Union, and would you ever imagine France and Germany being an open border, I don't think anyone 80 years ago, would be able to imagine that.

What we started by saying, you know, there are two people, but we all have a very, very strong commitment and sentiment to this homeland. That's the beginning.

So what we're talking about is what we call two states, one homeland, so yes -- two independent sovereign states, but mutual recognition, and a mutual infrastructure, in a way similar to the E.U. and with the heavy bombs happening, so I'm a little distracted by the bombing --

AMANPOUR: Are you all right? Are you ok?

PUNDAK: Yes, yes, I mean we're safe and ok, just, it is just, you know, intense days, and we're so lucky to be here and safe right now. As opposed to other people.


PUNDAK: So we're talking about a shared infrastructure, so mechanisms for taking care of things that we have to share, like human rights. Like resources. Like Jerusalem. Like in a way, even security. So it is very important for us to convey this message now. The day after is now.

AMANPOUR: Do you also -- do the people who you talk to, the Palestinians in your circle, understand that Israel also needs its security and that it does feel like it is under threat? Do you all have to understand the story of the other in order to make this happen for the future, Rana?

SALMAN: Yes, definitely. Like I work at Combatants for Peace and we're a joint community. We're an alternative community. We're a group of Palestinian and Israeli activists, working together and coexisting together.

Because what May talked about is also our collective liberation. We also want the Israelis to be free from the fear and to have their sense of security.

But as long as this keeps happening, no Palestinian or Israeli will have a sense of security at all. And definitely we feel the pain of the other. We see the other and we work together. Our lives are inter- playing.

So definitely, like the people are -- know each other like thousands of Palestinians actually work inside Israel. But since the war, they have been deprived like to continue their work.

So there is already like some mixed cities within Israel, so people already have been living together in a way, but the problem is with the system itself, the oppressive system and discrimination that is happening between the Palestinians and Israelis.

AMANPOUR: It is really amazing to hear from you both. It really is incredible to hear your optimism and your realism, Rana Salman and May Pundak. Thank you both for being with us. (END VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: Now, while this war rages, Ukraine's grinding fight for freedom continues as well. When we come back, the only journalist left in Mariupol to witness the start of Putin's full-scale invasion and the obliteration of an entire city.


CHERNOV: The Russians have been through the city. The war has begun and we have to tell its story.



AMANPOUR: As we watch for what some analysts describe as a scorched earth policy in Gaza, my next guest reminds us that is exactly what Vladimir Putin is doing in Ukraine.

Pulitzer prize winning Ukrainian journalist Mstyslav Chernov witnessed the dawn of Russia's full-scale invasion from the first city to be destroyed, Mariupol. He remained there with a small team as the only eyewitnesses.

Here is a clip from his new film, "20 days in Mariupol".


CHERNOV: This is painful to watch. But it must be painful to watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a bomb attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which building?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over there. The surgical wing.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's your mom?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is nowhere to run.

CHERNOV: Why are you upset?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to die.



AMANPOUR: The documentary is taking film festivals by storm and it is developing some major Oscar buzz, as Ukraine has officially entered it for the academy awards. And Mstyslav Chernov joins me now. Welcome to the program. In some of

the voice-over, you say, because the film obviously focuses, like many of our work, on civilians, and on the distress caused to civilians, you say note to editors, graphic content, this is painful, this is painful to watch, but it must be painful to watch.

CHERNOV: That's the nature. If we don't report everything as it is, if we don't show to people across the world, to our viewers, to our audience, the reality of war, it becomes acceptable. It is a big danger in not exposing the war for all its brutality for all its absurd. And if it is polished, if it is sanitized, then it is acceptable, and that shouldn't be the case.

AMANPOUR: Immediately there was an information disinformation. Immediately the Russians say these are actors. This is, you know, Ukrainians shooting themselves and blowing themselves up. How did you deal with that? Did you even know that was happening?

CHERNOV: When I saw this horror that happened in the maternity hospital after the bombing, I knew that there would be such an important story, and I already knew that it's going to be contested, questioned, and I knew as journalists, we shouldn't try to fight any of that, we just keep working. That's the only way.

AMANPOUR: Let me put, you know, one of the clips, because it is the clip that essentially went around the world of the woman being carried out of the maternity hospital.

Let's just watch this for a moment.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring it higher, higher.


AMANPOUR: So I see you watching, and essentially, you're back there.


CHERNOV: Yes. I don't even have to watch. I remember the moment. Every drop of blood.

But I want to say that's exactly why we need documentaries. First, it adds very, very necessary context of parts of news which are very short form. The context give viewers, and the audience, the possibility to make the wrong judgments. And also, with all the horrifying, and very important tragedies that are happening, when we are bombarded by them every day, these Important stories are just lost. So the only way to preserve a memory of Irina, of Evangelina, of Ilya, Cyril, all the children that have died, it is to make a film about it. So to be sure that the memory is there.

AMANPOUR: Did she survive? CHERNOV: No. No. And her child also died.

AMANPOUR: Yes. So what do you want to leave the world with? Particularly as the world appears to be taking its eye off Ukraine?

CHERNOV: Look, I have a feeling, I have a feeling that when I'm on the ground in Ukraine, I monitor Russian news as well, and I monitor Ukraine news and the world news, I frequently come to the U.S. and Europe to speak to the audiences.

One thing, one thing I started to notice, first of all, everything is connected. And although very different conflicts -- Israel, Gaza, and Russia attacking Ukraine, there are universal stories but contextually, they are different and complex, although again connected.

But also, I have a feeling that a lot of people in the West don't really realize what -- how Russia sees the West, and this whole war right now.

You see, Russia is building its policy, its ideology right now since its full-scale invasion, as they are at war with the U.S. and with Europe. So imagine this. The Russian government, and the majority of Russian people, right now, are at war with Europe and the U.S. They're fighting the Ukrainians, but the core ideology they have is they are at war. And I feel that that's not really coming through. And it's very dangerous.

AMANPOUR: So do you find this is resonating with the audiences? What does the audience say to you at festivals, and I know there is a big Oscar push as well?

CHERNOV: Surprisingly, I thought Ukraine is going to be less in the last several months, as a new big and dramatic conflict in the Middle East is raging, but actually, especially a story of Mariupol, because of its symbolism, because of its visual and dramatic similarity to what is happening right now, actually it gains in more meaning now.

So people realize more and more that the world around them changed, and they have to react. The worst thing that people do now is to be indifferent.

AMANPOUR: This certainly, certainly is not a film you could be indifferent about. Mstyslav Chernov, thank you very much, director of "20 Days in Mariupol". It is a really powerful, it is one of the best war films that I've ever seen. So congratulations.


AMANPOUR: And the film is available online now. There's more from Ukraine, later in our program, when we have a special report on the 10-year anniversary of the Maidan pro-democracy uprising which set Putin off on the bloody chain of events invading, annexing and culminating in this, his full-scale war of today.

But my next guest knows all about the unifying power of people speaking as one.

The Audience Choirs, up next on the show, my conversation with the teen sensation, catapulted to international fame, Jacob Collier.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

Our letter from London this week is the story of a home-grown hero. The five-time Grammy-winning musician, Jacob Collier, became a star with his virtuoso or arrangements, (INAUDIBLE) by legends like Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock. His prodigious and complex style sees him layer sound upon sound, including his own voice to create cathedrals of sound in music.

Just take a listen to one of his latest singles well.


AMANPOUR: Remember that is all him, and now he is set to release the fourth and final installment of his Djesse album.

I have been speaking to Jacob about making the whole world his instrument.


AMANPOUR: Jacob Collier, welcome to the program.

COLLIER: Thanks for having me.

AMANPOUR: Your latest album is called Djesse.


AMANPOUR: And it's a -- I mean I'm probably pronouncing it wrong but it's a --

COLLIER: That's correct.

AMANPOUR: -- spin on your initials, J.C.


COLLIER: Yes. So when I was a kid, my friends used call me J.C. as my nickname.

AMANPOUR: One of the songs, you have Stormzy on it, you have Shawn Mendez. Yes, that's called "Witness Me".

COLLIER: That's correct, yes, yes.

(MUSIC) AMANPOUR: The thing that I think is really, for me anyway, fascinating is that this one you say is about the human voice. The others have been R&B, jazz, folk, et cetera. This is about the human voice.

And that is your thing, right? That's how you started.

COLLIER: I've been reflecting a lot on how I began my journey as a musician, and the first instrument I ever really played with, my voice. And the thing about the voice is everybody has one and everyone is different and that is beautiful. To me that is so important.

And I started my journey as a musician recording sort of acapella, heavily layered acapella renditions of songs I love. And that concept of, you know, many voices at once redefined my fascination in the early days and then more recently, I have just become obsessed with the idea on a global scale.

So I have been toying on the world, playing concepts and (INAUDIBLE) talking to other people, and the thing that I find in all situations that really hits the spot for me, and really feels like the center piece of what this album is about, and what -- maybe what I'm here to do at this time is to really give people a voice.

AMANPOUR: I'm going to play a little a clip from "Isn't She Lovely", which is one you did very early which kind of demonstrates --

COLLIER: Sure, sure.

AMANPOUR: -- I think what you mean.


AMANPOUR: I see you rocking to it.

COLLIER: I haven't heard that for years.

AMANPOUR: Yes. And you're so young. How old were you there?

COLLIER: I was 17, 18 when I made that video.

AMANPOUR: 17, ok.

COLLIER: That was the very, very, very early days. But what I was interested in was how can my voice be many different voices, you know. How can I be the bass singer? Ho can I be the soprano, you know, and tell a story that feels compelling, authentic. I wasn't interested in chords.

But the magic that happens when you put multiple notes together. In music we call this harmony.

AMANPOUR: Actually I'm just looking down and I see you wearing Crocs. You've got a pair of yellow Crocs on.

Ok. Yellow, those of the Ukrainian flag, I don't know what you intended. Put them right up. Then everybody can see it. There you go -- yellow. Ok.

But you -- one of your sessions, and I think you call it logic session. Sort of layer upon layer upon layer upon layer, you show a spectrogram of a Croc and that spectrogram produces a sound. Now, it's a sound that I can't even describe and we're not going to play because you can't even barely for a second --

COLLIER: So it goes --



AMANPOUR: So explain that. The Croc, the sound, the layers.

COLLIER: I've always been interested in how far you can stretch certain concepts and one of the things, one the tools you use as a musician when you start playing music, creating music is what's called a spectrogram.

It's like a graph. You've got high frequencies at the top and then low frequencies at the bottom and every sound in your song exists on this graph. So if I go -- then it will go like this, right. And there will be other terms as well.

So I basically put this on my computer screen, and then I played it to see how it would be, and I found some kind of converter, where I put the image in and out came this crazy sound and I kind of like that, I'm going to put it in my song.

AMANPOUR: See, you know, that's like Double Dutch for me. But I'm sure there are a lot of people who understand. And I appreciate the finished product.

COLLIER: Thanks.

AMANPOUR: Yes. But it's difficult to understand it for the lay person.

COLLIER: Yes, yes, yes.

AMANPOUR: Are you self-taught?

COLLIER: I would say fundamentally, yes. I had many teachers along the way, mostly my heroes, who are my teachers. People I listen to. My mother is an incredible teacher to me.

AMANPOUR: Tell me about your mother because she is a musician.

COLLIER: Yes, yes. She is a phenomenal force of nature. She is a conductor, a violinist, and one of the greatest (INAUDIBLE) I've ever seen, growing up in the world, you know, as any child does, you look up at the world and you see these people, these elders and you think this is how life can be.

And my first musical memories were my mother conducting an orchestra. So she would go like this and then the music would start. I think that is like casting a spell. You know, wow, that is what music can do.

It is not just about always the right or the wrong notes, that doesn't matter. It is about how does it feel and bringing yourself to it.

And her ability to get magic out of people is a phenomenal gift and it's something I'm so grateful for having been in the life for so long.

AMANPOUR: Do you feel this has a bridge building? I don't know -- is there something healing? Or something, you know metaphysical that you can get, even in the worst, worst of times?

COLLIER: I think it is a question many of us are asking at the moment, you know. All of us who observe the world in our various ways, I think it is easy for us to feel overwhelmed because there are a lot of problems that don't have clear solutions.


COLLIER: And in situations like that, I think artists, musicians, and creators, though it may seem trite, they come into their own, because they are the master alchemists at transforming any amount of, any amount of hardship and struggle, questions and also joy and connection and hope and all this stuff.

Alchemizing with that into something that means something and something that allows people a place to feel. And I think music is just one of the most beautiful languages at saying -- well, even beyond saying, showing how connected the world can be when we realize we're all the same and we realize that we have so much in common, and so much to celebrate.

AMANPOUR: Jacob Collier, thank you very much indeed.

COLLIER: Thanks. Thanks a lot.

AMANPOUR: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: Coming up next on the show, a story of human patience, perseverance, and the pull of home. From my archive, the rural Romanians who reclaimed their lost lives when communism in Europe collapsed.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back.

Now, we know that many Palestinians keep keys to the properties they lost when they fled or were forced from their homes during Israel's 1948 war of independence. They call it the Nakba.

On one of my first-ever reports as a foreign correspondent, I saw this deep attachment to home firsthand as the Iron Curtain collapsed across Europe.

Romania's brutal communist dictatorship was the last domino to fall, and within a few months, rural folk were reclaiming homes and properties that they had been forcibly moved out of in the name of some great socialist collective experiment. Entire villages were razed to the ground.

The stories I discovered in the countryside stayed with me. And with this current brutal phase of the Israel-Palestinian war, I wanted to this deep human condition belonging.

So here's my youthful 1990 report complete with the terminology of the time.


AMANPOUR: In the Romanian countryside, the peasants still ride horse- drawn carts as they go about their usual spring business. They are also riding a new wave of hope that this spring working the land means marking it out into personal plots and staking a claim to once was theirs before Nicolae Ceausescu decide to raze it in the name of systemization, his version of urban renewal.

After the December revolution, one of the new government's first act was to give the peasants back their land and those who can afford the deep (ph) price are already rebuilding.

Block by block, the houses are going up exactly where they used to stand. This 59-year-old woman lived here with her family for 32 years before she lost her home five years ago and had to move into a new apartment. But she would come back every day to look at her land and weep.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every time I passed this land, I asked where is my house, where is my house? I cried all the time. I suffered a lot.

AMANPOUR: Now her suffering is almost over. And because her family has some money, she says the house should be ready by winter.

A few hundred yards away, these people are not so lucky. They have managed to plot out their land with poles. But they have no money now that they've used up all their savings on the foundations alone.

They have to scavenge what meager materials they can. Still they are determined no matter what it takes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will spend all of my salary and cut down on what I spend on food.

AMANPOUR: His wife remembers the terrible day they were told to leave, with barely any notice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While we were taking our belongings out of the house, they already started demolishing it. They dug a big hole and then bulldozers just pushed the house into it. It was Ceausescu's Hiroshima. AMANPOUR: Although many ethnic minorities were the target of

Ceausescu's destructive scheme, in most cases, there was no method to the madness.

We're told this village was razed because it happened to lie along the route Ceausescu took to his weekend home and he didn't like the sight of it.

The dictator's policy was aimed quite simply at removing any trace of private property. 7,000 villagers were ordered destroys and tens of thousands of peasants were moved off their land and into grim apartment complexes, so grim, that people didn't want to live in them. Often, they had no lavatories or heating and most of the displaced peasants moved in with relatives or friends.

Now they can go home again and even if home is still a dream, it is one plan to hang on to because they are not just building houses, they are rebuilding a lost way of life.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN -- Vladiceasca, Romania.


AMANPOUR: Romania, of course, is a successful member of the E.U. and NATO, so crucial to European success, and yet as it borders Ukraine, all too aware of the fragility of freedom and democracy.

Up next, on the show, it was the trigger point that led to Putin's full-scale invasion. A decade after Ukrainians rose up against their pro-Kremlin government, many of these same people now find themselves fighting and dying for freedom.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back. Now, if what is happening in Ukraine can be traced back to one single event in recent history, many would say that moment is the Maidan uprising of 2013, a huge popular revolt, triggered when Ukraine's president, Viktor Yanukovych, pressured by Putin, turned his country away from the E.U. and toward Russia, against the will of the parliament and the people.

Anna Coren has the story of a cry for freedom that led to ten years and counting of Russian aggression, invasion, and war.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Among the woods filled with maple and oak trees, now almost bare, is one of Kyiv's oldest cemeteries. A soldier arrives back from the battlefield for only a day. He is here to visit his son. And see the new monument that stands over his grave.

TARAS RATUSHNYY, FATHER OF KILLED SOLDIER: It is what my son wanted. It must be a cross, simple and ordinary and traditional.


COREN: His son was Roman Ratushnyy, one of Ukraine's most prominent activists. What ignited in the fire in the then 16-year-old was the Maidan Revolution.

RATUSHNYY: I think that he was this person all this time. Maidan just opened (ph) to him and that was his transformation.

COREN: On the 21st of November, 2013, a few hundred people gathered at Maidan's Independence Square to protest against the government decision not to sign an association agreement with the European Union. Then-president Viktor Yanukovich had ditched closer ties with Europe and pivoted towards Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Within weeks, the protest swelled as thousands of people took over Maidan. Police violence intensified over the next three months until riot police using live rounds, opened fire killing more than 100 protesters.

OTHA SALO, EUROMAIDAN PROTESTER: The youngest of them was 17, the oldest was 82. There were people from all over Ukraine from different professions with different education. I think this is a collective unit of Ukrainian heroes. They all died for the same values.

COREN: In the following months, Putin would occupy Crimea and covertly backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. Maidan had set in motion a series of events that would reshape Ukraine and alter the course of history.

What began here in Kyiv ten years ago was the start of Ukraine's fight to join the European Union. All that struggle continues to this day, but the stakes are so much higher as this country fights for its mere existence.

Next month, E.U. leaders will meet to decide whether Ukraine should be given membership and so far the signs are promising.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The future of Ukraine is in the European Union. The future that the Maidan fought for has finally come.

COREN: When the Russians launched their full-scale invasion on Ukraine on the 24th of February last year, a 24-year-old Roman immediately signed up for the military.

First fighting in defense of Kyiv, he then joined the United Third Combat Brigade stationed in the east. His father and older brother also enlisted, but were located elsewhere.

On the phone Roman would tell his family all was fine, but they knew everything was far from ok. On the 8th of June last year, Roman was killed during a reconnaissance mission.

Two weeks before his death he wrote his last will and testament on a sheet of (INAUDIBLE) paper, stating what he wanted for his funeral, the ceremony, the music, the monument.

RATUSHNYY: (INAUDIBLE). I wish him to do the same.

COREN: Even in death, he continues to inspire young Ukrainians and remains a beacon of hope for a father full of sorrow.

He sounded like such an incredible young man, you know, a future leader of this country.

RATUSHNYY: Yes, exactly. His time was really short.

COREN: But in that short time, Roman always knew what he was fighting for.

ROMAN RATUSHNYY: For me, all that was not in vain. I see a huge number of positive changes in this country, and they happened only thanks to Maidan.


AMANPOUR: Anna Coren reporting there.

And when we come back, I'll answer this week's question. "Ask Amanpour" is next.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back.

In our complicated world, clarity is more important than ever. That's why I'm taking your questions about the events today that shape tomorrow.

So let's find out what's on your mind this week.


JUN LEE (ph), VIEWER: Hello my name is Jun Lee from Seoul, South Korea. My question is, how can A.I. Change the ways of field reporting such as war zones for correspondents' safety?

Thank you.


AMANPOUR: Ok. So Jun Lee, obviously this whole topic is front and center with all the palace intrigue around Sam Altman and OpenAI so we know that it's a huge, huge, massive thrust (ph) all could be dealing especially the safety of it.

I guess when you ask about journalism, it can help in some ways. It can help with transcriptions to speed that up. It can help with translations, make those happen quicker than usual. It can help with research.

But in my opinion and as I've spoken to the Pentagon's main A.I. liaison, there always has to be a human in the loop. We cannot do without humans in the loop.

So for journalists, you know, it might make some of our work easier, but we do not want to be responsible for deep fakes, for people or machines impersonating us, my voice, my face, my look.

You know, they're trying in some places to do that. In India, for instance, but it's not a safe proposition. And if this starts happening in war zones where literally the truth and what matters can be the difference between life and death, then it's very, very dangerous.

So we really have to make sure that this is finely regulated, finely modulated. And really, we have to pay attention to what this will bring us.


AMANPOUR: Hopefully more opportunities than challenges, but we have to be on our guard.

That's all we have time for now. I'll have more of your questions and my answers next week.

Now if you want to ask me a question, scan the QR code on your screen or e-mail And remember to tell us your name and where you're from.

And don't forget you can find all our shows online as podcasts at and on all other major platforms.

I'm Christiane Amanpour in London, thanks for watching. And I'll see you again next week.