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The Amanpour Hour

Interview With Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy; Interview With "Kiss the Future" Producer And Actor Matt Damon; Nepalis Recruited By Russia Suffer Horrors Of War In Ukraine; Legend Jodie Foster Revives "True Detective" Series; Afghanistan's Painful Lessons On The Legacy Of War. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired February 17, 2024 - 11:00   ET



KARA SWISHER, PODCAST HOST: And Jony Ive obviously is the most important one --


SWISHER: -- but this is part of the team and he is one of the final ones of that team, designed all the beautiful things we've been using.

Obviously it's a big -- it's a big moment. These industrial designers deserve a lot of credit.

WALLACE: Well, the reason this came up is --

SWISHER: You're pulling it out -- yes.

WALLACE: -- because I have an iPhone 15, which I just got this week and tell them what I what I traded in for it.

SWISHER: An iPhone 6.

When you said that to me, I was like, who has an iPhone 6? I was like, did you drive your big wheel bicycle up to the Apple store?

WALLACE: When you told the panel here that I had an iPhone 6, they all kind of recoiled in horror.

SWISHER: As they should. But this is a beautiful phone and now you have spatial --

WALLACE: And I can thank Bart for it.


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

Thank you for spending part of your day with us. And well see you right back here with the iPhone 15 next week.

SWISHER: Take a picture.

WALLACE: I do not --


Here's where we're headed this week.


AMANPOUR: I'm at the Munich Security Conference where world leaders are reacting to the death of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. They're also asking whether Ukraine can hold off Putin's forces. And if NATO can still count on America's leadership.

My conversation with president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Then in their darkest hour.

MATT DAMON, ACTOR: You can put us in the most horrific circumstances but you can't take away our celebration of our humanity.

AMANPOUR: Hollywood A-lister Matt Damon on the extraordinary power of music during the siege of Sarajevo. The documentary he's produced about Bono and U2 in Bosnia.

Also ahead sent to die?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: "The children ask me when their dad is coming home," she sobs.

AMANPOUR: Russia is recruiting thousands of soldiers from Nepal for its war in Ukraine. Many never make it home.

A special report from Kathmandu.

Next, another legend of the screen, the great Jodie Foster joins us with Kali Reis, stars of "True Detective".

JODIE FOSTER, ACTRESS: Well, you know, there's a funny thing that happens when you turn 60, I think is at least for me, I feel like there's like some weird chemical that starts going off in your body and you just don't care.

AMANPOUR: And from my archive.

This is the face of war and (INAUDIBLE). Afghanistan's battle scars, post-war lessons for Ukraine, Gaza, and beyond.


AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour. And this week we begin our program here in Munich, where world leaders are gathering for the annual security conference.

The mood though, amounts to a mountain of anxiety this year, not least given the news that Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny is dead. That is according to the Russian Prison Services. An outspoken critic of the Kremlin, a voice for freedom and a global figure for democracy. He died in a Russian prison and the case is being investigated according to the Kremlin.

Long a thorn in the side of Vladimir Putin, a former security official, western leader says, it is an ominous message to the world before.

This news, the other crises dominating this summit, whether the seventy-five-year-old NATO alliance can continue counting on America after former president and Republican front runner Donald Trump invited Russian president Putin to attack any NATO nation that he deems delinquent. And as Trump's Maga Republicans in Congress thwart (ph) further military aid to Ukraine, the real and urgent question whether Kyiv can hold off Putin for another year.

My first interview today is with the man in the eye of the storm, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. I spoke to him on stage as he appealed again to the world to support his and everyone's fight for democracy and freedom.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Putin kills whoever he wants. Be it an opposition leader or anyone else who seems at the target exactly to him.

After the murder of Alexey Navalny its absolute to perceive Putin as a supposedly legitimate head of Russia state. And he is a thug who maintains power through corruption and violence coming to his so- called inauguration, shaking his hand, considering him an equal means to disdain the very nature of political power.

AMANPOUR: All right, firstly, Mr. President, thank you for being here. So a senior NATO official told the FT that it is a desperate situation for you on the front lines, far worse than you are actually admitting.

Your commander said that one of the reasons that they pulled back was in just the last 24 hours, there were some 20 air strikes, 150 different shells. He said they're trying to erase Avdiivka from the face of the -- from the earth.


AMANPOUR: Do you think this will lead to a snowball of other towns and cities on the front lines collapsing or what do you expect for the next months and year?

ZELENSKYY: Thank you for that question. Well, first of all, this is their tactics. They're destroying complete all the houses, the households, buildings, and then they're trying to move into certain areas.

These are small villages, or very small towns and I let me repeat it again for wished to seize them, it has taken them two years. What we expect? We expect to see, what has been promised what we have agreed upon, that we will be able to unblock the sky is where the Russians have an advantage.

As soon as we can do that, they don't -- no longer control the sky. I've been emphasizing this. That's the very purpose of the word, to unblock the sky.

We have started receiving, we're grateful to our partners, we've started to receive the air defense systems, Patriot (INAUDIBLE) and others and we have too few of them. I'm not criticizing now, but we have too few of them in order to quickly move ahead.

But the decision is very simple. Where we had our air defense systems, where we had that time, people would come back, they would bring back the economy of a certain town or city.

The city was practically protected. We have such cities. It's not very fair toward the other cities. We don't have priority lines here, just we're short of such systems.

But where we had such systems of air defense, immediately Russia would move back because it would lose its aircraft. That I can tell you.

Well, I will not tell you exactly what we are using, but one of the latest examples we destroyed 12 aircraft of the Russian Federation recently. So those systems will unblock the sky and will make it possible for our soldiers to move ahead.

Because -- so you'll ask me what we're expecting. If we have those systems and long-range weapons because it's all an unfair war, it's unfair in general, but it's unfair in terms of the advantages.

If you have artillery with a range of up to 20 kilometers and the Russians artillery has the range of up to 40 kilometers -- that's the answer. A human being is fighting artillery. That's unfair it's not modern war ideology.

We have to develop technology. We've started doing that. We have to develop to start building drones.

AMANPOUR: I've been speaking to American generals, others who said, you can win but it depends on the will of politicians in your allied nations, in the United States and everywhere else.

As you know, there is a stalling in the United States Congress, the Republican-led House will not address the huge weapons bill that the president is trying to get to. Some of them maybe here.

What would you say to your Republican colleagues in the United States? Anybody who's blocking that bill.

ZELENSKYY: If Ukraine will be alone, you have to understand what will be. Russia will destroy us destroy Baltic, destroy Poland, and they can do it.

Yesterday, I had (INAUDIBLE) the same, very useful dialogues with was joint government and also with France partners and I said very clearly and very honestly, if you will remind that what was going on in Ukraine in 2014. Our people, they're not ready for the war, for the quick occupation of Crimea, part of Donbas. And then during -- during on the same eight years people began to be ready for such aggression not only with weapon is not the question of weapon. You're ready psychologically. And my -- to my mind I think so.

You know, God bless you will not have any attacks from Russia, but to my mind that in Europe there is no any nations for today who was ready for invasion because -- not because we are stronger or better, not of course, we are the same with the same wills. But we have this -- at all these years.

And your nations didn't have and psychologically and informationally and in media, you didn't prepare your nations. Understanding why because nobody wants nobody wants it. I mean, that's why that's why.


ZELENSKYY: Senators have to understand only in unity, we can win Russia. And they have to understand that we will win with them or not.

We don't have any other way. We have only one land, our Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: Mr. President, you are outmanned and you always say this, there are a huge, huge advantage in terms of numbers of Russian forces. There is a question of potentially you signing a law or changing the draft and the conscription and lowering the age from 27 to 25.

Are you going to do that?

ZELENSKYY: For defending operation some number of brigades, for -- they began to translate me yes. It's difficult. For counteroffensive, you need another in other number of brigades. So the question of mobilization is a complicated thing. Yes.

And I can't share with you the number of victims and casualties but for example if you will, when we speak that they have too much people, yes. And you have to know, for example, in Avdiivka, just comparing the number one to seven.

It's a bit, that I'm but for one death of Ukrainians, seven deaths of Russians. One to seven. So I'm not comparing this, and I don't want and it's tragedy even to lose one person. But we didn't begin it. So -- but you have to know, you have to understand what was going on in this small city.


AMANPOUR: Alexey Navalny, like all Russian opposition figures before him, knew that he had a target on his back. In the summer of 2020, he was poisoned with Novichok nerve agent.

You may remember the dramatic story. Navalny fell ill while on a flight inside Russia. The pilot made an emergency landing. Doctors rushed to his side and he survived. He was flown out and treated right here in Germany, where doctors

confirmed that he had been poisoned. Navalny quickly blamed Putin, the Kremlin always denied it.

Despite great risk, Navalny wanted to return to Russia, as he told me in December 2020, just four months after that Novichok attack.


AMANPOUR: Why do you want to go back. And I guess, do you think you'll be safe when you go back?

ALEXEY NAVALNEY, RUSSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: Well -- well, I don't think that I can have such a privilege being safe in Russia. But I have to go back because I don't want these, you know, groups of killer exist in Russia. I don't want Putin be ruling of Russia. I don't want him being president. I don't want him being tsar of Russia because well, he's killing people. He's the reason why our -- the whole country is degrading (ph). He is the reason why people are so poor.

We have a 25 million people living below the poverty line. And the whole degradation of system. Fortunately for me including system of assassination of people. He's the reason over that.

And I want to go back and try to change it.


AMANPOUR: Coming up next on the program, more on the legacy of war. This time, hope in war-ravaged Sarajevo. Three decades ago, inspiration for the war-torn everywhere.


DAMON: In the darkest times there is something about expressing ourselves and doing it together.


AMANPOUR: Superstar, actor, producer Matt Damon tells the story of Bono, Bosnia, and bomb shelters filled with music.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

Before I left the studio here in London for Munich, I spoke this week with Hollywood superstar Matt Damon about how art and music can sustain life, even in desperate circumstances.

The siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian war was the longest in modern warfare, lasting nearly four years in the 1990s before it ended 28 years ago.

Amid the bloodshed and the ethnic cleansing, Sarajevo's underground music scene provided an escape for many.

From the other side of the world, the rock band U2 sent messages of support, vowing to perform there after the war.

And that is the extraordinary story at the heart of a new documentary, "Kiss the Future".


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During the war we would play music. That's what kept us sane.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Art can inspire people to resist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok? You've got five minutes. What would you do? You do what you love the most.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Courage is grace under pressure, that's a good definition of the people in Sarajevo.


AMANPOUR: I was interviewed for the film about my reporting during that time. And I spoke to the Oscar-winning screenwriter and actor Matt Damon about producing this documentary and about that Dunkin' Donuts Super Bowl ad last week.


AMANPOUR: Matt Damon, welcome to our program.

DAMON: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

AMANPOUR: It was amazing when I saw, you know, the whole documentary because, you know, even though we were there as reporters, we didn't actually know that there was this underground local music scene thriving, you know --


AMANPOUR: -- even under curfew and all the rest of it.

What do you think, as an artist, actually about the power of art in the worst kinds of situations?


DAMON: Yes, that's -- that to me is the most beautiful part of the movie. It's really about our humanity.

And in the darkest times, there's something about expressing ourselves and doing it together. You know, these people were going to these underground music clubs at night to either listen to music or to play music.

I mean, we have a -- there's a photograph in the film that we have is -- one of these punk rock drummers got his hand blown off on the front. And literally, there's a picture of him with a drumstick duct taped to where his hand used to be.

And it's just, music as an act of, of resistance and defiance, you know, art as an act of defiance. And you can put us in the most horrific circumstances, but you can't take away our celebration of our humanity. And we're willing to die for that.

AMANPOUR: And we're going to play that clip, because it is remarkable to see that level of resistance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The audience was literally risking their life running from the different bridges to the theater. Our sound guy died before one of those performances.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One day, my bass player came to me and said, oh, our drummer, he lost his hand on the front line. He lost his right (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hand.

AMANPOUR: And you can see the same stuff happening in Ukraine right now. There's a thriving underground art community.

DAMON: Yes, I think -- I think that's built out of necessity. We have to have these things. We have to continue to be human beings and be together and experience the best parts of life together. Or else it's just -- we're on the road to madness.

AMANPOUR: I mean, Bono is famously political in aid of humanity, essentially. He's -- he is a political guy.

DAMON: I was raised during a time where the citizenry was a lot more engaged. I mean, I grew up during the Vietnam War, and that was a very kind of fractious time in America, obviously. And very, you know, deeply felt on all sides. And, you know, the country was in quite a bit of turmoil.

I don't know if we've been somewhat anesthetized since then. I'm not sure.

But I do feel like, you know, certainly a band like U2, they've always -- I mean, they've always been -- I remember talking to Edge about the fact that he almost didn't join the band because he wasn't sure if it was enough to do with his life. He wanted his life to have greater meaning in service of others.

You know, it would have been enough to have the incredible music, but they've always -- they've always tried to do more. And I think that just speaks to the kind of people they are.

AMANPOUR: So you do have a day job. You are a pretty famous and active movie star. Now, apparently you were looking to take some kind of time out to be more with your family. I heard -- I read that you had told your wife you're going to take a good time out unless Christopher Nolan called you. And then he did.

DAMON: Yes. AMANPOUR: And then comes your role in "Oppenheimer".

DAMON: I was smart enough.


DAMON: I had one little carve out in our deal. This one caveat was -- you know, because Chris is pretty mercurial. You never know. But most actors have a sense of his timeline. Every kind of three or so years you may or may not get a call.

And so, I just left myself that one out because if you get a call from him, you really want to be able to pick it up and go.

I think anybody would just do the phone book with Chris Nolan if he called and asked.

AMANPOUR: My final question is going to start with a clip from a Dunkin' Donut ad.

BEN AFFLECK, ACTOR: And needs no introduction, my partner.

DAMON: Sometimes it's really hard to be your friend.

AFFLECK: You said you were going to support me?

CROWD: Dunkings.


AMANPOUR: OK. Super Bowl. Super Bowl fun. There's so many layers there, but your close friendship with Ben Affleck. You work together on films, on so many, you know other issues and you remain such good friends. Do you ever fall out?

DAMON: No, no. No, we've been friends, you know, since -- I don't know, I was 10 and he was eight. So, that's 43 years, I guess.

No, it's kind of beyond that. There can't really be a breakup, you know. And he called me. I thought the idea was really funny.

He's clearly making a bigger fool of himself than anybody in the commercial. So, everybody else felt fine about putting the track suits on. And we had a lot of fun.

AMANPOUR: I saw you smiling a lot while you were watching that.

Matt Damon, thank you so much.

DAMON: Thank you so much, Christiane.


AMANPOUR: And "Kiss the Future" is out next week exclusively at AMC Theaters across the United States.

Coming up after the break, Putin cast his call up net far and wide.


CHANCE: Janukah (ph), a young Nepali mother is assuming the worse.


AMANPOUR: The Nepali men fighting for Russia in Ukraine and their families who desperately want them back.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back.

As Russia's war in Ukraine drags on, Moscow is looking further and further afield to feed its war machine. The United States says North Korea and Iran are sending Moscow missiles, drones, and ammunition, but lesser known are the people they recruit from poor nations to fight on the front lines.

For instance, in Nepal where young men are lured with the promise of significant cash. But as Matthew Chance found out in this special report from Kathmandu, desperate families are left clueless and penniless when their men don't come home.


CHANCE: It should be a world apart from the battlefields of Ukraine. But this Himalayan state has become an unlikely casualty of Russia's brutal war.


CHANCE: Nepalis like Ram Chandra (ph), who escaped the Russian army with his life and praying for his comrades still fighting on the frontline.

He took a bullet and shrapnel in Ukraine, he told me, and saw many Nepalis killed.

"Dome complained they were sent forward while Russian troops held back," he tells me. but the main problem was the language barrier. "Sometimes you couldn't even understand where you're supposed to be going," he says, "which way to point your gun?

But that chaos hasn't stopped Nepalis signing up. Many posting upbeat videos on social media of their military training in Russia where they're meant to be prepared for the hardships of the Ukraine war.

In reality, several former Nepali recruits tell CNN, they were sent into battle after barely two weeks to fight for the Kremlin, armed with a rifle and a contract for a few thousand dollars a month, a fortune in Nepal where unemployment is high. While the vast majority of Nepalis fighting for Russia in Ukraine are doing it for the money and they come from these down at hill, impoverished areas across the country, we've actually come to one of them now on the outskirts of Kathmandu to meet a woman who in the past few days has learned that her husband has been killed fighting in that distant war.


Hi namaste. Namaste.

He was with a unit of Nepalis battling Ukrainians, she tells me, when he was gunned down.

"It was my husband's friend, his Nepali commander in Ukraine, who called me in the middle of the night and told me he'd been killed," she tells me, still shocked at the news.

"There's been no notification from the Russians, she adds, "nothing". The growing frustration with Russia's treatment of Nepalis as cannon fodder in the Ukraine war shared with these protesters near the Russian embassy in Kathmandu.


And the Nepali foreign minister who told me he's pressed Moscow to curb recruitment to no avail.

N.P. SAUD, NEPALI FOREIGN MINISTER: They have told me that they sorted out the concern of Nepal.

CHANCE: So they've told you they will sort it act.

SAUD: Yes.

CHANCE: But they haven't done anything yet.

SAUD: Yet didn't have. We don't have any information of doing it.

CHANCE: There's not much information either on how many Nepalis are even fighting for Russia. About 200 according to Nepali officials but multiple sources, including campaigners, lawmakers, and returning fighters tell CNN as many as 15,000 Nepalis could be fighting in Ukraine.

Well, we've asked the Russians how many Nepalis they've recruited and how many have been killed in what Kremlin calls its special military operation. So far, there's been no response, but there are concerns here in Nepal, the casualty figures may be high.

CNN has learned that hundreds of Nepalis who joined the Russian military are out of contact. And it's uncertain if they're dead or alive.

Janukah (ph), a young Nepali mother, is assuming the worst. Her husband hasn't called for more than two months now.

"The children asked me when their dad is coming home," she sobs, "even if he doesn't love us anymore we just want to see his face."

But another Nepali recruit to Russia's war may never be seen again.

Matthew Chance, CNN -- Kathmandu, in Nepal.


AMANPOUR: The unintended consequences there.

Coming up. Hollywood legend Jodie Foster unites with boxing superstar Kali Reis for the latest season of the thrilling mystery series "True Detective".


AMANPOUR: Working with you was like training with Mike Tyson.

FOSTER: Without the body.

KALI REIS, ACTOR: Yes. She didn't bite any ears off.




AMANPOUR: Welcome back.

In this week's "Letter from London", I'm joined by a legendary Hollywood actress making her return to the small screen and a world champion boxer stepping into a new ring. That's right. They are the stars of the new season of "True Detective", Jodie Foster and Kali Reis.

And if you're new to the show, here's a clip.


FOSTER: I'm working on this new case.

Missing scientists found on the edge of the villages, frozen solid.

What do you want.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because we both know what really happened.


AMANPOUR: The stars joined me here in London ahead of the shows grand finale, which is this Sunday.


AMANPOUR: Jodie Foster, Kali Reis -- welcome to the program.

FOSTER: Thank you.

REIS: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: What attracted you about "True Detective" in this particular series,

FOSTER: Isa Lopez, the director, just did such a magnificent job writing all the episodes and creating this world with the two true detectives that are female, now. You know, we remember season one and Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, but there's something really extraordinary about the anthology and being able to say, we're going to -- we're going to do something completely different.


AMANPOUR: So since Jodi brought up season one was it the female-led character of this one that attracted you to it? And it's your first major onscreen, right?

REIS: Yes, it's my first major onscreen. It's my -- only my third acting job as well.

AMANPOUR: You are part Cape Verdean, part Native American. Was that also an attractive, you know, calling point for you?

REIS: Absolutely. Because the representation or lack thereof that we have as indigenous people is just, you know, it's getting a lot better and I'm -- were just in such a great time.

So when I had was presented to me this character Navarro was Inupiat and Dominican. She was part of two different worlds, part of the community that she was going to be policing. It was something that was so familiar to me because it's kind of like that balance that you have to have. You don't feel enough for either. So it just attracted me to this is very real character.

AMANPOUR: Jodie foster can use a boxing champ. And she said though that is -- and will maybe go back to boxing?

REIS: I'm not retired yet.


AMANPOUR: And said that working with you was like training with Mike Tyson?

FOSTER: Oh, without the biting.


REIS: Occasionally.

She didn't bite any ears off.

No, it was like -- it was like training like Mike Tyson and like 86 in his prime.

AMANPOUR: And Jodi, you know, you are obviously a mentor of sorts, I guess for all the newcomers and younger actresses, you decided that you wanted your character, Liz Danvers, to be aged up.

FOSTER: Well, my age, yes.

AMANPOUR: Your age.


AMANPOUR: But putting Navarro's story as the center.


AMANPOUR: Is that right?

FOSTER: Yes. And I think Is probably wanted that too, but it was something that I really wanted to remind us that we were doing something that really isn't done very much just to have the central voice of the film be an indigenous voice, to be looked through those eyes in a way, not just because we're doing representation, but because we really want to be in that body and really understand it from that perspective.

And so for me to do that, I'm just here to support. So I kind of reverse engineered my character of Liz Danvers to support Kalie's character's journey.

AMANPOUR: That doesn't happen often.

FOSTER: Well, you know, there's a funny thing that happens when you turn 60, I think is, at least for me, I feel like there's like some weird chemical that starts going off in your body and you just don't care.

And part of that not caring is that you suddenly realize that it's so much more fun and more satisfying to recognize that it's not your time, it's someone else's time.

AMANPOUR: So the last major thriller detective that you played got an Oscar, Clarice, et cetera. Congratulations because you're nominated again in this case, best supporting actress, right for "Nyad".

FOSTER: Yes. Yes.

AMANPOUR: Tell me the story. Everybody should know it.

Foster: Well, it's a story out of Diana Nyad who is a swimmer, had been a marathon swimmer for all her whole life and then came back at the age of 60, finally accomplishing her mission at 64 to swim from Cuba to Florida.

AMANPOUR: Annette Bening and yourself, again, kind of aged up. I mean, you are not shy about the sun damage, the mask damage that she had been worried.

FOSTER: Yes. Poor Annette.

AMANPOUR: Oh my gosh.

I mean that takes some courage also.

FOSTER: Yes. As I say, I was best supporting abs because I just -- I never had to get into water. I basically just stood on the boat and sucked in my stomach and my jogger bra and that was pretty much all I had to do.

AMANPOUR: There's the whole taxi driver kind of cast --

FOSTER: Oh, yes.

AMANPOUR: -- group that's all meeting at the Oscars, right? By the time you did that film, I think you were --

FOSTER: I was 12 years old.

AMANPOUR: You were 12 and you had more experience in films than either Martin Scorsese or Robert de Niro?

FOSTER: Yes, I had I had made more movies than either one of them at that point. But it's -- it is funny to see. I mean, of course, I have so much respect for Scorsese and de Niro and all of the movies that they've made.

But yes, my reference for them is very different. You know, Martin Scorsese had a little funny match moustache and he was really young and his mother was on set the whole time. And she was always like --

AMANPOUR: On "Taxi Driver"?

FOSTER: Yes. And she was tucking his shirt all the time and she was like patting his butt.

AMANPOUR: And not making sure you were ok.

FOSTER: So I do have a different memory of that.

AMANPOUR: Patting his butt -- I think is -- And just because "Killers of the Flower Moon" is another amazingly timely film in terms of diversity and representation of indigenous people. Did you like the film?

REIS: You know, there's mixed feelings about the film, they're not anything negative.

I'm so proud of Lily Gladstone and the entire indigenous cast and entire Osage nation. She did a wonderful job, so did the whole cast. So I think having an ally like Martin Scorsese who took his platform and told this story and worked with them, it's an amazing opportunity just to continue to go forward.

AMANPOUR: Jodie Foster, Kali Reis -- thank you so much, indeed.

FOSTER: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: Coming up from my archive, the hidden weapons of war, haunting civilians long after the fighting stops. We go back to Afghanistan, 1996.


AMANPOUR: 17 years of war, first against the Soviets and now against each other have turned this country into one of the world's biggest minefields.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

We've been talking throughout this hour about the pain and sorrow of war. But what happens when the guns fall silent.

We took a look back into our archive, at the necessary and often deadly process of de-mining. February 1989, 35 years ago this week, the Soviet Union was forced to withdraw from Afghanistan after U.S.- back resistance by the Afghan mujahideen, a defeat that marked the beginning of the end for that superpower and an event that the current Russian president Vladimir Putin is determined to reverse.


AMANPOUR: Now, as Ukraine tries to push back against Russian forces, those very troops have laid down dense minefields, which are not only difficult to overcome now, but will still be deadly even when the war ends.

I found that exact scenario in Afghanistan. And in 1996, I saw up close how mines and unexploded ordnance outlasts any war.


AMANPOUR: This is the face of war and peace -- infants, teenagers, adults wounded by weapons that keep firing long after a conflict is over.

In one month, surgeons at one hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul amputated 35 limbs, land mines caused almost all the injuries, almost all the injured are civilians.

The International Committee of the Red Cross runs the city's only rehabilitation center.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no pressure. Yes. No pressure.

AMANPOUR: Alberto Cairo (ph) has been fitting mine victims here for the past six years. The false leg business is not about to go bust.

ALBERTO CAIRO, PHYSIOTHERAPIST, ICRC ORTHOPEDIC CENTER: It's pure terrorism. You know, perfectly when you put a mine that the mine will hit someone innocent, someone that is not a soldier, someone that you are not fighting against.

AMANPOUR: The fight against mines is being waged in the capital and the countryside.

Teams of sniffer dogs and 2,000 workers hired and trained by the United Nations search and destroy. Scraping through the soil inch by inch, it's taken three days just to find one mine here. It is difficult, slow, and very scary work.

"I must do it for my country," says (INAUDIBLE).

17 years of war, first against the Soviets and now against each other have turned his country into one of the world's biggest minefields. 22 square kilometers in the capital alone, only a fraction has been cleared, worst, it will last into the next century, if the funding does. A mine costs $3 to make, $1,000 to remove.

In the meantime --

AHMADULLAH, U.N. DEMINING TEAM: We cannot start our schools, our university. The people, they cannot work. The farmers even they cannot go to their land.

AMANPOUR: In addition to mines, tons of unexploded weapons helped cripple economies, ruined farmland, and prevent refugees from returning home. Here, a 120-millimeter mortar shell in someone's garden. The alarm is sounded.

And this goes on day after day, week after week. And now the Red Cross has called for a total global ban on land mines.

Since mines, of course, several casualties amongst U.S. soldiers serving in Bosnia, the U.S. military has started to consider whether or not to join the growing anti-mine campaign and advocates hope that will have a knock-on effect. However, there is still resistance from the many countries that make, sell and stockpile mines.

In the meantime, the U.N., Red Cross and other relief agencies are trying to protect the incident by teaching them how to recognize and avoid mines because they kill about 10,000 people every year and maim many more because civilians, not soldiers, are the principal victims.

A 13-year-old girl loses her leg collecting firewood. In societies like hers, a woman who's maimed is not marriage material.

"I was just farming my land. How did I know there were mines," said 16-year-old Popal (ph), the families only breadwinner.

This hospital received about ten mine-wounded a day. It is bracing for double that number now that spring has come, snows are melting and farmers are going out to plant again.


AMANPOUR: It Is so sad and according to the U.N., latest estimates show that in 2021, more than 5,500 people were killed or maimed by land mines. Most of them civilians, half of them children.

More than two decades after the adoption of the Mine Ban Treaty, around 60 million people in nearly 70 countries still live with the risk of land mines on a daily basis.

The United States has not signed up to that treaty. And you know that whether it's Gaza or Ukraine, this legacy will remain.

When we come back more of your questions and my answers. "Ask Amanpour" is next.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back.

And finally, let's find out what's on your mind this week.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, Christiane. My name (INAUDIBLE). What's your take on the one-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?


AMANPOUR: So that is quite controversial and I've been speaking to experts this week about what happens the day after.

Now, a one-state solution means all Palestinians, all Israelis will live in one state. And then the question is, will all citizens have equal rights? Will the Palestinians be given equal rights in a one- state?

Who knows? But most people believe that a two-state solution is the only way to have security for all sides, freedom and justice and equal rights for all sides. That is the solution that the international community and all the neighbors are working on.


AMANPOUR: It is not a solution Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants and actually majorities on both sides don't yet want it because of all the violence that's happened, but it will take a major international effort.

And if that doesn't happen they say, violence will continue. We will wait to see.

And that is all we have time for this week. If you want to ask me a question, scan the QR code on your screen or email 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. Thank you for watching and see you again from London next week.