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The Amanpour Hour

Situation Critical As War-Weary Ukraine Awaits Crucial Aid; Interview With Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba; Ukraine Ramps Up New Recruit Training To Replace Dead And Injured; Poison Politics And The True Origin Of Putin's Invasion; Interview With "The Zone Of Interest" Director Jonathan Glazer; Battlefield Ballet. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired February 24, 2024 - 11:00   ET



CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: Jonah, bring us home.

JONAH GOLDBERG, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "THE DISPATCH": There's been a lot of talk about how Laura Trump, who Trump wants to put in as the co-chair of the RNC as well as Chris Lacivita I think is his name, who's going to be basically the day-to-day manager of the place, how they are going to orchestrate paying off Donald Trump's legal bills and have massive purges of the RNC.

I think both of those things will not happen either at all or at least not until after Donald Trump is the nominee.

WALLACE: I just checked because I had an idea, you're going to talk about this. They've already paid PACs or super PACs and everything over 70 million in legal bills. It's an astonishing number and it's only going to go up.

Gang, thank you all for being here. And thank you for spending part of your day with us. Well see you right back here next week.


Here's where were headed this week.


AMANPOUR: After two years of bipartisan pledges to help for as long as it takes Congress falters. Ukraine's future is more uncertain than ever and Putin plots his next move.

VICTORIA NULAND, U.S. UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: If we don't stop Putin in Ukraine, he will keep going.

AMANPOUR: Also this hour Ukraine's foreign minister blames weapons delay for Russia's biggest strategic win in months.

DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN SECRETARY: We wouldn't lose Avdiivka if we had received all the artillery ammunition that we needed to defend it.

AMANPOUR: Are more Ukrainian towns on the front line at risk?

Then from my archive, deja vu all over again. The pro-democracy Ukrainian president poisoned in an assassination attempt, running against a pro-Kremlin candidate.

VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO, FORMER UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: People cry when they see my face. But my country has also been disfigured.

AMANPOUR: My 2005 conversation with Ukraine's Viktor Yushchenko and the ghastly foretelling of the fate of Alexey Navalny

And finally, how hearing is believing in a very different holocaust movie, "The Zone of Interest".

JONATHAN GLAZER, DIRECTOR, "THE ZONE OF INTEREST": It's sort of out- of-sight, but never out of mind.

AMANPOUR: Director Jonathan Glazer joins the show.


AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone.

I'm Christiane Amanpour in Kyiv here, during what may be another turning point in the war against Russia. In Washington, $60 billion in additional critical military aid is stalled in Congress. Even as Russian forces consolidate gains in and around the fallen town of Avdiivka.

Since this war began, I find the mood here on the street has changed dramatically. One still hears the unity of purpose from people and government officials I've spoken to, but there's also a current of high anxiety as Russia ramps up military pressure and the flow of American and other arms is cut off.

So on this February 24, entering the third year of Russia's invasion, here's a look at how it started and where the war might be going.


AMANPOUR: The world expected it, even though Putin denied it. But somehow, when Russia invaded Ukraine just before dawn on February 24, 2022 it was still a shock.

Against the odds, Zelenskyy rallied the nation and the world and Ukraine put up a fierce fight.

Russia's much-vaunted military was exposed as out-of-date, badly- planned, and overstretched. The shocking brutality of Putin's forces was soon laid bare as Ukrainians pushed them back.

First in Bucha on the outskirts of Kyiv, where investigators found bodies in the streets. Evidence of torture, executions in cold blood and mass graves -- all alleged war crimes. Much of the world stood with Zelenskyy then as his forces liberated

Kharkiv in the northeast and by November had retaken the southern city of Kherson in a major counteroffensive.

Not long after that, Zelenskyy received a hero's welcome in Washington. Add an additional 2 billion in security aid.

it was here on Maidan square ten years ago that Ukraine's love of democracy began in earnest. Dozens of people were killed by the pro Putin president at the time because they wanted to turn towards Europe. But Putin wanted to keep them in his orbit. He still does and they are still struggling to hold him off.

But 2023 saw fewer successes and a much-vaunted counter-offensive has yielded little but stalemate, according to Ukraine's then military chief and his firing marked the need for a reset, as Ukraine enters a third year at war and attempts to get back on the front foot.


AMANPOUR: Ammunition is running dangerously low and Russia maintains a big advantage in sheer manpower. When I spoke with him in Munich just days ago, President Zelenskyy insists they can still win.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: We have to work in one in one joint team. That is the answer. If Ukraine will be grant will be alone, you have to understand what will be. Russia will destroy us, destroy Baltic, destroy Poland.


AMANPOUR: But in the midst of a U.S. election, former president Donald Trump has blocked Congress sending more military aid while encouraging Putin to have his way with NATO nations.

Ukraine is vowing to press on, but without a much-needed cash infusion and new weapons systems the warning signs are flashing red.


AMANPOUR: The reality now is that Putin's invading forces are more emboldened than ever after their most important strategic win in months. A win Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba tells me would not have been possible if Kyiv had had enough artillery to defend itself.

I asked him if he's still confident that Congress will deliver the aid it promised.


KULEBA: I think it is going to happen because the United States of America iris, irrespective of their political affiliations, understand that what is at stake in Ukraine goes far beyond Ukraine and is of national interest, national security interest to the United States. We regret that its taking so much, so much time. We suffer from

enormously insufficient supply of artillery ammunition, and other types of weapons and therefore, all we can do is just to urge to make things happen faster, to save lives here in Ukraine and to allow us to keep our territory under control and liberate those territories which were occupied by the Russians.

AMANPOUR: So both President Biden and you, yourself and others have said that essentially the slow rolling of aid is showing up on the front line. And you have said we are paying with our lives for the failure or the slowness of certainly Europe to ramp up its defense industries.

KULEBA: Yes. Again, yes. The problem, and our European partners recognize that, is that it took them too much time to admit that they have to invest long-term into production of weapons.

I mean let's be frank to put the weapon production is not the most popular area for investment in Europe. Europe has -- is used to living in peace.

AMANPOUR: It's because your country allowed the peace dividend when the fall of the Soviet Union happened.

KULEBA: Without a single drop of blood. But now there is a war and the Europeans have to accept the fact that the era of peace in Europe is over. Whether someone likes it or not, it's over and you have to invest long-term in the production of weapons.

And I'm making the point when I speak to my European colleagues that every piece of weapon, every round of ammunition produced in Europe should serve the purpose of defending Europe and the place where Europe is being defended is Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: I'm going to play this. What Pete Ricketts said.


SEN. PETE RICKETTS (R-NE): It takes time to bring democracies along, and the same thing is going to happen in the United States. We will get there with regard to making the investments in our defense industrial base, supply the weapons to Ukraine, but it's going to take time to get there.

There may be different paths to get there. I'm reminded of Winston Churchill's, "Americans would do the right thing after exhausting all other possibilities."


AMANPOUR: That's what he said. What and how long can Ukraine hold out for America to do the right thing?

KULEBA: Well, we will not fall whatever happens. But if we want to save lives, if we want to decrease the cost of repelling the Russian aggression, then the assistance has to come literally tomorrow. People have to understand one simple thing, adopting the law is

important, but delivering stuff to the front line takes time.

And while this decision is still pending and then add logistics, all of this time, our soldiers will be sacrificing their lives at the front line, holding up against an overwhelming force of Russia.

They are making miracles, and they must be credited for that. But the reason they have to sacrifice themselves and die is because someone is still debating a decision.

And I respect domestic politics. We do not interfere into it. But I just want everyone to remember that every day of debate in one place means another death -- a death in another place.

AMANPOUR: Or the fall of a town or a city. While we were talking in Munich, Avdiivka fell. Some hundreds of Ukrainians who were wounded were unable to be evacuated. And as -- you know, as your commander said, the Russians were advancing over the, you know, corpses that were in their way.


AMANPOUR: And now, we hear -- we see pressure being put on the Kharkiv region. Can you hold out?

KULEBA: We wouldn't lose Avdiivka if we had received all the artillery ammunition that we needed to defend it. That is my answer to your question.

AMANPOUR: Simple as that.

KULEBA: I don't think it requires any additional comments. There is a war. This war will continue. Russia does not intend to pause. Russia does not intend to withdraw.

They will undertake other offensive operations, and they always act in a very simple, I would say, even salami tactics. They slice one town or one village, and then they focus all of their resources on another one.

So, once Avdiivka is under their control, they will undoubtedly choose another town and or city and begin to storm it with ruthless -- in a ruthlessly systematic way.

The only good news here is that they are unable -- and we should not overestimate the might of Russia -- they are unable to maintain large- scale operations simultaneously along the front line. They don't have resources for that.

But they switch on one city, one town after another. And, you know, the fall of one city means that someone else -- someone else's time has come.

AMANPOUR: There are others who've asked about elections. For instance, they're meant to be elections, but there's martial law, so there won't be elections.

What does that say about Ukraine's democracy and its commitment to democracy?

KULEBA: Well, first, we wouldn't survive the Russian attack if we were not a democracy. And we will not win in this war if we do not remain a democracy.

And I realize that people love to make tests in Ukraine, to test their ideas. If they can quote a country that was successful in holding elections, national elections, during the war of this scale and intensity, I will be happy to sit down and to learn how a list of problems were solved in order to make these elections happen.

This not an issue of willing or not willing to hold elections, this an issue of finding answers to very specific questions. How do you ensure the security of voters who will go to the voting station? Every voting station is a target. People will be simply afraid to go and cast their votes.

How do you ensure the right of a soldier to both run in elections or to vote while he is in the trenches on the front line?

As foreign minister, I have to make sure that millions of Ukrainians abroad will have the right to exercise their voice -- their vote.

So, there are tons of issues. But look around, this a country that fights because it is a democracy. Otherwise, we would have already lost.

AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister Kuleba, thank you for joining us.

KULEBA: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: You're watching THE AMANPOUR HOUR from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. And when we return, I ask the U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, Victoria Nuland, if and when she thinks Congress will send the urgently needed aid here.

Then later in the show, a warning from history: the poisoning of a president and the democratic revolution that set Putin on this path to invasions.


YUSHCHENKO: I know what kind of country I live in and who is in charge of the government. But I didn't think they'd be cynical enough to poison me.




ANDREY KURKOV, UKRAINIAN NOVELIST: Remember that America was always a symbol of freedom for Ukraine, for many countries. And I wish America remains the symbol of freedom and the country which set up the standards of democracy in the world.


AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

The U.S. undersecretary of State, Victoria Nuland was here in Ukraine recently meeting with senior government officials and wounded warriors. she has been at the heart of America's Russia policy for decades serving in a variety of critical posts, including as ambassador to NATO.

She joined me earlier from Washington.


AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, Victoria Nuland.

NUILAND: Thank you, Christiane. Good to be with you again.

AMANPOUR: Yes. You, too. And I just wonder, you probably heard what Andrey Kurkov, you probably know him, said that he would say to the Americans, if he could. What's your response to him and others here telling us, you know, America talks a good game but right now was stalled and it needs to remember, it is the father, mother of democracy and freedom around the world.

NULAND: Well, thank you, Christiane. That's the point that President Biden is making as well, and that 70 senators made just last week in passing overwhelmingly the administration's supplemental request, including $60 billion for Ukraine. So now, the question is in the House of Representatives.

And support for Ukraine across the United States is still strong. So, we hope that representatives will reflect that in the way they vote. And it's strong, not just because people understand how brave and resilient Ukraine has been, but that this is not just about Ukraine.

If we don't stop Putin in Ukraine, he will keep going. And autocrats and tyrants all around the world will take comfort and think that they too can chunk off a piece of their neighbor. So, this is absolutely essential.


AMANPOUR: It is. And I do hear you and the others in the administration and supporters talking about the vital necessity to do this.

But as people say, hope is not a strategy. And do you have any actual belief or reason to believe that eventually this bill will be paid? And if not, how are you going to make sure Ukraine gets vital weapons and ammunition?

NULAND: Christiane, I have strong confidence that when the House comes back after they've been out in their districts, hearing from the American people, after they have heard from Ukraine, they have heard from Europe, which by the way, just passed $54 billion in additional aid itself, that we will do what we have always done, which is defend democracy and freedom around the world, not just for victims of tyrants like Putin, but in our own interest in preserving a free and open international order.

That's what we need to do. We've done it before.

And by the way, we have to remember that the bulk of this money is going right back into the U.S. economy to make those weapons, including good paying jobs in some 40 states across the United States.

AMANPOUR: Equally, the lack of that money, and most importantly, the materiel for the frontline fighters is being felt on the front right now.

And I -- in the last few days that I've been here -- have heard nothing but tales of how lives are being lost, land is being lost. It's really, really urgent.

What is your U.S. government assessment of the dangers for Ukraine on the front line right now?

NULAND: Well, you are absolutely right, Christiane. When I was there, some three weeks ago, the Ukrainian military was reporting that in some parts of that front line that they've been holding, World War I style trench warfare for two years now. Some of the soldiers have only 20 shells to survive the day.

So, this supplemental not only gets them money -- gets them ammunition now, it also helps them to begin producing their own ammunition and to have a stronger opportunity going forward and to build a highly resilient force of the future.

You are in Kharkiv. In Kharkiv, as you probably noticed, Putin's trying something different. He is bombarding one of Ukraine's most beautiful eastern cities from the air every day, trying to flatten it.

And by the way, it's a Russian-speaking city that he is bombing. Remember, he said that he was going in, in the first place, back in '15, to protect Russian-speaking Ukrainians. And now, he is bombing them.

And that's another way that without more air defense, et cetera, he can do his bidding with -- in Ukraine. And you could feel it in the desperate voices of those you interviewed.

It's not the Russia that, frankly, we wanted. We wanted a partner that was going to be westernizing, that was going to be European. But that's not what Putin has done.

And as desperate and awful a situation this is for Ukraine, Putin's also destroyed his own country through all of this. And we will continue to tighten the noose on him and force his choices to be -- to come to the table in a serious way or live with the Russia that he's wrought, which is not the Russia he promised his people.

AMANPOUR: Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, thank you for joining us.

NULAND: Thank you, Christiane.


AMANPOUR: Coming up on the show, innocent people caught up in the carnage of war. Director Jonathan Glazer tells me why his Oscar- nominated movie, "The Zone of Interest", is more relevant than ever.

But first, my report on Ukraine's new recruits heading for the front lines. And the dead and injured soldiers, they are replacing. That's next.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

I'm here in Ukraine where the war with Russia has now been grinding on for two long years. The reality is that Ukrainian forces are desperate for the ammunition and weapons they need to hold off their more powerful neighbor. One Ukrainian fighter tells me there's now a catastrophic shortage of both weapons and people.

I went to two different training sites this week to meet Ukrainians preparing for the front lines.


AMANPOUR: Snow falls softly on new recruits for the Ukrainian Army's 3rd Assault Brigade.

Drill sergeants push them through their paces with urgent basic training for the trenches, urban warfare, and assault maneuvers. Every woman and man counts now for a battle that seems to have returned to the dire days at the start.

28-year-old Serhii came back from Lithuania to serve two weeks ago, despite his health.

AMANPOUR: What's wrong with you?

SERHII, UKRAINIAN ARMY RECRUIT: It's asthma. But right now, we need to take our best man. And no matter what, I will serve my country until the victory.

AMANPOUR: The brigade says it's training professional fighters, not cannon fodder like Russia. Their soldiers helped evacuate survivors of the battle for Avdiivka, where Russia has now raised its flag. But many of their wounded were left behind.

Just watch this video call between a severely-injured soldier, Ivan (ph), and his panic-stricken sister, Katerina (ph).

IVAN: Everyone left, everyone retreated. They told us that a car would pick us up. I have two broken legs, shrapnel in my back. I can't do anything.

KATERINA: Are there alone or what?

IVAN: No, there are six of us.


AMANPOUR: Ivan and his comrades never made it. Ukraine says there was a deal Russia would evacuate them and exchange prisoners.

Instead, Russia released video of them dead. The brigade says they were shot.

These are desperate times in Ukraine's fight to survive. They need to replenish the ranks of the dead and injured.

And even here at the Superhumans' facility in the western city of Lviv, therapists and prosthetic specialists work around the clock giving these war amputees a second chance, and even a return to the front lines.

25-year-old Anastasia Savka is an army sniper. She stepped on a landmine in November near the Zaporizhzhia front, and she tells me they are scattered there like snowdrops in spring, like daisies in summer.

"We couldn't get out for a long time because we were under very heavy fire," she tells me. "To be honest, we were ready to die there. The attacks were so close, and we were thinking this was the end."

Olga Rudneva is CEO of this center, which is supported by a Ukrainian businessman and the American philanthropist Howard Buffett.

80 percent of the patients are military, many of them multiple amputees. And that's because, Olga says, the wounded cannot get out of the battle zone during the so-called golden hour to save their limbs.

OLGA RUDNEVA, CEO, SUPERHUMANS: People are evacuated for 10 hours by comrades very often because Russians are shelling our medics. So, by the time they arrive at stabilization point, we have to cut them high because of the tourniquets. So, that's why we have multiple amputations.

AMANPOUR: Not only are they outmanned, they are also outgunned. The gridlock in Congress over military aid is showing up at the front, and time is not their friend. We reach Sergeant Mikola (ph), who's also serving now on the Zaporizhzhia front line.

AMANPOUR: Do you have enough weapons? Do you have enough people? Do you have enough ammunition?

"Of course, we don't," he says. "There is a catastrophic shortage of people. The same with weapons. There aren't enough shells for artillery and tanks, or the tanks and artillery themselves."

On a brief hiatus in the rear, they've had to buy their own mortar. Small caliber, just for self-defense. Problem is, no ammunition.

Anastasia practices perfecting her balance, her endurance, regaining the strength to shoulder her weapons, and she wants to go back to the front.

"I think anything is possible," she says. "But whatever happens, we all need to fight this together because the enemy is advancing."

No one wants their children to still be fighting the war they and their parents have been fighting ever since Putin's first invasion a decade ago.


AMANPOUR: Up next, a look back into my archive and the shadow of Navalny's death foretold. The case of the Ukrainian candidate poisoned during his presidential campaign.


AMANPOUR: It's something out of an Agatha Christie novel though, isn't it? That in 2004, a presidential candidate in the heart of Europe could be poisoned.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back.

From the archive this week, a warning from history from my conversation with former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko. He was elected in 2004 running as a reformer amid Ukraine's Orange Revolution, its first great people power uprising.

During that campaign, Yushchenko became seriously ill with what it later emerged was near fatal dioxin poisoning. And so especially in light of the death of Russia's democracy leader Alexey Navalny, we took a look back at my January 2005 report on President Yushchenko soon after his inauguration.


YUSHCHENKO: Ukrainians have dreamt of being free for centuries. So no one expected we'd come so close to dictatorship.

AMANPOUR: And that might have happened if the plot to poison Yushchenko had succeeded. As it is, it has completely disfigured him.

You challenged people about your face. You said that your face is the face of everything that's wrong with Ukraine.

What do you mean by that?

YUSHCHENKO: People cry when they see my face but my country has also been disfigured. Now we'll bring both back to health.

AMANPOUR: How do you deal with this now as a man?

YUSHCHENKO: This Yushchenko, I'm still not used to.

AMANPOUR: This is what Yushchenko looked like only six months ago when he began his campaign to unseat Ukraine's authoritarian rulers by returning home to seek his mother's blessing.

When you started in this idyllic traditional moment, did you have any premonition, any idea that it would be so tough.

YUSHCHENKO: I know what kind of country I live in and who is in charge of the government. But I didn't think they'd be cynical enough to poison me.


AMANPOUR: Ignored by Ukraine's highly-controlled media, Yushchenko's grassroots campaign against government corruption was somehow starting to catch on. He barnstormed the country with his American-born wife, Catherine, often at his side.

KATERYNA YUSHCHENKO, FORMER UKRAINIAN FIRST LADY: He was a great threat to the old system, to the system where there was a great deal of corruption, where people were making millions, if not billions.

Catherine, whose Ukrainian parents, emigrated to Chicago, was used to straddling two worlds. But nothing prepared her for Ukraine's poison politics.

It's something out of an Agatha Christie novel though, isn't it? That in 2004 a presidential candidate in the heart of Europe could be poisoned.

K. YUSHCHENKO: The whole purpose of what they did, I believe now was to keep him out of the campaign, to knock him out. They tried to destroy him politically and I always feared when they were not successful that they would try to then do something physically.

AMANPOUR: Look at these lovely children all in orange. I must say this is a symphony.

K. YUSHCHENKO: Deep in my heart I've very much feared that something would happen to our entire family. AMANPOUR: And then suddenly it did. On September 6, Yushchenko fell critically ill, and no one in Ukraine could explain why.

K. YUSHCHENKO: It was a very, very, very difficult situation. Many of the doctors told us that they were -- that they just had never experienced somebody having so much pain for so many unknown reasons.

AMANPOUR: He had symptoms such as swollen pancreas, stomach ulcers and a crippling backache.

Do you know who did this to you specifically?

YUSHCHENKO: I have no doubt this was done by my opponents in the government. That's who would benefit the most from my death.

AMANPOUR: But the government brushed off these allegations until the hard proof came in. Three months after Yushchenko first fell ill, this lab in Amsterdam reported dioxin levels in his blood 6,000 times above normal.

Spokesmen for Russia's security services would not comment on either case but President Putin's role during the election remains controversial.

He openly backed the handpicked successor of the previous regime, coming to Kyiv twice to lend his support.

One of your most important world neighbors is obviously Russia. President Putin supported your opponent during the election. How do you reconcile with him?

YUSHCHENKO: I'll give him my hand and say, "let's forget the past and think of the future".

Last week, he did just that, greeting president Putin on his first trip abroad since his inauguration.

YUSHCHENKO: Everyone now understands only Ukrainians have the right to choose Ukraine's president. Our president is not elected in Moscow or anywhere else.


AMANPOUR: Its, now clear that Viktor Yushchenko was an early casualty in Vladimir Putin's ongoing war against Ukraine's independence and democracy.

Up next on the program, why hearing is believing in the unnerving Oscar nominated movie "Zone of Interest". Director Jonathan Glazer joins me next.


GLAZER: I wanted the horrors to be sort of bearing down on this bucolic atmosphere that they created for themselves regardless.




AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program here in Ukraine.

Faced with the horrors of war, it is all too easy to shy away from reality, that blindness to atrocity and complicity is explored in "The Zone of Interest" an unnerving historical drama about a seemingly idyllic middle-class family that hides a sickening truth.

It's been nominated for five Oscars and just won three BAFTA awards. Director Jonathan Glazer joined me from London earlier this week to talk about it.


AMANPOUR: Jonathan Glazer, welcome to the program and congratulations, not just for the awards but for the incredible amount of interest and conversation "The Zone of Interest" has sparked.

It is extraordinary in the way you chose to depict the Holocaust essentially without showing the victims, but showing the commandant and his family and showing the comforts that at least the wife an d children were used to and really liked and ignored what was happening just over their walls.

What were you saying by doing it adjacent to the camp?

GLAZER: You know, obviously, there have been many films made about the Holocaust, and many of them -- most of them, in fact, would -- you know, we would be with the prisoners, would be with the incarcerated.

And I thought what was a very interesting starting point and perspective was the point of view of the perpetrator. And the sort of grotesque stark situation here is that the Hoss house, Rudolf Hoss lived with his family. I mean, what you see in the film is really a direct simulation of how they did actually live, where their garden abuts the death camp that he was in charge of.

So, on one side, you have this, you know, cornucopia and on the other side, of course, you have hell.


GLAZER: And that sort of wall, for me, is a sort of almost a manifestation of how we compartmentalize the suffering of others in order to -- you know, normalize the suffering of others some -- to some extent in order to sort of protect and preserve our own comfort and security.

And I think what we're trying to do with the film was to find a space or create a space where the viewer could actually project themselves onto them and see how familiar they are rather, and not have the comfort and benefit of being able to kind of empathize with the victim, rather to the discomfort of seeing ourselves in the perpetrators.

AMANPOUR: You said that there are almost two films. one is the visual and the other is the sound. Talk to me about the sound and how you recreated what was going on over that wall through sound.

GLAZER: I knew right from the author I didn't want to reenact these atrocities using actors and extras. I feel that that imagery is something that we all know, and it's sort of seared into our consciousness as it is.

And sound, of course, is interpretive, and we are able to see those pictures in our mind's eye because we hear those sounds.

So -- and again, because the film is sort of defiantly made from the garden side of that wall, from the Hoss side of the wall, I kind of wanted -- I didn't want to ever go over there. I wanted to be -- but, nonetheless, I wanted the horrors to be sort of bearing down on this bucolic atmosphere that they created for themselves regardless.

So, it's sort of -- it's -- in other words, it's sort of out of sight but never out of mind. And the sound was a year-long workload really of gathering field recordings and going out and shooting field recordings sonically in order to be able to then construct this sort of sonic landscape, which depicts the horrors and the sort of perpetual atrocities going on over the other side of the wall.

AMANPOUR: I mean, you talk about Hannah Arendt's "Banality of Evil". But then, you know, if we all have that capability, what gives you hope that we will all not act like that? And there are a few really amazing moments of hope that you visualize in a sort of sometimes a dream sequence.

GLAZER: I believe, you know, we're not just that as human beings. It's obviously the -- what I would hope that we would be able as a species to evolve out of that, out of our capacity for violence in thought and in action and so, I've certainly haven't given up hope.

And I do think that it was important to include hope in the film or the -- or something holy. And the girl that you've referred to, it was a local Polish girl, based on a conversation I had with a 90-year-old woman who was that girl at the time, who lived two kilometers from the camps and took it upon herself to leave food for prisoners at night where and where she could -- where and when she could.

And it felt very important to include light. It felt very important to include the other side of human nature and what we are -- what we can do, you know.

I mean, it's trying to sort of ask ourselves, as a film, to have a genuine human response, you know, why one life can be considered more valuable than another.

You know, human pain is pain and loss is loss, and at the most basic -- you know, the needs and desires of us are the same.

AMANPOUR: It really is, I have to say, remarkable talking to you about this and getting into this film again, sitting here in Ukraine when so much barbarity is happening all around us.

Jonathan Glazer, thank you so much, director of "Zone of Interest".

GLAZER: Thank you so much.


AMANPOUR: You can watch "The Zone of Interest" in cinemas now and it's also available on streaming.

When we come back, the acclaimed Russian Ukrainian choreographer bringing the battlefield to ballet.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. And finally, this hour, the Ukraine battlefield meets ballet. When Russia's full-scale invasion started two years ago, Alexei Ratmansky was thrust into the geopolitical spotlight. The acclaimed choreographer who has roots in Ukraine and Russia told me about the haunting image that inspired his latest ballet, "Solitude".


ALEXEI RATMANSKY, UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN CHOREOGRAPHER: Yes, the initial impulse for this ballet was a photograph from the Russian crime scene in Ukraine. The bus stop that was hit by the missile, killing few people, among them the boy, and you see the father sitting by -- next to his body holding his hand.

As I learned later, the boy was an aspiring dancer. He was 13 years old, the ballroom dancer. When you see this picture, you can't unsee it. And it's been haunting me all this time.

You know, I look at things with choreographer's eyes and I read body language.

What this image tells you, the profound sadness and the tragedy, the shoulders dropped, the deep void in the gaze of the father.



AMANPOUR: At the last count in January, the U.N. reported more than 10,000 civilians dead since the war began. And the real number is thought to be much, much higher.

You can watch the rest of my interview with Alexei Ratmansky at

For the past two years, America and the West have promised to support Ukraine so that Putin did not win this critical battle for democracy and freedom. Today though, I'm hearing more and more of this sober talk that it's no good voicing support for democracy unless you are going to keep providing the weapons to actually defend it.

I'm Christiane Amanpour in Kyiv.

Thank you for watching and I'll see you again next week.