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State of the Union

Remembering Madeleine Albright; Interview With Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX); Interview With Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA); Interview With Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova. Aired 10- 11a ET

Aired March 27, 2022 - 10:00   ET




DANA BASH, CNN HOST (voice-over): Taking on Putin. President Biden says Vladimir Putin cannot remain in power, as Ukraine says the West is not doing enough. With Russia claiming a shift in strategy, what does Ukraine need to survive? Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova will be here.

And it's coming. The president tells U.S. companies to protect themselves against Russian cyber threats.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia's cyber capacity is fairly consequential, and it's coming.

BASH: What more do we know? And is America prepared? Senate Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner and House Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Michael McCaul coming up.

Plus: lasting legacy. The first woman to leave the State Department, Madeleine Albright, has died. She opened up about making history in one of her final interviews.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I really did get enamored of understanding what democracy was about.


BASH: Hello. I'm Dana Bash in Washington.

You're watching a special two-hour edition of STATE OF THE UNION.

President Biden wakes up at the White House this morning home from an emergency meeting with NATO allies in Europe. In Biden's closing speech on Saturday in Poland, he surprised onlookers and said -- actually, his own aides were surprised as well when he said, "My God, Vladimir Putin cannot remain in power."

That was an ad-libbed line that the White House immediately said he did not mean it, he did not mean that he wants regime change in Russia. While NATO leaders use the summit to showcase their unity against

Russia, Ukraine was not satisfied with the meeting, saying that the West is not doing enough to help them fight the war. That continued this weekend, when Russian missiles attacked Lviv actually outside of Kyiv, even after Russia said it would pursue a new strategy of focusing on the Donbass area of Eastern Ukraine.

That's a retreat, potentially, if it happens, and it could be a shift in the deadly and destructive conflict.

I want to go straight to Lviv, where CNN's international correspondent, Phil Black is live.

Phil, Russian missile strikes hit there yesterday. Tell us what happened.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Dana, this was significant because it was the first time that strikes have taken place within the crowded city limits here of Lviv.

There were multiple strikes on two locations, one, a fuel depot, which created this huge fire which emergency workers have fought through the night, eventually extinguishing not long after daybreak. The other site, according to Ukrainian officials, was -- they describe only as military infrastructure.

The Russians, in claiming responsibility for this, say that it's a radio repair plant that was being used to modernize Ukrainian weapon systems. These took place very close to people's homes. And yet, fortunately, no one was harmed.

There is a theory put forward by some Ukrainian officials that this was meant as a signal to President Biden, who at that time was on the other side of the Polish border, which -- the Ukrainian-Polish border, which is not far from here.

But this does fit a broader -- a broader pattern of Ukrainian -- Russian attacks, I should say, on Ukrainian logistics and supply and support locations, using their cruise missiles to hit specific points supporting the Ukrainian military defense. This was the third fuel depot to go up in flames in recent days.

The other key dynamic that's been established this week, Ukrainian counteroffensive operations. Most recently, we are seeing those around the eastern city of Kharkiv. We have video which shows Ukrainian forces pushing Russian forces back involved in some pretty intense firefights at one point in a village around 12 miles east of that city.

We're also hearing reports and seeing evidence of counteroffensive a little further north or in the region of Sumy. And all of this builds on the counterattacks that have taken place around the capital, Kyiv, over the course of this week, to the west and the northwest of the capital and to the east as well.

All of this shows that Ukrainian forces, wherever possible, are shifting their operations from not just fiercely defending their land to going on the counterattack and clawing territory back from Russian forces, Dana.


BASH: Phil Black, thank you so much for that report.

And joining me here is the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova.

Thank you so much, Madam Ambassador, for joining me.

So, I want to start with what you saw in Europe, specifically the NATO meetings this past week. Are you satisfied with what you heard coming out of the trip? Is the West doing enough?

OKSANA MARKAROVA, UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think it's very important that West is united. And it's very important that the U.S. and president and administration and Congress are leading this effort to support Ukraine ,to sanction Russia, and to stop Putin.

Now, enough will be when Putin will be stopped. So, as we always say, we're very grateful for everyone, especially for the United States, for all the support. But since Putin is increasing these attacks, since Putin is increasing all the atrocities on the ground, killing innocent civilians, with all together have to do more. We have to stop him.

BASH: An adviser to President Zelenskyy described NATO's response to Russia's invasion as an appeasement.

Do you agree with that characterization?

MARKAROVA: Well, definitely, I believe in this 1939 moment.

And I think we all have to understand that it's not only about Ukraine. And the reason why Putin attacked Ukraine is, of course, because he wants to eliminate us as a free democratic neighbor, but it's also because he hates everything that is democratic, that he would like to destroy anything that is not autocratic and that cannot be occupied.

So, it's up for all of us to understand that we have to stop it. And in order to stop it, we have to -- we never asked the boots on the ground. But we ask all the civilized countries to provide us with all the tools necessary in order not only to defend us, to defend Europe, but also to stop it and stop this war.

BASH: The president, President Biden, said that Vladimir Putin cannot remain in power. The White House walked it back, as you saw, saying the U.S. does not support regime change.

What's your reaction to this?

MARKAROVA: Well, it was a great speech of President Biden. He clearly said that U.S. is and will be with Ukraine in this fight. And we really appreciate it.

And we would like everyone to be with us in the most possible ways. Now, we all understand, and we see it, and say -- I would like to thank all journalists for spreading the truth and showing for what it is. It's a brutal aggression of a neighboring country of a peaceful neighbor that never posed any threat, unless being democratic is a threat.

Russia attacked us in 2014. They started full-fledged war 33 days ago. They are killing civilians, killing children, destroying our hospitals, our civilian infrastructure, residential homes, everywhere. It's an act of war criminal. That's why we have opened investigation in Ukraine. That's why Ukraine submitted all the application to all international courts.

And, yes, Vladimir Putin, together with everyone, every Russian that is responsible for it, will have to end up in jail for these war crimes. So, yes, he has nothing to do to lead a state, if Russia would like to be a democratic or even a civilized state.

BASH: So, you're saying that there should be regime change?

MARKAROVA: Well, it's clear to us that Russia is a terrorist state led by a war criminal. And we are working day and night and fighting fiercely to defend our land and to defend our democracy. And everyone should be brought to justice.

So, I think it will be difficult to run a state from The Hague.

BASH: Madam Ambassador, Russian military officials are starting to signal a potential shift in strategy, focusing on Crimea and the two regions of the Donbass.

Are there any circumstances in which the Ukrainians would give up those areas in order to make a peace agreement with Russia?

MARKAROVA: First, we can always count on Russia lying. They lied before the war that they will not start the war. They lied in 2014 that they did not attack us when they illegally occupied Crimea and Donetsk and Luhansk.

And they are lying during the past 33 days about not attacking civilians, about not besieging Mariupol and killing people there, about not kidnapping people and taking them into Russia, what they're doing, and every -- all of that.

So, I think the signals that we hear from Russia merely comes from the fact that they were not able to do anything that they have planned to achieve, either blitzkrieg, taking over Kyiv. Nobody is greeting them with flowers. And all Ukrainians are defending the country and telling Russians, go home.

So, they are just simply lying, as Solzhenitsyn...

BASH: So...

MARKAROVA: ... say. And we all know they're lying.

Now, on the question of -- I don't even think we should be asking Ukraine what we are ready to give up. We are fighting for our country. The territorial integrity and sovereignty of any country is enshrined not only in the statehood of U.N., but should be enshrined in every heart and mind of anyone who believes in democracy.


So, after this brutal aggression, we, of course, are ready to negotiate. And we are negotiating the humanitarian corridors. And we are ready to negotiate a peace agreement. But the peace agreement should include them leaving our territory, all of it.

And, no, we are not ready to give up on some of our people or some of our territories and leave it under occupation, because occupation, as we see now, as we saw in 1932 during the Holodomor, as we saw in previous times when Russia occupied us, occupation for Ukrainians mean extermination of us.

BASH: Your job, most of your job here in Washington is to try to get more funds, more weapons from Congress and from the administration.

Have you received push back on getting the missiles, the defensive missiles, that you're asking for, that President Zelenskyy asked for again just yesterday?

MARKAROVA: I think we have very constructive talks here. And we're trying to convince all of our partners, and especially here in the U.S., that, in order for the civilized war to stop this war and win this fight, because it's not only fight for Ukraine -- all of us are at risk -- we need all weapons, especially those that will enable us to protect our skies.

We need much stronger sanctions. We need to sanction all of Russia financial system, all of their banks. We need all the support we can get, because it's not only about Ukraine.

It's about aggression by a brutal dictator, by a nuclear power that attacked the only country -- Ukraine is the only country that voluntarily got rid of the third largest nuclear arsenal, which we used to have, in 1994, in exchange for guarantees, we thought, as it turned out to be assurances, from Russia, from the U.S. and Great Britain.

BASH: So, OK, thank you so much, Madam Ambassador.

I really appreciate you coming on and talking with me this morning. Thank you.

MARKAROVA: Thank you.

And thank you to all Americans who are helping us on this fight.

BASH: Thank you.

And experts are surprised that Russia doesn't appear to have launched major cyberattacks against the U.S., but could that change?

Senate Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner is here next.

Plus, really terrible news for women and girls in Afghanistan this week. Is there anything the U.S. can do about it now? Congressman Mike McCaul is coming up.



BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.

This winter, as President Biden warned that Russia was planning an attack on Ukraine, one of the big fears here at home was cyberattacks. That hasn't happened on a large scale yet.

Here with me is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.

Thank you so much.

I'm going to ask you about cyber in a minute.

But, first, let's talk about the president's big speech yesterday in Poland. He said many things about autocracy vs. democracy. But then he ad-libbed at the end, saying that Vladimir Putin cannot remain in power.

The White House has clarified that since, saying that the administration does not support regime change. Do you think that statement did any damage?

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): Well, Dana, there is one individual that's trying to make regime change in Europe. And that's Vladimir Putin trying to change the regime in Ukraine.

And I, candidly, agree with the Ukrainian prime minister, who really has been extraordinary. We -- and not just we, but countries around the war -- have called out Putin as a war criminal. He has been sanctioned by many, many nations. We are trying to kick him out of the G20.

Now, at the end of the day, the regime in Russia will be determined by the Russian people. And I hope the Russian people will make those decisions going forward. Clearly, Putin has overplayed his hand in Ukraine. Russian forces are reeling. And I think that is partially because they know they are involved in an illegal war, but it will be up for the Russian people to make that decision.

One thing also that I think that the Ukrainian ambassador made clear -- and I see this as I travel around Virginia -- this is so much bigger than a war between Russia and Ukraine. What the Ukrainian people in many ways are doing are fighting with their lives for the kind of basic freedoms that we take for granted, freedom of the press, freedom to agree and disagree, having your votes counted. I hope we all, as Americans, realize what is at stake here and

continue to show this united support for Ukraine.

BASH: But as a senior American elected official, do you believe that the stated policy should be regime change in Russia, or not?

WARNER: I think the stated policy, as the White House has pointed out, has not changed. It is up to the Russian people to determine who is going to be in power in the Kremlin.

But we have someone who has put Russia into a status of a pariah nation, who most of the civilized world has called out as a war criminal. And, clearly, the Russian troops are not performing as if they were following a legitimate approach.

BASH: So, let's talk about cyber.

You have been warning for years, screaming from the rooftops about cyberattacks. President Biden said that week that Russia's cyber capacity is -- quote -- "fairly consequential and it's coming."

Can you describe what Russia and what their plans vis-a-vis a cyberattack on the U.S. would look like on businesses, on infrastructure, on government?


WARNER: Well, let's break this into two categories.

I mean, first of all, we do know the Russian cyber capabilities are top-notch. We have been the victim, when we see the Russian cyber criminals, like the Colonial Pipeline, that had us have gas lines a year ago, and many, many other Russian cyberattacks.

The first thing I have been surprised at is that the Russians have not launched that I can A team cyberattacks against Ukraine. It's remarkable to me that the Internet is still operating, and that world press is still getting these images out of Ukraine.

I was horribly afraid that Russia would come in and shut down all the power systems, shut down the Internet, and that some of those cyber tools would bleed into Eastern Poland, and literally potentially shut down power there.

BASH: Why haven't they -- haven't they...

WARNER: We don't have a -- we don't honestly have a good answer yet.

BASH: Really? U.S. intelligence doesn't know?

WARNER: And -- but I don't think it's lack of capability. But this is a question that we are constantly posing.

Now, did they think they were going to win too easily? Some of these cyber tools, when you put them into the wild, they don't respect geographic boundaries. You don't really know what would happen with cyber escalation. Maybe they have been saving them to use against us.

So, I do think President Biden is correct in saying, Americans need to be ready. We have increased our shields. Finally, Congress passed a law that he signed that requires, if you are attacked in a cyber domain, you have got to report to the government so we can share with private sector partners.

But I think, particularly in the finance secretary sector and the energy sector, we need to be prepared, because an A tier offense can oftentimes overcome a defense. The question is, how quickly can we then stand back up our systems?

BASH: So, you say Americans need to be prepared.

If Russia does launch a cyberattack against America or any NATO country, would that trigger Article 5, which is an attack on one NATO country is an attack on all, and would that require from a response?

WARNER: Well, there are cyberattacks from Russia and China going on, on a daily basis for years.

BASH: So, when and how should the U.S. respond?

WARNER: But in terms of literally causing loss of life, there's always been what we call strategic ambiguity about what is defined as an Article 5 violation. I think that is still an appropriate grayness at this point.

BASH: When does it become unambiguous?

WARNER: Well, I think -- that was what I was afraid of.

If they had shut down the systems in Ukraine, and it bled into Eastern Poland, and hospitals were shut down, and Polish citizens were dying, or American troops were in some kind of accident because the power systems go down and American troops are killed because of the -- relate to the action to a cyberattack, that gets us into an area where we are, again, in uncharted territory.

BASH: Crypto. One of the main concerns -- major concerns is that Russia might be able to evade Western sanctions by using cryptocurrency.

You just introduced a plan to try to stop Putin from doing that. Do you think that that is an active strategy right now in Russia?

WARNER: I think digital currencies and distributed ledger have a great, great opportunity. But it's really very opaque at this point.

For example, right now there are 10 major crypto exchanges around the world. Two of them are based in America. So, when we put our sanctions regime in place, those crypto exchanges got covered. The other eight didn't. And what I'm worried about, whether the foreign crypto exchanges or

what's called DeFi, decentralized finance, which is the Wild, Wild West, that Russian leaders, oligarchs can find ways around some of our sanctions.

So, we're trying to simply put some rules in place, not to be against cryptocurrencies, per se, but to make sure that they are not bleeding out their wealth through those tools.

BASH: Mr. Chairman, before I let you go, we are understandably very focused on Ukraine and on Russia.

But I want to ask a question about Afghanistan, because the Taliban blocked girls above sixth grade from returning to schools on Wednesday, and just hours -- it happened just hours after schools were supposed to reopen for them.

The State Department called it a betrayal. A top U.S. diplomat said, frankly, it caught us by surprise.

Did it catch you by surprise, as the Intelligence chair?

WARNER: Nothing the Taliban does catches me by surprise. This is a brutal, awful regime.

I saw some of the reports of girls terribly disappointed not being able to return to school. We need to keep the pressure on. I'm very proud of the fact that we in Virginia are actually -- here in Loudoun County are the place that is continuing to take in Afghan refugees.

We literally have gotten 130,000 people out of Afghanistan. We need to continue to make sure those refugees get a chance to resettle in America and around the world.

BASH: Senator Mark Warner, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, thank you so much for your time this morning.

WARNER: Dana, thank you.

BASH: Thank you.

And a top Republican's take on the emergency NATO summit. Is the U.S. doing enough to help Ukraine?

Congressman Michael McCaul will be here with me next.



BASH: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION.

A top aide to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy says the West is not doing enough to help the country fend off Russia, saying they are disappointed in this week's emergency NATO summit.

Here to talk about that and more is the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas.

Thank you so much for coming in, Congressman.


BASH: So, President Biden is now here. He went to NATO and Poland.

And he and his administration are touting the fact that he did present a united Western front with NATO. But after Ukrainian President Zelenskyy's historic speech to Congress last month, you said that history will judge us if we don't act now and if we don't act strongly.


So, in the aftermath of President Biden's speech, do you think that the United States is meeting the moment?

MCCAUL: I don't believe there are only deliverables that came out of this NATO summit. And that's my highest criticism.

What Ukraine needs right now -- and I talked to the ambassador right for the show -- are these S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, like our Patriot batteries. Slovakia has these. I thought that, by the end of this trip, they would announce that we're sending in all these S-300s into Ukraine to help them fight the good fight.

This is like David and Goliath all over again. I was in Israel. We need to give -- we need to give David the slingshot. And what the slingshot really is, is the S-300. And that's what we're not giving them right now.

BASH: My understanding is that Slovakia has said, yes, that country will give Ukraine their S-300, which is an anti-aircraft missile system, but they won't do it until NATO supplies them with something to replenish their systems.

MCCAUL: Correct.

And so why wasn't that worked out on this trip? I mean, why didn't we pledge to give them our Patriot battery system, anti-aircraft battery system? What they want is a backup. Just like with the MiGs in Poland, all they wanted were two F-16s.

Why couldn't we have done that, so we could send the MiGs into Ukraine? Why couldn't we do this with Slovakia and other Eastern European NATO allies to send more and more these S-300s?

When they talk about a no-fly zone, we can't do that, NATO can't do it directly. That would put us in direct conflict with the Russians. But we can give them the tools to create their own no-fly zone.

BASH: So I want to ask about President Biden's speech in Poland yesterday saying that -- it seemed as though he was calling for regime change in Russia, saying Putin cannot remain in power. The White House, of course, walked that back, saying that is not the stated American policy.

Was it a mistake for President Biden to say that? He ad-libbed it at the end of his speech.

MCCAUL: Well, I think regime change is up to the Russian people. I agree with Senator Mark Warner that Putin is guilty of regime change in Ukraine.

And the fact is, any time the United States has said -- spoke out for regime change, it hasn't worked out so well. That's not the policy of the United States here. The policy of the United States is to defeat the Russians in Ukraine.

And I know it was off the cuff. But whatever the president says is -- it carries a lot of weight. When he said minor incursion, that carried a lot of weight. And, in this case it sends a very provocative message to Mr. Putin. If we're so worried about provoking him that we couldn't even send MiGs into Ukraine, how is this any different?

In fact, I would say it's more provocative than sending MiGs into Ukraine.

BASH: Was it appropriate for White House officials to walk that back?

MCCAUL: I think so.

Unfortunately, Dana, we are not talking about the issue at hand, and that is giving the Ukraine people what they need to fight this war. Instead, we are talking about the president's gaffe that he made at his speech.

BASH: I want to ask about China, because we heard this week from Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying that the country would play a constructive role in brokering peace.

What do you make of that? Do you see any evidence in China doing that at all?

MCCAUL: I don't trust them.

They're built on deception. Remember the Beijing Olympics this unholy alliance, arm in arm, hand in hand, standing together, Mr. Putin and Chairman Xi of China, basically saying, we have an unlimited partnership, denouncing democracy and freedom, and territorial aggression, Xi calling out NATO aggression, Western aggression, Putin defending China with their ambitions with respect to Taiwan.

The next shoe that could drop would be Taiwan. He is watching what is happening in Ukraine right now in terms of, what is my calculus, what's going to be my next move in terms of Taiwan?

We cannot make the mistake we have made in Ukraine and wait until after invasion to arm them. We need to start arming Taiwan right now.

BASH: Afghanistan. This week -- I talked about this with Senator Warner -- Taliban

authorities in Afghanistan -- in Afghanistan, rather, suspended schooling for girls. You are a very vocal critic of the way the Biden administration handled Afghanistan.

What is your response to seeing that the Taliban is doing, not allowing girls over sixth grade to get educated?

MCCAUL: It's one of the saddest things I have had to witness. I think it's the ultimate betrayal, the way we left Americans behind enemy lines, Afghan partners behind enemy lines. They are being executed by the Taliban right now.

But I think, most and foremost, these girls and the women left behind in a society that they never lived under Sharia law, so they don't know what that even means. And to see them getting pulled out of school, because girls cannot be educated...


BASH: Is there anything America can do at this point?

MCCAUL: We're helpless. I think we made the -- I wanted a residual force.

I didn't agree with giving up Bagram air base. We don't have any ISR capability, no eyes on the ground. We have little impact. I guess we could try to force the Taliban through other means to change its policy. But it's very difficult to do. This is very -- it's so much of their culture. And, again, it's one of the saddest things to watch.

BASH: Congressman, thank you so much for coming in. I appreciate your time.

MCCAUL: Thanks, Dana. Thanks for having me.

BASH: Thank you.

And Russia says it's turning its focus to a small region in the east. So, is this a new strategy or just a distraction?

We have a team of generals and Russia experts to break it down next.



BASH: As Russia signals a possible shift in strategy in Ukraine, we have an extraordinary group of military and intelligence experts to discuss.

Thank you all for coming.

Director Clapper, I want to start with you and ask about the Russian military. And if you look on here, I'm going to show you where the Russian military is attacking, on four fronts, starting with Kyiv, Kharkiv, in the Donbass area, and ten up through Crimea.

So the Russian general that we heard this week talk about the fact that the first phase of the Russian operation is almost complete and then they would turn to a more limited goal of Donbass, how do you read that move, especially given what you -- what I just showed on the map?

JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I thought the press conference was kind of bizarro, Orwellian, little resemblance to what, from I read, is the actual fact.

The heaviest concentration of Russian forces is still around Kyiv. And they're still active in the west. And I don't believe there's been any shift whatsoever to Donbass. So, this is the kind of fiction that we have come to expect from the Russians.

BASH: Yes.

And I just want to emphasize what we're talking about here. This is the Donbass area -- excuse me -- here. And that is what the general -- you're calling it fiction and Orwellian.


BASH: What the Russian leader suggested, that maybe they would be OK with just that, or at least that that would be the goal.

CLAPPER: Yes, I mean, this is kind of -- I think someone else used the old expression about putting lipstick on a pig here, trying to recast what the Russians are doing in Ukraine, and, from a military standpoint, the abject failure that they have engendered so far.

BASH: So, General Pittard, I want to go to a different map here and show our viewers and talk to you about where the Ukrainians are pushing back. They're pushing back to the northwest out from Kyiv.

So, the question for you is, what do you make of the Ukrainians actually being able to -- it appears, to be taking back this territory that I'm showing?

MAJ. GEN. DANA PITTARD (RET.), U.S. ARMY: No, it's really kind of neat to see that the Ukrainians have started what seems to be a counteroffensive.

But in combat, momentum ebbs and flows. And right now, at least on the tactical level and even in portions of the operational level, the Ukrainians are seizing the initiative and are gaining momentum. But let's remember, the Russian forces, though they have been stymied, certainly around Kyiv, have tremendous capability.

And what they are doing right now is merely a tactical pause, I believe, going into the hasty defense, until they can get reinforcements, whether it's from Belarus, whether it's from Russia or it's even from Georgia. And they will consolidate what they have in Donbass and Crimea, and eventually will probably still attempt to take Kyiv and encircle Kyiv in the future. BASH: And, Beth Sanner, what do you -- do you agree with General Clapper about what the Russians are trying to signal, potentially trying to signal, about limiting themselves to the Donbass region on the east, or -- meaning, do you think he's looking for an off-ramp, or is this a misdirection?

BETH SANNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It could be eventually an off-ramp, a path to some sort of negotiated solution.

But I don't think they're anywhere near that yet. And there is a reason that they haven't pulled forces back from Kyiv. They have to keep pounding the cities in order to try to force capitulation.

But, at the same time, there are limitations on how much they can get out of these reinforcements. They have lost a lot of people. So, if you take any of these statistics, there aren't 15,000 people, plus all of the injured people, that they can get that are quality soldiers from any of these other out-of-area operations or from Belarus.

PITTARD: And I would say that's a concern, because they will become even more desperate in the future. And that's why the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction could be utilized. And that's a concern.

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, I mean, look, this is all a product of failure, right?

Vladimir Putin has failed. His own spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, made that point to Christiane Amanpour this week. Not a single one of his objectives has been met. And so, in part, while they have lied at every step along the way, as General Clapper points out, what would even a plausible scenario for Putin to exit and claim victory of some sort mean?

It might mean, well, we have created a statelet in the east. And, in fact, there is talk that perhaps they will have a new -- one of these bogus referendum in these mini-states in the Donetsk and Luhansk region. Well, you can see a scenario where they have military operations there, where they try to close up and encircle the Ukrainian forces in the Donbass.


At the same time, they create a political option. Again, this is a terrible scenario, by the way. This is not a good scenario, because you're talking about the potential for a sort of North Korea, a South Korea. And is Ukraine ever going to accept that after the blood and the costs on Ukrainian lives and cities?

I mean, it's very hard to imagine that what might have been acceptable before the war could possibly be acceptable now.

BASH: Yes.

And what you're talking about, I believe, is the head of Ukraine's military intelligence saying this morning that Putin could be looking to carve Ukraine into two, similar to the Koreas, North and South.

What do you -- do you think that there's any viability to...

CLAPPER: Well, I really think that -- I don't think the Ukrainian -- the Ukrainians have become pretty set about things too.

BASH: Yes.

CLAPPER: And I don't think there's any -- at least right now, any realistic prospect of the Ukrainians agreeing to something -- something like that, a North/South Korea kind of analog.

Now, I guess you could have an armistice, which is still the case in Korea. The war there has never ended, even though the hostilities stopped in July of 1953. But it's still an armistice or a cease-fire. Maybe that's a possibility, where they don't acknowledge the de jure, the de facto situation.

SANNER: I think that's exactly right.

I mean, when we look at the negotiated solution options here, we actually are further apart now than we have been, I think, weeks ago. And that's a big concern is, how do we get from here to some kind of end state?

And maybe the armistice idea is potentially the only way you can see forward, because, politically, Zelenskyy cannot agree to allow the part -- eastern part of Ukraine to go with Russia.

BASH: I want to turn back...

CLAPPER: It's really hard to see a Venn diagram that you could draw where the Ukrainians and the Russians go away happy. I mean, I just don't see that.

BASH: Well, from the -- from a military point of view, I wanted to ask you, General Pittard.

You are suggesting a humanitarian no-fly zone over Western Ukraine. How would that work?


It would be a humanitarian assistance zone, and, ideally, under the auspices of the United Nations, but that may not happen. It may have to be NATO-and U.S.-led, working with President Zelenskyy and Ukraine.

We're carving out Western Ukraine all the way down to Odessa as a humanitarian assistance zone, which would take NATO troops led by the U.S. on the ground doing peace enforcement missions, being prepared for combat, and also a no-fly zone over Western Ukraine.

I think it's time that, if we're really serious about taking care of refugees and making sure humanitarian assistance takes place, that that is done. GLASSER: Well, I -- look, any time that Vladimir Putin wants to send

a message at this point, what is he doing? What he did yesterday. He sent missiles into Western Ukraine, into Lviv, at the exact moment that President Biden was making his speech and appearing in Poland.

Just a few dozen miles across the border is Poland right there from Lviv. And so Vladimir Putin right now has the ability to do that.

But just to pull back, it is remarkable that, more than a month into this war, Ukraine still has the ability to fly.

BASH: Yes.

GLASSER: Ukraine still has the Internet. It's really -- it's interesting to see.

Why is it that Vladimir Putin has not done some of the things that we believe he certainly has the power to do?

BASH: And the flip side of that, General Clapper, is that U.S. intelligence, as a former DNI, thought that the Afghan people would fight back, and they didn't, and they thought that the Ukrainian people would not fight back the way that they are.

What does that tell you about not just the resolve of the Ukrainian people, first and foremost, but the state of intelligence with regard to these battlefields?

CLAPPER: Well, Dana, what it tells me -- and I will acknowledge I'm being a little defensive here, but there is the old saw in intelligence about the difference between mysteries and secrets.

Secrets are knowable facts, and mysteries, maybe not. And when you are trying to predict how military forces are going to perform once they get into hostilities, that's in the realm of mysteries.

And so we have never -- in going back to my war, Southeast Asia, we have never done a very good job of assessing will to fight in advance.

BASH: Yes.

CLAPPER: We have always underestimated the adversary, whether it was the Vietcong or the Taliban.

BASH: It's an important...

CLAPPER: And here is another case of that...

BASH: Very..

CLAPPER: ... where we didn't gauge the will to fight.

We thought the Russians would do better, and we weren't very -- apparently very confident in the Ukrainians. And...

BASH: Very, very important lesson. Thank you all for your expertise and your insight. Appreciate it.


And the world lost a champion of democracy this week.

We have one of Madeleine Albright's very last interviews. That's next.

Stay with us.


BASH: This week, we are mourning the loss of Madeleine Albright, the first woman to lead the U.S. State Department.

She talked openly about being a woman in a man's world, telling me in an interview last year that women still need to -- quote -- "interrupt more" to be heard.


Albright's calling to diplomacy was unlikely for a woman decades ago. It was inspired by a childhood fleeing Nazis during World War II and then communism that followed in her country of birth, Czechoslovakia.

She talked about it in one of the last interviews before her death with my colleague Fareed Zakaria.


ALBRIGHT: I was born in 1937. We came to London in 1939 and did, in fact -- my father, worked for the government in exile, and actually broadcast over BBC into Czechoslovakia.

I remember what it was like to spend nights in not an air raid shelter, but the cellar of a house, or apartment house on Notting Hill Gate before that got fancy. And I remember my father saying: "I'm glad we're down here. But if a bomb should hit this building, it's got hot water pipes and gas pipes, and we'd be dead anyway."

We moved very briefly back to Czechoslovakia. But what happened was, then, he -- my father did not want to work for the communists when the coup happened in February '48. And so he took the job, and we came to the United States, and my father defected and asked for political asylum.

And I was 11 at the time that we came. So, I learned most of this from him. And he's the one -- and I will never forget him saying this, even as a teenager -- he'd say: "Americans don't know how fragile democracy is and how resilient it is."

And so I really did get enamored of understanding what democracy was about. I was very proud to represent a democracy, and also very vigilant in terms of what some of the problems were.

So, I have been studying it forever. I am now chairman of the board of the National Democratic Institute. And I am very glad that President Biden has decided to do a summit for democracies in order to try to figure out what we can learn from each other, because I think it's that group that needs to exchange views about how things happen, why they happen, what we can do to help each other, because no democracy, even the United States one, is not in this by itself.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS ANALYST: So, in a sense, Madeleine, your life began defending democracy in Czechoslovakia, and toward the end of your life, you are still defending democracy.

ALBRIGHT: Definitely.

And I think the thing that I have been saying an awful lot now is that what is important is that democracy has to deliver, that people want to vote and eat.

And, therefore, it is very important for new democracies, and certainly the world's oldest, to understand the importance of the rule of law, because corruption is the cancer of democracies, because it is important that democracy-building be a whole-of-government activity, because the private sector has to be involved, because there have to be rules, because the people need to be the beneficiaries of it.

But it definitely has been my life's calling. There's no question about it.


BASH: May her memory be a blessing.

The news continues next.