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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  February 22, 2022 1:00am-2:00am PST

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of documents and again, depositions. that could really open the floodgates about what happened on january 6th. >> barbara mcquade, always good to talk with you. thanks for your time tonight. that is all in on this monday night. rachel good morning. nice to see you. thank you for joining us in this hour. in the hallway, there were gunman. inside a television station in ukraine, the last video taken by the journalists who worked there before masked men with guns told them they could no longer freely do their jobs. presented with this letter saying their tv station was under new ownership. the tv station now belonged to
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pro-russian separatists all over eastern ukraine in 2014, they took over police stations, government buildings and brick by brick, the pro-russian separatists took control of two entire cities in ukraine. donetsk and lumansk. that's where vladamir putin got involved. on you putin's orders, he sent their own men to fend off the ukrainian soldiers from taking back those two cities to keep them in the hands of those pro-russian separatists. this has been going on for eye while. there's been attempts at cease
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fires. the fightings there has never really stopped. more than 14,000 people have died in that conflict since it began ever since, they've claimed, those separatists have claimed they are in charge of those provinces marked in the map here in pink. it is into that part of the world today into that active tinder box that vladamir putin just through a lit match. he said today he recognized those two areas officially recognizing those two parts of ukraine as independent.
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it should be noted the separatists do not control the two regions but putin has now unilaterally said it all belongs to them anyway. in an hour-long speech, putin said ukraine, a former member of the soviet union was created by russia and denied the notion ukraine had ever been its own country and accused ukraine of carrying out a genocide against the people and that ukraine poses a threat and because of that he had no other choice but to recognize those two regions as independent to try and protect russians. meetately after, he signed orders and ukraines that allowed him to send so-called peace
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keeping troops to the russian people. the general census was that he was not laying out a game plan, he was laying out a game plan for war. before launching the attack, you tricked your parents before letting them into your friend's house. you tell them what they want to hear to get what you want, by the time you get it, it is too late for anyone do about it. it is a bait and switch. a playbook well worn because it has worked. telling the world he would try to protect persecuted people is how hitler gained
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czechoslovakia. then he tried to take more of europe and it was too late. this is putin's big lie. fortunately, most people are seeing right through it and most believe it could be a human rights catastrophe and that russia is planning to purge ukraine of what is proposed including distents, journalists, ethnic minorities and lgbtq people. european union leaders accused him of breaking international law. united states immediately issued
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sanctions, the european union vowed to issue sanctions as well. in the last hour, announcing that white house will be imposing, quote, significant sanctions on russia tomorrow. president biden held a flurry of phone calls and he did speak with the ukrainian president as well as leaders with france and germany. despite the fact that it is the middle of the night, it is still developing minute by minute. the president of ukraine addressed his people at 2:00 a.m. he called for the united nations security council to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the situation. that meeting was scheduled to begin a few moments ago. we'll bring you headlines as we
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get them. as the world scrambles to respond to russia and these two break away regions, putin plans to move straight ahead. again, under the false pretents of calling them peace. calling them peace keepers and that those new troops could be on the ground in a matter of hours. it is important to note russia has had a military presence in that part of ukraine since 2014. with more troops on the way, will there be consequences? joining us now from eastern ukraine is richard engel. adjacent to areas controlled by russian-backed forces. i hope you are safe and tell us
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what the situation is as you understand it. >> reporter: it was just a few hours ago president zelenskyy gave his speech. the first official response we heard from him. he opened with a bit of a jab at vladamir putin. putin gave a long speech and referenced len lennen and stalin. zelenskyy came out and said it is late, we don't have time for history lessons. we are going toward the few tour. he stated he was going to call on all the allies and make a round of diplomatic calls and that he helped the nations friendly with ukraine would stay
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with ukraine. here in the city and other parts of the country, there is calm. there was talk that tonight would be the start of a major invasion. we are seeing a more phased approach with putin laying down potentially challenging things to come. tonight, there is one of calm where people are wondering what's next. >> what is the difference in the phased approach and the massive invasion where 190,000 or more troops are surrounding ukraine. what is different about this approach vladamir putin had taken today? >> reporter: had he come in with 100,000 troops and advanced in
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one go, the world would have been much more united and there would have been the immediate imposition as the snap sanctions that would be described as crippling. instead, people are wondering, what has really changed. it gives another opportunity for divisions among nato partners. instead, they'll impose sanctions and if there is further invasions, they'll address after that. it is a way to put one more step. test the waters and put them even closer to the major cities like the one i'm in right now without fully committing and triggering the wrath in the world? >> the city you are in now is
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disputed territory. territorial part of ukraine but separatists would like it to be part of russia. >> it means the battle dynamics is different. some parts would be indifferent and others would welcome a russian intervention. the battle here for soldiers would be very frougt. i spoke to some out lying villages and they told me, 70 to 80% of people were with the army in some of these small villages on the edge.
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this part of the country is divided. i think vladamir putin has been playing and counting on that. >> you covered this in 2014 and the world was sort of paying attention what is different now than in 2014? >> you remember that clip with the television station being taken over. i was in that television station at the time. i was in that clip. i saw this happen as it played
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out. immediately tried to take ukraine. it was a shock. they were unclear. they moved quickly and seemed to be organized and had weapons and ran out similar sources. there was an attempt at the time to just take those pieces now officially recognized but to take this city and others and some stood up and projected that attempt to break away in 2014. now that putin is giving recognition to these two pockets, it could potentially revive that region where they
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are pushed from trying to take away, taken by putin or somehow descended to civil unrest. this approach is putin has made it clear he sees the ukrainian government as the threat that government since 2014 in his view is wrong. it is incorrect and against ukraine's history and russia. he sees it as an obstacle that needs to be removed this piece allows them to get the wedge in or cause enough problems here that they've somehow overthrown in the midterm. >> thank you for staying up with us. we'll be talking a lot in the hours and days to come.
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joining us now, michael mcfall, former u.s. ambassador to russia. thank you for being with us. i think what richard was talking about is remarkable in terms that vladamir putin has basically today in his speech attempted to delegitimize the history of ukraine as a country, culture and people. he basically is saying they are not really a country. they are ours and we are taking it back. >> that's right. that's what he said. he said it boldly and angrily. not the first time he's said it. he's said it many times. published a 6,000-word essay a few months ago. getting the people to correct in his view the views that were
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wrong that ukraine and russia were divided with the fall of the soviet union. >> many were expecting an invasion of troops. this was a little bit different. >> those people are wrong if they don't call it an invasion. when a country sends soldiers and tanks into country wide uninvited. what do you call it. russia invaded ukraine today. putin made the orders to invade ukraine again. this happened in 2014. this happened here. it doesn't mean there is not a bigger invasion planned. today was a major moment when he
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just said i'm not interested in talking in the minsk agreements and stuff they've been doing for eight years and remember he didn't just invade, president biden just got up one day and said alberta is an independent country. the world has been waiting for this massive invasion that when relatively little things happen, we have not been paying attention when the little things happen. his plan outliebed clearly in his speech. >> does it weaken the resolve in the world when it is incremental like this? >> yes. great point. the biden administration is trying to figure out how to respond to this invasion.
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tomorrow, i expect. there will be new sanctions tomorrow. not everybody is going along with that. some women are like, wait a minute, they were already independent. they have to leave something in the tank for when putin does lead the launch. they have to respond to that as well. they cannot use their full sanctions today. i'll be clear, this was an invasion of ukraine again today. it is not a quote/unquote peace keeping situation. he sent his troops in. that's an invasion. >> the stage craft is remarkable. he's proposing to the russian
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parliament. they are going to examine treaties requesting russian assistance. there's a whole smoke and mirrors thing going on that you and i know is not true. who is he fooling with this? >> a great question. intended for the russian people. he was addressing the russian nation. not me and you. i watched all three interventions today. he had his security council meeting. i can listen to rush yand understand it. he said what's your view to do this? he said let's get the douma and he gave his address and he sat down with the leaders of these two people's republics. that's what stalin called his
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puppet regime. he signed these decrees and then signed another set of papers already presidential decreases talking about ratifying existence. it will be rubber stamped by the douma tomorrow. >> we've been talking about this. you are a diplomat. you were advocating for a solution up until 18 hours ago. what are the next steps? people like you never want it to go to war. how do you talk about something without doing what zelenskyy
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said. >> privately, people are scared and moving their kids out. it is a very sad day for me. it feels like this war is going to go to a much bigger day. if there is ever a sliver of hope that does not lead to tens of thousands of people dying. by the way, ethnic russians will die. if he bombs kyiv, he'll kill a lot of russians he claims he's saving yes, keep hope alive. i feel like the door is closing. i think it will be difficult today for blinken to show up.
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i wouldn't do it to keep hope alive. i think that sends a terrible message to the people of ukraine. >> thank you for your analysis tonight. the former united states ambassador to russia. we appreciate your time tonight. in a moment we'll be joined by the former supreme military commander of nato. stay with us. nato. nato. stay with us what are the three ps? the three ps of life insurance on a fixed budget are price, price, and price. a price you can afford, a price that can't increase, and a price that fits your budget. i'm 54, what's my price? you can get coverage for $9.95 a month.
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as a response, the united nations security council is conducting a meeting now at the request of zelenskyy. the council is shared by russia and has been the scene of tense arguments. we'll keep a close eye on what comes out of the meeting that is under way in new york at the united nations right now. we continue to cover the breaking news that putin has declared russian troops will enter eastern ukraine as part of what he calls a recognition of that region's independence. russian-backed accept tiffs have been fighting that force for years. in response, the u.s. secretary
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of state tweeted, quote, kremlin recognition of the so-called donetsk and luhansk people's republic as independent. as russia takes more steps towards the invasion, many wonder what a swift and firm response would look like. in just the past decade and a half, the world has witnessed those. in 20008, russia recognized as what it referred to as independent republics with the neighboring nation of georgia followed by a conflict that forced nearly 200,000 people to flee their homes. six years later, russia did the same thing? invade crimea that resulted in
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hundreds of thousands of deaths and more displacements. now russia is doing the same thing in these regularons. it's unclear whether the conflict will be just that part of the region. a large part of the troops remain north in belarus. following the russian war games in belarus that significantly expanded the military mite, ukraine is surrounded. will it look similar? is this somehow different? how is the response going to different from what we've seen in the past. most thought what we saw was insufficient to doing this again? how does the world expect to repeat what happened in crimea
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and georgia? joining me now, the former nato supreme allied commander. msnbc's chief diplomacy analyst. thank you for being here. i know you keep getting asked these questions over and over. putin is playing three dimentional chess here. he's declared these two areas to be independent going forward. how do you see this? >> i was the dean of toughs university leading international relations and international law. there's a dif anything for invasion. the imposition of armed troops for political purpose into a
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sovereign country without the consent of that nation. whether it is a squad of 12, a squadron of tanks or army of 190,000 is irrelevant. this is an invasion, we need to deal with it as such. that means significant package of a response from the west. >> significant package of a response from the west. i expect that means two p things. it means something to do with nato. i'll ask my control roam to put a map up, there's a lot of nato countries around ukraine, what are they planning to do? >> i think there are three things the alliance needs to do right now. you alluded to stand diplomatically, go as an
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alliance. 30 nations representing 55% of the world's gdp. 3 million men and women underarms, almost all volunteers. put the weight of that hindu -- behind ukraine. putin has spent a lot of time with his army. going after olegark finances and the russian oil. if putin is going to expand this, the logical response is
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going to be a resistance. you may see the zelenskyy government leave and move far west or form a government of exile and run an exist much like happened in france in the 1940s. we need to facilitate that, arm it, train it, ee equip it. make this a very difficult move on the part of putin. there's diplomacy, economics and military response. all of that can be sufficient to detour putin from further conquest. >> let's put that map up. there's the theory, this is independent regions. there's a lot of reporting about the fact that they are looking to take the government out in
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kyiv. they might move zelenskyy out and form a government in exile. how will they deal with these large russian-speaking parts of ukraine? >> i think it is a one and three chance they'll go full blitz creed. i think it is a two in three chance he'll take a conservative approach and focus his forces where there are many ethnic speakers, putin has done an air drop of passports handing out hundreds of thousands of russian passports of ukrainians sympathetic to russia. he'll try to build around that.
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we need to not be fooled by that. ukraine has been invaded. it requires the absolute full force of the response of the west. >> you've made that point not to fall for some idea that something else has happened here just because it doesn't look like an invasion looks like from the movies or tv. retired admiral. former nato supreme commander. >> still ahead. historian joins us live. she lived in eastern europe. she has insightful things to say about what is happening right now. stay with us. right now. stay with us
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the batters are up, some people got to vote in advance, most will vote tomorrow when they vote for a new president.
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for most ukrainians, freedom from moscow means going it alone. >> we don't need a union. we are rich in raw materials. we can sell to others and survive. that is one of gorbachev's biggest nightmare. keeping him from forming a political union. ukraine too important to lose. it used to feed the nation, now it feeds itself. it builds the military's largest planes, ships and missiles. it was once said without ukraine, it would be a futile enterprise. gorbachev is about to learn the same lesson. that was november 1991 reporting on the eve of a vote that would decide whether or not the country would break from the soviet union and gain
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independence. easy to see why that vote was such a nightmare for gorbachev. at the time, ukraine accounted for 21% of the united population. called the bread basket provided 25% of its food and cold and 21% of industrial output. a vast majority of eligible voters headed to the polls and overwhelmingly voted for an independent ukraine. more than 90%. in all-caps, the "new york times" wrote, ukrainian voters crowd to the poll. officials see big margin. holiday mood amid balloting on referendum. the times interviewed a worker who se, quote, this is a great
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day. it is the flowering of our soul. putin made it clear today how important ukraine is to russia. he said, quote, ukraine is not just a neighboring country for us. it is an integral part of our own country, and space. saying, quote, ukraine never had a tradition of genuine state hood. from the first steps, they built their state hood on the denial of everything that unites us. the memory of millions of people, generations living in ukraine, end quote. the pull izer prize winning columnist tweets, the speech full of historical nonsense. joining us now, anne applebaum.
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you are an important voice to give us clarity. putin is trying to convince the world of a narrative that you know not to be true. >> ukraine has had a sense of itself as a nation, an ethnic group, identity for many centuries. ukraine was a colony. many ukrainians were serfs or slaves. the national poet was born a slave and bought his freedom when he moved to st. petersburg. it has been opposed to the empire. ukrainians made several attempts
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to become independent. there was briefly a ukrainian state. they then lost a war with the red army. even in the early days. they knew ukraine national identity had to be acknowledged and accounted for and had to have its own republic stalin sought to destroy them. he created a false famine and that killed millions.
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>> it doesn't want to be part of the new russian empire. that's putin version of an autocracy that means only he's in charge. we are watching the development of a very old argument and putin's use of this historical nonsense is designed to cloud the picture. >> a deal cut in what was hoped to avoid world war ii. you wrote yesterday, there are no chamberlins in this story and no churchills either. ukraine will fight alone. >> the west is not blinded by what's going on. i think the biden administration has done brilliantly in its constant revelation of what's
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happening. the vice president made an excellent peach. other allies have shown solidarity. once they agree on the sanctions, it will be real. there's been real military help for ukraine. and yet, there's a line drawn as well. we know there isn't going to be any western troops in ukraine. there are limits on what will be done for ukraine. partly because russia has nuclear weapons. at the end of the day, the bravery of the very old idea. the idea of sovereignty and freedom. it will be their dedication to that that will determine what happens. >> putin saying that the west has cornered him.
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that there was some sort of agreement they would never get close to russia. you can see there, a non-nato country and a bull worth between eastern europe and russia. that's not really true is it? >> a few days ago, the german chanceler said, look, as long as i'm chancellor, ukraine will never be in nato. that's not what this is about. it is not about ukraine being in nato if ukraine can be a sovereign democracy, that's a challenge. his argument is i'm the only answer for russia. ukraine is close to russia and if ukraine can be a democracy,
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russians can look at it and say, we can have this as well. the use of nato and the conversation about nato and remembering things that weren't said and trying to bring things into the consultation. putin has been trying to destroyed the area since 2014. nato is a secondary issue. >> i appreciate the time you have given us. i remember our viewers follow your writing. we appreciate your time. we have more news ahead. stay with us. s ahead. stay with us
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president biden spoke with ukrainian president for more than 30 minutes and biden condemned the russian president's decision and updated
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zelenskyy on the united states's plan to respond with sanctions. zelenskyy has claimed the u.s. and other western governments were overstating the threat but also quietly preparing for a possible attack. the question now, is he red? >> joining me now, former director for european affairs and key witness in former president trump's. and key witness. there is a u.n. council meeting zelenskyy called for. the united states ambassador said this, quote, putin wants the world to travel back in time. time before the united nations. time where empires ruled the
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world. the rest of the world has moved forward. it is not 1919. it's 2022. i want to ask you what she said there? that's right. somehow the idea that we'll return to the geopolitics of the rural jungle where the age of empires and the powerful can do whatever they want to do. the kind of world putin thinks he can prosper in. by appending international norms and invading a peaceful area and setting the tone for the world he wants to live in. >> are you surprised by some of the response of the american right wing and some of the republican party that seem to be implying maybe this isn't all that bad? >> it is part of the reason
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putin believed he had an opportunity to conduct this offensive. we are just seeing the first phase of the inoccurrence and recognition of these regions. this is not the end. this is the beginning. i think these folks. these right winged pundits and the gop that support them have blood on their hand. they are encouraging and enticing this opportunity from putin. it's not plain rhetoric and something you can say without consequences. this has real consequences and people are going to die because of this? >> what has to happen here? you would have been advising the president in your former job. >> there is a whole host of things we can still do. first, we need to start rolling out some of these sanctions and might be some of the scenario we
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were thinking about. we want to leave some head room for further sanctions and further always more things we can do in the sanction sphere. we can challenge russia in every place it can conduct business. we start to roll out the sanctions because russia did invade its neighbor. no question about that. before it was operating covertly and now overtly. it is a violations of international law and norms. there has about toe consequences. more we can do to position ukrainians to defend themselves. this is just an opening play. there is going to be an enormous amount of violence and will become more to pass. 90% probability we are heading in that direction. you don't have this kind of forestructure put on ukraine's borders for putin to declare
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these places independent and roll back his troops. that's another thing. posture changes in europe is a huge thing. frankly, we might get rolled into this at this point. >> thank you. we appreciate it. we'll be right back. we'll be right back. it's our ultimate sleep number event on the sleep number 360 smart bed. it senses your movements and automatically adjusts to relieve pressure points. and it's temperature balancing so you both sleep just right. save 50% on the sleep number 360 limited edition smart bed. plus, free premium delivery when you add a base. ends monday.
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tonight. we'll see you tomorrow. way too early with jonathan le mire is up next e good morning. eastern europe inches closer to war as rush president vladimir putin orders troops to territories controlled by russian-backed separatists. the u.s. imposes sanctions but so far not the crippling measures the president has promised. three questions this morning. one, what has to happen for the biden administration to consider this an an invasion? two what, additional sanctions will be announced this morning, and what impact is this crisis already having here at home? it is way too early for this. ♪♪ hey