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tv   Craig Melvin Reports  MSNBC  March 11, 2022 8:00am-9:00am PST

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i'm jose diaz-balart. i'll see you tomorrow night on nbc nightly news saturday. be sure to follow the show online. thank you for the privilege of your time. craig melvin picks up with more news right now. and a good friday morning to you. craig melvin here following new developments with russia's invasion of ukraine. president biden says that he just spoke to president zelenskyy and in that conversation he reinforced u.s. support for ukraine. president biden also announced a new way, a new way that the united states is going to demonstrate that support, an end to russia's, quote, most favorite trading status. >> doing it in unison with other
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nations will be another blow to the russian economy already suffering badly from our sanctions. >> this morning ukraine's president, zelenskyy. he just wrapped up a speech to the polish national assembly. this is some video from earlier but we can tell you right now president zelenskyy preparing to address the polish national assembly. he says they are good neighbors. he told his fellow ukrainians he understands their emotional exhaustion but he's pleading for patience saying even russia didn't expect the war to turn out this way. you can see the aftermath of an attack on a factory in the city of dnipro. warning that russia is actively
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trying to encircle the capitol of kyiv. the mayor of kyiv says they have enough supplies to last a couple of weeks. this morning 12 humanitarian corridors were set up to try and get even more civilians out of ukraine and ukrainians of all ages are pushing ahead, like 84-year-old valentina just outside kyiv praying with every step she took. >> translator: dear jesus, she whispers, let us live through the day and destroy putin and let live ukraine. >> about 2 million people are displaced inside ukraine. another 2.5 million have left the country altogether. many of them are children like the girl you see there smiling over a stuffed doll, distracted
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from this war for just a moment. let's start with the very latest news from the white house and in ukraine. kelly o'donnell is at her post at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. matt bradley is in lviv once again in western ukraine. i also want to bring in john gunderson, the former acting u.n. ambassador in ukraine, estonia, iceland and norway and opened the u.s. embassy in kyiv. he was a former army officer in vietnam. a big thanks to all of you. kelly, let's start with you there. president biden just announcing he's going to be moving to revoke russia's status as a most favored nation. explain in layman's terms what that means and how this is going to ratchet up the pressure on russia's economy even more. >> reporter: craig, this is one of the privileges of the international community, to have that kind of status, allowing countries to engage in commerce with each other without the kind
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of tariffs that can be costly, imposing this new level of sanction by removing that friendly relationship means that the u.s. can now impose tariffs or taxes on goods coming into the united states from russia. now, typically that would have been namely oil and gas products but the u.s. has already taken the step to ban the importation of those products as one of the earlier steps in this process of trying to put fiscal constraints on russia. so it would fall to other sorts of products that they would import to the united states. on a superficial level think of caviar and vodka among them. by putting those taxes on there, it further complicates the financial picture for the russian economy. and this is something the president wants to do with allies. now, we know that some of the allies were not able to make the same move when it comes to oil and gas because of their
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dependence on russian energy to heat their homes and to light their cities across europe. and without that, they would be in a much more dire situation than we have in the united states. but this is an area where he expects to have the g-7 countries also take this step. this kind of trade level rebuke of russia does require congress, but that is something the president feels confident based on the bipartisan support that has been seen. a short time ago the president also talked about giving russia the tools it needs in terms of military equipment and humanitarian support to keep up the fight. here's the president. >> we will make sure ukraine has weapons to defend against an invading russian force. we will send money and food and aid to save the ukrainian people. democracies are rising to meet this moment, rallying a world to the side of peace and the side of security. we showing our strength and we
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will not falter. >> reporter: so we've seen the president take action every several days of trying to tighten the constraints on russia. as this war began more than two weeks ago, there was talk of imposing tough sanctions to try to deter president putin or to hamper his economy and that has not stopped his action so the u.s. has retained additional steps they said they will continue to impose in order to try to further isolate russia and to put russia in a financial bind. this is a part of that today. again, this is a step with partners around the world. will it have an impact on what russia does? that remains to be seen but this is another way to try to stop putin from having the financial flexibility he would need to engage in his military action, the war that he is waging against the people of ukraine. craig? >> kelly o., stand by for me.
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john, let's pick it up there. the idea of the impact that this is going to have in the near term and in the long term. president biden specifically mentioning seafood, vodka, diamonds. is this going to have an immediate impact and is this going to perhaps deter vladimir putin at all? >> well, it certainly will have an immediate impact. what we're doing economically, i think these sanctions are unprecedented. they are affecting the russian people for the first time. previous sanctions had affected some oligarchs. now it's affecting the people. the ruble has totally collapsed. there's a joke in russia now that what's the difference between the dollar and the ruble? the dollar. ruble has totally collapsed. inflation is over 20%. every day things you cannot buy. sports teams, they can't go to
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the world cup. they can't go to the olympics. russian people want that credibility that they once had. unfortunately they don't have it anymore. so it's squeezing them. we don't know if it will deter putin. putin doesn't use the same calculus as we do in the west. if this was a western leader knowing their people would starve and their boys would come home in body bags, we wouldn't do it. we'd have the legislature and journalism against it butch he -- but he doesn't have the same calculus. we have to continue to squeeze and maintain a united front. >> a live look here, joint base andrews as we see president biden there making his way up steps of course and getting ready to hop on air force one. there's the salute and there's the president, just a few moments ago the president there at the white house announcing
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these new sanctions that we were just talking about. the president is en route to philadelphia right now. matt bradley, let me come to you here. again, this new staff that we're talking about coming as russian troops edging closer to the capitol. the russian sanctions now hitting cities to the west, closer to where you are than before. you're there in lviv. >> reporter: this morning we were awoken with the sound of an air raid siren. this morning it was very early in the morning. we believe it was because of those air strikes on cities. you mentioned niper earlier, that was also bombed in the
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central east of the country. so these are places far from the front lines that avoided the most damage. it troubling for ukrainians to see them now getting attacked. what does this mean? we can't really know. it looks as though putin and his army are doing what they've drop in other cities now, softening the ground, preparing for troop advances and what we've been seeing in other places. they've been bombarding these cities, sometimes often in civilian areas and going around them and choking them, circling them off. i talked with people in the town of kherson, the first major city in ukraine to actually be occupied, to be sort of taken over by the russians. i spoke with one man there. he asked that we obscure his face because his city is occupied by russian soldiers, who he says are going door to door, checking social media, looking for people who are
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dissenting and whose dissent they want to crush. here's what he told us. >> they locate us from food and medicine and basic necessities but also they are preparing to imprison those who disagree, those who protest. >> so again, craig, kherson offers a really troubling glimpse for the rest of ukraine. it's a glimpse of an occupation that seems to be on the march. we just heard two days ago from the ukrainian military that the russians arrested 400 people in that city, basically because it sounded like they were resisting the russian occupation. and one of the really troubling things is the appearance of the russian national guard. this is part of the sort of paramilitary group that was created by presidential decree, by vladimir putin himself, only in 2016. that your normally used for riot control in russia. they answer directly to president putin. and they've been doing some
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dirty work suppressing protests in russia for quite a while. now they're in ukraine in kherson. that's very troubling for a lot of civilians who have occupation to look forward to after bombardment. >> another ominous sign there. matt, please continue to stay safe. john, as you know, so far the pentagon has ruled out this idea of sending fighter jets to help ukraine. but this morning you had more than 40 senate republicans calling on the biden administration to transfer them. this is what senators graham and romney had to say. we'll talk about it on the other side. >> enough talk. people are dying. send them the planes they need. >> it one thing to be incompetent, it's another to be dishonorable. putin is going to be happy today knowing he backed us down. >> michael mcfaul tweeted this,
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sending migs to ukraine will not trigger world war iii. is the biden administration making a miscalculations here? >> it's a tough call. there are risks for putting migsin there and there are risks for not doing anything. here's criteria, the military effectiveness, will it change the battlefield. two, allied unity. it's not only a unilateral american decision. these planes, the mig 29s are stationed in poland, romania, bulgaria. they have a say on it as well. also germany. the planes may be in germany at ramstein. so germany is a sovereign nation, a good ally. they're doing a lot to help us. so they have a decision as well.
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and finally the risk assessment. this is a tough one. i mean, putin talks about nuclear war. obviously i think that's a lot of bluff but you can't be a hundred percent sure it is. so that's a factor. however, putin cannot have a veto power over what we do. every time each says nuclear war, we're can't stand back and say nothing. if we're able to have allied congressional unity, it's military effective and we're aware of the risk factor as well, but anything that will defer, it's not an easy call and the show boating about it doesn't help matter. >> john gunderson, thank you. kelly o'donnell, thank you as well. >> what exactly is the military training? we are tracking reports that
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forces could be within ten miles of central kyiv. we're going to break down their latest movements and what u.s. defense officials expect. also, vice president harris just wrapping up her trip from eastern europe. m eastern europe ir phones? they're banking, with bank of america. the groom's parents? they just found out they can redeem rewards for a second honeymoon. romance is in the air. like these two. he's realizing he's in love. and that his dating app just went up. must be fate. and phil. he forgot a gift, so he's sending the happy couple some money. digital tools so impressive, you just can't stop banking. what would you like the power to do? ♪ ♪ ♪a little bit of chicken fried♪ ♪cold beer on a friday night♪ ♪a pair of jeans that fit just right♪ ♪and the radio up well i've seen the sunrise...♪ get 5 boneless wings for $1 with any handcrafted burger. only at applebee's
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defense official here and it comes after days of being stalled. russia has made some operational advances in the last 24 hours according to that official as of thursday evening the united states was tracking that russia had fired more than 775 missiles since the start of their invasion of ukraine. i want to go to nbc news national security analyst clint watts, who has been giving us just a fantastic view of some of these troop movements and strategy on the ground there. so, clint, these new satellite images that show that the russian convoy we've been talking about could be regrouping near kyiv. what more do we know about this? i mean, the convoy is largely dispersed and redeployed. do we know where that convoy is now, how long it could take to reach kyiv? >> craig, i think it's important to think through what the plan was for russia in the beginning. week one we saw that convoy essentially launch in here, trying to take kyiv inside of a
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week and it just didn't work out. the ukrainian resistance was very stiff. what we're seeing now is essentially a new approach. this is conventional warfare much in the still we saw in chechnya and syria that russia and its allies have used. this is siege warfare. we've talked about mariupol over the last couple of days. it's already been seized. it's a foreshadowing of what we could see here in kyiv. the convoy you were talking about advancing down here and stuck, it now is unstuck itself and they're really trying to move here, as you can see, in this direction. this is a standard approach, creating blocking position to the west. weapons coming in from poland. that border in the west from lviv heading into key. we saw yesterday, a major battle broke out there. and in this northern corridor here, they're doing the same
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approach. you'll see them try to build out battle positions and essentially ring the city. if they can ring the city over time, they'll be able to essentially seize this city and this could happen block by block. there's one thing, though, to keep in mind here. what we saw in brovaria yesterday, this complete lack of discipline, you see them getting pummelled with anti-tank fire. the russians are taking massive losses. while we see them continue to move forward incrementally, every time when they make one of thee thrusts, this is incremental, it's a tough fight. the russians are taking intense casualties and the ukrainian military seems to be doing quite well. it will really be a battle of logistics over time and who can sustain more. i will not be surprised what you're seeing here to essentially build out a ring around the city, this was a population about the size of
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chicago at the start of the war. this could take easily a month just to build this perimeter and start to lay siege to the city. i think there's a lot of unknowns there, the russian military advancing but at the same times the ukrainian military putting up quite a fight. >> hypothetically, say that does happen and they take kyiv. then what? do they move farther west? >> craig, one wave to look at it is what they're doing in the south. we're talking about the northern portion there. they have to take kyiv to essentially topple the government. but in the south they were more successful initially. this is that access to mariupol here that was under siege. that's that terrible maternity hospital here that they saw with missiles. they took kherson and those were the riot police redeployed. they were there and they're meeting resistance, too. they stalled out a bit and last week they went to zaporizhzhia,
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the nuclear facility and took that and now they're trying to advance on dnipro. it is a junction over all of these rivers and if they can take this city, they'll essentially have taken the eastern half of ukraine. that could be what vladimir putin is after ultimate live at the -- ultimately at the end of this battle. >> clint, thank you. we'll continue to come back to clint. really it's a fantastic look, clint, at the forces on the ground. thank you so much for that. meanwhile the other big part of the story continues to be the sheer number of people who have been forced to flee their homes, that number has now reached 2.5 million. that's more than double the number of folks that live in the state of rhode island. according to unicef, more than a
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million are children, most making their way to poland, which is seeing more than 100,000 refugees arrive every day. and nbc's jay gray has been there. he joins me now from a town near poland's border with ukraine. jay, take us through what you're seeing this morning and what about the help? have we seen enough supplies arriving for families? >> yeah, craig. to this point there are a lot of volunteers here, a lot of donations. that's the good news. we're about 500 yards from the physical border where i stand right now. this is the busiest border crossing. and take a look. you can see how many people continue to pour through. the sun is setting here, the temperature is dropping again. it's going to be bitter cold this evening and people continue to pour into this country. they're waiting to get free sym cards. they're working through that.
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here's the rub here and we talk a lot, craig, about the crisis that's evolving as a result of this. the crisis will be when there aren't enough supplies to take care of those making this trip. this is the walking path. you walk this path across the border and i want you to just get a look at the lines here waiting to take a bus. some wait for hours, sometimes the bus gets here right away, but you can see people are lined up and this line may be the shortest we've seen it in quite some time here to be honest. they've had a few busses come through but it still packed here with families who, by the way, may get on a bus, may get on a train, craig, but they're not sure where they're going and they're certainly not sure where they're going to end up. and so that's the situation at this border crossing. talk to the officials who are running this today. they say we're not to our limits
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yet but we're certainly bumping up against them. >> jay gray, once again with those tremendous images there along the border as folks wait to get out. jay, thank you. vice president kamala harris is on her way back to washington this hour. the vice president met this morning with romania's president. so will her visit to eastern europe help in the international response to the crisis in ukraine? and what are we hearing from our allies? we'll have that part of the story next. t part of the story next
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>> nbc's josh letterman joins me now from warsaw poland. and i also want to bring in the president and ceo for the center of european policy. the vice president spent time this morning with u.s. troops in poland as we understand it. the overall point of the trip was to reaffirm our commitment to nato. was that accomplished? >> reporter: yeah, craig, in a way all vice president harris really had to do for this trip to be a success was to affirm that the u.s. intends to stand up for its nato allies, as she did in those comments from her you just played. and she did that throughout the trip, almost like a broken record, over and over again at every stop. so from that stand point the administration feels like she pulled off what she was sent here to europe to accomplish. we heard the vice president just before she left romania shortly
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ago, giving a news conference with the romanian president where she said, look, the u.s. has wanted from the very get-go to seek a diplomatic resolution to this with russia but that president putin has been falling back on an old russian play book, a play back that she said was based on lies, misinforming -- misinformation and aggression. she had a chance to visit with u.s. and polish troops. some troops coming from puerto rico, california, as well as fort bragg in north carolina, some of them just got to poland a week ago, which is one indication of how the biden administration has been pouring more and more troops into this part of europe to try to show that it is going to defend all of nato and all 30 members of the alliance. but the other fact here is, craig, we have been asking u.s. and european officials over and over again just how many more
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refugees they feel like they can take before this very brittle system begins to crack. as you pointed out, poland, about a million and a half refugees, romania, a less number net-net but given the fact it's a smaller country overall, it has been difficult. none of these officials have been able to give us a firm answer of how many refugees they can take before this is really causing the strain and they're not able to provide the kind of services to them that they want want to. the officials here in europe, at this point they really want to hear more concrete specifics from the u.s. about how it's going to be able to step up to help with this refugee crisis. the biden administration announcing another $53 million in humanitarian assistance, which is a start but there is a whole lot more that europe wants to see, craig. >> josh letterman on the ground there for us in warsaw.
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let me turn to you. as josh mentioned, anxiously watching what's happening in ukraine, we're now seeing more attacks in western ukraine, which borders romania. what more can the united states be doing? what more should the united states be doing to reassure our nato allies? especially a country like romania. >> oh, thanks for that question. of course those images of the many millions of refugees that are hitting romania and poland and quite shocking and absolutely we will have to do much more in the united states to help europe absorb these huge numbers. i think we haven't even seen the tip of the iceberg here quite frankly as to the number of ukrainians that will like live -- likely cross the border in the next several days. vice president harris's trip was symbolically important to april
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-- assure allies. we have to do more than symbol symbolism here. while romania is such a keefe nato allies not only because it borders you're crane but also because it provides access to the black sea. it is a key strategic part are in when it comes to the black sea in particular. now we're seeing how russian military domination of the black sea, its militarization of crimea, has provided a very powerful angle of attack into ukraine from the south. so for a very long time romania has been also advocating for establishing a nato intelligence hub to be the front line kind of signal radar of attacks that might be happening. i think we have to do much more than that. we have to invest -- >> president zelenskyy continues to urge for this no-fly zone to be established over ukraine.
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>> yes. >> i want to play something that former u.s. ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul, said earlier on "morning joe." >> i do not support a no-fly zone and i want us to stop using that phrase. i want you to start using the phrase declaration of war and then you ask people do you support a declaration of war against russia? because if an american pilot shoots down a russian pilot, that's a declaration of war. >> elena, any scenario where the united states or its allies take that step? >> it's certainly very, very unlikely now because we don't want a direct confrontation between nato and russia for very, very obvious reasons. it would be a declaration of war, as ambassador mcfaul just pointed out, but we have to do more to set up humanitarian corridors.
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there's been an idea to have corridors just to allow civilians to get out of these heavily bomb barred areas and where allies would help ukraine provide more weapons and missiles systems to secure the corridors. this is not a no-fly zone but it is limited security assistance to enable ukraine to be able to get those civilians out, which russia has been bombarding some of those core evacuation sites. >> coming up next, i'm going to talk to a member of ukraine's parliament. he'll also tell me what else he wants to see from the united states next. wants to see from td states next.
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city. it's really bad. >> reporter: not safe? >> yeah, not safe. >> that was my colleague kelly cobiella, talking to one of the refugees who had to fleet kharkiv. his family spent a day walking on foot to get to safety. kelly is at a refugee reception center in poland, hearing from more families who are trying to figure out the next steps in their journey. >> reporter: we're at one of the biggest reception centers for refugees here on the border with poland and ukraine. you can see behind me there are lots of people still here. 87,000 refugees arrived in this country yesterday. . flow of refugees continuing to increase every day and when you look behind me, you can see there's a big mountain of clothes here and winter blankets. this is really useful for the families who are arriving
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because they're arriving with nothing. and we have seen people grab some items to keep them and their children warm. and then even farther behind a lined of busses. people who are arriving here aren't staying here. there simply isn't space for them. they're being moved to other bigger cities like warsaw, like krakow and even there we're hearing there aren't enough bets. there are reports of people sleeping at the train station in warsaw. and a lot of families are choosing to move farther beyond poland. more than 200,000 people have now left these border countries for other parts of europe. we spoke to one family who had been traveling, they said, for seven days, a grandmother, mother and daughter with their two dogs. they said they walked the last 50 miles from lviv and ukraine to the polish border and they
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were still on the move. they were headed to warsaw to see if they could find a place to sleep there and then they said possibly on to germany. it's a story we're hearing over and over again and now with these air strikes overnight by the russians on some western cities, it's possible that we could see yet another surge of refugees into poland and the bordering countries. >> kelly cobiella for us there along the border with ukraine, the bored are between ukraine and poland. kelly, thank you. i want to bring in zaun, a member of the ukrainian parliament. he also won ukraine's sole olympic gold gold medal in the 2020 tokyo games in wrestling. first of all, russian forces
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appear to be getting closer to kyiv. how are you doing right now? what are you seeing? >> so, hello. our city do everything for protect for fight. we know russian army are very closer and russian army very want to enter in our city. that's why we need to do our best for protect our land, our city and we need to support area support now. it's very important for us because we don't believe about russian federation get attacked
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you a ukraine and we stay all nation by 16, 17 days now and we need to support from europe and union, from united states, from nato, from all our partners because it's a very terrible time for us and russian army killed our citizen, kill our children, destroy our infrastructure and kill ukrainian people. but we do our best for protect our nation, for protect our values, democracy and we hope in
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our -- >> the support that you're talking about from the eu, from the united states, specifically what more do the people of ukraine need from the european union. what specifically do they need from the west and the united states of america? >> first of all, our president talked about this every time we need to close the sky by ukraine because in the land we protect very well our country but russian federation every time bombed our city from the sky. near kyiv, mariupol and a lot of other cities and bombs from russian federation every day. and we lost a lot of people in these attacks.
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that's why. but we need military, we need for our protection, for our -- >> zhan, to your point you're making, you know there is been a lot of concerns expressed that should we enact this no-fly zone there in ukraine, that that will make the situation worse, that then it becomes a war that spreads. what do you say to those concerns that enforcing a no-fly zone with escalate the war? >> you know, if we don't stop russia now, we need stop the russian in the future. but i think we -- ukraine is the
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last post between russia and europe and i think after ukraine, russia go forward. that's why europe and nato and our partners i think must think about it and don't -- my english not so good but we need to support now because i think this situation can be more terrible in the future. and dangerous situation in the future for europe union and for our partners.
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that's why we do our best for protect democracy in all europe and continent and we need help from our partners. we need some time but now we fight and every day we lost ukrainian people. we lost ukrainian children and we lost a lot of [ inaudible ]. that's why we need more support. >> scratch that. i don't know how. i can only imagine how stressful and difficult all this must be right now for you. i really appreciate you taking
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time out for me this morning. continue to stay safe, sir and we'd like the check in with you. a member of the ukrainian parliament. are thank you. i want to go to the security council because the u.s. ambassador thounited nations, linda thomas greenfield is speaking right now and so far she's taken china to task for spreading disinformation about what's happening in ukraine and she's also, of course, taken russia to task, saying russia has used the united nations to try and legitimize a disinformation campaign. let's listen in to the ambassador. >> and we're deeply concerned that russia's calling for this meeting is a potential false flag effort in action. exactly the kind we have been warning about, including from secretary blinken here in the security council last month. russia has atrack record of
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falsely accusing other countries of the very violations that russia itself is perpetrating. and given that, and consistent with our previous statements, we have serious concerns that russia may be planning to use chemical or biological agents against the ukrainian people. the attempt -- intent behind these lies seem clear. and it is deeply troubling. we believe russia could use chemical or biological agents for assassinations. as part of a staged or false flag incident or to support tactical military operations. from the beginning, our strategy to counter russia's tactics has been to share what we know with the world transparently. and candidly, we have been right more than often. more than we'd like to. we're not going to let russia get away with lying to the
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world. or staining the integrity of the security council by using this forum as a venue for legitimizing putin's violence. russia has attacked homes, schools, orphanages and hospitals. russia has attacked civilian infrastructure, including walter and sanitation facilities. their forces are laying ukrainian cities under siege. hundreds of thousands of civilians now don't have access to electricity for heat or drinking water to stay alive. russia is the aggressor here. and despite russia's best efforts, the media and every day ukrainians are documenting the truth on the ground. russia can't paint over the front page of the "the new york times," which on monday featured the bodies of a ukrainian mother and her two children, who died
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while trying to cross a bridge outside kyiv in their attempt to flee to safety. russia cannot cover up the work [ inaudible ] and 18-month old who died from russian shelling in mariupol. they can't suppress the social media posts confirmed and amplified by cbs news that told the story of the 11-year-old ukrainian boy who fled to slovakia by himself with only a passport, plastic bag and a phone number scrawled on his hands. and ukrainian journalists are risking their lives every day to deliver to the world the latest on the ground facts, such as novo reporting on the reckless behavior of russian forces towards ukraine's nuclear facilities.
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russia is failing in its quest to create an alternative reality. in fact, not even russian diplomats can keep their propaganda straight. just yesterday the kremlin spokesman said he didn't have clear information about the russian forces who fired on a maternity hospital. then the foreign minister himself denied russia attacked ukraine at all. right before admitting that russia deliberately targeted this maternity hospital in mariupol. their fabrications didn't matter because the world had already seen the searing images broadcast on cnn of bloody pregnant women being evacuated from the scene of russia's attack on the hospital. even russian -- russia's own citizens are tiring of such lies. russian athletes are writing no war on their shoes and on tv cameras.
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russian citizens are marching in the streets and protesting putin's war of choice. and even russian state tv pundits, putin's own propaganda arm have called forputen to stop the military action. this is why we didn't object to holding today's meeting. today's meeting has confirmed our predictions revealed russia's objectives to the world and expose their lies for what they are, a melicious effort to cover for the atrocities committed by russia as part of their unprovoked attack on ukraine. >> we've been watch aing and listening to the u.s. ambassador to the united nations and we heard her specifically talking about disinformation. the disinformation campaign that is being waged in russia and
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beyond. she took china to task as well. the letter "z" it's becoming a symbol of russia's war on ukraine. many videos and images from social media sites have shown that letter on military vehicles near the border. savannah sellers is breaking down what that z means and how our nbc team is verifying all the social media video that you're seeing out of ukraine, talking about the disinformation that we just heard the ambassador talk about. savannah, good morning to you. we're talking about the letter "z" but more than that. >> you also heard the ambassador say russia can't suppress what is being seen on social media. we're seeing images out of ukraine. of course to understand the true scale of devastation and there's stuff people have been talking about. they've seen quite a bit of. on the military vehicles in a
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few places. check this out. you can see that letter "z" on russian military vehicles. well, get this. that letter actually doesn't exist in russia's alphabet, which is interesting. trrls but it's now a pro-war symbol that is supporting president putin's invasion of ukraine. this was posted on march 1st. now, let's look at videos verified, that's the key word here, by social media's gathering team. right here on the doors of the vehicles. now, these are russian vehicles on the streets of kharkiv, ukraine. i'm going to show you a still from this video right here so people can make sure we caught that "z". you can see this painted on the side. we know these men are ukrainian military uniforms. a really important question, as you're seeing the videos. how do we know this is a russian military vehicle in ukraine?
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that's where on our social news gathering team comes in. they're an amaze aing, talented team and she's going to start by verifying where this happened. this is geo locating to cordinates in kharkiv. this is a street map view, a tool you might have at a home. this building with the red roof. look, you can see here right there. in the same video. so, we're able to match that and we know from ukrainian officials the russian military entered kharkiv. we've also seen the videos in other ukrainian cities with the russian tanks again. the letter "z" painted on them. this was verified by our team showing ukrainian people pushing against these vehicles and you'll see them laying down in front. it's actually not clear what this "z" stand for or how it came to mean what it does but it is definitely clear it's become a pro-russia symbol and it's not
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seen just on military vehicles. we're also seeing it in russia, painted in st. petersburg and used in a russian propaganda video. right along on all these t-shirts. this is broken down on twitter by nonpartisan think tank to say this is where it's being used. our social news gathering team is keeping an eye out for all these things and tell you what it means to have verified video. >> thank you for lifting the veil. that's going to do it for me this hour. coming up press secretary john kirby is going to talk to andrea mitchell. that's all right now on "andrea mitchell reports." ♪ >> good day, everyone. this is "andrea mitchell reports" in washington as the russian convoy is on the move with forces heading towards kyiv.


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