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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  March 14, 2022 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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danger to american troops and american citizens. >> biden is reluctant to commit american forces. we saw him pull troops out of afghanistan. i should take this moment to mention you wrote a great piece about ukraine refugees for "politico" everyone should check out. eugene daniels, thank you for being here. thanks to all of you for getting up "way too early" on this monday morning. "morning joe" starts right now. russia creeps closer to nato territory, bombing a military facility located just 15 miles from the polish border. an american journalist now among those killed in ukraine. a colleague who was injured in the attack speaks out in a harrowing interview from his hospital bed explaining exactly what happened. and people around the world have been wondering what happened to the pregnant woman and her unborn child who were rushed out of that bombed maternity ward in mariupol last week. this morning there is a heartbreaking update. plus, reports that russia
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has already used chemical weapons. what a ukrainian official is saying about a phosphorous bomb deployed in the eastern part of the country. sources also tell nbc news moscow has reached out to china for military equipment and other resources. ukraine's president in an incredible public show of unity visited wounded soldiers in the hospital, awarding medals and taking selfies. and another round of peace talks underway right now in hopes of ending this crisis, now entering day 19. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is monday, march 14th. let's dive right in. russia over the weekend hit a military base 15 miles away from the border with nato member poland, raising further concerns the alliance could be drawn into the conflict. ukrainian officials say at least 35 people were killed, 134
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injured when more than 30 russian missiles pounded the military facility yesterday. the base had long been used as a hub for western military troops including american forces to train ukrainian soldiers. the attack came a day after moscow warned it would try to destroy foreign shipments of weapons to ukraine, calling them, quote, legitimate targets. washington condemned the attack. here is what national security advisor jake sullivan had to say. >> it is no surprise that the russians are trying to expand the number of targets in this war because they're frustrated by their lack of ability to take some of the major cities, by the fact that they're well behind the objectives they set for themselves, and by the incredibly stiff and brave resistance that the people of ukraine, the military of ukraine and ordinary citizens of ukraine are putting up. >> ukrainian police are now
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accusing russia of using chemical attacks in its invasion. according to a deputy chief in the country's national police force, russian troops recently bombed the small city of popasna in eastern ukraine with what are known as phosphate munitions. those chemicals can cause severe burns to human skin and acute poisoning if inhaled. last week russia accused ukraine of planting a false flag chemical attack which u.s. officials warned could be a prelude to the kremlin using those weapons itself. here is more from u.s. national security advisor jake sullivan on "meet the press." the united states in coordination with our allies and partners is prepared to impose such severe consequences, and we have communicated that directly to the russians. we have consulted with our allies and partners about it, and we are prepared for that eventually. part of the reason, chuck, that we're so concerned that this may
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happen is that when russia starts accusing other countries of potentially doing something, it is a good tell that they may be on the cusp of doing it themselves. >> the u.s. government has reason to believe russia requested military and economic aid from china in the weeks since the war on ukraine began. three u.s. officials familiar with matter declined to say what kind of equipment was requested, nor would they elaborate on whether china had agreed to the request. that's a big issue. once more from national security advisor jake sullivan. >> we have made it clear to not just beijing but every country in the world that if they think that they can basically bail russia out, they can give rush a workaround to the sanctions that we have imposed, they should have another think coming because we will ensure neither china nor anyone else can compensate russia for these losses. in terms of the specific means of doing that, again, i'm not
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going to lay all of that out in public. >> right. >> but we will communicate that privately to china, as we have already done and will continue to do. >> sullivan will meet with china senior diplomat later today in rome. let's bring in u.s. special correspondent for bbc news katty kay, former four-star admiral james stavridis, and editor of "the new yorker" david remnick. >> admiral, where are we going into week four of the war? >> russians are still grinding away, but all hope they had of a blitzkrieg simply sweeping across and toppling zelenskyy and putting a new government, that's all gone. remember that column that we saw for such a long time? it has kind of disbursed, joe. a lot of that is artillery that are being positioned around the
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city. so, ominously -- and this is not good news -- where vladimir putin is headed i think is going to be the serious strategy, simply to start pounding away at these cities. i think he falsely believes that the cities can be the center of gravity in this campaign. they are not. they are just physical structures. the center of gravity in this campaign are the hearts and the spirit of the ukrainian people led by president zelenskyy. he is not going to win that over by knocking down cities and committing war crimes. quite the opposite. so on the western side of the conflict, joe, i think we are doing a good job. we are getting a lot of weapons in the hands of these ukrainians. that's why putin is slowed and frustrated. and militarily, the thing that's dangling out there is the idea of getting jets, fighters to the ukrainians. i think that's still being worked quietly. we'll see. everything else is ukrainians
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have asked for to fight this war we have given them. so that's a quick snapshot. watch for putin to start pounding at these cities. >> i'm wondering if you find we're moving into a new phase. the west, president biden, western leaders have responded well to the first phase, but we're now moving into a second phase where the use of chemical weapons may be deployed, may have already been deployed in eastern ukraine. and these continuing attacks on civilians may require a stronger response from nato and from the civilized world. i am wondering, what is the next move. we put together, as ambassador james jeffries suggested, perhaps a vote in the general assembly of the united nations and put together peace keeping forces in western ukraine? >> i think everything ought to be on the table. joe, i was on "meet the press"
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yesterday alongside jake sullivan, who was beaming in, of course, as he should from the white house, but clearly what the administration was signaling and clearly what jake sullivan was signaling, correctly so, was we're not going to telegraph our punches. we're not going to layout exactly what is going to happen. but i sense much more of the "everything is increasingly on the table." that's everything from the jets from poland that we just talked about to the kind of diplomatic initiative that my good friend jeffries is working on to this idea of communicating today in italy, in rome, jake sullivan will be talking to the chinese saying "you should not get into bed with russia and send them weapons." a lot moving right now, and the administration i think is doing a good job putting diplomatic, military, economic together to put pressure. i think it is going very badly
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for putin overall. >> well, a lot of things moving, and perhaps some signs, some trial balloons from china about being a possible mediator. we will talk about that in a little bit. but, mika, there are many people who have been critical of joe biden over the past week for being -- while being aggressive, also being very cautious, talking about what he would not do, about what strategy he would not employ. he did that at a time in the beginning of the crisis when only one in four americans wanted involvement in this crisis and when european allies were being hesitant to move. much has changed over the past three weeks. now three in four americans support actually even a no-fly zone. >> yeah. >> of course, we have seen europe provide its most robust response to a war crisis at any time since world war ii. i expect we are going the see a dramatic shift in white house strategy where they're not signaling to the russians what
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they are and what they are not going to do moving forward. things are going to get much more difficult for vladimir putin going forward. >> as pointed out, the president has been really transparent explaining the contours of nato and all of the different players involved, and he can bring americans along if decisions -- >> and he has. >> -- and if actualities call for different decisions. joining us from kyiv, nbc chief foreign correspondent richard engel who -- wow, your backdrop alone explains the onslaught, the russian onslaught is definitely in kyiv. richard. >> reporter: yes, it is getting closer to the center of kyiv. for the last several days the russian assaults have been edging in ever closer to the center of the city. this strike on an apartment overnight, and the apartment building is still being cleared, it is still being evacuated. people are going back in to try
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to collect whatever they can. this is a completely civilian area. it is surrounded by civilian areas. there are no military targets here. at least one person was killed. we saw the body taken away followed by distraught family members just a short while ago. going back to what admiral stavridis was saying, this is exactly the kind of strategy russia is now pursuing, bringing its destructive capability closer and closer to the heart of civilian-populated centers. we are now just about four miles from the square, which is the times square, if you will, of kyiv. and this building was targeted, it was targeted around 5:00 in the morning local time. most people were asleep. luckily -- and i think it is hard to say that there was anything lucky about this attack, but fortunately many of the people had already left. about half of the building was occupied at the time. so there were injuries and at
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least one death. but this is not the only place in kyiv that is now under attack. we are on the northern side of the city. then, of course, this weekend there was that terrible incident in which two journalists were shot, one of them well-known brent renaud, a well-known filmmaker who lost his life in the attack. that was out the northern outskirts of kyiv. >> richard, give us a perspective of the battle on kyiv. there are areas that have been attacked and torn to pieces. i'm curious generally, what percentage of the city is still untouched, unmarked by russian artillery? >> reporter: 95% or higher is untouched. there has been very little damage in the center of kyiv, and that's why this strike is
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important because we could be at a turning point in this conflict. president zelenskyy said we are now entering a new, much more deadly phase, and this seems to be the face of that deadly phase where you have apartment buildings that are attacked in the dark of night for no apparent reason. and if you see right behind me, this is one of the main entrances to the building and that's where the direct strike hit the building. since it hit the main staircase leading to all of the other apartments, it made the evacuation much more dangerous, much more difficult. so this is the phase that we are in right now, where civilian areas are being targeted apparently at will. so often in conflicts, often in conflicts that i have covered there are civilian casualties but oftentimes it is described as an accident, bad intelligence, collateral damage, to use that awful expression.
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there was no accident about this. this was a big building hit for no apparent reason other than to kill civilians and frighten the population. >> unfortunately, as you say there, it is likely a sign of things to come for all of kyiv, the past most likely prologue. nbc's richard engel. thank you for your reporting. please stay safe. david remnick, i wanted to ask you about putin. so many -- so many psychiatrists have been trying to get into this guy's mind and they've been talking about -- it reminds me of what people were saying about dick cheney. this wasn't the dick cheney before the heart attack. they're going, oh, this wasn't the putin before covid. he has changed radically since covid. i have been reading dr. brzezinski's writings from the cold war to try to get insight, and i must say everything dr. brzezinski wrote
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about the russians in 1993 you could overlay perfectly on putin in 2022. that he is a leader and it is a country that is fuelled by resentment, by just a constant need for expansionism, and the insecurity that comes along with making new enemies because of your expansionism. what are your thoughts? >> i don't know about brezhnev but i know about the country. i want to focus more on putin himself. if anybody is waiting for a moral awakening from vladimir putin they're delewded. they're deluded. if you want to look at what the mark is, look at footage from 1999/2000. it is levelled, grozny looks like dresden. look at the city of aleppo after
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the russians got finished with it. it too looked like dresden. so what richard engel was telling us is this is an appetizer. this is just -- the building he was standing in front of is just a forerunner, and kyiv, of course, is not the only city in ukraine. in city after city in ukraine and other parts of it, in the south and the east, it is not just one building or five buildings or 3%. it is much more total than that. the damage that's been done, the fear that's been struck into the ukrainians is all toward one goal, to bring a nation of 40 odd million people to its knees, to rob it of its independence, to rob it of its sovereigty and to put it under the russian wing. that's what this is all about. that putin cannot be dealt with, we can't psychoanalyze him. we have to hope that the pressure that's being put on him, which is immense
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economically and politically, and that pressures on him within the country, particularly in the security apparatuses, start to exert an influence that makes him decide that either this is a horrible catastrophe and he has to get out of it or he is overthrown. that's it. >> david, let me push you a little bit here because you do know about russia, you know as much about russia as anybody. you know about russia history, and i guess what i'm trying to say to our viewers is people are acting as if vladimir putin is a one off when, in fact, stalin, the man that he admired, killed 3 million to 4 million ukrainians back in the 1930s. >> this is absolutely true. >> russia has a long history. >> but on the other hand -- >> russia has a long history of behaving this way. this is how russians act. when people are looking at putin as a one off and saying, oh, we need to understand what is going
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on in this man's mind, all i'm saying is that you can look back through russian history and there are many people that have studied the soviet union and russia that say this has been going on for 300 years. >> uh-huh. >> i would say though at the same time there's also mikhail gorbachev who tried to create a society with greater liberties, greater opportunities for its people. that's part of the pictures is that gorbachev and that kind of view is viewed by putin and his cronies in the kgb and beyond as deluded, week and somehow a disaster for the country. you are right. there are examples in the past of totalitarianism and autocracy for centuries in russia, but i don't think it is baked into the cake forever and ever for
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russia. the tragedy is that putin himself has no politics surrounding him that we yet can discern. that emphasis on what we can discern, there's so few people around him that give him contrary opinion, who put political pressure on him, and he is acting in a solitary way. you saw that in his meeting with the security council when the head of foreign intelligence got up and tried to disagree just a little bit, he was humiliated. >> right. >> we have to hope that the people around him start doing -- not just put pressure on him, but act more forcefully. >> it is a tragedy because of where gorbachev tried to take the soviet union, mika, and then, of course, later russia. >> yeah. >> unfortunately, it has been gorbachev who has been the one-off in this experience with russia lately. >> but how to close in on putin, who, katty kay, maybe you can
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take it to the admiral, but as russia gets closer and closer to the line on every level, whether it be chemical weapons or going after civilians or creeping closer to nato territory, bombing a military base that's 15 miles from poland, when you hear world leaders, u.s. president biden saying, "we will protect every inch of nato territory," they appear to be pushing the line on every level that they can, even potentially going to china for support. there are so many issues happening at the same time. >> yeah, and at the same time also, mika, of course we have these talks. both sides, the ukrainians and the russians saying that they can see the contours of some kind of negotiated settlement. the question is whether this is just a feint as bill burns, the director of cia seemed to be saying in congress, he thinks it
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is just strategic, these talks. i wonder whether, admiral stavridis, are you see anything from the russian side -- and we have over the course of the weekend seen a little more positive language from the russians and the ukrainians about the prospect for some kind of potential for negotiation. do you think it is sincere on russia's part or is it just a feint and moscow is trying to win time in order to carry on its campaign in ukrainian cities? >> i'm going to go with ambassador bill burns, a really good friend who was our ambassador in moscow. he studies this. he is deep into it. he is the head of the cia. he has seen all of the high-end intelligence. if he says it is a feint, i'm going to go with that. secondly, i think that without question putin is still seized with the idea of going forward here.
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the only counterveiling pressure that i see of significance, in addition to, of course, the ukrainian resistance, which is the heart of everything, the center of gravity, but the other thing are these economic sanctions, particularly coupled with how expensive this is. war is hell. it is also very expensive, and it is burning up billions and billions of dollars and our rubles that putin really doesn't have access to anymore. so if there's a press for some kind of negotiation, i think it is going to come ultimately out of the economic side coupled with this heroic resistance from the ukrainians. final thought, we have talked a lot about military, diplomatic, economic. let me tell you what i think may be the most important weapon we have. it is the truth. it is the kind of videos you are showing. it is that heart-stopping photograph of the pregnant woman who now we know has died.
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that kind of proof registered right here with these devices by courageous ukrainians, broadcast by networks like this and all of the other networks, ultimately over time is what stiffens the resistance in ukraine, builds the coalition against vladimir putin, keeps china out of this. we need to bombard moscow with the truth. the degree to which we do that may be the degree to which we succeed. >> i want to ask you, admiral, also you talk about money as limitation. it would seem to me time would also be a limitation for vladimir putin and his russian troops. we forget how long they were just sitting there in the cold, freezing on the border, not moving. i know you understand what a nightmare that is for the military, for readiness. now they've gone into a war they thought they were -- where they thought they were going to march into kyiv and take over the rest
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of the country. it has gone terribly well. how long does putin have with these forces to continue mired down in this sort of battle? >> one last point to your excellent lay down would be mired down. as it gets warmer and that weather turns into spring, harder and harder for those big, heavy mechanized devices to be moving on the battlefield. so the answer to your question is he has days, he has weeks, he has got some number of months, but i can't see how he can sustain this both with the money and with the morale of his troops. your point, many of whom are conscripts, reservists. they're looking over their shoulders thinking, i want to get home. the ukrainians are looking over their shoulders saying, i want to protect my family, i want to protect my city. that may be the spirit of the ukrainians, so i don't think
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vladimir putin has unlimited time, joe. >> no, and we do move also, mika, into the muddy season very soon as it does get warmer. >> admiral james stavridis, thank you very much once again. still ahead on "morning joe," while beijing hasn't officially taken sides in the ukraine crisis, china is not exactly a neutral player. we will go live to beijing on the heels of the report that russia asked china for military aid. plus, the latest on the growing wave of ukrainian refugees and the warning from one mayor who says his city can no longer cope with the sheer number of people arriving. also ahead, foreign affairs committee member congressman adam kinzinger will join us to talk about what lawmakers are doing to help ukraine. he also reveals his biggest regret during his time in congress the other day. >> i will ask him also if he still supports a no-fly zone. i suspect he will.
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♪♪ it is 29 past the hour. a live look at the white house as our coverage continues. more than 750 people were arrested during protests across russia yesterday. that's according to a human rights group. it has been tracking arrests since the start of the invasion almost three weeks ago. it says nearly 15,000 protesters have been arrested since february 24th. the demonstrations come despite the threat of lengthy prison sentences. earlier this month the kremlin passed a law against protesting and independent reporting on the war with a punishment of up to 15 years in prison. meanwhile, tens of thousands of russians are fleeing to neighboring countries in response to putin's invasion of
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ukraine. "the new york times" spoke to several russians who have left their homes over the past 18 days. many have ended up in istanbul, turkey, relying on telegram chats and support groups to find housing. "the times" says these are middle class russians who are against the war and fear the recent authoritarian measures put in place. they believe their way of life in russia is no longer possible. >> you know, david, we are looking at the horrors that are unfolding daily for ukrainians. it is also russians who are going -- in the long term, i suspect if ukraine survives this there will be a remarkable martial plan that will become a vibrant country that's an example to the rest of the world. not so much for the russians. educators are fleeing, journalists fleeing, some of the best and the brightest leaving
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that country. what does russia look like after this is over? >> there's a real danger that this experience tends to hollow out a lot of the most vibrant parts of russian urban society. if you were to go today to the armenian capital or the georgian capital or istanbul or any other places, you would see it filled with thousands of russians, computer programmers, journalists, businesspeople who are terrified if they don't get out now they will be stuck in russia, in a russia that they don't recognize. remember, what we've had for the last few decades is a semi-free moscow or st. petersburg. the understanding was we know we live in an authoritarian society, there's no mistaking about that, we know our press is repressed, we know there are all kinds of restrictions and this guy is terrible, but on the other hand there's a certain
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intellectual life, there's a business life, but on the other hand there's a kind of liberty that was tolerable. everybody knew the arrangement. it was not london, it was not paris or anything like it. now there's a chance of something infinitely more repressive, where big brother is looking at you all the more carefully. there's film coming out of moscow of people holding up a blank piece of paper and getting arrested, people imitating -- you see this over and over again. you know, it is not just navalny that's in jail. the society is being put under the boot of the authoritarian -- the despot, if you will. i did an interview with steve cotkin, who is a historian of the soviet union and the great biographer of stalin. he is not at all saying this is what russia is and always was
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and always will be, but he is saying that certain circumstances are beginning with putin but also russia's geography and its historical reflexes are putting russia in its worst place that we've seen in decades. so people want to get out of this country if they can. but, by the way, few can. very few can, have the means or the capacity. >> yeah, and i wonder if this also -- something like this exists in the russian military and what the morale of the russian military is going into ukraine. young boys being yelled at by, you know, older women in ukraine but also killing ukrainians and killing russians who live in ukraine. >> we have all kinds of reports, mika, from the front lines of soldiers who had no idea why they were being sent to the border, and once they found themselves in ukraine and sometimes surrendered to ukrainian soldiers, protesting
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their innocence and saying they were sorry that they were there. and we live in a world of cellphones and people are able to call home, and anxious parents, mothers and fathers are able to call their sons on the front lines. sooner or later this too bleeds into russian society. more and more mothers and fathers finding about children, children inside ukraine and committing this act of war and arguably this act of genocide against a people to bring the ukrainian people to its knees. are they proud of this? that too will bleed into russian society despite all of the restrictions. that too will change the picture, but it takes time. >> david, i read that interview you did with steve cotkin. it was super interesting. i thought one of the points that he made about there's an inherent weakness in the russian story and what putin has been
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telling russians, and previous leaders as well, is that russia is the great power. not a great power, but the great power. in a sense that aspiration to be equal to europe or to america is always going to leave them wanting more because they aren't. they are a great power but they don't have the economy of europe, they don't have the economy of europe and the united states certainly matched together. that drives them perhaps to overreach and make mistakes as putin appears to have done in ukraine. >> right, katty. i think one of the things that steve was saying in that interview far more eloquently than i could is that authoritarians are bad at everything. >> yeah. >> they're bad at educating their populations. they're bad at developing an economy. now, you can argue with this, and i asked him the question, look at what has happened in china. an authoritarian has had an example of economic development
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that's extraordinary in recent decades in china, but in the end authoritarian regimes do not produce happy citizens. sooner or later there are rebellions, and what putin fears most -- i'm not saying that it is a rule, but what putin fears most is uprising on the street and uprising around him. how many times have we seen that in the authoritarian experience over time? we've even seen it in the czarist experience. paul i was stabbed to death by his political rivals. brezhnev's team in the politburo was overthrown. this is what putin fears. these are not historical laws in
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an iron clad way, but putin has not come through for his society. putin, let's talk about him. economically, he has not. >> yeah. all right. editor of "the new yorker" david remnick. as always, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> mika, following up on what david and katty were saying, again, going back to what your father would write throughout the cold war -- again, it is important because it explains not only what was going on 40 years ago, it explains what is going on right now. your father wrote repeatedly that russia was a one-dimensional power. that they had failed to develop economic capacity. they had failed to develop technology. they had failed to develop a political system that other countries wanted exported. they had failed culturally. they had failed in every dimension. so their only power was the power to disrupt. not the power to expand, but the
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power to disrupt the existing global order. they would do that, and even that part your father said in 1983 was limited because it depended on military, brute force with the military and nuclear weapons, which also even limited that single dimension. so katty is so right. their insecurity and their expansionism have always collided together, and it has caused them to make mistake after mistake after mistake. history has repeated itself here. >> well, we have been pulling all of his books off the shelves and reading and highlighting them. we will be bringing portions to you this week. it is quite stunning how much of this is parallel to the past. coming up, the gloves are off. that's the message from the british government as it goes after russian oligarchs in london. and we're going live to china for the latest reports that russia has called beijing
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for military aid. plus, the desperate push to rescue nearly two dozen newborns trapped in a basement in kyiv. "morning joe" is coming back with more coverage. it's still the eat fresh refresh, and subway's refreshing their italians.
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♪♪ 44 past the hour. a live look at washington. >> what a beautiful shot, washington, d.c.. >> the sun is coming up. people are headed into work. >> 6:44 a.m., monday morning. time to wake up. >> yeah. well, today there's a lot of news to coverage. national security advisor jake sullivan will travel to rome to meet with his chinese counterpart for the high-stakes discussions on the global impact of russia's invasion of ukraine. this comes as u.s. officials say russia asked china for military assistance, a move america says would come at a hefty cost to
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beijing. joining us from beijing nbc news foreign correspondent janis mackey frayer. janis, what are you hearing from chinese officials. >> reporter: well, the last time that chinese top diplomat yang jiechi met with jake sullivan it did not go well. there's expectations it could be a frank meeting between the two sides, what a lot of people are looking at as a real fork in the talks. they're heading into the talks with multiple reports that the u.s. has reasons to believe russia has asked china for military assistance and equipment. now, there are no details on the scope of this apparent request. it isn't clear what russia would be looking for from china or why they would need weaponry three weeks into an invasion. some russian analysts think that, if anything, maybe they would be looking for transport aircraft, but typically china is a client of russia when it comes to arms, not the other way
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around. officially, china's foreign ministry spokesperson today called the report, quote, malicious disinformation and completely blew it off. now, going into the meeting there are a lot of complexities. it isn't clear whether the u.s. is going to warn china about the cost and consequences of possibly bailing out russia or whether this is a step toward urging beijing to use what leverage it has with moscow in order to try to negotiate an end to the conflict or a bit of both. certainly xi jinping and vladimir putin have a deep relationship. they've met dozens of times as leaders in recent years. just last month they had that huge manifesto where they were declaring a friendship with no limits. but at this point from what we can tell, officially china is complying with sanctions. so there does seem to be a recognition among the top leadership here that aligning too closely with russia does
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bring risks to china's economy. in a lot of ways china as a mediator is not exactly a neutral partner. they are seen as an important strategic partner of russia. just last week the foreign minister was declaring that their ties are rock solid, but china does have leverage with moscow. moscow right now is looking for some assurances from china. russian officials were saying publicly that they're counting on ties with china in order to bail out their economy, which is, of course, hard hit by sanctions. >> so i wanted to ask you, janis. there was someone who wrote an op-ed in "the new york times" yesterday who advises the chinese government, who wrote -- i thought this was interesting. he said it is not in beijing's interest to rely solely on an anti-western alliance with moscow. russia might possess a mighty military -- it doesn't, but it's
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economy is in line with the economy of spain. with all of the talks of moscow, it is worth remembering that china's economic -- i'm starting to wonder if you are picking up any suggestions or hints in the media that perhaps helping russia out of this would be in the best interests of china's economic relations with the west. >> reporter: if you look at chinese state media, you know, what's widely consumed on social media, they're pushing russian propaganda. there are even some chinese officials that have been trying to push anti-u.s. conspiracy theories about the biolabs and what not. but at the higher levels and among people seen as advisors to
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the government there is more sobriety, if you call it. the op-ed was written by the head of a think tank here who is an advisor to the government. i talk to him earlier today and he was saying if china can get the u.s. to look at this from china's perspective in that china doesn't want to endorse the u.s. or the west, but it also doesn't want to derail its own economy. it has trade deals with ukraine. it has huge trade deals with the eu and also with the u.s. so it is not in -- you know, the transactional way that china does business, it is not going to sacrifice that for its relationship with russia. i think why until now, even with all of the pushing of russian propaganda on social media here, it is why officially we have seen only rhetorical support for russia and not any attempt by beijing to disrupt their own economy. >> it is obviously so important. you are right. it does seem more rhetorical
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right now. janis, as always, thank you so much. >> janis mackey frayer in beijing. >> forgive me. >> that's all right. >> janis mackey frayer, thank you so much. of course, the problem we're talking about, the relationship between russia and china and how it all ends up. >> yeah. >> and if it goes in a peaceful direction it will involve russia, china and the west all being able to do several things at the same time. we will continue the conversation after a quick break with the president of the council on foreign relations, richard haass. we will be right back. we will be right back. cut. liberty mu... line? cut. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. cut. liberty m... am i allowed to riff? what if i come out of the water? liberty biberty... cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. only pay for what you need.
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♪♪ it is just a few minutes before the top of the hour. a live look at the capitol as our coverage continues here on "morning joe." . joining us now, the president of the council on foreign relations, richard haass, and the host of "way too
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early" white house bureau chief at "politico", jonathan lemire. the bbc's katty kay is still with us as well. here is the op-ed that was mentioned in the last block. the doctor is the head of the beijing think tank, an advisor for the chinese government and writes this piece for "the new york times" entitled "it's time to offer russia with an off ramp and china can help with that." we are now in an escalatory spiral, he writes. mounting pressure on mr. putin will likely make the situation more dan rung as russia's leader feels pushed to take increasingly extreme measures such as what we've seen in the past few days with the russian army's siege tactics and attacks on civilian areas. and so, unpalatable as some in the west may find the idea, it is time to offer the russian leader an off dllt ramp with china's help. it is not in beijing's interests to rely solely on an
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anti-western alliance with moscow. russia may possess a mighty military, but its economy is in long-term structural decline with a gdp not much larger than that of spain. for all the talk of its ties with moscow, it is worth remembering that china's economic interests with russia are dwarfed by those it sheas shares with the west. beijing's goal would be to find a solution that gives mr. putin sufficient security assurances that can be presented as a win to his domestic audience while protecting ukraine's core sovereigty an nato's open-door policy. securing a multilateral resolution to the crisis in ukraine will be a tough and risky challenge, but there is no country better placed to do so than china. >> so, richard, fascinating, this op-ed from someone who advises the chinese government. i suspect it didn't happen by
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accident. we spoke and you say there are other indications that perhaps beijing may be moving more towards a position of seeking a middle ground and trying to help russia and ukraine and the west out of this war. >> yes, there are other pieces that are circulating. academicians -- >> do we have audio on richard? >> -- with a bit of state backing. i don't think they're that. i don't think china is there. i think they like the idea that the united states finds itself strategically focused on russia and europe, so instead of a pivot to asia we are seeing a pivot back to europe. but china can't be happy with this crisis, joe. this is bad for their economy. this is bad for them as they try to get out of covid. i think, you know, with jake sullivan, the national security advisor meeting his chinese counterpart today it is a real
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moment to basically signal the chinese and say, if you provide explicit military or economic help to putin this will not just put you in harm's way in terms of sanctions and growing technology controls, but this will fundamentally change the u.s./chinese relationship going forward. there's at least the possibility now that the united states and china could find some kind of a new equilibrium. if china essentially goes all-in on putin, then i think the message has to be to try to discourage that, that that will forever -- at least for years, if not decades, change the trajectory of our relationship. i don't know if that's going to be enough to influence what they do, but on the other hand they may like the idea as being seen as peace maker. it would be a real win for chinese soft power and so forth, but they're not there yet. right now they've gone -- up to now they've been close to putin. the real question is can we shoe horn them away somewhat from that. >> and certainly, richard, i think we have seen that.
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the timing of this leak about china -- moscow asking beijing for help not a coincidence, just ahead of jake sullivan's meeting with his counterpart in rome today. katty, we see it certainly as an inflection point perhaps in the relation between beijing and washington, whether china is going the need to make a decision at some point of basically what team are you on. without chinese support, there's a sense that -- the fact that russia is even asking for it perhaps portends things aren't going that well for russia. what sort of mighty military machine already needs reinforcements just a few weeks in? >> we have seen it not just from russia, they've rode back on getting conscripts from other countries. we had putin over the weekend saying actually it might not be a bad idea if people want to come and fight from syria, for example, or other countries friendly to us, having rejected that idea before he wants them now. the move with china is
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interesting. i thought the fact, as joe was suggesting, that it was published in "the new york times" as all was interesting. because it wouldn't have been published without a takes i.t. move from the chinese government, and they're putting out a signal in "the new york times" we are open to being the kind of player you would like us to be our our strategic interests are more with america an europe than it is with ukraine and russia. they also don't like what they're seeing in terms of this driving the u.s. and europe closer together. they were happy with the u.s. and europe drifting further apart. from china's point of view there's a lot to be gained from getting this out of the way, getting this ended. i suspect the way putin would like this to end, chinese involvement being more weaponry, that's a big ask. it is interesting putin put it out there. why would the russians put it out there? the assumption was the russians wouldn't put it out there unless the chinese agreed to supply them. but this op-ed is making a
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strong case for the idea of why it is not in china's interest to be helping the russians in the war in ukraine. >> again, richard, as katty said, this op-ed would not have appeared in "the new york times" by someone who advises the chinese government without support from some elements of the government. you look at this line again, it is brutal. russia's economy is a long-term structural decline with a gdp not much larger than that of spain. talk also about china, of course, its economies is growing at 4%, 5%. the last thing it wants, the last thing it needs is a split from the west after it had worked so hard to divide the eu from the united states. >> it is all true. let me give you one other analysis of this, joe, which is slightly different. the fact that there was the piece you talked about in "the new york times" as well as another piece, i get the sense there may be a little bit of a debate going on in china. even some veiled criticism of xi jinping. for xi jinping, his priority this year is to get a third term
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approved by the party congress this fall. what is happening is he's having trouble getting china out of covid because of their lockdown strategy, their vaccine isn't working against omicron, the economy, as you say, is not growing gangbusters. now this close association with putin. i think what you are beginning to see is some people possibly -- i'm trying to read the tea leaves here -- using this as a way, almost an indirect criticism of the chinese leadership for essentially betting too much on the russian horse, for assuming that putin was going to win easily, this was going to be a strategic win for him, bad for the united states and the west. it is turning out, shall we say, rather differently. i think what you are seeing in china is a little bit of a debate, which is not something we often see there. >> richard, stay with us. we are at the top of the hour and mika will give us an update on what is going on across the news. >> it is day 19 of the russian invasion of ukraine, and the
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attacks are inching closer to nato territory. the prime minister of poland said just moments ago that yesterday's attack on a military facility near the polish border was aimed at creating panic. civilians were also targeted again overnight as russia does whatever it takes to capture ukraine's capital. the video that's just coming in of a deadly attack on an apartment building just a few miles away from the center of kyiv. and a heartbreaking update to this image that has captivated the world as a pregnant woman was rushed out of a bombed maternity ward in mariupol last week. an award-winning journalist and filmmaker is now the first-known american casualty of the war. just moments ago, the ukrainian state nuclear company says russian forces have once again damaged a line at the chernobyl nuclear plant just a day after it was repaired.
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>> richard, i want to get back to you really quickly on the attack. a lot of people obviously for good reason talking about the attack that took place not too far from the polish border. i do think though, just to provide context to our viewers, i think it is very important to let our viewers know, to underline the fact that the russians warned the day before they would be targeting any weapons that they believed were being sent in to ukraine. basically saying, hey, listen, this is what we're going to do. you bring weapons in, they're legitimate military targets. i don't think any general or admiral we had on this show would suggest otherwise. we would be saying the same thing. we also heard yesterday from kirby that actually there are now communications between the pentagon and russian military leaders. we had heard the opposite last week. so i am wondering if russia, who we also hear is starting -- the ukrainians are saying they're starting to negotiate at the
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table. i'm wondering if, in fact, they're trying to actually reel this in a little bit, at least on the diplomatic front with the united states, the ukrainians and china? >> a couple of things, joe. i think you're right. the idea that russia would attack arms moving in western ukraine is not to me an escalation. i don't see any sign they're going to go after things inside, say, poland itself. the disparity between nato and russian military capabilities is so great that i think the chances of any war widening to nato have actually plummeted rather than going up. the idea that there might be some movement towards interest in negotiation, possibly. this is turning out to be expensive obviously. there's big parts of the country that russia will never be able to control. they'll never also be able to stamp out a resistance. so it is quite possible. you are beginning to see signals also from president zelenskyy. he's talking about things like
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some type of neutrality, not demilitarization. he won't contest crimea's status right now. maybe autonomy in the east. so you are beginning to see some of the building blocks. to me the real question in any negotiation is whether the two sides are both willing and able to make a deal. i think on the ukrainian side, clearly willing and able. zelenskyy has the stature, he obviously has the incentive to stop the carnage. the only real question is vladimir putin. he is able to make a deal if he wants to, but does he want to? would he rather make a point than make a deal? up to now he would rather make a point. the question is whether he's moving in the direction of wanting to make a deal. david remnick a few minutes ago talked about pressure from within. i can't imagine the russian military leadership is happy with this. i can't imagine people who keep control in the streets are happy with the degree of protest. they see the economic damage this is doing to the country. so it is quite possible we're slowly moving in the direction,
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not of a complete peace but of some type of a cease-fire and some type of a settlement. >> let's bring in u.s. national editor of "the financial time" ed luce and contributing writer at "the new yorker" jeffrey ioffa. let's pick up on a few things that richard haass, president on council of foreign relations, just brought up. that is that vladimir putin has to be looking around. he's got to look at this, how costly this invasion is for him every day and especially after the sanctions, russia doesn't have the money to continue funding this forever. we also talked last hour about the time constraints. spring is coming, the muddy season is coming. it is going to become more of a tactical nightmare to move heavy armor, russian heavy armor
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around. you have yet another russian general killed in combat. you have soldiers that don't want to be there. you just wonder for vladimir putin if the window is not closing for him to not negotiate a peace, have a parade declaring victory and try to return to some sort of normalcy, because the longer this goes the more russia is exposed and the weaker their military looks. >> that's all true, joe. the only thing that would give me pause there is that if putin were to reach some kind of a deal and to be a russian stand-down right now or even a russian withdrawal, this would be extremely hard to portray to the russian people, even with all of the array of propaganda tools that putin has, as a
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victory. we've seen thousands of russian soldiers lose their lives, which is -- you know, 15,000 soviet troops lost their lives against afghanistan in the 1980s and that was enough to help break the soviet union. we have already seen half that number of death in the space of two weeks. remember, that was a ten-year war. so i would be skeptical that he would think he would be able to declare victory and tell russia this was worth while at this point. my other concern is that before a cease-fire there's always an intensifying of fighting because each site wants to have that position at the bargaining table. if we see a cease-fire in the coming days or weeks it will be preceded by an intensifying of
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the russian military campaign. lastly, the russian military need to be resupplied. they need a pause. that's just a military necessity after three or four weeks of fighting. that might be dressed up as a cease-fire without actually being one. >> i see. joshua, we want to read from your piece, the latest piece in "the new yorker" entitled "what the russian invasion has done to ukraine." patient unknown number one, a 7-year-old boy, arrived at children's hospital in kyiv on the second day of russia's invasion of ukraine. he had been riding in a car with his parents and two sisters when they come under fire. his parents and one sister died on the spot. his other sister was taken to a different hospital. an ambulance brought the boy,en conscious and losing blood, to
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the hospital where doctors performed emergency surgery and put him on a ventilator. it was a couple of days before the staff located his grandmother and learned the boy's name, semyon. the pediatric surgeon who treated him told me shrapnel had passed through the side of the boy's neck. he was on life support with little sign of brain activity. as a doctor i understand what happened to this child, he told me, but i don't understand what is going on around us here and across the country. something absurd and terrible is happening. these people, joshua, are being de luged with violence when their life was otherwise peaceful and modern. this sort of seemed to come out of nowhere for families who were just living their lives. >> that's exactly right.
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i have been to kyiv many times over the years. i have reported there on and off for a decade and arrived to kyiv this time in early february, and it was exactly the cosmopolitan european vibrant city i had come to know and love on previous trips. it was hard even then for many of the people in kyiv and across european who i met in the first weeks of february to fathom what might be bearing down on them. it was hard for them to imagine, just like it was hard for people i know in moscow to imagine that this war was really coming. and the speed and drama and scale of the transformation of kyiv has been heartbreaking to witness. people whose lives just two weeks ago, three weeks ago were defined by the sorts of things that, you know, you or i -- >> right. >> -- organize our day around, our work, getting our kids to school, where to meet up with friends in the evening for dinner. that was very much the stuff of life in kyiv. now it is really about survival,
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and this hospital, which i visited a number of times, is a really dramatic visualization, a really visceral and horrific visualization how many kyiv has been transformed by war. not only are doctors there treating patients like semyon who are being injured and killed, and i should add there's a tragic coda to the story of semyon. i saw him in the hospital when he was on life support. i looked into his room with the doctor there from that scene, and when i came back two days later i ran into the same doctor and asked about semyon's condition. he told me that he had died the day before. semyon had not made it. he succumbed to his injuries. that children's hospital is full of children like semyon. it is not just full of children
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injured in the war, though it is increasingly, indeed, treating those patients, but it has hundreds of patients who were at the hospital waiting for bone marrow transplants, children undergoing chemotherapy, people who needed stem cell therapies, and those children now are forced to live in a dark, dank basement where they are hiding out because of the danger of missile strikes and bombing raids in kyiv, conditions that no child should be forced to live in or through, let alone one who is undergoing chemotherapy or needs a potential life-saving surgery. my visits to this children's hospital were really illustrative of the wider condition facing not just people across kyiv but across the country, and it was brought home to me in a really acute way. >> joshua, there's almost no way
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civilians can preparing for their life changing as radically as it has for people in cities across ukraine in the last couple of weeks, and the russian onslaught has been more violent and more brutal than many people anticipated. did you get the impression that the ukrainian government, from zelenskyy on down to mayors of the towns you went to, were prepared for what was coming and had prepared the country and the population for what was coming? snow like you say, i'm not sure what kind of preparation is really even possible for an invasion of this scale that has taken on this level of violence with wholesale destruction of residential areas in cities like kharkiv and mariupol. it seemed like it was difficult for the zelenskyy administration, like for much of the public, to really wrap their heads around the imminence and severity of the invasion up until the final days before it
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happened. that doesn't mean that the ukrainian leadership or the population was naive or polly annish about the threat. as everyone will tell you, ukraine has been living with war from russia not just in the last weeks but since 2014. there was a battle-weary or hard-won resilience or understanding of what it means when russia attacks your country. so people had that experience and understood, at least based on the previous war, what it might mean. i think no one could really prepare neither psychologically nor logistically what the new invasion would bring, something on a wider and devastating scale. what has been really interesting and kind of has jumped out at me in my reporting across ukraine is the degree to which this invasion has really galvanized the country, solidified support,
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brought about a new wave of patriotism and belief in the ukrainian state. all of the sorts of reactions on which putin was counting on the opposite, he clearly seemed to think that zelenskyy himself would run away at the first shot, that he would be able to take -- russian forces would be able to take kyiv without much resistance, and after this quick victory the ukrainian population would rather than harboring some deep affection or allegiance to the ukrainian state would go along with whatever new order russia imposed at the barrel of a gun. none of that has turned out. >> absolutely not. >> we have seen extraordinarily the opposite with millions in resistance. >> contributing writer at "the new yorker" joshua yaffa. we will be reading from your piece. it is compelling. in the latest, "russia's war gets closer to nato," the editorial board at the "wall street journal" writes in part,
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vladimir putin continues to escalate his bloody war in ukraine and he is testing nato more every day. the russian is exploiting president biden's publicly stated declarations of what the u.s. won't do to help ukraine, and in the pro sense he is bringing the war closer to nato's borders. his threats and sunday's military strike are intended to stop nato from continuing to send military aid to ukraine, but he is betting the u.s. will do nothing if he starts blowing up truck coming across the polish border. but what about a chemical attack inside ukraine? mr. sullivan was much less definitive about that. how about a siege of cities that kills thousands? like it or not, the russian brutality that the west is tolerating in ukraine is rewriting the rules of what countries can get away with in the 21st century.
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mr. putin can do what he likes as long as he keeps within the outlines of ukrainian territory. no one wants a broader war. but as russia escalates, mr. biden and nato had better be prepared to fight one. a reckless or desperate mr. putin may give them no choice. it is an interesting and very realistic point of view, because it is going to get, believe it or not if it is possible, much uglier. >> i have actually written an op-ed for "the washington post" that goes along the broad outlines of this, jonathan lemire. nothing original in what i'm writing other than the fact he reflects what we're starting to see and what we've started to see this weekend. fred kemp with the atlantic council, many others are saying biden and the west have done an admirable job. the economic sanctions are extraordinary. the flooding of weapons across
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the polish/ukrainian border, extraordinary, but now the war is moving to a new phase. americans and europeans are seeing war crimes committed on their television sets 24 hours a day. you saw in the west a couple of useful idiots starting to talk ukrainians having chemical weapons, which was a precursor to a russian general saying that they had those weapons, which, of course, the intel committee is rightly saying is going to be russia's excuse to use chemical weapons. does the biden administration -- forgive me, this is going to sound con descending but it is too early for me to figure out any other way to say it. does the biden administration understand that when americans and europeans see 5-year-old children choke to death by putin's chemical weapons that we're going to have to go in, do they understand that there is no -- there is no holding back?
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that we're going to have to take a far more aggressive approach? >> administration officials, joe, recognize that we're teetering on the edge of potentially a far more dangerous phase of the war. let's start with going with their approach has been to this point, and i wrote on this today for "politico." certainly this has been a sharp break from the foreign policy of biden's predecessor here who we saw cozy up to putin, weaken the nato alliance which current officials believe emboldened putin to move in thinking that the united states would not be in a place to handle this, watching the afghanistan withdrawal, seeing two years, three years of division and being battered by covid. to this point though biden has laid down clear markers to what he can and cannot do. he hasn't just said it once or twice. it is really striking. he says it nearly every public opportunity he can, whether speeches or on twitter, talking about how he will not commit u.s. troops to nato.
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in part that's to set the stage to make sure the public knows what is going on, part is to ward off public criticism, but part is aimed at europe to say, look, administration officials told me in the last day or so the strategy behind that was to give europe some confidence. hey, do everything you can economically. do these sanctions but don't worry, the u.s. is not going to escalate this, therefore war will spill out further into europe. that's a signal the u.s. wanted to send to europe, hey, we don't want the conflict to expand. now, if putin chooses to expand it or if chemical weapons are used in ukraine or elsewhere in europe, that will change the equation. that's are meetings that the white house and officials in the pentagon are having around the clock right now to figure out what the strategy and response would be. >> katty kay, i thought about something you said last week about how viscerally europeans were reacting to the images that they saw on their screens because it reminded so many older europeans about what they had been through, what their
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parents and grandparents had been through. we're actually seeing the united states far removed from that obviously, though a country at the beginning of the conflict three weeks ago only one in four americans supported active involvement. now three in four americans support a no-fly zone. i'm curious what your thought is about what happens if putin starts using chemical weapons in ukraine. how much more visceral, how much more angry, how much more will europeans be demanding that their governments do more? >> yeah, i mean europeans have gone from wanting to really try to contain russia, we have gone from the kind of germans that have almost appeasement policy of russia in order to assure its own oil supplies, to the europeans being the ones who are saying, we cannot let the scenes that we saw in world war ii be replayed and we cannot let russia think it can destroy a liberal democracy because who
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knows where else it will go. you're right. even speaking to people in the uk over the weekend it is much more intense there. my daughter's school is doing fundraisers for ukraine almost every day. most people i know are getting involved in trying to do something for ukraine. they really feel this could -- you know, the people i speak to in london saying there's a 20% chance this could be war throughout europe. i guess, ed, the question is, you know, europe is in this position where it doesn't want the war to expand beyond ukraine. nobody wants the war to expand beyond ukraine, but there are also questions about what would the united states and nato do if, as joe says, there was a chemical weapon launched in kyiv, what would the united states do if a missile was sent into an arms depot that happened to be just inside romania or just inside poland.
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>> ed. >> sorry. can you hear me? >> we can. >> sorry. it is a horrific prospect, but -- exactly the questions we should be asking right now. look, i think in terms of the intervention in this war in ukraine, there are two questions. one is the legal question of what qualifies as intervention, which lawyers --- >> i think we have -- >> let me, richard haass, go to you and ask the same question. what do we expect from not just europe but also from americans when chemical weapons are introduced into this conflict, which the intel community believes based on the misinformation being spread by putin's generals and useful idiots in the united states, what happens if chemical weapons are introduced or if we're
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seeing kyiv turned into aleppo or grozny? >> i still find it hard to imagine we are going to get directly involved on the ground inside ukraine. to me there's a fundamental difference, as abhorrent as that would be between that and attacking a nato country. what we need to do, one, is to try to deter it subpoenas we can. that's where china will come in. i expect it to come up in the talks. also to tell the russians what price they would pay. i would think another option would be using cyber to take out a big chunk of the russian economy, say to target the military, the energy sector. we are not going to fight chemical with chemical obviously. so if it is used, my instincts would be the administration would still try to fight -- retaliate against russia itself using other means, means other than military. the only other possibility would be within ukraine to create some sort of large humanitarian zones rather than, again, to fight the
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war as a protagonist to see if you couldn't carve out big parts of the country where people could escape to, something like that. that just gets awfully messy. it happened in the aftermath of the iraq war. by the way, one other thing, and i don't like saying this, there are other times where people have used chemical weapons and gotten away with it, obviously in syria. i think what is important here is that we strengthen the norm that if we can't stop the russians from using it, russia itself has to pay an enormous price for that. the russian leadership has to, because we not only want to stop them from using it again but we do not want the idea to gain momentum in the world that you can use these weapons of mass destruction with impunity. whatever it is we do, it has to be severe in terms of exacting a price. >> richard, let's talk about going to the u.n. general assembly. obviously russia and china would veto such an idea, and the security council would go to the
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general assembly, get a vote and possibly do the same thing in western ukraine that we did in syria and it worked in syria for the most part. that is have humanitarian safe zones. >> possibility. look, you can do an end run around the security council, as you say. there's no vetoes in the general assembly. i'm just not sure yet we will have the votes in the general assembly. also, to join a peace keeping mission of sorts, to create humanitarian zones. it is one thing in syria. to do it in a country that one of the world's great military powers, for all their weaknesses russia is still one, is fighting, that's a big swallow for the u.n. i'm not saying it shouldn't happen, joe. i'm just not positive yet that it would happen. a lot of the countries that essentially tried to keep their heads down and avoid taking sides, avoid getting involved, i'm not persuaded they're ready to step in.
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maybe, as you suggest, something as horrific as chemicals puts them over the line. i hope we don't find out but we may well. >> richard haass, thank you very much. again, we have to talk about refugees and long-term situations for them as the numbers in the millions keep growing. our thanks to ed luce as well. as the fighting in ukraine enter its 19th day, some are looking ahead to how this war ends and fear where russia could set its sights next. "the new york times" reports what troubles officials is that mr. putin may double down and expand the fight beyond ukraine. in private officials express concerns that mr. putin might seek to take moldova, another soviet republic that has never joined nato and is considered particularly vulnerable. there is renewed apprehension about georgia, which fought a war with russia in 2008, that today seems like a test run for the far larger conflict playing
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out. joining us live from lviv, ukraine, nbc news foreign correspondent ali arouzi. what is the latest there? >> reporter: hi, mika. well, lviv is a hub for all of these displaced people. it is one of the safe zones in ukraine, but things are becoming more and more anxious there. yesterday morning the russians hit that military base pretty far west, very close to the polish border. that was the furthest west they hit. it was a big strike. they hit it with 30 missiles. the ukrainians say that they intercepted most of those missiles but it did significant damage. it killed 30 people. it injured 134 others. it is a sensitive base. u.s. and nato instructors were teaching ukrainian forces there. there were no nato/u.s. forces there at the time. it has made people here in lviv very, very jittery. they had escaped the horrifying
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situations in the east of the country to some relative safety here and now they feel very unsafe here. i was talking to several families here in lviv. this was their last stop of safety. they were living in a family friend's living room. i asked them, so what happens if lviv gets hit. they said, well, we've got nowhere to go. we have very little cash left in our pockets. they don't have enough money to go to poland. that's getting filled up very quickly, so it is a very desperate situation for all of the people in this country. and they're coming by the train load, literally. we were at lviv train station and wave after wave of people from these battered parts of the east of the country were arriving here. they all had a 1,000-yard stare in their eyes. they didn't know what their next move was. they left their husbands, fathers back on the east side of the country to fight and to help with the war effort. you know, we spoke to a group of girls yesterday that i found
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very distressing. there was a 20-year-old girl who had run away from dnipro, that very central city that had been bombed a few days ago. she was with her 12-year-old sister. they had been put up in an office block run by germans. that office company said they could only keep them there for another few days. i asked them, what's their next move. they said, listen, we're going to try to get to poland and see if they can find some work there. you just wonder what is the fate of a 12-year-old girl traveling with a 20-year-old sister with parents left behind in kyiv and what their next move is going to be. it is a very tragic situation here. of course, the eastern parts of the country are still getting pounded like mariupol. we saw those distressing images of a pregnant woman who was let out of the hospital on a stretcher. she died along with her unborn child. you can't help but think if those humanitarian corridors were opened up she may be alive
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today. >> my god. nbc's ali arouzi. thank you for your reporting. still ahead on "morning joe," poland is feeling the strain of ukraine's refugee crisis. we will get a live report from along the border where thousands are arriving every day. plus, how the british government is stepping up its effort to go after russian oligarchs. you are watching our continuing coverage on "morning joe." we will be right back. feeling out of sync? new dove men stress-relief body wash... with a plant-based adaptogen, helps alleviate stress on skin. so you can get back in sync. new dove men. a restorative shower for body and mind. the sleep number 360® smart bed is on sale now. it senses your movements and automatically adjusts so you new dove men. both stay comfortable all night. it's also temperature balancing so you stay cool. and now, save up to $600 on select sleep number 360® smart beds. plus, 0% interest for 36months. only for a limited time. nicorette knows, quitting smoking is freaking hard.
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it is 37 past the hour and our coverage continues. the fate of hundreds of surrogate mothers carrying babies and newborns in ukraine remains uncertain. now hundreds of expectant parents are struggling to reach them. nearly every day ukrainian surrogates give birth and the children's parents abroad are
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desperate to evacuate them. under normal circumstances both parents must travel to ukraine to receive their newborn, but the war has upended the prospect leaving parents fearful and infants endangers. according to "the new york times" many newborns are stranded in bomb shelters in kyiv. nearly two dozen surrogate babies are trapped in a basement being cared for by nannies. meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis in eastern europe is worsening as refugees continue to flee ukraine. joining us from the polish border with ukrainian nbc news correspondent kelly cobiella. kelly, what can you tell us today? >> reporter: well, mika, we are at the busiest border crossing in poland. it is only about 30 miles from that training base that was attacked yesterday in western ukraine, and we have been talking to families today. some of them coming from lviv, coming from western ukraine. they said that they thought they were safe there, but after that
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attack they decided it was time to go, joining the tens of thousands coming here every day. this morning poland is increasingly overwhelmed. refugees from ukraine sleeping in warsaw's train station while at the border another wave of women and children. nearly 200,000 arrived over the weekend, many unsure where to go. yelena, her daughter and her 85-year-old mother say they walked the last 50 miles to the polish border. >> when we cross, my mother began to cry because my mother needs help. all these people, thank you very much. thank you. i'm sorry. >> reporter: they're on their way to warsaw, then germany, eventually hoping to get visas to the u.s. at temporary shelters refugees only stay a night or two. volunteers help them find more permanent places to stay to make room for the next wave. across europe more than 300,000
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refugees are staying with relatives and friends or host families. most refugees want to stay close to the border in poland, hoping to return home. 17-year-old yaroslav fled with his mom and grandparents. with no family to meet them they relied on the kindness of strangers, volunteers connecting them with a polish family with room to spare. they gave us everything, she tells me, they saved us because we escaped with nothing. the host village of 500 has taken in 80 families. lisa and her husband, a retired miner, compelled to help by the scenes unfolding at the border. when i see the mothers with the little children, marion tells me, it breaks my heart. they tell me they have space for more. they can see ukraine from their balcony and worry about the war. you are afraid that russia could
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attack poland? we feel very threatened she tells me. i think about it every day. and that's a real worry for people in this part of poland. they've been telling us this ever since we arrived two weeks ago. it is part of the reason you see such a huge presence out here, people trying to help. they feel like they can see themselves in the people who are crossing over the border. one other point to make yet again today, the warsaw mayor has been pushing for this now for days. he says warsaw is filling up, other big cities are filling up. there has to be an international response, international coordination, possibly international relocation program for these people because more keep coming, as we say, mika, every single day. >> nbc's kelly cobiella. thank you very much for that reporting. coming up, social media pressure is working when it comes to holding major
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corporations accountable for their business in russia. we will talk to the ukrainian who is leading an online campaign against companies and russian propaganda. that's next on "morning joe." we gotta tell people that liberty mutual customizes car insurance so you only pay for what you need, and we gotta do it fast. [limu emu squawks] woo! new personal record, limu! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty. ♪ [copy machine printing] ♪ ♪ who would've thought printing... could lead to growing trees. ♪
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♪♪ the united kingdom is cracking down on russian oligarchs and government officials. sanctions were imposed on members of russia's lower house of parliament as punishment for recognizing the independence of two separatist regions in ukraine. those sanctions will freeze the assets of the lawmakers in the uk and prevent them traveling to the country. while the uk previously took steps against prominent russian billionaires, the new sanctions may be more damaging to those lawmakers who do not have oligarch-level wealth.
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katty kay, talk about how the oligarchs are feeling the pressure. are they yet or are they able to sort of move money around or find money elsewhere? how effective is this campaign? >> look, i mean even critics of the uk government, which have been pretty tough on boris johnson for not acting hard enough, now do seem to think that the gloves are off in london. but even these members of the duma, 386 russian politicians who have now been sanctioned in the uk, they were given a heads up a few weeks ago that this was going to happen, which i guess, mika, potentially gave them a little bit of a window of opportunity to move their money out of the country. there's some concerns that i'm starting to hear both in the uk and actually here in the u.s. too about not being too blanket on attacking all russians who are out of the country, trying to make a distinction between those who are supporting the invasion of ukraine, those who are close to putin, those who
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have distanced themselves from putin. because what you don't want is for this to become the west versus all of russia, right? it has to be targeted to some extent. it has to be targeted against the operation in ukraine, because otherwise it just feeds into this narrative that the west is taking on the russian people and the russian country writ large and that could be something of a problem. it looks like in london they are moving, but in this case they did also give those members of parliament some window of opportunity to get their money out. that might be because partly the conservative party gets about one-tenth of its money over the last ten years from russian donors or people who made their money in russia. that's an awful lot of money for the conservative party. >> yes, it is. one of ukraine's deputy prime ministers is waging his own pressure campaign against russia by using technology and social media. he's been tweeting at some of the world's most powerful tech companies to rally support to end russian propaganda and cut
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off the country from the rest of the world. last month he wrote a letter to apple, google and netflix asking them to stop doing business there. a week later apple stopped selling new iphones and other products in russia. a day later he tweeted to elon musk, asking for help in obtaining starlink satellite internet systems that musk's company makes. two days later a shipment of starlink satellites reached ukraine. joining us now, alex bornikov, the digital director for digital management for ukraine. thank you for being with us. being able to communicate and keep ukrainians connected to the rest of the world must be challenge one. >> yes, it is one of the major problems now is to keep communication structure of
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ukraine stable and people have to know what is going on, they have to be aware of air attacks, safe routes, humanitarian corridors and other measures that governments take. and so we are doing measures and we're doing our best to keep digital infrastructure safe and sound. we're doing pretty good in a place of where there is no war zone, the communication is stable, good and we provide more and more starlinks to difficult zone of ukraine where there is a high probability of war actions or there's already war actions there so they will keep connected and communicate. >> don't the starlinks, while they provide much-needed ability to communicate, don't they also hand russia information about where there are clusters of people or even the military, if they have the starlink
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operating? >> well, i wouldn't say so. how starlink is operating is just a satellite, which getting indirect internet from the satellite and through a small wifi. as far as i know they still didn't figure out how to detect it. so that's one of their positive things so they can't jam it or block it. so far we didn't have any evidence that they somehow are targeted places where starlinks are. >> and what social media platforms are ukrainians using to communicate are still available in ukraine? >> well, in ukraine all of the social platforms are working. preference -- the ukrainian preference is major platform is facebook. only a few people use twitter, in fact.
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i know it's popular in the west but in ukraine it's not so popular. instagram is very popular among younger generation, tiktok. snapchat is not. just a few people use snapchat in ukraine. but all of them are available and people just choose their preferences. >> so, alex, in terms of discussing -- we were just discussing the pressure campaign that you and others have put on so these tech giants to stop dealing with russia, mentioned elon musk, mentioned apple, who are some of your next targets? who else do you want to see stop working across the border in russia? >> well, we try not to put pressure on as much companies as we can because we believe the aggressor -- we're in touch with
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cyber security, communication, design and everyone who is ready to post sanctions from russia. the next step that we think about and we already tweeted about this is to suspend service of google play and apple store to russian customers because we believe that is going to be severe measure to limit them. they don't have the ability to substitute it with anything, so it's going to definitely help to finally realize regular russian people if they support government, it's going to be more and more death to ukrainians and more and more hard to the russian economy. >> alex, thank you so much for being on. he is ukraine's deputy minister of digital transformation for i.t. development. we appreciate you coming on this
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morning. speaking of social media, ukrainian's president zelenskyy continues his use of social media. the video shows him meeting with doctors and seeing troops, talking selfies, walking in the hallways, walking in the streets, connecting with people, giving them inspiration and strength and of course in the light of day. and these videos effective on many levels. number one, right in vladimir putin's face, he's not afraid. and, number two, inspiring the people of ukraine, who he needs to keep up the fight in what will be something long, undescribable and devastating. up next, one of our next guests approaches the war in ukraine from different angles. congressman and member of the armed services committee
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republican adam kinzinger joins us with his perspectives next on "morning joe."
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just about the top of the hour, a live look at the white house as our coverage continues this morning. day 19 of russia's invasion of ukraine, here's where things stand right now. there were new attacks against civilians overnight as russia targeted an apartment building in kyiv just miles away from the center of the capital. a russian strike over the weekend brought the war closer to nato territory, hitting a military base near the polish border, just 12 miles from it. u.s. national security adviser jake sullivan is meeting with china's top diplomat amid reports that russia is seeking military aid and other supplies
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from beijing. the kremlin denies that report saying just moments ago that russia has sufficient resources. and inspiring video of the president of ukraine walking through a hospital of wounded soldiers, meeting with them one on one, personally shaking their hands, thanking them, taking selfies, thanking nurses and doctors, making sure he is seen being available to the members of his military and the people on the front lines of this war. we get more now from nbc chief foreign correspondent richard engel. >> reporter: russian is carrying out major attacks making no distinction between civilians and solidiers in kyiv, scoring a direct hit on an unintended target full of ukrainian families. at least one body, a man, lay
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bundled by the rubble. the attack happened at 5 in the morning when most residents were sleeping. the incoming artillery round, sometimes described as a rocket, hit right by the front door making evacuations more difficult, more dangerous. there was no military activity here, no outgoing fire, this can only be described as an attack on civilians right near the heart of kyiv. >> translator: i woke up for a cigarette right before, maybe i of knew something, says sirhi, who lives with his mother and described the slow motion effect of hearing the incoming round and then the explosion. it blew out my windows and doors. if i had been near them, i'd be dead, he said. nina was near the attack. she told us she's happy not to be alone this morning and asked if i have a mother who also happens to be named nina.
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she said this shows why ukrainians need to fight with open russian war with no distinction between civilians and soldiers is moving into kyiv. after a brutal weekend, which saw russia expand its war, hitting a training base in the far west near lviv and poland, the closest attack yet to a nato border, killing 35 as russia increasingly relies on another tactic from a bygone era, siege warfare. russia is starving them, bombing the maternity ward last week. in iconic woman has died according to the associated press which reports that among her final words after learning she was losing her baby, "kill
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me now." doctors carry out operations and deliver babies by flashlight. >> award winning journalist and filmmaker brent renaud was killed. he and a colleague were in kyiv when the russians were firing on his car. on his way into surgery, he gave this account of what happened. >> we were going to film other refugees leaving and we got into a car, somebody offered to take us to the other bridge and we crossed the check point and they start shooting at us. so the driver turned around and they kept shooting at two of us.
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my friend has been shot and left behind. >> u.s. national security adviser jake sullivan said the u.s. will determine consequences for russia after consulting with the ukrainians. renaud's work has appeared in several news outlets from "the new york times," nbc, hbo and "time." he was 50 years old and often worked alongside his brother as a team. the bbc's katty kay and the host of deep state radio david rothkopf and also with us the author of "this is not propaganda."
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>> yesterday you said putin knows he cannot win this war. it's just impossible. he knows he's running out of time in ukraine for all the reasons we've been talking about over the past couple of hours. so he has decided he's going to obliterate it, to neutralize it with indiscriminate bombings. my question is this, david, we've been asking this morning whether europeans and americans are going to stand by and allow their leaders to maintain more of a neutral stance as they see kyiv turn into grozny. >> i'm not sure it's a neutral stance if we're imposing sanctions that may bring the russian economy to its knees and we're providing significant aid for ukraine and ramping up nato. >> it's not working. >> you understand what i'm
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saying. we've done very well in the furst phase of this, we're moving to a second phase though, now, where we're starting to see war crimes on a mass level. but the idea that we can't go into ukraine, the idea nato can't work with the u.n. for humanitarian zones, that question. at what point, i guess, a better way to ask the question is will europeans and americans ask their governments to do more. >> i think they'd have to cross a line, use chemical weapons and i'm not sure that nato would take the bait and be drawn into this. the consequences of escalation would be so high. the reason i believe this is that's what history has shown. you see what putin did in grozny and chechnya and what putin has done in syria, georgia and crimea. every time he's broken international law, every time
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he's committed atrocities, the world was so eager to put this behind them and get him back into the international system that he ended up emerging stronger and richer from this. and i'm afraid that's the pattern that's going to be repeated. i think we have to focus on how do we put pressure on him now, but i think the other thing that's just as important is that we have to send a clear message that when this is over, it's not going to be over for him, it's not going to be over for russia, we're not going to turn the page and put this behind us because otherwise this strategy of wanton destruction is actually going to work. >> peter, barack obama drew a red line in syria. assad crossed that red line. nothing happened. putin invaded georgia. putin invaded ukraine. putin obviously went into
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crimea. time and again there have been no consequences. i'm curious what your thoughts are, if chemical weapons are used and that line crossed again and we do nothing, what says the rest of the world? >> the information operations to the west have been feeble. he's telling a story and the story is telling in the 21st century all this nonsense about democracy and the liberal world order of a myth and mite is right and he's going to prove it. and that's what he's doing i do worry, though, we have to fully intervene or do nothing binary. that's not what the ukrainians are asking for. they have a very specific ask for the weapons that they need
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and they're doing much better than people expect on the battlefield. there are many, many, many steps we could be taking. there is still nonstop fuel being brought into russia from belarus. we should be sealing up the belarus border so these supplies can't get to russia. they have much better anti-artillery weapons. these are all steps we can do. the ukrainians are confident and doing well. let's not get caught in the headlights of terror. >> david, do you think at this stage there is a rethink going on in the administration on the issue when we hear about the kind of various options available to ukraine, the issue of jets? clear we're not going to enforce a no-fly zone zone but over the course of the weekend we heard several members of congress and
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senators across the aisle that said maybe we should look into jets in this next phase. >> i think they're looking for ways they can increase the heat. i think part of that is going to be new kind of weapons systems, anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons systems and so forth. the jets, how do you get them into ukraine without having them shot down and how do you do so without escalating this and turning it into an issue for nato. i suspect if there's a way to do it, they will do that. they will also look for new ways to put on pressure from sanctions, including turning off the oil and gas pipelines -- i mean the sales into europe that continue to exist and going after additional members of the oligarchy and so forth. i don't think any of them are simple and i think the russians are now looking to find ways to bomb and attack the inflows of
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weapons and that's going to make this a lot more complicated. >> jonathan lamere, they've done exceedingly well whether you're talking about -- they have to understand this war has entered into a new phase, americans have been watching war crimes on their television over the course of days and weeks and watched the prospect of chemical weapons being introduced. i wonder if joe biden is going to talk about what he's not going to do. we've gone to 57% supporting a no-fly zone, not that anybody here is suggesting that happens. i am curious, though, will we stop hearing joe biden talking
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about what he's not going to do? what tactics he's not going to employ? what jets he's not going to send? and we may see a bit more cautious joe biden with his words? >> i think that's the decision the white house is trying to make right now. i reported today about the campaign, outlining what the president is willing and not willing to do. that has been the m.o. throughout the crisis suggesting that there are lines he will not cross and that has gotten some criticism. there's a growing number of people on boldt sides of the aisle saying that he's telegraphing to putin too much what he's willing to do and if there are tease hard lines it's giving putin permission to go up until that point. we're hearing that from the republicans and from the former president as well, though his words have to be taken with a
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grain of salt because he emboldened people during his time in office. the white house knows we're about to enter a new phase here. is there some hope for a diplomatic solution? we heard from wendy sherman say she does feel the russians are a little more serious now about talks so there is that hope. if that doesn't happen and atrocities continue and chemical warfare used, we will have to respond. david, we don't know how or when this war is going to end but at a certain point, if some sort of solution is reached and putin is still in power when it does, what do you think, how does the rest of the world reengage with him? the guns stop, the rockets stop, the war the war is over, does the rest of the the world reconnect with him and what about the rest of russia? >> well, i think in some ways
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that's the $64,000 question because he can't -- he can take a lot of ukraine but he can't hold ukraine. so at some point or another he's going to want to get out of ukraine. he thinks when he does he's going to be able to move back into business as usual. of course ukraine is going to take hundreds of billions to rebuild and russia should pay for that and putin should pay for that. if the world pursues those things, he's not going to be welcomed back into the international community, nor are the other oligarchs involved. i think that's the right thing. we need tone sure there are consequences that last long after the fighting stops because i think our objective has to be not a cease-fire but a lasting peace. the only way to do that is to make him pay a price that endures long after the fighting is over. >> the question always goes to putin's mindset, peter.
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and i ask you this, he has had his sights on ukraine for a very long time. do you have see any possibility of any type of off ramp that he would accept? >> oh, he has very sort of rich options. it's, you know, you can say one part of the country and he can say he restored russian lands and promise from ukraine about never joining nato. he can solve this domestically and maybe with, you know, in his own mind. the question is bigger than that. . he wants to challenge the west. this war hasn't gone very well for him but what he thinks about, what he's obsessed with is america, and he will continue to lock for ways to undermine america. not through an open confrontation with nato but through testing nato or through
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central and eastern europe. so he -- yes, he's on $ with ukraine but more than that he's obsessed with you. >> and undermining america is what he's doing right now with these images that we see every day of ukrainians being slaughtered. >> you know, peter, though, again the status quo doesn't work for putin, does it? the status quo has putin acting as a junior partner, as dr. brzezinski once said, a junior partner to the united states. all they can do it disrupt the international order. talk about how that puts them directly at odd with the chinese who have spent the last 40 years trying to dominate the world order. >> well, i mean, it's interesting watching the relationship between china and russia because they gave a sort of phenomenal statement a few weeks ago saying how they're
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going to coordinate much more and how they have a shared riggs and the values america is meant to stand for in the world but whether they enjoy working together is very unclear. if anything, putin has showed how america and the west do have some sort of -- when it comes to retaliating at least in economic warfare essentially. so i don't know if the chinese have enjoyed, you know, the consequences of certainly china will be much more stealthy and slow while putin's is very rasp. and maybe for the first time china steps up and plays an active role in solving an international conflict. at what point does china dump russia or does putin say
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actually, we don't have your back, you can't get to us as an economic second front to give yourself going? gln at the end of the day, it does rely on the to keep its economy going. it's very interesting moments that china suddenly emerges as a much more sort of active player. >> peter and david, thank you both very much for your insight this morning. oaf 2 million ukrainians have left the country in the wake of the violence, more leaving. for some it means packing what they can but for others, like parents of sick children, it is far more complicated. molly hunter has that part of the story. she joins us from lviv, ukraine.
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you spoke with some patients and their families a the a children's hospital there. >> reporter: mika, that's right. look, for anyone fleeing their homes and evacuating from the eastern part of the country right now, it is a harrowing, terrifying journey. imagine having an y50er8d who just had four aggressive rounds of chemotherapy. weep got access to what has become the triage hub of the country. we meet dan p danny and his mother. he was diagnosed with blood cancer on february 5th and then the war started. >> bombs. everything. >> reporter: it was terrifying, she says, leaving in an ambulance dodging the constant bombing. it was full-scale war.
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>> what does it feel like as a mother just to have all of this out of control in. >> i have to be strong. i'll do whatever it takes to get him the treatment he needs. >> reporter: you'll go anywhere, it doesn't matter. >> this doctor runs the pediatric oncology award at the western ukrainian specialized children medical center. >> it's a terrible situation. >> reporter: having a child with cancer is horrific but right now is a hell no one should have to endure. little soar is on dialysis. a week ago she was uprooted from her home in kyiv traveling with her nurse and her little bunny. what was that like for you? >> these kids are like our family, she said, and there was not enough staff to get uttous.
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on saturday it was go time, inna says. i just want to get to the new clinic fast so we can start the treatment. the convoy, a dozen ambulances and three busses, ina sent us video from the road to the border. they made it to poland. now they're outside of warsaw. she said for now the future is unclear but we are so happy to be safe. since the start of the war, this hospital has accepted 250 of this country's most vulnerable children. the problem is they only have beds for 180 so they have to stabilize them and get them to another hospital.
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>> molly hunter with one of the many agonizing angles of this story. thank you so much. and coming up on "morning joe", it's not just ukrainians fleeing their homes, thousands of russians have left their country as putin's invasion up ends their lives. what does russia look luke once the war is over? you're watching our continuing coverage right here on "morning joe." g joe. ...admiring the craft and detail i've put into it. that way i try to convince myself that i'm in control of the business side of my business. intuit quickbooks makes it easy for you to get a complete view of your business. so you can sit back and... ...relax.
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more than 750 people were arrested during protests across russia yesterday. that's according to a human rights group. it's been tracking arrests since the start of the invasion almost three weeks ago. it says nearly 15,000 protesters have been arrested since february 24th. the demonstrations come despite the threat of lengthy prison
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sentences earlier this month. the government passed a law with a punishment of up to 15 years in prison. meanwhile, tens of thousands of russians are fleeing to neighboring countries in response to putin's invasion of ukraine. "the new york times" spoke to several russians who have left their homes over the past 18 days. many have ended up in istanbul, turkey, relying on telegram chats and support groups to find housing. the "times" says these are middle class russians who are against the war and fear the recent authoritarian measures put in place. they believe their way of life in russia is no longer possible. >> you know, david, we're looking at the horrors unfolding daily for ukrainians. it is also russians who are going. in the long term, i suspect if ukraine survives this, there will be a remarkable marshal
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plan and it will become a vibrant country to the rest of the world. not for russia. educators are fleeing, journalists are fleeing. the best and the brightest are leaving. >> what does russia look like after this is over? >> it may hollow out some of the most vibrant parts of russia today. if you were to go to istanbul or any number of other places, you'd see filled with thousands of russians, computer programmers, journalists, business people who are terrified that if they don't get out now, they're going to be stuck in a russia that they don't recognize. what we've had for the last few decades is a semi-free moscow
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and st. petersburg. we live in an authoritarian society. we know our press is repressed and there are all kind of restrictions and this guy is terrible. on the other hand there's a certain intellectual life, a business life and a kind of liberty that people think is tolerable. everybody knew the arrangement. it was not paris or london or anything like that. now there's a chance of being infinitely more repressive with big brother looking at you. there are images of people in moscow holding up a blanc piece of paper and getting arrested. it's not just navaly that's in jail the society is being put
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under the boot of the authoritarian, the despot, if you will. i did a story on the great biographer stalin. he's not at all saying this is what russia is and always was and will be, but he's saying certain, ises are fwining with russia's geography and his historical reflectiones are putting russia in its worst place that we've seen in decades. so people want to get out of this country, if they can. and, by the way, knew can. >> editor of "the new yorker," david remnick, thank you. and coming up, our next guest
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the humanitarian crisis is worsening as vladimir putin's war on ukraine continues. in an effort to provide aid to refugees, ukrainians living in poland are orchestrating their own war effort. sky news correspondent lisa holland reports from the capital of warsaw. >> reporter: this is where the ghosts of the past rest in warsaw, the streets of what was the jewish ghetto yet here they're confronting war once more. >> it's a war situation. i know everybody wants to be invisible. >> reporter: they're jittery. these are ukrainians living in poland, orchestrating their own war effort. they're constantly gathering information to work out where best to send aid and what's most in need. there's almost a feeling of a wartime bunker, not military but humanitarian. from this room thousands of
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refugees have been found somewhere to stay. >> we definitely see our activities here as part of the same fight, the same struggle but we're also kind of sending a message that we're with you. >> reporter: even some refugees who fled from the russian invasion are doing what they can here. until a few weeks ago even christina was a student in kyiv. now they're waiting at the airport. >> unfortunately it happens in my country but i still might be useful. >> reporter: they are don't want to say how many fighters have arrived but point out two men, ex-military, who have landed from georgia and brazil. >> just waiting for people who want to help our country. >> reporter: and then you help them to go on to ukraine? >> yes. >> reporter: who is do you it
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-- how does it make you feel that you're doing it? >> really good. we know that we maybe have some special mission. >> reporter: sergei's missions to drive from spain where he works as a boxing trainer to deliver aid and then take refugees back with him. >> i have followed my family in ukraine. we must help each other. >> reporter: and ukrainians living in poland have been returning to the country of their birth to fight. it's not something everyone can do, but others are finding ways to make their own contribution in a war nobody asked for. >> that was sky news correspondent lisa holland reporting. and coming up, according to the gop, quote, everyone is welcome in the republican party. well, that's news to congressman adam kinzinger, who was censured by the party for telling the
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if you think putin's going to stop, it's going to get worse and worse. he's not going to accept it and we don't have anybody to talk to him. you had somebody to talk to him with me. nobody was ever tougher on russia than me. what's happening, it's a lack of respect for a lot of people, a lot of things, but it's just a total lack of respect and it happens to be a man that is just driven. he's driven to put it together. and you look at it and it's just so ridiculous and so senseless and so horrible. >> this is a guy to just to remind you just a couple weeks ago, we don't have to go back to his presidency, we don't have to go back to helsinki where he said he trusted vladimir putin
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more than he trusted men and women who had sacrificed and given their entire lives to defend the united states of america in the military and also in intel. we don't have to go back to helsinki, we can go back to a couple weeks ago after vladimir putin had invaded ukraine and donald trump called it a beautiful thing. he said it was a beautiful thing. said he was a genius. said he was brilliant. so, no, this is not a guy actually who was tougher on vladimir putin than anybody else. he tried. stay with me and focus. you have a lot of stuff coming at you, you got tiktok, your youtube video. this is a guy who worked four years to try to disembowel nato,
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to destroy the very alliance that is keeping ukraine alive. this is a guy that when asked for military weapons from zelenskyy that congress had already approved, he said old on, wait a second, i need a favor from you showing that zelenskyy and ukraine was nothing more than a play thing for this man who had contempt for zelenskyy, he had a contempt for ukraine, he didn't believe that ukraine was an independent nation by his actions. never wanted to cross vladimir putin. do you know with world leaders condemning vladimir putin, do you know donald trump was asked if he had any messages for vladimir putin while all of these war crimes were going on, while ukrainians are being slaughtered left and right on television. you know what his answer was?
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no. he doesn't have a message because he's scared of him. why? i don't know why. it doesn't really matter anymore, does it? just like it doesn't matter why useful idiots on american television are parroting russ russian disinformation and blaming america first. go ahead and blame america ahead of time on chemical attacks, blame ukraine first, blame anybody but vladimir putin and russia. it's unbelievable. actually, it's not unbelievable.
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>> they're compromised. >> it's been happening too much. donald trump again. don't be distracted. this would have been a nightmare if donald trump were in the white house when this invasion was going on. because know what? he would have just said take it, take the country. you know how we know this? when xi asked about building concentration camp for 2 million people, donald trump said, sure, sounds like a good idea. that's the guy with the red cap that was just talking. never forget. >> retiring republican congressman adam kinzinger says his biggest regret was voting against former president trump's first impeachment. trump was impeached by the house in 2019, you'll remember, for holding back aid to ukraine in an attempt to get president zelenskyy to find dirt on joe biden.
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this is what joe was just talking about, that favor. in a series of tweets, congressman kinzinger connected the withholding of aid to russia's unvags. quote, i want to be honest. in congress i have only a few votes that in hindsight i regret. my biggest regret was voting again the first impeachment of donald trump. it's important for political leaders to be transparent and admit regret when needed. but the bottom line, donald trump withheld lethal aid to ukraine so he could use it as leverage for his campaign. this is a shameful and illegal act directly hurting the ukraine defense today. i wish i could go back in time and vote for it, but i cannot. what we can do now is to ensure that this never happens again and that we all put the interest of our nation above our party. >> let's bring the congressman in right now.
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congressman kinzinger, very good to have you with us. we'll let you talk to other people about your past. i'm curious about your future. up have steadfastly supported a no-fly zone. obviously many people say that would be a trigger for war. i'm wondering, do you still support that no-fly zone? and if the united states can't go that far, what's the next best thing for us to do? >> well, hey, guys. i do support it. i want to be clear, every day that goes by it becomes a more difficult thing to do as more russian artillery comes in. russia is the one -- let's be clear. they're the ones escalating this fight. it's not the united states. i know we're in fear that anything we do will be seen as
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escalatory. and i think anti-ship missile systems, this is something i don't understand why ukraine doesn't have as russia shuts down the black sea. i think it's important to continue to provide those weapons, training to the extent we can, particularly in western ukraine and romania. and i think the thing that we could do that would actually do the most stuff right now would be to quit saying what we will not do. if you have no intention of putting troops on the ground in ukraine, fine. you don't have to say it every ten minutes because all that does is give vladimir putin a target he can walk up to. >> again, i understand why joe biden has done it over the past three weeks because, again, he had a reluctant american public and a reluctant allies in europe. that's not the case anymore. we don't have to keep telling putin what we're not going to
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do. it works -- the first phase of the war went really well. we're now in a new phase. >> he did have to explain our position. a lot of people are wondering why can't we stop this slaughter that we're watchingmedia? i mean, it is really a very visceral experience for the american people, this war with ukraine. congressman, what offense do you envision that wouldn't have us going toe to toe with putin? are there any? >> yeah, look, if this continues to escalate again, you know, i think it's clear that if russia decides to attack these aid convoys, that would be pretty much an attack on nato, an article 5 point. >> right. >> so we have to be very clear that this may lead to escalation, but all the former cold war lawyers that are academics, russia is not the old soviet union. in the soviet union, we could not tango with them because they
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were our match and we would destroy each other. i get it, russia has nuclear weapons. i don't think russia intends to destroy the world either, so keep that in mind. but, again, up to the point it's continuing to provide aid, medium-range missile defense, i think anti-shipping weapons, you know, training, et cetera, to give you know what they need to defend their territory will be important. secondarily, quickly, there are russian interests everywhere. russia is in syria. russia is obviously all over south america. they're in libya. why are we not expanding a proxy war against some of their interests in other areas if they intend to, you know, attack our allies as well? >> congressman, let me ask you this question. of course, you know, people look at many things that donald trump did. i think on the foreign policy stage, one of the worst things he did was take our 2,500, 3,000 troops out of syria that were effectively holding back
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russians, rainians, the turks, the syrians, and destroying isis. and, in fact, the one time russian mercenaries came at us, we killed about 300 of them in about five minutes. we were helping our kurdish allies. when i hear the announcement that syrians are going to come fight in ukraine, when i see stories about iranians firing missiles at israeli positions where americans are, why wouldn't we send those 2,500 troops that believe they were doing great things inside of syria, why don't we send them back to syria and they can help create that safe zone instead of doing what donald trump did? talking about donald trump turning over a middle eastern country to russia for the first time since 1973. that would be us being disruptive, wouldn't it?
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>> that's right. that's how you have to think. we're in a moment where there's no risk-free choices anymore. you have to think outside the box. you don't want to directly confront russia, there's a way to do that. alexander vindman has talked about giving unmanned aerial vehicles, the turks have done so well, but donald trump, i was in the oval office and told him, mr. president, if you pull these troops out of syria, you'll lose a seat at the negotiating table. he told me, he goes, who cares? who cares about syria? i was blown away. that's what -- people that go around and say none of this would happen under donald trump, it is a very convenient forgetting of how awful he was at foreign policy and his complete love towards authoritarian people. look, if you think president biden is being weak on this, say it. right? i think there are certain things he's certainly being weak on. but let's not whitewash who
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donald trump was. donald trump empowered vladimir putin. let's be very clear about that. >> congressman adam kinzinger, thank you very much for being on this morning. we're going to be right back with what jonathan la mere says is the biggest story of the morning. this is vuity™, the first and only fda approved eye-drop that improves age-related blurry near vision. wait, what? it sounded like you just said an eye drop that may help you see up close. i did. it's an innovative way to... so, wait. i don't always have to wear reading glasses? yeah! vuity™ helps you see up close. so, i can see up close with just my eyes? uh-huh. with one drop in each eye, once daily. in focus? yep. [laughs] like, really? really. vuity™ is a prescription eye drop to help you see up close.
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jonathan lemire, as we look at new york city, of course everybody there thinking about one story this morning. one stoirp alone. >> yeah. >> other than ukraine, of course. >> okay. >> that's what you consider to be the biggest story today other than jake sullivan talking to chinese representatives about bringing a peaceful end to this horrific war. what is your story? >> tom brady is back. tom is the greatest at just about everything except e apparently staying retired. i suspect that gisele was sick
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of him and said time to go back to work. tom brady's retirement is over. he is coming back to play. he'll be age 45. some talk he'll move to the san francisco 49ers but it looks like he'll be in tampa, tom trying to win an eighth super bowl. welcome back. >> bad decision. >> he's like the prince of football who retired about 27 times. should we expect tom brady's name being changed to a symbol? >> i love i'm being asked about tom brady on football. this is a first on "morning joe" where anyone turns to me about sport whatsoever. that was not a very long retirement. come on. if you're going to make a big deal about retiring, you should have thought it through. thrilled he's back, great for tampa, but, you know, make your mind up. >> just for your benefit today, man city playing crystal palace.
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if city loses, of course a watchful nation plays they do, city and liverpool tied at the top of the table. >> a watchful nation hopes city loses? are we ever going to talk again, joe? my husband will be furious. i know it's happening because tom's taking half a day off to watch. we hope city wins. that's where my loyalty lies. >> that does it for us this morning. chris jansing picks up the coverage right now. >> i'm chris jansing. live at msnbc headquarters in new york. we are tracking dangerous escalations from russia on multiple fronts. this is 15 miles away from the border with poland. they show the aftermath of a military base targeted by dozens of russian cruise missiles. at least 35 people were killed, 134 wo