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tv   Velshi  MSNBC  April 23, 2022 5:00am-6:00am PDT

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katie phang show. you can catch new episodes on the msnbc hub every thursday and friday. ali velshi picks up right now. i. today on velshi, russian forces take several small towns in eastern ukraine as fighting intensifies along a 300 mile front. plus audio clips exposing lies told by top republicans are now leaking at a furious pace. what the new tapes tell us about the role that donald trump may have played in the capitol hill insurrection and why key players in the scandal are still lying about what they said on tape. and a dangerous and little known front on the assault on abortion rights. how republican lawmakers are now specifically targeting rape and incest victims. and what's different about a series of stunning union victories and why they could
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change the landscape for everyone who works for a living in america. velshi starts now. good morning, it is saturday, april 23rd, day 59 of russia's unprovoked invasion of ukraine. i'm ali velshi live in new york city. my first time back hosting this show from msnbc headquarters in almost two months. time i spent covering the war and the resulting refugee crisis from hungary, poland and inside ukraine. lviv is where i was. it was struck by russian missiles killing several people just days after i left. after failing in the north to take or even encircle the capital of kyiv, russia is now entrenched both literally and metaphorically in parts of the south and in the east, deploying, essentially, all of its fighting force, roughly 100,000 troops and rising, along a 300 mile long front.
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that's according to u.s. intel officials. russian attacks have intensified in recent days in that region, especially in and around the city of kharkiv. a high ranking russian general told a large gathering that russia's goal is to, quote, take full control of southern ukraine, cutting off ukraine's access to the black sea which would allow russia to influence critical elements of the ukrainian economy. this general went on to say that russia wouldn't stop there but would continue to moldova, which is the bottom left of your screen, an entirely separate and independent country, specifically the russian-backed separatist area of transnistria in moldova, something that was previewed in the early days of the war by the belarus president when he showed a map.
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and more importantly, the russian general also said there's, quote, evidence of oppression of the russian-speaking population in moldova. that's the same lie used by putin to justify the initial invasion of ukraine. it's also part of the justification used by hitler as rational for his initial conquests in 1939. of course, part of this plan, or at least for any of it to succeed, russia would need to find more success in the donbas, which is another area heavily populated with russian-backed separatists. it would also like to take the city of mick lieia and then odessa, a large city of about 1 million people. with the exception of the azovstal, the steel factory in mariupol. russia appears to be nearing
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complete control of what you have to call the ruins of mariupol, which would be the biggest city to fall to the russians. several hundred ukrainian civilians and several thousand ukrainian fighters are holed up in the steel factory. putin, who for the length of the footage firmly grips the table with his right hand and looks uncomfortable, declared victory over the city, telling his defense minister not to go into azovstal. also, there's growing evidence that russia might be covering up atrocities. images show what might be the growth of a major mass grave just outside the city. which ukrainian officials say could contain several thousand
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bodies. adding there's evidence that russian forces were dumping bodies there in bulk, literally by the truckload every day for weeks. in a statement, it's been a horror story of violations perpetrated against civilians and international humanitarian law has not been ignored but seemingly tossed aside. the united states continues to do what it can to answer ukraine's massive need for arms, sending almost $3.4 billion in aid to ukraine since the start of the war on february 24th. the first rounds of the latest military aid package will be in the hands of ukrainian forces by the end of this weekend, according to the pentagon and includes the equivalent of five battalions and aerial vehicles, which are similar to the switchblade drones but were
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developed in weeks for this war in ukraine. as president biden said we will speak softly and carry a large javelin, that's a play on teddy roosevelt but a knock on a way of a former president who never spoke softly, and continues to be on display in the most anti-american of ways. if the failed former president had his way and was able to overturn american democracy to stay in power we know how america would be reacting to the war in ukraine. it was the former president who corruptly demanded a personal political favor of the then new and untested ukrainian president, volodymyr zelenskyy, when told of ukraine's intention to buy more american-made javelins in preparation for what zelenskyy knew was coming from the russians. and what was coming to ukraine was a bloodier version of the same threat faced by america at
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the time, which was a threat against democracy. embraced by america's former president which was to become more grotesque at the end of his term and at the end of his defeat. while vasty different, and like i said, less bloody. the overall end goals in the war in ukraine and january insurrection are similar, the overturning of the will of the people. while the war continues the battle to get to the bottom of the attack on our democracy on january 6, 2021 continues. politico reports as part of the final stages the house select committee investigating the january 6th insurrection is gathering evidence about the final call made between the former president and vice president in the moments before the mob stormed the capitol. one of the authors of that article joins me shortly. speaking of calls, the american public learns of private
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conversations held among gop congressional leadership in the days after the riot, learning how they felt about the former president's involvement what punishment he should face and how they were involved in the cover up. audio was released as part of an upcoming book, this will not pass, reveal that house minority leader, kevin mccarthy told republican colleagues that he planned to call the former president and recommend he resign because otherwise he would be impeached. but that wasn't all. >> let me be very clear to all of you, and i've been very clear to the president. he bears responsibilities for his words and actions, no ifs, ands, or buts. i ask him today does he hold responsibility for what
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happened, does he feel bad about what happened? he told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. and we need to acknowledge that. >> i know this is not fun, i know this is not great. i know this was very tough but what i wanted to do, especially through here, is i don't want to rush things. i want everybody to have all the information needed. i've had it with this guy. what he did is unacceptable. nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it. >> nobody can defend that and nobody should defend it. pretty obvious stuff. but even that didn't last long. as mccarthy, like almost all republicans who initially laid blame at the feet of the former president, tucked tail and defended his dear leader. mccarthy clearly had not had enough of that guy as he quickly flew down to mar-a-lago to
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apologize to the then president. something he did after this, calling to say how sorry he was for the leaked audio, he didn't mean it, he was trying to appease representative liz cheney. someone who spoke to the president about the call said he isn't mad, accepts kevin for who he is and the former president denies claiming responsibility for the insurrection, contrary to mccarthy's claim in that audio and says of that call, he made a call, i heard the call, i didn't like the call. but almost immediately, as you know, because he came here because we took a picture right here, you know the support was very strong. trump also adds speaking of the other republicans who said similar things and pulled 180 degree turns, quote, they realized they were wrong and they supported me. joining me a man who bridges both of our lead stories today,
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retired lieutenant colonel alexander vindman. and author of the book "here right matters". colonel vindman, thank you for joining us. look, you and i have been talking for a very, very long time. and we haven't had a full chance to explore this part of the conversation, which your book goes into very clearly. what is happening on the other side of the world, in ukraine, a country which you hail, is directly tied to the attacks on democracy that you witnessed in the white house while you were the director for european affairs at the national security council. >> absolutely. i think the first thing we should learn is that these guys are not very good on phone calls. they seem to implicate themselves often. but setting that aside on a light note this morning, you know, it's -- to me, i don't
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know why this issue sometimes is hard to communicate, but memories are short, people don't pay attention to politics. but to me, this was all about -- for the first impeachment of donald trump was all about holding up aid to ukraine. that's why he was impeached. he did that in exchange for a -- aid -- an extra helping hand with regard to trying to steal the 2020 election. it was all consistent. it was consistent from the beginning through january 6th and the efforts to kind of promote this big lie that trump lost the election. he did. but he -- this was a continuing enterprise from the beginning. so in my opening statement i actually explicitly stated the fears of how this corrupt scheme was going to embolden russia, precipitate this kind of confrontation. i couldn't imagine the scale but something on that order of
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magnitude and my worst fears came to pass, that donald trump set the conditions in motion for this war that's not just affecting ukraine and the countless lives in ukraine but has real implications for u.s. national security. has the ability to draw the u.s. into this war as it extends into the future. and donald trump bears enormous burden, responsibility for that and for his attack on democracy for presenting the u.s. as weak and vulnerable. for vladimir putin to conduct these vile attacks around the world and so forth. so it's a -- completely clear logic to me that donald trump and the republican party share this burden of this war. >> i just want to draw this line even more explicitly. i recommend people read your book, it's clear in there. this was congressionally approved aid to ukraine, which is an ally, to defend itself against an adversary, russia. it was congressionally approved.
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overwhelmingly, hardly any opposition to it at all in congress. the president had no right to interfere with it. but he did. he ordered his people to interfere with that, and it imperilled ukraine because it showed zelenskyy as weak, it showed america as subject to not following through on its promises to allies. it set the stage for -- if you're vladimir putin watching that whole episode that led to the first impeachment, you're like, i see an opportunity here. >> you're right. the need for concurring ukraine has existed since 2014, that was the justification for the annexation of crimea and the war in the donbas. but the opportunity didn't present itself until donald trump. the opportunity that the u.s. was going to be weak or not imposed costs on russia did not present itself until donald trump conducted his corrupt schemes and then in his capture
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of the republican party watered down this bipartisan support with the republicans, up until this war started, indicating they were not going to be there in support of ukraine. indicating they were going to be obstruckive. there was a bill in congress at one point, senator menendez had a bill about sanctions and the republicans were obstructing it. this was all the opportunities he saw and the critical moments were the ukraine scandal, certainly the january 6th effort to overturn the elections and the attack on the capitol building and all the cheerleading of donald trump and the republican party all the way to the days and hours both before and after this war indicating opportunity and for vladimir putin who has been in power for 22 years, reading the tea leaves, seeing opportunities and weakness, this is what he prayed on. this is kind of -- this was the satisfying his desires, his need
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for action. >> colonel vindman, again, it's not too late, but i -- i recommend people read "here right matters" because you outline why the first impeachment, which is in the rear view mirror now, but the seeds for what we are watching now, the death and destruction going on in ukraine were set on that phone call that you listened into and you decided to report up the chain of command, which cost you your career. colonel vindman thank you for being with us and thank you for your service to the consultant. joining me now is nbc's raf sanchez, live from lviv, ukraine. the first of the u.s. military aid is expected to be in ukrainian hands today but things have gotten serious there. just this morning reports from
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ukrainians about things going on in southern and eastern ukraine seem to be a major escalation. >> reporter: that's right. city officials in mariupol saying they have discovered a second mass grave after finding one the day before. this one is in a village to the east of the city. they're saying it may contain up to 1,000 bodies the first mass grave to the west of the city could contain as many as 9,000. that's larger than the horrors we saw in bucha, the city in kyiv. and they're saying this is a grim pattern, the russians are going to the outskirts of the city to try to conceal evidence of war crimes. the mayor has said 20,000 people may have been killed in mariupol so far, possibly more. and all the while, as these mass graves are being discovered, that siege in the city center continues. around 2,000 ukrainian troops
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and a number of civilians holed up in what remains of the steel plant. vladimir putin said he no longer sees any need to storm the plant but his forces continue attacking there. there does not appear to be any real prospect of a humanitarian corridor for getting the troops or the civilians out of the way there. so a grim situation in all fronts in mariupol. ali. i want you to stick around because after the break i want to head back to you to discuss the resurgence of a conflict in israel. please hang out for me and i'm going to come right back to you. first i want to give you an update on our friend, the russian opposition leader arrested in moscow, the day after he appeared in this show. he's been charged for spreading what it considers to be false information about the war in ukraine, in connection to a new law other than saying anything
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other than the kremlin narrative of what's going on in ukraine. he faces up to 15 years in prison just for telling me and you the truth. >> the price of being an opposition to vladimir putin's regime. if you're asking about me, i'm a russian politician, russia is my country, my home, this is where i have to be. >> i'm worried for you, my friend. you have been a source of my information for many years so i'll worry on your behalf. i'll worry on your behalf. worth is giving the people who build it a solid foundation. wealth is shutting down the office for mike's retirement party. worth is giving the employee who spent half his life with you, the party of a lifetime. ♪ ♪ wealth is watching your business grow. worth is watching your employees grow with it. ♪ ♪
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renewed tension between israelis and palestinians is bringing fears of last may. this morning israel says it will close the border crossing to gaza workers. this comes after israeli police stormed the mosque in jerusalem on friday. it's the holiest site in jerusalem, sacred to jews and muslims. they intervened when palestinians started throwing rocks. medics say at least 31 palestinians were injured. police fired rubber tipped bullets and stun grenades at palestinians attending prayer
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for ramadan. nbc's raf sanchez is back with us. before he relocated to cover the ukraine war he covered the tensions in israel. bring us up to speed as to what led to the recent up tick in violence? >> reporter: given that i'm speaking to you from ukraine, let me start by saying this. many palestinians have noted what they see as a disparity between the support western officials are giving ukrainians who are resisting occupation and the lack of support for palestinians resisting military occupation. that is a disparity they have noted bitterly. jerusalem one of the most sensitive places on earth, the mosque one of the most sensitive sites inside jerusalem. the police say they stormed in yesterday after morning prayers in response to young palestinians turning the mosque into a fortress, saying they were stock piling stones,
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molotov cocktails, some waving hamas flags. large number of injuries as forces used steel tipped rubber bullets. and rockets falling in gaza, one landing the other appearing to fall short of gaza. if this sounds similar to the lead up to the war last may it is. what happens in jerusalem rarely stays in jerusalem, it spills out into the west bank, into gaza and can trigger much greater events. president biden, secretary of state blinken say they're clear not seeing palestinian issues as a priority. but after the war last may, the president did say he would be more proactive and in his words he said he would work to deliver
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equal measures of security, freedom, opportunity and dignity for both israelis and palestinians. i have to tell you, ali, in the year since then there has not been much tangible progress towards that goal. the president said on the campaign trail that he would reopen the american consulate in jerusalem, the unofficial embassy to the palestinians he has not done so in the face of resistance from israel's government. u.s. officials say they are working quietly, managing diplomatic channels. but ali, it hasn't made a lot of difference and things are largely the same as they were when fighting broke out last year. >> we're grateful for your analysis on this raf sanchez for us, he covers israel is now in ukraine. up next new reporting on where the house select committee is focussing on the final stages of the january 6th insurrection investigation. 6th insurrection investigation.
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usually. ♪♪ in it... mostly. even what gets near your body. please please please take that outside. here to meet those high standards is the walgreens health and wellness brand. over 2000 products. rigorously tested. walgreens pharmacist recommended... and particularly kind to your wallet. ♪♪ it has now been 472 days since a violent mob of the failed former president's supporters attacked the nation's capitol however in what feels like ancient histories in the days following the deadly attack last year, there was a brief moment in which republicans openly condemned the ex-president although most
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members of the gop would deny going against their mar-a-lago puppet masters. we now have evidence that kevin mccarthy actually considered holding donald trump accountable. this week new audio of his conversations with republicans following the january 6th attacks show that he was appalled by trump's actions in one snippet mccarthy says i have had it with this guy what he did was unacceptable. and he was recorded telling liz cheney that he would advise trump to resign or be faced with removal from office. in a second reporting he said the ex-president admitted to bearing some responsibility for the violence that occurred on january 6th. kevin mccarthy's backbone didn't last long.
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it appears that despite these new audio recordings he has not set up the ring leader much. the wall street journal saying they spoke after the audio came out, trump was not upset but rather happy mccarthy didn't follow through with calling for donald trump to resign. and trump told the wall street journal that he never said he bore any responsibility for january 6th despite the recordings saying otherwise. the question is, who's lying? this comes as the january 6th select committee begins to finalize hearings ahead of the public hearings in this june. and they're zeroing in on the ex-president's inner circle. this morning the panel alleged the final chief of staff, mark meadows was told that plans to overturn the 2020 election using
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so-called alternate electors were not sound and the events of january 6th could turn violent but he pushed forward with the rally anyway. joining me is betsy swan, an msnbc contributor. there have been a lot of developments in the last few days, many of which are political in nature. people have to decide whether they think kevin mccarthy is a liar or not, but there are legal implications and implications as it relates to the january 6th investigation based on what we learned this week. >> that's right. one of the biggest questions for the january 6th committee is do they revisit what appears to be a decision not to pressure republican members of congress to participate in their probe? we know that they've reached out to republican members about voluntarily participating. we know those republican members have told the committee to pound sand and there's no evidence that the committee has secretly issued any subpoenas to these members.
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we have no reason to believe any such subpoenas could have gone out. the fact there's new audio of kevin mccarthy saying trump told him that trump himself felt he bore responsibility for the violence that day has the potential to open a new line of inquiry for the select committee. it's obvious that mccarthy has detailed firsthand knowledge of trump's state of mind before, during, and after the attack. no question he knows stuff that the select committee doesn't know. the question is, does the committee decide they need to twist his arm to try to get him to come in. >> last night i spoke to jamie raskin of the committee. who said the public testimony in june is going to blow the roof off. but he's zeroing in on a phone call between donald trump and mike pence suggesting they will have evidence that donald trump was trying to get mike pence to do this the way he wanted him to
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do it. listen to what he told me last night. >> donald trump was being begged and beseeched by members of his own family, members of his own administration, members of congress from both parties, to call it off and he refused to do that for more than three hours. he was awol because i believe -- this part is uncertain, we have to figure it out -- i believe he was trying to turn up the temperature on mike pence by continuing to unleash and incite this mob against him. >> it's an interesting piece of contest on this. trying and trying to get mike pence to do it and when it didn't work, when trump and his circle determined that mike pence was not going to do their bidding, there may have been some call or encouragement to turn things up in terms of the mob and the crowd outside. >> that's an allegation that the select committee has not yet
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presented evidence to substantiate. if they're able to prove that in public hearings as congressman raskin said they'll be able to do, prove that trump tried to incite the crowd as it was engaged in violence, that would be a really significant new piece of information that we don't currently have. the fact that the select committee is so focused on the phone call that trump had with mike pence the morning just before his ellipse rally, that call is absolutely fascinating. one thing that makes a call really interesting is we don't know half of it. there were multiple people in the room with trump listening to his side of the call but trump did not put pence on speaker phone so nobody heard what pence said on the phone call. meanwhile, on pence's side, we're told that pence went into a private room, by himself. he left his aides alone for him to have that private call with trump. the only person who knows what told trump on that phone call,
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only two people, trump and pence. thus far the select committee has not tried to get either of those two men to come in and answer questions from our knowledge. what we do know from reporting and materials that emerged, from people listening in that phone call with trump, they said it started amicable and then went south. people were shocked because it was the first time in the entire trump presidency that they recognized, became aware that mike pence was putting his foot down and saying no to trump. it hasn't happened before and that episode left a huge impression. >> it stood out to me when raskin said it last night when i read it in your reporting, here's the line from your reporting that stands out to me, it is unlikely the committee will attempt to force pence to testify, there are imposing legal obstacles for subpoenaing
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a former vice president, they consider pence a witness not a target of their probe. whether they ask for voluntary help is another question. i think they've been hinting at it for a long time and the hints back from pence not going to happen. >> it's unlikely. but we can't rule anything out. a host of allies went in, ivanka trump, jared kushner, if you told me six months ago these people would voluntarily participate i would have told you i have a bridge to sell you. we can't rule anything out at this point. the fact is additionally pence's closest advisers, including greg jacob, his top lawyer who helped him navigate this, those people have already talked to the select committee. it's unimaginable they would have done so without pence's blessing. the fact there's been that level of cooperation from pence world shows, in my view, or at least it really strongly indicates
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that the former vice president himself is not engaged in any stiff arming of the select committee analogous to the type of thing we've seen from steve bannon types. i think it's unlikely but i also think we can't rule it out. >> your reporting on this is remarkable. thanks as always for bringing us this analysis. betsy swan from politico. an obscure russian general's comments appear to be anything but obscure as they may present russia's coming battle plans do not end in ukraine. that's next. plans do not end in ukraine that's next.
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ukrainian president, volodymyr zelenskyy, is warning that vladimir putin's invasion of ukraine is just the beginning. in zelenskyy's nightly address he warned his neighbors that russia has ambitions to invade other nearby countries. this was in response to a russian general's comments that moscow's goal is to fully control ukraine's eastern donbas region, as well as southern ukraine. overnight, a ukrainian parliament member tweeted finally russia called the true goal of the war in ukraine, in expansion of the territory. a member just stated that a new federal district of russia, like a state or province, will be
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formed in the occupied territories of ukraine. the russian official mentioned in that tweet is different than the russian general who made the original comments about expansion. ina joins me right after the break. don't go anywhere. break. don't go anywhere. e traveled every road in this here land! ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ crossed the desert's bare, man. ♪ ♪ i've breathed the mountain air, man. ♪ ♪ of travel i've had my share, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere. ♪ ♪ i've been to: pittsburgh, parkersburg, ♪ ♪ gravelbourg, colorado, ♪ ♪ ellensburg, cedar city, dodge city, what a pity. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man. ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere. ♪ we hit the bike trails every weekend shinges doesn't care. i grow all my own vegetables shingles doesn't care. we've still got the best moves you've ever seen good for you, but shingles doesn't care. because 1 in 3 people will get shingles, you need protection.
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i'm back now with ina, who joins us from ukraine, where
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she's a parliament member. good to see you, thank you for being with us. unusual talking to you now, not from ukraine. and i miss it. i met so many great people while i was there, including you and your wonderful son, martin. but to the topic at hand, this is something that your president and people like you had been warning about from the beginning. this was expansionist activity by russia, not about protecting russian speakers in eastern ukraine, not about something else. it was this idea that we're on a land grab and it will go beyond ukraine. a lot of people in the world ignored that, saying that's not likely. this is a ukraine-specific thing. it seems there are a number of examples that indicate that's not necessarily true. >> true. it's a difficult reality to grasp but you have to realize that's what russia is basically doing. they are trying to declare those territories as parts of russia. and now they're saying that they want to do that to the east of
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ukraine, to the south in ukraine, to connect parts of ukraine that are occupied by russia to moldova, which means they're going to attack moldova and grab more territory than they grabbed in the '90s. and today, apparently as part of that activity, just literally ten minutes ago, we learned a russian missile hid odesa. they're moving according to this plan, targeting those territories and reclaiming those territories for themselves. >> this is important when you talk about transnistria. i want to put that map up. this is in moldova, a separate independent country like ukraine, formerly part of the soviet union now not so. there are russian troops in transnistria, just to the west of ukraine, we know there are russian troops in the north,
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belarus, along the north, east, and south in russia itself. and there are troops in the west in transnistria. they are also called peace keeping troops by the russians and they are there under the premises of protecting an oppressed russian-speaking population, which is exactly the reason vladimir putin used for going into donbas. >> yes, precisely. and the fun fact is -- not fun. but the hype critical fact is only one third of population of transnistria are actually russian-speakers. and that's turned out to be reason enough to attack part of the territory and claim it to be part of, you know, this transnistria republic which was not recognized by anyone. but one third of people living in transnistria are ukrainians and one-third are moldavans.
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that's scary, they deny the principle of sovereignty that international relations are based upon and just claim territory for themselves and they can do it for any other region they can hear russian people speaking. they claim that anyone who speaks russian is someone who needs their protection. speaks russian is someone who needs their protection ukraine. >> when i was in ukraine, one of the things that struck me is lots of people speak russian. it's common for people to speak russian. your president speaks russian. many families are part russian, part ukrainian. their parents speak russian. this was -- and your point about
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moldova and even neighboring countries is that lots of people speak lots of things these days. the concept of defending somebodyt based on their linguistic heritage seems a little bit 1939ish. >> very much so. it's like france coming to canada claiming part of its territory because they speak french over there or english is spoken in many countries in the world and it's something -- we have an air raid -- it is off now, but we still get the sound. people speak different languages and here, if you look, for instance in kharkiv, my native city, and speaks 80% of them are russian speakers and they are protecting kharkiv against russian invasion and they're doing it fiercely and they're rather successful in that, and you know, they're russian speakers. so this claim that we are protecting russian speakers makes no sense because that is
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what people speak and it doesn't mean they share the same values as putin and his troops are. so they're not valid and you cannot keep using that. >> just to let my audience understand the air raid sirens, you get one when there is a warning and you get one when the warning is over and if you're notis paying attention it is no always clear a which one it is. i would often hear them and say is that an all clear or an actual air raid siren? i am looking at the map and there are air raid watches in western ukraine right now, so please stay. safe. inna sovsun is a deputy chairman of the holos party. the momentum started at one amazon warehousert in staten island, new york, and workers across america are fighting for unionization. when we come back we're talking about how workers are building on a wave of labor victories. bug on a wave of labor victories what goes on it... usually. ♪♪
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this past week, a double dose of affirmation for the organized labor movement in the united states. on thursday workers at a flagship starbucks roastery reserve, that's the fancy version, by the way, in seattle voted to unionize. nationwide, workers at more than 200 starbucks locations have announced plans to unionize. about two dozen stores have already voted to do so. on wednesday apple workers at a retail store in atlanta became
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the first apple employees to formally file for unionization. these efforts come after a historic and stunning victory for organized labor earlier this month when workers at an amazon warehouse in staten island voted in favor of union representation against one of the most anti-union companies in america. in its latest piece for the, pointed out that it's no longer big national unions, but everyday workers at the local level who are mobilizing for their workplaces. joining me now is annan, an msnbc political analyst, author at the ink and author of "winners take all." annan, good to see you. we are never on air at the same time. while i was in ukraine i was fascinated by what seemed to be
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a remarkable acceleration in unionization efforts in the united states. what's changing? >> well, the two stories are connected, in a way. they are different forms of a struggle for democracy, real democrat see you are witnessing so ably, i should say, we were also moved by your coverage. a struggle for democracy by a foreign occupying attempt, but here in america there is a struggle for economic democracy and it is winning. this is a moment of great darkness. a lot of the stories you cover that was happening on this country on many fronts is not good, but this story of what's happening with local unions in this country is a heartwarming, uplifting trend line in the right direction story and there aren't a lot of them and what's so striking, the companies you mentioned, amazon, starbucks and others, they are the companies that in recent years told a story about making change
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through stakeholder capitalism. starbucks fought the narrow wealth gap. amazon and jeff bezos, and amazon was talking about creating free preschool out of his philanthropy which is preschool for the poor kids whose parents he underpays and what happened now that is so glorious, frankly is people waking up to the reality that all of that was fake change and real change comes from below, real change comes from asserting collective power and coming together as workers are. real change involves the loss of power. real change is not a win-win where corporations and you know, claim the terms on which workers can thrive. so we are seeing it at starbucks, we are seeing it at amazon and there were strikes at john deere and kellogg and visco. there have been teacher's
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strikes local driven by unions and west virginia, california, radiating across the country. this is a moment where unions have public support that is at new deal levels of public support. gallop found that 68% of americans now support labor unions and that is back to 1930s levels and it was 48%, i believe, in 2009 and republican approval labor unions has gone from 29% to 47% since 2009. we are witnessing a shift. >> so let me ask you about two other factors that might be at play here. one is there is a president of the united states who it willy is pro-union. he said it many times. he's had the backing of unions. so there's that and then the fact that we are in a labor shortage in the united states. we are just above 3% employment. so wages have been going up anyway and workers are more empowered. you can call it the great resignation or whatever you want. how do those two things factor
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into what we're seeing right now? >> those are big, and i would add a third, but you're right. president biden has surprised a lot of people and he calls himself a union guy. there was explicit support from the presidency that a lot of folks i talked to in unions say thai don't remember from bill clinton or barack obama despite all that labor did to elect those democratic presidents. so there is a difference in the biden administration's avowel of support for the unionization drives. second, you say the great resignation and labor shortage that has created leverage, but i would also mention the pandemic. the pandemic was a dramatization of what has been true in this country and what you have covered over years. a loss of power, a mistake of people being regular people and a capture of wealth and power at the top. that has been going on and that has been happening, but the
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pandemic dramatized it and narrativized it and you have the people in this country being ground down and ceos getting paid more, and i think people are waking up, and i don't -- this is the end of the win-win fantasy of the new liberal era . i think it is a new change. anand girhadadas. don't go anywhere, i'll talk to tracy plaskett about the january 6th investigation. another hour of "velshi" begins right now. ♪♪ ♪♪ good morning. it is saturday, april the 23rd. i'm ali velshi. we start with the house select january 6th committee out with damning new allegations against the failed former president's inner circle. in an overnight court filing the panel alleges tha


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