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tv   Our World  BBC News  February 26, 2022 4:30am-5:01am GMT

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hello. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: reports of fighting in and around the ukrainian capital, kyiv, hours afterthe ukrainian capital, kyiv, hours after the president wanted russian forces were preparing to storm the city. the ukrainian army said it had repelled attack along the west of the city. russia has vetoed a un resolution that would have condemned its invasion of ukraine. 11 members voted in favour. the russian ambassador insisted his country was not waging war against ukraine or the ukrainian people but was carrying out an exercise to protect the residents of dundas. and the united states is that it is imposing sanctions on vladimir putin and his foreign minister, and will freeze their assets, following similar announcements from the european union and britain. the russian foreign minister said it revealed the absolute impotence of western countries.
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now and bbc news, dateline london examines the war in ukraine. hello and welcome to dateline. the programme which brings together specialist journalists and foreign correspondents who write, blog, and broadcast. this week has delivered a powerful reminder that although we can communicate at lightning speed across the world, depending on where we are, we can see the same set of events differently. to demand or notarise your neighbour, you invaded, to
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denazify, invade. to defend european security, you watch from the sidelines as your�*s second largest nation is invaded by the largest. during this week, agnes and powell and justin rowlatt. welcome to all of you. think you have been with us. start with you first, pawel? what is vladimir putin's conception of historic russia and to what extent do you think this has driven the actions he is contemplating and taking? hello. the concept of historic russia made by vladimir putin as a pretext to launch this demilitarisation operation is quite a new thing, apparently. because apparently it started last year from the article he published on his website, the official website of the kremlin, in which he addressed the idea that ukraine
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is, in fact, not a real state, basically, that it's a project that he called anti—russia and he tried to make the case that, infact, ukraine and russia was always one nation separated by some strange and peculiar twists in history and that it's historically bound together and so on and so forth. this concept is, we tried to address it and to run it by the historians, and it has lots of flaws and twists and all in all it it's quite a mixture of various historical concepts and ideas. but basically he says that
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ukraine has been created by communists and, in his speech before the launch of the attack, he said that ukraine is the country which should be named after vladimir lenin. all in all, it's a very strange and very peculiar mixture of various ideas, which does not really fit the idea that putin is up to some sort of a great russia and a recreation of the soviet union and so on and so forth. in essence, it might be so, but all in all it's just his probably personal attitude towards ukraine as a nation and as the russian neighbour.
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that might create some diplomatic opening, agnes. certainly at the beginning of the week, the elysee palace seemed hopefully could engineer some kind of biden—putin summit, later in the week, president macron was talking about being duped. is there a sense in which his kind of quite pally approach, his friendly approach to president putin, it's all very well to criticise it once the invasion had happened, but it might have been almost a rational response from a european leader, to the inability of europe to actually be able to stay his hand, all he could do was try to do was delay it. well, what president macron did was agreed by all the allies and the partners he was talking to at length and for us, before he actually went to his first trip to moscow, if you remember, he was seated on a very, very long table. and weeks before, remember, the beginning of the crisis, whenjoe biden was talking to vladimir putin and all the ukrainians in europe, europe was nowhere to be heard. and france residing on the
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council of the european union did what it needed to do, and emmanuel macron wanted to give a voice to europe and indeed he did. and he likes taking personal risks. it was highly probable that diplomacy would not give anything. but he tried. he tried until, as far as he could, and because as long as you talk, as long as it is not set, there is always a hope for peace. but, obviously, from the moment the tanks from the russian army entered ukraine it was not on the table anymore and the war is here, as emmanuel macron said, and he also added we are ready. so we will see that. the war is here, we are ready.
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present zelensky sang at the end of the week "we are alone." and you know ukraine, you have visited, give us a sense of those who have not visited the country and that idea of a country alone when it is such an enormous country — how profound that is. it is absolutely huge. they think it is 600,000 square kilometres stop in the uk is slightly shy of 200,000 square kilometres. so it is a very big country in the centre of europe. it is europe's bread basket — i think slightly more than 10% of europe's wheat comes from ukraine. it is a massive country. when i went it was at the beginning of its emergence as the president, when i first
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went, yanukovych, was an ally of russia, he was subsequently toppled in the people's rebellion of 2014. i actually fell foul of yanukovych, he actually made a formal complaint to the bbc about my attire, thought i had not been sufficiently respectful. he ended up being rejected by the people of ukraine. that was really the moment of the emergence of not an independent ukraine, it existed as an independent country, but this was ukraine expressing its independence from russia. and this was the source of much of the difficulties that have followed the conflict between ukraine and russia. so fiercely independent. a country that i felt, when i went, it is very hard tojudge, that had a very strong sense of identity. they had a very interesting meeting this week stop ijust mentioned in passing with lord brown who used to run bp, negotiated face—to—face with vladimir putin on a number of meetings, met his black labrador as part of the over was of a big deal that bp did with a couple of russian companies,
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a $13.5 billion dealfor oil. he said his experience with putin was a man who was incredibly bureaucratic. born out of the bureaucratic society of the ussr, he had planned to invade ukraine. it was almost certain that this was a plan that was on rails and he was determined to deliver it, this was the outcome we were going to get whatever the rest of europe are indeed the world said to vladimir putin. and that's really interesting. when i was talking to adam smith at the beginning of the week in us congress, he was basically saying that really there is not much western countries, including washington, could do, in practical terms, except trying to delay whatever it was that president putin was trying to do. i suppose the question is whether russian public opinion over a longer term period will see this as an advantageous thing,
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given, from what you said, about the kind of, perhaps, rather week historic argument in which he hasjustified it. public opinion in russia is interesting at the moment. because we cannot see yet what is the real attitude and the real numbers of what russians are thinking about the current crisis. but, certainly, there is some confusion in there. and if we would compare this, these events with an annexation of crimea, it is totally different. because, yes, we saw back in 2014, when crimea was annexed by russia, we saw that most russians cheered this and they were really happy and they — the support for vladimir putin went
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through the roof because crimea was perceived as something, as a symbol of russia, of a revival, where is now it is more like confusion. and it is really... it is not understandable what is going on. it is a full—scale war, which the consequences of this would be heard and felt throughout russia as well as throughout ukraine. and that is why it is quite difficult to estimate the real support of the population to what is going on. we have a situation where sanctions is the weapon of choice, agnes, for the west. you have alluded to this already and the efforts that are ongoing. by the end of the week we had two sets of sanctions imposed on russia. some argument over some of the detail is still ongoing.
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in terms of the hoped—for impact, the question, i suppose, is notjust the impact on russia, but the impact on western european economies on the americans, on the other nato countries, that are signing up to these sanctions. what are the implications of going down this route? well, they are very important. it is notjust a question of agreeing on a package and then we all go back to our respective capitals and we go back to our daily lives and just pray that ukraine, you know, fights on behalf of europe. no, it will have massive long—term implications, because if the eu is the biggest commercial partner of russia we also know that in terms of energy, which we will be talking about a bit later, europe is incredibly dependent on russian gas and oil, for instance, and, you know, sanctions which the eu will need to actually not sharp, i think, as kyiv and all the big cities are under siege and the pressure will be higherfor the eu
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to actually take harsher and harsher sanctions and we are seeing, for instance, what is being discussed is cutting off russia from swift, but also freezing the personal assets of vladimir putin and sergey lavrov, it has all been talked about. you have european countries who want to have an incremental plan of sanctions, you know, to do it gradually. others want to strike as quickly as possible. but it is a sort of mental shift. it is almost a paradigm shift, because it is a long—term process.
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it is here to stay. and sanctions will have an effect across all policy areas of the european union. we have a sort of permanent crisis. it will, in many cases, aggravate challenges that we already face in europe. also, it means that public opinion in europe, which might want the government to decide on very high sanctions against russia, will also need to accept that it has a cost. of course, it is not a high price to pay if you consider that ukrainians are going to pay with their lives, whereas in europe they are just going to play with euros. just on this, i have a ukrainian friend who lives in kyiv, she said, look, what do these sanctions do, how are they going to stop bombs, how are they going to stop missiles? they're not!
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she's absolutely — and not only that, she makes the point, you are not even taking the really serious sanctions against russia, which would be to stop buying its main export, which is its energy, we could stop buying gas and oilfrom russia. you know, in theory. i mean, the problem is, and this is the real riddle for europe is that it can't actually do that because we are so dependent on russia. even in uk, we don't have much gas storage, so we can't look for other sources longer term. we are still beholden to this. we are. we are not immediately depended on the russians and get our gas from elsewhere in the uk. but, absolutely, we need constant supplies of these things. if the price keeps ratcheting up... in fact, there hasn't even been a negotiation about should we be imposing sanctions on oil and gas. thatjust tells us how challenging this is. on that, and picking up on the point, look at the impact this has had on fuel prices.
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people are feeling fuel prices. people are feeling the effects across europe and across the world. we are seeing some of the highest petrol some of the highest petrol prices we have ever seen in the uk. gas prices spiking. a year ago in the uk, we were paying 40p a firm, that is about 50 us cents. now we are paying 75. that is $3.70. what an increase. it's creating a huge political crisis here in britain because the cost of living is rising so dramatically. even in washington. joe biden is under pressure over gas prices and the price people pay on the forecourt. gas stations. in uk, we would call petrol pump. historically, petrol and diesel and the other fuels are referred to as gas, but that money problem is an international problem now, isn't it? anything of this kind that affects a big supplier is going to have an impact
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on so much for climate change. we might touch on arguments. just in terms of that, in practical terms, what that, in practical terms, what about the impact on the russian economy here because the point is, it's got debt levels reserves. china presumably can europeans. well, it is an interesting example, what happened back in 2010 when europe imposed the first round of sanctions following crimea. 0ne first round of sanctions following crimea. one of the measures which russia undertook back then was... import of
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products from the european union, and that was things like cheese and chocolate and other things. for instance, you still cannot buy italian farmers in spanish ham in russia, and that of course, they had some sort of course, they had some sort of effect on the european farmers. but it had even bigger effect on the russian consumers. it is always strange to assess the real impact of sanctions on the regime, because the population is not that affected with certain measures, with or before. but they are more affected with
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countermeasures, the russian government is trying to undertake. what we saw so far, let's say the collapse of air traffic between russia and european countries, between russian and britain, there are no direct flights, there will be no direct flights in months. this certainly that has a detrimental effect on certain parts of the russian society, but not for the economy in general. the rest will be, and “p general. the rest will be, and up until, as you mentioned, certain sectors will be targeted, it will be fine for probably the government to sustain spending with current reserves. but as we can see, it looks like europe and the us and other governments are trying to step up and even now
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we are in the middle of discussions and we can hear those discussions that it is not enough and probably we should target the financial markets, so on and so forth. and of course russia has china, but it is still really difficult to divert the whole trade towards china and substitute the european trade agreement. there is a twin strategy, isn't there? sanctions which are aimed at the people around britain, people who do travel, the people who do travel, the people who do travel, the people who have some wealth abroad, people who have bought houses in london or have holiday homes in bulgaria or wherever it may be, but simultaneously the ukrainians, i have heard it referred to as the porcupine strategy, that ukrainians themselves will make it so difficult for russia to sustain at the very least any kind of change of regime or any kind of change of regime or any kind of change of regime or any kind of potentially occupational even parts of the
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bit they crossed over into, that that could be the two together could force a rethink of vladimir putin's approach. it is very hard for us because for us — it is very hard for us because for us in _ it is very hard for us because for us in europe because this is a — for us in europe because this is a european war taking place two hours _ is a european war taking place two hours from london by plane, and we _ two hours from london by plane, and we know we're not going to be fighting alongside ukrainians, we know that. we know— ukrainians, we know that. we know we — ukrainians, we know that. we know we can only do sanctions. however. — know we can only do sanctions. however, we can do a lot. but they— however, we can do a lot. but they are — however, we can do a lot. but they are not going to have overnight effects. and the state _ overnight effects. and the state of _ overnight effects. and the state of disbelief that is in europe _ state of disbelief that is in europe where we don't have... it is _ europe where we don't have... it is going _ europe where we don't have... it is going to take time for us to understand and to realise that — to understand and to realise that we _
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to understand and to realise that we have now entered a new phase _ that we have now entered a new phase in — that we have now entered a new phase in european history. and this is quite — phase in european history. and this is quite a _ phase in european history. fific this is quite a profound challenge because the whole basis of the nato alliance was defending each other from attack gently from the warsaw pact, but actually there were the concept of europe, the kind of stretched beyond simply the membership of nato. it is quite a challenge, isn't it? we say we cannot fight for this country, the nato countries are saying that, the western capitals are saying that, but in a sense, what is it for? they talked a couple of years ago of it being brain—dead as a concept. isn't there a danger thatis concept. isn't there a danger that is how it looks after this kind? ., . ., that is how it looks after this kind? ., ., kind? you could say that the arm of kind? you could say that the army of course _ kind? you could say that the army of course is _ kind? you could say that the army of course is suddenly, | army of course is suddenly, brendan— army of course is suddenly, brendan nato is being resurrected, it has triggered article — resurrected, it has triggered article four on friday and it is here _ article four on friday and it is here for a reason. but we
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have — is here for a reason. but we have tteen— is here for a reason. but we have been talking about how institutional international institutions such as the un, nato, — institutions such as the un, nato, we _ institutions such as the un, nato, we are not fit for the 215t— nato, we are not fit for the 215t century. and when president macron talked about nato, — president macron talked about nato, he — president macron talked about nato, he meant actually that when — nato, he meant actually that when i — nato, he meant actually that when i say we, we talk europe, european, _ when i say we, we talk europe, european, we can always rely on america — european, we can always rely on america to — european, we can always rely on america to protect us and to be responsible for security. especially donald trump, in washington, and it is very interesting what president macron said in the early hours atter— macron said in the early hours after the — macron said in the early hours after the european council last friday— after the european council last friday morning, he said the european _ friday morning, he said the european union isjust... is not — european union isjust... is notjust— european union isjust... is notjust a _ european union isjust... is notjust a market european union isjust... is not just a market of consumers. we now— not just a market of consumers. we now need to be a power to
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project — we now need to be a power to project power, and we need to accelerate an agenda of sovereignty. that is his words. he has— sovereignty. that is his words. he has been talking about it for a — he has been talking about it for a long time, that is his main _ for a long time, that is his main idea _ for a long time, that is his main idea about europe, that we must _ main idea about europe, that we must become independent, certainly more independent military, and it is very interesting because the thinking in military circles in france, _ thinking in military circles in france, and obviously in europe, _ france, and obviously in europe, in the last two years is that— europe, in the last two years is that armies were taking part in peacekeeping missions, and in peacekeeping missions, and in the — in peacekeeping missions, and in the last— in peacekeeping missions, and in the last ten years, the french— in the last ten years, the french army took part in counterterrorism operations in africa — counterterrorism operations in africa. but thinking now is that— africa. but thinking now is that we _ africa. but thinking now is that we need to change skill, to reform, to invest, to modernise our army and training
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for what — modernise our army and training for what they call high—end war. — for what they call high—end war. we _ for what they call high—end war, we can also call it state on state _ war, we can also call it state on state conflict.— on state conflict. this has been an _ on state conflict. this has been an opportunity - on state conflict. this has been an opportunity that l been an opportunity that president putin has seized, but things could change rapidly, couldn't they, from a russian perspective? couldn't they, from a russian perspeetive?_ couldn't they, from a russian --ersective? , ., perspective? yes, and as we saw nato, perspective? yes, and as we saw nato. and _ perspective? yes, and as we saw nato, and nato _ perspective? yes, and as we saw nato, and nato is _ perspective? yes, and as we saw nato, and nato is a _ perspective? yes, and as we saw nato, and nato is a key - perspective? yes, and as we saw nato, and nato is a key factor i nato, and nato is a key factor in his reason presented before launching this operation in ukraine. russia of vladimir putin's saw nato as a threat for quite some time, and enlargement of nato, inclusion of western european countries, seen as a direct threat probably less so militarily, but clearly ideally logically. and in this respect, i tend to
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agree that several years ago, nato might have been brain—dead or irrelevant on so many aspects of politics. but this time, it looks like nato in ideological terms, nato... this is how it is seen and it has to be reformed properly. it is is how it is seen and it has to be reformed properly.- be reformed properly. it is a very good — be reformed properly. it is a very good point _ be reformed properly. it is a very good point to _ be reformed properly. it is a very good point to end - be reformed properly. it is a very good point to end on, l be reformed properly. it is a i very good point to end on, this potential revival, but perhaps for all the wrong reasons. thank you all very much. that is all from dateline london. goodbye.
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well, we have some pretty good weather on the way for this weekend. lots of sunshine across england and wales. a little bit more cloud for scotland and northern ireland. but on the whole, it is still going to be a dry one. so, let's have a look at the big picture at the moment. so, we are in a sort of window of decent weather across western europe here. there are storms out in the atlantic, but for a change, they are heading way to the north of us. so, we'rejust being gently brushed here in the north—west of the country by these atlantic weather fronts. it'll be dry because they'll stay out to sea and, in fact, most of us will be under the influence of the high pressure and, indeed, this is the case through the early hours. you can see the clear skies and light winds across england and wales. a bit more cloud here in the north—west because we are closer to the weather front. as i said, that weather front will stay out to sea, so it'll be dry, but it will be
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mild for belfast and glasgow — we're talking around 8 degrees first thing across many parts of england, certainly a good chance of at least a ground frost outside of town. so, light winds and sunny skies for many parts of england. very pleasant indeed for wales. in scotland and northern ireland, always a little bit more cloud and particularly windy around some of these western coasts. in fact, off the hebrides, winds will be near gale force during the course of the day. temperatures fairly similar wherever you are, 10,12 degrees. now, here's the weather map for sunday, and the high pressure slips away a little bit further towards the east. that brings a weak weather front in and that spells cloud and maybe some rain for a time in western parts of scotland, maybe a little bit more cloud across other western areas. but on the whole, for most of us, it's going to be at least another bright day and a generally dry one as well. very, very decent indeed. in fact, the best of the weather will be across eastern and southern areas, but the weather fronts are encroaching. it's because that high pressure, that is, is slipping
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out towards eastern parts of europe, and that does mean that the weather fronts advance towards the uk. so, we are expecting rain and gale—force winds in the north—west of the uk, but the rain will spread into england and wales through the course of monday. so, after the two dry days, saturday and sunday, make the most of the weekend because monday is looking pretty wet, especially out towards the south—west. bye— bye.
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hello. this is bbc news. i'm so pusey. 0ur hello. this is bbc news. i'm so pusey. our top stories: a city on edge — gunfire and explosions that across kyiv as the ukrainian capital fears a russian attack could be imminent. the country's president warns the city's fate could be decided in hours and because the residents to take up because the residents to take up arms. those who can't told to take shelter, spending the night underground. in new york, russia vetoes a united nations security council resolution condemning the russian invasion. condemning the russian invasion-— condemning the russian invasion. ,, ., ., ., invasion. russia cannot vetoed the ukrainian _ invasion. russia cannot vetoed the ukrainian people. - invasion. russia cannot vetoedj the ukrainian people. pressure cannot vetoed their own people
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protesting the war in the

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