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tv   To the point - Ukraine under attack Is Europe powerless against Putin  Deutsche Welle  February 25, 2022 6:30am-7:01am CET

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back to william because change doesn't happen on its own. make up your room, mind w. the for mine's the world looks on as russian president vladimir putin launch his a full scale attack on ukraine. and now it's becoming clear that he intends to use his country's military might in a bid to rewrite european history. the west meanwhile, has been imposing what have been described as the toughest sanctions ever, but polluted is clearly not impressed. so is it time for europe, democracies to face up to some new and uncomfortable truths, and perhaps fight for their future? on to the point we ask ukraine under attack is europe powerless against boot in
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with? well, thanks very much for joining us here on the show. and my guests in the studio include the historian, o rica font here chosen who sees russian tanks invading ukraine. teach us one clear lesson. we need a broad collection of tools. if we are to realize our international responsibility, also with us, his vendor leaf on brito from the economist magazine who believes vladimir putin has damaged his country, the e. u. a still rushes biggest export market and western sanctions will hurt at a warm welcome to to matthew con, each nick chief europe corresponded for politico. and matthew argues that russia's latest invasion of ukraine illustrates the failure of european and especially german foreign policy, which for years has focused on trying to placate thank you very much
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for being with me today. i'd like to begin with all rica and her for letting me it's helen ski. the the credit president has come out and said, put in flooding. mapleton wants to destroy ukraine. is that going to fall? or is that an accurate description of where we are now? i would say putting wants to destroy ukrainian autonomy, not that crenan nation as such. but of course, what he's doing right now is trying to read a revival of an imperial idea of a great russia. tell me about the imperial idea of a great russia. well, in the 19th century, the ukrainians, we used to a, as it asks to be quarter or small russians in our little russians, where russians, where seen themselves as great russians. and this is an idea of dependency,
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which quoted wants to we live today, which is totally out of time. those who does put in want to destroy ukraine. no, i agree with them a little thicker. i think he wants to a subjugate ukraine but, but obviously not destroy it. he wants to maybe rule over the country and make it part of greater russia. but, but that doesn't mean that, that, that it's going to be a distraction. it's been described as a tragedy, a catastrophe for europe, or would you say, matthew? i say it's a crime, it's not a tragedy. a tragedy denotes something that has to do with fate. and what we're dealing with here is, is a criminal. and it's, it's completely clear, i disagree. i think he does want to destroy a ukraine as a nation. he might not want to, you know, bomb it into the stone age. but he wants to remove the idea from people's minds
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that ukraine is an independent nation. and i think this is a continuation of what we've seen in the past with the soviet union. they tried something similar by, you know, the forced russian ization of parts of, of ukraine. it's not an accident that in, in the don't bass, for example, where there are a lot of russian speakers will wire. there's so many russian speakers there. one reason is that is a coal mining area that the russians sent a lot of russians in their decades ago. to work in the coal mines and in the industry. and i think this is something that has a long history there where they've tried for generations. the russians to dissuade people from embracing their ukrainian heritage and he sees himself. i think in this, in this tradition you are loading i do. oh,
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i'm, i'm for, i'm very concerned about the extent to which vladimir putin is, sir. when you talk about violence, you talk about criminal energy. vladimir putin is like a bully in the school yard. how do you deal with a bully? we know how to do that. how do you deal with letting me put it? i think a big problem is that europe, germany has lost sight of responsibility. and in germany, in the last 15 years, there was a pass of germany 1st and i think we have to redo that and take on our responsibility also in a military dimension. how does that work? matthew? yeah. how does it work? i mean, it is something that you can't do overnight, but now we're, unfortunately we're seeing that the errors of, of the past and especially germany's not just the refusal to really invest in its military or to, to help ukraine. we're also seeing the strategic areas that germany made in
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supporting the north stream projects in, in my view, even after it was clear, what putin was doing, this isn't something that happened overnight with him. he signaled already in 2007 . what he wanted to do in a famous speech at the music security conference, then in a couple of months after he started implementing his plan with the cyber attack on estonia, which basically shut down their internet. it was the 1st such attack of its kind on, on, on that scale. and he followed up a year later with the attack on georgia and then crimea, and the wars in east ukraine. and beyond that, of course, what he's done in syria, libya, the assassinations, including in berlin of, you know, a chechen, a rebel here, alexia, barney, the germans sort of looked at that and said, well, we still can talk to him, we still need dialogue with him. this is the only answer is dialogue and we're
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going to continue to pursue these gas projects with him. because if we bring him into the fold, then you know, we're going to be brothers basically, and well, that's turned out not to be the case. well, you, i, your question was how do you deal with a, with a bully and 40. the bully understands the language of strength. and i agree with matthew, we haven't really spoken that language we tried. and now even now in that recent crisis, we tried diplomatic channels and in a one after the other emmanuel mccaul left shows the various farmers. it all went to moscow. they all tried. they were basically humiliated by put an ant bite of and it didn't work. the diplomacy didn't work. i do, however, think that put in radicalized over the years. i think there was a time when maybe diplomacy and, and friendship could have worked, even though there was a famous put in speech in the bonus tag. where, where he says, you know, russia is friendly, russia as a friendly european country and i think in a way we missed an opportunity then,
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but, but knowledge, of course, far too late. read. you wanted to add something. i think it also has to do something with his obsession with history, which has been growing over the years and you were mentioning the dates 2007. he was making clear that safeguarding russian minorities beyond the russian border is one of his main duties. and then that became stronger. 20132014 next crimea saying this is part of russia in now your last year we had this an offset, this paper which he sent to german historian a exactly you by now all you all know this paper he made explicitly clear that ukraine is part of greater russia. so i think his obsession with his version of history has contributed to that. and this is also one argument why i think it will not start to affect the baltic states. this is, of course question which we all are questioning ourselves,
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but i do not think that he will start to occupy the baltic states a because they are nail members and be because they don't fitch into his version of great russia. ok, the world according to bloody they put 2 letters over, listened to words, one statement from the russian liter. when you put those, that when you said that my, who well it tries to interfere with us and even more so to create the threats for our country, people should know that russia's response will be immediate and would li, due to such consequences that you have never experienced in your history, you stop. how do you deal with a bully? that was the question and matthew i says z answer is in the in the end that stated that we've just heard is that we are dealing with her a nuclear option possibly. well, he's leaving it to people's imagination. it's clear that russia has tactical nuclear weapons that it could use in a situation like this. of course,
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i think he knows that if he were to do that, then he would be endangering his own country's future. but, you know, he's, he's clearly serious about what's going on in, in ukraine and in a couple of weeks will know how successful he has been there. and i think whether he moves into the, the baltics or not, i don't think that he's going to do that right away. but i think that it will lead to a re militarization of the eastern flank of nato. and this is going to be a major shift in europe's security architecture, the most major shift since the end of the cold war. because up to now, the needle countries had agreed. there was a agreement with russia not to permanently station troops in the baltics or in the former warsaw block countries. i think that's going to go out the window now and we're going to see permanent nato basis, more american troops in europe again. and especially on that eastern flank and all
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you need to do is look at a map to see the countries that border ukraine. so as it's going to be a much more dangerous neighborhood than it has been, i was going to say irv rendalie, this is a, this is a very sensitive part of the world with a very sensitive history. tell us a little bit about that as the backdrop to what we're seeing now, because we are sitting here in germany, in berlin, which was where so many of the crimes committed in the sensitive parts of the world . they started back under the nazi. absolutely, and our nearest ne, our closest neighbor as poland and poland, as of course, historically suffered a lot to suffer that german hands at bashing hands and the pulls feel very fragile, very vulnerable. they've been arguing for, for more help from nato, for 4 years. and now, you know, they were proven right. and of course, the next line of defense in a way or the closest you get out of the baltic states and also, not only are they isn't closer to russia and you came,
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but they are also very small. so and they've, they've equally suffered and i've, but from both as always, you know, they were always sandwiched between the russians and the germans and historically, and so of course it's, it's a completely different mindset in these countries. and, and i think they've been asking for support for years, and we should have probably been even more steadfast than we have been. but, but now you know, it just by the force of events, it'll happen, belatedly and her. and i suppose one of the questions is, is, is, are the people of ukraine going to, going to, we're talking about, you know, whether the germans or nato will offer support and what's, what shape or form that support might be whether it might be of a military nature, what about the people of ukraine themselves? are they going to put up a fight against vladimir putin? i do think so. if we look at the amount of education with the ukrainian nation, it has increased very much over the last 10 years. also,
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due to the permanent aggression of putin. and if you look at how many people are now recruited in this civilian force, which of course doesn't play a big military role, but it has a symbolic and role of, you know, yes, i do think that there will be much more identification even more than before with the ukrainian nation, and we're talking about people taking to the streets or are we talking about people really engaging in civil disobedience? are we talking about a possible insurgent war? i don't believe in that. i do think that more man will involuntarily take up the arms within sort of regular forces. and this is what the lensky has asked people to do. but let's just, let's just get a quick word from it. so let's see. let's hear what he's been saying and how his mood is. the green lea behind me stands ukraine, with its internationally recognized borders. so it's at the key and it will remain
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the same, no matter what id, no matter the statements and actions by russia. you mean, just as we remain calm and confident, i am also b payment of intent to very strong intent. i think that the ukrainians are going to fight one of the big questions here that some of us have been looking at over the past several weeks and wondering about is what if it came to an invasion? what would putin's ultimate goal b? and i think there's, you know, a theory sort of consensus of people i spoke to about this is that he would try to basically divide the country along the need for river, which runs through it give. and then, you know, basically keep or keep under his control, the eastern part, what they call left bank ukraine. and then the, the western part would, you know, remain as a kind of rump state. and that is where, you know, you,
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i think we'll see insurgencies or something, something similar to that people will keep, will keep fighting there. he's also moved into odessa already, which is the key black sea port for ukraine. most of its trade goes through there. it's also seen as the pearl of the black sea, it's very important historically and culturally for russia as well. but if you crane is robbed of that, then it's, it's going to be, you know, sort of squeezed economically as well. so it will need a lot of western support, and i suspect that the united states and other nato allies will be quite happy to help finance or some kind of an insurgency that i was going to say. we haven't mentioned the american perspective at all on this. so, i mean, you know, people are people right outside the european theater might think, well for the americans, this is happening in europe. if there is a war and we see we see an invasion. we see the, perhaps the beginnings of occupation it will be in europe. it'll be a long way from the us, but it's very important for the americans. while european stability is very
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important for the united states, obviously for economic reasons for, for a lot of other reasons. united states was engaged in the cold war, obviously for many decades in europe. and i think that successive administrations in the united states took their eye off the ball when it comes to russia, when it came to put in and the misjudged him and they didn't take the threat that he posed seriously enough. and that goes right up to joe biden, who thought that he could concentrate on china and the rest, the united states feel china now poses to both the united states and, and the west, and leave russia to the europeans. but this was also true under, under trump, although he, despite his reputation supported more sanctions against russia than, than anyone else. but also of brock obama who dismissed russia as, as a regional power, which was a slight,
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i think that putin neither forgot nor forgave. and i don't think anybody is looking at the situation now and is saying that russia is just a regional power. think the mistake that's off made is to sort of look at russia, t, d p and say, well, it's actually, you know, smaller than it's nice and hands it's, it's, it's, you know, as, as you said, and just a regional power. but it's not, you know, it's the biggest country in terms of it's geography in the world. it has a natural resources and it has nuclear weapons. so, you know, you cannot say it's just of each power and that, you know, we, we made that mistake. i think was a misleading of the fact you sound just a little bit so at least it could be construed that you sound like somebody in germany has been much criticized in the last week or so. the people who have tended to, over the years and more recently pluck kate is to work or is often use plaque. 8 flooding may poacher. know, i'm not in favor of that. i think that's a mistake. i think the only language you understand is,
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is the language of strength. i think when we should have done the opposite. but, but i also think that, that, that for, for many years, certainly the americans, but in a way, also, western europe and the estimate, russia intention mess, misread the intention and didn't quite understand, you know, how serious putin will, is about rebuilding the greater russia that he's dreaming about there's a big debate in germany at the moment about to want to, to use a german word. but they, the words can sometimes be so very evocative, the, the very half dish of germans, the german military in the current, in the current situation. the current crisis is, can you explain the debate of the valve card for they have tried as far as i understand, it's just whether germany could even defend. it says could, you know, could fight a war if you, if you were. i'm not in this. yeah. out of readiness. exactly. i'm not a military expert, but what i understand the bonus where it's not in great shape. and so, so,
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so i'm not sure. ok, let's have a good. let's have a look at a report that we have on the situation is going to say whether are several sort of overlapping problems. they still exist. the peace marches to which pacifists and germany call, but they're not as big as they were in the 1980s. when hundreds of thousands demonstrated against the deployment of the american short and intermediate range missiles, there are also still protests at the annual swearing in of going to spare recruits the bone despair. germany's military has shrunk in recent decades from about 500000 soldiers in the 1960 s. only a 3rd remained after the end of the cold war. the enemy was no longer in the east, and national defense was no longer the sole mission. instead, german soldiers fought together with the allies in afghanistan, among other places and alongside the french and molly. both foreign missions are
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considered more or less to have fail. bundis better equipment is inadequate. above all, there's a lack of transport capacity. only a small number of helicopters are even operational. the americans in particular have long complained that nato partner germany and best spar too little and its armed forces. and further, there seems to be a lack of political strategy for the tasks of the buddhist fair. is germany at war with its military? well, that's one question to jim that well, with his military i think also. i mean the question is might be, might be, is it time for germany to really be focus armed forces? her guts have been a very important debate and it's got her, it's central to german, sought own credibility. i would agree with miss for braille. we really
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need to speed up in 2014 when putin annex crimea. $28.00 natal members agreed on spending 2 percent of their gross product on defense. and we are right now, i think around 1.5 or so. i think this is a strong responsibility of germany to take up its responsibility in a way. and what i think is we need a more broader usa maneuverability. is that what it is to have sort of different political means of power. a broad repertoire of power in germany and not trusting only in economy to use its way, but rather to use public political minute military, cultural and economic means. this is matthew about, i mean for, for, for, for most of the people living here in germany, living in central europe are liberal democracy is what we cherish liberal democracy
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is what we hold up a sort of what we believe in many, many ways or the question is how are we willing to defend it? well, you've had the luxury of not having to defend it. and i think that is part of the problem here, that there isn't really a security culture in germany. there are in other parts of europe, but in germany, in particular for the last 75 years or so. the country has lived pretty well under the security, or at least the western part of the country under the security umbrella provided by the united states. so people haven't had to worry about these issues and germans have gone about sort of looking at their own past to world war 2. the whole discussion about the gang and heads believed going as they call it, sort of confronting their past and so forth. and this process has, i think, turn people away in general from all things military, which unfortunately has created a situation where it is often looked at as, as something sort of morally on toward to wants to go into the german army say.
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and that's one of the reasons now that the germans have a huge problem with the resurgence of extremism in the ranks of the despair of the german army. because the only people who really want to go want to go for the wrong reasons often. so i think this is a much deeper problem that is not just about money, it's about creating a culture and helping people understand why military is, is necessary. and i think that germans have really lost that. i agree, um with matthew, i think in the, in the years after the war it was probably the right decision for germany to take a very low profile militarily. right. and to, to, to basic. and i think the americans in the very willing to protect germany and to have jeremy live on that some freleigh. but now, you know, that's a long time ago. and germany has, in a way just continue to do that because it was convenient because it suited them up in the gym, the population that the public opinion. but things have to change and,
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and the record and the repetition of the bonus was a big issue. because if it were better, if it were like in america, in france, even, you know, then then, then it, it would attract better people a, their bonus. i wouldn't have a problem to recruit people and the problem of extremism which is a real problem. in the bonus, there would probably not be such a problem. and i would like to bring in the historical dimension in this because one of the arguments for not having enough to tyranny is of course would watch it. but if we look at it, who suffer so much where the ukrainians ukraine was, one of the main war theater in world war 2, to partitions. the majority of german funks are by turn force laborer where ukrainians. so i don't see the argument to be valid. and i think we have to really look at the fact this is one of the strange aspects i think of the dynamic between germany and russia is that the germans field is historic debt to the russians. and
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this is sort of really infused this entire debate over north stream to the pipeline and, and other issues with russia where the germans said, well, we had this historic debt that we need to honor. and when we, we need to give the russians the benefit of the doubt, but as you say, i think most germans aren't aware that actually more ukrainians died. as a percentage of the total population been russians more bella ruffians died as well . and this is just something that's not discussed here. all germans or europeans, paolo's, power less against putin. i think that they are powerless for the moment. i think they're going to become much more reliant on the united states again as a result of this and all of these discussions in europe about strategic autonomy are going to end very quickly. okay, thank you for stopping it up though. have to leave it out. thanks very much indeed for joining us. and if you've, if we given you plenty of food for thought then to come by next time until i by, by and just
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with ah,
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with who they've had no p 40 for decades. the people of iraq, their country is devastated and there's no end to define how did it comes with key witnesses reveal unprecedented story to they were for the u. s. they knew what the consequences of these sanctions are and they've lied to the world about. it does he
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make it easy that someone could kill his friends and as a fee and so easily was a really you behaved exactly like i've done this year. and the poison spread from their own. ah, less my z with the great documentary series destruction of a nation starts march 4th on d w. a washer. i was hard to let you chuck do. ah.
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with the worst war. since the beginning of the simple truth, russian truth invaded to crate with
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ah ah, this is the w news live from berlin. russian forces closing on key on the 2nd day of vladimir putin is war against ukraine. blasts are heard in the capital and apartment building is here to help. the ukraine says it down to a russian fighter. jet. fighting takes place on multiple fronts with more than 130 civilians reporting killed tens of thousands of civilians fleet, major cities by those who seek or remain seek shelter. president, a lot of the landscape says he's starting to put staying put bothering here, despite calling himself roches. number one.

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