tv Inside Story Al Jazeera February 7, 2015 1:30am-2:01am EST
also for climate change. >> "techknow's" team of experts show you how the miracles of science. >> this is my selfie, what can you tell me about my future? >> can affect and surprise us. >> don't try this at home. >> "techknow", where technology meets humanity. monday, 5:30 eastern. only on al jazeera america. >> hello i'm ray suarez. after a quiet spell eastern ukraine is at war again. and talking about arming the ukrainian army. while the west weighs its options, a high stakes diplomatic mission happens in kiev. >> if i recall, there mustfirst of all, there must be an immediate commitment to a ceasefire, which is not just a piece of paper, or words but
which is followed up by specific actions. >> secretary of state john kerry announced $16 million in humanitarian aid for ukraine. while on both sides of the aisle, are capitol hill called on president obama to send additional resources. >> we should take sides. >> but would arming ukraine mean a heightening of relation s unlike that since the cold war? it's "inside story." >> in the last few weeks
hundreds of people have died in fieding in eastern ukraine donbas region. point an accusing finger at russia and vladimir putin for the renewed fighting and improved weapons and tactics of russian speakers fighting the government in kiev. the ukrainian president petro poroshenko is warning of a wider war. publicly calling for a negotiated settlement for a war he knows he can't win while at the same time he is overseeing a more robust military response to open rebellion on his soil. even as russia's economy sags under the struggle of economic sanctions, he appears to be on the brink of pushing the goals in ukraine, even blandly insisting to the outside world he has nothing to do with the conflict in ukraine.
secretary of state john kerry called on moscow to honor previous agreements. >> pull back the heavy weapons from the ceasefire line from the borders, beyond the range of artillery, beyond the range of certain munitions to be able to do harm to civilians. so it is imperative that everybody make the right choices here. russia needs to demonstrate its commitment to ending the bloodshed, once and for all. >> the united nations released the latest death toll this week from the ongoing fighting there. it's taken more than 5,000 lives. 2,000 since the september ceasefire agreement. we spoke earlier to the wall street journal's are correspondent paul sohn. >> where i was in the past couple of days it was pretty intense, on the ukrainian side of the front which is being shelled by the rebel forces
basically for the last couple of days, last two weeks straight. the other side of the front on the rebel held territories, often be shelled by the ukrainian forces. the violence is increasing. we saw i think on last count in the last three weeks 224 civilians killed. so we saw a big round of refugees of people leaving towns across east ukraine last summer when the violence really heated up but now we're seeing what is essentially the second wave. so all the people who live in towns that are somehow strategic that are somehow being fought over right now are all now deciding to leave. and often these are towns that had a little bit of violence last summer but now all of a sudden it is much more violent there and there is another huge wave of internally displaced people. and this what we've e-seen in the last two
seen is farand away the biggest outburst of violence since the ceasefire was signed. we have always known the ceasefire was dead but it's now nonexistence, it means nothing at all. >> that's paul sohn reporting from eastern ukraine. worked. there is pressure mounting on the west and the united states in particular to do more in the face of this uptick in violence and a humanitarian crisis waiting in the wings. very much in the mix right now providing the ukrainian military with deadly-force aid, weapons. my first guest tonight is one saying it's now time. ivo dalder, the u.s. ambassador to ukraine, now leads the council on global affairs, he joins us, ambassador welcome back to "inside story."
>> great to be here. >> you authored a report mr. ambassador what should the united states and nato do now? >> i think the united states and nato countries should now be providing lethal defensive and i stress defensive military aid to ukraine. clearly the kind of support that russia has been providing to the ukrainian separatists over the past few months and with an accelerating level of supply that has been coming over the border in the past few weeks there is a need for ukraine to be helped. we set out to go to ukraine to find out what the situation was on the ground and to see what kind of defensive equipment might be necessary to help ukraine so that not for ukraine to win a war or to escalate this fight but in order to make the separatists think twice about escalating and for mr. putin to think twice to escalate so we can look to a different kind of
solution, a political and a peaceful solution rather than a continuation of war. >> all the supporters of this idea have stressed that term defensive weapons. but what is a defensive weapon? as soon as you shoot somebody with it, it's an offensive weapon isn't it? >> clearly, teen most defensive weapons can be used as part of an offensive strategy. but the situation is russia is attacking and invading a country and supplying arms to separatists. so the kinds of capabilities that we are talking about will provide ukraine with a better capacity to defend what it already has. rather than to retake what it has lost. so we're not talking about tanks or long range rockets or artillery or airplanes that are all part of a major offensive operation by the way, the kinds of things that the russians are provided to the separatists. we are talking counterbattery radar that can look long range to see where the rockets are
coming from secure communication, and creuns are ukrainians are using regular cell phones to communicate. and short range antiaircraft missiles. ukraine is facing t-72 and t-80 tanks had russia has brought in and this is probably the only way they can be stopped. >> at this time, russia has been very vague in away they are doing, if there is a separatist movement in mexico, if there are rebels from canada trying to break away from that country i'm sure the united states would see it as quite provocative for russians to be arming an army like that.
>> mexico and canada are independent states and so is ukraine. the issue isn't that russians are arming themselves to defend russia. russia has annexed crimea which is part of ukraine, and has armed the separatist movement and in the past weeks has been sending long range rockets and spas to air rockets which by the way shot down a civilian airplane in july, and when things got really bad, intervened with thousands of troops, just in august. this is about russia not just taking care of the western influence in ukraine it's about russia taking over a country that is independent, sovereign and a neighbor. >> is there a risk of really escalating this situation, making it harder to talk about the russians about disengaging making it harder for the separatists to end their battle?
>> there is a risk that with more arms the level of fighting will increase but it is our contention that these kinds of arms will really fundamentally pose a choice to the separatists and to the russians which is from the separatist, we believe that they themselves are not able to achieve much militarily once ukraine has better arms and will have to rely on direct russian military intervention. the choice is up to moscow, is moscow willing to sit down with kiev and negotiate a true end to this conflict one that recognizes the independence and territorial integrity of ukraine or are they going to invade full force with all the consequences diplomatic, economic and strategic that that would have? faces. it is a one that they don't want to face which is why they are opposed to ukraine being a stronger military power.
>> take us inside the decision making councils of nato. if one member state is making an initiative like this, if the united states starts sending defensive weapons to ukraine is that something that the united states would look for backing from other nato members on, look for help to make that happen? >> that is really important which is why we didn't also go to ukraine, we went to nato headquarters in brussels.it is very important that we remain united. so far the united states and european allies in nato have looked at the situation much the same way and have acted quite properly together an in concert. the president has sometimes been criticized going too slow when it comes to sanctions but in going in the way he has been moving, he has been able to keep the europeans with him. so it is very important that before we take an initiative like this, we discuss this with our european friends.
councils. this is thought a decision that nato would have to take. nato doesn't have any weapons to give ukraine. but nato is a forum for discussion and deliberation. and you want to make sure that everyone in nato is comfortable even with a move like this, even if not every country is likely to provide arms. indeed the president of france and the chancellor of germany has said that their countries will not be providing arms. the question is, can we do so in a way that strengthens our common strategy and my belief is that we can. >> former ambassador to nato ivo dalder, mr. ambassador good to talk to you. >> good to talk to you. >> when we come back, the wisdom of arming ukraine forces.
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♪ ♪ >> welcome back to "inside story." on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. it was only a little more than a year ago that viktor yanukovych was president of ukraine and protesters stormed the may maidan demanding change. russia instituted a political land grab in the crimea, taking the peninsula away from ukraine. began armed uprising and mysterious military columns in unmarked tanks unmarked military uniforms moved in to fight.
using economic sanctions to ease russian pressure on the new ukrainian government. late, machining members of congress have been speaking up. >> let me demonstrate, will not allow the ukrainian military to defeat the russian military in a full fledged war. but will decrease the risk and pierce the veneer that there are no russians in ukraine. >> what is this not? this is not a fight between two friends that we should not take sides. friends. this is a fight between a struggling democracy, and an autocratic dictatorship and we should take sides. >> joining us for rest of the program, frederiga bindi, she's
also the former senior advisor to italy's foreign minister. and john herbst. frederika, let me start with you, you heard john mccain that this must be made more costly to russia. so arming ukrainian army is a good idea? >> i strongly disagree. you make it more costly, to russia than putin would step down. i mean this is based on a total rational analysis and we're not talking about a situation like this. if we step up, if we come in with weapons, the consequences, the unintended consequences can be devastating really. >> now, we're talking about weapons that, at least, make it
something closer a fair fight. allow the ukrainians to defend themselves and their country. >> look historical there is a report cia report that shows that in 67 years of the story of the agency, only one case given weapons on one side, succeeded. which is afghanistan. and even in that case we know where it ended ultimately, because arming the muja ha deen didn't really work, it raised the risk, they can say it can ultimately lead to more involvement in the war and this is not what we want. >> ambassador
herbst? >> arming one group against a larger group, the united states was armed by the french in the war of independence. without that, i'm not sure we would have won. we are arming rebels in africa and angola, so arms can make a difference. but let's understand what's happening in ukraine. in ukraine, a country which chose an open society which chose a democracy was first invaded by russia and croox and crimea and crimea was annexed. there was no spontaneous repel i don't know in the east. the russians organized supplied and provided leadership for the outbreak in the east of the quote unquote insurgency which was manufactured in the kremlin. alex barade ink a moscow
consult, and fsb colonel. this was a rebellion manufactured in moscow. now a ceasefire was established in theory in september. since that ceasefire in september the separatists armed led financed quipped by moscow have gained 500 square kilometers. over 225 ukrainian soldiers have died in this period. we suggest giving ukraine defensive arms because mr. putin has a very serious vulnerability. his people do not want russian soldiers fighting in ukraine so mr. putin is lying to his people. >> let me jump in there. the idea that it's a serious vulnerability presumes he responds to pressure the way leaders in democracies do that when negative news comes in the midst of a conflict like they can be persuaded he can be pushed by popular opinion to do things. is there any sign of that? >> that's not what i've said. i said he has a vulnerability. if he didn't have a vulnerability he wouldn't be
lying to his people about soldiers dying in ukraine or burying soldiers in secret. he wouldn't be claiming the very popular organization in russian, the committee of russian soldiers, fighting in ukraine, mr. putin pays attention he's an autocrat but he pays attention to public opinion. he is vulnerable is lots of russian soldiers return to russianrussia dead. that will raise the political cost of him raising are. >> fighting with russia will actually strengthen him domestically. sorry. we are talking about a dictatorship first of all and a dictatorship thrive, thrive when
they have sanctions, thrive thrive when they have an external threat. transatlantic trend, proves that the russians regardless, in this case even more so. so all we have done so far have been just strengthening. >> mr. ambassador i'll give you a chance to respond to that point in a moment. we'll be back with more "inside story" after a short break. when we return, too much help for ukrainian or not ukraine or not enough? did western leaders provoke a showdown with russia and leave ukraine the its fate? >> sunday night. >> 140 world leaders will take the podium. >> get the full story. >> there is real disunity in the
we know from talking to people in elite moscow they are very unhappy with the policies that have been happening within russia. the people had an implicit deal with mr. putin, he would have his way with policies. between oil prices and sanctions he ha has not delivered prosperity. polls show mr. putin is still very popular but his popularity is a lot lest than it was a few weeks ago. if body bags come home, his popularity will go through the floor. i'm not saying that's what's going to happen to him but this is a danger for him that's why he hides the bodies. there is another point that is more important. course. if you listen to what he said over the past seven eight or even ten years, he has a right he says to intervene wherever, he believes the rules of the post-cold war world has to be
rewritten. he has committed provocations against the baltic saits. he sees anest an estonian counter-- >> let me put that to fredericka bindi. stop saying this can't go on in ukraine. >> actually you are cricking yourself as you say sanction he combined with the falling price of oil is severely affecting him and people are becoming unhappy why do you want to escalate a war? if this is working lets make sanctions and gas, oil prices do their work. i mean -- >> may i answer your question? >> no. >> in a second. >> no, i mean, if you look historically, full blown economic crisis, all you're
doing by sending weapons is strengthening peupt because putin. they look at the external effect and your risk to escalation which you don't really need it right now. >> then respond. >> look mr. putin has established a complete information strangle hold on the russian people. they already think we are responsible for the chaos in ukraine and are providing weapons. if we provides defensive weapons he's already done it. you need to have weapons along with the sanctions in order to put the pressure on him before he strikes elsewhere. >> as we close i would like to hear from both of you on whether the west led the ukrainian people and the ukrainian government to think that more aid was on the way than ever was going to be delivered, whether during the last year, they have stepped up in a way that really helps them establish their new order there.
>> you know, just, i mean, it is a lot, the u.s. alone for the last offer that john kerry did today, $356 billion. there's a lat money -- >> where do you get that figure? reforms. this is something the ukrainians must make on themselves. pouring money into greece or italy, it doesn't mean that the reforms are achieved. this is something that the country has to do. and ukraine has a huge amount of problems that they have to deal with. i mean it's not a completed democracy, it's not a fully functioning market. so the money alone, they need it, we need to give them, we are giving them to them but there also must be an effort there. >> did we lead the ukrainians that the support is more concrete than it has been? >> we did not tell them we would provide the support
if the aid was given. england france and for that point russia ensured ukraine's borders. >> in that way they were misled? >> when nato expanded the implicit agreement or the gentleman agreement as you may want to call it ask it would not have expanded beyond the former what is today and in fact in 2008 we wanted to give a road map to georgia and ukraine. >> is there fault on both >> absolutely. >> there is very little fault, the fault is primarily on the russian side because they can order the countries in their neighborhood to do what they want. in moldova and in azerbaijan. >> i have to stop there. follow us on facebook and twitter, watch us in washington, i'm ray suarez.