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tv   Real Money With Ali Velshi  Al Jazeera  March 2, 2015 10:30pm-11:01pm EST

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people don't get federal life sentences and beat them. >> they had been trafficking on behalf of the united states government. >> the cia admitted it. >> "freeway - crack in the system". only on al jazeera america. tonight, special coverage of the new cold war. murder in moscow. just days after one of the kremlin's biggest critics was shot and killed his assassins remain at large and russia remain loyal to those who are becoming too powerful. who is left to take on vladimir putin. our special coverage begins right now.
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tonight, special coverage of the new cold war has taken yet another ominous turn. up till now cost michael okwu its standing in the form of credit down grades and demonization of the west. killing of boris nemtsov just steps from the kremlin nemtsov said to be close to releasing a report revealing startling details of russia's involvement in the ukraine. placards read, i am not afraid. rory challands is there and has the report from moscow. >> nemtsov's face was everywhere. the bullets that killed him said this banner were meant for all
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of us but also present were thousands of russian flags in an era where russian leaders are vilified as traitors and fifth columnist, such a huge rally is allowed to take place right in the center of moscow. usually these things are kept on the outskirts of town so maybe the kremlin is thinking grief is a more manageable emotion than political age are. some anti-putin shouting, the challenge for the opposition now is whether it the turn the grief for nemtsov's murder into real political change. nemtsov said if he were afraid he wouldn't be leading an opposition party. on friday just before midnight
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he was killed near kremlin shot four times from a passing car. >> translator: this is a new spiral in russia's descent into a fascist state. a murder of one of the brightest of the opposition. >> some are calling his death an safntion. assassination. nemtsov's future became one of opposition. but the opposition he fought so hard for had recently found it harder and harder to make itself heard in an increasingly patriotic anti-western russia. president vladimir putin offered his condolences and called the murder a provocation. he offered a full investigation into nemtsov's death but those who knew the opposition leader said the government did nothing
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to protect him when he received threats. before he died nemtsov was working on a report that he believed proved that russia had been directly involved in the separatist rebellion in eastern ukraine and the government inefficiency and corruption. >> nemtsov was unafraid of putin's soaring popularity with the russian public and openly spoke out against his policies, nemtsov denounced his annexation of crimea. said he had designs on the peninsula even before ukraine supporters say would show incontrovertible proof that russia is fueling the war in eastern ukraine. and while the violence there is stopped for now after two months of especially intense fighting the scars are very apparent among civilians on the ground.
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from rebel controlled horlivka, paul brennan has our report. >> for two-year-old oxana and her sister, home is this place in horlivka. >> it's really difficult all the children are scared as soon as they hear the slightest sound or noise it's frightening for adults so just imagine how the children feel. >> reporter: as the fighting raged the hospital was caught in a cross fire. a third of the children's treatment rooms were rendered unusable by scrap knell. >> 90% of the children have problems with their speech stammering and stuttering. when adults are frightened the children get frightened as well. >> the currently pause in the
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fighting hasn't stopped the flow of injured and ill arriving here. it's just shifted the emphasis. as the guns fall silent the attention of the medical staff here is now switching more to post-conflict issues. on thursday for example a two month old baby was brought in here with shrapnel wounds as a result of a mine being accidentally detonated. >> people like 69-year-old nah tal yah69-year-oldnatalia, who was sitting at home when a piece of shrapnel many sliced off part of her hand. >> so much blood, so many casualties. i want the war to be over as soon as possible. >> is this some kind of a turning point phil ittner, the
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assassination of boris nemtsov? >> this is about the most high profile person we've seen killed, of course there are some notable incidents anna polokavskaya but boris nemtsov is such a large figure on the russian political landscape the shock wave is still being felt, i can tell you ali the people that i am speaking to not only in russia but among the russian ex-pat community are absolutely shocked this would happen this way and right in the shadow of the kremlin np death will definitely have ramifications. but putin's russia is a pretty monolithic thing. and whether this will lead to
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any real change it may or may not happen but this is a moment in time where people are reflecting on where it is, where it's been and most particularly where it's going. >> the message to russians have been quite controlled in the russian media which is possibly why vladimir putin enjoys an 85% popularity rating amongst the russian public, some of that might have to do with pure-out nationalism but in this case the kremlin seems to be portraying this, vladimir putin has said that it's a provocation sort of suggesting it's an outside group and suggesting he's going to lead the investigation or at least the investigation is going to report to him. how's that going down? >> well, with a lot of skepticism. nobody is saying straight-out that it was putin directly who ordered it. of course there are rumors, there are accusations that it was the kremlin.
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but there are others who say look if the kremlin was going to do it it wouldn't be stupid enough to do it on red square, on the footsteps of the kremlin itself. there are a lot of arguments like that going on. people are reflecting on what that means the fact that russians themselves don't know how to disseminate truth from fiction because the media is so strictly controlled in russia and any dissenting voice is marginalized, that's what happened to boris nemtsov and various media outlets in russia. it is hard to discern what is true and what isn't. if the kremlin did order this, if there are those within the putin government who ordered this or behind this, it is a very brazen move to do this right on red square. this is not by any means done, this is a moment in time for retrospecks for russians to
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figure out where it is they want to see their country going but they're having a difficult time of it ali because finding out what is true and what isn't in putin's russia can be very difficult. >> no kidding. phil ittner joining us from london. not justifying what russia has done in crimea and ukraine. sounds like he's trying to have it both ways. i'll challenge him next. our special coverage of the cold cold -- new cold war murder in moscow returns. in two minutes. the new road hazard >> i'm driving like a maniac >> you're distracted... >> 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 effect and surprise us... >> don't try this at home
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>> vladimir putin rules russia in ways most americans find repugnant but his job is not to please americans. that is one of the provocative points made by stephen kinzer, with the op ed, putin's push in ukraine is rational. visiting fellow at the watson institute for international studies. steven thank you for joining us. in this op ed you go on to write, quote before the united states sends weapons or military advisors to ukraine we should stop to consider how we would react if russia did that in
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mexico or canada. end quote. explain this to me, why are you defending putin? >> in the first place i'm not defending putin at all. i'm trying to understand his motives. i like to justify the world where all states are legally equally and they don't interfere in each other's affairs. strategic depth means you don't want to have your enemy right on your border. so you want to have some control, official or unofficial, over the countries in your neighborhood. this is what the united states did for more than a century, any country in central america or the caribbean could tell you that those countries are not truly free to shape their own foreign policy. that's the reality for a small country living right next oa big country. you have to take into account what that big powrt wants. that's not fair that's not just
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but that's the way of the world and that's the way russia is behaving now as other big powers have based in the past. >> if this is rational you say western support for ukraine play be aimed at part in promoting democracy. from your op ed. you say but the parallel goal is to intimidate russia. given russia's actions in crimea and ukraine is intimidating russia not a necessary and rational strategy? what's wrong with nato's policy? >> immediately after the cold war there was a surge of power in the west, we thought we could extract away sanctions we wanted. but now we are seeing the backlash. russia felt isolated and alone and increasingly surrounded by the united states. not just politically but even in terms of the nato alliance. there were outspoken calls in the united states and elsewhere for countries bordering on
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russia to join nato. we have already got russian miferlsmissiles peeking into estonia and latvia, now the area around russia has awakened russian nationalism, president putin's popularity ratings are going through the ceiling. >> i really hear you. but those people whose countries border russia, lath latvia, lithuania l estonia poland, would supersede the rights of superpowers to have their buffer zones and their strategic debt. depth. >> i would say that's true but we live in the real world. i would say in the basket of countries you just mentioned you're mixing two kinds of countries. there are some countries that
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the united states has given ironclad security guarantees with the form of nato membership. we've made that commitment and we can -- now comes the question -- >> those countries i claimed are all nato countries except for ukraine. >> indeed so ukraine is in a different situation. and i think the russians are eager to be sure that ukraine does not move into that category of those other countries. >> right. >> that you just mentioned. that's the reason why it's not able to accept the possibility of enemy power on its border. >> got it. so this is your argument that it's rational. let's say we accept your argument that putin's push into ukraine is rational given the countries we just talked about. how does that justify the use of force to redraw the map of europe? at some point rationality aside do we not have to say there is
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international law and this is bullying? >> yes, you'd have to decide where that point comes and bullying is a tactic that all countries use including our own. it is bullying and it is not fair and it certainly does infringe on the rights of some ukrainians. on the other hand there are plenty of ukrainians that are very unhappy that they are going to be recuperated from kiev and a have a country that is opposed to russia. it was later overthrown by a rebellion that the united states sponsored, they could ask the question who started it. >> hold on, the u.s. sponsored? they expressed support for it, there was ample evidence that the democratically elected government of ukraine was a corrupt and ineffective government that people were tired of that people didn't want them turning to russia they wanted them more western-facing.
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>> i should have said that the united states supported that revolution. not sponsored it. i do think that american involvement so directly and so openly in a sense robbed the ukrainian people of their agency and it tainted what i thought was a very noble uprising for democratic causes. it became seen as an effort by outside powers to change ukraine's geostrategic position. the united states took actions that allowed it to be seen that way by ratcheting it up into a geopolitical confrontation we have given putin the opportunity to play the nationalist card which is very effective in russia. >> steven, thank you for joining us. an international fellow for the studies ever in brown university. recently band from traveling to russia. is she afraid in the wake of the
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killing of one ever putin's top political opponents our special murder in moscow, tweet me @alivelshi or tweet me at facebookfacebook/ali velshi. >> coming up. i'm antonio mora. another fatal police confrontation puts the issue back on the front pages just as a presidential task force issues its recommendations to prevent future shootings. a major tack on i.s.i.l. tighters on what may be a preview of larger confrontations to come. after a school was trying to ban gays and lesbians, that and much more coming up at the top of the hour.
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>> christa freeland knows firsthand how it feels to make vladimir putin angry. she was banned entry for sanctions, imposed on russia.
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unique perspective on the events unfolding in russia. christa, before we got your perspective on it, we found that vladimir putin came out and made a statement about this murder and says he takes on the investigation himself. not that he's taking it seriously or that it's going to follow the normal path of justice and investigation. >> look, i'm very sad to say that i don't think that that statement can give us any comfort that this investigation will be done seriously or carefully. vladimir putin has given us a lot of reasons not to trust what he says not least of which is the fact that the murder of boris nemtsov is only the latest in many, many killings of people who were hostile to the putin regime. >> how would you characterize --
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>> so far the killers haven't been held accountable. there how will we know, ever know whether this was somebody else going after nemtsov or whether this was the kremlin? how -- you reported out of russia. how do you find this out? >> look, i fear that this is something that it will be many years before we know what actually happened. navalny who is another leading opposition figure and worked closely with boris nemtsov who i know and whose death it was such a tragedy navalny pointed out something very important and that is first of all nemtsov has been very telephone under government surveillance and -- extensively under government surveillance and the sunday
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demonstration, it's quite clear that he would be under government surveillance. the spot that he was is under constant human and video monitoring. so it's rather striking that a person could be killed there. >> what do you make of this: do you think it's a change in the tone of what's going on in russia? does it have some impact on the current crisis that is under way? >> i very sadly think that it does. it's first and foremost a human tragedy and yet another sign and the grimmest sign yet that there really isn't going to be a return to a moderate evolving towards the west, evolving towards a market economy and democracy kind of russia. russia has chosen a starkly
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different path. we used to call it a soft authoritarian path. i think increasingly we have to call it a violent dictatorship. >> you and i have talked for the last year about the fact that so many russians are getting a controlled version of the news about what's going on in ukraine and the outside world. does this change the tone of the discussion inside russia which has really been fervently nationalist. is there some sense that people will say this is wrong for the government to be involved in, if they were involved or does this get swept under the rug? >> look, it isn't even a question ali about whether the government was involved. no matter what, i think we can already say that this shocking murder was a direct result of a culture of political violence in which this government has been absolutely explicit and which it
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has certainly encouraged. partly through its own war partly through government incarceration and attacks on its political opponents and partly through a media environment actively stirring up hatred and enemies of the terms of opposition look, i was very inspired and very proud of all the russians who came out to mourn nemtsov yesterday. you know that's a lot more than demonstrating in canada or in the united states. it takes real courage to do that. what i am afraid of is that the goal of this murder was to make people afraid to be in opposition. and i think it will make people afraid. i think you're going to see a lot of people leaving. >> let me ask you this: are you a frayed. you are a -- are you afraid? you oar member of parliament but
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you are in fact are you worried at all? >> no, i'm in canada. ali, i think it's important not oconflate position of foreign critics of the putin regime with very brave and very vulnerable domestic ones and i think it's also important for us to speak out. and to talk about our support for boris nemtsov and for the very brave russian opposition figures. >> let me ask you this: who gains or loses from boris nemtsov's murder? >> in some ways it's too early to tell. and do i think, in the media long-term, this is not a good thing for vladimir putin. because it makes clear to anyone who had been sort of harboring some doubts about really how bad this regime was it's
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increasingly hard to justify that point of view. in the short term, though, and that the short term could last for quite a few years i think that, you know, this is going to intimidate the opposition as whoever did this i think intended to do. >> christa, good to talk to you these days. in the we always have opportunity otalk about things not going well. she's a member of the canadian parliament. it's one of the most controversial speeches in the history of u.s. congress. >> my speech is not intended to show any disrespect to president obama or the esteemed office he holds. i have great respect for both! >> benjamin netanyahu says he has a moral obligation to speak up in the face of danger. i have an obligation to tell you why not to believe the hype and politics seeking to embarrass
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president obama. i'll see you back tomorrow, 10:erin. i'm ali velshi, thank you for joining us. a shooting on skid row. the l.a.p.d. defends officers who killed a homeless man. the deadly incident captured by multiple cameras. policing the police - a presidential task force calls for changes in how departments deal with the public - why some say the recommendations don't go far enough. [ ♪♪ ] a moral obligation - one day before his speech to congress