WEBVTT 00:00:00.000 --> 00:00:05.000 captioning in progress 00:00:00.000 --> 00:00:04.000 music 00:00:04.000 --> 00:00:08.000 Earlene Camarillo: Welcome and thank you for joining us for the Social Science Symposium. 00:00:08.000 --> 00:00:11.000 The War on Ukraine: A Forum Discussion 00:00:11.000 --> 00:00:14.000 So today we have two speakers here joining us. 00:00:14.000 --> 00:00:16.000 We have Dr. Doellinger 00:00:16.000 --> 00:00:18.000 aside: Did I say that right? 00:00:18.000 --> 00:00:19.000 Camarillo: Doellinger 00:00:19.000 --> 00:00:24.000 in History, he's a professor of History here at WOU. 00:00:24.000 --> 00:00:28.000 He has his PhD in Russian and East European History 00:00:28.000 --> 00:00:33.000 and teaches courses in this area as well so maybe some of you have taken some of his classes. 00:00:33.000 --> 00:00:40.000 In the 90's, he closely followed Slovakia's path to the EU and NATO membership 00:00:40.000 --> 00:00:43.000 and has worked as an election supervisor in Bosnia 00:00:43.000 --> 00:00:50.000 for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe after the war in 1997. 00:00:50.000 --> 00:00:52.000 Let's give him a welcome 00:00:52.000 --> 00:00:57.000 applause 00:00:57.000 --> 00:00:64.000 And then he is joined by Dr. Eliot Dickenson who is a professor of Political Science here at WOU 00:01:04.000 --> 00:01:08.000 and so many of you have probably had a class or two with him. 00:01:08.000 --> 00:01:15.000 Dr. Dickenson earned his PhD in Political Science from Perdue University and teaches courses in Comparative Politics 00:01:15.000 --> 00:01:21.000 with an emphasis in P. Studies in Politics in South Africa, Austria, and Germany. 00:01:21.000 --> 00:01:27.000 His publications include a book, Globalization and Migration: A World in Motion, 00:01:27.000 --> 00:01:35.000 as well as a number of articles and book chapters on South African politics, Austrian politics, and German immigration policy. 00:01:35.000 --> 00:01:38.000 So let's give him a warm welcome also. 00:01:38.000 --> 00:01:41.000 applause 00:01:41.000 --> 00:01:44.000 And I will turn it over to them for the rest of the talk. 00:01:44.000 --> 00:01:45.000 Thank you all again for joining us. 00:01:45.000 --> 00:01:49.000 Dr. Doellinger: Thanks for coming to this. Eliot and I threw this together pretty quickly last week. 00:01:49.000 --> 00:01:54.000 I think it was last Monday morning, you know, coming off of the news of what was happening in the Ukraine. 00:01:54.000 --> 00:01:62.000 And this has just been a really traumatic two weeks. We're thirteen days into this. 00:02:02.000 --> 00:02:06.000 Our plan is to each give a presentation. We're gonna try to keep it short. 00:02:06.000 --> 00:02:09.000 There's a clock right there that I'm minding very carefully 00:02:09.000 --> 00:02:12.000 and we really wanna have time for discussion and question 00:02:12.000 --> 00:02:19.000 and so we're watching that closely and we'll sign each other's cues if we're starting to go a little too long. 00:02:19.000 --> 00:02:23.000 I'm reminded of a moment in my undergraduate life. 00:02:23.000 --> 00:02:29.000 It was November 1989 and I had an 8:00 Geography class 00:02:29.000 --> 00:02:34.000 and I remember kind of wandering into that class. I each 8:00 now so 00:02:34.000 --> 00:02:39.000 I understand the feeling of those students. Your eyes when you come into that classroom. 00:02:39.000 --> 00:02:43.000 And the professor, sort of, he had this bounce to his feet. 00:02:44.000 --> 00:02:51.000 and I realized later on that he was an immigrant from Hungary who'd fled the Revolution of 1956. 00:02:51.000 --> 00:02:56.000 But he pretty much threw up his hands, I think that he had syllabus actually, threw it in the air and said, "Okay, 00:02:56.000 --> 00:02:59.000 this changes everything." And we had a whole different class. 00:03:00.000 --> 00:03:03.000 And there was a jubilation to the end of the Cold War. 00:03:03.000 --> 00:03:09.000 And I think back and I'm envious for how excited he got to be 00:03:09.000 --> 00:03:11.000 because we're at a moment like that. 00:03:11.000 --> 00:03:19.000 I have class in the spring: Postwar Germany, Cold War Germany. I have to redo that class. I'm gonna redo that class because this is 00:03:19.000 --> 00:03:22.000 that kind of big turning point in understanding 00:03:22.000 --> 00:03:25.000 security relations, the world order. 00:03:25.000 --> 00:03:29.000 And so, trying to make sense of it and trying to keep up with the news as you all are. 00:03:29.000 --> 00:03:35.000 So we thought we'd go head and have a discussion forum on this and try to make sense of what's going on. 00:03:35.000 --> 00:03:37.000 So it has been horrific. 00:03:37.000 --> 00:03:43.000 In two weeks, well the last thirteen days, Putin has launched this invasion, this war 00:03:43.000 --> 00:03:46.000 against Ukraine and the people of Ukraine 00:03:46.000 --> 00:03:54.000 and, you know, there are concerns about Ukraine joining EU, joining NATO that are talked about. 00:03:54.000 --> 00:03:63.000 Putin's argument that Ukraine doesn't exist, doesn't have a right to exist as a state or as a people has surfaced 00:04:03.000 --> 00:04:07.000 and that's very frightening language to hear as well. 00:04:08.000 --> 00:04:13.000 There's a lot of fog of war going on right now as we try to watch the news and understand what is happening 00:04:13.000 --> 00:04:19.000 and maybe in three weeks we'll see things differently or four weeks, five weeks, six months, 00:04:19.000 --> 00:04:22.000 two years, ten years, twenty years. 00:04:22.000 --> 00:04:28.000 But things, as we watch, this has not certainly gone according to Putin's plan 00:04:28.000 --> 00:04:30.000 that's been clear, I think 00:04:30.000 --> 00:04:35.000 regardless of different accounts of what we're seeing, things are not going as anticipated. 00:04:35.000 --> 00:04:39.000 What that says about the Russian military? I'm not sure. 00:04:39.000 --> 00:04:46.000 Ukrainian resistance has been more extensive than I think anybody expected. 00:04:46.000 --> 00:04:50.000 The leadership of Ukraine, oh my gosh Zelensky! 00:04:50.000 --> 00:04:54.000 In preparing for this, I've learned a lot about the Ukrainian president. 00:04:54.000 --> 00:04:58.000 And I learned that in 2019, he ran his presidential campaign virtually. 00:04:58.000 --> 00:04:63.000 Through YouTube, through Facebook, social media, rather than in person events. That's explaining a lot 00:05:03.000 --> 00:05:08.000 in terms of what we're seeing. He's been very effective, Churchillian in terms of his speaking. 00:05:08.000 --> 00:05:13.000 But also the reaction of the world in terms of sanctions. 00:05:13.000 --> 00:05:18.000 I mean, it's astounding, I think. The pace of what's, and the public reaction 00:05:18.000 --> 00:05:23.000 in the world has far outpaced any of the political leaders expected and been pushing them 00:05:24.000 --> 00:05:26.000 further as well. 00:05:26.000 --> 00:05:31.000 I mean, Switzerland even, has abandoned decades of neutrality 00:05:32.000 --> 00:05:36.000 to introduce its own sanctions against Russia. 00:05:36.000 --> 00:05:40.000 Even supporters of Putin, like the leader of Hungary, 00:05:40.000 --> 00:05:43.000 had backed away. I mean, 00:05:43.000 --> 00:05:48.000 to me that's just astounding. I pay much more attention to Hungary than I have been paying to the Ukraine 00:05:48.000 --> 00:05:51.000 and Russia and it's just astounding seeing him even back away. 00:05:51.000 --> 00:05:56.000 And curious to see what happens with China. There seems to be some edging going on there as well. 00:05:57.000 --> 00:05:62.000 So Putin has denied the existence or history of Ukraine. There's a long history 00:06:02.000 --> 00:06:06.000 of Ukrainians, of Ukrainian culture, national identity 00:06:06.000 --> 00:06:09.000 began emerging in the middle of the 19th century. 00:06:09.000 --> 00:06:16.000 And Ukraine was, the area of Ukraine, Ukrainian speakers are part of both, of several empires 00:06:16.000 --> 00:06:19.000 the Russian Empire, the Austria Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire. 00:06:20.000 --> 00:06:25.000 But a national movement did develop within that and before the Bolshevik, or as the 00:06:25.000 --> 00:06:31.000 before the Bolshevik Revolution, but after the first February Revolution, there was a Declaration of Independence by the Ukraine. 00:06:32.000 --> 00:06:37.000 And so they were not created by the Congress of the Bolsheviks, they were kind of created out of a reaction 00:06:37.000 --> 00:06:42.000 to efforts by the Bolsheviks to take over that territory. 00:06:42.000 --> 00:06:48.000 In my own teaching of the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union 00:06:48.000 --> 00:06:54.000 it is national movements both within the Baltic states: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia. But also the Ukraine 00:06:54.000 --> 00:06:58.000 that play a significant role in the collapse of the Soviet Union. 00:06:58.000 --> 00:06:62.000 In fact, about a week after the Ukraine declared its independence, 00:07:02.000 --> 00:07:08.000 the Soviet Union disintegrated. Gorbachev that final speech in December. 00:07:08.000 --> 00:07:11.000 So there's a long history. 00:07:11.000 --> 00:07:16.000 So historians, we look at, what are the key moments? What are the points that really matter? 00:07:16.000 --> 00:07:18.000 How do we approach this as a historian? 00:07:18.000 --> 00:07:21.000 And Eliot will be doing this as a political scientist 00:07:21.000 --> 00:07:26.000 and I benefited from a lot of, there's so many conversations going on right now amongst historians who studied this history. 00:07:26.000 --> 00:07:30.000 So I'm benefiting from a lot of points they've made, but I'm adding in my own elements and 00:07:30.000 --> 00:07:34.000 what I have up here, is a map of what we see is Cold War Europe. 00:07:34.000 --> 00:07:38.000 The countries in blue are the member states of NATO. 00:07:38.000 --> 00:07:43.000 The countries in red are the member states of the Warsaw Pact Alliance. 00:07:44.000 --> 00:07:50.000 The Soviet Union is the largest there to the right, but there are satellite states that are not part of the Soviet Union, 00:07:50.000 --> 00:07:53.000 but were part of that Warsaw Pact Alliance. 00:07:53.000 --> 00:07:59.000 And a key thing as a history I wanna emphasize is that what the Cold War was after 1945, 00:07:59.000 --> 00:07:62.000 was the acknowledgment of spheres of influence. 00:08:02.000 --> 00:08:08.000 Recognizing that, and this comes out of agreements between Churchill and Roosevelt, 00:08:08.000 --> 00:08:15.000 and Stalin in the negotiations and the strategizing during the war. 00:08:15.000 --> 00:08:19.000 And these spheres of influence are really respected. That professor I had 00:08:19.000 --> 00:08:23.000 he was an undergraduate from Hungary. He had fled Hungary in 1956. 00:08:23.000 --> 00:08:28.000 Hungarians were fighting for freedom, democracy, challenging communist rule. 00:08:28.000 --> 00:08:32.000 They were certainly welcomed into the west as they made their way into Austria 00:08:32.000 --> 00:08:38.000 and the United States and other western stories spoke vehemently against what the Soviet Union was doing, 00:08:38.000 --> 00:08:43.000 but there was no intervention. They stood back. They acknowledged that sphere of influence. 00:08:43.000 --> 00:08:46.000 And a similar thing happened in 1968 with Czechoslovakia 00:08:46.000 --> 00:08:51.000 in which a reform movement within Czechoslovakia was pursuing 00:08:51.000 --> 00:08:57.000 a reform of socialism. Make it more humane, make it more democratic. Really pursue human dignity. 00:08:57.000 --> 00:08:61.000 And you can see Czechoslovakia there on the map, just east of West Germany. 00:09:01.000 --> 00:09:07.000 And the United States stayed out of that as well so there's an acknowledgement of spheres of influence 00:09:08.000 --> 00:09:13.000 that were underway and a non intervention by the west acknowledging this. 00:09:13.000 --> 00:09:17.000 But then, the Soviet Union collapsed. 00:09:17.000 --> 00:09:20.000 It caught everybody by surprise. 00:09:20.000 --> 00:09:26.000 And what we start seeing then is expansion of both NATO and the European Union. 00:09:26.000 --> 00:09:32.000 Eliot's got a really good map, too, of NATO and his highlights country names better than mine does. 00:09:32.000 --> 00:09:37.000 I was anticipating a big room. I thought it'd be easy to see green than words 00:09:37.000 --> 00:09:44.000 and so all the countries in here are green, were part of that Soviet block, part of that Warsaw Pact element. 00:09:44.000 --> 00:09:52.000 and so we can see darker green countries joined in 1999, the lighter green joined in 2004, and there were several, several later. 00:09:52.000 --> 00:09:58.000 But we see a process of expansion of NATO into East Europe. 00:09:58.000 --> 00:09:62.000 Both into countries that were part of Eastern Europe and separate from the Soviet Union, 00:10:02.000 --> 00:10:07.000 but also into countries that were part of the Soviet Union as well. 00:10:07.000 --> 00:10:12.000 And Boris Yeltsin of the 1990s was opposed to this, 00:10:12.000 --> 00:10:19.000 but it happened. It continued, I could talk more about negotiations that took place about that as well. 00:10:19.000 --> 00:10:21.000 The other image I wanna go to here, 00:10:21.000 --> 00:10:27.000 this is then a picture of today of the various military alliances that do define Europe. 00:10:27.000 --> 00:10:31.000 And the countries in blue in this one are part of the NATO membership. 00:10:31.000 --> 00:10:37.000 The countries in red are part of the new security organization created by Russia, lead by Russia 00:10:37.000 --> 00:10:42.000 and it's the CSTO, the Collective Security Treaty Organization. 00:10:42.000 --> 00:10:48.000 And in purple here, this map highlights Ukraine. We see Ukraine really between these two areas. 00:10:48.000 --> 00:10:50.000 So Russian policy. 00:10:50.000 --> 00:10:56.000 How does understanding recent Russian history and policy help us understand what's going on within the Ukraine? 00:10:56.000 --> 00:10:62.000 We've seen through NATO and EU expansion and movement into what had been that Russian 00:11:02.000 --> 00:11:06.000 no longer Soviet, but Russian sphere of influence. 00:11:06.000 --> 00:11:13.000 What's been happening in the last two decades, Putin became president of Russia in 2000 00:11:13.000 --> 00:11:17.000 just before Y2K right? We're all waiting for the world to collapse from computer problems and 00:11:17.000 --> 00:11:26.000 Yeltsin chose to resign. He had a 2% approval rating and turned over power to Vladimir Putin a former KGB general. 00:11:17.000 --> 00:11:26.000 00:11:26.000 --> 00:11:33.000 In the 1990s, Russia was really too weakened to really be addressing issues and we had this expansion of Europe eastward. 00:11:33.000 --> 00:11:40.000 But what's been going on within Russia and under Putin? There's certainly been a consolidation of authority within Russia. 00:11:40.000 --> 00:11:45.000 Strengthening authoritarian autocratic rule, and that's been underway since the early, early 2000s. 00:11:45.000 --> 00:11:51.000 But also, there been efforts to reclaim these spheres of influence as well. 00:11:51.000 --> 00:11:57.000 If you look to the right there, there's a purple area just east of the Black Sea, that's Georgia, the country of Georgia. 00:11:57.000 --> 00:11:62.000 And in 2008, Russia invaded Georgia 00:12:02.000 --> 00:12:05.000 supporting two separate areas there 00:12:05.000 --> 00:12:11.000 and so there was a war in Georgia, reclaiming this area. 00:12:11.000 --> 00:12:15.000 And it made headlines, but there's largely no reaction from the world 00:12:15.000 --> 00:12:20.000 I mean, this was accepted as a done deal in a lot of ways. 00:12:20.000 --> 00:12:24.000 And then, thinking about the Ukraine. What's going on with the Ukraine? 00:12:24.000 --> 00:12:29.000 So I said in the beginning, the war began 13 days ago, it really began about 8 years ago. 00:12:29.000 --> 00:12:33.000 And thinking about what's been happening within the Ukraine itself 00:12:33.000 --> 00:12:39.000 and how that helps us understand the Ukrainian response, this is going to be the last point I'm really gonna be making here. 00:12:39.000 --> 00:12:45.000 Ukraine in the 90s and early 2000s, had been pursuing both NATO and EU membership. 00:12:45.000 --> 00:12:48.000 In 2004, there was a revolution in the Ukraine 00:12:48.000 --> 00:12:55.000 and it was a revolution against a election fraud, corruption, authoritarian rule. 00:12:55.000 --> 00:12:59.000 The electoral results came in and there was fraud in the numbers so there was actually a revote 00:12:59.000 --> 00:12:64.000 and then that revote, a pro western president was elected. 00:13:04.000 --> 00:13:07.000 Now the "Pro Russian" president, 00:13:07.000 --> 00:13:15.000 the same president involved in electoral or the candidate involved in electoral fraud back in 2004, ran again in 2010. 00:13:15.000 --> 00:13:17.000 His name was Victor Yanukovich. 00:13:17.000 --> 00:13:18.000 And he won the election. 00:13:18.000 --> 00:13:20.000 Got over 50% of the vote 00:13:20.000 --> 00:13:25.000 conveying sense of some of the divisions within Ukraine itself. 00:13:25.000 --> 00:13:32.000 And the country had been moving towards both NATO and EU membership, there's actually an accession agreement worked out. 00:13:32.000 --> 00:13:36.000 And Yanukovych delayed several years in signing this agreement. 00:13:36.000 --> 00:13:40.000 And in 2013, his final refusal to sign, it really lead 00:13:40.000 --> 00:13:44.000 The pro which had supported it and lead to larger protests within the Ukraine 00:13:45.000 --> 00:13:50.000 And particular in a square it's called Maidan, "M A I D A N" you'll see it up here on the slide 00:13:50.000 --> 00:13:56.000 and the protests, and really the revolution that emerges becomes known as the Revolution of Dignity 00:13:56.000 --> 00:13:64.000 which will force Yanukovich out of power, he fled to the east, made his way to Russia, he also asked for Russian help 00:14:04.000 --> 00:14:09.000 against what he saw as an improper removal of political power. 00:14:09.000 --> 00:14:15.000 Separatists and Eastern Ukrainian supported by Russian troops without markings claimed territory in the east. 00:14:16.000 --> 00:14:21.000 Putin then seized control of the Crimean peninsula which was then annexed into Russia 00:14:21.000 --> 00:14:25.000 And fighting has really been going on in the Ukraine since 2014 in this eastern area. 00:14:25.000 --> 00:14:30.000 So this is gonna be the final point I wanna kinda highlight towards talking about historical background to this. 00:14:30.000 --> 00:14:37.000 The Orange Revolution and this event going on in 2014, the Maidan Protest 00:14:37.000 --> 00:14:40.000 are transformative, I think, for Ukrainians. 00:14:40.000 --> 00:14:45.000 in recognizing or asserting Ukrainian national identity, 00:14:45.000 --> 00:14:51.000 Ukrainian independence, but also a civic activism that was reflected in both of these events. 00:14:51.000 --> 00:14:57.000 The role of civil society and engagement and a rejection of autocratic, authoritarian rule. 00:14:57.000 --> 00:14:62.000 And that has shaped Ukrainian politics since 2014. 00:15:02.000 --> 00:15:06.000 A willingness to stand up and speak out and challenge autocratic rule. 00:15:06.000 --> 00:15:11.000 Zelensky was elected in 2019, the current president, and he's had that commitment 00:15:11.000 --> 00:15:18.000 towards working, towards EU accession, NATO, but also these elements of rejection, of corruption, 00:15:18.000 --> 00:15:21.000 authoritarian, autocratic rule 00:15:21.000 --> 00:15:26.000 I think it's because of these events, there's a transformation that went on amongst Ukrainians 00:15:26.000 --> 00:15:30.000 this idea of engaging and fighting for dignity 00:15:30.000 --> 00:15:33.000 and for human rights and for democratic rule. 00:15:33.000 --> 00:15:39.000 This is what we're seeing both in Zelensky and I think amongst the Ukrainian population as well, sort of shaping their response. 00:15:40.000 --> 00:15:45.000 And I saw historians speaking on Friday who said that because of that, they're gonna fight to the end. 00:15:45.000 --> 00:15:51.000 And well, who knows how accurate that actually is, but I think it conveys a sense of the reaction that's been going on. 00:15:52.000 --> 00:15:56.000 So that assertion of civic values and focus on human dignity. 00:15:56.000 --> 00:15:60.000 And I've got other slides up here to turn to later, but I'm gonna turn it over to my colleague Eliot 00:16:00.000 --> 00:16:02.000 And then we'll, so I'm gonna turn it over to you now, Eliot 00:16:02.000 --> 00:16:03.000 Eliot: Okay, could you pull it up? 00:16:03.000 --> 00:16:05.000 David: And I'll pull yours up as well 00:16:05.000 --> 00:16:07.000 Dr. Dickenson: okay, thanks David. 00:16:07.000 --> 00:16:14.000 It's always hard to give a talk like this when there's a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding as we speak. 00:16:14.000 --> 00:16:23.000 There's millions of people who are literally, who are on the move and there's thousands of people dying already. 00:16:24.000 --> 00:16:28.000 This is all happening as we speak so, 00:16:28.000 --> 00:16:34.000 I don't know, it creates a somber mood and a moment of reflection about all of the trauma that's going on. 00:16:34.000 --> 00:16:39.000 But I suppose we could start with asking Putin what he really wants. 00:16:39.000 --> 00:16:45.000 And that's a good question because nobody thought he was really quite crazy enough to go though with this. 00:16:45.000 --> 00:16:49.000 Maybe people thought that he would take the Donbas region and that was it. 00:16:49.000 --> 00:16:53.000 But no, he went with a full fledged invasion of the country. 00:16:53.000 --> 00:16:60.000 So what does he want? Well, he wants to take the Ukraine and he wants to restore Imperial Russian power 00:17:00.000 --> 00:17:08.000 and he wants to hold NATO at bay and he wants to prevent the Ukraine from joining the European Union. 00:17:08.000 --> 00:17:14.000 But this has caused, of course, a massive humanitarian disaster. 00:17:14.000 --> 00:17:18.000 And the headlines of the New York Times this morning was: 00:17:23.000 --> 00:17:28.000 And I don't know how many people have died, but estimates are probably in the low thousands, although 00:17:28.000 --> 00:17:33.000 I don't know and nobody knows, I guess we'll see over time. 00:17:33.000 --> 00:17:38.000 But just to humanize what's been happening, here's some pictures from 00:17:38.000 --> 00:17:42.000 today's newspaper of people fleeing the Ukraine and as you can see it's 00:17:42.000 --> 00:17:46.000 mostly women and children. Just an amazing statistic that I heard 00:17:46.000 --> 00:17:51.000 today was that of the 2 million refugees that have left, half are children. 00:17:52.000 --> 00:17:56.000 And amazingly, too, today's International Women's Day 00:17:56.000 --> 00:17:66.000 so it's time to honor our women and our wives and our mothers and our sisters and so on. 00:18:06.000 --> 00:18:11.000 But all these women refugees are all fleeing to Western Europe. So where have they gone? 00:18:12.000 --> 00:18:18.000 This again is from today, the 8th of March. The source is the High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR). 00:18:18.000 --> 00:18:28.000 And as you can see, Poland has taken in the lion's share, but they've gone basically to every country they can get to. 00:18:28.000 --> 00:18:34.000 Kinda boggles the mind, I mean, I slept well last night and I had a nice warm bed. 00:18:34.000 --> 00:18:38.000 And I woke up to a nice cup of coffee and had a restful morning and I 00:18:38.000 --> 00:18:44.000 came to my nice office on a beautiful campus and it's just a worlds away 00:18:44.000 --> 00:18:51.000 from fleeing and jumping in a car and leaving your home behind and getting bombed out and 00:18:52.000 --> 00:18:60.000 arriving in another country where you may or may not be wanted, or, you may or may not have a bed. 00:19:00.000 --> 00:19:05.000 But this is truly the main point here is that it's a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding 00:19:05.000 --> 00:19:12.000 as we speak and as we have this nice academic discussion, such an irony. 00:19:12.000 --> 00:19:20.000 But the other thing is we face a few big threats in the world and one is nuclear war 00:19:20.000 --> 00:19:25.000 and nuclear weapons and kind of the nuclear problem in general. 00:19:25.000 --> 00:19:31.000 And there's been a lot of saber rattling, of course, over these last few weeks. 00:19:31.000 --> 00:19:37.000 And incredibly, Putin put Russia's nuclear forces on high alert, I mean, 00:19:37.000 --> 00:19:41.000 they're always on high alert, United States and Russia. 00:19:41.000 --> 00:19:45.000 We can launch nuclear weapons within minutes so we're always on high alert. 00:19:45.000 --> 00:19:48.000 But he put it to another level. 00:19:48.000 --> 00:19:54.000 Which is all the more bizarre that he would threaten anything like that, anything remotely close to it. 00:19:54.000 --> 00:19:59.000 I'm just happy that we have someone who's sane in office like Joe Biden who 00:19:59.000 --> 00:19:63.000 is not escalating this, in fact, he's doing the opposite, he's deescalating it 00:20:04.000 --> 00:20:08.000 in whatever ways that he can so I'm happy about that. 00:20:08.000 --> 00:20:14.000 But this is just outrageous and crazy that Putin would even mention a nuclear war or 00:20:14.000 --> 00:20:17.000 using nuclear weapons of any sort. 00:20:17.000 --> 00:20:20.000 So there's that. 00:20:20.000 --> 00:20:27.000 And then there's the story about how the Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in 1994 after 3 years of negotiations. 00:20:27.000 --> 00:20:33.000 You know, I'm for nuclear disarmament. I think that was the right thing. I think fewer nukes are better. 00:20:33.000 --> 00:20:37.000 But it does raise this question of, "Well, what if they still had nukes? 00:20:37.000 --> 00:20:39.000 Would that have deterred this invasion?" 00:20:39.000 --> 00:20:44.000 Now, that's a hypothetical that's hard to answer. It's possible. 00:20:44.000 --> 00:20:50.000 But the other big danger right now, of course, is all these nuclear power plants. 00:20:50.000 --> 00:20:55.000 This is the Zaporizhzhia Plant and as it says here, 00:20:55.000 --> 00:20:59.000 more than half of Ukraine's energy comes from nuclear power. 00:21:00.000 --> 00:21:04.000 And use your imagination, "What if?" 00:21:04.000 --> 00:21:10.000 What if a bomb went off? What if a missile, an errant missile hit one of these nuclear power plants? 00:21:10.000 --> 00:21:17.000 What if the fire broke out and took over? Like there was a fire at this plant. 00:21:17.000 --> 00:21:22.000 What if they couldn't put it out? You'd have another Chernobyl times 10. 00:21:22.000 --> 00:21:29.000 What if the workers who work there and keep this place from melting down, what if just couldn't go to work and what if they just left? 00:21:29.000 --> 00:21:34.000 I don't know, I mean these are disaster scenarios that are 00:21:34.000 --> 00:21:37.000 possibly closer than we think. 00:21:37.000 --> 00:21:43.000 So those are the real dangers and that's why this entire situation here, this entire war, 00:21:44.000 --> 00:21:49.000 is just absolutely crazy. It's why we need deescalation. 00:21:49.000 --> 00:21:51.000 Why we need peace. 00:21:52.000 --> 00:21:56.000 Of course, there's a big energy question. 00:22:01.000 --> 00:22:06.000 So there's this question, like the German chancellor last night, he said, 00:22:11.000 --> 00:22:17.000 I think we all face that question. 00:22:17.000 --> 00:22:23.000 My home here in Monmouth is heated by natural gas and I was happy to see a little fire 00:22:23.000 --> 00:22:27.000 glowing in the morning when I woke up. And I was happy for the warmth 00:22:28.000 --> 00:22:35.000 that I woke up to. And I'm also happy, not that I drive a lot, but I'm also happy to pay only 4 dollars a gallon. 00:22:35.000 --> 00:22:40.000 And there might be some people talking tough out there about, 00:22:45.000 --> 00:22:50.000 Yeah, are you ready to pay 6 dollars a gallon for gas, or more? 8 dollars? I don't know. 00:22:50.000 --> 00:22:58.000 I guess we'll see in the coming months and maybe weeks about what this all means for energy prices. 00:22:58.000 --> 00:22:64.000 There's a lot of talk about the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and that Nord Stream pipeline 00:23:04.000 --> 00:23:11.000 is the top most line that you see running from Russia down through the 00:23:11.000 --> 00:23:14.000 Baltic Sea to Germany there. 00:23:14.000 --> 00:23:17.000 So that's another complicating matter 00:23:17.000 --> 00:23:24.000 I mean it's, not exactly possible I think to cut off the energy source of Europe just overnight. 00:23:24.000 --> 00:23:28.000 You could, but there'd be some pretty serious consequences. 00:23:28.000 --> 00:23:31.000 We all know about the sanctions that have been put on Russia. 00:23:31.000 --> 00:23:34.000 I think that these sanctions are probably gonna cripple Russia. 00:23:34.000 --> 00:23:38.000 It's gonna cripple the economy it's gonna be absolutely devastating. 00:23:38.000 --> 00:23:44.000 Already we all know what's happened, the ruble has crashed, the stock market has tanked. 00:23:44.000 --> 00:23:49.000 It's gonna be absolutely devastating, I think, to the Russian economy 00:23:49.000 --> 00:23:52.000 in the short term and the long term, especially over the coming months. 00:23:52.000 --> 00:23:55.000 As usual, it's gonna be the poor people that suffer. 00:23:55.000 --> 00:23:62.000 These oligarchs who have looted Russia for decades and taken and stolen 00:24:02.000 --> 00:24:08.000 and hoarded all of these billions of dollars and stashed it off shore 00:24:08.000 --> 00:24:13.000 bank accounts and just brazenly stolen and taken and 00:24:13.000 --> 00:24:18.000 ruined Russia. They're probably not gonna hurt so much. 00:24:18.000 --> 00:24:27.000 Their total wealth might go from 50 to 20 billion, but they'll still be okay, it's not gonna hurt that bad. 00:24:27.000 --> 00:24:33.000 It's gonna be average people, the ordinary people who are gonna suffer as usual. 00:24:33.000 --> 00:24:38.000 So I think that Putin has badly miscalculated. 00:24:38.000 --> 00:24:43.000 I think that these sanctions are gonna hurt really bad. 00:24:44.000 --> 00:24:47.000 And already we're seeing the consequences. I mean even 00:24:47.000 --> 00:24:50.000 there's flights to Europe anymore. 00:24:50.000 --> 00:24:55.000 Like I said, the ruble has tanked, inflation has gone up, salaries have gone down. 00:24:56.000 --> 00:24:60.000 It's probably a type of economic pain that you and I 00:25:00.000 --> 00:25:06.000 as much as we have our own economic concerns and our own pain, it's on a different level. 00:25:06.000 --> 00:25:14.000 And I'm just thankful that it hasn't happened to us yet and I hope it doesn't in the future. 00:25:14.000 --> 00:25:20.000 So as far as overall consequences of all of this, 00:25:20.000 --> 00:25:24.000 I think Putin's badly miscalculated. 00:25:24.000 --> 00:25:30.000 I think that it's gonna lead to a long term suffering of the Russian people. 00:25:30.000 --> 00:25:39.000 I wonder if there's a new kind of authoritarian axis that's formed between Moscow and Beijing. 00:25:39.000 --> 00:25:43.000 It's probably backfired on him in a big way. 00:25:43.000 --> 00:25:48.000 In fact, it's rather unified NATO, 00:25:48.000 --> 00:25:56.000 North Atlantic Treaty Alliance Organization. It's unified the European Union, 00:25:56.000 --> 00:25:60.000 it's isolated Russia on the global stage. 00:26:00.000 --> 00:26:08.000 It's raised all sorts of other questions, in fact, there're probably more questions now than there are answers, but 00:26:08.000 --> 00:26:16.000 it does make you wonder if there's now some type of authoritarian axis between Putin and Xi Jinping. 00:26:16.000 --> 00:26:24.000 Makes you wonder if Xi Jinping is kind of using this fog of war to take over Taiwan. 00:26:24.000 --> 00:26:30.000 It makes you think about the US invasion of Iraq 20 years ago. 00:26:30.000 --> 00:26:36.000 We started a war of aggression that was unnecessary, unprovoked even, 00:26:36.000 --> 00:26:43.000 against Sudam Hussain who had nothing to do with 9.11. It took us 3 weeks to Bagdad and take that city. 00:26:43.000 --> 00:26:47.000 So we're 2 weeks into this war so just give it some time and they'll probably do it. 00:26:47.000 --> 00:26:51.000 United States and Great Britain and other allies, 00:26:52.000 --> 00:26:56.000 we probably killed hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq. 00:26:56.000 --> 00:26:60.000 We destroyed Bagdad. 00:27:00.000 --> 00:27:04.000 And Bagdad was the site of the ancient biblical Garden of Eden 00:27:04.000 --> 00:27:08.000 and all those priceless treasures that were there were just ruined. 00:27:08.000 --> 00:27:13.000 And it cost us trillions of dollars and a decade of war 00:27:13.000 --> 00:27:20.000 and it came at our expense, tax payer dollars went to that, just pissed down the drain. A decade of war. 00:27:20.000 --> 00:27:27.000 Lots of death, millions of refugees, so I think that it's a moment for us to reflect on 00:27:27.000 --> 00:27:33.000 what our foreign policy has done. You know, it's easy be all self righteous right now, 00:27:33.000 --> 00:27:35.000 point the finger how evil Putin is, 00:27:36.000 --> 00:27:44.000 but I think a lot of people who are saying that we were pretty gung ho for war about 20 years ago. 00:27:44.000 --> 00:27:50.000 So yeah, it raises lots of other questions. 00:27:50.000 --> 00:27:56.000 I suppose the biggest thing is, how is this gonna end? Nobody knows. 00:27:56.000 --> 00:27:63.000 Putin could get overthrown. The Russian people could suffer so much that they'll take him out. 00:28:03.000 --> 00:28:05.000 And then what? I don't know. 00:28:05.000 --> 00:28:10.000 They're probably aren't a bunch of Thomas Jeffersons waiting to take over Russia right now. 00:28:10.000 --> 00:28:14.000 But you never know, there might be a democratization that follows. 00:28:14.000 --> 00:28:19.000 It might teach the West that we aught to be more energy independent. 00:28:19.000 --> 00:28:22.000 Maybe we will have a Green Revolution 00:28:22.000 --> 00:28:27.000 from here on out when we realize we shouldn't be so dependent on Russian natural gas. 00:28:28.000 --> 00:28:32.000 Who here is for a Green Revolution, are you with me? 00:28:32.000 --> 00:28:33.000 laughs 00:28:33.000 --> 00:28:34.000 And now! 00:28:34.000 --> 00:28:39.000 So maybe something good will come of it. Maybe not. 00:28:39.000 --> 00:28:44.000 Maybe this war will drag on for months and for years. 00:28:44.000 --> 00:28:50.000 George W. said, "This war is gonna last 6 weeks in Iraq. 00:28:50.000 --> 00:28:56.000 It's gonna cost 20 billion dollars." That was the original estimate of the cost of the war in Iraq. 00:28:56.000 --> 00:28:61.000 It cost trillions, it lasted a decade, and I'm not even talking about Afghanistan. 00:29:01.000 --> 00:29:05.000 So it could drag out, it could take a long time, nobody knows. 00:29:05.000 --> 00:29:11.000 I don't know, maybe there'll be a compromise, a peace deal. 00:29:11.000 --> 00:29:15.000 Maybe there'll be a deal, a dirty deal. 00:29:16.000 --> 00:29:20.000 Maybe, maybe 00:29:20.000 --> 00:29:26.000 Russia will agree to withdraw its troops, but on certain conditions. 00:29:26.000 --> 00:29:30.000 Maybe they'll withdraw their troops, 200,000 plus now 00:29:30.000 --> 00:29:33.000 On the condition that they get the Donbas region. 00:29:33.000 --> 00:29:39.000 On the condition that Ukraine promises not to join NATO or the EU. 00:29:40.000 --> 00:29:44.000 On the condition that the West lifts sanctions. 00:29:44.000 --> 00:29:49.000 That might work. It might bring peace 00:29:49.000 --> 00:29:51.000 It'd be, like I said, a pretty dirty deal. 00:29:52.000 --> 00:29:58.000 But it might work and it probably be preferable to years of war 00:29:58.000 --> 00:29:62.000 and lots of civilian casualties and absolute destroyed country. 00:30:02.000 --> 00:30:09.000 So, on that happy note, I'll just open it up to questions because I know there's a lot and 00:30:09.000 --> 00:30:12.000 we've got about 15 minutes to ask questions still. 00:30:12.000 --> 00:30:19.000 Speaker: I was just thinking through my head, I'm older than most people here, I remember when I was a kid in civil defense 00:30:19.000 --> 00:30:22.000 drills, we were little kids, we had to get under our desks 00:30:22.000 --> 00:30:28.000 and get prepared for intercontinental missiles which were on our way. 00:30:28.000 --> 00:30:33.000 We get under the desk and the teacher would run around opening all the windows, I never really understood that. 00:30:33.000 --> 00:30:39.000 Flying glass, I suppose, or hiding under your desk would save you from a thermonuclear blast 00:30:39.000 --> 00:30:47.000 was a little naive, but nonetheless I remember that, and that's one of the reasons, I think, David alluded to this, that 00:30:47.000 --> 00:30:51.000 we were so happy, most of us were so happy, especially older people 00:30:51.000 --> 00:30:56.000 when Glasnost and Perestroika came along and we thought, "Finally, the end of the Cold War." 00:30:56.000 --> 00:30:64.000 End of nuclear threats. And it may be the we could come together and so on and 00:31:04.000 --> 00:31:13.000 just comment, if you would, on just, I never occurred to me why Gorbachev and all of that failed? 00:31:13.000 --> 00:31:22.000 Okay, and why the Russians allowed, frankly, a Stalinist KBG general to take command eventually of this country 00:31:22.000 --> 00:31:29.000 instead of following, let's say, the initiative of Gorbachev? And I have a million other questions, but I'll leave it there. 00:31:29.000 --> 00:31:33.000 David: I can take the Gorbachev one, I use this mic since that one's moving around. I mean, 00:31:33.000 --> 00:31:37.000 Gorbachev opened up and he recognized his system didn't work. He was trying to, 00:31:37.000 --> 00:31:44.000 he wasn't trying to remove communism, he was trying to do what Dubcek was doing back in '68 in Czechoslovakia. 00:31:44.000 --> 00:31:49.000 Make socialism with the human face, remove the abuses of power, the corruption. 00:31:49.000 --> 00:31:56.000 The, you know, get people excited about building a new society in some way. 00:31:56.000 --> 00:31:61.000 And Glasnost, this new openness, getting people to talk about problems, that was exciting. 00:32:02.000 --> 00:32:08.000 But it also opened up an exposure, creates space also, for the different nationalisms that had been 00:32:08.000 --> 00:32:13.000 really being Russified in a lot of ways to really be expressing of themselves. 00:32:13.000 --> 00:32:19.000 Gorbachev wasn't planning for the Soviet Union to collapse, I mean, he lost control of what he created. 00:32:20.000 --> 00:32:29.000 And the '90 under Yeltsin, I mentioned his 2% approval rating, in his final weeks and that's probably even 00:32:29.000 --> 00:32:36.000 generous for him, I mean he was opening up and trying to pursue, I think from my view, trying to view really 00:32:36.000 --> 00:32:40.000 pursue a different type of democratic society and 00:32:40.000 --> 00:32:45.000 and, but really lost control in a different way with the abuse of power, corruption, gangs, 00:32:45.000 --> 00:32:50.000 violence, crime, and there was a desire, I think, for a strong leader. 00:32:50.000 --> 00:32:55.000 And I never quite understood why Putin, I mean Putin was the acting prime, or 00:32:55.000 --> 00:32:59.000 Prime Minister so he was next in line when Yeltsin chose to resign so he was able to move into that role. 00:32:59.000 --> 00:32:65.000 I've always wondered if there was something else going on there because it caught all of us by surprise when Yeltsin resigned. 00:33:05.000 --> 00:33:11.000 cause Putin, you were right, he was a KGB, but also very early on authoritarian and we see that. 00:33:11.000 --> 00:33:20.000 Removing governors within two years it went from being elected to being appointed by the president. 00:33:20.000 --> 00:33:24.000 And then changing the laws, changing the constitution, asserting his authority, so 00:33:24.000 --> 00:33:31.000 and I think there was an acceptance of that because of the security that Putin brought 00:33:31.000 --> 00:33:35.000 that's a big part of this. Why is Russia the way it is today in terms of, we're seeing 00:33:35.000 --> 00:33:40.000 protests and people who are protests are gonna pay a high price for that, I mean, the numbers 00:33:40.000 --> 00:33:47.000 are bigger than other protests, but people who are, Russia didn't have this Orange Revolution or this Development Revolution or 00:33:48.000 --> 00:33:52.000 its revolution of dignity in the way the Ukrainians did, I think that's 00:33:52.000 --> 00:33:57.000 and maybe it'll have that. Who knows? Maybe that'll come out of this. 00:33:57.000 --> 00:33:63.000 Speaker: Do you think that part of this is Putin's trying to gain major access to the Black Sea? 00:34:03.000 --> 00:34:12.000 Because he's going to need that water for future endeavors including his oil and gas and everything. 00:34:12.000 --> 00:34:18.000 David: Well he's already annexed the Crimean peninsula so he has that access to the Black Sea. 00:34:18.000 --> 00:34:22.000 Visiting a middle school on Friday and the teacher had this reading, "I'm gonna assign this to the class." 00:34:22.000 --> 00:34:26.000 And it was about the oil, the possibility of oil in the Black Sea 00:34:26.000 --> 00:34:32.000 and what increased access additional territory means in terms of having access to that so 00:34:32.000 --> 00:34:36.000 that could be, but he's got, he's already annexed the Crimean peninsula 00:34:36.000 --> 00:34:42.000 so he has that so that's a good question, I don't know. I don't know more than that. Do you have any...? 00:34:42.000 --> 00:34:48.000 Eliot: Well I did want to say something earlier that food prices probably are gonna go up because 00:34:48.000 --> 00:34:55.000 grain exports, mostly wheat, coming out of the Ukraine, the bread basket of Eastern Europe 00:34:55.000 --> 00:34:63.000 it's gonna be affected and I don't know what exactly the repercussions of that are gonna be, but it could be pretty severe. 00:35:04.000 --> 00:35:12.000 Because when people get hungry they get desperate and so we might see food prices go up in addition to oil prices as we've seen 00:35:12.000 --> 00:35:16.000 and energy prices. That shouldn't be overlooked. 00:35:16.000 --> 00:35:20.000 David: And the Crimean peninsula does not have good access to water. 00:35:20.000 --> 00:35:24.000 The Ukrainian supplied it with a massive water pipeline 00:35:24.000 --> 00:35:29.000 to bring water in and once the territory was annexed, the Ukrainians cut that off. 00:35:29.000 --> 00:35:34.000 And so there's going to be a water crisis within the Crimean peninsula 00:35:34.000 --> 00:35:37.000 particularly climate change and drought and changing environment. 00:35:37.000 --> 00:35:43.000 Eliot: Right, so the answer to your question is "yes" that's why he did it. He wants control of that area and all the resources there. 00:35:44.000 --> 00:35:49.000 Speaker: I've heard a lot about Estonia and the Baltic states being concerned that this could expand. 00:35:49.000 --> 00:35:53.000 Do you think that would be a possibility in case Ukraine were to fall? 00:35:53.000 --> 00:35:61.000 David: Yeah, I'm concerned by that because where does it stop? If the goal is to reclaim that sphere of influence 00:36:01.000 --> 00:36:07.000 well the, what does that leave? Moldova? Right here. 00:36:08.000 --> 00:36:10.000 And then those republics that are now part of NATO as well, 00:36:10.000 --> 00:36:14.000 so Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, so yeah where does it end? The would be the question? 00:36:14.000 --> 00:36:20.000 And then there's the caucuses, Georgia, over here to the southeast so if that's the plan 00:36:20.000 --> 00:36:27.000 and it's, this is all crazy, but I mean that's the plan that's gonna be catastrophic in terms of what that does and 00:36:27.000 --> 00:36:31.000 those are NATO countries. 00:36:32.000 --> 00:36:37.000 How Putin views what, NATO is not intervening because there's a fear of how this could 00:36:37.000 --> 00:36:42.000 expand in terms of being a larger nuclear war with, you know, and 00:36:42.000 --> 00:36:49.000 but it would be so easy for this to expand. We are just on the edge given the lines of 00:36:49.000 --> 00:36:50.000 where these NATO member countries are. 00:36:50.000 --> 00:36:58.000 Eliot: Yeah I think the question of Finland is an interesting one. This map shows clearly that its not a part of NATO 00:36:58.000 --> 00:36:65.000 and that's why they're afraid right now and that's why they're now talking about joining NATO. It would make sense wouldn't it? 00:37:05.000 --> 00:37:06.000 David: Sweden too 00:37:06.000 --> 00:37:12.000 Eliot: and Sweden, but you know, when it comes to Scandinavia, suddenly everyone gets really sensitive. 00:37:12.000 --> 00:37:20.000 We're talking about Scandinavians. Could never have let anything happen to them and that brings up this larger question of 00:37:20.000 --> 00:37:25.000 European racism which is rampant in our own society as well. 00:37:25.000 --> 00:37:27.000 We care very much when the Europeans 00:37:28.000 --> 00:37:32.000 are being bombed and turned into refugees, but as we speak, 00:37:32.000 --> 00:37:36.000 A million or more Afghans are going absolutely hungry. 00:37:36.000 --> 00:37:39.000 A million Afghans have fled to neighboring Iran. 00:37:40.000 --> 00:37:44.000 That's not to mention the humanitarian catastrophe in 00:37:44.000 --> 00:37:49.000 Yemen or take your pick of half dozen countries in Africa right now. 00:37:49.000 --> 00:37:52.000 When it's maybe a Middle Easterner 00:37:52.000 --> 00:37:60.000 or an African, we tend maybe, not to see so much of it in the news, but 00:38:00.000 --> 00:38:04.000 when it's a Ukrainian refugee, a child like a showed you in the beginning, 00:38:04.000 --> 00:38:07.000 it humanizes it on a different level and 00:38:07.000 --> 00:38:10.000 we're holding forums like this and talking about it 00:38:10.000 --> 00:38:15.000 when we really aught to be talking, too, about starving in Afghanistan. 00:38:16.000 --> 00:38:20.000 Speaker: This is a question's for you Eliot. 2 million has got to be an under estimate with what 00:38:20.000 --> 00:38:23.000 the mass of humanity that's moving out of 00:38:23.000 --> 00:38:28.000 Speaker: Ukrainian area. Your chart showed a group heading out to Russia 00:38:28.000 --> 00:38:34.000 and then you've got, so you've got 99 thousand there and all of these others going out. What's your sense of 00:38:34.000 --> 00:38:38.000 the ability for these countries to, what's going to happen? 00:38:38.000 --> 00:38:44.000 Eliot: Oh, I'm sure they're overwhelmed and all I know is what I read in the newspaper too and I've just seen pictures of 00:38:44.000 --> 00:38:51.000 cities in Poland that are just overwhelmed and gyms that have been opened up and they put cots in there and 00:38:51.000 --> 00:38:56.000 I think they're just totally maxed out and that's what happens when you have a refugee crisis like this. 00:38:56.000 --> 00:38:60.000 And how many millions are internally displaced. 00:39:00.000 --> 00:39:01.000 There's no figure for that. 00:39:01.000 --> 00:39:05.000 But yeah, it kind of boggles the mind, the scale, the enormity 00:39:05.000 --> 00:39:10.000 of so many people on the move and I don't know what to say other than 00:39:10.000 --> 00:39:15.000 I'm somewhat familiar with the refugee crises that have happened in Europe 00:39:16.000 --> 00:39:23.000 in recent years and in Germany they've experienced a refugee crisis for many years. 00:39:23.000 --> 00:39:27.000 And there were times when there just was no physical space to put another refugee. 00:39:28.000 --> 00:39:34.000 They had to open up schools, they had to open up gymnasiums, they had to beg people to open up their homes and 00:39:34.000 --> 00:39:37.000 there was just no space left and I'm assuming that's happening now. 00:39:37.000 --> 00:39:43.000 Speaker: I was last updated on the Chernobyl reactor about a week ago and they had 00:39:44.000 --> 00:39:48.000 just completed their tenth in a row 00:39:48.000 --> 00:39:52.000 maintenance shift with no back up crew, they're on skeleton crew. 00:39:52.000 --> 00:39:56.000 I was curious if either of you had heard any updates about? 00:39:56.000 --> 00:39:60.000 Eliot: Chernobyl, or do you mean the Zaporizhzhia plant? 00:40:00.000 --> 00:40:05.000 Are you talking about Chernobyl or the other nuclear power plants? 00:40:05.000 --> 00:40:12.000 Student: No, just the service and maintenance crew that's keeping in its current state. 00:40:12.000 --> 00:40:15.000 Eliot: Chernobyl melted down in 1986, right? 00:40:15.000 --> 00:40:16.000 David: But there are efforts to 00:40:16.000 --> 00:40:19.000 Russian troops were moving on Chernobyl as well. 00:40:19.000 --> 00:40:22.000 Eliot: Right, but it doesn't need a lot of upkeep now, does it? 00:40:22.000 --> 00:40:26.000 David: That's a good question Eliot: I just think it's a disaster zone 00:40:26.000 --> 00:40:30.000 and no body lives there anymore because everything's contaminated. 00:40:30.000 --> 00:40:36.000 But the bigger question are these other plants. What if that got hit? What if they broke out in flames? What if 00:40:36.000 --> 00:40:41.000 the crew couldn't work there? Then we'd really have a much, much bigger nuclear disaster. 00:40:41.000 --> 00:40:46.000 David: But Chernobyl does have active radiation that's been encased in this new sarcophagus they put over 00:40:46.000 --> 00:40:48.000 so if something were to strike that, if there were 00:40:48.000 --> 00:40:49.000 Eliot: Right 00:40:49.000 --> 00:40:52.000 would be on the scale of that you were describing with the other plant as well. 00:40:52.000 --> 00:40:53.000 Eliot: Right, yeah 00:40:53.000 --> 00:40:55.000 Yeah, I mean we just have a bunch of 00:40:55.000 --> 00:40:62.000 bad options here. The choices here are, what's the least bad option? 00:41:02.000 --> 00:41:06.000 Speaker: We're hearing a lot about the Russian government and their decisions and what's happening with them, 00:41:06.000 --> 00:41:12.000 but have we heard about how the Russian population as a whole feels about the situation? Do we get a sense of that? 00:41:12.000 --> 00:41:15.000 Eliot: Well, again I only now what I hear on the news. 00:41:16.000 --> 00:41:21.000 And so yeah there's ben a huge crackdown in Russia. There's no free press, no freedom of speech. 00:41:21.000 --> 00:41:26.000 If you do, those brave people that have gone out and protested are getting hauled off and beaten. 00:41:26.000 --> 00:41:29.000 Those are some powerful images that I saw there, truly 00:41:29.000 --> 00:41:34.000 beaten with batons by 10 policemen grabbing one protester and manhandling them. 00:41:34.000 --> 00:41:37.000 God only knows what happens when they get down to the police station. 00:41:37.000 --> 00:41:43.000 But then I heard a public television news hour report where apparently the restaurants were full. 00:41:44.000 --> 00:41:48.000 Apparently people, and this is in Russia like in Moscow, 00:41:48.000 --> 00:41:54.000 They're going about their daily lives. There's a lot of misinformation. A lot of them don't know what to believe. It's kind of like they're, 00:41:54.000 --> 00:41:57.000 like we're watching Fox News here and we don't know what we're 00:41:57.000 --> 00:41:62.000 talking about or listening to. There's a lot of misinformation. 00:42:02.000 --> 00:42:05.000 We're listening to Trump who thinks Putin is a genius. 00:42:05.000 --> 00:42:07.000 They have a lot of misinformation too. 00:42:08.000 --> 00:42:14.000 And even some Russians apparently think it's a good idea to invade the Ukraine, that's what I've heard so 00:42:14.000 --> 00:42:15.000 it's a mixed bag and 00:42:16.000 --> 00:42:19.000 I'm not entirely sure actually, I'm not there on the ground. 00:42:19.000 --> 00:42:21.000 David: there's a New York Times article about this 00:42:21.000 --> 00:42:27.000 and what you see if you're living in Russia when you're watching the news and it's an alternate reality. 00:42:27.000 --> 00:42:34.000 And just Friday, Putin introduced a new law outlawing, or banning, outlawing, the use of the word, "war" or "invasion" 00:42:34.000 --> 00:42:40.000 or presenting anything that's contradictory to the official message. So that's why the New York Times is 00:42:40.000 --> 00:42:45.000 pulling out radio for Europe pulling out of Russia. It's a 15 year prison sentence 00:42:45.000 --> 00:42:50.000 for providing "misinformation" that challenges the official narrative. That's powerful. 00:42:50.000 --> 00:42:51.000 Eliot: Stalin era 00:42:51.000 --> 00:42:57.000 David: More than Stalin, I mean, I don't think they were that efficient actually. 00:42:57.000 --> 00:42:61.000 Speaker: Has a nuclear power plant been involved in a military struggle before? 00:43:01.000 --> 00:43:06.000 Eliot: Oh, it's been a long time. You have to go back. You can make your way back through history to 00:43:06.000 --> 00:43:15.000 the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis was one of the last times we had such a saber rattling over nuclear power. 00:43:16.000 --> 00:43:20.000 In 1969 there was a boarder skirmish between Russia and China. 00:43:20.000 --> 00:43:25.000 In the Middle East, Yom Kippur War, Israelis had nuclear weapons. 00:43:25.000 --> 00:43:32.000 Our president Trump talked about fire and fury when he was threatening North Korea, stupidly. 00:43:32.000 --> 00:43:36.000 So, there are some precedence for this, but 00:43:36.000 --> 00:43:44.000 you really have to think hard so I think the answer is when it comes to nuclear power plants, no, I can't think of any. 00:43:44.000 --> 00:43:48.000 So it's pretty rare. It's unprecedented. 00:43:48.000 --> 00:43:52.000 Speaker: I just wanted to say as, I have a question and a comment. 00:43:52.000 --> 00:43:56.000 The comment is, I am myself, a Ukrainian and I have family there 00:43:56.000 --> 00:43:60.000 and I just wanted to say thank you for doing this discussion. It means a lot to us. 00:44:00.000 --> 00:44:10.000 And my question to you is, with a lot of news and a lot of uncertain propaganda coming from Russia, how does an average 00:44:10.000 --> 00:44:17.000 American citizen, how are they able to, or do you know how would one distinguish what is 00:44:17.000 --> 00:44:23.000 more true or what is more not true? 00:44:23.000 --> 00:44:32.000 David: That's really hard, this has shaped our own world, right? In the last year before this conflict. How do we weigh information? 00:44:32.000 --> 00:44:34.000 How do we understand information? 00:44:34.000 --> 00:44:39.000 And I think in the United States we have multiple sources of information, there's that excess. 00:44:40.000 --> 00:44:45.000 And I think the contrast within Russia is that it's very narrow. There's only now the officially approved. 00:44:45.000 --> 00:44:47.000 And that's a hard thing to overcome. 00:44:48.000 --> 00:44:52.000 That article about media I was reading was talking about a Russian who was on a 00:44:52.000 --> 00:44:55.000 bus talking to a family member they had in the Ukraine 00:44:55.000 --> 00:44:61.000 I think in Kharkiv and they were under fire and this whole conversation was happening on a Russian bus 00:45:01.000 --> 00:45:06.000 And she turned up the volume and the entire bus got quiet, the Russians, listening 00:45:06.000 --> 00:45:11.000 to what was happening, the sirens, the screams, the explosions in the background. And 00:45:12.000 --> 00:45:19.000 You know, that happens. I think it's going to be interesting. We're going to see new ways information being shared. 00:45:19.000 --> 00:45:25.000 The BBC is beginning it's short wave service into Russia as of, I think, yesterday. 00:45:25.000 --> 00:45:28.000 They haven't done this in decades. 00:45:28.000 --> 00:45:33.000 And that's a way of overcoming that. Radio for Europe was a key source of information during the Cold War. 00:45:33.000 --> 00:45:37.000 Broadcasting uncensored news and information from Munich 00:45:37.000 --> 00:45:42.000 into all of the Soviet block countries into the Soviet Union itself, but 00:45:42.000 --> 00:45:48.000 it takes an audience, right? That's willing to turn that dial or find that station or be able to accept that. That's what we see 00:45:48.000 --> 00:45:52.000 with our own challenges in the United States when it comes to news gathering. 00:45:52.000 --> 00:45:58.000 There are parallel realities in our world in terms of understanding what happened January 6th and what happened, and so 00:45:58.000 --> 00:45:60.000 it's overcoming those difficulties. 00:46:00.000 --> 00:46:06.000 Eliot: Yeah, well I would say in closing, this entire tragedy 00:46:06.000 --> 00:46:10.000 is a great distraction from really other more important issues. 00:46:10.000 --> 00:46:14.000 Last week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change came out and 00:46:14.000 --> 00:46:18.000 what it said amongst other things, it's 3,000 pages long, but it said 00:46:18.000 --> 00:46:25.000 the climate is changing faster than we can adapt and we're heading toward some real catastrophes ahead. 00:46:25.000 --> 00:46:30.000 There's that. There's the fact that we need a Green Revolution, and quick. 00:46:30.000 --> 00:46:34.000 We need to concentrate on human rights and democracy. 00:46:34.000 --> 00:46:40.000 And I'm reminded Dwight Eisenhower who said, "Every rocket that's fired, every warship that's launched, 00:46:40.000 --> 00:46:44.000 signifies a theft from those who are hungry." 00:46:44.000 --> 00:46:51.000 And that is the real tragedy of all of this. It's wasted money on bombs instead of food. 00:46:51.000 --> 00:46:56.000 So with that, thank you for coming, thanks for your interest, and we can talk later. 00:46:56.000 --> 00:46:63.000 applause