In this episode of Intelligence Matters presenter Michael Morel talks to CBS News senior foreign correspondent Holly Williams about her reports from a place in Ukraine since the 2014 Maidan revolution. Williams and Morel discuss scenes on today’s front line of the conflict, including the brutality of Russian tactics, the morale of Ukrainian forces and the unlikely rise of Vladimir Zelensky to the presidency. Williams also reports on the preparation of reports in the conflict zone and reflects on the sacrifices made by journalists covering the war in Russia.
Tough tactics of Russian troops: “I think it’s shocking that the military, which many of us thought – no matter how you feel about the morality of the invasion – I think many of us thought that the Russian military would behave like professional soldiers. And if you look at some of the things that happened around Kyiv, the shootings, it’s obvious that we have widespread allegations of sexual assault, rape, I think it’s very shocking. “
Putin’s goals in Ukraine: “[E]Everything that Vladimir Putin seems to have done in Ukraine has, as far as we can tell, the opposite effect of what he really wanted, namely: if he really wants to bring Ukraine back into Moscow’s orbit or even sort of make it part of its kind again The Russian Empire, everything he has done since 2014, had the exact opposite effect. Because what we’ve been seeing since 2014 is that it would seem that Ukrainians have become more confident that they don’t want to, more confident that they’re Ukrainians, more confident that their future is in Europe and in alliance with the West. So I think the first point is that, I mean, if he really wants it, then he’s not going to go the right way. ”
Spending time with President Zelensky: “I went to wash my hands in a tiny bathroom with the President of Ukraine and then I was taken to the kitchen where I met his parents who were very cheerful people. And we sat down and had breakfast with President Zelensky and his mom and dad, and his head Andrei Ermak. And indeed, one of the most exceptional experiences I have ever had as a journalist. ”
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