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Russia Vows to Keep up Air Assaults on Syria; Brexit Brain Drain?. Aired 11-11:30p ET

Aired September 29, 2016 - 23:00:00   ET



[23:00:45] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, Russia vows to keep up its brutal air assaults on Syria, refusing Washington's pleas for a

reprieve in Aleppo. What is Moscow's end game? I speak to the former Russian foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev.

Plus, Brexit brain drain? The head of one of Britain's top cultural institutions tells me why he is leaving London to head back to Berlin.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be honest, Brexit was a shock. And I think what's going on right now all over Europe and in the U.S. is pretty



AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. And there is still no relief for the people

of Eastern Aleppo after a week of heavy bombardment as Russia vows its air force will continue its operation to support the Assad regime rejecting

U.S. secretary of state John Kerry's threats to cut off talks with Moscow if the bombardment continues and suggesting 48 hour pauses in fighting


Now under relentless assault on the rebel-held districts, rescue workers and residents pulled scores of victims from the rubble every day.





AMANPOUR: Finally, this five-year-old girl is dragged out alive but her mother and her four siblings didn't make it. UNICEF says the children

of Aleppo are trapped in a living nightmare with at least 96 children killed and over 200 injured over the past week alone.

So for some insight into the Russian government, we turn now to Andrei Kozyrev, former Russian foreign minister from 1990 to 1996 who joins me now

from Washington.


AMANPOUR: Foreign minister, welcome back to the program.

I wonder if I could start by asking you whether you ever imagined you would see your government pounding civilian areas and terrorizing and

killing so many civilians in, you know, in 2016?

ANDREI KOZYREV, FORMER RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, 1990-1996: Christiane, it's nice to see you again. I am now in Washington with the

Kennan Institute of the Wilson Center, but, of course, I speak for myself.

And, you know what? I cannot imagine my government, a government in which I would be or were the foreign minister to do anything like that.

But I fully understand the called logic of today's regime.

AMANPOUR: You understand it because very few people do. As you know and you have heard based there in Washington, the administration tell the

world over and over again that of course it's in Russia's interest to stop this war. Of course, Russia doesn't want to get bogged down in a quagmire.

Of course, Russia doesn't want to see its own forces killed, et cetera. But it doesn't seem to be what Russia actually is thinking.

What do you think?

KOZYREV: Yes, I am glad that you ask me and nobody else. And what I see is that they confuse here in Washington, they confuse Russian long-term

national interests while those guys are after the short-term interests of keeping the power. And from that point of view, it's you know, completely


[23:05:00] For instance, all those calamities which happen in Syria, on Russian TV, in Russian propaganda, is a reality show to demonstrate how

Putin and the regime actually made Russia great again. And they show the hardware, the airplanes swarming, and that's good for a picture of the

macho image of the leadership. And it's also good for promoting the weapons on the world market.

By the way, yes, it's unconscionable position, but that's called --

AMANPOUR: It is really extraordinary to hear you say this because you are laying out kind of a strategy, because nobody can quite figure out what

Russia's strategy is. What its end game is. And now you are saying that actually war is good for the Putin regime?

KOZYREV: And, look, they -- from that point of view, from their point, what I think is their point of view. Do you want, not the one which

is presented to the west by all of those diplomats, you know, and spin doctors. But they win both ways.

For instance, ISIL, the American administration continues to say that ISIL is long-term threat to Russia because those terrorists could come

sooner or later. That's probably true, but from the short-term position as president Putin said many times, the thousands of Russian extremists and

potential or actual terrorists are now serving for the ISIL forces. They are in Syria.

So the ISIL is very instrumental in drawing those guys from Russia to Syria. Or look at the other side, Assad regime. The Assad regime is the

best case study to demonstrate that there is, at least in some places, that there is no way for so-called color revolutions or bands that this people

cannot hope to change a territory, a dictatorial regime which work, again, very good for domestic consumption or hinting to somebody inside Russia.

So, and, again, negotiations.

AMANPOUR: Let me just ask you about that because, you know, we hear from President Obama. We hear from, you know, many in the U.S.

administration that there's kind of nothing else we can do other than keep negotiating with Russia and try to do our best.

Let me just play you what President Obama said on CNN in a town hall last night.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At the end of the day, there are going to be challenges around the world that happen that don't

directly touch on our security, where we need to help, we need to help lead, but just sending in more troops is not going to be the answer.


AMANPOUR: So, Foreign Minister Kozyrev, you know, it really does sound, I suppose, to the world that the U.S. isn't and can't and won't do

anymore than it is doing.

So what does Putin see when he sees the United States of America, a super power, a strong country? What do you think he is seeing over this?

KOZYREV: I think he realizes that Russian GDP is 13 times less than 13 times in 2015 than the American GDP. And this year, it is projected by

the world bank to decrease another 2 percent for Russia, and it is about 2 percent or 3 percent relatively small, but still growth on the United

States side.

So Russia is on the losing side because they have different agenda than national interests, including economic interests. And I basically

think that President Obama has sound foreign policy. And I fully agree that America should not commit ground troops in either Syria or Iraq for

that matter.

[23:10:00] But with this kind of disproportional weight on international arena and with this disproportional economic power and extra

military power and diplomatic and moral power, America can do a lot except military -- direct military participation. That is true also for Ukraine.


AMANPOUR: So just to stop you a second --

KOZYREV: But it does not flex the muscle.

AMANPOUR: That's just what I was going to ask you. You seem to be saying it's not flexing the muscle. And you also said that in Russia,

there's a famous saying, appetite grows with the meal. If you want a hamburger, why not have two? And you're sort of saying that that's a Putin

-- something to do with Putin. Explain that.

KOZYREV: You know, one of the narrations I hear in Washington, which I hear a lot is that any other action or strong response would provoke

Kremlin for additional kind of aggression or something, both in Ukraine and in Syria. But I think the opposite.

They are provoked by the very, very kind of weak reaction from both Europe and the United States. Again, not military option. But there are

many other options. And as long as they don't meet with the strong response, they continue to pursue their short-term interests, which are

probably far from ending the war and having negotiations with America because that sits them at the same table.

That is legitimizing them not only as a party to the war, but like party to the peace process, which is, again, important.

So they gain from talks as long as the war goes on, and they temporarily might gain from disruption of the talks, because in that case

Kremlin looks like macho, like somebody who can humiliate and who could reject America.

So in one case while talks go on and deeds do not follow, they are peacemakers. The talks are broken, they are machos.

AMANPOUR: Wow. So what will it take then? You said the U.S. has a range of options, that it's not flexing its muscles. You're not talking

military muscle, but what do you think the U.S. could do. What will it take to change Russia's course right now?

KOZYREV: It's probably a long list. It requires professional analysis, each of those options. But there are many, I believe so. And

when I was foreign minister, I mean it requires a little bit of professional, of course, analysis. I'm not ready now to give, you know,

easy kind of --


AMANPOUR: All right. Well, we will have to leave it there then, foreign minister, because we want to come back hopefully. And next time we

have you on, do some more of that and see what can change. But fascinating, fascinating. Your explanation of Russia's strategy right now

and its end game, and the fact that it seems to be pulling one over on the United States. Appreciate you being with us.


AMANPOUR: So from Syria now to Sudan where a new amnesty international report alleges the Sudanese government is using chemical

weapons against the people of Darfur, including many children. Amnesty says that it's found evidence but Khartoum denies it.

When we come back, shock waves still rippling after Britain's Brexit vote. Martin Roth, the acclaimed director of London's Victoria & Albert

Museum is going back to Germany and he tells me why -- next.


[23:15:22] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

It's nearly 100 days since the UK voted to Brexit Europe, and the country is still dealing with the deeper division that results exposed.

Just this week, London's metropolitan police commissioner reported, quote, "A horrible spike in hate crimes at least partly link to the

referendum." That was in the immediate aftermath. It has come down somewhat, but it has not returned to pre-Brexit levels.

And so that is one reason why the director of London's illustrious Victoria & Albert Museum Martin Roth says that he is stepping down and

heading back home to Europe, to Germany to be precise

He presided over some of the most acclaimed blockbusters of the V&A including the David Bowie Costume Drama and the Alexander McQueen

retrospective. And visitor numbers rose to record levels under his tenure, but he tells me that he fears what the British vote has unleashed across

Europe as well as here.


AMANPOUR: Martin Roth, welcome to the program.

You are the head of one of the major museums here in London, but you are leaving after five years. Some have said that the Brexit hangover is

what has caused your departure. True or false?

MARTIN ROTH, DIRECTOR, VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM: It's somehow true. I know it sounds extremely arrogant, but I have to say. The V&A is a

perfect -- just to be perfect. It's a villa and a museum. We made a lot of changes. It works very well. It's exciting. So it's the best time to

hand it over to the next generation.

And I always thought it's better to leave once you are in a really good position. But, to be honest, Brexit was a shock, and I think what's

going on right now all over Europe and in the U.S. is really terrifying.

AMANPOUR: What was the shock?

ROTH: The shock is -- the shock is probably the foreign position.

What I mean is I always liked the U.K. For me, it was always the country of democracy. And all over Europe, we looked to London as somehow

a cultural capital. And that had -- I mean, just the idea that that country opens the door for more nationalism, they now use the U.K. as an



AMANPOUR: AfD is using the U.K. as an example?

ROTH: Definitely. This is if -- if the U.K. leaves European Union, why shouldn't we do it. I mean, it was the same with foreign national.

Marine Le Pen immediately started it. So we start now something going on out of the U.K., even if the motivation was something different than here,

but they're not going to effect on Europe.

AMANPOUR: You also did your thesis if I'm not mistaken on culture and the cultural leaders during, what, pre-Nazi Germany?

ROTH: I made it a long time ago on, I have to admit, on cultural politics, 1920s, 1930s, museum's politics, how museums were used for

political purpose. I don't say there are similarities. I'm very cautious with things like that, but I mean the cultural class is quite often waiting

and not being active. Happen too often.

AMANPOUR: You have also pointed out that despite this rise of populism and nationalism and xenophobia in Europe, but you also point out

that, you know, Dresden for instance is home to one of the great Islamic collections.

Do people even know that? In France, it had one of the first ever Islamic museums.

ROTH: I mean, even if people know, I think right now there is a situation of people ignore it. And we have to -- I think those who are not

talking about the political situation as to be more in public. It's more about risk taking.

But it's difficult to explain what that mean. But I think those who come from that movement right now are in the media everywhere. Those who

are very convinced that we are a liberal country, a tolerant country, an open country have to be more in public.

I just joined a group called Friends of the Open Society or the Open Society and its Friends, referring to Popper. So I think we need more of

that. Trace is a perfect example.

Trace lived only 60 years ago like Aleppo today. You know, people forgot it. I just wonder what happen. Did we say it in public? People

don't want to hear it?

I mean, people are applauding us, you know, in front of houses where refugees live as they burned it down.


AMANPOUR: In Germany, people are applauding.


ROTH: Other interests in this kind of cultural city. Have we really forget it, or is there strategies that are very strong, right wing fascist

movement going on? I think we should discuss it much more in public, definitely.

AMANPOUR: And to be fair, you come to this with a terrible nightmare of a past. I mean you were born shortly after World War II, in post-war

Germany. Describe what it was like for your generation growing up in the shadow, the first generation after that nightmare.

[23:20:00] ROTH: I'm born in (INAUDIBLE) after I was born in 1955. I have to say I had a very peaceful youth. I'm very much supported by my

parents. But my parents like everyone in Europe had a horrible history of the two wars.

My mother lost her father in the first war. Her brother in the second war. They're definitely not against the Nazi system, but you know, they

suffered like everybody suffered. And I think they learned the lesson and they changed their political opinion, everything completely.

They helped me to refuse to join the military in Germany. We gave a hard time to our parents' generation. We used to ask, what did you know,

what have you done, because we wanted to know what our parents did. We had this moral integrity. We didn't allow our teachers to teach us before they

told us what they did during the war.

AMANPOUR: Really? You held them to account before you would go into class?

ROTH: It was in the 1960s, 70s. I mean --

AMANPOUR: It was sort of revolution.

ROTH: After revolution, exhibition riot now into V&A. I said, no, it's this generation of the '60s and '70s who knew from the parents, who

learned from their parents' generation and wanted to create something completely different, and I think we did it. And now sadly there's this


I mean, words like tolerance and solidarity, I mean, they are just forgotten. Kids are dying in the water of the Mediterranean Sea and we

talk about percentage of refugees accepted in that country.

AMANPOUR: Do you think the classic liberal democracy -- liberal meaning free from the Latin, progressive liberal democracy is going to

survive, or is democracy and all that goes with it under threat right now from your perspective?

ROTH: Don't even ask me. I mean, it's such a horrible scenario if you think that could change. I mean, we in our lifetime, with our

experience, I think there is this -- we were so safe, we were so secure that because of our parents' experience in this blood shed in Europe and

Winston Churchill's speech of 1946 in Zurich, when he said we need a unified Europe to avoid a blood shed in the future, but I think in our very

personal life, we are not prepared to think that things can change immediately.

And if you look at in the 1920s again, '28 through 1935, a lot of people were scared to talk in public about it because they thought they'd

take risk, risks for themselves, their children, the family. And then he - - Hitler was elected. We should never forget that he was elected in 1933, and by 1934, they were gone, lost the chop, they are killed or whatever.

So now it's standing up now and not wait until something else will come in the future.

AMANPOUR: A really important perspective.

Martin Roth, thank you very much indeed.

ROTH: Thank you, Christiane.


AMANPOUR: And up next, we imagine the young Saudi girl from Berlin who's creating a very different legacy. What do smart phones and hijabs

have in common? We imagine that -- next.


[23:25:00] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine struggling to see your life reflected in our modern world. In Berlin, a young girl called

Rayouf, who is originally from Saudi Arabia stumbled upon a simple way to put herself and girls like her in the picture as our Atika Shubert finds

out, there is now an emoji for everyone.


RAYOUF ALHUMEDHI, HEADSCARF EMOJI CREATOR: My name is Rayouf Alhumedhi. I'm 15 years old. I moved to Berlin five years ago, and I'm

from Saudi Arabia.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): Is this where you were when you had the idea?

ALHUMEDHI: Yes. It's like everything that I do is in this room. Like (INAUDIBLE) because it's just -- it's so much better being in your


My friends and I were creating a group chat in WhatsApp, and we decided to name the group chat name emojis of ourselves. And I obviously

had no emoji to represent me, which is what got me thinking.

I started questioning why there isn't one to represent me. I was like, I'll just create a proposal. It was a week before school start. You

have nothing to lose. I just wanted to ask for an emoji, simple as that.

I really had no initial idea in my mind of how it was supposed to look like. I just wanted it to have, to be available in different skin tones,

because, you know, it's not just a brown skin color. Millions of women from different races do wear it.



ALHUMEDHI: How are you?


ALHUMEDHI: Good. Thank you.

I think it's because, you know, we're visual people so communicating just through text is kind of hard to get across your emotion. So having

little images, even though they are so small is actually really helpful when trying to communicate what you're feeling and thinking.

SHUBERT: Do you have a favorite?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, definitely the hijab emoji.

ALHUMEDHI: Thank you.


ALHUMEDHI: Everybody uses them. My dad uses them. My mom. Like no matter what age you are, phones and digitalization have really encouraged

our lives in every possible aspect.

My dad told me when he found it -- like he found it on newspapers, and he never buys German newspapers, but on the bottom, he saw my face and was

like, oh, that's my daughter. That's my daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And not only that, we called her Berlin --

ALHUMEDHI: It obviously won't change the world. No one will like say, go head scarves, yey. You know, it's not going to do that. But like

I said before, indirectly promote tolerance. Because once people realize that, like women wearing head scarves are not just people on the news, and

once they begin to show up on our phones, that will establish that notion that we are normal people carrying our daily routines just like you.

I did that because I wanted to be represented, as simple as that. I just wanted an emoji of me.


AMANPOUR: What an amazing story. And that's it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online at and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.