PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode December 8, 2019

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode December 8, 2019


>>Sreenivasan: ON THIS EDITION FOR SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8: NEXT STEPS IN THE IMPEACHMENT PROBE, THE INVESTIGATION INTO THE PENSACOLA NAVAL BASE SHOOTING CONTINUES, AND IN OUR SIGNATURE SEGMENT: NEW BATTLE LINES IN UKRAINE AHEAD OF PEACE TALKS WITH MOSCOW. NEXT ON “PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND.” PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND IS MADE POSSIBLE BY BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE CHERYL AND PHLIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, ROSALIND P. WALTER IN MEMORY OF GEORGE O’NEIL, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, CHARLES ROSENBLUM. WE TRY TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT, TO NOT MISS WHAT’S RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. AT MUTUAL OF AMERICA, WE BELIEVE TAKING CARE OF TOMORROW CAN HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OF TODAY. MUTUAL OF AMERICA FINANCIAL GROUP. RETIREMENT SERVICES AND INVESTMENTS. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY: AND BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING. A PRIVATE CORPORATION FUNDED BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. AND BY CONTRIBUTIONS TO YOUR PBS STATION FROM VIEWERS LIKE YOU. THANK YOU.FROM THE TISCH WNET STUDIOS ATLINCOLN CENTER IN NEW YORK,HARI SREENIVASAN.>>Sreenivasan: GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. THE CHAIR OF THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, DEMOCRAT JERRY NADLER, SAID THE COMMITTEE IS PREPARING TO BRING ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT TO A VOTE THIS WEEK. ON THE POLITICAL TALK SHOWS THIS MORNING, NADLER EXPRESSED CONFIDENCE THAT THE DEMOCRAT-LED COMMITTEE HAS COLLECTED ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO IMPEACH PRESIDENT TRUMP, EVEN AS REPUBLICANS HAVE CRITICIZED THE INQUIRY FOR HAVING ONLY “HEARSAY EVIDENCE.”>>WE HAVE A VERY ROCK-SOLID CASE. I THINK THE CASE WE HAVE IF PRESENTED TO A JURY WOULD BE A GUILTY VERDICT IN ABOUT THREE MINUTES FLAT. AND, YOU KNOW, ALL THIS NONSENSE ABOUT “HEARSAY EVIDENCE,” THERE IS CONSIDERABLE DIRECT EVIDENCE. AND IT ILL-BEHOOVES A PRESIDENT OR HIS PARTISANS TO SAY, “YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH DIRECT EVIDENCE,” WHEN THE REASON WE DON’T HAVE EVEN MORE DIRECT EVIDENCE IS THE PRESIDENT HAS ORDERED EVERYBODY IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH NOT TO COOPERATE WITH CONGRESS IN THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, SOMETHING THAT IS UNPRECEDENTED IN AMERICAN HISTORY AND IS A CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS BY ITSELF.>>Sreenivasan: THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE WILL HEAR TESTIMONY ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION OF PRESIDENT TRUMP’S DEALINGS WITH UKRAINE TOMORROW. WE WILL HAVE MORE ON THE IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS AND WHAT’S NEXT COMING UP AFTER THE NEWS SUMMARY. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR ROBERT O’BRIEN SAID TODAY THAT THE SHOOTING AT THE PENSACOLA NAVAL AIR STATION ON FRIDAY “APPEARS TO BE A TERRORIST ATTACK.” O’BRIEN ALSO SAID IT IS UNCLEAR IF THE GUNMAN HAD ANY TIES TO TERROR GROUPS. AT A NEWS CONFERENCE IN FLORIDA TODAY THE F.B.I. SAID THE GUNMAN WHO KILLED THREE SAILORS AND WOUNDED EIGHT OTHER PEOPLE AT THE NAVAL AIR STATION IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN THE ONLY SHOOTER ON FRIDAY. OFFICIALS WOULD NOT CALL IT AN ACT OF TERRORISM, BUT DID SAY THEY ARE INVESTIGATING USING THAT PRESUMPTION.>>WE ARE, AS WE DO IN MOST ACTIVE SHOOTER INVESTIGATIONS, WORK WITH THE PRESUMPTION THAT THIS WAS AN ACT OF TERRORISM. THIS ALLOWS US TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF INVESTIGATIVE TECHNIQUES THAT CAN HELP US MORE QUICKLY IDENTIFY AND THEN ELIMINATE ANY ADDITIONAL POTENTIAL THREATS TO THE REST OF OUR COMMUNITY.>>Sreenivasan: AT THE NEWS CONFERENCE THIS MORNING, OFFICIALS SAID THE SAUDI AIR FORCE SECOND LIEUTENANT WHO WAS KILLED IN THE ATTACK PURCHASED HIS HANDGUN LEGALLY AND THAT OTHER SAUDI STUDENTS ARE CURRENTLY CONFINED TO THE BASE AND COOPERATING.>>TODAY WE ARE HERE COLLECTIVELY FOCUSED ON CONDUCTING ADDITIONAL INTERVIEWS OF WITNESSES, BASE PERSONNEL, AND THE SHOOTER’S FRIENDS, CLASSMATES AND OTHER ASSOCIATES. OUR MAIN GOAL RIGHT NOW IS TO CONFIRM WHETHER HE ACTED ALONE OR WAS HE A PART OF A LARGER NETWORK.>>Sreenivasan: THE SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE WOULD NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT REPORTS THAT THE ATTACKER WATCHED VIDEOS OF MASS SHOOTINGS OR IF OTHER STUDENTS VIDEOTAPED THE ATTACK. AND LATE YESTERDAY THE NAVY OFFICIALLY RELEASED THE NAMES OF THE THREE SAILORS KILLED IN THE ATTACK. ALL WERE STUDENTS IN THE NAVAL AVIATION SCHOOL. 23-YEAR-OLD ENSIGN JOSHUA KALEB WATSON, WAS FROM COFFEE, ALABAMA. AIRMAN MOHAMMED SAMEH HAITHAM, WAS 19-YEARS-OLD AND FROM ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA. AND AIRMAN APPRENTICE CAMERON SCOTT WALTERS, 21, WAS FROM RICHMOND HILL, GEORGIA. IN NORTH KOREA TODAY, OFFICIALS SAID THE MILITARY HAS COMPLETED A “VERY IMPORTANT TEST” AT A LONG-RANGE MISSILE SITE. THE TESTS WERE CONDUCTED AT A LAUNCH FACILITY THAT WAS PARTIALLY DISMANTLED FOLLOWING DENUCLEARIZATION TALKS WITH THE UNITED STATES LAST YEAR– BUT IT WAS REBUILT AFTER. NORTH KOREA SAYS THAT THE FUTURE OF ITS NUCLEAR AND LONG-RANGE MISSILE PROGRAM DEPENDS ON CONCESSIONS FROM THE U.S. MORE THAN 40 PEOPLE DIED AND DOZENS MORE WERE INJURED IN A HANDBAG FACTORY FIRE IN NEW DELHI EARLY THIS MORNING. AN ELECTRICAL SHORT CIRCUIT REPORTEDLY STARTED THE BLAZE IN AN AREA WITH NARROW PASSAGEWAYS AND CROWDED RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS. FIREFIGHTERS HAD TO BATTLE THE FLAMES FROM MORE THAN 300 FEET AWAY BECAUSE WATER TANKERS COULD NOT ENTER THE ALLEYWAYS. WORKERS IN THE FACTORY WERE SLEEPING IN THE BUILDING. MANY WERE CARRIED OUT ONE BY ONE THROUGH SMOKE-FILLED STREETS. THIS WAS THE SECOND MAJOR FIRE IN NEW DELHI’S KAROL BAGH NEIGHBORHOOD. IN FEBRUARY, 17 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN A BLAZE THAT STARTED IN AN ILLEGAL ROOFTOP KITCHEN. IN HONG KONG, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DEMONSTRATORS PACKED THE STREETS TO MARK SIX MONTHS OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS. CHANTS OF “FIGHT FOR FREEDOM” AND “STAND WITH HONG KONG” RANG OUT DURING THE MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTEST THAT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST RALLIES IN MONTHS. THE MARCHERS SAID THEY HOPE TODAY’S LARGE TURNOUT WILL HELP CONVINCE HONG KONG’S GOVERNMENT TO GIVE IN TO THEIR KEY DEMANDS, WHICH INCLUDE DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS AND AN INVESTIGATION INTO POLICE BRUTALITY. FOR LIVE COVERAGE OF THE IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS AND THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE INQUIRY, VISIT pbs.org/newshour. FOR MORE ON THE UPCOMING IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS, WHERE THE ROAD LEADS FROM HERE AND A LOOK AT THE 2020 DEMOCRATIC RACE, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT JEFF GREENFIELD JOINS US NOW FROM SANTA BARBARA. TOMORROW IS, WELL, I GUESS ANOTHER BIGGISH DAY. I MEAN, WE’VE HAD A LOT OF BIG DAYS IN THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS. WHAT HAPPENS?>>WELL, UNLIKE LAST WEEK WHEN CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLARS WERE DEBATING THE LAW, WE’RE GOING TO HEAR FROM LAWYERS FROM THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE AND FROM THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE OF THE DEMOCRATIC LAWYERS WILL PRESENT THE CASE. THE FACTUAL CASE THAT THEY ASSERT FOR IMPEACHMENT, ABUSE OF POWER, POSSIBLY BRIBERY. AND THE REPUBLICAN LAWYERS WILL PRESENT THE COUNTER ARGUMENT THAT THE PRESIDENT DID NOTHING UNTOWARD. HE WAS SIMPLY EXERCISING HIS LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY TO LOOK AT CORRUPTION.>>Sreenivasan: AND WHAT ABOUT OTHER WITNESSES? I MEAN, THIS SEEMS TO BE ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THE REPUBLICANS ARE QUITE AGGRIEVED BY. HEY, WE HAVE ALL THESE SUGGESTIONS. IF THIS IS A TRIAL, WE DEFINITELY WANT TO HAVE OUR FOLKS IN THERE.>>THERE ARE TWO PARTS OF THE REPUBLICAN ARGUMENT. ONE IS THEY WANT TO HEAR FROM ADAM SCHIFF. THEY WANT TO HEAR FROM THE ANONYMOUS WHISTLEBLOWER, THEY WANT TO HEAR FROM JOE BIDEN AND HUNTER BIDEN SO THEY CAN PUMMEL THEM ON ALLEGED CORRUPTION. THEY’VE ALSO ARGUED THAT THE DEMOCRATS CASE IS BASED ON HEARSAY, NO FIRSTHAND WITNESSES TO WHAT TRUMP MAY HAVE DONE. BUT THE WHITE HOUSE HAS SAID ABSOLUTELY NO WITNESSES FROM US. NO DOCUMENTS, NO NOTHING. UM, AND THAT’S WHERE THE DEMOCRATS HAVE SAID WE’RE NOT GONNA WAIT FOR MONTHS FOR THE COURTS TO DECIDE WHETHER THESE WITNESSES HAVE TO COME FORWARD. WE’RE MOVING AHEAD BECAUSE WE THINK WE HAVE THE CASE NOW STRONG ENOUGH TO PROPOSE IMPEACHMENT.>>Sreenivasan: YEAH, THAT TIMING BECOMES MORE IMPORTANT AS WE KEEP GOING HERE INTO A PRESIDENTIAL CYCLE. SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?>>WELL, BY THE END OF THE WEEK THE DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY DRAW UP ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT. ABUSE OF POWER WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY BE ONE. THEY MAY ASSERT BRIBERY, WHICH IS A TRICKIER ONE, AND JERRY NADLER, THE CHAIRMAN, HAS SUGGESTED THEY MAY GO BACK TO THE MULLER REPORT AND SEE IF THEY CAN FIND EXAMPLES OF EITHER OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE OR ABUSE OF POWER. THOUGH THERE WILL BE ARTICLES DRAWN AND THEY’LL, I PROMISE YOU, IT WILL BE A STRAIGHT PARTY LINE VOTE. I WOULD BET WHATEVER I HAD ON THAT, AND WE’LL FIND OUT WHAT THOSE ARTICLES ARE BY THE END OF THE WEEK, AND THEN IT GOES TO THE FULL HOUSE.>>Sreenivasan: SO HOW DOES IT SPECIFICALLY PLAY OUT? I MEAN, CONSIDERING THAT WE ALMOST KNOW WHERE THE VOTES ARE LINED UP BASED ON WHAT PARTY A MEMBERS IN?>>YEAH, THIS IS ALMOST LIKE KABUKI THEATER, WHERE WE ALL WE KNOW IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE SAID BEFORE IT’S GOING TO BE SAID. THE QUESTION IS, WILL ANY REPUBLICAN HOUSE MEMBER VOTE FOR IMPEACHMENT? SO FAR THE ANSWER’S NO. ONE REPUBLICAN SAID HE’D VOTE FOR IMPEACHMENT AND THEN PROMPTLY LEFT THE PARTY. THERE MAY BE A FEW HOUSE DEMOCRATS FROM STRONGLY PRO TRUMP DISTRICTS WHO MAY HAVE A PROBLEM, BUT I’M GUESSING THAT WILL BE AT MOST IN LOW SINGLE DIGITS. AND SO, BY YEAR’S END, THE PRESIDENT WILL BE IMPEACHED, WHICH IS AN INDICTMENT, AND NEXT JANUARY, THE REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED SENATE WILL TAKE UP THE CASE TO SEE WHETHER HE SHOULD BE REMOVED.>>Sreenivasan: HOW DOES THE LACK OF KAMALA HARRIS IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE PERHAPS PLAY INTO SOME OF THIS? BECAUSE THE SENATORS HAVE TO BE WATCHING ALL OF THIS.>>YEAH, THE SENATORS WHO WILL REMAIN IN THE RACE SORT OF HAVE TO BE THERE FOR THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL. THEY DON’T REALLY HAVE TO BE THERE EVERY MINUTE, IT TURNS OUT, BUT WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT IS THAT, THAT THE ABSENCE OF KAMALA HARRIS AND THE FAILURE OF CORY BOOKER AND CASTRO TO QUALIFY FOR THE DEBATE NEXT WEEK MEANS THAT THE DEBATE WILL BE ALL WHITE. AND THAT’S IN A PARTY THAT IS INCREASINGLY DIVERSE, WHERE MINORITY VOTERS ARE INCREASINGLY CRITICAL. NOW, THE COUNTER ARGUMENT THAT IS, LOOK, THIS ISN’T ANYTHING UNTOWARD. THE FACT IS, JOE BIDEN HAS AN ENORMOUS SHARE OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTE RIGHT NOW. AND, AND THAT’S WHY HARRIS, AND TO SOME EXTENT BOOKER ARE STRUGGLING. BUT IT’S AWKWARD AT MOST FOR A PARTY THAT INSISTS ON DIVERSITY TO HAVE A DEBATE WHERE NOBODY OF COLOR IS GONNA BE ON IT.>>Sreenivasan: THE CONSEQUENCES OF WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE IMPEACHMENT, WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE DEBATES, HOW MUCH DOES THAT STILL RESONATE WITH VOTERS, WELL, SIX MONTHS FROM NOW, EIGHT MONTHS FROM NOW, WHEN THEY ACTUALLY HAVE TO GO TO THE POLLS?>>YOU KNOW, THE WAY THAT EVENTS SPEED UP IN OUR AGE, THE WAY THAT, THAT NEWS SORT OF COMES AND GOES SO SWIFTLY COULD WELL MEAN THAT BY THE TIME VOTERS ACTUALLY MAKE A DECISION, CERTAINLY BY NOVEMBER, IMPEACHMENT WILL BE A FUZZY MEMORY. UNLESS YOU’RE EXPECTING A KIND OF AARON SORKIN AMAZING MOMENT WHERE SUDDENLY THE SCALES FALL FROM THE EYES OF CERTAIN PEOPLE WHO SAY, “OH, MY HEAVENS, WE, NOW WE UNDERSTAND,” I THINK THIS IS JUST GONNA BE A FOOTNOTE. IT SOUNDS ODD BECAUSE IMPEACHMENT SOUNDS SO CRITICAL. BUT, BUT I THINK IT’S JUST ANOTHER POLITICAL EVENT THAT WILL HAVE MUCH LESS IMPACT THEN, SAY, THE ECONOMY.>>Sreenivasan: YEAH, JUXTAPOSE THAT WITH THE ECONOMY, WHICH IS DOING QUITE WELL.>>THE LAST REPORTS ARE QUARTER OF A MILLION NEW JOBS, REAL WAGES UP, 3.5% UNEMPLOYMENT. THE ONLY THING THAT’S DIFFERENT FROM THE LATE NINETIES AS WE HAVE HAD AN ENORMOUS INCREASE IN THE DEFICIT AND THIS AGAIN SHOWS YOU THE WEIRDNESS OF THE POLITICAL WORLD WAR. I DON’T THINK THERE’S EVER BEEN A CASE WHERE A PRESIDENT’S APPROVAL RATINGS ARE SO MUCH LOWER THAN WHAT THEY SHOULD BE GIVEN THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY, WHICH IS REALLY ALL ABOUT TRUMP AND HIS CHARACTER AND HIS TEMPERAMENT. AND ONE OF THE QUESTIONS WE ARE GOING TO FIND OUT IS IF, IN FACT, HIS TRADE POLICIES RESULT IN A MANUFACTURING CONTRACTION, WHICH WOULD HIT THOSE STATES WHERE BLUE COLLAR WORKERS ARE IN GREAT NUMBERS. THAT COULD REALLY HAVE A MORE DEVASTATING IMPACT ON TRUMP THAN ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS IN THE IMPEACHMENT, AND CONVERSELY, IF THE ECONOMY STAYS STRONG, YOU HAVE TO BET BASED ON HISTORY, THAT PUTS THE PRESIDENT IN PRETTY GOOD SHAPE NEXT NOVEMBER.>>Sreenivasan: ALL RIGHT, JEFF GREENFIELD JOINING US IN SANTA BARBARA. THANKS SO MUCH>>NICE TO BE HERE.>>Sreenivasan: THOUSANDS RALLIED IN UKRAINE TODAY TO DEMAND THAT THEIR PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY DEFEND THEM DURING TOMORROW’S FACE-TO-FACE MEETING WITH RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN. TOMORROW’S SUMMIT IN PARIS WILL INCLUDE FRANCE AND GERMANY AND WILL FOCUS ON ENDING THE WAR WITH RUSSIA IN EASTERN UKRAINE. THE MARCHERS FEAR THAT ZELENSKY, A POLITICAL NEWCOMER, WILL BE OUT-MANEUVERED BY THE MORE EXPERIENCED PUTIN. A SPOKESPERSON FOR ZELENSKY SAID THE PRESIDENT PLANS TO DEMAND THE RETURN OF CAPTURED UKRAINIANS, A TOTAL CEASE-FIRE, AND THE WITHDRAWAL OF FOREIGN TROOPS. UKRAINE’S NEARLY SIX-YEAR OLD WAR WITH RUSSIA HAS REACHED A STALEMATE. IN A MAJOR TEST OF HIS DIPLOMATIC METTLE, UKRAINE’S COMEDIAN-TURNED-PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY WILL SIT DOWN WITH RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN FOR THE FIRST TIME. MEANWHILE, THOSE IN THE CONFLICT ZONE ITSELF CAN ONLY AWAIT THE OUTCOME. NEWSHOUR WEEKEND SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT SIMON OSTROVSKY VISITED THEM THIS WEEK AND HAS OUR REPORT, PRODUCED WITH SUPPORT FROM THE PULITZER CENTER.>>Reporter: THIS IS HOW THE BATTLE LINES IN THE WAR IN UKRAINE ARE BEING REDRAWN AHEAD OF PEACE TALKS BETWEEN MOSCOW AND KYIV, TOMORROW. THESE TRENCHES ARE FRESHLY DUG AND THERE IS A REASON FOR THAT. THEY’RE PART OF A SET OF CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURES THAT BOTH SIDES HAVE BEEN ENACTING AHEAD OF THE PEACE TALKS. IT MIGHT SOUND STRANGE THAT MAKING NEW TRENCHES IS A CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURE, BUT THE IDEA IS THAT BOTH SIDES ARE ABANDONING OLD TRENCHES THAT WERE VERY CLOSE TO EACH OTHER AND NOW THEY’RE MOVING FURTHER APART TO DE-ESCALATE HOSTILITIES. THESE NEW FORTIFICATIONS ARE PART OF AN EFFORT CHAMPIONED BY UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY TO TAMP DOWN HOSTILITIES IN A CONFLICT THAT HAS NOT ONLY TAKEN MORE THAN 13,000 LIVES BUT HAS BECOME THE FOCUS OF A DOMESTIC, AMERICAN POLITICAL FIGHT. THE BACKGROUND IS THIS: IN 2014 RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE’S CRIMEA PENINSULA WITHOUT MUCH RESISTANCE AND DECLARED IT A PART OF RUSSIA. THEN TOGETHER WITH LOCAL SEPARATIST FORCES IT BEGAN TO BATTLE UKRAINIAN TROOPS FOR CONTROL OVER A LARGE CHUNK OF EASTERN UKRAINE. THAT FIGHT CONTINUES IN THIS AREA TO THIS DAY. SINCE THE START OF THE WAR, AMERICA HAS ASSISTED UKRAINE IN ITS BATTLE WITH ITS MUCH MORE POWERFUL NEIGHBOR. BUT THIS SUMMER– AS AN ARRAY OF AMERICAN DIPLOMATS AND TRUMP ASSOCIATES PRESSURED UKRAINE TO OPEN AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE SON OF TRUMP’S POLITICAL RIVAL JOE BIDEN– THE WHITE HOUSE CONSIDERED WITHHOLDING ITS MILITARY AID. THE COMMANDER AT THIS NEW POSITION TOLD NEWSHOUR WEEKEND HOW HE FELT WHEN HE HEARD THAT HIS COUNTRY’S MAIN MILITARY ALLY COULD WITHDRAW ITS SUPPORT.>>(translated): OUR MEN WERE SADDENED BY THIS, IT’S BAD NEWS. ESPECIALLY SINCE WE PARTICIPATED IN JOINT EXERCISES WITH CANADIAN AND AMERICAN INSTRUCTORS LAST SPRING AND THERE WAS THIS SPIRIT OF BROTHERHOOD WITH THEM.>>Reporter: SO DO YOU THINK THAT IT INFLUENCES ZELENSKY’S POSITION IN THE NEGOTIATIONS WITH PUTIN, THE FACT THAT NOW THE RUSSIANS KNOW THAT AMERICAN ASSISTANCE ISN’T GUARANTEED 100%?>>(translated): I’M NO DIPLOMAT, SO I CAN’T SAY, BUT IT CERTAINLY DOESN’T STRENGTHEN OUR HAND.>>Reporter: THE PEACE TALKS, WHICH ARE TO BE HELD IN PARIS WILL FEATURE ZELENSKY’S FIRST EVER FACE-TO-FACE MEETING WITH RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, WHOSE SPOKESMAN LOWERED EXPECTATIONS FOR THE SUMMIT EARLIER THIS WEEK SAYING HE DIDN’T EXPECT IT TO RESULT IN AN AGREEMENT.>>(translated): IT’S OBVIOUS THAT THERE WILL BE NO AGREEMENT AND NO ONE EXPECTS ANY AGREEMENT.>>Reporter: THE UKRAINIAN OFFICER HAS LOW EXPECTATIONS AS WELL.>>(translated): SINCE THE START OF THIS CONFLICT, THERE HAVE BEEN SO MANY NEGOTIATIONS WITH RUSSIA, I DON’T FEEL THAT SOMETHING WILL COME OUT OF IT. I HOPE SOMETHING GOOD WILL COME OUT OF IT, BUT I DON’T HAVE ANY ILLUSIONS. WE DON’T TRUST THE OTHER SIDE AT ALL BECAUSE THIS ISN’T THE FIRST CEASE-FIRE AND I CAN’T RECALL AN INSTANCE WHERE A CEASE-FIRE ENDED IN PEACE.>>Reporter: BESIDES AN END TO HOSTILITIES, UKRAINIAN OFFICIALS HAVE SAID THEY WANT A PRISONER EXCHANGE AND CRUCIALLY, THEIR TERRITORIES RETURNED. BUT UKRAINE’S FALTERING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES IS MAKING THOSE GOALS HARDER TO ACHIEVE, AS SEVERAL CAREER U.S. DIPLOMATS POINTED OUT DURING THE IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS CURRENTLY ROILING WASHINGTON.>>PART OF THE ABILITY OF THE UKRAINIANS TO NEGOTIATE AGAINST THE RUSSIANS WITH THE RUSSIANS FOR AN END TO THE WAR IN DONBASS DEPENDS ON THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT. IF WE WITHDRAW, OR SUSPEND, OR THREATENED TO WITHDRAW OUR SECURITY ASSISTANCE, THAT’S A MESSAGE TO THE UKRAINIANS,BUT IT’S AT LEAST AS IMPORTANT, AS YOUR QUESTION INDICATES, MR. CHAIRMAN, TO THE RUSSIANS WHO ARE LOOKING FOR ANY SIGN OF WEAKNESS OR ANY SIGN THAT WE ARE WITHDRAWING OUR SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE.>>Reporter: UKRAINIAN INNA RUDYUK’S HOME WAS ONCE ON THE UKRAINIAN SIDE OF THE FRONTLINE. NOW HER VILLAGE HAS ENDED UP IN ONE OF THE NEWLY ESTABLISHED DEMILITARIZED ZONES, HEMMED IN BETWEEN UKRAINIAN TROOPS AND RUSSIAN-ALIGNED FORCES. THE OUTCOME OF THE TALKS IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH FOR HER TOWN. SHE WAS CONCERNED WHEN SHE SAW UKRAINIAN TROOPS PULL BACK FROM THEIR FORWARD POSITIONS A FEW WEEKS AGO.>>(translated): PERSONALLY I WAS WORRIED. I WAS AFRAID. OUR DEFENDERS WERE PULLING OUT, SO I WAS UNEASY. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT IT’S QUIET AND THERE’S NO SHOOTING. WE HOPE THAT IT STAYS THAT WAY, THAT THE PEACE TALKS ARE ENFORCED AND RESULT IN SOMETHING.>>Reporter: ALTHOUGH THE FIGHTING HAS QUIETED IN RECENT MONTHS, THE WAR IS FAR FROM OVER. SINCE JULY 18 WHEN IT BECAME KNOWN THROUGHOUT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD ORDERED A HALT ON MILITARY AID AT LEAST 46 UKRAINIAN SOLDIERS HAVE DIED. AND ALTHOUGH AID WAS REINSTATED AFTER CONGRESS OPENED ITS INVESTIGATION THE POLITICAL DAMAGE TO THE U.S.-UKRAINE ALLIANCE HAD ALREADY BEEN DONE. ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS BRIDGE ARE AREAS OCCUPIED BY RUSSIA AND ITS SEPARATIST PROXIES KNOWN AS THE “LUHANSK PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC.” LIKE MANY WESTERN JOURNALISTS, I’M NOT ALLOWED TO GO ON THE OTHER SIDE. BUT I’VE COME TO THIS CROSSING POINT TODAY TO SPEAK WITH PEOPLE LIVING UNDER THE OCCUPATION TO FIND OUT WHAT THEIR HOPES ARE FOR THE TALKS BETWEEN VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY AND VLADIMIR PUTIN. THIS CROSSING IS LOCATED IN ANOTHER CURRENTLY DEMILITARIZED ZONE, AND THE BRIDGE WHICH WAS OPENED LAST MONTH, IS ANOTHER CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURE ENACTED AHEAD OF NEGOTIATIONS. IF BOTH SIDES ARE ABLE TO RESPECT A CEASE-FIRE HERE AND IN TWO OTHER LOCATIONS THERE ARE PLANS TO EXTEND THE NEUTRAL ZONE ALONG MOST OF THE 250-MILE LONG FRONTLINE.>>(translated): WE WANT TO BE BACK IN UKRAINE, WHAT IS THERE TO SAY? EVERYONE WANTS PEACE AND QUIET. WE ARE NOT ENEMIES.>>(translated): FEDERALIZATION. THAT MEANS IN UKRAINE BUT WITH SELF-RULE.>>Reporter: LIFE IS DIFFICULT IN THE SELF-DECLARED “PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC.” IT’S A MILITARY-RUN AREA WHERE LEADERS ARE APPOINTED, NOT ELECTED. SINCE RUSSIA ESTABLISHED SEPARATIST ENTITIES IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES IT HAS INTRODUCED THE RUSSIAN CURRENCY, THE RUBLE, BLOCKED UKRAINIAN LANGUAGE BROADCASTS AND QUASHED ANY FORM OF DISSENT. UKRAINE STILL CONSIDERS THE POPULATION THERE TO BE ITS OWN CITIZENS. IN ORDER FOR THEM TO RECEIVE SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENTS AND PENSIONS THEY MUST CROSS THROUGH THE DEMILITARIZED ZONE ON FOOT AND STAND IN LONG LINES LIKE THIS ONE. OF ALL THE PEOPLE I SPOKE WITH ONLY THIS MAN TOLD US HE WANTED TO SEE THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES REMAIN OUTSIDE OF UKRAINIAN JURISDICTION PERMANENTLY.>>(translated): WHO THE HELL WANTS TO WALK BACK AND FORTH LIKE THIS WITH BAD LEGS? I SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET MY PENSION AT HOME. WE WANT TO SEPARATE AND THAT’S IT. WE CAN’T LIVE TOGETHER ANYMORE.>>Reporter: BECAUSE REPRISALS ARE A FACT OF LIFE IN A CONFLICT ZONE, ONLY A FEW PEOPLE AGREED TO SPEAK ON CAMERA.>>(translated): I’M HOPING THAT THE DONBAS RETURNS TO UKRAINE. I LIKED LIVING IN UKRAINE. I DON’T LIKE IT IN LUHANSK. THERE’S FOOD AND EVERYTHING, BUT IT’S NOT LIKE IT USED TO BE BEFORE THE WAR. I DON’T LIKE THE WAY THEY TREAT PEOPLE. LET’S BE HONEST, THINGS WERE MUCH BETTER UNDER UKRAINE.>>Reporter: UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT WON AN ELECTION EARLIER THIS YEAR ON A PLATFORM OF ENDING THE WAR AND HAS MADE IT HIS ADMINISTRATION’S TOP PRIORITY.>>(translated): WE NEED PEACE!>>(translated): WE’RE WORKING ON IT.>>(translated): WE WANT A PEACEFUL LIFE.>>Reporter: ZELENSKY, A FORMER TV STAR, TOOK TO SOCIAL MEDIA THIS WEEK IN A VIDEO FILMED ON A TREADMILL TOUTING THE MERE FACT THAT TALKS WERE TAKING PLACE.>>(translated): THIS MEETING IS ALREADY A VICTORY FOR US.>>Reporter: BUT WITH APPROVAL RATINGS SLIPPING, SOME OBSERVERS WORRY HIS ENTHUSIASM FOR RESULTS MEANS HE’S WILLING TO RECOGNIZE RUSSIA’S CLAIMS TO TERRITORY IN EXCHANGE FOR PEACE, SOMETHING HE’S REPEATEDLY DENIED. AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE CARDS ARE IN THIS MAN’S HANDS. AFTER ALL, IT’S MEN LOYAL TO HIM THAT UKRAINE HAS BEEN UNABLE TO PUSH OFF OF ITS TERRITORY IN NEARLY SIX YEARS OF WAR. HAS HE TIRED OF SHEDDING BLOOD ON THE OTHER SIDE OF HIS SOUTHERN BORDER? SO FAR, HE’S KEPT QUIET ON THAT QUESTION.>>Sreenivasan: FINALLY TONIGHT, CAROLL SPINNEY– THE “SESAME STREET” PUPPETEER WHO WAS BIG BIRD AND OSCAR THE GROUCH DIED TODAY.>>LOOK AT THAT. SEE, IT’S GOT LETTERS ON IT.>>Sreenivasan: SPINNEY VOICED AND OPERATED THE TWO CHARACTERS FROM THEIR DEBUT ON PBS IN 1969 UNTIL HE RETIRED IN 2018 AFTER THE PROGRAM HAD MOVED TO HBO. IN A MEMOIR, SPINNEY SAID “I MAY BE THE MOST UNKNOWN FAMOUS PERSON IN AMERICA. IT’S THE BIRD THAT’S FAMOUS.” CARROLL SPINNEY WAS 85. NEWSHOUR WILL HAVE LIVE COVERAGE OF TOMORROW’S HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING ON IMPEACHMENT BEGINNING AT 9:00 A.M. YOU CAN WATCH ONLINE AT pbs.org/newshour OR ON TV– CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS. THAT’S ALL FOR THIS EDITION OF “PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND.” I’M HARI SREENIVASAN. THANKS FOR WATCHING. HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.

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