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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 3/14/22

Guests: Chris Murphy, Helene Cooper, Tikhon Dzyadko, Julia Ioffe, Justin Miller


A senior U.S. defense official said almost all of Russia`s advances remain stalled with no appreciable change in their progress towards Ukrainian capital Kyiv over the weekend. Ukrainian officials say at least 35 people were killed and 134 injured on Sunday when Russian missiles struck a Ukrainian military facility just 15 miles from the border of Poland. Today in Rome, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with China`s top diplomat for seven hours. An apartment building in Kyiv was struck as residents slept.


MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC ANALYST: That`s just shameful.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes. They`ve turned -- they`ve turned against the West in favor of Putin. Unbelievable. David Korn, Malcolm Nance, thank you guys.

Up next -- that is the "REIDOUT" tonight. ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts next.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN.


HAYES: The Russian resistance is televised on Russian TV as clamped down on speech continues in the public square.

The attack on Ukrainian cities intensifies. Tonight, the intense American appeal to prevent China from bailing Russia out. What we know about whether Russia is accomplishing its objectives on the ground. and the American news anchor being used as propaganda.

That a new report on how the first generation of Ukrainian citizens born into independence are recording the Russian invasion when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. We are watching the world change before our very eyes. We are in completely unprecedented territory right now. The decision by one man, really, one man only, Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine continues to have shockingly wide and horrific effects.

Today, a senior U.S. defense officials said almost all of Russia`s advances remain stalled with no appreciable change in their progress towards Ukrainian capital Kyiv over the weekend. But we did see over the weekend that Russia is still expanding the theater of war.

Ukrainian officials say at least 35 people were killed and 134 injured on Sunday when Russian missiles struck a Ukrainian military facility just 15 miles from the border of Poland, a NATO country. Senior U.S. defense officials said no U.S. personnel were at the facility but the Florida National Guard had been there just a few weeks ago before the invasion.

Russia has continued to strike civilian targets with artillery missiles including in Kharkiv which is the second-most populous city in all of Ukraine before the war and which looks like this now, an empty shell after two and a half weeks of relentless Russian attacks.

The Russians have also continuously attacked the people of the city of Mariupol. You can see the destruction in this shocking drone video. Today, a first group of civilians were actually able to evacuate the city in a caravan of more than 160 private cars, but many more remain trapped.

As it stands, basically, an entire Russian army in Ukraine is having a pretty terrible time. And they are punishing the Ukrainian civilian population with shelling, artillery, and mid-range missiles. We have not seen a refugee crisis like this in Europe since World War II. But the geopolitical ramifications here are almost more profound than I think we can even appreciate in the moment, even as dire as it all seems.

Depending on what happens, this could very well be era-defining. Right now, the entire world is being forced to essentially pick sides. The U.S., NATO, the E.U., the West more broadly is mobilized in incredible unity and leveraging unprecedented set of financial sanctions and restrictions on Russia, which has made other countries fairly nervous, most notably China.

Now, just weeks before the invasion, Russia and China announced a "friendship without limits." Just look at this headline from Russian state media in early February. A joint statement at a time from Moscow and Beijing read, "The new interstate relations between Russia and China are superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era."

The same day that Russia invaded Ukraine, Taiwan`s defense ministry said it had to scramble its air force to warn away Chinese aircraft that had entered its air defense zone leading a lot of people to wonder if China and Russia were collaborating more closely than they realized. Since then, China has been toeing the Russian line in its official state propaganda.

They`ve been refusing to join sanctions against Russia, while also amplifying the false, completely unfounded bioweapons accusations that Russia has made against Ukraine. Now, Russia finds itself stalled in the battlefield in Ukraine reeling from Western sanctions at home. The Russian stock market will remain closed for a third consecutive week. The ruble has lost an incredible amount of value. One ruble is now worth less than a penny. And the Russian economy is steadily losing important parts that literally keep it running.

Politico reports that four of the five top U.S. exports to Russia last year were tied to transportation, things like civilian aircraft, and engines, equipment, parts, auto parts, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications equipment, passenger cars. All of which would be impacted by President Biden`s plan to revoke favorable trade treatment for Russia.

Russia has been forced to turn to China for help across the board. That is prompting a fateful decision for China. NBC News reporting the U.S. government has reasonably China asked China -- Russia and China for military equipment and other support following the start of its war in Ukraine. Moscow and Beijing both denied that request has been made. But according the Financial Times, the U.S. has told allies that China signaled its willingness to provide military assistance after Russia requested equipment, including surface to air missiles to support its invasion of Ukraine.


Today in Rome, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with China`s top diplomat for seven hours. A senior Administration official described the talks as intense. What I would say in general is that we do have deep concerns about China`s alignment with Russia, the officials said. The National Security Adviser was direct about those concerns and the potential implications and consequences of certain actions.

But it`s clear that even if there`s not a formal request for help, the question of what China does here is one of enormous global import. At least one Chinese academic is publicly writing that China should side with the west in this. "To demonstrate China`s role as a responsible major power, China not only cannot stand with Putin, but also should take concrete actions to prevent Putin`s possible adventures. China is the only country in a world with this capability must give full play to this unique advantage."

There are no signs, however, that that is happening. Meanwhile, China has its own problem to manage, including locking down Shenzhen, a province with 24 million people because COVID is out of control there. Just a reminder that no matter what else is going on the world, COVID has not left us.

What China chooses to do with Russia matters because the one thing for the West and NATO enters protracted economic standoff with Russia or frozen conflict on the European continent, both of which are bad, and destructive. But according to the World Bank, Russia has the 11th largest economy in the world. It is another thing entirely for China, which has the second-largest economy in the world to enter into that global standoff.

Then we could be looking at something that feels a lot more like if not hot war, at least a very real second Cold War. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut is a remember the Foreign Relations Committee, and he joins me now.

Senator, it`s good to have you here. How do you see the developments today, Jake Sullivan`s seven-hour meeting, the U.S. being quite vocal about his concerns about China and China aligning with Russia? How do you assess it?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): I think a lot of people scratch their head a bit in the early days of this conflict and the weeks leading up to it, asking why President Biden wasn`t acting unilaterally without Europe. And the reason for that is first that he just believed that it would be the strongest response to Russia to do these economic sanctions together.

But because President Biden has been around long enough to know that the Chinese don`t listen to you, if you were speaking only for your own country. What they listen to is multilateral consequences. And so, we can take a strong position with China right now because if they do decide to get into some military deal with the Russians to resupply what they have lost on the battlefield, it is now not the United States that`s going to hand consequences to China, but the United States and an unprecedented array of allies that have been put in place by the President.

So, you`re right, these are tough words from the United States with China. But this president, President Biden, is playing a pretty strong hand right now. And I think that that has caused the Chinese to sort of step back and do an assessment of whether this is in their best interest, stay allied with Russia on this increasingly disastrous invasion.

HAYES: You know, obviously, the primary thing that we`re watching is this brutal human suffering, right, the destruction of cities, the destruction of people`s lives, death and injury at a massive scale. Again, all completely avoidable, all completely unjustifiable, indefensible in my view, it just didn`t have to happen, right?

When you take a step back, though, when you look at what`s happened here, I mean, we built up a system where we call globalization post-1991, right, where the Cold War was gone. And all kinds of interactions happened across all kinds of different populaces. And there`s Instagram and Russia and they`re keeping us foreign currency reserves. That`s been essentially all yanked out in the span of two weeks as a means of responding to this provocation.

But if you`re China and India and you`re looking at that, that has to signify something profound to them about what the actual nature of the global order is going forward.

MURPHY: Yes. And listen, Russia had positioned itself in a way that it hoped would make it immune to the kind of sanction that it has faced, right? I mean, it thought that all of the oligarchs money in London, all of the energy dependence in Europe and the United States would, you know, make it impossible for the West to strike in the way that it has.

But what the West is shown, right, is that when democracy is under threat like this in an unprecedented way, when civilians are being murdered by the hundreds and thousands, we`re -- we have the ability to come together and even for a country like Russia, which had integrated itself fairly well with Europe and the United States, break that dependency.

And that is clearly a message to China. That is the message that they are listening to right now. Because of course, as we know, they are contemplating similar offensive action in Taiwan, and now that they know the West is capable of cutting Russia off -- yes, it`s more difficult to cut to cut China off, but it`s even more consequential to Chinese economy if they get cut off than it is right now to Russia. And there`s no doubt that they aren`t listening.


HAYES: There is -- I think, this sense that a lot of people have watching this unfold. We`re watching that -- you know, we`re watching this almost in an unprecedented fashion in real-time. This is true of Syria a little bit. It`s been true of other conflicts, but really more than anything that we`ve ever seen, right? I mean, the internet is still up and running. And in some places that have been brutalized, we`re seeing these images.

There`s a sense that people want to do more. There`s also of course, as I said, the grim logic mutually assured destruction, which is a Cold War relic, though it may be hangs over this. How do you assess like what is in the arsenal or what is in the -- you know, what is on the list of what can be done now by the U.S. and its allies?

MURPHY: So, their short-term steps and then their long-term steps. There`s certainly still an ability to get defensive supplies and offensive supplies into the Ukrainians. Obviously, we have drawn a line here, which I think is a smart one that they we`re not going to get into a direct conflict with Russia, but there`s still plenty that we can do for them.

There is also the effort, as you mentioned, to cut off Russia`s escape routes. Their primary escape route is to China, but they are also looking at the Indian government, they`re looking to Africa to find other places to put their oil. We can cut off those escape routes. So, that moment of decision for Putin where he has nowhere else to go but to sue for peace, but to withdraw his troops comes earlier.

But then in the long run, I mean, why not learn a lesson here? We allowed Russia to become so powerful based upon one principal source of revenue. And that is their oil and gas. Russia did build up this army through anything other than the sale of this -- of this fuel to the rest of the world.

And so, this is a moment for us to, you know, learn our lesson and break free of dependency on foreign oil because it`s not just the Russians who have acquired power through oil, it`s a whole sort of another set of very unsavory strong men who are powerful only because they have oil.

HAYES: All right, Senator Chris Murphy, thank you so much for making time tonight.

MURPHY: Thank you.

HAYES: Still to come, inside the battle for Kyiv. What we know about the Russian operation ahead. Plus, watching Putin`s crackdown on free speech unfold in real-time. The extraordinary acts of bravery of Russian citizens protesting the war is just ahead.




ALEX CRAWFORD, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, SKY NEWS: It was before dawn when terror struck the capital city. The residents of this nine-storey block were all still sleeping when the attack happened. The apartments are next to a school and playing fields. There are no military targets here. The explosion tore down the block stairwell making the way out impossible for some. Fire crews had to stretch a residence to safety. Russian officials have insisted they`re not targeting civilians. But try telling these people that.


HAYES: Alex Crawford as Sky News reporting from a bombed-out apartment building in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv today one of many cities in Ukraine where the Russian assault continues unabated right now with devastating impact.

NBC News correspondent Cal Perry joins me now live from Lviv in western Ukraine with the latest. And Cal, the West had been relatively free of Russian attacks, but that has changed in the last 48-72 hours. Tell us about it.

CAL PERRY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes. So it was about 48 hours ago, early in the morning, when this city for the first time woke up to the sound of distant explosions. It was this airfield just 15 miles from the border of Poland. It is a well-known site. This is a place where U.S. forces as you laid out in the open had in the past trained Ukrainian forces. It`s a place where NATO had trained Ukrainian forces. It is a widening of the air campaign.

There`s really two fronts to this war now. You have that air campaign widening and then these ground forces that are choking these cities. The situation in Mariupol is a humanitarian catastrophe. More than 10 days now, people without food without water without power. There`s reporting that people are fighting over food as they can only get above ground for a few hours at a time.

And then in Kharkiv, you have an even more desperate situation where people are not even able to leave their basements because of the indiscriminate shelling. In the last hour, Chris, we`ve heard once again from the Ukrainian president, and he`s going out of his way, this is now the fourth time to speak Russian directly not just to the Russian people, but to Russian soldiers.

I`ll just give you a bit of the quote here. He talks to Russian conscripts directly and says you will be taking lives because there are a lot of you, but what are you dying for, he says, and why. And then he gives them a choice. He says if you surrender, we will give you a chance to live. If you surrender to our forces, we will treat you like humans and the way they ought to be treated with dignity, not the way that you are being treated by your army.

He also applauds the courageous behavior that we`ve seen on Russian state television in the last 24 hours by one journalist holding up a sign. I know you`re going to talk about that later. This is his way, Chris, of going around Russian state TV, of addressing all of the misinformation that the Russian people are being shown.

He`s putting it on telegram so that people can find it on social media. And again, going out of his way to speak Russian to the Russian people and these Russian soldiers hoping that they may sort of catch a glimpse of it. This is all of course part of his wider plan to try to bolster support and try to rally people to the front, Chris.


HAYES: One quick follow up Cal. You`re in Lviv in the west there. We watch -- I mean, there are cities in the -- you know, right at the border Kharkiv and Mariupol just devastated essentially lead road to Kyiv is still sort of standing. Lviv has not had the same level of, you know, pressure put on it. But how is daily life continuing there? Like, power, food, like the basics of infrastructure. How well do they continue to function?

PERRY: So, the infrastructure is in place. The power and the water are still up and running. Three days ago, the power tripped out for about six hours and I think people are certainly worried about that. During the day, you have restaurants that are full. They`re running out of food, but they`re full.

And you also have the story of two cities. So, behind me in the old district, you have full restaurants but just a mile away at the train station, you have people sleeping outside, people who can`t find food who can`t find water. There`s 300,000 extra people that are now taxing the city.

And look, it`s happening in Poland too. We heard from the mayor of Warsaw tonight say that he`s seen an increase of 15 percent in the population there. So, you have these cities that are bursting at the scene, Chris.

HAYES: That`s really, really eye-opening. Cal, I really appreciate it. Cal Perry live in Lviv, as always, excellent work. Thank you, sir.

Helene Cooper is a Pentagon correspondent in New York Times. She just returned from a reporting trip to Eastern Europe traveling with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley as he toured NATO countries. And she joins me now.

Helene, the Pentagon has been offering some briefings and information on how they view things at least on the ground and some interesting details today. If you can just give us a sense of of their view of the state of this war between Russia and Ukraine.

HELENE COOPER, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Thanks for having me, Chris. It`s been fascinating to listen to the Pentagon day after day after days. They have -- after saying at the beginning that they didn`t want to narrate the war as they then turned around and narrated the war.

According to the Pentagon, the Russian, this much-vaunted Russian convoy is still stalled. All of these different axes that Russia started towards Kyiv, for instance, are stalled. And primarily, you`re seeing this aerial bombardment. But the Russian military continues to underperform the ground forces at the very least, and the Pentagon has sort of laid out some of the reasons why.

A big reason why is because of the ferocious fighting that`s been done by the Ukrainians because of the anti-tank missiles that they`ve used really well. They`ve gone out into fields have gone after these tanks, and -- but also because of low morale in the Russian military, as well as the fact that Putin send a conscript military into Ukraine without telling them why they were there or even that they were going there.

So there`s -- there are a lot of issues going on with the Russian military. That`s in the eastern part of the country in the West where you saw this attack two days ago on this airfield that Cal Perry just talked about. The Pentagon says that that attack did not actually get any of the weapons that are being funneled into Ukraine right now coming from NATO countries.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby spoke about this afternoon during his press conferences and said that weapons are just continuing to go forth from different -- from different sides. So, it`s been it`s been this horrific story of an aerial bombardment that`s being done that`s been inflicted on this civilian population while not doing as much damage to the Ukrainian military as anybody expected.

HAYES: Yes. That seems to be the continuing top-line story here. Obviously, we`re all operating in a kind of fog of war here. But you`ve seen like the stalling of military advancement or very slow progress with the continued what appears to be indiscriminate shelling of heavily populated civilian areas. You know, big apartment buildings targets such as that hospital. We`ve seen those.

I want to just play a little bit of what John Kirby today at the Pentagon had to say just about this sort of -- the fact that we`re not seeing these forces push forward. Take a listen.


JOHN KIRBY, PRESS SECRETARY, PENTAGON: We`re going to be careful here at the Pentagon in terms of providing a qualitative report card assessment here and putting a name on it, standstill or what have you. What I would tell you to, David, is that the Ukrainians continue to fight back very briefly and skillfully.

If you just look at the map, and you just look at how little progress the Russians have been able to make in the two-plus weeks now that they`ve been at this, yes, some of that is due to their own stumbles and missteps and logistical problems. But a lot of it, a lot of it is due to the Ukrainian resistance.



HAYES: Do you have a sense from the Pentagon as well how they`re reacting to the Russians made an announcement in the last two or three days that you know, military shipments of arms, any sort of convoys to arm Ukrainians would be viewed by them as legitimate military targets. That strike in the western part of the country 50 miles from Poland seem to be a kind of message sending strike in that regard. How is the Pentagon is receiving all that?

COOPER: They`ve been expecting it -- this, Chris, for almost three weeks now. I was on the border, of the Ukrainian border, one of the message -- one of the weapons transfer sites. And at the time, I interviewed troops on the ground, I interviewed people who were involved in the weapons transfers, we saw javelins being loaded from war planes. And I kept asking people, why haven`t the Russians hit this yet? And they expressed surprise that they hadn`t been hit yet.

There was -- there was a lot of speculation as to why. I don`t want to repeat a lot of it because at this point in time, this was speculation. Nobody knew exactly why the assumption at the time -- and this was what a few days ago appeared to be that the Russians were so bogged down and so busy in the eastern part of the country that they haven`t been able to get around to targeting other sites where weapons could be coming in.

Maybe that`s about to change, but I think it is certainly a sign of again, I don`t want to overstate -- I don`t want to overstate things by say ineptitude, but it`s a sign of the dysfunction within the Russian military that something that basic that is pretty well -- sort of well-known and kind of out there hasn`t been targeted yet.

HAYES: All right, Helene Cooper, thank you so much for joining us tonight.

Still to come, the latest turn in Russian state televisions use of an American Cable News host to sell Putin`s war. That story next.



HAYES: The brazen indispensability of Vladimir Putin`s war of aggression in Ukraine mean that Russia has propaganda machine has its work cut out for. First, Putin tried to justify his war by claiming he was liberating Ukraine from Nazi rule. That fell flat. So, now, Russia is trying a new strategy, new false claims that U.S. funded laboratories in Ukraine, are building biological weapons to use against Russia, a kind of retread of the WMD argument from 20 years ago.

Now, to be absolutely clear, it`s a lie. There`s zero actual evidence those labs are building weapons. It doesn`t matter the conspiracy nevertheless getting steam on fringed far-right websites here in the U.S. In fact, as NBC reports, one cybersecurity expert has found, "the rhetoric on pro-Trump sites, which had largely been anti-Putin in the first days of the war has shifted because of the biolab conspiracy theory, a theory that has been actively entertained on Fox News by Tucker Carlson.


TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS: What exactly are they doing in these secret Ukrainian bio labs? Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe. It`s hardly a hotbed of biomedical research. We`re assuming these weren`t pharmaceutical labs, probably not developing new leukemia drugs. From your answer, Victoria Nuland, we would assume because you all but said it, that there`s a military application to this research, that they working on bio weapons.


HAYES: Again, it`s not a particularly clever method. They`re like constant rhetorical questions you`re never actually making a claim. It`s very obvious. But that`s the whole point, right? Tucker Carlson and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott both know that Ukrainian labs are not making biological weapons. But it must be working for whatever agenda they have.

As media critic Aaron Rupar notes, Tucker has rarely come out as nakedly pro-Putin. Instead, he`s sort of anti-anti-Putin. All framed as opposition to the forces in the U.S., mainly Democratic Party which oppose Putin`s war. And by extension, Tucker works to legitimize a lot of the Kremlin`s favorite talking points.

And that`s not really an exaggeration, just to be clear. I mean, you know, people can say whatever they want. It`s a free country. But this is what`s happening. It`s what he`s doing. The Kremlin itself, sees Tucker as a useful asset. According to a leaked document translated by Mother Jones, a memo for Russian intelligence services to Russian media, explaining why they need to play more of Carlson show.

"It`s essentially as much as possible fragments of broadcasts of the popular Fox News host Tucker Carlson who sharply criticizes the action the United States and NATO, their negative role in unleashing the conflict in Ukraine, and the defiantly provocative behavior from the leadership of the Western countries in NATO towards the Russian Federation and towards President Putin, personally.

Now, again, maybe you don`t know the provenance of that memo and you`re skeptical of that, but let me tell you, it`s on Russian state-owned television all the time as people who watch it have been noting. But he`s into those state-owned news outlets in Russia being told exactly what pro- war propaganda to use on air. There are incredibly brave protesters trying to get the truth out even on state TV. That`s next.



HAYES: Vladimir Putin`s Russia is quickly evolving from an authoritarian state to a totalitarian one. Still, dissenters are standing up against Putin`s war of aggression like this woman who interrupted a Russian state TV broadcast with a sign reading in part, no war.

According to the Moscow Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, she is apparently a Russian journalist herself, has publicly expressed from worse for her role in pushing the invasion. She has reportedly already been arrested. That of course comes sadly as no surprise.

While the dissent was never encouraged in Russia, the crackdown in light of the invasion is downright terrifying. It`s all -- its new territory. You may have seen this video of a woman arrested while holding a blank sign, hardly a scathing condemnation of Putin.

But of course, the content does not matter because as we`re seeing, even supporters of Putin are getting detained for speaking their mind in public. Just take a look at this remarkable video from a nonprofit group in Russia.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Russian)


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Russian)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (TEXT) This is bonkers. Did you see that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (TEXT) You are only showing oppositionists --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (TEXT) We are showing everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (TEXT) What about people who don`t demonstrate against and who thinks that this military operation that our country has started, do you show them as well?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (TEXT) Yes. We show everyone`s opinion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (TEXT) Then I also want to express my opinion.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (TEXT) I am content with the fact that --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (TEXT) We must be filming something obscene. A person wanted to tell what she is content with. It must be because of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin among other things and such.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (TEXT) Well, she couldn`t even stand out for couple of seconds.



HAYES: Tikhon Dzyadko is the editor in chief of Russia`s TV Rain channel which suspended operations earlier this month. He since left the country with his family. Julia Ioffe is a founding partner and Washington Correspondent for Puck News. And both join me now.

Tikhon, let me ask you first. Just your reaction to seeing that remarkable moment on Russian state TV today with a woman who apparently worked there, who`s apparently been arrested, apparently, defense attorneys have not been able to contact her. We`re getting spy reports. But just what the stakes of that kind of thing are, your reaction to seeing that moment?

TIKHON DZYADKO, EDITOR IN CHIEF, TV RAIN: Well, I think she`s very brave. And if you`ve seen her video where she explains why she decided to do so, she explained there that she`s sorry for telling lies before because she was working for the state TV channel for years. I think she`s very brave. And I just told that it`s a sign of a shift in the minds of those who work for state propaganda in Russian.

HAYES: Julia, it`s very hard to get a kind of aggregate sense of what people are getting. What does seem clear are two things. One, an unfair -- a crackdown that`s new, even in a place that wasn`t particularly, you know, encouraging a public dissent. And what -- a fair amount of remarkably brave public stances both by prominent people and everyday citizens against the war.

JULIA IOFFE, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, PUCK NEWS: Yes, I agree with Tikhon. I think that is hopefully a sign of a shift because before (AUDIO GAP) the regime insofar as a (AUDIO GAP) from it, because there are(AUDIO GAP) a few opportunities to work in media outlets.

But now the cost and the consequences of (AUDIO GAP) are very high. It seems like they`re more people are willing to say, you know, my paycheck isn`t worth it if it`s soaked in the blood of Ukrainian civilians.

HAYES: Tikhon, can you -- could you tell me a little bit about your channel and what the last few weeks have been like for TV Rain, which was one of the independent media properties in Russia?

DZYADKO: Well, our two stations have been the -- has been the last independent two station in Russia over the last 12 years. We`ve been covering everything without any blacklist or forbidden topics. And of course, Kremlin was annoyed with us. We had several attacks. We threw several acts of pressure on that. But last week change everything. We started broadcast 24/7 telling the truth about the war, not only spreading information from Ministry of Defense of Russia, but of course, talking with Ukrainian politicians and experts and people on the ground, etcetera, etcetera.

And our audience was growing very, very much only on YouTube, not to mention other platforms. We had 25 million views a day. And then when they started a military censorship in Russia, we were actually forced to shut down, to stop operating because they (INAUDIBLE) saying that, if you spread so-called fake news information about Russian soldiers, you could face out 15 years in jail.

So, first, our web site, the website of other independent media outlet was blocked. And then we decided when they adopted this law, we decided that we have a choice, that we could become basically as a part of press office of Ministry of Defense that`s spread only information of Minister of Defense or we could continue telling the truth and go to jail up to 50 years.

We decided to not operate in any more because being free somewhere is better to continue telling the true events than to go to jail.

HAYES: Julia, those two examples of the woman with the blank placard being arrested and the woman -- the second one on that video comes over to say are you taking both sides of this? I would like to express my personal citizen support for the operation. She says, I`m content is the last thing she says. Content, she`s going to say, with how things are going I think.

This just -- it`s not a question even of what the message is, it`s just like this desire to shut down public debate of any kind on this question.

IOFFE: Yes. I probably didn`t know (AUDIO GAP). It was just her speak to a camera, them probably (AUDIO GAP) who the camera was transmitting to. I`m surprised at the camera there to begin with, that`s right off of Red Square. Right behind those buildings is Red Square, for letting people (AUDIO GAP) people right there (AUDIO GAP) but I imagine (AUDIO GAP)

HAYES: Tikhon Dzyadko and Julia Ioffe, thank you so much both for your time tonight. I really appreciate it.

DZYADKO: Thank you.

HAYES: Next, a wedding reception in a bomb shelter museum worker saving artwork last evacuated during World War II, a PhD candidate who packed a silk dress to use as bandages. The poignant firsthand account of young Ukrainians navigating the first days of the Russian invasion after this.




PERRY: Michael, how old are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): 33.

PERRY: 33. Do you have kids, family?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Two.

PERRY: Two. How old?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): One and three.

PERRY: One and three. Are you worried about Lviv?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are worried. I live here. I`m worried about my city. I`m worried about my country. I live here and I want to defend my city.

PERRY: Tell me about this here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): These are antitank hedgehogs. They are placed at checkpoints to create difficulties for the -- for the army of the enemy. Before the war we did things like playgrounds for children. We would -- we would make pillars for lighting.

PERRY: Through the city?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Not only for me but for all other cities in Ukraine.


HAYES: Michael who didn`t give his last name for security reasons works in a metal shop you just saw in Lviv. In just three weeks, he went from making infrastructure, even playground equipment, to making anti-tank barricades. Of course, he`s one of millions of Ukrainians who have seen their entire world turned upside down by the Russian invasion, including an entire generation of young people who have only known an independent democratic crane.

New York magazine highlighted the experiences of this first generation born after Ukraine won independence having them describe in their own words how they`re experiencing this invasion day by day. New York Magazine news director Justin Miller helped edit that piece and he joins me here.

It`s good to have you here.

Thank you.

HAYES: That was a great idea for a piece and I learned so much from just reading this. I mean, as you sort of put out in the piece, like this generation is the first generation of Ukrainian independence. And they`re now finding themselves wrenched into from sort of the fruits of modern 21st-century European integration into the most brutal circumstances.

JUSTIN MILLER, NEWS DIRECTOR, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Yes, the war that Vladimir Putin is waging is to really destroy what this generation is known independent Ukraine, and not a perfect Ukraine. But that is the stakes of this war. So, really, the war is the story of this generation to a great degree.

HAYES: There`s a bunch of quotidian details, and I thought one thing that came across -- I want to sort of talk about some of the things they say. You know, I think part of the coverage and understand why there`s this sort of amazing emotional coverage about people rising to the occasion, staying to defend their homeland, rescue people, there`s all sorts of acts of heroism happening, unquestionably. But it`s also the case that war is dark.

It`s dark for the human soul and a lot of -- a lot of suspicion lurking in a lot of places. This is I thought an amazing story from Alexi who was a printing manager in Kyiv. All the citizens began to see refugees from other regions as Russian saboteurs. This is in the early days.

I was standing on a bridge looking at the water scrolling through the news in my phone when I heard of rifle bolt click behind my back. I turned around and the muzzle of an AK-47 was put on my face, two policeman told me from the start. You`re a saboteur. I will shoot you now.

MILLER: Yes, so these police arrested him, took him into custody there. They humiliated him. He said -- he called it a form of torture. They even looked through his phone and viewed intimate videos that he had made. Then they released him. And then, a couple days later, during spy mania as he calls it, it happened again he was arrested by several policemen from a different outfit.

So, you know, this sort of suspicion of everybody and the potential that anybody may be an enemy is rife throughout the country.


HAYES: There`s also this profound moral injury happening here as we see people, you know, again act in incredibly heroic ways as we saw the, you know, firefighters rescuing people from a building assaulted in Kyiv. A poet and journalist in Lviv, Daniel says this. As a volunteer, you want to help people, you can`t help everyone. And you`ve seen an enormous -- I`ve never seen such a massive pain and suffering and grief with my own eyes. It`s painful. You have to shut off your empathy because otherwise you can`t do your job.

MILLER: Yes, that line really stuck with me. It`s like the line that a soldier make of, right? A soldier`s job is to kill, but in this case, this man`s job, this young man, is poet journalist who is a soft soul by his own admission. He adopts a woman`s rat named Sergei to keep the rat safe in this war. He says during this train station volunteering effort that he has to turn people away, denying them potential sanctuary in Western countries such as Poland, maybe even a chance of living and he has to turn off his empathy.

And he sees fighting, nasty fighting at the train station, this tent city. He sees a grandmother kick her own granddaughter, breaks up the fight because she had been crying. I mean, just really horrific stuff. But he`s still volunteering.

HAYES: There`s also just -- I mean, again, the reality of -- and I get I think there`s some complexity to this because a lot of people have been like, oh, you know, we`ve never -- you know, these people seem so close to us, and there`s like all this awful sort of embedded racial hierarchy in that, right?

MILLER: Right.

HAYES: Like, oh -- there is though, at the same time, this is a -- relatively, it`s the poorest country in Europe but it`s a relatively wealthy and developed place. And so, the sort of daily life there is a much closer approximation than say Afghanistan, right?


HAYES: When people are sort of looking at this from the American perspective. This line, this was a museum worker, Yulia. She says, my father is a seaman right now. He`s at a ship in the ocean. He reads the news every day. He tells us, please leave every day, but I told him, I don`t want to leave. I don`t want the status of refugee.

She stayed behind but she made this joke about a Google Calendar notification about a work meeting with my colleagues from Kyiv. I took a screenshot and sent it to everyone and said, so let`s call. Like, here she is. It`s March 1st. There had been some office automated Google alert.

MILLER: Right.

HAYES: It pops up on the -- you know, in the midst of the war, and it just I found that a moment so striking. Like, this revenge of the before time happening in the midst of the war.

MILLER: Yes, it`s really incredible. All of these hallmarks of life that were going on and going to be planned were severed at 5:00 a.m. on February 24 when this nation of people, by and large, said, or the people on our story at least said they didn`t believe that Putin will go all the way. They were almost to a person shock that he really was going to do this.

HAYES: That also comes through so clearly in these stories is almost unanimous --


HAYES: -- throughout them. That this is like from one day to the next, everything is changing. It isn`t like -- even as the reporting was happening, and even as, you know, Anthony Blinken and Joe Biden and people in the U.S. are warning saying he`s going to do it. You had the Ukrainian government, which I think wanted to forestall panic saying, you know, don`t worry, more or less.

MILLER: Right.

HAYES: And so, what you see in these accounts of these people is it really is like an overnight situation for them.

MILLER: Right.

HAYES: There`s not this long build-up or preparation.

MILLER: One woman we spoke to, Maria, said that she got the alert on her phone at you know, 4:00 a.m. or whatever, just turn over went to sleep. And 12 hours later, she had five minutes to pack everything she owns. That silk gown that she hopes to wear one evening but may have to use as a bandage in a moment.

HAYES: Yes. She said we packed as a PhD candidate living in Kyiv, Maria Shuvalova (PH). She said, we packed for five minutes, we took laptops, documents, also a fancy dressing gown. It`s silky. It can serve you pretty well as a bandage if someone breaks a leg.

There -- all of these people are in Ukraine.


HAYES: None of them have left.

MILLER: Not that we`re aware of.

HAYES: And I wonder like, I mean, just watching them try to get their heads around what the future will bring and the skill set that they now have to transition to, like we saw the metal worker there. We`ve seen story a story after this, but it`s -- it never stops being upsetting and jarring to watch someone who, you know, was a project manager or a metal worker making children`s playground equipment is now a soldier or making tourniquets from those in the battlefield.

MILLER: And having to face these unthinkable decisions such as Maria who said that her husband can`t leave he because the country`s keeping all the military-aged men there and said, you know, please, Maria, take us and our kids. Go over the border, go to safety. And she said, if I die here with my family, I`ll die in peace. If I leave I leave alive and lose my family, how could I live?

HAYES: Justin Miller who oversaw this remarkable project for New York Magazine, I really like -- I got a vision of what this has meant in a daily way almost unlike anything I`ve read. So, it`s great work. Thank you very much.

MILLER: Thank you.

HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Monday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" with Ali Velshi starts right now. Good evening, Ali.