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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 3/17/22

Guests: Edward Wong, Daniel Fried, Tymofiy Mylovanov, Irina Borogan


Today, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave a stark assessment of where things stand diplomatically in the effort to end Russia`s war of aggression against Ukraine. More than 7,000 Russian troops have been killed in less than three weeks of fighting according to conservative U.S. estimates. Tomorrow, President Joe Biden will speak to President Xi and Secretary Blinken previewed today how the U.S. is approaching this conversation while confirming that China is thinking about doing more to help the Russian invasion. Arnold Schwarzenegger released a truly remarkable video today across multiple social media platforms calling for an end to the war.


It`s called This is the web site. You guys should go on there and read more of Korrine Sky`s story. I wish we had more time. And we will invite you back on Korrine Sky. Thank you so much. We really appreciate it. And we`re so glad you`re safe.

That is tonight`s "REIDOUT." Cheers. ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.


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

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Diplomacy requires both sides engaging in good faith to deescalate. And I don`t see signs right now that Putin is prepared to stop.

HAYES: A bleak assessment of Russia`s willingness to negotiate as Putin`s troops grind closer to Kyiv.

Then, the split in the Republican Party as the old guard tries to squash the pro-Putin fringe.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): They`re outliers in the largest sense possible on our side.

HAYES: And as Russia steps up its attacks on civilians in Ukraine, a direct appeal to Russian soldiers from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, FORMER GOVERNOR, CALIFORNIA: This is not the war to defend Russia that the grandfather, that your great grandfather has fought. This is an illegal war.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Today, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave a stark assessment of where things stand diplomatically in the effort to end Russia`s war of aggression against Ukraine. The takeover was not, I have to say, particularly encouraging.

Now, this comes one day after reports that something approaching the outlines of a diplomatic deal was being sketched out. Since the invasion began, there have been almost immediately some level of talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials. And ultimately, it seems like there are about three likely ways that this conflict ends.

One, would be an outright military defeat for Russia, where they incur such tremendous losses, that the army just kind of implodes on itself. And it is definitely the case the invasion has been a wildly costly enterprise for Russia in just three weeks.

The New York Times reports that more than 7,000 Russian troops have been killed in less than three weeks of fighting. That`s according to conservative U.S. estimates. Pentagon officials say a 10 percent casualty rate including dead and wounded for a single unit renders it unable to carry out combat-related tasks. With more than 150,000 Russian troops now involved in the war in Ukraine, Russian casualties when including the estimated 14 to 21,000 injured are near that level.

The second possibility here, the second possible end to the war would be the opposite, an outright military defeat for Ukraine, a victory for Russia, with a full-scale occupation of the country, the installation of puppet government by the Kremlin.

And after all we just said, the Russian military is still much larger than Ukraine`s and is bloody and brutal as it has been. The Russian army still continues to make small amounts of progress. But honestly, even that would not really mean an end to anything.

The high likelihood exists of some kind of long run insurgency which is hardly a resolution, and also the occupation functionally of a country on the borders of NATO in Europe would be viewed as illegitimate by the same coalition of countries among ours and others that have condemned and sanction Russia would essentially create an enduring Cold War, a new one for as long as the situation was not definitively resolved.

So, the third way this conflict could end is with some actual diplomatic solution with a ceasefire or withdrawal of Russian troops in some agreed- upon path forward. There`s real question about whether that is actually achievable and whether Russia is at all interested in that outcome, at least now.

And there`s some history here as well that`s worth referencing. During Russia`s violent intervention in Syria on behalf of the Assad regime, there were endless rounds of different kinds of peace talks in which Russia played a role.

In 2016, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman had to deny the country was dragging out the peace process to allow its ally, President Assad, to gain an advantage. But that appears to be exactly what they did and exactly what it looks like they may be doing now stalling with peace talks while they continue to brutalize civilians.This is what Secretary Blinken said about that possibility today.


BLINKEN: We support Ukraine`s efforts to try to deescalate through diplomacy to reach a ceasefire, and of course, the withdrawal of Russian forces. We appreciate the efforts of other countries including France, Germany, Israel, Turkey, and others. But again, from where I sit, diplomacy requires both sides engaging in good faith to deescalate, and I don`t see signs right now that Putin is prepared to stop.

On the contrary, if you listen to just for example, his most recent remarks yesterday, that suggests that he is moving in the opposite direction.



HAYES: Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy continued pleading his country`s case before major Western governments. Today, he was speaking before the German parliament. And he has been very open about wanting to sit down face to face with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which would be the necessary level of talks needed to end this war.

But again, we`ve seen Putin`s Syria playbook where he acts out these talks while butchering the population, and we are watching this horrific decimation of the civilian population and the bombing of shelters and hospitals, indiscriminate mass destruction and death raining down on Ukrainian men, women, and children.

Earlier this evening, the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.N. directly challenged his Russian counterpart about these crimes.


SERGEY KYSLYTSYA, UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: I would like to quote from Into the Abyss, a documentary about executioners of the death penalty. One guard began crying and shaking uncontrollably when, "The eyes of all the inmates he had executed began fleshing before him."

Ambassador, do the eyes of Ukrainian children, women, and elderly, killed by the Russians flash before you? If they do, we may consider how to -- how to sponsor a decision to help you deal with perpetration inducted traumatic stress.


HAYES: It`s easy to see why amidst the grinding cruelty of this war, there is at right now no real diplomacy to be had. One major factor that can influence the progress of negotiations one way or the other is where China stands on all this. Of course, history is replete with examples of major late intervention changing the tide of a war from the French helping in the American Revolution, to the US entering into World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

There have been reports that China`s amplifying Russian disinformation about the war and that Russia has explicitly asked China for military and economic aid. Some have also noted that China hasn`t issued an official condemnation of the use of force by Russia like they have done in other similar circumstances.

The Chinese ambassador to the U.S. denied all this in a Washington post op- ed saying, "In a phone call with Putin on the second day of the conflict, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed China`s desire to see Russia and Ukraine hold peace talks as early as possible and received a positive response."

Tomorrow, President Joe Biden will speak to President Xi and Secretary Blinken previewed today how the U.S. is approaching this conversation while confirming that China is thinking about doing more to help the Russian invasion.


BLINKEN: We believe China in particular has a responsibility to use its influence with President Putin and to defend the international rules and principles that it professes to support. Instead, it appears that China is moving in the opposite direction by refusing to condemn this aggression while seeking to portray itself as a neutral arbiter.

And we`re concerned that they`re considering directly assisting Russia with military equipment to use in Ukraine. President Biden will be speaking to President Xi tomorrow and will make clear that China will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russia`s aggression, and we will not hesitate to impose costs.


HAYES: I`m joined now by Edward Wong, diplomacy and international correspondent at the New York Times, who`s been covering Washington`s diplomatic efforts throughout the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Ambassador Daniel Fried who served as Ambassador to Poland during the Clinton ministration and Assistant Secretary of State for European affairs in the Bush and Obama administrations.

It`s great to have you both. Edward, let me start with you just previewing this big China conversation. It seems clear that the kind of specter of what China does really looms large over this conflict in a bunch of different directions. We know that Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser, sat down with his counterpart for seven hours.

We have China warning, you know, bristly and just to a certain extent, from their perspective, understandably, right? They do not want to see these sort of sanctions leveled on them. You know, saying things like China`s not a part of the crisis, nor does it want sanctions to affect China. China has a right to safeguard his legitimate rights and interests. What is -- what is on the table in this conversation tomorrow between Biden and Xi?

EDWARD WONG, CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, first of all, as you pointed out, U.S. officials suspect that China might actually enter the war in a way by giving military aid to Russia. And that would be a big change in stance for China.

Right now, it already has a pro-Russia position diplomatically. It supports Russia. It`s been pushing out a lot of pro-Kremlin propaganda as well as conspiracy theories. And -- but giving material aid to Russia would be a huge step for China. It might even change the course of the war and the U.S. is trying to avert that.

Blinken is the first high-level official to really come out and say that explicitly. And I think tomorrow we`ll see Biden warning Xi about that. In addition to trying to get them to avert any aid, I think Biden will try and see if he can influence Xi and somehow persuade Xi to get Putin to stand down.

I don`t think US officials think they can get Xi to break away from Putin completely, but maybe they can get Xi to convince Putin of a logic of standing down right now.


HAYES: Daniel, I want to -- you obviously have a lifetime`s experience in diplomatic circles and in dealing with these sorts of talks. And I wondered for your perspective on A, your thoughts about diplomacy and the prospects for it, and B, how you determine whether talks are actually real or not. I mean, what -- how do we know that something is happening? What would be the inflection point that would producing actual diplomacy here?

DANIEL FRIED, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO POLAND: And the Russians don`t want to make progress. They`re really good at not making progress. When they decide they want to deal, they can -- they know how to make a deal. Their diplomats are skilled. Skilled at progress, skilled at not.

There have been reports -- the reports yesterday about progress and the talks with Ukraine were interesting. But Putin is acting like somebody who`s all in on total victory. And the Biden administration people I talked to say they were not optimistic that the talks were meaningful and that`s what you heard Secretary Blinken say that you quoted at the beginning of the show.

Keep up the military pressure on Russia by continuing to arm the Ukrainians a lot. I don`t know the way the war will go militarily. The Ukrainians have a shot at frustrating the Russian offensive. And as you said at the beginning, even succeeding and halting, that will change things and make diplomacy possible.

Putin is a calculator. I think he`s a rational calculator of risks and benefits. He wants it all. But he will settle for less if that`s all he`s got. And I think it`s with that mindset that the administration is approaching the Chinese.

Look, the Russians and Chinese are different. Both are authoritarians, both are potentially aggressive. Both have awful human rights records. But the Chinese get a lot from the international system that the U.S. has led and helped design after 1945. They exploit it, they take advantage of it, they cheat at it, but the system helps them.

Putin, on the other hand, wants to blow up the system. He wants to destroy things and smash things. He`s in a nihilistic mood. Even President Xi -- I`m no China expert, but it doesn`t strike me that President Xi is so destructive. And there may be a way to get the Chinese to urge the Russians not to make things much worse for everybody.

Now, I`m not overly optimistic but it`s worth a try. And the Biden administration is not repeating the mistakes of chasing after the Russians as the U.S. did during the Syria conflict, right? We chased after them, we kept coming up with proposals, mistake.


FRIED: Support the Ukrainians, give them the weapons, support diplomacy between Russia and Ukraine if it shows any promise, but don`t be fooled and then wait for your moment.

HAYES: Well, to Ambassador Fried`s point, Edward, I mean, what`s -- I mean, we`re watching something happen that could be error defining, right? And it`s one thing for the 11th largest economy in the world, Russia, to essentially dive headlong into autarky in which they`re going to have to, you know, start requisitioning least planes from Western suppliers and producing domestic parts for them and essentially cutting themselves off from the last 30 years of sort of globalized trade.

It`s another for China to look at that. And on both sides of the equation, it would be catastrophic for China, it would be catastrophic for everyone that trades with them. It`s just an order of magnitude bigger. And it seems like that`s the sort of fundamental thing that you imagine is on the table between Xi and Biden tomorrow.

WONG: Right. And so far, in past conflicts where the U.S. has imposed sanctions including on Russia in the 2014 conflict, China`s large companies, its banks have refrained from overtly violating sanctions. So, what the U.S. is warning China here is that we will impose those types of costs, maybe secondary sanctions on your businesses if you try and help Russia.

And I think that, you know, in Beijing, maybe they`re studying the effect of the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia. Now, Xi is a risk-taker. He has been aggressive on foreign policy, including on for example, building militarized islands in the South China Sea. The question is, this will be one of the biggest risks he takes if he goes ahead with this.


HAYES: We should note also, a few indications today of perhaps a little bit of a change in the state media apparatus of China. The state media apparatus today tweeting out an account of civilians killed waiting on a breadline in Ukraine. And also the ambassador to Ukraine today saying that we will respect the path chosen by Ukrainians because this is the sovereign right of every nation and saying they will continue to trade with them.

Edward Wong from the New York Times, Ambassador Daniel Fried, thank you both.

FRIED: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, what we know about the military situation on the ground as Russian forces ramp up attacks on Kyiv and what the reports of sinking morale can mean for the Russian invasion. Plus, what the latest round of military aid from the U.S. can tell us about how the war is being fought. That`s next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kyiv`s 18th century St. Andrew`s Church but with a backdrop of battle which is getting closer.

The city`s been put under strict curfew to try to limit the lives lost, but there`s no protecting against attacks like these. A second missile strikes less than a minute later. The Ukrainian demands for a no-fly zone grow more ardent with every strike.



HAYES: 22 days into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the capital of Kyiv is still under Ukrainian control. Russian troops are still in the northwest of the city and have not yet crossed the Irpin river. New York Times reports that Russian troop morale is dropping with every passing day.

One recent U.S. intelligence report describes soldiers just parking their vehicles and walking off into the woods. Russian military has also lost at least three generals in the fight according to Ukrainian NATO and Russian officials. Two American military officials said that many Russian generals are talking on unsecured phones and radios. And at least one instance they said the Ukrainians intercepted a general`s called, geolocated it, attackd his location, killing him and his staff.

Courtney Kube is the Pentagon Correspondent for NBC News and she joins me now. Courtney, I`ve been relying on your dispatches from the Pentagon on how the U.S. defense establishment views this, which again, everything`s just a fog of war here. But give us a rundown of how the Pentagon sees this war right now.

COURTNEY KUBE, NBC NEWS PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: So, I mean, in a word, it`s relatively stalled if you look at how the Russian momentum is going. So, where the U.S. assessed Russia would be at this point is they would likely have most of the -- most of the eastern half of Ukraine under Russian control.

And as you well know, Chris, that is absolutely not the case right now. If you look at three major lines of advance from the Russian military, one is coming from the north and from the east on to Kyiv, which you mentioned the capital city. All of the lines going towards Kyiv are moving very, very slowly, barely noticeable from a day to day, frankly. And that is because they are meeting a lot of Ukrainian resistance.

That being said, some of the elements are still moving closer to Kyiv, and they are really pounding that city with long-range fire and artillery as we`ve seen some of the terrible video that we`ve been getting out of there over the past several days. That being said, Kyiv is still not isolated.

In the eastern half of the country, there`s a -- there`s a city called Kharkiv that has been in terrible fighting since the beginning of this invasion. It is still not isolated. The Russians have been fighting to take it this entire time and have not been able to.

Some of the Russian forces, though, have moved around Kharkiv and are making their way towards the Dnieper River with the belief among the U.S. officials I`ve spoken with that they`re going to essentially try to cut off the entire southeastern part of the city -- or the country.

And that brings us to the southern part of Ukraine. That`s where the progress has been a little bit more steady, even on a day to day basis. They have -- the Russians have taken the coastline along the sea of Azov. They are really striking hard in Mariupol. It is just devastating to watch what`s happening to the civilians in that city right now.

It is isolated, but the Russians still have not taken it. The belief is that the Russian military will try to take Mariupol, some of those that have moved out of Crimea up the river towards a city called Mykolaiv that they may turn towards Odessa with the ultimate goal of being able to create an entire landbridge all along the southern part of Ukraine and then the Russians would control the entire coastline.

That has not happened though. And there were a lot of assessments before the invasion that by this point in the campaign, Russia would be much further along than they are Chris.

HAYES: All right, Courtney Kube, that was very helpful. Thank you for that. I appreciate it.

Tymofiy Mylovanov serves as an advisor to the head of President Zelenskyy`s office. He`s a former Ukrainian Minister of Economic Development. And he joins me now. It`s wonderful to have you and I hope you`re safe right now, although I know that status is precarious at the moment. How are you holding up?


HAYES: First of all, I want to ask almost a kind of banal question, but I keep thinking about it. As we see this shelling and these constant attacks, how the basic structure of civilian governance and infrastructure are holding up in a place like Kyiv or other places that are under siege? We`ve seen the horrible dispatches coming out of Mariupol in which the city is entirely cut off, there`s no food, the electricity is out. How are the basics of civilian infrastructure holding up in places like Kyiv and other places?

MYLOVANOV: So, I think Kyiv was very different from Mariupol. Mariupol has probably thousands of dead by now, maybe tens of thousands, even though it`s not an official count yet, while in Kyiv, you know, you can get post delivered in Kyiv. Ukrainian FedEx is working.

So, you know -- and some businesses are reopening like medical labs or delivery services in here. So, it`s surreal in many ways. But it does depend city on city.


HAYES: How quickly can assistance get into the places like Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine whether it`s humanitarian assistance or the big military shipments that have been announced against the U.S. government announcing that today? Like, is it still accessible? What is the lag time to get the kind of supplies and provisions to people where you are?

MYLOVANOV: The last mile problem, you know, the longest and the most frustrating part is actually not will get in from the border of Ukraine to the city, you know, in the east of Ukraine, or in the north of Ukraine. It`s getting customs through its landing, and it`s getting, you know, warehouses storages all cleared in Warsaw and get in the paperwork or someone to sign off sometimes even in the U.S.

And that`s really where the most difficulties. It`s really annoying in many ways. But once it`s past the border -- it passes the border. It was in not several hours, but within a day to be there.

HAYES: It`s really remarkable as we look at the scale of the destruction to think about the resilience in some ways of many of the things you`re talking about. How are you thinking about where this war is on the 21st or 22nd day? I know it`s must be a one day at a time kind of mentality, but as you assess, and as President Zelenskyy makes his appeals to other governments, how are you thinking about it?

MYLOVANOV: Yes. It`s true that it`s the 21st day, and it`s kind of day at a time. But the feeling is that there`s a block, it`s stalled. You know, I have a relative who is -- who has recently been to the frontline, and he actually says in some areas of Kyiv, the frontline moved away from Kyiv. So -- and it became in some ways easier to travel where previously he couldn`t.

So something is happening. And -- but it`s really there`s very little dynamics except for Mariupol. Mariupol is really in a very difficult situation.

HAYES: Is it the contention of you and your government that was sufficient military aid from NATO, E.U., and the West that you could hand the Russians an outright military defeat? Is that -- is that the best case scenario of how you see this war?

MYLOVANOV: Well, the different we have to define what the defeat means, right? But Ukrainians sort of thinking of this war as an episode in its struggle against, you know, for its -- for our sovereignty against Russia. You know, there`s 2014 was Crimea, the east of Ukraine, but there is the long -- you know, the whole history of the Soviet Union and Stalin and the (INAUDIBLE) in 1917, and all kinds of things which are really, really bad things happened in Ukraine.

So, we`re thinking of this as a really fight for survival. So, for us, securing that we`re safe as a nation, being recognized as a nation by the European Union at least, and being able to defend ourselves is the critical thing. That`s the victory.

In terms of specifics or tactics, of course, military support would help, economic support would help, financial support would help. But also we do need some form of closing the sky so at least helping us to defend discuss because once the -- once the skies, you know, are not controlled by Russia to the extent they are now, once the ballistic missiles are not landing randomly on the country. I think the dynamics will change in favor of Ukrainians.

HAYES: All right, Tymofiy Mylovanov, thank you, sir, very much. Stay safe. Thank you.

Still to come, a new dark turn from Vladimir Putin as he called for cleansing of Russian society. Plus, this remarkable message from Arnold Schwarzenegger and his emotional plea to the people of Russia about the atrocities unfolding in Ukraine. You do not want to miss it.




SCHWARZENEGGER: I was in the audience when Yuri Petrovich Plasov won the world championship title, becoming the first human being to lift 200 kilograms over his head. I went home and put his photo above my bed to inspire me when I started lifting weights.

My father told me to take down that picture and to find a German or an Austrian hero, but I didn`t take the photograph down. No, because it didn`t matter to me what flag Yuri Plasov carried.


HAYES: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian-born bodybuilding champion, action star, former Republican Governor of California, released this truly remarkable video today across multiple social media platforms. It`s addressed to his significant fan base in Russia, outlining his long connection to the Russian people including the weightlifter you just heard him mentioned and calling for an end to the war.


Schwarzenegger stated goal for the video is to evade the pervasive censorship in Russia and speak directly to the people. I mean, he lays out the facts of the war that Russian government is hiding. At one point, Schwarzenegger directly addressed Russian soldiers who he says may have been misled into fighting for a cause they don`t really believe in. He also invoked the memory of his father who fought for Hitler`s Nazi army in World War II as a warning for Russian soldiers currently fighting in Ukraine.


SCHWARZENEGGER: When my father arrived in Leningrad, he was all pumped up on the lies of his government. When he left Leningrad, he was broken, physically and mentally. He lived the rest of his life in pain. Pain from a broken back, pain from the shrapnel that always reminded him of this terrible years, and pain from the guilt that he felt.

To the Russian soldiers listening to this broadcast, you already know much of the truth that I`ve been speaking. You`ve seen it with your own eyes. I don`t want you to be programmed like my father. This is not the war to defend Russia that your grandfather, that your great grandfather has fought. This is an illegal war. Your lives, your limbs, your futures have been sacrificed for senseless war condemned by the entire world.


HAYES: Arnold also directly addressed Russian President Putin whose official account actually follows Schwarzenegger on Twitter, stating plainly that he`s the only one with the power to end the war. And Schwarzenegger also directly address the Russian people urging them to see through Russian propaganda disinformation, reserving a special commendation for the protesters and dissenters standing up within Russia.


SCHWARZENEGGER: I know that the Russian people another way of search things are happening. So, I urge the Russian people and the Russian soldiers in Ukraine to understand the propaganda and the disinformation that you`re being told. I asked you to help me spread the truth. Let your fellow Russians know the human catastrophe that is happening in Ukraine.

Let me close with a message to all of the Russians who have been protesting on the streets against the invasion of Ukraine. The world has seen your bravery. We know that you have suffered the consequences of your courage. You have been arrested, you`ve been jailed and you`ve been beaten. You are my new heroes.

You have the strength of Yuri Petrovich Plasov. You have the true heart of Russia. My dear Russian friends, may God bless you all.


HAYES: By the way, the full thing is online. It`s about eight minutes. And I have to say, it`s just a remarkable piece of rhetoric and you should definitely see the whole thing. And that powerful and well-delivered rallying cry, well, it stands in stark contrast to the message that the Russian people are hearing on state TV. We`ll talk about Vladimir Putin`s dark turn towards what really sound like purges next.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you make of the Putin comments basically calling for a purge of anti-war opponents?

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think this is a clear sign that this war is not going how President Putin planned for it to go. And there has been an outpouring of courageous protests and many speaking out against the war even within Russia.

So, his effort to crack down on dissent, to crack down on the freedom of press on the freedom of media and the freedom of protest is actually quite consistent with what we`ve seen his approach to be over the course of the last several years. But I think it`s an indication of exactly that.


HAYES: That was the White House response to the frankly Stalin-esque speech that Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered yesterday on Russian TV, condemning his country`s powerful oligarchs for their perceived disloyalty to him and to Russia invoking an allegedly fifth column of dissenters working to undermine him from within, referring to them as scum, comparing them to insects, and calling for a quote cleansing of society.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (text): Of course, they will try to rely on the so-called fifth column, on national traitors, on those who earn money here with us and live there. But any people, and even more so the Russian people, will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and simply spit them out like a fly that accidentally flew into the mouth, spit them out.

I am convinced that such a natural and necessary cleansing of society will only strengthen our country.


HAYES: I`m joined now by Irina Borogan. She`s a Russian investigative journalist, co-author of The Compatriots: The Brutal and Chaotic History of Russia`s Exiles, Emigrates, and Agents Abroad. First, Irina, maybe I can -- you can give your reaction to that speech which sounded to my ears menacing and fascistic at the very least. What was your reaction to it?

IRINA BOROGAN, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: You`re absolutely right. It sounds like Stalin`s speech (INAUDIBLE) and it`s frightening. It sounds like very frightening to me.

HAYES: Yes, Stalinist speech in 1946. I think he talks about rootless cosmopolitans slightly similar here. Were you -- was it -- I was interested to see that he seems to be directing his rage at the oligarchs. He talks about people that want to make their money abroad, that want to like go to Miami. That was surprising to me, although maybe that`s been simmering a while. What did you think?

BOROGAN: It`s not very surprising to me because he criticized oligarchs many times before, but right now because many of oligarchs express themselves like people who are not satisfied with what`s gone on and with Putin`s war in Ukraine, so he`s angry at them and he wants to show them that you could not survive. I will go after you. That`s the main message of the speech.


HAYES: There`s been reporting both in the foreign press and some indications from Russian State Press that there`s already been recriminations for members of the security apparatus at the FSB, at the army, people being either detained, possibly arrested, possibly fired, that he`s plainly unhappy with the security folks around him for how this war has gone.

BOROGAN: That`s true. Two generals were put under house arrest, two FSB generals, the main security service in Russia and one general in Rosgvardiya was -- just resigned. I guess, that Putin started -- Putin started realizing that the war in Ukraine goes into the wrong direction. And that`s why he got false information from the ground.

He got a lot of false information about what`s gone on in Ukraine and what was going on in Ukraine. Because it is supposed that Ukrainians were ready to meet Russian troops with flowers, and they would not -- they would not wouldn`t try to organize any kind of resilience. That was not true. That was crazy. And that`s why Putin is so angry right now. And he started kind of purges inside their security services.

HAYES: Yes. This seems to be a theme here, which is that Putin and the Russian security establishment fell victim to their own propaganda about how welcome they would be in Ukraine, how righteous their victory is, how they would be reuniting these one people. And that is clearly not the case. And they seem to have believed in.

BOROGAN: It is. It is. It was surprising -- it was surprising to me on. The only answer to this is that Putin is a dictator. And dictator is a person who does not tolerate to the truth, who does not tolerate the opinion different from his. That`s why this people provided him with false information not because they were sure that it is so, but because they wanted to -- they wanted to get his approval. That`s what`s happened to him and that`s what happened to his false intelligence.

HAYES: Irina Borogan, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Next up, the Russian propaganda that made its way to the far-right media now tonight at the floor of the House. The Georgia Congresswoman spreading Kremlin talking points and the Putin divide in the Republican Party next.



REP. MADISON CAWTHORN (R-NC): Remember that Zelenskyy is a punk. Remember the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and it is incredibly evil, and it has been pushing the woke ideologies.

GRAHAM: Like 90 percent of the country is with Ukrainians and is opposed to Putin. So, when you see a member of Congress, say things like this, the one thing I want you to know, they`re outliers in the largest sense possible on our side.


HAYES: Lindsey Graham and his fellow establishment Republicans are trying to keep a lid on the pro-Putin faction of their party which includes Congressman Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina. And that makes sense even putting aside the sort of stark moral question of the Russian invasion of Ukraine because as Lindsey Graham pointed out, the country is united against Russia and its President Vladimir Putin.

A recent Wall Street Journal poll found that 90 percent of Americans now have an unfavorable view of Putin, while just four percent seem favorably. So, the politics here are pretty clear. That isn`t stopping Republicans like Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who you may remember spoke at a conference organized by an avowed white nationalist just last month. And this was after the invasion is started and right after he urged the crowd to cheer for Russia.

Tonight, Greene took to the House floor to spread a conspiracy theory that sounds a lot like pro-Russian propaganda about bio labs in Ukraine being funded by the United States.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR-GREENE (R-GA): Now, what if these bio labs are handling very dangerous pathogens that may lead to the deaths in people in the areas? There are reports of possibly pathogen -- deadly pathogens escaping these bio labs in places like Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan that is responsible for killing people? What if that`s true?

I think these are questions that we should ask because no American citizen wants to be held morally and ethically responsible. And the U.S. government should not be funding something that`s killing people in a country that`s not even our own, let alone here at home.


HAYES: There`s a lot to debunk there. I just want to be clear, there`s no evidence that these pathogens are leaking and killing people that that`s true, or that the bio labs are working on biological weapons as opposed to responses to them.

Ben Collins is a senior reporter for NBC News where he covers disinformation and right-wing extremists and he joins me now. So, Ben, here`s how I think about this -- and someone made this point and I forget who of just look, I think the Republican Party at the highest level is very united on this. And in fact, they`re trying to get to Biden`s right on the Putin question.

There`s a -- there`s an old strain of kind of like militarist neo-con, you know, that they`re leaning into, and we should have a no-fly zone, all this stuff. And that`s almost unanimous. But there is an appetite amongst certain part of the base for Matt Gaetz, Madison Cawthorn. You saw it with JD Vance. You saw it with Marjorie Taylor-Greene. You see it on the internet of this kind of like Putin sympathetic view, Ukraine is a made up country, they`re ridiculous.

And I guess the question is, how big that is and how much tension is that going to put on the politics of the coalition?


BEN COLLINS, NBC NEWS SENIOR REPORTER: Yeah, its anti-anti-Putinism, as Molly Jong-Fast put it. That`s what`s really going on in those spaces. And it`s because they can`t really easily dispense of the villains they`ve had over the last few years, the Anthony Fauci types, the Joe Biden types. It doesn`t fit in that, like, simply in the box in that narrative that Vladimir Putin, you know, isn`t that bad of a guy and all this stuff, all these things that they were talking about over the last few years.

Now, he just is a bad man who is murdering children in the street, who was shelling hospitals, who was shelling things marked children on the outside of it. So, that`s what`s going on here is the -- like, the Fox News cinematic universe that exists with their bad guys has to remain. They have to have the same bones as last few years in moving one of the goodish guys or the neutral guys into the bad guy territory.

It takes a lot of work. It takes a narrative lift. And they`re not really willing to do it yet. So, you know, you see people like Madison Cawthorn calling Zelenskyy a thug, which is now Rap Sanchez, our colleague, noted who`s been in Russia, is -- that`s all over Russian propaganda within Russia. You know, when he says that Zelenskyy is a thug, it feeds directly into their talking points. They can just air that on their own air in Russia.

HAYES: Yes, I guess the -- here`s my question. It is often the case that there`s a gap between the sort of vanguard of the right-wing base and the elites of the party for a lot of reasons. Now, the biggest example of that was Trump exploiting it in three main areas. He did on immigration, he did on trade, and particularly on sort of the entitlements, right, Medicare, Medicaid, stuff like that.

There`s a big gap, he exploited it. There`s a big gap now. I wonder if it`s a gap that will end up in the defeat of the grassroots at least. Like, it does seem to me like they are very far out in a way they haven`t been before, or whether what we`re seeing is the beginning of this view taking over the Republican Party, which is what we seen it do on something like January 6, where in the aftermath, it was total consensus that this was a terrible day, a year or two later, and you`ve got like people basically, you know, viewing it as a patriotic moment.

COLLINS: Chris, as you know, I kind of always say this. If it can get dumber, it will get dumber. The dumb thing will get bigger. It`s just how it goes. The conspiracism the, you know, the need to fill a new narrative within that space, that is a self-sustained ecosystem.

This wasn`t a thing at all at the start of the invasion. And it was the first time I saw it all break down in years, I would say where, you know, they were like, Oh, my God, Vladimir Putin is a bad guy. Like, how do we -- how do we rectify this? And then there was this week-long workshopping process within these spaces where they tried to find a way to make everything make sense again.

So, I would say this is an extremely narrow part of the country and part of that party right now. That is definitely true. I would guess that it would get bigger. Would it take over the whole party? I don`t know. It would take a lot to get people to disbelieve the brutality they`re seeing on TV every day. But you can just hope you would hope. That`s what I would -- I would hope that it remains this small.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, you did a great reporting on the bio labs propaganda. And again, when someone pops up to like, talk about that, it`s just an indicator of what sources they`re reading where the, you know, where their sort of interest is that, you know, see Marjorie Taylor Greene to come out and say, you know -- and cite these, like, reports -- you know, there are reports that maybe this happened. Again, there are not reports or credible ones that it did happen. That just shows you like what the information universe that she is marinating is.

COLLINS: Yes, that`s absolutely correct. Look, there is a large part of the world that just breaks down everything into a different binary than people did previously. And that binary is there is a new world order, they`re doing funny stuff all over the world, and it combines the anti-vax and QAnon communities all throughout the world. Not just in the country, it`s a new global far right is united behind this thing.

And Madison Cawthorn is part of that Marjorie Taylor-Greene is part of that, but so are politicians in Hungary, and Austria, and Australia, Canada, and they take advantage of those people as well. You know, how big is that worldwide, I don`t know. Is it 10 percent of people? I`m not sure. Is it larger in the United States? Probably.

But you know are they going to coalesce around this, you know, over the next few weeks and months? I would guess almost certainly yes.

HAYES: All right, Ben Collins, thank you as always. That is ALL IN on this Thursday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts with Ali Velshi in for Rachel. Good evening, Ali.