Aug 24, 2022
State Department warns Americans to leave Ukraine immediately Transcript
Admiral James Stavridis talks about a warning that Russia intends to attack civilian targets in Kyiv on Ukraine’s independence day tomorrow. Read the transcript here.
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Shepard Smith: (00:01)
An urgent warning to Americans in Ukraine, get out of the country before it’s too late. The US embassy in Kiev sent that security alert today. Officials writing in part that the state department has information that Russia is stepping up efforts to launch strikes against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days. Tomorrow is Ukraine’s Independence Day, 31 years of independence from the Soviet Union. Tomorrow also marked six months since Russia invaded Ukraine. Today, the Ukrainian president spoke at a news conference in Kiev, reporters asked what Ukraine would do if Russia attacked the capital ahead of the national holiday, his response, “If they attack us, they will receive a response, a strong response.” Admiral James Stavridis now, former NATO supreme allied commander, now at NBC News chief international analyst. Admiral, six months in, fresh warnings of Russia attacks, but Zelensky seems ready to hit back. Is this a bit of a stalemate?
Admiral James Stavridis: (01:03)
It is a stalemate, it’s a good way to put it. And by the way, I’m wearing my Ukrainian colors tie in honor of their Independence Day tomorrow, they’ve inspired us all. They have fought this Russian war machine to a standstill in effect. We’re going to announce over the next couple of days, Shep, another significant tranche of very capable weapons that are going their way. The reason Putin wants to launch these strikes is he’s simply frustrated, this war is not going well for him, he’s trying to regain at least part of the strategic narrative. I don’t think he’s going to succeed, the Ukrainians are on the march.
Shepard Smith: (01:43)
The Pentagon says the latest round of weapons it’s sending are going to help Ukraine with counter attacks. Is it enough? Is it adequate?
Admiral James Stavridis: (01:51)
I think it is, Shep, and it’s very carefully tailored based on the recommendations of the Ukrainians and our own intelligence. What it will do is allow the Ukrainians to reach behind the Russian logistic front lines, deplete their capabilities, go after their long-range systems, this is the so-called HIMARS, it’s cruise missiles, it’s more artillery rounds, it is what is tipping the battle in the direction of the Ukrainians. I think it will be a very powerful package announced over the next 48 hours.
Shepard Smith: (02:26)
This Kremlin accusation that Ukraine assassinated the daughter and kind of a commentator of her own of a top Vladimir Putin ally and then they’ve solved it miraculously in 48 hours. Whatever the truth is, it looks like they’re setting up to do something, huh?
Admiral James Stavridis: (02:43)
It does, and clearly Putin has, in my view, orchestrated all of this to create a pretext for launching another massive series of raids. This attack was nominally directed at this Rasputin like figure, Alexander Dugin, right wing nationalist, he’s bad news from the word go. This is, in my view, probably something that has come out of internal Russian politics. Putin is never one to let an assassination go to waste, he’ll use this as a pretext to launch these big attacks tomorrow,
Shepard Smith: (03:21)
Admiral Stavridis, thank you.