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Reining in Putin; Missing Flight Mystery; Imagine a World

Aired March 21, 2014 - 18:00:00   ET


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone, I'm Christiane Amanpour, and welcome to the special weekend edition of our program after a week that was dominated by two major stories, the ongoing search for answers to the mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, an incredible two weeks since it disappeared.

And reining in Russian President Vladimir Putin, one week after he literally redrew the map of Europe and took Crimea back from Ukraine, where will he stop?

As the Russian parliament ratified the Crimea takeover, NATO's chief, Anders Fogh Rasmussen called it a wakeup call when I spoke to him earlier this week. He sounded the alarm about Russian forces still arrayed around Ukraine.


ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Right now, I don't see any de-escalation. On the contrary, I see a Russian military build-up and this is a matter of concern.

There is still the possibility that the Russian military intervention will go beyond Crimea.

AMANPOUR: And are you concerned that Russia is potentially stirring up trouble inside that part of Ukraine, whether it's Donetsk, whether it's anywhere, as a pretext for intervention?

RASMUSSEN: Absolutely. That is -- that is a possibility. That is a clear risk. The Russian actions constitute a threat to overall Euro- Atlantic security. It is a Russian attempt to redraw the map, the European map, and create new dividing lines in Europe. So a lot is at stake.


AMANPOUR: And Rasmussen calls Russia's actions in Crimea the, quote, "gravest threat to Europe since the Cold War."

And in Kiev, the government is not standing down over Crimea, leaving presidential contender and former foreign minister Petro Poroshenko told me, the province had to be deoccupied and returned to Ukraine.


PETRO POROSHENKO, INDEPENDENT UKRAINIAN MP: What happened today in Crimea, when so-called cold period of the war is finished and we have the first officer who's killed and two more is injured, it the means that the whole system of the European and global security is finished.

And all the efforts we undertake through the U.N. Security Council, through the OECD, through the European Union, a direct negotiation, is demonstrated that this has not stopped the aggression and this has not saved the life of Ukrainian military officer.

AMANPOUR: Well, those are strong words and I see some strong criticism. What is it that you think, then, that is going to stop any more military moves into Ukraine?

POROSHENKO: Yes, we understand that we have this danger. And today, the Ukrainian armed forces are in the complete readiness to reject the -- any attack of the aggressor.

And we give the -- our general staff and minister of defense give the right for Ukrainian officer and soldiers to use the weapon to defend themselves and to defend Ukrainian territory.

Can you imagine would we speak like that in the 21st century, in the center of Europe, between the two countries, Ukraine and Russia? Even one month ago, anybody cannot imagine anything like that.

AMANPOUR: Are you having any conversations at all with Russian leaders or any members of the Ukrainian government?

POROSHENKO: Not at all. Can you imagine that we have a very deep crisis? We have a presence for more than two weeks, foreign troops on the Ukrainian territory in Crimea.

And the Russian leadership is rejecting for any direct negotiation with any of Ukrainians' representative of either the government, parliament, military forces or minister of foreign affairs. And we are ready and we ask for the -- for the United States, for the European Union to arrange this negotiation.

And until today, we don't have any tiny sign for the rainiers (ph), from the Russian side to the direct negotiation. And this is the behavior of the aggressor. And we think that the arm of former diplomat, a former minister of foreign affairs and I think that it is absolutely irresponsible, this way of providing the relationship between Ukraine and Russia.

And we demanding that immediately we start negotiation, Crimea will be deoccupied and those who is responsible for the victims, for killing of Ukrainian soldier, for Ukrainian officer, should be punished. And we demanding the independent investigation of that, because we have a feeling that we are at the beginning of the very dangerous conflict.


AMANPOUR: Ukrainian leaders are now calling for Russia to be globally isolated and by week's end, European leaders met to expand sanctions against Moscow as the United States did, and to also bolster the Ukrainian government.

At the same time, on the other side of the world, the mystery of Malaysian Flight 370 continued to captivate the world, anguished that desperate relatives and spawned a thousand conspiracy theories. Malaysia's leading opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, found himself caught up in one of the more bizarre ones in which the pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a member of Anwar's party, was supposedly so distraught at Anwar being sentenced again in a politically motivated court hearing that day, that he entered the cockpit of Flight 370 that fateful night with evil intentions.

When I reached Anwar Ibrahim in Kuala Lumpur, I found him frustrated at the government's handling of this crisis, but also resigned to being smeared again this time because of his connection to the pilot, a distant relative.


ANWAR IBRAHIM, MALAYSIAN MP: Christiane, at the personal level, I'm used to this. Most of the problems confronted by this country, they are partially blamed to me. But this is unfortunate because it's affecting the image and also the credibility and also affecting the lives of many of innocent people, including the pilot.

And I think it is grossly unfair, the proportion of blame without a shred of evidence being educed.

AMANPOUR: I want to read how one of your spokesman described Mr. Shah, the pilot.

"He is Anwar's son's wife's mother's father's brother's son."

Does that sound right?

IBRAHIM: That's a bit too complex. What my daughter-in-law told me is that he is a family member, not too close, but he -- she calls him Uncle, which is quite common here.

But I know him basically as a party activist.

AMANPOUR: Do you think that he was a fanatic?

IBRAHIM: Certainly he is not. I mean, he supports our multiracial coalition. He supports a democratic reform. He's against any form of extremism. And we take a very strong position in clamoring for change through constitutional and democratic means, although the electoral process is fraudulent.

AMANPOUR: Mr. Ibrahim, you obviously, like the whole world, must be looking at this mystery flight and wondering what on Earth could have happened.

How do you describe how the government has handled the investigation and the communications about it?

IBRAHIM: Our sympathies are to -- firstly, to the crew members and the passengers and the families, yes. But -- and we must express our profound appreciation to those, I mean, in the government, the apparatus, whatever, working to secure and to find out what actually happened and pray for their safety.

But from my understanding, I mean, Christiane, when they procure that radar, Marconi system, in that northern corridor -- I happened to be the finance minister. They had the capability to detect any flight from the west or to the east to the west coast, from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.

I find it shocking that they are not -- they were not able or they give some very scanty sort of information. The problem is credibility of the leadership. They are culpable because there is a general perception that they are not opening up, there is an opaque system at work.

Now the Malaysian authorities and leadership were only used to a compliant, government-controlled media; the people just say yes to whatever they say.

Now they have to confront with an independent free media. Then, nobody questioned whatever the chief of the air force or the chief of the army, when they issued a statement. Now people are saying, look, there are many experts disputing some of the arguments.

So I think the issue is the issue of governance, the refusal to acknowledge the fact that this is 2014; you can't govern in the old, obsolete ways.


AMANPOUR: And after a break, we turn to another desperate crisis, the worldwide crisis in slavery and human trafficking.

Can the power of different faiths coming together end this scourge? Amazing grace, when we come back.




AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

Australian billionaire and mining magnate Andrew Forrest has signed up major religious heavyweights to fight the terrible global scourge of modern slavery and human trafficking.

And when we say heavyweight, we mean Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Grand Imam of the al-Azhar Mosque in Egypt, Islam's highest ranking Sunni cleric.

This week, their representatives gathered at the Vatican to sign on to the Global Freedom Network. And today, they joined me here in the studio. Andrew Forrest, Archbishop Sir David Moxon and Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, to talk about the moral urgency of tackling what they call a crime against humanity.


AMANPOUR: Gentlemen, welcome to the program. Great to have you here.

Andrew, I want to start with you first because you are the initiator of all this. You're the founder of Walk Free.

Why? What brought you to this cause?

ANDREW FORREST, MINING MAGNATE: I got dragged, really, kicking and screaming, into this cause by my daughter, Grace. When she was 15, she worked in an orphanage in Nepal and our intelligence was that as something was suspect about the orphanage.

And so we took Grace back on another humanitarian mission, completely independent. But Grace wanted to go back to this orphanage. And there she saw only the children who were severely facially disfigured or mentally handicapped, i.e. could not be sold.

AMANPOUR: And you have amassed an incredible array of religious firepower here.

We have Bishop Sorondo, who is representing the Holy See, representing the pope.

How did he persuade the pope and therefore you, and how did you get into this?


AMANPOUR: What is this note?

SORONDO: Original, in this letter, we ask the pope if he want to study one thing special.

And the pope say, "Marcelo, I believe that could be very important to study the question of human trafficking and the modern slavery."

AMANPOUR: So that is pretty amazing.

SORONDO: This is the original.

AMANPOUR: That is the original Pope Francis autograph --


SORONDO: Signed by the boss, Francis.

AMANPOUR: Signed by the boss.

FORREST: Signed by the boss.



AMANPOUR: And your boss, what brought him along? Was it follow the leader?

SIR DAVID MOXON, ANGLICAN BISHOP: That was where Canterbury had heard of Pope Francis' passion for modern slavery and human trafficking and the struggle against both of them.

And when they met in July last year, I was present at the lunch. And the Archbishop of Canterbury, knowing the pope had taken this initiative from day one of his pontificate, feeling the same thing himself, raised the question over lunch, shouldn't we be doing something about this? I think we should do something about this together.

And that early initiative of the pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury has really been the force within faith-based organizations to bring us to this point today.

AMANPOUR: And of course we're not just talking about the major Christian denominations. We're also talking about Islam having joined you as well. We know that the Sunni leader from the al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo has signed on.

What about Shiites?

FORREST: Well, if I could just digress a little bit, once Archbishop Justin challenged us to --

AMANPOUR: Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury --

FORREST: -- yes, to do the good and don't let the great get in the road, i.e., let's just see if we can get the Anglicans and the Catholics together for the first time since Reformation in a major operating agreement, once we had that, then the credibility we had to approach the Sunnis to say this is how far the Christian faith has come. They're now working together really closely; surely now is the time we can bring Islam with us and have Islam and Christianity there, their faiths walking the same journey together. And he just signed straight on.

He said I'm going to do this. I'm going to do this for the Sunni faith. And it was absolutely groundbreaking.

AMANPOUR: What about the other parts of the -- of the Islamic faith?

FORREST: We've had a wonderful meeting, a really wonderful meeting and I'm happy to break this, if you don't mind.

The gentleman's name is the Imam, the Sheikh Musawi. He's the chairman of the World Islamic League, all over the world; it's headquartered here in London. It reports only to the Ayatollah Sistani, the peak authority on the Koran in Shia, just like the Grand Imam Al-Azhar is the peak authority in Sunni.

Now we have 1.41-1.45 billion and he's signed on behalf of all the Shia believers.

AMANPOUR: What is it that you think that faith leaders can do to make a difference, that other people have not yet been able to do? Because as you very well know, we all report about sexual slavery, about human trafficking, about girls -- we do. CNN actually has the Freedom Project. We are great champions of this.

But it's all incremental results.

SORONDO: Today, we have in a global situation. And we need and concretely and so global answer for this. And of course, the soul of all the culture is the religion, that is a historical thing. And if we take the soul of the culture, we take the population.

AMANPOUR: Let me just bring up a graphic, an illustration that we have, to show what your aims are, are that 162 governments should publicly endorse the fund, that 50 multinational businesses to commit to modern slavery proof their supply chains, and for the G20 to adopt anti-slavery and human trafficking initiatives.

Again, it sounds great. Why do you think that your voice and the Archbishop of Canterbury's voice and the pope's voice will be, as august as they are, any more successful than efforts already underway?

MOXON: Well, I think there are three things we bring together.

First of all, there's credibility on the ground. There are examples of Catholic nuns, Anglican city missioners, many other faith-based operations rescuing people from trafficking all the time.

So there's credibility on the ground.

Secondly, though, there's the moral challenge to political leaders which we represent as global faiths, keeping it on the front burner all the time.

Thirdly, though, there's the important message that every sacred text can be utilized to challenge the notion that this is a moral, that liberation, that freedom, that redemption are at the heart of what we're about.

AMANPOUR: Now Andrew came face-to-face with it because of his daughter's experience.

Do you, in the church, come face-to-face with this issue? I mean, we had that terrible story here in England several months ago of several people now adults who had been held as slaves for years and years and years.

But how common is it for you to come face-to-face with this?

MOXON: Wherever there's a brothel with people who've been trafficked into it, wherever there are people who've had their passports removed, their livelihood, their dignity removed, abducted, taken against their will from their own country, ended up in a hopeless situation, wherever that occurs, there is a parish or a temple.

We have the global reach in every square inch of the Earth when you've got a faith-based approach together.

AMANPOUR: The pope has made his major goal ministering to the poor and going where previous popes perhaps didn't go.

He's just given an interview, but specifically for those who live in the slums of Argentina.

What is it that he said to you, apart from that fabulous note, that makes him want to take this on?

Why now? Why him?

SORONDO: Because he do this when he was bishop in Buenos Aires. He know perfectly the situations of the -- of the big cities, Latin America, but not only Latin America, also Manila, Asia. But those are here, as you say.

And they, he knows, particularly because he visit directly these village in Buenos Aires, as we say, and the slums.

AMANPOUR: You're a business man, though, and part of this issue is -- and I read about it all the time; we see, you know, heartbreaking documentaries about it, the fishing industry, the canning industry, maybe the mining industry that you're involved in, the chocolate and cocoa industry, everywhere you look, there are slaves being used.

FORREST: Now let me be brutally frank. When I returned from Nepal, I ordered a complete review of the several thousand suppliers of my own company supply chains. It's around a $30 billion enterprise business. It has suppliers everywhere.

We found several counts of slavery in my company's supply chains. That was it for me. I then resigned and said we have to do something about this.

But we -- I went over into that country, into those factories and saw the atrocious conditions which these people worked in, where they had 10-20 percent per annum mortality rate. They had got their passports confiscated; they hadn't been paid for 2.5 to 3 years.

And this was a great big European company who was -- had a labor and equipment supply from a -- from another company which they had not checked out. And this company serves industries all over the world. So we know slavery's everywhere.

And when President Clinton held a small meeting to discuss slavery, there was a group of us around that table, all the, you know, industry titans.

And he just opened it up and said, "Tell me about slavery in your supply chains."

Well, one chief executive hopped up and another chairman hopped up, said, "Oh, we're so good; we've checked it out. We've found nothing."

So he said, "Well, hang on. Do you use this company?"

And a few hands went sheepishly up, "Yes, we all use that company."

"Well, you have slavery in your supply chains."

And President Clinton said, "Well, let's restart the whole conversation. Let's not say how great we are. Let's be honest."

All of us had slavery in our supply chains. What are we going to do about it? How can we make heroes out of those people? We find it and publicize it.


MOXON: The Church of England offers to slave-proof itself and it can't possibly point the finger at somebody else. It's got to look at any fingers pointing towards its own heart.

AMANPOUR: Is there that problem in the church?

MOXON: We need to discover. We need to review. We need to be very careful.

SORONDO: And I think there -- we need legal instruments for this reason, the declaration that made the pope, that human trafficking and modern form of slavery is a crime against humanity, is a very anti- Christian.

AMANPOUR: Really important, thank you so much, Bishop, Archbishop, Andrew, thank you so much indeed. I really appreciate it. We wish you very, very good luck indeed. It's massively important.


AMANPOUR: And after a break, as Russia redraws the map of Europe, imagine getting a real insight into President Vladimir Putin. One intrepid photographer did with his portrait of power. How he captured this 21st century czar. That's when we come back.




Back in 2007 when Putin was named "Time" magazine's Person of the Year, the renowned photographer, Platon, went to the Kremlin to take his cover picture and he came away with this insightful close-up. As the Ukraine crisis flared, CNN asked him to recall his impressions of this 21st century czar.


PLATON, PHOTOGRAPHER: I was about an inch and a half from Putin's nose when I did those pictures. And I could feel his breathing on my hand. So it's about as intimate as it can get.

It was "Time's" Person of the Year and I was sent to Moscow to do the picture and at gunpoint I'm led into the building.

And then Putin walks in and he's surrounded by his translators, his team of advisers and about 10 bodyguards. It was pretty intimidating. And I said to him, "I'm a massive Beatles fan. Are you?"

He speaks to me and he says, "I love The Beatles."

So I said, "What's your favorite Beatle?"

And he said, "Paul."

So I said what's your favorite song?

And he said, "Ah, 'Yesterday.'"

Think about it.

That's how I got the truth. And the truth is that that's the face of power. It's the face of cold authority. And the irony is as much as it showed him as this tough, sort of nationalist leader, the opposition to Putin have claimed the picture. They've claimed it for themselves to show everything that's wrong with power. It's become the banner for the opposition.

What I'm striving for is to humanize the power system, to ask a very important question, who are you? Who are you really?


AMANPOUR: And as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. But Putin, like Russia itself, remains what Churchill called it, "A riddle wrapped up in a mystery inside an enigma," and that's it for our program tonight.

And remember you can always contact us at our website,, and follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.