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This is a rush transcript of “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on March 1, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Is this Ukraine’s Tiananmen Square moment?
In Melitopol, Ukraine, in Southeastern Ukraine, we see Ukrainian protesters facing down Russian military vehicles, all of this at the same time, we’re getting word of that 40-mile-long Russian tank convoy that is getting closer and closer to the capital of the country.
Welcome, everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto. And this is “Your World.” And we have got you covered on some very quick and startling developments here, what’s happening in Ukraine and the response to the Ukraine.
For example, just seconds ago, we got word that Apple is now officially banning all product sales in Russia, this on the heels of DirecTV dropping all Russian programming on its service to Russia, ditto Netflix and Facebook and TikTok that are also getting rid of any Russian media on their European feeds. And on and on we go.
We have got you covered with Trey Yingst in Kyiv, and also Jennifer Griffin at the Pentagon on what to make of talk that some of those Russian soldiers have had it with their assignment. We will get into that in a second.
First to Trey in Kyiv.
TREY YINGST, FOX NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Neil, good afternoon.
While that might be the case for the ground troops who are currently invading Ukraine, it’s not the case for the Russian air force. They continue to pound Ukrainian cities tonight. Off in the distance, we just heard some loud explosions.
And we also know the second largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv taking heavy shellings today and even cruise missiles, those cruise missiles slamming into Freedom Square in Kharkiv, killing at least six people and injuring many others.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky calling this undisguised terror and a war crime. He also spoke tonight from his bunker in the Ukrainian capital about NATO and the efforts he’s making to try to get international support. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): As far as a no-fly zone is concerned, it would have helped a lot. This is not about dragging NATO countries into war. The truth is, everyone has long since been dragged into war, and definitely not by Ukraine, but by Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YINGST: International support amid this conflict difficult to come by in some forms, especially when it’s a no-fly zone, as the United States and others don’t want this to turn into a much larger war.
But on the ground here, the civilians in Kyiv and across the country are feeling the effects of this Russian invasion. They’re hiding underground tonight in shelters, as the city is under curfew. And those who can make it out of town are fleeing.
Take a look at the train station this afternoon.
YINGST (voice-over): A familiar scene unfolds in the Ukrainian capital. Uri Gritzenko says goodbye to his daughter and granddaughter. They’re evacuating to the city of Lviv near the Polish border.
KARINA GRITZENKO, UKRAINIAN REFUGEE (through translator): We might need to leave our homes to make our children safe. I never thought it would be like that. It’s not a joke, but hell.
YINGST: Like thousands of Ukrainian men, Uri will stay in fight as the Russian invasion continues.
URI GRITZENKO, UKRAINIAN STAYING TO FIGHT (through translator): My family, my daughter and granddaughter are leaving. I’m staying, as I’m in the territorial defense.
YINGST (on camera): People here are running out of time. There’s a real understanding that Russian forces could surround the city in a matter of days.
So the central train station in Kyiv is a major evacuation point for people looking to go west.
YINGST: Tonight, there are checkpoints across Kyiv. The city is under curfew. And people here are bracing for the possibility of further conflict — Neil.
CAVUTO: Trey Yingst, thank you very much.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Zelensky addressing the European Union Parliament remotely. He didn’t dare leave the country, getting a standing ovation in doing so, but calling the European community on the carpet: “Stay with me. Stay with me.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENSKY (through translator): Do prove that you are with us. Do prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you indeed are Europeans. And then life will win over death and light will win over darkness.
Glory be to Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: All right, that was a standing ovation he got.
In an unprecedented move, the European Union Parliament now considering its application, not just his, but theirs, to volunteer it to become a member of the union. That could be a startling development in itself. It’s not becoming a member of NATO, but is a step leaking further to the West.
Halyna Yanchenko joins us right now, a Ukrainian Parliament member.
Ms. Yanchenko, thank you very much for joining us.
What did you think of what President Zelensky had to say? “Remember me. Prove that you are with us.”
HALYNA YANCHENKO, UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Well, what can I say?
Actually, it’s difficult to command the situation now. And I apologize, because I worry a little bit, because we just had very loud shelling of Kyiv. And my heart still beats fast. So…
CAVUTO: Well, that’s understandable.
Where are you now, Halyna?
YANCHENKO: I know that in…
CAVUTO: I’m sorry. Go ahead.
YANCHENKO: I am in my home in Kyiv.
And Kyiv is under constant shelling over the past six — six days. I know that not many Americans know where is Ukraine, like how big it is, how big and how dangerous Russia might be. I know that because I lived in U.S. for a year in 2005. So I want to show you what kind of things we are going through.
Look at this picture. The red one is Russia. The yellow one is Ukraine. And really, as a yellow country, as Ukraine, we are fighting back one of the most powerful army in the world. For the past six days, we are going through — through nightmares.
And I’m very proud of our president. I’m very proud of our army. I’m very proud of common people who left their daily routine and went to territory defense points to get some weapon and protect their cities, protect their country, protect their families and their children.
But I should tell you that my country is coming is — is going through a nightmare these days.
CAVUTO: You said you were just hearing what — some noises or explosions, I would imagine, probably not the first time.
How do you deal with that, Halyna?
YANCHENKO: Well, it’s difficult to get used to it, despite the fact that the war — this huge aggression has taken over the past six days.
Overall, in Ukraine, people are trying to calm down by doing something for army, by doing something for information resistance. And, actually, but some people, they just run away from the shelling. And some people take actions and are being active and go actually fight the — with the enemy, with the Russian occupation troops.
However, I should tell you that Putin does not hesitate to fire at civilians, peaceful civilians. Russian occupation troops are hitting residential — residential neighborhoods. They are hitting kindergartens, hospitals with people in it.
Yesterday, they pretty much bombed the downtown of Kharkiv, a city in east of Ukraine with over one million inhabitants there. A couple hundred civilians, peaceful, innocent people, were murdered over these past six days, including children.
So, I have — we have information about 16 Ukrainian children murdered by Russian troops or by heavy shelling of Russian troops, and about 50 children have serious injuries. And we are not sure we will be able to save them.
CAVUTO: Halyna, these seem like empty words. But just hang in there.
I cannot fathom what you and your colleagues and fellow citizens, Parliament members are going through, every noise, every loud explosion day in and day out. But your courage is remarkable, as is that of your people.
Please be well. And thank you very much for joining us.
YANCHENKO: There’s something else I want to tell you, if you might let me, please.
Well, I want to address American politicians now. And, please, show them this video, if they — if they miss it.
I’m addressing the U.S. as a national country. And I asked you to react on Russia’s blackmailing using nuclear weapon now, until it’s not too late. Two days ago, Putin said that he is planning to use nuclear weapon against Ukraine.
And this is really serious. This is real blackmailing. But given the fact that he’s a madman, he’s absolutely crazy, he can actually do it.
So, I’m addressing U.S., as a NATO country, a NATO member. Given the fact that nuclear weapon might and will destroy not only Ukraine, but other NATO countries, there is no time to hesitate. Please input more serious sanctions on Russia. And, please, actually start having no-fly zone above Ukraine.
Russia hits Ukraine heavily from air, and the nuclear power will come from air as well. So there is no more time to hesitate. You should do no-fly — no-fly zone over Ukraine now, until it’s not too late.
Your intelligence knew that Putin will invade in Ukraine a month-and-a-half ago. But you waited until — until Putin started killing innocent people before you imposed sanctions.
And we are thankful for the sanctions, but please don’t hesitate anymore. Take actions until it’s not too late and until a couple million people are buried dead in the center of Europe.
This is my message to American politician. And I ask you to pass it to them.
CAVUTO: They’re watching. We have a lot of people watching.
Halyna, thank you very much.
Halyna Yanchenko, Ukrainian Parliament member, again, like so many in her country and in the capital, just bunkering down, hunkering down in their homes.
And, by the way, to her point about the threat of nuclear action, of course, that was prompted by Vladimir Putin saying, if any of the countries that use or intend to use weapons, providing Ukraine in Ukraine, it was enough to alert his nuclear forces. And some have seen that as a threat that he would actually use these nuclear weapons.
I want to pick up on that theme with Jennifer Griffin at the Pentagon.
Now, obviously, that is a leap too far, and a scary leap at that. But you can understand Halyna’s worries here, because Vladimir Putin did throw it out there. Where does this stand now?
JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Neil, it’s part of — a well-known part of Russian military doctrine that they could employ tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield.
We have seen no signs that they have moved any of their tactical nuclear weapons toward Ukraine, but it is part of their doctrine to escalate in order to de-escalate. So that is of concern, and it’s being watched very closely.
What’s most notable to U.S. defense officials that I speak to is how slow- going the progress is for the Russian military. There are indications that Putin is frustrated as well, the way he’s been dressing down his defense minister and his top general in public; 80 percent of Russia’s pre-staged combat power, those 160,000 forces that he had on the edge of Ukraine, are now deployed inside Ukraine.
And yet they have not taken any large cities. Some Russian units have been captured, officials tell us. They have evidence that some Russian soldiers have surrendered even without a fight. The main advance on the capital, that 40-mile-long convoy, shows no appreciable movement in the last 24 hours.
The convoy stretches bumper to bumper halfway to the Belarusian border. It may be because of Ukrainian resistance, fuel and sustainment issues. They are having problems feeding their troops, we’re told. They are running out of food. Could be also an intentional pause. They may be regrouping, reevaluating.
There are reports that Russian soldiers are punching holes in their own fuel tanks to stop their vehicles from moving forward. And U.S. officials say they have no reason to doubt those reports. According to a U.S. defense official I spoke to, be — well, because of the slowed progress, NATO officials worry that Putin may authorize more lethal weaponry, not necessarily nuclear weapons, but these thermobaric vacuum bombs that we’re hearing about.
U.S. officials assess that the Russians have moved launcher systems that can be used for thermobaric weapons, those fuel air explosives, fired by rocket into Ukraine, but have not seen evidence that the weapon has been used yet. This footage is from 2014.
The Russians still don’t control the airspace over all of Ukraine. Ukrainian air and missile systems remain intact and viable. Zelensky, President Zelensky, has command and control over his armed forces. And he is exercising that control, but the question is for how long.
The Russian forces, many of them are conscripts. Some weren’t told where they were going. Another sign that things aren’t going as planned, the Kremlin ordered one of the few independent radio stations off the air today, Moscow’s Ekho Moskvy. So, many Russians are not seeing or hearing what is happening on the ground in Ukraine, Neil.
Jennifer Griffin, thank you very, very much here.
Obviously, all of this back-and-forth and the growing angst and concern that things are ratcheting up whipsawed oil prices today, skyrocketing to levels we have not seen since 2014. And that drove stocks down.
Right now, a Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, has said we need to drill for more oil here, especially if Russian oil completely leaves the market. We need to make up for it.
What does Senator Mark Warner think of what his fellow Democrat is saying? We will ask him — after this.
CAVUTO: All right, if Russian oil goes, then how do we pick up the slack?
The administration considering the possibility of opening up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, working with International Energy Agency members that would open up another 30 billion barrels to sort of cushion the blow, all of this at a time when Joe Manchin has been saying we need to pump more oil in the United States, so we’re not in this pickle.
I’m going to raise that with Senator Mark Warner in just a second.
First to Jacqui Heinrich on what the administration is considering the beyond that Reserve move — Jacqui.
JACQUI HEINRICH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Neil.
We got that word this morning. The White House, along with other world powers, would be releasing 60 million barrels of oil from their reserves to tamp down on prices, with the price of crude soaring at over $100 a barrel. But there is now growing concern, growing frustration at home even among Democratic lawmakers that sanctions around — against Russia allowed for carve-outs for energy purchases and that the president has also not taken steps to ramp up domestic energy production to offset all of this.
In 2021 — take a look at this graph — the U.S. imported an average of 670,000 barrels a day from Russia. The Keystone XL pipeline, which President Biden shut down, would have allowed access to about 830,000 barrels a day, allowing us to be a net exporter.
Senator Joe Manchin today called on the president to change that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I just think that basically for us to set the example and ask the rest of the world to step up to the plate, we have to step up to the plate.
That means basically reversing some of the decisions that have been made with no leasing, not drilling and basically cutting back. We need energy independence more now than ever before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEINRICH: As recently as this morning, the White House shut down that idea, Press Secretary Jen Psaki saying on FOX opening the Keystone XL pipeline would take years to impact prices, and also blamed oil companies for not tapping into 9,000 oil leases that are already approved.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also shut down Manchin’s calls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY): Our focus — that’s a very tiny amount in terms of the whole world oil market. Price-gouging and monopolies are the way to reduce the costs in a major way, and to do it in a long-term, permanent way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEINRICH: The White House also rebuffed calls to sanction Russian gas at this point, including from House Democrats yesterday, blaming really Europeans for concern about price spikes and saying that their costs have increased 365 percent over the course of the last year.
But inflation is also a problem here at home. It is, as you know, at a 40- year high. The president in his State of the Union address is expected to call for increased manufacturing to help bring down the prices of goods, but, at least so far, that same logic does not seem to apply to energy costs — Neil.
CAVUTO: Jacqui Heinrich at the White House, thank you very much.
To Virginia Senator Mark Warner on this.
Senator, how do you feel about your colleague Joe Manchin’s push, let’s beef up production here? What do you think of that?
SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): Well, Neil, I think we have got to put all these options on the table.
And let me step back. Ten days ago, I was in Munich with a bipartisan group of senators.
If you would have told me then that we would have the Germans take the lead on shutting down Nord Stream 2, that we would have actually sanctioned Vladimir Putin personally, that we would have had the Europeans take the lead on kicking Russian banks out of SWIFT, that we would have the Central Bank of Russia sanctioned, that we would have the Germans actually step up and meet their defense commitments, that we would have Sweden and Finland sending arms to Ukraine, and even the Swiss getting off the neutrality piece and weighing in, I would have said, that’s unbelievable.
And that’s happened of, one, because of the courage of Zelensky and the Ukrainian leadership and the fight of the Ukrainian people. But it’s also happened because Joe Biden has helped rebuild NATO and put this alliance back together. And we have got not America acting alone. We have got America acting with — in concert with our NATO allies and around the world.
CAVUTO: No, no, I understand that, Senator.
But my question was whether you would — my question was whether you would be open to increasing production here. I don’t know.
CAVUTO: When I heard Chuck Schumer, sir, talk about prices rising and he blamed it on gouging, as you know, oil trades in the open market. So anything can move it.
CAVUTO: And the reason why it’s up right now is concern about supply being disrupted. Your thoughts?
And the truth is, those supplies are going to even be more disruptive in Europe. And, as you know, Neil, I have been on your show lots of times. I was not — I was one that supported Keystone pipeline. But the idea of somehow reopening Keystone pipeline, that’s years away.
Are there things in terms of current production? I’m open to all that. I think we can do more, in concert with our European allies, because one of the things, if we’re going to stand up for democracy, we have got to make Putin pay.
We have got to make the Russian economy pay. And that’s going to drive up costs across the board.
CAVUTO: No, I understand that.
So, Senator, if I could just…
CAVUTO: Then, to cushion the blow, as the president will outline tonight how to help Americans dealing with higher prices at the pump and everything, would you be open to dropping, even for a limited time, the federal gas tax, and recommending states do the same, to get Americans through this period of high energy prices?
WARNER: Neil, I would commend what the administration has done and others on releasing oil reserves.
I am very nervous, as somebody who fought for years to make sure that we could adequately fund our roads and bridges, about, short term, taking away the gas tax, because I’m not sure a lot of colleagues who put that back.
And when we’re looking at $30 trillion in debt, that’s not financially responsible. We have still got to pay for those roads.
CAVUTO: So, you’re against doing that. You’re against doing that for the time being.
If I could switch gears…
WARNER: I’m really worried about short term, but let me finish the second point.
CAVUTO: No, I understand. I under — but I’m sorry, sir. We’re tight for time.
WARNER: I know, but you asked me whether I’m open to other increased production.
CAVUTO: No, no, I know. Sir…
WARNER: I know.
CAVUTO: You’re looking at other options. I understand. I don’t mean to be rude.
Let me ask you about President Zelensky, because he addressed the European Union Parliament today. They gave him the standing ovation. But, apparently, in all of these appearances, we’re learning that Russia is getting a good track on where he is and when he’s there.
You’re on the Intelligence Committee. You’re very connected with international security. Are you worried? Have you heard that the Russians are indeed tracking his every move?
WARNER: I know this.
We wouldn’t have had this alliance if the American intelligence community hadn’t been dead on, on predicting what the Russians would do. Have the Russians penetrated a lot of the Ukrainian systems? Absolutely. We have known that for some time.
I have been, frankly, surprised the Ukrainians — I mean, the Russians haven’t shut down the power, the water, the Internet, the videos that are coming out that are so powerful. So do I have confirmation they’re following every move of Zelensky? No.
Would I suspect or be surprised that they’re following every move of Zelensky? I wouldn’t be surprised at all, because, unfortunately, they have penetrated for years so many of the Ukrainian systems. And I have been surprised, Neil, that they have not gone ahead and brought their heavy guns in the cyber field to shut down those critical infrastructure in Ukraine. I think it was one more miscalculation by Putin.
CAVUTO: Senator Mark Warner, thank you very much, sir. We appreciate it.
I apologize for the truncated time.
You will be, of course, at the State of the Union address on the part of the president.
WARNER: Just have me on a little often — have me on more often.
CAVUTO: We will. We will. You’re always invited.
CAVUTO: Senator, thank you very, very much.
In the meantime, a Ukrainian tennis star who’s hanging up his racket and pick it up a rifle to help his home country — after this.
CAVUTO: From iPhone to I don’t want to do business with you.
Apple the latest company to say it’s going to halt product sales in Russia. It is not alone, better than a dozen companies today alone have said, we are out of here — after this.
CAVUTO: He is probably one of the greatest tennis players who ever picked up, a racket winner of four ATP titles. Remember when he went over Roger Federer? That was a huge deal. No one expected to see that.
Anyway, the Ukrainian tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky has hung up his racket, picked up a rifle, wants to go to Ukraine to fight the good fight.
He joins us right now.
Sergiy, thank you very, very much.
A lot of people are hearing this and amazed by your bravery, taking this on. You could sit back and relax, enjoy your stardom. But you chose not to do that. Why?
SERGIY STAKHOVSKY, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: Well, because I do believe that Russia wants to destroy Ukraine. And, basically, according to the Putin’s history books, we never existed.
And I do believe that’s what exactly they’re trying to do.
CAVUTO: Now, do you have any military experience, Sergiy?
STAKHOVSKY: Not whatsoever.
CAVUTO: Now, your family, what do they think of what you have committed to do?
STAKHOVSKY: I’m not sure my wife will ever forgive me for leaving,
STAKHOVSKY: I’m not sure I’m going to forgive myself for leaving three kids.
But it was a decision which was not made easy. But I understand that everybody has families. Every single Ukrainian father who stayed behind and sent his family away, he has a daughter, a son, a wife. I just don’t see why I should be any different.
CAVUTO: You know, it’s interesting, because you are among some very praised Ukrainian athletes. I know the boxer Vasiliy Lomachenko, the three- time — three weight champion, has indicated he’s going back to fight the fight, Oleksandr Usyk, also a heavyweight boxing champion, Ukrainian by birth.
All of you share this great love of your country and put your lives on the line for your country. But you’re obviously aware of the overwhelming forces Vladimir Putin has. And now he seems to be targeting civilians.
What do you think of that?
STAKHOVSKY: Well, you can do as much as you can do. I mean, you don’t think about how many troops they or how big is the force.
You understand, we have — we have the reason to be here. We have the reason to fight. They don’t. They’re not in their land. They are conquering who? They are conquering free people. They’re trying to invade the country which was getting much better in terms of prosperity. There was — it was growing much faster than Russia is growing.
And they just couldn’t have it, I mean, or Putin couldn’t have it. So that’s why he invaded. And he needs Ukraine to be a bizarre country, unstable, so then he could show to the Russians that this is the Western world. That’s how it looks like. It’s disastrous. Don’t even try to think of going there.
So that’s the main part here, where the propaganda level in Russia is just through the roof. He’s trying to sell him to people that we are all here neo-Nazis and fascists and that we are hiding behind women and all that stuff.
Well, I traveled through my country. I was crossing the border on foot just about 48 hours ago. And I have traveled through Ukraine 700 kilometers. And the level of motivation throughout the country of people who are trying to defend themselves, they’re organizing themselves into small groups to overwatch their own cities, villages, roads.
They put roadblocks on the roads. It’s remarkable. And I do believe that, basically, predominantly, it all comes from the president, Zelensky, who stayed inside the capital while it is surrounded by Russian tanks. He doesn’t leave the country here, I would say, the first president who is ready to risk his life for his beliefs and for the country.
And it’s really admirable.
CAVUTO: Yes, he’s he’s actually become sort of like a Churchill that no one saw coming, the way he’s handled this, Sergiy.
And one of the things he said today talking to the European Union Parliament: “Prove that you are with us.”
Do you think, Sergiy, that the world is with Ukraine?
STAKHOVSKY: I think the citizens of the world are with Ukraine. I think even maybe some politicians are.
But, in general, the countries which could help Ukraine to overcome this battle — and they could have done it years ago, actually, already — they are silenced — or not really silenced, but they’re not so keen to do something particular. Let’s put it that way.
They’re happy to arm us. They’re happy to give us this and that, but we need some small things, like close down the air over the Ukraine. Just give us that chance to fight on the ground. Don’t give them the superiority in air, which we don’t have it. And it’s obvious. And we will never have it, not in the future. Even if European Union is going to give us 100 airplanes, we just don’t have so many pilots.
So, we need — we need this fighting edge, which at least will tilt the advantage or at least level the field for us, because they are a 140 million country. We are just 14 million-strong. And in terms of the size and the military experience, we’re not there yet.
But we have higher motivation because we are on our land, and they are not in their land. They came to conquer. Their motivation will always be less. And I see from the battles which are happening here they’re not motivated.
They don’t understand why they’re there.
CAVUTO: No, you’re right about that, Sergiy. We’re hearing that a number of Russian soldiers, when they find out what’s going on, they’re putting down their arms or they’re deliberately trying to slow the tank convoy that’s making its way there because they just can’t do it.
We will watch it very closely. I pray for your safety, your family’s safety, and everyone in your incredible country.
Sergiy, thank you very, very much.
STAKHOVSKY: Thank you.
CAVUTO: The tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky, who saw his people in need and decided to help them. He could have just stood by. He did not, like so many others, going back to the country ravaged by war that they didn’t choose to fight, but they are now.
We will have a lot more after this.
CAVUTO: All right, I add Apple and Ford and GM and a host of others to the growing list of companies disconnecting from Moscow.
Susan Li has much more on I guess what’s been almost like a jailbreak for these guys from Russia, huh?
SUSAN LI, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Yes, so going from being an exciting emerging market 30 years ago to virtually being uninvestable overnight.
You have a growing long list of global companies pausing or pulling out of Russia. And, yes, that includes a single largest foreign investor in the country, BP, that’s walking away from that $25 billion investment in Russian energy giant Rosneft. You have other oil majors, including Shell, Norway’s Equinor, Total, ExxonMobil all pulling out.
And that essentially ends decades of investments that started in the 1990s for these oil giants. Meantime, you have major car companies halting sales, Ford just announcing that a few minutes ago. GM is pausing on their 3,000 cars that they ship each and every year, Volvo, Daimler Truck doing the same, and Mercedes looking at ways to exit its joint venture.
Also HOG, Harley-Davidson is pausing on their bikes sales there, and from law firms to shipping to wireless services, the list of sectors pulling back from Russia is long and it’s growing. You have Hollywood also shutting down the big screen, pausing on big movie releases, including the new Batman reboot, Disney’s new animated film “Turning Red,” and big tech pulling back on their services, social media giants Meta, formerly known as Facebook, along with Google’s YouTube and TikTok now silencing Russia state media companies like Russia Today and Sputnik.
Meta also says that they are demoting links to Russian state media and Facebook on Instagram as well, so both on Facebook and Instagram, while Google just confirmed that they are removing them off the Google News site. And there’s a spending live maps in Ukraine, limiting access to Google Pay in Russia.
And, Neil, just this afternoon, a few hours ago, you have Apple confirming to me that they are pausing all product sales in Russia. They are limiting Apple Pay. Russian state media apps are not available outside of Russia on the App Store. And they’re disabling live maps in Ukraine.
And, finally, while these companies are leaving Russia or pausing in Russia, you have Elon Musk shipping in Starlink terminals into Ukraine, which allow access to his satellite Internet service. And that will hopefully keep the Internet on even if Russia takes out those communication towers — Neil.
Susan Li, thank you very, very much.
CAVUTO: Enter Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. He is also trying to untangle a lot of ties with Russia. He’s leading that charge in the beautiful state of Maryland.
Kind enough to join us now.
Governor, do you have many connections to Russia? Explain how you seek them out and then sort of disconnect.
GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R-MD): Well, we really don’t have too many, Neil.
But we wanted to take some symbolic steps, so just hearing that, about all those companies pulling out. So, the state of Maryland had a 30-some-year relationship and a sister state relationship with Leningrad, which we terminated over the weekend.
We also ordered all state agencies in our pension system to make sure that they did not invest and that they divested in any Russian companies or investments that they had. And it certainly is not something that’s going to make a major impact. But we thought it was important to send a clear message that the people of Maryland and the people of America are standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and against Putin and Russia’s aggression.
CAVUTO: If he ends that aggression, Governor, do these ties get reformed, or is this beyond the pale, what he did is so bad that he has to go?
HOGAN: Well, I think he’s going to have to go.
I don’t know how we accomplish that. But this is — this is just — one thing that Putin has done is, he’s united NATO and the E.U. and I think the people around the world. Zelensky has shown incredible courage. And it’s just been inspiring.
And I think the world leaders and the companies that you’re — that we’re talking about are not going to be forgetting about this anytime soon and going right back to business as usual with Russia.
CAVUTO: I’m curious, because there is a divide among some in the Republican Party, Governor.
Former President Donald Trump himself has said he admires the savvy and the brilliance of Vladimir Putin and that he’s taking advantage of the president. What do you think of that and those who in your party have great admiration for the Russian leader?
HOGAN: Well, I think it’s crazy, and it’s just absolutely absurd.
And we have we have heard this kind of talk before from President Trump and from some others, but, at this time, it couldn’t be more clear that we, as a nation, and folks across the world need to stand up against Putin. The kind of talk that he’s a genius and has great strategy is not what we need right now. We need a solid voice among Republicans and Democrats to stand up and say, this is not acceptable, and we’re going to stand together against it.
CAVUTO: You know, your former governor friend, and friend anyway, Chris Christie had said that these comments really startled him, bothered him.
He said: “How can anyone with any understanding of the world call Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine genius and very savvy, as we watch him unite the rest of the world against Russia in nearly an instant?”
Would that kind of talk, to you, be a disqualifier, forget about the former president, but for any Republican who espouses something like that?
HOGAN: Well, yes, I agree with every word that Governor Christie said. We are good friends. And I texted him right after those remarks and told him how much I appreciated them, because he’s right on target.
I mean, it’s just not acceptable. This is — this aggression by Putin is one of the worst things that’s ever happened. And for anyone to have any kind of positive remarks about him is — it’s completely unacceptable.
CAVUTO: It sounds like he’s running for president, Governor. Are you going to?
HOGAN: Well, I’m not sure whether he is or whether I am either.
But I’m just focused on trying to finish out my last year as being governor of Maryland, do the best job I can. And I’m sure that Governor Christie and I and others will sit down and talk about what the future holds after that.
CAVUTO: But if there’s any other elective office waiting for you, it would be for president, not senator or…
HOGAN: Well, I made — a lot of people were trying to encourage me to run for the U.S. Senate.
CAVUTO: Right. Right.
HOGAN: And I made that decision a couple of weeks ago that I just did not want to be in the U.S. Senate.
And so I’m just going to finish out my term as governor and do the best job I can, and run through the tape, and then see how I can contribute in the future.
CAVUTO: I’m really badgering this point. I apologize ahead of time, but if Donald Trump were your nominee for president, Governor, would you support him?
HOGAN: Well, I sure hope that Donald Trump is not the nominee. And I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that that’s not the case.
CAVUTO: OK, that sounds like a no.
HOGAN: That’s a no.
Governor Larry Hogan, very good seeing you. Thank you, sir, very much.
HOGAN: Thank you.
CAVUTO: All right I want to go to James Clyburn right now, the House majority whip.
I always say when we have the South Carolina Republican on he got Joe Biden into the Oval Office. And he joined many others talking up support today for Ukrainian refugees and those, he said, lawmakers who support Ukraine and support the fight that’s going on.
Congressman, it’s good to have you.
The president is going to make this a major theme in his address tonight, we’re told. How much should he say about how far we will go? I have had a number of Ukrainian guests, sir, who have said, we need protection of our airspace so that the Russians can’t just bomb us away.
Are you open to that? It doesn’t sound like the president wants to do that. Where do you stand?
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Well, thank you very much for having me.
I do not get too far into foreign policy issues. I don’t go to all these super secret, top-secret meetings, because I do not wish to be curtailed in any way in what I want to express for programs like this. So I do not attend these meetings. So I don’t know what unclassified information they may be getting.
So I’m not going to say what the president should or should not do when it comes to foreign affairs.
I will say this. I am standing firmly in support of what our allies are doing, not just NATO, but I consider Ukraine a part of that. I have been to that country. And I tell you, it does something to you to see these magnificent buildings turned into rubble. This, to me, is just crazy stuff.
And I have been saying for a long time that Putin sees himself as Hitler, and we ought to recognize that. He wants to put that old Soviet Union back together. I was there when it was won back in the 1970s. And he was — had been very upset that all of that failed economically.
But he has taken the track that will put them back into economic — in the economic basement. And I don’t understand why he doesn’t understand that.
CAVUTO: Do you think the president needs to pivot tonight, not just on the Ukraine situation, sir, but that, given his poll numbers, something’s got to change?
Do you think something’s got to change?
CLYBURN: I think the president needs to keep pressing forward.
He is doing what’s right for the country. You have heard me say this before, I think. I’m a Truman guy. Truman did what was right for the country. And I saw what it did his numbers. Now people look back on Truman and says, he is one of the best presidents we ever had.
What was his numbers like? Because he integrated the armed services, people didn’t like him. Strom Thurmond stormed out of the party, started the state rights parties. And Truman’s numbers went way down. Truman pushed for integration. His numbers went way down.
That — we know what’s happening here. If you look at the fact that the president’s numbers have fallen among African-Americans by 20, 25 points, is because of a lot of the misinformation that is out there.
If we do a good job of telling people what it is to that this president has done and is doing, his numbers would be better. But he needs to keep pressing forward, doing exactly what he’s doing, because what he’s doing is what the country needs done.
It may not be popular with everybody.
CAVUTO: The country — country — it may be for whatever reason, so the country isn’t — isn’t sensing that getting that. They give him low marks, many, a majority now, convinced he hasn’t done anything for them.
I’m wondering if, on the energy stuff or any of this, he has to maybe open himself up to drilling, has to open itself to things like that, because he appears to be floundering?
CLYBURN: Well, you talk about drilling.
I’m not for drilling, except where drilling ought to be taking place. I’m not for drilling off the coast of the Southeast Coast, where our economies rely…
CAVUTO: Are you for opening up more production here, though, Congressman? Do you think he has to say that and say, I’m going to slightly reverse what I did in the beginning of my administration, because we got a crisis here?
CLYBURN: Well, we have not passed a lot of stuff that he’s got for energy production.
We want to increase energy sources like solar, like wind. We got a big wind facility taking place down there in Charleston, with Clemson University. We need to do more of that, which will generate affordable energy.
CAVUTO: But can you do all of the above, Congressman?
Do you think he should advocate, I’m not really for traditional fossil fuels, but I’m all in on everything to get us over this hump? Would you support that?
CLYBURN: I have been saying for years we need a smorgasbord approach to energy, all of the above.
I’m a big nuclear energy guy. There are a lot of people who don’t like nuclear. I do. It’s clean. And we have 54 percent in South Carolina is nuclear.
CAVUTO: All right, very good.
Always good seeing you, Congressman James Clyburn, House majority whip, a very close confidant of the president of the United States. A lot of people say, had it not been for his help in South Carolina, we would not have a President Biden today.
Congressman, thank you.
To Lucas Tomlinson right now in Lviv, Ukraine. Again, we’re getting these reports of throngs of Russian soldiers, most of them heading toward the capital, this 40-mile-long caravan, tank caravan, but Lviv isn’t out of the woods either, of course, a key point in the western part of the country, where those who want to get out and those outside from Poland who want to get in and help, it is a key, key destination.
Lucas Tomlinson has more — Lucas.
LUCAS TOMLINSON, FOX NEWS PENTAGON PRODUCER: That’s right, Neil.
Some 660,000 Ukrainians are fleeing the country, many of them pouring through here to Poland, which is 40 miles to the west. Here are two of them. The father cannot leave, part of President Zelensky’s decree that no military-age males can leave the country. He has to stay and fight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It’s terrible because it was so unexpected, and nobody was prepared to this situation.
And we believe that we will see them soon. I’m sure that we will see them soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TOMLINSON: Air raid sirens heard throughout the city a few hours ago, Neil, sending people scrambling for shelters.
This war rapidly creating the worst humanitarian crisis in Europe this century. In Southeast Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry claims the land bridge from the Donbass to Crimea along the Sea of Azov, one of Putin’s military objectives, of course, is now complete, following this amphibious assault with some 2,000 Russian Marines.
The Ukrainians deny the takeover is complete. They say the strip of land along the coast remains contested. And shelling continues in Kharkiv to the northeast days after that Russian special forces unit was annihilated. Some think the shelling the civilians could be revenge.
Now, here on the ground, Lviv, we’re under a curfew and martial law. This is what war looks like during Putin’s invasion of this country — Neil.
CAVUTO: You have always told us what it’s like at night, because I imagine it’s scarier at night. People hear things, and they are very real things. They are explosions and the like.
How are people holding up there as we go into day seven tomorrow?
TOMLINSON: Neil, people are holding up, but they’re very nervous.
For a long time, people on the ground here denied this invasion could take place. Now they’re just absolutely shocked. So many people are clutching their phones, even people walking on the streets. You can tell they’re just searching for news, want to hear from loved ones.
Speaking of the night, Neil, it’s very interesting. It does not appear that the Russian forces are fighting at night. None of the Russian soldiers that we see images of on the screen have night-vision goggles. We don’t see a ton of flying around. We do see some of those missile strike, some 400 missiles launched in this country. That is one thing worth pointing out, Neil.
CAVUTO: You know, I’m also curious, Lucas.
We hear these reports, they might be sporadic, and they might only apply to a few Russian soldiers, that some of those soldiers are not keen on this assignment. First of all, a good many of them didn’t know what the assignment was when they discovered that they were going to lead a brigade to attack Ukraine, a friendly neighbor and one with whom very few Russians had any problems.
They’re putting down their arms. They’re trying to slow or stop tanks or other military vehicles. I don’t know how widespread that is, but do you?
TOMLINSON: Well, Neil, about a third of these Russian soldiers are conscripts, OK? They’re not here by choice.
And it’s a very different military, the Russian forces vs. the American forces. There’s not as much communication between the officer ranks and the enlisted ranks. And so what we’re hearing is the only people that knew about this invasion were Vladimir Putin and some of his top cadre, top officers, and of course, his defense minister.
In terms of some of the officers on the ground, it’s one of the reasons why we think there was no real OPSEC, if you will. People were allowed to walk up, film these tanks and Russian soldiers before they invaded. They let people do this. They didn’t even think they were coming down.
You will remember there were some 30,000 troops in Belarus in the north taking part in joint military exercises. And while the Pentagon and White House were warning of an invasion, I think a lot of Russian troops didn’t know they were going to be a part of it, Neil.
CAVUTO: It seems that way.
Lucas Tomlinson, thank you very much. Be safe, my friend.
As we continue following this, the effect here in the United States is real, something the president will address in his State of the Union, as gas prices, oil prices soar, and just the cost of living everywhere follows suit. We’re always on it.
Here now “The Five.”
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