25/10/2016 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis.

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How well do you, how well do we understand modern Russia


and its ambitions in Syria and beyond?


In view of the ruthless and brutal behaviour of the Russians


it cannot be business as usual with Russia.


The relationship that Britain has with Russia,


the European Union has with Russia, the relationship I hope


that Australia has with Russia, will be very different.


He'd rather believe Vladimir Putin


than the military and civilian intelligence


professionals who are sworn to protect us.


She doesn't like Putin because Putin has outsmarted her


Russia and the regime owe the world more than an explanation


about why they keep hitting hospitals and medical


And we will never recognise Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea,


That's the view of Russia most of us recognise.


Tonight, we take a close look at how the world looks to the Russians,


how they view themselves, Syria and us.


It is the story of a new cold-ish war.


Also tonight, we will be looking at...


The politics of Heathrow expansion, an extraordinary argument


and a strange Danish practice involving cinnamon buns


But as I say, we start with Russia and the west.


You can't avoid it - from geopolitical headaches


to the hacking of American politicians,


Russian warships in the channel, arguments over a British bank


trying to close the account of the state TV network RT,


In all these disputatious areas, you can criticise behaviour


of the west or in the west, and we do.


But many have a deeper instinctive distrust of Russia


Which makes it all the more important for us to understand


what they are being told and what they think.


And worryingly, the rhetoric there is heating up.


For example, the Russians have released images


of the new Satan 2 nuclear missile, said to be powerful enough


Gabriel Gatehouse is in Moscow for us,


trying to get into the Russian psyche.


Good evening. What is remarkable being here is how people view


diametrically differently all of the topics that you heard those


politicians remarking upon in your introduction. Take, for example, the


very negative treatment, as they see it here, of Russia in the US


presidential election. Because the allegations of hacking


don't get much coverage here, this is genuinely seen as Russophobia


both by the people and by the Kremlin and they see that as both


worrying and encouraging, worrying because they don't want to be


isolated, but encouraging because they feel the world is taking notice


of Russia. So what you see here is people being able to take two


diametrically opposed views of one situation and accommodate them at


the same time. And as you said, the anti-Western rhetoric on television


in particular is heating up at the same time, and that is certainly


having an effect. Something in the way it


projects itself abroad. That is the question


of who rules the world. And in the way the people view


themselves. Russian civilisation is a culture


of heroes and warriors. There is a battle going on here


for the soul of this country. We have our special Russian truth


that you need to accept. And for the very concept


of what is real and what is not. since I first started coming


here in the mid-1990s, when the streets were crammed


with battered Ladas and for most people, foreign travel


was a distant dream. Even as life has become more


westernised, so more and more people seem to be turning their backs


on the West. Or at least, their government


is trying hard to push them Recently, state-controlled TV


beamed these pictures into the nation's living


rooms, in preparation for


possible nuclear war. "Locate your nearest bomb shelter


now", the presenter says, The spectre of war casts


a long shadow over Russia. nearly half a million people lie


buried in this cemetery alone. who saved the Soviet


Union from destruction. Valentina Nikolaevna is too young


to remember the war herself, but she remembers only too well how


the Soviet Union collapsed, And she knows who she


thinks is to blame. The war in Syria, the conflict


in Ukraine, these are seen


very differently here. State-controlled TV feeds viewers


a diet of war and crisis abroad, in which the West


is cast as the aggressor. Now the news bulletins


are talking about the prospect something unthinkable


since the end of the Cold War. In St Petersburg, officials have


drawn up plans for bread rationing. Few are taking this seriously.


No one is stockpiling food. But the siege of Leningrad is seared


into the folk memory of this city. Svetlana Bogdanova keeps a memento


of those dark, hungry days 125 grams of bread, a day's ration,


saved by her grandfather in 1942. Talk of rationing today


is nonsense, Svetlana says. But still, it has a psychological


effect. For centuries, Russia has wrestled


with an existential question - The collapse of the Soviet Union


was not, it turned out, Underneath the trappings


of a capitalist economy, Western-style liberalism has


struggled to take root. In Russia, things are not always


entirely what they seem. Students go paintballing


at the weekend. It's organised by an opposition


party. But the party in question is in fact


loyal to the Kremlin. And paintballing is part of a wider


government-approved programme We have a wide range


of military activities. Some of them involve knife


combat, knife throwing. where we go to shooting ranges


sometimes or military encampments When you watch Russian television,


it seems like people are preparing for some kind of confrontation


with the West. We are preparing for


confrontation with the West. But more, this confrontation happens


on a cultural and information level. But this warrior spirit


is one of the principles Russian civilisation is a culture


of heroes and warriors, so it's a culture of warfare


whether we like it or not. 20 years ago, when I first came


to Russia, it seemed like people You're absolutely right,


and it didn't do us any good. And in our great country,


the result is warfare and open conflict because we have started


to love different people. Do you think it's really possible,


I mean, you're training is it possible that that could ever


be used in a conflict with the West? Now there are a lot of conflicts


with Ukraine and other people. Me and my comrades and unfortunately


even some others have taken part. It's a conflict between


Russia and the West. The Ukrainian army has western


equipment, Western weapons None of the students we spoke


to said they were volunteering They're in their late teens,


early twenties, all of them born in the post-Soviet period,


and they seemed unconvinced by the talk on TV of


a looming conflict. Almost as soon as he came to power,


Putin began taking control What you see on television today


is either sanctioned Truth has become subordinate


to political expediency. To support this difficult balancing


act, an entire philosophical


framework has been constructed. One of its chief architects


is Aleksandr Dugin, thinker and ideologue who is under US


sanctions for his alleged involvement in Russia's


annexation of Crimea The truth is the question of belief,


and post-modernity shows that every so-called truth


is a matter of believing. and that is the only way


to define the truth. that you need to accept as something


that is maybe not your truth. that doesn't mean that


truth doesn't exist. Dugin's philosophy is


known as Eurasianism. It holds that Orthodox Russia


is neither East nor West, but a separate and unique


civilisation, a civilisation engaged in a battle for its rightful


place among world powers. His work has become increasingly


influential among Russia's If the United States doesn't


want to start a war, you should recognise,


the United States should recognise openly for all humanity,


all mankind, that the United States The situation in Syria,


Ukraine and anywhere else, So Ukraine and Syria


are all about proving to America And Russia says no,


you are not boss. and if behind us there is nuclear


weapons and an iron will to defend, for example, the little case


of Assad, defend Assad, it is principally not because we


have so much interest there. That is the question


of who rules the world. Dugin's bellicose doublethink is not


aimed solely at the West. There is a message for internal


consumption too, and it is this. There's no such thing


as liberal values. There's no such thing


as universal liberal values. There is no inherent contradiction


in a democracy In the shadow of the walls


of the Kremlin, Russia's dwindling band of activists keep alive


the memory of Boris Nemtsov, the opposition politician


who was gunned down Most Russians don't really


believe that nuclear war Perhaps their leaders


don't believe it either. But then they probably don't really


believe But the more the lie is repeated,


the more it risks morphing To unpick some of these issues, I've


been speaking to two Russians. Let me start by asking you,


do people generally believe On the one hand, people absolutely


believe what they are told. They believe that state channels


transmit the official position, On the other hand, they are not


looking for news as such. They are looking to decipher


the system of signals. Who is on air today


and who was yesterday? What set of terms is being used


this season as opposed


to the previous season? What is the intonation,


what is the choice of words? All this is important to understand


because it prophesies when it comes to events like events


in Syria and Ukraine, from the way we see them


in the West, don't they? The Ukrainian war was considered


as a defensive war here, not just by the Kremlin,


but by the population as well. Whatever happens in Ukraine


is considered to be an intrusion So something that for outsiders


is like an aggression, and by international


standards it is, for


the Russians here is a defence. The external audience


is obviously the West, and the West is certainly sitting


up and taking notice. Is this the effect that the Kremlin


wants to have? The external audience is not only


the West, And that is a more important


audience outside Russia than the West, because the West


is considered to be lost You never will please


them, so stop trying. What is important is to show


that we are powerful to


the rising, huge developing world, consisting of China,


India, Latin America, It seems clear that the Kremlin no


longer looks to the west or Western liberalism


is an inspiration. But is it also dead


in Russian society? those that would name


themselves liberals, those that would name


themselves Orthodox Christian, this low level of trust, this low


level of belief in the future, this attempt to rather keep


by the devil you know than trust


to the devil you do not know. You mentioned the projection


of strength abroad. There is a projection of strength


abroad, but in their core


they are very uncertain. because there are so many


issues resolved. The first one is the


transition of power. There is no system


beyond one person. It's more personal


than in Soviet times. based on the experience


of the 20th century, that by changing something,


you destroy the country, because they tried it several times


and every time they tried to move the system from this quasi-monarchy,


they lost the country. So the good idea seems to be


to try to make the time stop somehow and to meanwhile distract attention


by following adventures in places. This is Russian conservatism,


it is not the natural conservatism of a smoothly moving society


like the British one. It's not a real love for the past,


it's a fear of the future, exactly. It was a long time coming,


but by the time it came today it seemed like we knew it already:


Heathrow is the Government's choice Our political editor Nick Watt


is with me to chew it over briefly. A momentous day. Theresa May is very


proud and has taken just under four months what her eight predecessors


failed to do in 40 years, but beyond that we did learn two interesting


things. Some eyebrows were raised when Chris Grayling declined in his


opening statement to repeat a very clear statement on his department


website which is the private sector would pave airport expansion. He did


say to Ireland MP that it would, and in his opening statement he was


cautious, and I understand there are some confusion is over what is


called surface costs, the better road and public transport structures


into Heathrow. Where they benefit passengers, that is the Heathrow to


pay, but where they benefit the wider economy, should that be for


the Government to pay? But the Government is going out of its way


to make sure it would be very difficult to mount a judicial case


against them. They have given themselves until the end of February


2018 to have the parliamentary vote which would formally allow this to


happen. I understand that David Cameron's government was working on


the basis of giving themselves six months, so they are following proper


procedure. Thank you very much indeed.


When it comes to the interlinked crises so absorbing us


Isis, Iraq and Europe's migrant problem,


Turkey is a country that looms large.


But it is weirdly capable of simultaneously sometimes


being seen as a solution, and almost as often


it was the country that let migrants sail in precarious crafts to Greece,


but it was also the country to then stop them,


and indeed one that bears more than its fair share of the task


In the fight against Isis, it has been on the right side,


but it's also frankly complicated the situation


with its hatred of the Kurdish fighters who seem


Right now, concern over the problematic aspects of Turkey


are being magnified by President Erdogan's brand


perhaps comparable to that of President Putin.


Erdogan has recently been suggesting that Turkey is too small,


that the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that sets its borders


And just today, the Turkish foreign minister


ratcheted up tensions even further.


formerly a minister in Mr Erdogan's government,


for sure. We are fighting against Isil in that region, in Syria, in


Iraq. I will come to that, but wider is President Erdogan keep talking


about the Treaty of Lausanne? You accept the Treaty of 1923? It is the


Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 that was the condition, the historical


condition of that time. That is what President Erdogan referred to. In


the case of Mosul and Kirkuk. Then later the developments in the region


went differently, but we are happy with our borders. So it is just


historic talk, it is not crazy talk about... Turkish TV has been showing


maps showing Turkey as a bigger country. It is the history. When


they are coming to that issue, you can talk to other countries, for


example Great Britain. Yes, we had a lot of countries. It is not an issue


of history, it is the issue of today that we face the terrorism, we face


the Isil, we face the PKK terrorism, the fatwa organisation. And we are


trying to fight against a military coup, the bloodiest one that they


face, and today, the Turkish army is ready to be a part of a coalition in


fighting against Isil. This is very important, because of course Iraq


has asked you to remove your troops from by Chic airbase. They think you


are making it complicated in the fights for Mosul. Why don't you


remove them? Simply because Turkey has come in in support of Turkish


regional authority and government to train the Peshmerga forces who are


fighting against Isil. Because with that training, 3500 people,


Peshmergas, who are actively taking place in fighting against Isil, and


that is why we are here. The second reason is that it is an issue of our


security. What about Iraq's sovereignty? They


want you to remove them and you are saying no. But there are 60


countries, different countries, forces, there, and we speak and it


was the admission of the government and of course the regional


government of the Kurdish authorities that we are with their


permission, and there invitation... But not the Iraqis. President


Erdogan has spoken of helping our Sunni brothers. It is a very tribal


way to look at it. If you look at the case of Mosul, where we have 1.8


million people, mostly they are Sunnis. But it is not your job...


But it is our border, and to remember who faces migration from


Syria. 3.5 million of minors from Syria are hosted by Turkey. It is


not by our allies and other countries in Europe. I understand


that. I mentioned that. So we do not want to face another 1 million


migrants from Mosul. That is the issue. I understand. We understand


your argument. We have another case of Tel Sun, which has 400,000


people, 200,000 of which are Sunni. Can you see with all the talk about


the Lausanne Treaty, with refusing to take your troops out of Iraq even


though they ask you to, and with 70,000 people arrested, people say


this country has now got a dictator not a president. It is an absolute


nonsense, because everything is done under the observation of the rule of


law, and we will observe the rule of law from now on as well. We face the


bloodiest military coup, 241 people innocent. I would love to talk to


you much more about this, but I'm afraid we are out of time. We have


to clean up... We could talk about this a lot more. Thank you very much


indeed. Thank you. As the nights draw in,


our thoughts turn to Denmark, the small, light-starved country


which inexplicably tops the polls Some put that down to the exhaustive


welfare system that Danish people seem content to pay


for in their taxes. Others think it's just


because they're too conformist But perhaps the answer


lies in a national gift for a cosy togetherness


that is known as "hygge". I confess that, other


than being told that it involves cinnamon buns and candles, I have no


idea whatsoever what hygge is. But that is why we employ


Stephen Smith, to explain # Girl, your


sweetness is my weakness... "Hooga", "hewga", let's call


the whole thing off. However you pronounce


it, the H word is part and


it's coming to a sofa near you. Hygge is nothing if not homely,


so we stayed at home. at this handsome Scandi


furnishing store, You should have your


own cartoon series. My dad is actually called


Wolf Viking, and I have a


nephew called Max Viking. It's a good job you


can grow facial hair The ingredients are togetherness,


good lighting, relaxation, indulgence, savouring simple


pleasures, gratefulness. Can it catch on here,


do you think? I think in many ways,


it already has. and I also see a lot of Brits


embracing it, so I like to think We found these happy hygges


at an event in London. So what has this fad


got going for it? British people are really


good at hygge anyway. Down the pub, open


fire, glass of wine. I think it's because we're


all longing to take that kind of


break, take time out. I guess hygge is also about healthy


hedonism, the idea that you can


have a drink or a whiskey. People are tired of these


extreme diets and fads. Everyone is so guilty


about what they eat and drink. Meik Wiking also runs


the Danish Institute of Happiness, a job he gave himself


when he set the thing up. All the Nordic countries do well,


Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland. They are always at the top


of the World Happiness Report. But we couldn't explain why


Denmark does well. We think that the hygge culture,


the focus on pleasure and comfort on a daily basis,


could be part of that explanation. But doesn't Meik ever want to stop


being so darn cosy You know what I mean, though,


don't you? We have nice lighting


and cinnamon buns. I just thought you might get


fed up of it and want something a bit more,


you know, raw and visceral. Even bleak Scandi dramas with a high


body count It was time for me to give the Danes


a version of the famous Orson Welles speech


from The Third Man. The Brits have had civil war,


we've had these two upheavals here, but we've


produced Shakespeare, The Danes have this lovely,


chilled out lifestyle and you've


produced the cinnamon bun. But we also see that happier


employees are on average more productive, less


sick, more creative. This Christmas, yes,


I said Christmas - I guess we are a bit clearer about


what it is. On the surface, it seems to be


an argument about theatre lighting, but it's also being portrayed


as another battle in She hasn't even been artistic


director of the Globe Theatre in London for a year,


and they've already There were grumbles at her desire


to use fancy lighting in the replica Elizabethan theatre -


not the done thing Others say it's angry white men


with no imagination, forcing out a creative


and progressive woman. Well, this is Emma Rice's


eyebrow-raising style. I'm Emma Rice, and in April,


I become the third artistic director It's been an incredible few months,


and I'm very excited Joining me now are Tanika Gupta,


who is a playwright and member of the creative cabinet


at the Globe Theatre, and Sohrab Ahmari,


a Wall Street Journal Tanika Gupta, what do you know about


what has gone wrong here? As far as I am aware, it is not about lighting


and sound. It is about artistic integrity. Ultimately, the board did


not support Emma, which is completely surprising because they


applauded her only six months ago. This is what everyone is so


distraught and disappointed about. So she is a loss to the Globe?


Absolutely. She's the most extraordinary director,


one-of-a-kind, and she is hugely respected both by artists and other


directors. And was she pushed because she was a


woman? Some say she would never have been attacked if she was a man. Was


she radical, or was it the lighting? It was old versus new, young versus


old, and it was extremely disappointing. A lot of women


artists are furious and are saying this was the pushing out of an


extraordinary woman which should not have happened. Someone said this the


Brexit of the theatre world. The two, you are not a fan. Tell me why


you didn't think Emma Rice was the right person for the Globe? The


lighting was part of it. This was an institution that was built to


present Shakespeare as his audience would have appreciated him. So the


natural lighting was part of the charm. But the deeper point is that


what is old is not necessarily bad and what is new is not necessarily


good. So this assumption that old is bad and progressive is good falls


apart when you see her productions, which were the productions of


someone who clearly didn't like Shakespeare. I am not speculating,


she has said, when I read Shakespeare, I get sleepy and want


to put on the archers. We saw productions suggesting that the


ferry potion that alters people's desires in her production of A


Midsummer Night's Dream was a date rape drug, or all this modern slang.


So when Lysander says to her mere, get away from me, she changed it to,


get away from me, you argue BLEEP. Actually, I changed that! This is


the rep for Shakespeare theatre where you are meant to see it as


they saw it. No, it is theatre. Data should be ever-changing and you


should allow people in the arts to be able to interpret it as they


wish. It was 99% Shakespeare. There were tiny cuts. What is the point of


going to the Globe? The point is that they appointed her. They wanted


her. They were excited about her. What has happened is that the Globe


have not backed her. A people were tweeting rudely about the decision


and saying, if you want authenticity, then scatter cholera


over the seats. Because it is not authentic Shakespeare, it has planes


flying overhead. It is nothing like Shakespeare's day. But it comes down


to having a certain degree of trust in the text. With what Ms Rice was


trying to do with her team, there was anxiety about the fact that


Shakespeare is not relevant and people couldn't relate to it unless


we had a David Bowie song, which she did in the middle of one, and a


Beyonce dance number. But if you actually go to the texts, you can


see the reason it is at the heart of the western canon is because it


speaks across time and across identity and across all of this


stuff, so you don't need to impose relevant on it. You don't need to


rescue Shakespeare from irrelevance. Thank you both very much.


I will be here tomorrow. Until then, good night.