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September 9, 2022 7 mins

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
I'm a fan ish, I don't ever really think about it,
but of the woman Elizabeth. But I am so not
a fan of the monarchy. It's it's it's an evil
idea that's time passed hundreds of years ago, and why
does everybody still act like it's a thing. Well, I
don't want to get off on the discussion since we

(00:20):
have a gift waiting, but perhaps we'll involve Felix Light
in the discussion. He as a reporter in London for
the CBS Radio News in the Moscow Times. Felix, it's
always a pleasure. How are you, I'm well, thank you
very well. So just so you know what you're stepping
into if I have no idea what the coverage is
like over there in England, but here in the United States,
it's NonStop, wall the wall on the cable news channels,

(00:42):
like they haven't taken a breath in twenty four hours.
And it's all reverence for not only just the woman,
which is fine, although the coverage is too much, um,
but reverence for the whole idea of the monarchy and
everything like that, which just like I can't wrap my
hand around and I don't have a set I've never
had a sense of what the average britt thinks about

(01:06):
the monarchy. Do you have an idea of that? Having
hung out there in Great Britain a lot more than
I have, Yeah, sure, Well, being a breat so to speak,
you know, I think people would sort of think of
the monarchy as as almost a sort of you know,
a national united You know, you can sort of have
your problems with the idea of monarchy, but you know,

(01:26):
our monarchy is not not any way sort of powerful.
It has no political role, uh, and it's just a
sort of I guess it's a shared institution that you know,
in principle and not everyone, but certainly I think the
vast bulk of people are in the country can kind
of subscribe to. You know, it's it's sort of, um,
it's it's it's kind of the the essence of the
democratic system in a way, right. You know, the queen

(01:48):
appoints the government, but she must appoint the government or
the king. Now I'm a point the government, but he
must appoint a government that you know is um kind
of responsible to parliament, right and represents the all of
the people in that way. So I think it's you know,
it's part of a democratic constitution, even though it's obviously
a very old and you know, aristocratic and some might
say outdated idea. We've been discussing this throughout the day

(02:11):
and I wish this had occurred to me earlier. But
there are quite a number of nations that have a
political leader than a ceremonial leader, whether it's Japan or
um Israel. Uh, they have a president who's essentially just
a ribbon cutter and a national symbol, and then they
got a guy who does the nitty gritty and I
suppose it's did something like that exactly. You know, there's

(02:35):
no sort of political power invested in the monarchy. It's
or you know, they're there are sort of very strict
rules for what the monarch sort of has to do,
you know, and they even though you know in theory
they're the sort of the top of the top of
the hierarchy. You know, they have to defer to the
prime minister and everything. So you know, it's so sort
of a little more democratic than you might think looking

(02:56):
out on the out from the outside, I think, do
you think it will keep on having the luster that
it's had now that the queen is gone, because there
were some stories a while back that Prince Charles had
been talking about opening up um Buckingham Palace is a
museum and living somewhere else. And I don't know if

(03:17):
those rumors were true or not. And there are Australian
Jamaica making noises about Okay, now that she's gone, we
need to become you know, our own thing. What do
you think is going to happen there? Yeah, well, I
think certainly, you know, there's a difference between the institution
of the monarchy, which I think is is still pretty
popular in the UK at least, and you know, the

(03:39):
queen who sort of popularity ratings I think in the
UK and probably you know in the world in the
sort of the the countries that have her as their monarch.
You know, it's fairly sort of stratosterically popular really, you know, um,
you know, there are obviously going to be problems once
sort of you know, there's a kind of a post
queen monarchy if you like. You know, certainly, I think

(03:59):
some of the other countries, you know, Australia and New
Zealand are certainly some of the Caribbean countries might sort
of abolish the monarchy. But you know, I think it's
fairly safe in the British context. You know, they're always
going to be people who don't like it as much
as other people, but I think that you know, generally,
you know, it's it's a pretty firm part of the
national identity. You know, it's almost like I don't know

(04:19):
the constitution in America right like it's it's it's part
of you know, what the country is, you know, and
what it's founded around. I guess interesting, Felix, like CBS
Radio News on the Moscow Times from London, Felix, if
we could switch topics to the situation in Ukraine for
a moment. There is a fair amount of reporting that
Ukraine's counter offensive, their utilization as some of the weapons

(04:42):
systems the US has guten them, has been pretty effective.
I'm always a little cautious about over exuberance. Um, what's
your sense of the situation there in the momentum? Yeah, well,
you know, it's a pretty dramatic counter offensives that's been
sort of undertaken by Crane these last of days. You know,
we've seen probably about fifty mile advances, you know, in

(05:04):
this very very strategic part of the front in sort
of East Ukraine. You know, Russian troops really falling back
quite considerably, and what you know, what's really important here,
I think is that you have a very real risk
that you know, a very large part of the Russian
force and a couple of key towns and are very
very important and sort of logistical hubs are going to
fall into include encirclement, right so they are going to

(05:26):
be unable to escape and they'll have sort of Ukrainian
forces bearing down on them from all sides. So I
think this could be a really you know, a really
important strategic moment in the conflict. You know, we don't
know what will happen, but certainly, you know, the Russian media,
which usually keeps a pretty sort of aggressively sort of
program and you know, everything is fine, narrative on everything

(05:48):
is not sort of um, it's not very optimistic right now.
You know, there's a lot of I think acknowledgement online
on Russian TV then that there is a serious situation
developing in this part of Harkiev region. So you know,
I think it's it's it's one of the most sort
of dramatic times I think for this conflict in March
or April. Yeah, so what caused the change is that
the super cool weapons they've been waiting for they finally

(06:11):
got or what what led to this? Well, yeah, definitely,
I think you know, the US supplied weapons, especially these
Hyma systems, which are basically sort of long range rocket systems,
have been absolutely crucial. You know, they're letting the Ukrainian
take out of the bridges, take out AMMO dumps, you know,
long way behind the lines, and really sort of cutting
the Russian supply lines the pieces there. But you know,

(06:33):
on the other hand, you know, a lot of it's
just because the Russians that you know, the Russians have
lost a lot of men and of course of this conflict,
you know, whereas Ukraine has basically called that their entire
bail population to fight, you know, Russia is almost still
trying to fight this like it's a small war and
a sort of land far away, you know, and relying
on its sort of professional volunteer army. You know, there's

(06:53):
a little bit of a little bit of an imbalanced there.
You know, Ukraine has just got the numbers that Russia
doesn't at the moment, and I think, you know, Ukraine
just kept probing and eventually they found a part of
the front that was lightly defended and they just surged through.
And you've got this pretty extraordinary advance over the course
of a couple of days. So you're a huge, huge
win for them, I think at this stage. Felix Light

(07:13):
of CBS Radio News and the Moscow Times. Felix again,
it's always great to talk to you. Thanks so much
for sharing your insights. Well, thank you Armstrong and Jetty
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