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Germany has finally announced it will allow Leopard Tanks to be exported to Ukraine. And the U.S. will send a token force of M1-Abrams tanks.This potentially changes the course of the war in Ukraine from holding Russia back, to defeating Russian forces including in the Crimea. It's a major escalation of the conflict because Europe and America see no way out of this war, but to defeat Russia.  Escalate to de-escalate can mean many things in the months to come in Ukraine. Back Story host Dana Lewis talks to the former U.S. Army Commander in Europe, Ret Lt. Gen Ben Hodges who says the allies are scared to defeat Russia, but must do so.
On this Back Story, Dana Lewis has two fantastic guests.(Ret) Major Mike Lyons is a warfare expert and says Ukraine is in trouble without a change of tactics and more military muscle. And a CIA Station Chief who served the U.S. for more than 3 decades, Douglas London discusses President Putin's and whether his inner circle could turn on him soon? And would Putin use a nuclear weapon, a man without morality says London.
On Back Story this week Dana Lewis talks to the Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Pinchas Goldschmidt who has fled Russia.  He says President Putin has transformed Russia overnight from an authoritarian fascist state into totalitarianism. In his words on the eve before the invasion he went to sleep in Moscow, and woke up on Feb 24 in Tehran. The Rabbi says religious leaders were told to support Russia's invasion of Ukraine.  He refused and now lives in exile.
On Back Story this week an interview with UK (Ret) Rear Admiral John Gower who warns sending Russia mixed messages on what a response to a nuclear weapon might be is setting the stage for disaster.He believes President Putin should understand the west would use nuclear weapons, if Russia used one. Gower says indeed that's what the U.S. President Biden meant when he spoke of Armageddon.  And he says that the notion of a limited nuclear exchange is pure fantasy. 
On this Back Story Dana Lewis talks to sanctions expert Brian O'Toole on the impact of existing sanctions, are they really choking Russia's war machine? And the new EU oil price cap moves that seemed doomed to fail.And we speak to Ian Garner, a historian who studies Putin's new extreme youth movement inside Russia.  Are there parallels with the Nazi youth movement in Germany leading up to the outbreak of WW2?
On this Back Story journalist Reena Ninan on American Democracy including the midterm elections, and Trumps 'wet noodle' announcement he wants to run for President again. And the worst week in Crypto history, as the FTX Exchange collapses with billions of dollars gone and millions of investors out their money.We speak to crypto currency investment managers in London, Nickel Digital Capital asset managers  Michael Hall, on needed protections and regulations for Crypto investors.
On this Back Story Ukrainian MP Dmytro Natalukha says sitting at the table with Russia will only bring another cease fire and look where that led Ukraine? There has been an 8 year cease fire since 2014 and Putin will look to rearm and attack Europe again if allowed. And Former National Security Advisor for the United Kingdom Sir  Mark Lyall Grant on Russia's continued aggression and why Russia is still on the UN Security Council.
On this Back Story we discuss the Ukrainian ground offensive and Russia's growing desperation as it attempts to bomb cities with missiles. We discuss Iranian missile transfers with the Soufan Centres Joseph  Shelzi.And is there any chance for peace talks? Any at all?  The International Crisis Group's Program Director for Europe and Central Asia Olga Oliker discusses Russia's and Ukraine's options.
On this Back Story Dana Lewis reflects on Twitter and free speech, and Putin's mirror imaging - another term for his smoke and mirrors -  hiding his intention to take over or dominate former Soviet Countries.And we interview Maria Zolkina in Kyiv, Head of Regional Security and Conflict Studies at DIF, an expert on the Russia-Ukraine war.
On this Back Story experts say Iran's weeks of unrest mean the regime may be finished. There are rumours of Revolutionary Guard defections. The religious clerics can't cleat the streets and Iranians chant death to the Ayatollah.Back Story's Dana Lewis talks to Ramesh Sepehrad.And the pandemic didn't disappear. Epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigal-Ding is critical of the CDC for being late to announce variants that are challenging vaccines.  He predicts a tough winter ahead as Covid 19 spreads again.
On this Back Story Former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton who has met Russian leader Putin a number of times, says he needs to go. Bolton says the U.S. should not be shy in pushing for regime change in Russia, because at stake is peace and stability in Europe.And, Belarus and its mad dictator Alexander Lukashenko, appears ready to succumb to Russian pressure and wade deeper into the war with Ukraine. The risks from Belarus include a direct attack on Kyiv, and Lukashenko is ordering his army to take up joint "defence with Russia". We speak to former Belarus Foreign Minister and political prisoner, Andrei Sannikov.



On This Back Story the gains made by Ukrainians in the east are nothing short of astounding.Even Russia TV commentators are reeling in disbelief and anger, and blaming the Russian army for embarrassing losses.U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges (Ret) predicts very soon Ukraine will attack the Crimea.And from Moscow Christian Science correspondent Fred Weir says Russia will build back it's tanks and guns, but questions if the Kremlin leadership can weather this mistaken war.All hosted by former CTV National News anchor/Reporter, former NBC Moscow based  Correspondent Dana Lewis.
On this Back Story is a new revolution in the making in Iran? It's just over 40 years since the Shah of Iran was over thrown, and it became an Islamic republic, but now people are back in the streets calling for the end of the religious regime.Violent demonstrations were sparked by the murder of a 22yr old woman arrested and beaten to death by the so-called 'morality police'.We talk to Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman of the Iranian resistant movement in Europe, and Dowlat Norouzi, from the National Council of resistance of Iran on why women are leading the charge for change. 
On Back Story this week Dana Lewis interviews former Russia Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, who says Putin IS bluffing and his regime is in its final chapter.And, NYTimes reporter Peter Baker and his new book on Trump, The Divider. It's all  about American democracy in decline.
On this Back Story a new season of international news coverage.  We begin with the death and funeral of Queen Elizabeth.  Dana Lewis talks to British commentator Jo Phillips. And from Canada ,Prof. Nicolas Kenny/ Simon Fraser Univ. on the future of the Commonwealth.Plus the incredible counter offensive in Ukraine, we go to Kyiv and speak to Paul Niland.
On this Back Story w Dana Lewis,  British P.M. Boris Johnson is being forced to step down. Liberal Democrat Candidate and writer Edward Lucas on Johnson's turmoil and what went wrong.And from Kyiv, commentator Paul Niland on Ukraine's future and the war with Russia.



On this Back Story the incredible tales of rescue's in Ukraine from the head of project Dynamo, Bryan Stern, an American Vet now saving lives in a war zone.And the Int. Crisis Group's Olga Oliker, on the remote chances for talks to end the war in Ukraine. And how there are indications of escalation before one side or both are ready for a pause in the war.
On this Back Story Russia has threatened Lithuania for its decision to stop sanctioned goods crossing from Russia to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.Host Dana Lewis talks to fmr. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius who says Russia has to be confronted.And foreign fighters in Ukraine - British and American volunteers to the Ukraine army captured by Russian forces could face the death penalty.I interview the Soufan Centre's Naureen Chowdhury Fink, who warns foreign fighters could prolong the war and says Russia which claims it's acting against Nazi's, has in fact nurtured neo-Nazis in Russia for years.
On this Back Story the Institute for the Study of War's Nataliya Bugayova, talks to host Dana Lewis on the critical timing at stake in Ukraine. A tiring, and largely spent Russian force colliding with an ever stronger and better equipped Ukrainian army.  Ukraine will not cede territory to Putin's war machine, but it needs to counter attack and take back lands soon.And political commentator from Germany, Jessica Berlin on why Russia should be beaten on the battle field, and our colonial subconscious may be preventing great powers from supplying  just enough military muscle to give Ukraine victory.
On this Back Story Host Dana Lewis talks to an expert on defense strategy, Malcolm Davis from Australia's Strategic Policy Institute, on how long this war could last and what would victory look like for Putin?And on gun violence in America, former NYPD Lt. and criminal expert Darrin Porcher who says it has to be time to reduce guns in America, even for pro gun lobbyists. 
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