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January 6 Committee Set to Hold Public Hearings; Interview With Former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda; Interview with "The Power of Women" Author and Nobel Laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege; Harini Logan wins the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired June 03, 2022 - 13:00:00   ET




Here's what's coming up.


KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There is an array of issues for the region that we -- that we're going to discuss. These are

priorities. These are incredibly important.

GOLODRYGA: Could next week's Summit of the Americas turn into a diplomatic flop for Joe Biden?

Mexico's former Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda guides us through the traps and trip wires threatening the event.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): The question for every one of us is, in this time of testing, will we do our duty?

GOLODRYGA: The January 6 Committee prepares to take its case to the American public.

A breakdown on what to expect with political analyst John Avlon.


DENIS MUKWEGE, NOBEL LAUREATE: Everywhere in a world where war, conflict, armed conflict is happening, rape is used.

GOLODRYGA: A brutal truth of the Ukraine invasion. Nobel laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege tells Christiane how women's bodies become a weapon of war.


GOLODRYGA: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, who will be back on Monday.

Well, next week, the Biden administration convenes countries all across the Western Hemisphere for the Summit of the Americas, a high-profile event

that could flop before it even begins.

After the U.S. banned Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the summit for human rights violations, a group of countries led by President Andres

Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico, America's neighbor to the south, threatened to boycott the event. The Biden administration hopes the summit will

showcase progress on vital issues like immigration, trade and climate.

Instead, a failed meeting could highlight America's waning influence in its own region. Now all of this comes as China's influence continues to grow

and as political sands shift with multiple countries tacking towards socialist left.

For insight into all of this, I'm joined by Jorge Castaneda. He's a former Mexican foreign minister, now distinguished professor of Latin American

studies at New York University.

Mr. Former Secretary, thank you so much for joining us.

So, listen, America is hosting the summit for the first time since 1994. The host country has the right in terms of who they invite to the summit.

But given that there's this potential holdup and protest led by President Obrador of Mexico, given that the U.S. has not invited countries like

Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela, does this threaten to blow up the whole purpose of the summit, in your opinion?

JORGE CASTANEDA, FORMER MEXICAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, I think there may have been that risk initially a few weeks back, Bianna.

But I think now it seems to be pretty much over, in the sense that the only holdout seems to be President Lopez Obrador of Mexico. Presidents Boric and

Alberto Fernandez Fernandez of Chile and Argentina have agreed to go ,even though they don't agree with the exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and

Nicaragua, but they will be present.

President Bolsonaro of Brazil, who, for other reasons, did not want to attend, will also be present; 13 of the 14 Caribbean countries that have

threatened to not attend have accepted to attend now.

So, really, it's just Mexico, which is very important, Guatemala, Honduras and Bolivia, which, while being significant, do not have the same clout as

Mexico. And Mexico actually may end up attending if President Lopez Obrador finds a fig leaf with which he can allow himself to say that he got

something out of Biden on Cuba, for example, and will consequently attend.

GOLODRYGA: Do you think it was the right decision America's part to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua?

CASTANEDA: Well, I think it was a very tough call, but it was a call, first of all, that they should have made many months ago because all of

this was foreseeable.

It's a tough call because these are dictatorships. There is no question that these three countries are run by brutal, repressive dictatorships.

And, in principle, the Summit of the Americas is a summit of democracies in the Americas. That's how it was labeled back in 1994 and again in the year

2001 in Quebec City.


So it wasn't easy to invite them. On the other hand, Cuba, in particular, has been invited to the last two previous summits in Panama and in Peru by

those countries. Tough call. I think Biden made the right call. But he should have done this -- negotiated all of this a long, long time ago. They

weren't doing their homework.

GOLODRYGA: So, on principle, it makes sense now to invite these countries that are not functioning democracies and have a long track record of human

rights violations.

But the summit's purpose is -- and I'm going to read this to you -- "concrete actions that dramatically improve pandemic response and

resilience, promote a green and equitable recovery, bold, strong and inclusive democracies, and address the root causes of irregular migration."

You said that the lone holdout could be Mexico and President Obrador. Obviously, when we talk about the migration crisis, one has to look at the

border there right where this is all happening between the United States and Mexico. By the end of 2021, more than 1.5 million people had arrived at

the border. More than a million people were sent back.

What, if any, progress can be made in tackling this crisis if Mexico is not at the table?

CASTANEDA: Well, Mexico will be at the table anyway, because my successor, the current foreign minister of Mexico, will be present either way.


GOLODRYGA: But you know what I mean, the optics, optics of not having the president, yes.


CASTANEDA: The optics are not the same. You're absolutely right, Bianna.

I think it would be regrettable that he not be there and it would be more difficult for any resolution that comes out of the summit to have the

impact it could have on immigration if the president of Mexico is not present. Absolutely. I think you're right. It would be a shame in many


That said, there are many other countries involved in the immigration discussion, obviously, the Northern Triangle countries in Central America,

and two of them may be absent, obviously, Cuba, which is sending more people now to the United States than ever since 1980. And they won't be


So it's true that, on the immigration question, one can argue that the summit perhaps may not be as much of a success as one would have hoped,

because many of the most important countries may not be present. And that's a real problem.

GOLODRYGA: And you're looking at the border crisis. I think it would surprise many of our viewers to know that it's not just migrants from the

Western Hemisphere that are coming to the border with the United States.

You're seeing, given the global crises happening around the world all the way up in Ukraine and Russia's invasion, many Ukrainians, and before that

Russians were at the border as well. How would you grade how the Biden administration has been handling this crisis?

Obviously, Vice President Harris has been put front and center in terms of this being her area of focus.

CASTANEDA: Well, I think their intentions were all the right ones, especially after the nightmare on immigration that the Trump administration

years were. They had to fix that. And that was no easy -- it was no easy task at all.

I think they had the right intentions. But they were probably caught flat- footed when there was a rush of people entering the United States or trying to enter the United States right after President Biden was inaugurated in

2019 (sic). And that -- the flows have continued. They're greater than ever, for Cubans, for Haitians, for Mexicans, Central Americans, people

from Africa, large number of people from Africa.

And, of course, now that -- we're up to 2,000 Ukrainian refugees on the Mexican side of the border awaiting their asylum hearings in the U.S.. So I

think they did their best, but their best was just not good enough, because it's also true that, without comprehensive immigration reform addressing

all of the immigration issues, asylum, temporary worker programs, amnesty, if you don't address all of these issues, it's going to keep popping up.

It's a Whac-A-Mole, in a sense. If you fix one aspect, another aspect gets unfixed, so to speak.

GOLODRYGA: Obviously, COVID playing a huge role throughout this part of the world and, frankly, the entire world. But when we're talking about

tackling some of the crises that have come up, COVID has been a huge hindrance for many Latin American countries, I would say except for perhaps


And that is -- it's Cuba. Cuba developed its own vaccine. I believe over 90 percent of that country has been vaccinated. Again, going back to the

principle, perhaps the principled decision to have not inviting Cuba to the summit is warranted, but given the crisis of COVID itself and the fact that

it has not gone away, do you think it was a mistake not to have Cuba participate this time around, if for no other reason than perhaps to learn

from them and have them contribute to their neighbors in fighting this battle?


CASTANEDA: Well, I think that is true. But there were solutions.

For example, Cuba is a member of the organization -- the Pan American Health Organization. And they could have had a sort of parallel meeting of

the of PAHO, as it's called, in Los Angeles, where the Cubans could have been present and share their experience, which is a very interesting

experience, although it is one that is somewhat peculiar because they're an island and because their connectivity to the rest of the world was

drastically reduced once the pandemic hit.


And, again, we talk about the shifting tides in Latin America. And we can't overlook the rise of populism in that country, what's being -- in that

region, what's being called the Pink Wave.

Let's start with Mexico and your country and President Obrador, because, on the one hand, he's extremely popular, one of the most popular leaders in

the world. I believe his approval rating is hovering just under 70 percent right now. And yet there's not much in terms of success that he can

showcase for it.

The economy continues to be an issue, COVID, obviously. Why do you think he's been able to sustain that popularity without having much in terms of


CASTANEDA: Well, he has an extraordinary connection with an important part, at least half of the Mexican people, who identify with him, who feel

that he is one of theirs, that he speaks for them, in a country where leaders have rarely or ever spoken for the people or having the people

believe in them.

So he has this knack for that. And that is very important. The results, as you say, are catastrophic. Just to give you an example, Bianna, Mexico has

the same population as Japan. Obviously, Japan's a much richer country. Japan has had 29,000 deaths because of COVID, Mexico had 600,000 deaths, 20

times more.


CASTANEDA: So that gives you a sense of how terrible his results are. Mexico has had the worst economic performance in Latin America over the

last three years, 2019 -- '20 -- I'm sorry -- 2021 and '22.

So, yes, his results are dismal. But he has this connection with the Mexican people or a part of the Mexican people, which is quite remarkable,

and which allows him to maintain these high popularity ratings.

That said, it doesn't make things any better. The fact that he's popular doesn't put food on the table for the Mexican people. And the Mexican

people are leaving Mexico in droves, coming to the United States because of these dismal economic results.

GOLODRYGA: And Mexico is not an outlier. Five of the seven most populous Latin American countries are now led by populist leaders. And we could see


Just before the end of this year, we have elections upcoming in Brazil as well. What do you think is to be explained for why we have seen this rise

in populism? Is this just a revolt against the establishment at a time of inequality, pandemic and poverty?

CASTANEDA: Well, partly, it's a revolt against incumbents. Whoever is in power, let's throw him or her out, because they have done a terrible job.

It just so happened that many of the governments in power were center or right of center. And so this bias against incumbents throws them out. And,

secondly, COVID was really disastrous for the region, not only in terms of the number of deaths, but also in terms of showing how tattered the Latin

American safety net was, and how necessary it is to rebuild welfare states in Latin America.

You add to that the violence that has increased in many regions of the country, and you add to that the dismal, as I said, economic performance in

every country, some worse than others, there's a tendency for people that say, let's throw the bums out, everybody. Let them go and let's get

somebody new.

And so then you have some very eccentric people being possibly elected, like Rodolfo Hernandez in Colombia, who surprisingly made it into the run-

off, and may well be elected in a couple of weeks in Colombia, a fellow who is eccentric, with very strange views on women, on taxes, on all sorts of


This is what people want. He announced his -- he made his victory speech from his kitchen dressed in Bermudas this past Sunday night. Sort of


GOLODRYGA: Yes. Rodolfo Hernandez has been compared to a U.S. Donald Trump, not the first of these sort of...



CASTANEDA: Yes. His hair is also orange, yes.

GOLODRYGA: Well, there you go. There's quite an image to leave us with.

But he's obviously facing a run-off with a leftist candidate. And that's Gustavo Petro, a former guerrilla fighter. Given the relationship between

Colombia and the United States, what would a Petro government and administration look like vis-a-vis that relationship and its fight against

drugs and poverty and migration?

CASTANEDA: Well, I think that, by and large, if Gustavo Petro wins, and he has a very strong chance of winning, he will manage the relationship with

the United States rather evenly.

He's a sophisticated politician. He's been around for a long time. He has a lot of experience. He's surrounded by intelligent people. So I think his

own inclinations to maybe be a little bit more anti-American than Colombian presidents have been in the past will wane.

After all, he has to get along with the U.S.


CASTANEDA: The U.S. has a large presence in Colombia, the DEA, the CIA. Everyone and their cousin is in Colombia. And Colombian presidents have to

deal with this.

GOLODRYGA: Final question. What is it that President Biden needs to achieve leading up to the summit next week?

There had been a perception, right or wrong, that the Western Hemisphere has not been a priority for this administration or its predecessors for

many years. What needs to happen to change that perception?

CASTANEDA: Well, I think he has to really go out of his way to spend time there, as much time as possible, not just fly in and fly out, like

President Bush, for example, 43 used to do, but really spend time there.

It's a three-day meeting. Try and have as many bilateral meetings as he can with individual Latin American presidents, and also lay out some kind of a

plan, some kind of a program for improving U.S.-Latin American relations on the fundamental issues.

Yes, migration is important. But, for example, five million Venezuelans -- six million have left their country, and are now scattered all over Latin

America. That's a much bigger migration problem for Latin America than the Haitians on the U.S.-Mexican border, although that's more important for



CASTANEDA: Biden has to show that he's really concerned, he's really involved, engaged in Latin America's problems, and not -- challenges...


CASTANEDA: ... and not just in U.S. domestic politics.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, Maduro won't be there. But Juan Guaido, the recognized leader of that country, will be there representing Venezuela.

Julian Castro, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

CASTANEDA: Thank you, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: And coming up after the break: After almost 1,000 interviews and a staggering amount of evidence, will America tune in when hearings on

the January 6 insurrection go public?



GOLODRYGA: Today, a federal grand jury indicted former Trump adviser Peter Navarro on contempt charges for his refusal to cooperate with Congress'

January 6 investigation. Navarro was arrested by the FBI and is currently in custody.

Now, this comes as the first public hearing of the House committee is about to hit prime time next Thursday night. The committee says it will lay out a

broad overview of its findings for the American people, breaking down the coordinated effort on multiple fronts to overturn the 2020 election and

prevent the peaceful transfer of power.

So will the hearings come off as an epic Watergate-style event or a politicized show trial?

Political analyst John Avlon joins me with a preview.

John, great to see you, my friend.


GOLODRYGA: So, first, let's get your response to this news of the indictment and the arrest of a former Trump adviser Peter Navarro. How

significant is this move from the DOJ?

AVLON: It's incredibly significant.

I mean, we have gotten used to people defying subpoenas from Congress with basic impunity. There's -- this occurred originally down in April, but the

fact that the DOJ, a week before these hearings are set to begin, put forward an indictment that a former Trump senior adviser has been arrested

by the FBI and will appear before a federal judge this afternoon, that's a significant acceleration.

And it's an indication of the stakes, that the DOJ is rolling up sleeves and getting involved in advance of these next hearings, because Navarro has

withheld evidence and not cooperated with the committee to date.

GOLODRYGA: And there, as you know, has been a lot of pressure on the DOJ to step in on those who have ignored subpoenas from this committee up until

this point, specifically referencing Mark Meadows, former chief of staff, and senior adviser Dan Scavino.

It seems perhaps that Peter Navarro was lower-hanging fruit to go after. But do you anticipate that we could see any sort of similar follow-up for

Meadows or Navarro?

AVLON: Well, impossible to know.

But the fact that Meadows has escaped that kind of consequence to date, when Bannon and now Navarro have been, is curious. Now, a lot of Meadows'

information and text messages have handed over, but he's trying to withhold some information. He seems to be the linchpin of a lot of the information

because he was the chief of staff to the president during this attempt to overturn an election, during this attempt to disrupt a peaceful transfer of


You can't state enough how serious that is. There is a tendency, because we all saw this happen and it was over -- well over a year-and-a-half ago,

that it's somehow in the rearview mirror. It's not. This is a fact-finding inquiry to get the details of what was going on behind the scenes, inside

the White House, inside what appears to be a coordinated attempt to overturn an election and stop the peaceful transfer of power.

That is an attempt to destroy democracy from within the White House at the time. There's nothing more serious than that. There just isn't.

GOLODRYGA: Explain to our viewers around the world who may not have been following this on a daily basis what this investigation, what this

committee and its purpose has entailed these past few months since the January 6 insurrection.

And their investigation isn't a criminal one, correct?

AVLON: Right.

GOLODRYGA: What is it that they are specifically looking for? And, obviously, what can we expect to see as a preview next week?

AVLON: Well, the committee is bipartisan, to the extent that two Republicans, Liz Cheney and Andrew Kinzinger, are serving on it.

But Republicans refuse to participate. These two people are serving as a matter of conscience. And it does mean this is a bipartisan committee. It

is co-chaired by a Republican and a Democrat. But it's notable that typically, after a cataclysmic event, certainly in the United States, we

have had bipartisan inquiries, fact-finding missions.

Republicans decided to not do that this time around for political reasons, in effect. This does not have the power of a criminal inquiry. But this is

not a show trial either. This is about getting the facts from Congress in front of the American people. And it could constitute a recommendation to

prosecute on the part of the Department of Justice.

But that is a separate stream. Now, the Department of Justice and Merrick Garland, President Biden's nominee, has taken great pains to try to

depoliticize the Justice Department and has consequently come under criticism for not being aggressive enough in terms of prosecution.

They have gone after the rank-and-file folks who raided the Capitol, but, so far, not against the people who instigated the insurrection attempts.

But what the members of this committee are saying is that these six nights of hearings are going to be enormously consequential in terms of providing

new information.

They're going to lay out a case. And expectations have been set high. Congressman Raskin from Maryland saying that he expects that some of the

information is going to blow the roof off Congress metaphorically, that they're going to be putting forward new information that gets to the

question of how coordinated was this, what did the president know and when did he know it, and what was his state of mind?


And among the many questions we can expect to be addressed and answered is this question of dereliction of duty. Did Donald Trump -- was he derelict

in his duty as president to see this attack unfold, to instigate this attempt to overturn an election and not try to stop it for two whole hours?

It goes to the heart of our democracy.

GOLODRYGA: We mentioned Mark Meadows earlier, the former chief of staff to the president, and the treasure trove of information that he did provide

via text messages when he was cooperating with the committee before he stopped cooperating with the committee.

And let's just go over a few of these text messages to show our viewers. Obviously, I'm going to have to censor myself with some of these, but one

from Congressman Will Timmons to Mark Meadows: "The president needs to stop this ASAP." This is at 2:46 p.m.; 2:59 p.m., Representative Chip Roy to

Mark Meadows: "This is a 'blank' show."

3:04 p.m., Congressman Jeff Duncan to Mark Meadows: "POTUS needs to calm this 'blank' down."

We heard from his son as well, Donald Trump Jr. to Mark Meadows: "He needs to condemn this 'blank' ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough."

That coupled with what we heard from former committee member Denver Riggleman just earlier this week with Anderson Cooper, I will play that

sound for you. Just want to get your thoughts on all of this impact on the public and what evidence it has proven. Let's take a listen.


FMR. REP. DENVER RIGGLEMAN (R-VA): I think the committee is going to do a great job of linking those text messages to the other interviews and data

that they have.

But I think what people are going to understand about the Meadows text messages is how horrible they are. I have to tell you this, Anderson, when

I first saw them. My bemusement turned into horror pretty quickly when I saw some of the language that was being used in there. I actually had to

get away from the computer a couple of times as I was looking at these text messages.

We are limited in what we can see. But what we can see is absolutely damning."


GOLODRYGA: John, your take?

AVLON: Look, the text messages provide real-time data, documentation of people's responses in the moment, that they knew this was a horror show.

This was an attack on democracy that was occurring.

And allies -- Republican allies of this president were begging the president's chief of staff to intervene, to get the president to step in,

say something and to try to stop this. And yet there was two hours of silence.

What we don't yet know is what was happening inside the Oval Office. We can't get in the mind of the ex-president. But these text messages do give

us real insight into the seriousness, the urgency, the outright panic that many of his allies felt.

And what Denver Riggleman is saying right there -- he's a former member of Congress, Republican, former member of the staff itself -- is that this is

a horror show, if you're genuinely patriotic, not if you're flying the bunting and trying to cast yourself as a super patriot as a path to power.

But if you have the kind of patriotism that elevates the national interest over all special interests, then any kind of effort to overturn an election

is an insult to that article of faith. And the panic that might be evidenced that we have seen in those text messages of when a plan gets out

of control and starts to melt down and a president effectively watches, well, that goes again to the heart of democracy.

And that's why it's so essential that more information come out, because there's not yet been accountability for this attempt to overturn our


GOLODRYGA: And more information has come out via some of the text messages.

We have learned that a former Meadows aide told the committee that President Trump had suggested to Meadows that he approved of that chant

that we all heard on national television, "Hang Mike Pence." Obviously, the president frustrated that his vice president was not doing more to overturn

the election.

Obviously, let's not forget that there was nothing he could do legally to overturn the election. And the committee is hoping to hear from some people

close to the Pence camp, his former chief counsel Greg Jacob, his -- former federal Judge Michael Luttig, conservative judge, who had been advising him

as well, and his chief of staff, Marc Short.

What are the chances that you think we will hear from any of them next week?

AVLON: I think there's a good chance we will hear from at least some of those individuals, particularly Judge Luttig, who is enormously respected

in conservative circles, and has come out and said what happened is dangerous, but, unless we confront it, it's even more dangerous.

Because, remember, an unsuccessful coup is just practice, as someone has said. But the divisions inside the Pence, Trump camps are significant. The

fact that drip, drip, drip of information you just described, where Meadows allegedly says that Trump said he was fine with the threats on the vice

president's life -- in addition to being a journalist, I write history books occasionally.

There is nothing remotely like this in American history. A president saying that he would be fine with the potential mob murder of his vice president

for refusing to go along with overturning an election?


You would reject that if it was dystopian fiction, because it didn't seem credible. But that appears to be what happened. we'll learn more. The more

we hear from people in the Penn's camp, the more light we'll have -- we'll be able to shed on this, not just the heat.

GOLODRYGA: So, that's what the committee will lay out. And we'll see that next week?

AVLON: Uh-huh.

GOLODRYGA: They've spent hundreds of hours now working on this case. How old is, in your view, given where the country stands, given the

polarization, given the history of impeachment trials for Former President Trump, how will this sit with the public? Will they be blown away? Will

this actually open peoples' eyes who were, you know, sort of oblivious to some of these actions in the past?

AVLON: Yes, but you know, there's a lot of citizens of -- in Washington. And there's an attempt to cast America's evenly divided 50/50, that's not,

in fact, the case. You have a hardcore cadre of Trump supporters who may be between a quarter and a third of the nation, who seemingly will live up to

his characterization during the 2016 campaign that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and they would stick with him.

But increasingly, you see, even within the Republican Party, a kind of dismay about what they've learned about Donald Trump, they may agree with

his policies, they say, but not January 6th. Not the constant drama. Well, this is an insult to the very idea of being a patriotic American. And if

new information comes out and it's laid out, you'll have Republicans and Congress who feel their political self-interest means that they'll try to

dismiss it or say it's a show trial or it's a political effort.

This is a fact-finding information that is bipartisan in terms of witnesses and some of the members of the committee. And it's not just with the DOJ

does. It's not just fighting for history. It's what Congress can do. Reforming the Electoral Count Act. So, this kind of an effort can't succeed

again is vitally important.

GOLODRYGA: That's what I was just --

AVLON: But -- and it's up to the American people, yes.

GOLODRYGA: That's what I was going to say. This is not so much as the past, right? But also, equally important is perhaps, was this blueprint of

what's to come in the future and why it's so important now to learn from January 6 to make sure it never happens again. In many ways, this is beyond

Trump or one party.

AVLON: Exactly right. This is about defense and democracy that should unite the vast majority of Americans because it's something that goes

beyond partisan interest. But as Judge LeDuc wrote in a piece for CNN, this is about stopping the next coup. This is about identifying the fault lines

that they tried to exploit unsuccessfully as it turned out.

So, there needs to be action and follow-through. Not just legal accountability for the people who did this but arguably as importantly, if

not more importantly, strengthening the Electoral Count Act so it can't happen again. Looking at the ways that the power of the presidency was

abused to try to overturn our elections.

The founding fathers understood that you know, if men were angels, no government would be necessary. But we need to reinforce the guardrails

around our politics because we cannot take democracy or the peaceful transfer of power for granted. Not, given the information that's come out.

But then it's cometh upon us and the members of Congress, particularly, to strengthen those guardrails again across bipartisan lines. They've got to.

GOLODRYGA: John Avlon, my CNN colleague and as you mentioned, an author of some history books. The most recent, a fantastic book, "Lincoln and the

Fight for Peace". It is out now.

AVLON: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: I highly recommend it. Great to see you, John Avlon. Have a wonderful day.

AVLON: You too. You too. Be well.

GOLODRYGA: And still to come tonight, a grim milestone for the war in Ukraine. As families who fled Russian attacks face a life in limbo.



Today marks 100 days since Russia launched its unprovoked war on Ukraine. The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, says Russia's, "Work there will

continue until its goals are met."

Ukraine's President Zelenskyy marked a milestone by visiting wounded soldiers in Kyiv and posting this defiant message.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The leaders of parliamentary factions are here. The President's Chief of Staff is here.

Prime Minister of Ukraine, Shmyhal, is here. Podolyak is here. The President is here. Our team is much bigger. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are

here. Most importantly, our people, the people of our country our here. We have been defending Ukraine for 100 days. Victory shall be ours. Glory to



GOLODRYGA: Zelenskyy also says almost 12 million people have been internally displaced since the start of the invasion. Many have fled to

Zaporizhzhia. The city is close to Russian-held territory and it's also the closest thing to have a safe haven that many desperate Ukrainians can find.

CNN's Melissa Bell reports.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Alive and safe, but stuck in Zaporizhzhia. Some of the families that fled the Russian bombings of

Southern Ukraine. Others have just found themselves on the wrong side of a line that has hardened. Some of these families, now living in their cars,

have been here for weeks.

Olena Babak (ph) came from the Black Sea town of Skadovsk to buy medicine for her elderly parents. She is now living with others and the open air.

Look, she says. He's just had surgery. My husband is without a leg. This grandmother is recovering from a stroke. I can hardly sit, she says. My

legs are swollen. Can I just get back to Kherson or is this some kind of cruel joke? Please, just let me die in Kherson, at home.

Some of the families bring in their anger to Zaporizhzhia's region administrative building.


BELL (voiceover): Like Alexei Ismaelov (ph) who fled Mariupol with his wife but has had no contact with the rest of his family for three months.

ISMAELOV: The steel state and Mariupol and -- during three months, I don't have any contact. What happened with my father? With my sister? I like to

come back and help. I like bring them to Ukrainian.

BELL (voiceover): Marina Natanova, who's in charge of social services for the greater Zaporizhzhia region says humanitarian aid has been hard to

bring because her teams to the South of the city are now without communications. She tells us that it will also be necessary to tell those

trying to return of the dangers they face.

It's very dangerous there, she says. So, this will be discussed with them at this new filtration camp. To find out why they want to go and whether

they understand the risks.

She says that beyond the water already being provided here, there will soon be a medical center, showers, and a room for mothers and children. For now,

these families wait. Just hungry to get home. Melissa bell, CNN, Zaporizhzhia.


GOLODRYGA: All right thanks to Melissa.

Well, as reports of rape by invading Russian troops in Ukraine mount, one person is not surprised. And that is Dr. Denis Mukwege. Winner of the 2018

Nobel Peace Prize. For the past three decades, he has treated victims of sexual violence in his homeland, the Democratic Republic of Congo. He

joined Christiane recently to talk about the use of rape as a weapon of war. And his book, "The Power of Women." Just a note, this conversation

focuses on these difficult topics. Here's their conversation.



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Dr. Denis Mukwege, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: You know, I just want to start by asking you to put your career in context. At one point, you wanted to be a pediatrician but instead, you

became an obstetrician. What was it that caused you to choose that field?

DR. MUKWEGE: When I finished my study and I've become medical doctor, I discover another things. There I discover that women were dying in giving

birth. And this wat totally, for me, unacceptable. One year after I took the decision to become obstetrician.

AMANPOUR: And ever since you have been, not only treating women in your country, you know, the DRC, formerly Zaire, but you have also been really

front and center in campaigning. I do want to ask you also about your work which deals with the consequence of rape as a weapon of war. And I know you

had to deal with it in the DRC. How was it being used in the conflict that ravaged your country?

DR. MUKWEGE: After my study, I went back in my country. And really, I worked as an obstetrician. And I was very happy with what I'm doing. But in

1996, when the war started in Congo, there I discover another pathology with rape with extreme violence. And it was, for me, the first time to see

that people could rape and after to rape, to destroy the genital of women.

And I was obstetrician and the gynecologist in the region. So, I start to treat women who have been raped with extreme violence. And this is another

step of my life.

AMANPOUR: Dr. Mukwege, why do you believe, from your experience, that militant soldiers use rape as a weapon. It's obviously not a sexual crime

alone. It's a much deeper issue of torture and control.

DR. MUKWEGE: Yes, when I saw the first cases in my country, I just think that it was just people who lose control, who were doing these things like

that. But slowly, when we start to talk with women, we discover that each armed group were using his own strategy of rape. So -- and we saw that it

was methodic, it was massive, and systematic.

So, we -- you can't be methodic, systemic, and massive without really getting a plan. And there we conclude that rape was used as a method, a

strategy of war, as a weapon of war. And the body of women become the battlefield of the different armed groups.

AMANPOUR: Let me just talk about what's happening in Ukraine at the moment. When we were, there we heard stories that soldiers -- Russian

soldiers were raping Ukrainian women in the towns. Now, we hear from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, and I'm going to read it to you, a few days

ago, today, in just one hour, 10 reports of rape by the Russian occupiers, including eight children, were received from newly-liberated villages in

the Kharkiv Region. Yesterday, 56 reports among the children, two 10-year- old boys and a one-year-old boy who died of his injuries.

Now, because of your experience, you have recently said that you are not surprised by the tails of rape. But why not?

DR. MUKWEGE: Yes, because, you know, I traveled around the world. Time to understand, if rape was something that happened in one place and not in

other places. And I can tell you that everywhere in the world where war, conflict, armed conflict is happening, rape is used.

And I -- just in February, I said that we should be aware and try to prevent rape in Ukraine. And, of course, I was sure because also in 2017, I

was in contact with women of Ukraine from Donbas who were raped during the first invasion of Russia. For when the war started again, we advertise that

it can happen again. And really, the victims need to be supported as soon as we can. And this is very important. We cannot wait long to help them.


AMANPOUR: Dr. Mukwege, as you know, the Special Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia did put in the law that rape is a weapon of war, was a

crime against humanity. It's been adjudicated at a very high level. And yet, it continues, as you described now in Ukraine, in parts of your

country, it happened to Yazidi women who enslaved by ISIS.

You talk in your book about it, in part, being used to demoralize the male fighters, that the soldiers do this, or the militias against the woman to

demoralize their fighting men. Can you explain that?

DR. MUKWEGE: Yes. Of course. I think that when they use rape as a weapon of war, they are using a different kind of technique to dehumanize, to

destroy the moral and even to try to destroy the morale of troops. And for this, I have really -- I have talked with some Syrian young men who were in

the registers of Syria. And what they told me, showed me really that it is a way to demoralize troops and destroy all confidence in men when it's


And what these guys from Syria told me what really very special because when soldiers of Assad were raping their women, they just calling them so

they could follow what was happening to their own wives. And after this, they told me, we were not able to fight again. It's to humiliate and to

destroy all the confidence in these so-called enemy, and it's really very effective.

AMANPOUR: Wow. That is an incredible story. By contrast, you write about a parliamentarian leading a militia group during the DRC War and you talk

about accountability, and that it actually did work. Can you explain that story?

DR. MUKWEGE: Yes. In 2014, what shocked me when I treat for the first time a baby, and there, really, I did not understand what was happening in our

area. I discovered that it was a parliamentarian who was leading an armed troop army. And in the way to do things was to rape, to kidnap, babies, and

raped them. So, I tried to get to stop him but I couldn't get him to be arrested.

But one day, I met soldiers who was a judge and a military judge, and this soldier, I told him the story. So, he told me, Doctor, I will do my best.

This is a crime against humanity. We cannot let it go unpunished. And he took a decision to arrest this guy just one week after the rape of the

children under five years, stopped in this village. Until today, we don't have any case from this village.

So, I think that justice is very important. It is very important to let impunity reign is just to let women suffer. We need really justice, because

this case show clear that without justice, it is very difficult to stop this kind of atrocities.

AMANPOUR: And with justice, it actually made a difference, and it did stop it in that location. Let me read a little bit from your book, "The Power of

Women." I want to -- I just want to read what you write in the introduction. My work is long term and sometimes frustratingly slow. As a

doctor, I can examine a patient, diagnose the source of the problem, and then work to solve it through treatment or surgery. As a campaigner, I face

a struggle to change minds, attitudes, and behaviors. It is a battle not with disease or anatomical failure but with far more stubborn adversaries,

discrimination, ignorance, and indifference.

Where you get the strength then to continue? Because you talked about women who inspire you.


DR. MUKWEGE: Yes, exactly. But when it's time to campaign or to try to stop the rape in our society, this is really, sometimes, very complicated

because of the attitude of many people who believe that women belong to them, they can use them as they want. We are in a patriarchal society,

where really there is not equality between women and men.

And when men grow up, thinking that they have a right on the body of women, this is really completely wrong and it is destroying our society. So, when

I start to work with women, what I discover is that women are really very strong. And women are not strong for themselves, they are strong also for

our society. And for me to go on doing what I am doing and when I can see that even if they -- the women go through terrible things, but they are

still working for others with life, I think that this is wonderful for me and is really something pushing me to go on in what I am doing because I

think that -- I just feel like I'm really very small if I can compare to what women are and how strong they are.

AMANPOUR: Well, it's great to have such a supporter as yourself, obviously. And the women, in turn, have been protecting you, I understand,

because you say that you've had some six attempts on your life because of the work you do. Who on earth would want to stop you from doing this work?

DR. MUKWEGE: Yes. It's true. I think that when I was attacked in my house, and my friend, Joseph, was killed, this was a terrible situation for me.

And I decided to leave my country. But who brought me back? It was women of (INAUDIBLE). They decided that they wanted to get me back. And what they

did was just enormous because they wrote to my president. He didn't answer. They wrote to the secretary-general of the Zaire (ph), he didn't answer.

So, they decide to come each Friday to sell fruit and vegetables at the hospital and give each Friday $50 to pay my ticket back from Boston to


And when they start to do it, I could not believe. But when it happened three times, I understand that when women decide to do things, no one can

stop them. So, I just decided to return in my country and go on working with them. And I am sure that the people who don't want me to go on doing

what I am doing, it's only because impunity reigns in our region.

And when we talk about rape and it happen as a crime against humanity or a war crime, when we talk about it, all of these soldiers, all of the army

groups who are doing it with the benediction of their authorities are not happy with them. And it must be them who are trying to put an end on my

life and threaten, me trying to silence me. But I think that with the women, we are sure that justice will prevail.

AMANPOUR: What an amazing story. Dr. Denis Mukwege, thank you so much. "The Power of Women" is your latest book, and you've got an amazing,

amazing mission. Thank you for joining us.

DR. MUKWEGE: Thank you.


GOLODRYGA: A fascinating man and a fascinating discussion. Well, when we come back, ready, set, spell. The show-stopping performance at the U.S.

National Spelling Bee.



GOLODRYGA: And finally, breaths were held, hearts raised and dictionaries were primed as the U.S. National Spelling Bee reached its climax Thursday

night. 14-year-old Harini Logan from San Antonio, Texas claimed victory with this rapid flurry of letters.



Gay Paris on. At summer.







GOLODRYGA: Harini won the competition's first ever lighting round tiebreaker. She's spelled 21 words to correctly in just 90 seconds. Bravo,

Harini. I can barely spell my own last name.

Well, that is it for now. Thank you so much for watching. Have a great weekend and good-bye from New York.