Return to Transcripts main page


Interview With Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba; Interview With Former Ombudsman For Children In Ukraine And Save Ukraine CEO Mykola Kuleba; Interview With Presidential Commission On Carbon Neutrality And Green Growth Co-Chair Sang-Hyup Kim. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired September 01, 2023 - 13:00:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR. Here's what's coming up.


DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Pessimists never win wars. If you want to win a war, you have to believe in victory.


AMANPOUR: Ukraine's foreign minister tells me their counteroffensive is moving forward and it's up to Putin to explain the drone strikes in Russia.

Our conversation here in Kyiv.

Then, the trauma of Ukrainian families forcibly removed by Russia.


NASTYA MOTYCHAK, 16-YEAR-OLD TAKEN TO RUSSIA-CONTROLLED CRIMEA (through translator): And she ran towards me. Grabbed me, shook me, shoved me

inside a room and started yelling and swearing at me, you scum. If this happens again, I know where to report you.


AMANPOUR: We hear firsthand testimony of what parents and their kids have had to endure.

Plus, the man behind the incredible journey bringing them back. Mykola Kuleba joins me.

Also, head --



interest of human kind?


AMANPOUR: -- South Korea's climate ambition. Hari Sreenivasan speaks to the chair of its presidential commission on carbon neutrality, Sang-Hyup


Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in Kyiv.

Drones have defined this week of war here in Ukraine and in Russia, which says that it intercepted another one heading towards Moscow this morning.

This comes as the Ukrainian chief of military intelligence says the drone attack which hit a Russian airbase on Tuesday was launched within Russian


Meantime, on the ground, Ukraine says its forces are making progress on their southern front, claiming to have penetrated the first line of Russian

defenses in the Zaporizhzhia region. But Kyiv feels these efforts are unrecognized by some in the West. And the foreign minister lashed out on

what he calls unfair second guessing.


DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Criticizing the slow pace of counteroffensive equals to spitting into the face of Ukrainian soldier who

sacrifices his life every day, moving forward and liberating one kilometer of Ukrainian soil after another. I would recommend all critics to shut up,

come to Ukraine and try to liberate one square centimeter by themselves. Thank you.


AMANPOUR: Well, that was an unmistakable statement by Dmytro Kuleba yesterday in Toledo, Spain, where he was meeting with European foreign

ministers. He's now back in Kyiv where I spoke to him earlier today. And I started by asking him about those comments.


AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister, welcome back to the program.

D. KULEBA: It's good to be with you. Welcome to Kyiv.

AMANPOUR: Thank you. You have just come back from your own meetings abroad. And we just played a very, I think, angry piece of what you said

when you're abroad in face of all the criticisms of the counteroffensive. You basically said that it was like spitting into the eyes of your soldier

who are sacrificing and you said the critics should shut up and try come and liberate an inch of territory themselves.

D. KULEBA: Yes, because why people are not asking themselves, what else can I do to help Ukraine, and spend their time, waste their time and the

time of people who listen or watch them to explain to them why Ukraine is failing.

But frankly, speaking when I said this --

AMANPOUR: Wait a minute. Is Ukraine failing?

D. KULEBA: No, that's the fact. Well, if Ukraine was failing, I would probably be the first one to speak the truth, but we are not failing. We

are moving forward. We liberated thousands of square kilometers of our lands through minefields with no air coverage.

But, you know, when I was saying these ways, and that was spontaneous, I didn't have the arm chair generals on my mind or commentators, I was

thinking of Ukrainian soldiers. How does it feel when you come back from your mission and you take back your phone, you open it and you start

reading all the smart people saying how slow you are and that you are not doing well enough? You just lost two of your buddies. You were almost

killed. You crawled one kilometer on you belly, demining the field. You sacrifice yourself. You took the then-Russian trench in a fierce fight and

then you read someone saying, oh, you guys, you are too slow.


So, actually, I defended the Ukrainian soldier in saying that. And I will continue to do so, because they deserve it.

AMANPOUR: And you painted a really dramatic picture, just what you've said, of actually how hard it is for them and how hard it's always in war.

So, I understand why and what you said, but I want to know, what are your interlocutors, the people who are actually sending you billions of dollars

of weapons, what do they say? Are they criticizing the pace as well?

D. KULEBA: That's -- this is the most ridiculous part of it. Our partners who are helping us, including the United States, they understand that

things are moving in the right direction and they understand that there is no tragedy or no kind of slowdown. It's just happening because it's tough.

It's a tough fight.

But those people who want the United States to cut their support, to get disappointed, to get wary of Ukraine, they raise their voices. So, these

voices do not come from officials, they come rather from commentators who want to make a difference in the way partners support Ukraine. And this is

why it is so unfair.

AMANPOUR: So, when you've been abroad just now and you've been talking to defense ministers and foreign ministers and the like, and you just

indicated that this is happening with no air cover, and it's very, very rare for this kind of infantry battle to happen without having previously

had air cover and to try to gain supremacy of the skies. Your planes are coming to you too late, the F-16s, for this counteroffensive. What if you

told, again, you know, your backers who are, say, they want you to win, about when you should get the equipment and what more you need and when?

D. KULEBA: I wish some things happened and arrived in Ukraine some time ago. But things happen as they happen. Countries need time to go through

their reflection process, decision-making process. And we're not criticizing anyone for being too slow in providing weapons because we

understand that there's a certainly reality.

So, please, again, governments, do not criticize our counteroffensive for being slow. But then I ask experts and commentators also to respect that we

are fighting with what we have against an enemy who is strong. But the most important, of course, decision of recent months is the agreement reached

between President Zelenskyy, President Biden, prime minister of Netherlands, Denmark and Norway on providing Ukraine with F-16s and we are

deeply grateful to the United States for giving greenlight for these deliveries.

AMANPOUR: And again, I'm just going to read what you said in Paris. The number of minefields and fortifications is unprecedented. Russian drones,

helicopters and planes dominate the air.

So, we talked a little bit about that and what you need. But can we talk about then what actually your forces seem to be doing, and that is really

deploying drones. And we saw an attack inside Russia, very far inside Russia this week, the first such attack. Took out their troop-carrying

planes and damaged an air field. And attacks on Moscow and the like.

Now, I know you never normally talk about this stuff, but actually, one of your generals did and did confirm it, and did confirm that those planes

were deliberately targeted. I don't know what you can say about that, but what are your allies saying about you attacking inside Russia?

First of all, can you confirm that for us?

D. KULEBA: Well, when I'm asked this question, my answer is always the same. I -- as foreign minister, I do commend what happens in other

countries. But in the case of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, I do not commend what happened -- on what happens in Russia. This is their

business. I think it's President Putin who --

AMANPOUR: No, no. Meant to the Ukrainians attacking inside Russia.

D. KULEBA: Yes. But I don't know who exactly is and what is doing that and why it is happening. I think the question should be different. And it's the

question that the people of Russia should ask President Putin, why, instead of protecting us and our lives, you are sending our men to the war in

Ukraine, making them die in thousands? This is the question, because the whole paradigm of Putin as the savior and protector of the people of Russia

is falling apart because he is not capable. The only way -- the only thing he's capable of doing is shooting down his opponents with missiles.

This is -- so, I think, again, we should --

AMANPOUR: You're talking about Prigozhin?

D. KULEBA: Absolutely.

AMANPOUR: Do you think that's what happened?

D. KULEBA: Well, I think it's -- it is what happened. Yes, that's my opinion. But we live in a free world. We're free to ask any questions, but

when it comes to these attacks and incidents in Russia, I think it's President Putin who has to answer questions not us.


AMANPOUR: This brings me to what is your remit (ph), obviously, and that is diplomacy. So, I've read lots different things, one of them is that

you're trying to organize or you'd like to organize a peace conference here in Ukraine by the end of the year. Is that correct?

D. KULEBA: We want to organize the summit based on peace formula proposed by President Zelenskyy last year.

AMANPOUR: The 10-point formula?

D. KULEBA: The 10-point formula, because as president rightly said, since the war is taking place in Ukraine and Ukraine was attacked, we have the

right to define the principles of the settlement of this war. And frankly, it's the most -- peace formula is the most unprecedented diplomatic effort

since post Second World War, rebuilding of the security architecture. So, it's very complicated.

We are still deciding on the venue. It does not necessarily have to be Ukraine. The main goal is to bring as many countries as possible together

from all over the world.

AMANPOUR: So, that is -- has proven a little difficult for you, right? Because there are a lot of the countries that still don't wholeheartedly

support you or your war effort. And frankly, seemed to tend more towards Russia. Which countries are you trying to wean away or at least get them to

be -- to get off the fence and help in a constructive way?

D. KULEBA: Back in February, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution written along the lines of the peace formula. It did not mention

peace formula directly, but basically, the content of that resolution is the reflection of the peace formula. And 141 states voted in favor. And

this is the threshold that we would be happy to repeat with the summit.

If we don't, then, of course, we the threshold or the criteria of success will be the presence of such big players, as China, India, Brazil, South

Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, many, many other countries from all over the world. Because -- and they are already taking part in the coordination

mechanism at the level of national security advisers, and we present it to foreign ministries. So, we are moving forward with that.

AMANPOUR: When you were in France and you were with Foreign Minister Colonna, I believe you asked them to help you bring African countries on

board. First of all, what do you want to see from African countries?

D. KULEBA: Well, Africa is a very special case.

AMANPOUR: And very much in Russia's pocket and maybe even in China's pocket.

D. KULEBA: I think China has far stronger positions in Russia -- in Africa than Russia. I have no doubts that the -- there are two main strengths of

Russia in Africa. The first one used to be Wagner. It's vanishing. I don't know how successful Russian ministry of defense will be in replacing

Wagner. It remains to be seen.

And the second argument is the strongest one, it's the sentiment of African countries towards the Soviet Union. And they take Russia as the thinking

nation of the Soviet Union. If I look at the list of investments, the top rate -- rate list of investors in Africa or top list of providers of

technical assistance, Russia is not neither on the top nor in middle. It's very, very low in -- at the bottom.

So, we want Africans to realize the reality, the real partnership, the real benefit does not come with Russia. And frankly, behind the closed doors,

they smile to Putin. They go to summits with him. But when you sit with them behind the closed doors, you know, they have different feelings, but

they are afraid of Russia's punishment if they support Ukraine too openly.

And this is the issue that we all have to address. How do we protect them from Russian retaliation?

AMANPOUR: And what is a Russian retaliation to Africa? They also don't think it's their war.

D. KULEBA: Insecurity.

AMANPOUR: You mean, destabilizing?


AMANPOUR: So, look what we've just seen.


AMANPOUR: Like a string of military coups and your -- let's say France, it has seen two of their former, you know, colonies gone in a few weeks. That

must complicate the effort to bring them over.

D. KULEBA: It is. It's very complicated. But the more energy I spend on it, the more -- how to -- the -- reinvigorated I get. I mean, it becomes a

real issue because it's like winning in a game against a strong enemy. The stronger your enemy is, the stronger your motivation is. And that's what

I'm -- what I feel.


AMANPOUR: So, how do you feel? I mean, you got a smile on your face. We're a year and a half into this war, how do you feel? How do you -- is it going

to go on endlessly? Are these -- you -- I think you said you're going to have a whole bunch of defense ministers over to talk about setting up

weapons procurement factories here.


AMANPOUR: I mean, that speaks to a long-term scenario.

D. KULEBA: Well, upon advice of my doctor, I started taking vitamins, and that's why I feel pretty well -- reenergized, batteries charged. I'm

smiling. Second, I feel well because I know one simple truth, pessimists never win wars. If you want to win a war, you have to believe in victory.

Against all odds. Whatever happens. You have to be rational. You have to be pragmatic. That's -- you know, but you have to believe in it.

And this is why we -- and because we do want to win the war as soon as possible, we are bringing together defense industries from all over the

world, ministers of defense, ministers of foreign affairs in Kyiv to ramp up production and co-production of armaments. We opened kind of all windows

of opportunities. We now have access to main types of weapons. Everything that we wanted. But sustainability of supply, this is the question.

And moreover, countries, they -- unfortunately, you know, there are times in history when countries demilitarize.


D. KULEBA: But in today's world, we have to accept the reality, countries have to militarize, irrespective of the needs of Ukraine. So -- and this

equation can be solved only with close cooperation between defense industries. And this is why we are bringing all of them together. We are

taking the lead on this because this is -- the security of Europe, in Europe (INAUDIBLE) depends on this cooperation between defense industries.

AMANPOUR: And finally, our team spoke to some, you know, of these sad children who had been kidnapped, removed from here homes, often in the

occupied areas and taken to camps or in Crimea or inside Russia, et cetera. Several, you know, parents are trying to come and bring them back.

But I think the numbers are huge. The Save Ukraine organization estimates nearly 20,000 children have been deported. And today, Ukraine authorities

say they've opened more than 3,000 criminal cases. Can you tell us where this stand and how difficult it is to prosecute these kinds of cases and to

get the kids back?

D. KULEBA: Depriving a group of its children is an element of genocide. And this is the way I see it. This is the way we see it. For us, every day

a Ukrainian child spends in Russia against his or her will is a day of suffering that we must stop.

So, when we started talking about this issue, we tracked very little attention. But now, everyone is talking.


D. KULEBA: Everyone is focused. Everyone is working on it. International Criminal Court issued a warrant for Putin exactly for this, for crime for

kidnapping children. So, we are moving at a good pace, but it's not good enough because there are these children, they're still there.

And I see from what is coming from Russia, that they are panicking because -- I mean, they understand that this is a big problem for them and there

are countries who are willing to do some quiet diplomacy to help us get kids out and we are working at all tracks to solve it. Because, as I said,

every day these children spent in Russia is a day of suffering that we have to really stop as soon as possible.

AMANPOUR: Foreign Minister, thank you so much indeed.

D. KULEBA: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: Now, CNN producer, Madie Aroujo (ph), and our camera team went to speak with some of the families caught up in these child deportations at

a shelter here in Kyiv today. First, there's Nastya, a 16-year-old who spent four months at a Russian camp in Crimea. Then, Ksenia, who helped

retrieve her own brother from Russia. And finally, a mother, Tetyana, recently reunited with her two teens. Here are their stories.


NASTYA MOTYCHAK, 16-YEAR-OLD TAKEN TO RUSSIA-CONTROLLED CRIMEA (through translator): I was there four months. And throughout these four months, I

had to sing the Russian national anthem, that was compulsory. They said, if you don't sing the Russian anthem, you're not going to get anything.

Then there was a woman there, a child minder, also from Kherson. She -- I don't know what her story was, but she was seriously crazy. She beats

children. There was one situation, I left the grounds. A boy used to visit me, climbing over the fence. Everyone knew about it and didn't care. It was

allowed. So, we sat inside the grounds in a little hide-out where we almost couldn't be seen.


She shouted, Nastya, Nastya, where are you? So, I came back and my roommate told me, she's been looking for you. She said, she would do something to

you when you're back. So, I said, she wasn't allowed to do that, but let her try.

So, we had to do some laundry and we were going over to fetch it when she ran towards me, grabbed me, shook me, shoved me inside a room, and started

yelling and swearing at me, you scum. If this happens again, I know where to report you. I will send you to an orphanage. She struck me before she

said it. I will report you to the police that you are a fugitive, that you fled Kherson to hear and you will be taken away.

KSENIA KOLDIN, HELPED RETRIEVE 12-YEAR-OLD BROTHER FROM RUSSIAN DETENTION (through translator): It was very difficult moment, because when I came, I

felt that my brother and I had grown apart. Not only had there been almost 1,000 kilometers between us and we didn't see each other for nine months.

We'd always grown apart because of the psychological pressure put on him.

So, when we met, I could see he was very tormented. When I wanted to hug him sincerely because I had missed him a lot, he went through the emotions.

He didn't even look my way. When I asked standard questions like, how are you, what's new, he just sat there twisting his jumper. I could see he was


I understood I was being faced with the fact that he didn't want to come with me. He was comfortable there. He had friends there. There was a war

on. It was bad. Everything he had been told by those around him that there was a war on, all these Ukrainian Nazis. I was very scared because although

I'm not a very convincing person, I was sure I would be able to convince him.

I tried everything I could to get us talking. And while we talked, I was messaging Catarina (ph), the volunteer that I can't persuade him. He

doesn't want to come. But eventually, I managed to persuade him. I couldn't believe I had managed to bring him close to me. And in a few hours, we

could be on our way.

TETYANA, MOTHER OF TWO TEENS TAKEN TO RUSSIAN-OCCUPIED TERRITORIES (through translator): How did I feel? It was very scary. I was worried I would

never see my children again. That feeling that you would never see your children again, I can't describe it. It is impossible to find words to

describe it. This fear, this worry, I can't put it into words. Thank God we got help, that we were able to come home and I am together with these


I hugged my children. Felt them next to me. It was an indescribable feeling for sure. My mind was at rest. We were together last. And now, we would

travel this road together.


AMANPOUR: It's so moving. Now, arranging these incredible reunions is the work of my next guest. Mykola Kuleba is the CEO of Save Ukraine and he's

joining me right now here in Kyiv. So, welcome to the program.

That must really warm your heart when you think you can rescue these young people who have been forcibly removed and put them back into the arms of

their family.

MYKOLA KULEBA, FORMER OMBUDSMAN FOR CHILDREN IN UKRAINE AND CEO, SAVE UKRAINE: On the one hand, but on the other hand it's traumatized me a lot

because when I understand how many kids were deported, forcibly deported, how many orphans kidnapped, I understand it is genocide of Ukrainian

nation, a genocide of Ukrainian children. It is special -- it is state policy of Putin's administration to bring (INAUDIBLE) kids, ratify kids,

kidnapped kids and to prepare militaries from Ukrainian children for future war.

AMANPOUR: So, you're saying that a lot of them get trained to go into the Russian military ranks?

M. KULEBA: Oh, yes. Many of kidnapped children reporting us, after we reunificated (ph) them with their families and returned them, that they

promised, Russia promised, give them passports, give them certificates for a house, for example, or money, and send them to military schools.

AMANPOUR: Which means they could be sent back to fight in Ukraine eventually if this goes on forever??

M. KULEBA: Yes. There's thousands of young adults who have been school children nine years ago after first invasion now fighting against Ukraine.

AMANPOUR: Seriously?

M. KULEBA: Really.

AMANPOUR: You never got those ones back?

M. KULEBA: Yes. It is official data. It's tens of thousands of people were killed, Lugansk, mobilized to Russian army and killed for the last nine

years. Who are they? Many of them it's young adults who have been Ukrainian children. Many of them was adults too, but it was previous Ukrainian



AMANPOUR: It's really Kafkaesque when you put it this way. And I assume when you use the word genocide, which is a legal term, you're talking

about, what? Why do you call it genocide?

M. KULEBA: Many people don't understand this, but genocide, it's not only when during World War II, Germans burned people and killed people, but

Putin's strategy is convert children, ratify these kids to destroy Ukrainian identity, this is genocide. When he taking Ukrainian ethnic group

and move them, deport them to Russia federation and destroy Ukrainian identity.

AMANPOUR: So, as we know, the International Criminal Court has essentially agreed and has actually indicted Putin and his main female commissioner on

children on the, you know, forceable deportations. So, how are you now able to get them back? How many of you have been able to reunite? And it's a

massive journey I understand.

M. KULEBA: We returned the biggest number of kids, 161 today.


M. KULEBA: But it's --

AMANPOUR: Up to today?

M. KULEBA: Up to today.


M. KULEBA: Yes. But it's many more kids who stay in there. But every day, it's a huge trauma. Every day, for us, we are losing thousands of kids

because they are receiving Russian citizenship and they make decision to stay in Russia. Yes. And we have plans to return more, but after I see the

decision harder and harder to return kids.

AMANPOUR: Is that right?

M. KULEBA: Yes, because Russia blocked any returns. They don't want to allow any child to come back. And I can tell you a lot of stories, when

children were stopped and -- or parents or relatives were stopped or arrested or deported to -- back to Ukraine, interrogated. And just now, one

lady's grandmother, they ask Maria Lvova-Belova office told her --

AMANPOUR: This is the Russian commissioner, yes.

M. KULEBA: Yes. You should have DNA tests. We don't believe your documents. DNA. Two months in Russia. They did not allow this child, it's a

sick child, to return with the grandmother.

AMANPOUR: And it's so difficult because, of course, it's across the border but nobody can just go crossing the border to get their children. So, the

Russians have said, in some cases, if you want them, you have to come here. So, you have organized, right, there's a massive route, Poland and up and

around and back, I mean, it takes forever.

M. KULEBA: Yes, it's weeks of traveling to take. But maybe it's not as hardest thing. But efforts, being interrogations, lie detections, DNA tests

and other things. And really, they hugely traumatize, not only kids but adults or relatives who are going there and trying to take child back.

AMANPOUR: So, they come to you for help. Do you have to have liaison with the Russian authorities? How can they just, you know, Ukrainians just go

into Russia, take these kids and take them out? Is there an arrangement?

M. KULEBA: Oh, it's very hard because many people -- many relatives really afraid to go there. But that brave people who are ready to do this, we help

them to prepare all documents, to travel there. We cover all expenses in Russia, Belarus, Poland and help them to take this child back. But not all

story is successful. But -- because why it's so hard to take them back, because the -- we document these crimes. It is war crimes. That's why

Russian try to stop any rescue.

AMANPOUR: And we heard some of the -- you know, the -- well, certainly the young girl, Ksenia, talking about her even younger brother who was clearly

psychological traumatized by this and I guess brainwashed by the Russians. Is that -- do you see that a lot? I mean, almost like Stockholm syndrome,

she thought he didn't want to come back.

M. KULEBA: Yes, yes. It's every child traumatized. Every child. It depends of the age, it depends of time, how long they stay in Russia.


M. KULEBA: But this, Serhiy, he's 11 years old boy, he's orphan. He was separated with his sister and brainwashed. And can you imagine when sister

come, he told, no, I don't want, because Nazi will kill me. And many children told us that they believe that Ukraine not exist anymore, because

Russian told them. No, we invaded all Ukraine. You don't need to go there. Ukraine don't need you or relatives, your relatives don't need you. You can

stay here. And we are talking not about several stories, it's tens of thousands of children who had been brainwashed and who had been kidnapped.


AMANPOUR: And Ksenia and Serhiy, the brother and sister, you say they're orphans. So, what is their future now that they're back here?

M. KULEBA: It is a special story because Ksenia, today, first day when she went to university. She will start in university. And I found a great

family for Serhiy, and they will adopt Serhiy and he will live in family. Because after returning, especially orphans, we are not placing them to the

orphanages, but we finding --

AMANPOUR: Families.

M. KULEBA: -- good Ukrainian families who can care and adopt this child.

AMANPOUR: I want to end by playing something that you've probably seen a lot, and that is Maria Lvova-Belova talking to Putin, you know, months ago

about this process. And this is how they frame it. Let's play it.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Did you adopt a child from Mariupol yourself?

MARIA LVOVA-BELOVA, RUSSIA PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSIONER FOR CHILDREN'S RIGHTS (through translator): Yes, thanks to you. 15 years old. Now, I know what

it means to be a mother of a child of a child from Donbas. It's difficult, but we definitely love each other.


AMANPOUR: What goes through your mind when you see that, clearly a staged conversation?

M. KULEBA: It is genocide. It is really -- I will tell you shortly (INAUDIBLE). What does it mean for me? Because many people don't understand

what happened in Ukraine. For example, I'm living and my neighbors came to my home, raped my wife, killed me, for example -- it's like example, yes,

and burn my house and then, heard, oh, children crying. And come back and take these kids to their homes. And next day, people come to this people

and say, why you killed a man, rape and killed women, kidnapped child? No, look at my cameras. And look, I'm taking kids from burning house. I saved

their lives.

Russians doing this. They kidnapping children, they raping, they killing, but they won't tell you, we are saving their lives. We are rescuing them.

We placing them to a loving Russian families. This is genocide. They killing our kids, their identity, they're killing Ukrainian children.

AMANPOUR: And you have done so much to get as many as you can back. Mykola Kuleba, thank you so much, indeed, Save Ukraine.

M. KULEBA: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: Turning now to the incredible ongoing scandal engulfing Spanish soccer. The Spanish men's national team manager has apologized for

applauding the country's football president, Luis Rubiales, when he gave a speech refusing to stand down last week, and that was over his unwanted

kiss to World Cup winner Jennifer Hermoso. It's prompted anger beyond the world of football. And it's not the first scandal to surround Rubiales, as

correspondent Atika Shubert reports now.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): At the moment of Spain's triumph, an unwanted kiss now threatens to bring down

Luis Rubiales, the powerful president of the Spanish Football Federation.

Rubiales apologized, but it was not enough, and he became the target of national anger, a wave against sexism in sport triggered, in part, by

Miguel Angel Galan, at his unassuming office in Madrid, officially, the head of the national training center for football coaches, unofficially,

the longtime nemesis of Rubiales and the Football Federation.

He says he has filed more than 50 complaints against the federation, one of which landed the previous president in prison. Now, he hopes to take down

another with this kiss.

It was a sexist and intolerable act, a chauvinistic act, he said to CNN, by a president who is already plagued by corruption scandals and sexism.

Steeped in traditions, Spain's Royal Football Federation has long ruled over the nation's lucrative football fortunes. When this furor broke,

Spain's prosecutor was already investigating Rubiales for trafficking in influence and bribery, allegations Rubiales has consistently denied.

CNN has reached out to both the federation and Rubiales, neither have responded.

And now, women footballers have entered the professional ranks. They are demanding equal pay, rights, and structural change, says the president of

Spain's Women's League, La Liga F, Beatriz Alvarez, who's had her own disagreements with Rubiales.

In that Federation meeting, that totally delirious speech he made, she says, look at how they applauded him. It is unacceptable. It shows that

more than the president has to change, the entire model has to change.


As the scandal grows, at the Rubiales hometown church, his mother went on a hunger strike to support her embattled son, briefly hospitalized. She

continues to defend his innocence, even as others close to him are speaking out.

His own uncle, Juan Rubiales, told Spanish news, El Mundo, that the kiss was just the tip of the iceberg.

I was not surprised by that at all, he said. He is an extremely arrogant man who has not acted as a president should. Instead of being a political

leader, he wanted to be a warrior who sees ghosts and enemies everywhere, he said. In the end, his own worst enemy was himself.

Spain's historic win at the Women's World Cup, it seems, is forging a path for change in more ways than one.


AMANPOUR: Atika Shubert reporting there.

Now, to the fight against climate change. Following a devastating monsoon season, activists in South Korea say, the government is not living up to

its own target to become carbon neutral by 2050. Sang-Hyup Kim is the co- chair of the Presidential Commission on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth. And he sat down with Hari Sreenivasan to discuss South Korea's climate



HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Chairman Kim, thanks so much for joining us. Let's talk a little bit about how South Korea plans to

deal with climate change. You as a country have a plan to get carbon neutral by 2050, which is --


SREENIVASAN: -- enormous, it's ambitious. And, you know, the concern is also what can you do between now and 2050? Right now, you're decreasing the

goal of your renewables by 2030. You are decreasing the greenhouse gas reduction goal for your industrials. And you still have, I don't know, more

than half of your energy is coming from fossil fuel.

So, how does Korea get from where you are today to carbon neutral by 2050?

KIM: This administration led by the President Yoon Suk Yeol succeeded the pledge announced by the previous administration to make the carbon

neutrality possible by 2050.


KIM: But the real thing is the target by 2030. So, in that point, Korea also succeeded the pledge to cut 40 percent of its greenhouse gases

compared to the level of 2018. And that's a very demanding and daunting task.

And you said we have moderated the portion of renewables. The penetration rate of renewables, in terms of power generation, last year, about 9



KIM: But we are going to increase more than 21.6 percent plus (INAUDIBLE) by 2030. That's more than 2.5 times bigger than now.


KIM: This is a quite challenging one, especially when it comes optional wind power. We are going to increase more than 10 times

SREENIVASAN: So, you're going to increase your renewables 10X to what it is today.

KIM: Sure.

SREENIVASAN: So, what do you do about industrials and manufacturing?

KIM: Industrial, yes.

SREENIVASAN: You're a -- you know, you punch above your weight in terms of how big of a country you are versus how much you manufacture.

KIM: So, Korea is, as you know, a kind of quite energy intensive industrialized country, which means Korea consumes a lot of energy. And

that makes a lot of CO2. That reflects the industrial structure of Korean economy.

But having said that, our dependency on manufacturer is almost 30 percent. So, if you look at that point and get the time given to us is less eight

years by 2030.


KIM: So, can you imagine to cut it by more than 10 percent is possible? And that's what we are going to do. The previous administration pledged

industrial sectors emission decrease by around 15 percent. That was too much. When we take a close look at the scientific rational ground for that,

it was unreasonable, unrealistic. So, we had to make a coordination. And the best thing we could put come up with was around 11 percent.


KIM: That is still quite a demanding one.

SREENIVASAN: Yes. So, what is to keep from future administrations from adjusting that and saying, here's what's realistic, here's what's

reasonable and rational?


KIM: Well, the most important thing regarding climate policy is having policy consistency. So, I have some encouraging news to share with you.

Last year, it is estimated our Korea's greenhouse gas emission was reduced by more than 3 percent. So, cutting more than 3 percent of Korea's

greenhouse gas emission is quite encouraging one.

SREENIVASAN: How much of that was a reflection of an economic slowdown from the pandemic?

KIM: The period of pandemic, that was most severe. 2020 was most serious period.


KIM: Affected by pandemic. At a time, the emission was reduced more than by 6 percent.


KIM: But that was not due to the efforts of Korean government or Korean companies, that was mainly due to the external factors, such as pandemic.


KIM: But last year, it has nothing to do with pandemic. So, it was done by having proper energy mix. So, we made a nuclear energy comeback to the

right place and we have increased renewables in a very meaningful way and we have reduced coal fire power generation significantly. That explains the

reduction we witnessed last year.

SREENIVASAN: You mentioned nuclear is making a comeback in South Korea. Are people here hesitant because of what happened in the neighborhood, so

to speak, from the Fukushima disaster? There has to be concern here on what levels of safety and redundancies that you're building in before you do


KIM: Safety is most important element in building nuclear power and running nuclear power plant. So, at the heart of Korea's nuclear power

companies, safety comes first. So, we got to make that set element most important. We also need to have a close collaboration with neighboring

countries, such as Japan and China. China is building lots of nuclear power plant.


KIM: And Korea is also dedicated to develop the future generation nuclear power, which is known SMR, a Small Modular Reactor, which is much more

safer, which is going to be much more flexible and stable. SMR is the future of Korea nuclear power generation.

And in the end, it will work in a kind of interoperable way with renewable energy. Because the small scale on nuclear power will be more flexible to

work with the renewables. So, the final goal of having these two major energy source work together is to kick away fossil fuel, such as energy.

SREENIVASAN: Is there concern on the part of Korea about the release of the waters in Fukushima and how it would impact you, not just in term of

your -- the potential pollution, but also in your larger plans?

KIM: I think science should come first. So, if there is solid scientific evidence that the water is dangerous, we should stop it. But if there's no

scientific strong ground for that, so we can it reasonably. But we have to consider the element of the sentiment and worry ordinary people have. That

is also very important element, which is composing reality.

So, we need to be kind of very careful in responding to that matter. There are two dimensions. One scientific, the other, kind of psychological and

sentimental element, which is also very important. So, Japan is to collaborate more opening with neighboring countries.

SREENIVASAN: So, right now, Korea's energy mix still has more than a quarter of your energy, you're getting from coal. A lot of that you're


KIM: Yes, right.

SREENIVASAN: More than a quarter you're getting from natural gas.

KIM: Yes, right.

SREENIVASAN: So, how do you change the needs of today's power even if it's going to take a while for you to change the supply where you get the power


KIM: So, the war in Ukraine is giving us a lot of lessons. It is true that the -- well, during the war -- still at the war, but the --



KIM: -- fossil fuel energy price went up very sharply and it went down. So, it is very volatile energy in terms of price.


KIM: So, it's no longer dependent, reliable energy source anymore. So, that's why we made another determination. We now focus more on reliable

energy such as nuclear and the other side, renewables. That makes economic sense also.

SREENIVASAN: So, do you see a trajectory where you are less and less dependent on coal and natural gas by --

KIM: Sure.

SREENIVASAN: -- 2030, 2040, 2050?

KIM: Sure, sure.

SREENIVASAN: Is there a roadmap for that?

KIM: We have a search and roadmap for that. So, for example, in the year 2036, 26 coal fired power plant will shut down. So far, coal fire power

plant, power generation is number one as of today, but it will be the fullest energy source in the year 2030. So, we are going to very rapid


SREENIVASAN: You know, I went to an island that you're familiar with recently, Jeju Island.

KIM: Oh, yes.

SREENIVASAN: And I think one in 10 cars are electric vehicles there.

KIM: That's right.

SREENIVASAN: You know, one of the concerns with electric vehicles is still that, right now, to physically move a gallon of gas is a very nice easy

portable way --

KIM: That's right.

SREENIVASAN: -- for someone to get power, right, versus -- even with fast charging electric vehicles, you need to rethink the infrastructure either

on an island or a nation. Whereas, we have thousands and thousands of gas stations because they have developed over decades.

Can your grid keep up? Because right now, in lots of countries, including the United States, if all the vehicles went electric, the lights would go

out. There would be no way that everybody could plug in at the same time.

KIM: That's why we need to develop a smart and flexible pricing system. You have flexible electricity pricing system that the electric vehicle

owners can take advantage of the flexible charging price, charging system. That would be the one way. And we are also going to develop A.I. based

electricity management system in the end.


KIM: So, Germany has offered a kind of co-work with Korea to develop A.I. based smart grid system. In the end, A.I. is very good at making optimal


SREENIVASAN: Yes. So, you know, electric vehicles and solar panels are fine for people who are living in big cities and have disposable incomes.

How do you make the green transition work for the most vulnerable parts of your population who are just trying to get by and who just want to get to

their job the fastest quickest way, how do you make them part of this green revolution?

KIM: Well, that's one of the reasons why Korean companies are developing all state solid batteries, for example. So, if you live in rural area, you

don't have enough charging system and you should go to the city to get your cars charged. But when it comes to our old solid-state battery, their

charging time is very, very quick and the duration time is much, much longer.

The most distance in Korea from Seoul to Busan is only 800 kilometers. Relatively short.


KIM: So, we can take full advantage of electric vehicles, especially it's going to be a fully autonomous in the end.


KIM: So, that's why I said fully autonomous electric vehicle can play the role of energy carrier, which can contribute to the energy peak management.

SREENIVASAN: So, it seems that there's also a race here for who will be the country that actually leads the rest of the planet, innovation-wise. I

mean, when you are sitting at government meetings, do you see what's happening here as sort of an opportunity and to say, if there are going to

be better batteries, if there are going to be better solar cells, if there are going to be better designed wind mills, that our companies can make it?


KIM: Of course, of course. It is true that the Korea has many hard to obey sectors in our economy. They are quite energy intensive. But if you look at

the other side, if we can improve these matters, we have a huge opportunity. That's the philosophy of Korea's green growths. That's why

Korea is concentrating on having green technology, green industry and green finance together, like a triangle.

Recently, we had a special conference organized by our commission, commission for carbon neutrality and green growths. We are going to invest

more than 100 U.S. billion dollars to nurture climate tech and climate industries.

SREENIVASAN: Where does money come from?

KIM: Well, besides the public money, besides the government budget, which is about 90 trillion won, which is 70 billion U.S. hundred dollars, that's

beside the public money. That's coming from the financial sectors and companies. So, Korean banking financial group is committing very much to

green finance.

Now, Korean banking system, Korean financial sectors going to play a kind of change agent role in reshaping Korean economy.

SREENIVASAN: So, how do you, as a country, deal with climate change that's happening because of what the whole planet is doing? And Asia takes a

disproportionate amount of the pain. Countries along the Asian water ways, whether it's bangle dash or the Andaman Islands or even Korea. So, when you

go to a world body like the United Nations, what do you ask for, because you have an island that's losing its land?

KIM: Yes, right. It's a tragic thing to watch that sinking island. So, if you take a look at the so-called historic responsibility, the developed

country should certainly do more to support developing countries, including small islands, countries, and Korea.

SREENIVASAN: So, are you a developing or a developed country when it comes to this?

KIM: Yes. We used to inject that kind of dichotomy for a certain time. It is undeniable. But Korea is now going to join the kind of so-called G7

club. Korea has joined the other climate club that was initiated by the German government, which is climate ambition alliance, something like that.

And which means Korea wants to play its role in due course as a kind of newly developed country.

The slogan of our commission is First Korean. It's not like America First. First Korea means Korea now should be a country that will develop

inevitable critical green technologies that can serve the interest of not just Korean people but also for the humanity in the world. That's the

concept of First Korea.

Why can't Korea -- why can't we be a country to serve the interest of human kind? That's the new concept developed, initiated by President Yoon Suk

Yeol. Korea is trying to host the World EXPO in Busan 2030, and he said when we made a presentation in Paris, Korea will devote to develop its

capacity to solve the problems humanity is facing today, which include poverty, climate change, et cetera, something like that. The global common


SREENIVASAN: Yes. Chairman Kim, kamsahamnida for joining us.

KIM: Kamsahamnida.


AMANPOUR: Hari Sreenivasan bringing us that important climate perspective from South Korea.

And finally, tonight, a musical comeback. Agnetha Faltskog, best known for being one quarter of ABBA, has relaunched her solo career with a new

single. "Where Do We Go from Here"" is her first new music in a decade. And the album A+ is released next month. Here's some of the single.





AMANPOUR: Agnetha at 73, of course, does this relaunch of the back of a wildly successful virtual avatar ABBA concert that's been playing in London

since last year.

That it for now. Remember, you can always catch us online, on our website and all-over social media. Thank you for watching our program from Kyiv in

Ukraine and goodnight.