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Russian Oligarch Condemns Putin's "Insane" War On Ukraine; Police Chief: AR-15 Style Weapon Used In Pittsburgh Mass Shooting; Netflix Loses Subscribers For First Time In More Than A Decade. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired April 20, 2022 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Russia's unprovoked war on Ukraine crosses the eight-week mark today, the United Nations reports that more than 5 million people have fled Ukraine. 7 million more are displaced inside the country. It's gotten so bad. A billionaire Russian banker who has been sanctioned is now condemning Putin's war as "insane." CNN's Nic Robertson is live in Brussels with more on this. So, Nic, how big of a deal is this having this oligarch speak out so publicly and directly taking on Putin in his war?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, Oleg Tinkov. He's a big oligarch. He runs a bank. He sponsors a cycling team in Europe. He's been in the past a pretty big voice inside of Russia, close to Putin. Not so clear if it's so close right now. And certainly, his comments right now are the biggest criticism that President Putin has faced for this war.

He calls the war insane. He says that the generals are waking up from a hangover to realize that their army isn't what they thought it would be. I won't use his precise words. They're quite rude. But he says this is because essentially, the system that President Putin has been running is based on nepotism, is based on groveling, and this hasn't produced a strong army.

He -- this is uncharacteristic of oligarchs in the extreme in Russia, any people who criticize President Putin and the oligarch ranks have been imprisoned or kicked out of the country. Some of them have even been poisoned in the past but the Kremlin denies it. So this is taking a very brave very strong stand against President Putin. Tinkov is also calling on the West to try to find a face-saving way for Putin to get out of the war. But this is the biggest criticism yet. As this is happening in Russia, you have in Ukraine the European Council President meeting right now giving a joint press conference with Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He's talking right now about a -- about a global summit to raise money for Ukraine. The fifth of May, as the date he's putting on that. The IMF and the World Bank should be there as being organized by Poland. And Sweden as well as supported by the European Union.

Interestingly, President Zelenskyy saying at the moment, that there are no peace talks on the table with Russia whatsoever, and admitting for the first time it appears that Ukraine is getting military support in terms of aircraft. He said I won't tell you which planes were getting, I won't go into the details of the support we're getting, but he did say that the support coming from Western countries. The military support is in his words, getting warmer. So he's a little happier with the military effort that's coming his way.

BOLDUAN: That is very interesting, much more to come on that for sure. Nic, it's good to see you. Thank you so much. Also developing AT THIS HOUR, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is one step closer to being extradited to the United States. A judge has sent a formal handover order to the UK Government for approval. So Assange, as you'll remember, is wanted in the U.S. on 18 criminal charges under the Espionage Act after WikiLeaks published thousands of classified files and diplomatic cables back in 2010, related to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. If convicted, he faces up to 175 years in prison.

There's also a big move and a big statement coming out of sports. The Wimbledon tennis tournament just announced that it will bar Russian and Belarusian players from competing in this year's tournament because of Putin's war in Ukraine. In a statement, the All England Lawn Tennis Club says this.

In this -- in this -- in the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players in the Championships. The Kremlin is responding, calling the move unacceptable. The Grand Slam tournament is set to begin on June 27.

And there's more on Russia we need to bring to you now. Russian opposition leader and fierce Putin critic Alexei Navalny. He's been in jail for more than a year. The story of how he ended up there is a remarkable one. After surviving an alleged murder attempt, tracking down his own would-be assassins. This story is now told with the urgency and drama of a spy thriller in the new documentary CNN film Navalny. CNN's Alex Marquardt has a closer look at how Navalny became one of Vladimir Putin's greatest enemies.



ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: There is no greater antagonist or political threat in Russia to Vladimir Putin than Alexei Navalny. As a result, the 45-year-old opposition leader is now languishing in a Russian penal colony, serving a combined sentence of more than 11 years in prison.


NAVALNY: I understand how the system works in Russia. I understand that Putin hates me.

MARQUARDT: Navalny's imprisonment is the culmination of more than a decade of activism of being a thorn in Putin's side. He was a blogger and a lawyer who emerged in 2008, exposing corruption at some Russian- state-owned companies.

NAVALNY: Speaking a foreign language.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Putin regime is built on corruption and Putin himself is the most corrupt.

NAVALNY: Speaking a foreign language.

MARQUARDT: In 2011, after allegations that parliamentary elections were rigged in favor of Putin's political party, Navalny rose to prominence as a leader in the large-scale protests. Over the years, he was repeatedly arrested, evidence of growing popularity that threatened the Russian establishment's grip on power. His shining rise was somewhat complicated in his early days with cooperation and marching alongside other anti-Putin forces, which included members of far-right nationalist groups. Navalny justifies it now by saying a broad coalition is needed to fight a totalitarian regime.

In 2013, he ran for mayor of Moscow and lost to Putin's favorite candidate. The same year, he was also convicted of embezzlement, a conviction which he called trumped-up that would prevent him from running for president against Putin in 2018. Two years later, in August 2020, he boarded a flight from the central Russian city of Tomsk to Moscow. Soon, his cries were heard throughout the cabin, Navalny knew exactly what had happened.

NAVALNY: I turned over to the flight attendant and said to him I was poisoned. I'm going to die.

MARQUARDT: He had been poisoned with a chemical nerve agent called novichok. He was flown to Germany for treatment. A joint investigation by CNN and the investigative group Bellingcat uncovered the team of agents from the FSB, the successor to the KGB that had tracked and followed Navalny for years before the poisoning.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Is it your contention that Vladimir Putin must have been aware of this?

NAVALNY: Of course, 100 percent.

MARQUARDT: CNN's Clarissa Ward and her team confronted a member of the FSB's toxin team, Oleg Tayakin at his apartment on the outskirts of Moscow. WARD: (Speaking a foreign language). My name is Clarissa Ward. I work for CNN. Can I ask you a couple of questions? (Speaking a foreign language) At the Russia commander (INAUDIBLE) and Navalny, was it your team that poisoned Navalny, please?

MARQUARDT: Five months after his poisoning, Navalny returned to Russia knowing what awaited him.

NAVALNY: I will go back because I'm a Russian politician. I belong to this country. I would never give Putin such a gift.

MARQUARDT: He was arrested on arrival. In prison, he started a hunger strike. He was initially sentenced to two and a half years for violating his probation, then another nine were added for fraud and contempt of court charges, which Putin critics say are clearly political.

Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.


BOLDUAN: Alex, thank you for that. And you can watch the television premiere of the CNN film, Navalny, Sunday night at 9 p.m. Eastern only on CNN. Coming up for us. New details on that mass shooting in a house party in Pittsburgh that we've been following so closely, police are revealing the type of weapon used as weapon killing two teenagers. A live report next.



BOLDUAN: Now, to several developments on the deadly mass shooting in Pittsburgh.





BOLDUAN: That was the scene. And now, the Pittsburgh police chief tells CNN that an AR-15-style weapon was used in that attack. You can hear those shots being fired off. That killed two 17-year-old teens and injured several others at a house party at a rental home in Pittsburgh. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz is back with me now. You've been following all these developments, what do -- what are you learning about this weapon?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: So, it's a lot of firepowers. When you think about AR-15 style weapon, we know we see this a lot used, Right?

BOLDUAN: Yes. PROKUPECZ: We've seen in the previous mass shooting. So it's a lot of -- a lot of firepowers. They're basing that belief on the shell casings that they found. Remember, the police chief has told us that they found different shell casings from different weapons so more than one weapon was used. Seems like people were firing at each other and it was a gunfight and sadly, all these people got caught in the middle of it. And as we've been reporting, you know nine victims here, two of them, 17-year-old that have died. The motive is still unclear in all of this. They think there was an altercation. And then obviously the suspects, they're still on this ongoing manhunt for the shooters.

BOLDUAN: Somehow that surprises me because there are so many -- there were so many people at this party, but the police chief assures us that they've got everybody working on investigating this, and but now, this morning, a family member -- the family of one of these teenagers who were killed were on CNN speaking, what they say?

PROKUPECZ: Yes, this is the end of one of the victims talking about how this was just a party that they saw advertised and that they were going to this party. They actually paid to go to this party. Take a listen to what she said.



BONNIE MCLAIN, GREAT-AUNT OF SLAIN TEEN MATHEW STEFFY-ROSS: They thought they were going towards a spring break party. It had been advertised on social media as such, with a $5 fee to come. And then it was -- and they thought they were going to a spring break party. So I just want people to know that they were doing what kids do.


PROKUPECZ: So, this raises, also, obviously, a lot of questions. There are about 200 people at this party, the police chief saying most of them were underage. Police were there 90 minutes before the party for a noise complaint. He says that the police did everything right. But it's still going to raise a lot of questions. Why didn't the police do more? Especially if there was a word of this party and the number of teens coming there, who's supervising all of this? So there's still a lot of questions, but obviously the manhunt for these individuals and what happened here? How did someone get to bring this large weapon into this area, into this party perhaps, and start firing the way they did?

BOLDUAN: Yes, and much more to come. Shimon, thank you so much. All right, coming up for us. Russia claims it just launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. We have breaking details on this coming in. We'll get to it right after the break.



BOLDUAN: It's something that hasn't happened to Netflix in more than a decade. The streaming giant announcing that it lost subscribers in the most recent quarter. A huge mess. And the news isn't going over well on Wall Street, and it's also raising real questions now for the streaming service world. CNN's Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter is here with me now. Brian, I know that it's a combination of factors that played into this, but what happened?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now the stock is down 38 percent, it has fallen off a cliff because of all these factors. Streaming is a mature business and I think Wall Street, some investors have been in denial about that. But the warring sides have been here for a couple of years. Netflix used to be the only real king of streaming, maybe Amazon along the edges, and maybe Hulu, but now it's Disney, our parent company, Warner Brother's Discovery, and other big players all with gigantic streaming services.

So, if Netflix is feeling that competitive pressure then they're also feeling the pinch of inflation, as well as issues around the world not just in the United States. For example, they put out a Russia when the invasion began, that caused some loss of subscribers around the edges. So there were all these different factors that added up to this subscriber loss, and as you said now, a reevaluation not just for Netflix, but for the entire media business, about the power of streaming.

BOLDUAN: Just -- first, on the factors that played into this. I thought it was interesting that they also pointed to password sharing.


BOLDUAN: And they -- that they let's say not just a small problem of password sharing, it was like millions that got password.

STELTER: A hundred million they think around the world.

BOLDUAN: Why is that such a -- such a problem, and what are they doing to fix it?

STELTER: Because presumably, if I share my password with you, you're not going to pay for Netflix. And for a while, they liked that. Years ago, Netflix encouraged password sharing --

BOLDUAN: Right it's the help of girls, right?

STELTER: This is a way to get more people watching programming and getting more people addicted to Netflix. I mean, my brothers still share my password in Maryland, but that's not going to last for much longer. It's not going to last much longer because Netflix needs people like my brothers to go ahead and start to pay.

So, that pressure's happening not just at Netflix, but on other platforms as well. The other new angle here is advertising. Netflix, for the first time, saying they're going to think about adding an ad- supported version of the platform. They've resisted that for many years as well. So what we're seeing is a giant good time.

BOLDUAN: We're still saying there's the entire void of streaming and part to avoid ads.

STELTER: To avoid the ads. I think that was true for a while, but now, the new conventional wisdom is that you can gain more folks, you can get more people to come in at a lower price point. Frankly, in media, everything old is new again, everything new is old, again, and the truth about media, the truth, I think sometimes investors don't want to admit is that the answer is everything, all of the above.

Television didn't kill radio, streaming doesn't kill television, it's all additive. I think what happened for Netflix for a while, they were high on their own supply. They believed they were the future of everything. Everything was going to be streaming all the time. And maybe that's not quite true. Maybe the future is all the above.

BOLDUAN: There's a live look at the stock price right now. And this is after a bad day -- you know, it was -- is bad overnight, and it's bad right now.

STELTER: The stock was up at 600 a few months ago.

BOLDUAN: That's amazing -- I mean, as our colleague Frank Pallotta put it, it cannot be overstated just how bad of a report this is for the king of streaming right now. They actually thought they were going to be adding subscribers like how did you -- how did you miss it so much?

STELTER: So, that mess, it is partly I think inflation. I think it is partly the war, there are all those factors but you have to wonder, where they just -- were they so convinced about a model believing they could get to a billion subscribers someday that they believe their own myth.

BOLDUAN: You were touching on this but is this a bad omen for the broader growing streaming service world?

STELTER: I think consumers always want options. People want more options. They want cable, satellite, streaming, everything. They want it all, and so many companies have to provide it all. But what this does, is it reevaluates all the investments they've made, especially Netflix, to make so many shows and movies. They have -- they have perhaps gone out over their skis doing so and now there's going to be a reevaluation of what's actually realistic and possible.

Frankly, Kate, I've never been able to catch up on all the shows that Netflix has made that they want me to watch, you know. There is an overabundance of content, which in some ways is great for consumers. But this moment, this week, is a reality check for streaming.

BOLDUAN: Just -- if is just for context for everyone, they still have more than 221 million subscribers globally.


BOLDUAN: What does Netflix -- what Netflix does from here I feel like has an impact far and wide --

STELTER: Yes. BOLDUAN: Just because it is the -- they are the king of streaming. So what are you watching for next?

STELTER: I think if you ask a Hollywood veteran, folks who've been around this world for 50 years they would say you got to go make some great shows. You got to be great so make some movies. Some great movies. Sometimes it's that simple, but also that hard. And for Netflix, not just in the U.S. or Canada or North America, it's about making great shows around the world.


STELTER: Remember, Squid Game a few months ago was the talk of the streaming world coming out of South Korea. That is the globalized world we live in now where anything can become a hit, but you've got to go and make great shows as people want to watch. I know that sounds deceptively easy, when in fact it's very hard, and that's the challenge now for -- now for Netflix.

BOLDUAN: It is hard, you need a strategy, but content still is king.

STELTER: That is still king and will always be king.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Brian. Thank you so much.

STELTER: You too.

BOLDUAN: And thank you all so much for joining us at this hour. I'm Kate Bolduan. "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts after this break.