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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Ukraine Imposes State Of Emergency, Calls Up Reservists; Breakaway Areas Ask Russia To Repel "Ukrainian Attack." Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired February 23, 2022 - 17:00   ET


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to THE GLOBAL BRIEF. I'm Bianca Nobilo in London.

We begin in Ukraine where a state of emergency is in effect as we go to air now, midnight, local time.

A warning from the Pentagon. A short time ago, officials there said that additional Russian forces are moving into Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the

area recognized as independent by Russia.

Meanwhile, Russian media reports separatist leaders inside those regions asked the Kremlin to help repelling the aggression of Ukrainian armed

forces and the leader of the republic says he's confident about victory.


DENIS PUSHILIN, LEADER OF SELF-PROCLAIMED DONETSK PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC (through translator): We will win. With people like this, we will win.

With such a country, with such country, big Russia, which we respect and value, that treat us like this, we have no right to lose and even to doubt

in our victory.


NOBILO: This comes soon a after new satellite images seemed to show a growing Russian military presence near Ukraine, both in Russia and Belarus.

Images we're seeing apparently showed now dozens of new stationary tanks, tents and field hospital.

As we've just noted, Ukraine has just introduced a nation-wide state of emergency and it's told its citizens to leave Russia immediately. The

emergency measures applied to the whole country, except the separatist Donetsk and Luhansk regions where state of emergency has been in place

since 2014.


The measures will last for at least 30 days and include call-ups of reservists.

So, let's bring up CNN's international security editor Nick Paton Walsh in Odessa, Ukraine.

Nick, I'm grad we got you because the intelligence reports are obviously swirling around, everything from further encroachment into Luhansk and

Donetsk, and lot of talk from Kharkiv and full scale invasion. What are we learning?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, obviously, been hearing from U.S. officials quite some time that an invasion is

imminent but it does appear to be growing in intensity, the idea we may see some action in the days ahead.

What that will be, precisely, is still unclear. There is a very clear clock ticking on the Russian presence on Ukraine's border. It's been there for

some time, but U.S. officials say 80 percent of it now in forward positions to essentially attack, they have about 100 percent of what they need

according to the last statistics or assessments.

I heard from a Western official a couple days ago that they can't keep them there forever, in what they refer to as these tactical formations, these

are essentially troops sleeping on or near their vehicles, and so it is a matter of days, ahead of about 48 hours ago they can keep this up so if

there is to be some broader moves, that probably does have to happen quite soon according to the western officials, although Putin may not share that

personal assessment.

What we did hear today is from the separatist leaders of Donetsk and Luhansk who said they needed Russian military assistance to assist them in

repelling the Ukrainian military from the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk that they say they have the right to occupy but always since the separatist

areas being controlled by Ukrainian military. That is a pretty wide potential launch for the Russian military to come in to those areas and

that has been the concern all along that we are slowly seeing this fairly clumsy choreographed series of events, seen last week followed by

recognition of independence, false flag events that they're under attack, now this request of military assistance.

That's all playing out very slowly and somewhat predictably, possibly less sophisticated plan that people thought may have been afoot, so the issue

now is whether we do see Russia respond with force and see whether that is just about slightly expanding the borders of those separatist areas, I have

to say that confused be as a precept here because you're asking Putin to accept pretty extensive sanctions on his country's not great performing

economy in order to really get a gain which is just to obtain formal control of areas you pretty much have.

To expand the areas could be assisted but we are hearing of plans of full scale invasion of the country that could include the distant west port city

of Odessa, strategic and vital, often Russian-speaking, but so far away from the current violence. So, a lot changing on the days ahead as to how

extensive this invasion, if it indeed happens, might be.

NOBILO: And, Nick, my producers just told me the mayor of Kyiv declared a state of emergency for the capitol, already been a state of emergency

introduced for the nation excluding the separatist regions obviously. What can you tell us about that in terms of what it means for citizens and what

powers it's going to give authorities?

WALSH: For now, it's a lot of things they might end up doing in the event things get worse. Nationwide, that state of emergency has been put in

place, too, in Kyiv, it seems to mean protests will be prohibited, you see heightened security in public areas, things you might expect, frankly, in

the current situation already occurring.

I can tell you here in Odessa even though it's so far from the front, we have seen heightened police presence on the streets here and the sense of

authorities wanting to make the citizens here feel their presence is felt. And so, that is, I think, a sign of how the climate in Ukraine has

significantly changed.

Forty-eight hours ago, President Volodymyr Zelensky was saying he thought full-scale Russian invasion was unlikely. Now, we have him declaring a

state of emergency, yesterday calling up reservists. This is moving very fast.

The bit we're still missing in all of this is the clear sense the fresh Russian uniformed troops have crossed in from Russia -- Bianca.

NOBILO: Nick Paton Walsh for us in Odessa, Ukraine, thank you.

Violence picked up in Ukraine's Donbas region. CNN's Sam Kiley is on the front lines, where the conflict between Ukrainian government forces and

pro-Russian militants has entered a dangerous new phase.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It wasn't much, but it was home and now torn as the title deeds Irena holds in her hands.


Her house was blown up by a shell fired from Russian-backed rebel territory, on the day Vladimir Putin recognized the enclave as independent

from Ukraine.

When something like this happens and you have the threat you're now facing from Russia just down the road, do you think you're going to see more of

this kind of thing?

IRENA, NOVOLUHANS'KE RESIDENT (translated): No, we are home now. We are not afraid. I don't want to blame Ukraine or Russia. We just want peace for

everyone. There are people there too, and they also suffer.

KILEY: Irena, has a daughter, Veronica, who's nine.

This is the bedroom of Veronica. She was in the kitchen lying on the floor when these shells landed. But it could have been so much worse.

This shell killed Irena's neighbor Roman when it exploded about 100 yards from her front door.

If you're living 500 meters from a front line, this is as bad a place as you could possibly be. That tower there serves as an ideal aiming point for

any kind of artillery. Roman is killed outside his garage.

Nadia, another neighbor says full shells landed the day Roman died, she and her son who is 50 and former Ukrainian marine fear that a Kremlin-driven

escalation could result in unthinkable tragedy. He lives in rebel territory and may be conscripted into the secessionist army anytime.

NADIA, NOVOLUHANS'KE RESIDENT (translated): I'm very worried. Imagine if he is forced to shoot his mother. He is very worried.

KILEY: This is the fifth day of heavy shelling in the area.

The threat of a full-scale Russian invasion hangs over Roman's funeral. The disaster is what this frontline town has learned to live with. And is this

what the rest of Ukraine may soon also learn to ignore?


NOBILO: That's senior international correspondent Sam Kiley reporting for us.

This global crisis is expanding far beyond Ukraine's borders, here's some of the latest international reaction to the fast-moving developments.

The U.K. says it will provide military support including defensive weapons and nonlethal aid.

Israel issued stronger statement of support, thus far. The carefully worded statement did not mention Russia, likely due to Israel's cooperation with

Russia to keep the peace on its Syrian border.

Poland and Lithuania say they will support in getting EU candidate status. Their joint declaration calls for robust sanctions on Russia, which other

countries already started implementing like Canada, the U.S., Australia and Japan. South Korea is also weighing the possibility of imposing sanctions.

Now, Canada's first round of sanctions aims to punish Russia financially. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcing he's banning Canadians with any

economic deals with the so-called independent states of Donetsk and Luhansk. The PM also saying that his government will sanction members of

Russian parliament who voted to recognize those regions' independence.

I'm joined now by Canada's minister of defense, Anita Anand, to discussing what impact these sanctions will have.

Thank you so much for joining the program, Minister. Appreciate having you with us today of all days.

So U.S. officials are warning in their intelligence assessment, saying that a full-scale Russian invasion is imminent. A lot of talk about Kharkiv

potentially. If that happened, how should NATO respond?

ANITA ANAND, CANADIAN DEFENCE MINISTER: Let's be clear-eyed about the situation that the invasion has begun and in fact, it is a further

invasion, given that Russia has illegally occupied Crimea since 2014 and over 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers have perished since that time.

So what we're talking about now is a further invasion. We have been very united as a NATO alliance in terms of imposing sanctions and the reality is

that if Russia escalates, so will the costs imposed by Canada and its NATO allies.

I was in Brussels last week meeting with the defense ministers of NATO countries. We were unified. And we continue to be unified as countries in

terms of the costs that will be imposed if this escalation continues.

NOBILO: Okay. Speaking of those costs, so based on the lack of deterrent effect these sanctions appear to have had right now, it does seem more will

be needed and targeting Russia in this way will inevitably hurt NATO countries' economies as well.


So, what price do you think the Canadians are they will to get pay to defend Ukraine and its sovereignty?

ANAND: The reality is that as a NATO alliance, we are in lock-step with our allies and will continue to coordinate, in terms of very heavy economic

stance sanctions that will be imposed.

NOBILO: Do you believe it's possible, obviously, we all hope that it is, to stop Putin if he wants to execute a full-scale invasion, without NATO

military action with sanctions or political measures alone?

ANAND: I believe that what we are doing as a NATO alliance is exacting very targeted and comprehensive measures against Russia. We have seen

misinformation and disinformation emanating from Vladimir Putin, including revisionist history that we heard in his speech.

As a result, the NATO alliance will continue with supplying defensive military weapons. Nonlethal aid, imposing targeted economic sanctions, that

will escalate if Russia does not choose diplomacy.

This is an extremely serious situation. And the time for diplomacy is now. And until that diplomatic solution has been reached, we need to continue to

support the sovereignty, the stability and the security of Ukraine.

NOBILO: And when you are considering options and aspects to target, to try to affect that call to action, a diplomatic solution, where are the areas

in Putin's strategy that you see potential weaknesses so that if pressure is applied to them, economically, politically, you could potentially change

his course of action?

ANAND: Of course, there is a need for, first of all, unified action. And the irony of this situation is that NATO is more united than ever before.

And together, we will continue to focus on this evolving situation and we will determine which measures, which measures will be targeted to the

course of action that Russia takes.

But the facts are clear. We have a build-up of over 150,000 Russian troops at the Ukrainian border, including in Belarus. We have a build-up in terms

of aviation and naval activity including in the Black Sea.

So the reality for NATO countries is that our multi-facetted approach, including in terms of economic costs and lethal and nonlethal aid has got

to continue to be on the table and for Canada's part, remember that we have trained over 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers and that we will continue to support

this country, including in the area of cyber surveillance and cyber activity so that it is able to defend itself against the rising Russian


NOBILO: Defense Minister Anita Anand from Canada, of course, one of NATO's founding members, thank you for your time this evening.

ANAND: Thank you.

NOBILO: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has left for Moscow to discuss a long-delayed gas pipeline with Vladimir Putin, the Pakistan stream

project or north-south pipe line is suppose said to be financed by both countries. It would have launched in 2020, but the Russian company that was

initially part of was hit by Western sanctions.

Still ahead, we'll speak to a leading Russian dissident who's been sounding the alarm about Vladimir Putin for years. Why Garry Kasparov says the West

has failed dealing with a man he calls existential danger hiding in plain sight.



NOBILO: Back now to our top story, Ukraine under state of emergency tonight as United States ramps up more warnings of full scale Russian

attack. The Pentagon says it believes forces amassed on Ukraine's border are ready to go. Months and months of diplomacy have failed to stop the

situation escalating to this point.

And this week, we learn from Vladimir Putin himself, his grievances go far beyond Ukraine's desire to join NATO or the conflict in Donbas. He

questioned Ukraine's very right to exist and suggested its government is illegitimate.

My next guest is a strong critic of how the West has handled this crisis, accusing it of appeasement.

Garry Kasparov calls Vladimir Putin a vicious dictator who had a plan and is executing it, while Western leaders did nothing but talk. The former

world chess champion is chairman of the Human Rights Foundation and Renewed Democracy Initiative, and he's joining me live from New York.

Mr. Kasparov, it is great to have you on the program. Welcome.


NOBILO: Earlier tonight, you tweeted a clip from my favorite show of all time, "Yes, Prime Minister". It's a comedy, but in that clip, it was making

an important political point about salami tactics, alluding to the scenario of Russia taking Ukraine slice by slice, never presenting the West with an

overwhelming action that they're pressured to respond to definitively, but smaller political, military, hybrid activities.

So do you think that's what Putin is planning here?

KASPAROV: I wouldn't call annexation of Crimea eight years ago of salami tactics. It was just too tempting to retweet today because somehow today is

the demonstration of these tactics today.

But Vladimir Putin was quite clear from his infamous speech 15 years ago in Munich at conference in Europe about his intentions to return to the world

of spheres of influence. He was not hiding his intentions to control the former Soviet republics and so-called newer abroad and even to extend

Russian influence to Eastern Europe. So that's why nobody had to be surprised by his ultimatum to United States and NATO recently, demanding

NATO to roll back and Putin to restore Russian control of the Soviet empire.

Again, all was done in plain sight. And unfortunately, for years and years, despite all the warnings, the leaders of the free world prefer to do

business as usual. And over last 15 years, they increased dependence on Europe and Russian gas and did absolutely nothing to stop slow motion

invasion of Russian money, infiltrating Russian life at every level.

NOBILO: I mean, you make a very good point there and I was guilty of it too. In media and by politicians, this idea of disconnecting what happened

in 2014 and what's happened since, from what's happening right now. Whereas in fact, as you point out, there's been a continuum of action from the

annexation of Crimea, to essays and speeches Vladimir Putin has given, and like you point out, regardless of all that, there was $11 billion pipeline

constructed giving gas to Europe from Russia.

I mean, how frustrating is that from your perspective to have seen Western leaders been so complacent about what is a fairly obvious set of intentions

from the Russian president?

KASPAROV: I can spend hours and hours complaining about my warnings that were not heeded. I wrote a book, "Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and

Enemies of Free World Must Be Stop", all the way back in 2015.

But, right now, I prefer to look into the future.


It's very important for us to keep this unity, and, you know, later we can analyze the mistakes that were made. It's very unfortunate, but now have to

pay the price for them and I've been saying for years that every day of delay responding to aggressive policy of a dictator would push the price

higher. And now, it seems to me that the free world now is slowly getting its act together.

The first package of sanctions that has been announced, it's good, I think it's not enough, but it's while it's less than I wanted it's definitely

much more than Putin expected because his arrogance in his latest actions and his speeches, it's based on his belief that he would not pay any price

for his aggression. Because before, if you look at his reign that's full of crimes, you know, starting with war in Chechnya and adding, you know,

aggression to Republic of Georgia, carpet bombing of Aleppo, annexation of Crimea, and many other things, there were no consequences.

Right now, it seems he has to consider paying the price, but I'm afraid that it's too late to stop his full-blown invasion of Ukraine.

NOBILO: Right, well, I mean, that was going to be my next question because you say the sanctions are perhaps more than what the Russian president was

expecting. I was going to ask you what you thought would be an effective response from NATO to deter further action from Putin.

Do you think that's impossible at this point? What do you think the best course of action would be to stop him in his tracks or to mitigate whatever

plan he's trying to execute?

KASPAROV: Look, I think his plan is very clear. He told us that he denied Ukrainian rights to exist. And Ukraine is a failed state that it's standing

in the way of Putin's dominance of former Soviet territory and also Eastern Europe.

But it's more than Ukraine now. Putin wants to go, walk away from the world order as it was built since 1945. It's a world with no annexations where

universal rights of national sovereignty have been respected. There was only one annexation since 1945, Saddam Hussein in Kuwait, and Putin wants

to send this message, message not only to the free world but also to China, to all other regimes around the world, non-democratic regimes, thugs and

terrorists, that now it's a brand new world. It's for the brave to rule it.

So if you believe that you can violate international law, do it, because nothing will happen, and unless -- unless Ukraine is defended now, unless

Ukraine can impose prohibitive cost to aggression, the consequences will be felt throughout the world. I think Ukraine is ready to fight, and any help

we can provide them, from lethal weapon to nonlethal aid, but also the satellite intelligence.

I think that the free world can produce severe sanctions on Russian cyber sector because Russia is -- has been using cyberhacking these attacks on

critical infrastructure and Ukraine will definitely be subject to one of the attacks. So, again, it's time to show unity and resolution, and I hope

that this time will not miss this moment.

NOBILO: I hope so too. Gary Kasparov, thank you for joining us.

KASPAROV: Thank you.

NOBILO: We'll be right back, after this, to take a look at the other key global headlines today.


NOBILO: Welcome back.

CNN will continue to bring you the latest on the Ukraine crisis, but for now, let's take a look at the other key stories making international impact


Brazilian officials recording more deaths from last week's devastating landslides. They say 186 people have now died, 68 people are still missing

and hundreds of people are now homeless. Heavy rains triggered the massive landslides, which washed away entire homes and a city near Rio de Janeiro.

The fourth cyclone to hit Madagascar in a month is hitting the country right now. The storm called Emnati has sustained winds of 140 kilometers an

hour, making it as powerful as category one hurricane. Some of the same areas of the island that were hard hit in an earlier cyclone are facing the

brunt of this one too.

Hong Kong has reported more than 8,600 new coronavirus cases, it's highest ever daily number. Now, officials are struggling to contain its fifth wave

of infections. And yesterday, they announced the strictest measures yet, including compulsory testing and an extension of social distancing


And in Canada, an emergency no more. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is lifting the Emergency Act. It comes nine days after he invoked it to

deal with protesters clogging the capital and border crossings. He says police have the tools now to deal with the unlawful demonstrators but he

also cautioned the threat of more protests continues.

And 170 million years ago, it must have been quite the sight, fantastic flying wind reptile known as the pterosaur flying through the skies as

dinosaurs worked below. Now researchers on the Isle of Skye have unearthed the largest Jurassic era pterosaur fossil ever discovered, in a perfect

condition no less. It had a wing span of more than two and a half meters and sharp teeth that still retained their shiny enamel.

The isle must have been a popular spot because researchers have previously found dozens of dinosaur footprints there including stegosaurus.

Finally, across Europe, shows of solidarity for Ukraine. In Paris, city hall is lit up tonight in bright blue and yellow. The salute of friendship

in Ukraine's national colors.

And in Berlin, the fame Brandenburg Gate, which was once was a crossing to communists East Germany, is also splashed in blue and yellow, vivid

expressions of support lighting up a dark night.

That was your GLOBAL BRIEF. I'll see you again tomorrow.