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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Source: Germany Tapped Russian Chatter On Bucha Killings; Inside Eastern Ukraine; Russia's Isolation; Tel Aviv Shooting. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired April 07, 2022 - 05:00:00   ET



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

Officials warn the war in Ukraine has not yet reached its maximum scale, as Russia concentrates its offensive on eastern Ukraine.

Then, the United Nations has suspended Russia from the Human Rights Council. We'll debrief the further steps to isolate President Putin from

the world.

And another deadly attack in Israel. A mass shooting in Tel Aviv leaves two dead and eight wounded.

Ukraine's foreign minister says his country needs weapons to ward off a deadly assault in the east. Officials say time is running out for civilians

to evacuate as Russia escalates attacks. A regional leader says all hospitals in Luhansk have been destroyed, and a Ukrainian commander tells

CNN Russian forces are trying to wipe Mariupol off the face of the Earth.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the worst is yet to come.


DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: The battle for Donbas will remind you of Second World War, with large operations, maneuvers,

involvement of thousands of tanks, armored vehicles, planes, artillery. This will not be a local operation.


NOBILO: Hospitals are also coming under attack in Mykolaiv, a southern port near Odessa.

CNN's Ben Wedeman shows us how dangerous those city streets have become.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This has become Mykolaiv's daily routine, picking up the pieces, sweeping away the

wreckage from Russian missile attacks. Random shelling throughout the city with what appear to be cluster munitions.

Glass shards and shrapnel tore into Marina. As she lies in the hospital, her thoughts are with her teenage daughter, also injured, now in a

children's hospital.

My daughter and I were caught between two bombs, she recalls. It's a miracle we're still alive. It was terrifying.

The hospital where Marina is recovering was hit in the morning. Dirt covers the blood from one of the injured.

Closed circuit television video from the city's cancer hospital captures the moment it was struck.

Earlier this week, a missile barrage killed nine people and wounded more than 40 at this market.

We were able to count 23 impact points in a radius of just 100 meters. Each one of these incoming rounds sprays shrapnel in every direction.

Danilo was working in this store and rushed outside when he heard the blasts.

Over there a woman was screaming, "Help me." her leg was shattered, he says. Behind the store, two people were killed. Dried blood and flowers

mark the spot where people died.

Last week, a bomb struck the regional governor's office, killing 36 people. Every day in Mykolaiv, this relentless bombardment shatters any semblance

of normal life. Mid-afternoon people line up to escape the danger, this bus bound for Poland. Victoria cradles her 1-year-old daughter. Her husband

stays behind.

Soon, we'll be back home, says Victoria. Everything will be all right. How soon that will be, nobody knows.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Mykolaiv.


NOBILO: German intelligence has reportedly intercepted the radio conversations of Russian soldiers talking about shooting civilians in

Ukraine, and some of those conversations may be tied directly to killings in Bucha.

Let's go straight to CNN's Matthew Chance who joins us from London.

Matthew, what do you know?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, well, this latest revelation from German intelligence coming to us from a source that

is aware of a meeting that took place in Germany, a briefing between the security services and a parliamentary committee in that company, talking

about this evidence that the German secret service gathered. It involves audio recordings and potentially satellite imagery as well, according to

some reports that are out there.

The important thing about them -- because there's a lot of that kind of evidence out there right now. But the important stuff thing about this,

this particular body of evidence, is that it seems to link specific killings on the ground in Bucha to Russian forces actually carrying them



And that's important. Because if there is going to be any future prosecutions of war crimes, you know, in the years ahead, you know, it's

not good just having video of dead people. That's not evidence of war crimes. You need that specific linkage.

So, I think accompanied with the other forensic efforts that are under way to try to piece together what exactly happened in Bucha and elsewhere in

Ukraine at the moment at the hands of Russian forces may eventually prove to be essential if any successful prosecutions -- well, if they take place,

of course, if any successful prosecutions can happen, Bianca.

NOBILO: Thanks, Matthew. Matthew Chance for us in London.

Peace or air-conditioning? As the EU prepares a new round of sanctions on Russia, the Italian prime minister put that frank ultimatum on the table,

asking what price Europeans are willing to pay to isolate Moscow. The global community is contending with the tough challenges of holding

President Putin accountable for the killing of civilians in Bucha.

On Thursday, the United Nations voted to remove Russia from the Human Rights Council. Meantime on Capitol Hill, both Houses of Congress voted on

Thursday to suspend normal trade ties with Russia and Belarus in the Senate by a unanimous vote.

But it's clear this isn't enough to Pressure Putin, so how much further does the world need to go.

So, to debrief exactly that, I'm joined by Josh Lipsky, the director of the GeoEconomic Center at the Atlantic Council, and he previously work for the

IMF, the U.S. State Department, and in the Obama administration.

Thanks for joining us today, Josh.


NOBILO: So how long will economic sanctions, as they stand at the moment, take to meaningfully hinder Russia's ability to inflict death and pain on


LIPSKY: Well, I don't think the sanctions are primarily designed to stop the military operation. That's not what these sanctions can do in the

short-term. What they can do and are doing is decimating Russia's economy. That has immediate consequences.

We saw destabilization of the ruble, the market suspended. That's come back a little bit. But the long-term questions for the Russian economy, GDP

contraction by 15 percent. I mean, to put that in perspective, the Great Depression over four years was 30 percent. So in that short, medium, and

long-term, it's the Russian economy that will be punished by the sanctions. I don't think it will stop the military invasion at this point.

NOBILO: So, I mean, that being said, obviously, the intended effect of economically isolating Russia is to try and deter, to change behavior, to

try and mitigate what we're seeing at the moment. But when you listen to Kremlin watchers, they often say that it will make Putin only more

persistent the harsher the sanctions become.

So what measures do you think could change Putin's behavior?

LIPSKY: Well, there's one major measure on the table which would be shocking to Putin and he thinks will not be taken, which is an embargo on

oil and gas from the Europeans. This is the economic lifeline he has coming in every day.

But the other measures taken so far have also surprised him -- the freezing of the foreign exchange reserves. These are things he did not expect. So

there is more that can be done. When we talk about deterrence of the military action, again, as I said, I'm not sure the sanctions are doing

that or can do that, but they can be part of any potential settlement agreement, and the idea of lifting and when they get lifted and how they

get lifted, that can all be negotiate and they play a key role in that conversation.

NOBILO: And what about, if we look ahead to that potential trump card, oil, and think about divisions in the EU potentially over these sanctions?

Because the sanctions do cut both ways, even though they impact Russia more.

So, if they're only going get mo painful and affect oil supply even more, do you see this as a problem going forward that there will be more

divisions in the EU because countries like Germany are much more reliant?

LIPSKY: Well, you know, what we saw at the beginning a month ago was the unanimity that no one expected, not even Putin across the G7, within the

EU, but also between the U.S. and EU and the Japanese.

But it's so natural in these situations, as time goes on, fractures start to emerge. And so, the question is, within the EU, can what we saw happen a

month ago between Germany and France and Italy hold? My hope is after we get through the French election and as we come into the spring, we will see

continued unanimity and strength within the EU. It has surprised me and I think surprised many how strong the efforts have been, even with oil and

gas still on the sidelines.

NOBILO: Is that an economic possibility to have an embargo on Russian oil? What would the alternatives be for the countries in the EU that depend so

heavily on it?


LIPSKY: It is a possibility. It's about how much economic pain, especially Germany, are willing to sustain. And it's about what cost to their economy?

Is it a recession? Is it worse? How many unemployed? These are the calculations happening right now.

Now, of course, the Germans and others have said they will wean off and be energy dependent. So, that's an important statement, and not in five years,

or six years, but in one to two years. I mean, we should recognize that.

But that might not be enough. And so, the question is, if Putin continues these massacres, as it seems like he is, and is not deterred, do we have to

take the next step in oil and gas? That's a conversation primarily happening in Germany but of course happening across the EU.

NOBILO: And how is Russia likely to re-orientate itself economically in response to that potentially, or even just the sanctions that we have at

the moment? Are we expecting deer links to be forged with more anti-Western countries?

LIPSKY: Yeah. Well, Russia is now isolated from the Western global economy, the Western financial system. They are really in many ways

separated from the G-20. They're kicked off the U.N. human rights council today. All the banking relationships, the debt access, the things that have

grown their economy and made it a modern global economy, your ability to be on the streets of Moscow and get an iPhone, that's all changed. It will

send their economy back decades.

Now, they have economic support from China, from India. They're not completely isolated, but to be a modern global economy in our system

without Europe, without the U.S., without trade and technology between those countries, that is a premise most Russians didn't realize would

happen. And that is a reality they are starting at not just for the months ahead, but for the years ahead.

NOBILO: Yeah. And so, on that, Josh, lastly, given that economic reality, the increase of censorship and propaganda, draconian crackdowns that we're

seeing in Russia, where do you expect the country to be politically and culturally and economically in two years?

LIPSKY: Hmm. It's a difficult question. In the immediate aftermath of sanctions and economic isolation, one thing you often see as a sort of

rally around the flag effect. The country feels it is under attack, that it is being isolated, and so, Putin's support has actually increased. But I

think over time, as Russians come to feel this pain more acutely in their daily lives, unemployment, inflation, inability to get basic goods and

services, I think that will undermine Putin's regime in ways he never calculated before this invasion began.

NOBILO: Josh Lipsky, we really appreciate your time tonight. Thanks for joining the program.

LIPSKY: Thank you so much.

NOBILO: Still to come tonight, life as they know it has been destroyed, but hundreds of Ukrainian families are finding security and camaraderie in

train cars taking them to safety.


NOBILO: Russian attacks have left many Ukrainians with no food, no home, not even access to clean water or medical supplies.


The lines for humanitarian aid in places such as Mariupol are shocking, but some are finding new hope on board evacuation trains.

CNN's senior international correspondent Ivan Watson takes us inside.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ukrainian families on the run. More than a month after Russia invaded,

civilians are still fleeing from the threat of the Russian military, hurrying towards a waiting train.

An air raid siren rings out as the train begins to move. This couple just a few minutes too late.

The evacuation train is now leaving the station. There are about 1,100 passengers onboard this train. All of them are evacuees who are traveling

for free. They'll be traveling for the next 24 hours. This train carrying this human cargo to safety in Western Ukraine.

The war forced everyone here to flee their homes, including the crew of the train.

Head conductor Sergey Hrishenko ran the last train out of the city of Mariupol on February 25th, the day after Russia launched its invasion.

There have been no trains from Mariupol since, as a month-long Russian siege has destroyed much of the city.

SERGEY HRISHENKO, HEAD CONDUCTOR (through translator): My whole team, 20 conductors, everybody left with me. Many of them were made homeless, lost

their apartments. Some of them lost relatives.

WATSON: Hrishenko says his team spent the next month living and working on the train nonstop, struggling to evacuate crowds are desperate and panicked

Ukrainians, especially during the first weeks of the war.


Sergey estimates during the month that he and his team were working, they evacuated around 100,000 people.

WATSON: These days, the crowds have gotten smaller, but strangers are still packed together for this long trip. Everyone seems to be fleeing a

different part of eastern Ukraine.

Delina Valderinka (ph) fled her village outside the city of Zaporizhzhia with her 19-year-old son after enduring two weeks of Russian shelling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I feel outrage, complete outrage, and I feel fear when they are shooting.

WATSON: Some evacuees brought their pets.

The kitten is handling the train ride a little bit better than the puppy.

The two families sharing this compartment met each other on the train for the very first time.

I've been speaking with Katya who is eight months pregnant right now and she is traveling alone with her daughter heading west because they don't

know what will happen. I asked, where are you going to give birth to your child? And she said, well, wherever it's safe right now.

And that's just -- that's just an example of one family. She's left her husband behind. He's serving in the military right now.

Further down the train, I meet a group of women and children who just escaped southern Ukraine.

How long did you live under Russian military occupation?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One month. One month from 27 February.

WATSON: How would you describe that experience?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All this time, I went outside only two times, just because I hear a lot of cases of --



WATSON: In addition to hearing unconfirmed stories of rape, the women told me they have seen drunk and filthy Russian soldiers asking residents for

supplies like food and toilet paper.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just put flags on our building, main building.

WATSON: Which flags?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Russian flags, just like that.

WATSON: On the police station?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everywhere. They just love this, I think. And they think that flag can change our minds, our Ukrainian minds. But it's not

work like this.

I want the Russian people also come back on their land. They have a lot of land, just a lot of land on the map. And I hope it will be enough for them.

Just stop, please.

It's very painful for everyone here, for everyone in this train and outside. It was very peaceful life without this attacks.

WATSON: I've gotten off after a relatively short journey. This train still has more than 20 hours to go across country. It will end up in the western

Ukrainian city of Lviv. But for most of the more than 1,100 evacuees onboard, all forced to flee their homes by this terrible war, their final

destination is likely unclear.



NOBILO: Our thanks to CNN's Ivan Watson for bearing witness to that extraordinary journey.

We're also hearing from some residents of Mariupol who say they were forced through registration or filtration camps into Russia. The Mariupol city

council says Russia's failure to agree to Russian corridors and its creation of filtration centers were part of a broader effort to cover up

war crimes commit in the city. CNN cannot verify the claim, but we are hearing of residents of forced migration.

Katie Polglase reports.


KATIE POLGLASE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE PRODUCER (voice-over): Post after post of missing children in Ukraine, families desperate to find their loved

ones. Most come from the city's most severely impacted by the fighting. And at the top of that list is Mariupol.

These pictures of missing children were provided by police and parents from magnolia, a Ukrainian NGO tracking missing children. Their Ukrainian

director told CNN they are inundated with cases.

MARYNA LYPOVETSKA, MAGNOLIA "MISSING CHILDREN SERVICE" NGO: The number of missing children is closer to 2,000 in only one month.

POLGLASE: A scene of utter devastation. Amid the chaos and uncertainty, families told CNN relatives, including children, went missing, and now from

this void, a story has emerged of people not missing but deported.

LYPOVETSKA: Unfortunately, some people are stolen, forced stolen by Russians. Some were displaced in Russia, but no one knows information of

where exactly and for what.

POLGLASE: CNN has spoken to multiple Mariupol residents who say soldiers from the Russian army forcibly evacuated them to Russia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some who asked to stay were told no.

This testimony is from Anna. We're using a pseudonym to protect her identity and a CNN producer is reading her words.

Like many others, Anna, a young woman, was living under bombardment in Mariupol.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They came in and said, it's an order. He told us, if you make a fuss, things will get worse.

POLGLASE: Many told us it started with a promise of evacuation. Soldiers came to where they were staying and told them it was dangerous and that

they needed to get out. So they went to shelters and in camps further and further into Russian territory. It was then they realized there was very

little option to get out.

CNN spoke to multiple people on the condition of anonymity and using Anna's testimony we started tracking the locations along the deportation routes.

We are not identifying the routes for the safety of our interviewees. This is the town of Bezimenee.

This tents indicate one of many signs across the town where interviewees told us they were taken on the first step of their journey. Anna describes

her stop as a, quote, registration camp, where they said they were interrogated for hours by Russian and Russian-backed forces.

Russia claims these camps are to harbor evacuees, another shelter seen here in Taganrog. And while some interviewee saw the journey to Russia as a

necessary passage to safety, others including Anna found the experience distressing and forced.

This is Anna's migration card, a standard document handed to her by Russia upon entry, but it masks a troubling journey. Anna told CNN they were

forced to surrender their phones and passports during intense security checks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: they photograph you from all angles. I felt we were treated like criminals, or being held as property of the Russian

Federation. I didn't feel we were free to leave.

POLGLASE: After questioning, interviewees told CNN they were transferred to other locations dotted across Russia and Russian-occupied territory.

Some made onward journeys as far as Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The limitations on freedom of movement for those interviewed by CNN seem to vary based on their access to money and family ties in Russia.

Ukraine's government claims 45,000 people have been forcibly taken to Russia so far, which CNN cannot independently verify.

International Human Rights Conventions prohibit the forced deportation of transfer of civilians.

After a week of transfers across Russian territory, Anna was finally given permission to leave and decided to drive to the border with Estonia, a

route others have also managed to take according to the Estonian authorities.

However, others still remain in Russia or are unaccounted for entirely.

And while the conflict in Ukraine continues, the panicked search for missing, feared dead or deported, goes on.

Katie Polglase, CNN, London.


NOBILO: Coming up after the break, a shooting attack in Tel Aviv has killed at least two people and wounded many others. We'll have details on

the attack next.



NOBILO: At least two people were killed and many more wounded after a shooting attack in Tel Aviv, according to a hospital spokesperson. The

attack took place at a tavern in the city center. A police commander said it's unclear if the attack was carried out by more than one gunman. This is

the sixth attack in Israel in the past three weeks. They have cost at least 13 Israelis their lives.

Les take a look at the other key stories making international impact today.

A Turkish court has voted to transfer to Saudi Arabia the trial of 26 suspects in the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. His fiancee says

that she's appealing and a lawyer said this transfer is entrusting the lamb to the wolf. Rights group worry this move effectively end the case.

And Pakistan's top court has ruled for all lawmakers to return within two days after ruling the Prime Minister Imran Khan's move to dissolve

parliament was unconstitutional. Mr. Khan moved to dissolve the lower chamber ahead of a no conference vote against him earlier in the week. The

court now says the vote will go ahead.

Sri Lanka's president insists he won't quit as protests intensify over the country's economic crisis. Sri Lanka is suffering from a shortage of fuel,

power and medications, with doctors warning that the entire health system could soon collapse.

That's it from us this evening. Thanks for watching. For our viewers tuning to CNN+ in the U.S., our show is on demand. For our viewers around the

world, we'll see you again tomorrow.