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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Mariupol Mayor On Evacuations: Russia "Creating Obstacles"; Israel Responds To Lavrov; Germany Oil Embargo. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired May 02, 2022 - 17:00   ET



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

Two months of darkness. Evacuees from Mariupol described life in the besieged city, with more citizens currently on route out.

Untrue, and unforgivable. The Israeli prime minister responded starkly to the Russian foreign minister's claim that Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood.

CNN is live in Moscow.

And Germany welcomes a proposed ban on Russian oil, more on how countries are stepping up their responses to this war now.

Escaping one of the epicenters of the war of Ukraine. Civilians are finally making their way out of Mariupol, after being trapped in the besieged city

for weeks. Progress has been slow, though, with Mariupol's mayor blaming Moscow for creating obstacles to hamper those evacuations.

You are looking at some of the buses taking people out of the city, which has been a target for Russian strikes since the conflict began in late


A destination for many is the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia, but Moscow says some people are choosing to head to Russian held territory

instead. Mondays evacuees are separate from those who were able to leave the Azovstal steel plant over the weekend. Around 100 women and children

made their way out on Sunday. Since then, Russian state controlled TV has aired a special report, in which it claims 20 buildings were cleared by the

country's special forces.


ALEXANDER SLADKOV, RUSSIAN JOURNALIST (through translator): We are finally here, establishing ourselves. Officially, canteen number five, Azovstal.

This is where the story has to end, as there will be no more resistance.


NOBILO: Imagine this. Not seeing sunlight for two months. That is what some Mariupol residents are saying after escaping this city, others are

speaking about the dehumanizing conditions that they faced, such as using a pin for a toilet, or the fact that it was impossible to move sooner due to

relentless shelling.

Nick Paton Walsh is in Zaporizhzhia, a destination for many Ukrainians in the desperate journey out of Mariupol.

Nick, tell us more about the evacuations that have happened so far.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Limited, really, so far. Bianca, and certainly in terms of the United Nations, and red cross

efforts. It was supposed to pick up speed today, but it has had, certainly, success curtailed, frankly, by the level of cooperation in place they seem

to be able to muster. There are different levels of evacuation we're looking out. We have seen over the past days people leaving on their own

auspices, on their own steam, getting out through various other Russian held towns on the way towards where I am here, in Ukrainian held territory.

But the hope had been today that those in the Azovstal steel plant, the hundred or so that we're able to get out over the last 48 hours might have

found their way to where I am now, as well as the thousands of Ukrainians trying to leave Mariupol. It may happen tomorrow, I get the understanding.

And we have some images of the hundred or so people from inside of Azovstal, may be part of a Red Cross convoy on the move.

But here are some startling images from the last 24 to 48 hours.


WALSH (voice-over): After two months, when they finally emerged into the light, it was a ravaged world that awaited them. The path out through this,

Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant, battered by Russian explosives for weeks, could easily have been mistaken for the first steps of hell. But rescue

awaited at its end, these Ukrainians who had endured the savage rumble of blasts above, grateful to be whisked out, even though it was only through a

hometown now unrecognizable.

He turned six months the day before, they say, he spent a third of his life underground.

My children always wanted to, adults, you know, can wait.

This was a beginning of possibly thousands of similar journeys, supported by the United Nations and Red Cross during a brief pause in the violence,

after weeks of cajoling in Moscow and Kyiv, at the highest level.


Thank you, and stay healthy, she says, walking out.

These pictures, filmed in Russian-controlled territory appeared to show some of the first movements out of Mariupol, guided by the UN. They are

still here, under Russian armed guard, and Russia's ministry of defense on Monday claimed that 11 evacuees had decided to stay in territory that they

control, and 69 to head towards Zaporizhzhia, held by Ukraine.

Still, Monday before dusk, none of the convoy, either from the Azovstal or the wider tens of thousands of civilians, who might want to get out in the

un move had arrived here. A welcome center, where slowly people have been arriving from Mariupol in the areas around, it on their own steam, over

journeys, spanning many days.

Tatiana said that she got out of Mariupol three days ago, they bombed the buildings and were aflame, she says. The bodies have been buried. Her

unbroken spirit clear, when she tries to get up and walk before she is reminded that her wheelchair is there for a purpose.

In the days ahead, the numbers under the un escort arriving here, and will be a powerful omen for whether many types of talking to in this war, can

save lives.


WALSH (on camera): I think that is what is most important about this move, or so far, this failed move. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has

made such a big deal yesterday, in the hope that we will start seeing significant numbers of people, certainly getting out of Azovstal, where

there are several civilians, hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers still in that fortified shelter, and then the United Nations and Red Cross that have been

involved in a international level, trying to get enough agreements to get this happen, add volume, to make sure that many can get out.

We are not seeing that happen as of yet, the expectations are, high hopes are high, that could be changing tomorrow, possibly before noon. But I have

to say, the citizens on the ground are there, the lack of trust between both sides is absolutely apparent. A lack of decency from the Russian side,

about simply letting a basic humanitarian corridor like this exist, out of an area that they have been slamming with artillery for weeks, that has

been present for quite some time.

So, I think that hopes are low, expectations are high, and we certainly need to see progress, I imagine tomorrow before people start wondering

whether or not this is just a failed Mariupol evacuation -- Bianca.

NOBILO: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much. As you put, it we will wait and see if those words turn into rescues.

Now, Ukraine's military says that Russian forces are now pressing an offensive towards Sloviansk. That city is in the Donetsk region in eastern

Ukraine and whoever controls it gets a major strategic advantage. Should Moscow's troops overrun Luhansk, it would cut off Ukraine's but if they

held back by the Ukrainian side, Russia would have a much harder time controlling both of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

I spoke to military analyst, Lt. General Mark Hertling, earlier Russia's strategy here.


LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: The whole pocket in that area, Bianca, is critically important. It is not just the city of

Sloviansk, there are many towns around Sloviansk, it is between that city and Izium as well.

We're talking about the desire to achieve objectives that give control over terrain features, cities, crossings over the Donetsk River. And what we

have seen so far is that Russia has put the majority of their forces in the northern part of this zone. At one point, they wanted to achieve a dual

pincer action -- an envelopment, if you will, from both the north and the south.

Russia has had extreme difficulties in Mariupol. They're having a challenge to get out of that town, to conduct that siege, and then they've used more

forces in there than they anticipated. So, the pincer movement from the south is not occurring very well.


NOBILO: Russian commanders are now focusing on the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine, but even though the areas around Kyiv have managed to

hold off Russian advances, they are still struggling to rebuild.

Matt Rivers reports on a village scarred by the trauma of war.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the entrance to the Ukrainian village of Moschun, an effigy twist in the breeze, a

uniform stripped off a dead Russian soldier, stuffed and hung from a tree.

People hate Russia here, because of what it did. The tiny town northwest of Kyiv has been leveled.


Russian bombs, rockets, bullets, destroyed streets after street after street.

This was the site of some of the most intense fighting of the war so far on. Their drive towards Kyiv, the Russians attacked soldiers and civilians

alike here. Ukrainian bunkers, alongside ordinary houses, shelled relentlessly, to devastating effect.

This was probably somebody's kitchen. You can see an oven there, some pots and pans and a microwave.

I mean, this isn't a big city, but the scale of destruction in this village is on par with anything else we've seen across Ukraine.

I mean, this house gets hit with artillery, subsequent fire, just look. It's eviscerated. If there is a building in this village that hasn't been

damaged in this fighting, we haven't seen it yet.

VALENTINA FURSA, RESIDENT OF MOSCHUN, UKRAINE (through translator): Boom, boom, boom, fire, fire. It was everywhere, it's a nightmare.

RIVERS: Valentina Fursa has lived in Moschun for years and has never known war until it landed on her doorstep and forced her down into a neighbor's


How scared were you?

FURSA: We were very scared. My heart was beating very fast. We thought we would die there. The Russians fired indiscriminately.

RIVERS: The fighting only eased when Russia withdrew from the entire Kyiv region.

Valentina, emerging from the basement to find shell casings in her garden, and whatever else the Russians left behind.

So, all these things she said the Russians left behind, there she is washing her hands, another cup of some kind here, this is some sort of

lifejacket that he Russians used. Even here, you've got old mailboxes, with things left inside that you can see.

For nearly two months after the fighting, residents stayed away. A trickle have now started to return. To them, Russia is lasting effects here more

than just bullet holes and bomb craters.

Not only do people who were trying to rebuild so often have to start from scratch, but there remain so many minds and pieces of -- that people are

considering closing down this town for a few days until they can clear it.

It's open for now, which meant Valentina Marhonos could come back home for the first time in weeks. But the weather was nice, so her niece and nephew

played on the swing. Different than the last time they were here, when they hid in a basement, as bombs destroyed everything above.

Is it difficult to think about that?

VALENTINA MAHORNOS, RESIDENT OF MOSCHUN, UKRAINE (through translator): I don't even know it to say.

RIVERS: What we can say is that this tiny town has turned into a symbol, of sorts. A village mercilessly attacked that in the end, stood its ground,

a microcosm, perhaps, of the country in which it lies.

Matt Rivers, Moschun, Ukraine.


NOBILO: Ukraine's foreign minister says that he will work with Moldova to keep, quote, another war front from developing in Transnistria. That's a

pro-Russian breakaway region squeezed between Moldova and Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military officials have warned of Russian provocations there. In Moldova, many people close to Transnistria are living in the grip of


Our Randi Kaye explains why.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the village of Cosnita. It is actually the last village before the border with Transnistria. Almost

everyone here told us they did not want to be interviewed. One woman told us, quote, the less you talk, the more you live.

(voice-over): That's where we met Tanya. She fled Odesa, Ukraine, with her two children only to end up here, just a few miles from Transnistria, and

feels under threat again.

The Russian troops are very close to here. Does that concern you?

She tells me, yes, she's very afraid. She's very scared. She says her bags are packed and she's hoping to get to Poland or somewhere safer very soon.

Are you worried that Russia will invade Moldova?

Yes, of course, she's afraid for Moldova, she says. Moldovans are really good people who took Ukrainians in.

Down the road, further from the border with Transnistria, we found a village called Bado Lovota (ph) where people were much more willing to

speak with us.

Are you nervous?

EFRAM, MOLDOVAN RESIDENT: No, no. I feel very good. I know that I can stay for my country. Yes.

KAYE: You don't have a bag packed to go?

EFRAM: No. No. I will stay here and I will protect my family and my house. Yes.

KAYE: So you would stay and fight?

EFRAM: Yes. Yes, of course. Why not? It's my country.


KAYE: How do you feel about living so close to Transnistria?

EFRAM: I feel okay. You know, but I understand there is a problem. There is a problem that exists a lot of time, yes. And I think now, it's the

moment to resolve it.

KAYE: The trouble with Transnistria is its proximity to Ukraine and its relationship with Russia, which has kept troops there for decades.

If Putin's troops are somehow successful in taking control of southern Ukraine, they could create a land corridor stretching to Transnistria and

some here fear eventually into Moldova and deeper into eastern Europe.

This man tells me he's very worried for what may happen in Moldova.

Can Moldova defend itself against Russia, do you think?

No, he says. Then asks me, have you seen the Moldovan army?

He says Moldova is a friendly, neutral state that happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This woman tells me she, too, is very worried about Russia invading through Transnistria.

For now, it's not a threat, she says, but if that changes, she and her husband plan to run away.

This woman came all the way from Canada to check on her family.

You're worried for your family?


KAYE: She grew up here and is familiar with the threats of a Russian invasion. She wanted to make sure her brother and sister and mother-in-law

have all they need to escape.

REINA: We tried to help them with the money, but actually to prefer maybe the documents. Just in case. Just in case to have the passports.

KAYE: So many Moldovans deciding whether to stay or go, as they wait for what Putin does next.

Randi Kaye, Cosnita, Moldova.


NOBILO: After the break, we'll take a look at some of the global reactions to the war in Ukraine, including the European commission's discussion of an

embargo on Russian oil. And we'll also take a look at other key global headlines including New Zealand being put back on the tourism world map.

That story, ahead.



NOBILO: Untrue and unforgivable. The prime minister responded starkly to the Russian foreign minister's claim that Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood,

saying the goal of such lies as to accuse Jewish people themselves of the most awful crimes in history. Sergey Lavrov was attempting to defend

Russia's claim that the invasion of Ukraine was aimed at, quote, denazifying the country, after an interview pointing out that President

Zelenskyy is Jewish.

CNN's Matthew Chance is live in Moscow.

But we do want to remind you that Russia has introduced strict laws regarding how the conflict in Ukraine is described and has prohibited the

information it regards as false.

So, that means that Matthew, what point was Lavrov trying to say with these remarks?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he was, as you mentioned, trying to justify why his country had sent their troops

across the border into Ukraine, which they did of course, in February. And you know, he was using the justification that the Russians officials often

used which is one of the reasons they sent the troops there, is to denazify the country, just as, you know, Nazi Germany represented an existential

threat to Russia in the 1940s, so Ukraine today, Russian officials represents a similar threat and a direct threat to Russians on the ground.

But the problem is with that argument of course, is that Ukraine isn't run by neo-Nazis, it's run by a Jewish president. And when Sergey Lavrov, the

Russian foreign minister, was confronted with that fact, he reached for, first of all that anti-Semitic tropes, that Jews are the worst time --

kinds of anti-Semites. There's a conspiracy theory, which is that Hitler himself may have been partly Jewish.

So, you know, the fact that he set those things, many people, it exposes how threadbare the justification us for what they call their special

military operation inside Ukraine.

NOBILO: Matthew Chance in Moscow, thank you.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is calling for a cease-fire in Ukraine, but he's refraining from condemning Russia's action. Modi is on a three-day

visit to Europe as to urge peace talks and discussions to end the war soon after meeting with German chancellor Olaf Scholz.


NARENDA MODI, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We believe no party could emerge victorious in this war. Everyone will suffer losses, and

that is why we are for peace.


NOBILO: The Indian leader has refused to speak out against Vladimir Putin who was previously pricing in for its neutral stance. India's imports, most

of its military equipment from Russia and among from the 50 countries that abstained from the votes suspending Russia from the U.N. Human Rights

Council. India has not imposed any sanctions against Russia.

Meanwhile, the European Union is preparing to impose its six round sanctions against Russia. This time, the aim is to ban imports from Russian

oil. Speaking to CNN earlier, the German finance minister welcomed the proposed ban, acknowledging that while it will take time to reduce the

dependency on Russian energy, it was a mistake to become so heavily dependent.

And earlier, I spoke to CNN business correspondent Clare Sebastian and asked her why the proposed ban on Russian war is dividing EU member states.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It could be a matter of weeks, perhaps even days. We are hearing other coming on board, too. Austria, their energy

minister just tweeted that if the E.U, once the oil embargo, Austria would be wiling to join.

The other striking thing about this is that a lot of the work has already been done. Germany has reduced its reliance on Russian oil from 35 percent

from before the world started to 12 percent. The Austria tweeted they didn't import any Russian oil in March. That was actually news to me.

So, a lot of the work has been done. They've been moving towards this. The problem there are still holdouts that isn't yet, as far as we know, unity

on this issue. Hungary said they can't do it. They said that -- the prime minister said it's a matter of physics. He said recently, that they just

cannot stop imports from Russia.

So, look, one of the potential options according to reports is that they do carve outs for the likes of Hungary, Slovakia, which is heavily reliant on

Russian energy, maybe a lower transition out of this. We expect it to face transition.

The German finance minister didn't want to speculate on that interview, but we are definitely moving close to Germany. If they say they're willing, I

think we've got serious momentum.



NOBILO: The brilliant Clare Sebastian there.

OK. Let's look at other key stories making international impacts today.

A sweltering heat wave in India and Pakistan is testing the limits of human survivability, according to one climate expert. Temperatures have reached

record highs, forcing schools to close and damaging vital crops. According to scientists, the climate crisis will only continue to get worse in this

part of the world, putting the health of billions of people at risk.

And in China, more than 20 million residents will face mass testing as Beijing tries to get a handle on COVID-19 cases. Authorities just announced

three more rounds of testing following three rounds last week. The cities also shut down libraries, and museums and (INAUDIBLE).

Meanwhile, New Zealand's tourism minister says the country is back on the world map, which is left off many times. On Monday, quarantine and border

restrictions were eased for vaccinated visitors from 60 countries. We saw emotional scenes at airports. When reunited couple speaking about perpetual

limbo that they faced.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It has been a long, long, long time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been two years of suspension. I'm just wondering if and when -- we never know if the moment was even going to come.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, it was looking pretty shaky there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We started without knowing if we'd ever see each other.



NOBILO: Australia's flagship airline Qantas is working to establish the world's longest commercial flight, connecting Sidney directly to London and

New York by the end of 2025. The company's Project Sunrise includes the order of 12 new Airbuses able to carry 238 passengers across the globe in

19 hours. The plan took five years to be finalize and was delayed in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.


CHRISTIAN SCHERER, AIRBUS CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER: So, one, we are very, very happy today. To conclude disagreement with Qantas, and off we go. We

have a lot of work to develop the airplane. To fly into service in 2025 and we are excited about it.


NOBILO: Well, we've reached our final destination for tonight's show. The exits are here and here.

Thank you for watching, and I'll see you again tomorrow.