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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Ukraine Battleground; Jens Stoltenberg Live; Deep & Heard Verdict. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired June 01, 2022 - 17:00:00   ET



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

As Russia strengthens its grip on Severodonetsk, Joe Biden says that the U.S. will send advanced rocket systems to Ukraine.

And then, Turkey digs in its heels on its attempts to block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO. I'll be speaking live to Secretary General Jens


And a jury finds both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp liable for defamation in their lawsuit against each other. The reaction from both actors ahead.

Russia is closer than ever to seizing the entire region of Luhansk, but Ukraine is not giving up the fight. The governor of Luhansk says that

Russia now controls 80 percent of Severodonetsk. He says that Russian forces are storming the city, and are consolidating their homes. Ukraine

says that some of its troops have retreated to more defensive positions, but others are still battling to push the Russians out.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls the situation in Eastern Ukraine very difficult. He says that the country is losing 60 to 100 soldiers every day.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has announced that the U.S. will send advanced rocket systems to Ukraine. The new weapon is a high mobility

artillery rocket system, or HIMARS, a mobile unit that can fire multiple missiles with better range and precision than any of the systems that the

Ukraine has now. Senior U.S. officials say that the missiles will have a range of about 80 kilometers, and will allow Ukrainian troops to strike key

Russian targets.

The Kremlin is condemning the decision. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warns weapons like this could drag the West directly into the

conflict. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says the U.S. is adding fuel to the fire. Peskov also says that the new weapons would not encourage the

Ukrainian leadership to resume peace talks.

The Kremlin says that it does not trust Ukraine's promises, not to fire those weapons into Russian territory. But U.S. Secretary of State Antony

Blinken said that Washington has fate that wouldn't happen during a news conference with NATO Secretary of General Jens Stoltenberg.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Specifically with regard to weapon systems being provided, the Ukrainians have given us assurances that

they will not use the systems against targets on Russian territory, there is a strong trust bond between the Ukraine and the United States, as well

as with our allies and partners.


NOBILO: Let's turn back to the situation on the ground in Ukraine, focusing on the recently liberated villages across some parts of the

country. Some residents are making horrific discoveries, finding the bodies of people who were killed while under Russian occupation.

Our Matthew Chance has the details.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the liberated villages north of the Ukrainian capital, the streets are

lined with the scars of war. And it's not just buildings destroyed.

We met Serhiy, a villager whose home was overrun by Russian troops, who then shot him, he says, and left him for dead.

He shows me the gut-wrenching bullet wounds, but his emotional scars run even deeper.

Sometimes, I have nightmares and can't sleep at night, and I pray they won't ever come back, he tells me, through tears of pain and anger. I'll

never forgive Russians for what they did, he says.

And they did much worse. Just steps from Serhiy's door, police forensic teams are unearthing yet another crime scene. Weeks after Russian troops

were pushed from this area, locals are still finding the bodies of their neighbors. We were shown three makeshift graves on this street alone.

What do you think when you see this? What goes through your mind when you see these bodies being dug from these shallow graves at the side of the


YEVHEN YENIN, DEPUTY INTERIOR MINISTER: So we see the Russian troops have already gone for more than one month. But we still find the evidence of

their presence.

CHANCE: That's astonishing, isn't it? Even a month after they have gone, more than a month, still finding bodies.

Ukrainian officials tell me more than 320 civilians are still missing in this region alone. But one by one, they're being found.

YENIN: A lot of people are missing. You cannot imagine the eyes of mothers whose children are lost. You cannot imagine eyes of relatives whose beloved

have been captured or have been killed on the front line.

CHANCE: It is an awful, grim business, digging up bodies of the thousands of people scattered across this entire country, in shallow graves that have

yet to be identified.

This was Vitali (ph), just 43 years old, and the neighbors tell me he didn't present a threat to the Russians. He wasn't a soldier. In fact, he

was vulnerable.

He didn't have a job. He drank too much. His family had left him.

But he was hungry. And he was trying to get some food from a Russian vehicle that was parked just here when they caught him. And shot him dead.

Just one of the many alleged crimes, many tragedies in the Ukrainian nightmare that's yet to end.


NOBILO: Matthew Chance there for us.

At least 243 children have died, and 446 others have been injured in Ukraine since the Russia's war in Ukraine began nearly 100 days ago now.

That's according to both Ukraine's general prosecutor and UNICEF. UNICEF says that Putin's invasion have brought, quote, devastating consequences

for children at a scale and speed not seen since World War II. And infrastructure that children depend on continues to be damaged, or

destroyed, including more than 2,000 schools, and 250 health care facilities.

This, as Ukraine simplifies its child adoption process with a digital portal. There are currently more than 17,000 children waiting to be matched

up with families.

Earlier, CNN spoke to UNICEF's representative in Ukraine, Murat Sahin. Take a listen.


MURAT SAHIN, UNICEF REPRESENTATIVE IN UKRAINE: They will remember this for years to come, last night I was having a dinner, with an elderly person.

She was saying, during the Chernobyl explosion, she got a call saying that you need to leave the city. She had her child, and ran to the train

station, and left the city. The next time that she had this kind of trauma was today, she did not forget Chernobyl, and she is not forgetting the 98

days back.

So, she will remember this. Her grandchildren will remember this for the rest of her life


NOBILO: Ukraine says all areas that have been retaken from Russian forces have been tick planted with mines, it is estimated that more than 300,000

square kilometers will need to be cleared. One country that also experienced a brutal war is stepping in to help train Ukrainians for that

job. Kosovo is hurting 13 Ukrainians, both civilians and military personnel for a full week advance course on deep mining.

It's run by local trainers who took part in clearing tens of thousands of mines and cluster bombs, left by departing forces in the late 1990s


HEKURAN DULA, KOSOVAN DEMINER AND TRAINER (through translator): The war in Ukraine is intensifying, but also, there is a big need to clear the country

from unexploded devices. We have it started with the second group, and we are expecting more groups to come throughout the year. The plan is to train

as many people as possible, to turn Ukraine into a safe place to live.

IRYNA KUSTOVSKA, UKRAINIAN CIVIL AVIATION ADMINISTRATOR: Ukraine now is one of the most contaminated countries in the world, it is dangerous, but

here, we are finding out to manage all of these minds, safely. I am going to apply for this job of -- after I returned to my country.


NOBILO: Now I'm going to bring in NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg from Washington, D.C. It's always good to speak to you. Thank you for

joining us.


NOBILO: Now, you welcomed the U.S. decision to send advanced weapons to Ukraine, particularly the long-range rocket systems, but as we said in the

program, Russia's foreign minister has called that, quote, a direct provocation aimed at drawing Western countries directly into the conflict.

So, do you see Russian retaliating to this decision, and how?

STOLTENBERG: No, I don't foresee that because what NATO allies and NATO is doing, is providing support to Ukraine, to uphold the right for self-

defense. This is a right which is enshrined in the U.N. treaty. And NATO, and NATO allies are not part of the conflict, but we provide support to

sovereign and independent nation, Ukraine, which is suffering the brutality of President Putin's aggressive war against the country. And, therefore, we

support them.


NOBILO: Now, we are on the 98th day of this brutal war, Ukraine's President Zelenskyy said last night that up to 100 Ukrainian soldiers are

dying every day, atrocity after atrocity committed against innocent civilians. You have said that the Western World needs to prepare for a

long, work with ongoing support for Kyiv.

What kind of length are you talking about, and what does the support look like from NATO's perspective in the longer term?

STOLTENBERG: NATO, the United States, we were very precise in predicting this war. We have predicted this last fall, and shared intelligence, and

made public our warnings about the Russian plans.

It is much harder to predict how this war will evolve, because wars are, by nature, unpredictable. They are dangerous. And therefore, I am careful

about predicting how it will evolve.

But I can say is that we need to be prepared for a long haul, and therefore, we need to be prepared for continued support, both military

support, but also unprecedented economic sanctions, and also humanitarian support, and also start to work with Ukraine on how to rebuild the country

after the world ends.

NOBILO: Now, NATO and the West, in part to your leadership, has been really galvanized, by the outrage at Russia's barbarism. Do you have

concerns that the outrage felt about the acts committed by Russia will not be contained longer term, and unity won't be sustained because there are

divisions and approach between NATO's countries, naturally, especially as the economic impact of cutting off Russia worsens the countries?

STOLTENBERG: We are 30 allies, from both sides of the Atlantic, and, of course, there are always differences, nuances, and these decisions are

serious. They are hard, they are difficult, and so, of course, there will be discussions.

But the overall picture, we have seen over the last few months, is unprecedented levels of unity, in NATO, between North America and Europe.

But also very strong U.S. leadership in providing support to Ukraine, and imposing the sanctions, and also for European allies, and of course the

countries who host millions of refugees.

It has a price, it has a cost also for us, but the price of not acting will be higher, because it will make the world more dangerous. We cannot let

Russia's President Putin aggressive actions against Ukraine be rewarded, we must ensure that Ukraine prevails, as an independent sovereign nation

because this is about the sovereignty of all of our countries in the whole of Europe.

NOBILO: And you have also said that NATO will, once again, increase its military presence in eastern Europe to ensure that Putin does not

underestimate Putin's readiness to defend, as you put it, every inch of its territory. So, how does the alliance need to adapt in the short term? And

will it be able to do so, without provoking further escalation from Russia?

STOLTENBERG: So, NATO has, fundamentally, two tasks when it comes to the war in Ukraine. One is to provide support, as we do, with U.S. leadership.

And the second is to prevent escalation. Beyond Ukraine, and prevent a full-fledged war between Ukraine and NATO allied countries. That will lead

to even more suffering, more damage, more death than we see today.

And that's the reason why NATO has significantly stepped up its military presence in the eastern part of the alliance, with tens of thousands of war

troops. We have heavy air and naval power, and also with more forces. And that is to send a clear message to Moscow, that we are ready to protect our

allies, this is deterrence, not to provoke the conflict but to prevent the conflict and preserve peace.

NOBILO: And turning to Finland and Sweden's application for NATO membership. Obviously, Turkey is threatening to block their bids. How are

you going to address Turkey's security concerns?

STOLTENBERG: As we always do, in NATO, when there are differences, and these countries sit down and we address their concerns, which were raised,

and then we find a way forward together, that is exactly what we are working on now. We are in close contact with President Erdogan, with the

Turkish leadership, but also with Finland, Sweden, the two countries applying for NATO membership.

All NATO allies recognized that Turkey has raised some serious concerns about terrorist threats coming from PKK.


No other country, NATO country, has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey. And Turkey also plays an important role in our lives, bordering

Iraq and Syria. They have been key in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but also, of course, Turkey is an important ally because of its

location as the literal (ph) state to the Black Sea, and all that makes it important to address the concerns that Turkey has raised.

NOBILO: Now, both you and secretary -- have said that this war in Ukraine is likely to end at the negotiating table, but peace talks are stalled at

the moment. When do you think the talks will resume, and what do you believe can make that happen in the current circumstances?

STOLTENBERG: Almost all wars and at some stage at the negotiating table. But at the same time, we also know that what happens around that table, the

negotiating table, is very closely linked to the situation on the battlefield. And our responsibility is to empower, is to support the

Ukrainians. So, when they -- at some stage, sit down, and negotiate with Russia, that they are in the position where they can achieve acceptable

terms for a peace deal, for a lasting solution to the conflict.

It's very hard to know when that will happen, but I trust Ukrainian leadership, the people of Ukraine, to make those hard assessments,

judgments on when and how to negotiate our responsibilities to make their position as strong as possible.

NOBILO: Now, just lastly to you, more of a personal question. Because I can tell, from watching your interviews as well, how deeply this affects

you, and your anger towards what is happening. Is it difficult for you to have the military strength of NATO under your command, knowing that none of

it can be used in the traditional sense to support Ukraine, because Ukraine's not an NATO member, as you're watching Ukraine fight for its


STOLTENBERG: Yes. There are many difficult decisions that we have to take in this situation. That we now face in Ukraine. The most difficult

decisions are those taken by Ukrainian leadership, to send young people into war, and to see the suffering that they face, because they believe in

the just cause of protecting, defending sovereign, independent and democratic nation against aggression from an authoritarian Russian


Our decision is to support them, as we do, with the equipment and support that we have provided to any country before, but to also ensure that we

protect the close to one billion people living in NATO allied countries. The best way to do that is to prevent escalation, and we've talked about

not being part of the conflict, not being involved in the ground, but also about significantly increasing NATO's military presence especially in the

eastern part of the alliance.

NOBILO: Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, thank you very much.

STOLTENBERG: Thank you so much for having me.

NOBILO: We'll take a quick break, and be right back with your key international headlines. Stay with us.



NOBILO: The verdict is in for the high-profile civil trial putting actor Johnny Depp against his ex wife, actress Amber Heard. A jury has found both

liable for defamation against the other. It awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Heard was awarded

$2 million and nothing and nothing for punitive damages.

Now, let's take a look at the other key stories making international impact today. More than 6000 people displaced by appraisals floods and mudslides

are turning to shelters, including a local elementary school. The death toll has reached 106 people, following torrential rains that began a week

ago. Rescue operations continue for those that are still missing.

And Chinese state media says a strong earthquake hit the southwestern province of Sichuan on Wednesday, killing at least ten people. Dozens are

said to be injured. The same area was hit by a powerful earthquake nine years ago, killing more than 100 people.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is telling his employees in emails that were leaked to return to the office at least 40 hours a week or quit. This policy is at

odds with the ones that the tech company Musk is trying to buy has, that's Twitter. It told employees they could work from home forever if that's what

they wanted.

And a record number of women have been appointed to Australia's new cabinet. The ministers also include indigenous Australians and religious

minorities and what's being hailed as an important step for representation in the country. A total of ten women were included, in Prime Minister

Anthony Albanese's team. He says that his Labour Party will form a majority government for following last month's election.

And, for the women leading a government, to a woman who's led a commonwealth for 70 years. Britain is about to begin a four-day public

holiday to commemorate the platinum jubilee of Elizabeth II.

And as Max Foster reports, it's only fitting that such an unprecedented reign should be celebrated in an unprecedented manner.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The final preparations are underway to celebrate a moment of history. Queen Elizabeth, the first

British royal to celebrate a platinum jubilee, commemorating 70 years of service.

The lineup includes a birthday parade, with gun salutes and lightning beacons across the commonwealth. A thanksgiving service, a palace concert,

a platinum pageant. Twelve million people across the UK are set to attend street parties over the weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seven decades on the throne is a huge milestone, a very hardworking lady. That's why I'm here to come under, to show my respect and


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Same kind of feeling as the weddings. Everyone's happy, and you want to make friends and say hi, and smile.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is the crown jewels, and I just say thank you. Thank you, ma'am. And God save the Queen.

FOSTER: Events get started on Thursday, with the tripping of the color, which is marked the official birthday of the British sovereign for more

than 260 years, all the pomp and pageantry that 1,200 members of the military, hundreds of army musicians and around 240 horses can muster.

The queen has reluctantly had to pull out of a day at the races at Epsom on Saturday, to pace herself for the celebrations.


But jockeys who've ridden for her over the years will do a lineup in her honor.

WILLIE CARSON, FORMER JOCKEY WHO RODE FOR QUEEN: That's when she can let the shoulders drop and relax, and, you know, talk about horses. And she

knows what she's talking about, too.

FOSTER: On Sunday, the gold state coach will make its first appearance in decades, leading a procession of performers and personalities. Prince

Charles will step in when his mother feels unable to make an event, part of the transition plans preparing us for the next phase of the British


What's always most telling about these occasions is the balcony appearance. It's used to project the modern face of the British monarchy.

In 2002, we saw the entire extended family. In 2012, it was stripped right back to its core to reflect the more austere times. And this year, it's

working royals only. So that means you won't see Prince Andrew or Prince Harry with Meghan. They're all off the list.

The Sussexes aren't invited, and will appear, possibly, with her two children during events. And the world will be looking closely at the body

language as they interact with other members of the family, following that rift.

CNN understands Harry and Meghan won't be mixing it up with their own set of separate appearances.

Max Foster, CNN, Buckingham Palace, London.


NOBILO: Elvis themed weddings in Las Vegas could soon become a thing of the past. Chapels may have to stop using the king of rock and roll to

entice couples to say, I do. The licensing company that controls the name an image of Elvis is ordering chapel operators to stop using the late

singer and their themed ceremonies, that's according to "The Las Vegas Review Journal".

And with Elvis being such an iconic part of Sin City's wedding industry, some say that could be harmful to business in the area.

Well, thank you very much for watching. "WORLD SPORTS" is up next.