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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Ukraine Aid Package; UK Migrant Crisis; Mexico Press Freedom. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired June 15, 2022 - 17:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome. I'm Lynda Kinkade, in for Bianca Nobilo. And this is THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

Tonight, one billion dollars, the United States details its new security aid package to Ukraine, as the Pentagon chief warns that now is a pivotal

point in the fighting.

And the UK registers the highest number of daily migrants crossing the channel since announcing its controversial Rwanda plan. We do a deeper dive

on one of the court issues at hand, people smuggling.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous places in the world right now to be a journalist. We look at the lack of government response ahead.

Well, the Pentagon chief says the war in Ukraine is at a pivotal moment, and the stakes are too high for the West to ease up on critical military

assistance. The U.S. and some allies are heeding Ukraine's call for more weaponry as Ukraine insists that war must be decided on the battlefield and

not at the negotiating table.

The U.S. pledged an additional $1 billion in aid to Ukraine today. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announcing a package at a meeting of nearly 50

countries in Brussels. The assistance includes helicopters, long-range weapons, ammunition, as well as coastal defense systems.


LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Since the contact group first came together nearly three months ago, we built tremendous momentum for

donations and delivery of military assistance. After this, this afternoon's discussion, we're not just going to maintain that momentum, we're going to

move even faster and push even harder. We will deepen our coordination and cooperation, and we'll bolster Ukraine's armed forces to help them repel

Russian aggression now and in the future.


KINKADE: Well, NATO is promising to continue supplying Ukraine with heavy weapons as well. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says NATO will pre-

assign forces and preposition equipment on its eastern flank for the first time since the Cold War. He says the Western Alliance is ready to meet the

threats from Russia.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: We are extremely focused on stepping up, providing more support, more advanced weapons, and also to do

that in the best possible way for the Ukrainians, because we support them in their just fight against the brutal Russian invasion.


KINKADE: Well, Ukraine has repeatedly vowed that it will not negotiate in an effort to end the war.

The French President Emmanuel Macron says talks with Russia are inevitable. He recently came under fire for insisting that Moscow must not be

humiliated. Here's what he said Wednesday while visiting NATO troops in Romania.


EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): Because at some point, when we have helped as much as possible to resist, I hope Ukraine,

above all for the fighting to stop, we will have to negotiate. The Ukrainian president and his officials will have to negotiate with Russia

and we, Europeans, will be at the table, bringing guarantees of security, elements that concern our continent, that is the reality of things.


KINKADE: I want to start with our correspondent Ben Wedeman joining us from Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine.

Good have you with us, Ben.

So, CNN has been speaking with an intelligence source who provide some contacts as to why this war is at a pivotal moment right now, that could

potentially determine its long term outcome. What more can you tell us, Ben?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Lynda, this pivotal moment is actually not happening in the Ukraine, it is in Brussels where

the 50 country member contact group is meeting before NATO. It is all about mustering western assistance to Ukraine at this critical moment when

Ukrainian forces are losing ground. Russians are taking full advantage of their superiority in terms of ammunition and artillery to pummel Ukrainian

forces. They only control a small sliver of the city of Severodonetsk, and many Ukrainian officials warn that they will lose more ground unless, and

this is the pivotal moment, the Western allies of Ukraine don't come up with adequate assistance.

Until now, yes, there have been artillery systems and other equipment in an ammunition that has been provided to Ukraine but it is simply not enough.

If these members of the Ukrainian contact group and NATO can come up with a serious package providing urgent need, urgently needed weapon, ammunitions,

and other critical equipment for the Ukrainians, the tide in this war could turn dramatically.


And certainly what we are seeing in this part of the country is that the Russians have the upper hand. If that equipment does not arrive, that

situation can only get worse -- Lynda.


And according to the U.S., some of this package, some of this aid will arrive in the coming days.

Ben Wedeman, our thanks to you.

We are going to stay on this story. I want to go to Brussels where the NATO defense ministers have been meeting. CNN Pentagon correspondent Oren

Lieberman has been following those discussions there, joining us now.

So, Oren, as Ben was just mentioning, we did hear a lot more about what these NATO allies are willing to offer Ukrainian in terms of military aid.

Take us through what they have committed to sending.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: So, Lynda, we heard from the United States that they will commit another $1 billion in military aid to

Ukraine, and that comes in two different parts.

About a third of that is what's called presidential draw-downs, that will be pulled from stocks and sent to Ukraine. That process now moves very

quickly, it just takes days to make a list, review it and approve it.

What's in that part of the package? Eighteen more howitzers, 36,000 rounds of ammunition, as well as ammunition for HIMARS system, that is a multiple

launch rocket system. It has twice the range or more then that for artillery. It can hit precise targets because the idea behind it with the

proper training. The first round of training for Ukrainian forces wrapped up today so that should enter the fight here within the coming weeks.

The other two thirds of that billion dollar package falls into what is known as Ukraine security assistance initiative. That means the U.S. will

contract directly with weapons makers to send those weapons into Ukraine. That takes a bit more time but that will include to harpoon coastal defense

systems as well as thousands of night vision goggles, thousands of radios and more.

So, that process is in the works. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says they know how urgent this is and they're trying to move it as quickly as

possible. The U.S. wasn't the only country to make announcements. They also said that Germany will be sending three multiple launch rocket systems so

those advance systems that we are seeing in the first round of training on.

So, that means across a few different types of systems, Ukraine will now have 10 of this. Not nearly what they're asking for, but chairman of the

joint chiefs, General Mark Milley, said these systems have longer range and more precise, they should be able to make a great difference if they are

used on proper training.

That, of course, is what we are waiting to see as Russians make significant gains in eastern Ukraine.

KINKADE: All right. Oren Liebermann for us in Brussels, our thanks to you.

Well, that, of course, was the view from Ukraine and from European allies. I want to turn out to Russia. On Wednesday, the former president and

current deputy chairman for the Russian security council, Dmitry Medvedev, asked in a provocative post on Telegram, quote: Who said that in two years,

Ukraine will even exist on the world map?

Now, his comments come as a spoke's person continue to warned the West against isolating Moscow.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen has more.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Russians certainly so no signs of changing course in what they call their

special military operation, the invasion of Ukraine. In fact, the country's former president, Dmitry Medvedev, on social media openly questioned

whether Ukraine will even be on the world's map two years from now. When I asked the spokeswoman for Russian's foreign ministry about Russia's

comment, it came to somewhat of a testy exchange.

The president of the Russian Federation said and he likened the special military operation by Russia, the invasion of Ukraine to the things that

Peter the Great did in the Great Northern War and said Russia was, in his estimation, taking back territory that was rightfully Russia's and

strengthening it. Is that not an admission of a severe breach of international law?

MARIA ZAKHAROVA, RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS SPOKESPERSON (through translator): When will you start using the same tone of voice when you

questioned your own authorities? Why do use that tone of voice when you questioned us? Take a look at 2014. We had a referendum.

PLEITGEN: The big question is, take back and strengthen other country's territory. Is that not a violation of international law? You are invading a

sovereign country.

ZAKHAROVA (through translator): Was there a legal basis to invade Iraq?

PLEITGEN: We're not talking about Iraq now. You are invading a sovereign country. That is the question.

ZAKHAROVA (through translator): You mention our invasion, an occupation of territories. What territories are you talking about?

PLEITGEN: Well, for instance, the entire region around the Azov Sea. The invasion, trying towards -- go towards Kyiv, where the Russian army was

beaten up. Large parts of the Luhansk and Donbas -- Donetsk oblast which were under control of Ukrainian military. And then you have the region

around Kherson.

ZAKHAROVA (through translator): So, are you talking about Donetsk and Luhansk? Maybe you have more information than I have. I don't have

information about Kyiv.


The territories of Donetsk and Luhansk are acknowledged as sovereign states. They are referendums, as I said, reflecting the will of the people.

PLEITGEN: If the Russian president says what's going on in Ukraine is taking back land that is intrinsically Russian land and strengthening that

land, can you please explain to me what does that mean? Where does it end? And is that not a violation of international law?

ZAKHAROVA (through translator): You say I don't answer your question. You just don't like the way I answer it. I am answering it, perhaps it clashes

with your vision. America says they are exceptional and we said this concept is wrong. I can tell you that the U.S. troops are now in Syria.

Nobody asked them to come.

PLEITGEN: Meanwhile, the Russians continue to insist that they are making headway. And they also say they are not going to stop with what they call

their special military operation until all of their objectives are met.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, St. Petersburg, Russia.


KINKADE: Well, the U.K. says it is pushing along with its controversial policy of relocating asylum seekers to Rwanda. They're trying to send a

handful of migrants to Rwanda Tuesday night, but he European Court of Human Rights intervened. And the flight was grounded just moments before it was

set to take off.

The British home secretary says the government remains committed despite this legal set back.

But critics of the policy are not backing down either.


PRITI PATEL, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: We are proud that we are working together, proud that the U.K.'s investment in Rwanda and helping that great

country to thrive. I'm proud that those who are relocated to Rwanda will have an opportunity to thrive as well.

YVETTE COOPER, BRITISH SHADOW HOME SECRETARY: It is government by gimmick. It's not in the public interest. It's just in their political interest. And

what are they prepared to trash along the way? People's lives, our basic British values of fairness, decency and commonsense and the reputation of

our nation.


KINKADE: Well, the UK says the agreement will discourage people from trying to cross the English Channel, but official data shows at least 444

migrants were crossing it on Tuesday even though it is incredibly dangerous to do so. And it's the highest it's been since the U.K. revealed this plan

two months ago, in an effort to root out people smuggling networks.

But my next guest believes deportations to Rwanda will do little to stop human smugglers.

Luigi Achilli teaches at the Immigration Policy Center, which is part of the European University Institute.

Good to have you with us.


KINKADE: So, this policy by the Ukraine to send migrants to Rwanda, the U.K. claims, aims to deter smugglers, aims to deter people from making that

dangerous journey against the channel. This obviously isn't the first country that has attempted to send migrants elsewhere.

Will it work in deterring people to cross the English Channel? Explain your thoughts.

ACHILLI: No, it will not work by any means. I mean, let's be clear on that, human smuggling is becoming a thriving business. But in large part,

we are responsible for the situation. States, UK and States in general have fought human smuggling by implementing policies overwhelmingly based on a

security approach such as the tightening of border control, offshoring of asylum responsibilities to third countries. Rwanda is the clear example.

Now, the outcome of this approach is to make migrants' path (ph) more difficult. And therefore, increasing their reliance on human smuggling to


So, human smuggling has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We fight a phenomena, and by fighting this phenomenon, we are actually fueling this


KINKADE: And what do you mean by that? What do you mean by it is making it worse, it is fueling the people smuggling?

ACHILLI: Because smuggling is made by states, basically by limiting legal channels, legal roots for migrants and asylum seekers who are looking to

reach destination. Now, this nation has been precluded by illegal channels. So, the best way -- the only way for most of them to reach this nation,

including the UK, is to rely on smuggling, because otherwise, there is no other chance to reach their destination.

KINKADE: So, last year more than 28,000 people made this journey from France to the U.K. across the English Channel in small boats. And already

this year, the first six months, it has more than doubled at the start of last year.

What would be a more effective policy to address this issue and to help deter people from trying to make that dangerous shot crossing the first

place? That is a good question. As a matter of fact, I mean, states remain overwhelming focused as I say on implementing a security-based policy.

Now, if the intended goal is the suppression of smuggling networks, security measures can be affecting, if they are uncomplicated by other



Now, a truly effective answer to human smuggling would require to concentrate on reducing the demand for smuggling services, more than

curving the supply. So, in other words, smugglers often constitute the only available option for those migrants who flee a situation of immediate

danger and distress.

Now, accordingly, the first -- I mean, the first step towards a more lasting radical solution for the current crisis demands that opening of new

channels of legal entry. And the reinforcement of existing ones for refugees and asylum seekers presumably -- I mean, represent the majority of

people smuggled by sea in these years.

KINKADE: Luigi, you've done a great deal of research on the issue. Describe who these people smugglers are.

ACHILLI: Most smugglers I did research with, I have encountered and investigated myself, along with many other colleagues of mine, I mean,

there were -- I mean, smuggling groups are using small, went through loose -- I mean, characterized by loose organization when trying to partnership

one another for a short period of time. So, we do have this hierarchy like rigid organization that we do expect with mafia-like organizations. It's

just small groups.

Around these small groups revolve a big, large numbers of people, mostly, if you want to want, we can call them self -- freelancers. Now, these may

be locals, for example, that they offer their services. They may be hotel - - they maybe taxi drivers, people from the local community that try to (INAUDIBLE) by engaging in human smuggling.

The core group of smugglers often is made up in part by the migrants themselves, or, anyway, people that stranded after a long time, they get

involved into human smuggling because it is the only way for them to cope with the situation of vulnerability. Now, I'm not saying that all smugglers

are like that, but as a matter of fact, in some cases, smugglers, migrants end up being involved in human smuggling because they do not have other

ways forward.

KINKADE: Right. Luigi Achilli, really good to have you on the program to shed some light on this. Thanks so much for your time.

ACHILLI: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, still to come after the break, it has been ten days since British journalist Dom Phillips and his guide disappeared in the Amazon.

We'll have what both the Brazilian authorities and UK government are saying next.

Plus, we'll look at how Mexico has become one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists.



KINKADE: Welcome back. I'm Lynda Kinkade.

Brazil's president is calling the activities of the missing British journalist and a researcher, reckless. Bolsonaro said that Dom Phillips

was, quote, not well-regarded in the region.

Well, in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that he is deeply concerned about Phillips and added that the UK government is ready to

provide support to Brazilian authorities. The two men have been missing in the Amazon since June 5th.

On Tuesday, authorities arrested a second suspect in connection with the men's disappearance.

Latin America has long been one of the most dangerous places for journalists. Mexico ranking is one of the countries with the most threats

to press. So far this year, at least 11 journalists have been murdered there.

CNN's Matt Rivers visited Tijuana to speak with a photojournalist whose friend was murdered earlier this year.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tijuana, Mexico, in a country plague by homicide, this city stands out. Nearly 800

murders already this year say state officials which means the people reporting on those crimes are busy.

This we get to see firsthand, meeting up well after dark with freelance journalist, Arturo Rosales. It's not long before we're off to what police

say is a murder scene.

(translated): Are you scared sometimes of your work? Because you're working in every complex situations.

ARTURO ROSALES, FREELANCE JOURNALIST (translated): Yes, mainly in areas with a lot of conflict.

RIVERS: Dangerous neighborhoods like here in Los Alamos, where a body was found in the street. Arturo gets to work snapping photos and going live on


He just describes the basics, time, location, manner of death in a city like Tijuana where murders are often linked to organized crime, even just

reporting the facts can be deadly.

Margarito Martinez was a well-known crime reporter in the city, a happy guy with a quick wit, and a big smile. He was killed outside his home earlier

this year.

A best friend. He taught me everything I know.

Jesus Aguilar is a journalist, too, one of Martinez's best friends. They worked together at countless murder scenes and Aguilar worked at Martinez's


I had to see it, he says. I had to see it. It's what we do. We cover homicides. Now I witnessed his.

Prosecutors detained ten people for the crime though none have been formally charged. Authorities say those detained have ties to organized

crime but haven't given an exact motive for the killing. Martinez's death, tragically not that unusual in Mexico, 11 journalists have been killed so

far this year, according to human rights group Article 19, a number the Mexican government disputes as too high.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says his government is committed to protecting journalists. The difference from before, he says,

is that in all these homicides, there have already been people detained and there is no impunity.

But that is simply not true. The government's own statistics show that more than 90 percent of crimes in Mexico go unsolved.

For Sonya De Anda, herself a Tijuana journalist, it creates a morbid reality. She says whatever threats, obstacles to their work, whoever kills

a journalist, there are no consequences because we live in a country of impunity.

The Mexican president also routinely attacks journalists he doesn't like as enemies, often claiming coverage that is critical of him is really just an

attack on the Mexican people. Critics say comments like those contribute to the violence journalists face.

How many journalists have been killed, he says. A whole lot, that's the truth.

That uncertainty, the danger surrounding this job is with Arturo Rosales as he drives around Tijuana each night.


He says there's not much confidence in the government because there is no protection.

Arriving at our last scene of the night, Arturo goes through the motions and we find out what happened.

The driver of that car right there that's now on its side, he was shot while actually driving the car. That would make this at least the tenth

homicide that's been recorded in Tijuana in just the last 24 hours.

And Arturo says he'll keep being there to document as many as he can, even though he and all his fellow journalists know that they could go from

covering victims to becoming a victim at any moment.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Tijuana, Mexico.


KINKADE: A new street sign in honor of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been unveiled in Washington, D.C. The sign could be found right outside

the Saudi Arabian embassy. It's being called a living memorial and a call to action for accountability over his murder.

Khashoggi was killed after visiting the Saudi Arabia embassy in Istanbul, Turkey, back in 2018. U.S. intelligence has assessed that the order to have

Khashoggi killed was given by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Let's take a look at other key stories making international impact today. Israel's foreign minister says that he expects improvements in relations

with Saudi Arabia after U.S. President Joe Biden visited both countries next month. He says that the two countries have a mutual interest in

curbing Iran's nuclear capabilities. And that can bring them together.

The Federal Reserve says that it's raising interest rates by three quarters of a percent, the biggest rate hike since 1994. The Fed is trying to slow

down the U.S. economy with inflation at a 40-year high.

Well, thanks so much for watching. I'm Lynda Kinkade. That was your GLOBAL BRIEF.

"WORLD SPORT" is up next.