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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

EU Leaders In Ukraine; Senior ISIS Leader Detained; DRC-Rwanda Ties Cut. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired June 16, 2022 - 17:00   ET


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

Tonight, world leaders from France, Italy and Germany are in Ukraine right now. As allies upped their weapons support, will there still be a bigger

push for the diplomacy behind the scenes?

Then, the U.S.-led coalition in Syria says it's detained a senior ISIS leader. A report from the Pentagon is coming up ahead.

And the DRC cut significant ties with Rwanda, calling for all troops to withdraw. We look at the escalating tensions between those two countries.

Ukraine belongs to the European family. The words of German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, as he stood in Kyiv, next to the leaders of France, Italy,

Romania and the president of Ukraine. It was a dramatic show of solidarity for the beleaguered country.


The leaders all agree that Ukraine should be a candidate to join the European Union, a declaration President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is welcoming.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We are certain that Russia wants to show that European unity cannot be effective

and that European values cannot work in defense of freedom, and therefore we must together break the scenario and prove to them that Europe will

continue to be free and democratic, and I stress, united.


NOBILO: But he also has been critical of Europe's military support and push them for more powerful weapons. Before their meeting in Kyiv, the EU

leaders toured the suburb of Kyiv devastated by Russian forces. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi promised we will rebuild everything.

As they gathered in Kyiv, there's a desperate situation in the east. The military governor near the city of Severodonetsk says relentless Russian

shelling is making it impossible for more than 500 civilians sheltering in the Azovstal chemical plant to escape. The Russian-backed separatist leader

in Donetsk also says that his fighters will push beyond the region and says that he wants to see a referendum to enable Donetsk to join Russia, once

the, quote, special military operation is over.

Joining me now is CNN's Matthew Chance in Brussels, where he's been speaking to Ukraine's defense minister and Sam Kiley is also joining me

from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, for the latest on the ground.

Matthew, beginning with you, the Ukrainian defense minister you've been speaking to has been in Brussels talking to ministers from countries who

have been criticized for insufficient support of Ukraine. Would have Zelenskyy president asked for in these meetings?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he's been here talking to his defense minister, counterpart some various other

countries, about what it is they can offer in terms of material aid to assist Ukraine and its ongoing battle against Ukraine. He's had some

success. I mean, the United States, which has already pledged $40 billion worth of its, as Ukraine us come up with another billion dollars in the

past 24 hours as well to provide state-of-the-art sophisticated military equipment, to help Ukraine to resist the Russian push even further into the


And it's interesting because the defense minister of Ukraine -- we haven't spoken to him since last year, but it's a good opportunity for him and us

to talk about his perspectives on the war, the latest leg of which of course started in February. We spoke about the ongoing western support for

his country. Also about Ukraine's military ambitions and how they were going to fight back against Russia. And as well, about why it was that

Russia didn't have more success in the early days of the war and its initial assault of the Ukrainian capital.

Take a look.


CHANCE (voice-over): This was the moment on the first day of Russia's plan for a lightning strike on Ukraine, started to unravel.

We witnessed these lightly armed Russian airborne troops fighting for their lives on the outskirts of Kyiv. Now the Ukrainian defense minister tells

CNN written military orders were recovered from the body of a Russian officer killed here, confirming his Russian commanders expected a quick and

easy victory.

OLEKSIY REZNIKOV, UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: He had to be in government quarters after 12 hours from the invasion, from the starting of the


CHANCE: Center of Kyiv.

REZNIKOV: Center of Kyiv.

He had to control building, office of president, parliament, and 72 hours after they were sure that, for example, president will be evacuated --

CHANCE: In retrospect, that looks astonishingly naive, doesn't it?

REZNIKOV: And, frankly speaking, our partners in the different capitals of the world also was naive. They also told us that invasion are imminent and

you will fall. You have only 72 hours.

CHANCE: But nearly four months now, Ukraine has been holding out, even defeating Russian forces near the capital with the help of armor-piercing

weapons from the U.S. and others.

The Biden administration has already committed to $40 billion to this fight, another billion in aid was announced just this week. And the

Ukrainian defense minister insists that Washington and its allies have assured him that support will continue.

REZNIKOV: Our partners will never stop. I was told that. I spoke with my friend Austin -- Lloyd Austin, secretary of defense of the United States,

secretary of defense of UK, Ben Wallace, and our other colleagues.


They told me, Oleksiy, don't worry. We will not stop.

CHANCE: Do you really believe that that is a genuine commitment by the United States to continue to militarily back Ukraine into the future no

matter what?

REZNIKOV: I heard yesterday and I felt that it's absolutely honestly.

CHANCE: And the Ukrainians are honest too about what their new weapons will be for, weapons like these state of the art M777 artillery guns from

the U.S. that we were shown in southern Ukraine earlier this month, or the multiple launch rocket launchers that will soon be in service here. The

defense minister says they will help Ukraine take back occupied land.

REZNIKOV: We are going to liberate all our territories.

CHANCE: All of it.

REZNIKOV: All of it.

CHANCE: What about Crimea?

REZNIKOV: Crimea is Ukrainian. For me, it's absolutely understandable.

CHANCE: So, you're saying that Crimea is a military objective of the Ukrainian armed forces with this weapon?

REZNIKOV: I assure that Crimea is a strategic objective for Ukraine because it's a Ukrainian territory. But we will move step by step. I mean,

the first stage, it's stabilization.

CHANCE: The reason I ask --

REZNIKOV: I will finish my -- the second stage is to keep them out until the 24 February border situation. And third stage, we will discuss it with

our partners how we'll liberate our territories, includes Crimea also.

CHANCE: None of that will go down well in Moscow. And even with advanced Western weapons to replace these old soviet ones, Ukraine looks set for a

long fight.


CHANCE: That fight continues to be a costly one in terms of human lives. The defense minister wouldn't be pinned exactly how many military deaths

the country had suffered. Bur he confirmed that tens of thousands of Ukrainians have already lost their life they said hopefully the figure was

less than 100,000. But it is still a very tragic and sobering numbers.

Back to you.

NOBILO: Matthew Chance for us in Brussels, thank you.

Now, Sam Kiley for us who is in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Sam, Matthews just referring to the heavy losses sustained by Ukraine and there been suggestions of having heavy casualties of Ukrainian troops in

the east. What is the morale like there now and the reality on the battlefield for Ukraine after that strong initial resistance and very

successful information campaign about it?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it has been a very successful information campaign. Scenes of tractors towing away on the

personnel carriers with the Russian zed on it, very symbolic and very much something that the Ukrainians have been keen to play up.

They've been shifting their story now inevitably, because according to government ministers, between 100 and 200 Ukrainian armed forces since

personnel are being killed every, 500 or 600 a day being wounded. That, to give it some kind of context, Bianca, is pretty close to an entire NATO

battle group. That would take out a battle group or the battalion battle group as they call them here out of circulation entirely if you lost 700

men plus from the battlefield, either wounded or killed.

On top of that, the deputy minister of defense of Ukraine saying that they're overmatched by about 10 to 1 in terms of artillery by the Russians

here in Ukraine. So, morale is taking some of the battering you might imagine at the state in the war. After the first stages of phase one,

euphoria, the defense, successful defense of Kyiv, the defense here in Kharkiv. There have been counter attacks. They are taking a heavy toll as

the Russians have reorganized themselves.

There's no escaping the fact that in the end Ukraine is going to start running out of people. At the moment though, the main problem, they're

saying, is weapons and anecdotally, have been speaking to fighters that I have befriended over the last few months of covering this war. Mostly over

what has happened in other semi secret discussion groups. They are saying that they are running into serious problems. And even ordinary Ukrainians

are now saying that it is very hard indeed to find someone who has not lost somebody who's been killed on the front line in this war.

So, this is a matter of urgency, particularly here in the east whether the counterattacks by Russians against villages that have captured relatively

recently by Ukraine, a lot of pressure bearing down on Kramatorsk, that my colleague Ben Wedeman has been reporting on so much recently -- Bianca.

NOBILO: And, Sam, do you think that those artillery ratios, the heavy beating, that morale has been taking, losses the size of battle groups --

the heavily caveated Russian success in the east, do you think that's made the resumption of peace talks more or less likely between Ukraine and


KILEY: The Ukrainians made it absolutely clear that peace talks are inconceivable. They are simply not countenancing such an idea. They are

confident they say, as we heard from Reznikov's interview with Matthew Chance that they will be supported. That they will get with they've been

promised in terms of material that they need and indeed the training and the modern weapons, the NATO weapons that could substantially tip the

balance back against the Russians. They're not losing a significant way, the Ukrainians. The main point is they're not winning and holding the line.

It's costing them extremely dearly.

In the east, though, I think it's likely the defensive lines will fall back to the Severodonetsk river, and that will provide a degree of re-spite

while the Ukrainians themselves can re-organize and retrain and resupply. But it is all about resupply they say at the moment. And certainly, that is

the evidence that we have seen on the ground. They need these weapons and they need them, as they repeatedly have been saying, they need them now,


NOBILO: Sam Kiley for us in Kharkiv, Ukraine, thank you very much.

Now, the families of the two American fighters currently missing in Ukraine say that the men were there to volunteer on the frontlines. The fiance of

one of the men said he had quote a knowing in his heart to serve the Ukrainian people. The two men have been missing for a week in Kharkiv.

There are fears that they have been captured by Russian forces.

The U.S. State Department spokesperson said they are aware of reports of the missing men and are closely monitoring the situation.

Turning now to Russia. The Kremlin spokesman told CNN that Russia still plans to complete its goal of controlling Ukraine's eastern Donbas region

no matter the economic pressure that comes from the West. Dmitry Peskov did admit, however, that Moscow is not in a, quote, comfortable position after

widespread sanctions from the U.S. and the European Union. He says Russia plans to boost its own production and infrastructure, and import more goods

from Asia.

A senior ISIS leader has been captured in Syria. According to the U.S.-led coalition fighting that militant group, the statement says that the man was

an experienced bomb maker and had become one of the group's top leaders.

CNN's Barbara Starr has the details for you.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: U.S. and coalition forces have identified what they say is the name of the senior ISIS leader they

detained during a helicopter raid in northern Syria on Thursday in the Aleppo area. They identified the man as Hani Ahmed al-Kurdi. They said that

al-Kurdi was a senior ISIS operative and facilitator. His expertise was in bomb making. He had taken part in planning operations against U.S. and

coalition forces.

This is part of the effort to continue to go after ISIS operatives in Syria. The remnants of ISIS, the U.S. says, when and where they find them.

But some of these operations have been very controversial, because they have happened in areas or civilians are living. In this case, the U.S.

coalition says they planned the operation meticulously and they have no reports of any civilians killed or injured.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


NOBILO: The Democratic Republic of Congo has now suspended significant diplomatic ties with its neighbor Rwanda. Congo has repeatedly accused

Rwanda of backing M23 rebels in the east, but Rwanda denies any involvement. On Wednesday, an anti-Rwanda rally in the city of Goma boiled

over into looting. Kenya's president is calling for the immediate deployment of a new regional military force to the region to try to put an

end this violence.

David McKenzie is following the story.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The situation, both diplomatically and militarily is escalating between the Democratic Republic of Congo and

Rwanda. Just a short time ago, the Democratic Republican of Congo government announced that it's going to break significant diplomatic ties

with the eastern neighbor, including memoranda of understanding and other agreements.

For now, they are allowing the Rwanda's chief diplomat, the ambassador, to stay in the DRC, but it points to the ongoing tension between the two

countries. For weeks now, there have been clashes between the M23 rebel group in the eastern part of the DRC and government forces.


Now the Congo blamed Rwanda for backing that rebel group, something that Rwanda and its government have repeatedly denied.

GEN. SYLVAIN EKENGE, SPOKESPERSON, NORTH KIVU MILITARY: This is nothing less than an invasion of the DRC and the armed forces of the Democratic

Republic of Congo will take all the necessary measures and defend their territory.

MCKENZIE: You had disturbing scenes in Goma, the capital of North Kivu earlier this week of demonstrations by the public against Rwandi nationals

including looting according to eyewitnesses, but there are ongoing mediation efforts. The latest movement military is for the Kenyan

president, Uhuru Kenyatta, to call for the east African force, the regional force that has just been established to be deployed to the eastern DRC. No

word if that will actually happen yet, but there are meetings on Sunday in Nairobi to hash that out, and calls from all sides to calm the tension of

what could spiral out of control.

David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.


NOBILO: Markets are not responding happily, the day after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its biggest interest rate hikes in decades. The move was

meant to combat inflation. Fed chair Jerome Powell says we could see another steep jump in interest rates next month. U.S. markets closed

sharply down on Thursday. The Dow falling to its lowest level in a year. And the Nasdaq and S&P both in bear markets.

Markets in Europe also closed their own on Thursday, with the Paris, and the FTSE and DAC all seeing losses.

Now, this hour, FIFA is looking ahead to 2026 and announcing the host cities for football's world cup. The tournament will be spread across North

America with matches in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. It's a big deal to be part of this spectacle. It means the likely windfall for each of the 16

cities being selected to host matches. There will be more matches than ever before.

The 2026 tournament will be the first one to have 48 countries involved, out from the 32 taking part of this year's World Cup in Qatar. And who

better to discuss all of this than "World Sports" Alex Thomas who joins me now.

So, Alex, we're expecting to hear the results the city is in about 15 minutes when you'll be taking over. What do you think will likely --

ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Well, we still have 22 in the running. We don't know how many they will come down to. They're not aiming for a

specific number, but clearly it's likely that Canada and Mexico as joint hosts will get at least three cities each. And the rest will be divided

amongst America.

I mean, clearly, there's some outstanding candidates like Los Angeles and New York that are likely to get one. The USA hosted the World Cup back in

94. Many of the cities that were used then could be repeated.

Btu since then, of course, two years after that World Cup, Major League soccer launch, has been going ever since, getting bigger and better every

year. Increasing revenues and popularity of soccer as they call it in the USA. So, there are places like the Benz Stadium in Atlanta, for example,

huge capacity, and also fills out almost every week. Although it's not been doing that well this season.

So, it will be interesting to see how football is treated and received now in four years time compared to 1994, of course, this year's World Cup which

is in Qatar in November and December.

NOBILO: Alex Thomas, thank you so much. Do stay tuned for the results for lots more analysis from Alex Thomas in just about 12 minutes.

But, first, coming up on the show, a tragic development on a story we've been following closely. Police say that there's been a confession and grim

discovery deep in the Amazon jungle.

And a change in the global COVID numbers trend. We'll have very latest update from the World Health Organization for you.



NOBILO: The families of British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira are in mourning after bodies believed to be

the two men were recovered deep in the Amazon. Forensic testing is being done to determine exactly how they died. Police say the suspect confessed

to the killings and led them to the bodies.

CNN's Shasta Darlington has been covering the story for us. She joins us now from Sao Paulo.

Shasta, what's the response been of the families of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira and the public to these new details of the brutal killings?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you can imagine, the anchor, there is a real sense of sadness in Brazil today. While testing as

you mentioned is being done to confirm the identity of the remains and to find out more clues, family and friends of the victims are speaking out and

paying tribute to everything that Phillips and Pereira meant to them.

For example, Phillips wife released a statement where she said, although we are still awaiting definitive confirmations, this tragic outcome puts an

end to the anguish of not knowing Dom and Bruno's whereabouts. While Dom Phillips siblings paid special tribute to indigenous groups who led the

search and rescue efforts.

Now, remember, these two men vanished more than a week and a half ago in the Javari Valley. It's a far western part of the Amazon state, a very

remote part. And the protected region is home to several indigenous communities, including on contacted tribes. In recent years there's been a

ton of illegal activity with land invasions from illegal loggers, fishermen, poachers and even drug trafficking.

So, Phillips and Pereira with on a research trip to do conservation efforts and challenges in the Amazon. But they had been receiving death threats as

a result. Indigenous groups were quick to respond when they went missing. And on Thursday, Pereira's wife, Beatriz Matos, tweeted now that Bruno's

spirits are wandering in the forest and spread among us, our strength is much greater.

So, the investigation continues. Authorities are trying to identify other suspects and confirm the motive behind the attack. But, really, Thursday

has been about mourning and paying tributes, with many of their colleagues vowing to continue this important work that Phillips and Pereira were

doing, documenting the challenges facing the Amazon, Bianca.

NOBILO: And, Shasta, what is the fate of the investigation now, beyond the forensic testing you've been discussing all that there's been a confession?

DARLINGTON: Well, there really is the sense and belief that this is tied to some of the reporting and investigations they have been doing. Again, in

this region there so much illegal activity. And, of course, the suspect who confessed to the killing is a fisherman, a local fishermen there.

And one of the biggest problems has been illegal fishing in territories that are supposed to be protected. They need to confirm if this is the

reason, how this all ties together, what the real motive for such a violent action was.


And there has also been a lot of criticism of the initial response by authorities, so I think there's going to be a lot of follow-up on that. Why

are they acting slowly and how can the sense of impunity be addressed? Those will really be the next steps, Bianca.

NOBILO: We will keep in touch with you to answer some of those questions going forward hopefully. Shasta Darlington from Sao Paulo, thank you.

Now, let's take a look at the other key stories making international impact today.

The World Food Program is launching an emergency response in Sri Lanka. On Thursday, the WFP began distributing food vouchers to pregnant women in the

capital, Colombo. Sri Lanka has been struggling with fuel shortages for months, sending the country into its worst economic crisis in decades.

American actor Kevin Spacey was granted bail at the London court on Thursday after being charged with four counts of sexual assault against

three men. This brings the total number of offenses that "The House of Cards" actor is accused of in Britain to five. Spacey's lawyer told the

court he strenuously denies all allegations.

And the World Health Organization says there's been a rise in the number of deaths caused by COVID after more than a month of weekly reports showing a

decline. According to the latest update, more than 8,700 people died from the virus between June 6th and June 12th. A 4 percent increase from the

previous week. And the U.S. and China are the countries that have the most new deaths.

And one of the oldest mysteries in medicine has been solved after 700 years. Where did that dreaded Black Death begin? Scottish researchers in

remote mountains in Kyrgyzstan have found DNA evidence dating to the 1330s, marking it as the birthplace of the Black Death pandemic. The breakthrough

came when researchers discovered medieval gravestones, saying the victims died of a quote, pestilence. And they found traces of the bacteria that

caused the plague.

It is still the worst disease outbreak in recorded history, killing 60 percent of Europe in the Middle Ages and millions more in Asia and Africa.

Thank you for watching this evening. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

"WORLD SPORTS" is coming up next.