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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Inspectors In Zaporizhzhia City; Debriefing Gorbachev's Vision; South Korea-U.S. Military Drills. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired August 31, 2022 - 17:00   ET



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

International inspectors are getting closer to Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. And they're very aware of the risks.

And remembering Mikhail Gorbachev. We'll debrief his vision and compare it to Russia's current trajectory.

And a strong show of force from South Korea and the U.S. CNN takes you to the site of huge military exercises just south of the DMZ.

A team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have arrived in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. They're making final preparations to

enter Europe's largest nuclear power plant. After weeks of fierce shelling there, create fears over its safety.

IaEA chief Rafael Grossi says that the trip is not without risk, but he believes it's necessary to prevent a nuclear incident.


RAFAEL GROSSI, IAEA DIRECTOR GENERAL: It's a mission that seeks to prevent a nuclear accident, and to preserve this important -- nuclear power in

Europe. Not only in Ukraine.


NOBILO: This visit comes as they announced successes in its southern counteroffensives. Locals are reporting heavy shelling and explosions in

Russian occupied Kherson. Ukrainian officials say that they're targeting Russian logistics, ammunitions. Moscow's denying this, and says that

Ukrainian forces are the ones taking heavy losses.

CNN's Sam Kiley is joining me now from Mykolaiv province in Ukraine.

Sam, international concern has been focused on the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which the IAEA are due to inspect. But i

not the only nuclear power plant in Ukraine that's under threat.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, clearly, the threat to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is intense and it's very real

because it's being used as of fire base by the Russians, the Russians claim Ukrainians are shooting back, Ukrainians and other sources we've spoken to

say that it's not the Ukrainians at the power plant, it is the Russians them sends trying to look bad.

But where I am here, with very close to the south Ukrainian nuclear power plant, it's half the size with three reactors not six, there's also deep,

deep concern that they could get attacked.


KILEY (voice-over): Ukraine's second largest nuclear power station is under Russian missile threat, even as warnings of a nuclear disaster are

causing international horror at its largest plant.

There's just been a dramatic air raid siren. Do you know what threat was then?

IHOR POLOVYCH, DIRECTOR GENERAL, SOUTH UKRAINE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT (through translator): Yes, we received information from the military that the air

raid alert was for the danger of flying larger missiles by aircraft.

KILEY: Can we carry on or do we have to go down again?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There are planes over Crimea with guided missiles onboard. Nobody knows where they will fly.

POLOVYCH: Let's go.

KILEY: Down again?

So, the director has said they got information that aircraft have been seen in Crimea. They're in this province or heading in this direction, so they

pose an immediate threat. This is something that happens several times a day, very often they say the sirens are almost back to back.

The director is told that the Russian aircraft crossing the Dnipro have filed missiles. Ukraine's military are tracking them, trying to figure out

if his nuclear power station is the target.

This monitor shows the background radiation remains normal. Working in this bunker has become a new normal for the teams running the south Ukraine

nuclear power plant. The maintenance of Ukraine's four power plants and 15 nuclear reactors is stressed.

POLOVYCH: Part of the factory that produced spare parts were bombed by Russian army. At the moment, there is nowhere to make some type of spare


KILEY: And Russia has stored army trucks in Zaporizhzhia's turbine hole. It's identical to south Ukraine's turbine. Both use highly explosive

nitrogen as a coolant, fire here could be disastrous and Russia is accused of shelling the plant, which it denies.

This man worked at Zaporizhzhia under Russian occupation but fled in June.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The Russians shoot at the territory of the plant, whereas a storage facility for solid waste, where

the dry facility for nuclear fuel is.


KILEY: At least three Russian missiles have been recorded flying over the south Ukraine plant.

Back above ground, the director is amazed by Russia's threats to Ukraine's nuclear industry.

POLOVYCH: They were so smart, they shelled the nuclear power plant. Either the military was not aware of the danger or they did it on purpose.

KILEY: But as this plant generates 10 percent of Ukraine's electricity and Zaporizhzhia up to 20 percent, there's no wonder that both are such

tempting targets.


KILEY (on camera): Now they may not, of course, be targeted by Russia, Bianca, but certainly at the beginning of this conflict a lot of pro-

Kremlin commentators senior officials, from within the Kremlin itself hinting or even threatening the possible use of nuclear weapons are

battlefields, among those might be cause some kind of nuclear disaster, particularly perhaps if the Russians are forced on the back foot -- Bianca.

NOBILO: Sam Kiley for us in Mykolaiv province, Ukraine, thank you so much for bringing us that exclusive.

Europe's energy squeeze has just gotten tighter, Russia energy giant Gazprom is halting delivery to Europe through the vital Nord Stream 1

pipeline. It says that the shut offs been is for maintenance, and will last three days. The cuts are forcing the region to find suppliers from other

sources, as CNN's Anna Stewart has more.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: This latest shutdown of Nord Stream 1 has once again raise fears that Russia may not turn the gas taps back onto Europe.

It's a key pipeline for Europe, it runs from Russia through to Germany. And actually before this makes a shut down gas supply or see it running at just

a bit of its normal capacity.

Ever since the invasion of Ukraine, the EU's been working hard to cut its reliance on natural gas. You can look at how it's been doing.

One of the plans to bolster energy security particularly for this coming winter is to fill Europe's gas storage facility as much as possible. This

is where at levels this time last year, and this is where they are up today. And, actually, Europe can be happy because overall storage

facilities are 18 percent full.

This was its target for November, as a block two months ahead of schedule some companies like Germany have released a past that 80 percent threshold.

Unfortunately, this is where the good news ends. While gas storage is important, Europe needs actually more gas that it can store. Storage

accounts which is just for 25 to 30 percent of the energy that's consumed in a normal winter. We don't know whether this winter will be mild or have

a snap.

If you can't find enough alternative gas from elsewhere, it does get gas from Norway, Netherlands it can get LNG, of course, from the United States

and from Qatar, which is off this map but also try and find a tentative energy, solar, wind, nuclear, coal, but really it needs to use less.

Europe has said itself a voluntary target to reduce energy consumption's with 15 percent between August of this year, and March next. If it can do

that, if the winter is mild if storage is full, experts say could weather winter without Russian energy, but it's no certainty.

Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


NOBILO: Fabulous report from Ana.

In the meantime, EU foreign ministers have agreed to suspend visas for Russians wanting to travel to Europe. Now, this comes after two days of

informal meetings in Prague. The EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, says that it cannot be business as usual for those wishing to travel for


In today's debrief, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, is being remembered as a man with an idealistic vision of the world. The

Kremlin spokesman recorded the end of the USSR, saying Gorbachev sincerely wanted to believe of an tournament romantic period will begin between the

new Soviet Union and the world, and the collective West. This romanticism did not materialize.

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is a member of the German parliament when the Berlin Wall fell, developed a close relationship with

Gorbachev over the years. She said: He fundamentally changed my life. I will never forget it, the world is losing a unique world leader. May the

memory of his historic achievement make it possible to pause, especially in these terrible weeks and months of Russia's war against Ukraine.

Mikhail Gorbachev had a complex relationship with the current Russian President Vladimir Putin, that changed and revolved overtime. Ultimately,

they had different visions of Russians relationship with the West.

Joining me now to discuss is Melinda Haring, deputy director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center.

Melinda, always good to have you on the program.


And I like to start by asking about that complex relationship with Putin. It's obviously always usually a relationship with some tension between a

current head of state and former heads of state, but Putin and his inner circle have used a diametrically opposed to some, not tall, and do you

think the conflict we see now in Ukraine means that Gorbachev's vision as it's been articulated by Western commentators, for Russia is truly



No, I think Gorbachev will eventually be remembered for what he was. He was in power for less than seven years, but his legacy on Russian history and

indeed the world's monumental. Now, in Russia, there is a school of thought and this is every common back in the `90s, that he should be shot.

So, he unleashed the reforms that brought down the global movement, he did a lot of good international. He pulled the USSR out of Afghanistan. He

eliminated a class of nuclear weapons. He exposed the Chernobyl nuclear democracy. He brought in multi party elections.

But it came at great, great costs. The elderly lost their savings. There was a mafia state and for the average Russian, it was terrible. There was

unemployment and there was a breakdown in communication, and it was the loss of an empire.

And that's what Putin and the group around him feel very much. There was a tremendous dislocation, and this trauma helps explain the rise of Putin,

and why Gorbachev is much beloved in the West but not so much at home.

NOBILO: It does seems like it's that perceived sort of degradation of staff and prestige, that's such a strong impact on Putin. Obviously, the

juxtaposition is very stark when we think about the iron curtain being pulled again, the EU now banning Russian tourists. That's a perfect example

of Russia's isolation returning in some respects not from the whole world, but from Europe.

How do you think Russians feel about this European Union, will it ultimately impact and damage Putin when the daily lives are more affected

by this war?

HARING: So, I think there is concern that the EU ban could alienate more liberal minded Russians. If you go to Vilnius today, I was shocked, I was

there this summer and there is Russian being spoken everywhere. When I went in 15 years ago, you didn't see Russian there. People would glare at you,

and they would immediately switch to a broken English.

But Vilnius is the home of the Russian opposition. It's the home of the Belarusian opposition. There's a lot of Ukrainians there now. So, I would

be concerned about outright bans of Russian citizens because more liberal Russians need places to go right now, because Russia's become so close.

NOBILO: So, what are some of the policies or options that the EU would have in order to try and make the impact of Putin's decision more keenly

felt across the Russian population because obviously that's part of what they're trying to achieve?

HARING: So, I think it's sanctioned, sanctions, sanctions were starting to see some impact there for sure. There's a new study out by Yale University

that says that the prices of ordinary things like computers are going up, washing machines, automobiles.

So I know that sanctions are going to take time to bite. It's not going to be immediate and we also need to tighten the regime there as well. I think

it's also time, Bianca, to look at messaging to the Russian people. So, we know that there is no free information, it's likely to get real uncensored

information in Russia now.

Why is it the U.S. government, why is it the British government putting real money behind an independent TV station that can broadcast into Russia.

It's time to communicate to the hearts and minds of the Russian people, and actually contest the space. That's another option that we haven't been

spending much time thinking about.

NOBILO: And just last week, I know it's very difficult question to ask, but the intended effect of whether it's sanctions, or bans like this that

we've seen from the EU is obviously for the populace to feel the pressure, and for that pressure to be put on Vladimir Putin and his regime in theory.

The mechanics of that are very difficult.

Do you think it's more likely to, I don't know, foment as sense of nationalism and band the country together more because it's so could so

clearly go the other way?

HARING: Yeah, I think there is a concern an outright ban with no exceptions will just alienated Russians. It's a concern that I've seen

among many friends. So, look, I think you do need to increase pressure on people who are closed to the region.

Should Putin's inner circle and the children of the inner circle be allowed to study in London?


No, throw them out, right? It's time. Send them all home. We know who the inner circle is.

Let's use our intelligence. Let's be smart. Let's put pressure on them. Let's follow them and lets' make it really uncomfortable for them to be in


But I think an outright ban, where you don't allow any of the liberal Russian dissidents out of Russia is not the way to play either.

NOBILO: Melinda Haring, thank you very much for joining us.

HARING: Thank you.

NOBILO: New images from NASA show the enormous extent of what's being described as a monsoon on steroids in Pakistan. The Indus River seen in

these images is now 100 kilometers wide, destroying surrounding fields.

Pakistan's prime minister visited the northern part of the country on Wednesday, for most of the almost 1200 deaths have been reported. These

lives are the unfair cost of the climate crisis. The country contributes less than 1 percent of the planet's greenhouse gases. And yet, millions of

people are directly impacted.


DR. FARAH NAUREEN, MERCY CORPS' COUNTY DIRECTOR FOR PAKISTAN: The world needs to invest more in climate adaptation for countries like Pakistan, at

the same time Pakistan cannot do much for mitigation and I think that's something that they will be a nations should pay attention to how their

policies impact the rest of the world.


NOBILO: Rebuilding efforts will take years, with the total cost now estimated at ten billion dollars. International aid is beginning to arrive

including incredibly difficult distribute, with NGO workers now also warning of a threat of waterborne diseases.

Now to the Korean peninsula, where South Korea and thee United States are fronting their biggest combined military exercises in years. North Korea

describes the drill as an invasion rehearsals. CNN was one of only two media outlets given access to the training.

Paula Hancocks reports.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This combined fire drill hasn't been seen for sometime here on the Korean peninsula.

The scenario for the joint U.S.-South Korean counterattack to invasion by an unnamed enemy, around 30 kilometers, 18 miles of the demilitarized zone

and North Korea, it's not hard to imagine who that enemy might be.

COL. BRANDON ANDERSON, SOUTH KOREA-U.S. COMBINED DIVISION: The greater the threat, the greater the alliance, the greater the training in the purpose

of training, the focus of training and I think that threat we're all here for a reason.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All here, ready to conduct counterattack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Goes in, goes up, and this is the safety handle.

HANCOCKS: Now, both militaries point out that these are defensive in nature. But it's simply not the way to North Korea sees them. They believe

that these are a dress rehearsal for an invasion. We had Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un's sister, calling them anti-North war exercises.

We haven't seen this for sometime partly because of COVID-19, there were many simulated exercise during that time, but not the large live fire

drills but also back in 2018, then U.S. President Donald Trump put these kind of drills on hold, saying that he wanted to give diplomacy a chance,

calling them war games, saying they simply didn't have a place while he was talking to North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

The leadership in the U.S. and South Korea came a decision to expand these exercises, in the face of missile launches and the feared seventh nuclear

tests from North Korea.

North Korea making it clear it's in no mood to talk to either the U.S. or South Korea. But these drills will continue saying it's very important that

they have more chance to fight together and to train together so they have readiness for whatever may come.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, South Korea.


NOBILO: Coming up on THE GLOBAL BRIEF, Queen Elizabeth is planning a big departure from tradition. Why she won't be welcoming the next prime

minister in London.



NOBILO: In a historic first for her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth will not be in London to appoint Britain's new prime minister. Instead the queen

will receive the new PM next week at Balmoral, her country residence in Scotland.

Appointing a new prime minister is one of the queen's core constitutional responsibilities. Never before during her reign as she moved the prime

minister out of London.

And it's been 25 years since Princess Diana's death in Paris, but the sorrow over her untimely passing and the appreciation of her life endured.

Mourners pay their respects on Wednesday, at the gates of her former home Kensington palace here in London.

Now, Isa Soares reflects on the lasting impression of the people's princess.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A family broken, a nation in mourning. The world in shock.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Britain's Princess Diana has been killed in a car crash.

SOARES: Twenty-five years ago, Diana, Princess of Wales, and mother of a future king died in Paris. Offering a human personal and often glamorous

face to the British monarchy, she captured the hearts of people in Britain and around the world.

PRINCESS DIANA: HIV does not make people dangerous. So, you can't shake their hands and give them a hug. Heaven knows they need it.

SOARES: She died as she had lived, under the harsh glare of paparazzi flashes and the intrusive presence of the media.

A year after her divorce from Charles, the prince of Wales, her life and lovers was still front page news. In a relation with Dodi al Fayed, the son

of that then owner of London's luxury department store Harrods, Diana was hounded by photographers at home and abroad.

CCTV images from inside the Ritz Hotel that night show the measures the couple took to of light ever pressing photographers. Hiding near a back

entrance, a decoy vehicle out front, the couple rushed out to a car and sped off.

Moments later the paparazzi realize they've been outwitted. After a high- speed race through Paris, tragedy struck. Diana's car struck a central pillar of a tunnel. In the wreckage lay Dodi al Fayed and his driver, with

Diana fatally injured.

Although hurry to a nearby hospital, after doctors spent hours trying to save our, Diana died in the early hours of August 31st.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She died at 4:00 a.m. this morning.

SOARES: A French investigation said that the driver, drunk at the time, was responsible for the crash.


A later British inquest ruled that the pursuing vehicles were also partially to blame. Diana also wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

But despite the tragic end to Diana's life, from her pioneering work campaigning for AIDS sufferers --

PRINCESS DIANA: And I said if I can help in any way, I'm available to do it.

SOARES: -- to the fight against land mines, her legacy lives on.

Most noticeably in the monarchy that has embraced the human connection, fittingly Diana Spencer is still remembered as she wanted to be, the

people's princess, as she once said, the queen of the people's hearts.

Isa Soares, CNN, London.


NOBILO: Let's talk of the other key stories making international impact today.

Gibraltar has declared major incident after a cargo ship collided with a fuel vessel in the bay of Gibraltar, where authorities are trying to remove

fuel from the vessel to avoid a spell, where 30 people on board have been evacuated.

In the face of the Galapagos, giant tortoise but the endangered animals have been found dead, authorities say, at the hands of poachers. Ecuador's

attorney generals investigating in a special environmental crime unit has arrived on the islands.

And Donald Trump's attorneys have just hours left to respond to a court filing that gives a damning account of the potential crimes that led the

FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. The Justice Department says that more than 100 classified documents were covered from the former U.S. president's home

after his team certified that no such records remain there. It says that some documents were likely concealed and removed from a storage room to

obstruct a criminal investigation.

The DOJ released this photo, showing some records clearly had secret and top secret classification. It says that some documents were so sensitive

that FBI agents had to get extra security clearances just to review them. Trump's lawyers wanted to judge to appoint a third party attorney to review

materials in the case, a move the Justice Department proposes saying that that would harm national security. A hearing on Trump's request will take

place on Thursday.

We'll keep you posted on all of that as it happens. Thank you for watching. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

"WORLD SPORT" is up for you next.