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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Putin To Begin Annexing Occupied Parts Of Ukraine Friday; 200,000+ Russians Have Fled Since Partial Mobilization. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired September 30, 2022 - 17:00   ET


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

Vladimir Putin says the collapse of Western hegemony is irreversible as he proclaims the annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

Then, Hurricane Ian is making its third landfall in South Carolina, leaving a path of devastation in its wake.

And an impossible choice. Brazil is in the final stretch of the most contentious election since becoming a democracy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared the annexation of four occupied Ukrainian regions, saying they now belong to Russia forever. This

announcement is sparking a global outcry. Mr. Putin made a formal speech at the Kremlin, Friday, saying the decision to annex occupied regions of

Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and the self-declared people's republic of Luhansk and Donetsk, reflects the will of millions people.


But the international community says that the so-called democratic will came from a sham referendum, where the outcome was predetermined and where

citizens voted down the barrel of a gun. NATO says Russia's attempts to annex those territories is the biggest escalation of the war in Ukraine

since Russia invaded it back in February.

Our Matthew Chance walks us through what happened today in Moscow, and explained how Ukraine is responding.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Victory will be ours, he says.

President Putin announcing success in Ukraine soon after announcing a significant escalation in his war. The invited crowds yelled their support

back. But this carefully choreographed fervor is unlikely to be shared by many Russians still call fleeing his call to arms.

Earlier from the Kremlin, Putin dramatically raised the states, annexing for more Ukrainian regions after his sham referendum of huge, unlikely

support for Moscow's rules.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): People living in Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia are becoming our citizens


CHANCE: Putin said he wanted Kyiv to come to the negotiating table, but the fate of the occupied regions was not up for debate.

PUTIN (through translator): The choice of the people in the four provinces, we are not going to discuss. Russia is not going to betray it.

CHANCE: His speech, framing rushes land grab is part of an existential battle. Ukraine's western allies, he said, we're determined to weaken his

country. He declared any attack on the annexed areas would be an attack on Russia itself, vowing to use all of the means at his disposal if Ukraine

tries to reclaim it. The announcement met with beautiful applause from Russia's political elite.

But behind their stony glares, they must know how much this war is costing. On the battlefield, Russia is facing its worst setback since invading in

February. On home there is wide protest against the mobilization, Russia's meant to fight.

There's also the global condemnation. The U.S. imposing fresh sanctions against Russian officials with other Western allies following suit. And in

Russia, President Zelenskyy called Putin's move a farce, he said Ukraine would accelerate its request to join NATO.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Today, here in Kyiv, in the heart of our country, we are taking a decisive step for the

security of the entire community of free nations.

CHANCE: But in Red Square tonight, the stage managed celebrations are meant to send a powerful message at home and abroad, that matter the

criticism or the consequences, Putin's Russia is to determined to take this path.

Matthew Chance, CNN, New York.


KINKADE: Well, a top Ukrainian official says any obstacles to the country joining NATO will fall, quote, as soon as Russia loses the war. And

President Zelenskyy is vowing to defeat Russia and liberate all of Ukraine as quickly as possible. The country's troops are currently closing in on

the key Donetsk town of Lyman, near the border with Luhansk. A Ukrainian leader in the Luhansk region saying the devices closed on the city which

Russian forces are struggling to control.

Our Nick Paton Walsh joins us now from Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine.

Good to have you with us, Nick.

So, we saw Putin there declaring Russian rule of four Ukrainian regions, shaking hands with the Russian leaders of those regions, chanting Russia.

Take us through the reaction you are seeing in Ukraine. And does this have any real consequence on the battlefield?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yeah, look, I mean, in terms of how it is like being in an area where we are here which Russia

has declared to be part of its territory now. While nothing is changed from this morning as to this evening. We have seen on the battlefield, Ukraine

continues to make progress.

What is slightly different, of course, is how Russia feels about these areas that it now claims as part of its territory and perhaps how Russia

feels it can continue to act in this war. It may feel it has other cards available to it. It has certainly struggled to get a conventional army on

the ground, but it may be that it feels now this area, in its mind, is part of Russia, that it can perhaps reach into its arsenal for unconventional


We know boisterous threats have been made about nuclear force. Putin did not specify that is something he would use to defend these areas, he talked

about all available means and made other references to nuclear weapons having been used by the United States against Japan. But that threat

certainly hangs in the background.

What we saw today was a large amount of messaging in Moscow, staged, choreographed, blunt, not particularly sophisticated, frankly. The fact

that the for Russian appointed leaders of the occupied areas made a journey to Moscow to sign a piece of paper, hasn't exactly changed what happened on

the battlefield. It hasn't changed what life is like in those areas where Russia occupying. And it certainly has not changed dozens of Ukrainian


You mentioned the town of Lyman in the introduction there, that's key for Russia's strategic presence in Donetsk in the areas. In that town, there

are said to be thousands of Russian troops and it does appear that there are encircled meant is complete, if not, nearly complete. Russian troops

pulling out of two key towns kind of around to the back of the eastern side of Lyman, suggesting that Ukrainian move to cut off -- is in play. There

may be a rolling domino impact on the remainder of Russian positions further back.

So, a lot that could still potentially change because of what is happening in Lyman, but this is the reality on the ground, the narrative coming out

of Moscow is one of something having changed today which, maybe so in the minds of those in the Kremlin and how Russia wishes to portray the

conflict, but hasn't changed things on the ground -- Lynda.

KINKADE: So important to get that perspective on the ground there in eastern Ukraine. Our Nick Paton Walsh, thanks very much.

Well, across the globe, there has been harsh reaction from world leaders to Russia's so-called annexation of Ukrainian territories. U.S. president Joe

Biden condemned the move as a violation of international law and a show of contempt for peaceful nations everywhere. E.U. Commission President Ursula

von der Leyen said it won't change anything and says all territories it legally occupied by Russian invaders remain Ukrainian land.

And Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the annexation will never be recognized and that Russia should stop its aggression, immediately.

Well, Russia is trying to resupply its beleaguered forces in Ukraine's new recruits. Mr. Putin's so-called partial mobilization caused some 300,000

new troops to join the frontline. The manpower alone is not enough to make up for the lack of supply, the inadequate training, and the poor moral that

plagues Russia's army.

Our Isa Soares reports.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Russian President Vladimir Putin's military, once feared, now mocked

No laughing the officer says to her recruits, ask your wives, girlfriends mothers for a period pads and tampons. Do you know what tampons are for?

You stick it in a bullet wound, she says. It swells and closes the wound. Bring your own sleeping bag, too, the men are told.

On television, the hundreds of thousands being mobilized by President Putin are well equipped.

In reality, their videos and social media tell a different tale.

We were officially told there would be no training before we were sent to the combat zone, this recruit says. We had no shooting, no tactical

training, no theoretical training. Nothing!

Another officer addresses his recruits. If you have hernias, plates in your head, I was told you were fit formalization, he says. So, stop saying you

can't. I live on pills so if you go, you will be doing your tasks like everyone else.

CNN cannot independently verify these widely circulated videos. Even the former prime minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, annexed illegally

Friday by Russia can't help but be honest.

The situation on the Lyman front is bad. Let's speak frankly, he tells a Russian propagandist. Everything is the same as everywhere else, namely

there are not enough people.

The sorry state has tainted the hallowed halls of Russian state television where careful skepticism about Putin's war is increasingly tolerated. This

time, it's the head of the state-owned RT network.

If we had to gather trainloads of body armor, socks and the rest for those already on the front line, she asks, have these 300,000 been supplied with

all that they need?

These recruits in the central city of Perm clearly haven't. They lament being dropped by the side of the road late night. They have to build fires

to stay warm. The impact is plain to see.


Ukraine recaptured more territory in the past month than Russia gained in the past five. Ukrainian intelligence well aware of the propaganda value

regularly puts out intercepted calls between Russian soldiers and family back home.

"There should be helicopters, planes," the woman says. "There is nothing, nothing, nothing, says this soldier." "What kind of army is this?" she

replies. "Just a TV show."

Putin's army once feared is now in disarray.

Isa Soares, CNN.


KINKADE: Hours ago, Hurricane Ian made landfall near Georgetown in South Carolina. It has been downgraded to a post-tropical system. So far, it has

caused a tremendous amount of damage. On Wednesday, Ian made landfall near Citadel Island, along the western coast of Florida, as a category four


This is what's left: some cottages, as you can tell, have been completely washed away. We know now that at least 42 deaths have been confirmed in

Florida, but that number is likely to go up. U.S. President Biden says the largest search and rescue team in recent history has been deployed to the



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are just beginning to see the scale of that destruction. It is likely to rank among the worst of the

nation's -- and the worst of the nation's history. You have all seen on television, homes and property wiped out. It's going to take months, years,

to rebuild.


KINKADE: Well, more than 2 million people across Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina, are now without power.

CNN's Brian Todd joins me from Naples, Florida. Good to have you there with us, Brian.

So, we've been seeing these incredible images of homes completely leveled, barged washed into streets. Some areas, as we can see where you are, still

underwater and the U.S. president is saying that this could, this devastation, could rank among the worst in the U.S. history.


And, you know, we are still feeling the effects of it. This is not deepwater by the standards of flooding that we have gotten over the last

few days. Why we are here to illustrate that some streets in Naples are still tough to navigate for vehicles. We've had vehicles come through here.

Is deep enough for them to have to slow down and just try to navigate, very slowly, through these intersections here.

And this is 48 hours plus since the hurricane came through here. Now, a lot of the water has receded, but again, two days afterward it is unusual with

the top dog of a year to see streets are still flooded for 48 hours after the storm passes.

That is one part of the component here that the dangers that exist for motorists and others here.

Here's another thing, the loss -- the sense of property loss. You see these items, these dresser drawers and things, maybe a bed over their piled on

the curb. We have seen thus dozens and dozens of times here in Naples. Many homes and apartments, people had furniture ruined, beds ruined, they have

to haul it out and put it to the curbside, and then figure out what to do from there.

And, you know, we want to try to give you a perspective. Whenever someone has to do this, and again, this is repeated dozens of times here in Naples,

you have to figure at how to replace it, what do you have ensured and not ensured. You have to clean out your place. It is really hard work and it's

devastating emotionally for people who are going through this. They got to bring their insurance companies in and figure out what they can pay for and


We've see people who have lost vehicles, that is a stranded vehicle there. We have seen people who lost vehicles into the canals and that is another

thing to account for. With every scene that you see like this of stuff pile to the corner, it's just months, probably of trying to get it all back

together, so that gives you a sense of the loss of property.

Here is the macro for the loss of property. There is an analytics firm called Core Logic which came out with figures. They think that Ian may have

caused about 47 billion dollars worth of damage in insured losses, that would make it the most expensive, very close, to the most expensive

hurricane that Florida has ever experienced -- Lynda.

KINKADE: Incredible, 47 billion of insured losses. I can't even imagine what it would be for those that didn't even have insurance. Certainly,

staggering, staggering devastation.

Good to have you with us, Brian Todd, and much appreciate it. Thank you very much.

We are seeing extreme weather half a world away in Vietnam. Typhoon Nuro made landfall there Wednesday. The National Weather Service says it was the

most powerful typhoon to hit Vietnam in 20 years. Thousand people now in danger because of landslide and flooding, and authorities say that at least

two people have been died. Evacuations are underway but roads and bridges have collapsed, which is making rescue efforts much more complicated.

Well, still ahead, an Afghan education center bombed while students were taking a practice university entrance exam. We'll have the details of that

deadly attack when we come back.

Plus, as Brazil gears out for a contentious election, football star Neymar is causing controversy after throwing his support behind President Jair



KINKADE: Welcome back. Let's take a look at other key stories making international impact today.

A suicide bob attack in Kabul on Friday has killed at least 25 people. Dozens of others were injured. The attack targeted an education center

where students were taking a practice university entrance exam. Witnesses say most of the victims were female.

Anti-government protests continue to sweep Iran two weeks after a woman died in the custody of the morality police. Women are overwhelmingly on the

front lines of these protests rising up to demand greater freedom.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the gut- wrenching grief of a sister bearing her brother -- a forever goodbye too soon for 36-year-old Javad Haididi (ph) shot and killed at a protest.

Fatima cuts off her hair and tosses it over his grave. These anguish cries make it hard to understand what she says, but her pain needs no words. For

some in Iran, cutting off hair is an angel morning right, but it's also become a poignant form of protests for those rising up for their rights,

united in their anger and their battle for change.

And from every corner of the world, women are sending the messages of solidarity. In Syria's Kurdistan region, a woman chops off her hair to the

chants -- women, life, freedom, one of the slogans of Iran's protests.

In Istanbul, as fans cheered, Turkish singer Melek Mosso cut her hair live on stage. To the women of Iran, she said, you are not alone.

Far from the streets of their homeland, Iranian women abroad have joined the protests. For Mahsa Amini, this woman tweeted.

Faezeh Afshan says only her dad could tame, braid and cut her thick curly air. She did not cut it since he died in March. She was one of the first to

post her hair cutting video online.

FAEZEH AFSHAN, CUT HAIR TO PROTEST IRANIAN WOMAN'S DEATH: It was more than a just there for me, it was like saying goodbye to all those beautiful

memories of him, cutting my hair with enough because this time, I could cut it with anger. I needed to do something to take part in what my beautiful,

brave people are doing.

KARADSHEH: What's happening in Iran is a women's uprising. Not only are they on the streets leading protests, braving bullets editor of jail or

flogging. There is no challenging the Islamic republic and its so-called morality enforcers, walking the streets in broad daylight, no head scarfs,

no fear. The barrier of that fear now broken. These two unveiled women set for breakfast at this edition of the house, a space typically for men.

We don't know when this video was taken, but many Iranian women are voting to reclaim freedoms lost, their right to choose.

These two sisters in Tehran with a Farsi rendition of "Bella Ciao", the anthem of Italian resistance against fascists and Nazis, now the song of

women breaking the shackles of a repressive regime.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


KINKADE: It's been described as an impossible choice. A former president convicted of corruption or a sitting president who attacked democratic

institutions. Brazil is in its final stretch of its most controversial election ever, with voters had to hit the polls this Sunday.

Well, to get an idea of which direction it could head, I want to bring in CNN's Shasta Darlington, who joins us from Sao Paulo.

Shasta, what can we expect?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lynda, things have been heating up these last couple of days. We have seen the top two candidates

go at each other in the final debate, and Bolsonaro has been stepping up those attacks on the electoral system as he falls behind in the polls.


DARLINGTON (voice-over): Brazil on the cusp of a crucial presidential election that will define the nation's political future for the years

ahead. On October 2nd, a contest with the two leading contenders are the incumbent president, right-wing Jair Bolsonaro and left-wing candidate, and

former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who according to the recent polls, holds a double digit lead.

What the numbers don't say is that the country is facing one of its most polarizing periods.

FELIPE NUNES, CEO, QUAEST RESEARCH INSTITUTE: This polarization is not only a political polarization, it's also a social division in the country

as those two types of voters, they have different visions in terms of what kind of countries hey want for the future.

DARLINGTON: A feature that seems uncertain as Brazil grapples with growing poverty in the wake of the devastating pandemic, while also trying to

balance its economy and nationwide security. As tensions have risen, so has the violence, with many episodes of harassment and outright attacks on

opposing political camps. Even pollsters have turned into targets.

NUNES: This year, we are seeing effective polarization, where different political groups see each other as enemies, not as forces.

DARLINGTON: In some cases, the attacks have been deadly. Like when one of Bolsonaro's supporters broke into a birthday party and shot a Lula


Indeed, critics accuse Bolsonaro of deliberately fostering distrust and frustration towards both the electoral system and opponents. As anger and

frustration escalate, voters are faced with a tough decision between two polarizing figures with high projection rates.

Although Lula da Silva was jailed in 2018 as part of a massive corruption scandal, his convictions were later annulled. Now, he is given Bolsonaro a

run for his money with speculation growing that he might even win more than 50 percent of the vote and avoid a second round of voting.

LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): We are one step away from victory on October the 2nd, one

little bit is missing, just one little bit.


In these few days left, we must work to win the vote for all those who love democracy.

DARLINGTON: The far-right candidate, on the other hand, is attacking democratic institutions and questioning the validity of the electronic

voting system.

JAIR BOLSONATOR, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I have never seen such a big see here with these green and yellow colors. Here, there is

no line, Datafolha. Here's our data people.

DARLINGTON: While attempts to discredit polling firms are not new in Brazil, this year has certainly seen a more aggressive approach.

JEAN ESTEVAO DE SOUZA, ELECTORAL RESEARCH PROJECT COORDINATOR, DATAFOLHA: This year, we have seen some violence, much more harassment onto the street


DARLINGTON: Four and ten Brazilians believe there is a high chance of political violence on election day, and all the voting is compulsory in

Brazil, 9 percent say they may not vote at all for fear of violence, which means voter turnout will be crucial at this historic juncture, which could

see Brazil's leadership doubled down on Bolsonaro's agenda or take a left turn under Lula.


DARLINGTON (on camera): Now, Bolsonaro did get some last-minute support from a very high-profile figure, I'm talking about soccer star Neymar, who

appeared in a video in a TikTok video singing along with Bolsonaro's campaign jingle, urging Brazilians to vote 22, which is Bolsonaro's number

on the ballot.

The video is not expected to have a huge impact. The question remains and what we were talking about earlier whether or not Lula will succeed in

getting across that 50 percent threshold, in which case, he could avoid a runoff vote at the end of the month -- Lynda.

KINKADE: All right. We'll be watching closely Sunday. Sasha Darlington, good to have you with us. Thanks very much.

And thanks so much to you for joining us. I'm Lynda Kinkade. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

"WORLD SPORT" is up next. Have a great weekend.