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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Thailand Massacre: Stricken Town Struggles With Incomprehensible Lsss, Ukraine Frontline Gains, Amnesty Iran Findings. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired October 07, 2022 - 17:00   ET



ALISON KOSIK, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome. I'm Alison Kosik. This is THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

Tonight, the Thai king expresses his sorry for the victims of the child care center massacre.

Then, the devastation Russia left behind. Ukrainian officials described mass burial sites and torture chambers found in recently liberated


And forever silence. Amnesty International says a 16-year-old girl was killed by security forces in Iran. We will bring you that report ahead.

The spirit of the children will be relieved that their families are staying strong. Those are the words of comfort Thailand's king shared with

survivors and victims families on Friday as he and the queen visited the site of the massacre. The royal couple were visibly emotional as they

toured a hospital where survivors are recovering from the nursery attack that killed 36 people, including 24 young children.

But as the flowers pileup outside the nursery, a small town and a nation are in deep grief and mourning.

And as Anna Coren shows us, real recovery remains a long ways away.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sitting in the stifling heat under a corrugated iron roof, a mother is unable to contain her heartache

and anguish. The pain muffled by the collective grief being felt in the province of Nong Bua Lamphu in Thailand's northeast, after a disgraced

police officer went on the country's most murderous rampage in recent history inside a day care center.

Of the 36 victims, 24 were children. Four-year-old Dan was one of them. This happy, cheerful little boy was expecting a baby brother in a matter of

weeks. His mother, barely conscious, as she sits with other grief-stricken parents and relatives who had come to register for assistance that the

government center just meters away from the scene of the massacre.

I can't imagine this kind of person exists, says his grandmother. I can't imagine a human could be this cruel to children. For this, couple clutching

each other, their loss is unfathomable. There are three and a half-year-old fraternal twin boys -- their only children, were slaughtered.

Here we see them in their car with the chip parents just before the days before their futures horrific leak cut short. Their father is now

speechless. Their mother still in shock.

They were so talkative, they were at the age where they talked a lot she explain. They have different characters. They were so lovely.

For the emergency crews, the carnage they witnessed when they walk through the doors is a nightmare that won't ever be able to erase.

The first thing I saw when I open the door, I was stunned. I had to gather myself he says. I had never seen anything like this before.

We are learning gruesome details about what happened in this daycare center from the first responders who are on the scene. They said that they found

the bodies of the children and teachers spread across these three rooms. And we can still see the bloodstains flattered across the floor. They said

all the bodies had knife wounds into the head.

One of the children and tried to protect his face when the attacker wield the knife one responders says. He also found two children still alive.

The first image I saw was children covered with blood, he remembers. I was trying to transport them to the hospital, some of the kids still had a

pulse, but I don't know if they made it.

While children's picture is an animal mask decorate the walls, the innocence of this daycare center has been lost forever. Bloodstains smear

throughout the classroom, furniture, and men abandoned school bags, a ghastly reminder of the horrors and evils unleashed in this refuge for the

communities youngest and most treasured.

Anna Coren, CNN, Nong Bua Lamphu, Thailand.


KOSIK: The U.S. and South Korea are still conducting two more days of naval exercises in the waters east of the Korean peninsula. The drill comes

on the heels of similar exercises with Japan and our direct response to provocations from North Korea.


Pyongyang has carried out six ballistic launches in the last two weeks, raising fears it could be gearing up for his seventh nuclear test. The U.S.

has now imposed new sanctions on several people and entities connected to North Korea's weapons programs and military, following Pyongyang's latest

missile test.

As Ukrainian forces reclaim more territory in the east and south, there are uncovering the horrible realities of life and death under Russian

occupation. Ukrainian officials say they have just uncovered to mass burial sites, in the newly-liberated town of Lyman, which spent months under

Russian control. One of the sites has about 200 graves were civilians were buried. And Ukrainian police in Kharkiv said they discovered the bodies of

more than 500 civilians liberated territory, including women and children, most of the town of Izyum. They also say Russian forces left behind more

than 20 suspected torture chambers.

Fred Pleitgen joins us now from Kyiv.

Fred, what more are you learning about Ukraine's counteroffensive in an all of this and what they're finding?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it really is a similar sight in many places that the Ukrainians reached you were

mentioning some of the things Ukrainians have uncovered. Of course, we know that the Ukrainian authorities are on the scene in many of those places and

have already launched investigations of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity as well. So, that seems to continue to be ongoing.

At the same time, the Ukrainians, remarkably, are able to press counteroffensive is not just one area but several area along that very long

frontline, especially towards the south of the country. That's sort of the main area where a lot of the fighting is going on, and where the Ukrainians

are making a lot of headway and where they say they want to keep their foot on the gas and continue to pressure Russian forces there.

Here's what we're learning.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): Ukrainian forces rolling out for yet another battle, looking to keep up the pressure on Vladimir Putin's army.

I am very worried, the soldier says, but I think everything will be fine.

The Ukrainians say they've already taken back around 2,400 square kilometers in the south alone, leaving President Biden warning of the

threat of a possible Armageddon if Vladimir Putin resorted to using nuclear weapons in case his troops keep losing, even though the U.S. has not seen a

change in Russia's nuclear posture.

The Russians hitting back, seizing on remarks from Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, calling for tougher action against Russia.

Moscow claiming Zelenskyy is trying to drive NATO into a nuclear conflict with Russia, even though the Ukrainians have clarified that is not what

Zelenskyy meant.

Yesterday, Zelenskyy called on his Western masters to launch a preventive nuclear strike against Russia, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. By

doing so, he has given the world yet more proof of the threats emanating from the Kyiv regime.

But Russia's problems on the battlefield persist. The Ukrainians saying in a village they captured from the Russian army, they found that the Russian

troops seemed to have been living in a pig shed. Food rations, clothes and evening washing machines stored in the midst of manure inside pig stalls.

You were deceived and betrayed, Ukraine's defense minister said, addressing Russian troops in a video. You were promised an easy walk, but you were

sent into a trap. You pay in blood for someone's fantasies and false goals.

And the Kremlin's goals appear increasingly out of reach, as Ukraine continues to make progress taking back territory from Vladimir Putin's



PLEITGEN (on camera): And, Alison, a lot of those problems the Russians are having our continuing to lead to rifts within the Russian leadership.

On the one hand, you have people like Ramzan Kadyrov, who, of course, the strongman down in Chechnya. He is someone who's very close to Vladimir

Putin, but also someone heavily criticizing, especially the leadership of Russia's defense ministry.

In general, Russia's defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, he has been under a lot of fire. In fact, there's one local official in Kherson, he was

installed by the Russians, even suggested that Mr. Shoigu, the defense minister could think about shooting himself because things have gotten so

badly in Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

And you do have similar things that are coming from other people in Russia as well. So, you notice that those risks are going on. One of the things

that is been interesting to watch as you also have a much more gloomy output as for state media's concern.


And, one of the things they keep talking about there is they say, look, right now, this mobilization is going on, where the Russians are trying to

show up their ranks and trying to bring more people to the battle field. They say they are mobilized 200,000 men already. However, it's going to

take weeks to be able to train those people, it's also going to take weeks if not longer to actually bring them into the battlefield.

And, of, course the Ukrainians are aware of this as well. That is trying to get as much territory as possible before the Russians are able to replenish

their ranks, Alison.

KOSIK: All right. Fred Pleitgen, thanks so much for all of your great reporting.

As we've heard in Fred reports, the U.S. president is urging his Russian counterpart to walk back to his tacit nuclear threats. Joe Biden saying

there is no way anyone can use a nuclear weapon without ending the world.

Phil Mattingly explains.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The warning was as stark as it was startling. President Biden at a private New

York fundraiser warning of the potential for nuclear Armageddon, as Russian President Vladimir Putin faces battlefield defeats and launches you new

rhetorical threats.

Biden is sharply divergent from his top advisers and his willingness to details the risks they've acknowledged are real.

JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: The administration has been clear that there is a risk given all of the loose talk and the nuclear

saber-rattling by Putin that he would consider this.

MATTINGLY: But also not imminent.

SULLIVAN: We do not presently see indications about the imminent use of nuclear weapons.

MATTINGLY: Officials tell CNN that hasn't changed, despite the vivid nature of Biden's warnings.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have not seen any reason to adjust our own nuclear posture.

MATTINGLY: And to this point, no comments from Biden on the issue since the remarks were released. There is no new intelligence showing Putin has

decided to use nuclear weapons or is preparing to do so, sources say. Yet Biden's warning comparing this moment to the last time the world was on the

nuclear brink underscores the growing concern inside of the White House about what Putin may do if backed in a corner.

The risks and the administration's contingency plan have been present since the opening days of the invasion, officials say. But White House officials

watching Putin's speech announcing the sham annexation of Ukrainian territory were struck not just by the implicit nuclear threats but by a

leader completely untethered from reality. Something Biden's national security adviser hinted at last week.

SULLIVAN: It is raving.

MATTINGLY: And it has been a central point of deliberations in the days since officials say.

JEAN-PIERRE: The kind of irresponsible rhetoric we have seen is no way for the leader of a nuclear arm state to speak and that is what the president

was making very clear about.


KOSIK: And that was Phil Mattingly reporting for us.

The Russian embassy in Washington says its diplomats will speak by telephone with two male citizens detained in Alaska this week, after they

crossed the Bering Strait, seeking asylum. That's according to Russian state media. The men are among hundreds of thousands of part of a massive

exodus of Russia, desperate to avoid Russia's military draft.

Ivan Watson reports from Kazakhstan.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Russians abandoning their homeland. Russian President Vladimir Putin's order to

conscript men to fight in his war in Ukraine has created an exodus of Russian draft dodgers.

They line up daily here in neighboring Kazakhstan to register with the local authorities. The Kazakh government says more than 200,000 Russians

fled to this country in less than two weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we run away from Russia.

WATSON: Vadim and Alexei fled Moscow last week to escape the draft.

VADIM, RUSSIAN WHO FLED DRAFT: We don't want this war, and we not recognize the position our government.

WATSON: Many of Russia's land borders choked for weeks with long lines, as citizens run for the exits.

Draft dodgers traveling by land wait days in line or pay big money for scarce plane tickets to escape. And that's just the first step.

Every day, more Russians arrive at this train station in Almaty with their backpacks. And they all tell you the same thing, they were afraid they

could be sent to fight in Ukraine, and they abandoned their country on very short notice.

This married couple of together. Did you come because of the mobilization for the war in Ukraine?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the final (INAUDIBLE), yes.

WATSON: Were you afraid that you would have to go fight in the war?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, it's not something I want to participate in.

WATSON: The flood of new arrivals surprising local business owners, like the operator of a co-working space in the center of a muddy.

This gentleman just walked. This is unusual to see?

MADINA ABILPANOVA, MANAGING PARTNER, DM ASSOCIATES: Very usual. Every day is like this. They're coming with huge suitcases because they couldn't find

a place for living, and they're coming here for working, and sitting, and, you know, looking for some accommodation.


WATSON: These are fresh arrivals from Russia.

ABILPANOVA: Yeah, yeah.

WATSON: Arriving with a backpack on their back.

In this city, hundreds of miles from the Russian border, I spoke with dozens of newly arrived Russians, ranging from doctors.

ANASTESIA ARSENEVA, RUSSIAN DOCTOR WHO FLED DRAFT: If we refuse to go to this war, we should go to the jail.

WATSON: To engineers, IT specialists, and university students.

You ran away from Russia?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, from mobilization from --

WATSON: From military service.


WATSON: Most don't want to be identified to protect loved ones still in Russia.

GIORGI, RUSSIAN WHO FLED DRAFT: How can I take part in the war without a wish to win this war?

WATSON: This man says Putin's draft left him no other choice but to flee the country, leaving his wife and child behind.

GIORGI: We do not trust our government. We don't believe in what they say.

WATSON: He says a Russian government's crackdown on dissent has made protesting futile, leaving hundreds of thousands of men now suddenly adrift

trying to find work and accommodation in foreign countries.

GIORGI: I am the citizen of the country that started that war. I did not support this war, never did. But somehow I am still connected with the

state because of my passport, and I am at the same time a refugee and an aggressor.

WATSON: Russians on the run, sharing a collective sense of hopelessness and guilt over the destruction caused by their government.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Almaty, Kazakhstan.


KOSIK: Still to come tonight, her death in police custody triggered the biggest protest to rock around in years. Now the government is giving its

official version of how Mahsa Amini died.

And Cuba reels from the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. We will look at how tobacco farms like these are beginning the long road to recovery.



KOSIK: She was arrested for so called inappropriate attire. Three days later, she was dead. Now after weeks of protest, Iran says Mahsa Amini was

not killed my beatings in custody but by in an underlying medical condition. Her family says the 22-year-old had bruises on her body and says

doctors told them she'd suffered head trauma.

Amini's death has triggered the biggest wave of protests in Iran in years. Security forces are responding with a brutal crackdown that has now

reportedly claimed yet another young life.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has details.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With a cheerful salam or hello, Sarina Esmaeilzadeh welcomed people into what she called my whole

universe. The video diaries of a 16-year-old.

She could be any teenage girl anywhere in the world. Giving around, dancing, singing, just having fun.

But, this isn't anywhere in the world. This is the Islamic Republic of Iran where life's expressions are anything but free.

SARINA ESMAEILZADEH, 16-YEAR-OLD: There are some restrictions that are particularly more for women, like the mandatory hijab or many more

restrictions that don't exist for men.

KARADSHEH: Three months after that video, Sarina joined thousands of Iranian women and girls rising up for their liberties, demanding their


Sarina was forever silenced on September 23rd. Amnesty International says, based on information it has, security forces beat her, striking her on the

head with batons, severely beating her to death.

Iranian judicial authorities denied she was killed. They say Sarina died by suicide, jumping from the roof of her grandmother's home.

Their claim just days after they said another 16-year-old protester, Nika Shahkarami who was found dead in Tehran also died after falling from a

building. Arrests have been made in the investigation of her death.

Family members of both girls have appeared on Iranian state media, repeating the governments claim. The U.N. Human Rights office told CNN that

they received reports that the government forced the family to get the interview. Amnesty International says families of victims are being

intimidated and harassed into silence. This comes three weeks after the death of Mahsa Gina Amini while in the custody of the so-called morality

police. On Friday, the government's forensic report blamed the death of the 22-year-old on an underlying medical condition after the operation of a

brain tumor of a child.

Amini's family repeatedly denied those claims. They say she was healthy. It was police brutality that killed her. They say doctors told them she

suffered trauma to the head.

Anger over Amini's death sparked a women's uprising like no other in Iran. Too many lives already lost in this battle for freedom. For change.

ESMAEILZADEH: Lots of books and films, places I want to explore. My YouTube videos. So if you are a student like me and don't have much time to

enjoy life I suggest making a list.

KARADSHEH: Many young lives ended too soon.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


KOSIK: More than a week on from Hurricane Ian, Florida residents are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. While in Cuba, it will be a

long road to recovery for the country's vital tobacco growing region after the hurricane made waste too much of the western part of the island.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann has more.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The further west you go from Havana, the worse the damage gets. Hurricane Ian plowed into rural

Pinar del Rio province as a category three storm.

Days later, people carry the rain soaked mattresses to dry in the sun. Pieces of someone's roof still hang from a tree.

Some residents have that far away look unable to believe their eyes.

This is what tobacco grower Horacio Rubina's (ph) farm looked like the last time we visited him. After Ian, Horacio Rubina's (ph) farm is


Here we have lost everything, he says. All the infrastructure to reduce tobacco has been destroyed. There is no house to dry the tobacco or the

warehouse. Nothing. There is nothing left.

Hurricanes are part of life in Cuba, but residents here say, Ian developed so quickly, they did not have time to prepare.

Horacio (ph) is telling me that his grandfather, Alejandro, one of the most famous tobacco growers in Cuban history, built this tobacco curing house in



It survived every hurricane up until now.

Ian knocked out Cuba's already weakened electrical grid. The first time a storm has taken out power for the entire island.

Frustrated by the blackouts, protests have broken out.

Juliana tells me she has gone for six days without power and wants solutions, not explanations from officials. After days and days without

power, the situation in this neighborhood is now boiled over. People have come out to the street to protest, yelling libertad, freedom.

Counterprotesters have come and they are yelling, viva Fidel. Long live Fidel Castro.

Cuba's president called the protest illegitimate and said that officials were working around the clock to restore power.

Getting the lights back on in the hard-hit Pinar del Rio could take weeks or months, officials say. This is a region where much of the tobacco was

rolled into Cuba's famous cigars is grown. Horacio says, usually who'd be planting now for the upcoming harvest. Plans, wrecked by Ian.

I don't think there is going to be a harvest, he says. It is unfortunate but it is going to take months to clean this up, and months to rebuild. As

a fifth generation tobacco grower, Horacio says he has no choice but to start from scratch.

But many here who have been knocked down by the storm may never get back up.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Pinar del Rio province, Cuba.


KOSIK: This year's Nobel Peace Prize winners have been announced. The honor was awarded to human rights advocates from Ukraine, Russia, and

Belarus. They include a Ukrainian organization Center for Civil Liberties, the Russian organization Memorial, and a jailed Belarusian advocate Ales

Bialiatski. Though Norwegian Nobel Committee says the laureates represent civil society and their home countries.

Thanks for watching. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF. I'm Alison Kosik. Feel free to follow me on Instagram and Twitter @AlisonKosik.

"WORLD SPORT" is up next.