Return to Transcripts main page

The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Russia's Revenge Strikes; Israel, Lebanon Strike Deal; NASA's DART Mission. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired October 11, 2022 - 17:00   ET



CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone, and a warm welcome to the show. I'm Christina Macfarlane in London. This is THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

Just ahead, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeals for more air defense support, as Russia targets Ukraine's energy infrastructure.

Then, longtime adversaries, Israel and Lebanon, reached a historical agreement that could boost natural gas production in the Mediterranean.

And a watershed moment for humanity. NASA announces it has successfully changed the trajectory of an asteroid in tester technology that could

protect Earth from future impacts.

Russia is continuing its so-called revenge strikes against Ukraine, bombarding the country with missile and drone attacks for the second day in

a row. Moscow's defense ministry confirmed, said targeting energy facilities. Ukrainian officials say, 30 percent of the energy's

infrastructure has been hit by Russian missiles since Monday. Ukraine's defense minister says, that constitutes a war crime because it is designed

to make civilians suffer, especially as temperatures drop. Ukraine's allies and critics of Russia say, Putin is using terror to accomplish his war

goals because it's all he has left.

The director of the largest British intelligence agency explains why.


JEREMY FLEMING, DIRECTOR, GCHO: The cost to Russia in people and equipment, are staggering. We know, and Russian military commanders know,

that their supplies, ammunition, are running out. Russia's forces are exhausted. The use of prisoners as reinforcement and now that mobilization

of tens of thousands of inexperience conscripts speaks of a really desperate situation.


MACFARLANE: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is asking allies to provide an air shield. He spoke at an emergency meeting of G7 leaders

Tuesday. President Zelenskyy says, Ukrainian forces destroyed more than half the missiles and drones fired on Tuesday, but they need more support.

The White House says, it's on track to deliver to sophisticated air defense systems in the, quote, very near future.

Our Nick Paton Walsh is joining me now live from Kryvyi Rih.

And, Nick, we are now hearing daily that Putin is failing, that Russian forces are overstretched and exhausted. And yet, these missile attacks show

Russia still has the capability to escalate. How problematic were those strikes today on Ukrainian energy facilities?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Well, I think it's fair to say less so than yesterday. Monday's attacks appear to have taken a

stronger civilian toll, hitting, off, and it seemed indiscriminately areas in the capital, in cities that have been distant from the violence of the

front lines, where life had begun to slip towards normal over the past months.

Today though, still a significant number of cruise missiles and attacked drones fired. But we heard from the president that 20 out of 28 had in fact

been intercepted, along with a significant number of the attack drones fired as well. Although it does, as you said earlier, now appear that third

of the energy infrastructure of the country has been hit over the past days or so. Of course, fast work being done to try and repair that, says

Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

But it is certainly a case that has been a sea change in how the Ukrainians view the volume of Russian ferocity, these attacks. I should point out the

nature of them has been pretty much the same since February, where civilians have often been targeted by Russian missiles.

But here's what we saw today.


WALSH (voice-over): The second day of smoke over the capital, and skies that had been quieter for months. A power plant in Vinnitsa, one of many

hit today, here by an Iranian drone attack, officials said, as Russia's cruise missiles try to turn the power off before winter.

A smaller wave than Monday with Ukraine saying 33 hit their targets, and 33 were shot down. Russia's defense spokesman blunt about what it wanted to

hit, energy systems and military control. These 48 hours of onslaught, new ferocity, but not in purpose. Russia has been hitting civilian targets in

cities like this one, Zaporizhzhia, daily for the past week, where one person died this day.

Terror that led the White House to agree to send advanced air defense systems Monday.


But talking to the G7 leaders, Ukraine's president wanted more, declare Russia a state sponsor of terror, too, he said.

PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINE (through translator): The leader of Russia, feeling the approach of his end, is trying to force the Democratic

world to surrender with a terrorist rush, to retreat, to lose. This can only be the desire of an insane person, more than 100 missile strikes in

less than two days, against civilians, against civilian infrastructure, sham referenda, a criminal attempt at annexation.

WALSH: Yet, the days of indiscriminate and clumsy blast don't change Russia's main problems, but its army is using force conscription and lacks

basic supplies. Its military leadership bought a reprieve from rare internal dissent by Monday's violence perhaps, but still Putin's rhetoric

less fiery when he met the U.N. nuclear watchdog head today to discuss the front line at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, even as he blamed everyone

else for what he's been doing.

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA (through translator): Of course, we see that today there are elements of excessively dangerous politicization of

everything connected, with nuclear activity.

WALSH: Still, he'll meet his Turkish counterpart in Kazakhstan as his leading diplomat insisted they were not against talks with the West if


SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): This is a lie. I can tell you right away. We did not receive any serious proposals to

enter into contact.

WALSH: Again, a sign Russia, for all its violence and bombast, is not in a position of strength.


WALSH (on camera): It's important to point out that we've seen a lot of Ukrainian resilience over the past couple of days. Yes, there have been 19

possibly more casualties as a result of this wave of Russian aggression. Does it mark necessarily a change in their tactics? Unclear. They're

probably not able to keep up this level of barrage, given the finite resources they clearly are suffering from at the moment.

But for one small example, Christina, the site in Dnipro we were at yesterday, where significant crater was caused by one of these cruise

missiles, within a matter of hours, by this morning, that crater had been filled in, covered over, and the road was functioning as normal again. This

is a country picking itself back up very fast, despite the indiscriminate nature of Russian attacks, Christina?

MACFARLANE: Yeah, it's incredible defiance, Nick. We know the strikes have certainly had the effect of bolstering support for Ukraine among allies.

What are the chances that President Zelenskyy will get this, these air defense capabilities, this air shield that he was calling again for today

at the G7?

WALSH: An air shield is by itself a pretty significant technical feat, but it's not outside of the reach. Certainly within a matter of hours

yesterday, the White House readouts a conversation between him and President Joe Biden said that they had pledged the White House to give

sophisticated air defense systems, getting suggestions today as exactly technically what they may end up being. Perhaps a new U.S. Norwegian

system, which could prove particularly effective.

I should point out that even though yesterday, Ukraine's commander and chief, the head of the general staff, was complaining that they were using

Russian designed sort of soviet systems over the past two days to intercept rushes cruise missiles and drones. They've been pretty effective. They've

taken out about half, it seems, on both days.

Of course, that's no consolation to people on the receiving end of the missiles and drones that got through. But it certainly shows the

possibility that more advanced systems coming in might prove yet more effective, and that would yet again degrade Vladimir Putin's options in


It's not doing this, Russia, out of some position of strength. It's losing on multiple front lines, again, and again it's forced to send conscripts to

the front line. The electorate equipment, they've always lacked food and fuel on the frontlines. They are moving backwards constantly.

What we saw on Monday, I think, with Vladimir Putin trying to reset the narrative, trying to show Russia retain some military might, it may

fundamentally prove futile because the damage to the infrastructure hasn't necessarily been crippling, despite what some officials are saying and a

lot of places are recovering relatively fast. And it's causing further galvanization amongst Ukraine's allies.

But still, it does show, I think, that this closing moments possibly of Russia's efforts here are reaching into dangerous parts of its arsenal --


MACFARLANE: Yeah, Nick Paton Walsh, thank you.

Russia is declaring Meta, the parent company of Facebook, and Instagram, a terrorist organization. The tech company has been added to a list of

organizations that Moscow says are involved in terrorism and extremism. Russia requires banks to freeze the funds of any company on the banned


And human rights groups are sounding the alarm about Iran's escalating crackdown on dissent, saying security forces are terrorizing residents of a

Kurdish city that's become a hub of anti-government protests.


CNN's Jomana Karadsheh spoke exclusively with the protester in Sanandaj, and filed this report.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what the Iranian regime doesn't want the world to see -- its ruthless

crackdown on protests in the Kurdish City in Sanandaj has turned into it a war zone. Security forces moving around on motor bikes terrorizing

residents, shooting indiscriminately at protesters and into people's homes.

Human rights monitor says several people have been killed, including a 7- year-old child who died in his mother's lap. Communication restrictions making it almost impossible for them and for us to tell the story of that

child and the many others they fear have been killed. After days of trying, we were finally able to briefly speak to a protester inside the city. For

his safety, we're concealing his identity.

PROTESTER (through translator): The security forces are using a lot of force to confront the people. A lot of people have been killed here.

Because the Internet is cut, we couldn't send any information on social media. The people are really scared. Last night in the Baharan

neighborhood, there were fierce clashes.

KARADSHEH: The regime says it is separatists fuelling the uprising in the Kurdish region, armed gangs that have attacked its forces, but offered no


The little video breaking through the government's internet shutdown just enough to see some of the horror unleashed on the people of Sanandaj.

PROTESTER (through translator): Last night, the security forces were firing in the direction of houses. They were using military grade bullets.

And until now, I hadn't heard such bullets.

The people were really afraid. They were firing lots of tear gas in the direction of houses, the backyards, even the balconies. In the Baharan

neighborhood, everyone felt the effects of tear gas. They had difficulty breathing.

We've heard that the hospital is full of injured people. Many people have been arrested and it's not clear where they are being taken because they're

not telling anyone anything.

KARADSHEH: Human rights groups say the government is using the blackout to hide its crimes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The scale of the massacre is way, way bigger than what we have been able to report. This is just a drop of the ocean.

We have received videos from the Sanandaj that the IRGC and other security forces have used 50-caliber machine guns. These are not normal guns. It's

basically like shutting protesters, let's say, on one of the streets of the United States by M2.

KARADSHEH: But those bullets and bloodshed haven't stopped the will of the people. Some brave protesters still taking to the streets -- refusing to be


Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


MACFARLANE: Important reporting there from Jomana.

All right, the White House says, President Joe Biden will work with Congress to reevaluate the U.S.'s relationship with Saudi Arabia. It comes

after a Saudi-led coalition that major oil producing nations sided with Russia last week and agreed to slash output of the U.S. objections. The

Biden administration says that essentially means OPEC plus is aligning itself with Russia's war aims in Ukraine.


JOHN KIRBY, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON: I think the president has been very clear that this is a relationship that we need to

continue to reevaluate, that we need to be willing to revisit. And certainly, in light of the OPEC decision, I think that's where he is.


MACFARLANE: And U.S. President Joe Biden will sit down with Jake Tapper for an exclusive interview with CNN to talk about the war in Ukraine and

the November's midterm elections. Do not miss it. That is at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

All right, let's turn now to our debrief, as an energy crisis looms over parts of the world. Historic agreement has been reached in the Middle East,

one that paves the way for new gas exploration. Israel and Lebanon have reached a draft agreement to settle a long running maritime war dispute

involving major oil and gas fields in the Mediterranean. U.S. president is extending his congratulations to both nations, saying, he hopes this can

mark the start of a new chapter.


Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem and has more now on the significance of this breakthrough.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It looks like a Mediterranean paradise, but this is one of the most tense and dangerous places in the

world, the Israel-Lebanon border. The stretch of sea has long been disputed between the two enemies, technically still at war, even more so in the past

decade, with lucrative gas deposits at play.

On Tuesday, after years of stop and start negotiations, a breakthrough. Lebanon and Israel have agreed to a compromise mediated by the United

States, the first of its kind in decades.

Israel will not be able to develop the Karish oil and gas field and Lebanon the Qana Field.

BENNY GANTZ, ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): I commend the announcement by the Lebanese president accepting the agreement.

ELIAS BOU SAAB, LEBANESE DEPT. PARLIAMENT SPEAKER & NEGOTIATOR: What more can secure stability on the border than having both countries at the same

time producing gas?

GOLD: With Russia's war in Ukraine disrupting national gas to plan for Europe, there were enormous incentives and pressures to reach a deal and


And the strain was not just economic. Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese militia backed by Iran, released this video over the summer, threatening to

target gas facilities that Israel had already put into place if they began pumping before an agreement was reached. The Israeli defense forces set in

July that they shut down three Hezbollah drones heading towards Israeli installations. Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah is likely to take the

agreement as proof that his threat worked.

Lebanon, led by a caretaker administration is beset by years of extreme inflation, corruption and political instability. Its president, Michel

Aoun, will welcome the desperately needed cash that the gas will bring, although it will take years to see a cent. It's a political boon to the

Israeli prime minister who faces an election in just three weeks.

His chief opponent, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has tried to use the gas queue as a political bludgeon, accusing Lapid of surrendering

to Hezbollah.

U.S. President Joe Biden will likely take a victory lap as the U.S. mediator, Amos Hochstein, who got the deal over the line, when others

couldn't. Officials not believe those gas rigs and the new border will make for a much quieter neighborhood.


GOLD (on camera): Christina, U.S. President Joe Biden spoke on the phone today with but the Lebanese president and the Israeli prime minister

congratulating them on what he called a historic agreement. Although there are still stuff to be taken before both countries ratify the agreement,

including questions in Israel about whether it will need parliamentary approval, all sign seem to be pointing towards an agreement being signed

potentially in the final days just before the Israeli election on November 1st -- Christina.

MACFARLANE: Our thanks to hug us for that remarkable breakthrough.

All right. Coming up on the show, CNN is embedded with regional forces in Africa. We will have more on Mozambique's fight with ISIS-related




MCFARLANE: Welcome back. The United Nations says ISIS is surging in parts of Africa, presenting a major threat.

Mozambique is one new battleground. The country is among multiple nations along with Rwanda battling the fighters.

CNN's David McKenzie is embedded with R4wandan forces and has this story.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The fight against ISIS didn't end. It shifted, in ungoverned spaces like this.

We are embedded with Rwandan security forces in northern Mozambique, battling an ISIS-linked insurgency.

The tactics are familiar, if unspeakably brutal. To sow terror, burn schools, create chaos. They have displaced nearly a million people.

Jihadi Mozambique is an extension of the Islamic state in jihad all over the world, he says, in a message posted in August.

What was it like when they attacked?

They first came to this area to spread their propaganda, says Manny Dadi (ph). They melted back into the forest, and then later attacked.

In Mocimboa da Praia, a strategic port town, ISIS Mozambique arrived in force, held the territory for a year.

When I find children like this, he says, they took them back to the forest. When they find men like this, they cut off their heads.

The cost of this insurgency is in blood, but also enormous treasure.

We are entering the $20 billion Afungi natural gas plant. This has the potential to take in 100 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and in a time

of global gas and security, this is a massive deal.

Industry analysts say Mozambique's offshore natural gas potential could eventually rival Russia. As Europe faces out Russia's gas supply, because

of the war in Ukraine, alternate sources are critical.

There is not a soul anywhere over here. It's completely empty.

When the militants attacked Palma, energy giant Total declared force majeure. Mozambique, fearing a collapse of control, looked elsewhere.

In 2000, Rwandan soldiers and police invited by the government took the fight to ISIS.

Later, regional forces joined in.

General, what is the chief consideration when dealing with the insurgency like this?

BRIG. GEN. RONALD RWIVANGA, RWANDAN DEFENSE FORCE: The first thing you have to do is to defeat the insurgency the military operation but after

that you must try to win hearts and minds.

MCKENZIE: It is still opaque why I want to answer the call. Aid workers and Western diplomats praised their professionalism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's having a high grade fever, as you can see -- it is at 8.7.

MCKENZIE: The displaced are tentatively moving back, bringing what belongings they can.

I heard there is peace now, so I came home, said Benjamin Thomas. That peace is fragile.

Outside of Rwanda's zone of control, the killings, the beheadings continue. Intelligence sources say the insurgents have split into smaller cells, now

using improvised explosive devices.


Is it not just fixing one area and pushing the problem somewhere else?

RWIVANGA: Well, you could say that it's natural for the enemy to escape, to places that are less, or they feel less pressure. But all we need to do

is maintain momentum, following pursuit.

MCKENZIE: The stakes are extraordinary. And they shouldn't be ignored. The window to defeat ISIS in Mozambique, before the insurgency evolves, is

likely short.

David McKenzie, CNN, Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.


MACFARLANE: Now, hours ago, NASA announced it successfully changed the trajectory of an asteroid for the first time. You may remember late last

month, the DART mission, which could one day protect earth, and then she slammed a spacecraft into the asteroid. NASA says it's time to ready for

whatever the universe throws at it.


BILL NELSON, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: Now, this is a watershed moment for planetary defense and a watershed moment for humanity.


MACFARLANE: The mission team says while the targeted asteroid didn't currently pose a threat to earth, it was the perfect target practice.

All right. Let's take a look at other key stories making international headlines today. The French government is threatening to forcefully road

and move gas they shun blockades. The union started a weeklong blockade demanding a share of profits from energy companies. Along with

environmentalists, they have been blockading refineries, affecting one and three gas stations nationally.

Buckingham Palace has announced that the coronation of Britain's King Charles III will take place next year in early May. The monarch and his

wife Camilla, the queen consort, will be crowned at Westminster Abby in London. The royal source says that the ceremony on May 6th will have a core

structure similar to the last thousand years.

And, finally, a legend of Hollywood's golden age has died. Angela Lansbury, an award-winning actress and star of U.S. time TV crime series, "Murder She

Wrote", died peacefully Tuesday at the age of 96. The statement says she passed away in her sleep at her home in Los Angeles. She was five days away

from turning 97.

"Bedknobs and Broomsticks", my favorite movie growing up, still is my favorite movie, one of I should say. What a legend.

Thank you so much for watching. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF. Stay with us.

"WORLD SPORT" is coming up after this quick break.