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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Kyiv Drone Attack; Iranian Kurds Flee To Iraq; U.K. P.M.'s Woes. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired October 17, 2022 - 17:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome. I'm Lynda Kinkade in Atlanta, and you're watching THE GLOBAL BRIEF. Good to have you with us.

Tonight, terror must lose and will lose. The Ukrainian president responding to Russia's drone attacks on the capital.

Then, after weeks of protests and a brutal crackdown by the Iranian regime, some Iranian Kurds are fleeing to Iraq. We'll have a special report.

And going, going, going, gone. The new UK's finance minister rips up the Truss economic plan. The stunning overhaul and the prime minister missing

in action.

Well, Russia has began this week with only a deadly new missile and drone attacks on Ukraine, including an assault on the capital. At least four

people were killed in Kyiv early Monday after a drone hit an apartment block. One of the victims was pregnant.

Russian forces also fired missiles on east and in central Ukraine, claiming they were targeting military and energy infrastructure. Instead, civilians

were buried in rubble at destroyed buildings. And even though some of the air attacks managed to hit their targets, Ukraine defense ministry says

security forces shot down 37 drones and three cruise missiles, keeping them from inflicting more damage. Ukraine is condemning Russia for the terror

attacks and calling on global sanctions against Iran, by providing deadly drones to Moscow.

Well, joining me now is Clarissa Ward live for us in Kyiv and Fred Pleitgen joining us from Dnipro.

Good to have you guys both with us.

I want to start with you first, Clarissa. Cities including the capital hit by both drones and missiles today. And you've been at one of the buildings

in Kyiv today, residential site hit by a drone. Just tell us what you witnessed, how are people holding up?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lynda, it's pretty striking to think that just over a week ago, Kyiv felt like it was

relatively calm. They have been a pretty peaceful few months. That all changed last Monday when missile slammed into the city. And today, with

this deadly, very frightening multiple kamikaze drone attack, it really feels that this city is stepping into a new phase in this war. Take a look.


WARD (voice-over): A police man takes aim at the kamikaze drone as it bears down on Kyiv. Nicknamed mopeds in concern because of their

distinctive wine, 28 launched toward the city on Monday. The majority are successfully shot out of the sky. But four break through shattering the

early morning calm in the heart of the capital.

So you could see that is the railway station down at the end. The air is thick with the smell of explosives.

Investigators are already collecting evidence.

Excuse me. Excuse me. It is from the drone, yes?

Where did you find it?

So they're saying that's the tailfin from the drone that hit.

The target, according to Ukrainian authorities, Kyiv's energy infrastructure. But one hits a residential building nearby, with

devastating results.

You could see at least one person has been killed. They're taking the body away now.

Rescue workers comb through the smoldering rubble. There have been reports of voices still alive inside.

An extraordinarily lucky older woman is rescued from her balcony next door and bundled away to the hospital.

Up until one week ago, the city had been relatively calm. Now, Kyiv's mayor said that the Russian's goal is to make life as miserable as possible for

civilians as colder weather sets in.

MAYOR VITALI KLITSCHKO, KYIV, UKRAINE: The Russians want to destroy right now the critical infrastructure in our home town -- weater, electricity,


WARD: What impact does it have on the psyche of the people of Kyiv that there are kamikaze drones now attacking your capital?

KLITSCHKO: Everyone is so angry. Everyone want to defend their families, want to defend home town.

WARD: As we prepared to interview a volunteer medic from Sweden, the air raid sirens start up again.



WARD: All right. You must be used to hearing that.

We move to take cover. Three cruise missiles have been reported heading in the direction of Kyiv. This time they are intercepted by Ukraine's air

defenses. But Kyiv's residents know that there will be more.


WARD (on camera): Now, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has spoken out saying that it was really just 12 hours, during that period 37 of these Iranian-

made Shahed-136 drones were intercepted, as well as three cruise missiles. He emphasized once again, this is why they're such a strong need for the

international community to supply Ukraine with more robust, more sophisticated, anti-aircraft, missile defense systems.

We also heard from the ministry of foreign affairs who said in the past week, 100 of these kamikaze drone strikes were on, I quote, residential

buildings, power plants, sewage treatments, bridges, all in all, according to the foreign ministry, one third of Ukraine's energy infrastructure has

been damage in just one week, Lynda.

So, this is a very serious problem indeed for Ukrainians.

KINKADE: Yeah, it certainly is.

An incredible report. Clarissa, thanks to you and the team in Kyiv.

I want to turn to Fred, to get more about what else the Ukrainians might we need right now.

As Clarissa was saving, 37 drones struck down by Ukrainian air defenses today. But what else did Ukrainians need right now?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think one of the things that Clarissa was pointing out. There is more capable air

defenses, if you look at that, on the one hand, they're getting some of that from the international community, Lynda. The Germans have already

given another anti-aircraft system, four more, called the Irish Tee. There's going to be three more -- are going to be delivered by the Germans.

And the U.S. is trying to get those NASAMS, medium range surface to air systems, to Ukrainians as fast as possible. But the big problem then

remains, that what you saw in Kyiv, in large parts of Ukraine by the way in the Dnipro region as well, is an attack would swarms a very cheap drones,

those Shahed-136 drones that Clarissa was talking about. When the Russians lost those attack they will shoot dozens of Ukrainian territory for the air

defense systems -- here once you get to those large swarms a couple will come through. That's what the Ukrainians say they're working on the defense

minister has, said Ukrainians are already working on ways of electronically trying to suppress the drones they say whenever they get their hands on a

drone, it's halfway intact they take it apart, analyze it and see whether or not there's some way to use it -- stop the drones shooting a missile at

a drone like that, it's an overkill and second a very expensive way to take down a very cheap way of equipment.

So, Ukrainians are already looking at ways of doing that more efficiently. NATO apparently is also helping as well. The NATO Secretary General Jens

Stoltenberg said that last week, that NATO wants to provide anti-drone opened into the Ukrainians as well. This problem has been -- high priority

but the big problem with these drone attacks is the fact these drones are cheap, they come in swarms and they can fly for a very long time, Lynda.

KINKADE: Yeah, it's really difficult. It's good to have you with us, Fred, for us in Dnipro. Thanks very much

I want to turn to Iran, where protesters don't show sign of stopping, even as the crackdown continues. According to Iranian media, 880 people have

been arrested in the north during the recent unrest. And eight people have now died in Saturday's fire in Evin prison, a notoriously brutal Iranian

prison for political dissidents. But human rights groups fear it could be much higher.

CNN's Nada Bashir reports.


NADIA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: As anti-regime demonstrations continue across Iran, the European Union has announced new sanctions on 11 Iranian

officials and four entities following a weeks-long violent crackdown on protesters by the Iranian regime. Speaking after a meeting of EU foreign

minister in Luxembourg on Monday, the bloc's chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, hailed the move as a unanimous step against human rights violations. The

move follows an early expansion of sanctions by the Biden administration, which is both expressed support for protesters and condemn the regime's

brutal crackdown.

But speaking to CNN on Monday, U.S. special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, said the U.S. government's policy is not one of regime change instigated

from Washington.


ROBERT MALLEY, U.S. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR IRAN: The form of government in Iran will be up to Iranians to design. Our position, which is

very clear, is we support the fundamental human rights of ordinary Iranian women and men, and that's our policy.



BASHIR: The regime's future however appears to be ever more fragile it continues to gain momentum.

In response, Iran security forces have intensified the crackdown with rights groups documenting the use of tear gas, metal pellets, and even live

fire ammunition against protesters. While CNN isn't able to independently verify the death toll, Norway-based human rights organization in Iran HR

said Monday that at least 215 people have been killed since protests first erupted in September, including at least 122 people involved in protests

held directly in response to the death of Mahsa Amini.

Meanwhile, questions persist over the course of fire attack on notorious Evin prison, known for the detention of political prisoners and human

rights activists. A probe from a news outlet, reported on Saturday, that a source within the president said a revolt had taken place and part of the

facility. Government authorities were quick to assess the situation, it's been brought under control, with an Iranian security official telling state

media. The fire had started after a group of thugs set fire to a warehouse and prison.

According to state media, at least eight people were killed in the blaze. And dozens more injured, and while the full picture of what took place at

the Evin prison on Saturday remains somewhat unclear, relatives and activists in touch with detainees have described scenes of chaos, with tear

gas reportedly being deployed against prisoners. Officials on both the E.U. and the U.S. have called for transparency on the incident, reiterating that

Iran holds full responsibility for the lives of those detained at the Evin prison, including foreign nationals.

Nada Bashir, CNN, London.


KINKADE: Well, Mahsa Amini, the symbol of the uprising was a Kurdish Iranian woman. The Kurdish community, among the hardest hit in this

crackdown. Many are fleeing to Iraq, with some joining armed opposition groups to support protesters inside Iran.

Our Nima Elbagir reports from northern Iraq. We need to warn you that some of the footage may be upsetting to viewers.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): In a remote area in northern Iraq's Kurdish region, an all-female fighting unit belonging to the armed Iranian Kurdish opposition party, PAK,

continues to train.

These women have been pulled back from the frontline. For the last three weeks, the area they patrolled in the northeast of Iraq has been hit by

shells sent from across the border by Iran. This unit is part of a larger fighting force. For every single one of these women, this war is personal.

Rezan, not her real name, crossed the border from Iran with the help of smugglers, just over a week ago. The city of Sanandaj that she calls home

is in Iran's Kurdish majority western region. And in recent weeks have been likened to a warzone, according to its residents, as protests have erupted

here and across Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish- Iranian.

Rezan, just a teenager, joined these protests.

REZAN, IRANIAN-KURDISH ACTIVIST (through translator): We were treating casualties. We were also like most people participating in the revolution,

in the uprising. Everyone who suffered from the oppression of the Iranian regime came down to the streets and market and defied the government. I was

also participating, and I had no fear of death.

ELBAGIR: Rezan says that while she was dragged by her uncovered hair, she passed prone, lifeless bodies. Even after she left, she said she's

continued to receive information about people she knows who have died.

Like this man Yahya Rahini (ph), a newly married 27-year-old, murdered by Iranian regime forces for sounding his horn in solidarity with protestors.

What is happening with your family?

REZAN (through translator): My family told them that no matter how many members of my family they arrest, and for as long as they oppress my

people, I will not surrender to the invading Iranian government. We are ready to die.

ELBAGIR: When Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa Amini died in police custody, her name became a symbol of the oppression of women across Iran.

But Mahsa is not her true name. Her Kurdish name is Zhina, a name Iranians authorities barred her family and many other ethnic minority groups from

using. The regime only legally registers Persian names, yet in her last recorded moments, Zhina resorted to begging her captors in her Kurdish

mother tongue, entreaties which were ignored, reinforcing the fears of Iran's Kurdish minority.


Hundreds of Iranian Kurdish families have crossed the border to Iraq seeking refuge, from the most recent regime crackdown. But even here,

they're not safe. This family fear is the long arm of the Iranian regime, after what they saw inside Iran.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through interpreter): I left after I saw all of my friends killed, during the demonstration in Sakhi (ph), near the mosque

right in front of the mosque, they say they're Islamic but how can they claim to be an Islamic republic, when I saw the murdering my friend in an

outside a mosque.

ELBAGIR: He and his family have every reason to believe afraid, Iran's reach to oppress the protests within its borders is stretching far beyond.

Over the last few weeks, Iranian missiles have fallen into the Kurdish region of Iraq almost every day. The onslaught is relentless. This map

shows where Iranian strikes have hit, killing at least 18 and injuring at least 63 to date.

This video filmed by a local television channel shows the moment just after an Iranian drone and several missiles struck one of the Kurdish-Iranian

opposition party bases, killing eight soldiers and injuring more, on a day on which 70 missiles, Kurdish authorities say, rained down in the space of

just four hours.

This base, only two years ago, was on the frontline in the fight against ISIS after PAK received U.S. training. It isn't far from U.S. Central

Command, CentCom forces.

Just one day after the attack on the PAK base, CentCom shot down another Iranian drone, which appeared, they say, as a threat to CentCom forces

stationed in the area.

And as the U.S. anti-ISIS presence in Iraq is set to continue, so is the threat Iran poses.

These female fighters have vowed to fight until there is a regime change in Iran.

They say they share Zhina's pain. Called by a name forced on her by an oppressive regime, all of them have a Kurdish name just like her, not

spoken outside of their homes. All of them say it's hard to imagine going back to how life was before.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, Iraqi Kurdistan.


KINKADE: Well, still to come, it's one of the biggest political events in the world, with ramifications far and wide, find out what China's leader

has said as the communist party Congress gets underway in Beijing.

And not so much prime ministers questions, more questions about the prime minister's whereabouts. Why Liz Truss is facing the heat while missing in




KINKADE: Welcome back.

While despite being in the grip of major economic problems like a real estate crisis, Beijing has blame the lease on vital economic data,

including its latest GDP numbers. No reason or timeframe was given, but it comes as the communist party gathers one of its more significant meetings

and decades.

At the party's congress in Beijing, Xi Jinping claimed victory on several fronts, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, and COVID-19. But there was no word on

relaxing China strict zero COVID rules, or any concrete solutions to the country's economic challenges.

Well, another country dealing with economic woes is the United Kingdom. That's where Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has just announced a new economic

advisory council, following back disastrous mini-budget of his predecessor.

But the pressure on Prime Minister Liz Truss remains enormous, especially after this happened.


PENNY MORDAUNT, LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: I know the prime minister takes her responsibilities --


I know that the prime minister takes a responsibilities to work and constructively with the other administrations. She will always do that.


KINKADE: The leader of the House of Commons speaking on behalf of the prime minister despite Ms. Truss being in the room. Just moments ago,

during a BBC interview Truss apologized for mistakes her government has made. But she insisted she would lead the conservatives into the next

general election.

Our Bianca Nobilo reports.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Trussonomics, Lynda, is over. The principles upon which Liz Truss built her leadership campaign and fragile

mandate have been dismantled by none of other than her new chancellor, Jeremy Hunt.

JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER: Because these decisions are market sensitive. I've agreed with the speaker, the need to give an early grief

summary of the changes which are all designed to provide confidence and stability. Firstly, we will reverse almost all the tax measures announced

in the growth plan three weeks ago that have not started parliamentary legislation.

NOBILO: After the speaker allowed the chancellor to break protocol this morning by addressing the media and markets before parliament, Hunt then

addressed the House of Commons as chancellor for the very first time.

HUNT: The conclusion I've drawn, from those conversations, is that we need to do more, more quickly to give certainty to the markets about our fiscal


NOBILO: Hunt explain the government's priority would be to strive for stability and economic credibility above all else. His first three steps

would be, reversing almost all the tax measures from the mini-budget, which have been approved by parliament. Secondly, to keep the basic income tax

rate of 20 percent, and thirdly, continuing energy bills support until April, only as a guarantee where it'll then be reviewed.

The optics Monday, Lynda, were painful for the prime minister. She didn't appear in response to an urgent question table by the leader of the

opposition, Keir Starmer, which led to blistering attacks on the prime minister for members of the House of Commons, which was not there to even

face. Then her leadership rivals, Penny Mordaunt and Jeremy Hunt appeared in the chamber and gave strong performances.

She also didn't address the markets, and the nation this morning on TV. That was the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt. The plane full political truth at the

moment is that Westminster and the media is starting to build up a picture that the chancellor is more in control of the country then the prime

minister is -- Lynda.


KINKADE: Yeah, it certainly seems that way. Bianca Nobilo, thanks so much.

I want to take other key stories making international impact today. A spokesperson for the British Prime Minister Lizz Truss calls an incident

outside the Chinese consular in Manchester Sunday deeply concerning. A Hong Kong democracy group was protesting when it turned violent requiring police



The group says Chinese consular staff were involved in the fighting.

Japan's prime minister ordered an investigation into the unification church. It comes after a recent assassination of former Prime Minister

Shinzo Abe reveal close ties between the church members of the ruling liberal democratic party. The party says there's no formal link that nearly

half of liberal democratic party lawmakers have disclosed connections.

In Paris, union members are taking to the streets as prices continue to soar. They join in protest Sunday and are planning to protest again on

Tuesday. Workers at several oil refineries have been on strike for weeks demanding higher wages. It's putting a strain on gas stations across the


U.S. Rapper Kanye West plans to acquire to Parler. That's according to parent company of the social media platform, favored by many conservatives.

West, who legally changed his name to Ye, was temporarily blocked from Twitter this month over an anti-Semitic tweet.

One of the world's biggest bans is performing military service instead of dance moves.

Members of K-pop supergroup BTS will join up in their native South Korean where military service is mandatory. The band's record label confirms that

the oldest member is aiming to start the process at the end of the month.

Well, that was THE GLOBAL BRIEF. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Thanks so much for joining us.

Stick around. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. You're watching CNN.