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Heartbreaking Moment as Mom Identifies Son's Body Dumped in a Well; Elon Musk Offers to Buy Twitter for $43.4 Billion in Cash; American Couple Meets Infant Born Via Ukrainian Surrogate During War. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired April 14, 2022 - 10:30   ET




BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN NEWSROOM: Well, as Russia's invasion into Ukraine enters its 50th day, we want to show you the scenes that are very difficult to watch, but so important for you to understand the pain, the suffering inflicted upon Ukrainian civilians.

I have to warn you, the video you're about to see is hard to watch, but do take some time.

That is a cry, a wail that every parent views as a worst nightmare happening. And everyone can understand why that is a screaming mother in anguish after discovering her son's lifeless body dumped into a shallow well near Kyiv.

She instantly recognized by the shoes. She looked on as police pulled his body up and wrapped him with a white body bag. One other body was also found in that well. Jim, no parent should have to experience anything like that.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NEWSROOM: And it's not isolated. It is clearly part of a pattern, a deliberate pattern by Russian forces in a time worn way of fighting war that we're seeing saw in Ukraine and we saw in Syria and Chechnya before.

So, joining me to discuss what happens next for those found behind this, Wayne Jordash, he's an international human rights attorney, managing partner for Global Rights Compliance Law Firm and Foundation, he's been assisting in war crimes investigations in Ukraine going back to 2015. Wayne, it's good to have you on this morning.


SCIUTTO: This is not the first time you've seen instances like the one we've just shown. As I said, it's not isolated. There are dozens, hundreds, perhaps thousands of stories like that. To successfully prosecute those responsible for apparent crimes like this, what is necessary? What evidence is necessary, witness testimony, and next steps? JORDASH: Well, the basics of an investigation and prosecution of crimes such as this is to identify the patterns, which you've just referred to, and then to divide up a case into what's called crime base, that is the -- what happened on the ground, witness evidence, particularly victim evidence, describing how civilians were attacked and how civilian targets were attacked, and clarifying the lack of a military target.

And then once you've done that, you move to establishing what's called linkage evidence, and this is trying to show or trying to explore how these crimes occurred and why they occurred and who up the chain of command at the military and political leadership might be linked to those crimes. That's the most difficult aspect.

SCIUTTO: That's the process, then we have the reality. There's historical precedent for successful prosecution of war crimes, Nuremberg trials, World War II, Milosevic, following the Yugoslav war, but many others where, frankly, the bad guys got away. You've been involved in attempted prosecutions regarding Russia's invasion of Crimea and the Donbas going back a number of years. How likely is it that these crimes are successfully prosecuted?

JORDASH: Well, the likelihood of prosecuting them in the very near future is pretty low for the obvious reasons, that it's very difficult to get a hold of those certainly up the chain. They hide away in Russia. They hide away in an occupied territory.


Nonetheless, there are two possibilities here. One is that there are low level perpetrators, ground perpetrators, who are detained by the Ukrainians right now, the prisoners of war. And then, secondly, we have to rely upon our own patience, build the cases now and prosecute them later.

And as I always say, international justice has a long reach. We may not expect prosecutions now, but in the future, I have no doubt, there will be senior members of the Russian regime on trial.

SCIUTTO: You have said the best path is for a Ukrainian effort, Ukrainian-led effort as opposed to international organizations. Why is that?

JORDASH: There's a functioning prosecution service here who are both willing and, in many respects, able to do the prosecution. And it's important for a number of reasons. One is that it's important for Ukraine to show that it is capable of doing this. They want to do it. They're determined to do it. I've spoken to lots of prosecutors and they are absolutely determined, in the same way the military is determined to fight the Russians, the prosecution want to fight them in their way, which is in a court of law.

International prosecutions or prosecutions in other states are, of course, part of the picture and also important as is the International Criminal Court. But they're complementary. They can do what they can do and what the Ukrainians can't do. As you've indicated, there's probably thousands of crimes here. Ukraine can't do them all. That's for sure. So, they will need assistance from the International Criminal Court and from the regional investigations, which are taking place in Poland, in Lithuania, Germany and so on. Together, there is a possibility of bringing some kind of meaningful accountability.

SCIUTTO: Right. It will take work. It will take a lot time. Wayne Jordash, thanks so much.

JORDASH: You're welcome. Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Well, developing this morning, Elon Musk makes an all cash offer to buy Twitter. Up next, the free speech argument he's making and the worst case scenario for the company.



SCIUTTO: New this morning, the Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, wants to buy Twitter outright, take the company private. He is offering $43.4 billion in cash, his own money, an offer that Twitter says its board of directors will now, quote, carefully review.

GOLODRYGA: So, what is going on here? Let's bring in CNN Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter for more.

So, Elon Musk is already the largest shareholder with the stake at around 9 percent. He wants the whole thing now. You were a bit skeptical this morning about all of this. Why?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, sure, I'd like to buy Twitter too but I don't have $43 billion and neither does Elon Musk in terms of liquidity. As one expert said this morning, he has the wealth but not the money. He would need to financing because so much of Elon Musk's wealth, the reason why he is the richest man in the world, it's all tied up in stock, including especially in Tesla stock.

So, if he wants to go through with this, and it's hard to know exactly how serious he ever is about anything, given that he loves posting memes on Twitter, he loves pushing the envelope and creating controversy, but if he is really serious, he's going to have to sell some shares of Tesla or other companies, and he's going to have to get financing, get others on board.

But we know he's serious enough that he has filed paperwork with the government. We know he is serious enough that he sent a voicemail overnight to the head of the Twitter board, saying, this is my best and final offer and threatening to sell his shares if he doesn't get his way. So, this is a huge challenge now for the Twitter board. It's going to be up to the board of directors to decide what to do, whether they're going to actually this seriously and whether they're going to talk to Elon. SCIUTTO: Okay, Brian. So, I know that we're gaming this out a little bit because it may not turn out to be real, at least as a practical matter. But given his stance, a very liberal view of free speech, kind of like anybody talk under any circumstances, if it were to be successful, what would this mean for Twitter? What would it mean, for instance, for the most famous deplatformed member of Twitter, the former president?

STELTER: Yes, that's right. Remember, even when Musk was on there flirting with the board, just buying up shares last week, there was a media talk about whether Donald Trump would be reinstated. It's bigger than Trump, of course, as well though. This is about global freedom of speech issues. Musk says he wants a much more permissive atmosphere on Twitter. And if he were to make company private, he could then do whatever he wanted.

Already, we're seeing some Republican lawmakers cheering Musk on. Here's Lauren Boebert on Twitter, of course, saying Musk is showing us free speech is worth fighting for. I hope Twitter's board sees the light. Elon, don't let us down.

Again, it's always hard to tell even if people taking Musk seriously. Is he serious? Look at some of the polls he posted on Twitter in recent weeks with ideas about converting the headquarters into a homeless shelter and taking the W out of Twitter. He's been having a lot of fun with this at other's expense, frankly, Jim, at shareholders' expense.

This is the stock last year, it was up at $70-plus. Now, it's been down 30s and 40s. He's offering $54.20, 420, that's a marijuana reference. As you can see today, there are some investors interested in this. But notice what's happened. This stock has not gone to $54 today. That means some investors aren't buying it. They don't believe Musk is that serious.

But the board has to take this very seriously.


They may be meeting, as we speak, to determine what to do. Are they going to fight? Look, they have to take it seriously when the richest man in the world offers them to buy out the company, but we'll see if they're going to fight.

GOLODRYGA: Or threatens to leave with the 9 percent that he already owns. Does he have the bandwidth to run both companies? We'll see.

Brian Stelter, thank you so much.

STELTER: Thanks.

SCIUTTO: Coming up, an emotional first time meeting after a harrowing escape.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love you so much.


SCIUTTO: What it took to get this newborn baby and his surrogate mother out of war-torn Ukraine.



GOLODRYGA: Well, since the beginning of Russia's invasion, many couples have been anxiously waiting as they hope for safe evacuations with the Ukrainian surrogates carrying their children.

SCIUTTO: CNN's Brianna Keilar spoke with one couple who described what it was like waiting and waiting for the arrival of their baby born right in the middle of a war.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There he is, guys. He's a squirmer.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR (voice over): Baby D.J. entering the world nine pounds, four ounces and blissfully unaware of the war raging around him in Ukraine.

Uncle Brian, not by blood but by necessity, D.J. was born to a surrogate mother, evacuated three weeks ago from Eastern Ukraine where Russia appears poised to launch a major assault.

Brian Stern, an American Army and Navy combat veteran, is here to take D.J. to his parents, Sarah and Dustin.

What was that like watching the war start? What was going through your mind?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fear of the unknown. You don't know if your baby is safe, if --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the surrogate mother is safe. Where there is going to --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you're going to be able to get to him. But, to me, that's kind of pale in comparison to the fear that the Ukrainians are feeling. I mean, they're fearful for their homes being bombed, their lives. When we put that in perspective, we kind of realized, we have it easy.

KEILAR: Sarah and Dustin traveled from California to Poland, then to the relative safety of Western Ukraine with the help of Project Dynamo, the non-profit Brian founded.

How did you meet Brian and come into contact with Project Dynamo?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were able to find project dynamo online. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So many requests for evacuation. And within hours, they had emailed Sarah, and from that moment, they've been nothing but like a blessing. They're one of our angels.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Baby D.J. will always have two titos, that means uncle in Tagalog. So, he'll have Tito Brian and Tito Shawn, for sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Baby D.J. eating again. He's got big beautiful eyes.

KEILAR: Brian's in the rescue business, though it's a labor of love. Last year, he evacuated Afghan-Americans, green card holders and refugees out of Kabul after it fell to the Taliban. Now, less than eight months later --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm in the middle of Ukraine. That's Ukraine. And he's happy as a clam.

KEILAR: He's helping transport Ukrainians living in or near Russian- occupied and contested areas, including babies and surrogate mothers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Praise to her at 39 weeks, she took a couple hour journey to another town, left her family behind to carrying another person's kid. And, I mean, I wish one day, we're able to meet her and give her huge hugs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's our miracle worker.

KEILAR: And finally, after several hours on the road, their miracle is nearly here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God, my baby. Thank you, everyone. I love you so much. Oh, my God.

D.J., I've been waiting for you for so long. Mommy and daddy loves you so much. You had a long journey, huh? We've been waiting for you. Oh, my gosh, you're here. You're finally here. And you are perfect. Oh, my gosh, so cute.



KEILAR (on camera): And this is their first family photo as a family of three. Dustin, Sarah and D.J. for, of course, Dustin Jr. And they have now made their way to Poland. It was several hours to get across the border. They are extremely tired but they are so happy. Jim and Bianna?

GOLODRYGA: D.J. is just adorable. You know, Jim, amid war, there are heroes everywhere and Tito or Uncle Brian is sure one of them.

SCIUTTO: Goodness. Brianna, thanks so much for telling that story and it is good to see little moments of survival in the midst of so much danger there.


We just hope there are more of them. And we'll bring them to you when we find them.

GOLODRYGA: Thank you so much for watching us today. I'm Bianna Golodryga.

SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto.

At This Hour with Kate Bolduan will start right after a short break.