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Zelenskyy Looking To Evacuate Soldiers At Azovstal; Emmanuel Macron To Be Inaugurated For Second Term; North American Soldiers Say Why They're Fighting In Ukraine; British Police To Investigate Lockdown Gathering With Keir Starmer; Moscow Pushing Russification In Ukraine's Occupied Regions; Putin's Girlfriend In Proposed E.U. Sanctions; Poll On Overturning Roe V. Wade, Winds, Hail, Tornadoes Threaten The Southeast. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired May 07, 2022 - 04:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hello and welcome to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and all over the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber.

We're following two breaking news stories this hour. In Paris, official ceremonies are set to get underway soon for the inauguration of Emmanuel Macron to a second presidential term. Dignitaries will be gathering over the next hour followed by the formal inauguration.

In Moscow, rehearsals are being held for Monday's victory day military parade. May 9th is the 77th anniversary of Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. It's debatable whether President Putin has much to show for.

We begin our coverage in Paris. Macron's second inauguration to take place about an hour from now. CNN European affairs commentator Dominic Thomas joins us from Los Angeles.

Dominic, traditionally with presidents past, the second inauguration is less glitzy, less showy than the first one.

Is that going to be the case for Emmanuel Macron today?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Yes, I think, Kim, compared to 2017, things will be toned down, there will be no Champs- Elysees parade or driving up and down.

I think it's important for Emmanuel Macron to take this opportunity, just a few weeks out from the legislative elections, to celebrate his victory and to use this opportunity to continue the conversation with the French people, after what was a hotly contested election and to try to build bridges, as he heads into that legislative race.

BRUNHUBER: So is that what you're expecting from his speech? People were hoping to get a sense of the direction his next term will take.

Do you think reconciliation will be the theme?

THOMAS: Yes, I think he has to take this opportunity, I mean, on the occasions where presidents have used this opportunity, they tend to talk about the office and their campaign and what's they have overcome.

But this is Emmanuel Macron starting again. Even his movement has been renamed to the renaissance movement, with a goal to renew. I think he will use this opportunity to speak to the French people and to really position himself as their president for the next five years, with a clear understanding that the presidential election revealed deep divisions in the French society.

So many people not even bothering to show up to vote with the shadow of the far-right gaining ground once again in this election. I think he will take an opportunity to address some of these issues and concerns without belaboring points on this occasion, which is a celebration of sorts.

BRUNHUBER: You mentioned the far right and his opponent that he beat from the far right but he will also face threats from the far left. He is facing the united opposition from the Left, the coalition guided by the third place finisher.

How do you think this will play out with those legislative elections that you mentioned coming up this summer?

THOMAS: There is so much uncertainty because the presidential election, unlike the federal elections in Germany, where parties are accustomed to creating coalitions, when the presidential elections actually produce parliament seats, the presidential election in France is a winner takes all. It has nothing to do with the legislative process.

So a few weeks later now, we have these legislatives coming around and we can see the deep divisions in the way in which the mainstream parties have virtually disappeared and actually the far left -- and the Left in general -- missed an opportunity in the presidential election to work together.

And arguably that is probably the reason why they didn't, many, end up in the runoff stages. So it's interesting to see how they created this new popular ecological and social union that brings together the Communists, the Greens, the Socialists and then the other party.

However, the legislatives are difficult ones to predict. Melenchon came in fourth in the last round, with about the 20 percent of the vote. He only got 17 seats. So even though some of the mainstream parties have not done very well in the presidential --


THOMAS: -- they are deeply entrenched in many of these constituencies around the country.

They usually end up going to runoff stages and there is one seat per constituency. It's very difficult for some of these parties to break through.

Having said that, given the level of dissatisfaction and the ways in which the two rounds of the French election worked out, there's clearly some uncertainty moving forward. It's not a foregone conclusion that Emmanuel Macron will achieve a majority and, therefore, be able to control the legislative agenda going into his second term, Kim.

BRUNHUBER: In order to do that, he has formed his own center coalition, as you mentioned, actually rebranded his own party, not the first time he has done that. Explain how he's hoping that this coalition that he is forming will counter the threats from both sides here.

THOMAS: It's really interesting to see how now, going into these legislative, we saw this by breaking down the numbers in the first round, France is moving toward three main political parties or groups.

When you add it together, the Left and the far left votes, they were just over 30 percent, as did the centrists, as did the far-right and the extreme right. So you have these deep divisions.

But the thing with the legislatives is that these two rounds, parties can work together to block other candidates and so on and so forth. What's Macron has established here is less ambitious I think that what is going on, on the Left.

It's essentially bringing smaller, center-right and center-left groups but he has already swallowed up so many of those. The big question is going to be how the disillusioned Socialists, that really don't feel like they want to go along with this left-wing coalition, and then those on the Right go about reallocating their votes in these most likely runoff stages.

So there is a level of unpredictability there and some irony as well, because the changes that took place in the political system, going all the way back to 2002, were designed to try to give the president-elect the legislative branch as well.

And now we see, some 20 years after that process started, the system being somewhat uncertain. As we've seen in the past, cohabitation governments have not always been that productive in France.

And Emmanuel Macron, of course, does not have control of the legislative branch. His whole second term is going to be an even more uphill struggle than what he currently faces with all these divisions, Kim.

BRUNHUBER: So much at stake, not just for France but for Europe with what is going on in Ukraine and the unity of Europe. We're just going to signal that we have live pictures as the guests and dignitaries are arriving at the Elysee and we will have the inauguration, at least parts of it, the president's speech, coming up in about an hour.

We will bring you back, Dominic Thomas, to talk about that in about an hour. Thank you so much.

THOMAS: Thank you.


BRUNHUBER: There have been no new evacuations reported yet today from Mariupol's besieged steel factory, though both Russia and Ukraine both said the evacuations should continue. At least 50 civilians were successfully evacuated from the complex Friday.

The Russian military was seen escorting two buses said to be carrying some of these evacuees to a town east of Mariupol. Ukrainian officials say they were later able to travel to Ukrainian held territory.


BRUNHUBER (voice-over): The factory has been under constant bombardment. President Zelenskyy says that he is hoping to negotiate a safe evacuation of the soldiers still inside.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We are also working on diplomatic options to save our military who remain in Azovstal. Influential mediators are involved, including influential states.


BRUNHUBER: Russia has been hastily putting its stamp where it can in Mariupol.


BRUNHUBER (voice-over): Have a look here at a Russian flag flying over a city hospital; road signs have been changed to Russian. An adviser to Mariupol's mayor says Soviet era statues are popping up across the city.


BRUNHUBER: Meanwhile there're reports that say that the Ukrainian forces are having some success against the Russians. But for the first time the Ukrainian general staff is accusing Russia of blowing up bridges to slow down Ukrainian counterattacks.

CNN can't independently verify that claim. All right, let's go now to our own Isa Soares in Lviv, Ukraine.


BRUNHUBER: Isa, we have been seeing these brutal attacks.

What is the latest on the evacuation of civilians?

ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, thank you very much, Kim.

As you just said in the last few minutes, no evacuations has taken place so far, we were expecting them two to three hours ago. But both sides, as you have pointed out, are promising to continue the evacuations following that really glimmer of hope for a select few that we saw yesterday, 50 civilians being evacuated from the steel plant, the steel plant is being completely battered and shelled.

This is not empty, this is a large complex, it still has civilians inside, as many as 100 people. We don't know at the last count, there were about 30 children. We do not know how many left yesterday. It is incredibly worrying.

Given the shelling, the constant shelling that we have seen from Russia. So I'm keeping a close eye on the situation in Mariupol to see whether further evacuations do take place.

Meanwhile, what we have learned overnight, President Biden promising an additional $150 million of aid, military aid to Ukraine.

Despite this flurry of aid that we have been seeing from the U.S. and the West to Ukraine, some people who I have been speaking to, foreign fighters, say that really they have not seen that military aid, that help in the front lines. Have a listen.


SOARES (voice-over): For weeks now, these volunteer fighters, have been defending a country that is not theirs.

"DOC," VOLUNTEER FIGHTER IN UKRAINE: I saw, on the news, just like everybody else, the atrocities that the Russians were committing. That's the reason why I came.

SOARES (voice-over): The two Americans and the Canadian, who prefer we identify them, by their nicknames, tell me that, from their experiences, with one particular unit, the Ukrainian forces, they have been fighting alongside, on the front lines, are ill-equipped and cut- off from resources.

"RAT," VOLUNTEER FIGHTER IN UKRAINE: Specifically, NATO munitions, in terms of anti-tank weapons, as well as artillery, like Howitzers --

SOARES: So heavy air?

RAT: -- or tanks or --


RAT: -- even like MRAP-type vehicle, anything like that?

It's nowhere on the front. SOARES (voice-over): "Doc," "Rat," and "Shadow (ph)," say they have fought, near Kyiv and in the east, in the Kharkiv region, where Russian troops has strengthened their presence.

RAT: So they would push here, send troops, massive column, on the main road, push them here.

SOARES (voice-over): This video, filmed by them, shows the challenging terrain.

RAT: It's just fields, as far as the eye can see, with nothing but open ground and next-to-zero concealment.

SOARES (voice-over): A battleground without the right equipment can be deadly. The former Canadian Armed Forces Sergeant tells me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a miracle, it's a straight-up miracle that we are still alive.

DOC: You basically have to be a tank or artillery or a aircraft, right now, to fight, in the eastern front.

SOARES (voice-over): So far, the U.S. has approved more than $3 billion, in military assistance, to Ukraine, including thousands of Javelin, Stinger, missiles and other critical weapons. Equipment that these former U.S. Marines say they haven't seen.

DOC: The stuff from these packages need to get to the front.


DOC: They do.

SOARES (voice-over): So much so they are being teased about it.

RAT: We will have guys, coming up to us, with Google Translate.

DOC: Yes.

RAT: "Where are the Howitzers?"

DOC: Yes.

RAT: "Where is Biden's help?"

DOC: Yes.

RAT: Or "Where is NATO's help?"

SOARES (voice-over): Last month, the Pentagon said military gear and equipment was getting to Ukraine, between 24 hours and 48 hours, after it was shipped. But the U.S. was transferring it, to Ukrainian hands and not dictating how fast they get it, to the front line or what unit gets them.

These fighters had just one glimpse, of one front line. But they're not alone, in thinking that Ukraine's Military remains desperately outgunned.

RAT: Both parts. It's one side has nothing and it's doing everything they can. And then, the other side has everything. And they're too afraid to do anything with that.

SOARES (voice-over): Despite the challenges of the battlefield, "Doc," and "Rat," are returning to the front line, moved by Ukraine's fighting spirit.

DOC: The Ukrainians are giving it their all. And they're doing it every single day, every single minute, every single hour.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are not part of NATO, so --

SOARES (voice-over): "Shadow (ph)," meanwhile, staying away from the front lines, in Lviv, after learning he's going to be a father.

Camaraderie and a common cause, as they fight for freedom, in a foreign land -- Isa Soares, CNN, Lviv, Ukraine.



SOARES: Kim, it's important to point out this is their experience with one unit in one part of that front line in the east.

However, we put those claims that you've heard from the fighters to Ukraine's military of defense. We have yet to hear a response. I will say this, only a few days ago, the secretary, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, he said that these weapons that is coming in from the U.S. has been put to very good use. Kim.

BRUNHUBER: Even with those caveats that you have said, there still is this fascinating perspective from those front-line fighters. Isa Soares in Lviv, thank you so much.

Now to a developing story involving North Korea. Japan's defense ministry believes a unidentified projectile fired by Pyongyang could be a ballistic missile. South Korea's joint chiefs of staff says it was fired into the waters off the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea have conducted multiple ballistic missile tests, the most recent which was on Wednesday. For more on that, I'm joined by Will Ripley in Taiwan.

Yet another North Korean launch, a real flurry of them this year. We're learning some troubling details about this particular one.

What's the latest?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're right, Kim, 14 launches so far in 2022. That's more than all of 2020 and 2021 combined. We are getting some new information just in the last few minutes here that really sets this launch apart in a disturbing way. For the militaries of South Korea and Japan and the United States, on

the immediate front lines of an attack, from this kind of a missile, a submarine-launched ballistic missile. It was fired in the waters off of the North Korean city of Sinpo.

So the missile trajectory took it at an altitude -- and this is what is noteworthy -- an altitude of 60 kilometers, that is less than 40 miles altitude.

Under the radar, literally. If this missile were to be fired in any sort of attack. And it traveled a pretty extensive distance, it traveled low but for 600 kilometers, just over 370 miles.

So if a North Korean submarine were to pull up secondly to a coastline in South Korea or in Japan and fire this, they could hit a target pretty far inland at such a low altitude. It would be pretty much impossible for missile defense systems to shoot down.

And it could potentially happen without any warning, even though the North Korean submarines are pretty loud. They are an aging diesel fleet of submarines, using outdated Soviet technology, nothing like the stealth nuclear submarines of the United States.

Still the fact that North Korea are demonstrating this kind of technology and the fact that they're launching so many weapons and the United States and Japan say a nuclear test could happen as soon as this month, it all adds up to a potentially very turbulent time in this part of the world. Kim.

BRUNHUBER: Absolutely. Will Ripley, thank you so much.

A desperate search for survivors is underway in Cuba after deadly explosion at a historic hotel. We will have the latest from Havana next.

Plus Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein could be set for a historic win after local elections in the U.K. But it was a tough night for the Conservatives. We will have the latest after the break. Stay with us.





BRUNHUBER: At least 22 people were killed in a huge explosion at a hotel in Cuba. Officials believe the blast was caused by a gas leak. Emergency personnel are combing through what is left of the destroyed building, trying to find survivors. CNN's Patrick Oppmann has the latest.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rescue workers continued their grim task of sifting through massive amounts of rubble of what used to be the iconic five-star Hotel Saratoga, after an explosion ripped through the hotel early on Friday.

I'm told by Cuban officials is that a gas truck had arrived, gas for the hotel users for cooking. I am told that workers were ready to reopen the hotel to tourists next weekend. And somehow, as the gas was being delivered to the hotel, a leak apparently caused the hotel to fill up full of gas.

And that led to a massive explosion that has gutted the hotel. We arrived moments after the explosion, with some people being taken from the rubble and one woman barely able to walk. There was another woman covered in blood, obviously seriously injured, being taken away in a stretcher.

Rescue workers used their bare hands to try to claw away the rubble and see if there was anyone inside. Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel said that there was no sign of intentional terrorism that took place here but that a investigation would take place.

As the light goes out here, as the day ends, rescue workers say they will continue the difficult task of trying to look for any survivors, recover bodies. There is concern this building has been damaged so terribly that it could give way. So they are proceeding very cautiously.

But they say they will not stop until everyone is accounted for -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.


BRUNHUBER: British prime minister Boris Johnson acknowledges Conservatives had a, quote, "tough night" Thursday after his party lost hundreds of seats in the local elections. The final votes are still being tallied but there is no question that many British voters aren't happy with the Tories. Bianca Nobilo has more.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: It has been a bruising day for prime minister Boris Johnson as expected as results have trickled in from local council elections all across the U.K.

The prime minister lost more than 300 seats in what was considered to be the first real political test of his leadership and all the scandals that have beset his premiership, most notably Partygate.

And his loss has been in large part the gain of Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, winning over 200 seats so far.


NOBLES (voice-over): But it wasn't a unqualified success for Starmer, because it was announced today that the Durham constabulary would look at whether he breached COVID-19 rules in April 2021. This could cause political problems for Starmer. He has built many of his arguments against the prime minister based on

the hypocrisy of Johnson breaking COVID-19 rules.

It's also been a historic night in Northern Ireland, where Sinn Fein is set to be the biggest party since its existence. Michelle O'Neill would take the role of first minister. Earlier I spoke to the president of Sinn Fein, Mary Lou McDonald, on whether she thought that this meant that Northern Ireland was closer than ever to unification with the Republic of Ireland.


MARY LOU MCDONALD, PRESIDENT, SINN FEIN: I think in this decade we will witness constitutional change on the island of Ireland. And it is my absolute determination that that change will be entirely peaceful and highly democratic and orderly.

So we have been saying to the government in Dublin and, indeed, in London, that the preparation for constitutional change in Ireland needs to begin now. There will be no prize for anybody, irrespective of their political strife, for burying their head in the sand.

We need to be alive to the fact that change is on direct. And we also need to also be cognizant of the immense -- I mean, immense economic and social and cultural opportunities that will be afforded to us, to the island of Ireland and to us as an island nation in the coming years.

And I really want us to grasp those opportunities and for everyone who calls this island home to benefit from that change.


NOBILO: While this is a historic night in Northern Ireland, it is also a potentially decisive one for both Johnson and Starmer. Johnson has built his political career on being a proven election winner.

So this puts him in political danger. And if Starmer can capitalize on this success and reinforce it with his party, Labour could be on track to a much better showing in the next general election -- Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.


BRUNHUBER: As the U.K. gears up to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's platinum jubilee on June the 2nd, there are a few notable changes to the celebrations. Prince Harry and Meghan won't join the royals on the Buckingham Palace balcony nor will Prince Andrew.

Tradition dictates only working royals will make an appearance. But the Duke and Duchess confirm that they will still attend the festivities. It's unclear if the queen herself will even be there.

Some of her appearances were canceled in the last few months because of her health and mobility. Royal sources told CNN that will be decided nearer the time. New statues and road signs have been popping up in parts of Ukraine

occupied by Russia. Next, we will tell you what message Moscow was trying to send with new signs and symbols.

Plus the woman believed to be Vladimir Putin's girlfriend could soon face E.U. sanctions. We'll look at how it's part of the E.U. proposal to punish those close to the Russian leader. Stay with us.





BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and all around the world, I'm Kim Brunhuber, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

We're tracking efforts to get civilians out of the besieged steel plant in Mariupol. Russia and Ukraine have both said evacuation should continue today but there haven't been signs of that happening so far. At least 100 civilians remain trapped in underground bunkers, along with the last remaining Ukrainian defenders.

On Friday about 50 civilians were rescued and eventually made it to Ukrainian held territory. Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he is working on diplomatic options in the hopes of getting soldiers out safely as well.

Now this as Ukraine military says Russian forces have begun to blow up bridges east of Kharkiv to slow Ukrainian counter offensives and Russia claims it has destroyed a stockpile of weapons in the Kharkiv region. CNN can't identify either of those claims.

As Russia tries to gain more ground in Ukraine, it's putting its stamp on the areas it has already occupied, putting up statues, replacing road signs with Russian versions, using the Russian ruble. Moscow is trying to send a message that, in those areas, the Kremlin is in charge.

Talking about a message, this ceremony was meant to say that Moscow is also in charge in Mariupol. Troops received medals for what officials called the liberation of the city, despite the fact that Ukrainian defenders are still holding out in the steel plant.

For more, on this, we're year joined by Volodymyr Dubovyk, he is an associate professor at Mechnikov University in Odessa and he is speaking with us from Lviv.

Thank you so much for being here with us.


BRUNHUBER: When you see Ukrainian street signs being changed into Russian, the Ukrainian coat of arms being lifted off the municipal mayor's office, statues of Lenin going back up in your country, how does that strike you viscerally as a Ukrainian?

VOLODYMYR DUBOVYK, MECHNIKOV NATIONAL UNIVERSITY: Well, it is visceral. It's a vicious attempt to erase Ukrainian identity. Nothing you hear, we're not surprised. The Russian empire tried to do that in the second half of the 19th century.

And then the Soviet Union did the same thing. They were talking about the common entity of calling them Soviet people. And now the current day Russia is doing the same thing. They are waging the war not against the state as such but against nationhood, against the people.

They are trying to present the view, which they have been doing, especially under Putin for years now, that Ukraine is not a state. It's some type of hysterical aberration, there is no such thing as Ukrainian people. This is a deviation from what Russian people are.

Same thing with the Ukrainian language. It's all a plot developed to get Ukrainians away from the great Russia. But this is not working. Putin believes this himself.


DUBOVYK: He wrote an article himself last summer, where he said that there is no such thing as Ukraine and, therefore, he is acting up on this message that he has himself delivered to the public on a number of occasions. And that is why we are not surprised.

BRUNHUBER: I wonder if this will have, just like a lot of this war, railing against NATO and then pushing more countries to actually join NATO, will that be counterproductive?

Will it actually make Ukrainians more sort of nationalistic, proud of their language, proud of their culture, in response to what is going on?

DUBOVYK: Absolutely. This process has started in 2014, when Russian aggression started with occupation of Crimea and then starting the war in Donbas. It is ongoing for a few years now, eight years now.

But since the start of this current massive Russian invasion, the process has been accelerated. So a lot of Ukrainians who never thought that they would switch from their native tongue to Ukrainian but now they think it's about time. Everyone is involved.

The areas that Russia has been hammering, hitting in the last two-plus months, is specifically Eastern Ukraine, where you have a lot of Russian speakers. But for many of them, you know, the experience of sitting in a basement, a shelter, hiding from Russian bombs and missiles, even if you had some sympathy to Russia, you would do away with that by the time you get away from the shelter.

That is what is happening. The Russian world hears crumbling.

BRUNHUBER: I just want to ask you about the response, the taking down of symbols of Russia, of course, the accusations from Russia that Ukraine is trying to cancel Russia, basically, repurposing that American right-wing vernacular there.

But President Zelenskyy fought back against that narrative. And I want to play you a clip from a recent speech. Here he is.


ZELENSKYY (through translator): But now you, the Russian occupiers, are creating this problem. You are doing everything to make our people stop speaking Russian themselves because the Russian language will be associated with you, only with you. With these explosions and killings, with your crimes, you are deporting our people.


BRUNHUBER: On one hand, one can see this as a different type of resistance, a cultural resistance. On the other hand I'm wondering, since, as you've just spoke about, so many Ukrainians have Russian roots, Russian family, they speak Russian.

Is there a danger that Ukrainians with strong Russian ties will be alienated by all of this?

DUBOVYK: Not at all. Not at all. There are many people with ties. I myself am a Russian speaker. That is my native tongue. It doesn't prevent me from being very strongly for Ukrainian people.

For Putin, everybody who loves Ukraine is a Nazi. So we are having a very soft, stage by stage unionization here. People are slowly becoming used to it. I'm seeing it with my students.

They are also coming from the Russian-speaking city of Odessa, but for them today, when I deliver lectures in Ukrainian, it's not a problem, to talk to me back in Ukrainian. So there's a big shift, a generational shift that is ongoing. And the Russian aggression is only accelerating this change.

BRUNHUBER: Interesting to see how it will play out and what the consequences will be. We will have to leave it there. Volodymyr Dubovyk, thank you so much for talking to us. We appreciated.

DUBOVYK: Thank you for having me. Bye-bye.

BRUNHUBER: The woman believed to be Vladimir Putin's girlfriend may soon be targeted by E.U. sanctions. European diplomatic sources tell CNN that Alina Kabaeva is included in the latest proposed measures. Jim Bittermann has more about what we know about her and those close to Vladimir Putin.


JIM BITTERMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Putin's punishment for the war hitting his most inner circle, the E.U.'s prime target, Alina Kabaeva, who is said to be Putin's girlfriend and believed to have been given control over much of Putin's wealth and property.

The two have been rumored to be in a romantic relationship ever since Putin appeared to take an unusual interest in Kabaeva, 30 years his junior, after she won a gold Olympic medal for Russia in rhythmic gymnastics in 2004.

A few years later, rumors began to circulate that Putin was separating from his wife, which the Kremlin vehemently denied --


BITTERMANN (voice-over): -- but which were confirmed in 2014 when the couple officially divorced after 30 years of marriage.

Meanwhile, Kabaeva rose steadily in Russian political circles, becoming a deputy in parliament from Putin's party, in a post she held for six years before moving on to control a pro Putin media group.

For some time now, there have been calls from supporters of Ukraine to sanction Kabaeva. But Washington was reported to be reluctant to go after someone so close to the Russian president for fear of taking another step toward escalating the conflict. Late last month, though, the White House appeared to say no change in approach.

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No one is safe from our sanctions. We've already, of course, sanction President Putin but also his daughter, his closest cronies and will continue to review more.

BITTERMAN (voice-over): And among the more another close confidant of Putin, the Patriarch Kirill, the prelate of the Russian Orthodox Church, who is said to have wealth far beyond the average church leader.

He has strongly supported when he called in a sermon, Putin's special peacekeeping operation, which he added was a religious cleansing operation to liberate Russian speakers in Ukraine.

He's so close to Putin, that in a highly unusual comment from the Vatican, Pope Francis said of Kirill, the patriarch cannot become Putin's altar boy, something that threatened to put the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches further at odds.

There are a number of other targets in the E.U. sanctions, including a promise to wean Europeans off Russian oil. Several countries are already demanding exceptions to that because of their heavy reliance on Russian energy -- Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.


BRUNHUBER: Europe's most successful soccer club may soon have new owners. Chelsea FC has announced that an agreement has been reached involving a new ownership group by billionaire business man Tom Bailey. The deal is worth more than $5 billion.

The club's current owner is subject to British sanctions and has seen his assets frozen. He put the club up for sale in early March following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

And tune in Monday for our live coverage of the victory day parade in Russia. They gather at 7 in the morning in London and the parade will begin an hour later.

Still ahead, the future of abortion rights here in the U.S. appears to be up in the air and some states are already preparing new laws in case Roe v. Wade is overturned. We will have details on that coming up. Stay with us.





BRUNHUBER: Clarence Thomas is the latest U.S. Supreme Court justice to condemn the leaked draft opinion that reveals a conservative majority is ready to appeal abortion rights. On Friday, he said the institution should not be bullied into delivering what some see as the preferred outcome.

What do Americans think about it?

Most are against it; 66 percent of Americans say the ruling should not be overturned. That view shared by just over a third of Republicans. Most Americans want Congress to pass a law protecting the right to abortion.

Meanwhile, many states across the U.S. are preparing antiabortion legislation to be ready if and perhaps when the Supreme Court decides it will overturn Roe v. Wade. Jessica Schneider reports.


GOV. KEVIN STITT (R-OK): We want to outlaw abortion in the state of Oklahoma.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Nearly two dozen states are on the brink of banning abortion and it will happen almost immediately if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Thirteen states have trigger laws, abortion bans that will go into effect once Roe is off the books. Nine states have so-called zombie laws, abortion bans that were never repealed once Roe took effect in 1973. These bans would go back into effect if the conservatives on the court eliminate that constitutional right to abortion.

DANA NESSEL (D-MI), ATTORNEY GENERAL: That very moment, prosecutors around the state, could begin prosecuting doctors and I would argue, potentially women as well.

SCHNEIDER: Michigan's law makes no exception for rape or incest but it would allow abortions to save the mother's life. But the Republican running for attorney general in Michigan says he would prosecute even if abortion was performed in an effort to save the mother.

MATT DEPERNO (R), CANDIDATE FOR MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL: And then said, well, what about the life of the mother, OK. Do you have an exception for that?

I said, I do not. Because there is literally no medical diagnosis that says that if the mother's life is in danger, abort the baby.

SCHNEIDER: That is just one example of how uncertain the actual enforcement of criminal abortion statutes could be. In Wisconsin, the attorney general is already saying he'll refuse to prosecute and will instead leave it to local district attorneys.

JOSH KAUL (D-WI), ATTORNEY GENERAL: It's my view that we have problems that we need our law enforcement to be dealing with, like violent crime, drug trafficking. And we don't need to shift their focus from -- from those important efforts to -- to going after people for allegedly violating a ban that nobody had understood to be enforceable for almost 50 years.

SCHNEIDER: The wide-ranging prosecutorial approach reflects just how uncertain and uneven the legal landscape would be in a post-Roe world.

MARY ZIEGLER, VISITING PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: I think the most important and difficult question is going to be the, whether states can reach out of their own borders to prosecute people or whether states are going to prosecute patients for having abortions as Louisiana seems to be doing.

SCHNEIDER: Louisiana lawmakers passed a bill out of committee this week that would classify abortions as homicides, leaving the door open for patients to be prosecuted. And then there's the question about how officials would even find out about illegal abortions.

Privacy advocates are now raising the alarm that people's Google searches could be used against them or even their own cell phones. Alan Butler leads the Electronic Privacy Information Center and points

out that third parties can buy data from Google and perform reverse searches that could enable law enforcement to track who was at an abortion clinic and when.

ALAN BUTLER, ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER: If the prosecutor goes and gets a court order to get this type of data or they go and try to buy this data on the open market, for example, which is another thing that happens, then they would know the information about the devices that were there, the idea of your device.

SCHNEIDER: Legal experts are now scrambling to fully understand all the implications of a post-Roe America. And many say rather than the Supreme Court's likely decision being the final word --


SCHNEIDER: -- it could instead spur a flurry of state-by-state legal fights in the years ahead -- Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


BRUNHUBER: This weekend's Mother's Day celebrations in the U.S. will be met with a record breaking heat wave. We will have the latest on the CNN Weather Center after the break police stay with us.




BRUNHUBER: Mother Nature's cooking up a historic heat wave in parts of the U.S this Mother's Day weekend. Experts say as many as 120 record high temperatures in at least 13 states are forecast to be tied or broken in the next several days.

This is paired with an alarming drought and water crisis in the West causing reservoirs in some states to be at critically low levels.



BRUNHUBER: That wraps up this hour of CNN, I'm Kim Brunhuber, I will be back in a moment, more news, please stay with us.