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Russia Commemorates Victory Day With Military Parade; Companies Add Perks to Attract Workers in Tight Labor Market; Few Clues on Whereabouts of Alabama Escapee, Corrections Officer. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired May 09, 2022 - 10:00   ET



SONNY LEON, JOCKEY WHO WON KENTUCKY DERBY ON RICH STRIKE: In the Kentucky Derby, wow, unbelievable.



ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Unbelievable is right. Rich Strike also got a little attention for nipping at another horse after the race. The jockey said he thinks he was just excited by all the sounds.

By the way, I know one person who bet on that race. He bet now a whopping $2. And so now, Brian and Caroline (ph) are a $160 richer. There you go.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Our top story, with no victory to declare, Putin blames the west, defends his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, which has now killed thousands.

Good morning to you, I'm Jim Sciutto.

HILL: And I'm Erica Hill.

The propaganda display this morning, as expected, Russian President Vladimir Putin leaving country's the Victory Day ceremonies but not really declaring victory. He's saying it is NATO to blame for what he claims are threats next to our borders.

In Ukraine this weekend, relentless Russian shelling, dozens now feared dead in Luhansk after a school where at least 90 people were said to be sheltering was bombed, and in the southwest, Russian forces firing several missiles into the Odessa region.

SCIUTTO: And we have new just heartbreaking video out of Mariupol. The city council there says this video shows more mass graves. CNN not on the ground at this particular moment, so not able to independently verify who took this video and when, however, this is part of a broader pattern we've seen in this war, civilian suffering and mass graves following. Despite everything, President Zelenskyy delivered his own Victory Day speech message today sounding confident that his country will win this war.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: We are fighting for our children's freedom and, therefore, we will win. We will never forget what our ancestors did in World War II, which killed more than 8 million Ukrainians. Very soon, there will be two victory days in Ukraine and someone won't have any.


SCIUTTO: The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. is now weighing in, reacting to Putin's speech for the first time, this in an exclusive interview with CNN National Security Correspondent Kylie Atwood, and she joins us now live from Brussels.

So, I wonder, how did the ambassador take Putin's words today?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, she said that President Putin's speech today indicates that he recognizes that he has no victory to celebrate. And she said that this comes as President Putin is reassessing what is happening on the ground in Ukraine and looking to consolidate his gains militarily but not necessarily looking to take on new territory.

But she also made it very clear that his speech today was not announcing a withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. He also was not announcing any sort of deal with the Ukrainians, and, therefore, it's not something that the U.S. welcomed, but it didn't actually change much on the ground.

Listen to what she said.


LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: President Putin has recognized he has no victory to celebrate. His efforts in Ukraine have not succeeded. He was not able to go into Ukraine and bring them to their knees in a few days and have them surrender. He gave up on taking Kyiv and he has moved to reassess his positioning in Ukraine.

So, there was no victory to celebrate. There was no reason for him to either declare victory or declare a war that he has already been carrying on for more than two months.

ATWOOD: What does today signal about the current state of this conflict?

THOMAS-GREENFIELD: I think the conflict is not over, for sure. And what it signals is that Putin will continue to move forward. As I said, he didn't announce a withdrawal. He didn't announce any new deals with the Ukrainians. So, I suspect and we have all assessed that this could be a long-term conflict that can carry on for additional months.

What we want to do is support the Ukrainians' ability to defend themselves but also give them more power at the negotiating table to negotiate with the Russians once they get to real negotiations.


ATWOOD: The other thing that the ambassador did for us was shine some light on her interactions with Russian diplomats at the United Nations. She has to meet with those diplomats at the United Nations Security Council regularly. And she said it is clear to her that they are uncomfortable, that they are reading from prepared remarks more than they used to. And she said that the permanent representative of Russia to the United Nations is less often in his seat now than he was previous to the beginning of the Ukraine war.



SCIUTTO: Kylie Atwood in Brussels, thanks so much.

HILL: Let's turn now to CNN Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance, who was at the parade in Moscow this morning.

Matthew, keeping in mind, of course, there are very strict laws, as we know, in place right now, restricting what journalists in Russia can say. What can you tell us about Putin's speech and the reaction there this morning?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're right. There are strict laws. But I can tell you, I was right in the middle of Red Square when this happened, watching the 11,000 troops march in step across the cobbles of Red Square, followed by a really impressive, quite spectacular display of Russian military hardware. You get that every year, in fact, tanks, armored personnel carriers, rocket launchers, even those intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are really quite terrifying to see them trundle pass in the way that they do.

There was meant to be an air show as well involving 77 aircrafts, one for every year, since the end of the Second World War. This is, of course, Victory Day to commemorate the end of the Second World War. That didn't happen because of the bad weather, according to the Kremlin. And so there was a smaller parade than was anticipated.

And it didn't meet expectations in other ways as well because there was a lot of anticipation that this was going to be the dramatic backdrop for some kind of major announcement on the conflict in Ukraine, possibly a formal declaration of war in Ukraine. At the moment, Russia calls it special military operation, of course, possibly a full mobilization of Russian forces, so they can bolster their armies and really bring some power to bear in what is admittedly some kind of stuttering military campaign that's taking place in Ukraine so far. But none of that happened. He didn't make any of those remarks. And actually looking back on the years that I have covered this kind of parade, and there's been lots of them, he doesn't tend to make policy statements on a day that is perceived as being so sacred to the Russian people and to the Russian leadership.

But, of course, his problem is still there. He's still got to decide what to do in the Ukraine conflict, whether he's going to back down or whether he's going to double down. And so I expect that that decision will be made and we'll hear about it soon.

HILL: We'll be watching for that. Matthew Chance, I appreciate it so much. Thank you.

SCIUTTO: For more on Putin's mindset, strategy, dangers going forward, we're joined by Jill Dougherty. She's Georgetown University Adjunct Professor, former CNN Moscow Bureau Chief. Great to have you on, Jill, and I know you were watching Putin's comments in the whole pomp and circumstance today closely.

As you pointed out, Putin did use today to emphasize a narrative change in terms of this war, faming of this war, from not just being Russia against Ukraine but Russia against the west and NATO. And I just wonder, as you listened to him today, and you hear other Russian officials make the same kind of framing here, do you fear an expansion of this war? Is an expansion of this war beyond d Ukraine more likely today than it was a number of weeks ago?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Jim, I'm not quite sure about expansion, but continuation, I think, no question. I mean, this is not mission accomplished. It's not over. It was more, I think, kind of a pep talk for the Russian people to say, remember World War II, as they call it the great war for the fatherland, that we accomplished something and it was difficult, but we did it and we can do it again. That actually is kind of a bumper sticker now in Russia.

So, I think what really struck me was this almost image of Russia as a victim. There was a lot of NATO made us do it. NATO was going to attack. Ukraine was going to -- this was all in quotes because this was not the case, Ukraine was going to develop nuclear weapons. And this was absolutely unavoidable. We had to defend ourselves. So, I felt kind of this almost weaker position. We won World War II, but here, we had to do it.

So, I thought it was a relatively weak statement that from what I expected. And the other thing that I think was really important was he admitted that there are Russian troops who are dying. He gave no numbers, et cetera, but he immediately said, this sacrifice is always difficult when we lose somebody that I as president have made this announcement that we're going to help the families of the people who have been affected by this, especially the children.

That, I think, is really significant. That's telling the Russian people, look, I know there are boys who are coming back in coffins.


But he, of course, could never say that. And he can say I'm going to help those families.

HILL: Is that -- Jill, do you think any of that is also a reaction to perhaps a shift among the Russian people in terms of not only how they feel about this war but perhaps in terms of what the chatter is in Russia and how support looks for Putin?

DOUGHERTY: It's really hard to judge that, Erica, because, you know, the polling is just at this point really can't trust what people say because they cannot express themselves the way maybe they would want to.

But there are some indications, an indication from an oligarch who criticizes it, interestingly, an ambassador, I should say, a member of the ambassadorial staff in Edinburgh, Scotland, tweeting against it. There are these little signs that it's really kind of semaphore at this point as to what's going on.

But this is still relatively early. This is the third month. But sanctions are really going to kick in in May, the end of May, it's expected. And then more people, sadly, will die. And I think that could have one of the strongest effects.

SCIUTTO: Yes, no question.

HILL: Jill Dougherty, great to have you, as always. Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Coming up next, I speak with Congressman Don Bacon of Nebraska, Republican, about how he thinks the U.S. should be dealing with the Russian invasion and the Russian president, and how more the U.S. can support Ukraine going ahead.

HILL: Also ahead this hour, what we've learned about the mysterious deaths of American tourists at a popular resort in the Bahamas.

And a bit later, why some veterans of World War II say what they are seeing now in Ukraine reminds them of the horrors they experienced decades ago, their stories later this hour.



SCIUTTO: With a record number of Americans quitting their jobs in the midst of a hot job market, some employers are trying to attract and retain workers with better benefits and more flexibility.

HILL: CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro traveled recently to a Kawasaki plant in Lincoln, Nebraska, now offering some pretty sweet incentives to fill those jobs.


EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Tell me about the job market right here in Lincoln. There are jobs all over the place.


MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Working parents like Jessica Kelly have their pick of jobs here. And what Jessica wants is a job that pays her bills and doesn't get in the way of a normal Wednesday morning. 7:30, daughter number one off to a student council meeting. 7:45, back home for daughter number two and another school drop off.

KELLY: Well, the sunrise is beautiful this morning.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: 8:00, finally, time for coffee.

KELLY: I can't be somewhere at 7:00 A.M. to start working, or even 8:00 A.M., would be unless if I made other arrangements.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: She's had lots of jobs.

KELLY: I worked at a garden center. I worked at Dillards Department Store. I was there for nine years. I was a manager there. It was a pretty decent salary and I was working quite a lot of hours though, nights and weekends.

They are my kids and I just want to be there for them.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: This single mom may finally have found the job she's looking for thanks to this economic moment.

If they didn't have this 9:00 to 2:00 shift and this $19 an hour wage, would Kawasaki had gotten you to walk in the door?

KELLY: No. That's the only thing that brought me in, was when I saw that, I was like, oh, wow, that's like a lot more than I'm getting paid at the garden center and it's perfect hours.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Kawasaki has been making things in Lincoln since the '70s.

BRYAN SECK, CHIEF TALENT MANAGEMENT STRATEGIST, KAWASAKI: We make all the different lines of the jet ski.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Lately, this factory has a problem. It needs more workers.

SECK: We needed to think about how can we find more people. If the folks who are available don't fit in the side of our normal shifts, let's think about how to be creative.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Brian Seck says he had to recruit people who don't usually work in factories.

SECK: What we discovered was is we talked to the community, we talked to the schools and they said, hey, what about a shift around the school schedule?

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: The factory had to figure out how to put them to work. SECK: It is an engineering challenge to create a new assembly line with a new shift because it has to balance, it has to all work together.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: No evenings, no weekends, steady hours.

So, what job did you have before this job?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was working in a deli.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sous chef at JTK (ph.)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have two other jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm been a stay-at-home mommy for 15 years.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: It's a big change for these people.

It wasn't a lot of part-time employees here before, right?

JOHN MCCARTER, ENGINE LINE SUPERVISOR: None really until a few months ago.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: So, when you heard that was happening, what were you thinking?

MCCARTER: A little apprehension, just because it's something totally new. You wonder how it's going to work, if it's going to work.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: So, what have you learned?

MCCARTER: I've learned that there's a few that don't take it as seriously but more do than I thought would.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: This is a time of low unemployment across the country. In Lincoln, it's even lower. Employment experts say those numbers have given workers across the country and across job sectors power to ask for what they want.

BHUSHAN SETHI, PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS JOINT GLOBAL LEADER, PWC: Employees are looking for anything that they can do to attract and retain their talent, whether that's paid working conditions, and flexibility in work shifts are a big part of that.


MCMORRIS-SANTORO: You do see that stretching on to the future.

SETHI: If businesses have to make hard choices, those businesses that can actually try to protect jobs, increase their people's skills, increase their people's well being will be better positioned as the economy turns.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Some workers on the line in Lincoln say they are definitely better positioned.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can go from here straight to my kids' daycare and school and pick them up.

SECK: We saw two things right away. The people who we hired were successful. People wanted come to work, do their job, learn and then in turn train other people.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: So, that's the bell. That's it?

SECK: That's it.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: So, when you hear that bell, what goes through your mind?

SECK: We started something new here. We started something that's helping people be successful with their families.


MCMORRIS-SANTORO (on camera): So, this story is really about where we are right now and what might be coming next. Right now, the job market is so hot that workers -- even workers at the factory level have the option of asking for what they want and can expect employers to make those changes to get them. The challenges are trying to cool this economy down right now and change that job market. And whether jobs like this in Kawasaki remain after that is anybody's guess, really.

HILL: But what an incredible model, right? I mean, look, as a working parent, the idea that you could find this job that not only pays you well but fits in with your schedule and that your employers recognizing that, I mean, that could be a game changer.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Well, that's the big challenge, is that if Kawasaki might want to keep this job and these people working, are they going to keep those kinds of jobs on no matter what happens to the market?

HILL: Yes, it's a great story. Evan, thank you.


HILL: Still to come here, investigators looking closely the stores an Alabama corrections officer visited before she disappeared with a prisoner accused of murder. Just ahead, an expert will weigh in on what would compel someone to help an inmate escape.



HILL: We are learning new details about the actions of Corrections Officer Vicky White in the days before she allegedly helped Murder Suspect Casey White escape from an Alabama detention center. Now, the two with the same last name but not related, important to remind everyone, were last seen on April 29th. Investigators are still trying to figure out how exactly the escape was planned.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SHERIFF RICK SINGLETON, LAUDERDALE COUNTY, ALABAMA: There's video of her shopping for men's clothes. There's video of her in an adult store.

At this point, that particular video was really not relevant for our investigation, but we do know that based on the video that this was a well-planned, well-calculated escape, and that Vicky White was behind it all.


HILL: Well-planned and well-calculated.

Joining me now, Selma De Jesus-Zayas, she is the former chief of psychology services at the Federal Correctional Institute of Miami. It's great to have you with us this morning.

When you hear that, that it was well-planned, it was well-calculated, by all accounts, Vicky White was a model employee, a reliable person, nearly 20 years as a corrections officer. A lot of people look at this and go, how could anything like this happen? How could she be involved? But there you are shaking your head. Is this more common than people realize?

SELMA DE JESUS-ZAYAS, FORMER CHIEF OF PSYCHOLOGY, FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTE OF MIAMI: Hi, good morning. Unfortunately, it is very common. I would say that every institution has at least one compromised staff member at any given point in time. It is very common despite the training that is offered by most institutions, it still happens.

HILL: But why is it so common?

DE JESUS-ZAYAS: I think it just boils down to interactions of two human beings and one of them who is out to exploit the other. Very specifically to this case where it's a man and a woman and apparently a very strong, romantic involvement, from what I have heard, I haven't evaluated either one, it seems as if a phenomena that I like to call deceitful seduction by the exploitation of vulnerabilities and fantasies took place.

And what I mean by that is that inmates will go to different staff members looking for the one that is most empathetic to their needs and their desires. And once they establish a, quote/unquote, professional working relationship with that staff member and that staff member begins to feel comfortable with the inmate, the inmate might start pressuring that staff member for a few more favors and pressing the boundaries a little bit more.

If the staff member says no and simply denies those requests, that inmate will most likely now go fishing and go seeking other staff members who will be more amenable to their requests. If during that fishing expedition, they come across somebody who happens to be having a bad day for whatever reason and that person is a little bit more vulnerable emotionally than most of the time, the inmate picks up on it and begins to develop a fantasy that that inmate can resolve all their problems. Is it a financial issue that you're having? I can take care to have. Are you having problems with other people in the institution? I can take care of it for you.


And before you know it --

HILL: Before you know it, here we are talking to you about how it happens, right? It's this fascinating role reversal almost the way you lay it out.