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Putin Strikes Defiant Tone in Victory Day Speech; Russian Invasion Drives Calls for Finland to Join NATO; U.S. Senate Democrats Try to Make Abortion Rights Federal Law; Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Resigns Amid Protests over Economic Crisis; Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Appears Headed to Victory. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired May 10, 2022 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause. This is CNN Newsroom.
Coming up, Moscow's Victory Day parade with everything from goose stepping soldiers to the very latest intercontinental ballistic missiles, the only thing that was missing was victory in Ukraine.
Also ahead, which is days away from the Senate vote on new abortion bill. White House Speaker Democrat Nancy Pelosi says she wants a strong Republican Party more than ever.
And more than 30 years after his father was ousted, the son of a dictator well on his way to a presidential victory in the Philippines.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN Newsroom with John Vause.
VAUSE: Defiance and denial in Moscow where the shadow of war loomed large over Russia's annual Victory Day ceremonies Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin use the holiday to repeat baseless claims about Nazis in Ukraine and accused the west of creating threats on Russia's border. U.S. President Joe Biden says he's concerned that Putin may feel backed into a corner with Russian troops making little headway in Ukraine and with no clear path to get out of the conflict. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. echoed those claims, telling CNN that Putin clearly has no victory to celebrate. The French foreign minister said Putin's Victory Day remarks show he's in denial trying to rewrite history.
Many analysts had feared Mr. Putin would use the holiday to expand the war in Ukraine or make a major announcement. Instead, he stuck mostly to a familiar script and selling the war domestically. But are they actually convinced the Russian people? CNN was there with the tanks rolling across Red Square on Monday, we'll have the reaction there in just a moment. But first, more on the actual situation on the ground in Ukraine. Let's bring in Isa Soares live in Lviv. Isa?
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you very much, John. Well, even as fighting rages in eastern Ukraine, Russia now appears to be focusing on the southern port city of Odessa, a barrage of missile strikes from fighter jets ships as well as submarines has hit the city in the past day. Local officials report a shopping mall and two hotels have been struck with Russian hypersonic missiles. At least one person is dead and several others are wounded.
And this is a scene in the Ukraine second biggest city Kharkiv, and that is in the Northeast. Video posted on social media shows the aftermath of an attack on a civilian convoy that killed a number of people. You can see a baby stroller and an infant's car see just among the wreckage there. It is not clear when the video was recorded but authorities said they lost touch with the convoy on Friday.
And if I take you to Mariupol on the south Ukraine's defense ministry says Russian forces are mounting a storm offensive on the Azovstal Steel Plant. Ukrainian soldiers claim they're still holding out. And video shows the country's blue and yellow flag they're flying atop the factory. CNN cannot confirm whether it's still there.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russia is waging war on Ukraine's philosophy of peace. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translation): It annoys them. It is unfamiliar to them. It scares them. Its essence is that we are free people who have their own path. Today, we are waging war on this path. And we will not give anyone, a single piece of our land.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, joining me now from Western Ukraine is Maryan Zablotskyy, who is a member of Ukrainian parliament. Maryan, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us and very good morning to you. You know on the same day that President Putin laid flowers, laid roses, in fact, honoring the cities from the Second World War, including Odessa, may I add, his forces pounded it. Your thoughts this morning as we see more attacks on the port city.
MARYAN ZABLOTSKYY, UKRAINE PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Oh, Russia is currently trying to exploit the victory they had over Nazis. But I think they are done with that argument. And not only because of the invasion, but because they have showed all the world that twisted philosophy. So after the recent claims of -- from Mr. Lavrov, that Hitler was Jewish and the biggest anti-Semites are Jews themselves. I think we are done with any arguments from Russia, that they have some moral authority, but Victory over Nazism. They are just repeating Hitler's steps.
SOARES: You know, what we really did here and it happened during you know, the hours that we were live on the show. We had a very defiant President Putin pretty much justifying his actions in Ukraine, Maryan, but also doubling down. Listening to this, to what he said. How does Ukraine -- how does President Zelenskyy prepare for what comes next?
[01:05:02] ZABLOTSKYY: Well, we know that their next phase of the operation is to take all of the source of Ukraine at least that's what Russia wants and that's what it will not get. And we know that the next phase of the plan is to take another small country is Moldova, the Transnistria, the breakaway Republic, their home by the Russians is being prepared for war. Now, this is destined definitely the next step. But what we also saw in the military power parade is that Putin is scared. So we were promised different things from the parade from declaration of war. But we also saw that Russia was too scared to show its military airplanes in the skies, claiming that there was supposedly bad weather, although we clearly saw within speaking in a bright sun.
SOARES: Yes, yes, that was that was very, very obvious. Indeed, you know, going back to Odessa, and look, we've seen Maryan, the pictures of Mariupol completely decimated now, for months, do you think that Ukrainian forces can hold on to the port city of Odessa?
ZABLOTSKYY: Of course, we will not only call the procedure for this, but we will also hold the Mykolaiv which is on the road of that offensive. And the recently, Russia was also forced to evacuate its forces from this mean Island, which they attacked first. Because already we have capabilities to destroy the ships, even hundreds of kilometers away from the shore. There's absolutely no way that they can approach the city and they will suffer defeat.
SOARES: They will suffer defeat and yeah, we've seen the intensity of those strikes, you know, in the last few days. But if this continues to escalate, do you think there'll be appetite at all from both sides for political settlement or military settlement stalemate, I should say?
ZABLOTSKYY: We will definitely go, not go for any stalemate. We can go for peace agreements, but Russia has to return, at least to the places where before they started their attack. The problem that Russians also have, even though they have still a lot of focus, their troops on the ground are completely demoralized, now that they were promised, and according to their military contracts, they have to get out of Russia by the 24th of May. So I think that will be a breaking point for many Russian soldiers as Russia has to break this contracts and agreements with them.
SOARES: Maryan Zablotskyy always great to get your perspective, I appreciate. Maryan Zablotskyy there.
ZABLOTSKYY: Thank you.
SOARES: Well, CNN's Matthew Chance was at the victory parade in Moscow, and he has our report. But first, a reminder here, the Kremlin has imposed strict laws limiting how journalists can talk about Russia's presence in Ukraine.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is how Russia glorifies its embattled military. Spectacular display, as a stony faced commander in chief President Putin inspects the troops paying such a high price for his special military operation in Ukraine. From the stands, hundreds of invited guests, usually loyal officials, and their families, or foreign dignitaries, get a front line seat. This year, for the first time in two decades of reporting Russia and Ukraine, I was invited too.
(On camera): Well, I can tell you, it's always the day of national pride here in Russia. But this year, it's especially poignant here in the stance of viewing this spectacular display here in red square in the center of Moscow, because this isn't just the fact commemorating the defeat of Nazi, Germany in 1945 by the Soviet Union and its allies. It's also a back celebrating what the Russian military is doing now. These troops being celebrated and the weapons being shown here today are the same ones that are fighting it that horrific country. Against that backdrop. The armored columns rumbling over the cobbles of Red Square. They see less heroic intercontinental ballistic missiles even more sinister. But the Kremlin leader drew repeated links between the sacrifices of the Second World War, which millions of Soviet citizens were killed. The battles are currently being fought in Ukraine links Ukrainians and their allies reject.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translation): I am now addressing our armed forces and the militias of Donbass with Russia. You are fighting for our Motherland for its future, so that no one forgets the lessons of the Second World War, so that there is no place in the world for tortures, death squads and Nazis.
CHANCE: But it is what was not said that was most conspicuous, there had been wild speculation Putin would use this parade to formally declare war on Ukraine and announce a general mobilization to bolster the stuttering forces there (inaudible).
Conscious perhaps not all Russians, many of whom gathered to commemorate Victory Day outside Red Square. We're fully on board with more bloodshed.
I'm in two minds, says this woman, because I feel very sorry for the civilians suffering in Ukraine, the children, the old people. We are at war, another says, and I feel sadness for our boys dying on the front lines.
When it comes to the Second World War, what Russia calls its Great Patriotic War. This country has traumatic memories. After the Victory Day parade 10s of 1000s, led by President Putin himself marched through the streets of Moscow, many carrying photographs of relatives who fought the Nazi parade. Putin held a picture of his own dad. But state media also broadcast images of people carrying recent photographs to soldiers apparently killed this year. The effort to connect Russia's current conflicts with its past glories. He's relentless. Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Important historical context there from our Matthew Chance. And I'll have much more from Lviv the next hour. But first, I want to send it back to John Vause in Atlanta. John.
VAUSE: Isa, thank you so much. We'll see you again soon. Well, Putin justified invading Ukraine is a preemptive strike to prevent NATO expansion. Still coming up, we report for the Finnish Russian border, as Finland is closer on a decision to join NATO.
Plus, a deadly end to an 11 day manhunt in the U.S. for a corrections officer and a jail escapee, how police found them, that's next.
VAUSE: An Alabama corrections officer accused of helping a murder suspect escaped from jail has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. An 11 day nationwide manhunt for Vicky White and Casey White headed Monday. Although not related, officials say they were romantically involved. They were seen leaving a hotel in Evansville, Indiana, and they'd law enforcement on a high speed car chase, which ended when their vehicle crashed and rolled over.
Officers say they were able to remove Casey White from the red car but Vicky White pinned inside with a gunshot wound to her head. Casey White expected to return to the same Alabama jail where he escaped from. He'll stay in trial later this year on murder charges related to the 2015 case.
French President Emmanuel Macron says a new type of European political alliances may be needed for future international relations. On Monday, the recently reelected president said he was in favor of an entity allowing non-E.U. countries like Ukraine and Britain a chance to join core European values. The process of allowing you created join the E.U. would likely take many years. Macron thinks a new construct will allow for better and more timely partnerships, whatever that means.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translation): This question remains, how should we organize Europe from a political standpoint that goes further than the European Union? It is our obligation to answer today and create what I would call today in front of you a political European community. This new European organization would allow democratic European nations that adhere to our basic values to find a new space of cooperation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Well, if Vladimir Putin thought his war of choice would weaken NATO, I'll put that down, and how's that working out for your column? NATO could actually grow even larger with Russia's neighbors, Finland and Sweden, expected to pursue membership in the Alliance. For Finland it's easy to see why it shows a long, long border with Russia. So many forces have tried to invade before. CNN's International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson has our report.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Through the trees to the left, Russia, to the right remote Finnish farmhouses. Through clearings a glimpse of the flimsy fence following much of the 1300 kilometer 830 mile border that separates them.
(On camera): It's quite remarkable how open the border appears to be. We're not allowed to walk across the field. But the other side of the field less than 100 yards, 100 meters away, it's a low waist high fence, a few wooden poles and some wire. Thank you.
(Voice-over): For a clear view of the border, you need to get above it.
(On camera): From up here, you can really see just how fine the border is tracing its way across the countryside. It looks calm yet below here, the biggest geopolitical realignment in a generation is taking place.
(On camera): All the fences?
SIRKKU KORHONEN, LIVES ON RUSSIAN-FINNISH BORDER: Also the yard.
ROBERTSON: Sirkku Korhonen is caught in it. Her farmland touches Russia.
KORHONEN: Our land is zero meters.
ROBERTSON: Your land is on the border.
ROBERTSON: How do you feel about that now?
KORHONEN: Confused. It is -- it has been said but now it is -- now, it is different.
ROBERTSON: For Fins, that change in feeling came fast. Once tepid support for NATO rocketed as Russia invaded Ukraine from 1/3 to over 2/3 in a matter of weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, not all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excellent choice because we need now protection and it's the best available.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joining NATO would be that gate to us that no one would invade us.
ROBERTSON: Here in Finland's East, generations have grown knowing Russia can be a dangerous neighbor.
(On camera): As local legend would have it when the Russians arrived here 281 years ago, when stormed the fourth up the hill, they spilt so much blood, this log was carried down the hill on it.
(Voice-over): World War Two commemorations of finished dead from battling the Red Army are plentiful too. Finland ultimately escaping invasion by agreeing to be non-aligned. At the last Finnish cafe, before the Helsinki to Moscow transcontinental rail line crosses to Russia, security, not trade is top priority despite new E.U. sanctions on Russia, having business.
VILLE LAIHIA, WORKS IN FAMILY CAFE: If you know our common history with Russia, we were in a similar situation back in the 30s. And I think it would be really naive and foolish of us to remain neutral when we have this much historical background to learn from.
ROBERTSON: At the local, ice hockey rink many of the pros practicing sport Ukrainian flags on their helmets. Sympathies are strong. Similarities, easy to imagine.
JARNO KOSKIRANTA, SAIPA HOCKEY TEAM CAPTAIN: It's natural to bring into mind and what could happen because we are so close.
ROBERTSON: Captain Koskiranta's focus keep his teams ahead in the game. NATO membership he says should help.
KOSKIRANTA: I hope it will bring more like we carry that little bit relaxed and just try to enjoy our lives like we have been enjoying so far.
ROBERTSON: At the official road crossing, one of the few places Russians can legally enter Finland, traffic is 1/10 what it was two years ago, and no apparent cross border threat. The reverse even this young Russian seeking Finland safety and escape from Putin's war.
ANTON, ESCAPING CONSCRIPTION IN RUSSIA BY GOING TO FINLAND: I think I will never come back to Russia.
ANTON: Yeah, probably also trying to like conscription. Because well, I don't want to die in Ukraine. There's not like what I would like to do.
ROBERTSON: It may look like a flimsy fence, but in a few days when Finland's parliament is expected to vote for NATO membership, this wire and wood border could become part of a new Iron Curtain, keeping Putin's ill intent at bay. Nic Robertson, CNN on the Finnish-Russian border.
VAUSE: Well, abortion rights protesters have been rallying peacefully, but loudly outside the homes of U.S. Supreme Court justices. When they get back, details on that, as well as new laws meant to prevent any sort of intimidation of family members of Supreme Court justices.
And later, in the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., the son of the country's former dictator, appears to be on the brink of winning the presidency in a landslide. Live report in a moment.
VAUSE: Just a few hours ago, supporters of abortion rights rally near the home of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, he's the author of a leaked draft opinion that would strike down the landmark 1973 case Roe vs. Wade that legalized abortion. Demonstrators say they were holding a vigil for all the rights that Alito is threatening to take away.
Earlier on Monday, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan bill that would expand security protection to the immediate family members of Supreme Court justices. And peaceful demonstrations were held at the homes of two other justices over the weekend.
On Monday, the White House reaffirmed the constitutional right to protest but added rally should not involve violence, threats, or vandalism.
Meanwhile, the Senate will vote Wednesday on a measure that would codify abortion rights into federal law. That legislation appears doom because Democrats just don't have the votes, but they will be able to put Republicans on record opposing abortion rights. And that could, could hurt them in midterm elections later this year.
The top Senate Democrat says, Republicans will not be able to hide from their role in bringing Roe to an end. His counterpart of the House is calling for Republicans to stop acting like a cult and reclaim their identity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: I want the Republican Party to take back the party. Take it back to where you were what you cared about, a woman's right to choose you care about the environment. And all --
Here I am, Nancy Pelosi saying this country needs a strong Republican Party and we do, not a cult but a strong Republican.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Well, abortion rights is a very controversial issue in the United States, much more controversial than in many other parts of the world. According to the Center for Reproductive rights, all the countries in green have no real restrictions on the procedure. In the red countries, it's banned outright. Those marked with orange, yellow and blue place conditions on abortion such as whether the woman's life is in danger.
In most of Europe, abortions are widely available with notable exceptions in Poland and Malta and a few other states as well. [01:29:47]
With us now live is Carlo Martuscelli, the health policy reporter for Politico based in Brussels. Carlo, thanks so much for being us.
Last year, access to safe abortion was declared a human right by the European parliament. Much like the U.S. in Europe where, you know, where you live seems to determine the level of access to abortion services. In the U.S., it's red state versus blue state. How does it play out in Europe?
CARLO MARTUSCELLI, HEALTH POLICY REPORTER, POLITICO: Ah, yes. Well, first of all, thanks for having me.
I would say in Europe broadly, most countries allow abortion up until the 14th week mark, so, that's around the first trimester, but we do actually see variation on both ends of the spectrum with Sweden and the Netherlands, for example, having -- allowing it for a longer period of time, while countries like Malta and Poland have much more restrictive laws, a de facto ban, in fact. So while we do see a kind of wide spectrum, most countries are clustering around allowing abortion up until the first trimester.
VAUSE: Is there any reason why Poland and Malta are the standouts?
MARTUSCELLI: Well, they are both, of course, majority Catholic countries. They're both very Catholic. Malta has a long-standing ban so it's nothing new in Malta's case.
Poland actually, had its rules changed recently. It's -- they've been getting tighter since the '90s, but then there was a high court decision a couple of years ago that really imposed a near total ban on abortion. And I should say it's been very controversial and there have been huge protests against it in Poland, so it is a polarizing issue.
VAUSE: Many countries in Europe where abortion is legal have mandatory wait times, for example, six days in Belgium, seven days in Italy. And the Center for Reproductive Rights found short time limits can be particularly harmful for adolescent girls and women belonging to marginalized communities who may not always be able to obtain care within the legal time frame. And there are other measures as well which make access difficult.
So if the U.S. Supreme Court does in fact go ahead and strikes down Roe, what does that mean for restrictions in Europe? Does that embolden lawmakers there to move ahead with tightening restrictions?
MARTUSCELLI: Yes. Well, I would hesitate from having too direct of a read-across, but it certainly does put wind in the sails of people who object to abortion rights in Europe. I think while in the U.S. we might see some states outright banning abortion, you know, if it -- if Roe v. Wade does get overturned like it looks like it's going to do. In Europe, I don't think that's so much in the cards.
Instead, we'll have things like, you mentioned, like, longer waiting periods between your first consultation and actually getting an abortion or activists trying to push through things that make it harder to get an abortion at the local level in certain cities.
Already in Italy, for example, we can see that in certain regions, it's really hard to get the take-home pill for abortion and they're requiring women who want to have a pharmacology induced abortion to stay in a hospital, even though that's not what the recommendations say at the national level.
So I mean, I think there's very much a fight that will be played out in Europe. I think it's going to look a little different than in the U.S.
VAUSE: Part of your report about the sort of unofficial barriers you like that you did for Politico, here's part of it.
In Italy, around 70 percent of the country's gynecologist say they are conscientious objectors. Women face similar barriers in Spain where abortion is legal but some have to travel hundreds of kilometers to find a provider.
In a very practical sense, it seems that women in Spain and Italy are in a very similar situation to American women in red states like Texas or Mississippi.
MARTUSCELLI: Yes, I mean, I think that's a -- that's a totally fair comparison. I mean, in Italy, you mentioned it yourself. 70 percent of gynecologists are conscientious objectors and that makes it very difficult practically to have an abortion.
You know, what the solution is isn't really clear. It's -- so, it's certainly something I think that the government is looking into in Italy's case right now, but it's true, women do face very large unofficial obstacles to getting abortion in these countries.
VAUSE: And there's always a sense that abortion just didn't resonate in European politics the same way that it does in the United States. If you look at what's happening in Poland, and I think some of the other places, too, where there have been these increased sort of barriers that are put in place, not banning it, but making it harder, is that changing that sense that it's not playing into politics?
MARTUSCELLI: I think that's a really good question. My sense is that, yes, but we should keep one thing in mind, which is that in almost all European countries actually, the public really does support the right to abortion, so it's -- it's not -- it's not an easy issue for the opposition to push on.
But having said that, we see certain parties on the hard right that are ascendant (ph), like the Spanish Vox party or Italy's Brothers of Italy Party, you know, trying to put abortion once again, to kind of throw it in the debate.
And even if they don't go as far as to say that they outright want to ban it, there's certainly a feeling that maybe the issue is live in a way that it hadn't been for quite some time. VAUSE: Carlo, thanks for being with us. We really appreciate your
time. Certainly appreciate your reporting for Politico. Thank you.
MARTUSCELLI: Thank you.
VAUSE: Well, Sri Lanka's prime minister has resigned. The country is under a nationwide curfew after violent clashes break out in the capital city of Colombo. A live report later this hour here on CNN.
VAUSE: Ukraine's prosecutor general says the Russian army has committed almost 10,000 war crimes in just 70 days. That includes the deliberate bombings of civilian killings, torture, and the use of rape as a women.
CNN's Sara Sidner spoke to two women who described their terrifying ordeal when their village was occupied by Russian troops. A warning, some of the language you're about to hear is graphic and some of the details are very disturbing.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In this pine forest, the remnants of a nasty battle. Caught in the crossfire, a quiet farming village in Ukraine's Brovary district. Here, Russian soldiers are accused of doing more than destroying homes. Two women say they raped them, too.
MIKA, RAPE SURVIVOR (through translator): What that son of a bitch did to me was horrible. He forced me to -- I can't talk about it. I'm ashamed and scared.
SIDNER: She shows us where Russian soldiers fired a shot in her home in March. She said she heard them say their names. One was Oleg, the other Danya (ph).
MIKE: Danya started to pull me by the hood (ph). I told him it's painful. He said, come with me.
SIDNER: She says they dragged her down the street to her neighbor's small farmhouse. There, a grandmother, her daughter, her daughter's husband, and her grandson were all inside sleeping when the soldiers arrived.
SIDNER: What happened when the soldiers showed up at your house?
VALENTINA, MOTHER OF RAPE SURVIVOR (through translator): I hear them banging at the door, so hard that everything around was shaking, even the windows.
SIDNER (voice over): she says she stayed in the house. Her son-in-law went outside with the soldiers and the neighbor.
VALENTINA: There was a short conversation, then there was a sound like a bang. Shot like a firework. My body was shaking.
SIDNER: "They killed him," she says. "They took his wife." While the Russian soldiers marched the two to this empty house, she says she heard them talking.
MIKA: They were calling each other by name saying, look who we're going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
SIDNER: She says she tried to reason with the soldier who had hold of her.
MIKA: Danya told me he was 19. I told him I was 41. My younger son is the same age as you.
I asked him if he has a girlfriend. He said yes. She's 17, but I haven't had sex with her. Then why are you doing this to me? He answered because he hadn't seen a woman in two weeks.
SIDNER: She said the soldier promised not to kill her but when she escaped, she had to risk her life just to get home because this village was under heavy bombardment.
MIKA: There were bullets flying around from the forest. I thought, oh, my God, someone will see me and kill me.
SIDNER (voice over): the two women survived the assault, but then became the target of nasty gossip by other neighbors who saw Russian soldiers roaming around one of their homes. Grandmother Valentina explained why, saying her traumatized daughter went to the Russian commander demanding help burying her husband.
VALENTINA: You guys came at night and kill him, you have to help us bury him.
SIDNER: We're standing on the grave?
SIDNER (voice over): She takes to her backyards and points to two patches of dirt. Her daughter couldn't bear the pain and left the country. Her neighbor decided to stay and fight back.
MIKA: Did they see it? Did they see it? They didn't see it. I can accuse some of them, too.
SIDNER: do you feel like you've been punished twice, once by the rape and then a second time by the rumors in the village?
MIKA: Yes. It's really true. But God can see everything.
SIDNER (voice over): Since the war began, the ombudsman for human rights of Ukraine say reports of rape on a new hotline have exploded.
LYUDMYLA DENISOVA, UKRAINE OMBUSDSMAN FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (through translator): There are more than 700 calls since the first of April.
SIDNER: The United Nations says rape is often used as a weapon of war, but the ombudsman says tracking down evidence and identifying perpetrators of any war crime is especially daunting.
It sounds to me like many of these war crimes will go unpunished. How do you not lose your mind listening to these horrific stories of rape?
DENISOVA: It's very difficult. You know, someone has to do it for our fighters risking their lives on the front lines. They are in danger every minute. This is my own front line.
SIDNER (voice over): One of Ukraine's top prosecutors is investigating this case and told us the details described by these women behind this gate very clearly constitute war crimes.
This survivor says she intends to help them prove it.
SIDNER: What should happen to these soldiers?
MIKA: I want them to be punished by the court. The judges must decide what to do with them. Shoot them, kill them, tear them apart -- the bastards.
SIDNER (voice over): Sara Sidner, CNN -- Brovary district, Ukraine.
VAUSE: Celebrations erupted on the streets of Colombo after Sri Lanka's prime minister resigned Monday. The country has been rocked by civil unrest and protests for weeks over deepening economic crisis, the worst in seven decades.
In his resignation letter, the prime minister said he was quitting to help form an interim unity government to help lift the country out of this crisis.
CNN's Anna Coren live this hour for us in Hong Kong. So, I guess, will this resignation bring the violence and the unrest to an end?
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, we know that there have been protests going on for months, but what we witnessed last night on the streets, not just of the capital, Colombo but right across the country really was unprecedented.
Six people died, hundreds injured, you know, dozens of homes of government ministers were set alight, as were vehicles owned by the government, the police. And this really speaks to the anger on the streets.
You talk about Mahinda Rajapaksa, the prime minister resigning yesterday. Yes, he did that, but not before addressed thousands of his supporters at his official residence in Colombo, basically inciting them to go and attack the antigovernment protesters, who I should say have been protesting peacefully for the past few months. They've been protesting because Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis it has ever experienced since it gained independence from the British in 1948.
There were television cameras at these events, John. His speech was televised. And then the cameras turned to these supporters with metal bars and poles, going out of the residence, attacking the antigovernment protesters before moving on to the make-shift camp at Galle Face, the promenade where it's basically set up camp, attacking those protesters, setting their tents alight.
The antigovernment protesters said they then retaliated and that's when they attacked the homes of these government ministers, as well as the vehicles.
You know, the prime minister may have resigned. But at the end of the day, John, these people want his younger brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa the president, to stand down as well. The Rajapaksa brothers have basically governed Sri Lanka with an iron first for much of the last two decades. And the people, John, are basically fed up.
They want a change and the opposition is saying until the president Gotabaya Rajapaksa also steps down, they are not interested in forming talks for a unity government.
VAUSE: Anna, thank you. Anna Coren there, live from Hong Kong with the very latest. Appreciate it.
South Korea has sworn in a new president. Yoon Seok-youl begins his five-year terms with an increasing nuclear and missile threat from North Korea. But in his inaugural address, Yoon said he had a, quote, "audacious plan" to strengthen North Korea's economy in exchange with denuclearization.
Perhaps that's easier said than done as Yoon takes office with precisely zero foreign policy experience. He faces major challenges domestically as well including a COVID-ravaged economy struggling with inflation, high interest rates and an opposition-controlled parliament.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr., known as Bongbong, is on the brink of accomplishing something that would have been unthinkable decades earlier. According to unofficial results, he appears to be winning the Philippine presidential election by a landslide.
His father was ousted as the country's dictator 36 years ago. Unofficial predictions have Marcos winning about 30 million votes compared to just 14 million for his closest rival.
CNN's Ivan Watson has been tracking the election results. He joins us now live from Hong Kong with more on this. This is, you know, a case of what -- short memories or what?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's clearly a historic moment. These are preliminary results. They're unofficial. But they indicate one of the biggest electoral mandates that any presidential candidate has gotten in generations, really.
Also perhaps, the success that the Bongbong Marcos Jr. campaign has had in pretty much rewriting history and recasting his deposed father's legacy with a nostalgic campaign that millions and millions of Filipinos voted for.
So Marcos Jr., he addressed supporters. Let's take a listen to a little bit of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FERDINAND MARCOS JR., PHILIPPINES PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wanted to issue a short statement and essentially a statement of gratitude.
To all of those who have been with us in this long and sometimes very difficult journey for the last six months. I want to thank you for all that you have done are for us. There are thousands of you out there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: You know, the slogan for this campaign was "Rise Again". There was a lot of message of nostalgia. Many Filipinos are too young to remember the years of the Marcos dictatorship into the 1980s, the nearly a decade of martial law, and may not have seen the allegations of corruption and graft at that time as the Marcos family is still being investigated for potential theft of up to $10 billion worth of assets.
WATSON: So the big question, if Bongbong Marcos Jr. goes forward to become the president, is what will happen to those investigations?
One thing we saw in this election is just the remarkable success of two political dynasties allied. This is Marcos Jr., the son of the ousted dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and Sarah Duterte, the daughter of the outgoing current president Rodrigo Duterte.
So a politician from the south of the country, from the north of the country who won apparently and again, we don't have the final results, official results but appear to have won on a big margin.
The biggest challenger, Leni Robredo, she won in the center and eastern of the country and appealed to youth votes and to the middle class but was still, again according to these preliminary results, just dwarfed by the masses of Filipinos who have voted for the Marcos- Duterte -- two political dynasties founded by strongmen. Back to you.
VAUSE: Ivan thank you, senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson, live for us in Hong Kong.
And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. The news continues with my friend and colleague, Rosemary Church here in Atlanta and also Isa Soares in Lviv, Ukraine.
That's up next.
See you tomorrow.