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Russian Forces Target Odessa; Finland's Leaders Set To Decide On Joining NATO; Protests In Philippines Over Presidential Election; Finland Poised To Join NATO; German Foreign Minister Meets Zelenskyy In Kyiv; Ukrainian Hospitals Treating Patients With Complex Wounds; Queen Misses Opening Of Parliament; Warhol Portrait Of Marilyn Monroe Breaks Sales Record. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired May 10, 2022 - 14:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Hello everyone, I'm Lynda Kinkade, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. Tonight, shopping centers here in Odessa and renewed heavy shelling in Mariupol. We'll have the latest on Russia's war in Ukraine. Then, Finland edges closer to joining NATO, but what would that mean for Vladimir Putin? We'll have a live report from Helsinki. And later, angry protests break out in the Philippines after early results from the presidential election.

Well, the mayor of Odessa calls it a cowardly Russian attack against the people of Ukraine. Take a look at these scenes. Apocalyptic. They show the aftermath of a missile strike on a major shopping center. One of several civilian target-hit in that key port city. Ukraine says Russia used new hypersonic missiles in the bombardment, apparently, for just the second time during this war. One person was killed, but Odessa's mayor says the death toll would have been much higher if a curfew hadn't been in effect.

To the east of the country, the last remaining bastion of Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol came under heavy shelling overnight. The commander inside the Azovstal Steel plant says many soldiers are badly wounded and need immediate evacuation. One female fighter holed up inside, a former music student, released a defiant message on Facebook.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Can I say that I will shoot the knees of those who spread information that I am gone? People, we are at war. I will outlive you all. Mariupol, we are fighting here. People, do we compose yourselves? How do you like Azovstal? The only thing that I can say is that Azovstal is holding on to the Russians while they are here, we are fighting to the last.


KINKADE: Well, let's bring in Scott McLean, who is in Lviv with more on all of this. And Scott, I want to start with Russia attacking those multiple targets in that vital Black Sea port of Odessa. And this time, using hypersonic missiles.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, Odessa has been a scary place lately. It is a long way from the frontlines, but the Russians have been bombing it relentlessly with these missiles as of late, for the last few weeks, really. And so, officials there were expecting to get a new barrage of missiles on the May 9th victory day holiday. And frankly, that is exactly what they got.


MCLEAN (voice-over): As darkness falls in Odessa, firefighters race to control the flames at a shopping mall in the northern part of the city, after the Ukrainian military says it was hit by seven missiles. The sprawling shopping center, one of the largest in southern Ukraine and home to many well-known international stores, was closed at the time because of a government-imposed curfew in effect all day Monday.

It's not clear why it was targeted. Sunrise Tuesday morning shows the flames extinguished, and the sheer scale of the damage. Military officials also say one missile started fires at three warehouses, torching more than 1,200 square meters and causing extensive damage. This is what's left of a sea-side luxury hotel complex called the Grand Patin(ph), which used to be frequented by Russian elites, and it's still owned by a pro-Russian businessman.

Officials said no one was killed or injured. It was one of two hotels hit. The second struck south of the city, in the sea-side village of Zatoka, not far from an important bridge that has been hit several times in recent weeks. The only road or rail connection between the southwest corner of Ukraine and the rest of the country. All of this coming just as European Council President Charles Michel was in the city, meeting with the Ukrainian prime minister.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): Despite the visit of the president of the European Council, Russian troops launched a missile strike on the Odessa region. This is Russia's true attitude towards Europe, and it has always been like this, irrespective of their rhetoric in Moscow.

MCLEAN: Odessa has been a frequent target of Russian missiles in recent weeks, mostly hitting infrastructure, but now increasingly terrorizing residential areas too.

MAYOR GENNADIY TRUKHANOV, ODESSA, UKRAINE: We worked all night to provide assistance for the people, all our units. Now, housing and communal services count the number of affected departments. We will provide help.

MCLEAN: Unclear just what the Russians are trying to achieve here, beyond sowing fear among the civilian population.


MCLEAN: And the European Union official tells CNN that Charles Michel, actually during that meeting with the Ukrainian prime minister, had to seek shelter because of the air raid sirens, and because of those incoming missiles. Now, three of those missiles, the Ukrainians say are these Kinzhal missiles, this Russian missiles that's only been used twice, this is the second time that it's been used in combat, and there is some debate about the significance of this.

There's no doubt that these missiles are bigger, they have a bigger play load, they have a longer range. But if you ask U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, he says they're not a game-changer. Lynda.

KINKADE: Right. And Scott, in terms of the scene at the Mariupol steel plant, we know there have been several evacuations there. This is one of the last places of resistance in Mariupol. What's the latest there?

MCLEAN: Yes, so according to the mayor's office, the Azovstal Steel plant continues to be pounded by Russian heavy artillery. This is not anything new. This has been happening for weeks now, with the Russians taking aim at that facility, trying to smoke out the people who remain there. There are hundreds of soldiers, we're told, potentially hundreds of soldiers wounded as well. There are also, though, according to the mayor's office, still about a 100 civilians left.

And this is surprising only because the Ukrainians had previously said that all of the women, children, and elderly people were successfully evacuated by those three U.N. and Red Cross evacuation missions, which arrived in Zaporizhzhia a couple of days ago. We can only assume that those civilians are all men who have been treated as combatants, as with the rest of the soldiers. Now, they have pleaded to President Zelenskyy to try to broker some kind of an agreement, some kind of deal to get them out of there.

And the president said that he's been working on that with international third-party countries that might be influential with the Russians. We don't have more details than that. But there is no word at this stage on when or even if any kind of a deal might be successful. And those soldiers say, Lynda, that they will not leave without a weapon in their hands. They are prepared, as you heard from that 21-year-old medic earlier, they're prepared to fight until their death if need be.

KINKADE: Yes, the resistance is strong, Scott McLean for us in Lviv, Ukraine, thanks very much. Well, stalemate continues in the Russian occupied city of Kherson along Ukraine's southern coast. This area is vital to Russia's plans to gain control from Crimea to the Donbas region in the east. Now, nearby villages are enduring relentless shelling. And CNN's Nick Paton Walsh shows us live for those still trapped there has become nothing short of a nightmare.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): Both nothing and everything has changed here. The frontlines have barely moved on the road to the southern city of Kherson, the first Russian captured in the six weeks since we were last here. But instead, since then, almost everything in between has been torn up by shelling that literally does not stop. Trapping people who physically cannot flee in the churn of a brutal stalemate.

Here, in the village of Shevchenko are two neighbors, both --


WALSH: We move to the yard as the shells get closer.


WALSH: Olena (ph) still manages to get down to his wife's basement shelter. She's installed a plank on the way here to help him rest.


WALSH: They used to get dressed up to go to bed, it was so cold down here. But Manchin(ph) leaving, and she chuckles.


WALSH: Night spent here have focused her hatred.



WALSH: Across the road is Valentina (ph), alone. Shells always seem to just miss her.


WALSH: Overwhelmed, yet hauntingly eloquent.


WALSH: It's not so much that life goes on here, but that it has nowhere else to go. These men selling cows' milk, although, that's not what Leonard(ph) has been drinking.

"Hello to everyone", he says, "40 times a day and night, they shell." Barely, a window was intact. Shrapnel flying through the glass daily. Yesterday, was Svetlana's (ph) turn, but she can't leave, as she's waiting for her son to return from the war in Mariupol.

"Our children are all at war", she says. "My son is a prisoner. If he comes back, and I have gone, it's like I've abandoned him. We wait, hope, worry. He is alive, and we will live." On the road out of here, the shrapnel rises fiercely above the warm fields. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Shevchenko, Ukraine.


KINKADE: Well, the war in Ukraine is making the global food crisis even worse. The conflict has sent prices for grains, cooking oils, and fuel and fertilizer soaring. And fruit supplies can't leave the country by sea because of a Russian blockade. The U.N. Food Agency officials says nearly 25 million tons of grain are stuck in Ukraine, in large part because of that blockade. President Zelenskyy is now asking the international community for help.


ZELENSKYY: This is not just a strike at Ukraine. Without our agrarian export, dozens of countries in various regions of the world have found themselves on the brink of food deficit. With time, the situation can truly become disastrous. Politicians have already begun looking into ramifications of the price crisis and food shortage in the countries of Africa and Asia.


KINKADE: Well, Martin Frick is the director of the World Food Program Global Office in Berlin. Good to have you with us, Martin.


KINKADE: So, you've described this global food crisis as a perfect humanitarian storm. Explain what you mean?

FRICK: That is indeed correct. We were already in trouble at the beginning of this year. COVID and also climate change, plus a whole series of ongoing conflict have driven up global food crisis. Now, the war in Ukraine is just adding the additional pressure that the world cannot shoulder.

KINKADE: And when you look at how much food comes from Ukraine and Russia, it's substantial. This region is known as Europe's food basket. I just want to bring up a graphic for our viewers. According to One World data -- our world and data in 2019, and this is obviously based on U.N. figures, 64 percent of global sunflower oil, which is of course used in many pre-packaged products comes from the region, along with 23 percent of wheat from both those countries, I should say.

And also we've got 10 percent of barley coming from Ukraine. But when you take it along with what comes from Russia, that's almost 20 percent, 16 percent of maize also coming from Ukraine. So, the longer this war drags on, the bigger the problem, right?

FRICK: That's absolutely right. And if you combine Russia and Ukraine, you're basically looking at about 12 percent of the globally- traded calories. So, the impact is very substantial.

KINKADE: And some 25 million tons, I mentioned of grain is currently stuck in Ukraine. Russia of course has blocked access to the Black Sea, Ukraine's main export route. And of course, trucks face other hurdles. Most men under the age of 60 have to stay in the country to join the war effort. So, they can't export outside the country, they can't leave the country. Now, on top of that, Russia has reportedly stolen 400,000 tons of grain, that's according to Ukraine's Defense Ministry.


What can be done right now to help get some of the grain inside Ukraine exported?

FRICK: The most significant thing that could be achieved is actually an opening of at least some of the Black Sea ports. The port cities alone, we have 6.5 million tons of wheat that is blocked there, about a 100 ships couldn't leave the Black Sea with grains on board. And that is double important, that's important because the wheat is needed right now, but also storage capacity will be needed in a couple of weeks when the next harvest is done.

KINKADE: And Russia, of course, is also a major exporter of fertilizer. Fertilizer of course, used in agriculture right around the world. Sanctions are impacting those exports. And on top of that, you've got gas prices at record highs. So, the risk is that the world food supply becomes more expensive, but less abundant.

FRICK: Well, this risk has already materialized. We are basically at 80 percent higher wheat prices than a bit over a year ago. And there's a lot of uncertainty on the markets which is reflected in the prices worldwide. And that is affecting countries who are already deeply indebted and just simply cannot afford buying on the global market with these prices.

KINKADE: All right, we'll have to leave it there for now. Martin Frick; director of the World Food Program Global Office in Berlin, thanks so much for your time.

FRICK: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, U.S. President Joe Biden is blaming Russia's war on Ukraine and COVID-19 for economic concerns back at home.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know the families all across America are hurting because of inflation. I understand what it feels like. I come from a family where when the price of gas or food went up, we felt it. It was a discussion at the kitchen table.


KINKADE: Well, inflation hasn't been this high in the U.S. In 40 years. Prices at the pump have also hit record highs with the Fed raising interest rates, fears of a recession are getting stronger. I want to bring in "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" anchor Richard Quest, always good to see you, Richard. So, U.S. President Biden speaking earlier, talking about what his administration can do to tackle inflation. And I have to ask you, is a recession inevitable?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: It's not inevitable, no. No, the prospect -- I was thinking about that as I was walking into the office today. You know, it depends on how you phrased the question. Can the Fed engineer a soft landing? Yes, they can. Will they? Well, that's another matter. Because the amount of -- the amount that they're going to have to do to get rid of 8.5 percent inflation is so huge -- now, I've got a chart in front of me, we haven't had this sort of inflation since -- well, you know, the 1980s.

Another thing to bear in mind, it's coming at the same time as other countries are also slowing down. So, the EU, highly likely to skirt recession. The Bank of England has already said that the U.K. almost certainly will go into recession. China is slowing down to such an extent it will feel like a recession. So, in the great global economics, Lynda, you look for where is the engine of growth? What's pulling everybody up? And the truth is, there isn't anything.

And that is why we are now entering what I believe is amongst the most difficult economic times since the Second World War.

KINKADE: Wow, and Richard, of course, there's a lot of volatility in the markets.

QUEST: Yes --

KINKADE: Last I checked, U.S. stocks are back up after a major three- day slide.

QUEST: Right --

KINKADE: How are they looking now?

QUEST: Well, the thing about the stocks, you look at that. I mean, we were down -- we're up 42, we were down same for the triple stock, up and down, up and down. And the reason for this volatility is new ways of trading. You've not only got consumers who are trading, of course, but you've got high frequency economics type of trading, you've got quantum trading. So, you have a lot more automatic trading systems that spot the trend, make the trade, huge amounts of volatility going through the markets.

Which is why I say -- I suggest, don't look during the day, look at the open and look at the close, which will be an hour and a half or so, which we'll have --


QUEST: For "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" because that shows you where your book-squaring is. The truth is that the losses are now so volatile and large, that it gets harder to skirt recession because the volatility in itself, means that we all feel worse off, and therefore stop spending, therefore make a bad situation worse.

KINKADE: Right, and of course, Richard, a key inflation report comes out tomorrow.

QUEST: Yes, CPI --

KINKADE: A consumer price report -- yes, what can we expect?

[14:20:00] QUEST: Oh, you know, whether it's 8.1, 8.3, 8.5, doesn't make any

difference. You're looking underneath it. The headline numbers, forget about. Even if you -- even if you look at the underlying trend or the core number, now, what you're looking at is things like what could be causing inflation in three months time? Wages, oil, prices, things that go into manufacturing foodstuffs, that go into manufacturing, things that are being bought now, that where there will be a price point in 3 to 6 months from now.

Because the interest rate increases being introduced now won't have an effect for about 3 to 6 to 9 months.

KINKADE: Right, all right, well, we will tune in to "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" --

QUEST: Yes --

KINKADE: With you after this --

QUEST: Thank you --

KINKADE: Next hour, and see how the markets finish at the end of the day, thanks so much --

QUEST: Thank you --

KINKADE: Richard. Richard Quest there. Well, still to come tonight, early election results, protests in the streets, and two candidates with a controversial legacy. We're going to bring you the latest on the Philippines' presidential vote. Also, the U.K. formally opens British parliament, but without the head of state. Why Queen Elizabeth had to ask her son to step in. We'll bring you that story as well.


KINKADE: Welcome back. In the Philippines, people are taking to the streets in anger protesting against the presidential election outcome. Preliminary results show Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his VP running mate Sara Duterte winning in a landslide. CNN's Ivan Watson has more on their controversial campaign.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): We're still days away from final, official results of Monday's national elections in the Philippines. But the preliminary numbers suggest a landslide victory for Ferdinand Marcos Jr. known popularly in the Philippines as Bongbong; the son of the late ousted dictator of the Philippines. Bongbong ran a campaign calling for unity, also with a bit of a nostalgia message.

Critics argue, white-washing the atrocious human rights record of his father when he spent nearly a decade ruling through martial law.

[14:25:00] Also, downplaying allegations of gross corruption, and millions, tens

of millions of Filipino voters appear to respond to his campaign message. Here's part of what he had to say to voters after polls closed.

FERDINAND MARCOS JR., PHILIPPINES PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wanted to issue a short statement. And essentially, it's 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 need -- I want to thank you for all that you have done for us. There are thousands of you out there.

WATSON: Part of what appeared to work for Bongbong Marcos was a strategic alliance with another powerful political dynasty, that of Rodrigo Duterte, the outgoing, rather controversial Philippines president. His daughter, Sara, was a running mate for the post of vice president alongside Marcos. And that combination seems to have won, potentially, a bigger electoral mandate than any other president and vice president ticket has seen really, potentially in generations.

There have been reports of more than a 1,000-vote-counting machines that appear to have malfunctioned, and that has triggered some displays of discontent, some protests in the Philippines capital on Tuesday. Take a listen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We saw the need to mobilize ourselves because we've heard reports of cheating, malfunctioning, vote-counting machines, forms of harassment from the electoral board and police, other forms of harassment of poll watchers and instances of vote-buying. So, all of these are very alarming.

WATSON: The biggest rival to Bongbong Marcos is the presidential candidate, former Vice President Leni Robredo, she herself has come out, not conceding, but admitting disappointment, and also calling on her supporters not to give in to disunity. So, we'll be watching closely to see how investigations into malfunctioning machines go forward, and also into how the various politicians will position themselves as the official vote-count progresses. Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.


KINKADE: Well, now to the unrest in Sri Lanka sparked by the nation's economic crisis. Troops have been ordered to shoot anyone involved in looting, damaging property or assaulting officials. It comes after clashes broke out Monday between pro and anti-government protesters, killing at least eight people and injuring more than 200. Protesters set fire at homes and destroyed vehicles. The outgoing prime minister who resigned Monday was rescued in a pre-dawn operation, after protesters tried to enter his home.

He's now at an undisclosed location. Well, to China, where Shanghai is further tightening lockdown measures. Under new rules, residents living near anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be sent to a government quarantine center. City officials have also issued new guidelines for disinfecting residents homes, it follows complaints on social media over videos showing workers entering people's apartments without their permission and damaging their personal belongings.

Still to come tonight, Finland is on the verge of making a decision about NATO membership. And if they join, it could be a crushing blow to Russia's president. We'll have more on that story next. Plus, NATO forces are holding training exercises near the Ukraine as Moscow and its allies keep a close watch.




KINKADE (voice-over): Welcome back, I'm Lynda Kinkade. Thanks for joining us.

Finland may be on the cusp of joining NATO. Russia's war in Ukraine has made that once unthinkable prospect highly likely. That's according to the Finnish minister.

The country shares a long land border with Russia. In the next few days, Finland's president and prime minister will share their opinions on applying for NATO membership.

And on Saturday, lawmakers will make the decision. For many Finns, Russia now poses too large a threat to ignore. Our Nic Robertson shows us what they are hoping to protect.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): 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 1,300 kilometer/830 mile border that separates them.

It is quite remarkable how open the border appears to be. We are not allowed to cross the field. But on the other side of the field, less than 100 meters away, it is a low, waist-high fence, a few wooden poles and some wire.

For a clearer view of the border, you need to get above it.

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.

Other fences?


ROBERTSON (voice-over): 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?

KORHONEN: Confused. It has been safe. But now it is different.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): For Finns, that change in feeling came fast.

Once tepid support for NATO rocketed as Russia invaded Ukraine, from one third to over two thirds in a matter of weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). Excellent choice because we need now protection. And it's the best available.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joining NATO would be that gate to us (ph) that no one will invade us.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Here in Finland's east, generations have grown, knowing that Russia can be a dangerous neighbor.

ROBERTSON: As local legend would have it, when the Russians arrived here 281 years ago and stormed the fort up the Hill, they spilled so much blood this log was carried down the hill on it.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): World War II commemorations of Finnish dead from battling the Red Army are plentiful, too. Finland ultimately escaping invasion by agreeing to be non-aligned.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): At the last Finnish cafe before the Helsinki to Moscow transcontinental rail line crosses into Russia, security, not trade, is the top priority, despite new E.U. sanctions on Russia harming business.

VILLE LAIHIA, CAFE WORKER: 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 (voice-over): At the local ice hockey rink, many of the pros practicing sport Ukrainian flags on their helmets. Sympathies strong; similarities easy to imagine.

JARNO KOSKIRANTA, SAIPA HOCKEY TEAM CAPTAIN: It's natural enough (ph) to bring into mind at what could happen because we are so close.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Captain Koskiranta's focus: keep his team's head in the game. NATO membership, he says, should help.

KOSKIRANTA: I hope it will bring more like we can (ph) a little bit relax and just try to enjoy our lives like we have been enjoying so far. ROBERTSON (voice-over): At the official road crossing, one of the few

places Russians can legally enter Finland, traffic is one-tenth what it was two years ago and no apparent cross-border threat; the reverse, even. This young Russian seeking Finland's safety, an escape from Putin's war.

ANTON, RUSSIAN CITIZEN: I think I will never come back into Russia.


ANTON: Yes, probably. I also am trying to avoid conscription because I don't want to die in Ukraine. That is not I like -- what I would like to do.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): 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 Vladimir Putin's ill intent at bay.


KINKADE: Nic Robertson joins me now from the Finnish capital of Helsinki.

Good to see you, Nic. Interesting report there.

I'm wondering if there's any discussion in Finland to strengthen that flimsy border?

ROBERTSON: I think there is a real perception and understanding here that, although the border looks flimsy and there are people trafficking issues, which, the border guards that we met patrolling the border, try to stay on top of, they do use high-tech monitoring equipment to detect what is going on along the border.

They can respond to it. It's not the same as having people all the way along the border. I think there is the understanding here in Finland that if Russia does step up the aggressive activity along the border, then, clearly, they will have to put more people on that border to monitor it and perhaps step up the level of technology they have in place.

It's a sort of it -- think of perhaps it as an electronic tripwire. If it's gets tripped in too many places and you don't have enough people, then it's not an effective border. And Finns are fully aware of the limits of what they have at the moment.

KINKADE: Right. Nic, I want to ask you about the German foreign minister, who made a visit to Ukraine, the highest ranking German lawmaker to visit the country.

What were the key takeaways from that visit?

ROBERTSON: Yes. Annalena Baerbock said she had an open and friendly meeting with President Zelenskyy. The Dutch foreign minister was there as well. The conversation, she said, was about ongoing support for Ukraine but also addressing what is becoming a growing global concern and a growing focus of European politicians.

We saw this with Charles Michel, the European Council president, who went to Odessa yesterday, the port that would hit, if Ukraine was not under war from Russia, it would be the port where a lot of the wheat will be exported that's grown in Ukraine to the rest of the world, particularly developing nations.

So we can see a deeper line of conversation now opening with the Ukrainians about how to keep that flow of food going, what can be expected from their crops this year, how much the international community is going to need to step up. That was part of that conversation.

I think it was significant that she was there anyway, given the problems that there were a few weeks ago, when Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German president, was all set to go on a trip with the presidents of Poland and the Baltic States.

That was declined by the Ukrainians. That sort of put a real bad feeling in the relationship, which had already been testy since the war began. This seems to draw a line under that and move forward. I think that's why she described the meeting as open and friendly.


That's the way they want to have the relationship now.

KINKADE: All right, we will leave it there for now. Nic Robertson for us in Finland. Good to have you with us. Thank you.

NATO forces are conducting training exercises in the Black Sea just 160 kilometers from Ukraine. The exercises are making Russia and its allies nervous. The Belarusian military chief says the country is deploying special forces to its border with Ukraine, as a response to the U.S. and its allies increasing their military presence in the area.

NATO officials say the drills are worth the risk of escalation. Our Fred Pleitgen got to see one firsthand.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On high alert in the Black Sea, U.S. Navy SEALs, Romanian and British special forces practice raiding an enemy ship, an exercise that requires a lot of skill but also, strong cooperation, a member of the Romanian special forces tells me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) is very important, so all the teams can get on board of the ship in the exact time they should.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): These are among NATO's most elite units. They allowed us to film on the condition we would not reveal their identities. The raid involves both fast, rigid inflatable boats, as well as a chopper, to land troops on the ship, search it and detain would-be enemy combatants. This drill is part of a much larger special forces exercise called

Trojan Footprint, involving some 30 countries, both NATO and non-NATO allies.

PLEITGEN: On the face of it, this exercise has nothing to do with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But we're not very far from Ukraine's borders at all. And the U.S. has been very keen to strengthen the NATO alliance and show that it's committed to collective security here in Europe.

Romania directly borders Ukraine, where the war is raging, both on land and at sea.

The exercise took place not far from Snake Island, which the Russians raided in late February and are occupying. The Ukrainians, though, have struck back, managing to hit the flagship Moskva cruiser and sink it.

It in the past few days, they released videos of their forces allegedly hitting both a Russian landing vessel and a Russian chopper unloading troops on Snake Island.

The Russians, for their part, claim to have hit Ukrainian strike aircraft and a helicopter. Romanian forces telling us they recently had to destroy a sea mine that floated here from Ukrainian waters. But the commander in charge of this drill says they keep the war next door off their minds and focus on getting better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's important on the level of training that we reach p .

PLEITGEN: But it is quite real right now, (INAUDIBLE)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes, it is real and we are prepared for anything.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): The U.S. says exercises like this one have become even more important since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, to strengthen the NATO alliance and deter Moscow from aggressive moves against member countries -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN off the coast of Romania, in the Black Sea.


KINKADE: Still to come tonight, injuries from the front line. The human toll of Putin's war on Ukraine. We will speak with the wounded at a hospital, in Lviv, next.





KINKADE: Welcome back.

The Italian prime minister, Mario Draghi, is at the White House, where he's been talking to U.S. President Joe Biden about the war in Ukraine. Take a listen to what he had to say just a moment ago.


MARIO DRAGHI, ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER: The ties between our two countries have always been very strong. And if anything, this war in Ukraine made them stronger.


DRAGHI: If Putin ever thought that he could divide us, you think there's no question about that. We stand together in condemning the invasion of Ukraine, sanction and ration and of helping Ukraine as President Zelenskyy is asking us to do.


KINKADE: We're back to what's happening on the ground now. From schools to railway stations to shopping malls, throughout the war in Ukraine, Russia has consistently hit civilian targets with devastating consequences.


KINKADE (voice-over): This video shows the aftermath of an attack on a civilian convoy trying to flee the fighting around Kharkiv. Police say several people were killed. Also in Kharkiv, officials say 44 bodies have been pulled from the rubble of an apartment building in the town of Izyum.

That town was been shelled for days before Russian forces took control back in March.


KINKADE: Well, the World Health Organization has verified 200 attacks on health care facilities in Ukraine since the start of Russia's invasion. It's a worrying find as hospitals are filling up fast with the wounded from the front lines. CNN's Isa Soares met with patients at a hospital in Lviv.


ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dmytro is in shock. His body pierced and organs punctured multiple times by shrapnel. From shelling just outside his home in Kharkiv, a battleground in eastern Ukraine.

At first, he was very tough, he tells me. And then, I came to terms with everything that happened to me. His voice almost a whisper. He tells me he regrets not listening to his elders that fateful day.

How are you feeling? After you know, clearly some horrendous few days?

I never thought that I would say it. You have to protect yourself to the maximum and follow all the rules that are told by adults, he says.

The 19-year old, who lost both his parents before the war, was evacuated by train and transferred here to Western Ukraine's biggest hospital, where he's undergone multiple surgeries and spent weeks in the ICU.

Dmytro's doctor tells me he too is struggling to make sense of the injuries he's been seeing.

DR. HNAT IHOROVYCH HERYCH, SURGICAL DEPARTMENT HEAD, LVIV FIRST MEDICAL UNION: I've done some operation that I only read from the books and my colleagues from the Austria in Germany they also have some experience but they never seen such serious disease.

SOARES: Dmytro's part of a steady stream of patients who have been evacuated from the front lines and arrived in Lviv on medical trains like this one, an impressive wartime operation with an inbuilt ICU carriage, which travels back and forth between the front line in the east with critically injured patients.

It's a journey that little Sofia also had to make when she left Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine. The 9-year old just out of the ICU is now recovering after a piece of shrapnel measuring 1 centimeter entered her brain as she made her way home. She's very strong.

"She hasn't even cried when she got wounded," her mother tells me.

Visibly exhausted, her mother shows me photos of happier times. Now relieved her little girl is turning a corner.


SOARES (voice-over): "At first when she started breathing independently and was still in Mykolaiv, they let me walk into the ICU. I walked in and unexpectedly she said, 'Mommy,' with tears in her eyes. I was so happy that she remembered me and that she didn't lose her memory," she says.

Sofia's neurosurgeon tells me he's never seen a case like this, as he shows me her CT scans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- more than 1 percent.

SOARES: So the shrapnel came through the front.


SOARES: All the way, perforated all the way to the back of the skull?


SOARES: Dr. Mykhailo (ph) tells me he operates on as many as five children every week. Proof perhaps that even the most innocent are not immune to the scars of Russia's war -- Isa Soares, CNN, Lviv, Ukraine.


KINKADE: If you would like to safe and securely help people in Ukraine, who may be in need of shelter, food and, water please go to We'll find several ways you can help.

Still to come tonight, a missing monarch and symbolic ceremony and the commitment to Ukraine. Coming, up how the opening of U.K. Parliament looked a little different than expected.




KINKADE: South Korea's new president, Yoon Suk-yeol, has begun his five-year term. In his inauguration speech in Seoul, Mr. Yoon said he has a bold plan to strengthen North Korea's economy in exchange for denuclearization.

He says his administration is open to dialogue with Pyongyang, despite the threat from its nuclear weapons program.

And for the first time in nearly 60 years, the queen misses the opening of British Parliament. Queen Elizabeth was unable to fulfill this key duty as monarch, due to ongoing mobility issues.

Her son, Prince Charles, stepped in Tuesday to read her speech, outlining the U.K. government's agenda.

And prime minister Boris Johnson vowed to remain a steadfast friend to Ukraine. CNN's royal correspondent Max Foster has more.


MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: This was a very symbolic moment in modern British history. We got used to seeing Prince Charles step up to represent the queen when she can't make an event.

But this was a core, constitutional responsibility, the opening of Parliament. The monarch has to be there. She couldn't make it because of this recurring mobility issue.


So she issued legal orders to allow Prince Charles and Prince William to represent her instead. For the very first time, Prince Charles read the queen's speech. Written by the government, it sets out their legislative agenda for the coming parliamentary term.


CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES: Her Majority's ministers will work closely with international partners to maintain a united NATO and address the most pressing global security challenges.


FOSTER: We were given less than 24 hours' notice that the queen wouldn't be able to attend Parliament on Tuesday. That's really the form now. Whenever she is slated to appear at an event, we will be told probably on the day or the night before, whether or not she will be there -- Max Foster, CNN, London.


KINKADE: A record-breaking night for the art world. Andy Warhol's iconic painting of Marilyn Monroe became the most expensive piece of 20th century art ever sold. The piece went for $195 million at Christie's in under four minutes on Monday.

Warhol painted the "Shot Sage Blue Marilyn" after her death in the '60s, making her a pop art icon.

Thanks so much for watching tonight. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Stay with CNN, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next.