Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Metropolitan Police Doing Their Historic Duty; President Zelenskyy Visited Liberated Cities; Russian Dissidents Calling for Vladimir Putin to Resign; Rail Workers to Strike on Friday; Martha's Vineyard Welcomed Immigrants. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired September 15, 2022 - 03:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Becky Anderson for you in London, where the queue to view the queen line and state at Westminster Hall behind me here, now stretches about two miles, as one by one mourners say their silent goodbyes.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Rosemary Church here in Atlanta. We are live in Kyiv this hour, after President Zelenskyy's defiant visit to a newly-liberated city near the front lines.

ANDERSON: Well, a stream of mourners continues to file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth here in London, where hundreds of thousands are expected to say their final goodbyes to the late monarch in the days ahead.

Well, her majesty is now lined and state Westminster Hall, in a coffin will remain there until her state funeral on Monday.

The preparations for the queen's funeral have been underway in London, where rehearsals were held late into the night. A somber procession on Wednesday, to the queen's coffin, from Buckingham Palace in a horse drawn carriage, to the palace of Westminster.

Following just behind the casket, King Charles III and his siblings along with Prince William and Prince Harry, who marched side-by-side along the procession route.

Well, the queen's coffin was then carried into Westminster Hall where so many have already passed through the doors to pay tribute to the queen. The queue of mourners stretched for almost three miles for at one point, along the river Thames. This was when the doors to the hall finally opened on Wednesday evening.

So many of the queen's admirers willing to wait for hours just to walk past her coffin, and say goodbye. Well, some 750,000 mourners expected to pay their respects over a period of four days. That opportunity open to the public 24 hours a day, between now and the queen's funeral on Monday. As many as 10,000 police officers will be on duty in London every day,

along with hundreds of military personnel in one of the biggest security operations this country has ever seen. The heavy police presence, just one aspect of what is a much more elaborate security operation for the queen's funeral.

London's mayor says it's like the Olympics, the marathon, the, carnival and previous royal weddings all rolled into one.

With us to explain more about this is Will Geddes, managing director at International Corporate Protection. It's good to have you with us. Just talk to me about the challenges authorities face, given what are these immense crowds. We are seeing those who are wanting to pay their respects in a queue that stretches as far as three miles, and that's just the beginning, isn't it?

WILL GEDDES, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE PROTECTION: Yes, absolutely. I mean, this is huge, Becky. I think the mayor encapsulated it perfectly in saying it's all these major events that we've seen over the last decade or so that have literally converge together. But it's not to say that we haven't been prepared for it, there is this overarching plan that has been working in the background called Operation Lion.

And many viewers will have certainly heard of Operation London Bridge, and Operation Unicorn, which was obviously the passing of her majesty, and the transport of her back to London. But there are various different stages.

We are now into marquee and also into further which looks at her lying in state, and the protection, very importantly, of members of the general public as they are going to see her and pay their last respects.

ANDERSON: What sort of issues will authorities be prepared for?

GEDDES: Well, every aspect of the spectrum of threats. This is probably one of the most immense events in terms of the diversity of potential risks that could potentially materialize and that's what they've got to prepare for.

So, in the first instance we're looking at everything from international terrorism, all the way through direct action groups like extinction rebellion or stop oil, through to members of the general public who might adversely react to any protest by anti-monarchist or anti-royalist, again, and also general street crime.


ANDERSON: The head of the Met who is newly installed, the Met being the Metropolitan Police force who are responsible for the policing of the city described this as a massive challenge.


ANDERSON: But one that he and his force were ready for. We know that there are some 10,000 police officers on duty, we know that the army are also involved, it's been amazing to see the amount of volunteers who are also involved. Can they have their eyes on everything, Will?

GEDDES: Well, they can in a physical sense, absolutely. I mean, we're looking at about 1,500 police officers, and you've got obviously above the service and below the surface security measures which are in place. And that below the surface elements are things that we won't necessarily see all those that untrained eyes won't see.

Now that can be an amalgam of everything from plainclothes police officers to members of special forces to technology which will have certainly converge to look at using facial recognition, and all the other technology at their avail, certainly for the security services, to identify any persons of interest or persons that are acting suspiciously.

And then that can trigger the response by a moreover presence by police officers. But by the sheer numbers this access are very, very good deterrent in many regards to anybody who is intending to turn up with mal intent.

ANDERSON: The queen died last Thursday peacefully at Balmoral. Her funeral of course is on Wednesday, the details of which will be revealed later on today. That's a long time, isn't it?

GEDDES: Yes. Yes.

ANDERSON: And you know, the crowds will ebb and throw, and one assumes that the security issues, you know, will also sort of ebb and flow as we move for that period. It's not just a day's event.

GEDDES: I know.

ANDERSON: Is that, that must be a challenge.

GEDDES: That is the huge challenge. And as you can imagine the authorities, if it's one event and having taken a few heads of state to various events and foreign royal family members to event, you know, you hold your breath for a day, and then you can go, great, we've got them out safe and everything went to plan.

For this, for the authorities, this is -- this is the worst nightmare. This is something which is going on for at least a week. And again, you've got to disperse a number of assets or people or potential targets, let's call them out, so a bit of a grim word to use, but the individuals that need to be kept safe, and those are members of the general public.

And it's striking that balance for the authorities to ensure that the general public can have a good respectful experience, and not be impeded by obviously the security measures any more than is absolutely necessary.

ANDERSON: For as far as I've known you, and that has to be more than 20 years, these plans have been in place.


ANDERSON: And it's probably been in place longer so it's not like this planning had to be sort of organized overnight.


ANDERSON: But certainly, you know, it was relatively short notice, wasn't it?


ANDERSON: I mean, we've known the queen hasn't been well for some time, but it was relatively short notice last Thursday. Things going according to plan, I'm sure at present.

Good to have you. Thank you very much indeed.

You'll see over my shoulder Big Ben. It is just after 8 o'clock in the morning here, seven minutes or so past 8 o'clock in the morning. Below me here is the river Thames. You'll see the Houses of Parliament behind me.

And it's along the river Thames that CNN's Scott McLean is braving the cold where people are queuing patiently as Brits do, waiting for their chance to say goodbye to the queen. What are people telling you, Scott, and how far have people come?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky. Look, we have met people who have come from really, all over Southern England. People have come from several hours away, I've met people even from further than that.

Most people are from, you know, maybe within an hour to radius of London, but you can bet that not everyone lives in the city, so people are undoubtedly making a sacrifice, taking time out of their day to come here to spend who knows how long in this line, to file past the queen's coffin for maybe 30 seconds or maybe a minute.

But for everyone in this line they say that it is well worth it. The mayor said yesterday that this event, this lying in state, and all the pageantry around the queen's funeral is like the Olympics, the London marathon, and several royal weddings all put together just with the volume of people, and with how big of a security operations this actually is.

We're talking about 1,000 police and volunteers lining the route of this queue. And you know, you mentioned the British people like an orderly queue, and this one certainly is no exception. And considering how long it is, this is really the queue to end queues. And I can't really tell you where the end of it is because we haven't reached yet. There we go, a couple corners away.


Let me just ask really quickly. Ma'am, how long have you've been in the lineup for? UNKNOWN: About five minutes.

MCLEAN: About five minutes. All right, so we're nearing the end. How long expecting to wait for?

UNKNOWN: We don't care. We don't mind. Probably about three hours or something.

MCLEAN: Are you prepared to stand for three hours?

UNKNOWN: Yes, I'm rested. I'm further.


MCLEAN: And why is it so important for you to be here, ma'am?

UNKNOWN: I think she's just being a part of our lives forever and we just wanted to pay our respects. I think it's really important.

MCLEAN: Are you optimistic about King Charles and how he'll be able to take the reign?

UNKNOWN: I think we are, yes. I think so very much. So far, so good. I know it's only been a week, but yes.

MCLEAN: So far so good.


UNKNOWN: I hope the monarchy endures.

MCLEAN: Thank you, guys. I appreciate it.

UNKNOWN: Where you're from?

MCLEAN: We're with C -- we're with CNN. Yes. Let me just take you to the end of the line, I think not everybody realizes that we're live on TV necessarily.

We're trying to get to the end of the line, Becky, but as I mentioned, they're kind of breaking it up. They're kind of trying to do it in sections, so you'll see it at a standstill and then you'll see it moving forward.

Ma'am, just wondering where you've come from today?

UNKNOWN: We've come from London, but we live in Devin, we've traveled up to London to join the queue.

MCLEAN: And so why was it so important for you to be here?

UNKNOWN: It's a historic moment, isn't it? I can't -- nothing else other than that pure history.

MCLEAN: You guys don't look like you have very much in the way of supplies. I just wonder how long you're expecting to be in this lineup for?

UNKNOWN: I think we've got an opportunity to get some coffee and some sandwiches on the way. We'll take interns, you know. Going to for supplies.


UNKNOWN: The logistic support mostly.

MCLEAN: So, I wonder what the queen meant to you.

UNKNOWN: Well, I always think that it was better to have him on than a president, quite honestly.

MCLEAN: Bold statement. I'm not sure everyone will agree. Thank you, guys. God luck in the -- good luck in the queue. So, again, Becky, we're going to try to wander down and find the end of the line. But as it stands right now from our estimation, the lineup is maybe two and a half miles long, maybe a bit longer depending on where the end. Obviously, it's fluctuating.

And all the people that you see going this way with a bit of a hop in their step, they're also trying to find the end of the line, so you can just imagine how quickly it's getting a bit longer.

ANDERSON: Scott McLean, down on the river with those who are queuing, they will be there for some time. We're estimating around five to six hours at this point, but it seems that everybody is perfectly happy on what is a fresh morning to be queuing, and to getting their opportunity to pay their respects.

I'll have more from London in just a few minutes. First, let's get you to Rosemary Church this hour at the CNN center in Atlanta. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Thank you so much, Becky. We'll go back to you very soon.

Well, Ukraine's leader got a firsthand look Wednesday at the recently recaptured city of Izium in the Kharkiv region. Before Ukraine's lightning counteroffensive it served as a key logistics hub for Russian forces.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy says evidence is being gathered there of murders and kidnappings carried out by Russian forces. Much of the city is now in ruins with scenes of destruction like this everywhere.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE: The view is very shocking, but it's not shock for me because we -- we began to see the same pictures from Bucha from the first they occupied territories. So, the same. Destroyed buildings. Killed people.


CHURCH: And once rare public dissent in Russia is growing in the wake of Moscow's losses. A local Russian official in St. Petersburg appeared on CNN earlier to reiterate his call for Vladimir Putin to step aside.


NIKITA YUFEREV, DEPUTY, SMOLNINSKOYE MUNICIPAL DISTRICT IN ST. PETERSBURG (through translator): We will continue to insist on his resignation, perhaps our words about Putin having a harmful effect on Russia and he needs to leave power will continue to spread.


CHURCH: And we are getting new insight into Vladimir Putin's mindset from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. After the two spoke earlier this week, Chancellor Scholz says there's no indication that Mr. Putin's attitude toward the war has changed.

And our Ben Wedeman joins us now from the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Good to see you, Ben.

So, in a show of defiance to Russia, Ukraine's president took a victory lap in the liberated city of Izium Wednesday, but this war is far from over of course. What is the latest you are hearing from the battlefield?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we understand from Ukrainian officials that perhaps the offensive in the Kharkiv area is winding down. They've taken, according to Ukrainian officials, 6,000 square kilometers in the span of just two weeks.


And of course, in a situation like that, they really need to secure the grounds that they've retaken and also put up a protective perimeter in the events -- the event of a Russian, counter offensive. Although certainly from the accounts we're hearing from the battle for the Kharkiv area, it appears that Russian forces are in severe disarray.

They've apparently lost hundreds of millions of dollars in military equipment. The troops that were -- the Russian troops that were captured by the Ukrainians seemed to be telling tales of low morale, lack of proper supplies, no logistical support and poor leadership. So certainly, this was a severe blow for the Russians.

And of course, now many eyes are turning to the situation in the south, particularly around the city of Kherson, where for weeks now we've been hearing about preparations for a Ukrainian offensive there. There have been suggestions that that talk was really just a diversion for the Kharkiv offensive, but perhaps, what we're also hearing is that that was not the case. That in fact, they are preparing for an offensive, at that area.

So definitely at this point, Rosemary, it does appear that the Russians are on a back foot at this point.

CHURCH: Yes. All right. Ben Wedeman joining us live from Kyiv. Many thanks for that. I appreciate it. Well, a Ukrainian official says President Zelenskyy was involved in a

minor car accident in Kyiv on Wednesday after returning from Izium. He was not badly injured but the driver of the car that hit the president's vehicle was given emergency treatment in an ambulance. Authorities are investigating the incident.

The head of Sweden's moderate party says he will begin forming a new government in what many expect will be a major move to the right. Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson concedes her social Democrats lost last weekend's general election that paves away for coalition government that's likely to end decades of tolerant and inclusive politics in Sweden.


ULF KRISTERSSON, MODERATE PARTY LEADER (through translator): The voters have spoken. The moderates in the other parties on my side have received the mandate for change that we asked for. I will start the work now with forming a new and vigorous government, a government for the whole of Sweden and for all its citizens.


CHURCH: The Sweden Democrats Party are expected to play a key role in the new government. They have roots in the white supremacist fringe and blame liberal immigration policies for many of the country's problems.

Well, still to come, a looming rail strike in the U.S. could deal a devastating blow to the economy. What the Biden administration is doing to try to get things back on track. We'll have that and more just ahead.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. A looming strike by 60,000 rail workers in the United States is threatening to put a major dent in the U.S. economy. At this hour, the Biden administration is meeting with union leaders and labor negotiators to try to reach an agreement. But one source says don't expect an agreement anytime soon.

A strike could disrupt deliveries to grocery stores, farms, gas stations, and water treatment plants. Amtrak has already suspended all long-distance routes and is warning of more cancellations to come.

Catherine Rampell is a CNN economics and political commentators. She's also a Washington Post opinion columnist. Catherine joins me now from New York.

Good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So, Catherine, if the unions and rail management companies fail to reach an agreement and these 60,000 rail workers go on strike Friday, what is the likely impact on the U.S. economy, the supply chain, of course, the cost of the country.

RAMPELL: It will be devastating. There are so many markets that are extremely reliant on rail as a form of transporting freight around the country. Some that are very critical. Think things like fertilizer, grains, coal, certain kinds of important chemicals that are used to produce drinkable water here in the United States.

Those are all things that are transported primarily or largely through the railways. And if those railways are shut down, it will result in major problems and likely higher prices at exactly the time that we of course are already dealing with inflation.

CHURCH: Yes, exactly right. And railroad management and union officials were summoned to Washington for negotiations with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh in an effort to avert a strike. And of course, President Biden has been very involved in this too. He's been on the phone constantly.

But why wasn't this done earlier given the massive impact a strike would have on the whole country?

RAMPELL: Well, these negotiations have actually been going on for a while for a couple of years now. And earlier this summer, President Biden appointed what's called a presidential emergency board, essentially a group of officials who were there to offer non-binding recommendations for how the two sides could come together on an agreement.

That those recommendations were issued, I think back in August. And the rail carriers, the companies agreed essentially to the terms that were put forth again by this group of people appointed by Biden. The unions did not.

So, there have been a number of efforts to get this resolved before it got down to a strike. And in fact, the reason why we have this deadline coming up imminently has to do with a mechanism that was activated as part of this presidential emergency board process. That basically said there was a mandatory cooling down period. There couldn't be a strike. There couldn't be a lockout for a little while.

But that's -- that's the time where that's about to go off that that cooling down period will end. At which point, if there isn't an agreement you could see major disruptions. In fact, we already see major disruptions, of course as railroads are planning for the potential of strike.

CHURCH: And there is a unique labor law that exists to allow Congress to step in and stop a rail strike if no agreement can be made. How likely is it that Congress would ultimately do that to a voter strike?

RAMPELL: Congress has a few different options that they could use to resolve a strike, to stop a strike. They include things like saying, we are going to dictate the terms under which this new labor contract will exist. Maybe they could just plop down as, you know, basically crib from that presidential emergency board set of recommendations. They could say, this is going to be the terms of your new contract.

Congress could do that theoretically. Congress could also say we're going to extend the cooling off period. We're going to basically hope that the two parties reach some sort of settlement on their own in a little while. They could also force them to go to a kind of, you know, binding arbitration process.

There are a bunch of things Congress could do. Now, will they do that is it completely separate question. In part, because the politics are really complicated right now. Democrats have historically been very closely aligned with organized labor in the United States. The unions do not want Congress to intervene in basically any of these ways.


So, Democrats want to be good friends to their allies, but on the other hand, obviously facing a midterm election quite soon. Democrats also have a lot of other things on their minds, including not having these kinds of disruptions.

So, I don't know if Congress will ultimately intervene if they are called upon it, you know, called upon to do that. It depends on if there is a strike. How long it lasts, how disruptive it is, and frankly, how angry voters are about the possible fallout.

CHURCH: And of course, if this major link in the supply chain is broken and the rails strike goes ahead Friday impacting gas prices, the food supply chain, empty shelves, passenger rail travel impacted, and everything else. We have to ask why more wasn't done to ensure the grievances of these railway workers weren't met, given they appear to be well founded in some instances, don't they?

I mean, we're talking about conditions such as sick pay, avoiding having workers on call 24/7 for weeks in a row. Why was this never addressed given the massive consequences if they didn't.

RAMPELL: Right. I mean, the workers definitely have legitimate grievances. There have been awful heart-rending stories about people not being able to take time off because they're ill or because they need to attend a family member's funeral. There are grievances. And again, these negotiations have been going on for a while.

Part of the reason why that special board was appointed by President Biden was to try to come to some sort of compromise. And that board put forth a bunch of options that they thought were, you know, reasonable and fair to both sides. And the unions rejected it.

So, you know, I am sympathetic to the poor treatment that workers have reported about and the need to change some of the working conditions. I don't know why it hasn't been resolved yet, but it -- it's probably not helpful that the carriers themselves haven't addressed these problems and that there's a lot of bad blood amongst the workforce about how they've been treated, that may frankly result in the rank and file not wanting to accept whatever terms in fact the union leadership might otherwise be willing to agree to.

CHURCH: Let's hope some sort of agreement is come to before Friday, because it's the last thing this country needs.

Catherine Rampell, thank you so much for talking with us. I appreciate it.

RAMPELL: Thank you.

CHURCH: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is claiming credit for sending two planeloads of undocumented immigrants to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

State Representative Dylan Fernandez tweeted this. Our island jumped into action, putting together 50 beds, giving everyone a good meal, providing a play area for the children, making sure people have the healthcare and support they need.

Local officials say they had no advanced notice.


BARBARA RUSH, ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH: Martha's Vineyard community services had 50 people sort of literally walk up to their front door. From what we found out by talking to the people there originally from Venezuela. They were flown here. We're not sure what plane brought them here or how they got on a plane to here. They did tell us they came from Texas, and they walked from the airport to Martha's Vineyard community services.


CHURCH: DeSantis is following the lead of Republican governors in Texas and Arizona sending migrants to so-called sanctuary states and cities, including New York and Chicago.

Well, Queen Elizabeth's casket is lying in state until her funeral on Monday. For the British public the next few days will be their last chance to say farewell. And we'll hear what some of those people are saying as they wait their turn.

Plus, King Charles III now one of the richest people in the world worth billions of dollars. Details into his massive family fortune. That's next.



CHURCH: Well, Big Ben telling us it is half past eight here in London, and a long line of people slowly making its way through central London at this hour so they can pass by Queen Elizabeth's casket inside Westminster Hall.

That queue stretching along the river Thames is now more than two and a half hours long. It's been as long as three miles and those lines expected to grow in the hours ahead. Once across the river, the public is then directed into Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the palace, where the queen is lying in state until her funeral on Monday. Well, CNN's Nada Bashir is right outside Westminster Hall.

And you've been speaking to people who have had their chance having stood in line to pay their respects. What are they telling you, Nada?

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Becky. We are just outside of the Palace of Westminster. So, this is the exit where people who have just been into Westminster Hall who have been able to pay their respects directly to the queen are now leaving.

And we were there early this morning, around 2 a.m., local time speaking to people waiting in line. It was moving quite quickly. Although of course it was still a bit chilly. And a lot of people that we spoke to at the time said that this was a moment of history that they wanted to be a part of, that it was all worth it.

And that is certainly the message we are hearing now from people who have just left Westminster Hall.

I can bring Michelle here who has just left --


BASHIR: -- Westminster Hall.


BASHIR: Just tell me about the experience. I mean, you were waiting for hours.

UNKNOWN: Yes. I arrived just after midnight. I -- the only way it's so surreal, it's magical and this was just a complete and total honor to be able to do this.

And as you said, it's a part of history. We're never going to have this again. And she's just been such a rock and an inspiration to everybody across the whole world. And for me, to be able to do this for myself and for her, I -- there's no words that can explain it. It's just absolutely incredible.

BASHIR: It's the moment of history, but it's also quite an emotional moment I imagine.

UNKNOWN: Yes. So, I mean, I've been quite emotional all the way around. I was going to say it was very long. We've met lots of new people. We've met lots of new friends from absolutely all over the world as well, but coming, as soon as you enter the hall, it's just, it hits you.

And I was crying all the way through and I thanked her. I just thanked her for all the amazing work that she has done for us and the way that she has paved our country and many other countries around the world that she's the Commonwealth leader of. It's -- it grabs you. Your heart, your heart breaks, but you feel so strong from it as well.

BASHIR: And I mean, for people who are watching this, who are perhaps considering also joining the line wanting to pay their respect to the queen.


BASHIR: What's your, is it worth it?

UNKNOWN: Absolutely, do it. If you've got the time, do it, you just to pay your respects to her and thank her to, as I said, the most, for me, and I think for many people, the most incredible woman of the world, absolutely do it. It's a moment in a lifetime, it's history. You can't -- you'll never get this history again. Absolutely. A hundred percent do it. You're welcome.

BASHIR: I mean, this is exactly what we've been hearing from so many people and it is still very crowded here in Westminster, but I have to say, and we've heard this from many people. They had been expecting to wait for much longer than they have actually had to wait.


A lot of people here moving quite quickly through the queue. That's exactly what we saw this morning. It is very oddly. There's a very heavy presence of police and volunteers here, stewards, guiding people out of this central part of Westminster.

But the message that you are hearing from the vast majority of people coming out from Westminster Hall, is that really, this was well worth the wait. This is a moment that they may never see again. For some people a moment of history. And of course, it's a deeply emotional moment. A somber moment.

We have the funeral coming up on Monday. Many people here seeing this as their opportunity to directly pay their respects to the queen. Becky?

ANDERSON: Nada outside the Palace of Westminster. So, thank you.

Well, King Charles III steps into his role as British monarch, he is also inheriting billions of dollars in land and royal estates. But the new Prince of Wales is not left out in the cold. Far from it.

Anna Stewart looks at the billion-dollar perks of being royal.


UNKNOWN: King George arrived by special train at the station at modern Hamstead when he made his two-day tour of the Dutchy of Cornwall.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): A century's old estate. It's now a billion-dollar plus inheritance. When Prince William became the prince of Wales and the duke of Cornwell, he took on a lot more than titles. He inherits the sprawling Dutchy of Cornwell estate from his father, which covers almost 140,000 acres. Mostly across the southwest of England.

Last year, its accounts valued via state at $1.2 billion. And as the new king, Charles will inherit a lot more. Royal wills are not made public. So, what happens to much of the Queen's personal wealth which includes arts, jewels and two royal residences, Balmoral and Sandringham will likely always remain a secret.

But the bulk of the royal family's wealth totaling more than $21 billion in land property and investments passes down the line of succession. King Charles as reigning monarch inherits the crown estate, making him one of the richest people in the world.

By far, the biggest slice of the family fortune with an estimated worth of $19 billion, the land encompasses vast swathes of central London property. Among its holdings, a Regent Street, much of the west end, the Ascot race course, and even extends to the increasingly lucrative seabed around England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

EMILY NASH, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: As prince of Wales, King Charles had some excellent stewardship over his Dutchy of Cornwall estate and he was able to generate huge income, both from properties from land and other investments, but also by developing products sold by the Dutchy of Cornwall. Things like biscuits, honey, other food products that were sold in supermarkets in the U.K. and have he's really built a fantastic brand.

STEWART: In the last financial year, the crown estate generated a net profit of almost $361 million driven largely by commercial leases on the land. From that, the U.K. Treasury paid the monarch what's called a sovereign grant, around $100 million.

However, the monarch and his heir are limited in what they can spend. The king can only spend the sovereign grant on royal duties and any profit is reinvested. Most of this money is spent on maintaining the family's properties and paying their stuff.

Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: And I'll have a lot more from London in just a few moments. First though, let's get you to my colleague Rosemary Church at the CNN center in Atlanta with some of our other news. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Thanks so much, Becky. We'll see you back at the top of the hour.

And still to come, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will be meeting at a regional summer today. Why the world is watching cautiously at the gathering of these two strong men. Back in just a moment.



CHURCH: The Russian and Chinese leaders are in Uzbekistan ahead of their high stakes meeting in the coming hours. Vladimir Putin arrived there on Wednesday for the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. He will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of that event.

President Putin needs the Chinese leader on his side politically and economically following recent military setbacks in Ukraine.

But as Clare Sebastian reports, Beijing support may only go so far.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In December 2019, a tangible success for Vladimir Putin's pivot east. Spanning almost 2,000 miles the power of Siberia pipeline was the first direct link supplying Russian natural gas to China, that gas to be supplied under a $400 billion 30-year deal signed in 2014, just three months after Russia annexed Crimea as western sanctions tightened their grip.

SAM GREENE, PROFESSOR OF RUSSIAN POLITICS, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON: As Russia decided to essentially go to war with Europe over a trade treaty, over a comprehensive free trade agreement that Europe wanted to sign with Ukraine, right, which is what provokes the initial intervention in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

You know, Putin knew that this was going to bring costs and he knew it was going to bring sanctioned. And so, he saw the relationship with China as an opportunity to hedge against that.

SEBASTIAN: Pipelines and pancakes signaled ever closer ties between Presidents Putin and Xi as both countries saw relations with the west deteriorate. No surprise then that Putin's last foreign trip before invading Ukraine was to Beijing where the two leaders declared their relationship had quote, "no limits."

Russia's invasion did reveal some limits. Chinese officials say they have not provided military or economic aid to Russia. But China has refused to condemn the war abstaining or voting with Russia at the U.N. despite international pressure.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think that China understands that its economic futures much more closely tied to the west than it is to Russia.

SEBASTIAN: And yet, trades between Russia and China grew by almost the third in the first seven months of the year, according to a Reuters analysis of customs data. China has ramped up its purchases of albeit heavily discounted Russian crude oil. A trend Russia hopes will continue when a partial E.U. oil embargo comes into force in December.

And Russia's energy giant Gazprom says that daily gas flows through the power of Siberia pipeline hit a record in July. This month the two countries announced China would pay for gas in rubles and Yuan, shifting away from the dollar. Another sign of their shared opposition to the U.S.- led world order. Something that for China intensified in the wake of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.

GREENE: China is maybe not enjoying, but is taking this as an opportunity to see, you know, how the west responds to a military challenge like this, to see where the breaking points might be. SEBASTIAN: The test now with Russia losing ground on the battlefield

is where the China's tacit support has a breaking point when Russia needs it most.


CHURCH: And Clare Sebastian joins me now live from London, as well as Steven Jiang joining us from Beijing. Good to see you both.

And Clare, President Putin meets with China's president Xi very soon on the sidelines to discuss the war in Ukraine and the tense situation in Taiwan. What -- what exactly does Putin want here? What's he expecting -- expecting to get out of the meeting with Xi, and also with Turkey's president on the grain deal?


SEBASTIAN: Yes, Rosemary. I think it's very clear at this stage that Putin needs Xi more than Xi needs Putin. He will really be looking for a sort of commitment to that no limits partnership that they declared in February, more cooperation in terms of energy. China has been, as I said, in the bees ramping up its purchases of Russian energy.

Russia was its biggest supplier of oil in July for the third straight months. So, this is a partnership that has already been increasing. So, on the energy side, on the economic side, militarily as well. We're seeing that at the same time as this meeting, the two countries are conducting joint military drills in the Pacific.

So, that is -- that is significant as well. I think crucially at the -- at this time with Putin's economy now the decline accelerating because of the drop in energy prices, because of his army being retreat on the battlefield, it is crucial that he gets China's support here.

And on the grain deal, this is also very important. Because this comes after recent criticism by Putin of the deal. Basically saying, that too much of the grain was going to the E.U., not enough to developing countries. He threatened almost to renegotiate the deal. So, he'll be looking for support from Turkish President Erdogan on that. Really important for the world, frankly, because this deal has helped stabilize global food markets.

But overall, it's the optics. Russia wants to appear that it has not been isolated by its actions in Ukraine, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Right. And Steven, this is the first overseas trip for President Xi since the start of the COVID pandemic. What is he hoping to get out of his meeting with Putin as they discuss Ukraine and Taiwan?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Rosemary, you know, these issues there's little doubt will be raised, but it's unlikely we'll see any major shift in positions or policy at least publicly after the summit. Now, it is worth remembering that, you know, the -- this meeting, as

you mentioned the first before Xi after the pandemic is for -- is an opportunity for him to project an image of strength and confidence just one month before a key communist party meeting where, it's all but certain he's going to assume a precedent breaking third term as the country's supreme leader.

And it's also safe to say that he will, just like he has doubled down on zero COVID domestically. He will double down on this commitment to this so-called no limits partnership with Russia with Putin personally. And this of course is taking place despite a -- despite Beijing's public claim of neutrality on the war.

That position, though, in a way betrayed by one of Xi's most trusted senior officials just last week when he told his Russian counterpart that China, quote, unquote, "understands Russia's reason to launch this war" and even pledge to a further, quote, unquote, "coordinated actions between the two sides."

And that, of course a reflection of what's been going on in the past few months, as Clare mentioned with the two countries not only maintaining, but strengthening their ties on every front, diplomatically, but also economically and even militarily.

Now, what's -- what the two strong men leaders really share of course is their grievances against the west. That sense of besiegement. They're really eager to create and promote a new world order not led by the United States. That's what this regional summit in Uzbekistan is very much about.

But the challenge here for Xi Jinping is the central Asian nations that he's working so hard on to cultivate closer ties with is very much considered by Putin to be Russia's backyard. And many of these central Asian nations really have very strong suspicions -- suspicion of Putin's intentions.

So, it's really remains to be seen how Xi is going to really strike this delicate balance in Uzbekistan. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. We'll all be watching very closely. Clare Sebastian, Steven Jiang, many thanks to you both. I appreciate it.

Well, Russia's top opposition leader is facing new pressure from the Kremlin while he is behind bars.

Still to come, we will talk to one of his associates about an attempt to silence his political work from prison.



CHURCH: Russia's top opposition leader says his attorney-client privilege has been revoked, but his jailers won't tell him why. Alexei Navalny is serving more than 11 years in a maximum-security prison for charges he calls politically motivated. But in a recent Facebook post, he said prison officials told him he's

using his lawyers to commit crimes from behind bars. They wouldn't tell him which crimes, but they still limited his communications with his legal team. Navalny's Twitter account also says he's now back in solitary confinement for a fourth time in a little over a month.

Well for more, we are joined by Vladimir Ashurkov who is also a Russian dissident and a Navalny associate. And he's speaking with us from London.

Thank you so much for talking with us.


CHURCH: So, with dissent growing within Russia and increasing calls for the resignation of Vladimir Putin, his biggest critic, Alexei Navalny is back in the spotlight saying Russia has revoked his attorney-client privilege and placed him in solitary confinement for the fourth time in a month, shutting down his right to speak with his family.

What is going on here? And why is this happening now?

ASHURKOV: Indeed, until recently an attorney was visiting Navalny almost every weekday and they would spend an hour or two and he would write his handwritten notes to his family, to our team, read materials that we would pass.

And recently, despite the law, the Russian law that allows communications with attorney that these privileges have been revoked. Navalny from prison has been coordinating a number of projects. One is smart loading. Another one is a sanctions list that we propose to western government.

So, I think the Russian authorities decided to stop this trickle of communication that has been going on because of this. I think another factor is of course, Ukrainian successes on the battlefield. Which probably it makes Russian authorities feel quite embattled.

CHURCH: And of course, jailed Russian opposition leader Navalny was previously able to communicate with the outside world through his attorney, allowing him to remain active in Russian politics until now. And this restricted access to his attorney came a day before Russian started voting in a regional and municipal election or elections.

So, what impact has Navalny already had on those elections, do you think? Do you know?

ASHURKOV: We have the system of smart voting, where our team selects candidates who are most likely to beat the candidates that are put forward by the parts of power by the Russian authorities. And it has been successful over the last few years.

Of course, this year after the Russian's brutal invasion in Ukraine, elections have been subdued. Independent candidates were -- it's what was very difficult for them to get on the ballot, but still we were able to make a difference in a number of municipal elections in Moscow.

So about 70 candidates that were supported by us were elected to municipal councils. And that may also be one of the factors why the Russian authorities decided to clamp down on Navalny's access to the outside.

CHURCH: Yes. I was going to ask you whether you worry that they are trying to shut him down and maybe, you know, do -- are you concerned that this might be a more long-term situation where he may not get his attorney-client privilege back. Is that a concern for you?

ASHURKOV: We don't know. Russia is not exactly a rule of law country, especially since the war started. Many oppressive legis -- laws have been put in place. And almost all Russian opposition figures that remain in Russia have been, either pushed out of the country or put into the jail.

So, we don't know how long this -- he will not have these privileges, this communication. And Navalny, since the start of the war has been a voice against the war against the tyranny of Putin.


Despite the harsh conditions of Russian prison, he was sending his voice against the war. And we were seeing tweets from him on a regular basis through these attorney communications. Now it's -- this probably this link to Navalny will likely to be broken.

CHURCH: And what do you think will happen to Navalny's appeal against his nine-year sentence received in March this year in a case widely viewed as politically motivated?

ASHURKOV: Indeed, his incarceration is unlawful and politically motivated. When he was put in jail in January 2021, we had no doubt that he will be put there, he will be in jail until Putin stays in power. At the same time, we see that the Russian authorities their grip on power, I think is loosening because of very unsuccessful war in Ukraine.

CHURCH: Vladimir Ashurkov, thank you so much for talking with us. We appreciate it.

Well, the Kremlin has no comment on CNN's reporting that former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is in Moscow. We have learned that he met with Russian officials there this week, but there's no word on why.

Richardson works privately with the families of hostages and detainees. And his trip comes as the U.S. tries to secure the release of two Americans held in Russia. Basketball star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan. Griner has been detained since February following her arrest and conviction on drug charges. Whelan is serving a 16-year sentence for alleged spying which he denies.

The World Health Organization says the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight. Speaking on Tuesday, the group's director general warned against losing steam in the battle with the coronavirus, noting the world has never been in a better position to end the pandemic. While noting the risk of more variants and deaths to the virus, the WHO also announced the lowest number of reported COVID related deaths last week since the start of the pandemic.

New cases around the globe have also shown a steady drop.

And I want to thank you for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Becky Anderson will rejoin me from London after this short break for more on our special coverage of the queen lying in state at Westminster Hall.

You're watching CNN. Do stay with us.