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Queue to View Queen's Coffin at or near Capacity; Florida Joins Texas in Moving Migrants to Northern Cities; Newly Discovered Mass Burial Site in Ukraine; Modi Publicly Rebukes Putin over Invasion of Ukraine. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired September 17, 2022 - 05:00   ET




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

Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, these are live images from London, where, in the coming hours, the queen's grandchildren will hold a public vigil by her coffin. We'll take you to the line that stretches for miles.

The White House reacts as Republican governors say they won't stop sending migrants on one-way trips out of their states in to liberal strongholds.

And signs of torture, the U.N. says it will send a team to Ukraine's recently liberated town of Izyum, where a mass burial site has been discovered.


BRUNHUBER: The late Queen Elizabeth will lie in state for just two more days before her state funeral begins Monday morning. That is not much time for the hundreds of thousands of people, still waiting to pay their respects to the beloved monarch.

The queue to pass by her coffin stretches for miles along the River Thames, with people at the very end being advised their turn to say goodbye might not come until tomorrow. Later today, some near the front may witness the queen's eight grandchildren hold their silent vigil at her coffin.


BRUNHUBER (voice-over): The queen's four children, King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, held their silent vigil at Westminster Hall on Friday.


BRUNHUBER: This is one of the most meticulously planned events in British history and steeped in customs and traditions dating back centuries. Kate Williams joins us from London to explain more.

And Kate, first to the lineup, all these people who have come to see the queen, they expect some 2 million people, some waiting in line for up to 24 hours.

Are you surprised by the number of people coming and the dedication they are showing, especially given how the debate these days is all about the relevance of the monarchy?

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Kim. I mean, I was really thinking, when I initially heard that the authorities here, the queen was going to lie in state, as has been the case for her father, grandfather and great grandfather, George VI, Georgia V and Edward VII -- but not Queen Victoria; she didn't wish to do it -- that the queen would lie in state, that the estimates of about 200,000 people.

And I really thought that was conservative, considering how many people I've seen in the few days after the queen passed away, coming down to Green Park by Buckingham Palace, huge amounts of people.

And I've been down there to the line, I've been chatting to the people in the line. And they really are such good spirits. It is a tough war because you are saying they were waiting for 10, 12, 24 hours.

And yesterday they closed the queue, said you couldn't join the queue. And they said we want to pay our respects. She's been on the throne for 70 years and she's been the only queen I've ever known. That is what a lot of people have said to me.

And also it is such a big moment in British history, such a huge moment in British history. We have a lot of people I've been chatting to from all over the world, from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the longest reigning monarch.

And we'll never have in our lifetimes another queen ever again. It really is an end of an era. And as you say, there are questions about the monarchy and I think that there will be increasing questions in the reign of Charles III. But this is about the queen and the huge amount of affection and respect she inspired.

BRUNHUBER: Absolutely. So let's look ahead.

What is to come today and tomorrow ahead of the funeral itself?

WILLIAMS: The funeral, as you were saying, is on Monday, the state funeral. State funerals are only for monarchs and so we only -- they're only for reigning monarchs. We did have one for Winston Churchill, the wartime Prime Minister, but that is the only one ever for a nonroyal.


WILLIAMS: So the state funeral Monday will be the first one since 18th century in Westminster Abbey. They are usually in St. George's Chapel Windsor, where Harry and Meghan got married and the Duke of Edinburgh had his funeral.

And so this is reflecting that the great love for the queen. And I think it is very poignant; she was crowned there, now she ends her reign there. But it also reflects how many people from across the world are coming.

There are huge amounts of people already in the capital. You can't get a hotel room at all. It is really impossible to get a hotel room. And the prime minister of Australia is already here; the prime minister of New Zealand is already here. We're expecting President Biden at some point.

And this is a moment we're expecting to be the biggest global event ever, hundreds and hundreds of people, from heads of state from all over the world. We're expecting the emperor of Japan, the royal families from across Europe, all of the queen's relations.

And in the leadup to it, it really is a case of preparation. We're seeing a lot of -- a lot of people in the queue are fortunate to see some of the rehearsals that the service men are doing, preparing for the funeral on Saturday and Sunday.

And we're having the line continuing until 6:30 Monday morning. So at 6:30 Monday morning, that is their last chance to see Elizabeth lying in state. And then the state funeral and then later on after the ceremony in Westminster Abbey from 11:00 to 12:00.

Then she goes to Windsor and she's buried with a private ceremony for the family. And she will rejoin her husband, Prince Philip, and her father, mother and sister, who are all buried in St. George's Chapel Windsor.

BRUNHUBER: The pageantry that we've been seeing and will see, for some people, especially outside the U.K., it may seem excessive and archaic.

What purpose does it serve now?

WILLIAMS: The pageantry of monarchy that we've seen with Charles giving a speech, the pageantry at the beginning of the monarchy and we'll see great pageantry at the coronation, that is really an insight into our constitutional mechanism.

We don't have a written constitution in Britain and we have the monarch as mutual head of state. But we don't have a written constitution actually saying that. So really these sets of pageantry, these ceremonies, the councils, that seem rather archaic, they really are the underpinning of our constitution.

They underpin the monarch as mutual head of state. And the pageantry we'll see, what that is, particularly a commemoration of the queen's role as head of the armed forces. Queen Victoria wished to be buried as a soldier's daughter. And the role of the armed forces was much increased during Queen Victoria's funeral in 1901.

And that has continued. So we'll see the great role played by the members of the armed forces and as well as those in service industries and the monarchs and heads of state from across the world.

The great pageantry for Elizabeth II's funeral reflects how she is one of a long line of kings and queens and how she did have this great impact on the world stage; 42 times around the world, the most traveled monarch that we've ever had.

And in terms of her efforts toward diplomacy, she talked about peace and diplomacy and that is what she always wished for. And the great respect that she inspired not just in Britain but across the world.

And it is on Monday going to be a day that we'll never seen again. We'll never see a state funeral like this for a monarch, who has been on the throne for 70 years and our last queen in my lifetime.

BRUNHUBER: Absolutely. Listen, we really appreciate the historical perspective, Kate Williams in London, thanks so much.

And coverage of the queen's funeral begins on Monday right here on CNN, 6:00 am in New York, 11:00 in the morning in London.

Some Republican governors in the U.S. are vowing to send more migrants from states at the southern border to northern cities run by Democrats.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis flew dozens of migrants to Massachusetts on Thursday apparently without notifying officials there. Migrants have since been taken to a military base for shelter and humanitarian support.

The flights took off from San Antonio, Texas, stopped to refuel in Florida before continuing on to Massachusetts, similar to the move started by the Texas Republican governor, who has sent thousands of migrant by bus to northern cities.

Now the Republicans say they're protesting President Biden's immigration policies that failed to secure the border. CNN's Ed Lavandera has more on the political fallout.



ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): While residents of Martha's Vineyard hugged and cared for a group of about 50 Venezuelan migrants sent to the island from Texas on chartered planes, courtesy of Florida's Republican governor Ron DeSantis, a group of Venezuelan and Latino activists gathered in Miami to lash out.

ADELYS FERRO, DIRECTOR, VENEZUELAN AMERICAN CAUCUS: He has to stop. We demand him to stop using our pain, our suffering and our desperation for his political games.

JUAN-CARLOS PLANAS, FORMER FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: This was a publicity stunt that is the lowest common denominator of human decency. LAVANDERA (voice-over): Juan-Carlos Planas is the son of Cuban exiles and a former Republican State Representative from Miami. He says at this point, it's not clear yet if DeSantis has angered the reliably Republican political base of Cubans and Venezuelans in Florida.

PLANAS: From what I've heard on Cuban radio today, they haven't mentioned it, which is probably the fact that they don't know how to deal with it. So there probably will be a negative side to this. This may be the step too far.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Governor DeSantis vows to keep as many migrants out of Florida as possible through his relocation program.

DESANTIS: I've got $12 million for us to use and so we are going to use it and you're going to see more and more but I'm going to make sure that we exhaust all of those funds.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Florida is home to the largest populations of Cuban and Venezuelan immigrants fleeing socialist dictatorships but there are deep political divisions in these communities.

PLANAS: There are, you know, Venezuelans who are hardcore Trump supporters, they're called the MAGAzuelans and basically, these are folks that that believe that there should be a hard line on everything.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): For several months, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has put more than 11,000 migrants on some 250 buses, with some going to cities with Democratic leaders like Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York.

Texas Division of Emergency Management figures show, it has cost the state more than $12 million.

Abbott has repeatedly appeared on FOX News to showcase the busing program.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Most of America has not really understood the magnitude of the problem that we have on the border until we started sending these buses up to New York.

PONCHO NEVAREZ, FORMER TEXAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE: For any politician that uses this issue in the way these two gentlemen have, it is the worst kind of cynicism that we have in politics today.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Poncho Nevarez is a former Democratic State Representative from the Texas border town of Eagle Pass. His home overlooks the Rio Grande into Mexico.

Nevarez says if there is a political price to pay for these political stunts, Abbott and DeSantis haven't experienced it yet.

LAVANDERA: There are a lot of people who criticize Abbott

and DeSantis and say what they're doing is inhumane and not right. But do you think for the average voter out there, it matters? NEVAREZ: I think it may not.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): A University of Texas and Texas Politics Project poll this week found that Abbott's busing of migrants has about 52 percent support among Texas voters, including 50 percent support among Independent voters.

NEVAREZ: The response that they got was exactly what they wanted, which is what are you doing?

Why are you sending them here?

And it looks like the border town. That's what they wanted and they got it.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): And the governors of Texas and Florida say they will continue to do more of the same -- Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.



BRUNHUBER: Catherine Cole is executive director of Grannies Respond, an organization that advocates for asylum seekers crossing the southern border and she is joining me from British Columbia.

Thanks so much for being here with us. So as someone who has been dealing with migrants who have been essentially dumped in cities like New York and D.C., I just wanted to start with your reaction to this latest stunt by Florida's governor.

CATHERINE COLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GRANNIES RESPOND: I think it is cruel, it is heartbreaking for these people because, unless there are people on the ground like Grannies Respond and our New York City group, Team TLC NYC, these people would just be wandering around the city.

If you are going to send them somewhere, you know, give them the means, sort out the means before you just dump them.

BRUNHUBER: Your group was one of the first that rallied into action to help when this first started happening. But take me back to the beginning of the group.

Why is a group of grannies getting involved in immigration issues?

COLE: Because, during the summer of '19, a friend of mine had the idea to just put a bunch of grannies on a bus and go down there, because a lot of friends were upset about the separation of families at the border. And all of a sudden, we had a caravan of 30 people from the Beacon, New York, area, New York City.


COLE: And we wound up as 200 people at the border. And we got familiar with all the volunteer and NGOs at the border, immigration attorneys, everyone involved.

And out of that came the awareness that there was a great need for these people traveling from the border to wherever their sponsors or families were, to replenish diapers, formula, everything.

BRUNHUBER: So those are people who came across but now tell me about that first busload of migrants that was actually sent by the governor of Texas to New York. It sounds like your group was pretty much on your own as that busload was arriving.

COLE: That's correct. And fortunately we had one of our volunteers that day, also on my board of directors, and she is a retired nurse. And she happened to spot a young girl 12 years old, who looked not quite right; found out that she hasn't had her insulin for four days and could have died.

And she got her immediately to the hospital, saved her life. So you know, you have situations like this. Medicines are taken at the border it from people, as are their papers, documents. So they are only given their asylum paper and that is it.

BRUNHUBER: So the migrants, when they arrived, they must have been disoriented to say the least. And we saw in Martha's Vineyard; it sounds as though they were misled and lied to.

So what state are they in when they arrive?

And do they have any idea what is going on?

COLE: Some do, some don't. My lead in New York City, Elsa Thelmond (ph), Team TLC NYC, tells me that some of the buses, the people come off looking pretty together and pretty oriented to what is going on.

And some buses, they look disheveled and very tired, extremely hungry. So it really depends on who is sending them off from where. It is a mixed bag. And some of them intend to come to New York; some do not because their hearings are scheduled in different states far away.

And we've had to reticket people, a lot of people, which has cost us a lot of money. And we only operate on funding.

BRUNHUBER: Some people would say, you know, certainly you know, certainly these governors are making this argument, maybe not sincerely but they would say, well, maybe they are better off in these big Democratic cities, where they get plenty of support.

COLE: They are not getting plenty of support from the cities. That is a fallacy. The cities are not prepared for this. New York City did some organizing with us. But now they have stepped back and put the mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, you know, we organize some things with them.

But now they have stepped back and turned it over to the emergency management, which is -- you know, we're really the ones doing the work on the ground. It is the nonprofits. And we've partnered with many other groups on the ground to help feed

these people. We have a group called Rethink Food. We've organized with them. They deliver -- and other groups as well -- full meals for these people so we can feed them.

They haven't eaten. They have been on a bus for 45 hours and they come to us. They have nothing. They need food, they need sanitary items, female products, water, you know, everything they need. They just have nothing.

BRUNHUBER: It is a huge need and obviously it will continue as these Republican governors get plenty of political mileage for these stunts.

And they have said certainly that they won't stop. So we wish you and your group all the best as you try to deal with this growing problem. Catherine Cole, thank you so much for being with us.

COLE: Thank you.


BRUNHUBER: Investigations are underway after discovery of a mass burial site in Ukraine and now Ukraine says it is becoming even clearer that something horrific happened there. That is ahead.

Plus Joe Biden meets the family of an U.S. athlete detained in Russia. What the president told the wife of Brittney Griner and how she is responding to the meeting.





BRUNHUBER: CNN is learning the United Nations will get involved following the discovery of a mass burial site in Ukraine. The U.N. says its human rights investigators will go to Izyum as soon as possible. And the U.N. source tells CNN that war crimes investigators may follow later.

The White House called the discovery "horrifying and repugnant," while Ukraine now says some of the bodies recovered show signs of torture. Friday President Zelenskyy made another case for declaring Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Here he is.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We need to act. It is necessary to act so that Bucha, Mariupol and Izyum do not happen again. Russia must be recognized as a state sponsor of terrorism; otherwise, Russian terror cannot be stopped.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRUNHUBER: Zelenskyy also met with top military commanders on Friday to consider next steps after a rout of Russian troops from the northeast. Russian President Putin says his plans aren't changing. Listen to this.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): No, the plan is not subject to adjustment. The general staff, in the course of the operation, make operational decisions that are considered key.

The main goal is the liberation of the entire territory of Donbas. This work continues, despite these attempts to counter attack by the Ukrainian army.


BRUNHUBER: The mass burial site we mentioned was discovered after Ukraine pushed Russian troops out of the city of Izyum a week ago. It is located in a forest, where, according to a CNN team on the ground, the horror can be easily seen -- and smelled. Nick Paton Walsh saw the site firsthand.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here is where the horror gets names and numbers. Russia's unprovoked invasion killed many anew but only now in liberated cities like Izyum are we finding out who and how.


WALSH (voice-over): And even this rain cannot erase the smell, how death haunts these pines.

WALSH: It's important to point out that this was a military position. These are tank positions around the city, presumably for the Russians when they occupied it, burying these bodies where their troops would lay to rest and defend the city.

Ukrainian officials have said over 400 bodies were buried here, even children, all showing signs of a violent death.

Through the day, they have been exhuming dozens of bodies, most individual graves, numbered and orderly, one bearing a number as high as 398.

But this, we are told -- and can smell and see -- is a mass grave where 17 dead were found, a policeman here told us.

Ukrainian officials said bodies found included the family killed in an airstrike, Ukrainian soldiers shot with their hands bound and bodies showing signs of torture.

WALSH: Some of the graves are marked just by a number and others have someone's full history. Zolotaryov Alexei Afanasyevich (ph), who looks like he dies, aged 82, buried here.

This investigator tells us what he found in this spot.

WALSH (voice-over): "Here are civilian bodies and military ones further along," he said. "Over 20 have been examined here and will be sent for further investigation."

It seems to be the horrid extension of the long-term cemetery nearby. Wreaths, coffins, candles -- some people knew who they were burying, others next to this invader's campsite, likely not.

WALSH (voice-over): Nadezhda said the Russians first hit the graveyard with an airstrike and then moved in.

NADEZHDA KALINICHENKO, IZYUM RESIDENT (through translator): We tried not to go out because it was scary where they brought their special machines. They dug some trenches for their vehicles. We only heard how they were destroying the forest.

When they left, I don't know if there was fighting or not. We just heard a lot of heavy trucks one night a week ago.

WALSH (voice-over): We saw multiple refrigerated lorries leaving town but we were asked not to film the contents of this one. Part of where the history of Russia's brutal occupation will be written and nothing can wash this site clean -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Izyum, Ukraine.


BRUNHUBER: President Biden has met with the families of two Americans detained in Russia and reassured them that he is working to secure their release. He spoke with the wife of Brittney Griner, who gave thanks for the efforts to free her partner.

She said, "As my family and I continue on this journey, I'd like to thank the broad coalition of friends, leaders and supporters who continue to stand with us and advocate for her swift and safe return. Let's share a unified commitment to bringing all Americans home to their families and loved ones together. We are BG."

The line to view Queen Elizabeth's coffin stretches for miles in central London. When we return, we go live to the British capital for the latest.

And support for the monarchy is fading significantly among the younger population. Details ahead.





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

At this hour, central London is filled with people, waiting to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth. Authorities have shut down the miles-long queue multiple times. It has largely remained at or near capacity.

In the coming hours, the queen's eight grandchildren will hold a vigil around her coffin, just as King Charles and his siblings did Friday. Meanwhile, the king has a busy day of appointments with British and Commonwealth officials, starting with a meeting at Buckingham Palace with chiefs of staff. Nada Bashir is there in London and is joining us.

You've been spending so much time talking to these people waiting in line. Incredible to see those lines, to hear how patient most folks have been, considering some might not see the queen until tomorrow.

What have they been telling you?

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is remarkable to see just how many people have shown up, have been waiting overnight for hours and hours. This queue stretches for miles down the River Thames.

All of these people waiting for their chance to enter the Palace of Westminster, which is just across the river, to pass by to pay their respects to the queen, who is currently lying in state in Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster.

I have to say it has been quite cold overnight; they have been waiting, as you said, the queue near or at capacity, for the last 24 hours. And every so often, it will be stopped, people recommended not to try to travel into this area to join the queue because there are just so many people.

And this is, of course, a large scale security operation. There are several volunteers, about 1,000 at least stewards, volunteers, and hundreds more Metropolitan Police officers as well as ambulance just off in the distance on hand to support those who have been waiting overnight.

We've seen people handing out blankets and there are coffee stands open to make sure that they can make it through the cold weather. We've been speaking to some of those in the queue.

How many hours is it now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We walked into the park now 9:35:50.

BASHIR: So you've been here all night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but it has to be done.


Why is this so important to you? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So many reasons of course. The queen is most important. If you didn't do this, you'd have the regret for your whole life. So you have to be here.

BASHIR: And how have you been getting through?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No problems at all. Lovely weather and great people.

BASHIR: It has been cold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but the sun is out now.

BASHIR: And what is your plan later today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be honest, there are quite a lot of people saying don't come.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-four-hour queues and so on. But really it wasn't that bad. We've had no problems. It is a long time, looking at 14 to 18 hours. But if you are willing to do that, I think it is OK still.

BASHIR: Historic moment.


BASHIR: Thank you so much. Good luck.

That really is what we've been hearing from so many people up and down the queue. And a lot people we've been speaking to have been telling us that they have made friends along the way and that it is a moment that they are so happy to be sharing with those around them.

Of course we've seen a lot of little kids as well spending the night here, sharing in this moment of history for the country.

BRUNHUBER: Making the best of it, I guess. I was discussing this earlier with a royal historian. I mean, it is incredible the number of people who have come to pay their respects. And it may be a bit surprising in the context of the debate that is raging these days about whether the monarchy is even relevant these days.

BASHIR: Absolutely. It is a historic moment. Many people here wanting to pay their respects to the late queen. But this is also a moment of history because, of course, we're ushering in a new royal era, King Charles III.

And there has been conversation and debate around the monarchy's place in modern Britain. This is a very different time to when the queen first ascended to the throne.

And we're facing various crises at the moment, not least the cost of living. People who are not traveling to Westminster but outside of the capital, we've been speaking to the people about their thoughts on the monarchy. And many say that they think it is time for the royal family to modernize.


BASHIR (voice-over): Deeply admired and widely revered, Queen Elizabeth leaves behind a towering legacy, drawing mourners in the thousands to commemorate her life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just wanted to pay our respects.

Everyone that can wants to pay their respects, I think. It's very popular.

BASHIR (voice-over): But while statistics show that two-thirds of British people support keeping the monarchy, for some young people, the prospect of a new royal era strikes a different chord, with recent polling showing over twice as many 18- to 34-year-olds favored Britain becoming a republic, compared to those age 65 and older.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess as an immigrant here, I can fully understand the reverence of people from an older generation and that, I guess the fact that this is a big loss for them, especially in their lifetimes. So each to their own, really.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's nice to keep the tradition but it's just I'm not very --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not as important as they were back like 100 years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's definitely time to rethink and I know a lot of people loved Queen Elizabeth and I don't think that same fondness is there for King Charles. For a lot of people, it represents colonialism and it represents concentration of wealth at the top.

BASHIR (voice-over): The royal family has faced criticism over its colonial past, which it has acknowledged. The enduring Commonwealth, a legacy of the British Empire. And there continues to be debate around the financial cost of maintaining a monarchy, particularly as the country faces a deepening cost of living crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should definitely pull more money back from those guys and feed into the system for people who actually genuinely need the help.

BASHIR (voice-over): But while statistics show that the royal family is still popular amongst the British public, King Charles now takes on the responsibility of cementing the monarchy's place and relevance in modern Britain.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BASHIR: This is a period of mourning for the country. As you see behind me, thousands streaming into the capital from across the country, the globe really, to pay their respects to the queen. But this is also a moment of reflection and debate on the role of the royal family. Here in modern Britain it's unlikely to go away.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, interesting debate. Nada Bashir in London, appreciate it.

The U.S. Justice Department is asking the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene in the review of materials seized at Trump's Mar- a-Lago estate. The DOJ asks that the criminal investigation to be allowed to proceed and that classified documents be excluded from a special master's assessment.

The filing also argued that this is not a court matter because the documents belong to the U.S. government, not Trump. None of those rationales applies to the records bearing the classification markings on the face of the documents, that they are not Trump's personal property.

Moscow faces more criticism for its war on Ukraine from a key partner. Ahead, what India's prime minister told Russia's leader.

Also ahead, robbing banks to steal your own money.


BRUNHUBER: We'll have the latest from Lebanon on what some desperate people are doing to cope with an economy in freefall. Stay with us.




BRUNHUBER: The leader of one of Russia's most important trading partners has openly rebuked Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine. During a televised meeting in Uzbekistan, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi said now is not the time for war.

It is the latest sign that even nations with strong ties to Moscow are questioning the invasion. Earlier this week Putin acknowledged that China's leader also had concerns about the war. Ivan Watson is joining me with more.

So after getting lukewarm support from president Xi, the meeting with Modi didn't go as well as Putin might have hoped, is that fair to say?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think so. I think the Kremlin was hoping to illustrate that Vladimir Putin is not as internationally isolated as some of his critics would argue at this meeting of the Shanghai cooperation organization in Uzbekistan.

But it was clear that he didn't have some of that swagger that we associate with the Russian president at this meeting. In fact, when he did sit down with the Indian prime minister, he received a lecture of sorts, urging him to follow a path toward peace. Take a listen.


NARENDRA MODI, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): It is not an era of war and I have spoken to you many times over the phone on this issue, that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue are all the things that make it clear to the world that, in the coming days, how can we move on the path of peace.


WATSON: And Putin himself addressed that he knew that the Indian prime minister had concerns about Russia's prosecution of this destructive war in Ukraine. And he had to make a similar admission when he sat down face-to-face the previous day with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.


WATSON: Saying, hey, I know you have questions and concerns about Ukraine. And that is all the more striking when you consider that the previous time that Putin met face-to-face with Xi in Beijing in early February before launching this invasion of Ukraine, at that time, both leaders declared a friendship with no limits.

Seven months later, you heard no full-throated endorsement of the Kremlin's military adventure in Ukraine from this Chinese friend. There is clearly unease about how the war is going.

Despite this, in his public comments, Putin also claimed that his military plan in Ukraine would not change, despite recent military setbacks for the Russian military, that the goal was still to, as he put it, to liberate, to capture the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine.

And he insisted that there was slow and gradual progress that his forces were making on the ground despite the fact that we've seen a pretty epic retreat from the Russian military on the northeastern front in Ukraine in just the past couple of weeks. Kim.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, appreciate the analysis. Ivan Watson in Hong Kong, thanks so much.

Lebanon's financial situation is so dire, some people are holding up their own banks to get their own money. The banks have been rationing cash so strictly that one suspect says she took extreme measures to get the cash she needs to help save her sister's life. Jomana Karadsheh reports.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what Lebanon's financial implosion looks like. This is what it has done to the people, the victims of this economic collapse who have had enough.

Ordinary citizens have held up at least seven banks since Wednesday in the desperate attempts to get their money out of banks. They have been largely locked out of their life savings for three years after banks enforced unofficial capital controls.

This woman, Sali Hafiz, threatened to set herself on fire and held people hostage with what she later said was a toy gun. She told Lebanese TV she did it to save her sister.


SALI HAFIZ, LEBANESE DEPOSITOR (through translator): I have nothing more to lose. I got to the end of the road. Two days ago I went to the branch manager and begged him, told him my sister is dying; he doesn't have time. After giving me a hard time he finally said he can give us 200 USD a month at the rate of 12 million Lebanese pounds.

That will be 2,400,000 Lebanese pounds, which is not even the price of an injection that my sister needs to take daily. It is a shame to say this but I got to a point where I was going to sell my kidney so that my sister could receive treatment.


KARADSHEH (voice-over): Sali and others have been hailed as heroes. For three years, people have struggled to survive -- a collapsed economy, a broken state, paying the price for the failures of a ruling elite that has plunged the country into one of the worst financial crises since the mid-19th century according to the World Bank.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have been asking the state for the last three years, we have demanded and protested in peaceful ways and no one showed any interest in our cause. It is pushing the depositors to take their right with their own hands.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Surreal scenes like this one played out, with a man who said he was unarmed calmly holding up a bank in Beirut on Friday. Banks announced that they will be closed for at least three days next week, fearing this spate may just be the beginning.

SAMY AL KARAA, BEIRUT RESIDENT (from captions): Why we are sleeping until now?

Why we are -- they broke the country, they broke the people.

What do we have?

This is not a country.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


BRUNHUBER: Right now Alaska is being hit by possibly the strongest storm in more than a deck indicate. We're live in the weather center right after the break. Please stay with us.




BRUNHUBER: A state of emergency has been declared in parts of California as it tries to recover from a series of extreme weather events and as wildfires continue to spread.

The Mosquito fire has now burned more than 70,000 acres in northern California, making it the state's largest blaze so far this year and it is only 20 percent contained. Officials hope a new storm system this weekend could help douse the flames at least a little bit.

Parts of Alaska are being battered by what could be the strongest storm to hit the state in more than a decade. The storm is what is left of a typhoon. Flood and high wind warnings are now in effect.



And thank you for all of you watching us here. That wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber. "NEW DAY" is next.