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Poland: NATO: Missile Likely Fired In Defense by Ukraine; Polish President: Missile Strike Likely An Accident; Ukraine: Putin Ultimately Responsible For Missile Strike. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired November 17, 2022 - 02:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. Just ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM. U.S. President Joe Biden says there's evidence a Ukrainian missile landed inside Poland. But Western leaders are holding Russia ultimately responsible for the strike.

China's president confronts Justin Trudeau over alleged media leaks. Ahead, hear how the Canadian prime minister responded to that accusation.

And later, Brazil's Lula da Silva makes a bold promise to restore the Amazon in just eight years. Could he be the next global climate leader?

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center. This is CNN NEWSROOM with Rosemary Church.

CHURCH: Thanks for joining us. It is 8:00 a.m. in eastern Poland where NATO and Polish officials now say a missile that killed two people on Tuesday was likely launched by Ukrainian forces defending against Russian attacks. The incident has rattled nerves around the globe as Russia's war in Ukraine now threatens to spill over into NATO territory. The top U.S. general says Tuesday's barrage of Russian missile attacks on Ukraine was likely the largest since the war started nine months ago.

Ukraine's military admits it try to intercept a Russian projectile in the area around the same time as the incident in Poland. But Western leaders agree this is Russia's war. And the Russians are ultimately responsible for what happened.


ANDRZEJ DUDA, POLISH PRESIDENT (through translator): Nothing. Absolutely nothing indicates that this was an intentional attack on Poland. So what happened is a rocket hit our territory. It was not intentional. It was not a missile targeted at Poland. The fact is, this was not an attack on Poland.


CHURCH: Ukraine's president says he wants to establish all the facts around the incident in Poland. But he's not ready to say Ukrainian forces fired that missile.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I don't even doubt that report that I have received. The delusion he received from the Air Defense Command. I don't doubt that it wasn't our missile. I don't have a reason to doubt that I'm going through this war with them.


CHURCH: U.S. President Joe Biden is just back from the G20 Summit in Indonesia. Reporters asked him about Zelenskyy's claim.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your reaction to President Zelenskyy saying that the missiles that landed in Poland were not Ukrainian?



CHURCH: More now from CNN Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A Russian-made missile striking a NATO ally and setting the world on edge. But it now seems the explosion that killed two Polish farmers here was a tragic accident, not as feared, ordered by the Kremlin.

JENS STOLTENBERG NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: The incident was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory against Russian cruise missile attacks. But let me be clear. This is not Ukraine's fault.

CHANCE: Not Ukraine's fault because its military was defending against the barrage of Russian missiles, targeting essential infrastructure and killing civilians.

Among the victims on Tuesday was this 69-year-old woman. She was visiting her husband's grave in Kyiv when a piece of shrapnel tore through her body and killed her.

As winter sets in Russia is making Ukraine civilians suffer with reckless abandon. But what happened here in Poland shows just how dangerous that is for the whole world too. This while Ukrainian officials are redoubling their request for more advanced air defense systems from the United States and Europe. They've also committed to cooperating with an investigation into what happened here and admitted their air defenses were active in the area.

But officials are clear. Russian President Vladimir Putin is responsible. Dragging millions of Ukrainians and now asleep he won street Polish town into his war of choice.

Matthew Chance, CNN, on the Polish-Ukrainian border.


CHURCH: And CNN's Nada Bashir joins me now live from London. Good morning to you, Nada. So, what more are you learning about the investigation?

NADA BASHIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: Well, look, Rosemary, this investigation will be a primary matter of concern of focus for members of international community not least NATO member states.


We heard yesterday from the Polish ambassador to the United Nations addressing the U.N. Security Council and telling member states that this investigation would be extensive and multi-phased in his words to verify the details around this tragic incident. And of course, while those initial findings suggest this wasn't a deliberate attack, the Polish ambassador was clear that a final conclusion would not be issued until this investigation is over.

Now, the Ukrainian authorities for their part have said that they will cooperate fully with the Polish authorities over the course of this investigation. Of course, we've heard from the Polish authorities saying that they are working extensively with NATO allies and member states, but also they are stepping up their combat readiness of the Polish armed forces in response to this latest incident.

Now, despite that, we are of course, hearing words of caution from the Polish authorities, they said that they will remain maintain restraint and responsibility over the course of this investigation that this incident really highlights how geographically and territorially close Poland stand to the prospects of a escalation to this conflict beyond the borders of Ukraine. And of course, as you heard there, Matthew Chance's reporting, well, what we do know, of course, that the initial findings suggest that this may have been caused by a Ukrainian Air Defense.

There are of course calls from Ukrainian authorities from Polish authorities and of course, other NATO allies, highlighting that the ultimate responsibility lies with Russia, lies with Russia for its ongoing assault of Ukraine for the ongoing barrage of missiles that we are seeing across the country. Now, as we saw those missiles being stepped up, those attacks being stepped up on Tuesday by the Russian Armed Forces.

And of course, we have heard that rejection of any sense of responsibility by the Russian authorities. Russia's own ambassador to the United Nations, accusing NATO of attempting to launch a proxy war in Ukraine accusing those allies of supplying Ukraine with weapons and supporting them on the military front. But of course, as Russia continues to step up its assault on Ukraine there will be extensive calls from both Poland, Ukraine and its other NATO allies for further support on the military front. CHURCH: Alright. Nada Bashir joining us live from London. Many Thanks for that update.

Well, the top U.S. general says given Ukraine's recent successes, there might be an opportunity to negotiate a Russian withdrawal from a position of strength. General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the Russian military had failed to accomplish any of its goals. He also says the recent liberation of Kherson could lead to a negotiation resulting in Russia's full withdrawal.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, U.S. JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Winter is very cold. And the natural tendency is for tactical operations are going to naturally probably slow down. President Biden and President Zelenskyy himself has said that there'll be -- at the end of the day there'll be a political solution. So, if there's a slowdown in the actual tactical fighting, if that happens, then that may become a window, possibly may not for a political solution or at least the beginnings of talks to initiate a political solution.


CHURCH: And for more on this story and the deadly missile incident in Poland, I'm joined by Peter Layton. He is a visiting fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute. Joining us from Brisbane, Australia. Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: So we heard there on Tuesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley saying winter may offer a slowdown in fighting that could potentially create a window for a political solution to this war from a position of strength for Ukraine, given its recent successes. Do you agree with his assessment there?

LAYTON: I think it's an optimistic assessment. Yes, there is certainly a chance. But it's difficult to believe that President Putin will just suddenly not giving like that, but suddenly withdraw. Although while I said that that's from the military viewpoint, because the Russians are still have a powerful army and the army is arrayed in the field and they have a lot more troops coming through as well.

And they're fairly cavalier about their troops lives. So then keep fighting. But on the other side, there's obviously a fair bit going on in the politics around Moscow, and in particular, the chief pf the -- the chief of the Wagner mercenary group, and there are some developments there with domestic politics that may be is putting some pressure onto President Putin. So maybe the good general is thinking not just as the military solution, but also that President Putin maybe coming up with some domestic pressure.

CHURCH: All right. So General Mark Milley also said that the Russian military had failed to accomplish any of its goals and the recent liberation of Kherson could lead to a negotiation resulting in Russia's withdrawal. What's your reaction to that?


LAYTON: That's true as far as it goes. If you're a Ukrainian, the Russian army has inflicted tens of thousands of casualties upon the army and the civilian populace, but have also inflicted many hundreds of billions of dollars worth of damage. So, the Russian army has proved effective in destroying things, if not -- if not in actually achieving its objectives. I think there may be an out there though, you have -- you noticed at the United Nations there was a vote about the Russians paying some reparations.

Now once that sort of snowball of the reparations talk builds up, the Russians might think that maybe trying to leave as quickly as possible might be a good idea to try and avoid that mounting cost. The reparations from a war like this would be immense.

CHURCH: Let's turn now to that deadly blast on Polish territory Tuesday. Revealing the heightened risk of escalation in this war, thankfully, contained by level heads at NATO, ensuring a thorough investigation is being taken. And that found that Russia was not the source, in fact, of this missile blast. Although still ultimately responsible because of its ongoing attacks on Ukraine and this war, of course.

What do you think happened on the Ukraine side? How do you think this happened exactly?

LAYTON: Missiles are very complicated things. And there's at least a couple of chances. Yes. So one was that the missile was fired against and incoming Russian cruise missile and just simply missed, and then flew off into Poland. It shouldn't have done that, by the way, it should have exploded in the air, but nonetheless, sort of malfunctions happen. And the second thing, of course, is a malfunction at launch, either with a guidance system, or the -- or the -- or with the rocket motor.

I wouldn't make it a sideways observation, perhaps that you'd write about that the crisis was handled well, and relatively quickly, people worked out this was not a Russian attack. And at least partially, some of that was due to the amazing intelligence sources from open sources from people on the ground using their Twitter feed and sending us pictures of the fragments left from the missile.

And the frameless left from the missile had various identification codes. And so relatively quickly, if you like the Twittersphere and the social media could see that this was a -- that this was a missile that was probably not in service with the Russian forces, but was known to be in service with the Ukrainian forces.

CHURCH: And I did want to ask you about Russia's ambassador to the U.N. He's now saying that the U.S. has become actively involved in controlling the war in Ukraine. How should the U.S. respond to that very dangerous accusation? LAYTON: That -- it's a dangerous accusation, certainly. But by the same token, I think they'd be making accusations like this for several months now. They've been trying to -- or virtually, from the start, called up -- call it a proxy war. And you can see that that sells well amongst certain nations as well, because there's this talk about being Russia versus the West, when in fact, it was Russia that invaded the Ukrainians.

So I think it's all part of a propaganda campaign to have a strategic narrative, whereby if you like the Russians are the other wronged party here they are the David fighting a valiant fight against the giants of the West.

CHURCH: All right. Peter Layton, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.

LAYTON: Thanks so much, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, Chinese President Xi Jinping has scolded Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in what appears to be a hot mic moment made for the world to see and hear of course. Well, the 42nd-long exchange came on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali. Xi appeared to be irritated saying details of an earlier conversation with Trudeau had been leaked to the Canadian media.


XI JINPING, PRESIDENT OF CHINA (through translator): Everything we discussed has been leaked to the papers and that is not appropriate. And that is not the way the conversation was conducted.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANDADA: In Canada we believe in the free and open and frank dialogue and we will continue to have and we will continue to work constructively together. But there will be things that we disagree on.

JINPING: Let's create the conditions first.


CHURCH: And for more on this I'm joined by CNN's Will Ripley. He's in Bangkok, Thailand. And Will, what was fascinating with this is we don't usually see Jin -- Xi Jinping in this sort of light. How choreographed was this for the Chinese leader?


WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It appears, Rosemary, to be a pretty spontaneous moment, at least in terms of the fact that Xi Jinping had to know that there were cameras in that room walking around capturing conversations. Now, did he know that they would have audio? We have no way to know for sure. But clearly, he didn't shy away or stick to the script in this interaction with Justin Trudeau which is really out of character for Xi Jinping, who is often portrayed in Chinese state media, which by the way, is running this clip, as basically always sticking to the -- to the talking points. And that's even how he's been how his has been described in terms of his diplomacy, his diplomatic style. Clearly, this more muscular face to face almost confrontational tone is out of character for Xi Jinping. Think about even when his predecessor Hu Jintao was pulled out of the Party Congress in Beijing. In that moment, Xi Jinping kind of stared straight ahead, stone faced, not acknowledging.

But this time he was right in the face of Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of one of the most important U.S. allies, and complaining about something that the Chinese have long had issue with when it comes to dealings with the West. The leaky nature of democracies. You don't have leaks like that come out of China on the Chinese side. They keep everything very, very much buttoned up.

But in places like Canada, the U.S., it's more common for conversation details to be -- to be revealed to the press. Justin Trudeau, when he was asked about the exchange, a couple of hours afterwards, he tried to portray it is not that big of a deal. Listen.


TRUDEAU (through translator): Listen, I think that people know that not all the conversations are going to be easy with the other leaders, especially when it comes to issues that are sources of disagreement.


RIPLEY: That piece of video is certainly the most talked about moment, perhaps from the end of the G20 in Bali. But it was really that three- hour meeting on Monday with the U.S. President Joe Biden. That was really the critical kind of reset, diplomatic reset, if you will. And after Biden's meeting with Xi where she pushed back on the narrative that there is this emerging battle between authoritarian governments and democratic governments saying that what he has in his country is Chinese-style democracy.

Some analysts perceive that as a signal to U.S. allies, and the west at large that he's not going to let ideological differences create a barrier in dealings with China, which is why you now have, you know, countries lining up to meet him. It was Australia, France, Netherlands, South Korea, South Africa in Bali, not, you know, just to name a few. And here he's believed to be landing just about right now, Rosemary in Bangkok.

He has a meeting the first in three years with the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and it'll be meeting later today with the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, along with the Hong Kong chief executive John Lee, so people clearly can't wait to talk to Xi Jinping who's back on the global stage after a few years of isolation during COVID and only virtual summits.

CHURCH: All right. Will Ripley joining us live from Bangkok. Many thanks. North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile Thursday morning. According to South Korea's military, it was launched from the country's east coast before landing in the waters off the Korean peninsula., By CNN's count it is the 33rd day this year that Pyongyang has carried out a missile test.

So for more on this story, we want to turn to our Anna Coren. She joins us live from Hong Kong. Good to see you, Anna. So what are you learning about this?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, North Korea, Rosemary, not happy with what has taken place this week. Obviously a lot of international diplomacy going on in Asia. We have the ASEAN Summit, the G20 now APEC. But it was the Asian Summit on the weekend that really ruffled North Korea's feathers in particular a trilateral meeting that took place between the U.S., South Korea and Japan on the sidelines in Cambodia on Sunday.

And this is what we heard from the North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui who we haven't heard from -- for a little while now. But she issued a statement through state media KCNA. Speaking of North Korea's anger at these talks and promising at fierce military response to the United States and its allies. Let me read you a little bit more from that statement. She said the U.S. bolstered offer of extended deterrence and the daily increasing military activities of the allied forces around the Korean Peninsula, a foolish act that will bring more serious instability to the U.S. and its allies.

She goes on to say the U.S. will be well aware that it is gambling for which it will certainly regret. Now, at this meeting last Sunday, Japan, the United States and South Korea agreed on greater cooperation security cooperation in response to these missile tests that have been coming out of North Korea.


As you say this is the 33rd day that a missile has been fired from North Korea but earlier this month, Rosemary, we saw a flurry of activity and we know that the U.S. and South Korea is also expecting for North Korea to conduct a seven nuclear test. But it will be the first time since 2017, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Anna Coren, many thanks, joining us live from Hong Kong. Appreciate it.

Coming up, Republicans will be the new U.S. House Majority but with only the narrowest of margins. And now comes the added distraction of Donald Trump again running for president.

Plus, freedom is reportedly on the horizon for hundreds of prisoners arrested by Myanmar's military regime. We'll have more on that after the break.


CHURCH: Hundreds of people arrested by Myanmar's military junta will soon be pardoned to mark the country's national day. That is according to state media. People have been waiting for their loved ones to be released outside of prison in the nation's largest city Yangon. Former British ambassador Vicky Bowman is said to be among those being freed, as are an Australian economist and a Japanese journalist. The Iranian regime is continuing to crackdown on anti-government protests over the death of a young woman in police custody. State media say three more protesters have been given death sentences on various charges, bringing the total number to five. Demonstrations also took place across the country on the three-year anniversary of the deadly November 2019 protests.

In this video shared online by an activist outlet. You can see Iranian authorities pointing a weapon at protesters at Subway -- at Subway Station in Tehran. And protesters set fire to a seminary in western Iran around the same time as five people were shot and killed in the region. State media now calling the shooting a terror attack claiming to people on motorcycles shot out security forces. It's unclear the shooting and fire are linked.

CNN projects Republicans will narrowly retake control of the U.S. House in January with one of the slimmest majorities in recent memory. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden extended an olive branch to the new majorities saying I congratulate Leader McCarthy on Republicans winning the House Majority and I'm ready to work with House Republicans to deliver results for working families.


But when the House Republicans will work with the president, well that remains to be seen. CNN's Jeff Zeleny has more from Washington.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Republicans winning control of the House after a midterm election that will change the balance of power in Washington. But far less change than they envision. With turmoil inside the GOP dampening the party's mood and complicating its future.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): I'm not going anywhere.

ZELENY: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surviving a threat from Florida Senator Rick Scott. With 37 Republicans voting to keep McConnell at the helm. And 10 voting for Scott. Amid deep infighting over the GOP's failure to win a senate majority.

At the center of broader recriminations among Republicans is former President Donald Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Much criticism is being placed on the fact that the Republican Party should have done better and frankly, much of this blame is correct.

ZELENY: Who took no responsibility for midterm election losses as he pulled the trigger on another bid from the White House?

TRUMP: I have no doubt that by 2024 it will sadly be much worse, and they will see much more clearly what happened and what is happening to our country and the voting will be much different. ZELENY: His Mar-a-Lago announcement is being met by a collective groan from a broad swath of the Republican Party, including many who served in his administration.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who's considering a presidential run of his own saying, we need more seriousness, less noise and leaders who are looking forward. Not staring in the rearview mirror claiming victimhood those stinging comments and clear reference to this moment Tuesday night.

TRUMP: We must conduct a top to bottom overhaul to clean out the festering rot and corruption of Washington, D.C. And I'm a victim I will tell you, I'm a victim.

ZELENY: While Trump enters the race as a clear frontrunner, beloved by a loyal base of supporters, he is unlikely to have the field to himself. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who swept reelection by nearly 20 points through applause today saying the 2024 campaign can wait.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): We just finished this election. OK? People just need to chill out a little bit on some of this stuff. I mean, seriously, we just ran an election.

ZELENY: Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper who served under Trump told CNN the party should look forward.

MARK ESPER, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: The new generation of Republican leaders who maybe are more in line with what I consider myself a Reagan Republican who can do so without the baggage and the personal attacks and the self centeredness of Donald Trump.

ZELENY: And former Vice President Mike Pence, who's also weighing a presidential run, said the country should not turn back to Trump.

MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we'll have better choices in the future.

ZELENY: Tonight, McConnell said Republican candidates turned off moderates and independent voters in the last election. For the next one he said Trump left company in the Republican race.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The way I'm going to go into this presidential primary season is to stay out of it. I don't have a dog in that fight.


ZELENY: After his election, Senator McConnell talked about the prospect of divided power in Washington, talking about how the House would be controlled by republicans, the senate narrowly by democrats. He said he really thought it would be an opportunity to work with the White House and work on behalf of the American people. Of course, we will see how much bipartisan unity there actually is.

But as for McConnell, starting next year in the next Congress, he will be the longest serving senate party leader in U.S. history. 15 years, but the Republican Party has changed dramatically under his watch. Jeff Zeleny CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: In the coming hours, the U.K. is expected to announce a new economic plan. Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt will set out a raft of tax and spending changes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's government seeks to move on from the turmoil caused by his predecessor Liz Truss' economic measures. The new government hopes to restore confidence in the British economy as inflation hit a 41-year-high of a little over 11 percent last month amid fears of a recession.

The deadly missile incident in Poland is looking like a mistake on Ukraine's part, but President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he wants proof. That's coming up after a short break.



CHURCH: Poland and other western countries now say a deadly missile incident on Tuesday likely came from Ukrainian forces, defending against Russian attacks. Still, they insist Russian aggression in Ukraine is ultimately to blame.


LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: We have seen nothing that contradicts President Duda's preliminary assessment that this explosion was most likely the result of a Ukrainian air defense missile that unfortunately landed in Poland. And whatever the final conclusions maybe, the world knows that Russia bears ultimate responsibility for this incident.


CHURCH: The U.S. and Poland are carrying out a joint investigation, and Ukraine is pledging full cooperation. CNN's Sam Kiley has the latest.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Death in Poland, two farmers killed in a missile strike, a spillover from war in Ukraine. But Ukraine's president insisting that his country wasn't responsible.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I don't even doubt that report I have received, the dilution we received from the air defense command, I don't doubt that it wasn't our missile. I don't have a reason to doubt them. I'm going through this war with them.

KILEY (voiceover): In any case, there's no claim on Kyiv from Poland.

ANDRZEJ DUDA, POLISH PRESIDENT (through translator): It was probably an accident. Russia attacked Ukraine and Ukraine air defenses shot quite a few Russian missiles to neutralize the attack. There is a high chance that maybe one of the missiles just fell on our territory. KILEY (voiceover): And it could have been much worse, a tragedy turned into global catastrophe. Because if Poland civilians had died in a deliberate Russian missile strike, Poland, a member of NATO, could have demanded all-out war against the Kremlin. Those fears are now over as it appears likely the Ukrainian air defense weapon fired at a Russian missile hit this Polish farm six kilometers in from the border. The West is blaming Russia.

JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Let me be clear, this is not Ukraine's fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.

KILEY (voiceover): On Tuesday, Ukrainians endured close to 100 cruise missiles in a storm of attacks on cities and infrastructure. Many Russian missiles were shot down, but Ukraine's electrical network was still hit with 7 million facing power shortages. The internet was cut by a third, and two people killed in Kyiv. Russia denied that it had launched against targets close to Poland, but the Ukrainian border town of Lviv, local officials said, had shot down 10 out of 30 Russian missiles on Tuesday.


YURIY SAK, UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY ADVISER: We have been requesting to close our skies for a long time now, and we are talking to our international partners about this almost on a daily basis. We believe and we are almost confident that, you know, the air defense capabilities of Ukraine will continue to be a top priority, both for us and our international partners.

KILEY (voiceover): Ukraine wants to rely a lot less on these, and more on these 21st century western weapons to help it hold off Russia's aerial counterattack while it is re-capturing territory on the ground. Heavy hints are coming that the tragedy in Poland may accelerate that process.

AUSTIN: We are going to maintain our momentum throughout the winter so that Ukraine can continue to consolidate gains and seize the initiative on the battlefield. Our NASAMS air defense systems are now operational and they have had 100 percent success rate in interrupting Russian missiles.

KILEY (voiceover): Ukraine stated need for more modern weapons now tragically proven in a Polish field. Sam Kiley, CNN, in Kryvyy Rih.


CHURCH: And earlier, I spoke with former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Steven Pifer. I asked him about NATO's majored response to the missile incident. Take a listen.


STEVEN PIFER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: I do think that NATO, Washington, they are correct when they say Russia ultimately is responsible. Last night, there were something like 100 Russian missiles launched at Ukraine, that Ukrainian air defense missile would not have been launched had Ukraine not been trying to defend itself. But I think everything that we learned last night was that initial information sometimes can't be clear, sometimes it can be wrong and it was wise of NATO and the polish government to sort of take a measured stance, explore happened, and then, of course, they came out and said, you know, this was an air defense missile that had gone astray, not a Russian missile.


CHURCH: And be sure to catch the rest of my interview with the former ambassador in our next hour right here on CNN.

Ukrainian parliament member, Kira Rudik, also shared her thoughts on the missile incident with CNN.


KIRA RUDIK, UKRAINIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: What is important here is that we warned the world that something like this may happen. Russia has fired over 100 missiles over our territory, yesterday, over 100 muscles. So, of course, there could have been different situations, there could have been Russian misfires or our protection of ourselves, our attempt to save ourselves, and to stay alive. We are, right now, fighting for our existence, we are trying to protect ourselves from 100 of bombs and missiles that are coming here to kill us and everything that we love.

So, this is why it is so, so, so important that no matter what the investigation will show, the response will be clear, the response should be only one, give Ukraine more air force protection systems, give us an ability to protect ourselves, and protect our neighbors. Give us an ability to continue because what we think right now is even when a small percentage of rockets are hitting the targets, the results are terrifying. The results are throwing us into cold and direct winter that we don't know how many people will survive.


CHURCH: Ukraine has asked to participate in the joint U.S. Polish investigation, that request has not yet been granted.

Brazil's incoming president is making big environmental promises to undo the damage to the Amazon caused by his predecessor. Just ahead, Lula da Silva vows to put climate at the forefront of his agenda.



CHURCH: Brazilian president elect, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is back on the international stage. He addressed a cheering crowd of delegates at the COP27 Summit in Egypt on Wednesday. His focus, protecting the Amazon. CNN's David McKenzie has more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Elect Lula da Silva of Brazil I received a hero's welcome of sorts at the COP meetings in Egypt. He will be coming in January, and that is just when a bitter election against Jair Bolsonaro, who had a famously ambivalent attitude towards climate change. Lula, as his university known, said that more needs to be done to help poor countries combat the climate crisis. He also says that his administration will do more to monitor illegal logging in the critical Amazon Rainforest and crackdown on wildcat loggers and miners. But the main thrust was really equality when it comes to fighting climate change.

LULA DA SILVA, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT (through translator): We need with urgency, with a lot of urgency, I should say, financial mechanisms or facilities to remedy loss and damages caused due to climate change. We cannot postpone this debate. We need to deal with the reality of countries that have their own fiscal integrity of their territories threatened and the survival conditions of its inhabitants seriously compromised. It is time to act. We can't waste time anymore. We cannot live with this rush towards the abyss.

MCKENZIE: But a European Union negotiator told CNN that it is unlikely the E.U., U.S. or the U.K. will come up or want to push any specific mechanism for loss and damage at these climate talks, leading to fears by many activists that this will just be an issue that's pushed down the road without concrete action. David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.


CHURCH: Taking a taxi in New York will soon cost a whole lot more, fares are expected to rise by about 23 percent. Yes, 23 percent by the end of the year. That includes an increase to a $70 flat rate for a cab from JFK International Airport. The city is blaming its first fare hike in 10 years on inflation and the higher cost of operating taxies.

And thanks so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. World Sport is coming up next. And I will be back in 15 minutes with more "CNN Newsroom." Do stick around.



PLEITGEN: That the Ukrainians essentially would try to shoot down some sort of Russian projective that was fired at their infrastructure or at some sort of military facility. Of course, we know that on that day, there were massive Russian airstrikes that took place mostly with cruise missiles and that one those interceptor missiles that the Ukrainians launched probably went astray. But there are still a lot of questions that are open. Did this interceptor hit some sort of Russian projectile and was then maybe diverted to the territory of Poland or could there also have been a Russian projectile that was hit and then, part of that also landed on Polish territory? A lot of things that are still unclear and certainly, more information that could come out, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Fred Pleitgen, thanks.

Earlier today, the chairman of joins chiefs of staff, General Mark Milley, noted the Ukrainian military's recent successes also play down the idea that they are near a full victory.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: The military task of militarily kicking the Russians physically out of Ukraine is a very difficult task. And it is not going to happen in the next couple of weeks unless the Russian army completely collapses, which is unlikely. The probability of that happening anytime soon is not high, militarily.


COOPER: Joining us now is retired brigadier general, Peter Zwack, who is the U.S. defense attache to Russia during 2014 invasion of Ukraine. He is also the author of "Swimming the Volga: A U.S. Army Officer's Experiences in Pre-Putin Russia."

General Zwack, do you agree with General Milley about the difficulty the Ukrainian army actually pushing Russian forces fully out?

BRIG. GEN. PETER ZWACK, FORMER U.S. DEFENSE ATTACHE TO RUSSIA: It's going to be a hard fight and the Ukrainians are going to press. They have momentum. I -- they sense, and I think we would agree, that if the Russians are able to stop, set, reorganize, it will even be a harder fight. Of course, we've got winter coming that works both for and against both sides.

So, yes, it will be hard. The Russians are falling back on what we call a little bit interior lines, closer to the supply routes. But winter for Russian forces in Ukraine will be harder, I believe, for them, than the Ukrainians because Ukrainians are fighting on their own ground and those Russian troops are going to be out there fighting unpopular and really cold.

COOPER: The fighting will likely slow down during the winter, right? Just logistically, I mean, just the elements make it that much more difficult.

ZWACK: Well, that's right. The one point to make on that though, that tracked vehicles, and some wheeled can really, really motor off the roads. The front extends now. A lot of the fighting has been sort of linear along what we call, you know, military, if you will, lines of operation. They can move faster now, what they call general mud, that period is passing. But now, you are going to a journal (ph) winter. And this will be -- this -- we'll talk about Russian prowess in the winter, Ukrainians can fight in winter too.

COOPER: So, you think its -- you think it affects Russia -- the winter affects Russia more because Ukraine is fighting on their own territory?

ZWACK: I think it's a major -- it's very important. Same, ground, World War II, you had German and Soviet forces fighting over villages and towns just to stay warm and for the hearth. And Ukrainians are fighting in a generally friendly populated area. We fought it was hard for the Russians, for their lines of their supply lines out in front of Kyiv and elsewhere, it's going to get really hard for them, especially in the south where they still are extended. No, it's going to be a tough fight, though. Without a doubt.

COOPER: General Zwack, it's always a pleasure. Appreciate it.

ZWACK: The pleasure is mine.

COOPER: Coming up, giving new details on the investigation from law enforcement into the fatal stabbings of four universities of Idaho students as they continue to search for a suspect. The latest, next.



COOPER: We have new information tonight about the investigation the fatal stabbings of four university of Idaho students. The local police chief says they can't assure the community is safe as they continue the search for the suspect. The students were found dead Sunday in an off-campus home. Police chief also revealing for the first time that two other roommates were home at the time of the killings. He says they were not injured or held hostage. More now from CNN's Lucy Kavanaugh.


JAMES FRY, MOSCOW POLICE CHIEF: We do not have a suspect at this time. And that individual is still out there. We cannot say that there is no threat to the community.

LUCY KAVANAUGH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Tonight, with a killer on the loose, police in Moscow, Idaho trying to calm a community on edge, shaken by the brutal killings of four young students.

FRY: But the reality is, is there is still a person out there who committed four horrible, horrible crimes. So, there is a threat out there still.

KAVANAUGH (voiceover): The students' bodies were found inside this home across from the University of Idaho campus Sunday. Police say two were at a party on campus, while two others were at a downtown bar. All returned home sometime before 1:45 a.m. What happened after remains a mystery.

FRY: The four were stabbed with a knife, but no weapon has been located at this time. There was no sign of forced entry into the residence. We're not 100 percent sure if the door was unlocked, but there was no damage to anything and the door was still open when we got there.

KAVANAUGH (voiceover): The coroner describing a gruesome scene. CATHY MABUTT, CORONER, LATAH COUNTY, IDAHO: There's quite a bit of blood in the apartment. And, you know, it's a pretty traumatic scene to find four dead college students in a residence.

KAVANAUGH (voiceover): The victims all members of Greek Life on Campus appear to have been friends. Pictured in this photo, posted by 21-year-old Kaylee Goncalves hours before their death. The caption, one lucky girl to be surrounded by these people every day.


Kaylee was killed alongside 20-year-old Xana Kernodle, a junior majoring in marketing. 21-year-old Madison Mogen, a senior also majoring in marketing and 20-year-old recreation sport and tourism management major Ethan Chapin.

The university president visibly shaken.

SCOTT GREEN, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO: First, my deepest condolences to the families and friends of Ethan, Kaylee, Xana -- excuse me. Their loss has been devastating and they were bright lights in our community.

STACY CHAPIN, MOTHER OF VICTIM ETHAN CHAPIN: We're just trying to process it. It's not a call that you think you're going to have to speak with the funeral home directors and the FBI and have it hit national news.

KAVANAUGH (voiceover): The families, who should've been planning Thanksgiving dinner, now, making funeral arrangements while demanding answers and justice.


COOPER: Lucy Kavanaugh joins us now. Are authorities saying anything about a possible motive? The mayor raised one possibility, what's the latest?

KAVANAUGH (on camera): Yes. I mean, the police chief was asked about comments made by the Moscow mayor earlier this week describing the killings as a crime of passion. The chief today refusing to speculate about any motives, saying the authorities are continuing to investigate it. And of course, but there are times when investigators have to keep cards close to their chest. But students and families have expressed frustration with just how little they've heard from authorities, especially given that police today walked back previous assurances that there was no threat to the community.

The father of Ethan Chapin issuing a statement saying, "There is a lack of information from the university and the local police, which only fuels false rumors and innuendo in the press and social media." Something that the chief actually alluded to today when he said he probably should've had this press conference earlier in the week.

And at the end of the day, Anderson, someone brutally killed four people with a knife and that person has not been caught. The community still waiting for answers. Anderson.

COOPER: Lucy Kavanaugh, appreciate it. Thank you.

The news continues. Laura Coates and "CNN Tonight" right after a quick break.