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Ukraine Investigates Helicopter Crash That Killed Interior Minister; Jacinda Ardern To Step Down As New Zealand Prime Minister; Israeli Supreme Court Rules Netanyahu Minister Cannot Serve; Ukraine Investigating Helicopter Crash; U.S. Finalizing $2.5 Billion in Military Aid; The School Tackling Bali's Water Crisis; Greenland's Temperatures Warmest in Thousand Years. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired January 19, 2023 - 01:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm John Vause. Ahead here on CNN Newsroom. Ukraine left reeling via the death of the interior minister in a chopper crash. The highest ranking Ukrainian officials who have died since the war began.

Just as she upgraded mainstream politics when elected prime minister five years on and Jacinda Ardern has again shocked New Zealand announcing she's stepping down.

And more dire warnings of a warming planet from record temperatures in Greenland to heating oceans. But is anyone actually listening?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from CNN Center. This is CNN Newsroom with John Vause.

VAUSE: Right now there's little to suggest a helicopter crash in Ukraine which claimed the life of the interior minister and 13 others was anything more than a tragic accident. Still, Ukraine's President has ordered an investigation to try and find out why the helicopter went down in low visibility in a residential neighborhood on Wednesday. More than two dozen people were injured including 11 children.

Well, technical malfunction or pilot error is seen as a possible reason for the crash. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said ultimately, Russia was to blame.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): There are no accidents. This was the result of the war. Everything was just happening. Rockets that hits our people, civilians. What is happening with kindergartens, schools. Every death is a result of war.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: At last count 15 people were still being treated in hospital according to Ukraine's health ministry, search and rescue crews were at the crash site for more than nine hours Wednesday. They will help like kindergarten teachers and local residents.

Presidents Zelenskyy thank the hundreds of volunteers who worked to put out the fire and rescue survivors and he paid tribute to the six government officials who died among them the interior minister Denys Monastyrsky and his top deputy and Ukraine's Secretary of State. The helicopter had taken off from Kyiv en route to the Kharkiv region.

Vigil for the victims of the crash was held by priests from Ukraine's Orthodox Church, and the mayor of Brovary has declared three days of mourning. And from around the world, they have a messages of condolences is the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Before I speak about our meeting, let me just start by expressing my own deep sorrow and condolences to our friends in Ukraine, colleagues with whom we've worked very, very closely. A couple of them left behind small children. They have been heroic in their efforts in defense of Ukraine against the Russian aggression. And we stand with our friends in Ukraine and in mourning their loss.


VAUSE: NATO's Deputy Secretary General says the longer this will last, the more likely it will be that we'll see a repeat of the tragic scenes in Brovery. And he added the military alliance who prepare for the long haul a plea echoed by President Zelenskyy in his video link speech to the World Economic Forum.


ZELENSKYY: The time the free world uses to think is used by the terrorist state to kill. The supplying of Ukraine with air defense systems must outpace Russia's next missile attacks. The supplies or Western tags must outpace another invasion of Russian tanks.


VAUSE: The White House is now finalizing plans for a new $2.5 billion military aid package, reportedly including Stryker combat vehicles for the first time and MRAS, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, but it will not include M1 Abrams tanks or long range missiles which Ukraine has requested. Here's the State Department spokesperson.


NED PRICE, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: On any forthcoming announcements, two words stay tuned at every step of the way. We have been providing our Ukrainian partners with precisely what they need to defend their country to defend their sovereignty to defend their territorial integrity against this brutal land grab. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: The helicopter crash site is about 14 miles from the Capitol and when the chopper went down, CNN's Fred Pleitgen and his crew were among those who rushed to the scene.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Widespread destruction after the helicopter for Ukraine's interior minister crashed near Kyiv an eye witness describing the scene to me.

I saw a helicopter that was flying towards the kindergarten he says, it landed almost vertically. I saw an explosion. I came down to help clear the debris.


We also shot this video of the immediate aftermath.

PLEITGEN (on camera): The chopper crashed at the foot of this residential building. As you can see, there's lots of parts strewn around everywhere. It completely burned out killing everyone inside and several people on the ground.

PLEITGEN (voiceover): Among the dead Ukraine's interior minister Denys Monastyrsky, his Deputy Yevhen Yenin and State Secretary Yurii Lubkovych. The Deputy Minister's wife in tears as she reached the scene. Especially tragic a child was also among several people killed on the ground as the aircraft hit a kindergarten just as parents were dropping their kids off. Two boys describe how they tried to help.

Here the past injured children over the fence, this boy says, mostly they had bruises and scratches (INAUDIBLE) put bandages on them, wrote down their names and surnames and found their parents.

The chopper a Eurocopter Super Puma, Ukrainian authorities have launched an investigation into the possible causes of the crash.

YURII IHNAT, UKRAINIAN AIR FORCE SPOKESPERSON (through translator): Various factors radio communications and the technical condition of the helicopter needs to be examined. This will take at least several weeks.

PLEITGEN: Denys Monastyrsky was one of Ukraine's most important officials. We traveled with him to the Chernobyl nuclear plant shortly after Russian forces withdrew from there. Monastyrsky frequently visited the front lines to help boost morale.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (though translator): They have such a strong fighting spirit and are ready for any scenario. We heard the shells exploding, but no one is afraid as everyone is ready.

PLEITGEN: Ukrainian forces are currently facing a major Russian onslaught in the eastern part of the country near Bakhmut and Soledar. And dozens were killed when a massive Russian missile hit a residential building in Dnipro. And now, Ukraine is also mourning the loss of more than a dozen people, including some of the country's top officials. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Brovary, Ukraine.


VAUSE: Live now to Kyiv and Kira Rudik, a member of the Ukrainian parliament. Kira, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. I'm wondering what -- how much you know about the role the interior minister was playing in the war and how crucial he was to President Zelenskyy? They had a fairly close relationship. And how big of a blow is this to Ukraine in the war effort?

KIRA RUDIK, UKRAINIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Hello, thank you so much for having me. Well, indeed, Denys Monastyrsky was a part of closest circle to President he was his personal friend. He was a fellow MP at the very beginning. And then he became a Minister of Internal Affairs.

How can one describe how important the Minister of Internal Affairs is at work? Of course, he was one of the most important governmental officials. He was responsible for emergency services, police border control. So basically, every time there was a missile hit or a Russian attack on civilians, his services were -- they're the first ones.

For example, the recent major attack on Dnipro that killed almost 45 people, it was the services of internal ministry, emergency services that were the first to dig people out of the rebels and perform all the necessary steps to rescue them.

So their Minister of Interior Affairs was the one who was almost always there to help his people to boost the morale, but also to control what was going on. And he did his job very well. You know, in the international spectators were giving the praises on how fast and efficient the services were working at every tragedy that happens to our country.

VAUSE: When you first heard this news that the interior minister, his deputy, that the entire leadership of the Interior Ministry had had died. What was your first reaction?

RUDIK: I was shocked. I honestly could not believe that. I hope there was some kind of mistake and I thought that we should investigate what really happened. But right now we are refraining from giving any theories because aside of Minister of Internal Affairs and his team died, there were children who are injured and died and this topic right now is extremely emotional to every Ukrainian.

VUASE: I want you to listen to an advisor to the interior minister. His name is Anton Gerashchenko.


And he essentially talks about what's been lost in this helicopter accident. Here he is. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANTON GERASHCHENKO, ADVISER TO UKRAINIAN INTERIOR MINISTER (through translator): Ukraine lost the whole generation of young politicians who came together with President Zelenskyy to change Ukraine. And it's huge grief for everyone.


VAUSE: To be fair, this is a war and I understand resources are scarce. There's not a lot of helicopters to go around. But is there any explanation as to why the entire leadership of a crucial wartime ministry will be traveling in the same helicopter at the same time?

RUDIK: The first information that we have right now is that they were rushing to Kharkiv, because there was another matter there to resolve. And they were really in a rush. And that's why the entire leadership was there. It is extremely hard to be talking about it right now because we are basically talking about the past that we cannot change anything.

So right now, what we all to the Minister of Interior Affairs and his team is to perform the clear investigation, but from our side as a member of Parliament's, we will make sure that his work are continuous and the projects that he started would be done. It would be a tribute to him to make sure that his work survives.

VAUSE: Kira Rudik, my condolences to you on your lost ther. Obviously, this is a difficult moment in a very difficult time for Ukraine, but thank you for being with us.

RUDIKL Thank you and Glory to Ukraine.

VAUSE: Well, she was the youngest woman ever elected as the head of government. The second to give birth whilst in office. In the past five years has faced a series of unprecedented challenges. And a short time ago Jacinda Ardern, announced she will be stepping down as New Zealand's Prime Minister within three weeks.

Speaking at a Labour Party retreat in Napier on the North Island, I don't choked up, she described how her time in office had taken a toll left her exhausted. She also announced a general election set for October.


JACINDA ARDERN, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: This summer, I had hoped to find a way to prepare not just for another year, but another two, because that is what this year requires. I have not been able to do that.

And sorry, today, I'm announcing that I will not be seeking reelection. And then my term as Prime Minister will conclude no later than the seventh of February. This has been the most fulfilling five and a half years of my life. But it's also had its challenges.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Ardern praise around the world for handling of the COVID pandemic for personal style is speaking from the heart, especially during moments of crisis like the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch in 2019. Within weeks, Ardern and the Labour government had passed new gun laws banning semi-automatic weapons and other gun reform.

While her popularity grew around the world in recent months, though, a slowing economy at home housing crisis and inflation. So her approval ratings fall. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout joins us live from Hong Kong.

You know, most politicians, they want to cling to the end because they believe they're the ones the most important person in the world who could get this done. Ardern's decision to step down now it just seems to be kind of refreshing and honest.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and a big surprise to many people in New Zealand and around the world. Look, some political pundits, they say that she would be facing a bruising political battle ahead. It's fair to go out on a high.

But according to Jacinda Ardern what she said earlier today is that she simply does not have the energy to seek reelection in October. And that is why she is stepping down as the Prime Minister of New Zealand by early February.


LU STOUT (voiceover): New Zealand's youngest female prime minister strove to bring compassion and empathy to politics, values tested by a string of once in a generation crises.

ARDERN: We encountered a major biosecurity incursion, domestic terror event, a major natural disaster, a global pandemic, and an economic crisis.

LU STOUT: In 2019, when the far right terrorist targeted two mosques in the city of Christchurch, killing 51 people, Ardern embraced the Muslim community.

ARDERN: We are one. They are us (INAUDIBLE) As-Salamu ?laikum (INAUDIBLE).

LU STOUT: Weeks later, her government successfully banned military style semi-automatic weapons like the one used in the attack.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: She showed the heart not only of a leader but of a mother.

LU STOUT: Ardern became a mother in 2018 during her first full year in office taking just six weeks off from maternity leave, a young unmarried woman from a modest background, Ardern defied norms.


And earned a global reputation outsized for leader of just under 5 million people. But at home, Ardern won two general elections, including a landslide victory in 2020. But public support dipped in the last of her five and a half years in office, tough COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and the economic troubles that followed the virus damaged Ardern politically.

In December, her Labour Party lost an important by election to the conservative National Party.

BRYCE EDWARDS, POLITICAL SCIENTIST, VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGTON: I think the real reason are doing is going is that she's lost popularity. So the opinion polls here have really plummeted for her government and for her personally. And it's going to be a very tough election for her government to win.

LU STOUT: Ardern admitted Thursday that she doesn't have the energy for that political fight.

ARDERN: I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It's that simple.

LU STOUT: As for what's next, Ardern says she has no professional plans beyond her last day in office. She says she's looking forward to spending time with her family to being there for her four-year-old daughter when she starts school and to finally get married to her partner television host Clarke Gayford.


LU STOUT: Domestically inside New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern has been facing a number of political headwinds as voters focus on issues like rising property prices, the rising cost of living but internationally, she has been hailed and heralded as a strong progressive voice and hailed for her leadership as well.

We've been monitoring international reaction to the announcement. And we have seen this a response from the Australian Prime Minister who on Twitter earlier today said this, Jacinda Ardern has shown the world how to lead with intellect and strength. She has demonstrated that empathy and insight are powerful leadership qualities. Jacinda has been a fierce advocate for New Zealand an inspiration to so many and a great friend to me, unquote.

And this is from Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada who on Twitter writes, thank you Jacinda Ardern for your partnership and your friendship and for your empathetic, compassionate, strong and steady leadership over these past several years. The difference you have made is immeasurable and wishing you and your family nothing but the best, my friend. Once again Jacinda Ardern will resign as the Prime Minister of New Zealand on February the seventh. Back to you.

VAUSE: Kristie, thank you. Kristie Lu Stout live for us in Hong Kong. Appreciate it.

Quick check with U.S. futures right now as we can see. Wow. But looking back right, right across the board. Wednesday was a rough day for Wall Street week retail data entered a recent market rally. Dow, S&P both dropped more than one and a half percent the biggest declines in over a month. The NASDAQ snapped a seven-day winning streak as well.

The U.S. government is expected to hit its debt ceiling on Thursday, setting off a standoff -- setting up a standoff, between the White House and hard right Republicans in Congress. The U.S. Treasury could keep the government open with so called extraordinary measures for a few more months. But Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that lawmakers there is a considerable uncertainty around that timeline and the risk of default is real. CNN's Phil Mattingly has more now reporting from the White House.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The warning from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was ominous. It was also very intentional and part of a plan that is currently being rolled out by the Biden administration, when they plan to stick to in the months ahead. And that warning was the fact that the debt ceiling is going to be hit on Thursday.

Now keep in mind, that does not mean that the U.S. is going to default. There are extraordinary measures in terms of shifting funds around prioritizing what investments will get made when the Treasury can deploy and has deployed over the course of several years of these battles. And they will and that should get them roughly four or five months before the true threat of default is actually on the table.

But there's one thing to keep in mind here. White House officials have been steadfast and very blunt on the idea that there will be no negotiations in their mind. There'll be no coming to the table. There will be no horse trading with the House Republican majority that has made very clear a clean debt ceiling increase is not on the table. That of course means there's a stalemate, one that is likely to last for the next several months.

But when you talk to White House officials behind the scenes, they make clear two things. One, they believe that this is simply not a negotiation they can afford to have in terms of just pure governance, being able to move forward and pay the bills that have already been accrued, which is what the debt ceiling represents. This is a necessary move that needs to be made. Obviously that divergence from the last several years of Republican and Democratic debates over this issue.

But the other is the idea that White House officials firmly believe politically they are certainly in a good place on this issue. Whatever Republicans put on the table, whether it's cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare or Social Security, whether it's prioritizing certain bills be paid or certain debts be paid instead of others, they feel like they can win the messaging battle on that.


So there's the politics and there's the policy. And certainly, there's the logistics of governance here that White House officials are sticking to. This is a plan they have been working through over the course of several weeks. It's one that's closely coordinated with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries and the Treasury Department and as well, and it's laying out the battle lines for what is almost certain to be a very intense fight in the months ahead.

The way out well, White House officials say there's only one a clean debt ceiling increase, Republicans say not an option. Where this all ends? Well, it could bring us dangerously close to something that's ever happened in the history of the country, default. Phil Mattingly, CNN, the White House.


VAUSE: About two hours the Italian mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro is expected to make his first court appearance since its arrest. Italy's most one of them was on the run for 30 years until he was finally caught checking in to a private health clinic.

Denaro received multiple life sentences in absentia, including for his role in the killings of two anti-mafia -- anti-mafia prosecutors in 1982, the focus of Thursday's hearing. He said I've ordered dozens of mafia related murders and is set to appear in court by video link from a maximum security prison on the mainland where he's being treated for cancer.

And that's when expected Thursday on criminal charges will be filed in the deadly shooting on the set of Alec Baldwin's film Rust. Cinematographer was killed. The director was wounded during filming in New Mexico back in 2021.

Baldwin find the gun he blames the film's armor and for loading it with a live round, not a blank, and an assistant director who handed him the weapon. They accuse Baldwin of deflecting blame.

Still to come, well, that didn't take long a political crisis in Israel. Will Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will find his interior minister? Find out. Also ahead, protesters trying again to force Peru's president to step down. But these protests are coming with a high price, many demonstrators are paying with their lives. Also, we could soon see scenes like this as the nationwide strike is underway in France.


VAUSE: Israel's top court has disqualified Netanyahu ally from serving as interior minister. The ultra Orthodox lawmaker was deemed ineligible due to a past conviction on tax fraud. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu though has not said if he plans to fire Aryeh Deri. CNN's Hadas Gold has details.


HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This was a bombshell 10 to one ruling that could become a massive political and constitutional crisis for Netanyahu and for Israel. The highest court in Israel saying that the recently appointed Minister of Interior and Health Aryeh Deri cannot serve because of his previous convictions, including from last year on tax charges for which he struck a plea bargain resigned from Parliament served a suspended sentence and vow to retire from public office.

So now the Supreme Court said Deri needs to resign or Netanyahu needs to fire him. But Netanyahu will have to manage this relationship carefully because he needs Deri's 11 seats from Deri's party in order to stay in power.


If he loses those 11 seats from his coalition, then Netanyahu no longer has a majority. So far Netanyahu hasn't commented beyond supporting Deri and Deri has pledged to keep fighting. Most likely, though this will speed up and already brewing showdown here in Israel over the role and power of Israel's highest court. Because Netanyahu and his government want to make judicial reforms they've already set off a plan, and part of his plan would make it possible for the parliament and therefore whoever is in power to overturn Supreme Court rulings.

Now, backers of these changes have long accused the Supreme Court here of overreach and elitism. They say the changes would help restore balance between the branches of government. But the opponents of these reforms including the former Prime Minister Yair Lapid, the current president of the Israeli Supreme Court and 80,000 or so people who came out in the pouring rain on Saturday to protest in Tel Aviv say it would destroy the independent judiciary, it would destroy the checks and balances and would potentially be the beginning of the end, they say, of Israeli democracy.

But if Netanyahu manages to get these judicial reforms through, it cannot only help Netanyahu in his own corruption trial, something that he denies, but could also be the path back for Deri to serve because then the parliament and the party in power could overturn Supreme Court decisions.

And backers of these reforms have now called on them on Netanyahu to be fast tracked as a result of this ruling against Deri, speeding up was already expected to be one of the most dramatic legal and political battles in Israeli history. Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


VAUSE: Protesters they're chatting on their way to Peru's capital where anti-government rallies are expected to resume on Thursday clashes with police in Lima on Wednesday. Nationwide demonstrations have left the country paralyzed for weeks now. Details from CNN's Stefano Pozzebon.


STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST (on camera): Late on Wednesday night, the Peruvian Ombudsman's Office updated to 51 the total number of deaths in the wave of protests that is sweeping across the nation since the ousting of former President Pedro Castillo last month.

One person died on Wednesday in protests in Beru province in rural Peru. This occurred as thousands of people are travelling towards the capital, Lima for a nationwide rally against the current president Dina Boluarte scheduled for Thursday. Among their demands is the resignation of Boluarte in a fresh round of election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): As I said, there are several urgent needs. But right now the political situation the merits a change of representatives of government of the executive and the legislature. That is the immediate thing, because there are other deeper issues, inflation, lack of employment, poverty, malnutrition, and other historical issues that have not been addressed.

POZZEBON: Boluarte has called for any protests to be peaceful but has so far resisted calls for her resignation, saying that she intends to fulfill our mandate until the next round of election is scheduled next year. For CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.


VAUSE: France is bracing for nationwide strikes as workers take industrial action over the government's plan to raise the official retirement age by two years. This is not the first time proposed pension reform so provoked widespread anger. CNNs Melissa Bell explains.


MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): With me, for 28 years, Enrique Moreira has carried the same equipment to work. But on Thursday, he'll take to the streets in protest over the two extra years the government wants him to spend working for his pension.

ENRIQUE MOREIRA, CONSTRUCTION WORKER (through translator): Living is getting more expensive retirement further away. It's ridiculous I can't go on. That's why we have to take to the streets and that's what we'll do on Thursday.

BELL: French President Emmanuel Macron has unsuccessfully tried pension reform before. In 2020, he backed down in the face of street protests and the COVID pandemic. 2023 he says will be different.

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): This year will be the year of pension reform, which aims to guarantee the balance in our system for the coming years and decades. We need to work more.

BELL: Currently the French can retire at 62 or even earlier in some cases with a minimum monthly government pension of around 1,000 euros. Earlier this month, the French Prime Minister announced plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, with a full pension raised by an average of 100 euros a month.


STEPHANIE RIST, FRENCH MP (through translator): If we don't pass this reform, the books will not be balanced, which means that we will have to lower the pensions of retirees or increase the contributions of working people. Thus reducing the purchasing power of the French.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pension reform has been derailed in the past in 1995 under then president, Jacques Chirac. It also faced deep resistance under Macron's two predecessors.

FRANCOIS HOMMERIL, PRESIDENT, CFE-CGC UNION (through translator): It's true that there was a strong symbolic value for the social model put in place after World War II.

The political forces from the far left to the right came together to govern France. And they created this model. It is our heritage, our wealth and the French are incredibly attached to it.

BELL: The hope of the unions on Thursday, that the protests will be as big as they were in 2010 when they claimed more than 3 million people took to the streets of France.

Melissa Bell, CNN -- Paris.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: And we'll take a short break.

When we come back, a father describes a terrifying scene in Ukraine after Wednesday's helicopter crash near a kindergarten. We'll have that as well as an update when we get back.


VAUSE: Welcome back. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has ordered an investigation into Wednesday's helicopter crash, which claimed the life of his interior minister and 13 others.

The chopper went down near a kindergarten and residential park not far from the capital of Kyiv. More than two dozen people were injured, including 11 children.

Zelenskyy blamed what he called a terrible tragedy on Russia and the war. He also said the death of six interior ministry officials was a great loss for the state.

Along with the interior minister, Denys Monastyrskyi, the first deputy minister and state secretary were also killed. Here's how one witness described the crash site.


MYKOLA ANTONOV, FATHER OF CHILD ATTENDING KINDERGARTEN (through translator): I thought that this was the end. That all was over.

After the blast, when I fell down I immediately started thinking about my son. I was very worried about him. I started looking for him. Everything started burning, I took him quickly and we went down.

Downstairs, we saw the helicopter. Part of the helicopter was stuck at the first entrance to the building and was on fire. There was fire everywhere around.


VAUSE: Three days of mourning have now been declared for the victims of the crash.

And as CNN's Clarissa Ward reports, not far from the crash, now it seems, there's no suggestion this was anything more than a tragic accident.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A quiet Kyiv suburb turned into an inferno. The sounds of screaming can be heard.

Minutes after, a helicopter crashed outside an apartment building just steps away from a kindergarten.


BELL: On board, the leadership of Ukraine's interior ministry including the minister himself, Denys Monastyrskyi and his deputy Yevhen Yenin.

The chopper was bound for the city of Kharkiv, when it lost control, smashing into the kindergarten as it descended. One child was killed.

Rescue services worked to clear the smoldering wreckage and searched for survivors, the neighbors looked out at this pinion of power.

Alla tells us she ran outside as soon as she heard the explosion.

"We saw only injured children who are on fire. Sorry," she says. "They were crying and running out from the school."

Ukrainian security services have opened an investigation into the crash. For now, there is no suggestion that foul play was involved. There was heavy fog in the morning

But President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said every death is the result of war even when it is far from the front lines.

The wife of deputy minister Yenin, sobbed and shocked as she took in the scene. Another tragedy in a nation that has borne witness to so much horror.

As daylight faded, emergency services declared the end of the search and rescue, and the bodies were taken away.


VAUSE: With us now from New Haven, Connecticut is Matthew Schmidt, professor of national security and political science at the University of New Haven. Thanks for being with us Matthew. MATTHEW SCHMIDT, UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAVEN: My pleasure.

VAUSE: So clearly, this helicopter crash is a devastating blow to Ukraine and especially President Zelenskyy. Here he is with more on the lives lost. Listen to this.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We have lost people who are professionals, patriots, and reliable leaders. Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, Yevhen Yenin and their colleagues who died in the crash are not people who can be easily replaced.


VAUSE: Monastyrskyi was a member of Zelenskyy's party who was elected to parliament at the same time Zelenskyy became president and he served as interior minister since before the war began.

These men had a unique relationship which has been forged during wartime. That seems almost impossible to replace.

SCHMIDT: Yes. And Monastyrskyi was also a fellow comic actor. They met doing improv when they were much younger before they got into politics.

So this isn't just someone who is a professional, someone who is competent in what he is doing, this is a friend that the president in wartime Ukraine trusts and he's lost that. And I think we have to focus on that a little bit because it's hard to find people in these kinds of situations that you can really open up too. And I think -- I think, you know, Zelenskyy is going to be grieving for a while.

VAUSE: Why would the entire leadership of a crucial wartime ministry be traveling in the same chopper at the same time?

SCHMIDT: John, that's a good question. I mean I think we have to give the Ukrainians the benefit of the doubt. They are not, you know, rolling in helicopters. They would have to make do with what they have.

But I think going forward they're going to have to be much more careful about, you know, a change of regime or, you know, continuity of regime kind of plans to not put everybody in one vehicle.


It seems the bad news keeps coming for Ukraine even though the U.S. is set to finalize a massive security aid package for Ukraine including striker combat vehicles for the first time.

This $2.5 billion package will not include tanks or long range missiles, which Ukraine has been asking for. We also heard from the German chancellor who was speaking at Davos, on military aid to Ukraine. Here he is.


OLAF SCHOLZ, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: This aggression must fail. That is why we are continuously supplying Ukraine with large quantities of arms in close consultation with our partners.


VAUSE: But again, no tanks in particular, no Leopard tanks from Germany and no permission from Berlin for other European nations to send their Leopard tanks either.

So why the reluctance from the Germans?

SCHMIDT: The Germans are reluctant to allow their equipment, their heavy equipment like tanks to go to Ukraine because it is basically a violation of a postwar foreign policy since 1945, right. This is a country that looks at its own past and is very careful about using its military might in any way that might, you know, might come back to hurt it or to hurt, you know, its reputation.

And so that's really what's going on here. But the Ukrainians, you know, they are asking for tanks, they need tanks. But, they are also I think underplaying what they can do with what strikers and with armored vehicles.

You don't need tanks to kill tanks. You need anti-tank weapons, which you can mount on other vehicles to kill Russian tanks.

And in the end, this isn't really about a tank on tank war. It's about giving the Ukrainians armored maneuver capability to get passed Russian tanks into the rear, to attack Russian supplies, and things deeper there in this kind of offensive that we all expect.


VAUSE: Yes. And with that in mind, do we know if they have the equipment? Is the assessment out there right now that they had what they need at this point to launch that offensive on the Russian forces before the Russians launched their spring offensive on Ukraine?

SCHMIDT: I don't think we know that. I think the answer is, it's close. But what tips you over is the training.

And so we know that there are battalion level units that are being trained in Germany, possibly elsewhere, that are flowing back into theater in Ukraine.

And it is the size of those units and their abilities to do combined arms with things like tanks or other armored vehicle, infantry, artillery and whatever air that they can muster.

It is how they tie all that together that really is going to determine their ability to move on the offense right now more than any one particular aspect whether it's tanks or planes or artillery. It's about how well they are trained. And that takes time and we'll see what happens in the next, I'd say 30 to 60 days. VAUSE: Yes, it's about to get real.

Matt Schmidt, thanks so much for being with us, sir.

SCHMIDT: My pleasure.

VAUSE: The U.N. Secretary General now calling out big oil for knowing for decades about the impact of burning fossil fuels but ignoring their own science, keeping it quiet, covering it up, in favor of greater profits. Those details just ahead.


VAUSE: Well, from facilities built using duro-carbon bamboo and school buses which use recycled cooking oil to lessons in green financing and practical permaculture, nearly everything at the Green School of Bali is designed to raise the bar of sustainability.

Today on "Call to Earth", we visit the campus of the environmentally- focused institute and we learn why its programs are developed to put community first.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Indonesian province of Bali is known for its rich culture, breathtaking natural beauty and rain, lots of rain. But while tourism took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, a five-month rainy season doesn't stop millions from visiting the island in a typical year.

And for those who live here, the seasonal deluge serves as a reminder of an ongoing water crisis. In fact, one innovative local school has made the stuff of life the centerpiece of its curriculum.

LESLIE MEDEMA, HEAD OF SCHOOL, GREEN SCHOOL BALI: We chose water as a theme for last year and this year because despite what everybody thinks, there's a water shortage in Bali.

We have rains for months and months and months and they fill the reservoirs. But very, very quickly those reservoirs run dry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More tourists and residents take a dramatic toll on the island's natural water resources. But that is not the only concern.


MEDEMA: Just in the last ten years many, many villages have been noticing their once clean water has turned very, very dirty and no longer usable.

We have noticed a very serious water crisis arising in a place where that really shouldn't be the case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tucked away in a forest of patch miles inland from the southern beaches, the Green School Bali was built to create the next generation of problem solvers.

MEDEMA: Currently, on campus, there are 50 student-led projects that have been activated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Build from bamboo and other sustainable material, the impressive open air facilities were designed to inspire imagination and creativity. Each structure, a base for what the school's founders call a living curriculum.

MEDEMA: The point is to be part of reimagining education to be something that inspires action based learning now all across the globe.

We are cultivating an optimistic, thoughtful and positive approach to climate and climate action. We want them to feel hopeful. We want them to feel like they have the skills. They have the ability to engage proactively in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After a group of students became fascinated with biofuels, the school created a network of bio buses, each running on used cooking oil, refined by science.

MEDEMA: You're looking at a really wide ranging learning experience from enterprise to marketing to management because it became its own company and the largest biofuel transportation company in Indonesia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dipta (ph) is an 11th grader, driven to find solutions by the desperate need close to home.

DIPTA, STUDENT: It's sucks personally, right. The problem comes off from my hometown because of (INAUDIBLE), we didn't have enough water. And then after that realizing that also a lot of other people don't have access to clean drinkable water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He launched Liquefy, a nonprofit with a mission to provide sustainable filtration systems, help residents build recharged wells that replenish the aquifer, and water catchment systems to collect rainfall for other use.

DIPTA: The innovation help that we have AT Green School gives me the tools to create what I need to create, what I want to create. And to help me help other people as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Green School Bali opened in 2008. And now includes locations in New Zealand, South Africa and Mexico.

MEDEMA: Our mission is a community of learners. Making our world sustainable. And so, when you put community back at the center of a school, you end up being more accountable for the actions that you take. And I think that's a good thing.

It's the full spectrum of local to global action-based environmental learning.


VAUSE: So please, please let us know what you are doing to answer the goal with the hashtag, #CallToEarth, #CallToEarth.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM -- #CallToEarth. We'll be right back.



VAUSE: Well, temperatures in parts of Greenland are now the highest they've been in a thousand years. Scientists drilled deep into parts of Greenland's ice sheet and unexpected 100-foot long cause of ice containing oxygen bubbles, which reflected a new more accurate temperature timeline. Those ice cores were first pulled out a decade ago.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen was there. Here he is.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The ice cores are essentially compressed snow that tells you're over tens of thousands of years. Each layer holds a record of the climate in a certain era. The further down they drill, the further they go back in time.

One of those taking part in the drilling mission is Trevor Popp, a climatologist from the University of Copenhagen.

TREVOR POPP, CLIMATOLOGIST: These ice cores in Greenland tell us basically, the past climate and what the ice can record and this is stuff like temperature, the amount of precipitation, the seasonality precipitation, dust, impurities in the atmosphere and importantly, changes from year to year.


VAUSE: Recent studies of the samples have found the average temperatures in Greenland have already risen at least 1.5 degrees Celsius. That's since the year 2000. Glaciers are now melting at an alarming pace.

Climate change has been high on the agenda at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. On Thursday, climate activist Greta Thunberg and others are expected to meet with the head of the International Energy Agency.

Earlier in the week, Thunberg was among many activists who were briefly detained while protesting a planned expansion of a coal mine operation in western Germany.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres was even gloomier than usual as he spoke about climate change in Davos on Wednesday. He pulled no punches claiming the fossil fuel industry is the primary culprit behind global warming.

He pointedly accused energy companies of denying their own science on climate change and choosing to increase production and profits instead. Take a listen.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: We are flirting with climate disaster. Every week brings a new climate horror story. Greenhouse gas emissions are at record levels growing. The commitment to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees is nearly going up in smoke.


VAUSE: Professor John Abraham joins us now. He's a climate scientist at the University of St. Thomas in central Minnesota. Thank you for being with us.


VAUSE: Ok now, we just heard yet another dire warning coming from the U.N. Secretary General. This time speaking in Davos. He went on to call out big oil for decades of being, well, less than honest. Here he is.


GUTERRES: Some in big oil peddles the big lie. And like the tobacco industry, those responsible must be held to account.

Today fossil fuel producers and their enablers are still racing to expand production knowing full well that these business model is inconsistent with human survival.


VAUSE: Well, (INAUDIBLE) have got them Antonio, because Greenpeace makes this observation about the form from which that warning and accusation comes from.

Often traveling very short distances, over a thousand private jets flew in and out of airports serving Davos during the week of the 2022 World Economic Forum causing CO2 emissions four times greater than an average week equivalent to 350,000 cars. And that was this forum last year.

So with the warnings and the accusations from Antonio Guterres and others, which are valid carry a little more moral authority if they weren't making them at a Swiss ski resort where the uber wealthy have gathered, many of whom traveled by a private jet to get there?

ABRAHAM: Well, that is a good point. Look, people who are concerned about the climate need to walk the walk and talk the talk, as we like to say in Minnesota, United States here.

It is hard to garner support to take action on climate change or when some people see what is potentially hypocrisy.

So yes, it is a concern but at the end of the day, look the climate is changing. We've got a real problem. It's costing us a lot in dollars and lives and so we've got to get moving on taking action regardless of whether people are flying to Davos or taking the sailboat.

VAUSE: Yes and you're right. And in 2023 it is set to be a banner year for the oil industry. The outlook from the International Energy Agency, global oil demands set rise by almost 2 million barrels a day to a record total of almost 102 million barrels per day.

Nearly half of the gains from China after lifting COVID restrictions and others reporting (INAUDIBLE) jet fuel remains the largest source of 840,000 barrels per day as expected.

Now it seems that it's an obvious and pretty direct link here, more oil consumption equals more carbon admissions, more carbon emissions means a warmer planet.

But this, says in very stark terms, we are heading in a wrong direction. And we're heading in that direction very quickly.


ABRAHAM: Yes, that's right, I mean the clock is ticking on our time window to take action on climate change. In fact, we have waited so long that we no longer can stop climate change but we can do things today to make it less severe.

Climate change right now is costing countries all around the world a lot of money, infrastructure losses, crop losses, flooding, drought, larger storms. and we really need to get all on the same page to take action about it because it's going to be very expensive to fix.

We can't stop it but we can make it less bad. And that's the message that we should have, it will take a message.

VAUSE: And all of those emissions from private jets or and other, you know, oil consumption seems to be part of the reasons why temperatures on Greenland haven't been this warm in at least 1000 years according to scientists.

So how do they know that? And what does it actually mean for the rest of the planet?

ABRAHAM: Well look, we know the climate (AUDIO GAP) humans are involved. And scientists all around the world are taking measurements to assess how fast the climate is changing. There's a recent study out that you just mentioned related to Greenland.

Now, Greenland has a thick sheet of ice on top of it. It is one of the biggest ice sheets on the planet and the scientists dug down into the ice and they took an extracted some ice. It's called an ice core and when you take the ice out of the ice sheet and take it back to your laboratory you are able to tell what the atmosphere looked back in the past, what the temperatures were like.

And you're able to also figure out how long back in time the atmosphere and temperatures existed. Sort of like the rings on a tree, if you cut a tree open, you can tell if rings back in time, we can do that with ice cores so, the scientists use ice cores to measure temperatures. And the information that they got from Greenland is, as you said, pretty dire. As warm as it's been or warmer than it's been in over a thousand years and that should give us the whole --

VAUSE: Yes, the sea level rise, just for starters, is a thing to worry about. But, Professor John --

ABRAHAM: If I could actually add -- I mean look --

VAUSE: Yes. Sure.

ABRAHAM: If Greenland melt we are going to have 7 to 8 meters of sea level rise. Now, in the U.S., we don't do meters, so, in feet it's about 24 feet.

But if the Greenland ice sheet melts and it's already started to melt, it is going to be devastating. So this is really darn news.

VAUSE: Yes, and something which of people aren't paying attention before they should be paying attention now.

Professor, thanks for being with us. We appreciate it.

ABRAHAM: Pleasure to be on.

Thank you for watching. I'm John Vause.

Please stay with us. Another hour of CNN NEWSROOM after the break with 100 percent more Kim Brunhuber. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.