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Biden's First Oval Office Address; "Crisis Averted" Debt Limit Bill Reaches Biden's Desk; India Three-Train Crash Kills Hundreds; Russian Border Region Under Fire; Trump's Classified Documents Saga; Gauging Russians' Support for the War; European Space Agency's First Pictures from Mars. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired June 03, 2023 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hello and a warm welcome to our viewers watching from around the world. I'm Paula Newton.
Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Passing this budget agreement was critical. The stakes could not have been higher.
NEWTON (voice-over): As President Biden touts bipartisanship, we'll look at whether the debt deal could be a boost to Democrats in 2024.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON (voice-over): Many Republicans running for the White House will be in Iowa this weekend for one of those uniquely American campaign events. But one notable name isn't expected to show.
Plus, we'll bring you the details of this horrific train crash in India as the staggering death toll keeps rising.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Paula Newton.
NEWTON: So U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the debt limit bill today, marking the end of a high-stakes political drama that has hung over Washington for weeks now. Just 48 hours ago, there were doubts, in fact, that the highly contentious bill would even survive in Congress. But it did.
Last night the president spoke from the Oval Office for the first time ever, to explain what it took to make this happen. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to commend speaker McCarthy. You know, he and I, we and our teams, we were able to get along, get things done. We were straightforward, completely honest and respectful with one another. Both sides operated in good faith. Both sides kept their word.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: So as you heard there, the president is framing this as a bipartisan win for the country. It's a theme he is sure to amplify during his re-election campaign. Phil Mattingly is at the White House with our report.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden, his top officials spent several weeks not really talking much at all about the high stakes, high intensity negotiations they were engaged in with House Republicans, trying to find some way to thread the needle, reach a compromise agreement to avoid potential catastrophe.
The debt ceiling debate, the debt ceiling negotiations and the eventual debt ceiling outcome, certainly when you talk to White House officials, were never exactly a sure thing.
Republicans, however, made clear throughout the process what they were working on, what their priorities were. The president and his team a little bit less so until the bill actually passed.
The bill's on its way to the White House. It's expected to be signed on Saturday. And President Biden made clear in his first Oval Office address, that he would be providing the last word, detailing what was in the negotiation, was in the final compromise agreement, why that compromise agreement was so critical.
And also starting to frame things for a moment ahead, where the threat of crisis, which had been hanging over this White House, Washington, the country, the economy for the better part of the last six months, is no longer really there.
And that an agreement, much like many of his legislative wins over the course of his first two years, underscores that his campaign promises, related to bipartisanship, to compromise, have actually come to fruition.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I know bipartisanship is hard and unity is hard but we can never stop trying because, in moments like this one, the one we just faced, where the American economy and the world economy is at risk of collapsing, there is no other way.
No matter how tough our politics gets, we need to see each other not as adversaries but as fellow Americans. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: The president, throughout the course of his remarks, detailing, again, the elements of the proposal but also where the White House was not willing to negotiate, the things White House officials negotiated to keep out of the proposal, despite the fact that they were Republican priorities.
Very much tracking with the president's long-held view that willing to compromise on policy, much less so on principles. I think this all underscores to some degree, when you talk to White House officials, the throughline over the course of the last several years, that the president believes he's actually delivered on.
And the same exact throughline that he's certainly going to focus on over the course of the next 15 months in a presidential campaign.
Obviously he has announced his campaign for re-election and, to some degree, this moment of getting the last word was also a moment of framing the debate, framing the politics, framing his theory of the case for his re-election, one where bipartisanship and compromise was both important and, to some degree, delivered on.
One where the U.S. economy, as evidenced by the Friday jobs numbers, which came in much higher than expected, once again, showing a durable economy, show that there has been production, that there have been results.
MATTINGLY: But also one where there's now a clear path forward without a looming crisis to focus on that message and getting it out, something White House officials haven't successfully done over the course of his first 2.5 years -- Phil Mattingly, CNN, the White House.
NEWTON: Now the end of the debt ceiling crisis helped trigger one of Wall Street's biggest rallies so far this year. Look at that. The Dow closed up more than 700 points on Friday, its best day since January. The Nasdaq and S&P also posted strong gains.
The markets were also energized, as you heard Phil say, about that latest jobs report, which suggests efforts to tame inflation are finally taking hold. But the recurring brinksmanship in Washington is not sitting well with economists, who already worry about next time.
The trading on Friday was taking a wait-and-see approach before deciding whether the U.S. credit rating should be downgraded. In a statement, Fitch views the partisan showdowns in Washington as a negative but will hold off any downgrade decision until September.
NEWTON: For more on this, we are joined from Colchester, England, by Natasha Lindstaedt, a professor of government at the University of Essex.
Good to see you. Last time we spoke, we were essentially at the brink, didn't know where this was going. So Biden got to do that victory lap. But he kind of skipped it, right. Instead he took a seat in the Oval Office and told Americans the sober truth, that this was a crisis averted.
What do you think he accomplished by taking the time to make that speech from the Oval Office, which is so symbolic?
NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: It is symbolic that the Oval Office is often used by presidents to address the country about war or about a recent natural disaster. And I think he was trying to use the Oval Office to underscore how closely they averted an economic disaster.
And the U.S., had they not met that deal, would have plunged into recession which would have been terrible for the country and, of course, terrible for Biden and the Democrats.
So he was trying to use this moment to talk about how important bipartisan cooperation is. I think he went out of his way to highlight the cooperation with Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the House.
And to really speak to his brand as a dealmaker and that he's willing to take a pragmatic approach, which often doesn't energize and excite people but I think, this case, it was really important because the alternative would have been catastrophic.
NEWTON: It's interesting, as a presidential candidate he ran on that reputation, that he could bring people together. As you mentioned, he spoke about the speaker, McCarthy, by name, singled him out and said that everyone went by their word.
Here's the question, though, this bipartisan outreach, will it give him any help politically?
Does it have a chance of actually improving his very anemic approval ratings?
LINDSTAEDT: Well, that's a really good question. I think a lot about the approval ratings these days seems to be connected to how the economy is doing and the perceptions of how the economy is doing.
So this particular instance of bipartisan cooperation was absolutely critical to staving off some kind of recession from happening. I think he's going to continue to emphasize this pragmatic approach which, as I mentioned, doesn't energize people, doesn't energize bases, so to speak.
But at the end of the day, I think that most Americans understand that this is the path forward. And though he's got 40 percent approval rating, this is really low. I don't think we have future presidents that's are going to be going above 50 percent.
I think we'll see a lot of presidents hovering around 40 percent because it's so polarized. At the end of the day, the middle of the road is going to triumph.
NEWTON: Yes, that's so interesting that you say that, right, that the days of having anything close to a 60 percent approval rating, those days may be long gone. Let's turn to the other side of the equations here. And I don't mean speaker McCarthy. I mean the GOP.
That includes Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis. They said not this deal, this is a bad deal, I would have never taken it.
What does it tell us about the campaign to come for them?
LINDSTAEDT: I think the campaign on the Republican side is going to be a complete circus. They're going to be saying the most outrageous things that they can say. They're going to be very negative, they're going attack one another. They're going to attack the Democrats relentlessly.
I don't think there's going to be a real conversation about policy. It's going to be personalized. It's going to be "I can solve this, I can do it better," personal attacks, left and right.
LINDSTAEDT: And we're seeing a little disarray within the Republican camp, even the way the vote on this recent debt deal ended up playing out.
We see the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene supporting it, Matt Gaetz not; Lauren Boebert, who was so against it, not even bothering to show up to vote for it. They're a bit all over the place. They don't seem united on what they want to do and I think that's going to play well for the Democrats if they continue on this path.
NEWTON: Yes. And just to get to the flank of that party, as well, they talked a big game, the progressive Democrats. You know, some didn't vote for it and stuck to their guns. I get that. But they did seem to have a more muted response to this deal in the end.
LINDSTAEDT: Yes, and you can see from the way the vote played out, this was really because a lot of support from the Democrats. Democrats in the end mostly supported. Of course, you could look in the House that there were those who didn't.
You had Bernie Sanders that didn't support it and Elizabeth Warren. But they chose the more pragmatic path, probably understanding how catastrophic it would be if they did not.
And the fact that the economy starting to do a little better -- 339,000 jobs added in May; inflation seems to be getting a bit under control. Stock market seems to be doing better, as you mentioned.
So I think that they know that the path forward for the Democrats, if they want to win, is to continue to pursue policies that speak to improving the economy.
NEWTON: We were sure that each party can count. And they knew this deal would go through in the House and the Senate. And people got to say no, right, because it was politically expedient for whatever was going on in their races, as they all turn their attention to 2024.
Natasha, again, thanks so much, appreciate it.
LINDSTAEDT: Thanks for having me.
NEWTON: Republican candidates for U.S. President hit the campaign trail on Friday to make their cases to voters. Among them, Tim Scott, who promised more action on immigration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): One of my first acts as President of the United States will be to stand up for this nation by closing our southern border. My granddaddy taught me if you don't control the back door of your house, it ain't your house. If you don't control the southern border, it might not be your country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: OK, meantime in South Carolina, Florida governor Ron DeSantis promised to protect, quote, "freedom itself, if elected. listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can tell you in Florida we've shown the way. We put facts over fear. We chose to education over indoctrination, law and order over rioting and disorder. We held the line when freedom itself hung in the balance. We refused to let our state descend into some type of Faustian dystopia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: He will be among a number of conservatives appearing in Iowa this weekend to try and rally more support from voters in that critical state. CNN's Jeff Zeleny has our story.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: The growing field of Republican presidential candidates heading to Iowa on Saturday for a first major appearance on the same stage.
Most of the candidates with the exception of former president Donald Trump will be making their case to Iowa Republican voters and activists at a gathering called "Roast and Run" Senator Joni Ernst's annual event.
She's a known motorcycle rider and invited presidential candidates to come ride with her or deliver speeches here as the presidential campaign really accelerates and gets underway.
Now this comes after a week of campaigning for former president Donald Trump in the state, Florida governor Ron DeSantis and others. It is the Florida governor, that key rival of the former president, who's coming back to Iowa on Saturday, underscoring how important this first in the nation caucus state is to his efforts here.
The thinking is, if he can slow or stop former president Donald Trump, he can indeed go on to have a strong performance in the presidential nominating contest.
Of course, that is months and seasons away. For now at least, as summer approaches, the field of Republican candidates, which will grow by three next week, with former vice president Mike Pence jumping in, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and North Dakota governor Doug Burgum entering, it's getting crowded.
Mathematically speaking that likely benefits Donald Trump because it divides the Never Trump lane of the party. So the campaigning in earnest here this weekend -- Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Des Moines.
NEWTON: Be sure to catch CNN's upcoming town halls with two of the Republican presidential candidates. Live from Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, this Sunday you can hear directly from former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. And on Wednesday vice president Mike Pence will take questions from CNN.
So a desperate search for survivors is underway this hour in eastern India right now.
NEWTON: That was after one of the deadliest train crashes in recent history. At least 288 people were killed and more than 1,000 now injured when three trains collided Friday evening.
Images of the scene show mangled passenger cars piled up and scattered right across the tracks. The prime minister's office says he is on his way to visit the site of the crash in the eastern state and review the situation for himself. Marc Stewart has been following the story for us.
Marc, look, all you have to do is look at those pictures and understand how difficult the rescue efforts are at this hour. I'm sure the families are frantic.
What more do we know about those rescue efforts?
MARC STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, rescues, Paula, are taking place. We had a report about 30 minutes ago that some rescues are moving forward.
The problem is not getting into the individual train cars. Rescue teams have had luck getting into the train cars and rescuing people. The real concern is that people are trapped under the individual carriages. These are very heavy cars. For that reason, at least one emergency
worker has expressed concern that the death toll could rise. Nonetheless, a big effort is underway to get resources to the scene about 800 miles east of Delhi.
Obviously we have more army troops on the way; doctors have been dispatched. There are buses, there are ambulances. People are giving blood.
Yet, as you mentioned, these images are just horrific. The train wreckage is just twisted. And just because of the sheer mechanics, the sheer physics of it, there is certainly a reality that, as time passes, it may be challenging to find more survivors.
NEWTON: Yes, I was absolutely chilled just listening to the eyewitness accounts, people could hear people moaning or wailing or screaming and didn't know where those voices were coming from.
What more do we know, what could have caused this?
STEWART: So this investigation obviously is a work in progress. We know that three trains in total were involved. It's believed sometime last night, at around 7:00, just after 7:00, one of the trains basically derailed and was basically moved onto another track.
That's when the two other trains were involved. So two of these trains were passenger trains, a third train was a freight train.
Now as you mentioned, the prime minister, prime minister Modi, is on his way. One question he will likely face, if not from reporters but from the public, is just about train safety in general; 13 million people depend on India's rail system every day.
This is an aging system. This is a system where maintenance is a big struggle. There are some upgrades taking place. But Paula, this has been a concern not just in the present but also in the past.
NEWTON: Yes, definitely. And as that population grows, they wants more and more reliance on those railway systems. Definitely a lot of people looking to this investigation. Marc Stewart, appreciate you keeping us up to date on this story.
To Iowa now, three people are still missing after the partial collapse of an apartment building there. And now CNN has obtained surveillance video of the moments before the side of the building gave way. You see it there.
The video was taken from the roof of a nearby building. If you look closely, you can see a support brace on the right side of your screen, you see it there, bending before the side of the building came tumbling down.
The video cuts out, of course, before the fall -- the full collapse. It apparently caused power to the surveillance camera to go out. That's why we did not see the end of that. Now the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager
Natalee Holloway is in the process of being temporarily transferred from Peru to the United States. Joran van der Sloot faces charges of extortion and fraud. It's related to an alleged plot to get money from Holloway's family after her disappearance.
Holloway was with van der Sloot and two other men in Aruba the last time she was seen alive. Her body has never been found. Van der Sloot was indicted on extortion charges five years after Holloway disappeared.
In 2012 he was convicted of murdering another woman in Peru. Authorities there agreed to temporarily transfer him to the United States for trial last month.
The war in Ukraine reverberates back into Russia with fighting across -- crossing into its border region. Still ahead, we'll look into a battle that Ukraine officially claims it has nothing to do with.
Plus, the U.S. Defense Secretary criticizes China at a security summit in Asia. We'll tell you how the Chinese military is responding to those remarks.
NEWTON: Ukraine says Russia is getting what it should have known was coming as its Belgorod region takes fire yet again. Russia says artillery shells rained down on Friday in an attack that Ukraine officially claims it has nothing to do with.
But it does say that Russia is now shifting more military resources to protect the region. Meanwhile, the leader of the Wagner mercenaries claims Russia's defense ministry tried to sabotage his pull-out from Bakhmut.
Yevgeny Prigozhin says the ministry laid mines on the exit routes used by Wagner forces on their way out of the city. He didn't provide any evidence to back up that allegation. Salma Abdelaziz has more from London, following all the latest events.
We were just talking about those cross-border attacks, of course, wreaking havoc in Russia and obviously unnerving people in the rest of the country, including the capital.
Who's behind these attacks exactly?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's the key question because it has Ukraine's fingerprints all over it, although Kyiv denies responsibility for the cross-border attacks. You have one group, the Russian volunteer corps, one of two groups made up of Russian nationals, anti-Putin Russian nationals, of course.
ABDELAZIZ: They have been provided arms by the Ukrainian armed forces and say that they are carrying out attacks inside Russia. The Russian volunteer corps says that it was able to carry out the second phase of its operations.
If you remember, there was a cross-border operation just a couple of weeks ago into the Belgorod region. Now it's carried out another ground incursion. The aim, of course, to take out Russian military assets in the region.
It says it is avoiding civilians, it does not want to harm civilians. But Russian officials in the region say, no, there is no boots on the ground, if you will, for the Russian volunteer corps.
Of course, as you can see those images there, they can simply not deny the fact that there is very heavy artillery shelling, mortar shelling on these border towns and villages, particularly an area where thousands have been evacuated.
Hundreds of families are huddled in shelters provided by the government. Officials are scrambling to give a sense of reassurance to residents to try to get the situation under control.
Look, if you take a step back, what you're looking at here is essentially a shift in strategy for Ukraine. You have these two groups and yet again we're saying Ukraine does not claim responsibility for attacks in Russia.
But the groups carrying out what is in Ukraine's interest, they are destabilizing, if you will, the situation inside Russia, unnerving Russian officials, President Putin himself calling them saboteurs with the intention of, again, destabilizing the country.
And you can imagine these are Russian nationals carrying Ukrainian weapons, fighting inside Russia, very clear message to Russians that not everyone stands with President Putin.
And for Kyiv, it serves the purpose of bringing that war right into Russian territory and providing, if you will, a multi-pronged strategy here. Yes, they have to fight along those front lines; yes, they have to push on that much-expected counteroffensive.
But now it also serves to engage Russian assets inside Russia while also fighting right along those battlefields. Paula.
NEWTON: As you point out, it means that Russia once again has to deploy resources to that area and it is doing so. Obviously it's going to have to see what it does on other fronts. As we said, hundreds of miles of the front line in that conflict. Salma Abdelaziz, thank you so much.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog, meantime, says Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant is now extremely vulnerable. It says the facility has been without a backup connection with the external power grid for three months now.
Now the International Atomic Energy Agency says its chief, Rafael Grossi, plans to visit the plant again soon. The facility, we remind you, is occupied by Russia and fighting has damaged all but one external power line. The plant needs external power to help cool down its reactors and prevent a possible meltdown.
Stay with us. There's much more ahead on CNN, including the investigation into the handling of classified documents by former U.S. President and, of course, current Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Stay with us.
NEWTON: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States. I'm Paula Newton and you are watching CNN NEWSROOM.
Sources tell CNN that U.S. prosecutors subpoenaed former president Donald Trump for records related to a classified document about Iran. The document was discussed in an audio recording of the former president. Those sources also say that Trump's attorneys have been unable to produce the document itself. CNN's Katelyn Polantz has the details.
KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump's attorneys have not been able to produce the exact document in the last two months to the Justice Department that Donald Trump apparently spoke about, waved around and had in his possession after the presidency at his golf club in New Jersey in a meeting, where he was talking to aides and other people without classified security clearances.
Now this is a really -- the next step of a story that comes out of our reporting around this audiotape of Donald Trump at that meeting in July of 2021 at his Bedminster golf club.
And that tape was revealed to be in the possession of the Justice Department to Donald Trump's lawyers two months ago in March, when a witness went into the grand jury and was asked about it.
And shortly after that witness exited the grand jury, Donald Trump's team got a subpoena depending they turn over that document or any documents they had in their possession related to General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whom Donald Trump was very unhappy with related to Iran and Milley's opposition to having a military strike against that country during the Trump presidency.
We also know they were asking about Iran itself. And the Justice Department wanted any classified or any other records that Donald Trump and his team might have related to Iran, including maps or invasion plans.
So the Trump legal team goes and looks for documents such as these, turns over what they find in just recent weeks to the Justice Department as part of this criminal investigation but can't locate that document itself.
Now there could be a couple different explanations for this. It is plausible that the Justice Department already has this document in its possession and wants to make sure that there are no other copies or notes or any other information related to it still in Trump's possession. They want it back.
But it's also possible that the Justice Department doesn't have the document and neither can Trump's team locate it at this time.
So another wrinkle in this new reporting about an apparently crucial moment factoring into the criminal case, as the special counsel's office at the Justice Department looks at the possibility of charging Donald Trump with a crime related to mishandling of classified records and obstruction of justice -- Katelyn Polantz, CNN, Washington.
NEWTON: The U.S. Justice Department says it has closed its investigation into former vice president Mike Pence's handling of classified documents and will not be bringing charges against him.
Now in January, Mr. Pence's attorney found roughly a dozen or so documents marked classified at the former vice president's Indiana home. They were then handed over to the FBI. Pence said he had no idea how they got there.
Meantime, Pence's onetime running mate responded to the news in a post.
NEWTON: Donald Trump called the news great but also called for investigators to clear him. The former president is facing an ongoing probe, as you just heard there, into his possession of more than 100 classified documents retrieved from authorities in an FBI search last August.
CNN has learned the director of the CIA made an unannounced trip to China last month. William Burns was there to maintain open the lines of communication with Beijing, disrupted by recent political tensions. CNN's Kylie Atwood reports.
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: U.S. officials described it as an intelligence-to-intelligence engagement that the CIA director, Bill Burns, had in Beijing, not as a diplomatic engagement. We don't know exactly which issues in terms of intelligence they dug
into. But another U.S. official said that the CIA director, Bill Burns, made the case for the need to maintain open channels of communication in the intelligence space.
Of course, the backdrop is that, across a broad spectrum, the U.S. and China had not been engaging in normal diplomatic relations. That dates back to earlier this year as a result of the Chinese spy balloon that crossed over the United States and really put new tension on the relationship.
Now just this week, the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, reached out to his Chinese counterparts for a meeting in Singapore. That outreach was rebuffed by China. He did end up meeting his Chinese counterpart briefly on the sidelines of a dinner and shaking hands. But a Pentagon spokesperson said it wasn't a substantive engagement.
And U.S. officials are looking for more substantive engagements with China. The national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, met with his Chinese counterpart in Vienna just in recent weeks.
And the U.S. -- the White House did describe that as a candid and substantive meeting. And they're hoping that that could potentially pave the way for more of those types of meetings between the U.S. and China down the road -- Kylie Atwood, CNN, Washington.
NEWTON: In light of everything, the U.S. Defense Secretary has expressed concern over the lack of communication with China. At a conference with other security leaders in Singapore, Lloyd Austin acknowledged that he spoke briefly with his Chinese counterparts but he said the short exchange wasn't enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: A cordial handshake over dinner is no substitute for a substantive engagement. The more that we talk, the more we can avoid the misunderstandings and miscalculations that could lead to crisis or conflict.
You know, I am deeply concerned that the PRC has been unwilling to engage more seriously on better mechanisms for crisis management.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: The Chinese military has pushed back against Austin's comments, saying the U.S. is trying to, quote, "consolidate hegemony and provoke confrontation."
Now the war in Ukraine crosses the border back into Russia. Still ahead, we'll talk with someone who takes the pulse of average Russian support for the war. We'll ask him where that support stands now and if it's changing.
(MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
NEWTON: The invasion of Ukraine comes back to haunt Russia on its own territory. The fighting that's been ravaging Ukraine for many months has recently crossed over into Russia's Belgorod region. As Sam Kiley reports, some Russians opposed to the Kremlin are claiming responsibility for it.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A Ukrainian strike in a Russian occupied Berdyansk.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ooh, cool. How cool is that?
KILEY: It's heating up across several fronts and Russia.
The governor of Belgorod province struggles to reassure a rattled population.
VYACHESLAV GLADKOV, BELGOROD GOVERNOR (through translator): I heard that the armed forces of Ukraine continue to shell our territory. More than 2,500 people are staying in temporary shelter facilities. There are many questions that residents of Shebekino and border villages are asking, starting with who will pay my utilities?
What about our property?
And who is watching over it?
KILEY: Ukrainian-backed Russian dissident soldiers claimed to have raided Russia a second time. In a stunt that could've been filmed anywhere, one fighter displayed a fridge magnet from Belgorod on social media. Soon, you too be able to walk in free Belgorod and then across all Russia, he said.
Vladimir Putin has stepped in to steady the national nerves.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Today, we will also address these issues in relation to ensuring Russia's security. In this case, domestic political security.
Considering the efforts our foes are still taking and stepping up in order to destabilize the situation inside Russia, we must do everything we can to prevent this from happening at any cost.
KILEY: The U.S. setting out some grim truths for Moscow.
ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: When you look at President Putin's long term strategic aims and objectives, there is no question. Russia is significantly worse off today than it was before the full- scale invasion of Ukraine, militarily, economically, geopolitically. KILEY: That is certainly the message that Ukraine is trying to deliver to Russia and now by force -- Sam Kiley, CNN, in Kharkiv.
NEWTON: Now that some Russians are feeling the impact of the war directly and personally, as their cities are attacked, are they less likely to support Russia's so-called special military operation?
The company FilterLabs is trying to get a sense of that, partly by looking at discussions on the Russian social media and internet forums. It then compares those discussions with the reporting on state media to try and gauge the difference between the official messaging and people's honest to goodness real opinions.
For more we're joined by Jonathan Teubner, chief executive of FilterLabs, speaking to us from Berlin.
Good to see you and talk to you about this. I want to start with your methodology.
I mean, how can you help us discern Russian public opinion?
And I want to ask you specifically, what changes have you seen in Russian support for this war more recently?
JONATHAN TEUBNER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, FILTERLABS: Thanks, Paula. Yes, so what we do is we gather up a lot of what's sometimes highly dispersed web content from blogs, from forums, from social media platforms, messaging apps.
And we use artificial intelligence to bring this together to analyze trends over time, particularly around sentiment. And what we've been tracking so far from the beginning of the war and before the beginning of the war were Russian attitudes toward the war.
TEUBNER: Russian attitudes toward like whether or not they're doing well, toward their leaders, particularly Putin and the Kremlin. And what we've seen over the time is that that's been fairly stable. It's ebbed and flowed over time, of course, but it's been stable.
Where we've seen a lot of movement is Russian attitudes toward casualties. However -- and throughout the spring, where we've seen reports that U.S. officials have been reporting something about like 100,000 Russian soldiers have died since -- in the last few months alone -- not 100,000, rather died or wounded.
And then that has bled a lot of support in some ways. And the way it's been manifesting is negativity toward casualties. A lot of Russians are complaining about that. But it hasn't yet really translated into negativity toward the war, although we think there's some places where that's changing.
NEWTON: Yes. So interesting there, when you talk about the vulnerability that the Kremlin has toward those casualties. You know, there is no doubt, as we've been showing in recent days, Russians see the front line is moving, in some cases to their doorstep.
I want you to listen to one journalist, as he describes Belgorod at a certain point in time in the last few days. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are now spooked, even by cars passing by, because the town is under constant shelling. One grad (ph) shelling after another as well as mortars and mechanic (ph) artillery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: So you see there he's just trying to give a sense of the opinion and yet, you know, we don't really see that in terms of Russian public opinion.
What do you see in terms of Russian public opinion?
And I want to point out it can go both ways, right?
We could see that it could stiffen resolve, in fact, as opposed to making them more, you know, more anxious to end this conflict.
TEUBNER: Yes. That's right. That's why it's worth continuing to track. You can't assume these are all going to go in one direction. What we've been tracking in Belgorod, there was -- there was an attack on May 22nd there.
And what we saw was like one of these moments where this negativity turned against the war itself and against the Kremlin. All of a sudden that that -- when it came into their life, it was that way.
We find this in selectively across Russia. And so what hasn't translated to a broad national negativity, you also have to keep in mind that there are certain regions that are benefiting tremendously from a wartime economy, such that while, you know, Secretary Blinken has -- is right in broad strokes that Russia is not -- is worse off now than it was over a year ago, before they invaded.
But there are pockets benefiting from this. So that's going to make it hard in some respects to really turn a national consensus against. And so right now, we see local places and it's about kind of continuing to track those and see whether they emerge into a national incident.
NEWTON: How much confidence do you have that the methods you use, using AI, of course, as well, can help here in terms of gauging where sentiment is at?
Obviously it's an authoritarian regime. People have been put in prison for expressing their opinions. At the same time, the irony is many Russians have full access to the internet. If they want they information, they can go get it. So I was interested in the things that your program looks at. I mean,
you're even looking at things like, you know, changes in the cadence of speech, incidents of irony, humor.
How do you do all that, to put together a real picture of what public opinion might say?
TEUBNER: Yes. I mean, you -- I mean, the broad Russian information environment is highly diverse, it's not completely policed. It's not China and that's really important to keep in mind here. There are pockets of free expression or relatively free expression.
This doesn't happen on, you know, kind of their state-controlled locations and the ones that social media platform that the state has a large control over but in other places they do.
We use -- and I guess it's also worth prefacing that all these methods are imperfect to some degree. There's no perfect way to engage. Polling's not perfect, sentiment analysis is not perfect.
And so it's about kind of combining a lot of different sources. What we do, we combine a lot of sentiment analysis with what kind of behavior on the ground to kind of help understand what's going on, to give a much more kind of realistic, real-world context to it.
TEUBNER: And what we've found over time was that, like a lot of the speech that is harder, that sentiment analysis hasn't traditionally done very well, needs to be supplemented by actual humans kind of helping interpret.
So we use a lot of Russian native speakers to help us not only kind of help us like train the algorithms to detect those features but also at certain key points to interpret things that are really hard.
TEUBNER: And such that the human and the artificial intelligence is not yet at the point where it can be free of the human. That's actually its most powerful point, is when it's connected to humans, really bringing their full judgment.
NEWTON: Yes. On many levels, it is completely fascinating as we continue to try and gain insights as to what is going on with Russians themselves and their support for the Kremlin. Jonathan Teubner, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
TEUBNER: Thank you.
NEWTON: And we'll be right back with more news.
NEWTON: The European Space Agency is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Mars Express Orbiter. Part of that celebration involves an out-of-this-world picture show.
NEWTON: Tom Foreman explains.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The European Space Agency billed it as the first ever live transmission of images from Mars. Live is a relative term here. These were taken about every 48-58 seconds, still photos. Then they were transmitted back and over 187 million miles. That took 16-17 minutes per picture.
So not live like we would know it. And it was taken from an orbiter going around the planet. It wasn't something on the surface.
So in some ways, underwhelming but, in other ways, really interesting, because this was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Mars Express Orbiter, which has been up there, going around the planet, helping us understand what surface conditions are like, what the geology is like.
It's helped do research into the ideas of water and ice on Mars and the general geology of Mars.
And when you put that together with all the other exploration of Mars that has been done by other probes and satellites, some from NASA, things that have landed on the surface and looked around, it's deepening our knowledge, deepening our knowledge of this planet, the next one out from the sun beyond us, beyond that big asteroid belt and then Jupiter.
So it's deepening our knowledge of this planet and paving a way for what we need to know if we actually want to send people on that roughly nine-month voyage, depending on the position of the planets, and have them walk on this very surface that we've only been able to see in pictures and, now, at least in a way, live pictures.
NEWTON: Our thanks to Tom Foreman for that report.
I'm Paula Newton. Thank you for your company. We'll be right back in a moment with more CNN NEWSROOM.