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Kyiv And Moscow Trade Blame Over Dam Collapse; PGA Tour Partners With Saudi-Backed LIV Golf Despite Past Criticism Of Saudi Arabia's Human Rights Abuses; Prince Harry Testifies In Historic Legal Battle; Thousands Commemorate Allied In Invasion During World War II; Kyiv and Moscow Trade Blame Over Dam Collapse; Countries Assess Efforts to Fight Global Warming. Aired 12-12:45a ET

Aired June 07, 2023 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, who done it? Did Moscow or Kyiv order a devastating attack on the biggest dam in Ukraine?

So, things changed. The PGA Tour attempts to justify why it's sold. It's sold to the Saudis and it merged with LIV Golf.

Thicko, the cheat, underage drinker, Prince Harry opens up during court testimony on the role the British tabloids tried to create for him as the spare to the air of the British throne.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with John Vause.

VAUSE: Great to have you with us for another hour here on CNN and right now, it's the unanswered question. Who done it? Who caused a massive breach in the biggest dam in Ukraine.

A senior U.N. official says this could be the most significant damage to civilian infrastructure since the start of the war. Water has been gushing from the Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine after part of the dam wall collapsed just over 24 hours ago.

With floodwaters rising downriver, evacuations have been ordered for multiple towns and cities, including Kherson.

One official says more than 1,300 homes along the west bank of the Dnipro River appear to be underwater. Kyiv says Russian forces which have controlled the reservoir since the early days of the war, littered the area with explosives and are responsible for the breach.

Moscow says a Ukrainian attack is to blame. Both, however, acknowledged the dam's destruction will cause severe environmental damage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The whole world will know about this Russian war crime, the crime of ecocide, such deliberate destruction by the Russian occupiers of the dam and other structures of the Kakhovka hydro power plant is an environmental bomb of mass destruction.

SERGEI SHOIGU, RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): In order to prevent offensive actions by the Russian army in the Kherson region. Kyiv regime carried out an act of sabotage, in fact, a terrorist act, which has led to the flooding of large areas and will have severe and long term environmental consequences.


VAUSE: Downriver water levels are dangerously high and moving quickly. According to Russian officials, their inspectors are now on the scene near a hydroelectric plant, apparently part of an investigation team trying to determine the exact cause of the breach.

Details now from CNN's Sam Kiley.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): New phase in Russia's war on Ukraine, a dam under Moscow's control burst. Soon, vast areas downstream were flooded, including parts of Kherson city, Ukraine and its allies blamed Russia for the breach, but that may have backfired.

He escaped, but according to a Ukrainian officer who commands a team in the area, many Russian troops who hold the east bank of the Dnipro did not.

CAPT. ANDRIL PIDLISNYI, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES: Their positions were fully destroyed. They are full with water. They have a lot of wounded people and dead people for now. We see them all because they are just running and they try to evacuate themselves. They left not only positions, they left all their weapons, equipment, amunition, and vehicles, including armored vehicles too.

KILEY: But if this is to Ukraine's advantage, can you be sure that Ukraine didn't destroy the dam?

PIDLISNYI: No, Ukraine didn't destroy the dam, cause first we haven't control of it. That's a problem for us too. And the main problem is about civilians because a lot of them need evacuation now.

KILEY (voice over): All Ukrainian drone footage of the area has been held back by the government amid a campaign of secrecy surrounding its planned counter offensive, satellite imagery shows that the dam suffered structural failure at the end of May, as the lake waters above it broke through. It has been under Russian control since March last year.


ZELENSKYY (through translator): It was mined. It was mined by the Russian occupiers and they blew it up.

KILEY (voice over): Russia says Ukraine did it to offset battlefield losses in the East. But again, Ukraine civilians suffer. 80 settlements and tens of thousands of people face flooding, clean water and power systems have been destroyed in Kherson again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Everything is going to die here. Living creatures, all the birds, everything will die and people will be drowned.

KILEY (voice over): Ukraine evacuated civilians in trains as the waters rose, and they now face an ecological and humanitarian disaster.

But one that may offer a military advantage.

Sam Kiley, CNN in Kharkiv.


VAUSE: Retired Australian Army Major General Mick Ryan is with us now from Brisbane. He's former commander of the Australian Defence College, as well as author of War Transformed: The Future of 21st Century Great Power Competition and Conflict.

General, good to see you. Good to have you with us.

MAJ. GEN. MICK RYAN (RET.), AUSTRALIAN ARMY: Good to see you, John.

VAUSE: So, in many ways, this is kind of a bit of a who done it right now. And notably, key Ukraine allies aren't exactly taking a firm stand with Ukraine, listen to this.


JAMES KARIUKI, DEPUTY BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Our intelligence agencies are looking into this, but you wouldn't expect me to get ahead of the evidence. But obviously, we'll share what we can when we can.

JOHN KIRBY, PRESS SECRETARY, PENTAGON: We're doing the best we can to assess those reports. And we are working with Ukrainians to gather more information. But we cannot say conclusively what happened at this point.


VAUSE: So, it's both the U.K. and the United States, they seem to be hedging questions why. How significant is that? You know, there's been such overwhelming support for Kyiv for more than a year now. So, and how do you see all this playing out?

RYAN: Well, I don't think it would make a lot of sense for Ukraine to be destroying its own infrastructure and putting its own people at risk. I mean, for the entirety of this war, they've fought to protect their

people. I think they're most likely reasons this has collapsed, either a deliberate or accidental explosion from the Russians, or indeed, it could have just collapsed by itself. It's suffered major structural damage well before this time, and it could have just occurred as a natural combination of that.

VAUSE: I also want you to listen out to the Russian ambassador to the United Nations with his accusation, here they are.


VASILY NEBENZYA, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.N. (through translator): A deliberate sabotage undertaken by Kyiv against a critical infrastructure facility is extremely dangerous, and can essentially be classified as a war crime or an act of terrorism.


VAUSE: I guess if this is a mystery, in some ways, the question of who done it usually comes down to who has the most to gain. So, you've touched on this from a military perspective, in the context of this being the eve of the start of a Ukrainian counter offensive, or maybe the beginning of it. There are benefits here from the destruction of the dam for Ukraine, since it washes away Russian defensive positions, there is always benefits for the Russians as well.

So, which side has formed on the board when it comes to scorched earth tactics, and from a military point of view, who has the most to gain?

RYAN: I think there's only one country that has formed on the board when it comes to scorched earth tactics, and that's Russia rim. The irony of the Russians accusing Ukrainians of war crime is pretty thick.

But neither side really stands to gain from this, even if the Ukrainians did want to do a river crossing, this would make its job much, much more difficult.

So, you know, my sense is this may well have been an accident or something that's just been the culmination of structural damage. Neither side really wins out of this.

VAUSE: So, what are the long term consequences here in terms of damage, not just to the civilian to the dam itself, but the civilian infrastructure downriver? How much, you know, devastation will be caused by all of this do you think?

RYAN: Well, this is a humanitarian disaster for the Ukrainians. I mean, it's just another catastrophe for the Ukrainian people on top of 16 months of terror, it will mean that the Ukrainian government will be a little distracted in dealing with this fight, also trying to run this counter offensive.

But it might mean that countries in Europe may have to step up significantly humanitarian assistance to help the Ukrainian people that have been so terribly affected by these floodwaters.

VAUSE: And do you think at this point here, that is something that NATO and other allies, the United States as well, are willing and capable of doing?

RYAN: Well, I think it's more about aid agencies and providing more assistance to the civilian aid agencies to get it to people in flood zone. Militaries aren't the best organizations to be doing this. But there's a lot of aid agencies in Ukraine and in Europe that might be able to assist here.

VAUSE: Just very quickly, as far as reports that the Ukrainian military offensive, that the counter-offensive may be underway. There is a report that we have in Forbes which basically says essentially that what they're seeing is some unusual Ukrainian military tactics.


Here we go, the apparent absence of tank and mechanized brigades with Leopard 2 tanks strongly implies that the attacks are reconnaissance probes, Ukrainians seem to be testing Russian defenses in Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk Oblasts, looking for weaknesses that nearby heavy brigades can exploit.

So, when you hear about this kind of stuff, and you see the absence so far, at least this point of heavy armor, does that suggest you that we will know for certain when this counter offensive is underway in earnest? That's when we'll see the Leopard tanks, the challenge of tanks, the Abrams tanks, the Western battle tanks that have been supplied by NATO in the U.S.?

RYAN: I think the preliminary parts of the offensive are underway. The president and senior Ukrainian leaders have been messaging for a while that they're ready. So, these would all be preliminary activities, trying to find weaknesses in the Russia and trying to find strengths to avoid.

And we'll know when we see the Ukrainians really strike heavily, but I think we're going to see a few more activities like this over the coming days here.

VAUSE: Mick Ryan, as always, great to have you with us. Great to have your insight, Sir, thank you for your time.

RYAN: Thanks, John.

VAUSE: Well, now to a surprising new alliance in the world of golf, put it that way. U.S. based PGA Tour is promising to unify the game through a partnership with its Saudi backed rival LIV Golf. It's quite a few PGA golfers left the tour last year to join LIV with huge prize money and no cut events.

At the time, PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan couldn't have been more critical of the new Saudi startup. Now, it seems he wants a mulligan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAY MONAHAN, PGA COMMISSIONER: There's been a lot of tension in our sport over the last couple of years. But what we're talking about today is coming together to unify the game of golf. And to do so under one umbrella, and together we're going to move forward and we're going to take efforts to grow and expand this great game and to take it to new heights.


VAUSE: There is outrage over LIV's ties to the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. U.S. intelligence names him as responsible for approving the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and families of 9/11 victims also speaking out against the PGA Commissioner.


TERRY STRADA, CHAIR, 9/11 FAMILIES UNITED: He sold out every single one of us, he turned his back on the 9/11 community, and he sold out his players, his fans, the golf base, the American people, and for what? What changed that he decided to do this and take a stand with the Kingdom and against the 9/11 families? It's despicable. He's disgusting.


VAUSE: The reason for that outrage is because most of the hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi nationals. Now, more now from CNN World Sports Don Riddell.


DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT CORRESPONDENT: You know, for the past year, the world of men's Professional Golf has been in a state of civil war, but now it seems that the embattled factions have called a truce.

On Tuesday morning, the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the Saudi backed breakaway LIV Tour, announced that they were now in business together.

It was an absolutely stunning development that seemingly took everybody by surprise even many of the game's top players and it is a remarkable U-turn for the PGA Tour, who's Commissioner Jay Monahan said this about LIV less than a year ago.

MONAHAN: I think you'd have to be living under a rock to not know that there are significant implications. And as it relates to the families of 9/11, I have two families that are close to me that lost loved ones. And so, my heart goes out to them.

And I would ask, you know, any player that has left for any player that would ever consider leaving, have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?

RIDDELL: So, when LIV became a reality with its first tournament just outside London last June, they had managed to lure some of the game's top players with contracts worth tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars.

As a result, those players were suspended from their tours. Now we have learned that they will be allowed to rejoin those tours at the end of this season.

So, no wonder Phil Mickelson tweeted this within minutes of the announcement. Awesome day today. Smiley face.

Whether it be that those players guys like Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau get to keep all that money and return to the fold and if so, how are the loyal tour players supposed to feel about that?

Rory McIlroy was the most outspoken about it all. He became known as golf's moral compass but last month, he said he didn't want to talk about it anymore because he said it was hurting his game.

This tweet from Golf Digest Joel Beall is telling, he said, "Rory McIlroy took a stand for what he believed was right, which brought an invisible pain and weight that can't be measured and was sold out by the very thing he was trying to defend".


There is still so much that we don't know about all of this. No doubt there will be a lot of reaction in the days to come. Not least because next week we have another major tournament, the U.S. Open in Los Angeles. There are of course going to be winners and losers and who they are will depend on your point of view.

But golf fans I guess should be happy because now they can see their favorite players on the same golf course at the same time. The big question must be at what cost? Back to you.


VAUSE: James Colgan is a news and features editor for Golf Magazine as well as the Online Edition, he is with us this hour from New York. James, welcome to the program.

JAMES COLGAN, WRITER, GOLF MAGAZINE: Hello, what's going on? How are you?

VAUSE: Oh, I'm not bad. I'm probably better off right now than Jay Monahan, you know, the commissioner and self-described a hypocrite of the PGA. Here he is, listen to this.


MONAHAN: I recognize that people are going to call me a hypocrite. And anytime I've said anything, I said it was the information I had at that moment. And I said -- I said it based on someone that's trying to compete for the PGA Tour and our players.

And so, I accept those criticisms. But circumstances do change.


VAUSE: It's an interesting question is what's changed because after hearing about this merger, Chris Murphy, the U.S. Senator from Connecticut tweeted this. So, weird, PGA officials were in my office just months ago, talking about how the Saudis human rights record should disqualify them from having a major stake -- or having a stake rather in a major American sport.

From what I can tell, Saudi Arabia's record on human rights has not suddenly improved in the past couple of months.

So, when Monahan says things changed, what does he mean? He's no longer concerned about human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, he has no longer any respect for the families who have lost loved ones on 9/11. An emotional heartache this merger will cause them. What's changed? What does he mean?

COLGAN: I think what's changed is, I mean, as far as we know right now that the PGA Tour decided they wanted to collect a pretty significant paycheck from the Saudi public investment fund. We do not have a ton of information as to what led to this agreement happening, what led to this merger that's kind of shaped the entire sports world today.

But what we do know is that there really only a few things that it could be, it could be financial concerns or constraints facing the tour. Or it could be something related to the antitrust inquiry that's currently going up against PGA Tour right now.

And that's it, like those are really the only two major reasons why the tour would even consider something like this.

VAUSE: And back in September, the PGA lawsuit back then argue that the Kingdom was paying players astronomical sums of money to induce them to breach their contracts with the tour in an effort to use the LIV players and the game of golf to sports to watch the recent history of Saudi atrocities.

So, could this merger now be blocked by U.S. regulators using the PGA's own arguments against the Saudi?

COLGAN: Well, that would be a very fitting way for the U.S. Justice Department to approach this inquiry into the PGA Tour. I think there's certainly an argument to be made about the anti-competitive practices that have kind of taken holds here, with the PGA Tour and particularly involving LIV Golf. I think that what's happened today has not put those anti-competitive practices, you know, to bed whatsoever.

VAUSE: I want you to listen to just a small sample of, you know, what the families of those who died on 9/11 are feeling that after finding out about this merger, here's the spokesperson, listen to this.


STRADA: Outraged, disappointed, angry, disgusted, that chair -- that Monahan could now sell the PGA to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They're all a bunch of cowards, they've destroyed the PGA Tour is dead as it was known before today. It's like I said, despicable. There's words I can't use on T.V., but he really is the lowest, you know, scum of the earth at this moment.


VAUSE: Some of the biggest names in golf though left tens of millions of dollars on the table, stayed loyal to the PGA, refusing to sell their souls to the Saudis. And for many of them, respect for those who died on 9/11 played a part in that decision.

So, when Saudi Arabia moves on to the next sport, and professional athletes, again, face this kind of ethical question, what the takeaway from all of this is, take the money because taking a stand is for suckers?

COLGAN: Well, yes, I mean, I think -- I think that's a conversation that if you ask some of the higher profile players on the PGA Tour right now, who turned down sums of nine figures to stay on the PGA Tour and standby as sort of a code that they believed in, I think a lot of them are asking that exact question right now, why are we doing this exactly? Because it doesn't seem like this is -- this is being an ethically driven thing.


You know, I wrote today a story that this whole argument of morality for the PGA Tour always felt like a little bit of a convenient truth. I didn't -- I didn't totally believe that it was -- that it was truly the full basis of where the tour was coming from.

What we heard from them today all but confirms that to be the case. I mean, I say that as someone who myself is from a 9/11 family, and I certainly have witnessed what's gone on and have experienced my own set of emotions as I've been going through the day to day kind of dealing with all of this.

VAUSE: It's a sad day just seems no matter, you know, how you look at this, it just it's a sad day. James, thank you for being with us. Appreciate it.

COLGAN: Thank you, John.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) timing purely coincidental. The U.S. secretary said Antony Blinken met for more than an hour Saudi Crown Prince bin Mohammed -- Mohammed bin Salman, I should say in Jeddah, many comes a month ahead of a slashing oil output by the Saudis and with ongoing strained relations between both countries, in particular with Saudi moving closer to Moscow, in the past year also.

Still to come here on CNN, Harry in court and under cross examination in his lawsuit against the British tabloids, maybe the prince should have skipped day two of this trial as well. We'll explain why in a moment.

Plus, a somber ceremony commemorating the Allied Forces storming the beaches of Normandy during World War II, report from Omaha Beach later this hour.


VAUSE: Prince Harry will be back in the hot seat to finish his testimony and a lawsuit against British tabloids in the coming hours. He's already faced hours of grueling cross examination over the phone hacking claims which he says dredged up painful memories from stories, which played a destructive role in his life.

CNN's Max Foster reports now from London.


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Prince Harry's years long battle with a tabloid press reaching its most dramatic moment yet, as he arrived at London's high court to testify in his landmark trial against British publisher mirror group newspapers MGN.

Court sketches showing a senior royal in a witness box for the first time in more than 130 years. Prince Harry's tell all memoir Spare and recent Netflix documentary have already detailed so many of the prince's grievances with the press, which he partly blames for his decision to leave the U.K. and life as a working Royal.

PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: I don't want history to repeat itself.

FOSTER (voice over): And while this is the Duke of Sussex is first time giving evidence, it's just one of several lawsuits filed by him and his wife Meghan, in which they accused the British tabloids of breaches of privacy and publishing false stories.

The Duke of Sussex is central allegation in this case, the publisher's journalists hacked his phone and others in a circle and use other illicit means to gather information about his life between 1996 and 2009.


He alleges that about 140 articles published by MGN, contained information gathered using unlawful methods 33 of those articles including stories about his time at school in Eton, his gap year in Australia, and stories such as these about his first serious relationship with Chelsy Davy are being considered at the trial.

He says these invasions of privacy, especially when he was a minor, caused him distress and affected his mental health.

Speaking in court in a measured and hushed tone, how he accused some British editors and journalists of having blood on their hands for the distress they caused him and he added, perhaps, inadvertedly death in reference to his mother, Princess Diana.

He faced forensic and detailed questioning from MGN's lawyer Andrew Green. Green questioned how the articles in Harry's witness statements could have caused him distress if the Duke was unable to specifically recall reading each article when they were published. Green also press Harry on whether the articles contained information

that could only have been obtained through illegal means such as phone hacking.

Harry believes both the U.K.'s press and government are at rock bottom according to his witness statements, but his time in London isn't over yet. He's expected to continue giving evidence on Wednesday.

Max Foster, CNN, London.


VAUSE: Well, protests over changes to France's public pension might just be losing steam. More than a quarter million took to the streets across France on Tuesday, the lowest turnout so far.

There was some sporadic vandalism like burning cars but the protests were mostly peaceful. One France's top union leader says the protests will be among the last because the pension law is expected to be implemented in September.

Still, the National Assembly will debate the changes on Thursday.

Thousands gathered on the beaches of Normandy today to commemorate the 79th anniversary of the D-Day invasion during World War II.

The Allied invasion began the liberation of France and other parts of Western Europe from the Nazis. America's defense chief pointed out the parallels with today's war in Ukraine as our Pentagon correspondent Oren Liebermann reports.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: It's been fascinating and very moving to be here over the course of the last few days and see the ceremonies and the events around D-Day.

Up until now, it was almost a celebration largely of D-Day and what came after the liberation that came to France, and then to the rest of Europe.

In fact, we stayed in the first Frenchtown liberated after D-Day. And you see the gratitude passed down through the French generations.

Today, however, is different, today is purely a day of memorials, it is a day of commemoration. And that's to remember all of the lives lost here on the D-Day invasion. And you get a sense of that, about 160,000 paratroopers and forces landed here. Thousands of those gave their lives. And you can see the gravestones here, the French and the American flags.

And in the speeches, you hear them talk about the heroism, the valor, and the values that they defended in carrying out that operation.

Omaha Beach here behind me this was one of the landing spots during the invasion, all along the beachhead here. First, the paratroopers, and then the amphibious assault, the largest,

certainly in modern European history.

We've also heard in many of the speeches the connection between the values that allied forces were defending 79 years ago, and the values that the West is standing up for in Ukraine in feeding the Ukrainian military, weaponry, equipment, and more.

It was Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin who made that connection earlier today.

GEN. LLOYD AUSTIN, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Every D-Day, citizen by citizen, we remember that we each have the ability and the responsibility to fight for the principles that drove the allied armies for.

LIEBERMANN: There are about 50 or so World War II veterans in attendance here. I had a chance to speak with a few of them. And each opportunity like that is absolutely incredible, because their memories of those days are absolutely sharp and hearing what it was like whether it was storming the beaches, or the Battle of the Bulge or even flooding in the Pacific. All of those stories are incredible.

Austin himself made that point. He saluted the World War II veterans, he said you saved the world. We merely need to defend it.

Oren Liebermann, CNN in Normandy at Omaha Beach,


VAUSE: Coming up here on CNN, we'll look at what the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka Dam means for both Russia and Ukraine, as well as for the people now in the floodwaters path.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back. Ukrainians om the low-lying areas below Nova Kakhovka dam have talked of their fears as flood waters rose Tuesday after the dam wall was breached.


Kherson residents say the water came rushing in, bringing more devastation to an area already scarred by more than a year of fighting. The head of the Kherson regional military administration says evacuations continue, despite shelling in the area.

Moscow accusing Ukraine of blowing up its own dam, but Ukrainians, who are now losing their homes to the flood waters, blaming Russian forces.


OLEKSANDR REVA, KHERSON RESIDENT (through translator): The situation is literally critical. If the water raises for another meter, we will lose our house. Russians hate us because they're morons, to say that least. They want to destroy a Ukrainian nation and Ukraine itself, and they don't care by what means, because nothing is sacred for them.


VAUSE: CNN's Clare Sebastian reports now on the importance of this dam to both sides of the conflict.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Nova Kakhovka dam sits directly on the front line of this conflict, straddling the Dnipro River, one bank in Ukrainian hands, and this red area here is Russian-occupied territory.

The hydroelectric power plant itself is in Russian-controlled territory. Well, this satellite image from late May really gives you a sense of the layout. This is Russian-held territory here and Ukrainian up here.

Now, the Ukrainian hydroelectric energy operator says the explosion happened in the engine room from the inside, so in Russian-occupied territory.

And while both Russia and Ukraine say the dam was breached overnight Monday into Tuesday, there is actually evidence of damage in the days leading up to that. Take a look at these satellite images. You can see from these images at the end of May, this part of the structure is intact. Fast forward to June 5th and clearly, there's a piece missing. And it's right in the middle where we see the dam has now been breached.

Well, the biggest immediate risk from this breach is, of course, flooding. This is the danger zone here, as identified by Ukraine's interior minister. And we're already seeing images coming out of Ukrainian-controlled Kherson City. You can see water filling up the streets there and across the river in Russian-controlled Nova Kakhovka, which is the town closest to that hydroelectric power plant.

Another risk is that the reservoir that is created by that dam supplies water to Crimea down here in the South, Russian-held Crimea. The head at that region saying there is a risk the canal will run too shallow, but they have enough water now.

And Kakhovka also supplies water up here to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to cool the reactors. The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog says there is no immediate danger.

Now the question, of course, given the timing of this, is how it will affect Ukraine's counteroffensive? It's not 100 percent clear until we have a full picture of the damage.


But flooding over here could potentially complicate the Ukrainian effort to cross the Dnipro River, to head South, even, for Crimea or even over here to the Azov Sea, if that is, in fact, part of their plan. It also could divert attention and resources away from attacking other

areas along these hundreds of miles of frontline.

Clare Sebastian, CNN, London.


VAUSE: The destruction at this dam has now claimed its first lives. Three hundred animals at the Nova Kakhovka dam -- zoo, rather, was completely submerged by flood waters.

Officials say only swans and ducks survived.

Ukraine's defense ministry says the Russians want to destroy anything that is alive.

Still to come, guess who's coming to COP28? A country built on oil and gas hosting the next U.N. climate conference. No wonder there is anger over the guest list. And we'll tell you why.





VAUSE: The voice is unmistakable. Astrud Gilberto, the singer of the 1960s classic, "The Girl from Ipanema," has died.

She was born in Brazil, moved to the United States in her twenties. She recorded the song that would catapult her to international stardom.

Gilberto went on to release at least 16 original albums. She won a lifetime achievement award from the Latin Recording Academy.

Her granddaughter confirmed the news and says her grandmother took bosa nova music from Ipanema to the world.

The official organizing this year's U.N. climate conference in Abu Dhabi says the oil and gas industries must be part of the conversation to tackle global warming.

Activists are concerned the fossil fuel lobby will negatively influence COP28 talks, set to take place in the UAE. Details now from CNN's Becky Anderson.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are officially at the halfway point to COP28, the largest international U.N. climate conference, to be hosted right here in the UAE later this year, and there is an awful lot to be done. To start with, simply laying down the groundwork and assessing where

we are at at this point. Crucial talks kicked off on Monday in Germany at the Bonn Climate Change Conference.

This is the first time negotiators and diplomats meet since COP27 last November in Sharm El-Sheikh, where they agreed to set up a loss and damage fund for poor countries. That was seen as a breakthrough agreement in Egypt.

But the implementation at that fund and other solutions from the last summit have yet to be fully completed.

So this ten-day conference is a chance to check in on progress towards our climate goals. Crucially, through what is known as the U.N.'s global stocktake.


To put it simply, the global stocktake is a review of the world's response to climate change to ensure countries are implementing the pledges of the 2015 Paris agreement.

That review has been ongoing now for two years and will enter its final discussion stage at Bonn before completion in Dubai's COP28, marking the U.N.'s first global stocktake of pledges in COP history.

The director-general of COP28, Ambassador Majid al-Suwaidi, joins me now, live from the climate change conference in Bonn in Germany. Where are the lines of contention, sir? And what do you believe that the priorities should be?

MAJID AL-SUWAIDI, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, COP28: It's definitely disappointing that today, we're off-track from the goals and ambitions of Paris.

What's going to make COP28 a really important COP is the fact that we're hosting this global stocktake, which will tell us that we're not on track to achieving those goals.

But what's really important is that we say about where we're going and what we're going to do to get back on track.

And as you know, the UAE is really ambitious about the outcome that we want to deliver in the UAE. We have been really focused on how do we address the emissions gap that we have. We know that today, that we have a 42 percent emissions gap to achieving those goals.

One of the real things that we're going to do on the ground, one of the actions that countries can take, really focus on the solutions, on the actions, on making sure that we bring everybody together to deliver the solutions that will get us there.

We're also mandated to deliver on the global goal of adaptation and doubling of adaptation finance. You know, this is really critical for many developing countries and vulnerable states who are seeing the impacts of climate change. And of course, from Sharm al-Shaikh, we had that great landmark outcome of the lose-and-damage fund, which we hope to operationalize in COP28 in the UAE.

Underpinning all of this is going to be the finance discussion. How do we mobilize the finance. We had a promise in Paris of 100 billion, and although we've seen in recent weeks developed countries saying how that they plan to deliver that 100 billion, there are still ways to go to ensure that we will understand how that's going to happen.

But moreover, how are we going to get to the trillions of dollars that need to be mobilized in -- in climate action to help us to achieve the goals of Paris.

Bonn is a very, very important session. It's very important that the negotiators make progress this week. And we're here encouraging them to -- to really get down to work and help us to deliver the COP28 that will make a huge difference in our -- in our plans and progress towards achieving the goals of Paris by 2030.


VAUSE: The director-general there of COP28 in that report from CNN's Becky Anderson.

I'm John Vause, thank you for being with us. We'll take a short break now. WORLD SPORT is up. But please stay with us. I'll be back in just over 17 minutes from now.