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General Warns of Civil War as U.S. Troops Leave Afghanistan; Florida Building Collapse Rescuers Locate Bodies Overnight, Discover Tunnels; Ireland Delays Lifting Indoor Dining Restrictions; U.K. New Cases Up by 48,000 over Previous Week; Adviser on Tigray Says Eritrean Forces Not Out; Annual Putin Telethon. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired June 30, 2021 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNNI HOST (voice-over): A threat of civil war in Afghanistan, the warning from a top U.S. general, just days before U.S.
troops are set to complete their withdrawal.
At the Miami high-rise collapse, the search efforts are dangerous and slow. But some rescuers still have hope for survivors. We're going to speak to
the mayor of Surfside.
And in Ethiopia's Tigray region, after the military retreated, there are concerns growing that the violence is far from over.
KINKADE: Hello. It is 10:00 am here in Atlanta, 6:00 pm in Abu Dhabi. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.
Packing up and possibly leaving a dangerous void, with U.S. forces perhaps just days away from finishing their withdrawal, a top American military
commander warns Afghanistan could spiral into a civil war.
The Taliban are claiming big gains and their opponents are taking up arms. In laying out his rationale for the withdrawal back in April, U.S.
President Joe Biden said the U.S. went to Afghanistan because of a horrific attack that happened 20 years ago. That cannot explain why we should remain
Mr. Biden, of course, was referring to the September 11 terror attacks, which prompted the U.S. to invade.
So after decades of conflict, could Afghanistan be in more turmoil?
CNN's Anna Coren joins us now live from the Afghan capital.
Good to have you there for us, Anna. When Biden announced the withdrawal of troops, he said it would happen by September 11. But most troops should be
out in the coming days. Some will remain.
Can you tell us how many and in what capacity?
ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it has come as a shock to Afghans that I have spoken to, the fact that this U.S. withdrawal is two
months ahead of schedule. President Biden set that deadline for September 11.
But we're hearing U.S. troops could be out of here in the next few days, bringing an end to America's longest war. They are planning to leave a
thousand troops, that's what we heard from General Scott Miller this morning.
A thousand U.S. troops will be kept in country, 600 of them to protect the U.S. embassy; the others will be there to secure the international airport.
It is really just a holding pattern, if you like, until Turkish forces come into place to provide security for that airport.
But as I say, you know, U.S. troops planning to be out of here within days. General Scott Miller, you know, he has warned of an impending civil war
with the U.S. withdrawal and he said this should be a concern for the entire world.
You know, we're talking about $2 trillion that have been spent here in Afghanistan, 2,300 -- more than 2,300 U.S. soldiers have died in country,
let alone the hundreds of thousands of Afghans that have died over the last 20 years.
And many people are saying what is it all for when the Taliban is launching this very aggressive offensive around the country, particularly in the
north, making huge gains?
You are talking about, you know, 100 out of the 370 districts that they have claimed so far. Taliban says it is more; Afghan forces say it is less.
But we do know the security situation on the battlefield is certainly -- you know, has been destabilized and is deteriorating rapidly. And there is
real genuine concern as to whether the Afghan forces can actually stand up to the Taliban and keep this government in power.
We heard that U.S. intelligence report last week, that is, you know, predicting that the Afghan government could fall within the next six months
KINKADE: That's right.
What is the likelihood of that happening, given the U.S. has vowed to continue support, at least in terms of financial support, offering billions
of dollars to try and help the Afghan government?
KINKADE: But as you say, experts fear that the government could fall within months.
COREN: As we know, president Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah were in Washington, D.C., last week, meeting with President Biden. And President
Biden said it is now over to you. It is up to Afghans to ensure that the future of this country. The United States has pledged $3.3 billion towards
security assistance along with $266 million in aid.
This is all going to be desperately needed. The Afghan government, you know, relies on international donors, the government, you know, can't
function without. They're going to have to fund the 300,000 or so, you know, Afghan national security forces, keep them on the payroll, keep them
going out on the battlefield each day, fighting the Taliban.
But the propaganda videos from the Taliban that have been coming in over the last couple of weeks, in their gains, their daily gains, there have
been surrenders from the Afghan national forces.
And with those surrenders have come the weapons, the ammunition, the Humvees, the armored personnel carriers. This is all equipment funded by
the U.S. government, Lynda.
KINKADE: Anna Coren for us, good to have you on the ground for us in Kabul, with that perspective. We will speak to you again soon. Thanks so
Well, overnight rescue crews located more bodies from that building which collapsed in south Florida. There is no word yet on how many were found. We
know 149 people at last count remain missing; 12 have been identified. Crews are not giving up hope.
One Israeli rescuer telling CNN they found tunnels just big enough to crawl through. We also have been talking to survivors who described the horror as
the building fell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH NIR, COLLAPSE SURVIVOR: It was a big boom and I was running to see where the sound came from. And I saw all the garage collapse. We were
waiting to leave the building. Then another big boom. It was white clouds all over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Absolutely devastating.
Meanwhile, CNN has learned Champlain Towers courted controversy before it opened some 40 years ago. Developers apparently added a penthouse without
getting the proper clearance. They ultimately got an exception.
Now high-rises up and down the Florida coast are checking their -- the integrity of the structures. Our correspondent Ryan Young is in Surfside,
Florida, for more on all of this.
Ryan, I first want to start with what we heard from rescuers a short time ago, that they're finding some pockets, some tunnels. Obviously seven days
into the search is still, I guess -- and the chance of finding anyone alive is slim. But there is some hope.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, the hope is what everyone has been selling so far for the last few days. We have been here since the early
days. And we could see this investigation sort of turning.
Look, that pile of concrete is very heavy. It is very dense and when you go to the site itself, you can see how hard they are working to try to get
down to the bottom. They created that trench so they could go level by level.
When the Israelis arrived here, there was a lot of conversation about maybe there would be air pockets in. We have been told they have been using
sonar, lasers, dogs to see whatever they can, to get under the next part of the layer, to see if there is anyone who could have survived here.
Let's not forget, for days, there were fires raging within this building. They were still fighting with massive amounts of water. And you compile all
this with the fact that the weather has sort of changed. It made things very difficult for these rescuers.
So the good news is they are finding pockets that they wanted to see because they thought maybe somebody could survive. But so far, there have
been no miracles to report. We have been with families, who have been so upset, they've been holding on to hope of having that miracle. But so far
that hasn't happened.
KINKADE: We're just looking at pictures, Ryan, of rescuers, literally using their hands and buckets to remove concrete. And we do hear that they
have removed about 3 million pounds of concrete. That's over 1.5 million kilograms.
But they are finding some personal belongings, right?
They are find something photo frames, jewelry, which they're trying to hold aside for family members, waiting to hear of their loved ones.
YOUNG: Yes. I mean, they are. And one of the things to think about, as someone who has grown up in south Florida, these concrete buildings are the
buildings you wanted to be in when there was a storm because of how thick they were.
YOUNG: And what we have been told, though, that pancake effect, though, put all that weight from all the concrete on top of each other. So when you
think about it, they're using a bucket because they're trying to clear areas to see if they can find any of those holes or tunnels that people
could get through.
They did bring in some heavy equipment yesterday and we saw that ourselves, as they started moving some larger pieces of the concrete. But they're
trying to do that in a way that not only helps them search but doesn't destabilize the other building that is right next door, because they're
worried that building could fall at some point.
So you can see all the work they're putting into this. Let's not forget the fact that one of the first responders actually fell 25 feet the other day,
while family members were out there. And we were told yesterday that they took more family members to the site so they could see this operation.
They have about over 100 people at a time on top of that mound, working. And they cycle them through. And they have a tent city where these folks
are resting and they switch them out every about eight hours or so.
We have been told they have hundreds on standby to make sure this operation doesn't stop 24/7. And that's despite the fact that there was a lightning
storm last night that really made it feel unsafe for those people to be out there 24/7.
KINKADE: Yes, our thoughts are with those front line workers, a painstakingly slow task. Good to have you with us, Ryan Young, thank you.
YOUNG: Thank you.
KINKADE: Donations have been pouring in to the Surfside community. According to the city, nearly $2 million has been raised to help those
affected by the collapse. Some of the donations have already been distributed to about a dozen families as well as a handful of nonprofit
groups that are helping.
The Surfside mayor, Charles Burkett, joins me now live for more on this.
Mayor Burkett, appreciate your time today. I can only imagine what a long wait it has been for you all, now day seven, and dozens and dozens of
people unaccounted for.
MAYOR CHARLES BURKETT, SURFSIDE, FLORIDA: Yes, it is heartbreaking. I'm just -- I just stepped out of the meeting with the families briefly
updating (INAUDIBLE) going back after. A couple (INAUDIBLE) the gentleman apparently did not fall down, he slid down purposely. (INAUDIBLE).
I was out there this morning talking with rescuers, specifically dog handlers. And we have two different types of dogs combing over the pile.
They have cadaver dogs and they have live human dogs. They're separately trained and they're actively sort of going all over the pile.
And there was a very high level of optimism and energy and enthusiasm with those dog handlers. So we're excited. We're expecting a miracle. I think
with respect to survivability under the rubble, I think it is important to recognize that people have survived for quite a long time under rubble.
BBC did an article on that exact subject and noted that there was a woman in Bangladesh in 2016 that survived for 17 days and was found crying and
pulled out of the rubble alive.
So you know, nobody is giving up hope here. If I have anything to do with it, we're going to keep going until we pull every single person out of that
rubble. No reason to stop. There is no reason to lose hope.
And we are praying for a miracle. The president is coming tomorrow. The enthusiasm and the energy, the desire to find these people and bring them
out alive, is stronger than ever.
KINKADE: Yes, it certainly is. It is remarkable and you do note other cases where people have survived in collapsed buildings for a very long
period of time. So we are holding out hope as well that survivors will be found.
And in the meantime, you are getting a lot of donations, people want to help. Almost $2 million has been raised to help families involved in this
How is that being distributed?
BURKETT: I'll tell you, one story is, after touring the building three times a day, I came across a little girl, sitting by herself across from
the debris rubble. The family members had been transported down to the site in order to be closer to the relatives.
And apparently she stayed with her mother, who was not around at that moment. And I walked up to her and asked her what she was doing. And she
said she was praying. And she showed me her phone and she had a prayer there.
BURKETT: And she was praying by herself for her father, who was across the street under the rubble. I sat down with her and I talked to her and I told
her that I would be here throughout and after this event and if there was anything she needed that she needed to call me personally, I gave her my
Her name is Ali Sheva. And I'm in touch with her. With respect to your question about the donations, her mom was in financial distress because the
father was supporting the family. And she didn't have access to those funds.
So I immediately called the support Surfside coordinator and (INAUDIBLE) not three hours later I called to check. And she had already been taken
care of. And so the system is working very well.
Money has already been distributed to a handful of nonprofits and dozens of impacted families. So the money is being used. We really don't have a
resource problem. I don't want to tell people that they shouldn't contribute. We really very much appreciate everything that you're sending.
But generally speaking, we are the most resource-rich natural catastrophe that I've ever seen in my lifetime and the president is about to arrive and
I'm going to tell him thank you for calling me on the first day and thank you for cutting the red tape and thank you for making all this happen
because he's done his job.
KINKADE: That --
BURKETT: We need to do our job.
KINKADE: -- that is good to hear. I just want to ask you about how many calls you're getting from other people who live in condominiums in Miami,
similar age, similar build, on the beach.
How much anxiety is there right now?
And talk to us about inspections that are underway for buildings that are 40 years old older.
BURKETT: There is particular anxiety for one building, which is essentially the same building, built by the same developer, seemingly the
same plans and presumably the same materials. That's the one we have been focusing on the most.
We have had our building officials in there. We had our experts go through it. There will be additional experts in there this week, condominium
associations, building engineers. And we asked them to do -- I've asked for them to do a top to bottom sort of forensic study on the structures of that
We had people that expressed interest, not -- not wanting to stay in the building at this time, given they don't know about the collapse of the
other sister building. So the funding mechanisms we have to support Surfside are also addressing that concern. And, you know, we're taking care
of business. We're taking care of our people. And we're feverishly working to pull everybody out of the rubble.
KINKADE: All right. Surfside mayor, Charles Burkett, good to get you on the program. We know you're very busy with families there right now. We
wish you all the best. Thank you.
BURKETT: Thank you.
KINKADE: We have extensive coverage of the Florida condominium collapse on our website. That, of course, cnn.com. You'll find an hour by hour blog of
developments, plus ways to help those affected.
Still to come ahead on the show, it is vaccines versus variants. The U.K. seeing a spike in new cases of COVID-19 despite its impressive vaccination
Can it really outpace the Delta variant?
Live to London.
KINKADE: Welcome back.
Despite the risk of a fourth wave of COVID-19, most of France is ending capacity limits on many public venues. Almost 50 percent of people in
France have gotten at least one vaccine dose. And as of today, limits have been lifted on venues like restaurants and stores as well as cinemas.
A health pass will reportedly be required for events with over 1,000 people.
Ireland, on the other hand, is dragging its feet on lifting indoor dining restrictions. That was supposed to happen July 5th. Now the government says
the earliest day will be July 19th. It's trying to figure out how to set up a vaccine certification system into restaurants and pubs. Our Cyril Vanier
is tracking our these fast moving changes across Europe and joins us now from London.
Cyril, I want to start on France. It is opening up; people in Paris can enjoy a meal in a restaurant and soon will be able to go to a concert
albeit with a COVID certificate.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, I'll preface this with saying that every country in Europe right now is dealing with competing realities,
which is that COVID is declining-- that is U.K. notwithstanding -- but COVID is declining.
But the Delta variant is increasing. So most countries right now are seeing cases go down but they know that, weeks from now cases could go back up
because the Delta variant is overtaking the previously dominant Alpha variant.
In France, the way this is playing out is that the French authorities have decided to go ahead with the final stage of reopening the country. That
means fully reopening restaurants indoors, full capacity; same thing with cinemas.
Concerts and large live events can go ahead. Night clubs will even soon be reopening early July, albeit with 75 percent capacity. So the way it is
going to work for the largest event, such as concerts and festivals, people, in order to attend, will have to show proof of vaccination or
certificates, proving that they have a negative PCR test, which has become fairly standard. They're just starting to do this now.
According to preliminary reports, they're experiencing teething problems, as not everybody yet completely knows how this works or to provide their
proof of vaccination.
But that is the path that France has chosen, even though health authorities have said, careful, we may get a fourth wave at the end of the summer,
because of the Delta variant.
KINKADE: Right. And I want to ask you about Britain, obviously; two-thirds of adults are now vaccinated. But we are seeing this huge increase in cases
and it is almost a tale of two responses in what we're seeing, in that, you know, there might be one case in a classroom that is sending the entire
class of students home to quarantine.
But then you have two major sporting events at Wembley Stadium and Wimbledon.
How does this all add up?
VANIER: Yes, it is really interesting, isn't it?
What I think it tells you, Lynda, is we're transitioning into the post pandemic phase, into the phase where we learn how to deal with this virus,
because it is not going to go away. And that's what the prime minister said. He said, we have to live with this. And so we have to come up with
rules that allow us to go about our daily lives as far as we can.
And that is why you get these rules in class, where they shut down if there is one case that is detected in the class, for instance, as you mentioned.
But similarly, large live events are going to be coming back soon; that should happen next month. And we already know that Euro 2020 games have
been played, of course, in England and have been attended by thousands of fans. In fact, the last two rounds, the semifinals and the finals at
Wembley Stadium, will be allowing in 60,000 fans, Lynda.
VANIER: Look, we already have an idea of what can happen when you allow lots of football fans into a stadium, because the Scotland fans, who came
here for the -- couple of weeks ago for the England-Scotland games, we now know Scotland has experienced 1,300 new cases that have been directly
linked to travel to England.
So, unfortunately, as these events come back online, there may be further infections there.
KINKADE: Yes. As you say -- and as the leader there is saying, we have to live with it, especially in countries where the vaccination rates are quite
high. Cyril Vanier, thank you for being with us.
Mexico reported nearly 6,000 new confirmed cases on Tuesday. Like the rest of the world, Mexico is hoping vaccinations can end the pandemic. Rafael
Romo shows us people are ready to get back to normal life.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, these Mexicans are attending a
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).
ROMO (voice-over): And even though some say it is very cool, the reality is that this is far from normal.
For starters, it is a drive-in concert and everybody must stay in their designated area. And while not everyone is in compliance, masks are
"This is liberating, safety measures are such that I feel comfortable and I'm very excited because if there is something I missed during the
pandemic, it was going to concerts," this woman says, adding that she is already vaccinated and so are all her friends.
Drive-in concerts are part of Mexico's new reality, an attempt to revive the economy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will open more venues or facilities because government is doing the right things now, the vaccines are doing good.
There is a good rate on those of vaccines every day.
ROMO (voice-over): Mexico's health department announced last week, so far the country has received more than 51 million vaccine doses to date. But so
far, only around 20 percent of people who are eligible have been fully vaccinated in the nation of 127 million.
The capital, with a more capable health system than rural Mexico, has been significantly better than the rest of the country at getting people
ROMO: Here in Mexico City, roughly a third of the eligible population, meaning people 18 and older, is fully vaccinated, according to figures from
the local health department. After vaccinating health care and essential workers, authorities implemented a vaccination schedule by age, starting
with the elderly.
ROMO (voice-over): The challenge is that new variants of the virus could pose a serious risk, especially for the unvaccinated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Spanish).
ROMO (voice-over): Mexico's COVID czar reported a 9 percent weekly increase in cases but said it is too early to tell whether this is the
beginning of a trend.
ROMO: When do you expect to reach herd immunity here in Mexico?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Spanish).
ROMO (voice-over): "By the end of the year, more or less, we expect to be close to 70 percent of people vaccinated, which would give us some
guarantee of reaching herd immunity," this local health official says.
Asked how Mexico has done in terms of dealing with the pandemic, some people back at the concert give an unequivocal thumbs down. And yet, for
the first time in many months, they have the option of getting out -- and that by itself is reason enough to dance with joy -- Rafael Romo, CNN,
KINKADE: An expert gives a stern warning for countries opening up too soon. Next hour, I'm going to speak to a molecular biologist, who is
advising what should be done first as he cautions leaders about the changes of letting the spread of COVID-19 jump ahead of vaccination efforts.
And up next, new talk and tough talk in Tigray's brutal civil war. Ethiopia says its troops could be back on the ground at any time, despite the cease-
fire. A live report coming up.
KINKADE: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade.
There is yet another worry for the devastated Tigray region in northern Ethiopia. There is potential for even more violence. CNN is being told that
Ethiopian-backed Eritrean forces have yet to withdraw from that region.
And we're hearing from an adviser to the president of Tigray that on top of this, Ethiopia's government says its forces could re-enter Tigray's
regional capital at any time. The statement coming one day after the federal government declared a cease-fire and said it was withdrawing
People in the northern town say they may have celebrated that news too soon, especially Tigrayan fighters calling the truce, quote, "a sick joke."
The world is, of course, watching what is happening to the people there.
And months of this brutal civil war have been catastrophic for hundreds of thousands of civilians, who are facing famine conditions. I'm going to
connect you now to Nairobi and CNN's Larry Madowo, who joins us now live.
Despite the unilateral cease-fire announced by Ethiopia, we're now hearing that Eritrean troops are still in the region and Ethiopia's military could
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Lynda. What we're seeing here is the military attempting to redirect and reframe the conversation around
what happened in Mekelle, this important regional capital of the Northern Tigray region.
In fact, a spokesperson for government's task force on Tigray saying this is not the center of gravity it used to be, where fighters could pose a
threat to the national government and that they withdrew for humanitarian reasons to allow for that access, for aid agencies, for humanitarian
workers that the humanitarian community have been calling for.
And they're saying, if they wanted to, they could re-enter Mekelle at any time. Listen to this gentleman from the Ethiopian government's task force
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): First, the fighting needed to stop, which we stopped.
Secondly, if we were still there, even if we stopped fighting, the government would still be blamed for killing people or hindering access.
So we decided to take our troops out altogether in a transparent manner for everyone to see. It was a political decision, not a military one. If the
political decision were reversed, the military could enter Mekelle even now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: So the government are saying that they were victorious and they obliterated, that's the word they used, obliterated the Tigrayan fighters.
But the fighters tell CNN that they already had won so much ground that they could have entered Mekelle anytime if they wanted to. And there is
still a question of, were they victorious?
Because both sides have been accused of propaganda and disinformation.
KINKADE: Meanwhile, in the meantime, we haven't heard much from the ground. Communications were blacked out and we were discussing that
How much is back up?
MADOWO: Not much. There is still no internet connectivity in Mekelle and many parts of the region. There is no phone connectivity.
MADOWO: There is no banking services, for instance. It is still a region that's largely cut off. You can't fly in to Mekelle and that's -- no word
as to when that is going to happen. That also makes it hard to independently verify what is happening, to speak to people there because
you can't call them.
And facilities at the UNICEF office, they took down the visa requirement (ph), which blocks them from being able to communicate independently. So
that also is a problem and that did not get answered in this briefing by the government today.
KINKADE: OK. Larry Madowo, good to have you on the story for us from Nairobi, thank you.
I want to get you up to speed on some of the other stories on our radar right now. Kim Jong-un has fired several high ranking officials in North
Korea, accusing them of neglecting their pandemic duties and creating a great crisis for the country.
North Korea has not publicly acknowledged any coronavirus cases but it has sealed its borders and they have been shut since 2020.
A Chinese company which forced Uber out of Mainland China is making its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today. The ride hailing company Didi,
its shares going to start at $40, raising more than $4 billion. That's the biggest Chinese IPO since Alibaba in 2014.
Still ahead, you ask and he answers; Russian president Vladimir Putin held his massive telethon today, fielding dozens of questions from ordinary
Russians. We'll go live to Moscow to hear what he had to say.
Plus, a historic heat wave gripping parts of the U.S. and Canada. We'll have live reports on the record-breaking temperatures in the next hour.
KINKADE: Hello, it is Vladimir Putin, the Russian president fielding questions from ordinary people as he held his telethon today. Mr. Putin
confirming that he got the Sputnik vaccine. He talked about Ukraine and even admitted there would come a time he would name a possible successor.
The televised show, known as, "A Direct Line with Putin," is an annual tradition. Organizers say about 2 million questions were sent in ahead of
time for this event. Matthew Chance has been reporting on Russia and President Putin for many years now. He joins us from Moscow.
Certainly a lot of topics covered, Matthew, planning to break it down. I want to start first with him talking about vaccination. We know he didn't
publicize when he was vaccinated earlier this year. But he did say he has been vaccinated and it was one of the vaccines on offer to Russians and the
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
CHANCE: He did make public that he had been vaccinated. That's not what happened. But he didn't -- he was all behind closed doors, he didn't make a
big public show of it and he didn't disclose what vaccine he had had. So there is speculation behind the scenes.
Did he even have a Russian jab?
Relevant because, you know, there is a great deal of vaccine hesitancy in Russia. People aren't very trusting of the Russian developed vaccine, even
though Sputnik V was the first vaccine to be registered for public use back in August.
You have had a very low pickup in vaccinations, something around 11 or 12 percent according to the latest figures of the population have been
vaccinated and vaccine hesitancy is at the highest rates in the world.
What that has led to is an enormous spike, a third wave in COVID-19 infections, across the country, today, at the highest number of people, you
know, dying in the past 24 hours of any single 24-hour period since the pandemic began, I think 669, according to the COVID official statistics
And so the government have been forced to act, to try and encourage people as much as possible to get the vaccine. This is part of that, in talking
about how he had Sputnik V and talking about how he -- he thought the vaccination was the only way to prevent further lockdown in Russia.
He said he wasn't against forcibly vaccinating people but that was slightly at odds with the fact that, just a few days ago, the Russian government
passed a law in which anybody who is in a public facing job -- in the transport business, in hospitality, in things like that, shops -- had to be
vaccinated by the middle of July or they would not be able to work in those economic sectors anymore.
So it is sort of, you know, mandatory vaccine through the back door, as it were. And so, yes, the first part of this epic, you know, mammoth Q&A
session with members of the Russian public and the Russian president was dedicated to encouraging people to get the vaccination.
KINKADE: And just quickly, Matthew, even though he changed the constitution last year to allow him to be in power longer, he did say that,
at some stage, he'll name a possible successor.
CHANCE: Yes, he did say that. It is something he said in the past, giving -- keeping his cards very close to his chest, not naming any names. But
yes, look, he was -- he was asked by one of the members of the public -- and remember, these questions are very carefully choreographed.
There were 2 million questions nearly that were offered as potential questions for Vladimir Putin. He only got to a fraction of them. And so the
Kremlin, you know, press service would have picked the question they wanted to answer.
So he wanted to put it out there, that, you know, look, yes, ultimately, there would be a successor to run Russia. He wouldn't give anything away in
terms of who that might be.
KINKADE: All right, Matthew Chance in Moscow. Good to have you with us. Thank you.
Well, it has been a night to remember. England finally breaking their decades-long curse against Germany and booking their ticket to the Euro
2020 quarterfinals. Among those celebrating the 2-0 victory were Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and their son, Prince George.
The fans, of course, going wild.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE (voice-over): And along with members of the royal family, Amanda Davies and her family were at the match.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: We'll be back at the top of the hour with plenty of news.