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Connect the World

Zelenskyy asks for No-Fly Zone, Air Defense Equipment; Tsunami Warning for Eastern Japan after 7.3 Magnitude Quake; NATO Secretary General speaks after Meeting with Defense Ministers; Stoltenberg: Allies United on how to Support Ukraine; British PM: Two Dual Nationals Jailed in Iran are Coming Home; Some Women who Fled Ukraine are heading back. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 16, 2022 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: For those who are just joining us, you are more than welcome this hour. We need you right now President

Zelenskyy, please for help in an historic address to Congress.

I'm Becky Anderson. And this is "Connect the World". Ukraine's President making that urgent plea in a stirring video address to the U.S. Congress

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, receiving a standing ovation as he was introduced.

Well, after that President Zelenskyy repeated his call for a no fly zone over Ukraine or at least improved air defenses, backing that up by showing

a stirring at times graphic video of life before and after the invasion, with images of death and destruction, including the scenes of children

injured and panicked.

Mr. Zelenskyy, invoking one of America's most tragic days to make his point that terror is happening across Ukraine every day, have a listen.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Remember, September the 11th, a terrible day in 2001, when evil try to turn your cities independent

territories in battlefields when innocent people were attacked, attacked from air yes. Just like no one else expected it. You could not stop it.

Our country experienced the same every day right now at this moment, every night for three weeks now. Various Ukrainian cities Odesa, Kharkiv, Sumy,

Lviv, Mariupol and Dnipro, Russia have turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death.


ANDERSON: Well, he ended his speech, speaking in English with a direct message to the U.S. President have a listen.


ZELENSKYY: The leader of my niche addressing the President Biden. You are the leader of the nation of your nation. I wish you to be the leader of the

world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.


ANDERSON: Well, Mr. Zelenskyy's address happening as Russia steps up its aerial onslaught of cities across Ukraine. Well, this video showing the

exact movement of Russian airstrike hit an apartment building in Ukraine's Capital, which as we speak remains under curfew. At least two people there

were injured.

And this video from Chernihiv, showing the aftermath of what a local official says was an attack that killed 10 people who were lined up just

waiting for bread that city among several surrounded by Russian forces.

Well, later this hour, we will hear from U.S. President Joe Biden set to announce additional security aid for Ukraine. Right now I want to bring in

Scott McLean, who's in Lviv in Western Ukraine and Kylie Atwood at the State Department. And first Kylie let's start with you a stirring speech

from President Zelenskyy reiterating his pleas for what he now calls a humanitarian no fly zone, he did their offer an alternative. Should that

not be possible? Let's just have a listen.


ZELENSKYY: If this is too much to ask, we offer an alternative. You know, what kind of defense systems we need as 300 and other similar systems, you

know, how much depends on the battlefield on their ability to use aircraft.


ANDERSON: He made a direct appeal in English to the U.S. President in that speech. What can he expect from Joe Biden at this point?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well Anderson, what he can expect from Joe Biden is his first ask which is the no fly zone. That is

not something that the Biden Administration is prepared to enforce. Neither are NATO allies.

Their argument being that that would escalate the situation this war in Ukraine versus make it less horrific than we have already seen and trying

to end the violence. But what President Biden is expected to announce later this morning is new humanitarian assistance and new military defensive

support to Ukraine.

Now, what we're reporting this morning is that the United States and NATO are going to be providing a surface to air missile systems programs to



ATWOOD: That is one thing that we know specifically, the Ukrainians have been asking for to try and defend their airspace at higher levels than they

have been able to up until this point. So President Biden could get into some details on that front.

But it's going to be interesting to see how President Biden generally speaking, responds to this very heartfelt plea from the president to a

joint session of Congress here in Washington. And one interesting thing that he said is that the institutions that are in place right now simply

are not working.

He made the argument that there's a need for new institutions, because he's saying that basically, they haven't been able to bring about peace quickly

and effectively. So it'll be interesting to see how the president responds to that.

But it's very clear that President Biden is doubling down on what has been their administration's policy, which is to provide support humanitarian and

of course, military, to the Ukrainians up until a point where the United States believes it may provoke or create a more difficult situation in

Ukraine, Becky.

ANDERSON: Scott, how desperate is this new military defensive support that Ukraine and its president are so desperate for?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, well it would come in handy. That's for certain we know that many cities in this country are under constant

bombardment, you just showed the pictures there of Kyiv that is getting hit hard. You're just showed the pictures of people waiting for bread waiting

for handouts of food in Chernihiv getting shelled there, and then you have the situation in Mariupol, where we know according to local officials, the

death toll could be 2500.

But it may be much higher than that, considering the fact that that city has been largely cut off from the rest of the country for two weeks now.

And even though there's a trickle of people managing to get out, it is still a drop in the bucket in comparison to the total number of people who

may be trapped in that city.

And even consider that once they get to where they're going through a sort of semi-official humanitarian corridor in Zaporizhzhia. Well, even that may

not be safe, train station, secondary train station there was shelled the building is sustained heavy damage, there was a crater left right in

between the tracks.

And so it seems like lately, nowhere is safe in this country, as the airstrikes get closer and closer to cities if they haven't already hit them

already. And they move farther and farther west places that had previously been quite safe, which is what makes the visit yesterday by the three Prime

Ministers from Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Poland all the more impressive.

And I can tell you, Becky, I spoke with the CEO of Ukrainian railways just earlier today about that journey. And he said that it was important for

them to do it, he was proud of the fact that the railway could accommodate them in relatively short notice. And he said that the railway is still the

safest way to travel.

Because, you know, even though we're seeing tracks targeted, even though train stations are so sometimes getting hit, other places are being bombed

as well. And so his point is that the railway is still the safest.

The one point that I found quite interesting about what he said, though, is that the Prime Ministers announced that they were on their way while they

were partway to Kyiv. Obviously there are security concerns around announcing your location when you're inside of an active war zone.

And I just want to read you the quote that he said. He said it was a strong step, meaning a strong step to go in the first place showing the support of

the country in wartime. And that was really important for us, even if it was naive, Becky.

ANDERSON: Scott McLean is on the ground. Let me just bring back Kylie, is it clear at this point, and we know that there are talks going on behind

the scenes and Zelenskyy has described the Russian position as more realistic, but we have no peace effectively, as yet.

And there is an uptick in this assault by the Russians. Is it clear to the U.S. Intelligence Community into the Biden Administration just what Putin's

strategy and or intentions are at this point?

ATWOOD: Not exactly. I mean, I think initially, the viewpoint was that he was very clearly trying to take over control of all of Ukraine with this

military effort. But the military effort has not gone to plan, right?

And you have heard U.S. officials talk about it being a strategic failure. We have reported on the logistical challenges that the Russian troops have

run into as they have mounted this assault on Ukraine.


ATWOOD: And so I think there is some thinking within the United States among U.S. officials that perhaps even if Putin's end goal was to overtake

all of Ukraine he may not actually be able to do that. And so how does that change the calculus within the Kremlin?

I think that's an open question right now. And something U.S. officials are looking at. It's significant, that the National Security Adviser Jake

Sullivan had a phone call his first - the highest level phone call between the U.S. and Russia to date this morning with his Russian counterpart.

And he was very clear, according to the White House readout of that call, that there would be significant consequences for Russia continued if they

carry along with this assault. So the Biden Administration is standing clear as to where its position is hoping that that could potentially of

course, impact the Russian calculation here.

ANDERSON: Good to get your perspective, Kylie. Thank you. Kylie Atwood is in Washington few at the State Department. Scott McLean, of course is on

the ground, Scott, appreciate it.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

ANDERSON: Well, breaking news out of Japan there is a Tsunami warning for two prefectures following a 7.3 magnitude earthquake off the Coast of

Fukushima. The preliminary epicenter depth of the quake is 60 kilometers the earthquake felt in Tokyo. Let's bring in Blake Essig, who joins us now

from Tokyo and CNN's Meteorologist Chad Myers. Blake first to you what do we know at this point?

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Becky, I mean, the earthquake happened about 25, 30 minutes ago. For me personally, I was lying in bed

with my kids when the rumble started. And it lasted seemingly forever. My wife was in in our living room and was able to capture some video of our TV

and other appliances just really shaking just this long.

I wouldn't classify it as violent shaking here in Tokyo. But the effects of this this potentially 7.3 magnitude earthquake off the Coast of Fukushima

which is you know, several hour several - hour drive away about a five hour drive away from here in Tokyo to feel the strong effects of it here.

We could only imagine what it felt like for the people living in Fukushima in Miyagi Prefecture obviously? We are just a few days past the March 2011

Anniversary of the Great Japan East Earthquake and so obviously very fresh in the minds of people.

You know what happened back then. And now here we are just a few days after that anniversary feeling the effects of another major earthquake here in


ANDERSON: Yes, frightening stuff. Chad let me bring you in then. Just walk us through what you have at this point?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: 7.3, a little over 60 kilometers deep. Now that's not a shallow quake and it's not a deep quick, quakes can get 400

kilometers deep, but a shallow quake could be 10 or 15 kilometers deep, and that would do a lot more shaking, you get a little bit more padding, the

deeper you go.

The ground at the surface doesn't shake as much. But there is that Tsunami Advisory here's what we're talking about. We could see a one meter wave

coming on shore or in some spots where it was very close could already be on shore one meter wave here.

There is the initial earthquake. There's already been a six in greater aftershock. But let me get a little bit closer here to show you where we

are talking about the Fukushima Daiichi Plant that we talked so much about for so very long those years ago.

This quake was significantly closer to the coast giving not as much warning when it comes to the wave. But the good news is the wave was nowhere near

as tall Becky.

ANDERSON: I think the comparisons are understandable at this point. What can people expect Chad?

MYERS: I think you're going to expect significant aftershocks maybe up to 50 to 100. Now they get smaller and smaller the time distance you get away

from the earthquakes actual shake profile. The longer you go, the smaller they get.

But you know the big quake that - I was talking about it had aftershocks for years. Now this one isn't quite as great obviously as that. But this

could have an aftershocks going on - ongoing for a very, very long time.

ANDERSON: There's been an awful lot of work done Blake since 2011. What will people's concerns be as they switch on their televisions and here that

there is one a tsunami warning and that this quake has been a quite a significant quake in the same area?


ESSIG: You know, I think - I think that you're just living here in Japan, the realities of an earthquake. The constant earthquakes are just something

you live with. But anytime you feel a shake, like even we just felt here in Tokyo again. So not very close to where the epicenter of this earthquake

was, to feel the strength I mean it makes it scary, it is legitimately scary.

And I think and having the opportunity to spend time in Fukushima and talk to people who did experience that earthquake back in 2011. And hearing

their stories one of the concerns is, you know, that initial tsunami warning where we're talking about a potential one meter tall tsunami wave.

I talked to a family; a father, who lost his daughter, his son, his mother and father, after seeing them after the first initial warning came in,

because the first initial warning, you know, isn't always telling about what's coming afterwards.

Again, different circumstances right now versus what happened 11 years ago, but nonetheless, you know, perhaps a false sense of concern, not of

concern, but of, you know, a false sense of, of comfort thinking, this might be it again, for these people who have who have lived it and

experienced it. There's a lot of unknown that unknown is scary, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely and look, this just happening in the past what half an hour or so. Blake, get back to the family. I hope they're not too

shaken by this and Chad, thank you. More than 700,000 households without power in Tokyo, according to the local power company being reported by


More on this as we gets it to remind you there is a tsunami warning for two prefectures following a 7.3 magnitude earthquake off the Coast of Fukushima

Prefecture. The preliminary epicenter depth of that quake is 60 kilometers' that earthquake, as Blake was reporting there felt in Tokyo.

Well, we will stay across that for you, of course also, still to come. The war in Ukraine has prompted Ireland to reassess its long held position of

neutrality and talking about neutrality and defense. Let's get to the NATO headquarters where Jens Stoltenberg is standing by to speak. Let's listen


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: --focused on the consequences of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. We addressed our support for Ukraine, the

severe costs we are imposing on Russia and NATO's work to strengthen our defenses now and for the years to come.

Our close partners Finland, Sweden and Georgia and the European Union joined us for the first session. And Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii

Reznikov described in stark terms the death and destruction caused by President Putin's war.

The determined resistance of the Ukrainians against the invasion, and the importance of our continued support we all paid tribute to the courage of

the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

NATO allies and partners have supported Ukraine with equipment and training for many years. We are helping Ukraine to uphold its fundamental right to

self-defense, freedom and democracy with significant amounts of critical military equipment.

Today, ministers agreed that we must continue to provide significant support to Ukraine, including with military supplies, financial help, and

humanitarian aid. NATO allies and partners are also hosting millions of Ukrainian refugees.

President Putin must stop this war immediately withdraw his forces now and engage in diplomacy in good faith. NATO is responding to this crisis with

speed and unity.


STOLTENBERG: And next week, allied heads of state and government will meet for an extraordinary NATO Summit. We will address both our immediate

response and the changes we need to make for our longer term security.

Moscow should be in no doubt; NATO will not tolerate any attack on allied sovereignty or territorial integrity. We have already activated our defense

plans to shield the alliance, increase awareness and deploy troops from both sides of the Atlantic.

There are now hundreds of thousands of forces at heightened alert across the alliance. 100,000 U.S. troops in Europe and around 40,000 troops on the

direct NATO command, mostly in the eastern part of the alliance, backed by major air and naval power, as well as air defenses.

But we face a new reality for our security. So we must reset our collective defense and deterrence for the longer term. Today, we tasked our military

commanders to develop options across all domains land, air, sea, cyber and space.

On land, our new postures should include substantially more forces in the eastern part of the alliance at higher readiness with more pre-positioned

equipment and supplies. In the air, more allied air power and strengthened integrated air and missile defense.

At sea carrier strike groups, submarines, and significant numbers of combat ships on persistent basis. We will also consider the future of cyber

defenses, and how best to draw on allied assets space. We should also chain an exercise more often and in greater numbers.

Major increases to our deterrence and defense will require major investments. Allies need to invest a minimum of 2 percent of GDP on

defense. And I welcome that allies such as Germany and Denmark, have already made important announcements on more investments and faster


We also need to spend more together. NATO common funding is the essential neighbor that allows us to work together. It is a force multiplier for

national defense efforts. And it shows solidarity as allies.

At this critical moment for our security, unity between North America and Europe in NATO is more important than ever. And with that, I'm ready to

take your questions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. We'll start with BBC in the center just behind, last row. Yes. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Secretary General. Can I just ask you, we've heard once again from President Zelenskyy, addressing U.S. Congress calling

for a no fly zone? Are there any allies at all who have been asking for one, even if the decision of the alliance as a whole is not to enforce one?

Has there been any discussion at all about it? And the second question I have is just about Ukraine and its NATO membership. Do you believe that

NATO sorry, Ukraine has cooled towards its view of joining NATO as a negotiating tool with the hope of eventually reaching some kind of

agreement with Russia? Thank you very much.

STOLTENBERG: Allies are united, both in providing support to Ukraine to support Ukraine to uphold the right for self-defense. But allies are also

united when it comes to that NATO should not deploy forces on the ground or in the airspace over Ukraine.

Because we have a responsibility to ensure that this conflict this war doesn't escalate beyond Ukraine. We see death, we see destruction, we see

human suffering in Ukraine.


STOLTENBERG: But this can become even worse, if NATO took actions that actually turned it into this into full-fledged war between NATO and Russia.

So allies are united when it comes to the issue of how to provide support to Ukraine.

Ministers address this today; they reinforced the message of the importance of providing support with equipment, advanced equipment, air defense

systems, anti-tank, weapons, and many other types of support.

But no NATO deployment of air our grounds capabilities in Ukraine, and that's the United position from NATO allies. Then, the message to Ukraine

is the same now as it has been for years that Ukraine is a sovereign, independent nation, it has its own right to choose its own path.

And we respect the decisions made by the Democratic elected government by Ukraine. So it's up for - it's up to them to decide whether they supply for

NATO membership or not, and then it's for 30 allies to decide on that issue, not for Russia to try to veto such a process.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Mr. Secretary General Natasha Bertrand, CNN. I'm wondering whether NATO has invited President

Zelenskyy to participate in any way in the leader summit next week, as Reznikov did in the defense ministerial today.

And I'm also wondering if you could respond to the Polish proposal to send NATO forces into Ukraine on a so called peacekeeping mission. Thanks.

STOLTENBERG: As what we need is peace in Ukraine, and therefore, Russia and President Putin has to stop the war withdraw its forces. We support all

efforts to find a negotiated solution. We support all efforts to find a diplomatic solution.

And of course, we support and welcome the talks and negotiations which are now taking place between Ukraine and Russia. At the same time, we support

Ukraine; because we know what they can achieve on the negotiating table is, of course, very closely linked to the situation on the battlefield.

So I strongly also believe that one of the reasons why the Ukrainians also are saying that they've seen some steps in the right direction is because

they have been able to fight back, they have been able to fight back against the invading Russian forces.

So the courage, the determination, and the support from NATO allies, to the Ukrainian armed forces, is extremely important also, when it comes to what

they can achieve as part of negotiated process with Russia.

So, again, of course, we support peace efforts. We call on Russia to and President Putin to withdraw its forces, but we have no plans of deploying

NATO troops on the ground in Ukraine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Secretary General, can you comment on Italy's role in this current crisis and happy birthday for today.

STOLTENBERG: Thank you. I am, I would very much like to comment on Italy's role. Italy is a highly valued NATO ally, a founding member, and Italy is

contributing toward collective defense in many different ways.

I also recently in Romania, I met Italian pilots, they are helping that to keep NATO airspace safe. And they really show a commitment and, and

strength in their contributions to different NATO mission sound operations, including in Kosovo, where it has been a key ally for many, many years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Financial Times. Yes, gentleman with glasses --.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Just a follow up to the question about the peace talks, you said that you're encouraged by signs and that you support

any effort to find a diplomatic solution.

Could you tell us are you seeing any signs on the ground that the Russians are genuine in their approach to these peace talks or that they may well

just be using them as a distraction, for resupply and for restructuring their approach? Thank you.

STOLTENBERG: On the ground, we don't see any sign. And that's the reason why we also call on Russia to engage in these talks in good faith. And it's

not for me to report from these talks, NATO is not part of those talks.

These are talks between Ukraine and Russia. But I'll just see in the reports coming out from those talks. I think it's very important not to

speculate and not to pre-judge or to preempt any outcome of these talks.


STOLTENBERG: But my message was in a way that it is obvious that what Ukraine can achieve around the negotiating table is very closely linked to

the situation on the battleground. And therefore the support we give to them to stand up against and to resist the Russian invasion also helps them

to achieve unacceptable outcome in the negotiations.


LORNE COOK, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Lorne Cook from the Associated Press. Could you tell me a little bit more about the tasking that you've given

NATO commanders what that might involve?

And are we looking, are we looking ahead one year or are we talking about a decade? Something longer term and you also use the word persistent. I

wonder what that means. Why wouldn't you say permanent on a permanent basis?

STOLTENBERG: This is the way we make these kinds of decisions in NATO is that the petition stay is set out the guidelines the direction, then we

talk to our military commanders to give advice on how to follow up. And then we make final decisions as politicians based on this device and input

from our military commanders.

This was exactly the same we did back in 2016, when we at the virtual summit and made historic decisions for the first time in our history to

deploy NATO combat troops to the eastern part alliance.

You have to remember that before Ukraine, as a before the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, by Russia, NATO had no combat troops in

eastern part alliance. Then we had illegal annexation of Crimea.

And since 2014, we have implemented the biggest enforcement or collected defense since the end of the Cold War, tripling the size of the NATO

response force establishing the battle groups in the Baltic countries and Poland.

More presence in the air at sea, and of course also started to invest more increasing defense spending. Then the process was the same. The politicians

tasked the commanders they provided advice, and based on that we developed the final conclusions that allied heads of state and government made at the

summit in 2016.

And then since then got implemented that, I foresee a similar process now. We have tossed the military commanders, we will have their advice within


And then and then my ambition is that heads of state and government when they meet at the end of June, can make the decisions on significantly

increased presence, reinforcing our deterrence on defense, on land, at sea and in the air.

And of course, this will depend on the input we get from the commander's but also, of course, at the end of the day, it has to be a political

decision by the leader. So the decision I foresee within months as meaning about the summit in June. Then implementation will, of course, vary a bit

depending on what conversations you are going to make.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --just behind the thing, just behind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --Secretary General, is there anything in the NATO Russia Founding Act that could restrict military planners and commanders

when they work out these options for leaders? Thank you.

STOLTENBERG: So we will do what is necessary to make sure that there is no room for misunderstanding in Moscow for miscalculation in Moscow about our

commitment readiness to protect and defend all allies every inch of NATO territory. And the reason why we do that is not to provoke a conflict but

is to prevent the conflict.

That has been the successful NATO for more than 70 years that any potential aggressor or adversary has always known that an attack on one ally will

trigger a response from the whole alliance and to ensure that in the new security reality we need, we need to reset our deterrence on defense.

And that's exactly what we're now the tasking the commanders to provide advice on how to reset our deterrence and defense. And we will do what is

necessary that the NATO Russia founding treat of course, that actually has a clear reference to in the current security environment back in 1997.

We are not in the current security environment today. We are in a totally different security environment. At that stage we actually foresaw Russia

strategic partner working with them since then Russia has invaded Georgia illegally annexed Crimea and now also invaded Ukraine.


STOLTENBERG: So, so we will do what is necessary. And the NATO Russia founding an act is not something that will create problems or a hindrance

for NATO to make the necessary decisions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --to Ukrainian news agency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --news agency of Ukraine. There in negotiations with Russia is another important factor. According to data released today, from

the general stuff of Ukraine, around 40 percent of invading forces already lost by Russians in equipment and manpower. Could the NATO confirm that?

And because of that obvious question, is the threaten which further threat these which Russia pose to NATO in escalation a little bit over estimated

by NATO countries? Thank you.

STOLTENBERG: President Putin totally underestimated the strength of the Ukrainian armed forces. President Putin underestimated the unity of the

Ukrainian people and the courage of the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian leadership.

And this, combined with the support, the massive support, the Ukrainian armed forces are receiving and actually have received from NATO allied

countries over many years have forced President Putin to change his stance and to realize that this quick victory, this blitzkrieg, taking control

over Kyiv within days has absolutely failed.

But we should not underestimate Russia's capabilities when it comes to continue the war and also to continue to attack, including cities. We have

seen how Russia has been responsible for the same or for brutal warfare, both in Virginia, but also in Syria.

And, and of course, even though they have made severe mistakes, Russia maintain a large capability of conventional armed forces. But Russia,

President Putin has also --they have also used nuclear rhetoric, Russia is a nuclear power.

And we have seen how they have stepped up to also the nuclear rhetoric threatening both NATO allies and Ukraine. So I think we must not

underestimate the dangers related to the military capabilities of Russia, including their will to actually use force and impose devastation and

destruction on others.

ANDERSON: The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaking, we've been listening in as he described what is going on. He's just come out of a

defense meeting. Defense ministers, including those of Sweden, Finland and Georgia non NATO members, of course considered important to include at this


We must continue to supply significant support to Ukraine, including financial help humanitarian aid and further military supplies. But when he

was asked whether there are any allies at all, who actually are looking for a no fly zone, and this, of course, is the consistent appeal by President

Zelenskyy. He said NATO members are united.

They are united, he said in not wanting to put troops on the ground or in the air over Ukraine. Alright, let's bring in Scott McLean who is on the

ground. In the words we've heard before effectively from the NATO Head, I mean, you know, the questions come thick and fast about this no fly zone.

There is a consistent message from the NATO head and others that that is simply not going to happen. But there will be more humanitarian aid, more

financial aid and more missile supply, Scott, your thoughts?

MCLEAN: Becky, look, if you talk to virtually any government person in this country, even non-government people in this country and they find out that

North American or European they will tell you please tell your governments we need a no fly zone, we need to close the skies.


MCLEAN: And you've heard this over and over again from President Zelenskyy as well this plea to please, please close the skies. Obviously NATO

continues to see this very differently. You heard from Kylie Atwood earlier saying that the U.S. perspective is that this will make it worse.

And then you heard from Jens Stoltenberg just now saying that we believe that, yes, there are suffering on the ground. Yes, we are seeing people

dying. But if there were to be this enforced no fly zone, and that could escalate into full scale war between NATO and Russia.

And that may well make things even worse. And that has got to hurt for President Zelenskyy to hear no over and over again. Because it seemed that

just the other day when these three prime ministers from the Czech Republic from Slovenia and Poland were here, it seemed like perhaps he was making

some inroads, softening up the polls a little bit.

Because you heard the Polish Prime Minister say that Ukraine should be invited formally invited for EU membership. And you also heard the deputy

prime minister say that there should be a NATO peacekeeping force on the ground in Ukraine obviously, Jens Stoltenberg, though, pouring cold water

on that.

ANDERSON: Scott McLean is on the ground for you folks. Let's take a very short break at this point, more after this.


ANDERSON: Right, more on that breaking news out of Japan there is a tsunami advisory for two prefectures following a 7.3 magnitude earthquake off the

coast of Fukushima. The earthquake could be felt in Tokyo and more than 2 million customers are now without power. CNN install from the ground could

feel the shaking more than that, of course as we get it.

Well today two British nationals are returning home after being held for years in Iran. The prime minister, the British prime minister tweeting "I

am very pleased to confirm the unfair detention of Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori in Iran has ended, and they will now return

to the UK".

Zaghari Radcliffe's MP tweeting this photo saying, Nazanin is now in the air flying away from six years of hell in Iran. Well, earlier we saw this

video of the charity worker boarding the plane in Tehran.

But let's remember there are so many others who are still being held there. Siamak Namazi, Baquer Namazi and - has though been released on furlough, as

we understand it. Well British MP Liz Truss, who is the Foreign Minister spoke a few minutes ago. Have a listen.



LIZ TRUSS, BRTISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Nazanin was held in Iran for almost six years, and - for almost five.


ANDERSON: OK, well, apologies for that technical hitch. He just spoke in the Houses of Parliament in the chamber. Joining me now is Penny Madden,

the lawyer representing Nazanin's husband, Richard Ratcliffe. And how is Richard feeling today?

PENNY MADDEN, RICHARD RATCLIFFE'S LAWYER: Well, you can imagine just enormous relief. This is the day Nazanin Richard Gabriela, the whole of the

UK, and obviously friends and family have been waiting and praying for. And I think just a huge emotional roller coaster that is really now beginning

to sink in with this overwhelming feeling of relief.

ANDERSON: Is she actually on the ground in the UK yet?

MADDEN: No, my understanding is not yet. I think that will be a little bit later this evening. Obviously, when that moment arrives, then it will

really come home that she is home and reunited with Richard and Gabriela.

ANDERSON: Richard and Gabriela spoke a little earlier. Gabriela was 22 months old, of course, when her mom was imprisoned the first time. So you

can only imagine how she is going to feel. What triggered the release of Nazanin today.

MADDEN: It's very difficult to say we don't have visibility in relation to that. We do have reports that the long standing debt that the government

through IMS has owed to the Iranians since 1979, has been paid or is in the process of being paid. And that's clearly been a catalyst. But in terms of

the wider political spectrum, one can only speculate.

ANDERSON: So no clear idea that this has anything to do with the current nuclear talks that are ongoing at present.

MADDEN: No, we don't have that visibility. I'm sure that the nuclear talks have been part of what has been a very long political game between the UK,

Iran and the U.S., unfortunately, a game in Nazanin has just been swept up as a very innocent --.

ANDERSON: How is she? How's her health?

MADDEN: Well, the photographs I think you've seen of her and I was certainly lucky enough to see early on from Richard, this wonderful picture

of her smiling, there's great joy. And have say we all had tears and great smiles and grins on our faces to see the picture of her on the plane with

the portals, the aero plane portals behind her, just running away about to take off a day that really everybody has been waiting and praying for so


ANDERSON: Richard thanked foreign office staff today who he said it helped. But how does he ultimately feel about the way this case has been handled by

the UK government? He himself went on hunger strike, didn't he? At one point, you've worked with him throughout this?

MADDEN: Yes, I mean, Richard has been on hunger strike twice, Nazanin herself has been on hunger strike and was dangerously ill. They've been

incredibly brave and just tireless in terms of trying to campaign for Nazanin's freedom.

I suppose today isn't the time for politicking. It is a day of celebration, enormous relief. But there are definitely questions to be answered. There

are questions that we have been raising for years now without proper answers. Again, today is not go into that. But and it will be for the

Ratcliffe's family to decide whether to pursue to get some answers for why this ordeal has been dragged out for nearly six long years.

ANDERSON: Is it clear what life holds for them when she gets back, briefly?

MADDEN: I don't think anybody knows what the future is. Obviously, this is now going to be a time to have some space and some peace and to be able to

be united. And I think that's what they need at the moment to process it.

ANDERSON: Yes, well, let's, let's hope they get some privacy. They get some time together, the three of them. Thank you very much indeed for joining

us. This is terrific news.

But of course, as we remind people, there are still people being held in Iran and we must continue to press for their release. Thank you. Well, the

British prime minister is applauding the releases of those jewel British citizens, then today Boris Johnson is here in this region.


ANDERSON: He was in Abu Dhabi where I am and is now in Saudi Arabia is concentrating on energy talks as many Western countries struggle with

spiraling oil prices. And a short time ago Mr. Johnson said the UK will soon set out a new national energy strategy amid what he calls the global

uncertainty caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Now, the British prime minister met with the Emirati Crown Prince de facto leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, also known as MBZ stressing during his

visit, the importance of cutting the west's dependency on Kremlin oil and gas and working together to improve stability in the world's energy market.

More on that as we get the readouts from not just that visit, but his visit to Riyadh, where he is as we speak, Well, coming up while tens of thousands

of people flee Ukraine each day in search of safety, we'll introduce you to some women who are heading back into the war zone.


ANDERSON: At least now we've been telling you about the hundreds of thousands of women and kids fleeing the horrors in Ukraine often leaving

behind the men of the family to defend their country. But some of those women have now decided to go back in, in covering the exodus to Poland.

CNN's Ed Lavandera came across women boarding the train back into Ukraine to join the country's fight, have a look at this.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The rail line from Ukraine ends at Platform five at the train station in Przemysl, Poland. After

refugees walk off this same train will go back. For weeks it's mostly been men returning to join the Ukrainian fight against Russia, but in front of

the sign reading train for Ukraine, women are waiting hours for a ride back into the war zone.

Near the front of the line we found Tatiyana Veremychenko. She came to Poland three days ago to bring her two adult daughters to safety. Now the

40 year old is going home to a town in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border.

Ukraine is equally important for men and women, she says we're the real Ukrainians. Women have the strength and will and the heart as well. By our

count women accounted for about half of the passengers in this line waiting to cross the border back to Ukraine - brought her grandchildren to Poland.

She's returning now to be with her family in Odessa.

LAVANDERA (on camera): How worried are you about your safety?

LAVANDERA (voice over): I am anxious, she says but the feeling has become dull over time. I just want to be next to my family.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Do you feel like this is a way of fighting for your country?

LAVANDERA (voice over): Of course she says, we have all become united during this time, each one doing what they can to help our military; women

are doing it and men as well. Standing with several women we met Mariia Halligan, she's going to Kyiv to be with her husband and family to fight,

in her words Russian terrorists.


MARIIA HALLIGAN, KYIV RESIDENT: If you know what you need to do, it's impossible, feel nervous or something that exists. If I have to do this, I

don't do it for my country, for my relatives, for my friends.

LAVANDERA (voice over): And what stands out to me in this line of people going back to Ukraine is that there are so many women, why do you think

that is?

HALLIGAN: I'm not man, I can't kill. I'm a woman and my work, keep balance, and help and behind and care about relatives, family, friends and all I

can. But now I feel that all Ukrainians my relatives.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Before she leaves, Mariia shows us a heart shaped Ukrainian flag given to her by Polish children to protect her. Those

returning walk past a carriage that reads safety above all, with the train leaving platform five disappears into a war zone, where safety is a dream.

Ed Lavandera CNN, Przemysl, Poland.


ANDERSON: That's it from us for this hour. CNN continues after this short break, stay with me.