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People Emerging Alive from Bombed Mariupol Theater; U.S. President Joe Biden Labels Putin "A War Criminal"; Biden to Talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday; British Iranians Back Home after Years of Detention in Iran; Putin Condemns Western-Leaning Russians as "Traitors"; Thousands Opposing Ukraine War Flee Russia; Zelenskyy Comedy "Servant of the People" Back on Netflix. Aired 10-10:40a ET
Aired March 17, 2022 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Let's get straight to our top story for you.
Hope for survivors after one of the most heinous attacks in Russia's three- week long invasion of Ukraine.
Officials in Ukraine saying people were seen walking out of a bombed-out theater several hours ago in the besieged city of Mariupol, the same
building that hundreds of traumatized families had been using to take cover from Russian attacks.
Ukraine's defense minister hurled searing criticism directed toward whoever ordered that bombing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLEKSII REZNIKOV, UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: You can see from the maps, from the drones that are around this, there is big letters of "children,"
written so that the pilot of the plane, which was throwing the bombs, could see. And still, in spite of that, this monster has bombed the theater.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Nick Paton Walsh is reporting today from Odessa. He tells us the Mariupol theater attack only adds to the pain and suffering of a
city feeling the full brunt of Russia's brutal tactics in what is Vladimir Putin's unprovoked war.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Becky, obviously very encouraging news emerging from Mariupol, of people coming out of that bomb
shelter; unknown the numbers that were in there or the numbers that appear to have survived at this stage.
It is still a patchy piece of information at this point. But certainly that doesn't detract from the clear decision made by Russian forces to launch an
airstrike against a building that had "children" written large on both sides of it outside.
Here are some of the scenes that emerged last night.
WALSH (voice-over): The flicker of flame here, where Russia's barbarism peaked and an airstrike hit a bomb shelter, hiding hundreds beneath a
theater, said local officials.
The damage so complete, the entrance was reduced to rubble. This satellite image from two days earlier showing the building standing with "children"
written large outside.
In case you're still thinking nobody knew who was here, videos had been circulating for days of the hell inside, how over a week of siege and
shelling had forced those still living into a space so tight and dark it must have felt like a tomb.
"Here," he says, "is where we give out food," to children, women and elderly first.
This is the converted cloakroom, the theater. If this looks like how you imagined the end of the world, for these children packed in, that may have
been the case, when the bombs struck. Russia claimed Ukrainian radicals caused the blast.
In this room, 15 people, the narrator says. Little comfort any parent can give by the lie, "this will be over soon."
And below this store, there are yet more, an entire city forced underground; little aid allowed in and few allowed out.
"People hear us, here with children," he says. His appeal is for food, help, perhaps unaware it may have led Russian bombs straight to them.
The swimming pool was also hit, a place where, this narrator says, a pregnant woman was trapped under the rubble and where only expectant
mothers and those with under 3s hid.
The Kremlin wants to break or flatten this port. But its defenders still exact a cost, still keep them out. This drone video shows the moment
Ukrainian fighters hit a Russian tank. The shots come again and again, removing one of the tank's tracks.
The crew are later seen hit as they try to flee.
WALSH (voice-over): No room for mercy in a city that has little space left for life itself.
WALSH: Now, Becky, here in Odessa, heightened anxiety. We heard sirens in the morning and we also heard from a local official, commenting on video
circulating on social media, that seemed to show as many as five ships on the horizon.
The official saying that there was no real cause for concern, that these may well have been Russian ships and they are maneuvering to perhaps
heightened anxiety here in Ukraine's third largest city.
But that certainly is working; there is heightened anxiety here for sure. We heard last night antiaircraft gunfire.
It's a city certainly on the edge because all the military activity along the Black Sea coast to the east of where I'm standing is about pressuring
here and potentially the Kremlin's goal of encircling or exacting some sort of military pressure upon this vital port -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Powerful reporting there from Nick.
With so many civilians dying and suffering in this war, there are growing accusations of war crimes. CNN's Anderson Cooper asked the top prosecutor
at the International Criminal Court about this, in what was an exclusive interview. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARIM ASAD AHMAD KHAN, ICC CHIEF PROSECUTOR: We have reasonable grounds to believe crimes within the jurisdiction of the court have been committed.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You have reasonable grounds to believe that alleged war crimes, alleged crimes against humanity have been committed?
KHAN: Absolutely. And, you know, when one sees, one thing is clear. I mean, the law is clear on this. It is a crime to intentionally target
civilians. It is a crime to intentionally target civilian objects.
Now, of course, there's -- has to be further investigation, whether civilian objects being used to launch attacks that made them legitimate
targets. But even then it's no license to use cluster bombs or use disproportionate attacks in, you know, concentrated civilian areas. There
is a duty of distinction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: U.S. President Joe Biden weighing in on the matter of war crimes in Ukraine. Here's how it played out on Wednesday. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I think he is a war criminal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Until now Mr. Biden has hesitated to use that term. His comments came after he pledged an additional $800 million worth of security
assistance to Ukraine.
In another move, the U.S. president will talk with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on Friday.
We have a lot to unpack here. Let's get you to Kylie Atwood, who is connecting us to the U.S. State Department, and David Culver, who is in
Stand by, David, for a moment.
Kylie, the term "war criminal" and these war crimes comments, not a term that we have used -- we've heard used by the U.S. President before.
I wonder, is it clear whether his comments reflect his administration's position at this point?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jen Psaki, his press secretary, was asked to give a little bit more context to his
comments, calling Putin a war criminal.
And she said that the president was speaking from the heart, clearly indicating that he was giving his personal position on the matter. I think
that is frankly justified, given what everyone is seeing play out on TV, as we watch this incredible attack by Russia, indiscriminate killing of
Ukrainians throughout this war over the last few weeks.
But at the same time, the Biden administration itself, the international community have not made the official determination that a war crime has
been committed or that President Putin himself is a war criminal. And that is a bit of a legal and logistically complicated process.
You saw the ICC prosecutor speaking to Anderson Cooper about that and saying essentially that the grounds are there, of course, for the
possibility that war crimes are being committed; that President Putin himself could be a war criminal because he wouldn't be kept out of this
investigation. But the investigation itself needs to occur.
And that's why the ICC, the State Department is feeding into their investigation. That's why they are looking at what is happening on the
ground to determine if Russia is intentionally targeting civilians. And that would determine the official declaration of a war crime.
ANDERSON: And, of course, Scott, you are on the ground; you've just joined us.
Scott McLean with us.
You are on the ground and, you know, you're listening to this wider narrative developing here.
ANDERSON: What prosecutors will be looking for is evidence of war crimes, if indeed they believe that that is the case.
What is going on the ground as we speak?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Becky. Yes, in terms of war crimes, you heart the International Criminal Court prosecutor there say if you're
targeting deliberately civilian infrastructure, then that is a war crime.
But of course, there is some level of nuance there, because if these civilian areas are being used to launch attacks, then perhaps it is not so
clear-cut. But of course, they have to investigate to find out what is the actual case on the ground.
It seems, to an average outsider, that there is plenty of evidence that civilian infrastructure is being targeted and, at least, according to a
British military assessment, it seems like that's because the Russians have not made a whole lot of progress on the ground in actually penetrating some
of these cities.
I want to read you part of that assessment. It says, "Russian forces have made minimal progress on land, sea and air in recent days."
And it goes on to say, "The vast majority of Ukrainian territory, including all major cities, remains in Ukrainian hands."
So again, this assessment says that the Russians are actually resorting to using less precise weaponry. One example is because they say that they
don't have as firm a grip on the skies above Ukraine as perhaps they would like. They are being a little more risk averse.
So for instance, they're firing weapons from farther away on these planes. Obviously, there is less risk to the jets, less risk to the pilots; they're
also much less precise. And perhaps that's one explanation as to why some of these weapons are also hitting civilian targets.
We should take this with a little bit of a grain of salt, though, because, of course, there is some debate around whether or not the Russians have
actually stalled or whether they're just regrouping.
Previous intelligence has said that the Russians are trying to get more troops in and some of those troops would be used to hold existing ground
that they already have. Others would be working on opening new fronts or to try to penetrate cities that they have not been able to get at just yet.
Also keep in mind that Russian tactics -- we have seen it in many areas; Mariupol is a great example -- seemed to be they liked to encircle cities
rather than going into them with ground equipment. They lob rockets, lob explosives into those cities.
But the tactic seems to be encirclement. And so perhaps that's a little bit of what we're seeing here as well, Becky.
ANDERSON: Let me bring in David Culver at this point.
The U.S. very keen to muster support from Beijing for their support for Ukraine at this point. I know that we have had comments from China's
ambassador, pledging support for Ukraine.
I just want to get a sense from you as to whether we know any more and a little more from you, if you will, about what we know about the meeting
that is now scheduled between the U.S. President and the Chinese leader.
DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. President Xi and President Biden expected to talk on Friday. And, no doubt, high on the
agenda is going to be Russia's war in Ukraine or, as China calls it, a special military operation.
As we reported, they refused to label Russia, their close allies, actions in Ukraine as an invasion. Instead, state media here is often parroting the
Kremlin's propaganda. China's also tried to position itself as a potential mediator for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.
On Thursday, the foreign ministry here endorsed remarks made, as you pointed out, Becky, by the Chinese ambassador to Ukraine after he pledged
Beijing's political and economic support for Ukraine.
And earlier this week, China's ambassador to the U.S. wrote an op-ed in "The Washington Post," stressing Beijing wanted to see an end to the
conflict and he denied rumors that, as he put it, China knew about or supported the war beforehand.
But in a sign of Beijing's attempt to seemingly play both sides here, the foreign ministry spokesperson would not say on Thursday if Beijing's desire
to see this conflict end means that, you know, China wants to back away from any sort of potential offer of weapons or assistance to Russia. He
wouldn't answer that question.
As we know, U.S. intelligence officials claim that Russia had asked China for military and financial support amidst its invasion of Ukraine, a
request that Beijing and Moscow both deny was ever made.
Friday's call comes after national security adviser Jake Sullivan and China's top foreign Chinese official, Yang Jiechi, met in Rome on Monday.
They had a seven-hour meeting. And in that meeting, Sullivan warned that there would be consequences if China helped Russia.
And Yang told him the U.S. needs to keep out of China's affairs. So it seemed like a tense meeting but all indications are that, at least, it led
now to the next level.
CULVER: And that is both leaders connecting tomorrow.
ANDERSON: Absolutely. David Culver, Kylie Atwood and, on the ground in Ukraine for you, Scott McLean. Thank you very much indeed. A lot to pack in
A big pledge of support, of course, from the U.S. President this week for Ukraine, $800 million in military assistance, part of more than $13.5
billion in new aid for the country from the U.S., also including humanitarian and economic assistance.
Now President Joe Biden signed that massive spending bill into law on Tuesday. My colleague, Fred Pleitgen, now looks at how the Ukrainian
military is using those resources. Have a look at this.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is how Ukraine's army is halting Russia's advance, using anti-aircraft
weapons like the U.S.-made Stinger against low flying helicopters.
Now answering Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's plea, the U.S. says longer range anti-aircraft missiles are arriving in Ukraine, including the
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): You know what kind of defense systems we need, S-300s and other similar systems. You
know how much depends on the battlefield on Russia's ability to use aircraft.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): After Zelenskyy's impassioned speech to Congress, President Biden announced a massive new security assistance package worth
$800 million, including drones, anti-tank weapons and 20 million rounds of ammunition.
BIDEN: It includes 800 anti-aircraft systems to make sure the Ukrainian military can continue to stop the planes and helicopters that have been
attacking their people and to defend the Ukrainian airspace.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Despite being drastically outgunned, Ukraine's forces have been putting up a tough fight. The country's ground troops led
by Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, a veteran of Ukraine's defense of the Donbas region.
Meanwhile, the chief commander of the armed forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, who's widely credited with reforming Ukraine's military, vows to
fight the Russians to the last drop of blood.
"I don't have any illusions and don't wait for a gift from God," he says.
"I fought and have been preparing my armed forces."
The weapons supplied by the U.S. and its allies are giving them a fighting chance. Ukrainian units blowing up Russian tanks with shoulder-fired
missiles, like the Javelins supplied by the U.S., or NLAWs, a similar anti- tank weapon made in Britain.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: We're at a crucial point in the battle here, where Ukraine is tipping the balance against Russia.
Russia is clearly in trouble.
PLEITGEN: Ukrainian troops have fought tooth and nail with the Russian tanks on the ground, despite being massively outgunned by Vladimir Putin's
While the U.S. and NATO still reject the idea of a no-fly zone, the Biden administration has made clear it will continue to arm Kyiv's forces to
help, as they bog down the Russian military and inflict massive casualties -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Lviv, Ukraine.
ANDERSON: Coming up, finding their voice in a foreign land. Russian expats are finding ways to speak out against the war in Ukraine. More on that
And "happiness in one picture": those are the words of the daughter of one of the freed British Iranians, back home in the U.K. after years in
detention. I'll speak with her live -- just ahead.
ANDERSON: Tears, hugs and happiness: charity worker Nazanin Zaghari- Ratcliffe and retired civil engineer Anoosheh Ashoori are finally back home with their families in Britain. They had both been held prisoner in Iran
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was accused of plotting to overthrow the government, Ashoori was locked up on a spying conviction. Both denied the allegations.
And their families have campaigned over the years very hard to bring them home.
That did finally happen overnight on the heels of the U.K. announcement that it finally settled a decades-old debt owed to Iran. In an op-ed in the
U.K.'s "The Guardian" newspaper, Anoosheh Ashoori writes about staying sane in an Iranian prison.
He says, quote, "Having got past lunch time, I usually call my wife between 2:30 and 3:00 pm. I buy two telephone times in the evening, each worth 10
minutes. With no access to the news from the free world or books, the only possible true news is received through our conversations with our
His daughter, Elika Ashoori, joins me now live from an undisclosed location.
And it is wonderful to have you with us. It must be wonderful to have Dad home. Just explain the emotions if you can.
ELIKA ASHOORI, ANOOSHEH'S DAUGHTER: Oh, it has been extremely surreal. I mean, the outpour of love and support from everyone all over the world has
been so overwhelming. And I feel like we haven't actually digested how it really feels. It still doesn't feel (INAUDIBLE).
ANDERSON: I think I may have lost you but let me carry on and see whether I can still hear you.
So what happened?
How did this come about now?
ASHOORI: Well, I mean, we know that we have gone through a whole week of roller coasters with the JCPOA talks in Vienna. And when other external
factors kind of started to affect the speed of those negotiations, we were exercising some cautious optimism as to something that could happen.
But when that didn't happen, we were a bit (INAUDIBLE) again. And we have - - when we found out that Iran was sending a delegation, we were extremely happy that things were starting to move. And from then, it just skyrocketed
and it just has been one very long day.
ANDERSON: Why didn't this happen earlier?
ASHOORI: I mean, I couldn't tell you for sure. But from what we know, there wasn't a need for a deal with Iran in the past six years as much as
there is now with the U.K.
So I believe that is a very, very strong factor in why these negotiations happened now. I mean, Richard Ratcliffe and my family's tireless
campaigning must have also contributed to these results and to the pressures that are on the government to make action.
ANDERSON: You were talking about the timing here being the nuclear talks, correct?
And the fact that -- I think you're suggesting here that you believe that the releases were associated with that.
That's not something that the government is going to confirm but you genuinely believe this has been aligned with at least the potential success
of these talks?
ASHOORI: (INAUDIBLE) I think that the timing is very strange, because no other factor has changed in the way we campaign or in the way we requested
this debt to be paid. So the only other external factor that I can think of that has changed this equation is the current war.
ANDERSON: Can I just ask you how you would assess the behavior of the U.K. government to you and your families over this, what must have been
extremely torturous time?
ASHOORI: Oh, there have been a lot of (INAUDIBLE) our relationship with the U.K. government. We have had to -- we have had a (INAUDIBLE) to go
through in terms of getting my dad's name out there, because (INAUDIBLE) we had to fight for a place in the media, amongst politicians and, in general,
recognizing his situation there.
So I feel like we fought two battles, one for his recognition by the government and one for his freedom by the Iranian government. So it has not
been easy and I know it's been successful but it has not been pleasant.
ANDERSON: Yes. OK.
It is all about Dad at this point, isn't it?
I just want to read out a bit more from his op-ed.
He said, "I run for an hour at least every day. I have a plan or a dream that I will participate in the London marathon after my release."
He's been released.
Will he be signing up for that race?
Do you see that happening?
ASHOORI: We talked about this and I think he would say, oh, I will (INAUDIBLE) maybe let's just relax for a bit. And (INAUDIBLE) he said I can
do it. And we thought maybe not. Let's wait for a bit and we'll do it next year when everything is settled.
But I am (INAUDIBLE).
ANDERSON: You are optimistic. Well, listen, the line has been a bit ropy but I know that our viewers will have been delighted to have heard from you
and will be delighted for Dad. Please send him all of our regards.
As happy as we are, of course, for you and the others, thank you, Elika, as happy as we are for the Ashooris, of course, and indeed for Nazanin
Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family. We must not forget that there are many other hostages still held in Iran, still separated from their families.
Last month I took a closer look at how the issue of dual nationals imprisoned in Iran is playing into negotiations in Vienna over the Iran
nuclear deal. And I spoke to hostage family members and former hostages, who know firsthand what it feels like. To watch that piece, do head to
Twitter. I am @BeckyCNN. Tell us what you think.
Just ahead, lashing out against his own people: why Vladimir Putin is calling some Russians "traitors" and worse for not seeing things his way.
That's coming up after this.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, folks. I'm Becky Anderson out of our Middle East programming hub here in Abu Dhabi.
A lot of attention has been given to the 3 million people -- yes, 3 million people -- who have fled the war in Ukraine. But tens of thousands of
Russians who oppose the war are also leaving their country to escape persecution for speaking out.
On Wednesday, Russian president Vladimir Putin lashed out against Russians with a -- what he described as pro-Western mentality. He says their mad
dash for the exits is a necessary purge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PUTIN (through translator): But any people, the Russian people especially, are able to distinguish true patriots from bastards and traitors and will
spit them out like a gnat that accidentally flew into their mouths.
I am certain that this necessary and natural self-cleaning of our society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, togetherness and our
readiness to answer any calls to action.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: CNN's senior international correspondent, Jim Bittermann, taking a look at that speech made by the Russian president.
Jim, your analysis of what we heard, I'm hoping that we can get a little bit more of what Vladimir Putin actually said while you and I are talking.
Let's start off with what you heard and saw.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: In fact, a couple of people here in France are calling it unhinged, basically, because Putin used
language that was most unpresidential and I'm sure came as a real shock to his country men.
The fact is that he was talking about a fifth column, talking about going after people who did not support his war effort. And we have seen some of
that. In France, a Russian blogger in the south of France, has found herself now under investigation. She has more than 900,000 followers but
she's been very critical of the war.
And the government office in Russia back in Moscow has said they're going to open an investigation into what she has been seeing. So I think that,
you know, there is a real feeling that there is a purge coming. He talked about that last night in his speech.
And another point, he said that -- he said those that earn their money here but live over there, meaning they're in mentality living in the West, he
said they live in the geographical sense but they think that they -- with a mindset of a slave, that the people can't live without oysters and gender
Kind of a bizarre way of addressing the Russian people yesterday. So I think that, combined with a number of other things has led a lot of
Russians to flee their country. There are tens of thousands -- we don't have exact numbers but we know there are tens of thousands because, in
Georgia, for example, there are 20,000 Russians, who have come to Georgia, fled the country; Estonia reports 12,200 people, the Russians who have
arrived there and, in Finland, 25,000.
So tens of thousands of Russians leaving their country, leaving behind their country, which is at war against Ukraine -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Jim Bittermann is in Paris.
Well, Russians also making their way to this part of the world; not least, for example, to Dubai in the UAE. Once safely out of Russia, people are
finding ways to push back against the Kremlin's brutality, as they seek refuge in countries like Turkey, for example. Jomana Karadsheh reports.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To protest Putin's war, top Russian rap artist Oxxxymiron canceled concerts in Russia. On Tuesday,
he kickstarted the first of his Russians against War charity gigs in Istanbul.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Proceeds from this concert streamed live, he announced, will be going to Ukraine. And donations came rolling in fast.
KARADSHEH: Tickets for this event sold out pretty much immediately. It is packed here. But not everyone is here for the music.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANATOLY, RUSSIAN CITIZEN OPPOSED TO WAR: I want to meet people with the same views as me. I want to meet with them and to feel that I'm not alone
with this position.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): And 28-year-old Anatoly is not alone. Many here left Russia in recent days, escaping a crackdown on dissent, where
thousands have been detained at protests. Even calling Putin's invasion what it is, a war, has been criminalized.
MASHA KOLGA, RUSSIAN CITIZEN OPPOSED TO WAR: When we are posting something on social media, at least we know that nobody is going to come for us. But
back home, even now, they have a new law, if you post something, that you can be arrested.
At least we can speak up from here.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Like many of those here tonight, Masha and Daria have no plan. They just bought plane tickets and left the country.
DARIA BARABANOVA, RUSSIAN CITIZEN OPPOSED TO WAR: (INAUDIBLE) down sanctions and it is not feelings -- we are not feeling safe there. They're
afraid of this Iron Curtain thing.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): They're here to help Ukraine, they say. It's the least they can do.
KOLGA: It is very hard to feel that you are on the side of an aggressor. It's like you feel responsibility, you feel shame. You also are a victim of
the situation because, back home, it didn't feel like -- it is very hard to understand, what can you do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARADSHEH (voice-over): The crowd spontaneously chants what they couldn't back in Russia: no to war.
Tonya just arrived in Istanbul. She says she was detained and fined in St. Petersburg for taking part in a protest. She had to leave her parents
behind. Opposing the war has even torn apart her own family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONYA, RUSSIAN CITIZEN OPPOSED TO WAR: They watch TV. And they listen to propaganda. And it is really hard because, now, many, many families in
Russia are divided between these two sides, those who are against war and those who, unfortunately, support. But they even don't know what do they
KARADSHEH: Tonya, do you have hope that you will have a future in your country some day?
TONYA: During the Putin regime, no. No. Definitely not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARADSHEH (voice-over): There is so much uncertainty here. It is the fear of the unknown. Many don't know when or if they'll be able to go back home.
ANDERSON: Jomana Karadsheh with that report out of Turkey for you.
The Bolshoi Ballet is considered the crown jewel of the Russian culture market. Now that crown has lost a diamond. One of its stars has quit over
Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Here is Olga Smirnova, dancing in "Gisele." The ballet's first performance at the Bolshoi was in 1842. The prima ballerina, whose grandfather is
Ukrainian, has now joined the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam.
Before leaving, she wrote, "I never thought I would be ashamed of Russia. I have always been so proud of talented Russian people, of our culture and
athletic achievements. But now I feel that a line has been drawn that separates the before and the after."
Smirnova's first performance premieres in Amsterdam is "Raymonda," which premieres in early April.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Still to come, taking control of the game while still wondering about their fate. More details about Chelsea
Football Club's next step in what is our sports update for you.
ANDERSON: Since he started war, President Zelenskyy of Ukraine has been in the news and on international screens every day. But Netflix thinks we need
to see a different side of him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE")
ANDERSON (voice-over): It's bringing back Volodymyr Zelenskyy's satirical series, "Servant of the People." The show was originally on the platform
from 2017 to 2021. In it, Mr. Zelenskyy plays a teacher who goes on a rant against corruption and unexpectedly becomes president after the video goes
It was a case of life imitating art. The series ended in 2019, when Zelenskyy chose to run for president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)