Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Zelenskyy: I'm Ready For Negotiations With Putin; Biden Heads To Europe This Week For High-Stakes Talks; Ukraine Rejects Russia's Demand To Surrender Mariupol. Aired 10-10:45a ET

Aired March 21, 2022 - 10:00:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Becky Anderson live from CNN's Programming Hub in the Middle East. The time here is 6 pm. You are

watching CONNECT THE WORLD. No surrender. Ukraine's message to Moscow about the besieged city of Mariupol as President Vladimir Zelenskyy appeals for

ceasefire talks with the Russian leader. But the U.S. and NATO say Vladimir Putin has not backed off his original demands. This is the 26th of Russia's

war on Ukraine and it is shaping up to be an important week for diplomacy.

We'll be watching a summit bonanza in Brussels when NATO, the G7 and the E.U. all convening meetings on the same day later this week. The U.S.

president attending those meetings in person. Joe Biden gearing up for a big trip to Europe as the E.U. says it will ramp up financial support for

military supplies for Ukraine.

Right now, I want to get you onto the ground and show you Mariupol which Russia is bombing into rubble after the southern port city refused a

Kremlin ultimatum to surrender. Local officials there say the Russians Sheldon art school were as many as 400 people may have been taking shelter.

We are trying to get information about any casualties. Funerals aren't possible. Instead, the people there are digging graves by the road and in

the streets.

Well, the Ukrainian capital will be under a new curfew from Monday night, local time until Wednesday morning. The announcement comes as new scenes of

devastation emerge in Kiev after officials say a Russian strike on a shopping center killed at least eight people. Several explosions hit the

Ukrainian capital overnight.



ANDERSON: Well, CNN's Fred Pleitgen is Kiev and sent us this report.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This area of Kiev was hit overnight into Monday and certainly the munition that was used

here seems to be absolutely massive. If we go forward, we can see over there is a mall and the parking lot of the mall where you can clearly see a

gigantic impact crater right in the middle of that parking lot. Also, there's buildings around it, that tall building absolutely destroyed in

that entire mall complex.

And the buildings around here, a lot of them were badly damaged as well. What we're hearing from the city council here in Kiev is they say that so

far, they know of eight people who have been killed in this explosion and several buildings of course damage including a school and a kindergarten as

well. What's not clear is what exactly the military objective of all of this may have been.

There certainly doesn't seem to be any military infrastructure close to here, or at least we haven't seen any. And also, this appears to be very

much a civilian area. One of the things that we found very remarkable here is we are currently on the 11th floor of a building that is pretty far away

from the explosion. We found this piece of shrapnel, this piece of shrapnel we did not find that here on the front of the building.

This went through this entire apartment and was then found in the hallway went through the front door. And of course, this would have been extremely

deadly for anybody who was in its path. The people who live here told us they bought this place about three months ago. It's a new building.

Luckily, they weren't here when the explosion took place. But if we pan down, we can see the destruction that was brought by all of this.

Obviously, a lot of glass that was broken, whole windows blown out and of course anybody who would have been laying in this bed in the bedroom would

have been in severe danger of massive injuries and possibly death especially with so much shrapnel flying around. This is very much part of

the current ongoing battle for Kiev. The U.S. and its allies say the Russians are not making much progress in that battle.

And certainly, increasingly using heavy weaponry that every once in a while certainly does land in civilian areas. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kiev, Ukraine.


ANDERSON: Well, some of the heaviest recent fighting has been around Kherson. The southern city occupied by the Russians. Ukrainian forces are

trying to take that city back but as my colleague Nick Paton Walsh reports. They haven't been able to limit the destruction from Moscow's relentless

shelling. And a warning some of the images you are about see are graphic.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is what the slow route of Russia in southern Ukraine looks like. Kiev's

forces are pushing close to Kherson, the first city the Kremlin took.

(on camera): Here, so many people being evacuated day by day, and the area quiet in contrast to these impacts we see all around in the fields, just

constant barrage over the past days.

(voice over): The bus is the last way out of here, going from door to what is left of every door.


WALSH: The village of Posad-Pokrovske has been Ukraine's last position for days. And so, this is what Russia left of it.

The noise is the village gas main leaking furiously. Putin's war of annihilation was sure not to overlook this school. Its front torn off by a

missile. It is hard to imagine life returning here even when the shelling stops which just now, it does not. We run down for cover. The Marines here

are mobile pushing forwards where they can. Kherson nearby airport their prize.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, we have a little machine.

WALSH: You're on your way to the airport?


WALSH: Daniel (ph) is a former Lebanese soldier working in T.V. Married to a Ukrainian.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two weeks ago, this place had life, and now nothing.

WALSH: The bus has filled with anyone left who wants to leave. Anyone who can move themselves. We are asked to take those who cannot. And who

remember the last time war came to Europe. As we leave, shelling hits the village. It had become a deathbed riddled with cluster munition mines this

man said.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Civilians, they killed all the civilians. These are bastards, reptiles, parasites. They don't fight troops, they fight people.

Worse than fascists. Yes worse, worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember how the Germans attacked us. They didn't mess with us like this.

WALSH: Over days, the road out there has been fought over. Its pockmarked concrete lined with these tiny peaceful worlds ripped open. This woman was

in Poland when Russians took her hometown Kherson where her children are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need to go home.

WALSH: Nikolai (ph) can't really hear the blast at his age. But sent his wife to live with his daughter in the city.


WALSH: He staged to protect whatever they have left. Shelling hits the road out again. And we drive past the earth Putin shells have happily scorched

as his army slowly loses. Whatever ground here it gained Ukraine's guns pushing them back. But Moscow imposes a cost, these barracks torn into

reduced to rubble by missile strikes that killed dozens of Ukrainian soldiers, some as they slept Friday morning in one of the worst known

losses of the war.

This trauma unit struggles with some of the 40 injured.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Girls, I need the anesthetist here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are my people? Yaroslav? Valka?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One soldier asking his friends by name. Not all injuries involve blood. The soldier was in bed on the third floor when the blast hit

and he found himself on the second with both legs smashed losing consciousness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know the enemy. In the end, the world must see and hear this. I don't know how many deaths will it take for everyone to see?

WALSH: That night, the Kremlin's blunt force hits another target around Mykolaiv. Moscow may be losing ground here, but does all it can to crush

and stifle what it cannot have. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Poroshkov, Ukraine.


ANDERSON: Well, consider this. Bombs are falling every 10 minutes in Mariupol.


ANDERSON: That is what a Ukrainian officer is telling CNN. My colleague Phil Black watching developments in Mariupol from -- for us from Lviv in

western Ukraine. And let's just be quite clear about this. This is a town which before the war, Phil was home to 450,000 people. It's been under near

constant attack since early March. And a Russian deadline for officials there to surrender has now passed. Is it clear? What happens next? And how

residents who remain are coping?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It seems that the siege, the blockade, the constant bombardment that you talked about there, Becky, that is what will

continue for some time, at least because it's been going on for weeks now. There are hundreds of thousands of people there sheltering wherever they

can. They have very little food and water. They have no available heat.

This is an effort by Russia's military to really break the will of the people and the soldiers that are defending it in the hope that they will

capitulate and hand over the city without any street-to-street fighting that difficult costly enterprise taking place. And that's what this

ultimatum was about. A proposal. It's really an ultimatum, Russia said overnight, time to stop the fight, time to get over this hand over the


And if you do so, lay down your weapons. We'll let everyone leave safely. And we'll let the aid in. Now that was swiftly rejected by Ukrainian

officials at every level. So, that means that Russia because it is determined to get this city look set to -- looks set to continue.

It is determined to get this city because it is strategically important. Ever since Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula back in 2014, there is

speculation that Russia would mount some sort of land crab to get Mariupol and the surrounding territory because that creates a land connection, a

bridge between Russian territory and the Crimean Peninsula.

It is reasonable to assume that this is one of the bare minimum military goals of Russia's invasion that is taking place. Now it is -- the defense

is coming at considerable cost over the weekend, for example. An art school was hit, there were 400 people sheltering there, mostly women, children,

the elderly. We don't know if any of them have survived. Stories like that are frequently emerging from Mariupol.

But the Ukrainian government believes that there is a reason for this defiance that it is serving a purpose. And that is, according to the

Ukrainian defense minister today that it is slowing down the Russian invasion elsewhere. It's saving Ukrainian lives in other parts of the

country. It is helping to defend other key cities like Odessa, Dnipro and even Kiev.

But having knocked back that offer to hand over the city, it means that the Ukrainians are digging in and prepared to endure still this ongoing siege

that, as I say, is inflicting great pain, great suffering upon hundreds of thousands of people every day.

ANDERSON: Sure. Phil Black is on the ground laying out for you just how frightening the story is there. And our correspondents giving you a sense

of what is going on than around Ukraine. So, what if anything can be done to prevent this conflict, grinding on and destroying more lives? Well, this

is a big week of diplomacy for everyone, not least, the U.S. President Joe Biden travels to Brussels for a NATO summit.

And two other meetings that will focus on countering Russia's invasion of Ukraine. After that, he heads to Poland for a meeting with its president to

talk about the growing humanitarian crisis. First, though, a phone call starting next hour with four European leaders to discuss a coordinated

response to Russia. White House Correspondent Arlette Saenz tracking the latest on the diplomatic front from the Washington perspective. And what

are the expectations from the White House for the coming week?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, the White House is hoping that in -- over the course of the next week that the U.S. and

allies will come together on possible measures that they can enact against Russia amid this invasion into Ukraine. Now in the next hour, President

Biden will be holding a secure call with European leaders including the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom to talk about

their coordinated response to Russia.

This comes ahead of that slew of meetings President Biden will attend in Brussels on Thursday, attending an extraordinary NATO Summit on Russia and

Ukraine, followed by a meeting with G7 leaders as well as a summit of the European Council. Now these meetings will essentially amount to a Western

show of unity against Russia but it also gives the leaders a chance to finalize and craft through some measures that they are hoping to enact.


SAENZ: American and European officials have been working behind the scenes to put together possible announcements that they could make at the end of

the NATO Summit. Some of the awesome options that could be on the table include new sanctions against Russia -- Russian oligarchs, as well as

setting up new steps to impose limits on Russian energy imports. Additionally, the leaders are expected to talk about additional assistance

both militarily and financially that they may be offer -- able to offer to Ukraine as the country continues to defend itself against Russia's


The White House has also said that President Biden during those meetings in Brussel -- Brussels will talk about China's role in this crisis just a few

days after President Biden warned Chinese President Xi Jinping that there would be consequences if China were to aid Russia in any way. Now, after

that meeting in Brussels, President Biden will travel to Poland on Friday, where on Saturday he will meet with a country's president.

Of course, Poland is a NATO ally, a neighboring country of Ukraine that has really seen this giant influx of refugees over the course of the past

month. The White House says that Biden will be discussing the humanitarian and human rights crisis and the U.S. and allies' response to that in the

wake of Russia's aggression towards Ukraine. But one place that President Biden will not be traveling this week is Ukraine.

Even as some leaders including the country's former President Poroshenko have urged President Biden to do so. The White House insists there are no

plans for the president to travel to Ukraine during this trip to Europe. Becky?

ANDERSON: Arlette, thank you. Arlette Saenz is at the White House for you. While the world answering Ukraine's calls for help for civilians at least

suffering through this war, but as the aid pours in just how will it get to those in most need. CNN is live at the Polish border. Up next.

And I want to get you behind the scenes at a scrap yard where Ukraine is repurposing Russian weapons to use against Russian troops. You're watching

CNN as we continue our coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Well, today is the 26th of Russia's war on Ukraine. in that time, a staggering 10 million Ukrainians have been forced from their homes. Many

have been displaced internally while nearly 3-1/2 million have fled the country in search of a safe haven. But despite the billions of dollars

pouring into help, delivering vital supplies inside Ukraine is becoming more difficult and more dangerous by the hour.

Well, CNN Correspondent Melissa Bell has been covering the plight of those Ukrainian refugees fleeing to neighboring Poland and she joins me now live

near Poland's border with Ukraine.


ANDERSON: And the sheer numbers of those who fled the country, Ukrainians and others almost beggars' belief, Melissa. Just explain how Poland is

coping and what the logistical challenges are here?

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: The logistical challenges are in normal just in a train station like this on Przemysl station through which

so many of there's more than two million refugees who have come across the Polish real border, amongst the 3-1/2 million who fled have made their way.

Just to give you an idea here you can see the volunteers helping out. These are people who've been working day and night because the trains arrive here

throughout the day.

Several of them day carrying 1000 to 1500 refugees. Each, Becky, they can arrive as well at nighttime. And in this station, there even a couple of

rooms that have been laid out for some of the women and children that have been arriving. 90 percent of those who've been seeing a particularly

vulnerable population that needs an awful lot of help and care as soon as it steps up -- steps off the train.

So, some of that humanitarian aid arrives here. For the very first few hours of the refugee's arrival at the train station before they can be set

up with a bed for the night. Those who will stay away from the station. Shuttle though is also, Becky, one of the big staging posts for all that

humanitarian aid that is heading into Ukraine.

Remember that this is a country and we're just hearing from Phil Black there are moments ago that is seeing those cities being bombed, being

targeted humanitarian catastrophe is really in those particular places to which the aid urgently needs to get through towns like this one.


BELL (voice over): From all over the world, boxes of donations, food, medicine and clothing, now piled high and being sorted by volunteers in a

disused warehouse at the Polish town of Przemysl. Not far from the border of Ukraine.

KATARYNA GORZALA, VOLUNTEER MANAGING AID WAREHOUSE: At the beginning, I was really surprised that so many people want to help. But now I think I am

used to it. You know, how wonderful people are.

BELL: Donations that Ukraine desperately needs. Loaded into vans to be taken to the border, and then into the war-torn country. The land routes

from Europe are now Ukraine's lifeline, the main roads humanitarian organizations use to bring in their much-needed supplies. And they are far

from safe. One Ukrainian driver who didn't want to be identified sharing some of his drive and telling us of several cliches.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we've kind of seen that civilian targets are not off limits in this crisis. And so, that's a constant issue in the back of

in the most humanitarians' minds is how do we deal with the potential risk of directed attack? How do we ensure that our aid is seen as separate from

-- as we know all of the military aid that's going into Ukraine.

BELL: Last week, Russia delivered a chilling warning.

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, we clearly said that any cargo moving into Ukrainian territory, which we would believe is carrying

weapons would be a fair game.

BELL: On Thursday, the United Nations got its first convoy of aid into the heavily damaged town of Sumy. Calling it a breakthrough for cities facing

"fatal shortages of food, water and medicine." And as the violence worsens, the need for medical supplies to help the wounded continues to grow, as

does the West's determination to help. President Joe Biden signing $13.6 billion dollars' worth of aid only last week.

ROBERT MARDINI, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL COMMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS: The bottleneck is not funds because there has been a great deal of

solidarity and generosity. So, we now really need to step up the operation and response inside the country.

BELL: In the knowledge that the longer the conflict lasts, and the more the aid is needed, the more dangerous it will become to deliver.


BELL: What I've realized, Becky, spending the last few days here at Przemysl station or not far at medica land crossing where the cars and the

pedestrians come and go, is that there's really a tragic symmetry, but we between what's happening on the ground inside Poland. And what we see just

a few days later here at the border. It isn't just that the aid leaving towns like Przemysl is going to places that are harder to get to, more

dangerous to get to.

It's also that the refugees that are now arriving here, Becky, by definition are the ones that chose to try and stay the women and children

who wanted to stay with their fighting aged men who didn't want to leave their towns, but in the end, who've been driven out after several weeks of

horrors that they we're living through and we're hearing on their lips as they made their way through this the station, the names of Kharkiv,

Mariupol, Irpin.


BELL: All those places that have been particularly hard hit, that's where they're coming from. Carrying with them all that trauma, as well as the

uncertainty of what they're now facing, Becky.

ANDERSON: Shocking. Melissa, thank you very much indeed. Melissa Bell on the story for you. Well, you may remember, one of the millions of displaced

Ukrainians from a video that went viral earlier this month. This seven- year-old girl really tugging at the heartstrings around the world when she sang a song from Frozen inside a Kiev bomb shelter. Well, yesterday she

sang Ukraine's national anthem in front of a crowd of thousands in Poland.




ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back. Now the European Union will give more money and more weapons to help Ukraine fight Russia. That's

according to Germany's finance minister speaking amid a flurry of E.U. meetings today in Brussels as we've been reporting this out.

The besieged city of Mariupol is refusing to acquiesce to Russian demands to surrender the shelling. There is so intense that a Ukrainian military

officer tells CNN bombs are falling "every 10 minutes there." Thousands did make it out over the weekend.

And a shopping mall is among the latest targets in Kiev. At least eight people were killed. You can see immense damage nearby. The capital is about

to undergo under a new curfew, just hours from now which will last through Wednesday. Well, the British defense ministry says Kiev is still Moscow's

top priority and it will likely try to encircle the capital. And as Fred Pleitgen now reports, Ukrainian forces have been holding the Russians back

at times by turning their own weapons against them.


PLEITGEN (voice over): Another setback for Vladimir Putin's army. Ukrainian forces say they destroyed this column of Russian vehicles, but believe it

or, not some might be used by the Ukrainian army soon.

This unit of Ukraine's territorial defense fixes up captured Russian military hardware. Mechanics working day in and day out often using scrap

parts to get armored vehicles back on the battlefield.


PLEITGEN (On camera): Look at all the stuff that they have here. They have old metal, cables. The guys here tell us that they use everything that they

can to make these vehicles fit again and beat Vladimir Putin with his own weapons.

(Voice-over): When we visited, the group was fixing up several armored personnel carriers and a fuel truck. They also showed us this video of

rockets they claimed they captured and which they also say had already been fired back at the Russians.

While some of the vehicles are captured during battle and the Russian crews killed or captured, often Russian soldiers simply abandon their gear and

run away, Yuri Golodof (ph), the deputy commander of this unit tells me.

The Russian soldiers are frightened and demoralized he says. They are afraid to be separated from each other because they are being shot at from

every bush. We call it safari, civilian hunters are now hunting for those Russians who fled through the forests.

The Territorial Defense Unit also trains new fighters to help defend Ukraine's capital.

And they show us some of the arms they have received from the U.S. and allied nations like this German-made Panzerfaust 3 anti-tank weapon.

Is it effective, I ask the deputy commander. Very effective to shoot tanks, he says.

Ukraine's forces continue to hold off Russian advances in Kyiv and elsewhere, but their own losses are significant as well. Both military

personnel and civilians getting killed by Russian fire. Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told CNN's Fareed Zakaria in an exclusive interview.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We are losing people on a daily basis, innocent people on the ground. Russian

forces have come to exterminate us, kill us, and we have demonstrated the dignity of our people and our army that we are able to deal a powerful

blow. We are able to strike back.

PLEITGEN: They strike back with any weapons they can get their hands on, whether those come from allies abroad or from their enemy. These fighters

say anything that drives and shoots will be put to use against Vladimir Putin's invading force. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kyiv, Ukraine.


ANDERSON: Well, away from Ukraine for just a moment. And search and rescue operations are underway after a Boeing 737-800 passenger airline crashed in

the mountains of southeast China with 132 people on board. You can see smoke rising in the distance as well as what appears to be pieces of the

plane. Now flight data shows the plane dove thousands of meters in just two minutes which raises major questions for investigators. Will Ripley is in

region. He joins me now from Taipei with the latest. Will.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIKONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, you talked about that terrifying plunge, literally in less than two minutes going from

25,000 feet to under 3000 feet presumably hitting that heavily forested, mountainous region of Guangxi. And then of course, you combine that

terrifying thought of the people who were on that plane. 132 of them, 123 pastors, nine crew members having to endure that -- those two-minute --

that two-minute freefall.

And then you see the aftermath. In these videos that have been reported on Chinese state media shared on Chinese social media, showing a huge plume of

smoke. Explosions could be heard in some of the videos, visible flames and then even pieces of plain debris. It paints a very, very grim picture. And

it is probably why, Becky, the Chinese President Xi Jinping, just in a matter of hours and unusually swift statement from President Xi saying that

he was shocked by this.

Calling for a full investigation, deploying rescue teams. When you have the president in the capital Beijing deploying teams to, you know, this

relatively remote region in the southern part of China. It just goes to show how seriously they're taking this. And Becky, they haven't had an air

disaster in China, anything close to this in more than a decade. It was 2010 the last time that they had an aircraft fatality.

An aircraft incident fatality. There were 144 people who were killed when a plane overshot the runway. So, this is shaping up really to be China's

worst air disaster in many years.

ANDERSON: Yes. What do we know about the cause of the crash? Is it clear at this point?

RIPLEY: It's not. You know, Becky, whenever we talk about these crashes, that's the first question. Is there any obvious factor here? Looking at the

weather conditions, nothing obvious there. Obviously looking at the way that the plane dropped from the sky, I'm not a crash investigator.


and so I wouldn't presume to guess what could cause a plunge like that but certainly crashes that we've covered in the past, you know, particularly

with this, you know.

This is the Boeing 3737-800. This is not the Max. This is not the plane that had that widely reported software glitch. This is a tried and tested,

you know, narrow body aircraft that is used. Scores of airlines are using it there -- at this moment there are many of them in the -- in the -- in

the air right now. So, could it have been a technical problem? Could there have been some other factor? It's just too soon to tell, Becky.

But certainly, there are families of 132 people who desperately want the answer to that question. And the more immediate question, are there any

survivors here?

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Thank you, Will. Well, Hong Kong's government finally recognizing that tolerance for its draconian COVID rules fading.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam announcing on Monday that the city will lift the bans on flights from nine countries including Australia, the U.K. and the

U.S. Now this city has been largely cut off from the rest of the world for two years now. And people are leaving in droves. Christie Lu Stout reports.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Literally driven away, thousands of Hong Kong residents have had enough. Unable to

endure life in a city which has become one of the most isolated in the world. As other countries are largely learning to live with the virus,

people here are fleeing the still oppressive COVID restrictions, and they're leaving by the thousands. Even as you're on the way out, these

residents asked us to hide their identities.

KEN, ENTREPRENEUR: I think Hong Kong used to be one of the best place to be in every single aspect, in general. And now it's losing a lot of the edge

of this advantage.

EDDIE, NURSE: If we don't need, nothing will change. You cannot change the government.

STOUT: They are leaving as the city is in the midst of a fifth wave and quickly running out of hospital beds. New isolation facilities are being

built to house the thousands of positive cases. Hong Kong's rule that all positive cases must quarantine and a government facility like this has been

pushed to the limit by the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. That same rule proved a nightmare for Laura and Nick.

We talked to them back in February when their toddler was taken from them after testing positive for COVID.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just terrific, heartbreaking.

STOUT: Just one example of the pain people across the city have had to endure. 11-month-old Eva (ph) was reunited with the parents after our


Despite the strict measures, the city is struggling to curb the number of deaths. Storage for dead bodies are at capacity and coffins are in short

supply. Professor John Nicholls at the University of Hong Kong blames the deaths on the city's lag in vaccinating its elderly, and that while the

zero COVID strategy worked in the past, it is no longer tenable.

JOHN NICOLLS, CLINICAL PROFESSOR OF PATHOLOGY, THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: The question is how much the technique would work well in mainland China

can actually be applied to Hong Kong in 2022.

STOUT: Many in Hong Kong are questioning why they've had to live through such harsh restrictions just for things to end like this. Like Allen who

has been running this gym for six years. If the city doesn't open up soon, he says his business will be dead within weeks.

ALLEN, GYM OWNER: I feel I feel lonely and sad. Every time I come to this gym without seeing the people here and look at the ground, everything just

left on the ground. I just missed the old times.

STOUT: Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam finally seems to be acknowledging the damage for China-led COVID policy has done to the economy

and the people. On Monday, she announced the city will ease some restrictions. While the leadership hopes these changes will bring back the

city's vital force. It's tough, zero COVID policy and the diminished political freedoms are throwing doubts on whether they can turn back the


At least to them it comes all too little too late. Kristie Lu stout, CNN, Hong Kong.

ANDERSON: Kristie Lu Stout reporting there. Well, still ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD how football legend David Beckham is using the power of social

media to shine a light on the heroic efforts of Ukraine's health care workers. That's after this.



ANDERSON: Well, next hour in Washington and historic Supreme Court confirmation hearing gets underway. Ketanji Brown Jackson is the first

black woman ever nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Democrats for enough votes to confirm Jackson on their own but the hearing could get

contentious with some Republicans expected to oppose the nomination. We'll be keeping an eye on that hearing for you here on CNN of course.

One of the world's most famous footballers has a message for fans who follow him on Instagram. Take a listen to David Beckham.


DAVID BECKHAM, FOOTBALLER AND UNICEF GOODWILL AMBASSADOR: Hi, everyone. So, I'm handing over my social media to Iryna, the head of the regional

perinatal center in Kharkiv, Ukraine.


ANDERSON: World Sport Amanda Davies in the house. Beckham has millions of Instagram followers. So, what is he saying that he's hoping to achieve at

this point?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Yes, Becky, a man who needs no introduction highlighting some of the work that's going on under the radar

during the war in Ukraine. And Iryna basically spent the day on Sunday, highlighting what she's doing the battle she and her team are having to go

through daily to keep children and babies born through this conflict alive.

Not necessarily injured during the war, but just the daily challenges of babies born too early or with sickness. So, really using his 71.5 million

followers and his role as a -- as a UNICEF ambassador to ask people to donate money, to help provide vital medicines and kits for Iryna and her

team to use in these such difficult times.

ANDERSON: Yes. And listen, and we report on this every single day but listening to the stories that Iryna has, she's sharing on Beckham's

Instagram, it really does hit home. it's a good cause. Good for him. David Beckham on the story as well. Thank you. World Sport after this short

break. We'll be back after that.