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Connect the World

Russia: De-Escalation Around Kyiv "Not a Ceasefire"; Netherlands asks Citizens to use Less Gas; 11 Killed in the Past Week in three Attacks by Militants; CNN asks Slovenian PM about Ukraine's Proposals to Russia; Ukrainian Lawmaker Staying in Kyiv to Defend City; CNN Says Goodbye to Expo 2021 Dubai. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 30, 2022 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: This hour after what seemed like some progress in talks with Ukraine, Russia now says there were no

major breakthroughs. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome back to "Connect the World".

I want to begin with a question tonight. Is there any evidence to back up Russia's claims its scaling back its combat operations around the Ukrainian

capital Kyiv found the northern city of Chernihiv?

Well, the answer coming from Ukraine and the U.S. Pentagon is an emphatic no. In fact, there is evidence the Kremlin is actually intensifying its

bombing. Today in Chernihiv, the Mayor tells CNN the city came under fire in what he calls a colossal attack.

And I must warn you, this next video that I'm about to show you does contain graphic images. These are the streets of Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv.

And you can see the extent of the death and destruction there.

Ukraine's interior ministry telling CNN that Irpin is littered with Russian mines and booby traps. Now this is a U.S. official tell CNN Russian

President Vladimir Putin is being misinformed by senior advisors about just how poorly Russia's military is performing because they are they believe

too afraid to tell him the truth.

Continued support for Ukraine expected to be the main topic as the U.S. and Ukrainian presidents holds a phone call that call was expected to start

moments ago according to the White House and we will get you any news from that call, as we get it.

Well, Ukraine and Russia agreed to three evacuation corridors at least out of Mariupol, Melitopol and Enerhodar today. That's that news today. Earlier

I spoke to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who is in Lviv in Ukraine about just how hard it is to get people out on these

sorts of routes. Have a listen.


FILIPPO GRANDI, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES: I just spoke to some of my colleagues by UNHCR colleagues of the team here who were based in

Mariupol and some of them managed to get out some others are inside and we cannot communicate with them at this point.

These are our colleagues, but those who came out told me about the extent of the suffering. So I think that we need those windows to be able to bring

relief and maybe to help people get out. But you know, we've spoken about this corridor safe passage for a long time, the U.N. the Red Cross, we were

able to help a couple of times we helped in Sumy, We helped in Kharkiv, just last week.

But to do that, we need firm commitment that there will be no fighting and we need a bit of time you cannot do these things in a couple of hours. You

need time to get in, distribute and help people get out. It's very complex, and it needs those reassurances. Otherwise, we cannot do it.


ANDERSON: Well, that's Filippo Grandi, the Head of the UNHCR; I want to show you this map now. It highlights the places near Kyiv, where Russian

troops are still operating mostly to the northwest as you can see and the north east of the city.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen spoke with residents and Ukrainian troops in the capital to find out what they make of Russia's pledge to pull back their

military operations, have a listen.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Even after Russia announced it plans to withdraw most forces from around Kyiv, the fighting

continues. Residents we spoke to told us they don't believe Moscow's words are for real deal.

On the one hand, they retreat and on the other they will transfer their efforts to other positions, Alexander says so it's difficult to talk about

it withdrawal. I do not believe in it. And it's probably just a rotation says Yuriy.

It's a regrouping of their troops. Despite its forces being stalled near Kyiv for weeks Russia claims it will withdraw because it has achieved its

military objectives, and now wants to make a positive gesture to Ukraine.

Moscow's negotiating team said after talks in Istanbul. A decision was made to radically at times reduce military activity in the Kyiv and Chernihiv

directions, said Russia's deputy defense minister.

But the Russians also made clear this is not a ceasefire and the sounds of heavy battles still reverberate around the capital. But the territorial

defense forces at this checkpoint say make no mistake. If the Russians really do withdraw, it's because they lost.

YURIY MATSARSKI, UKRAINE TERRITORIAL DEFENSE FORCES: From the first days of war it was obvious with the Russians will be defeated on the battlefield in

the diplomatic field and political field. It what's out of the questions?


PLEITGEN (voice over): Well many here hope the battle for Kyiv could end soon the toll both in blood and infrastructure is massive. And

parliamentarian Roman Hryshchuk tells me he's not sure Ukrainians will ever be able to trust Russia again.

PLEITGEN (on camera): How long do you think it could take to make relations better again, before there can be trust between Russia and Ukraine again?


PLEITGEN (on camera): Trust towards the Russians, I would say.

HRYSHCHUK: I think it will be years and years may be hundreds of years. And you know, every people in Ukraine lost - house of relatives or friends in

this world. And our children, they have an - in shelters, they listen to this bombs, and it's for ages.

PLEITGEN (voice over): While both Ukrainian and Russian negotiators say talks to end this war are progressing, few in the capital trust that piece

could be coming soon. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kyiv Ukraine.


ANDERSON: I want to get you now some satellite images aren't you on the show the destruction of the besieged city of Mariupol. It would be hard to

imagine this scale of devastation without actually seeing entire city blocks obliterated.

Homes, markets, theaters, whole neighborhoods reduced to ashes. And you can see in these photos, how it looks in one part of Mariupol before and after

the Russian bombs fell. This was once a vibrant city now left in ruins.

And we're also getting new images of the Mariupol Theatre, which was sheltering civilians when Russia bombed it earlier this month. Ukrainian

officials say about 300 people inside were killed.

A survivor is speaking to CNN about her family's terrifying experience. Up to 1300 people inside when Russia bombed that theater. Here's CNN's Ivan

Watson with a heartbreaking story of survival.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This was the Mariupol drama theater before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, a

cultural and architectural symbol of the city. And when the Russian military laid its deadly siege of Mariupol, the theater became a safe


MARIA KUTNYAKOVA, MARIUPOL THEATER BOMBING SURVIVOR: Six people with a cat, we go on the street and Russian dung started to shooting us and we run in

with craziness and then we go to the theater. And you know what in the theater a lot of people they was like was, be OK, we have a food they give

us a tea. And they said like you should find a place where you could like, like a bet.

WATSON (voice over): This woman and her family recently escaped from Mariupol.

KUTNYAKOVA: My name is Maria Kutnyakova I'm from Mariupol, I am Maria from Mariupol.

WATSON (voice over): On the morning of March 16 Maria, her mother, sister and cat joined hundreds of other civilians sheltering in the theater.

Footage from March 10th shows families huddled there in the dark, feeling protected perhaps by the signs, --children and Russian that volunteers

posted outside the building. Shortly after arriving, Maria went to check whether an uncle who lived nearby was still alive.

KUTNYAKOVA: Now I hearing that noise of the plane, like bombs plane, we know how it's - you know this noise because it is bombed every day.

WATSON (voice over): She returned to the theater to find it destroyed.

KUTNYAKOVA: So I understand that my family in this theater and everyone screaming the names, you know, like mama, papa, Lucia, Sasha, and I'm -

calling like mom, --.

WATSON (voice over): Footage of the immediate aftermath shows dazed civilians covered in dust, while the roof over the main auditorium had

completely collapsed.

KUTNYAKOVA: When the theater was bombed, my sister was standing with the window and the window was like blow up, and she's fallen down. And my mom

was in another part of the theater and wall fallen to her.

WATSON (voice over): Maria's mother and sister were wounded, but survived.

WATSON (on camera): Your sisters, she's doing all right.


WATSON (on camera): Really?

KUTNYAKOVA: She's like, come through there.

WATSON (on camera): She's got a concussion.

KUTNYAKOVA: Yes, yes, yes.

WATSON (voice over): Shortly after the initial strike on the theater, Maria says what was left of the building came under a fresh artillery attack.

KUTNYAKOVA: Everyone starts screaming that theater is on fire. So we should run and we ran in, bad Russians bombed it, so we run in from the theater

and bombs was like dis, dis, dis.

WATSON (voice over): It eventually took nine days for Maria and her family to get through Russian checkpoints and reach relative safety in Ukrainian

controlled territory.

WATSON (on camera): You've seen very positive and upbeat right now.

KUTNYAKOVA: I'm a descendant and I'm very lucky. You understand like thousands and hundreds people still in Mariupol and they bombed.


KUTNYAKOVA: They have no food, no water. They have no medicine, nothing and I'm going to send them. I'm very lucky. Like I have my arms, I have my

legs. What I need anymore, nothing.

WATSON (on camera): And your family.

KUTNYAKOVA: Yes, my family. My cat is in safe, so--

WATSON (on camera): This is little --Mischka. She's a two year old cat. And she survived the bombing of the Mariupol Theater with her family. And

they're now headed to Western Ukraine in this bus.

WATSON (voice over): But no one knows how many people may have died under the rubble. Russia has denied that its forces bombed the theater and

Russian state TV recently showed what was left of it after Russian troops moved into this part of the city.

Judging by the damage, the Russian reporter claims it was bombed from the inside. He alleges there is information that Ukrainian nationalists

organized a terrorist attack here, a claim that people inside the theater strongly reject.

WATSON (on camera): Are you angry right now?

KUTNYAKOVA: No, I want that Russian just go away. This is Ukrainian territory. I don't understand why they come in and tell me that it's not my

land. They're not fighting with the army. They're fighting with every citizen.

You know, they bombed hospitals, they bombed kinder gardens, they bombed their houses of peaceful people, they're not fighting with armies.

WATSON (voice over): Maria and her family rushed to a waiting van. The driver will take them for free to Western Ukraine, where Maria hopes her

sister can safely recover from her injuries.


ANDERSON: Well, Ivan Watson is in Zaporizhzhia, south western Ukraine, so Mariupol residents managing to escape to that city. Maria's story is

absolutely remarkable. And one hopes that her family the cat has made it out. And you've been talking to people who've also escaped. What are they

telling you?

WATSON: I mean its similar stuff basically daily around the clock bombardment, that they endure, no services, in the cold in their homes or

in their basements. No food, no water, if somebody gets sick or injured, and no access to health care.

And then when people do finally get up here to the city of Zaporizhzhia, and I mean, look behind me, you've got a river, there are people hanging

out walking their dogs walking with their families. The evacuees look a bit shell shocked.

And it's understandable because for them, this is the first kind of peace and calm that they've seen in a month. And this is also after they've

undergone the additional indignity and fear of going through Russian military checkpoints where they are searched, where their phones are

searched, the same military that has been destroying their city.

And then they finally reach here. And they are again a bit shell shocked. This city so far spared the ground war, but located just a half hour's

drive from Russian military positions and Russian tanks. So families like Maria's yes, they took a couple of days to take a deep breath and try to

get over the trauma that they've endured. But then they did not waste any time.

They've moved further west deeper into Ukrainian controlled territory, because it's still simply too scary for them to be this close to the

Russian military. And this is a city where it is blacked out at night.

There are curfews here, and there are air raid sirens. And there's a lot of security here because it is an emergency situation. And especially now with

talk of Russia and its military de-escalating in the north of the country and focusing on the Donbas that is near to here that is southeastern

Ukraine. And that raises the stakes and the fears and the feelings of insecurity in cities like this, Becky.

ANDERSON: The realities of this war on the ground, Ivan, thank you. Well, Europe is on edge as it enters an economic standoff with Russia over these

gas supplies. Germany has issued an early warning today that there could be natural gas shortages after Russia threatened to cut off supplies if it

wasn't paid in rubles.

Remember Germany gets so much of its gas from Russia, the Netherlands also bracing for an energy crunch, the Dutch government planning a campaign to

encourage the public to use less gas.

Let's bring in David McKenzie. He's live out of London for you today. And you know, clearly the European countries are very concerned at this point

about what could be an extremely difficult situation. One should Russia turn off those gaps and anyway as the Europeans try and wean themselves off

this gas. What do we know, David?


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky weaning off the gas will take some time in some 40 percent of European Union gas is provided by

Russia. And that places the union in a very awkward position at the moment while they've put very crippling sanctions on Vladimir Putin's government.

There is now this potentially escalating situation. The German economic minister saying that hospitals, businesses, even households should try and

limit their use of natural gas. As you say, putting it on this early warning, this first level of an early warning that there might be a squeeze

on gas supplies, also coming from the Dutch government and other governments and it speaks to the possible political cost.

The fog, of course, nowhere near the level of cost being dealt with by the Ukrainian people about the cost that will be coming to the European Union

and voters in the European Union. The regional bloc has been remarkably united in pushing for sanctions giving lethal and non-lethal aid to the

Ukrainian government. This will be the first sign I think that there could be economic pain ahead.

And if the Russian government chooses to try and force them to pay in rubles as opposed to Euros and dollars, something that the economic

minister on Monday called blackmail, then you really could have a very serious standoff between Russia and the EU.

And you could see shortages coming in. It's not at that point yet. They still are reserves. But this is something that could escalate if this

conflict drags on for many weeks and months ahead, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, David McKenzie on the story out of London. Thank you. Well, ahead on this show, it was an unflinching show of support. Three European

Union leaders visited Ukraine's president in Kyiv with the city under bombardments.

I'm sure you will recall that visit, week or so ago. We're going to speak to one of them the prime minister of Slovenia, about that visit, the

intention and what was achieved. And this hour as Israelis have seen this several times in the past week the funeral of someone killed by a militant,

a look at what is causing this spike in violent attacks, after this.


ANDERSON: Well, a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe, that is how David Beasley the Head of the World Food Program is describing food and security

inside of Ukraine. And with Russia and Ukraine being key global suppliers of wheat and corn, this crisis has the potential to stretch far beyond the

conflict zone.

A few hours ago, I was here at EXPO with the president of the International Fund for Agricultural development about just how bad this could get. Have a




GILBERT HOUNGBO, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT: What I'm very, very much worried about is the supply side, the

supply of the input that the producers require to really keep up with the product with the production, and particularly for the small scale producers

and in the low income countries, and the lower middle income countries, particularly countries that are net, net energy importers, or food


ANDERSON: You and I are meeting here in Dubai; we're in the Gulf, the wider Middle East and Africa region is very food insecure, we know that. And

dependent to the tune of some 40 percent on wheat and corn exports from Ukraine. Can you just explain how the war in Ukraine is, could affect this


HOUNGBO: Is already affecting --, you have some countries in the Gulf; they invest a lot in Ukraine, in Russia for the production, so that that could

be part of the food security strategy.

And the war that is happening automatically shut down that door, which is one. Secondly, you have a lot of I will tell you a story of a small

business family in Ghana, bakery products, that all of sudden, overnight, they have to stop the production, which they've been doing for 20 years.

One, because of shortage of supply, secondly, because of the price increases, the demand is not there anymore.

ANDERSON: You'll give me an example from Ghana. One assumes that that is echoed in places like Yemen.

HOUNGBO: Yes, exactly.

ANDERSON: And in Egypt and in Syria.

HOUNGBO: And Somalia.

ANDERSON: A decade ago, this region was on fire and the conflicts that were created by an increase in bread prices, a food and security story, the

repercussions of those protests and that insecurity is still playing out today. Are you concerned that if we see similar issues with food security

that this region could be could be headed for conflict again?

HOUNGBO: It's very, very clear the nexus between the food and security and the social peace, the food insecurity and the social cohesion and the

resentment that the population will feel, and very often what we have seen over the years, that coupled with the challenge we are facing in terms of

inequality in the society just exacerbate the global situation. So the danger of increased conflict is very high.


ANDERSON: Well, for the third time in a week, a militant attack has left Israeli citizens dead. The latest incident happened Tuesday night near Tel

Aviv a gunman opened fire in a mostly Orthodox community, killing five people.

Police eventually shot and killed the attacker. Five people connected to the government have been arrested. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is claiming

responsibility for that attack. And says it was in response to a meeting earlier this week of our foreign ministers and Israeli officials. CNN's

Hadas Gold is in Israel with the very latest; let's just talk about the why here.

Certainly that these attackers say this was in response to a summit held in the Negev desert this week attended by Israel and four Arab countries

historic in and of itself. Just explain the context to what we are seeing here.

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, Becky, tensions have been rising for some time. There have been several stabbing attacks in Jerusalem

shootings of Palestinians in the West Bank by Israeli security forces. But this past week has been particularly deadly in Israel.

There have been three attacks that have taken place in the past week, the death toll now at 11. Last night here on this street in Bnei Brak, a very

ultra-orthodox city just east of Tel Aviv, an assailant came down the street with an M 16 Rifle shooting actually two Ukrainian citizens just

behind me in front of this convenient store before shooting a driver and then a father holding his young baby before police didn't engage with him.

He did manage to shoot one of those police officers who later succumbed to his wounds. But as I said, this is the third attack in a week and the other

two attacks happening in other parts of Israel.

They were actually done by assailants who were affiliated at different points with ISIS. This attack on Tuesday night was done police say by a

Palestinian from the West Bank as you go to the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, taking responsibility for the attack, tying it directly to that summit in

the Negev earlier this week, but Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett saying that Israel is facing a wave of murderous Arab terrorism.


GOLD: He is promising to fight the terror with an error with an iron fist. And the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has also come out

condemning the killing and warning about rising tensions, especially because in a curious twist of the calendar this year, Becky, Ramadan,

Passover and Easter are all overlapping.

So security officials have been worried for some time that all of these holidays coming together and the tensions rising in Jerusalem and the West

Bank would only further inflame tensions. And right now they are saying that they are in a wave of terrorism, Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Hadas. Folks, I want to get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And starting today, the

Saudi led coalition says it will hold military operations in Yemen.

This is part of an effort to help peace talks between the warring factions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts in just a few days.

The move also comes as Saudi Arabia hosted its allies in Riyadh, for consultations the - back to these announced their own secession of attacks

earlier this week.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing a no confidence vote, there is speculation he may be forced to resign. Mr. Khan's biggest ally in the

National Assembly is switched to the opposition party.

They now have 177 votes more than enough to depose Mr. Khan. And the Nigerian military is trying to find passengers who were kidnapped during an

attack on a train. Official say an armed gang bombed the trains between a Buddha and Kaduna forcing the train to stop then open fire.

Eight passengers were killed 26 were injured. And it's unclear how many were taken. But more than 360 were on board. Well ahead on this show, I

speak to the Slovenian prime minister after his and asked him to weigh in on Ukraine's latest proposal to Russia.


ANDERSON: A U.S. official says Washington believes that Vladimir Putin senior advisors are missing forming the Russian president just about how

poorly Russia's military is performing in his war against Ukrainian. Officials also saying the advisors they believe the advisors aren't

revealing the true economic impact of Western sanctions because they are too afraid to tell him the truth.

Well inside Ukraine officials rejecting Russian claims of de-escalation around Kyiv and Chernihiv. This video first posted online showing the

aftermath of what the Chernihiv's Mayor is calling a colossal attack that happened overnight and happening despite apparent progress in peace talks.


ANDERSON: Well, my next guest is one of the three European leaders who visited Kyiv to meet with President Zelenskyy about two weeks ago, to

express their support for Ukraine. You can see him during that visit here in blue.

Well, Janez Jansa is the Prime Minister of Slovenia, and joins me now from the capital, Ljubljana. How did you find President Zelenskyy when you saw



ANDERSON: Good morning.

JANSA: We found President Zelenskyy determined to fight. And after our visit, I'm convinced 100 percent that Ukraine will win. But the time is of

essence, because every day people are dying. So we have to do everything we can to support them to help them to defend themselves.

ANDERSON: Well, we need to find a solution to all of this don't mean everybody wants an end to what's going on. What do you understand to be the

details of Ukraine's proposal for Russia after yesterday's talks, and what do you make of that proposal?

JANSA: Then we spoke with President Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Shmyhal and their colleagues, they told us that Ukraine after what happens, they

are prepared to change the constitution, they are prepared to propose to their nation for referendum, changing the constitution and abandoning their

wish to join NATO.

But at the same time, they want institutional guarantees for their security. And they see this, this institutional guarantees for the security

in the full membership of the European Union, and some stronger guarantees from the world's powers than they got in Budapest Memorandum 1994. So I

think that they're serious.

ANDERSON: Can you just be a little clearer about that. Yes.

JANSA: But I think that they realized, sadly, that they need, they need NATO now. And they don't have NATO membership, and Article Five guarantees,

so why to stick with this goal because currently, it's not helping them.

So they made I think they made some kind of pragmatic, pragmatic decision. Because after they will win this war, I think that there will be NATO

wanting them to join. The situation will be quite different than it is, when they will win this war, the Ukrainian army will be one of the

strongest if not the strongest army on the European continent aside of Russia. But this last sentence also questionable.

So I think that now that the ball is on in our field in the European fields, when we go to provide as fast as possible track to the full

membership and on NATO members or democratic countries across the world, to support Ukraine read as much military help as possible, because this is the

only thing which was --.

ANDERSON: Yes and let's talk about that because the U.S. is working with Slovakia to identify the requirements that will allow them to give S300 to

Ukraine. Many countries, many countries have been quite frankly, hesitant to send Soviet era air defense systems to Ukraine.

Is the hesitation to your mind due to the possibility that that would provoke Russia to extend this assault this attack into Europe? And do you

support any offers of S300s, for example, the Turks have said they're not sending their S400s.

They're theirs, and they need their own defense. Do you support the offer any offer of S300 air defense missile systems to Ukraine at this point?

JANSA: Yes, I support this because this is the equipment the Ukraine needs, needs the most because they are against the defense for the middle and high

altitudes and Russia is dominating those two parts of the sky.


JANSA: So I support this, but I don't support speaking a lot about what we are giving them. I'm supporting strongly to deliver and not to speak about

this. And there are some countries which are helping, but they are not speaking about this help. And there are some countries which are speaking

can of course, unfortunately, there are some countries which are reluctant to do something.

ANDERSON: Do you want to be a bit more specific?

JANSA: For those countries who are helping and they don't want to speak about it. I won't be I don't want to be specific. But those countries that

are reluctant to help, well we don't know for sure, which countries they are because some of the countries they are delivering the help, but they

are denying it publicly because of different reasons.

ANDERSON: This is really - yes. This is really interesting. Sorry, - by mistake, but this is really interesting, because we're being told that

there's this real sense of unity. And let's be quite clear, there has been a real coming together by Europe and the U.S. by the NATO allies to ensure

this kind of, you know pincer light reaction on Russia. But are you telling me that behind the scenes, everything is not as unified in Europe as we

might be led to believe.

JANSA: But frankly, speaking, as you said, our unity is much bigger than it was expected, especially bigger than it was expected from Kremlin. It was

also bigger than I expected because I was aware of the details. And Russian aggression really found us on the left foot and prepared, frankly speaking,

but if we calculate everything what we are doing, I don't think it is enough.

I strongly support the demand from President Zelenskyy delivered on the last NATO Summit. When he said please friends, give us one 1 percent of

your military reserves and we will be able to defend ourselves and we are not altogether. We are not giving them 1 percent of our reserves. Some

country is and country evens more.

ANDERSON: I understand.

JANSA: But not all.

ANDERSON: Your country is one of Europe's most dependent countries in terms of Russian oil and gas imports, but you've expressed support for Europe's

push to phase out that dependence. What are you doing to achieve that and what will the short term shock effects look like in Sylvania?

JANSA: First of all, thanks got the spring is coming. So, so the winter is over. And we are doing everything we can to get rid of this dependency till

the end of this year. We are speaking with neighboring countries with some other countries for the alternative sources and also the roots of supply.

We will build other pipelines. Yesterday I visited - Croatia we discussed how to cooperate with the increasing costs of LNG terminal in their country

to be able also to supply Slovenia and some other countries of the Central Europe.

So I think that this - finishing the dependency on the Russian and arrogance will happen much sooner than Kremlin is acting. But of course

currently we are facing a really sad story because with the payments for the Russian gas and oil and coal, we are practically financing the

aggression and the war.

ANDERSON: Are you prepared to pay for Russian energy in rubles while you are still dependent on it?

JANSA: No, no, nobody in Europe is prepared to pay in rubles. This is also against the contracts which were signed. And I think that the message from

our ministers was very clear. I saw yesterday the message from the G7 minister, so nobody will pay in rubles, I believe. Actually we don't know

how they look like.


ANDERSON: Prime Minister, it's good to have you on, Sir. I know you're a busy man. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

JANSA: Thank you very much. And thank you for everything, you are going to covering.

ANDERSON: Slovenian Prime minister for you folks. Thank you. Well, one Ukrainian lawmaker is fighting back against Russia's war on her country. My

colleague Christiane Amanpour has that story, coming up.


ANDERSON: Well, even as the death toll rises and the humanitarian crisis deepens, we are still seeing the resilience the spirit of so many

Ukrainians. CNN met up with a member of the Ukrainian parliament who is armed and is ready to defend her country. Christiane Amanpour has her



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voice over): Day 34 of war and the sounds are all around. Yes, that sort of disturbs your day all

the time. But you learn to live with it.

AMANPOUR (voice over): Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko says that after a month of this she like her president and country folk believe the Russians will

never take this city, they'll fighting does continue in the suburbs.

She wanted to meet here at Maidan Square where Ukrainian stood up for their rights in 2014 and brought down Putin's wrath and his revenge. Given his

battlefield setbacks, though, I asked whether his shifting demands make a diplomatic compromise easier for Ukraine to accept.

AMANPOUR (on camera): Now there's word we don't know whether it's going to bear fruit, but that they might allow Ukraine to join EU as long as you

renounce the NATO. Is that a compromise that Ukraine would accept?

LESIA VASYLENKO, UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: All of this started 34 days ago, because one country cannot declare itself more sovereign than another

country. And Russia tried to do just that.

We cannot go for that compromise, because that compromise to Putin would also mean a compromise of the general framework of defense and security of

the world, giving in to dictator's means incentivizing them.

AMANPOUR (voice over): Ukraine's dramatic resistance surprised the whole world, including Vladimir Putin.

VASYLENKO Three days they gave us right, Putin thought he would be here in a matter of hours. We are doing this for our very survival and when the

survival instinct kicks in, people can do amazing things, people become superheroes and this is what you're witnessing in Ukraine.

AMANPOUR (voice over): Lesia is armed with her guns. The AK 47 is at home today, but she shows me her pistol held close to her heart.

AMANPOUR (on camera): Lesia when we spoke in the first week of the war before I got here you said I've got my machine gun and you've tweeted that

I've also got my manicures.


AMANPOUR (on camera): Your resistance takes many, many forms. And you're actually carrying your pistol round.

VASYLENKO: I am, I am. I do have my pm with me and I carry it actually with me all the time.

AMANPOUR (on camera): And did you ever imagine in your life, that as an MP in 2022, in Ukraine, you'd be forced to carry a gun around?

VASYLENKO: No, never, never. I'm actually very much anti-gun. And this gun caused a lot of problems for me, because in order to recharge it, you have

to sort of like do this thing. And that was the nail that had very nice, beautiful long nails. It was impossible to do. So they had to come off.

AMANPOUR (on camera): And just so people are clear, the idea of beauty, self-maintenance is also resistance.

VASYLENKO: Yes, all jokes aside, it's an important element for all women who are fighting alongside demand for care. The women still want to be

beautiful, they still want to have dignity as women.

AMANPOUR (on camera): And to be human.

VASYLENKO: And to be human.

AMANPOUR (on camera): You basically said Putin that Ukraine doesn't exist as a nation. You don't exist as a people.

VASYLENKO: And we say to him, life goes on we carry on living your war you're fighting against us is in the background now. And we'll go on

fighting it for as long as we have to, but we will go on living at the same time.

AMANPOUR (voice over): She is still an MP, parliament is still passing laws. And since an army marches on its stomach, this tool is their fight

their war effort. And so the ordinary becomes extraordinary, feeling - as if they were stacking up bullets. This trendy brunch and bar has turned

into a wartime canteen, chopping onions in a frenzy of efficiency and purpose.

AMANPOUR (on camera): Do you feel you're going to win?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, we must destroy the Russian army.

AMANPOUR (on camera): You said, you must destroy the Russian army?


AMANPOUR (voice over): So they helped turn out 600 meals a day and counting for the army and territorial defense for hospitals and shelters. Outside

Lesia shows me the pictures of her three young children who she's had to send away for their safety.

VASYLENKO: This is my baby from this morning.

AMANPOUR (on camera): And how long?

VASYLENKO: She's going to be 10 months in just a couple of days.

AMANPOUR (on camera): It must be painful to be without her.

VASYLENKO: It is and she's sort of looking at you like really, really, mummy? Really, you're going to be away from me.

AMANPOUR (voice over): Staying on the frontlines with this struggle comes at a huge personal cost. But Lesia has no doubts.

VASYLENKO: I am where I have to be. I mean, things happen for a reason. I'm a firm believer and that there's a reason why I was elected in 2019. We

have a task, we have a duty and we will complete it and then we will see where life takes us.

AMANPOUR (voice over): Christiane Amanpour, CNN Kyiv.


ANDERSON: Well, Nic Robertson is joining us now live from Brussels where he's been monitoring the latest on the diplomatic efforts to try and end

this bloody war. It is remarkable when you see Christiana's report there, the spirit and resilience of people in Ukraine.

Nobody though, wants this war to go on a moment longer. The Kremlin says, though, that there have been no breakthroughs in Russia, Ukraine talks yet.

So clearly, despite this sort of, you know, slight optimism yesterday, there is a lot of work to be done before this comes to an end, Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, because Russia wants peace on its terms, this is very clear and its terms are that Ukraine

is part of it so should be subjugated to the armed forces.

The Ukrainians have said very clearly from the beginning, and we heard, interestingly from Dmitry Peskov, the President Putin spokesman today

saying it was good that Ukrainians had finally sort of written down and made some concrete proposals about ending or bringing about peace.

Ukrainians have been very clear from the beginning, the Russians from the beginning have said Ukrainians were coming to the negotiating table not

knowing what they wanted.

Ukrainians, however, been very clear, which is no to an invasion. And now you have invaded, get your invading forces out. There's a complete

difference of opinion here. Of course, this is, you know, the substance of what goes into peace talks.

And that's why the talks yesterday, because there was some substance in it gave some room for optimism a glimpse that perhaps what a possible a peace

deal could look like. But the two sides are so far apart.

And I think one of the interesting things from today has been Sergei Lavrov in China meeting with his counterpart. The foreign minister there, both of

them saying you know, they're ready to strengthen their strategic partnership and make the relationship even stronger.


ROBERTSON: When you're standing here outside the European Commission building, listening to the diplomats here, the head or the sort of senior,

most person on the China portfolio for the European Parliament has made it very clear that if China does decide to back and support Russia more than

it's done already, he said, then the European Union needs to take a very tough line indeed, you know, take measures against China.

So, you know, when you look at it in this magnitude, we are really still in the early stages of all of this. Early stages of the fallout of the war,

early stages of the discussion of how to end it, and clearly, clearly a complete difference of opinion on what an end state would look like.

ANDERSON: We know that President Zelenskyy and Joe Biden, the U.S. President are speaking lightly as you and I speaking as soon as we get the

readout of that, we will get it to our viewers meantime, we also know that U.S. president spoke to European leaders yesterday about sanctions. Do we

have any idea what came out that the detail of what might happen next?

ROBERTSON: Well, I think yesterday, we saw some of the indications of what will happen next that quite a number of Russian diplomats were turfed out

of European countries far from, far from Ireland, one from the Czech Republic, 21 from here in Belgium, 17 from the Netherlands.

You have the Elysee Palace, President Macron's office today, reminding French businesses that it is their duty to comply with sanctions and

essentially shut down business dealings with Russia. And there was a French business that did that yesterday, Decathlon shut a sports business shutting

down its relations with Russia.

So I think the context of that conversation was again, unity was about making sure that all sanctions are followed through that that loopholes and

are plugged in the sanctions. The nature of that the call yesterday was again, in the context of this has a long way to go. We're just at the

beginning in terms of diplomacy, and it seems very much so many phases of the facing yet to go.

ANDERSON: Nic, thank you, Nic Robertson is our International Diplomatic Editor. He's in the right place there in Brussels. As we continue to stay

on the story, our coverage of the Ukraine, Russia crisis continues, of course.

Let's pause for a moment because over the last six months, you might have seen us regularly here at our studio at Expo 2020. Well, we have come to

our last day here at what has been the largest gathering of people since the start of the pandemic.

Coming up on connect the world, we take a look back at what we've seen and heard some of the conversations that we have had, and some of the

experiences that people the 20 million plus people who have been through this World Fair have had, more than that after this.



KAUTILYA KATARIYA, GUINNESS RECORD HOLDER, YOUNGEST COMPUTER PROGRAMMER: Technology based on AI is starting to affect the running of our daily life.

We usually when we say hello Google or Merhaba Alexa, so I think that the government should start educating.


KATARIYA: And maybe include computing NAI in the school curriculum, not only for awareness, but also take knights interest and passion in young

people like me.


ANDERSON: Well, that is Kautilya Katariya, an eight year old, eight year old computer programmer, the youngest in the world. And I spoke with him

earlier today about what he believes governments should do to foster the challenge of more Whiz Kids like him.

He's an extraordinary boy and representative of some of the great minds and personalities that have been here at EXPO 2020, our parting shots tonight

then, our highlights from the past six months.

Grammy Award winning artists performance groups that have toured the globe, sports stars and heroes to millions, decision makers, planning to change

the world and the innovators enacting those visions. Our time in Dubai is over for now. But this event, its memories for those who've attended, will

live on for a very long time. From us, it's a very good evening.