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Connect the World

Bodies Strewn in Street After Russian Forces Leave Bucha; Human Rights Watch Documents Alleged Russian War Crimes; Russian Airstrikes Hit Oil Facilities in Odessa; EU Leaders call for Further Sanctions on Russia; Supreme Court Delays Decision on Early Elections; Official: 2.48 Million Plus People have Fled to Poland from Ukraine. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired April 04, 2022 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: This hour a new phase of Russia's war in Ukraine is exposed as sickening scenes of mass graves

emerge from a suburb near Kyiv, reminding the world of history's cruelest moments. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome back to "Connect the World".

Well, the world needs to see the atrocities Moscow has been carrying out in Ukraine powerful words from the Ukrainian President after he himself went

to see the brutal aftermath in the town of Bucha that was following the retreat of Russian forces.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: It is very difficult to negotiate when you see what they have done here. Every day, we find people in barrels

strangled, tortured in the basement. So I think if they have anything still left to think with, they should think faster.


ANDERSON: Well, we have to warn you that the images you are about to see are disturbing. This is what remained in Bucha Ukrainian forces retook the

town. Bodies in the street, some of them apparently killed execution style. And our own CNN team saw mass graves; the mayor claiming as many as 300

people have been buried that way.

Ukrainian officials say they continue to search for bodies in Bucha and other areas surrounding Kyiv. Meanwhile, Moscow denying the allegations of

civilian killings claiming the videos is fake. In fact, they are calling for a meeting of the UN Security Council today to address the claims.

And just a short time ago at the White House U.S. President Joe Biden made his first comments about these horrific images saying and I quote you may

remember I got criticized for calling Putin a war criminal well, the truth of the matter is you saw what happened in Bucha this warrants him he is a

war criminals Biden said but we have to gather the information.

Well, CNN's Fred Pleitgen traveled to Bucha to witness the horrors of what the Kremlin calls it special military operation and again, I have to warn

you, Fred's report includes disturbing and graphic images.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But as the Russians continue to withdraw from areas here around Kyiv and towards the

border with Belarusian the Ukrainians move into these territories. I think two things are becoming increasingly clear.

On the one hand, a lot more Russian military hardware was taken out than anybody would have thought. And on the other hand, a lot more civilians

also came to harm as well. We witnessed some of that firsthand. Here's what we saw.


PLEITGEN (voice over): As Russian forces retreat from the area north of Kyiv in their wake scenes of utter destruction, whole blocks of houses

flattened Ukrainian authorities saying they believe dead bodies are still lying underneath.

But here the dead also lay in the open. Ukrainian National Police showed us this mass grave in Bucha saying they believed up to 150 civilians might be

buried here, but no one knows the exact number people killed while the Russian army occupied this town.

This is what it looks like when the hope is crushed. Vladimir has been searching for his younger brother Dmitry. Now he's convinced Dmitry lies

here, even though he can't be 100 percent sure the neighbor accompanying him with strong words for the Russians. Why do you hate us so much? She

asks, since the 1930s you've been abusing Ukraine.

You just want to destroy us. You want us gone? But we will be everything will be OK. I believe it. Video from Bucha shows bodies in the streets

after Russian forces left the area. Some images even show bodies with hands tied behind their backs.

The Russian Defense Ministry denies killing civilians and claims images of dead civilians are "Fake". But we met a family just returning to their

house in - which they say was occupied by Russian soldiers. They show us the body of a dead man in civilian clothes they had found in the backyard,

his hands and feet tied with severe bruises and a shell casing still laying nearby.


PLEITGEN (voice over): Russia's military appears to have suffered heavy losses before being driven out of the area around Kyiv. This column of

armored vehicles in Bucha completely destroyed.

PLEITGEN (on camera): The way the Ukrainians tell us is that the Russians were trying to go towards Kyiv and they were then intercepted by Ukrainian

drones, artillery and also the Javelin anti-tank weapons. It's not clear how many Russians were killed here, but they say many were and others fled

the scene.

PLEITGEN (voice over): A national police officer says the Russian troops were simply too arrogant. They thought they could drive on the streets and

just go through he says that they would be greeted as though it's alright. Maybe they think it is normal to drive around - to destroy buildings and to

mock people. But our people didn't allow it.

And now it appears all the Russians have withdrawn from here. Ukraine says it is now in full control of the entire region around Kyiv. But it is only

now that the full extent of the civilian suffering is truly coming to light.

PLEITGEN (on camera): What we saw there in Bucha was obviously awful. But unfortunately, it's not something that is necessarily unique just to that

one, a small town around the capital of Kyiv. In fact, just today, we were in various other places, various other small towns and satellite towns

around the Ukrainian capital and every single one of them we saw the same scene.

We saw utter destruction, destroyed buildings where the local authority said they're still dead people underneath, you know, dead bodies in the

street dead bodies, in backyards. And as the time progresses, as the Ukrainians make more and more inroads, and access a lot more of these

areas, unfortunately, they're probably going to find more of the same.


ANDERSON: Well, that was last night. Fred went back to the site earlier today and here's what he told my colleagues Brianna Keilar and John Berman.


PLEITGEN (on camera): Behind me, you have the mass grave here at Bucha it is right behind the main church, and what the people here have been telling

us as they've been starting to fill this grave, basically, shortly after the Russians entered this place because so many civilians were getting

killed in the process.

And you know, behind me, the authority say that there's around 150 to maybe 200 bodies inside that mass grave are ready. The mayor of Bucha has

obviously said that he believes that in total, here in this district, around 300 people might be buried in mass graves. But this is certainly one

of the main ones.

We just said some Ukrainian troops who came through here as well; obviously, everybody who comes here is deeply saddened and angered by what

they see. And the bodies that are inside that mass grave not all of them have been placed into plastic bags. Some of them are however; I still have

sort of limbs that are coming out of the top layer of soil.

And there are sort of several layers of dead bodies that are better buried here. And unfortunately, the people that we speak to on the ground, we

spoke to some of the emergency services guys, and they told us, this is not the end of it, they are still finding bodies, not so much anymore in the


However, a lot of bodies inside houses a lot inside sellers, people who took cover some who were killed in other ways. So this is certainly

something that no one here really believes is going to end anytime soon the fact that they are finding dead people in Bucha all over the place

We on the way here, we stopped an ambulance; we stopped an emergency services worker. And he told us that him and his crew and the other crews

that were picking up these dead bodies collected more than 480 in the last sort of hours in the last overnight hours alone.

So certainly you can see right now, as the Ukrainian forces have moved in here, as they've taken control here, that's where we're seeing the full

picture or starting to see the full picture of how many civilians were actually killed. And Bucha is one of those places where of course, we know

that there was that very heavy fighting going on.

There's also still a lot of destroyed Russian armor that's in the streets here. There's much more Russian armor that was destroyed that many people

would think. And also then the Russians, of course, are letting on they're of course, saying that this was a retreat that they had said was going to

happen any time they said it was orderly.

When you're on the ground here, it certainly does not look orderly at all. A lot of Russian stuff is destroyed and a lot of Russian uniforms are lying

next to destroyed vehicles because the Ukrainian say some of these Russian troops they went out so fast, they ditched their uniforms and simply ran


So it is an absolutely devastating picture here in this district of Bucha, just outside of Kyiv. And as you can see behind me that mass grave there

still are a lot of people who are coming here there's also people looking for loved ones. We saw someone just break down and cry, because he believed

that his brother was now buried here who we'd been looking for a very long time.

This is definitely something that is you know obviously hurting the people here of Ukraine as more and more focus is now coming here on this district

of Bucha Brianna.



ANDERSON: Well, the images of executed bodies lying in the streets there have sparked widespread condemnation, especially in Europe. Our Diplomatic

Editor Nic Robertson will dive into that a little later in the show. But right now I want to focus on the alleged Russian war crimes in the area.

The EU says it will carry out a joint investigation with Ukraine but the big question remains will Russia face any accountability for its actions?

Before I bring in my guest, let's just be quite clear what constitutes a war crime?

Well, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines a war crime, as a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva conventions or the laws and

customs applicable in international armed conflict, civilian's prisoners of war wounded members of the armed forces and those who have surrendered can

be victims of war crimes.

Offenses include murder, mutilation, torture, intentionally attacking civilian's rate hostage taking in the destruction of property without

military justification. Well, Human Rights Watch says it has documented several cases of Russian war crimes in Ukraine. In Bucha the group says

Russian forces rounded up five men and summarily executed.

One of them in a statement it says and I quote, a witness told Human Rights Watch that soldiers for see five men to kneel on the side of the road, pull

their shirts over their heads, and shot one of the men in the back of their head. He fell over witness said and the women present at the scene


Well, Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth joining me now live from New York. And let's caveat this by saying that your reports -

your recent reports, findings did not include reports of actions in recent weeks, particularly the shocking images that we are reporting on this hour

that we have seen emerge from Bucha over the last 24 hours or so. I just want to get your reaction to these horrific images.

KENNETH ROTH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Becky, you're absolutely right. This is just it's sickening what we're seeing. But from a

war crimes perspective, if you imagine yourself as a prosecutor in the International Criminal Court say it's not enough just to have a body.

You need to figure out, you know, why did that person die? You know, in some cases, we're getting accounts of, you know, people who are bound, you

know, who were executed. That's a clear war crime. But if somebody was killed in cross fire, you really need to look much more carefully in some

of these conceivably could have been soldiers, either Ukrainian or Russian.

So you really need to investigate. President Zelenskyy of Ukraine has said he's going to set up a special investigative mechanism. The International

Criminal Court has already established an investigation, but it's urgent to move as quickly as possible because obviously his bodies are moved as

people are buried or even as, as mass graves might be exhumed, we lose evidence. And so it's important that this investigation happen as quickly

as possible.

ANDERSON: Joe Biden believes that this is a war crime. He says though it is not genocide. Can you just explain the difference and why that is


ROTH: Yes. Well, I should say, first of all, you know, if you as you indicated, introducing this study, Becky, if you execute a prisoner, if you

torture prisoner, that's a clear war crime. You're always targeting civilians in time of war are firing indiscriminately into civilian area,

other things that Russian forces have been doing.

Now, in a war crime is serious enough, we really shouldn't be diminishing this, but you do see some people, you know, in a sense, inflating language

and saying this is genocide. Now, we haven't seen genocide, yet genocide involves with the intention to eradicate, in whole or in part, in this

case, an ethnic or national group.

And, you know, it's what's the closest analogy we might have is what happened in Srebrenica, in the Bosnian conflict, where there were, you

know, 7 to 8000 people rounded up young men and boys and executed, that was found to be a case of genocide. I hope we don't get to that in the case of


So far, what we have is pretty clear evidence of war crimes, you know, and then the question is, who is responsible? And undoubtedly, you know, the

local doctors who are, you know, we're executing people, they're responsible, but the International Criminal Court is going to focus on who

in the command structure is responsible.

And there basically are two routes to criminal liability. You know, one is if you can demonstrate that somebody gave the orders to say execute

prisoners, then they're responsible as well. But the more than likely route, right, the way one might move up the chain of command, conceivably,

even the Putin is to demonstrate that they were aware that these war crimes were taking place and didn't take steps to stop the soldiers entered their



ROTH: That's the real inquiry that Human Rights Watch the International Criminal Court and others are currently examining.

ANDERSON: So let's quite clear here, President Biden has just in the last few minutes called for a war crimes trial against Vladimir Putin. So could

be held personally responsible for these alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine to your mind?

ROTH: In principle, yes. But again, what needs to be proven is that he was aware that these crimes were taking place, I suspect that can be proven.

And then he didn't, take steps to rein them in to stop them. That's what you know, prosecuted in court is going to have to look at.

But to be clear, this is not an abstract issue. The International Criminal Court does have jurisdiction over any war crime community. So even though

the Russian government is not going to the International Criminal Court, it is criminally responsible for any war crime that takes place in Ukraine and

commanders are criminally liable if it can be shown that they have this command responsibility.

Now, Putin could be sitting in the Kremlin saying, you know, why should I worry? I've got nuclear weapons nobodies could come and get me. But you

know other leaders in a similar situation have believed that they were immune from prosecution as well.

If you think back to Slobodan Milosevic, the Former Yugoslav President, you know, he signed off on the date and peace accord, never bothered asking for

an amnesty. The government in Serbia changed it tried to pretend that it was reformist. And suddenly it became convenient to surrender the alleged

war criminal.

He spent his dying days in The Hague on trial. And similar the Former President Omar Al Bashir of Sudan, currently in custody in Khartoum facing

charges by the International Criminal Court for genocide in Darfur - Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who was arrested in Nigeria and sent off

and convicted in The Hague for atrocities there.

So you just never know when it's going to become convenient for potentially new government down the road, to feel that they have to surrender somebody

who's been with very serious war crimes.

ANDERSON: Your report says it has documented allegations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine since the start of the invasion. And for the benefit of

our viewers who haven't read the report, I just want to get you to explain the sort of evidence that you have and how concerned you are.

And whether you share the concerns of Ukrainian officials how concerned you are about what we have seen in Bucha being replicated elsewhere - go ahead.

ROTH: I mean, I should say you know much of human rights watches investigation so far has focused on indiscriminate bombardment of cities a

separate war crime. But if we look at what you know, what seems to have taken place in Bucha, on Human Rights Watch has spoken to eyewitnesses in

both Bucha and in neighboring towns.

And you've already in your opening remarks describe what we had found in Bucha. So let me take a separate situation. Also in the Kyiv of area of -

where Human Rights Watch found that Russian soldiers went door to door rounded up people, they read away a group of six men, and shortly

thereafter summarily executed them.

And so this is, you know the kind of blatant war crime that we are worried about, you know, that seems to have taken place on a pretty widespread

basis in Bucha, but we need more investigation there. You know, the big worry is, you know, Bucha is a relatively small city 30,000 people.

In Mariupol, you know, the South Eastern City of Ukraine, which has been under Russian siege, you know, to some extent Russian forces are inside,

there are 430,000 people who at least had been living there before some have been able to evacuate.

You know, what, what is happening in Bucha, what is happening in some of these other cities around Kyiv, could be replicated on a very large scale.

And so, you know, the, the message we're trying to Kremlin frankly, is that, you know, here's the evidence of these atrocities are taking place.

If you want to avoid criminal responsibility, rein in your Trump's because office says, you know, terrible as these pictures are coming out of Bucha,

we could see worse and whether the Kremlin in the end is going to be you know, politically and criminally responsible depends on how they instruct

Russian troops? Do they urge that nobody insist that these atrocities not take place?

ANDERSON: And let's be quite clear, the Russians are calling what we are seeing coming out of Bucha at the moment fake news. To your point on

Mariupol we believe there are about 160,000 people left in that city. You're right 430,000 before the war.

90 percent of the buildings have been destroyed in that city now and we can only imagine once it's possible to get inside of that besieged southern

port city what people are going to find extremely worrying?


ANDERSON: Very briefly, Ukrainians calling for the ICC to investigate Russia's alleged use of war crimes. You recently said Russia should be

suspended from the U.N. Human Rights Council that is being echoed by the U.S. Ambassador to the UN now. It sounds like the beginning of a process

here. What happens next?

ROTH: Well, Russia should be suspended from the U.N. Human Rights Council. Membership there requires, you know, adherence to the highest standards of

respect for human rights. That's not what's going on in Ukraine right now.

It will take a two thirds vote of the U.N. General Assembly to suspend Russia. We think that that's doable, if you look at the last two U.N.

votes, where each one was basically 140, 141 to five. So it should be possible to suspend Russia.

As for Russia, claiming that this is all fake news, it's just worth noting that it was during the Syrian conflict in Russia kept insisting that it was

somehow somebody else. It wasn't their ally, the Syrian government that was using chemical weapons, it's now we're doing the same thing in Ukraine.

It's not their soldiers who are executing people, it must be pretty else Ukrainians are executing themselves. So we've seen this picture before.

There is zero credibility coming out of the Kremlin. It's important to you know; continue to investigate what happened and to do everything possible

to hold the perpetrators to account.

ANDERSON: Kenneth Roth, thank you very much indeed, your analysis and insight is extremely important. As we continue to report on what is this

unprovoked war and these horrific images of mass killings in Bucha. Thank you.

Well, these savages are sparking international outrage and calls for more sanctions on Russia. We will be live in Brussels with the latest from

there. Plus black smoke filter skies above Odessa in Ukraine, the latest on the Russian airstrikes that hit an oil refinery and storage facilities

there. You're watching "Connect the World", I'm Becky Anderson, do stay with us.


ANDERSON: For a while the Ukrainian port city of Odessa was spared from Russian bombardment. But in the early morning hours of Sunday this

happened. A regional military spokesperson confirming several Russian missiles hit one of the districts and oil refinery and storage facilities

went up in flames.

Well, CNN's Ed Lavandera is on the ground in Odessa and witnessed this fuel depot fire firsthand. Firstly, have any casualties been reported so far?

And secondly, Ed, how has this unsettled what has been a relatively peaceful environment albeit with people sadly waiting for this war to visit



ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there were two rounds of airstrikes yesterday, one early morning, one late in the evening, and we've been told

earlier today that in all of that no one was killed, but there is one injury.

And what it has done is that these strikes have really kind of shaken this city up, made them aware that this war is far from over and they're worried

about what might happen next.


LAVANDERA (voice over): The missiles exploded in a startling violent barrage, about six strikes split up the sky. Russian military officials say

the attack on Odessa was launched from the sea and land using high precision missiles. The massive plumes of black swirling smoke covered much

of the city of 1 million people.

The strikes landed in a largely industrial area, destroying an oil refinery and fuel storage facilities.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Multiple airstrikes hit the port city of Odessa here in southern Ukraine just before sunrise Sunday morning. There were no air

raid sirens that went off before the blast and the explosions could be felt and seen from miles away.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Ukrainian officials say there were no injuries, but Tatiana Gerasim says the explosions through her from the chair she was

sleeping in and window glass shattered all over.

Tatiana volunteers in this building late into the night cooking meals for Ukrainian soldiers. In recent days, she says reconnaissance drones were

flying over the fuel storage facility. Two other residents told us they saw the drones as well.

TATIANA GERASIM, ODESSA RESIDENT: The drones were flying around and I know they were up to something and could bump the depot. And we've been thinking

where we could hide in case something happens.

LAVANDERA (voice over): A small pocket of apartment buildings in homes sit just across the street from the bombing site. Families stood outside their

homes under the clouds of dark smoke. Watching flames shoot up into the air. The explosions shattered windows and any remaining sense of security

these residents had left.

GERASIM: Of course, I'm scared and now they're hitting everywhere. They're doing it in all cities. We know it, we see it.

LAVANDERA (voice over): The attack on Odessa follows similar pattern Russian forces have carried out for weeks hitting fuel storage facilities

across the country it claims are supplying their Ukrainian military.

But if the Odessa strike is a precise attack, Ukrainian officials say the strikes hours later in the neighboring city of Mykolaiv have no rhyme or

reason and are designed to harass and panic civilians. Despite being this close to the bombing, and with tears in her eyes, Tatiana harassing says

she refuses to leave Ukraine. She tells me these bastards won't get away with it.


LAVANDERA: And Becky, it's important to remember too, that down here in the south of Ukraine, people are closely watching the retreat of Russian forces

in the north. They're clearly watching the atrocities that are now being uncovered in those cities.

And as they read the news and hear and watch the movements of Russian forces regrouping and preparing to perhaps attack from the east and perhaps

make their way along the southern coast down here. You know, that is one of the large reasons why there's a sense of nervousness down here about what

might be coming in the weeks ahead.

ANDERSON: Yes, a sense of foreboding must be terrifying. Ed, thank you. Ed Lavandera is on the ground there reporting for you folks. Well, still

ahead, while the world is condemning the carnage in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, Russia says these images of staged.

We'll have more international reaction after this. Plus the Mayor of Bucha says the situation in his town is now so bad. It's like Russian forces were

given the green light to have what he describes as a safari, here more of what he had to say after we take this short break.



ANDERSON: Shock outrage and sadness, the gruesome images in Bucha sparking almost universal condemnation and triggering calls for more sanctions on

Russia. Here's some of the headlines the European Union says it has established a joint investigation team with Ukraine to probe alleged

Russian war crimes.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister likening the carnage to the savagery of a terror group. He specifically named checked ISIS. The Head of NATO says it's a

brutality against civilians that Europe hasn't seen for decades and calls it absolutely unacceptable.

But Russia is calling the horrific civilian killings in Bucha, "a fake attack". Russia's Foreign Ministry and the Minister himself Sergei Lavrov

says the scenes in Bucha are staged and images have been dispersed through social media networks and TV channels.

He sees the issue as a, "provocation" and is now demanding that the U.N. Security Council of which of course Russia is a permanent member hold a

meeting to tackle the issue. The U.S. President Joe Biden has just spoken out about this. Have a listen.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: You may remember I got criticized for calling the war criminals. Well, the truth of the matter to show what happened --.

This warns him he is a war criminal. But we have to gather the information. We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to

continue the fight.

And we have to gather all the detail. So this can be an actual have a war crime trial. This guy is brutal. And what's happening in Bucha is

outrageous. And everyone's seen it.


ANDERSON: Well, that's Joe Biden on the horrific images that you will now have seen out of that suburb of Kyiv. Our International Diplomatic Editor

Nic Robertson is in Brussels. The Kremlin Nic, categorically rejecting accusations of the Bucha massacre, claiming the videos are forged and

calling for the U.N. Security Council, the UNSC to hold an emergency meeting addressing their concerns, their concerns being Russia's concerns,

what have we got?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, they're also saying the Russians are also saying that they will have - their

investigative committee will investigate these alleged crimes. Now, it's not unusual for this investigative committee to be called in and political

charged environment, if you will.

This certainly is a Russian institution that the Kremlin routinely uses to try to dispel accusations like this, so we understand where they're coming

from. It's also not unusual to see Russia acting this way to see that their best form of defense is to go on the offensive before anyone else can call

them to account at the U.N. Security Council.

They're going to get in first and you know, what we're seeing by Russia's actions here is perhaps just a smaller, a smaller mirroring of their

invasion of Ukraine in the first place. That is their view is that the best form of defense is attacked. They attacked Ukraine because they felt they

were threatened by it.


ROBERTSON: But there is no doubt here at the European Union about who's responsible, because Russian troops were in the place when these crimes

were committed. The EU foreign policy spokesman had this to say about it.


PETER STANO, EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOREIGN AFFAIRS SPOKESPERSON: These areas about which we talk have been under the occupation, under the control of

the aggressor of the Russian troops, or they've been bombed out by the aggressor, the Russian troops. So of course, there is no one else who could

have committed these atrocities.


ROBERTSON: So this clear speaking out by the EU is an effort to cut through the muddying of the waters that throwing of chafe in the air if you will,

to confuse the situation. It is absolutely typical for Russia to say, what about them, or we don't believe it or it's fake just to create a little bit

of doubt and confusion in people's minds. As I say here, that doubt doesn't exist.

ANDERSON: The international condemnation for what's now being revealed in Bucha has been almost unanimous Nic, especially from the West. The Head of

NATO says he shocked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Russia is acting recklessly as it loses ground in Ukraine.

And Germany has called for an investigation into the killings in Bucha. Sadly, we are being told that what we have seen in Bucha is or could

certainly be replicated elsewhere. What action will we see the EU take, what do they have left in the toolbox as it were?

ROBERTSON: They have a lot left in the toolbox. What they've got to decide is which tool to use. So they get out a huge wrench and throw it in

Russia's financial system take out the remaining banks from the Swift international monetary mechanism. And are they shut down by in all Russia's

energy supplies, the oil, the gas, the coal? The answer at the moment seems to be there is division over what exactly what exactly they should do.

President Macron of France suggests stopping buying Russian coal and oil. The Germany's finance minister today said if Germany stopped buying gas

because they should disconnect the Europe and Germany in particular from doing business with Russia.

That if they disconnected from Russia's gas supplies that would bring real economic hardship to Germany, potentially a recession. The Polish Prime

Minister has called for an urgent meeting of EU leaders this week that was not on the cards this morning.

But it's being called for at the moment. That gives you a sense of the urgency that it's being approached with here, but not yet clarity on what

sanctions could be used.

The bigger the wrench, if you will, the harder and the more immediate impact on Russia, which is what Ukraine wants, because they want everything

immediately because they want Russia to stop in its tracks now. Every minute for them is absolutely vital.

ANDERSON: Europe seemingly united on condemnation, but not necessarily on what that sweet spot for the next round of sanctions might be particularly

when it comes to, to the Russian gas. We may hear talk of, you know, cut the cord on oil and coal now, but it's Russian gas that the Europeans are

so dependent on and that's the tough one, isn't it?

And the proclivity of Hungary's Right Wing Leader Viktor Orban who has been - who certainly has a close relationship with Putin plays into that doesn't


ROBERTSON: Oh hugely and Viktor Orban if there is let's say a European council leaders meeting this week, Viktor Orban will come into it fresh

from election victory has less political skin in the game, if you will, because he just laid it all out at the weekend and got his position


He was one of the last European Union leaders to go and visit President Putin before the war began. President Putin made a point at that time of

showing just how much he uses gas supplies as a political tool himself; reminding Orban that he was getting low cost gas for quite a period of


So you can certainly see how Orban who has called President Zelenskyy essentially a problem for him at the moment an opposition for him. You can

see how Orban is sympathetic to Moscow, less sympathetic to some of the ideals and standards that the European Union will have and therefore, a

potential thorn in the side of the EU trying to find that sweet spot for landing, for landing, whatever sanctions may come.


ROBERTSON: It does seem from where we stand at the moment that gas will not be part of that equation, but potentially, potentially oil and potentially

coal. It has to be said that even some of the sort of Baltic States, Latvia, for example that is keenly and deeply concerned about Russia's

actions is also very dependent on Russian gas.

And perhaps they would not want to support a move to cut off from Russian gas just yet, whereas Lithuania at the weekend said, we're done. We're not

getting any more gas from Russia. So there's much in common, but there are still these divisions Orban though clearly putting himself as an outlier

here and a reinvigorated outlier.

ANDERSON: It's been the unity that Europe has shown, hasn't it over the last five weeks, which has allowed for the ratcheting up of the sanctions

on what feels like a daily basis, if not, certainly a weekly basis.

It's ensuring that unity going forward that will be key for these European stakeholders, those trying to craft policy with the U.S. if they are to

continue to put the pressure on Vladimir Putin and the Russian elite. All right, Nic, thank you for that.

Up next, Pakistan's embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan will serve another day. We're live from Islamabad with the latest on the country's political

crisis that is coming up after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back to "Connect the World". Before we get you back to our continuing coverage of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, I do want to get

you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar around the world.

And Pakistan's top court has delayed a decision on whether to uphold Prime Minister Imran Khan's early call for - call for early elections. The

proceedings will pick up on Tuesday.

Mr. Khan Call for these elections after he dissolved the National Assembly effectively blocking a no confidence vote that was expected to remove him

from office here to help us break this sound is CNN Producer Sophia Saifi joining me now live from Islamabad. What do we know at this point; it's

been a lot of back and forth on this, what's the situation as we speak?

SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Becky, what's happened today is that we spent the entire day waiting on the Supreme Court to make a decision with

their proceedings, which started yesterday, right after that vote of no confidence was cancelled and blogged quite dramatically by the Deputy

Speaker of the Assembly.

And then Imran Khan came out and addressed the nation and announced that assemblies will be dissolved. This vote of no confidence had been set into

motion since early March. And Imran Khan had been using many, many delaying tactics to make sure it didn't happen. And this seems he kept promising

that there would be a surprise.


SAIFI: He insisted for the past 10 days that there was a conspiracy of foreign conspiracy led by the United States to remove his regime, which is

what led to this vote of no confidence. He claimed that this led this happened because he visited Ukraine because he was pursuing an independent

foreign policy. And he received a lot of criticism from the opposition, not just because of that, because of the fact that the economy is in tatters.

There is a poor foreign exchange reserves in Pakistan at the moment, inflation have skyrocketed. We're now waiting for the Supreme Court to

decide tomorrow, whether the actions by Imran Khan, as well as by the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly were unconstitutional.

Whether they're going to rewind and a vote of no confidence is going to take place, or whether they'll decide that yes, this was unconstitutional,

but snap elections will have to take place within 90 days that the political temperature has reached such heights, that the only way to settle

all of this is, you know, having elections as a sort of political palate cleanser.

So what we're now looking to get is what's happening on Imran Khan's side is that he's, you know, still the Prime Minister. The assemblies have been

dissolved, the cabinet has been dissolved and he's making decisions.

He's using state television as a sort of campaigning medium. He's mocked the opposition who said they always wanted him to go and the best way for

him to he's gone now. And the only way that the playing field can be leveled now is with an early election. Becky?

ANDERSON: Sophia Saifi is in Islamabad for you. Thank you and getting you up to speed on some of the stories that are on our regional radar right

now. The U.N. brokered ceasefire is bringing more needed much needed help and hope to the war torn country of Yemen.

The two month truce coincides at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It's the first time since 2016 that the Houthi rebels in the Saudi

led coalition have agreed to a ceasefire across the entire country.

Sri Lanka's embattled president is sworn in four ministers to run the government temporarily. That is after more than two dozen cabinet ministers

resigned over the weekend. Countries see mass protests as it grapples with the worst economic crisis that it's injured since becoming independent.

Jordan's Prince Hamzah is relinquishing his royal title. The move comes a year after he was accused of involvement in a plot to destabilize the

country and was placed under house arrest.

He was Jordan's Crown Prince until 2004 when he was removed by King Abdullah. Well, just ahead this is what strength looks like a smiling face

and a backbone of steel, what it's like to outrun the third - and the Kremlin's war on Ukraine, that after this.


ANDERSON: Well, Poland has welcomed nearly two and a half million people fleeing Russia's war on Ukraine. We are hearing that from the Polish border

guard. Many others are still trapped of course, especially in those besieged cities like Mariupol for example.

While a senior Ukrainian official says a humanitarian corridor out of the southeast and city should be working sometime today. There has of course

been a real struggle to keep the route open. UK Defense Intelligence says Mariupol is being hit with Russian airstrikes.


ANDERSON: Well, let's bring in Salma Abdelaziz. She's on the Polish border with Ukraine. She joins me live from the location where most of those who

are fleeing this endless and a horrific war are ending up.

And you've been speaking to many of them, and particularly one lady who has the most remarkable story to tell, Salma.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely. Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city the last time it saw death and destruction on this scale,

Becky, it was during World War II. That's of course, when Nazi troops invaded bombing besieging that city at the time leveling some of its

building, and of course, persecuting and killing thousands of members of its Jewish community.

We wanted to speak to someone who remembered that period in time and who is yet again, surviving another war. You can imagine it wasn't easy to find 82

year old Margaryta Zatuchna and it was especially difficult for the many charity organizations that wanted to rescue her. But when we finally met

her at this border, she had quite the tale to tell. Take a listen.


ABDELAZIZ (voice over): This is the moment Margaryta Zatuchna says she finally felt safe, welcomed by her Jewish community in Krakow.

MARGARYTA ZATUCHNA, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR FORCED TO FLEE KHARKIV AGAIN: I am presented with so booked flowers and it smells very well.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): We sat down to hear the story from twice a survivor.

ZATUCHNA: I was born in 1940 and win the war with Germany began. I was only one year and a half.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): In 1941, her family fled their home in Kharkiv where Nazis murdered an estimated 16,000 Jews. She later returned, grew up

and grew old and peacetime. That is until Russian troops invaded.

Bombing in besieging Kharkiv, there was no water or power. We couldn't buy food. It was impossible to live, she says. There was explosion after

explosion a real war. Not even a monument that honors the city's Holocaust victims escaped Moscow's so called de-nazification - campaign.

But Margaryta state to care for her sick husband Valarie as long as she could. An explosion blew out all our windows, she says. After that shock he

grew weaker and weaker. After nearly a month of war, Valarie passed away.

His body still lives in a morgue. There are no funerals because of the fighting. Now, age 82, the Holocaust survivor knew it was time to go packed

only what she could carry and fled her birthplace.

ZATUCHNA: It is very difficult when my beautiful town, when I leave all my life is destroyed.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): A driver picked up Margaryta in this vehicle damaged in an earlier attack. For two days, they traveled out of Kharkiv

and across dangerous territory to Lviv.

ZATUCHNA: It is a really hard road.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): From there she boarded an ambulance and was ferried into Poland. We were tracking her evacuation and met her at the border


ABDELAZIZ (on camera): Hi, welcome to Poland.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): But Margaryta still has further to go. She wants to join her brother in New Jersey.

ZATUCHNA: I was not scared.

ABDELAZIZ (on camera): Where is this bravery from?

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): It comes it comes alone to us. Margaryta hopes to return bury her husband of 40 years and see her beloved city at peace



ABDELAZIZ: Now as for Margaryta, she is waiting for her U.S. visa she hopes to join her brother in New Jersey soon. And if you remember, Becky,

President Biden, when he was on his visit in Europe has announced that 100,000 Ukrainian refugees would be accepted in the United States.

I think her story just gives you a sense of how important it is that visa access that safe haven for the many survivors of this war. And it was

extraordinary to me that she still held on to the hope that she could return to her city to Kharkiv even at age 82.

But that city Becky, well, hundreds of buildings have been leveled; it's been again besieged and bombed by Russian forces. You can only imagine that

for many, many generations they will be trying to rebuild and recuperate Kharkiv.


ANDERSON: Salma, thank you. The Grammy Awards featured a special guest; Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared in a pre-taped message. He

appealed to the international community for help sharing the truth of what is happening in Ukraine.


ZELENSKYY: Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded. In hospitals even to those who can't hear them. But the music

will break through anyway. We defend our freedom to live to love to sound.

On our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music; fill it today to

tell our story.


ANDERSON: Well singer John Legend later join Ukrainian performance musicians performing his new song title free celebrating the power of music

in dark times, especially war. Well, thank you for joining us. CNN's coverage of Russia's war on Ukraine continues after what is this very short

break. Back, same time for you tomorrow.