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Zelenskyy Urges U.N. to Act "Immediately" to Help Ukraine; U.S. Ambassador Urges Russia be Suspended from U.N. Human Rights Council; CNN Crew's Close Call with Artillery Fire Near Mykolaiv; Lithuania First EU Country to End Imports of Russian Gas; Zelenskyy Calls on Security Council to Act to Resolve Ukraine War; EU Proposes Further Sanctions on Russia. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired April 05, 2022 - 11:00   ET



LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: --honored by his presence here under the circumstances that he and Ukraine face today.

Madam President, last night I returned from a trip to Moldova and Romania.

I saw with my own eyes the refugee crisis caused by Russia's unconscionable war. I spoke to refugees who indicated to me their desires to return to

their home. And we've all seen the images on TV of the bombed out buildings. But what we have not seen is that behind those destroyed

buildings are destroyed lives and destroyed families.

I met with women and children who had fled Ukraine, who stuffed their lives into backpacks, and left the only home they had ever known. And these were

sobering conversations. One young woman I spoke to came with her six year old brother, who had autism and is struggling with cancer. Their single

mother helped them escape to save their lives. But Russia's war has interrupted the care her brother desperately needs.

Another woman I spoke to fled with her eight year old from Odessa, the father, who they had left behind, told them, there was shelling right next

to their apartment that very night. And they very well could have died, have they not left.

A third woman I met told me that she used to love to travel, but never expected her next trip would be to flee her life. Flee for her life. When I

asked her where she was from, she started to say and then she stopped with tears in her eyes, and said, I'm sorry. I don't know how to say it.

Whether I live in Kyiv, or whether I used to live in Kyiv. She was realizing in the moment, just how dramatically her life had changed because

of this senseless war. These are three stories of more than 10 million people, 6 million internally displaced, 4 million who have left Ukraine


4 million people who have relied on the big heartedness of countries like Moldova, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and others across the region

in the world to welcome and support all those leaving Ukraine in search of safety.

Ukraine's neighbors are bearing the brunt of Europe's most significant refugee crisis since World War II. And I want these countries to know that

they have a committed partner in the United States.

And that is why the United States announced recently that we are prepared to provide more than 1 billion U.S. dollars in new funding toward

humanitarian assistance for those affected by Russia's war in Ukraine, and its severe impact around the world.

And it is why we are welcoming up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russia's aggression to the United States. We will continue to assist

humanitarian efforts to help the people of Ukraine and all those fleeing Putin's violence.

But as heart wrenching, as the stories are that I heard in Moldova, and Romania, there are some stories we will never get to hear. Those of the

people we saw in the images out of Bucha. We've all seen the gruesome photos, lifeless bodies lying in the streets apparently summarily executed,

their hands tied behind their backs.

As we work to independently confirm the events depicted in these images, I would remind this council that based on the currently available

information, the United States has assessed that members of Russia's forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.

And even before seeing the images from Bucha, President Zelenskyy, along with others in the region were reporting that children were being abducted

and we heard him say that today, also abducted our mayors and doctors, religious leaders, journalists, and all who dare defy Russia's aggression.

Some of them according to credible reports, including by the Mariupol's city council, have been taken to so called filtration camps, where Russian

forces are reportedly making tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens relocate to Russia.


THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Reports indicate that Russian Federal Security agents are confiscating passports and IDs, taking away cell phones and separating

families from one another. I do not need to spell out what the so called filtration camps are reminiscent of. It's chilling, and we cannot look


Every day we see more and more how little Russia respects human rights. And that is why I announced yesterday that the United States in coordination

with Ukraine and many other U.N. member states will seek Russia's suspension from the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Given the growing mountain of evidence, Russia should not have a position of authority in a body whose purpose whose very purpose is to promote

respect for human rights. Not only is this the height of hypocrisy, it is dangerous.

Russia is using its membership on the Human Rights Council as a platform for propaganda to suggest Russia has a legitimate concern for human rights.

In fact, we will hear some of that propaganda here today, I know.

And I will not dignify these lies with a response, only to say that every lie we hear from the Russian representative is more evidence that they do

not belong on the Human Rights Council.

140 U.N. member states voted to condemn Russia of its unprovoked war and the humanitarian crisis, it has unleashed upon the people of Ukraine.

Here's my message to all of you.

Now is the time to match those words with action and show the world that we can work responsibly. And I share President Zelenskyy's view that this

moment requires responsible world powers and global leaders to show some backbone and stand up to Russia's dangerous and unprovoked threat against

Ukraine and the world.

The Secretary General said that confronting this threat is the Security Council's charge. It is and it is also the responsibility of U.N. leaders

and leaders around the world, every single member state with a voice in the GA.

No one can be a shill for Russia's aggression. Suspending Russia from the Human Rights Council is something we collectively have the power to do in

the General Assembly. Our votes can make a real difference.

Russia's participation on the Human Rights Council hurts the council's credibility. It undermines the entire U.N. and it is just plain wrong. Let

us come together to do what is right. And do right by the Ukrainian people.

Let us take this step to help them to start to rebuild their lives. And let us match the courage of President Zelenskyy who we are so honored to have

with us today.

President Zelenskyy, I want you to know that we stand with the people of Ukraine, as you face down this brutal attack on your sovereignty, on your

democracy and on your freedom. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thank the Representative of the United States for her statement, and I give the floor to the Representative of Albania.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Madam President. Let me thank Ambassador - for having steered our work during the month of March and wish the UK and

you, Madam President full success in our common work during this month.

Albania welcomes President Zelenskyy presence to this meeting. His remarks are painful and his account on what Ukraine is experiencing--

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Well, you have been listening to Representatives of the United Nations Security Council and humanitarian

stakeholders at the U.N. today who have been addressed by the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the first time he said in addressing

Security Council members on behalf of the deceased.

In Bucha, he described the atrocities committed there and described them as no different to those committed by ISIS. The world he said is yet to see

the crimes committed elsewhere in Ukraine.


ANDERSON: The world, he said is yet to learn the full truth. And he called out members of the U.N. Security Council demanding the following where is

the peace and security that the council has the responsibility to maintain, he said the U.N. Security Council is not working effectively.

There's not a single crime that was not committed by Russian troops in Bucha, he said describing those as war crimes. And he called on members to

act immediately. He said the U.N. Charter and system must be restored the aggressor must be brought to account immediately.

And he gave members of the chamber of the Security Council three options. He said, either remove Russia, from the Security Council, or show me how we

can reform or change the system for peace, a reminder there is no process to remove a permanent member.

And we'll talk to our U.N. senior correspondent in a moment about that. All he said, thirdly, dissolve you altogether. He said Ukraine needs peace.

Europe needs peace. The world needs peace.

And he closed to the applause from members of that chamber and the promise of a video which actually was not forthcoming apparently because of a

technical issue. If the U.N. Security Council can sort out that video we will bring that to you.

Richard Roth is our Senior Correspondent at the U.N. he is standing by, Stephen Collinson is in Washington and Phil Black is in Lviv in Ukraine.

And let me start with you, Richard that was a powerful emotional speech from the Ukrainian President. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by that.

But he really did lie in to Security Council members, what did you make of what he said?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: I agree. I mean, from the Grammy Awards to the U.N., I don't think there's been a back to back speech

effort from a world leader before like that. And the Blunt Talk, people say it, but they don't always say it directly to the Security Council.

As you noted, he said, you should close if you're not going to do anything to help his country and rescue it from Russian aggression, think about

closing. And that is you don't hear that very often.

And certainly, people on the council wanted to hear him speak but will it change things I'm sure you're about to ask you know, Russia sitting there

with the veto. The Russian Ambassador Nebenzia was in the room did not seem to leave.

And listen, he's going to speak, his two speakers away, in return, so very, very strong comments from a world leader, leader of Ukraine who's just so

dynamic, but is struggling to keep his country alive.

And believe me; this council has turned a blind eye to hundreds of massacres from - serious. So sadly, this is adding another one to the list.

ANDERSON: Steven, I want to bring you in. What did you make of what you just heard?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: I think it's extraordinary to see the leader of a country tell the world to give testimony directly

about atrocities that were committed in his country. That in itself was a horrific passage, really heavy speeches, he was talking about rapes and

killings and executions of women and children, the appalling humanitarian toll of this war.

And I think that gave his following arguments, more power. He, of course, talked about the need to punish the Russians who are behind these

massacres, that he said were taking place and to take that right to the top.

Because he said that if there were not punishments to the people at the top, President Putin, you know human rights abuses would be allowed to

continue throughout the world.

And getting to that point about what is the point of the U.N. if the U.N. cannot stop this? I think that tells us something about the way that this

war has really changed the international system right now because what we're seeing is a challenge to the norms and the structures of the

international community like the U.N. from Russia, we're going to see them from China too.

And I think when we look back on this conflict, that is what we will remember as much as the - you know, emotional and heart wrenching testimony

of Zelenskyy at this moment.

ANDERSON: Phil, let me bring you in from Lviv. The world is yet to see the crimes committed elsewhere. He said when describing the atrocities of

Bucha. The world is yet to learn the full truth, he said.

The people of Ukraine you would understand if they are not wholly focused on the United Nations Security Council today. They will be aware that their

president has regularly addressed see significant stakeholders.


ANDERSON: Parliament's around the world, appealing for support for them, the people of Ukraine, but of course, on the ground, this war grinds on.

And these atrocities continue.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's what President Zelenskyy believes, Becky, that's what many Ukrainian people believe too.

And, and yes, I mean, the point that Zelenskyy has been keen to make is that what we're seeing in the wake of Russia's withdrawal from these areas

around Kyiv is likely just a narrow window into what has been taking place, what is taking place in areas that have been occupied by Russia, across

Ukraine from the very earliest days of this investigation.

And you could see the emotion and the detail and the nature of the crimes that have been discussed here. This is very different to what Zelenskyy has

raised attention about in the past.

This isn't just bombardment of civilian areas, not to say just but it is not, it is, it's not the same as the indiscriminate violence, the

indifference towards civilian life that we've seen throughout this war as shocking, appalling and prevalent as that has been.

The reason he is discussing that today, the reason we're all discussing that today is because the nature of these crimes, they are so much more

personal, the personal, they are intimate.

They are Russian soldiers, directly inflicting a tremendous suffering, pain and death onto Ukrainian citizens, in a way and on a scale. That clearly

shocked the president when he visited these areas yesterday, which the rest of the country is coming to understand as well and indeed, which much of

the world is struggling to understand also.

And so for that reason, you saw Zelenskyy today with this address, deploying something that he has continued to deploy throughout his virtual

speaking tour of the world's Parliament's and institutions. He has clearly always understood the power of making his audience feel uncomfortable.

On this occasion, he did so not just by discussing the impotence of the Security Council in the circumstances, but also through discussing in vivid

graphic detail, the crimes that he very strongly believes Russia has committed on his people during just a few weeks of occupation.

ANDERSON: Richard Roth we heard from the U.S. Representative at the - thank you, Phil, at the back end of that speech, she bookended the speech by

President Zelenskyy and noted that she is looking to get Russia booted off the Human Rights Council.

There are those who want Russia out of the Security Council, and not least, President Zelenskyy at this point. Just explain why it is that that is

unlikely why it is that Russia as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, can and will continue to have the power of the veto for anything

that the rest of the world or those who support into this war want to get done.

ROTH: To show you how difficult it is to ever change at the U.N. Security Council. I've been here three decades plus and for 35, 38 years; they've

been talking about expanding the council not taking anyone off.

And they just they're too many arguments. Italy and Germany dispute that they don't want the other one there, India, Pakistan. As for Russia, they

never set it up in the charter that one of the five permanent members, one of the countries that help bring about the end of Nazi Germany would then

be kicked off.

Now the first thing to come would be getting Russia off the Human Rights Council which while does not have legally binding actions, it can recommend

and hire investigators on the human rights front on a variety of issues.

So they're not just a nothing U.N. agency, you need two thirds vote in the 193 member General Assembly. That vote might happen this week, might happen

next week. But it's not something Russia would like but I don't think Vladimir Putin cares that much about the Human Rights Council.

It's in the second year of a three year term. The U.S. you may remember has been on and off depending on who's president of the Human Rights Council.

At first I scoffed. I think when weeks ago we talked about Russia getting kicked off the U.N. Security Council; I think we'll have to see what goes

on. How many, where the atrocity level is.


ANDERSON: I'm not quite sure how to respond to they make a very good point. But, you know, let's wait to see the level of the atrocity. It just it

seems inconceivable that we are even having this conversation but we are. And you make a very good point.

To all of you, thank you very much indeed for joining us. I'm going to take a very short break at this point. You're watching "Connect the World", I'm

Becky Anderson. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: The Russian onslaught in southern Ukraine shows no signs of easing. The Mayor of Mykolaiv says 10 people were killed and dozens were

wounded by Russian shelling on Sunday and on Monday.

Two hospitals and more than 25 schools including kindergartens were attacked. Now this comes as the U.S. National Security Adviser warns that

Russia is and I quote here "revising its war aims and shifting its focus to Ukraine's South".

Not far from Mykolaiv, CNN's Ben Wedeman and his team were just meters from incoming artillery fire. This was indeed a close call, they had stopped to

talk to Ukrainian soldiers out in the open with very little cup. Here's Ben's report.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This is an area where there's been a fair amount of outgoing as well as incoming

artillery down the road is a town that has been fought over for several days by Russian and Ukrainian forces.

WEDEMAN (voice over): In these vast open spaces the Russians seem far away, they're not.

WEDEMAN (on camera): Down here, John down here keeps on rolling. You see it over there?

WEDEMAN (voice over): We hug the earth, two more artillery rounds. Cameraman John Tory Goalie keeps rolling.

WEDEMAN (on camera): Alright, so we've had two incoming rounds responding to artillery that's been firing in the Russian directions. The shells came

pretty close to us.

WEDEMAN (voice over): No one has been injured. The officer tells translator Valerie Dubrovsky we need to go now.

WEDEMAN (on camera): OK, OK. Yes, let's go.

WEDEMAN (voice over): And so we run with full body armor to the cars. One car can't move, peppered with shrapnel.


WEDEMAN (on camera): We're losing petrol.

WEDEMAN (voice over): No time to lose.

WEDEMAN (voice over): Driver Igor Tiago razor focused on getting us to safety, his car also hit.

WEDEMAN (on camera): All right, we're trying to get out of this area as quickly as possible. Our other car completely destroyed.

WEDEMAN (voice over): Crammed into this small car we approached safer ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to go into --the Old Covenant village and then we'll take a breather.

WEDEMAN (voice over): Producer Kareem Khader checks the damage to the car. The soldiers we left behind are still out there. We could leave, they



ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman and his team in a much safer spot now in Mykolaiv in Ukraine. Ben, shocking experience for you, I know that you will say more

shocking for those who live in Mykolaiv and around that area who are experiencing this. Now it seems on a daily basis. What is going on where

you are?

WEDEMAN: Today actually Becky has been relatively calm. But yesterday was a bloody day for Mykolaiv. The city was woken at 7 a.m. local time by several

large explosions. That was a Russian missile strike on an apartment complex. We went there with the mayor.

One person was killed five in that incident. One appears to be a cluster munitions landed in a children's playground in the middle of that apartment

complex. Later a maternity hospital was hit, a variety of schools and in the afternoon, more cluster munitions are what appears to be cluster

munitions hit an open market, killing nine people and wounding 41 others.

And this is a city, Becky that was very much on the front lines just a few weeks ago, the Russian forces have been significantly pushed back from the

outskirts. But there's sort of this pervasive fear that perhaps the tide could change and the Russians could come back this afternoon.

There were rumors in the city that there were Russian forces gathering armor of just about an hour from here. The Ukrainian military denied those

rumors but it's sort of caused lots of people to line up for gas and others for supplies. Other stores are closing down because they fear that there

will be more such missile attacks as we saw yesterday, Becky.

ANDERSON: Ben is on the ground, could see safe Ben regards to the team as well. Well, dear EU friends pull the plug on Russian oil and gas that's a

direct appeal from the Lithuanian Foreign Minister whose country is refusing Russian energy. He joins me live next here on "Connect the World".



ANDERSON: The EU is trying harder to hit Vladimir Putin where it hurts, well, the world stand by those horrifying images out of Bucha. That

weekend, the EU now stepping up its response to the Russian leader's war on Ukraine a short time ago the European Commission's Chief proposed more

sanctions on Moscow including an import ban on Russian coal. Take a listen.


URSULA VON DER LEYEN, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: The four packages of sanctions have hit hard and limited the Kremlin's political and economic

options. We're seeing tangible results. But clearly, in view of events, we need to increase our pressure further. So today, we are proposing to take

our sanctions a step further. We will make them broader and sharper, so that they cut even deeper into the Russian economy.


ANDERSON: Lithuania has been a country of firsts. When it comes to reacting to Russia's actions it became the first country in the EU to refuse Russian

gas. It also expelled the Russian ambassador to Lithuania over alleged Kremlin atrocities in Bucha.

The foreign minister says and I quote, "unfortunately, watch the world saw in Bucha can only be the beginning. We will be able to discover even more

evidence of cruel war crimes in other towns upon their liberation. The war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian armed forces in

Ukraine will not be forgotten".

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis joins me now live from the capital. Vilnius and your words echoed in a very powerful speech by the

President of Ukraine today at the U.N. Security Council.

That speech just about an hour or so ago, he did not hold back demanding of the Security Council whether it shouldn't be dissolved if it couldn't do

its job. That job is of course to maintain and secure peace and security.

And he said you're not doing the job you were set up to do and there will be many people watching this show, listening to that speech, who will agree

with him, despite the words from the U.N. the symbolic action and the action from the West.

This war goes on, Sir. You may not have actually listened to this speech yourself. I'm not sure whether you did. But you'll have seen some of what

was said. Your response to what was an extremely powerful and emotionally charged address from the Ukrainian president.

GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS, LITHUANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: I think that President Zelenskyy is right and raising these questions specifically to the U.N.

Security Council. We all believe the Security Council and the U.N. was formed to maintain the peace in the world after the Second World War.

Now we're seeing that a member, a permanent member of the Security Council is the one responsible for atrocities in Ukraine. And so there's - it

merits a question and is U.N. still able to do what it was set to do.

And if history taught us something, you know, we've seen the League of Nations who was no longer able to continue with its work. And it was

dissolved. And a new organization has been found and it's in its wake. So I think that these questions are starting to be raised. And I'm you know,

there's no surprise that Mr. Zelenskyy is raising that.


ANDERSON: I want to talk about the positions that your country of Lithuania has taken and we just played the sound from the EU Chief. And I want to get

your response to where you think these sanctions will go next last year, Lithuania derived close to 30 percent of its gas supplies from Russia.

You have now cut that dependence, what sort of impact will cutting imports have on Lithuania? And what are you doing to minimize them because of

course; other member states are in a completely different position than you. And see gas as a standout, not something they are prepared to sanction

because of the impact it will have on their economies.

LANDSBERGIS: That's an excellent question. And I can tell you that our decision did not happen, did not happen through the night, we've been

preparing. And I can tell you that we've been preparing since 2014 because up until that we were 100 percent dependent on Russian gas.

After that we build and floating LNG terminal. So we've diminished that to 30 percent. And when it was clear, at the end of last year, that Russia

actually might invade Ukraine due to all the information that was shared with us, we started preparing to what we've announced just a couple of days


We look for new contracts, we look for new purchases, and we prepared for the eventuality that we will one day, probably sooner than later, we will

cut off Russian gas.

So my question to our friends and allies is what is it still possible on if it was not possible for the last three or four months to prepare? Because

this is already not news, what Russia is doing? It's already been six weeks of the actual war. So a lot of work already could have been done.

ANDERSON: You are urging other EU countries to follow your leaves, pulling the plug in those countries, like Germany, for example, will not be easy.

Can you imagine at any point in the short to medium term that Russian gas will be cut from Europe?

Can you imagine European countries weaning themselves off anytime soon? Or do you believe that that dependency will continue in the medium long term?

LANDSBERGIS: I think that gas is probably one of the most difficult questions for many European countries. And that is understandable. Even

though I would like to see, I would like to see an act of preparation for cutting off. But this is not what I could say about the oil. The oil is

easier to replace, there are more countries producing it, it's easier to transport, and it's easier to replace Russian oil. And I think that that

could be done in short term.

So therefore, when I hear the proposal, the current proposals, I can tell you that I'm disappointed that they don't include oil. Because coal is, you

know, what are we talking about the finances that are being brought to Russian budget of European or coal purchases? This is not a lot. You know,

you could add candles and firewood, you know if you want to make it stronger. But if we're not talking about something substantial like oil and

this is not a big back.

ANDERSON: European leaders, U.S. leaders, Western leaders, the Ukrainian President himself have warned how difficult this war will be not just for

Ukrainians, but for Europe. We have seen a united Europe to this point as we begin to consider what else can be done to ratchet up the efforts

against Russia. Are you concerned about the fracturing of this current European unity?

LANDSBERGIS: We have to maintain the consensus it brought us so far. We've been united not only among the 27 in Europe, but we managed to maintain the

unity of what is called Global Alliance, where we see countries like United States and Japan and Australia joining in into the sanctions.

And I think that that has to be maintained. It's a very important step for the new I would say the global security structure that is being formed in

front of our eyes. But then again, I think that there is a need for countries like Lithuania who depend on security and depend on Ukraine

actually winning the war so much that we raise the bar even higher. And we have to remind and not let Europe and other our allies to get tired too



ANDERSON: Sir, I'm going to have to leave it there. It's good to have you on let's talk again. It's clear that the many in Europe and in the U.S. in

the West and in other places are considering just what is left in the toolbox as countries consider continuing to ratchet up that, that pressure

on Russia.

It's good to get your analysis and your insight and will that speak again. Thank you. We're going to take a very short break, back in a moment.


ANDERSON: Well excitement building for this year's Masters Tournament just moments ago. Tiger Woods hinting that he feels like at least he'll play.

It's been a - moment for some time now the 15 time major champion was practicing again today in Augusta National. He's been away from golf of

course for more than a year after suffering serious leg injuries in a car crash. CNN World Sport anchor Don Riddell is with us, Don?

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, looks like it, doesn't it? Of course he got us all excited on Sunday Becky with that tweet saying that he

was heading to Augusta National. He was going to spend the week getting ready. It would be a game time decision.

That's what he said implying that he would give himself until his tee time on Thursday to decide whether or not he was going to play. But literally

within the last few minutes, he has addressed the media at Augusta National.

And he said "as of right now, I feel like I will play". So that doesn't sound like an absolute guarantee. But I think it's as close as we're going

to get. And not only that, he says he thinks he can win, which is just extraordinary given that just over a year ago, his right leg might have

been amputated. And here we are potentially on the eve of what could be another extraordinary comeback for Tiger Woods.

ANDERSON: Amazing stuff that is in World Sports. That is after this break. I will say good evening.