Return to Transcripts main page
Connect the World
Pentagon: At least one Major Explosion on Russian Cruiser; Russia Claims it has Captured Mariupol's Commercial Seaport; Price Surges and Shortages Put Pressure on Food Producers; UK PM: Illegal Immigrants will be sent to Rwanda; CNN talks to U.N. crisis Coordination for Ukraine; Elon Musk Makes "Final Offer" to Buy Twitter for $43.4B. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired April 14, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome back to "Connect the World". On day 50 of Russia's war on Ukraine
and there is a mystery in the Black Sea.
How did the major Russian warship get damaged well Moscow says there was a fire aboard the Moskva and ammunition on it blew up. Ukraine says it struck
the ship with missiles and that the ship started to sink. Now the Moskva is part of the fleet that's blockading Mariupol in Southern Ukraine. Here's
what the U.S. Pentagon Spokesperson himself, Navy man told CNN earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We do assess that there was an explosion, at least one explosion on this cruiser, a fairly major one that
that has caused extensive damage to the ship. We assess that the ship is able to make its own way and it is doing that it's heading more towards now
we think the east.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, on the ground Ukraine says it destroyed a bridge as a Russian convoy was crossing it while heading for the Kharkiv region. CNN
hasn't been able to confirm that. Meantime, fighting picking up in the region has Russia refocuses on the East of Ukraine, the French military
warning a large scale Russian offensive in Eastern Ukraine could be just days away.
William Alberque Heads up the Division on Strategy, Technology and Arms Control at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. And
strategically before that he directed a top NATO division and has decades of experience in arms control. He joins me now from Geneva.
It's good to have you on board today.
I want to read what the U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan had to say about this vessel this ship being damaged, "One story is that it was
just incompetence". The other is that they came under attack, and neither is a particularly good outcome for them. That being I assume the sailors
and Russia itself. Just how crucial is this ship, sir?
WILLIAM ALBERQUE, INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES: Well, it's the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet. So it's both the command vessel that
should have the actually highest ranking naval officer in the Black Sea on board. And you know, as a symbol really of Russian power. This is a very,
very prestigious ship.
ANDERSON: What about the Black Sea? Why are these--
ALBERQUE: Because a ship it has tremendous entire assets. I'm sorry, sorry?
ANDERSON: No, go on. I mean, we've got a number of facts up on the screen, showing our viewers what's on board. What about the Black Sea? Why are
these positions so important?
ALBERQUE: Well, the Ukrainian access to the Black Sea is important both economically, also for supply also for evacuation for their economic
lifeblood. One of Russia's grand strategies in this entire conflict is to cut Ukraine off from the Black Sea entirely and permanently. And so the
Black Sea is very, very important to Ukraine as a nation for its survival for its future.
ANDERSON: I want to talk about the wider picture here because we know that there is an escalation by the Russians, they what - they're moving towards
Eastern Ukraine. That is where they have said they are going to focus their assault for the first time the U.S. has approved a weapons package with
high power capabilities such as how it says 17 helicopters, the administration says they are to help Ukraine stave off the offensive in the
Eastern Donbas region.
And these are high powered weapons, that some Biden officials considered just too much of an escalation risk just weeks ago. So why now and how has
Russia shift east changed the battlefield to your mind?
ALBERQUE: Right, so now - so the battle is going from the concentration in Kyiv, where the Russians tried to take over the government very, very
quickly, and was cut apart by Ukrainians using small unit tactics. In that fight they needed lots and lots of portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft
Now, as they shift to the east, it's going to be much more traditional combat. And so what Ukraine really needs is artillery and longer range
fires to break up the Russian unit so that they can't concentrate and overwhelm the Ukrainians.
This is exactly when they need artillery, armored vehicles, longer range anti-aircraft, and that's why this is an incredibly great and timely
package of assistance for Ukraine.
ANDERSON: And enough though, to your mind?
ALBERQUE: No, they need so much more than they're going to need so much more ammunition artillery rounds, they need more multiple launch rocket
systems, they need the s 300 anti-aircraft systems, they need much more capability in order to win.
They're just going to need equipment, equipment, equipment, ammunition, and artillery, they need to - they need to have the capability to sustain the
fight now, where Russia will hope to grind them down.
ANDERSON: It's been interesting, hasn't it to see what the smaller European nations have provided in terms of military hardware. And perhaps on the
flip side, what the larger European countries haven't provided we've seen this massive offer now from the U.S.
And I think people were quite surprised to see quite how significantly high power capabilities of that equipment. What about these larger European
countries in the U.S. and Ukraine need to lean more heavily on the France is of Germany's of this volume, what's going on there?
ALBERQUE: You're seeing some problems within Germany. And this is a much broader problem with Germany and how it's treated the crisis. And honestly,
it's an illustration of how the smaller allies are much more sensitive to the needs of Ukraine, they understand it better. Plus they have the
They actually have equipment that Ukraine is fielding right now and so for them to supply T-72 tanks, or BDR 1s or 2s. This is incredibly timely and
right. So I think we can't criticize this in terms of small countries and big countries.
I just think the smaller countries are more attuned to what's needed right now. And what the U.S. is doing is they're catching up with the realities
on the battlefield. So I expect more of the bigger allies to switch to heavier equipment.
But again, Germany has its own problem in terms of how it organizes itself and how it helps countries?
ANDERSON: Interesting. Look, I interviewed Finland's Foreign Minister earlier today, who as you know, this is a nation edging closer to NATO
membership. When I asked him about the threatening statements coming from Russia, about Finland and Sweden joining NATO he said Finland was prepared,
have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PEKKA HAAVISTO, FINNISH FOREIGN MINISTER: We are quite prepared for different kinds of threats. But of course, one issue that we know is that
there is looser argumentation about using of nuclear use of chemical weapons also - Ukraine conflict.
And then we are looking for possibility to strengthen our security through the NATO membership, of course, that means that NATO as an alliance other
possibilities to respond on different kinds of threats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Russia, saying that the potential for these two countries to join NATO is frankly provocative. Nobody is surprised by that the Finnish
Foreign Minister wasn't surprised to hear the threats from Russia. But I do wonder what the implications of this will be for NATO and perhaps on the
flipside more broadly for security in Russia?
ALBERQUE: Look, I think this is an - it's an undisputable good thing for Finland and Sweden to join NATO, especially for Finland. Finland has a deep
memory in understanding of what it's like to go up against, in their case, the Soviet Union in a war.
They're able to defend themselves already. But they made the assessment they did a brilliant government report yesterday that says that Article
Five by joining NATO by having that guarantee it actually reduces the chance of conflict in their region.
And so this is a hard decision for them, historically, but the populace is overwhelmingly for it now and I think now is exactly the right time to go.
ANDERSON: --does this - yes go on.
ALBERQUE: --Russia it complicates their decision making enormously because now, Finland has such a large and capable military, Finland is able to
present all kinds of deterrence conundrums to Russia in how it thinks about attacks west.
I honestly think it shuts down the Baltic entirely as an avenue for Russian threats or attack. I think it makes the whole region so much safer.
ANDERSON: Your analysis is so important as we continue to cover what is this increased assault by Russia on Ukraine? Thank you, sir.
Well, as I mentioned, it appears that the Russian offensive in Eastern Ukraine could now begin any time Ben Wedeman is there as Ukrainians dig in
for what may be an even bloodier phase of this war. This is his reporting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): All is not quiet on Ukraine's Eastern front. Not far from the town of - Russian
mortars warn of what's to come. Ukrainian officials say the offensive in the Donbas region the Eastern part of Ukraine has begun.
WEDEMAN (voice over): Perhaps it has or perhaps this is the softening up before the onslaught among Ukrainian troops bravado. This officer gives a
more sober assessment. The Russians are building up for an attack. They're coming and coming and coming Lieutenant - tells me we're not in an easy
Russian shelling Tuesday killed three people including a 16 year old girl according to the town mayor, who has been urging residents to leave not
everyone, hates his call. The stubborn few wait for supplies.
This is our town insists - we're staying here. We know our soldiers are protecting us. Miller looks to a higher power. We'll pray to God she says
maybe he will save us all. 83-year-old - outside her home she too is staying put in - my son's wife is scared and will probably leave today she
says but I'm not afraid.
And then off she goes on her bicycle gathering storm be damned Ben Wedeman, CNN, Eastern Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Next we look at Southern Ukraine as the besieged city of Mariupol the number of dead could be staggering amid claims that Russia has used in
a horrific tactic. Also this hour everyday Belarusians living in exile from musicians to poker players volunteering to fight Russian forces in Ukraine,
hoping to change the game in Belarus.
ANDERSON: In Southern Ukraine, Russian television and video that supposedly shows Ukrainian marines surrendering in the besieged city of Mariupol. The
Russians claim about 1000 marines surrendered around a steel factory where a battle was underway. CNN does not have crews in Mariupol.
And we can't verify therefore whether this is true or just part of Russian propaganda. A Ukrainian Commander says some fighters "Chose the path of
shame". Well, Russia also claims to seize the commercial support in Mariupol, which we can also not verify CNN's Matt Rivers is following
developments. He's today in Lviv in Western Ukraine and talking to sources looking at social video trying to verify what we understand to be going on
the ground. What detail can we verify at this point?
MATT RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's just incredibly difficult Becky because this is just not a place that that we
can access at this point very easily but in talking to you know our sources and trying to figure out exactly what's happening?
RIVERS: I think it is safe to say that the situation in Mariupol is just horrifically dire for the civilians that remain there people who even can
get out if anyone can get out have a very difficult time getting somewhere safe.
This as both sides say that there are still fighting going on between the Russians and the Ukrainians.
RIVERS (voice over): Weeks after Russia began an offensive bombardment to take the city and still Ukraine's government says Mariupol has not yet
fallen the key port on the southeast coast of Ukraine, increasingly a symbol of both Ukrainian resistance and Russian military goals.
Ukrainian officials are holding up the city as a symbol of a heroic fight with an aide to President Zelenskyy saying on Facebook that two different
units defending Mariupol have managed to link up and continue their fight one of those units releasing a message saying they "Did not give up their
positions". And now there are accusations from the Ukrainians that Russia has used chemical weapons here.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: The day before yesterday, the Russian troops attempted to strike our city with a so called chemical
attack. They tried to drop a chemical agent on our defenders. The agent did affect our defenders and there's evidence a number of people living in
settlements in the outskirts of Mariupol are also affected.
RIVERS (voice over): President Zelenskyy accusing Russia of using "Phosphorus bombs and other munitions" prohibited by international law. The
U.S. as well as CNN teams on the ground have not yet verified that such an attack did indeed occur.
No conclusive imagery has surfaced and Russia denies even having chemical weapons, but chemical weapons are not the destruction in my Mariupol has
been devastating. The mayor says more than 90 percent of the cities infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, and officials say Russian
forces have cut off crucial supplies, including water and food.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are currently discussing 20,000 to 22,000 people dead in Mariupol.
RIVERS (voice over): Meanwhile, Russia is engaged in an intense propaganda campaign, saying it is close to capturing what would be its first major
Ukrainian city since the war began.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a result of successful offensive actions of the Russian Armed Forces and the police units of the DPR 1026 Ukrainian
military personnel of the 36 marine brigades voluntarily laid down their arms and surrendered.
RIVERS (voice over): The Russian military also taking some reporters on a tour of the now destroyed theater where hundreds of people had been
sheltering when it was hit by a Russian air strike last month, according to Ukrainian officials.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see for yourself what the situation in the city is. There are a lot of dead people.
RIVERS (voice over): And for those still alive, a hellish landscape persists, Ukraine's government says about 180,000 people in and around the
city still need to be evacuated. So far, many have not been able to do so.
RIVERS: And Becky, you know, just the fact that the Ukrainian government is estimating how many people have died in Mariupol I think gives you a sense
of how difficult it is to really understand the complete picture of what is happening there. And unfortunately, the longer this fighting goes on, the
more that number of dead will continue to go up. We still don't really have a full complete picture of the death toll quite yet?
ANDERSON: Yes, the idea that we also know that I mean, the death toll is horrendous. The fact that we still don't know whether the 160,000 or
180,000 people who remain are in any way safe, whether they're getting food, water medical supplies is just beyond the pale, isn't it?
Let's just step back for a moment and remind our viewers of the significance of Mariupol Matt.
RIVERS: Sure, well, I think first and foremost, you have to look at its location. So not only is it one of the largest port cities in Ukraine,
something that Russia would certainly want to get his hands on, but by capturing Mariupol and they still obviously haven't as of yet, what the
Russians would essentially be able to do is create a land bridge between land that it already holds in Crimea and to the Donbas region.
And if the Russians are going to be successful on what everyone is expecting their next offensive to be, which will be to move in to the
eastern part of the country. They have to have money up if they're going to claim success.
You have to have that city in order to connect those two regions, just like they want to go after Kharkiv and other cities in Mariupol has been a
target of this campaign for the Russians since the very beginning. It still hasn't fallen.
And so Vladimir Putin is going to try and claim success in the east in this offensive in the coming days and weeks. Mariupol has to be a part of that
ANDERSON: Marr Rivers is on the ground with analysis. Matt, thank you and you. You talked about how Kharkiv, Ukraine claims its special operations
forces destroyed a bridge in the Kharkiv region as a Russian convoy crossed it Kharkiv and surrounding areas enduring Intense Washington shelling the
Regional Governor reporting four more civilian deaths in the city today.
ANDERSON: Nima Elbagir and her team toured bombed out neighborhoods there as Russian forces move in.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Desolate bear, lifeless, this is what it looks like after weeks of
relentless Russian shelling. Saltivka, the most densely populated district in Kharkiv, it's being bombed day after day, night after night. There are
very few people left, the elderly mostly.
ELBAGIR (on camera): One man stayed behind to keep his mother safe. Igor says that he lives on the 16th floor of one of these buildings with his
mother. He says his mother is deeply religious and deeply committed to staying here, even though they're almost entirely surrounded and she won't
leave. So he won't leave.
ELBAGIR (voice over): But this is a front line under renewed pressure. The Russians are pushing hard.
ELBAGIR (on camera): That is so close. Those are Russian positions. They're shutting towards us. We are just over a mile away from the Russian forces.
This is their route into Kharkiv and then on in to Ukraine.
For now, this is the front line that could change at any moment now, they are trying as hard as they can to push that front line inwards.
ELBAGIR (voice over): The soldiers want to show us more evidence of the heavy bombardment.
ELBAGIR (on camera): The soldiers want us to move very quickly because Russian snipers are operating in this area. We've got to move.
ELBAGIR (voice over): The rumble you hear is the constant shelling.
ELBAGIR (on camera): The shellings just been absolutely relentless from the moment that we've arrived, we've been hearing it. We have to be careful
where we start because the Russians are also dispersing mines from the rockets that they're sending over into here.
ELBAGIR (voice over): The shelling has intensified over the last few days. Regional officials told CNN this is evidence of the renewed Russian
ELBAGIR (on camera): Yes, let's go. So from where we are, we're pretty much surrounded by Russian troops on three sides. Tens of thousands of Russian
troops are believed to be amassing to come into Kharkiv, to come into Ukraine from this direction. We've got to move.
ELBAGIR (voice over): The soldiers wanted us out of that or it was becoming too intense. Just 30 minutes later, we saw why, this warehouse is in the
south of Saltivka. It took a direct hit. This is an area that after the initial aborted invasion has been beyond the reach of Russian ground
troops. But now once again, nowhere is safe. Nima Elbagir, CNN, Kharkiv.
ANDERSON: Well, that was Nima and her team reporting on the ground. The ripple effects of what is going on there Russia's war on Ukraine, prompting
major global organizations to call for urgent coordinated action on food security.
Heads the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the World Food Program, and the World Trade Organization signed a joint statement in which
they warned households are under more and more pressure due to supply shortages and higher prices for food, staples.
And for food producers, the soaring prices of fertilizer and natural gas needed to make that fertilizer are making business in many places
unsustainable. David McKenzie reports.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The early starts and the intense work at the Philips at a Keller bakery in Lagos used to be worth it
used to be profitable.
ABIGAIL OLUFUNMILAYO PHILLIPS, BAKERY MANAGER: So entirely this year, precisely around the time of the bombing of Ukraine it has affected the
supply of yeast which has affected our primary item of production which is a white wheat loaf. Our flow has been very expensive, the prices are
MCKENZIE (voice over): Now they can only afford to produce half of what they did, and each - gets less dough. This war is horrifying for Ukraine's
people; it could be devastating for global food security.
Russia and Ukraine are agricultural export powerhouses on the field of battle, farmers will struggle to plant crops. With export ports blockaded
by Russian warships, it has pushed the prices even higher.
So the 10 hours Maryam Adegoke spend selling bread won't be enough to feed her two children. She says customers don't have the cash anymore they often
refuse to pay the going rate. And even on the fertile slopes of Mount Kenya they are hurting. [11:25:00]
MCKENZIE (voice over): Caroline Kimarua had to slash her workforce. The cost of fertilizer for tea and coffee plantations has doubled in recent
CAROLINE KIMARUA, FARMER IN EMBU, KENYA: You have no money to buy that fertilizer at that high cost.
MCKENZIE (voice over): And Russia is one of the world's biggest fertilizer producers, sanctions and trade disruptions are likely to push prices even
MCKENZIE (on camera): Could this be any worse timed?
WANDILE SIHLOBO, CHIEF ECONOMOSIT, AGRICULTURE BUSINESS CHAMBER OF SOUTH AFRICA: If the war is starting at one of the worst times because we were
already thinking we are in a recovery mode. On top of that, there were already inflation pressures that were across the world. Africans are
spending a lot on fuel and spending a lot on food. Then in this current moment, this is a tough time for the continent.
MCKENZIE (on camera): The impact of this conflict is coming on top of already soaring global grain prices. And if you look at this map over here,
of course, countries across the world could feel the pain.
But economists point to specific African countries like Senegal, which imports more than 50 percent of its wheat from Ukraine and Russia. And
Somalia, which imports more than 90 percent
MCKENZIE (voice over): And in Somalia, already suffering from generational drought, hundreds of thousands of children like seven month old Arden, are
hollowed out by hunger and sickness.
If the rains fail again, the war in Europe could push this crisis into a catastrophe even into famine. Aid agencies depend heavily on grain from
Ukraine. David McKenzie, CNN London.
ANDERSON: Well, the World Trade Organization warning that a serious crisis is looming if action isn't taken soon. I spoke earlier with the Director
General of the W.T.O and asked her what governments need to do now to avoid these global food shortages.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION: Specifically, I think from the point of view of the W.T.O first of all,
we're saying that members should avoid putting export restrictions or prohibition so that we can have the free flow of trade in the world.
Because when there is a tendency to hold back food, you know, in a crisis, policymakers tend to hold back and that will exacerbate the rising food
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And you can catch that full interview on my twitter @beckycnn and later of course email@example.com Ahead on "Connect the World" more clashes
between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the West Bank as Palestinians mourn a teenage boy fatally shot by Israeli soldiers.
We take a look at the escalating violence there. Here in the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson feeling the heat from critics who do not like his
new immigration plan what they are saying about it is up next.
ANDERSON: Welcome back to "Connect the World". Before we get back to our continuing coverage of Russians, Russia's invasion of Ukraine day 50, we'd
like to get you up to speed on some of the other stories that we are tracking for you.
And in the West Bank, hundreds of people turned out for the funeral of a teenage boy shot dead by Israeli soldiers and this happened in the village
of Husan. A witness tells CNN soldiers were firing at someone else making fire bombs when the boy was hit.
Well, his death coming amid a string of deadly clashes and other incidents across the West Bank where violence is increasing as Israel responds to
what its prime minister calls a new wave of terrorism, following a series of attacks in Israel that killed 14 people.
Hadas Gold is connecting us from Jerusalem. What more do we know at this point how our militant groups like Hamas responding to this for example?
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, first of all, regarding that 14 year old who was killed in the West Bank village of Husan, which is not far
from Bethlehem, the Israeli military says the boy was throwing Molotov cocktails that soldiers to which they responded with live fire, and that
the incident is being reviewed.
As you noted, a witness told CNN that the soldiers were firing at someone else making fire bombs. But as I noted, the IDF says that the incident is
under review. But he is one of at least five Palestinians who have died in the past 24 hours in clashes with Israeli forces, tensions and violence
have been reaching really new heights across the West Bank.
The Israeli army has been increasing its operations and raids there in response to a series of attacks in Israel over the past few weeks. Also,
last night, videos show hundreds of Palestinians throwing rocks at Israeli army vehicles in Silwad.
This is a village not far from Ramallah. And the Israeli army says that they were on an operation to capture a member of Hamas who had escaped from
a Palestinian Authority prison. The man had been accused of killing an Israeli in 2014.
But according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, one person who shot and killed in those clashes and six others were injured also by live fire.
Now it's hard to pinpoint where this most recent cycle of violence started.
The IDF says the military activity will continue for as long as necessary after those four attacks in less than three weeks in Israel killed 14
people, including that shooting up at Tel Aviv bar that happened exactly one week ago, which killed three Israelis.
The Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has vowed that there are no restrictions on Israeli security forces in the war against terrorism. But
Becky, it's that sort of rhetoric and the increasing number of clashes and deaths in the West Bank.
It's led to international groups like the European Union and the United Nations, as well as the Palestinian leadership to accuse Israel of using
excessive force in the West Bank.
The Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has called it a shoot to kill policy. And Becky, I should note it's kind of interesting you asked
about Hamas the Gaza has actually been very quiet.
We've seen no rockets fired, no balloons fired, but Hamas has warned that they are watching what's happening in the West Bank, they're calling for a
mobilization. And they're especially warning about Al Aqsa, the Al Aqsa mosque also known as the Temple Mount and Jerusalem.
Security forces will be on an especially high Alert tomorrow. Because it is the unique day when Ramadan, Good Friday and Passover will all overlap,
something that only happens once every so many years, Becky.
ANDERSON: Remarkable. Hadas, thank you for that. Well, Britain has taken the wraps off a new immigration plan. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says
anyone trying to enter the country illegally will be relocated to Rwanda under a partnership deal with the African nation.
Amnesty International UK describes a plan as shockingly ill conceived. Mr. Johnson went on to say that the British Navy will take on responsibility
for intercepting migrants who are trying to reach the UK by boat from France.
CNN's Nada Bashir is following all of this for us. And she is here with me, perhaps no surprise to hear from the rights groups that they find this a
shocking policy. What more is the government saying at this point?
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Yes, absolutely. We've heard fierce criticism not only from this human rights organizations from political opposition
from members of the public over this new immigration plan, which was announced today by the Prime Minister and his Home Secretary, Priti Patel,
who is in Kigali speaking alongside her, the Rwandan Foreign Minister.
And what we have been told is that those arriving in the UK through what the government deem to be illegal means that is namely those crossing the
Channel in small boats or getting to the UK in refrigerated trucks at very high risk to get to safety in the UK.
They will now be relocated to Rwanda where they will then have their asylum claims heard there.
BASHIR: So they have the option to settle in Rwanda. There's an up to five year period which the UK is touting, where they'll receive accommodation,
healthcare training in order to what the Rwandan foreign minister said today to be integrated into Rwandan society.
But that has drawn fierce criticism as you mentioned in serious concern. Of course, we heard from human rights organizations who said that two thirds
of the people coming to the UK believed to be asylum seekers are then found to be refugees, people fleeing persecution thing conflict in desperate need
of safety. But the prime minister said today that he doesn't agree with that, take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We must have our own framework for full sovereignty over our borders. And we must find a way to stop these
boats now, not lose thousands more lives while waiting for a deal that just doesn't exist.
And I know that there will be a vocal minority and who will think that these measures are draconian and lacking in compassion. And I simply don't
agree. There is no humanity or compassion, in allowing desperate and innocent people to have their dreams of a better life, exploited by
ruthless gangs as they're taken to their deaths in unseaworthy boats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASHIR: Now that vocal minority isn't just the human rights organizations. We've seen protests over the nationality and borders bill which is
currently going through parliament over the UK government's whole immigration plan, and particularly, of course, from the opposition Labor
ANDERSON: More or less as we get it, keep your eye on it for us. Thank you. Let's get you a look at some of the other stories that are on our radar
right now and she turns 96 next week and she's had some mobility problems lately.
Now we are hearing from a royal source that Britain's Queen Elizabeth will not be attending this Sunday's Easter church service at Windsor Castle. The
Queen recently revealed she was left feeling in her words very tired and exhausted after a bout of COVID-19.
Well in the Philippines, modern bad weather is hampering the search for more victims of the tropical storm there. 76 People are now confirmed dead
with many others missing.
The storm cause devastating floods and landslides obliterating houses and farmland. Well, the death toll has written to more than 300 on South
Africa's east coast where a powerful storm set off widespread flooding.
The South African President Cyril Ramaphosa toured the devastation Durban where record rainfall triggered mudslides, damaged roads and caused power
outages. China is struggling to contain its COVID 19 outbreak in Shanghai even after two weeks very strict lockdown.
It's one of the dozens of Chinese cities under full or partial lockdown, which is likely to impact business and the economy there in China and
around the world. Here's my colleague David Culver.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Shanghai setting another record high and deadly COVID cases as it battles this Omicron fueled surge. In a severe
lockdowns, they're continuing for most of the 25 million people who live in this metropolis.
Residents are still battling trying to get access to basic necessities, doc and food and medicine. The panic and growing uncertainty has now spread
beyond Shanghai. At least 44 cities are under either a full or partial lockdown, so as to keep in line with Beijing's zero COVID policy.
And many of these are along China's Coast impacting major ports and affecting shipping that in turn adding to global supply chain concerns. In
neighboring - city officials there urging the 12.7 million residents to stay at home and stop all unnecessary movements.
And folks likewise stocking up especially after seeing the horror stories from Shanghai, residents in - rushing to supermarkets shelves there quickly
Similar scenes are playing out in Guangzhou where the city of more than 15 million is undergoing a third round of city wide mass testing. Two cities
in northeastern Jilin Province, Changchun and Julin City remain hotspots.
Despite lockdown measures there that has been in place for more than a month. They still are having issues. Changchun has quarantined within
200,000 people since the start of this most recent outbreak.
Now back here in Shanghai as COVID cases continued to rise, the recent anger, the frustration, the fatigue, all of that now have police warning
that anyone violating lockdown orders would be punished in strict accordance with the law. David Culver, CNN Shanghai.
ANDERSON: David Culver reporting. Pakistan's military denies a U.S. led conspiracy was behind Imran Khan being ousted as Prime Minister. I spoke
with the Chairman of the Pakistan People's Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari about the major power shift in his country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILAWAL BHUTTO ZARDARI, CHAIRMAN, PAKISTAN PEOPLES PARTY: So indeed, it is a big victory for democracy that we are moving towards electoral reforms
and free and fair elections. We're not a selected government like Mr. Hans, but a government that is truly like representative of the people of
Pakistan can decide their fate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That was a full and diverse conversation and you can see a lot more of firstname.lastname@example.org, the web addresses is there on your screen for you
taking a short break back after this folks.
ANDERSON: What's Russia's invasion heads into its eighth week you have the right. This is week eight. Some countries in Europe are edging closer to
NATO membership Finland and Sweden could soon join the U.S. back to Lyons after years of committing to military neutrality.
Earlier I spoke to the Finnish Foreign Minister; I asked him why the sudden change in positioning. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAAVISTO: And I think we have seen a major shift in the public opinion in Finland during the recent weeks. Clear majority of population is now
supporting for the NATO membership.
But we have also the majority now in the Finnish Parliament or the Finnish Parliament will discuss this matter in the coming weeks. And if the
majority clearly will state that of course, then the process will go on, and then it's spending on NATO and 30 NATO member states how rapid the
process can be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: You can watch that full interview online at cnn.com/connect. Well, back in Ukraine, the struggle continues to get people out of Mariupol
and other cities in the East and in the south earlier.
Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister announced nine humanitarian corridors will open for evacuations. Now as we've seen so often during this war, and
indeed in other conflict zones, there is no guarantee of success.
Just yesterday, the Deputy PM said no corridors were opened accusing Russian forces of blocking evacuation buses in one region and violating a
ceasefire in another. Well, my next guest is part of the U.N. team, the United Nations team.
They're focusing on the plight of Ukrainian civilians. Amin Awad is the U.N. crisis Coordinator for Ukraine. He joins me now from Kyiv. Look, it's
good to have you on sir. I know times are very, very tough. What is the team there been able to achieve on the ground?
AMIN AWAD, U.N. CRISIS COORDINATOR FOR UKRAINE: Thank you very much. This is a very difficult time for us here in Ukraine for the country and I think
for Europe and the world at large. We have been able to ramp up our delivery of aid and international protection to about 11 million people
that are four of them 4 million of them plus outside the country and 7 million inside.
AWAD: This is the highest number we've ever seen in history so far. And it's a new challenge for us. We are ramping up delivery; we have up to 2
million people that are being assisted now.
We have 505 international staff, another 1000 local staff, and hundreds of local NGOs on societies working with us. Our priority is really access to
these hundreds of thousands of people who are behind the lines.
And also to really make sure that civilian infrastructure like water, sanitation, fuel energy are intact so that the population can, during this
very tense time, see benefits from services like water and heating.
ANDERSON: Yes, there are two sides of this and out there that what you were just discussing their latterly the former, of course, is getting people to
safety where they are caught not least in places like Mariupol.
Now, how are you getting on with regard these humanitarian corridors? I mean, are they open? Are they working? And are you coordinating with the
Russians in order to ensure that they are safe that people get safe passage?
AWAD: Well, this is a very complex issue. And to tell you, frankly, it's also somehow ingrained in politics. Yes, we have coordination with the
Russian as a matter of fact; we have a de-confliction and notification system with Russian.
However, it's been very, really difficult. 20 percent of the time only we get access to some areas. And we also have to work further on protocols,
principles governing these corridors. And when those opportunities or humanitarian, all of this to make sure that there is no there is no
breakout of conflict and fighting or firing line.
We are trying to evacuate people or deliver assistance through these corridors a long way to go. It hasn't been working as much as we expect it
to work. But we're still depending on both sides to make it happen.
And you continue to push with corridors, with our trucks across lines, we're making some success in areas where there is no corridors needed.
However, it is very important to really have a humanitarian poses a ceasefire and a protocol that guarantees the safety of the population and
our humanitarian workers.
ANDERSON: Where are the priorities for you as far as these evacuation corridors concerned now, sir?
AWAD: Mariupol is very important, 170,000 people are still trapped there. There is no access to water, food, energy or heating. And that's important,
this became really, it became an icon, if you like in this, in this terrible situation all over the news all over the world.
But still, we cannot - the public messaging, we cannot get through this is population or allow them out to safety.
ANDERSON: Let's hope that changes. And you know, let's hope the U.N. can ensure that they can get the work done. Listen, I have to ask you are how
much evidence has the U.N. been able to find with regard war crimes, allegations of war crimes?
How much? What sort of focus have you got? What sort of capacity have you got to investigate on the ground at this point?
AWAD: Well, these are human rights issues, genocide, or human rights violation. The United Nation pronouns itself that - an investigation, it's
this was deferred to legal judiciary bodies, who will do this as independently as possible and as thoroughly as possible and in a rapid
manner. That's where I live it really.
ANDERSON: Have you; are you aware of evidence at this point of war crimes or genocide on the ground?
AWAD: Well, genocide is very well defined in international law. And evidence from a distance like that it will not be the right thing to really
utter. I don't have evidence, but there are studies and there are investigations that were authorized and I think that will be done and in
order before I can really speak any further on this subject.
ANDERSON: I mean the work the U.N. is doing on the ground is so important. Thank you for taking time out to speak to us today. You're watching
"Connect the World, we'll be right back.
ANDERSON: Well, Elon Musk says he is putting his best and final offer to buy Twitter. According to an SEC filing, he's offering the $54.20 per share
in cash. That amounts to $43.4 billion.
We've just learned Twitter is set to hold an all hands meeting with staff today to discuss the offer. Anna Stewart is here with me, - it doesn't
matter what the staff thing is what the board thinks at the end of the day.
But it's nice that they're holding an all staff meeting because it's been very confusing for staff over the last week or so hasn't it since Elon Musk
arrived on the scene?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Thinking of using for staff for investors and for all of us journalists trying to keep up with the next sort of twists
and turns of this story. And there are so many questions here would regulators allow it. What would shareholders think but ultimately will the
board accept it?
And they met today at 10 a.m. - eastern, we believe, and they have this meeting coming up with employees. And from all the analysts notes I've
sifted through, it's a big fat no, yes, this price may be a more than 50 percent premium from when Musk built up the stake.
But listen, this is $54.20 Twitter; it was trading at $70 last year. And then there are questions as to whether he's really serious. Is it all just
a publicity stunt?
ANDERSON: It is fascinating. One of the biggest shareholders Alwaleed has said specifically today that the proposed offer 54.20 doesn't come close to
the intrinsic value of Twitter, given its growth prospects being one of the largest long term shareholders, I reject this offer.
It just echoes what you've just said. We'll have to watch. We'll have to watch and see what happens. But it's fascinating times.
STEWART: It is absolutely fascinating. And I have to say one thing to watch is the fact that he said that if they don't accept this offer the final
offer the only offer, then he will reconsider his position as a shareholder. So that's an over 9 percent stake in Twitter that could
suddenly be dumped onto the market, what the share price will do.
ANDERSON: Questions on the back of an envelope, please? Thank you. Actually, I don't have to go. I can stay.
STEWART: Oh, we can talk. We've got two more minutes. Well, why don't we get into? What would Elon Musk - at the head of Twitter?
ANDERSON: That's a very good question. What word Elon Musk even does a better Twitter.
STEWART: At least he seems to think you'll transform it. He says he is the absolutist of freedom of speech and that this company can't be transformed
while it's public. And he says he's got absolutely no faith management.
So he thinks this is what he will do. Now I mean, as we say, there are lots of questions over regulation, everything. Do you ever allow any billionaire
to become the head or the owner of such an important platform for freedom of speech around the world?
Question number one. And would you with Elon Musk, who is so controversial and provocative and has tweeted all sorts of things in the past that don't
really well have been content moderators?
ANDERSON: Yes, no, absolutely. And those are two really important points. But controversial and provocative are two different things, aren't they? I
mean, you know if he's used the platform to break the rules in the past, and we should be really concerned about what he might do with the company
The fact that they that he's a controversial figure is another thing entirely, isn't it? And I was thinking about this the other day, as we were
just considering how much money for example this guy makes on a daily basis, or has done during the COVID, the COVID pandemic almost 6 billion or
Are we saying that something like that? Why do we believe he's so controversial? It's just a very sort of open question.
STEWART: I mean there were some tweets he's made where he's compared the Canadian Prime Minister to Adolf Hitler. There was the time he compared the
British caver who rescued the young Thai boys who was stuck to a pedo. There have been plenty of tweets that were taken down.
And of course, that big moment when he said he was going to take Tesla private on Twitter misled investors and got fined tens of millions of
dollars. So there's quite a lot there and he's used Twitter for all of that.
ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. Thank you. That's it from us, myself Anna, and the team at "Connect the World", much more on "One World" though with Zain
Asher after this.