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Connect the World

Ukraine Town Braces for Russian Offensive; World Bank Predicts 50 Percent Increase in Energy Prices in 2022; Russia Missile Hits Residential Building in Kyiv; Europe Faces steep Challenges in Mission to Curb Russia Gas; China Defends its Zero COVID Strategy as "Magic Weapon"; Kidsave helps Thousands Evacuate Active Combat Zones. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired April 29, 2022 - 11:00   ET



ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Hello and welcome back to "Connect the World". I'm Eleni Giokos, and I'm in for my colleague Becky

Anderson. And we begin with another devastating blow to the already battered Ukrainian City of Mariupol.

At least 600 people were injured in the heaviest Russian airstrikes yet to hit a steel plant. There were hundreds of civilians, including children are

holed up. The city's mayor says the bombing which has a makeshift hospital within the complex is a war crime.

This is video from inside that field hospital after bombardment by Russian troops but CNN cannot independently verify exactly when this was taken. A

military official describes what's unfolding inside.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know the details. I know that a mission has arrived in Zaporizhzhia and that they are going to try and mount a rescue

operation. These are hundreds of people and they have dozens of children with them. The youngest is four months old. Yesterday was a heavy strike on

a direct hit on the field hospital that is situated inside Azov Steel Plant and the operating theatre was hit directly and all the surgical equipment,

everything that is necessary to perform surgery has been destroyed the right now we cannot treat our wounded.


GIOKOS: And as he mentioned, all of this comes as a critical operation to rescue those still trapped in the plant begins. But that plan could already

be doomed. Ukrainian officials saying Russian troops are blocking evacuations from parts of the complex.

Also in Eastern Ukraine, the military reports heavy shelling in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Officials are accusing Russian troops of robbing

one village of over 60 tons of wheat and video shows trucks on fire at this key railway hub in Donetsk.

It serves as a crucial supply line for Ukrainian troops. Meanwhile, the U.S. and NATO say Russian troops are making slow and uneven progress in

their ruthless assault on Eastern Ukraine, but that they're learning from mistakes that they made during the early days of the war, and that has

people in the south and Eastern Ukraine bracing for the worst. We've got Nick Paton Walsh, following this from Kryvyi Rih. Thank you so much, Nick,

good to see you.

We're hearing about imminent attacks close to where you are. Could you give me a sense of firstly, the Intel and secondly, what we think the Russians

are trying to achieve there?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly the fear for here Kryvyi Rih, the hometown of Ukrainian President Volodymyr

Zelenskyy, is that it may possibly face the brunt of the Russian attack that is certainly looming to the south of where I'm standing.

We saw ourselves in the villages and the expanses of rural farmland countryside to the south of this industrial hub quite how Russia is pushing

forward. In some areas Ukraine is pushing back in others, it's extremely fluid, but I think there's no doubt that there is some motion in Russia's


They're moving up the left hand side of the Dnipro River banks also possibly too some slight progress around the town of Mykolaiv. All

important or possibly the result of more forces being freed up as the agonizing siege of Mariupol begins to wind towards an end.

But here certainly in the south of Kryvyi Rih in the countryside there, there is continued motion and this is what we saw there yesterday.


WALSH (voice over): If Moscow had any surprises left in this war, it is along here. The other side of the river has been rushes for weeks. But here

the western side is caught in the fast changing landscape of this week's push.

WALSH (on camera): That's the prize over there the Dnipro River up past which on the left side bank here, the Russians are trying to push wanting

control of both sides of that vital part of Ukraine. Here in - we are told there are a handful of Russian tanks just over a kilometer away on its

outskirts, pushing, probing, but ultimately kept at bay by Ukrainian forces that still hold the town.

Resilience here embodied Ludmila under the threat of rocket fire, planting onions. I'm here until victory she said. A 90-year-old mother and her are

staying here. Her mother says she's not going anywhere and she's not going to leave her alone. All her windows are blown out she says.


WALSH (voice over): Ukrainian forces who don't want their positions filmed are dotted around the town as to other signs of innocent lives lost here.

Rockets peeking out from under the water and this boat in which 14 civilians tried to flee Russian occupation on April 7th. Four of them died

when Moscow's troops opened fire when it was 70 meters out.

Yet still the desperate keep fleeing. This morning these women left behind their men to defend their homes near --.

WALSH (on camera): We ran, ran early in the morning said Luda they didn't let us out we're shields for them they don't let us out by foot or by

bicycle we go in the fields we ran. Soldiers were two kilometers away - ads and we ran to them. Well, they need the Russians tank, she said; take cars

- ads on everything. As their new unwanted guests demanded milk and food at gunpoint. They had a glimpse of their warped mindset.

They say they've come to liberate us Luda said these aggressors. That's what they told us. They say America is fighting here, but using the hands

of Ukrainians to do it. That's what they say.

WALSH (voice over): Another claim to be fueled by the violence of the long war with separatists in the east. In general, that - militants say she

said, you have been bombing us for eight years now we bomb you. Across the fields, loathing and artillery swallow hole once happy world's.


WALSH: What is unclear here is exactly what the ultimate goal of this southern offensive is? Yes, certainly there are fears that it's bound for

here Kryvyi Rih, but also to Russia announced last week, a lofty goal at the second phase of its offensive will be to head west from Kherson, the

area where it has most of its forces gathered towards the Port City of Odessa, even possibly towards the border with Moldova, where in the

breakaway separatist region of Transnistria.

We've seen heightened activity of the possibility many speculating that might be to suggest some kind of Russian move there possibly a distraction,

possibly though some analysts saying the better money is on these forces moving north along that river bank to head east and join up with the other

offensive that seem to be making slow progress for Russia, in the east of the country.

A lot of that though, leaving people here deeply concerned because of the fluidity of what's happening and the violence that it unleashes.

GIOKOS: Yes, it's such a good point, because Odessa would be a very key geography for the Russians. But we've heard from the U.S. saying that the

Russian progress has been slow, as well as uneven. And then I want us to also take into consideration the Military firepower and the capabilities.

After hearing the Defense Secretary of the U.S. saying, look, and the Russian military has already been weakened to some extent as they've lost

some precision equipment that's not easily replaced.

WALSH: Yes look, I mean, obviously, the military fighting this campaign is one that is possibly better knowledgeable of the enemy that it faces and

frankly, its own weaknesses, its own inability to resupply itself, but it's one that's already lost thousands, possibly tens of thousands if you listen

to some of the more pessimistic for Russia accounts of its best troops.

And so the military here, it seems certainly in the south a mixture of Donetsk and Luhansk separatist militants, some units of regular Russian

military from - even talk of Chechens as well. It's more of a hotchpotch in some units that have been put back together again after being heavily hit

in the failed offensive around Kyiv.

So it's a weakened Russian military strengthened by perhaps better knowledge, but one that probably doesn't have an infinite level of

resources to achieve its tasks. So the question essentially is, what is their ultimate goal? What is the thing that the Kremlin feels they need to

achieve to announce some kind of victory?

And frankly, will Ukraine stop fighting back? On Ukraine's side, they are increasingly getting better and larger amounts of Western supplied weaponry

and that does enable them to push back so we are going to see I fear in the months ahead continued fighting.

GIOKOS: Nick Payton Walsh, thank you very much. Now for weeks we've seen the destruction in Eastern Ukraine as Russia intensifies its attacks and

now claims from Ukraine that Russians are rubbing their farmers' wheat in stocks in the south.

The Ukrainian armed forces general staff says Russian troops rob more than 60 tons of wheat and cargo trucks from an agricultural cooperative in the

Zaporizhzhia region. The war is putting a big strain on the global food supply.


GIOKOS: And the World Bank warns the food and energy price shocks that we're seeing could last for years and it has just released its first

comprehensive analysis of the war's impact on commodity markets.

Now, energy prices are set to increase by a whopping 50 percent this year. Wheat is forecast to increase by 42.7 percent and reach new record highs in

dollar terms. The World Bank writes the increase in energy prices over the past year two years has been the largest since the 1973 oil crisis.

Price increases for food commodities, of which Russia and Ukraine are large producers and fertilizers, which rely on natural gas as a production inputs

have been the largest since 2008. I want to talk more about this with the President of the World Bank Group, David Malpass, joining us from

Washington, D.C.

David, really good to see you! To be honest, reading this report and the outlook it's one of the most grim reports I've read in a very long time and

very concerning. What is worrying you the most out of your forecasts? And is this a conservative report? Or can you say comfortably that you've

priced in the worst case scenarios?

DAVID MALPASS, PRESIDENT, WORLD BANK GROUP: Hi, Eleni. Well, the most concerning is the suddenness of the spike in prices and the shortages in

wheat and food foodstuffs and fertilizer, energy and in winter countries, it means people are cold, but when their food is missing, it means children

aren't eating. And that's a concern in many parts of the developing world.

This forecast is meant to project out commodity prices. Obviously, no one can forecast very far into the future. It depends a lot on what the supply

is going to be in other countries to make up for the losses in Russia and in Ukraine. And that is yet to be determined if you say how much fertilizer

is going to be made over the next six months.

It depends a lot on the policies of the exporting countries and the producing countries. We saw palm oil exports cut by Indonesia, that's a big

disappointment. And that affects cooking oil prices around the world.

GIOKOS: Yes, and if you look at the lockdowns in China, that creates other supply constraints. But you know, I guess since we've seen these kinds of

cycles before we you see enormous price shocks, like we saw in the 70s. What tools are there that we could use to mitigate some of this short term


I know that you're looking at a 15 month crisis financing target of around $170 billion? How can that be put to work to try and alleviate the pain?

MALPASS: We will be putting money into help production. We also finance export, I mean, sorry, trade credit. That's where businesses borrow short

term money and use it to increase supply. So those can help. It also matters a lot what the regulatory policies are around the world on the

supply side, those it's going to be critical for markets to know that their production is going to be welcome out into the future markets look ahead.

So the big investments that are needed have to be made with the idea that there's going to be a use for their production 10 years forward. That's

especially through energy. So the policies on energy production are going to be one of the biggest variables in getting through this crisis and

getting to the other side.

You're right, China is a big guy's swing, swing factor in production of all sorts of goods. So they're shutdowns are hurting the supplies, various

commodities around the world, the other countries can make up for those. But there has to be a conducive environment for production for new

investment. We do that in developing countries, and we encourage it in the advanced economies.

GIOKOS: Ukraine has seen $60 billion according to your report with of damages infrastructure damages every single day, we're hearing about more

infrastructure damage. Today we heard that Russia military are taking wheat from warehouses. Does this mean if we take out more wheat from these

scenarios that have been mapped out?

Even U.S. President Joe Biden said that they're going to try and get logistics back up and running to get more grain out of Ukraine? If we take

more volume out what does this actually mean for food insecurity in the most vulnerable of areas around the world?

MALPASS: It would help if enough food can be taken out. We're working on the transport system the border from Ukraine into Poland is a very

important one for the rail transit.


MALPASS: Under transport system systems, the border from Ukraine into Poland is a very important one for the rail transit, but they don't use the

same gauge railroads. And so it means that cargoes have to be transshipped.

These are these are logistics, difficulties, big challenges, and you've volume of food available in Ukraine for export is way beyond the export -

the capacity of the of the land routes, they need to reopen the sea routes through the Black Sea. But those have been - those that have been severely

hurt by the war.

These are all topics that that that are under discussion of how do you - how do you solve the shortages that are coming out? And I say again, it's

very important for markets to have confidence that their supply will be needed into the future, the long term planning of the investment cycle is

one of the most important factors right now.

GIOKOS: David, the U.S economy shrank in the first quarter. We're seeing, you know, similar numbers coming through from Europe in terms of much lower

growth scenarios. This year was meant to be a post COVID You no growth year?

We've used every single tool, monetary policy tool available fiscal tool available, it's caused a bit of inflation compounded now, by supply

shortages, what is left in terms of what countries can do to pull them out of this new, huge uncertainty that's facing the global economy?

MALPASS: There are actually a lot more tools to use as far as how do you stimulate supply? If you're facing an inflation problem and a slow growth

or negative growth problem, the thing to do is to create more to get people working, and companies investing.

And so the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan, the ECB, are still in the old mode, where their policies were meant to accommodate and encourage

demand. And I think there needs to be a big shift toward encouraging supply through better regulatory policy and a change in the asset mix of the of

the major central banks, they're owning bonds.

And I think it would be much better if they were - if they owned short term instruments. That way, they wouldn't be crowding out the private sector the

way they are now, in their choice of capital allocation.

It's vital as we go forward, that markets see that there's going to be more and more capital allocated to new businesses, women owned businesses, small

businesses, developing country businesses, in order to create the supply that's much needed.

Giokos: There are huge issues with unsustainable debt burdens across low income countries and middle income countries mostly exacerbated by the

Pandemic. And the prognosis is that the biggest countries that are going to be impacted in terms of you know, economic shocks are again, the most

vulnerable countries. Are you thinking about debt alleviation or suspension of debt repayments at this point in time, specifically for the most


MALPASS: I think that's necessary for some of the poorest countries, their debts are just unsustainable. And so there's no benefit to the world of

trying to collect from countries that aren't able to pay, and especially from the people of those countries that don't even have enough food, to be

making interest payments on debts that were arranged years ago with a different government to a different global climate.

So we need to be having more adjustment going on in the global debt system. That was a major topic of our spring meetings last week of the IMF and the

World Bank here in Washington. And I think there are more steps to go to have a process that will work in two ways.

One is to restructure the existing debts that are unsustainable, and two going forward to have more transparency in the lending conditions, the

borrowing conditions that countries are facing, so they don't keep getting into this debt crisis.

GIOKOS: And at the World Bank IMF meetings, we saw some countries walking out when Russian delegates started speaking. I know that you've stopped new

projects and loans to Russia. But are you planning to suspend Russia from your institution?

MALPASS: We stopped lending in actually in 2014, after their Crimea invasion that the articles of the World Bank don't allow for a political

suspension. It needs to be from the shareholders as they work as a group. So we're listening to our shareholders and watching how they - how they



MALPASS: I think that that idea of excluding Russia will be more possible in other institutions as the world looks at the things that are necessary

given Russia's invasion, a horrible invasion of Ukraine.

There are other institutions where this will lead. And then the World Bank shareholders will be talking about it, thinking about it, and as you say,

walking out of the meetings as they did last week.

GIOKOS: David Malpass, thank you very much for your time and your insights, it's really important time to talk about the economic rather than the

ramifications of this war, great to have you on.

Now Russia's war on Ukraine is an attack on World Security. Strong words from Ukraine's Prime Minister after bombs at Kyiv, while the U.N. Chief is

in town. And a little later this hour energy security in Europe as it tries to stand tough against its major gas supplier, Russia, I'll be talking to

an expert on what Europe is facing that's coming up later in the show.


GIOKOS: Ukraine's President is calling for a powerful response after he says Russia bombed Kyiv, while U.N. chief Antonio Guterres was wrapping up

his visit there. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says five missiles hit the Capitol in the attack Thursday night.

Several people were injured when officials say one of the missiles hits an apartment building. Ukrainian officials are condemning the strikes. The

president's office saying it's more proof that the world must unite around Ukraine. CNN's Matt Rivers reports from Kyiv.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this right behind me is the site of that missile strike where Ukrainian officials say Russian cruise missiles

hit during the evening hours on Thursday afternoon. At least one woman was killed as a result of this strike her body found by rescuers who arrived at

the scene going through the rubble earlier in the day on Friday.

We know that at least six people also now hospitalized with various injuries including carbon monoxide poisoning from a fire that broke out

here as a result of that missile strike.

Now, right we're very close to a factory that Russia says it was actually targeting with this strike. Russia's Ministry of Defense there saying that

they were targeting a factory that produces is one of the top producers here in Ukraine have air to air guided missiles as well as aircraft parts.

That factory was also damaged. We can't show you that factory due to Ukrainian law. It is close by to where we are right now. But look, this is

another example of Russia saying they're striking a target with a supposed military relevance.

And yet this the damage the primary damage from this strike has no military relevance. This is an apartment building where ordinary people live where a

54 year old woman was killed.

She was working here in Kyiv as a journalist for a radio station yet another example of Russian missiles killing ordinary civilians. And keep in

mind this also happened. Right behind me when the U.N. Secretary General was in town, he was here for talks with President Zelenskyy and his



RIVERS: He had just come from Moscow where he was trying to work with the Russians to open up humanitarian corridors to get people out of some of the

besieged areas of Ukraine.

And then the second part of that trip he was here in Kyiv, he was hoping for some sort of breakthrough between the United Nations and Russia, this

is the message that Russia chose to send while the U.N. Secretary General was in town. Matt Rivers CNN, in Kyiv.

GIOKOS: Well, the Ukraine could be getting a massive shot in the arm to help fight the Russians. U.S. President Joe Biden is asking congress to

prove more than $30 billion in new aid.

But Ukraine would not be the only beneficiary. CNN's Alex Marquardt shows us who stands to make a lot of money off the deal.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As Russian troops poured across Ukraine's border kicking off the Russian

invasion in late February, something else was happening at the same time in New York. The stock prices of the biggest U.S. weapons manufacturers spiked

many eventually climbing to their highest point in years.

MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: War is good business for parts of the economy. Historically, it doesn't mean the defense contractors

cynically want it. I know a lot of people in these companies and they're as heartbroken by the war in Ukraine as the next person. But yes, war is good

business for certain parts of the economy.

MARQUARDT (voice over): The latest American weapons shipments to Ukraine include systems like scores of 155 millimeter howitzers that haven't been

sent before switchblade and those drones, hundreds of armored personnel carriers joining the now well known and brutally effective javelins and

stingers on Ukraine's battlefields.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Sometimes you will speak softly and carry a large Javelin because we're sending a lot of those in as well.

MARQUARDT (voice over): Javelins are made in part by Raytheon CEO said last month, they do expect to benefit from the need to replenish U.S. stocks.

GREGORY HAYNES, CEO, RAYTHEON: We don't apologize for, for making these systems making these weapons. The fact is they are incredibly effective in

deterring and dealing with the threat that the Ukrainians are seeing today. Eventually, we'll have to replenish it and we will see a benefit to the

business over the next two years.

MARQUARDT (voice over): Raytheon along with seven other weapons companies, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman met earlier this

month with top Pentagon brass and a classified meeting about not just supplying Ukraine, but replenishing U.S. and allied inventories.

O' HANLON: I'm not going to deny that these kinds of conflicts can help certain companies. It's the reality of the situation. But we should also be

glad, to the extent we want to help Ukraine, we should be glad we have this industrial base that's capable of producing this stuff on short notice with

such high quality.

MARQUARDT (voice over): The Biden Administration alone has contributed almost three and a half billion dollars of military aid to Ukraine in the

two months of Russia's war compared to the Pentagon's 2023 requested budget for weapons. That's just 1.2 percent.

Critics say the Pentagon and contractors could use the Ukraine conflict to justify bigger budgets and more weapons sales.

WILLIAM HARTUNG, SR. RESEARCH FELLOW, QUINCY INSTITUTE FOR RESPONSIBLE STATECRAFT: My concern is when those weapons are replenished, will it be at

a reasonable cost? Will the contractors gouge the taxpayer? And also will there be ancillary changes in our military spending that don't really

relate to Ukraine but are used because the fear related to the Russian invasion to spend on things that they really don't have to do with a

defensive Europe.

MARQUARDT (voice over): There are also concerns about where the billions of dollars of weapons are going. Once they crossed the border into Ukraine,

officials say the U.S. has no way to track the weapons, nor of course, where they end up in the long run.

JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: Once it gets into Ukrainian hands, it's up to the Ukrainian Armed Forces to decide where it goes, what unit

gets it when, where it's stored if it's stored at all temporarily. That is up to the Ukrainians to decide not the United States.


MARQUARDT: In the $33 billion of Ukraine funding the President Joe Biden requested on Thursday, more than a third of it 11.4 billion would be

allocated towards replenishing the U.S. weapons inventory and money for Ukraine to buy more weapons.

That's where the new business for these weapons companies will come from and there will be more. So a major concern now is making sure that weapons

companies don't take advantage of this crisis of this moment to raise their prices. Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.

GIOKOS: And we're just learning that the U.S. is sending more than a dozen flights loaded with military assistance to Europe over the next 24 hours,

all of them heading for Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin has accepted an invitation to attend the G20 summit in November, on the Indonesian Island of Bali. The Russian president was

invited to the summit by his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo in a statement, President Widodo says his country wants to unite the G20.


GIOKOS: He also invited Ukraine's president to the summit. Vladimir Zelenskyy has not said yet if he will attend. And just ahead, Europe's got

a big problem. It wants to help Ukraine, but it relies on Russian energy. Find out why my next guest says the continent is in what he calls a very

severe situation.


GIOKOS: Energy warfare, it looks like that is Vladimir Putin's New France and his unprovoked war on Ukraine. This week the Russian leader cuts off

natural gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland in what's the EU calls blackmail.

The EU is split over how to respond to Moscow's demand that its gas be paid for in rubles. Keep in mind Russia is a key producer of coal, oil and

natural gas and bearing down on energy warfare policies could pit Europe into recession.

At the same time, the World Bank is warning of the worst commodity shock in 50 years. The possibility of countries like Qatar, for example, replacing

Russian gas supplies in the near term is limited by among other things, a complicated production and transportation process.

Without a network of pipelines from places like Qatar to Europe, natural gas must first be purified and converted into liquefied form so it can be

shipped. This liquefied natural gas or LNG is created through a specialized cooling process.

Then it is carried on a massive tanker ships and transported to processing terminals. Those terminals then convert the liquid back to a gaseous state,

so it can be delivered to consumers through pipelines.

Germany for one currently doesn't have any such facilities. It's announced the construction of two terminals, but those could take years to build. My

next guest says and I "without Russian gas we are probably in the worst situation we've ever been".

Torben Brabo is the Senior Vice President of Energinet Denmark's gas transmission system operator. He is also President of Gas Infrastructure

Europe and is responsible for LNG operators on the continent.

He joins me now live from Copenhagen, really good to see you. I mean, honestly, your warning is something that that a lot of people have been

fearing. I want you to give me a sense of what Russian gas out of Europe would mean for the continent.


TORBEN BRABO, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, ENERGINET: Sure, thank you for having us under these unprecedented times. I'll first go to Ukraine, on gas, which

constitutes 25 percent of the primary energy consumption in Europe. 40 percent comes from Russia. And that is severe.

If we lacking let's say, 40 plus percent of our gas consumption combined, it's 10 percent of the total energy consumption in the European Union, that

is the Russian gas.

Naturally, we have prepared to say for decades for security of supply markets are set relying to say, on a lot of input sources, Norwegian North

African LNG and also Russian gas.

So we have never thought we should be in this situation, neither one you neither both in Europe, nor this situation in the gas sector.

GIOKOS: I want you to give me a sense in terms of the volume of gas that's been coming through from Russia since the war started, have you seen any

disruptions? Have you seen an increase in demand?

And give me a sense of the supply demand dynamics, keeping in mind, we know that now Poland and Bulgaria have been cut off?

BRABO: Yes, sure. So the Russian supplies have actually been fairly stable. So every morning at nine o'clock, the European gas transmission system

operators meet in a crisis call. And we've read information from all the countries, we could also do it, let's say in real time, if let's say

something more urgent happens.

So we have received very stable Russian supplies through the pipelines. And now they have caught off, let's say for Bulgaria and also for Poland.

In the meantime, we have seen that already in March 8, European Commission came, let's say you with a proposal to mitigating both the energy crisis of

last year, and then let's say the more severe war situation we are having now.

So the LSA protecting residential consumers for the energy bills, they allowed to use state aid, guidance, subsidies for these consumers, they

push really for renewables. So apart from the say, the solution is also more wind and more sun.

And then we also say, assessing how we can redefine the natural gas supply, I can come back to that. We will lose a lot of Russian gas, and we can look

how we can get additional sources, LNG you just said from U.S. or Middle East, that's by far the biggest.

So Russia delivers 150 billion cubic meters of gas. And we consider to import one third of that in additional LNG volumes that is probably a bit

too optimistic. We assess from the European gas facilities, can we produce more there and get more gas from Norway or from Algeria.

So we have to say a good toolbox of eight to 10 different tools that we are assessing. And they can be used differently in different European


GIOKOS: I want to ask you very quickly about payment for gas in rubles. And are you concerned that that is going to create tension between European

countries and it's sort of a ploy by the Russians to create tension in Europe would you say?

BRABO: So, my job is, let's say to be the independent system operator, so we're not into the commercial business. So we simply just accept some of

the facts. But I know that some of the European energy companies they have a say set up mechanism, so they can actually pay in rubles.

And then when with an intermediate bank, and then the Russian see this payment as being done in rubles, the European counterparts do it in

Europe's where we have seen few companies do that. I don't know whether more companies are willing to do it.

GIOKOS: Yes. Very quickly, are you forecasting and your worst case scenarios that you're putting in, in terms of scenario planning, or

recession in Europe, if the taps are turned off by Russia?

BRABO: So we are not at that point yet. Right now we are two months into the conflict. We have actually received a lot of gas from Russia, it is on

stall. All the countries are, let's say for their self, let's say protecting themselves and the consumers for the next winter.

We see a lot of different opportunities. So to some extent, we might be in a situation where we could meet the coming winter, less severe than we

actually feared. But also have in mind that all these investments going on for buying within hydrogen will also assist not only in the short term, but

also let's say help Europe become even more let's say decarbonize in the long run.

GIOKOS: Yes, Torben Brabo, thank you very much, great to have you on the show. Much appreciate it.

You're welcome, thank you.

BRABO: All right, and head on the show. People in Shanghai China under one of the world's strictest lockdowns make their voices heard. We'll tell you

why they are banging their pots in protest.



GIOKOS: Right now at least 27 cities across China under some degree of COVID lockdown, Shanghai, a city of 25 million has been under one of the

world's strictest lockdowns for weeks. About 12 million are now allowed to leave their homes.

Late Thursday a banging your pots protest rang out over the city. People have not been able to leave their homes or neighborhoods and have been

relying on the government to bring them food and medicine, many say it has been insufficient and inequitable.

Still, China has is defending its zero COVID strategy as "magic weapon". Selina Wang is in Kunming in southwestern China, and Selina great to see

you. And I know you've had your fair share of time to travel around and experiencing the relentless testing and some of the bureaucracy.

But honestly, I don't think we've ever kind of seen this very vocal response by people in China the "banging of pots". We've seen so many

videos of their experiences. What is government's response right now, given the discontent?

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the government censors Eleni they are struggling to keep up with the volume of complaints coming from Shanghai.

These desperate stories of people still, after this more than month lock down many still struggling to get enough food and medical care.

But despite this overwhelming frustration from Shanghai officials, actually they're doubling down on this zero COVID policy. And many observers may say

it's more about politics than science in some ways.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping, his personal stamp on this zero COVID policy and the official stance has been that this policy has enabled China to keep

COVID deaths rates low.

And that if they were not to have this policy, you would see deaths and cases skyrocket like they have in other parts of the world. It's also part

of the propaganda machine, part of the leadership's reasoning for why they think their system is superior.

But we're also seeing lockdowns across China at least 27 cities in some sort of lockdown that's impacting around 180 million people. That's more

than half of the U.S. population.

It's not just Shanghai and Beijing that are dealing with the struggles. And meanwhile in Beijing so far, the partial lockdowns, the mass testing seem

to be more organized than they were in Shanghai.

The officials in Beijing they're desperate to avoid the chaos and failures of the Shanghai lock down. But still residents, they're getting nervous

more and more compounds and venues. They're getting locked down because of positive COVID cases.

They've been tested three times in just the span of a week. More than 21 million residents tested multiple times over and over again. They are

stocking up on goods. There's been some panic buying, they're trying to prepare for what may be worse to come, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes and I mean, the government is calling it its magic weapon there's zero COVID policy. But what do we understand about the profile of

this specific outbreak in terms of hospitalization rates and deaths?


WANG: Well, if we're talking about the Shanghai COVID-19 cases, they have climbed down from more than 20,000. Now they're more than 10,000.

Meanwhile, in Beijing, the numbers are quite low.

In fact, after rounds of mass testing since Friday, they've only detected less than 300 COVID-19 cases. But what officials are worried about is how

quickly these cases can spiral as they saw in Shanghai from just a few dozen to tens of thousands.

But of course, these are just reported cases in China, they're always have to be taken with a dose of skepticism. Another really big challenge,

though, about the way that these cases are being handled in which we saw in Shanghai is that every single positive case has to be sent to a government

quarantine facility. And as we've seen, many, many of them are in extremely poor condition, Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right, Selina, great to have you on, thank you so very much. CNN's David Culver is one of millions of people in during this week's long

lockdown in Shanghai. Here is a look inside his life.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is a look at my life set up in my apartment. The camera equipment all sent in from my photographer

in Beijing, he was able to get it in just before the lockdown took effect so that I could continue working.

My dog after 45 days making himself comfortable on the couch, this is where he does his business can't go outside for walks for him. My door I have

taped up because they've been disinfecting buildings and some of the fumigation has been coming in.

Over here, I've had this backpack for now several weeks, it's my go bag, just in case somehow I test positive despite being in lockdown, or I'm a

close contact and they send me off to an isolation center.

I've then got to find someplace separate to send my dog so I've got documented food and all his things pack fair. I call this COVID corner.

I've got face mask, I've got the antigen test that we need to take each and every day and submit our results to the government through an app some

disinfectant over here.

This is the most recent vegetable delivery the government handout, keep that there sufficient supplies in my fridge, got to keep close watch of how

much you're eating and kind of parcel it out ration it out over several days.

Out here I'm lucky enough to have an outdoor space. But this is also where I've piled up a lot of my trash and recycling. You can only have a

community volunteer come to receive it and take it away.

So it sits out here until then some disinfectant by the door for any deliveries. A lot of folks though, don't have this type of space so their

trash just piles up inside their own homes.


GIOKOS: Right, let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. Turkey's President is in Saudi Arabia. It is his first

visit to the country since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to mend ties with Saudi Arabia amid economic challenges in his own country. Mr. Erdogan took part in an

official ceremony at the palace before meeting one on one with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Several dozen people were injured in a confrontation between Palestinians and Israeli Police at a key holy site in Jerusalem. It happened earlier

today, the last Friday of Ramadan at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound.

Tensions at the site have been heightened during Ramadan with clashes every Friday. And explosion as a Kabul mosque after Friday prayers has left at

least 10 people dead and 30 injured. Witnesses say the death toll is probably much higher.

It's the latest such attack in Afghanistan over the past two weeks, so far no group has claimed responsibility.

The Taliban are condemning the attack. Six time Grand Slam tennis champion Boris Becker has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail for

flouting the terms of his bankruptcy in 2017.

Earlier this month, the 54 year old Becker, a former world number one and three time Wimbledon champion was found guilty for offenses relating to his

bankruptcy including failing to disclosed assets.

One group is helping thousands of people flee rushes onslaught in Ukraine, how volunteers started using their own cars to drive civilians like these

hundreds of kilometers to safety. That's coming up.



GIOKOS: 5.4 million Ukrainians have fled their homeland so far to seek refuge in a foreign country. And as the war rages on the U.N. projects

rather more than 8 million refugees will leave Ukraine.

While since the start of the war Kidsave has helped evacuate 14,000 people out of active combat zones to the borders of nearby countries. What started

out as a small three member team of volunteers and their friends has grown into a network of dozens more who also provide humanitarian aid to

Ukrainians in desperate need.

I want to bring in Randi Thompson, the President and CEO and Co-Founder of Kidsave to talk about the work organization is doing in Ukraine. She joins

us now live from Los Angeles.

Thank you so much, Randi, good to have you on. Your team has been working in some of the hardest hits of areas in Ukraine and frankly, reporting from

other NGOs that have found extreme difficulty getting in and out getting aid in an art. How are you achieving this?

RANDI THOMPSON, PRESIDENT, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER, KIDSAVE: Well, for one thing, we were already in those hard hit areas when the conflict started.

Our team is based in Mykolaiv and we've been working in Mykolaiv and Kherson.

So they know the roads, they know the back, you know, the area like the back of their hand, which certainly helped. I mean, these were people who

were child advocacy people putting children in families.

And suddenly, when that war started, we needed to get them out of these combat areas as quickly as we can. So as you said, you know, we've

actually, as of today, it's more than 17,000 people that we've been able to rescue out of the combat zones, and we're feeding another 14,000 every day

who are still there.

So it's become an enormous effort. And we've got altogether about 200 people on the ground, who are working to get people out as quickly as they


GIOKOS: Yes, could you give me a sense of what is going on in the areas where your teams are and what they're telling you in terms of the need of

people wanting to get out? And importantly, how the children on whether they are facing danger?

THOMPSON: Yes, well, everybody's facing danger. I mean, there am people who want to stay as long as they possibly can in their homes, because for many

of them, they don't really the fear of being a refugee are very tough.

So we often get calls and we're getting more and more and more calls to our hotline every day for people who want to get out. They often call when the

danger has really gotten intense, you know, when the bomb when the missile is blowing up in their backyard.

So you know, our people are going in when they can through humanitarian corridors, but they're also having to go in the dark of night and try to go

in and extract people.

From the standpoint of children, I mean, children, we work with children who are in institutions. And then we also work with kids that are in

families. And the kids in institutions were facing terrible things even before this war started.

And so now you can imagine the challenges for them. When they have to, you know, they don't know what's going on, and they're facing this whole fear

without a loving family to count on. So what we're doing with those kids is we're trying to keep them as safe as we can.

We're trying to move them together to safe places, so they're semblance of normalcy as they're.

GIOKOS: Randi, I want you to tell me what happens on the other end. You know, when you're able to evacuate some of these children, as you say, some

of the most vulnerable, there's a concern there's going to be so many more orphans, so many more children that lose their parents. What is your

greatest fear?

THOMPSON: Well there's going to be a whole nation of children that have been through this trauma. And so obviously we're working to get you know

psychologists and to be able to continue to work with the children.


THOMPSON: Right now we're trying to keep the children who are without parents together. Because that, you know, from the trafficking standpoint,

concerns, keeping those kids together with their orphanage groups is really important.

I think as my, as you look at people losing more families, there's going to be tremendous amount of work to do when this conflict is finally over. And

one day it will be over.

And so we're already starting in addition, today, just to recap, its safety. Today we're trying to get people out as quickly as we can. We're

trying to get food in. And then you know, as we look down the future, we're trying to figure out and we're working with great companies like Boeing,

who are you know, already thinking about how do you work in Ukraine after this is over? What do we do to - into families?

GIOKOS: Randi, thank you so much. We've run out of time. We've run out of time. Thank you so much, and we hope to get you back on very soon. Thank

you very much for joining us on "Connect the World". I'm Eleni Giokos. We continue our coverage right after the short break. Stay with us.