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Captured Ukrainian Marine Speaking After Release; Red Cross, U.N. Trying to Evacuate Civilians from Mariupol; U.S. Denies Involvement in Russian Warship Sinking in Black Sea; At Least Three Killed, Four Injured in Israeli Attack; Global Markets Rattled by Thursday's Wall Street Selloff; Painful Search for Missing Loved Ones in Town Ravaged by War; Boris Johnson's Party Loses Strongholds in Local Elections. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired May 06, 2022 - 10:00   ET




HLIB STRYZHKO, WOUNDED UKRAINIAN MARINE (through translator): Very, often when I close my eyes I see that moment when the tank was firing at me and

my side getting injured.


ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: As the next stage of evacuations from Mariupol is underway, we hear the story of one survivor who fought the

Russians before being taken prisoner. And.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I want them to return my husband and son, or at least tell me where they are now. Where do they hide my

boys? I can't find my place in life, where are they?


GIOKOS: As Russians evacuated some Ukrainian towns, residents say they kidnapped people and this woman is still waiting for news of her loved


Plus, outrage in Israel as a suspected terror attack leads three people dead. We will go live to Jerusalem.

I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi, hello, and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.

Now the later stage of evacuations reportedly is underway from the battered and besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. About 200 people, including

women and children, are believed to still be there after weeks of Russian bombardment. But Ukraine's president has warned that the shelling has not

stopped. Ukraine's Azov battalion is already claiming that Russian forces have fired on a car trying to help get people out.

The United Nations is calling for a one-day cease-fire, so the last of the survivors can leave safely.


MICHELLE BACHELET, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: A one-day cease-fire will present 30 to 70 civilians from being injured and it

doesn't -- from becoming disabled. A one-day cease-fire would allow several thousand civilians to safely leave areas where they're currently trapped in

hostilities. Most importantly, a cease-fire will show that the horror in Ukraine can be stopped.


GIOKOS: A medic inside the plant says that people there are dying in agony from bullets, hunger, or lack of medicine. Meantime, Ukraine's president

says his government is doing all it can to get trapped and wounded civilians and soldiers to safety.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls Mariupol an example of torture. This is how he described what's going on in the city's last pocket of resistance.


PRES. VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINE (through translator): Russian shelling and assault on Azovstal does not stop. But civilians still need to be taken

out. Women, children. Many children who are still there. Just imagine this hell. And there are children. More than two months of constant shelling.

Bombing. And constant death nearby.


GIOKOS: A Ukrainian Marine who was badly wounded last month in Mariupol was captured and held for weeks by the Russians.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh met with him after he was released in a prisoner exchange.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is how Hlib's war ends. But if you told him he was lucky, he'd probably

agree. He fought for Mariupol in the other steel factory Ilyich since the war began, put tourniquets on friends, felt the heat of Russian tanks

blasting his building from just meters away. He survived, but only just, here after 17 days as a wounded prisoner in Russia.

STRYZHKO (through translator): Very often when I close my eyes, I see that moment when the tank was firing at me and my side getting injured. On the

day of my injury, one of my boys, a machine gunner, was killed. Every time, it's personal. Every time I heard it over the walkie talkie, or in person

that someone was dead, it would conjure memories of him.

WALSH: His mind also in pieces, left grappling with fragments of the worst fighting in Europe for decades.

STRYZHKO (through translator): You know, there is a point when the brain accepts it. Seeing the phosphorus missiles, seeing aviation flying in. When

this became normal, that was scary.


We learned how to fall asleep with this accompaniment. Instead, it became scary to fall asleep in the silence.

WALSH: Two moments though haunt him here.

STRYZHKO (through translator): The first time I use tourniquets on my friend and the second scene is this. We saw aviation destroying whole

hangars, watching a huge hangar to have nothing left in just seconds. This has really been engraved on my memory.

WALSH: Wounded on April the 10th, when he regained consciousness, he was not where he thought he was.

STRYZHKO (through translator): The first time I found out I was held captive was when we were inside an ambulance, me and another guy with

similar injuries. He asked, are you ours? And they replied, it is unclear now who you mean by ours now. They said I was under the guard of the

Ministry of State Security of the separatist DPR, but it was scarier when I got to the separatist hospital.

I was told by a Russian soldier you'll have to forget Ukrainian now. You will only get help if you ask in Russian.

WALSH: The Russians kept him alive, he says, so they could exchange him for their own.

STRYZHKO (through translator): There were two of us bedridden, so we had to be fed by nurses. So, they would say, because of you my son got killed. I

tried to be understanding, but they were accusing us of things we never did. And we had Russian news read to us all the time, in the morning and

evening. That was a lot of pressure on the mind. A distortion of reality.

WALSH: On April the 27th, an exchange happened and he was put on a plane. His pelvis crushed, his lower jaw broken, brain concussed. But he can still

feel his legs.

STRYZHKO (through translator): And I also have problems with my eyes, because of constant bright flashes and dust. So, at first they were glazed,

then they opened. For now, I still can't see with my left. And my right, only silhouettes. My body was broken, but not my spirit. My doctor says

that I would be able to pick any New Balance sneakers by autumn. That makes me happy.


GIOKOS: All right, disturbing experience there. We've got Nick Paton Walsh joining us from Kryvyi Rih in southern Ukraine.

Nick, great to have you on and incredible to hear that story. I want to talk about the evacuations in Mariupol. You've been so plugged into the

efforts so far this week, we saw big movements earlier in the week, and now we're seeing intensified bombardments. But again, the messaging from the

U.N. that they will keep on trying.

WALSH: Yes, look, it is hard to have full transparency on exactly who is getting out and where from. And the Ukrainian government have been clear

they are going to provide limited details to presumably facilitate what they are trying to do at the moment. But we do know today that U.N.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted that 500 people have got out. That does appear to be, though, a cumulative number of civilians from also

the other areas around Mariupol.

Now I understand a few days ago that we did see those hundred-plus emerge from Azovstal. There may have been some subsequently but it does appear

that the intense bombardment, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the shelling has not stopped there on, down there. That is making

that evacuation exceptionally difficult. So instead, hundreds are getting on to this U.N. corridor from the general Mariupol area.

I remember there are villages, roads there with civilians along them, trying to get out, found themselves blocked by Russian checkpoints on the

way. And so the U.N.-Red Cross mechanism was a bid to try get that corridor moving. But you've got to remember, Eleni, that we're talking about

possibly as many as 100,000 civilians still caught in Mariupol. Many of whom will want to try and get out from the Russian occupation, the threat

of disease.

And so the issue being now that if that U.N. corridor is moving a matter of hundreds over a few days, that is a phenomenally small fraction. Valiant

efforts, and one they of course want to escalate in terms of the volume there, too. But not a huge number and a clear sign that the violence and

certainly Russian obscene getting people out is getting in the way of that -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: We've also heard Ukrainian officials saying that Russians are restoring symbols from the Soviet era. I mean, when Vladimir Putin was

talking about what he would do next, he spoke about the past in a very nostalgic manner. I guess we could safely say that the phantoms of the past

are perhaps now with us. What more can you tell us?

WALSH: Yes, I mean, there are suggestions that possibly monuments representing the sort of Soviet era clenched fist, a sort of sign of

victory often connected with the Soviet victory over the Nazis on what was called the eastern front back then that they are being seen in Mariupol.


And then as the Russian flag is being purportedly being seen over a hospital in Mariupol, and then we've also heard than in Kherson, the ruble

has been introduced. There are slow signs here and there. We've seen occasionally on the battlefield Soviet flags. This curious nostalgia. You

might call it bizarre. You might call it misfounded, frankly, given the nature of how the Soviet Union collapsed.

But as one man who obviously feels that nostalgia more acutely even possibly anybody else, and that's Russian President Vladimir Putin who

called the collapse of the Soviet Union the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. That in itself may be somewhat overblown, if you

consider what else happened in that very turbulent 10 decades. But this is clearly fueling a lot of Kremlin's motivation to persist here, to recreate

that sense of broader Soviet community, you might say, although obviously people here will call it occupation, brutality and empire.

But still, the signs coming back are clearly a bid by Moscow to show that they have an ideological platform, that they are creating a more permanent

presence or at least hoping to, and possibly also to tell those whose land they're currently occupying that they think they're there to stay. But it

is strange in 2022 to be seeing things --


WALSH: Reminiscence of frankly one of the most brutal and dark periods of European history over the last 100 years -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: Ominous undercurrents. Very fascinating to see how that's playing out.

Nick, always good to see you. Thank you so much.

Sources tell CNN that the U.S. provided intelligence that helped target Russia's flagship destroyer, Moskva, last month. The warship sank on April

14th after Ukrainian missile strikes. Sources say Ukraine spotted the ship in the Black Sea and then asked Americans to confirm that it was in fact

the Moskva. The Pentagon is denying providing specific target information.


JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: Did not provide specific targeting information about the Moskva to the Ukrainians. We weren't involved in

their decision to conduct that strike and we certainly weren't involved in the actual execution of that strike.

And again I want to just stress that in order for us to be able to help Ukraine defend itself, it's not just about the weapons. It's not just about

the training. It is about some of the information. And we want to be able to protect that information. And rightly so. And so weeks like this and

stories like this, they are unhelpful to the effort to help Ukraine defend itself.


GIOKOS: Pentagon correspondent Oren Liebermann has been on the story and joins us now live. It's been interesting to hear the White House and the

Pentagon's messaging about the intel. So we know that they are providing intel that is helping Ukrainians gain some advantage. But it is about how

that intel is being used. Are they washing their hands clean of it? So in other words, they're saying, here's the intel, do with it what you will.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know this intel has been shared pretty much since the beginning of Russia's invasion of

Ukraine. But from the beginning, the U.S. was very careful first about what it shared exactly and in second about what it said about what it shared,

and this is very much a situation like that. So let's go back to mid-April. From what we understand from sources familiar with the situation, the

Ukrainians had spotted what they believed to be the Moskva in the Black Sea not too far from the Ukrainian coast, within their ability, perhaps, to

target it.

But they weren't sure about what they were looking at. And that's when sources told CNN they reached out to the U.S. for confirmation, and that

the sources say is what the U.S. provided. Confirmation that it was in fact the Moskva. But those sources say that information did not come with a

decision on whether or not to carry out the strike. In fact, the U.S. they say did not know they intended to carry out the strike, nor do they try to

move the Ukrainians or push them in either direction.

The warning from the Pentagon here is very specific. The U.S. did not provide specific targeting information according to the Pentagon. And that

they say is where essentially they draw the line in terms of what they did, what they did not give.

Here's Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby speaking about this earlier today.


KIRBY: I am not going to get into the specifics about the intelligence that we provide, Brianna. And we talked about this Russian general story as

well. We are not providing specific targeting information to help Ukrainians go after senior military leaders on the battlefield. We give

them information. Other partners give them information. And oh, by the way, they have terrific intelligence of their own.

They corroborate all of that together and then they make the decisions they're going to make and they take the actions they're going to take. It's

not just about the United States providing a specific piece of data. They pull all these things together, and they make their own decisions and take

their own actions.

And let's not forget, they are under an invasion right now. They have been invaded by Russia. Russia is the aggressor. So when we talk about these

operations, and I frankly don't wish that we would, but when we do, let's remember who the aggressor here. It's Russia.


LIEBERMANN: So the Pentagon trying to draw essentially a line here between what is provided and how it is used, and how Ukraine decides to carry out

that information and carry out its strikes.


The Pentagon says the U.S. provides intelligence, information, situational awareness in certain parts but they're very clear that that information is

not or rather the intel they provide is not or should not be used to carry out specific strikes on specific targets, whether in this case that's the

Moskva, or whether that's for example a Russian general or high-ranking official.

Ukraine has claimed to have taken out I believe somewhere around nine or 10 Russian generals on the battlefield, as well as other officers. The U.S.

being clear it is not providing that sort of intel to the Ukraine. And putting that essentially on the Ukrainians for having the capability and

the intel to carry out those strikes and plan those strikes on their own. So the Pentagon and the White House, the Biden administration trying to be

very careful here in the role it played in mid-April, but also beyond that in terms of the ongoing intelligence going back and forth here.

GIOKOS: Interesting, it depends on how that intel is used, lots of nuances there. Thank you so very much, Oren. Good to see you.

Now ahead on the show, a manhunt is underway for two suspects in a suspected terror attack in Israel. More on the men police believe are

responsible for this gruesome attack.

Plus global stocks have been on a wild ride. A closer look at the turmoil along with the latest U.S. job numbers, next.


GIOKOS: In Israel three victims of Thursday's suspected terror attack in Elad were buried Friday following a huge funeral procession. Three of the

victims are in life-threatening condition, and that's according to the hospital treating them.

Much more from our Hadas Gold live in Jerusalem.

Hadas, what do we know about the suspects?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Eleni, I do want to note that as you noted the three victims who were buried today were Oren Ben Yiftah, Yonatan

Havakuk, and Boaz Gol, all were fathers of multiple children, all men were in their 40s. This attack happened last night on Israeli Independence Day

in a small mostly religious town in central Israel. Around 8:30 pm what we know is two suspected attackers began seemingly randomly attacking people

along the street and near a park in this town using what police say may have been a rifle and possibly an ax and a knife.

As you noted three were killed, four were injured, three of those injured are still in very critical condition. Now police say the two suspects then

fled in a vehicle and they are now -- they have not named the suspects, said that they are two Palestinians., one 19, one 20-year-old from a town -

- from a village near Jeannine in the West Bank.


They still have not caught these two suspects. The police have been on a -- police and army have been on a massive manhunt. We -- last night we heard

police helicopters hovering overhead the city. There have been roadblocks in the West Bank and in Israel stopping many vehicles. Searching, checking

identification, searching for these people.

It's interesting and it's notable that police say that the suspects came from near Jeanine because Eleni, Janine is where two attackers came from in

a series of attacks in Israel that are targeting Israelis that have killed now around 18 people since late March. This is something that the Israeli

prime minister is calling a new wave of terrorism. Something that Israel has not experienced before.

Now so far no group has claimed responsibility for last night's attack, although Hamas, the militant group that runs Gaza did immediately put out a

statement crediting and congratulating the attackers -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right, Hadas, we know that Israeli Russian relations have been on shaky grounds specifically after Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister,

made those comments. Give me a sense of why Vladimir Putin is apologizing right now? Does that mean that he's disconnected from what his foreign

minister is saying? And what's that going to mean for relations?

GOLD: Well, it's really interesting because, you know, Sergey Lavrov made those comments on Sunday, saying things -- absurd claims like Hitler was

Jewish, and that the worst anti-Semites are often Jews. These are unfounded claims. He was trying to use it as some sort of justification for Russia's

claim that they needed to de-Nazify a country with the Jewish president. And we immediately saw a flurry of angry condemnations from Israeli


The prime minister called it lies, the prime minister called it unforgivable. They summoned the Russian ambassador for talks in Israel. But

then since that initial flurry of condemnations, Israeli officials have actually been relatively quiet. Despite the fact that the Russian Foreign

Ministry continue to amp up this rhetoric. They continue to kind of push this narrative forward. The Israelis were quiet.

And analysts I spoke to said that that was notable and they also thought that it was notable that the condemnations coming from Israeli officials

was focusing on Lavrov and not on Putin. And then yesterday in a congratulatory call about Israeli Independence Day, Israeli readout of the

call said that Vladimir Putin apologized for Lavrov's remarks. We'll have to see whether that sort of helps reset this relationship -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: Hadas Gold, thank you very much. Good to see you.

Now another major story this Friday. The continued selloff on global stock markets. I want you to take a look at what U.S. stocks are doing. They're

extending the steep losses that we saw on Thursday. All this after a solid read on U.S. job growth in April.

We're also watching the major European indices as well. You've got the Dow Jones down seven tenths of a percent. European markets also coming under

significant pressure. You can see a sea of red on your board right now. In Asia, a tough session for the Hang Seng and the Shanghai, China is pledging

to stick to zero COVID policy, and that's stoking concerns about the world's second biggest economy and just demand and supply dynamics.

We have Rahel Solomon who's live for us in New York.

Rahel, so much uncertainty right now and at a time where I guess in normal times one would say you would see all federal reserves, central banks

trying to ease things up by pumping more money into the market. We have the ugly head of inflation changing scenarios dramatically. Federal Reserve

having to make a very tough decision this week. And it is a tightrope. I mean, this is -- we're talking about a very difficult balancing act.

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, that's perfectly said, Eleni. Good to be with you. So let's set a picture here. To your point,

yes, losses today sort of steepening from what we saw yesterday. I want to go through what we saw yesterday and give you some color and a picture of

sort of what I heard on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Yesterday the Nasdaq closed lower by almost 5 percent, the S&P 3.5 percent and the Dow Jones 3.1 percent. And you know, I spent a few hours there on

the floor. And when I spoke to traders and asked, one, how are you feeling? But also what are you hearing from your clients, from investors? What I

heard was anxious. Anxiousness, but not panic. When I asked, well, what's making you anxious?

I mean, Eleni, there are so many moving parts that traders and investors are sort of working with. But of course the main issue is inflation. To

your point that rose at its the fastest pace in 40 years. Last CPI, Consumer Price Index reading put it at 8.5 percent. So to your point about

the delicate balance that the Fed finds itself in, you know, you get the report this morning that jobs came in at 428,000, which usually would be a

really great thing, right?

But this is now 12 straight months of job gains of more than 400,000. And with the market already so tight, with the labor market already so tight,

what that means is that companies who are trying to hire have to pay more, right, to entice workers to come work for them.


And so we see wage growth go up. Wages went up 5.5 percent year over year. And that sort of trickles down into prices that we, as consumers, pay, and

again, inflation, inflation, inflation. When we look at the last few months you can we see steady growth of 400,000. We saw one month of more than 700,

000, result of Omicron openings.

Eleni, this is why Jay Powell said in a news conference last month that the jobs market had strengthen to an unhealthy level. It's extremely hot but

perhaps steady?

GIOKOS: Yes. Look, you know, when I was looking at the wage growth number versus inflation, it's not enough to cancel out what we're seeing on

inflation, which means people are still net poorer at the end of the month. But it's interesting times.

SOLOMON: Exactly.

GIOKOS: Thank you so much, Rohel. Good to see you.

All right, and still ahead on CNN, we visit one of Ukrainian town to see the painful search for loved ones missing in Russia's war on Ukraine. Plus

a tough night for conservatives in the U.K. Prime minister's party suffers big losses in local elections by many voters who say they're growing

frustrated with Boris Johnson.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi. And you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Now a medic inside the besieged steel plant in Mariupol says people trapped inside the plant are dying in agony from hunger, bullet wounds, lack of

medicine. More evacuations are said to be underway. The details are scarce. Officials believe around 200 civilians remain trapped inside the Azovstal

plant. Ukraine's Azov battalion says Russian forces have fired on a car trying to get people out. The United Nations is calling for a one-day


Ukraine says while there is persistent shelling along front lines in the east and south, the overall picture suggests relatively static frontlines.

Meanwhile, Russians are trying to put their stamp on Mariupol ahead of their Victory Day, which of course is on May the 9th, from medals to

Russian soldiers to new road signs as well as statues symbols of the Russian invasion are appearing in parts of the south, especially in


CNN's Sara Sidner joins me now live from the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, and she has spoken to some Ukrainian people looking for loved ones and the

stories are absolutely harrowing.


Sarah, what can you tell us?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, while the war rages and battles rage on there in Mariupol, in the villages that have been freed, where the

Ukrainians have managed to push the Russian troops out, there are these terrible stories of missing husbands and fathers. Husbands and fathers who

the villagers say were snatched from the streets from Russian soldiers.


SIDNER (voice-over): Every single day, Valentina Bobko (PH) waits for the moment her husband and son return home.

On March 11th I called them and Koya (PH) just said, hold on. Wait a minute. And that's all.

(On camera): What do you think happened to your husband and son?

(Voiceover): I don't know. I have no idea. My husband and son won't hurt a fly. They are very kind.

Days before Russian soldiers had occupied the town, when she returned home that day, neighbors told her her husband and son had been taken by Russian


I want them to return my husband and son or at least tell me where they are now. Where did they hide my boys? I can't find my place in life. Where are

they? How am I supposed to live now? Tell me, how?

She is not the only one suffering through this. Across the street and just around the corner, other families are longing for the day their husbands

and fathers return. Yulia (PH) watched as Russians forcibly took their papa away. Leaving them with just pictures for now.

The main thing is they took him and we don't know where he is. We hope we find him. And they, the Russians, will be punished.

They are relieved that this village is no longer crawling with Russian tanks. But it means there is no one left to ask where the men were taken.

In the rubble of war, Gregory Lihogo (PH) has been searching for his brother. He says he was also picked up by Russian soldiers in the same

timeframe as the others.

From the story we heard from a guy, we know he was beaten with a club.

We met the guy he's talking about, who says he too was detained and held by Russian soldiers, who said it was their job to beat them each day.

My hands were tied with this rope, here it is, he says. And another two guys were handcuffed. One of the men didn't make it out alive, he says. In

the morning, the Russians said, that his body was already cold. He reported it to police and it was determined that the man killed was Lihogo's

brother, though nobody has ever been found.

They took the body away. Who knows where? We still don't know where he is.

(On camera): After hearing all this, how do you survive this? How do you live with us?

(Voiceover): It's very hard. Very hard.

We happen to be with Lihogo when he got permission from the homeowner to go on the property where he says his brother was killed. We went down a set of

steep stairs. At the bottom, he stayed merely seconds, the memory of his brother's last moments too much for him to bear.


SIDNER: To search for his brother. He continues to search for his brother. He has little hope, though, that he is going to find him, whereas the

mothers and wives since they have not seen where their husbands are, they have not heard from him, they hope that they will finally see him alive

again. One day. Back to you.

GIOKOS: Sara, thank you so very much for that report.

And if you'd like to safely and securely help people in Ukraine who may be in need of shelter, food, and water, please go to, and you

will find several ways that you can help.

And coming up, Miami is going to have a need for speed in what promises to be a Formula 1 Grand Prix to remember. And he said, now it's she said. The

trial of Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard reveals more disturbing details about their failed marriage.




ZELENSKYY (through translator): Ladies and gentlemen, friends, if everyone in the world, or at least the vast majority, were steadfast and courageous

leaders as Ukraine, as Britain, I am sure we would have already ended this war and restored peace throughout this liberated territory, for all our



GIOKOS: The Ukrainian president there praising Britain's leadership for the ongoing support. His comments reflect just how popular the British prime

minister is in Ukraine. But it's a stark contrast to Boris Johnson's waning support at home.

On Thursday, U.K. vote has vented their frustration with the scandal prone leader. According to early results from local elections, the prime

minister's party has suffered big losses in traditional strongholds.

Bianca Nobilo, anchor of the "GLOBAL BRIEF" on CNN joins me now from Downing Street with more.

Bianca, I'm so glad that you're on this show because I've been watching you relentlessly cover all the scandals that Boris Johnson has been embroiled

in over the past while. And this is such an important litmus test, firstly to what the electorate thinks of Boris Johnson and the numbers are pretty

telling, specifically in London. How are you reading into what you're seeing?

BIANCA NOBILI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, the scandals definitely keep me busy, Eleni, that's true. And as you point out, a perception of a leader

internationally is often very, very different from the picture domestically. And today just underscores that. It was a terrible day for

the conservatives in London. Labour has made strong gains there. But overall perhaps not the catastrophe people were expecting Boris Johnson to

have, but a lot of that is because the Conservative Party try to manage expectations so much.

They've been beset by more scandals that I have time to count here. And Boris Johnson having many investigations against him now, three, was

expecting to have a really bad time in these elections to be completely trounced. And that's been the message that the conservatives have been

trying to get across that victory will essentially be a mitigated failure. So it's been an expectation management exercise. And Boris Johnson has had

a difficult day.

Kier Starmer, though, is also having a trying day because after all of the arguments that the Labour Party have made about Boris Johnson and members

of his Cabinet being hypocritical in breaking COVID-19 rules, it's been announced today by Durham Constabulary that the opposition leader Kier

Starmer will also be investigated for a potential breach of COVID-19 rules. This is in April 2021 last year.

And the reason that they haven't investigated until now, they say, is because new information has come to light. And they also wanted to wait

until after these local elections before investigating. But the picture we're seeing here is one of general apathy towards the two main two

parties. It is a much better day for Labour, but nothing triumphant. In fact their vote share may have dropped slightly since 2018.

And (INAUDIBLE) now being investigated by the police, Eleni, puts the Labour Party in a difficult position.


He still really hasn't proven himself as a leader that can deliver a general election victory to his voters, to his party. So the fact that he's

now being investigated, when that was one of the chief complaints and arguments against the ruling Conservative Party, will put him in a more

precarious position.

But the prime minister is definitely the one who's suffering most politically today. He is still in political danger. And yes, he has been

trying to cement his position by having a stance in leadership in the war in Ukraine, and trying to take all the advantages of being an incumbent in

that respect, and selling himself to his party in those ways. But, still, the people I've spoken to on the campaign trail, Eleni, the conservatives

that I have spoken to, said that they had to distance themselves so heavily from the prime minister day in, day out, to even campaign.

And Boris Johnson's main selling point has always been the fact that he can deliver an election victory. So if his loyalists on the ground are now

saying that in order to try and keep their seats, they have to keep as much distance from him as they can. The prime minister is in a more dangerous

position -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: Bianca, thank you so very much. Good to see you and we'll speak again in about an hour's time.

That was Bianca Nobilo and she will be hosting the "GLOBAL BRIEF" live from Downing Street tonight. And she'll also be unpacking the election results

and what they mean for Boris Johnson's future. She'll also be speaking to the leader of (INAUDIBLE) regarding the results in Northern Ireland. And

that's at 10:00 p.m. in London.

All right, you can catch it very late here in Abu Dhabi, at 1:00 a.m. If you're up that late it's definitely worth it.

All right, moving on now, American actress Amber Heard took stand in her own defense again on Thursday in the defamation case filed by her ex-

husband, actor Johnny Depp. During her testimony Heard broke down while detailing the alleged physical abuse by Depp that she said kept escalating.


AMBER HEARD, ACTRESS: I was being very deliberate about my movements. Wasn't saying anything, I wasn't engaging. I am walking away from him

slowly and he tells me to hurry the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up. Hurry up. And I just look at him one more time wanting to penetrate the monster, to see the

man that I love underneath that. The man I loved. And he tells me to hurry up again. And I pull my gaze away from him. I walk away from him. My back

is turned to him. And I feel this boot in my back. He just kicked me in the back.


GIOKOS: In earlier testimony, Depp said he's never struck a woman and that Heard was abusive towards him. He's suing the actress for $50 million over

2018 op-ed where she described herself as a victim of domestic abuse. He claims the op-ed caused him lucrative acting jobs.

Miami is ready for a drive to survive. The city is gearing up for its first Formula 1 Grand prix this weekend. One driver even saying this could be the

Super Bowl of the motor sports.

"WORLD SPORT" anchor Alex Thomas is here with more on what is sure to be a spectacular event.

I'm excited for one, Alex.

ALEX THOMAS, WORLD SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, it is exciting. It's not the Super Bowl of Formula 1. Lewis Hamilton did say that and he's the greatest the

sport has ever seen. But merely to try and translate it to a U.S. audience. F1 really wants to conquer the American sports market, so many sports fans

in the country. And they've really rolled out the big guns, two of which are coming up in "WORLD SPORT" in just a moment.

GIOKOS: All right, yes, we're going to a short break, and more with Alex right after this. Stay with CNN.