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Ukrainian Father Prays over Son's Body; Stories from Ukrainian Refugees Sent to Russia; European Central Bank Raising Interest Rates; U.S. President Joe Biden Blasts Republicans' Lack of Congressional Support for Climate Action. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired July 21, 2022 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): We start this hour with heartbreaking images out of Ukraine.

I'm Becky Anderson, live from London for you. This is CONNECT THE WORLD.

There is no polite way to say this. This is what Russia's unprovoked war in Ukraine has come to.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

ANDERSON (voice-over): You're looking at a Ukrainian father in Kharkiv, praying over the body of his dead son. The Ukrainian ambassador to the

United States says the boy was 13 years old, killed by Russian shelling on Wednesday.

These tragedies are affecting more and more families across the country. And the United Nations said last week that at least 343 children have lost

their lives in nearly five months of conflict.

In the southern city of Mykolaiv, more Russian shelling overnight has bypassed any military targets and went for the civilian areas instead.

CNN's Ivan Watson joins us live from central Ukraine today.

Tell us where you are and what the picture is on the ground.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, to go back to this, this tragic image from Kharkiv, of this father holding the hand of

his murdered son, which I think no one can turn away without feeling emotions, seeing that image.

According to Ukrainian authorities, that boy was one of three people killed in Russian artillery and rocket strikes on Kharkiv, that northeastern city,

on Wednesday. Ukrainian officials say that there were more strikes on some of the most densely populated areas of the city again today, that killed at

least two people.

Ukrainian officials accuse the Russians of deliberately targeting stops for public transport, where people will presumably gather to get on public

buses and so on. That is only one of the many population centers across this country that are being hit again and again by Russian long distance


Some of the fiercest fighting is taking place in the east in that Donetsk region, that part of Donbas, which Ukrainian forces are still holding along

front lines there after the neighboring Luhansk region. Most of that has fallen to the Russians in the last month.

The Ukrainian officials are saying that the attacks are coming at the front lines in that area around the clock. Towns like Bakhmut are being pounded

constantly. They say two schools, one in the eastern town of Kramatorsk, on another nearby to that, have also been destroyed.

They've been urging the civilian population to leave but estimate that there are still about 350,000 people still there. CNN teams have heard

again and again from civilians that they refuse to leave their homes despite the deadly weapons raining from the sky on their homes.

Finally, you mentioned that that town of Mykolaiv. That's much further south and to the west where I am located right now. It is a front line town

near the Russian occupied city of Kherson and there, the S-300 repurposed surface to air missiles have been fired at that town day and night with

Ukrainian authorities say at least seven of those deadly projectiles were fired at that city just a couple of days ago last week.

The military governor there was urging residents to remain. When I spoke to him in the ruins of an elementary school that a Russian missile had

destroyed, now the message has changed. The civilian authorities are telling civilians to please leave that city -- back to you.

ANDERSON: Ivan Watson is on the ground for you.

No one knows for sure how many Ukrainians have been forcibly deported to Russia.


ANDERSON: Ukraine puts the number in the hundreds of thousands. Many at first are taken to what is known as filtration centers in Russian

controlled areas of Ukraine, then to temporary holding facilities in Russia.

Matthew Chance was given exclusive access to a Russian shelter. He spoke to some Ukrainians there about their ordeals. A warning: some of these images

that we're about to show you may be disturbing.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT CHANCE (voice-over): He was mad as Russian forces entered his Ukrainian home. His foot shot to

pieces and his wife killed, he says, before his eyes.

But now across the border in Russia, Alexei insists Ukraine, not Moscow is to blame for his suffering.

CHANCE: Is it the Russian army that that this?

The Russians were just entering the city. It was Ukrainian troops who shot at us as we collected drinking water, he says. No criticism of Russia's

military here, not from Alexei, nor from the other Ukrainian refugees. We were given exclusive access to on Russian soil.

There's a lot of people here from Mariupol. And that's not surprising because we're just across the border from that city here on Russian

territory. We've been brought here to this big old gymnasium with its basketball courts, which is filled with, as you can see, a couple of 100

beds to cater for the hundreds of refugees that are still months after this conflict began, pouring across the border into Russian territory.

They're given food, they're given medical attention. And despite the fact that it's very hot outside, you know, because it's the middle of the

summer, they're getting some rest from the ordeal that they've gone through. It's also the first opportunity that we have to speak to these

people about the sometimes horrific experiences that they've had back across the border in the war zone.

CHANCE (voice-over): But don't expect them to describe that ordeal. Human rights groups say Ukrainians in Russian occupied areas are rounded up and

filtered, before being bused to camps like these. All those suspected of posing a threat don't even make it through.

Saying the right thing here is a matter of survival, especially for those who've already lost loved ones. Like this refugee who asked not to be


CHANCE: You're not angry with the Russians for that?

These are provocative questions, he answers. But now I'm here, so please don't press me. I didn't see who killed my relatives, he says. As far as

I'm concerned, they're just another casualty of this conflict, he says.

But in Russia, the freedom to speak act is a casualty too. While we traveled away from Taganrog, outside of the country to neighboring Estonia

and the Baltic port of Tallinn. Boarding this giant passenger ferry turns temporary shelter for refugees from Ukraine.

CHANCE: Well, it's in these cramped cabins below decks, in these corridors, in the bowels of the ship that now house more than 1,700

Ukrainian refugees, many of whom have escaped directly from Russia and its filtration center. And at least people can speak freely and without fear

about their experience.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language)

CHANCE: That is in Mariupol exactly.

CHANCE (voice-over): Daniil (ph) told me how he bluffed his way through Russia's filtration system by pretending he wanted to make Russia his

permanent home.

They asked, for instance, if I knew Vladimir Putin's birthday, because they said he is your president now. I told him I didn't but I promise to learn

it. And they let me through, he says.

Others like Stanislav (ph) and Vitolena (ph) had a much tougher time, transported from their homes like cattle, they said, in freezing trucks to

filtration centers.

Vitolena (ph) says she had to leave her elderly father behind after he was shot and injured by a Russian soldier.

It filled her with hatred, she tells me but she had to hide to pass through Russia. Now she's left with a desperate sadness. We really want to go home,

she sobs. I can't tell you how much. Even though through the tears, she admits that home may already be lost -- Matthew Chance. CNN, London.



ANDERSON: While the war in Ukraine drags on, Nord Stream 1, which is a crucial pipeline supplying Russian natural gas to Germany, is now operating


Russia's energy giant Gazprom resumed gas shipments on Thursday after what was a 10-day shutdown for maintenance. Fred Pleitgen connecting us to


The good news is that this key Russian pipeline, mostly owned by Gazprom, has resumed pumping gas to Europe again. There have been real concerns,

haven't there, that there would be a complete shutdown.

This is just not enough gas.

What's been the response there?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's still a lot of concern here in Germany, Becky. The pipeline is operating

again. The Germans started operating very early this morning.

They thought that it would operate around 30 percent capacity. It seems it's about 70 percent of its full capacity -- 40 percent, I'm sorry -- of

its capacity is now going through that pipeline.

Still a lot less than the Germans want to go through that pipeline. However, at least it's not nothing. There were some real concerns here in

this country that possibly the Russians would not start pumping any gas through that pipeline once that scheduled maintenance, which wasn't

scheduled for a long time, once it was finished.

So the Germans are saying this is still not enough. They believe the Russians are only pumping about 40 percent capacity through that pipeline

for political reasons. The Russians have, of course, said there is a turbine that has undergone maintenance in Canada that they need back before

it can go back to full capacity.

The Germans said they don't believe that. What's happened since then is the Germans have today announced another massive amount of measures to try to

conserve gas.

They said they need their storage capacity, the storage facilities, to be at least 95 percent filled by November 1st to be able to ensure that their

industry and the population can make it through the winter.

In other words, the German say they basically don't want to use any of the gas that they currently have in storage to make electricity. And they're

trying to conserve energy. They're also using their coal reserves as well.

ANDERSON: Yes, those capacity goals are pretty unrealistic. So there have been some concern for some time now about the possibility of energy

rationing in Europe going forward.

Some temporary relief for Germany then with the pipeline actually working once again. But this really doesn't solve the bigger issue of dependency on

Russian fossil fuels going forward.

I spoke to the French economy minister Bruno le Maire just a few days ago. I asked him if he thought Germany would rethink its policy, for example, to

phase out nuclear energy. Have a listen.


BRUNO LE MAIRE, FRENCH MINISTER FOR THE ECONOMY AND FINANCE: Nuclear energy is one of the key solutions. It's not the only one. But if we really

want to get access to energy, if we want to get access to electricity and if we want, on the same time, to reduce the CO2 emissions, nuclear energy

is part of the solution.


ANDERSON: Look, it certainly is a solution as far as the French are concerned.

What's Germany's longer term plan?

PLEITGEN: Yes, it certainly doesn't look that way at all in Germany, especially if you look at the current governing coalition. The Social

Democrats, especially the Green Party. The Green Party was founded with the goal of getting Germany out of nuclear energy.

Then, of, course we know that the Markel government in 2011, they announced that Germany would fully phase out nuclear energy as well.

As far as going back to nuclear energy, it certainly doesn't seem that Germany is on course to do that at all. The big discussion here, right, now

is whether or not the few remaining nuclear power plants in this country, which is three, whether or not those are going to go offline come the end

of this year or whether they're going to operate a little longer than that.

Even at that, the current government in Germany says that, as of right now, that is simply not going to happen. So Germans are thinking that they can

find some way to continue to phase out nuclear energy and, at the same time, try to keep the power on here in this country for the population.

Of course, this massive industry that this country has, this is, Becky, a massive point of discussion here in this country now. At the same time, the

German government also says that every kilowatt hour that they can save is very important. The one thing that they seem to be completely averse to is

nuclear energy.

ANDERSON: That's fascinating, isn't it?

Well, we will continue to discuss this story, it's not going away. Thank you.

Europe is, like much of the world, trying to contain soaring inflation brought on by that soaring energy prices and by high food prices.


ANDERSON: All of this, of course, exacerbated by Russia's war in Ukraine. The European Central Bank is increasing interest rates for the first time

in a decade. The bank is raising rates by 0.5 percent. That was a bigger jump than most economists had expected.

It was somewhat of a shock to the markets. The change takes effect next week. Of course, it's not just Europe. One place that hit especially hard

by inflation is Egypt. As prices rise there, Egyptians have cut back on spending. This report from Eleni Giokos.


ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hanna's fridge is getting emptier every month. The street fruit and vegetable seller lives on

daily wages. Soaring inflation forces him to cut back on everything; the last cut: food.

HANNA AYYAD, STREET VENDOR (through translator): Ever since they floated the pound and the dollar price increased, food prices increased. It's

become unaffordable for people to eat fruit. Some people used to buy five or 10 kilograms of fruit. Now they can buy one or two kilograms at most.

GIOKOS: It now takes him up to four days to sell what would normally go in one. Egyptian households of all income levels are seeing their spending

power erode fast as inflation bites.

The Egyptian pound is plunging. Inflation soaring to 14.7 percent from 5 percent last year. Now in an attempt to protect depleting foreign exchange

reserves and to protect the currency, restrictions on imports resulting in rising prices and shortages of all sorts of products.

HAYA REF, ARCHITECT: I feel like we're in a survival mode. And it's -- it's getting a bit scary. Everything that was affordable has become less

and less affordable.

GIOKOS: Egypt is collateral damage in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, relying on 80 percent of its wheat from these two countries, compounding

the loss in supply, a doubling of global grain prices since February.

Seventy million Egyptians rely on subsidized bread. That's 70 percent of the population. The government is working on ramping up local grain


MOSTAFA MADBOULY, PRIME MINISTER OF EGYPT (through translator): We should all know, the gravity of the crisis is not just in Egypt but all around the


GIOKOS: Egypt's debt has shot to unsustainable levels. Like other emerging markets, Egypt lost billions of this year as investors chased safer

assets. Gulf countries injected billions in loans and investments to prop up the economy. The government offered shares in seven of its main ports

and other state assets in a bid to attract Gulf investors.

SALMA HUSSEIN, ECONOMIC ANALYST: Look, it's like creating new monsters. We're in a very hard time. The government needs a lot of foreign exchange

revenues in order to be able to finance its debt service. I'm not worried that of a collapse of the Egyptian economy. I'm worried of a collapse of

more people under the poverty line.

GIOKOS: Anticipating social unrest, the government has initiated national dialogue with the opposition. A slight change of tact from years of a

brutal crackdown on the slightest hint of descent. Hanna relies on the government's subsidy program for basic food and cash handouts.

AYYAD (through translator): We can do without eating meat, buying it once a month. We may buy chicken two or three times a month not like before. We

used to buy these once or twice a week. Now we can't because my income is low.

GIOKOS: Fearing that these sacrifices are just the start of what could be a protracted crisis -- Eleni Giokos, CNN.


ANDERSON: So prices driven higher by a food and fuel crisis, made worse by extreme weather. This is, of course, brought on by climate crisis, as the

links are frankly clear as day. The U.S. President announces a slate of executive actions to combat climate change.

But given the current crisis, is it enough?

We will speak with our chief climate correspondent, Bill Weir, after this.





ANDERSON: Welcome back.

The European heat wave is spreading eastward, as firefighters across the continent battle wildfires. While these historic highs might be over at

least for now, 100 million Americans are facing heat alerts.

And President Biden is now pushing back on lawmakers who refuse to take action on climate change. He spoke on Wednesday from a defunct

Massachusetts coal power plant, which is now being converted into a factory to produce cables for offshore wind farms, renewables.

Climate change is a clear and present danger. He stopped short of declaring a national climate emergency, which would have unlocked new resources.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Climate change is literally an existential threat to our nation and to the world. So my message today

is this: since Congress is not acting as it should -- and these guys are here but we are not getting many Republican votes -- this is an emergency,

an emergency.

And I will, I will look at it that way.


ANDERSON: All right. Well, an existential threat but apparently not a national emergency, at least not officially. Chief climate correspondent

Bill Weir is joining me live from Brooklyn, New York.

Walk us through what the president outlined. And then I want to get your reaction to those measures, given what the States and the rest of the world

is facing at this point.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Sure. Well, I think what he outlined was, as we face this global existential crisis, the rallying cry

was, my lawyers are working on something. I will get back to you in a couple of weeks when I know what I can get away with legally.

It is more of a symbolic indictment on how the richest, most powerful civilization in human history cannot come together as a democracy to solve

the most urgent problem. He has got 50 Republicans and Joe Manchin, who all breathe the same smoke, see the same coastal erosion as the rest of us but

refuse to act on this, using arcane old rules.

In a way, the Supreme Court does not help at all when it comes to regulations. So it comes down to executive action.

If he would declare a state of national emergency, which by the way, Hillary Clinton was prepared to do on day one of being sworn in, to set the

tone the way that FDR would, going into World War II, or JFK into the Cold War, that this is a national priority, he is not even doing that.

And if he does, the question is, what does he do with it?

Does he use the Clean Air Act to shut down the most dirty power plants?

Or like California, set their own emissions standards, does he go to the extreme and set up a bilateral diversity a few months back, encourage them

to use previous laws and powers to end oil exports and oil investments, to stop drilling immediately offshore?

But when you consider the president was in Saudi Arabia last week, begging for more oil, from a guy his government knows is a bone sawing murderer, it

does not seem like the ambition is going to match the moment.


ANDERSON: Activists say his speech and the executive actions that he did take yesterday are just a drop in the bucket of what really needs to happen

to combat climate change. You have just outlined where he might go.

What can he do through executive action?

WEIR: Well, there is money he will put into wind power in the Gulf of Mexico. It is building cooling centers. We are now getting into not just

mitigation, stopping a problem, but bracing for impact what is already here.

You are baking in it, we are baking in it on this continent as well. So cooling centers, millions of dollars for that.

But yes, just to give you a perspective, there was a time when you had a $3 trillion plan. That got whittled down. The Bernie Sanders-AOC Green New

Deal part of progressive climate activists, they had some leverage to try to jam climate action in the infrastructure bill. But they gave that up.

And then hoping that a guy like Joe Manchin would come around. Just the carbon reductions that did go into the infrastructure plan, it's maybe 55

billion tons of carbon. That is one-sixth of what the Pentagon emits on all of its bases and weapons factories around the world.

So these are tiny, little, nibbling around the edges fixes, when, you would like to think that FDR, there is a three-year waiting list for electric

Ford pickup trucks. FDR would probably help them meet that demand and build way more and do all kinds of other things across the economy.

But that is just not happening politically in the United States.

ANDERSON: Bill Weir, good to have you. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.

I want to get our viewers across to my colleagues, in the United States for some news breaking on Joe Biden, as we speak.