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Six Months of War in Ukraine with No End in Sight; Biden Orders Airstrikes against Iran-Backed Groups in Syria; Israeli PM Urges Western Nations to Leave JCPOA Negotiations; Brazil's Amazon Registers 3,358 Fires in a Single Day; Ukrainian President Speaks to U.N. Security Council; Drought Making Life Difficult in Iraq. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired August 24, 2022 - 10:00   ET





VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): Whoever tries to interfere with us and even more so to create threats to our country, our

people should know that Russia's response will be immediate and will lead to such consequences that you have never experienced in your history.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): He was right about that. Six months ago, today Russia shocked the world by invading Ukraine. Over the next

two, hours we will take a look at where that conflict stands today. And where it is heading.

Also on the show, President Biden launches airstrikes on Iran-backed targets in Syria.

Will that hinder talks to revive the nuclear deal?

We will explore that ahead.

And an extreme monsoon season leaves many dead, thousands homeless, in Pakistan. I will talk to the climate minister about the devastation. That

is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson.


ANDERSON: Independence Day in Ukraine is anything but festive exactly six months after Russia launched its invasion. A year ago, Ukrainians

celebrated by lining the main streets of Kyiv for a parade.

This year, that street is filled with wrecked and captured Russian military vehicles, a reminder to the world of Russia's failed attempts to take the

capital in the early days of this war.

Ukrainians who venture out today are ignoring warnings to stay home. There are warnings amid fears that Russia will attack Kyiv. In the skies above,

symbols of Ukrainian pride.

The national and armed forces flags flying from drones at the Motherland Monument. Ukraine's president will welcome the outgoing British prime

minister to Kyiv. Boris Johnson making an unannounced a visit to show solidarity.

In his speech earlier, Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed victory for Ukraine while telling Ukrainians the country was reborn at 4:00 am on February 24th, the

moment Russia invaded. David McKenzie connecting us from Kyiv, right in the middle of what is Independence Day in Ukraine.

David, like no other, what is the mood there?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The mood is defiant. You can see the people here roundly ignoring the call to stay in their homes and not to

gather in large numbers.

All through the day, Becky, we had sirens going off, air raid sirens. But still they have come out to commemorate this public holiday. If you look

behind me, there are some 30 odd Russian tanks, APCs, rocket launchers.

The vestiges of that impact of the attack on Kyiv months ago, that was repulsed but still the front line is more than 1,500 miles in the east and

northeast and the south, where soldiers dug in, in a war of attrition. Let's take a look back at six months of this conflict and the coverage from

our team of reporters.


MCKENZIE (voice-over): Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, vowing Ukraine will prevail against Russia.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): And every new day is a new reason not to give up, because having gone through so

much, we have no right not to reach the end.

When is the end of the war for us?

We used to say peace; now we say victory.

KILEY (voice-over): Zelenskyy's continued resolve comes as the country's defense intelligence says there are threats of Russian missile strikes

coinciding with Ukraine's Independence Day. These come as the country marks six months since the Russian invasion began, when bombs were first heard in

the Ukrainian capital in the middle of the night.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are big explosions taking place in Kyiv right now.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): The following day, Russian soldiers were seen near the city, firing. Ukrainians vowed to fight and defend their ground.

On Snake Island, Ukrainian troops' response to incoming Russian soldiers was seen as a patriotic moment for the country. It has become a symbol of

hope for Ukrainian forces.


KILEY (voice-over): In the early weeks of the war, Russian troops were concentrated on taking Kyiv, occupying and bombing neighboring communities,

to get close to the capital. Millions of Ukrainians were forced to flee, walking through rubble and fallen bridges to safety.

The carnage left behind has been devastating. In Irpin northwest of, Kyiv bodies filled the streets. Homes and buildings left in rubble. And in Bucha

evidence of war crimes quickly emerged, as mass graves were dug to bury the dead.

Russian soldiers retreated from Kyiv in defeat and refocused their efforts in the south and east. Russian forces were determined to occupy major

seaports, putting towns such as Mariupol in the crosshairs. This maternity hospital in Mariupol, was bombed in March. Women were evacuated on

stretchers to safety.

This woman, a day before going into labor, walked down flights of stairs in the destroyed hospital to get to safety. And this theater, serving as a

shelter for children, was bombed, despite a warning seen from above, in large Russian letters, that children were in the building.

The fighting in Mariupol would continue for months, coming to a head at the Azovstal steel plant. The soldiers and the remaining civilians were seeking

shelter. The situation was dire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It is a very difficult situation. We have very little water, very little food left. The situation is

critical. It is beyond a humanitarian catastrophe.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): In, May civilians were finally evacuated from the plant but many Ukrainian troops fighting to protect the plant were taken


In recent months, fighting has been concentrated in the eastern region of the country, the site of an eight-year battle between Ukraine and Russian-

backed separatists. CNN visited the region and met many suffering through the shelling, including 86-year-old Lidia, who was stranded and unable to


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She tells us she recites prayers to get through the night.

"I never imagined that my end would be like this."

MCKENZIE (voice-over): And now the most pressing situation lies at the nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhya. The renewed shelling has occurred in recent

weeks. The largest nuclear plant in Europe has posed a threat of nuclear calamity for months.

Russia took control of the plant in March. A new video shows they are using the plant to store Russian military vehicles. As Ukraine passes this grim

milestone, the concern is with winter approaching, that the international community's support for Ukraine will be tested, with Rising food prices and

rising energy costs to heat homes.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Are you not afraid that the international community and your partners may begin to tire of this


OLEKSIY REZNIKOV, UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: I call it fatigue syndrome. And for me it's one of the main threats. As we need to working with this

threat because we need to speak, like, with you, to communicate, to ask people, don't be on this fatigue. Because this is very, very dangerous for



MCKENZIE: That is how the war got to this point. This grinding war that has taken so many lives, both military and civilian.

The question is, where does it go now?

After six months of this conflict, it is really hard to say. There is a stasis on the front line, with neither side able to make significant gains.

There has been a promise of a fight back, a counterattack in the southern part of the country by Ukrainian forces.

That has not materialized in earnest. And so we are at this point, this point where Ukrainians are celebrating, commemorating their anniversary the

best they can given the circumstances but unclear of what the future will hold -- Becky.

ANDERSON: David is on the ground for you in Ukraine.

Earlier, I sat down with Mykhailo Podolyak, who is the adviser to the head of the president's office in Ukraine. We talked about those concerns, about

fatigue syndrome. In conversation, we drilled down into what is the third phase of this war, Ukraine's counteroffensive; in particular, the

possibility of increased attacks on Russia annexed Crimea.

Look, he does not think much of Russia's military prowess and believes this war will be won eventually by Ukraine on the ground. I asked him whether a

diplomatic solution is out of the question at this point. Take a listen.



MYKHAILO PODOLYAK, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER (through translator): Russia has an extremely weak military industry. And it is not competitive

compared to the weaponry that we are receiving from our Western partners.


PODOLYAK (through translator): We are very grateful to our Western partners for, it is really cool to use those weaponries against Russians.

ANDERSON: My colleague Sam Kiley interviewed Oleksiy Reznikov, the Ukrainian defense minister yesterday. Reznikov described the West as having

fatigue syndrome.

Would you agree?


PODOLYAK (through translator): Yes. This thought (ph) has a right to exist. Obviously we are talking about a very active (ph) war. And clearly

we will pay for this war with our lives, with our economy, with every inch of our territory.

We have a lot of (INAUDIBLE) cities. But we understand that ideal (ph) partners, they are paying for this war, too. They are losing, basically,

their conflict (ph) with their lives, their quality of life. But let's not (INAUDIBLE). This is a war of value. This is not a war of territories.

It's the war against an evil empire. This war represents classic Russia (ph). This is a war to get, right to be free, to be competitive. This is a

value war. We have to win it.

ANDERSON: You say you understand the fatigue syndrome, the fatigue of the West. You have, though, also said that Ukraine very much appreciates the

enormous amount of military equipment that is being provided. The U.S. just recently freeing up another near $ 1 billion for Ukraine.

It will be tough for countries in the West to hear you and your colleagues talk about your concerns of fatigue, will it not?


PODOLYAK (through translator): I'll be honest. I'll be frank. It is definitely the information (INAUDIBLE) propaganda. We totally understand

and appreciate the support of our Western partners. (INAUDIBLE).

We understand that the West is consolidated the Ukrainian position. And without, we realize that without the U.S. military aid and very good

quality weaponry, we would not be able to fight the Russian empire, the evil empire.

ANDERSON: Norway and the U.K. have announced they will jointly supply microdrones to Ukraine. The sort of equipment, they say, that Ukrainian

authorities have requested.

How will those drones be used, sir?


PODOLYAK (through translator): These drones, they allow us to penetrate the radio locatory (ph) defense of the Russian army and hit certain

positions of the Russian army. It is a high technology acquisition.

This is not a trench war. This is using the high technology. Also, bring the (INAUDIBLE) weaponry to the front line. In my, view microdrones will

increase our front line capacities to hit the targets beyond the front line, where it hurts, where Russians will be seriously hurt.

ANDERSON: Gennady Gatilov, Russia's permanent representative to the U.N. in Geneva, recently said that Moscow sees no possibility of a diplomatic

solution to end the war in Ukraine and said that it expects a long conflict.

You have just talked about the only solution being a military solution on the ground. Ukraine did participate in peace talks, which, unfortunately,


Is President Zelenskyy still prepared to engage in talks with Putin?

Is that option still on the table?


PODOLYAK (through translator): We do not have any reasons to talk about peace with Russia (INAUDIBLE) in any peace. It wants to basically create a

new dividing line for the territory of Ukraine and, look, this new means, the so-called new means of (INAUDIBLE) does not mean that Ukraine will not

be developing economically.

And during that frozen conflict, Russia will be updating its military forces and will, go again, to war. We take into account hundreds of

thousands of Ukrainians migrate, had to move out of the country. And they cannot go back.

And secondly, we do not have enough money to rebuild our economy overnight.



PODOLYAK (through translator): Clearly (ph) we would not have the economy of a modern type. And it is very important. That is why President Zelenskyy

marked certain red lines. Only after which ones we could sit at the table (INAUDIBLE) full withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine

after. Only after --



ANDERSON: -- going on around Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant. France, as we understand it, has received in the agreement of principle from the Russian

foreign minister to dispatch an IAEA mission to the nuclear plant.

How soon do you believe inspectors could be onsite and have you committed to ensuring that any shelling in the area from the Ukrainian side will



PODOLYAK (through translator): Russia captured Zaporizhzhya (INAUDIBLE). And apart from taking hostages, the Ukrainians who work there, working on

the security of this nuclear power plant.

After that, during a certain period of time, the Russians brought heavy weaponry on the territory of the nuclear power plant in order to somehow to

cover all this. They started shelling the nearby town of (INAUDIBLE) Ukrainian towns.

Ukraine is not shelling the territory of the nuclear power plant. This is our power plant, the biggest power plant in Europe. We started to realize

what's happening. We would never shell the station.

Whatever Russia is doing there, it is totally out of control. (INAUDIBLE) time (INAUDIBLE) onsite representatives of the U.N. and the International

Atomic Energy Agency will be able to visit the Zaporizhzhya power plant. I hope it will happen soon rather than later.

ANDERSON: You're talking about days rather than weeks, I assume here, are you?

PODOLYAK (through translator): We are talking about weeks, weeks, more weeks, yes, maybe if negotiations would be successful, maybe days.


ANDERSON: More from that conversation with Volodymyr Zelenskyy's advisor in the next hour of CONNECT THE WORLD.

We've got more on the war on our website, including how the war isn't going, according to Russia's plan. But Vladimir Putin still enjoys high

approval ratings. It seems Putin is alive and well. The details are at And also on digital, a look at the war's impact on the Middle


If you're a regular on this show, you'll know that we normally broadcast from Abu Dhabi, which is our Middle East programming hub in the region.

Energy giants are raking in massive products. Saudi's economy is growing nearly 10 percent this year. And the demand for oil is leading to some of

the Middle East's strongmen, welcomed back into the fold. You'll remember U.S. President Biden's high-profile trip to the region just last month.

The new security environment has countries rethinking alliances. All the while, dealing with a myriad of domestic problems as the global food crisis

an inflationary pressures take hold there, as well as around the world.

Find out all of the details on that and to keep yourselves up to date on what is going in and on in the Middle East. The Middle East newsletter is

written in the Middle East, it is on the Middle East signup at

The high cost of war is taking lives and torn apart families.


ANDERSON (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) into Russia's war in Ukraine. People around the world are feeling the economic ripple effect of the conflict.

Plus, U.S. strikes back. Why Joe Biden ordered airstrikes on Iranian-backed groups in Syria. That is next after this.





ANDERSON: The United Nations Security Council is discussing the war in Ukraine right now. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is speaking to members via

video link from Kyiv. Let's listen in. And you can see the secretary general addressing the UNSC as we speak.

Shall we go to this?

We're not going to go to this. OK. We will get to this if and when we hear from President Zelenskyy.

Iran is condemning U.S. airstrikes carried out on targets in Syria, calling it a terrorist act. U.S. military officials say they conducted precision

airstrikes in Deir ez-Zor, targeting bunkers used by groups linked to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iran is denying any affiliation

to those groups.

Local media says this video shows the attack earlier on Wednesday on a prominent activist group says the strikes killed at least 10 people, it

comes more than a week after rockets struck near a military base housing U.S. troops in northern Syria. We've got reporters monitoring the U.S.

response stateside.

Oren Liebermann is live at the Pentagon. Kylie Atwood joins us from the State Department in Washington. Kylie, stand by.

Oren, I want to start with you, walk us through the details as we understand them.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: So this was in response to attacks carried out on August 15th against bases, where forces of the U.S.-

led coalition are house, the al-Tanf garrison, and another base in northeast Syria. We'll come back to that in a second.

The U.S. carried out military strikes against a series of bunkers in Deir ez-Zor, bunkers that U.S. Central Command says were used for ammo storage

and logistics support, not specifically for those August 15th attacks.

But they say in general by the Iranian-backed groups that have in the past carried out attacks against bases where either U.S. troops are or bases

used by the U.S.-led coalition in the coalition's fight against ISIS.

The U.S. says these were precision strikes initially, they were looking at 11 bunkers being struck in this same complex. But in the surveillance that

went into these strikes in the hours beforehand and they say there were hundreds of hours of surveillance of these facilities before the strike.

People around two of the bunkers in the end, strikes were carried out against nine of these bunkers. So airstrikes that U.S. Central Command says

were precision strikes. They say they were going after specifically the infrastructure used here.

So they were not going after a specific individual. The U.S. says according to their initial assessment, there was no one killed as a result of these

strikes. But as you pointed out, we have heard not only from one activist group on the ground but another one.

There is some disagreement between these two groups but they say there were six to 10 people killed in these strikes. Some, perhaps local. Others,

foreigners, perhaps members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.

So we will keep paying attention to that and we will see if the U.S. position changes on that. But the U.S. is carrying out the strikes in

response to the attacks on the 15th (ph), a drone attack on the al-Tanf garrison and a rocket attack on another position.

ANDERSON: I want to talk about the timing of these with you.

And Kylie, this coming at what seems like it could be negotiations between the U.S. and Iran. These are indirect negotiations between the U.S. and

Iran and the E.U. to revive the nuclear deal.

Might we surmise that this is a message to the Revolutionary Corps (sic), the IGRC (sic), that whatever happens with this deal, we are still watching


How will this strike impact that deal, if at all?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think absolutely, we can read this as a message to Iran from the U.S. government.


ATWOOD: That while they still engage in these talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal, those are inching forward with some progress. They aren't

going to hesitate in terms of going after Iranian proxy groups in the region. The strike makes that very clear.

And we should note that, in terms of our reporting, the conversations between the U.S., the E.U. and Iran right now do appear to be focused on

the actual nuclear-focused talks, not the extraneous other issues between the U.S. and Iran.

And the Biden administration has made it very clear with this strike that they want those conversations to remain focused on that, that they won't

entertain Iran dragging in other issues to these conversations.

But I also think it is important to note that these strikes are likely to not have a huge, outsized impact on those talks, particularly because of

the timing here. Iran has already given its response to the European Union to that proposal that they put on the table.

So these strikes aren't occurring while Iran is in decision-making mode. And the onus is on the U.S. right now to be responding to that E.U.


ANDERSON: Israel's national security adviser was in D.C. yesterday, meeting with his American counterpart about Israel's concerns for the

JCPOA. And the country's prime minister Yair Lapid expressed some of those concerns in a press conference earlier today. Just have a listen to this.


YAIR LAPID, ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER: Israel is not against any agreement. We are against this agreement, because it is a bad one, because it cannot

be accepted as it is written right now.

In our eyes, it does not meet the standards set by President Biden himself, preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear state. This agreement endangers the

independence of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA. It creates huge political pressure on them to close open cases without

completing professional investigation.


ANDERSON: To both of you -- and I will start with Kylie -- what sort of message do you think the U.S. is sending Israel at this point?

ATWOOD: Well, the White House put out a readout yesterday of the national security adviser Jake Sullivan's meeting with his Israeli counterpart. And

what they said in that readout was that Sullivan made it very clear that the United States remains committed to preventing Iran from acquiring a

nuclear weapon.

And that language there is really significant, because what the Biden administration believes is that this Iran deal is important to put controls

as much as the international community can on Iran's nuclear program.

Of course, Israel, predictably, is coming out in very ardent terms opposed to this deal. So that meeting yesterday probably had quite a bit of

disagreement in it. But we should note that the Biden administration has been in close contact with the Israelis over the course of the last 1.5

years on this issue.

So it's not as if they have been shutting out Israeli perspective here, even though they are making it very clear that they are still going to

engage in these talks, because they think it is in the best interest of U.S. national security.

ANDERSON: And Oren, you were the Jerusalem correspondent based in Israel for some time. I want to get your perspective.

LIEBERMANN: Of course. It's worth pointing out the prime minister in his wording there, sounds a whole heck of a lot like former prime minister

Benjamin Netanyahu in terms of the arguments he's making.

In just about everything except perhaps he's using a slightly more measured tone. But if there's one thing to unite Israel's political spectrum, it was

opposition to Iran and seeing Iran as the strategic threat.

There have been some voices that have come out and said getting out of the deal at the beginning, convincing former President Donald Trump to tear it

up was a bad idea because we lost the inspections, we lost a bigger breakout time for Iran.

Now we are in a situation, where, despite all of the sanctions, Iran is much closer than it has ever been to having the ability to develop a

nuclear weapon. So the question is where to go from here.

Israel's current government under Lapid essentially using the same strategy, arguing for a better deal, an argument we've heard many times

before. What has shifted in the background, is that you have the Abraham accords, the normalization with the Arab states.

What you are not hearing is the Sunni Arab states joining Israel in this course against the Iran deal. And that is worth noting. When the process

started, they did seem to be all aligned. Now it's almost as if Israel's standing on its own but being the vocal one here, pushing back against it.

So it's worth watching that dynamic as well, Israel and the Arab states in what the Trump administration billed as essentially an anti-Iran coalition

or alliance.


ANDERSON: Fascinating. Good to get the perspective from both of you, thank you very much indeed. Incredibly important story. We continue to wait to

see what comes out of Washington on this potential deal with Tehran.

The heat wave has gripped the Middle East and it's hard on nearly everyone. But for Iraq's poor, the pain is magnified. That story coming up.

Plus, from pain at the pump to the rising cost of, groceries Russia's war in Ukraine comes with a hefty price, tag not just in Europe but around the





ANDERSON: Ukraine is marking its Independence Day exactly six months to the day since Russia's unprovoked invasion. This year the holiday comes

with a sense of dread and defiance.

Security has been increased across the country, amid warnings that Moscow could launch major strikes on civilian and government targets. In an

emotional video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the country was reborn the day Russia attacked, becoming a nation that does

not give up and does not. Forget

He also repeated his promise to retake all Russian held territory, including Crimea, which Moscow illegally annexed in 2014. Half a year on,

we are seeing the financial impact of that war.

The U.K. imported no Russian fuel in June for the first time on record. Part of its pledge to phase out oil imports from Moscow by the end of the

year. CNN's Clare Sebastian reports from rising gas prices to food shortages, the conflict has rattled the global economy.


ANDREW BAILEY, GOVERNOR, BANK OF ENGLAND: The Russian shock is now the largest contributor to U.K. inflation by some way.

CHRISTINE LAGARDE, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK: Russia's unjustified aggression toward Ukraine is an ongoing drag on growth.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have never seen anything like Putin's tax on both food and gas.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the first Russian bombs fell in the early hours of February 24th, the economic front in this

war was also emerging.

NED PRICE, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: We are disconnecting key Russian banks from SWIFT.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): A sanctions onslaught aimed at severing Russia's links with global finance.

URSULA VAN DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: We decided then to have a ban now on de facto 90 percent of Russian oil.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): And eventually it hampering its ability to sell its fossil fuels, by far it's biggest source of revenue.


SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Six months in, Russia has fought back, cutting off the gas to parts of Europe, causing it to Russian energy to avoid winter

shortages. And bringing soaring inflation that threatens the post COVID recovery.

SEBASTIAN: It's not like Russia invaded Ukraine at a time of global economic stability. Inflation had already started to rise sharply in the

developed world as COVID-19 abated and demand outpaced supply in many areas.

A year ago the U.S. was already seeing inflation way above its 2 percent target. By February, the month the war started, the U.K. and the Euro area

were also seeing that. And now we are seeing multi-decade highs across the board and already double digits here in the U.K.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Central banks blindsided by the surge of raised interest rates aggressively.

BAILEY: If we don't bring inflation back to target, it is going to get worse. And it will get worse precisely, I'm afraid, for those who are least

off in society.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): That is amid signs some economies are already slowing. U.S. and U.K. GDP fell in the second quarter, German growth


RICARDO REIS, LSE: The challenge, I don't think, is bringing down inflation. The challenge is to bring down inflation without blinking too

much when the economy goes into an avoidable recession in response to not a monetary but a real shock.

SEBASTIAN: So get used to the idea that you are going to have to continue to raise rates through a recession?

REIS: Yes.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): A more dangerous consequence to the world's most vulnerable has been the disruption to the food supply chain. Russia and

Ukraine play a critical role in supplying wheat, sunflower oil and fertilizer to global markets.

Before the war, many countries, including some of the poorest countries in Africa and the Middle East, completely reliant on their exports.

ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: More than 650,000 metric tons of grain and other food are already on their way to markets

around the world.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): After a five month blockade of Ukraine's seaports, a U.N. brokered grain deal providing some hope. Longer term experts say

this war may bring a shift in the economic order. Supply chains are built not just to minimize cost but also political risk -- Clare Sebastian, CNN,



ANDERSON: This could be called the summer of -- try that again.

Should we call this the summer of the climate crisis?

There we go. There is flooding in Sudan, drought in Iraq and wildfires in the Amazon. And that is just in the last 24 hours. More on that is coming





ANDERSON: A look at some of the stories on the climate radar right. Now a troubling milestone for Brazil's Amazon. On Monday, the forest saw more

than 3,300 fires in a single. Day that is the highest number on record since 2017.


ANDERSON: The amount of burning vegetation creating a soot cloud over parts of the country.

Heat and drought warnings are in place across China where hundreds of cities and counties are expected to deal with temperatures beyond 37

degrees Celsius in the next 24 hours. Authorities are concerned about the possible impacts on full grain production.

And in Sudan, flash flooding has claimed the lives of at least 83 people. The United Nations says 80 percent of the country is affected by flooding.

These torrential rains have inundated the country's southwestern region, destroying thousands of homes.

Like many places around the world right now, Iraq is being scorched by high temperatures and parched by drought. Unlike some other, countries Iraq is

even more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Jomana Karadsheh shows us how people are surviving the heat there.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is hard to believe this parched land is where it is thought the Garden of Eden once stood.

Droughts, water shortages and rising, temperatures have turned the lush green marshlands of southern Iraq into this desolate desert, increasingly

uninhabitable for a population that has relied on this land and water for survival.

The marshes are one of Iraq's poorest regions and one of the most affected by climate change, according to the United Nations. These local buffalo

herders are among the hardest hit.

"The effects of dehydration are very --


ANDERSON: We will be sure that we get that online for you, because I do want to get to the United Nations Security Council, where they are

discussing the war in Ukraine right now. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is speaking to members on videolink from Kyiv.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The people of Dnipro (ph) were injured. Unfortunately the death toll could increase.

This is our life every day. This is how Russia had prepared for this new uncertainty (ph).

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. President, Mr. General Secretary --


ZELENSKYY (through translator): -- the U.N. charter, today our country celebrated (INAUDIBLE) the Independence Day. And now everyone, you can see

how much in the world is dependent on our independence.

Whether Ukraine is at peace, whether our people are safe, whether the integrity of our territory and the viability of our borders are guaranteed.

You can take any aspect of this terrible (INAUDIBLE) against us and each of these aspects will be related to one or another global crisis.

What is happening right now?

Russia has put the world on the brink of a radiation catastrophe. It is a fact that the Russian military has turned the territory of the largest

nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plants, into a war zone. This is a fact.

The Russians' armed provocation shelling, deployment of terrorists on the territory of the state and under the Russian flag, now in Europe and

neighboring regions, face the threat of the radiation pollution. This is a fact.

Now what is the Chernobyl. The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant has six reactors. Only one reactor exploded in Chernobyl. The IAEA mission should

take permanent control of the situation at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant, as soon as possible. And Russia should unconditionally stop nuclear

blackmail and completely withdraw from the station.

Russia has (INAUDIBLE) hunger. It is a fact that Russian blockades of Ukrainian ports (INAUDIBLE) increased the deficit in the already

destabilized food market. And this is (INAUDIBLE) situation in different parts of our planet, let alone the drought in Europe, the largest over the

last 500 years.

Fortunately, we have managed to create -- Russia was forced to accept the terms of the international community, allowing to restore grain exports

from three Ukrainian ports. It relieves part of the tension in the food market but does not remove the threat completely.

Only the full recovery of Ukrainian agricultural exports without any obstacles can be a guarantee that tens of millions of people around the

world would have something to eat.

And (INAUDIBLE) withstand (ph) to the fact that even now, in the 21st century, you still have to fight to save tens of millions of people in

different countries from this artificial hunger --


ZELENSKYY (through translator): -- this artificial one, which was provoked by a single country with its insane aggression. And it is also a fact

Ukrainians do feel that. The U.N. was established not to (INAUDIBLE) in the 21st century over the aspects that should have long remained in the past.

But nevertheless, I thank Mr. Secretary General of the U.N. and the Turkiye and the president of the Turkiye and to all other responsible members of

its national relations who are fighting against the food crisis, to wage on the Russia as responsible and the coming weeks.

We have to do everything to expand the existing grain initiative. Let's take another aspect of energy. It is a fact that Russia is deliberately

trying to impose energy authority upon tens of millions of people, deprive them of normal access to basic goods by deliberately raising the energy


All this is done by a permanent member to the U.N. Security Council, who still uses the privilege of its (INAUDIBLE) the larger crisis for Europe,

the threat of large-scale hunger, the political chaos (ph) for African nation countries, the price (ph) crisis in the whole world, isn't it too

much for a single country, whose representative sits among you?

I will mention one more aspect, the values. Indeed, we should honestly talk about the point that values are perceived differently in different parts of

the world, has different approaches. But everywhere in the world life has value. Peace has value. Economic prosperity has value. All countries if

they respect themselves and their people punish for murder and not only the executioners.

However, we see that there is a country that has -- behaves differently and is proud of doing so. It rewards murderers and encourages executioners. And

this is a threat not only for Ukraine. Thousands of Ukrainians were killed by the Russian invaders. Dozens of our cities were destroyed by Russian


Russia does not comply with fundamental conventions on the prisoners of war. This is something that was also mentioned today, the deliberate

killing by the Russian occupiers of our prisoners of war in Olenivka (ph) became one of the most terrible pages in the history of Europe.

And there is an immediate need for a U.N. factfinding mission in Olenivka and the mandate of which should be extended to cover all Ukrainian POWs

currently held by Russian forces. There is no such war crime that the Russian occupiers have not yet committed on the territory of Ukraine.

But if Russia is not stopped now and in Ukraine, if it is not stopped by the victory of Ukraine, then all these Russian murderers will (INAUDIBLE)

end up in other countries, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America.

There are traces of Russian war criminals everywhere and we must all get united and act decisively as soon as possible, so there are no more traces

of Russian missiles and no more cities burned by Russian artillery, so there will be no threat of a radiation catastrophe ever again.

Russia must release the captured territory of Ukraine so that there would be no food crisis. Russia would need to withdraw from our land, from our

sea, so that no country in the world can ever again disregard the U.N. and the conventions binding oh all mankind.

There's no -- Russia must be held accountable for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. The relevant resolution will be submitted for the

consideration of the 77th session of the U.N. General Assembly in order for a sense of justice to return to international relations.

We must all confirm and force Russia to recognize that the inviolability of borders and peace are unconditional values for all nations. This is why the

independence and integrity of our country are of fundamental importance for the international relations, preserving our independence.


ZELENSKYY (through translator): (INAUDIBLE) returning to normal economic ties with Ukraine will restore the true power to the U.N. charter and save

the world from the crises that we are all forced to face now.

Mr. General Secretary, Antonio Guterres, has the ambitious intention of organizing this summit of the future next year. We support this initiative.

And we affirm that, in order to build the future, it's necessary to leave in the dustbin of history what has always prevented humanity from living in

peace, namely the aggression and colonial ambitions.

That is what Russia has came (sic) with to Ukraine. And I believe that we can surely build the future that would be good and symbolic to have this

summit in Ukraine. It is on the territory of Ukraine that the world's future is decided, whether we will have a future at all.

This is being decided also at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and in our seaports. And in Donbas and in the Crimea, our independence is your

security, the security of the entire (INAUDIBLE).

(INAUDIBLE) for this opportunity of the understanding of my situation, the situation of our country. Thank you for the attention. And I thank the

Chinese presidency (ph) (INAUDIBLE) to participate in this session in the online format (INAUDIBLE).

ANDERSON: President Zelenskyy, speaking on the country's Independence Day, six months into the war in Ukraine. He spoke to the U.N. Security Council

about the urgency of the IAEA taking control of the nuclear plant at Zaporizhzhya, currently controlled by Russia.

And he said to stop what he called nuclear blackmail by Moscow. He thanked the U.N. for the support in brokering a grain deal and said more needs to

be done, blaming Russia for the world's food crisis.

He talked about war crimes committed by Russian war criminals, as he described them, and said Russia must withdraw from our land and our sea and

must be held accountable for crimes against Ukraine.

He said it is on the territory of Ukraine that the world's future will be decided. Our independence, he said, is your security.

We're going to take a very short break.




ANDERSON: Just before we took you to the United Nations Security Council to listen in to the speech by President Zelenskyy on the occasion of

Ukraine's Independence Day and six months into this war in Ukraine, we were discussing the extreme heat over this past summer period and the climate


Well, Iraq is even more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than most. Jomana Karadsheh shows us how people there are surviving the heat.


KARADSHEH (voice-over): It is hard to believe this parched land is where it is thought the Garden of Eden once stood.

Droughts, water shortages and rising, temperatures have turned the lush green marshlands of southern Iraq --


KARADSHEH (voice-over): -- into this desolate desert, increasingly uninhabitable for a population that has relied on this land and water for


The marshes are one of Iraq's poorest regions and one of the most affected by climate change, according to the United Nations. These local buffalo

herders are among the hardest hit.

"The effects of dehydration are very clear in the animals. The buffaloes can't walk, drink or cool themselves because of the drought.

"Where do they go now?

"They might fall in the mud and die."

Many have already lost their livestock, their livelihood. The unprecedented low water levels are threatening not only the incomes but the very

existence of thousands of families.


KARADSHEH (voice-over): "-- since there is a drought everywhere, people were forced to leave. Most sold their animals which they used to survive

and were forced to find different jobs."

The U.N. says Iraq is one of the world's most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change and everywhere across this country people are

feeling the impact.

Baghdad has been hit with more sandstorms this year than any other year in memory. It's also been sweltering under persistently high temperatures this

summer. The capital is ill-equipped to deal with this extreme heat wave. Decades of sanctions, wars, corruption and mismanagement have decimated the


People here get electricity a few hours a day. Those who can pay for it rely on private generators, making air conditioning a luxury many cannot

afford. When the temperatures hit extreme highs of more than 50 degrees Celsius or 122 Fahrenheit, the government have to declare a public holiday.

But staying at home is not an option for day laborers like Mohammed (ph). He has to earn a daily wage to feed his three children.

"It is so hot, I feel exhausted and thirsty all the time," Mohammed tells us. "But we have to go out to work. Life must go on."

As the scorching summer sun sets on Baghdad, the capital comes to life. With improved security, parents now can take their children out at night.

But nightfall brings little respite from the heat.

"It's still hot but what can we do?

"We have to entertain the kids," this grandmother tells us.

Others take their children out to escape the heat indoors and fall asleep. On this night, it's around 40 degrees Celsius here.

"God help those who work during the day," this man tells us. "I'm out here at night. I have an air cooler and the temperature is not normal."

But this appears to be the new normal for a nation that has already gone through so much -- Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


ANDERSON: We will continue after the short break. Stay with us.