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White House: Biden will Issue Firm Rebuke of Russia's war in Ukraine in U.N. Speech; Russian President Threatens to use "All the means at our disposal"; Putin Orders more Troops, Makes Veiled Nuclear Threat. Aired 11- 11:38a ET

Aired September 21, 2022 - 11:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Welcome back to the show! I'm Eleni Giokos. I'm in for Becky Anderson. Now U.S. President Joe Biden has

just arrived at the United Nations Headquarters in New York for his speech in front of the UN General Assembly. He is due to speak shortly.

The White House says he will issue a firm rebuke of Russia's war in Ukraine. And we've now learned that Mr. Biden will also directly respond to

the bombshell announcement from Vladimir Putin. As you can see there, President Joe Biden entering United Nations Headquarters in New York he is

anticipated to take the podium shortly. We'll be monitoring that for you.

All right, so the Russian President announcing earlier in the day that he's ordering a partial mobilization of Russian citizens to boost his military

power. And that begins today. The Kremlin is calling up about 300,000 reservists after Ukraine's swift recapture of large amounts of territory in

recent weeks, take a listen.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: This is not a bluff, the citizens of Russia can be sure that the territorial integrity of our homeland, our

independence and freedom will be ensured. And those who tried to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the prevailing winds can turn in

their direction.


GIOKOS: Alright, the mobilization follows plans announced Tuesday for what the Kremlin calls referenda in four Ukrainian areas that's under Russian

control. We've got all the angles covered for you. CNN's Matthew Chance is standing by for us in London. Nick Paton Walsh is on the ground in

Kramatorsk and Jeremy Diamond is at the White House.

Right now, Jeremy, actually, I'd like to start with you. We are anticipating President Joe Biden to take the podium shortly and that he is

going to address President Putin's announcement, saying that he's going to be reinforcing his strength and power in Ukraine. What are we expecting?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. We don't know exactly what President Biden is going to say. But he is expected to

address those recent moves announced by the Russian President to partially mobilize Russian reserve forces.

And clearly, you know, what we've been told that the President's broad arc of this UN speech was going to be about was in part about Ukraine about the

need for countries to follow the international order and really trying to broaden out the appeal of his message of democracies versus autocracies by

also talking more broadly, about the need for countries regardless of whether they are democracies, regardless of whether they are autocracies to

follow the rules based international order.

And that is going to be a fundamental part of this speech where the President will address the fact that Russia has violated some of the basic

principles of the United Nations founding charter by invading another sovereign country.

And so as we listen to - as we prepare to hear directly from President Biden, you can expect him to both talk directly about what the Russian

President has just announced, but also broaden it out to the broader issue of Russia's violations of international order and, of course, the U.S.'s

efforts to counter those moves by Russia with an international coalition.

GIOKOS: Yes. And lots to unpack there of course, Matthew Chance I want to bring you in here. Let's talk about President Putin's announcement. You

know, for a long time we've been hearing it's a special military operation, but de facto while he's calling for 300,000 reservists, does this change

the game in terms of the narrative in Russia and importantly, the dynamics in Ukraine?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in terms of weather it de facto changes the situation? Well, I mean, of course, it

brings a lot more forces to the battlefield. I mean, we're talking about 300,000 additional troops, that would do go a long way to bolstering the

depleted forces of Russia after seven months of sort of bruising conflict.

What it doesn't do is address some of the shortfalls, in weaponry in ammunition in basic military supplies that the Russian military has

suffered from over the course of that campaign. And it's not clear how that is going to be addressed.

It's also very controversial back at home in Russia, because it's a partial mobilization as Vladimir Putin calls it. But it's sort of like causing a

much bigger mobilization if you like, against the conflict. I mean, you're going to have people who aren't volunteering to go to the war in Ukraine,

but instead of being basically called up and forced to go.

And that's potentially very unpopular already there have been calls for protests. It's very dangerous and risky to protest in Russia and the

protests so far have been very lackluster.


CHANCE: But you know, voices of dissent, which are very rare when it comes to the Kremlin, Russia normally, especially from ordinary people are

starting to be heard. And so it's a risky strategy, which could lead to a plunging popularity for Vladimir Putin. But of course, he's doing it,

because he's so desperate to turn the tables of the conflict inside Ukraine.

GIOKOS: Yes, really good point there. Nick, you know a successful counter offensive by the Ukrainians, Putin incurring major losses. And now this

bombshell announcement, 300,000 people - troops on the ground, basically, how does that change the dynamics on the front lines?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Right now, not at all. Although this partial mobilization starts today you do, as Matthew was

saying, have to take into account the atrocious management of this war so far by Russia, how badly it's been strategically planned, supplied in the


That is going to impact their capacity to suddenly get out onto the field 300,000 more troops. I would be surprised they got a fraction of that out

in the months ahead. Because the pool of resources of human resources they're going to inside the Russian population, reservists, those with

combat experience, those with specialized skills in the military has probably already been mostly tapped by their bid over the last month to

make up for the extraordinary losses.

U.S. officials saying 80,000 dead or injured, possibly unclear way how they're calculated that number incurred in these six months. So that is

certainly going to be a key test for Russia. I suspect they will not do particularly well. But it does make most ordinary Russians feel that they

potentially have someone they know being sent to the front line here.

For Ukraine well, it suggests that Russia could be in this for many months more, but it doesn't I say all to the fact that they're seeing success on

the battlefield here. We saw near - though, a moment in which Russia seems to be doing better, as far as we could tell. But even in that they're using

worse mercenaries from the Wagner Group.

Some even Russian convicts sent to the front and exchange for amnesties according to the Ukrainians we spoke to there. So even in their success

signs that Russia is frankly flailing in terms of what it can send into the war here.

And so Ukraine, I think, will now be looking at a very tense week ahead. We have these four referenda, which are due in Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk

and Luhansk, the areas which Russia has essentially annexed some in 2014 some since February.

And these referenda, I mean, frankly, farcical as they are occurring under war conditions, military presence everywhere, will most likely by early

next week, come up with a figure which Russia will claim is the proportion of the population there that wants to join Russia.

I suspect Russia will then accept in somehow that membership, quite what status they'll end up getting is unclear. But it puts Ukraine under

pressure now to alter the territorial control that Russia has in Ukraine before that potential moment, and possibly try and disrupt that probably

sham referendum voting process in the first place.

So the clock is certainly ticking here. I think Ukraine is going to need to move fast to be sure it alters the dynamic on the ground before these

300,000 troops or possibly tens of thousands that may first be able to be put towards the frontline actually get here and start changing the dynamic.

But above all of this, we have the threat of nuclear weapons, Putin specific about that being about Russia's territorial integrity, but still

he likes to throw this threat which will change the face of life on Earth as we know it out when it seems he's feeling as though he needs to control

the narrative.

Again, that's certainly the case here. And I think there'll be many potentially concern the back of their minds in Ukraine that it comes as a

specter of something so awful that it may dampen Western support for Ukraine here.

GIOKOS: Nick, I'm going to interrupt you. We are seeing live visuals right now of President Joe Biden walking in. This is live from the UN General

Assembly underway now.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: in the last year our world has experienced great upheaval, a growing crisis in food insecurity, record heat, floods and

droughts, COVID-19, inflation and a brutal, needless war, a war chosen by one man, to be very blunt.

Let us speak plainly. A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the

map. Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter. No more important than the clear prohibition against countries

taking the territory of their neighbor by force.


Again, just today, President Putin has made overt nuclear threats against Europe and a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of a

nonproliferation regime. Now, Russia's calling -- calling up more soldiers to join the fight, and the Kremlin is organizing a sham referenda try to

annex parts of Ukraine, an extremely significant violation of the U.N. Charter.

This world should see these outrageous acts for what they are. Putin claims he had to act because Russia was threatened, but no one threatened Russia

and no one other than Russia sought conflict. In fact, we warned it was coming, and with many of you, we worked to try to avert it.

Putin's own words make his true purpose unmistakable. Just before he invaded, Putin asserted, and I quote, "Ukraine was created by Russia" and

never had, quote, "real statehood". And now, we see attacks on schools, railway stations, hospitals, one -- on centers of Ukrainian history and

culture. In the past, even more horrifying evidence of Russia's atrocity and war crimes: mass graves uncovered in Izyum, bodies, according to those

have -- excavated those bodies showing signs of torture.

This war is about extinguishing Ukraine's right to exist as a state, plain and simple, and Ukraine's right to exist as a people. Whoever you are,

wherever you live, whatever you believe, that should not -- that you make your blood run cold. That's why 141 nations in the General Assembly came

together and to unequivocally condemn Russia's war against Ukraine.

The United States has marshalled massive levels of security assistance and humanitarian aid and direct economic support for Ukraine, more than $25

billion to date. Our allies and partners around the world have stepped up as well, and today, more than 40 countries represented in here have

contributed billions of their own money and equipment to help Ukraine defend itself.

The United States is also working closely with our allies and partners to impose costs on Russia to deter attacks against NATO territory, to hold

Russia accountable for the atrocities and war crimes because if nations can pursue their imperial ambitions without consequences, that would put at

risk everything this very institution stands for, everything.

Every victory won on the battlefield belongs to the courageous Ukrainian soldiers, but this past year, the world was tested as well, and we did not

hesitate. We chose liberty. We chose sovereignty. We -- we chose principles to which every party to the United Nations Charter is beholding (sic). We

stood with Ukraine.

Like you, the United States wants this war to end on just terms, on terms we all signed up for -- that you cannot seize a nation's territory by

force. That -- the only country standing in the way of that is Russia.

So we, each of us in this body who determined to uphold the principles and beliefs we pledged to defend as members of the United Nations, must be

clear, firm and unwavering in our resolve. Ukraine has the same rights that belong to every sovereign nation. We will stand in solidarity with Ukraine.

We will stand in solidarity against Russia's aggression, period.


Now, it's no secret that in the contest between democracy and autocracy, the United States and I, as president, champion a vision for our world

that's grounded in the values of democracy. The United States is determined to defend and strengthen democracy at home and around the world, because I

believe democracy remains humanity's greatest instrument to address the challenges of our time. We're working with the G7 and like-minded countries

to prove democracies can deliver for their citizens, but also deliver for the rest of the world, as well.

BIDEN: But as we meet today, the U.N. Charter -- the U.N. Charter's very basis of a stable and just rules-based order is under attack by those who

wish to tear it down or distort it for their own political advantage. And the United Nations Charter was not only signed by democracies of the world,

it was negotiated among citizens, dozens of nations with vastly different histories and ideologies, united in their commitment to work for peace.

As President Truman said in 1945, the U.N. Charter, and I quote, "is proof that nations, like men, can state their differences and face them and then

can find common ground on which to stand," end of quote. That common ground was so straightforward, so basic, that today, 193 of you -- 193 member

states have willingly embraced those principles. And standing up for those principles for the U.N. Charter is the job of every responsible member


I reject the use of violence and war to conquer nations or expand borders through bloodshed, to stand against global politics of fear and coercion,

to defend the sovereign rights of smaller nations as equal to those of larger ones, to embrace basic principles like freedom of navigation,

respect for international law and arms control. No matter what else we may disagree on, that is the common ground upon which we must stand.

If you're still committed to a strong foundation for the good of every nation around the world, then the United States wants to work with you. I

also believe the time has come for this institution to become more inclusive so that it can better respond to the needs of today's world.

Members of the U.N. Security Council, including the United States, should consistently uphold and defend the U.N. Charter and refrain -- refrain from

the use of the veto, except in rare, extraordinary situations, to ensure that the council remains credible and effective.

That is also why the United States supports increasing the number of both permanent and non-permanent representatives of the council. This includes

permanent seats for those nations we have long supported and permanent seats for countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The United States is committed to this vital work. In every region, we pursue new, constructive ways to work with partners to advance shared

interests, from elevating the Quad in the Indo-Pacific to signing the Los Angeles Declaration of Migration and Protection at the Summit of the

Americas to joining a historic meeting of nine Arab leaders to work toward a more peaceful, integrated Middle East to hosting the U.S.-Africa Leaders

Summit in this December.

As I said last year, the United States is opening an era of relentless diplomacy to address the challenges that matter most to people's lives, all

people's lives -- tackling climate crisis, as the previous speaker spoke to, strengthening global health security, feeding the world -- feeding the

world. We made that priority, and one year later, we're keeping that promise.

From the day I came to office, we've led with bold climate agenda, we rejoined the Paris Agreement, convened the major climate summits, helped

deliver critical agreements on the COP 26, and we helped get two-thirds of the world GDP on track to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

And now, I've signed a historic piece of legislation here in the United States that includes the biggest, most important climate commitment we have

ever made in the history of our country -- $369 billion toward climate change.


That includes tens of billions in new investments and offshore wind and solar, doubling down on zero emission vehicles, increasing energy

efficiency, supporting clean manufacturing. Our Department of Energy estimates that this new law will reduce U.S. emissions by one gigaton a

year by 2030 while unleashing a new era of clean energy-powered economic growth.

Our investments will also help reduce the cost of developing clean energy technologies worldwide, not just in the United States. This is a global

game changer and none too soon. We don't have much time. We all know we're already living in a climate crisis. No one seems to doubt it after this

past year.

We meet -- we meet -- much of past -- we meet, much of Pakistan is still underwater. It needs help. Meanwhile, the Horn of Africa faces

unprecedented drought, families are facing impossible choices, choosing which child to feed and wondering whether they'll survive. This is the

human cost of climate change and it's growing, not lessening.

So as I announced last year, to meet our global responsibility, my administration is working with our Congress to deliver more than $11

billion a year to international climate finance to help lower income countries implement their climate goals and ensure a just energy


The key part of that will be our PEPFAR plan, which will help half a billion people in especially vulnerable countries adopt to the impacts of

climate change and build resilience. This need is enormous. So let this be the moment we find within ourselves the will to turn back the tide of

climate devastation and unlock a resilient, sustainable clean energy economy to preserve our planet.

On global health, we've delivered more than 620 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 116 countries around the world, with more available to help meet

countries' needs, all free of charge, no strings attached, and we're working closely with the G20 and other countries in -- the United States

(ph) help lead the change to establish a groundbreaking, new fund for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response at the World Bank. At the

same time, we've continued to advance the ball on enduring global health challenges.

Later today, I'll host the Seventh Replenishment Conference for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. With bipartisan support in

our Congress, I have pledged to contribute up to $6 billion to that effort. So I look forward to welcoming a historic round of pledges at the

conference, resulting in one of the largest global health fund-raisers ever held in all of history.

BIDEN: We're also taking on the food crisis head-on. With as many as 193 million people around the world experience acute -- acute food insecurity,

a jump of 40 million in a year -- today, I'm announcing another $2.9 billion in U.S. support for lifesaving humanitarian and food security

assistance for this year alone.

Russia, in the meantime, is pumping out lies, trying to pin the blame for the crisis, the food crisis, on the sanctions imposed by many in the world

for the aggression against Ukraine.

So let me be perfectly clear about something. Our sanctions explicitly allow -- explicitly allow Russia the ability to export food and fertilizer,

no limitation. It's Russia's war that is worsening food insecurity and only Russia can end it. I'm grateful for the work here at the U.N., including

your leadership, Mr. Secretary General, establishing a mechanism to export grain from Black Sea ports in Ukraine that Russia had blocked for months.

And we need to make sure it's extended.

We believe strongly in the need to feed the world. That's why the United States is the world's largest supporter of the World Food Programme, with

more than 40 percent of its budget. We're leading support -- a leading support of the UNICEF efforts to feed children around the world.

And to take on a larger challenge of food insecurity, the United States introduced a call to action, a road map eliminating global food insecurity

-- to eliminating global food insecurity -- that more than 100 nation member states have already supported.


In June, the G7 announced more than $4.5 billion to strengthen food security around the world through USAID's Feed the Future initiative. The

United States is scaling up innovative ways to get drought and heat- resistant seeds into the hands of farmers who need them, while distributing fertilizer and approving fertilizer efficiency so that farmers can grow

more while using less.

And we're calling on all countries to refrain from banning food exports or hoarding grain while so many people are suffering. Because, in every

country in the world, no matter what else divides us, if parents cannot feed their children, nothing -- nothing else matters, if parents cannot

feed their children.

As we look to the future, we're working with our partners to update and create rules of the road for new challenges we face in the 21st Century. We

launched the Trade and Technology Council with the European Union to ensure that key technologies -- key technologies are developed and governed in the

way that benefits everyone.

With our partner countries and through the U.N., we're supporting and strengthening the norms of responsibility, responsible state behavior in

cyberspace and working to hold accountable those that use cyber attacks to threaten international peace and security.

With partners in the Americas, Africa, Europe and the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific, we're working to build a new economic ecosystem, where every

nation -- every nation gets a fair shot in economic growth that is resilient, sustainable and shared. That's why the United States is

championing a global minimum tax, and we will work to see it implemented, so major corporations pay their fair share everywhere -- everywhere.

BIDEN: It's also been the idea behind the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which the United States launched this year with 13 other Indo-Pacific

economies. We're working with our partners in ASEAN and the Pacific islands to support a vision for a critical Indo-Pacific region that is free and

open, connected and prosperous, secure and resilient.

Together with partners around the world, we're working to -- to secure resilient supply chains that protect everyone from coercion or domination

and ensure that no country can use energy as a weapon. And as Russia's war rolls -- roils the global economy, we're also calling on major global

creditors, including the non-Paris Club countries to transparently negotiate debt forgiveness for lower-income countries, to forestall broader

economic and political crisis around the world. And instead of infrastructure project to generate huge and large debt without delivering

on the promised advantages, let's meet the enormous infrastructure needs around the world with transparent investments, high-standard projects that

protect the rights of workers and the environment, keyed to the needs of the communities they serve, not to the contributor.

That's why the United States, together with fellow G7 partners, launched a Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. We intend to

collectively mobilize $600 billion in investment through this partnership by 2027. Dozens of projects are already underway: industrial-scale vaccine

manufacturing in Senegal, transformative solar projects in Angola, first- of-its-kind small modular nuclear power plant in Romania. These are investments that are going to literally returns not just for those

countries, but for everyone.

The United States will work with every nation, including our competitors, to solve global problems like climate change. Climate diplomacy is not a

favor to the United States or any other nation, and walking away hurts the entire world.

Let me be direct about the competition between the United States and China. As we manage shifting geopolitical trends, the United States will conduct

itself as a reasonable leader. We do not seek conflict. We do not seek a cold war. We do not ask any nation to choose between the United States or

any other partner. But United States will be unabashed in promoting our vision of a free, open, secure and prosperous world and what we have to

offer communities and nations: investments that are designed not to foster dependency, but to alleviate burdens and help nations become self-

sufficient, partnerships not to create political obligation, but because we know our own success, each of our success is increased when other nations

succeed, as well. When individuals have the chance to live in dignity and develop their talents, everyone benefits.


Critical to that is living up to the highest goals of this institution: increasing peace and security for everyone everywhere. The United States

will not waver in our unrelenting determination to counter and thwart the continuing terrorist threats to our world, and we will lead with our

diplomacy to strive for a peaceful resolution of conflicts. We seek to uphold peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits. We remain committed

to our One China Policy, which has helped prevent conflict for four decades, and we continue to oppose unilateral changes in the status quo by

either side. We support an African Union-led peace process to end the fighting in Ethiopia, restore security for all its people. In Venezuela,

where years of political oppression have driven more than six million people from that country, we urge the Venezuelan-led dialogue and return to

free and fair elections. We continue to stand with our neighbor in Haiti as it faces political-fueled gang violence and an enormous human crisis, and

we call on the world to do the same. We have more to do.

We'll continue to back a U.N.-mediated truce in Yemen, which has delivered precious months of peace to people that have suffered years of war, and we

will continue to advocate for lasting negotiating peace between the Jewish and Democratic State of Israel and the Palestinian people. The United

States is committed to Israel's security, full stop, and a negotiated two- state solution remains, in our view, the best way to ensure Israel's security and prosperity for the future and give the Palestinians the state

which -- to which they are entitled, both sides to fully respect the equal rights of their citizens, both people enjoying equal measure of freedom and


Let me also urge every nation to recommit to strengthening the nuclear nonproliferation regime through diplomacy. No matter what else is happening

in the world, the United States is ready to pursue critical arms control measures. A nuclear war cannot be won, and must never be fought. The five

permanent members of the Security Council just reaffirmed that commitment in January, but today, we're seeing disturbing trends. Russia shunned the

nonproliferation -- proliferation -- proliferation ideals embraced by every other nation at the 10th NPT Review Conference. And again today, as I said,

they're making irresponsible nuclear threats to use nuclear weapons.

China's conducting an unprecedented, concerning nuclear buildup without any transparency. Despite our efforts to begin serious and sustained diplomacy,

the Democratic People's Republic of Korea continues to blatantly violate U.N. sanctions, and while the United States is prepared for a mutual return

to the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action if Iran steps up to its obligations, the United States is clear: We will not allow Iran to acquire

a nuclear weapon. I continue to believe that diplomacy's the best way to achieve this outcome. The nonproliferation regime is one of the greatest

successes of this institution. We cannot let the world now slide backwards, nor can we turn a blind eye to the erosion of human rights.

Perhaps singular among this body's achievements stands the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is the standard by which our forbearers

challenged us to measure ourselves. They made clear in 1948, human rights are the basis for all that we seek to achieve, and yet today, in 2022,

fundamental freedoms are at risk in every part of our world, from violations of -- in Xinjiang, detailed recent reports by the Office of the

U.N. and U.S. -- reports detailing by the U.S. high commissioner to the horrible abuses against pro-democracy actors and ethnic minorities by the

military regime in Burma, to the increased repression of women and girls by the Taliban in Afghanistan. And today, we stand with the brave citizens and

the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights.


BIDEN: But here is what I know: The future will be won by those countries that unleash the full potential of their populations, where women and girls

can exercise equal rights, including basic reproductive rights, and contribute fully to building stronger economies and more resilient

societies, where religious and ethnic minorities can live their lives without harassment and contribute to the fabric of their community, where

the LGBTQ+ community individuals little and love freely without being targeted with violence, where citizens can question and criticize their

leaders without fear of reprisal.

The United States will always promote human rights and the values enshrined in the U.N. charter in our own country and around the world.

Let me end with this. This institution, guided by the U.N. charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is at its core an act of dauntless

hope. Let me say that again. It's an act of dauntless hope.

Think about the vision of those first delegates who undertook a seemingly impossible task, while the world was still smoldering. Think about how

divided the people of the world must have felt with the fresh grief of millions dead, the genocidal horrors of the Holocaust exposed. They had

every right to believe only the worst of humanity. Instead, they reached for what was best in all of us. And they strove to build something better,

and during peace, comity among nations, equal rights for every member of the human family, cooperation for the advancement of all humankind.

My fellow leaders, the challenges we face today are great indeed. But our capacity is greater. Our commitment must be greater still. So let's stand

together to again declare the unmistakable resolve that nations of the world are united still, that we stand for the values of the U.N. charter,

that we still believe, by working together, we can bend the arc of history toward a freer and more just world for all our children, although none of

us have fully achieved it.

We are not passive witnesses to history. We are the authors of history. We can do this. We have to do it, for ourselves and for our future, for


Thank you for your tolerance, for listening to me. I appreciate it very much. God bless you all.