Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

"Unprecedented" Damage to Nord Stream Pipeline; Partial Results of "Referenda" in Ukraine Show Huge Majorities in Favor of Joining Russia; Conscription Order Sparks Protests, Violence in Russia; Vietnam Bracing for Typhoon Noru; Hurricane Ian Makes Landfall in Cuba as Category 3 Storm; Japan Holds State Funeral for Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; Cholera Threatening Displaced Families in Pakistan; James Bond Memorabilia for Sale in Charity Auction. Aired 10-10:45a ET

Aired September 27, 2022 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): This hour, Russia's sham referenda. Ukraine claims that Russia use the vote to draft citizens in occupied


Plus, Nord Stream 1 operator warns of unprecedented damage to what is a key gas pipeline.

And tens of thousands evacuated in Western Cuba as Hurricane Ian hits. And Florida is preparing for a worst-case scenario.


ANDERSON: Good evening. I am Becky Anderson. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

We are just getting word from Russian state media reports that the first results of the so-called referenda are coming in from occupied regions of

Ukraine. And not surprisingly, perhaps overwhelmingly, it is in Russia's favor.

Initial results, 97 percent of the ballots are in favor of becoming a part of Russia. Ukraine and Western nations are calling the votes a sham. They

vow that they will not recognize those results.

Among the occupied areas is Kherson. Ukrainian authorities say that nobody is allowed in or out. It has been difficult for young men to travel since

the Kremlin announced a new military draft.

Finland and Georgia report huge spikes in Russians crossing their borders. Nic Robertson has more detail for us.

How will these referenda play out?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: As a huge success, an endorsement of President Putin's war in Ukraine, that a large percentage

of the population living in the east and the south of Ukraine want to be part of Russia.

Of course, this flies completely in the face of reality. This is the sham election. That is what was predicted by both the White House and Downing

Street here in London and by the other Western officials that Russia would manipulate a situation, put a population in a position where they were not

free to go and vote.

There would even be soldiers turning up at the door with a ballot box, this would be anything but free and fair referenda. So it is no surprise that

Russia is playing this early as a part of Putin's strategy to try and annex more of Crimea.

You know, go back and look at the results at a CNN poll from right before the invasion. Less than one in five people in all of the different regions

in Ukraine, never mind the east and south of the country where this referendum is taking place, less than one in five wanted their part or any

part of Ukraine to become a part of Russia.

You know, under arms, the threat of force, the use of force, Russia is apparently intent on annexing these areas, potentially because Russia will

claim them therefore as Russian. They will then use that as a threat in the international community for those areas not to be attacked by Ukrainian


ANDERSON: Nic, have a listen to what E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told me last week.


JOSEP BORRELL, E.U. HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS & SECURITY POLICY: Certainly, we will not recognize any kind of referendum in the

occupied territories. The word "occupied territories" says everything.

The whole referenda in the middle of a war, in an occupied territory belonging to another country, there is no guarantee of nothing. So we do

not recognize any kind of referenda as far as we don't recognize the so- called (INAUDIBLE) republics in the Donbas.


ANDERSON: Nic, what of the international laws surrounding this and what are the consequences?

Where does this go next?

ROBERTSON: Putin is taking a page from his 2014 playbook, which is invade Crimea to annex it, to hold a referendum there and to say that the results

show that the population wanted to be a part of Russia.


ROBERTSON: And then hold it as part of Russia and threaten the international community not to touch it.

So he has played by the same playbook. But this is not a playbook that is recognized internationally. There is no international law that allows you

to invade another country and then hold a referendum. The Russians and the pro-Russian leadership inside of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson

(ph), these four areas where the referenda are going on.

They are trying to claim that they have international observers there watching the elections. Again, this is the old Russian playbook. The fact

of the matter is -- and experts will tell you this -- if you want to be an international observer and add legitimacy to an election or referendum, you

need to be invited there by the host nation.

The host nation is Ukraine. Ukraine is not inviting international representatives to oversee a referendum. And beyond that, it is also saying

that the referendum is a complete sham. It should not be held and has no international legal jurisdiction.

So Putin may claim this as a win. But it is unlikely that he is going to see any long-term gain from the international community over it.

ANDERSON: I do want to bring up some CNN polling that you referred to earlier on. This is worth noting. It provides some support for the

conversation that we are having.

An exclusive CNN poll found the majority of respondents in eastern and southern Ukraine opposed unification with Russia. In the east, it was just

under a quarter of respondents who said that those regions should be allowed to become part of Russia while 53 percent say they should not; 18

or 19 percent did not know or had no opinion.

The numbers are different when you look across the country. But more than 50 percent are saying that these should not happen. That provides enough

risk for the argument that says that these are illegal.

All the while, Russians continue to try and get out. Finland is reporting 152 percent increase in Russians crossing the southeastern border compared

to last week.

Should we expect that to continue?

ROBERTSON: What the Finns are seeing at the border, I think it was 7,700 or so Russians crossing the border yesterday, they think that it spiked

over the weekend. But is far from clear that this was an initial surge reacting to Putin's call for conscription, doubling at the border with


About 10,000 people crossing compared to the normal 5,000 or 6,000 in recent times. But it seems that these people trying to escape conscription

are going to face increasing challenges. They could possibly be stopped by recruiters at the border. It is a situation of mounting concern.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): At Russia's borders, Vladimir Putin's comeuppance, the lifeblood of his war in Ukraine, military age men fleeing fears of

conscription. Record numbers crossing into neighboring Finland.

MIKKO HAUTALA, FINNISH AMBASSADOR TO U.S.: Basically, the Russian inflow of people it has now doubled in the course of last five days or so. We are

now already in the process of basically squeezing the inflow.

ROBERTSON: Georgia, another border. Rushers would be recruits are racing for. Cars backed up for tens of miles in the two-day wait. They don't need

a visa. But even so, Russia slowing the exodus to a tiny trickle. Bribes paid to jump the line before a feared total exit ban rumored for September


In three hours, we jumped a 40 kilometer, 30-mile line. It's not a nice thing to do. But alas, the 27 scares me greatly, this military age man

says. Adding, the border guard called me a deserter but not everyone fleeing.

In Siberia, recruitment, resentment took a violent turn. At close range, a man shooting a recruitment officer. Other would be recruits scatter run

screaming from the room. The officer wounded, taken to hospital.

In Dagestan, a mostly Muslim region of Russia, police fired over protesters heads. Others wrestle to the ground. Anger particularly strong here, as

many residents feel recruitment falls too heavily on their community.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Putin's fabled ability to read Russia's mood appears to be fading. His own officials admitting mistakes were made.

The chairwoman of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation saying, "Officials overstepped to take such liberties is absolutely unacceptable,

and, in my opinion, the harsh reaction we are seeing in society is deserved."

Beyond doubt, so many young men voting with their feet and leaving shows trust in Putin is at its lowest ebb in years.


ROBERTSON: A potential problem for President Putin. If he decides to bottle up that anger by not allowing these people to escape recruitment to

leave and indeed does throw them into the army, this reaction that the politician was talking about there, this reaction to the recruitment drive

could become even stronger.

But on the streets of Russia and that is something also that is going to be politically potentially dangerous for Putin. Of course, he will call the

police out. We have seen that in previous demonstrations to control any kind of protest.

ANDERSON: Nic Robertson is on the story. Thank you.

It is being called unprecedented damage to the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea. They sit at the center of this energy crisis between Russia and

Europe. The Danish defense command has just released this video. They say they are gas leaks from Nord Stream in the Baltic.

A short time ago Sweden told CNN that there have been three leaks found recently. Neither pipeline is currently pumping gas to the continent. Long-

term destruction to Nord Stream 1 could be a headache for Europe. CNN's Clare Sebastian has more on this.

Explain what is going on here and why this could be such a headache.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is already causing a bit of a headache. European gas prices, falling for the last month, are now up

almost 7 percent, the last time I looked. What we are looking at is three separate leaks to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

One in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which never got off the ground. The construction on that was actually completed a year ago this month. The

Danish armed forces have established a prohibition zone around those leaks. They say the biggest is the disturbance of the water.

It is about a kilometer in diameter, the smallest is about 200 meters.

The Swedish maritime authority also telling people, ships to stay away, about 5 miles away from these leaks. The Danish prime minister says that

she is very concerned about this. That was a sentiment echoed by the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on a call with a journalist, that this

was extremely concerning.

When asked about the possibility of sabotage, at this stage, no possibility can be ruled out. So nobody knows. There is no evidence as yet that points

to any kind of motive here. As you know, as you have said, these pipelines' fate is bound up in the war in Ukraine. The Nord Stream 2 never get off the

ground because of the war.

The Nord Stream 1 has had its flows cut to zero at the beginning this month. Russia said it is because of maintenance issues that came up as a

result of sanctions. The West has said that it is political. Either way, as the Danish prime minister said, this does reveal that Europe needs to get

serious once again about its energy security.

ANDERSON: So what is the prospect for European consumers this winter?

SEBASTIAN: Well, Europe continues to buildup its storage. The last reports from the German regulators said the Germans already built up above 90

percent. So they're continue to fill it up at a high rate. But winter is just around the corner.

Russian gas to Europe only coming by several pipelines to Ukraine and the Turks' stream up from the south. So they still need Russian gas. They still

do not have it replaced, even by the likes of LNG, which Europe continues to build out its infrastructure for.

As of right now, they need to keep looking for alternatives and they need to keep saving energy. They have not introduced the E.U. (INAUDIBLE), a 50

percent cut to energy consumption. That remains crucial at this stage -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Clare Sebastian, thank you.

You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. The time here in Abu Dhabi is just before a quarter past 11.

Coming up, hurricane Ian is coming toward Florida after slamming into Cuba. Across the globe, a cyclone is bearing down on Vietnam. We have the latest

forecasts and impact. That is up next.

And then, Pakistan dealing with the aftermath of catastrophic flooding.


ANDERSON: The children there are paying a heavy price for a new threat. The details are ahead.




ANDERSON: Multiple parts of the world are now bracing for the impacts of tropical cyclones, hurricane Ian on the left of your screen, it is heading

toward the west coast of Florida after making landfall in Western Cuba a few hours ago. The storm is forecasted to intensify as it moves across the

eastern Gulf of Mexico.

On the other side of the world, hundreds of thousands of people in Vietnam are being told to evacuate ahead of typhoon Noru. That is on the right side

of your screen. Curfews there are taking effect in two provinces. Noru battered the Philippines as a super typhoon and killed at least 8 people.



ANDERSON: Let's get you to Carlos Suarez, there in Tampa.

Storm preparations are in full swing back stateside. You are expecting to see a strengthened Ian at this point.

What are people doing to get ready?

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We are expecting some sort of impact with hurricane Ian here in the Tampa Bay area. There are three

mandatory evacuation orders already in place in two counties in the Tampa and St. Pete area.

We are talking about one evacuation order that is in Hillsborough County. There are two evacuation orders that are in the Pinellas County. That is

where we are right now. We are in Gulfport. That is about a half hour drive outside of Tampa.

A number of businesses out here are already boarded up. They closed up. They made their last-minute decisions to go ahead and packed their things

up and get out. A lot of these businesses out here have a number of plywoods (sic).

This one business this morning was actually doing all of this. They were trying to finish the work out here then go to their homes to figure out

that situation there.

You can see all of these sandbags that have been tied up. They have been put up here in anticipation. It is for what we expect to be a pretty

significant storm surge. The forecast model right now is calling anywhere between 5-10 feet of a storm surge.

Because so much of this part of the state of Florida is really low-lying, they're expecting a lot of this water out from the Gulf of Mexico making

its way into the bays out here.

That is going to be a complete disaster. That's why a lot of these folks are using these types of waterproofing forms. They want to try to keep some

of this water out. A couple of businesses, heading out closer to the marina side, they are still open.

There is one restaurant that is open for outdoor dining. But they are closing their indoor space. They are doing the very same thing as this

business here. They are putting up plywood.

Over in the Tampa area right now, there are about 43 hurricane shelters that have opened.

Emergency officials there are trying to get all of these folks to move further inland. Again, with that kind of storm surge, they're expecting

some pretty serious flooding.

Overnight, traffic cameras showed a major interstate that connects this part of Florida out to the central part of Florida. It is pretty backed

out. You can see folks trying to heed the warning.

Many made the decision to head to the Orlando area. That is the situation here in Gulfport. The folks here are under the evacuation order. Officials

telling everyone, if you are in this area, you need to get out at the latest tonight.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Carlos. This sort of weather is not unfamiliar to residents in that part of the state. It does not make it any easier. It

does not make it less frightening when you know that you are in the eye of a storm.

Patrick Oppmann, you are connecting to us from Havana. Hurricane Ian is making landfall in Western Cuba earlier today.

What are you seeing, what are you hearing?

There is the back end of the storm where you are still.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That is exactly what we are getting right now as this storm moves off of the coast of Cuba and into the

Gulf of Mexico. Here in Havana, we are starting to get more and more wind and more and more rain. It has been fairly quiet this morning. But this was

the expectation.

Even though it hit Western Cuba full-on, that is not a very populated area. It is very small towns. People are losing roofs. Trees are coming down on

their homes. That is terrible. But the worry has been that when you have a city of 2 million people with such aging infrastructure, like we have here

in Havana --


OPPMANN: -- even when a storm misses, strong winds can bring down buildings here. They can cause flooding. So that is a concern in the hours

ahead as the winds pick up here.

Will it cause more damage in Havana than in this less populated area to the west, where it hit much, much harder?

Just because you have large buildings here. These are buildings that can collapse when there is rain, when there is heavy wind. So that will be the

concern over the next few hours. Even though hurricane Ian has started to move offshore, it is not done with Cuba just yet. It will continue to lash

this island for the hours to come.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

Just to update you, what does this mean for oil and gas prices?

That is always important when we see this sort of storm over the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Ian is not expected to pose a major threat to the

national supply of oil and gas, even as this category 3 storm derailed some oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.

We have given you as many layers on this as we can. Canada is still reeling from the aftermath of what was hurricane Fiona. More than 170,000 customers

are without power across Nova Scotia.


ANDERSON (voice-over): This is one of the hardest hit areas. No power has led to long lines at gas stations with people looking for fuel for

generators. The government there looking to free up over $40 million of immediate relief funds to help residents.


ANDERSON: In Puerto Rico, it is much of the same. About 40 percent of customers still do not have power after Fiona. The deadly storm made

landfall on the island last week as a category 1 hurricane.

If you would like to help victims of these hurricanes, please do use our website, Several organizations already have teams on the

ground providing assistance --

Japan says goodbye to its longest serving prime minister. But some protesters did not want the lavish state ceremony to happen at all. A look

at Shinzo Abe's complicated legacy after this.




ANDERSON: Welcome back. It is half past 6 and you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Japan has bid a final farewell to its longest serving prime minister. More than 4,000 people turned out for a state funeral in Tokyo for Shinzo Abe.


ANDERSON: He was assassinated in July. Outside of the funeral, protesters took to the streets. They spoke out against the government's use of some

$12 million in public funds to bankroll the event.

CNN's Blake Essig is joining me now. He is live from Tokyo.

We are looking at images of these protests. Protesters are angry about the cost of the state funeral. Speak about what is going on.

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, look, today, at the state funeral, it had been extremely controversial for months. And as expected, throughout

the day, protesters both for and against the state funeral made their presence felt. They created chaos on the street at times.

While protesters did keep police busy, it was also a day filled with contrasting emotions representative of how this country feels about one of

its most polarizing leaders of all time.


ESSIG (voice-over): Starting early Tuesday morning, mourners lined up for the opportunity to lay flowers, pay their respects and say a final goodbye

to Japan's longest serving prime minister.

ESSIG: Among the lines of people are blocked-off roads and tens of thousands of police officers patrolling the streets of Tokyo.

ESSIG (voice-over): They are here to provide security for the 4,300 guests. That includes 700 foreign dignitaries. They are attending the

government funded state funeral for Shinzo Abby. It is inside of Japan's iconic Budokan arena.

For several hours, flowers were offered, a video tribute was played and speeches were delivered to honor the man that the current prime minister

says accomplished so much for his country. He was taken too soon.


FUMIO KISHIDA, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): You breached the intersections of the two oceans. You had taken your ideas further and

developed them into a framework for a free and open Indo Pacific region that serves many countries and many people.

The multilayered diplomacy has noticed good relations with every country in the world.


ESSIG (voice-over): Outside of the arena, protesters marched. They chanted. They clashed with police. They were protesting an event that wound

up costing taxpayers 1.6 billion yuan or 12 million USD that they say never should've happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The cost of the state funeral was way too high. So many people are struggling to get by after the pandemic. I

can't get my head around why we are having a state funeral. It is a very bad thing. It is so expensive.

ESSIG (voice-over): A nation divided on full display as Japan bids a last farewell to one of its most polarizing figures of all time, a man that was

both revered and resented for his role in shaping the Japan that exists today.


ESSIG: The state funeral is now over. The deep divisions that his leadership and his legacy likely continue to play out here in Japan for a

long time to come -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Blake Essig is on that story for you. Thank you.


ANDERSON: Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now.

And Japan's foreign minister, seen here, calls Russia's detention of a Japanese diplomat unacceptable. The diplomat was detained for allegedly

receiving confidential information. Officials say he will leave the country out of concerns for his safety.

In Iran, at least 41 people have now died in protest over the death of a woman in custody over the notorious morality police, according to Iranian

state media. These protests continue over the death of Mahsa Amini despite a harsh government crackdown.

The United States says that it will provide $10 million in aid to Pakistan in the wake of what has been catastrophic flooding. The death toll there

now stands at 1,600. A third of the victims are children. Believe me, it is expected to get an awful lot worse.

Stagnant water means a growing risk of waterborne diseases. CNN's traveled to one hospital that is fighting to save these children. Anna Coren has

more on that. Her report does include images of children in distress, some of whom do not survive.


ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the scorching heat, a couple carry their listless child toward a packed wooden boat,

ferrying sick villagers through the floodwaters.

The mother grabs her daughter and finds a place to sit. The 8-year-old is burning up. "She's got a high-grade fever and has become unconscious,"

explains her mother.

"Let's go, let's go," yells a villager.

The mother then wets her daughter's brow with the very same water that has made her so sick.


COREN (voice-over): Pakistan's months-long catastrophic floods that inundated one-third of the country, affecting 33 million people, are still

causing unspeakable suffering.

The monsoonal rains may be over but the volume of stagnant water is now causing a health crisis, especially in Sindh one of the worst-hit provinces

in the country's southeast, where cases of cholera, dengue and dehydration have surged.

AADARSH LAGHAN, UNICEF COMMUNICATION OFFICER: I have seen families and children consume the very floodwater that they are surrounded by. And that

is what -- because they don't have access to any other water source.

COREN (voice-over): As they reach the shore, it's a race against time. The nearest hospital is hours away by rickshaw and her daughter's condition is


These young mothers have found medical care, although their newborns barely have the energy to cry. They've come to the Nawabshah Mother and Child

Hospital where the critically ill are taken to the resuscitation ward.

A baby's chest slowly rises and falls as oxygen, pumped through a tube, helps this infant to breathe. Lying beside it, the body of another baby

that didn't make it.

For the doctors here, this is agonizing work. Up to a dozen children are dying each day from flood-related illness, which is unheard of in this

small hospital.

"This girl has cholera," says Dr. Nazia. "Their bodies go into shock. We try to rehydrate them with fluid they've lost." One of the four children

sharing this bed appears to be going downhill rapidly.

Heart monitors are placed on the chest of 5-year-old Ikra (ph), who is severely stunted. Her heart is slowly beating but her eyes glaze over.

Minutes later, she dies. A nurse prepares her tiny body for an Islamic burial, as her sister and grandmother weep outside.

Of the more than 1,500 people who've died since June from Pakistan's climate change-induced catastrophe, more than one-third have been children.

Millions upon millions remain homeless, having lost homes, crops and livestock. Rani is one of them. She wonders if the waters will also take

her youngest, 3-year-old Abbas, who is suffering from malaria.

"Death is a better option for us," she says. "We accept it. One should not have to live like this" -- Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.


ANDERSON: You are watching connect world live from Abu Dhabi. We will be right back.





ANDERSON: To celebrate 60 years of James Bond, Christies is holding a charity sale of some of 007's famous gadgets and costumes. The items

reflect each of the six actors that have played James Bond.

Much of the memorabilia comes from the film, "No Time to Die," including an Aston Martin stunt car. It could sell for more than $2 million.


MEG SIMMONDS, EON PRODUCTIONS ARCHIVE DIRECTOR: It is one of eight Aston Martin replicas that were made especially for "No Time to Die." They were

used on location in Italy for the chase scene there. So it is one of the stunt cars with some gadgets on it as well. It is a very special car.


ANDERSON: The live auction is Wednesday. It is by invitation only. There is also an online auction open until James Bond Day on October the 5th.

That is the date the first James Bond film premiered in 1962.

Pop quiz: name all six James Bond actors. You can tweet me @BeckyCNN.