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Connect the World

UK Finance Minister to Address Tory Party Conference soon; Former Russian Diplomat Speaks out on War; Kwasi Kwarteng Promises Sound Plan to Increase Economic Growth; British Finance Minister Addresses Party after Tax cut U-turn; Ayatollah Khamenei: Unrest "Designed by the U.S." and Israel; Iranian Singer Arrested after Song about Protests. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired October 03, 2022 - 11:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, Abu Dhabi. This is "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Welcome back. You're watching "Connect the World". Russia's Parliament ratifies its President's brazen

land grab as Ukraine retakes more of that same territory on the battlefield.

I'll speak to a Former Russian Diplomat on what is this new phase of the war in just a few moments. We start though this hour with an embarrassing

U-turn for the British Prime Minister Liz Truss not quite a month into her premiership it was caused by what's been slugged a fiscal event. Really a

mini budget that crashed the pounds and mortgage rates soaring and spot questions about the Prime Minister's credibility.

Well, now the government says it is abandoning a controversial tax cut plan, at least part of it for top earners Ms. Truss tweeting "We get it and

we have listened". Well, the climb down comes as UK Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng is about to address the Conservative Party Conference. Bianca

Nobilo is standing by at that Tory Party Conference in Birmingham in England Richard Quest standing by for you in London.

Let's start with you. Bianca the Truss premiership, off to a rocky start. Question is just how rocky? What are the political ramifications of this


BIANCO NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gigantic. And I'd start Becky by saying that the mood here and I've been to quite a lot of these conferences is

bad, it's subdued. It's weird. I would repeat lots of quotes that I've been getting from Conservative MPs and party faithful that you'd have to bleep

me out pretty much the entire time.

So it's fractious and even entering the conference. There are usually protesters but the chants are a bit more vitriolic than usual. We're also

getting reports; I think I understand that they've locked down the Conference Center at the moment, not letting anybody in because there might

be sort of an unknown security incident, which is fairly typical.

But it means there could be protesters trying to get in which we might typically see around big speeches, like the Chancellor's which we're

expecting any moment now or the Prime Minister is coming up on Wednesday.

But the mood just underscores the task that the Prime Minister has ahead of her and the Chancellor too, to try and repair this party disunity to try

and restore some confidence that they might be the right people to lead.

They're going to make better calls that they're going to understand the public mood, but to be entering a party conference a month into the job to

have polls against you in ways that haven't been the case for about two decades to have the public so angry to have everyone complaining about the

optics of your policy, making your party look heartless.

This is a very difficult situation, it would take a shrewd, talented, experienced political navigator to be able to get through this and recover

on the other side. And I haven't yet Becky spoken to anybody that really believes that Kwasi Kwarteng and Ms. Truss have what it takes to do that.

ANDERSON: Richard, this is a major policy U-turn. But let's be quite clear, this is only standing down on a very small part of what was a very

significant swathe of unfunded tax cuts. And I use that term specifically because that's what's important here.

Unfunded tax cuts at a time when quite frankly, the you know, the government's naysayers say we cannot afford to be spending like this when

the economy is struggling as let's be clear, other economies are struggling around the world.

I mean, the pound is off, but only off compared to what you know, in similar terms to the Euro, and various others, and it's bounced off what

were very significant loads last week. What do you - what do you think the markets want to hear from the Finance Minister today? And frankly, are they

going to get what they want to hear?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: The answer to the second part is no. And the answer to the first part is, they don't think they're going to

get anything today from him because he's had chances to put forward the Independent Budget Office's prognosis and forecasts on what his budget


And he's chosen not to do so. They're excuses that they didn't have time to get the numbers right. But that begs the question, if you don't have time

to get an independent assessment, should you be doing it in the first place? I listened to the Chancellor this morning speaking on BBC Radio. It

was the most embarrassingly dreadful defense.


QUEST: Because basically all he can say is the cut in the 45 percent tax rate, highest tax rate was a distraction from the other things, but as

you've pointed out, or dropped, he pointed out, it's the other things that are just as bad as far as the markets are concerned.

Everybody accepts in a recession, a government has to spend to try and keep growth moving, but it needs to be a lot more targeted, and a lot more savvy

to quote Bianca a moment ago, it will take a lot more political knows and economic savviness and Kwasi Kwarteng at the moment nor the Prime Minister

appear to have either.

ANDERSON: Yes, OK. I'm going to leave it there just for the time being.

QUEST: Sure.

ANDERSON: And we are waiting to hear from Kwasi Kwarteng and we will learn, monitor what he says, and stick on this story. Thank you. Some political

observers are calling the UK government's tax cut U-turn a symbolic move being less about saving money and more about the political message it's


CNN has insightful analysis about the big picture for the British economy you can find that on your app, that's CNN app, of course, or on the CNN

digital platforms.

Well, despite strategic and symbolic victories by Ukraine on the battlefield, Russia is moving ahead with its proclaimed annexation of four

occupied regions of the country. The lower house of parliament in Russia ratified the move several hours ago, what a state news agency called a

unanimous vote. President Vladimir Putin set the process in motion you'll remember on Friday and what was an elaborate ceremony at the Kremlin

following staged referendums condemned by the West as shams.

The four regions in Eastern Ukraine include Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk, where the key city of Lyman is now back in the hands of

Ukrainian forces. Ukrainian President says his military successes extend beyond Lyman.

Well, a CNN team arrived in the area shortly after Ukraine's President declared it clear of all Russian troops. Nick Paton Walsh, my colleague was

the first TV journalist to visit the city. This is his report on the devastation left behind.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice over): It may not look like much but this is where Putin's defeat in Donetsk began a

prize from the last century perhaps. But trains and tracks are still how Russia wages war today. Lyman what's left of it now freed of Russia?

WALSH (on camera): Well, this is what it was all about the Central Railway Hub here now in Ukrainian hands and devastated by the fighting. And this

was such a seminal part of Russia's occupation of Donetsk and Luhansk. The concern for Moscow is the knock on effect this is going to have for their

forces all the way to the Russian border.

WALSH (voice over): On the town's edges, we saw no sign of the hundreds of Russian prisoners are dead that had been expected to follow Moscow

strategic defeat here, nor inside it either. Perhaps they have already been taken away instead, utter silence only local bicycles on the streets.

Several residents told us the Russians actually left in large numbers on Friday.

TANYA, LYMAN RESIDENT: They left in the night in the day people said I didn't see it myself but they say they sat on their APCs and their bags

were falling off as they drove. They ran like this.

WALSH (voice over): It would be remarkable timing that Russia fled Lyman in the very same hours that Putin was signing papers, declaring here Russian

territory and holding a rally on Red Square. A similar story in the local administration, where the only signs of Russia left are burned flags.

They ran away without saying a word to anybody, he says. It was bad, no work, no gas, no power, nothing. The shops didn't work. It truly feels as

if there is nobody left.

WALSH (on camera): Ghostly silence here apart from occasional shelling and small arms fire. And it is so much of this town utterly destroyed. So many

locals were told leaving when the Ukrainian push towards it began. But now it's just this utter ghostliness in a place that's such a strategic defeat

for Russia.

WALSH (voice over): Gunfire in the distance they're nervous some Russians may be left. Outside what's left of the court the constant change and

violence is too much for some? Her husband just arrested.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want the truth? You put on a hat, you take off a hat. What life is this? I am 72 years old. I'm like a rat in a basement

crawling out of the basement. You will not show this, the truth.

Yesterday Ukraine came, checked documents on a checkpoint and took my husband. A man disappeared from the police station. One hat, another hat,

people are suffering. One beats us, another beats us and we cry.

WALSH (voice over): The Ukrainian troops we did see had already stopped celebrating. There is little time they're on the move again. Another

Russian target further east Kreminna in their sights. And those left in Lyman, a town cursed to have these bars of rusting steel running through it

are gathering the ruins to burn for fuel with winter ahead.

Left in the wake of Russia's collapse here, a town they took weeks to occupy, but only hours to leave, Nick Paton Walsh, CNN Lyman, Ukraine.


ANDERSON: Well, my next guest is a veteran Russian diplomat who resigned in May, protesting what he calls Moscow's aggressive war against Ukraine. Of

course, Vladimir Putin calls it a special operation.

Boris Bondarev was posted to Russia's Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. And in a statement on LinkedIn, he wrote, "The aggressive war

unleashed by Putin against Ukraine and in fact, against the entire Western world is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also perhaps

the most serious crime against the people of Russia". Boris Bondarev joins me now via Skype; it's good to have you, sir. Thank you. Expand on that, if

you will. Why did you resign in February? And what did you mean, in what you wrote?

BORIS BONDAREV, FORMER RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT: Good afternoon. Well, in short, I resigned because on February 24, this year, my country attacked Ukraine,

our neighbor country, I will say our brother country as we've always thought about it, I mean, most Russians, and that was a threshold for me,

then I realized that they cannot any longer stay in the civil service.

They cannot any longer protect this, you know, this war anyway. And I endured for some time before that, because I did like what was going on.

But I told myself every time that OK, as far as there is no violence as far as there is no war, I can put up with it. But the war is something totally


ANDERSON: Were you shocked? I'm interested to hear whether you were shocked by Putin's decision, February the 23rd, 24th to invade? Or was it

telegraphed to you, as an ambassador for Russia, effectively, someone who was going to have to deal with this?

BONDAREV: No, of course, it was not telegraphed to any of our ambassadors overseas, because of this decision was evidently taken in an atmosphere of

very high frequency. Even our military that was stationed along the Ukrainian border, they did not know until the very day of the attack that

they would attack Ukraine.

So of course, it was a shock for me. So many people say and the United States intelligence, for instance, they said that the invasion was

imminent. Yet I didn't believe that Putin would go to that, because all the problems and consequences which would ensue, they were evident to me and I

didn't see any, any benefit that Russia could get from that. So I didn't deliver. Of course, I was, of course, I was shocked by the invasion.

ANDERSON: And seven and a half months in and with the latest news that President Putin has annexed these four regions. You must have been watching

that very elaborate ceremony at St. George's Hall in the Kremlin on Friday. What was going through your mind what's his strategy here?

BONDAREV: Well, this speech was a compilation of I think of all of conspiracy theories, which can now be found in the Russian society. It is

about this western determination to dismantle and destroy Russia and so on. It is all that has nothing to do with reality.


BONDAREV: And, you know, to watch this speech was very, very painful, you know, I think to an intelligent person. What the strategy that President

Putin is now is trying to promote, I don't think he has any strategy, because the only strategy he had it was to occupy all of Ukraine in a few


And that, to speak, to talk to the west from the position of strength from the position of a conqueror, since he failed at that now all his strategy,

so to speak, is to find a way how to get himself out of this position. And his situation is growing worse and worse every day for him.

ANDERSON: Well, let's talk about that. Because what he does next clearly, is going to be important to all of us. I'm going to actually I'm going to

have you stand by sir, because this is an important conversation.

I just want to get some other news. Kwasi kwarteng, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the UK is about to address the Conservative Party Conference.

Let's listen in.

KWASI KWARTENG, BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER: We need to move forward. No more distractions. We have a plan, and we need to get on and deliver it. That's

what the public, that's what the public expects. That's what the public expects from the government, the first conference, welcome back to


This is a remarkable city. It has a history of great brilliance. Joseph Chamberlain in the 19th century was an extraordinary civic leader who led

Birmingham and the world through the Industrial Revolution. And today, Andy Street is following in that great tradition.

Graphs and grid, turned this small town first into a thriving industrial market, then into one of the centers of the Industrial Revolution, which

powered and grew not just the British economy, but provided the new technologies that changed the world forever.

The Industrial Revolution was one of the most monumental transformations in human history. And it began here with determination and application. Those

Britons built a thriving economy. They inspire me today.

They remind us that in Britain, with the British people, absolutely anything is possible. Our plan today focuses on the same bold sentiment,

the same inspiration to deal with the challenges of today by giving people the tools they need to thrive tomorrow, to get Britain moving.

We have great ideas; we have the same inspirational people. And I know we have the same determination. Our growth plan set out 10 days ago will

ensure we focus relentlessly on economic growth.

Because we may must face up to the fact that for too long, our economy has not grown enough, the path ahead of us was one of slow managed decline. But

I refuse to accept that it is somehow Britain's destiny to fall back into middle league status or that the tax burden reaching a 70 year high is

somehow inevitable. It isn't. And it shouldn't be.

We needed a new, we needed, we needed, conference, we needed a new approach focused on raising economic growth. Because that is the only real way to

deliver opportunities, to deliver higher wages, to deliver more jobs and crucially, to deliver that revenue to fund our precious public services and

it is the best and only way of achieving long term fiscal sustainability because it is only by raising economic growth that we will spread

opportunity and prosperity to every corner of our country.

With economic growth, everybody benefits. And I mean everybody. While we all believe in growth, we as conservatives also believe that it is an

important principle that people should keep more of the money they earn.

I don't need to tell you that. I don't need to tell you that. I don't need to tell you that. That isn't radical that isn't irresponsible. It is a

deeply held belief that we all share as conservatives.

We were faced with a 70 year high tax burden. We were confronted with low growth. And the path we were on was clearly unsustainable. So that's why

we're cutting taxes for working people.


KWARTENG: That's why we will reverse the National Insurance hike on the sixth of November. And that's why we will bring forward that one P cut to

the basic rate of income tax by one year. That's why, that's why, that's why we will take 200,000 people out of paying stamp duty altogether.

Taken together, this is what our support will do for all our people. Thanks to our energy intervention, a typical person in a semi-detached property

will save 1150 pounds on their energy bills this winter, on top of the 400 pounds discount.

And if they are earning an average salary, they will benefit from an additional tax cut of around 400 pounds. That is almost a 2000 pounds

saving this year alone. But I can be frank, I know the plan put forward only 10 days ago has caused a little turbulence, I get it, I get it.

We are listening and have listened. And now I want to focus on delivering the major parts of our growth package. Because with energy bills

skyrocketing at painful COVID aftermath, war on our continent, a 70 year high tax burden, slowing global growth rates and glacially slow

infrastructure delivery.

We couldn't simply do anything. We can't sit idly by. What Britain needs more than ever, is economic growth, and the government wholly committed to

economic growth. That is why we will forge a new economic deal for Britain backed by an ironclad commitment to fiscal discipline, more businesses.

More businesses, more jobs, higher pay more money for public services, because we cannot have a strong NHS without a strong economy. We can't have

good schools without a strong economy. We cannot fund our armed forces without a strong economy.

So growing our economy should be our central and guiding mission. With this plan, we are aiming for two and a half percent annual trend growth. We've

done it before. And we can do it again.

And even in the face. And even in the face of extreme volatility in global markets with major currencies, wrestling an incredibly strong U.S. dollar

and longer term trends from demographic change to climate change, we will show that our plan is sound that it is credible, and that it will increase


That is our pledge to the people of this country. However, however, conference, there is an immediate challenge facing not just our country,

not just our people, but the whole of Europe. The high cost of energy driven by Putin's barbaric invasion of Ukraine.

Cast your mind back just four weeks ago, we had dire warnings of extreme energy prices to come. Corner shops to heavy industry predicted

unprecedented disruption. Business group's feared mass unemployment, entire livelihoods were on the line.

Make no mistake; this was a very real prospect for our country. So within 48 hours of taking office, we announced one of the most significant

interventions ever conceived by the British state. Annual energy bills of up to 6500 pounds from next year were staring us in the face everybody was


Now we're holding down the price at an average of 2500 pounds, not just this winter, like the Labor Party promised but next winter too, two years

of significant taxpayer support to protect our people.

Because this government, because this government will always be on the side of those who need help the most. For our businesses too, conference help is

on its way. A local pub could save 3100 pounds a month cutting their bills by 40 percent. And we've also frozen alcohol duty. Make no mistake.

This is a monumental support package to protect millions of families and businesses from devastating price hikes unleashed by Vladimir Putin. There

is no doubt that this is a substantial intervention, but we had no choice.


KWARTENG: Doing something was simply not an option. We couldn't just cross our fingers and hope for the best. The price of inaction would have been

far greater than the cost of the scheme. We will deal with the short term shocks caused by Putin.

But we must also go for growth to ensure we are much more self-sufficient, we will tackle the mistakes of the past to ensure the UK can never again be

blackmailed by people such as Putin and his life.

When COVID hit our shores, we were right to intervene to protect lives and livelihoods. And I can say in all sincerity, that we went into that crisis

in a much better position because of the action we have taken over the last decade.

Because of successive conservative governments, the UK now has the second lowest debt to GDP ratio in the g7. And throughout this urgent endeavor of

ours to protect Britain from high energy costs, and in response to the urgent need to grow our economy, we have taken the appropriate action.

Our entire approach will be underpinned by a strong institutional framework, which enhances growth in our country, including our independent

Bank of England, and Office for Budget Responsibility.

We will have a strong fiscal anchor, with debt falling as a percentage or proportion of GDP over the medium term. That is the conservative way. But

today, we face new challenges. And in addressing those challenges, we will act in a fiscally sustainable and responsible way.

That is why shortly, we will publish our medium term fiscal plan, setting out our approach more fully, it will set out how we plan to get debt

falling as a percentage of GDP over the medium term.

And I have asked the OBR to publish a full economic and fiscal forecast alongside medium term fiscal plan; there is no path to higher sustainable

growth without fiscal responsibility.

Conservatives have always known this, and we know it still. And it is because we are conservatives, that we remain absolutely committed to being

serious custodians of the public purse.

This is what defines us and separates us from the Labor Party. That conference, to grow the economy, we really do need to do things

differently. We know that it is our towns and cities which drive much of our economic growth today, business investment skills, science and

technology, infrastructure, housing, energy supply, strong financial services.

These are the key ingredients for higher economic growth, and well-funded public services. I had the great privilege of being business secretary for

nearly two years. I visited every corner of this country; I saw the creativity, the drive, the entrepreneurial spirit.

We have to celebrate our entrepreneurs, our business people, our job creators, people who are taking risks. But I also saw where government got

in the way of progress. My job now is to free that potential.

This starts with investment zones; we will empower local areas to do things differently, just as here in Birmingham. We will liberalize planning rules,

releasing land and accelerating development, we will cut taxes for businesses in those zones. We will accelerate tax reliefs for new

structures and for new buildings. We will provide relief on investments on plant and machinery. We will lower taxes which stop businesses hiring and

skilling up their workforce.

That is an unprecedented set of incentives for business to invest, to create jobs to build right across our country. And it will start right now.

Conference we will get Britain moving. But too often, too often regulation holds business and Britain back.

Stifling red tape puts up too many barriers for entrepreneurs looking to scale up there are too many rules for small business owners who want to

take on an apprentice. There are too many burdens on our finance sector stop again -

ANDERSON: To grow the economy, we have to do things differently, said the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We had no choice doing nothing was not option

the price of inaction would have been much higher than the cost of the scheme.


ANDERSON: And I have to say a reaction of the audience which are, which is conservative party members at the Tory party conference in Birmingham, one

of perhaps relief rather than engagement of Bianca Nobilo is standing by at Tory Party Conference in Birmingham, in England.

Richard Quest also standing by for us, notably, despite the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the finance minister has admitted to a massive

U turn on what was his tax cutting plan. He didn't acknowledge that or at least he didn't talk to it specifically. He just said I get it. I get it. I

get it your thoughts Bianca, firstly, from you.

NOBILO: What the chancellor was beginning from a very difficult position, he's had to acknowledge the humiliation and contrition required in this

screeching U turn that he's performed on their biggest economic package.

He's also had to take almost all the blame rhetorically; the prime minister has squarely put the responsibility on quasi partying.

So this was a very difficult audience and difficult moment for him. What was interesting is the fact that he offered no Olive Branch whatsoever. He

talked about needing to do something different basically, that they have to change the status quo because the country otherwise paraphrasing would be

leading towards slow managed decline.

Now that is an insult to the Boris Johnson government to Rishi Sunak, who was Liz Truss's rival, the kind of supporters that they need to be winning

over because the divisions are so deep, so he's doubling down on the principles of Truss and are trying to achieve.

Two other movements politically stand out to me, I'll leave the economics to the expert, Richard Quest there is the fact that he referred to this

last week, which has necessitated a 65 billion pound intervention from Bank of England as a little turbulence.

Now, again, Quest is the Aviation Correspondent, but it's certainly more than a little turbulent. There was also a moment where he said that the

Conservative Party would always be on the side of people who need help, to an extremely muted applause.

And that is because the decisions that he's made over the last week and the announcements that he's made have caused the ordinary public to feel the

exact opposite.

And even though that applause was muted inside that conference center, I can tell you that the mood outside the main hall is so much worse. Several

MPs told me when I asked, are you going to the Chancellor's speech? He said no, we've heard more than enough from him. There's no way that we're

listening to that, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Richard, let me bring you in. Humiliation and contrition, not frankly, what markets care about is it. Ultimately, what

the financial markets want to see is how this supply side economic plan which has echoes of sort of Ronnie Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Allah

1981, 82.

And you and I are old enough to remember that era has been you know, announced and launched in an era which is frankly, completely different

than that of 30 odd years ago, whenever it was, where does he go from here?

QUEST: Well, he does for the time being because it's too damaging to lose the chancellor this quickly. But I'll say it, even if Bianca is the

political expert, he has no credibility. This government has no credibility with the markets.

He said anything we do will be fiscally sustainable in a responsible way. Well, Chancellor, you've already done something that was neither fiscally

sustainable, nor responsible in the way that you did it. The applause in the audience there was polite.

They were just really going over the motions. But to describe what happened as a little turbulence is borders on the offensive, Becky. The Bank of

England had to shift monetary policy 180 degrees and do things it never wanted to do because of it.

So we have Becky, the phrase - from the British government, which is I get it, I get it. And the feeling is if you said often enough, people will

believe that the actual policy wasn't so much a mistake, but as you say, a little light turbulence. ANDERSON: Well, we haven't seen the end of this. I

will say the parent has really not reacted at all nor of the equity markets to this. Because the one it was priced in of course, too, I think a lot of

people have seen the speech leaked beforehand, we'll see, we'll see, thank you to both at this point. We will be right back.



ANDERSON: Right. We've just been listening to Kwasi Kwarteng defend his government's controversial tax plan after what was an abrupt U turn. On

part of it, his speech continues. We've had the headlines out of it. I get it, I get it effectively is what the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the

finance minister said about that U turn.

Before that I was discussing Vladimir Putin's escalation in the war on Ukraine with a former Russian diplomat who left his post after Russia

launched its full scale invasion. Boris Bondarev joins me now via Skype.

And thank you, sir and apologies for having to just break into this interview. It's so important and I just want to pick up on a couple of

things and get your perspective which is crucial at this point, as we try and understand sort of get inside the mind of the Russian president.

Over the weekend Putin ally and leader of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov calls on Vladimir Putin to take more drastic measures, including

the use of low yield tactical nuclear weapons.

Given his recent losses on the battlefield, do you believe Vladimir Putin could would will actually resort to the use of these sort of nuclear

tactical weapons are worse at this point?

BONDAREV: I believe that he may try to do so if he feels that he's fully cornered, and he has no way out. And I think if Ukraine is to continue the

victorious march towards the temporarily occupied lands, then I think Mr. Putin will feel this very soon.

But for now, I don't think that the likelihood of his using nuclear weapons for today is quite high. I don't think it is, it is high, but it may be

higher later. But it will all depend on the course of the war.

And if the newly mobilized so to speak army is to crumble after a few serious blows from Ukrainians. And I heard that there were a lot of people

who surrender a lot of who just dropped the guns and flee from the battlefield. So this Russian army may start to exist quite soon.


BONDAREV: And then I think that maybe even maybe no one to execute these orders to use nuclear weapons if these orders will come from Putin. And

they think if Russian army will be defeated by Ukrainians, then Putin may face some opposition within his own inner circle. So he may even not have

some sufficient time to resort to nuclear weapons. That's my hope.

ANDERSON: That's fascinating. He used his speech on Friday to justify the war, whilst calling for a ceasefire or a path to peace. Do you genuinely

believe that he wants to pursue peace at this point and should give the position on the battlefield and Vladimir Putin's moves to illegally annex

parts of Ukraine? Should Ukraine and the West pursue him his calls for peace at this point?

BONDAREV: Well, I believe that by peace, Mr. Putin understands peace on his own terms. And those are like Ukrainian well, so to speak, surrender to his

terms, because Putin will not give his newly occupied territories. And that will mean that Ukraine lost the war.

And with that the Western countries NATO will be humiliated, which is another goal for Mr. Putin. And then the global political landscape on the

planet will change very significant. I don't think that that is the outcome that the Western countries should, should strive for.


BONDAREV: And he only use that--

ANDERSON: Sir, can I just ask you --can I just ask you very briefly, because of our breaking news, I'm going to have to leave this. But I just

need to ask you this one question. Do you believe that Vladimir Putin is vulnerable at this point?

BONDAREV: I believe that at this point, his position in Russia is weaker than it was before. And he gets more and more weaker every day. But I don't

say that we should await some like coup or something like this in the near future. I think it's not a matter of weeks. But I think it's a matter of

months, rather.

ANDERSON: It's good to speak to you; we'll have you back sir. I thank you very much indeed for one, joining us and two, standing by whilst we of

course took some developing news. We thank you very much indeed.

After the break, beaten but not broken protesters in Iran vowed to carry on despite a crackdown that turned violent last night, we'll have an update on

that for you after this.



ANDERSON: Students are back on the streets in Iran on deter despite Sunday's very violent crackdown. Have a look at this. This video comes from

the pro-reform activist's outlet IranWire. Now watch what happened yesterday at a campus in Tehran.

Witnesses say police fired pellets of protesters at the prestigious Sharif University and beat them with battens. Iran's supreme leader now speaking

out for the first time since the protests started last month. Take a listen.


AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER: I say clearly that these riots and the insecurity were engineered by the U.S. and the occupying

false Zionist regime, as well as their paid agents with the help of some traitorous Iranians abroad.


ANDERSON: So Ayatollah Khamenei, blaming outside influences for the swirl of anger in his country. Let's bring in CNN's Jomana Karadsheh from

Istanbul where you have been monitoring what is going on, on the streets of Iran now in many, many cities across the country for more than two weeks.

Firstly, what do we know about the situation at Sharif University yesterday Jomana?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, it's been about 24 hours since we got those first initial reports of some sort of a situation

unfolding at this university in Tehran. And you know, because of the communications restrictions that are put in place by the regime, because of

the internet blackout that they've imposed, it was very difficult for us to try and get information out fast.

But over the past few hours, we've gotten statements from the university from their newspaper. We've also seen some video and we also spoke to an

eyewitness who says that his friends called him to come and save them.

So we have really tried to piece together what may have transpired and unfolded at Sharif University, we have to warn our viewers that they might

find some of the scenes in our report disturbing.


KARADSHEH (voice over): A snapshot of a night of horror at one of Iran's most prestigious universities, chaos, panic and fear of students. Some of

Iran's best and brightest ran through the Sharif University car park in Tehran, chased by security forces on foot and on motorbikes.

Those who couldn't escape the violent crackdown who did and taken away. We don't know what happened after this shot was fired. Birdshot and paint

balls were used to crush the protest, and to stop those who tried to bomb.

As new spread crowds gathered outside chanting, free the students, fears of a repeat of the bloody 1999 crackdown on student protests, students were

attacked in their dormitories of Tehran University.

CNN track down one of those who rushed to save students trapped inside for his safety were concealing his identity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw this SOS call from Sharif coming. And one of my friends called me he just told me that please come save us. They're

shooting at us. I took one of my friends with me. So he could help me a little bit.

So we got on our bikes and we went and we practically had to capture America our way into the university because they had guns they had

paintball guns, they had batons, little war zone, and there was blood everywhere.

KARADSHEH (voice over): No one really knows how many were hurt how many were dragged away. The little video and harrowing accounts still trickling

out into picture of the ruthless force used after students refused to attend classes and some chanted insults against the Supreme Leader.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the students were led out by the security forces of the university, they were then stopped. They told that if you go near the

supply station, we will start shooting. Go back into the university.

One of the teachers one of the professors was trying to get a few of the students out. They told him to get the children out and you can go and he

said no. After that, he came out of the car himself, locked the doors, they beat him up. A lot of the professor's actually tried to save the students.

KARADSHEH (voice over): Students in their thousands are staging protests on campuses and on the streets across the country. What started with demands

for justice and accountability for the death of Mahsa Amini has quickly morphed into more daring. Widespread calls for regime change for bringing

down the repressive Islamic Republic.


KARADSHEH (voice over): Anger that has been building for years captured in video like this one, protesters in Tehran tearing down and destroying the

Islamic Republic street sign. The regime that has a bloody history of suppressing dissent is only just beginning to unleash all it's got against

its own people. But define protesters say this time there will be no turning back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no, no, no. This is far from over. We are not scared. We are outraged. We are furious. You know, these people think that

you are the pure previous generation that if they do this, you're going to just stop; we are not going to stop.

This is a one way road for us. Because if we stop they are going to kill even more people take even more people into custody, torture them, rape

them. These people can do anything. So we won't stop. This is not the end. I promise you that.


KARADSHEH: And Becky, you know, over the past week, because we saw the government crackdown appear to intensify and really widen so many arrests

of influential Iranians, poets, singers, journalists, opposition figures, so many people who were detained and then you've got the hundreds of

protesters who were also detained in the past week or so.

And many were questioning if this is going to stop these protests. But what we saw over the weekend was just remarkable scenes from Tehran to Mashhad

to the Kurdish region where you still have thousands of young students so defined, so determined still out on the streets, still chanting against the

regime chanting for regime change.

And you know, as you heard from that young man that we spoke to this is a generation more emboldened than ever, and they are ready to risk everything

for the freedoms, the liberties, the rights they've never known.

ANDERSON: Jomana Karadsheh on the story, Jomana, thank you. We will be right back after this folks, stay with us.


ANDERSON: Well, after releasing this poignant song online, Iranian singer Shervin Hajipour was reportedly arrested this week. Now this song is based

on tweets shared by Iranians expressing that frustration and outrage at the government.

The title means FOR in English, and the song went viral receiving millions of views both inside and outside the nation. It is now being removed from

Hajipour's account.

What it does is it brings up grievances, such as the flagging economy or lack of women's rights in general mismanagement of the country. Well

throughout these two hours, we've seen examples of the global solidarity shown to Iranian protests. And I want to leave you with these images



ANDERSON: A demonstrator in Paris wearing face paint depicting France's iconic Marianne used during the nation's revolution, the famous image is a

symbol of liberty. Its meaning this context even more powerful.

A literal and figurative embodiment of a women breaking free from the restrictions, her society has placed on her. Thank you for joining us. I am

Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. Same place, same time tomorrow, I hope that you can join us.