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Ukrainian Power Station Damaged by Russia; American Volunteer Soldier's Remains Returning to U.S.; CNN Investigates Iranian Teen's Death; IEA Says Energy Crisis Will Push Us away from Fossil Fuels; Brazilian Candidates Try to Win over the Poor. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired October 27, 2022 - 10:00   ET





FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The soldiers tell us there is firing going on here pretty much every. Day several kinds

of. It.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): On the front lines as Ukraine readies itself for the heaviest of battles to take back Russian occupied




OLEKSANDR TRUKHIN, UKRAINIAN MP: He's the same one, hero for me, like our soldiers. So we should make everything possible, to give his body back, to

his family.

ANDERSON (voice-over): An American soldier killed on the battlefield in Ukraine. He is returning home. CNN has an exclusive look at how his body

was recovered.



ANDERSON (voice-over): An investigation into the final hours of Nika Shahkarami, who, in her death, has become one of the symbols of resistance

in Iran.



ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson, hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. It is 6 pm in the evening here. In the UAE. We are broadcasting from our

Middle East. Programming hub here in Abu Dhabi.

Russia amping up its efforts to deprive Ukrainian civilians of the very basics needed to survive. Officials are saying that Russia used Iranian

made drones overnight to attack the power grid. People in and around Kyiv are being warned of severe outages to keep the grid from overloading and

causing a complete blackout.

CNN got exclusive access to this Ukrainian power station incapacitated by Russia. Officials with the United Nations tell CNN these attacks on

Ukraine's energy sites have led to, quote, "deep suffering that could get worse as winter sets in."

They are especially worried about people who live near the front lines. Many of them are, elderly, disabled or chronically ill. CNN's Nic Robertson

visited the disabled power station, which CNN is not identifying for safety purposes. Nic spoke last hour, about what he has seen.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's quite staggering. In one way, much of the building here is not damaged or


What is uncanny or eerie it is. Silent but what the Russian military has been able to do here is target some of the most sensitive equipment. Power

stations across the country here have become the target over the past couple of weeks for the Russian missiles, for the Russian drones.

Indeed, just as we arrived, here the sirens were going off. We immediately went into the bunker, where a lot the other workers from here, dozens of

people in an underground bunker. But it is kind of normal here.

I was speaking to one of the workers. He said we're getting used to. This we spent hours every day stuck down here. They've got internet and they can

message with their families. One guy was playing chess on his phone.

So they are not cowed by the missiles that are coming. But it is preventing them doing the much needed repairs. We could really see the extent of the

damage, buildings blown apart, drones and cruise missiles here hit here.

They have been able to do some repairs and put up some of the pylons that have been knocked down, repair some of the building work. But there is

critical infrastructure here that is really hard to replace, partly because it is not manufactured anymore.

These plants are very old. So it is hard to get. And they are looking around the rest of the country, to try to find replacement spare parts,

looking to international partners to find those spare parts.


ANDERSON: That is Nic Robertson, reporting on the southern part of the country.

The battle lines being drawn in the port city of Kherson. An adviser to President Zelenskyy says, and I quote here, "The heaviest of battles

against occupying forces are coming."

More than 70,000 civilians have left Kherson along with Russian officers, nearly military units. Ukraine says Moscow is sending in its newest

recruits, saying they are being used by Moscow as cannon fodder. CNN's Fred Pleitgen spent some time near the front line, around Kherson. And he joins

us now, live from Odessa.


ANDERSON: What is the situation where you have been and what have you been witnessing?

PLEITGEN: Hi, there, Becky. We literally got back from the front lines near Kherson just a couple minutes ago. And I think that advisor to

President Zelenskyy that was saying the toughest battles still lie, ahead that certainly seems to reflect the reality on the ground. near Kherson as


What we are getting from the Ukrainian soldiers who are on the front lines, they say the Russians are not withdrawing from that area but are in fact

digging in even more than they have before and also reinforcing some of the positions that they have.

They also, are -- this is one of things Ukrainian said -- are getting some of those new recruits as well. But they're also a lot of very able Russian

soldiers down there. So Ukrainians do believe it will be a tough fight. In the Kherson region. For the south of the country. Here's what we're



PLEITGEN (voice-over): Ukrainian forces trying to hit the Russians on all fronts.

This motor unit firing in the north of the country, while in the south Kyiv his continuing a counter offensive trying to capture the Russian occupied

city of Kherson. We met up with an artillery unit on the battlefield.

(on camera): The soldiers tell us there's firing going on here pretty much every day several times a day. The front line is not very far from where we

are at all. It's a couple of kilometers in that direction. And right now, there's not very much movement on that front line but still, the situation

is very dangerous.

(voice-over): Ukraine's defense minister says Kyiv's counter offensive here is complicated by wet weather in the area. But the commander says he

believes in the end they will oust the Russians.

"BANDERAS," ARTILLERY COMMANDER: I know one thing for sure, we will never step back from here. We have no other choice, only forward. Ukraine has to

get back all its territory and borders.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): While Russia continues to mobilize 100s of 1000s for the war here, the Ukrainian say they found the Wagner private military

company, founded by Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin is sending Russian prisoners with diseases to the front line. The chief of Ukraine's military

intelligence told CNN's Nic Robertson.

GENERAL KYRYLO BUDANOV, CHIEF, UKRAINIAN DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE (through translator): They put on them certain wristbands in blue, white or red

color. Every color signifies tuberculosis, hepatitis or HIV.

It's happening on a mass scale, most of them who are taken prisoners or their dead bodies, which were found in the battlefield had those


PLEITGEN (voice-over): CNN can't independently verify those claims. As Russian forces continue to lose ground in Ukraine, the Kremlin conducting

massive annual nuclear drills involving submarine launched ballistic missiles and others launched from Russia's fleet of strategic bombers.

While the Russians notified the U.S. about the drills well in advance, Russian President Vladimir Putin with a clear warning to Washington.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): What they are trying to achieve we see on the example of Ukraine, which has become an

instrument of American foreign policy. The country has practically lost sovereignty and is directly controlled from the United States.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): But the Ukrainians on the front line say they are fighting for their own freedom, not for anybody else.


PLEITGEN: And they certainly do understand, Becky, that, here in the south of the country, the going will be very tough. One of the things that we are

hearing from a lot of those Ukrainians on the battlefield, both from commanders and soldiers, who are on the front lines in the trenches, they

do still believe that they are going to be able to take Kherson.

But they also say that right now, to a certain extent, speed is of the essence simply because winter is quickly approaching. Here on the front

line. And they say that they need to get it done before it gets very cold here in south Ukraine.

ANDERSON: Let me allow you to get your voice back, there. Get a glass of. Water and thank you very much indeed.

As Fred, said there, he si just literally back from those front lines.

To a powerful moment in this war. The remains of a young American killed while fighting in Ukraine are. Returned the handover was the result of

extraordinary efforts by two Ukrainian lawmakers negotiating with Russia.

The body of Joshua Jones is about to head home to give some peace to his grieving family. An exclusive look at this story now from my colleague,

Clarissa Ward.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the front lines in Ukraine, he was known to his fellow fighters, as "Tactical

Jesus," on account of his long hair and deep knowledge of the Bible. To his mom, he was simply Joshi.

Tennessee native Joshua Jones was just 24-years-old, when he was killed fighting in eastern Ukraine back in August.


WARD (voice-over): His passport and Ukrainian military ID showed up on Russian social media channels soon after. But his body was never recovered.

Since then, Ukrainian lawmakers, Oleksandr Trukhin and Oleksandr Kovalyov, have worked tirelessly, to get his body back. And today, it is finally


WARD: Why is it important to you to recover the body of Joshua Jones?

TRUKHIN: He's the same one, hero for me, like our soldiers. So we should make everything possible, to give his body back, to his family.

WARD (voice-over): We are driving to the front line, in Zaporizhzhya. We stop along the way to link up with Military intelligence. In another car a

Russian soldier sits slumped over. He is being released today, as part of a larger swap in which 10 Ukrainians were already freed.

The lawmakers talk with the officers to go over the plan once more. A makeshift white flag is put together for the moment of transfer. And we're

off again. This time to no man's land. A rare two-hour ceasefire has been agreed by both sides and time is of the essence.

WARD: So we've just arrived at the meeting point. They're waiting now for the Russians to arrive with the body.

WARD (voice-over): A team of forensic investigators get ready for the task ahead. This is as far as we are allowed to go. Actual handover will happen

just beyond the hill. Waiting for their return it is eerily quiet. Only the bravest dare come out in these parts.

One of the transfer team captures the moment Joshua Jones' body is brought back into Ukrainian territory as Russian forces look on.

For Kovalyov and Trukhin, it's the moment they have been waiting for. Jones is now one step closer to being returned to his family.

Back in the car they show us his personal effects.

TRUKHIN: This is his personal body cross, which he was wearing. He was very religious guy.

WARD: What's your feeling in this moment?

You've been working toward this for a long time to try to get Joshua Jones back to his family.

TRUKHIN: Our feeling we are proud of our country of our team. We are proud of president. And we are proud that we are saving lives. Because you know

when even somebody is dying, his family continue to live. And they cannot live normally if they know that they don't have a place where to come for

their son.

WARD (voice-over): Thanks to their efforts Joshua's mother, Misty Gossett, in Tennessee, will soon have the chance to say goodbye to her son.

MISTY GOSSETT, JOSHUA JONES' MOTHER: Joshua was -- he was a soldier. He was a born soldier. He was named after the battle of Jericho. And he proved

he lived up to his name so valiantly. And I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of me.

WARD (voice-over): A name and a life that will be remembered even half a world away -- Clarissa Ward, CNN, Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine.


ANDERSON: More reporting from Ukraine, next hour here on CNN. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Also, ahead 41 days and counting, protests in Iran show no signs of slowing down as demonstrators gather around the grave of the woman who sparked the

uprising. A live report is ahead.

And another young woman becomes one of the faces of protest in Iran. CNN has exclusive analysis of the circumstances, of how this young woman lost

her life in the protests.





ANDERSON: As protests intensify across, Iran a human rights group says that one person was killed in the Azerbaijan province earlier on Thursday

during clashes following a funeral. This as thousands of people gathered at Mahsa Amini's grave on Wednesday. To mark 40 days since her death in police


Meanwhile, ISIS is claiming responsibility for a deadly attack on a holy shrine in southern Iran. At least 15 people were killed and more than 40

injured when an attacker opened fire on worshippers.

Iran's military is now saying protesters are complicit in that shrine attack. They are saying that without evidence. It has to be said. It's

threatening a further crackdown. CNN's Nada Bashir is tracking the story for us. From London.

What do we know about the details of that attack and what critics of the Iranian government say is just another opportunity, by the regime, to go

after protesters at this point?

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, that is certainly the primary concern at this point because we are not getting a lot of detail about the

incident, aside from the information being provided by the regime and state media.

Of, course as you noted there, at least 15 people killed, according to state media in that attempt. Which they are blaming on foreign nationals.

According to state, media that incident at the shrine yesterday in the southern city of Shiraz has been claimed by the Islamic State.

The authorities there are accusing three individuals, allegedly foreign nationals, of opening fire on worshippers at the shrine on Wednesday

evening, which is typically a very busy hour. At the shrine, for worshippers.

But there is concern that this could essentially set the pretext for the regime to double down, intensifying their crackdown on protesters, as we

have seen over the last six weeks.

We have heard in the past from the Iranian authorities for the regime, accusing these protests of being an attempt by foreign meddlers and actors

of trying to court instability and unrest in Iran. They've already charged more than 300 protesters, allegedly, for jeopardizing state security.

And they've long, held, according to the regime, that this has been encouraged by the United States, by Israel and by other foreign actors.

This could certainly play into that narrative. We've heard already from the Iranian armed forces issuing a statement.

They have said that they believe that this was created as part of the protests we've seen over the last few weeks, to create insecurity and

chaos. And that this terrorist, act as they've termed, it is part of this protest movement.

We've already, heard also, from Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, pledging to see a decisive response to this incident. So there

are certainly concerns that we could see an intensification of that crackdown.

We've already heard the concerns and the alarm bells being raised by human rights groups over that crackdown. We've seen the use of excessive and

lethal force, including live fire ammunition and that has continued today. Becky.

ANDERSON: Nada Bashir on the story for you. Thank you.

In an exclusive investigation, CNN looks at the final hours of the Iranian teenager, Nika Shahkarami. She was among the many protesters on the streets

days after Mahsa Amini's death.

After analyzing more than 50 videos obtained by CNN and speaking to six eyewitnesses, CNN's team has found that there is evidence that she was

chased and then detained by police just a few hours before going missing. CNN's Katie Polglase reports.



KATIE POLGLASE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE RESEARCHER (voice-over): Nika Shahkarami, the 16-year-old has become one of the most known faces in Iran.

On September 20th, Nika was a high-profile figure at the protest, a known personality on social media. She stood on bins chanting for the crowds.

Officials say that within 24 hours she would be dead.

Nika joined a growing list of young women who have lost their lives in recent weeks as protests have swept Iran and authorities have waged a

violent crackdown in response.

The Iranian government has made a series of shifting claims. First saying that her death had, quote, "no connection to the protest," but that she was

thrown from a roof. And then on Wednesday, a new claim from the judiciary that it was suicide.

On the basis of our investigation using over 50 videos from that night and speaking to those with her that evening, CNN can reveal that some of Nika's

final hours were spent at the protest, including evidence that suggests she was chased and detained by security just a few hours before the state says

she died.

The first videos we found of Nika on the 20th are here at 7 p.m. as protests heat up, Nika can be seen right at the front, throwing rocks that

are formation of uniformed officers easily recognized she was brave, not even frightened. Eyewitnesses said.

At this stage in the evening, Nika is here by Laleh Park. Then as more officers arrive, witnesses say Nika starts to move away from them, first

along Keshavarz Boulevard and then down Vesal Shirazi Street where she's seen making a phone call just before 8 p.m. As it gets dark, the police

crackdown intensifies moving into Nika's new location.

Evidence of injuries start emerging and protestors are seen being detained apparently by plain clothes officers. One person told CNN they saw security

forces hitting women and putting them in police fence.

In the midst of this heightened violence, CNN found a video of Nika still at the center of the protest. It's 8.37 p.m. and the last known video of


"Don't move, don't move," she shouts as she crouches between cars to hide from authorities. The person filming from the car told CNN that shortly

afterwards, Nika was taken by several large bodied security forces and bundled into a van.

By this point in the evening, police were everywhere. Videos we've geolocated to the scene show police to the south and also to the north of

Nika. It means when she was crouching in traffic, she was completely surrounded.

By the next morning, she would be dead according to this death certificate first obtained by BBC Persian and verified by CNN, which shows she died

from multiple injuries caused by being hit with a hard object and is dated September 21st.

But Nika's family would not learn of her death for another 10 days. Meanwhile, both Nika's mother and aunt have said in interviews that

credible sources told them that for days during that window, Nika was in state custody.

The Iranian authorities released this CCTV footage claiming Nika died after being thrown from this building later the same night in an incident they

say was unconnected to the protests.

They made no claim about who allegedly threw her and CNN cannot verify the person is Nika, nor the day it was filmed. Nika's mother has publicly

disputed this footage saying it's not her daughter and it's hard to square this calm walk with the evidence we have of Nika being chased by police and

detained just a few hours earlier.

Iranian officials have not responded to CNN's inquiry as to whether she was ever in custody in the hours leading up to her death. What is certain

though is that Nika was a prominent activist at the center of a police crackdown on the protest that night -- Katie Polglase, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Our teams have indeed spent many long hours combing through the details on all of this. You can find out more on the tragic case and dive

into the exclusive video and eyewitness testimonies that show what happened in the final hours of her young life, at

I want to get you to Moscow, now. And the scene at a conference, it is a think tank. And president Vladimir Putin is addressing the audience, there.

The Kremlin is saying this will be a very important speech. And we are monitoring what the Russian president says. We'll bring you any key

developments from it. He has just started speaking.

In the, meantime let me get you up to speed on so many other stories that are on our radar right now.

The global energy crisis triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine could be ushering us closer to a cleaner energy future. That is the finding from the

IEA, the International Energy Agency in its annual report. The report forecasts that global emissions could peak in 2025.


ANDERSON: The head of the IEA credits governments with making tremendous investments in clean energy.


FATIH BIROL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY: Governments are putting real money on the table, accelerating clean energy not

necessarily for environmental climate reasons but mainly for energy security reasons. They see that the clean energy, renewables or nuclear

power or electric cars are their insurers for energy security.


ANDERSON: The World Bank, meantime, says there may be some relief coming from high energy prices. It predicts an 11 percent drop in energy prices

next year. Even with that, decline prices would still be 75 percent higher than they were five years ago.

Those prices, then of course, were extremely low.

It has been called a feat of Middle East diplomacy. Israel and Lebanon. Two countries technically at war, formally cutting a maritime border deal. It

will let them tap into unexplored oil and natural gas from undersea fields in the Mediterranean sea and area, long disputed by both countries.

You are looking at pictures from part of the earlier signing ceremony. CNN earlier sat down for an exclusive interview with Israel's president, ahead

of the country's elections, which are next week.

Isaac Herzog's role may be symbolic but he is widely seen as his country's global spokesperson. And my colleague, Wolf Blitzer, began by asking Mr.

Herzog about the controversy over Israel's refusal to send weapons to Kyiv. Take a listen.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Am I right in hearing you say your strategic limitations will prevent Israel from providing these air defense systems

that the Ukrainians are built on?

ISAAC HERZOG, PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL: Depends which air defense system.

BLITZER: Well, which ones are you prepared to provide?

HERZOG: I'm not going to negotiate with you. Let's first put things in perspective.

BLITZER: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently said this, he asked Israel to choose a side and he asked if Israel is quote, with the democratic world

or with those who turn a blind eye to Russian terror.

HERZOG: It's an unfair judgment. We have respect for President Zelenskyy. I, myself, have met President Zelenskyy year ago and we have a dialogue

with President Zelenskyy. And we understand the enormous plight and pain of the Ukrainian people.

We are treating hospitalized Ukrainians in Israeli hospitals. We have absorbed many refugees in our country, including, personally, me and my

wife, we've absorbed and assisting a family of refugees in Israel. So we are definitely there. And I think rhetoric of that nature does not help.

BLITZER: As you know, there's also been some serious criticism of Israel coming from both Democrats and Republicans, members of Congress, who would

like Israel to be more assertive in helping Ukraine right now.

HERZOG: It's very easy to come to Israel with questions and comments on this issue, after all and there are many, many solutions and products that

can be supplied to Ukraine.

There are things that we can't even do it technically, for example, there are weapons that we don't even have next quote version four. There are

things that we don't want them to fall in the hands of our enemies.

There are secrets that we can't deliver. But wherever we can help we're trying to help.


ANDERSON: Isaac Herzog speaking to our Wolf Blitzer.

It was a tumultuous campaign season filled with fire and rhetoric and violence. Now Brazil bracing for Sunday's high stakes runoff presidential

vote. We are live for, you in Sao Paulo.





ANDERSON: Brazil's high stakes presidential race comes to a head this weekend with far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro fighting to hold on to

leadership against leftist former president Lula da Silva.

In the first, round early this, month neither camp got enough votes to meet the 50 percent threshold for. victory this after what has been a brutal

campaign that is stoking deadly violence.

Some critics worry that Mr. Bolsonaro's repeated, unfounded claims of elections fraud could incite more violence, if Lula wins. CNN's Paula

Newton is in Sao Paulo ahead for us of what is a consequential vote.

We cannot underscore how important this is. It is being described as the most important in the country's democratic history, a polarizing election,

if ever there was one. Paula.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely,. Becky remember, we just discussed how consequential this was in terms of this being one of

the most significant democracies in the world.

But then you add a layer of the consequential environment issues which are here right now and how those will play after the election.

At issue really, are two titans of politics in this country. And how they have waged their campaigns. When we talk about the economic situation,

though, that is incredible to see especially given what is going on geopolitically today.

Look, Becky, we hear it all over the world in terms of how inflation is impacting so many people. In Brazil, where inequality remains a truly

important and dividing issue among so many, those impoverished Brazilians may be the deciding factor in this about. Listen.


NEWTON (voice-over): Nova Vittoria Speranca (ph), this pandemic-era village on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, is fertile ground for votes but not

food. The irony, not lost on anyone here.

Food is the issue this mother of four will be voting on. Evanilda's (ph) partner works 16 hours a day and still she tells us, there isn't much in

her refrigerator.

"I just don't want my kids to go hungry," she says.

She feels they may if President Jair Bolsonaro is reelected, even though he raised welfare payments ahead of the election.

"In my view," she says, "Bolsonaro didn't fulfill his promises and has only given us a subsidy to see if he can get more votes."

People here know better than to expect too much from either candidate. But from former President Lula da Silva, they expect something.

"I intend to vote for Lula," she tells us, "because Bolsonaro has been there for four years and, in four years, he's not been able to do much."


NEWTON (voice-over): From Brazil's impoverished suburbs, to the streets of its commercial capital, inflation is biting here. Access to food has become

a central election issue and a convenient campaign promise as tens of millions continue to live in poverty.

At a Bolsonaro rally, supporters ridicule Lula, calling him a thief who belongs in jail, hardly a savior of the poor. Evanilda (ph) sees past

corruption scandals differently.

"Every single one that is in there steal something," she says, "even just a little. They are talking about Lula and saying he stole. Maybe he did. But

at least he takes care of us, takes care of the poor."

Bolsonaro has spent billions on welfare subsidies in the leadup to this election, trying to prove he can save Brazilians from hunger.

Robson Mendonca has been feeding the hungry for decades. He says hundreds more have been lining up at his soup kitchen in recent months. And he's

troubled that the desperate plight of so many is being exploited for votes.

ROBSON MENDONCA, SAO PAULO COMMUNITY LEADER (through translator): Bolsonaro was even capable of lying on national radios saying there is no

hunger in Brazil. They don't see anyone asking for bread at the bakery. He doesn't know reality. There are millions asking for a plate of food,

because they can't feed themselves.

NEWTON (voice-over): To win, both presidential candidates need to count on votes from those can't count on their next meal. A stark snapshot of what

is at stake of Brazil's hungry.


NEWTON: You know, Becky, despite the fact that Bolsonaro says this economy has now fully recovered from the pandemic woes, it just does not feel that


As many as two of five Brazilian children are living in poverty. Some organizations here say, look, this is hunger the country has not felt for

more than a generation. That is why the issue is consequential. That is why voters here are on the cutting edge of exactly what might happen in this

election, right?

They are at the forefront of deciding who will be the next president and many intend their vote will count -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Paula is in Sao Paulo, Brazil for you.

We have a moment of celebration that turns to anger and frustration. How a video review cost one teen a guaranteed slot in the all-important Champions

League knockout phase. That after this.