Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Helicopter Crash Kills Ukraine's Interior Minister, 13 Others; U.S. Moving Munitions Stored in Israel to Ukraine; New COVID-19 Cases Trending Down in Chinese Financial Hubs; Peruvian President Calls for Calm as Protesters Gather in Lima; White House Says It Will Cooperate Fully in Classified Documents Probe; Russian Ex-Mercenary Says Prisoners Who Refused to Fight Were Killed; Miley Cyrus, Shakira Dominate Charts with New Breakup Songs. Aired 10-10:45a ET

Aired January 18, 2023 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Search and rescue operations end at the site of a helicopter crash in the Kyiv region. A tragic accident that

claimed the lives of Ukraine's interior minister and at least 13 others. We are live at the site.

Calling it a victory for truth, Nobel laureate and journalist Maria Ressa gets a major legal victory in the Philippines.

And further protests in Peru calling for the resignation of the president and for fresh elections. We will get you on the ground.


ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson, hello, welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.

Ukraine's president has ordered a full investigation into a helicopter crash that killed top government officials and others on the ground. It

happened in Brovary, a suburb of Kyiv. Ukrainian officials now say at least 14 people are dead and more than 2 dozen are injured.

This crash killed all nine people aboard the helicopter, including the interior minister, his first deputy and the ministry's secretary of state.

One child is amongst those killed on the ground.

This crash is the latest tragedy during Russia's nearly 11-month old war on Ukraine. Officials stress it is too early to determine a cause. CNN's chief

international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, is there on the site. Clare Sebastian is in London.

Clarissa, let's start with you.

What more are we learning about this?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is still no indication just exactly how this happened, Becky. We know Ukraine's

security services, the SVU, have done a pretrial investigation. Obviously, they are exploring every possible avenue.

But we've been here for most of the day, talking to people who live around here. There was an extremely thick fog this morning. One man said he was

out on his balcony, smoking, when the crash happened. He could hear it but couldn't see it right away because the fog was so thick.

That's one theory, at least, that is being put forward as to how exactly this happened. But no matter what, it is an incredible tragedy. The

kindergarten, you probably can't see now because it's so dark.

But just behind me, literally the helicopter clipped the edge of the kindergarten and crashed directly behind it in the playground. So among the

dead, we know, as you mentioned, at least one of them is a child. The others are believed to be people bringing their kids to school or locals

who were around the area.

So just a tragic day for a country that has already, as you know, Becky, experienced so much horror, so much pain. And it will be quite some time,

probably, before we get any meaningful answers or the results of any investigation as to how this tragedy happened.

ANDERSON: Clare, international reaction pouring into this crash.

Who have we heard from?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Most recently, Becky, from the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, speaking in Davos and talking generally about the

situation in Ukraine and how Germany will continue to stand by Ukraine as long as it takes.

He said Russian aggression must fail and while he didn't specifically address the issue of tanks, which, of course, Germany is under increasingly

pressure about, he said they believe that in order for this war to end, Russian aggression must fail.

That's why Germany has essentially reversed a long-standing policy in not supplying weapons to crisis zones and done this and continues to supply

large amounts of weapons to Ukraine.

We have that from Scholz but from the rest of the world, many, many leaders, Becky, coming out with shock and horror, talking about this

tragedy within a conflict zone. Several others talking about the interior minister himself, Denys Monastyrsky.

The U.K. foreign secretary calling him a friend to the U.K.; a similar sentiment echoed by the E.U. council president, Charles Michel; offers of

support coming out as well. And clearly for the global community who just witnessed that lethal attack on the apartment block in the city of Dnipro.


SEBASTIAN: This underscores, again, the prolonged and intense suffering of the Ukrainian people.

ANDERSON: Clarissa, we have just heard from Olaf Scholz in Davos. As Clare suggested, we didn't get a specific commitment to what everybody,

effectively, in the West has been waiting for, which is permission by the Germans to re-export these Leopard tanks, which is what the Ukrainians have

been asking for, alongside other requests for further military support.

You've been talking to your sources on the ground there, of course, even talking to people on the ground who have been affected once again by this

tragic accident.

What's the perception about what needs to happen next, when you speak to people on the ground and the authorities there?

WARD: I think, for the most, part, Becky, there is a sort of quiet confidence that Ukraine believes it can, with the right support, eventually

win this war. There is also a grim realization that this is going to be a very tough winter.

The fighting in Bakhmut and Soledar and Donbas area is incredibly tough, very brutal and protracted. It's almost like a grinding, endless stalemate.

The situation across the country, whether it's Dnipro or other sort of more common attacks we're seeing on critical infrastructure, rolling blackouts,

all of it sort of comes together to make for a very challenging and difficult time in this war for the Ukrainian people.

But underneath that, there is this sort of strain of resilience and a steadfast commitment to seeing this through to the end.

Now you're not going to see the leadership take its foot off the gas, though, when it comes to making really maximalist demands for the type of

weaponry, the type of hardware, the type of ammunition ad technology that they believe they need.

So there will be just a continued drumbeat from the presidency, from the political leadership, trying to get those tanks, not just the German

Leopard tanks, which Poland has agreed to supply, the Challenger 2s that the U.K. has agreed to supply and other countries who've also said they

will put forward tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.

Along with the weaponry and the air defense systems, because, again, this is the primary mechanism that Russia is able to inflict constant pain on

Ukraine and its people, is through missiles and drones that can either evade air detection or make their lives incredibly difficult -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Clarissa Ward is on the ground.

Clarissa, good to have you there. Thank you.

And Clare is in London for you.

CNN has learned the Pentagon's been sending Ukraine hundreds of thousands of rounds of artillery from American stockpiles in Israel. That's according

to officials from Washington and Tel Aviv. The munitions belong to the United States but they are kept in Israel in case they are needed in the


Nevertheless, the optics were reportedly a concern for Israel, which has not given weapons to Kyiv. CNN's Hadas Gold working the story for us from


HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky. This is the first time we are hearing of the Americans dipping into these strategic munitions

stockpiles that they keep around the world.

And now we've learned from U.S. and Israeli officials confirming "The New York Times" report, who first reported on this, that the U.S. has already

transferred some of these munitions from the stockpile here in Israel and they are moving them to Ukraine.

A U.S. official told me that they moved some of the 3,155 millimeter shells that the U.S. and Israel have agreed would be transferred. There are plans

to move the remaining amount in the coming weeks.

Now the Israeli Defense Forces confirming to me that Israel was notified by the Americans that they would make this transfer. But the optics are very

concerning here for the Israelis.

"The New York Times" reporting the Israelis, when they were first asked about this by the Americans, wasn't given a specific time period but was

told a while ago, definitely before now prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office, that they were concerned about how this would make Israel look

as potentially arming Ukraine.

Because as we've been reporting since Russia invaded Ukraine, Israel has been walking this very fine diplomatic tightrope between Russia and

Ukraine. They've condemned the Russian invasion, they've sent Ukraine humanitarian aid, they voted in favor of Ukraine in the United Nations.

But they have drawn a very hard line about sending any sort of weaponry to Ukraine, despite Ukraine asking for it over and over again. Now Israel

always cites its own security worries about this.


GOLD: Specifically Russia's military presence in Syria and how that gives Israel freedom to maneuver and strike Iranian-backed targets in Syria. And

we do know this request from the Americans came during the previous government that was run by Yair Lapid, who was much more forceful about his

condemnations of Russia.

Now Benjamin Netanyahu just took over about three weeks ago. And there is a big question about what will Benjamin Netanyahu's attitude be toward Russia

and toward Ukraine?

Keep in mind, before this war, during previous election cycles, Benjamin Netanyahu used to boast about his relationship with Vladimir Putin. He even

put up billboards in Israel during election cycles, showing him shaking hands with Vladimir Putin.

Now when he's been asked about this, Benjamin Netanyahu has been a bit cagey, saying they will review the position once he comes into power.

We've already heard from the new Israeli foreign minister, Eli Cohen, who said, on the issue of Russia and Ukraine, we will do one thing for sure:

speak less in public. Take that as you will -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Thank you.

Coming up, two major financial hubs in China say they have reached a turning point in COVID infections. What that means for China's future and

the pandemic is up next.

And a huge legal victory for Nobel laureate and journalist Maria Ressa in the Philippines.

But are her court battles over?

Details on that are up next.




ANDERSON: Well, some have described it as going through a wave of fire and it appears China's economic powerhouse of Shanghai has done just that.

As Lunar New Year travel intensifies, Shanghai health authorities say the city is now past its peak in COVID infections. They say the daily number of

new COVID cases continues to trend downward.

Well, south of Shanghai, health officials say 85 percent of people living in Guangzhou now have had COVID and infections there are at their, quote,

"tail end." Keep in mind neither of these cities have actually released concrete figures on their numbers of daily COVID cases. Let's get into.

This CNN's Marc Stewart is in Hong Kong.

Marc, peak or not?

Challenges clearly do remain. We've been talking about this for some days now. Let's just explain what we know and where we think this China economy

story is going.

MARC STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As we've seen, Becky, not only in recent weeks but over the last two years, COVID really does control

the economic storyline for China.

And right, now I think based on what we are reporting in recent days, it is more than fair to say the direction of China is murky because it is still

dealing with COVID.


STEWART: In fact, I want to share some reporting we have been gathering from our hub here in Hong Kong. You mentioned Shanghai, of, course a big

business center. We are hearing from officials there, who are describing the idea of preventing and controlling more serious cases, preventing more

serious cases.

They are describing that as an arduous task. And in Guangzhou, which is a big manufacturing center, there's a lot of attention on watching the

different variants. Again, it is hard to know exactly where we are going.

Also over the last few hours, we are getting some reports from Chinese state media about remarks by Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Among his remarks,

he feels that China has now entered a new phase of COVID-19, saying that perseverance means victory.

Also describing the importance of having medicine available and really focusing on treatment of these serious cases.

So Becky, again, as you mentioned, these numbers have been met with skepticism from the beginning from a number of organizations, including the

World Health Organization. We are going to have to see how this plays out and how that will relate to any kind of economic recovery.

ANDERSON: And of course, we can't ignore the start of the Chinese New Year. People on the move in the hundreds of thousands, millions.

That is a risk, isn't it?

STEWART: It is a risk. And referring to the movement of people during the Chinese New Year, it is referred to as the biggest human migration on Earth

of humans. So that is what it is referred to in this part of the world. It is significant.

In fact, the government estimates that, out of the 1.4 billion people in China, there will be about 2 billion individual trips. And of prime concern

is that people may be traveling from city centers like Shanghai or Guangzhou and then go into more rural areas where health care just may not

be as sophisticated. So yes. A lot of concern.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Thank you, Marc. Marc Stewart in Hong Kong for you.

In the Philippines, a court has acquitted Nobel laureate Maria Ressa of four charges of tax evasion. Ressa called the victory a win for justice and

truth. The journalist's legal fight is by no means over. More from my colleague, Paula Hancocks.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Maria Ressa, chief executive and friend of the news website Rappler, says that she is optimistic today. She says,

"Today facts win. Truth wins. Justice wins."

This is after a court in the Philippines acquitted her of four counts of tax evasion. She had pled not guilty to all charges and she had said they

were politically motivated. These were charges that were brought against her in 2018. It was under the previous president, Rodrigo Duterte.

And Rappler says they had been aggressively covering Duterte and his bloody war on drugs. Advocates say that is why there were many legal charges

brought against Rappler and Maria Ressa personally. Now we spoke to Ressa earlier. This is what she had to say.


MARIA RESSA, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RAPPLER: It's been a tough six years or so, right. This is -- the world was really turned upside down against Rappler.

In less than two years I had 10 arrest warrants. And this was the cost of trying to do journalism in our country.

Is it turning around?

Look, I don't think the problem is just the Philippine government.

As long as our information ecosystem prioritizes the spread of lies, how can facts win?

This is what social media and technology has done. So today I am optimistic. The sun is shining but the fight must continue.


HANCOCKS: This is the first high-profile test as to whether these legal troubles that were surrounding Ressa and the website, Rappler, were going

to continue under the current president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

We did ask Ressa about that. She said it's not about the president itself but the fact that there was a lifting of fear. She said there was a

palpable fear under former president Duterte. She said she had hoped and she believed in the court system itself.

Now we have heard from many advocates. We've heard from human rights groups, Human Rights Watch itself saying quote, "The acquittal is clearly

welcome news and a boon for press freedom in the Philippines."

There are still at least three active cases ongoing against Maria Ressa and others, according to Rappler -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


ANDERSON: The Peruvian capital of Lima is bracing for a major show of defiance from anti government protesters. Truckloads of demonstrators are

flocking to the capital, despite a state of emergency.


ANDERSON: They are calling for president Dina Boluarte's resignation and for new elections. A wave of deadly protests have rippled across the

country since early December, after the former president was impeached, removed from office and detained.

Let's go to Stefano Pozzebon, who has been covering this story. He is joining us from neighboring Colombia.

It is interesting just to mark that this is the anniversary of the founding of the colonial city of Lima, even though people have been living in that

city for hundreds of years, if not thousands of years before that.

Why is what we are seeing today so significant?

After all, these protests have now been going on for weeks.

What is significant about specifically what we are now seeing?

STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we're seeing now, Becky, is the great divide between the rural Peru, which is represented by most of these

protesters, who have been taking to the streets in recent weeks, and the city of Lima itself, which has become almost a symbol of the elites that

has ruled Peru over the last 20 years.

That is why you can see that, right now, the situation in Lima, according to the people we have on the ground who have been speaking to us,

especially colleagues from CNN Espanol, today, Lima is calm because the protesters from outside Lima, from the provinces, from the Andean regions,

the mountains, are still making their way.

Sometimes we are talking about day-long trips to try to get to the city of Lima and to reach the palace of powers and have their voices heard. What

we're seeing today and what we're probably going to see even more tomorrow, the day we are going to see thousands of people likely onto the streets of

Lima to protest.

It's just the latest chapter of a political crisis that has gone on since at least 2016. Dina Boluarte is the sixth head of state in less than five

years in Peru.

If you speak with the people in the provinces, if you speak with the people who have been taking to the streets and have been manifesting, sometimes,

in some cases, even violently, they say the system the, democratic system that has ruled Peru over the last 20 years, it's not delivering for them.

So what we're seeing now is an example of a democracy that failed to deliver for the majority of the people. And it's in deep crisis, because,

even if she were to resign tomorrow -- and she said time and again that she would not resign, she intends to fulfill her mandates and bring the country

to elections next year.

But even if she were to go tomorrow or the day after, the crisis is likely to stay, because the root causes -- I'm talking of inequality, poverty,

access to food, medication -- they have not been addressed so far. So democracy is really not working in that country at the moment, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, and it's a story that has echoed in many countries across the country and why, again, another reason why this is so significant.

Thank you.

Stephen Pozzebon on the story for you.

U.S. Federal investigators have conducted multiple interviews as part of a review of how U.S. President Joe Biden handled classified material.

Now sources tell CNN Mr. Biden's personal attorney, Patrick Moore, was amongst those interviewed. His discovery of classified documents in Mr.

Biden's think tank office started this whole protest -- process, sorry. CNN's Phil Mattingly has more from the White House.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Biden, again, ignoring questions as the investigation into his

handling of classified documents intensifies.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have a couple of special guests.

MATTINGLY: As the head coach and star guard of the world champion Golden State Warriors made their appearance in the Briefing Room.

STEPHEN CURRY, SIX-TIME ALL-STAR, NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION: It's something that we don't ever take for granted.

MATTINGLY: For White House scrambling to get its footing.

JEAN-PIERRE: You guys can ask me this 100 times, 200 times if you wish. I'm going to keep saying the same thing.

MATTINGLY: And not so subtle effort to turn the page on a turbulent and perilous moment for Biden.

JEAN-PIERRE: The president has confidence. They reached out to the Archives. They reached out to the Department of Justice.

MATTINGLY: The sources saying Biden plans to stay focused on his schedule and the agenda.

JEAN-PIERRE: The president is going to stay laser focused on delivering for the American people.

MATTINGLY: And far away from any more public commentary like this amid an ongoing special counsel investigation.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: By the way, my Corvettes in a locked garage. OK?

So it's not like you're sitting on the street.

MATTINGLY: The probe now in its early stages to pin down how roughly 20 documents with classified markings from Biden's time his vice president

ended up in two separate locations.

A Biden affiliated think tank in Washington and Biden's family home in Wilmington Delaware.

White House officials pledging full cooperation with the early stage special counsel investigation.

MERRICK GARLAND, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm here today to announce the appointment of Robert Hur, as a special counsel.


MATTINGLY (voice-over): But for a second day, slamming House Republicans, who have now launched two probes of their own.

A White House spokesman on Monday, saying the lawmakers have "no credibility" and "are playing politics in a shamelessly hypocritical

attempt to attack President Biden."

IAN SAMS, SPOKESPERSON, WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: House Republicans lose credibility when they engage in fake outrage about an issue that they're

clearly pursuing only for partisan gain.

MATTINGLY: Followed by a conference call, Tuesday, to level more attacks. But the messaging effort doing little to address critical questions.

SAMS: With the appointment of a special counsel, we will continue to be limited in what we can share publicly.

MATTINGLY: With little detail on the more than two-month period from the initial discovery of documents on November 2nd, to the December 20th

discovery of additional documents, to a third and fourth discovery of additional documents just last week.

But as White House officials maintain, the ongoing investigation will continue to limit their public answers.

SAMS: I understand that there's a tension between protecting and safeguarding the integrity of an ongoing investigation, with providing

information publicly appropriate with that.

MATTINGLY: A clear public effort to draw attention elsewhere.

And while White House officials continually, almost daily, have pledged full cooperation with that special counsel investigation, it appears less

likely when it comes to the two House Republican investigations that are now underway.

While they have said they will engage in good faith with any good faith efforts brought their way from House Republicans.

It's pretty clear based on their comments in the last several days, they don't view anything. They've heard from House Republicans up to this point,

as in good faith, as for the deadlines that have already been laid out.

For responses, well, we're told that they will reply at some point with whatever they think is necessary -- Phil Mattingly, CNN, the White House.


ANDERSON: A former killer for hire now fearing for his own life. Still to come, the highest ranking Wagner fighter to flee to the West tells his

horror stories. Why Russia wants him silenced. That is after this.




ANDERSON: Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Officials in Ukraine say search and rescue operations at the helicopter crash site in Brovary have now ended; 14 people are reported dead,

including the interior minister and several members of his team.

Five people on the ground to reportedly killed as well, including a child, when the aircraft went down near a kindergarten and a residential building

in the city just east of Kyiv. Ukrainian security services are now investigating the crash.


ANDERSON: As we mentioned at the top of the show, Ukraine front and center as political and business leaders meet in Davos, Switzerland.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz repeating his condemnation of Russia's invasion in Ukraine and praising the collective support of Western allies.

That as Germany is facing increasing pressure to step up its military support, including sending tanks.

CNN's Richard Quest joining me now from the summit in Davos.

Sending tanks and allowing for the re-export of German made tanks by other countries. We were expecting -- or certainly, anticipating -- that we would

hear something to that effect in Olaf Scholz's speech.

What did we hear?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Well, we didn't hear that, per se; you can read between the lines, that he sort of gave the indication it's coming. The

Germans have basically said they are not allowing the export of NATO equipment to a non-NATO country. Apparently, that's against the rules.

The tanks in Poland apparently are NATO. That's the way it's moving.

I spoke to the Polish prime minister just a short while ago and asked, why don't you just send the tanks and ask for forgiveness later?

The prime minister said, look, you can't just do that. We need -- because what they want -- and this is the crucial part, Becky -- what countries

like Poland want is France and Germany on board as well.

Because they say, look, 14 Polish tanks won't make much difference. But 110 or 50 or 70 tanks from Germany, Poland and France, that is what makes the


ANDERSON: Very good point.

Did Scholz's speech give Ukraine cause for optimism, then, do you think?

It comes, of, course ahead of a key sitdown between German and U.S. defense ministers at the end of this week, Friday.

QUEST: Yes, I think it should. It would be the absolute high point of hypocrisy if the chancellor were to have said here at Davos, Ukraine can

expect continued full support; whatever they need, they will get.

If he says that here and he turns around and says, well, I didn't mean tanks, I didn't mean that, oh, you can't have that, there are certain red

lines for the allies.

Planes is one of them. But even that is being negotiated. The disparateness (ph) now between what they want and what they're going to get is a lot


ANDERSON: You also talked about Germany's energy supply for the winter being secure. You don't need me to tell me there has been a warm winter in

Europe. As I understand it, you are dealing with very cold conditions up there. So stay warm.

It's going to be a fascinating week. You and I are going to continue to talk not about just about politics but about the wider economic and

financial picture. Thank you, sir.

A former Russian mercenary is now seeking asylum in Norway after fleeing the war on Ukraine. The lawyer for Andrei Medvedev says -- tells CNN that

the possibility of war crimes charges against his client is, quote, "a thought that is unavoidable."

Andrei Medvedev denies committing any crimes. The ex-soldier for hire is now making grim new allegations about how Russia treats prisoners fighting

and dying in its war. CNN's Nic Robertson reports.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Andrei Medvedev is lucky to be alive. The former Wagner eunuch commander says he

fled Russia in a daring Arctic escape, dodging bullets and dogs across a frozen river to Norway.

ANDREI MEDVEDEV, FORMER WAGNER MERCENARY (through translator): I've been chased. I'm afraid for my life.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Afraid, he says, because he has witnessed the murderous atrocities in Ukraine committed in the name of his ex-boss,

Wagner oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, aka Putin chef and he wants to tell all. Russians killing Russians, some of them former prisoners freed from Russian

jails to fight for Wagner.

MEDVEDEV (through translator): I know cases where prisoners were demonstratively shot dead for refusing to fight or for betrayal. They were

showing fighters here, this is what will happen to you.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): He says he joined Wagner in July last year, signed up for four months for near Bakhmut and eastern Ukraine.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): But when Prigozhin began recruiting former prisoners to swell Wagner's ranks, Medvedev saw a deadly change. Wanted out

as his contract ended but wasn't allowed to quit.

MEDVEDEV (through translator): Since the moment the prisoners have come to serve with us, strange things and murders of their own recruited prisoners

by the Wagner security service and foolish orders, such as sending us to die as cannon fodder started to happen.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): He is the highest-ranking Wagner fighter to flee to the West. His eyewitness account of Prigozhin's murderous practices in

Ukraine is revelatory.

VLADIMIR OSECHKIN, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: He is really targeted for the Russian special forces or security service from Wagner group. It's a very

high risk of die.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Human rights activist Vladimir Osechkin helped Medvedev escape. Has made sure his story gets out.

OSECHKIN: It's very important to do the international investigation about this. It's very important to open this information to the Russian people to

understand what has happened.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Medvedev's biggest revelation will likely be the most damaging to Putin and Prigozhin's recruitment drives. Last month,

Prigozhin recorded this callous video purporting to pose in front of his dead fighters in body bags, claiming their contracts were complete and they

were on their way back home.

But Medvedev says he's seen the truth. Many fighters never making it home because Prigozhin is too cheap to pay out insurance on their death.

MEDVEDEV (through translator): The majority of the prisoners were buried and then declared missing. The insurance only pays out money to relatives

of the deceased if the body was identified and handed over to the relatives. So they were just declaring everyone as missing.

ROBERTSON: Right now, Medvedev is at a secure location in Norway, telling investigators every detail he can remember. He says he didn't commit a

crime and wants those responsible for the murders brought to justice -- Nic Robertson, CNN, London.



ANDERSON: Well, let's get you up to speed on some other stories on our radar right now.

In a move that could spark yet another crisis for the Israeli government, Israel's high court has ruled that a key ally of prime minister Benjamin

Netanyahu should be stripped of his post as interior minister. The court said Aryeh Deri, who heads the Shas party, cannot serve because of his tax

fraud conviction last year.

Leaders from the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Omar, Jordan and Egypt met in Abu Dhabi earlier. The meeting coming a day after the UAE marked a year since a

Houthi missile and drone attack killed three people here. The leaders discussed security, political and economic issues.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has been released from prison detention in Germany. She was briefly detained by police on Tuesday after

taking part in a protest against the expansion of a coal mine in West Germany.

Still ahead, a tough day for Rafa, as he concedes defeat in Melbourne. Details in our sports update after this.

And if Miley Cyrus ever offers you flowers, just check for thorns. We will explain why after this.





ANDERSON: All right, listen up, 2023 is the year to buy yourself some flowers and trash your exes. Two of the world's biggest pop stars, Miley

Cyrus and Shakira, releasing new songs over the weekend and delivering scathing rebukes of their former partners.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Cyrus' "Flowers," dubbed an ode (ph) to self love, is topping charts around the world after she released it on Friday, which

just so happens to be her ex-husband Liam Hemsworth's birthday.

Shakira, meanwhile, also not pulling any punches.


ANDERSON (voice-over): Her new song tears into ex-spouse footballer Gerard Pique, his new girlfriend and his mother. After 12 years together, the

couple, who have two sons, split last year. Lines like "Women don't cry anymore, women invoice," she makes it clear that she has moved on.