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Connect the World

U.S. Poised to Send Abrams Tanks to Ukraine; What Ukraine Tank Decision could Mean for Scholz; Ukraine Requests more Western Tanks and Long-Range Rockets; FSB Director says she Took Records & Recordings to France; Flights Resume on South Korea's Jeju Island after Snow Shutdown; "RRR" Oscar Nomination puts Spotlight on Indian Films. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired January 25, 2023 - 11:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: I'm Eleni Giokos, hello and welcome back to the second hour of "Connect the World". Send us as many

tanks as possible that appeal coming from Ukraine's Foreign Minister today after Germany's Chancellor announced his country is delivering Leopard 2

battle tanks to Ukraine.

The announcement by Olaf Scholz ends weeks of uncertainty and frustration among NATO allies who were waiting for Germany to act, and it allows other

European countries to send their own Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The Chancellor says the decision to deliver the tanks was not made alone.


OLAF SCHOLZ, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: On measures that contribute to Ukraine, being able to defend themselves. I mean, all these decisions we have taken

with close cooperation without allies. And this is the reason why they're effective. And this is why we were able to take these decisions. These are

the principles upon which this government is operating.


GIOKOS: Well, this announcement comes as U.S. officials finalized plans to send 30 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, a move, apparently coming in

conjunction with Germany's announcement. We'll hear more from U.S. President Joe Biden, in the next hour. Now Russia's ambassador to Germany

warned sending German tanks to Ukraine will create a new level of confrontation.

We've got Nick Paton Walsh with us this hour from London. Nick, I just read your article on Why sending Ukraine tanks represent a fierce new

step by the West? I'm really insightful; there were a few lines that really stuck out. But you know, at the top, you say a West contemplating sending

its most aggressive armor.

A two estate it considered unfit to even to discuss NATO membership seriously with a year ago. I find that really fascinating to see how the

West is stepping up assistance, the fact that Germany is now sending Leopard 2 tanks, and of course, we're waiting for that announcement from

the United States. In your mind are you seeing a mega shift in the way the West is viewing the fight in Ukraine?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: I mean, certainly all these things are incremental. But the broader picture is quite astounding.

It's important to remember that just over a month ago, we had U.S. saying that it would send Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine and the training

on that is beginning.

But that was after months of saying no, no, no way we could possibly do that it would be logistically hard and to escalatory. Now we have tanks

likely to be announced by the White House in the hours ahead. Small in numbers certainly complex logistically, the M1 Abrams is not something that

immediately can be learned overnight, or easily resupplied or repaired.

And on top of that, that appears the America announcement to have given some wind in the sails of many European powers that like Germany perhaps

have been prevaricating or like Poland, have been looking for German permission. And that broader message from Europe's NATO members at times

now still a little bit scant on details.

We don't really know precisely how many are going to be put onto the battlefield in the months ahead? Although Germany thinks it can get 14 in

the next three months there. They will make an enormous immediate difference to the battle as of the spring offensive; it's probably fair to


But they give a very clear message of European NATO and American NATO membership, very much less afraid of what you're referring to there as the

red lines that Moscow used to cast around or suggest might be something they would reach in the event that NATO or the West continued to supply

Ukraine with weapons quite so consistently.

It's a startling development, certainly, and it's one that makes the possibility of Ukrainian offensive to retake territory more real. And

possibly also closes the window into a matter of months into till those weapons are on the ground. And Russia has even less potential to influence

matters on the battlefield, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, because you even say in the article, you know, this weaponry is to retake territory, which is interesting, because Russia, of course, as

expected, has said that they will retaliate. But what is also quite interesting is the logistical element and you've alluded to this. This is

going to take time, we're talking about skills, we're talking about maintenance, what it's going to look like on the ground?

And then importantly, in terms of aerial surveillance, how to get the tanks in and get them on to the battlefield as well? There are a lot of things to

think about, in order to eventually get Ukraine in a position where they're thinking about deploying them in a way that they're be able to, you know,

gain momentum on the front lines?

WALSH: Yes, I think there are two things you need to be conscious of here. The first is that Americans are going to be very unwilling as with other

NATO members to put their personnel inside Ukraine to repair, resupply, refuel these tanks.


WALSH: That job is going to either have to be done probably in Poland, one of the neighboring states where there's already a significant American

presence or by Ukrainians properly trained across Ukraine. There's a problem with that latter solution, because if the Ukrainians are not

adequately well versed in how to resupply, refit, repair tanks that will probably see if it had been damaged.

If they're used in offensive operations, then those tanks could potentially lay idle and nobody necessarily wants that. So it is going to be either a

lengthy lag until Ukrainians are ready to do that job themselves across Ukraine, or a complex supply chain back to somewhere like Poland, where

U.S. troops would do it themselves. All of this part of a very time consuming logistical operation.

That's been part of the reason I think why Washington were reluctant to get into this. But it is happening, it seems it will increase in pace, as well.

The most important thing here, Eleni, this broad message from the West, but they're not worried about what Russia necessarily thinks they don't think

Russia has that many cards left to play on the battlefield. And they want to move forwards fast to be sure they influence the months ahead on the


GIOKOS: You also say that it is precarious for the West to believe that Russia has no red lines left. What are the red lines at this stage? Because

it seems that NATO and the West have crossed some of those that have been put forward by Russia at the start of this war?

WALSH: Yes, I mean, what were the original red lines? What are they now it's clear that Vladimir Putin didn't at the beginning of this war; lay out

a series of things that he would not accept? And that is, I think, a sign the pragmatism users in most parts of foreign policy misguided this

invasion initially was you have to bear in mind that as you see this increased competence from Western powers to deliver weaponry.

That the beginning of the war, they frankly thought would have been just way to escalatory to put in the hands of Ukrainian troops in the background

is still Russia's nuclear arsenal much less spoken off at now. Clearly the product sorry clearly influenced their thoughts there by intense U.S.

signaling about Russian sorry, an American response to any use of nuclear weapons at all. It seems a Chinese have been pretty vocal on this.

The Indians have been extremely vocal on this. But still, in the back of all of this as Russia finds its potency, relatively weakened struggles for

options on the battlefield sees the West really not bothered. It seems about the potential for retaliation by Russia, you do have to bear in mind

what a weakened threatened, existentially panicked, Moscow might resort to.

GIOKOS: Alright, Nick Paton Walsh, good to see you. Thank you so much for that insight. I want to bring in Sam Kiley; he's in Kyiv for us at the sour

big news coming out of Germany, Sam, with the Leopard two tanks.

We're waiting to hear from the U.S. But I want you to tell me what the realities on the ground because Ukraine said we need a lot more tanks, and

we need them fast. We've just ascertained this is going to take time. It is a logistical challenge.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so I mean, in terms of the military necessity that can't be exaggerated. Tanks have proved

extremely useful in this fight against Russia because Russia uses themselves large amounts of tanks.

In many ways, this has been a very conventional Cold War or post-Cold War fight, not the sort of fight that NATO has been involved in for the last 20

years, which has been counterinsurgency, when tanks were really pretty useless.

So that's the first thing is that they desperately do need them. They're not mucking around when they say they need 300. We've done a rough

calculation within CNN, we think that roughly speaking, 90 to 100 tanks have been pledged or could be in the works, once the American announcement

is formalized that if it's accurate, would be a third of what they're saying ahead of what is anticipated to be a big new offensive?

We've been in touch in colleagues have been in touch with soldiers on the front line in Bakhmut. They are absolutely delighted, particularly over the

deployment of the Leopard tanks, because these are relatively simple. They're very sophisticated, but they can for example, have an engine

replaced inside an hour they run on diesel not to jet fuel like the Abrams tanks.

They're very widespread across NATO and of course the Ukrainians are pretty expert at using tanks in battle. So when take them long to train in the use

and tactics of tank warfare. They already know that indeed, they could probably teach NATO a thing or two about that what they will need to know

is how to drive these very modern bits of equipment and above all use their targeting systems.

That relatively speaking will be a quick process much more challenging, though, will be the logistics train particularly for the Abrams tanks,

which as I say run on jet fuel. But they have very, very complicated engineering less so for the Leopards and the Germans have said that they

will be helping with the maintenance of those leopard tanks. We're waiting clarification but it's unlikely they'd be sending any workers or much less

troops into Ukraine to do that.


KILEY: But that means that the maintenance trail will lead back at least to Poland or other neighboring nations where these tanks can be maintained.

But that still is a very significant contribution from Germany they're talking.

Chancellor Scholz talked about standing up two battalions of armor that includes tanks and other armored vehicles that are significant but falls

about, as I say in total about a third of what the Ukrainians are saying they need.

GIOKOS: Sam Kiley, thank you so much. NATO is praising Germany's decision Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted, I strongly welcomed the

leadership of Bundeskanzler and Germany in providing Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine in consultation with other NATO allies and partners. At a critical

moment in Russia's war, these can help Ukraine to defend itself, win and prevail as an independent nation.

My next guest who used to be Director of Policy Planning at NATO Fabrice Pothier is currently CEO of a consultancy firm Rasmussen Global he joins me

now from Copenhagen, via Skype. Good to see you. Thank you so very much for joining us. We've spoken quite extensively about these tanks.

And look, we have to ask, what exactly are they going to offer to the battlefield? How's it going to change the game in - tip the scale in

Ukraine, even with the timelines that are quite relatively realistic with all the skills that is required, and of course, getting them into the


FABRICE POTHIER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF POLICY PLANNING AT NATO: All good questions, I think it's important to remember that this is not necessarily

one capability, like as good as a Leopard tank is not necessarily a game changer. But it's clearly going to provide the Ukrainian forces with more

capabilities and more capacity to both protect the forces and to be able to engage in offensive operations in the early spring.

So but that doesn't mean on the strategic level that the war is solved in Ukraine's favor. So I think it's very important to put that into that

context. However, what is clear, we're crossing a new threshold in terms of what especially Germany but also other NATO countries, including the U.S.

are willing to commit to basically give Ukraine as good a chance to basically regain the advantage and retake as much territory as possible.

GIOKOS: You tweeted; West military supplies are very much an instrumentalist approach. We end up one escalation too late Putin keeps

moving the needle. You're alluding to the fact that this modern weaponry, modern tanks could basically give Ukraine the momentum that it needs. What

is your sense on the way that this latest charge of assistance has been dealt with?

POTHIER: Exactly, I think this is where we have to put things into context. And what we're seeing now the kind of decisions that are very important and

substantial. However, I would argue two, three months late, because we are in effect, a responding to Russia's escalation that started on the 10th of

October, when Russia started basically to literally open another battlefront this time, again, civilian population and critical


And it took us quite a while to make, you know, to take those decisions, because obviously, we are democracies, there is more deliberation than in

Russia. However, the reality is that time matters and time cost lives in Ukraine. So we are always in this instrumentalist approach of ours.

We have always proven to be one or two escalation too late. So the risk here is that Putin has already anticipated the tank supply. And the Russian

might want to create a lot of pressure in the next few weeks when the tanks are not yet on the ground.

GIOKOS: Very good point. You know, I want to talk about it sort of from a macro perspective and effect NATO is essentially drawing down its inventory

by sending weaponry to Ukraine. Correspondent Nick Paton Walsh wrote this. NATO members are less concerned about being attacked by Russia itself in

the imminent future.

They're handing over weapons they would urgently need in the event of such a conflict. Is the calculation here that Russia is a threat to Ukraine and

would not reach borders? And what does that mean for an inventory buildup once again, for NATO members that have been assisting?

POTHIER: My understanding is your calculation is the other way around, is if we don't stop Russia and if we don't contain back Russia, within its

border, NATO and Europe, globally will have a real security problem.


POTHIER: And this is why I think you see countries like Denmark or other Baltic countries were making like very low those decisions about basically

giving away the entirety of their stockpiling. In the case of Denmark, it's their artillery system, because they understood that unless the Ukrainians

are successful, Europe is not going to be safe and stable.

GIOKOS: All eyes were on Olaf Scholz and Leopard 2 tanks. But, you know, it's really interesting to see that we're expecting President Joe Biden to

speak soon about Abrams tanks as well. Is that one of the significant things we need to look at that the United States sort of got into sending

modern tanks to Ukraine, which basically forced the hand of Germany?

POTHIER: Maybe Germany forced the hand of the United States in doing what until now; we understood the Washington felt there was no need to do so. I

think it was interesting to see that Germany managed too, at the end, have a slightly ugly decision making process to make the right kind of decision,

but to make it into a collective context, and not just with other European NATO countries, but also with the United States.

However, we should not forget, this U.S. administration has gone way beyond what many other NATO countries have been doing to support Ukraine. So we

also have to comment what has been done until now in providing the kind of weapon system that no one else can provide within NATO.

GIOKOS: Fabrice Pothier, thank you very much for your perspective.

POTHIER: Thank you.

GIOKOS: Very insightful, much appreciated.

POTHIER: Pleasure.

GIOKOS: Now, Ukraine has to wait and see which nations pony up and whether that tank coalition it's asking for comes to fruition and Kyiv once other

weapons as well heading into what could be an especially bloody spring. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has details.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Even as fighting rages in Eastern Ukraine, Russian forces are making little

headway. Vladimir Putin recently appointed his Military Chief Valery Gerasimov to lead the war in Ukraine, get another reshuffle in the

hierarchy. The Deputy Head of Ukraine's Defense Intelligence tells me he believes Putin realizes his entire command structure is in disarray.

VADYM SKIBITSKIY, UKRAINIAN DEPUTY HEAD OF DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE: He really does have problems with the command both at the top level the generals and

at the bottom level of platoon or company commander. That issue is generally very problematic.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Another problem those marginal gains Russia is making come mostly from mercenaries of the Wagner private military company

around Bakhmut. Wagner has been gaining ground while suffering severe losses themselves. Wagner's boss Yevgeny Prigozhin has been highly critical

of Russia's Military leadership, calling them all but incompetent. The Ukrainian say he's made plenty of enemies among the elites.

SKIBITSKIY: The leadership of the Russian Armed Forces is going to try to belittle precautions role and place however they can. So he cannot

strengthen his positions in the Kremlin hierarchy.

PLEITGEN (voice over): While the Ukrainians tried to hold on in Bakhmut, and they say they urgently need Western main battle tanks to take back more


ANDRIY MELNYK, UKRAINIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER: There are about 2000 tanks available and even if each country would send 10 percent of that

amount, that will be a huge army, which will allow us to start this counter offensive in spring.

PLEITGEN (voice over): But the Ukrainian say just as critical or longer range rockets from the U.S. to hit Russia supply lines, something the U.S.

is wary of giving them for fear of escalating the conflict.

SKIBITSKIY: Right now they have moved the logistics and control but mainly logistics systems further away from the frontline. And that's 80 to 100 to

120 kilometers away. And to strike them you need longer range strike systems.

PLEITGEN (voice over): That would include targets on Russian territory to choke off any future offensive by muscles forces.

SKIBITSKIY: There are strong logistics hubs in the Rostov region. It is these very hubs and they need to be struck in order to disrupt the supply

systems of all kinds.

PLEITGEN (on camera): For now, that the Ukrainian certainly seems to be very happy with that decision by both the United States and Germany to send

main battle tanks to Ukraine. In fact, the Chief of Staff of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, saying that he believes Western main battle tanks are

as he puts it, democracies punch against autocracy. Fred Pleitgen CNN, Kyiv.


GIOKOS: Alright, we're going to a short break stay with CNN.



GIOKOS: All right. We're going to a short break, stay with CNN.


GIOKOS: Well, we've been telling you about a string of classified documents found at current and former high profile U.S. officials for months now from

Donald Trump to Joe Biden. Well, now former Vice President Mike Pence is joining that list. Last week about a dozen classified documents were

discovered at Pence's Indiana home.

Multiple sources tell CNN Mike Pence's lawyer turned over the documents to the FBI, which has launched a review alongside the Justice Department's

National Security Division. Let's go now to Katelyn Polantz who is live in Washington DC for us. I can't keep up with the all these classified

documents that seem to be creeping up in various locations. What is the latest?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Eleni it's not a coincidence. Mike Pence and the others have been making sure at this

point in time that they don't have or that they can't find other documents in their possession since this has been in the news. But my colleagues here

confirmed yesterday that when a lawyer went to look at Pence's home in Indiana last week, they found about a dozen classified records.

That prompted a series of exchanges with the National Archives, which is the agency that houses federal records. And then the FBI and the Justice

Department's National Security Division came in, they'll do a review now on how this happened. Now, Pence he, after he left with the vice presidency

has said that he did not have any classified documents in his possession even two years later.

But in a letter we've obtained from his representative to the archives this month, his counsel says he wasn't aware that these sensitive documents were

in his home and now he would fully cooperate with any inquiries.

So we're watching closely how the Justice Department may respond going forward to this and to the other situations with the documents over last

year being found in Donald Trump's beach house in Mar-a-Lago in Florida, also in a storage facility in Florida.

And then the vice presidential material found in Joe Biden's Delaware home and a private office in Washington DC. Those two situations have led to

criminal investigations by newly appointed special counsels that are still active. They're working with the Justice Department or under the Justice


Of course, Donald Trump's team is in a different situation than the others at this point, because according to the court record, investigators have

had concerns that records he had were being concealed or removed after the federal government sought to get them back. That's much different than the

response both the Pence team and Joe Biden's advisors had made to the Justice Department.

But this Pence situation just clearly highlights Eleni how in Washington, security mishaps may be more common than you would think.

GIOKOS: Yes, it looks like it's an endemic issue. Katelyn Polantz, thank you very much for your time. Good to see you. All right, the man accused of

shooting to death seven people in Half Moon Bay California is expected to be arraigned in court Wednesday.


GIOKOS: We are now learning more about the 66-year-old accused of killing four people at a mushroom farm where he worked and lived and three other

people at a nearby farm. Authorities are calling it a case of workplace violence. Police say he was also accused of threatening to suffocate a

former co-worker at a different job 10 years ago.

CNN's Veronica Miracle joins us now from Redwood City, California with more details on this case, alarming details. A co-worker, it sounds like he was

trying to take revenge. I mean, as we're uncovering this information, what more are you learning?

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Eleni, the details just get more disturbing as more information gets revealed. As you mentioned today will

be his current first court appearance after being accused of killing seven people and critically injuring another person.

But CNN has obtained court documents that you reference that show that this is not the first time that he has been accused of violence involving the

workplace back in 2013. If former roommate and co-worker accused him of trying to suffocate him with a pillow threatening him attempting to murder

him based on issues around work and pay, which that former roommate and co- worker apparently was very confused about and did not know anything about why it was occurring.

A judge at that time placed a temporary restraining order on jail, which would have prohibited him from buying and owning or obtaining a gun. But

that went away in July of 2013. This mass shooting in Half Moon Bay happened at two separate locations. And one of the locations is where Zhao

lived and worked.

It's also a place where other people live and work has worked rather and there were children present because of that, at this horrific mass

shooting. Governor Gavin Newsom of California toured Half Moon Bay yesterday. It was the second mass shooting tour that he's done in just two

days, the first one in Monterey Park in Southern California.

And he went from there all the way to Northern California to tour Half Moon Bay and meet with victim's families and community members. And to be quite

honest with you, Eleni, he was exhausted, fired up emotional about all of these tours that he's had to do.

He pulled out cell phone numbers from his jacket pocket of the list of numbers of people's families that he is going to be following up with.

Because he says he just has so much experience with this kind of trauma that he wants to connect with these people, which says a lot about the

state, I think of this country.

Governor Gavin Newsom said also that this is not a state issue. He believes this is a federal issue. And that there are certain members of the

Republican Party who are blocking and not allowing laws to take shape, so that there is further gun reform.

This is all what Governor Gavin Newsom told me yesterday. So, a lot happening there in Half Moon Bay as the community tries to recover. And

then here in at the San Mateo County Courthouse, Chunli Zhao will be in court today at 1.30 Pacific Time for his first court appearance, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, absolutely tragic. Veronica Miracle, thank you. Russian agents are making Cold War style defections and they're telling CNN why they're

seeking asylum that's after the break.



GIOKOS: Right, this just into CNN, at least two people have been killed and five wounded in a knife attack. On a train in northern Germany, the train

was traveling from Hamburg to kill and had stopped at a station north of Hamburg. Police have arrested a suspect and we'll keep you updated as we

learn more about this developing story.

Well, we are waiting to hear from U.S. President Joe Biden about 30 minutes from now on support from Ukraine. This amid expectations that the U.S. will

announce it will deliver around 30 Abrams tanks to Kyiv. If it does, Washington would follow Germany which of course ended weeks of hesitation

and decided to move forward with tanks shipments.

Stay with us. We'll be bringing you Mr. Biden's comments live when they happen in about an hour or so. Well, just moments ago the head of NATO Jens

Stoltenberg spoke with my colleague Kate Baldwin about why Germany's decision is so critical right now. Let's take a listen.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: These are important announcements. And what Sean's results the German Chancellor said today, it

really is important because it makes it possible for Germany but also for other European NATO allies to provide - to battle tanks to Ukraine.

And that will significantly strengthen their combat capabilities. And it demonstrates also the unity and the resolve of NATO allies in and partners

in providing support to Ukraine.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Secretary General, the introduction of tanks has long been discussed. What did it take to get here?

STOLTENBERG: What you have seen is that the frontlines in Ukraine have stabilized. And we have seen how the Russians are digging in and, and are

building fortifications so if we want Ukraine to be able both to defend against upcoming Russian offenses, and we know that the Russians are

planning for new offenses.

And also if you want Ukraine to be able to re-take territory, and we need to give them more armor, more heavy and modern weapons and therefore, I

welcome the U.S. leadership the announcement that was made last week of armored personnel carriers of infantry fighting vehicles.

And now the announcements of battle tanks that altogether will strengthen significantly the strength the combat strength of the Ukrainian armed

forces, and we need that to ensure that President Putin doesn't win this war.


GIOKOS: NATO secretary Jens Stoltenberg there speaking with CNN's Kate Bolduan. From low level soldiers to a former three-star general opposition

to Russia's war in Ukraine has led to a wave of Russian officials defecting to the west. In a CNN exclusive to former FSB employees tell Melissa Bell

why they decided to flee.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Her view was of Moscow from the inside a life of privilege and access, including an FSB vehicle as a

doctor working for Russia's Federal Security Service the powerful FSB.

DR. MARIA DMITRIEVA, FORMER FSB DOCTOR: I'm Maria Dmitrieva, today is October 12. And I filmed this video in the plane from Moscow.

BELL (voice over): A Cold War style defection booking a flight to France before anyone suspected she might go.

DR. DMITRIEVA: I am now in the French territory.

BELL (voice over): Complete with photographs as well as work contracts patient records and references to prove her identity to French authorities.

She also brought documents she thought the West might be interested in.

DR. DMITRIEVA: I brought photos audio and video recordings which confirm that the majority of the Russian army is against some of the policies of

the current leaders. At my own peril and risk I was able to smuggle my phone into the FSB building twice and was able to make some records.


BELL (voice over): She also brought recordings of conversations with senior officials she says to hash to French intelligence, currency as she sought

political asylum. Dmitrieva is one of the floods of senior Russians from soldiers to Wagner mercenaries and FSB employees now arriving in Europe.

So many that Putin promised in December to promptly identify traitors, spies and saboteurs even as Europe has been expelling senior Russians 600

in 2022, including 400 spies, according to the head of the British intelligence agency, MI5.

But in an exclusive interview with CNN, former senior FSB Lieutenant Emran Navruzbekov says there are plenty of active agents left. Navruzbekov comes

from a family of security service agents, many of his relatives now under arrest in his native Dagestan. Before defecting, he worked for the FSB and

Poland. Now he's seeking asylum there.

EMRAN NAVRUZBEKOV, FORMER FSB LIEUTENANT: The role of the FSB since the beginning of the war would they want it to end the war quickly, but failed.

Now in the FSB, it's every man for himself. Everyone wants to escape from Russia.

Every second FSB officer wants to run away. Now already, they understand that Russia will never win this war. Of course, I'm afraid I mean, you know

how they work history says that in any case, I will be killed.

BELL (voice over): Vladimir Osechkin says he's helped at least 20 senior Russian insiders escape since the war in Ukraine began. The Exiled Russian

human rights activist is on Moscow's list of wanted criminals and insists on meeting in a public place. In September, French police opened an

investigation into a possible assassination attempt at his home.

VLADIMIR OSECHKIN, RUSSIAN ACTIVIST IN EXILE: I saw my wife and children who spent more than 30 minutes on the floor. And the children were very

scared and my wife, like look like mother to protect them because it's risky, obviously shoots in this moment, it was very difficult. Here is one


BELL (voice over): Osechkin says it says help to those fleeing and the documents they bring that make him a target. Like the images he shows us on

his computer of what he says are Russian surveillance radar positions aimed at Europe, dating back to 2017 given to him Osechkin says buy a three-star

general now in exile.

OSECHKIN: Putin, why don't you want to kill me? He very scared. There is a lot of people who now work in the Putin system. But they want to find their

way to work together with the West with Ukraine, with Europe, with the United States, and to stop the Putin.

BELL (voice over): What Osechkin leaves us it with some of the policemen who since September ensure his security day and night. Maria, like many of

the Russians arriving has no such protection and little money left. But she agreed to speak to us hoping for a better future in the West. Melissa Bell,

CNN, Paris.


GIOKOS: Well, families and loved ones hoping for some closure over down to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 will have their day in court. European Court of

Human Rights announced Wednesday; they agreed to hear Dutch case against Russia over the flight. The Netherlands argues Russia played a key role in

the 2014 crash.

All 298 people on board were killed when it was shut out of the sky over territory held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. The flight was on

its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Russia has continued to deny involvement.

Well, let's get you up to speed on other stories that are on our radar right now. Officials in Spain say police have arrested a man on suspicion

of sending six letter bombs late last year to the Prime Minister and other high-profile targets. Authorities say the arrest took place earlier in a

town about three hours' drive from Madrid and as part of an ongoing operation.

CNN has learned that Finland's joined NATO membership that with Sweden is delayed amid reignited tensions with Turkey. This follows Saturday's

protests in Stockholm against both NATO and Ankara. Finland's foreign minister says the delay in his words is not good news.

The Head of the UN's nuclear watchdog warns Iran has amassed enough material to make several nuclear weapons. However, IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi

says Tehran hasn't produced one yet. He urged the West to make a diplomatic push to stop that from happening.


GIOKOS: Well, you can learn more about that and much more on our region in our online newsletter, meanwhile, in the Middle East. In this edition we'll

tell you about a very real economic struggle in Egypt. The country is suffering through its worst inflation in five years.

And that's showing up in the high fat price of food and find out what Cairo is trying to do about it. Just head to or find it all on your CNN

app. Well, Kenya is fighting a cholera outbreak which has stretched on for months, leading to more than 4000 cases and 78 deaths since October. Now

the government says a growing number of counties has managed to bring the outbreak under control. CNN's Larry Madowo has more from Nairobi.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This cholera outbreak in Kenya has affected the arid and semi-arid parts of the countries not the hardest. And

there are a couple of reasons for that. For instance, in Garissa County, which has a huge refugee population, mostly from Somalia, they often live

in close quarters and that means they're more likely to be exposed to contaminated or poor sanitation facilities.

The other is that the region has seen a record drought and that means the communities there struggled to get access to clean water, which is one of

the ways that cholera spreads if you consume contaminated food or water. But Kenya says the situation is getting better and some of the country's 47

counties have managed to get cholera under control.


DR. PATRICK AMOTH, DIRECTOR GENERAL, KENYAN HEALTH MINISTRY: So, the number of counties affected has been 14. Five counties managed to be able to bring

the outbreak control total control. But we still have nine counties which have active cases.


MADOWO: Kenya's Health Minister says more than 4000 cases have been reported since this cholera outbreak was declared in October and 78 people

have died. The reason it's so dangerous is because people died really quickly if it's not treated right away because cholera causes severe

diarrhea and dehydration. But the country expects to send the first batches of the cholera vaccine within the next week or so. Larry Madowo, CNN,


GIOKOS: Coming up severe weather is causing havoc across several southern states in the U.S. after intense storms and tornadoes hit the region,

that's coming up after this.


GIOKOS: South Korea's Jeju Island has reopened to air travel after being shut down due to winter weather. Some 36,000 people were stranded on the

island when a harsh winter storm struck on Tuesday. It was expected to bring 70 centimeters of snow. It is part of record breaking winter weather

seen across Asia in recent days. CNN's Paula Hancocks has the story.



PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's widely known as China's North Pole, the City of Moho. The furthest north in the country has

experienced its coldest day ever. Minus 53 degrees Celsius or minus 63.4 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, coming just months after China saw its worst

heatwave in more than 50 years.

KEVIN TRENBERTH, NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH: With climate change, we certainly expect that the extremes are going to be somewhat

worse than they were before. And this applies especially to the temperatures and the precipitation.

HANCOCKS (voice over): Extreme cold is having a deadly impact in Afghanistan; exacerbated by limited humanitarian aid being distributed

after the ruling Taliban banned female aid workers from operating in the country. At least 157 people have lost their lives so far. According to a

Taliban official the death toll doubling in just the last week, around 70,000 livestock are frozen to death.

ADAM COMBS, NOWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: This is an extreme situation at the moment that we're facing with sub-zero temperatures - barriers of

operations. And families that are already have been pushed to the brink for survival due to the economic crisis is even in more dire straits.

HANCOCKS (voice over): A wave of extreme cold has spread through Northeast Asia. Sub-zero temperatures moving in from Siberia, stranding thousands of

travelers at airports in parts of South Korea and Japan for the end of the Lunar New Year holiday.

Heavy snow is continuing to disrupt flights in Japan, with hundreds being canceled Tuesday and Wednesday. Videos posted on social media showed

treacherous conditions. One focus for experts is the widening gap between seasons.

WOO JIN-KYU, KOREA METEOROLOGICAL ADMINISTRATION: If the difference between the highest and lowest temperatures during a year used to be about 40

degrees Celsius, the difference can be 60 degrees these days; the cold weather means the extreme points will be very dramatic.

HANCOCKS (voice over): One climate change expert says looking wider than the extreme cold in Northeast Asia paints a very interesting pattern.

TRENBERTH: The distinctive thing if you look at it on a hemispheric basis is that it's extraordinarily warm in the North Pacific up into southern

Alaska. And it's extraordinarily warm in the North Atlantic, all the way up through Norway and Sweden and Iceland and even further north.

HANCOCKS (voice over): Extreme cold in Northeast Asia at least is expected to ease in coming days. Paula Hancocks, CNN Seoul.


GIOKOS: Extreme weather also impacting the United States where Tornado Watch is still in effect for parts of Alabama and Florida. Wind alerts

remain across 14 southern states many people are thankful to be alive, but waking up to this mangled cause missing roofs and more than 100,000 homes

without power after intense storms tore through parts of Texas and Louisiana.

Rosa Flores has been surveying for very serious damage out in Deer Park, Texas. Rosa, what are you seeing? I mean, some of the images that we've

just showed our viewers just look absolutely dramatic.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there are very dramatic picture. Let me take you right to them. This is a nursing home. And you can see the

aftermath and the frame of this building. Some of it ripped off the Corrugated Roof or portions of the Corrugated Roof were peeled away you can

see the mangled metal and some of the installation just blew off and the masonry fell.

Now authorities say that there were about 59 people who were inside this building that were evacuated, actually, to this building that's across the

street and bus ambulance was brought over to evacuate the seniors. I talked to the daughter of one of the residents. And according to this woman, her

mom was OK everybody else that was in the building was OK. But of course, this was quite the spare.

And Eleni, this is what from where we can see the path or at least some of the tornadic activity. There's actually a school that's, that's behind my

photographer. That school was skirted by this tornado or this tornadic activity.

But I can tell you from being there earlier yesterday afternoon, some of the cars that were parked in the parking lot were tossed around they were

moved yards away they were flipped over they were completely damaged so overall people in this community are just counting their blessings praying

that no fatalities have been reported Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, the aftermath is unbelievable and you think about what comes next and the rebuilding and, and assisting this community. Rosa Flores

always good to have you on, thank you so much! Up next on "Connect the World" the films made elsewhere that are getting a lot of attention in

Hollywood and how an Oscar can change a country's entire film industry. Stay with us.



GIOKOS: Welcome back. So, I want to update you now on a deadly knife attack on a train in northern Germany. The train was traveling from Hamburg to

kill and then have stopped at a station in Brookstead. At least two people were killed and five were wounded police have arrested a suspect that rail

line is now closed.

The Movie World is about still buzzing about the Oscar nominations. One of the biggest surprises was the success of international films, The Banshees

of Inisherin and All Quiet on the Western Front. Each picked up nine nominations including a Best Picture nod.

The German language all quiet is considered the front runner for Best International firm. It will go up against firms from Argentina, Belgium,

Poland and Ireland. And one of the original song nominees has put Indian filmmakers in the spotlight, it's the first time a song from fully Indian

produced firm has ever been considered for an Oscar. CNN's Vedika Sud has more on this historic nomination.


VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER (voice over): It has explosions epic battles larger than life action scenes and a man wrestling a tiger. In this latest

blockbuster movie RRR Rise Roll Revolt has been making waves around the world. Triumphing over Rihanna and Taylor Swift soundtracks at the Golden

Globes, RRR was awarded the Best Original Song for 'Naatu Naatu'.

The action fantasy film about real life Indian revolutionaries fighting against colonialism has earned an Oscar nomination, a rare moment for an

Indian film.

S.S. RAJAMOULI, DIRECTOR, "RRR": When we initially set out to make, we don't have the critical acclaim in mind, we set out to make the movie for

the audience, for them to love it for them to experience the movie.

SUD (voice over): RRR has already grossed more than $150 million worldwide, and stayed for 16 weeks on the list of top 10 most viewed non-English films

on Netflix. Critics say the film is a breath of fresh air for the American audience.

COURTNEY HOWARD, FILM CRITIC: There's just something fresh and unique about it where I think it's going to be hard to if Hollywood tries to do it. It's

going to be hard to recapture that lightning in a bottle that this movie seems to do.

SUD (voice over): Director S.S. Rajamouli is known for his bombastic and maximalist action scenes, the firm's budget are reported $68 million makes

it one of the most expensive Indian films to date, far below most Hollywood blockbusters. The movies overseas success is being celebrated back home.

India's Prime Minister Modi personally congratulated the filmmakers after their win at the Golden Globes, saying this prestigious honor has made

every Indian very proud. Hollywood has opened its doors to non-English terms in recent years and like parasite which became the first foreign

language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Critics say RRR's Oscar nomination is pushing boundaries.

SHUBHRA GUPTA, FILM CRITIC, THE INDIAN EXPRESS: What it's already doing is something that has no other Indian film has ever done. It's the kind of a

sort of a gigantic leap in the awareness that there is something called Indian cinema and that there will be a lot more interest in it going



SUD (voice over): A win at the Academy Awards would be a first for an Indian film and a historic one. Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.


GIOKOS: Incredible action scene she got me at a man wrestling a tiger definitely want to watch. So in the meantime, we are waiting to hear from

U.S. President Joe Biden any moment now about more military support for Ukraine this amid expectations that the U.S. will announce that it will

deliver around 30 Abrams tanks to Kyiv.

Mr. Biden has been working the phones ahead of this address speaking with European allies. Earlier today, Germany announced it would be sending

leopard 2 tanks to support Ukraine's efforts to push back Russia from its unprovoked invasion.

We will of course bring you Mr. Biden's comments as soon as they begin. Well, thanks very much for joining us for "Connect the World" today. I am

Eleni Giokos in Dubai. "One World" is up next.