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Biden Makes Unannounced Trip To Ukraine; North Korea Missiles Launches; Protest Over Israel Judicial Reform Bill. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired February 20, 2023 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Amid the sound of air sirens, a show of support for Ukraine as President Biden makes an unannounced stop in
The government of Benjamin Netanyahu moves ahead with sweeping judicial reform plans bringing thousands of protesters to the streets.
And North Korea launches two more ballistic missiles into the sea. Its latest string of missile tests bringing condemnation from both South Korea
and the U.N.
I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.
Of the sounds, U.S. President Joe Biden walked through the capital of Ukraine. His surprise visit comes nearly one year after Russia began its
relentless attack. Mr. Biden was accompanied by a Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who says, it reminds the world every day what courage
is. He hearkened back to the early days of the war when many braced for Kyiv to fall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One year later, Kyiv stands and Ukraine stands. Democracy stands.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Mr. Biden promising that new military aid for Ukraine and new sanctions against Russia are on the way. Mr. Zelenskyy says their talks
will bring Ukraine closer to victory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): The results of this visit will surely be seen and will surely have a reflection on the
battlefield in liberating our territories.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, Mr. Biden, now joining allies in Poland, as the war gets set to enter its second year. CNN's Kevin Liptak is in Warsaw and our
diplomatic -- international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joins us from London. And, Nic, I do want to start with you. And this was a surprise trip
by the U.S. President. Just explain, if you will, what you believe the purpose of this visit was.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's a very strong signal to President Putin. It's a very strong signal to Ukrainian people.
It's a very strong signal to all of the United States allies, particularly in Europe, particularly in the Pacific region, South Korea, Japan as well
are also giving their support to Ukraine, that the United States is committed, and it's committed to Ukraine, and it's committed to the long
haul of the fight and that it -- this support will be enduring.
So, there cannot be a greater symbol of that commitment than the United States president. The United States President going to Kyiv literally while
sirens are going off. And I think it provides and provided President Zelenskyy with the -- with the -- with the possibility to amplify his
already well-heard messages, but strong messages, and particularly the one that the war potentially could be one this year, that victory could happen
That's very ambitious. But it's an important message for Biden, it's an important political message back home for all the leaders that are
supporting Ukraine because it indicates that the war is not without end, that there is ambition and possibility to end it soon. Zelenskyy also,
thank Congress, that's an important message for President Biden to take back as well, because it -- there are concerns among partners that Congress
could be divided and that they won't in the future give Ukraine the support it's had.
And the other message from Zelenskyy was that essentially, Russia should pay. Again, that's an important message that leaders that support Ukraine
can take to their publics. And so, the cost of this is not all going to fall on you. So, thanking the people that he most needs for support, that
the war is not without end and that Russia should pay some. These are very important messages that President Biden's visit has allowed President
Zelenskyy to amplify to all his supporters.
ANDERSON: Yes, that's fascinating. Stay with me. I want to bring Kevin Liptak in who is in Warsaw. President Biden, of course, in key on this
surprise visit today back in -- well, certainly headed for Warsaw in Poland now
Kevin no doubt the U.S. President's visit today as Nic pointed out, shows his personal commitment to supporting Ukraine. The question is, will the
wider support that he has had to date from Congress be harder for the U.S. president to rely on now that that Congress is divided?
KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, I think that's an open question. And certainly, when you talk to White House officials, there
aren't necessarily as concerned as you might think they would be. They make the point that Republican leaders in Congress are very supportive of
Ukraine and remain very supportive. Even as many vocal of Republicans who are in the Congress are talking more about a fatigue.
There was recently a resolution in the American Congress, the fatigue in Ukraine resolution that was supported by about a dozen Republicans. But it
remains to be seen whether that sentiment sort of grows in the Republican Party in the weeks and months ahead. And certainly, one of the reasons
President Biden wanted to come to Ukraine today was to make the point to the American people that this war is not over.
That their support, that American support will still very much be needed as a President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainians continue to wage this fight
against the Russians. And now, one thing that will be interesting dynamic that is going to play out in the United States over the next several months
is the beginning of the Republican presidential primary, because you do see a split in the Republican Party.
There are some Republicans who have encouraged President Biden to go faster with the aid to Ukraine to send things like fighter jets, to send more
power, powerful weapons. And then there is the more isolationist camp of the Republican Party, perhaps heralded by the former President Donald
Trump, who have encouraged the United States to focus on the United States and maybe not spend so much money on a war that's thousands of miles away.
And so, that's a dynamic that the Republicans, as a party will have to sort out. But certainly, what President Biden wants to do is make the point very
prominently, very vocally by showing up in Kyiv today to say that American support is still very much needed as this work continues, Becky.
ANDERSON: Nic, you talk about the message being that there is ambition to end this war very soon. But let's be quite frank about this. There is very
little evidence to suggest that there is any end to this or even that there is any progress towards a roadmap to peace or a conclusion or solution to
this. You've been in at the Munich Security Conference this weekend where Ukraine is absolutely front and center for discussions.
Behind closed doors and amongst those who are not just keenly aware of what's going on, but massively involved that being NATO allies. What's the
atmosphere at this point?
ROBERTSON: Well, I think one just key thing that we heard from President Zelenskyy today plays into that. And he said that with President Biden,
they had talked about longer range weapon systems with weapon systems that may be provided, that haven't been provided until now. And I got the sense
from talking away from the cameras to some of those sort of top -- former top senior military officials who are very much in the loop as to what the
Ukrainians are thinking and to what the NATO military leadership is thinking may be possible.
There are perhaps some might say ambitious plans. But the view would be this, that if Ukraine is given those longer-range weapon systems that can
for example, reach into Crimea, there's no -- there is a political necessity to allow Ukraine to try to retake Crimea to cut off the land
bridge to Crimea that Russia has at the moment because Russia is using Crimea as a -- as a logistics head to help support the war in Ukraine.
So, there actually is a military beyond the sort of political need to retake Crimea. So, there is a real sense that longer-range weapons can play
a significant part in that. Longer range missiles that haven't been committed so far. So, I think that the ambition is a stronger offensive.
And what I'm hearing both when I was watching the Ukrainian forces getting trained in Poland last week, and what I heard from military officials in
the Munich Security conferences that really the Ukrainians are accelerating through their training programs.
That if they can get the tanks and such like in their hands quickly, then offensives that can have significant impact on the battlefield and change
the Russian mindset if these -- if these are significant and swift gains. Can be realistic towards was summer.
And those, if they're swift and fast enough can really have a bearing on the political military thinking in Moscow.
ANDERSON: Nic, thank you. Kevin is in Warsaw in Poland. Nic's reporting from London -- has been in and out of the Ukraine and Moscow, of course.
Over much of the last year, as has seen CNN's chief international correspondent or chief correspondent, Clarissa Ward, who has spent much of
the past year literally on the ground in Ukraine reporting on this war. Clarissa, good to have you with us from Kyiv today.
How are those -- you are speaking to on the ground in the capital marking this anniversary. We are nearly a year into this conflict, described now as
a war of attrition by Jens Stoltenberg, the head of NATO.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: Interestingly, Becky, I don't think that anybody here was planning any big events around the anniversary. But
then the events of today have kind of turned in to some kind of a marking of this moment in the sense that it was such a huge thing for the President
of the United States to come on this unannounced visit. The fact that he was walking around just behind me, going into St. Michael's Church walking
around St. Michael square, laying a wreath at the wall of fallen defenders.
And all of this happening, by the way, today is the day of the heavenly 100 heroes, which is when Ukrainians remember all those activists who were
killed in Maidan Revolution. That, of course, was many years ago. But still, it's a day that is steeped in symbolism. And I think that up until
this point, it has been a tough winter. It has been grim fighting in the east. There have been a huge number of casualties in Bakhmut and other
There have been the difficulties that come with this ruthless Russian campaign targeting civilian infrastructure, a lack of heat, running water,
electricity. And so, I feel like a lot of Ukrainians are grateful to have this moment, this boost to the morale by having this visit, because it's a
visit that they have been asking for for quite some time. It's a visit that frankly, no one was sure was going to happen because of the numerous
The fact that it takes nine or 10 hours on the train to even get to the border. And that it would be so difficult, given the distances and the
length of time to keep it a secret. So, it means all the more. I think people do appreciate that effort. I will say that Kyiv was brought to a
standstill in certain parts of the city because all traffic was completely cut off. And we heard reports from some of our staff that the metros were
overwhelmed because cars were not moving.
And so, people were taking the train to try to get to, to work and to go about their daily business. But you really didn't hear anyone complaining.
And in fact, we were outside talking to people all afternoon who came once they'd heard that President Biden had visited, they were coming they were
taking photographs, they were posing. And there was definitely an air of excitement that this meant to ordinary Ukrainians.
We can do this and we have the support to do this. With one major caveat, as you've just been discussing, which is the continued effort on the part
of Ukraine's leadership to source heavier weaponry, to source long range artillery to get fighter jets as they have been requesting which they fear
are essentially going to be crucial if they are to have a real outright victory on the battlefield, which up until this point, Becky, despite the
success of all these counter offensives remains elusive, Becky.
ANDERSON: Clarissa Ward is on the ground for you. Clarissa, thank you.
Well, China's foreign ministry is deflecting accusations from the U.S. Secretary of State that China has to start providing lethal weapons to
Russia. A spokesperson for the ministry said today that the United States has no place lecturing China on supplying weapons since Washington itself
is supplying a "steady stream of weapons to the battlefield." And things were already tense between the two countries over that suspected Chinese
spy balloon shot down off the U.S. east coast.
Antony Blinken and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi had their first to face -- first face-to-face meetings since the incident on the sidelines of that
Munich Security Conference over the weekend. Let's get you to Washington, D.C. CNN national security reporter Natasha Bertrand is standing by and to
Marc Stewart who is live in Tokyo. Stand by, Marc. Natasha, what evidence is Secretary Blinken talking about it?
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Becky. Well, the U.S. has not released this evidence yet. Secretary Blinken did hint that that
evidence could come soon, of this kind of consideration by the Chinese to provide legal support to the Russians. But this is something that the U.S.
has been tracking for quite some time now. Just after the war began, last February, the U.S. saw signs that the Chinese were considering yet again
providing lethal weaponry to the Russians in support of their operation in Ukraine.
But the U.S. came up very strongly against that at the time in warn China, both publicly and privately of the consequences of them doing that. And the
U.S. believed that that caused the Chinese to kind of back off a little bit not wanting to be seen as a kind of pariah on the world stage. Well, now
something has kind of shifted, and we don't know exactly what that is, but the U.S. has, it has evidence that there are discussions underway and
Chinese leadership to go further than non-lethal equipment that the U.S. has seen some Chinese companies providing to Russia and actually provide
lethal equipment, like weaponry.
We did report last month that the U.S. has been reaching out privately to Beijing over the last several weeks and months to gauge whether they are
aware that Chinese companies have been sending non-lethal equipment, like flak jackets and helmets, for example, satellite imagery to Russians for
use on the battlefield in Ukraine. And the U.S. said that they didn't see any signs as of yet that the Chinese government was aware or implicit -- or
complicit in that.
But now we are seeing a shift, interestingly, where the U.S. is saying publicly yet again, that there are going to be grave consequences,
including sanctions if the Chinese move forward and provide and take that dramatic step and start actually providing weapons to Ukraine to use on the
battlefield in Ukraine, Becky.
ANDERSON: Marc, let me bring you in. The perspective from Beijing at this point is very, very different. Explain.
MARC STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The perspective from Beijing quite frankly, is very defined almost dismissive, Becky. The Foreign
Ministry is not taking these allegations by the U.S. very kindly and it is fighting back with some very strong verbal lobs. Let me read you just one
sentence from a briefing today in Beijing from a foreign ministry spokesperson who said, "Who is calling for dialogue and peace, and who is
handing out knives and encouraging confrontation."
Beijing, again, very defiant against the United States, in fact, is making great lengths to portray itself as a peacemaker, someone who wants to
encourage diplomatic talks. So, don't expect Beijing to sway from this position, as we have seen with the balloon incident, as we've seen with
others. Once it makes a statement, once it takes a position, it is -- it's very steadfast to that. And this at this point, Becky, at least seems to be
ANDERSON: To both of you, thank you.
All right. More coming up next hour. Still come this hour, reporting controversy why our judicial reform bill in Israel is raising huge concerns
and arcing these protests.
Plus, the U.S. Secretary of State's visited Turkey as that country recovers from the devastating earthquake. What he discussed in a meeting with the
Turkey's president, that after this.
ANDERSON: To Israel where the government of Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing ahead with a controversial bill to overhaul the judicial system there. That
will give parliament the ability to overturn Supreme Court rulings and appoint judges. Something that couldn't say the prime minister could use to
help his own ongoing corruption trial. Demonstrators in Jerusalem turned out around the Supreme Court and the Knesset. Some even making comparisons
to The Handmaid's Tale. Hadas Gold has more.
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Becky, this is the road that leads not only in front of the Israeli Supreme Court, but ends at the Israeli
parliament, the Knesset, and that's where these thousands of protesters are heading because today is the day that this bill on these judicial reforms
will get its first full vote in front of the Israeli parliament. It takes three readings before a bill becomes a law here.
But for many of these protesters, they feel as though it's a now or never a moment. The people around me are chanting things like democracy. They're
chanting things like Israel is not a dictatorship. There are signs that say SOS, save our state. The protests actually began in the early morning with
a children's protests across the country as well as protests in Tel Aviv, some of which even blocked the highway.
Other protesters even end up in front of the houses of members of parliament, an act that was denounced by both opposition and coalition
Meanwhile, there are counter protesters here. They're a smaller group, but they support these judicial reforms. They say that they are much needed a
way to rebalance the power between the branches of government saying this is what the people voted for in those November elections that brought
Benjamin Netanyahu back into power.
But meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu and his government are facing some outside pressure as well. The American ambassador in Israel recently
calling on the Israeli government to pump the brakes to slow down the legislative process in order to give a chance for negotiations between the
sides to play out. So far, we aren't getting any indication from Benjamin Netanyahu or the Israeli government that they plan to do so.
Benjamin Netanyahu, giving a speech yesterday saying that Israeli democracy will be safeguarded and civil liberties will be safeguarded by the Israeli
President Isaac Herzog saying that he has been in intense talks in recent days with all the different parties. All the different political leaders.
And he actually believes that in the coming days, they could come to some sort of consensus. Becky?
ANDERSON: Hadas Gold on the ground for you. Let's -- Hadas. To Turkey now where U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken sat down with President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan, a day after touring earthquake-stricken areas. During their meeting, Antony Blinken pledged to help Turkey for as long as it takes
during the recovery effort. They also discussed support for Ukraine.
The death toll from that devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria two weeks ago now tops 47,000. Well, I want to get straight to southern
Turkey and to Nada Bashir. She's in a Adana for you. I mean, clearly the support for Ukraine was, you know, a topic of conversation. But this has to
have been mostly focused on the ongoing efforts now to -- of recovery and indeed, relief at this point.
And the U.S. Secretary of State clearly there to show support for Turkey and the people of Turkey, Nada.
NADA BASHIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: Yes, absolutely, Becky. In fact, over the weekend, we saw Secretary Blinken touring some of those areas
hardest hit alongside his Turkish counterpart. He also visited the U.S. rescue teams who flew in to Turkey to support in that search and rescue
effort. And the message from Secretary Blinken was very clear. The United States will stand behind Turkey as long as it takes not just through the
search and rescue effort, not just through the humanitarian response effort, but also through the rebuilding effort.
And that is something that it's going to that's going to take months if not years to come and, of course, we have seen an outpouring of international
support. The United States pledging and total around $185 million with Turkey and northwest Syria to support that humanitarian relief effort.
The United Nations now appealing for $1 billion in aid to Turkey as well as nearly $400 million in aid northwest Syria. But this is going to take a
long, long time. And this is a long road ahead with Turkey and northwest Syria to rebuild. And we have to remember that the scale of the destruction
is immense. We are talking about thousands and thousands of families who have had their homes destroyed, their lives lost.
And of course, they own need of dire humanitarian support. And we were actually able to meet with some of those families who have been evacuated
from southeast Turkey to Istanbul, including children who have been separated from their loved ones, even those who have lost their parents.
Take a look.
BASHIR: Their laughter hides their loss. Pulled from the rubble, their parents still missing. The identities of some, a mystery.
This orphanage has become home to some of Turkey's youngest earthquake survivors. Authority say, the search for living relatives continues. But
some of these children are believed to have lost everyone.
MERVE BAS, GENERAL MANAGER OF THE CHILD SERVICES UNIT, ISTANBUL'S PROVINCIAL DIRECTORATE OF FAMILY AND SOCIAL SERVICES (through translator):
When we first received these children, we observed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. The children were very fragile. So, as well as providing
shelter and security to these kids, we also began providing psychosocial support.
BASHIR: The devastation wrought by the earthquake has left countless children orphaned or separated from their loved ones. And one authority say
they're so far managed to reunite more than 900 children with their families. Many are still waiting to be processed. And NGO's fear that
millions could be at risk of acute psychological distress.
OBEN CUBAN, TURKEY SPOKESPERSON, SAVE THE CHILDREN: They already have their loved ones lost. They already have their homes lost. They already have
their schools lost. All schools exactly are gone. But if they also lose their hopes, that means loss of generations.
BASHIR: That loss is all too familiar to this Syrian family. Three generations now temporarily hosted in this small one bed apartment in
Istanbul. Their home in Antakya. Now a mountain of rubble. 26-year-old Raghad says she was the first to wake when the earthquake struck. Pulling
her mother and four sisters to safety just moments before their home collapsed.
RAGHAD, EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR: When the earthquake happened, I think (INAUDIBLE)
BASHIR (on camera): Judgement Day.
RAGHAD: Yes. There is a very -- a very big sound that it's not going out from my head. Every time it's here.
BASHIR: You still hear it.
BASHIR (voice over): But this is not the first time Raghad and her family have faced a tragedy of this magnitude. Originally from the Syrian city of
Homs, the constant barrage of airstrikes forced the family to flee their home in 2014. But having her life upended by catastrophe, time and time
again has taken its toll on Raghad's mental health.
RAGHAD: That's not my first time I get a life from a war or something. But every time I said why, and now I'm asking myself why? Why am I life? Maybe
it was easy if I am in.
BASHIR (on camera): Easier than going through this.
RAGHAD: Yes. Because it's not my first time that I'm start from zero.
BASHIR (voice over): Starting from zero for these children may not be as challenging. It's a catastrophe they are simply too young to understand.
But just like Raghad and her family, their lives have been changed forever by the earthquake.
ANDERSON: Nada Bashir reporting.
Well, later on the show. Ukraine's president says Russia is suffering major losses on the Eastern front. More on that and the American president's
surprise visit to Kyiv.
Also ahead, North Korea fires off to ballistic missiles and issues a warning to Washington. The report on Pyongyang's latest moves after this.
ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. You're watching CONNECT WORLD. Welcome back. North Korea has launched two more ballistic missiles into the
sea off the eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula. This is the latest in a series of missile tests. And Kim Jong-un's sister is warning of more or
less the U.S., she says, holt's military drills with South Korea. Paula Hancocks has the very latest for you from Seoul.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has been a busy few days on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea on Saturday launching a significant missile.
On Sunday and Monday, we have seen tit-for-tat retaliation from both sides, North Korea and also the U.S. and South Korea on the other side. So, what
we saw on Saturday, Pyongyang admitted a day later was an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Now these -- they claim can hit mainland United States. And they are the ones that do concern Washington. We heard from Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un's
sister that this actually shows that they have missile reentry technology. Now it's very difficult to know if that is in fact the case. But that is
what Pyongyang is claiming at this point. So, what we saw on Sunday then just one day later, was a concerted show of force by the U.S. and South
Korean Air Force -- Air Forces.
They flew sorties over the Korean Peninsula, including at least one B1 bomber escorted by South Korean fighter jets. And then in response to that,
we saw this morning, this Monday morning from Pyongyang two launches. Now they say that it was a super large multiple rocket launcher exercise in
retaliation for what they saw the day before. So, this is really a latest cycle of tit-for-tat retaliation but certainly the Saturday launch was the
But we're not expecting the tensions or this tit-for-tat retaliation to diminish anytime soon because Pyongyang says it is doing so because the
U.S. and South Korea are carrying out joint military drills. And if they continue to do that, then they will continue to respond. Now we know that
this week at the Pentagon, there will be a nuclear tabletop drill between the U.S. and South Korea.
And then next month there will be a larger joint military drill between the two countries.
Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
ANDERSON: U.S. President Joe Biden headed to Poland having departed Kyiv a few hours ago on a high stakes surprise visit. We are learning more about
what went into the planning of that visit, including that it was the culmination of months of work by tiny handful of Mr. Biden's top aides. The
President announced an additional half a billion dollars of assistance to Kyiv in Ukraine, including more ammunition and weapons.
The U.S. President also announced more sanctions will be imposed on Moscow. Our senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen is there. And what has
been the reaction in Moscow by the Kremlin to all of this, Fred?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's been a manifold if you will reaction to all this. So far, we haven't
actually directly heard from the Kremlin. Seems to us as though right now the Kremlin itself is sort of trying to stay silent because Vladimir Putin
is about to give a really important speech here tomorrow. And it seems as though they don't want to really interfere or be too loud -- in the run up
However, there have of course been big reactions here in Moscow. This is all over Kremlin-controlled media, state-controlled media, a lot of
commentators playing in as well. And of course, also politicians like, for instance, the former President Dmitry Medvedev, who came out a couple of
minutes ago essentially dismissed this visit. But one of the interesting things that he was playing on is that apparently the United States had
informed the Russians before President Biden came to Kyiv and he's essentially saying that to President Biden got security guarantees from
Vladimir Putin before being able to come to Kyiv.
So, there's some commentators here in Moscow who are playing on that who are saying that essentially President Biden was in Kyiv of at the mercy of
Vladimir Putin. But there's also others, Becky, who are quite angry at all of this, who say that Vladimir Putin should never have allowed this to
happen, especially some hardline military bloggers who are -- have become quite prominent during the war here in Ukraine.
But essentially, Becky, what we're hearing from the Russians is that they believe that this is something that could escalate things. They say that
President Biden being and key of shows that the United States is a part of this conflict. That, of course, is something that the U.S. says is not the
case. They are saying that they are supporting Ukraine with weapons but are not party to the war itself.
And of course, the way that the Russians have been portraying this, especially in the wake of some of the issues that they've had on the
battlefield, not making very much progress in the last couple of months suffering some defeats is they're trying to frame this as it being Russia,
against the West. Russia against NATO and that's certainly something that we've been hearing from Vladimir Putin and others as well, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes. Fred is in Moscow for you. Folks, thank you. Well, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that Russian troops are suffering major
losses on the eastern front as they try to gain ground and momentum with a new offensive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENSKYY (through translator): We are breaking down the invaders and inflicting extraordinarily significant losses on Russia. I repeat again and
again. The more losses Russia suffers there in Donbas, in Bakhmut, Vuhledar, Marinka, Kreminna, the faster we will be able to end this war
with Ukraine's victory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: CNN's Senior National Security Correspondent Alex Marquardt is in Kyiv with more. Alex, Vuhledar, it's a town in eastern Ukraine considered
so strategic. Why?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a name, Becky, that I don't think many of our viewers will have heard of yet,
but they will a lot in the coming days and weeks. This is one of the main axes of Russia's new offensive that they have just started the beginning
stages of mounting. Now it must be said that it is not going very well, particularly around Vuhledar.
We heard -- President Zelenskyy heard a little bit of -- a little bit there. He has said that extremely tangible losses have been inflicted on
the Russians. And that is true. They have not been able to advance they have suffered immense losses both according to Ukrainian and Western
officials, as well as along several other fronts, including Marinka, Kreminna and Bakhmut.
So, these four towns essentially make up the four axes of where Russia is trying to push forward in this new offensive. But to answer your question,
Vuhledar is interesting because Becky, we often talk about the southern front and the eastern front. That is where Russia has made the most
progress. Vuhledar is essentially where those two fronts meet. So, Russia is trying to press forward to essentially try to take up more territory in
the southeastern part of the country, more territory in Donbas which, of course has been the major focus of the Russians over the past few months.
Now, a bit farther north in Bakhmut, that is where the fiercest fighting has been over the past few months. Immense losses on both sides. It is seen
primarily as a symbolic fight rather than strategic. The Russians know that if they were able to take the city and they have managed to make
incremental gains, that it would be a symbolic victory, particularly around this first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
They likely would not be able to get too much farther because the Russian - - the Ukrainians are dug in just west of Bakhmut. So, this area, those four areas are where Russia is pushing forward in its offensive. At the same
time Becky, we do expect to see a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the coming weeks as well as they try to claw back territory in the second year of the
ANDERSON: Yes. Thank you. One year anniversary for this board towards the end (INAUDIBLE)
Still ahead. In for the win. Man United proves why so many buyers want to own the English Premier League Club.
ANDERSON: Instagram and Facebook users will soon have the chance to get their accounts verified for a fee. Meta testing out a subscription service
that would allow users to pay to get their identities confirmed with a checkmark. Mark Zuckerberg announced the plan on Instagram and on Facebook
saying the cost will start at around $12.00 a month. The company will start offering the service in Australia and New Zealand this week with more
countries to follow.
Well, there is an awful lot of talk about Manchester United both about their performance on and off the pitch. The Premier League Club is the
object of quite a few bids at present. Amongst them are Qatar and one man by the name is Jim Ratcliffe. World Sport anchor Amanda Davies joining me
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Potential buyers but you equally wonder what impact it will have on the view of the Glazer family who haven't
definitively said they are going to sell Manchester United. You might remember they said back in November, they were exploring their strategic
options. But yes, it is going much better for United on the pitch that it has in a very long time.
That three-nil victory over less -- the latest in a run of sensational form in the Premier League. There's really seeing the ramp up the pressure on
the -- their title rivals. I mean, a few months ago, you'd never have referred to Manchester United as title contenders, but people are putting
them in that bracket in the Premier League giving Manchester City and Arsenal a run for their money.
There's that huge Europa League knockout crash against Barcelona taking place on Thursday, and then a trip to Wembley against Newcastle for the
League Cup final on Sunday. And all of that playing out against this backdrop of what we now know as two official public bids to buy Manchester
United from the Glazer family.
Yes, one from the British petrochemical billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, the other from Qatari banker, the owner of the QIB Bank that you know well
Becky. Sheikh Jassim being hammered out thorny. All of them using the right buzzwords, the likes of debt, free investment, fun and community engagement
but it's fascinating to see how things will unfold over the next couple of weeks.
ANDERSON: Both who profess to be huge Man United fans, one of whom has been a Man United fan all his life and that is Ratcliffe as far as I can tell.
That's great. I'm sure you will talk more on World Sport about why it is that we are talking about Man United being contenders once again. It's not
just months, it's years since. I really remember being in a position like this. World Sport is coming up after this short break.