Return to Transcripts main page
Connect the World
Netanyahu Praises Israeli Military Raid in Nablus; "Body Collector" Returns Soldiers' Remains to Families; Several Crisis will Drive Millions to Polls in Crucial Vote; EU Banks TikTok App for Some Staff; Putin Makes Appearance at Patriotic Rally in Moscow; Paul McCartney Rolling Stones Team up on new Album. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired February 23, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST: I am Becky Anderson. Welcome back to "Connect the World" wherever you are watching. Israel's Prime Minister is defending
his military's raid in Nablus on Wednesday one of the deadliest in the West Bank in the years.
The UN's envoy for the region calls the deaths of civilians appalling. Raid happening in broad daylight 11 Palestinians were killed the IDF says it
targeted three suspected militants, including one accused of killing an Israeli soldier. How it all unfolded is eliciting new outrage from
Palestinians? They say Israel used rooftop snipers and dropped tear gas from a drone. Palestinians report nearly 500 injuries.
Well, earlier today, Israel launched airstrikes in Gaza following a rocket attack. Israel's military says that a Hamas weapons manufacturing site and
military compound were hit. Hadas Gold back with us this hour from Jerusalem. We spoke yesterday as this news was just coming into CNN 24
hours on what's the situation?
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, we actually had teams in Nablus earlier today and they said that the aftermath just essentially
looked like a warzone especially in the old City of Nablus where this took place.
This is a very crowded area, you know, narrow alleyways, old houses, everything is very tightly packed together. And the images that we're
seeing just show bullet holes, in many places and doors along the walls, there seems to be rubble in a lot of places.
The team also went into the actual house where these militants were holed up, and they said that they not only saw things like blood on the ground,
but they also saw the casings of what look like some sort of explosive.
Now the Israeli military said that when they came to the house where the militants were holed up, and they were trying to get them to turn
themselves in a firefight ensued. They did at some point, fire shoulder fired missiles towards the house. We also know that the battle sort of went
spread out into the streets surrounding the house.
The Israeli military say they came under fire from other people that were on the street. They say gunman approach them, and they were also and we can
see videos from this people on the streets, especially young men throwing things like rocks and Molotov cocktails at them.
But the just extent of the damage and of the injuries 11 Palestinians killed more than hundreds injured at least hundreds of them by live
ammunition. And also while we know that militants were among those killed, we also know that it's likely some bystanders were killed as well.
There's some disturbing video we've been seeing of what seems to be people running away. One of them is then shot and doesn't seem to get back up.
We're not quite sure about the status of that person of their health.
We're also hearing from the Director of the Red Crescent in Nablus. He said people who were unarmed and even away from the Old City were also shot. He
says bullets were everywhere. We still can't believe what we were witnessing.
Then, of course, in the aftermath of all this, we have those rockets in the evening from Gaza towards Israel. This is something that we were expecting
because a member of Hamas and Islamic Jihad commanders were among those killed in the militant factions in Gaza said that they were going to
respond, and then Israel responding with airstrikes.
But we have no reports of any injuries or casualties from those and much of the focus right now is still on the West Bank. The UN's Middle East Envoy,
as you noted, called it appalling when it came to the loss of civilian life saying that he is doing his best to be engaged with all sides. And we
actually do know that he went to Gaza earlier today ostensibly to meet with members of Hamas.
Now meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defending the Israeli military saying that they went in there to prevent an imminent
attack by these militants saying that Israel will always settle scores. And when he specifically talking about the rockets, he said we have a clear
policy he says to strike it terrorism forcefully and to deepen our roots in our land.
In response to the firing of rockets at our territory idea fighter jets attacked Hamas terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip this morning. I think
it's really interesting when he says talks about deepening our roots in our land, especially when you think about where this operation took place
yesterday in the occupied West Bank in Nablus.
Keep in mind, of course, the internal politics happening here Netanyahu leading the most far right government in Israeli history. And important
members of his coalition are settlers themselves who have been pushing for harsher and bigger action against Palestinian militants in the West Bank.
A lot of tension of course right now, fears about what could come next. Whether that might be more action, more activity from Gaza, further
potentially attacks from Palestinians against Israelis and of course, further potential military operations in the West Bank, Becky.
ANDERSON: Hadas Gold out of Jerusalem for you. Well, the time is just after six o'clock in evening. Well, across Ukraine, towns and cities are beefing
up security and bracing for unexpected escalation in attacks. That is because Russia's full scale invasion of the country will be one year old in
less than 24 hours.
Ukraine's neighbor to the west Moldova is feeling its own pressure from the war. The Former Soviet Republic is dismissing accusations from Moscow that
Kyiv is "Preparing an armed provocation against Moldova's pro-Russian region of Transnistria".
Well, CNN's Melissa Bell covering this for us she is live from the Ukrainian Capital of Kyiv. And I wonder whether this follows a pattern by
Mr. Putin in Former Soviet Republics. Certainly that could be the narrative here. What do we know at this point? What more are we learning?
MELISSA BELL, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we know for the time being is that on one hand, the Russian Ministry of Defense Becky
is accusing Kyiv of preparing some kind of operation that would justify an intervention in that breakaway part of Moldova Transnistria window.
That Moldova for its part has denied that any such thing is happening. And you're quite right. This really does follow a playbook. In fact, the
playbook that you refer to Becky was born in Moldova that country that was born of in the Soviet Union.
And that when the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 90s, sort of Moldova nationalism that led to this tiny strip of land, and I think it's
significant to look at a map to understand exactly where Transnistria is announcing its independence.
Now that hasn't been recognized by the international community. And yet that tiny strip of land that exists between Moldova and Ukraine maintains
its sense of independence. It argues that it is an independent part of the country. It has the presence of Russian troops inside it that very
playbook, which was essentially mulled over at the end of the Soviet Union turning towards NATO, turning towards the European Union, the fans of
Moldova, nationalism being reemerging, really seen as a threat by Moscow.
And that stoking of an independent breakaway Republic that playbook playing out again in 2008, in Georgia, with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and of
course, here in Ukraine in 2014, and you'll remember, Becky.
That war that we're marking the anniversary of tomorrow began in the run up to it those crucial weeks in the run up to February 2022. It was Russian
claims that in the Donbas there might be provocation on the part of Ukraine to justify an invasion fear of false flag operations on the American and
Western side and by Kyiv.
And this kind of story is once again playing out in Moldova fears of false flag operation and fears that there are Russian troops present in that
breakaway part of Moldova might be used in trying to stoke some kind of new front.
Now, what we have seen over the course of the last year is a series of fairly small scale attacks in Transnistria, that have been blamed on
Russian separatists or Russian backed elements. There is no reason for Moldova to want to open a conflict there turning as it has to the EU with
its candidacy status that is now achieved.
And there is simply no reason for Ukraine to want to open another front. The fear has been very much this could be used by Moscow as another way to
cause trouble in that part of the country, Becky.
ANDERSON: We're a year into this war described as a grinding war of attrition by the Head of NATO. You're in Kyiv that's the Capital of
Ukraine, what is the mood there? How would you describe it?
BELL: I would say watch will vigilance, Becky. There are doubts, of course in the wider international community about Moscow's ability at this stage
to really up the pressure militarily on Ukraine at a time when Ukraine Becky of course, we've seen has improved its defense systems thanks to
Russian, both manpower and firepower and its ability to coordinate such things appears to have deteriorated over the course of the last year.
Analysts doubt whether anything large scale can be mounted.
And yet Ukraine has been consistent in the last few weeks in warning that they expect some kind of symbolic action. So you're quite right measures
being taken in the Kherson region measures being taken in the Kharkiv region to try and protect civilians about what match against what might
But it is specifically of course in the Donbas and specifically Becky around the time of Bakhmut that we've seen over the course of the last few
weeks that increased firepower increased manpower on the part of Moscow.
BELL: What we saw there today was the presence of Yevgeni Prigozhin who you'll remember the Head of the Wagner Mercenary Group has been so key so
critical to Russia making those small advances around the City of Bakhmut even as it tries, according to Ukrainian authorities to achieve its
strategic ambition of taking the whole of Donbas by the end of March or April.
He there today to show once against the presence of Wagner and claiming that the ammunition he'd been demanding for his men in open conflict,
verbal conflict with the Russian MOD was now on its way to the region. For the time being Ukraine holding firm though, in its attempt to prevent
Bakhmut being an important symbolic capture for Russia, as we head into this grim anniversary, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, and more this week on where we are at where this goes next and the impact it has had not just on Ukrainians, but that has been
swinging loss of life, destruction of towns and cities? But the impact it's had outside of Ukraine's borders of course important to remember as well.
Thank you very much indeed. Melissa Bell is in Kyiv in Ukraine for you.
It is a grim milestone, isn't it? An estimated 100,000 Ukrainian troops have been wounded or killed in Russia's war. But a small group of Ukrainian
volunteers have been risking their lives to ease the pain for grieving families just a little. They collect the bodies of the fallen get them home
for a final goodbye. CNN's Clarissa Ward went to meet one of those volunteers have a look.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): On most days, Oleg Repnoy (ph) sets out before dawn. Part of a volunteer group
called bulldozer that transports the remains of Ukraine's fallen soldiers back to their families.
At a morgue in the Kyiv suburb of burial, a group of servicemen are waiting to meet the body of private Alexei lead funnel. Its somber work and the men
move quickly. Deploy hands over the soldier's personal effects. At the moment we have 18 bodies he tells us and each family wants to get them as
soon as possible.
WARD (on camera): So why do you do this work?
WARD (voice over): Few people are willing to do this work for free, he says. Not everyone has the psyche for it. They are lonely seemingly endless
hours on the road as he crisscrosses the country. Emblazoned across the side of his truck is the number 200. A military term for the transport of
dead bodies the dates back to Soviet time.
On occasion processions of people line up on their knees to greet the truck mark of respect for the dead. At a morgue in the City of Dnipro, Repnoy
stops to pick up more bodies overwhelmed by the number of casualties. The hospital has taken to storing them in a shipping container in the parking
lot as the men work mourning relatives file past.
Ukraine does not release information on how many of its soldiers have been killed in action. But Repnoy says that his daily load has soared in recent
weeks, as fighting has raged in Eastern Ukraine.
WARD (on camera): Do you have any idea how many bodies you have taken back to their hometowns at this stage?
WARD (voice over): In this van, he says around 1000.
WARD (on camera): And now we're at a stage in the war where more and more Ukrainian soldiers are being killed. Are you seeing that?
WARD (voice over): At the moment, yes, he tells us. Right now it's a large amount. 36 hours after Repnoy drops off his body, private Litvinov is given
a proper funeral in - killed in the Donbas region on February 11th his mother Marina can finally say goodbye to her son.
WARD (on camera): How important was it to you to have his body returned so that you could give him this beautiful funeral today?
WARD (voice over): The main thing is to have him at home not lying somewhere eaten by birds. You understand how awful it is when people just
disappear, she says. We cannot change anything, but thank God he is here and I can come to visit him. This is the reason Repnoy does this work but
seeing the family's grief is also incredibly painful.
WARD (voice over): The hardest part is when you drop them off him says when there are relatives present to look them in the eye. It's very hard, he
says. There's so much emotion, so many tears. But there's no time for tears tonight. Repnoy still has more bodies to deliver. And across Ukraine, many
families are still waiting. Clarissa Ward, CNN, Ukraine.
ANDERSON: A man who worked for Vladimir Putin for years has said he believes the Russian leader has no plan B for Ukraine. I'll talk with
Putin's Former Speechwriter up next. Plus a record number of Nigerians are preparing to vote in the biggest election on the African Continent. We'll
tell you what is at stake later this hour.
ANDERSON: Today is the last chance for Nigeria's Presidential hopefuls to make their cases to voters. On Saturday Africa's most populous nation will
elect a new president. Well, more than 93 million Nigerians are registered to vote that is a record number and the stakes couldn't be higher.
This election will be shaped by insecurity by high unemployment and the fact that many of the country's young are leaving for better opportunities
elsewhere. Well, a political shift is certain current President Muhammadu Buhari has reached his two term limit 18 candidates are running to take his
place. Look at the front runners for you.
As follows the Labor Party's Peter galvanized the country's youth. He is aiming to break what is otherwise a two party system on Nigerian politics.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling all progressives Congress is one of Nigeria's wealthiest politicians and a political powerhouse.
But he's been accused of corruption and he's 70 years old, which has sparked questions about his health. Meanwhile, 76-year-old Former Vice
President Atiku Abubakar of the Opposition People's Democratic Party has also been dogged by allegations of corruption.
Both he and Tinubu deny any wrongdoing. Abubakar touts his experience as a top tier leader, but he has unsuccessfully run for president five times.
Well, Saturday's vote will be the largest democratic exercise on the African Continent and the world will be watching.
ANDERSON: Larry Madowo joining me now from Lagos. Larry, just lay out if you will what is at stake here?
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, this is an election of superlatives for a country of superlatives, it's Africa's largest election. Because of
the number you mentioned 93 million registered voters that are more than the total number of registered voters in the next 14 West African countries
combined. It's Africa's largest population, fastest growing population.
But also, in this election for the first time since the return to multiparty rule in 1999, the current all the candidates, none of them is a
military ruler or a former military ruler and so, one of the three men could likely win. Atiku Abubakar like you mentioned Bola Tinubu or Peter
Obi will be even though they're 18 presidential candidates.
And Nigeria has a lot of problems. Four out of 10 people here live below the poverty line. Inflation is an 80 year high, nearly 22 percent. The
economy is on the verge of crumbling, and many people that don't see many options available to them. That is why a word has become popular here. It's
It means to run or flee. And as many Nigerians as can leave the country because of the litany of problems that they face. And in recent times, a
new fuel shortage and cash shortage has exacerbated the problems in the country. A good example is today I went to a barber shop trying to get my
And because they don't accept international cards, and I can't get actual Naira notes, I had to call our photo journalist for her to send some money
to the bank account of the salon so I could get my hair cut. And for the people who don't have those connections, you just even though you have
money, you can't do anything. And that is why you see so many people eager to leave, watch.
MADOWO (voice over): It's become a social media trend. Nigerians fleeing the country and filming as they relocate for greener pastures abroad, Adua
Yeni is packing up his house in Lagos, getting ready for his flight to the UK in a few days to start a new job and a new life. It's called Japa, a -
word meaningfully that has become the shorthand for the exodus out of Nigeria.
ADUA YENI, NIGERIAN EMIGRANT: I am Japa and live in the country like we say because of the opportunities that are available to me abroad. I am going
there to have a better life, better economy for my family.
MADOWO (voice over): Nearly 70 percent of Nigerians would relocate out of the country if given the chance at 2022 survey by the Africa Pauling
MADOWO: What frustrates you most about living in Nigeria?
YENI: Are you sure you want to answer that question?
MADOWO: I do
YENI: Because there are a lot of things that frustrated me starting with the most basic of all power supply.
MADOWO (voice over): Many Nigerians fed up with erratic power supply. The high cost of living, insecurity and persistent corruption are emigrating
mostly to Europe and North America. Japa is part of popular culture In Nigeria, because almost everyone knows someone who's leaving or has left.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And when did Japa, did they say good life? They say the good life, they say the good work, good everything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a family. Where are they? My family school in America because of security.
MADOWO (voice over): The Peace Corps twins hope Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi was promised to tackle the brain drain and turn things
around. But everyone is running on radical change to revive a deeply broken Nigeria, even the incumbent party.
MADOWO: At this rally for the ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu, you can see why the campaign's messaging resonates, offering renewed hope for
Nigeria and promising to fix the economy and secure the country.
MADOWO (voice over): New beats and an old song perhaps but it's still popular among his supporters, if not all of a weary population.
TITUS NWAFOR, BUS DRIVER: People suffered, there's no money, there's no food--
MADOWO (voice over): Those who can survive are migrating out of Nigeria. The number of worker visas in the UK issued to Nigerians jumped almost 400
percent in just two years according to official data. Nigeria was the fifth largest source of immigrants to Canada in 2021 moving up eight places in
just five years.
About 50 doctors resettle out of the country every week, the Nigerian Medical Association says. In fact, the health sector is losing nurses,
pharmacists and other professionals in record numbers.
DR. KEMI ABILOYE, PRESIDENT, LAGOS ASSOCIATION OF RESIDENT DOCTORS: If nothing is done to reduce the rate at which people, doctors, medical
professionals, healthcare workers are leaving the shores of this country, it's just a matter of years. I'm not sure whether any doctor will be left
in this country.
MADOWO (voice over): But most people in Africa's most populous nation can't leave. They can only hope that Nigeria's next leader will make it worth
MADOWO: Those who are leaving are many middle-class well-educated people who have decent jobs here. But why are they leaving? Because they say
Nigeria will happen to you. That means that even your money cannot insulate you from some of the systemic challenges that exist as part of living here,
blackouts, corruption, insecurity, kidnappings all of that.
MADOWO: And that's why those who can decide to leave. In fact, one joke Becky that says the Nigerian dream is to love Nigeria from abroad from
Canada from the UK from elsewhere. But as long as you live here, you are part and parcel of the many different challenges here.
ANDERSON: Elections this weekend. Thank you, sir. On our radar right now and U.S, First Lady Jill Biden is in Namibia. Biden Administration
officials says she's there to reaffirm the U.S. government's investments in Africa and to help empower women and young people Jill next head to Kenya
to draw attention to that country's diet food crisis.
Well, the death toll from this month's massive earthquake has now surpassed 49,000 people in both Turkey and in Syria. Many of those who survived are
now homeless. The Turkish president has promised to rebuild housing within a year but the UN's relief chief says he's expecting the shelter situation
to get worse.
And in Northern Ireland, three men have been arrested after a Detective Chief Inspector was shot multiple times and wounded, it happened in public
at a sports complex in front of the detective's son. Authorities say their investigation is focused on a group called the new Ira.
Well, shooting rampage near Orlando, Florida has left three people dead including a child and a TV journalist. Police have a 19-year-old suspect in
custody. They say he shot and killed a woman on Wednesday. A few hours later they believe he killed a reporter covering that shooting then shot a
nine-year-old girl and her mother in their home nearby. The girl later passed away. And CNN's Leyla Santiago is in Orlando. Do police have any
idea about a motive at this point?
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, Becky, that's the big question. I mean, listen, it is really hard to make sense of everything that led up to
where we are right now. As you mentioned, a nine-year-old was shot and killed, another woman was shot and killed and the mother of that nine-year-
old is still said to be in critical condition.
Then you have that news team that was also shot and injured the reporter died. And just in the last half hour, Becky we got an update that the
photographer has now been upgraded from critical condition to stable condition. So, seeing some improvement for the photographer, that was hurt
in that shooting.
That's good news, and certainly welcomed among us journalists here that have been covering that. But let's step back and talk about how exactly we
got here. Yesterday right around 11 o'clock in the morning, deputies received a call that a woman had been shot in a car, the reporter of the
news team went out to cover them. And about five hours later, they were shot, the reporter died.
Then the suspect went to a home, shot a mother and her nine-year-old daughter that nine-year-old died. But in looking at the motive here that
remains the big question the sheriff saying during a press conference that he doesn't know if the news team was actually targeted, still a lot of
But that suspect was a 19-year-old by the name of Keith Melvin Moses. And I will tell you I actually just spoke to a woman who helped him process
paperwork when he needed a bail bondsman related to a drug charge stemming from two years ago.
And she said, look, when I saw his photo on the news, I instantly went back to that moment and she remembered him as being rude and disrespectful in
that moment that she felt uncomfortable. So still a lot of questions as to the motive and what led up to this and lots to learn about those involved
ANDERSON: What do we know about the victim?
SANTIAGO: Well, the victim was a 24-year-old. His name was Dylan Lyons. We're talking about the reporter he was described as motivated and a
talented professional, who was living his dream in Orlando. But again, 24 years old, so a very young reporter, doing his job that nine-year-old, also
someone that we're looking to learn more about, again, the mother survived at last check still in critical condition.
And then as well as the first shooting victim who was a woman that we're trying to learn more about, but you know, none of it, none of it makes
ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Leyla Santiago on the story, thank you very much indeed. Ahead Vladimir Putin seeks to rally support for what he calls his
special military operation in Ukraine. Few people may know him as well. As my next his guests I'll talk with his former speechwriter up next plus,
another setback for TikTok the EU now telling some of its staff to delete the app why? Well, more on that after this.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson. Wagner mercenary group has been filmed in a location close to the
Ukrainian city of Bakhmut along with his fighters. The mercenaries have been attempting to close in on Bakhmut mode for a couple of weeks.
This video released by the Wagner group itself on telegram. And it comes after the group's boss said that ammunition is now on its way, that after
complaining that some of his fighters died due to a lack of supplies from Moscow. Well as Ukraine braces for more attacks on the eve of the wars one
year mark, Vladimir Putin is working to solidify support inside of Russia.
And he made use of a militaristic pep rally to essentially sell the conflict as a crusade that will necessitate sacrifices by the Russian
people. He said this is a conflict because Russia faces an existential threat. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Moscow with more on that.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: There is a battle going on for our historical borders for our people. It is led by the same courageous
fighters who are standing here. They fight heroically courageously bravely. We are proud of them. Three cheers in their honor.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The concert in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on the eve of the one-year anniversary
of the war in Ukraine with Putin himself, leading the rallying call. For those attending, patriotism is the main message.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I adore Vladimir Vladimirovich; I'm prepared to support him with everything I've got.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole of Europe and the West is helping Ukraine. So of course, it's taking a long time, but we will demilitarize Europe and
U.S. too. My understanding is we are fighting for our interests there. Regrettably, it is not us who decide what those interests are.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Russian forces have made little progress on the battlefield in recent months with both Russia and Ukraine sustaining heavy
PLEITGEN (voice over): As the U.S. believes Russia might be turning to China for military supplies, Putin reaffirming his commitment to relations
with Beijing in a meeting with China's top diplomat Wang Yi.
PUTIN: Russian Chinese relations are developing just as we planned in previous years. Everything is moving forward developing and we are reaching
PLEITGEN (voice over): China has brushed off the U.S. have concerns that Beijing might be contemplating supplying arms to the Kremlin's war effort,
taking a swipe at the Biden Administration.
WANG YI, SENIOR CHINESE DIPLOMAT: We would like to emphasize once again that the comprehensive strategic partnership between Russia and China has
never been directed against the third party. And it's certainly not subject to interference and provocation by any third party.
PLEITGEN (voice over): While Beijing says it wants a political solution, Vladimir Putin is drumming up support for his military operation, trying
hard to keep the Russian population motivated for a battle he deems existential. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.
ANDERSON: Well, my next guest knows the ins and outs of Vladimir Putin. Abbas Gallyamov was the speechwriter for Putin for close to a decade. He's
now a Russian political analyst joining us from Tel Aviv where he now lives. And before we talk about the speeches that we heard this week, I
just want to get a sense of why it is that you left the country and when?
ABBAS GALLYAMOV, VLADIMIR PUTIN'S FORMER SPEECHWRITER: Well, I left my country in 2018. By that time, it was already obvious that Russia is going
in the totally wrong direction that I didn't want my children to grow up there. It's very simple.
ANDERSON: You did write for him for a decade. So, let's just pick apart and thank you for explaining why you are no longer in Russia. Let's just pick
apart what we heard this week. Two big speeches, one, of course at stage and one at the Luzhniki stadium yesterday, part of that was in Fred's
package there, let's just hear a little bit more.
GALLYAMOV: There are people to decide for them to defend the most sacred and dearest thing we have family and motherland. And today, as part of the
special military operation, we have gathered here, in fact, for a festive event. But I know, just now I was listening to the country's top military
leadership. That right at this moment, there is a battle going on, on our historical borders for our people.
ANDERSON: I always and often define this as a special military operation. Just want you to reflect on what you heard this week? What you made of what
he said, and is this President Putin writing his own speeches? Or is there somebody else behind this?
GALLYAMOV: Well, with those big speeches, which will call like this State of the Union address, which he delivered on Tuesday, definitely says
personal speech. He works with this personally. All the ideas are his. Of course, speech writers are offering ideas and the administration in general
the government, they're offering ideas, but it's him who is picking up what he wants to tell and what he does want to tell. So, it's speech.
ANDERSON: Family, motherland, these are the sorts of terms that you hear from him all the time. This is clearly trying to tap into the Russians sort
of psyche here, just explain.
GALLYAMOV: Well, he just lost this, this kind of stuff. He loves to feel himself. Not a never a politician, a corrupted politician and not a
dictator, no. He wants to see himself as a savior of Motherland, as a historic figure equal to Peter the Great or Catherine the Great or - and so
he is all the time adding all this patriotic stuff, to whatever he's talking about. Let's say his, his style is very typical here.
ANDERSON: It was quite a sort of boisterous speech at the stadium less so. The more formal speech at state perhaps less rhetoric more insight into his
thinking earlier on in the week again, let me just play a little bit of what we heard from him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PUTIN: Now we have to continue to make sure that the threat to our lands is removed. The elite of the West do not conceal their ambitions, which is to
strategically defeat Russia finishes off once and for all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: He is making it very clear at this point that Russia faces to his mind an existential threat. Now the United States and NATO have made no
indication they will invade Russia. To your mind, does Putin believe an incursion into Russian territory is possible? Or is this mere bombast?
GALLYAMOV: Well, you know, Putin, he's like a chameleon, he's adapting himself to the situation. So, it doesn't matter what he believed. Before he
started seeing this, probably he didn't. He was more or less adequate that I remember him when I worked for him. He was the most adequate man I saw.
But now he is very multifaceted, so to say. So now he put another mask on to himself. And he is always this kind of man who is wearing this mask.
Probably now he really believes this, you know, it's uncomfortable for him to feel himself just a liar. No, he prefers to feel himself the savior of
the nation. So, he makes everyone believe around him this thing? And after this, he starts believing this thing by himself probably.
ANDERSON: How will he be coping with this special military operation being a failure?
GALLYAMOV: Well, that's the chief issue that so what the Russian elites and the Russian nation in general, are preoccupied with. This is exactly the
question they were trying to find an answer to in his speech. And that's why they say this speech was a complete disappointment rationally to we're
listening to him. You can watch their faces.
They were not even trying to show, you know, like happiness and approval, it was a great disappointment, because there was no answers to these
questions. Everyone understands that everything is going wrong, that the war cannot be won. So, it should be stopped. But he's just going further.
And everyone sees that his car, the whole country is heading towards an --. And he's showing that he is not going to turn neither left nor right. He is
not planning escalation. He is not planning de-escalation. He's just doing the same old good thing which he was doing all bad thing now actually,
which he was doing for one year, which led to no result whatsoever.
So, if one year ago, he was perceived by the majority of the population by all the whole population, I would say, both critics and his supporters,
they all knew that he was strong. Now he is no longer strong. He is rather, you know stubborn. He is just a stubborn old man now.
ANDERSON: Fascinating, somebody who has spent much time with Vladimir Putin getting some insights from Abbas this evening thank you for joining us.
Well, you're watching "Connect the World". We will be right back after this short break, stay with us.
ANDERSON: On the shores of southern Africa endangered African penguins are struggling to breed as the destruction of nesting sites has left them
exposed to rising temperatures. Today on Call to Earth, scientists are deploying artificial nests to help the seabirds and their chicks beat the
heat, have a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Antarctica is known to have the largest population of penguins in the world. But not all penguins live in snow and
ice. Some can be found waddling along the balmy shores of southern Africa on barren and windswept islands like this one. But in the last century,
populations of the endangered African penguin have plummeted due in part to human disturbance, egg poaching and climate change.
TRUDI MALAN, CONSERVATION MANAGER, DYER ISLAND CONSERVATION TRUST: On the island in the 1970s, there was about 23,000 breeding pairs. At the moment
we are counting about 1100 breeding pairs, that's quite a severe collapse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Historically, African penguins made nests in bars of guano layers of accumulated seabirds and bad thesis. But in the
19th century, humans began to exploit guano supplies and sell it as fertilizer, leaving penguins and their eggs exposed to predators in the
KEVIN GRAHAM, ASSOCIATE CURATOR, DALLAS ZOO, AZA SAFE: At one point in the colonies, it ranged from three to 10 meters in depth and even deeper in
some areas. Right now, the deepest guano remaining in any of the colony's measures in the centimeters the only thing left is bare gravel bears a
while nothing that they can burrow into and that took away their entire nesting ability.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): In 2016, the African penguin nest project dived to the rescue. A coordinated effort between Dyer Island Conservation
Trust, Dallas Zoo and other organizations its mission is to design and deploy artificial nests that give penguin parents a safe and cool place to
raise their chicks.
After two years of development and studying or guano nests, project experts settled on a final design, which they started deploying in late 2018. The
aim was to emulate Mother Nature as closely as possible.
GRAHAM: We made the entrance hole small so that the penguins can squeeze in and as soon as they turn around, they can protect that entrance hole from
any predator. It looks a little bit strange when you look at it, but it's an exact copy of what the penguins build themselves if they were given the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Each nest is fitted with a sensor that measures temperature and humidity, which enables researchers to track the
GRAHAM: Eggs are an extremely delicate structure. They're only set to be incubated at about 38 to 39 degrees, any higher than that. And there's a
very real risk of the eggs dying, we're going to constantly be looking at the performance of the nests when it comes to the usage rates, are the
penguins using them, are the eggs hatching or the chicks fledging. But so far, what we're seeing is that the artificial nests are fledging chicks at
a much higher rate than any other option that they have.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice over): Funded by donations or by people sponsoring individual nests, Graham says the project has so far installed
more than 1500 nests around South Africa's penguin colonies.
Next year, the project hopes to expand to penguin colonies in Namibia. The end goal is that every penguin that needs a nest will get one. But while
nests are vital to populations bouncing back, the birds still face threats from climate change and to overfishing.
GRAHAM: It's not just a single, we give them a nest, the species is saved. This is part of it. It's a big part of it. But there has to be more.
MALAN: I think we have got a responsibility as humans because you know we've kind of intruded onto a place and mess things up a little bit, but we
also can fix it. I never think of an African penguin as cute and cuddly. I think of an African penguin as absolutely tenacious. I think they are such
survivors and they should be an example to all of us that you can overcome.
ANDERSON: And let us know what you're doing to answer the call with the #calltoearth. And that will force to take a very short break, back after
ANDERSON: A new challenge for consumers in the United Kingdom who are already dealing with the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, grocery
stores are now rationing. The sale of some fruit and vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers among the items are now being limited to two or three
packs per person at some major supermarket outlets including Tesco, Asda, and Morrisons.
Now, bad weather in regions like Spain and North Africa being blamed for the shortages. The European Commission has decided to ban TikTok from
official devices over cybersecurity concerns. Social media platform is now responding.
It says it's disappointed and calls the decision misguided. That's not the first challenge for TikTok. It's already been banned from U.S. government
devices that fears that user data could wind up in the hands of the Chinese government. Rahel Solomon, covering this story for us, Rahel!
RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, as you say, this is not the first time this has happened with Tik-Tok. But it is certainly the latest
setback for the wildly popular app, which according to some estimates has more than a billion users globally, if not more than that.
And so, you have governments around the world, both here in the U.S. and the EU, and frankly, other places around the world who are worried about
how large it has become and how much data and how much access it really has.
So, this announcement today from the European Union, essentially banning the device banning the app from federal official devices for its executive
branch for the commission, Tik-Tok wasting no time slamming the decision, saying, as you said, Becky, that it's misguided.
But also pointing to some steps that it has taken to try to address some of these concerns, saying that it's establishing three data centers in Europe
to store user data locally, further reducing employee access, I think we can get this pulled up for you employee access to data, and minimizing data
flows outside of Europe.
Of course, the concern Becky, is that because Tik-Tok is owned by Beijing based Bytedance that some of this information this personal data could be
used or could be seen by the Chinese government.
There are also larger social media concerns about whether it could spread propaganda misinformation and such. But this is not the only time this has
happened. As you pointed out, U.S. government officials have banned the app from federal devices more than 30 states.
I think we can get this pulled up for you more than 30 states have banned the app as well on state government devices. And some in congress say even
that is not enough and are pushing for more so, all of this to say Becky, more to come.
ANDERSON: Rahel, thank you. Finally, on our parting shots coming together in the most remarkable way after a rivalry that has lasted more than 50
years, half a century, look at this. Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones, they're going to join forces on what is described as a new musical project.
ANDERSON: A representative for the stones as the 80-year-old McCartney will play bass on one song on the new album. The album will be the stones first
since their drummer Charlie Watts died in 2021. No word yet on when it will be released. I have to say I can't wait to hear that new album, there's
been some time I've since I've seen the states, I think probably about 25 years ago. Oh, my goodness.
Anyway, wherever you are watching in the world, it was good to have you on board. See you same time tomorrow from the team working with me here in Abu
Dhabi. Well, the time is just before nine o'clock and those working with us around the world, it is a very good evening. I'm Becky Anderson. "One
World" with Zain Asher is up next.