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Connect the World

U.N. Official Urges Probe into Deadly West Bank Violence; Russia Claims Ukrainian Forces Raided across Border; Greece Releases Audio of "Human Error" by Station Manager; Images Appear to Show Russian Changes at Zaporizhzhia Site; UAE Astronaut Among Four Headed to Intel Space Station; Exploring Trauma Through Art. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 02, 2023 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: An Israeli politician says a Palestinian town where two Israeli brothers were shot and killed must been

a raised. U.S. State Department has denounced those comments. This hour I'll speak to the UN Special Rapporteur for the occupied territories.

First up though, U.S. Secretary of State met with his Russian counterpart on the sidelines of the G20 meeting for the first time since the Ukraine

war began. Meanwhile, Russian security officials claiming Ukrainian group raided the Russian border; Ukraine dismissing the allegations as a

deliberate provocation.

People are in the streets of Greece following Tuesday's train crash that killed 46. The train station manager has been charged with mass deaths

through negligence. Plus, mysterious reports emerge in Iran that schoolgirls are being poisoned nearly 900 students have been affected.

Welcome to our second hour of "Connect the World"! Israel's far right Finance Minister says the Palestinian village of Huwara "Needs to be

erased". The town which is in occupied territory was already torched earlier this week by Israeli settlers, but there a little - now thinks the

State of Israel and not just settlers needs to take action and those comments drawing a rare condemnation from the U.S. State Department.


NED PRICE, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: These comments are irresponsible. They were repugnant. They were disgusting. And just as we

condemn Palestinian incitement to violence, we condemn these provocative remarks that also announced to incitement to violence.


ANDERSON: And tonight we ask will there be accountability for the town? My next guest is heavily involved in what happens in the occupied West Bank

and has been very vocal about the provocations in Huwara and elsewhere.

She tweeted and I quote I urge accountability for the aggression against to our residents property and assaults in Jenin, Jericho and Nablus civilian

deaths in occupied Palestine including of Israeli settlers, though their presence is illegal and extra judicial killing of alleged perpetrators must

also be investigated at the International Criminal Court.

Francesca Albanese has years of academic experience on the Middle East, particularly the Israeli Palestinian conflict. She worked for decades as a

human rights expert for the United Nations advising governments and civil society across this region on the enforcement of human rights norms.

She now serves as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and she joins me now live from Tunis. First up these comments

from small Tunis, Ned Price is calling for Netanyahu to publicly reject them. Do you think there's any chance that that will happen at this point?


condemnation after something that constitutes an incitement to commit atrocity crimes is not enough to me. It's not enough for a country which

praises itself with upholding international law and human rights were wild not only domestically.

If you allow me just to put in context, what's going on in the occupied Palestinian territory, violence there is not something that flares up in

cycled and is replaced by calm after the flare up subsidence. There is - the violence there is daily structural and it's a regular component of

Palestinians life and it's much embedded in the occupation that Israel maintains, of which the colonies are an organic component.

The colonies I mean the people that you have seen aggressing civilians in Huwara, destroying their poor property setting ablaze 20 houses, hundreds

of cars. These are people who live the wrapped in bubbles of Israel's extraterritoriality.

While Palestinians live under physical confinement experiencing land confiscation, forced evictions, home demolitions, discriminatory law

enforcement, unabated violence. This is the context in the OPT in the "Occupied Palestinian Territory". So calling for condemnation or something

that represents an escalation of what has happened over 55 years is not enough for me.


ANDERSON: I understand. As an occupying power in the West Bank, Israel has a legal obligation under the Geneva Conventions to protect the local

population. And I quote here against all acts of violence or threats there off. Is it acting legally at this point?

ALBANESE: No, Israel is not protecting the occupied population. But in a sense, why would it? Yes, of course, international law says that, but

whatever Israeli occupation stands for is in blatant violation of international law.

And it happens with into - the very presence, the very gross Becky of 270 colonies from zero there were no colonies in 1967 and now there are 270,

hosting homes to 750,000 Illegal settlers. This is a word crime in itself. So and this is why the occupation is maintained and is flourishing. So

there is no attempt whatsoever of the Israeli army to protect the Palestinian population.

ANDERSON: You are calling for Israeli actions in the West Bank to be investigated at the ICC. I just have to ask, realistically, how likely is

that to happen? Or is this a symbolic ask at this point?

ALBANESE: No, no, no. I just believe it. I mean, I know that it sounds naive. But why would it? I mean is it so absurd to expect that law gets

closer to justice than to politics for the Palestinians, but also for the Israelis, who are against this brutality and the illegality of the


Because let me tell you, Becky the occupation and there is a wall to wall consensus among human rights actors in Palestine and in Israeli human

rights organization supported by international human rights organizations, and including special rapporteurs and others in the UN.

That the occupation has crossed the red line of legality, the occupation shouldn't be there in the first place. So yes, I do believe that it should

be investigated by the either by the ICC, or even whatever kind of constitutes war crimes or crimes against humanity can be also prosecuted

under I mean, national, of course, through the courts or through the universal jurisdiction.

And this is part of the accountability that is needed in the occupied Palestinian territory. Before these, there is new necessity that states

comply with international law and take measures recommended enshrined by the UN Charter.

ANDERSON: Let me ask you this, your role as Special Rapporteur is to monitor the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. Since

your appointment last year, Israel has barred you, as I understand it from entering the country, how do you do the work that you do? How do you get

your job done?

ALBANESE: It's my correction as a Special Rapporteur on the right on the occupied Palestinian territory my role is to document and report to the

United Nations and of course, the public at large on the violations of international law that occurs in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Yes, of course, my reports, one to the Human Rights Council, and one to the General Assembly should be based on country visits. Now, I've lived in the

occupied Palestinian territory for several years and frequently traveled to the region.

So I know the reality but this facilitates the task, but Israel has prevented a special rapporteur holding this post from entering the occupied

Palestinian territory since 2007. So this is not - it's not against the actually. In November last year I was told that I would be granted a permit

to enter in line with Israelis obligations as an occupying power and--

ANDERSON: Do you have that permits?

ALBANESE: Not yet.

ANDERSON: It hasn't materialized. Let me ask you this briefly as Special Rapporteur monitoring the situation which is, you know, a situation of

escalation at this point, despite calls across the board for de-escalation? Are you concerned about the risk of a third intifada at this point? How bad

are things?

ALBANESE: I'm concerned with the loss of life. I'm deeply outrageously concerned with what's going to happen if the root causes of the violence? I

struggle to really call it embrace the concept of escalation because as I said, for the Palestinians as Israeli journalist Amira Hass says any

Israeli government has always been a military Junta for those under occupation.


ALBANESE: So there have been many escalations. There might be - there might be a new uprising from the Palestinians and this would be a failure another

- yet another failure of the international community to deliver a minimum of justice and protection to the people on their occupation.

ANDERSON: I've got to leave it there. We thank you very much for joining us. Your analysis and insight is extremely important. Let's speak again.

Thank you all these issues, posing serious challenges for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unprecedented and multifaceted challenges on nearly

every front.

CNN's Jerusalem Correspondent Hadas Gold who you will know if you're a regular viewer of this show, of course has written extensively on Mr.

Netanyahu's battles and most recently for CNN's Middle East Newsletter "Meanwhile in the Middle East". If you want to learn more about this and

other stories dominating this region do head to to subscribe.

The top U.S. and Russian diplomats have had an impromptu face to face meeting for the first time since Russia launched its so called special

military operation in Ukraine a year ago. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talked on the sidelines of the G20

Summit in New Delhi.

U.S. official says Blinken initiated that brief meeting. When it happens as Russian security officials announced what they say is a Ukrainian raid

inside Russia. Regional Governor reports two people killed. President Vladimir Putin calls it a terrorist attack. Ukraine denies it calling it

either a Russian provocation or an attack by Russian partisans who oppose their government.

Kylie Atwood is following all of this from Washington. First to Fred Pleitgen, who is in Moscow! Let's start with that meeting in India G20

Finance Ministers Meeting. We got the view of the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, he addressed the gathered media what's the view from the

Russian side?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Russians are saying that Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State was

one who initiated that meeting. And they're sort of trying to brush off the importance of that meeting between the two Foreign Ministers between the

Secretary of State and the Foreign Minister a little bit.

In fact, the main headline that we're seeing on state media here it was a meeting on the go as they said. Of course we know it lasted about 10

minutes. Nevertheless, Secretary State Blinken said that he did raise some serious concerns for the United States. Among them of course the fate of

Paul Whelan whom the U.S. says is wrongfully detained here in Russia, saying that there was a substantial proposal on the table.

But then, of course, those two key things, one of them being the New START Treaty, obviously Russia has suspended its participation. The U.S. said it

called Russia out on that. And one of the things that Secretary of State Blinken said is that he urged the Russians to get back into compliance with

that treaty.

The Russians, of course, have a big issue with some of the inspections that are supposed to be part of that treaty. And then, of course, the war in

Ukraine and that's a point that Secretary of State Blinken then later made in his press conference as well.

But from the Russian perspective, Becky, they are downplaying all that they're just saying it was a short meeting it happened on the sidelines,

there was no agreement reached. And they didn't really go into detail as to what was exactly said. They didn't refute anything that the U.S. has put

out there at Secretary of State Blinken put out there.

But they certainly aren't offering very much in the details except for them it's very important to point out that it was the U.S. side that wanted this

meeting to take place. Of course, while it was short while it was on the sidelines and still is a key meeting the first time that the two diplomats

meet really since Geneva in January of 2022, before the war in Ukraine even started so that alone makes all this pretty important, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fred scarce detail as well on this raid in inverted commas in Bryansk. President Putin blaming Neo Nazis, what do we know at this stage?

PLEITGEN: Yes, first of all, you're absolutely right. There are scarce details of it. But the Russians are taking this extremely seriously. They

do say that there was an incursion and there was a video that then surfaced of a group of Russian volunteers.

In fact calling themselves the Russian volunteer corps in front of a government building in the border area between Russia and Ukraine on the

Russian side, saying that they had infiltrated that area said they weren't there to harm civilians.

However, the Russians are portraying that very differently. They say that two civilians were killed in that raid in one case, they said this group

opened fire on an SUV that was driving down the street killing one of those on board that also a young boy was hurt as well, even though those injuries

aren't life threatening.

And Vladimir Putin who by the way he canceled a trip to Southern Russia because of this and said he's being regularly updated by his top security

officials. He blamed when he called Ukrainian Neo Nazis for this so here's what he said.



VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: They're protecting people from Neo Nazis and terrorists from those who tortured and killed people in the Donbas for

eight years those who killed - in Moscow those who committed another terrorist act, another crime. They infiltrated the border territory and

opened fire on civilians. They saw it was a civilian car. They saw there were civilians and children sitting there, an ordinary Niva an open fire on



PLEITGEN: When he speaks about an ordinary Niva, you obviously mean a Lada Niva, which is a service Soviet era SUV small car. So as you can see

Vladimir Putin extremely angry. He also said that he would stamp out as you said these terrorists.

The latest that we're getting Becky and I just got an update a couple of minutes ago, the Russians are saying situation there is now under control.

Apparently, there's an operation there going on by the Border Service by the FSB to see whether or not there's any unexploded devices still out


But the Russians, obviously extremely angry about all this and as you mentioned, the Ukrainians are saying they had nothing to do with a saying

that if anything, it was Russian partisans that coming from top level Ukrainian politicians, Becky.

ANDERSON: Frederik Pleitgen in Moscow. Let's get you to Kylie Atwood in Washington. What are you hearing from your sources there?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, it's significant that this happened - that this meeting happened as you were

talking about with Fred there. It's the first time that these top diplomats from the U.S. and Russia have met since before the war actually began their

last meeting in January of 2022.

So the fact that the Secretary of State took the initiative here, according to a U.S. official, he was the one who approached Lavrov and delivered some

clear messages in person is quite significant. We know that of the things that he rose was the need to for Russia to end its war of aggression.

We also know that he brought up Paul Whelan, who's an American who has been wrongfully detained in Russia for more than four years now. He said that

there's actually a significant serious proposal that the United States has put on the table and he urged Russia to accept it. That's the first that

we've heard that there's actually a tangible proposal that the United States has put on the table with Russia to try and secure Paul Whelan's


And then the third thing, of course, that he touched on was Russia recently suspending participation in the New START Treaty, listen to what he

described himself as saying to Foreign Minister Lavrov on that topic.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Mutual compliance is in the interest of both our countries. It's also what people around the world

expect from us as nuclear powers. I told the Foreign Minister that no matter what else is happening in the world or in our relationship. The

United States will always be ready to engage and act on strategic arms control, just as the United States and the Soviet Union did even at the

height of the Cold War.


ATWOOD: And it's also significant to note that just yesterday Blinken said that he had no plans to meet with Lavrov while they were both in India for

this G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting. So it's clear that this sort of came together last minute, it was only about a 10 minute meeting.

ANDERSON: Kylie, thank you! Well, on the ground Ukraine's military says its forces will remain in Bakhmut for now and military officials so suggest

that Russian forces are advancing within the city which has been on the frontlines of course for weeks.

The Wagner Group of founder shared this video that he says shows his fighters in the city CNN geo-located the video to just east of Bakhmut.

Yevgeny Prigozhin has area voiced skepticism that Ukraine will withdraw telling Russian media Ukraine's military is moving reserves to the area.

Well, Kyiv fears if Bakhmut is captured Russian troops will move in and seize nearby towns and villages. My colleague Alex Marquardt reports from

one of those towns.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This is the road on the way to Bakhmut cars, military vehicles bombing up and down this road going to

and from the front. You see this armored vehicle right here the V-sign for victory.

There are still some people here not too many, but some of these hearty residents have stayed behind. This is the shop of - who is here grilling

meats held. He actually fled from Bakhmut two months ago and has opened up the shop selling basics like bananas, beetroot and candles.


MARQUARDT (on camera): We just met whose daughter is still in Bakhmut. One of the thousands of people there who have been asked to evacuate, but are

still in the city amid this incredible fighting. You can see that they put up wood there to protect those windows so much destruction in this town. We

were just farther in the center of town is called Chasiv Yar.

This is one town over from Bakhmut with a large group of people at a bus stop waiting for a water delivery that never came. Every few moments you

can hear explosions, the sound of what we believe to be outgoing artillery fire, Ukrainians firing at Russian positions. We spoke with an older woman

named Valentina, who said that there's so much flying over their heads, that she is scared all the time those they are so close to the Russia

positions. That's more outgoing artillery fire.

They're so close to the Russian positions that they can walk there. We also spoke with some Ukrainian soldiers like these ones who man, one of those

artillery positions. They told us that there has been no order to pull back from Bakhmut that they're fighting because if they give up Bakhmut than

this town, Chasiv Yar, this would be next.

And that is what everyone is thinking now that if Russia were to take Bakhmut, that they would have another foothold in this region from which to

try to push farther into eastern Ukraine. Alex Marquardt, CNN in Chasiv Yar.


ANDERSON: Well, just ahead, Greece releases an audio recording revealing a grievous human error as outrage grows over what was a devastating train

crash. We'll be live in that disaster area for you up next. And schoolgirls getting sick by the hundreds; Iran is seeking answers in to what is a

mysterious spate of illnesses are these girls being poisoned, more on that after this.


ANDERSON: You're watching "Connect the World", I'm Becky Anderson. Outrage growing in Greece serves the country's deadliest rail crash in living

memory. Fire officials say at least 46 were killed in Tuesday's head on collision between two trains. This video shows the moment when they

crashed. And there is also an audio recording now. CNN's Nada Bashir is live for as at the scene in Tempi, Nada?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, Becky, this audio recording is really one that is going to cause shock across the country. We've already learned from

the prime minister that this was largely caused as a result of what he described as tragic human error. And now this dispatch recording really

shows the extent of that human error. In that recording you can hear the station master being asked by a train driver whether he should ignore a red

warning signal.

The station master tells him to proceed to go ahead and later on in that recording a second employee asked him whether the train should switch

tracks. However, the station master tells the train to proceed on those tracks.


BASHIR: And shortly after that recording, those two trains collided shortly after midnight. Now, of course, there is real anger here in Greece over the

fact that this was caused by human error. Now, this has really brought into question the safety measures in place, whether there's mechanisms that are

supposed to be there in place as a safety net, in cases of human error, whether they really are up to scratch. And at this stage, the investigation

is still very much ongoing.

The station master heard in that voice recording has now been detained and charged with causing mass deaths and grievous bodily harm as a result of

negligence. And you can see behind me that negligence has had disastrous consequences. The first two carriages of this train completely obliterated,

they were engulfed in flames.

The third carriage behind me derailed and is now on its side. There have been dozens of deaths, dozens more injured and still in hospital, including

those in intensive care some in a critical condition. And according to local hospital officials, many of those involved in the collision were

young people.

Now of course, there have been questions around the safety measures across the country's rail system, which is comparatively weaker than its European

neighbors, the transport minister himself going too fast to step down from his position. He said that this was a sign of respect to those who lost

their lives.

But also conceded that the safety measures here in Greece simply aren't up to the standard one would expect in the 21st century. And of course, this

has drawn a major backlash. There was anger and frustration across the country. We've seen protests taking place in the capitol in Athens. We've

seen demonstrators clashing with police now railway workers, Metro workers also going on strike.

So, this has been a real moment of anger directed towards the government a real reckoning for the government and a reminder, of course of the pressure

that is mounting now on the government to take tougher action. The prime minister says he will do everything to ensure that something like this

never happens again, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nada Bashir is on the scene for you in Tempi in Greece. Nada, thank you! Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are

on our radar right now. And U.S. intelligence could not find the link between the mysterious sickness known as the Havana syndrome and the

nation's foreign adversaries.

In 2016, American diplomats in Cuba's capital began complaining of dizziness and bad headaches. Hundreds of cases among U.S. government

employees and their families have since been reported.

Well, the Biden Administration has approved a potential arms sale to Taiwan the self-rule democratic guidance that could get more than $600 million

worth of weapons including missiles, the F-16 fighter jets like these. Beijing has voiced its opposition to the deal.


MAO NING, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON: China urges the U.S. to abide by the one China principle and the provisions of the three China U.S.

joint communiques. Stop arms sales to Taiwan and U.S. Taiwan military ties and stop creating tensions in the Taiwan Strait. China will continue to

take resolute and forceful measures to firmly defend its serenity and security interests.


ANDERSON: Well, the U.S. and UK say these weapons were being smuggled from Iran and may have been headed to Yemen. They were seized from a boat near

the Gulf of Oman last week. The United States says it's the latest of several illegal Iranian weapons and drug shipments.

Elsewhere in Iran, what's making girls and young women sick, this is an ambulance outside of school something that you will you never wants to see.

The latest on the search for some answers is just ahead.



ANDERSON: Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi, you're watching "Connect the World". Look at the top headlines this hour. Protests have

erupted in Greece after Tuesday's head on collision between two trains that killed at least 46 and have left schools injured.

The Greek Prime Minister points to what he calls tragic human error as the main cause. Well, the top American and Russian diplomats have met face to

face for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

meeting on the G20 side-lines in New Delhi for 10 minutes. Is Blinken using the time to demand Russia end the war release a detained American and

resumed participation in the New START Treaty.

Moscow says there were no negotiations during that meeting. The founder of the Wagner group in time says his fighters have moved into Bakhmut. He

shared a video of Wagner fighters waving a flag on top of a damaged building CNN geo-located the video to just east of the city.

The Ukrainian military official earlier suggested Russian forces have moved in but says Ukrainian forces have no imminent plans to withdraw. Well,

falling to the floor not being able to walk, shortness of breath and nausea. These are just some of the symptoms being reported by young school

girls and women across Iran.

Hundreds of reported getting sick over the past few months and some people suspect that they are being deliberately poisoned. Well, Iran's president

now telling his government to get to the bottom of it for more let's bring in Nima Elbagir from London. Nima, what do we know about what's going on at


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky we have been able to communicate with some school girls,

eyewitnesses, survivors and their parents. And they've told us that they are being instructed not to speak to the media. Despite that though some of

the girls bravely shared with us what the chaos was like in the aftermath of the attack, take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a terrible situation. Girls had been falling on the floor and were crying. Some were unable to walk, really didn't want to

leave one another.


ELBAGIR: And that was in a school in - where actually the girls told us three separate incidents had occurred where they smelled a noxious, bitter

smell. And then they reported those symptoms that you described of muscular weakness, nausea, dizziness.

What the girls are saying that is incredibly concerning Becky, even more so concerning is that they are linking these incidents to the protest the

anti-hijab process that some of them took part in. Many of them believe that this is a message that is being sent to them by extremists and

hardliners within the country.

Now, of course, we cannot prove this at this kind of remove. But when you look at the scope of these incidents, how many of them have occurred, we've

counted at least 40 and that they are across the country. It does look like these cannot possibly be isolated random incidents, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nima, thank you. Well, Ukraine reports another Russian attack in the city of Zaporizhzhia. Russian shells hit a residential high-rise

building killing three people and sending five to the hospital. Rescuers saved a pregnant woman pulling her out of the rubble. In time, the nuclear

plant there remains a subject of acute safety concerns, a year after Russian forces moved in. My colleague Clare Sebastian has that.



CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A year into its occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Russia is making changes.

Satellite images showing the dry storage area where spent nuclear fuel is kept after being cooled, first in August last year. Then, at the end of

February, what looks like a wall or structure has appeared.

Russia's Atomic Energy Company Rosatom tells state media, it's building a shield to protect against Ukrainian artillery strikes. A local Russian

backed official posted this in December, calling it a protective dome.

PETRO KOTIN, PRESIDENT, ENERGOATOM: It's all illegal doing anything without license because it could impact nuclear and radiation safety.

SEBASTIAN (voice over): The Head of Ukraine's Atomic Energy Company Energoatom says it's all part of a deteriorating situation at Zaporizhzhia

that he is powerless to stop.

SEBASTIAN (on camera): What is the biggest risk right now when it comes to safety in the plant?

KOTIN: Yes, biggest risk is that we do not know what is in their hands at the moment. You can expect they can do anything, so they can continue

shelling on the plant, for example.

SEBASTIAN (voice over): Energoatom says Russia, which forcibly took over the plant last March, damaging several buildings in the process continues

to use it as a de facto military base. Videos surfaced last summer a military truck in one of the turbine buildings next to a reactor.

Last month Energoatom accused Russia of bringing hundreds of newly mobilized troops to the site before deploying them to the east. Rosatom's

own press service for the power plant denied there's any heavy military equipment on site but noted that Russia's National Guard troops Putin's

domestic security forces are guarding the plant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm very worried about Zaporizhzhia. I'm very worried.

SEBASTIAN (voice over): Energoatom says the plant has been cut off from the electricity grid five times in total, leaving diesel generators the last

line of defense before catastrophe. Fighting has also come to close.

The IAEA reports shelling hit a building housing fresh nuclear fuel in September, and a reactor building in November. Energoatom now estimates

four and a half 1000 Ukrainian staff is left at the plant out of 11,000 before the war.

NICK TOMKINSON, SENIOR PARTNER, GLOBAL NUCLEAR SECURITY PARTNERS: That reduction of the number of pupils going to have a significant impact on

their ability to maintain and function sort of systems. Whether or not that security system safety systems radiation monitoring.

SEBASTIAN (voice over): Nuclear expert Nick Tomkinson says he is working with the Ukrainian government to try to deploy radiation mapping systems at

Zaporizhzhia and other nuclear sites.

TOMKINSON: One of the concerns could be that things could go missing from Zaporizhzhia, particularly some of the fuel. I'm not worrying about

mistake, what I'd be worried about was is an active decision to do something.

SEBASTIAN (voice over): Ukraine's nuclear power company though is worried about a slow-motion mistake, poor maintenance leading to the degradation of

the equipment on the site, including the reactors themselves currently all in various states of shutdown.

KOTIN: It is going to the stage, nobody knows if we will be able to operate it again. And this is just a matter of time.

SEBASTIAN (voice over): The Russian side says strict radiation safety standards are being observed. Hardly a consolation when 20 percent of

Ukraine's electricity supply remains hostage to this war. Clare Sebastian, CNN London.


ANDERSON: Well, you're watching "Connect the World"; up next we'll introduce you to the Arab astronauts about to make history in space.



ANDERSON: Well, where they last that lit up the sky four astronauts headed off to the International Space Station on Thursday morning. The crew

scheduled to spend six months there, it includes astronaut Sultan Alneyadi from right here in the UAE.

Dubbed the Sultan space, he is the first Arab to be deployed on a long-term space mission. Alneyadi plans to fast during the holy month of Ramadan,

though he says that will be a challenge because the space station sees about 16 sunrises and sunsets each day.

CNN's Space Correspondent Kristin Fisher tracking the mission for us. And this is Kristin another very special moment for the Arab world,

particularly for the country that I'm here in the United Arab Emirates, the second Emirati to travel to space programs here space programs are

developing at a rapid pace. What do you make of what you're saying?

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE & DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, I mean, you know that the United Arab Emirates has invested so much time and money over

the last decade or so to really become the leading space power in the Arab world. And so that's really what this launch last night represents.

You know, the UAE launched a probe to Mars that has been very successful, they're planning to launch a probe to actually land on the moon next year.

But last night, that astronaut right there, Sultan Alneyadi just became the Roosevelt to become the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates to do

what's called a long duration spaceflight and only the second from that nation to actually fly in space.

And so, getting to do a long duration spaceflight is actually something that is very prestigious, very difficult, very technical. I mean, to spend

six months up there, floating in space, requires a tremendous amount of training. And this is all training that he has done over the last year or

so if not longer at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, alongside his crewmates, two NASA astronauts, and one Russian cosmonaut.

So, this is a very international very diverse mission, they call it crew six, to the International Space Station. It's a partnership between NASA

and SpaceX in terms of getting the astronauts there that Crew Dragon capsule launched successfully last night from the Kennedy Space Center.

Becky, it's going to take about 24 hours or so for those astronauts to actually dock at the International Space Station. But when they do, all

those astronauts are going to whether it really marks the beginning of their six months stay up there.

And we've seen what can happen when things go wrong. Those missions can often get extended to about a year. So, they say they're going to be up

there for six months. But something could happen and they could stay longer Becky.

ANDERSON: This was known of course without delays, but they are off the ground now six months on the ISS, what sort of work will they are carrying


FISHER: They're mostly going to be conducting scientific experiments about 200 scientific experiments or so during the six months that they're up


They're also going to be greeting crews from two private missions to the International Space Station, including the next mission from axiom space.

So that's something that's going to happen while they're up there. And then you also have to keep in mind that they're dealing with this issue with the

Russian Soyuz spacecraft that's currently docked to the International Space Station.

You might remain where they had that that coolant leak that we saw spring in the space. They essentially the Russian space agency decided that that

spacecraft was not safe to bring these astronauts back to Earth.


FISHER: So, they have to send a replacement. But that's what I'm talking about that crew that's already up there. They were supposed to be there for

six months. But because of that Coolant Lake, their mission has now been extended to a full year.

So, in addition to all those experiments, Becky, they also have to kind of do some, just your basic housekeeping. This is a, you know, two decades old

space station that's up there and it's showing some signs of wear and tear and so they often have to do spacewalks to try to fix it.

ANDERSON: Yes. Kristin, isn't it fascinating and it's, it's so interesting to see how the private sector has really got involved in what is this sort

of new era of space travel. Thank you so much. It's always such a pleasure to have you on and speaking of man's fascinating and women's fascination

with space.

Kissing planets are on display in the night sky. That's what some are calling the unique positioning of Jupiter and Venus; these two planets are

passing each other in what's called a conjunction. Right now, Jupiter and Venus are the brightest objects in the sky after the moon.

The phenomenon started on Wednesday, but the planets continue to appear close together in the night skies. Tonight, keep your eyes peeled folks.

Wherever you are watching in the world, you are watching "Connect the World" live from Abu Dhabi. Coming up some say the gut is the brain second

body will tell you and get you a look at how one artist uses the gut to heal trauma that is after this.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. The Russian man opposed to the war in Ukraine is stuck in legal limbo in South Korea. He doesn't want to go back home

because he may be sent to fight in Ukraine. So, he is seeking asylum but South Korea not rolling out the red carpet for him not at all as Paula

Hancocks reports that has left him stranded at the airport for an awfully long time. Have a look at this.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): More than four months of sleeping on the floor with 50 men in a small airport room. One Russian man

waits to hear his fate, hiding his identity for fear of repercussions. He's applying for asylum in South Korea, having fled a mandatory call up in

Russia last October to fighting the war in Ukraine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I heard about the mobilization, I felt terrible because I'd been at rallies protesting against the war. I knew based on the

information they have on me, anyone who opposes the war would be first to be sent to the front lines. That was my biggest fear.

HANCOCKS (voice over): President Vladimir Putin's mass call up sparked an exodus from the country. Hundreds of thousands of men are believed to have

fled to avoid being sent to Ukraine. Leaving his wife and seven-year-old son, he boarded a flight to South Korea saying he believed he would be

accepted as it is a democratic country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I miss my boy really badly. I can't talk about it. It's too emotional. I really miss my family.

HANCOCKS (voice over): He would wash his laundry in an Incheon Airport bathroom saying there was no hot water for showers for the past month,

despite Seoul immigration saying there should be. He was given a hot bun and juice for lunch, chicken and rice for dinner.


HANCOCKS (voice over): While he feels powerless to control his future. He says the alternative would be far worse.

HANCOCKS (on camera): What would your message be to the people who are deciding if you can stay?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not a draft dodger. I'm against the war and I don't want to go to war and kill people. But I am not a draft dodger.

HANCOCKS (voice over): An important point to make he feels a South Korea has mandatory military service of its own of at least 18 months for almost

all able-bodied men most by the age of 28.

HANCOCKS (on camera): Do you consider yourself a victim of this war?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, a year ago I had no intention of leaving and never thought I'd leave Russia.

HANCOCKS (voice over): What he didn't realize before boarding a plane to Seoul, he says is how few refugees this country accepts. In 2019 of almost

15 and a half thousand applicants, just 79 were granted refugee status. That's half of 1 percent with just 230 receiving a permit to stay on

humanitarian grounds. He was moved this week to an immigration facility with some freedom of movement to await his fate.


HANCOCKS: The Justice Ministry said this week it is appealing the decision to even allow him to apply for asylum. He says he is surprised and

disappointed by that decision. And his lawyer says that that process alone could take up to five months, then applying for refugee status could take

another one or two years. And his lawyer says based on precedents, success is not going to be easy. Paula Hancocks, CNN Seoul.

ANDERSON: Well, in tonight's parting shots, we take a look at the connection between body and mind. Artist Hayv Kahraman's art explores how

the key to healing from trauma lies in the gut. Now stay with me on this often referred to as the body's second brain, the gut produces an important

chemical that regulates our emotions. Her latest solo show, exploring these themes is now on at the third line gallery in Dubai, and that is where I

met her recently.


HAYV KAHRAMAN, ARTIST: I was born in Iraq in Baghdad, I lived through two wars. So, the Iran Iraq War and the first Gulf War in the early 90s, we

decided to flee. So, you know, we hired our smuggler and we had our falsified passports and we left, we fled to Sweden.

ANDERSON (voice over): Hayv's practice is heavily guided by that refugee experience. Her latest exhibition, gut feelings, part two at the third line

gallery in Dubai, explores the effects of trauma on the body. Expose them tangled digestive organs act as a visual metaphor, unraveling the healing


ANDERSON (on camera): Walk me through the evolution of that journey through your art.

KAHRAMAN: So, this work, I would say started about three years ago. I discovered that there's this foreign and parenthesis foreign bacteria that

lives in our digestive system and our gut that produces about 95, 97 percent of serotonin. Serotonin is the happy hormone, right? This is the

hormone that makes us feel joy in us.

So, the gut kind of became a tool or a methodology to work through these various ideas. And really, ultimately, it's a way to heal and to repair.

You know, when I was researching this, I thought, OK, how can I literally work with microbes? And this is where the torshi came in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is torshi. So, it's, it's a fermented beet, and turnips, and it contains a lot of amazing bacteria for your gut.

ANDERSON (on camera): And you use torshi, in the gut feelings part two, and just explain how.

KAHRAMAN: Yes, so this is actually painted with torshi. So, this is my efforts and collaborating with these bacteria. What I really wanted to

focus on is that, you know the symbiotic relationship between my body and the bacteria. So, I wanted to have that kind of contamination, right. So it

was it did become quite performative and healing and cathartic.

ANDERSON (voice over): There is a certain tension over exactly who's in control of the healing process evident in her work.

ANDERSON (on camera): Is this you?

KAHRAMAN: Yes or no. So, this figure is I think she's a representation of a collective, it's not a self-portrait, it's a multitude of stories of

narratives of persons. I want us to think in more collaborative terms.


ANDERSON (on camera): Do you expect to get to the point at which you no longer represent trauma in your work?

KAHRAMAN: I don't know if that's possible. No, and I think ultimately, you know, what I came to understand if it's not really about getting to a

place, it's about the process of getting there, right. And it's messy, and it's painful. But like, we have to somehow embrace it. That's and that's

what I came to learn from making this.

ANDERSON (voice over): One artist's intimate way of portraying the connection between body and mind.


ANDERSON: Thanks for watching. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi.