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Wagner Chief's Fate Still Unknown; Pre-Dawn Crimea Raid Kills 30 Russians; BRICS Invites Six Countries to Join Bloc; Trump to Surrender at Fulton County Jail; GOP Presidential Candidates Face Off without Trump; India Celebrates Success in New Lunar Space Race. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired August 24, 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 HOST (voice-over): I'm Becky Anderson, live from Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD.
Coming up this hour, Wagner chief Prigozhin presumed dead. What we know about the plane crash this hour.
A major new expansion of the economic bloc, BRICS.
Former president Trump set to surrender himself just hours from now.
And as the dust settles, what India's successful moon landing means for the nation.
ANDERSON: We begin this hour with the growing mystery over the fate of Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin following yesterday's plane
crash. Remains from the crash site have been taken for forensic testing, Russia says. Prigozhin was on the passenger list.
But was he on the plane?
And was this, as many speculate, a consequence of his brief mutiny against the Kremlin?
Nick Paton Walsh is in Ukraine, where Prigozhin's Wagner Group has been a major player. Russia expert Jill Dougherty is in Washington.
Nick, let's start with you.
What do we know about the crash and how likely are we to get confirmation that Prigozhin was indeed on that plane?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Final, definitive, independent confirmation is going to be tough to come by,
because everything, including the crash site here, is being controlled by Russian officials.
What we know from them?
We know they have said that among the 10 people on board that private jet that fell out of the sky yesterday evening was Yevgeny Prigozhin and a
significant chunk of the Wagner top brass, the henchmen who helped run that paramilitary organization.
Now it appears to have suffered a catastrophic explosion while it was at significant altitude and then, according to a video, fell toward the
ground, a wing having been torn off by that blast.
Some of that is verified indeed by satellite imagery, which CNN has obtained, that shows what looks like a significant part of the fuselage
near the edge of a forest area. And it also too verifies what we've also heard from Russian state officials, that the wreckage is indeed spread over
a potential 2-kilometer area; most of it, though, in one place.
This is what Russian investigators will be combing through. We understand that likely some of the bodies have been taken from that crash site. State
TV have shown vehicles that appear to be moving them to the TFER (ph) forensic bureau for essential forensic investigation.
Essentially going to the gruesome remains of people after any air crash and trying to be sure who is who. Eight bodies recovered, the last count we
heard of that total 10.
Do we actually get definitive results from the Russian state here?
Important to point out they will tell us whatever Vladimir Putin wants us to learn. It's quite unlikely at this stage that we see anything to
contradict the suggestion that Prigozhin died on that aircraft.
But we have not heard from the Wagner Group itself, announcing, confirming his death. You have got to remember, too, this is a man who frankly wasn't
even supposed to exist as a Wagner member until a short time ago.
And even after their armed rebellion, hid his movements quite well, as far as we in public could necessarily tell.
What does this mean?
It means that the finger is already pointing toward the Kremlin heads, as if they need another example of what he does to critics. So many have been
asking how did Prigozhin survive this extraordinary, unprecedented act of mutiny, the worst Putin has had in 23 years?
How was he not, like people who've simply said things negative about the Putin administration, how did he not fall out of a window or get poisoned,
as we've seen in so many cases before?
Instead, this particularly gruesome incident is making many wonder, well, if this was Putin, did he think Prigozhin was still potentially a threat,
roaming around at liberty in public?
And did Putin see that continued threat, the removal of it, as potentially better than what he may face now, which is those who have loyalty towards
Prigozhin, who considered him to be one of the more aggressive prosecutors of Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, the potential that those loyalists
may seek to disturb the Kremlin going forward?
But a remarkable into this chapter and to the incredible events we saw just two months ago, with that, frankly, absolutely unanticipated armed march on
ANDERSON: Yet, indeed, this is the end. Let me bring in Jill at this point.
Jill, you were for years CNN's Moscow bureau chief. You've covered the Kremlin at length. Certainly over the period of time that President Putin
has been in charge, from the outset. You know this character well.
If indeed, Prigozhin is dead, how will this affect Wagner as an organization?
And just carrying on from what Nick has been discussing, to your mind, what does this mean for Russia and for Putin?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's a big question. I think the easiest one is to talk about Wagner. If you take the last two months, the
Kremlin has been pretty methodically trying to deal with what do you do with Wagner after the rebellion?
So officials, Russian government officials, have been going to Africa, for example, and saying, we will still be there, we will still resupply some
site of assistance to you, security assistance, et cetera.
They have methodically dismantled part of the PR and press operation that Prigozhin had. Then, of course, with the fighters themselves, there were at
one point about 25,000, roughly 4,000 or 5,000 were sent to Belarus.
So in other words, this period, which seemed kind of quiet, was actually something that Putin was doing, it appears, pretty methodically,
dismantling and reorganizing and trying to figure out, how do you keep the military together with this kind of semi military force?
So that part is easy, I think. What it means for Russia, I think with Putin at this point, those ideas that he was weakened by the rebellion, these
words kind of fail. I don't think the word is weaken but there were questions about his leadership.
And now you have, if this is Putin, you have severe, very violent repression of Prigozhin and his movement, you can say this movement, that I
don't think that necessarily shows that he's stronger, either.
I think what it shows is the situation is getting more and more, let's say, black and white intense. And the use of force is increasing. So, yes,
Putin, if this is correct, again, has disposed of an enemy, which he had to do, a person who's not loyal to him.
But does it mean that he's stronger?
I think the system is more brittle in the end.
ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. And as you've been talking, we've been showing some images. I just want to explain to our viewers who might not have seen
them before, some images of President Putin at a concert last night, as the news of Prigozhin's alleged demise was being reported.
Nick, let me bring you back in. I want to get inside Ukraine and what to is going on with regard the conflict there.
We do know about an operation in Crimea?
WALSH: While have this extraordinary sideshow, which Jill is completely right to suggest shows that continued fractures in the Moscow elite and not
some southern moment where Putin is in control again on the battlefield.
Ukraine on this, what they call their Independence Day, is making a very symbolic move and announcing a symbolic move against the Russian-annexed
peninsula of Crimea that they took back in 2014.
Ukrainian military intelligence releasing images of a series of attacks along the coastline of Crimea, which they say caused significant damage
against Russian positions there.
Why is this important?
It shows again Ukraine's ability to project force well outside of the areas, where Moscow would presumably have thought they could have operated.
And it potentially also shows a moving forward the vulnerability of this peninsula.
There are Western officials who consider Crimea to be a bit of a red button issue for Putin. If he did find himself at risk of losing control of that,
he might act less rationally than he has done before.
All entirely unclear but this is possibly a response to some of the reporting that we've seen in the past weeks, from those stateside, in the
U.S., looking at the slow progress of the counteroffensive, that they would advise and they have financed but releasing instead statements, suggesting
it isn't going as fast as it could do, because they're not focusing on the right things.
Some of that reporting said the focus was too much on Crimea.
WALSH: Well, here is Ukraine, hitting Crimea with a special forces raid. And the symbolic nature of this, a place which was taken almost without a
shot, frankly, back in 2014 by sneaky infiltration by Russian troops into that predominant holiday destination shows that Kyiv is on this day,
particularly on the front foot, trying to project its ability to hit Russia where it hurts.
But that, frankly, overshadowed by Russia's own internal fissures and this continued Jacobean drama. Putin clearly feeling still at risk from
Prigozhin and taking, it seems, if indeed he's behind this, this extraordinary step.
ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. And I remember your reporting on Crimea back in 2014, Nick. Thank you.
We're going to have a lot more on all this next hour.
Thank you, Jill.
We'll speak with investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov. He's delved into Wagner's rebellion and the group's complicated relationship with the Putin
regime. You will want to stay with us for that. That's coming up next hour.
Well Russia, of course, is one of the founding members of the group of nations known as BRICS. And now, that sort of loose bloc, as it were, is
expanding. At the end of their summit in Johannesburg, the South African president announced the five-nation bloc has invited six new countries to
They are Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where CONNECT THE WORLD is programmed from.
During the summer, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the five founding members, stated their desire to rebalance the
geopolitical order and move it away from what they perceive as Western dominance.
David McKenzie has been reporting on BRICS all week for us and he joins me now from Johannesburg.
It's fascinating, this.
Why are these new membership offers important, significant and what would membership bring to those countries who are currently at the table?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think this is a very important moment.
How important it is in the long run, well, really depends on whether the BRICS nations and these additional nations are able to coordinate their
response and put money and policy where their mouths are when it comes to their criticism of what they see as too much of a Western dominance of the
global financial sector and of multilateral lenders.
You've had very unified response from the leaders of the founder members to add those countries. And, if you look at those countries, it's somewhat of
an odd collection. Not necessarily all would be placed in the same basket, particularly if you look at Saudi Arabia and Iran, who only recently
started talking, thanks to Chinese mediation.
So you should see this as a win in particular for China, which seemed to be the country with the most at stake for expanding this. But all the leaders
had something to say. Of course, Cyril Ramaphosa will be seen as brokering in part this expanded number of nations.
You had President Lula saying the relevance of BRICS is now confirmed by adding all of these different countries. The prime minister of India saying
they were always behind the expansion of BRICS and that it will strengthen the organization.
There was an open question mark as to whether in fact India wanted to expand this grouping. And President Xi, for his part, as we expected, says
this will bring a new vigor and a new start of the BRICS arrangement.
President Putin, who had to attend the conference remotely, because he faced possible arrest for war crimes here in South Africa. He came in
remotely and, despite his removal physically from this present group of leaders, he certainly got to play the statesman. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): I would like to congratulate our new members, who will start working on a full-scale format
I would like to assure all our colleagues that we will continue the work that we have started today, expanding the influence of BRICS in the world.
I'm referring to the establishment of practical work with new members of the organization and with those who work in the BRICS sphere as outreach,
with our partners who, in one way or another, pay attention to cooperation with our organization and would like to work with us together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: Given the war in Ukraine and the events in Russia over the last 24 hours, as we've been extensively reporting on, some may view those
comments with a jaundiced eye. But certainly this is potentially significant --
MCKENZIE: -- and could make inroads into what is the current financial world system.
ANDERSON: Yes, it's fascinating, isn't it. More on this as we get it. This is not cut and dried. Not all of those members who have been invited,
sorry; not all of those countries who have been invited will necessarily accept that invitation and start work with and as part of BRICS on January
So this -- we've got a lot more to report on, on this. But for the time being, David, thank you very much indeed. This is not without consequence,
From the golf club to the jailhouse, just hours from now, Donald Trump is set to travel from New Jersey and to surrender to authorities at the Fulton
County jail in Atlanta, Georgia.
The former U.S. President already has a bond agreement in place and his team expects it shouldn't take him very long to be processed. Nine of
Trump's 18 codefendants have already surrendered, ahead of the 12 pm deadline on Friday.
The big question is, will Trump be treated the same way as the others who were fingerprinted and had their mug shots taken?
For the latest, let's get you to Nick Valencia, outside of the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta.
And Nick, look, it's probably, in the big scheme of things, not that important as to whether we get the fingerprinting and the mug shot but it's
-- given who Donald Trump is, given that he's a presidential contender -- at least for the Republican Party at this point, 40 points ahead of his
next rival -- it is symbolic that we may be looking at these images today.
What can we expect?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've never seen something like this, if that mug shot takes place, the former president mug shot. That in
itself, that sentence alone, is remarkable and stunning at his face.
And here we are with the former president, who finds himself in legal peril for indictments in the last five months. But in this indictment where, for
the first time, he's going to have pay bond and surrender himself to be arrested.
And when he walks through those doors in the Fulton County Jail behind me, he'll be doing so for the first time as a criminal defendant in this
VALENCIA (voice-over): A historic moment set for today. Former President Donald Trump will surrender to authorities at the Fulton County Jail.
They'll post a $200,000 bond be processed and possibly have his mug shot taken.
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: This indictment is a travesty.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani not mincing words after his surrender.
GIULIANI: This could happen to me who is probably the most prolific prosecutor maybe in American history and the most effective Mayor for sure
that can happen to you.
VALENCIA (voice-over): The Former Federal Prosecutor even taking a shot at the Fulton County District Attorney.
GIULIANI: Fani Willis will go down in American history as having conducted one of the worst attacks on the American Constitution ever when this case
VALENCIA (voice-over): Giuliani was booked on 13 charges and bond was set for $150,000. Trump posting on truth social shortly after Giuliani
surrender. The greatest Mayor in the history of New York City was just arrested in Atlanta, Georgia because he fought for election integrity.
The election was rigged and stolen. How sad for our country, Maga. Along with Giuliani, two more of Trump's key election lawyers have also turned
themselves in, Sidney Powell.
SIDNEY POWELL, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it.
VALENCIA (voice-over): In Jenna Ellis.
JENNA ELLIS, AMERICAN LAWYER: We want to make sure to protect election integrity.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Both Powell and Ellis are facing charges related to the 2020 Georgia presidential election, including violating Georgia's anti-
racketeering law. So far, nine of Trumps co-defendants have turned themselves in and for two of them, Former White House Chief of Staff Mark
Meadows and ex-Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.
Their efforts to avoid arrest or surrender have come to an end, U.S. District Court Judge Steve Jones, rejecting both Meadows and Clark's
emergency filings in two separate rulings to move their cases to federal court. Meadows argued that he should be allowed to avoid processing in
Fulton County before his scheduled hearing Monday.
The judge writing in his decision, the clear statutory language for removing a criminal prosecution does not support an injunction or temporary
state prohibiting District Attorney Willis'' enforcement or execution of the arrest warrant against Meadows.
Clark sought an emergency hold on the state court proceedings, including efforts to arrest any of the cases defendants who didn't turn themselves in
by the Friday deadline.
Jones, writing, " ... until the federal court assumes jurisdiction over the state criminal case, the state court retains jurisdiction over the
prosecution and the proceedings continue despite the notice of the removal."
VALENCIA: And Becky, as you mentioned, we still do not know whether or not the former president will get a mug shot. The sheriff here has said that he
will treat every defendant in this indictment the same.
We'll see later tonight if that applies to the former president. Just in the last hour, we understand a handful of Trump supporters have showed up
here. Police, we understand, have shown up at the scene as well, just a short distance from here. We'll be keeping an eye on how that develops as
well, throughout the day -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Thank you, Nick.
Nick Valencia on the story for you.
Mr. Trump, not at the first Republican debate last night. But up next, we'll tell you who was there, who stood out and where the candidates'
loyalties lie in support of that well-known front-runner.
ANDERSON: Welcome back.
The first Republican presidential debate may have been full of fireworks but Donald Trump's absence loomed over what was the rowdy crowd on
Wednesday night. At one point, the moderators asked his rivals if they would still support Trump as the Republican nominee, if he's convicted.
The audience cheered when most of the candidates raised their hands, including Ron DeSantis and Mike Pence. CNN's Jessica Dean has more from
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: The race for the White House takes flight.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eight Republican presidential hopefuls taking the national stage in Milwaukee in their first
primary debate. In the absence of former President Donald Trump, the party front runner, the fight for air time was on.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need to send Joe Biden back to his basement.
NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The truth is that Biden didn't do this to us.
MIKE PENCE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm the best prepared. The most tested, the most qualified and proven conservative in this race.
VIVEK RAMASWAMY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do you want a super PAC puppet or do you want a patriot who speaks the truth?
DEAN: With the debate coming on the eve of Trump's fourth arrest this year. The candidates address the ongoing indictments and possible
BAIER: Would you still support him as your party's choice?
Please raise your hand if you would.
CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Whether or not you believe that the criminal charges are right or wrong, the conduct is beneath the
office of president of the United States.
DEAN: Former Vice President Mike Pence did not hesitate to attack other party rivals. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, drawing from the
HALEY: You have Ron DeSantis, you've got Tim Scott, you've got Mike Pence, they all voted to raise the debt. And Donald Trump added eight trillion to
our debt. And our kids are never going to forgive us for this.
And we have to face the facts that Trump is the most disliked politician in America. We can't win a general election that way.
DEAN: But most flurries of attacks involved first-time candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, with the tech entrepreneur brawling with Pence, Haley and former
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over experience, foreign policy, Trump, Ukraine, China and more.
PENCE: Now is not the time for on the job training. We do not need to bring in a rookie. We don't need to bring in people without experience.
CHRISTIE: The last person who rented these debates who stood in the middle of the stage and said what is a skinny guy with an odd last name doing up
here was Barack Obama and I am afraid we are dealing with the same type of amateur on the stage tonight.
RAMASWAMY: Give me a hug. Give me a hug just like you did to Obama.
HALEY: The problem that Vivek doesn't understand is that he wants to hand Ukraine to Russia. He wants to let China eat Taiwan. He wants to go and
stop funding Israel. You don't do that to friends.
HALEY: Under your watch, you will make America less safe. You have no foreign policy experience and it shows.
DEAN: On the issue of abortion rights, Pence and Haley clashed over the best way forward.
HALEY: Let's be honest with the American people and say that it will take 60 Senate votes, it'll take a majority of the House. So in order to do
that, let's find consensus.
PENCE: To be honest with you, Nikki, you're my friend but consensus is the opposite of leadership. When the Supreme Court returned this question to
the American people, they did not just send it to the states only. It is not a state's only issue. It's a moral issue.
ANDERSON: CNN's Jessica Dean reporting there on what was a lively debate.
Coming up on the next hour of CONNECT THE WORLD, SE Cupp will join us to discuss some of the hot button topics; for example, climate change, that
the candidates did address. That's coming up.
Turning now to Greece, where firefighters are battling to contain more than 200 wildfires that have broken out since Monday. High winds fueling the
flames, increasing the threat to residents and their homes. Joining us now is CNN's Eleni Giokos, in the middle of some of the damage in the Greek
Eleni, yesterday we saw the fires burning around you. Today it seems as if we're looking at the aftermath. Just describe what you are seeing there.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Dystopia, catastrophe, destruction of what should be a carbon basin for Athens, the lungs of
Athens, now being a major polluter.
I cannot tell you how bad the atmosphere is and what we've been breathing in for the last day or so. It is, I mean, we are coughing; our sinuses are
under attack. You can only imagine the people who live here, what they've been going through and, of course, the aftermath of what this is going to
I want to show you what this forest should look like. You can see the greenery over here. And then you can see the burnt area. We're still
hearing a lot of helicopters above, trying to put out what is still an active fire.
According to the fire department, they're saying do not be fooled. They are still fighting this blaze. We cannot go further into the forest where the
active fires are currently ongoing. They're saying it's a safety risk.
But you can see we don't have a lot of wind today, which is a good thing. I want you to take a listen to what one of the firefighters told me about
their experience last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Last night was hell. Today feels better. The wind is our greatest enemy. We'll see nothing can be taken for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: And this is the thing: you have boots on the ground overnight, because you don't have that aerial assistance. During the day, you have
helicopters, each of them carrying 11 tons of water to try to put out these wildfires.
But, Becky, there are hundreds of fires currently ongoing in various parts of Greece. The biggest threat right now, still in Alexandroupolis, where we
saw that devastating story of the 18 bodies were found in a virgin forest.
We have the ODR (ph), which is 100 kilometers from Athens, active fires and not too far from here, 40 kilometers from here, there was arson incidents
that caused a fire there as well. You can see a helicopter above us.
Not enough resources, of course, to fight the many fronts across the country. This is going to be a record year for wildfires across Greece and,
of course, they have to contend with the aftermath, the pollution and, of course, the impact of climate change, the increasing temperatures, the dry
weather and the wind, which is so unpredictable.
ANDERSON: Eleni Giokos is just outside of Athens, in Greece,
Eleni, thank you.
Just ahead, India's lunar landing success is not just some phase of the moon. One of the country's top scientist tells me why this is so
significant. That is coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
ANDERSON (voice-over): Well, we brought you that real life drama on yesterday's show.
How do you think it matches up to this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): We must reach far beyond our own lifespans.
ANDERSON (voice-over): That's the Christopher Nolan blockbuster, "Interstellar," that saw Matthew McConaughey blasting off into space.
The reason we draw the comparison, this viral tweet that Elon Musk picked up on, it points out the $74 million dollar budget -- yes, $74 million
budget for the Indian space launch -- is less than half the price tag of that Hollywood movie.
My next guest says, quote, "From the moment the touch sensors of Vikram's landing legs confirmed the touchdown, a new chapter unfolded. The rover,
Pragyan, rolls out onto the lunar surface, embarking on its mission of discovery."
Absolutely delighted that Manish Purohit, who is a former scientist at the Indian Space Research Organization, he's made time to join us today, live
from Delhi to talk about what is, let's call this a moderately priced technological feat.
What it all means for India. And let's start with that. Explain the significance, if you will, of this achievement.
MANISH PUROHIT, NIMBUS EDUCATION: First of all, congratulations to everyone, because it's really a big thing that has happened yesterday. We
have been able to soft land on the southern polar region of the moon, where many spacefaring missions have been trying.
Lunar 25 was supposed to reach there on the 21st. Unfortunately it crash landed. So the significance in terms of the payload that we are carrying,
we are going to read about the specificity of the follow reason (ph).
PUROHIT: And that has not been done before. So we are going to do that part. We are going to explore the plasma atmosphere, the plasma layer that
forms near the lunar surface and that could give us a better insight about the dynamics that (INAUDIBLE).
We are going to get into the geological details, because the moon can be believed to be the museum, the archive of our formation days of the solar
system, how from the gas nebula, how the things came to be.
And we're going to get to know more about Earth, if we know more about moon. So and the best part of all this is once we get through the years of
these things, it is going to help the whole complete global scientific community in opening up some new chapters, because that's the place where
ANDERSON: All right.
PUROHIT: -- coming lunar emissions are aimed for.
ANDERSON: Yes, this is absolutely fascinating. I know you have got a model of the moon with you.
Can you hold that up and give us a sense of what you've just been describing and what this means for the nation?
PUROHIT: See, actually, this is the model that you're talking about. For India as a country, it's a big thing because we started off a bit late. We
started off as a collaborative space program with the help of Soviets, America, European nations.
So it was like we had some difficult days initially. We've got our first launch --
PUROHIT: -- which can carry 1000 kg class satellite, in 1990s. And by that time Russians and Americans they were big, Europeans (INAUDIBLE), they were
big in space. But then slowly and greatly, we have made our place and this particular (INAUDIBLE) event (ph), it gives us the sense that now we are
ready for the upcoming years.
We are planning to have our human spaceflight program, we are planning (INAUDIBLE). We are going to study more about sun. We are planning to do
the experimental test for the space docking systems. So we are planning big in the coming years and this (INAUDIBLE) is going to instill a complete
nation with confidence.
ANDERSON: Yes, and it's no coincidence that we are seeing an emerging middle power in India at present, an economy that is really on the move, an
ascendant India, at a time when India gets finally, to get this mission on the south side of the moon, completed, which is really important, I think
when we look at the kind of wider context of what's being achieved here for as, and I have to repeat this, $75 million, which is nothing, folks, in the
big scheme of things.
Huge celebrations in India yesterday.
ANDERSON: Were you surprised by how this had really captured the imagination?
PUROHIT: See, actually, this is something, that's part of the whole thing. I told you, we may have (INAUDIBLE) good option of being a frugal space
program that can achieve big.
If you look at our achievements, even if you go for a month (INAUDIBLE) mission we were able to get to the Martian orbit in our first attempt. That
was also a very real feat (ph) in a space bearing (ph) nation. And that, too, when that happened in 2014, again, that's almost the same thing
happened at Mars over the mission, is even the less than the cost of a good Hollywood movie.
So these comparisons happen but no, see, we really just don't cut down on the cost, it's not like that we want to keep it that way. We are not doing
that intentionally. It's like we are very intelligently using the resources that we have.
And that's (INAUDIBLE) --
PUROHIT: -- inculcated from the beginning days of this (INAUDIBLE) because initially, (INAUDIBLE) has seen the scarcity of resources and we are -- you
know, we will plan things like that.
But when it comes to space exploration, where the missions will demand more budgetary allowances, I don't think that that time this will be an issue,
because we are -- see, let's look at the new space policy right now has been adopted by India. It says that right now our influence in global space
economy is around 2 percent and we want to capture 9 percent --
ANDERSON: OK. But it's expanding. Yes. I'm going to have to leave you here, sir. I'm going to have you back on.
ANDERSON: Because this isn't the last time that we will be talking about India's space program. It's super having you on, congratulations as an
Indian and as a scientist. I know just how thrilled you must be. Fantastic. Thank you.
Ahead on sports today, the latest backlash over a kiss on the end of the Women's World Cup that has sparked a storm of criticism.
ANDERSON: The head of Spain's football federation now faces possible punishment from FIFA. Football's world governing body has opened
disciplining proceedings against Luis Rubiales. Our Andy Scholes is here, Andy.
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is a week that the Spanish football team should be celebrating the first ever World Cup
victory. But the kiss from Luis Rubiales is still the cloud hanging over the team.
You've had many people call for him to step down as the federation president. Now you have FIFA opening up disciplinary proceedings and you've
got the federation having their own proceedings tomorrow morning in an extraordinary general assembly. Something will certainly come out of that.
We will, of course, wait and see, have it covered on "WORLD SPORT," more details for you coming up next.
ANDERSON: Andy is up with that, after this short break. Thank you, Andy.
I'm back top of the hour, with the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with us