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First Move with Julia Chatterley

U.S. to Deploy Thousands of Additional Troops to Europe; OPEC Plus Sticking to Oil Output Policy Despite Price Rally; Alphabet: Blowout Quarter as Google's Ad Sales Soar; Johnson Slammed by UK Lawmaker over "Partygate" Scandal; Beijing Using "Closed Loop" System to Curb COVID Spread; Meme Stock Traders on the Ups and Downs; CNN Visits Trenches on Ukrainian Front Lines; Improving Accessibility in Japan; NASA to Retire the International Space Station in 2031 by Crashing it into the Pacific Ocean. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired February 02, 2022 - 09:00   ET



JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Live from New York, I'm Julia Chatterley. This is "FIRST MOVE." And here's your need to know.

Situation stable. Ukraine's president says the economic panic over Russia is, quote, "under control."

Pumping pressure. OPEC Plus rejects calls to increase oil supplies.

As easy as A-B-C online. Advertising spells success for Alphabet.

It is Wednesday. Let's make a move.


A warm welcome to "FIRST MOVE." Fantastic to have you with us this Wednesday.

U.S. investors begin the month with a buying spree. Tech was near a bear market. And now it is three rallies for three. A roaring start to the Year

of the Tiger. But, of course, there is no guarantee.

Beijing hoping for some tiger tail winds and upcoming Olympic gains gleam.

No time for a pause though. The Nasdaq clawing its way back after the best three-day rallies since the start of lockdowns.

Europe higher for a third straight session, too. As you can see, Google parent Alphabet, as I mentioned, leading the (INAUDIBLE) chart up 10

percent in the premarket session. Surging sales and a scintillating stock split, the news there. That of course suddenly opens up the stock to

smaller investors and perhaps Dow index entry too. Who knows?

I want to tell you what one thing we do know. U.S. private sector jobs growth is slowing dramatically down by more than 300,000 last month against

expectations for a modest rise. And that, of course, adding to some disquiet about a dramatic slowdown in the first quarter.

U.S. GDP numbers. Nothing like the pressure facing Ukraine's economy due to the ongoing geopolitical uncertainty there. The president, as I mentioned,

saying today things have stabilized though the current scene. You can take a look at the chart there, has weakened by some 4 percent versus the U.S.

dollar this year. That makes them one of the world's worst performers. And that is where we begin.

Ukraine's president says the state of economic, quote, "panic" over tensions with Russia is stabilizing. But new satellite images reveal Russia

has further bolstered its military presence in the region. And on Tuesday, Russia's President Putin spoke publicly about the crisis for the first time

in weeks. He accused the west of trying to lure Russia into armed conflict.

And we've just learned the United States is going to deploy thousands of additional troops to Eastern Europe.

Nic Robertson is in Moscow for us. Nic, good to have you with us. I believe the Pentagon is going to hold a press conference in the next hour. What

more do we know about the kind of numbers that we're perhaps talking about in terms of troops?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yeah. President Biden had previously said that he was putting troops on a higher level of alert

to be deployed to Eastern Europe. He'd spoken with Hungary and Romania and Bulgaria about their willingness to take some number of troops, possibility

of Poland and the Baltic states. The numbers though were being talked about, it was about 8,500 and it wasn't clear if all of those would come

from the United States or be redeployed from Europe.

But it does seem to be that sort of ballpark in this sort of, you know, 8,000 troop number region. This has already -- the idea of this has already

sort of been met from Moscow by, you know, claims that this in fact is escalating the tensions, which fits Russia's narrative at the moment, which

is, you know, it is not their buildup of troops that they say is legitimate for training exercises. It is in fact the United States and NATO that are

really escalating the tensions here.

So, this is something that is going to send again another signal to President Putin that he spoke about yesterday that he is not getting what

he wants. The security guarantees that he wants about NATO, about NATO going back to 1997 levels.

So, at the moment, it really seems we're sort of in a - in a standoff situation, waiting for President Putin to figure out what he is going to

say and how he's going to make an official response to the United States and NATO's letters to him.

But he did at the end of his press conference yesterday hold out the possibility of a track of diplomacy with the French President Macron. He

said he hoped he would see him soon. And we know that the pair have had phone calls - have had two phone calls over recent days.

So, the possibility of a track of diplomacy but not clear that anyone is on it or even close to being on it yet.


CHATTERLEY: No. And while we wait, the United States seemingly bolstering troop support. We await that press conference at 10:00 a.m. Eastern this


Nic, great to have you with us. Thank you.

Nic Robertson there.

OPEC, of course, watching these negotiations very closely too. The world's major oil producers are sticking to their current plan regarding output

rises even as oil prices hover near seven-year highs.

Anna Stewart is on the story for us.

Anna, no size there - no surprises in terms of this OPEC Plus meeting and the outcome and the decision to stick with the plan from last summer. The

problem is, they are not doing what they promised in terms of output rises already. So, the pressure is still on and will continue.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: I know. I thought we would have more anticipation ahead of this meeting. It was clearly very quick. Not much of

a debate there at all. They are sticking with their slow and steady approach.

And as you say, part of the problem here in terms of had they said they were going to accelerate their output, would the market have believed them

since they are actually not keeping up with what they currently pledged.

One analyst from PVN actually told us that due to constraints both with OPEC and some known OPEC members as well, he thinks the actual output level

is around 700,000 barrels per day below the ceiling.

So, there, you get the question, you know, whether you can break that link actually in terms of what OPEC says in terms of output and the prices we've

been seeing. Of course, it reached up above over $91 a barrel last week in terms of Brent.

Lots of reasons for it. There is underinvestment from some countries like Nigeria and Angola. For the UAE, there are the Houthi rebel attacks we've

seen in recent weeks. If you look at Libya, there were blockades in certain pipelines recently. So, there's a lot weighing in there.

And then on top of all that, you do have this looming tension between Russia and Ukraine which has the potential of course to have major

disruption for energy flows, major impact potentially on prices. But it seems that OPEC is just going to wait and see what happens in that space

not least because Russia is a major player around the virtual table for OPEC Plus. And those high oil prices really work in their favor in terms of

bolstering their balance sheets and giving them really financial bandwidth if they are faced with sanctions. Julia?

CHATTERLEY: Yes. We shall see.

Anna Stewart, thank you so much for that.

Now let's turn spelled good news for tech giant Alphabet. Google's advertising sales grew nearly 33 percent in the fourth quarter. Supply

chain woes didn't stop sales of the pixel smartphone from hitting quarterly records either. Plus, the company announced a new stock split coming this


CNN's Paul La Monica joins me now.

Paul, much to discuss on this. But what it says to me is the companies that control the key gateways to e-commerce, the hybrid work, to streaming

entertainment services, have done incredibly well through this period and advertisers know it.

PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Oh, without question, Julia. Advertisers are flocking to the biggest platforms with the most users. And

that is why Alphabet is doing well. We expect you know strong numbers from Meta, the owner of a little company named Facebook.

But when you look at Alphabet, Google ad revenue surging, what is really impressive is that YouTube continues to be a juggernaut. So much so that

YouTube's ad revenue in the quarter, Julia, eclipsed the total revenue for Netflix in the fourth quarter.

Now, of course, not apples to apples. Netflix is a subscription-based model. YouTube is primarily an ad model. But it is stunning that at least

in terms of revenue, YouTube is bigger than Netflix.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah. And YouTube doesn't have to pay $20 billion or whatever it is this year to create content to put on there as well. It is pretty




LA MONICA: Well, yes.

CHATTERLEY: Speaking of the stock split. This is important too. Because in terms of the share price, it's actually normally, do anything in terms of

the value of the company, but it does make the shares more accessible to smaller retail players particularly if you are lopping so much in terms of

the share price itself. So, 20 to 1 share price. But explain this. Because it could also mean entry to the Dow as well index.

LA MONICA: Yeah, there is a lot at play here, Julia. You obviously mentioned Google, Alphabet currently trades around $3,000 a share. That is

not affordable for a lot of investors. Yes, we do have fractional trading so that people can buy a piece. But with the 20-for-1 split, the stock

price goes down to about $150 a share when the split is over. The value of the company doesn't change at all.

But because the Dow is a price weighted average much like Apple finally got into the Dow after a split in 2015, you could see that this move would pave

the way for Alphabet to possibly get added to the Dow.

It's also similar to what happened when Berkshire Hathaway. Remember, Warren Buffet's company did a 50-for-1 split of its B shares back when they

bought Burlington Northern, the huge railroad. And that in 2010 finally paved the way for Berkshire to get into the S&P 500.


So, I'm not so sure that Alphabet, if you ask their executives, are we doing this because you want to get in the Dow. They probably wouldn't

publicly admit that. But privately, I'm sure they would love to be one of the Dow 30 because it is such an endorsement of the company and the

business model.


LA MONICA: And the importance to the American economy.

CHATTERLEY: In public? Hmm. In private, yes, please.

Paul La Monica, thank you for that.

Let me bring you up to speed for some of the other stories making headlines around the world.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is enjoying the mauling by lawmakers over the so-called Partygate scandal. And the commons in the opposition,

Labour leader raised the possibility that Prime Minister Johnson will be interviewed by police about the succession of rule-breaking parties at No.

10 over the lockdown period.


KEIR STAMMER, LEADER, UK LABOUR PARTY: Lots of words, lots of bluster, no answers.

Word of warning.

Word of warning, prime minister.

That's not going to work with the police.


CHATTERLEY: The curling competition has begun at the Winter Olympics in Beijing ahead of the official launch on Friday. Thousands of athletes from

91 different nations are participating before a scaled down crowd as China limits potential COVID spread. And as we've discussed many times on the

show, Beijing has created a closed loop system to keep athletes, coaches and staff separated from the general public to protect them.

CNN's Selina Wang and David Culver show us what life is like on either side of that bubble.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The motto of Beijing's winter games is "together for a shared future." It's a nice sentiment, but daily

life in the Chinese capital is far apart from the Olympic enclave within it, and absolutely nothing is shared between the people that inhabit the

two worlds.

Too great is the risk of Omicron for China as it tries to maintain its zero-COVID policy.

In the week leading to January 30th, 237 symptomatic infections were reported in the country of 1.4 billion people.

Meanwhile, arrivals testing, and the daily screening of games participants has already registered around 200 positive results.

(on camera): The closed loop system means those Olympic personnel who are visiting from other countries won't be able to freely wander and check out

the many iconic tourist sites like this one, the Forbidden City. For them, it is truly forbidden.

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Instead, for athletes, organizers and us journalists, inside the closed loop, Beijing has become a

series of bubbles. Our hotels, the sporting venues and places like this media center are as much as the city has to offer.

(voice-over): There are even literal walls, security blocking us from freely moving about.

We are COVID tested every day outside the hotel.

(on camera): Technology takes the place of many lost interactions. Here at the media center, a robot serves our food. And there is a robot bartender

mixing and serving our drinks.

(voice-over): Only a limited number of Beijinger's have joined our closed loop to look after and transport all of the people connected to the games

and they too will need to stay separate from family and friends for weeks, quite a sacrifice as the Lunar New Year's holiday overlaps with the


UNIDENTIFIED KID: Happy New Year, mama.

WANG: But as COVID has disconnected Beijing from the international event it's hosting, it has also disconnected the people here from the rest of

their country.

CULVER: And normally, during the Lunar New Year holiday, major cities like Beijing, they're empty. All of the folks who lived here, going back to

their home provinces. But this year, because of the outbreaks happening all over China, they are asking folks to stay put so you have crowds like this

gathering at some of the more popular spots.

(voice-over): Crowds that won't get to be there as the medals are contested and won. No sporting tickets are on sale. Instead, the government will

issue some to a lucky few.

(on camera): Beijing 2022 is a tale of two cities.

The hosts --

WANG (on camera): And their guests, so close -- but so far.

For CNN, I'm Selina Wang inside the Olympic closed loop.

CULVER: And I'm David Culver on the outside, Beijing, China.


CHATTERLEY: France has started to ease some of its COVID measures as hospitals were put fewer patients in intensive care. Authorities will no

longer require people to work from home or wear masks outdoors. And they will stop regulating crowd sizes at cultural events too. The country

scheduled to further relax restrictions in two weeks' time.

Still to come here on "FIRST MOVE."

The Reddit rally turned rollercoaster ride. Their meme stock mean streak takes shine off GameStop gold.

Is it all over? We'll discuss, next.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."

This week's Reddit's rally in tech injecting new life into perspective stocks that were all the rage one year ago. AMC, the cinema chain, GameStop

and Virgin Galactic all seeing strong gains despite ongoing concerns over rising interest rates.

AMC is selling some $500 million worth of junk bonds to refinance its debt too. That just means they are sold at really high interest rates despite

the recent meme momentum.

The Reddit board favorite is still down too far sharply so far this year.

AMC is currently down, as you can see there, some 38 percent.

Now, meme stocks maybe clawing back lost ground but some of the people trading them say they are having no such luck.

And CNN's Jon Sarlin spoke to a day trader AJ Vanover.


JON SARLIN, CNN DIGITAL PRODUCER (voice-over): A year ago, AJ Vanover was one of the legions of amateur traders who rocked Wall Street.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: GameStop. We've got to talk about this today.

CHATTERLEY: GameStop is set to continue their head spinning ascent.

SARLIN: Working in a battery store in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, making making $35,000 a year, AJ struck gold on a $4,500 bet on GameStop.

We spoke with AJ twice last year. First, when his GameStop options had ballooned in to more than $1 million on paper.

AJ VANOVER, INVESTED IN GAMESTOP: I knew I was going to make money, but I got lucky with how it actually unfolded.

SARLIN: Then a few weeks later when those same options had fallen to under $300,000.

VANOVER: I'm still bullish on it at the current price levels.

SARLIN: Now a year later, AJ has quit his job, turning his once hobby of trading stocks into a full-time career.

VANOVER: Honestly, I've had to learn a lot more now because nothing has acted like it used to.

SARLIN: AJ hasn't matched the success of last year's GameStop trade. After taxes, a down payment for his house and some cars, AJ now has around

$100,000 left in his trading portfolio.

VANOVER: I mean, it is always a learning process. This year shows a point that even the best of them, lose some money sometimes. There is a lot of

hedge funds that lost money this year. It is what you end up doing when you lose the money. If you learn from it, or if you just keep trying to do the

same things.

SARLIN: Last year, working at the battery store, AJ was working around 40 hours a week.

This year, as a full-time trader, AJ estimates he has been putting in around 80 hours.

VANOVER: I mean, a lot of stress just trying to keep up with everything. And gets to a point where you know it's like, can't mess up. It is

constantly thinking about what is going on in the market.



CHATTERLEY: Joining us now Ruchir Sharma, global investor and author of "The 10 Rules of Successful Nations."

Ruchir, great to have you with us. And our regular viewers will know you and I were talking on Monday and I rudely cut you off for the Partygate

breaking news.

And this actually one of the subjects that I wanted to talk to you about. So, we're going to start there if that is OK.

The democratization of finance was one of the things that we talked about so much in 2021. This rush of many younger what we call retail investors

into the market. And it was a game changer for them, I think, but also for the structure of how the market operates.

RUCHIR SHARMA, GLOBAL INVESTOR: Yeah, that's right. I think that it is great to have more participants in the market. But unfortunately, if we

look at the history of financial markets going back over a century that every big market top is usually characterized by a lot of frantic retail

activity. We saw that a bit in 2007 also, but much more in 1999, 2000, if you recall. And then even before the big bubbles of the past, 1929, 1973,

we see a lot of momentum trading by retail investors.

So that is a bit of a concern to me and that's something that I've been speaking about in my past few columns. And on the other side of the

equation, the insiders, a lot of CEOs, management people, they have been selling stock quite aggressively.

So, this is not a great combination from the market's perspective that you get a lot of retail investors piling into the market at a very frantic

pace. And on the other side of the equation, you have a lot of insiders, corporate insiders, CEOs, selling their stock aggressively and that is what

was going on at least for much of the second half of 2021.

CHATTERLEY: And corporate insiders are a better gauge of sensing, a feeling a peak? Because if we look at the activity that we saw in GameStop and AMC,

the cinema chain, last year, and I just mentioned how much they are down this year. There was a sort of public - retail public sentiment that they

could take on some of the big guys and the vested interests. And there's a lot of people who have lost a lot of money as a result of that.

SHARMA: Yeah. I think that it is very different in terms of like the retail, you know like taking on the big guys with the hedge funds and

stuff. You can argue about their track record. But definitely when management starts to sell aggressively, and CEOs start to sell

aggressively, that is intuitively telling you something.

Now do we be doing it for tax-frees or other reasons. But generally, their sales increased quite significantly in 2021. And on the other side of the

equation, retail trading activity increased a lot.

I remember that this is really a 12-year bull market. We had a big interruption in the pandemic and sharp crash then. But this bull market at

least in the U.S. traces back all the way to 2009. So, the longest bull markets in history.

And retail investors did not participate in this market at all right up until the pandemic. It is only in the pandemic when they got massive

amounts of cash infusion and stimulus checks that hit their account. Then they began to trade very aggressively sitting at home. And that activity

picked up very dramatically in 2021.

So that is a warning sign typically and we are seeing that in some way over the past few weeks and the incredible churn we're seeing in the market. And

a lot of the stocks to which the retail investors are exposed have gone badly hit notwithstanding the trade rallies and big pops we're seeing off

the local lows in the last couple of days.

CHATTERLEY: So, it just means more volatility.

SHARMA: Well, it means more volatility. But I feel like there's a major trend change underway in the marketplace. I feel that many of the winners

of the past few years were a lot of the retail investors - investor interest is concentrated. Those stocks and those sectors are likely hitting

a relative peak in the market and the market is going through a major leadership churn.

In the coming decade, I believe the winners are going to be very different compared to the winners of the past decade. That has been the pattern of

investing going back 100 years. That the winners of one decade, the big winners are rarely ever the winners of the subsequent decade.

So, I'm very wary of owning some of these mega cap tech stocks that have done really well over the last few years. And also, more recently where

some of the stocks where the retail trading activities. Some of these very - you know because if you look at the trading activity of them, it is

either these -- buying these mega cap tech stocks or buying these very low value stocks where they can use a lot of leverage.


SHARMA: You know, like trade up. And I think that those are the two buckets of the market that I'm most concerned about. Instead, I feel that some of

the more defensive or some of the more international stocks, emerging markets. Those are the stocks which could do relatively well in the coming



So big leadership change underway in the marketplace. That is what we have to see and cut through the volatility and see it for that rather than get

lost in the weeds.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah. So, it's instead of argues for a push back to the fundamentals and doing the analysis on companies if that is how you trade.

That guy was saying I've gone from doing 40 hours to 80 hours. And occupy that's what it requires at least if you're a longer-term investor.

I want to talk to you about the metaverse as well because we were having a meta moment before, again I mentioned I rudely cut you off. And you were

telling me, and I'm quoting you, "requiems for the tangible are premature." Explain why.

SHARMA: You know, there is so much hype about the metaverse. It keeps featuring in all the companies' quarterly earnings. We see it all over

emblazoned online and in the media.

And my point is, that they are great. The metaverse is here to stay. But we may have forgotten here that the physical economy still exists. What do I

mean by that?

It's housing. It's commodities. It's even workers. That you know we are so caught up in the technology and the tech mania, you know which is all very

exciting. That we are not investing enough in the physical economy. There is a real shortage of commodities as we spoke about. Real shortage of

workers. Real shortage of housing which people still demand. The millennials still want to buy housing. You know it is typically in the -

like in the 30s when people buy their first home often.

So, my point, there is a big shortage going on there and there's a big oversupply and overhype about the metaverse.

So again, in the coming few years, I expect stocks at sectors linked to the physical economy to do much better than the metaverse where I think a lot

of the hype, a lot of the promise is already priced in.

So, in a way, if I would just take it down simply to one big bet, it would be long some of the physical economy like the commodities and potentially

against that short some of this hype of the metaverse and tech that has taken place in the last few years because that is where people are

overinvested. And it is commodity on the physical side of the economy where people are underinvested. And you want to be where people are

underinvested, not over overinvested.

CHATTERLEY: Basically, what you are saying is, behind every avatar is a human.

SHARMA: Exactly.

CHATTERLEY: And actually, the math is more.

SHARMA: Yeah. That is exactly what I was trying to sort of say there. And I think (INAUDIBLE) in the coming few years.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah. And very quickly, Ruchir. I read recently some comments that Roblox, which is what all the kids are playing, over half of American

children are on Roblox. Just given what you have seen for developing nations and rising nations and the sort of passage of time, do children

grow up and other responsibilities take over?

You have to pay a mortgage. You have to buy a car. You have to put your children through school. For everyone that argues that these - these

generation now that has grown up in metaverse, so they understand it better, they care more about it perhaps and you and I understand. Do you

buy that or do you -- would you make the argument that other priorities rule when eventually you are forced to grow up?

SHARMA: There are structured changes which are going on. There's no question about that. It's something I've written about again. That I think

that gaming is the new source of entertainment. Source of revenue that we're getting from gaming is far greater now than let's say the Box Office

and movies or even the music industry. So that is a structured change which is going on.

I think that - so, habits will change. We are going to - we are all spending more time online and digitally. I'm not arguing against that. I'm

just saying that if you look at the demand for things like cars or things like housing, this is not slowing down even among the younger people who

think that, you know, life is all about the metaverse. But you are not seeing that in actual demand numbers.

So, yes, there are structural changes which are going on. I'm very aware of that. We have to all recognize that. That things like gaming is the source

of entertainment of the future. It is already there now. The revenues have already exploded.

But people are still demanding to live in a home, still demanding to use a car, still demanding some kind of a job. And that is not going away. And

so, that is the point I'm trying to make which is that, yes, recognize the structural changes but also that don't ignore at your peril about where

demand is still strong and where people are underinvested.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, don't let your excitement about the virtual overtake the importance of the physical.

SHARMA: Yes, exactly.

CHATTERLEY: Ruchir Sharma, great to have you. Thank you. We'll see you soon.

SHARMA: Absolutely. Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: The market opens next. Stay with us.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."

U.S. stocks are up and running this Wednesday and we're continuing to see strong gains for the tech stocks in particular. Tech now four days in a row

boosted by strong results from Google parent company Alphabet. Shares of the FANG favorite on a sharply higher in early trade.

Alphabet also taking an alpha bet on its future, too. Splitting its stock 20-for-1 later this year.

Facebook parent company Meta and Amazon report earnings later this week too. So, all eyes on those names as well.

CHATTERLEY: In the meantime, U.S. President Joe Biden has approved the deployment of thousands of additional troops to Eastern Europe. We expect

to hear more next hour when the Pentagon provides an update. This comes as new satellite images revealed Russia has further bolstered its military

presence in the region.

CNN's Clarissa Ward visited Ukrainian troops deployed near the Russian border and she is joins us live now from Eastern Ukraine.

Clarissa, it's a privilege to have you on the show.

Clearly, we are hearing a cacophony of noise from capital cities all around the region and the world to be honest. You're at the pivotal point, I

think, trying to understand what those on the border are saying. How are they feeling at this moment?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. Julia, it is truly extraordinary because as you said, we see the news coming out of

Washington. We see the satellite imagery. We see the buildup of Russian troops and heavy weaponry all around Ukraine.

And yet, on the ground, in the city of Mariupol, which by the way, if the Russians did launch some kind of an invasion would be one of the first

cities to know about it, if not, the first. People are relatively calm. They don't believe that there is going to be a war. And even on the front

lines, soldiers told us they are ready, but they just don't think it is going to happen.


WARD (voice-over): This is Ukraine's first line of defense if Russia decides to invade. And it is basic, half a dozen soldiers in snow covered

trenches, no sign of heavy weapons. Russian backed separatists are just half a mile away.


(on camera): -- every day. He's saying that every night there's fighting once it gets dark.

(voice-over): These front lines have been frozen for years. A Russian offensive would change that in an instant. But the alarm in Washington is

not shared here.

(on camera): What's amazing to see is that despite the buildup of tanks, and heavy weaponry on the Russian side of the border, which is less than 20

miles from here, here on the Ukrainian side, there's no sense at all that anyone is preparing for an invasion.

(voice-over): The sergeant here as we not give his name. He says he doesn't expect conflict, but he is prepared.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Our commanders told us that we must be alert.

WARD (voice-over): He tells us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are ready to meet guests from Russia.

WARD (on camera): What kind of weapons do you have at this position? Do you have any heavy weaponry? I don't see any, but I just want to make sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): You don't need to see. And the enemy doesn't need to see.

WARD (voice-over): He says.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): But we have everything.

WARD: What they don't have here are many layers of defense. Driving from the front we see just a handful of checkpoints.

If the Ukrainian army can't hold this area, Russian forces could reach Mariupol, a port city of half a million in hours. Despite the threat, life

here goes on much as normal.

At the local markets, stalls are open, and the shelves are full.

(on camera): I'd love to know if you think that there will be a war.

WARD: (speaking in foreign language)

NATHALIA (ph) (through translator): We don't want war. We have children and grandchildren.

WARD (voice-over): Natalia says.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): And there won't be war. We believe that. Some like Erjan (ph) say that America is exaggerating the


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): No, there will not be a war, he says. It's only Biden who thinks this.

WARD (on camera): It's interesting talking to people here nobody seems to be remotely concerned about the prospect of an imminent invasion.

(voice-over): These people are no strangers to war, all around Mariupol the hollowed-out remnants of villages destroyed and abandoned by fighting

between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists.

But whether moved by denial or disbelief, these soldiers and the people they're protecting don't expect history to repeat itself. Now they wait.

And they watch and they hope.


WARD (on camera): Now, Julia, the U.S has been giving a steady stream of weapons to Ukraine, among those weapons these much-coveted antitank javelin

missiles. But one of the rules of the ceasefire agreement along the front lines, and we saw that that ceasefire is being breached regularly.

But nonetheless, one of the rules is that no heavy weaponry. And, of course, therefore, no javelin missiles can be brought to the front. That

though really could present the Ukrainian military with a quandary in the event that there was some kind of a lightning speed Russian offensive

across that border. And to be honest, Julia, what you see overall here is that the Ukrainians really are outmatched, outnumbered and outgunned on the

ground and also in the air.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah. Fascinating reporting. Thank you so much for that, Clarissa. great to have you with us today. Clarissa Ward there.

All this week we're exploring the ways people, communities, businesses and industries in Japan are innovating and preparing for a world beyond the


Today, CNN's Blake Essig follows one woman's mission to improve accessibility.


BLAKE ESSIG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two decades ago, at age 22, Yuriko Oda's life changed forever. She was diagnosed with distal

myopathy. A group of rare disorders typically affecting the muscles in one's arms and legs.

YURIKO ODA (through translator): It is said that as it progresses, it eventually makes a person bedridden. For me, it has progressed since then

and I became a wheelchair user when I was 26.

ESSIG: When Oda had a son, she dreamt about taking him to the beach. But being wheelchair bound, it didn't seem possible.

ODA (through translator): When my son was about 3 years old, I decided to look for a barrier-free beach and found one about three hours from my

house. And we were able to go and enjoy it. I wondered what I had been struggling with for the past three years and I began to think that

information could change the lives of wheelchair users. And I wanted to deliver the information properly to them.

ESSIG: In fact, it inspired Oda to start her own YouTube channel to provide information to other wheelchair users.

In 2017, she launched the crowdsourced map application WheeLog! Allowing users to post and search locations of barrier-free facilities like

bathrooms and elevators as well as safe routes for wheelchair users could take. The app also lets them interact and ask each other questions.


ODA (through translator): Like what do you do on a rainy day and how do you cut your hair in a wheelchair?

ESSIG: From lockdowns to social distancing, the pandemic has restricted the ways we move around. For wheelchair users, that reality is amplified. Oda

hopes to help alleviate those difficulties by creating create more inclusivity for the times they to go outside.

Today, Oda is touring the aquatic center. A venue built for the 2020 games to learn more about its barrier-free facilities to add to the Wheel


ODA (through translator): Many people might not have thought about diversity or barrier-free facilities without the Olympics and Paralympics.

I was very impressed that the barrier-free facilities went beyond just the minimum requirements.

ESSIG: For Oda, a blueprint of how we move around is evolving. And she is hoping the work many have put in can inspire people for the better in the


ODA (through translator): I hope that this app will be utilized across various fields, including education. I would like to make Japan one of the

most barrier-free developed countries in the world.


CHATTERLEY: And finally, on "FIRST MOVE."

The International Space Station will be retired in a rather dramatic way. NASA says the ISS will be crashed into the Pacific Ocean in early 2031.

Since launching in 2000, the space lab has hosted more than 200 astronauts from 19 different countries. NASA says commercial space platforms will

replace the station.

What a shame that we can't save it rather than crash land it in the ocean. I guess that's what's safe.

That's it for the show. If you've missed any of our interviews today, they will be on my Twitter and Instagram pages. Search for @jchatterleycnn.

I guess we got nine years to find the solution to that. I'll come back to that.

Stay safe. Marketplace Asia is next. I'll see you tomorrow.