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First Move with Julia Chatterley
Belarusian Leader, Putin Discuss Regional Security; Storm Eunice Batters UK with Hurricane-Force Winds; Leader of Breakaway Donetsk Region Urges Civilians to go to Russia; World's First All-Electric Plane Prepares for Flight; U.S. Investigating Tesla Over "Phantom Braking" Complaints. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired February 18, 2022 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO, PRESIDENT OF BELARUS: --technologies. We know how to do everything. Even if you look at the pandemic, who developed the first
vaccine and Russia provided us with technology to create to produce such vaccine. And we produced 2 million doses in Belarus. We've done that and we
will do our - resolve our issues as well. Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST, FIRST MOVE: I'm Julia Chatterley. And you've been watching the Russian President and his counterpart from Belarus after
their meeting that press conference there discussing the Union of State the progress towards a construction of the union state between them into
involving deeper integration on things like migration, the economy, military, and IT technology matters.
The backdrop of course, the joint military exercises known as allied resolve of 2022, described by NATO as the biggest deployment of Russian
troops in Belarus since the end of the Cold War. Nic Robertson is in Moscow for us, Frederik Pleitgen is in Minsk.
Nic come in here, the timing once again, another press conference with President Vladimir Putin with the President of Belarus, they're talking
about their greater integration in the face of resistance from the rest of the world.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, and both Presidents there sort of trumpeting the success of it, the economic success
of it interesting that President Lukashenko was saying there effectively that you know, Europe, Western nations, the sanctions that they're putting
on Russia, are unfair.
And the sanctions that are threatened against Belarus also fall into that category, but indicating, you know, presenting a narrative for their
audience, that these sanctions are coming anyway, because the Western community wants to hold back economic development in Russia and Belarus.
You can't help but listen to that and see it in the context of the sanctions that are threatened on Russia, and also Belarus, if forces cross
from Belarusian into Ukrainian Russian forces cross into Ukraine, that there appears to be a sense being created by Lukashenko that you know, the
sanctions are coming anyway.
So if we cross, he didn't say that. But the implication seems to be if there was an incursion, and we were found to be guilty of that, therefore,
we were going to be getting sanctions anyway. But I think the other perhaps big take away from this was President Putin's perspective on where things
stand with, not only the training exercises, but talks with - talks about de-escalating tensions.
Right now, there's been obviously much pressure on President Putin to de- escalate his forces that are going through these training exercises. He says the training exercises are not a threat to anyone. They're on our
They're not they're not aimed at Ukraine, per se, that these are not a threat to anyone. But then going on to talk about how the Minsk Agreement.
This is, in essence, the agreement to de-escalate tensions and provide a lasting peace in the East of Ukraine.
That was really become perhaps in part of the initiation and support of Russia with those pro Russian separatists in the East of Ukraine back in
2014 but President Putin saying that, that Kyiv. Kyiv is not doing what it should be doing that the leadership there should be talking directly to the
leadership of the separatists in the East of Ukraine.
And he implied that the de-escalation should only come in the context of when the leadership in Kyiv begins talking directly to the pro-Russian
separatist's leadership in Donbas in the East of Ukraine.
Now, President Putin over the last number of weeks has called for international pressure on the leadership in Kyiv to begin these direct
discussions. There have been various meetings on these lengthy meetings.
Putin and his diplomats have been frustrated that they haven't been able to sort of get the outcome they want in terms of these Minsk towards at least
get them going. The way they want to get them going.
And this seems to be it appears to be and what President Putin is saying that there won't be a de-escalation of forces until the authorities in Kyiv
begin those direct discussions with the rebel leadership with the with the pro Russian separatists leadership in the in the East of Ukraine. And that
appears to be what he's saying perhaps we'll get more clarification later in this press conference.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it comes at a time where we're seeing a ramp up and violence in the East of Ukraine in violation of the Minsk Peace Agreement.
And the ongoing flood of intelligence that we're hearing from U.S. officials in particular the latest upon which is that the country up to now
190,000 troops in and around Ukraine.
CHATTERLEY: Nic, they're really seemingly sending a message to Putin that we're watching. We're observing, and we're seeing everything that you're
ROBERTSON: This was a statement by the United States Ambassador to the OSCE, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. 57 nation's
globe straddling, Russia was a member, a member of the OSCE and the figures that were being given by the ambassador.
He noted that were a significant increase in the number 100,000 of Russian forces around Ukraine at the beginning of January and appears what he was
doing here, as well as sort of taken that 150,000 that we'd heard from President Biden.
A few days ago, a sort of an update of 150,000 Russian troops around Ukraine in various locations. He appears to be adding in this is, again,
appears we need clarification on this. But it appears that he's adding in the figures of about 30,000, pro-Russian separatist forces that are in the
East of Ukraine.
So, you know, sort of presenting a very significant figure, but perhaps it doesn't represent that there's suddenly been an additional 30,000 pro-
Russian forces, Russian forces that have been added that have suddenly arrived at the frontlines here.
But it is an indication of the numbers of forces that clearly the United States believes are now outside of Ukraine aligned and ready for what they
are concerned about a possible incursion into Ukraine.
CHATTERLEY: And one of the possible access routes Fred come in here. And part of the broader context here is the fact that Belarus in Ukraine share
or what near 700 mile border. You actually spoke to the Belarusian President yesterday and challenged him on their prospects and their plans
in light of the military exercises that we're seeing. Just talk us through that conversation.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right. Julia and is also quite interesting to see Alexander
Lukashenko today in the meetings with Vladimir Putin.
Once again very much place Belarus in the corner of the Russian Federation in saying that he will stand by Vladimir Putin's side, essentially no
matter what happens. One of the interesting things that he said is that with these drills that are going on right now here in Belarus.
With Russian and Belarus Russian forces, they're operating together in these joint drills, that it's unclear when these drills end and there's
slated to end on Sunday, whether all the Russian forces will then actually leave the territory of Belarusian.
And once again today Alexander Lukashenko said it could take a day it could take a month, the Russian forces will stay there as long as possible and as
long as needed. And that's something that of course, is very concerning to the United States. And we were indeed able to observe those drills and
speak to Alexander Lukashenko during those drills yesterday, here's what we saw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN (voice over): For the first time, we're getting a close up view of some of the Russian forces, the U.S. says are threatening Ukraine,
conducting massive live fire drills with the Belarusian military inside Belarus. The U.S. says it fears this could be one of the places from which
an attack on Ukraine could be launched.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: And then we have a part of that report about those drills that happened yesterday. And there Alexander Lukashenko certainly said that he
believed that right now, the Belarus would support Russia.
And will continue to support Russia in the century that they had formed a unity, as he put it, and that was certainly something that they want to
continue to forge also, of course, one of the things that they discussed today again, as well.
And so you can clearly see that Alexander Lukashenko obviously, his position is very clear. At the same time, of course, we always have to
point out that Belarus in so many ways right now is dependent on Vladimir Putin is dependent on Russia, militarily, but of course, economically as
CHATTERLEY: Fred and we apologize to our viewers, because there were a few technical issues with your report there, but what they would have seen was
you and he discussing the prospect of an invasion, and he pushed back quite strongly. And you said, because not my opinion. I'm just presenting what's
being observed by those in the western around the world. It was a very pointed conversation.
PLEITGEN: You know, it certainly was and I - and one of the interesting things about Alexander Lukashenko was I asked him right off the bat, you
know, whether or not he was afraid or concerned about the fact that the U.S. is saying that if there was an invasion of Ukraine from Belarusian
territory that Belarus would suffer severe consequences?
And he, you know, he said, look, do you really believe not very nice words? Do you really believe that we are going to invade this country? I want to
look again at what exactly he said.
PLEITGEN (voice over): For the first time, we're getting a close up view of so of the Russian forces the U.S. says are threatening Ukraine conducting
massive live fire drills with the Belarusian military inside Belarus.
PLEITGEN (voice over): The U.S says it fears this could be one of the places from which an attack on Ukraine could be launched. Belarus Russian
strong men and staunch Putin ally Alexander Lukashenko was combative, when I confronted him with the allegations.
LUKASHENKO: Do you still believe we're going to attack Ukraine from here? Or have you already overcome this mental block?
PLEITGEN (on camera): It's not about what I believe it's about what the United States says? The United States there says there's a very real threat
of an attack from Russian territory or Belarusian territory towards Ukraine.
LUKASHENKO: We have an agreement between Belarus and Russia. We have practically formed here a United Russia Belarus group, a united army that
is you might say, and this is our official position. Please take it into account as we are taking into account your position.
PLEITGEN (voice over): The drills are called allied resolve 2022 and officially at the Russian and Belarusian military standoff enemy's
attacking them. It involves tens of thousands of troops including both countries Air Forces and Russia's dangerous Iskander missile system that
could easily hit Ukraine's Capital Kyiv about 250 miles or 400 kilometers from here. The big question where will all these Russian troops go when
this exercise ends?
PLEITGEN (on camera): Both Minsk and Moscow say all Russian forces are going to leave Belarus once these massive exercises are finished. But the
U.S. and its allies are still skeptical and they say they'll believe withdraws happening once they see it.
PLEITGEN (voice over): The Biden Administration says there are now more than 150,000 Russian troops near Ukraine's borders and that an attack will
probably happen within days Lukashenko ripping into the U.S.'s assessment.
LUKASHENKO: You accused Belarus and Russia now if we were to invade Ukraine yesterday, we didn't so your intelligence and billions of dollars that
you're spending on it are useless, at least admit this.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Russia says it has no intention of attacking Ukraine, but today also warned if security demands it has made to the U.S.
are not met. There will be an answer using as Moscow puts it, military technical measures.
PLEITGEN: Julia just to show once again how close these two leaders are right now as far as defense is concerned, as far as their militaries are
concerned, those drills are concerned Alexander Lukashenko of course, we just saw at that press conference.
And who is currently in Moscow, he invited Putin have already announced that they will be together attending large scale drills tomorrow, once
again, those involving some strategic weapons, ballistic missiles, obviously from Russia's nuclear capable aerospace forces.
So you can really see that Lukashenko very much part of the of the defense strategy and of the military strategy of Vladimir Putin and certainly
trying to show that those two countries are working hand in hand as they say they are countering Western moves, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Fred, thank you so much for that report there. And thank you for handling the technical details. Once again, we apologize to our viewers
there. Now CNN has just learned that the leaders of the breakaway region Donetsk of East of Ukraine is urging civilians to leave and go to Russia,
women, children and the elderly, the elderly are being urged to evacuate.
The separatist leader sees Ukrainian forces are "In-combat formations and ready for the military seizure of Donbas". Matthew Chance is in Kyiv for us
Matthew, what more have we heard?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, first of all, Julia it is very sort of ominous developments, I suppose. Because
the self-styled Prime Minister of the Donetsk People's Republic which is that one of the rebel control regions in the East of Ukraine that has been
fighting Ukrainian government forces, for the past eight years.
Has an answer from today, there'll be a mass evacuation of civilians, the elderly women and children from the Donetsk region, and urging people to
move to the east towards Russia where they've been in coordination, apparently, with Russian authorities and reception camps are being
It's ominous, because obviously, they can get the civilians out the way and that clears the area for much more full on military action. Now, what the
rebels say and what the Russians have said a couple of times as well is that they believe it's the intention of the Ukrainian military to try and
retake that region and bring it back under government control by force.
Ukrainians deny that they say look, they want to regain control of the region by diplomacy only, and they say they're not planning to stage any
kind of military attack into that area. But I have to say that whole kind of exchange of allegations comes at a time when there's an actual exchange
of artillery taking place as well.
CHANCE: Really, really high over the course of the past 48 hours, the OSCE, which is the sort of international monitoring mission that's on the ground,
there has been reporting a very severe increase in the number of ceasefire violations.
The Ukrainian military, has said there have been dozens of artillery strikes and other attacks by weapons that are meant to be banned in that
region. From the rebel side to the Ukrainian's side, of course, we also there's images that the Ukrainian military took journalists to see, yes,
they have the preschool, the kindergarten, that was apparently hit by a couple of artillery shells.
Fortunately, none of the children were injured. And so yes, there is this extremely high level of tension in that region, and what the Ukrainians are
concerned about and what they're saying they're not going to fall into, is this this trap of, you know, being drawn into a conflict or a confrontation
with the rebels, that the Russians could then use a potentially as a pretext to stage an invasion.
That's what their concern is. They say they're not going to do it. But as I said, you civilians in Donetsk are being told to evacuate towards Russia.
And so on the ground in that rebel region, it seems that your preparations are being made.
CHATTERLEY: Matthew, you raise a very important point here. And, Nic, I want to bring you in on this question and concern that Matthew is raising.
And we heard from NATO yesterday warning about the risk of potential false flag operations a pretext, perhaps, for Russia to react.
It's speculation at this stage. We have to be very careful what we say. But could we potentially be looking at something like that, in this context
ROBERTSON: We can be. There are certainly - there are certainly it opens up many opportunities. Undoubtedly, if these evacuees from Donetsk are coming
out into the Russian Federation into Russia, they're going to be housed there, it seems very likely that images of that will end up on state
And this will reinforce something that President Putin has been trying to communicate over a number of years. But obviously amplifying recently,
beyond - goes beyond the point that Russia has given over 600,000 Russian passports to people and then in that area, really confirming for them a
President Putin himself has personally talked about how it's important to protect Russian citizens wherever they are. But the images of these people
coming into Russia will undoubtedly help to strengthen that image that these are Russians that they need support from Russia.
And this will enable President Putin to perhaps give him more space at home for the possibility of going to war, or have greater support for the rebel
elements or the pro Russian separatist, there in the Donbas area. So although this may not sort of fall under the frame of classic false flag,
I do something, and I blame it on the other side, it is creating an atmosphere an atmosphere of concern that these people need protecting that
they are Russian citizens. And as Matthew said, it does that other thing. It clears that physical geographic space for broader military operations.
And I suppose what it does, in addition to that, and I'm sure Matthew would concur with this, that when you take out the civilians, you remove the
possibility of people putting their cell phones out of the window, maybe and filming something that could be then used to say, ah, well, this was
actually a provocative act by the rebels themselves or, or actually, that missile was fired by the rebels.
If these events come into question later, what precipitated then a stream of consequences that that became the thing that everyone's concerned about,
which is a massive escalation in force. So there is a potential here a potential and we shouldn't go beyond that.
But it does seem to indicate with this increase in ceasefire violations that Matthew was talking about that in this context, this is the situation
becoming less safe, more unstable, more volatile, and therefore more unpredictable. And that's what everyone's concerned about.
CHATTERLEY: Matthew, very quickly final word.
CHANCE: I think adds pressure to the Ukrainian government to put in place the Minsk two agreements, which would essentially give this rebel
republic's autonomy and bring in the leadership of these rebels into the Ukrainian parliament those rebels who of course be included or influenced
heavily if not controlled by Russia and that's ultimately what Vladimir Putin wants.
CHANCE: He said it again earlier today what Minsk applied so that that gives Russia a degree of control over Ukrainian policy. It's something the
Ukrainians have resisted, which is why Minsk has never been instituted in the first place.
But you know this is a last push perhaps by Moscow to get what it wants and to get those Minsk two agreements implemented.
CHATTERLEY: Very delicate moment. Nic Robertson and Matthew Chance thank you once again. We're back after this stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move" with a look at the stories making headlines around the world. A powerful storm is battering the UK with winds
above 140 kilometers an hour. Storm Eunice has blown off roofs uprooted trees and driven waves over sea walls around the coast.
The roof of London's famous landmark O2 has also been damaged as you can see there. Officials say Eunice could be the country's heaviest storm in
decades. CNN's Nina Dos Santos is outside our London Bureau and braving the weather there I can see the winds Nina talk me through how many people in
the UK first and foremost have been impacted by this weather?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far we know Julia that over 123,000 people across the Southwest of England has lost power as a result
of this strong storm that has battered that part of the country. It's basically moving from Southwest all the way to the Northeast and taking in
the British capital as we speak this afternoon.
All of this has caused the Met Office in the UK to take the pretty unusual step of issuing not just one but two red warning notices. That means that
there could be risk to life and limb from debris falling from building sites here near the River Thames, for instance, amid the strong winds.
But also they're very concerned about storm surges and flooding as well, particularly those coastal areas across Wales and the Southwest of England
too. It's not just the UK I should point out that it's getting affected you know, Belgium and the Netherlands are also bracing themselves for the
impact of this storm.
But as I was saying here in the capital this is now sort of starting to get impacted by the storm as it starts to pass through here on the River
Thames. As you can see behind me there are no boats. There is no river traffic as a result because boats are not allowed to sail up and down.
Earlier today we saw really dramatic images of the O2 Arena which is by the way just a couple of miles down- river here Eastern where I am at London
Bridge having its roof shredded.
SANTOS: And you could see as the winds tore through that roof, all of the thousands of seats below this is a huge venue in London often used for
music concerts and so on and so forth. Power airlines have also been down that's affected trains across the country.
And even here in London British Transport Police are urging people to make sure that they don't travel unless it's absolutely necessary at least well
into the weekend. I should also point out that this is the end of the half term holiday so this is a peak travel season particularly for families who
are trying to get back to the UK.
Bad news for any of them watching this program because we know now that Heathrow Airport Gatwick Airport canceled a number of flights. London City
which is not far from here on the banks of the River Thames has also suspended flights until later on this afternoon.
So people have to prepare themselves for a week weekend and bad weather and also travel chaos a Storm Eunice passes through Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I was just showing our viewers images of a plane wobbling quite materially as it landed so yes, canceling some flights are I think a
good idea. Nina, great to have you with us go back inside please and stay warm Nina Dos Santos there in London.
OK, let's move on. Eileen Gu has become the first freestyle skier to win three medals in one Olympic Games. The American born teenager who's
competing for China earned gold in the women's Halfpipe adding to her gold in big air and silver in Slope Style.
The Hong Kong real estate developers are offering hotel rooms for people to self-isolate as COVID number soar. Authorities reported more than 3,500 new
cases on Friday. Hong Kong's Chief Executive has called for new city wide testing.
We're going to take a break here on "First Move". Well, still to come Former U.S. Army Commanding General for Europe and Seventh Army will join
we to discuss the Ukraine crisis that's next stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to the "First Move". The United States is estimating Russia has up to 190,000 military personnel near Ukraine. The
Secretary of Defense, however, says "There is still time for diplomacy". President Putin met with the Leader of Belarus earlier; the two of them
will preside over military exercises tomorrow.
And inside Ukraine, the military sees shelling continues in the east of the nation, two soldiers have been injured. There is much to discuss Lieutenant
General Mark Hertling is a CNN Military Analyst. He's also a Former U.S. Army Commanding General, for Europe and Seventh Army so always fantastic to
have you on the show.
I want to begin with the latest news this morning, which was news into CNN that the leader of the breakaway region have - is urging civilians to leave
and go to Russia. I'm going to quote one of the things he said he described Ukrainian forces as being "In combat formation and ready for the military
seizer of Donbas". What do you think when you hear this?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: The first thing I'd say is? Well, first of all, good day, Julia. First thing I'd say in terms
of this is - this is a Russian supported military leader within the Donbas. He has been supported as well as the other individuals that are fighting
there by Russia for the last eight years.
When he says this, it goes right in line with all of the intelligence that the United States is getting that NATO is receiving that Secretary Blinken
talked about yesterday, and that is, they are looking for provocation. They are falsifying provocations and basically lying about what Ukraine is doing
in the Donbas region.
One of the thing that's interesting, having talked to individuals who have been in those two fights from the Ukrainian side, they have been very
careful over the last several months in terms of limiting their action to ensure they don't provoke any Russian activity. And so I find his
statements very hard to believe, and it just falls in line with everything else we've talked about.
CHATTERLEY: So what you're suggesting is that we have to be very careful with this kind of information. And that it could, perhaps be precisely what
NATO was warning about yesterday in terms of potential false flag operations.
HERTLING: Yes, exactly. And it is part of the overall disinformation campaign which Russia has proven in so many other places where they've
expanded their views that they're used to doing it's normally the first step in a longer campaign is to provide this kind of misinformation and
And what I've said many times here on CNN is the Russian doctrine, their way of war, even cites a word Moscow Rocha, which I studied in several of
my schools when I was still in the army. And it has to do with deception. You deceive in all things tactical, operational and strategic. And we're
seeing the execution of that kind of campaign by the Russians in this setup of Ukraine.
CHATTERLEY: You know, it comes at a time where we're seeing an escalation of violence in this part of the country, in violation of the Minsk Peace
Agreements, it also comes in you've already hinted at it, where we are seeing what I've described as a flood of intelligence coming from NATO
coming from the United States, in particular, almost as if the messages to President Vladimir Putin, we're watching, we're listening, we're
anticipating your moves, it's in a sense of psychological warfare. We know what you're planning.
HERTLING: Yes, it certainly is. And what I'd say is the flood that the citizens of Europe and the United States are seeing is the kind of
information that as a commander, I saw every day in something called a black book, I would literally get a book with all the secret and top secret
information of things that were going on in different locations.
And to those of us who deal with the intelligence community, that's certainly something that appears every day on our desk that most citizens
aren't aware of. But yes, I do believe that there is an active approach to try and share that kind of information in sort of a declassified realm with
the rest of the world to really show what Russia has been doing and how they're contributing to these kinds of destabilizing circumstances.
CHATTERLEY: What, war crimes taking place in your view?
HERTLING: Yes, that's, that's a great question. And in fact, I thought a lot about that yesterday and this morning with the intense bombings of
different locations. What I'd say specifically is having followed what's been going on in the Donbas over the last eight years on a daily basis, we
have seen activity and it's been reported the last few days of between five and six or eight in a bad day 15 attacks by the separatists supported by
HERTLING: Yesterday, it was over 50. Today, so far, it's reported to be over 30. The question is on that one, I'll use the example of the artillery
round that landed in the kindergarten, either that's really bad artillery practice, and they don't know what they're doing when they fire around, or
And it doesn't matter which one of those things is the case, when you start firing on the civilian population that contributes to a war crime,
certainly, when you're - when you're trying to harm non-combatants. And this is something that the separatists have been doing for the last several
years. It certainly falls in violation of land warfare.
CHATTERLEY: And we have to remember that for those living in that region, in the east of Ukraine, and certainly with these self-declared independent
regions, 14,000 people since the invasion of Crimea in 2014, have lost their lives. So for them, conflict is, in a sense, a way of life.
Based on your experience with everything that you're seeing, you're watching the headlines that you're seeing. Is there a way back? Can
diplomacy still work? And is everything being done to achieve that?
HERTLING: It certainly can. And I believe everything is being done to attempt to achieve that the NATO countries and the united to include the
United States are offering continued diplomacy, continued talks. And what we've seen from the Russian side are just recommendations that are, are
Across the board, in terms of their so called attempt to ensure their security, there has been no violation of Russian security since the
beginning of NATO. So why the fact that NATO that Ukraine would be choosing their future would be a security concern just doesn't make sense.
The second thing is there have been threats of economic sanctions in the extreme against not only the Russian people which partly had failed in the
past, but specifically against the oligarchy that support Putin and his banking methods.
So again, you're talking about the potential of diplomacy we will talk to you with the inclusion of information as we talked about earlier, which
really paints a valid picture and tries to eliminate the disinformation and misinformation campaign by Russia.
But there are also the threats. If you do this, we are going to do this to you. So all of those things should preclude any kind of combat actions by
the Russian and truthfully, Julia, you know, a few weeks ago, I would have said the chances of any kinds of attacks in the Ukraine were minimal, but
the more I see of what Mr. Putin is attempting to do, I'm not so sure I still feel that same way.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, we have to be very careful. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, sir, a privilege to have you on the show once again. Thank you.
HERTLING: Thank you for your pleasure, Julia. Thank you
CHATTERLEY: Thank you. Stay with "First Move" more to go.
CHATTERLY: Welcome back to "First Move". U.S. stocks are up and running this Friday a volatile session so far with the S&P 500 trying to move
higher. European stock markets are also as you can see under a little bit of pressure here, the XETERA DAX, the big underperformer down over 1
percent as Ukraine fears continue to dominate.
All this after a week U.S. session Thursday within that NASDAQ falling almost 3 percent the DOW had its worst day of the year is investors
monitored the latest warnings from U.S. officials in particular, on the possibility of conflict in Eastern Europe.
Now it's an exciting time in the world of aviation the first all-electric passenger airplane Alice is getting ready for its first flight aviation,
the companies that's built it says Alice will be able to fly for one hour on a 30 minute charge. It's also an interesting time for the leadership of
the country to Gregory Davis, interim CEO and President of Aviation joins me now.
Gregory, fantastic to have you on the show, I can't wait to talk to you about Alice and the first flight. But I do think we have to tackle some of
the recent management changes. As I mentioned, you're the Interim CEO, the Former CEO left what seemed to be quite abruptly also the exact Chairman a
month ago or so leaving his role too what's happening over there.
GREGORY DAVIS, INTERIM CEO& PRESIDENT, EVIATION: Hello, Julia. Well, thank you very much for having me here. You know, the short news is that it's
part of the planned transition and aviation's leadership. We're at the phase where we brought an aircraft from concept to prototype proof of
And now we need to gear towards the future where we're going to be building these aircraft and delivering them to our customers.
CHATTERLEY: I understand that I can see that you're in a very different part phase of the life of the company when you're moving into production.
But I look at some of the comments that the Former CEO made. And he, he did mention friction between him and the main shareholder.
And you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I look at this on the surface. And it does look like perhaps in a fire high cash burn business, a very
powerful shareholder is sort of throwing their weight around a little bit.
And that's OK, as long as they know what it means in terms of engineering, talent acquisition. And what's required for the company going forward, is
this big shareholder, this main shareholder and prepared for what's coming.
DAVIS: You know, I think you've hit on the key point right away with what we need to focus on, which is the talent, the capabilities of our team and
our ability to bring this product to market. I said before, managing your stakeholders is key to any business relationship. With respect to our
capabilities, we have what we need to succeed.
CHATTERLEY: So no one looking at this business should be concerned.
DAVIS: No, not, not in any way. The aviation concept is very strong. Alice's is, as I say, ready to fly. We're going to be flying in the next
few weeks; we can continue to advance our test campaign. And none of our leadership changes are going to affect this or our ability to get to
CHATTERLEY: And you're the president, are you going to hang around?
DAVIS: I came here because what we're doing, it's this is - this is the most exciting opportunity I've ever had. And I just look forward to getting
up and coming into work every single day.
CHATTERLEY: And I should mention, actually, I've spoken on the phone to your Former CEO. And he made the point that he remains on the board, that
he's still invested in the company and he's very positive and confident about the potential of this company going forward. So let's talk about it
biggest challenge, Gregory, in addition to just getting this flight done.
DAVIS: Well, I mean, the biggest challenge of making an electric aircraft of course is bringing it to market getting it certified and making sure
that we can attain our objectives. The current challenge that we face in the next few weeks is doing the onboard expansion as part of our ground
test program. We need to make sure that we are safe and ready to fly and that's exactly what we're working on right now.
CHATTERLEY: Is one of the biggest impediments for this to become the norm for air travel. The battery we often have this conversation on the show in
terms of battery rate, never mind expense, but when we're thinking about aircraft, I just I imagine that you simply have to find a way to make
batteries more efficient and make them lighter in order to make this ultimately that the future of aviation electric aviation.
DAVIS: Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, the battery technology is evolving. The good news is that current technology will allow us to fly. And we're
going to see that imminently with our current aircraft. With today's technology with some clever engineering, you can actually make a product
that's economic and able to service the market.
And that's what we're working on today. I have young children, and we were just discussing, I'm looking forward to 10 or 15 years from now, when going
flying isn't going - it's not about going blind on electric plane. That's the new norm. You don't have to use the preface.
It's an electric airplane; it will simply be flying on an airplane. And with some of the other technology that's being developed over and above
what we have access to today, that's becoming more and more likely.
CHATTERLEY: What about the regulatory framework and clear guidelines from the FAA? I know this is also part of the ongoing process that you're
dealing with. But this clearly is going to be a huge stepping stone as well timing on that.
DAVIS: Absolutely. Yes. So FAA and other world regulations like - Transport Canada and other civil standards are key. There's been a lot of work in
terms of developing the new regulatory standards for electric aviation.
And I'm pleased to say that we've been part of that since the beginning. Aviation has been in the game since 2015, and has been very early in
interacting with the regulators to determine what is going to be the standard of safety, for electric flight.
For Alice in particular, and the approach that we're taking a deviation, most of the airplane is just an airplane. A lot of it's a very
sophisticated airplane. But we don't have to reinvent all of it to make this aircraft successful; we can look at the technologies that we're
CHATTERLEY: OK, and talk to me about the flight specifically, then what can we expect? How many people can this aircraft carry? Give me the specifics?
DAVIS: The specifics in the list won't be able to offer correctly--
CHATTERLEY: Gregory I'm going to have to stop you there because I've lost you. I get you to the most exciting part. And then the reception goes, but
you're going to have to come back and talk to us when this actually happens. And I think I'm talking to myself now I am.
Gregory Davis there, the Interim CEO of Aviation, who will be back to discuss the real details on that flight live TV, electric planes to
electric cars, Tesla facing a new U.S. government investigation, this time after complaints about Phantom-Braking, the details next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move". Getting goods across the international borders is often fraught with challenges delays that points
of entry can be expensive. Webb Fontaine believes its use of technology including artificial intelligence can help many nations across Africa and
connecting Africa caught up with it CEO.
ALIOUNE CISS, CEO, WEBB FONTAINE: Africa is a huge continent. And with its large population, it has an immense trade potential. This is a UN which is
missing Egypt's so just move it like this. So we have a project in all these different countries, we are present in Ethiopia, Egypt and Africa,
Central African Republic.
We are working on the entire spectrum basically of trade starting from pre import procedures to operation within the ports, movement of goods in the
port, customs clearance and as well transit of goods throughout the country.
I think that today, we have more than 150,000 people connected to our platform, we seen between 2018 and 2021, an increase of more than 40
percent of customers revenue. And you know that custom revenue is quite important in our countries, because it's a large part, the budget of the
So this is something that we are quite proud of. Connectivity is one of the challenges that we face. The fact that we have to very often connect
various offices, locations, customs, offices, ministries, banks, private sector to the overall system, this connectivity is an issue.
So it's getting better in Africa, country solutions are being found, but we still in some countries have to implement a total telecommunication system
so that we can people can work properly. Technology will be able to bring a lot of changes and simplify things bring confidence between countries to be
assured that goods producing countries finally arrive at final destination.
We have solutions like the certificate of origin. So certificate of origin is something basically goods produced in Africa to be labeled made in
Africa. So you need to use technology to be able to assure that these goods are effectively produced in Africa and going to another country so they
don't pay taxes and exemptions.
So these are solutions that technology can bring a lot of new things so that trade flows in a smooth way.
CHATTERLEY: And onto a phantom braking probe U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints of sudden and unexpected braking, while using the
autopilot function on certain Tesla's. Pete Muntean joins us with all the details, Pete to be specific. I think it's 354 complaints and its model 3s
and Y's that are in focus here any sense of whether this is caused accidents What more do we know?
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: No injuries or deaths yet but you got to read the complaints and I'll get to that in a second. You know, this
is the latest government investigation into reported issues with Tesla's Julia.
First there was concerned about cars full self-drive driving into emergency scenes along the side of the road and now the National Highway Traffic and
Safety Administration is starting this probe into why Tesla Model 3's and model Y's are doing what drivers call phantom braking.
NITSA says this is happening while features of the adaptive cruise control or the advanced driver assistance system is engaged. Drivers report that
system is applying brakes while their Tesla's driving at highway speeds in some cases repeatedly and randomly over long trips.
NITSA says this could impact some 416,000 Tesla's now the agency has received about 350 reports of this issue from drivers. It's important to
note here no deaths, no injuries, but read some of these reports. This one from a driver who says I was driving in cruise control at the posted speed
limit of 80 miles an hour that conditions were dry and sunny and without warning the car braked hard and decelerate it from 80 miles an hour to 69
miles an hour in less than a second.
The braking was so violent this driver says my head snapped forward and I almost lost control of the car. Another driver says in a different
complaint to the federal government. Since purchasing the car less than a month ago there have been over 100 phantom braking events while using
cruise control. It is incredibly dangerous.
One more complaint here "I have contacted Tesla service and they're stating that the car functions normally and that this is normal behavior". If this
is normal behavior the driver says it is definitely unsafe. I have almost been rear ended several times.
Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it's committed to holding manufacturers accountable and ensuring they meet requirements to
initiate a recall. In this case, not a recall just yet maybe a bit of good news though since Tesla's are pretty advanced Julia.
MUNTEAN: Any update could be sent over the air to fix this problem.
CHATTERLEY: Yes that's exactly what I was going to ask you. What's Tesla thing? And can they do this remotely with a software update? And that seems
to be the case. Wow! That's frightening. I think if you're in that situation. I suppose it's a good test--
MUNTEAN: Yes, very scary. Can you imagine? I mean, we've seen - we've seen some of the videos of this too. And some of the videos are pretty benign.
Although, you know, these Tesla drivers have reported over and over again, this problem, and a lot of it has to do with the sensors that have been
changed out on these cars.
Initially, these adaptive cruise control systems used essentially what amounts to radar. Now they're using cameras on Tesla's and some say that's
just not safe enough that it just can't decipher things that would be in the road, which is maybe the reason why these brakes are being applied in
such jerky and really scary ways.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I tell my car off when it puts my brakes on when I'm trying to parallel-park like plenty of room but yes, this is a little bit
scary. I'm a good parker Pete great to have you with us thank you Pete Muntean there. OK, that's it for the show. Stay safe. "Connect the World"
with Becky Anderson is next. And I'll see you on Monday.