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First Move with Julia Chatterley

CNN Tours Aftermath of City Hall Bombing in Mykolaiv; Amazon's Humanitarian Response; Adecco Launches Site to Help Ukrainians Find Work; Amazon Opens Humanitarian Aid Hub in Slovakia; Amazon: We have a Long- Standing Policy of not doing Business with Russian Government; Putin Threatens Consequences if Countries do not Pay for Gas in Rubles. Aired 9- 10a ET

Aired March 31, 2022 - 09:00   ET



JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST, FIRST MOVE: --their offensive in Ukraine's Donbas region while keeping the pressure on Kyiv that despite the Kremlin's

assertion earlier this week that it was scaling back operations around the capital.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Russia has repeatedly lied about its intentions. So we can only judge Russia on its actions, not on its

words. According to our intelligence, Russian units are not withdrawing but re-positioning. Russia is trying to regroup, resupply and reinforce its

offensive in the Donbas region.


CHATTERLEY: And the besieged Port City of Mariupol a convoy of buses will be used to help evacuate civilians. Russia agreed to open a humanitarian

corridor. But remember, we've been here before and Russian promises were broken.

It's now five weeks since the invasion began and there are signs morale is flagging Russian morale. The UK's Intelligence Chief say soldiers are

refusing orders, sabotaging their own equipment and struggling with low supplies in what appears to be a massive miscalculation by President Putin.


JEREMY FLEMING, DIRECTOR, GCHO: It increasingly looks like Putin has massively misjudged the situation. It's clear he's misjudged the resistance

of the Ukrainian people. He underestimated the strength of the coalition. His actions would galvanize. He underplayed the economic consequences of

the sanctions regime, and he overestimated the abilities of his military to secure a rapid victory.


CHATTERLEY: Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces have retaken the town of Sloboda about 12 miles from Chernihiv, where the Russian military is trying to

surround the city, a bombed Russian tank was left ablaze. Negotiations between the two governments are set to resume on Friday there Ukraine's

Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls the talks only words.

Australia has agreed to send millions of dollars of military aid after the president addressed lawmakers in Canberra. Well, at the end of today,

President Zelenskyy would have spoken directly to the parliaments of 17 different nations. Ben Wedeman is in Mykolaiv, in Southern Ukraine, not far

from Crimea.

Ben, great to have you with us, we spent a lot of time talking about the potential repositioning of troops from places like Kyiv to the east of the

nation, but you're also in the south in an incredibly pivotal and important part of the nation with the sea access from ports in the area. Ben what are

you seeing in terms of perhaps intensification of violence in those areas?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're seeing Julia is in fact, the city here is preparing for what they fear

could be a Russian assault, a new Russian assault.

In fact, what they've done is their city workers are cutting down trees, here we're on one of the main boulevards, they're going to use the big

trunks to reinforce barricades and trenches, and the smaller branches will be used to provide firewood to soldiers on the front line of fuel to those

hospitals and other facilities that don't have electricity at the moment.

And regarding what happened here on Tuesday that Regional Governors Headquarters it was struck the latest the death toll has now reached 20.

More than 48 hours after that strike by Russian forces they're still pulling bodies from the rubble.


WEDEMAN (voice over): Somewhere in this jumble of concrete bricks and twisted metal are more bodies trapped in the ruins of the Office of

Mykolaiv's Regional Governor. Tuesday morning Russian missiles struck the building, killing more than a dozen people wounding many more.

OLEKSANDR SYENKEVYCH, MYKOLAIV MAYOR: They bombarded our city and only civilians are dying here.

WEDEMAN (voice over): Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Syenkevych doesn't normally come to city hall like this. But he saw war coming long ago and prepared


SYENKEVYCH: Starting from 2014 I thought that the war will be like this. So everything you see on me is - requests, booths, anything. I bought it a

couple years ago, so I started to learn how to shoot. I was in a special school for that.

WEDEMAN (voice over): On the outskirts of his city recently downed Russian attack helicopters suggest the Ukrainian military also saw this war coming.

They've managed to stop Russian forces in their tracks, regaining territory lost at the start of the war.

Five-year-old Misha is recovering from shrapnel wounds to his head in the basement turned bomb shelter at Mykolaiv's regional children's hospital.

His grandfather Vladimir shows me phone video of the bullet riddled car Misha's father was driving with his family to escape the Russian advance.


WEDEMAN (voice over): Russian soldiers Vladimir calls them bastards opened fire on the car, killing Misha's grandmother and mother. As we speak, the

air raid siren goes off. Taking shelter is an oft practice drill. Stay calm, and carry on.



WEDEMAN: You can hear right behind me now?


WEDEMAN: Sorry, Julia, I'm sorry. They didn't hear you because the air raid siren is going. Go ahead.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, so no, don't worry Ben I was prepared to pick up there. But I can hear it behind you as well. What does that mean? And how often

does that happen?

WEDEMAN: It happens more times than I actually am counting. And I can tell you that this is simply the nature of this situation. As you can see,

nobody's stopping their car running to the bomb shelters nor are we? People have become so accustomed to it. Now we were in the hospital yesterday,

where they did evacuate to the bomb shelters.

But that's because of course, its hospital with children and mothers. But by and large, we hear these air raid sirens and keep calm and carry on.

CHATTERLEY: As you said, I mean in your piece there as well, the mayor looking like a military chief and having got training years ago because he

was preparing for this moment says a great deal I think. Ben what I was going to ask you was about the humanitarian corridors in Mariupol.

We know people there have been stranded without basic utilities heat, light and water now for many days and weeks. What hopes are there that these

humanitarian corridors will be observed because, as I mentioned earlier, we've seen these agreed in the past and they failed.

WEDEMAN: Well, they're trying it again. We understand that 17 busses are joining a column of 45 that are gathering to go into Mariupol tomorrow to

try to evacuate more people. We understand that more than 80,000 people have been evacuated to the town of Zaporizhzhia, which is to the Northwest

of Mariupol.

But the worry is of course that what we've seen multiple times is that all the preparations are made for these evacuations, humanitarian corridors,

and then things fall apart. Oftentimes people are killed trying to escape. And many times they're simply forced either to make a run for it, their

lives at risk, or go back to where they came from and hope for another chance to escape Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Yes hope is the key here. Ben, great to have you with us stay safe, please. Ben Wedeman. The Head of UK's Intelligence Security and Cyber

Agency says Russian troops in Ukraine are lower morale. And some of them are even disobeying orders. Just listen to this.


FLEMING: We've seen Russian soldiers, short of weapons and morale, refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment, and even accidentally

shooting down their own aircraft. And even though we believe Putin's advisors are afraid to tell him the truth, what's going on, and the extent

of these misjudgments must be crystal clear to the regime.


CHATTERLEY: Nic Robertson joins us now. Nic, clearly what we're seeing around the country is and our Russian troops that continue to fulfill their

orders, but the idea that that some are accidentally shooting down their own planes, and it ties to conversation actually, that you and I've been

having now for weeks, which goes back to Putin dressing down his own spy chief, the idea that perhaps he's not being told how bad the situation is,

doesn't surprise us, or me.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: No. And I think anyone who sort of watches autocrats or dictators know that over time, they tend

to isolate themselves. They diminish the threat to themselves, by getting rid of anyone who sort of shows any kind of political or other acumen

around them, relegating useful people to the back rooms and just having yes men around them.

And ultimately, you arrive in a situation like this, where misjudgments are made the worst thing for an autocrat is just to have somebody who's

standing there and saying yes, and President Putin is paying the price for it.

Now the Russian people are paying the price for President Putin's mistakes so perhaps they don't realize it because his propaganda denies that but

it's evident to the rest of the world.


ROBERTSON: And I think what's evident as well to people at Jeremy Fleming the Head of the UK's GCHQ the Equivalent of the USNSE if you like that's

apparent to them is that Putin - not only what he's saying it's now apparent within the upper echelons of government within Russia.

But it's also apparent to experts in governments around the world that Putin is not making good and smart and well informed decisions. And

therefore that sort of raises the stakes on what other decisions he may make.

Certainly, the evidence is that he's not telling the truth to his population. And he's not being honest and open and truthful with the

Ukrainians. And it's, the more the war goes on, the more that becomes clear.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, you have this image of him isolating himself, professionally and socially, but we were just showing those images of those

long tables as well it's a physical isolation that he seems to be operating as well and has done for many weeks. Nic thank you, Nic Robertson there!

Now Sources tell CNN that U.S. President Biden is considering the largest ever release of oil from the U.S. strategic reserves to help address rising

energy costs and the inflationary shock exacerbated by the Ukrainian war?

The president expected to update Americans on his crisis policy later today. Reports say he's considering the release of some 1 million barrels

of oil each day for several months.

Oil falling on the news today, both Brent and U.S. Crude down by around 5 percent context however, is everything both Brent and U.S. crude still up

by more than 60 percent year to date, and still now levels they were trading at last week.

And what would truly be a game changer of course, is if OPEC decided to pump more OPEC Plus Oil Ministers meeting today but stuck to their policy

of boosting supplies only modestly. Clare Sebastian back with us Clare put that oil release that we're expecting to hear from the president into

context. And the problem for me is that it's just temporary. It's not a persistent release of oils coming onto the market and the oil market reacts

to that or doesn't.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right Julia. I mean, prices have fallen today based on that expected announcement. And it is unprecedented in

scale. I think it's worth pointing out 180 million barrels is the number that a lot of analysts are throwing around today that would be the largest

ever released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, that the U.S. has.

That speaks to how critical the U.S. thinks this crisis is? It speaks to the fact that they perhaps did not expect OPEC to do anything in terms of

accelerating its production increases today. And it would have an impact even though it's short term, it would have an impact.

Commerce Bank said today that if that happens as expected, the oil market would no longer be under supplied in the second quarter and in fact, would

even be oversupplied in the third quarter according to the IEA forecasts.

So that is significant also, as I mentioned, because of the tension with OPEC Plus, which met today, which didn't change it scheduled production

increases. For me unwilling perhaps to do anything to bring down prices, even as the U.S. is working in itself to bring down prices. So a very

interesting tension.

But again, this would be unprecedented from the United States if President Biden announces this as expected today.

CHATTERLEY: By some time. And speaking of buying you and I were discussing the Russian demand from unfriendly nations on their energy purchases to be

made in Rubles. It seems like we have a workaround.

SEBASTIAN: Yes. They seem to have walked back this demand a little bit. I mean, they're not presenting it as having walked it back, but there was a

readout from Germany yesterday of a conversation between President Putin and their Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Apparently Putin said that the what would happen would be that this law which will be enacted to force it, as they've said, unfriendly nations to

pay for gas in Rubles, that would not apply, he said to European partners, according to this readout that they would simply be able to pay Euros as

usual to Gazprom Bank which would then funnel Rubles to Russia.

This was backed up today by Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov who said that de facto, nothing would change for Russia's gas clients. That they would

simply be able to buy in Rubles, he said in the currency that they currently pay for gasoline.

So I think, look, Olaf Scholz said according to this read out that he hasn't agreed to this yet, but he wants to see it in writing. Russia has

promised that this sort of concrete proposal and this will be coming quite soon. So I think we do need to see that because it is still a little

unclear exactly how this workaround is going to work.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. And those that say that the sanctions don't go far enough, and that there are still unsanctioned banks that allow this kind of

financial transaction currently have their head in their hands because this is exactly the problem and goes back to Europe's energy vulnerabilities we

were discussing yesterday Clare Sebastian.

OK, straight ahead, Amazon Prime to lend a helping hand in war torn Europe how the E-commerce giant transformed a logistics hub into a bustling center

for humanitarian aid, that story and more next.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back! Millions of Ukrainian refugees are facing many daunting challenges, but one in particular how to make a living after being

forced to leave their homes behind?

Well, one of the companies that aim to help is the Adecco Group global staffing agency this month it launched a free jobs website to help

displaced Ukrainians connect with employers. Well, thousands of job seekers signed on within just the first few days.

Alain Dehaze has joins us now he's the CEO of Adecco Group Alain, great to have you with us. It's clearly a multilayered humanitarian crisis that

we're dealing with. But businesses can help play a crucial role, particularly in this regard.

ALAIN DEHAZE, CEO OF ADECCO GROUPS: Absolutely. And on the 24th of February, when the war started, we had more than 1700 Ukrainian colleagues

working as an associate for us in Poland.

And so we immediately started to support them and their families because they did want to reunify. And then when we saw that or support platform was

functioning very well, we started also to offer it to our customers and their employees.

And a few weeks later, when we saw this wave of refugees coming in different countries like Poland, Romania, and so on, we decided to launch

this free to post platform to support all refugees, because our purpose at the Adecco Group is to really make the future work for everyone.

And this is a way for us to provide some kind of financial stability, ability for this refugee eventually to start a new life to integrate

socially and secure the future, and this platform as a great success. After 14 days there are already more than 2600 applicants, you have 800 companies

having subscribed to it. 4000 open vacancies as of yesterday, and more than 1000 concrete job offers have been already done. So really, we are pleased

with that.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, I mean, it's a drop in the ocean in the scale of what 10 million people in this case displaced 4 million people having left but I

guess you have to assume that actually this is early days.


CHATTERLEY: In the short term people is just dealing with getting where they're going the basics like food, blankets, the job requirements and

offers come later. So do you expect this to probably exponentially rise over the coming weeks?

DEHAZE: That's what indeed, we expect for sure. It depends also how the situation will develop, because many of them would love to come back to

their country. So that's why they are in a kind of off waiting situation.

But going forward, and even to, let's say, to also occupy your mind, it's a good way to work and this platform allows them to get some work. So we are

very happy. And yes, indeed, you see already the figures after 14 days. So we expect this platform to grow exponentially.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. And you raised such a great point that the hope for many of these people is that they can go home and go back to the jobs that they

had before. So you're dealing with that fact, as well.

Just talk to me a bit about the platform, because it's not just about jobs matching between employees and potential employees, you offer things like

training modules, curriculum, building, counseling, rescaling help as well. I mean, these are all critical elements, but for all workers, never mind

for these refugees, but you are helping them in many other ways, perhaps to if they should require it and want it.

DEHAZE: Absolutely. First, this is a free to post platform. So it's not a search, it is not an ethical platform. So we don't take any revenue

advantage of this platform. But on the other side, we make sure that every single applicants receive a good advice regarding the way he or she has,

written the curriculum vitae, the motivation that he or she has.

We are really also advising the companies to offer training up skilling rescaling because these people have benefited from education from training

in their countries, but sometimes they need some kind of up skilling or like re-skilling to be able to perform the duty in a new environment. And

that's why we propose also to this platform, so that as soon as possible, they can get a job and secure in a certain way their future and integrate


CHATTERLEY: What kinds of sectors are you seeing job offers in? I saw administration, hospitality, even healthcare I mean, I'm assuming people

like doctors and nurses have remained to help those who they can in the country.

But even in that sphere, for those that perhaps have been displaced and moving to other countries, whether those skills are acknowledged, even if

basic carrying skills are transferable clearly wherever you are.

DEHAZE: Yes. What we see is first from the company sites, 90 percent of the subscribing companies are coming out of Europe, but we have also companies

from the U.S. from New Zealand, even Australia.

Then when we look more at the applicants, we see that yes, for 85 percent, there are woman that said that's normal because of the situation we know

for, for Ukraine. That's 30 percent of them have skills in administration 18 percent of them - of these applicants have application experience in

social care, and 7 percent in logistics.

So we are also trying to deal with this present skills and competencies and see where they can be applicable. Sometimes with allied up skilling

rescaling, you can also put them at work in other areas. And that's what we try to do with this platform.

CHATTERLEY: I mean we should be clear as well, to our audience. You have previous experience and dealing with this kind of issue from refugees

created from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan to and matching them to jobs and to roles in countries European as you mentioned.

France, Italy, Greece in the UK, at least the ones that perhaps a best set up to offer roles to refugees to get them started to get them the training

that they need, perhaps even the language skills, or is it wider than that across Europe? What's your experience?

DEHAZE: There all - in the vast majority, in our experience, there are three major obstacles that that both refugees companies and we have to

circumvent. The first is always the language because if you work in a country or in a region, for many jobs, you need to master the local

language. So that's the first obstacle.

The second obstacle is the regulatory environment because in many, for example, in many European countries, you are not allowed to work

immediately once you get into the country but there is certain waiting period.


DEHAZE: Fortunately, in this case, the older European countries have changed rapidly the low so that they can get companies, local companies put

- can put rapidly at work this refugees, but this is the second point regulatory environment and the cert, it is all about skills and


For some roles you need certified qualification from local environment. But for some others, it's just a question of up scaling very rapidly so that

the person in questions can rapidly be integrated into the way of doing in the country. And so we are working together with our customers, we are also

motivating our customers to take the necessary step on the tree aspect to get these people rapidly at work.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, I mean, we have so many refugees in this case, for however long this process needs streamlining to your border point. Now I know you

don't have any direct workers or operations in Ukraine or Russia.

But you do have plenty of Ukrainians, Russians, and Belarus too colleagues and associates within the group. How do you handle that? How do you handle

the sensitivity of the conflict that we're seeing when you have members from all sides?

DEHAZE: Yes. It relates to operators to make the future work for everyone. So for us, the nationality, the religion, the sex or the belief is not

important. So we try to help as many people as we can. We don't make politics.

So for us, our job is really to provide work and thanks to this work, to integrate people in the local society, and hopefully, come and contribute

to peaceful environments because when people have work, they are busy, they are earning money they are stable, financially, and socially and


And we think that's where we have our biggest impact is on that. And whatever the nationality also inside the company, we promote this purpose

to do to make the future work for everyone. And yes, we have different nationalities, including Russia and one in the company. But we take

distance of that.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. There are a lot of people suffering and going to suffer as a result of politics and political ambition to your point, Alain thank you!

Alain Dehaze, thank you for what you and your team are doing the CEO of Adecco Group there. Stay with CNN, more to come.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back. A convoy of 17 buses is on its way to help evacuate residents still in Mariupol. Ukraine says Russia has agreed to an

evacuation corridor for the city which has been devastated after weeks of intense bombing.

But days after Russia claimed it would drastically reduce military activity, Ukraine sees Russian forces maybe regrouping in Belarus. The

Pentagon and NATO say around 20 percent of Russian forces targeting Kyiv are repositioning with some heading to Belarus.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials say Russian President Vladimir Putin is being misinformed by his advisors over how badly the Russian military is

performing. And we've actually just heard from President Putin himself doubling down on his assistance that countries pay for Russian natural gas

in rubles, not Euros or dollars as the contract says.

And he said he signed a decree that starting tomorrow April 1. Countries that do not pay in rubles from Russian bank accounts will face



VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: No - gives us anything for free, we are not about you be charitable, so active contracts will be suspended, so in a

situation when the financial systems of Western countries are weaponized and companies from these countries refused to perform their contracts with

Russian banks, companies and individuals and when assets in dollars and Euros are frozen, there is no point using the currencies of these


What is happening what has happened already, we have supplied our resources, a gas in this case to European customers, they have received us.

There seemed it then they paid us Euros, and then they froze these payments. So in this case, there was every reason to believe that we

supplied some of the gas to Europe for free.


CHATTERLEY: So that would be consistent. I believe what we were discussing earlier on in the show you make the payment to an unsanctioned Russian bank

in Euros or dollars. It's then converted to rubles, and then paid to Gazprom. So we'll have to get further details. Remember the Germans that

they wanted to see this in writing in order to agree to it, so any further headlines on that we will bring them to you.

For now, the scale of Europe's refugee crisis is staggering. And it's growing by the day. New figures show more than 4 million Ukrainians have

fled their country during the now five week old Russian invasion, many of them leaving with few possessions and very little chance of at least in the

short term returning to their homes.

Amazon is one of the many global companies using its technical and logistics know how to get help to these people. In just 10 days, Amazon

took 5000 square meters of warehouse space in Slovakia and transformed it into what the company calls its largest humanitarian aid facility ever.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy tweeting just last week first shipments of critical supplies just arrived at a fulfillment center in Slovakia, we've converted

into a humanitarian aid hub. This will get help charities need and needed items to Ukrainian families faster. The center is one of a number of

programs launched by Amazon to help people in the region, including employment support for refugees and technical support for humanitarian


And Jay Carney joins us now; he's Amazon's Senior Vice President for policy and press, Jay, always great to have you on the show. Let's talk about that

fulfillment facility in Slovakia. It's huge. And it's getting help directly to where people need it.

JAY CARNEY, SENIOR V.P. FOR POLICY AND PRESS, AMAZON: It is Julia, thank you for having me. We were able to set this up in 10 days, in part because

we've leveraged our logistics for natural disaster response in the past. And we're able to use those learning's to help set this up very quickly in

Slovakia like you said 5000 square meters.


CARNEY: And just a lot and lot of humanitarian aid is flowing through that we're working with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red

Crescent societies as well as saved the children to get the aid the supplies that Ukrainians need, and that those NGOs identify to Ukrainians.

I can also tell you today, we haven't announced this until this moment, but we launched a second humanitarian aid hub in Poland this week, it's a

facility almost as large 4500 square meters.

And it's a space that's now ready to prepare and deliver millions of relief supplies, to refugee camps through the same partners on the ground that

we've been we've been working with. So this is an opportunity where because of the logistics capacity that we have, we feel like we can be part of the

solution now, with this awful refugee humanitarian crisis in Europe.

CHATTERLEY: Was he's now got two of these hubs? And just to be clear, because I know people will be wondering, you set these up at Amazon's own


CARNEY: Oh, yes, completely. And we're donating millions of supplies directly from Amazon, as well as making I think we've now donated more than

12 million just in cash donations to more than 100 relief organizations. So the supplies, yes, there are no, there's no profit involved here. It's all

direct relief.

CHATTERLEY: Thanks, Jay. And just to be clear on what you're providing, as well, it's classic Amazon model, you're working backwards from what

refugees in the moment require working out what you have what you don't have, finding those supplies, if you don't have packing them up and getting

them to where they're needed as fast as possible.

CARNEY: That's right. And we and we needed those hubs in Slovakia, and now in Poland, so that we could position the aid as close as possible, to where

the refugees were and where they're flowing into. So, you know, that allows us to get the products that supplies that we need to those hubs, and then

and then to the people who need them working with NGOs who know what they're doing.

We're also providing opportunities for customers in our European sites, to make donations through wish lists. The supplies that NGOs have identified

that refugees need, if customers in those countries want to add to the wish list at you know, add buy supplies for refugees, they can do that.

We also excuse me, we also have an opportunity on all of our gateway sites, all of our homepage is essentially to, for customers to take donations, as

well to the select NGOs that are really helping.

CHATTERLEY: Can you tell me, can you can you put a level on how much in terms of value you've received in terms of donations from Amazon customers

so far?

CARNEY: I know that there are tens of thousands of customers, I don't know, you know, who made just cash donations through our home pages.

CHATTERLEY: Or supplies?

CARNEY: Well, they do. Yes, there's so we know tens of thousands of made cash donations that thousands also have given supplies through these wish

lists. And we do that in our sites in Europe, because we want to make sure that the products they're selecting are located close to the refugees


So we're also leveraging our AWS, our cloud service provider company, technology assistance to NGOs that needed to help them, you know, in this

critical time with information flow and data flow. And to help also with the effort to sustain internet connectivity for those humanitarian relief

organizations and others that are working on the ground to help in this crisis.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, I was going to go there next, because obviously, Amazon web services such a huge part of the broader business as well. I believe

you've also been playing a role assisting with Cybersecurity threats.

I just wanted to ask you, sort of what you've seen over the past six weeks in particular, and can you give us any sense of, of whether that state

actor involvement that you're witnessing? What can you tell us on that front?

CARNEY: I know that there's been a lot of activity. I don't really I wish I could be more helpful on this. But I, I can't say authoritatively, whether

it's state activity. But, you know, as others have reported, there's been, you know, there have been cyber-attacks. And you know, we are able to help

with lend our expertise as we always have in these situations to government authorities to help combat them, but I can't identify the culprits myself.

CHATTERLEY: Don't worry. I have to ask. I was expecting that response. Talk to me about the welcome door initiative to I believe it's also already

available in the United States.

It's going to be global or at least imminent in the United States and the rest of the world by the end of the year. And this is jobs for refugees and

just to be clear it's not just about Ukrainian refugees.


CHATTERLEY: I know you've been doing it more broadly. But what can you tell me on this and how quickly this can be up and running to?

CARNEY: Well, we signed the 10 partnership, we signed on to that, which is to provide immediate support and address longer term needs to Ukrainian

refugees. We also launched welcome door, which is a program to provide refugees employed by the company with additional resources and support,

because it's not obviously just enough in this situation when you're suddenly homeless, and maybe stateless to just get a job.

So it's free legal assistance, help, that legal assistance, helping them on a path to citizenship. Ukrainian refugees hired by Amazon will have access

to this, and we'll start launching it next month in the U.S. and then expand globally as the year progresses.

So we're, you know, we're trying to, we're trying to the things that we have the assets we have the capabilities we have, that we can leverage to

help in this crisis. We're, you know, we're trying to do everything we can.

The problem is huge, as you know, that's why no, it's more than one government needs to help more than one company, all the NGOs that are doing

incredible work. And, you know, it's watching on CNN, what's happening in Ukraine is just heartbreaking.

I don't know if you know that I was a reporter and what was in the Soviet Union in the early 90s. And I covered the collapse of the Soviet Union, I

spent a lot of time in Ukraine, covering the independence movement in Ukraine and the, and then the independence of Ukraine. And seeing this is

just awful and heartbreaking.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, we were there at the same time. Jay, I am, I feel exactly what you're feeling at this moment. I think it's actually what I was going

to ask you next. And I know you've as a business have suspended shipping products to Russia and access to prime TV, for example.

But something stood out to me. And I wondered whether it went back to precisely what you were saying in your experiences. And that is that Amazon

and Amazon Web Services have no data centers.

You have no infrastructure, no offices in Russia, and a long standing policy of not doing business with the Russian government quote. Jay, why

all of these things?

CARNEY: These were judgments made by our business leaders and senior leadership at the company, a number of years ago about whether it was a

wise course to take to do business there to build infrastructure to, to have I mean, business with the Russian government.

And, you know, I think these are then was that there were too many risks involved in doing that. And obviously, now, we look back on that decision

and are glad that we made it. You know, we you know, we were in a lot of places around the world, but we're not everywhere, and we make judgments

where we shouldn't be.

CHATTERLEY: Other tech companies are there.

CARNEY: Well, that's that is true. That is true. And, you know, again, I think we can look back on the decision we made at Amazon, not especially

not to, you know, to build to make capital investments there and to build infrastructure there were to locate offices there and then, importantly, to

do business with not to do business with the Russian government.

As you know, that was what we thought was a sound business decision given circumstances there even years ago and risks associated with that. And

we're glad we made that decision.

CHATTERLEY: Jay, very quickly, I think it's very important for businesses and for leaders to draw a distinction between government in Russia and the

Russian people, because they're also facing restrictions and implications of decisions made by the government. Can I just briefly get you to talk on


CARNEY: Sure. It is difficult. And there's no question that in a circumstance like this, where you have sanctions, for example, being

implemented, to a degree that we've never seen, at least I've never seen in my lifetime, with cross governments or Western governments, you know, that

that's going to have a negative effect on the well-being of Russian citizens who obviously, are not the Russian government.

But it is, unfortunately, I think, a lever that the West has that the NATO has shorter, engaging in a fighting war, that that can be very powerful and

effective and in ensuring that President Putin and his regime pay a price for this invasion.

It's terrible see, when innocent citizens of a country run by autocrat suffer because of those the decisions the leader makes and the regime

makes. But it's, you know, it's really there aren't too many options that that governments have or the companies have.

And we try to make that distinction you know it was part of our decision not to do business with the government, but as opposed to its citizens, but

it's hard to differentiate obviously in a situation like this.


CHATTERLEY: Yes, particularly at this moment, Jay, great to chat to you. Thank you. Thank you for what you and the team are doing. They'll always be

criticism that you're not doing enough but I'm saying, thank you. Jay Carney, Senior Vice President for Policy and Press, Amazon, and I think you

have a phone call to answer there and definitely an email or to, well, let you get to it. Thank you.

CARNEY: Take care.

CHATTERLEY: We'll speak soon. We're back after this. Stay with us.


CHATTERLEY: Welcome back. NATO is saying that Russian troops are regrouping and not withdrawing, saying that they are focusing on their offensive in

Ukraine's Donbas region as the defense minister said they would earlier this week while keeping pressure though on the capitol.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen traveled outside Kyiv to get a closer look at the fighting and some of the destruction. His report contains some graphic



FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Through heavily fortified checkpoints, we reached the edge of Kyiv at the suburb

European. Suddenly on top of the artillery barrages, we hear gunfire much closer and we have to take cover.

This is what it sounds like after Russia said it has scaled down its military operations around Kyiv. Even in the calmer moments, the big guns

are never silent.

PLEITGEN (on camera): This is the final checkpoint before you would reach the district of Irpin. But it's impossible for us to go there right now

simply because it's much too dangerous. It's also impossible for the people who live there to come back to their homes because there's still so much

shuffling going on and so much unexploded ordinance still on the ground.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Irpin was heavily contested between Russian and Ukrainian forces as Vladimir Putin's troops attempted to push through to

Kyiv. Now the Ukrainian say they've pushed the Russians back taken control and released this graphic video of the aftermath, buildings and cars

destroyed, dead bodies still lying in the streets.

Ukraine's security emergency service has now also released this video showing risk he was taking out at least some of the dead, while under fire

from Russian artillery.


PLEITGEN (voice over): Some of the remaining residents were also brought to safety including many children, Irpin's Mayor tells me.

OLEKSANDR MARKUSHIN, IRPIN, UKRAINE MAYOR: Now Irpin is 100 percent Ukrainian, we are taking out the wounded and dead bodies today and

yesterday we evacuated approximately 500 people. Today I myself evacuated about 50 children and 100 adults.

PLEITGEN (voice over): The evacuees are brought to this base outside of Irpin, it's not only people. Aid groups are now also evacuating the animals

left behind when their owners had to flee, including these puppies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have volunteers who are going under the fire and picking animals on the streets going under fire going into Irpin and

picking animals. Yes, yes, yes.

PLEITGEN (voice over): The Ukrainian army says it's in the process of pushing Russian troops further out of this area, hoping to silence Putin's

guns and restore calm to this one's quaint suburb, Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kyiv, Ukraine.


CHATTERLEY: And we're back after this, stay with CNN.


CHATTERLEY: Welcome back. A cautious tone on global stock markets as investors fear broken withdrawal promises by Russia will only prolong the

five week old Ukrainian war. Fresh data out of China meanwhile, showing activity in that country's manufacturing and services sector also

contracting to raising new fears about slowing global growth.

China's weak numbers helping pressure all prices as well as reports that President Biden will announce a new and substantial release of oil from the

U.S. strategic reserves to help ease supply concerns and pricing pressures.

And we're talking as much as 1 million barrels a day for months. Oil currently is down as you can see around 3 percent retracing half of its

earlier losses. And here's why. As we said moments ago, the Russian President has signed a decree ordering payment for natural gas in rubles.

Just take a listen to what he said.


PUTIN: I signed a decree which sets rules for trading in Russian natural gas through the so called unfriendly state. We suggest that counterparties

in these countries use a very simple and transparent scheme in order to buy Russian gas. They need to open ruble accounts in Russian banks and payments

should come from these accounts for gas supplied as of tomorrow, first of April this year.

If these payments are not made, we shall deem this as non-performance on the part of the buyers and that will lead to consequences. Nobody gives us

anything for free and we are not about to be charitable, so active contracts will be suspended. Today I signed a decree--



CHATTERLEY: OK, so obviously oil has reacted slightly negatively on this. Remember that President Putin is speaking to a particular audience here.

And he's also spoken to both the German Chancellor and the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi this week.

And the message that they got was, look, oil is not going to be cut off, there's going to have to be a payment made in Euros and dollars that will

then be switched for rubles within Russia in a Russian bank in order to make these payments in rubles.

So what we heard from President Putin there, I don't think he's inconsistent with that concept. Perhaps the biggest challenge is the timing

on this and that it has to happen from tomorrow from April 1.

So that might be some of the concern that you're seeing in all markets. But beyond the logistical challenges of doing this, I don't think it's

inconsistent with those contracts being obeyed.

You make the payment for Russian energy in dollars, or Euros that then gets converted into rubles and then the payment is made to Russia. Any further

headlines on that, we will bring it to you. But that's it for the show for now. Stay with CNN, "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is up next.