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First Move with Julia Chatterley

CNN Crew Enters Devastated City of Irpin; Ukraine: No More Russian Forces at Chernobyl Plant; Army of Hackers Rallies to Ukraine's Defense; Russia: Oil to Europe still Flowing Despite Ruble Threat; Charity Helps People Send Money Directly to Ukrainians; FIFA World Cup Draw to Take Place in Doha Soon. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired April 01, 2022 - 09:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST, FIRST MOVE: You're watching CNN. I'm Julia Chatterley in New York and we begin with the latest from Ukraine. Claims of

a counter attack inside Russia a low altitude air strike by two helicopters leaving a fuel depot in Belgorod over ablaze.

Ukraine's Ministry of Defense has declined to comment the Kremlin says though it could impact negotiations due to resume virtually today.

Ukraine's President Zelenskyy meanwhile, has fired two top generals sending a warning to what he calls traitors in the military. With the words if you

don't decide where your homeland is, you will be punished.

President Zelenskyy also said Russia is focusing its military operations on Eastern Ukraine. There's been heavy shuffling around Kharkiv and in the

Donbass region in the separatists controlled Luhansk and Donetsk.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: The situation in the southern direction and in the Donbass remains extremely difficult. Russian troops

are accumulating the potential for strikes, powerful blows.


CHATTERLEY: In Chernobyl Russian forces are leaving the area around the nuclear complex. According to Ukraine, there are unconfirmed reports some

Russian troops are suffering from radiation sickness, and around 2000 people who have been trapped in Mariupol have now left in a convoy of buses

and awaiting their arrival in the City of Zaporizhzhia is Senior International Correspondent Ivan Watson.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): We have been getting indications from the ICRC that's the International Committee

of the Red Cross and from the Mariupol City Council that the convoy is on the move that it has left Berdyansk and is on its way to Zaporizhzhia.

On a good day that would take about three, three and a half hours. But there are many military checkpoints to go through. And we're being told

that it's a convoy of some 52 buses carrying some 2000 people joined by many civilian privately owned vehicles.

Let's come this way, Tom, while I keep walking, they're going to be coming to this place where police where ambulances where volunteers are standing

by to help process. Now, this has been kind of improvised hub. This is a superstore, where people have been coming on their own, with their own

privately owned vehicles day after day, to try to escape Russian occupied territory.

Some people escaping from Mariupol, others escape from villages and towns in the countryside in between Ukrainian controlled territory, and Russian

occupied territory. And they kind of come in here and they're processed.

And there's a tremendous volunteer effort to help people who have suddenly been made homeless. So I'm going to take you into this. There's a metaphor

here, perhaps that the superstore is called the epicenter. And I would say it is the epicenter of trying to help out the tens of thousands of people

who've been displaced by this terrible conflict.

So many of the people when they come in, they can get donated clothing here, which was stacked up to the ceiling just a couple days ago and come

into here and you have free food, hot tea, you have medics standing by and you have support networks, such as information about how to get deeper into

Ukrainian controlled territory, free transport free vans being offered.

And this is particularly poignant for me this bulletin board where people post all sorts of things like offering to fix people's shattered car

windows, which have been hit by Russian shells in Mariupol or information about missing loved ones.

So this entire center has been functioning for weeks, but it now is poised to get an enormous influx of potentially thousands of I would argue quite

shell shocked and traumatized evacuees who've been making a long and very difficult journey from Mariupol.


CHATTERLEY: Ivan Watson speaking to my colleague Brianna Keilar just a little earlier. Now in other developments Ukrainian forces if we take in

the City of Irpin, a suburb of the Capital Kyiv after weeks of fierce fighting. Fred Pleitgen traveled to a once bustling city now lying in



FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): There is no safe way to get into Irpin the only feasible route is on the

back of a police special forces pickup truck on dirt paths. But even here the earth is scorched after Russian troops shelled the trail. Ukrainian

forces are taking us into this area on back roads because they say taking the main roads is simple much too dangerous.


PLEITGEN (voice over): They want to show us the damage done when Russian forces tried to enter Kyiv. Ukrainian authorities say this is still one of

the most dangerous places in this war torn country. And we immediately see why? We are driving right towards an area in - from artillery shelling.

This is where Russian forces tried to push into Ukraine's capital but were stopped and beaten back by the underdog Ukrainians. The battles here are

fierce. Authorities say 50 percent of the city has been destroyed. To us that number seems like an understatement.

PLEITGEN (on camera): We have to keep moving quickly because this place can get shelled anytime.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Ukraine's national police now patrol Irpin again, but their forces frequently come under fire the chief tells me. Just

yesterday our officers who were searching for dead bodies they were shot at with mortars he says. They had to lay under the bridge and wait for it to


But the grim task of finding and taking out the many dead continues more than two dozen on this day alone. Some have been laying in the streets for

weeks, and can only now be removed. When Russian forces invaded Ukraine, they quickly advanced on the Capital Kyiv all the way to Irpin.

Here the Ukrainian stood and fought back. Vladimir Putin's army controlled large parts of Irpin in the battle laid waste too much of this formerly

wealthy suburb. And this was the epicenter where we find burned out Russian trucks and armored vehicles.

PLEITGEN (on camera): So this is the area where some of the heaviest fighting took place in Irpin. And as you can see that there was a Russian

armored vehicle which was completely annihilated. We do have to be very careful around here because there still could be unexploded munitions

laying around.

We meet Volodymyr Rudenko (ph), a local resident who says he stayed and took up arms when the Russians invaded. Always there was not a single day

when I left town, he says even during the heaviest fighting. It must have been difficult I asked. Just so you understand he says once there were 348

impacts in one area in one single hour.

And the battle here is not over. Suddenly, Irpin's Mayer shows up with a group of Special Forces saying they're looking for Russians possibly still

hiding here. I asked him how it's going. We're working he says there's information that there are two Russian soldiers dressed in civilian clothes

with our group we're going to clean them up.

Ukrainian forces say they will continue the fight and further push Russian forces away from their capital. The Deputy Interior Minister saying they

need the U.S.'s support to succeed.

PLEITGEN (on camera): What do you need from the United States?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything. Military supports first of all.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Weapons to help the Ukrainians expel the invading army they hope and finally bring this suburb out of the reach of Vladimir

Putin's cannons Fred Pleitgen, CNN Irpin Ukraine.


CHATTERLEY: A reminder once again of one of our top stories Russian officials say a fire at a fuel depot inside Russia was caused by a

Ukrainian air strike. Phil Black joins us now from Lviv Phil great to have you with us.

This type of attack on key infrastructure is what the Ukrainians have been dealing with from Russian troops and Russian strikes now for many weeks. I

believe this, if proven true, would be the first counter attack in the opposite direction. What do we know?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It'd be the first attack of this sort of scale I think certainly, Julia. If we start with what we do know, and that

is that clearly this explosion took place because we have video of it. We can see it you can see the huge blast at the site.

In one of the videos that captured the moment you can also see incoming fire impacting that site just moments before the blast. So it seems that

somebody shot at it and blew up this facility. The Russian say it was Ukrainian helicopters, two of them flying low crossing the border, firing

their weapons into that fuel storage area.

The Kremlin spokesman says President Putin has been informed about this and is also implied that this is the sort of event the sort of attack that

could impact the atmosphere surrounding the diplomacy and the negotiations that are also taking place to try and talk through a solution to this war.

But interestingly from the Ukrainians, there is still no clear comment or explanation. In fact, the most recent comment which came through a short

time ago from a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry says that it's neither a confirmation nor denial. The spokesperson says that we are

busy fighting a defensive operation against Russian aggression so that means we're not responsible for every catastrophe every mishap on the soil

of the Russian Federation.


BLACK: He says it's not the first time we've been accused of this or accused of something like this. And so neither a confirmation, nor a denial

of them is responsible for this. So it raises questions. If they did do it, then why aren't they more proud of it? Why aren't they cheering about it a

little more? If they didn't, then well, who did and why?

But lots of questions, perhaps in the event that it was the Ukrainians about just what their capability is to the boldness and the skill, the

ability to actually launch an attack like this, on Russian Federation soil flying through Russian air space.

I think it is a lot more than perhaps Russia and much of the world thought that they were capable of at a time like this when they're still very much

dealing with the Russian invasion on their own territory and soil Julia.

BLACK: All great questions. Can we tie the threads together here what we've seen just in the last 24 hours? We are seeing, in addition to this attack,

whoever carried it out, the fact that we are managing to get evacuations from places like Mariupol, and people there clearly have been desperate for

many weeks.

There's also the suggestion that despite those people leaving, they're not managing to get the humanitarian aid in that they would hope to them

perhaps in somewhere being prevented by Russian troops and perhaps that's being confiscated all of this ahead of these virtual talks today, Phil, is

there any hope of a breakthrough of some kind, when we get them?

BLACK: Well, I think the talks that are continuing online are going to be mostly procedural and tactical. They're going to be looking at the detail

and trying to work out some language that could then be taken to the next face to face meeting that could perhaps, then be used as has been flagged

as the basis of talks for at least the foreign ministers of the respective countries getting together and then perhaps ultimately, the leaders of the

respective countries getting together.

But it seems that we're still some distance from that yet based upon all the comments that we've had from both sides over the last few days. But

you're right on the ground. Meantime, there are big efforts, really big logistical operations, trying to get people out of some of the Russian

occupied areas, notably the City of Mariupol, which, as we know has been under siege for more than four weeks now.

People have been getting out through humanitarian corridors, either on foot or using private transportation. What there's very little success been with

so far has been getting bus convoys in so you can move out large numbers of people.

Now over the last 24 hours, there has been an effort to get about 45 buses into that city. We don't have any of those buses have actually made it in

yet. But what we do know is that some of those buses are now returning from that area, with about 2000 people on board. These may be people that walked

out on foot and have now met up with those buses.

But it is progress of a sort because there are still thought to be around 150,000 people in that city, still living under bombardment still living

with daily fighting with very little food, water, heat in truly horrendous situations as the Red Cross, or representative of the Red Cross said


They are running out of adjectives to describe the horrors and the conditions through which that people are enduring in that city. It is a

truly great humanitarian crisis. And the efforts to get people out of there safely have been inadequate so far.

But there might be some progress today, as I say, with about 2000 heading out on the buses, as well as other people in private cars joining that

convoy as well, Julia.

BLACK: Yes, every life and every person is evacuated should be celebrated but to your point, so much more to do to help the people there. For while

I've got you, I just want to ask you, because in the last hour, we showed a press conference of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy

Agency, and we were hoping to hear from him.

They're hearing with regards Russian troops, perhaps leaving the area surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The suggestion was and

reports have been unconfirmed at this stage that perhaps some of those Russian troops who are suffering from radiation sickness, what more can you

tell us? What are you hearing on your side?

BLACK: Yes, it's hard to verify possible to verify really, Julia, but these are the reports that are coming from Ukrainian officials. They do say and

this is believed to be true that the Russians have left after taking that territory surrounding the Chernobyl site, both the nuclear plant itself and

the surrounding site that was the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster back in 1986.

They have now suddenly left. And it is Ukrainian officials who say that while they were there, the Russian troops were digging trenches, building

fortifications, and as a result, some of them very quickly started to experience radiation sickness.

And this created some sense of panic, they say, among the Russian soldiers who were still stationed there. As I say, that is very difficult to verify.

But that is the Ukrainian explanation for why they have very suddenly and without any public explanation, given up that piece of territory.

CHATTERLEY: Right. Phil Black in Lviv there, thank you so much for that report. OK, coming up on the show cyber soldiers Ukraine's growing tech

army tackling Russia's misinformation war stay with us that's next.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back! Global investors monitoring the new round of talks between Russia and Ukraine today muted expectations after the

Kremlin's warning too that an airstrike on a Russian oil depot will strain the atmosphere. For now take a look at this U.S. Futures and European

shares are higher on this first day of a new month and a new quarter of course too.

So that will play into it. U.S. stocks coming off their worst three months stretch since the start of the pandemic. That's the performance pressured

by the war in Ukraine slowing growth in China and higher borrowing costs as the U.S. Federal Reserve it begins raising interest rates.

The American jobs market too remains a bright spot to revenue numbers today showing the economy adding 431,000 positions net last month, a bit lighter

actually than estimates. But numbers for January and February were revised substantially higher so positive picture there.

For now fighting for their homes from their keyboards Ukraine has created an IT army of hackers who have volunteered to fight Russia online. They're

also finding unique ways to raise money for the government too. Since the war began officials have been calling for crypto donations both to help

Ukraine's troops and to pay for essential humanitarian aid.

So far, the Ministry of Digital Transformation has raised almost $70 million of its $200 million goal. Ukraine's Deputy Minister for Digital

Transformation Oleksandr Bornyakov, Bornyakov joins us now, Alex, fantastic to have you on the show.

We appreciate your time. How critical is it do you believe to fight the misinformation and technology war that Ukraine is facing against Russia?

And that was before this invasion and of course since.


believe the most jobs our military are doing and this is where the most significant part being done.

But still without having this front I think we would, we would lose in the long term. So covering this part we make sure that Russians wouldn't have

more money to fund this war because they don't spend their taxpayer money on building schools, roads and helping their people that they build tanks

rockets and then killing our civilians possess threat to whole Europe.

So I think in the long term, what we're doing is, is really helping also, from the military standpoint. And we are focusing our efforts on fighting

on the cyber fraud, as long as doing what we call digital diplomacy.


BORNYAKOV: So we appeal to companies around the world to stop doing this with Russia. And so those are two major lines of work that we're doing at

this point.

CHATTERLEY: And we'll come back to the digital diplomacy because this is another crucial factor, I think of what you're trying to achieve here. But

I want to talk about the IT army, the collection of hackers from around the world that you've collected together, and I believe you communicate via


And I've read that it's as many as 300,000 different individuals, what can you tell me about them and what they're doing?

BORNYAKOV: Sure. So during the first day of war, there were so many people that wanted to help, and I believe the majority of them were Ukrainians.

And they were looking for personal context with us, with other authorities from Ukraine, asking like what we can do for our country? What we can do as

citizens to protect Ukraine to protect our homes, defend our homeland?

And obviously, we weren't able to communicate to thousands of people. So we decided to channel this energy and make it systematic. So - came with this

idea came up with this idea. So let's create a Telegram channel ask him, all of them to join this channel, so we can give them tasks. And it worked.

It actually was beyond our expectation. So I didn't think that could be so many people's hundreds thousands of people, but it worked out. And I

believe we managed to--

CHATTERLEY: Can I ask her how powerful these hackers are? Oh, have I lost you? Alex, can you hear me?

BORNYAKOV: Yes, yes.

CHATTERLEY: OK, good. So going back wow, we can't have IT failure in the middle of a conversation about IT. What a disaster? Can I ask how powerful

these hackers are? I remember in the early days of the invasion, Russia allegedly had issues with their government websites, they went down.

Are these hackers powerful enough perhaps to attack Russian infrastructure take down government websites, perhaps military operations to if you ask

them to do that? Have you asked them to do that? And are they powerful enough to do so?

BORNYAKOV: Well, they be revered so and the fact says that the word - in power to meet so they manage to get down their stock exchange their

websites of their - Kremlin, they completely destroyed their air airline software system.

So there's some so much more, and also take - they have taken down their government services, online government services completely. So there were

plenty of attacks and hacks that were successfully performed by them.

And the interesting fact that we don't know any of them so this was completely volunteer movement, that centralized network of people who not

managed by someone specifically, and they just were doing this because they think that they're doing this for the right costs.

CHATTERLEY: Alex, you said something interesting there that I just want to ask you again about was the stock exchange. I think a lot of people thought

that the stock exchange or believe the stock exchange in Russia was shocked due to volatility, technical issues with the sheer pressure of selling that

we were seeing.

Are you saying you believe it was a hack attack, and that's why the stock exchange stayed closed for so long?

BORNYAKOV: What I'm saying is that for the first - it was during the first three days, it was down also to the technical reasons, then they close it.

And well, I remember that they just were not responding online. So I'm not sure exactly which part was hard, but I'm sure that their website was down.

And but of course, they also had different issues because investor want to pull out from Russia, that this is a separate thing, but their system also

was not working.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, fascinating. Ukraine, also, I believe, had the fourth highest adoption rate of crypto even before this invasion took place. And I

know you and the government have harnessed this in many ways as a tool of war now I believe to get payments to people.


CHATTERLEY: You've been selling NFTs non-fungible tokens. Talk to me about the power of crypto at this moment in your mind.

BORNYAKOV: So, yes it did, when we started --our ministry is two years old. And from day one, we were promoting Ukraine as a crypto friendly country

and doing everything to legalize crypto in Ukraine. And those efforts appear to be successful.

So after 3 days of war - asked to create as fund because National Bank and financial system of Ukraine was severely limited, especially when you want

to send payments abroad. But we had to do something, there was so much stuff missing for our people for our army. So the decision to open this

fund was necessary by that time.

There's so much - everything was changing so fast was so hectic, but we had to - we had to act fast. And Crypto essentially providing you this

opportunity because you don't have to wait for two three days for the banking transfer to come through. In Crypto it's been done for 10, 15


So we started to make those payouts and deliver like bulletproof vests, helmets, medical supplies, food rations and everything that army need for

and people started to respond and donate so much money for that cause.

As of now, yes, we managed to raise almost $70 million and we spent almost 42 or 43. And we continue to get the nations and by the way president in

the middle of war, he signed this law on virtual assets, which basically was the final step to legalize crypto in Ukraine. So once the war was over,

we would welcome all the companies from around the world to work with Ukraine and incorporate here.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's fascinating. And I know you've made the point to say, look, we're buying non-lethal equipment with this money to the crypto

community. No, it's not lethal weaponry. And I want to make that point in particular.

Just very quickly, you don't see it as a threat to the national currency, the use of crypto because there'll be a lot of people listening to this

saying, wow, this is a nation state, like a few others that are adopting in a fulsome way. You don't see it as a threat.

BORNYAKOV: We don't see it a threat. And we work closely with our national bank. So in our constitution, it says the only means of payment is - our

currency. So Crypto in Ukraine considered to be an asset, it's very close from legal standpoint is very close to intellectual property.

So it's more like assets rather than money. But still, you can transfer it you can possess it, you can inherit it. You can split it if you for

instance, you divorced or whatever. So we just put this into legal system of Ukraine as one of their but doesn't want his exclusion. Stable coins

also are a means of payment, but they're controlled by National Bank.

So I think we made a balanced approach when - it's not like in Salvador. So they just make Bitcoin as a means of failing. But we also consulted with

the - with money - anti-money laundering authorities, because we want to make it like long term strategy for companies and for the government, and

all of them will have the interest and have their priorities. So I think in Ukraine is going to work totally fine.

CHATTERLEY: Alex, you're giving my viewers a sense of the conversations that fingers crossed when this war is over. We're going to have on this

show for the foreseeable future, and I can see the exciting things that you were doing before you had to start fighting a war.

And Alex, I know this is very personal to you, too. And for many Ukrainians, because you also have family in Russia, I believe, and they

don't understand or believe what you're experiencing, and what Ukraine's - Ukrainian people are seeing and feeling and suffering. What do you want to

say to Russian people and to your family in Russia, who perhaps don't understand and don't believe?

BORNYAKOV: Well, this is indeed a tragedy for the most of Ukrainian. And I want the world to know that it's not just my personal story. It's like

thousands of such stories because back in the USSR we were one big country and my father was in military.


BORNYAKOV: So we just - he was moving. He's from Russia, and he was moved to Ukraine we left there, some of our part of our family, cousins, they are

still in Russia, some of them in Ukraine. And this is it's not just me again it's for a lot of families it's like that.

And when Putin started this war, it what makes it horrible, because it's not just two nations fighting, and also like brothers and sisters and

cousins are also fighting. And this is a huge tragedy. So what I would like to say to them.

So what I'm going to say is that there is no reason you can - what's the word I'm looking for? I'm sorry, that could justify sending militaries to

kill your brothers and sisters, and there is no reason, political or economic reason for that.

So if you support this, I don't think it is right. It's something is wrong with those people. And it's very sad that they don't understand that. And I

believe that it's always could be a diplomatic solution for that, especially in cases like Ukraine and Russia.

CHATTERLEY: I hope your cousin can hear that. And I hope you find a path back to each other after this Alex, thank you for your time. We're going to

continue to speak in bad times and in good I promise. Oleksandr Bornyakov, Ukrainian's Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation great to chat to you

sir. Thank you stays safe. We're back after this, stay with CNN.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back! And a reminder of our top stories this hour a Russian Governor claims two Ukrainian helicopters have attacked a fuel

depot inside Russia. Videos posted online show multiple strikes hitting the facility as helicopters flew by.

Now CNN cannot confirm if they were indeed Ukrainian helicopters the Kremlin says. It regards the incident, however, as an escalation that could

negatively impact talks with Ukraine. It comes as Russia and Ukraine have agreed to keep open a humanitarian corridor from Mariupol. Officials in the

besieged city say around 2000 people have been evacuated so far.

China and the EU have also been holding a virtual summit today. And of course, the war in Ukraine was top of the agenda. Moments ago, the

President of the European Council urged China to help put an end to the conflict.


CHARLES MICHEL, PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL: --terms to circumvent sanctions, or provide aid to Russia would prolong the war. This would lead

to more loss of life and greater economic impact.

This is not in anyone's long term interest. We will also remain vigilant on any attempts to aid Russia financially or militarily. However, positive

steps by China to help and do would be welcomed by all Europeans and by the global community.


CHATTERLEY: Call it the rumble over Rubles. The Kremlin says unfriendly countries need to make energy payments in Russian currencies beginning

today or risk are cut off in supply. Gazprom, however, says the oil and gas are still flowing, at least for now.

Anna Stewart joins us the covenant spokesperson - said today that these payments are due end of April/May. So there is a bit of time on Anna. But

it's the technical to this that I find fascinating. And perhaps I need to buy Rubles and support the Russian currency. Help us understand what's

going on here?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Yes, it's highly technical and effectively no real change has to happen, at least from the point of view of Western

buyers of Russian gas. Gazprom Bank, however, does have to make some changes, and they have 10 days from today when the decree is implemented to

do so.

They need to create Ruble accounts for Western buyers, or unfriendly country buyers of Russian gas. And this is for Gazprom Bank, which the all

these buyers already use. That is how they make payments to Gazprom for their gas. Now, this is where it gets complicated. So the Western firms

could still pay in Euros and dollars to Gazprom Bank as they do now as per their contract.

But Gazprom Bank will then trade it for Rubles and use their Ruble account to pay Gazprom technically there is a change there. But in reality, both

sides could really save face. So the Western buyers of Russian gas consider still continuing to buy their gas with their existing contract using

foreign currency.

President Putin in weeks to come could probably confirm that Gazprom is only receiving Russian Rubles and that will give some support to the Ruble.

CHATTERLEY: And who pays the transaction costs of having to do the conversion if that's what takes place, which is fascinating, too, because

that's not contracted. But what we're suggesting is its rather Shakespearean sound and fury signifying nothing, perhaps. Anna what happens

is someone turns off the taps for both sides here because there are costs dramatic costs on both sides.

STEWART: And in many ways, this story, which is very technical is just reflecting what we've been talking about now for weeks, which is just that,

can Europe afford to not buy Russian gas, given it relies on them for 40 percent of its gas.

Can Russia afford to lose its biggest customer of oil and gas and a huge source of revenue, which it needs, given how sanctions are squeezing that

economy, I thought was really interesting what the EU economic commissioner said to Richard Quest last night regarding all of this, take a listen.


PAOLO GENTILONI, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR ECONOMY: It's an attempt to circumvent sanctions and to blackmail the European Union. But it is

anything that the existing contracts allow to do.


STEWART: Using the word blackmail is really interesting, isn't it? Because even if they are obeying the letter of the law in terms of sanctions, even

if gas payments can be made in line with that is it in the spirit of sanctions.

If it circumvents the pressure that's being put if it helps support the Ruble, along with many other capital control measures, of course, that

Russia has already implemented? But at the end of the day, can you Europe it? Can households afford it? Can businesses afford it?

We've just had Euro Zone inflation come in for March it's at seven and a half percent already very expensive for gas and oil, all energy prices and

today's not really helping weather snow flurries across Europe and here in the UK, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's blackmail but here's the money anyway. Self-harm the vulnerability to Russia here and energy, self-harm.


CHATTERLEY: Anna Stewart, thank you very much for that. OK, coming up conflict cannot stop human connection have donors in the west of sending

money directly to Ukrainian families in need that story just ahead?


CHATTERLEY: Welcome back! There's been an outpouring of support for the more than 4 million Ukrainians forced to flee their country since the start

of the Russian invasion, and the more than 6 million who've been displaced by the conflict as well.

One of the most innovative programs to help families in need has come from the 1K Project for Ukraine. It's a P to P or a person to person program

founded by Venture Capitalists that allows donors to send a $1,000 amount directly to affected families.

Almost 70,000 Ukrainian families have signed up for relief so far. Alex Iskold joins us now. He's the Founder of the 1K Project for Ukraine and was

born and brought up in Ukraine, Alex, great to have you with us.

I guess that's the first an enormous problem when you've got 70,000 people signing up. That's $70 million that you need to raise if you're going to

give it to everybody. Let's start it's an incredible project. Talk to me about the decision to do this.

ALEX ISKOLD, FOUNDER, 1K PROJECT FOR UKRAINE: Yes, Julia. Well, thank you so much for shining the light on our work. As you said, I was born in

Ukraine. And this is incredibly personal for me as I still have family and very close friends there.

So you know a few days after the war broke out you know, like many people, I was frustrated, exceptionally hurt and wanted to help. And so the idea of

the 1K Project was born. And today we're a team of over 70 volunteers, helping people help families from Ukraine.

CHATTERLEY: And so far, you've helped, I believe, 2500 families.

ISKOLD: So far, we actually were able to help 3500 families so we've raised over $3.5 million. But as you said, we have over 70,000 applications. So

we've been able to help about 5 percent and obviously the need is much greater. So we need to raise more money to help families.

CHATTERLEY: You know, first and foremost with these things in my experience, its trust.


CHATTERLEY: Alex, how can you convince and tell people that are thinking look with love to give a family $1,000 if they can afford it? How do we

ensure and trust that it's actually going to go to a needy family in Ukraine? What due diligence do you do? And? And how can people be sure it's

going to get where it needs to go?

ISKOLD: Absolutely. And I think that this is something that we've built and is working exceptionally well. So anyone can go to and sign

up to directly sponsor family. On the other end, families apply and they also get referred through refugee centers in the network of trusted

connections on the ground.

Each family application is being checked both through an automation but also very carefully read by our team of volunteers. So most volunteers in

the project are literally, around the clock reading family applications so that we can be certain like you said that the money gets into the right


Majority of families that get support are single mothers, because as one of volunteers said, this war made every mother into single mother,

unfortunately. And so single mothers with multiple children are impacted the most and that's been sort of the biggest priority and the focus of the


CHATTERLEY: What if people want to do more? I believe you have as well, which allows people to give more than $1,000 if

they can.

ISKOLD: Yes, I mean, to everyone is watching you know, there's multiple ways you can participate. If you're able to sponsor a family directly, you

can do this through If you're in a position to make a larger donation no matter where you are in the world, you can go to one 1K Project


And like you said, you can donate a larger amount and also if you can get your company involved and you can sponsor multiple families we've had a

tremendous outpouring from the tech community which I'm very lucky to be part of.

So from tiny startups that are giving $10,000 to sponsor 10 families to large companies like Yahoo, generously donated $450,000 everyone is trying

to help and everyone is participating.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, and I want to reiterate what you just said, which is you're prioritizing women with two or three children that have literally

become single mothers overnight, because they've had to leave their partners or their husbands back in Ukraine to fight.

I know you're being flooded now with thank you and praise by people who've lost everything and had to move virtually overnight. Given it so personal

to you, as you said, this is your homeland. These are your people and your friends and family. How does that feel? How does this praise feel?

ISKOLD: I mean this isn't really about me, or about the volunteers. This is all about the families. And I can tell you, Julia, when we receive those

emails and messages on Instagram, pretty much all of them are saying that the 1K Project is the only one good thing that happened to them since the

war broke out. And they're all in tears.

They're incredibly grateful. I've read a thank you note from a family yesterday that said that it's going to help them with over six weeks of

like food and clothing. And so just to put this in perspective, we send $1,000, which is whether in Ukraine, or you're displaced within Ukraine, or

you are in Europe, it's a very meaningful amount.

And the project is meant to be a bridge. It's hopefully a bridge to when the war is over or people can resettle. And so the amount of money we send

$1,000 is exceptionally meaningful helping these families, you know, for significant amount of time.

CHATTERLEY: This is such an important point. This is a survival bridge. And if it can keeps a family going for six weeks, in the face of what they're

going through right now that's an incredible amount of time just to get them to a period hopefully where they can find some stability?

Alex, thank you for what you're doing Alex Iskold there, the founder of the 1K Project for Ukraine and the Founder and Partner of Venture Capital Firm

2048 Ventures. Thank you, sir. We're back after this. Stay with us.



CHATTERLEY: Football fans around the world eagerly awaiting today's draw for the World Cup in Qatar beginning in around two hours' time. Teams will

be drawn in eight groups. We already know 29 of the countries that made it to the finals. The last three places still to be decided.

Amanda Davies joins us now from Doha. Amanda one of those could be Ukraine. Walk us through the draw today. What can we expect?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes, absolutely Julia. After one of the longest most controversial buildups to a World Cup in history, we are now

just a couple of hours away from the drawer.

And as is indicative really of this world cup with a difference the first World Cup in the Middle East, the first to be played at the back end of the

year in November, December rather than the summer we enter this draw with three teams, three finalists still not decided as you mentioned, in part

because of the delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But also because of the war in Ukraine, which means their playoff game has been postponed against Scotland. The players very much saying that they do

still want the opportunity to be able to take part in that playoff and play here at the finals.

But of course as the draw - as the war goes on, that becomes ever more difficult as a prospect with many of the players and their families still

not able to leave Ukraine. They will though have their name in the drawer for when it takes place.

France go into it as the defending champions, one of the most talented squads in world football, it's Brazil, the five time World Cup winners who

with a new top ranked side in the world. They're back on the top of the rankings for the first time in five years. And it will be the hosts Qatar

ahead of their home World Cup finals playing in a World Cup for the first time.

Who will be in spot A1 in the drawer as is traditional they are in the top group of seeds because they're the hosts, it will be them who kick off this

World Cup on November the 21st, just waiting to see who they take on.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, I have to say I feel a little bit sorry for whoever is going to hopefully play Ukraine in the run into this because most of the

world is going to be shouting and supporting those Ukrainian players.

One of the things I quite like about this and I'm not sure you can tell me because you're the expert on the match schedule is going to be decided

afterwards, I believe because going to look at some of these tie ups and work out where the audiences are and try and make it as easy as possible

for the supporters around the world to watch.

DAVIES: Yes, it's something new that's taking place at this tournament. There are a lot of new things with this tournament Julia. You know,

normally a World Cup takes place across a whole country, doesn't it with perhaps 11 or 12 different host cities.

Here we're essentially having eight venues but within one city within a 50 kilometer distance so that yes, it has its positives people they hope we'll

be able to go to more than one game in a day. But there's also a huge logistical challenge that comes with that.

Making sure that teams and groups are bunched in the right areas. So you don't see fans crossing from the venue in the north to that in the south,

but the Metro doesn't become too jam packed. We've experienced some of the traffic here in the last couple of days. This is the first time the entire

football world from the delegations side has descended here on Doha.


DAVIES: But they are expecting 3 million tickets to be sold for this tournament which is taking place in a much smaller timeframe than normally

it's over seven weeks here we're talking just four so logistically, there is a whole lot for Doha in Qatar to get to grips with.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, I was actually thinking about the digital and the TV viewers, not the people who are actually there, which is a great point. And

Amanda, I've run out of time because there are other challenges and criticisms of course of this Qatar World Games and human rights issues to

which we should discuss but we will have time for that.

Amanda, great to have you with us and we look forward to this draw. Amanda Davies, thank you. That's it for the show. Stay with CNN, "Connect the

World" with Becky Anderson is up next.