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First Move with Julia Chatterley
Russia Claims 1,026 Ukrainian Soldiers Surrender in Mariupol; Ukraine Rejects German President's Plan to Visit; Chobani is Committed to Hiring Refugees and Immigrants; Russian Tech Talent Leave Amid War; Police Search for Brooklyn Subway Shooter; Twitter Users Expose Pro-Russian Sentiment in China. Aired 09-10a ET
Aired April 13, 2022 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST, FIRST MOVE: You're watching CNN. I'm Julia Chatterley in New York. And we begin with a fight for Mariupol. Russia says
over 1000 Ukrainian Marines that were defending the besieged port city have now surrendered.
However, Ukraine is saying that its remaining troops in the city have now managed to combine forces. And a video statement posted Tuesday by a member
of the marine unit said that they would hold until the end.
We need to point out CNN is not in Mariupol and cannot independently confirm any of these details. Meanwhile, Ukraine's offering Russia a
prisoner exchange, President Zelenskyy says he's willing to turn over Viktor Medvedchuk, the pro-Moscow Ukrainian politician who was detained
this week. In return, he's demanding the release of Ukrainian prisoners of war so far no response from the Kremlin, which is accused of committing war
crimes by France.
Yet President Macron stopping short of using the word genocide, President Biden however, willing to go further, late Tuesday he accused Vladimir
Putin of trying to wipe out even the idea of a Ukrainian identity.
As the Russian leader says peace talks are at a dead end, new satellite images show Russian forces moving east for what's expected to be a major
offensive. And CNN teams reporting shelling of residential areas too in Kharkiv. There's the video of what looks like explosions caused by cluster
munitions they used against civilian targets may amount to war crimes according to the UN.
An earlier Wednesday, President Zelenskyy accusing Russia of using incendiary phosphorus weapons to try and terrorize the Ukrainian people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: The residential compounds were decimated by all sorts of rockets and bombs, and artillery in particular,
the phosphorus bombs, and some others bound by international law. This is obvious terror against the civilian population. This is a try to break the
spirit of the nation to conquer the Ukrainians, or simply annihilate them.
CHATTERLEY: Fred Pleitgen is in Kyiv for us now. Fred, I want to start by talking about reports for Mariupol. The Ukrainians are saying that their
remaining forces there have consolidated and are now working together, but the hold feels increasingly fragile.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think you're absolutely right. It does feel increasingly fragile. But I think one
of the other things that we have to keep in mind that it's pretty much a miracle that those Ukrainian soldiers are still actually holding on to
Mariupol or actually managed to hold on to a part of Mariupol.
It's obviously a city that has been encircled from the very first days of this war with the Russians have been moving in. And it's absolutely
impossible to get any new supplies into that area. And what happened during the course of the fighting as more and more Russian forces poured into
Mariupol is that the defenders of Mariupol they were essentially separated from one another.
As the Russians managed to drive a wedge between them move their own forces in there. And now it seems as though from what the Ukrainians are saying
that those forces have managed to link up that some of the marine brigades that the Ukrainian military had in there, they managed to link up with some
of the other defenders.
While it seems as though from what the Russians are saying some of the other marines were then taken prisoner by the Russians. So it seems as
though on the whole, there are fewer Ukrainian forces that are still defending that city, but they have managed to consolidate their position.
Of course, they've also acknowledged that they believe that they're - that they're not going to be able to hold that position for much longer because
they are so low on supplies. And because of course the Russians have moved so many forces in there, we can see on our screens there, some of the
destruction in Mariupol.
Of course, it is one of the most destroyed - probably the most destroyed city currently in Ukraine. And Ukrainian government says that tens of
thousands of people may have been killed in the fighting, of course, many others also displaced.
But many civilians apparently also still in that city, as well as the fighting there certainly does seem to continue, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: And Fred, you know better than most, I think it's hard to look at the scenes that we're seeing there and not respond with an emotional
rather than a technical response, as perhaps President Biden did yesterday and call it genocide.
French President Emmanuel Macron not willing to go there but you were one of the first journalists into Bucha yourself. You've seen evidence of what
was left behind. And I know you've also spent time now with the investigators that are collecting evidence of so called war crimes, talk us
through those experiences Fred.
PLEITGEN: Yes, you're absolutely right. And I think one of the most interesting things yesterday that President Biden said is that he believes
that this is something that's increasingly amounting to genocide, but he has to wait and to see what the lawyers are going to say.
And what the Ukrainians have done is they've launched a massive investigation into war crimes and to crimes against humanity and now also
its possible genocide as well.
PLEITGEN: And I was able to link up with the chief prosecutor who was leading this charge and who also, by the way, says that she really needs to
do her best to distance herself emotionally from all this and to make this fundamental objective investigative work.
And we conducted our interview right at the main mass grave there in Bucha, which is obviously a grim place. And so we do have to warn our viewers that
some of what you're about to see is graphic and disturbing have a look.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Even as Russian troops mass in Eastern Ukraine for what the U.S. believes will be a huge offensive. Authorities in Kyiv
continued digging up bodies, painstaking work that goes hand in hand with investigating Russia's attack on Kyiv and possible crimes committed by
Vladimir Putin's invading troops.
Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova is leading the charge. She spoke to me at the edge of a mass grave in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.
IRYNA VENEDIKTOVA, UKRAINIAN PROSECUTOR GENERAL: For us, the best motivation is justice. And of course, we understand that all Ukrainian want
fast justice true and fast justice. That's why we do everything to document all evidence, all facts of war crimes that we have here in Ukraine.
PLEITGEN (voice over): French forensic investigators are now also on the scene not because Ukraine lacks expertise but because Kyiv wants to be as
transparent as possible in the face of Russian disinformation efforts.
VENEDIKTOVA: We want to do our job absolutely open with standards of international humanitarian law. It's very high standards. That's why when
here we have our international colleagues; we understand that they can see everything. They can see a real situation here real graves real dead
PLEITGEN (voice over): After Ukrainian forces managed to expel Russian troops from around Kyiv and some other areas they occupied in Ukraine.
Authorities have discovered scores of dead bodies. Today, another six found in just one basement outside Kyiv. The prosecutor tells me they are
collecting evidence in thousands of cases.
VENEDIKTOVA: Now, we started in more than 6000 cases, its cases its crimes, war crimes, crimes against humanity, aggression crimes. And we started on
the first day so far, we started them case about genocide.
PLEITGEN (voice over): All this as Russia still claims its forces that invaded Ukraine have not harmed any civilians. On a visit to a spaceport
with Belarusian Strongman Alexander Lukashenko Russian President Vladimir Putin, again claimed his forces are fighting against would be Ukrainian
Nazis, in what he calls a, "Special Operation".
The goals are absolutely clear and they are noble. He said, I said it from the beginning and want to draw your attention to that.
PLEITGEN (on camera): There are some in the U.S. at the top level who have spoken about a possible war crimes trial against Vladimir Putin, is that
something you think could ever be possible and it's something that you're working towards to provide evidence for?
VENEDIKTOVA: Of course, I think that everyone understands who is responsible for this war. That's why we do everything to fix to document
evidences. But we are here in Ukraine actually understood who is responsible for all of this.
PLEITGEN (voice over): The investigators work is complicated by the fact that the war is still going on. And they can't reach many devastated areas
like the encircled city of Mariupol, where Ukraine's president says tens of thousands have been killed. But Iryna Venediktova says no matter how long
it takes, she will press on.
VENEDIKTOVA: It's actually extremely important because if we will be successful as prosecutors, I assure that we can stop such aggressions in
PLEITGEN: So there you have the General Prosecutor Julia, and you know, just to give you an idea of what they're up against? They're obviously
collecting this forensic evidence. But the same time of course, there is also that very large Russian disinformation campaign just to give you an
idea of some of the things that the Russians have said they've said the corpses in Bucha are fake, which is obviously not the case.
They've said that when their forces left that area, everybody was still alive and must have been killed by the Ukrainians even though their
satellite images to prove otherwise. And drone footage by the way as well.
And yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin when he was at that spaceport with Alexander Lukashenko, he also said that he believed that all
the images coming out of Bucha are absolutely fake Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Fred Pleitgen thank you, as always for that report. The upshot of all of these two non-NATO members, Finland and Sweden are edging closer
in a press conference with the Swedish leader earlier today Finland's Prime Minister discussed the possibility of applying for membership.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANNA MARIN, FINNISH PRIME MINISTER: We need to have a consensus we need to have a view on the future. And we are using this time to analyze and also
building common views on the future when it comes to security. I won't give any kind of timetable when we will make our decisions. But I think it will
happen quite fast within weeks, not within months.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: Nic Robertson joins us now. Nic, a long term partners, if not members of NATO, Finland and Sweden, perhaps deciding now that they no
longer had the luxury of remaining on the fence where this body is concerned? How close do you think they are to that consensus that the Prime
Minister was talking about there?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, I think Finland's very close from Sweden's probably not far behind. And why do I say that
speaking to Finnish Diplomat earlier this year before Russia's invasion, one of the big takeaways for Finland was just what NATO membership means
and what Russia's aggression means?
And, you know, to Finland, sitting outside of NATO, although doing many military exercises, partnering with NATO in the past, sitting outside, they
realized what Ukraine was going through was a scenario where a nation was being attacked by an aggressive neighbor, Russia.
But that nation would have to face it alone, even if it was aspired to be part of NATO, even if it shared values with other NATO countries, because
it's only Article Five that makes you safe. And we heard from both a Finnish Prime Minister today and the Swedish Prime Minister saying Russia's
invasion of Ukraine changed everything.
So if you go back to earlier this year, when perhaps only a quarter of the population in Finland would have supported membership of NATO the senses
that that's really changed. And what we've heard from the Finnish Prime Minister today is that after Easter, they'll give this 51 page discussion
document to the Finnish Parliament.
They will expect within weeks to have it concluded. And there's really an expectation here in Brussels and at NATO Headquarters, that by the time we
get to the end of June and NATO's Leadership Summit, Finland will be asking and potentially Sweden as well, we'll be asking to become a full member of
And that is something that's expected to go through fairly easily and fairly swiftly. Everyone here, it has the sense that that's in motion. What
does it mean for NATO? Significantly, it's going to double its land border with Russia, when Finland joins. Finland has almost an 800 mile border with
Russia. So there are significant consequences here.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, consequences for NATO and for Russia. To your point, Nic, I feel if the Ukraine crisis can't convince you, perhaps nothing will.
President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian government unwilling to host the German President in Kyiv a mistake, Nic whatever the concerns about his
relationship with Russia Ukraine continues and will continue to need Germany.
ROBERTSON: President Zelenskyy and Ukraine's leadership have been really tough on people and countries that they feel are causing problems or making
life difficult for them. We've heard them call in the earliest stages out President Biden call out.
Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, and here this feels and looks like a strange one. Walter Steinmeier, the German President expected to
accompany the Polish, Lithuanian, Estonian, Latvian Presidents who went to - who who've gone to Kyiv today.
Steinmeier was the Foreign Minister in Germany, and there seems to be a perception in Kyiv that as Foreign Minister in Germany, previously, he was
the one that was sort of responsible for forging closer ties with Russia and Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, but of course, Germany itself has done so
much in recent days.
It's the first country to take wounded Ukrainian civilians by plane and fly them to Germany for treatment. It's been treating wounded, wounded
Ukrainian soldiers in Germany over past weeks. It was slow to offer military assistance, but it's made a massive and fundamental change in its
approach to its own security, massively increasing its defense spending, and shifting from a position of saying that it would only supply helmets to
the Ukrainian forces.
It essentially signaled that the Czech Republic can provide M-72 tanks to Ukraine that were once in - that had once belonged to East Germany. And so
yes and we've heard from the Germany's Chancellor today Olaf Scholz saying he's essentially disappointed irksome this decision by Ukraine to
essentially say no thank you to the to the President of Germany going on a visit.
CHATTERLEY: It's a huge shift in terms of sentiment across the EU. But as the Ukrainians keep arguing, it's still not enough. Nic Robertson, thank
you for that. Vladimir Putin saying he will find alternative markets for Russia's coal, oil and gas in response to Western sanctions.
Meanwhile, economists in Germany warned the country faces a sharp recession if Russian gas supplies are cut off, or they choose to cut them off, and
the cost $240 billion.
Anna Stuart joins me now, Anna a very much tied to the conversation I was just having with Nic there. It's not just about the financial cost. The
suggestion from this analysis too is the cost of 400,000 jobs, I wonder whether that perhaps, gives Olaf Scholz the political cover to avoid an
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly this report just shows how expensive any kind of energy embargo would be? But what was actually also
interesting was just the baseline scenario of no escalation in terms of the economics with Russia.
And that already sees Germany's economy growing at just 2.7 percent this year. That is a big downgrade from 4.8 percent, which was the last
estimate. And this year, they see inflation coming in at above 6 percent. The other scenario, which really focused just on gas, stopping Russian gas,
stopping to Germany, they see GDP coming in at 1.9 percent this year, and a contraction of 2.2 percent next year.
$240 billion been wiped off the economy, hundreds of thousands of jobs. I think you're right, I think when you look at Germany and its resistance so
far, to any kind of embargo on Russian energy, this gives political cover because it would be hugely expensive to the economy, to the cost of living
for everyday people, and hundreds of thousands of jobs on the line.
CHATTERLEY: One of the best bosses I ever worked for you to say to me doesn't come to me with problems of your own creation. Come to me with the
solutions. I feel like that applies here. Anna we'll come back to this thank you for that Anna Stewart there. We're back after this stay with CNN.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back! More than 4 million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes seek shelter in foreign countries since the start of
the Russian invasion in February many of these people face the scary uncertain prospect of building a new life and an unfamiliar land without
friends or family for support.
CHATTERLEY: A global business network set up in 2016 to help Syrian and Afghan refugees is now lending its expertise to help Ukrainians in need.
The Tent Partnership for refugees, comprises more than 200 large multinational firms who have pledged to hire, train and support refugees in
the workplace. Tent Partnership is the brainchild of Hamdi Ulukaya. He's the CEO of Chobani; a U.S. based Food Company committed to helping the
refugee community since its inception.
At one point around 30 percent of Chobani's employees were immigrants, or refugees. Hamdi Ulukaya joins us now he's just come back from a visit to
the Polish Ukrainian border. Hamdi great to have you on the show!
You've been simply been at the arrival point for millions of Ukrainian refugees who have been forced to flee. What was your sense being there?
HAMDI ULUKAYA, CEO, CHABONI: You know, it's the same picture that I saw when I was in the border of Venezuela and Colombia, or in the border of
Turkey or Syria, or in an island of Greece. This is something that we've been talking about for years, this devastation this human move without
It creates massive amount of tragedy. And I never thought Julia one day, I will be seen this in the heart of Europe. And here we are in the border
CHATTERLEY: I saw one of the many conversations that you had. I'm sure a mother who had been forced to flee with her six month old child. Can you
tell us something about that conversation? I'm sure among many, but it stood out to me.
ULUKAYA: Yes. So this was in a center where UNHCR set up this cash center, which is beautifully, beautifully done. And I asked the people in that
center, I said, how did this happen? And they said we started us set this up in one week.
And well, I'll come to the baby. What pleased me in that conversation in the center, Julia is that they said while Hilton provided a place for us to
train. Manpower, provided the tray, you know, selection of the people that will support Ukrainian who will provide the cars for the aid workers that
come back and forth.
And IKEA provided the furniture. What pleased me is the companies, our member companies are stepping up and playing a major role making this you
know how to be provided. In there you see women and children that underline and trying to get registered, and so they can get some cash.
You know, it's very, very sensitive, in that moment, to be able to have a conversation because you know, where he's going to land, you know, where
he's going to go. Her daughter's name was - she's nine months old, a single mother. And she left - they left their dad behind.
And you know, of course, children have children. They're beautiful; they're innocent, wherever they are. Mother, you can tell is her heart is filled
with worries, and, you know, uncertainty. Why she wants to go back? Why she wants to go back to her that and the mother wants to go back to her
They will lady who was translating to me? She came to me after and said, I'm so glad that you didn't ask many hard questions. Even though she was
translating for me her family was also in Ukraine, and her dad doesn't want to leave the town that they lived and they are on the eastern part of
And what you see there is the translator, or the mother with children, or people who are helping, they are all going to the same emotions of what is
going to happen today to my family. And of course, the biggest concern is what happened to my country.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, you've described it there. And this is the power of what you've created in the Tent Partnership, which is these big companies
at every stage of the process of being a refugee just rebuilding your life in the first few days to rebuilding a future getting the stability that a
job provides, which I know is it's so powerful to you.
Just explain the Tent Partnership because it's not just about Ukraine. It's been Afghan refugees and Syrian refugees to your point too?
ULUKAYA: You this happened when I started Chobani you know in upstate
New York. And when hired everyone, you know, local community after the factory was closed, I hit this little town called Utica.
And they said there are refugees from all around the world settled here legally, and they're having a hard time finding a job. And when I asked the
question, what is the problem, and they said, it's the language, they don't speak the language. They don't have the training, and they don't have
driver's license and cars to drive to the work.
And I thought those was, those were very simple, very simple problems to solve. We rented buses, we get translators, and we train them inside our
plants. At some point, we have 30 percent of our workforce are refugees from 19 different countries, 16 different languages spoken.
And same thing happened in Idaho, but I never thought this was work for refugees. I thought this was a community work. People in the community,
they're eager to work, they have right to work, and you know, providing and removing some obstacles to be able to be part of community.
When the Syrian crisis happened, I went to Switzerland, to meet with UNHCR, I went all the NGOs. And what I realized that companies and CEOs and
entrepreneurs are not involved is one of the most crucial humanitarian crises that we're facing today, millions and millions of people are in
despair in camps and other society, other community absolutely out of the workforce.
And looking at my own experience, and saying, the minute they get a job, that's the minute they stop being a refugee. I saw people, you know,
develop life for themselves be part of community, and I saw in my own experience at Chobani, how much they provide to my company.
And I thought, sudden - in 2016 with that idea of if companies provide jobs, training, helping them wherever they are using their supply chain,
that these people who are in - environment to job, they can be unstuck. It was hard work in the beginning, of course, I did not have a lot of
companies wanted to come up and be part of this effort.
But looking back now over 200 companies, and looking at the borders on Ukrainian border, how companies are stepping up and here for the Afghani
refugees or the incoming Ukrainian refugees, when we have the CEO, you know, counsel for refugees, we have come a long way. And we still have a
long way to go.
But if I look at this particular refugee issue all around the globe, companies and CEOs have a massive role to play. This is the only way we can
make a difference.
CHATTERLEY: I think your point though was crucial that you don't stop being a refugee just because you've got somewhere safe actually become and stop
being a refugee when you have some sense of stability, a home a job and can sort of make roots in the place where you've ended up.
I want to ask you, because the ethos of your company, too, was about providing better quality food to those that need it. And what we were
looking at now is a food crisis for some of the poorest parts in the world. And it's been dramatically exacerbated by the war in Ukraine because of
their importance in certain agricultural products.
Can I ask you what you're seeing and how concerned are you by rising input prices, inflationary pressures, particularly in food?
ULUKAYA: This is such an important topic. You know, let's talk about food inside Ukraine. You know, you're talking about 4 million people moved. They
are in and I have to tell you, Julia, this Polish people and the Romanians and Slovakians and Malawians the way that they reacted to the neighborhood
people's need is unbelievable.
They are in their homes welcomed. I don't see tents on the streets; I don't see camps on the streets. We have to point out that this is one of the most
beautiful sites I have ever seen. Inside the Ukraine, there are more IDPs and those people moved from the east side of the country or here to the
west, and that's creating food insecurity.
Now, globally, you know, we know you know, a lot of food is produced in Russia and Ukraine for the world market. For some estimates, 30 million
people and some estimate some more will be in the urge of hunger this year around the world, just simply because of rising prices or inability to get
food especially wheat and oil.
So this is the biggest alarming food issue we're going to have in the recent history globally we were going to talk about hunger or death from
hunger if you don't react right now.
ULUKAYA: We were going to talk about hunger or death from hunger, if we don't react right now. And if you look at the World Food Program, they're
taking the food from needed one to the starving ones already started. So this is alarming.
For the food pricing globally, especially on the west, I think we're going to see effects, we already see effects. I'm worried about the farmers. I
was just upstate yesterday and talking to some of the farmers when it comes to fertilizers. I think the supply of fertilizer is their prices high.
And that is going to affect you know, the pricing for the more I think on the west side of the world where we are in Europe, and some other countries
will manage it through it. I'm not really worried. But I'm worried the most is people in need when it comes to Northern Africa and eastern part of the
world where they need essential food and ability to get them.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, those are the nations that we need to support. Hamdi great to have you on thank you for the work that you and your partners are doing!
The CEO of Chobani and Founder of the Tent Partnership for refugee's thank you sir! We're back after this.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back! Ukraine offering Russia a prisoner exchange. President Zelenskyy says he's willing to turn over Viktor Medvedchuk their
newly detained ally of Vladimir Putin. In return he's demanding the release of Ukrainian prisoners of war. So far the Kremlin has not responded.
Meanwhile, military officials say a Russian missile strike damaged an apartment block in Donetsk leaving seven people injured. And as the war
continues, talent is starting to leave Russia with sanctions make it harder to run an international business while Moscow based coupled with family in
Ukraine decided to get out just days after the invasion began.
CHATTERLEY: Nikita and Valentina Blanc are the Founders of "HeyEveryone" offering a way to automate investor communications. They become work whilst
still in Russia, but say they were never planning to incorporate there.
Nikita and Valentina Blanc join us now. Welcome to you both. And thank you for joining the show. Nikita, talk to me first, the beauty of this day and
age is that you can run an international business from anywhere because a lot of its remote, but three days into the invasion, you decided you both -
you and your family had to leave Moscow. Talk to me about that decision, why?
NIKITA BLANC, CO-FOUNDER, HEYEVERYONE.OI: Julia thanks for having us. Well, that was that was a very emotional decision. You know, at certain point, we
felt like the, but we already hit the bottom. But you know, each new day brought us something new in terms of bottoms.
And we just thought that we can't, you know, run the business in a calm and safe place. So we decided to run it from somewhere else. And that, you know
that was important, because that was the moment when we started running things.
CHATTERLEY: Valentina, it's personal for you, because half of your family is Ukrainian, they're still there. It's on your father's side. How is your
Ukrainian family doing?
VALENTINA BLANC, CO-FOUNDER, HEYEVERYONE.OI: Yes, Julia, thank you for having us. My gut feeling is that we are going through a tough time. And
human's psyche, as you know, has three options, stand, fight or run. And at first, I felt like I'm a frozen.
There is uncertainty all over the place you have no idea of what's going on. And my hopes of tensions fading, evaporated soon. And so we decided to
move on with our lives in the move. And I'm half Ukrainian and my relatives live in Ukraine.
They're spread across different locations like Kharkiv, Kyiv and others. And we also have our family house that we got from our great grandmother.
At some point, our relatives called and told us about this situation. And their city near Kyiv has been under military action.
They want to make sure they went heading to our family house and took their friends and sisters, the youngest of them, by the way, three years older,
like my daughter. Yes, and all of the 25 people were hiding.
CHATTERLEY: Pretty terrifying, I can hear it in your voice. Nikita, what about the family that you left in Russia? What are they saying to you about
what they thinks' going on? Do they understand?
N. BLANC: Well, you can't blame people for being in a certain informational bubble. So like, older generations, they tend to watch TV. And due to the
fact that all of the independent media was simply blocked in the country, the only source of information is state media.
So like, this is their source of information. This is how they understand things. And they're not really able to read Western media, they're not able
to read Ukrainian media, as well, or any independent media.
So communication wise, it's like a tough call. But you know we're trying to - we're trying to find our common spots and talk about thing, things that
we both love. And, you know, right now, the most important thing for all of us is that everyone stays safe. And, you know, there's no - reactions,
that's the most important thing.
CHATTERLEY: Do you think you'll ever go back to Moscow Nikita, because as you said, you were looking to incorporate your company in the United States
anyway? Is it possible to build a thriving digital or tech company in Russia even before this? Does it feel pretty impossible now, given all the
economic constraints and the political too let's be clear?
N. BLANC: Well, you know, we started first company that we're doing right? And previously, we had another company that we were building that was
called "Challenge App". We were actually number four top popular app in the United States back in 2020.
N. BLANC: And funny enough, after we left Taiwan in 2017, we were running that company from Russia. And despite of the fact that our team was totally
decentralized, we were like spread across the world, including United States, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Thailand and other countries.
That you know, that didn't feel impossible that we could run an international business because that was a very, very, very cool place to
live. But right now, what I'm hearing from VCs, and currently, we're building, mostly a U.S. based company, because we're starting with U.S.
So we're fundraising in the U.S.
What I'm hearing is that they don't want to, you know have anything attached to Russia, in their portfolio and this is totally understandable.
You couldn't expect a U.S. based VC to invest into a Russian based company that never happened before. I never heard about this before. So to us, it's
not something new. It's just that we physically have to be someplace else.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, because it's become so toxic to have anything to do with Russia, or Russian investment of any kind. We're going to continue this
conversation about your business, which is fascinating and of itself. But I do want to talk about your family because you have a beautiful daughter,
Eva you're now in Georgia.
I'm sure in the beginning, as I've heard from many Russians around the world, they were afraid, perhaps of what the reception would be. How has
the reception been to there, and she's absolutely beautiful by the way, we've got some, some other pictures of her too.
N. BLANC: Thank you. Well
V. BLANC: Thank you. Thank you.
N. BLANC: Well, reception. I don't know, I don't really don't really know what to say it's like, its Georgia is one of the most welcoming countries.
V. BLANC: There was really a warm welcome--
N. BLANC: Super warm yes because we do have relatives here in Georgia as well. You know, we're not to say that we're famous, but you know, people,
local people do know us. And they understand that we're totally, you know, international folks that we, you know, have nothing to do with the
situation that goes on right now.
And we, however, you know, understand that people are concerned about the way things are and so we're not trying to be pushy or anything, we're just,
you know, trying to be super friendly to everyone. And yes, we're also very, very thankful and grateful for people being so welcome and
V. BLANC: And by the way, a lot of international entrepreneurs they help local people to work and they make some startups like we made with the
local people and try to help them.
N. BLANC: Yes, we actually managed to make another startup here in Georgia.
CHATTERLEY: Guys, it's good to see a happy story amongst a lot of sadness and Valentina our hearts are with your family. We pray they stay safe,
guys, we'll talk again soon. Nikita and Valentina Blanc there thank you guys! We're back after this.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back! With a look at some of the stories making headlines around the world; a massive manhunt is underway to find a person
who shot 10 people on a New York City subway on Tuesday morning. The shooter set off a smoke grenade and opened fire amid the confusion that
Police have identified a 62 year old suspect who had posted videos online talking about mass shootings. Joining us now from Brooklyn is CNN's Jason
Carroll, Jason, the key word change there I believe is suspect now rather than a person of interest. What more do we know about the manhunt?
JASON CARROLL, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're absolutely right. It was just a few hours ago this morning when folks in New York City
woke up. Frank James 62 years old was identified as a person of interest.
The NYPD New York City Police Department changed the language on that. Within the past hour he has now been named as a suspect and that he is the
man responsible for the shooting which occurred out here yesterday.
Investigators say they found several key items that were linked to Frank James including keys to a rental U Haul Van found not too far from where
I'm standing right now that U Haul Van rental in Philadelphia.
Apparently James has addresses in not only Philadelphia Julia but also Wisconsin as well. Investigators also taking a very close look at James
social media some of the things that he posted disturbing videos that he posted on YouTube for example, on Monday, just one day before the shooting,
where he talked about wanting to kill people.
In earlier social media posts he talked about violence. He talked about mass shootings, the homelessness population here in New York City and also
mentioned New York City Mayor Eric Adams by name, Eric Adams, speaking to CNN saying that social media companies need to do more to protect the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC ADAMS, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: You look at how we're using social media right now, to put threats out there carrying out dangerous actions. And
there are clear correlations between what's being posted and what's being carried out in our streets?
In this case, and in many of the cases, part of the job is receiving threats. I get threats from time to time not only in the role as the mayor,
city state senator as the ball president and even as a police officer. I have a great deal of confidence in the law enforcement officers that are
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: Again, at this point, in terms of the investigation, Eric Adams saying that police are still following up on a number of leads. The U.S.
Marshals has joined the manhunt for Frank James along with the NYPD, the FBI, as well as the ATF as well as a number of other agencies as well. And
again Frank James, no longer a person of interest, he is now officially the suspect, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Jason Carroll, great to have you with us sir thank you. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has apologized for breaching a COVID lockdown
in 2020 when he attended a Downing Street gathering. He says he's paid a 50 pound fine imposed by the police. But he wouldn't say if he would resign
for breaking the rules. We're back after this stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back! U.S. banking giant JP Morgan said today its profits fell more than 40 percent in the first quarter as the war in
Ukraine pressured global business. The results came in weaker than Wall Street had expected.
CEO Jamie Dimon warning that he sees "Significant challenges" for the U.S. economy due to the war, as well as the effects of stress supply chains and
persistently high inflation, U.S. stocks meanwhile, moving as you can see higher in the trading session even after the release of another red hot
Prices at the factory gate rising by more than 11 percent year over year in March that's the sharpest monthly jump on record bucking that trend as you
can see the handover from Europe with stocks are lower the XETRA DAX the underperformer.
Now the fight against misinformation pro-Russian sentiment is being exposed online in China. A number of images from popular social media sites in
China have been translated and posted on Twitter including a prominent military blog falsely claiming the Russian attack on a train station in
Kramatorsk was carried out by Ukraine.
The anonymous translators say their goal is to raise awareness about the true state of public opinion in China. David Culver joins us on this.
Public opinion in China or government opinion in China David, we can debate this message from the anonymous Twitter expos air cancellers jesting that
China's not neutral in this war.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORREPONDENT: Right. And I think if you're trying to get an idea as to where the Chinese public sits with all of this, Julia? I
mean, you have to realize it's heavily nuanced, because I mean, certainly state media echoes the Kremlin.
And they've been doing that now for some time simply regurgitating a lot of the propaganda that's coming out of Russia and putting it into the airwaves
here. But anecdotally, folks you talked with, they stand on all different sides of this.
However, more recently, I can tell you, it's been overtaken by the mass of COVID surge that folks have been dealing with here, so they're not as
focused on it. Nonetheless, this is an interesting case that we're looking at here.
I mean, Western audience is getting this rare glimpse into the Chinese internet, as anonymous Twitter users are exposing that nationalism that
pro-Russian sentiment that has been circulating online here.
And so they're using these screen grabbed posts from China's most popular social media platforms, translating them and then putting them on Twitter,
which, as we well know is banned here in China.
Among those posts, you mentioned one of them a prominent military blog, falsely claiming that the Russian attack on the train station was actually
carried out by Ukraine. There's also one with a well-known media commentator dismissing the atrocities in Bucha.
And there's a post from a blogger with hundreds of thousands of followers using misogynistic term for Ukraine. So who's behind it? Well, the posts
appear courtesy of anonymous Twitter users. They say their aim is to expose the Western audiences to this true extent of pro-Russian or nationalistic
content on China's heavily censored platforms.
The posts often come under the #thegreattranslationmovement, an administrator behind some of the posts tells CNN that the movement was a
response of sorts to China's alleged hypocrisy and portraying itself as neutral on Ukraine. Even while Chinese state media and social media
circulated all these pro-Russian narratives.
All of this is not going to overwhelm with Beijing, China's state media has lashed out against what it considers to be cherry picked content. Now
outside China we've got media experts who warn the post don't really show a holistic view of public opinion in China, but could still be useful in
shining a light on these elements of China's media sphere.
CULVER: The great translation movement administrator said that they hoped the movement could help push Beijing to really just tone down the rhetoric
on these platforms, Julia, so that there would be in their view more room for more voices.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. But David, within that, and thank you for that report is a very important point, which is the focus on COVID and the lock downs and
the challenges the country faces on that is also the dominating factor on social media to David Culver thank you for that.
Now, and finally, - to comment is heading our way but thankfully, it won't come close enough to hit Earth. NASA's Hubble Telescope spotted this giant
flying through space. It's about 100,000 times greater than the math of a typical comet.
It will be nearest to the earth by 2031. Yes, you heard me right. But NASA is defined near as about 1.6 billion kilometers away, which is just shy of
a billion miles. So we're not worrying just yet. Thank goodness for that. That's it for the show. Stay with CNN "Connect the World" with Becky
Anderson is next. And I'll see you tomorrow.