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Isa Soares Tonight

Putin Proclaims Annexation Of Parts Of Ukraine; Russian Missile Attack In Zaporizhzhia Kills At Least 30; New Video Shows Russia's New Recruits Under-Equipped And Army In Disarray; PM Truss Meets With Financial Forecaster Amid Economic Crisis; Pres. Candidates Lula And Bolsonaro Face Off In Final Debate; Hurricane Makes Landfall On South Carolina's Coast; Suicide Bombing At Kabul Education Center Kills At Least 25. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired September 30, 2022 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: Hello, and a very warm welcome to the show, I'm Isa Soares in London. You have been watching our continuing

coverage of Hurricane Ian. We'll of course be monitoring that. We'll have any developments as they happen.

For the rest of this hour though, we'll be bringing you some of the major stories that are happening right around the world. And Russian President

Vladimir Putin has formally begun the process of annexing four Ukrainian territories. He signed a document on Friday, declaring the largest forcible

annexation of land in Europe since World War II.

Ukraine, NATO, U.N., and many other countries say the annexation is illegal based on sham referenda with a pre-determined outcome. But amidst a Putin

speech, he laid out a vision of quote, "great historical Russia", breaking what he calls western Germany. Have a listen.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (through translator): I want the Kyiv authorities and their real masters in the West to hear me and remember

those people who live in these four regions are becoming our citizens forever.


SOARES: Well, the Kremlin says any attacks on this territory will be considered acts of aggression against Russia. According to NATO, this claim

is part of the most serious escalation since the start of the war in Ukraine. But Kyiv says the annexation changes nothing. President Volodymyr

Zelenskyy calls it a farce, and says the entire country will be liberated.

And Ukraine is taking back territory. They're encircling Russian forces in the key Donetsk town of Lyman. But the war is still taking its horrible

toll on civilians. At least, 30 people have died in Zaporizhzhia, and 88 were wounded by a Russian missile attack on a humanitarian convoy. Nick

Paton Walsh joins us now in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine.

And Nick, what we have seen today is very much what we expected. What you and I have been talking about for most of the week but with pump and with

theater. So what has been the reaction from Ukraine to this speech, to Putin speech and the bluster?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, like I mean, Ukraine's reaction has been essentially to say the change is nothing. And

their reaction really has been on the battlefield too. As you said, the town of Lyman, essentially, strategically and vitally important to Russia's

president it seems across much of Luhansk is now Ukrainian thousands -- sorry, Russian thousands of troops inside of it do appear now to be mostly

encircled by Ukrainian forces.

That may have a significant knock-on effect across the battlefield near where I'm standing. But these signatures on pieces of paper in the Kremlin

hundreds of miles away from where I'm standing, I mean, it is just pomp theater. It has no real consequence here apart from what Russia claims is

now part of Russia.

There hasn't actually been an annexation of anything, there's just been a suggestion by Russia that it now has a much bigger territory. What does

this actually mean in reality? We see the parallel reality the Kremlin projects. We see sort of the slightly bewildered faces of those in the

Kremlin crowd, and I think the extraordinary revisionist history.

The rhetoric, the bombast and the ferocity towards the West expressed by Vladimir Putin. But there were two things in that speech which struck me.

The first was, the only real policy suggestion in it was a demand for a ceasefire and negotiations. But of course, saying that the areas that it

had just claimed and annexed were not on the table to be discussed.

And secondly, Vladimir Putin did not explicitly threaten to use nuclear weapons to defend those areas they claimed they had annexed. He hinted a

nuclear force elsewhere in his speech, saying the U.S. had set the precedent in its use against Japan. But it was absent in a way that it

hadn't been from his officials in the previous week or so.

So, Ukraine's actual reaction has been quite practical. Zelenskyy -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said look, I'm applying now on a

fast-tracked process to join NATO. NATO has said that there has to be a decision from all 30 of its members if that is to happen. So, it will take

some time, although the Baltic states much closer to Russia have expressed firm support for that.

Ukraine is currently at war, so it's tough for NATO to bring them into their alliance without essentially getting into the war more directly as a

fighting element themselves.


But a fast-moving day, frankly, Isa, of extraordinary geopolitical stakes.

SOARES: Put this into perspective for us. I mean, we heard from Putin saying this is, you know, his anti-western grievance. We heard in the last

few minutes from President Biden who said that, you know, it's a sign that he's struggling.

But at the same time, we have been seeing these images out of Moscow of crowds singing Putin's praise and a parade trying obviously to boost Putin

and what he's announced today. Does he have the support -- from your contacts in Moscow, does he have the support at home or is this just a


WALSH: Some of the polling, which of course is often state-influenced, controlled and not reflective has suggested a tiny slip in his approval

rating. The fact that that's even been accepted suggests something is not as it was. The fact that Putin himself went on television and accepted that

this partial mobilization, which he said would be limited to those with military experience, reservists, people with specialized skills.

The fact he had to accept that had been a bit of a mess and fathers of many children and people who had specialized skills that were needed

domestically in Russia were been mobilized. That is very rare, and I think reflects the broad anger across Russia and its own elite or how badly that

forced conscription process had initially been managed.

And it's cost over 200,000 Russians it seems to flee the country just to avoid that process. So, they've always been very good at getting together a

very well unified, hearty crowds standing in support of Russian foreign policy expansion. And that seems to be what we're seeing again in Red

Square again.

But it's a very different mood from that which we saw around the Crimea annexation in 2014. Yes, that involved the military being sent to Crimea,

but there was no real violence involved in that, and yes, there was a feeling in the crowds as you stood in, Sebastian Paulen(ph) saw how --

sorry, stood in Crimea and saw how they were beginning to feel something of brotherhood with Russia as that moment happened.

In some of the crowds that you stood in, and that's not reflected across all of Crimea. That was very different back then, eight years ago to what

we're seeing now. Which is Russia losing on the battlefield, very much isolated internationally, lashing out with extraordinary threats, and now,

it seems, trying to send a message, domestically, that they're in for the long haul here, and justify their current losses. Isa?

SOARES: Nick Paton Walsh in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, thanks very much, Nick. Well, let's talk more about what all this means for Russia's president.

Andrei Kolesnikov is a Senior Fellow and Chair for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He joins me now from Moscow.

Andrei, great to have you on the show. I really want to get your thoughts, first of all, from what we heard from President Putin today, him

proclaiming the annexation of nearly a fifth of Ukraine. How is this speech received where you are? Was it compelling?


against his regime. So, because of that, it was a feeling of continuous horror, of continuous war. And we see that he goes for broke, and this is a

conscious escalation. He is raising the stakes of this war. He is becoming more, let's say aggressive in his rhetoric, and we're waiting for something


After that, I mean, some people are waiting for martial law, for instance or blocking the borders for men who want to flee the country. So, this is

something unprecedented, something new, despite the fact that his rhetoric, his words or cliche which he's using all the time during his period of


SOARES: So, when he says what we heard today, you know, protect our lands with every possible means that we've got. You interpret that as potential

escalation here. And that has you incredibly worried?

KOLESNIKOV: Yes, this is really so. And he's talking all the time, and his people are talking about possible nuclear strike. And this nuclear

language(ph) is very dangerous for the whole of humanity. And I would say that, we must take it seriously because nobody believed that he can invade

another country.

Nobody believed that he can announce a real general mobilization in his country. Now nobody believes that he can use a nuclear weapon. I hope that

he has some rationality inside him.


But we must admit that he's a very emotional man. Maybe he'll have a problem with understanding all this escalation. Because mobilization

undermines trust, and It was not so useful for him because people decided that it is not too good in a practical sense because it spoils their life.

Now, the same story with the nuclear war. The main -- one of the main fears of the population is the fear of a big world war. It became evident in last

year. So, in that sense, nuclear war will deteriorate(ph) more as in Putin. I think it also undermines his regime, maybe not so fast, but quite slowly

and steadily.

SOARES: Andrei, as you're talking, I mean, you sound -- I hope you don't mind me saying this, you sound disappointed, disillusioned. Let me ask you

really what I was asking our correspondent. You know, we've seen thousands of Russians of fighting age leave the country.

Talk to us, just -- is Russia divided? Because the images we've been seeing today on Red Square today paints a very different picture. Talk to us about

the mood right now in Russia.

KOLESNIKOV: Now, it's very contradictory. Yes, some people are talking about 80 percent of support. But we must peer into the figures because less

than half of this definitely support Putin, only 30 percent rather support him.

SOARES: Yes --

KOLESNIKOV: This bunch of people, this is a reservoir for hesitation, reservoir for possibly even maybe protest against him.

SOARES: Andrei, do keep us posted, stay safe, and let us know any developments you hear on the ground from Moscow. Appreciate it. Thanks



SOARES: Now, Russia is trying to resupply its beleaguered forces in Ukraine with new recruits. Mr. Putin's so-called partial mobilization, you

heard there from Andrei, calls for some 300,000 new troops to join the frontline. But manpower alone isn't enough to make up for the lack of

supplies, the inadequate training as well as poor morale that plagues Russia's army. Have a look.



SOARES (voice-over): Russian President Vladimir Putin's military once feared, now mocked. "No laughing", the officer says to her recruits. "Ask

your wives, girlfriends, mothers, for period pads and tampons. Do you know what tampons are for? You stick it in a bullet wound", she says.

"It swells and closes the wound. Bring your own sleeping bag too", the men are told. On television, the hundreds of thousands being mobilized by

President Putin are well equipped. In reality, their videos on social media tell a different tale. "We were officially told there would be no training

before being sent to the combat zone", this recruit says. "We had no shooting, no tactical training, no theoretical training. Nothing!"


SOARES: Another officer addresses his recruits. "If you have hernias, plaits on your head, I was told you're fit for mobilization", he says. "So

stop saying you can't. I live on pills, so if you go, you'll be doing your tasks like everyone else." CNN cannot independently verify these widely-

circulated videos. Even the former prime minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, annexed illegally Friday by Russia can't help, but be honest.

"The situation on the Lyman front is bad. Let's speak frankly", he tells a Russian propagandist, "everything is the same as everywhere else, namely,

there are not enough people." The sorry state has tainted the hallowed halls of Russian state television where careful skepticism about Putin's

war is increasingly tolerated. This time it's the head of the state-owned our team network.

"If we had to gather train-loads of body armor, socks and the rest for those already on the frontline", she asks, "have these 300,000 been

supplied with all that they need?"

These recruits in the central city of Perm clearly haven't. They lament being dropped by the side of the road late at night, saying they have to

build a fire to stay warm. The impact is plain to see. Ukraine recaptured more territory in the past month than Russia gained in the past five.

Ukrainian Intelligence well aware of the propaganda value regularly puts out intercepted calls between Russian soldiers and family back home.

"There should be helicopters, planes", the woman says. "There is nothing", says a soldier. "What kind of army is this?", she replies, just a TV show?

Putin's army once feared is now in disarray.


SOARES (on camera): Some perspective there. Well, within the hour, the U.N. Security Council is expected to vote on a draft resolution put forth by the

United States condemning Russia's so-called referendums in eastern Ukraine. The council will also discuss the Nord Stream Pipeline explosions. Leaks

from those pipelines are now expected to continue until Sunday.

Sweden and Denmark have told the council the damage likely was a deliberate act caused by something equivalent to several 100 kilos of explosive.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is now claiming that Anglo-Saxons are to blame. We've heard from President Biden in the last 45 minutes saying it's

deliberate sabotage, saying that the Russians are pumping disinformation and lies.

And still to come tonight, Brazil gears up for Sunday's presidential election with former President Lula going head-to-head with current

president Bolsonaro. We'll go live to Rio de Janeiro just ahead.


SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Well, today, the British prime minister and finance minister met with the UK's independent financial forecaster. And it

comes amid the growing backlash against the government's mini-budget which caused the pound, if you remember, to crash. It happened on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng met with the Office for Budget Responsibility. And the forecast meeting was offered ahead of

announcing their economic plan last week, but they refused.

Here to explain why, CNN's Richard Quest joins me now. Richard, look, I've been scratching my head all this week trying to understand what it -- how

we even got here.


SOARES: This is meeting between the OBR and the Treasury and Liz Truss, with all that, do you think that will help calm the markets?


QUEST: Oh, no.

SOARES: Is that enough?

QUEST: No, no. Remember, the OBR --

SOARES: So, what is -- so what is this?

QUEST: -- the OBR had a meeting and we're briefed on the plans before they happened, we now have learned. That means that the chancellor deliberately

didn't want to release anything from the OBR. And what's worse, now is going to wait weeks before doing so by which time more damage has been

done. Remember, the Office of Budget Responsibility was set up by the Conservatives --

SOARES: For forecasting. They're forecasts, right?

QUEST: Right, for the very purpose, because they didn't trust the previous Labour government's forecast. And they said, we are not going to do

anything as silly as just have policy that hasn't been independently verified. That's exactly what they've done.

SOARES: So, how do you interpret this news then by Kwasi Kwarteng, that he had the forecast, but you didn't want to -- you didn't want to publish,

they didn't want the OBR to publish them for fear of his plan, his mini- budget might not be accepted?

QUEST: First of all, can we get rid of this phrase mini budget?

SOARES: It's a budget.

QUEST: This was worse than a budget. This was a full-scale, massive change of fiscal policy. And the way the Conservatives hedged it, it's a mini

budget, a fiscal statement, as if it's like a bit of housekeeping around the back of the -- under the sofa, not a bit of it. And that is why the

market took this so badly. This was a wholesale shift in U.K. Government policy that puts the U.K. Government at a -- in a tug of war with the Bank

of England.

SOARES: Yes, with the Bank of England. But what we heard yesterday from Kwasi Kwarteng and also from Liz Truss, I mean, doesn't seem they're

prepared to turn this. I mean, really, the lady is not for turning on this matter. But do you think they will have to or they -- I mean, can they wait

into November at this point or do you see the BOE having to step in?

QUEST: It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter.

SOARES: I mean, it's a long time.

QUEST: It didn't matter.

SOARES: A day in -- you know, in politics, it's a long time, but for markets, even longer.

QUEST: I'll tell you why I say it doesn't matter. Of course, it matters. I'm not -- I'm being a little flippant, but it doesn't matter because the

markets will give their reaction. The markets and chief economist -- you know, one of the top economic advisors at the White House, former adviser,

basically said, it takes a real achievement to get advisors, economists, left, right, middle, everybody disagreeing with a policy, universal just

about condemnation of this policy. And the if they pertinaciously continue, the markets will continue to give it a drubbing.

SOARES: Very quickly. When we look at that image of them all sitting down on that table, does that inspire, instill any confidence you think for the

markets next week?

QUEST: No, not one jot, iota, or scintilla for the simple reason we need to know what the OBR says about it. If people see you and me talking in the

corridor, do they suddenly get confidence about something? No.

SOARES: Which begs the question of why this meeting even went ahead in the first place.

QUEST: Because probably they know they have no choice and they're hoping the OBR will fudge it. They're hoping for a government fudge. They're not

going to get it.

SOARES: Very, very quickly. Do we have time, Anna? I want to just show our viewers the polling if we can bring the polling up that we've seen in the

last -- in the last few days. There you go. Labour --

QUEST: Right.

SOARES: -- leading by 21 points. This -- you know, she -- Liz Truss says she's not going to budge on this. Your view as we look at these numbers,


QUEST: After the last election, I remember commentators saying the Tory majority was so big, it would take at least two elections for Labour to

dwindle it down. Now we have to ask whether that number is large enough in one fell swoop to get rid of an AT (PH) seat or (INAUDIBLE) seat majority.

It probably is.

SOARES: Richard Quest, thank you very much. Great to have you in the studio.

QUEST: I'll be here back again.

SOARES: You'll be back in about what, less than 20 minutes or so?

QUEST: Thank you.

SOARES: Thank you, Richard.

Well, from the UK's political as well as economic crisis to political uncertainty in Brazil, as the country gears up for Sunday's general

election. President -- presidential candidates, I should say, Jair Bolsonaro and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva faced off in a heated final debate

on Thursday exchanging personal insults and accusations of corruption. Listen to this.


LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, BRAZIL (through translator): It's insane for a president of the country to come here and

say what he says with the utmost impedance. That's why on the second of October, the people will send you home.

JAIR BOLSONARO, PRESIDENT, BRAZIL (through translator): You have nothing against my government, nothing. Stop lying and feel ashamed, Lula.


SOARES: Well, this poll shows Lula leading by 14 points with 50 percent of the vote, as you can see there, versus current President Bolsonaro with 36

percent. It is important though to note that only a small amount of the population was polled here. But it shows Lula is galvanizing support, and

it's in line with months of similar polling that tips really Lula as the favorite.

Let's bring in one -- Brazil's leading political analysts, journalist and author Thomas Traumann. He joins me now live from Rio de Janeiro. Thomas,

thank you very much for being with us. Look, as we said, you know, Bolsonaro has been trailing in the polls for some time. But do you think,

Thomas, that Lula can wrap this thing up in the first round?


THOMAS TRAUMANN, BRAZILIAN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, thank you very much for your invitation. I think that's a great question we will face on Monday --

on Sunday. Basically, Lula has 50 percent of the votes. He needs to have 50 percent plus one to win the election the first round. We're still are in

the margin of error. Elections in Brazil, basically, we have around 20 to 25 percent abstention, so basically, that abstention on Sunday will solve

if Lula will win in the first round or all in the second round.

SOARES: And Thomas, no doubt that he will want to avoid any sort of runoff because I think you were looking at what, a potential extra month of

campaigning. He has though, Lula, been encouraging tactical voting, I think targeting voters of the third and fourth place candidates, Ciro Gomes and

Simone Tebet, urging them to vote for him in the first round. Could this you think, Thomas, help his chances here?

TRAUMANN: Not really, not really. Basically, because Ciro Gomes was his minister in his first term, now has become a personal politician, and

Someone Tebet has made a quite a good figure as a moderate candidate. He is trying probably to be a candidate in the next election in four years. So,

what we are really talking is a very few people who are undecided. We are talking about four percent of the people in Brazil. And this -- those are

the people who will probably decide if we will have a one turn or two turns election result.

SOARES: And what we've all been hearing really around the world from Bolsonaro is him making it very clear, there are only three options for

him, which is victory, prison, or death. So, what do you think it will happen if it doesn't go his way, Thomas?

TRAUMANN: Yes, I think the first thing is quite obvious. Bolsonaro will contest the result if he loses. So, that's one point we have to be

completely sure. Bolsonaro will try something that one -- the same way that Trump did in the U.S., saying that it was rigged election, that proves he

won the election, and not giving up into what -- however he does.

It could become a violent riot during the next months if Bolsonaro loses. And we could have certain type of very institutional stress between the end

of the election and assume of power in January 1st. The main question here is that Bolsonaro doesn't have to vote enough to win but he does have

enough people that would believe that he won. And this will be a very tense moment in Brazilian history.

SOARES: Yes. And his -- and his base is very galvanized, I think it's fair to say. And just to be clear, for our viewers, you know, he says he won't

back whatever result because he says the voting system is not to be trusted and he's never provided any sort of evidence whatsoever. In that case,

Thomas, I mean, where do you think that the military would play a role here? What kind of position will they take if it gets to that point of Jan

6-like riots that we saw in Washington?

TRAUMANN: Yes, I think it's very important thing. Today, the high command of the military release is very short note basically saying, we have

nothing -- we will obey the Constitution. OK, to Brazil, that's a very important point to know that the army will not do anything about. Even so,

I'm still worried because it's not a question of just the military. The question is the people in the streets. I mean, Bolsonaro, as you mentioned,

Bolsonaro people are assuming engage with him and we'll go and will do a protest and will go demonstrations in the streets saying that in truth, in

their opinion, Bolsonaro won. So, we will have very tense days right after elections before this ends up.

SOARES: Thomas Traumann, I really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us joining us there live from Brazil. Thanks, Thomas.

And still to come tonight, we'll have an update on Hurricane Ian as it makes landfall in South Carolina after moving over the Atlantic. That is

next. You are watching CNN.



SOARES: Well, Hurricane Ian has just made landfall in South Carolina. Right now, it's a category one hurricane. And the eye of the storm hit the area

just northeast of Charleston. On Wednesday, Ian made landfall near Sanibel Island along the western coast of Florida as a category four hurricane. You

are looking really at what's left, some cottages have disappeared, wiped away by the storm surge. Florida's governor is confirming at least 21

deaths, but that number is likely to go.

CNN's Miguel Marquez is in Charleston right now. Miguel, give us a sense of what's happening where you are.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes, so it's just made landfall just northeast of where we're standing. This is Market

Street, famous Market Street in Charleston, South Carolina. And the sun is trying to peak out amazingly enough. I'm going to show you the list -- some

of the deepest water we've seen. This is what they've seen basically. It has not been horrible for Charleston. This is a drain right here, but it's

not draining very effectively because there's so much debris stuck in it, and we've seen that all over the streets here. That's kind of what they're

dealing with here.

But you can see all the way down, it's about a block and a half two blocks apart (AUDIO GAP) it's just -- you know, there's six to eight inches of

water, maybe 12 inches of water along Market Street here. Charleston really dodged a big bullet here. They were concerned with the tide and with that

storm coming in at the same time. They're going to have a very high tide and a storm surge on top of it. That did not happen.

The storm went north. It allowed that water in the bay here -- there's a massive sort of estuary where three rivers come into the area around

Charleston. All that water was allowed to escape basically. Farther north, it's holding some of that water back. That's their concern now that the --

that the storm will continue to push water on shore and those low-lying areas along the coast here will flood.

At this point though, Charleston seems to have seen the worst of it and gotten off the other end. Most people heeding the warnings to stay home

seeing what happened in Florida. No one taking any chances. Isa?

SOARES: Well, at least some good news -- at least what you're painting, that image that your painting that it could have been far worse, Miguel.

Were there any mandatory evacuations? Did people head those?

MARQUEZ: Yes, there were no mandatory evacuations across south (AUDIO GAP) put into effect for this area but -- so that police could basically control

traffic and keep people off the streets. But people were basically told to stay home and just enjoy the storm from there, you know, hunker down and

stay home. Isa?

SOARES: Well, let's hope that some breaks through. Miguel Marquez there for us in Charleston, South Carolina, I appreciate it. And Miguel, stay safe.

And still to come tonight, another deadly suicide attack in Afghanistan. But this one targeted young people. We'll have an update from Kabul next.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. To Afghanistan now with the death toll from a suicide bomb attack in Kabul on Friday has risen to 25. That is according

to local hospitals. At least 56 others were injured. The attack targeted an education center where students had gathered to take an exam. Witnesses say

most of the victims were female. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz has more on the story. And a warning for you, some of the images you're about to see are


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): A place of learning turned into a scene of carnage. This is the aftermath of a suicide

bombing on an education center in Kabul. Students were taking a practice university entrance exam when at around 7:30 a.m. local time, a blast

ripped through the classroom killing and wounding desperate students.

I saw so many pieces of flesh in the air, this eyewitness said. People were so panicked, some were injured, and some were crying. I wanted to help

them. I helped carry some of the dead bodies.

The private center serves young women and men dreaming of going to college, but I witnessed to say most of the victims were female. The blast happened

right between where the girls were seated, he says. The girls were sitting at the front row and we boys, we were sitting behind them.

UNICEF called the attack unacceptable and urged all parties to respect education. Children and adolescents are not and must never be the target of

violence, it said.

The bombing took place in a predominantly Hazara neighborhood, a minority group that has been targeted by extremists including ISIS. The Taliban

government has done little to protect the persecuted community, according to Human Rights Watch. A Taliban spokesperson condemned the attack, saying

authorities will find and punish the perpetrators.

But since the group's takeover of Afghanistan over a year ago, the security situation appears to be deteriorating, and under its rule life for women

and girls gross bleaker. The Taliban have banned girls from attending public secondary school, that sixth grade and above, all but denying them a

future. And for the few that still have access to education, just studying for an exam can cost a girl her life. Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


SOARES: Well, to the west in Iran where the protests of Mahsa Amini's death began two weeks ago, the arbitrary detentions continue. One monitoring

group says at least 28 journalists have been arrested, the anti-government demonstrations. Protests are still sweeping the nation even as authorities

impose severe internet restrictions. But one un expert on Iran says due to the regime's secretive nature, it's very hard to gauge exactly what is

going on in the ground. Have a listen.



JAVAID REHMAN, SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR, U.N.: We know that dozens of people have been killed by state security officials. We know that under conservative

estimates, thousands of people have been detained or arrested, including some very prominent figures. And we know that Iranian authorities are very

capable of not telling the truth in these matters.

So, transparency is a very difficult issue within Iran. We know that repression of journalistic plays at a very wide level and how the Iranian

authorities manipulate the system to their advantage. And that is unfortunate coming from Iran, a country which -- where the regime thrives

on exploitation and repression and brutality.


SOARES: A story, of course, that will stay on top of for you. And don't forget, you can catch up with us, interviews as well as analysis from the

show online. You can read my Instagram @IsaSoaresCNN, as well as my Twitter feed too.

And thank you very much for your company. Do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" live from London with the one and Richard Quest is up next -- is

coming in right now as we speak with his cup of tea.