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Isa Soares Tonight

Russia Strikes Cities Across Ukraine; Iran Intensifies Crackdown On Protesters; North Korea Says Recent Missile Tests Prove They're Ready To Fire A Tactical Nuclear Warhead; Russia Launches Deadly Missile Attacks Across Ukraine; Russia Retaliates 2 Days After Crimean Bridge Blast; Ukrainians Asked To Limit Energy After Russian Attacks. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired October 10, 2022 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, CNN is on the scene in Kyiv and Dnipro

after Russia strikes cities across Ukraine. It's at least part of Vladimir Putin's revenge for the explosion on Russia's Crimean bridge over the

weekend which Moscow blames on Ukraine. And then --




SOARES: A human rights group says Iran has used live fire, but protesters show no signs of giving up. And then later, North Korea says recent tests

prove they're ready to fire a tactical nuclear warhead possibly at South Korea. But first, they're trying to annihilate as Ukrainian President

Volodymyr Zelenskyy is responding with fury after a deadly wave of Russian airstrikes.

Ukrainian officials say Russia launched a total of 84 cruise missiles and several drone attacks on Monday. Ukrainian defense systems intercepted

some, but many made it through, bombarding cities right across the country, and that includes Kyiv and Lviv which were very far from the frontlines.

At least, 11 people were killed and dozens wounded. And Ukraine's foreign ministry says Russia was targeting civilian areas, and that includes

infrastructure like power plants as well as densely populated cities. Our Fred Pleitgen walks us through a day of sudden violence and terror in



FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was in the middle of Monday morning rush hour that waves of Russian

missiles started hitting Ukraine's capital and other cities across the country, sending people scampering for their lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My hands are trembling as I've just seen how the missile was flying overhead and I heard that sound.

PLEITGEN: Ukraine says that Russia launched more than 80 missiles and more than 20 attack drones at targets in Ukraine. While the air defenses took

many out, they couldn't stop them all. Ukraine's president quick to condemn the attack.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): We are dealing with terrorists. They want panic and chaos.

PLEITGEN: Ukrainian cities like Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, and multiple others reported power outages after Russia's attacks. The deputy head of Ukraine's

Presidential Administration telling me they are working to get the electricity grid back up and running.

KYRYLO TYMOSHENKO, DEPUTY HEAD, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION: Of course, critically, for us it's critical infrastructure like electricity


PLEITGEN: But Russian missiles also struck sites that were anything but critical. Several cars were destroyed at this busy intersection outside a


(on camera): Even hours after the initial attacks by the Russian military, the air raid sirens are still going off here in the Ukrainian capital. You

look over here, you can tell this is just one site where there was an impact of a Russian rocket, it absolutely ripped through the tarmac of this

road on this intersection. And the Ukrainians say, here, five people were killed.

(voice-over): The attacks come just days after a major Russian logistics route, the Crimean bridge was heavily damaged by an explosion. Moscow

blames Ukraine for the blast, though Kyiv has not taken responsibility for the attack. The Russian army showed video of ships launching missiles

towards Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged he is taking revenge.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (through translator): A massive strike was carried out with high precision long-range weapons of air, sea and

land-based systems on energy, military and communication facilities of Ukraine.

PLEITGEN: But this clearly was not a command facility. In central Kyiv, a playground took a direct hit leaving a giant crater. The capital's mayor,

former heavyweight boxing champ Vitali Klitschko vowing to stand strong.

(on camera): Your message to Putin?

MAYOR VITALI KLITSCHKO, KYIV, UKRAINE: We're never going back to Russian empire, we see our future part of European democratic family.


SOARES: Fighting talk there from Klitschko. Frederik Pleitgen joins me now from Kyiv, and Fred, you know, your -- our viewers will know this.


You've been reporting on this war you know, since the outset like some seven months ago. So just explain to our viewers around the world what it's

been like in the capital today, Fred.

PLEITGEN: Yes, well, it was quite interesting, Isa, because it certainly felt like the first couple of days and weeks of this war. When of course,

you've got the Russians at the doorstep of Kyiv, and really very close to being able to enter the city. You know, back at that point in time, there

were people who were taking shelter in the city subway.

There were very few people on the streets. And that's something we saw similarly today. There were very few people who've entered out, of course,

Vitali Klitschko who we just saw in that report, the mayor, he was telling people, please, stay inside, don't come out, and if you need to go to

shelters, and also go into those subway stations.

That was relaxed a little bit throughout the course of the day. But still, it's been an eerily quiet day here in the Ukrainian capital. And you know,

one of the things we have to keep in mind, Isa, is that, of course, this city has witnessed similar days and similar attacks over the past couple of


But in the past couple of months, there really have been very few attacks and hits by missiles or strikes here on the capital city on Kyiv. So, it is

something that really hasn't happened in a very long time. And you know, the early morning hours of today, from about I would say, quarter past 8:00

local time, it was really difficult to be on the ground here, really, it wasn't a very good feeling when you have those impacts, those strikes

happening in very short intervals.

We were on the ground at one point, and I remember reporting from one of these places where a rocket had already struck. We hit -- heard several

other impacts in the capital city of Ukraine. So, certainly, for a lot of people here, it's quite a scary day, but also one where as the Ukrainian --

as the Kyiv mayor said, it's definitely not something that the Ukrainians say are going -- they are going to allow to intimidate them, Isa.

SOARES: Indeed, Fred Pleitgen for us there in Kyiv, Ukraine, thanks very much, Fred, do stay safe. Well, for the first time in several months, as

Fred was really outlining there, Russia has targeted the western city of Lviv with airstrikes. And joining me now on the line is that city's deputy

Mayor, Serhiy Kiral. Serhiy, great to have you on the phone.

Obviously, it was wonderful speaking to you in person in Ukraine. But I think it's important today, of all days to take -- get your take. Quite a

chilling day in Ukraine today, Serhiy. Talk us through what has been happening in Lviv.

SERHIY KIRAL, DEPUTY MAYOR OF LVIV (via telephone): Yes, hi, Isa, nice to hear you again. Indeed, that was unprecedented day. Many compare it even to

the 24th of February, but immediately, given the big differences, there is no fear, and there is much less panic right after the sirens were off.

People were out in the streets.

There are no queues to the bank marts or food stores or I guess petroleum stations. People are calm and that proves that Putin is wrong because the

Ukrainian resolve -- but that's as Mayor Klitschko said as well, it's very high. And these attacks, this terror, the attempts of terrorizing the

Ukrainians in that way will not change our resolve to win this war and de- occupy -- and free our territories.

And that only infuriates our defenders in the front. And we heard the reports from the frontlines, from our Ukrainian soldiers, they are furious

and they are going to do their job even much harder than before.

SOARES: And Serhiy, we're looking at a map right now of all the cities that have been hit obviously with these flurry and this volley of barrage

of attacks today. Just talk us through what was hit today in Ukraine. Now, we're talking kind of infrastructure that's been hit.

KIRAL: Yes, several, defense minister and the president said the main targets where the critical infrastructure, in Lviv, those were the power

supply stations. So, we have had and continue to have some power disruptions. Although by the evening, in fact, by late afternoon, the power

started to reappear in most of the neighborhoods in the corridors of the city.

Water supply, it was not disrupted, maybe except for some exceptions, but very quickly renewed. The mobile phone operators, the internet is quite

poor. That's why I had to, you know, walk out of my house and wander around for quite a bit to find a spot to connect to the internet to talk to you.

But other than that, there are no casualties in the city of Lviv. All the emergency services are working, and we are very hopeful that within hours,

maybe days, we will get back to the energy supply as it was before.

SOARES: And Serhiy, we heard President Zelenskyy say that Russia is trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth.


I guess my question becomes, what kind of response is needed here from Ukraine and from the international community?

KIRAL: Well, Ukrainian people have demonstrated their resilience and resolve to fight for the independence and sovereignty. Basically for our

right to exist and be part of the civilized world, democratic world, not the Russian world, you know, full of terror and autocracy. I think the best

way to respond is more resolve on the -- on the western side, between our European and American allies, more weapons to be sent in Ukraine,

particularly air defense.

I think there should be no doubt any longer that the air defense, everything Ukraine needs in that sector to close the sky is very needed and

needed urgently to save lives. And of course, more sanctions, more severe sanctions to cut any supply of resources to Putin to continue to fund this

war. And I think there is another thing that particularly the United States can do, and U.S. Congress, and I am really grateful to those U.S.

representatives and senators who tabled the resolution to recognize Russia as a terrorist state.

Russia must be isolated completely. And finally, this will -- together with all the other measures will stop this war.

SOARES: And Serhiy, of course, you would have heard that, you know, President Putin spoke today and he said that if the attacks continue -- he

called them terrorism attacks continue, his response will be tough and proportionate to the level of threat. How do you interpret? Does that mean

-- are you worried at this stage?

KIRAL: I am really not concerned about what Mr. Putin says, we shouldn't listen to the words, but look for the deeds and actions, and the actions,

particularly, the actions of the regular Russian army in the south and the east of Ukraine, it's nothing to boast about. Ukrainian soldiers, Ukrainian

defenders continue, they counteroffensive and continue to de-occupy and liberate our territories on a daily -- on a daily basis.

So, I'm really more concerned about -- and listen to what Ukrainian president has said because he's saying the right words, this proper

addresses. I know he's going to speak to the G-7 countries tomorrow and to say what we need to win. And that's I think what the rest of the world

should be listening to.

SOARES: Serhiy Kiral, always great to have you on the show. Serhiy, I hope everyone as well, stay safe, thank you, Serhiy.

KIRAL: Thank you.

SOARES: Well, Russia's president says barrage of deadly missile attacks is a response to Ukrainian terrorism -- well, I was speaking there to Serhiy

about on its own land or land that Russia claims to have annexed. Have a listen to what he said.


PUTIN: It's the terrorist shelling of the cities and towns in Donbas for over 8 years. It's the acts of nuclear terrorism. I mean, the rocket

strikes on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The Ukrainians -- such a shell services, conducted three acts of terrorism against the Russian

nuclear power plants, and of course, trying to disrupt the lines of energy supplies.


SOARES: And Nic Robertson was listening to that speech and joins me now live. Nic, what did you make of what Putin said, President Putin said


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, it's not uncommon for President Putin to invert logic and use --and make out that

Ukraine is the culprit here, where it's Russia that sent its troops into their largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine and taking

control of it and forcing the workers to continue working there.

And at the same time, saying that it's now annexed and it's part of Russia's power grid. So, there is this -- there's the usual inverted logic.

I think the reality of Putin's position is, he's been facing criticism that the army could be doing a better job back at home in Russia. That's been --

that's been the sort of propagandists who come on TV saying that.

He's done that today with these barrage of strikes. But this is not going to change the fundamental --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: Of what's happening on the battlefield. It's not --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: Going to push back Ukrainian troops. It has signaled that he will go after infrastructure and make it energy, heating through the

Winter. They'll make it tough for Ukrainians. They're not going to back down, and he's -- and he's probably achieved the reverse of what he wants

to do, which is further unify the international community.

SOARES: But then begs the question, is this a message for Russian people? For those who said they've been calling -- for those within his circle have

been calling for a tougher response from Putin.

ROBERTSON: I think the test is going to be, are there other barrages?

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: Do they come every week? Does he really have a deep arsenal of these long-range accurate weapons? And we know that it's a depleting

arsenal of weapons. And we know that what it's down to at the moment are not as accurate as they were because he probably didn't intend to hit a

children's play park today.


Because that doesn't really have a huge value other than the president of Ukraine said, this is striking, it's an act of terrorism. So, he's -- if he

can sustain this barrage of today, then this is a -- then this is a successful message at home. But the reality is, it's unlikely to be able to

do that because he doesn't have the weapons, and he'd be playing all his cards.

He's playing for a longer game, a harsher Winter, buying time, and I think it's significant today that we heard from the president of Belarus,

Alexander Lukashenko saying that now, his forces are in a joint force with Russian forces. And although, we've heard from a senior figure on the

defense council in the state Duma saying we don't need Belarusian forces to join Russians inside Ukraine.

And Belarusians have been saying we haven't sent any of our troops there. The reality is, the Russians do need those trained and equipped --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: Military personnel and the need them now. So, I think there's another piece of the puzzle of what is happening in this war starting to

play out.

SOARES: We've heard condemnation -- I think it's fair to say from pretty much everyone in the West, Macron, President Macron talked about being a

profound change in this war. From your contacts in Europe and your sources in the West, how did they see -- how did they assess this volley, this

barrage of attacks. Does it change anything?

ROBERTSON: Well, we have a G7 leaders meeting tomorrow, and President Zelenskyy will speak to them. And I think we'll get -- we'll hear positions

laid out. But if what we've heard from secretary -- U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken this evening already, the lines are going to be


We know that President Zelenskyy spoke earlier in the day with the German chancellor, and he obviously has a rotating presidency of the G7. And we're

going to see a stronger position emerge from the G7 and associated countries. So, this is not -- this is not going to work in Putin's favor.

SOARES: Yes, very quickly, I mean, we are seeing escalation after escalation for the last two weeks off-ramp. Any signs we're in an off-ramp

here, Nic?

ROBERTSON: There isn't an off ramp. Putin is playing a long game. He needs time, he needs time to be able to get forces to turn back the tide of

what's happening inside Ukraine. And he'll try and --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: Complete the resolve of the Ukrainians by giving them a cold Winter. They are not going to back down over this --

SOARES: Well, he's --

ROBERTSON: Not when the civilians are not going to back down sitting in cold apartments when their soldiers --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: Are in freezing trenches fighting to take every inch back.

SOARES: What do you think -- sorry, what do you think -- what do you think that Zelenskyy will ask for then in that case?

ROBERTSON: He's going to ask for more air defense systems. And it -- you know --

SOARES: Exactly what we're hearing from the deputy, yes --

ROBERTSON: They asked for them at the beginning of the conflict --

SOARES: Yes, I remember that --

ROBERTSON: And it's such a slow-move by the international community, from Ukraine's perspective, not to answer that at the beginning when it's clear

strategically, that's where we're headed, and that's where we are. So I think he'll get a more positive answer on that.

SOARES: Well, he's definitely not making it for -- that's what Moldova today also not very happy about the use of those --

ROBERTSON: Not calling in the Russian ambassador. It's the first time they've done that since back in -- back in April.

SOARES: I know you'll stay on top of that, Nic, thanks very much. And still to come tonight, Iran's brutal crackdown on dissidents intensifying

as anti-government protests enter the fourth week.



SOARES: Welcome back. A human rights group says Iranian security forces have used live fire on protesters in the northwestern Kurdish province,

describing it as a fierce attack.




SOARES: And you can hear there what sounds like gunfire in this video showing the city of Sanandaj. Activists say at least four people were

killed in weekend protests there. Iran's state news agency says, quote, "armed gangs fired on security forces." Let's bring in CNN's Jomana

Karadsheh, she's following the story tonight for us from Istanbul.

And Jomana, we're now, I believe entering the fourth week of protests. The women and girls have remained defiant throughout. The question now becomes,

can they keep up this momentum, Jomana?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Isa, as you and I have discussed so many times over the past 3 to 4 weeks, it's

very difficult for us to assess from the outside what is going on inside the country. All we get is this little snapshot because of the government's

internet shutdown, because of the communications restriction.

As you get a little bit of video, a little bit of information, and you try and piece together what is going on. And over the weekend, Isa, it did

seem like all of a sudden, these protests gained even more momentum, whether it was in Tehran where we saw some of the largest protests so far

since the start of these demonstrations last month.

Day and night, people taking to the streets. Also in the Kurdish region, other cities that have not joined. But an area of particular concern has

been the northwestern Kurdish region of Iran where, you know, a lot of these protests have focused, as you know, Mahsa Amini came from the

northwestern part of the country.

And we've seen a lot of these protests focus there, but now, the concern is, with this internet black-out that's going on, and communications are

very difficult, especially with that part of the country is what is happening there. The scenes that we have gotten out, the video that we have

seen, the information we're getting from activists, really a very bleak picture of what might be happening right now in Sanandaj and other parts of

the northwestern Kurdish region.

Isa, we must warn our viewers that some of the video in our report is graphic and disturbing.



KARADSHEH (voice-over): This is how the fourth week of Iran's uprising started. The wails of one more family's forever farewell. Another young

life taken too soon.


One of several lives lost in a day of rage, a day of carnage in Iran's Kurdish region.


These are the images the regime doesn't want the world to see. They cut off the internet in Sanandaj, making it hard for us to tell the stories of the

dead and those left to mourn.


The little video trickling out, only a glimpse into the repressive republic and its vicious force to crush the growing dissent. The savagery caught on

camera in scenes like this in Tehran, and this -- a man pleads with police to leave his wife alone. We're not protesting, she's pregnant, he says. But

to no avail. Both appear to have been forcefully dragged away.

It is that tyranny that feeds the anger of those on the streets, defiant and determined, seemingly unstoppable here, chasing the riot police. At an

all women's university this weekend, President Ebrahim Raisi who's dismissed the thousands on the streets as rioters pray students for seeing

through what he claims as the foreign conspiracy to weaken Iran. At that same university, an extraordinary moment of rebellion as young women chant,

"Raisi, get lost".


Unclear if this happened while he was there, but it's clear as the wall of fear in Iran has come down. Even the regime's attempt to control the

narrative also briefly disrupted, hackers interrupted state TV Saturday evening newscast with this video, a target super-imposed on the face of the

supreme leader, and at the bottom of the screen, the faces of Mahsa Jina Amini and three of the young women who have died in the protests, Nika

Shakarami, Hadis Najafi and Sarina Esmailzadeh, with a message that reads, joins us and rise up.

The streets of Tehran were already rising up that night with some of the largest protests in the capital so far. Scenes replicated across the

country, as the government calms calm has been restored and the so-called riots are mostly over. Day time brought more students back out in force,

protesting on campuses across the country.

And young school girls waving their forced head scarves joining in the daring chants. Their fearless cries for women, life, freedom, reverberating

louder than ever through the streets of Iran.


KARADSHEH: And as you see there, Isa, we kind of get a glimpse into what is going on in the country. You see the determination and the defiance of

these protesters, young and old. You also see this harsh brutal government crackdown that, you know, we're seeing signs that this could be

intensifying in the coming days.

I certainly saw more video coming out this weekend with more security forces on the streets heavily armed. You see these acts of utter brutality,

beating up protesters and people who were saying they're not even protesters as they're forcefully dragged away. We're also getting hints of

what possibly could be coming.

You know, there have been calls for a general strike across the country. We haven't seen that happen. There has been a strike taking place in the

Kurdish region in number of cities there in recent days. Today, we saw oil and gas workers joining in a strike. Maybe, this is over wages, we've


But at the same time, the chants we see in that video, Isa, they're also joining in the anti-regime slogans and chants. So, we look at a very

complicated situation now for the Iranian regime. They're going to deploy all this force to try and contain the protests. But what do you do when

this moves into a strike where people decide to shut down their businesses? Their shops, not go to work.

How are they going to deal with that? That's going to be quite challenging to say the least. So, we'll have to wait and see how that plays out in the

coming days, Isa.

SOARES: Jomana Karadsheh for us in Istanbul, thanks very much, Jomana, terrific work. And still to come tonight, explosions rock Ukraine as Russia

strikes key infrastructure across the country. Ahead, our team on the ground looks at how a one strike impacted Dnipro in the south.

And then world leaders vow they will support Ukraine to the end. After the break, I speak to the Latvian Foreign Minister about stopping Russia and

the situation at his own border. That is next.



SOARES: Welcome back to the show, everyone. I want to return to our top story now. For months here on the show, we have been showing you the

frontlines of this war, which have been very much focused, if you remember, on the south here in the sun, as well as in the east. What we've been

seeing, of course, is those these Ukrainian forces here in yellow, pushing back, of course, pushing now the Russian forces on both sides and gaining a

lot of territory back in the process.

Today, though, every -- almost every corner of Ukraine was drawn back into the wall once more jolted really by what can be called a flurry of missile

and rocket attacks by Russia. Let me just show you really how expansive the strikes have been. Ukraine's Prime Minister, as you can see, said nearly a

dozen critical infrastructure facilities across the country were hit. And you can see it was right across the board, from Kharkiv to Kyiv, even from

Lviv -- to Lviv.

We spoke to the deputy mayor in the last 15 minutes or so, he's still not - - struggling to connect with us through his internet, and also Zaporizhzhia cities that really, to be honest with you, from Lviv to Kyiv that we

haven't really seen much fighting since the beginning of this war back in February, February 24th. And it is the first time in months, in fact, that

we have seen this line of fire after enjoying a period of relative safety.

As you can see here, Zaporizhzhia, where the nuclear power plant is, was also target, so right across the board today. Now some say that the attacks

are retaliation from the Kremlin as it comes two days after an explosion, you can see here, damaged the Kerch Bridge, and that is the strategic link

between Russia and Crimea. Now Ukraine importantly, has not claimed responsibility. But Moscow is putting the blame squarely on Kyiv.

Why is that important? Well, that bridge, we have it here as you can see, here is the Kerch Bridge here, that's Crimea, going into Ukraine that, it's

symbolic, and it has economic importance, but also strategic. It is the longest bridge in Europe, spanning some 19 kilometers and it is designed to

really move 13 million tons of cargo a year. And that makes it instrumental when you think of it, just the size of it makes it instrumental in Russia's

war in Ukraine, because it allows what it does, it allows Ukraine military to move key military hardware into mainland Ukraine. And that's where you

see in there Kherson just on top of the picture.

It's also Russian President Vladimir Putin's project completed in 2018, just four years after Russia occupied Crimea. But if I take you back to

today's strikes in Ukraine, CNN International Security Editor, Nick Paton Walsh, was on the ground in Dnipro shortly after the strike there and he

showed us the scene. Have a look at this.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: This important lesson we're sort of learning from here, yes, this was a busy rush hour road. Yes,

there was a bus caught by this, the second missile that landed here. You can see just how enormous the firepower deployed was. Five people

critically injured on that bus. It's since been taken away. But the real question about this response, 80 plus missiles, say Ukrainian officials, is

what were they trying to hit?

Now we know that power is out. We know critical infrastructure has been hit, but this is partially abandoned, if not entirely abandoned telecoms

building. That was the predominant target, the second missile hitting here two minutes later. And so with this bid by Moscow to flex their military

muscles, which they've clearly shown today, there was a moment during the morning when it seemed like pretty much every city in Ukraine was certainly

having an air raid siren if not under attack is exactly what they chose to target. They have had, it seems, some perverse recourse success in knocking

out the power.


80,000 in the region I'm in apparently are without electricity at the moment. But the kind of inaccuracy here, hitting this busy main road,

hitting a building that's essentially empty underlies, I think, some of the clumsiness of the entire military strategy and campaign we've seen since

February the 24th when Russia first invaded.


SOARES: And Nick Paton Walsh joins us now in our live. And Nick, what you just showed us in that little clip that we just played, perhaps just one of

two things, I think you hinted at that, either Russian military is incompetent, or clumsy as you said, or they just don't care what they're


WALSH: It is a possibility, a mixture of all of those things, it's important to point out that they have been capable of precision strikes.

But it's obviously not always the case that that happens. It's obviously not always the case that they are particularly concerned about hitting the

wrong people, particularly if those people are civilians. We've seen hospitals we've seen bomb shelters hit over the past months or so of this.

And, you know, Russia's forces, when they intervened as an Air Force in Chechnya, particularly under the command then of the man who's been made

the new commander of the Ukraine operation had an appalling toll on civilians there as well.

And so these 80 or so cruise missiles appear to have had some success in disrupting infrastructure certainly, make no doubt about that at all. But

this is not something that's a limitless supply for Russia President, Vladimir Putin. He can't necessarily do this every day going forward. And

there have been questions possibly being asked as to why this has happened at this particular part of the campaign. It's not as though they haven't

been suffering military defeat after military defeat after military defeat since the fall of their positions around Kharkiv over a month ago now.

So a lot of questions, Isa, are being asked about the accuracy of this, the intelligence that led them to choose targets, particularly that abandoned

building we stood next to in Dnipro, and quite what this means for their military strategy going forward. Isa.

SOARES: Let's talk about that, the military strategy, because you mentioned there that Russian commander who has been appointed, I believe, by Putin to

lead this war, what do we know, Nick, about him that could shed some light as to how the next few months may look like?

WALSH: Yes, Sergey, sort of, became as in-charge of parts of their presence in Syria. Now, there were lots of accusations against the Russian Air

Force. They're using tactics that essentially caused significant civilian casualties. During the time in which he was in Syria, the Syrian regime,

the Assad regime, did use chemical weapons were certainly found to have done that by U.N. investigators. And so there are questions about that.

He's also head military units that served in Chechnya in some of the most brutal parts of the second Russian war there. And I think many analysts

refer to him as probably some of the more callous military tacticians that Russia has available to it. But obviously, there's a key problem for Russia

changing personnel at this late and bad stage in their campaign. And we've heard of multiple commanders in charge of the war effort here who appear to

have been removed and replaced. And it just shows that they seem to be struggling to change the narrative or to have any elements of success.

And you have to ask yourself, really, when we're dealing with multiple cruise missiles strikes like this, that hit most of Ukraine's population

centers that do cause some damage that have claimed a lot of lives, not the horrifyingly high tolls that perhaps I think some Ukrainians were worried

about when we first heard about this volume of strikes, but not to say that, you know, 11 plus possibly people dying is not an awful thing in

itself, but you have to ask what this does in terms of change their dynamic on the battlefield itself.

They are the Russian army, struggling to recruit, struggling to replenish their ranks, struggling to get fuel, food, equipment, winter's coming.

Their main supply route from that bridge across the -- towards the Crimean peninsula, that's been damaged. They're under pressure in other supply

routes as well. Their supply chains have been attacked. They found it increasingly hard to sustain their presence in the East. And Kharkiv has

essentially collapsed. It's falling back (INAUDIBLE)

So, a day of this sort of very symbolic and damaging, make no mistake about it, series of missile attacks across Ukraine, while it's certainly

galvanized Ukrainian opinion, it's got Russia's critics saying well, maybe we do need to supply more advanced weaponry to Ukraine, to support and

defend them from this sort of thing. One thing it has done possibly is answer any domestic critics Putin has and he doesn't have -- put on an

adequate supply of military might. We don't really know though, if what today's display has done to actually alter Russia's position on the

battlefield here, Isa.

SOARES: Nick Paton Walsh for us there in Dnipro, Ukraine. Thanks very much, Nick.


Well, world readers are slamming Russia for its deadly attacks in Ukraine and vowing to ramp up support for Mr. Zelenskyy war effort. Earlier, the

Latvian Foreign Minister calls for more weapons to be donated to Ukraine to stop Russia's invasions. Latvia is already feeling the sting of this war.

It has a 200-kilometer border with Russia, and says it plans to restrict the movement of Russian citizens into his territory. And Latvian Foreign

Minister, Edgars Rinkevics is joining me now. Minister, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us today on the show. Let me get your

reaction, if I may, to the volley really of missile attacks that we've seen across Ukraine today.

EDGARS RINKEVICS, LATVIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, first of all, thank you very much for having me. I think that this is quite a coward act by the

Kremlin by Russia to Shell civilian objects, people, also critical infrastructure. And to that end, I do believe that what we need to do is to

supply more weapons to Ukraine. We are doing a lot. But I think that we obviously see that their defense weaponry, also other systems, need to be


The second thing, I do think that it's time to establish special international tribunal to investigate and to try the crime of aggression.

Because what Russia is doing since 2014 is aggression against Ukraine. And this is, to some extent, mother of all crimes. So if you do not react now,

in both ways, politically and legally on one hand, but also to add military equipment to Ukraine, then of course the situation is going to worsen.

SOARES: In terms of military equipment, you talked there, what do you think is needed right now?

RINKEVICS: Everything that Ukraine is asking for, from their defense weapons to also weapons that can actually help Ukrainians to advance in

their own territory to liberate their own territory, and actually to establish control over the occupied territories. So everything that Ukraine

is asking is something that we need to deliver.

SOARES: And you probably heard, minister, President Zelenskyy say today that "Russia is trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the

earth." I think that was his line. So what ought to be the response from the west? Is just weaponry enough? You mentioned tribunal. What about more

sanctions? What ought to be the response here?

RINKEVICS: Obviously, we just approved at the E.U. level the so-called eight sanctions package. I think that it's definitely a step forward. But

it was also very much linked to the decision by the Kremlin to call fake referenda and also to annex more territory. This, what is now happening,

really needs to have a complex response. And I think that when it comes to sanctions, yes, it is very difficult, of course, to convince some of member

states of the European Union, international community that we need for the tackle energy sector, financial sector.

But inevitably, our strategy of providing help to Ukraine, also politically are pushing Russia in international organizations, and also providing more

sanctions that are coordinated between the E.U. and also G7 countries is the only response. But I do believe that to some extent, what we always do

is a bit too little too late. And this is where I would be very happy that some of skeptical people in the international community finally wake up and

understand that any talk about escalation, any kind of pressure towards Ukraine to sit at the table while the people are dying is simply not

something that Russia is going to be happy with. Russia will be happy only when Ukraine is destroyed completely. And that is something that we cannot

simply afford.

SOARES: On that note, let me ask you this, minister, the CIA Director, I think said about a week ago, we mentioned this comment on the show back

then, that Putin can be quite dangerous and reckless if he's cornered. We've been really lying out really, for last several weeks how Russia has

been losing ground in Ukraine. You've seen that to Putin, some say perhaps under pressure. How worried are you about Putin's nuclear saber rattling

given that you share, of course, a border with Russia?

RINKEVICS: Well, we cannot exclude any scenario, but I think that we also should understand that if we give in, if we say that, OK, we are afraid of,

let's say use of tactical nuclear missiles and then Ukraine yields territory or does something or the West does something that pleases Putin,

then he will push forward. So unfortunately, we are in the situation that is very much like in 20th century, with Nazi Germany.


Of course we can always talk about the basement, but it didn't stop Germany. Yes, the situation is a bit different. Putin's Russia is nuclear

power. But if we give in, then he will move forward. And that ultimately, he will try to gain from our weakness. So from that point of view, while we

need to be prepared for all kinds of scenario, we also cannot simply saying that now, by let's say, surrendering, to some extent, to Putin's demands,

we will gain long lasting peace. Unfortunately, we need to learn from history.

SOARES: As we mentioned, just before we came to you, Latvia has been calling for the E.U. to ban all Russian visas. Just explain to our viewers

around the world why you're calling for this.

RINKEVICS: Well, we did call for banning tourist visas. Of course, we do not call for banning visas for humanitarian reasons so that is something

that we continue also issuing, but what we did as a regional solution, the Baltic States and Poland, and now also Finland, recently, we restricted

entry for Russians holding tourist visas. Why? Three reasons. First security reasons we really are not sure what kind of tourists we are

sometimes having. And we have some Salisbury experience and some other experiences.

Second, we do believe that those Russians who really want to, let's say flee from the war, they first of all need to fight Putin at home and search

for moral reasons I think why we are seeing so many Ukrainians dying. I think it's very immoral that some Russian tourists will be drinking coffee

in Riga, Paris or Madrid. So those are three reasons.

SOARES: Edgars Rinkevics, the Latvian Foreign Minister, I really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us, Minister. Thank you very much, sir.

RINKEVICS: Thank you.

SOARES: Thank you. And still to come tonight, missile tests and worrying signs of nuclear readiness from North Korea, that is next.


SOARES: North Korea is breaking its silence over its recent missile tests. Pyongyang has completed 25 launches this year. Now state media saying these

tests were designed to show that it's ready to fire a tactical nuclear warhead as potential targets in South Korea. CNN Senior International

Correspondent Will Ripley is joining me now from Taipei. And, Will, you've been covering, I think it's fair to say, North Korea for years now. How do

you read all the signs coming from Pyongyang?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, as we've been saying, Isa, Kim Jong-un has no interest in diplomacy right now.

He really does feel emboldened to test and launch at will and that is what he's doing.


I mean, to have seven tests since September 25th, a span of just over two weeks, and now to release -- or after six months of state media silence,

these dramatic images of Kim, you know, in these custom-made outfits coordinating with the, you know, with the scenery in the background that

he's in, you know, overseeing these highly provocative tests, including shooting a powerful missile over Japan, triggering a national emergency

alert last week, he is sending a message for domestic and international consumption, that these tests are proving the power of his growing arsenal.

And frankly, experts are concerned, Isa, that the worst, most provocative test, the seventh underground nuclear test that has been widely anticipated

for months now may be coming very soon, and the world needs to brace itself for that.

SOARES: And, of course, what we have seen and what you have been reporting on for us last week was this U.S. and South Korean military drills. How

much do you think, Will, this has antagonized the North Koreans?

RIPLEY: You know, North Korea always uses those drills as an excuse, Isa, to conduct their own military activities. It's not as if the drills are,

you know, the North Korean's activities are in direct response as they might like you to believe, because their plans need to be in the works for

quite some time as well. But what we're seeing in this region is a, you know, one of many potential flashpoints, you know, firing up because as

with every North Korean provocation, you're now seeing direct military response from South Korea, the United States, and even Japan, and those

three nations held their first joint anti submarine exercises in five years a couple of weeks ago, because there's concern that North Korea may try to

launch some of the short-range tactical nuclear capable missiles from their submarines.

So, the U.S. and its allies are trying to prove that they can respond effectively to a growing North Korean threat. But the reality is, this

North Korean threat isn't going anywhere anytime soon, Isa, despite the United States making these calls for complete denuclearization that most

experts feel should go in the dustbin of history simply because North Korea has now changed their constitution, writing nuclear weapons into their

national identity in a way that it would be almost impossible for them to surrender them. And that's not anything even close to what they're

considering doing.

You know, we have to live, meaning the world has to live, Isa, with this reality, a lot of experts believe, of a nuclear North Korea, much like

other nations that are known to have nuclear weapons, Israel might be one example. But it's not really flaunted or discussed. That's certainly

probably what the North Koreans would be hoping for because they have no plans based on any conversation I've had over the last eight years with

North Korean contacts, no serious plans to give these weapons up. They've spent too much time, invested too much money, and they believe there's too

much at stake to ever consider handing them over to a country that they don't trust like the United States.

SOARES: Very troubling indeed, what you just outlined there for us, Will. Really appreciate it, Will Ripley for us in Taipei. We're going to take a

short break, be back after this.


SOARES: Welcome back everyone. Christian leaders are urging the British government not to follow the United States lead and move its Embassy in Tel

Aviv to Jerusalem. Prime Minister Liz Truss recently said she is reviewing the embassy's current location. Church leaders in Jerusalem and the U.K.

says she should focus on helping restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Kanye West has been locked out of Twitter for violating its policies. The singer posted an anti-Semitic tweet on Saturday, which Twitter later took

down before locking West's account. Twitter has not confirmed how long the controversial rapper's account will be locked for, or when West will be

able to tweet again.

And do not forget you can catch up with interviews and analysis from the show online. Go to my Instagram @IsaSoaresCNN, as well as my Twitter feed.

The details are on your screen. Thanks very much for your company. See you tomorrow. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS is next.