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Isa Soares Tonight

Ukraine Allies Announce New Military System Support; Iran Education Minister Admits Children Are Detained; Oath Keeper Testifies On Alleged Arms Cache; Interview With Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand On Support For Ukraine; Iranian Education Ministry Detaining Student Protesters For "Reform"; Ukraine Reports More Settlements In Kherson Liberated; Oath Keepers Trial; U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss Pledges No Public Spending Cuts Amid Economic Turmoil. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired October 12, 2022 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, Russia's barrage destroys civilian

targets and strengthens allies resolve. NATO members have just announced they will help Ukraine build a missile defense system.

Then Iran's education minister says some school students have been detained and said to institutions to be re-educated. And then later, new details in

the seditious conspiracy trial against members of the Oath Keepers in the United States. Allegations of how extremely well-armed these people were

when they went to the Capitol on January, the 6th.

But first tonight, NATO says its commitment to Ukraine is stronger than ever in the wake of the biggest Russian air assault since the start of the

war. NATO defense ministers met two days, for two days after Russia began launching deadly attacks on heavily-populated cities, it's all those energy

infrastructure right across Ukraine.

NATO allies are promising to deliver more weapons and air defense systems, and the U.S. Defense Secretary says NATO knows the need is urgent. Have a



LLOYD AUSTIN, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, UNITED STATES: The systems will be provided as fast as we can physically get them there. And this is something

as I've said at the top that we remain focused on, and we're going to provide systems that we have available, that countries like Germany has


We're also going to try to provide additional ammunitions to the existing systems that the Ukrainian forces are using.


SOARES: Meanwhile, Russian forces are still attacking Ukrainian cities, and that includes Zaporizhzhia. And one strike on a market in an eastern

city killed at least seven people. Ukrainian officials say there's absolutely no military logic to a target like that, just quote, "an

unbridled desire to kill as many Ukrainians as possible."

Fred Pleitgen joins me now from Kyiv, and Nic Robertson is here with me in London. And Fred, just how urgent that need is really, being sound in the

last six minutes with air raid sirens.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you're absolutely right, here in the Ukrainian capital, we had those air raid

sirens go off, even though you're not hearing them right now, Isa, that --

SOARES: And I think we seem to have lost Fred for a moment --

PLEITGEN: We saw as well where --

SOARES: Do we have you, Fred?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lost this again --

SOARES: OK, we'll fix Fred's signal, we'll return. Let me go to Nic Robertson who is with me here. Nic, let's start on what we heard from

really the NATO leaders today and Secretary Lloyd Austin. In terms of the plan they have in place or that air defense plan. Just talk us through the

U.S. proposed plan here to help -- to help Ukraine.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: But get the equipment in as we heard there as fast as possible. This is to be an integrated air

defense system. What they want to do is sort of have a low, middle and high integrates together, the low level -- the low level defense system has a

short range, the medium level medium range and the high altitude has a longer range.

It fits together and it provides that bigger umbrella of protection, because Ukraine has been left exposed. Its air defenses have been kind of

focused on its frontline troops, left the cities uncovered. But it's interesting when Ukraine's defense minister was there at that NATO meeting,

and he put forward a list of what they want.

And as you heard at the very top of the list was more of the HIMARS which have been so successful at these, multiple-barreled, very accurate rocket

systems taking out bridges and destroying ammunition dumps of the Russians. But they also said when it comes to air defenses, we know immediate from

the U.S. is as fast as possible --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: But in the meantime, give us more of the ammunitions that we're using on air defense at the moment, like the S300, which is actually a

Russian-surface to air missile system. But give us that ammunition for the stop-gap.

SOARES: And we'll talk about the challenges in just a moment of getting these systems into the country in just a moment. Let me go back to Fred who

is still with us, I think we've now fixed your connection, Fred. And just talk to us really about the importance of the air defense systems. You were

saying the sirens were sounding more in the last six, seven minutes or so in Kyiv.

PLEITGEN: Yes, they certainly were. And sorry about our signal, something that obviously happens in an area like this that of course is under attack.

But it's definitely -- you're absolutely right, Isa, something that we've witnessed just in the past couple of minutes as air raid sirens were going



And you know, as I was saying, despite the fact that you're not hearing them right now, the air raid alert is still in full effect here in Kyiv.

And it's really also something, Isa, that we saw overnight, almost the entire night intermittently, we had these air raid siren alerts going off

here in a city that you could definitely very much hear from our position, obviously, many other places in the city as well.

So Kyiv still very much under attack, the Ukrainian authorities believe they also said -- and this goes to Nic's point, that they are able to shoot

down a lot of the missiles that are fired at their territory, but the big problem they have, they say is they have those Soviet-era systems, and they

don't have enough of them.

It's so interesting to hear, Nic just say that the Ukrainians say that they don't have enough rockets for instance to replenish some of these S300

systems which of course are from -- most of them from the Soviet era. I was just able to speak to an adviser, to the presidential administration of

Ukraine, he said exactly the same thing.

He said the big problem that they have is re-arming some of those surface- to-air missile systems, and of course, one of the big weaknesses that surface-to-air missiles generally have is, if they get overwhelmed by a

huge quantity of missiles like the Ukrainians did on Monday, the Ukrainians do believe, Isa, that the Russians don't necessarily have that much in the

way of these long distance ammunitions left to conduct barrages of strikes as they did on Monday.

However, of course, they do say they do need those modern systems and they need them as fast as possible as we've seen here in Kyiv. Zaporizhzhia, of

course, once again under attack, and one of the interesting things there, Isa, is that the Ukrainians say that, that town was actually attacked with

S300 missiles, with those surface-to-air missiles, which if you use them in a ground-to-ground function, they are highly inaccurate, and of course,

that leaves the probability of civilian casualties very high when those are used against ground targets, Isa.

SOARES: Fred, do stay with us. Let me go back to Nic. Nic, you were talking, you said what? Lloyd Austin was saying that the aim of course, is

to get -- to get the help as quickly as possible on the ground. What are the challenges? How quickly can these air defense systems get to Ukraine?

ROBERTSON: Well, the Germans have sent in over the past couple of days their RST system, one version of that, they got another three of it coming.

So that can move fairly quickly. The U.S. NASAMS system, the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System that they're going to supply two by

the end of the year.

The new version of it, which has longer-range than previous versions is actually designed to be flown in. But of course, you can't fly a big

transport aircraft into Ukraine right now because Russia would very likely shoot it down. So, you've got the transport problem, so trying to transport

this large military equipment and they're doing it covertly.

But the Ukrainians have shown they're very adept to doing that. The HIMARS, rocket systems that they love and depend on, on the frontline now, they're

not small either, but they've been managing to get them where they need them at the frontline without Russia seeing. So, there is a physicality.

But you know, the United States can fly its system to the border with Ukraine as of now, then you just got to get it into place. There are

production issues with all the ammunitions and with the supplies that come down the road, and that was another point of the meeting at NATO, to kind

of galvanize the military industries across all these nations and get them up to speed by what's required for Ukraine, replenishing national

inventories and as well --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: Providing all NATO members with what they need going forward.

SOARES: Yes, I saw the -- you know, one reporter ask, is there lack of will of, you know, from many of the countries, always a question of

supplies. Obviously, a lot of this takes a while. Fred, if you're still with us, give me a sense of what the reaction has been in Ukraine to what

has been pledged so far.

And does, Ukraine, Fred, worry that this kind of open support from NATO and its allies could perhaps escalate this war even further, given what we

heard from the Russian ambassador to the U.S. about those red lines yesterday?

PLEITGEN: Yes, well, first of all, the Ukrainians don't fear at all that this war could be escalated further, with the fact that they're getting

these weapons from NATO. The Ukrainians are saying, look, this war, Russia's war against Ukraine is already at an apex, it's already going on

in full force. And they certainly don't fear that the Russians could further escalate things.

It was quite interesting to hear because again, I spoke to that adviser to the presidential administration, I asked him quite, frankly, you know,

there is a fear in the West or in many countries, that this could at some point lead to a nuclear confrontation that Vladimir Putin might use

tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield.

And they said of course, they see that as well, they understand that, that threat is there, but it's certainly not something they can focus on. They

say they're fully focused on trying to take back as much as their territory as they can.

And they also said, if they were to say, look, we're going to give up some of our territory, then that would mean that they would never be able to

achieve peace, and they would never be able to rebuild their country. So, they say that's what they're focused on right now, continuing the

counteroffensive operations that they've been doing.


So certainly, that fear that there could be a further escalation than there already is, they already believe that they're facing the highest

escalation. Obviously, you know, you look at some of the onslaughts that have taken place, especially in the east of Ukraine, there was a lot of

Ukrainian --

SOARES: Yes --

PLEITGEN: Soldiers, and quite frankly, Russian soldiers as well that have already been killed. So, the Ukrainians are saying, for them really, they

don't think it can get any worse than it already is.

SOARES: And I wonder if I could just bring up -- stay with us, Fred, bring up that map of really the missile strikes that we've seen across Ukraine,

because the area is quite large. Our viewers are looking at this right now, Fred. I mean, how much do these air strikes, these strikes we've seen in

the last kind of three days or so, how much does that detract from what is going on in those frontlines in the east and in the south?

PLEITGEN: Yes, it's an important question. The Ukrainians say that they are continuing in full force with the counteroffensives that they have

going in the east of the country, and especially also in the south of the country. And if you look at today, they say that they've taken back several

key villages as they put it in the south of the country.

There's some video that was put out by the Ukrainian military, showing them hoisting a flag in one village that they say that they've won back today.

So, they say that is something that is ongoing, they're obviously planning further moves as well, and they say they're not going to stop with that.

But at the same time, they do acknowledge that all of this is having an effect on their public and on their critical infrastructure. And a lot of

that has to do with electricity, and a lot of that has to do with heating. It was so interesting because yesterday, the energy minister of Ukraine

told CNN that 30 percent of this country's electricity infrastructure had already been hit by the Russians.

Now, again, I spoke to that adviser to the presidential administration, he says that they are working overtime as fast as possible, and they believe

very effectively to get all of that infrastructure up and running once again. But of course, the big problem that they have is if they fix

something and it gets hit by another missile very quickly or the crews that are fixing it are under threat of getting hit by a missile, then obviously

that hampers their efforts.

But they say they are trying, they say they're quite successful at rebuilding that or fixing that infrastructure. But at the same time, they

also say that, that missile threat needs to be dealt with and needs to be dealt with fast.

SOARES: Fred Pleitgen for us there in Kyiv, and Nic Robertson, thank you to you both. We'll have much more of course on NATO's plans ahead this

hour. In just about 15 minutes or so, I'll speak with Canada's defense minister about that country's views on further arming the Ukrainians, and

even in the face of course, of Russia's red lines that Fred and Nic were just talking about.

Meantime, I want to bring you a clip of U.S. Joe Biden addressing Putin's veiled threats about using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Here is what he said

in an exclusive interview with our Jake Tapper.


JAKE TAPPER, HOST, THE LEAD: How realistic is it do you think that Putin would use a tactical nuclear weapon?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think he will. But I think it's irresponsible for him to talk about it. The idea that a world

leader of one of the largest nuclear powers in the world, says he may use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine -- the whole point I was making was it

could lead to just a horrible outcome.

And not because anybody intends to turn it into a world war or anything, but it's just once you use a nuclear weapon, the mistakes that can be made,

the miscalculations, who knows what would happen?

TAPPER: Do you think Putin is a rational actor?

BIDEN: I think he is a rational actor who's miscalculated significantly.

TAPPER: So if he is not rational and --

BIDEN: No, I didn't say he's not rational.

TAPPER: You said the speech is what --

BIDEN: I think -- I think the speech --


BIDEN: His objectives were not -- I think he thought, Jake, I think he thought he was going to be welcomed with open arms. That this was -- this

has been the home of mother Russia in Kyiv, and therefore, he was going to be welcomed -- and I think he just totally miscalculated.


SOARES: Well, speaking of Putin, President Putin, he spoke at an energy conference in Moscow. He said Russia is not to blame for Europe's energy

crisis, placing the blame squarely on the European Union.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (through translator): Why is Russia to blame? They want to blame someone else for it, in this case unfortunately.

They are to blame themselves. It's not the result of any actions under the special military operation in Ukraine, in Donbas. Russia is ready to start

such supplies, the ball is in the court of the EU, if they want, they can just open the tab.


SOARES: Well, Ukraine's President Vladimir Zelenskyy appealed for an air shield to defend against Russia's missiles. And he's getting some help

already as we told you in the last few minutes. Ukraine's defense ministry tweeting, "the first of four high tech air defense systems from Germany

arrived on Tuesday."

German politician Manfred Weber joins me now from Brussels, he's a member of the European Parliament, President of the European People's Party.

Mister, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us tonight. As you would have heard, President Zelenskyy has been appealing for that air

defense support.


Germany delivering the first of four air defense systems to Ukraine. How many more of these systems will Germany be providing?

MANFRED WEBER, GERMAN MEMBER OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Well, at the moment it's foreseen to deliver four of these systems, and that is good that they

are doing this in Germany. But from my point of view, from an European point of view, it's always when Germany is acting too late and too little.

We need more ambition, we need more action to show solidarity with our Ukraine friends, and we need more German in a very -- contribution to join

European efforts through leadership. So Macron and Scholz should sit together, and should immediately decide about more weapons to Ukraine.

SOARES: Do you know how quickly these can be delivered? These systems being delivered. They've all been -- you say about six or so?

WEBER: I don't know. No, I'm an European politician, you know, it's up to the Berlin colleagues to decide about these things. I see the efforts

there, but again, too late and too little. What we need on European level is now to be again united. This is an extremely difficult moment for this

continent because war is on this continent, Ukraine is in the European -- on the European soil.

That's why it's our conflict in a way, and we have to be united. That's for the moment the case, but we are experiencing and we will experience

difficult Winter ahead of us because the energy problem is especially an European problem, with the high energy costs. That's why we need

solidarity, we need unity as Europeans.

SOARES: You said too little. Why is there perhaps reluctance from some members of the EU, obviously we saw Germany, Germany like you were saying

perhaps a bit too late to provide this.

WEBER: Well, good question. Why was Germany not ready to support immediately after the 24th of February? I have to say that there is still -

- you know, Scholz is a socialist chancellor from the socialist party in Germany. And having in mind that the socialists were always quite pro-

Russia, Gerhard Schroder, former chancellor was very close to Putin.

So, the thinking that we have to appease Russia, we have to -- we have to come together and we have to find diplomatic solutions, is so deeply rooted

in their mind. They didn't see it the first moment the aggressive and the brutal behavior of this state, and of Putin himself as an autocrat.

And step-by-step, they recognize this that there is no alternative first to be close to our Ukraine friends. For the moment again, we have internally

some splits, and I have to criticize also some parts of the German government's decision, especially driven by the socialists. But overall, we

as Europeans found a common understanding on the sanctions, we found also a common understanding on the financial support, and we also granted to

Ukraine and to Moldova the candidate status.

So, we give the people in Ukraine a clear indication that they can join, they can become member of the European Union. Their fight for freedom,

their fight for democracy and rule of law is a fight in favor of Europe, and they have a good future inside of the European Union.

SOARES: And we heard in the last, what? Two hours or so, Lloyd Austin alongside General Mark Milley really commending Germany and other countries

for really for delivering their military hardware to Ukraine. But what do you make, sir, of what we've heard from the Russian ambassador to U.S.? Who

has warned against further supplying Kyiv with weapons, talking about further escalation, calling this a red line? Is this tantamount to


WEBER: Well, we see from Russia always as kind of trying to define red lines, they're threatening us with nuclear weapons and so on. This should

not follow the logic of Putin. That would be a big mistake for us as Europeans, as of western world. We should simply believe in what we define

before the war as good rules.

And it is laid down in the United Nations rules that you can assist, you can support a country who is attacked by another country. Who is only

defending itself. Ukraine is not taking anyone, Ukraine is simply defending itself. And that is from the international rules laid down in the United

Nations rules, that is allowed to do so.

So, that's why don't follow the logic of Putin. Let's follow our fundamental rules we have established on global level, and that means by

the United Nations. That is a main line we should go on. And on the other hand, I have to say that for us as Europeans, the next month will be a big


Because I told you already that the energy price is really a very problematic development inside of the European Union. And that's why we

need a Winter of solidarity. The European member states must stay together. And I also want to argue in favor of creating a real European energy

market, because then the European Union as a market, as one market would be strong enough to really be on the global level competitive.


SOARES: I'm glad you brought me to energy, because I'm not sure whether you heard the comments from President Putin today. That the EU, he said, is

to blame for the bloc's energy crisis. I think he said they always try, "they constantly try to blame someone else for their mistakes." Your


WEBER: Exactly, that is typical Putin propaganda to avoid the real discussion. And it's obvious as the unprovoked attack against Ukraine is

the real reason behind. For us as Europeans, this means to speed up, to enter into a world where we have energy production without using Russian

gas anymore.

We have good friends in America, we have good friends in Norwegian resources, also Algeria, others are helping us for the moment to compensate

their losses from Russia. And we have to go through renewables. That is the future of the European energy production, to get much more independence. We

have to speed up.

And there, Europe is already, also with combination with the climate change aggression. We are ambitious, we are the frontrunners of global level and

we have to speed up.

SOARES: Let me finally ask you on Germany because as our viewers would have been aware, you know, Germany is heavily reliant, has been heavily

reliant for years on Russian oil. Does the government, do you think, fear there will be demonstrations or perhaps instability if they cannot ensure

the energy supplies for Winter here?

WEBER: Well, the social impact of the high energy costs, the increasing cost of living. So, the inflation in the European Union --

SOARES: Yes --

WEBER: And also the possible recession in front of us is obviously a big challenge for us. That's why we have to present now a good social package.

A lot of member states are doing this already to protect the poorest in our society on this high energy costs. We have to do it, there is no

alternative to do it, otherwise, there's really the risks that populism is coming back into Europe, and that can benefit also Putin.

And that's why we have to balance our strong support for Ukraine with a good social policy inside of the European Union. Both aspects are equally

important for overcoming the Winter, and the Winter will be tough, no doubt about this.

SOARES: Manfred Weber, really appreciate you taking time to speak to us tonight. Thank you very much, sir. And still to come tonight, the more Iran

cracks down the more protesters turn out. We'll have the latest from a day of nationwide demonstrations. That is next.



SOARES: Welcome back everyone. Well, defense chiefs from 50 countries around the world are prioritizing sending military support to Ukraine, in

particular air defense systems. NATO officials have been meeting in Brussels to discuss how to continue their support for Kyiv. And it comes

two days after Russia launched its most intense air assault against Ukraine since it invaded in February 24th.

Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand has been in that meeting today, she joins me now live from Brussels. Minister, thank you very much for taking

the time to speak to us here on the show. I think it's fair to say the air defense seems to be President Zelenskyy's main request. We've seen the

U.S., Germany and others promising to deliver air missile systems.

And I saw Canada today also announce a package, I think of $47 million. What else is on the table in terms of military aid, what else is Canada

considering here?

ANITA ANAND, DEFENSE MINISTER, CANADA: Let's be clear, Canada has three categories of aid going forward. It's the military aid and equipment,

Winter clothing, M-777, cargo stuff, anti-tank weapon systems, and today, I announced an additional 155 millimeter artillery. In addition, we are

training and training and training Ukrainian armed forces.

We've trained 33,000 Ukrainian soldiers since 2015. We're training them in England, and we're going to be training engineers, Ukrainian engineers in

Poland. And then finally, we're transporting the aid of our allies from our hub in Prestwick, Scotland. We've transported over 5 million pounds of

military aid on behalf of our allies Using two -- sorry three CC170s, and we will continue to do whatever it takes to make sure we are standing in

solidarity with Ukraine against this illegal unjust Russian invasion.

SOARES: Whatever it takes, of course. Air defense systems is the main item, I think in Ukraine's wish-list. But there are reports, Minister, that

there's a struggle among NATO allies to secure enough systems right now. Why is that? Is there a lack of political will, supplies, logistical


ANAND: Actually, what I saw on the ground today in the meeting itself was incredible unity, collaboration and cooperation. And making sure that each

country is leveraging its own respective capacity, whether it's in the area of procuring additional artillery and ammunition, or whether it's in terms

of getting into inventory of their own armed forces. The NATO allies and partners are continuing to do whatever it takes for Ukraine in its time of


SOARES: Do you fear at all, though, Minister, that, you know, in Russia's view, that this could be -- I'm just saying here tantamount to

interference? Because only yesterday, here on this show, you know, we were talking about some of the lines from the Russians. The Russian diplomat,

U.S. diplomat to Russia who warning about red lines, about supplying Kyiv with more weapons. How do you interpret those comments?

ANAND: Let's stand back and recognize that this is an illegal and unjust further invasion of Ukraine. And in support of Ukraine's sovereignty as

well as the rules-based international order, the NATO countries are doing what is necessary to support Ukraine and the international rules-based

order. Let's not forget the war crimes as well.

Hitting civilian targets as we've seen this week in Kyiv is simply unacceptable and reprehensible. And Canada and all NATO allies stand behind

Ukraine at this very important time.

SOARES: So the nuclear saber-rattling that we've heard from President Putin, how do you assess those comments?

ANAND: Well, Canada condemns the threats relating to nuclear as well as the weaponization of energy as a means of war. These types of rhetoric and

threats are simply unacceptable, unwarranted, and simply should not be permitted to continue. We need to do whatever it takes to create a peaceful

world. And for NATO allies, that means ensuring that Ukrainian sovereignty is protected in the long term

SOARES: Jens Stoltenberg speaking, I think yesterday, talked about allies increasing, Minister, security around key installations and stepping up

Intelligence as well as Intelligence sharing. How is Canada preparing?

ANAND: Intelligence sharing is first and foremost one of the items that Canada has been participating in with NATO allies and with Ukraine itself.

Today, in part of the approximately $15 million additional dollars that I announced for Ukraine, we included satellite communications technology and

funds to purchase that.


That is enabling Ukraine to continue to communicate with its European and North American partners through Telesat. And we will continue to do

whatever it takes to ensure information sharing occurs with integrity and the necessity that is required.

SOARES: What about -- let me ask you this, what about the Arctic?

How real is Canada's threat from Russia?

We have reported on CNN on Russia reamassing (sic) military over the years.

ANAND: We need to make sure that we are continuing to protect Canada's Arctic sovereignty. And it was for that reason that, earlier this year, our

government and I announced approximately $40 billion over 20 years to modernize NORAD and ensure continental defense, including by constructing a

new northern approach to surveillance system as well as maintaining the north warning system.

In short, Arctic sovereignty is extremely important. And we will move our surveillance system further north so as to ensure that we are counting for

new technologies in cruise missiles, hypersonic missiles and the like.

SOARES: Minister, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Thank you very much.

ANAND: Thank you.

SOARES: Still to come tonight, we will take a closer look at how Ukraine is faring after two days of relentless Russian strikes and what impact

missile defense system news could have. That is next.

This is every staff party, every wedding.




SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. As Iran escalates the use of force to shut down a popular rebellion, we are learning just how far it will go to get

protesters off the street.


SOARES: Iran's education minister says some school students have been detained and said to get their psychological institutions. He says they

need to be quote, re-educated and reformed.

This week, UNICEF urged the world to help protect Iran's children, saying they are being killed and injured amid the unrest. So far, no amount of

brutality has been able to stop the groundswell of anger that was triggered by the death of a young woman in police custody. Jomana Karadsheh takes you

to the streets.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Calls for nationwide protests on Wednesday brought Iranians onto the streets of cities across

the country. Protesters undeterred by the regime's crackdown on peaceful demonstrations.

And they were met with utter brutality. Baton swinging policeman beating up those who tried to get away.

This disturbing scene caught on camera, security forces opening fire on the streets of Tehran after a small group gathered, chanting, "Mullahs, get


Perhaps the most terrifying response to protests this week is the government's decision to detain school children protesting and sending them

to psychological institutions to be, quote, "reformed and re-educated."

(INAUDIBLE) message from the regime that now appears to feel threatened by fearless young school girls.

The regime clearly under pressure, not only struggling to contain protesters spreading like wildfire but now facing strikes that could hit an

economy already on its knees.

Some oil workers now striking, blocking roads and burning tires. Their strike so far limited and not unusual. But some are now joining in the

anti-regime chants. This could be a sign of trouble the government literally cannot afford.

ROHAM ALVENDI, IRAN HISTORIAN, LSE: Strikes have historically played an important role in Iranian revolts. They were a core of both of the

revolutions in the 20th century, the constitutional revolution and the 1979 revolution. The oil and gas industry, of course, particularly sensitive

because that is where much of the state's hard currency earnings derive from.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Many businesses in the mostly Kurdish region have been shuttered for days as calls grow for a national general strike.

ALVENDI: People are keeping a close eye on that but if there is a general strike, if there is a nationwide general strike, what can the government


You cannot send troops into people's homes to drag them out and force them to go to work. So that would completely paralyze the state and would show

the powerlessness of the state in the face of this movement.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): A movement of nationwide protests that has morphed into an uprising growing stronger by the day, harder and harder for the

republic to control -- Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


SOARES: Very chilling.

Returning now to our top story, Ukrainian forces announcing they have liberated five more settlements in the Kherson region. Let's look more

closely at what is happening on the ground. Joining me now is Neil Melvin, the director of international security studies at Royal United Services


There's a lot for us to get through. Let's have a look first of all what we are dealing with in the last 48 hours or so. We have seen about 65 out of

112 missiles intercepted by Ukraine. We have had President Zelenskyy asking for a defense system.

Start with that figure, first of all.

How impressive is that?

NEIL MELVIN, DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES, RUSI: That shows that the systems the Ukrainians have, mostly from the Soviet period, are

actually quite effective and I have seen individuals using these manned portable systems, being able to take out cruise missiles.

They are being quite effective but it still shows a lot are getting through and we have seen that in the damage that has been all across Ukraine.

SOARES: We do not know the damage and the death toll but also the scale of it. I just want to show our viewers, remind the viewers, where we have seen

that the darker ones are the Monday ones and then you got Wednesday morning strikes.

We heard sirens today at the top of our show out of Kyiv. We have not seen much action since, of course, the beginning of the war to Mykolaiv today.

This is a huge vast area. We are talking about these air defense systems, talking about the importance of the defense system coming from Germany and

the like.

I mean how do you cover an area this size?

MELVIN: Systems that have been promised and we heard that some are coming from the U.S., they will help, they will particularly help maybe around the

big settlements.


MELVIN: They have 40-kilometer radius where they can protect those. But what Ukraine really needs is called a layered air defense. They need a

comprehensive system that can cover all of this area, because the Russians have also been firing missiles from their ships down here, cruise missiles

into Ukraine.

So you have to protect the southern coast all around here. That is not going to be possible. We just do not have the systems that we could make

available to Ukraine to do that. It's really a question of trying to protect their key points and infrastructure, to take out as many other

missiles as we can.

SOARES: When we talk about comprehensive, what exactly do you mean by that?

MELVIN: The layered system would involve a different set of rockets. Some would be for point defense, right to the last minute. Some would be like we

are getting delivered now, 40 kilometers out. Then we have Patriot missiles which would go even further, radar systems that can track all of this area

and give early warning that the missiles are coming.

So that would be a big project and that is not possible. What is on offer at the moment is if NATO can get it into Ukraine quickly, that will help


What we have seen here with this is two things happening. One is that Russia has been responding to the Kerch Bridge attack by hitting civilian

targets but, secondly, Putin is escalating by trying to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure, particularly the energy infrastructure. They are trying to

break Ukraine's morale going into the winter.

They want Ukraine to freeze basically in the wintertime. So there is no energy, no heating, industry shuts down. This is the escalation because

Russia is losing on the battlefield.

SOARES: Let's talk about the battlefield. On that point, we heard our correspondent at the top of the show saying basically they are hitting

infrastructure and their concern is the quicker they build it back up, the consensus they will hit it again. And that becomes a huge problem.

Let's talk about the counter offense.

How much do these attacks right here, how much does that distract from what we have seen?

We are looking obviously at a counter offense in the south, counter offensive in the east.

Is that just another distraction from when they need to try to push the Russians back in both these areas?

MELVIN: Fighting is carrying on here. We saw, of course, the big breakthrough in the north. Ukraine is continuing to push to the east beyond

this river and down in the south. There is very bitter fighting. Ukrainians are making progress.

Again we have seen five villages change hands today. In the south, it's more like a boa constrictor, where they are trying to strangle the Russian

forces. That is continuing. This is why that Putin has gone now for his other strategy because he's not making any progress.

In fact they are losing here. And going into the winter it's quite likely that the Russians may face this breakthrough up here, where the Ukrainians

push them east of the Dnipro River.

SOARES: The reason I moved this year so viewers can get a sense of what happens over the weekend. This not only has a special meaning to Putin,

personal meaning to Putin, but also the logistical support to that top that you were talking about, that counteroffensive.

How big of a deal -- how much does this hamper Russian troops here?

MELVIN: This shows two things. Again, one is, as you said, a symbolic value. This was a big blow for Putin, personally in the whole annexation

occupation of Crimea. It's also part of Russia being -- the Russian forces being chased by the Ukrainians. They want to destroy this bridge so the

supplies coming into Crimea are much more difficult.

So in the future, as Ukrainians try to push into this area, it will be much, much harder for the Russians to resupply. This is part of Ukrainian

strategy looking ahead to make it harder and harder for the Russians to actually bring in the troops, bring in the weapons that they are going to

need, once Ukraine has begun to push into southern Ukraine.

SOARES: Very quickly, do you believe that what happened here is why we are seeing this?

MELVIN: Partly. I think targeting the civilian side, this is Russia's strike. They want revenge.


MELVIN: But there is this a longer term shift to destroy the energy infrastructure and that is an escalation by Russia in response to the

deterioration that we see.

SOARES: Neil, great to have you on the show. Thank you so much.

Just ahead, tonight, we have stunning testimony in the trial of five alleged members of a far-right military group about whether they plan to

stormed the U.S. Capitol on January the 6th. The details are just ahead.





SOARES: Dramatic testimony today in the sedition conspiracy trial of five members of the Oath Keepers. Prosecutors allege the far-right U.S. militant

group began planning for violence long before the January 6th Capitol insurrection.

Now a member of the Oath Keepers testified today about a massive cachet (sic) of weapons outside of Washington, D.C., on January the 6th, more than

you have ever seen since he was in the military. Let's get the latest now from CNN's senior U.S. Correspondent Sara Sidner in Washington.

Sara, I was just reading some of details coming out of the court. Some of that, I'm not going to lie, it was quite chilling. Just talk us through

what you heard.

SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: This is not even the most alarming thing, if you will, that we have heard in this case. There are

five members or five people on trial. Four of them are members of the Oath Keepers and one of them is an associate of the Oath Keepers.

You also have a leader of the Oath Keepers that is among that five.

What we have heard today was the very first member of the Oath Keepers, who has not been charged but who was here on January the 6th and witnessed the

attack, we have heard from other former Oath Keepers who have never made it here to Washington, D.C., on that day.

But this is the first member of the Oath Keepers who knew what was sort of going on and was there to witness this just moment in U.S. history. His

name is Terry Cummings and he traveled from Florida with two other Oath Keepers who were along with them, one of which is a defendant in this case.

And Cummings said they brought firearms with them to be stashed in Virginia, neighboring Virginia, in a hotel. When he got to that hotel, he

brought his own AR-15 style rifle, which he showed to the jury, as well as an ammunition box filled with ammunition that he also showed to the jury.

Then he made the statement about when he walked into that hotel room where they were to stash these weapons. He said I have not seen as many weapons

in one location since I was in the military.

And that was a stunning pronouncement. Then he said, look, we were not going to be using these firearms in an offensive away but just as a show of

force, not using them to attack but to defend.

He also said there was never once any messages or any talk of storming the Capitol by this group. He said there was no talk of a plan to stop the

peaceful transfer of power in this attack.

He said, look we were just there to provide security for VIPs, which lines up with the defense of this group. He also testified that, as he is here as

a member of the Oath Keepers, he actually went to the bathroom. And when he came out, the other members were gone.


SIDNER: He later found out that some of them had gone into the Capitol. Isa.

SOARES: My God. I mean the details that you just laid out there, and like you said it's not even the worst part, the most chilling and stunning

elements of the trial, they charged with seditious conspiracy as you said.

How easy -- how rare is it to prosecute something like this, regardless of the mountain of evidence here?

SIDNER: It is extremely rare. This was such a shock to the system of America and to Americans. But a shock to people around the world to see

what happened here on January the 6th. By the way, the trial is happening just a few hundred yards away from the Capitol. You can see it from the


It was such a shock and it was certainly not something you hear every day. The last time there was an American charged with seditious conspiracy was

about a decade ago in Michigan.

Actually that case ended up being thrown out of court by the judge because they did not feel there was enough evidence in that case. It was involving

another militia style group. That one ended very differently. The prosecutors hope this one will end.

As you mentioned, Isa, there is a mountain of evidence. There are tens of thousands of text messages and messages from different phone applications,

messages from Facebook that they have. But they also have some video. They also have some interviews or some statements from the defendant.

And perhaps some of the most damning evidence may likely come from other Oath Keepers, who have already pled guilty to seditious conspiracy, which,

by the way, if convicted, they can spend up to 20 years in prison. Isa.

SOARES: Sara Sidner, I know you will stay on top of this trial. We appreciate it. Sara Sidner there in Washington, D.C. Stay with us. More to

come after this short break.




SOARES: Now the British prime minister faced a grilling in Parliament earlier today. The first time since recent economic turmoil. Liz Truss says

she will not cut public spending to fund her controversial tax cuts. Let's have a listen.


LIZ TRUSS, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: What we are making sure is that we protect our economy at this very difficult time internationally and as a result.


TRUSS: As a result of our action, Mr. Speaker, and this has been independently corroborated, we will see higher growth and lower inflation.


SOARES: It comes as the Bank of England reiterates that its support of the bond market will end this very week but some saying there will be more

market chaos to follow.

Finally tonight, I want to share you a quote that made us pause for thought. It gives us a chance to remember the actress Angela Lansbury, who

passed away Tuesday at the age of 96. You may remember her in "Murder, She Wrote," and the lovable Mrs. Potts in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."

The British icon shared these words of wisdom for the next generation of actors. I would like to read it to you.

"Hang on," she says, "to what you want, to what you feel you want to achieve and go for it. We are all the victims of our own talent and our own

shortcomings sometimes and we have to be aware of those things because they will trip us up."

An important reminder perhaps not to give up on those dreams, even if you stumble on your way. We leave you tonight to tonight's food for thought.

Thank you so much for keeping company. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.