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Isa Soares Tonight

Allies Pledge New Air Defense Systems for Ukraine; China Lifts Some COVID Lockdowns After Unrest; Prince And Princess Of Wales Visit Boston; British Royals In Boston To Announce Earthshot Prize Winners; U.S. Secretary Of State Antony Blinken Vows Continued Support For Ukraine; Russia Bill Is "State-Approved Queerphobia," Activist Says; New Alzheimer's Drug Slows Cognitive Decline. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired November 30, 2022 - 14:00:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, allies pledge new air defense systems.

And Ukraine says they can't come fast enough. Then, the Chinese government is stamping out dissent. Where protests may still be having an impact on


And then later, the Prince and Princess of Wales are in the United States. But a misstep and resignation out of Buckingham Palace threatens to

overshadow their trip. But first -- but first, NATO foreign ministers are promising to send more air defense systems to Ukraine, while also looking

to invest in the Soviet era weapon systems Ukraine already has.

The U.S. Secretary of State told CNN that NATO is committed to helping Ukraine withstand Russia's -- quote, "barbaric attacks". Have a listen.


ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: The head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, talked about weaponizing Winter, and that's exactly what Putin

is doing. It's also why not only are we seized with making sure that Ukraine has the systems it needs to defend itself.

We're also seized with making sure that we're doing everything possible, again, as quickly as possible, to help them repair and replace everything

that's being destroyed by the Russian onslaught.


SOARES: Well, Ukrainian officials say, right now, the energy supply is improving every day. But that's absent any Russian -- new Russian

airstrikes. On Tuesday, Ukrainian officials warned Russia will continue attacking its critical infrastructure. Meantime, Ukrainian President,

Vladimir Zelenskyy says the situation on the frontlines remains difficult.

Russia's defense ministry claims its forces have just made a breakthrough in the Donetsk region, although, Ukraine hasn't confirmed this. Matthew

Chance joins me now from Dnipro in eastern Ukraine. And Matthew, just said, of course, Ukraine hasn't confirmed this, but do we know where in the

Donetsk region Russian troops have made these gains? Supposedly made these gains? Is it close at all to where you have been reporting in Bakhmut?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was. I mean, that's what the Russian Defense Ministry is saying. They're saying it's

basically a small village to the south of Bakhmut, which is the territory, which has been the town which has been the subject of a very fierce battle

over the course of the past several months, in fact, between Russian and Ukrainian forces.

It's all part of a strategy that the Russians have been deploying to encircle the town. They can't take it directly, so they're trying to sort

of -- inside. And this would be confirmed another territorial gain in that direction. The soldiers on the ground in Bakhmut (INAUDIBLE).


CHANCE (voice-over): The brutal fight for Bakhmut where Ukrainian troops are battling Russia's onslaught. These exclusive images from the soldiers

themselves. Their commanders tell us dozens of lives are now being sacrificed here every day. The road into town is heavy with thick smoke and

danger. Explosions ahead forces to pull over before another slams into a building close by.

(on camera): All right, where you can hear the incoming rounds, the incoming rounds from Russian artillery fire are really intensive here, as

we have entered the outskirts of Bakhmut, which is you know, certainly, from everything we're seeing, everything we've been told is now the most

fiercely contested patch of ground in the entire Russia-Ukrainian conflict.


CHANCE: OK, let's go.

(voice-over): So fierce, we made a rapid exit, leaving the relentless barrage behind.

(on camera): (INAUDLE)

(voice-over): Much of this battle is fought avoiding the artillery threat.


In underground bunkers like these, where local Ukrainian commanders like Pavlo(ph) can respond to Russian attacks. "They're assaulting our positions

from early morning until night", he tells me.

"But the real problem is, we are heavily outnumbered", he says. But the innovative use of low-cost tech is helping to bridge that gap. In another

frontline bunker, we saw how commercially available drones are giving Ukraine an edge.

(on camera): Wow! That's incredible, because we've just seen an artillery strike in this position. But the Ukrainian drone operation has identified

as being full of Russians like you can see. Russian soldiers, as we look at them live, now, running for cover as Ukrainian artillery pounds their



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, this is our position --

CHANCE: But battery commanders at the frontline like Teumah(ph) tell me they're now running low on ammunition rounds. But even guns sent from the

United States are breaking under such constant strain. They need more of both, they say if this battle for Bakhmut is ever to be won.


SOARES: And Matthew Chance joins me now. And Matthew, I don't know if we still got you. I know there were some connection problems with your

microphone. Let me ask you this, just explain to our viewers then, the importance here of Bakhmut.

CHANCE: Well, I think it's important because it occupies some strategic high ground, and more importantly, I think it's just a place where the

Russians have sort of staked a claim, saying, look, you know, we are going to essentially take this. They've been throwing a lot of manpower, a lot of

resources into the battle of Bakhmut.

And they've lost a lot of people in that process, and a lot of equipment as well. And the Ukrainians are reinforcing their positions as well, because

they want to deny the Russians any kind of victory at all, particularly in that area of eastern Ukraine, where they have made such dramatic gains over

the past couple of months.

And so, you know, we are seeing this now emerge as I mentioned in that report, one of the hardest fought for patches of territory in the conflict.

SOARES: Yes, and just to clarify. The noise behind you, I believe that's a generator. Was I right in thinking that your hotel is out of power? What's


CHANCE: Yes, I mean, all these technical problems. The fact that it's -- in this rather large city of Dnipro, and centrally, Ukraine might feed you

from now underlines the problems --

SOARES: Yes --

CHANCE: That the country has across the territory. There is no power, the water is very short. And of course, that buzz you can hear, that's the

generator that we've got here to give us some power.

SOARES: Matthew Chance for us in Dnipro. Thanks very much, Matthew, appreciate it. Well, I want to bring in Alexander Rodnyansky; he's an

adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and an assistant professor of economics at University of Cambridge, and he joins me now from


Alexander, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us on the show. Let me start really where our correspondent left off in Bakhmut. As

you heard there, Ukrainians say they're heavily outnumbered, running low on ammunition. What's your take on the challenges in Bakhmut?

ALEXANDER RODNYANSKY, ADVISER TO THE UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Yes, so exactly, I mean, the Russians are trying to force their way through. They're using

quantity TSD, one overwhelming advantage that they have. Quality is obviously on our side, but you know, they're pressing along with heavy


I mean, they've run up incredible amount of losses. I mean, they're not really valuing human lives in general. And they're managing to get some

success, if you want to call it a success, in terms of capturing small chunks of our territory there. But it's temporary. I mean, there's no doubt

that sooner or later we will launch a counteroffensive.

And we will witness what we witnessed to the north of Kharkiv, and around the city of Kharkiv as well as in the south, more recently around Kherson.

SOARES: And the Russians have said that they have claimed one major breakthrough in the Donetsk region, very close to Bakhmut. Can you confirm

that from the Ukrainian side?

RODNYANSKY: I can't confirm that. It's unfolding as we speak. And I don't want to, you know, jump ahead. So it's for our military personnel and our

leadership to really make that statement. But it's true that they are trying to force their way through in that area. And they're obviously

giving it everything they have --

SOARES: Yes --

RODNYANSKY: At incredible cost. And it's not going to pan out well for them.

SOARES: And Alexander, we've heard, you know, pledges from NATO foreign ministers meetings that -- you know, about weapons ammunition. Is this

arriving fast enough? Because what we heard from those Ukrainian soldiers is, it's not getting there as quickly as they would like.


RODNYANSKY: Well, it is true. I mean, we are getting a lot of supplies, and we're getting a lot of support over the months, and that's, you know,

undeniable. But it is also true that logistics are hard especially during the Winter, especially when Winter conditions don't make it easy to

transport things. And just having the logistic in place. So, it is true that there might be occasional, you know, blips in terms of our supplies.

I mean, it is probably true in all likelihood that the soldiers are complaining that they don't have enough ammunition, that there's some lack

of ammunition, given the intensity of the fighting that is currently --

SOARES: Yes --

RODNYANSKY: Unfolding.

SOARES: And of course, as our viewers would have known, as we've been reporting here for months on end now is that, you're facing another battle

away from the frontlines, and we saw that with Matthew Chance reporting there, where he was -- a generator at the hotel where he was staying had no


Your energy infrastructure has been taking quite a battery. What is the picture on the ground? And do you foresee, Alexander, getting worse in the

weeks ahead?

RODNYANSKY: Well, you're quite right, and you're also seeing it with me. I mean, I'm speaking from one little pocket with a bit of light, because

there is no electricity anywhere else around me, and barely any reception. So that's why this format is rather unusual. And I mean, you can see that

it is having -- it's taking a heavy loss and a heavy toll on our economy, obviously.

Because it's hard to produce. Productivity is down in general. It's hard to work. And it's obviously hard to keep up the war effort if there's no

electricity and no water even sometimes. So, look, I mean, we're on a downward trajectory when it comes to our electricity and energy


Because the Russians are launching attacks, repeated attacks every week or two that do pierce through our air defenses, unfortunately. So, we need to

make sure we have the air defenses in place, and basically, the facilities and the equipment to restore energy infrastructure, at least to some

extent, in the meantime. So it's really a threat that we're facing that could get worse.

SOARES: It could get worse. You foreseeing it getting worse in the weeks ahead? Do you have any Intelligence to suggest that it will worsen?

RODNYANSKY: Well, look, as I said, I think we're on a downward trajectory, unfortunately. Even when it comes to our energy infrastructure more

generally. We're not managing to restore our infrastructure fast enough before the next Russian attack. And what we currently have in terms of

Intelligence is every scientist suggest that the Russians are mounting or preparing to mount a renewed attack on our energy infrastructure.

They're putting all sorts of air forces in place, they're putting all sorts of missiles and marines in place. You know, we can tell that there's

something coming. And that's obviously threatening to our country at large. And it's going to put us, again, on that downward trajectory. So it's not


SOARES: Downward -- let me pick up on that downward trajectory. You know, when I spoke to officials several weeks ago, they were saying to me that

they were able to build -- rebuild the energy infrastructure fast enough. The picture has definitely changed, given the climate. Is this -- is this

because you don't have the parts, you don't have the manpower? What's the reason behind this?

RODNYANSKY: Well, the reason behind it is, some of these transformers and the equipment that would have to be restored and rebuilt is very

complicated, and we don't have it in stock, and we don't have the time to replace it. And even Europe, our European partners don't necessarily have

all the equipments to give it to us, such that we can replace it more quickly.

So, the short answer is, it's very complicated and it takes time, and we don't have the time. And it is true that we were also able to restore some

of the electricity infrastructure and the heating system, for example and the water supply system, that's back up and running in Kyiv, for example.

It was gone. A week ago, there was no water supply in the whole city of Kyiv.

But it is also true that this is, you know, far and few between, given what we would normally need, and given the pre-sort of terrorist attack

conditions that we had when the energy system was up and running. So the Russians are able to downgrade the system further by repeated -- repeating

these attacks on and on again.

SOARES: Alexander, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us, and do stay safe. Thank you, Alexander.

RODNYANSKY: Thank you --

SOARES: And of course, we'll stay on top of that story for you. Now, the Chinese government is escalating efforts to stamp out dissent after another

night of anti-lockdown protests.




SOARES: Residents in many cities say police have been out in force patrolling the streets and public transit and checking people's mobile

phones. And this chilling video from Guangzhou shows police in hazmat suits with shields and helmets, moving in to put down that protests.

It comes even as local health officials have began loosening lockdown measures in some cities. CNN's Ivan Watson is in Hong Kong with the latest.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Remarkable scenes of confrontations in the streets of the southern Chinese city of

Guangzhou on Tuesday night. Police in hazmat suits clashing with locals, all the more striking that the following day, the city officials announced

that they would be lifting some of the lockdowns, the COVID lockdowns that have made people there so angry in the first place.


And we're hearing similar easing of COVID restrictions in Shanghai where lockdowns were lifted, and in Beijing where some of the mandatory testing

imposed on the population has been eased, suggesting that the Chinese authorities are taking a two-pronged approach to dealing with unprecedented

protests resulting from its strict COVID regulations.

(voice-over): China's police state strikes back, flooding the streets of Beijing and Shanghai with police. An unmistakable show of force after a

weekend of unprecedented protests, in at least 15 cities across the country. In the eastern city of Hangzhou Monday night, police arrest people

in the central square.

And an eyewitness tells CNN police search people's phones on the Shanghai subway, looking for apps that allow users to circumvent China's strict

internet censorship. The communist party's Domestic Security Committee ordering officials to resolutely strike hard against infiltration and

sabotage activities by hostile forces, as well as criminal activities that destabilize social order.

No compromise for peaceful protesters to voice their opinion. Meanwhile, health officials striking a slightly softer tone, calling for a shorter

lockdowns in the Chinese government's campaign to eradicate COVID-19.

CHENG YOUGUAN, CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL & PREVENTION, CHINA (through translator): We need to minimize the inconvenience to the general public

because of the anti-COVID 19 measures. As for the high risk regions, we must have rigorous control. But at the same time we should spare no efforts

to provide services to meet people's basic living needs and medical needs.

WATSON: A carrot and stick approach from different parts of the Chinese state after the biggest nationwide display of discontent, this tightly-

controlled country has seen in a generation.

(on camera): We have seen no mention of the protests in any of the Chinese state media. It is dominated right now by the death of the former Chinese

leader, Jiang Zemin, who passed away at the age of 96 due to leukemia and additional health complications. He is being heralded by the highest levels

of the Chinese government, Xi Jinping, expressing deep condolences.

One big question will be, how will the Chinese authorities at this tense moment react if Chinese people try to gather and hold vigils for this

former leader. There is some historical precedent that this has led to unrest back in 1989. We'll have to watch this space very closely, even as

China prepares for a state funeral of its former leader. Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.


SOARES: Well, French President Emmanuel Macron is on the Biden administration's first state visit right now. The French leader met earlier

with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris at NASA headquarters.


EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE: All these upcoming changes regarding exploration, the moon and Mars, and so on, are extremely important for us.

And I want to thank you for your leadership and to tell you our commitment to work closely together.


SOARES: The White House is hoping to ease tensions with America's oldest ally. Mr. Macron is expected to bring up new U.S. subsidies that are

threatening the EU as well as his views on China and how to resolve, of course, the war in Ukraine. I want to bring in Kylie Atwood, who is at the

U.S. State Department and our Paris correspondent Melissa Bell.

Kylie, let me start with you. This is, I think, Macron's second state visit to the U.S. So what can we expect to come out of this?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's his second state visit. But It's the first state visit for the Biden administration.

And that is significant. There were tensions last year between the U.S. and France because of that submarine deal between the U.S., the U.K. and


That the French were very frustrated about when they heard about that. So this is a visit to sort of ease those tensions and revive what the Biden

administration says is an incredibly close partnership. And the things that we have already seen, President Macron touched upon throughout the day

today when he visited the NASA headquarters with Vice President, Kamala Harris, on climate change, cooperation in the space area.

And then, of course, we've heard from the White House that it's important to continue fostering a relationship with France because of specific issues

that are on the table. First and foremost, being the Ukraine war, and of course, tensions with China right now.

So, those are the things that we expect to be talked about during this visit. And as you said, we will be watching for what Macron says about

those subsidies, because we know that, that is something that the French have expressed some sort of concerns about.

SOARES: And Melissa, on that, let me get to you.


I mean, the tone as Kylie was setting out there between Paris and Washington has calmed, I think, it's fair to say since a year ago,

following that submarine deal, following with that trade dispute. The closer tie now, given the war in Ukraine. What does France wanting to get

out of this here?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think that's right, exactly as Kylie was just saying, Isa. This is a visit that showed from the European point

of view have been all about the continuation of what we saw in 2018. The Trans-Atlantic alliance made even stronger by everything that we've seen in


The efforts within NATO to take on Russia in Ukraine. All that proximity, all that closeness that we saw summit after summit, whether it was G7

format or NATO with of course, the last couple of years. All of the natural proximity as well between these two presidents, let's face it, are far more

made to get along on paper.

Both because they have a natural chemistry and because they're frankly, multilateralist in their views. This should be a state visit that should be

much easier for the Europeans to organize than it had been in 2018. And yet, the interesting thing, Isa, is of course, that the background to all

this is the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Europeans are extremely worried about the impact that's going to have, particularly on European automobiles. The French say, the Germans will be

much more impacted, but still, this is what Emmanuel Macron is going to talk about. The fact that the war in Ukraine may have brought them

together, but Europeans need to be heard on what they believe is no longer a level playing field when it comes to energy, when it comes to trade.

And more than that, Europeans are facing, Isa, a very cold Winter. They feel that they're bearing the brunt of the sanctions that have been brought

to bear against Russia. What they want is more effort on the part of the Biden administration on energy prices. Now, this comes of course, in the

context, as Kylie was just saying, of the August disagreement.

It wasn't just a substance, it was also the way that, that was heard by the Europeans. Europeans at this stage need to be reassured that they are being

heard, and that they're being heard on the things that matter to them post- Ukraine. Once this war is all done, what kind of world is going to be rebuilt. How important is the Trans-Atlantic alliance within that, Isa?

SOARES: Melissa Bell for us in Paris and Kylie Atwood at the State Department. Thank you very much, ladies. And still to come tonight, another

race scandal threatens to overshadow the British royals' much anticipated trip to America. We are live from Boston with Max Foster. And joyous wins,

devastating losses and some surprising celebrations, we'll bring you the latest World Cup drama later this hour.



SOARES: Well, British royals Prince William and the Princess of Wales are in Boston today to announce the winners of Earthshot Environmental prize.

But a story back home is threatening to overshadow the trip. A guest attending a Buckingham Palace event said she was persistently asked by a

maid about her heritage. I want to read you a short-read extract of her account of that exchange. This is it.

SH: No, but what nationality are you?

ME: I am born here, and I am British.

SH: No, but where do you really come from? Where do your people come from?

ME: My people? Lady, what is this?

SH: Oh, so I can see I'm going to have a challenge getting you to say where you're from.

And it goes on and it's painful to read. CNN royal correspondent, Max Foster is in Boston covering the royal visit. And Max, I read it a couple

of times, and it is very difficult to read. Just so, give us more details about what was said and who was reported to have said it, Max.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, the conversation is there, and the palace aren't denying it took place. And we've also got

witnesses to say, you know, the part of it that you read out just then is true. And it's incredibly uncomfortable. And the palace, you know, this is

a very senior person of the royal household as we understand it.

We're not being given the exact name. But the palace would normally take time to look at this before issuing a statement, but immediately it issued

a statement say they're taking it very seriously. They're investigating, and that member of the household is no longer working there.

She wasn't a member of staff, but she did have a very big position there, an honorary position and she's now left that position. We've also heard

from Prince of Wales' team as well. That's why I'm here in Boston. And Prince William says they were right to act so quickly, and you know,

there's no place for racism or this type of language, ever.

So they acted very quickly, but it was a very unfortunate incident. And we'll wait to see what everyone involved has to say. The -- you know, the

person -- the guest in this situation, you know, is not doing anymore interviews today. So we'll wait to see what the wider repercussions are.

But of course, it comes off the back of the racism allegation that came from the Duchess of Sussex, when she was also a working royal.

SOARES: And just remind us of that, because, you know, the claims of racism with Harry and Meghan within the royal family. I know you're saying

it's being investigated, but you know, has the investigation -- has any more been said on this?

FOSTER: Well, there was an investigation that followed the allegation from the Duchess of Sussex. And that was about the handling of the bullying

accusations that she was -- leveled against her. That was the extent of the investigation.

In terms of racism and whether or not there is racism within the royal household, they've updated all of their policies in terms of diversity and

had some HR issue, and they were looking about -- I mean, reminded people off the back of this latest incident be aware of those policies. But of

course, there is an issue within that, isn't there? That people need to be --

SOARES: Yes --

FOSTER: Reminded of how to treat people, royal engagements. So I don't think there's any good way of looking at this. And the only option was for

this person to leave the royal household. So they're hoping that draws a line under this. But they're investigating. They want to have a

conversation with everyone who's involved to see what they can learn from here.

But they're not getting away from these allegations of racism within the heart of the royal family.

SOARES: Yes, and I -- you know, I can -- I can see already the British newspaper is taking this front and center tomorrow, Max. So, I mean, how

much is this impacting the visit to Boston by the Prince and Princess of Wales? Kind of overshadowing it in many ways. We're talking about it.

FOSTER: Yes, is -- I mean, yes, it's really unfortunate for the visit. It's meant to be positive. It's meant to be about climate change. It's

literally about to officially launch behind me, where they're going to launch the celebrations around the Earthshot Prize. We were at a briefing

earlier on with the palace staff, and they had to address the racism issue.

It's literally the last thing they wanted to do, but they had to do it, and will linger on, we'll wait to see whether or not there are more allegations

or, you know, there's more concern expressed by guests at this reception.

We will have a duty to cover it when they're hoping that we would be covering all of the events around Earthshot, and what is a three-day visit

actually to Boston, taking in all sorts of different engagements and celebrating positive action here in Boston, instead it's all that

negativity back home.

SOARES: And on a positive note, how have they been greeted there?

FOSTER: Well, they haven't arrived yet. So we wait to see. But --


FOSTER: But I have spoken to members of the crowd, there's -- interesting speaking to them. I said are you' here for William or Kate? And everyone

saying Kate.


So Kate is the big star. I can tell you that already on this trip. And Kate is also now the Princess of Wales. So, there was a lady I spoke to, who

last met William as a boy with Diana as Princess of Wales. She is really keen to meet William again, also Kate. And they are trying to redefine

themselves with these titles.

Aware of the legacy that comes with the titles. I think that will be quite interesting as well. I think a lot of people have come down here just to

see a historic moment.

How often do you get to meet a British royal?

They were last here in the U.S. back in 2014. So that doesn't happen very often.


SOARES: I can see, lots of umbrellas behind you. Max Foster, appreciate it. Thank you.

Still to come tonight we will hear from America's top diplomat, Antony Blinken. What he had to say about Russia's war in Ukraine in an exclusive


Plus, being gay in Russia is about to become even harder after Russian lawmakers passed what they call the LGBT propaganda law. What it would mean

for gay Russians and those who openly support them. That is next.




SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

In the last hour CNN aired an exclusive interview with U.S. secretary of state, Antony Blinken, who spoke to Christiane Amanpour from the sidelines

of the NATO meeting in Romania. Blinken says that NATO continues to do everything it can to help Ukraine protect itself. Have a listen.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Is it true that NATO is running out of ammunition, for, for instance, artillery that

Ukraine is using?

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Christiane, from day one -- in fact, even before day one, before the Russian aggression started but we saw

it coming, we have been working with Ukrainians to get them what they need to defend themselves and push back the Russian aggression.

Every step along the way, in consultation with them, in consultation with allies and partners, we have adjusted --


as the nature of the aggression has shifted, to make sure they were getting into their hands as quickly as possible exactly what they needed to deal

with Putin's war. That process continues.

We are now very focused on air defense systems; not just us but many other countries. We are working to make sure the Ukrainians get those systems as

quickly as possible and also as effectively as possible. Making sure they are trained on them. Making sure they have the ability to maintain them.

All of that has to come together. And it is. We have a very deliberate process, established by the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, in

Ramstein, Germany, that meets regularly to ensure that the Ukrainians are getting what they need when they need it.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about the confusion from the Pentagon and from you all the NATO regarding American Patriots. As you say, they definitely

need antiair defense systems and clearly you must think they need more as Putin ratchets up his missile attack and his missile wars against cities.

Will the United States give Patriot systems?

And if not, why not?

BLINKEN: I'm not going to speak to specific systems. The Pentagon is focused on that. What we have been working to do is to make sure that at

any given time they have the most effective systems possible to deal with the threat that they are facing.

We just recently, for example, provided them with a very effective system, called NASAMS, that they're using very effectively. Before that, of course,

we had the HIMARS, which were used to great effect in southern and Eastern Ukraine.

Virtually every single day the Pentagon is looking at this, listening to the Ukrainians, consulting with allies and partners. If we don't have

something, we are trying to find it elsewhere. That is part of this entire coordination process.


SOARES: Antony Blinken there speaking to our Christiane Amanpour.

Police in Spain are investigating a explosion at Ukraine's embassy in Madrid. The Spanish interior ministry says one staffer was slightly injured

in the explosion which happened when the person was handling a letter.

The letter was addressed to the Ukrainian ambassador. Ukraine has boosted security on all of its embassies in response. Spain, of course, is a NATO

member. It has sent military equipment to Ukraine to help fight Russia's invasion.

We spoke with the Spanish foreign minister just a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, Russian lawmakers landed a major blow to that country'[s LGBTQ community.

The upper house of parliament unanimously voted to an act of a controversial so-called propaganda law.

It bans all Russians from promoting or praising homosexual relationships. This applies to books, films and media. The law was already in effect in

with regard to sharing such material with children. Now it applies to adults as well.

The bill now goes to Russian president Vladimir Putin to be signed into law. People found guilty of breaking this law or even publicly suggesting

that homosexual relationships are, quote, "normal," could be fined up to $6,600. For legal entities, it could mean up to $82,000 dollar fines.

The bill says offending foreigners can be arrested and held for up to 15 days or deported. LGBTQ activists and human rights groups are, of course,

pushing back. Earlier I spoke with Dilya Gafurova, the head of former charitable foundation, Sphere, which was Russia's biggest LGBTQ network.

She says that even before this law was passed, her organization was targeted. Have a listen.


DILYA GAFUROVA, FORMER HEAD AT SPHERE: The foundation, at such, was liquidated earlier in the year. It was also not based on any legal claims.

It was very ideological. In essence, where they said that our activity of helping the LGBTQ+ community for over 11 years and supporting the regional

movement was undermining the moral foundations of the Russian society and went against constitutional norms of traditional values that were enshrined

in the constitution, even though there is nothing of that nature in the Russian constitution.


SOARES: It does seem like what you have painted, is groups like yours, NGOs that will be walking, potentially, on eggshells here. You can see that

perhaps increased climate for fines and court cases.

What signal does this send to the Russian people, critically?

GAFUROVA: I think that it is actually the worst part of this legislation. It is very symbolic. It is basically a state approved queerphobia. The

government is saying it is OK to hate on queer people. It is OK to infringe upon their rights.


They are not -- it is not only our identity that is being denied here, it is our whole existence. Russian people, as such, were not very aware of

what it means to be LGBTQ+, even before. Now they are going to think it is not even real.


SOARES: That is Dilya Gafurova there, the head of the organization that was Russia's biggest LGBTQ+ network.. I will post the full interview on my

Instagram if you do want to see it.

The U.S. is headed in the opposite direction when it comes to protecting LGBTQ+ rights. The Senate voted to write same-sex marriage into federal

law. The Respect for Marriage Act ensures protections for gay and interracial couples.

The House just voted on another critical piece of legislation to try to avoid a potential nationwide railroad strike. The tentative agreement has

passed and that goes to the Senate. U.S. businesses were bracing for a worst-case scenario by moving goods from trains to trucks.

And to lead the Democrats in the House, Hakeem Jeffries, you can see there, of New York has been chosen as Nancy Pelosi's successor. It is an historic

vote. He will be the first Black American and the first person of color to serve as a congressional party leader.

Still to come tonight, Argentina goes up against Poland at the World Cup. We will have the latest on and off the pitch action just after the break.






SOARES: Still to come tonight, new hope for Alzheimer's patients and their families. We'll tell you about a potential treatment in the works. That is






SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

There is a potential new alzheimer's drug creating some buzz. Here to talk about it is CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

Explain to our viewers around the world just how promising this new drug is.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Isa, this drug is indeed promising. But I want to manage expectations. It is by no means a cure for

alzheimer's. Let's take a look at the study.

So the study authors they took 1,800 people who are in the early stages of alzheimer's between 50 and 90 years old. They split them into two equal

groups. One group got a placebo. One group got the experimental drug.

What they found is that the folks who got the drug, they did have cognitive decline over the next 1.5 years. But it was 27 percent slower than the

folks who received the placebo. And their amyloid levels dropped. That is a good thing. Amyloids are the plaques that you see in brains of people with

alzheimer's disease.

Now the two big questions they see regulators, for example, the FDA and other regulatory agencies around the world, is are these, is that enough,

those two things, does it mean anything in the lives of these alzheimer's patients?

Do they feel different?

Were they able to improve the quality of their lives?

And if the answer is yes, is it worth the potential risk?

There were adverse events. There were side effects with this drug. The folks who took the drug, 17 percent of them had brain bleeding; 12 percent

of them had brain swelling.

Now to be clear, there were folks who got the placebo who also had those two things. But not at rates that are that high. So we do expect to hear

from the FDA, something within the coming weeks.

It's interesting; the authors themselves said that longer studies needed to be done to look more at the efficacy and the safety of this drug.

SOARES: Just explain, Elizabeth, the mechanism for this drug here.

COHEN: The mechanism is called an monoclonal antibody. We heard about them during COVID for example. It attaches to these plaques and works on

reducing them. It's an interesting approach.

It's one that other companies have tried as well. It is not clear again exactly how well it works in terms of how it feels to the patients.

Are their lives changed?

So it remains to be seen how well this one is going to work if it does end up going on the market.

SOARES: Of course, we all know someone with alzheimer's. My uncle has alzheimer's right now. It is heartbreaking. There's so little out there to

try to help them.

If this doesn't turn out to be the answer, is there more in the pipeline?

What are you hearing?

COHEN: Isa, there is, there's more on the pipeline. There's hundreds of drugs that are being studied. Some of them are monoclonal antibodies like

this one.

One that came out last year, that is also for some people, had some disappointing results. But there are other kinds as well. There are other

classes of drugs. Those were in various phases of clinical research. It will be interesting to see; it's not going to happen super soon. These

things take years and years to research.


Hopefully one day there will be a treatment that makes a real change in the lives of these patients.

SOARES: I hope so very much. Thank you very much, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you, Elizabeth.

Finally, it is the staple of French cuisine, the long crusty loaf of bread known as the baguette now has special status. All those crumbs, the

artisanal knowhow and culture of the baguette has made it on UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage.

The president of the French Bakers Confederation gave examples on how the baguette works into every French life. When a baby is teething, his parents

give him the tip of the baguette to chew on. When a child grows up, the first errand he carries out on his own is to go and buy a baguette at the


Carbs, don't you just love them?

Thank you very much for your company. Do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next. I shall see you tomorrow. Goodbye.