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Isa Soares Tonight

Residents In Kyiv Forced To Take Refuge In Subways As Russia Launches One Of The Biggest Attacks On The Country Since The War Began; More Than A Dozen Dead And Hundreds Injured In Peru Amid Violent Protests; Elon Musk Under Fire After Twitter Bans Some Journalists; COVID Cases Surge As China Ends Zero-COVID Policy; South Africa's ANC Opens Conference Amid Turmoil; Elon Musk Under Fire After Twitter Bans Some Journalists. Aired 2- 3p ET

Aired December 16, 2022 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, residents in Kyiv once again forced to

take refuge in subways as Russia launches one of the biggest attacks on the country since the war began. I will be speaking to one of President

Zelenskyy's advisers for the latest.

Then more than a dozen people dead and hundreds injured in Peru as protests sweep the country following the arrest of the former president. We'll have

the very latest for you. Plus more backlash for Twitter boss Elon Musk as he suspends the accounts of several high-profile journalists.

But first this hour. Ukraine is much colder and darker tonight after Russia launched a barrage of missiles across the country. Seventy six of them by

Ukraine's account, 40 aimed at the capital alone. Residents of Kyiv scrambled, as you can see there, into underground shelters as air raid

sirens blared.

But Ukraine's prime minister says its air defense also shot down the vast majority of the missiles, the ones that struck, well, struck hard. In

Kryvyi Rih, at least, two people have died, officials are reporting colossal infrastructural damage in Kharkiv. And attacks on energy targets

have left a serious shortage in the country's power supply.

At the moment, 50 percent of customers don't have access to electricity and that includes light, water, and of course, heat. Will Ripley brings us this

report now from Kyiv.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Kyiv city military administration says the Ukrainian capital has survived one of

the most massive missile attacks since the beginning of the full scale invasion. I'm standing in a square where you can see these destroyed

vehicles from the beginning of the war.

We actually can't take you to the scene of these attacks because the targets were critical infrastructure. And Ukraine has very strict rules

about filming and showing these locations. They don't want to tip off the Russians to what areas they might have hit, and what areas they might have


But in this case, Kyiv says that most of the missiles never reached their targets because they say at around 40 missiles that Russia fired directly

at Kyiv, which is a huge number even for locals who have been living here throughout this full scale war for nearly 10 months now, they say they shot

down 37 of them.

There were however, three explosions reported here in Kyiv both on the east and west banks of the river. Two of them in the east, one in the west.

There are reports across Ukraine of entire cities plunged into darkness as a result of these attacks, which didn't just hit here in Kyiv, they also

hit to the south in Odessa and to the north in Sumy and Kharkiv.

But here in the capital, there were tens of thousands of people sheltering in place, hiding in underground subway stations, waiting for an all-clear.

And there were sounds of explosions. We actually heard them this morning as we were getting ready to pack up on go on a road trip.

The air raid sirens went off, and there were some loud explosions that could be heard in our vicinity. CNN staff who lived even closer to the

scenes of the explosion said they also heard the sound of the air defense systems being activated, shooting down, presumably those dozens of missiles

that were headed towards the Ukrainian capital.

A number of dead and injured, of course, those reports are always fluid, but as of now, we know at least two people killed, at least five people

injured, including children. And UNICEF just days ago warned that these ongoing Russian attacks, this constant bombardment of the civilian power

infrastructure is putting the physical and mental health of nearly every single child here in Ukraine in a desperate risk. Will Ripley, CNN. Kyiv,



SOARES: Well, I want to bring in Alexander Rodnyansky; he's an economic adviser to Ukraine's president, and he joins me now. Alexander, great to

have you on the show. Look, what our correspondent just relined up there and just set up for us, it sounds like very much a multifaceted attack.

Just give us a sense, Alexander, of the impact, this is having on the day- to-day challenges for Ukrainians.

ALEXANDER RODNYANSKY, ECONOMIC ADVISER TO THE UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Well, yes, absolutely. I mean, as you heard, we've shot down around 60 rockets

out of the 70 or slightly more than that that were launched. And you know, the Russians are still managing to pierce through our air defense systems.

It's creating tough challenges, as you said. So, I mean, people can't live without electricity for too long, certainly under these weather conditions.

There is also a problem with water supply in Kyiv today, after the few rockets that actually, you know, reached their targets. So, I mean, it's

creating desperate situation for the population at large, and of course, for our economy, that's also being crippled.

SOARES: Absolutely. And look, the resilience our viewers have seen that's still there despite the attacks, but now, you have the dark, the bitter

cold weather, as you said. How is Ukraine preparing for what may come in the new year?


Because there is some speculation out there that Russia could be training thousands of soldiers for a new offensive in 2023.

RODNYANSKY: Well, yes, absolutely. And again, it's not speculation. We can see exactly what they're doing. We understand their thinking, and we knew

this was their plan from the beginning. I mean, the Russian leadership is obviously playing for time. They don't have any political risks

domestically. There is no political pressure, there's no time pressure.

So they're just trying to freeze the frontlines, sit it all out and prepare their new forces, all these new conscripts that they've drafted in, in

recent months. They're going through some training programs as we speak. And then they're trying -- they're hoping to launch them for a new

offensive, somewhere at the beginning of next year, probably even going for Kyiv.

So that's all pretty self evident. And you know, it explains everything that we've been going through now. And in the meantime, they're hoping to

destroy our economy as much as they can, to cripple our potential to defend ourselves, obviously and to dysfunction.

SOARES: Do we know -- do you have any more information, Alexander, about this new offensive? You're talking about potentially looking at Kyiv, how

soon in 2023, how Ukraine is preparing for that?

RODNYANSKY: Well, yes, of course, I mean, we are obviously prepared. We're preparing, we have our troops, we have our morale, we have our arms

supplies, you know, we have strategy. We're seeing what they're doing, observing what the enemy is doing and we're, you know, reacting

accordingly. But you know, you can only do as much as you can because this is a full scale war, and you're going to be in it.

But look, I mean, we don't have -- we have an understanding that I have described. We don't have an exact date. But we know what their --

SOARES: Yes --

RODNYANSKY: Strategy is in the medium to long term. So, the ultimate solution to all of this is to make sure that Russia somehow domestically

changes. Because as long as Russia doesn't change from within, all of this is going to continue.

SOARES: OK, so what is the Russian strategy? I mean, today, we saw, as you heard that reporting there, 76 missiles, 60 missiles as you heard from our

correspondent were destroyed. But then we use strategic bombers for the first time. What does this tell you here, Alexander, about Russia's game


RODNYANSKY: You know, well, the fact that they're using, you know, new types of bombers or some equipment, you know, it's just saying -- it's just

showing that they're adapting to our increasingly better air defense systems.

SOARES: Yes --

RODNYANSKY: You know, this is always happening in combat, no matter which combat you're thinking about, there's always going to be an iterative

process where you do something in response to what the enemy does, and I'll say Russia is now trying to flood us with these, you know, overwhelming

attacks through the air because they can see that our air defense system is getting better.

But they're still piercing through the air defense systems, so we need to make sure that we're still getting this equipment, and hopefully, you know,

Patriot systems soon as well. So --

SOARES: Yes --

RODNYANSKY: That's what's winning their strategy.

SOARES: I mean, on the Patriot air defense missiles from the U.S., whenever, I'm not sure whether you know when that's going to happen, how

much will that change, Alexander, the dynamic of this war?

RODNYANSKY: Well, again, it would make it harder for Russia with their cruise missiles which is by the way -- by the way, the main type of attack

that we've seen today. There was mainly cruise missiles, it would make it harder for them to reach their targets, obviously. Because the Patriot

systems are very advanced.

But look, Ukraine is huge. So we need many systems, and we need to continue continuously to improve our air defense capabilities, because otherwise, at

some point, they'll still be able to pierce through with some new strategy that they will employ.

SOARES: Have you got any insight, any Intelligence as to how soon you may get these Patriot missiles from the United States? I know we are waiting to

hear from the U.S. as to when that will happen. But when would you hope to get them?

RODNYANSKY: Well, we hope to get them as soon as possible, that's simple. I don't have an exact date. I know that conversations are ongoing and I

can't really say more than that.

SOARES: And training, of course, is a logistic operation of training as well, and that's all being considered, I suspect?

RODNYANSKY: Absolutely.

SOARES: Look, we've seen, Alexander, you know, Ukrainians picking up the pieces, trying to get on with their lives. We see that every day on the

show, going for coffee, seeing friends. But give us a sense, our viewers a sense what this is all doing to the Ukrainian economy. I mean, that's

really your expertise here, your economic adviser to President Zelenskyy. What is this doing to the state of Ukraine's economy?

RODNYANSKY: Yes, absolutely. Well, I mean, there's a simple number that you can look at just to give you a ballpark. Before October 10th, when the

first big strike happened through the air, coordinated strike, we had an expectation that our GDP is going to collapse at around 35 percent this

year. That's a catastrophically high number.

But that's what we expected. Ever since then, going into the weeks after the new waves of attacks through the air, you know, this number has been

deteriorating. And so, first, we started estimating that it's going to be 40 percent, and now, you know, we're already in December, we're expecting

it probably maybe to even reach 50 percent decline.

So, that difference between minus 35 percent and minus 50 percent, in terms of what's going to happen to our GDP this year, that's just due to the fact

that there is this renewed new wave of attacks through the air and through cruise missiles and everything that you're seeing on our energy

infrastructure, primarily and water supplies and heating, and so on.


So, that's just giving you a very crude number for, you know, the effect on the economy. But more intuitively, if you just think about day-to-day life

and production activity and just economic activity, obviously it can't happen if there's no electricity.

SOARES: Yes --

RODNYANSKY: I mean, I can see it myself, but I'm not even the strongest example. I mean, there's no way to function. There's no way to operate for

any type of business if there is no electricity, there's no water supply. Productivity is just down. So, it's very intuitive. There's not much to

explain. It's a huge blow to the economy.

SOARES: Yes, and that's very much, as you said, at the top of our interview, very much part of the Russian strategy to really cripple the

day-to-day life as much as possible for Ukrainians. Alexander Rodnyanksy, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Thanks, Alexander.

RODNYANSKY: Thank you.

SOARES: Now, in the Andean nation of Peru, more than a dozen dead, hundreds injured, and no sign that the violent protests rocking the country

are letting up.




SOARES: Protesters there as you can see, furious over the impeachment and arrest of former President Pedro Castillo faced off with police again in

the capital, that's in Lima. It erupted after the Supreme Court ordered Castillo held for at least 18 months. A curfew is now in effect in eight

regions and a state of emergency has been declared nationwide. But that's not quieting the unrest.




SOARES: Police have fought stone-throwing protesters with tear gas. The government says at least 14 people have been killed, and more than 360

injured soon the demonstrations erupted last week. For thousands of tourists who flocked Peru's iconic historic sites, the trip of a life-time

has become a nightmare of uncertainty. CNN's Rafael Romo spoke with some who are now stranded in the country. I mean, Rafael, what are their options

here? What are tourists telling you?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Yes, just very few options, Isa. How are you? And the problem is that the connecting flights

from regional airports are not available right now because the airports are closed. The same happens --

SOARES: Yes --

ROMO: With rail lines. And it's becoming painfully clear that some of the measures the government has set in place, including declaring a state of

emergency, may not be enough to put an end to the violence. As you mentioned, the death toll now reaches 14 after nine days of violent clashes

between protesters and security forces around the country.

Authorities say there are at least 40 people injured, eight regions or provinces throughout the country are now under curfew. But Lima, the

capital, is not included so far. Among the 14 people who have died are seven who died during clashes Wednesday in the city of Ayacucho, where

according to authorities, a large group of people was trying to take over the local airport.

Now, as you know, Peru attracts thousands and thousands of international tourists every year who are drawn to world famous sites like Machu Picchu,

the Inca citadel, hundreds, if not thousands of them are currently trapped in different cities because airports are closed, as I said before, and they

can't take flights to make a connection in Lima to leave the country.

Earlier, I spoke with Michael Reiner, he's an American from Washington D.C., who told me he's part of a group of eight Americans mainly college

buddies and other mutual friends who are now stuck in Peru. This is how he described their situation, speaking to us from Cusco.


MICHAEL REINER, AMERICAN TOURIST STUCK IN PERU: It's surreal to be a tourist in a country where there is political unrest taking place before

our eyes. It's a whole new way of experiencing a country. I think understanding the circumstances and what's at stake for Peru, it makes it -

- we are -- like the context for that is, there is something bigger happening here than just our travel experience.

And having been to many parts of South America, I know that the priority should be with supporting the Peruvian people. And that years to come,

Machu Picchu will still be there, the sacred valley is still there to travel, and I hope we can just return, and you know, try to relive the

experience and the vacation you're hoping to have.


ROMO: So Reiner and his group, Isa, are doing relatively well, that we're getting reports of people who are having trouble getting their basic needs

met. And President Dina Boluarte who was the vice president to oust the former President Pedro Castillo published a statement in reaction to the

deadly protests in Ayacucho where seven people died, saying that she mourns with the mothers of those who died and feels the pain of families

throughout the country. Once again, as she reiterated, her call for peace. Isa, back to you.

SOARES: And you know, yesterday, you and I were talking about the state of emergency. And one Peruvian journalist was basically saying to me, the hope

of course, is that the state of emergency would, Rafael, help to calm, at least, the protests until Christmas and new year.


This is not going according to Boluarte's plans. So, what are her options here?

ROMO: Yes, and the problem here, Isa, is that the security forces are stretched thin right now, because It's not only Lima, the capital, it's not

only Ayacucho, it's multiple cities throughout the country. And the reality is that, it is very difficult for the security forces to enforce the

curfew, to enforce the state of emergency.

And you have people out on the streets, taking to the streets, as I mentioned before, trying to take over the Ayacucho airport. Can you imagine

that for tourists who are trying to get out of there? So in spite of everything, all the actions that the government has set in place, it seems

like so far at least, they haven't been able to do what they want to do, which is bring order, a little bit of a sense of peace to the turmoil that

we've seen in the last week, Isa.

SOARES: Yes, turmoil that might continue, given the scenes that you've just really painted. Rafael Romo there for us, thanks very much, Rafael,

great to see you. Now, the Texas-Mexico border crisis in the United States is expected to worsen in the coming weeks. Title 42, a Trump-era border

policy, introduced in the early days of the COVID pandemic, allowed officials to keep certain groups of migrants from entering the country.

But the policy is set to expire on December 21st. With that, the U.S. is bracing for a surge of migrants who are currently housed in encampments.

CNN's Rosa Flores joins me now from Houston in Texas. So, Rosa, what is being done then to prepare for this changing policy? Does the U.S. have the

capacity and the resources here?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, that's the big question. This is a test for the Biden administration. We're seeing these dramatic pictures

out of El Paso, for example, of thousands of migrants who are either waiting in what is Mexico or are already in line to cross into the United

States. Isa, that is just a portion of this issue that the Biden administration is about to see.

And I say that because there are thousands of migrants who are waiting for the lifting of Title 42 that are on the northern side of Mexico, all along

the southern border. And what they're waiting for is for Title 42 to lift. I mean, just think about it. Title 42 has been in place since March of


And what it does, it simply allows federal agents in the United States to swiftly return migrants to Mexico. Now, that has happened since March 2020

where migrants are returned without any legal consequences. And so, many of them have tried three, four times. I've interviewed them in the past, and

then they give up and they wait in Mexico.

SO just imagine. So for years now, migrants have been arriving and waiting in Mexico for Title 42 to lift. So what is DHS doing, the Department of

Homeland Security here in the United States? Well, they issued a plan today -- I mean this week, excuse me, that explained some of the things that

they're doing.

For example, they're shoring up resources along the border. They hired more than a 1,000 border patrol processing coordinators and 2,500 contractors.

And the reason why that is important is because those are civilian positions. These are civilians that are being sent to the border to process

migrants, which is the gripe that a lot of law enforcement agencies and politicians have talked about over the years because, when there is a big

surge of migrants, they have to take border patrol agents, which are the law enforcement agents of the southern border.

The law enforcement agency of the southern border, to then process migrants rather than to focus on national security. So with these extra resources

where border patrol is able to do is they're actually able to do their jobs, which is to keep the southern border safe. According to this DHS plan

that was released this week, they also say that DHS has increased the number of soft-sighted facilities by more than ten since last year to

increase the holding capacity by a third.

And that they also have doubled the transportation resources on the border, with hundreds of flights and also buses. Why is that important? It's -- the

key word here is decompression. Now, that's a really fancy word for saying that border patrol, what they do is they take the areas, Isa, where there

is a huge surge of migrants, and they move them to other areas along the border where those migrants can be processed.

And so, that's how they're prepared. That's how DHS is prepared to deal with the surge of migrants that they're expecting once Title 42 lifts is

they have planes, they have buses, they will be moving migrants around to make sure that those migrants are processed. Isa?

SOARES: Important context there from our Rosa Flores in Houston, Texas, thanks very much, Rosa, appreciate it. And still to come tonight, U.S.

basketball star Brittney Griner is breaking her silence one week after Russian prisoner swap.


Then raised eyebrows on both sides of the Atlantic as Elon Musk appears to make a dramatic U-turn on his free speech promises. The growing outrage as

Twitter suspends the accounts of several high-profile journalists including CNN's own Donie O'Sullivan.


SOARES: An American student who went missing in France has turned up alive. His father tells CNN, Kenny DeLand Jr. was studying at university in

Grenoble when his family lost contact with him earlier this month. DeLand's father told CNN that he spoke to his son for the first time this morning.

"Our son, Kenny called us and he is safe".

A statement from the family reads, "DeLand is currently in Spain, according to the French prosecutor's office." Eight days after a prisoner swap with

Russia, U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner is leaving a medical military facility in Texas. Griner also speaking out for the first time since her

release from a Russian prison, posting on her Instagram, saying it feels so good to be home. The last ten months have been a battle at every turn.

The U.S. traded Griner for convicted Russian arms dealer if you remember, Viktor Bout. CNN's Kylie Atwood joins me now from Washington. So Kylie, do

we know how she's doing? What are you hearing?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, it seems like she's doing pretty well. I mean, the fact that she left this medical

facility is going to spend time with her family is a good sign. It means that she didn't have to stay at this army medical center for all too long.

She was, you know, given the option in terms of how long she would stay there for medical support, for mental support and the like. But this is, as

you said, the first time we have heard from her since she was released from Russia about a week ago. And she is clearly extremely full of gratitude.

She thanked everyone who took part in efforts to try and get her home, including, you know, her wife, President Biden, her Russian lawyers, State

Department officials. And then she went on to say very clearly to Biden that she knows that he is committed to getting home Paul Whelan.

Paul Whelan is another American who is still wrongfully detained in Russia, going on about four years now. he was not, of course, included in the

prisoner swap that brought her home. And she said that she's also committed to doing whatever she can, using her platform to try and get him home.


And of course, all other Americans who were wrongfully detained around the world. There are dozens of them. So making it clear that she is going to be

a champion for this effort, for these families who have tried to get attention on those Americans who were wrongfully detained and why they

haven't come home yet.

And then, of course, the big news is that she said it is her intention to play basketball this season with the Phoenix Mercury, that is her team. We

don't know specifics about, you know, if she'll start at the beginning of the season and all that. But the season would start next Spring. And I

think folks are really excited that she's coming back to the WNBA family.

They really rallied to try and get public focus on the fact that she was detained in Russia. And now, she is returning to the court. And we should

note that over the weekend, she played basketball for the first time in about 10 months, and her agent said that she was actually wearing the

Phoenix Mercury pair of basketball shorts. So, an indication there that she's pretty excited to play again.

SOARES: Yes, wonderful to see, yes, good news, finally. Kylie Atwood, thank you very much, Kylie, appreciate it. Coming up later in the show,

we'll be bringing you a more intimate look at the devastation happening inside Ukraine. Have a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You travel around Ukraine, you see very specifically how schools have been targeted, schools, school yards, kindergartens. And

then you -- then it hits you. It hits you.


SOARES: We'll speak to a photographer who is documenting the horrors of war in his adopted home, telling you the stories of his neighbors and

friends, the people whose lives are being brutally cut short. Plus, one game left to play, but yet, more controversy for Qatar. How the FIFA

President rebuffed Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. That story, next.


SOARES: Welcome back everyone. As COVID-19 is sweeping across China in record numbers, a prominent Chinese epidemiologist is downplaying the

crisis. He told a group of university students, that the Omicron variant should be renamed the Coronavirus cold. His comments go hand-in-hand with

the Chinese government's recent efforts to dismiss COVID as a serious threat. This shift comes after China ease up on restrictions following

unprecedented protests again the nation's -- against the nation's zero- COVID policy. Our Selina Wang has more for you.

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As COVID rapidly spreads throughout China, the Chinese government spin is that everything is fine, that China's COVID

policy was a success and is still a success. Propaganda has taken a complete U-turn from declaring an all-out people's war on COVID to suddenly

now telling people your health is in your own hands. There's a lot of state media headlines like this. In the People's Daily, the headline reads "Start

by wearing a mask and be the first person responsible for your own health."

In Xinhua, the headline reads "In the fight against the epidemic, everyone is the first person responsible for their own health." Other articles are

praising the last three years of zero-COVID and hailing this pivot as an achievement, including this commentary from the People's Daily that has

gone viral. The key lines are "The virus has weakened, but we have become stronger. Chairman Xi's insightful judgment, scientific and firm decisions

shows his reliability as the people's leader. It pointed out and provided crucial guidance for us to win this people's battle, total battle and

precise battle against COVID."

A lot of people online, they're furious over that article. Some are calling it a lie that completely ignores the devastating impact of zero COVID over

the last three years, the trauma and pain that people faced during lockdowns, no apology or no admitting that the government has ever made a

mistake. State media has instead focused on how the government is responding. The government said it will train volunteers and retired health

workers to boost manpower. The government is increasing the number of fever clinics.

This social media video shows people waiting inside a Beijing stadium that's been converted into a makeshift fever clinic. You can see some lines

forming and people waiting on the benches. We're already seeing hospitals under strain here in the capital. But the really big concern is what

happens when people go back home for the upcoming Chinese New Year and COVID starts to spread more rapidly in the rural parts of China with weaker

health infrastructure? Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.

SOARES: Well, turning now to yet more controversy in Qatar. FIFA have, for now, rejected the Ukrainian President's request to share a message of peace

at the World Cup final. A source close to Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he asked to appear via video link prior to Sunday's kickoff, but talks between

Ukraine and FIFA are continuing. It comes as FIFA's president touted the success of the tournament in a press conference earlier today.

Gianni Infantino says it's been "The best World Cup ever." But he also faced questions over the death of migrant workers, Infantino calling it a

tragedy. Let's get more on all of this. CNN's World Sports Patrick Snell joins us now to discuss. Patrick, great to see you. Look, it shouldn't

perhaps come as a surprise to any of our viewers, Infantino's comments, and not wanting to have politics involved. He's very much gone to extreme

lengths to keep political messaging out of this World Cup.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORTS: He most certainly has, Isa. And you're quite right, there's a lot to unpack here. There really is. And, you know,

fair to say I think controversies do keep on coming. We've seen them on a regular basis at this World Cup as we get ever closer now to Sunday's big

final between defending champions France and Argentina.

But from the very beginning, you're quite right. Football's governing body has gone to really extreme lengths to keep political messaging out of a

showpiece tournament in Qatar, which is, as a reminder to our viewers worldwide, it is the first Middle Eastern nation ever to stage the sport's

biggest and most prestigious events. And look, in recent months, we have seen Kyiv repeatedly trying to use major world events to keep the global

spotlight on the war in Ukraine, President Zelenskyy appearing via video at the group of 20 nations summit, the G20 summit, for example, as well as the

Grammys, as well as the Cannes Film Festival in France.

But I think worth-looking a little closer at Infantino's words at that news conference on Friday, the FIFA President saying "Some political statements

had been stopped in Qatar because the association has to take care of everyone," as he put it. He added "We are a global organization and we

don't discriminate against anyone. Those fans and the billions watching on TV, they have their own problems. They just want to watch 90-or 120 minutes

without having to think about anything, but just enjoying a little moment of pleasure and joy. We have to give them a moment when they can forget

about their problems and enjoy football."

And Isa, I think fair to say in a nutshell, Infantino has been, you said at the top, absolutely steadfast in his unwillingness to allow anything he

perceives, he perceives to be political, making its way into this World Cup.

SOARES: So when he did this presser today, I mean, what did he have to say about FIFA's decision earlier on that you and I discussed, Patrick, about

the One Love armbands, the migrant deaths that we have been reporting throughout this tournament.


Did he actually talk about this?

SNELL: Look, 12 -- yes, to answer your question, but 12 years we have been reporting on Qatar getting the World Cup, that was when FIFA gave the Gulf

State Nation the world cup back in 2010. So, over 12 years ago now, and the issue of human rights and treatment of migrant workers has been very much

front and center throughout in the build-up to it during as well. In fact, last week it was, Isa, Qatar Supreme Committee For Delivery and Legacy

confirming to CNN that there have been three work related deaths during the construction of World Cup stage and 37 non-work related deaths. Those are

the numbers.

But in an interview with UK TV presenter Piers Morgan, which aired on Talk TV in November, the Supreme Committees Hassan Al Thawadi saying that

between 400 and 500 migrant workers have died as a result of work done on projects connected to the tournament. So on Friday, Infantino asked to

actually clarify all that. He was actually asked how many workers had lost their lives in making this World Cup happen in Qatar, take a listen.


GIANNI INFANTINO, FIFA PRESIDENT: For me, and for us, every loss of life is a tragedy and whatever we could do in order to change the legislation, to

protect the health of the workers, to protect the situation of the workers, we did it and it happened. Whatever we can still do for the future, we are

doing it, we continue to work on it.


SNELL: Infantino speaking on Friday. And as you mentioned again at the very beginning, Isa, Infantino amidst the legitimate and really concerning

issues surrounding this World Cup, he did make a point to praise the volunteers and all the organizers for staging what he called the best World

Cup ever. He congratulated teams as well for all the drama and excitement that we have seen on the pitch as we now focus on the countdown to Sunday's

big final there in Qatar.

SOARES: Yes. And worth remembering, I can't remember from the top of my head, but they also made -- FIFA made a lot of money. I'm pretty sure that

that will jar with the families of those who've lost their lives, building these stadiums, perhaps an idea of compensation scheme wouldn't be so bad.

Patrick Snell, appreciate it. Thank you very much, my friend.

Now South Africa's embattled president has opened the ruling ANC party's conference and it's set to be a battleground. Cyril Ramaphosa is facing

challenges to his leadership as he struggles with allegations of possible corruption. Parliament has voted against starting impeachment proceedings,

but his party's deep divisions are in plain view as opponents heckled him as he tried to speak.


CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: I want to appeal even to those --


SOARES: Well, those divisions aren't just political. As David McKenzie shows us, many South Africans have no faith in their government, and if

something needs to get done, they're doing it themselves.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A cash and transit team evading a sophisticated criminal attack.




MCKENZIE: You likely saw this viral video from South Africa. Attacks like this happen here all the time.


WAHL BARTMANN, CEO, FIDELITY SERVICES GROUP: So basically what we do is we do a live vehicle tracking and monitoring.


MCKENZIE: Some of the best protected vehicles and cash depot's are tracked real time at Fidelity's Nerve Centre in Johannesburg.


MCKENZIE: Are you a step behind or step ahead right now?

BARTMANN: We try and be one jump ahead of crime. But we know that they're very creative and well-organized. So, we're looking at the training, we're

looking at technology. We got a hijacking. One of our clients was hijacked in Benoni on the eastern end, and he's getting us updated (INAUDIBLE)

Bravo, 08, Bravo, Juliet, Golf, Papa.

MCKENZIE: Their Dimension Unit has come here to the east of Johannesburg. This location was the last spot that a signal came out of a vehicle that

they think was hijacked. The search ends without a win.

BARTMANN: This is our vehicle tracking unit.

MCKENZIE: Is it frustrating when you see this has been thrown out?

BARTMANN: All of it.


BARTMANN: They get away with too much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bad guys won.



MCKENZIE: Active private security officers here outnumber the police roughly five to one.


MCKENZIE: Shouldn't the government be doing this?

BARTMANN: Well, that's why the industry is so big, because I don't think government is getting to all of it.


MCKENZIE: All of this goes beyond security. On the streets of Joburg, private companies have to sponsor the Pothole Patrol.

When a fire gutted one of Africa's most important public hospitals, well- known charity Gift of the Givers stepped in. South Africans frequently joke that its founder should run the country.


MCKENZIE: The fire service, safety, security, construction, water, all of this is being handled by private individuals or charities, what does that

tell you?

IMTIAZ SOOLIMAN, FOUNDER, GIFT OF THE GIVERS: The message is very strong and clear. The country has lost faith in the government. That's the

reality. And at the same time, the country has lost a lot of hope.

VINCENT NDOU, DIEPSLOOT RESIDENT: Every time when I look at my kids, especially in this moment, and I see that I can provide them with most of

the thing, which they need, especially when it comes now to Christmas time.


MCKENZIE: Hope is in short supply for Vincent Ndou, who lost his construction job during COVID and says his wife left him.


NDOU: Yes, it's the survival of the fittest, to be honest. It's not like I can say it's easy.


MCKENZIE: In Diepsloot's informal settlement, the sewerage water runs through the streets, the electricity is more off than on. Vincent tried to

set up Citizen Patrols, but they ran out of funds. He says the police come late, if they come at all.

The government says it's working to improve services. And billions depend on its Social Grant Program. But rampant corruption and mismanagement

hamper these efforts.


SOOLIMAN: At the end of the day, it is our country. And I said very clearly, the country does not belong to the government. It belongs to the

people of South Africa. So we can either sit and moan and cry knowing nothing can be done, or within ourselves, we can do something, fix it

wherever we can.


MCKENZIE: The cruel reality in the world's most unequal society, the rich can afford to secure their lives, the poor are on their own. David

McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, 10 months of war and the threat of compassion fatigue. Photographer Mark Neville says he's using his art to

ensure we don't forget about those desperately in need in Ukraine. We'll have his story next.


SOARES: Twitter boss Elon Musk is facing major backlash after Twitter banned the accounts of several high profile journalists. Reporters from

CNN, The New York Times, and Washington Post all found their accounts suspended without any explanation. Musk later falsely accused the

journalists of using Twitter to post "assassination coordinates, sharing his live location." CNN's Estonia Sullivan is one of those journalists

whose account has been suspended as he explains.



DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He is claiming on social media that I, and other journalists, shared the precise live location of his jet and

therefore that's why he kicked us off because we cause danger to him. Certainly my case, I didn't. We just posted stories about what was

happening, him shutting down those accounts.


SOARES: Well, the ban is calling to question Musk's stated commitment to defending free speech, and E.U. has already threatened legal action if the

accounts aren't restored. CNN's Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy is joining in, following the story and joining me now from New York.

And Oliver, good to see you. I mean, the irony here, of course, is that this is a guy who came into this massive platform, saying this was going to

be a free space for free speech. How do you interpret this? How should we interpret this?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: I think we should interpret this as this set of events has really exposed that he's not really dedicated to

free speech principles, at least not as he laid out. He said he was a free speech absolutist, someone who wanted all legal speech to basically be

permitted on Twitter. And obviously, that is not the case, or else these reporters would not be banned from the platform. I think it's really

awesome, revealing that he has incredibly thin skin and is not really someone who can handle aggressive reporting on either him or his companies.

I do want to read you a statement that CNN put out yesterday after Donie O'Sullivan, our colleague, was banned. And it says in part, "The impulsive

and unjustified suspension of a number of reporters, including CNN's Donie O'Sullivan, is concerning, but not surprising. Twitter's increasing

instability should be of incredible concern for any -- everyone who uses Twitter." And it goes on to say "We have asked Twitter for the -- an

explanation, and we will reevaluate our relationship based on that response."

I think that last line is really key. CNN has asked Twitter for response, and it will reevaluate its relationship with Twitter, dependent on whatever

they say. And I'm curious, and I think this raises the bigger question is, what are newsrooms going to do broadly speaking? It's not just CNN's Donie

O'Sullivan who was banned, you know, he banned reporters at the New York Times, The Washington Post, and other independent journalists. And so are

newsrooms going to stand for this? Or are they going to say, hey, enough is enough, we're going to pull our reporters, pull our content, pull our

brands from this platform.

And finally, I think the other point is, our advertisers are going to be OK with this, you know. Advertisers make up the bulk of revenue for Twitter.

And as companies like Apple, Amazon, are they going to be OK with associating with a platform that's now in the business of censoring


SOARES: Yes, absolutely. I mean, this is a private company, he can do whatever he wants, but as you clearly stated there, this is censorship.

Oliver, really appreciate it. Thank you very much.

DARCY: Thank you.

SOARES: Now German officials are trying to figure out what caused the giant aquarium in Berlin to burst open on Friday morning. It sent one million

liters of water crashing through the hotel and shops around the popular attraction. Two people were injured by glass and authorities struggle to

save some of the 1,500 fish in the aquarium.

The tank is described as the world's largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium. It even includes an elevator inside the tank for tourists to see

the fish. There is speculation that extremely cold temperatures may have caused it to crack and then best. Be back after this short break.



SOARES: Welcome back everyone. Return now to our top story in Ukraine. With the freezing temperatures and really renewed Russian aggression, the

reality for many on the ground is bleak. But photographs like these capture an enduring spirit of really ordinary Ukrainians. British photographer Mark

Neville lives and works in Ukraine. And after President Putin's evasion, he started hybrid documentary and humanitarian project Postcode Ukraine

traveling around the country to distribute and document a delivery. Here are some of the stories of the people behind his truly sensational



MARK NEVILLE, PHOTOGRAPHER AND FOUNDER, "POSTCODE UKRAINE": I found out about a month ago that Alexander was shot by Russian soldiers as he sat in

his wheelchair at home in that same place where I photographed him, so he was shot at the beginning of the war in March. And I just -- I can't get my

head around it. I don't see the point of it. I don't see the -- who it serves to have killed him.

I visited him on his goat farm in Zhytomyr Region. He's lost a leg because actually he was captured by separatists. Well, I had this -- the concept of

doing this book called Stop Tanks with Books and the idea was very much to send the book out to the international community to people who could really

help Ukraine in real terms. So we're talking about the media, we're talking about the super rich, we're talking about politicians, NATO members, but

also it was a call for action.

In January, the book was printed and sent out. I think we've got, you know, the first few hundred copies out just a few days before the war started.

Nothing really tangible happened until one day I got an email from a collector and said, listen, I think your book is amazing, and what can I do

to help? And I said, well, you know, I would love to tell you that I think photographs on their own wouldn't be enough, but I no longer believe that.

So, I proposed Postcode Ukraine, which is this hybrid humanitarian aid program and documentary project as well. So, the idea is, and has been, to

integrate to some of the worst hit places in Ukraine, in Kharkiv region, Dnipro, in Odessa, in Zaporizhia, in Donestk, there has to be an emphasis

on trying to represent daily life as well for Ukrainians because it's such an amazing, beautiful, strong, stunning country and that has to be

represented visually.

As well as aid delivery because aid is so important. I was on an aid delivery mission in Kyiv region when I met Masha and Nina. They told me the

story about how Masha cut all her hair off, he's only 17, on the advice of her mother and grandmother because they felt it would minimize the chances

of her being raped.

Traveling around Ukraine, you see very specifically how schools have been targeted. Schools, school yards, kindergartens, and then you -- then it

hits you. It hits you. It hits you that this is a genocide. This is about wiping out the generation of Ukrainians. We were in a small town called

Bortnytsia and we came across this destroyed school and in the center of the school yard with this destroyed school bus. And it had been

deliberately targeted.

What I try and capture in my photographs, particularly in the past few months, to shot in black and white is the same thing. This other world in

which trauma is being processed, you know. It's not in solid color. It's somehow representing some kind of surreal parallel universe.

What I really want to do is make the most stunning, engaging photographs of my career so that people in the West can reengage with Ukrainian and

Ukrainians because we're all feeling compassion fatigue at the moment.


And it's been so difficult for all of the world. But now we've got to push again, push more, and push hard and really support Ukraine. I do know that

Ukraine will win. People here do not stop fighting. They will never stop fighting.


SOARES: And these photos really, really captured the spirit, don't they? Of Ukrainians. If you'd like to support Mark Neville's humanitarian project,

and help distribute aid to those in need in Ukraine, go to contribute doc to You can see there more details, of

course, about his photos and his product. Truly sensational stuff there.

And finally, a historic moment for one of America's most important educational institutions. Harvard University has just appointed its first

ever black president. Not only is this a huge milestone for people of color, but Claudine Gay is the -- is only the second woman to hold the

prestigious role. That is in Harvard's nearly 400-year history, breaking ground for women absolutely everywhere.

We'd like to share the words of her predecessor, Lawrence S. Bacow, who says "Claudine is a person of bedrock integrity. Harvard's future is very

bright." We wish her, of course, the very best. Thank you very much for your company. Thanks for watching. Do stay right here with CNN. "QUEST

MEANS BUSINESS" with Richard Quest is up next. Have a wonderful weekend. Bye-bye.