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Isa Soares Tonight

U.S. and Allies Set to Send Tanks to Ukraine; Tornadoes Rip Through Texas; U.K. Government Dismisses Recommendations Designed to Make Life Easier for Menopause Sufferers; U.N. Struggles To Deliver Aid In War-Torn Regions; NATO Chief Says Advanced Tanks "Can Help Ukraine Win"; Jeremy Renner Crushed By Snowplow While Trying To Protect Nephew; U.K. Government Rejects Menopause Leave Trial. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired January 25, 2023 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, President Biden sends a message to the

world allies are sending tanks to Ukraine strictly for self-defense as Russia calls them a dangerous escalation. Then tornadoes ripped across

parts of the United States.

We'll show you the damage and the cleanup. And the U.K. government has dismissed recommendations designed to make life easier for menopause

sufferers. Some argue the measures could backfire women in the workplace. Still others say, they are unfair to men. We'll discuss.

Well, after weeks of negotiations, pleas, as well as pressure from European allies, the U.S. and Germany have just announced they are sending dozens of

tanks to Ukraine. Germany is pledging to send, of its 14 Leopard 2 tanks, which it describes as the first step according to the German defense

minister, those Leopards could be on the battlefield in just about three months.

And a short time ago, U.S. President Joe Biden announced he will give 31 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, and at least, six other countries have

promised as well to send tanks. Mr. Biden says it's clear proof really that nothing will divide Ukraine's allies. Have a listen to what he said



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You all know, I've been saying this for a long time. The expectation on the part of Russia is we're going

to break up, we're not going to stay united. But we are fully, thoroughly, totally united.


SOARES: Well, let's get the view from Ukraine and the United States, Sam Kiley is in Kyiv for us and Jeremy Diamond as you can see there is joining

us from the White House. So, Sam, President Zelenskyy had ask for what? Three hundred or so tanks. We're not there yet, but the pledges are

starting to trickle in. What has been the reaction from Kyiv, and as well, critically, from those on the frontlines?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the main thing here is the kind of reluctance to send in these weapons, which have

been -- are an upgrade, if you like, from the T-72 and T-64 Soviet-era tanks that the Ukrainians have got. It's very significant. It opens the

doors for more weapons upgrades that the Ukrainians say they so desperately need.

Now, roughly speaking, if you take into account, the Germans are talking about being able to stand up to battalions of tanks, ultimately, that's

about 80 with the 30 pledged from the United States, 14 Challenger from the United Kingdom, you're getting up to just over a 100 tanks of the 300 to

400 that the Ukrainians say they desperately need.

In particularly, because they fear a Spring offensive coming from the Russians. That said, they have also got plans of their own to maintain

their own momentum, and try and push forward and rid the country of the Russians. This is how the Ukrainian defense minister reacted to this

development with Christiane Amanpour earlier on today.


OLEKSII REZNIKOV, DEFENSE MINISTER, UKRAINE: We will use them as some kind of metal fist or iron fist to break through the defense line of our enemy,

because we need to make our -- continue our counteroffensive campaign in different direction for the liberation of our temporary occupied



KILEY: Now, this could be put to a very significant effect, if they get more of them. This is critical now for the Ukrainians. They're also saying

they need more air cover, they need the ability to protect their skies. Indeed, when Mr. Reznikov was talking to Christiane about an hour ago,

there were air raid sirens again here in the Kyiv, the capital, Kyiv, underlining the need to protect the civilian infrastructures so that they

could prosecute this war on the ground.

But the Ukrainians are planning, there's no doubt about it some kind of a counteroffensive, and in all probability, it will strike the Russians

somewhere they least expect it. At the moment, though, there's a very nasty, bloody, near stalemate around the city of Bakhmut in particular, in

the east.


Which has been the scene of terrific intense fighting, high casualties on both sides, very little relatively-speaking, use of the sort of tanks that

the NATO allies have now promised to Ukraine.

SOARES: Stay with us, Sam, let me go to Jeremy, because Jeremy, we heard President Biden say today, we are fully, thoroughly, totally unified as we

heard there -- as you heard there in that little clip we played. That wasn't quite the image that we were seeing just a few days ago, weeks ago.

In fact, the U.S. was saying the Abrams were not suited to their terrain. So what has changed here?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. President Biden began and ended his remarks by talking about the unity in this NATO

alliance, as it relates to providing weaponry and support to Ukraine.

And the subtext of that unity, of course, is the fact that the only way that the United States was able to get Germany to provide those crucial

Leopard tanks to Ukraine, and to allow other countries that have Leopard tanks to export those tanks to Ukraine was for the United States to have

some tank-skin in the game, and to send its own tanks to Ukraine as well.

The United States, for weeks, we've heard officials as recently as just a couple of days ago talking about the fact that while these M1 Abrams tanks

are very sophisticated, very effective tanks, they are also very difficult to operate and to maintain. And that they believe that essentially, the

message from the United States was, these tanks aren't necessarily going to be the effective response to Ukraine's tank needs.

Instead, they were hoping that Germany would send these Leopard tanks which are easier to maintain and to operate. But ultimately, what was very clear

was that, over the course of the last week, the diplomatic discussions between the United States and Germany intensified to the point where it

became clear that Germany would not send those tanks unless the U.S. also send the M1 Abrams tanks.

And so, when you hear President Biden say -- he was asked this question about whether that is indeed the gambit, he said, "I want to make sure that

we're all together." And that is ultimately the diplomatic way of saying that yes, we needed to get into this as well in order for Germany to come

through here. But I do think, 30,000 foot here, this is a pretty significant moment --

SOARES: Yes --

DIAMOND: In terms of the United States providing different types of capabilities. First of all, capabilities that aren't necessarily as suited.

You know, in the past, we've seen the U.s. Really tailor the kinds of weaponry that it provides to the needs on the ground. Instead here, it's

providing these tanks mainly as a diplomatic kind of a trading card, it seems.

And then more broadly, the fact that these are very clearly offensive weapons that the United States and these European countries are going to be

providing to Ukraine. And that adds a different dynamic, and it changes the calculus, of course, from the U.S., and that is why we're seeing these

strongly-worded statements from Russian officials as well here.

And finally, I just think it's important to note that President Biden really made an effort today to single out the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

for praise. We've heard U.S. officials say that it's been remarkable to see the kind of shift in Germany's defense policy over the course of this war

in Ukraine.

And clearly, the United States and Germany had to work this out in order for Ukraine to get this. And it is according to defense officials, going to

make a big difference on the ground, particularly, the provision of those German-made tanks.

SOARES: Jeremy Diamond, and also Sam Kiley for us in Kyiv this evening, thank you very much to you both. Well, let's get more on all this, Nic

Robertson joins me now. Nic Robertson and I have been talking about this for several days, I think weeks now, it's finally happened. We -- I heard

the press conference earlier with President Biden, he was asked by a journalist --


SOARES: Were you pressure -- were you pressured by Germany to send Abrams. What is your interpretation of what unfolded here? It's just simply -- them

simply waiting for one another here or how do you see it?

ROBERTSON: No, I think it seems that Germany was quite obstinate in what it had originally said. The U.S very specifically that its own tanks

weren't suitable. There was a meeting -- there was a change of German defense minister last week, their new defense minister, second day on the

job is at the Ramstein Airbase.

Firstly on the job, he meets with Lloyd Austin; the U.S. Secretary of Defense, so there would have been a very clear exchange and understanding.

And we noticed that at Ramstein on Friday, the issue of tanks was not a big and central issue that came up --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: That the difference of opinion had been established between the Germans and the U.S. on the Thursday, and it was -- before that, and it was

very clear from what Olaf Scholz; the German chancellor said today, very clear with this public, we would not push into this. So it was just

important for him domestically, reassured people the economy was good, the heating was good, they're not running out of gas --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: And oil, that the government is doing well, trust us, we're not going to put you in more danger. He really didn't want to lead the German

population into an uncomfortable territory, where they would feel endangered despite what Russia is saying.


So, yes, it does seem that the Germans got what they wanted. But this unity was so important. That was the message to President Putin.

SOARES: And while the political -- this is a major kind of political breakthrough, as Jeremy Diamond was saying here. The reality is, these

tanks wouldn't get to Ukraine for several months, I assume. And do we know exactly the logistical aspect of it? Nic, do we know how long it will take?

Who will provide the training and the supplies, the extra material that's all needed.

ROBERTSON: The Germans are going to coordinate the Leopard 2s that are coming from Europe. They say that the first tanks will be there in about

three months time. They will be supported for repair by Germans -- by the Germans. However, what sort of repairs will happen in the field,

presumably, they'll be given those skills to Ukrainian technicians.

The United States, maybe the Abrams take a little bit longer to get there. It's a new level of expertise and training, these are not piston engines.

These are jet engines, computer controlled. So getting the pieces in place -- are they going to make a difference? I think, you know, what we're

seeing here is President Putin is being put on notice --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: That as the Ukrainian defense minister said, they have an iron fist that should be ready to punch early Summer. How effectively, it's not

clear. And it might punch holes, but not spots of territory. Holes, they need them, but not over big areas. But that puts Putin on notice. If you

want to make the gains that you want to make and dig in, you're going to have to do it before then. So this is a very -- tank battles are big, but

this is a whole war. And we can't think of it in terms of days and weeks.

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: The battle plans for the whole country, and they have to be thought out months in advance, to have everything in place. So Putin has

got a real squeeze on now, a serious squeeze to try to take ground --

SOARES: And why -- that's why we had President Biden say today that it was not an offensive move against Russia. But your point of unity is well taken

because yesterday, I was speaking to the Finnish foreign minister, and he wouldn't tell me how many tanks they would send.

But he did say they were keeping some for obvious security reasons for that long border. I want to play a little -- a little clip of what NATO chief

had to say. Have a listen to this.


JENS STOLTENBERG, SECRETARY-GENERAL, NATO: Ukraine has the right for self- defense, and we have the right to support them in upholding that right. Because if President Putin wins, it's a tragedy for the Ukrainians, but it

would be dangerous for us. Because the message only starts when authoritarian leaders use military power, they get what they want, and then

the world becomes even more dangerous and we're more vulnerable. Therefore, it is in our security interest to support Ukrainians.


SOARES: So not just unity, as you and I have been talking about, but also NATO's security here.

ROBERTSON: It is, absolutely. And they need to be able to project that, and they need to be able to make it very clear, and this is it's NATO

weapons that are now coming into Ukraine's hands, they'll be trained on them. And this will be the position going forward. You know, again, we come

back to that point if Putin gets the reverse of what he wants.

Ukraine may not become a member of NATO, but it would be armed by NATO, it will be trained by NATO, so its troops will be compatible with NATO forces.

And this is why I think we've heard from the Russian ambassador to Washington overnight last night, the Russian ambassador to Germany today,

essentially saying that this is not defensive, it's offensive.

And this is -- this is crossing red lines. They -- both -- those ambassadors also spoken about the breakdown of trust, this huge breakdown

of trust. It is slowly beginning to sink in, in Russian diplomatic circles. That this unity and sense of purpose and support of Ukraine isn't going

away. And when Russians say the breakdown of trust, they seem to be deluding themselves, it would appear.

Because no one trusts them anymore. The message hasn't gotten through, but it's getting through now. That doesn't mean that a more bloody phase of the

war isn't going to be averted, but the message, the signaling that has to come from the diplomats to Putin, which are channels that are never

normally breached, that's where we're at.

SOARES: But it does play into the ands that this is an unfair war against -- from the west against Russia, which is very much the rhetoric we've been


ROBERTSON: They love to play that for their population, that after they're done building up Ukraine, that NATO will come and get you and Russia,

because this is the only way they can get their people to go to war to fight, to save the motherland. Because most Russians don't believe they

should die for taking Ukraine.

SOARES: Nic Robertson, thank you very much. Well, we have been asking various German officials to join us on the show to discuss this

breakthrough. Tomorrow, we expect to speak with the chair of the Bundestag Defense Committee, that conversation with MP, Marie-Agnes Strack-

Zimmermann, same time, same place right here, tomorrow.


Still to come tonight, though --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything went white, explosions were happening, it was terrifying.


SOARES: Tornadoes rip through southeastern Texas overnight, we'll show you some of the damage. And then in Asia, heavy snow and freezing temperatures

are wreaking havoc. Experts say climate change is to blame.


SOARES: Two people are dead and several more are injured after a knife attack on a train in Germany. A German federal police spokesperson tells

CNN, the attack happened in the area of Brokstedt station in the country's north. Passengers were traveling between Hamburg and Kiel.

The suspect is in custody, and the rail line is closed. We'll stay on top of that story for you. Peru's president is calling for truce after

protesters took to the streets of the nation's capital once again. We saw clashes in Lima on Tuesday, if you remember with police firing tear gas on


The demonstrations started in December when former President Pedro Castillo was ousted. Many people want his replacement, Dina Boluarte to step down

and dozens of people have been killed over the past few weeks. I want to bring in journalist Stefano Pozzebon who have been keeping an eye on the

story for us.

So Stefano, yesterday, roughly at this time or just before, sure in fact, we heard from Boluarte. She addressed the media. Did her words calm the

nerves? Did it unite both sides at all?

STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: No, not at all, Isa. And you can see that Peru right now, Isa, is just in a very bad situation. Because these unrest

still at the heart of the Peruvian state. And also, in almost every big Peruvian city between demonstrators and protesters on one side, and the

government on the other side is ongoing, and neither of the two sides is showing any signs of ceasing.

Boluarte was addressing the press yesterday, she took questions, she did offer condolences for the loss of lives. Already 56 people have died in

these cycle of protests, which is the most violent we have seen in Peruvian's recent history. But she was categorical that she does not

intend to relinquish power to leave way personally any time soon.

And also she accused some of the demonstrators, some of these protesters who have been taking to the streets for weeks with grievances that in some

cases, dates back from decades of being violent, of trying to wreck the country into chaos.


And yesterday night, and once again today, we're likely to see the demonstrators throwing these accusations back at the government. These was

yesterday, for example.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are not terrorists. We are not criminals. We are farmers who seek justice and peace in our country.


POZZEBON: And just to give you, Isa, an idea of how difficult the situation is in Peru, and how far from the horizon any solution is, just a

few hours ago, the Peruvian Cultural Ministry confirmed that the Machu Picchu, which is this ancient ruined sites and the most visited place in

South America, roughly, with 1.5 million people visiting every year before the pandemic.

Well, that site is closed until further notice because there are too many protests in that area. It's out there in the Andes, in the outer plane, in

the highland where some of these grievances have not been attended since Peru became a democracy at the beginning of the 21st century, that's at the

other(ph) phase of this protests that is showing, and where the solution is really hard to come through. Isa?

SOARES: Stefano Pozzebon for us there in Bogota, Columbia, thanks very much, Stefano, appreciate it. Well, in the United States, many people woke

Wednesday to severe damage after intense storms tore through the southeastern part of the country. More than a 100,000 homes here were

without power earlier after tornadoes hit Texas as well as Louisiana. Have a look at that, Rosa Flores looks at the aftermath.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We couldn't see anything, it just went white. Everything went white, explosions were happening, it was terrifying.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The devastating scenes of destruction after more than a dozen tornadoes reportedly touched down in

Texas and Louisiana Tuesday.

JOSH BRUEGGER, PASADENA, TEXAS POLICE: Let me tell you, in my 25 years here, this is probably the worst damage that I've seen, just catastrophic.

FLORES: This neighborhood just outside Houston left in ruins with roofs torn clear of homes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just all ran to the rest rooms and just watched a whole building fall. Luckily, the restrooms didn't fall. That's the only

thing that kept us alive.

FLORES: The damage leaving some families in Pasadena near Texas, displaced from their homes, and facing the daunting task of rebuilding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was the most scariest thing, you know, in my life. But thank to God, at least, that we are here, you know, standing alive.

FLORES: This family says the second story of their home is destroyed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The house is gone, so the whole top section of the house is completely ruined. So it's toast. The house will be torn down now.

So kind of hard to take, but hey, we're alive. That's the main thing.

FLORES: The mayor stressing the severity of this weather event, speaking in front of the town's damaged animal shelter where dogs had to be


MAYOR VICTOR GORDO, PASADENA, TEXAS: So we have all hands on deck right now, all our neighborhoods, just not this neighborhood, all throughout

Pasadena where tornadoes touched here, touched there, and we're doing everything we can to make sure all our citizens are safe. but also

Pasadena. The touchdown was here and there, and we will do all we can to make sure the citizens are safe.

FLORES: Nearby in Deer Park, Texas, the storm was so forceful that it overturned cars and left them mangled in parking lots.

(on camera): There is a car that is yards from where we are. I talked to the sister of the owner of that car, she tells me that, that car was parked

right over where i am actually standing.

(voice-over): The tornadoes left destruction in their wake, filling the streets with debris and destroying homes, stores and businesses. Aerials

show this church destroyed, the roof is gone and you can see tables and furniture strewn across the rooms, and assisted living facilities sustained

structural damage, forcing 59 residents to evacuate. And this clinic completely torn apart. The windows shattered and debris filling the parking


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lights kept flickering, and then went a loud explosion, and all you can see was like debris and stuff, so I locked the

door and was running towards the back. And then as I was going towards the door, the glasses came in, and then the building started flipping apart.


FLORES: And if you take a look here, this is exercise equipment that was shuffled around by the tornado, and if you take a wide look, and you can

see that what this is, is what's left of a gym, a CrossFit, the roof completely collapsed. You can see some of the mangled metal. We know from

the owner that the four people who were inside survived, and Isa, that is the biggest takeaway here.

That according to authorities, there are no reported fatalities. Isa?

SOARES: Thank you very much, Rosa Flores there. Well, meanwhile, in Asia, South Korea Jeju Island has reopened to air travel. Some 36,000 people were

stranded on the island when a harsh Winter storm struck. It is part of a record-breaking Winter weather across Asia. CNN's Paula Hancocks reports

for you.



PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's widely known as China's north pole. The city of Mohe; the farthest north in the

country has experienced its coldest day ever, minus 53 degrees Celsius or minus 63.4 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, coming just months after China saw

its worst heat-wave in more than 50 years.

KEVIN TRENBERTH, NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH: With climate change, we certainly expect that the extremes are going to be somewhat

worse than they were before. And this applies especially to the temperatures and the precipitation.

HANCOCKS: Extreme cold is having a deadly impact in Afghanistan, exacerbated by limited humanitarian aid being distributed after the ruling

Taliban banned female aid workers from operating in the country. At least 157 people have lost their lives so far, according to a Taliban official.

The death toll doubling in just the last week. Around 70,000 livestock have frozen to death.

ADAM COMBS, NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: This is an extreme situation at the moment that we're facing with sub-zero temperatures in many of our areas of

operations and families that already have been pushed to the brink for survival due to the economic crisis are even in more dire straits.

HANCOCKS: A wave of extreme cold has spread through northeast Asia. Sub- zero temperatures moving in from Siberia stranding thousands of travelers at airports. In parts of South Korea and Japan, for the end of the lunar

new year holiday. Heavy snow is continuing to disrupt flights in Japan with hundreds being canceled Tuesday and Wednesday.

Videos posted on social media show treacherous conditions. One focus for experts is the widening gap between seasons.

WOO JIN-KYU, METEOROLOGICAL ADMINISTRATION, KOREA (through translator): If the difference between the highest and lowest temperatures during a year

are used to be about 40 degrees Celsius, the difference can be 60 degrees these days. A cold weather means the extreme points will be very dramatic.

One climate change expert says looking wider than the extreme cold in northeast Asia paints a very interesting pattern.

TRENBERTH: The distinctive thing, if you look at it on a hemispheric basis, is that it's extraordinarily warm in the north Pacific, up into

southern Alaska, and it's extraordinarily warm in the north Atlantic all the way up through Norway and Sweden and Iceland, and even further north.

HANCOCKS: Extreme cold in northeast Asia, at least, is expected to ease in coming days. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, aid convoys are now reaching Ukraine's most war-torn regions. We'll talk with U.N. aid official on the ground

about the dangerous conditions they face. That is next. You are watching CNN.





So much focus has been on the military situation in Ukraine, another war is being fought in a quiet way. The U.N. and its non governmental partners are

struggling to get critical aid to desperate civilians trapped in the war's most ravaged regions.

Two convoys in the past week have brought food, medicine and winter clothing and other critical items to near Soledar. They are reportedly, the

first convoys to reach the region since the war began. But intense combat makes that task extremely dangerous.

Saviano Abreu is the head of communications for the U.N.'s humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

And you are coming to us from a bunker in Kyiv, because what I heard from our correspondent the top of the show, there have been several sirens going

off in the last few hours. So let's start, really, from that trip, your team's travel to close to Soledar. Give us a sense of what they saw.

SAVIANO ABREU, UNOCHA UKRAINE: I think what we hear all the time is being fought in the last few days. These two convoys that we sent, we crossed my

colleagues and they are flattened to the ground. People are really in a desperate situation, particularly close to the front lines.

SOARES: And do we have a sense of how many people are still in that town?

ABREU: In Soledar, we don't have the capacity to verify that information but in the western area, these areas have small communities. Many people

still remain there. Yesterday, the place that we went, around 1,700 people around there. It's 20 kilometers from Soledar.

And the place that we went on Friday last week, around five small communities. So there are a few people in the small communities that remain

in the area. As we all know and we all see, in the last few days, they have been bombarded every single day.

SOARES: And Saviano, I guess the majority of people still in these towns, they are elderly and probably do not have doctors or help. Give us a sense

of some of the stories and the needs of so many.

ABREU: You are right, most of them are elderly. They have made the choice to stay. They have lived there for their whole lives.

But there are also children, there are small children in these locations. And the places that we went to yesterday, we have one doctor that stayed

behind. This is the place that we went yesterday. And she attends around 1,700 people.

They help in these locations but they are damaged. She is the only doctor. She is helping people in the way that she can. And yesterday, we managed to

bring help to these organizations.

SOARES: And we have seen, as our viewers know, Soledar, it's a salt mining town in the east of the country. Russia claimed it earlier this month.

How challenging is this for the U.N.?

How do you coordinate this, trying to get in?

ABREU: The security situation is one of the main challenges that we face, to reach these areas. We are glad to be closer to the people we serve. The

security situation should go a bit further. But we went a bit closer and we got as close as five kilometers.


ABREU: We do coordinate with the local authorities. We communicate with a volunteer groups that are supporting people there. They are doing

incredible work. But we also need to connect with both sides of this war.

We have notified both the Ukrainian government and the Russian Federation to make sure that they can guarantee, that they can give us guarantees of

safety when we do decide to go fairly close to the front line.

SOARES: As you well know and our viewers know, we are almost at the one- year mark of this war. And it looks like, from what we've been hearing, it's not going to end anytime soon.

As we hear leaders talk in the last several days of tanks and a new spring offensive, what worries you on the ground?

ABREU: For me, it is the situation of people have already been suffering for 11 months. In these areas that we're talking about, in the Luhansk

region, for them it's not only for one year. For them it is nine years of conflict in their day-to-day towns and lives.

So my worry is the safety of these people first. But then -- so we have around 80 million people that need assistance, around 18 million people

that need our support, to have water and shelter and a roof over their heads. These numbers are comparable with the major highs that we have.

If you compare to one year ago, in 2022, we had around 3 million people in Ukraine needed assistance. It's still a lot, it's 2 million people. But now

we have these people that need our support every day.

SOARES: We really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us from Kyiv, thank you so much.

ABREU: Thank you, Isa.

SOARES: From NATO's chief to Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines, we are hearing the tanks of the U.S., Germany and other NATO countries could be

changing the face of the war. Nick Paton Walsh is here with me now.

So Nick, let's talk about this. Zelenskyy wanted 300; he's starting to get a trickle.

Do we know how quickly they will get there and what a difference that will make in the battlefield?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: I think importantly, for the months ahead, don't expect any shocking, severe change. We could

see the first 14 Leopard 2s in the next three months, somewhere on the timetable.

But remember, this is a German made staple across lots of NATO European militaries. The Polish may send some but the numbers aren't clear, probably

over 10. Norway, talking about a reasonable number. The Spanish saying they might but details --


SOARES: The logistics is a challenge, too.

WALSH: Less so, these are less complicated than the Americans' M1 Abrams. As I say, it is all pledges at this point, apart from the potential we

might see maybe 40 or more in the longer run, from Germany.

They run on diesel, they are potentially less complex. There might be something the Ukrainians could learn, to repair them on the battlefield

themselves. The Americans pledge of 31 --


WALSH: -- this is what Americans call the best battle tank in the world.

SOARES: But for so long they've been telling us, Nick --


WALSH: -- the logistics are impossible, absolutely.


SOARES: This is not the right tank for this terrain. It consumes a lot. The parts are a nightmare.


SOARES: Yet here we are.

WALSH: And you make a very good point and they made a very good point back then. Nothing has changed, except for the clear desire in Washington to be

on board with this essentially European initial phase of tank delivery.

If the Americans could train up Ukrainians at short enough order, how running these, repairing these, getting the jet fuel that many of them run

on, it would be a remarkable piece of equipment for Ukraine to have. They're talking about a longer term investment in Ukrainian security.

Remarkable they're willing to give this. It could be a mainstay of the biggest NATO army in the world to a country that, a year ago, we didn't

have serious talks about joining NATO.

SOARES: Can I just get my team to spot that tank for the leopards?

Instance of the Ukrainians training themselves on this, which one would be easier?


WALSH: I think at this point, they think the Leopards will be a faster learn. Certainly, it might be something they would be able to repair more

easily. Certainly, the logistics behind them -- and some of the countries that currently own them are closer to Ukraine. So potential there for

faster repair, that's not done inside of Ukraine --


SOARES: -- leave the battlefield.


WALSH: -- you can see, this is the biggest problem.



WALSH: Here is where the fighting clearly is.

SOARES: I will bring that up closer to you, this is the fighting you're talking about.


WALSH: And here's Poland and Romania, clear NATO members. Back here is where the Americans have a lot of their logistics and supply hubs. We're

talking about potentially having to move some of these M1 Abrams, if they are severely damaged and they haven't learned how to fix them --


WALSH: -- and even for us, driving around in light vans, it can take 15, 16 hours to get across this territory. It's a mammoth task each time

something needs repair to get it back here, so the Ukrainians are going to have to learn, potentially, the difficult art of fixing M1 Abrams.

So it's a massive undertaking logistically. If they get, it could radically transform Ukraine's ability to retake areas.

SOARES: But it is a political breakthrough, that part we know. In terms of how much it would change, how much it would shift the battle, so far, what

we have seen, if I can just get a close-up here, what we have seen is a lot of the fighting is in Bakhmut and Soledar for several months.

Is that going to change anything?

WALSH: This is where it's all been frozen. This is the fighting for months now. And it is essentially a reflection of a lack of Russian resources.

It's unlikely that if Ukraine did get tanks, this is where they would focus it. It's more likely to bring out the wider map here.

But if we're looking to see Ukraine counter offensive at some point during the spring or summer, this is their focus because Crimea hugely politically

important to Putin, annexed in 2014, with a sham referendum. And many there with Russian symptoms, it's fair to say --


WALSH: -- but here, you have this long stretch of land bridge, which many analysts thought Russia needed, connecting Crimea to the mainland. They

have not relied on this very vulnerable bridge down here.

Now if Ukraine decides it has the will and the means to do this, trying to cut this land bridge at some point across here and succeeding would be a

game-changer for Russia's invasion.

SOARES: And that is what we have been hearing from Western allies, that really, what Ukraine should be focusing on is not so much what's happening

in Soledar, which has been a stalemate for months, it's actually taking this.

How likely do you think is Zelenskyy to switch?

Because Soledar, as you were telling me last time, has very little importance.

WALSH: It's very small. In Bakhmut, which is the ultimate goal, once you've taken Soledar, the nearby city, 80,000 people living there, I was

told. So not major in themselves. This is a strategic change down here.

This is Donetsk and Luhansk, areas where there's been eight years of war, slight Russian gains since their invasion early last year. But it's

probably just going to be a war of attrition, back and forth.

It is down along the south, down toward Crimea, where they could potentially inflict larger damage on Russia's invasion and occupation. But

this will take time. And they are going to need probably summer to get some tanks into the mix.

The question is, what resources does Russia have?

But put all this aside, what we are seeing here is months of disputing amongst Western countries, resulting in a extraordinary display of unity,

giving weapons that, a year ago, we couldn't have imagined could have been something they would risk escalation with Russia, by supplying to Ukraine.

It also shows a NATO series of countries, all along here, who are involved in some of the supply, potentially no longer feeling that they need to have

these weapons to defend themselves against Russia. So they basically counted out --


SOARES: Very much what we have heard from NATO chief, about their own security.

We heard the Finnish minister saying yesterday, we need to keep some too because we've got a very long border.

WALSH: But they are less concerned --

SOARES: Indeed --

WALSH: -- than they were months ago, which makes you think perhaps the broad calculation is that the war is going to be fought here against Russia

and they perhaps don't expect Russia to emerge from this with anything resembling a victory.

SOARES: That's why we're focusing here on the south rather than on Bakhmut, where we have seen a lot of the intense fighting. Next time, you

are getting the graphic map. Because you can punch away. I appreciate it, thanks very much.

We're back after the short break.





SOARES: New details released today in a snowplow accident injured actor Jeremy Renner on New Year's Day in Reno near Nevada. Sheriff's report says

Renner was trying to stop the tractor like the one seen here from hitting his nephew, whose truck was stuck in the snow.

It also says the parking brake was not engaged and it slid sideways. Renner ended up underneath the treads. The 52-year-old "Avengers" star was

airlifted to the hospital with more than 30 broken bones. He is now recovering. That is very good news indeed.

Justin Bieber has about 200 million reasons to celebrate. The pop singer just sold the rights to his publishing and artist royalties from his song

catalog. Billboard estimates the deal is worth $200 million.

The music rights investment company Hypnosis bought the rights. Bieber is the latest in a string of high-profile artist getting a payday for their

soul. CNN's Tom Foreman explains why this is the latest trend in the music industry.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are looking at the catalogs, the books of their work and they're saying, I want to sell this. Look, here is

The Boss, Bruce Springsteen over here, "Born to Run" to the bank, $550 million for this.

The estate of the late David Bowie, $250 million; $200 million Bob Dylan, $150 million for Neil Young, I think that was for 50 percent of his

catalog: $100 million for Justin Timberlake; Dr. Dre, apparently, in talks for about $200 million. These numbers are squishy. We don't always know the

details of it all.

Why would you do this?

The reason you would do this is because, one, lump sum, you want to invest in films, you want to invest in other companies, studios, other artists.

You've got the money to work with.

Unpredictable tours, touring, which used to just support the album where you made your money, now the tours themselves are huge, huge endeavors that

produce a lot of income but they are unpredictable. And there may be tax benefits.


SOARES: Important story there.

Still to come tonight, the U.K. government says no to a suggested trial for menopause leave. Their solutions and what this means for women -- next.





SOARES: Welcome, back everyone.

In the U.K. a suggested trial for menopause leave has been rejected by the government. It was proposed as a way to protect women in the workplace.

Opposing ministers claim that it could discriminate. That's right, discriminate against men.

They say employers should be more flexible to women's needs. But a 2022 survey found that one in 10 women who worked during menopause left their

job because of the symptoms. Columnist Zoe Williams joins me now to discuss it further.

Great to have you in the studio, Zoe, let's talk about this trial. Just explain what exactly they were trying to achieve here.

ZOE WILLIAMS, JOURNALIST: So what they were trying to achieve was a statutory duty in law. This would be massive. Employers would be required

to, A, give women time off for their menopause; B, be flexible around their needs.

So you can look through the history of equality legislation in the U.K. workforce law. Things like maternity leave, where you get nine months to a

year after you have a child, even things like gender equality meant that cases could be brought against employers like British Airways if they

didn't make accommodations for picking up from nursery for example. That affects women more than men.

So whenever there's this new statutory duty, employers, it's got a really sharp edge. And employers will probably, you know, wait with bated breath.


Because this makes so much business sense. You spend years training the women, lifting, them putting them in positions of power. And then women

leave because they don't have the support.

WILLIAMS: There are two conceptions of a worker, of course, either you think of them as someone that's trying to bilk you and steal from you and

then you have to constantly watch them and constantly surveil them and do, as you, know Amazon Sports Direct does. Check they haven't stolen anything

when they leave.

Or you treat them as you describe, as a valuable resource for --


WILLIAMS: -- helping to build, in which you're reaping benefit from.

Now I think the government mode, there was no point to leaving the E.U. unless there was a bonfire of worker rights. So if you then bring in a raft

of new rights for women and, of course, have to match those with rights for men, with long term health conditions, you really are going the other way

to the way they want to go.

Remember, there is a huge problem with people leaving the workplace, especially post COVID. So they're trying to attract people in their 50s

back to work while not doing anything for them. I think that's going to be the problem.

SOARES: Their defense, I think we have the statement here, if I could bring that up, the government had this to say.

"It is important to ensure that the policies considered in the round to avoid unintended consequences which may inadvertently create new forms of

discrimination, for example, discrimination risks toward men suffering long-term medical conditions or eroding existing protections."

Why not get both?


SOARES: That's the solution?

WILLIAMS: -- men with long term health conditions would already have the protection of sick pay, of course. So the idea that they would be

discriminated against because women have something similar, it's for the. birds

SOARES: What do you think to those, well it's, not the government's duty to do this?


SOARES: Create some sort of, you know, protective system, workers' system, that supports them, that's not their job.

WILLIAMS: It's very like the conversation about maternity leave in the '60s and '70s. You know, you can say it's your personal business, whether

you have a family, whether you don't have a family. You can't expect the state to be manning you through the process. But it's even trickier than



WILLIAMS: It's not universal to have children when it's pretty universal to have --


WILLIAMS: -- so it strikes me very much that if they're going to take anything seriously, they were saved for a long time by the fact that women

didn't talk about it. But over the past 5 to 10 years -- it is definitely--


SOARES: -- and it's important to point out briefly, this affects not just women, it effects men, it affects children, it affects their careers and

the working environment.

WILLIAMS: Yes, also the nightmare scenario which is the most common scenario, is that you have one or two girls going through teenage at the

same time you have menopausal women, can you imagine how much rage in the household?

So it does have a huge impact on entire families and networks. I think they are in for a shock. Like so many women's issues it goes under the radar.

Once it's over the radar, it doesn't go away.

SOARES: If the government doesn't step up, I don't see companies talking policy change and talking about this. That is the concern why so many women

are enraged on social media.

Always great to have your insight, I appreciate it.

That does it for us, thank you for watching, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next. I will see you tomorrow, goodbye.