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Isa Soares Tonight

Ukraine Says It's Advancing In The East; India Investigates Deadly Train Crash; Prince Harry To Appear In Court; Russia Claims To Repel Large- Scale Offensive In Donetsk; Ukraine: Russian Talk Of Counteroffensive Is Diversion; Nikki Haley Takes On Republican Frontrunners; Small Plane Crashes After Flying Near U.S. Capitol. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired June 05, 2023 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, Ukraine says it's making some advances

in the east, and that is fueling speculation its long-awaited counteroffensive against Russia may be underway. We'll get a live update

from Kyiv for you.

Then Indian authorities have began investigating what caused the deadly train crash which killed nearly 300 people. We have the very latest. Plus,

Prince Harry is back in the U.K. preparing to give evidence in a major phone hacking trial. We'll bring you those details for you. But first

tonight, after months of waiting for weapons, better weather as well as training, a long-awaited counteroffensive could be underway in eastern


But if it's happening, the Ukrainians remain rather cagey. New video out of Donetsk region shows an intense battle near Bakhmut. The Russians say they

have repelled a large-scale offensive in the region. Ukraine's military first said it didn't have information on a Donetsk offensive, an official

later said operations are happening, but framed it part -- as part of Ukraine's larger defense efforts.

And she said Russian talk of a counteroffensive is actually an effort by Moscow to divert attention from challenges it's facing around Bakhmut.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tells the "Wall Street Journal", his troops are ready for a counteroffensive. But he crucially

didn't say a counteroffensive has begun, and his government has released this video signaling if it's something afoot, well, don't talk about it.

It's a cryptic war, who know? We're also hearing reports of more attacks against Russia's Belgorod region. We'll have the very latest from our Fred

Pleitgen who is in Kyiv for us. So, Fred, I think it's fair to say that we are starting to see ramping up of military activity on the frontlines. So,

is this the beginning of a counteroffensive or is this Ukraine probing Russian defenses ahead of this expected counteroffensive. What are you

hearing from officials?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it certainly seems that all that could be bleeding into one, one of the

interesting things, Isa --

SOARES: Yes --

PLEITGEN: That we heard a couple of days ago from an adviser to the presidency here in Ukraine. He said, look, all the things that you're

seeing right now, them probing the Russians, but also those longer-range missile launches like for instance those Storm Shadows that of course, were

provided by the U.K. that are hitting weapons depots over the Russians in some of those occupied areas.

He said all of that is preparation and a precursor to a larger counteroffensive. Now, is all of that a part of it? It's very difficult to

say. I think one of the things that you alluded to is definitely the case. The Ukrainians are saying the first thing about a counteroffensive is don't

talk about the counteroffensive.

They put out that video. They specifically said there is not going to be an announcement when that counteroffensive is going. Nevertheless, one of the

things that we definitely are seeing is a distinct shift in momentum on pretty much all parts of the battlefield towards the Ukrainian. You

mentioned the area of Bakhmut, that's certainly one of the places where the Ukrainians are saying that they are making fairly significant headway in

the outskirts of that place.

In fact, the head of Ukraine's land forces, he posted a video of a drone apparently hitting some piece of Russian armor, and also said that they

were hitting the Russians in the area around Bakhmut. They said they've made some significant advances there in the past couple of hours in the

past couple of days. And are sort of trying to portray it as though that's one of their main focal points.

The Russians for their part are saying they are seeing a lot of movement by the Ukrainians on the southern part of the battlefield, where they say

there was a big attempt at an advance yesterday, but the Russians say they've thwarted. However, there are also others who are saying that there

is apparently another attempt today where the Ukrainians did make more headway and managed to get some territory back in the south of the country.

And then, with all of that, also, Isa, as you correctly said, there is still that situation in Belgorod, and that's certainly something that is

extremely difficult for the Russians. They blame that on the Ukrainians, some of the cross-border shelling that's been taking place. And it's

significant, the governor of the Belgorod region said more than 600 ammunitions were fired at that region over the past 24 hours.

Of course, that's ammunitions of all sizes. But that of course, is something significant, and of course, something the Russians need to react

to. So right now, very difficult for the Russians pretty much everywhere, and they're finding themselves on the backfoot. Isa.


SOARES: And staying on Belgorod, I mean, what more can you tell us about these two dissident Russians -- military units that said they have captured

Russian soldiers. What are you hearing about that, Fred?

PLEITGEN: Yes, this is something that they posted videos of over the past two days really. The Russian Volunteer Corps and the Freedom for Russia

legion where they came out, they posted some videos, saying that they had prisoners of war or Russians that they had taken there who were Russian


Now, they said they wanted to give these Russians back to the Russian authorities. They called on the governor of that region to come to a

certain point yesterday and collect those, even they wanted to talk to the governor as well. They said that didn't materialize, they were obviously

very angry about all of that.

But those groups very frankly are saying that they are operating on Russian territory. It's territory that's right next to the border with Ukraine,

it's a small village, sort of on the route to the actual city of Belgorod. But of course, at the same time, again, for the Russians, that is very

significant that something like that might be happening.

And yesterday, the governor of the Belgorod region said that there was house combat going on in that village, that the Russian forces obviously

needed to attend to. So right now, there is a lot of public pressure in that area. The governor has said over the past couple of days, that there

are a lot of questions the local population there has for the Russian military.

And you know, in a broader picture of all of this, you can't say often enough. Belgorod is one of the main military areas of the Russian

federation. The area that we're talking about is only about 30 to 40 kilometers away from the actual city of Belgorod, where there are a lot of

Russian military bases, and which was the main hub, one of the main hubs for the Russians to attack Ukraine at the beginning of last year. And that

place is now under attack by the Ukrainians, Isa.

SOARES: And that says so much about the strategy in this upcoming counteroffensive. Fred Pleitgen, appreciate it, thanks very much, coming to

us live from Kyiv. Now, I want to take you to exclusive CNN reporting because multiple sources familiar with U.S. Intel say Ukraine has

cultivated sabotage agents inside Russia and it's giving them drones to stage attacks.

U.S. officials believe these pro-Ukrainian agents carried out the attack you see here that targeted, if you remember, the Kremlin, that was back in

early May. Well, it is believed they launched the strike from within Russia instead of flying drones from Ukraine. Zachary Cohen is in Washington for

more on what we are learning.

So Zach, what more then, do we know about these sabotage cells indeed, all here, and who actually knew about this?

ZACHARY COHEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, Isa, what we're learning here is that Ukraine has not only cultivated this network of

agents inside Russia, but also is providing them with drones to carry out these acts of sabotage from within -- behind enemy lines. Now, the big

picture, this is part of what is viewed by U.S. officials as an effort to take the war to Russia ahead of the expected counteroffensive.

And look, these drones by all accounts, based on what our sources are telling us are Ukrainian-made. And so, that would avoid crossing a red line

that U.S. officials have made clear that they don't want to see -- they don't want to see American-made weapons used to conduct strikes inside


So -- but we are seeing that this network of agents inside Russia is receiving drones from Ukraine and carrying out at least, one attack as you

pointed out on May or in May, on their drone that crashed into the Kremlin. it's unclear if these network is behind other attacks that we've seen

recently pop-up. But clearly, an effort to take the war to Russia ahead of the counteroffensive.

SOARES: And so, Zach, I've got a few questions on this. How do they get them, the drones behind enemy lines? And who is controlling these cells?

COHEN: So, Isa, it's really unclear how these drones are getting behind enemy lines. Now, there's a well-established smuggling network at the

Ukrainian-Russian border, our sources pointed to that as a potential way to move parts, drone parts across the border from Ukraine into Russia, and

then allowing these agents to, you know, put the drones together after they get into Russia.

Now, another possibility that European officials cited is that, look, the border between Russia and Ukraine is very vast and very hard to control.

And this is a very peripheral area of Russia too. So, you know, there are some potentially mutual interests in helping move these parts or moving

these drones from Ukraine into Russia.

As far as who is controlling these agents, that also remains unclear. It's not -- you know, there are elements of Ukrainian military and intelligence

apparatus that are known to support conducting attacks inside Russia, and have been very vocal about that. And we spoke to one spokesperson from the

Ukrainian security services who made clear that we can expect to see more attacks like this inside Russia going forward.

SOARES: Zach Cohen with that exclusive reporting, thanks very much, Zach, appreciate it. Well, officials have started an investigation into the cause

of India's worst rail crash this century. At least, 275 people were killed and more than a 1,000 injured when three trains collided in the state of



That happened on Friday. Authorities say they have identified more than 150 of the victims. Ivan Watson has more.


IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Working on the railroad. An army of laborers laying new rail by hand, racing to reopen

this transport route after one of the deadliest train disasters India has seen in its modern history.

(on camera): On Friday night, three trains collided in this area, and everywhere on the side of the tracks in this rural part of eastern India,

there are massive railroad cars that were, as you can see, severely damaged in this collision. This vehicle here, this car was reserved for people with

disabilities, you can still see people's personal belongings down below right outside.

(voice-over): It began with a passenger train moving at 128 kilometers or 80 miles per hour slamming into a parked freight train, colliding after

dark in his rural area. Villagers rescued passengers by the light of their cellphones.

(on camera): Did you actually as volunteers pull survivors from the train wagon?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, one that -- old street train wagon where I told other guys to on their mobile light, I entered into it, it was no space

literally, because it was so inclined that everybody was -- male, female, everyone was dumped at a place. So we had to pull them very carefully, we

pulled them out, few were alive, we just separated them -- few were there, so we had to -- don't have to waste the time.

WATSON (voice-over): Crowds of volunteers gathered outside local hospitals. Local reporters interviewing a crash survivor being transferred for

treatment. Among the crowd here, a worried mother. She's still searching for her missing son who was a passenger on the train. Inside the hospital,

some of the more than 1,000 injured in the crash. The road to recovery may not be easy. This 52-year-old farmer in so much pain, he can't lie down.

"I'm blessed to have another chance at life", says Monto Kumar(ph). The 32- year-old said the collision felt like an earthquake. "Afterwards I took my shirt and wrapped it around my head, started looking for my friends", he

says. Kumar(ph) says he shared an ambulance with his friend who lost both legs and later died. The Indian government launched an investigation into

this disaster, and vows to punish anyone responsible.

The pressure is on to ensure a catastrophe like this never happens again. Ivan Watson, CNN, in Odisha State, in eastern India.


SOARES: Well, a near collision between U.S. and Chinese military ships is increasing the already high tensions between the two countries. This video

shows that moment over the weekend. You can see there when the U.S. says a Chinese warship acted in an unsafe manner and violated maritime rules when

it cut directly in front of an American vessel in the Taiwan Strait. China, well, has a different view of the incident. Have a listen.


WANG WENBIN, SPOKESMAN, FOREIGN MINISTRY, CHINA (through translator): The truth is that the United States is provoking trouble first, and China is

dealing with it in accordance with laws and regulations. The actions taken by the Chinese military are necessary measures to deal with the provocation

of certain countries, and they are reasonable, legal, safe and professional.


SOARES: Well, CNN's Alex Marquardt joins me now from Washington with more. Alex, good to see you. So, how close then did these two warships get? And

just explain what happened and what the U.S. is saying here.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Isa, this was an extremely close call. There were three ships in this incident. There was

the Chinese warship, and then there was a U.S. Destroyer called the Chung- Hoon, and a Canadian ship, which was the third one called The Montreal. The Canadian-American ships were carrying out what the U.S. calls a routine

transit of the Taiwan Strait.

Clearly, China sees that very differently. So, this Chinese ship crossed in front of the bow of the American ship at a distance of around 150 yards or

137 meters. Now, that might sound like some distance. Like there were some gap between these two ships. But keep in mind, Isa, these are huge hulking


The Chung-Hoon, the American ship is almost 160 meters itself. So, the gap there was less than the length of this ship. It's 8,000 tons, it's more

than 8,000 tons. So, for a ship like that to stop or to slow down is very difficult. The U.S. warship according to the U.S. military had to slow down

to a speed of around 10 knots to avoid collision.


The Chinese warship then crossed the bow of the American ship a second time. So it was very clear what the Chinese ship was trying to do here. The

command out there, it's called INDOPACOM, says that "the Chinese ship violated the maritime rules of the road of safe passage in international

waters." U.S. highlighting that this was in international waters.

Now, Isa, put it into the broader context of these very high intentions. Just a few days ago, there was another military incident where a Chinese

fighter jet crossed in front of an American spy plane, a plane that's called an RC-135 that carries out reconnaissance. And it was so close that,

that spy plane felt the turbulence in the air.

And you can actually see in this video that we're showing that there was, right there, a significant turbulence that, that large plane went through.

So both these incidents really highlighting the increasing tension between the U.S. and China. Isa.

SOARES: Yes, and really, this very tension you talk of, these two incidents that you've outlined there, Alex, pardon me, shows -- you know, what's

really on display at a security summit I believe in Singapore this weekend. And there was hope at least there would be a meeting with the U.S. Defense

Secretary, with major Chinese counterpart, that didn't happen, right?

MARQUARDT: No, it did not. The U.S. had hoped that the two defense chiefs of these two countries would meet at this summit in Singapore. China

declined the meeting. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin did shake his Chinese counterparts hand, but that was the extent of it. And the Defense

Department has made clear that they were hoping for something more substantial.

And as we speak, Isa, top U.S. officials are in Beijing. These are the highest officials at the National Security Council. So the White House as

well as the State Department who are in charge of the Asia portfolios, they released a statement a short time ago, saying that they had candid and

productive discussions as part of the efforts to maintain open lines of communication.

We did see two high-level meetings last month. Jake Sullivan; the National Security adviser meeting in Vienna with his counterpart, as well as the CIA

director taking a secret trip to Beijing last month to meet with his Chinese counterparts. But Isa, tension has really been on the rise after

Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled his trip which had been long in the works back in February as that Chinese spy balloon crossed the United


So tension -- relationship very strained right here. The U.S. however making efforts to try to at least get those conversations to continue. Isa?

SOARES: Yes, get the open lines of communication. Alex Marquardt, appreciate it and thanks very much, Alex. Well, in Afghanistan, police are

investigating the suspected poisoning of nearly 80 students, most of the students are girls at two different schools in the northern part of the

country. The students were rushed to the hospital this weekend.

Officials are unclear as to who was behind this incident, the motive and the potential type of poisoning used. We'll stay on top of the story for

you, of course. And still to come tonight, a little more than an hour ago, Apple kicked off its Worldwide Developers Conference. We'll show you what

they're putting on display.

Plus, Prince Harry is back in London for what British media called the royal court case of the century. We'll explain. You are watching CNN.



SOARES: Well, Brazil is marking one year since the killings of British journalists Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira. Demonstration

in Rio de Janeiro, remember the two men who were killed while researching a book in Amazon. This comes as police have named two more suspects in the

murder case.

The men were allegedly connected to an illegal fishing network. A total of five men are awaiting trial. Well, nearly half a million people gathered on

Sunday for an anti-government march in Warsaw on the 34th anniversary of Poland's first post-war democratic election. It was called by former Prime

Minister Donald Tusk, quote -- who quoted against high prices, theft and lies and for free elections and a Democratic European Poland.

The crowd stretched for at least a mile, speakers include former President- elect Walesa and the mayor of Warsaw as well as Tusk himself. Well, for the first time in more than 100 years, a senior British royal is to give

evidence in court. Prince Harry is back here in the U.K. to testify in his lawsuit against Mirror Group newspapers.

He accuses the newspaper group of hacking phones and using other illegal methods to obtain private information. The trial is now underway. But the

Duke of Sussex was not in court on day one, he is expected though to appear on Tuesday. Nada Bashir was outside the court, she's here with me now.

Nada, good to have you on the show. Look, let's talk about this. Why -- my first question to you is, why wasn't he even there today. What happened?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, that was certainly a surprise, of course, to the judge and to the defense lawyers who said that they found it

absolutely extraordinary that Prince Harry wasn't present at court. We know that he left L.A. late last night, he spent Sunday with his family,

celebrating his daughter Elizabeth's second birthday.

His legal representatives made the court aware that he wouldn't be present. However, we did hear from the judge saying that he was a little surprise

that Harry wouldn't be present, given the fact that he had already asked witnesses to be present for the first day in case there was enough time to

hear evidence.

SOARES: And then tomorrow is going to be the key day. And he would be questioned -- I'm guessing, he'll be cross-examined. How tricky do you

think it's going be for him, and just give us -- remind our viewers of the case here and what his defense is.

BASHIR: Well, look, this will be tricky for Harry. He has been very vocal in criticizing the media in the past. We've seen him in his Netflix docu-

series. We've seen him release a memoir. We've seen him do an interview with Oprah, but this will be a very different environment. He's been cross-

examined by legal representatives, of course, who will not show favor to him nor the royal family.

And of course, will be focusing very much on the evidence to hand. And we heard those opening statements from both the claimants and from the

defense. Prince Harry's legal representatives who are also representing of course, many other claimants putting forward this lawsuit against Mirror

Group newspaper.

They say they have around 147 articles they are using in support of their claim, published between 1991 and 2011, which they believe show the

telltale signs of phone hacking potentially, of voicemails being intercepted, of private investigators being used by Mirror Group newspapers

to obtain, private, personal information about Prince Harry's life including details of conversation between him and his brother Prince

William, the Prince of Wales.

Details around his relationships, including that with the formal long-term girlfriend Chelsy Davy. And he has spoken about this and we've heard from

his legal representative today saying that tomorrow, we do expect Prince Harry to give evidence, to give graphic detail, as to how this impacted not

only him, but his family.

He has described having bouts of depression as a result of this invasion of privacy, and also a breakdown of his personal relationships. So we'll

certainly be hearing a lot more details about that from Prince Harry tomorrow. He's also expected to stand on Wednesday too, to give further

evidence. This will be a significant focus for many. Of course, the details coming out in this --

SOARES: Yes --

BASHIR: Case. Prince Harry's decisions, of course, there might be some details, a harsher light on his personal life and that of the royal family.

SOARES: This is the first time we're seeing a royal take the stand, right?

BASHIR: In more than 100 years, so this is a significant show, of course.

SOARES: Nada Bashir, I know you'll stay on top of it, thanks very much, Nada, appreciate it. Well, excitement has been building up ahead of Apple's

latest event, and that kicked off just a short while ago.


And for good reason too, the company just unveiled its most ambitious product in years. It's -- wait for it, a headset that lets people

experience both virtual and augmented reality. Does that by overlaying virtual images and apps on the real world. I want to bring in Jon Sarlin;

the host of "NIGHTCAP" over at CNN Business.

And Jon, I was hearing they've just announced that in the last few minutes the most significant product launch in nearly a decade. So what do you make

of this new product, this mixed reality headset?

JON SARLIN, HOST, CNN BUSINESS NIGHTCAP: That's right, Isa. Moments ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook announcing Vision Pro, the new product from Apple, this

is the biggest new hardware since the Apple watch. And it's Apple's first foray into AR, augmented reality. So we know virtual reality, a screen in

your face. This is something that you see through like aluminum ski goggles on your head that merge the real world with the virtual world.

SOARES: OK, so how is this different, Jon, than playing video of virtual reality video game? Just bring us -- you know, give us the vision here from

Tim Cook in terms of the future of how we could be using this. Because this thing looks like it'll be perfect for skiing.

SARLIN: Right, so, I mean, up to this point, VR has kind of been a niche product. You mentioned gaming. That's really been one of the big use cases.

But Apple is going for the mainstream consumer here. They're going for fitness. They're going for FaceTime. They're going for productivity. And

they're looking to expand the pool from beyond that just niche gaming space.

SOARES: Yes, but the price tag, Jon, I might be -- I mean, it leaves a lot to be desired. What I've read and maybe you heard it there. I heard

something like $3,000. How much will this be a tough sell you think for consumers here?

SARLIN: Right, so they still haven't announced the price. But that is the big question, right? Rumors are that it should be around $3,000, that's a

lot of money. The closest competition here is oculus' -- Meta's oculus headset that costs a few $100. So Apple is taking a big risk here with this

product where the demand isn't really proven, but also going from on a price point that is way beyond what's currently on the market.

SOARES: And very quickly, I know that Tim Cook was expected to talk about Apple's strategy and what relates to A.I. Did we hear anything? Has he

spoken about this?

SARLIN: So, far nothing explicit on A.I., although, there have been some updates on auto-correct, if you've used an iPhone, you know --

SOARES: Yes --

SARLIN: How difficult that can be. But you know, right now, I'm in Silicon Valley, virtually every tech company is focusing on A.I., Google recently

in their annual event focused almost entirely A.I. So a lot of questions about how Apple will directly integrate it into their software.

SOARES: And very quickly, yes or no. Do you see this headset taking off, Jon, at all?

SARLIN: Well, look, this is a huge risk for Apple, right? I mean, think of what Apple does with their products. Usually they wait for a product to be

in the market for a few years and then come out with their version, which they hope to be the best. It's been a very successful strategy with

airphones, airpods, all the way back to the iPhones to iPods.

This is a market that hasn't really been proven yet. Consumers haven't shown inclination for putting a big expensive thing on top of their head

and stepping into the virtual -- the virtual world. But you know, Apple, they don't have a lot of misses. So Tim Cook and co are working -- worked

hard on this device. We'll see if consumers line up to get it.

SOARES: Yes, I know the others have tried it, it haven't actually done well. I don't know, let's see if Apple succeeds where others have failed.

Jon Sarlin, appreciate it, thanks very much. And still to come tonight, we will take a closer look at the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine.

That is a top story, where we stand on the much anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.

And U.S. Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley breaks from her opponents at a CNN town hall. What she said about the war in Ukraine after




SOARES: Welcome back to the show, everyone. We return now to our top story and the long awaited Ukrainian counteroffensive. Officials in Kyiv are

remaining tight-lipped about any possible movements in the east of the country. The Ukrainian military is denying claims that Russia repelled a

large-scale offensive in the Donetsk region, accusing Moscow of diverting attention away from challenges around Bakhmut. This all leads to the

question, is this counteroffensive underway or not?

Let's get perspective now from our Senior Military Analyst, CNN Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. General Mark Hertling, always great to have you back

on the show. So I think it's fair to say that we are seeing a ramping up of military activity. How do you assess what we're seeing? Is it the early

signs of a counteroffensive or is this Ukrainian's probing Russian defenses here?

MARK HERTLING, CNN SENIOR MILITARY ANALYST: Isa, I would say all of the above. You hit it right on the head when you say ramping up. It is a

generation of momentum, taking a look at where they can probe, what they can do. This isn't the offensive, writ large, and at least not in my view.

But it appears that there's some distinct coordination going on between the frontline and the Ukrainian forces, as well as insurgent forces or what we

would call the territorials behind the enemy lines, behind Russian lines.

And even some forces you might call freedom fighters under whatever name you want to call them going on inside of Russia. But it's certainly

distracting to the Russian military and to the Russian government. And it's causing a great deal of chaos on the Russian side while the Ukrainian

military appears to be generating some momentum for an eventual attack in multiple areas.

SOARES: Of course, there's an information more, too, in that's a deliberate attempt to unnerve the Russians. But, look, I was speaking to Fred Pleitgen

to the top of the show and he was saying that the offensive, what he's hearing from the Ukrainians, is that the offensive is taking place in

several directions, north, east and front, near Bakhmut in the southwest and it's going all the way, it says, through Russian-controlled territory,

all the way to the Sea of Azov. As we look at the map near, that's a lot of ground to cover, many directions. I'm guessing the point here is to

disorientate the Russians. How do you see the strategy here?

HERTLING: One of the things I'd point out, Isa, the map that you're showing right now that Fred Pleitgen has been talking about, and he's been doing

some excellent reporting, that front line is somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 kilometers. It is a large front line and there are multiple

possibilities for where Ukraine may attack and how they might attack and how they might use newly formed forces with literally a smorgasbord of new

types of equipment to generate offensive operations.

We're not going to see one major offensive. We're not going to see a large body of forces going somewhere. What I believe we're going to see is

multiple axis of advance in several different areas using different types of equipment.


And at the same time, you're talking about, like I mentioned earlier, what's going on behind the front line, the proverbial anti-Putin forces

that are attacking inside of Russia that are distracting Mr. Putin and causing defensive units to be moved around the battlefield.

This will help Ukraine find probes where they can insert their units and conduct these offensive against some of the defensive positions that Russia

has created.

SOARES: And we heard also, General Hertling, we had President Zelenskyy who spoke to the Wall Street Journal, he said, I think that as of today, we are

ready to do it. We would like to have certain things, he said. We can't wait for it for months. So, you know, when we look at the map, if we can

bring up the map, again, of the eastern part of the country, I suppose the moment here is to have the right conditions. So for so long, we've been

talking about is this was dependent on weather condition, on troops being trained, or having the right equipment, but momentum's key here, you do not

want them to get bogged down like what we have seen in Bakhmut. What are your thoughts?

HERTLING: Well, that's why these probing operations are so critically important. They're looking for areas within the Russian lines where they

can send military forces into a defensive position in terms of offense against what Russia has been preparing. So as you see, Russia continuingly

-- continually moving forces around to address other requirements that will open up holes. It's somewhat like a sports event, if you will, where

Ukraine is looking for the right place at the right time to generate. These are probing attacks. There are some large forces, but it isn't the

momentous offensive operation that I think many people will consider after watching Western forces doing different combat actions over the last

several decades.

SOARES: And we've also heard today, from General Mark Milley, who told CNN that Ukraine is very well prepared for a counteroffensive. How prepared

then is Russia given what we have been seeing in Belgorod, with the incursions that have been increasing as well, as well as the divisions

within the Russian force?

HERTLING: Well, I think the operation of the anti-Putin forces into Belgorod, also into Kursk, also in Smolensk. These are things that have

proven that Russia does not have complete control of the border. You were asking earlier about how did they get these drone -- drones into Russia,

where they could attack behind enemy lines. If you don't have control of the border, you can certainly move that kind of equipment through through

smuggling rings, and even through trucks that are driven through with these pieces of equipment hidden.

So when you're talking about an insertion of forces into a Russian ohblast Of Belgorod, it tells me that Russia is not defending their border really

well. It causes a requirement for their military and their government to say, what should we move there? And how do we counter these kinds of

operations? And whenever they do that, they're usually moving forces from other places on the front line. And you can bet that Ukraine's intelligence

is watching the movement of Russian forces, and in fact, trying to force that movement so they can find holes in the Russian lines that they can

send offensive operations through.

SOARES: And as Fred was saying, this is where, in Belgorod, where they have a lot of the operations in terms of movement of military equipment, so that

is critical, too. General Mark Hertling, always great to get your insight. Your threads on this on Twitter are fantastic. If you want more detail on

this, go to General Mark Hertling's Twitter account. He's got a long thread on how he sees the moves ahead. Thank you very much, sir.

HERTLING: Thank you, Isa.

SOARES: Well, U.S. Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is making a clear case that she believes Ukraine must win its war against Russia. At

a CNN town hall, the former South Carolina governor talked about Russia's war, her opponents and big social issues like abortion.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny has this report from the campaign trail.


HALEY: I'm in this to win it.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley seeking to elevate her candidacy for president by calling for

consensus on polarizing issues like abortion.

HALEY: I think we can all agree on banning late-term abortions. I think we can all agree on encouraging adoptions and making sure foster kids feel

more love, not less.

ZELENY (voice-over): At a CNN town hall in Iowa, she broke with two Republican frontrunners on key foreign policy issues, like Russia's

invasion of Ukraine.

HALEY: You can't be trustful of a regime that goes in and tries to take away people's freedoms. And for them to sit there and say that this is a

territorial dispute, that's just not the case, to say that we should stay neutral.

It is in the best interest of America.


It's in the best interest of our national security for Ukraine to win. We have to see this through, we have to finish it.

ZELENY (voice-over): She called out Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' legal battle with Disney as hypocritical.

HALEY: He went and basically gave the highest corporate subsidies in Florida history to Disney, but because they went and criticized him, now

he's going to spend taxpayer dollars on a lawsuit.

ZELENY (voice-over): Haley also said former President Donald Trump and DeSantis have not been straight with voters about the fiscal solvency of

Social Security and other programs.

HALEY: I think it's important to be honest with the American people. We are in this situation. Don't lie to them and say, oh, we don't have to deal

with entitlement reform. Yes, we do. Yes, we do. It's the reality. I'm always going to tell the truth. Is it going to hurt? Yes.

ZELENY (voice-over): At 51, Haley has said she would bring a generational change to the White House. Asked whether she believes she would experience

sexism as a female candidate, she said this.

HALEY: None of my jobs have ever had a line going to the women's bathroom, ever.


ZELENY (voice-over): But she drew applause when she said it was time to break the presidential glass ceiling.

HALEY: Because I'm a big fan of women. We balance. We prioritize. We know how to get things done. I mean, honestly, we've let guys do it for a while.

It might be time for a woman to get it done.

ZELENY (voice-over): The town hall put an exclamation point on a busy weekend of campaigning in the state, that opens the Republican contest

early next year.


ZELENY (voice-over): With DeSantis joining some of his Republican rivals as they shook hands and introduced themselves to party activists.

DESANTIS: There is no substitute for victory. And we need to dispense with the culture of losing that has beset the Republican Party in recent years.

ZELENY (voice-over): Trump was the only major candidate who declined an invitation to Sen. Jodi Ernst's annual Roast and Ride, where motorcycles

and barbecue come with a side of politics.

Yet the former president looms large over the presidential race and sits at the center of the choices facing Republicans as the campaign intensifies.

ZELENY: What's the balance in your party, do you think, of people who want to turn the page and move forward versus turn back to Donald Trump?

HALEY: I think there are a lot of folks that want to move forward. I know that President Trump has a great base here. It is strong. But at the same

time, people don't want to hear about what has happened in the past. Because we've had two years of a Biden administration that is just

destroying our nation.


SOARES: And Jeff Zeleny joins us now. Jeff, good to see you.

So how well did she do there in distinguishing herself from Donald Trump and from Ron DeSantis there?

ZELENY: Look, I think this is going to be a one-off, this will be a series of attempts to distinguish herself, but it was interesting the choices she

made in which to go after. Ukraine, most specifically, she called out both of them for their previous statements that the Ukraine war is essential to

American diplomacy as well. And that Russia is the bad actor here.

Of course, former president Donald Trump refused to say any of that at the CNN town hall, and also on Social Security, an Entitlement Program. She's

trying to show fiscal conservatives that she's on their side, if you will. So I think by trying to draw those distinctions, she clearly, though, is

trying to go through Ron DeSantis to get to Donald Trump, if you can follow that logic there. It's a bit of a puzzle here in this big of a field. But

it was interesting that she decided to start throwing a few punches. Of course, as this field gets bigger, you have to do that to stand out.

SOARES: Indeed. And how is she doing polling-wise, then?

ZELENY: Well, look, I mean, she is still just introducing herself. I mean, she is in the lower ranks of the polls. But I think at this point, the

polls are not that meaningful because these candidates are still introducing themselves, looking for their big moment. So her poll numbers

may go up, they may not. But I remember many races here over the years where frontrunners have been humbled in Iowa and challengers have been


We think back to 2008, for example, Barack Obama was behind Hillary Clinton for most of the year before the presidential primary. But it was that

victory in Iowa that propelled him to a win. So it certainly is possible. So, she has some work to do, there's no doubt. But she does stand apart.

She's the only woman in the race there. And I think her comments on that, I was in the room last night, they certainly were well received. So, you

know, this race begins in Iowa in about six or seven months time. Long campaigns here in America, as you know, so anything can indeed happen.

SOARES: Indeed, Jeff, and you're talking about how busy this field would be, how many candidates, of course, and we have heard in the last few hours

that Mike Pence has filed to run for president in 2024, really setting up an unpredictable battle, of course, with this old boss, his running mate,

Donald Trump. How will this, do you think, be received here?

ZELENY: It's really extraordinary. We need to stop and think about never mind all the acrimony between them, never mind all the drama, just a former

vice president running against a former president.


There's nothing in our history books that really points to how this plays out. But, look, he, too, has a tough road. But there is a sense of the

people who want to move on from Donald Trump, of which there are many.

He certainly will get a look. And he, too, is talking about a conservative philosophy and fiscal discipline. And he's trying to go to his previous

record as the governor of Indiana and a congressman from Indiana. But, of course, it is his role as vice president that gives him a bit of a pickle

here because he is sort of stuck in the middle. The true Trump supporters don't necessarily like him and the others have so many other alternatives.

But he is jumping into this race on Wednesday. He'll be at a CNN town hall Wednesday evening as well with our own Dana Bash. So a lot of candidates in

this race than ever. Trump lane is getting pretty crowded.

SOARES: Indeed. Thank you very much, Jeff Zeleny. Great to see you.

ZELENY: My pleasure.

SOARES: And still to come tonight, investigators are looking into why a small civilian plane flew close to the U.S. Capitol building on Sunday,

then crashed. We'll have very latest next.


SOARES: Well, investigators want to know why civilian plane flew close to the U.S. Capitol building before crushing on Sunday. The military sent

fighter jets to intercept it, creating a sonic boom over Washington, DC. Have a listen to this.

Well, defense officials say they were unable to make contact with the plane's pilot before it crashed. There were no survivors.

CNN's Brian Todd has this report.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It was the boom heard far and wide across the Washington, D.C., region, disrupting a Sunday music

rehearsal, and sending people and pets running for cover. The cause, U.S. 16 fighter jets scramble to reach a Cessna citation private jet,

unresponsive pilot, and flying through tightly controlled Washington, D.C., airspace.

According to FlightAware, the civilian aircraft took off from Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, Tennessee, at 1:13 P.M. and was bound

for Long Island MacArthur Airport in New York. The plane with four people onboard then turned around over Long Island heading back over the

Washington, D.C. area, nearly two hours after it originally took off.


That's when NORAD scrambled. The F-16s who are authorized to travel in supersonic speeds in pursuit of the jet. According to a new release from

the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, the pilot of the civilian aircraft was unresponsive as the F-16 fighter jets

attempted to make contact.

At one point, according to the statement, the F-16s used flares in an attempt to draw attention from the pilot.

The Cessna 560 Citation V traveling more than 300 miles off course going off radar at 3:23 P.M. and ultimately crashing in a rural mountainous

terrain near George Washington National Forest near Charlottesville, Virginia.

Late Sunday, according to a statement from Virginia State Police, first responders reached the crash site by foot but found no survivors.


SOARES: And Brian joins me now from Staunton, Virginia to discuss the latest developments. So Brian, what more are you hearing from officials? Do

we know at this stage anything about those who died or who that -- perished in that small plane crash?

TODD: Well, Isa, we do know that four people died in the crash. There's a family from Florida that owns a company called, I believe it's Encore

Motors from Melbourne, Florida. And this couple's name is Barbara and John Rumpel. They have told other news outlets that their daughter,

granddaughter, and her nanny were on the plane and we believe it was those three and the pilot who perished in the crash. So, four people total.

What we're also told a short time ago was that NTSB and FAA investigators are at the site right now. Andif you can see behind me, they had to get

through terrain just like this to get the site. It's a few miles away from us in terrain like this, which is very steep and jagged. You can see the

Cotton Mountain behind me here. That's the kind of terrain that they've had to navigate just to get to the crash site.

So they're there at the site right now. They're looking for possibly a black box that has a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder in

it. However, a plane like this, this jet was not required to have a black box in it so they may not find that there.

We did talk to first responders at the scene who took several hours to get to the wreckage last night. These are the first people to arrive at the

scene. It took come hours of, again, going through terrain like this behind me. Some of them almost got injured just getting there. They found human

remains. They found several parts of wreckage strewn all over the place. And they said that other than maybe four or five pieces of recognizable

wreckage, most of it was "not bigger than your arm." One of us told -- one of them told us.

So they all -- and they also said that there was a crater in the order that this plane left. And judging by the contours of that crater, they believe

that the plane went in at a very steep angle and impacted the mountain. Isa.

SOARES: So very, very tragic. Brian Todd, appreciate it. Thanks very much, Brian.

And still to come tonight, how much pink then is too much? How about an entire company's global supply? We'll have more on how the upcoming Barbie

movie caused a shortage of the iconic doll's signature color. That is next.



SOARES: Well, when you think of Barbie, really, one color usually goes hand in hand with the iconic doll and that is, of course, a lot of pink. But the

production designer of the upcoming Barbie film says that the movie required so much pink, in fact, so much pink paint during construction that

it wiped out a company's global supply.

Sarah Greenman puts it simply, "The world ran out of pink." Well, Barbie's dream house may not have turned out so dreamlike, but likely the film

secured just enough paint for production to get ahead.



KATE MCKINNON AS WEIRD BARBIE, ACTRESS: You have to go to the real world. You can go back to your regular life, or you can know the truth about the

universe. The choice is now yours.


SOARES: Pink or Brown, that's the question. Well, the film is produced by Warner Bros., which is part of CNN's parent company.

That does it for us for tonight. Do stay right here. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS live from Astana (ph) with Richard Quest. It's up next. I'll see you

tomorrow. Bye-bye.