Return to Transcripts main page

Isa Soares Tonight

Veteran Heroes Honored at Normandy; Celebrating the 80th Anniversary of D-Day; World Leaders Commemorate Allied Invasion; Leaders Stand Strong with Ukraine During D-Day Ceremonies; Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy in Normandy; EU's Top Diplomat Calls for an Independent Investigation After a Deadly Israeli Strike on a U.N. School in Gaza; Boeing Starliner Successfully Docks ISS. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired June 06, 2024 - 14:00:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, a moment to remember and reflect. In a

moment to make sure the past is never repeated. We'll have all the details from today's 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Then the EU's top diplomat calls for an independent investigation after a deadly Israeli strike on a U.N. school in Gaza. We'll have the very latest

for you. Plus, Boeing Starliner has now docked at the International Space Station after a delayed arrival due to technical issues. We'll have that,

of course, and much more.

But first, many what only teenagers willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the free world from the tyranny of the Nazis. Now, eight decades to

the day, they stormed the beaches of northern France, the world is honoring them for their tremendous bravery.

World leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Joe Biden, gathering in Normandy to commemorate the historic allied

invasion that turned the tide of World War II in western Europe.




SOARES: President Macron awarding France's highest distinction, as you can see there, the Legion of Honor to more than a dozen American veterans. U.S.

President Biden warned that modern-day threat to democracy parallel those posed by Nazi Germany in 1944.

He tied D-Day to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, saying the struggle between a dictatorship and freedom is unending. Well, Ukraine's President Volodymyr

Zelenskyy was there to mark that anniversary, while Russian President Vladimir Putin was not invited.

Our Nic Robertson with more now on a day when NATO allies commemorated the past and looked to the dangers that may lie ahead.




NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Heroes 80 years ago, soldiers in their hats again today.


Honored by not one, but two presidents.

MACRON: And you're back here today at home if I may say.

ROBERTSON: Survivors of an era and a battle unparalleled in history, telling their story, a cautionary tale.

JOHN DENNETT, BRITISH VETERAN: When you go home, tell them of us, and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today.

ROBERTSON: The sea's calmer, the stinging bolts of bullets gone, so, too, the life ending explosions. This June 6th, more than a carefully-crafted

commemoration of the 156,000 allied troops, 5,000 ships, 13,000 aircrafts in the D-Day landings. A warning, dangerous, a bag on the horizon.

CHARLES PHILIP ARTHUR GEORGE, KING OF UNITED KINGDOM: Free nations must stand together to oppose tyranny.

ROBERTSON: U.S. President Joe Biden also connecting then and now, today Vladimir Putin's Russia, the threat.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States and NATO and a coalition of more than 50 countries standing strong with Ukraine, we will

not walk away --



Because if we do, Ukraine will be subjugated and will not end there, Ukraine's neighbors will be threatened. All of Europe will be threatened.

ROBERTSON: Ukraine's president, not Russia's invited this year, a break with tradition, and an instant hit with the vets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you're the savior of the people --


ROBERTSON: Yet, even here celebrating unity, Europe's emerging divisions on show. British paratroopers re-enacting D-Day airdrops, getting passport

checks, not needed before Brexit. For these young performers, a new world not bounded by the post-World War II rules-based order. The vets watching

them fought for. This 80th anniversary, their baton passed.

KATHERINE MIYAMASU, LIEUTENANT COMMANDER, U.S. NAVY: American World War II veterans, you stand relieved. We have the watch.

ROBERTSON: A watch that has a price, the account for this generation now settled. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


SOARES: Well, with much more now on the anniversaries, CNN's Melissa Bell is in Arromanches in France. But first, I want to go to our international

anchor, Christiane Amanpour who joins us from the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer.

And Christiane, I don't think there were that many dried eyes watching this commemorations, I speak for myself, it was incredibly moving and humbling

to see these last few veterans really who 80 years ago did really the unthinkable, and that's putting their lives on the line for freedom and

democracy. A fight of course, that is playing out on our doorstep. Just frame this for us, this moment right now.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, exactly, and of course, if you look behind me now that the commemorations and the

celebrations are over, all you really see the rows and rows of these crosses, stars of David, the people who were buried here after, you know,

that day, 80 years ago.

There's more than 9,000 Americans, this is the American cemetery. There are others buried in the British and the Canadian, and even in the German

cemetery, of course. And this just is in stark reality to what happened 80 years ago. President Macron said, in fact, that in fact, one of the most

beautiful sights and one of the most beautiful places in France are these cemeteries because not only do they -- do they look incredible and moving,

but they speak to everything that we have benefited and gained from their sacrifice.

And so, I think that's massively moving. The watch was incredible. The Naval officer who read essentially, you know, thanking her forbears and

then saying that the baton has been passed. And of course, we are on the watch.

Now, comes at a time when there is a lot to be vigilant about as we all know, because we've covered it for now, nearly going into its third year,

this war in Ukraine, who knew that on the 80th anniversary of a war that was meant to end all wars, that Europe would be racked by this land war

completely unprovoked by Russia, which departed from its -- from its liberation effort in World War II and decided to take up again under

President Putin, the aura of domination, imperial, you know, dominance and trying to gather its sphere of influence again, after all these years.

And that is what puts everyone's freedom and democracy on this continent, and of course, the whole northern Atlantic alliance in such jeopardy right

now, which is why President Biden framed and so did President Macron frame their speeches in the context of what Europe and the world frankly faces


SOARES: And I know you spoke Christiane to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in one of the many interviews you did --


SOARES: What -- how did it reflect on this moment?

AMANPOUR: Well, he is an amazing person, General C.Q. Brown. He is an airman himself, so, he's flown in combat, and we were talking about, you

know, the planes that were involved in D-Day, obviously, because they had dropped paratroopers before the invasion, before the actual, you know,

sunrise landing here.

But he spoke about, again, what everybody is trying to focus on and that is that democracy can only survive if we fight for it. Here's what he said.


CHARLES BROWN, CHAIRMAN, U.S. JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Our freedom is not free and democracy can stand on its own, but we've got to make sure we're

prepared. And you know, one of the exact focus on is ensuring that we have the war fighting skill to deter a future conflict.


AMANPOUR: And it's been said that Americans of this generation have not yet internalized what apparently a lot of military, certainly NATO military

believed that it's not inconceivable that there could be a great power war again, and that you have to prepare for it. Do you think people at home,

even in Europe understand how difficult the situation we're living through right now.

BROWN: Well, what I'll tell you, I have a sense, it's coming along, and having, you know, worked in the Indo-Pacific before here in Europe and in

the Middle East, I've watched over the years and particularly over the past few years how the Warners (ph), not only for those of us in uniform, but

with our elected leadership and the American public. And we've got to continue to remind folks --


BROWN: That when you look at the situation that we're seeing, and that we just can't watch, we've got to be -- we've got to leave.


AMANPOUR: And you know, it was interesting also to hear President Biden frame his remarks, echoing what Ronald Reagan, the Republican President

said here on the 40th anniversary back in 1984, when he said that freedom and democracy would not be won by retreating back across the sea back to

home. In other words, not by isolationism.

Reagan used that word isolationism, and that is not what was going to make, you know, peace through strength. It had to be when there was an evil

abroad, it had to be confronted. And I think this is something that is so incredibly relevant today as a segment of the American population believes

in this sort of America first, isolationist quality right now, to the point that the Reagan Republicans are no longer the Republicans that are

represented by the majority of the party.

And people have spoken over and over again about how the current Republican Party, at least, a major segment of them, headed by Donald Trump do believe

much more in isolationism and are not the same, you know, global security Republicans that Reagan Republicans were in the aftermath, of course, of

World War II. So, it's a very pointed message --

SOARES: Yes --

AMANPOUR: About the challenges that we face right now.

SOARES: Indeed, a lot to reflect on, Christiane, as always, thank you very much. Let's go to Melissa Bell because Melissa, as Christiane sharply, you

know, focused their minds there, these events, and I think it's important to point out in the not-too distant past would have involved Russia,

Melissa, who was one of course, the key allies in the second World War, but President Putin wasn't invited today. Just tell us where you are, and what

you've seen.

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, the last time he came down to these -- celebrate these commemorations that are marked, of

course, every year, so, it was back in 2014. Since then, the allies have done without his presence since the invasion of Crimea to mark these

important events.

We're down here on Arromanches, this is gold beach, where people have come out in huge numbers today to mark what was achieved here 80 years ago.

They've come in jeeps like this one, their boards here in 1944 to help ferry across the land, the equipment and the weapons that were needed for

the men to ensure that Operation Overlord was the success that it was.

And what we've seen down here on gold beach today are huge crowds coming out to pay their attributes, and let me just show you, Isa, in the car next

to us. Let me introduce you to a Reggie Pi(ph), this is 100-year-old World War II veteran. He landed here 80 years ago, a couple of weeks on from D-


And he's been brought back by his loved ones to be back on these beaches and to see all of these people who have come out to pay their respects to

what he and the other servicemen he was with achieved against the odds. I think it's really important as we watch these vehicles on this beach

tonight to remember what extraordinary -- an extraordinary logistical feat was at the heart of this victory.

Improbable as it was against the odds it was, these very young men like Reggie landed on the beaches over consonants that had been occupied. France

had been occupied for four years. The German positions were entrenched. The allied efforts to take back this land, inch-by-inch were incredibly brave,

incredibly ambitious, and almost foolhardy.

One can consider looking back at what they were up against, and yet, inch- by-inch with the help of a logistics that were behind this, they managed to take back this land, not just in the name of France, but of course, as

Christiane, was just saying the name of freedom, Isa.

SOARES: Indeed, incredibly moving scenes there, Melissa, thank you very much indeed. Now, the European Union is calling for an independent

investigation into an Israeli airstrike on a U.N. school in Gaza where thousands of displaced civilians were taking shelter.


Health officials say 40 people were killed, including 14 children. Israel calls it a precise strike, saying it targeted Hamas and Islamic Jihad

fighters inside the compound. The U.N. says it can't verify the presence of our militants, claiming -- calling basically that claim, shocking.

CNN has analyzed video from the scene, finding that U.S.-made munitions were used in the attack. The U.S. and 16 other countries are jointly urging

Israel as well as Hamas to accept a hostage and ceasefire plan first, of course, announced by President Joe Biden.

But Hamas says the latest proposal it received does not match what Mr. Biden outlined, saying it falls short of its demand. Let's get more on all

these developments, we're joined by Jeremy Diamond in Jerusalem, Jennifer Hans there -- Jennifer Hansler is at the U.N. State Department.

Jeremy, to you first, I mean, this attack, of course, important to point out, let me get some context for our viewers, comes what? Two weeks or so

after another deadly strike on the camp in Rafah. What more are you learning about this strike and what is the IDF saying here?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, another camp for displaced Palestinians hit in an Israeli airstrike, and once again, the

Israeli military using the same type of ammunitions, that American-made GBU-39, small diameter bomb.

In this case, the Israeli military says that it was targeting 20 to 30 militants. The Palestinian Ministry of Health though and hospital records

indicate that the majority of the 40 people who were killed were civilians, women and children, but of course, beyond the numbers, there are the

stories of those who have lost loved ones.


DIAMOND (voice-over): Mohammed Fajala(ph) is still picking through the rubble of the airstrike that killed his brother, and alongside the blood-

spattered walls, he is still finding pieces of flesh.


DIAMOND: He believes they are his brother's. "May his soul rest in peace", he says, "I wish I died instead, there's no hope in this life at all."

Mahmoud(ph) is the second brother Mohammed(ph) has lost in the war, his third brother is in the hospital in critical condition, his skull fractured

in the blast.

Mohammed(ph) is not the only one sifting through the rubble. The Gaza Health Ministry says at least 40 people were killed when the Israeli

military struck this building overnight. But this is no ordinary building, it's a U.N. school, converted like so many others into a shelter for

thousands of Palestinians displaced from their homes.

Blood-stained mattresses now filling the space where dozens were sleeping at the moment of impact. Fragments of an American-made GBU-39 bomb

identified in the wreckage, according to ammunitions expert who reviewed this footage.


DIAMOND: Same type of ammunition used in the deadly strike in Rafah last month that killed 45 people. The Israeli military says it carried out a

precision and intelligence-base strike, targeting 20 to 30 Palestinian militants who it says were sheltering in the school and preparing attacks

on Israeli troops.

An Israeli military spokesman said the IDF was unaware of any civilian casualties. Hospital records tell a different story, nine women and 14

children as young as 4 years old are among the dead delivered to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital.

"Those who survived also accuse Israel of targeting civilians. Netanyahu is killing the civilians. He's not killing militants", Shadar Abu Daher(ph)

says "it's innocent people sleeping in UNRWA facility. What did children and the elderly do? What did they do to him?" The school is one of at least

180 UNRWA buildings to be hit since the beginning of the war, according to that U.N. agency.

"Attacking, targeting or using U.N. buildings for military purposes are a blatant disregard of international humanitarian law", wrote UNRWA chief

Philippe Lazzarini.



DIAMOND: But the devastation goes beyond U.N. facilities. Scenes like this have been playing out all week in central Gaza amid a clear uptick in

Israeli airstrike. Bloodied and covered in sud, survivors and victims' alike have been arriving at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital at a rising clip.


DIAMOND: As one wounded child cries for her mother, another arrives at the morgue to say goodbye to his. "Mama is going to visit grandpa", as father

tells his son, "don't cry, you're a man", he says, but he is the one who breaks down.



DIAMOND: And Isa, of course, the only thing that would likely bring an end to all of the suffering would be a ceasefire agreement between Israel and

Hamas. But right now, the fate of those negotiations seems very much unclear. We are still waiting to hear Hamas' official response to this

latest Israeli proposal, one that the U.S. says could lead to a permanent ceasefire, could lead to an end to the war altogether, but which the

Israeli Prime Minister has indicated will not until Hamas is destroyed. Isa.

SOARES: Important reporting there from Jeremy Diamond. Jeremy, thank you very much. Let me go to Jennifer Hansler, and Jennifer, just sticking to

the same strike that Jeremy was talking about, and we mentioned this earlier that a CNN analysis of the video from the scene found that U.S.

ammunitions were used in this Israeli airstrike.

This is the second time, of course, in two weeks that CNN has been able to verify the use of U.S. manufacturing ammunitions in deadly airstrikes. What

has been the reaction from the State Department? I know you were at the press conference, I know you pushed them on this. What did they have to


JENNIFER HANSLER, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT REPORTER: Well, Isa, on the use of U.S.-made bombs in this particular strike, State Department spokesperson

Matt Miller said he was not able to confirm that. However, we should note that the U.S. has provided Israel with thousands of these kinds of weapons

in the past.

So, it is completely within the realm of believability, and as our analysis has found, that these were U.S.-made and provided bombs. On this strike

more broadly, the spokesperson said that they are in touch with the Israeli government on this, but thus far, the answers have been the same thing that

the Israeli government has been saying publicly that they were targeting Hamas fighters within this school, and that this was reportedly to be a

precision strike that no civilians were killed.

State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said that they are looking for transparency from the Israeli government on this strike. They want to see a

full accounting of the names of those killed, and they want to see the facts. Now, I pressed him on how this does not violate that red line that

we saw the president and other senior Biden administration officials lay out in recent weeks, that Israel must do more to combat the civilian toll

in their campaign in Gaza. This is what he told me.


MATTHEW MILLER, SPOKESPERSON, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: With respect to the policy that the president announced, he was speaking specifically to a

large scale operation in Rafah, and we have not yet seen a large scale operation conducted in Rafah.

That said, we have seen strikes that puts civilians in danger well before the president said that. And we have made clear to the government of Israel

that we expect them to do everything that they can to minimize civilian harm.


HANSLER: Now, I should note, Isa, that Miller did acknowledge what we are hearing from the ground that, that civilians were killed, dozens of

civilians, including 14 children, and he said, if it is the case that 14 children were killed in this strike, there is obviously much more that

Israel needs to do, and that they -- I have not yet seen the results that they need to, to combat the civilian toll here, Isa.

SOARES: Jennifer Hansler for us there in Washington, thanks very much, Jennifer. And still to come tonight, a former Trump adviser is in for a

rude awakening. Details ahead on how Steve Bannon will need to report to prison, plus the widow of Beau Biden takes the stand in Hunter Biden's

federal gun trial. We'll have the very latest from her testimony just ahead. You are watching CNN.



SOARES: Well, a federal judge appointed by Donald Trump has just ordered one of Trump's former adviser to report to prison by July 1st. Steve Bannon

is now on track to serve time for contempt of Congress. This comes after Bannon's conviction in 2022 when he failed to provide documents as well as

testimony to the January 6 House Select Committee.

The judge initially paused Bannon's 4-month prison sentence while his defense appealed the conviction. But now, Bannon only has a short window to

get a higher court's intervention. He's vowed to fight the conviction all the way to the Supreme Court.

There are also new developments in the Georgia election interference case against Donald Trump as well as other defendants. A Georgia appeals court

is putting the entire case on hold while it considers whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should be disqualified.

With this delay, the trial is unlikely to occur before the November U.S. presidential election. Meanwhile, key Trump allies, including Rudy

Giuliani, are set to be arraigned in the Arizona election subversion case. And we'll take it from Georgia to Delaware, we now turn to the other

historic case making headlines, and that's Hunter Biden's federal gun trial.

U.S. President Joe Biden's son is accused of illegally purchasing a gun while being addicted to drugs in 2018. Taking a stand today, Hallie Biden,

who is the widow of Hunter's late brother, Beau. Hallie, who was dating Hunter in 2018 testifies that she didn't witness Hunter doing drugs at the

time in question.

Hallie also described, well, she later threw away the gun, writing impersonal messages that she feared for Hunter's safety. We'll of course,

stay across all the latest developments on this case. And the Starliner spacecraft has successfully docked at the International Space Station.

The Boeing capsule carrying a two-member NASA crew experienced some delays in its final approach towards the ISS. Four of the reaction control system

thrusters failed, but the crew was able to get two of the thrusters firing again. Make sure of course to stay tuned in about 20 minutes or so, we're

going to look -- take a deeper look at this.

We'll have a live update on the very latest of the Boeing Starliner. And still to come tonight, as world leaders commemorate the 80th anniversary of

D-Day, we'll speak to an award-winning filmmaker about how lessons from June the 6th still resonate today. Plus, Russia's war in Ukraine remains

very much in focus during D-Day events as Europe is faced with another war.

In just a bit, I talk with the director of the Kyiv School of Economics about his country's fight for freedom in an unprovoked war.




ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Welcome back, everyone. It was a day that lives on in history. Eight decades ago, Allied forces stormed the

beach in Normandy in France to turn the tide of World War II.

Now, 80 is on from June the 6, 1944. Leaders from more than 20 countries are in France, recognizing the tremendous sacrifice, of course, of Allied

troops. Their lessons still resonate today, especially, of course, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine has returned war to Europe.

U.S. President Joe Biden spoke to the crowd earlier today, drawing parallels between 1944 and the present day. Have a listen.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Their hour of trial, the Allied forces of D-Day did their duty. Now, the question for us is, in our hour of trial, will we

do ours? We're living in a time when democracy is more at risk across the world than any point since the end of World War II, since these beaches

were stormed.


SOARES: It's simply called "The War." A seven-part documentary outlining what happened during World War II. In a moment, I'll speak with the

director, Ken Burns. The film showcases how the war touched the lives of ordinary people through the personal accounts of dozens of men and women.

Here's a short clip I want to show you detailing the events that unfolded on June the 6th, 1944.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Americans began to improvise. Commanders defied orders and risked tearing the bottom from their ships to bring them within

a thousand yards of the beach and use their guns to finally knock out the German pillboxes and gun emplacements. And on the beach itself, officers

and enlisted men alike began taking their survival into their own hands.


SOARES: Well, joining me now to reflect on the significance of the film and D-Day is Ken Burns. Ken, really appreciate you taking the time to speak

to us this evening. I want to get really your assessment, your reflection of what you've seen today, because as you -- as we saw, as we all saw quite

movingly, those veterans and their sacrifices and courage being celebrated, seeing on the beaches, of course, for likely the last time in their lives.

What is the significance, in your view, of this moment, Ken?


KEN BURNS, DIRECTOR AND DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: Well, I think you hit the nail on the head. Thank you so much for having me. This is such a solemn,

such an important day. It's made even more solemn by the fact that most of the gentlemen that are there today will not be around maybe even a year.

We've just lost a veteran today who was trying to get to Normandy at 102 years old passed away.

This is a huge moment for our civilization. The president hit it correctly. So, did Majority Leader McConnell, who wrote in an op-ed in "The New York

Times" how much we have to guard against the incipient threats against our democracy. It seemed to come from without and from within. And I think this

is a time to reflect that these people made an extraordinary sacrifice.

They weren't there for empire. They weren't there to get anything, to seize territory. They were there because of an idea. And the idea was born back

in our American revolution, and it is spread across the globe in really spectacular ways, in which we've shown people that the way of democracy,

where the people vote, where the people rule, is exactly the way to go.

But in recent years, we've seen an uptick in authoritarianism. It always comes. And this was our attempt, the largest invasion in the history of the

world, in the greatest cataclysm that's ever-taken place in the world, the Second World War, to stem and check that advance of authoritarianism. And

we did that.

And now, as the president correctly pointed out, on the eastern borders of Europe and Ukraine, we're struggling in another similar situation and we

have obligations to ourselves and most important to the idea that informs all of us that depression that came before World War II was a kind of

practice of shared sacrifice.

The Second World War was for Americans putting into practice perfecting the idea of sacrifice. And that's what happened on this day. And it is

unimaginably impossible -- it's -- you cannot believe what they did there. It's just impossible to fully understand. No film can do justice to it,

feature or other ways.

SOARES: And we are all terribly indebted, of course, to the sacrifices that so many of them have made. And in this moment, as we mark this moment,

these 80 years, we are fortunate, Ken, to hear directly from these veterans, the firsthand accounts of what it was like on that day, and of

course the days that followed.

Do you worry that their testament, their authentic stories and the magnitude here of what was achieved, do you worry that they will be


BURNS: I think that what's happened that when the generation dies out -- I've just made a film and released it a couple of years ago on the history

of the U.S. and the Holocaust. And many of the survivors are beginning to pass away and we're losing touch with that. It is our obligation though to

bear witness to their testimony in films and news programs, in books, in conversations, in memoir, in just treating them with the respect so that we

carry forward to the next generations the idea of their sacrifice and the pricelessness of the ideas that they sacrificed for.

This is for an idea, not for empire or conquest. That's the thing that I want to hammer on. Why would a foreign kid from Pennsylvania land there?

What was in his interest? It wasn't. It was in our interest. So, it speaks to us about collective freedom as well as individual freedom. He gets to

enjoy that freedom or he protects it for others if he loses his life, because we shared that sacrifice.

And what we learned making our film, "The War," about the Second World War, the tagline was, there are no ordinary people. We live in an era of

celebrity, of bold-faced names. The bold-faced names of this day, Eisenhower and Churchill, heroic leaders in their right, I'm not taking

anything away from them, are not there.

The people who are the bold-faced heroes are the so-called ordinary people. And you realize when you delve into history and what we have to celebrate,

particularly today with this greatest generation, as it begins to close its eyes and take its long-deserved rest, is that there are no ordinary people.

SOARES: Ken Burns, could talk to you for hours. Really appreciate your time. Thank you very much for your insight.

BURNS: My pleasure.

SOARES: Thank you. And still to come tonight, Ukraine matters. That is the message that we heard, dominating really D-Day remembrance events. Joining

me after the break, Ukraine's former trade minister. We'll talk about democracy and its country's ongoing fight for freedom, exactly what Ken

Burns was talking about just there. We'll have that discussion after this.



SOARES: Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy is in Normandy, marking the 80th anniversary of the D-Day. He arrived at the international ceremony to

a standing ovation and rousing applause. Mr. Zelenskyy's presence and Russian leader Vladimir Putin's absence is highly symbolic, of course,

given how the war in Ukraine is casting a shadow over the day's events.

In a speech earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden drew parallels between the events of 80 years ago and Ukraine's fight for freedom in an unprovoked

war. Have a listen.


BIDEN: The struggle between a dictatorship and freedom is unending. Here in Europe, we see one stark example, Ukraine has been invaded by a tyrant

bent on domination. Ukrainians are fighting with extraordinary courage. The United States and NATO and a coalition of more than 50 countries standing

strong with Ukraine. We will not walk away.


SOARES: Strong words there from President Biden. Here with me now is the former minister for trade in Ukraine and President of the Kyiv School of

Economics, Tymofiy Mylovanov, a well-known face here on the show. Tymofiy, great to have you on set rather than speaking to you from down the line.

Let me just pick up, of course, with that parallel that we heard from President Biden, incredibly moving and the timing of it speaks volumes. But

I also, saw, and I'm sure you saw this, President Zelenskyy being applauded, being hugged by so many of the veterans. I want to play a little

clip of what happened today and then we can talk about this. Have a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Ukrainian prime minister is busy fighting right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you're the savior of the people.

ZELENSKYY: No, no, no. You're the savior of Europe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're my hero.

ZELENSKYY: No, you are our hero.


SOARES: You're the savior of people. You are our hero. Incredibly moving. I know it touched you a lot.


SOARES: I mean, what does this moment -- seeing this, what does it mean to you?

MYLOVANOV: Because they understand. And, you know, what Russia does to the world has been happening before Ukraine. In 2008, when Georgia happened, I

personally didn't care.


MYLOVANOV: It took me missiles around me landing, in 2022, to care about what's happening. And I think these guys understand what the war is and

understand --


SOARES: What they're fighting for.


SOARES: What the fight is.

MYLOVANOV: What it means to stop and what happens if you delay or you hope or you are in denial, and that's where they're responding to him, because

he knows what the -- we are all facing. And they're signaling, they're showing that other politicians might not even comprehend what we are up


SOARES: So, they understand better than any of us.

MYLOVANOV: Yes, yes.

SOARES: Because they have fought for those very values.


SOARES: Right. That freedom and that democracy. Let's talk about that fight in Ukraine. We have seen the situation in Eastern Ukraine really

escalate in the last few months. In fact, we heard from the Ukrainian army chief this week the situation in Donetsk is difficult. Not just Donetsk,

we've all seen the situation in Kharkiv. Paint us a picture of what it's like along that long front line.

MYLOVANOV: So, I've been to those places, not to -- of course, to the front line, but close enough, and I've spoken with the military way before

that recent attack that Russia has done. And, you know, they don't have artillery. I've been in Kramatorsk --

SOARES: Where is the artillery?

MYLOVANOV: Well, now they have some.


MYLOVANOV: But when I was there in May, they had none. I mean, we were not talking about it publicly because it was sensitive.

SOARES: And we know there was a shortage.

MYLOVANOV: Yes, but they had 30 rounds, you know, they had 50 rounds, nothing left. And Russians were pounding Ukrainian military all day around,

all night around. And Ukrainians didn't have anything to respond with. So, of course, they're going to be moving.


MYLOVANOV: So, basically, you're a human shield. You are sitting there until they kill you.

SOARES: They're sitting ducks.

MYLOVANOV: Yes, exactly. And then you move, and then they go methodically. Trench after trench with the artillery with us unable to respond because we

haven't gotten that support. Of course, no one owes us a dollar and we are very, very grateful for everything. But people, you know, should understand

that a political delay leads to lives and leads to emboldening and making Russia stronger.

SOARES: And on that, I mean, have you -- we know there is shortage. We know that's taken time for ammunition to get Ukraine. Are you starting to

see? You That arriving or is the shortage still pretty significant that is impacting at the operation?

MYLOVANOV: Well, the damage has been done.


MYLOVANOV: But you see that the front lines have stabilized. Not everywhere yet, but they have. You see that Kharkiv, OK, the city is being

pounded because they're close. But the movement has been stabilized. They're still stuck at the border. And the artillery, the support is

getting through, and you can see how, with proper support, with timely support, Russia can be stopped. That's actually a no brainer.

SOARES: And speaking of Kharkiv and the close to those front lines, for a long, long time, and I remember this, you and I spoke about this, there was

a red line, Allies did not want their weapons to be used in Russia, right, against Russia and Russian territory. That has shifted now. We've seen

that. We've heard that from the United States as well.

I just want to play a little clip from the U.S. Defense Secretary Austin what he said today, just in France. Have listened to this.


LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Our policy using long-range strike weaponry to go into a Russia hasn't changed. But what we have done is

provided Ukraine the ability to counter fire, to fire back at those Russian troops that are firing at them and to be able to take out their artillery

batteries as they're firing at the Ukrainians. And I think that's going to prove to be very, very helpful to the Ukrainians going forward.


SOARES: OK. So, what difference, in real terms here, is this making?

MYLOVANOV: Well, we all have seen online, on the news, that we have been able to use HIMARS to strike S-300s, S-400s and troops actually just above

the board. So, what was happening before, that Russians would amass the troops, right, you know, in front of our eyes, and we wouldn't be able to

do much until they cross, that's no way to fight the war.

SOARES: Is that enough to debilitate them, you think, slowly?

MYLOVANOV: That's just a part of that.


MYLOVANOV: Slowly, absolutely. But it's also a part, you debilitate or degrade the equipment. Then you use other techniques or other military

weapons to attack personnel, and it's a complex -- it's a comprehensive picture. But of course, this is a crucial piece. And I think we need to do

more. We actually need to -- the best way to fight this war is to make sure that Russians cannot bring weapons to the front lines.

SOARES: And as you're speaking, I'm looking at my phone. I don't mean to be disrespectful. But I'm hearing now the French president, Emmanuel

Macron, has in the last few minutes said that France will begin supplying Ukraine with Mirage 2005 fighter jets. This is an interview that he gave.

How significant is this, I mean, this agreement now that has been signed, it seemed, with France?


MYLOVANOV: It is significant, and it is important and very valuable. The reason is that what Russia does, they use these guided bombs, which are

really, really powerful. They could be a ton. They could be more than a ton.

And what they do, they launch it from fighter -- from bombers which are sufficiently close that they could have been challenged by fighters had

Ukraine had modern F-16s or Mirages. Now, that will make it impossible for Russia to bomb using these guided bombs.

SOARES: And do we know when they're being received? Do you know?

MYLOVANOV: That's sensitive.

SOARES: I can tell you what we're hearing. He said he proposed to begin training pilots on the aircraft from the summer with training taking around

six months.


SOARES: So, I know you're not going to tell me anyway, but --

MYLOVANOV: With F-16s, I expect it to come through, training has been going on. We know that was in the news that in the part of training in the

U.S., in Arizona, for example, has been finished. So, some training continues in Europe. So, we're getting there.

SOARES: Tymofiy, so great to have you in the studio. Thank you very much. Great seeing you in real person. Thank you for coming in.

We're going to take a short break. We're back on the other side.


SOARES: Well, the Starliner spacecraft has successfully docked at the International Space Station. It's a big relief for Boeing, of course, and


Earlier today, if you remember, the two member NASA crew experienced some delays in Starliner's final approach towards the ISS. Four of the reaction

control system thrusters failed. However, they were able to get two of the thrusters up again. Let's get more on all this. Joining us now is Space and

Defense Correspondent Kristin Fisher. Kristin, I think it's fair to say it's not -- hasn't been like a flawless flight. And I think we have some

live images, some images coming in the showing that they're docking. I don't know if you can see them there. Just talk us through what we are

seeing here.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: So, right now, you are looking, excuse me, inside the International Space Station. And that is

the hatch that the two Boeing Starliner astronauts -- the NASA astronauts, Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, are going to come through when they enter

the space station from the Starliner spacecraft. So, that's what they'll be coming through very shortly now.


But yes, I mean, Isa, this was not a perfect flight. But remember, this was a test flight, the first crewed test flight of this vehicle. And right now,

for the first time in history, there are now two American-made -- two different American-made spacecrafts up at the International Space Station,

docked to the space station. So, you have SpaceX's Crew Dragon, which has been doing this for about four years now. And now, you have Boeing

Starliner joining the club just a few moments ago.

And so, what this is, really, is the culmination of NASA's dream for its commercial crew program. They wanted this redundancy. In case something

happened with SpaceX, you have Boeing. In case something happens with Boeing Starliner, you have the SpaceX Crew Dragon. And so, this is really

the fulfillment of this goal that was first put forward about a decade ago.

So, Isa, really a big moment today for NASA and of course Boeing that desperately needed a win here.

SOARES: It is indeed. We've only got 30 seconds left. I mean, it is a big moment. We're waiting to see that hatch open, of course, but it has been

full of hiccups, hasn't it, them just getting here?

FISHER: Yes. So, they had, obviously, technical delays, two scrubs before the successful launch, and then once they got in orbit, they found two new

helium leaks, then there were these issues with these little thrusters to finally get it there, but hey, they pulled it off, they're there now,

securely attached.

SOARES: Indeed. Absolutely. Kristin, really appreciate it. Thank you very much. That does it for us. Keep a close eye for that hatch.

Thanks for watching us. Do stay right here. "Newsroom with Jim Sciutto" is up next. I'll see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.