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Fighting Underway in Eastern Ukraine; Bank to Forecast U.S. Recession; Tiger Woods Announces His Return to the Masters. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired April 06, 2022 - 08:30   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Brianna Keilar, live in western Ukraine.

And new drone video this morning capturing the moment that a cyclist in Ukraine was gunned down by Russian forces in the town of Bucha. You can see him making his way down the street and around the corner when suddenly there is a blast of gunfire. A second video posted on Twitter and geolocated by CNN shows his body sprawled alongside a bike and two more lying prone on the road.

You can also see the devastation of destroyed buildings, an electricity pole uprooted, burned out cars abandoned and debris littering the street. The incident took place in the same place where the shocking images were taken of the bodies of at least 20 civilian men lining the street after Russian forces withdrew last week.


All right, new this morning, we are told that major fighting is underway right now in eastern Ukraine. The Donbas region. Officials in Luhansk, part of that area, now urging civilians to evacuate, they say before it's too late. And officials in Donetsk and Kharkiv also warning of intensified fighting today.

Joining us now is CNN national security analyst and former CIA chief of Russia operations Steve Hall.

Steve, just talk to us about this region where we were just told by a senior Ukrainian official, he expects fierce fighting over the next two weeks.

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, John, this is going to be clearly the next focus on the -- on the part of the Russians, this, and, of course, trying to construct that bridge across the south of the country over to Odessa. But, of course, we have to remember, this war's been going on a long time for the Ukrainians. It's been going on since -- since 2014. And so they, for them, this is not a new war zone. This is a place where they've been active before they know the area and so they might have some advantage there. As more Russian forces circle around, get relocated from the western

part of the country and start moving into this area, yes, I think it's going to get -- it's going to get -- the fighting is going to get very heavy.

BERMAN: Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said he expects the war to last years. Can Russia sustain an assault here for years?

HALL: You know, that's a real good question. And I think most military analysts right now are saying probably not over the long period. I think they're going to have some initial advances because what you're going to see is the same thing that we saw in Chechnya and Grozny. You're going to see just pounding and sending, you know, as many forces as the Russians can find into this fight. But over the long run, I don't see how they can sustain it.

BERMAN: So, Steve, we learned overnight -- or there is reporting, I should say, overnight, that the west will impose sanctions on Vladimir Putin's adult daughters. Now, there's a ton interesting about this. Mostly we know so little about his family. Just explain all of this.

HALL: Well, we do know quite little about the daughters. One of them apparently was in Paris at one point, allegedly. We don't know whether she's returned to Russia. And then there's one that has been in Russia for a long time. Those are just the ones, by the way, from his -- from his wife, who he divorced. We suspect that there are, of course, other liaisons that occurred and so there's probably other offspring as well.

But for Putin you have to understand, is sort of like a mafia mentality. The family can be actually sort of a weak spot if the -- if your adversaries know where your family are, know who your daughters are, then they can do things like impose sanctions. Mostly symbolic. But for Putin, that's kind of how he thinks about it, which I think is why he tries to maintain that veil of secrecy around his family.


BERMAN: If you are sanctioning his daughters, are you hitting close to home? In other words, does he care?

HALL: I think he does. And there is this sort of interesting personality part of Putin where he takes things very personally. We saw a couple of days ago when he was called -- well, he's been called a war criminal a number of times, but he doesn't say things and his government and his spokespeople don't say like, the Russian government would never do this type of thing. You know, this is -- we have a professional army. What happens is you hear things like Lavrov saying, well, Vladimir Putin took this very personally when he was being accused of a war criminal. So he -- There is a sort of a psychological pressure that I think when you start looking at sanctions against his daughters and perhaps other family and other private interests that does exert a certain psychological pressure on a guy who I think has shown to have some vulnerabilities there.

BERMAN: I want to ask just one broader question about Vladimir Putin if we could. Brianna had a really interesting conversation with Klitschko, the brother of the mayor of Kyiv before, who's just angry, just really, frankly, pissed off at the west, saying, if you're not helping us, you have blood on your hands.

Vladimir Putin, maybe he saw weakness before the invasion. Do you think he still sees that weakness in the resolve of the west?

HALL: I think he sees a different weakness. I think he clearly miscalculated and said, look, we do have a weak west, and so I'm going to go ahead and do this. As a matter of fact, why he didn't do it sooner, we're -- when we were arguably even weaker, in terms of a divided country, a divided west, is surprising.

But the weakness that he, I think, sees now and hopes to exploit is something that is a long-term problem with the west, which is our tendency to have our attention sort of shift and move to other things and we sort of forget about some of these things. And he's hoping, I think, that that's what's going to happen.

BERMAN: Well, but that draws into conflict what you were talking about before. He may want to wait this out, but he may not be able to sustain it on the military and resource side, correct?

HALL: Yes, that's -- that's going to be a long-term problem for him because, of course, he knows that the west is -- that our attention is probably going to drift. The question is can he hold out long enough to get what he wants so that then the west will re-engage and say, well, where are we now? OK, that doesn't look like such a bad deal, let's move ahead with that.

BERMAN: Steve Hall, as always, thank you for helping us understand what's happening there.

So, more of the other breaking news this morning.

Missile strikes overnight in the Lviv region in western Ukraine, just miles from the border with Poland. Of course, a NATO nation. We're live on the ground there.

And could the U.S. be headed for a recession? A new warning from a major bank.



BERMAN: All right, you'll want to hear this. Deutsche Bank forecasting a recession in the United States could start late next year. That's the first major financial institution with such a prediction.

CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans here with that.

What's going on?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Look, no question, Putin's war in Ukraine is making the inflation outlook even worse. The Fed is already trying to tackle inflation running at the hottest in 40 years. And then Russia invaded Ukraine, sending oil, grains, metals prices soaring.

China has these new Covid lockdowns. That could disrupt supply again. The consensus is that recession risks are rising, but this is the first bold call that a recession in the U.S. will happen. The Deutsche Bank economists predict a mild recession later next year, writing, quote, we no longer see the Fed achieving a soft landing. Instead, we anticipate that a more aggressive tightening of monetary policy will push the economy into a recession.

The Fed is already raising interest rates, tapping the brakes on the U.S. economy. Last year the strongest economy since the Reagan administration, don't forget. Goldman Sachs puts the risk of a recession in the U.S. as high as 35 percent. Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi sees recession risks rising but thinks the Fed does have the tools to raise rates aggressively and still avoid a recession.

The bigger risk, John, is Europe, where economies depend heavily on Russian oil and gas. Goldman Sachs expects oil prices will hit $125 a barrel in the fourth quarter, but economists there at Goldman say oil prices are high, that high, but unlikely to trigger a recession in the U.S. on their own.

BERMAN: So, Janet Yellen, the U.S. Treasury secretary, not issuing a warning this stark, but with some pretty glaring words.

ROMANS: Yes. She is the Treasury secretary. She will speak before Congress in just about an hour. And she will say that there will be enormous economic destruction from the Russia attack on Ukraine, leaving the entire world vulnerable to hunger, surging energy prices and a whole host of other problems. Essentially the world got a whole lot less safe and a whole lot less secure and prosperous because of Putin's actions.

BERMAN: Christine Romans, consequences, but there are those who argue worth it to fight back against Russia here.


BERMAN: Thank you.

All right, Ivanka Trump spoke to the January 6th committee for eight hours. That's a long time. What did she tell them? Well, we're getting new details about that meeting.

And Tiger Woods announces that, as far as he's concerned, he will be playing at the Masters. We'll tell you what he's most worried about, and it's not hitting the ball.




TIGER WOODS, FIVE-TIME MASTERS CHAMPION: As of right now, I feel like I am going to play. As of right now.

The fact that I was able to get myself here to this point is a success. And now that I am playing, now everything is focused on, how do I get myself into the position where I'm on that back nine on Sunday with a chance, just like I did, you know, a few years ago.


BERMAN: Tiger Woods, right there, basically announcing his return to the Masters after suffering those serious leg injuries in February of last year in that horrible car accident. You're looking at pictures right there of the aftermath.

Joining me now is "Golf Digest" staff writer Dan Rapaport.

Dan, always great to see you.

I have to confess, I'm not quite sure I understand the suspense that Tiger himself created this week. Obviously, he went back to Augusta planning to play. Nevertheless, this return is very dramatic. Just explain to us how big of a deal it is.

DAN RAPAPORT, STAFF WRITER, "GOLF DIGEST": It couldn't be a bigger deal. I mean when you consider where he was 14 months ago, his right leg crushed by the weight of an SUV I mean the images you guys just saw, it looked life threatening and certainly career threatening. And then, you know, you don't hear from him for a couple of months and then you hear whispers, like, maybe he's trying to play again. Then he drops that swing video out of nowhere and the hype train goes out of control. And now he's back at the Masters, the biggest golf tournament in the world, on the 25 anniversary -- the 25th anniversary of his first major win here in 1997. So, you really couldn't write a more dramatic script. And I think the scene on Thursday morning when he tees off is going to be something special.

BERMAN: I suspect he always had this date circled on the calendar, which, when he released that swing video back when he did, and he did the father/son tournament back when he did, I think it was all to get ready for this moment, because the Masters is so important to him. It's been so crucial to his entire career, both successes and coming back from adversity in the past.

It's not the golf itself that could be the issue here.


BERMAN: The swinging of the clubs. What is he most concerned about?

RAPAPORT: The walking. It's funny how it's so simple. Tiger's career has spanned so many decades, so many injuries. It's been so complicated and now it's just so simple. Can he walk the course? Can his surgically rebuilt right leg withstand the stress of not just four rounds in a row, but he played on Sunday, and he played on Monday, and he practiced yesterday, and he's supposed to play a little bit more today. So it's really more like six or seven days of going up and down. And Augusta might be the toughest walk that these guys face all year. It's famously very hilly, very undulating. There's almost no flat lies. So, if you could pick a golf course to return at, Augusta might be the last one just because of how difficult the walk is.

So, once he's over the ball, you wouldn't notice that there was an injury. He looks perfect with his swing. And his movement over the ball, he looks very comfortable.


It's between them that you can tell he's still working through something with his right leg for sure.

BERMAN: Well, to that point, I understood that as the days have progressed, people have been able to notice a little bit of a limp. What have you seen?

RAPAPORT: Yes, so it's actually not like a limp as far as avoiding pain. It's his leg with all the hardware in there and all the surgeries, it's like the length of the leg is off and the angle of his ankle is off. So, it's not like he's avoiding pain, it's that his right leg just isn't how it was before the accident. And I think that's kind of how he'll always walk. That's what he said yesterday in the press conference, that he'll feel better, there will be less pain, but his movement will probably not get any smoother than it is right now because the right leg is just very, very different to how it was before the accident.

So, that's why he's wearing those shoes, those special shoes, that aren't Nike. For the first time we're seeing him not wear Nike shoes because his ankle and his foot is at like a strange angle and he has very specific needs with that right leg now.

So, yes, I think that's kind of how he'll walk for the foreseeable future.

BERMAN: All right, level with me, in your heart of hearts, what do you project will happen?

RAPAPORT: I think he's going to make the cut. He's never missed the cut here as a major. And he's shown up with his game in pretty bad shape in 2015. He like couldn't chip. He was chunking every chip and still finished tied for 17th. So I think Tiger can probably make the cut at the Masters with just one arm.

But I don't see him contending. There's just -- there's just not enough sharpness. In 2019, when he won after the back surgery, he had played a year and a half and looked really, really good, and was sort of steadily building toward this moment. This is his first tournament in 17 months. So, there's just too many good players.


RAPAPORT: There's too much sharpness required to contend at this level. But I do expect him to make the cut for sure.

BERMAN: It's that last part, there are just too many other good golfers out there to make him a favorite. However, I would say, I don't know that he would be there playing if he didn't think he could look, you know, OK. He never would want to embarrass himself on the course

So, I'm with you, making the cut, maybe not contending.

Dan Rapaport, great to have you on. Thank you so much. Enjoy this moment of history.

RAPAPORT: Yep, thanks. Enjoyed it.

All right, developing overnight, Oklahoma lawmakers passing one of the harshest anti-abortion laws in the country. Will it stand up in the courts?

Plus, police say they have captured a perpetrator who was wreaking havoc on Capitol Hill, even attacking a lawmaker. With a face like that?



BERMAN: Time for "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

Ivanka Trump answering questions for eight hours. The former president's daughter and senior adviser met virtually with the January 6th committee. Ivanka Trump's testimony came after her husband, Jared Kushner, met with the panel last week.

The Oklahoma legislature has passed a near total ban on abortion. The bill criminalizes abortion as a felony. Doctors could be fined up to $100,000 or spend ten years in prison or both, except for medical emergencies. The bill now heads to Republican Governor Kevin Stitt's desk.

Police have arrested three men after a weekend mass shooting in downtown Sacramento that left six dead and 12 others injured. Brothers Dandrae and Smiley Martin are alleged to be responsible for firing into the crowd on Sunday. Police say a third man was arrested for gun possession, although his charge is not directly related to the shootings.

Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley reporting an increase of large groups of migrants each day placing strain on resources. This as the Biden administration prepares to lift pandemic restrictions on May 23rd. DHS officials say they expect migrant numbers to increase as hundreds of Ukrainian refugees also wait to enter the United States.

Police say an aggressive fox that bit or nipped six people has been captured. Congressman Ami Bara says the fox bit through his pant leg. He's now taking rabies shots out of an abundance of caution. Police say there are possibly several fox dens on Capitol grounds and animal control will trap and relocate any they find. We heard from Congressman Ami Bara, but I want you to know what the fox said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does the fox say? Ring-ding-ding-ding- dingeringeding. Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding. Gering-ding-ding-ding- dingeringeding. What the fox say?


BERMAN: Those are the "5 Things to Know for Your New Day." More on these stories all day on CNN and And don't forget to download the "5 Things" podcast every morning. Go to You can also find it wherever you get your podcasts.

All right, new this morning, some really remarkable video and a remarkable statement from Pope Francis. You can see him there addressing a crowd at the Vatican, unveiling a Ukrainian flag. A flag that had flown in Bucha, the city that was under Russian occupation, now under Ukrainian control, where mass graves have been located. The pope unfurling that flag in solidarity with the Ukrainian people. And, clearly, to protest the casualties, what some say the mass killings among the Ukrainian people. A remarkable statement from the pope. And, of course, the pope has been invited to visit Kyiv as soon as possible.


CNN's special coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues right now.