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New Day Sunday
Putin Names New General To Direct Russia's War On Ukraine; Boris Johnson Visits Kyiv, Pledges More Aid For Ukraine; E.U. Commission President: "No Words" To Describe Horror In Bucha; Odessa Under Weekend Curfew Due To Threat Of Russia Strikes; Satellite Images Show Apparent Russian Military Convoy Near Kharkiv; More Than 4.4 Million Refugees Have Fled Ukraine; Ukrainian Officials: Russians Imprisoned Chernobyl Security Staff, Looted And Ransacked Power Plant. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired April 10, 2022 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LIUDMYLA BATS, UKRAINIAN REFUGEE (through translator): With likeminded people it's easier to talk. They understand you.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Why did you want to have these sessions?
MILENA KONOVALOVA, CRISIS PSYCHOLOGIST AND UKRAINIAN REFUGEE (through translator): When we talk to other women, we hear that we have the same problems and we see our situation from a distance.
The most prominent trauma is that women don't see tomorrow. They are not sure. They are frightened and scared. They don't feel protection anywhere. And it's important to convey to them that there is tomorrow.
BASH: As for today, seeing their children playing, smiling, laughing, it helps get them to tomorrow. Dana Bash, CNN, Warsaw, Poland.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Dana Bash, thank you so much. What an important story there. Your next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Buenos dias. Good morning. It's Sunday, April 10th. Welcome to your NEW DAY. We're thrilled that you're starting your week with us. I'm Boris Sanchez.
PAUL: Good morning, Boris. I'm Christi Paul. We are so grateful to have you with us.
And up first, we want to talk to you about something that's happening this morning. A change in command. A new general taking over Russia's war in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed General Alexander Dvornikov as the new commander after Russian troops stalled in Kyiv, failing to take that capital city, of course. Russia is now believed to be preparing for an assault in the eastern part of the country. SANCHEZ: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is praising U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the additional military equipment that Britain is sending to Ukraine. Johnson made a surprise visit yesterday when he visited Kyiv and met with President Zelenskyy. The Ukrainian leader urged countries to follow the example of the United Kingdom, to provide more weapons and support for Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINE (through translator): But Ukraine does not have time to wait. Freedom does not have time to wait. When tyranny launches aggression against everything that keeps peace in Europe, action must be taken immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Now, the head of the European Union Commission says Ukrainians are showing incredible bravery against Russia but the fight isn't Ukraine's alone. She also says the carnage she saw in the town of Bucha left her speechless.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, E.U. COMMISSION PRESIDENT: There are no words for the horror I've seen in Bucha, the ugly face of Putin's army terrorizing people. They are fighting our war. It's our fight that they are in, because it's not only Ukraine fighting for its sovereignty and integrity, but they are also fighting for the question whether humanity will prevail or whether heinous devastation will be the result.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: In Odessa in the southern part of Ukraine, officials have imposed a weekend curfew in response to the deadly attack on a train station in the eastern part of the country. Residents have been told to stay home until 6:00 a.m. local time tomorrow, because of the threat, the constant threat of Russian missile attacks. And we are getting reports of new missile strikes in eastern Ukraine ahead of what could be a deadly offensive by Russia.
PAUL: President Vladimir Putin appointed a new general, as we said, to take over Russia's war on Ukraine. CNN correspondent Phil Black joins us live from Lviv. So, Phil, this general has a history. Talk to us about what we know regarding him.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Christi, Boris, good morning. We know that Russia is planning something big in the east and we now know who is going to be responsible for it. Indeed, responsible for all of Russia's operations in the east, across the country.
Because according to western officials Russia has, for the first time, appointed an overall commander to cover the entire theater of operations. His name is General Alexander Dvornikov. And his history will add to concerns about the likely brutality of Russia's coming operations. He was the commander of Russia's intervention in the Syrian civil war. That was a campaign notorious for the terror, death, and suffering inflicted on the civilian population.
SANCHEZ: And, Phil, these new satellite images from eastern Ukraine, they show an eight-mile convoy of Russian troops. This is just east of Kharkiv. What do you make of this new intelligence of these images?
BLACK: You're right, Boris. So just east of Kharkiv, very close to the Russian border, heading south, it is made up, by the looks of it, of armored vehicles, artillery, support vehicles, as well. Russia's advance south through that eastern region, south beyond Kharkiv through Izium is considered one of the key lines of advance or its attempted lines of advance as it seeks to expand and -- expand its control of that eastern region.
And it's expected that that is where Russia is going to try to push through and break Ukrainian lines. It is likely to be matched with an advance from the south of the country, moving north. And so the concern is that Ukrainian forces in the middle could be overwhelmed, could be squeezed, could perhaps be cut off. But this -- that area, that region with those two lines of advance are expected to be the key battlefronts once Russia launches these new expected operations.
PAUL: Phil Black, we so appreciate all the new information. Thank you.
Now, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is bringing encouragement and a promise of more military assistance to Ukraine.
SANCHEZ: Johnson made a surprise trip to the capital Kyiv where he met with President Zelenskyy. CNN correspondent Nima Elbagir has more on what the visit means and what it means specifically to Ukraine.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: This evening in Kyiv, the city is somber and almost silent as it dims its lights for curfews. But during the day, it was very different scenes, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became just the latest world leader to make a pilgrimage to the Ukrainian capital.
He brought with him much of what was expected. A raising of Britain's guarantee of Ukraine's debt ceiling at the IMF to almost $1.5 billion in total. More -- much of the same defensive military aid. Probably not exactly what the Ukrainians were hoping for or thought they needed, but he brought, as other world leaders had also done, something that Ukrainians tell us is almost more important.
He brought a sense of respite because they know that when Prime Minister Boris Johnson or others like him come here then for that short space of time, they are safe. For that short space of time, they feel a little less isolated by this conflict from the rest of the world. Prime Minister Johnson has gone and with it has gone the safety that he brought. But for many Ukrainians, they hope that the visits will continue as well as the defensive aid as the Russia's -- Russian offensive in the east of the country continues to build up steam. Eventually, they're hoping more than just visits and respite will come with these global leaders.
Nima Elbagir, CNN, Kyiv, Ukraine.
PAUL: Nima, thank you so much.
The United Nations Refugee Agency says nearly 4.5 million Ukrainians have left their country since the start of Russia's invasion. But here's the thing. There are so many more. As many as 7 million who are still there, displaced within Ukraine.
Antonio Vitorino, director general of the U.N. International Organization for Migration, is with us now. General, thank you so much. We -- director, we appreciate it so much.
I want to ask you, when we talk about this alarming number, 7.1 million people who are in Ukraine, still, we don't know if they're trying to escape. We don't know if they're choosing to stay there, but what is your greatest concern for those people?
ANTONIO VITORINO, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION: Those people who are internally displaced, which means that they are no longer in their homes are displaced because of the war. And out of them, out of the 7.5, 30 percent are seriously considering leaving the countries. And out of the 7.1, 12 percent are in the east of the country where the Russian offensive is now being deployed.
So we are very concerned, not just with the safety of those people, but also to make sure that we assess their needs. Cash, health, medicine, food, shelter, and even clothes, those are our top priorities.
PAUL: Director, where do they go?
VITORINO: They move inside. Some of the people that we have talked with are already on their second place of displacement. The 30 percent who consider to leave the country they will leave through the western border, definitely. To the neighboring countries, as you have said in your introduction remarks. 4.4 million have already left Ukraine. Not just Ukrainians, but also 213,000 third country nationals from 140 countries all over the world.
But what we need to focus now is how can we deploy support, assistance to those who are internally displaced in Ukraine? That's the major concern of the 400 staff that IOM has in the field.
PAUL: So that is your focus.
[06:10:00] Do you have any indication as to how to make that actionable, how to get to these people? And you talked about whether any of them can leave. What about the strategies and the resources to take care of people who are trying to get out?
VITORINO: We are organizing within the U.N. system, the entire U.N. system, a number of convoys to deploy the much-needed assistance. WHO is in charge of medicines. We are in charge of non-food items. The World Food Programme is working on distributing food. And together with us, with IOM, we have deployed cash-based assistance programs to provide those who are displaced with minimal cash that can reassure them that they have the necessary means, if they want to move.
What is the problem? The problem is transportation, of course. Moving in the theater of war is very dangerous.
PAUL: And we know when you mentioned the cash we know that there are people who have crossed borders and they have absolutely no cash and no way of getting any. They've left people behind.
A lot of people may be watching this and wonder why some choose to stay in the country. Are they choosing to stay there or are they trapped there? I mean, what do you know about the reasoning for people's decisions right now there in Ukraine?
VITORINO: Both, Christi. The reasons are both because they are trapped and we have people in areas where there are -- there is still military Russian aggression that do not allow them to move. But there are others who also prefer to stay because they hope, as we all hope, that this war will come to an end as soon as possible. As well as those who are in the neighboring countries. There are people -- 100,000, for instance in Moldova, that expect to be able to return to Ukraine as soon as possible.
PAUL: And as soon as possible, really, though, equates to, we all have no idea what that's going to mean. Director General of the U.N. International Organization for Migration, Antonio Vitorino, thank you so much for taking time to talk with us today. Take good care.
VITORINO: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: One specific place that has received a lot of attention in northern Ukraine is the notorious site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, Chernobyl, which melted down back in 1986. The inoperative and radioactive former plant fell into the hands of Russian troops in late February at the start of the war. But last week, Russian forces announced their intention to leave the site. Now, we're getting a firsthand look at just how much damage was left behind.
CNN's Fred Pleitgen has an exclusive inside look at Chernobyl.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Simply getting to the Chernobyl exclusion zone is a treacherous journey. Many streets and bridges destroyed, we had to go off-road, crossing rivers on pontoon bridges. Finally, we reached the confinement dome of the power plant that blew up in 1986, the worst nuclear accident ever.
Russian troops invaded this area on the very first day of their war against Ukraine and took Chernobyl without much of a fight. Now that the Russians have left, Ukraine's interior minister, Denys Monastyrskyy, took us to Chernobyl and what we found was troubling.
The Russians imprisoned the security staff inside the plant's own bomb shelter, the interior minister told us. No natural light, no fresh air, no communications.
(on camera): So the Russians kept 169 Ukrainians prisoner here the entire time they held this place. And then when the Russians left, they looted and ransacked the place.
(voice-over): Among the prisoners, police officers, National Guard members and soldiers. Ukraine's interior minister tells me the Russians have now taken them to Russia and they don't know how they're doing.
When I arrived here, I was shocked, he says, but only once again realized that there are no good Russians and nothing good comes of Russians. It is always a story associated with victims, with blood, and with violence. What we see here is a vivid example of outrageous behavior at a nuclear facility.
While the plant's technical staff was allowed to keep working, the Ukrainians say Russian troops were lax with nuclear safety. And as we enter the area Russian troops stayed and worked in suddenly the dosimeter's alarm goes off. Increased radiation levels.
They went to the Red Forest and brought the radiation here on their shoes, this National Guardsman says. Everywhere else is normal. Only this floor is radioactive.
I asked, everywhere is OK but here is not normal? Yes, he says. The radiation is increased here because they lived here and they went everywhere. On their shoes and clothes, I asked.
Yes and now they took the radiation with them. Let's get out of here, I say.
The so-called Red Forest is one of the most contaminated areas in the world, especially the soil. The Ukrainian government released this drone footage apparently showing that the Russians dug combat positions there. The operator of Ukraine's nuclear plant says those Russian soldiers could have been exposed to significant amounts of radiation.
We went to the edge of the Red Forest zone and found a Russian military food ration on the ground. When we hold the dosimeter close, the radiation skyrockets to around 50 times above natural levels. Ukraine says Russia's conduct in this war is a threat to nuclear safety in Europe.
(on camera): The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant hasn't been in operation for years but, of course, this confinement needs to be monitored 24/7. And also, there spent nuclear fuel in this compound as well.
(voice-over): And it's not only in Chernobyl, Russian troops also fired rockets at Europe's largest nuclear power plant near Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine and are now occupying it. Ukraine's energy minister tells me the international community must step in.
GERMAN GALUSHCHENKO, UKRAINIAN ENERGY MINISTER: I think it's dramatically impact and that is the -- really the act of nuclear terrorism, what they are doing.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Chernobyl is close to the Belarusian border. The Russian army used this road as one of its main routes to attack Ukraine's capital. The interior minister says his country needs more weapons to defend this border.
Today, the border between totalitarianism and democracy passes behind our backs, he says. The border between freedom and oppression. We are ready to fight for it.
And the Ukrainians fear they may have to fight here again soon as Russian President Vladimir Putin replenishes his forces continuing to put this nation and nuclear safety in Europe at risk.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant in Ukraine.
SANCHEZ: Fred, thank you for that report. Coming up, one town in Ukraine is fighting back against the Russians with some unexpected force.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Are you worried that they're going to come back for revenge after you guys embarrassed them?
GHOST, RECONNAISSANCE UNIT COMMANDER (through translator): No. It's them who should be afraid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: The bravery and heroism shown by residents including a few grandmothers when Russian soldiers moved into their town.
PAUL: And I know you may be thinking, hey, I need to get away this summer. Mm-hmm. Well, we're being told your next vacation is likely to cost a lot more but there are some things you can do to save a little money. We'll talk about that.
PAUL: Well, Russian troops still advancing in the east and the south. And Ukrainian civilians are showing this heroism and courage in the face of so much brutality. You just can't even imagine it for yourself.
SANCHEZ: And that actually includes a group of grandmothers in one smaller town who are not afraid to stand up to the Russians. CNN's Ed Lavandera brings us their story.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The sign into town reads, "Russian soldier, you will die here." The Russians didn't listen.
This is the story of how the small city of Voznesensk fought off the Russian invasion in early March. Evgen Velichko is the mayor of this city of 30,000 people. He took us to the bridge, at least where the bridge used to be, where Ukrainian soldiers, volunteer fighters and a fearlessly creative cast of civilians stared down the Russians.
(on camera): How close did the Russians get to taking over this city?
MAYOR EVGEN VELICHKO, VOZNESENSK, UKRAINE: (Speaking Foreign Language)
LAVANDERA: You can see over here on the other side of the bridge in the distance there just on the other side of the bridge, a row of tires. And that's as close as the Russian tanks came.
(voice-over): The mayor says the Ukrainians blew it up so that the Russians couldn't cross into the heart of the city. That sparked a two-day confrontation. With thousands of residents were trapped on the other side of the bridge. The only section of the city Russian forces invaded.
This man named Ivan (ph) lives in a house along the main road into town. Several homes and cars around him were scorched in the fire fight. He hid inside with his elderly mother, as the Russian tanks swarmed his neighborhood.
(on camera): He describes how terrifying it was. Several homes blown up around him. Constant barrage of gunfire. But he tells us, he actually didn't see it. He had to hide inside his home but just the sound of it was terrifying.
(voice-over): Various cameras captured the images of the Russian military vehicles with the letters Z emblazoned on the side. The mayor says three columns of Russian soldiers moved into the city. One military official says the Russians invaded with at least 100 tanks and armored personnel carriers and as many as 500 soldiers.
(on camera): So this is Ghost. He has asked that we not use his full name. And he is the head of a reconnaissance unit here in this town that was instrumental in fighting back the Russians. And this was the spot. This was the spot where you fought the Russians.
He says he thinks that's a blood stain there. Wow. The remnants of a Russian meal.
GHOST (through translator): When they were advancing towards the bridge, thanks to the Ukrainian military forces, the Air Assault Brigade, the territorial defense and our Recon Squad, we fought them off. Here we showered them with artillery and we destroyed them.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The Ukrainians blew up multiple bridges in the city to keep the Russians from moving into this town that sits at a strategic crossroads in southern Ukraine and kept Vladimir Putin's army from invading deeper into the country.
(on camera): In this spot just on the edge of the city multiple Russian tanks were taken out here. We're actually standing in the ashes of one of those tanks and there were at least two Russian soldiers that were killed in this very spot.
GHOST (through translator): We are strong. Our city is strong. Our spirit is strong. When the enemy came, everyone rose up from kids to the elderly.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Hiding residents called in the locations of Russian soldiers. Others ran ammunition and supplies wherever it was needed.
(on camera): The Russians had more fire power, had more weapons than you guys had.
GHOST (through translator): They were powerful. They had tanks. They had APCs, a lot of wheeled vehicles, but we're stronger, smarter and more tactical.
LAVANDERA: Are you worried that they're going to come back for revenge after you guys embarrassed them?
GHOST (through translator): No. It's them who should be afraid. They should know if they come here, they will remain here as cargo 200. We already have refrigerators for their bodies and we can bring more.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): But the Russian soldiers weren't ready to face the grandmothers of Stepova (ph) Street. In a small village on the edge of Voznesensk 88-year-old Vira walked out armed with her canes and fired off an epic tirade of verbal artillery.
VIRA PARASENYK, RESIDENT OF RAKOVE, UKRAINE (through translator): I come out from the kitchen and I tell him, sorry for the language, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) your mother. Has your Putin gone mad, firing at kids? (EXPLETIVE DELETED), is he mad? He is a (EXPLETIVE DELETED). He must die.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): They say they were chased out of their homes and robbed. But the women relished telling this story with laughter. I asked if they're worried the Russians will return to seek revenge. They tell me, they're not going anywhere.
Ed Lavandera, CNN, Voznesensk, Ukraine.
SANCHEZ: An infectious and strong spirit. Ed Lavandera, thank you so much for that piece.
There are ways that you can help folks in Ukraine who desperately need assistance. Go to CNN.com/impact. There are links there to organizations that are providing a helping hand. And even the smallest contribution goes a long way.
Stay with CNN. We're back after a quick break.
SANCHEZ (on camera): New this morning, President Biden is soon going to hit the road to sell his economic agenda to the American people. The White House says President Biden will head to Iowa on Tuesday to give remarks in the small town of Menlo.
PAUL (on camera): Yes, this is happening as that Coronavirus outbreak is still spreading among D.C. politicians and administration Cabinet members. In fact, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is the latest person in Biden's inner circle to test positive for COVID 19.
CNN White House Reporter Jasmine Wright in Wilmington, Delaware right now. Jasmine, what are you hearing?
JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER (on camera): Well, we're expecting to see the president twice next week traveling the country as he pivots from foreign policy back to his domestic agenda. First, we expect to see him and Iowa where he's going to be talking about how his administration lowers prices for Americans.
And then he turns to North Carolina on Thursday where he's talking about a lot of things. But part of that is a part of the supply chain, as we know that Americans are dealing with high rates and high inflation.
But things do become a little bit complicated, as you said, Christi. The administration is dealing with a wave of positive COVID-19 cases from top officials, from other top Democrats in D.C. And the latest that we know is Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of Agriculture, who tested positive yesterday in an announcement.
And now, he is just one of the many that we know of just from D.C. that tested positive and the President's orbit, and that includes Nancy Pelosi who was seen hugging the president on Tuesday. As you can see on the screen right here, we see Nancy Pelosi, Gina Raimondo, Merrick Garland, definitely people that come in and out of contact with the President, and some that we've seen just this week.
Still, though, White House official told CNN yesterday that President Biden is not considered a close contact of Vilsack and that he tested negative on Friday, a part of his regular testing cadence.
So, this is something that of course the White House is aware of as the President is looking to do exactly what the White House has promised that he would which is take his message directly to the American people, touting what he has done for them, as we kind of get closer to the Midterms in the fall. Boris? Christi?
PAUL: Jasmine Wright, we appreciate it. Thank you.
SANCHEZ: As Jasmine just noted, inflation is skyrocketing. And if you're planning to travel this summer, experts say you should act fast because travel prices are also spiking. The high cost of fuel is making summer vacations more expensive as airlines are still recovering from the pandemic with staffing and flight shortages.
So, let's get you some travel tips now with the CEO of Cadillac Travel Group, David Fishman. David, we appreciate you sharing part of your Sunday with us. Walk us through what the economic impact is going to be like as people plan out their summer vacations.
DAVID FISHMAN, PRESIDENT, CADILLAC TRAVEL: Well, basically what's happened is like you're saying, reduce inventory, although it's coming back up, reduce staffing. But if you put all that together with also spiking and fuel costs, your flights are going to cost a lot more.
Then when you travel to different destinations, when you get to hotels, and you get to places, your servicing is going to be down also. And because of the high demand, because people have been locked in their homes for way too long and they're really excited to start getting out and traveling again, you're going to see higher prices.
So, if you really need to have some flexibility, then really plan ahead if you're going to try and save some money this summer.
SANCHEZ: David, I typically don't buy travel insurance. I feel like it's just a way for them to milk every penny from you. But you're suggesting it is worthwhile. Why and what specific kind of coverage should people look for?
FISHMAN: Well, it's more than ever. You know, I've always touted travel insurance. And a lot of people go, why should I spend money on that. But now, with COVID and all the different rules and possible changes along the way, you want to make sure that you have proper coverage.
And most of the insurances do cover for COVID, if you're quarantined, if you're stuck in that location, everything like that. But really know your coverages. That's the key to this. And also, there are coverages out there that will literally get you back home, if you test positive for COVID when you're out of the country because you still have to test 24 hours to come back in.
There is alternatives out there that will get you home. So, it's important to know what your coverages are and how you can feel comfortable planning a vacation so you can go and get back.
SANCHEZ: Whenever there's a surge in demand for anything, it seems there are a series of scams that come about. As people try to head for summer vacation, you're warning folks to be aware because not everything is as it seems especially when you're booking online. What red flags should people be looking out for?
FISHMAN: Well, first of all, for security purposes, one of the first things you want to look at when it says HTTP and if it doesn't have an asset, it doesn't mean it's a secure site. So, immediately do not put any of your information in sites like that. Other things that you need to -- you know, if the price is too good to be true, it usually is.
And as I always tell them -- you know, a lot of people say, I am a French model, so it says so online. They could put any information in there. And that's what people are just not aware of. So, they can learn you in with fake, false prices. And then they can give you information that's not accurate.
And then at the end of the day, you see this a lot where it says it's going to be $325 for your flight, and then you put -- you know, you spend 10 minutes putting all your information and then you push buy, and then it says for $475. You start panicking, and so you end up buying.
So, be aware of -- and I always say, another part is, get a hold of somebody. If you can't call somebody and you have to email them, then you need to worry as well. So, little tips is really make sure that there's a human being behind these sites that you can reach out and talk to, to make sure that this is a real thing. So, that's really important.
And if they reach out to you sometimes, these -- you get those pop-ups on your phone and things like that, I would once again, double-check these things, make sure they're secure. Make sure it's for real
SANCHEZ: Good advice. You don't want to lose your hard-earned money especially on something like a vacation. David Fishman, I always appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
FISHMAN: Thank you, Boris. Have a great day.
SANCHEZ: You too.
PAUL: Well, right now, people are voting in France. It's the presidential election. And it's expected to be a close race. How Russia's war in Ukraine is one of the issues that's looming over it. We'll talk about next.
SANCHEZ: Right now, French voters are heading to the polls for one of the most consequential presidential elections the country has seen in decades. PAUL: Yes. Incumbent Emmanuel Macron is facing nearly a dozen challengers from both the left and the right. This of course is the war in Ukraine looms in a political backdrop. CNN's Melissa Bell has more.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Voting is now underway in France's presidential election of first-round that's being held this Sunday, and that will see 49 million eligible French citizens the -- given the opportunity to choose between 12 candidates, a vast array of political opinion represented not just for instance, the traditional far-right, as represented by Marine LePen, but someone who are flanked to the right, Eric Zemmour at the mall with a television personality and author who is also standing.
Those candidates go all the way to the far left. It is of course an important test for Emmanuel Macron five years in. And after what was a political experiment back in 2017, standing as he did creating his own party, brushing aside the political forces that had essentially shared power here in France since 1958.
Five years on, having so transformed France's political landscape, can he convince enough of the French electorate to get out to vote for him? There will be a second round of voting on April 24 IF none of the candidates reaches an absolute majority this time. Melissa Bell, CNN Paris.
SANCHEZ: Melissa, thank you for that. A federal jury found two men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan governor -- Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer not guilty and a mistrial was declared for two other defendants.
PAUL: Yes. The jury deliberated for five days before reaching a verdict. All four men previously pleaded not guilty, and were facing federal charges and possible life in prison if convicted. CNN's polo Sandoval has more.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Boris and Christi, good morning. Prosecutors in the state of Michigan said that they are disappointed with Friday's outcome, but nonetheless respect that jury trial process.
Here's a look at the defendants in that case. Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Daniel Harris and also Brandon Caserta, they each faced federal charges for allegedly conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Harris and Caserta both found not guilty of kidnapping conspiracy, but the federal jury failed to actually reach a verdict when it comes to the remaining defendants Fox and Croft. And that forced the judge to eventually declare a mistrial on Friday.
Two additional defendants as you may recall, Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks had previously pleaded guilty to kidnapping conspiracy and testified in the trial against these other four defendants. In fact, you'll recall that an indictment alleged that the six men altogether conspired to kidnap Whitmer and to hold the Democratic governor for ransom back in 2020.
Garbin testified during the trial that the group planned to kidnap Whitmer from her vacation before the presidential election back in November of 2020 to "cause as much of a disruption as possible to prevent Joe Biden from getting into office.
Garbin also testified the group intended to bomb a nearby bridge in order to delay the response from law enforcement. The defense claiming that the Feds basically manufactured this whole kidnap conspiracy through confidential informants and also through undercover agents.
Now, as for the governor's office, her chief of staff released a statement after Friday's outcome. I'll read you a portion of that which says, the plot to kidnap and kill a governor may seem like an anomaly, but we must be honest about what it really is. The result of violent, divisive rhetoric that is all too common across our country. There must be accountability and consequences for those who commit heinous crimes. Without accountability extremists will be emboldened.
Now, U.S. Attorney's Office says that even though the jury did not reach a decision in their favor, they are still waiting for the potential retrial of two of those defendants. So, really, what the situation is like here, Christi and Boris, is they are hoping that a new jury will hopefully reach a very different verdict if that happens.
PAUL: Thank you for wrapping that up for us, Polo. I appreciate it. You know, it wasn't quite the outcome Tiger Woods was hoping for in Augusta. What he's saying after his worst Masters score of his career. That is next.
By the way, be sure to tune in with us tonight for the CNN film Roadrunner. This is the story of Anthony Bourdain that you haven't heard from the people who knew him best. Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain premieres tonight at 9:00 p.m. right here on CNN.
PAUL: So, just 14 months after that devastating car crashed near Los Angeles last February, Tiger Woods is playing on a Sunday at the Masters. That's enough victory for some people right there.
SANCHEZ: Yes, it's a remarkable comeback though it does not appear he is going to be in contention for a green jacket this afternoon. Let's take you to Augusta National now and go live to Coy Wire.
Coy, Tiger gave some really wonderful perspective on this long journey back to the course.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's remarkable. I mean, to think that he almost lost his leg. His words just to 14 months ago, as Christi mentioned, is incredible. And he said he thought he could win this thing, and maybe compete for a sixth screen jacket. Unfortunately, as you said, Boris, that won't happen.
The 46-year-old powering his way through a third long day clearly still hobbled by the injuries and battling cold hands too. Wind chill are in the 40s all day with strong gusts up to 30 miles per hour. Woods posted his worst score ever at the Masters with six over 78. It's now 16 shots out of the lead.
One of the fiercest competitors of all time and best putters as well, but only one player had a worst day on the greens than Tiger. Afterwards, despite obvious disappointment, Tiger though shared some encouraging words for anyone out there battling adversity. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: Never give up. Always chase after your dreams. And I've I fight each and every day. Each and every day is a challenge. It has presents -- each and every day presents its own different challenges for all of us. And I wake up and let's start to -- start the fight all over again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: All right, meanwhile, who's up there at the top of that leaderboard? It's Scottie Scheffler heading into the final round. But it's not as safe as a lead to start -- as it was to start the weekend. The world number one led by as many as seven strokes yesterday but then struggled a bit really for the first time all tournament bogeying for him his final seven holes to finish the day nine under, now just three shots ahead of Cam Smith.
Scheffler though not sweat at all. He's cool as a cucumber. I asked him, how's he going to spend the night before the biggest round of his life?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: So, it'd be a little quieter night for us but probably just watch The Office, get some dinner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who's your favorite character in The Office?
SCHEFFLER: I cannot choose. I really can't. So, my wife used to not like the show and it's by far my favorite show. I love it. And I -- she used to watch random episodes with me and she's like it's so stupid. Like, why do you watch that?
And so, I finally convinced her to start it from the beginning and she loves it. You know, I'm just looking forward to sitting back, giggling a little bit, and you know, eating some good food.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: Masters Sunday, final parry and all the pressure that comes with it and two guys looking to win their first-ever major title. Christi, Boris, it looks like yet again Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute are the gifts that keep on giving.
SANCHEZ: Any answer other than Creed is wrong. Coy, I am wondering though, as far as Tiger goes, when is the next time we might be able to see him on the course?
WIRE: You know that's a good question, Boris, because he has already said that he has no way ever going to play an entire PGA Tour season. So, maybe it's some type of thing he just sees how he feels on a week- to-week basis.
SANCHEZ: We will be watching closely. An accomplishment just to be there at Augusta. Coy Wire, thank you so much as always.
WIRE: All right, thanks.
SANCHEZ: Coming up in our next hour, Ukrainian officials say there have been new strikes this morning in the eastern central part of the country. We're going to hear from someone in Dnipro on what they're seeing as Russia turns its focus eastward. CNN's NEW DAY is back after a quick break.