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One World with Zain Asher
Report: Cross-Border Attackers Driven Back Into Ukraine; Typhoon Mawa Heads For Guam; Tip Prompts New Search For Suspect On The Madeleine McCann Case; Authorities Arrest Seven People Over Racial Abuse Of Vinicius Jr.; LeBron James Considers Retirement; Debt Ceiling Negotiations Intensify Ahead Of Predicted June 1st Deadline. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired May 23, 2023 - 12:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello everyone, Zain Asher in New York and this is ONE WORLD. One day after what may be the largest and most
brazen attack on Russian soil since Moscow launched its war on Kyiv 15 months ago, the Russian Defense Ministry says Ukrainian fighters have been
pushed off its territory and 70 of them have been eliminated. The governor of the Belgorod region says a counterterrorism operation is over, and he
denies any further cross-border incursions. Kyiv insists its troops aren't fighting on foreign territory and says it had no direct involvement in
The group of anti-Putin Russian nationals are indeed claiming responsibility. The Kremlin, meantime, warns the attack is, quote, a cause
of deep concern. CNN's Nic Robertson joins us live now from eastern Ukraine. So, Nic, what does the attack in Belgrade really say about
Russia's ability to protect areas close to the border?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I think it says exactly what Ukrainian officials would like it to say. Of course, they're not
linking themselves to it. They're saying it's a group of Russians who did this coming out of Ukraine, but it's exactly what Kyiv wants at this time,
is it's considering a big counteroffensive.
It wants to have what's called shaping operations. It wants to confuse its enemy in Moscow and unbelievably, literally able, these fighters were
literally able to get across the border into Russia to actually, as we now know from Russian officials, one civilian was killed but injured several
The reaction on the Russian side from the local villagers was to chase the mayor into the basement of a building and bang on the door demanding that
he give them more safety and security. This incident really highlights for Russia that its border with Ukraine during a war isn't secure. Of course,
it calls it a special military operation, but the reality Russia is seeing is that this border isn't secure, they don't have it secure.
Their sort of response to call it a counter-terrorism operation, they quickly stand it down, frankly sounds somewhat in disarray. And again, this
is something that Kyiv will be very happy to see, the Russians in disarray.
In an ideal world for the authorities here, they would wish Russia would divert troops away from the front line in Ukraine so it could bolster its
security along the border and this seems to be perhaps one of the take- aways for Moscow. Their border isn't secure, they need to do more to secure it. They'll have to put troops in there and equipment and ammunition and
there are many little border crossings like this one.
So, the net effect may be that despite Kyiv saying that it's not involved in this, that the outcome works to their advantage. Maybe of course Russia
will be wholly aware that this would be potentially an effort to divert their resources onto what is clearly a very exposed border.
ASHER: And Nic, you also spent some time on the frontlines with Ukrainian troops. Just explain to us how strong morale is right now, almost a year
and a half into this war.
ROBERTSON: I think, you know, what we saw around Bakhmut about two weeks ago, where the Ukrainians launched small counteroffensives and took a
couple of kilometers of ground, limited gains. And there's this real sense that for the first time they were taking ground back again. The first time
really since November last year, it felt good and that was a big spur of motivation.
But the reality of the conflict has been that for many Ukrainian troops, they've been in the fight now for a year, they've fought on many different
fronts, Bakhmut for them, as for the Russians was a huge, as it was called a meat grinder, a very, very testing fight to be in. And at this point in
the war, there is an element among some of the troops that it's been exhausting.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Barely out of the armored troop carrier, incoming artillery.
ROBERTSON: We're just gonna wait in this little basement until the shelling's over. Then they think it will be safe to move forward to the
ROBERTSON (voice-over): A few minutes later, safe to come out of this army outpost a few miles from Bakhmut. Last night was hard, a lot of shelling.
Kulsang Gambit tells us the soldier is still shell-shocked from an anti- tank rocket attack.
ROBERTSON: I'm gonna get back in the vehicle, try to get a little closer to the frontlines.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Ten days ago, these troops pushed the Russians back around Bakhmut, but their advance is slowing and harder. We get to a small
HQ. Kulsang Fox, a former farmer, is readying his troops for their coming shift on the frontline, stopping the Russians in Bakhmut from advancing.
ROBERTSON: How hard is that?
ROBERTSON (voice-over): It's impossible to describe these feelings, he says. it. You can only experience it. No words can express it. They shell a
lot. As we talk, it is clear this war is taking its toll.
ROBERTSON: You only have to look at the soldiers' faces here to know how tough this battle is. They all look worn. They say morale's high, but their
faces are telling a different story.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): We move on towards other positions and stop as the shelling increases.
ROBERTSON: We've just been told the place that we were going to is under heavy shelling, so we're gonna pull back from here, go somewhere else.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): In the battalion bunker, the commander tells us the Russians have ramped up their shelling on his troops since they advanced.
Tons of ammo, shrapnel, tanks firing, everything. His unit's drones recorded their recent successes, but now the Russians have regrouped and in
a moment of candor following losses the previous night admits morale is flagging.
Let's be honest, he says, we are fighting heavily for more than a year. My soldiers went through many battles and two rotations near Bakhmut. Troops
are exhausted, but we endure.
ROBERTSON: Bakhmut, which is just over the hill in that direction, has become an object lesson in how Russia's wealth in men and ammunition can
prevail. And that unless Ukraine gets the modern weaponry support from its allies, it's gonna struggle to tip the balance.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Kulsang Fox and his unit load up for their hard miles at the front. An end of war getting back to their families. What
drives them into the shelling?
ROBERTSON (on-camera): You know, and I think for any of us that have never experienced what those troops are going through, it is, as Kulsang folks
were saying, it's just hard to explain and communicate how gruelling on your nerves, on everything it is to go through that and then when they see
colleagues fall. So it is tough. But again, the thing I think I take away having to talk to so many people on the front, that brawl may be a bit low
and flagging, but they know the only way out of this is to fight their way out of it and win.
ASHER: And as you point out though, it is gruelling on the frontlines there. Nic Robertson, live for us there. Thank you so much.
It's being described as a benchmark storm that will be remembered for decades. Typhoon Mawa is bearing down on the U.S. territory of Guam. The
National Weather Service says it could be the strongest typhoon to impact the island in 20 years. The storm packing ferocious winds of more than 240
kilometers per hour could hit the island late Tuesday.
CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam joins us live now. Derek, I think the level of intensity here is really scary. I mean, it's frightening. Just explain
to us how people in Guam are preparing at this point.
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, it's hard to overstate how dangerous the storm actually is, Zain, because it's coming at us, coming to
Guam with a triple threat. Not only is it the winds, but it's also the storm surge and the localized flash flooding and landslides that will be a
I want you to see this because this is the latest information from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The storm has slowed its forward progress
considerably and that's a problem because what that will do is it will allow more time for rain to fall.
But let's talk about the wind threat because we still have a strengthening storm according to the official track. A hundred and sixty mile per hour
winds by the time it reaches the coast of Guam. That makes it a Category 5 hurricane equivalent and normally on an average year across the planet we
only see five.
We've already had four, so far. This would make it the fifth if that occurs. And then it goes off to the races for the Western Pacific. Lots of
warm water there, so we have to keep an eye on the storm for the Philippines and into Southeast Asia.
But in the meantime, more of a media threat, a hundred miles offshore, just southeast of the Anderson Air Force Base. We already have gusts of 40 miles
per hour across that region as the outer rain bends lash Guam.
Here's the timing. We anticipate the strongest of winds to occur overnight and into the early Wednesday timeframe. That is local time and this is
going to help push up storm surge. Get this, not a typo, 20 to 25 feet right along that immediate coastline some of those very vulnerable nooks
and crannies along the coastline there. Of course, a lot of people live in the higher elevations of this mountain, but the other threat here, of
course, with over 15 inches of rain or over 380 millimeters of rainfall in the next few days that will lead to flash flooding and localized
ASHER: Yeah, thoughts with everyone on Guam right now. Derek Van Dam, live for us. Thank you so much.
Ash is raining down on some cities as Mexico's most dangerous active volcano roars back to life. Popocatepetl began erupting and spewing smoke
last week. Towns in central Mexico near the volcano are being warned to prepare for possible evacuations. Mexico City's airport halted operations
for several hours over the weekend because of conditions.
It's been 16 years since Madeleine McCann vanished. And now there are new developments in the disappearance of the British girl. Right now, police in
Portugal are searching an area around a reservoir.
These are live pictures for you. CNN has learned they're looking for clues about Christian Bruckner's activities in the area. He's the main suspect in
McCann's disappearance. The convicted rapist and child sex abuser is currently in prison in Germany and has denied any involvement in McCann's
disappearance. CNN's Scott McLean has more.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Madeleine McCann would have turned 20 this month. Her family last saw her when she was three. She
disappeared in 2007 during a family holiday in the Algarve region of Portugal. She was with her younger twin siblings while her parents were
dining with friends nearby in the resort of Praia da Luz. The mystery of her disappearance gripped many across the U.K., Portugal, and Germany.
On Tuesday, Portuguese police, at the request of German authorities, will search a reservoir near the Portuguese city of Silvish, around 50
kilometers from Praia da Luz. Over the past 16 years, police have searched numerous wells and properties in the area, including this one, which was
searched in 2008. It is unclear whether it's connected to Christian Bruckner, the German suspect first named in the case in 2020.
Bruckner, a convicted sex offender, lived in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007 in an apartment about a mile away from the resort where the McCanns
were staying. He's in prison in Germany for the rape of a 72-year-old woman committed in Portugal at the same resort. He has not been charged in
McCann's disappearance and denies any involvement. But one German prosecutor said he believes she was killed by Bruckner.
UNKNOWN: What makes you so certain that Madeleine McCann is dead?
HANS CHRISTIAN WOLTERS, GERMAN PROSECUTOR: We have some evidence for this. We have no forensic evidence, but we have other evidence.
MCLEAN (voice-over): Her family cling on to the hope that she could still be alive.
GERRY MCCANN, MADELEINE MCCANN'S FATHER: No parent's gonna give up on their child unless they know for certain their child's dead, and we just don't
have any evidence.
MCLEAN (voice-over): Scott McLean, CNN, London.
ASHER: Spanish police have arrested seven people in connection with racist abuse directed at football star, Vinicius Jr. Three are accused of chanting
racist insults during Real Madrid's match against Valencia on Sunday. Police accused the other four of hanging an effigy of Vinicio off a bridge
in Madrid in January. Both incidents are being investigated as hate crimes. The Real Madrid's star who hails from Brazil has been a target of Racist
abuse from the stands on several occasions.
During Sunday's game, you can see Vinny Jr. here pointing out the fans who are making those hateful comments towards him. Stadium announcers asked the
fans not to insult the players, but when the abuse continued, the match was paused. La Liga says it wants to do more to fight racism, but argues
without a change in Spanish law, it can only do so much.
Sports stars around the world are calling for action. And in Vinny Jr.'s home country of Brazil, the famous Christ the Redeemer statue actually went
dark Monday night. Archdiocese calls it a show of solidarity with Vinicius and the collective fight against racism.
Let's get to Atika Shubert in Valencia, Spain for the very latest on the investigation.
I mean, the fact that you have an athlete, any kind of athlete, anyone ever, but especially just given the circumstances, the fact that he had to
deal with that level of racist abuse during the match on Sunday, beggars belief. Just explain to us what La Liga is trying to do to address this.
ATIKA SHUBERT, JOURNALIST: Well, to add insult to injury, you know, the match seemed to be going fine, and then it just unraveled in the last few
minutes of the game, and it was clear something had really rattled him. When he complained to the referee, it sort of escalated from there. A brawl
broke out between players, and it was actually Vinicius Jr. who was given the red card and expelled from the match.
So, I think that's what really infuriated Real Madrid, too. Not only did he have to endure these verbal assaults by some fans but then he actually got
a red card for reacting to it. So, I think there's a lot of anger for certainly from Vinicius Jr. from Real Madrid fans, but there's a lot of
confusion as well from Valencia fans who are now very defensively saying, well, it's not all the fans.
And I think the reaction to that as you're seeing today is that the Valencian football club says it is cooperating with an investigation with
the police to track down those people who were hurling these racist insults. We've seen three people arrested already today between the ages of
18 and 21. There could even be more arrests. The investigation is still ongoing and it's now being classified as a hate crime.
So, we are seeing some movement by police. Now, traditionally, La Liga has said that it has its hands tied on this, that it can't sanction teams and
fans for these kinds of abuse. But it has now said that it is making moves, that it is asking to change the laws to allow it to do that. But all of
this comes too little too late for a player like Vinicius Jr. who has been documenting just how many incidents he has endured over while he's been
playing at Real Madrid.
I mean what happened on Sunday here in Valencia was shocking, but it's certainly not the least of the incidents we've happened -- that has
happened here in Spain. In January, for example, there was an effigy with Vinicius Jr. Real Madrid jersey with his number. It was tossed over a
bridge -- hung from a bridge, and then shared widely on social media. Now, that was incredibly shocking.
But it's only today that we've seen the national police arrest four people for that. They've described these four suspects as radical members of a
Madrid fan club and say they are continuing to investigate that also as a hate crime. But I think it just goes to show that these kinds of incidents
unfortunately are not isolated. The silver lining here is that we are seeing they're working together with football clubs to try and track down
perpetrators but it's still very disturbing.
ASHER: Hopefully, it's gonna be taken more seriously now. As you point out, what we saw on Sunday was not the first time he's been through anything
like that. Atika Shubert, live for us. Thank you so much.
LeBron James, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, appears to be considering retirement. James' Los Angeles Lakers got swept by the
Denver Nuggets in the NBA Western Conference finals on Monday night. After the game, the 38-year-old admitted that he was unsure if he wants to
continue to play.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEBRON JAMES, LOS ANGELES LAKERS: We'll see what happens going forward and I don't know. I don't know. I got a lot to think about, to be honest. I got
a lot to think about, to be honest and just for me personally going forward with the game of basketball, got a lot to think about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: This comment's had a lot of people talking. But one reason, though, that James may want to stick around is that he's often talked about his
desire to someday play alongside his son, Bronny, the 18-year-old has committed to play basketball at USC.
All right, still to come here, protesters rush to the stage and interrupt the annual shareholders' meetings of one of the largest corporations in the
world. We'll tell you what had them so angry when we come back.
And the mood in Washington is dire as politicians rush to hash out a debt ceiling deal before June 1st. But some folks just aren't worried.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT GAETZ, U.S. HOUSE REPULICAN: I don't believe that the first of the month is a real deadline.
RALPH NORMAN, U.S HOUSE REPUBLIUCAN: Right now, she's using June 1st. Nobody knows that's false.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: A fatal car crash in the capital of Wales has set off a riot there. It all started when two teenage boys were killed in a car crash near
Cardiff on Monday. It's not exactly clear how the crash and the ensuing violence are related, but there are reports the rioters believe that police
were somehow involved in the boys' deaths. Police say vehicles were set on fire and property was destroyed. Several people were arrested.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: So, this video, what we're seeing right here, this was the chaotic scene earlier today at Shell Oil Company's annual shareholder meeting in
London. Climate change activists actually rushed the stage just as the company's directors were actually trying to start proceedings. Security
staff shielded Shell's Chief Executive and the firm's Board of Directors.
As you can see here, there were even more protesters outside the building. The activists say rich companies like Shell should be doing much more to
protect the planet.
KATIE BURRELL, ANTI-SHELL: I mean if I had someone from Shell in front of me, I would just appeal to them. They're so clever and they have tremendous
skills and abilities inside their company. And I think, you know, use that for good. It's not as if, it's not possible to make a company do less bad.
You know, start now, do more. We are in the climate crisis, it's knocking at the gates of Europe now, and we've got to make a difference.
ASHER: Security eventually had to carry many of the protesters out of the room. You see one protest being carried out there. The meeting ended up
being delayed by more than an hour. Similar protests a year ago forced Shell's annual meeting to be delayed for three hours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: In Washington at this hour, Republicans and Democrats are trying to avoid an economic catastrophe. Negotiations are underway to avoid hitting
the debt ceiling and not being able to pay the government's bills on June 1st. So far, we've not heard any breakthroughs. We've had a lot of
optimism, but no breakthroughs just yet.
On Monday, President Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met at the White House. McCarthy called the meeting productive, but he said
they are nowhere near a deal. Some Republicans say reports of a U.S. default are greatly exaggerated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GAETZ: I don't believe that the first of the month is a real deadline. Like, I don't understand why we're not making Janet Yellen show her work.
NORMAN: She'll extend it but right now she's using June 1st.
Everybody knows that's false.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Let's bring in Betsey Stevenson, she's a Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the University of Michigan and she served on President
Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisors. What do you make there of what Matt Gaetz and Ralph Norman were saying, just that, you know, the June 1st
deadline is made up, that they don't believe it. Your thoughts on that?
BETSEY STEVENSON, PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC POLICY & ECONOMICS, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: You know, I think that they just don't understand how government
financing works, you know. The money comes into the treasury and bills get paid every single day, and they don't actually know how much is gonna come
in every day. What is particularly complicated about this early June deadline is that a lot of businesses and some people pay taxes on a
quarterly basis and those quarterly payments are due June 15.
I mean, I guess as a concerned citizen, maybe we should get our payments in a little early. Those of you who are thinking you need to make a payment by
June 15th, if you can get it in this week, you could help extend that deadline.
ASHER: Right, okay.
STEVENSON: But, you know, there's nothing that obligates people to send those tax payments in early. And the fear is that they just will hit a day,
maybe it's June 1st, maybe it's June 2nd, maybe it's June 5th, where the amount of revenue coming in is just not enough to pay the bills and they
can't issue new debt.
It is tricky because what will happen is by that June 15th, they'll get enough revenue in that they'll be able to pay all the bills on June 15th.
And we'll sort of get a little reprieve for a few weeks. And so, all of that is tricky business.
I don't think that Janet Yellen's hiding anything at all. I think those Republicans who want to know whether it's a real deadline or not, you know,
if they want to make it not a real deadline, get them and their constituents to mail those tax payments in early and give us a little bit
more breathing room.
ASHER: Right, but it's interesting you pointed out that June 15th is when the money is going to be coming in. So, if somehow you could stretch it to
June 15th just in terms of kicking the can down the road, that could provide some reprieve but of course, kicking the can down the road also
leads to a lot more uncertainty.
So, even though technically June 1st is the deadline here, realistically, they can't leave it to the last minute. There does need to be some kind of
framework for a deal this week, because of course, Kevin McCarthy has to then sell it to his caucus. That's gonna take time, as well.
When you look at the stock market, we haven't really seen that much of a strong reaction from stocks. But let's say there is no deal, no movement in
terms of negotiations this time, Friday. What sort of reaction are we going to see in the stock market? Will investors start to show real signs of
STEVENSON: You know, I can't really predict how investors are going to feel. On the one hand, I think that actually Congress and market
participants are counting on the market starting to freak out because it might be those that market freak out, that nervousness of investors
starting to show real movement in asset prices that actually puts, you know, sort of lights a fire under Congress to get this done.
My concern is that, you know, things don't really fall apart even if we have a technical default in early June. I mean, they might. Again, they
might because we might see markets really react, or it might be that there's a bunch of bills that aren't paid in early June and they get
delayed and that's disruptive. But if the markets don't freak out, it won't be the catastrophe people have been hearing about, but that catastrophe
will still come.
So, I think that's the most important thing to realize is whether markets freak out on this Friday, whether they freak out on June 1st, whether they
freak out on June 4th, I don't know when that's going to be. But if they don't raise this debt ceiling, and we've got serious problems making
payments as we go through the summer, then we're gonna see really catastrophic effects on not just the U.S. economy, but I think the reason
people are worried around the globe is that will spill over into the global economy.
ASHER: And just a quick final question, how does that trickle down to ordinary Americans? I mean, how do ordinary Americans, how will they feel
the pinch of this?
STEVENSON: Well, ordinary Americans are gonna be some of the first people to feel the pinch because the most likely thing for Treasury to do is just
not mail out payments on time. And that includes things like Social Security payments, government paychecks, military paychecks. So those
ordinary citizens are gonna be saying, where's my money? This is what I use to pay my rent. And the government's gonna be like, well, yeah, we don't
have it right now, but give us a few days and we'll try to come up with it.
ASHER: All right, Betsy, let's hope it doesn't get to that, right?
But we'll see, fingers crossed there is some kind of deadline over the next week or so. Betsy Stevenson, live for us, thank you so much. All right,
still to come here, Russian nationals launched an attack inside their own country. Two anti-Putin groups are claiming that they did. We'll take a
look at who they are straight ahead.
And a new warning about how social media is harming the mental health of young people. I'll tell you what parents can do about it. Plus, Amazon
Founder Jeff Bezos is tying the knot. We'll look at his whirlwind romance with partner Lauren Sanchez, coming up.
ASHER: Hello and welcome back to ONE WORLD. Let's catch up on the headlines. The deadly conflict between Sudan's two warring generals once
again shows no sign of slowing down despite yet another promise of peace. An internationally brokered seven-day ceasefire went into effect on
Tuesday, but residents are reporting fighting in the capital Khartoum. All previous truces have failed.
The President of Guyana has declared three days of national mourning after a horrific fire engulfed a school dormitory. At least 19 children were
killed, 18 of them girls. Officials say Sunday's blaze was maliciously set. The building was already engulfed in flames by the time firefighters
An autopsy is allegedly scheduled for Wednesday following the mysterious death of a senior Russian official. And the country's Minister of Science
and Higher Education says that Pyotr Kucherenko died Saturday after falling ill on a plane. A journalist claims that Kucherenko privately criticized
the war on Ukraine, calling it a fascist invasion.
The Kremlin's war on Ukraine may be moving one step closer to home following a daring ground assault inside Russian territory that has the
potential to raise the stakes considerably.
Moscow is blaming Ukrainian units for a rare cross-border attack on its western Belgorod region on Monday. Ukraine denies any direct involvement
and says that its fight is purely defensive. So far, Kyiv and its allies have been reticent to bring Moscow's war to Russian soil for fear of
escalation. The two groups of anti-Putin Russians aligned with the Ukrainian army are claiming responsibility for the Belgorod attack.
So, who exactly are they? The Freedom for Russia Legion says it was formed last year to fight in the Ukrainian armed forces against Putin's armed
gang. And the Russian Volunteer Corps is made up of Russians who have been fighting in and for Ukraine against their own country.
Time now for the exchange and my conversation with Melinda Haring. She's a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, joins us live now
from Washington, D.C. Linda, thank you so much for being with us. So, this attack that we've just seen in the Belgorod region, how much does it
actually raise the stakes in this war?
MELINDA HARING, SENIOR FELLOW, FOREIGN POLICY INSTITUTE: Hey, Zain, it's great to be with you. So, it throws the Russians off guard. They were not
expecting this at all. The Ukrainians are getting really good at this. We saw this last August and September, when they kept saying counteroffensive,
counteroffensive, counteroffensive. And yesterday, most eyes were focused on Bakhmut, the besieged town of 70,000. It looks like it has or almost
fallen to the Russian side. So, this attack in Belgarod, in Russia proper, really distracted people from the Bakhmut news yesterday, but it unnerves
Russians. It sends the message that no one is safe in Russia anymore.
ASHER: So, what does this mean in terms of how the Russians go about protecting areas by the border, given that this does send such a strong
message, as you point out?
HARING: So, this is the second day of a very minor incursion going into Russia. And Russia wasn't able to repel these forces. What that means is
that Russia is not protecting its borders very well. The borders are very long. And there's -- we know that the Russians have to defend an enormous
amount of territory as the Ukrainians gear up for the counteroffensive.
What this means is that the Russian side is likely to reduce the number of soldiers that will dig in to defend their gains in Ukraine and it's going
to have to guard its own borders more carefully to prepare or to prevent another attack like this.
ASHER: And these two groups, the Legion of Free Russia and also the Russian Volunteer Corps, just talk to us a bit more about them. I mean, obviously,
they're anti-Putin, they're aligned with Ukraine, their goal is to quote unquote liberate Russia to some extent. Just explain to us who they are and
a bit more about that background.
HARING: Sure, so there are two new groups. One is the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russia Volunteer Corps. The Russia Volunteer Corps started
last August and it has nationalist roots. These two groups were operating in three villages over the past two days. They've made statements like, we
are the same Russians as you and we wanna put an end to the Kremlin's dictatorship.
If you look at the footage on social media that's coming out, and, again, this is unverified footage, they have managed to capture APCs and some
tanks and enter Russian territory. Now, the Ukrainians are saying, we have nothing to do with this. These are just Russians who want and who are sick
and tired of Putin, but they're also being very coy about it.
So, yesterday, Zelenskyy's -- one of the Zelenskyy spokesmen said, it wasn't us, we're watching the situation very clearly. But then they trolled
the Russians. They said, you know, you could buy a tank at any Russian supply store. You can buy uniforms anywhere in Russia. And this was the
same kind of thing that we heard back in 2014 when the Russians went into Crimea with their little green men. So, I think it's really effective
trolling, and it's driving the Russians crazy.
ASHER: Right, right. So, when you -- you touched on Bakhmut earlier in our conversation, and I want to just revisit Bakhmut because the Russians are
always saying that they have captured Bakhmut. It's hard to know what the truth is at this point. I think the only thing we know for sure is that
that town has been completely destroyed.
If the Russians have indeed captured it or they are close to capturing it, I mean, is this a real sort of strategic win for them or is it purely
symbolic at this point, given that there is literally nothing left in that town?
HARING: So, Zain, I don't think it's much of a victory. Vladimir Putin really needed a victory. He hasn't had a victory in about a year, and he
was intent on taking Bakhmut. It's a town of 70,000 people. It was really beautiful. It was known for sparkling wine. It had beautiful rose bushes.
It was a nice place to live in eastern Ukraine.
So, they have completely obliterated this town, there's nothing left. If you go to "The Washington Post", they have great before and after pictures,
and they're just heartbreaking to look at. But Putin really wanted to take this town by May Day, and he wasn't able to do it. And he had to use so
much force in order to take the town.
The U.S. government estimates that there's been 100,000 Russian casualties in five months, and 20,000 of those are dead Russian soldiers. Those are
extraordinarily high rates to pay for a town that's not very strategic, to kind of buoy the Russian public and say, see, guys, we do have something.
We have made some gains, but it's a very, very high price.
ASHER: Right. It would essentially be their first gain since city of Soledar. But again, as you point out, there is nothing left. So really how
much of a win is this? Melinda Herring, live for us. Thank you so much for your analysis.
ASHER: All right. Coming up, more legal trouble for the Republican front- runner in the 2024 election. We'll take a look at Former President Trump and what he and his business organization may be facing.
ASHER: More and more legal trouble for former President Donald Trump and his company. Federal prosecutors with Special Counsel's office have
subpoenaed the Trump Organization. Sources say they're looking for information about its business deals in foreign countries. One source says
the focus appears to be on his dealing with countries that could possibly have been interested in the types of classified materials recovered from
Mr. Trump's home.
The Trump Organization had said it would not strike new deals with foreign countries while Trump was in office. A spokesperson says the organization
complied with that commitment.
And writer E. Jean Carroll is seeking at least $10 million in new punitive damages from Donald Trump. This is after he insulted her at the CNN town
hall, which was about two weeks ago. She's asked the judge to amend her initial defamation case earlier this month. She was awarded $5 million
after the Former U.S. President was found liable for sexually abusing and defaming her. Trump is appealing that verdict.
Now, to another major legal headache for Mr. Trump in Manhattan. Nearly two months after he was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records
tied to a harsh money payment during the 2016 campaign, the judge is going to instruct him on what he can and cannot say in that case.
Kara Scannell is live outside the courthouse. Essentially, the judge is letting him know that he's barred from essentially using any evidence to
attack witnesses. Just walk us through that, Kara.
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and so the judge today is going to explain to the former president who will be appearing virtually so kind of
in a box in the courtroom, you know, what he can and cannot say about evidence that he receives in this case. So, the judges made clear that this
is not a gag order. He said that the former president is allowed to defend himself on these charges. He's allowed to discuss any information that's in
the public domain.
But what the judge is saying he's not allowed to do is use any material that are handed over by prosecutors. That could be things such as witness
statements or grand jury testimony, and Trump cannot post that on social media. You know, there are also rules about and restrictions about what
kind of evidence Trump can see.
So, he can view some materials that were made off of copies of cell phones of some witnesses, including Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, but he can
only view that in the -- when he's with his attorneys. He can't make copies, he can't transcribe that.
Now, this is at the request of prosecutors, and the hearing today is also at the request of prosecutors because they want the judge to explain to the
former president exactly what this protective order includes, so there can be no misinterpretations about it. And also to explain to Trump what the
potential consequences could be if he violates the court order.
Now, we also expect to learn what the trial date will be in this case. The judge asked both sides to work together to come up with a date in next
February or March of when that they will potentially go to trial here. So, we'll learn, hopefully, some more information about when this case will
actually go to trial, Zain.
ASHER: All right, Kara Scannell, live for us there, thank you so much. All right, still to come here, a wedding fit for a billionaire. Sources say
Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos and his partner Lauren Sanchez are now engaged. We'll have details ahead.
ASHER: An ominous warning today from the top doctor in the United States. The Surgeon General says we are in the midst of a mental health crisis for
young people and he thinks that social media may be to blame. He issued a new public health advisory detailing potential links between social media
use and depression, anxiety and poor sleep habits.
Let's bring in CNN Medical Correspondent Meg Tirrell with more on this.
So, Meg, we of course know that social media poses certain mental health risks, but is it worse than we previously thought? I know that you spoke to
the Surgeon General. What does he hope this advisory will do?
MEG TIRRELL, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, one of the things he was trying to do really was answer the question he gets from parents which is,
is social media use safe for kids and teens, especially when it comes to their mental health? And though the report concluded that there's not
enough evidence to say that it is safe, and they did note that there are some benefits, they detailed a huge number of potential risks here just
looking at the available body of evidence. And this is really concerning to them given the ubiquity of social media among kids.
They cited one study that showed up to 95 percent of kids ages 13 to 17 say they use social media. And even though the age of 13 is really the minimum
age usually required for a lot of these sites, they say 40 percent of kids ages 8 to 12 say that they already use social media. And so, when they
looked at the risks and the benefits, you know, the benefits, they say these things can create communities and help kids, you know, meet other
peers, especially in marginalized groups, which can be really helpful.
But in terms of the risks, they cited studies showing links to depression and anxiety, disruptions in their, you know, helpful things to do, like
getting enough sleep, things like online harassment and of course low self- esteem. So, all of this is really concerning to them and they're calling on policy-makers and the industry to step up and have some changes.
ASHER: Yeah, we all became a little bit more addicted to social media during the pandemic, which went on, of course, for about two years, if not
longer. So how are social media companies responding?
TIRRELL: Well, you know, of course they have had a lot of pressure be put on them already. And so, they have responded by putting up guidance for
parents, saying that they have a lot of these task forces in place already, showing parents that they can try to monitor what their kids are doing and
having specific settings for kids in particular. You know, we did reach out to one tech coalition, which pointed out there
is a balance here that needs to be struck between protecting kids, but also making sure not to violate, you know, their privacy and their data and
things like that, as well, and their freedom to connect with others online.
ASHER: So, what about parents and families? And obviously social media companies, of course, they need to do more about this, but what about
TIRRELL: Yeah, of course, that's what we can do right away is in our own families, how can we address this? And I asked the surgeon general what
he's doing with his own kids. They're only five and six right now, but he said he and his wife have a plan and that's something they really
recommend. Make sure to have a sort of family media plan in place.
Also include things like tech-free zones, maybe around dinnertime or especially bedtime and at night. Model responsible social media behavior
ourselves. That is so hard. Put the phone down and make sure we're showing our kids how to use them. Teach them about technology and then report
cyberbullying if it happens. And also work with other parents. Find a community of folks because as the Surgeon General said, there is strength
in numbers to try to help families here.
ASHER: I think the most important one though is that you have to sort of model the behavior, which is so hard given the jobs that we do, right? We
always have to be on our phones and I know that I certainly need to be better at about that with my own kids.
Meg, thank you so much for being with us. I appreciate it. All right. Some big news today. If you're one of the two billion people using WhatsApp, the
messaging platform will roll out an editing feature in the coming weeks. So, you'll finally be able to fix that typo or add some context to your
chats, but you'll have a very short window to make changes. The company says edits have to be made within 15 minutes of sending the initial
One of the world's richest men is about to tie the knot. A source close to the couple tells CNN, Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos is engaged to Journalist
turned Philanthropist Lauren Sanchez. Chloe Melas takes a look at the happy couple.
CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER (voice-over): Billionaire Jeff Bezos is engaged. A source close to the couple says the Amazon Founder and
his partner Lauren Sanchez plan to tie the knot. Though no details about the proposal or any wedding plans have yet been made public. Sanchez, a
philanthropist and former award-winning journalist and Bezos first revealed their relationship in 2019.
JEFF BEZOS, AMAZON FOUNDER: Lauren is the most generous, most big-hearted person that you would ever meet.
MELAS (voice-over): Last year I interviewed the couple at their Washington, D.C. home for their first ever joint interview, revealing details of their
lives together that previously hadn't been shared by the private couple.
MELAS: I'd love to know what does a typical Saturday night look like for Jeff and Lauren?
LAUREN SANCHEZ, PHILANTROPHIST: We can be kind of boring.
BEZOS: You're never boring. That's not true. I can be boring.
SANCHEZ: It's really, I would say normal, we have dinner with the kids. That's always fun.
MELAS (voice-over): Bezos has four children from his previous marriage with Mackenzie Scott and Sanchez has three children from previous relationships.
SANCHEZ: There's seven between us, so, there's a lot of discussion and then we watch a movie. And --
BEZOS: A typical Saturday night, probably a movie.
SANCHEZ: By committee, it takes a long time to find that movie. Wouldn't you say?
BEZOS: Yeah, we probably spend more time picking the movie than we need to.
SANCHEZ: But I think that's the fun part.
BEZOS: It's fun.
MELAS (voice-over): As the founder of space company Blue Origin, Bezos was aboard a 2021 flight into space and back on Blue Origin's new Shepard
rocket. Sanchez, also a helicopter pilot, said she's ready to head to space one day.
BEZOS: She wants to go.
SANCHEZ: I'm ready.
SANCHEZ: No, he's already been.
BEZOS: We'll see. I think she has some ideas about who she wants to go with. We'll see.
SANCHEZ: I think it'll be a great group of females.
MELAS: A source familiar with the making of Bezos' mega yacht says the billionaire had a figurehead at the bow of the ship made in the likeness of
the Norse goddess Freya with a striking resemblance to Sanchez. A grand gesture that may hint at a grand wedding to come.
ASHER: Thank you so much for watching ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher. "AMANPOUR" is up next. You're watching CNN.