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One World with Zain Asher
Putin Thanks His Security Forces For Stopping A Civil War; Ukrainian Forces Claim To Cross Over To The Russian-Controlled Eastern Bank; Audio Recording Appears To Reveal Trump Discussing A Secret Pentagon Document With Unauthorized People; American Basketball Star Brittney Griner Chosen To Play In The WNBA All-Star Game; Maada Bio Wins Sierra Leone's Presidential Election; Actress Angela Bassett Set To Receive An Honorary Oscar At The 2023 Governor's Awards In November. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired June 27, 2023 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone, I'm Zain Asher in New York and this is ONE WORLD. Vladimir Putin is in damage control mode just days after an
aborted uprising. It raises questions about his grip on power. The Russian president thanked his security forces after a weekend of chaos, during
which troops led by the head of the Wagner group marched towards Moscow before turning around. Mr. Putin says state forces stopped what he called a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Real defenders of the motherland, you saved our people, our homeland virtually. You stopped a
civil war, in actual fact, stopped a civil war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: State media reports that Russia is dropping any charges against Wagner forces and the man of course at the center of the revolt, as well,
Yevgeny Prigozhin has now arrived in Belarus. Belarus' president says the security guarantees promised by Putin are indeed in place. He's also
providing more details about the deal he brokered to end the rebellion.
Alexander Lukashenko says that he warned Prigozhin that his forces would be quote crushed like a bug if they continue to march towards Moscow. Not
everyone though is on board with Prigozhin's arrival in Belarus. Here's a Belarusian opposition leader voicing her concern about the Wagner chief.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SVIATLANA TSIKHANOUSKAYA, BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: I don't know what Prigozhin intends to do in Belarus, but he's definitely not welcomed in our
country. He's a war criminal and he can bring the war to Belarus. And we don't want that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: CNN's Nick Robertson is monitoring all the events from London and joins us live now. So, Nick, obviously Putin has gone into overdrive to
sort of project strength and unity, talking about how much the Russian forces are indeed behind him, though. The fact is this was almost a coup.
This was almost a coup. Just explain to us how the Kremlin is trying to spin this.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I think Lukashenko today, the President in Belarusia, actually perhaps gave the best
explanation of essentially the unpicked, the Kremlin narrative and shows how the Kremlin is trying to sort of paint over what was a terrible weekend
for them. Lukashenko says that Prigozhin turned around his convoy going to Moscow because Lukashenko himself told Prigozhin that he would be crushed.
Yet here we have on the other hand President Putin presenting a picture of actually, it was the military that stopped Prigozhin driving to Moscow
because they came out and they stopped him and the reality the world and Russian saw over the weekend was actually that Prigozhin himself decided to
turn around his troops and pull them back.
So, although the Kremlin and President Putin are trying to sort of paint a new narrative, it doesn't fit the events on the ground and Lukashenko, you
know, provides a completely variant narrative. So, when you have President Putin then telling the troops, as well, that you worked so hard and so well
and you all pulled together, it seems to belie perhaps another piece of misinformation that the Russian forces weren't so united. And there is a
history of that.
We know that Putin met with his different defense chiefs yesterday, and we know that the National Guard chief today said that his forces were going to
now get tanks and heavier equipment and it's easy to imagine a picture where a National Guard was saying, well, we can't stop Lukashenko on the
road -- we can't stop Prigozhin on the road with his tanks and heavy armor because we only have light machine guns.
So, I think the Kremlin, as you say, is very much in damage control, but there are varying narratives out there, plus the reality of what Russians
saw on the ground. The Kremlin, of course, has the advantage of being the main media machine and the main mouthpiece of most people here in Russia.
But some of this is not going to stick.
ASHER: Lukashenko has intimated that it's possible, perhaps, for better Russian troops and somehow the welcome group to work together. Just explain
to us what happens to Prigozhin now. We know that the charges against him will indeed be dropped, but what happens to him at this point?
ROBERTSON: Yeah, I think it's important, obviously, for context that we understand that Lukashenko is really the junior partner to Putin and will
do whatever Putin says. And we heard that from Lukashenko today. You know, he said, number one, if Russia collapses, then will the fatherland
collapses, then will and the rubble underneath will all be dead.
And he said that he'd told Prigozhin when he was talking to Prigozhin on the phone, that if Prigozhin kept going to Moscow, he, Lukashenko will send
troops to Moscow to support Putin. But what, to your point, happens now? Well, it is in Lukashenko's purview for what happens and that of his
He is painting Prigozhin as something of a hero. In fact, he called him a hero, said that Prigozhin was sticking up for his commanders, and he was
sort of in a half mad rage when he was in Rostov-on-Don over the weekend because these commanders refused to do what they were being told to do by
the defense ministry and sign up to the Russian government, because they'd seen so many deaths at the frontlines, and this sort of enraged the
But Prigozhin comes in to Belarus at a time when Lukashenko is weak and Lukashenko says not only is Prigozhin a sort of a hero here but perhaps I
would like to have a unit of Wagner within my military because they can teach our guys a thing or two about defense. So, that seems to be the
direction that Lukashenko is going in.
But he knows better than to just trust that Prigozhin won't make trouble. He said they've got a guarantee from Prigozhin that he wouldn't kill
anyone. He said to Prigozhin that if you do that, then essentially all bets are off. You won't get support from us. This, I think this situation is far
from resolved. And of course, Prigozhin has yet to show his face and tell us what he intends to do in Belarus or wherever he is.
ASHER: All right. Nic Robertson, live for us there. Thank you so much. Ukraine's foreign minister says last weekend's revolt in Russia could be a
sign of things to come. Dmitro Kuleba spoke to CNN in an exclusive interview.
DMITRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: It has always been pretty obvious that it's just a matter of time when someone in Russia will dare to
challenge Putin because we saw how his power and authority is shrinking and how Russia is entering very difficult turbulence. So, Prigozhin is just the
first one who dared. But I have no doubts that others will follow one way or another.
ASHER: So, will the insurrection and its aftermath have any impact on the battlefield in Ukraine? For its part, Kyiv says it is making gains on the
ground. Let's bring in our Nick Paton Walsh for some perspective on the war post-attempted insurrection. Nick, thank you so much for being with us. So,
we know that the Wagner Group has been instrumental in the war in Ukraine, particularly in and around Bakhmut. The Wagner Group has been told to hand
over their heavy weapons to the Russian army. Just explain to us how that changes the dynamic on the battlefield going forward.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (on- camera): Yeah, I mean, we are still in very early days as to how this extraordinary chaos is going to impact Russia on the frontlines. But being
no doubt, Wagner have been the most effective fighters that the Russians have had over the winter, certainly leading, spearheading the fight for
Bakhmut, being no doubt too brutal, savage, often at times deeply inhumane fighters too. But it does appear that they will be stepping back.
And according to Prigozhin, a very small number of them will in fact join the Ministry of Defense. They may all move to Belarus. That is still
something to be worked out and we simply don't know where Wagner fighters are and how obedient they are with this apparent deal that their leader has
indeed struck. But is this, as yet, changing the nature of the fight on the Ukrainian frontlines? Well, it's unclear. Here's what we know.
WALSH (voice-over): Unprecedented chaos in Moscow has yet to ease Ukraine's bitter fight in the trenches. Close combat around Bakhmut, two weeks into
the continued grind of the counteroffensive open operations, filmed over the weekend just as Wagner troops roll towards Moscow.
Here, the red, white and blue are Russians in disarray and surrendering. The hope is more will follow as word spreads of the failed rebellion and
morale, and discipline falter. It was near here Ukraine proclaimed Monday progress on the front lines, with room for hope elsewhere. To the south, on
another Donetsk front near the heavily contested Marenka, it appears some Kremlin loyal Chechen fighters were pulled to Moscow for its defense at the
Here, they are strutting along an apparent highway near the capital. Bakhmut and Marinka, opportunities for Ukraine in the east but also further
west near Kherson, the Antonivsky Bridge, the scene of intense clashes captured by this Russian drone as Ukrainian forces claimed to cross over to
the Russian controlled Eastern Bank, opening another front perhaps.
Ukrainian forces claimed to cross over to the Russian controlled Eastern Bank, opening another front perhaps. It is too early to tell whether or if
Russia is crumbling. And Ukraine's progress has been incremental still. The familiar scene when their fighters declared they'd captured another small
village in the south, Rivnepil, on Monday. None of this yet.
There's strategic sea change and Russian collapse. The weekend's madness that Zelenskyy, visiting troops in the east Monday as well, will hope
follows. He faces anxious choices, even with all the Kremlin's intimate ugliness so exposed. Move now or wait for more in Moscow to unravel. He
must be sure to make no mistakes of his own or interrupt the torrent of them in Moscow.
ROBERTSON: Now, Ukraine's push through this entire counteroffensive has essentially been to wear down Russian front lines and perhaps find a place
where they can break through and really force Moscow to make difficult decisions about where its priorities on the frontline are. Now, they may be
hoping to expedite that moment, knowing fully well that in Moscow there's utter chaos, frankly, at the moment, and a top brass who are barely
clinging on to their jobs.
And so, an important moment perhaps for Ukraine to seize upon, but these things do take time. You can't suddenly, in a matter of hours, redeploy
tens of thousands of troops direction, but be in no doubt, I'm sure that even though many Russian troops on the frontlines do not have smartphones,
cell phones, the news of this chaos will be trickling through slowly in the days and weeks ahead. And my gosh, you can imagine the effect that's going
to have on morale, let alone strategy. So, expect some changes. We just have no idea what timetable they'll follow.
ASHER: Yeah, it's still early days. As you point out, Nick Payne-Walsh, live for us rest there. Thank you so much. Donald Trump's campaign is
speaking out about an audiotape that appears to include damaging evidence against the former president in his classified documents case. A
spokesperson for Trump says the tape actually proves that Trump did nothing wrong at all. He'd not elaborate or explain why the tape would be good news
for Trump. The audio recording first obtained by CNN appears to reveal Trump discussing a secret Pentagon document with several people who did not
have security clearance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: This was done by the military given to me. I think we can probably, right?
UNKNOWN: I don't know. We'll have to see. Yeah, we'll have to try to figure out a --
TRUMP: See, as president, I could have declassified. Now I can't, you know, but this is the last thing.
UNKNOWN: Yeah, now we have a problem.
TRUMP: Isn't that interesting?
TRUMP: It's so cool. I mean, it's so, and look, we're here, and I have a -- and you probably almost didn't believe me, but now you believe me.
UNKNOWN: No, I believe you.
TRUMP: It's incredible, right?
UNKNOWN: No, it's never been before.
TRUMP: Hey, bring some -- bring some Coke, please.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Let's bring in CNN Political Correspondent Sara Murray for more analysis on this. So, Sara, I just heard you talking earlier about the
context, because that is really crucial here. What is astounding is not just what Trump is saying in this tape, but who he is talking to. He's
talking to a group of people who are working on a book about Mark Meadows, the Former Chief of Staff for the White House from 2020 to 2021. And of
course, none of the people in the room have any security clearance whatsoever. Just walk us through that.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I mean, no one that he's discussing this very sensitive document with has security clearance
and you can hear from that first part of the tape how sort of casually they are discussing this laughing, joking, even when Donald Trump is
acknowledging that, you know, this is a classified document that he no longer has the ability to declassify.
And this came about because Trump was livid with Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and essentially was railing against him and trying to
talk about this document to prove that Trump was right and Mark Milley was wrong. Take a listen to another portion of that tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, with Milley, let me see that. I'll show you an example. He said that I wanted to attack Iran. Isn't it amazing? I have a big pile of
papers. This thing just came up. Look. This was him. They presented me this. This is off the record, but they presented me this. This was him.
This was the Defense Department and him. We looked at some. This was him. This wasn't done by me. This was him. All sorts of stuff. Pages long.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: Now, Trump said in a Fox News interview there was no document there. He's just talking about magazine, newspaper clippings. But when you
listen to the tape, it's really striking a couple of the things he says. You know, he says in that clip, I'll show you an example. He says at
another point in the tape, these are the papers. So, you can see why this is such a powerful piece of evidence for prosecutors as they're building
this documents case against Trump.
You know, we also know that prosecutors have gone to lengths to try to corroborate, you know, what exactly Donald Trump may have been shuffling
around, what the context was of Donald Trump's fury. We know that they talked to Mark. Have gone to lengths to try to corroborate, you know, what
exactly Donald Trump may have been shuffling around, what the context was of Donald Trump's fury.
We know that they talked to Mark Milley, again, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. We know that they also talked to at least one of the people in that
meeting. And you can bet that they probably talked to others trying to figure out what exactly these papers were that Donald Trump is rustling
around there. All right, Sara Murray, live for us there. Thank you so much.
ASHER: A new report is out detailing failures in a New York jail that allowed Jeffrey Epstein to kill himself in 2019. The Department of Justice
said the Bureau of Prisons failed by not having prison employees conduct rounds to check on Epstein, allowing Epstein access to extra linens, which
he used to hang himself, and not assigning Epstein a cellmate after he was placed on suicide watch like the FBI's investigation. The report did not
find anything criminal in Epstein's death. Joining us live now with more on this is Kara Scannell. Kara, what more do
we know about this?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so this report, 128 pages real scathing rebuke of the Bureau of Prison Staff who were responsible for
ensuring Jeffrey Epstein safety while he was awaiting trial. Now, the couple of things that you mentioned are some of the big headlines here of
what they missed.
I mean, beginning in late July, remember Epstein had hung himself on August 10th of 2019, but as early as late July, Epstein was found lying on the
floor of his cell with an orange cloth around his neck. He was then determined by the psychiatric ward to have a cellmate and that didn't
happen. So, then leading up to the night that Epstein had killed himself, he did not have a cellmate.
Another shortcoming is that he was allowed to stockpile bed linens. I think we have a photo of that. Just see how many orange bed linens he had in his
cell and that is what he was able to use to fasten nooses, which were recovered in his cell when they found his body in the early mornings of
August 10th. They also -- these guards were supposed to do reviews, prisoner checks every 30 minutes, that, because he was in the special
housing unit known as the SHU.
But the report found that between 10:40 PM and 6:30 AM, they did no checks at all. So that gave Epstein ample time because he had no cellmate. He had
the means and the opportunity to commit suicide. Now, one of the things that came out of this was there were a lot of conspiracy theories of
whether Epstein could have been murdered.
Even his own legal team had put forward a medical expert who said he thought it was potential for homicide. So, what this report does is also
gets into saying that they found no criminality. They said that there was no -- of the video that was available, which there were also deficiencies
There was no evidence or no images of anyone entering the area of the SHU where he was. They also found that there was no defensive wounds under --
nothing under his fingernails, no bruises, no contusions on his body, nothing to show that he was fighting off any assailant. You know, trying to
put to rest some of the big question there was there anything else that could have happened.
I mean, but the bottom line here is they're saying that all of these shortcomings not only allowed Epstein to die and not only allowed these
questions around his death to happen but also deprived his numerous victims of any justice because he eventually, he could never go to trial to face
these charges, Zain.
ASHER: Sara Murray, live for us there. I want to give you a quick update on the victims. The federal judge in New York has granted preliminary approval
for JPMorgan Chase to settle a case with Epstein's accusers for $290 million. The women claimed the bank ignored Epstein's sex trafficking.
Epstein had been a client with the bank from 1998 to 2013 when the bank terminated his accounts. One accuser said the bank ignored red flags of
Epstein's real activities. The bank issued a statement earlier this month saying it was a mistake to be associated with Epstein.
All right, still to come, women stereotyped and demeaned. Minority players discriminated against, even abused. Just some of the horrors outlined in a
damning new report that some are calling a wake-up call for English cricket. Plus, we'll tell you how Basketball Star Brittney Griner is
bouncing back after spending almost a year in a Russian prison. And later, he always presents himself as the picture of strength. We'll trace Vladimir
Putin's gradual rise to power from a KGB officer to more than two decades as leader.
ASHER: A scathing new report finds racism, sexism and elitism are widespread and deeply rooted in English and Welsh cricket. The 317-page
report was written by an independent commission created in 2021 to investigate inequality in the sport. It received more than 4,000 responses.
Half said they experienced discrimination in the past five years playing cricket, with that number quote, substantially higher for people from
ethnically diverse communities.
World Sports Don Riddell joins us live now with the details. So, this was part of a two-year investigation, and what it really found was that the
sport of cricket is certainly by no means a sport for all. We're talking about institutional racism. We're talking about women being treated as less
than, as subordinate, and also class-based discrimination, as well. Don, walk us through it.
DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yeah, you know, Zain, this report was titled, Holding a Mirror Up to Cricket. I can only imagine that the mirror cracked
because the content of the report was just so ugly. Let's expand on some of the things that you've kind of teed us up for here.
I mean, one of the key findings was that cricket in England and Wales has failed black communities. The report said that the decline among black
cricketers in this region is so well-documented, they found it deeply concerning that there had been no ECB-led initiative or report to
understand, halt or reverse that decline. They talked about the sexism that women in cricket experience. They just kind of feel like they're add-ons.
They're treated as subordinates.
And many of them reported that they have been subjected to predatory behavior, often by men where alcohol had been involved. And the report also
talked about the pay disparity, which it described as embarrassing. Women, on the average, earning only 20 percent of what men earn.
Earlier on CNN's World Sports Show, we heard from Azeem Rafiq, he was a former Yorkshire cricket player who reported that his county, his club, had
subjected him to racism, harassment, and bullying, which set off a whole investigation of its own. So, it was really interesting to get his thoughts
on the report. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZEEM RAFIQ, FORMER CRICKETER FOR YORKSHIRE: I got briefed from the report yesterday, and, you know, a whole mix of emotions. You know, there was
sadness, and you know, there was a bit of anger, you know, but ultimately I'm a human being, and I just felt like why have I had to go through
everything, you know, that I've had to go through to get people to believe me? And still, you know, despite being vindicated a lot of times, you know,
people still don't.
But I think the numbers are so stark in this report, you know. I think the experiences don't shock me, but the dates and the numbers, you know, people
But I think the numbers are so stark in this report. You know, I think the experiences don't shock me, but the dates and the numbers, you know, 87
percent of Pakistani and Bangladeshi people feel discriminated in cricket. Eighty-two percent of Indian people feel discriminated in cricket and 75
percent of black people and 50 percent of all people, you know, feel discriminated in cricket.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIDDELL: Extraordinary testimony there from Azeem Rafiq saying he doesn't even live in Yorkshire anymore. He's moved his family to Dubai.
ASHER: And I just want to just go back to something you said that was just really startling. The fact that women on average in cricket get paid 20
percent, 20 percent compared to what men get paid. I mean, I really want to let that sink in to our viewers watching just how wide of a pay gap that
actually is in terms of inequality. But also, I think overall, what we heard from a lot of people that were interviewed for this report was that
when people do experience racism and sexism, they do not feel comfortable going to the leadership because there is such a deep mistrust for the
authorities. So, what needs to change here, Don?
RIDDELL: Yeah, it's so ingrained in the culture and Azeem Rafiq will tell you how hard he found it to come forward and once he came forward, his
credibility was challenged and he wasn't taken seriously and accusations were thrown at him and it just was so difficult for him to really make any
traction any traction and he kind of feels ostracized by the game as a result of everything that he's been through.
When he was asked by Amanda Davis, the World Sport host earlier today, if he'd come back to cricket, and he said he would, if the right people were
in charge, suggesting that he doesn't think the right people are in charge right now, or at least that the people that are in charge are not fit to
really lead the game of cricket into a new era.
We should just bring you the response from the ECB, the England and Wales Cricket Board. Their Chairman Richard Thompson said this, on behalf of the
ECB and wider leadership of the game, I apologize unreservedly to anyone who has ever been excluded from cricket or made to feel like they don't
It is going to be really interesting to see what happens next. Zain, especially since this is such a huge summer for English cricket, it's the
Ashes, it's England against the old enemy Australia, both the men's and women's teams are playing. Interestingly, the English Women's Spin Bowler
Sophie Eccleston who's a brilliant player, this week, some of the former players in the England team have been speculating, is she the best spinner
in England right now, male or female?
So, that's kind of the level, the standard that some of these women are playing at and as you say, these numbers are quite shocking with regards to
the pay disparity and how they're treated. I think a lot of people are going to be hoping that something can change from this day on.
ASHER: Yeah. Let's hope so. Don Riddell, live for us there. Thank you so much. After -- only months after being freed from a Russian prison,
American basketball star Brittney Griner has been chosen to play in the WNBA All-Star Game. Griner was picked as a starter for the game, despite
spending some 300 days in a Russian prison. Griner has been one of the better centers in the league this season, averaging more than 19 points per
game. This is her ninth All-Star selection.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRITTNEY GRINER, WNBA ALL-STAR: You know, I'm on it. Anytime that I get voted in to All-Star, I know it's going to be a great time. I didn't even
think I was going to be in this seat, you know, like a while ago. But like I said, it was an honor to be at All-Star and go down to Vegas and make it
a good one.
ASHER: Griner missed the entire 2022 season while being detained in Russia, but was named as an honorary All-Star last year. All right, still to come
here on ONE WORLD, Wagner has long been Russia's muscle in Africa. So, will this weekend's insurrection change that? We'll look at Africa's Russian
ASHER: Hello and welcome back to ONE WORLD. Let's catch up on the headlines. The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a crucial ruling that
preserves the way the U.S. runs its elections. The case could have given state legislatures almost unlimited authority over electoral matters
without needing approval from judges or courts. Donald Trump supporters had pushed the so-called independent state legislation theory, but the Supreme
Court rejected it in a six to three vote.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is warning about a handful of locally acquired cases of malaria in the U.S. Americans typically catch the
diseases spread by mosquitoes after traveling overseas. There has not been a case from local U.S. sources in about 20 years. There are more than 240
million cases each year with the bulk of those cases in Africa.
A massive fire engulfed a residential high-rise building in the United Arab Emirates. The blaze broke out early Tuesday in the northern city of Ajman.
A video posted on social media shows several stories in flames. Police say residents were evacuated from the building. No injuries have been reported.
While Wagner's presence in Russia is likely to dwindle, the mercenary group still has a large footprint in Africa. Here's a look at all of the African
countries in which Russia is allegedly propping up dictators, undermining democracy as well, according to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies.
You can see Wagner's largest presence is really in the Central African Republic, Mali, and Sudan. Russia's weapons of choice include mercenaries,
disinformation, election interference and arm steals.
After this weekend's insurrection, as African leaders propped up by Russia and the Wagner Group are likely concerned that weekend's events may indeed
end up loosening their grip on power, John Kirby from the National Security Council says that it's too early to make any kind of judgment about
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, U.S. NSC COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: It's just too soon to know. We recognize that Wagner still has a presence in Africa.
I think you know we have worked to hold Wagner accountable. They are listed as a transnational criminal organization. We have sanctioned them. We will
continue to take those actions that are appropriate to try to limit their ability to continue to sow chaos and violence wherever it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Time now for The Exchange and my conversation with Jack Detsch. He's the Pentagon and National Security Reporter at "Foreign Policy". Jack,
thank you so much for being with us. So, here's what we know at this point in time. Prigozhin has apparently arrived in Belarus and is a security
reporter at Foreign Policy Jack.
Thank you so much for being with us.
So, here's what we know at this point in time. Prigozhin has apparently arrived in Belarus and Lukashenko is essentially saying that, you know, he
might end up having bargaining forces work alongside the Belarusian army to perhaps help train them. The fact that Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner
Group, has been banished to Belarus at this point, what does this mean for Wagner's dealing in Africa, particularly in countries like Mali, Central
African Republic, Sudan, Burkina Faso, for example?
JACK DETSCH, PENTAGON & NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, FOREIGN POLICY: Zain, this has significant implications for Wagner's presence on the African
continent. When you think about five thousand Wagner fighters and not all of them Russians, many of them commercially motivated and depending on arms
from Moscow, now potentially in the wind. There's a lot of concern from countries in the region, but it's been muted because they're looking to see
how this rivalry plays out between the Kremlin and Prigozhin.
We haven't heard a statement from Mali, which authoritatively has tried to kick out the U.N. peacekeeping force. Their deadline is to leave at the end
of the month. We haven't heard much from the Central African Republic or Burkina Faso where U.S. officials are worried that Wagner might spread. So,
the concern is this group could be in the wind. They're potentially violent and it opens up potentially here a marketplace for these armed men on the
ASHER: And in terms of other countries, not just the ones that, you know, African countries that have dictators that are being propped up by the
Wagner Group, let's take South Africa, for example. South Africa has been caught in the middle between the U.S., obviously it's a U.S. ally, and
Russia, for example. They have expressed loyalty to both countries. In fact, South Africa has apparently been given ammunitions and weapons,
perhaps, to Russia.
So, walk us through what happens now. The fact that Putin appears weaker, some African countries that seem somewhat loyal or relatively loyal to
Russia, doe this change the calculation for them? The fact that Putin now appears significantly weaker after the events of this weekend, or is it too
early to tell?
DETSCH: It's a little too early to tell Zain because the situation between Wagner and the Russian Ministry of Defense had almost been like a tag team
approach where you saw Wagner come in, try to secure access to natural resources as they've done in the Central African Republic, to diamond
mines, to gold mines that we've seen in Sudan. While the Ministry of Defense works the traditional arms sales angle, of course, Russia, one of
the two or three top arms exporters in the world.
And now with that relationship potentially on the Fritz, that makes it a little bit more difficult for countries in the middle and for groups in the
middle, groups like the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, who had sort of played both sides of the fence although a little bit more with Wagner, now
potentially have to decide where the relationship is headed. With countries like South Africa, that's a long-term historical relationship the Russians
have had dating back to the Soviet Union.
We've seen the administration there, very, very close to the Kremlin and Moscow. That doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon. But certainly, the
voices on the continent that would normally be speaking up in favor of Moscow, or at least when it comes to the Russian war in Ukraine, calling
for a settlement that might favor the Russians, now appear to be very muted, as of course, we're in this hall of mirrors with Prigozhin and the
situation in Belarus seems very unsettled.
ASHER: And there have been countless reports about the Wagner Group obviously exploiting resources, you just touched on this, resources in
Africa, especially gold, and perhaps how Russia might indeed be using these exploited natural resources in Africa to prop up financing for the war in
Ukraine. How does the dynamic over the past weekend and Prigozhin being banished to Belarus, how does that change the financing for this war,
particularly elements of financing that are coming from the exploitation of natural resources?
DETSCH: Well, at least the public message from the Russians is that it's not changing. We heard Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov say
yesterday, the Russians will continue to have relationships with African countries through private military groups, although of course he did not
explicitly name Wagner. But this is a relationship for the Russians that's going to have to be reassessed potentially, and they're going to have to
Again, these are people who were motivated to fight for Prigozhin. They have relationships with Prigozhin. A lot of the Wagner ranks are much more
senior. These aren't people that were being drafted into the Russian military off the streets, as we've seen in the mobilizations. These are
people who were hardened, experienced fighters on the continent. So, now it's going to be a game of picking and choosing. Do they decide to side
with the Russians?
Do they enter the mercenary marketplace? It's going to be a very hazy situation in the next few days.
ASHER: All right, Jack Detsch, live for us, thank you so much. We appreciate it. This weekend's uprising is being seen as a significant
challenge to the Russian president's authority. Vladimir Putin has been in power for more than two decades. CNN's Randi Kaye looks back at his rise to
the top of the Kremlin.
RANDI KAYE, JOURNALIST: He is the ultimate alpha male, or at least he'd like the world to believe that. Vladimir Putin, always presenting himself
as the picture of strength. Often shirtless, captured hunting, or taking a submarine down deep in the Black Sea. Putin was born in October 1952 in
what is now St. Petersburg. In 1975, he joined the KGB as an intelligence officer. In 1999, then-President Boris Yeltsin appointed Putin prime
minister. In 2000, Putin was elected president of Russia.
At the time, even President George Bush was impressed, though it didn't last.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy.
KAYE: Putin was reelected in 2004. By 2008, he'd reached the term limit under Russia's constitution, so he got creative and switched jobs with
then-Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. So, Medvedev was elected President of Russia and named Putin as prime minister. A move that raised questions
about how much power Medvedev really had. In office, Medvedev changed the constitution, extending presidential terms from four years to six years
before Putin was re-elected president again in 2012.
Putin has ruled Russia for more than two decades, and his power is undeniable. He escalated the war in Chechnya, invaded Ukraine, and his
government allegedly interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, though he's denied that. He also allegedly had a hand in disposing of his
critics, like former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died weeks after drinking a cup of poison-laced tea. Litvinenko blamed Putin. The Kremlin
denied his involvement.
Still, Putin won his last election in 2018 with more than 76 percent of the vote. His critics have slammed the election as unfair, citing tight control
over the media and election monitors. Some critics have suggested Putin has used his reign not to better the lives of the Russian people, but to enrich
himself through theft and corruption.
Bill Browder, who once invested heavily in Russia, is now one of Vladimir Putin's toughest critics.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN "GPS" HOST: Estimate his net worth.
BILL BROWDER, AMERICAN-BRITISH FINANCIER: Two hundred billion.
KAYE: Exact details about Putin's wealth are hard to come by. These photos from inside one of Putin's lavish homes were shared with CNN by an
independent Russian journalist who left the country.
ROMAN BADANIN, INDEPENDENT RUSSIAN JOURNALIST: And this man loves gold maniacally and he loves his rich life very much.
KAYE: Putin also likes to keep his private life private. But news of his longtime mistress, with whom he reportedly has children, has made
headlines. These are pictures of Putin with Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast who is about 30 years younger than Putin. She and Putin met more
than a decade ago, but are rarely seen together.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: Russia has a long and rich experience.
KAYE: Despite his grip on power now suddenly in question, Putin is expected to rule at least until 2024, when at age 71, he will end his fourth
presidential term. However, he signed legislation in 2021 that would allow him to run for two more terms, which could mean he may be in office until
2036. Randi Kaye, CNN.
ASHER: All right, still to come here on ONE WORLD, a nation on edge. We'll check in on Sierra Leone as it prepares to announce the winner of its
presidential election. That story, next.
ASHER: Sierra Leone's election commission says that President Maada Bio has won re-election with 56 percent of the vote. President Bio has won re-
election with 56 percent of the vote. This is according to the Sierra Leone Electoral Commission. The elections, of course, happened on Saturday. It
was considered to be a two-horse race between President Bio who was up for re-election, and also former Cabinet Minister Samura Kamara, as well.
The opposition leader, Samura Kamara, is currently disputing the elections results. He says that they were not free and fair. But once again, the
electoral commission is announcing that President Bio has won reelection in the Sierra Leone vote that took place over the weekend.
I want to bring in our Senior Editor for Africa, Stephanie Busari, who's been tracking the election. Certainly been tense. There's been pockets of
violence, Stephanie. Obviously, the opposition candidate is disputing these results. What more can you tell us?
STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN SENIOR EDITOR, AFRICA: Yes, Zain. In the last few minutes hearing that, President Maada Bio has been re-elected, it doesn't
come as a surprise to many. And just over the weekend, he and some of his party were saying that they were expecting a landslide victory. So, they
were certainly confident of what the results would be.
And as you say, his closest rival, Kamara has said that they're disputing the results. And some international observers, such as the Carter Center
have reported that they thought the tabulation process lacked adequate levels of transparency whilst they were observing. And they actually said
in their report that they saw some cases where seals -- ballots were broken --the seals and ballots were broken in some tally centers. So, there may be
grounds for dispute there for the opposition party.
And the electoral commission described the weekend election as relatively peaceful but as you mentioned, pockets of violence, Kamara's APC party had
said that security forces laid siege to his head office in the capital Freetown firing live rounds, which police have said that they were obliged
to do because the APC party was trying to announce the results prematurely, claiming that they had won.
But Kamara described this as an assassination attempt. So, it gives you an idea of how tense these elections process really were. But really, it's the
Sierra Leonean people who are grappling with very high cost of living, incredibly high inflation rates. In April alone, it was 37 percent. It's
them that are really caught in this web of exchange between the two parties.
Will life change for them? They've been through so much, Zain. You'll remember with the civil war that lasted a decade and Ebola and then the
pandemic and even the mudslides, which we covered in 2017. So, the Sierra Leonean people have been through so much and they're really just crying out
for change and a government that will improve their lives, Zain.
ASHER: Well, yeah, I mean, you think about how rich Sierra Leone is when it comes to natural resources. I mean, obviously diamonds, but beyond
diamonds, as well. I mean, you think about iron ore, for example. They have so many minerals, but yet it is one of the poorest countries in the world.
And on top of that, as you point out, people are dealing with rampant inflation, the costs of ordinary sort of basic foods quadrupling just
recently. So, that is a major priority for President Bio as he is now reelected. But also on top of that, unifying the country because there is
just so much division in Freetown and obviously around the rest of Sierra Leone.
Stephanie Busari, live for us there. Thank you so much. All right, still to come, bringing art to life with the use of creative or rather with the
creative use of technology. An exhibition in Nigeria is drawing enthusiastic crowds.
ASHER: A painter in Nigeria is using augmented reality to bring his artworks to life. Using their cell phone cameras, viewers take in another
dimension of creativity beyond the canvas.
ASHER: A singing painting that makes you dance. An artwork smoking a cigarette. A colorful painting of a woman that gets butterflies when you
sing her praises. These are the works of Nigerian Visual Artist Ife Olowu. He's carving a niche for himself at the point where art meets technology.
IFE OLOWU, VISUAL ARTIST: Basically, we've been saying the normal paints on canvas. I said, okay, let me create my own movement entirely. You know, do
something unique, do something extraordinary. So, you know, I decided to infuse the AR technology into my paintings whereby I bring them to life.
ASHER: The magic begins on a canvas. Then he takes a photo of the painting, uploads it online, and uses tech tools to augment the art. Sometimes he
adds sounds. Other times, visuals. Guests scan a barcode, turn on their cameras, and enter the world of Olowu's digital art. He says the goal is to
convert an exhibition into an experience.
OLOWU: For the art lovers and the collectors, people would be able to see eating messages, you know, see eating scripts, you know, see eating magic
in my canvas. Visitors at the studio say they got the message and are in awe of it.
UNKNOWN: The art was talking to me. You hear sounds like Udrua Lekba, you know, very iconic places in Lagos. So, it's an experience you need to
UNKNOWN: The artworks are very amazing. I was expecting something ordinary, but I met something extraordinary.
ASHER: Olowu's augmented reality art is a collection of eight pieces titled "Colored Reality". He says each painting is worth about $10,000.
ASHER: Thirty years after she was first nominated, actress Angela Bassett will finally get her long-awaited Oscar. The two-time nominee is set to
receive an honorary Oscar at the 2023 Governor's Awards in November. Bassett made history earlier this year when she was nominated for Best
Supporting Actress for her performance in Black Panther, Wakanda Forever, even though she didn't win. The nod, though, made her the first person of
color, the first woman, and the first Marvel Studios actor to be nominated for a performance in a comic-book adaptation. Pretty special.
Thank you so much for watching ONE WORLD. I'm Zain Asher. Amanpour is up next. You're watching CNN.