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One World with Zain Asher

Russia's Late Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Laid To Rest; Closing Arguments On Disqualification of Trump Prosecutor Set To Begin; Chiune Sugihara Life And Legacy Honored At A U.S. Event. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired March 01, 2024 - 12:00   ET




BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: He was brave. He was fierce. He did it his way. Alexei Navalny has been laid to rest. They could get arrested, but

they simply don't care. Defiance on the streets of Moscow today as mourners pay their respects to opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Also ahead, the case against Fani Willis. Will she or won't she be able to prosecute Donald Trump? Closing arguments are set to begin in the next

hour. And later, he risked it all to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust. Now, their grandchildren are paying tribute to his legacy.

Hello, everyone. Live from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga. Zain is off today. You are watching ONE WORLD. A powerful display of solidarity,

defiance, grief and courage on the streets of Moscow today. Thousands of mourners risked their freedom and even their lives to pay their final

respects to Vladimir Putin's most vocal critic.

Russia's late opposition leader Alexei Navalny was laid to rest two weeks after his mysterious death at a Siberian prison colony. Crowds lined the

streets as far as the eye could see as snipers stood watch on rooftops. That is Russia today.

A monitoring group says at least 45 people were detained across the country for paying respects to Navalny. Some told CNN that despite the risk to

their own safety, not showing up was not an option.


UNKNOWN: I came here because I loved his person. I loved his heroes. He's the real hero.


UNKNOWN: Yeah, it's certainly risky.

CHANCE: Why take the risk?

UNKNOWN: You see, because that's my stance on things. And I believe that's to show solidarity.

UNKNOWN: For us, and for me personally, it was like, I don't know -- Russian Nelson Mandela or the Russian Martin Luther King. So --

CROWD: Navalny. Navalny.

CHANCE: People are -- people are chanting his name now.

UNKNOWN: Yeah. His last name. Navalny.


GOLODRYGA: "No to war". Well, some mourners also had a message for the Russian President. While walking to the cemetery, some people began

chanting, "No to war", as you just heard right there.

CNN's signal, we should note, was temporarily blocked during Navalny's funeral. Matthew Chance was there, and he was also at the cemetery where

the opposition leader is now buried. Take a listen.


CHANCE: Well, this is the site inside the cemetery and the memorial to Alexei Navalny. People are coming here to lay their flowers and, as you can

see, and also to file past the actual grave site, which is there. People are picking up soil and throwing it into the ground onto the casket as a

final farewell to that opposition figure.


GOLODRYGA: CNN's Jim Sciutto is in Washington, but first let's go to Clarissa Ward, who joins me now live in London. And, Clarissa, I can't help

but think and feel how so many others that have known Alexei Navalny or have followed him over the years, and that is that this is finally it, that

at 47 years old, Russia's only real strong opposition leader has been laid to rest today. And it was really something to watch all of those people

risk their freedom, risk their lives to come out and pay their final respects.

I was especially struck by crowds thanking his mother and father as they left the church today, in particular one woman saying, forgive us, forgive

us. What were your thoughts?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's really hard not to be moved by these scenes, Bianna, because, as you said, the

risks that people took to come out on this day, to pay their respects by the thousands, these were extraordinarily high risk.


And yet they did it. They did it quietly. They did it with dignity. It wasn't boisterous. It was respectful.

And I think it sort of raised the specter of some possible optimism. And as you know, Alexei Navalny was very optimistic in spite of all the dark and

cynical forces around him. And one felt watching this crowd today and watching how they bravely took to the streets and quietly mourned their

leader, that perhaps through his death, Navalny may be able to achieve something that he wasn't able to do in his lifetime, which is potentially

to coalesce the Russian opposition, to give them the succor and strength and courage that they need to continue to fight this battle in whatever way

that they can.

And we heard from Navalny's team today saying this is the beginning of tougher times. This is the beginning of a deeper struggle. And no one is

expecting it to happen overnight by any stretch of the imagination. But somehow you felt a deep well of strength, even in this deeply sad and

somber moment, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: And Jim Sciutto, you can't even describe it as a slow creep of authoritarianism because the rapid pace in which the country has evolved

under Vladimir Putin, in particular over the past three years, two of which have been at war with Ukraine. And the year prior to that, in 2021, was

when Alexei Navalny bravely returned to Russia. As soon as he was in the airport, he was detained and never saw freedom again.

There used to be a time where protests were allowed, where protests were sanctioned, where you could get some independent access to news and the

internet. Those days are long gone. So, for those people at home watching us today and wondering, why is this such a big deal that people turned out

to show their and pay their respects to Alexei Navalny? We may not see them arrested today, but there are lots of cameras in Moscow, in Russia.


GOLODRYGA: And what we've seen in the past is that following such protests, people would suddenly get knocks on their doors and the arrests

would come later.

SCIUTTO: What we witnessed there today, those thousands of people, is true courage, right? There is no question Russian authorities were taking names

of those who showed up. And it struck me that those many thousands of supporters for Navalny, they showed up with their faces uncovered, whereas

the security forces that you can see in some of this footage there, their faces were covered.

And so, the contrast between false strength and true courage, that is a true act of courage that we witnessed there. And I think we should note

that the repression under Putin's Russia goes back many years, decades really, that anyone who challenges him politically or as dissidents often

pays a price.

And Navalny being the latest victim, but you could look at others, Yevgeny Prigozhin, I'm not putting him in the same category as Navalny, but he led

a brief rebellion, died in a very mysterious plane crash. You can go further back, Boris Nemtsov, further back to Mikhail Khodorovsky, spent

many years in prison.

Also, even to those who challenged Putin outside of Russia and Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko in the 2004 election there, poisoned under very

mysterious circumstances, much like Navalny himself was poisoned in 2020. And then other dissidents, Alexander Litvinenko poisoned with polonium in


That's 18 years ago. To challenge Putin for a long time has been one that you do at risk of imprisonment and for some death. And that's why what we

saw those people doing there today is a true act of courage, because they've got a lot of information, a lot of history that they're acting on.

They know the risk. And yet they stood up there. They shouted his name. They dropped flowers on the grave of Navalny. It's just remarkable to watch

and witness.

Especially when you calculate that a million plus people who were active and vocal opponents of this regime and of Vladimir Putin had already left

the country. So, these are everyday citizens that have stayed and decided that this was the day that they were going to come out and pay their


Obviously, his wife, Yulia, picking up the medal, carrying on his mission from abroad. But it was interesting to hear her speak in English recently.

And of course, we'll be watching her very closely.

I know, Clarissa, especially you and Jim, will. Thank you, both.


Appreciate it.

SCIUTIO: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: There's outrage, anger and growing international calls for an independent investigation into an aid convoy tragedy in Gaza. The

Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza says at least 112 people died when Israeli troops fired around an aid convoy yesterday. Saudi Arabia is among

the countries issuing a strong condemnation, accusing Israel of, quote, "targeting of defenseless civilians in Gaza".

Israel's military and Palestinian eyewitnesses have provided contradictory accounts of Thursday's events. Take a look at this video from on the ground

in Gaza.

GOLODRYGA: This Al Jazeera video from the scene shows gunfire and tracer bullets traveling left to right. We can also hear gunfire, but it does not

show who fired the shots. The Palestinian ambassador to the U.N. says Israel intentionally targeted civilians.


RIYAD MANSOUR, PALESTINIAN U.N.AMBASSADOR: According to the information that we have, dozens of them have bullets in their heads. It's not like,

you know, firing in the sky to restrain people if there was confusions and chaos. It was intentionally targeting and killing. We condemn in the

strongest possible terms this heinous massacre against our people. For heaven's sake, put an end to killing civilians, children, women.


GOLODRYGA: Israel says the disaster occurred when a mass of Palestinians, quote, ambushed the aid trucks and were crushed to death in what they're

calling a stampede, and that afterward an IDF unit was surrounded by a large crowd and a tank fired so-called warning shots to extricate itself,

but that no IDF strike was conducted towards the aid convoy.

Let's bring in Tal Heinrich, the spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She joins us now live from Tel Aviv. Tal, thank you so

much for joining us. So, even with the IDF's explanation, it was notable that in his statement, Admiral Hagari did admit that, quote, "Aid

distribution inside Gaza is a problem."

And since we know Gaza is perceived internationally as bearing chief -- as Israel is internationally seen as bearing chief responsibility for what is

happening in Gaza, isn't there more that Israel should be doing? And if so, what more will Israel be doing?

TAL HEINRICH, SPOKESPERSON FOR ISRAELI P.M. BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Bianna, it's my pleasure to be joining you this morning. You see what's happening

in Gaza -- of course, it's a tragedy, but the tragedy should be blamed on Hamas. This is what they want. These are the kinds of images that they

want. They want to see civilian casualties. They want to see Palestinian civilians suffering.

And, in fact, they openly say it, that they wish to sacrifice the Palestinian population of Gaza for their sick goal of obliterating the

Jewish state. And they expect Israel to take the fire for their own vile actions. They want Israel to succumb to international pressure and stop

crushing them above the ground and under the ground. But that's not going to happen.

Now, in what pertains to the humanitarian aid, our mission is, one, we are inspecting the trucks that are coming in daily. We're talking about

hundreds of trucks. And the problem is that Israel is inspecting these trucks at a much higher pace and rate than what the international aid

groups can actually process and distribute.

This is why, right now, as you and I are speaking, for example, there is humanitarian aid and equipment, the equivalent of about 300 trucks waiting

on the Gazan side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing, waiting to be distributed. Now, we are working with, you know, our international

partners, including the Biden administration, in order to better this mechanism.

And just this week, there was a very impressive operation, airdropped equipment and humanitarian aid along the southern coastline of the Gaza

Strip. And it was an international endeavor on behalf of us, the United States, Egypt, Jordan were involved.

GOLODRYGA: Tal, isn't another easy solution to open another corridor, which is something that Israeli allies and officials, including Sam Power

from USAID, isn't that what they've been suggesting and pushing Israel to do? And isn't that something Israel should be considering at this point?

HEINRICH: Well, there are considerations taking place. There are discussions, of course, as I said, with international partners. And as you

saw throughout this war, by the way, we opened more of these border crossings, some of which, by the way, Hamas terrorists stormed and

completely destroyed in the October 7th attack.


But think about that for a moment. Since the beginning of the war, since October 7th, Israel has allowed in more than a quarter million tons of

humanitarian aid and equipment into an enemy zone, an enemy that usually celebrates terrorist attacks against us by handing out candies. And not

only against us, by the way, also after 9-11, for instance. And into an enemy zone where our hostages are still being held right now for nearly

five months.

GOLODRYGA: Doesn't this hurt the prospects, though, of extricating those hostages in terms of reaching a potential deal? I mean, you say this plays

into Hamas' hands. The West is now putting even more pressure on Israel, on Prime Minister Netanyahu, to agree to a ceasefire, to agree to a deal that

may be very unsavory now to accept, given the high-level Palestinians in Israeli prisons, that Hamas is asking for in return.

HEINRICH: A few things to unpack here. First, of course, there is international pressure on Israel. It's not a secret. But we're fighting to

stay alive. We're fighting because we face and are still facing an existential genocidal threat called Hamas. Now, regarding the hostage

situation, and, of course, their plight should be at the forefront of every international discussion, not just right here in Israel from where I am

speaking to you.

GOLODRYGA: I agree. I agree.

HEINRICH: We are doing everything to try to bring another framework that the sides can agree upon, which will see the release of the remaining

hostages. Now, we know that the only thing that works against Hamas is the combination of the military pressure, very heavy military pressure that

we're exerting on the ground, but also the diplomatic avenue that we're pursuing.

We set very clear red lines for such potential agreements. We said that we will not agree to release thousands of Palestinian terrorists in exchange.

We said that we will not agree to a ceasefire that would mean an end of the war, that would keep Hamas in power.

GOLODRYGA: Tal, finally, let me just ask you, because all of this is happening as Prime Minister Netanyahu has warned Hamas that Israel will go

forward on its plans to go into Rafah if these hostages are not released. And we've got Ramadan approaching on March 10th as the beginning of that

holy month.

Let me ask you and have you respond to this question of whether or not Israel can uphold what it says is a plan that will keep civilians out of

harm's way. And I ask that because given the scene that we've seen now in northern Gaza, where Israel is in charge of distributing the aid, because

Israel is in charge of Gaza right now, effectively.

There's a quarter of a million people in the north. There's 1.4 million in Rafah. So, how can you guarantee that that plan will be a realistic one in

terms of trying to do as much as possible to avoid scenes like this again?

HEINRICH: Well, these plans were presented to the Prime Minister. The war cabinets are being discussed. And well, we will proceed with the operation

to dismantle the Hamas terrorist regime, that's for sure. But obviously, Bianna, we do not target civilians. Our goal is to ease the civilian

suffering in Gaza.

And in fact, we have gone to unprecedented lengths in the history of urban modern warfare to safeguard the civilians of Gaza, which is exactly the

opposite of what Hamas is trying to do. So once we decide to proceed and expand the operation in Rafah, because we have to go there for very clear

reasons, we will make sure that we will do what we did so far, which is to try to avoid civilian casualty to the possible extent and collateral


We have to go into Rafah because Hamas still has four operational battalions there. We're not going to leave them untouched. That will be the

equivalent of, you know, telling the allies back in World War II, well, you took out so many Nazi strongholds already. Why go into Berlin? That's not

even a question. It's also a border town from which much of the ammunition has been funneling over the years into Gaza from, you know, the border with

Egypt. That has to be handled, as well.

GOLODRYGA: Tal, quickly, does -- in terms of Israeli intelligence, is it believed that there are Israeli hostages currently in Rafah?

HEINRICH: As far as I know, well, you know, probably yes, because you've reported on CNN just a few weeks ago, we rescued in a very successful,

precise operation, two of our hostages who were being held in Rafah. So, we have reasons to believe that the answer is yes.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, dozens and dozens of more hostages remain. Tal Heinrich, spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, thank you so

much for joining us.


HEINRICH: Thank you, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Coming up, in Donald Trump's classified documents court case, a hearing today could determine if his trial happens before Election Day.


GOLODRYGA: Donald Trump is back in a federal courtroom today, this time in Florida. A crowd of Trump supporters were outside when he drove up, but

with no cameras in the courthouse, we are unlikely to see Trump himself. A federal judge there is hearing arguments about when she should start

Trump's trial about his alleged mishandling of classified documents. Prosecutors say the case should start in early July.

Trump's legal team has proposed a mid-August date.

And there will be another important hearing in about one hour in Fulton County, Georgia. Lawmakers there will deliver final arguments over whether

District Attorney Fani Willis should be disqualified from prosecuting the election racketeering case against Trump for having a romantic relationship

with one of her prosecutors.

We are covering both of these hearings today. CNN's Nick Valencia is at the courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia. Paula Reid is where Donald Trump is at the

federal courthouse in Florida. Paula, to you first. So, we could see a trial begin as soon as July or August. Given how this particular judge has

weighed in and made her decisions in the past, which one do you think is more likely?

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: I think it's highly unlikely right now that the Special Counsel is going to get its preferred

date of July 8th. In the courthouse right behind me, the hearing just wrapped up after two hours, and the judge did not issue any sort of

decision on her scheduling.

But during the course of this hearing, as she peppered both sides with questions about their proposed schedules, she did suggest that the special

counsel's July 8th start date was, quote, unreasonable. But we also got another piece of news during this hearing, Bianna.

One of the prosecutors clarified something that has been hanging over both Special Counsel cases. And that question is how close to the election the

Justice Department would be willing to bring a federal prosecution, because historically the Justice Department has had a policy of not taking

investigative steps in any case that could impact the outcome of election within 60 days of an election.

The attorney general, others have been pressed on whether that applies to setting a trial date. Well, we got an update. We got a clear answer from

the prosecutors today. One of the special counsel prosecutors today, said, quote, "That does not apply to setting a trial date."


He said we are in full compliance of that policy. He said for cases that have already been charged, they do not adhere to this policy of not setting

trial dates. So, this is significant because this means the Justice Department is open to possibly trying -- trying to bring this case as late

as September or October.

Now, again, at this point, it's unclear exactly where the judge is going to put this case. It's penciled in for May 20th, and we'll see if she pushes

it back, and if so, how far. And also, she leaves the door open to possibly delaying it at least one more time because we expect even though the Trump

team says they'd be open to starting this in early August.

It would be probably expected that they would come back and ask to push it again because they have insisted repeatedly that the former President

should not face federal trial before the November election. In this hearing today, they suggested that it would be unfair to the American people and to


GOLODRYGA: Interesting how he keeps on getting these wins, these legal wins, just in terms of prolonging and extending and kicking the can down

the road. Paula Reid, thank you.

And Nick Valencia, I want to turn to you now, in Atlanta. Talk to us about what's at stake from what we're expected to hear today.

NICK VALENCIA,CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Bianna, no trial date set here, and we were on track for an anticipated August start to a trial here until

these allegations surfaced against Fannie Willis.

The allegation being that she financially profited and personally benefited from a relationship with her lead prosecutor who she was in a romantic

relationship with. And defense attorneys today are expected to try to prove that Fani Willis and Nathan Wade, her top prosecutor, lied on the stand not

only about the extent of the relationship but also when it started.

And to underscore that, they're expected to introduce cell phone data, which they secured through a subpoena, which they say shows thousands of

texts and phone calls between Willis and Wade during a time period before they said they started dating.

Also, Defense Attorney Steve Sadow, that attorney for Trump here in this case, has alleged that Nathan Wade's cell phone was spotted in the area of

a condo that Willis had at the time late into the evening and early morning hours. All of this talk about Fani Willis makes it seem as though she's on

trial, but during one of the days she was testifying, she made it very clear as to why we are really here. Y


FANI WILLIS, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: You've been intrusive into people's personal lives. You're confused. You think I'm on trial. These

people are on trial for trying to steal an election in 2020. I'm not on trial, no matter how hard you try to put me on trial.


VALENCIA: So, the initial allegation was that Fani Willis financially benefited from this hiring of Nathan Wade, but that has evolved into

whether or not she lied while she was on the stand. That argument going to be front and center in less than an hour. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: You'll be watching it all for us. Our Nick Valencia, thank you. Coming up for us, we'll look at the legacy that Alexei Navalny leaves

behind and explore what might happen to his political movement ahead.







GOLODRYGA: What was a fitting tribute? The sounds of Frank Sinatra's "My Way", played as Alexei Navalny was laid to rest at a Moscow cemetery

earlier today. As you see here, thousands lined the streets to say goodbye to Russia's most prominent opposition figure. Many chanted his name and

thank you, as his casket left the church following his funeral, honoring a man who paid the ultimate price for his fight against injustice in his


The crowds are a testament to the impact that he had, as are the condolences from world leaders, including British Foreign Secretary David

Cameron, who writes, "On this day of his funeral, we remember his spirit of defiance in the face of brutality from the Russian regime and his courage

in standing up to corruption."

Navalny's widow, Yulia, posted a video on social media commemorating their lives together.



GOLODRYGA: Time now for The Exchange, and we're talking about Alexei Navalny's legacy with Nina Khrushcheva, a professor of international

affairs at the New School and the great-granddaughter of the late Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev.

So, great to have you on, Nina. I wish it was under better circumstances. Just listening to that song in the background of that video posted by

Yulia, I mean, please don't die or I'm going to have to, as well.

It tells you a lot about their relationship, their bond, and the fact that she is now carrying the mantle of her husband's legacy, which is going to

be a very heavy lift, especially from outside the country.

NINA KHRUSHCHEVA, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS PROFESSOR: It will be a very heavy lift. It's a very sad day. I mean, I'm out of the country, otherwise I

would have gone to the funeral as all my relatives went, everybody I know went there today.

Very heavy lift for her, and it would be almost impossible to do it from outside the country. We've seen many politicians, noble politicians, who

left the country, and now they're having a deep disconnect with what's happening in there.

So, I wish you best of luck, although I really don't see how the Russian opposition outside the country can have much effect. And that's why Alexei

Navalny so bravely, you're talking about his legacy, so bravely returned after poison with Novichok and then recuperating in Berlin, came back in

January 2021 because the politician out of Russia, out of the country that he is supposed to lead in political renewal, is almost, at least before, is

almost non-existent.

[12:35:00] GOLODRYGA: Nina, it really speaks volume, the evolution, the quick pace in which the repression in Russia and the authoritarian regime under Vladimir

Putin has escalated over the past few years. It wasn't that long ago that people could protest. There was some, you know, consequence for it, but

people came out onto the streets. This is obviously before the war.

There was access to independent media. I mean, now satellite signals were turned off. You're hearkening, you know, what will we see out of China and

Iran. And the fact that it was even a small win for Alexei's mother to see his body and to get his body says what to you about the future direction

this country is headed in?

KHRUSHCHEVA: Well, the country is certainly getting towards more repression. I mean, when the war happened suddenly in a week, and you and I

spoke about it, DogeTV disappeared, Echo of Moscow disappeared. So, all of this was gone within a space of a month at most.

So, I don't see, and now Putin is going to reclaim the throne in mid-March, so in two weeks he's going to become President again. So, I don't see,

normally what we know about dictatorships is that they don't go soft. So, I'm seeing -- I'm thinking there's going to be more oppression, more


And in fact, today, I would say that, you know, thank you, they allowed it to happen, because Yulia Navalnaya, in fact, was, I think, quite vocal

about this, saying to Putin that he was a fake Christian, because if that's happening, how can he call himself a Christian?

So, they allowed it to happen. In fact, even -- I don't know if you reported on this, outside of Moscow, in other cities where people brought

flowers to the monuments to political repressions, they were -- more people were detained than they were in Moscow. In Moscow, few were detained, but

released immediately.

So, they decided to just sort of let it go humanely. But I am sure watching this -- thousands, tens of thousands of people coming, honking, because

it's not just the crowd, but the cars were passing by and honking and screaming. Navalny, the kids, there were schools on that road, and the kids

were banging into the windows. They were not let out, but banging into the windows, screaming Navalny.

I am sure if Putin were not paranoid before, he's certainly paranoid now. So, I would imagine that less and less this kind of official events in

which the state can say, well, not that oppressive, is going to be less and less. There would be many few, much fewer opportunities for people to

express the fact that they don't want war, that they don't want Putin, that they want to -- Russia have to be a normal, normal country with future.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and I'm just thinking about his legacy and, you know, how fortunate in a way that we were able to cover him and follow him and know

about him in our generation. But assuming the inevitable happens and Putin is, you know, in air quotes, "re-elected", I can't imagine that there will

be, at least in the next 10 years or so, a new generation of people in Russia who learn about Alexei, who he was, his optimism, eternal optimism,

and the different path he saw and was committed to bringing to the country. Maybe I'm too much of a pessimist at this point, but what are your


KHRUSHCHEVA: Well, you know, I'm a Russian, so I have to be pessimist. It just comes with the territory.


KHRUSHCHEVA: It's generic, of course, because, you know, we thought, I mean, you know, you introduced me as a great-granddaughter of Nikita

Khrushchev. Nikita Khrushchev took Stalin out of the mausoleum from the Red Square, denounced Stalin. Look what we're having today. All the things that

Putin is doing is just, like, basically not if Stalin, Stalin exactly, but very Stalin-esque, so pessimist.

But I am an optimist, too, because after every Stalin comes Khrushchev. After every Soviet regime comes Mikhail Gorbachev. And what Putin did is

sort of that pendulum swing that Russia goes remission oppression, but after repression in Russia, remission comes.

And so, I think these kids would know about Alexei Navalny. In fact, when I was in touch with my relatives who were walking in that -- walking in that

line line, and they were saying, well, a lot of young people, a lot of young people who had to come because they do imagine, they already imagine

a different Russian future.

So, I don't think that Putin can absolutely hammer it into the frozen ground of Russia -- of today's repression.


I think I actually am optimistic that year two, three, five, they will be a new generation who would not want.

GOLODRYGA: I appreciate that optimism today. We all need a little bit of it. Nina Khrushcheva from The New School, thank you so much for joining us.

Always good to see you, Nina.


GOLODRYGA: Well, in the year 1940, a Japanese diplomat to Lithuania helped thousands of Jewish refugees flee wartime Europe and is credited with

saving their lives. More than 80 years later, Chiune Sugihara life and legacy were honored at an event here in the U.S. Take a look at his

incredible story.


UNKNOWN: But for this man, my father would not be here. I would not be here. Our children would not be here.

GOLODRYGA: Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara helped save thousands of Jews fleeing Lithuania during World War II. Generations of Holocaust survivors

and their families gathered in Chicago this February to celebrate Sugihara's legacy and to honor him.

LEO MELAMED, FIRST GENERATION HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR: My story is a miracle. We were captured by the Nazis when I was 7 years old. Because of the

brilliance of my parents, we escaped. And there, another miracle occurred. Chiune Sugihara issued over 2000 visas.

GOLODRYGA: After Germany invaded Poland in 1939, tens of thousands of Jews fled to Lithuania. Sugihara was the first Japanese diplomat posted there.

And in the summer of 1940, a large number of Jewish refugees gathered outside the Japanese consulate, looking for visas that would allow them to

pass through Japan before seeking refuge in a third country.

Despite receiving orders from Tokyo that all visa holders must have finished their procedure for their entry visas and have money to travel,

Sugihara defied his government. And in less than two months, he issued over 2000 visas to Jews and their families. Sugihara died in 1986. His

granddaughter and great-granddaughter attended the ceremony.

ORIHA SUGIHARA, GREAT-GRANDDAUGHTER OF CHIUNE-SEMPO SUGIHARA: As a young generation, I sometimes see the world a bit pessimistic way, but his action

is so impactful.

MELAMED: To stand up against immorality is the greatest deed you could do in a lifetime.

GOLODRYGA: Just a year after Sugihara issued the visas, Germany invaded Lithuania. When Sugihara got back to Japan after the war, he was forced to

retire, but not without saving the lives of thousands during his career.

YARIV MOSER, ISRAELI FILMMAKER: It's something that should be told and should give an inspiration to others to save those who are in need.

GOLODRYGA: Years later, he said, I couldn't abandon those people who had come to me for help. I didn't do anything special. I just did what I had to


UNKNOWN: Thank you.

GOLODRYGA: His courage and sacrifice continues to be honored all these years later.


GOLODRYGA: A man who bravely stood up to immorality. Well, that does it for this hour of ONE WORLD. Thank you so much for watching. I'm Bianna

Golodryga. Marketplace Africa is up next.