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CNN 10

Russia`s Invasion Of Ukraine; A Conservationist`s Effort To "Rewild" A Western European Country; The Return Of A Long-Lost Pet. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired February 25, 2022 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Welcome to all of our viewers worldwide. My name is Carl Azuz.

In the early morning hours of Thursday local time, with as many as 150,000 Russian troops surrounding the neighboring country of Ukraine, Russian

President Vladimir Putin made a televised address. He said for years, Russia had been promised that NATO, an alliance of North American and

European countries would not expand toward western Russia, but that that expansion had occurred anyway. He said this was making things more

dangerous for Russia and that it would be quite irresponsible if his country didn`t take action.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): A decision has been made a special military operation.


AZUZ: Afterwards, CNN reporters in Ukraine said they were hearing explosions as Russia launched the beginning of a full-scale invasion of the

country next door. NATO leaders railed against Russia`s attack on an independent country. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said Russian

president Putin wanted to destroy Ukraine and everything it was building.

And U.S. President Joe Biden said the responsibility for the war rests completely with the Russian leader.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war and now, he and his country will bear the consequences.

Today, I`m authorizing additional strong sanctions. This is going to impose severe cost on the Russian economy both immediately and over time.


AZUZ: Several other nations joined the U.S. in announcing economic penalties on Russia but that country`s decision to attack Ukraine came

despite the international threat of sanctions, and it happened despite Russia`s repeated statements that it had no intention of invading Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government said yesterday that dozens of people had been killed in the conflict. The United Nations says 100,000 have fled their

homes in Ukraine and thousands have moved to other countries.

All of this is having a wide-ranging impact on geopolitics, with Russian ambassadors being summoned and diplomats being kicked out of various

nations. There are some economic impacts being felt, with global stock markets dropping and we plan to have more on that in the days ahead.

But right now, we`d like to give you a sense of what was happening on the ground around Ukraine after the Russian attack began.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If we pan up, there`s another salvo being fired right now. So you can see in this area,

the Russians firing artillery rockets towards Ukraine.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I`m standing outside the perimeter of this Antonov air base and it has not been taken

back by the Ukrainian military. It is the Russian military. You can see them now moving back to a different position. There`s the Ukrainian

military who say they are now in control.

This is about -- I would say about 20 miles from the center of the Ukrainian capital, and so it just shows us now for the first time just how

close Russian forces have got towards the center of the Ukrainian capital. Standby, we`re hearing some aircraft in the air, Jim.

You can see over here, there`s a plume of black smoke, grey smoke, brown smoke that`s coming up from inside the compound of the -- of the air base.

I think there are jets in the sky, jets in the sky above us.

Okay, Jim, we`re going to have to leave it here. I think the situation`s deteriorating. I`m going to hand it back to you.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: People have been waiting here, some of them for hours and hours, and you can see, they have

their pets, they have their families and there`s just no sense of what happens next, what is their new reality, because the reality is here in

Kharkiv, Russian tanks are making their way here and nobody knows what their objective is.


AZUZ: Ukraine`s military said Russia`s objectives included blocking off the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and carving out more land for Russia that

would connect the country with Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Meantime, organizations around the world are planning shipments of

emergency supplies to those Ukrainians in need.


AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Which of these European nations is the oldest?

Portugal, Spain, Italy or Germany.

In terms of becoming a unified independent nation, Portugal`s founding in 1143 makes it the oldest country on this list.


AZUZ: In northeastern Portugal, conservationists are working to rewild a particular region. The idea is to set aside an area of land and bring back

the plants and animals that live there in the past. There is some controversy with this. Some experts say if certain species are no longer

found there naturally, they may not be suited to living there again.

And people who live nearby could be threatened if an aggressive animal is reintroduced to the region. But those working to rewild part of Portugal

hope their efforts will help people and animals.


REPORTER: Here in the valley of the Coa River in northeastern Portugal stretches acres of agricultural land that have fallen into disuse.

For centuries, this area was used for farming and mining, but the economic downturn in recent decades prompted many thousands of people to leave.

Today a small group of rewilders is claiming the land back.

PEDRO PRATA, REWILDING PORTUGAL: The aim is to allow nature to recover, wildlife to come back, but also for people and nature to benefit alike.

This means that the whole landscape is more connected and more abundant in wildlife.

REPORTER: Pedro Prata works for Rewilding Portugal, guarding the region from wildfires, animal poisoning and poachers and securing new areas of


PRATA: Me and my team we`re constantly present in this landscape. We live in the landscape. We`re all the time here.

REPORTER: The Coa Valley provides a migratory corridor for rare species. By rewilding these targeted areas, Prata hopes to encourage the return of

some of Portugal`s chief predators such as lynxes and wolves.

But for the top of the food chain to flourish, it needs to be supported by the rest of the ecosystem. So the team is focusing first on the

reintroduction of road deer and wild horses.

PRATA: They are the ones who manage the growth of the vegetation. But also they spread seeds and they take the nutrients back into the -- into the

soil with their dung. And so they are the real engineers of the vegetation.

REPORTER: Progress will be slow. Predator numbers cannot increase until herbivores grow.

PRATA: Footprints, it`s better, yeah.

REPORTER: Once the system is up and running, it is hoped that lynx will follow in the footsteps of the wolves or indeed these badgers being tracked

by the team.

But predators bring risk. Local human populations need reassurance.

PRATA: The biggest obstacles we`re facing nowadays actually is cultural. Our aim here is that people understand there is ways to co-exist with the


REPORTER: Promoting wild herbivores prevents the likelihood of domestic animals being lost as prey.

Prata and his team hope that by promoting species biodiversity in Portugal, they are ensuring the longevity for environment wildlife and community


PRATA: We live in a fantastic world, full of fantastic species and creatures that has the same right to be here and to exist into the future

as much as we do. I think my main message is just let nature be, and just let nature rewild.



AZUZ: More than 12 years ago, a woman named Michelle got a dog named Zoe from an animal shelter. They lived together for six months but then Zoe

went missing and Michelle never found her.

Flash forward more than a decade, an old dog turned up this year in a rural area of California looking sick. Animal services found she had a tracking

chip and they used it to find her original owner who hopes to get Zoe healthy and enjoy the rest of her life.

We may never know where she spent the last four legs of her journey, not even the mutts and bolts, and it won`t do any good to hound her with

questions. You can`t keep pooching for answers. You got to stray away from some topics and let sleeping dogs lie when it comes to who let the dog out.

But now that she`s bark home safe, we have a nice tale to tell about a reunifi-canine.

I`m Carl Azuz.

Somerset Area High School is in Somerset, Pennsylvania, shout out to you. Thank you for subscribing and leaving a comment on our YouTube channel. We

hope all of you have a good weekend ahead.