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Hala Gorani Tonight

Russia Launches Military Drills Near Ukraine's Border; Protesters Block Several Border Crossings In Canada; Bob Saget's Family Says Actor Died Of Head Trauma; German Chancellor Says Russian Aggression Will Meet "Severe" Consequences; NATO Urges End To Fighting In Ukraine But Won't Send Troops; Bob Saget's Death Caused By Head Trauma; Consumer Inflation Spikes Again In January; Prince Charles Tests Positive For COVID-19. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired February 10, 2022 - 14:00   ET



HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN in London, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. Russia launches one of its largest

military exercises since the cold war. But as diplomacy efforts continue, can a peaceful path forward be found? I'll be speaking to Estonia's Foreign


Then protests continue to cause chaos in Canada with several border crossings now shut, we'll have the very latest. And later, Bob Saget's

family says the actor died of a head trauma that he suffered before falling asleep in his hotel room. I'll speak to a neurosurgeon on how something

seemingly minor could end up being fatal.

Stern, still diplomacy and the guns of war as eastern Europe finds itself in a perilous stalemate over that Russian military build-up around Ukraine.




GORANI: These images were released by the Russian Defense Ministry. Images from the first day of its joint military drills with Belarus, which borders

Ukraine to the north. It is the largest Russian military deployment there since the cold war. So it is notable. That's an addition to an estimated

100,000 troops amassed along the Russian-Ukrainian border.


JENS STOLTENBERG, SECRETARY-GENERAL, NATO: There's uncertainty about what we see is at a continued military build-up with more and more forces, and

also key enablers like military hospitals and the logistics. So, this is the warning time is going down and the risk for an attack is going up.


GORANI: Now, meantime, a flurry of diplomatic efforts led by the U.K. this time. The British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss met in Moscow with her

counterpart, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Those talks went nowhere, which Lavrov called a dialogue of the deaf. The British Prime

Minister Boris Johnson also met in Warsaw with Poland's prime minister in a show of NATO unity.


MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI, PRIME MINISTER, POLAND (through translator): The political objective of Putin is to dismantle NATO. This is why we have to

be very determined in showing how cohesive the alliance is and how much we stand together.


GORANI: CNN's Nic Robertson is in Moscow for us, Alex Marquardt is in eastern Ukraine. Alex, I'm going to start with you. Talk to us about these

very large military drills in Belarus, first.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, I think you laid it out very well there. Today, the fear of a Russian invasion has

escalated significantly because of all this Russian military activity. Not just are these huge military drills taking place to the north in Belarus,

but the announcement of Russian Naval drills on Ukraine's southern flank, in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Soon, Ukraine will be seeing Russian

military activity on three different sides.

Now, Hala, as these tens of thousands of Russian troops have poured into Belarus over the course of the past few weeks, we've seen on satellite

imagery that they have been creeping closer and closer to that border with Ukraine. That is of course, a critical border, it is just to the north of

Ukraine, it is just 50 miles from the capital Kyiv, and over the course of the next ten days, we're going to be seeing Russian fighter jets patrolling

along that border, advance anti-aircraft weaponry.

We know that the top Russian general is going to be joining those military exercises, just to give you a sense of importance of those exercises for

the Russians. We have today as you noted, these worrying comments from NATO leaders. The NATO Secretary-General saying the risk of invasion has gone

up. The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying that this is the most dangerous moment in the biggest security crisis Europe has faced in


Now, Hala, on those Naval drills, those have been announced for next week. We have been tracking Russian ships heading into the Black Sea. We know

that the Russians plan to block off parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, which is just to the east of there. The Ukrainian Defense Minister

has complained, saying that the international community needs to respond to this, this means that ships will not be able to dock in Ukrainian ports.


The U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe says that this means that commercial shipping will also be blocked.

So, amid this flurry of Russian military activity that is really just going up by the day, Hala, as you noted, there has been no significant diplomatic

breakthrough. Hala?

GORANI: All right. And Nic Robertson, on that angle, the diplomacy. We have Liz Truss in Moscow, we have Boris Johnson traveling, we had Macron

meeting with President Vladimir Putin a few days ago. Nothing has come of these diplomatic meetings. Are we closer to war here than we were just a

few weeks ago?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, we still don't know what President Putin's big takeaways were from his conversation

with President Macron earlier in the week. And President Macron has really not shared too much of all the different things that they discussed in five

hours. He does think that there's a Russian and Ukrainian commitment towards the Minsk talks and there's a Normandy for talks under way in

Germany at the moment on that subject.

But in all other aspects, we really don't know what was discussed. So, there may be something behind the scenes there. The read-out yesterday from

the White House and from the Elysee Palace in Paris when President Macron and President Joe Biden had a phone call was so limited. There was nothing

to read there. But there was everything to read in the conversation between the British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Sergey Lavrov, the Russian

Foreign Minister, and it didn't make for pretty reading.

You know, Liz Truss came with that message that Russia should de-escalate, that it should not take the path of conflict and bloodshed, and should go

for diplomacy. But as you said there, we heard from Sergey Lavrov saying, look two hours of talks and it was like we were talking past each other.

Certainly, saying that the British weren't listening, and then some quite tough language that either side could have rebutted strongly, but Liz Truss

pointing out to the Russians that their claim that all this is NATO's fault, that it's Russia's security being threatened by NATO, she said that

just isn't true.

And as you know, in diplomatic circumstances, such as this, that's really strong and tough language, and every indication that at this level on this

day, those talks really were getting further apart rather than getting closer together.

GORANI: Sure, thanks very much, Nic Robertson and Alex Marquardt. Let's get some perspective now, Kurt Volker is with us via Skype from Washington

D.C. He's a distinguished fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis and a former U.S. ambassador to NATO, and the former U.S. Special

representative for Ukraine negotiations. How concerned are you when you see additional Russian military drills in Belarus, and a planned Russian

military exercise in the Black Sea?

KURT VOLKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO: Well, this is what we knew was going to happen. The exercise in Belarus was announced a few weeks ago,

also a few weeks ago we saw the ships leave the Baltic sea on their way to the Black Sea. So, we knew this was coming, and is consistent with Russia's

effort to build up military forces, to create tension, apply pressure and see what kind of concessions he can get from the West.

So far none, which is good, and we simply don't know what his intent is after this. Does he really intend to launch another military invasion of

Ukraine with all the costs that, that would entail or is this just an effort to rattle cages for a bit?

GORANI: What do you think?

VOLKER: I think the former. I don't think it is likely at this stage that he's going to invade, largely because we have been very effective at

shining a spotlight on everything that they are doing. And there's been a string of senior European leaders going through Kyiv. Boris Johnson,

President Erdogan of Turkey, President Macron of France, Chancellor Scholz will be going as well, and that makes it very difficult for Putin to

maintain the sense that he's the aggrieved partner here, that somehow Ukraine is provoking him and that he would be reasonable to really,

militarily or that somehow it's deniable and it's really not Russia doing this.

GORANI: Sorry to be blunt. But he doesn't seem to care. And also, everyone's coming to him. Really at least from an optics perspective, looks

like Russia is holding the cards here. Not only because they're holding a gun to Ukraine's head, but because they're providing so much of Europe's

energy resources. This is a -- they have a lot of -- a lot of leverage.

VOLKER: They do. They have an awful lot of leverage. If you think about what Putin has done in Ukraine for the last eight years though, he's kept

an ongoing military conflict going. Low-level attacks every day, but he's done it trying to maintain deniability that it's really not Russia doing


GORANI: Yes --

VOLKER: And I think he still has some interest in maintaining a position of deniability, if he can.


GORANI: What can NATO do, though? Because Russia wants these ironclad assurances that NATO won't expand to include countries like Ukraine. NATO

is saying you don't have any veto power over who we admit to our alliance. They're kind of stuck here. Aren't they?

VOLKER: Well, what NATO could be doing is increase in direct military assistance to Ukraine, so that they have a more full spectrum set of

capabilities and are better able to defend themselves. That would raise the cost to Russia significantly of any real invasion, and I think that's what

NATO ought to be focused on. It's not about giving concessions to Russia. It's about making clear to Putin the cost of an invasion are too high.

GORANI: And then there's the -- that's for conventional warfare. But as you well know and many of our viewers know, Russia and other countries are

playing on other battlefields as well, whether it's cyber attacks, hybrid warfare, you name it. Is NATO, the alliance, equipped to deal with that?

VOLKER: I think it's the best equipped alliance in the world for this. It is now 30 countries, set of shared values, commitment to collective defense

and attack on one being an attack on all for the NATO allies. So, they are capable. The problem here is that, Ukraine is not a member of NATO.

There's no obligation to defend Ukraine. So Putin sees a distinction, OK, NATO, you're going to defend the Baltic states or Poland, but you're not

committed to defending Ukraine and he's testing that. And I think we should be --

GORANI: Right --

VOLKER: Showing a little bit more --

GORANI: Sure --

VOLKER: Concern for Ukraine's security as a country, even as a non-ally.

GORANI: No, I mean, there was some concern just over the last few years with Russian activity in the cyber-sphere, that perhaps NATO was not the

best equipped to counter hybrid warfare assaults that, you know, for conventional warfare and sending defensive weaponry to Ukraine, that's

fine. But for the other stuff, maybe not.

VOLKER: Yes, well, I'm not sure that there's something better. So, yes, I think NATO could be doing a better job in improving its cyber-defense

capabilities. Its assistance to countries that face cyber attacks, but I'm not aware of any organization that's better at it than this. So, we -- you

know, you -- as Secretary Rumsfeld once said, you go to war with your army you've got.

GORANI: Yes, so how much does this energy dependency that Europe has on Russian gas complicate things? Because Germany, for instance, has been

criticized. The new Chancellor Olaf Scholz for not sending weapons to Ukraine. Just a few thousand helmets. This is not a -- this is not a black

and white issue here for countries like Germany?

VOLKER: No, that's right. They are concerned about any conflicts directly with Russia. They are -- they do have a vested interest in maintaining

business ties with Russia, and, therefore, this gas pipeline is important to them. And they've adopted this posture, which they're referring to as

strategic ambiguity, meaning they don't want to telegraph in advance what steps they will take, but for Putin, with that telegraphs is that they are

not resolved. They're not committed. And I think we should be really pushing Germany to be more explicit about what it is going to do if Russia

invades further.

GORANI: Kurt Volker, thanks so much for joining us, really appreciate your time --

VOLKER: Thank you --

GORANI: This evening. A doping controversy is overshadowing one of the most prestigious events at the Winter games that involves a Russian

athlete. David Culver is in Beijing. Hi, David.

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Hala. You know, Russian athletes already unable to compete under their own flag and under

their own anthem because of punishment for state-sponsored doping. Now, it's unclear if the Russians can keep the gold medal that they won in this

team event, but speculation is swirling.


CULVER (voice-over): Russia is once again at the heart of an Olympic doping controversy as multiple sources tell CNN the athlete from the

Russian Olympic figure-skating team who tested positive for a banned substance is a minor. The only minor on that team is 15-year-old breakout

star Kamila Valieva.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: That I think complicates it, because if this were, you know, athlete in their 20s or 30s, you would say,

OK, they knew what they were doing, they made that decision. The question here is, did she know what she was doing? Was she told to take it? Or did

she do this on her own? And you know, pretty much increasingly you would think that there would be adults in her life who were part of that


CULVER: Valieva is the biggest star in skating, she's already set nine world records and made history Monday by becoming the first woman to land a

quad at the games. Russian Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova expressed her support to the young athlete on Thursday.


in front of us, and what Kamila Valieva did is a true miracle.

CULVER: The ROC team won gold in the team events Monday, beating the U.S. and Japan, but the medal ceremony was delayed Tuesday after the IOC said

there was a legal issue.


MARK ADAMS, SPOKESPERSON, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: I don't want to hear about the other stuff, but it arises. It's life. And so, has to be

dealt with, has to be dealt with properly, has to be dealt with in a proper, transparent way, a legal way. And we will deal with it and we will

deal with it as quickly as possible.

CULVER: It is unclear when the positive test was taken. But Russia newspaper "RBC Sport" reported that a sample taken in December from one of

the six Russian team members tested positive for Trimetazidine. Trimetazidine is listed as a prohibitive substance by the world anti-doping

agency under a category of drugs that increase blood flow and improve endurance.

ELIZABETH MURRAY, PEDIATRIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: This is a medicine that's used for angina, you know, chest pain. It is not something

that kids normally get. What this drug does is actually, it can make your heart work more efficiently, and it doesn't change your blood pressure very

much or change your heart rate. So, an athlete wouldn't get jittery or necessarily feel all that different, but they would theoretically be able

to perform at a higher level for longer.

CULVER: Russia is technically banned from competing in the Olympics after an investigation by the world anti-doping agency in 2019, Russia was

punished for a widespread and sophisticated state-sponsored sports doping network. They were hit with a ban from all international sporting events

until December 2022. But Russian athletes can still compete as neutral athletes in the ROC team as long as they prove they had no link to that

doping scandal.

If these latest allegations are true, it's unclear if there would be any punishment for the team or if the ROC team would be stripped of their gold.

BRENNAN: Now, you have all these questions about, are you serious about your rules? I mean, that's where we are right now. What are the rules? Are

you serious about the rules? Is it really OK for a nation that has a positive drug test to go ahead and keep an Olympic gold medal?

CULVER: A spokesperson for the U.S. Olympics Committee told CNN, "we don't have all the details. But in situations like this, it's about more than

gold. It's about the integrity of fair sport and accountability." Valieva was seen back training on Thursday as news of her team's fate awaits.


CULVER: Now, Hala, age is going to be a factor in all this. According to the world anti-doping agency's -- anti-doping code, athletes can and in

some cases be banned for a maximum of 4 years if they are found guilty of committing an anti-doping violation. There are, however, exceptions to this

rule including a minor who's considered a protected person. If that minor is found guilty of an anti-doping violation, the punishment handed out

could range from a maximum of two years to a minimum of a reprimand and no ban at all. The sanction is dependent on the protected person's degree of

fault. Hala.

GORANI: All right, thanks very much for that. Still to come tonight, we'll hear from those Canadian truckers who say they're not going anywhere until

vaccine mandates are lifted. We will be hearing directly from them. Stay with us for that, plus, Baltic nations have a long history with Russian

aggression and they do not want it repeated. What they're asking for from allies, ahead.



GORANI: We've reached an impasse literally. Canada and the U.S. are feeling the pinch after days of protesters cutting off this bridge you see

on your screen now. Around this point on the U.S.-Canadian border, auto plants are halting production, police are telling people to find new routes

to school. But border officials are warning of three-hour delays on an alternate route, and that explains this scene at a totally different


These are commuters trying to circumnavigate the protests that are miles away. The truckers say they're not leaving until the Canadian government

lifts regulations on COVID. The government is no closer to doing that, and the truckers are saying, well, that they're staying put. Donie O'Sullivan

spoke to some of them and here's his report from Ottawa.



DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How well all these mandates gone and I'm not leaving until all of the mandates are gone.

(on camera): What is this stuff that you can't do right now as a non- vaccinated person?

SAMUEL GAUTHIER, SUPPORTING TRUCKERS PROTESTING IN CANADA: I live in Quebec, so it's a bit more intense than other places in Canada. But look, I

can't go skiing, I can't go to Wal-Mart, I can't go to Canadian Tire, I can't go to Home Depot, I can't go to restaurants, I can't go to bars, I

can't go the gym.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Truckers here in Canada have brought part of the country's capital to a standstill right outside the national parliament.

DYLAN FRIESEN, PROTESTING VACCINE MANDATES IN CANADA: I was hired on at a job not too long ago for a transport company at Whitby in Ontario, and I

was let go due to not willing to get the vaccines for my job. And, I mean, that's not right for companies to be able to decide that, and take away our

right to earn money and support our livelihood.

O'SULLIVAN: Now, this is all happening despite these protesters representing a small minority of Canadians. More than 80 percent of

eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated, and the Canadian Trucking Alliance, the primary advocacy group for Canadian truckers which has

condemned these protests, has said about 85 percent of Canadian truckers who regularly cross the U.S. border are vaccinated.

(on camera): And for you, why is it important for you to be here today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, because --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fake news -- sorry --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because like you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't talk to them, this is a fake news.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): But despite the fact that these people may be part of a minority in Canada, they are receiving a lot of support from

conservatives and other right-wing figures in the United States.

PETER SLOLY, OTTAWA POLICE SERVICE: We are now aware of a significant element from the United States that have been involved in the funding, the

organizing and the demonstrating.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): The Canadian truckers are heroes, they are patriots and they are marching for your freedom and for my freedom.

O'SULLIVAN: This is very much a 21st century protest playing out as much on the internet as it is on the streets. Viral memes and sometimes false

and highly offensive historical comparisons have circulated online are being repeated verbatim here like this.

(on camera): And because you're not vaccinated, have you -- is there a business, is there stuff you can't do in Canada now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'm like -- well, basically, if you want to compare Canada to anything, it's like Hitler's Germany and we're like the

Jews, you see? One of the goals is to simply -- is to get a group of people you can get angry with, and this case is the vax --unvaccinated.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): There's a lot of people here streaming live online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just going to follow you guys and make sure you tell the truth.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): That's right.

(voice-over): Documenting every moment on social media.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You take those cams off of that truck! Is that your property!?

O'SULLIVAN: In an effort to clear the protesters, police have begun confiscating gas canisters resulting in encounters like this that clocked

up thousands of views online.

JIM KERR, SUPPORTING TRUCKERS PROTESTING IN CANADA: My name is Jim Kerr, and I give a shit about Canadians. How do you feel? Hi, my name is Jim

Kerr, and I care about human beings especially ones that are trying to keep themselves warm in the trucks, while fighting for the freedom of Canadians,

how do you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The main problem I have is all the censorships that's going on. That's the main problem that I have. There are censorship

everywhere, yes. People's accounts get taken down even Facebook if you don't say the right thing or even this convoy, a lot of groups started, and

people are even live-streaming, and all of a sudden I heard yesterday in the restaurant, my feed was cut. My feed was cut.


O'SULLIVAN: Facebook shut down some groups on its platforms supporting the truckers after the online outlet "Grid News" found that they were being

administered by a hacked account that had belonged to a woman in Missouri. So, whoever was really running the groups wanted to hide their identity and

GoFundMe shut down a fund-raiser for the truckers after police told them the protests had become an occupation.

But organizers here have still been able to raise millions of dollars through an alternative service, a self-described Christian fund-raising

platform. Organizers say the money will help keep the truckers on the streets.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We want those great Canadian truckers to know that we are with them all the way.

O'SULLIVAN: Trump indicating he is supportive of truckers descending on Washington D.C., other American right-wing figures goading their audiences

to act.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question is how long before protests like this come here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will we need our own trucker rally to end all of this insanity once and for all?

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): What is the main goal, the main objective of the truckers here?


O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Donie O'Sullivan, CNN, Ottawa.


GORANI: Well, this is spreading, France has its own so-called freedom convoy. Take a look.




GORANI: You see it here cheered on by a crowd shouting, "liberte", protesters are expected to converge on Paris, Friday, then head to

Brussels. That city has decided to bar the protesters. In New Zealand, police arrested at least 120 people for trespassing or obstruction outside

parliament. The crowd was protesting vaccine mandates, and in a country where the health ministry says 95 percent of the population is fully

vaccinated. So a very small minority of people.

Still to come tonight, Germany's leader says Russia should not underestimate NATO. What he's promising if Moscow decides to invade

Ukraine. Plus, parts of Ukraine have been living in conflict for years now, CNN visits the warn-torn Donbass region to show us what life is like when

the fighting never stops.




GORANI: The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, is warning Moscow, any Russian military action against Ukraine will have, quote, "severe economic and

strategic consequences," unquote, ultimately saying don't test NATO's resolve.

Just a few hours ago he met with Baltic leaders, saying Germany is taking the concerns of those countries about Russian aggression very seriously.

The U.S., U.K. and other Western nations have all sent troops to shore up NATO battalions in Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, as they nervously watch a

familiar adversary.

But Germany has come in for some criticism for not sending defensive weaponry to Ukraine, when other NATO member countries have. Germany perhaps

is a little bit less -- less convinced that a militaristic approach toward the situation is the right one.

Let's get perspective now from the Baltics. Eva-Maria Liimets is Estonia's minister of foreign affairs and joins me live.

Thank you, Minister, for joining us.

First of all what did you make of Chancellor Scholz's statements today?

I've been telling viewers that there is some concern, perhaps, that Germany is not as convinced that the correct strategy is to send defensive weaponry

to Ukraine and make a Russian invasion more costly.

Were you satisfied with what German Chancellor Scholz said?

EVA-MARIA LIIMETS, ESTONIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Thank you and good evening. First, I would like to say, of course, we follow this

military buildup and maneuvers close to Ukrainian borders with great concern.

And so far we have sent very strong messages together, both from NATO and from the E.U. to Russia about this current aggression against Ukraine. And

those we have sent in a united way, that all of this possible aggression will bring (INAUDIBLE) consequences and heavy sanctions so that we do

everything possible together to deter these current actions by Russia.

GORANI: But it doesn't seem to be working, because Russia is conducting military drills in Belarus, sending a military presence into the Black Sea;

troops have remained amassed at the Ukrainian border. I mean, it seems like, just from looking at the Russian military movements, that we're still

very close to a possible invasion.

LIIMETS: Absolutely agree that, unfortunately, there is no indication that Russia's military activities toward Ukraine are being reduced and that the

buildup of Russian forces on the border continues.

Therefore, we, of course, have to continue to be vigilant and try to find diplomatic solution to this crisis. We have this, three different formats

of dialogue established with Russia and it is very fortunate to continue a united approach in this format.

GORANI: OK, so what needs to happen that hasn't happened?

Because as we just discussed, the current strategy doesn't seem to be prompting Vladimir Putin to back down.

What more needs to happen, in your opinion, as a state that is extremely concerned as well of any Russian military expansion?

LIIMETS: Of course, it is very important to continue with this dialogue and diplomatic efforts and to convince Russia that it's not -- it's not

acceptable to try to change European security architecture by military pressure.

And, of course, from NATO side, it is important also to continue to strengthen the defense and deterrence posture of NATO. And we are very

thankful to our NATO allies also for recent decisions with this regard (ph).


Would that involve in your opinion, to be more precise and talk about some of these tangible questions here, Germany was blocking a shipment of

weapons that was stationed in your country to Ukraine.

Are they still blocking that shipment of weapons to Ukraine?

LIIMETS: Yes. From Estonia, we believe that we have to support Ukraine with different ways and one of them was also our decision (ph) to provide

military equipment for Ukraine.


And we have already decided to provide Javelin (ph) military equipment and got agreement from the United States. And we still, yes, are waiting for

approval from Germany and Finland to provide Howitzers.

And, of course, if this approval is not coming, then we will find another way how to support Ukraine.

GORANI: But it must be frustrating for you. Here you have these, this military equipment that could be going to Ukraine, that is stationed in

your country and Germany is saying, don't send it. That has to be frustrating.

LIIMETS: Yes, because we think that everything we -- we should do everything we could to support Ukraine. But of course, we have found also

other possibilities, other ways how to cooperate together, also, with Germany in support of Ukraine.

For example, we are just about to deliver a field hospital, which was put together, together between Estonia and Germany. So a joint project also

between our two countries to support Ukraine.

GORANI: So those are on, not in terms of military equipment but in terms of medical field hospitals and medical supplies?


LIIMETS: This -- yes, also military field hospital, yes.

GORANI: Right.

But it's not weaponry, it's military field hospitals with military, with medical equipment.


GORANI: Yes. Let me ask you about these concerns that, potentially for your country, which is a country of less than 2 million people, if there's

another conflict, you might be faced with a flood of war refugees.

Have you spoken with NATO partners about what would happen to your country if -- if that occurred and whether -- whether or not you would get help?

LIIMETS: Of course, if anything worst happens in Ukraine, then, of course, we can expect also migration flows. And we have discussed also our own

capabilities with this regard.

But of course, if this happens, then we need to also ask from the support from other European countries and also from NATO, how to solve the

situation. But first and most important is, of course, to try to avoid this escalation and then continue with a diplomatic effort.

GORANI: All right. Thank very much. Eva-Maria Liimets, the Estonian foreign minister, joining us from Thailand (ph), thank you.

In Eastern Ukraine conflict began eight years ago and hasn't stopped since. Ukrainian troops are battling Russian-backed forces on a cold and bullet-

scarred front. Alex Marquardt shows what's happening on the ground.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Flying low over the Ukrainian countryside, this Soviet-era military plane

heads toward the border with Russia.

We traveled here with senior Ukrainian officials and military leaders to get a sense of the mood and preparations where Russian troops are the

closest near Ukraine's Eastern Donbas region. This is where many of these Ukrainian troops who are mostly young men have been fighting Russian-backed

forces on this cold and desolate front.

They're eager to show us how they've been living and fighting here in a conflict involving Russia that has been largely forgotten but which has

taken over 14,000 lives in the past eight years, according to the United Nations.

Ivan has been here the whole time, like the other soldiers here he says they're confident they could face a new Russian invasion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, we ready for some -- and we basically wait here.

MARQUARDT: Do you think that will happen, this bad situation?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not -- I don't know because I don't know what in the head of the guys in that territory.

MARQUARDT: But for you, the war has already started.


MARQUARDT (voice-over): Were taken to the farthest point forward where sandbags and tires are piled high, then...

So there was just a burst of what sounded like automatic gunfire. We are just 70 meters we are told from the fighters on the other side of the front


(voice-over): Were rushed away our escorts keen for us to see what happens but not too closely.

Hearing this gunfire and being so close to this front line, you can't help but think that, even if diplomacy succeeds in preventing Russia from

invading Ukraine, yet again, this fighting, which has been raging since the last time Russia invaded Ukraine, will almost certainly continue.

(voice-over): NATO leaders say that ending the fighting already happening here is a critical part of preventing further Russian aggression.


(voice-over): With NATO so far refusing to send troops to Ukraine to fight Ukraine insists it needs more help.

OLEKSANDR TKACHENKO, UKRAINIAN MINISTER OF CULTURE AND INFORMATION: But the important issue, what they need is additional weapons assistance from

the West, from our Western allies, financial assistance, because that's what we need to make sure that we will defend not only the peace in this

country but also in Europe.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): As if to punctuate their point, more gunfire rings out -- Alex Marquardt, CNN, in Eastern Ukraine.


GORANI: Now across India, female Muslim students are defending their right to wear a hijab in school. Protesters across the country are holding signs,

chanting and calling for equal rights after the southern state of Karnataka denied entry to college students wearing hijabs.

One woman has become a symbol of resistance.


GORANI (voice-over): As you can see, this made the rounds on social media. A Muslim student wearing a burqa -- well, that's actually not a burqa -- a

headscarf and a -- and a face mask, confronted by a group of men, shouting a pro-Hindu slogan.

She was attempting to hand in a college assignment as the men surrounded and heckled her and demanded her -- that she remove her covering. The

confrontation illustrates the deeper religious divide between Hindus and Muslims in the States and elsewhere, as another student points out.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): A strong message should go from our side that we are not ready to tolerate any kind of action against the

hijab in any part of the country.

We are seeing that attacks against Islam and Muslims have increased in the country. The entire country is moving toward the ideology of a Hindu nation

and that is why we Muslims are being threatened so that we adapt to the Hindu traditions.


GORANI: There's a lot of those feelings that we hear from a very, very large Muslim population in India.

Still to come, new details about the cause of Bob Saget's sudden death. A neurosurgeon joins me next to explain why a seemingly minor head injury

could have such devastating effects.




GORANI: We're getting more details about the tragic death last month of a beloved American actor and comedian. Bob Saget's family released a

statement saying he died as a result of head trauma.


Saget was found dead in a Florida hotel room in early January while he was on a comedy tour. His family says he died from head trauma, must have

accidentally hit the back of his head and then gone to sleep. No drugs or alcohol were involved in his death.

More on how this can happen, let's turn to Dr. Sanjay Dhall. He's the chief of neurosurgery at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Thanks, Doctor, for being with us.

How unusual is it to hit your head in a way that doesn't produce immediate symptoms and then just go to bed, think nothing of it and then it leading

to such a devastating and unexpected and sudden death in a patient?

DR. SANJAY DHALL, CHIEF OF NEUROSURGERY, HARBOR-UCLA MEDICAL CENTER: Well, thank you, Hala, for having me. And absolutely that's a great question and

certainly we, in the neurosurgery community, don't want to create alarm, that any minor trauma could always cause such an awful consequence.

But it is something we see more frequently than is expected. And certainly we see this more and more in people that are aging and people that take

blood thinners. Even a seemingly minor trauma can cause a life-threatening hemorrhage. And usually there are some warning signs, especially there with

family, that might notice something is wrong.

GORANI: What are those warning signs?

DHALL: So when we see patients like this, if there's someone with them, they might notice they're becoming drowsy or confused. Or they might have a

severe headache.

And certainly we often counsel our patients, if they're taking blood thinners -- and there are many medical reasons why people need blood

thinners -- that those symptoms are a greater cause for alarm. And it never hurts to seek out medical attention when there is a concern like that.

GORANI: Because I mean, in a hotel room, it's not like being on a ski slope or getting in a car accident. Ultimately, where do you bump your head

in a hotel room?

On a cupboard door or something like that. And we've all done it.

So how, if we're alone, can we look out for ourselves?

Is there a way?

DHALL: Yes. And that's what's so disturbing about it. It's different from the Natasha Richardson case, where there was a high velocity injury that

was suspicious or other, like you suggested, car accidents.

The vast majority of the patients that are elderly or on blood thinners that we see with these kinds of head injuries are usually exactly this kind

of trauma, if you want to even call it that, which is a very minor bump of the head.

And that's where it's -- you know, we're grateful in the scenarios when those folks are with someone else, who notices that something is wrong with

them. Unfortunately, in this case, for Mr. Saget, it seems he was alone in a hotel room and there very well may not have been anybody there who could

have noticed that he was declining and needed medical attention.

And then it's a very sad tragedy that it worked out that way.

GORANI: So if you notice after someone bumps their head, they're becoming confused or drowsy, do you then immediately call emergency services?

Or do you wait and see if it gets worse?

What's the best way to go about it?

DHALL: No, every single time, I would call 9-1-1 or get somebody to a hospital immediately, if they're confused or inappropriately drowsy,

regardless of age, after hitting their head. Certainly it's something where time really, really matters and every minute and every hour make a big


And so we would want to get them into an emergency room and get them evaluated as soon as possible and we would rather have someone be all right

than miss something terrible.


So how do you, then -- what do you do when someone comes to you with these symptoms after saying, well, just a small bump. But you know, my husband,

my brother, my son, whatever is confused.

How do you then decide whether or not it's a life-threatening problem?

DHALL: Yes. That's a great question. And nearly every major hospital has a CAT scan or a CT scanner, which is a very quick and rapid way to get images

of the brain and see if there's bleeding, especially large life-threatening bleeding like probably had happened here.

And it can be done very quickly in an emergency room. And then when they find something like that, they can get a neurosurgeon involved. And we can

intervene. And if we get to someone early, we can have amazing saves.

GORANI: Yes. That's, well, that's good. Time is of the essence. Thanks so much for explaining some of this to us, Doctor. Really appreciate having

you on the program. Thank you.

DHALL: Thank very much for having me.

GORANI: All right.


In the U.S., a key measure of inflation has climbed to a near 40-year high. The consumer price index rose 7.5 percent in January, way worse than

economists forecast. And it is the biggest jump since the early '80s.

Food prices went up by more than 7 percent over the past year, affecting everyone at all income points. The price of gas and used cars soared 40

percent, 4-0. There's a bit of good news in terms of the statistics that came out today. Weekly jobless claims came in lower than expected, at

223,000 adjusted per seasonal swings.

Now the U.S. Senate has passed one of the biggest workplace reforms in decades, four years in the making. The bill would end the use of forced

arbitration clauses in employment contracts for sexual harassment and assault claims. That is going to give people the option of seeking justice

in court.

Lawmakers say that more than 60 million Americans have these provisions in their employment contracts. So that is a significant development.

Still to come, it's his first official trip to the United Arab Emirates. Prince William is promoting U.K. ties and a climate change agenda. Details

on that royal visit coming up.




GORANI: When a former prime minister criticizes a current prime minister, one of Boris Johnson's predecessors had some harsh words for the prime

minister. Listen.


JOHN MAJOR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: At Number 10, the prime minister and officials broke lockdown laws. Brazen excuses were dreamed up.

Day after day, the public was asked to believe the unbelievable. Ministers were sent out to defend the indefensible.


GORANI: Well, that was the former British prime minister and Conservative leader, John Major, saying the U.K.'s reputation internationally is being,

quote, "shredded." Johnson has already responded while on a trip to Warsaw, Poland, calling that charge, quote, "demonstrably untrue."

But it is a stinging rebuke from a giant of Mr. Johnson's own party.

Prince Charles is in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. He spent Wednesday night at an event at the British Museum and the heir to the

throne also tested positive back in 2020. So it's his second time.


A royal source tells CNN he recently met with his mother, the queen, though it's not clear exactly when that was. Meanwhile, his son is in Dubai,

meeting with the crown prince there, trying to deepen U.K. ties with the UAE. Prince William is also showcasing his conservation efforts. Here's Max



MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Prince William in a cargo container at Dubai's Jebal Ali port to reveal illegal wildlife

exports. It is a demonstration to show what DP World, which runs the port, is doing to prevent one of the most lucrative cross-border criminal trades.

William's charity, United for Wildlife, is raising awareness of the issue and DP has agreed to help fund it as has the airport in Dubai, amongst the

world's busiest. The United Arab Emirates has one of the highest per capita carbon emission rates in the world. They're also keen to show the prince

how the country is tackling climate change.

FOSTER: Here in Abu Dhabi, they're investing heavily in mangrove parks like this one, which the government says soaks up four times as much carbon

as a rain forest. They also protect the coastline from flooding and erosion.

(voice-over): William, shown the project by Emirati counterpart Sheikh Khaled. And he planted new mangroves with children from the British School.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His presence alone, it is almost motivating to think there are like the big players in the world who are actually -- they're

interested in these sorts of things and they are also motivating students as well to sort of learn about it.

FOSTER (voice-over): Then it was on to the Dubai Expo and a stark message.

PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: This is the decisive decade. If we do nothing, by 2030, we will be speeding toward increasingly devastating

planetary and humanitarian crises as a result of our changing climate.

FOSTER (voice-over): In an effort to find solutions to the climate crisis, he launched the Earth Shot Prize and this was a chance to meet those

involved from this region.

This first official visit to the UAE for William, a chance for him to promote his interests but also those of the U.K. The government dispatching

royalty to deepen ties and to project stability and strength over the chaotic politics currently playing out at home -- Max Foster, CNN, Dubai.


GORANI: Well, thanks to all of you for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. Do stay with CNN. A lot more ahead. All of your top news and biz headlines

on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" after a short break and I'll see you next time.