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Hala Gorani Tonight
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Says Russian Forces Will "Continue Their Aggression Until Ukraine Surrender;" Heavy Fighting Reported On Outskirts Of Kyiv; EU Heads Of State Gather At Versailles; Interview With Gordon Brown, Former British Prime Minister, On Prosecuting Putin; Kharkiv Resident Documents Life Under Heavy Bombardment; Putin Calls Western Sanctions "Illegitimate." Aired 2-3p ET
Aired March 10, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, I`m Max Foster in CNN in London. Let`s get straight to our breaking news for you this hour. They
will continue their aggression until we surrender. Ukraine`s top diplomat says that was the broad message today from Russia`s foreign minister talks
in Turkey. That message reinforced by devastating new attacks on the ground. Officials in Mariupol say that the city is under constant
bombardment, and they`re now being forced to bury victims in mass graves.
There`s also heavy fighting reported in many directions around Kyiv. Ukraine`s military says it destroyed Russian tanks advancing on the capital
today. Kyiv`s mayor warns that Russia still aims to overthrow the government, but says every street, every building and every checkpoint are
now fortified. Let`s bring in CNN`s Scott McLean, he is in Lviv tonight in western Ukraine. Scott, first of all, the besieged areas. What information
are you getting from them?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Max, look, the situation in Mariupol is particularly dire. The president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy says
that they are attempting to get aid into there. He says that there are buses going -- headed towards that way to try to pick people up and aid
headed that way as well. There is no evidence, though, that any of that has actually arrived in the city.
There`s also still very unclear even at this late hour in the day what was agreed with the Russians, if anything, because earlier in the day in
Turkey, we had discussions between the Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers and they were still discussing the possibility of a humanitarian
corridor, specifically for Mariupol. So, it appears at this stage that the Ukrainians are acting unilaterally to try to get people out.
The Russians seem to be carrying on doing what they`re doing, that means bombing the city. Local officials say that they are bombing the green
corridor, the routes in and out of the city, they say to try to cut Mariupol off from the rest of the country. And the humanitarian situation
there is extremely dire, Max. It is well below freezing right now. They have no heat, they have no power, no water.
If you have a generator, you`re working off that, but even the International Red Cross, which has a team on the ground, some 65 or so
people, even they`re only able to get electricity for a few hours per day and they don`t have heat in the building that they`re in. And so, people
are getting sick. There are shortages of food, the stores, the pharmacies were looted some four, five days ago. There are fights over food, people
are being attacked in their cars so that people can get the gas out of them.
Medicine is a non-starter right now especially if you have cancer or diabetes. So, the situation is obviously extremely dire especially for the
more vulnerable, the very elderly and obviously young children as well.
FOSTER: You mentioned the electricity issue there. Also very worrisome situation with Chernobyl, because there`s no electricity going in there,
it`s needed to cool the -- you know, the nuclear containers, right? But we`ve been reassured that there isn`t a problem yet.
MCLEAN: That`s correct. So the International Atomic Energy Agency is sort of downplaying the potential risk there, but obviously pointing out that,
you know, were there to be more fighting on the site, there obviously could be big issues there. But the latest news comes from the Ukrainian energy
ministry which says that the country is doing everything they can to re- establish power in that area.
The difficulty though, is that the Russians are in control of it. Now, obviously, the Chernobyl disaster was back in 1986, but there are still a
remarkable amount of nuclear radioactive material on the site, and that all has to be kept cool. And so, normally, that`s done through a process which
involves electricity. Water, pumping new, fresh, cool water into tanks. The International Atomic Energy Agency says that there`s enough water in those
tanks on their own to keep those spent fuel rods cool.
And so they`re sort of downplaying things, saying that there is no critical risk to safety at this point. But the bigger issue potentially on that site
is that the staff has been there for the last two weeks, they`ve been unable to do a shift change. And so, you have people essentially living,
sleeping at work without any relief at all. Obviously, when you`re dealing with a nuclear site, there`s not a whole lot of margin for error, and so,
that is a big concern at that site as well, Max?
FOSTER: OK, Scott in Lviv, thank you. As the war rages, a whirl wind of diplomacy is under way, but an end to the conflict seems nowhere in sight.
The Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers met in Turkey a few hours ago, on the face of it, positive. But the EU heads of state are also meeting in
Versailles for a show of unity, and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is in Poland trying to calm a dust-up over, given Ukraine fighter jets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am here in Poland as an expression of the enduring and important relationship between the United
States and Poland, that, again has been longstanding, but in particular on the issue of Ukraine is unified and it`s clear. We will do everything
together in partnership, in solidarity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Well, we have team coverage of the diplomatic efforts for you. Jomana Karadsheh is in Antalya in Turkey where the foreign ministers met
today, too, is Melissa Bell is at the EU meeting in Versailles. Jomana, first of all, to you, because, you know, good news that the two sides are
talking, but nothing really came out of it. Did it?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, no, Max. You know, look, no one was expecting any sort of a major breakthrough to come out of these talks,
but there was hope to an extent that maybe they could agree on some sort of a much needed ceasefire on the ground, even if it was a brief one, but that
was not agreed on.
We have heard from Turkish officials describing this really as a major victory for them on the diplomatic front, saying at least, they got the two
sides sitting together and talking at this high level. This is something that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the foreign minister have
been really pushing hard for, for weeks right now, trying to bring both sides together. President Erdogan in his conversations with both Presidents
Putin and Zelenskyy, really pushing to bring the two leaders together, and they`re continuing to do so.
President Erdogan saying that these talks he had hoped would, you know, crack open the door towards some sort of a permanent ceasefire, saying that
they are going to continue working towards that. We heard from the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba today, you know, he had come to
these meetings saying that he did not have very high expectations, but at the same time what he brought to the table was an attempt through diplomacy
to negotiate a 24-hour ceasefire, and also to try and work towards humanitarian corridors in and out of Mariupol to try and evacuate civilians
and to bring aid into the city.
But he says his Russian counterpart was not authorized to talk about this, that he was not willing to commit to anything that he had to take it back
to Moscow. And this is what we also heard from Foreign Minister Lavrov himself saying that, look, he wasn`t here for any sort of ceasefire
negotiation. That this was not even on the table, pretty much that he was here to listen. Saying that any talk over ceasefire, that sort of
negotiation, that has got to go through those negotiations, those rounds of talks, three so far that have taken place in Belarus, saying he doesn`t
want to create a parallel path.
And at the same time, Max, we have heard the same sort of narrative, the same sort of rhetoric that we have heard from the Russians throughout. Take
a listen to what Foreign Minister Lavrov had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEY LAVROV, FOREIGN MINISTER, RUSSIA (through translator): We do not plan to attack other countries, and we did not attack Ukraine. We have
explained this many times. A situation developed in Ukraine which poses a direct threat to the security of the Russian Federation. And despite many
years of reminding, persuading and proposing, we were never listened to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Everyone in the world still talking about this attack on a maternity hospital in Mariupol. Jomana, you approached the government
spokesperson on that. Let`s have a look to see how that went. The Russian government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARADSHEH: I`m asking you from what we`ve seen. You`re just saying that this is fake.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just take a look. You take a look, you`ll see -- no, you`re asking me --
KARADSHEH: Yes --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You asked me, I`m answering. You have the material --
KARADSHEH: So, just to be clear --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don`t want to --
KARADSHEH: Just to be clear, you`re standing by your position that you`re --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am -- I am just -- this is the material, clearly, just take a look. You went to the ground?
KARADSHEH: I don`t -- I don`t --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You went to the ground? Because you`ve got to take a look. Take a look.
KARADSHEH: We`ve got reporters on the ground --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re talking about people who are seeing civilians -- just take a look -- take a look --
KARADSHEH: You`re still calling it fake --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, take a look.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Well done for trying to get answers on that, Jomana. But very frustrating that you can`t get any.
KARADSHEH: Well, you know, Max, the problem is we tried to ask for a response, if she had anything to say about that attack on the maternity
hospital, and instead we got what we have heard time and time again from Russian officials insisting that, you know, she was pointing me towards
their official statements, describing this as fake and provocations and saying that they had published what she called the anti-fake.
And she was really pushing me to look at this edited video that they had put out, she says proving that this was fake. Basically, the images that we
have seen of bloodied pregnant women following that attack condemned by leaders around the world, saying that, that was fake. When I pushed her,
Max, on civilian casualties, and if Russia was targeting civilians, again, insisting that, that is fake despite all the evidence and the fact that our
colleagues are seeing this firsthand on the ground.
You know what I find really shocking, Max, here, and this is why I was trying to push the spokesperson there is because we have heard this before.
We have covered Syria over the past decade. Russia`s military campaign in Syria. The bombing campaign there over the past seven years, where we have
seen medical facilities, hospitals, targeted time and time again, documented not only by people on the ground, by international
organizations, by journalists. And still, Russians continue to insist that, you know, and use that same terminology of fake and provocations and
FOSTER: Yes, it`s very frustrating not to get responses, but thanks for trying, at least. Let`s go to Melissa, you know, a show of unity meanwhile
in Versailles. Take us through the day`s events there.
MELISSA BELL, CNN REPORTER: Well, even as the French president arrived here to host his 26th counterparts, also the president of the European
Commission, the president of the European Council for what the French hope will really be a turning point in terms of European Unity and how the union
But Emmanuel Macron, as he arrived, Max, was asked about Ukraine. He had, of course, had a phone call earlier in the day with his German counterpart
and with Vladimir Putin, and what he had to say as he arrived here was that, as far as he was concerned, really foreshadowing the unfruitful talks
that we were just hearing about from Jomana, saying that what he believed is that the conditions that were being demanded by Russia were unacceptable
And that, therefore, he didn`t believe, Max, that there was any likelihood of a diplomatic solution in either the days or the weeks ahead. Here`s what
he had to say about what`s happening in Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE (through translator): The war in Ukraine is a trauma immense, and I said it`s a tragedy, a human, political,
humanitarian tragedy, but it`s also an element that would lead to completely redefining the architecture of our Europe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: And it is that architecture of Europe that`s been discussed behind me here at the Versailles Palace. And not just a question of Ukrainian
asserting and how long that may take or what signal might be sent to Kyiv tonight from Versailles about the likelihood of his candidature to the
European Union, and how fast that the appraisers would likely happen. Other signals that will show Europeans desire really to fold Ukraine into the
Also Max, just very briefly, they`re looking of course at energy, Europe much more dependent -- the United States on Russian energy supplies,
they`ve made it clear they`re not going to have an outright ban. They are looking in the conference that`s going on behind me in that summit, and how
they can lessen their dependence. Max?
FOSTER: OK, Melissa, thank you very much, indeed, also Jomana. We`re going to get an update for you now from Kyiv. Russian troops seem to be trying to
surround it, as you can see on the battlefield map there. We`re joined by our chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward and some extraordinary
video coming in today of a whole lineup of tanks being -- under attack from the Ukrainians. And that obviously send out by the Ukrainians. Can you talk
us through that?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, this is significant, Max, because it`s really the first time that we`ve seen
Russian troops making a big push to the east of the city. Around the suburb of Brovary, previously, most of the fighting has been focused really in the
northwest and also on the western side of the city. But what you`re seeing in that video, it appears to be drone video that shows a large column of
Russian tanks essentially being picked off by Ukrainian forces.
Here appear to have taken up defensive positions along that major road, and are using javelins or some type of anti-tank missile to try to destroy as
much of the convoy as they possibly can. And from what we hear in that video as well, because there is some audio that is reportedly of a Russian
soldier who is part of that unit, phoning in to his superiors saying that his commander has been taken down in the sort of fighting that you see
going on there.
And it appears that at least, four of those tanks are pretty seriously damaged or destroyed. And, really, what it does, I think, Max, is it gives
you a sense of how difficult this is for the Russians as they try to push in towards the city centre, but still relying on roads, which means that
in a sense they are sitting ducks, because the Ukrainians understand and know how they`re going to get into the city, and they can take up those
defensive positions and fire at them.
But also gives you a sense on the flip side of, you know, the increasing probability that Russian forces are trying to sort of circle around or
encircle the whole of the capital. We heard from the Mayor of Kyiv today, Vitali Klitschko who said essentially that he still believes that Kyiv is
the prize for the Russians, that they`re going to surround it. They`re going to lay siege to it, they`re going to bombard it, and then they are
going to try to topple the government.
And he also mentioned, Max, pretty staggering figure, which gain, we can`t confirm, but he says almost half of the city of Kyiv has already left the
city. All these potentially 2 million people have left their homes, because the situation here is continuing to deteriorate and because the fear is
that it is only going to get worse, Max.
FOSTER: And the fear as well, Clarissa, that they`re going to be using more and more menacing weaponry as well. I want to play you this from the
mayor of Mykolaiv also in the south of the country, but he was speaking to his concerns around this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR OLEKSANDR SYENKEVYCH, MYKOLAIV, UKRAINE: Our city was bombed for three last days with cluster bombs, which are actually illegal. So, and the
aim of these bombs is human, I mean, humanity. Not the machines or something like buildings, but all, everything that is alive. So they use
cluster bombs to kill our people. I won`t be surprised if they use chemicals and et cetera.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: We`re hearing that from western diplomats as well, Clarissa. How concerned are you about the Russians starting to use chemical weapons?
WARD: Well, listen, I think it`s obviously very ominous when you hear the Russians repeatedly talking about biological chemical weapons, saying that
they might be used in some kind of false flag operation to make it look like it was the Russians and that the Americans and the Ukrainians have
established biological weapons labs here, and sort of fairly preposterous claims of that nature. Certainly, the White House appears to be taking
that pretty seriously.
You saw Jen Psaki yesterday, White House spokesperson, kind of outlining the concerns that they have as a result of that. Now, whether they`re
potentially planning something imminent, whether it is a tactic to frighten people, whether it is a way of just keeping that option in your back pocket
is incredibly difficult to predict. But obviously, we have seen the Russians fighting alongside parties in Syria, for example, where chemical
weapons have been used wantonly by the Assad regime.
And we have seen how Russia has tried to frame that narrative again by undermining the idea that this could actually be a real possibility, trying
to characterize it as some kind of a false flag operation. And so, it`s definitely, potentially part of the Russian playbook. But it`s -- you know,
it`s impossible to predict whether it could actually be implemented. One can only hope not, Max.
FOSTER: OK, Clarissa in Kyiv. Thank you very much indeed. The U.K. sanctioning more Russians including Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. What
that means for the billionaire-dollar sale of that club. Plus, how we hold Putin himself accountable? I`ll ask a former prime minister of the U.K.
Gordon Brown who has a plan.
FOSTER: The owner of Chelsea FC, one of the world`s biggest football clubs is now being sanctioned by the British government, putting the team`s
present and future in limbo. Joining us now from Chelsea`s home stadium of Stamford Bridge in London is "WORLD SPORT" anchor Amanda Davies. Such a
worrying time for the fans, the club. Can`t sell tickets. They can`t sell players and now there`s issue with sponsors as well.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes, absolutely, Max. And look, let`s put this into context. In terms of the horrors and the life and death of what
we`re seeing playing out in Ukraine, the day-to-day running of a football club really is so far down the list. Isn`t it? But what has happened today
certainly makes life very difficult for Chelsea, its ownership and it`s fans. It was two weeks ago, March, the 2nd that Roman Abramovich, knowing
what was coming down the line said he was putting Chelsea up for sale, as he described it in the club`s best interest.
But bluntly, he ran out of time, despite a number of discussions taking place. We understand a couple of offers on the table. The U.K. government
has decided to impose these sanctions and have made it very clear. They want Roman Abramovich in no way to benefit from the ownership of Chelsea
Football Club. What that means, as you said, yes, they can carry on playing their football matches, yes, they can carry on playing their, start paying
their staff and their players because of the imposition of a special license, but they`re not able to conduct any transfers.
They`re not able to negotiate any new contracts. They`re not able to sell any club merchandise. There is a shop here at Stamford Bridge with a sign,
a poster in the window explaining the situation. The hotel here on Stamford Bridge property isn`t able to take anymore reservations. You can`t even
walk in and buy a bottle of water or a coffee as things stand. There are a lot of questions in terms of what this means.
What we understand is that the club is planning to apply for a special license, which means that the sale can carry on in the coming days, as long
as they`re able to prove that none of the proceeds of that sale will head in the direction of Roman Abramovich. But what we have is a situation where
the European Champions, the Club World Champions, Chelsea, find themselves in the middle of this political war, which is something that Abramovich
publicly lists in his two decades at the club has been so determined to try and prevent.
FOSTER: OK, Amanda at Stamford Bridge, thank you. Now, countries across Europe are scrambling to take in more than 2 million people who have left
Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion. More than 343,000 Ukrainians have entered Romania, for example, those desperate to escape the violence
are having to deal with freezing temperatures and snow as well as the violence forcing them out. CNN`s Miguel Marquez is there in Romania. And
you know, some of the most vulnerable types of people as well that you`re seeing?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the most vulnerable and war creates such bizarre outcomes for so many people. We met some kids and
their teachers from just outside Odessa. They are safe and sound right now, but their future is very uncertain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, my name is Sasha.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Nine-year-old Sasha Reznaginka(ph), one of hundreds of Ukrainian kids with no parents or separated from them now being cared
for in Romania.
"I have no mother and father. They died", he says. "I lived in several places, and I know it`s important to listen to my teachers and behave
This government facility north of Bucharest has taken in 27 kids all with varying degrees of physical or mental disabilities.
"This is a tragic moment for all of us", she says. "It`s a huge challenge for the system and our community, but we have the resources to care for
these children." These kids along with a few teachers fled Ukraine`s southern Odessa region last week.
"Our trip took all morning and all night", he says. I don`t know how to explain it.
(on camera): Was it a long trip?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Starz Glidmen(ph) turned 11 the day we visited. "I wanted a smartphone for my birthday", he says. "But I`m afraid to ask the
teachers." Angelina, Starz`s(ph) big sister says their mother is still in Ukraine unable to travel. "I`m thinking about my family", she says. "My
mother can`t walk. She was injured in a vehicle accident." They all know a war is happening back home. They don`t totally understand it.
"There is a war in Ukraine", he says. "So the director of our school decided to bring us here." Nearly 220 Ukrainian children like Sasha are now
in Romania say immigration officials here, their futures before the war, uncertain. Today --
(on camera): How long will you stay here?
"Maybe two or three months", she says. "Maybe four months".
(voice-over): Just this one county sheltering 66 Ukrainian children in three different facilities. Kids who have no parents with them, and for now
(on camera): How do you feel they are doing?
"They are feeling good", she says. "They`re sleeping well. Playing lots of games and eating well."
(voice-over): These teachers and staff from the Ukrainian school upended their lives, too, leaving loved ones behind, they stayed with these kids.
The responsibilities for them and hope for their homeland, boundless.
(on camera): How do you feel about the future? Where will all this go?
"We believe in a better future, and that the war will be over", she says. "I believe Ukraine will stay united as a nation."
(voice-over): And like kids everywhere, they have dreams. Big ones.
(on camera): What do you want to be when you grow up?
"I want to be an American", he says. Then adds, "I also want to find a space and take my teacher with me."
(voice-over): Those caring for these kids have a simpler, maybe more impossible hope.
(on camera): If you had a magic wand and you could wish for one thing, what would it be?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Peace. Only peace. No translation needed.
MARQUEZ: Those kids were so lovely, but their teachers, to come with them here to Romania, their lives so uncertain as well, they`re not sure they --
when they`re going to see their family that they left behind. You know, Romania says that it`s not the wealthiest country, but they are set. They
will take care of these kids for as long as they can, they have a ton of help from the European Union, from NATO, from the U.S.
The Romanians feel like they`ve never been as close to the EU before, so, all of that gives them hope that they will be able to care for these kids
for the long term. Max?
FOSTER: Yes, it`s good to see them at least having somewhere to go. Miguel in Romania, thank you very much indeed. We`ll be back in just a moment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST: Much of the world is hungry to hold Russian president Vladimir Putin to task for his unprovoked invasion into Ukraine.
A Group of international lawyers and leaders are asking for a special tribunal to prosecute Mr. Putin and his accomplices.
Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is spearheading that effort and joins me now from Edinburgh.
It seems early in the process to find him guilty of anything but why are you doing this now?
GORDON BROWN, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: In addition to humanitarian help, military help, sanctions, I think we`ve got to assure the Ukrainian
people what we`re doing to support them and at the same time send a message to the Russian leadership that they will not escape with impunity.
And it`s important, when chemical weapons are under discussion, nuclear blackmail is alleged with the takeover of the nuclear power station,
tactical nuclear weapons are discussed, that we make it clear these are crimes subject to punishment, that an international tribunal could be set
to punish simply the crime of aggression.
And, of course, the International Criminal Court can look at war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide. But the basic crime, the first step that
he took, aggression, is also something subject to punishment.
And that`s why we`re asking governments across Europe to support coming together, to come together, to support a tribunal being set up, probably in
The Hague, an office set up to investigate what`s happened, so that we record it, we monitor it and Putin is left in no doubt nor his coterie,
they`ll be punished when this war comes to an end.
FOSTER: Has President Putin already committed war crimes?
BROWN: I think the crime of aggression, that`s my view. Of course, he did so in 2014 and he has been doing so with the invasion of Ukraine. He
continues to commit crimes of aggression.
Now we can also look at blocking humanitarian corridors, ignoring or preventing a cease-fire taking effect, using the nuclear power stations as
a weapon against the Ukraine people, crimes against innocent civilians, particularly children, and bombing a hospital, supposed to be a protected
All of these are crimes that I think will be registered by any prosecutor and investigated subject to an investigation. But I think it`s right to say
to the Ukrainian people now and I think it would boost morale.
And the Ukraine government asked us to do that. Ukraine`s foreign minister made a speech with me a few days ago, the government issued a statement,
they want other governments to set up this tribunal. And we`re talking to other governments across Europe to get their support to do so.
FOSTER: The concern might be if you are telling President Putin and those close around him, when they come out of this, they`re going straight to
court and potentially go to prison for the rest of their lives, that you`re taking away any, any way out for him. Any off ramp as it has been called by
America, for example.
BROWN: Well, of course, I want a peace process to be working. And there`s Turkey. There`s what`s happening with the prime minister of Israel,
President Macron. There were talks today that were ineffective, all these suggested as offramps to give the possibility of peace.
But you cannot leave somebody like President Putin in any doubt, because all he understands is strength, that you will take actions against the
crimes he`s committing. And you can list the catalog of crimes and also his coterie. The precedent for this is 1942, when the Allied powers decided
that there were crimes against peace.
And they would announce they would punish the perpetrators of the Nazi war crimes. And there is a parallel here because a number of people associated
with Hitler peeled away when they knew they were likely to be indicted for the crimes and came over to the other side.
It may be this is something that would encourage people around President Putin but not agreeing with him to say they will break with him, as a
result of knowing they could be punished with these crimes.
But I do insist, I`ve met President Putin. I`ve negotiated with him. I met him on a number of occasions. He does not understand weakness. The only
thing he understands is strength.
FOSTER: Am I also right in saying, government sources telling me, the current government, at least, that he`s not interested in negotiation,
actually. So negotiations utterly are pointless.
Is that just now or generally?
BROWN: Well, he sent his foreign minister to negotiations, supposed negotiations in Turkey today. He talks to president Macron quite regularly,
as if he is interested hearing what the other side has to say.
But look, the terms on which Russia wants to settle this are terms completely unacceptable not only to the Ukrainian people but to the whole
of the West. He cannot be rewarded for invading a country.
And he cannot be rewarded for trying to divide it or even take over the government and put a puppet government in power. But what`s happened in the
past few days is, one, the courage of Ukrainian people.
Their buildings may be destroyed but their unity and their courage is indestructible. What`s happened also, of course, is that no puppet
government could operate in Ukraine, because there would be no support for it whatsoever.
And I think President Putin has had a rude awakening if he thinks he can replace the present president with someone who would be acceptable to the
Ukraine people. That simply is not going to happen.
FOSTER: Can you explain the gap in the law that you`re trying to address, which means Russia can`t be prosecuted for aggression?
Because it seems as though there are other crimes which are more, you know, offensive than that. And this is the basic defense.
BROWN: Yes, there are heinous crimes, war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and these come within the remit of the current International
Criminal Court`s activities if it were to take action against Russia.
And the prosecutor there has already said he`s considering and investigating these crimes. But the more basic crime of aggression cannot
be taken by the International Criminal Court because Russia has not signed up to the statute that is relevant to this. And therefore it`s necessary
for us to create a special tribunal to deal with it.
But I think everyone understands what is a crime of aggression, it`s invading another country. It`s straightforward and simple to understand.
You mind (ph) the evidence, of course, but it makes it possible to indict President Putin very quickly.
And it clearly is, in most national laws, as in the Ukraine and Russian national law, it is actually listed, this crime of aggression. So I think
everybody can understand that the initial crime is one that is not something that can be punished; it`s something that should be punished.
FOSTER: Has your generation of politicians got something to answer for here, not acting sooner on Putin, stopping him sooner before it got to this
We should have been more aggressive with Putin in the past.
BROWN: Well, I had to deal with Putin when I was prime minister, obviously. Litvinenko was assassinated in London. That was, if you like, a
chemical weapons attack and we may see more of this from the Russians.
They used it as a weapons -- or used the Syrians as a proxy for chemical weapons being used in Syria. And I find the only thing that he did
understand was strength.
Now, since 2014, of course, Crimea has been taken over. The republics have been put -- these two republics have been put at risk also.
And, yes, I think it`s true that, in the last few years, we should have been tougher with Putin. But what has been happening in the last few weeks,
however, is something that he never expected. The unity of the West, the unity of more than the West, in fact.
BROWN: People are shocked by the crimes that he`s committed. Germany changing its fiscal policy, its energy policy and its defense policy
overnight to deal with Putin. The resolve of the different countries. And I think Putin now realizes that he cannot expect to take Ukraine with
And we`ve got to make it clear to him that there will be punishment. This is a war crime and I think people know that. And I think people would
expect justice to be done.
FOSTER: I`ve spoken to lots of politicians and experts in recent days. When you ask them about the threat of nuclear war, none of them can say no
entirely to that idea. And that`s a very worrying prospect.
Are you able to tell us there won`t be a nuclear war?
BROWN: Well, I don`t think anybody can say anything with complete certainty. What we know is that, in the Russian defense manual, an attack
on their country or an attempt to change the country forever is regarded as something where they might have a response in nuclear weapons.
But for them to invade another country and justify nuclear weapons being used in that invasion is not part of what they have stated is a defense
strategy. I personally think that President Putin is not fully in control of this decision.
I think there are army and defense generals and others, who would be very worried that, if he took it upon himself to try to make a decision to use a
nuclear weapon, they would attempt to refuse to allow him to do so.
So I think there are many ways that we can see that the use of nuclear weapons can be prevented. But nobody can rule anything out for definite. At
the moment we`re having to deal with the threat of chemical weapons.
And we will have to make it clear to President Putin that that is not acceptable in the international community and that this would be one of the
crimes for which he would be indicted.
FOSTER: Former prime minister Gordon Brown, thank you very much for joining us on the program tonight.
BROWN: Thank you.
FOSTER: Still to come, imagine living in the city you love, as it`s being destroyed before your very eyes. We`re getting a personal look into what`s
happening in Kharkiv.
FOSTER: The Russian military is unleashing massive firepower on Ukraine`s second largest city. The British defense ministry tweeted Wednesday that
Kharkiv is completely encircled now. Its mayor says heavy artillery and airstrikes are pounding the city. One resident documented her life under
siege. ITN`s Dan Rivers has her story.
DAN RIVERS, ITN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kharkiv is increasingly resembling the 21st century Stalingrad. Only this time, it is Russia laying
siege to a city which is defiantly resisting. Somehow amid all this, its residents are surviving.
RIVERS (voice-over): The day after a missile slammed into Kharkiv`s town hall, we asked a resident of this city, Annassia Paraskayvova to document
what`s happening to her home.
ANNASSIA PARASKAYVOVA, KHARKIV RESIDENT: My city, Kharkiv is under constant attack. Bombings, rocket fire, artillery fire all day, non- stop.
Just today, for Russian warplanes flew near my house.
RIVERS (voice-over): Annassia is trying to keep her body, mind and soul together with her family in their apartment where they`re sheltering from
PARASKAYVOVA: This is our hiding place. It`s vegetable area between two walls with no windows. We also have a little bit of space for our bunny
I just found out Russians have bombed my favorite place in Kharkiv, (INAUDIBLE) Street. I feel really angry.
Look what they`ve done. I celebrated my birthday one time in this bar.
RIVERS (voice-over): As the siege tightens, so Annassia struggle to survive forces her to venture outside.
PARASKAYVOVA: Me and my sister are going to pick some water. My sister is going to fill this bottle. All set.
So the elevator is not working for 10 days now, so we need to work on stairs. Go, go. This is how we do it.
Annassia sleep is now often interrupted by the sound of war plane circling as the bombing of Kharkiv intensifies.
PARASKAYVOVA: I have some good news. My family is alive. I am alive. My house is still standing. My friends are OK. No one I personally know have
yet died during Russian invasion of Ukraine. I have electricity, drinking water. Some food. Not much but enough.
RIVERS (voice-over): Each day the bombs are falling closer. This is the university sports complex.
PARASKAYVOVA: We heard a very loud explosion. The door shook and windows too. And this was it.
Apocalypse now. And among the ruins, we have found a little dog. Look at him. My sister says he`s really trembling really hard.
Last night was probably the most terrifying night of my life. Kharkiv was terribly bombarded last night. Airstrikes all over the city. Dozens of
buildings destroyed. Similar buildings where people live.
I`m not going to take much because I`m hoping I will return soon enough. My sister says it`s like going on the trip but an awful one, I guess.
So as my parents can the longer withstand it, the constant bombing especially after last night, which was truly a terrifying thing. We are
going to leave if we live that long, of course. So I don`t want to leave. And I won`t be leaving Ukraine.
PARASKAYVOVA: We will be moving to somewhere just farther away from Russian border.
I don`t know why but being bombarded is easier than leaving your home.
FOSTER: As the West doubles down on sanctions against the Putin regime, Russian leaders are facing increasing questions about just how their
country will weather this economic storm. CNN Business editor at large Richard Quest with me now.
First of all, I want to play you this Putin sound, when he`s actually talking the effects being felt outside Russia rather than within.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): Russia and Belarus and some of the biggest suppliers of mineral fertilizers. If they
continue to create problems for the financing and logistics of the delivery of our goods, then prices will rise. And this will affect the final
product, food products.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: That`s a threatening comment, isn`t it?
But it`s also quite truthful. It goes both ways.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: There`s A reality about all of this. That is that both sides are going to be hit. Now the Russians, let`s be absolutely
clear, the Russians will be hit much harder, no question. Their economy is about to hit a wall, go over the cliff, whatever you want.
They`ll default on their debt. They`re having to sequester planes from leasing companies. They`re not going to be -- we know what`s happening
there. They say up to 15 percent of GDP could fall off from Russia.
But how does it effect the rest of the world?
Chelsea today, can`t sell tickets. The souvenir shop has to be closed. People may lose jobs as result. You then look at the next level of
sanctions. Those who work in hospitality, selling goods to Russia, everybody in some shape or form, inflation.
When did you last fill your car and notice the price had gone up?
FOSTER: This week.
QUEST: Exactly. It`s going to get worse.
How much worse, we don`t know.
When will it hit, we don`t know.
But the West`s singular weapon against Russia has been sanctions. It`s a blunt weapon and it has blowback and collateral. And we will -- there`s one
thing I would say is, we`re slowly, that is dawning on people.
FOSTER: Isn`t the reality, some of the first to feel it -- fuel prices, food prices -- are low-income families?
QUEST: Yes. And absolutely. The lower income -- higher prices always hits lower income greater because the greater proportion of their expenditure
goes on food and fuel. There will also be a problem with higher interest rates. The Fed raises rates in March.
And the Bank of England clear, it will continue raising rates, because we already had an inflation problem, a serious one, the worst problem in 20-
odd years. Now this is going to heap more on it. What you want to be careful of, Max, you know this well, is that you don`t entrench the
inflation. The expectations don`t just start rising.
When that happens, you`re in deep trouble. We`re all going to suffer.
FOSTER: Richard, thank you, see you at the top of the hour.
Thank you for watching tonight. Do stay with us. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.