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Hala Gorani Tonight
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy Prepared To Make Concessions For Peace; New Round Of Peace Talks Between Russia And Ukraine To Kick Off Tuesday In Turkey; Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock At Oscars 2022 After Joke At Wife Jada Pinkett Smith; Mariupol Mayor: City "In The Hands Of Occupiers"; Splitting Ukraine Could Devastate Economy; Majority Of Ukrainian Refugees Head To Poland. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired March 28, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN in Dubai, I'm Eleni Giokos. Tonight, Russia intensifies attacks on a number of
Ukrainian cities as President Zelenskyy says he could be prepared to make concessions for peace. We're live in Lviv. Then Russia's delegation arrives
in Istanbul for talks with Ukraine. Can progress be made? We'll have the latest.
Plus, the slap that's left Hollywood stunned. We will have all the details on Will Smith's angry outburst. On the eve of the first face-to-face talks
between Ukraine and Russia in weeks, key cities are facing intensified attacks with the mayor of Mariupol saying that southern port city is in the
hands of the occupiers. He and other officials say more than 5,000 people have been killed in Mariupol. They're calling for a complete evacuation,
saying 160,000 people remain [AUDIO GAP: 14:01:30-33] to dust.
Ukrainian defenses are holding in Kyiv, but the deputy defense minister warns Russians are not giving up efforts to seize the capital. He says
they're battling to block supply routes, calling the situation very serious. Now, as fighting rages outside of Kyiv, Ukraine is claiming a
significant victory. The mayor of Irpin says his town has been liberated, but warns the danger isn't over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR OLEKSANDR MARKUSHYN, IRPIN, UKRAINE (through translator): We understand that there will be more attacks on our town. And we will defend
it courageously. Irpin is Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Ukraine says Russia may be trying to split the country in two. The Ukrainian finance minister tells CNN, they will not accept territorial
losses, but President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says they could compromise on other issues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): Security guarantees and on neutrality, the non-nuclear status of our state. We are
ready to pursue this. This is the most important point. This was the first point of principle for the Russian federation, as I recall, and as far as I
remember, they started the war because of this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Let's go now live to Ukraine, we've got Ed Lavandera is following the developments from Lviv. Ed, good to see you. Here's the reality. You've
got territorial losses off the table for Zelenskyy, but importantly, there's an open door when it comes to concessions, and it's all about
neutrality. And in the backdrop, you're seeing intensified fighting. Tell me about some of the messaging that we're seeing that perhaps is vital
ahead of these negotiations.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, the dynamics of all of this on the eve of continued peace talks. Where both sides are
expected to come together in Turkey on Tuesday. But the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy is saying that they are ready and willing to
accept non-nuclear neutral status. And essentially, what that would do is erase any idea of a Ukraine joining NATO, which has obviously been one of
the points of contention for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Whether or not that is going to be able to create any significant movement in the peace talks or bring in any halt to the violence that we're seeing
here in Ukraine remains very much to be seen. Because what we have seen over the course of the last day or so is intensified fighting in various
sections of the country.
On several fronts, as you mentioned, around the city of Kyiv where military officials here in Ukraine are telling us that they believe that the Russian
forces are essentially trying to encircle that city, cut off all supply routes and really choke off the ability of Ukraine military forces to
continue the protection of the capital city.
And then also what you're seeing, the devastating and the grim scene from Mariupol down in the southeast area of the country where the mayor there
says that, that city has now fallen into the hands of, quote, "Russian occupiers", and that they are trying desperately to evacuate the 160,000
people who are still left in that city.
And then on top of all of that here in the western part of Ukraine, we have seen multiple airstrikes in various cities targeting including Lviv, where
we are, targeting fuel depots. And that is essentially very critical infrastructure to sustain the Ukraine military forces and to fuel the
Ukrainian military forces throughout the rest of the country. So all of this dynamic playing out on the eve of these peace talks in Turkey
GIOKOS: Yes, Ed, and it's so fascinating. I'm listening to some of the messaging from the Ukrainians. So Mariupol turned to dust, people trapped
there like you say. Kyiv holding ground right now, but the efforts to try and block some of the key ins and outs and the routes into the city. And
the Irpin, the word the city has been liberated. And as you say, you've got missile attacks very close to Lviv which shows that they're flirting with
the -- you know, with the NATO border.
Give me a sense of how people are feeling right now, specifically in Lviv where it has been sort of safer, a safer part of the country relatively
LAVANDERA: It really has during the day before the curfew, it's not uncommon to see thousands of people going on about their daily business,
their daily life. In many ways, it's a stark kind of surreal contrast with what you're seeing in Kyiv and in the eastern parts of this country. But
there is, you know, kind of that underlying tension.
They're fully aware of what's going on, and especially, you need to remember, there are so many people from eastern Ukraine who have evacuated
and not necessarily left the country, but they have moved over into this area of western Ukraine to wait all of this out.
So, really, you know, it's like that underlying tension of where exactly this is going to go, where all of this is headed and how much longer this
is going to last.
GIOKOS: Ed Lavandera, thank you very much for that update, good to see you. Now, we've been talking a lot about military strategy, but we don't
want to lose sight of how civilians are coping during the war. CNN's John Berman spoke to residents in Lviv.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They should see that they cannot defeat our people. We are not scared.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Even though there could be explosions, we will go outside because we want to show that we are strong.
We are not scared. We will fight for our land, and we will not give any centimeters of land, territory to invaders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Ukraine is promising an immediate investigation after a video surfaced showing what appears to be Ukrainian soldiers shooting Russian
prisoners in the knees. This was said to have taken place during an operation in the Kharkiv region. The head of Ukraine's armed forces didn't
refer directly to this incident, but said staged videos could be distributed to discredit Ukrainian soldiers.
He also said Ukraine's forces strictly adhere to international humanitarian law. Now, a short while ago, the Russian delegation arrived in Istanbul for
Tuesday's peace talks. Kremlin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov says the fact that negotiations are continuing in person is important, and Kyiv appears
to be ready to make big concessions. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy told journalists, a neutral, non-nuclear status for his country could be part of
that deal, but any agreement would have to be put to a referendum.
International diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is standing by in Brussels for us. Nic, big concessions, what they say. You know, and the big news has
been, you know, is Russia ready for negotiations? Are the Ukrainians ready to make concessions? The general sense is that Putin will want to walk with
something -- walk away with something big, and he will not want to admit defeat here.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: We're a long way from any realistic compromise. I think that's the reality. What Zelenskyy was
doing was speaking to independent Russian media. Journalists who mostly have been banned in Russia with a hope of getting his voice around the
Kremlin propaganda to be heard by that part of the Russian population, perhaps as many as a quarter of the people there who don't necessarily
believe the Kremlin, and Zelenskyy thinks that helping convince them, that what the Kremlin says about Ukraine, the Kremlin had said Ukraine wanted to
build nuclear weapons.
So he's saying no, that's not the case. Indeed, we're willing to go for a neutral staff. Something that the Kremlin has indicated might be of
interest to them. But the kicker in all of this for the Kremlin is in the detail. Zelenskyy says this needs to be agreed among the Ukrainian people
and agreed in a referendum. If you're going to have a referendum, he said it needs to be free and fair. And for it to be free and fair, Russia needs
to withdraw back to pre-war positions, back to pre-the 24th of February when it began its invasion of Ukraine.
That seems to me where we stand at the moment, and listening to what the Kremlin has to say, just too bitter a pill for President Putin to want to
It doesn't leave him with even a minimalist position in Ukraine. And we heard from Ukraine's intelligence officials today, saying Russia is trying
to create a parallel state in the south and east of the country. They're imposing their own local leaders on towns that they are taking control of.
They're imposing their own currency on the Ukrainian population. It's been important, and I think this has been well established and certainly known
by a lot of people that Russia would like a land bridge to connect Russia in the east to Crimea in the south of Ukraine to do that, it needs to
continue to have its troops in the country.
So there you have it. Russia leaves its troops in the country for its own - - for its own goals, and Zelenskyy says yes, we can have what you want, Vladimir Putin, neutrality in Ukraine. But it's going to come at a price of
you getting your troops out. We don't seem to be close. The reality of negotiations at the moment, they focus a lot on the humanitarian effort.
President Macron saying that he's trying to get a deal through that will get as many as 150,000 people out of that besieged city in the south of
And that's a focus really, if you look at what's happening in the peace talks, these face-to-face talks, that's the crux of it at the moment, not a
grand bargain to be had yet.
GIOKOS: Yes, it seems that we are far away from any concrete solution to this. Nic Robertson, great to have you on. And now, more on the situation
in Mariupol where the mayor is calling for a complete evacuation of the city's population. It's unclear how many civilians have been killed, but
hundreds of thousands of people have had to leave everything behind. CNN's Ivan Watson spoke to some of those who have escaped.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shattered by Russian artillery, the windshield of a car that a Ukrainian family used to make
their two-day escape from the besieged port city of Mariupol. We meet Natalia shortly after her family reaches relative safety in the parking lot
of a super store on the edge of the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia.
"The day before yesterday, an artillery shell hit our house", she says, "half of the house is gone. This is what was left. If Russia sees this, I
want them to know that they aren't defending us. They're killing us, because they seem to think they're defending us, and that's just not true."
This parking lot, an unofficial gateway to Ukrainian-controlled territory for more than 70,000 Ukrainians who officials say fled Mariupol. The
evacuees look shell-shocked. They arrive in vehicles draped with white rags and signs that say "children", and some like four-year-old Alisa Esaiba(ph)
show up in yellow school buses.
"They were bombing us", she says, "bombing us with planes and tanks." Alisa's(ph) aunt Lilia(ph) says she suffered from a concussion for days
after a strike hit her home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We walked around corpses. There were bodies under the evergreens. Soldiers without hats, without arms,
they're lying there, nobody is gathering them. There was such fear that I felt like I was under water. I wanted to wake up, and now I am here, and
this feels like some kind of a dream.
WATSON: Inside the super store, volunteers and the city government are trying to help. Newly arrived evacuees are welcomed at this support center
where they're offered warm meals, access to medics and information about how to travel deeper into safer parts of Ukrainian territory. There's also
a bulletin board here where some people are offering free repair of shattered car windows. And there are also postings here, looking for
information about missing loved ones.
For some who survived, Russia's modern-day siege, this is the first hint of safety they've had in weeks. Outside, Yuria Moshodova(ph) and her son,
Stanlislav(ph) have just arrived. Stanislav(ph) is chatty and upbeat, but his mother appears unsteady. When Russian airplanes bombed, she says, the
family hid under the dining room table surrounded by pillows.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): When the plane flew past, we were sheltering in the center of town. Until now, my ears still hurt from
the shock wave.
WATSON: The unlikely safe haven provided in this parking lot is precarious. Ukrainian officials say Russian troops are positioned barely a
half hour's drive away from here.
GIOKOS: Right, that was Ivan Watson in Mariupol for us, very important stories as the city is under enormous pressure and attack. We'll have much
more on the war in Ukraine later in the show. But still to come, the U.S. Secretary of State joins a historic summit of Israeli and Arab leaders in
Israel. That's next. Plus, the slap seen around the world now, Hollywood's big night was overshadowed by a super star showdown. Stay with us.
GIOKOS: Welcome back, I'm Eleni Giokos in Dubai. Now, comedian Chris Rock has decided not to press charges after actor Will Smith slapped him during
Sunday night's Oscar's ceremony. The stunning moment came after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's hair loss. Now, after leaving the stage,
Will Smith continued to curse at Rock, saying he did not want the comedian to speak his wife's name.
A short time later, Will Smith won his first-ever best actor Oscar for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams' father in the movie, "King
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILL SMITH, ACTOR: I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father
just like they said. But love will make you do crazy things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: We're learning that members of the Academy met earlier Monday to discuss a response to the incident. CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas
is following the story for us, she joins us now live. So much emotion, you know, from aggression to tears, Chloe, and then unprecedented. This has
never been seen before. What now especially after this meeting was held, and, of course, whether action is going to be taken.
CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Yes, well, you know, everyone is standing by to see what is the Academy going to say? They put out a one
sentence tweet last night, saying that they do not condone violence of any kind. But a lot of people taking to social media saying that that's not
That more needs to happen. That there needs to be action taken. And in my reporting today, like I said, about a dozen Academy voters got together in
an informal Zoom meeting this morning on their own volition to just talk about this, and to talk about what they think should happen.
Although, they don't have the power to decide what should happen. But it goes to show you that this is something that not just viewers are talking
about, that celebrities and directors and actors and people that were there and people who vote on these movies and voted for Will Smith to win best
actor are talking about. And a lot of people are split. Some people saying that Will Smith had every right to defend his wife.
While other people are saying, Chris Rock, that was his job to get up there and make some jabs, some digs, and that someone like Will Smith should be
used to, you know, being the butt of a joke. And yes, it's very unfortunate, given the fact that Jada Pinkett Smith, she has alopecia,
she's been very open about her journey and her struggle with this, it's not something that should be made fun of, but we all do know sometimes there
are jokes below the belt.
Look at Ricky Gervais, seen years past when he's hosted the Golden Gloves, look at Chris Rock before when he's hosted the Oscars. This isn't the first
time that he has made a joke about Will or Jada. But you know, that being said, the Academy has been silent today. We haven't heard anything from
Chris Rock yet, we haven't heard anything else from Will Smith other than what he said in his speech where he apologized to the Academy, apologized
to the nominees, but he didn't apologize to Chris Rock.
And I think that's still what everybody is waiting for is, what does Chris Rock think about all of this? You saw Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry and
all of these celebrities kind of gathering alongside Will Smith and consoling him, and you can see Will Smith wiping away tears during the
commercial break, but you know, there's also another person here, and that's Chris Rock --
GIOKOS: Yes --
MELAS: Who was humiliated on stage.
GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, Chloe, it's just really fascinating to see how you are seeing this division. It's playing out on social media. And I think
from what we're hearing as well during this meeting, that there's a lot of division on firstly, how to deal with this, and then which side of the
aisle they stand. But it's truly -- I mean, looking at what Will Smith was saying, that, you know, he felt that he was protecting his family.
He was alluding to the film that he shot, of course, but also it obviously was very much correlated to what he felt he was doing in that moment.
MELAS: Yes, I mean, so in his speech, he talked about, you know, the main character, Richard, who was the -- who is the father of Venus and Serena
Williams, and saying that just like Richard, he was trying to protect his family and trying to draw parallels there, which some people liked and
other people felt like, that's a stretch of a comparison.
That's not cool, don't do that. Like Venus and Serena Williams, they haven't come out and said much at all, but you could see it in Serena
Williams' facial expression, she had her head in her hands at certain points during the speech. Look like at some point, she was embarrassed, and
I think everybody was in shock. But Will Smith --
GIOKOS: Yes --
MELAS: He ended up going to after-parties, partying with his family, his children, his wife, holding his Oscar in hand. It was a wonderful moment
for him to win best actor, but gosh, it's been overshadowed by something that --
GIOKOS: Yes --
MELAS: He has done that he needs to speak more about. But again, you know, the Academy --
GIOKOS: Right --
MELAS: They still have some time to potentially release a statement and make some decisions. The day is not over yet.
GIOKOS: Yes, let's see what happens. Chloe Melas, thank you very much. Good to see you --
MELAS: Thank you.
GIOKOS: Parts of the Chinese city of Shanghai has entered a large scale lockdown to curb rising COVID-19 cases. It comes as the city of 25 million
people registered more than half of China's 6,215 new cases. And these are just some of the scenes inside grocery stores after the lockdown was
announced. Absolute chaos, I mean, residents will undergo mass testing in two phases this week. Half of the city will be locked down from today and
the other half from Friday.
Now, the city converted six hospitals, two indoor stadiums and this exhibition center into mass quarantine centers for those who test positive.
A historic conference in Israel's Negev desert comes to a close today. For the first time, the foreign ministers of Israel, the U.S., and four Arab
nations gathered for talks about regional security concerns including Russia's war in Ukraine and tensions with Iran.
Israel's top diplomat says the meetings will become regular occurrence and expand as the country develops stronger ties with like-minded Arab stakes.
Elliott Gotkine joins me now from Tel Aviv. Truly historic. Firstly, just seeing this visual photograph of the meeting. It's incredible to see, and
then secondly, just what the outcomes will be of these meetings where you see some form of collaboration when it comes to global and regional issues.
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Yes, I mean, they're really amazing scenes to see all of those foreign ministers alongside the U.S. --
GIOKOS: Yes --
GOTKINE: Secretary of State lining up there. And as Secretary Blinken said, you know, he said that once impossible things have become possible.
Just -- you know, if we talked about this a few years ago and said, oh, yes, you know, the ministers -- the foreign ministers of Egypt and the
United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and Morocco as well as the U.S. Secretary of State, not only are they going to meet in the same place at the same
time, they're going to meet in southern Israel. People have thought that we were bunkers, but this meeting took place, and it was very kind of, you
know, a friendly atmosphere.
Of course, it was slightly somewhat overshadowed in the beginning by the attacks claimed by ISIS that killed two people in northern Israel on Sunday
evening. But I think what was also noteworthy was the kind of universal condemnation that we heard from the foreign ministers as well when they
came and spoke to the press afterwards.
Now, you know, we weren't expecting any major agreements or developments to come out of this meeting, but certainly, it was a start. They say this was
going to be a regular kind of forum, they're going to call it the negative forum perhaps, that they're going to have working groups working on things
like health and food security and counterterrorism. Of course, it was also an opportunity for the United States to show its commitment to its allies,
to the region, to the Abraham Accords which of course paved the way for this kind of meeting to take place.
And also to give the U.S. a chance to assuage some of the fears and concerns among Israel and its allies in the region about the -- what seems
likelihood of the United States resigning up to the Iran nuclear deal and potentially delisting Iran's revolutionary guards as a terrorist
organization, something which -- a shared concerns by all those present. Eleni?
GIOKOS: Yes, absolutely, fascinating click to throat that we're seeing emerging regionally. Thank you very much for that update. And still to
come, a look inside the largest refugee hub in Europe as now more than 3.5 million refugees have fled the war in Ukraine. Plus, the new fear that
Russia might try to split Ukraine in two could mean a big threat to Ukraine's future economy. We'll discuss the worrisome possibilities.
GIOKOS: The mayor of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol says it has now fallen to Russian forces. Mariupol has endured relentless aerial and artillery
bombardment since the war began more than a month ago. And much of it is said to be in ruins. The city's position on the Black Sea is strategic for
Russia. Mariupol would be a key for creating a land link with Crimea, which annexed in 2014.
Capturing it also furthers Russia's possible aim of dividing Ukraine by east and west. Let's dig deeper into this disturbing notion with CNN Global
Affairs Analyst Kimberly Dozier in Washington. When you heard the news that this could be a possibility of a split, and that would be Russia's aim,
what would that in real reality look like? I think it's important to sort of note that, you know, negotiators -- negotiations are perhaps underway
where Ukraine says territorial losses are not on the table for them. But clearly Russia would want to walk away with something concrete.
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, Eleni, only there are a lot of mixed signals being sent by both sides. You have that interview with
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with Russia press where he says to them that things like not joining NATO, never pursuing nuclear weapons, and even
discussing the ultimate status of Crimea and the now Russian occupied Donbas are all on the table.
But he's also saying at the same time that before he would agree to doing any of those things, the Russian troops would have to pull back to their
pre-invasion positions outside the country, and that the Ukrainian people would have to vote on giving up, for instance, NATO status.
I can't see how that would be amenable to Russia, which makes you wonder, you know, is Russia just going through these peace talks as a way of a bit
of a -- an exercise in theater to at least look for their allies like China like they're trying to reach some non-armed solution to this.
GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, do you think they ready for negotiations, both sides?
DOZIER: Well, you know, when you look at what Russia's doing, we had, in terms of those mixed signals, we had top generals say that they were just
going after the Donbas, the Eastern Ukraine, to consolidate that area and they didn't say so, but likely keep Mariupol keep that territory that's
connecting Crimea, which they've already annexed, and the Donbas, which they've long had their eye on.
But at the same time, the Russian Foreign Minister has said that -- well, he said that it looks like NATO has learned its lesson. But they haven't
given any sort of signal that they would be willing to withdraw in any way. And when you look at what the military forces are actually doing on the
ground, they're still dug in around Kiev, it looks like they're -- so something like 30 rockets have been fired into Kiev, or various types of
artillery in the past 24 hours or so.
And it looks like the Russian forces are, once again, trying to cut Kiev off from supplies, that's not the sign of a country that is looking to de
escalate. It looks like they're -- they were just doing a pod until they tried to regain more.
GIOKOS: So secondly, I mean, here's the thing, which -- would Putin ever admit defeat and walk away with just, you know, small concessions that, you
know, by Ukraine? Or would he want to look like the winner?
DOZIER: You know, of course, you would want to look like the winner. And that's why nations like France and Turkey have been trying to find some
middle ground, some way to give him a face saving exit ramp so far without success.
But often these conflicts, they don't end until each side is exhausted in terms of the fighting. And at this point, Russia may have taken high
casualties, but Putin shows no sign of stopping his military operations beyond that press conference where a few Russian generals said that they
were going to focus on Eastern Ukraine because that was always their goal.
And on the Ukrainian side, they continue with counteroffensives. They're continuing to get weapons from the west. So, you know, maybe not as many
weapons as they want so each side still has the will and the weaponry and the manpower to keep up this fight.
GIOKOS: Yes. Yes. Thank you so much, Kimberly, great to have you on the show.
Now the idea that Russia might try to split Ukraine could be devastating, not only socially but also economically. Donbas in yellow on the upper
right of this map is the industrial heartland of Ukraine. And you can see if Russia manages to capture Odesa, a split could cut off the country from
its black seaports, essentially making it landlocked. We asked Ukraine's Finance Minister about what such a move might mean.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERHII MARCHENKO, UKRAINIAN FINANCE MINISTER: It's not possible even to mention that we can live without some part of our territory because of --
it's about our economy. It's about our people. It's about our logistics. Now we -- our harbor in Odesa region is blocked so we need to find another
way how to transfer commodities towards Europe and other countries.
We now have our CNN Business Editor-at-Large Richard Quest here in Dubai. Richard, hearing that comment by the Finance Minister, that Putin is trying
to squeeze Ukraine economically by taking the ports, what does that make you think when you look at the repercussions, the contagion that we'll see
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Well, you got to put it bluntly, if the idea is to not only take the land, but strangle the
Ukrainian economy, then taking that part and making it landlocked will go a long way towards that.
Look, there are plenty of landlocked countries that are doing very nicely. But Ukraine hasn't been a landlocked country. So the entire economy of the
country has been based on the idea of port access, ways of getting exports of commodities, particularly grain, wheat, and the like that are grown
there. And therefore the shift that would happen, the dramatic shift, because Ukraine makes things, whether it's steel, machinery, heavy
machinery, agricultural goods, it has a thriving manufacturing and agricultural industry. And those exports have to get out of the country one
way or the other, either by land bridge or by boat.
GIOKOS: OK. So you know a lot of conversations have been happening in the region, whether to increase oil and gas supply. Is it a, you know, sort of
a moral duty? I caught up with Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF MD, Richard, and we were in Doha. I want you to take a listen to what she had to say
when I asked about whether sanctions are a moral duty or a multinational duty to ensure that Putin deescalates, take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: The faster the tanks are out, the faster the tractors would be in. And we need
by July the harvest in Ukraine to contribute to stability of food prices. When we look at the oil and gas prices, they are going up and down, up and
down. And it is the volatility that is most dangerous. Oil producers, gas producers, food producers today are in a position to help reduce this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Richard, what do you think? The faster the tanks are out, the quicker the tractors' in, and also saying oil and gas Producers and grain
producers should be supplying more.
QUEST: Right. So you've got a practical problem. What she says of course is right, but how are you going to do it? If you've got a war going on, you
can't exactly start going and harvesting the crops milling and then just distributing and exporting. The oil and gas is more tricky because you've
got OPEC and you've got OPEC which is stubbornly continuing to say that the market is imbalanced except for this geopolitical issue. Well, that's not
going to last much longer. Believe me.
At some point, OPEC is going to have to recognize the duty, if you will, to make the balance better. Until then, you're left with this volatility.
You're left with this food shortage. And you're left with rising hunger.
And Eleni, there's no way to cut this nicely. There is a war going on in Ukraine. And there are consequences of that war. And this is it. This is
the harsh reality that food isn't being produced, the energy security is at risk, food security at risk. And obviously that transmits itself to the
rest of the world.
GIOKOS: Absolutely. And the, you know, the most vulnerable people globally are going to be very impacted by higher inflation. Richard, really good to
see you. Thank you so much. Good to have you on the show.
Now more than 3 1/2 refugees have fled Ukraine since the start of the war according to U.N. figures.
And more than 2 million of those people have gone to Poland. One Expo Center in the capital, Warsaw, has been a hub for about 7,000 refugees at a
time. CNN's Kyung Lah visited the center and has the very latest on the operation.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You are looking at the largest refugee hub in all of Europe. All of these are cots, places where
people have basically took -- taken everything that they could carry and turned into their home. You can see that there are these little pods of
blankets, children laying on some of these Cots, there are cribs here. 95 percent of the people in this place in Warsaw are women, children, and the
elderly. They're the ones who have left safely out of Ukraine.
But the emphasis here is that this is a hub. If you look at other parts of this Expo Center, there are places for you to get paperwork sorted, to get
a bus ticket to travel to other parts of Europe, to stop, have a place to sleep, to eat consistent meals, to get health care. It is something that
this Expo Center, which is privately jointly run by the city, but privately owned, says it will do as long as it can.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOMASZ SZYPULA, PTAK WARSAW EXPO: How long? I don't know. We should call Putin. I don't know. We will be helping them as long as possible. But it's
not the accommodations for the human beings, you know, so that's why we must replace them very, very fast because this is temporary place. It's not
good for children and for those women, you know. It's not good to leave there in such accommodation for a longer time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: The City of Warsaw itself has taken in some 300,000 refugees, the sips country of Poland, more than 2 million refugees. We spoke to the mayor of
Warsaw who says the generosity of the Polish people is endless. But the reality is that there's only so much that the city can do sustainably
without this type of care starting to drop.
GIOKOS: Yes. Kyung Lah is joining us now from Warsaw in Poland. Incredible reporting there and incredible to see what people are going through. Give
me a sense of how resources and how capacity is going with regards to the influx of people.
LAH: Well, to quote the mayor here in Warsaw, they are already at capacity to be able to continue this well-oiled machine of getting 2 million Polish
people settled here in this country and then others just simply to other parts of the European Nation and to around the world. What is remarkable,
Eleni, is what we're not seeing considering how many people have come in.
We're not seeing people sleeping on the streets. We're not seeing that many people at train stations and bus stations. And we are not a border city
here in Warsaw. This is really a hub for the rest of the world, the gateway, if you will, to give refugees the next step in life away from war,
but the fact that they are able to absorb in this city more than 300,000 people who've arrived overnight, really just in the last month and still
maintain a semblance of a city, a semblance of order is simply extraordinary.
I was told, Eleni, one thing that really stuck with me. The mayor said that the school system here has had a 30 percent increase in the student
population. Thirty percent. It's something that a lot of public school systems simply could not bear. And so they've been able to cope by shifting
staff, by focusing on the new people. But at some point he says there's got to be a realignment and the rest of the world has got to start figuring out
how to chip in.
GIOKOS: Yes. Kyung Lah, thank you very much. Great to have you on the show.
Still to come tonight, the White House is downplaying Joe Biden's off the cuff comments about Vladimir Putin. How the Kremlin and others are
GIOKOS: We're expecting to hear from U.S. President Joe Biden soon and the White House says he expects to address questions and those may include
questions about his speech and also on Saturday that had been causing some concern. Mr. Biden adlibbed a line in his speech saying Russian President
Vladimir Putin cannot remain in office or in power.
His administration is walking that back saying they're not in the business of regime change. France's president has said the off the cuff remarks
weren't helpful for diplomatic efforts to end the war in Ukraine.
Kevin Liptak joins me now from Washington. It is, you know, a really powerful statement to make. You know, the question is, was it literal? Was
it figurative? And how is that going to be taken by the Russians?
KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Right. And we may hear more from what -- from the President today to kind of explain himself on all of this.
And it is actually kind of rare for this White House to advertise that the President will take questions. So I do believe that they want the President
to come out and clarify more about what he meant.
As of now, we've only heard the President say one word about this, which is "no" when reporters caught up with him after church yesterday to ask if he
meant he was talking about regime change. And, of course, the White House was very quick to clean up those adlibbed remarks on Saturday when the
President was speaking. They said he was talking about Putin not being able to exercise power in the region.
Maybe a little more convincing was the President's NATO ambassador, Julie Smith, she was on CNN yesterday and said that the President made those
remarks after speaking with refugees in Warsaw, he kind of felt the emotion of the moment and came out and said what he was feeling.
But this has been reverberating around the world, not just in Washington. President Macron said that this is not something he necessarily would have
said as he continues his negotiations with Vladimir Putin. Other diplomats we're talking to are sort of downplaying these remarks, saying that, in the
end, that they won't have a huge effect on what the Russians do in Ukraine.
But it did have the effect of obscuring really the rest of the President's speech. He wanted to talk about reassuring NATO allies, that the U.S. had
their back, he wanted to talk about the next phase of this war in Ukraine, and what it really did was sort of up this personal acrimony between
President Biden and President Putin. And that had been something that he had been really trying to avoid. So now we'll hear what the President has
to say later today. Certainly, I don't think you'll hear him escalating the rhetoric, really trying to tamp down the rhetoric and lower the temperature
GIOKOS: Yes. This is what I want to ask you. What is the messaging that the Russians would want to hear from President Biden? Because as we heard from
the French, this could be a problem when it comes to diplomatic efforts and derailing them.
LIPTAK: Yes, and you know, I don't think it came to us to the surprise of anyone in the Kremlin necessarily that the U.S. thinks things would be
easier if people wasn't in power.
I think what you'll -- what the Kremlin may be wanting to hear is that the U.S. isn't actively trying to remove Putin from power and there's no
indication that the United States is trying to do that right now. But, you know, the message that President Biden brought to NATO and brought to
Poland was that he isn't interested in escalating this crisis.
And so you see that with the President saying that he won't send U.S. troops into Ukraine, his remarks at the very end of the trip seem to
undercut that. The question is whether he can be believed when he says that he doesn't want to escalate it any further now that he said what he has
GIOKOS: Yes. Kevin Liptak, thank you very much. Great to have you on the show. And just a reminder, President Biden will be speaking soon, so we'll
be keeping an eye on that. And still to come tonight, how a small Ukrainian ski resort nestled in the mountains is welcoming thousands of refugees
fleeing the country's war torn cities. We'll be back right after this.
GIOKOS: As war continues to grip Ukraine, over 10 million people have been forced to say goodbye to their homes, and some are taking refuge in an
unusual place at a ski resort in Ukraine's Carpathian Mountains. Salma Abdelaziz has the story.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Nestled deep in the Carpathian Mountains, far from the bombs and bullets, lies the idyllic ski resort of Slavsko with
plenty of room for those fleeing violence to find solace in the slopes. Many hotels have opened their doors to displace families, some at no cost
or discounted rates. Guests Stacy and Ramir found refuge here after Russian forces invaded their hometown of Kharkiv.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAMIR HOLUBOV, FLED KHARKIV: During this time, we usually heard like shells blowing up. Lots of bombardment.
ABDELAZIZ: How did you feel when you arrived?
STACY, FLED KHARKIV: When you look at these mountains and into the news, it seems like not real.
HOLUBOV: And you're here, you're safe. It feel kind of guilty because in the beginning, left all my family there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABDELAZIZ: After a terrifying week, mom and daughter finally squeezed onto a train out of embattled Kiev, but where to go? Then they remembered a
special family trip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we loved this place because our summertime we provide here.
ABDELAZIZ: So you had good memories here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good memory. We have good memory. We had good memories in this place.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel safe here but I hope that this will end soon and we will go home because living at home was much bad because it's my
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABDELAZIZ: This tiny mountain community of Slavsko has taken in 3,400 displaced people, nearly doubling their population, but they say it's not a
burden, they want to share the sanctuary. Some have chosen less traditional accommodations, also found peace for her two children in this glamping pod.
"My daughter wakes up every morning, opens the curtains, wipes the dew from the windows and looks out at the view." She tells me. "Yes, she loves it
here. It's calming, I feel lighter, and I start to believe everything is going to be OK."
For these families, this feels like the safest place in a country where it seems everywhere is a frontline. Salma Abdelaziz CNN Slavsko, Ukraine.
GIOKOS: And some reprieve and hope during time of war. Thanks so very much for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.