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Hala Gorani Tonight
Russia to "Drastically Reduce" Assault On Kyiv And Chernihiv; Russia Intensifies Attacks On Mariupol; U.K. Detains Russian Super Yacht; Queen Elizabeth II Attends "Service Of Thanksgiving" Memorial For Prince Philip; Allies: Judge Russia By Actions, Not Words; Several Killed In Israel Shooting Attack; Will Smith Apologizes To Chris Rock; Russian Invasion Of Ukraine Poses Risk Of Global Wheat Crisis. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired March 29, 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 and welcome, I'm Eleni Giokos in Dubai. And tonight, Russia says it could radically reduce military
activity around Kyiv and Chernihiv. Locations where Ukraine's military is already making a powerful stand. But no sign of de-escalation in the east
where we're seeing Russian troops on the road into Mariupol, a city already razed by shelling.
And the world is still trying to bring Russian oligarchs to account. What we know about this super yacht that the U.K. has just detained. Actions
matter, not words. That's the reaction from some western officials to Russia's pledge to drastically scale back its assault of two Ukrainian
cities including Kyiv. The pledge came after talks in Istanbul where both Ukrainian and Russian negotiators reported some progress.
Ukraine is willing to adopt neutrality, and that's in exchange for international security guarantees. And for now, at least, Russia is no
longer mentioning a key goal of denazifying Ukraine. But U.S. officials warn that even as Russia shifts gears by pulling away from Kyiv and
Chernihiv, its troop movement should be considered a redeployment, not a withdrawal.
It could also be a reflection of the reality on the ground. Russia has failed to advance on Kyiv, and just yesterday, it lost control of the key
suburb of Irpin. Russia's defense minister says the goal now is to liberate Donbas. That could mean even more devastation ahead for the city of
Russia has recognized the entire Donbas regions of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent and Mariupol falls within their borders. The city of Chernihiv
has been under assault for weeks, and that's still the reality today whatever Russian negotiators are saying. CNN's John Berman was interviewing
the mayor before being interrupted by an explosion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR VLADYSLAV ATROSHENKO, CHERNIHIV, UKRAINE (through translator): Where I'm standing now, this is the site where a cruise missile has struck. The
direction of this missile was from Belarus. It came from Belarus, and we know this because the location is such that it couldn't have come anywhere
-- from anywhere else. They're striking on civilian neighborhoods. We have enough proof, so we can say that this is fascism and genocide.
We have in the last 3 weeks, we lost 350 people. The vast majority of these are civilians. We will definitely survive, and we shall not surrender. We
will push the occupiers away.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Mr. Mayor, what was that?
ATROSHENKO: You have just heard an explosion. That means something has flown in to attack us. You can give this recording to your military, and
they will tell you that this is not our explosion. This isn't us striking something. This is something that has come from the enemy side.
BERMAN: Mr. Mayor, are you safe right now?
ATROSHENKO: Absolutely nowhere is safe in the city now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: All right, and it's an even more dire picture in the south of the country where Russian forces are consolidating around Mariupol. The city is
standing in the way of one of the Kremlin's main objectives, creating a land corridor between Crimea which Russia annexed in 2014, and the two
areas that was held now by Russian-backed separatists in the east.
And if these pictures are anything to go by, Moscow is determined to take control, and you can see Russian tanks marked with the letter Z rolling
toward the city which is under constant bombardment. Phil Black shows us what it's like inside Mariupol.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Russia is so close to taking the prize of Mariupol. These soldiers out, already celebrating. The flag
going up on this local government building is from one of the Russian- backed separatist regions in Ukraine's east.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
BLACK: "The Ukrainians peeled off, praise the Almighty", this soldier says.
"The guys are in a good mood and we are working according to the order of Putin." We get rare glimpses of Russia's effort to take this city street by
street. These soldiers are from the Russian Republic of Chechnya. It's propaganda video from their leader which CNN has geo-located to Mariupol.
Mariupol's Mayor Vadym Boychenko tells me the fight isn't over.
(on camera): What happened or what has happened to the Ukrainian soldiers defending Mariupol? Are there any left? "They hold the line and they stand
to the end", he says, "to the last drop of blood".
(voice-over): It's not only Ukrainian soldiers trapped here. The city council estimates there are still around 170,000 civilians in this
devastated city, and 90 percent of homes have been damaged or destroyed. Valentina(ph) enters what's left of the only home she's ever known. The
place where she raised her family. She wasn't here when the shell hit. She's been hiding in the basement. She doesn't want to leave, she knows she
But many will never leave. The council says almost 5,000 people have been killed during the 4-week siege including more than 200 children. Russia is
so close to taking its prize. But it will be a blackened shell of a city, and it's unlikely the people they're conquering will ever forgive them.
Phil Black, CNN, Lviv, western Ukraine.
GIOKOS: Incredible insight into the devastation in Mariupol. And meantime, just a short time ago, U.S. President Joe Biden said of Russia's claim that
it will reduce its assault on Kyiv, we'll see if they follow through, he says. That skepticism is echoed in Ukraine where many worry any compromise
would mean giving in to an aggressor who attacked a country for absolutely no justifiable reason. Christiane Amanpour is in Kyiv and speaks to a
lawmaker who is insisting on keeping up the fighting spirit.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voice-over): Day 34 of war, and the sounds are all around.
LESIA VASYLENKO, UKRAINIAN MP: There we go. Yes. That sort of disturbs your day all the time. But you learn to live with it.
AMANPOUR: Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko says that after a month of this, she like her president and country folk, believe the Russians will never
take this city. Though fighting does continue in the suburbs. She wanted to meet here at Maidan Square where Ukrainians stood up for their rights in
2014 and brought down Putin's wrath and his revenge.
Given his battlefield setbacks though, I asked whether his shifting demands make a diplomatic compromise easier for Ukraine to accept?
(on camera): Now, there's word, we don't know whether it's going to bear fruit, but that they might allow Ukraine to join EU as long as you renounce
NATO. Is that a compromise that Ukraine would accept?
VASYLENKO: All of this started 34 days ago, because one country cannot declare itself more sovereign than another country. And Russia tried to do
just that. We cannot go for that compromise because that compromise to Putin would also mean a compromise of the general framework of defense and
security of the world. Giving into dictators means incentivizing them.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Ukraine's dramatic resistance surprised the whole world, including Vladimir Putin.
VASYLENKO: Three days they gave us, right? Putin thought he would be here in a matter of hours. We are doing this for our very survival. And when the
survival instinct kicks in, people can do amazing things. People become superheroes, and this is what you're witnessing in Ukraine.
AMANPOUR: Lesia is armed with her guns, the AK-47 is at home today, but she shows me her pistol held close to her heart.
(on camera): Lesia, when we spoke in the first week of the war before I got here, you said I've got my machine gun, and you've tweeted that I've
also got my manicures.
VASYLENKO: Yes --
AMANPOUR: Your resistance takes many forms, and you're actually carrying your pistol right now?
VASYLENKO: I am. I am. I do have my PM with me, and I carry it actually with me all the time.
AMANPOUR: And did you ever imagine in your life that as an MP in 2022, in Ukraine --
VASYLENKO: Yes --
AMANPOUR: You'd be forced to carry a gun around?
VASYLENKO: No, never. I'm actually very much anti-gun, and this gun posed a lot of problems for me because in order to recharge it, you have to sort
of like do this thing, and it was the nails, I have very nice, beautiful long nails.
It was impossible to do so. They had to all come off.
AMANPOUR: And just so people are clear, the idea of beauty, self- maintenance is also resistance.
VASYLENKO: Yes, all jokes aside, it's an important element for all women who are fighting alongside the man folk here. The women still want to be
beautiful. They still want to have dignity as women.
AMANPOUR: And to be human.
VASYLENKO: And to be human.
AMANPOUR: He basically said, Putin, that Ukraine doesn't exist as a nation. You don't exist as a people.
VASYLENKO: And we say to him, life goes on. We carry on living. Your war - - your fighting against us is in the background now. And we'll go on fighting it for as long as we have to, but we will go on living at the same
AMANPOUR (voice-over): She is still an MP, parliament is still passing laws. And since an army marches on its stomach, this too is their fight.
Their war effort. And so the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Peeling carrots as if they were stacking up bullets. This trendy brunch and bar has
turned into a war-time canteen, chopping onions in a frenzy of efficiency and purpose.
(on camera): Do you feel you're going to win?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, we must destroy the Russian cartel.
AMANPOUR: You said you must destroy the Russian army?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): So, they help turn out 600 meals a day and counting for the army and territorial defense for hospitals and shelters. Outside,
Lesia shows me the pictures of her three young children who she's had to send away for their safety.
VASYLENKO: This is my baby from this morning.
AMANPOUR (on camera): Wow, and she's --
VASYLENKO: This is my youngest --
AMANPOUR: How old?
VASYLENKO: She's going to be ten months in just a couple of days --
AMANPOUR: Wow, that must be painful to be without her.
VASYLENKO: It is, and she's sort of looking at you like really, mommy?
VASYLENKO: Oh, really? You're going to be away from me?
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Staying on the frontlines with this struggle comes at a huge personal cost. But Lesia has no doubts.
VASYLENKO: I am where I have to be. I mean, things happen for a reason. I'm a firm believer in that. There's a reason why I was elected in 2019. We
have a task, we have a duty, and we will complete it, and we will see where life takes us.
GIOKOS: Christiane Amanpour joins me now live from Kyiv. Christiane, that piece was really insightful and so symbolic to be at Maidan Square where
Ukrainians fought for over 90 days because they were fighting against Yanukovych, and to ensure that the country looks west.
In terms of the resoluteness that you're seeing, that the fight, the defiance, the sacrifices, what sense are you getting from people in Kyiv
about which direction this is going, given now that the Russians have changed their rhetoric? They're saying they want to withdraw at least
drastically, reduce troops around the city?
AMANPOUR: Indeed, Eleni. Well, they are basically saying we'll believe it when we see it, and in the meantime, we will stand strong. We'll continue
our fight, continue our resistance. You heard, you know, what Lesia told me. You know, Putin, she said, thought it would just take a matter of
hours, a matter of few days before being able to capture the capital. Thirty four days later, capital still standing and people still resisting.
All over the country, despite the terror that's being inflicted down in places like Mariupol and elsewhere, particularly in Mariupol, they are in
the capital, where the government is, the symbol of a united and whole Ukraine. They are standing strong. And so they say, no matter what, this
capital is not going to fall. They don't believe the Russians will ever be able to take it.
They don't believe that this is a declaration of Russian goodwill about, you know, redirecting its forces, but a reflection of their resistance and
of the fact that the Russian forces have simply not been able to do what the Russian government and the -- I guess the defense ministry and the
presidency thought they could do. So they are staying. They're standing strong. And they're ready for anything.
GIOKOS: Absolutely, OK. When you asked her about the question whether Ukrainians are willing to make concessions with regard to security issues,
and she was saying that this was just going to embolden authoritarian governments and dictators, you asked the question to Ivo Daalder, former
U.S. ambassador to NATO to talk about the issue of neutrality, and what that would mean practically. I want to play you this clip because it gives
you insight into the --
AMANPOUR: Yes --
GIOKOS: Complexities around this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVO DAALDER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO: The Ukrainians are making very clear that they need security guarantees. Security guarantees is what
you get from an alliance. Now, it may not be a formal alliance like joining NATO, but it is a commitment that if a country is attacked, other countries
will come to their aid and defend themselves. The very kind of security guarantees that Moscow was railing against when Ukraine decided that it
wanted to join NATO.
I think Secretary Blinken is reflecting the reality that a day of talks that seemed to be going pretty well in Turkey are not going to solve this
crisis just that quickly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: And that's a reality check, Christiane. What do you make of, you know, the glimmer of hope that we're seeing possibly around the dialogue
AMANPOUR: Well, look, I think there are massive outstanding issues, and whether they can get around that and figure out some kind of compromise
remains to be seen. And you're right, Lesia Vasylenko and others here who have resisted for all these days do not just want to throw it away at a
So, what are the big issues? As Ivo Daalder said to me earlier, that the idea of a security guarantee for Ukraine if as President Zelenskyy has
said, is willing to, you know, be neutral, is willing to not join NATO, and you know, that is his position at the moment, but he needs absolute
guarantees for his security.
So that what happened now doesn't happen again. But that means, we'll -- you know, who -- what international country, NATO is going to be willing to
give those guarantees which are solid guarantees, if, indeed, it means having to one day maybe in the future confront Russia or anybody else that
decides they want to, you know, invade anywhere. So that's a big issue. And on the other issue, you know, he's absolutely right about the Donbas.
One day doesn't change much on the ground. The question is will it -- you know, will it build something? But if the Russians are just refocusing to
try to take and control everything that they've had since 2014 and more, that is also going to be extremely difficult, and so far, this government
has said they don't accept that illegally occupied, in their words, and in the words of the international community, territory, suddenly goes to the
But there may be procedures whereby they could maybe table it for a while. I'm just repeating what they're saying and negotiate for the future maybe
many years hence. But those territorial issues also existential, and they'll be as they say here, quite difficult to resolve. Eleni.
GIOKOS: Yes, absolutely. The dialogue is happening at a very complex and challenging time. Thank you very much Christiane, really good to have you
on the show. Much appreciated. Now, a delegation of Ukrainian lawmakers is in Washington today, and they are meeting with members of Congress and with
State Department representatives to ask for more military support to defend against Russia.
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze is one of them and she joins me now. Ivanna, really good to have you with us. Tell me about how the talks went and what
you're asking for and what you're seeing come to the fore, and that's being, you know, committed to in terms of assistance.
IVANNA KLYMPUSH-TSINTSADZE, UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: We are asking for, you know, weaponry for Ukrainians to be able to protect ourselves. And
that is something that we are incapable of providing by -- besides our bravery, besides our courage and besides, you know, all the unity that we
have today on the ground in Ukraine.
So, therefore, we need the free world to stand -- why we believe that the U.S. has the ability to lead this effort, and to ensure that Ukrainians --
if the no fly zone from others is a no-go, can provide this no-fly zone for ourselves with -- but for that, we need additional fighter jets. We need
We need artillery systems to get Russia out. They're digging in on the occupied territories -- and tanks and BTRs. And that is our major call for
our colleagues on the Hill, but also we believe that sanctions should be strengthened against Russian federation and all the loopholes that are in
the sanctions right now --
GIOKOS: Yes --
KLYMPUSH-TSINTSADZE: Have to be closed for Russians --
GIOKOS: So, Ivanna --
KLYMPUSH-TSINTSADZE: Not to avoid the pain --
GIOKOS: Do you --
KLYMPUSH-TSINTSADZE: And basically feel the -- yes, go ahead.
GIOKOS: You actually -- President Zelenskyy has been asking for this assistance to protect Ukrainian skies for quite some time. But the big
sticking point was what base do these, you know, do these systems fly out of, and then does NATO become embroiled? When you came to them again
asking for the same assistance, what was said as a solution? Because now it's a matter of urgency.
KLYMPUSH-TSINTSADZE: We are not hearing right now the -- you know, the direct answer, and that's why -- certainly not done with our mission. The
issue is still under consideration, but we believe that with all our common efforts, cross-party efforts that we are putting on right now here in the
U.S., with our counterparts in different agencies, starting from Congress and ending with the State Department and DOD, we can ensure the decision is
Because I think that there are possibilities for very creative solutions. And I do not want to kind of point out them on air, but I think there are
definitely ways on how Ukraine can be armed with the specific things that we are in total need in order to protect our citizens --
GIOKOS: Yes --
KLYMPUSH-TSINTSADZE: In order to ensure that our kids are not being killed, and our homes are not being destroyed.
GIOKOS: What are you making of the change in military tactic by the Russians that they're saying they're going to be drastically reducing
troops around Kyiv, and the fact that some are saying this is just a regrouping of troops? Do you believe the Russians right now as dialogue is
now on its way?
KLYMPUSH-TSINTSADZE: I do not believe any word that Russians are saying. They also said that they are not going to attack Ukraine, as you recall.
That was just a bit of a month ago. They also said that they never intended, and they were not present there in Crimea when they were
attacking us. They also said that they were not -- that they were not in Donetsk and Luhansk areas, but they were there, and they were killing our
people, starting from 2014.
So I think that Russians are using right now this negotiations as a smoke screen to actually regroup, and to attack us with additional rage, with
additional -- with additional prohibitive weapons as they have been doing in other parts of the country up to date.
GIOKOS: Ivanna, thank you very much for your time, really great to have you on and for sharing that with us. Much appreciated --
KLYMPUSH-TSINTSADZE: Thank you --
GIOKOS: Ivanna Klympush for us there. And still to come tonight, the queen makes her first public appearance in five months at her late husband's
memorial service. How one moment has sparked criticism.
GIOKOS: The U.K. has detained a super yacht belonging to an unnamed Russian businessman with ties t Vladimir Putin and the Russian regime. Our
correspondent David McKenzie joins us now from Canary Wharf in London where that super yacht is docked, and I hear that it's pretty enormous. David,
what more do we know about this yacht and its owner?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Eleni, we don't know much about its owner. And you can see it behind me, this extraordinary vessel, nearly
200 feet costing according to U.K. authorities nearly $50 million U.S. That is the level of wealth we are talking about for those allegedly associated
-- the oligarchs allegedly associated with Vladimir Putin.
And earlier today, the officials were on board. They impounded this vessel. It can't go anywhere. It was in fact due to sail in a couple of days. We
tried to speak to crew members, they said no comment, as you might expect. And it's the latest sign of this worldwide dragnet to try and take on the
assets of those closest to the Kremlin. Eleni?
GIOKOS: Yes, David, I mean, really fascinating because you're seeing yachts being detained in certain countries, but some countries have an open
door policy. Is this going to have an impact, do you think, on putting -- squeezing Putin into a de-escalation?
MCKENZIE: Well, you've seen the financial sanctions and the sanctions on individuals much more profound than, say, impounding this yacht behind me.
But it does have a very strong symbolism, of course. This wealth, this gaudy wealth associated with those allegedly linked to Vladimir Putin, the
fact that the oligarchs that were -- rarely used London as its playground - - as their playground for many years are being squeezed like this.
It does send a message. But all of these sanctions and these seizure of assets haven't done anything to stop the Russian invasion. That is
ultimately their aim. But when you look here at a vessel like this, and you see that it can't move, and that the lifestyles of the rich and connected
are being squeezed like this, it does send a message. And the Treasury Secretary -- the Secretary of Transport, I should say of the U.K. saying
that this sends a message.
Well, it does send a message. There are people in this neighborhood who have been taking photographs, one guy ran past and said using an expletive
that this -- that the Kremlin must stop, and this boat really is just the latest sign that after months of criticism against the U.K. government,
they do appear to be getting serious about sanctioning these individuals. Whether it has --
GIOKOS: Yes --
MCKENZIE: An impact, well, that remains to be seen.
GIOKOS: Absolutely. And I hear it has an infinite wine cellar on board. This is pretty magnificent show of wealth, David. Good to see you, thank
you so much.
MCKENZIE: Absolutely, not to my taste --
GIOKOS: Today, Queen Elizabeth --
MCKENZIE: But for some, maybe it's their thing.
GIOKOS: Yes, absolutely, good, nice to see you. All right, so today, Queen Elizabeth honored her late husband Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey. It
was a poignant service. But one moment stood out. This image of Prince Andrew escorting his mother down the aisle before taking a front row seat
has sparked criticism, and it follows Andrew's payment of a settlement to Virginia Giuffre who accused him of sexual assault. CNN's Anna Stewart was
outside the Westminster Abbey. Let's take a listen.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): This was the first time the queen has been seen outside of her royal household for nearly six months. With
the aid of a walking stick and support from her son, Prince Andrew, the queen arrived for a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey for Prince
Philip, her husband for more than 70 years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody will ever doubt his loyalty and deep devotion to our queen and to their family.
STEWART: A service starkly different to the funeral last year. A pared back ceremony due to the pandemic, the queen sat in a pew alone. On Tuesday
the queen was surrounded by family, by friends, British politicians, royal families from overseas and hundreds of people representing the many
charities and organizations that Prince Philip was a patron of.
(on camera): And in this service, the congregation were allowed to sing.
(voice-over): Choosing Prince Andrew to help her majesty in and out of Westminster Abbey was a clear sign of a mother's support for her son. The
first time he's been seen publicly since he settled the sex abuse lawsuit. Prince Harry and his wife, the duchess of Sussex were notably absent, but
plenty of younger royals were there, bringing together a family in love and memory.
And a nation looking forward to happier days ahead for the queen's platinum jubilee coming up in June, a moment to celebrate the queen's 70 years of
public service which she continues without Prince Philip by her side -- Anna Stewart, CNN, London.
GIOKOS: After weeks of investigation, London's Met Police will issue 20 fines over Downing Street parties held in breach of COVID-19 restrictions.
The prime minister Boris Johnson has so far not been issued with a fine in the first wave of penalties.
His office says that the public will be notified if this were to occur. The Partygate scandal rocked the public's trust in Mr. Johnson and, at the
time, there were widespread calls for him to resign.
Still to come tonight, food insecurity in some of the world's most vulnerable countries is likely to get worse. A global wheat crisis seems
likely because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos in Dubai.
"We'll judge Russia by its actions, not its words."
That warning coming today from the U.S., France, Germany and the U.K. amid very cautious optimism that a deal between Russia and Ukraine may be
The U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken said, so far, he hasn't seen Russia move toward peace in an effective way. And he said the U.S. hasn't
yet seen any signs of real seriousness from Moscow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: There is what Russia says and there is what Russia does. We are focused on the latter. And what Russia is
doing is the continued brutalization of Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: We've got a little about the truce now.
And of course Russia's announcement that it will reduce the hostilities around Kyiv, it says. International diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is in
Brussels for us.
When Russia says it wants to reduce troops on the ground, do we believe them or should we take this as a regrouping?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The secretary of state Antony Blinken thinks they are deflecting and trying to deceive,
deflecting attention from what they intend to do in the south and east of Ukraine, which the Russian defense minister today that Russia would
continue with its stated goals.
And its stated goals were to take control of the whole Donbas region, which is much bigger than the region that the pro-Russian separatists occupied in
the eastern side of Ukraine before the war began.
So the defense minister is saying the war goes on in the Donbas region. Effectively, what you can see on the ground are Russian gains in the Donbas
region and the south and east of the country, sort of building that land bridge that is so much talked about between Russia proper and Crimea.
And I think the readout from the Kremlin today, from President Putin's phone call with President Macron -- and this is the Kremlin's readout of
that call -- I think gives you a very strong indication of the military continuation here, the amount of fighting that Russia still thinks it has
Because the position of the Kremlin was, when discussing the situation, the humanitarian situation in Mariupol, the Kremlin's readout was that
President Macron was told, if there's to be humanitarian corridors in the estimated 170,000 people there are too escape Russian shelling, then,
according to the Kremlin, then the Ukrainian military needs to put down their weapons inside Mariupol.
And what we hear from Ukrainian officials is that they have a ring of defense, trying to protect civilians with their security services, the
military, Ukrainian military, inside of Mariupol.
You know, when you drill down into the detail, there is a lot to be resolved yet, a huge amount to be resolved. And I think this is why we're
hearing the U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken and President Biden in a phone call with the Italian prime minister, French president, German
chancellor and British prime minister, being quite cautious in their language.
That said, what we heard today from the talks in Istanbul does lay out a potential road map going forward. But there's a lot of difficulty. And I
think some of that is beginning to come to the surface now.
GIOKOS: So Nic, the difficultly, OK, territorial issues, territorial losses, Ukraine says no way.
Would Russia accept territorial losses?
In the meantime, we're hearing intel that the Russians might want to split Ukraine in two. Meanwhile, Zelenskyy says, I can make concessions when it
comes to neutrality. But that in itself is complex.
Is that really a good structure to start with?
Or are you worried about just how complex the entire process might become, which could derail the talks further?
ROBERTSON: There -- the aims don't match. Russia's aim here doesn't match with Ukraine's aim. Ukraine's aim is that Russia leaves the country, goes
back to the prewar situation, pre-23rd of February position of Russian troops outside of Ukraine.
President Putin's position seems to be to say that they're not going to continue to push on Kyiv but just focus elsewhere in the country and not
give up on the gains they've given there.
So there's an immediate contradiction there. President Zelenskyy has indicated that there needs to be a referendum, that the Ukrainian people
need to support a new position of neutrality. For that to happen, the Russian troops have to leave.
Again, that's just an inconsistency with the Russian position. And the question is, that you ask there, in part about President Putin, President
Putin himself dictates Russia's military agenda, their strategy.
He cannot be seen to have failed in his agenda, despite the fact that it has cost, according to NATO, many, many thousands of Russian troops' lives.
That sort of information has been masked by Russian propaganda at the moment. And that's why it's difficult for Putin to try to give a full,
truthful narrative to the Russian people. So, again, that underscores how difficult it is for him to pull out his troops.
GIOKOS: But we stay hopeful, Nic. Thank you very much. Good to see you.
And we have heard some breaking news from Israel and reports of an attack near Tel Aviv.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS (voice-over): What you're seeing now is pictures from the scene right here in Tel Aviv. Details are scarce but there are reports of at
least four people killed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: We have Hadas Gold following the story for us from Jerusalem.
What else can you tell us?
HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What we know is that this attack took place in a citiavac (ph) that's actually called Bnei Brak. It's
an ultra orthodox city just east of Tel Aviv. Essentially you could call it a suburb of Tel Aviv.
The shooting started just around 8:00 pm local. And at least four people were killed. We now have confirmation that a fifth person who was killed
actually may be one of the assailants. We are working on details, including how many attackers there were.
There are some reports in Israeli media that the attacks started with people shooting while they were on motorcycles and then continuing on foot.
A police spokesperson saying, in a preliminary investigation, they found one assailant used an assault rifle against civilians and was in multiple
locations throughout the Bnei Brak area.
The mayor of Bnei Brak has been asking people to stay inside because there are still concerns there may be other attackers or accomplices still on the
loose. So a quickly developing situation now.
While this attack is just notable in its own right, people are very concerned that it's pointing toward a potential wave of terror attacks
because this is the third such attack, where Israelis have been killed in just about a week.
And it's not occurring in hot spots like Jerusalem; it's occurring in Israeli cities like Be'er Sheva, in Hadera, north of Tel Aviv. Those were
two attacks that happened in the past week. Last Tuesday, four were killed in Be'er Sheva when a man had run over one of them, stabbed three others.
And just on Sunday, two assailants killed two and wounded six in a shooting attack in Hadera, just north of Tel Aviv. What's notable about the last two
attacks, the assailants were all affiliated with ISIS. And ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
ISIS had not claimed responsibility for an attack in Israel since June of 2017. For this attempt that just happened this evening, we don't know who
is going to claim responsibility for it. There's a lot of concern about a new wave of terror, not only around ISIS but also concerned about rising
tensions here in Jerusalem between Palestinians and Israelis.
There have been several stabbing attacks in Jerusalem as well as shootings of Palestinians in the West Bank by Israeli security services. Keep in
mind, in the next months, we'll get a rare coinciding of holidays, Ramadan, Passover and Easter all at the same time.
So officials here are very concerned that all of this together will somehow boil over into further violence.
GIOKOS: Hadas, thank you very much for that insight.
And we'll be monitoring the story and bringing you an update as soon as we get it. All right, we'll be right back. Stay with CNN.
GIOKOS: Actor Will Smith has issued a public apology to Chris Rock after that infamous Oscar slap.
He wrote on Instagram, "Violence in all its forms is poisonous and destructive. I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of
line and I was wrong."
Chloe Melas joins me now to discuss what lies ahead for the two.
We know there's an investigation currently underway.
Is it enough?
Is a public apology enough?
CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's unclear. People are really divided about that. I don't think that there's really anybody right now who isn't
kind of having these types of water cooler discussions.
We know from a source, two sources, that there was an impromptu meeting of 12 very well-known people, some of which were directors and actors,
yesterday morning virtually, to discuss what should next steps be.
And we know the conversation was heated and that people were divided. Some people felt as though what Will Smith did was right. Others feel like
violence, you should never strike anyone and that that was not the answer here.
We know the Academy has launched an internal investigation. We also know that Wednesday night they're going to be convening for a board of
directors' meeting that they always have after the Oscars, but that this is priority number one to discuss.
What are those next steps?
What could the consequences be?
Well, perhaps suspension?
But it's unclear because there has never been anything like this before. It's unprecedented. And let's point out that Harvey Weinstein, Roman
Polanski and others, they have their Oscars still, despite their own controversies which are far different than this.
So again, in their bylaws, it states that violence of any kind is not condoned.
But what does that mean next for Will?
Something but we just don't know quite what that is yet. We still haven't heard anything about how does Chris Rock feel.
GIOKOS: Yes. Absolutely. Look, it's an unprecedented situation. But also, whatever they do, might just set the precedent down the line for anything
related to any kind of aggression. Chloe, great to have you on. Thank you so much.
COVID lockdown in eastern Shanghai is in full swing, with residents undergoing a second day of mandatory testing to alleviate strain on the
economy. China's financial capital is locking down in two stages; the shutdown will switch to the other half of the city on Friday.
And the wave is putting China's zero COVID policy to the test.
Turning to the United States now, health officials have authorized second booster shots for adults age 50 and older. It's an expansion of the
emergency use authorization and it includes both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines.
We'll be right back after this short break.
GIOKOS: The war in Ukraine has forced almost 4 million people to leave the country, almost one-tenth of the population. Now more than half have fled
into Poland while the others have sought a haven in six other neighboring countries. And for so many, the trauma of having to suddenly run from their
homes, family and friends, is incalculable.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Germany.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Where to go. We can't just leave everything behind. It's so difficult. It's psychologically challenging,
because everyone stayed there.
It's another story when you can prepare yourself to move to another country, knowing that there is a fundament, a base, acquaintances, friends
and you can morally prepare to go there. But when all of your life is back there in Ukraine, your soul aches.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS (voice-over): But from some who are staying behind, acts of kindness toward those about to flee. These are singers from the Odessa
opera serenading the displaced.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Now the war has had a ripple effect across the world, especially in the Middle East. And that region depends on wheat from Ukraine. But Kyiv
is restricting exports. Hala Gorani reports live from Lviv.
HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): On this farm in Western Ukraine and many like it across this country, the future of food security for hundreds
of millions of people around the world is being determined.
One-third of the world's most fertile soil is in Ukraine, according to the U.N. So what doesn't grow here or what this country is unable to export
because of the war, local officials tell me, will cause ripple effects around the globe.
"The repercussions of the war in Ukraine began to impact everything," Volodymyr Remeniak tells me, "including all agricultural operations inside
and outside the country, including the sowing season."
Western Ukraine, where this farm is located, accounts for a relatively small portion of total wheat and corn farmland. The most productive farms
lie in the hottest conflict areas of the country, like Izyum in Eastern Ukraine.
Satellite photos show the extent of the destruction in and around that city. In one video, Russian artillery positions and Ukrainian
counterattacks are visible in a field. And the Ukrainian agriculture minister tells me, the impact on this year's crops will be devastating.
MYKOLA SOLSKIYI, UKRAINIAN AGRICULTURE MINISTER: Last season we have approximately totally 110 million tons. This year, we expect at least 30
percent less than this amount. It's very -- (speaking foreign language) --
SOLSKIYI (from captions): It's a very optimistic prognosis.
SOLSKIYI: Of course, we understand that the war is continue and nobody knows whether it will be tomorrow.
GORANI (voice-over): And so far this year, the minister says the country has lost almost $9 billion in agricultural revenue. Wheat is usually
planted around March and harvested in the summer.
But we are told, on this farm near Lviv, that most farmers in the conflict zone are writing this year off completely because it's simply too dangerous
to work the land. This is already impacting food prices for everyone but most acutely for people in vulnerable countries.
In 2020, 80 percent of Lebanon's wheat imports came from Ukraine alone, 40 percent of Libya's, 30 percent of Egypt's wheat came from Ukraine last year
and now bakery prices there are jumping as high as 25 percent.
(voice-over): On top of climate change and rising inequality, the Russian invasion will deepen poverty and increase instability, thousands of miles
from where missiles and shells are causing devastation.
Back on the farm outside Lviv, we meet Pavlo Kovalchuk, who manages the fields and the other crops that grow here, like apple, plum and walnut
GORANI: Are you ready for the longer term?
If this war lasts a long time, are you ready to dig in and keep working?
PAVLO KOVALCHUK, FARMER (through translator): We have to be ready, because we have no other choice. I and all other farmers who work with me here are
ready because we are responsible for providing food, not only for Ukraine but for other countries.
GORANI (voice-over): Beyond production issues, there's also a shortage of workers. Some have joined the fight against the Russian army. Others have
moved to safer areas or left the country altogether. A sector that employs hundreds of thousands in Ukraine, hollowing out as the war grinds on.
Ukraine is known as the bread basket of Europe. And so a war on this country is also an attack on all those who depend on it for food -- Hala
Gorani, Lviv, Ukraine.
GIOKOS: A war with global ramifications.
Thanks so very much for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.