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Hala Gorani Tonight
Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Russia's War Enters "New Stage of Terror"; New York Police On The Hunt For Subway Train Shooter; Boris Johnson Fined For Breaking COVID Lockdown Rules; Russia Apparently Readying For Major Offensive In The East; Life Under Lockdown In Shanghai; Russian Media Trumpets War As Great Success. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired April 12, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, HOST, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: Hello, everyone, live from CNN in London, I'm Christina Macfarlane. Tonight, tens of thousands
believed dead in Mariupol as Russia's war on Ukraine enters a new stage of terror. Then, a manhunt is underway for the suspect in an attack on a New
York subway station. And it's official, the U.K. Prime Minister broke the law. Boris Johnson is fined over party-gate.
A Ukrainian Marine in Mariupol are vowing to hold out until the end as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warns that Russian forces may be planning a
new phase of terror. Fierce fighting is underway in the strategic port city. Here, you can see smoke coming from the residential areas above a
shipping yard. Officials now estimate at least 21,000 people have been killed in Mariupol. A Ukrainian commander is also accusing Russia of using
chemical weapons there, saying several people were affected by a poisonous substance of unknown origin.
But we can't confirm that. Both the U.S. and U.K. are investigating the claims. But Russian forces are intensifying attacks across Donbas as they
gear up for a major offensive. Some areas are reporting shelling around the clock, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Ukraine can win including in
Mariupol but only if more weapons arrive soon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): If we got jets and enough heavy-armored vehicles, the necessary artillery, we would
be able to do it. But we still have to agree on this, we still have to persuade, we still have to squeeze out the necessary decisions. I am sure
that we will get almost everything we need, but not only time is being lost. The lives of Ukrainians are being lost. Lives that can no longer be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Well, let's get more now from CNN's Phil Black, he's been following developments from Lviv. And Phil, as eastern Ukraine braces
itself for this renewed offensive, what do we know of how Ukrainian people are preparing for that, and whether or not people have been able to
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christina, this is expected to be a very different battle compared to anything else the Ukrainian forces have
dealt with so far. They are expecting this to be a more focused, more consolidated Russian operation with a greater density of fire power in a
more specific geographic area. So, they're expecting more Russian tanks, more heavy weapons, more aircraft to quote or to paraphrase the Ukrainian
foreign minister, he said, this is going to be something look and feel more like something out of World War II.
So, very different, and that is why the Ukrainian forces on a daily basis are talking about the need for getting more of the same armor, heavy
weapons, and aircraft from their allies. They are desperate for anything that will even the fight. And they believe that if they get that, then
there's a chance they can hold out against this. But they do believe this to be a brutal attempt at advance, and so that is why they're also very
keen to get civilians out of the area as quickly as possible while they still can.
That is an ongoing operation, one that has some urgency to it. And they hope that most people will leave before Russia makes the first move to
drive forward and break through Ukraine's defensive lines.
MACFARLANE: And we know, Phil, that the battle for the sudden port city of Mariupol is seemingly reaching a decisive phase. Do we know how close
Russian forces are to seizing full control?
BLACK: The Ukrainian forces there have been surrounded and cut off for weeks, Christina. And people have been predicting its fall for that same
length of time. Its imminent fall. It does seem from the reports we're hearing both from the Russian side and the Ukrainian, that the remaining
Ukrainian forces have been pushed back into a couple of really small patches of territory, but they do appear to have dug in and reinforced and
fortified those positions.
And so yes, it is approaching what looks to be a final stand, but it doesn't mean that, that will be quick. The Ukrainians as you say are
promising to fight to the very end, and they have shown their willingness to fight very hard and resist Russia's attempts to take that city for so
MACFARLANE: All right, well, Phil Black there from Lviv. Phil, thanks so much for your analysis this evening. OK, well, in northern Ukraine,
residents in towns near Kyiv are returning home or emerging from hiding after Russian forces retreated, but it's far from life as normal as people
try to cope with the carnage left behind. CNN's Clarissa Ward visited two villages that briefly became the frontlines.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ukrainian soldiers returning from the front. Jubilant after a humiliating
defeat for Russian forces in the north. In the neighboring villages of Starigh(ph) and Levibekhov(ph), exhausted residents are emerging from their
homes. After 5 weeks of Russian occupation and the horrors that came with it. On day four of the war, this peaceful community became a frontline and
nowhere was off limits.
Russian forces transformed the local school into their base. Principal Natalia Volvok(ph) shows us the carnage that was left behind.
(on camera): You're saying that they were using this as a toilet as well.
(voice-over): The main entrance is now spattered with blood. The scene of heavy fighting. Russian soldiers took cover in classrooms and treated their
wounded with whatever they could find.
(on camera): So, you can see they were eating here. These are some Russian military Russians (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) it says.
(voice-over): Walking the ravaged hallways, Volvok(ph) says she is still in a state of shock. What wasn't destroyed was looted.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We are for education. Education is the future. Our students, she says. It's such a shame that our occupiers
didn't understand this. Why steal everything? This is a school.
WARD: In several classrooms, there are signs that some of the Russian soldiers felt ashamed of their actions. A message on a chalkboard.
(on camera): So, it says forgive us, we didn't want this war.
(voice-over): But forgiveness will be hard to come by here. The local cemetery, Valentina(ph) takes us to the graves of six men who authorities
say were executed by Russian forces on the day they arrived.
"It's so hard to get over this", she says. "They murdered them". Valentina(ph) says the Russians held on to the bodies for nine days before
dumping them at the end of the village with instructions to bury them quickly.
"We dug very fast so they wouldn't shoot us", she says. "But they were shooting over there, and heavy shelling." Among the dead, her neighbors,
brothers Igor(ph) and Oleg Yavon(ph).
Outside the family home, we meet their mother, Olga(ph), for days she thought her sons were in hiding until a neighbor called her with the
devastating news. The agony and the grief are still very raw. "They were very good boys", she says, "how I want to see them again."
(on camera): Do you have any idea why the Russians would kill your sons?
"Who knows? There was a bridge that was blown up and somebody shot at a Russian drone", she says. "The Russians were searching the village and
rounded them up on the street. Six boys, I don't know anything else.
(voice-over): A few streets away, Katarina Andruscha(ph) is also looking for answers. Her daughter, Victoria, a school teacher was taken by Russian
soldiers on March 25th.
"They said they found information on her phone about their forces", she says. "They told me she was in a warm house, that she was working with
them, and she would be home soon." But Victoria never came home. "We hope that she would get in touch", Katarina(ph) says, "with somebody,
In this small community of 2000, it seems no street has been spared. The invaders marked their newly-seized territory with crude graffiti and battle
(on camera): Another Z on their fridge.
(voice-over): But brave residents like Tamara(ph) carried out quiet acts of resistance.
"We kept it. We kept it", she says, showing us a Ukrainian flag given to her husband for his military service. "We hid it". A bold risk in
anticipation of this moment when Russian troops would be forced to retreat and the villages would finally be free.
MACFARLANE: Heart break and resilience of average Ukrainians. Clarissa Ward there. Well, the Russian President Vladimir Putin used his first
public comments in more than a week to make a promise that Moscow would achieve all of its, quote, "noble goals in Ukraine." He was speaking from a
Russian space port where he was meeting with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko. Mr. Putin also said peace talks with Kyiv had hit a dead-end
and called western sanctions a failure even though they pushed Russia towards a major economic contraction.
Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is standing by. And Nic, this was a rare public appearance, and pretty bullish one from President
Putin as we would expect. Stating among many other things that the peace talks were at a dead end, which struck me because we've obviously seen
Putin and Russia use diplomacy in the past to stall operations, to give themselves more time. How did you interpret the comments that we heard from
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, as usual, and as so much recently with Putin, he really sort of seems to be speaking in an
inversion of the truth. The facts as we know and he refers to the contributions that Russia made to the peace talks and he was talking there
about their withdrawal from around Kyiv as if that was some gift by Russia whereas the reality was his troops were so badly mauled he pulled them out
of the north of Ukraine.
So, that was a point of inversion in what he said. And then he said, and after that, came the Ukrainian provocation in Bucha. Well, what we know,
again, that's an inversion. All the senior top international visitors who have been there have talked about war crimes being committed, Russian
troops being responsible for those war crimes. So again, Putin inverting the truth and coming to a conclusion that the talks are at a dead end.
But I think it was his speech about or his points about this being an operation that can be won, a noble operation that gave us some of the
biggest insights to what he's thinking. This is how he framed it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (through translator): I have no doubt the objectives are clear and the objectives are noble. I said that at the
very beginning. I draw your attention to the very fact that in my very first speech, in my address to the nation and the army, I stated the
objectives. The main objective is to help the people in the Donbas region and the People's Republic of the Donbas which we recognized.
We were forced to do it because unfortunately, the Kyiv authorities prompted by the West refused to stand by the Minsk Agreements that were
aimed at a peaceful settlement in the Donbas and for the people's republics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: So I think there were two big takeaways for me, at least, from that speech. And one of them is vintage Putin saying listen to me, I told
you before, this is what I said. This is what happened. But the other thing I think there's a big takeaway today is when he calls this the fight, a
He's elevating it beyond a duty, a national duty. He's elevating it, and that really seems to sort of speak to the damaged limitation that he's
trying to portray, and the morale boost, the Russians, who despite the efforts of the Kremlin are aware that a significant number of troops have
been killed. We know that because the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has admitted that, he's admitted it on camera.
It cannot be kept an entire secret from the Russian population. So by saying that this is a noble fight, he's sort of making it virtuous almost
to perhaps to get involved in the fight and lose your life, and that is slightly different Putin than the way that he has been before, which is,
you know, it's our duty, it's something we must do.
MACFARLANE: Yes, Nic Robertson, thank you so much. Well, in New York, a manhunt is underway for the shooter who opened fire on a subway train this
morning. The footage and images we're getting from the scene are graphic and disturbing. We must warn you, officials say ten people were shot and
six other people injured. You can see some of the wounded lying on the platform in this image.
Police say none of the injuries are life threatening, thankfully. The shooting happened during rush hour on a crowded train. We also have some
video of the scene. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Well, as you can see, it was pretty chaotic. People running out of the train in panic. You can see injured people collapsing on the
platform. Officials say it is not being investigated as a terror attack right now. But gun violence is a growing issue in the city. New York's
governor says it has to stop.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D-NY): The people of the entire state of New York, stand with the people of this city, this community, and we say no more. No
more mass shootings. No more disrupting lives. No more creating heart break for people just trying to live their lives as normal New Yorkers. It has to
end, and it ends now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Shimon Prokupecz joins me now live from New York. And Shimon, we know that a massive manhunt is underway. The gunman is still at large.
What can you tell us? What's the latest this hour?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they're still searching for the suspected gunman here, but you know, authorities here
have a lot of clues. They have video cameras that captured some video bystanders that captured some video. All of that is helping authorities as
they build this case and to learn the identity of this shooter. They also have recovered the gun, they believe was used in the shooting, and also
canisters, smoke canisters.
One of which was used in this subway car by the shooter as the train was approaching the subway stop here in Brooklyn. The police say that he used
that smoke canister to sort of create a distraction kind of sense of chaos and then started firing, and at the people who were sitting and standing in
this subway car as it was pulling in to the stop, they had nowhere to go. When the doors finally opened, people started running. Some of those people
Some of them running, getting injured while they were running. And we were also told that some of the people suffered smoke inhalation injuries
because of those smoke canisters. So police here have already been able to learn a lot, because there are cameras that captured some of this,
bystanders who used their cellphone cameras to capture some of this. So they're using that as evidence to try and identify the shooter.
The thing here, though, you know, for New York City, this is a big part of everyone's daily life. The subway system. And any time there is an attack
or a shooting, a robbery, it always gets a lot of attention because it is the life-line of the city. It's how people get around. This morning people
were heading into Manhattan, heading into work, presumably, going home. Whatever it was, they were sitting in these subway cars when this man just
opened fire, terrifying so many, leaving them traumatized, and now the authorities here obviously trying to put all this together.
They believe there was some planning in this. They believe that this was premeditated because the suspect had these smoke canisters, he also had a
gas mask, and he was also wearing some kind of a green vest. So all of this indicates to them that this was planned. That this was premeditated. We've
also learned that in the last few minutes that police recovered three magazines for the gun that he used.
And that while he was firing his weapon, the gun jammed. So certainly, he was continuing to fire, and would have continued to fire if the gun did not
jam. So, a lot of clues and a lot of evidence left behind by this shooter which is now helping authorities, A, it's helping identify him, but also
put this investigation --
MACFARLANE: Yes --
MACFARLANE: Yes, it sounds like it could have been a lot worse. Shimon, I just want to ask you briefly because --
PROKUPECZ: Yes --
MACFARLANE: We heard this is not being treated as an act of terrorism. I'm slightly surprised by that. Why was that dismissed so quickly as an act of
terror, and what if anything does that tell us?
PROKUPECZ: Well, the first thing is, because there were -- initially, there was some concern that this individual was using bombs, because these
were smoke canisters and there were some concern that maybe perhaps these were bombs and that's why the FBI responded. That obviously turned out not
to be the case. But also authorities look at other things like, did the suspect say anything during the shooting?
Did he claim to do this because of some terrorism group? And right now they have no indication that, that was done. I also think what's happening here
is that, they have a lot of information that they're obviously not sharing publicly. And so, that is why they have made some of the decisions already
that they have.
But you know, things could change down the line but they certainly don't believe at this point that this is some kind of act of terrorism.
Certainly, the lives of these people have been terrorized. They've been traumatized. Some of them severely injured.
But under the law and the way these investigations work, right now there's not that other factor to say that this person was doing this on behalf of
some terrorist group, on behalf of some other cause or some other issue that would lead investigators to believe that this was an act of terrorism.
MACFARLANE: All right, Shimon Prokupecz, thank you very much, Shimon there with the latest on this evolving situation in New York City. OK, still to
come tonight, Boris Johnson makes history, but for all the wrong reasons. We'll tell you why after the break.
MACFARLANE: Welcome back. Boris Johnson and his Finance Minister Rishi Sunak have been fined by police for breaking lockdown laws. Those laws, the
ones set by themselves as the government of the United Kingdom. CNN's Nada Bashir is joining me now with more details. And Nada, this is the first
time a sitting prime minister has ever broken the law --
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Yes --
MACFARLANE: In living memory. I've had what? An hour, two hours to let that sink in, and it still hasn't to be honest. Bring us up to date on --
you know, he's issued an apology, he said he's paid the fine. What is the latest? What is going to happen next?
BASHIR: Well, we've heard from Boris Johnson in the last hour or so, he's gone into a little bit more detail than we had from the Metropolitan Police
statement on what actually the events surrounding this fine -- those events took place. This is going back to June 2020. It was a birthday celebration,
and he said that members of staff had gathered briefly in the cabinet office with him to mark his birthday.
He says this gathering only lasted ten minutes. But that obviously won't come as any consolation to the many people who weren't able to see
colleagues, loved ones, all kinds of other social gatherings during this lockdown period. And clearly, according to the Metropolitan police, he was
in breach of those COVID regulations, not only the prime minister, but as you mentioned, the chancellor and his wife, too, has been implicated in
this party-gate scandal.
But of course, we heard from the prime minister, he issued a firm apology, but also said that he wanted to focus less on the scandal, but more on the
political priorities that he had put forward. And said, in fact, he didn't actually know the event that took place to celebrate his birthday would be
in breach of those COVID regulations. We can listen to him now as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: I have to say in all frankness, at that time it did not occur to me that this might have been a
breach of the rules.
But of course, the police have found otherwise, and I fully respect the outcome of their investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASHIR: Now, this is interesting because Prime Minister Boris Johnson obviously went from completely denying that any social gathering took place
MACFARLANE: Yes --
BASHIR: That there was any breach of COVID regulations. So then acknowledging that there may have been some social gathering, but that he
wasn't involved with them. These weren't in breach of COVID regulations, of course, now, over the Christmas period just recently, we heard that he was
directly implicated in the scandal now. He's acknowledged now that he was in the wrong. He says he didn't know at the time that he was breaching
those COVID rules and has paid the fine.
But clearly, it's not the financial cost that's the key question here because of course, those fines are somewhere along the lines of just under
$100, but it's the reputational cost at stake.
MACFARLANE: Yes, and it's not just denials, it's like vigorous denials again and again and again. I think it's actually worth reminding our
viewers of the multiple denials that Boris Johnson has issued over the past year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: All guidance was followed completely during Number 10. i have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged, that there was no
party and that no COVID rules were broken. I believed implicitly that this was a work event.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: I mean, this is going to come back to bite him now, isn't it? It's all on tape. We've all seen the pictures of him sitting in the garden
at 10 Downing Street, drinking wine, eating cheese. I mean, there are allegations now of misleading parliament potentially over some of these --
over his denials. What do you think is going to be the political fallout? Is he going to ride this out or is he actually going to be forced to have
BASHIR: Well, look, he's been trying to ride this out for some time now. We heard from him earlier today, he said he wants to draw a line under the
scandal, he wants to move forward to focus on those political priorities, he wants to focus on his work in terms of the war in Ukraine as well. But
we heard over the Christmas period when it did come to light, that the prime minister had been involved, there was really strong calls not only
from politicians but from members of the public for the prime minister to resign.
And now as you played there, we've got the prime minister in the House of Commons telling lawmakers that he was not involved, that of course, that
will be a concern in terms of the miscommunication or the miscarriage really of truth in the House of Commons to the parliamentarians there. But
of course, to the many people who have lost loved ones as well, the key question now is, has the prime minister got the integrity, the trust of
members of the public to carry forward his role as prime minister.
MACFARLANE: And it's worth remembering the context of which all of this is playing out, isn't it? Because I wonder how much of a political life-line
Boris Johnson is going to have merely for the fact that we're in a midst of a war in Ukraine. I mean, is that likely to factor, do you think? I mean,
we've already heard from some conservative back benchers like I think today, reversing their position on that premise. So, how much -- how
influential is that going to be?
BASHIR: Well, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been trying to play the statesman's role. You know, we saw him in Kyiv speaking with President
Zelenskyy. He has been trying to focus on that. That is certainly the tone that he has taken today. He wants to focus on not only on those local
priorities here in the U.K., but also on the response effort to the war in Ukraine, to the humanitarian crisis, and he will continue to focus on that.
But really, the question once parliament is resumed is whether or not lawmakers will stand for that. Because, of course, we did hear there's
really strong calls for the prime minister to resign for action to be taken. And this is a historic moment. He is the first sitting prime
minister to have been found to have broken the law. And with local elections coming up in May, it will be interesting to see how this will
translate at the ballot box.
MACFARLANE: It is crazy to think it was just a few days ago he was walking on the ground in Kyiv with Zelenskyy, isn't it? And Nada, thank you so
much, we'll of course be watching this closely as it plays out in the days and weeks to come. Now, still to come tonight, Russia appears to be ready
for a major offensive in eastern Ukraine. We'll speak with a former U.S. Army Special Forces commander about what we can expect.
MACFARLANE: As Russian forces relentlessly shell cities and towns in eastern and southern Ukraine and thousands of Ukrainians in the region try
to flee to safety, president Vladimir Putin is calling Russia's war in Ukraine "noble."
Russian and Russian-backed military forces were seen rolling near the battered city of Mariupol. Analysts say Russia is gearing up for a major
offensive in the region.
To the north, these satellite images appear to show military convoys east of Kharkiv. Ukraine's deputy prime minister says almost 3,000 people were
evacuated from the east and south today. But only about 200 of them came from Mariupol.
Let's get some military perspective now from retired U.S. Army Major General Michael Repass via Skype from Poland. He's the former commanding
general of the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces in Europe.
MAJOR GENERAL MICHAEL REPASS, FORMER COMMANDER, U.S. ARMY SECURITY FORCES: Thank you, good evening. Thank you for having me on.
MACFARLANE: Well, just before we discuss the situation on the ground in the east, I want to talk to you a bit about President Putin's refocus on
the Donbas region, because, at the start of this conflict, as you know, Putin was talking.
There was a lot of rhetoric around denazifying Ukraine, the false claim of liberating the Ukrainian people. And now this switch in focus to Donbas.
Is this a shift in strategy we're seeing here or merely a sort of reflection of the military reality for Putin, given his failure in the
REPASS: I think it's a reflection of the military reality on the ground; his vanity project of seizing Kyiv did not work out. So he has to reshape
his military campaign, focus on what was actually critical.
The one thing he needed out of this campaign is a land bridge from mainland Russia down to Crimea. So he has refocused his efforts in the east and
pointed his forces that way to achieve that objective. It's part of the original objective but he's downscaled it to what's achievable with the
capabilities he has on hand.
MACFARLANE: There are fears, I'm sure you've heard, that this could turn into something likened to World War II in terms of what Russia are
preparing in the east. But Russia are operating in a terrain that's both familiar but the conditions at this time of year, we're hearing, are not
General, I want to show our viewers the weather picture right now in Eastern Ukraine because it is significant. We're seeing as much as 40
millimeters of rain mixed with snow. That is expected to drench the region through Thursday, which would be more than half of the April average for
And the reason I bring this up is it could be influential as to how this is going to play out.
What impact could that have on the Russian advance?
And in fact, the whole operation if this type of weather continues?
REPASS: Great question. So we're going to see a redo of what happened the first two weeks of the campaign. We're going to have cross country mobility
that is impaired for the very reason that you cited.
It's very wet and they have cross country mobility challenges there. They'll be stuck to the roads again and vulnerable on the roads again. They
won't be able to advance the way they anticipated to advance.
Should they elect to try to initiate the attack during this wet season, that's going to happen for the next week or so, six out of the next eight
days are going to be rain. Very low temperatures.
And I think it's going to affect troop morale and capability. And we'll see hypothermia on the troops again, that we saw during the early phases of the
So I don't think amassing all the troops in the east is going to turn out to be an advantage at the outset. Should this dry out and cross country
traffic ability improve toward the end of the month and they'll have a World War II type scenario.
MACFARLANE: And let's just get your perspective on who is leading this advance. Because, as you know, Russia have a new commander in place,
Given what we know about him, in his previous roles in Chechnya and Syria, what can you expect here in Eastern Ukraine in terms of how he's going to
carry out this invasion?
And obviously we're going to expect this conflict to be more bloody and more brutal.
Would you agree with that?
REPASS: Oh, absolutely. We'll see more of the same but on steroids this time. Going back to the 2014-2015 timeframe, General Dvornikov was in
Syria, where he used nerve agents, chlorine gas, all kinds of things. They bombed hospitals.
Then they would wait for the rescuers to arrive and then bomb it again to kill the rescuers. So all manner of human rights violations that were
visited on the people of Syria, mainly in homes in Aleppo but other cities as well.
So he has exported that to Eastern Ukraine. He's been the commander of the southern military district, in charge of the campaign in Donbas, since
2016. So he's had a long stare at what's going on in Eastern Ukraine and a long time to sharpen his pencil and get his eyes set on the prize in
His campaign so far, he's been in charge of the eastern campaign anyway. And as a result of that, we've seen bombed hospitals, bombed power
stations, water works, sewers, government installations, et cetera.
Everything that it takes to run a society and sustain life in urban environments has been destroyed for one primary objective, which is to get
all citizens out of the area. They want to vacate the area east of the Dnipro River, so they have an unopposed land bridge from southern Russia
down to Crimea.
MACFARLANE: And just going back to what you were saying a minute ago, about the chances for the Russian army being forced onto the roads, the
possible repeat of what we saw previously, what is your perspective on the Ukrainian army?
Because we know they are outnumbered. We've heard from President Zelenskyy they are in desperate need of weapons from the West.
So without those weapons, what are their chances of success?
REPASS: So they do have the anti-armor weapons and the anti-aircraft weapons that the West sent them. Also they've -- I would say honed their
tactical skills on the northern campaign and the northeastern campaign.
So for every day that Russia spends in Ukraine, they get weaker. For every day that Russia spends in Ukraine, Ukraine gets stronger. They get more
weapons. They get more expertise. More people are joining the military.
There are 16,000 people a day coming in from outside of Ukraine, from the diaspora, many of whom are military age males, up to 80 percent are
military age males. So somewhere in the neighborhood of 400,000-500,000 military age males have shown up since the beginning of the campaign to
join the military, primarily.
So Russia faces the very real possibility that they will be outnumbered on the ground by Ukrainian armed forces. Our obligation, in my opinion, both
moral obligation and political imperative, is to make sure that the Ukrainians are well-armed and capable of defeating the Russians in Eastern
MACFARLANE: That's a great perspective. General Repass, thank you so much for joining us and giving us your thoughts on this evening.
All right. Still to come tonight, anger and frustration in Shanghai. We'll hear from a CNN reporter, living through the city's strict COVID lockdown.
MACFARLANE: Heavy rain set off deadly floods and mudslides in South Africa. Officials tell local media at least 45 people have died. These
rains have been going on for days around Durban, now washing almost everything away. Buildings collapsed, roads destroyed, many people are now
Authorities say evacuations are underway in the most affected areas and they're working to restore power.
In Shanghai, there are small signs of normal life resuming with restrictions easing in some COVID-19-free neighborhoods. As you can see in
this video, shot by a resident, showing his wife celebrating on an empty street.
But with most of the city still locked down, people are angry and frustrated and say the strict measures have led to food and medicine
shortages. CNN's David Culver has been living through the lockdown with Shanghai's 25 million residents. Here his report.
DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You'd never expect to see people in Shanghai, China's most affluent and cosmopolitan city screaming
for food. "We are starving, we are starving," they yell. But after weeks long COVID lockdown, with no promised end, desperation.
One community volunteer recording the home of an elderly woman. She says neighbors heard the 90-year-old shouting help for three days. Pleading for
food. Her fridge is empty. Volunteers were finally able to get her a meal.
China's central government now in charge of managing Shanghai's COVID outbreak. In a month's time the daily case count went from double digits to
more than 26,000. A Shanghai city leader choked up at a news conference over the weekend apologizing to Shanghai's more than 25 million residents
for failing to meet expectations and promising improvement. Those of us living here kept to our homes.
CNN the only U.S. TV network with a team living through the lockdown. In my community, we're only allowed out when summoned by workers using a
megaphone and when dark out, a flashlight.
Getting late evening now request to go get a COVID test.
My neighbors and I line up. Ready for health workers to scan our QR codes which link the results to our I.D. night or day the testing is constant.
Someone in the community tested positive. So they'll test now each of us once again.
CULVER (voice-over): We can also leave the house to line up for government distributions or to get approved deliveries. Usually the most exciting part
of the day.
A vacuum sealed pork and then several boxes of traditional Chinese medicine. A bunch more of face masks. A box that has a bunch of fresh
fruit. On top they have some frozen meat and then two antigen kits.
Food deliveries this plentiful are rare. So most of us spend our morning trying to order groceries online. But orders sell out quickly. Not enough
delivery drivers to get through the lockdown barriers. Communities like mine resorting to group buys. We come together in chat groups and try to
source food directly from suppliers in bulk. Neighbors helping neighbors is a common theme across the city. We found a safe drop spot to trade. Cheese
Our community volunteers help us source food where they can. Though they too are exhausted and hungry. From above you see this metropolis. Quiet.
Eerily empty. But on the ground, there are tragedies shared daily online.
This man recording his father who says he's unable to get admitted to a hospital in a strained system. His dad later died, he says. In this video a
neighbor capturing the wailing of a heartbroken woman crying out that her loved had died because of the lockdown.
And this video sparked outrage on Chinese social media. It shows a worker in a hazmat suit brutally killing a pet corgi because local officials worry
that it might have carried the virus. The owner was in government quarantine. All of this as a result of China's zero COVID policy. A
directive from the top.
President Xi Jinping on Friday praising China's zero COVID approach. State media echoing a glowing narrative. Showing an orderly mobilization in
Shanghai with an abundant food supply and rapid construction of more than 100 makeshift hospitals with capacity to treat 160,000 people infected.
But patients taken to those government quarantine centers sharing a very different reality online. Posting videos of unsanitary conditions and
people using isolation facilities still under construction. Some seem frantically running at distribution sites. Scrambling for food and
The uncertainty leading this man, broken, doing the unthinkable, questioning the leadership aloud, asking, "Where is the Communist Party?" -
- David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.
MACFARLANE: David Culver with the reality of the situation in Shanghai right now.
Still to come tonight, the alternative reality Russians are seeing on their TV screens. How Russian media is twisting the truth and lying to the
Russian people about the war in Ukraine.
MACFARLANE: A Russian court has declined to rule on an appeal from a former U.S. Marine, detained since 2019. Trevor Reid was looking to
overturn his nine-year sentence for assault but instead, his case has been moved to a lower court.
He maintains his innocence and the U.S. has called his trial a, quote, "theater of the absurd." The U.S. ambassador was at Tuesday's proceedings.
He condemned the decision, calling it a disappointment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN J. SULLIVAN, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: Unfortunately, the justice that Trevor deserves has been denied and Trevor remains in prison for a
crime he didn't commit. The evidence at his trial was so flimsy that spectators (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: America's women's professional basketball league says it's committed to bringing home another jailed American in Russia, Phoenix
Mercury star Brittney Griner. The WNBA's commissioner says they are working with her lawyers, agents and elected officials to resolve her case.
She was arrested in February for allegedly smuggling a narcotic substance into Russia, where she plays in the off season. The president of the
players association discussed her case on ABC earlier and addressed criticism over the attention or lack thereof the case has received.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NNEKA OGWUMIKE, PRESIDENT, WOMEN'S NATIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION: It's disappointing that the question of it being a gender issue is top of
mind now when it comes to this type of circumstance. But the reality is she's over there because of a gender issue, pay and equity.
I played in Russia for four years. I played in Poland for one year, in China for two years. We go to supplement our incomes and, quite frankly, to
maintain our game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: A Moscow court reportedly extended her arrest until May 19th. The trial date has not been set.
Now if you live in Russia, the war looks much different than it does in most other places. The way Russian media tells it, the invasion has been a
triumphant success and Ukrainians are welcoming Russian forces as liberators. CNN's Brian Stelter shows us, with independent media crushed,
Russians are not getting any other points of view.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Here's what Russia's upside down media world is like. They claim the train station missile strike in
Eastern Ukraine was committed by Ukraine, despite all evidence to the contrary.
This post from the foreign affairs ministry, parroted by pro-Russian accounts on social media, claims the Kyiv regime wants more of its own
civilians to die.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADELINE ROACHE, SENIOR ANALYST, NEWSGUARD: Russians who gets their truth from the state media are living in an alternate reality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: Every day Madeline Roache watches the morning news on Channel One, a top state-run TV channel in Russia.
ROACHE: The Russian army is portrayed as triumphant, as not sustaining any losses, any casualties and certainly not committing any atrocities.
Meanwhile, according to the state media, it's the Ukrainian army committing atrocities, killing civilians, sustaining heavy losses and losing territory
to the Russian forces.
STELTER: They deny, they deflect and, according to Julia Davis, creator of the "Russian Media Monitor," they portray the Russian armed forces as
JULIA DAVIS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "RUSSIA MEDIA MONITOR": They are presenting it like the Ukrainians want them there. They want to be liberated. They
have been oppressed by this so called Nazi government and they welcome Russia's intervention.
STELTER: Independent news coverage disproves this but there is almost none of that left in Russia.
ANNE APPLEBAUM, WRITER, "THE ATLANTIC": Essentially journalism has been banned now in Russia.
STELTER: "The Atlantic's" Anne Applebaum notes that so many journalists have fled the country.
APPLEBAUM: So the true story of what goes on in Russia has now getting harder and harder to tell.
STELTER: Russians are thus even more dependent on state-owned TV, CNN's Nic Robertson says.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's no surprise that so many people are just following along with the Kremlin's lines. It's the
easiest thing for them to do.
They don't see an alternative. They feel powerless. And its information that they'd been fed year, upon year, upon year by Putin and by the Soviet
leadership back in those days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROACHE: The government is creating a sort of hermetically sealed bubble that doesn't allow for information that contradicts the government to
STELTER (voice-over): Roache is now writing a daily report for "News Guard," making a record of the false claims. She says others need to know
what it's like.
ROACHE: Russians will have every reason to feel proud, based on what they're seeing on the state TV.
MACFARLANE: That was Brian Stelter reporting.
There are rare lapses in Russia's coverage. We all remember this moment when a Russian journalist ran on to the set of a live Russian news
broadcast with a sign protesting the war.
That journalist has just been hired by a German newspaper to cover Russia and Ukraine. But a top Russian parliament official is calling for, quote,
"traitors" to lose their citizenship. And he's citing that journalist as an example. Any decision on that, though, would be up to Vladimir Putin.
All right, thanks for watching. That's it for HALA GORANI TONIGHT. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next.