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Hala Gorani Tonight
Putin Orders Blockade Of Mariupol Steel Plant; Macron And Le Pen Face-Off In A Debate; U.K. MPs Approve Investigation Into Boris Johnson's Alleged Partygate Lies; Macron Tries To Woo Left-Wing Voters In Reelection Bid; U.K. MPs Approve Probe Into Johnson Misleading Parliament; Zelenskyy Addresses World Bank Officials; At Least 15 Killed, Dozens Wounded In Afghan Explosions; Johnny Depp Faces Cross-Examination In Defamation Suit; Survivors Describe Random Violence From Russian Forces. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired April 21, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN in London, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. The battle from Mariupol teeters on a
knife edge. Civilians are caught in the crossfire as Putin declares victory, it makes it even harder for them to reach safety. We'll bring you
the very latest.
Then Macron versus Le Pen. We'll discuss their latest face-off and who's come out on top as France's election looms closer, it's on Sunday. And a
political future in jeopardy. U.K. lawmakers approving an investigation into whether Boris Johnson misled parliament. We'll have that later in the
We start with Ukraine, and the Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking direct control of the battle for Mariupol, even as he claims the city has
been, as he put it, "liberated". In a carefully-staged televised meeting, he ordered his defense minister not to storm the Mariupol steel factory
where hundreds of Ukrainian forces and civilians are holed up, instead, he directed him to surround it and lay siege to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (through translator): There is no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl on the ground through this
industrial facilities. Block off this industrial area so that a fly does not fly through. Once again, invite everyone who has not yet laid down
their arms to do so. The Russian side guarantees their lives and decent treatment in accordance with the relevant international league or acts. All
those who are injured will receive qualified medical assistance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, CNN is not in Mariupol right now. This is in fact, Russian TV footage of that steel factory. Its owner says the humanitarian situation
inside is quote, "close to a catastrophe". Ukraine is asking Russia to allow the soldiers and civilians to evacuate. Russia is not responding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR VADYM BOYCHENKO, MARIUPOL, UKRAINE (through translator): Unfortunately, right now, there's no possibility to evacuate civilians from
the Azovstal plant because we asked for a stable ceasefire for at least 24 hours so that we can notify residents that are sheltering in there for
almost 57 days. The civilians are sheltering there now, and they are constantly bombarded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, that was the mayor of Mariupol. A few of the city's residents got out. This group that left yesterday has just arrived in
Zaporizhzhia, but their number is far fewer than rescuers had hoped. This is the scene to the north in Kharkiv. The fighting intense there. Ukrainian
soldiers fired Grad rockets at Russian positions, hoping to quiet Russia's big guns.
Kharkiv's mayor says there was, quote, "massive shelling overnight", but says that the situation is now more or less under control. Let's take you
straight to someone with the perspective of President Zelenskyy himself. Serhiy Leshchenko is a senior adviser to Mr. Zelenskyy's chief of staff,
and he joins me now live from Lviv. Thanks for being with us. Your reaction first, to Vladimir Putin saying, do not storm that steel plant, but seal it
so that not even a fly can escape, essentially, he's saying, let them starve. How do you react to that statement?
SERHIY LESHCHENKO, SENIOR ADVISER TO ZELENSKYY'S CHIEF OF STAFF: It's a horrible -- he's trying to find at least something to present his own
audience, his people, to say that they achieve at least one goal, and they want to take control over Mariupol. But in Mariupol, we have Ukrainian
soldiers and Ukrainian civilians. And more than one -- more than 400 Ukrainians are injured there, and more than 1,000 civilians.
And of course, this is nonsense saying that Mariupol is under Russian control, since we have our soldiers continue fighting on this territory.
And we are looking for military support of our partners to help us to liberate Mariupol, and we're looking for diplomatic efforts of our partners
to start negotiations at least for immigration of injured people, which -- who are present now in this methodological plant as it stands.
So, this is example of genocide, it's going on in Ukraine because it's nonstop bombing of this brave city of Mariupol since war started. It's
almost two months of people dying on the street.
You know, they have mobile crematorium to destroy evidence of dead people, they grind people just on the streets, it's horrible to see this in 21st
century, and it has to be stopped immediately.
GORANI: And concretely, when you say we're asking our partners for help, what help are you asking for specifically as it relates to the evacuation
or the extraction of the people in that steel plant. What would you like to see them do?
LESHCHENKO: We would like to start negotiations and to play the role of mediator between two sides. OK, don't take any sides, but let civilians to
leave, not to Russia, but to Ukraine. This is first request. Second request, let injured people who are present now on this methodological
plant, let them leave. Let them go to the hospitals because they are dying on this territory. And unfortunately, Russian side is deaf and blind.
They don't want to listen. They don't want to stop this war even in the holidays of Easter. It's going to start -- which is going to start these
days in Ukraine. In Orthodox --
GORANI: Right --
LESHCHENKO: Tradition. It's the time to stop the war, but they don't want to listen to us.
GORANI: Well, the Russians are saying -- and you heard Vladimir Putin say, basically, seal the place off, forget it. They probably don't want to waste
ammunition or any of their troops stationed in Mariupol to fight this fight. They believe they can just seal it off, siege it and the people
inside, whatever happens to them happens. But I guess also you said, you would like your partners to help you re-conquer or retake some of Mariupol.
How do you see that happening? What is an ideal best case scenario for you?
LESHCHENKO: Oh, ideal scenario for Ukraine is to have situation as from 23 of February 2022 when the war started. This is crucial for us. We don't
want to provide Russia any centimeter of our territory, any feet of our territory. We would like to have as a starting point for negotiation that
we control the whole territory as the beginning of the war.
And of course, for Putin, it's very toxic because he has something to show, he has something to present his internal audience because they lost 20,000
soldiers. They lost billions of dollars in their economy, and they lost ammunition, weapons, ships, tanks, planes for billions of dollars as well.
For what? For what reason?
GORANI: And you also need -- exactly --
LESHCHENKO: For pleasure --
GORANI: And you also need ammunition and weapons. And I wonder, and you heard that --
LESHCHENKO: Yes --
GORANI: President Biden -- President Biden announced another $800 million aid package. But the Donbas --
LESHCHENKO: Yes --
GORANI: I mean, for people who are not familiar with the geography of your country, it's a huge region, it's the size of Switzerland, basically. How
do you -- I mean, you must need a lot more weapons, ammunition and equipment than you're getting, and a lot faster than you're getting it. Is
that a fair assessment?
LESHCHENKO: Yes, it's true. I remember how our President Zelenskyy called European leaders. We appreciate all that was provided to Ukraine, but he
said directly, you provide us the weapons with idea that it is for one week of war. But we spend this weapons during 20 hours, because this is a
really brutal war, and in this brutal war, we're under attack of Russian army 24/7, and we need more and more. By the way, you hear the --
GORANI: Yes --
LESHCHENKO: Sirens now in Lviv.
GORANI: I certainly -- I certainly do and it's -- I certainly do. I recognize that right away. I was in your country --
LESHCHENKO: Yes --
GORANI: Just a few weeks ago, and this is not to be taken lightly really, because we saw the attack on that tire, that repair facility in Lviv itself
not too long ago.
LESHCHENKO: Yes, there's no safe place in Ukraine anymore. And it's very important to let us to fight to defend ourselves. We are on our territory,
on our land. We are not the aggressor in this ear. But we are looking for our partners to stand with Ukraine and to stop this brutal war. We want --
like to have weapons, we would like to have sanctions, it's also very important. We just finished the --
GORANI: Yes --
LESHCHENKO: Work of a group, experts from Ukraine, from U.S., from Europe, to have action plan, how to make sanctions really painful for Russia. It
was led from one side by chief of staff of Ukraine, the president used to remark, and from other side by Mark McFall(ph), prominent American expert,
former ambassador to Moscow --
GORANI: Yes --
LESHCHENKO: To have this action plan be Implemented. Today, it was present for audience. Russia has to be recognized as a terrorist state. No money to
Russia for oil and gas.
So we have to use a system of escrow accounts. Also, we have to impose sanctions on main Russian banks. We have sanctions --
GORANI: Yes --
LESHCHENKO: On some Russian banks, but there's two main banks, Sberbank of Russia and Gazprombank of Russia. These are two banks used for trading with
the world. And, of course --
GORANI: Yes --
LESHCHENKO: Ukraine is looking for financial support. We very much appreciate today's announcement that global leaders will fund Ukraine
through IMF. We very much appreciate money --
GORANI: Yes --
LESHCHENKO: Promised by American government. Today, our prime minister visiting White House, and he met with your President Biden, we very much
GORANI: Yes --
LESHCHENKO: This as well.
GORANI: We certainly will be covering all those aspects of the war in your country. Thank you so much Serhiy Leshchenko for joining us. Just as the
air raid sirens sound over the rooftops of Lviv. Thank you very much. U.S. President Joe Biden has just announced new assistance to Ukraine. We were
just discussing that with Mr. Leshchenko, as Russia launches what he called the next phase of the war in the east.
It includes $800 million in weapons including artillery, howitzers, drones, ammunition, $500 million in new direct economic aid. A ban on Russian
flagships from docking at U.S. ports, and a new program enabling some Ukrainian refugees to directly enter the U.S. The president says the new
aid sends a direct message to Vladimir Putin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's betting on western unity to crack. He's still betting on that. And once again, we're going to prove
him wrong. We will not lessen our revolve. We're going to continue to stand with the brave and proud people of Ukraine. We will never fail in our
determination to defend freedom and oppose tyranny. It's as simple as that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: CNN's Oren Liebermann is at the Pentagon for us. This brings us over $3 billion in aid. What does this package include?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: So this, unlike the previous $800 million package which is just a week or so ago now is much more
focused pretty much on one specific system, and that's more artillery. More 155 millimeter howitzers, the exact number, 72 in this package, that's on
top of 18 in the previous package, and this is meant to equip Ukrainian battalions with artillery and the armor to fire that artillery for the
upcoming fight in the Donbas.
And you referenced this in the interview you just did, the Donbas region, it's flat, it's open. It is the type of warfare and the type of conflict
that we expect to see here, which requires artillery, tanks and that's why this package is so important. And that's why this focuses on making sure
the Ukrainians have it, and that they have it as quickly as possible as the U.S. watches Russians either preparing their main attack or sort of
carrying out probing attacks as they get ready for the main attack which the U.S. expects here in the coming days.
Now, it is interesting, there's one other weapons system explicitly listed here, so fairly short list unlike the last one. Over 121 Phoenix ghost
tactical unmanned aerial systems. We had never heard of these before, seen it on this press release. It is at least the second potentially classified
system that the U.S. has provided to Ukraine or will provide to Ukraine in this fight against Russia.
The first was actually part of the last package which was an unmanned coastal defense vehicle or coastal defense boat, which we hadn't heard
about before, and which still has not been explicitly named. That gives you an idea of the U.S.' willingness to send advanced technology, advanced
weaponry to the Ukrainians as they see this fight unfold. Now, what are these systems? What do we know about them?
We know they're so-called suicide drones. Meaning essentially they're drones that are flown right into their target and explode. Hala, in that
sense, they're very similar to the Switchblade drones that the U.S. has already announced they'll send to Ukraine.
GORANI: All right, Oren Liebermann, thanks very much at the Pentagon. Five billion dollars a month just to keep going. That's what Ukraine says its
economy needs to survive over the next few months. Ukraine's finance minister spoke to the head of the International Monetary Fund, the group is
meeting with the World Bank in Washington later this hour to discuss the war, soaring energy prices and issues around food security and simply put,
the fact that the Ukrainian economy is just taking a gigantic hit.
Richard Quest is in Washington D.C., and he's spoken with many of the officials associated with these discussions. What are you hearing, Richard?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Well, first of all, Hala, the prime minister and the finance minister both have just arrived. A massive,
long motorcade arriving at the headquarters. That's the World Bank building to my right there. So, they are now in there, holding the discussions to
see exactly what assistance. The president of the World Bank telling me that they'll be looking at ways of improving the food security, getting
more food to Ukraine, getting more aid, if you like, to Ukraine, and spills over from there on in.
In terms of the IMF and the meetings that have been held, well, today was a -- it was the main committee. It's given the posh name, the IMFC. That
committee, a major committee of the IMF, where there was a walk-out by the U.K., the U.S., Canada, all usual allies. When the Russian Central Bank
leader spoke, when she started speaking, and the same for the finance minister, when they started speaking, the others walked out. And the Danish
finance minister told me why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLAI WAMMEN, FINANCE MINISTER, DENMARK: It was the Nordic Baltic countries that started the walk-out, but many countries followed from
Europe, from Asia. I saw colleagues from all over the world sending a very clear message to President Putin and to Russia, that we will under no
circumstances accept the war on Ukraine, and that we stand firmly behind the Ukrainian people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: And so, Hala, the walk-out took place, they weren't able to agree a communique, so a statement was issued, essentially, Russia vetoing or
refusing to go along with most things. But there's a very frosty, a tepid, a toxic atmosphere here because on the one hand, you have the allies, if
you will, then you have Russia, and then you have those very powerful countries like India and China, who won't come down one side or the other,
which makes it very difficult for progress to be made.
GORANI: And this $5 billion a month that Ukraine needs just to keep going and overcome the intense --
QUEST: Yes --
GORANI: Insane damage that's been done to its economy, what form will that take?
QUEST: It will take a variety of forms. I asked the IMF managing director exactly about that. How long could the rest of the world continue financing
$4 billion to $5 billion a month? She says for several months. And any way, she points out, that the west of the country of Ukraine is still productive
and getting back on its feet, to some extent, low-end.
But you're talking about grants. You're talking about loans. Concessional loans. You're talking about all sorts of things. Basically, funding Ukraine
for the foreseeable future. The West, the allies can do it for the foreseeable future, at least until clarity in terms of the military
GORANI: All right, thank you very much and we'll see you on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" at the top of the hour. Still to come tonight --
QUEST: You're welcome --
GORANI: The gloves sure came off during last night's debate between France's Emmanuel Macron and his far-right challenger, Marine Le Pen. We
will break down what happened of the snap poll after the debate. We'll tell you about that. The British Prime Minister arrived in India today, but he
cannot escape scandal back home as lawmakers approve a probe into whether he misled parliament. That story is ahead.
GORANI: The French President Emmanuel Macron and his far-right challenger had a common goal during last night's debate. It was the one -- by the way,
the one and only debate of the entire campaign. Their goal was obviously to convince undecided voters and those who didn't turn out in the first round
of this year's election that the other candidate would make a worse president. Mr. Macron's strategy was to say his rival Marine Le Pen was too
close to Russia.
She's been under scrutiny for years now and especially since the war in Ukraine over a loan that her party got from a Russian bank.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE (through translator): When you talk about Russia, you're not talking t other world leaders. You're talking to
your banker. That's the problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Le Pen on the other hand has been campaigning hard on pocketbook issues, and so far it has worked for her. Her performance in the first
round was her best result in the three times she's run for president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARINE LE PEN, FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): I must here again be the spokesperson of the French people, because Mr. Macron, I
heard you. With your government, you are delighted to have increased French people's purchasing power. But me, I only saw French people who told me
about their problems of purchasing power. I only saw French people who told me that they can't make it anymore. They can't get by. They can't make ends
meet at the end of the month.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, the second and final round of this French presidential election is this Sunday. Sophie Pedder; the Paris Bureau Chief for "The
Economist" and she joins me now live from Paris. So, Le Pen went for the jugular on the -- sorry, Macron went for the jugular when it came to Le
Pen's ties to that Russian bank, we knew he would do it. But what I found surprising is, she almost didn't seem prepared for it, even though, it
could not at all have come as a surprise that this would be one of his lines of attack. How did she do on that front in your opinion?
SOPHIE PEDDER, PARIS BUREAU CHIEF, THE ECONOMIST: I think you're right, Hala. I think that she failed to find a way of explaining why she'd decided
to choose Russia as the place to seek financing for her campaign back in 2014, when she puts it, the French banks refused to lend to her. There are
plenty of other countries and she ended up picking Russia. She was unconvincing I think, in trying to deflect that question.
And it really was the moment in the -- in the debate last night when Macron laid into her. I mean, they had started I think quite politely with each
other, and Macron was doing his best to look -- you know, to take her seriously and to listen to her. But the gloves came off and he really laid
into her on that point, and it's clearly a real point of weakness and vulnerability for Le Pen, and I don't think she handled it particularly
GORANI: And what's interesting too, is that, her opening statement was all about the cost of living. She's been campaigning on this for several
months. It's -- she's in fact, done very well on that topic with ordinary voters, and polls, she's gone up and up. She did very well compared to
other years in the first round. But then on the intricacies of sort of the VAT and managing and economic problem and knowing what the numbers are, she
just doesn't have that mind for detail that Macron has.
And so, it really felt watching the debate as if she wasn't able to make headway on that front, even though that was meant to be her biggest
PEDDER: I think that's right. I mean, you know, don't forget that Emmanuel Macron was economy minister before he became president. So, I mean, there
isn't a sort of problem for him in staying right up there on all the detail of the -- and the technical detail when it comes to economic policy. And
Marine Le Pen would have known that. So, I think the great thing that she's done for herself during this campaign is to put the subject on the table.
And she's understood very early on that cost of living is what people care about, and during the campaign she's been out there, you know, in markets,
talking to people in villages and semi-rural areas. She has really understood, you know, what people on the ground care about. But what she
has found -- what she found very difficult last night I think, was to -- to put a convincing case for how to finance that, and that's where Macron
really got to her.
You know, it's all very well to say --
GORANI: Yes --
PEDDER: I'm going to cut VAT on, you know, fuel bills or on food, but how you then finance everything else you want to do if you're busy cutting VAT
so dramatically, that's where he I think called her out.
GORANI: But Macron, I mean, I guess you could call it his weakness, is that he just came across in many instances, kind of arrogant, kind of
looking down on her, smirking, lots of raised eyebrows. I mean, I was just kind of, you know, monitoring Twitter and social media reaction, and that
is something that I feel like among French voters does not play very well. I wonder why he close to -- it was a lot of body language, basically.
PEDDER: I think, it was the body language more than the comments, really. Because --
GORANI: Yes --
PEDDER: We always knew that he was going to end up having a pretty confrontational approach. He wanted to portray Marine Le Pen as both not
ready, not fit to govern and actually dangerous. So I don't think he was ever going to sit there calmly. But it's -- as you said, the body language,
the sitting there with the folding of the arms, the-looking-slightly-bored at times. I think what probably happened last night is that, it will have
confirmed in most viewers' minds what they already thought of those two candidates.
That's to say, you know, Macron has had this image of arrogance that stuck with him all the way through the presidency. And he -- for those who think
of him that way, they weren't -- they would have just had that view confirmed, but equally, you know, for Le Pen, those who think that she is
either dangerous or not competent to govern, that view would have been confirmed.
So, I think, you know, Macron didn't do a good job in managing to stay calm, which you know, if you think back to those first sort of 10 minutes,
it looked as if he might, but then, you know, his body language said otherwise.
GORANI: All right, and we'll see how that translates on Sunday. Thank you as always so much, Sophie Pedder, for joining us. And millions of French
voters will now be voting for a candidate, but to keep another one out of office, and it's not the first time that has happened. That happens pretty
much every French election. And as CNN's Jim Bittermann explains, President Macron needs left-leaning voters to win, but they're tired of feeling like
they don't have a real choice.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He didn't win, but he didn't exactly lose either. In the first round of the
French presidential elections, Jean-Luc Melenchon and his France unbowed party came in third.
In the French system, not good enough to make the runoff round for the presidency, but he did manage to garner more than 20 percent of the votes
cast. Votes that can make the difference in Sunday's election between incumbent President Emmanuel Macron and right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen.
So, for days now, analysts have been pondering which candidate the Melenchon voters will support. Melenchon himself made it personally clear
how he feels.
JEAN-LUC MELENCHON, FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
BITTERMANN: Saying four times in his concession speech, that his voters should certainly not choose Le Pen with her anti-immigrant, anti-Europe
policies. But he did not suggest that they should vote for Macron, which leaves an open question which way they'll go.
BRUNO CAUTRES, POLITICAL SCIENTIST: Even if they have a lot of anger against Emmanuel Macron, they have a brute attitude which is a clearly
anti-Le Pen or Society of the (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) favorable to immigration when actually Marine Le Pen is still extremely opposed to
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) society and immigration. So, I believe that at the end of the day, the men of troubadour will abstain and vote Macron.
BITTERMANN: Melenchon's voters, of course, can choose which ever candidate they please, and many may abstain or cast ineligible ballots. But what
Melenchon and his party are looking forward to more importantly is what the French call a third round in the elections. The elections in June to
determine the make-up of the French legislature. Melenchon himself said this week that if his supporters win enough seats in the parliament, he
would be happy to serve as prime minister.
Happy about that as well will be a long-time Melenchon supporter who is already a deputy in the parliament. Daniele Obono says it's hard to imagine
many electors from her party would vote for Le Pen, but they are sufficiently angry with President Macron that even if he should win re-
election, Melenchon's revolutionary left party will try to impede his reformed plans.
DANIELE OBONO, FRENCH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER: To implement as much as our program as possible, despite him having presidential power. We could
use all the tools inside the -- you know, the parliamentary box, despite the Fifth Republic being a system that gives a lot, too much power to the
BITTERMANN (on camera): In the end, which direction the Melenchon voters go could be crucial in determining who is the next president of France.
And just a few weeks later, those same voters could produce a legislature which could be very frustrating for presidents' five years in office. Jim
Bittermann, CNN, Paris.
GORANI: Well, French voters go to the polls on Sunday for the final round of voting in the presidential election. And join us Sunday at 8:00 pm Paris
time, 2:00 pm in New York, for our special live coverage of those elections on CNN.
Still to come, a slow evacuation from a city on its last leg. Now officials in Mariupol say Russian forces are digging more mass graves to bury
evidence of their crimes.
We'll be right back.
GORANI: The U.K. prime minister has touched down in India for a two-day visit. But back home the Partygate turmoil is reaching boiling point again.
Today lawmakers approved a probe into whether the prime minister misled Parliament over attending those parties during lockdown. It came after a
surprise U-turn by the government, when it dropped a bid to delay that process.
CNN's Nada Bashir joins me now to discuss.
Why did the government drop the bid to throw this into the long grass?
NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We've had various explanations. The prime minister spoke to reporters in India and said he would welcome any form of
scrutiny, that the House of Commons can do whatever it likes.
We also heard from the government in the House of Commons, saying that actually, now looking at the facts, that as the cabinet office report would
have time to actually be completed, that a much more complete investigation would have more time, that the parliamentary process would take longer,
they withdrew their amendment.
Now that amendment would have seen this vote to trigger a parliamentary inquiry delayed until those two investigations were complete. But others
have suggested that this could be a signal, perhaps, of the government being concerned that this could show the level of support for the prime
minister, the optics here.
So the MPs were actually supposed to be instructed to vote for this amendment. That was then also withdrawn. They were told that they could
have a free vote. And that has been set to take place because they wanted to spare the prime minister a potentially humiliating rebellion.
GORANI: But I guess from the outside looking in, it sounds self-defeating, if they had an opportunity to push that probe into the future and decided
So that being said, what's the likely outcome of all of this?
BASHIR: Well, there's different goals here. The first was looking at possibly scandal I that investigation into the prime minister. Not it seems
the Conservative Party is concerned about support for the prime minister.
We are hearing more and more from these backbench MPs, very vocal and even from a senior conservative today, Steve Baker, calling on the prime
minister to resign. Calling for a vote of confidence.
So there is growing concern now that there could, perhaps, be a leadership change. The prime minister's position in Downing Street might not be as
secure as they thought it was.
GORANI: There's some local elections in May and we'll see how that goes for the Conservatives and that's probably inform how many of these MPs then
end up acting after that. Thank you very much, Nada Bashir.
As the Russian president Vladimir Putin claims victory over Mariupol, over what's left of it, we should say, we are seeing evidence of apparent mass
graves just outside the city.
Maxar technology analyzed these satellite images, saying that the pictures show about 200 new graves in a town about 20 kilometers west of Mariupol.
You can see new horizontal rows of apparent graves at the top of the photos there, which were not there in older images. That tells us they're new.
The city's mayor says Russian forces have taken bodies from the streets and buried them here. He says more than 20,000 civilians have died in this
siege. Matt Rivers joins us now live from Lviv with more.
And more as well on what President Putin has basically told his defense chief not to do, which is storm that steel plant complex and instead seal
it up and essentially allow people there to starve to death.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And this is a very pointed public message from Vladimir Putin. He's not doing this, he wasn't
just captured on camera by mistake. Clearly he wants to send this message publicly. He also in that same meeting this morning congratulated his
defense minister what he called the, quote, "liberation of Mariupol," basically claiming victory in a city where he had tried and failed a little
under 10 years ago to take during the war where he annexed Crimea.
He was actually repelled from Mariupol. But it depends on your definition of what taking a city means. There remains a Ukrainian resistance inside
Mariupol, who would take great offense to the fact that the Russians are saying the city has fallen.
They have not. I personally talked to people who said they are still inside the steel plant, where, in and around the area, the Ukrainian resistance
has been centralized. Of course, the Russians control the vast majority of the city but the people inside the plant say the reason why the Russians
have a new quote-unquote blockade strategy, is because they can't take the steel plant even if they tried.
That's what one fighter told me, saying they haven't done it so far because they can't. Whatever the cause or the net outcome, it's the same. Basically
you now have fighters and civilians trapped inside that steel plant with no way to get more supplies unless they're either evacuated out somehow or
One more thing I'll add, Hala, based on those images you showed in your intro here. It's just telling. After what we've seen in places like Bucha
and in other places where Russian troops have withdrawn, you can only fear that, with so many civilians allegedly killed in Mariupol, that mass graves
like this would just be the tip of the iceberg.
If you take what we saw in the northern part of the country, imagine what would happen, when and if Russian troops take and leave that area --
GORANI: Matt, I've got to leave it there with you, Matt, because President Zelenskyy is speaking at the World Bank via videolink and we're going to
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): -- in the belly of the destruction. Russia has blocked our ports in the Black Sea and
Sea of Azov. This has reduced our export, including agrarian export and it's already indexed world food safety.
The recent U.N. report said that 47 million of people in 81 countries of the world will starve because of growth of prices for food. And this is not
about physical shortage of food in many countries of Africa and Asia. This will also cause political instability and maybe a new migration crisis.
People will look for the guilty, those who are guilty in that.
And they will go out on the streets. They will look for a way to save themselves.
We are doing everything we can in order to build up the export of our products and we have started sowing this -- sowing in the fields as much as
we can. But nobody in the world can be sure that we'll be able to guarantee food security as long as this war is going on.
To stop the war now and to liberate our territory from the Russian invaders is the only secure way to stop the development of a food crisis. Russian
military are aimed at destroying all objects in Ukraine that can serve as an economic base for life.
That includes railroad stations, food warehouses, oil refineries, et cetera. At this time, we need up to 7 million of U.S. -- $7 billion U.S.
each month to make up for the economic losses. And we will need hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild all this later.
I am sure that all of you have seen those calculations. We have to speak honestly with you and say that Russia is using aggressive methods in world
markets while fighting this war. They are creating such conditions so not only food market but also fuel market and other raw materials markets would
Russia has provoked the growth of prices for energy resources in Europe and all democratic -- the whole democratic world. They are slowing the sales to
especially, for natural gas to create painful prices for European consumers.
This and other examples show that Russia can no longer be considered a normal and reliable supplier of energy resources, a normal and reliable
We all can implement such decisions, which will not only stop the aggressive intentions of Russia and, who not only support Ukraine in this
war, but will also show all potential aggressors in the world that, if you create problems for other nations, this means you will create problems for
Because if we don't do that, then millions and millions of people in the world will suffer more than once from aggressive action of some country.
So what steps are needed now, right now?
First is immediate support for Ukraine. So that the leadership of Russia knows that war will not allow them to implement any of their aggressive
goals. Deep tales of such financial support I'm sure will be presented by our prime minister and minister of finance present who are present at this
We must do everything so that Ukrainians have everything they need for survival and life, even despite the war. And as I mentioned the city of
Kharkiv at the beginning and this applies to all other cities and communities of Ukraine.
Number two --
GORANI: Oh, we lost our connection there with President Zelenskyy. He was talking about food insecurity there as he addressed attendees at the World
Bank meeting, talking how the war is impacting Ukraine's ability to export grain.
And Ukraine is one of the biggest and most important exporters of wheat and corn. This will have a big impact obviously on poorer nations, especially
that depend a lot on these exports, in Africa and the Middle East, among other places.
He also said that his country will need hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild after the war. But that what is needed right now is money,
immediate support for Ukraine, as it goes through this war, as it wages this war and as its economy has suffered tremendously in the last few
months from the impact of this invasion.
The prime minister of Ukraine and the minister of finance of Ukraine are both in Washington, D.C., today, holding talks.
Let us talk now about Afghanistan. An ISIS affiliate has claimed responsibility for an attack on an Afghan mosque. At least 10 people were
killed, dozens more injured. It was one of several explosions that rocked northern Afghanistan today. In Kunduz, a bomb on bicycle killed at least
five people near a Taliban military van.
And in Kabul, a blast wounded two children. U.N. officials are launching an investigation.
GORANI: They're calling the attacks systematic and targeted toward crowds of innocent people.
And turning to the coronavirus pandemic, eight more people, including some who were vaccinated, have died amid a very serious outbreak in Shanghai.
That is despite the harsh restrictions that have been imposed in the Chinese city. Our David Culver explains, now many residents are starting to
reject lockdowns altogether.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shanghai residents pushing back after nearly three weeks of lockdown. These videos circulating on
social media show people confronting police for being forced from their homes.
These are not folks with COVID-19 but rather people whose apartments are being turned into government quarantine facilities to cope with a surge in
The rising tensions come as Chinese officials vowed to send every positive case of COVID-19 and any close contact to government quarantine, no matter
Here you see an elderly man shuffling toward a group of other senior citizens, some in their 90s, most in wheelchairs transferred from their
nursing home to this isolation facility after testing positive.
Videos shared from inside another center shows elderly patients seemingly left unattended. Cots set up in the halls with wooden boards and thin
sheets as bedding.
Since the start of this outbreak in early March, more than 400,000 cases have been reported in the city -- according to China's National Health
Commission. And most in this metropolis of more than 25 million people are still in strict lockdown.
CNN's been living through it. We've mostly been sealed inside our homes, let out only for mandatory COVID tests and the occasional government
distribution of groceries.
Last week, we had a brief taste of freedom. I could step out of my apartment and walk all the way to the compound gate, still double locked.
But since a reversal for our community, new restrictions have a sealed back inside our properties.
The draconian and inconsistent policies coupled with a constant uncertainty, weigh heavily. People tired, pushing back physically and
through words. These banners appeared on the streets of Shanghai in a cover of night.
This one calling residents to resist the limitless lockdown.
This one reading, "People are dying," referring to the dire struggle to secure food and medical care.
Online, a flood of frustration surfacing on China's heavily controlled internet. On Chinese social media platform Weibo, users began quoting the
first sentence of China's national anthem.
It reads, "Rise, those who don't want to be enslaved," a rally called no longer aimed at foreign oppressors but rather Beijing's pandemic response
and its harsh restrictions. That line now censored.
Some residents even boldly calling out Chinese officials for a perceived hypocrisy. This person wearing the photo of one of China's Foreign Ministry
spokespersons who repeatedly accused Western governments COVID response of harming people's wellbeing. The sarcastic critique shared repeatedly
The backlash likely to worsen as the week's long lockdown drags on, further damaging China's economic engine.
YANZHONG HUANG, SR. FELLOW FOR GLOBAL HEALTH, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Implementing this strategy by excessive manner by itself could lead to
exactly what the zero-COVID strategy wants to avoid.
CULVER (voice-over): The growing dissent calls into question China's zero- COVID strategy at a critical time. Later this year, President Xi Jinping is expected to assume an almost unprecedented third term, paving the way for
him to rule for life.
But the highly anticipated coronation now marred by discontent over a policy so closely tied to the people's leader -- David Culver, CNN,
GORANI: Among other stories we're following, actor Johnny Depp testifies again today as defense attorneys for his ex-wife grill him about their
Depp is suing Amber Heard for defamation after she claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse in a newspaper column. Today her team asked him about
text messages in which he threatens to kill her to see if she's a witch. I warn our viewers, it is graphic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After you said, let's drown her before we burn her, Mr. Depp, you said, "I will (INAUDIBLE) her burnt corpse afterwards to make
sure she is dead."
That's what you said that you would do after you burned her and after you drowned her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The defense also entered these photos into evidence, which Depp said were taken while he was filming the movie "Black Mass." He admitted to
being on opioids at the time.
GORANI: Depp's cross-examination is expected to continue later today.
And that is -- I'm being told, what is on that picture?
That is ice cream that has melted on -- in his lap.
Still to come tonight, Ukrainian civilians tell us how they survived the casual cruelty of the Russian occupation near Kyiv. That's coming up next.
GORANI: We are hearing more stories from Ukrainians in towns around Kyiv, who survived Russia's brief and very bloody occupation. They tell us life
under Russian control felt like a game of Russian roulette, the violence was that random. And surviving often came down to a sheer stroke of luck.
Here's Phil Black.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Andrey Bychenko says his life will be forever split in two, before and after the day the Russians came.
He remembers the skies over his home in Hostomel near Kyiv, suddenly swarming with dozens of attack helicopters.
He says they flew in a low formation, like they were on parade. And soon after, he says, Russian ground forces approached his home.
This is where he says they opened fire from a distance. An explosive round landed close by fracturing his leg, shrapnel piercing much of his body.
But Andrey says he was lucky He got to a hospital before the Russians worked out. He used to fight pro-Moscow separatists in Eastern Ukraine. He
says many veterans from the East were deliberately killed during the occupation.
If I had not been wounded, I would have been shot, too, he says. Vasily Khilkov (ph) also survived Russia's occupation but at great cost. Vasily
was shot by the Russian members and firepower that rolled into Bogdanovka, a tiny village northeast of the capital.
So many tanks passed, he said. So much ammunition. Every house had 20 soldiers occupying it, including the house where he, his neighbors and
family were sheltering. They stayed in the basement. The Russians moved in above.
BLACK (voice-over): One night, Vasily says, four drunk soldiers pushed open the basement door and screamed, "Everyone out by the count of 10 or
all will be killed."
Vasily says, "Women were screaming, children crying," and as he was the last one through the door, he was blasted from behind with a shotgun.
He says, "Nothing was left of the leg, all bones destroyed, just a puddle of blood in minutes."
He says, two days later, some Russian soldiers helped him to get to hospital. He still thinks they're beasts, not people.
The Russian invasion of areas around Kyiv violently interrupted and ended many people's lives. And some would somehow survive brutal, intimate
encounters, leaving them forever changed -- Phil Black, CNN, Bogdanovka, Ukraine.
GORANI: Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.