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Hala Gorani Tonight

Russia Bombing and Shelling Cities and Towns Across Eastern Ukraine; Red Cross Denies Kyiv's Accusations of Working in Concert with Moscow; Some Ukrainians Return Home to a Country Still At War; Macron, Le Pen Reach Final Stretch Of Presidential Race; Biden Signs Executive Order To Help Protect U.S. Forests; Suspect Officially Declared In British Girl's Disappearance. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired April 22, 2022 - 14:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Hello, and welcome, I'm Bianca Nobilo in for Hala Gorani. Tonight, five storms of artillery and bombs are raining down on

cities and towns across eastern Ukraine amid new warnings that Russia is intensifying its attacks. At the besieged steel works in Mariupol, Russian

strikes continue to trap hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians inside. Many of them wounded.

Russia says it would allow them to evacuate but has not said it would let them go. Mariupol's mayor says only Vladimir Putin can stop this carnage.


MAYOR VADYM BOYCHENKO, MARIUPOL, UKRAINE (through translator): It is important to understand that the lives that are still there, they're in the

hands of just one person.


NOBILO: West of Mariupol, new satellite images appear to show hundreds of mass graves. Ukraine accuses Russian forces of track(ph) tracking dead

civilians to the site in an attempt to cover up massacres. The Kremlin has not commented. And Ukrainian Intelligence has released a recording it says

Russian soldiers discussing an alleged order to kill Ukrainian prisoners of war. CNN cannot verify its authenticity, and again, the Kremlin has not





NOBILO: Across eastern Ukraine, artillery and airstrikes are battering the countryside. This is the town of Rubizhne. The commander of Russia's

central military district says Russia hopes to take control not only of Donbas, but also of southern Ukraine, creating a land bridge to Crimea and

access to the separatist area of neighboring Moldova, Transnistria.

In small towns and villages such as Rubizhne, just surviving day-to-day has become a nightmare. Shelling and airstrikes are ripping away the normal

lives that so many people enjoyed just weeks ago. Now haggling in basements with little food and water and no electricity. All they have to cling to

are their prayers and each other. CNN's Ben Wedeman visited this town under siege.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Russian forces continue to try to seize control of the town of Rubizhne, which is

about an hour and a half's drive from -- to the east of here. But they are running into stiff resistance from the Ukrainian defenders. We were able to

get to a vantage point overlooking the town and saw as artillery fell on all parts of the city. In the southern area, which is controlled by the

Ukrainian forces, we found a small group of people trying to survive under fire.

(voice-over): And it begins again. Hell rains down. A dozen people are hiding in the basement of a bombed-out theater in the town of Rubizhne.

"Let it stop, oh Lord", he says. Now there's incoming. A white flag hangs outside to no effect. The theater above has been bombed and bombed again

and again, yet, they stay. Too poor, too old, too frightened to flee. Nina, 89 years old has been here for five weeks.

"I want to go home", she says, "I've suffered too much. I've seen the fire and the smoke. I've seen it all. I'm scared." Nina's plea, simple. "Help

us, help us." Her daughter Lud Mila(ph) struggles to comfort her. "We're praying to God to stop it", she says, "to hear us."

Ina(ph) says, "I have nowhere to go. I have no friends, no relatives." With the shelling intensifying, volunteers are finding it hard to deliver food.

As Russian and Ukrainian forces fight for control of Rubizhne, there are people down there praying as hell rains down.

(on camera): What we saw in that shelter are people who clearly have post- traumatic stress disorder. They've been there for weeks on end.


Most of the time, when we brought lights with our television cameras, but most of the time, their only light is candles. There's very little in the

way of sanitation. There's no running water. There is no electricity, and for many, if they don't get out soon, there's no hope.


NOBILO: Ben Wedeman there for us. Now, in the past couple of hours, we've heard that the U.N. Secretary General will meet Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

Antonio Guterres will visit Moscow while he'll also meet Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. This as European leaders are calling for immediate

humanitarian access and safe passage from Mariupol and other cities. The president of the European Council Charles Michel has held a phone call with

Mr. Putin as well today.

And Nic Robertson has more on these diplomatic efforts from Brussels. Nic, is there any reason to imagine that Putin would heed the urging of the

European Council president.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It doesn't seem so. And one of the reasons Charles Michel explained that he made this 90-minute

phone call was to try to punch through what he described as a potential vacuum of information around President Putin. Remembering that Charles

Michel was just a couple of days ago in Kyiv and saw what he described as atrocities and war crimes and said people should be held accountable.

And the conversation he had with President Putin was we're told blunt and direct to tell President Putin what's going on, that sanctions will

continue, that Russia should pull out of Ukraine. It's a very clear and precise message, but at the same time, the Kremlin also has their own, very

clear and precise message, which is they're going to continue through Donbas in the east of the country, continue along the south of Ukraine,

creating this land corridor to the Crimean Peninsula.

And potentially continue even further to Transnistria, a small separatist area within Moldova. So Russia's aims are in direct contravention to what

Charles Michel was talking about. And I think we've seen Putin's track record at the moment is just to continue because he doesn't think anyone is

going to engage militarily with a Russian military inside Ukraine to actually physically stop them. And that seems to be his only concern at the

moment, is his army continuing to push forward.

And he seems still to believe that he can do it and doesn't seem to want to heed all the -- all the reports and clear, clear descriptions to him of the

crimes, the war crimes that his troops are committing on the ground.

NOBILO: And speaking like of people who think that Putin can do that, I want to play you Boris Johnson's comments on his trip to India. Let's just

take a listen.


BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: The sad thing is that, that is a realistic possibility. Yes, of course, Putin has a huge army, he has a

very difficult political position because he's made a catastrophic blunder. He has the -- the only option he now has really is to continue to try to

use his appalling, grinding approach, driven -- led by artillery, trying to grind the Ukrainians down. The situation is -- I'm afraid, unpredictable at

this stage. We've just got to be realistic about that.


NOBILO: So, Nic, there has been quite a distinct shift in British rhetoric. We've always known that this war is one of, you know, David against

Goliath. But how has Boris Johnson's remarks been received by the EU?

ROBERTSON: Yes, it's not the first time that Boris Johnson has got out of diplomatic kilter or many other kilters with friends, partners and allies.

His messaging, Boris Johnson's messaging is clearly wrangling in the United States because we've heard criticism from national security officials there

saying that they in the United States don't believe that Putin can win. The message that Charles Michel was given today, very clearly that Putin cannot

have a win, that the war must stop.

He must pull his troops out, and there can be no gains for him by continuing with the war. So, what Boris Johnson is saying there is a

message that President Putin will want to hear. One that indicates some division and one that indicates that Johnson has a sense of inevitability

that Russia is going to come out on top, and the whole combined message so far has been very carefully crafted to signal to President Putin that's not


Certainly, Johnson also went on to say that, it was important to continue to ramp up the military and humanitarian support for Ukraine, something the

U.K. has been doing and increasing sanctions on Russia almost daily. But this sort of messaging, not a typical for Johnson who sometimes really

diplomatically puts a foot out of line, no doubt he'll try to correct as he goes forward.


NOBILO: Certainly, not a typical as you say. Nic Robertson for us in Brussels, thank you very much. And as Nic just referred to, British Prime

Minister Boris Johnson's stunning warning today that Russia may win this war is getting sharp blowback from the White House. CNN's Jim Sciutto asked

deputy National Security adviser Daleep Singh about it. And he got this pointed response.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, in his words, that it is a realistic possibility that Putin wins this war. Do

you agree? Is that the U.S. assessment?

DALEEP SINGH, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: No. The assessment from where we stand is that, as we continue to intensify these costs through

economic sanctions on the battlefield and strategically, ultimately, Putin will see that this is not the end game he bargained for. As thousands of

body bags are coming home, if his economy is contracting by double digits, if inflation is up to 20 percent, if the shelves are empty and people can't

travel, this country is in default if Russia is a pariah state, that's not a win for Putin.


NOBILO: So, we'll have more from Washington in just a moment. But we can go live to Ukraine now because Matt Rivers is in the western city of Lviv, the

destination for scores of Ukrainians fleeing the horror in the east. And Matt, I understand that even your team have been at a train station in

Lviv, where lots of Ukrainians fleeing the most dangerous areas arriving to. What have they told you about where they come from?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, unfortunately, where they told us they haven't come from is Mariupol. I mean, obviously, there

are plenty of other places in Ukraine where people have fled. And it's good to see anybody get out of areas that are dangerous and where their lives

are threatened.

But we saw one train today that was designated to bring evacuees from Zaporizhzhia, which is the city that is the end of these agreed upon

humanitarian corridors that had been agreed upon a few days ago between Russia and Ukraine to get people out of Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia, and then

on to here in Lviv.

And when that train pulled up, there was a handful of families getting off. I mean, that train had room for hundreds and hundreds of people, and we're

talking about maybe a few dozen that got off the train. And I think that's very emblematic of what we are seeing and hearing from people on the

ground. That, there were humanitarian corridors open two days ago and yesterday, hardly anyone managed to use them because according to Ukrainian

officials, Russia did not honor ceasefires that would have been required to allow people to travel safely.

And then today, no humanitarian corridors open anywhere around the country. Not only in Mariupol where there are tens of thousands of people that need

to be evacuated, but also in the eastern part of the country where we have seen Russia launch this brand new offensive, and we know that even if

people are trying to leave, there's reports today from the Ukrainian government that says some two dozen people in an evacuation bus were fired

upon leaving the city of Popasna in the east.

So, even if people can find a bus, even if people want to leave, they face mortal danger from Russian troops according to what we're hearing from the

Ukrainian government.

NOBILO: Well, Matt, that's what I was going to ask you next, is about what options remain for Ukrainians if no more humanitarian corridors are agreed.

Obviously, some of them trying to leave by train, but that's not an option for many. You mentioned buses. What are the routes that people are


RIVERS: Well, if there is no large scale operation coordinated by the government, then what it ends up being is just falling into the hands of

individuals and do-gooders. I mean, my colleague, Ben Wedeman did a piece recently about this. Clarissa Ward, another one of my colleagues did a

piece about this, where there's one guy who is just driving back and forth between the east and somewhere safer to get people on an individual basis


That is not a way to evacuate tens of thousands of people. Like I said before, anybody that gets out is a good thing. But if you're talking about

a large scale operation, both of these governments, Russia and Ukraine need to be involved in this. And it's clear that that's not happening. And so

unfortunately, absent these humanitarian corridors, there are not a lot of good options, and what we will see in the east is what we are seeing in

Mariupol which are tens of thousands of people trapped as fighting is ongoing.

NOBILO: Matt Rivers in Lviv, Ukraine. Thank you. And we're going back to Washington now where the White House is rebutting Boris Johnson's statement

about the possibility of Putin winning this war. And while the U.K. says its Kyiv Embassy will reopen again soon, that's not the plan for the U.S.

And CNN's Kylie Atwood is at the U.S. State Department in Washington for us. So, Kylie, tell us more about the reaction in the United States to what

Boris Johnson has been saying and do it.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the deputy National Security adviser at the White House said earlier today that the U.S.

doesn't have that same assessment here, that Putin could well claim victory in this Ukraine war. What he talked about was the fact that the Biden

administration is going to stay the course, said that the pressure on Russia continues, and also said that if Russia becomes a pariah state at

the end of this, that is not a victory for Russia.


So, a very clear wording there coming out from the White House officials, talking about the fact that the United States still is behind Ukraine, and

they are not assessing at this time that the wind is at Russia's back.

NOBILO: Kylie Atwood at the Pentagon. Thank you so much, at the State Department rather. So, still to come tonight, the Red Cross is defending

itself against charges that it's helping Russia's aims in Ukraine. We'll tell you about that next. And later on the show, we'll see what the war in

Ukraine means for the French presidential election. The runoff is at this weekend.


NOBILO: Ukraine's deputy prime minister is accusing the International Committee of the Red Cross of boosting the Russian cause by opening an

office in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. She says that action legitimizes Russia's deportation of Ukrainian citizens across the border.

This is what one Ukrainian parliament member told me yesterday.


LESIA ZABURANNA, UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Unfortunately, we also have information that Red Cross opened the office in Rostov. And for us, it's

terrible situation because we need to help our people to defend our people, but not to relocate our people to the country of aggression.


NOBILO: Now, the Red Cross is emphatically denying all of those claims, saying for one, they simply have not opened an office in Rostov. Dominic

Stillhart is the director of Operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross, and he's in Ukraine and has just visited Bucha and Irpin.

Thank you for joining the program, sir.

And before we get to what you've seen, we've witnessed in those areas, I would just like your response to these accusations from several members of

the Ukrainian parliament as well as Ukrainian journalists that you do have activities and operations going on in Russia, and in Rostov.

DOMINIK STILLHART, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS: Well, I can simply repeat that these allegations are completely

unfounded. We do not have an office in Rostov, we don't have any activities there.


That being said, as we have offices in Poland, Romania or Hungary as well as Moldova, we have initiated discussions with Russia about a presence also

on the eastern side of Ukraine, ideally, Rostov, but these discussions have so far been inconclusive. So we have no presence in Rostov, and, therefore,

all these allegations are completely unfounded, and we will definitely never and have never participated or facilitated or supported deportations.

What we do is try to offer safe passage for people to get out of Harm's way, but we will never take people to any place that they are not choosing


NOBILO: But obviously, some Ukrainians might feel under duress. So just to clarify, you don't have any operations on the eastern side of the Ukrainian

border in Russia right now?

STILLHART: That is correct.

NOBILO: OK, do you have any idea where the Ukrainian members of parliament who have these accusations where they got their evidence from? Have you

been in touch to try and clarify?

STILLHART: Yes, we have been clarifying this at several locations, including, again, two days ago in our meeting with the Ombarst(ph) women of

-- in Kyiv, and it appears to me that this is really something that has been -- or should at least have been laid to rest, because I can only

repeat one more time, we have no activities, we do not have an office in Rostov as we speak.

NOBILO: OK, moving away from those allegations, what coordination or communication do you have with Russia or Russian forces just to actually

facilitate your work on the ground?

STILLHART: We have now for several weeks, pretty much since the beginning of the conflict of the escalation of the conflict, we've proposed a

mechanism, a humanitarian mechanism whereby both military forces would sit down, representative of both forces would sit down and discuss about very

concrete, actionable and precise agreements that would then allow organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross to move

into places where heavy fighting is taking place in order to guarantee these sort of safe passages that are absolutely needed as we know, for

instance, from the situation in Mariupol.

For now, this -- these agreements rarely -- times we're able to grant safe passage to people out of Sumy, out of a few places in the east. But it's

not enough. And it is really frustrating that we don't get more of those sort of agreements where both military representatives would agree on what

is the time, what is the road, what exactly -- when can we actually move in and so on and so forth? And our experience from other countries shows that

windows of six hours are simply not enough.

We need for such an operation to take place, we need at least two or three days of weapons falling silent in order to do such a safe passage


NOBILO: Dominik Stillhart in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, thank you very much for joining us and coming on the program tonight.

STILLHART: Thank you --

NOBILO: More than 5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded, leaving their homes, lives and their loved ones behind. But now, nearly two

months into the war, more and more people are going back home. Scott McLean is in Poland to find out why?


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the early days of war, trains leaving Ukraine were standing room only, packed with terrified women

and children. Trains going the other way were virtually empty. As the bombs fell and the tanks rolled, millions desperately tried to get out, most to

Poland. Almost two months later, there are now days when more people go back into Ukraine from Poland than come out.

(on camera): Do you think that the mass exodus is over?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, we can never say that. We cannot -- it's hard to predict, actually, the direction of the crisis.


MCLEAN (voice-over): In Przemysl, the first stop in Poland for many Ukrainians traveling by train, the mayor was once overwhelmed by the number

of refugees showing up every day. Not anymore.

MAYOR WOJCIECH BAKUN, PRZEMYSL, UKRAINE: It looks better. We're better organized as well after the two months of experience. And we're happy, we

are so happy that situation on Ukraine looks better at this moment.

MCLEAN: Inside the station, Natalia Belchik and her family are headed back to their hometown in southern Ukraine, about 50 miles from the contested

city of Mykolaiv.

NATALIA BELCHIK, RETURNING UKRAINIAN REFUGEE (through translator): In our town, we had about seven or eight people killed at a military unit when it

was bombed. My child was so scared.

MCLEAN: They fled to a small town in northern Germany where the government put them up in a nice hotel. But they say they had little help beyond that.

BELCHIK: We didn't know what to do. Nobody helped us to find jobs. Well, we were told we needed to speak German.

MCLEAN (on camera): You're willing to take a small risk to get your life back?

BELCHIK: Yes, we want to go back. After all, home is home.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Down the hall, Natalia Buhefska(ph) fled Kyiv just days into the war, whiles she stayed with friends in Germany, her

neighborhood withstood Russian shelling. Now that the Russians have retreated, she's going back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's a bit scary, but I have been looking forward to seeing my husband. I never thought this would last a

long time. I thought it would be for a week or two. I don't want to start a new life in Germany without my husband.

MCLEAN: At the border, the lineup to get into Ukraine stretches for 5 miles, and at the Polish side of the pedestrian crossing, there are more

volunteers than refugees. Oksana Deresh is going back to see her parents in Lviv.

OKSANA DERESH, RETURNING UKRAINIAN REFUGEE: But actually for Easter because I want to meet my parents. I miss them very much.

MCLEAN: Scott McLean, CNN, Przemysl, Poland.


NOBILO: U.S. stocks are down sharply this Friday on investor's fears of a rate hike. Right now, the Dow Jones, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 are all

down around 2 percent. So, as I said, in response to a rate hike, but what is really going on? Richard Quest joins me now from Washington D.C.

Richard, what's behind this?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: I think it's quite simple. The economic chickens are coming home to roost and they're doing so en masse.

You've got Jay Powell yesterday putting on the table the possibility of a half percentage point increase in U.S. rates when the Fed meets.

You've got here at the IMF, everybody basically saying that inflation is the number one worry, and that has to be dealt with. And you have a

realization when you look, whether it would be Netflix earnings on streaming or you talk about the general tone of earnings and the

difficulties and the problems with energy prices at the moment. The war in Ukraine, that companies cannot sustain the high level of share prices that

they've enjoyed so far.

As you know, Bianca, the share prices made up of the stream of future earnings. If that future earnings is in question, then the share price


NOBILO: Richard Quest for us in D.C. Thank you. And still to come tonight, it's the last day of campaigning in the French presidential election. So

we'll see how Vladimir Putin has cast a shadow over President Macron's re- election bid.



NOBILO: This weekend, French voters will decide if they want to give President Emmanuel Macron another five years in office or hand the reins to

Marine Le Pen. Voting will kick off on Saturday in some of France's overseas territories and for some expatriates casting ballots abroad. But

the majority of voters will head to the polls on Sunday.

Now, early this year, this election was shaping up to be a referendum on the rise of the far right. But then the war in Ukraine happened. Melissa

Bell is live from Paris for us. Now Melissa, candidates will always try and control the narrative. But there's invariably that issue in the election

campaign which becomes decisive that no one could have predicted. So how has Putin's invasion of Ukraine changed the selection and the fortunes of

the candidates?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think it changed it profoundly, Bianca, because of its timing. Remember that Russia invaded Ukraine, even as the

French presidential campaign had kicked off, but before Emmanuel Macron himself had declared that he would be standing so really, as it was

beginning to get in full swing ahead of the first round. And then there was, of course, the nature of the crisis and one that really drove an even

greater divide between two candidates that face off on Sunday, and that were already at so different to begin with, Bianca.


BELL (voice-over): Two candidates, two visions for France, two possible outcomes for Ukraine, with Russia taking center stage in France's

presidential race.


EMMANUEL MACROS, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): You depend on Russian power, you depend on Mr. Putin.

MARINE LE PEN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): I am an absolutely and totally free woman.


BELL (voice-over): As one of the few Western leaders with a line open to both Moscow and Kyiv, Macron led efforts to avoid the war, missing the

start of the campaign back home and leading to accusations that he was disconnected from the concerns of ordinary French voters.

His rival, the far-right's Marine Le Pen, may have got a head start on the stump, but the war also caused her campaign in a different light. An early

flyer reminded voters of her 2017 visit to the Kremlin, where she'd called for an end to sanctions imposed against Russia after it annexed Crimea.


LE PEN (through translator): There was no invasion of Crimea.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: They annexed Crimea, it was part of Ukraine.

LE PEN (through translator): Crimea was Russian. It has always been Russian.


BELL (voice-over): At the time, Ukraine had threatened to ban her from its soil. On Wednesday, president Zelenskyy seemed to offer an olive branch.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): If that candidate for the presidency will realize that she was wrong, then it will

be a different issue.


BELL (voice-over): Russia's jailed opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, also weighing into France's election on Wednesday, urging the French to back

Macron tweeting about the bank from which Le Pen's party took a nearly $10 million loan in 2014, saying it's a well known money laundering agency

created at the instigation of Putin. Hours after Navalny's tweet, the candidates sat down for their first and only debate this election cycle.


MACRON (through translator): When you talk about Russia, you're not talking to other world leaders. You're talking to your banker. That's the problem,

Madam Le Pen.


BELL (voice-over): Marine Le Pen insists the loan was strictly a financial arrangement that her party is reimbursing in full, and the war has changed

some of her positions.


She now backs some sanctions, although she's wary about sanctions on energy.


LE PEN (through translator): To pretend that the French or other European peoples could absorb the consequences of a total cutoff of Russian gas,

oil, or raw materials is simply irresponsible.


BELL (voice-over): France, though, has gone much further than just sanctions, sending a hundred million Euros worth of weaponry to Kyiv,

something Le Pen says she would be prudent about.

She also announced last week that after the war, she would seek a strategic rapprochement between NATO and Russia, like so often in this campaign, the

war found its way into her press conference.


BELL (on camera): Bianca, it isn't -- perhaps even more fundamentally, rather, Marine Le Pen wants, if she's elected president, to withdraw France

from the command of NATO, she also wants to change Europe so that it becomes a much looser alliance of sovereign nations.

Now, when you look back over the last few weeks, what's remarkable is how important the unity of both NATO and the E.U. have proven so that it isn't

simply that this is a war that has intruded on her campaign, but it's become a campaign that will have profound implications for the war, Bianca.

NOBILO: And looking at that campaign, Melissa, what are the polls doing now and what do they tell us about how the candidates have presented their

attitude towards the war, and also the leaders' debate where famously Le Pen struggled last time round?

BELL: Last time round, a better showing this time, and yet, at the time of the first round, remember the both candidates increase their vote, Le Pen

and Macron on 2017, that first round of voting. The polls that night, looking ahead at the second round, had been remarkably tight. Just a couple

of percentage points. Now that has changed. They've widened where it's about 10 points between the candidates, with Macron about 55 percent, Le

Pen on about 45 percent.

But it is, of course, the poll on Sunday that matters. There is now a media blackout that begins this evening here in France, no more polling, no more

candidates debates, no more campaigning, so that the French can have a moment to reflect.

What is certain is that by 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening, Bianca, we will know the result of this election that will have profound implications for

how France is governed, for its position within Europe, for Europe itself, and of course for the wider world in terms of NATO and the war that's

currently being fought in Ukraine. And all of that we will discover on Sunday night, Bianca.

NOBILO: Melissa Bell in Paris, thank you so much, and we look forward to hearing more from you as the action unfolds.

Now French voters go to the polls on Sunday for the final round of voting in the presidential election as Melissa was saying, so join us Sunday at

8:00 p.m. Paris Time, 2:00 p.m. in New York for our special live coverage of the French elections right here on CNN.

And still to come tonight beaches filled with rubbish, tourism industry struggling to cope, and marine life at risk. How plastic pollution is

impacting the Kenyan coast. We'll bring you that story on this Earth Day.



NOBILO: Today is Earth Day, time to focus on taking care of this planet that we all share. In the U.S., President Joe Biden is marking the occasion

by signing a new executive order aimed at helping to protect the nation's forests. This White House says that it will also help combat global

deforestation and find nature-based solutions to climate change. So our Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir joins me now from New York with more

on this. Bill, how substantive was this announcement from Biden? Is it going to be significant in terms of protecting the planet?

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's going to be significant in protecting the old growth forests, the big thousand year-

old-trees that are going away at an alarming rate. They are important, certainly, but it doesn't really offset the other move he made recently,

which is to open up federal lands to more oil and gas and shale, fracking and drilling. And that really upset those, you know, climate progressives

who got him elected and believed that he was going to stop that to keep them off forever.

Unfortunately, inflation and the war in Ukraine has driven up prices at the pump, the political pressures of him to keep those campaign promises have

sort of stalled, both just out of practicality, but also in the courts. And with the senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, who also owns a coal


NOBILO: And Bill, how might the world suddenly need to stop using Russian oil and gas in response to Putin's invasion of Ukraine impact which energy

sources countries are going to turn to now?

WEIR: Well, Bianca, you know, it depends. In Europe, it looks like that it could really goose sort of national defense green movements where, you

know, self preservation isn't enough to move rapid electrification, then maybe, you know, trying to cut off Vladimir Putin's power source is a

motivation. That worked in World War II in the United States when rationing, you know, there were posters that said, "You drive with Hitler,

if you drive alone," to the, you know, the folks who supported him in the climate movement.

The United States hoped Joe Biden would do that, in the United States, use this as a national defense movement to get people to rally around the idea

to get off of oil, just in a sense of national defense. But three days after the invasion in the State of the Union, he didn't really talk about

climate change all that much.

And today, he goes to Washington and spent some time with Jay Inslee, who ran as a single topic climate candidate and was seen as sort of a one topic

fringe candidate. But more and more with these storms and with these patterns, you're realizing that climate is the platform on which everything

else sits.

NOBILO: Yes, truly no politician can avoid it now. And I'm sure that their electoral fortunes will be worse if they do. So Bill Weir, thank you very

much for joining us on Earth Day.

And on Earth Day, we take you to Kenya, where plastic is piling up along the coast. Not only does it impact the beaches and marine life, it comes at

a dire cost to tourism too. But CNN's Larry Madowo discovered that some locals are using innovative ways of putting the world's trash to use. He

has this story.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The ancient city of Lamu, a popular part of the northern coast of Kenya, but the Indian Ocean brings more than just

tourists to the Lamu archipelago. Tons of marine litter is also washing up on these shores, mostly plastic. They pick up what they can, but more keeps



MADOWO: And this is -- it was manufactured in Indonesia.

DIPESH PABARI, CO-FOUNDER & LEADER, THE FLIPFLOPI PROJECT: Definitely I've never seen this being sold in Kenya, Fasclean. Never seen this brand from


MADOWO: That's not a brand from here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not a brand that's sold in here.

MADOWO: It says manufactured in China.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: China. Nestle noodles, don't recognize them over here.


MADOWO: Kenya banned single-use plastic from protected areas, including beaches, but they're still being manufactured locally and piling up all

over the coastline, a major headache for the local government.


FAHIM YASIN TWAHA, LAMU COUNTY GOVERNOR: We are more receivers of the plastics than the givers of the plastic. This plastic is dumped elsewhere

and drifts to our shores. I guess we're a magnetic place. We hope we can also attract good things and not just junk.


MADOWO: Piti, who calls herself Mama Plastiki, has been collecting that junk from her community for 35 years but there's nowhere to take most of




MAMA PLASTIKI, LAMU RESIDENT (through translator): We don't have a market for this plastic so it has slowed us down a little. We had two people

working on this, but we ran out of money so we're stuck with it.


MADOWO: Even this better funded efforts to clean up plastic from around Lamu is barely scratching the surface.


MADOWO: The mountains of plastic wastes just keeps growing here on the Kenyan coast and is threatening the oceans, the mangroves, and the tourism

industry here.


MADOWO: Discarded plastic is sorted then crushed at this facility, breaking it down into smaller particles that can get molded into something more



MADOWO: This is incredibly strong.

MORRIS KILONZO, PLASTIC RECYCLING EXPERT, THE FLIPFLOPI PROJECT: This is a product of sorted, crushed, and washed plastics. They give this.

MADOWO: And it could revolutionize construction.

KILONZO: This one going to neutralize we have chambers used. We can innovate and put whatever is lying at the backyards to something useful.


MADOWO: These boats are leading a scientific expedition to study the impact of marine litter on the East African coast. Its organizers, the Flipflopi

Project say this is the first time such research is being carried out on this part of the West Indian Ocean. The scientists are measuring the

presence of nano, micro, and macro plastics in the ocean.


MADOWO: What do you hope to learn from the samples you're collecting?

BAHATI MAYOMA, AQUATIC ECOLOGY & POLLUTION LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF DAR ES SALAAM: For the first time, we'll be able to understand how deep can you

still find plastic pollution? Most of the focus has been on the surface, no one to understand because actually even most of the organisms, they live



MADOWO: By 2050, without intervention, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean, the U.N. has warned. Some of it may build the next sailing

boat like this one made entirely of flip flops. But most of it just suffocates marine life and coastal communities.


PABARI: Someone needs to pay for this. This is not something that these communities and us as local organizations can support and solve. Yes, we

are contributing to it. But it's a global problem. It's no different to climate change in that respect.


MADOWO: Recycle, reuse. Residents here are doing everything they can to tackle a global problem at the local level.


NOBILO: Still to come tonight, in Shanghai, after nearly a month in lockdown, residents have had enough with no end in sight. Some expatriates

are planning their exits. We'll bring you that story next.



NOBILO: A suspect has officially been declared in the case of missing British toddler, Madeleine McCann, news that the girl's parents welcomed.

The man was made a suspect by German authorities at the request of Portuguese officials. He's not yet been charged. It comes 15 years after

McCann went missing from her holiday apartment in Portugal, sparking an international hunt. She was just 3 years old. Kate and Gerry McCann said

that they've not given up hope that their daughter is still alive.

And in Shanghai, frustrations are reaching breaking point. The city has been on lockdown for weeks, thanks to China's zero-COVID policy. Local

government says it will only lift the strict lockdown when the community spread is eliminated. David Culver has seen firsthand the massive toll it's

taking on residents and expats. Here's the story.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Test positive for COVID 19 in Shanghai, and Chinese officials want you out of your home and sent to a government

quarantine facility, assuming there's space.


JOSH VAUGHN, SHANGHAI RESIDENT: There's nowhere for them to send me. I -- I'm not allowed to go in the hospital. And I have to stay here.


CULVER: American Josh Vaughn taken in early April to a pop-up tent outside Shanghai hospital.


VAUGHN: This is supposed to be like a nice hospital. And this is where I'm sleeping tonight.


CULVER: China's zero-COVID policy requires every positive case and close contact to be isolated in the city inundated with an Omicron fueled surge

that began in early March. There's been a scramble to build makeshift isolation centers.

The government evicting some residents from their homes so their apartments can be turned into quarantine facilities. People living in Mainland China's

most international city frustrated by the city's admittedly mangled and chaotic execution of a harsh lockdown and mass quarantine efforts. For

expats, it's even more difficult.


EXPAT: Yes, I was positive about 12 days ago. There's no way I'm still positive.


CULVER: This recording, widely shared on Chinese social media, appearing to capture the agitation one German resident experienced with a Shanghai local

official who called to apparently take him to quarantine for a second time.


EXPAT: I've been in the camp already that didn't want me. They sent me back home. It's ridiculous. It's a disgrace for you --


EXPAT: For the government, for Shanghai, for China. It's a really big joke. So get the CDC come here to take a test. I'll be negative, and then we can



CULVER: Others left in COVID limbo.


GABRIELE, SHANGHAI RESIDENT: The only way I can open my door is that I need to call my community and tell them I've received food because actually

there's no other way I can get food from outside.


CULVER: Gabriele, who asked we only use his first name fearing repercussions, spoke to us from his sealed apartment. He says officials

told him his results were abnormal, never confirming he actually had COVID. Still they've kept him inside for days, a COVID guard posted to keep him

from leaving.


GABRIELE: It seems like they don't know what to do with foreigners or like their system is not really working with foreigners.


CULVER: China's gateway to the world, Shanghai, was widely viewed as a foreign-friendly metropolis. Hundreds of global companies have a

significant footprint here. And even now, the financial hub trying to promote itself as a leading destination for foreign talent. But after

nearly a month of harsh lockdown measures and more than two years of relentless border controls, more and more foreign nationals are desperate

to get out.


GABRIELE: The city completely lost its shine, I will say. I don't know if we'll ever recover, especially for us international people, like it feels

like a completely different city. It's like we're going backwards in time basically.


CULVER: In online chat groups, we've found dozens of other expats now trying to leave. One person writing, "China used to really have it all.

It's just not the expat-friendly place it used to be." And this person saying, "The first four and a half years were just incredible. Shanghai

just isn't the same anymore." But some like Josh Vaughn eager to hang on. He's got too much invested in his company.


VAUGHN: I've worked so hard on this. I've put everything I have preparing myself for this season, and it's almost like a make us or break us moment.


CULVER: With each passing day, the impact of this lockdown is reshaping Shanghai's future, leaving locals increasingly frustrated and fatigued. And

expats preparing their exit. David Culver, CNN Shanghai.


NOBILO: The crew of the first all private mission to the International Space Station will be splashing back down to earth this weekend.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lift off. Go Falcon. Go Dragon. Godspeed, Axiom 1.


NOBILO: The four-member Axiom 1 crew launched two weeks ago, and it includes a former NASA astronaut and three paying customers. Those three

spots reportedly cost $55 million each.


They leave the station Saturday evening, U.S. East Coast time, and land off the coast of Florida on Sunday.

Thank you for watching tonight. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS is up next with much more on the set off we're seeing on Wall Street. The Dow is now down more

than 800. Stay with CNN.