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Hala Gorani Tonight

U.N. Secretary General Meets President Zelenskyy In Ukraine; Biden Requests For Billions Of Dollars In Aid For Ukraine; Explosions Rock Kyiv After Guterres-Zelenskyy Meeting . Aired 2-3p ET

Aired April 28, 2022 - 14:00   ET



HALA GORANI, HOST, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: Hello everyone, live from CNN in London, I am HALA GORANI TONIGHT. The U.N. Secretary General meets

President Zelenskyy in Ukraine for the first time since the start of the war. We'll have all those details. Then, President Biden asked Congress to

approve a huge new aid package for Ukraine. We'll have reaction from Washington D.C., and also, what is in this package?

CNN speaks to the Ukrainian prosecutor who is gathering evidence of the crimes in Bucha. We'll have that report a bit later in the program. Now,

the U.N. Secretary General is condemning what he calls the absurdity of war in the 21st century, saying civilians in Ukraine are the ones paying the

highest price. Antonio Guterres visited Bucha today and other towns that have suffered atrocities at the hands of Russian forces.

Now, these are the suburbs around Kyiv that were evacuated where Russian troops withdrew from. So, were able to observe some of the carnage that

they wrought. Guterres later met with President Zelenskyy in Kyiv. They discussed the dire situation in Mariupol, where hundreds of civilians are

holed up in a steel plant there along with the city's last remaining fighters.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS: Mariupol is a crisis within a crisis. Thousands of civilians need life-saving assistance. Many

are elderly in need of medical care or have limited mobility. They need an escape route out of the apocalypse.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): It's important that Mr. Guterres have raised the issue of evacuating civilians

from Mariupol and the steel plant of Azovstal. And so far, the Russian president's statement with regards to evacuation was always accompanied

with the bombardment, and those bombardments took place even during the negotiation with President Putin and U.N. Secretary General.

Ukraine is ready to have immediate negotiations on the evacuations of people from Azov steel, as well as to ensure the implementation of any

agreements reached. We hope there would be a humanly attitude towards those people on the part of Russia, who believe that part of the mission of the

U.N. Secretary General would be effective, and we are ready to support this in whatever matters possible.


GORANI: All right, there you had President Zelenskyy talking about Mariupol. We're getting new video, in fact, from the Azov Battalion in that

city. It is said to show the aftermath of Russian attacks on a military field hospital inside that steel plant complex, where the militia and

hundreds of civilians are holed up. CNN cannot confirm when it was filmed, but Ukrainian officials say the plant was hit last night by the heaviest

air strikes so far.

We're also getting word of explosions in Kyiv that took place. And our CNN teams on the ground have observed two large explosions today several

kilometers east of the city center, we understand. And this is significant, not just because the explosions took place close to the city center of

Kyiv, but because they took place shortly after the meeting between Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres ended

in the Ukrainian capital.

And we're also hearing from the mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko with a few more details on where these explosions took place. Vitali Klitschko saying

that "the enemy fire on Kyiv", according to him. "There were two hits in the Shevchenkivsky District, and that services are working on the scene".

No real word right now on casualties. This is something that will take a bit of time to clarify. Scott McLean is live in Lviv, Ukraine with more.

Talk to us a little bit more about what Vitali Klitschko; the mayor of Kyiv is saying on Russian strikes close to the city center, just as the U.N.

Secretary General and the Ukrainian president ended their meeting?


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, yes, we have precious though, information at this point as you mentioned. CNN crews saw the remnants of

this explosion, what seems like a few kilometers east of the Kyiv city center. This is a bit of a wakeup call for a city that has slowly had its

population returning, in many cases, as the Russian troop presence there has retreated, and it's been gone for several weeks now.

I think the timing of this is very interesting, especially given the U.N. Secretary-General touring those Kyiv suburbs earlier today, just finishing

up his meeting with the Ukrainian president as well. We saw something similar. And again, it's hard to get inside the mind of Vladimir Putin and

the Russian military commanders, but we saw something similar after the American delegation of the Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and the

Secretary of State Antony Blinken left Ukraine as well.

They had been outside of Ukraine for literally hours, giving a press conference somewhere in Poland when a series of Russian strikes hit

junction points of the Ukrainian railway, the railway that they had just traveled on to get out of the country. So, perhaps, they're not only trying

to cut off rail transportation east, west, but also the timing suggesting that perhaps the Russians are trying to send a message, and perhaps that

may be the case here.

Again, it's too early to know. We don't have all the information. And again, it is near impossible to know exactly what the Russian military

commanders are thinking at any given moment.

GORANI: All right, Scott McLean, thanks so much for that update from Lviv. We'll have a lot more on those discussions between Guterres and Zelenskyy a

little later in the program. We'll be going live to the capital, and perhaps, by then, we'll have more information on those two explosions that

took place, according to the mayor, several kilometers east of the city center. Now, Russia is trying to erase the Ukrainian identity of one of the

first cities to fall under its control.

Russians have appointed their own officials to run Kherson. One of them says the city will begin using the ruble next week, adding that a return to

Ukrainian control is, quote, "impossible". This explosion in Kherson happened overnight near the city's main TV broadcaster. Russians have been

replacing Ukrainian networks with Russian television channels. While the atrocities in Bucha on the outskirts of Kyiv had made headlines horrifying

the world, other accounts of brutality are slowly emerging in towns and villages right across Ukraine.

Our Nick Paton Walsh talked with a teenager in the Kherson region, who says she was raped by a Russian soldier. And we warn you, her story is difficult

to hear.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): It's from these gentle shrugs of villages, lazy and clean, and a green expanses

of Kherson region, that some of this war's ugliest crimes are being dragged into the light. This is Dasher(ph), she is 16, and was six months pregnant

when just over a month ago, Russian forces came to her village here.

Her family were in the basement sheltering from bombs, the cold, and the Russian shooting in the air, all its cars and (INAUDIBLE), she said. At

dusk, they brought the children out to the kitchen to eat, where there were two soldiers, one drunk.


WALSH: His sober colleague then came in and told the drunk attacker to stop, to no avail, and left.


WALSH: By then, night had fallen in a cold house.


WALSH: She heard the Russians say her attacker's name was Blue(ph), he is from Donets and had a criminal past. He tried to attack her again, she

said, until Russian snipers later came to help her.

(on camera): But still some of the Russian soldiers in that unit even were disgusted by what happened then, and tried to move her and part of her

family away to safety.


And began a process in which Russian soldiers seemed to try to get her to go back on the claims she'd made.

(voice-over): Two days later, she was taken to a Russian paratrooper commander, who she said began shouting at her like her attacker had.


WALSH: It seems they did believe her, but the fate of her rapist remains unclear, while we can't independently verify her harrowing story, Ukrainian

prosecutors told us, they have investigated the case and confirmed this attack, which they said was a war crime. But like so much here, the

question why is the one without a humane, palatable answer.


WALSH: There are lives here that you can see Russia has changed forever, but also those whose trauma sits beneath the surface and lives on. Nick

Paton Walsh, CNN, Kherson region, Ukraine.


GORANI: Well, we want to go live now to Kyiv where our teams witnessed to those two large explosions just after Guterres and Zelenskyy's meeting.

Matt Rivers is there. What more can you tell us?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, you know, Hala, there is not a ton of information that we can report due to reporting

restrictions because of the martial law here in Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities always very concerned with what the media says after strikes

like this, because they say that it can help Russia either better target after strikes or get some idea of the success or failure of their strike.

But what we can say is that, we heard the explosions here in our hotel in the central part of Kyiv. We saw the smoke, and we know what the mayor of

Kyiv said publicly, which were that there were two strikes as he called them, in a district of Kyiv that's just a few miles away from where we are.

It's not far at all from where we are here at the hotel. So that's what we know at this point. This is going to be something that we're going to be

watching very closely tonight, usually more information comes out within an hour or two of these strikes, once Ukrainian officials get the all clear.

But this is clearly going to be something that we're paying close attention to. But you said it right off the top, you know, the U.N. Secretary General

had just finished giving a joint press conference with Zelenskyy. This comes after the U.N. Secretary General just left Moscow and was there

earlier this week. So, what message does this send if this is confirmed to be a Russian missile strike? They know that the U.N. Secretary General is

here, and yet, they go ahead with striking a target just not far away from central Kyiv where that press conference was held.

If you are wondering about the proposed success of the U.N. Secretary General's trip, the top priority item which was to open up humanitarian

corridors around the country, I'm not sure how confident we can be. But the Russians are very onboard or the U.N. Secretary General made any progress

if there are missile strikes at the same time he's giving a press conference with the president of Ukraine.

GORANI: Right, he's been urging the Russians to allow these humanitarian corridors to operate, to allow for the evacuation of civilians. But yes,

as you mentioned, there doesn't seem like that request is being taken on board in any consequential, kind of way. Thank you very much, Matt Rivers

live in Kyiv for that report. Two energy giants in Europe seem to be giving in to the Kremlin's demands. President Vladimir Putin wants Russian gas to

be paid for in rubles to help its value go back up again.

But that would violate EU's sanctions. So, EU companies are looking into a workaround, paying with euros into special accounts at Russia's

Gazprombank, and that would then all be converted into the Russian currency. Germany's Uniper as well as Austrian energy firm OMV now say

they're in talks with Gazprom about this system. I want to bring in Richard Quest; the anchor of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" --


GORANI: To explain to us in layman's terms because this whole notion we've been reporting on for the last several weeks, that the Kremlin was asking

to be paid in rubles, as if somehow these energy giants in Europe were going to have to go change their currencies into rubles and then transfer

the rubles, that's not the system. Can you explain to us how it would work?


QUEST: Well, that is sort of the system. At the moment, they take their dollars or euros and they buy the oil and gas, and it gets converted. It

doesn't matter when you get the oil and gas back, and it's up to whoever just bought -- whoever receives the proceeds to make the conversion.

Under this convoluted system, and a lot of it was political by the way, Hala, the design and goal is to force the purchasers to hand over rubles,

which arguably could be against sanctions in some ways, but that's not the matter. So you have two accounts. So, you pay the money, you're forced to

open two account, Hala. You're forced to open a foreign currency account and a ruble account. And that ruble account is in your name.

You pay the money in your foreign currency, dollars or euros --

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: Gazprom then converts it into rubles in your account. That's the key point, in your account. That money then gets paid over to the --

GORANI: How was that --

QUEST: Oil and gas --

GORANI: But how is that not breaking sanctions here imposed on Russia?

QUEST: Well, it technically, arguably is breaking sanctions, because of a relationship that this account has through Gazprom with the Central Bank. A

highly -- basically, the foreign currency is collateralized with the central bank to get the rubles, and that's where the breach of sanctions

takes place. Remember, these countries are all buying oil and gas at the moment, and that's legitimate, and that's not sanctioned. So, what has --

GORANI: Right --

QUEST: Happened is, it's this work -- it's this weirdness that Putin has put in to force them to use rubles. And it's political as much as anything

else, Hala. It's political.

GORANI: And this is what Poland and Bulgaria have said they're not willing to do. This is why Russia then cut off exports to those countries?

QUEST: We think that probably Poland and Bulgaria, A, hadn't worked out the way rounded, B, weren't prepared to go forward with it, whatever, and

C, have got greater domestic supplies than they could afford --

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: To wait it out. But Germany, for example, is going ahead in something like this. Hungary is going ahead in something like this too.

GORANI: All right, Richard Quest --

QUEST: Just a second!

GORANI: Thanks very much --

QUEST: Before you go, literally and figuratively, I can't believe it! I mean, you are the first person I anchored with when I joined CNN years ago.

And we anchored together -- well, in 2016 --

GORANI: Oh, my goodness --

QUEST: The longest broadcast that either of us have ever done when --

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: On the Brexit. We also anchored on "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY". We also anchored on "CNN TODAY". You have been my TV co-host -- hello, where are

you? You're over there --

GORANI: I'm here.

QUEST: Many times over many years, and I am so going to miss you absolutely --

GORANI: You know, I'm going to miss you as well. One story I always tell is when I first started out, I was significantly more junior than you. And

we were co-anchoring, and you were always so generous to me, Richard. And I remember very fondly, and sometimes co-anchors are competitive. Who gets

the bigger guests --

QUEST: Well --

GORANI: Who gets the most important guest, but something about how you treated me touched me and continues to touch me to this day, where you

allowed me --

QUEST: Thank you --

GORANI: To be your equal at the very beginning --

QUEST: You are --

GORANI: When you are significantly -- now, yes. But at the time, when I was a junior anchor, and it was my first real important show --

QUEST: Thank you --

GORANI: And it was my first branded show, you allowed me to shine, and you allowed me to become the anchor, ultimately, that I became down the line.

And a lot of it is due to you, you are an extremely generous person --

QUEST: You're very kind --

GORANI: And a fantastic broadcaster.

QUEST: Well --

GORANI: So, thank you so much --

QUEST: The viewer -- the dear viewer should only know how wickedly funny, brutally funny, you are, when the little red light goes off.

GORANI: Well, it shall remain --


QUEST: Yes --

GORANI: Under wraps for now. We'll see --

QUEST: Thank you --

GORANI: Maybe one day it will come out.

QUEST: Godspeed and be blessed --

GORANI: Thank you Richard Quest, I will continue to watch you.


GORANI: Thank you. Well, back to our story. U.S. President Joe Biden is asking Congress to pass a new $33 billion aid package for Ukraine. This is

a big deal. A huge amount of money. As the war enters a new phase, it would be a massive jump in funding. It's more than twice the amount Congress

approved last month. Mr. Biden also outlined a proposal that would put even more pressure on Russian oligarchs to help fund Ukraine's defense. Listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The cost of this fight is not cheap. But caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it

to happen. We either back Ukrainian people as they defend their country or we stand by as the Russians continue their atrocities and aggression in



Every day, every day, the Ukrainians pay for the price and the price they pay with their lives for this fight. So we need to contribute arms,

funding, ammunition, and the economic support to make their courage and sacrifice have purpose.


GORANI: And let's go to chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins in Washington D.C. for more. So, this still needs approval, Kaitlan.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, this is just a proposal that the president is sending to Congress. But it is an

estimation of what they think Ukraine needs over the next five months to run through the end of the fiscal year, to fend off the Russian forces, to

continue fighting back against this invasion. And just to note how big this request is.

And so we're double what you saw Congress approved last month that President Biden signed to send to Ukraine. That was about $14 billion, and

now this is clocking in at a $33 billion request from the president, to Congress. And Hala, included in this is over $20 billion in military

assistance. That's the weaponry, the ammunition that you see in the United States, sending to Ukraine so far. About $8.5 billion is the economic


That's to help keep the Ukrainian government running in this time, and then about $3 billion is for humanitarian assistance, food security, of course,

for the people who are still there and so desperately needed based on the reports of what CNN has seen on the ground. And so, this is just a request,

it's going to Congress, and that's where it gets interesting. Because of course, nothing is easy when it comes to Congress as you very well know.

They often make things very complicated. And right now, there have been some deep disagreements on Capitol Hill about passing COVID-19 funding,

immigration as well. And the president today was saying he doesn't care if the COVID-19 funding requests they've made is matched with this Ukraine

funding. White House officials sometimes see it differently and believe they should be put together. And I think if they do put them together,

that's where you're going to see things get complicated with the Republicans on Capitol Hill.

So that remains to be seen, really, the timing of when this actually gets passed. Though, you know, President Biden is asking them to move quickly.

GORANI: OK, thanks so much Kaitlan Collins. And still to come tonight, documenting atrocities in Bucha. We'll show you how one resident risked his

life, literally, to gather evidence, and hopes that one day there will be justice.


GORANI: Well, since Russia invaded Ukraine, officials say they've recovered the bodies of more than 1,100 civilians in towns around Kyiv.


Most of them allegedly shot by Russian forces and many of them found in Bucha. Kyiv police emphasized the victims were all civilians, with no

military affiliation. Anderson Cooper is there as investigators gather evidence of war crimes, and a warning that some of the images in his report

are graphic.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): In Bucha, blood still stains the streets. When Russian troops pulled out, this is what they left behind on

Yabonika(ph) Street. The bodies of several men shot to death, hands tied behind their backs. Further down, this person was shot to death on their

bicycle and another, and another, and another, and another, and another.

(on camera): What happened here?

RUSLAN KRAVCHENKO, BUCHA PROSECUTOR (through translator): Local residents were killed on this street by the Russian military. They were shot and

killed even just going out to the streets about their business, or going to pick up humanitarian aid.

COOPER (voice-over): Ruslan Kravchenko is Bucha's prosecutor, he is now collecting evidence of war crimes.

KRAVCHENKO: People were killed at this point. There was a woman killed here. There were bodies here and there, whereas the road is turning left.

There were people riding bicycles who were killed by the Russian military.

COOPER: Russia denies it all. They say the more than 300 bodies found in Bucha after Russian troops withdrew were staged. As for these satellite

images taken in mid-March when Russia was occupying Bucha, show bodies in the exact same locations, they were later found on Yabonika(ph) Street,

Russia says they too are fake. But the evidence already overwhelming, continues to grow.

(on camera): Prosecutors have been gathering evidence for weeks, and have now revealed to us that they have photographs and videos taken over the

course of several days as the killings occurred here. They say the images were captured by a person in this house on their cellphone camera.

(voice-over): It was through these windows he saw the slaughter. This is one of his first pictures taken on March 5th. Two bodies reportedly killed

that day were visible outside his window. On March 6th, when this picture was taken, a third body is visible on the street. This video taken on March

7th shows at least two more bodies. Ruslan Kravchenko says these images and the data in the camera phone they were taken with provides important proof

of exactly who was killed, and when.

KRAVCHENKO: It will prove that it was a particular phone, there's a picture taken, ways, and also the time and the location that they were

taken. The Russian federation will not be able to continue saying that this was set up or they're fakes.

COOPER: We tracked down the man who risked his life to take these photos and video, we agreed not to show his face.

(on camera): Were you scared to take pictures? I mean, if they had seen you taking pictures, you could have been killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Of course, there was fear. But I had to prove that it was them. That they killed people who were civilians.

I had to do something.

COOPER: Do you remember the first person killed on your street?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first person to get killed was the man on the bicycle to the left of my house. On March 6th, there were more dead people.

There were seven people dead on the street on March 6th. Seven dead people. I couldn't capture all the bodies from the window, there was a wall in the


COOPER: What do you want to see happen to those Russians, to everybody in the chain of command?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They must be punished. There was a young guy who was bringing potatoes in a bag, maybe for his family. The stores were closed.

There was no power, no heating, no water. He wanted to help, and he was killed. What do they deserve? Only punishment.

COOPER (voice-over): But punishing the guilty won't be easy.

(on camera): There were a number of different Russian units, as I understand, who were stationed here at one time or another. Do you need to

try and identify which unit it was, what the chain of command was?

KRAVCHENKO: And it's very important to identify not only the commanders, but concrete troops who committed the crimes and have them held


COOPER (voice-over): Kravchenko says ten Russian soldiers in Bucha have already been identified using eyewitness accounts along with drone footage

and images like this one taken by a traffic surveillance camera, not far from the Yabonika(ph) Street. But whether he can learn the identities of

the Russian station on Yabonika(ph) Street is unclear.

The man killed on March 5th on his bike was 68-year-old Volodymyr(ph) Brovchenko, his wife Svitlana lives not far away. They were married for 45

years, and have two kids and three grandchildren.

SVITLANA BROVCHENKO, HUSBAND WAS KILLED IN BUCHA (through translator): We told him not to go to work because there were tanks on the Yabonika(ph)

Street. We told him not to go. He said no, I have to go to work. I have work to do. I didn't know what to tell you. It's awful. It's awful.

COOPER: It is all so awful. The bicycle her husband rode is still on Yablonska Street, near the spot where he died. She doesn't want it back.

The horror of what happened is just too terrible to face -- Anderson Cooper, CNN, Bucha, Ukraine.


HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: And still to come, delivering aid to civilians trapped under heavy fire. We'll take you to Eastern Ukraine next. Stay with





GORANI: Well, Ukraine's military says Russia has been bombarding Eastern Ukraine with intense fire, as it pursues an offensive across multiple

regions. Ukraine says Russia is trying to make a breakthrough in izyum in the Kharkiv region, as it tries to advance through Donetsk and Luhansk.

Several towns are under fire there in Donetsk, with 27 homes hit by shelling in just a single village there. And in the south, Ukrainian

officials acknowledge that Russia has made, what they say, is incremental progress in the Kherson region.

In the city itself, Russia has already installed its own officials to run the administration. Sam Kiley is in the eastern city of Kramatorsk and he

joins us now live with his reporting from that part of Ukraine -- Sam.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, as you pointed out, the Ukrainian officials have said that there is this ongoing

phase two, as the Russians call it, of their campaign of invasion here, having failed to capture Kyiv.

They've switched those forces to Kharkiv, izium and they are pushing down the Donetsk River, down toward their prize, which is Kramatorsk, where I

am, which, if they can capture it, will give them control over at least what they call the Donbas proper. That will be the provinces of Luhansk and


But in Sievierodonetsk, the consequences of that, as I was able to see in my most recent report.


KILEY: It was catastrophic for civilians.


KILEY (voice-over): Sievierodonetsk on the front line with Russia. It's an artillery front line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basement, let's get into the basement.

KILEY: Local police are delivering aid to civilians unable to leave. There's no time to wait out the bombardment. There's no likely end to the

shelling either. Supplies need delivering and fast.

She tells me there are three people next door including a granny of 92. Upstairs, a bedridden woman. She says that normally they stay in their flat

and only use the basement when it's bad. Thank you for not forgetting us, she adds.

The urgency of these sorts of deliveries cannot be exaggerated. Just in this block, there's mostly old people. One gentleman is dying of cancer in

front of his wife. She's saying she's living in a double hell.

Since we have been here, there have been five, six, eight impacts very, very close. And almost every tree, every corner, every bit of this local

neighborhood has got the signs of recent impact. And Russians are just a kilometer, maybe three away.

Russian guns are so close you can hear the whole arc of their shells.

From Kyiv to Mariupol, from Kharkiv to here, this is the Russian way of war, pound civilians, flatten cities and maybe occupy the ashes.

Alexander (ph) says we're in danger now, they're shelling us, so it could come at any moment and shrapnel could hurt us. We try to hide there in the

bomb shelter.

Two months of war has driven these people underground. And there's no end in sight.

The fear, Alexander confesses, he tries to keep inside. But it creeps out.

There's one more delivery that the police have got to make but every time we try to get out the front door of this building, there's another impact.

There's another one now.

They're saying that the hospital, which is nearby, is under heavy shelling. We were planning to go there. We can't get through nor indeed at the moment

can we even get out of this bunker.

The hospital was hit, images of the damage done that morning posted online by the local administration. Officials said that one civilian was killed,

others injured and several floors were badly damaged. The humanitarian effort goes on.

This woman asks only for the basics of existence. Water and candles for light.

Good job. You do this every day?


KILEY: Lukdon (ph) tells me most people left here now have nowhere else to go. They have lived here all their lives and don't want to abandon their


Do you think the Russians are going to take Sievierodonetsk?

Never, he says, we will stand our ground to the last man. No one will leave here. That may be a dangerous claim. It's likely that Ukrainians will

destroy this bridge to hold up the invasion. And anyone still here would then be trapped in Russian hands.


KILEY: Now Hala, we know, obviously, only too well from places like bucha but elsewhere around the country, notably Mariupol, what ending up in

Russian hands means for civilians.

On top of that, of, course we've now got the Biden administration asking for $33 billion worth of more money to spend on aid to Ukraine. A lot of

that going, most of it going on weapons, on top of the $13.6 billion that the Americans already set aside.

And, the offers coming in from the Europeans and other Western allies, all of that is being treated as an urgent requirement for the Ukrainians

because, I think things really hang in the balance here. The longer the Russians have to consolidate their positions, work their way into Ukraine,

the better the position will be for them.

On the converse of, that of course, the sooner that Ukrainians get these modern weapons, the more they can tip the balance, that is not in their

favor in terms of troop numbers, more in their favor and back against the Russians.

GORANI: All right, Sam Kiley, thank you so much, reporting live there from Kramatorsk.

Now a top executive at one of Russia's largest private banks, gazprombank, has left his job to go fight for his homeland, Ukraine. From Kyiv, he tells

CNN why he feels that staying in Russia while the war raged was no longer an option for him. Nina dos Santos has his story.



IGOR VOLOBUEV, FORMER V.P., GAZPROMBANK (through translator): I could no longer be in Russia.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR (voice-over): A moment of dissent from a former top business man in Russia, as he declares to independent

Russian online publication, "The Insider," that he left one of the jewels in the Kremlin's economic crown, to fight for Ukraine.

VOLOBUEV (through translator): My homeland is invaded now. I cannot live a well-fed, contented life while my father losing that ticker (ph) is being

killed. And my relatives, acquaintances, friends are being killed.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Igor volobuev was born in Ukraine but worked for more than 20 years in Russia. Until recently, he was a vice president of

gazprombank, one of the largest private banks in the country and also part of the state-owned energy supply at gazprom.

That was before he left for Ukraine. We won't specify where he is now. But he told CNN why he came to this decision.

VOLOBUEV (through translator): Well, I came here to fight. If I were concerned about my safety, I would not have left Russia. My goal is to be

useful to my homeland, to Ukraine.

My goal is to be here until Ukraine wins the war. I want to see victory and I want to see a victory parade in Kyiv and in my own hometown. And I don't

regret this at all.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Volobuev might not be a household name in the, West or even in Russia for that matter but his voice is added to a chorus

of prominent Russians turning their backs on Putin, as this war in Ukraine drags on.

From this TV journalist, who protested on the evening news, to two former government officials and these oligarchs hit by sanctions.

JOHN LOUGH, CHATHAM HOUSE: Well, the interesting question perhaps is will it encourage others, those people that have spoken, have restricted

themselves to very benign statements, you know, about regretting the loss of life in Ukraine.

But clearly fearful about what could happen to them. So it would, I think, take many more brave people to stand up and express their positions.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Volobuev says that he intends to sign up for Ukraine's army. But for now he could be more useful to intelligence

networks, says this analyst at Chatham House.

LOUGH: His value will be to particular Western intelligence services, who will want to debrief him about the functioning of gazprombank, the extent

to which its leadership is still connected with the Kremlin.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Volobuev's personal protest is a risky one. Yet even he believes that it's unlikely to change the course of the war in

Ukraine yet.

VOLOBUEV (through translator): He's gone so far. He has no exit route. He is covered in blood and the economy won't stop him. He will go all the way.

The only thing that can stop him is a regime change or his own death.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): -- Nina dos Santos, CNN, in London.


GORANI: CNN has reached out to gazprombank for comment.

Still to come, canceled flights, shuttered school and people confined to their homes still?

How China's zero COVID policy is completely closing down major parts of the country. Stay with us.





GORANI: Well, China's busiest airport has come to a halt with over 1,000 flights canceled today alone. Authorities say COVID screening tests for

airport staff showed an abnormal result. It comes as the country's two biggest cities, Beijing and Shanghai, are being crippled by lockdowns.

Between mass testing, the shuttering of schools, many people are angry and they are fed up with the nation's uncompromising zero COVID policy. Steven

Jiang has the story.


STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER, BEIJING BUREAU: Many parents here in Beijing, myself included, woke up Thursday morning to this most recent

email in the inbox, announcing the immediate closure of many schools in the city's most populous districts until further notice.

The schools saying they are switching to online learning. But that was cold comfort for many parents who still have to go to or parents with very young

kids. Also being shut down, a growing number of major hospitals across town.

So all those closures, really a very ominous sign that the worst is yet to come, despite the official tally of fewer than 200 cases in Beijing in this

latest outbreak out of the city's 20 plus million residents, many of whom have already gone through two rounds of mandatory COVID testing this week,

with one more round to go.

Now the streets here already seem to be much quieter, even during rush hours. One reason for that could be many commuters who live outside of

Beijing's jurisdiction are now being locked out. One city right outside of Beijing locking down its entire population of 1 million, just because of a

single case.

Inside the city, we are still mostly able to move about, except for residents, who are sealed inside these so-called high-risk neighborhoods.

As of now, shops are still open and supplies seem to be plentiful, both in store and online.

But many people have been stocking up on supplies, being reminded by friends and family in Shanghai that things can change at any moment and

officials promises and reassurance don't mean much anymore, after what happened in Shanghai.

But all of this is not happening just in Beijing and Shanghai but across the country. More than 2 dozen cities affecting 165 million people. Many

have been placed under some forms of lockdown for months, with little outside attention.

Just on Thursday, 1,000, more than 1,000 flights being canceled at the guangzhou airport, the country's busiest, because of one abnormal test

result from an airport employee.

So all of this, really reinforcing the notion, in the minds of many people, that zero COVID and its strict enforcement is here to stay, especially

since that policy has been so closely tied to Xi Jinping, the country's top leader, with officials and state media here ramping up their propaganda

about only zero COVID could save China from all the deaths and destruction seen in the West, despite the growing social and economic costs here

domestically -- Steven Jiang, CNN, Beijing.


GORANI: Well, COVID infections are doubling in South Africa, as the country enters its winter season. It is a worrying trend of being seen

across Africa, in fact, as infections increase for the first time in two months.

The continent has recorded more than 11 million cases and nearly 250,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

Now to space, the final frontier, where a second spacewalk this month is underway at the International Space Station. These, in fact, are live

pictures from NASA. Two Russian cosmonauts will attempt to flex the joints of the robotic arm. It's the fifth spacewalk this year and the 250th


And it comes just hours after the arrival of four new crew members Wednesday including astronaut Jessica watkins. She is set to become the

first Black woman to complete a long-duration space mission.

We are looking live into space, everyone. Amazing.

We will be right back after a short break.





This week, CNN brings hear the story of Trail Blazers, pushing the limits of science and health care. Once the stuff of science books and Hollywood

blockbusters, holograms are now being used to help surgeons do more operations and hopefully do them better. Rachel Crane has that.



RACHEL CRANE, CNN BUSINESS INNOVATION AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): In this hospital in Israel, Elchanan Bruckheimer is mending a

heart, using tools that with a pencil points, called catheters. But he can't see the heart with his own eyes.

DR. ELCHANAN BRUCKHEIMER, SCHNEIDER CHILDREN'S MEDICAL DIRECTOR: Imaging is how we understand what is inside the patient, what's going on and where

we need to move our catheters. My depth perception has to be down to the submillimeter.

CRANE (voice-over): In recent decades, advances in imaging technologies like X-rays and ultrasound have helped make this process more accurate and

commonplace. But Bruckheimer believes mixed reality technology can give surgeons an even clearer picture. He is developing a system that turns

medical images into holograms.

That might sound ike something out of a movie, like the three-dimensional projections you find inside Iron Man's suit. But Bruckheimer says his

company, RealView, has been working a telescope eye for almost 15 years. You need a specialized overhead device to see these holograms, though.

SHAUL GELMAN, COFOUNDER AND CEO, REALVIEW IMAGING: Like a 3d printer of points of light. So it allows the position to see a hologram. If it is in

front of him, he can visualize information and he can interact with it.

CRANE (voice-over): And as Bruckheimer sees it, that benefits both patients and hospitals.

BRUCKHEIMER: We can do complex procedures, quicker, easier and you can do more of those.

CRANE (voice-over): Some bigger players in technology agree. Microsoft is partnering with hospitals and startups like New York-based Medivis to

adapt its HoloLens to a device for surgery.

How does Microsoft's cloud platform interact with this technology?

DAVID RHEW, MICROSOFT (voice-over): The ability for us to be able to hold the data from the different sources, like electronic health records, that

is how it enables technology.

CRANE (voice-over): One issue that could arise: slow bandwidth. This is according to Ngiam Kee Yuan, from the National University Health System in

Singapore. His team is collaborating with Microsoft to try out the technology for live operations.


NGIAM KEE YUAN, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY HEALTH SYSTEM: We are trying to test our use, the use of 5G technology to improve our bandwidth and reduce our


CRANE (voice-over): Some are already working in what they see as the next milestone, projecting holograms right onto the patient's body. Microsoft

believes that collaboration across the industry could help speed up progress. For Bruckheimer, it is all about what is best for the patient.

BRUCKHEIMER: Any improvement we could have that could reduce suffering for our patients is my mission.


GORANI: Well, this is it for me for now. This is my last time anchoring HALA GORANI TONIGHT. I'm taking a break from daily news, to work on other

projects. Bringing you the news for all these years really has been the privilege of a lifetime.

I was a CNN viewer for many years before I joined the network. And if you had told teenage me that this Arab American daughter of Syrian parents,

raised on three continents in three languages, would one day have her own show on this network, I would not have believed you. But I did. And the

gratitude I feel today is immense.

But this is not adieu forever. I'm confident we will cross paths again down the road on other big stories. Thank you to my team and to you, from the

bottom of my heart. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next.