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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  February 25, 2022 12:00am-1:00am PST

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hello, everyone. welcome to cnn. i'm michael holmes live from ukraine. with our breaking news. russian forces moving deeper into ukraine. and appear to have their sights on the capitol kyiv. with heavy explosions from crews or ballistic missiles reported
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over the past few hours. ukrainian official claims this video shows an aerial defense system shooting a russian missile out of the sky. ukraine and the u.s. fear the russian plan to encircle the city after the government and go after the government and could in the process inflict widespread human rights abuses. ukraine acknowledges one of the fighter jets has been shot down over kyiv. it claims it has inflicted 800 casualties on russian forces since the invasion started. obviously we have not been able to independently confirm that. meanwhile russian forces -- airfields sp military bases. across the country. british intelligence reports at least 80 strikes since the fighting began. u.s. source says russia launched 160 missiles. heavy fighting in north eastern ukraine as well. video claiming to show a military academy on fire. cnn witnessed heavy artillery
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fire in ukraine second largest city kharkiv. ukraine president saying 130 of the soldiers have been killed. since this invasion began. and he's urging ukraine allies to do more to help his country. >> this morning we are defending our country alone. just like yesterday. the most powerful country in the world looked on from a distance. russia was hit with sanctions yesterday. but these are not enough to get the foreign troops off soil. only through solidarity and determination can this be achieved. >> u.s. president has unvailed sweeping new sanctions on russia. although he's admits it will take some time before moscow feels the affects. and is still considering direct sanctions on vladimir putin. >> putin is the aggressor. putin chose this war. and now he is his country will
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bare the consequences. america stands up to bullies. we stand up for freedom. this is who we are. make no mistake. freedom will prevail. >> cnn senior international correspondent is live in paris for us. with international reaction. first let's go to white house reporter in washington. and how much will the sanctions impact. what effect will they have? will they make a difference in the end. >> i think they will on the russian economy. the white house says these are unprecedented sanctions. the real question is whether they will have effect on vladimir putin. at this point that's an open question. putin of course knew the scope of the sanctions for weeks. the president has been signaling what he was willing to do and that didn't prevent an invasion from going forward. so that's still of course an open question. the penalties are very severe
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for country the size of russia who economy the size of russia. it was unprecedented what the president put in place. there are restrictions on some of russia's largest banks. restrictions on debt for a nrm of different sectors. the president put new restrictions on russian businessmen who are close to the kremlin. and of course their adult children to try to avoid an escape hatch for the sanctions. and sort of the center piece of these sanctions were the export controls. which limit export of certain technology and that could have a real withering effect on certain sectors like military. and aerospace. it was significant the president said today that it would take time for the sanctions to take effect. but it's notable what he left off the table. things like sanctioning vladimir putin himself. and also removing russia from the swift financial messaging system. that was sort of one of the
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quote nuclear options of sanctions that had been considered over time. of president zelenskyy of ukraine had called on the united states and europe. to take russia off of the swift banking system. in his remarks yesterday the president was acknowledging europe wasn't on board with that. both the united states and europe would need to be aligned on that. if that was to go forward. so these sanctions going into effect. the president making clear that we won't see the affects really any time soon. >> all right. thank you. in washington, appreciate it. standing by in paris. and jim, the french president is really positioning himself as a kind of mediator between moscow and kyiv. for a potential cease fire. tell me more about what he's saying? >> absolutely. he announced at the european
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counsel meeting that they are he had a phone call to vladimir putin last night. at the behest of zelenskyy. basically saying that zelenskyy asked him to call putin and he demanded that putin immediately cease fire. immediately lay down the arms and stop the attack. on ukraine. and he said obviously that had no impact at all. he also said that he felt that putin had been duplicity all along. >> yes, there was duplicity. yes, there was deliberate conscious choice by president putin to launch the war. when we could still negotiate peace. >> and we have been listening to the foreign minister this morning talking on french radio saying that he feels that putin
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is trying to scare people. saying that he's trying to intimidate us and create fear. he knows very well the balance of forces in europe and he says that the kind of sanctions the europeans have announced over night there will affixuate and suffocate the russian economy. >> the macron was the first major western leader to speak to vladimir putin after the russian military actions began. tell us more about that. >> apparently he wants to -- as he did leading up to the conflict, macron wants to try to be the mediator. to negotiate between kyiv and moscow. in fact there doesn't seem to be much chance of that at the moment. still i think he's trying to position himself so he would be the person to talk to if and when vladimir putin wants to stop things and start talking.
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basically it has to revolve around the question of cease fire. i don't think the french president will have much of a role to play. >> all right. jim in paris with the latest. thanks so much. joining me here onset is maria. head of the crimea platform department of the mission of the president of ukraine. we are emphasizing you are here in your private capacity. as a citizen of ukraine. and to that end, you are involved with the fall out from putin's last invasion in this country. crimea eight years ago. first of all what do you think he wants this time? >> as eight years ago when he started the war against ukraine, by occupying crimea peninsula. he wants to size ukraine. he wants to prevent ukraine from existing. therefore he just that's why
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he's doing what he's doing now. he bombs now. they try to catch kyiv. and of course it may end up with capturing ukraine. however ukraine resists. that's the very important thing. >> that is happening. that's for sure. i'm curious, ukrainian citizen, you live in kyiv. right? >> yes, i do. >> as a ukrainian citizen, how do you feel about what is happening? >> i should have in kyiv now. i'm here because i was on my working and i didn't manage yet to get back home. i have to be there. what i feel is that -- that was not to be honest that was not a huge surprise for ukraine in general. this further attack. because many people say that putin started war of ukraine. this war started eight years ago. it's very important to understand. and what i feel is first of all maybe that we need more -- first of all i feel solidarity.
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ukraine is very much united. ukraine supports the government and president. ukraine supports ukrainian army. very much. and ukrainians they are very keen to defense ourself. they are entering the self-defense units all over the country. and that will make russia move further move russian troops very hard. >> can you imagine a few weeks from now, a few months from now, this country will not be ruled by president zelenskyy but ruled by a pro-russian person who is been installed by vladimir putin, can you imagine that? >> i cannot imagine that. it's not unlike russia where everything is very much centralized. and on the one authority of one person or one group of persons. ukraine is has very strong civil society. ukraine has strong sentiment towards freedom. towards democracy. and towards liberal values.
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therefore i cannot imagine how some pro-russian person which is not welcome by ukrainians will be ruling and so therefore i think that putin is actually trying to blackmail the world to blackmail ukraine to prevent ukraine from entering nato. to prevent ukraine from reforming itself. from being developed. european country with a democratic strong democracy. so that's what he is trying to do. >> what do you know about life in crimea after the invasion? how has life there changed for the people? >> i know a lot as someone can know who it lives in mainland ukraine. i was in crimea when the occupation started. >> so was i. >> i was witnessing it and later provided testimony to the european court for human rights also. so since then i was following the situation. i was in touch with some of the activists who are still in the field in crimea. mostly crimea people indigenous
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population. and they are most i would say vuln vulnerable group of people currently. under oppression. at least 100 currently in the detention. because of the political persecution. also ukrainians all of the non-loyal population is actually squeezed out. swiped away or arrested or tratr transferred to russia. fundamental rights in crimea are not existing. >> brutally oppressed under the soviet union. had the measure of freedom for a while and then russia came in. they are facing oppression again. i really appreciate you coming in. thanks so much. important conversation to have. >> thank you. all right. ukrainians are already fleeing their war torn country and potential humanitarian crisis could be brewing. we'll look at what america is prepared to do to help them. stay with us. frank is a fan of fast. he's a fast talker.
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i feel angry. i don't feel helpless. i feel angry. and i feel like we need an international support. >> most of the time i'm trying to understand something bad is happening. there's no need to panic. just take action and precaution. and try to keep alert and mindful and stay kind of clear minded. because there's no point in panicking if you want to make it worse. >> some thoughts there on the russian invasion from residents here in ukraine. where we are broadcasting from. an american ambassador to the un
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says the russian invasion might spark a humanitarian crisis that could displace as many as 5 million people. and the u.s. says it is prepared to help. the white house press secretary announcing the u.s. is ready to accept ukrainian refugees. and help ukraine neighbors handle the increase flow of people fleeing the country. >> we certainly expect that most if not the majority want to go to europe. in neighboring countries. we are also working with european countries on what the needs are. where there is capacity. poland for example. we are seeing a an increasing flow of refugees over the last 24 hours. >> now director of the democracy initiative joins me now on the line. before we get to analysis, we have spoken many times. you are normally in your
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apartment in kyiv. you are not at the moment. tell me why and why you are doing. >> this morning we woke up to another sonic booms. southern out skirts of kyiv. i have two small children and it was an opportunity to evacuate. and quickly. driving with currently driving to the west of ukraine. an hour and a half from kyiv. i'm hoping to get this over with quickly and return. the president issued a call for all able men to defend kyiv. my friend and i traveling in another car. we're intending to come back to the capitol. we're hearing that there are already fighting heavy fighting going on. in one of the districts next to the center of kyiv.
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>> just to confirm you are going top dropping the family off to safety and going back to kyiv. to fight? >> well, what else is there to do. a do or die situation for ukraine. uncertain terms this is whether the ukrainian people will survive. the name of the game at this point. >> i just see you in this analyst role and now i'm hearing you are dropping the family off fearing for their safety and about to go back. and defend your country. let's talk about the analysis side of things. i read where you pointed out that people here in ukraine they are used to war over the last eight years. we know that. most aren't used to it on their doorstep. and you are a living example.
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how do you see the population responding and reacting? >> obviously it's a state of shock. people are shell shocked. people are still walking their dogs and early morning. you are seeing people kind of dazed and confused. walking down the road and trying to flag down cars with probably very little success. leading to -- blocked. jam packed and traveling moving about less than eight kilometers an hour. so people are still -- i saw people walking their dogs. and most people have to stay there. nowhere to go. and themes of people just bloody murder. this is russia taking ukraine.
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ukraine this is happening. this couldn't be imagined in our worst nightmare. it has been going on eight years. this is the mother of all russian -- where it all began. i can't even talk about it. >> putin, do you feel he really played the west -- do you feel he played the west in this situation? what did the west do wrong? what can it do now to try to preserve ukraine's independence if that's even possible now? >> i'm going to be blunt. joe biden speech. i'm presumed to speak on behalf of ukrainians. i have to be careful and say that ukrainians are very thankful for any help.
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once this box was open, and the nato stood firmly against violating its own open door policy and telling putin what he wanted ukraine will never be accepted. it's not poverty the country is welcome. once they did that they had to put the money where the mouth was. and there should have been a plan in place. putin attacks this is the contingency plan. ukraine should have been armed to the teeth. and armed with air missiles. given aviation. and they should have would have understand. there was a warning. sent in spring with the first beginning of the spiral situation began. and the west and everyone was like nothing happened. now this is happening, what i heard from joe biden is we're drawing a line. nato will be defended.
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russia will be -- in all of that what i heard is that ukraine will remain under russia fear of influence. essentially. i heard in his message that ukraine has to do it on their own. this is i think it's shared by ukrainians they feel it's do or die. security counsel conference a few days ago. and conversation with folks like former minister of defense secretary of defense. other former generals. we were told that ukraine will be helped if ukrainians show enough courage in them and resilience to fight. we're talking about days. days here. help should be given within
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days. what i'm concerned about is vladimir putin as you heard in his speech made it clear that he will probably the use of nuclear weapons. if you came to ukraine defense, i will use nuclear weapons. he's blackmailing the west. playing a game of chicken. who will work first. yesterday, joe biden speech no matter how well intentioned, i heard that america will win the game of chicken with russia. >> before i let you go, something i asked the guest here not long ago, i want to ask you too, can you as a resident of kyiv can you even get your head around the notion that in a month a week, days from now, your country will be run by a russian backed president? >> very difficult to imagine.
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they pulled it off over the last eight years. with very mixed success. kyiv is another ball game altogether. first of all the fighting for kyiv is only begun. it seems to mee determined to make kyiv -- ano another. it's hard to imagine. i think whoever that will be it will be ruling over a ruling city. >> peter, i'm glad you took the time to speak with us. our thought rs with you and your family. please do take care. peter, thank you so much. be well. >> thank you. like so much in the war
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trying to get my head around that. he's an analyst. he's an academic. and now fleeing to drop his family off and then go back to kyiv and fight. think about that. not everyone in russia is on board with vladimir putin's assault on ukraine. coming up, we'll show you how some are even going to jail after protesting on the streets of the russian capitol. tv - i'ml neuroscientist. and i love the science behind neuriva plus. unlike ordinary memory supplements, neneuriva plus fuels six key indicators of brain performance. more brain p performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger. do you have a lilife insurance policy you no longer need? now you can sell your policy - even a term policy - for an immediate cash payment. call coveny direct to learn morewe thought we had planned carefully for our retirement. but we quickly realized we needed a way to supplement our income. our friend sold their policy to he pay their medical bills, and that got me thinking. maybe selling our policy could help with our retirement. i'm
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the ukrainian president releasing an impassioned message this morning. praising his people for their heroism in fighting in russian invasion and took a swipe at western allies accusing them of not doing enough to get russia to back off. saying sanctions won't cut it. and we are defending our country alone. while the most powerful country in the world looks on from a distance. powerful stuff. now kyiv is being attacked again today. air raid sirens going on off earlier. at least six explosion calling the strikes the worst in kyiv since world war ii. the ukrainian government says this dramatic video shows one of
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the missiles systems shooting a russian rocket out of the sky. now we're also hearing troops blew up a bridge just north of the capitol. to keep a russian column of 2r troops from advancing and says so far it is holding them off. the defense ministry announcing it is has inflicted some 800 casualties. on russian forces. not clear if that means death or injury are included in that figure. we cannot independently confirm that. ukraine says it's destroyed 30 russian tanks and lost 137 of its own troops. meanwhile the russian president defending the aggression. telling members of moscow business community that he had no choice but to invade. >> i want to under line that was such a desperate measure. it could have created such risk that no one knows how the
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country was to exist. >> u.s. president says vladimir putin chose the war and must bare the consequences imposing harshest sanctions yet on russia. >> putin aggression against ukraine will end up costing russia dearly. economically and strategically. we'll make sure of that. they will be on the international stage. any nation will be stained by association. >> should the u.s. and allies be doing more, a source telling us that intelligence officials are keeping a lookout for any signs of potential russian activity beyond ukraine. cnn joining me now from the pentagon. what are officials there watching tonight? >> really growing concern here
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in washington and the pentagon tonight. that the sort of it's hanging over kyiv over the ukrainian capitol tonight. senior biden administration officials briefing capitol hill earlier this evening. telling them that russian troops that moved into ukraine from the north from belarus moved within 20 kilometers of the nations capitol and we understand russian forces still old an airport quite near to the capitol of kyiv. secretary of state today saying publicly that the u.s. believes that russia intends to encircle kyiv. at this point defense and intelligence officials are pretty firm in their assessment russia intends to topple the zelenskyy government in kyiv. and we know from past reporting try to replace it be some kind of russia friendly pro-moscow proxy government. >> i want to ask you this. we just touched on this. lots of questions to biden administration officials today. about whether putin might have
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ambitions beyond ukraine. are they concerned he might and what would the west do? >> it's a great question. i have been talking to sources about this tonight. i do know from one source familiar with the matter. that western and u.s. intelligence officials are closely watching for any potential russian activity in the western ball cans. nothing out of the ordinary yet. and watching russian activity in the sort of russian backed break away separatist region of nearby moll dova. part of the lingering western concern that putin's ambitions may extend beyond ukraine. blinken asked directly about this. saying you don't need intelligence to tell you that putin wants to try to reconstitute the old soviet empire. and so this is really just kind of watchfulness by u.s. and western intelligence officials.
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into places that russia has some degrees of influence and soviet history. >> yeah. the aspect is fascinating. it's a whole another country. fascinating to see what might happen there. at the pentagon, really appreciate that. thanks so much. president vladimir putin enjoys overwhelming support in russia. that hasn't stopped sporadic demonstrations against this invasion in his own country. more than 1,700 people have been detained in antiwar protests. around the country. cnn reported on some of the arrests as they were happening. >> here's another man taken away and arrested here. this is happening literally by the minute. i'm looking at another one, two people coming up. behind the camera woman.
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four, five, six. at least six other people here. we have been talking in the past couple minutes more than ten people have been arrested. >> now russia bars demonstrations without a permit. russians can stage individual single person protests. some residents aren't in ukraine leaving their homes and we have heard. one major city turning a subway station into a bomb shelter. how they're holding up. look, this isn't my first rodeo and let me tell you something, i wouldn't be here if i thought reverse mortgages took advantage of any amican senior,
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all right. we have been hearing from people here in ukraine about the russian invasion. they are worried they are concerned. it used to be just anxious. they are now really quite frightened. and in kharkiv meanwhile residents turned a subway station into a makeshift bomb shelter. cnn chief international correspondent was there. she spoke to frightened but determined ukrainians seeking safety. >> kharkiv residents scramble to find shelter. as russia brutal assault unfolds. deep under ground, scenes reminiscent of the second world
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war. the shock just sinking in. that what once unimaginable is now reality. as 36 year-old tells us. >> you wake up and it's not real. 5:00 a.m. and the world is no longer the safe place you imagine. we're independent country. ukraine. and we're not same adds russia and don't want to be a part of russia or any other country. i can't believe it's happening really. >> yesterday, this was just an ordinary metro station. full of people going to and from work. today, it has become a de facto bomb shelter and just hundreds and hundred of people who have descended on this place. fearful for their lives. and uncertain of what the future will bring. the thing you hear over and over again from people, is where can
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we go? where is it safe now to go in ukraine. i want to be clear about something. this is not a front line city in ukraine. a war with russia. this is a thriving metropolis of 1.4 million people. who have never experienced anything like this. in their entire lives. now they're forced to literally camp out with their families, pets, their loved ones, grabbed whatever they could from their homes. and they brought it here. they don't know what's next for them. they don't know what the new ukraine will look like and what place they will have in it. >> many we approached are too overcome to speak. >> they're very nervous. >> look at the situation around you. this woman says. >> i'm so sorry.
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it's terrible. >> there's no doubt here about who is responsible for the conflict. few can understand why. >> it's interesting. i asked them what do they think of president putin. is he crazy. they said he's not crazy. he's sick. we want to live peacefully. >> i hope that some people in russia -- >> a simple plea for mercy. that has so far fallen on deaf ears. >> yet again just put yourself in their position. i'm michael holmes in ukraine. i will be back with more at the top of the hour. let's head to atlanta. >> thank you so much. russia opens a military front in ukraine, it's facing push back on the economic front. up next we'll look at why the
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because just one dose can help protect me from pneumococcal pneumonia. ask your doctor or pharmacist about getting vaccinated with prevnar 20 today. developments now in ukraine. russia pushes ahead with the invasion. ukrainian officials say one of its fighter jets was shot down over the capitol of kyiv.
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friday. government photos appear to show a home that caught fire after pieces of plane fell on it. it's not clear if those are the remnants of the ukrainian jet shot down. ukraine foreign minister is slamming russia for what he called horrific rocket strikes on kyiv. saying the city hasn't seen something like that since world war ii. ukraine says it blew up a bridge 50 kilometers north of the capitol to stop the russian advance. but as moscow tries to push further into ukraine, the u.s. and allies are taking aim at the russian economy. announcing sweeping sanctions to hurt russia's banks, state businesses and political elite. anna stewart joining us from london with reaction on the financial market. let's go through the sanctions. what do they cover and how are they affecting markets? >> much broader compared to earlier in the week. from the u.s. and others. now russian banks are targeted here and much bigger banks than we saw previously.
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essentially russian banks are cut off from financial markets. assets frozen and sanctions are far reaching with the russia's second biggest bank facing full sanction frs the u.s. and targeting other companies. particularly in sectors like defense. russian companies that make tanks and ships. missiles. they are facing sanctions. list of individuals, oligarchs. people close to put putin. and the families. europe will no longer be a second home for russians. assets will be frozen and travel bans put in place. and then the really interesting measure relating to export restrictions. from the eu and u.s. and uk. very much targeted at technology. making sure russia can't access certain technology they really rely on. particularly in defense. and also other sectors. just to give you an idea of how far reaching that is, when you look at the u.s. and their decision to do this it impacts a
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chip maker in taiwan. the biggest chip maker. they use u.s. technology and cannot sell semi-conductor to russia. what's interesting is what is not on the list. and obviously that is oil. that is gas. that is wheat and metal. russia is still able to sell those products. it's biggest revenue drivers and of course swift. >> yeah. let's talk about swift. one of the things they didn't do was exclude russia from the swift system. which allows the transactions between the thousands of financial institutions around the world. why didn't they take that step which many countries including ukraine were pushing for? >> it's discussed now for weeks behind closed doors. this really has the ability to really devastate russia economy. shrink by 5%. but there was serious division. that's actually something the u.s. president spoke about last night. take a listen. >> it is always an option but
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right now that's not the position that the rest of the europe wishing to take. >> senior sources told us this is where the split was within the eu. which is where swift is based. you have poland and estonia, lithuania wanting to disconnect russia from the financial payment system. germany and italy, hungry and cypress didn't. their countries really strong economic ties to russia. germany already of course facing potential huge fall out in term of energy due to the pipeline. that is why we're seeing such division. we had the defense minister speaking saying uk would have liked to have seen the measure enacted. >> thanks so much. anna stewart, appreciate it. thank you for watching the cnn "newsroom." the news continues with michael holmes live from ukraine after this short break. stay with us. lactaid is 100% real milk, just without the lactose. so you can enjoy it even if you're sensitive to dairy. so anyone who saysys lactaid isn't real milk is also saying
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mabel here isn't a real cow. and she realally hates that.
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this is cnn breaking news. hello and welcome to our viewers joining us in the united states and all around the world. i'm michael holmes coming to you live from lviv, ukraine. volodymyr zelenskyy is pleading for help. air raid sirens have been sounding consistently following explosions in the capitol as ukraine and the u.s. say russian forces plan to encircle the city and go after the government. the ukrainian official says this video shows


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