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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  February 26, 2022 1:00am-2:00am PST

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ukrainian officials sharing this video of people being rescued from that building. russia acknowledges that it has been carrying out strikes that claims it is targeting only military infrastructure and not residential buildings. meanwhile ukraine's president sharing this defiant message in the face of advancing russian troops. here he is. >> good morning, ukrainians. currently there are a lot of games appearing on the internet.
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we are not putting down arms. we are defending our truth. and this is our land, our children, our country, and we will defend all of it. that is it. that is all i wanted to tell you. glory to ukraine. >> blasts like that lit up the skies of kyiv overnight. ukraine says some of the explosions were from operations targing russian tanks. gunfire also erupting in the early morning hours. here's how it played out live on cnn earlier while alex marquardt was reporting. [ gunshots ]
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>> not one but several bursts of gunfire. now, the reason that you were able to hear it on the line that we were able to hear it having just stepped inside is it really was quite loud. that was not small arms fire. that appeared to be some kind of anti-aircraft fire. i came out here as soon as we started hearing it and looked into the sky. you can see the tracer rounds going up. it's something i've seen before elsewhere. we have not heard explosions in quite some time, but it is clear that fighting is going on all around this city. >> now, the fighting, of course, extends far beyond kyiv as we enter day three of russia's
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invasion launched from three sides of ukraine. have a look at the aftermath of fighting. and ukrainian troops have also been battling russians near the border with crimea in the south. and this just in from france. president emmanuel macron warning the world should not expect, quote, this brutality to end soon. he says the war in ukraine will last, and he says all the crises that come with it will have lasting consequences. cnn has correspondents positioned across ukraine and all around the world to bring you the latest on this breaking news. ana stuart is covering sanctions from london, scott mcclain, and cnn's contributor jill dougherty has details from moskow. fred pleitgen joins me now from
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a region of ukraine. fred, let's begin with you. what is going on there where you are? >> there's still a lot of action here. i'll get out of your way and you can see the checkpoint is sort of i would say 2, 300 meters that way. the past couple of days we've actually been able to get closer to that checkpoint. they're saying this morning they meant us to stand further away. there's still a lot of movement of military vehicles. they've been going past us throughout the morning we've been here. we've seen a lot of infantry firing vehicles go to the road, and there's as i said a lot of russian armor going that way. we've also seen a few ambulances race down in that direction. whether or not that means the russians may have been taking casualties at the kharkiv line at that point in time we simply
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cannot say. we have seen some ambulances go down there, and also quite frankly a lot of soldiers being moved into that area as well. we saw a lot of armored vehicles the last couple of days. now seems a lot of personnel and support vehicles going to kharkiv and big operations in the air also. we're hearing jets in the sky regularly and also rocket fire in the sky also. >> have you been able to interact with those russian forces or commanders or anyone and get a sense of their morale, how they're feeling going in? >> it's a possible -- it's impossible to say. no one down here, the russian forces certainly aren't speaking to us. certainly looks to us they understand they're in the beginning stages of the operation right now. one of the things we have to point out, michael, the russian forces around here, the area around the kharkiv front line, they certainly are in a position
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to escalate a lot further. if you go around the villages you'll find russian forces. there was one small village we went to where there were howitzers standing in the middle of the street and street was almost two small. we see a lot ofju soldiers, a l of trucks that can be brought over to the front line at any point in time, michael. >> great reporting. good to get some insight from where you are, fred. jasmine, at the white house. what does the white house know as it monitors what's been happening in kyiv overnight? >> well, michael, the president is getting regular updates and staying in close touch with his
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security team as he spends time at home. but no doubt they're watching developments happening overnight, looking liking with a lot of concern. now we're seeing some of that prediction created because that u.s. intelligence come into focus here. of course the government also worried about the ukrainian people but also president zelenskyy as he stays in ukraine. we know president zelenskyy and president biden had a phone call today about 40 minutes. and the white house told us after it was done in a read out they said president biden commended the ukrainian people for fighting for their country and also spoke to president zelenskyy about defensive assistance and support. and after that phone call we learned just a few hours ago that president biden instructed the state department to release
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up to $350 million for defensive assistance for ukraine, really trying to up that support for ukraine as it fights for its sovereignty, and it's the third of such payment really trying to make sure that ukraine has enough to get through these really intense times. so as we talk about going forward here we know that the president will have a call in the morning with his national security team, with the vice president, really trying to get updates on what's happening on the ground as these are really intense moments that the president is trying to show real strength in. >> all right, jasmine wright, our thanks to you in washington, d.c. fred pleitgen, thanks for your reporting as well. meanwhile russia's media looks very different from most news coverage around the world. cnn contributor jill dougherty has the details for us from
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moskow. >> reporter: at the very same time that cnn and other western media were showing the attacks in kyiv, western tv was not showing live coverage from kyiv. in fact, it was showing pre-taped reports some of them very dramatic showing reporters in flack-jackets standing in front of tanks but coming instead from that break away region in the eastern part of ukraine, the donbas region where those two break away republics that were recognized officially this week by russia are located. this is all part of the messaging from the russian government on state tv constantly showing the people in those locations claiming that they are the victims of genocide, that they are being attacked by the ukrainian government. the ukrainian government, of course, denying that. but it is an attempt to justify the steps that the russians are taking now to remove that
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government which they argue is illegitimate. and also another piece of really dramatic video today, and that was president putin. he was directly addressing ukraine's military, urging them to turn against their leaders, saying that you should take power in your hands. and also calling the government in kyiv terrorists, drug addicts and neo-nazis. not only demeaning and trying to give the impression to the people of russia and the world that the attack they're carrying out in kyiv is justified. jill dougherty, moskow. >> all right, ukraine considering a proposal to hold talks with russia according to an advisor to president zelenskyy, but what shape would those talks take if they were to go ahead? our next guest may have a clue. the author of "fluid russia,"
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between the global and national in the post-soviet era and is a visiting research fellow at the kings center for strategic communication in london where she joins us now. it's great to have you on. so talk now of the potential for talks between russia and ukraine if they happen, and that is still a very big if. will volodymyr zelenskyy's removal be at the top of the list of putin's demands? what's your read? >> yeah, good morning. so it's a big if whether these talks will happen, and i think the talks how they will happen and what will be their outcome is very much determined on what is happening militarily on the ground. we're seeing the russians moved in, and they may have thought this could be easier than it actually sort of panned out for them. they use limited force. they can use more force to sort of -- to establish themselves in the territory.
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but everything they did from the beginning did not seem the break the ukrainians. and that brings us to the point where the negotiations can happen, because for the ukrainians if they're stronger on the ground they understand the russians can bring more and more force in. and actually when looking at syria the russians don't have to blitz it. they can go neighborhood by neighborhood and wear down kyiv and wear down kharkiv. if the ukrainians can put enough resistance they can counter from a much better position and hence the military assistance to ukraine is so crucial at this point. >> i wanted to tap into your expertise to ask you this. do you think post-soviet states which have moved in recent years towards the west would be justified in fearing fallout from all of this, fear being on putin's radar next if not short-term, longer-term. >> definitely. this is definitely a direction that we are already seeing.
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we're seeing this movement in maldova. we're seeing kind of unhappy movements in kazakhstan, armenia. all of this is already appearing now. and especially it is appearing because, unfortunately, we hear very strategic thinkers from russia saying this is actually the end of the post-soviet era, the russia will establish their former soviet space under its control. so this is obviously very concerning. and if we're talking about sort of creating unity i think town this line -- and we're still in the beginning of the fighting of ukraine, still don't know what will happen moving forward, but we see it will be difficult for the russians. so, yes, this -- i envision it would create a problem for the russian space, but also we have to take into account this war. this war before was unthinkable is spreading fear.
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we do have countries like georgia who actually their leadership said they're not going to join sanctions against russia although they condemned the war. so it's still a shifting, but my prediction is it will not work -- it will not work well for the russians. >> right. i wanted to ask you this, too, when it comes to putin's reason for war he has frankly twisted history and made some incredible allegations and bearing in mind the president is jewish. what do you make of how he has justified the invasion? >> well, this is a complete -- a complete twist of history, and i think a very good example of this information, how this information works, you take certain facts that may be true from history and he twist them such an extent and create stuff such a fictional, twisted and malicious narrative about a
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country that's actually very close to the russians, a nation so close culturally and ethnically to the russians. but the thing we have to understand this was created, this narrative that was created over the past cup of weeks didn't just spring out of nowhere. and what this narrative is there to do is sort of to dissuade russians or to kind of veil the truth with russians. >> just broefly before we go, how would you interpret putin's view of russia's national identity in the context of this conflict? >> so i think putin is actually fighting very strong undercurrent in his own society. i mean, the russia society you
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look at how young russians think and speak, they're moving in the direction ofl of convergence, and he built his own regime on resisting these trends. he twisted again with sort of very strong comparing of 20 years of disinformation about what happens in the 1990s. he twisted it so russians think he actually can bring them some kind of security and stability. he's fighting in my opinion this is a lost cause because what he's doing is he's saying he's bringing back some sort of security and identity for russians, but really what he's doing this is he's taking them to this war, trying to hide it with all this disinformation. but at the end of the day these currents are stronger than him. >> a fascinating insight. really appreciate you taking the time. thanks. >> thank you.
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okay, when we come back here on the program, fleeing the fighting. thousands leave ukraine heading to safety in poland and elsewhere. the fears and the open arms waiting for them. that's when we come back. >> so we are afraid. my husband is still there. we'll fight even if europe doesn't help us. with mucinex all-in-one you've got unbeatable relief from your worst cold and flu symptoms. so when you need to show your cold who's boss, grab mucinexll-in-one... and get backo your rhythm. ♪ don't play around with cold and flu symptoms.
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chaos in kyiv as thousands upon thousands of people try to flee the invasion of ukraine. people clamoring to board trains. you can hear shots being fired in the air to try to maintain order. and these satellite images showing long lines of traffic trying to cross the border into romania. that traffic jam 4 miles long at the polish border it was 37 kilometers. romania expects half a million refugees from ukraine. let's have a look at the line of traffic trying to get into poland. many people deciding it might be easier to just get out of their
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cars and walk. the irony, few of them if any really want to leave their home country at all. >> we are staying here for a long time, maybe six or seven hours away. actually i don't want to leave my native country but because they invade us i must leave as fast as possible. >> the u.n. telling us last hour some 120,000 people have fled ukraine already. many of them heading to poland. at least 29,000 on thursday alone, and that number growing by the hour. cnn's scott mcclain at is at a train station on the polish side of the border. >> reporter: they are tired. they are exhausted, and for many of the people here in this train station they have no idea where they're going to be sleeping
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tonight or for the next couple of nights. we are at the train station about 30 minutes or so, and a train from kyiv has just arrived here, and people are trying to find out where to go from here. some people are holding up signs offering to go to different parts of poland and volunteers here handing out food, handing out water. and also trying to link them up with places to stay. sometimes it's a school gymnasium they might be staying in. other times it's families who offered to take in women and children as well. now, the ukrainian government is not allowing men between 18 and 60 out of the country although we have run into some here. we spoke to one man in his 40s who described having to convince the border guards to try to let him across when he managed to do. he also describes the chaos of getting onto that train and the stampede of people without
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tickets but desperate to get out of the country. >> most people they just didn't have the tickets, so they just stormed the train. i mean it was almost like a stampede. people were like trying to get inside no matter what. nobody was actually checking tickets because i mean obviously most people didn't have any tickets. >> it was chaos. >> it was chaos. it was a lot of people like pushing around. but, i mean people run to escape, run for their lives so i don't blame them. >> we have also found ukrainian men here living in poland waiting at this train station for their loved ones to arrive unable to go back themselves. i spoke to one earlier today who was waiting for his family to arrive, and i asked him whether he was willing to go back to ukraine, and he said, yes, if the situation worsens. not if it gets better but if it gets worse. he he's willing to join the
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military and willing to fight and die for his country if it comes to that. >> now, earlier i spoke with kelly clemons, the u.n. deputy for refugees and shared with us how the humanitarian crisis in ukraine is becoming worse by the hour. >> we now see over 120,000 people that have gone to all the neighboring countries. and i have to say the reception they're receiving from local communities, from local authorities is tremendous, but it's a dynamic situation. it's -- we're really quite devastated obviously with what's to come, and we would say up to 4 million people could actually cross borders if things continue to deteriorate, which they have until now. >> these are staggering numbers, i mean just horrible. we're here in lviv in western
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ukraine. we've seen people pouring into here and kyiv from other parts of the country. right now we were told last night there is 37-long kilometer long line of vehicles at the polish border, and it's not moving very fast. just people getting out in a safe and orderly way could itself become problematic if it isn't already, right? >> yes. and there are queues at other border crossings as well. we've got people in the country looking at those border situations. there are a large number that have crossed into maldova but there are many more to follow, and those border crossings are important in a dynamic situation like this. >> again, if you'd like to help people in ukraine who may be in need of very basic things shelter, food, water, go to you're going to find resources there, several ways you can help if you so wish.
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ordinary ukrainians taking up arms ready to fight the russian aggressor. coming up here on "cnn newsroom," we talk to one ukrainian ready for battle and why he says vladimir putin will not win. that's coming up. >> i see you're alone here. >> he fights for ukraine. that's all. i'm jonathan lawson here to tell you about life insurance through the colonial penn program. if you're age 50 to 85, and looking to buy life insuran on fixed budget, remember the three ps. what are the three ps? the three ps of life insurance on a fixed budget are price, price, and price. a price you can afford, a price that can't increase,
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at your local xfinity store today. russian forces keeping up their barrage on the city of
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kyiv overnight and the invasion moving to the streets of the capital as ukraine's military battled to hold back advancing troops in multiple locations. we've also been getting pictures from kyiv of an apartment building that was struck by either a missile or a rocket. it's hard to tell. images and video, though, from the scene show a large impact that's about some ten stories up that building, and you can just see the damage. the city's mayor says emergency services were at the scene. the extent of casualties not yet known. in a statement russia's ministry defense claims its strikes were not targeting residential areas. the director of the eurasia democracy initiative and a political analyst are near kyiv, and they join me. peter, i'm going to start with you baz i had the most extraordinary conversation with you. i've interviewed you numerous
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times over the build up to this conflict, and there you were driving out of the city on the phone with your family and saying to me i'm going to go back and fight. bring me up-to-date on what has happened since then? >> well, indeed we had to smuggle our families out of kyiv. we had a note of warning, a very urgent warning our lives were in danger for a variety of reasons. we finally were able yesterday to get our folks to safety. there is fighting around the city, arnt the perimeters and they're trying to surround the city. we're trying to find out which routes we can take to reach the capital and join up with resistance there. and we haven't seen many like this since the 1940s has risen up. you have teenagers, old men,
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grandmothers arming themselves in units of territorial defense, which simply means that vladimir putin shall not rest. >> and i didn't realize you were in the same position until just now. what are your plans? >> well, we're heading back to kyiv. whatever happens putin is not going to win. they were trying to seize control of our capital kyiv using every inhuman technique. everyone in the world should understand putin is a murderer. yesterday he gave an order to start a rocket launch attack against an orphanage near kyiv effectively killing several kids. i think it's time for the whole world to act. act now, save ukraine now
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because we see the only thing which putin understands is -- is force. and according to ukrainian authorities the russian military forces for the last two days 3,500 people killed. and we see that ukrainian armed forces have been very effective in preventing. not a single ukrainian big city has been captured so far. >> and just to explain last night the president made it clear this was a very dire moment and that everything was on the line. we're hearing now from the government that they have held back the russian advances around the city. what do you think is going to happen now? peter, let's go to you. >> it's too soon to predict obviously. ukraine is facing the world's second largest army which has
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shown it will not stop at anything. in plain view it's committed a whole series of war crimes. that is enough to send a whole gang of putin and his company of buddies i cronies to prison for lives. it's too soon to tell, but it's obvious to all military experts confirming the blitzkrieg, the short war has completely failed. putin is getting his face kicked in, his nose kicked. you know, he's getting bloodied like he didn't expect this kind of resistance. his speech yesterday appealing to ukrainian armed forces telling them to, you know, give up on their drug addicted president and rise up shows first of all desperation, shows he's desperate and also he's
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detached from reality. he's honestly thinking ukrainians should be liberated by the russians. he has another thing coming. the last eight years thanks to vladimir putin time and again first was in 2014 and now the second time is today that ukrainians are realizing they are a nation to reckon with. and this national identity flowering is actually very much due to vladimir putin, so y ukrainians have a lot to thank him for. >> to that point let's say the worst happens and the government falls, i was here in 2014 after midan. i was then in crimea when the russians came in down there. do you think vladimir putin even if he puts in a puppet government, do you think he realizes what the mood of the ukrainian people is right now? they have already thrown out two pro-moskow presidents. does he think another one would
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do any better? >> you know, michael, to put it bluntly i don't care, and i don't think all ukrainians don't care what putin thinks of our country and our nation. putin like i said is a murderer, and he effectively turned russia into north korea for the last few days. and russia will pay for that. even at some point it looks very much like we might -- we might, it doesn't change anything for us. this is our country and our home. i'm born in the most russian speaking city in crimea. and we both have to leave our cities in 2014. this is our country, our
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capital, and vladimir putin is not going to take control over it whatever happens. he will pay a huge price for this. and i'm pretty sure that russian people actually they have to be with their president. if they're not going to protest against putin's regime, they have to face the fact that russia should be going under severe sanctions. and i'm asking, again, u.s. and european politicians, act now. be sure that ukraine is not going to surrender, but we need your help. we need your assistance now. michael, with your permission i've coordinated with my colleagues, ukrainians, a very short list on what can be done, obviously swift. obviously without saying s.w.i.f.t. should be turned off for russia.
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the only recalcitrant is germany. germany has to be brought on very quickly. all assets belonging to all russian oligarchs should seized immediately. the russian sovereign wealth fund which is $650 billion -- keep in mind that much of it sits on the ledgers of three major banks, central european bank, bank of england and u.s. federal reserve. that money should be frozen. in fact, it could then be used to pay for ukrainian resistance. and finally representative kissinger in congress yesterday was discussing the possibility of closing ukraine's sovereign airspace. that is something that should also be considered. folks don't make any mistake about this. this is our credibility, civilization credibility on the line. >> we are almost literally out of time. so very quickly if you will. you are going back to fight. are you willing to die?
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>> i think of course not. nobody's going to die, but ukrainian heroes, a lot of ukrainian sailors rejected to surrender to putin's navy and all of them died. but still putin is going to lose in this battle with democracy, in his battle with ukraine. >> glory to ukraine, folks. thank you for your support. >> thank you so much for your time. i admire your courage and your patriotism, and godspeed. thank you.
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i'm kim brunhuber live at cnn center in atlanta. the fate of ukraine's capital hangs in the balance as russian forces reach the streets of kyiv. russia says it has conducted cruise missile strikes overnight but says it didn't hit civilian targets. the statement came after a barrage of explosions rocked kyiv, and ukraine said active fighting has reached the city streets where president zelenskyy says ukrainians aren't putting down their arms. he's also urging the eu to decide whether ukraine will become a member. meanwhile this apartment building was struck by a rocket or a missile saturday morning, so the mayor says emergency services were at the scene, but the extent of casualties isn't yet known. in france president emmanuel
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macron is now predicting the war in ukraine will last and lead to other crises that will have lasting consequences. our fred pleitgen joins me from russia where russian troops have been crossing into ukraine. so, fred, you've been literally watching them as they've been crossing the border. tell us more about what you've seen. >> well, there's certainly a lot of movement we're seeing this morning, kim. you can see back there in the distance that's sort of the final checkpoint that the russians have on the way to kharkiv, that part of ukraine obviously one of the main battlefields. if you go that way, that is the way to kharkiv. what we've been seeing this morning is a lot of russian armored convoys moving in that direction. also, by the way, some of them coming out of there as well. it seems the russians are rotating troops through that area, moving some in, moving some out, obviously to keep that military campaign going. in fact, just a couple minutes ago as we were standing here there was a massive convoy with dozens of vehicles including we
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counted around 10 or 12 heavy howwitzers passing as well moving to the front line. we do see a lot of movement on the part of the russian military into the area but also out of the area. you can tell this is a really active front line here. there's been some speculation, of course, things possibly aren't going well for the russian military as they might be letting on. we certainly do see a lot of movement here in the region south towards that front line of kharkiv where you can see that the russians definitely have a lot of military hardware on the road here. and the other thing, obviously, that this shows, kim, is that if the russians want to they can certainly further escalate their military campaign. they can move a lot more military equipment towards that front line, and certainly seems to us they have a lot at the
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ready in this region. >> appreciate the reporting. fred pleitgen, thanks so much. and we'll be right back.
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[ sirens ] the russian military has been relentless on its offensive on ukraine's capital city. sirens following a night of clashes between russian and ukrainian forces. have a look at this apartment building, for instance, struck by either a missile or rocket. images and video from the scene showed some large impact some ten floors off the ground. the city's mayor says emergency services were at the scene quickly. the extent of casualties still not yet known, however. in a statement russia's ministry of defense claims its strikes were not targeting residential areas. as russian troops reach the capital they also face strong
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opposition in southern ukraine. this is happening near the city of kerson, the site of a key bridge connecting russian held areas with the rest of ukraine. a short time ago a cnn crew says there was intense shelling in the area and the bridge was enveloped with smoke. they saw what appeared to be an armored vehicle crossing the bridge but unclear who it belongs to. we want to warn you the images might be disturbing. >> reporter: for a moment this was a bridge too far for vladimir putin. as we arrived to the town just before dusk the fighting had crossed over to our side of the river, meaning russian tanks were in these sleepily streets. but the night brought no rest. jets flying low terrifying locals, air strikes. here a mother's bedtime duty is to switch out the lights, not to
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calm her kids but to protect them from the kremlin's jets overhead. the boys are noisy, but the girls are quiet. it's safer here than on the street, she says. they'll kill us all, he says. i did hear blasts but i was not afraid. i had a tank, he says. but by dawn it was a case the russians were coming but also maybe not. ukrainian forces have re-claimed the bridge but not without a cost. i asked victor if the russians would move back. >> yeah, the russians not far away. the russians about 3,000 meters. >> reporter: locals picked through the wreckage for ammunition. it's strange to see civilians
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picking up leftover armor from vehicles here. it shows you how many people are involved now on a local level in this war effort. doing it again. they're stopping everywhere to pick up whatever they can. it's unclear if the bodies here were discarded because they were russians or because there were just too many. the ukrainian military you can see here is the bit that was pushed back, the defenders still holding this bridge stayed hidden, waving our cameras away from their positions. on the bridge the living surrealing passing the dead. the russians are on the other side of the bridge, but you can't see them so they aren't disturbing civilians. anyone who wants to run ukraine needs this tortured piece of concrete. this river basically cuts ukraine through this side that connects to russia and this side connects to europe. a vital piece and has been
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intensive in the past days. there are no winners here, just holes that will be filled in. vladimir is here helping himself to a hot dog. the other vladimir putin wants to steal lives for his wider vision of an empire restore. for the people in this town it means rockets landing in the streets. at dusk the balance of power changed again. shells landed around ukrainian positions, and it seemed near houses. ambulances unable to get in, then came this noise, the sound of an attack helicopter. acute violence that seems to have led the bridge to change hands again. minutes later a local official says the city's defenses had
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fallen. victories here laden with loss and so bitter. nick paten walsh, cnn, ukraine. >> and the sporting world also condemning the russian invasion of ukraine. that includes russian athletes like the tennis player. after his match in dubai he had this message to everyone. writing on the camera lens no war please. and international football also coming out against the war in ukraine. the war has prompted uefa to pull the champion league. and the news continues with boris sanchez and christie fall after the break. you're watching cnn.
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♪ good morning, welcome to this special edition of "new day." i'm christi paul. >> good morning, christi. i'm boris sanchez. we're grateful that you're with us this saturday morning. we start with breaking news. on the third day of the russian invasion on ukraine, missile strikes are lighting up the skies over the capital, kyiv, as war ravages the country's largest city


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