tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN March 23, 2022 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
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the aftermath of the battles as ukrainians are trying to push russians out, first cm, southeast of karkiv. cut of and northeast seeing badly damaged building, fires burning, filling the air with heavy smoke. we'll take a closer look at all these videos in just a moment. last tonight cnn teams on the ground witnessing a barrage of ukrainian fire against russian position northwest of the capital, senior official saying ukrainian forces are pushing back russian troops east of kyiv by more than 15 miles in one day. president joe biden arriving in brussels tonight for a series of meetings with american allies beginning with an emergency nato summit meeting tomorrow. ukrainian's president putting out this message tore for biden
and russian leader. >> the war is not just against ukrainian it means much wider. russia started this war against freed ox. russia is trying to defeat the freedom of all people in europe, all people in the world. >> nato estimating up to 15,000 russian troops may have been killed in ukraine, thousands more wound order missing. cnn reporting exclusive details from inside a meeting between u.s. and russian officials those details reveal moral problems in russia's military all the way up through the top rankings. we're going to begin with ben here live with us, thanks for joining us. let's go to the new videos coming into cnn late this hour what they tem us about this battle field, in this new video
from the mayor, it's 90 miles northeast of kyiv they're driving through this destruction. he says the cemetery can't handle all of the dead. it's horrific. what else are you learning here? >> the mayor is saying they have refrigerator trucks full of dead bodies and have to dig up old cemeteries to bury other bodies. . this is a town has been ro ruthlessly pounded by the russians. really this is just the flip side of the failure of the russians to make progress on the ground so doing the grozny option referring to the first chess war pounding the towns and villages in the hope they will somehow submit but as we've seen so far in this war just now beginning in the fifth week is that submission doesn't seem to be on the cards for the ukrainians >> and chernihiv has shown the
magnitude and danger on ed not over yet. >> no sense whatsoever, despite the news that nato is estimated as many as 15,000 russian soldiers killed talking 30 to 40,000 total killed, missing in action, and captured out of a fighting force of somewhere between 150 to 200,000 initially. military analysts will tell you when 10% of your ucnit is knockd out, dead or wounded, you stop functioning properly. that's why they are resorting to this brutal medieval siege method of just pounding these towns they just can't take it. >> i can't take my eyes off the video, it's just astonishing. this one is 72 --
part of a battle for weeks as ukrainians try to beat back russians. what can we learn from this video, ben? >> that there's no mercy in this war. that there's nothing that won't be hit. and it's random. i saw this in syria. there's not a lot of smart bombs being us sheer brute force to bring ukrainian to the knees. mind-boggling. >> brute force, and also about terrorizing, what you're trying to accomplish. the man taking the video says this is our park. i'm in shock, they're just killing everywhere. there are corps in the street. what's going to happen to the
people who used to live there? again, those were quotes from him. >> yeah we understand in many of these towns there's almost no civilians left. >> right. >> as we've seen more than 10 million people are either internally displaced or have left the country. these towns are uninhabitable as a result of the bombings destroying the buildings, the infrastructure, the water, the gas, the electricity. many of these towns is long gone. >> uh-huh. the mayor of kyiv says at least 264 civilians including four children have died in the city since the beginning of this invasion, not to mention hundreds of injured. what's the latest? >> well, in kyiv it does appear that the ukrainian forces are counterattacking in a way we haven't seen in the last four weeks. . that they've made progress in pushing the russian forces back but the russian forces continue
to use their bluntest weapons to try to perhaps, somehow stop this advance by the ukrainian forces, who are outnumbered in many respects but they have one important thing on their side, determination. >> determination. you've seen your share of war zones. this is horrific. >> this is -- this is -- just in terms of the numbers, within one month, seeing this death toll, the death toll on the russian side as well. it is something i have not seen before. >> ben we'derman thank you, i really appreciate it. more video of mariupul hard to imagine just weeks ago a bustling city. this as joe biden is in brus eligibles with allies brussels with his allies. hoping for options in eastern
europe. we have that story live from the pentagon. good evening to you. we're not talking about troops in ukraine but possibly neighboring countries. what kind of options is the pentagon talking about. >> natoal allies have asks for greater presence ho does it happen? it's not a decision president joe biden will make on his own. he will make the decision after these discussions. the pentagon has numbable of pledge one to send more troops into eastern europe and butress that leg and reinforce and boltster the eastern flank of the country. second option would be more structured rotational presence in nato forces. that would be u.s. troops going into nato forces, nato units
contributing a greater portion of the forces from the united states. that's a second option. the third option, high-end expensive option would be to build a new traditional military base in easter earn europe flanked by russia, that is not as likely because of the expense of that, but these are all different possibilities as nato looks to make sure it is ready to handle any new or potential future russian aggression. it is worth remembering before russian invasion of ukraine there was 80,000 troops deployed in europe and in the last few months has gone up to $100,000 and perhaps will go up further still. >> we're also learning about a rare face-to-face meeting between u.s. and russian defense officials. we're told u.s. officials reported in a read out that there was a revealing moment with one of putin's generals. tell us about that. >> you're exactly right.
this is a rare meeting that happened last week in moscow in the defense ministry. russia and the u.s. have had a deconflicts line when it comes to the ukrainian but hasn't been put to use aside from daily tests. so in-person meeting especially with the defense ministry in moscow is rare indeed. we got a read out of the impressions of the meeting, so only a partial view of what happened in there, not a complete picture but it's fascinating the meeting with russian major general who has dealt with americans before and known for being stoic, he brings notes and hits is talking points, and doesn't stray far from that, this time he did according to the read out. that's what makes this unusual, towards the end of the meeting, according to the read out, one of those in the meeting casually asked about the general's ukrainian background and that is where i want to bring up the graphic so you can get a sense how quickly it went sideways
from the perspective of those two attache's in the meeting. he wrote in the read out the fire in his eyes and flustered demeanor left a chill down the spine, that's his sense about ukraine in answering that, they said they had never, quote, witnessed such an outburst by russian counterparts at an official meeting. the read out from the officials concludes at the very least moral problems among russian forces are not limited to front line troops. we've been talking about moral on the ground in ukraine amongst russian troops and from this meeting we gather those problems go all the way up, even though used to dealing with americans, perhaps a slip, a crack showing morale problems throughout the russian military. >> that was illuminating, thank
you, we appreciate that. so there is drone footage into cnn showing the extent of flooding in the european river basis northwest of kyiv. the over flowing river is a big problem for the russians if vladimir putin's forces can't cross it can't take heed from the west. want to bring in gen xer general can now, happy to have you again, thank you for helping us through this senior official tells cnn ukrainians pushed back russian forces from kyiv. four weeks into the war do you think ukrainian forces can hold on to their capital. >> i said one week into the war they could. it's a well-trained force. i have a great deal of respect for them, worked with them quite a bit. and also have a great deal of dis don't want to say disrespect but understanding of the way the russian force is. comments you gave now the folks
in the kremlin understand what the army has been through in the last 15 years in terms of slashes, cuts and corruption. so you're seeing a corrupt force with a lack of training and discipline with a poor approach towards combat, that being the russian force, go up against the ukrainian force that over the last 15 years has transitioned into a very modern and western organization with a good leadership, good will of the soldiers and that's making all the difference on the battle field. going to the flooding of the river, that was done by the ukrainians as well as knocking out bridges. they knew what they had to do because they're fighting on home turf, they know how to trap the russians in different places. they actually flooded those flood plains to do those kind of actions. you're seeing the ukrainian forces protecting the capital of kyiv because they know that is the priority objective for
mr. putin, he has to take the capital in order to replace the government. they would not allow him to do that. what you're also seeing now -- and i haven't heard this all day long today, as the ukrainian forces are pushing the russians back away from kyiv what they're doing is pushing them beyond artillery fire zones. so, you know, they can't shoot towards the city any more if they are 50 to 60 miles back. so it's a priority mission for the ukrainians to push the russian forces as far north and northwest as they can to keep the city from falling under artillery and rocket fire. >> i want you to respond to something. you reminded me of something that the mayor of lviv said when i spoke to him today, he talked about the corruption in not only the russian government but also the russian military and he said he's not surprised they're having problems here because he doesn't believe the military is as modernized as people would like to believe. he also said, look, he doesn't
believe anyone should test it but he thinks the russian nuclear arsenal may be overove overrated. . how do you respond to that? >> that could be true but i'm not going to put a $5 bet on that one. you know. >> he said similar response. >> i would say military conventional force is going to have problems in this assault because they didn't have enough forces, they had terrible leadership, bad logistics, and no nco core and untrained soldiers. you can account for all that but when you start betting on the com for nuclear forces that's not a risk any more. that's a gamble. and you don't know the outcome of what it is going to be. so you have to concern yourself with the fact that yeah you may believe they might not shoot nuclear or chemical weapons but you damn well better be prepared for it.
>> his sentiments were the same as yours when it comes to the nuclear part of it. definitely he talked about the same thing you said about the corruption in the russian military and they are not as modernized as people think that they are. thank you, joe. i appreciate your time. >> if i can add one thing. >> sure, go ahead. >> if i can add one thing, don. the ukrainian army was the same about 15 years ago. there was a lot of hold over generals from the old soviet model and training, they had corruption in the government, but over the last 15 years they addressed that and they've turned around. you've seen some of that today. they're a much younger parliament, much younger generation of soldiers, doing things more with a modernized approach to training and leadership. >> always a pleasure. thank you. >> same here, don. thanks. >> do the russian people know how many of their sons, brothers, and fathers have died in vladimir putin's ukraine
work? and what will happen when they find out? >> we've seen increasing indications that morale and unit cohesion is a problem, yes, that absolutely translates into potential military effectiveness issues. (mususic throughout) liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for whatchya... line? need. liberty biberty— cut. liberty... are we married to mutual? only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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russian soldiers killed, missing all together. joining me now our goodest guest, good evening to you. these numbers are absolutely stunning. do russian people have any idea about these stunning numbers? >> well, they definitely have heard or read about the numbers. but most russians just do not believe them because the defense ministry officials say that the numbers are a lot lower. that they are talking about hundreds of officers killed in action. and they're not talking about any missing in action at all. and they're talking about -- well, at the most, 150 killed in action and couple hundred wounded. so those are the numbers from the official briefings of their representative of the defense
ministry. but, of course there are leaks to the press. and even to kremlin-controlled newspapers. like, there is this vladimir putin's favorite newspaper and on the website just a few days ago they wrote and that paragraph blasted on their website for several hours and you can still find it in their archive that according to the defense ministry report 9,800 russian should -- soldiers have been killed. later they explained the fact that number appeared on their pages. as a -- as a -- -- >> -- say they were hacked right? >> yeah, by hackers attack.
but still, can still find that number in their archives by just getting on their web side. so a lot of he russians aren't g are getting the information just a matter of if they believe it or not. >> listen, it is more than just information. how do you explain this if thousands of young, russian soldiers are fighting in ukraine and not coming back, friends, neighbors, they're going to find out, you can't hide that can you? >> well, you're absolutely right. i was a teenager when the soviet troops were fighting in afghanistan. and the official version was they were fulfilling their peaceful military duty and newspapers and television we saw them planting trees in afghanistan. but i lived in a small town called oriol and like every other week we would receive coffins from afghanistan and we
knew those guys were our ex-you know, school mates, just a few years older than me. so that's how the people would know, would learn the truth about what was going on in afghanistan back then. and that's exactly what is happening now. but the official propaganda, yes, they are saying there are a lot less victims than the ukrainians are reporting. and that, yes, the russian troops are actually fulfilling their military duty with the i special military operation. they are not bombarding ukrainian citizens, so on. you know that receipt ringt very well rhetoric very well. >> yes, also this russian state news agency is reporting the russian client envoy tubase stepped down, reporting that he left his post in ukraine. we're talking about a long-time kremlin insider.
you've interviewed him before. what's his departure mean? >> actually we're talking about it's not just somebody from putin's entourage, anatoli trubis is the father of the russian reforms in 90s. the father of russian privatization. one. those reformers that changed russia to a capital-freedom oriented country. and arksds natoly chubais in was one of those called young reformers. and he boris nepsol were very good friends.reformers.
and he boris nepsol were very good friends.of those called yo. and he boris nepsol were very good friends. he is the russian opposition leader assassinated shot in the back in front of the kremlin in february, 2015. so anatoly chubais was the other guy. the other symbol. unlike nepsol, anatoly chubais became one of the close putin partners in the new russia. he was head of the state control ed huge cooperation and he became the symbol of somebody who survived through the '90s and then again was part of putin's entourage. so that's why it is very important he left the country now.
today you can see picture of anatoly chubais withdrawing money from an atm in turkey. >> trying to get out, but listen, the question is, are you seeing any signs? does this show you? is reflective of any signs of frustration within vladimir putin's leadership ranks? >> well, absolutely. absolutely. at least it is a sign of the frustration of those who have not been member of the fsb clan because anatoly chubais was considered more or less liberal. chubais was putin's friend but a liberal friend. the fact he left the country call it whatever, rats leaving the sheet, but definitely a
fight of the elites. >> if he is withdrawing money from turkey does that mean he's gone all together? >> i'm pretty sure he is. i mean, i wouldn't -- look, a man of his rank is resigning officially, and press secretary confirms that. and then you find chubais in turkey, what is a vacation? i highly doubt that. honestly i wouldn't be surprised if chubais appeared say tomorrow or one of the next days with a very serious statement. meanwhile, i have already read in some of the anonymous reports but according to those reports chubais may come up with a very serious statement about putin's plans probably so we will know
from that statement whether he's gone for good from russia or just for a while. >> thank you, we appreciate it. the battle for kyiv intensifying as ukrainians appear to push back russian forces near the capital. ukrainian member of the parliament who was there today joins me. that's next. so we made a plan to turn bath time into a business.s. ♪ ♪ find a northwestern mututual advisor at nm.com age before beauty? why not both? visibly diminish wrinkled skin in... this is the planning effect. nina's got a lot of ideas for the future... a lot of ideas. so when she wants a plan based on what matters most,
. we are just a few hours away from nato's emergency meeting on the crisis in ukraine, tonight, president zelenskyy sending an urgent message to leaders saying the world must stop the war in ukraine. joining me now a member of the ukrainian parliament, thank you so much for joining us. you've been traveling all over these past few days, where have you been? what have you seen? >> hello, yes, just chest i was in chernihiv, is the city just east of here, by the way, one of the oldest cities in europe with churches 1,000 years old, just imagine this, and now this city is completely blocked by russians. last morning a russian aircraft bombed the last breach in
this -- bridge in this city which connected with other ukraine. after more than 100,000 people there are blocked. for more than a week they don't have electricity, centralized water, heating, gas, just imagine the awful situation there. and because ukraine still has not received modern air defense systems, aircraft, russian aircraft just bombed this bridge and now the city is completely blocked. and the corridors by which people are leaving the city were bombed by mortars, by russian mortars. that's what i see by my own eyes and that is absolutely awful and on my facebook you can find the pictures of chernihiv, for example, a five meter depth, imagine, from a russian ballistic missile which hit the
children's library in chernihiv. so it is awful. and we really need air defense just to stop this terror from the skies. >> when ukrainian troops had been engaged in a counter-offensive in and around the city, do you feel more secure? in the cities defense tonight >> yes, fortunately, and thanks to our army thanks to god so we can now come to attack russians, which we are doing in the south and -- southern part of ukraine and around kyiv. it's important for millions who live in kyiv because russian artillery which is staying close to kyiv just 20, 30 kilometers shelling at residential areas so it is important save thousands of lives just to push them out from kyiv and our army is doing this now. certainly we are very happy with this.
and we hope that today will continue to do this. but for massive counterattack, massive counter a offensive, which our army is capable of but the problem for us is the russian dominance in the air. we are holding the ground and we even can counterattack on the ground but in the air the russians are much stronger and that's why we need to aircraft which we are so desperately asking this for, which i don't know why we cannot receive for all these weeks. today we have just this time a month ago this big invasion started. it already is one month of awful genocide in middle of europe in 21st century. >> alexei, we thank you for joining us, be safe, please. >> thank you very much. >> russia's invasion of ukraine hurting the country's most vulnerable, and that's children.
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ukrainian's most vulnerable in a hospital in kyiv. she's posted a photo of a young mother who used her body to protect her child the woman now who took the picture from the hospital we thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. your city has been under siege for weeks and while many fellow ukrainians are taking up arms you're using your camera as a weapon really. dell us how important it is for you to get these images out there. >> yes, thank you. i am in the biggest children's hospital in ukraine and i try to film everything i see, every day i see wounded children, children with shrapnel in their legs, arms and head. and i use my phone to capture it because i want the world to know
the truth what is happening now in ukraine that children are suffering like civil people are suffering. like these girls you can see these girl, doctor took shrapnel from her leg recently. >> my goodness. >> it's really terrible. see. >> i want to talk about this -- >> what? >> say again, you were cut off. >> yes, and i wanted to say just every day we see injured children and we want the world to know the truth, so thank you for talking with us and for your attention. because we want the world to know the truth. how it's terrible in ukraine now that children are suffering and
that's not okay and we want the world to help us. help our country to stop it. >> yeah, i apologize for the delay between us. let's talk more about this picture of a young mother named olga who used her body to shield her baby daughter from shelling. this picture has been seen all over the world now. can you tell us this family's story, please. >> of course. recently we got this family, they were injured, this woman covered her one-month baby, one-month daughter, her name is victoria, this little girl. she just took her to feed her babynd rocket got into their house. russian rocket got into their house or not far away and she just covered her baby with her bobby --
body, and she got 25 injures. she was wounded and our surgeon make a few operations, surgeries and she protect her baby, baby is okay. her husband was wounded, she was wounded but baby's okay and they are okay now. >> why do you think this picture struck such a cord with so many people? >> i didn't hear you? >> why do you think so many people were drawn to this picture that it affected so many people? >> because she's like madonna with her baby and like ukrainian mothers can't help but save her baby she could die but save her
baby and it's really touching. when i saw and heard the story i was crying because i can't imagine what she went through. when it happened. they were really terrified when they came to the hospital. they were really -- you know, in shock. they didn't expect that rockets got into their yard. and she was crying also. but now they are okay. and we hope everything will be okay. >> well, we're so happy that you could join us. we hope that they're okay and that you're okay as well. please stay safe, and thank you, we appreciate your pictures. >> yes. thank you too. and i just wanted show you piece of rocket that we found at children's hospital recently. like, just -- rocket got into the house not
far away from our hospital and this is a piece of the rocket. and it's not okay. rockets -- flying near the hospital. >> thank you. you're right. it's not okay. >> so thank you. >> thank you, thank you. we'll be right back, everyone. thank you. ingenuity... in motion. it listens, learns, adapts and anticipatetes your every need. with intelligence... that feels anything but artificial. the eqs from mercedes-benz. it's the car electric has been waiting for.
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>> hello, and welcome to our viewers around the world this hour and also in the united states. i'm hala gorani reporting live from lviv in ukraine. we are seeing more signs of progress in ukraine's counteroffensive against russia exactly one month since moscow launched its brutal invasion of this country. a senior-u.s. defense official says ukrainians have pushed back russian forces on the front lines east of kyiv up to 35 kilometers, or 21 miles, in one day. now, northwest of the capital, cnn teams witnessed this barrage of outgoing fire wednesday night. ukrainian forces have been fighting to take back territory from russian troops in the kyiv suburb of irpin. the mayor says ukrainian forces now control 80% of the city. 8-0. we are now getting new video from the city of chernihiv that's about 144 kilometers, or 90 miles, northeast of kyiv which has been