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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  March 28, 2022 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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smith later joining the party circuit with oscar in hand, dancing to one of his own songs. stephanie elam, cnn, hollywood. >> thanks so much for joining us. ac 360 starts now. good evening. whatever you'll hear tonight or heard over the weekend about russia shifting its military focus to eastern and southeastern ukraine, it might not be as simple as that because there has been shelling overnight in and around kyiv and other attacks in the west. despite news today from irpin's mayor that his suburban town had been liberated, the sight of residents being helped out of what the mayor said could soon become a combat zone again was sobering. the same could be said for ukraine's general staff, the defenses within mariupol continue to hold because this is mariupol. look at that. ukrainian officials now say 90% of the city's residential buildings have been damaged or
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destroyed. 90%. and according to mariupol's mayor, the humanitarian corridor in and out of the city is now in russian hands. as much as any day in the invasion so far, there's a lot in flux right now. we're going to talk about where things stand militarily tonight, where they go next with former nato supreme allied commander wesley clark. we'll also talk at length about president biden declaring over the weekend that vladimir putin, in his words, cannot remain in power while the white house walk-back of that statement. finally what the president said standing behind his remarks today. >> the fact of the matter is i was expressing the moral outrage i felt toward the way putin is dealing and the actions of this man, just brutality. half the children in ukraine. i just come from being with those families. but i want to make it clear. i wasn't then nor am i now articulating a policy change. >> also tonight, my conversation with a photojournalist, juan arredondo.
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he was in irpin near where those refugees were in the video we showed a few moments ago. it's the% time he has told his story about what happened when he and his friend and colleague, filmmaker brent renaud, came under fire. >> i certainly never experienced an ambush like that. but there was a point that i thought, this is it. i'm gone. that i was laying down on the floor, and there was so much -- like i could hear so much hitting that car that i thought, okay, this is it. i'm not going to survive this. and i've never experienced that sensation, that feeling of knowing that this is it. and it's not -- it's not a feeling of being afraid. it's just coming to terms that there's nothing i can do. this is probably going to be the end. >> any sense of how many shots? >> oh, it was just a lot. i mean i can't -- like i try to remember, but it was just -- it was just kind of raining. that's all i could hear is hitting windows, hitting the kind of like tin, like, metal
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and then that's when i felt that i got shot. i yelled, i got shot. but i didn't get any response from brent. i just kept yelling to the driver, go, go, go. my recollection is because of the sound the car was making, maybe the car had been damaged. so he stopped, and that's when i looked up and i saw brent exit -- now i know it was an exit wound, but it was a wound here. it was bleeding. i tried to grab on to it and maybe stop the bleeding. >> we spoke to him today in his hospital room. also tonight, a live report from fred pleitgen in kyiv. first we want to go to fred with a warning. what he has tonight is graphic. fred, talk about what you have seen. >> reporter: hi there, anderson. it's all part of this gigantic battle going on here for control
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of kyiv, with the russian forces continuing to try and press their offensive. what we saw today was a huge amount of explosions especially towards the northwestern part of the city as well with the ukrainians saying they're launching a counteroffensive. but the russians also pressing and devastating consequences for the civilians on the ground. here's what we saw. [ sound of gunfire ] >> kyiv remains under full-on attack by vladimir putin's army. ukrainian officials say russian forces are trying to storm the capital but failing, unleashing artillery barrages on civilian areas in the process. we drove to a village north of kyiv, only a few miles from the front line. even the streets here are pockmarked with shrapnel and massive impact craters. whole buildings laid to waste. i mean just look at the utter destruction caused by this massive explosion. there's some really thick brick walls that even they were annihilated by the force of whatever landed here. the people here tell us they
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only felt one really large explosion, and it wounded several people and killed a small child. that child was a 2-year-old killed while in his bed when the house came under fire. these videos given to us by local authorities show the chaos and the aftermath as the wounded appear in shock. residents and rescuers try to save those who are inside. stepan pronounced dead on the scene. he was oleg's second youngest child. we found oleg sifting through the rubble of his house days later. inside, he shows me the damage caused by the explosion. he was at work when his home was hit. his wife, the other children, and his mother-in-law had already been brought to the hospital when he arrived at the house. stepan couldn't be saved, and because of staff shortages at the morgue, oleg had to prepare his son's body for burial himself.
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>> translator: i had to wash him, to dress him. his head from his right ear to his left ear, one large hematoma. his arms, his legs, a total hematoma not compatible with life. lots of other wounds were discovered after that. >> many other houses have also been hit here. we bumped into 84-year-old halyna in the town center. she was a child when the nazis invaded this area and says now things are worse. >> translator: worse than fascists. when the germans were here and entered our homes, they would shoot at the ceiling, but they would not touch us. they moved us into the woods, but they did not shoot us like the russian soldiers are shooting now, killing children. >> reporter: the kremlin claims its forces don't target civilian areas, but the u.s., nato, and the ukrainians say the russians are frustrated by their lack of
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progress and are firing longer-range weapons because they can't make headway on the ground. >> translator: they understand that sooner or later, our troops will push them out of our territory. now the russians are doing dirty tricks. they shoot more at civilian areas than other positions of the ukrainian army. >> reporter: ukraine's army says it's pressing its own counteroffensive, trying to dislodge russian troops from the outskirts of kyiv. the kremlin's forces, meanwhile, so far unable to take the ukrainian capital are instead laying waste to its suburbs. >> fred, i mean that father had to prepare his own child's little body for burial, i mean it's just sickening. have the russians made any progress in their advance toward kyiv in recent days? >> reporter: well, it doesn't look like they've made very much. it's been quite interesting to hear throughout the early morning hours today, the ukrainian military came out and
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said that the russians had started new smaller offensives, as they put it, trying to win streets and small villages. the ukrainians were saying that they were stopping that. also the deputy defense minister of ukraine, she came out as well and said the russians were trying to create what she called corridors around the city. but that too seems to have been failing. the recent reports we've been getting, it's a mixed bag. the russians seem to almost desperately be trying to break out of that area that they have towards the north of kyiv, also towards the west as well. but there are indications, anderson, that the ukrainians may have the upper hand. but what you do see, then, is that indiscriminate shelling of the outskirts of kyiv and areas like the one we were at with all those awful consequences like, for instance, unfortunately for that 2-year-old boy who was killed while sleeping inside his house. president biden a statement which you heard a moment ago ended a weekend of white house
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backpedaling. it democrat necessary apily stoe criticism by some and praise by others. the president is trying to make it clear he's not walking anything back. how is his position going to sit with other nato leaders? >> reporter: i think they're probably that the president weighed in tonight, clarifying his comments, saying he's not backing off of it. he stands by the sentiment of it but saying he's not stating any kind of change in policy from the united states government perspective. so we had seen the french president say that the comments that president biden said in poland at the end of that very forceful speech where he said putin is someone who cannot remain power, macron said those were not comments he would make. he said there was a chance they could be viewed as escalatory. he's been intensely involved in discussions with putin since this invasion started, so i think you could make that argument tonight about whether or not they believe that president biden should have clarified those remarks, though of course his aides sought to do so right after he had spoken them. they were ad-libbed. they were not included in the prepared remarks. but i think it's different when
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it's the president coming out and explaining what he meant. he was very clear this does not represent any kind of change in u.s. policy. you've heard aides say they do not support regime change in russia. that is something for the russian people to decide. but the president said he was expressing his moral outrage because he said he had just met with those ukrainian refugees who have been forced from their homes by putin's invasion. and he said that was behind that sentiment that he added on at the end, those nine words that have reverberated ever since he spoke them. >> is there concern within the white house that putin could somehow exploit the unease in europe over the president's comments? >> reporter: i think if you talk to some russia experts, they could definitely see how putin would do that. that is something he's duone in the past, used comments out of context to back fill this sentiment that he has maintained for several decades now, which is that the west is trying to replace him. they are trying to get him out of power. of course he is someone that experts have described as paranoid.
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they say that's something that's only increased ever since covid-19 happened and he's grown more isolated from aides he was around. but president biden said tonight he was not worried about putin using that as some kind of excuse to try to influence people. maybe he could potentially do so in russia, but president biden didn't seem very concerned about that being something that would carry out throughout europe, of course. i want to get perspective now from "the washington post's" max boot. h max, you heard kaitlan. do you think it was necessary for the president to offer clarification? do you think it will satisfy anyone? >> i think it was necessary for the president to weigh in because there's been so much controversy since he said those words. and i would think that this more or less put it to rest. i'm kind of amazed that this story has lasted even as long as it has, since saturday, and i think we need to focus on what you're focusing your time on, anderson, which is the war crimes being committed by the russian military in ukraine and by the valiant attempts and largely successful attempts, i
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would add, by the ukrainian military to fight back. i mean, when we talk about the rupture in russian/u.s. relations, it's kind of ridiculous to see some news stories suggesting that biden is causing that rupture with his comments. no. vladimir putin is causing that rupture with his war crimes. >> you wrote in "the washington post," i wonder if perhaps history will vindicate this biden gaffe, in quotes, in much the way historians have praised comments by ronald reagan that were once seen as dangerously provocative. reagan caused the soviet union an evil empire, predicted it would wind up in the ash heap of history. >> that's exactly right, anderson. back in the 1980s, there was a lot of criticism of president reagan for contributing to rising superpower tensions with what were viewed as these intemperate comments, referring to the soviet union as an evil empire, predicting it would wind up on the ash heap of history, or later saying that mikhail
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gorbachev should tear down the berlin will. there's no question there was a rise in tensions in part because of that rhetoric, in part because of the tough things the reagan administration did to contest soviet power. but in hindsight, i think most historians would focus on the fact that reagan was vindicated, that the soviet union ultimately did collapse, and we later learn the his words gave heart and hope to many dissidents behind the iron curtain. this is something we haven't really talked about, but i would think that president biden's words calling out vladimir putin as a war criminal and saying that he should not remain in power, i would think that would give hope not only to ukrainian patriots, knowing that we stand with them, but also to russian dissidents. remember there are still some brave people in russia who are willing to challenge putin's rule, and they need to know that america stands behind them. >> our ivan watson was in a mayor's office in anybodnipro o around there. his office was a shrine to reagan. it had a bust of reagan and the
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american flag, and it was exactly that reason. you also made a comparison to the last american president who gave a speech in poland's capital, which was president trump. you wrote, i would rather have a president who is fearless than -- is there anything president biden or any western leader could say right now that you think would significantly alter the course of the war? is it beyond wardords at this point? >> i think words are important. you can send words marching into battle. i think his words matter a lot, and i'm pretty confident, anderson, that if president trump were in office, we would not have this solid western coalition to oppose the russian war of aggression. we would not have this huge flow of arms to ukraine. i'm sure the west would be a shambles, and vladimir putin would be taking advantage of that. i think the fact that biden has been so good at marshaling our allies to oppose the soviet invasion of ukraine, i think that is hugely important.
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and his words have something to do with it. there is some alarm expressed by macron and other allies about biden's rhetoric but on the whole i think it's going because he's making clear that the united states is completely opposed to this illegal and immoral soviet invasion -- russian, i should say, invasion of ukraine. it feels like a soviet invasion. i think that's actually doing a lot of did to give heart to the ukrainians and also provide them with the weaponry they need and also to keep the western coalition together to impose very tough sanctions on russia. >> max boot, it's good to have you on. still to come, we played you a portion of it, my conversation with photojournalist juan arredondo, his first time telling his story of the ambush. they were in the same vehicle. he was in the back seat. brent was in the front seat, shot in the neck. later, the personal cost of war for one ukrainian family. we'll be right back.
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two weeks ago, filmmaker and journalist brent renaud lost his life documenting the horrors of the battlefield in ukraine. tributes immediately poured in for the filmmaker. the head of police in kyiv said at the time that renaud, quote, paid with his life in an attempt to shed light. he was traveling at the time with a photojournalist, juan arredondo who barely escaped with his own life and is now receiving care at the irving medical center. in his first interview since that day, i was able to speak with arredondo about his friend and the attack he calls an ambush. we warn you some of the images you'll see are graphic, but as we always try to communicate in these instances, we think it's necessary to show them to understand what is happening in ukraine and what brent renaud gave his life trying to capture. do you remember what happened? >> yeah, yeah. i remember the day very clearly. >> what was the plan that day?
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>> so the reason we were in kyiv, we were looking for refugees, but they already told us that there were no shelters. it was just basically people being evacuated. >> juan ar don't doe and his friend and colleague brent renaud weren't looking to document the fighting in ukraine. instead they wanted to tell the stories of refugees who were fleeing the war. they headed to irpin, where they heard thousands of civilians were being evacuated. at that point irpin was -- they had destroyed the bridge. >> right. >> from irpin to prevent russian forces from being able to come across, and we had seen on saturday clarissa ward had done some live shots at the point where hundreds if not thousands of displaced people were coming out of irpin, kind of being helped across the bridge. then lindsey adario was there when a rocket hit irpin and a family was killed. >> we were there on a sunday, so that was after what happened with lindsey. so that was much later that week
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where from our understanding, that part was already -- that was a humanitarian corridor. we did see a small -- we saw maybe three cars coming in. they evacuated some civilians. then we asked, are they coming from another bridge? and that's quite far, but it's still a corridor. so we decided just to start walking. >> and it was you and brent? >> it was me and brent. that's when -- well, two cars, two civilian cars approached us, but we couldn't communicate with them, so we didn't know what they wanted. then the third car that came spoke some english, and we said, we're looking for this bridge where people are being evacuated. he said, yeah, i can take you guys there. so we got on the car, and, you know, it must have been maybe ten, maximum 15 minutes we were riding, and there was a checkpoint but it was empty. and then there was the bar barricades. i was looking out the window, and i saw in the trenches two military, one of them pull out
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the ak, and i just shouted we're getting shot. >> could you tell whether they were ukrainian or russian? >> no. it was so fast. what leads me to think they were russian is because first of all, that was the corridor where people were being evacuated, and we just came across a convoy of military, ukrainian military that were just walking and patrolling. but they said, yeah, you can go this way. >> that's got to be so surreal to actually see two guys get up and start to point -- >> yeah. >> to see it before it happens. >> well, i just -- i mean i -- yeah, my reaction was just to scream and duck because i didn't -- i didn't think they were going to shoot, but that was sort of my instinct. but it was surreal because we were convinced we were in a place that -- was there danger? yes, there could have been. but there was nothing that led us to believe that we were going to be ambushed or anything. >> any sense of how many shots? >> it was just a lot. i mean i can't -- i try to remember, but it was just kind
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of raining. that's all i could hear is just hear it hitting windows, hear it hitting the kind of like tin, like metal, and then that's when i felt that i got shot. i yelled, i got shot, but i didn't get any response from brent. >> you were down on the floor in the back seat? >> on the floor in the back seat, yeah. >> could you tell where you had been shot? >> yeah, because i felt it right there. i just touched it, and i felt like the bleeding. >> and it entered through -- >> through my buttocks on the left. but then i started like tapping my toes just to make sure if i could, you know -- if i lost anything. i feel them and i was like, okay, i'm fine. then i just kept yelling to the driver. just drive, go, go, go. my recollection is that because of the sound the car was making, the car maybe had been damaged. >> mm-hmm. >> so he stopped, and that's when i looked up, and i saw brent, you know, exit -- now i know it was an exit wound, but it was a wound here. so it was bleeding. i tried to grab on to it and
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maybe stop the bleeding. >> was he say anything? >> he was trying to mumble things, but i couldn't make out what he was saying. then i saw the driver get out and wave at another civilian car. then, you know, they -- we were trying to get -- the driver was trying to get brent out. i got out of the car, and then they just shoved me into this car and drove me out. but i kept saying, you know, bring brent, bring brent. and i think at that point is when maybe brent was just -- he was dead already. and i remember just being in that car. i put my hand on the wound, and i was starting to faint. i was like, this can't be. i can't go. >> we all imagine how would we react in a situation where shots are being fired in our direction, and you think intellectually, oh this is the way it would happen, or this is the way i would do. was it different than you had ever thought of it? >> i certainly never experienced an ambush like that. but there was a point that i thought, this is it.
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i'm gone. then i was laying down on the floor, and there was so much -- like i could hear so much hitting that car that i thought, okay, this is it. i'm not going to survive this. and i've never experienced that sensation, that feeling of knowing that this is it. and it's not -- it's not a feeling of being afraid. it's just coming to terms that there's nothing i can do. this is probably going to be the end. and then right after that thought is when i felt the shot, and i shouted, i got shot. and i don't know. and then it just -- but it happened so fast, i couldn't tell how -- what the span of time from the moment the first shot was fired to the moment we stopped. >> i hope everything will be okay. >> thank you. >> this is juan at a hospital in kyiv right after he was shot. doctors found a fragment of the bullet lodged in his leg. >> tell me, please, what is your name. >> juan. >> juan? >> juan. >> where are you from?
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>> the u.s. >> u.s.? what happened to you? >> my friend is brent renaud, and he's been shot and left behind. >> and how is he? >> i don't know. >> you don't know? you don't know what happened to -- >> i saw him being shot in the neck, and we got split. >> one says he didn't learn brent had died until after he was out of surgery, when brent's brother, craig, called him to tell him the news. what was brent like? >> brent was a -- you know, he was a good friend. you know, we met -- we were doing a fellowship up at harvard and that's where we met. he's like, we don't have a schedule. we don't follow a schedule. we follow a story. if that requires being 20 hours awake or whatever it takes to get that story, we'll do it. so i understood that, so we worked well that way. he was always concerned about me being -- you know, being well, but also learning and becoming better, and so -- and it's rare to have a friend to work and not
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have any -- we never have any disagreements or anything like that, so that was very special. >> when something like this happens, do you dream about it? >> so that's interesting because, you know, i've been having a hard time sleeping. that's probably one of the parts that i've been struggling with is because i don't sleep for long periods of time, and i notice my dreams are very vivid. and it's always in that car. i don't recall everything -- >> in your dream, you're in that car. >> i don't recall exactly what happens, but i do know i'm forcing myself to wake up so i don't live that. so i'm waking up. i'm very jumpy all night, wake up in sweat. >> i was reading about the funeral service that they held for brent, which sounded really lovely. it sounded like there was a really big turnout. i understand you asked that a poem be read, the invictus. >> yeah. >> was that a poem that he liked or -- >> it was a poem i liked and that i kept reading to myself. it matters not how straight the gate or charged with punishments
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the scroll. i am the master of my faith. i am the captain of my soul. >> what does that mean to you? >> i mean it's gotten me through some really dark nights these last two weeks, especially when i was going into surgery. i kept saying those last lines. i'm the master of my faith. i'm the captain of my soul. i need to come out alive of this. i don't know why. it wasn't my time. i keep asking that myself. why? but those nights that i was -- it was -- yeah, i was losing blood. i was really weak, and i didn't know what was happening. so i remember those -- those two lines. >> we hope juan makes a full recovery. he's expected to get out of the hospital within the week or so, and he hopes to be able to return to work as a photojournalist covering the stories that he loves. there is breaking news about a notorious mercenary group deploying in large numbers to eastern ukraine on the side of russia. we'll talk about that and the
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regular losses and a stalled invasion. russia could be looking to carve ukraine in two like north and south korea. joining us to talk about this and more tonight, retired army four star general wesley clark, cnn military analyst and former nato supreme allied commander. general clark, the fact that more than 1,000 mercenaries are reportedly expected to deploy to eastern ukraine, what does it tell you about the russian military strategy and how they view their own forces' abilities? >> they're looking for people who will fight harder and fight more recklessly and frankly cause more damage and terror for the civilian population. these wagner group people, some of them have been in eastern ukraine for some time, and basically they're killers. they go in and kill people in civilian locations. they rape the women, murder them. i've been trying to get evidence on this and don't have it, but i keep hearing anecdotes about it. so they're in there, and they're a real problem. this is a war against the people
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of ukraine, and putin is not doing very well with his troops right now. he's bringing in all the mercenaries he can find to try to wreck ukraine, damage their morale, force them to give in. >> the idea that putin could look to carve ukraine in two, do you see that possibly as a goal of his at this point, essentially heave off the areas in the east and the south? >> it might be an intermediate objective but i don't think mr. putin is going to be satisfied with half of ukraine. if he can get the whole thing, he's going to get the whole thing. what i see is there's an effort to encircle the ukrainian forces that are holding the donbas pocket. and if the russian forces on the south can get to dnipro, if the ones in the north can also get to dnipro, maybe they could cut off and encircle a sizeable body of ukrainian troops. but he's not stopping there. he's got his forces going after
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kyiv. he's still going after kharkiv, and those forces are being recons reconstituted. they're being rearmed. some of them have been pulled back in belarus to reorganize. they'll be back. we've got a period of maybe two to four, five weeks before those forces are reorganized and back into the fight, and it's a critical period for ukraine. we've got to get them more combat capability. they need more weapons systems. >> what is your assessment of ukrainian forces' gains and losses in the last 24 hours or so? the mayor of mariupol said the city was in the hands of the occupiers, but the ukrainian general staff is saying that ukrainian forces continue to maintain circular defense of the city, and the mayor of irpin told cnn that ukraine has claimed that suburb of -- has reclaimed that suburb of kyiv from russian forces. so, i mean, do you feel like on the ground, they're still holding their own? >> well, they're certainly launching some local
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counterattacks, and the counterattacks are successful, in part because they've got the right weapons for those counterattacks, the javelins, the stingers, some british in laws. but they've also got the ability to go after bogged down or located russian forces. it's not a war of movement anymore. so those russian forces are fixed. in a way, they're like sitting ducks. in mariupol, the ukrainians are going to fight until the very end to tie down the russian forces, to extract as much damage on the russians as they can, and to protect the 160,000 civilians that are still there as long as possible. they hope that french president macron will come in with the humanitarian aid he promised. he announced on friday he was going to have a big humanitarian aid mission. it's monday. we don't see any signs of it. >> the russian forces, they've struck fuel depots, several locations around ukraine. if they keep doing that, how debilitating is that for ukrainian forces? >> it is debilitating because they're splitting the attention
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of the forces. but really the thing is, anderson, right now we're in a logistics battle. the ukrainians had inferior combat capability to begin with. we gave them from our own stocks some key defensive systems, the javelins and the stingers, and they've been highly effective. but in the coming phases of the battle, that's not going to be enough. they're going to need heavy artillery. they're going to need the ammunition for it. they're going to need armored fighting vehicles and some tanks so that they can compete on a more equal basis with the russian forces that are going to be coming in there. otherwise, they're going to be encircled in kyiv and then pounded and then maybe the chemicals will be used at some point to finish off what's left in kyiv if they don't -- if they don't capitulate before then. so we've got a limited time window to get heavy equipment into kyiv, not from the united states, but from allies who got compatible equipment.
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>> i appreciate your time. thank you. up next, the heavy toll of war. a mother burying her son. he answered the call to volunteer in the ukrainian army, lost his life while defending his country. we'll tell you his story ahead.
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large out-of-state corporations have set their sights on california. they've written a ballot proposal to allow online sports betting. they tell us it will fund programs for the homeless, but read the fine print. 90% of the profits go to out-of-state corporations, leaving almost nothing for the homeless. no real jobs are created here. but the promise between our state
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and our sovereign tribes would be broken forever. these out-of-state corporations don't care about california. but we do. stand with us. a senior u.s. defense official says russian forces have fired more than 1,370
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missiles in ukraine, and they're largely stalled in several parts of the country, including the southern city of mykolaiv. that's where ukrainian troops are holding their ground, delaying a russian advance. it does, though, come at a heavy cost. the loss of soldiers, many of them volunteers, men under the age of 60 who answered the call to defend their country. cnn's ben wedeman is in mykolaiv and joins us now. ben, what have you been seeing? >> reporter: well, what we've seen, anderson, is that this city was really -- the russian forces were just on the outskirts of it only a few days ago. since then they've been repulsed, but for one mother, it was done at a very high price. ♪ "lord have mercy" goes the hymn's refrain. another family drinks of war's bitter dredges.
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47-year-old yuri died on the 18th of march from wounds sustained in the frontline city of mykolaiv. his mother, ludmila, struggles through the ceremony. every day there's another funeral during this time of death, destruction, and displacement. these are, indeed, the times that try a people's soul. ♪ yuri was a volunteer, not a regular soldier. he was given full military honors. beyond the customs of respect for a man who died in battle for a nation at war lies the trauma of the woman who brought him into this world. there can be nothing more painful for a mother than to attend the funeral of her child.
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a son killed in a war not of his choosing. he decided on his own to join the army, says ludmila. he hadn't told me. he was a good falther and a goo son. says his sister elena, he was always a man of his word. yuri's lies with other freshly dug graves. after a month of this conflict, no one really knows how many soldiers and civilians have been killed. the only thing of which anyone can be certain is that only the dead have seen the end of war. before this funeral ends, preparations begin for the next. ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
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>> you're in mykolaiv, the same city where yuri was killed. what are the state of things there? >> reporter: the center of the city seems to be coming back to normal. we were at a grocery store the other day, which was quite busy. but you just have to take a very short drive outside to see how close the russians still are. we were at a village where people were packing up. the women, especially the old women, were leaving because they just could not put up with the sound of bombardment, spending days and days in the basements of their homes. so the war has receded, but it's still perilously close to this city. anderson. >> thanks, ben. just ahead, breaking news on capitol hill involving the january 6th committee and ginni thomas, wife of supreme court justice clarence thomas. also criminal referral recommendations for two former advisers to the former
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president. the latest when we return. i may be close to retirement, but i'm as busy as ever. and thanks to voya, i'm confident about my future. voya provides guidance for the right investments. they make me feel like i've got it all under control. [crowd cheers] voya. be confident to and through retirement.
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. coming out of the house committee forum to investigate the january 6 riots, the panel is meeting behind closed doors on capitol hill at this hour. cnn wants to interview clarence thomas over other reported backchannel communications before and after the attack. this discussion comes just moments after the committee voted to recommend criminal contempt charges for two formal advisers danny covito and navarro. betty thompson is expected to recommend that the city seek the cooperation of ginny thomas into the investigation of january 6. sources tell kcnn ginny thomas has been a topic of conversation for quite some time because she
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has sent text messages to meadows. she uses her persuasion to try to get him to overturn the election. thomas is a long-time activist, but this is a clear example of her work intersecting with an issue her husband eventually had to rule on. now, one outstanding question, anderson, is why now. the committee has had these text messages for a long time. they only talked about them when they reported on them. what changed? why now? why did it take these becoming public for you to push for her cooperation? no answers. anderson, meadows may not be the only person getting these text messages from ginni thomas. she is also messaging someone she referred to as jarrett. was that the president's
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son-in-law and senior adviser? it's unclear but lawmakers will be able to ask him just that when jared kushner appears voluntarily before the committee this week. >> there was a ruling today regarding the former president and his role on january 6. what happened? >> that's right, soanderson, in that ruling they said john eastman has to turn over some records to the house select committee. the house select committee has used this litigation over john eastman's e-mails to publicly lay out the criminal conduct on former president trump. in a filing in this case earlier this month, the committee accused the former president and eastman in engaging in a criminal conspiracy to perpetrate a fraud against the american people by trying to undermine the outcome of the election. and here, in today's decision, you have a federal judge saying, yeah, that's right, it's more likely than not that they were planning a crime.
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that is a big boost, anderson, for the house select committee as it mulls whether to make a criminal referral to the justice department of former president trump. >> paula reed, thank you. appreciate it. coming up, parental guidance from cnn's crystal ward on a program for pbs. we'll be right back.
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cal: our confident forever plan is possible with a cfp® professional. a cfp® professional can help you build a complete financial plan. visit to find your cfp® professional. ♪ tomorrow cnn+ launches. one is "full circle." it's a program we've been doing for a couple years now and you'll be able to find it on cnn+. the other is "parental guidance." it sois exactly what it sounds like. i'm a new parent, i need parental guidance. i talk to new parents because i don't know what i'm doing. i talk to my cnn colleague chief international correspondent crystal ward who is the mom of
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two little kids. we talk about business trips and how to handle them as parents. it happened that the last trip was to a war zone. here's our latest conversation. >> you and i talked about this in ukraine, but i wanted to call because it's the first time i've had kids and traveled that amount of time, and obviously you have two kids as well. how old are your kids? >> four and one and a half. >> a lot of parents deal with traveling. obviously you're traveling to war and complex places. how do you deal with that as a parent? >> honestly, i think i'm still working it out. it's really hard. it's really hard, and anyone who says it's not either worked something out that i have yet to work out or they're lying, because i feel like there is guilt as a parent being away from your kids even if you know it's for good reasons and you feel pretty confident that in the long run you did the work
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you did, et cetera. what for me has helped is, like, building this life for my children that exists without me in it as well. >> i should do the show when my children are napping. that's what it comes to. don't miss "parental guidance" on wednesday on cnn+. i hope you like it. you can see it on tuesdays and saturdays. the news continues. i'm going to hand it over to wolf on "cnn tonight." >> i'm wolf blitzer. this is "cnn tonight." we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. "i'm not walking anything back," na vow from president biden today getting defensive in his first existential explanation on his ad lib heard around the world this weekend. >> for god's sake, this man cannot remain in power