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tv   CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta  CNN  April 17, 2022 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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hello again everyone. thank you for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. we begin with the battle for mariupol. the ukrainian port city left in
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ruins by russia's merciless invasion refising to back down. the city rejecting an offer by russia to surrender as the fighting wages on. the prime minister saying mariupol has not fallen and ukraine's forces digging in to defend 100,000 civilians still surviving in the city. president volodymyr zelenskyy saying he is open to negotiations with russia but adds the assault on mariupol makes that less likely. zelenskyy also insisting he will not give up any territory to end the war. atrocities piling up as the fighting drags on. search teams recovering bodies of over 40 innocent civilians killed when russian shelling hit a high-rise apartment building near kyiv. and today uaustria's chancellor giving events about his face-to-face meeting last week
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and warning about his mind-set. >> i think he is now in his vault watching. you know, he thinks the war is necessary for security guarantees for the russian federation. he doesn't trust the international community. he blames ukrainians to, for genocide in the donbas region. i think he believes he is winning the war. >> ukraine's foreign minister says the situation in mariupol may be a red line in negotiations with russia. i want to bring in now cnn's senior international correspondent ben wedeman joining me live from ukraine. ben, bring us up to date from where you are. >> reporter: yeah, fredricka. we're hearing the air raid siren off in the eastern part kurcoun, regarding mariupol, ten hours ago a russian deadline expired.
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russia saying if defenders of that city do not lay down their arms they will in the words of russia being eliminateds. however, they are holding on. rejecting that deadline. the situation is extremely dire. the military governor of the donetsk region of which mariupol is a part estimates there may be as many as 22,000 deaths in that city since that medieval xeech be siege began. about 100,000 people barely living there without proper access to food, water or electricity. now, to the north of here in kharkiv, a missile strike, a russian missile strike, on residential area that killed five people, wounded 13. they're two separate strikes coming within a half hour of
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each other. as they are caring for the wounded another strike came in. a typical russian tactic that goes back to what we saw in syria as well. here in the eastern part of the country, there continue to be shellings on communities near the front line, and we went to one of those communities. the shelling comes early and often. with russian forces massing nearby, this is a portent of things to come. firefighters braved the threat of shelling, but few others braved the streets of donetsk. life for those who haven't fled is moved underground. to stuffy shelters where safety trumps comfort. around 300 people call this temporary home. on the grounds of a sprawling
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chemical plant. maxim and his wife tried to keep 7-month-old artum distracted. they recently fled their home ten days ago. maxim showing me cell phone pictures of the cellar they hid out in before coming here. disabled, tatyana stays in bed most of the time. she'd prefer to be at home, but what home? there's no electricity, no cell phone signal, no water, no gas, she tells me. everything is shaking from the bombing. the windows are shattered. >> these are the examples. >> reporter: this woman tiutors her grandson. a retired english teacher here for months. >> a lot of people can't leave this place because of problems with house, and they don't have enough money to leave, move on
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to other places, and they have to stay here. >> reporter: this 73-year-old struggles to move about the shelter. he's not leaving town. i was born here, and i'll stay here, he says. nearby in tanks at an o'reil refinery bombed after a russian strike. not the first time it came under bombardment. the shells comes here early and often. another thing shelled here in donetsk was a church. today is orthodox palm sunday, of course. fredricka? >> ben wedeman, stay safe. thank you so much. president zelenskyy in an exclusive interview with cnn's jake tapper gives his view on peace talks with vladimir putin where the war stands right now and the thousands of ukrainians who have fled the country. >> what about the more than 4 million ukrainians who have left the country who are refugees?
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do you want them to come back? >> not now. i think not now. first one is, it's small women and children. they should come when the city is stabilized and when the war will finish, of course, because they will not help us now. it's not about the woman. men should be here and fight and the families will come back because i know statistics from 93%, 95% of those people away because of the war. not -- they want to come back. >> president biden agreed to another $800 million in military aid for ukraine. bringing the total american contribution to $2.5 billion. are you satisfied with that? do you need more?
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>> translator: of course. we need more. but i am happy that shehe is helping us now. i feel right now we are having a cleaner dialogue pap dialogue that's had twists and turns and not just talk. it's been very, very difficult, because there aren't many countries that have really helped us. the assistance from the united states led by president biden, and they are doing it again today, but there will never be enough. enough isn't possible. there is a full-scale war ongoing today. so we still need a lot more than what we have today. >> the biden administration keep saying they're giving you this aid to put uc 'nuck a better negotiating position for a diplomatic solution. is that the goal? to put you in a better negotiating position? or is the goal to defeat russia and get them to leave? >> translator: we needs understand that what we want can
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come at a very high price, and in any case, all of these years are war where is the compromise coming from the russian federation? maybe we can end this war without any conditions. maybe the war can end without any dialogue or compromise. and without sitting down at the negotiating table with the president of russia. and you'll understand daily as i said before, what's the price of all this? it's people. the many people who have been killed, and who ends up paying for all of this? it's ukraine. just us. so for us, this is a really great cost. if there is an opportunity to speak, we'll speak, but to speak only under a russian ultimatum? it's then a question about attitude towards us. not about whether the dialogue is good or bad.
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it's impossible. the sooner it happens, it just means that less are likely to die. but it's not a fact that this would actually be the case. not at all. but it's possible, and, therefore, we should try. we want to liberate our country. take back what's ours. we can fight the russian federation for ten years to take what's us. we can go down in such a path, but you have to understand what you're doing. know your strength. remember that you are not f fighting alone. can you imagine you would fight one on one with a very large state? one that's 28 times larger than us? in terms of territorial size, and economy, and their army is larger, and one cannot fight on their character alone. to fight as one there needs to be equipment today or tomorrow. not in two or three months.
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>> talk further bring in daniel rothenburg co-directs or of the arizona state of war and at the school of global politics and studies and wrote an op-ed for cnn last week arguing the u.n. should invest gays this as russian aggression quoting from your op-ed, definition of a genocide in ukraine would be appropriate if there was enough evidence to demonstrate russia's atrocities express a purposeful effort to deny existence of the ukrainian people. so let's talk further about that, professor, because, while either president biden and zelenskyy have useds the term jean gene genocide, that is very complicated. it cannot sin singularly be
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determined by the u.s.? >> a good question. most important using it now is as a frame for understanding russian intentions in the aggressive war on ukraine. >> well, the international criminal court would -- well, number one says it's investigating, and that would be one body that would make the determination of genocide. what can the u.s. do that the international criminal court cannot? >> a good point. there's a number of different ways to use the term and to process it and even to take it to you know to some sort of prosecution. the icc is one body. also special tribunals created for special circumstances, cambodia and national prosecutions that could take place some have led to successful genocide prosecutions even of heads of state. usually prosecution is one part of a genocide claim.
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what's important is, we want to try to figure out what's the underlying intentions of this wa war? and genocide might make sense of what's going on. >> and i wonder the premise of your article is the u.s. needs to be more involved. without coming across as sounding sarcastic, the u.s. can't get to the bottom of the january 6th investigation, regardless of videotape everyone has been able to see and injuries documented. so how is it the u.s. might have better success in involving stirring in making a determination about genocide and what kind of penalties besides sanctions that should be imposed on russia following all of these atrocities? the u.s. singularly as opposed to a global body? >> it's true actual prosecutions for genocide often take many, many years, complicated and one of the hallmarks of the national judicial process is its time.
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still, though, the making a claim of genocide using the term strategically as a way of understanding what's going on is something a little different than formally determining whether or not genocide is going on. your point how much evidence is required and demonstrating intent which is the trickiest part of genocide, those are very real. added to this discussion, the u.s. has quite a bit of information what's going on behind the scenes through rather intelligent intelligence information. and gathering. that might provide insight to underlying intentions of the russians. but the process is not determining whether or not it's genocide it's using the term of a better sense of genocide. >> what do you think the u.s. should be doing witts information? >> good question. some of it obviously has to remain classified. i think useful to archive this material, to create a special body within the u.s. government to look into genocide as well as
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other international crimes, and to prepare the groundwork for any number of things that might take place later on that don't have to be u.s.-led. although the u.s. can play a key role guiding some of these processes and gathering information and keeping the term around to help clarify what's going on. >> daniel rothenburg, thank you so much for being with us this weekend. this holiday weekend. happy easter and passover. >> thank you so much. all right. still ahead -- president zelenskyy is asking president biden to come to ukraine. will biden consider going? we go live to the white house, next. ♪ we believe there's an innovovator in all of us. ♪ that's why we build technology that makes it possible for every business... and every person... to come to the table and do more incredible things.
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president biden celebrated easter holiday at camp david and expected to return to the white house later on today. ukraine president zelenskyy in an exclusive interview with cnn's jake tapper expressed hope president biden would visit him in ukraine.
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>> do you want president biden to come here? >> yes. >> is, are there in the plans for him to come? >> i think he will. >> you think he will? >> i think he will, and i think he -- but it is -- no, no. i mean, it is his decision, of course, and, about the safety situation, depends. i mean, but i think -- i think he, the united states, why he should come here to see. >> cnn's arlette saenz is at the white house. arlette, we hear president zelenskyy feel pretty confident that this is something that president biden should do. but will biden take him up on that offer? >> reporter: fred, the white house is adamant saying they are not planning to send president biden to ukraine, even as the president himself told reporters a few days ago he is ready to go. of course, there would be major security and logistical concerns and hurdles that would need to be crossed if the american
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president were to go into a war zone. seems to be off the table for the time being, but there are discussions under way between officials here at the white house about sending another high-ranking administration official to ukraine. possibly secretary of defense lloyd austin or secretary of state antony blinken, but sources have cautioned such a trip may not eventually materialize. now, while zelenskyy believes this would be an image of solidarity toy have the president or a high-ranking official go to ukraine, the u.s., of course, is continuing to support ukraine when it comes to delivering more military assistance to the country. just earlier this week president biden announced $800 million worth of more sophisticated and heavy duty military equipment would be going into ukraine, with first shipments arriving over the weekend. ukrainian president zelenskyy welcomed this new assistant, but still says more is needed.
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of course, he repeatedly asked for fighter jets. something the u.s. said they are not going to provide. there are some concerns among u.s. officials about the state of ukrainian's inventories when it comes to ammunition. especially as there is expected to be more heavy combat between the russians and ukrainians in the coming days. part of those, that military assistance that was going to ukraine includes howitzers and more ar tedry rounds. officials say that could be used up in a matter of days, but the u.s. is consistently evaluating the needs of the ukrainians and what more they can give to try to help them defend themselves against the russians. fred? >> all right. arlette saenz as the white house, thanks so much. coming up, why antennas are suddenly a popular item at electronics stores for russian speakers to easily pick up russian television channels. we'll explain that, next. and disruptive muscle aches.s.
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welcome back. russian propaganda for one of russia's neighbors, it's a difficult habit to give up. steady stream of state tv pumped out of moscow. in estonia, russian speakers long hooked on it, but since the start of the war, they've been cut off. here now is cnn's scott mclean. >> in eastern estonia, the vast birch forests and open plains dotted with industry and concrete apartment blocks can feel a lot like russia. most people are ethnically russian. many signs are in russian, and russia itself is just across the
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river. from the estonian border town, more than 80% of the population speaks russian. even on this side of the river native russian speakers makesta population from the soviet era. many older people don't speakwell and absence of russian media in estonia, russian state media left to fill the void giving people a steady dose of kremlin propaganda. that is, until the start of the war in ukraine. when estonia blocked many russian news outlets and tv channels a decision that came with plenty of controversy. >> why i'm not agree? because i think democrats with propaganda. >> many people buying systems to become the russian -- it's not the way of reality. this is not the way. >> reporter: antennas suddenly a
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popular item as electronics stores. russian speakers, they easily pick up russian tv channels and others watch on line through vpns. this man and his father have a better setup acrkcross the rive >> gets to russian households. >> reporter: this to a russian satellite dish both picking up all russian channels though some would rather not watch. >> watch 10, 15 seconds because of level of aggression. lies. it's crazy. >> reporter: a lot of people still very connected to russia. do you think that they believe everything that the kremlin is saying about the war in ukraine? >> translator: i don't just think. i know there are a lot of people who think russian state media is the truth. for sure, it's a lot of false news and lies and only minority
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here don't believe russian propaganda. >> reporter: some of those true believers are reluctantly tuning in to this channel. ♪ e-tv plus launched in 2015 to give russian-speaking estonians access to reliable news about their own country and the world. >> we don't have propaganda. we can make news about corrupt ministers or presidents in our country or politics. many russian journalists can't do it. >> reporter: on friday, e-tv plus reported on sinking of russia's flagship "the moskva" giving ukraine's version, bombarding and the russian propaganda. gaining trust is tougher. >> many viewers already to blame us, ready to charge us, because they don't believe us. but we are ready to speak with
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them. we don't want to judge them. i am ready to wait and i'm ready to give those people the time to make them believe me. >> reporter: scott mclean, cnn, narwa estonia. coming up, live to philadelphia. the city set to reinstate its mask mandate in all indoor public places at covid-19 cases quickly rise. that is next. some home fragrances can be... overwhelming. air wick fresh new day fills your space with fragrance that's always fresh, never overpowering. air wick. connect to nature. never be afraid of your strength, because your body is capable of amazing things. own your strength, and sehow far it takes you. tonal. be your strongest. because your body is capable of amazing things. ancestry made it really easy to learn about my family's history.
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all right. tomorrow philadelphia will become the first major u.s. city to reinstitute its mask mandate since january. masks required in all public indoor places. philadelphia's health commissioner cites a new rise in covid cases. today white house covi d coordinator dr. ra sjha said it should be left up to communities. >> using data and supportive of local people making local -- local leaders making local decisions. mayors and governors and i continue to support that. it's the right way to go. >> and from philadelphia, how are folks reacting there? >> reporter: this neighborhood north of downtown philly, fred you see masking signage up. whether recently up or been there since start of the
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pandemic no question applying again tomorrow. once the city begins to require indoor masking for public spaces. talking businesses, schools, museums, and other indoor spaces. important to point out there is a way around this. businesses and entities given the option to require the vaccination of all the occupants in that building. if they can prove it can remain mask-free. we'll see if businesses decide to go in that direction. we'll see. how we got here, 50% increase in daily covid cases in the last two weeks. the red flag triggering this return of this mask mandate that kicks in tomorrow. in terms of the other numbers. really manageable right now. in fact, the daily covid cases still about 142, still well below that 225 mark required to go to stage three of a response and hospitalizations now in philadelphia, about 44 as of last monday, the last update.
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also still well below the daily hospitalization rate that would basically trigger the next stage three requirement. far from that. nonetheless, the city hoping to get ahead of that. a small group of business owners to stave this mandate as done in the past arguing the city of philadelphia is disregarding cdc guidance and end of the day is bad for business. that's the argument now. see if it sticks in court. previously some of those legal attempts have been unsuccessful in the past. fred? >> polo sandoval, philadelphia, thanks. still ahead, easter with the royals and why the queen did not attend services. new projects means new project managers. you need to hire.
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in his easter message pope francis called for peace during what he said is an easter of war as cnn's senior vatican analyst john allen explains, the pope tried to steer clear making his address overly political. >> reporter: easter sunday typically a joyous time for catholic hs a shadow cast over it this year by the war in ukr ukraine. pope francis referred to the war as cool and senseless calling this an easter of war. he expressed compassion for the victims of this conflict including refugees and internally displaced persons and
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also children who have been orphaned by the conflict. the pontiff acknowledged ukraine has been dragged into the war, did not mention russia in name, keeping his policy from the beginning trying to keep some channel of communication with the russians open. in addition, the pope named a number of other hot spots including the israeli/palestinian conflict flared up anew in recent days, myanmar, latin america and clear ukraine had a special pride of place. by the way, the first time the pope has been able to celebrate easter in front of a large crowd in st. peter's square since the covid pandemic began. for cnn, this is john allen in rome. meantime, members of the royal family attended easter service earlier today, but without their patriarch. prince william and kate seen arriving with two of their children. george and charlotte, at the st. george's chapel in windsor
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castle today. notably missing from the easter service was queen elizabeth. the queen will celebrate her 96th birthday this month and regularly attend church services but did not make an appearance today. joining us, a cnn royal commentator. love the red, kate. happy easter! all right. so do we know -- do we know why the queen missed the service and how significant it is that she did not attend? >> reporter: yes, fred. it is very significant, because we are seeing a change here. last year the queen did 200 engagements, nearly 100 in-person. not the same this year. she has had significant mobility problems and indeed a royal source said to a british up in from now on cannot necessarily expect to see the queen at engagements. maybe come. find out on the day. from now on, won't expect to see the queen at these events. the easter service, any
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services. so some of her engagements as well. we really, the queen celebrated privately today in windsor castle meaning mobility problems have become too difficult to make it possible for her to be out and about as she was just last year. >> yeah. i mean, those adjustments are understandable. still, the queen carries on in a very impressive way. all right. so all of these decisions and today's service also comes at a time of one of "the" most anticipated family get-togethers as it happens, as prince harry and meghan stopped by. in country and actually net with the queen thursday. right? what do we know about that meeting? >> reporter: yes. prince harry and meghan popped in. in fact, no one knew they were here. actually spotted by a group of tourists. >> wow. >> reporter: nobody knew they were here. came over on an ordinary british airwaves flight and no one spotted them and had a short
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meeting with prince charles. we understand ten minutes, he and the duchess and went on to meet with the queen. a conversation with the queen and an important icebreaker. on their way to the invictus games and making it very much more likely they may come to the -- talk in the papers, harry and meghan might overshadow the event. this makes it much more likely we might see harry and meghan and their children at the jubilee on the balcony way. a big moment. of course, this is the last jubilee the queen will see. >> yes. and was this the first meeting of meghan and harry and the queen since, you know, the split? i don't know another way to put it delicately. kind of a split? >> reporter: yes. we understand it to be the first meeting. talking on zoom, having lots of chats on zoom.
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prince harry saying how much the gwen loved talking on zoom. the first meeting certainly since the oprah interview and certainly since birth of lili, whom the queen la not yet met the baby yet. a significant meeting and i think it shows how the queen, how they are of each other. they were on their way and, of course, harry came to the duke of edinboro's funeral. a very different occasion, somber. this was tea with the queen, private event they had and i'm sure a lovely chat. >> very difficult. encouraging. we like families to stay together. you mentioned the invictus game and that's why. largely in part why they were both there. tell us more about why this particular invickctus games waso important as they pay homage to ukraine? >> reporter: the invictus games so important. celebration of veterans, of their service, of all the
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veteraning in the sporting games having, of course, being a veteran himself. meghan gave a wonderful introduction to harry of her incredible husband, and a tribute to service. it's so important in this moment in the midst of ukraine and so many suffering, giving their lives in service particularly marked by the invictus games as well. wonderful to have these games post-covid. and wonderful to get together and commemorate the service done in ukraine at the moment. >> absolutely. it's absolutely about commemorating the servicened to see those pictures and turnout. that is impressive and a long time since we've been able to see that kind of gathering. very myself. >> reporter: the turnout. a huge turnout. huge celebration. it was, been a fantastic event. the invictus games. really wa. >> thank you so much.
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good to see you. happy easterer. >> reporter: good to see you. the russian invasion of ukraine has forced more than a quarter of ukraine's population to flee their homes in more than 4.5 million people that have left country creating the world's fastest growing refugee crisis since world war ii. this week's krn her cnn hero is helping. sending humanitarian help to disasters the past six years and recently traveled to row main yea caring for hundreds of ukraine's in need. >> what we were expecting to see, large groups of people housed in tent cities, and actually, they are housing thee r refugees in individual dorm rooms. they have food, shelter, but the trauma is the same. they've lost almost everything.
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this is filled with women, children and elderly. there is a flu outbreak currently that obviously affects the children. also pre-existing conditions. it isn't just about fixing a broken arm or giving you medicine. the making that human connection. sometimes you need to hold their hand and walk them down a hallway and listen to them. >> yeah! >> reporter: we try to meet the needs of whatever presents to us. >> smile, everybody! >> reporter: human suffering has no borders. people are people, and love is love. >> love is love. to see this organization in action and find out how they went the extra mile to help one ukraine family go to cnn and wild there, nominate someone you know to be a cnn hero. we'll be back. (vo) wildfires have reached historic levels.
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after after-school program in ohio helping ukrainian american children understand the war in their ancestral country. cnn's gary tuchman visits program to find out what the kids think about the invasions. >> reporter: it's called the ukrainian academy. >> good afternoon, everyone. >> all: good afternoon. >> so today we are going to speak about war and peace. >> reporter: in the cleveland suburb of parma heights, ohio. >> can you raise your hands if you have grandparents in ukraine? >> reporter: almost all parents were born in ukraine, and many
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of these children also born there. this is a private preschool. day care as well as an after-school program. for children ages 6 months to 12 years. >> are we in just state of peace or are we in a state of war in this country? >> peace. >> peace. >> peace. what about ukraine? >> war. >> war. >> reporter: the feeling here that although what's happening in ukraine is frightening it's important for the children to learn about it and talk about it. >> what can you say about soldiers in ukraine? how you feel about them? >> they're brave. >> they brave. right. >> soldiers help people. >> if someone comes to your house, starts destroying it, taking your stuff. you know, would you be happy about that? >> no. >> no. >> do you think this is right? >> all: no. >> when another country like come into another country and taking stuff and bombing and do you think this is right? >> all: no. >> no. >> no?
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who came to ukraine? >> russia. >> russia. >> reporter: a teacher asking how the children are feeling about all of this. >> worried. >> worried? >> scared. >> scared? what other words of war? how can we describe a war? >> sadness. >> sadness. >> my family is, well, are very scared for my gram. my great-grandma. my relatives that are also in war. and -- it's very anxious. >> i hope some russian people are good and saying stop to the other russians who are being bad. >> not all russian people are bad. right? some people just, you know, say, no war. please, stop it. asking the president. >> yes. it's not -- because of the russian people. it's because of, of the president. he's greedy and tries to take over the country. >> reporter: roman and helena are the owners of the academy.
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do you think your students here are now prouder to be ukrainian american than even before this war? >> yes. i think they are proud about their roots, that they are ukrainians and about that ukraine is standing strong. i think that -- >> stand together. >> reporter: before we say good-bye to the students i get to talk with them a bit. >> if you had super powers. >> yes. >> what would you do? if you had superpowers? >> save the good people. >> save got people? >> yes. >> that's what you would do as superwoman? >> yeah, yeah. and -- like, make the house fly into the air. >> make the house fly into the air? >> fly to safety. >> fly to safety? >> yes. >> reporter: the laughter of children who have a lot on their minds. >> ah. gary tuchman, thank you for bringing those super kids. thank you for joining me today. i'm fredricka whitfield. the "cnn newsroom" continues with paula reid right now.
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you are live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm paula reid in washington in for jim acosta. we begin with what could be the final stand in mariupol. the last ukraine forces there rejecting russia's demands to surrender despite russia's throat eliminate all resistance. the unrelenting assault levelled mariupol, the fate of the people trapped there, mostly unclear. but ukraine's president believes about 5,000 children have been deported to russian territory. their whereabouts still unknown. now, you may find these next images disturbing, but they show exactly what is happening. russia is now gearing up to launch a major ground assault in eastern ukraine where intense


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