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tv   CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  April 26, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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shift that you're seeing from them and we'll watch to see how it plays into how they helped the ukrainians continue going forward. >> they see things differently on the ground there than they might have a month, month and a half to go. cnn's coverage continues right now. the u.s. is increasingly optimistic about ukraine's potential ability to win this war. as the defense secretary lloyd austin calls russia's atrocities here in ukraine indefensible. very good morning to you . i'm jim sciutto. >> and i'm bianna golodryga in new york. the defense secretary will deliver closing remarks following high level meetings with counterparts from several nations. their biggest challenge, how to help ukraine win.
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>> my ukrainian friends, we know the burden that you all carry. and we know and you should know that all of us have your back. and that's why we're here today. to strengthen the arsenal of ukrainian democracy. >> next hour we'll speak live to the chairman of the joint chiefs, general mark milley. overnight, an adviser to president volodymyr zelenskyy say russian troops have intensified their assault and saying russian forces are in control, continue to be of the city of kherson, two guided missiles rocked zaporizhzhia. the threat from the skies continues in this country. you may remember that is the same city that was a destination for people trying to escape mariupol. no longer safe itself. and in luhansk, remarkable new drone video shows a village just
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leveled by recent fighting. the devastation seeming to go on for miles. something we have seen so often in this country since the start of the invasion. >> can't get used to the images two months in now. cnn pentagon correspondent oren lieberman joins us from ramstein air base in germany. what do we expect to hear from the defense secretary today? >> it will be interesting to hear in the closing remarks if there is anything concrete coming out of the meetings today, whether that comes in a dollar figure commitment to ukraine from the u.s. or other 40 countries that were here or any specific systems that any of those countries have now agreed to send into ukraine. we heard earlier today, germany announcing they would send in 50 jet part vehicles used for short range antiaircraft operations that in and of itself a big statement from germany which had been criticized for reticence to send lethal weaponry into ukraine. will there be any other such announcement? that is one of the things we'll be listening for. in the meantime, defense secretary lloyd austin staying with that stronger rhetoric we
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heard from not only him, but other u.s. officials over the course of the past couple of days, saying perhaps a bit definitively that ukraine is capable of winning this fight and the stronger condemnation of russia's actions in ukraine. >> russia's invasion is indefensible. and so are russian atrocities. ukraine is fighting a war of necessity to defend its democracy, its sovereignty, and its citizens. but the stakes reach beyond ukraine, and even beyond europe. >> reporter: in terms of what -- how the day was broken down, it started with an update on ukrainian battlefield, that came from the defense minister earlier today. then the focus on short-term and medium-term weaponry. and then longer term what is needed for ukraine to defend its own sovereignty. the u.s. approving $165 million
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package in foreign military sales to ukraine, soviet era weaponry, the type of weapons they use now. they know ukraine needs to transition to nato capable weaponry moving into the future. that's part of the discussions today. later today, in an hour, we'll hear closing remarks and see if concrete deliverables or statement of the commitment to ukraine. >> oren lieberman in ramstein air base in germany, thank you. coming up, i'll speak to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general mark milley, exclusive interview, his take on the latest on russia's war in ukraine as well as the critical meeting between u.s. and nato allies in germany at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. overnight, ukraine says that russian forces fired two guided missiles at the city of zaporizhzhia. this as they step up their offensive in the south and the east trying to gain ground there. cnn international correspondent phil black is in the capital city of kyiv. what more are we learning about
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attempts at least by russian forces to make advances in the east and the south? >> reporter: jim, so ukrainian officials continue to report a really notable uptick across all the key battle fronts, in the east and the south as well. they talk about russian efforts to move forward, try to take territory. as well as a really notable uptick in artillery bombardment also. so far, ukrainian officials say, they are withstanding those assaults, repelling those assaults, so russia's attempts to advance for the moment continue to fail. you mentioned those missile strikes on zaporizhzhia to hit a business there, killing one person, injuring another, another blew up in the sky. more concerningly, no doubt more concerningly, two flew over at low altitude zaporizhzhia's sprawling nuclear power plant. the clear concern there is that if one of those missiles had failed one in close proximity to the power plant it could have caused extensive damage and created a hugely serious nuclear
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emergency, jim. >> no question we have seen so many close calls in that category, phil, the mayor of kearsen i kherson in the south, the city has completely fallen under russian control. how significant a change is that? >> reporter: so kherson has been under russian occupation from the early days of the war, but even during that time we're told the city council was allowed to operate, this is the civilian authorities, were allowed to operate in a limited way. it seems no longer. the mayor says that armed guards turned up -- russian troops showed up at the city hall building, took the keys, exchanged their guns for russian ones and they believe that that era of being able to continue some sort of local civilian administration is now over. now, there has been talk from the ukrainian government, president zelenskyy specifically, about plans by the occupying forces there to stage some sort of -- some sort of public vote to try and declare
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independence, as other regions have done with russia's assistance in the past. zelenskyy has said that if that happens, it will mean an end to any future negotiations with russia. >> and that's always been the u.s. assessment, the russian plan including a military phase and a political one to take over the political systems assuming russia was able to gain those towns, that ground, fillphil bl thanks so much. alarming development this morning, the president of moldova is convening a security council meeting after explosions rocked the city in transnistria. two radio towers were damaged there. transnistria is a moscow-banned breakaway territory in moldova that is not recognized by the international community. but it sits between moldova and ukraine. russia maintained a military presence there since the early 1990s. last week a top russian general said russia intended to
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establish, quote, full control over southern ukraine adding that control there would give russian forces access to transnistria. u.s. is praising ukraine's efforts to resist russia's aggression, saying the west is doing what it can to help ukraine win. >> they have certainly defeated mr. putin's strategic objectives thus far. he did not take kyiv or chernihiv. they had some limited progress in the south and there is active fight going on in the east in the donbas region. it is hard to look at this fight and preclude that russia has won, that mr. putin achieved his objectives. he has not. the ukrainians have beaten him back at almost every turn. what we're trying to do here today in germany is to make sure the turns to come that ukraine can to inbbeat them back. >> joining us to discuss, major general paul eaton, former
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general of coalition military assistance training team in iraq. good to have you on, sir. there is a notable change in public assessments by the u.s. and nato of the situation on the ground here. and the most current one is that if not the tide is turning, at least ukraine has resisted so well to date that it does have a chance to succeed, to resist russia's invasion to win. i wonder if you share that assessment. >> indeed, jim. the ukrainian army has distinguished itself, undermanned, less well equipped than the russians and on the power of their own guts and willpower, ukrainian army is turning the tide right now. now, the west has been prolific and wonderful in supplying the weapons that mr. -- that president zelenskyy needs. and i expect that this is going to just ramp up as we continue to put the pressure on.
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our secretary of defense assessment is shared by a lot of my peers, we have watched an incompetent russian army on many levels, in many areas of concern fail miserably. and his comment, interesting, that this whole ukraine situation could defang the russian military, their ground forces certainly, is interesting. >> yeah, it is coming at a time when you're seeing ing more na allies step up. germany the latest announcing it is planning to supply ukraine with antiaircraft tanks after resisting that just a few weeks ago. let me ask you about moldova, the two explosions you heard there, part of transnistria. the country's president says this say provocation from pro russian separatists there. i'm curious, from your perspective, thus far, the u.s. has assisted moldova more on a
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humanitarian basis, providing millions of dollars of aid for the hundreds of thousands of refugees that have come into that poor country from ukraine. but a reminder that moldova has no protection from nato, no protection from the eu. should the u.s. be thinking about helping moldova militarily protect itself from russia? >> thank you, bianna. so we, in the military, tend to speak in terms of the tactical level of warfare, operational level of warfare, and strategic level of warfare. we're now talking about the operational level of warfare, and the fact that southern tier, odesa, is the jewel of this potential movement to the west by the russian forces, what we're seeing right now in moldova, transnistria, is provocations at the operational level, it is preparatory in a political sense as well as
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military sense to movement into that area which we have got to take a long hard look at, what we're doing to help moldova and its future and the potential of support to that country. >> do you believe russia has the military capability to carry out that aim of taking the entire south of ukraine and linking up to moldova, or given what they have run into the east, do you think that's a stretch for the russian forces? >> jim, that's a great big stretch from what they have demonstrated right now. and we expect to see the ukrainian army and their military in general shift to make sure that key stretch of territory that economic zone of great importance to ukraine, not be pressed. and what i have said in the past and would repeat here is the
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nato naval forces need to give a very strong point to president putin that he does not own the black sea. that his ships, if they come into military influence on the south of ukraine, are going to be pressed, that we will put enough naval forces in there to ensure that he does not have freedom of action or freedom of navigation in the international waters or the black sea. >> that would be quite a stand-up there, general eaton, thank you so much as always. >> thank you very much, jim. >> still to come this hour, cnn's clarissa ward and her team follow the paramedics doing incredibly dangerous work, trying to save people wounded in russia's attacks, often becoming targets themselves.
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>> just incredible heroism on the part of the medics. also ahead, new video of alec baldwin speaking to authorities immediately after the fatal shooting on the set of the movie "rust." text messages from the film's armorer, what she was saying about using live rounds. and elon musk poised to be the new owner of twitter, what that means for users and employees. we'll talk more up next after the break. obviously, we got termites. well, first thing is, you gotta know what they're bitin' on. hey! i told you to hire a pro. i did get a pro. an orkin pro! i got this. gotermites? don't call any pro, call the orkin pro. new prects means new project managers. you need to hire. i need indeed.
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soon after the announcement, twitter employees held an all hands meeting with current leadership where questions were raised about everything from what the sale will mean for them to whether former president trump would be allowed back on the platform. i'm joined by anchor of "reliable sources" brian stelter. we were talking about just this possibility, we didn't think that the odds were high of this happening now. elon musk wants to take this company private. he's all about freedom of speech. how do you balance that with regulating hate speech and misinformation? >> and did to experience an extraordinary education in the complexities of that very topic. elon musk pursued this, people thought maybe he's buying it as a play thing, didn't know how serious he was, he's very serious. he committed his capital to it. it is clear he has very little understanding of the complexities that go into content moderation and hate
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speech policies and the like. so he's about to learn how it works and it might be a whole lot more complicated than he realizes. >> not just here in the u.s., this is a global company. eu regulators are tougher. one said we welcome everyone, there rules, you are welcome, but these are our rules, it is not your rules for which will apply here. he's got a lot of work ahead of him. is he prepared for it? >> he needs a management team to do the day to day. whether the current team stays in place is a big question. a lot were dismayed by the news that the board agreed that musk take over. will they stay in the company. there is a question whether users and advertisers will want to be part of eelon musk's service. it is a months down the road question, and there are also media questions about whether he's going to reinstate certain accounts, certain politicians,
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one former president comes to mind. this has been a hot topic in the past 24 hours since this deal was struck and we heard from a lot of u.s. senators. senator marsha blackburn saying today is an encouraging day for freedom of speech. i'm hopeful elon musk will help, that's the main narrative on the right. here chris murphy saying, okay, trump is coming back probably, maybe that's a good thing for democrats. i never expected that policy to be permanent. trump back on twitter is terrible for the country but good for democrats. i think this is a domino effect. musk hit the first domino. we don't know how it is going to fall. >> former president trump said he will not plan on returning -- the other media platform not doing so well. what is the likelihood he will return? >> i believe he'll be back on twitter. it is hard to imagine him not
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going back to a service he was so detectived to back in the day. >> yeah. one warning that we should read, it came from the naacp, where they implored d musk, do not aw twitter to become a petri dish for hate speech. thank you. new video released by the santa fe sheriff's office shows the chaotic moments on the set of "rust" just after the shooting of the cinematographer halyna hutchins. >> where was she shot? >> she came in here, it went across her chest. >> and came out the back. >> want air flight? >> yeah. >> dramatic body cam footage shows first responders rushing to the scene, rendering aid to hutchins and the assistant director. the files also contain video of
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alec baldwin drawing a gun and pointing it toward the camera while rehearsing a scene for the film. josh campbell has been following this story. josh, video of baldwin's initial interview with police was also released. tell us about that. >> that's right. among the trove of evidence that was released yesterday by the sheriff's department is video of baldwin himself. after the shooting he sat down with investigators, he was read his miranda rights, asked if he's being charged with a crime, the deputies say no, just trying to gather the facts and we hear baldwin describing what happened as that fatal shot rang out. >> she hands me the gun. i'm assuming she's done it the right way, she's done it the last week. i put it in the holster and pull it out slow, we're rehearsing. i pull it out slow. turn, cock the pistol, bang, it goes off. my point is that they were standing in position they
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wouldn't ordinarily be in because they assumed it was an empty cold gun. we weren't shooting. we were rehearsing. >> do you think somebody would deliberately do this? >> i can't imagine who would. if i'm standing there in a rehearsal, i'm thinking to myself, could someone actually believe that in rehearsal i would aim the gun and hit those two people? that's far fetched. >> now, what alec baldwin didn't know as that interview was being conducted, this cinematographer had su coupccumbed to her injur. how that live round of ammunition got in that firearm to begin with, that remains under criminal investigation, bianna. >> josh, we're also learning more about text messages from the armorer. what do they reveal? >> these are very concerning. i talk to a law enforcement source who says that this is a key piece of evidence for investigators because they're trying to determine whether there was a pattern here of unsafe practices. what we see among this trove of evidence is a text message
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between the armorer, hannah gutierrez reed, responsible for firearms safety on the set, she asks another set member can i shoot hot rounds out of the trap door? a prop gun. this other person says what the eff is a hot round? and she responds, like a pretty big load of actual ammunition? this other staff member tells her, it is a serious mistake, always ends in tears. hannah reportedly responds, good to know, i'm still going to shoot mine, though, meaning her own weapon. an attorney for gutierrez reed said that what she was trying to do was trying to determine how this historical weapon worked. he maintains his client never actually practiced live ammunition on the set of a movie, but this i'm told by law enforcement source is a key part of this investigation because this incident, which this text message, two months before this shooting in their view, they're trying to determine was she involved in a pattern of unsafe practices because, again, we all know that live ammunition on a movie set simply doesn't mix,
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can have fatal consequences as we saw in this case. >> yeah. josh campbell, thank you. and still ahead, an incredibly close encounter from cnn's clarissa ward and her team as they shadowed ukrainian paramedics and got caught in the middle of russian shelling. the dramatic scenes up next. see him? he's not checkin' the stats. he's finding some investment ideas with merrill. eyes on n the ball baby. digital tools so impressive, you just can't stop. what would you like the power to do? lactaid is 100% real milk, just without the lactose. tastes great in our iced coffees too. which makes waking up at 5 a.m. to milk the cows a little easier. (moo) mabel says for you, it's more like 5:15. man: mom, really?
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shelters. beds, lines for donated food. >> in that city, rescue workers face increasing danger as they try to save lives. cnn's clarissa ward travelled with a paramedic team in kharkiv and found herself in the middle of the fire. >> reporter: it is the beginning of a 24-hour shift for parameparamedic s alexandra and vladimir. they prepare their vehicle. we have two tourniquets, vladimir says. alexandra's mother stops by the dispatch center to give her daughter a hug. this is one of the most dangerous jobs. every moment together is precious. a loud stream of booms signals the day's work is beginning. that's incoming now, this ambulance worker tells us.
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alexandra and vladimir answer the call. the code used when someone has been wounded by shelling. their flak jackets on, they're ready to roll out. so they said that they got reports one person at least has been injured in the shelling and they're hearing some rockets as well. we're going to see what's going on. the shells hit a residential apartment building. the paramedics need to act fast. russian forces are increasingly hitting the same target twice. it is called a double tap. it is a horrifying strategy to take out rescue workers as they respond. as we see for ourselves. get in, vladimir shouts. faster, faster, faster. we take cover under the stair
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well, alexandra is trying to find the wounded person. but there is no signal. at that moment, another barrage goes off. we brace for the impact. is everybody okay alexandra asks. our team member maria has cut up her hands on broken glass. vladimir treats her injuries as alexandra calls the dispatch again to find where the wounded are. without a connection, we're sitting in the entrance, she says, and they're shelling us.
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the connection keeps dropping. finally she gets through to the person who called for the ambulance. tell me your house number, she says! i repeat, 12g. i told you a thousand times, he replies. the man is dying. we decide to try to make a run for it. >> maria, maria, come on! come on, maria! come on! go, go. get in the car. get in the car. the ambulance was hit, yeah? >> yeah.
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>> okay. so we were just in an apartment building, they were looking for an injured man, a bunch of rounds came in and hit the next door building, so we're getting out as fast as we can. while we run out, vladimir and alexandra run back in. we find them treating the injured man on the side of the road. their back window has been blown out by the blasts. he has shrapnel injuries and head trauma. they rush him to the hospital once they stabilize him. vladimir asks about his pain. the man has been deafened by the blast. arriving at the hospital, they have done their part. it is up to others now to save him. >> i have to say, i think you guys are the bravest people i have ever met. back at base, we ask them why they continue to do this work.
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with all the danger it entails. it is normal, this is our work, of course it is scary, like for everyone, alexandra says. today you were with us in the hottest place, in the oven, but we're still alive, thank god. you feel it is your duty or obligation, vladimir tells us, to help the people who are still here. and what do your parents say what does your family say? aren't they wanting you to stop this war? >> it is very difficult. >> reporter: you must be scared? >> yes, yes. >> reporter: proud, but scared. >> all day, all night. >> reporter: we saw your mother. >> yes. >> reporter: she's worried to the point of hysteria, alexandra tells us, she says you need to leave. you need to go to some safe place. why are you doing this? i have only one child, stop it.
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and what do you say? i have to do it, she says simply. and with that, they go back to cleaning their ambulance. their shift only halfway through. clarissa ward, cnn, kharkiv. >> incredible what these young paramedics can laugh after the day they just had. our thanks to clarissa for that important reporting. cnn obtained thousands of texts that former president trump's chief of staff sent and received about overturning the 2 2020 election. the most alarming texts we'll show you up next.
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if you do something for your health now. a new york judge is holding former president trump in civil contempt for not complying with the subpoena and turning over documents to the state's attorney general. trump has also been ordered to pay $10,000 a day until he complies. lawyers with the ag's office say trump has failed to produce, quote, even a single responsive document related to the tax fraud investigation of the trump organization. lawyers for the former president say he plans to appeal the judge's ruling. an exclusive new reporting this morning, cnn obtained more than 2,000 text messages from former white house chief of staff mark meadows that reveal just how far former president trump's inner circle tried to go to overturn the 2020 election. the never before seen texts,
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which were handed over to the january 6th committee, include messages from trump's family, fox news hosts, the mypillow ceo and current and former republican members of congress. here with me now is cnn editor at large and politics reporter chris cillizza to discuss this further. chris, you point out one particularly interesting exchange between meadows and congressman marjorie taylor gr greene. what does it reveal? >> there are more than 2,000 texts. there a lot in there. i want to highlight a couple. this is the one you mentioned. i want you to particularly notice the date. january 17th. three days before the inauguration, 11 days after january 6th. in our private chat with only members, several are saying the only way to save the republic is for trump to call for marshall -- she means martial law. i just wanted you to tell him. they stole this election.
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we all know. marjorie taylor greene said in a chat with only members, members of congress are saying donald trump should call for martial law. i think this speaks to the fact that we were very close to the official transition of power, we were months removed from the election. we were just days removed from the insurrection, violent insurrection of the u.s. capitol and still members of congress including marjorie taylor greene were having conversations with the white house chief of staff that suggested we should put the military in charge to keep donald trump in office. i think that speaks to where the republican party was and candidly is. >> right. and this comes as we are seeing greene testify, right, in a case in georgia, asked about her role in the january 6th insurrection where she repeatedly says she doesn't recall anything she said, anything she texts, any of this, and this is quite striking, then to see in such detail, a year ago, some of the
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text messages that she sent. >> and just to -- just to add to your point, she was specifically asked last friday whether or not she advocated for the use of martial law and said i don't remember. it seems to me this was not 20 years ago, this was a year ago, it seems to me you would remember that. but, anyway, to your point. >> yeah, also stood out to you among the 2,000 texts was an exchange between meadows and rick perry, which he had previously denied were his. what do those messages show? >> right, so by way of a little bit of context, in december of last year, jake tapper and our colleagues reported that meadows' phone had been linked to a bunch of messages sent to -- excuse me, perry's phone had been linked to a bunch of messages sent to meadows after the election in which there was advocacy ways in which to throw the election. here is one. we have clearly the data driven program that can clearly show where the fraud was committed,
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this is the silver bullet. november 7th, 2020. i highlight this because, remember, perry's spokesman denied he had sent this. the problem, these texts were signed, signed by who? rick perry. so not only were they from a phone directly tied to rick perry, they were also signed rick perry, rick perry hasn't offered any comment, but it seems he's caught in a pretty bold-faced lie. >> yeah, rick perry, the same man who in 2016 called trump a cancer to the republican party. a lot has changed in those four years. chris cillizza, thank you. >> thank you. well, up ahead, a ukrainian journalist predicts the battle for the donbas will be especially brutal given what we have seen in mariupol and bucha. we'll speak with that journalist up next. but we lose control. ♪ ♪ ♪ should i stay or should i go? ♪
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the u.n. refugee agency says nearly 8.5 million ukrainians are expected to leave the country because of russia's invasion. >> cnn's sam kiley was in the donbas yesterday as families who had been trying to hold out finally decided to leave and said some tearful goodbyes. he also spoke to one woman who works in a local power plant and says she's not going anywhere. >> translator: we're not planning to leave here. this is my homeland, and my relatives are here. i cannot leave anyone here. my elderly grandmother is 80 and can hardly walk. i can't leave her. do you understand? >> never easy to make that choice to leave.
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even when your life hangs in the balance. joining us, natalia, a ukrainian journalist, public interest journalism lab. you wrote about the donbas region for "the atlantic" and said the donbas, which has already paid the heaviest price of the past eight years of conflict, has yet more pain to come. people also forget this war began in 2014 and there's been a lot of fighting in donbas. when you look at images of bucha and the devastation forces wrought there, do people in the east have to prepare for the same? >> hi. so indeed it's something to be prepared, but probably even different. it's more about the mariupol scenario when the cities are just destroyed with artillery shelling. and that's, in fact, something which is already happening. the ukrainian president zelenskyy, more or less, announced the battle of the donbas started a week ago. russia has been preparing this
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assault for more than a month. it's probably a bit hard to grasp the journalists because it looks different because we are thinking about quite a large territory and the front line is more or less 300 miles. and that's where all across this territory, on the towns, it's industrial area. the fighting takes place. so it's not really like one place to be bombed. but what i understood also from talking to the ukrainian military generals, they do explain that russia changed its strategy. earlier they tried as in bucha and elsewhere to occupy the towns, and then to move forward. they understand that this is not something they are successful, so they are first shelling the towns, managing them to destroy like more or less the scourged earth tactics as it's called. and then to move on. that's something we saw already happening in the luhansk region.
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but again, because it's such a scale, it's very hard to see it in one place. >> and you mention that those who have been involved in the massacres in bucha have been rewarded and promoted by the russian military to give a sense of what we could possibly see transpire there at the direction of the russian military in donbas. it was really interesting because you spoke to the two governors of luhansk and donetsk and pick up on an issue i don't think people focus enough on and that's the generational gap between leadership in the two countries. these governors, one is 35, the other 46. president zelenskyy is 44. vladimir putin will be turning 70 in october. all of those around him are roughly his same age, too. talk about that change in generation and the impact that is having on ukraine's struggle here given its relatively young leadership. >> indeed. and i'm -- i have spoken also to a lot of mayors and people who are in power in ukraine.
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but in particular, it's -- my story was really about those people whose shoulders, there is such a difficult -- who should make this incredible choices. call people to understand they are not military, but they are in coordination with the military. and it's true, often vladimir putin refer to the nostalgia of the soviet union. the governor of donetsk region, you know, he's been -- when the soviet union collapsed. so quite a lot of ukrainians grew up with totally different way of thinking about the past, about relation to russia and the soviet nostalgia. so, of course, it just doesn't work with them but something also to mention. it's probably also explained why ukrainians are partially that determined in this war because it's just the beginning of their life. >> yeah. >> they really feel -- a
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professional life i'm speaking. they feel it's something to pursue and go forward. a whole life in front of them. >> yeah. >> natalya, thanks for the hard but important work that you're doing. in about 30 minutes, general mark milley will join us live from ramstein air base for an exclusive interview. what can he share after today's meet with defense counterparts from around the globe? what's the latest u.s. view of the war here in ukraine? that's coming up. no, no, no. they're both invested..... in green energy. and also each other. digital tools s so impressive, you just can't stop. what w would you like the power to do? motrin works fast to stop pain where it starts. like those nagging headaches. uncomfortable period pains. and disruptive muscle aches. you can count on fast, effective relief withotrin.
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