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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Russia Ramps Up Attacks On Key Ukrainian Cities; Russia Strikes Kyiv TV Tower, Steps Up Attack On Civilian Areas; Damage Seen Near Kyiv Central Train Station; CNN Gets Closeup Look As Lviv Braces To Become War Zone. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired March 02, 2022 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: "More and more occupiers are fleeing back to Russia from us, from you, from all those who drive out the enemy with javelins, guns, tanks, helicopters, with everything that shoots. I wish you health, native Ukrainians, strong and kind, but not to the enemy."
What is becoming our daily post from the Ukrainian President who is standing so firmly.
Thanks for joining us. AC 360 starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Day Eight of Russia's war in Ukraine. It is about to dawn on a country that has already been severely tested, the latest just a few moments ago with two new large explosions heard in Kyiv. So, it begins again tonight.
Yet no matter what Russia drops on them or tries to take from them, Ukrainians simply refuse to give an inch. That goes not just for men and women in uniform, but also for ordinary people doing the extraordinary.
You can see it in the video that I want to show you from the southern city, a city called Melitopol' where a Russian convoy was trying to get through. Take a look at what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: (Speaking in foreign language.)
TEXT: Occupiers. Occupiers. Go home. Go home. We are unarmed.
Are you going to shoot civilians? We don't have weapons.
We don't have weapons.
Go home. Go home.
What are you doing? Murderers. Nazis. Go home. Murderers. Go home.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: It is extraordinary what those people are doing when you
think about it. If Russian forces came to your town, would you do the same?
It's easy to say from far away, but in their case, they had a choice. They could have stayed home. They could have stayed off the streets, tried to hide as best they could. Instead they showed up without weapons, trying to stop a convoy of Russian military from passing through.
Yes, despite their resistance, they could only slow the convoy, they didn't stop it. But they showed up and they will continue to in the future.
About 140 miles west on the main highway, the first major Ukrainian city of the war fell tonight into Russian hands. We will have a live report ahead from what could be the Russians next big target. We will be joined as well by retired Army four-star General David Petraeus.
Meantime, the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn the invasion. Western sanctions tightened around Russia's economy. Russia saw the ruble drop yet more and its credit rating downgraded and the flow of allied military aid to Ukrainian forces according to the U.S. keeps on flowing.
CNN chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward is in Kyiv tonight; CNN's Sara Sidner is just across the border in eastern Poland with a number of refugees going to many different countries, mainly women and children now approaching 900,000 according to the U.N.; also CNN contributor, Jill Dougherty is in Moscow for us tonight, CNN's Alex Marquardt is reporting on the terrible price civilians are paying, Ukrainians are paying in Kyiv, and CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is in Odessa, the credibly important economic and strategically important city in the south.
Here at Lviv, CNN chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto is joining me. He starts us off with this report.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR AND NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Russia's invasion of Ukraine is gradually gaining ground. The mayor of the city of Kherson in the south of the country with a population of 300,000 has said that the city has now fallen under Russian control, adding Ukrainian forces are no longer present. The devastation inflicted across Ukraine is only growing. Russian strikes increasingly targeting civilians.
President Biden says, it is deliberate.
Russian forces moving on the capital, Kyiv, from the north have stalled due to Ukrainian resistance and their own shortages of food and fuel say U.S. officials.
[20:05:11] SCIUTTO (voice over): The Russian military has increased its rocket
and artillery attacks against the capital and other cities. Russian forces hit a television tower in Kyiv, a school in the city of Kharkiv, buildings in the town of Irpin'.
TATA MARHARIAN, MEMBER, UKRAINIAN VOLUNTEER MEDICAL BATTALION: I'm seeing dead children. I'm seeing hospitals being bombed, churches being bombed. It's difficult. I'll do anything in my power to stop this aggression.
SCIUTTO (voice over): The Ukrainian military has not let up its resistance nor have civilians. Here, a man waved Ukrainian flags in front of Russian tanks in Kherson, and the West is keeping up sanctions pressure on Moscow.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're coming for your ill-begotten gains.
SCIUTTO (voice over): President Biden announced a new Justice Department Task Force to investigate Russian oligarchs during the State of the Union address, and today the U.S. announced sanctions on the Russian Defense industry and export controls on Belarus as well from where Russia staged a large part of its forces for the invasion.
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Twenty--two Russian defense related entities will be designated, including companies that make combat aircraft, infantry fighting vehicles, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare systems, the various systems now being used to assault the Ukrainian people.
SCIUTTO (voice over): On the battlefield, the Ukrainian military has now lost more tanks, aircraft, armored personnel carriers and artillery than Russia has. However, by Russia's own admission, their losses are mounting as well. The Defense Ministry claims nearly 500 Russians killed though Ukraine says that number is actually nearly 6,000.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Russian mothers are losing their children in a completely foreign country.
SCIUTTO (voice over): Ukraine and Russia are still engaged in some diplomacy, with delegations heading to Belarus for a second round of talks, but both the U.S. and Ukraine remain skeptical that Russian President Vladimir Putin would negotiate for peace.
BLINKEN: We, of course, remain open to pursuing any reasonable path. But it's very hard to see any path when the bombs are dropping and the planes are flying, the tanks are rolling.
KIRA RUDYK, PEOPLE'S DEPUTY OF UKRAINE: When he's saying I want peace, this mean, get your Kalashnikov and prepare to war.
COOPER: We are going to have more from Jim Sciutto here in a moment. Right now, our correspondents in the field starting with Clarissa Ward in Kyiv where new have been heard.
Clarissa, what's going on?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So that was just under an hour ago, I guess, Anderson, two large explosions. My colleagues actually who are in a different room could see the sky light up, that bright orange glow as you can see in that social media video coming out. We don't know exactly what the targets were, but they were loud booms.
We think they may have been somewhere close to the river. We are still trying to work out exactly where the team is trying to geo-locate it. But again, difficult to get a sense so late in the night of what the targets were.
Now we do know about another explosion that happened a little bit earlier on in the evening. That happened near the train station here, the Central Train Station where of course you've seen those terrible scenes of thousands of people every day clamoring to evacuate from this capital city.
It wasn't actually the train station that was hit though, it was a heating pipeline. And again, there's a little bit of confusion as to whether that pipeline was targeted, or whether it was part of a falling missile that ended up damaging the pipeline, but all of which contributing to this sort of, you know, sense of fear within the city and a sense of dread about what's going to happen next.
There had been some hopes that maybe things would be a little bit quieter this evening because of the weather. I don't know if you can see behind me, but it's thick, thick, low lying fog, Anderson, which is usually, you know, a positive sense for people on the ground because it provides some cover, it's much harder to carry out bombing campaigns in weather like this.
But still, we've heard several loud strikes throughout the course of the evening, and everybody now waiting to see what tomorrow will bring. Of course, that Russian and Ukrainian delegation are supposed to meet again in Belarus.
But at this stage, Anderson, it's sort of hard to envision what the off-ramp could be, how it would be possible to deescalate, what diplomatic agreement could possibly be agreed upon. We heard President Zelensky tell my colleague, Matthew Chance just yesterday, you know, if you're serious about negotiations, then at least allow for a ceasefire to show that you're serious and certainly tonight here in Kyiv and across the country, we're not seeing anything that would show that President Putin is serious about any kind of peace talks or real meaningful negotiations -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, and just quickly, Clarissa, you said that the heating pipeline had been damaged or destroyed. I'm not sure the condition of it. Is there still, I mean, heat in homes and buildings in Kyiv? WARD: So far, we just don't know, Anderson. I mean, we're very lucky
we are in a hotel. There are all sorts of -- you know, they have their own equipment and backup generators and all sorts of things, so we just don't know if Kyiv residents are being affected by this.
There had been a lot of speculation earlier on, and indeed, we had some warnings earlier on that they were going to hit the electricity, they were going to hit the heating, they were going to hit communications. So far that hasn't happened.
And it appears on an initial assessment that this wasn't necessarily a targeted attack on this heating pipeline, but it remains to be seen. We'll have to find out in the morning as to whether people are being deprived of heating as a result.
COOPER: Yes, I want to bring in Jim Sciutto here with me in Lviv.
You know, Jim, earlier, I think it was yesterday, you and I had talked about -- you talked based on your own reporting that weapons were still getting through to Kyiv. That was really confirmed today by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. And later on, I'm going to speak to the Department spokesman who backs it up that not only U.S. weapons, but also European weapons are still getting through.
SCIUTTO: And a remarkable number really. I mean, so the first question was, are they keeping supply lines open? Clearly, they are and at a pace that I think is somewhat surprising. They say hundreds of stinger missiles, you know, stinger missiles designed to take down Russian aircraft, helicopters, jets. We've seen videos of that happening in the skies over Ukraine in the last week.
So they've had some success, the Ukrainian military. To have several hundred more of them in the midst of this campaign is a significant, significant development, I would say because that's really been their best response to this. Both the stingers and then the anti-tank missiles, the javelins, as they're known.
If those lines are still open, it means they're still getting the kind of help that President Zelensky and others have been looking for, which is lethal military assistance.
Now, they're not able to get the other help they want, things like a no fly zone. But that's a significant, I would say development on the battlefield that one, they can get them in, but get them in in those numbers.
COOPER: Yes, which the danger is if Kyiv does become encircled, then that becomes another issue about whether or not the weapons can get through.
SCIUTTO: True, it does. I mean, the forces -- you could get the forces conceivably outside the city as well. But yes, when you get inside the urban centers, which has been from the U.S. Intelligence assessments, the Russian plan forces in the city, encircle the cities and take over those cities like we've seen in Kherson inside the city becomes a different conflict. That becomes urban warfare, and where human beings, right, the civilians of the city become targets themselves.
COOPER: Yes. I want to check in also now with some of our other correspondents, Sara Sidner. What's the situation at the border right now? I think you're on the Polish side. How many people are still trying to cross?
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So it is 2:00 AM on the plus side, it's actually 3:00 AM on the Ukraine side, and what we have been seeing are large numbers of people, but in small groups, so you will get small groups of people and in every single group, Anderson, there are lots of small children. Those small children, people are holding their hand, sometimes they're being carried. Oftentimes, they're just walking.
This border crossing is one of the largest between Poland and Ukraine and it is the one that people were allowed to walk across, not just drive across or not just be bused across. But Poland has since decided that all of their border crossings, they will allow people to do whatever they need to do to get across, and if that means walking, then so be it.
It is astonishing, the number of people who have fled Ukraine and into Poland. You know, the E.U. Commissioners that we spoke to here on the border today said that about three quarters of the now almost 900,000 people that have left Ukraine are ending up here in Poland, and what is Poland doing about that? It is incredible, the humanitarian care that they are giving to people.
There is medical help. There are people that are being told that they have a place to stay in regular citizens' homes, as well as hot food, clothing, and transportation. That has been underway for several days now. There has been a lot of consternation about people from other nations, particularly Black and Brown people, they have now -- the borders have been open more to them and they have now cleared those lines of people and they are now finding their way back to their respective countries -- Anderson.
COOPER: Although, I've got to say, I heard the press conference from that European official and you confront it. He was saying essentially that the people he had talked to you on the Polish side had said it was -- he actually used the term ridiculous term, "fake news" that there was discrimination against people of color.
And you said actually, we have -- I've talked to people specifically face-to-face who have told me their experiences repeatedly. I mean, you had receipts, and then he seemed to, you know, sort of backtrack and say, well, of course that would be -- that would be reprehensible.
SIDNER: Yes, and that is true, and we know that the E.U. has come out and tacitly admitted that yes, this was a problem. But in the past like 12 to 24 hours that problem has been mostly resolved.
I do want to mention that in seeing these families, it is mostly women and children that we are seeing, many young children. We have, by the way, seen a few people who are going into Ukraine who are going to fight for their country who are living in Poland and are residents of Poland, but who are Ukrainian citizens.
We have watched people walk into the border and ask them what they're doing. They said we cannot sit by anymore, we are going to fight. But we also talked to those who have left everything behind. Mostly mothers and children who have left their husbands behind, sometimes, their parents behind. Here is just one woman's reaction to what all this is like for someone who has never experienced being a refugee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLGA SHEVCHENKO (Ukrainian citizen): Ukrainians are friendly. We don't want to have war. We don't want to have quarrels with somebody. We want just peace.
We want to have children to go to school, to go to work, you know. For the Russian President, we ask, oh, gosh, please stop the war because it is so dangerous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: That was Olga Shevchenko and (ph), and Anderson, she is trying to shield her nine-year-old daughter. She says, I don't want her to see this. She can't. We're hearing that over and over and over from mothers trying to save the children.
COOPER: Yes, it's important to hear as well.
Jill Dougherty in Moscow, sanctions continue to choke the economy in Russia and will increase as it goes forward. How are people they're reacting?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, it depends. I think at this point, people were a little bit worried at the beginning whether they'd actually be able to have cash. So that's why we saw the lines at the ATM machines, but I think there is a sense that you know, what is coming -- because these sanctions, they are so massive, and people are wondering, you know, a lot of them, obviously, they can't travel, credit cards sometimes don't work.
And there is a real sense, I would say, foreboding among a lot of people, even though right now, it feels relatively controlled, but nobody knows where this is all going. A lot of companies have pulled out, you know, Ford is not producing anymore. So there will be an effect.
And then Anderson, you know, these protests are continuing every single day. In fact, today, there were some 763 people arrested, according to the -- across Russia, according to the organization that tracks this, and the total number since this began, which is roughly a week is 7,608 as of last -- you know when we looked at it.
And the reasons that they're continuing to protest, we have been talking with some young people, particularly about this, and there seems to be a lot of them say, they just don't feel that they have any other way to stop this. So, they go on to the streets knowing that it is probably not going to make much difference in terms of the Kremlin, but they continue to do it.
And then also, concerningly, a sense of shame. A lot of them said they are very ashamed of what Russia is doing. They don't feel that they personally are responsible, but they feel shame. And then just today, I was talking to one woman who said, you know -- and she's very young -- she said, we talk about it with my friends about before the war, and that was only like a week ago.
COOPER: Yes. Jill Dougherty, you know, they said that it won't make much of a difference, the bravery of them to go out in the streets in Russia, in cities throughout Russia to protest given what the track record of what happens to protesters there is extraordinary and it may have an impact on their future -- their future ability to get a job or get into a school.
Jill Dougherty, appreciate the reporting, Jim Sciutto as well. Clarissa Ward, Sara Sidner.
Coming up next, a live report from the strategic port city of Odessa; also retired four-star General David Petraeus, his insights on what Russia has gotten itself into and where it might lead in the coming days and beyond.
And later, we'll check back in with Elena Ganesh (ph), you may remember her, I spoke to her two days ago -- two nights ago. She has been braving it out with her three children in a shelter, it is really just a basement frankly, it's not really a bomb shelter at all. What they have been seeing and feeling when they stepped outside briefly today as well.
COOPER: As we reported the top of the broadcast, the strategically important southern city of Kherson has now apparently fallen, it lies directly in the road in the south, first to Mykolaiv and then to Odessa, Ukraine's third largest city and a coveted prize for Moscow. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is in Odessa for us tonight.
So Nick, talk more about what we know is happening now in Kherson.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, it is clear after seeing days of Russian troops on the streets there looting, leading away locals at gunpoint and seeing shells slamming into apartment buildings, a sea change has happened now in really who controls the city.
According to its mayor in a Facebook post, laying out the conditions, he basically agreed what he referred to as armed men who had been to his office earlier that day, sounding a lot like martial law, a lot like occupation. People only go out during day times and pedestrians are supposed to walk in groups of one and two, and immediately respects the orders of the other armed men in the town. [20:25:20]
PATON WALSH: Also they say that Ukrainian Armed Forces have left, and so while that Facebook statement doesn't actually say Russia by name, it is clear that he is referring to the presence of Russian military, they are calling the shots essentially.
He does say that Ukraine's flag still flies over the administration building. But you have to essentially wonder how far from that is just being entirely symbolic given the volume of Russian troops we've seen inside that city at this point.
It is important, Anderson, for two reasons, partly because this was a strategic place for Ukraine to hold on to, the route up from Russia- held Crimea towards the rest of the country, a vital bridge next to it, but also, too, because it gives us an idea as to exactly how Russia is going to function in these big population centers.
It is an overwhelmingly large city, Kherson by itself, but the locals there were hoping the fighting would stay just on the outskirts at that bridge and not see Russian troops in their streets.
They've come in, they've looted, and now they appear to have simply changed how the city administration is going to function -- Anderson.
COOPER: Nick Paton Walsh, please continue to be careful. Thank you from Odessa tonight.
I want to get perspective now on what's going on in the south, also in Kyiv, and the price that Russia has been paying thus far in human lives.
Joining us, retired Army four-star general and former C.I.A. Director David Petraeus.
General, appreciate you being with us. I'm wondering when you look at first of all at Kyiv, the Russian efforts there at this point. What do you see the next -- I mean, the next step being for Vladimir Putin in terms of the deployment of forces or of power?
GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS (RET), FORMER C.I.A. DIRECTOR: Well, what they're trying to do, Anderson, is encircle the city. They have a pretty big traffic jam north of the city, which is reflective of the general level of frankly, degree of ineptitude that the Russians have demonstrated so far.
There is a column coming from the east toward the city, presumably they want to get around to the West, with the forces from the north and try to cut off the ability of those in Kyiv to still receive weapons and so forth that, as you heard the Secretary of State confirm, are still in being provided there.
The Ukrainian defenders are absolutely resolute. They are in urban settings. So it's very tough for those who are on the attack to penetrate. Defenders have an enormous advantage in that, the usual rule of thumb is that you have to have five for every one defender, if you're an attacker.
So of course, what Russia will do, as it has already begun to do is get frustrated and use inaccurate systems such as artillery, rockets, and so forth, and then perhaps some precision weapons as well.
Although, as we've seen a number of the precision munitions have actually been directed at buildings that only have innocent civilians, regular government buildings, not military locations, and so forth.
But eventually, I think we'll see what we've seen Russia do in other locations where they were unable to use ground and air forces effectively together, which is again, also what we've seen here, and they will just pummel the city, they will destroy section by section.
They will starve the people out, depopulate it, just as they did, of course, in Aleppo and in Grozny, but there is a difference here, and that is that you and a bunch of other intrepid journalists are watching every single action that they take, filming every strike and that is going to stoke more and more and more outrage around the world.
And I think we will see continued actions taken to the point that the Russian economy could seize up. You know, President Biden said give it a month. I think we're seeing actions already. Russia can't even open stock exchange, the ruble has plummeted.
The Central Bank reserves, which Russia was so proud of their war chest of $600 billion of foreign currency, foreign reserves, well, they are in foreign banks and they have all been seized and held.
The same with the oligarchs' townhouses in places like Kensington and Mayfair in London. I'd love to see cameras go and see them put locks on the door, sell the soccer teams that the oligarchs own, and so forth and so on.
And at a certain point in time, the Russian people, one hopes will do what Russian people have always done in the past, and that is rise up as, you know, as a student of history, Anderson, Russia is either expanding or it is collapsing. And I hope that we're going to see some of the latter in this case because Russia has overreached here, they are not going to be able to conquer the country and hold it.
What they will do is an extraordinary amount of destruction and damage, forcing refugees to flee women and children as you also showed earlier in this segment, and it is going to be a horrific scene. It will be barbaric.
Clearly there will be war crimes that have already been committed. And we'll see repeated over and over.
COOPER: I want to just talk a little bit drill down a little bit more about what a guerrilla campaign within a major city like Kyiv might actually look like. I mean, you were saying, the rule of thumb is you need five, five, you know, armed soldiers to one defender attackers to one defender. I mean, if there's, you know, I don't keep it the city of two half million people. But if there's 500,000 men left in the city, men and women who are willing to fight, you're still talking about a -- that's what 2.5 million attackers and Russia doesn't have that.
PETRAEUS: Look, exactly. No, I mean, from the beginning, I have said repeatedly that, especially urban combat is incredibly soldier intensive. They just do not have the numbers, you can do the math. And by the way, this won't be guerrilla, this is organized defense. This is fortifications, obstacles, there will be minds that will be used, and so forth. This is going to be brutal urban combat for those that are trying to establish a foothold, and then go into the city. And by the way, you can't just take one, say block and clear it, and then move on to the other you have to leave someone behind because otherwise the enemy will feel in behind. We saw this repeatedly in Iraq, when we did the clearing of Ramadi, as you'll remember a town of several 100,000 people, we had to leave someone in every building an element behind so that the enemy could not come in behind us. It is very, very soldier intensive.
And again, they do not have the numbers, which is why they will resort to what they do have, which is a lot of artillery, rockets, missiles and bombs. And tragically, we're just going to see them level parts of the city one after the other until they eventually tried to depopulate it. But even then, again, there are bunkers, there are basements, there are subways. They're not going to take this city in control it, I don't think they will, unfortunately, tragically destroy it.
COOPER: Gen. David Petraeus, I'd love to talk to you again. I'd love to have more time because there's a lot, a lot --
COOPER: -- to discuss. I really appreciate your experience. Thank you.
Ahead, a look at the destruction going on in Kyiv. We'll take a look. And we'll also talk to a resident who was with us on Monday, Olena Gnes is her name. She's a mom of three. She's taking shelter with others with her children. She's been doing that since last Thursday. Her husband is out there fighting, he was a journalist before the war. She's going to tell us what she and her children others are living through tonight, ahead.
COOPER: Residents of Kyiv as we mentioned are taking shelter tonight after two more explosions heard in Ukraine's capital. U.S. and other Western officials fear Russia's current tactics along with that stalled military convoy outside the city may lead to heavy civilian casualties as the attack increases. Two days ago, you may remember if you watched I spoke to a woman who'd been hiding in a shelter in Kyiv with her three children. It's really not a bomb shelter. It's a basement even has a window, which is not something you want in a bomb shelter. The youngest child she has is only a few months old as her husband is out fighting to defend Ukraine. She's now been in that shelter for six days as the fighting intensifies with no clear end in sight. I spoke to Olena Gnes earlier while she was in the shelter.
COOPER (on-camera): How are you doing? How's your family doing?
OLENA GNES, UKRAINIAN SHELTERING IN KYIV: Hi. Yes, surprisingly fine. What we have taken into account the circumstances we're very fine.
COOPER (on-camera): What are your circumstances now? How was your husband?
GNES: My husband is somewhere at his work. I mean, as a territorial defense in the territorial defense units. I talked to him very briefly today. He said that they are very busy, so he cannot stop. But he's fine. So I shouldn't worry. He just asked do I need anything? I said no, I'm fine, don't worry. And he said that he is fine too. So I'm just not bothering him. But it's enough for me to know that he is OK.
I wanted to say that today, me and my two children for the first time we came back home for about one hour to take a shower, to give food and change water to our cats that stays at home. And I thought maybe children will play a little bit over there, but they were afraid to stay at home, they were asking all the time are our bombs flying is there is this a Syrian (ph) on that we just you know, took more food, change clothes and ran back to the shelter and they feel much better here because they think they're more protected. We took some toys. So right now they are drawing over there on the floor. So now this is our playroom, our bedroom, my working cabinets, everything.
Yes, so we are -- today was quite -- a quiet day the supermarkets will open, the pharmacies will open, there was access to the water. The shops were filled with the new products. The queues are very long, yes, but if somebody needed something, you could buy it. And there are many volunteers here who are like, if you need something you can say and some people will try to help you. But everybody that so far like we don't have any deficit of water or food, there were no distractions in our neighborhood. So, like we are not yet personally traumatized by the war. So we saw it all on TV so far.
COOPER (on-camera): It's very hard for reporters to exactly know where Russian forces are. And I imagine for you and everybody else that must be one of the, the difficult things is not knowing exactly where the invading army is and where they may strike next.
GNES: Well, yes, yes, there is, you know, the feeling the constant fear. Like it's somewhere in my stomach somewhere, you know, in my heart. And it's tough. Yes. And people are like, tired to be afraid, like every day every night. You expect this to begin here, and didn't begin yet and in the morning, people like feel relief, like, oh, good morning. Thank you the army. But yes, constant fear, we are living in the constant fear, like we personally answer news from relatives from the other cities, of course, are very sad that we already have many people who were killed in this war.
COOPER (on-camera): I heard you say on a video you made that at one point, you when this started, you believed that the world would intervene that when people saw what was going on that that the cavalry would come and help. Are you -- do you still believe -- do you still hope that may happen?
GNES: Well you see, maybe I watched too much of Hollywood movies. But I thought that, you know, NATO and America, they are so powerful and so cool that if they see such a disgusting act, you know, session (ph) all viewers international crime that they will intervene immediately, they react immediately. But, but looks like they do not. And maybe I'm wrong. Yes, maybe this is Hollywood influence or something. Maybe this is like, well, at least we received a lot of supplies and weapons and everything. And it helps like really a lot. But it looks like, you know, this is our problem, mainly our problem.
Yes, now we understand that we are face to face with Putin and his troops. So we have just to face it. And we are ready for this. But I still hoping, you know, I was hoping more for NATO and now I'm hoping more for Russian people that they will maybe wake up and arrange some protests against this evil that is happening. But yes, we should count on ourselves first of all, that's right.
COOPER (on-camera): When you go to bed at night, are you able to sleep? I mean, I would I think for many people the fear would keep -- would keep you awake.
GNES: Well, the first four nights I think I was like sleeping for about 30 minutes per night or one hour per night. But then the night has found when I was so much exhausted by this fear and sleepless nights, it's just you know, I just faded away. Yes. And I slept all the nights and in the morning I was full of energy. Right now you kind of get used to the fact that there is like the fear. And you see and what I see from the other people they are like get used to the situation. They understand that, well, there is nothing like, if you cannot control the situation, you have just accepted and people feel less of fear than in the first days of invasion.
Moreover, our armies doing very well I think. They already, you know, didn't let Putin take over Kyiv in a couple of days. So the spirit of people is not going down, is going more up and up, because we see in the news, all this, you know, brave cases when people just stop, stand with a tractor or just with their own hands. And there were thousands of people who just stand on the road and meet Russian troops in another town. And there are many jokes about this and the sense of humor. She helps Ukrainians, you know, to be strong to.
So the spirit is up and today I saw that almost 90% of Ukrainians are sure that they will win. Which in thoughts that if he would bomb Kharkiv like this is the second biggest town of Ukraine, like destroyed completely and the other towns he was -- he damaged a lot. Maybe people would be afraid and surrender. But what he did, people feel like, now we have nothing to lose. So, they become even more sure themselves and more confident and fight even better than before. So we have a very strong spirit for now. And oh, well that blows it.
COOPER (on-camera): I saw that spirit today very much. We went around to a number of different locations where people were making Molotov cocktails, they were sewing together camouflage, for to put over artillery pieces to protect weaponry, they were doing whatever they can. I don't think I've ever seen a place that's is so united together to fight.
GNES: Exactly, exactly. What happens is just really, Ukrainians are now united like never before. Like we have companies that give for free, you know, medications, even like salaries, give salaries in advance, you don't have to pay off credit. So all the business, all the people, you know, we have the army of 44 million people right now in Ukraine. This is the whole population of Ukraine. I was very, it was very emotional when I found out that 80,000 of Ukrainians came back from abroad to Ukraine, to fight with Putin, and also support Ukraine, to protect Ukraine. And this is very touching. Yes. And Ukrainians are united like never before.
You know, if in 2014, when Putin came here, people had, there were people who sympathize towards Putin. But now nobody will meet him with bread and breakfast, like with bread and salt at all. Like, people are very united. And they say they come to save Ukrainians, and yes, they will not.
COOPER (on-camera): And that's what, it feels it feels like all 44 million people in Ukraine, young and old men and women. Everybody is united. Everybody is a soldier.
GNES: Yes, this is what's happening. Yes. Even these babies are a soldier, I think. You know, the fact that this baby's in here, with your, you know, everybody here in the shelter one by one is nursing here. And she helps us to, you know, to feel less stressed, because she's so, so little and innocent. And it's something about life, and something kind against evil and aggression and the work. Yes, so each Ukrainian now is fighting against Putin, for our very existence. Because looks like now it's very serious. Yes, if we fail, we'll stop existing as a nation. So for us, it's something very, very serious. Our freedom right now is very important.
Now we've been in the Soviet Union, there was nothing good for us Ukrainians in the Soviet Union and we do not want to come back. Yes, we want to just to leave here on our own land, yes, to make our own mistakes, to have our own maybe corrupted governments, but the ones that we elect, maybe our president is a comedian, and we and maybe he, but -- it's our president. So we have the right to choose a president who is a comedian, and he is doing basically the great work right now. So people support Zelensky like never before even those people who were not voting for him. So it's our country, and we stand in our own lands.
COOPER (on-camera): Your president may have been a comedian, but I don't think anybody is laughing at him now.
GNES: At all, at all. Yes, he's doing a great job really.
COOPER (on-camera): I also I met a man today with whose child was 10 months old and he was carrying him, the child's name was Archer (ph). And he said that the first words the child will learn will be, glory to Ukraine.
GNES: Yes, glory to Ukraine, (INAUDIBLE). Glory to the heroes.
COOPER (on-camera): Olena, thank you so much.
GNES: Thank you so much.
COOPER: And that is a greeting soldiers give each other, glory to Ukraine. And then the response is glory to the heroes. That's picture of the father with his little child Archer (ph) who he says the first words of this little boy will be, glory to Ukraine.
Coming up, as I mentioned to Olena today, I got firsthand look at how the people here Lviv are getting ready if the battlefront moves West. They're making weapons by hand including some with a blunt message for Vladimir Putin. That is next.
COOPER: Well here Lviv, fellow Ukrainian see their country's stunning the Russians on many fronts, but they are not really waiting to see if the war will spread here, they are preparing. When Vladimir Putin's troops will find if they make it this far as a city full of people relying on ingenuity, a bit of gallows humor as they prepare to unleash counter strikes.
COOPER (voice-over): In an old factory in Lviv, they prepare for war as best they can. Welding steel to block roads, hedgehogs they're called.
(on-camera): These are most effective untold when the ground is soft and that they can get dug down into the earth or perhaps even on a cobblestone street. They can dig down between the cobblestones. But with hedgehog this size, it's unlikely to be able to stop a Russian tank, but perhaps a vehicle or (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER (voice-over): Lviv has so far been mostly unscathed. At night air raid siren sound, but the fight is still further east. Each night each day, the determination here grows.
At a brewery in Lviv they now make Molotov cocktails. Tara Maselco (ph) says they've made 2,000 at least using empty bottles of a popular anti-Putin beer. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's Putin (INAUDIBLE) which means Putin a dick head. And you will see --
COOPER (on-camera): Wait the beer is called Putin a dick head?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes
COOPER (on-camera): How long you've been making Putin a dick head beer?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It actually, we started to brew this beer in 2015 because in 2014 Russians came to Crimean Peninsula and got it and in eastern regions, so this label has a history already. So.
COOPER (on-camera): Wow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but you see --
COOPER (on-camera): That's quite, that's quite the image.
(voice-over): It's a primitive weapon but potentially deadly. These Molotov cocktails also have additional materials in them to ensure the fire will stick to whatever it's thrown at.
(on-camera): Petrol alone isn't good enough. You want something to make it sticky so that --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
COOPER (on-camera): -- it sticks on --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it stick on a surface.
COOPER (on-camera): -- on a person.
When we got here to the factory, there was a group of maybe 70 or so men who were all standing around a car. And there was somebody in a uniform, Ukrainian in uniform who is explaining to them how to throw a Molotov cocktail inside a vehicle to the best effect. There's a lot of people here who are trying to get as much training as they can, in order to be able to face Russian forces if and when they come.
(voice-over): In another neighborhood, residents gather supplies and send them wherever they're needed. Spike strips to puncture tires, flak jackets, with metal plates inside.
COOPER (voice-over): We're continually sending them to our guys there throughout the day, he says. Here you can see camouflage nets, there uses a cover so that the enemy doesn't know where our tanks and armored personnel carriers are located. In other rooms we have medicine and groceries.
A week ago he was a construction worker, but then Putin invaded and everything changed.
(on-camera): You have a message to Vladimir Putin. What is it?
COOPER (voice-over): What would I tell him, he says. I would tell him he can go (INAUDIBLE) himself.
Fourteen-year-old Andre (ph) school is closed. He says volunteering makes him less nervous about the war.
(on-camera): Are you scared?
ANDRE (PH), LVIV RESIDENT: On first time, on first day I was. But now I understand that we need help and support our soldiers and people and -- and then we will live in peace, in peace.
COOPER (voice-over): Before leaving we meet Pablo (ph) and his son Archer (ph) just 10 months old wrapped in the Ukrainian flag.
He told me I just want to say, my son Archer (ph) will learn to say, glory to Ukraine faster than he says Mom or Dad.
(on-camera): Those will be his first words Slava Ukraini?
PABLO (PH), LVIV RESIDENT: Yes, yes.
COOPER: Glory to Ukraine, those will be the child's first words as his father.
Much more to come live from Ukraine, new explosion seen tonight in Kyiv amid fears and other major city has fallen in the south. Are the Russians regrouping? We'll take a look at that coming right back.