Return to Transcripts main page

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Sky News Team Ambushed In Ukraine; Advisor To Zelenskyy: We Are Developing Evacuation Routes To Resupply Food, Medicines; Urgent Message Heard On PA System At Nuclear Power Plant During Attack: "Stop Shooting Immediately! You Threaten The Security Of The Whole World". Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 04, 2022 - 21:00   ET



SEAN PENN, FOUNDER, CORE, ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING ACTOR, TWITTER: @SEANPENN: --we have these inspirational figures, in our micro-lives. I have extraordinary children that inspire me, an extraordinary estranged wife, who inspires me, daily.

And then, there's the macro-inspiration, of these great figures, of history. Meeting with President Zelenskyy, the day before the invasion, and then meeting with him, again, on the day of the invasion, I don't know if he knew that he was born for this.

But it was clear, I was in the presence of something and, again, I think reflected of so many Ukrainians that was new, that was new to the modern world, in terms of courage and dignity, and love that comes out of the man, and the way he has unified that country. And, I think, Mr. Putin certainly added to paving the way to that.

But this is such an extraordinary moment. And I was endlessly impressed, and moved by him, and terrified for him, and for Ukraine.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: I have never been in a country at war in which the people are so united, so determined. And again, I mean, that word has become a cliche here, the determination, but the resolve here, elderly women, elderly men, children--

PENN: Yes.

COOPER: --everybody.

PENN: Yes.

COOPER: The resolve, to not only fight now, but fight, for however long, and whatever happens.

PENN: Yes, there's no question in my mind that this is not going to end soon, no matter what, because you will have a country of extraordinary insurgencies, if Putin is successful in this.

COOPER: When you left you, you walked across - you ended up having to walk across the border, like a lot of people. I mean, I assume, were you stuck in that long line of cars, and decided to just, this is the way we got to go?

PENN: Yes, we had the luxury of being able to abandon, a rented vehicle, on the side of the road.

So many - almost all - this was a startling thing to me. It was mostly women and children, some in groups, and some just a mother and their child, all - almost all of those cars. In some cases, the father was dropping them off, and returning, because we know that, from 18 to 60, men are not to leave. They're to stay, in the resistance, against Russia.

There was no - I didn't see any luggage. It's as though they wanted to believe they're going to be able to come back.

COOPER: I'd read in accounts that you had been here to shoot a documentary, on Ukraine.

But CORE, which is the organization you started, what was renamed after the earthquake in Haiti. But you have really focused on Haiti. You've also been doing a lot of work, on COVID, and vaccinations, and COVID, in the United States.

So, CORE's working, on the border, in Poland, and you hope to be working in Ukraine?

PENN: Absolutely. We have - we're distributing hygiene kits. We're giving cash assistance, water, to refugees, as they come through. We're working out to bring our staff, into the other side, as well.

Because, you really have two kinds of struggles, of the refugees, one, trying to get out of the country, and the other, figuring out what to do, in a country, because a lot of these people, who were, plenty of them, well to do, left their jobs and bank accounts behind. And so, this is their new reality.

So yes, we need assistance with CORE. And we've never been very good, at getting on the media front, which is ironic, given, I'm supposed to help do that, when it comes to the cash assistance that CORE needs, to help people. But I definitely want to ask people to help us out. And I'm really proud of what the people are - what our people are doing there.

COOPER: Sean Penn, thank you so much, for joining us.

PENN: Thank you, Anderson. Today, stay safe.

COOPER: If you want more information, on Sean's group, CORE, and how to help them, or the work they're doing, text the word, CORE, to 24365, or go online to

Just ahead, the latest, on the fighting, and the rush, to get Ukrainians, and other foreigners - and foreigners, who are living here, out of the country.

We also have Garry Kasparov, back, to discuss what he believes, Putin's next move maybe. [21:05:00]



COOPER: We're just past the top of the hour, and we want to start this hour, by showing you what war looks, and feels, like, in this country, right now.

It becomes a blur, all the pictures, you've seen, the coverage, every night. I know it all starts to look the same. But, for the people going through this, every day, it is different, because, every day, it is a new type of tragedy, it is a new type of horror.

Right now, it's captured in some new video, from Britain's Sky News. Their correspondent, Stuart Ramsay, and his team, being attacked, near Kyiv. This video is as close as you will ever come, hopefully, to being in a firefight.

The attack was allegedly by a Russian saboteur reconnaissance squad. Here's part of his report.













STUART RAMSAY, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, SKY NEWS (voice-over): We think it's a Ukrainian checkpoint, and a mistake.


RAMSAY (voice-over): So, we identify ourselves.


VAN HEERDEN: British journalists.


VAN HEERDEN: Journalists.


VAN HEERDEN: Journalists.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kill anyone (ph)?

VAN HEERDEN: Journalists.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take this (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is everyone OK? You OK, Dom?



RAMSAY (voice-over): Somehow, we have to get out of this. But the rounds keep coming. It's a professional ambush. The bullets just don't miss.



VAN HEERDEN: Where can we go? Shall I call (inaudible).













VAN HEERDEN: Where you going?


RAMSAY (voice-over): I'm hit, but escaped the car. And with producer, Dominique van Heerden, we make our way down the embankment.




RAMSAY (voice-over): Camera operator, Richie Mockler, has taken two rounds to his body armor, but is still stuck in the car. He runs straight in a hail of bullets.


COOPER: It is extraordinary that they are alive. Stuart Ramsay was wounded. Cameraman took, as you heard, two shots, to his body armor. All are safe, tonight.

They were obviously journalists, civilians, non-combatants. There was no mistaking it. Yet, as Stuart Ramsay says, it was professional. The rounds kept smashing into the car. They didn't miss. The attackers had no compunction.

And they're not the only ones. We've seen Russian attacks, on civilian targets, the likes of which we saw, from Russia, in Grozny, and Aleppo.

And, according to a senior Western Intelligence official, it is about to get worse. Russia, he says, appears ready to, quote, "Bombard cities into submission," which is why we think it's so important, now, for everyone, all of us, to see just what that entails, to not look away, as hard as it may be.

This next video is part of that picture, the aftermath of a Russian strike, on an apartment complex, north of Kyiv, where at least, at least 33 people, were killed, and 18 were wounded, according to Ukrainian emergency services.

The woman you're about to hear is screaming, "Kids," little kids.








COOPER: Already, according to the U.N., at least 331 civilians have been killed, so far. That number could grow rapidly, in the days ahead.

CNN's Clarissa Ward joins us now, from Kyiv.

Clarissa, this new reporting that U.S. and NATO officials believe Russia is poised to bombard cities into submission? That is what that means. That is what will happen, in the days ahead. Are there any signs that it is - I mean, is there anything to prevent that?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Honestly, Anderson, from what we're seeing, at the moment, it doesn't appear that there's any potential exit ramp, in the wings, so to speak.

We do know that after the last round of talks that were held, there was some agreement, about humanitarian corridors. We have not yet seen those implemented. We know that Russian and Ukrainian delegations are supposed to meet again, over the course of the weekend, to continue talks.

But the reality is what we're hearing, throughout the day, is constant bombardment, particularly, in the Northwest. We know that there was a terrible strike, in the town of Bohodukhiv (ph), yesterday.


And you have seen that video. It's not the video you just showed, from Chernihiv. But it's a similarly heartbreaking, and horrifying scene, of just massive destruction, a huge apartment building, basically gutted.

And Ukrainian emergency services saying they think that up to 100 people could be either trapped in that rubble, buried in that rubble. But they have no way to access it, at the moment, because the shelling is consistent, and constant, and because it is too dangerous, for emergency workers, to reach that area.

So, I think what you start to realize, is that we're just getting a snapshot, we're just getting a glimpse, of the full-scale, of this crisis, in terms of the civilian death toll.

And that woman, who was captured, in that just horrifying moment, screaming that she had seen children, who were killed. And then you hear a man's voice, saying, "Kuda" (ph), like, "Where? Where are they?" Before, he had said "Apteka," which means it's a pharmacy, like a drugstore, "Why would you blow up a pharmacy or drugstore?" That's just one window that we're getting in, to the true civilian impact, of this war, which is raging, now, Anderson, as you well know, in cities, across this country.

It's incredibly difficult, for journalists, even those of us, here, on the ground, to really be able to effectively get the full picture, because it is so difficult to move, because it is so dangerous out there.

But what we're hearing, during the day, what we're seeing through those videos that CNN is able to geo-locate, is really ominous, and foreboding, because what it appears to show is that day-by-day, we are seeing less discrimination, about hitting civilian targets, less concern about this line that the Russians would like to claim, they're walking, which is striking military targets, in a kind of very precision type of operation, with a specific and narrow purview.

We see, now, as the Russian advance has been halted, or stalled somewhat, that more and more civilian targets, apartment buildings, pharmacies, drugstores, schools, we've seen, in the second city, Ukraine's second city, of Kharkiv.

And so, it gets uglier, day-by-day, Anderson. And my deep, deep fear, is that we're going to see more videos, like that, and hear more reports, of innocent people, including children, being killed, in this onslaught.

COOPER: Yes. Clarissa Ward, I appreciate you being there. Thank you.

Joining us now, Russian Pro-Democracy Leader, Garry Kasparov. He recently tweeted this, about the war.

"There is no waiting this out. This isn't chess; there's no draw, no stalemate. Either Putin destroys Ukraine and eventually hits NATO with an even greater catastrophe, or Putin falls in Russia. He cannot be stopped with weakness."

Garry, you see that as the only path forward, in your mind? You really don't think there's anything that can stop him, in Ukraine, by Ukrainians, just by themselves?

GARRY KASPAROV, RUSSIAN PRO-DEMOCRACY LEADER, FORMER WORLD CHESS CHAMPION, CHAIRMAN, THE HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION, AUTHOR, "WINTER IS COMING": We don't know. Ukrainians offer resistance. And what we see now, it's Putin's stress (ph), after his original plan of conquering Ukraine has two days, three days failed.

I think Putin's original plan was based on a false assessment of strengths, Russian strengths, and Ukrainian strengths. He believed that he could enter Kyiv, in two days, three days, install a puppet government, and then, back to negotiating table, with the Free World, about conditions of Ukrainian capitulation. It didn't work out.

And since his army's stopped, and couldn't make any progress, in the north of Ukraine, some progress in the south, but again, less than they wanted, the third largest city of Ukraine, the harbor of Odessa, is still standing, and Russians failed, to land the troops, there, so, Putin returned to his favorite tactics. Bombing people into submission. You mentioned Grozny and Aleppo.

And he believes that now, with NATO watching this modern genocide? It's genocide, on an industrial scale. So, he could continue these tactics.

And also, I think, it's a message to the world. "I can do whatever I want, because I have nukes, and you will not interfere." And I think that's - it's terribly, terribly dangerous, for all of us, to accept these nuclear blackmail, because Putin will never stop in Ukraine.


If he succeeds, God forbid, he will definitely test NATO, on the NATO territory. And those, who say, "Oh, we cannot impose a no-fly zone, in Ukraine," because of the - because of the risk, obvious risk, of confrontation, with Russia military confrontation, so, how are they going to defend NATO countries, like Lithuania, or Latvia, or Poland? Because these countries will be attacked, by Putin, if his murderous strategy in Ukraine prevails.

COOPER: I talked to an advisor to President Zelenskyy, today, who said that this is already, World War III.

And I saw that you had tweeted also that you believe this is already World War III. Can you explain what that means? Because, obviously, it is an incredibly startling phrase.

KASPAROV: Yes, of course, that sounds horrible, because, we all said, "World War III is a nuclear war."

But it's really going on, because Putin is trying to take revenge, for what he believed, as he said, many times, the greatest geopolitical catastrophe, of the 20th Century, collapse of the Soviet Union.

And after so many years, of escaping, from any kind of punishment, for his aggressive actions and crimes, never-ending crimes, and acts of aggression, he thought that that would be the ultimate challenge for the Free World.

He understands that his army's no match for NATO. But he believes that the political will, as every dictators, in the past, political will, can compensate, for this weakness, and the West, the Free World, will not dare challenge him.

And it's not just about Ukraine. It's not about destroying this proud nation. It's not about killing countless civilians. It's about the entire future of our civilization. Because what kind of future, we can expect, if Putin, and other folks (ph), and terrorists, and dictators, who are watching him now, will recognize, all bets are off? How is international treaties and regulations and agreements and rule of law? It's all about the strengths, and your arrogance, and your resolve, to violate all the rules. So, that's why, I believe, it's already the World War III, because it's about our future. And we are, by the way, fighting Putin. Economic sanctions, political isolation, technological blockade, we're already fighting. And expecting that this fight will be limited, to all means, but battlefield, it's wrong. Not that I want it.

This is not a war of our choice. But we are being imposed, to fight back. And every day that we delay our response, simply is pushing the price up. And we can see this horrible images, from Ukraine. More to come. The things will get much worse, because Putin is not going to stop.

Now, you're seeing Kharkiv, the second largest city, in Ukraine. His assault on Kyiv is imminent. And this is a city of 3 million people. And God forbid, us, seeing the images, if Russian troops enter Kyiv.

COOPER: Garry Kasparov, I appreciate your time tonight. It's important, what you're saying, and I appreciate you, coming on. Thank you.

KASPAROV: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up next, going to take you aboard a train, bringing children, with serious medical conditions, to safety, and the care they need.

Later, a physicist, on the risks of conducting warfare around, and even against nuclear power plants, after Russian assaults, one plant, and are closing in on another.



COOPER: Well, two rounds of talks, between Russia and Ukraine, have not produced much, in terms of actual results. There's talk of humanitarian corridors, for civilians. Given the conduct, of the fighting, so far, by Russia, though, it is hard to imagine how this will work, and their track record, as well.

I spoke about it, earlier today, with an advisor, to Ukraine's president.


COOPER: You've talked about humanitarian corridors. When might that actually happen? And can you actually trust Russia, to honor that? They don't have a good track record, on humanitarian corridors.

MYKHAILO PODOLYAK, ADVISOR TO UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The work on the logistics, is now, in progress. We are already developing evacuation routes, and routes, for resupply of food, and medicines, for many cities.

Of course, we cannot exactly trust the Russian Federation, because its current tactics is aimed at spreading panic, among people. This is achieved by destroying the civil infrastructure, and evacuation points, limiting people's ability, to get local benefits, such as food, drink, and medical help.

We believe that this is where we need help, from the international humanitarian organizations, is they can take the role, of a mediator, and ensure the agreement from both sides is kept, when it comes to organizing the humanitarian corridors.

Secondly, what is more important, is significant pressure, from world leaders, on Mr. Putin, to make him realize the cost of human life, and the need to facilitate the human corridors, during the war.

COOPER: Would those corridors be, in your mind, permanent corridors? Or would they just be for a certain amount of time?

PODOLYAK (through translator): Unfortunately, Russians are not agreeing to hold ceasefire, in general. This is known. And they are also not agreeing to establish permanent humanitarian corridors that would function both ways, for supply and for evacuation.

As of now, our main aim, is to agree to establish, at least temporary corridors that will function, only during certain hours, and to make sure, the parties hold ceasefires, throughout the corridor, when it's in use.

Let's say the corridor has been established, the shooting has been stopped, for three hours, so people can peacefully cross. And afterwards, the fightings can resume again.


COOPER: Already, as you know, more than a million people have left the country. And, as Russian forces, tighten their hold, around Ukraine's major cities, it is the most vulnerable, who are, as always, at the greatest risk.

CNN's Arwa Damon, reports now, on some of the fortunate ones, who despite being seriously ill, managed to make it out.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A train speeds through the darkness, and crosses the Ukrainian border, into Poland.

Most of these children are from hospices, in and around Kharkiv. It had the best palliative care, for children, in Ukraine. Now, one of the areas, most intensely bombarded.

The carriage is filled with the sort of emotion that is too intense, too incomprehensible, for words.


But it is also filled with so much love, love among strangers, seen in the tenderness, of the touch, of the medical team, the whispered words of "You are safe now." Love of a mother, who will dig up superhuman strength, just to keep her child safe. DAMON (on camera): Hi, Victoria. Hi. Oh, look at that smile!

DAMON (voice-over): Victoria, who has cerebral palsy, can't sit up. Her mother, Ira, doesn't know what to say. She has so much pain, in her soul, her tears just won't stop.

They had to get closer to the border, with Poland, before this humanitarian train could pick them up. Ira carried Victoria, for three days, through the panic of others trying to flee, train, so packed, she could not even put her down, until now.

Dr. Eugenia Szuszkiewicz worked to bring the families together, inside Ukraine, to get on this train, organized by the Polish government, and Warsaw Central Clinical Hospital.

DR. EUGENIA SZUSZKIEWICZ, PEDIATRICIAN & PALLIATIVE CARE SPECIALIST (through translator): I just have a storm of emotions. My biggest fear did not come true.

DAMON (voice-over): It's a trip that could have killed any one of these children, even without a war. That reality had the medical team, so understandably anxious, we were not permitted to film anything, until the children were safely, on board, and stabilized.

DAMON (on camera): How old are you, Sophia?



DAMON (on camera): Five, thank you.

SOPHIA (through translator): Mom, what do I say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): What do you want to say?

SOPHIA (through translator): To say there is war there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Then say it.

SOPHIA (through translator): It's war there. And now we'll live in another [hospital].

DAMON (voice-over): While this train was heading towards safety, Ira heard that her town was bombed.

IRA, VICTORIA'S MOTHER (through translator): My husband, my mom, sister, everyone, my dad, nobody is picking up the phone. There are just the beeps, and that's it.

DAMON (voice-over): Ira follows quietly, as Victoria is carried off the train. They are now away from their home that was filled with such love, a home and family that may no longer be.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Arwa, I mean, after, I mean, what an extraordinary thing, to have been on that train? After the families make it safely, to Poland, what happens to them? And where do they end up staying? Do the moms stay in the hospitals, with the children?

DAMON: Yes. They're being split up, across the country. Actually, some will be in hospices, in Warsaw, and some will be going to other places.

And Anderson, it was extraordinary, to be on that train, and to witness, just the courage, and all of the emotion that was contained, inside this space.

And what the medical team is doing, right now, is planning for the next evacuation. Because, according to what the doctors are telling us, in the area of Kharkiv alone, there were around 200 children, who were in hospices, receiving palliative care. And so, they are greatly concerned, for the wellbeing, of these children.

And I have to tell you, for our entire team, looking at these mothers, and realizing what it must have taken, what kind of courage, and strength that must have taken, to make this journey, with their children, physically carrying them, through all those scenes that we saw, of crushes happening, at the train station, and overcrowded train cars? I mean, it's so extraordinary, what people are capable, of putting themselves through, when they're trying to save the life of their child.

COOPER: I mean, I know this is a cliche, but I mean, if moms ruled the world, things would be a lot different.

I mean, the strength of that mom, who's getting, just beeps on the phone, when she calls back to her village that's been bombed, and she can't reach her husband, and her other children, and she's on this train, hurdling in the dead of night, with her daughter, on the floor? I mean, Jesus! I mean, this is - it's just--


COOPER: --this is just awful. This is just awful.

Arwa Damon, I appreciate it. Thank you.

We're going to take a look at just how close the world was, to a nuclear disaster, last night, and whether the crisis, on the nuclear front there, is actually over. That's ahead.




COOPER: New video shows just how scary, the scene was that we reported to you, last night, about that facility, at a nuclear plant, taking fire, from the Russian army, and then catching fire. This is from inside the plant. Now, you're going to hear the voice, of a translator, our Sam Kiley, repeating the announcement, being made, by plant operators, to Russian forces, trying to get them, to stop shooting, because of the danger. Listen.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's saying "Stop shooting immediately! You threaten the security of the whole world!"

"The work of the vital organs of the Zaporizhzhia station may be disrupted. It will be impossible for us to restore it."


KILEY (voice-over): He goes on, "You are endangering the security of the entire world. Attention! Stop shooting at a nuclear hazardous facility. Stop shooting at a nuclear hazardous facility!"

"Stop shooting at a nuclear hazardous facility! Attention! Stop it!"


COOPER: I mean, terrifying sentences, "Stop shooting at a nuclear hazardous facility," is among the most terrifying.

Ukrainian officials say that Russian troops are still inside, and that staff are operating at gunpoint. Now, I must add, we have no way to independently verify, the claims of the Ukrainian officials. That's important to point out.

However, the International Atomic Energy Agency, called the whole situation, quote, "Very fragile." And the U.S. Ambassador, to the United Nations, says that tonight, Russian forces, are advancing, on another nuclear facility. I believe, it's the second largest, in Ukraine.

I'm joined now by Michio Kaku, Physics Professor, at the City University of New York.

Professor Kaku, I appreciate your time tonight.


The U.S. Ambassador, to the U.N. said today, the world narrowly avoided a nuclear catastrophe, last night.

Is that hyperbole? Is that overstated? How dangerous, was it, what happened?

MICHIO KAKU, PHYSICS PROFESSOR, CUNY: I think that is understated, because the situation is unstable.

Realize that it takes just one stray bullet, one stray bullet, to hit the electrical system, to knock out the emergency core cooling system, to cause a loss of water, in the core, temperatures rise to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, melting takes place, and we have Fukushima 2.0.

In other words, the situation is unstable. This is unprecedented, unprecedented, in the history of warfare, and nuclear energy, that an advanced army would come in, with all guns blaring, firing away, at a nuclear power plant, which stores tens of tons of high-level nuclear waste, enough to leave most of central Europe into a wasteland.

COOPER: I've been trying to not downplay, but just to try to, be as realistic, about this, as possible. But, I mean, that is incredibly alarming, what you have just said.

That if you shoot at the - if you hit the electrical system, at a nuclear power plant, and that stops the water cooling system, I mean, that can have an escalating, a cascading effect, to a disaster?

KAKU: That's right. There are two modes that we have to worry about.

One is the Chernobyl mode, when there's a hydrogen gas explosion, a steam explosion that blows the roof off a reactor, and one-third - one-third of the core is vaporized, and seals over Europe. That's one scenario.

The scenario here that we have to worry about is the Fukushima scenario. And that scenario is the electrical systems are paralyzed. There's no electricity. Emergency core cooling systems fail, and water levels begin to drop, uncovering the core. At Fukushima, we have three cores that liquefied, I repeat, liquefied, because temperatures reached 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

That's the danger here, that one stray bullet could knock out the electrical system. Therefore, the cooling system, the pumps don't function anymore. Water levels drop, exposes the core, core rises to the melting point of uranium dioxide, and zirconium. At that point, we're talking Chernobyl - and we're talking Fukushima, all over again.

COOPER: And the pools of water that are at nuclear plants that have, I guess, spent fuel rods, how dangerous are those?

KAKU: Those are dangerous.

COOPER: Because they are in containers, I believe. Is that?

KAKU: Yes. But remember, if there's an explosion that takes place, because of a firefight, if there's a stray hand grenade that goes off, then we're talking about all bets are off.

It turns out that the spent fuel ponds are lightly guarded. And it means that there could be an explosion that then releases high-level nuclear waste, into the atmosphere, where it vaporizes.

And that's what we saw, at Chernobyl, where roughly a third of the core vaporized, because of an explosion that took place, both hydrogen gas, and a steam explosion that took place, at Chernobyl.


KAKU: Fukushima, of course, was loss of cooling. And that's the kind of accident that we have to watch out for here.

Just remember, during the Fukushima accident, there were plans, in place, to evacuate Tokyo. You'd imagine that? Trying to evacuate tens of millions of people, in the Tokyo metropolitan area? That's what they were looking at--


KAKU: --because of a loss of cooling accident.

Now today, I think we dodged the bullet, temporarily. The good news is that there's no fire that this seems to be under control. But the situation is unstable. One stray bullet? One firefight?


KAKU: One hand grenade? It'd set the whole thing into motion.

COOPER: Professor Kaku, I really appreciate your expertise, tonight. It's so important. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Up next, chef and humanitarian, Jose Andres, takes us inside his team's relief mission, now, on the ground, here, in Lviv, how they are helping to feed people, who barely have time to think about their next meal.



COOPER: Over the last couple of years, we've run into Chef Jose Andres, and his relief organization, World Central Kitchen, in a number of crises in - after Hurricane Maria, in Puerto Rico, most notably.

Last summer, you may recall, he got $100 million grant, from Jeff Bezos, as part of the courage and - Jeff Bezos' Courage and Civility Award.

Well, Chef Andres, we saw him, on the border, at Poland, a couple of days ago. He's now moved, inside Ukraine, to help feed people.

I caught up with him, at a restaurant, in Lviv that hasn't even opened yet. His team is helping them feed people, at the train station, here. Let's take a look.


COOPER (voice-over): Babo Gardens Restaurant, in Lviv, has no paying customers, but its kitchen is bustling.

Every day, they prepare some 2,000 hot meals, for those fleeing, the fighting, in the East. They started doing this on their own. But now are being supported by Chef Jose Andres, and his humanitarian relief organization, World Central Kitchen.

COOPER (on camera): So, what's happening here?

CHEF JOSE ANDRES, WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN: Well, this is one of our partner kitchens. And the partnership happened, like always happens, before even we land. We contact them. Sometimes, they contact us.

COOPER (voice-over): Jose Andres, has been serving thousands of meals, to refugees, on the Polish side of the border. But, in the last few days, he's begun operating, inside Ukraine.

COOPER (on camera): This is also going to be potentially a very long effort. I mean, this can - this conflict can go on for a long time. And there's probably going to be more and more people, fleeing cities, and coming through Lviv.


ANDRES: This is, before we know it, is going to become the city of cities, for refugees, within Ukraine, and obviously people that are going to be leaving. But this is going to be the place that everybody uses, is going to be flowing. Restaurants, like this, are going to be playing a crucial role.

COOPER (voice-over): At Lviv's train station, it is chaotic, and confusing. People come and go, exhausted and hungry, their futures uncertain.

When the meals arrive, they're brought to a crowded room, where women and children rest, before trying to move on to Poland, or other countries. The food goes fast. Back, at the restaurant, more is already being prepared.

COOPER (on camera): It also seems like everyone, here, in Ukraine, if they can't carry a weapon, if they can't make a Molotov cocktail? They want to do something. They want to feed people. They want to contribute to this effort.

ANDRES: Feeding is another form of fighting. Actually, feeding is the best war - way of fighting, if we could all believe, like longer tables, will win the day, and not crazy higher walls, and bombing people away.

COOPER (on camera): Bigger tables, you're saying?

ANDRES: Longer tables, longer tables that we can sit everybody, and to say there's more things that unite us than not. Come on! Why we don't build longer tables, based on the common history, not use to try to break people apart?

One person, one person, creating mayhem? Who are we, as humans? We are 9 billion people, in Planet Earth. We're going to let one person destroy what we are trying to build? Humanity is going to have to learn that we cannot let leaders that breaks us apart that bring our worst demons, from within us.

We, the people, need to start betting on leaders that no matter what they want to do, right or left, but people that want to build a better world, in reality, not with his speeches, but with actions.

We need to stand up. Cooking is a way to stand up, is to say, "You're not going to let my people go hungry. We're not going to let our people go hungry. And you're not going to win this war."

And the world has to speak up, for cooks, like us. This is the only way we have to speak up.

COOPER (on camera): One plate at a time.


COOPER: The people here? That gives you hope. Each individual person, doing something? That gives you hope.

Ahead, we update another vital relief mission that we first told you about, last night, saving kids, with cancer, here. We had the chance to visit with families, at a hospital, here, in Lviv.

We're going to show you the response that has come, just since last night's program, and how you can continue to help those kids. That's next.



COOPER: Last night, we showed you some of the littlest victims of the war. Arwa Damon showed you some more of the children, tonight.

Children with cancer, we told you about, last night, who fled the fighting, in the east, and have ended up, at this hospital, here, in Lviv. It's called the Western Ukraine Specialized Children's Medical Centre. It's a long name. But they do incredible work.

In the past week, more than 100 kids with cancer have arrived, at this hospital. They've come, not on specialized trains. They've come, being brought, by their moms, on packed trains, where they couldn't even find a seat, in some cases.

The doctors are overwhelmed. The doctor, we spoke to, hadn't slept barely in three days. They don't - they're afraid they're going to be running out of medicine, equipment, personnel. There's air raid sirens, going off.

The kids' treatment keeps getting interrupted. So, they're trying to send as many of the kids as they can, to Poland, where at least there's no air raid sirens, and they can get sustained treatment, to save their lives.

So, they're asking people to help, to get more kids, to Poland. Listen.


COOPER (on camera): What is it like, to be a mother, trying to protect a child, during this war?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It is so difficult. I cannot just put it into words. Do you understand? It is impossible to put it into words. Because every mother wants their baby, to be healthy.


COOPER: That little boy, by the way, Bohdan (ph), he's 8-years-old. He's survived a heart attack, stroke, stomach cancer. Went into remission. Now, his cancer's back.

Since our report aired, the charity, a local foundation here, the Tabletochki Charity Foundation, has raised more than $100,000, from you, out there, who saw that story, and went to that charity, to help, to help these kids. And that, we are so grateful, and they are so grateful.

If you'd like to help, you can go to the website, on the screen. It's also on my Instagram page, in a Story, saved on my Instagram page. I also tweeted it out. I'll do that again. Yes, the kids need help. And we appreciate all your donations.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: Thank you so much, for watching, tonight, and for watching, and caring about, what is happening, here.

The news continues. Let's turn things over now to "DON LEMON TONIGHT."