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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Russia Accused Of Bombing Maternity And Children's Hospital; White House Warns Russia Could Use Chemical Weapons In Ukraine; Life And Escape From The Besieged City Of Kharkiv; U.S.: Russia Has Launched 700+ Missiles In Ukraine; News Outlets Suspend Broadcast In Russia After New Law Censoring Media; Civilians Flee Ukraine After Evacuation Corridors Open. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired March 09, 2022 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LYNSEY ADDARIO, PHOTOJOURNALIST: I have to just document this because this is a war crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: The man who was helping that family escape was also killed in the attack.
AC 360 starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Good evening.
Tonight, the White House is warning that Russia could use chemical weapons here in Ukraine. We'll have more on that in a moment. It is enough right now to say it is an ominous assessment at the end of a very dark day. The main reason why: Today's bombing of the children's and maternity hospital in Mariupol.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in foreign language.)
TRANSLATION: Bastard [bleep] it all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in foreign language.).
TRANSLATION: We are on maximum extent. We need everything. The ambulances, whatever you've got. Send it here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in foreign language.)
TRANSLATION: Artillery shelling. Maternity hospital. Hospital Number 3, Mariupol. Maternity hospital. People have been taken out of the rubble.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Mariupol's mayor called what happened quote, "pure evil." Ukraine's President tonight called it proof that Russians are committing genocide.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The hospitals are ruined. The schools are ruined. The churches are ruined. Ordinary buildings and all the dead people, dead children.
A strike on a maternity hospital is a final proof, a proof of genocide of Ukrainians is taking place.
Children's Hospital? Maternity ward? Why were they a threat to Russian Federation? What kind of country is Russian Federation that is afraid of hospitals? Afraid of maternity wards and destroys them?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: After the attack, Russia's Ambassador to France blamed Ukrainian nationalists for his words, quote, "bombing civilian institutions." Russia, he said and these are his exact words, quote, "Cares about every human life."
Now prior to the bombing, the spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry accused Ukrainian nationalists of expelling the staff and patients and setting out combat positions in the hospital, essentially saying that there were no patients there, no hospital staff.
Now, it should be pointed out that the practice of putting military in placements at hospitals is not unknown in the world. That said, I want to show you a couple of photographs that are important to see even if they're tough to take and they are important because again, it's not only the civilian casualties that we're seeing, but it goes against what Russia has been saying, what they say is the truth and world needs to see what is actually happening and absorb the impact of this brutal assault.
Images show a pregnant woman being carried out of the rubble and they are important because they would seem to suggest again that contrary to the Russian spokeswoman's accusations there were indeed patients at this hospital when it was hit.
Pregnant women after all, are typically patients at maternity hospitals. In any event, according to the World Health Organization, this is not the first medical facility to be hit. In fact, it's one of at least 18 according to the World Health Organization.
And whatever their responsibility for today's bombing, they have not shied away from hitting residential areas far from any military targets. As you have seen repeatedly, they have bombed massive apartment complexes and evacuation routes, specifically evacuation routes out of the areas that they have already targeted, killing the very people that they have made homeless in the first place.
Take a look. It's a satellite photo of a neighborhood in eastern Mariupol before the invasion, might as well be Main Street U.S.A., now look at a later image. This is post invasion view of that same residential neighborhood. The lighting and camera angle are very slightly different, but the widespread destruction is plain to see.
Now according to advice from Mariupol's mayor, about 1,300 civilians have been killed in that city since the war began. We can't independently confirm that.
Then of course there's Kharkiv, Ukraine second largest city, the first to be hit during this war. Later in the program, we will bring you a rare look at it as seen through the eyes of a woman who documented her experience there from the beginning of the war through day after day of shelling and bombing to the moment that she and her family were finally forced to flee.
We have reports as well from CNN's chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward in Kyiv; CNN's Nick Paton Walsh in the south in Odessa, and CNN's Chief White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins.
But first we just want to give you an overview of what has gone on in the last 24 hours starting with the hospital bombing from CNN's Oren Liebermann.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The explosion tore through the maternity hospital in Mariupol. The wounded helped out of the building, inside the force ripped apart walls and smashed windows.
A besieged city already cut off from water and electricity according to Ukrainian officials. Now, without this medical facility. Ukraine blames Russia for targeting the hospital.
ZELENSKYY (through translator): What kind of country is Russian Federation that is afraid of hospitals? Afraid of maternity wards and destroys them?
LIEBERMANN (voice over): Officials in Mariupol say approximately 1,300 civilians have been killed there since Russia's invasion began. Nearby, a city administration building and university were also hit by an apparent Russian strike.
In the town of Sumy near the Russian border, the regional government said a Russian airstrike killed 21 civilians on Monday.
And in the town of Izyum, another hospital now destroyed.
ANDRII OSADCHUK, UKRAINIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: They want to create humanitarian crisis in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, and Mariupol in particular, and they want to use this as a tool to force Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian Parliament for surrender.
LIEBERMANN (voice over): With Ukrainian civilians dying and many desperate to flee major cities, Ukraine is still pressuring NATO to impose a no-fly zone.
ZELENSKYY (through translator): If you don't close the skies, you will also be responsible for this catastrophe. LIEBERMANN (voice over): The U.S. and NATO have repeatedly ruled out
a no-fly zone warning it is too close to conflict with Russia, but there is growing pressure for more security assistance to Ukraine.
LIZ TRUSS, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN, COMMONWEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT AFFAIRS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: We believe that the best way of tackling this threat is to help the Ukrainians with the STARStreak air defense systems that we will be supplying.
LIEBERMANN (voice over): Poland said it was ready to give all of its MiG 29 fighter jets to the United States to then give to Ukraine. But the Pentagon dismissed the idea concerned it would trigger an escalation with Russia.
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RET.) PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We believe the best way to support Ukrainian defense is by providing them the weapons and the systems that they need most to defeat Russian aggression, in particular, anti-armor and air defense.
LIEBERMANN (voice over): The Russian advance towards Kyiv is still largely stalled despite heavy fighting according to a senior defense official as the Russians face supply shortages and morale problems.
The Ukrainian spirit meanwhile, still on full display. The Kyiv Classic Symphony Orchestra played a concert in Maidan Square, the heart of 2014 protests that led to the overthrow of the pro-Russia government, the kind Putin seeks to reinstall.
Oren Liebermann, CNN at the Pentagon.
COOPER: It's been said again and again and it bears repeating the strength of the people here is inspiring in the face of more than most could bear.
Clarissa Ward is in Kyiv for us tonight. What more are you learning about this horrific bombing of the maternity hospital in Mariupol?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, I think the first thing to mention is that today was supposed to be a ceasefire in Mariupol. From 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, there was supposed to be a ceasefire to let hundreds of thousands of people out of that city who have been pinned down under heavy bombardment, no food, no electricity, no gas, no heat for over a week now.
Instead of that ceasefire, this is what we saw, a massive crater. I mean, just look at the size of that crater, the impact that that bomb made when it landed at this hospital complex. There are a number of different hospitals on the sort of area, on the campus of this complex, including that maternity hospital.
We're hearing that incredibly, it appears just over a dozen, about 17 people were injured. You can imagine if that bomb had hit 20 feet closer to the actual maternity ward, but you can see those women stumbling out, heavily pregnant, some having just given birth. You can hear the sounds of children and babies crying. You can see
they are all cut up from the enormous destruction.
President Zelenskyy had said that they are still looking and combing through the rubble to make sure that there are no people trapped under there. And the thing that is most chilling about it, which you mentioned, Anderson, but I think it bears kind of revisiting is that Maria Zakharova, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson had said a few hours before this attack that that hospital was being used by nationalists as a kind of military base, and that there were no patients and no staff there.
You can see very clearly from the images the evidence, the photographs, the videos, that there were women and children there, that there were staff there. And so the question becomes now, is this just a case of Russia having a flagrant disregard for civilian life? Or is this actively targeting civilian targets?
And as the mayor of Mariupol himself said, these crimes of the occupiers -- and these are his words, not mine -- these crimes of the occupiers will ultimately go to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to be adjudicated -- Anderson.
COOPER: Kaitlan Collins at the White House. Can you talk more about this warning from the White House, that Russia could use chemical weapons in Ukraine?
Well, it's hard to imagine things on the ground can get worse than what Clarissa just laid out there, but that is exactly what the White House fears tonight and they are now saying, be prepared for Putin to use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine. And the reason they're saying that Anderson, is because for several days now, Russian officials have been making these claims that the White House says are false, that the United States is developing biological weapons in Ukraine.
That is something that has been pushed by Chinese officials as well. It's something the White House says tonight is a complete conspiracy theory on behalf of Russia, but they say this is a very familiar tactic of the Kremlin leader that he often accuses countries and people of doing what he himself is planning on doing and therefore they are concerned that this could be another step that he takes here, that he does not have a kind of red line here what he would not cross, that this is something he would do.
They pointed to his own track record where they have poisoned people like Alexei Navalny, where of course, he has also supported Syria, who has gassed its own people, and that is a concern that they have now that this is something that he could be preparing to do.
This is something that Secretary Blinken actually warned about before the invasion started. He said he feared that Putin could use, stage a chemical weapons attack or do a real chemical weapons attack on Ukraine in order to have a pretext for invading. Of course now, he has already invaded. He is two weeks in. It has not gone the way that Putin had thought this was going to go and the concern here at the White House tonight is that he may be preparing to use chemical weapons in Ukraine.
COOPER: Nick Paton Walsh in Odessa, you were in Mykolaiv earlier in southern Ukraine. Can you just talk about what the important strategic importance is of Mykolaiv and what we know is going on there in the town itself.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, certainly, the last we heard from the regional head of Mykolaiv, Vitaley Kim on Telegram was that he couldn't go into details, but the city there was under attack from the north.
Now 70 to 48 hours ago, we saw signs of what many people are being warning may be occurring, which is Russian troops trying to move to the north of that city across down sort of from about three o'clock you might say around to about 10 o'clock anti-clockwise pressuring down towards the river that divide that city and potentially cutting bits of it off from access to the rest of Ukraine.
In fact, it did seem last night sparked a warning from Vitaley Kim to get everyone out on the streets leaving tires on crossroads. Molotov cocktails had joined them, too, by the time woke up this morning to see that just distant interesting here sometimes Anderson, and that's the absolute quiet and still here is occasionally broken by sort of a rattle of I think is very distant, what sounded possibly like some kind of gunfire.
But Mykolaiv is still in balance, it seems eerily, quiet too itself, but also the sounds of impact around it. We saw ourselves and you'll see in our report later in the hour, the damage done to anything, frankly from an elderly couple's home to a vegetable warehouse, very intense, indiscriminate bombing happening there.
And it does often appear that they're not looking necessarily for specific military targets at all, just to exact a cost on the local population there.
Mykolaiv is important because the Russians need control of it, perhaps to encircle it, perhaps to feel it is no longer on their list, so much of urgent military objectives. They can move further west along the Black Sea coast, which I should say, you know, just until we started talking has been utterly silent all night -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, Nick Paton Walsh, appreciate it.
As you can figure out we were just showing Nick's -- using Nick's audio, we didn't have his image. It is obviously extremely tenuous situation and just getting a live broadcast out and there are security issues at stake as well. So we appreciate, Nick, making that effort to at least get the message out and reporting out from today.
Clarissa, you've been reporting on evacuations in Irpin really since Saturday when you were there. There was that attack, a direct attack on the evacuation point on Sunday. What was the situation there earlier today? Have people still been able to leave?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So today was one of the few more successful attempts at implementing those humanitarian corridors and allowing civilians flee from some of these hardest hit areas.
According to Kyiv officials, some 3,000 people were able to get not just out of Irpin', but some of the other suburbs of Kyiv as well that have been under pretty much constant bombardment now, but the question becomes how do you get the rest of those people out, Anderson?
There are still so many people, there is no sense that there is going to be at this stage another humanitarian corridor or a ceasefire tomorrow. We also heard reports that things did not go perfectly today.
WARD: In the suburb of Bucha, for example, we were told by Ukrainian authorities that 50 buses loaded with people were blocked from proceeding into the relative safety of the city center, and that they had to be turned around.
So the question becomes when can you get these people out? There have been some hope that because tomorrow, there is a meeting between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Turkey that potentially there will be another window for a ceasefire for those humanitarian corridors.
Ukrainian officials have called for that to happen again tomorrow, but we haven't yet heard this time from the Russian side about whether we can expect to see at least a continued effort to try to facilitate those evacuations which have been happening. There has been a steady stream, but they are certainly not happening at the speed and pace with which Ukrainian authorities would like to see them implemented -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. And as you mentioned, Mariupol, there was a ceasefire today and the maternity ward hospital was hit.
Clarissa Ward, Nick Paton Walsh, Kaitlan Collins, thank you.
Coming up, next, a look inside Kharkiv. You may remember at the start of the war, Clarissa Ward was in Kharkiv. It's the second largest city in the east of Ukraine, the second largest city in all of Ukraine, but it's on the eastern border.
One woman's remarkable account now of living through the kind of brutal siege that Europe has not seen since the Second World War. That's coming up.
And also later in the program, we'll talk to our military folks' take on what Ukraine truly needs most in their fight, a lot of talk about they want a no-fly zone. They want planes. That may not be the greatest need that they actually have. We're going to look at what the Russians are actually using to hit
things like that hospital and other sites as our live coverage from Ukraine continues.
COOPER: We've got a new video tonight of a Russian airstrike on Zhytomyr which is just west of Kyiv. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in foreign language.)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That seemed to be an aerial bombardment from a plane. Now the city's mayor says a power plant and a residential building were hit. The city has also in recent days seen strikes on an apartment building, a textile plant, and a tank factory just outside town.
So many millions of Ukrainians have now watched shells and bombs and rockets fall where they live, few though have seen worse than the people of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, but reporting from there has been extremely difficult because of the near constant bombardment.
As I said, Clarissa Ward was there the day the bombing began. We really haven't not had much or have no direct CNN presence there since, so what you're about to see is rare to this point, which makes it all the more important.
ITV's Dan Rivers filed this report about one woman in the city who turns the camera on herself as she watches her city assaulted.
DAN RIVERS, ITV NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Kharkiv is increasingly resembling the 21st Century Stalingrad.
Only this time, it is Russia laying siege to a city, which is defiantly resisting. Somehow amid all this, its residents are surviving.
The day after a missile slammed into Kharkiv's Town Hall, we asked a resident of this city, Anastasia Paraskevova to document what's happening to her home.
ANASTASIA PARASKEVOVA, KHARKIV RESIDENT: My city, Kharkiv is under constant attack, bombings, rocket fire, artillery fire, all-day nonstop. Just today, four Russian warplanes flew near my house.
RIVERS (voice over): Anastasia is trying to keep her body, mind, and soul together with her family in their apartment where they are sheltering from the bombs.
PARASKEVOVA: This is our hiding place. It's a vestibule area between two walls with no windows. We also have a little bit of space for our bunny rabbit.
I just found out Russians have bombed my favorite place in Kharkiv, Plekhanivska Street. I feel really angry.
Look what they've done. I celebrated my birthday one time in this bar.
RIVERS (voice over): As the siege tightens, so Anastasia's struggle to survive forces her to venture outside.
PARASKEVOVA: Me and my sister are going to get some water.
My sister is going to fill this bottle.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All set.
PARASKEVOVA: So the elevator is not working for 10 days now. So we need to walk on stairs. Go low this window ahead.
RIVERS (voice over): Anastasia's sleep is now often interrupted by the sound of warplanes circling as the bombing of Kharkiv intensifies.
PARASKEVOVA: I have some good news.
My family is alive. I'm alive. My house is still standing. My friends are okay. No one I personally know have yet died during Russian invasion of Ukraine.
I have electricity, drinking water, some food. Not much, but enough.
RIVERS (voice over): Each day the bombs are falling closer. This is the university sports complex.
PARASKEVOVA: We heard a very loud explosion. The doors shook and windows, too. And this was it. Apocalypse now.
And among the ruins we have found a little dog. Look at him. My sister says he is really trembling really hard.
Last night, was probably the most terrifying night of my life. Kharkiv was terribly bombarded last night. Airstrikes all over the city. Dozens of buildings destroyed, civilian buildings for people.
I'm not going to take much because I'm hoping I will return soon enough. My sister says it's like going on the trip, but an awful one, I guess.
So as my parents can no longer withstand the constant bombing, especially after last night, which was truly a terrifying thing, we are going to leave if we leave that one course. So I don't want to leave and I won't be leaving Ukraine. We will be moving to somewhere just farther away from Russian border.
I don't know why but being bombarded is easier to live in your home.
COOPER: One family's account. That report and those images raise no shortage of questions, including what it says about how Russia is fighting this war. We'll take that up next with retired Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, who argues the Ukrainians seem to be equipped not with hardware for conventional war, but for the guerrilla tactics he thinks they are already using so well.
COOPER: Whether it's today's bombing the hospital in Mariupol the enormous destruction we showed you in the last segment in Kharkiv, the White House warning about the possible use of chemical weapons, the Polish fighter jet question and more. There's lots of talk about their next guest.
Joining us a retired Army Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, former Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs.
General Kimmitt, appreciate you being with us. You know, the Ukrainians obviously had been talking a lot about the no-fly zone. I've heard you and others General Hertling talking about that planes really may not be the greatest source of their concern of attacks from the sky, that it's really artillery, its mortars, its missile fire. Is that correct?
BRIG. GEN. MARK KIMMITT, U.S. ARMY (RET): All right. Absolutely. If you take a look at the amount of destruction that has been done up to this point, that is not being done. As you saw on that last clip with a couple of bombs coming off an aircraft that is the continuing fire from hundreds of rockets and missiles and artillery pieces that are just effectively conducting a barrage of these different towns.
COOPER: And how far away would some of that artillery be? I mean, you're talking about mortar fire relatively close is this long range.
KIMMITT: Well, it can be anywhere from about 20 kilometers, which are their typical artillery would fire back to about 100 kilometers, which is where the missiles are going to be firing from. It's a bombardment capability in depth, the mortars are going to be much closer. But it looks to me like this is mostly how its artillery cannon artillery, rockets and missiles.
COOPER: So even if there was a no-fly zone, and there were planes circling U.S. planes in the sky, or French planes or whatever it might be, they would be vulnerable not only to that, that fire from the ground, but they also I mean, the next step would be them having to try to take out those artillery pieces, which again, is a whole other uptick in a direct confrontation with Russia. KIMMITT: Yes, but I think the Ukrainian aircraft could do that. That's a pretty good target for them to be going after. I was in artillery and then I knew I was a target. But the Ukrainian Air Force isn't flying, which tells me that the Russians have set up a pretty good air defense system inside of Ukraine. So that's why they're keeping the Ukrainian aircraft on the ground.
COOPER: What do you think is the greatest need right now for Ukrainian forces? And how effective do you think they can be in a, you know, if Russia does ultimately occupy major cities Kharkiv, even Kyiv? How capable are they at our guerrilla war?
KIMMITT: Well, there really two kinds of fights we're going to see coming up. And one you're very familiar with Anderson. And that's the rear fight. As you remember, from your times in Iraq, the insurgents were not attacking our big bases. They were going after vehicle convoys, or going after Humvees, they were basically attacking what we call the soft underbelly. So that's one fight, which is the Ukrainian military and partisan capability to go into the soft underbelly behind those front lines. And that's where the supply depots are. That's where the artillery bases are. That's where the logistics convoys are, that's where the railroad are, that's what they ought to be attacking, in hit and run tactics.
And then there's another fight and that's the fight inside the city. And those are two really different fights that the Ukrainians are going to be facing, once the -- once this battle for the city starts.
COOPER: How capable are Russian ground forces in a -- in-city combat?
KIMMITT: Well, remember the most important steps in city combat is number one, surround it with your units, then start the bombardments, the sieging of it just rubble the city, then you storm it with huge amounts of troops. The defender in city combat has about a 10 to one advantage. For them, ever rubble building is a sniper position. For them, every road is a chance to bring in tanks and shoot them up. And every vehicle out there is a target for IEDs that the city defenders can use.
The Ukrainians have a very, very good defensive capability and city fighting. And I think outside in that other fight getting into their rear lines, cutting off their supply convoys especially. They've got a pretty good chance of if not defeating the Russians, certainly allowing the Russians to win nothing more than a Pyrrhic victory.
COOPER: General Kimmitt, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
COOPER: Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn't want the world to know the truth of course about this war as he puts a lockdown on media reports inside Russia with its new sense censorship law, some of the global press this suspending coverage as a result. Our Jill Dougherty was in Russia when the government crackdown for the first time she shares her story of what happened, next.
COOPER: We've been showing you the disturbing reality of what is happening across this country in Mariupol, Kharkiv and Kyiv, as we've been saying, as hard as it is to look at it is important not to look away to recognize and see with open eyes what is happening, it's on display for the world to see. Same cannot be said for Russia, there's essentially a full lockdown on free press there since that law was passed late last week, threatening more, more -- around a decade or so jail time to any reporter who called the war a war, who actually reported on what was happening, and had an immediate chilling effect on the free press there. Most of them left over the next 24 hours. Jill Dougherty was one of them. She took this picture. She was leaving the CNN offices that day. She was working with us as a reporter, an analyst and she was also our bureau chief for nearly 10 years. She'll join us now from Washington, where she has just returned.
So you were there in Moscow working with the law pass? How do you find out about it? What was your media reaction?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I'd actually reported on it. And that I came to work, I was working the overnights and I had a bunch of live shots scheduled, and then all of a sudden they were canceled. And what we decided to do was cancel them because that law was so unclear in terms of what it really meant for foreign journalists. It was obvious what it meant for Russian journalists, you know, use the word war, use the word invasion, use the word attack, instead of this special military operation. And you could land up to 15 years in prison. So what we wanted to do was establish, you know, what does it mean? So, we didn't do anything for a while trying to figure that out.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, you've spent a lot of your life and living and working in Russia, will you be able to go back?
DOUGHERTY: You know, I understand when I took that selfie, I took it. Because I really wanted, like a symbol for me, of perhaps the last time that I'll be there. I honestly don't know. I want to go back. You know, I'm not a full time reporter. But I go back a lot. And it's a place that I'm very interested in. And I think it's so important to be able to have not only foreign journalists, but also, you know, Russian journalists able to cover whatever is happening. And right now, the independent media are designated, there is no way that they can, you know, cover much of anything in an objective way because they are not allowed to.
In fact, right around that time I was talking to friends, I had some coffee with some friends. And most of them were saying, you know, they're trying to figure out where to go next. And remember, Anderson, you know, CNN really has a storied history in Moscow, that CNN covered the crew in 1991. And Russians watch CNN to see what was happening in their own country. So it's a very, it's a really well-known bureau. And to have that not working up to its full potential, I think is damaging for world news and for Russians.
COOPER: I mean we've seen control of media by in the Soviet Union for decades. Is this more than has ever occurred in Russia or is -- or I mean is this kind of Soviet level or is it more than that?
DOUGHERTY: Well, you know, the Soviet level is different because there was no internet. So you could really just chop everything off and say, so it's very different now. I would say it's draconian, it is all encompassing. But there are ways that people can get the information in, you know, you can use tools on the internet, we have Telegram, I'm sure you're probably using that other people are, Telegram and other channels that you can use. But essentially, you know, when you cut when you just stop independent broadcasting, and that approach to news, and then see what Russian state TV is doing. It is just all day, 24 hours a day, showing pictures not even of what's going on in Kyiv, it's not showing that war, it's showing the Donbas region and saying now it's being pacified and everything's fine. It's a completely, you know, non-real image of the world.
And younger people don't watch TV for the most part, they really don't. But older people do. And the older people are the people who vote for President Putin. And they make up the majority of the country. So that's what the Kremlin watches and looks at.
COOPER: Yes. Jill Dougherty, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you so much.
Ahead, I want to introduce you to a family of Ukrainians that I met today, including one very sweet little girl, as well as her baby sister. Their parents are doing everything they can to keep their girls lives as normal as possible even as they've now had to leave two homes to keep ahead of a war.
COOPER: You've seen the tremendous number of people some 2 million people who have fled Ukraine and become refugees. They're crossed the border into other countries like Poland and Romania and Moldova. We wanted to show you some of the people who have been internally displaced, people who don't want to leave Ukraine, they want to stay here in some cases, their husbands are fighting their boyfriends or parents or -- are on the front lines but they want to stay in this country. And yet they have children to raise and have to figure out how to build a new life while the wars going on.
Here's one family that we met today in Lviv.
COOPER (voice-over): It's good to know there are still some children in Ukraine who have no idea the war has come.
(on-camera): Can you make the sound of the pigeon?
(voice-over): In Lviv, a little girl named Eva delights in feeding pigeons in the park. She's three years old, but this is not her home. She arrived two weeks ago with her mother Ana and Timor her father and baby sister from Kharkiv.
(on-camera): Do they understand what's going on?
ANA (through translation): No, we are lucky because when bombing started in the Kharkiv it was 5:00 a.m. and she was asleep. She didn't wake up. All of our basic necessary things were already packed. Do you understand? My husband and I we just grabbed documents, our photocard my child's toy and the suitcase that was already packed. We sat in the car and drove straight away. Every day Timor filled up the car was gasoline so we would be ready. We expected this to happen. We are from Donetsk. We have gone through this before.
COOPER (on-camera): When you tell a child about what is happening?
ANA (through translation): At the winter, just an adventure.
EVA: Mama, (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER (voice-over) : The kids think it's an adventure. But for Ana and Timor, it's more like a nightmare. It's the second time they've lost their home. In 2014, when Russia invaded they lived in Donetsk they had to flee to Kharkiv. Now they're displaced again.
ANA (through translation): They will never defeat us because this is our land. I just want the whole world to help so our kids don't die. Yesterday, I saw in the news that a baby died from (INAUDIBLE) because its mom was crushed under the building. I cannot imagine this. I want the world to help us to stop it.
COOPER (voice-over): Timor has volunteered to fight. You may be called up any day now.
(on-camera): You're taking the military course but you've never fought before. Do you -- are you worried about it? Are you scared?
TIMOR (PH) (through translation): I am ready to defend my country. To defend my Country. I'm not scared.
COOPER (on-camera): Ukraine will win.
TIMOR (PH) (through translation): Ukraine -- nobody can defeat us.
COOPER (voice-over): For now, Timor volunteers moving and packing supplies for soldiers on the front lines.
(on-camera): How do you both try to keep things normal for your children?
ANA (through translation): Simple really. Cartoons.
TIMOR (PH) (through translation): Cartoons drawing, dancing. ANA (through translation): Now we are playing hide and seek so they can learn to hide when it will be needed. Maybe they will come here too.
COOPER (on-camera): You pretend everything is normal for them.
TIMOR (PH): This place is not safe. Because the rockets can --
COOPER (on-camera): The war can come here. When you go to fight, will your family stay here?
TIMOR (PH): Yes.
COOPER (on-camera): OK. You don't want them to go to another country?
TIMOR (PH) (through translation): I love my country and my wife loves my country. We don't leave our motherland.
COOPER (voice-over): Like so many here, they plan to stay. One family determined not to flee anymore.
COOPER: Well still more to come tonight, including the latest in those humanitarian corridors and the efforts often thwarted by the Russian military to get innocent civilians out. Also my interview with Kyiv's Mayor Vitali Klitschko.
COOPER: Well the day here began with hope are limited to be sure but hoping on the last as Russia opened some evacuation corridors and that civilians could leave a number of besieged areas. According to CNN's Clarissa Ward, several thousand made it out of the Kyiv suburb of Irpin, however, things went less smoothly elsewhere. The maternity hospital in Mariupol was bombed. Prior to the attack Russia accused Ukrainians of turning into a combat post and sending the patients and staff away. The fact that wounded civilians including pregnant women were pulled from the destruction would seem to say otherwise. That photo says otherwise.
In fact, for every allegation from Russia that Ukrainians and somehow brought this on themselves or even been attacking themselves, there is the evidence all across this country that is simply plain to see.
Late today, we got access to a report from inside Kharkiv which has seen precious little reporting since the early days of the war. Kharkiv a city of 1.5 million is simply put being leveled by nonstop Russian bombardment, at least that's the attempt.