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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

U.S. Defense Official Says One Group Of Russian Force Nine Miles From Kyiv City Center; W.H.O. Says 24 Verified Attacks On Healthcare Facilities In Ukraine; Ukrainian Forces Destroy Russian Tank Convoy Near Kyiv; VP Harris Pledges Support To Ukrainian Refugees During Trip To Poland; American With Child Born Via Ukrainian Surrogate Returns Near Poland-Ukraine Border To Help Refugees In Need; U.S. Defense Official: Russia Increasingly Firing Weapons From A Distance; Reunion Of NY Times Photographer And Ukrainian Volunteer Fighter Who Tried To Save Family Killed In Irpin' Blast. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired March 10, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: "I hope you hear the sirens. I hope you hear the heart monitor as it beats along with a failing pulse."

Today's hearing coming after a Bankruptcy Judge approved a settlement in which the Sackler's much pay up to $6 billion to settle OxyContin lawsuits, and half a million Americans have died from overdoses.

Thanks for joining us. AC 360 starts now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Encirclement, long range bombardment, and lies, those are the Russian tactics at this moment going to Week Three of the war in Ukraine.

As to a potential encirclement, there are new satellite photos that show that large convoy that's been stalled northwest of Kyiv has dispersed and redeployed. You can see the tire tracks and vehicles in the small town according to that company that produces them, they show that some elements of it, most notably towed artillery are seeing taking cover and a sparse patch of trees nearby Lubyanka, about three miles northwest of the airbase in Hostomel, 10 miles west of the base and number of fuel trucks and what Maxar says appears to be multiple rocket launchers are seen in a field near trees.

Add to that what we already know that Russian forces have drawn closer to the capital with the closest elements now about nine miles away. They are being met so far by serious resistance.

Take a look at a video of a tank column being ambushed on the eastern edge of town. The speaking voices you hear are in Russia.


COOPER: That video was released by the Ukrainian Military Defenses showing that Russian column apparently being picked off one by one.

We mentioned lies at the top of the broadcast, this one from Russia's Foreign Minister is staggering.


SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We do not plan to attack other countries and we did not attack Ukraine.


COOPER: "We did not attack Ukraine," Sergey Lavrov says after talks with Ukraine's Foreign Minister in Turkey earlier today, apparently went nowhere.

The first part of what he said of course remains to be seen.


COOPER: As for the attacks, you've seen the attacks yourself that have killed 549 civilians, innocent people according to an estimate released today by the United Nations. That attack you saw there was on civilians who are evacuating from Irpin'. Four were killed in that strike that you are watching right there. You see the people rushing to their bodies.

And Mr. Lavrov didn't stop there. He also lied about Russia's attack on that maternity hospital in Mariupol. In so many words, trying to say that the wounded patients being helped by hospital staff from the bombed out complex did not exist, that the world did not see what it did, in fact, see.


LAVROV (through translator): At the meeting of the Security over the U.N. Security Council, facts -- our delegation presented facts about this maternity hospital having long been seized by the Azov Battalion and other radicals and they have driven all the pregnant women and all the nurses out of it and set up a base for the ultra-radical Azov Battalion.


COOPER: Now, again, unless the people wounded there belong to the expectant mothers ring, the other members were all dressed as civilians and hospital staff that is a lie.

What is true is that 24 medical facilities have now been attacked since the war began according to new figures from the World Health Organization, more than two million Ukrainians have been forced to flee the country, another nearly two million are internally displaced, many due to their relentless bombardment, which has also produced a moment of remarkable cool under pressure.

The video you're about to see is of Ukrainian Emergency Services team in Chernihiv gingerly removing the detonator from an unexploded Russian bomb. You hear a bird chirping away in the background

[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS] [20:05:13]

COOPER: Utter calm in a storm that is only expected to grow.

CNN's Clarissa Ward is in Kyiv tonight. Nick Paton Walsh is in Odessa and Kaitlan Collins is at the White House. First though, a quick overview from CNN's Oren Liebermann.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Russia's siege on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol is only growing more devastating, massive craters from Russian attacks, the city digging mass graves for what the Deputy Mayor says are at least 1,300 civilian deaths.

The Red Cross says hundreds of thousands are without food, water, heat, power and medical care. Russia continues to deny its shelling civilian infrastructure like that maternity ward that was hit just yesterday. Local authorities also accused Russia of bombing a humanitarian corridor out of Mariupol.

The U.S. Ambassador to the UN now saying this unequivocally about Russian actions.

LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: They constitute war crimes. They are attacks on civilians that cannot be justified by any -- in any way whatsoever.

LIEBERMANN (voice over): A high level diplomatic meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine failed to bring results.

DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: I came here with a humanitarian purpose, to walk out from the meeting with the decision to arrange a humanitarian corridor in and from Mariupol.

Unfortunately, Minister Lavrov was not in a position to commit himself to it.

LIEBERMANN (voice over): The diplomacy has done nothing to stop the war. The Russian Foreign Minister today even made the extraordinarily false claim that Russia did not attack Ukraine as the invasion enters its third week.

Ukraine is claiming victory in the north. These images show what they say is a defeated Russian tank regiment northeast of the capital, Kyiv, but the local government says there is heavy fighting around the city.

On the Black Sea, the port city of Odessa, it is preparing for a fight. The regional military accused a Russian ship of firing in the sky over the city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I can see what's happening in the country, and I don't want Russian troops to take our city. We're trying hard to set up a force to resist them.

LIEBERMANN (voice over): Russia pushing the debunked conspiracy theory that the U.S. is funding bio weapon labs in Ukraine.

AVRIL HAINES, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: This influence campaign is completely consistent with long standing Russian efforts to accuse the United States of sponsoring bio weapons work in former Soviet Union.

LIEBERMANN (voice over): The U.S. and some NATO Allies warn that such accusations by the Kremlin may indicate Russia plans on using the weapons themselves.

LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER: There is now talk about the use of chemical weapons. We've seen Russia do that before.

LIEBERMANN (voice over): Vice President Kamala Harris is now in Poland after the collapse of a potential deal to ship MiG 29 fighter jets through U.S. bases to Ukraine. Harris announced additional humanitarian funding for civilians affected by the war.

KAMALA HARRIS (D), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States is absolutely prepared to do what we can in what we must.

LIEBERMANN (voice over): Oren Liebermann, CNN at the Pentagon.


COOPER: We'll be joined shortly by retired Army four-star General and former C.I.A. Director David Petraeus for his take on the state of play militarily.

Let's first check in with our correspondents in the field starting with Clarissa Ward in Kyiv. So Clarissa, what do we know about this battle that progressed near you in Kyiv, as yet again diplomatic talks fail?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, there was a lot of fighting today, Anderson and whereas before, it has really being concentrated in the northwest and the west of the city. Today, we saw quite a worrying development, which is basically Russian forces making a big push for the east of the city and particularly for an eastern suburb called Brovary.

You showed that video earlier on where you see that massive column of Russian tanks bearing down on that road heading into the capital. Now, they are facing a fierce fight. Ukrainian forces are hunkered down in positions all along that road. You can see them there, presumably using javelins or some type of antitank missile to essentially pick off those tanks one by one and creating some formidable resistance in the process.

But the concern here is that obviously, this feeds into the hypothesis that Russian forces are attempting to completely encircle the city and we heard this again, today from the Mayor of Kyiv himself, Vitali Klitschko.

He said: Make no mistake about it. Kyiv is the prize. And the goal here is to surround the city, bombard it and then potentially try to overthrow the government from outside.

So now the primary concern becomes on isolating which routes there are still from the city for civilians to flee. The mayor also said, Anderson, nearly half the population of Kyiv has left in the last two weeks. That is up to two million people by some estimates.

So clearly the situation deteriorating very quickly and a lot of concern about what this portends, this push from the east -- Anderson.


COOPER: How many routes, Clarissa, I mean, I assume there are a number of roads into and out of Kyiv, so there's many different -- the Russians are clearly traveling on the roads. So the Ukrainian forces would know what routes they are coming, no?

WARD: Well, and this is the thing and in a sense, these Russian tanks are sitting ducks because they are using the roads and because the Ukrainians are able to blow up the bridges leading into certain parts of the city to prevent them from moving forward.

But also when you're driving around the city, Anderson, you can see them everywhere. There are tank traps, there are defensive positions, where they have sort of built down ditches along the roadside, and where they will be laying in wait at every single corner for the Russians as they try to push in potentially closer to the capital.

What that then leads to is the fear that Russia will have to respond by using more of the kind of indiscriminate shelling and bombing that we have seen in places like Mariupol where large parts of the city have been flattened, where civilians have been trapped with no heat, with no water, with no electricity.

And I will say, Anderson, at the moment, it is freezing cold here. There has been a real cold spell, and you have to think right now, of the thousands and thousands of people who are currently trapped in basements, some of them have been evacuated. In fact, a lot of them have, but many of them are still trapped in their homes and have far fewer expectations of being able to get out along these so-called corridors, which, as we know, have a very mixed record in terms of being safe and effective for people to use.

COOPER: Yes, and temperatures are expected to drop even further all across Ukraine in the days ahead.

Nick, you're in southern Ukrainian in Odessa. How is the war progressing near you, I guess is the question.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, I mean, we had a sort of unexpected moment down here in Odessa today, when the sirens seemed to be more persistent throughout the day than we had seen them in the past, partly because a Russian warship appeared, it seemed according to Ukrainian officials on the horizon and fired five shots.

Now, it's not clear quite whether those landed anywhere, but Ukrainian suggestion is that they may have been intended to see how Ukraine's defenses would react to the presence of that ship. Now, that may be a harbinger of something to come, being plenty of warnings of amphibious landings, maybe being part of Russia's broader military plan here for this third largest city in Ukraine, a vital maritime gateway to the rest of the world.

And it feeds into the noises we heard later on that day on the skyline behind me. We think anti-aircraft fired just before dusk, two bursts of that. That's rare here frankly. It has been quiet for days and very much less so today. That also, I think, maybe a reflection of the increased pressure from the east.

Now certainly in Kherson, which has been under Russian control despite significant civil disobedience, for about a week now, a railway column we've spotted on video and geo located has moved into that particular city. That may suggest reinforcements. There seemed to be some armor on board that train that may be part of a bid to reinforce their positions in Kherson and then move west towards Mykolaiv where we've been over the past day seeing the extraordinary toll of civilians, of frankly the indiscriminate and random ugly bombing of residential areas by Russian forces on the outskirts.

Those Russian forces have failed so far to really get into the city and today, the regional head talked about how checkpoints there had seen Ukrainian losses on the outskirts of the city, but also too, Russian armor had been hit by airstrikes. he somewhat cheekily, I think perhaps posted a leaflet, a kind of cheat sheet for Russians who might want to surrender a number they could call suggesting that according to prisoners, he claimed they've captured many thought they want to training exercise.

Still all the same, though, the pressure does appear to be building from Crimea up round to the west, towards here in Odessa, Anderson, where the broad question of at some point, this third largest city has to feel some element of Russian pressure if there is a sustained Kremlin plan to try and influence the broader economy of Ukraine.

So far, this Russian speaking, cultural hotspot left comparatively quiet, many here anxious that it isn't going to last -- Anderson.

COOPER: Kaitlan Collins in the White House. What more is the White House saying about how it would or would not respond to a potential chemical weapons attack by Russia?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: They're not really offering many details on what that would look like, because obviously, certainly you hear these reports about these indiscriminate bombings that are happening right now.

But if Putin were to conduct a chemical weapons attack, that would certainly ratchet things up even further. The White House warned yesterday that they do believe he is laying the groundwork to potentially do that by spreading these false theories that the United States is developing biological weapons in Ukraine, which officials have said across the board is not true.


But they do fear that is going to happen. And I think the big question, certainly one that was posed to the White House multiple times today is whether or not that changes President Biden's calculus that he is not going to send in U.S. forces to Ukraine.

He says that is a red line for him that he is not sending those forces in. He has no intention of putting boots on the ground, or of course developing that no-fly zone that you've seen Zelenskyy call for so many times.

But I do think there was a real question of whether or not that changes his calculus. And Jen Psaki told me today that right now, his intention is still that U.S. forces are not going to go into Ukraine to fight Russian forces that maintains it.

She says obviously, it is still a hypothetical if Putin is going to use chemical weapons. But Anderson, I'm told that them warning about this potentially happening is more than just a pattern. It's more than just Putin having done this before and laying the groundwork for potentially doing it again, and that indicates that maybe there is Intelligence that they do believe he is preparing to conduct a chemical weapons attack that we don't know where, we don't know when, we don't know how confident they are that that could happen, but it does seem to be more than just a hunch that this is something he is preparing to do.

COOPER: And Clarissa, are residents still able to evacuate in Kyiv? And what are their options for getting out? I mean, you were at the train station the other day seeing that rush of people -- is that still an option?

WARD: The trains are still operating from Kyiv Central Station and the evacuations are ongoing. The Russians have said that those corridors are open every day from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM Moscow time, so 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM local time.

The problem with the corridors as the Russian see them is that they would like to see people moving out of Ukraine, through Belarus and into Russia, which is obviously a nonstarter, but they have been able to continue doing these evacuations, bringing people into the city center.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy actually just tonight released another video message where he said that across the country, 100,000 people were successfully evacuated from their homes today.

But the images that you're seeing, Anderson, of the state that people in who are being evacuated, especially at this late time, the suburb of Vorzel' today, and you saw an orphanage being evacuated and two very sick little toddlers who one of them honestly looked like he was completely unconscious. They had run out of medicine, they had no heat in this orphanage. They didn't have proper way to cook food because there is no gas.

And so, it is becoming increasingly dangerous and difficult to keep evacuating people from these existing corridors. But nonetheless, we see the very brave volunteers and members of the Red Cross going out every day facing Russian checkpoints.

I spoke to one journalist today who was with the Red Cross and they drove into this area and the Russians jumped out of the forest and held them all at gunpoint. So this is absolutely petrifying and incredibly dangerous work. But yes, it does continue -- Anderson.

COOPER: Clarissa Ward, Nick Paton Walsh, Kaitlan Collins, thank you so much.

Coming up next, we'll talk to General David Petraeus about the new images of that Russian tank column being attacked and also that long supply convoy seemingly repositioned.

Later how an American who was given the gift of parenthood by a surrogate in Ukraine is now showing his gratitude to Ukrainian refugees by giving them a place to stay.


COOPER: We have breaking news tonight. New satellite images show that 40-mile long con by north of Kyiv has dispersed and redeployed moving rocket launchers and towed artillery into local fields and wooded areas. The question is what to make of it, which is why we're glad we can turn to retired Army four-star General and former C.I.A. Director David Petraeus.

General Petraeus appreciate you joining us. What is your reaction to these new images? What do you make of what that convoy is doing?

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS (RET), FORMER C.I.A. DIRECTOR: Well, it's really just adhering to normal standards that they should have been adhering to all along, the standards to which our soldiers are trained is that when you stop, you don't stay on a road, you don't stay visible to anything from the air, you hold on to cover, whether it is into trees or whatever you can find, you certainly don't stay again exposed the way that they were for so many days. It was really again, staggering that that happened.

And you saw in the footage that you're showing right now, in fact, another case where an armored battalion is caught in the open, apparently by a drone that appears to be filming this, may have been directing the fire as well. And again, it's sort of unconscionable that this would happen.

They are also bunched together as you can see. You would always want to stay much farther apart than that. And so again, these are basic standards that clearly have not been established, and they are certainly not performing in accordance with what normal standards would be for our forces.

COOPER: Clarissa Ward was talking about the defenses, which are everywhere in a city like Kyiv on every street, hedgehogs, they pits on sides of roads. And obviously, we know about Molotov cocktails that have been dispersed. And obviously the shoulder-fired weaponry and the other weapons that the U.S. and others have sent in.

Given that, is it likely Russian forces are just going to try to level these cities before actually going in? Because you've talked about before, they don't have enough troops to really adequately undertake block by block urban combat.

PETRAEUS: Now, that's correct, and as we discussed before, it is also incredibly physically demanding and mentally draining. The bottom line now, I'm starting to think, Anderson, they won't even be able to encircle Kyiv. Again, that blow struck against an armor regiment, and by the way, the Russian in that clip that you played earlier is actually also reporting that the regimental commander was killed.


That's an extraordinary blow and you had that and the other casualties, the other losses of armor personnel, you just can't keep sustaining that kind of loss, and the column from the east in particular, which is where this was ambushed is so long and so vulnerable given the logistical lines that were required for that that there is just no way, I don't think that they're going to be able to sustain their forces coming from that direction, which means they probably can't get around to the south, and really close the city off, which could be very, very good news, for Kyiv in the sense that at least it could be resupplied, even if the Russians try to just lay siege to it from the other directions from the north, and to a degree from the west.

But as you noted, again, what they will do is back off, and they're just going to rubble the city, block by block, but normally, you would need to move in, at least to have the observation of the fire, although they've certainly done lots of indiscriminate fire, as we've seen into Mariupol, in particular, and that has that situation, I think, the one it's really eating at the President -- President Zelenskyy, his Minister of Defense, the Chief of the General Staff trying to figure out any way they could to lift that siege, to break through to Mariupol to restore the basic services and so forth.

But it's pretty clear, they just don't have the reserves to do that, even though they've again, they've also stopped the Russians around Kharkiv and that thrust that was discussed earlier from Crimea towards Odessa, it has stopped at a city called Mykolaiv, where the mayor is an absolute hero. He is turning into a real battlefield general, and organizing an extraordinary defense.

And if they've already rigged the bridges for destruction, if they can't get across that river, they have to go much farther to the north, and then down to the southwest, to Odessa. And again, there's no way they'll maintain those logistical lines.

COOPER: With Mariupol, which is a city it seems critical for Russian forces from their perspective to take just for future reasons, they have allegedly, according to U.S. senior Defense officials, they've encircled it, would it be possible for -- I mean, is the same thing at play there that to actually occupy that city to move in would be extremely difficult for Russian forces or I mean, it's a much smaller city, obviously than Kyiv.

PETRAEUS: Yes. Now, I think what they're trying to do there, Anderson is literally starving into submission. If the water is cut off, the power is cut off, very, very desperate situation, you showed how bodies aren't even -- they can't even do proper burials for bodies at this point in time.

And so what they're going to do is starve it until it submits, until the officials there in charge surrender, I assume is their hope, because of course, that will then enable them to complete the land bridge from Crimea to the Donbas area of southeast.

So they will have denied that entire portion of the coast to Ukraine. And so it's really a matter of time, unless the Ukrainians can figure out how to break that siege somehow, and get supplies in, restore basic services and so forth. And I'm sure that that is the issue that is really bedeviling them.

And as always, you know, Commanders allocate shortages. You never have enough of anything, and so what they may have to do is reallocate some forces from somewhere else where they seem to be doing better than perhaps they had feared when the plan was developed initially to try to get down there, otherwise, at some point in time that will become the first major city in Ukraine to fall and will also free up those forces that are encircling it to some degree, at least, and that could be a problem elsewhere, as well.

COOPER: General, just one final question, just from a perspective of a guerrilla fighter in an insurgent fight, how effective is a Molotov cocktail? Because clearly, there are a lot of them around here and I know they have an accelerant inside to make them stickier.

One person here was telling me that against a tank or an armored vehicle that those are closed systems that do have air intake, and that if you throw it at the air intake, it essentially smokes out the people inside the tank. Is that true?

PETRAEUS: Well, again, we have some views about the Russian systems so far aren't proven true. I mean, they're much less well equipped than we believed. And again, to believe that those systems work as advertised probably is worth at least asking about.

What you really need to do is get the hatches to pop somehow and the normal way that that's done and even our tanks going into Baghdad, they could get swarmed and if the infantry is not around them to keep the enemy infantry off, in this case, perhaps guerillas and insurgents, you can have a problem at some point in time.


But what you really want to do, obviously, is get them all the tough cocktail inside the tank turret. And to do that, you've obviously got to get them off those hatches.

And again, again, there are various ways you could also perhaps, depending on how exposed the engine grades are, and so forth, there are places that are flammable. And that's what you're going to have to do with that. Against thin skinned vehicles, they can be devastating. And there are other circumstances in which they can be very valuable. But you what you really have to do is swarm and what was seen, as we discussed earlier as well, Russians had been very poor at achieving combined arms effects, they send tanks alone without infantry, infantry alone, without tanks, no engineers around them, to help them with obstacles and so forth and not supported by artillery, creeping along in front of the fire long in front of them is required.

So again, they could be very vulnerable, or as you saw, if they're out in the open, and either ground or air observation can identify them, then the right forces can be brought to bear as they were very impressively on that road. Again, you can't sustain that kind of loss day by day and still have combat effective forces.

COOPER: Yes. General David Petraeus, it's fascinating. I appreciate your expertise. Thank you.

PETRAEUS: Pleasure, Anderson. Thanks.

COOPER: Up next thanks to a surrogate in Ukraine. You're going to meet an American man who's a dad and now he's giving back to the country that helped him when he's done doing to help refugees coming across the border into Poland, coming up.



COOPER: Vice President Harris today pledged support for Ukrainian refugees during her trip to Warsaw, Poland. This is the UN estimates more than 2 million people have fled Ukraine. They have escaped the violence but life for refugees of course is not easy as they leave behind everything without knowing when they'll return often with little more than a bag or two.

Our next guess is an American who lives in Spain. He has a child who was born via surrogate in Ukraine in 2020. He wanted to help the people of Ukraine and traveled to Poland to book Airbnb for refugee families and offer them rides and really frankly to do whatever he could. Daveed Walzer is his name and he joins us tonight.

Daveed, I want to start with your connection to Ukraine. You live in both San Francisco and Barcelona. Your daughter Daisy was born just about two months before my son Wyatt was born. She was born to Ukrainian surrogate, can you talk a little bit about your decision to come to the border and help? Because I understand she was born actually in Kharkiv?

DAVEED WALZER, HOUSING UKRAINIAN REFUGEES: Yes, that's correct. So we maintain a pretty close relationship with her surrogate mother, Julia, who's still in Kharkiv with her eight year old son. And then, you know, the days approaching when the war actually broke out, you know, we were concerned that we were hoping that she might consider coming out. But, you know, like a lot of Ukrainians, she's pretty stoic, and decided that that's her home, she's not going to leave. So when war broke out, I mean, I was probably crying for the first 24 hours. And I mean, when you somebody is in harm's way like that, there's nothing more helpless than feeling like you're distant, and you can't do anything about it. And then, that's the moment I just decided to book a flight and fly to Krakow, and see what difference I could make for at least the people coming through here as well.

COOPER: I think I mean, I just find this so amazing. And I'm just so wonderful. Not only your concern, ongoing concern for the surrogate, but so many people feel helpless and you know, want to do something and you were seeing it on television and in Barcelona and decided, you know, what, I'm going to go to Krakow in Poland and see what I can do. So I understand you headed first the train station, at the border with Poland? How did you figure out what role you would end up playing?

WALZER: You know, I had a lot of ideas of coming in and being helpful. And, and a lot of that is a bit of ego, and then I you get to this train station. And this was early days before it got really, really a bit overwhelmed there. And you arrive, and then you meet the people, and then suddenly you realize that the needs are very simple, but super important. And, again, it's leaving the ego aside, you talk to the people that are working there, and they very clearly know what's needed. And I don't speak Polish, I don't speak Russian, I don't speak Ukrainian. But within probably like 20 minutes of being at the train station. I was being matched with families that had just been assigned homes in the -- in Krakow, and needed somebody to get them there.

And I was, you know, I was the useful thing at hand. So immediately, I started shuttling people back and forth. I had an Airbnb. And I just told the people I was working with. When I finished my shift, you know, match me up with a with a family that needs a place and, and we'll figure it out from there.

COOPER: And how many families -- how many people now have you helped out?

WALZER: I was working six hour shifts in the morning and then more in the afternoon driving people. So, I kept all my parking payment tickets as a kind of a way of figuring out like what my pace was, and I think I was driving like eight or nine families a day. And then I've been here 10 days. I keep getting bigger Airbnb so I can post more people. But I -- yes. I think I posted about maybe 60 people.


So Krakow is saturated, there's no more room for people. So we're not keeping them for very long. We're not pushing them away, but we're trying to get them onto a train station. So we can, we can bring some more people in. So when I say 60 people that means overnight, I get to meet them. I have breakfast with them. I sometimes buy them flights or train tickets if they're trying to go far away. And then there's no -- there's more space so we can take another family and.

COOPER: So you -- we've met over Instagram, you sent me a message on Instagram and you sent me pictures of the family that's currently in your giant Airbnb. So explain how big an Airbnb you have right now and how many people you have in your Airbnb.

WALZER: A few nights ago, I was matched with a family of 13 children, two babies under six months, and four adults. And we've been here for two days. You'll see some pictures there. Yes, I'm --

COOPER: How many children?

WALZER: -- (INAUDIBLE) basically. So there's 15, two of them are babies. And they were they were planning on sleeping rough. I was matched to them at posted midnight. And then brought them home with the help of four drivers. And I expected the next morning to be tough, and I woke up to kids laughing in the hallway, which is I mean, there's no better joy after what they've been through to understand that, you know, they're resilient and they don't stop being kids.

COOPER: I also heard I saw a Facebook post you gave one which you said that when they got there, you know, there was some sort of, you know, hesitancy and stuff but when it was time for bed, it was kids going to bed like anywhere in the world. It was kids getting ready for bed.

WALZER: Yes. It's all in Ukrainian and Russian but as a parent with small children like it all sounds the same. You know, some kids don't want to go to bed other kids are still playing their video games. I mean, the only thing strange is a household of 15 kids. You know, I have my one and suddenly I'm like an uncle to all these monkeys like my breakfast table. It just looks like I'm eating with raccoons. Like you'll see pictures of them literally in my lap trying to get food from me. They all love hugs. It's amazing. I mean, I'm kind of overdosing on serotonin from all the child care and attention.

COOPER: What is your daughter thing? What is Daisy think when she's now just over two years old? What how does she feel about having all these folks around?

WALZER: I well, she's not with me. This is I mean, Ukraine is her real family. And in a way my family is partly her chosen family. So, for me being here is something I was doing for her. She's too young to understand any of this. But, you know, someday, Yvonne, which is the father of this family, it's an extended family these 15 children. I mean, Daisy has cousins. Like she's an only child and now she's got --


WALZER: -- real Ukrainian family and friends.

COOPER: Yes. Friends and family for life.

WALZER: Thanks. You know, I mean, unconditional love when you bring people into your home. It's really simple charity. These are strangers. It's radical empathy. And the way I've kind of described it to myself to make it kind of make sense is this is anti-war. And, really, this is what humanity should be like. And it's sad that this is what brings it out, but at the same time, it's just nice to be a helper.

COOPER: Daveed Walzer, thank you so much for all you're doing. If you want to learn more about what Daveed is doing, you can go to Facebook and you can search for Daveed that spelled D-A-V-E-E-D, he has a lot more about what he's doing on his Facebook page and CareBridge. So it's Daveed D-A-V-E-E-D and CareBridge. Again, Daveed and CareBridge. I just think it's fascinating what he's doing. He saw this stuff on TV, he wanted to help however he could and got some Airbnbs and he's just helping families driving them around.

Coming up, Vice President Harris saying today in Poland, the eyes of the world are on this war and we should all be watching. But some are asking will the U.S. and the West do more to help Ukraine? What can be done without getting dragged into a wider war with Russia? We have some insights from a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, coming up next.



COOPER: On the face of mounting civilian casualties here in Ukraine pressures growing on the United States and NATO allies to try to do more to stop the war. There still, of course great hesitancy to get entangled in a wider conflict or direct conflict with Russia. So, would there be a red line for the U.S. to send troops in? The White House is wanting Russia to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, but is not saying whether President Biden would let an attack like that go on answer.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'm not going to get into hypotheticals. What we're saying right now is they have the capacity and the capabilities. I'm also not going to get into intelligence. But the President's intention of sending U.S. military to fight in Ukraine against Russia has not changed.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: But that sounds like even if there is a chemical weapons attack, that calculus will not change. I just want to be clear on what the U.S. response would be.

PSAKI: Again, there has not been a chemical weapons attack.

PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Is there any red line for Russia, that the U.S. would have some involvement with the military entered in Ukraine?

PSAKI: I'm not going to get into red lines from here.


COOPER: Let's turn to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee member who is largely pose going to war with a fellow nuclear superpower Democrat Chris Murphy from Connecticut.

Senator Murphy, do you think Vladimir Putin attacking civilians in Ukraine with chemical weapons should prompt the U.S. to act in some way? Well, obviously in the Obama administration, he had laid down a red line in Syria. And we all know the end result of that.


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Yes, I frankly think that this exercise is not helpful there are a million different hypotheticals that you can go down as to whether United States would get involved or not get involved. And I think it'd be irresponsible for all of us to start making guesses about what the facts on the ground will look like, weeks and months from now. I do think it's important to realize that it's not in the United States interest to get into a conflict with another nuclear superpower that is and could be the beginning of World War II that could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. That is why the United States has never gotten into a direct confrontation with Russia or the Soviet Union, not in any of our lifetimes.

So, I just don't think right now, that's a useful exercise to imagine all sorts of future hypotheticals, I just think that we should be focused on helping the Ukrainian people defend themselves. But staying out of direct conflict with Russia.

COOPER: It is extraordinary what we are witnessing, with Ukrainian capabilities, which have been, I mean, incredibly enhanced by the United States, not just in, you know, most immediately with shoulder fired missiles with javelins with, you know, with surface to air missiles, but also just in the years of the last several years, building up and building up the capabilities of Ukrainian army. Is there more -- and it seems like supplies are still able to come in, do you see the U.S. providing even more of these kinds of weapons or European partners providing more different weapons?

MURPHY: Well, to your point, not far from where you are, is the Yavoriv Training Center, and they're the United States, with U.S. personnel has been training Ukrainian troops to fight on the Eastern Front for the better part of the last 10 years. And so, we have to remember that this commitment we've made to the Ukrainian military, it didn't just start a couple of months ago, we actually have been embedded with the Ukrainians for the last six to seven years helping to make them better fighters. And you are seeing that paying off first and foremost, it is their bravery. It is their capability. But the capacity of the Ukrainians has gotten better because of U.S. involvement.

As to your question about what to do next, yes, absolutely. We should continue to flow support and weapons and arms to Ukraine, but we should make sure that the weapons we're transferring are ones they can actually use, and are going to be the most effective and helping to defend our country.

COOPER: You know, there's been a lot of focus on a no-fly zone, which what the Ukrainians have been asking for. Most of the military analysts who are looking at this are saying, well, look, it's actually not most of the damage being done by Russian forces, our long range artillery, you know, as opposed to coming from airplanes. The problem, of course, is there's not much to be done about knocking out that artillery by Ukrainian forces.

MURPHY: But I think the bigger problem is that this use of the term no-fly zone suggests that it actually exists. There's no such thing as a no-fly zone over Ukraine, just as if we declared a no-invasion zone on the ground in Ukraine, the only way we could make that a reality is to put hundreds of thousands of US forces, the only way to actually enforce a no-fly zone is to have U.S. planes, shooting down Russian planes. The Russians are simply not going to honor that declaration, and thus we are at war with Russia.

So, I think you're right that the threat is much more based on their ground based missiles. But it is also true that the idea of a no-fly zone exists kind of only in the imagination.

COOPER: Yes. Senator Chris Murphy, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.

MURPHY: Thank you.

COOPER: Just ahead, an update on a story that we brought you earlier this week and reunion of two people who witnessed one of the most shocking tragedies we've covered in this war.



COOPER: Want to give you an update now on a story we brought you earlier this week you may remember the sickening tragedy outside of Kyiv documented by a New York Times photographer and journalist both of whom joined us this week to share the story, a mother and her children along with a fourth person killed by a mortar blast Sunday while trying to escape to safety. We're about to show you that video, we warn you again it is disturbing.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shit. Shit, shit, shit. Shit.







COOPER: Now we've isolated this frame from the video you see that man there's Ukrainian volunteer. Alexander is his name trying to shepherd a family to safety, but who was also hit by the blast. Now there was some confusion afterwards about whether or not he was alive. New York Times photographer Lynsey Addario wanted to know in part because 10 minutes before that attack, he had used his own body to cover her from the showing.

We're happy to report that the two were reunited. Lynsey posted this to her Instagram account, you see three photos there.