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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Reunion Of NY Times Photographer And Ukrainian Volunteer Fighter Who Tried To Save Family Killed In Irpin' Blast; Intelligence Collected By NATO Surveillance Planes Flying Over The Polish-Ukrainian Border; Crisis Grows In Besieged Ukrainian City Of Mariupol; UN: 2.3 Million Refugees Have Left Ukraine, Most Fleeing To Poland; Russia Claims Power Restored To Chernobyl; IAEA Wants Confirmation; Music Helping Ukrainians During Russian Invasion. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired March 10, 2022 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: At the top right just moments before the attack in that last photo is the reunion.
Lindsey says he's got some shrapnel in his leg and stones in his back and that the doctor said in one month, you'll be in good condition. We hope for speedy recovery. As you can tell Ukrainians is not backing off this fight far from it. Some Russian soldiers' just miles from Kyiv are being met with serious resistance latest developments from Ukraine and that next.
COOPER: Russian forces are growing closer to Kyiv as near as nine miles in one area and new satellite images show that their massive convoy north of the city which has been stalled now for weeks is off the road in dispersed finding position advantage and concealment in nearby towns and rural areas.
You can see tire tracks and vehicles in this small town now according to the company that produces these images they show that some elements of it most notably towed artillery, are taking cover in a sparse patches of trees near - which is about three miles northwest of the airbase in - which is a critical airbase.
Now again, you can see all the tire tracks in the field in the upper left portion of the frame there 10 miles west of the base a number of fuel trucks and what the satellite image provider MAXAR says appears to be multiple rocket launchers are seeing the field and your wooded area just off the road.
Retired Four Star General David Petraeus was on the program in our last hour and said they're now doing those Russian forces what any well trained forces would have done from the outset, namely disperse and find cover as opposed to be bunched up on a road altogether.
He also weighed in on a Russian tank column outside Kyiv that failed to do exactly that had tanks bunched up altogether and paid the price being wiped out in an ambush. Ukraine's military provided the video we've provided the translation from Russian on screen, watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I almost lost the whole sixth regiment. What? Right now I cannot report on the sixth regiment as I am collecting a lot of losses. As we were waiting, the head of the convoy got ambushed regiments commander died, and I am sorting out the rest right after you sort it out, gather everybody, and report to me. Do you copy? The strikes were coming from there, artillery, tanks, I understand from bairaktar drones; they are flying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now watching this General Petraeus said that what he saw suggests Russian forces could face serious difficulty actually taking the Capital Kyiv and quoting him now. He said I'm starting to think they won't even be able to encircle Kyiv more now on the battle and the day from CNN's Matthew Chance.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The aftermath of fierce fighting east of the Ukrainian capital was delivered. This is what you get when you invade Ukrainian land the narrator says. The Russian forces attempt to encircle Kyiv Ukrainian military says it's defeated an entire regiment of Russian tanks and liquidated its commander.
Drone video captured the armored column in the city of - being attacked and destroyed the latest battlefield win what is proving for now to be a determined Ukrainian stand. But on the diplomatic front stalemate, despite the highest level talks since this Russia Ukraine conflict began foreign ministers meeting in the Turkish City of Antalya. Ukrainian officials tell CNN, the Russian side appeared unwilling or unable to make a deal.
DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY: We also raised the issue of a ceasefire 24 hour ceasefire to resolve the most pressing humanitarian issues. We did not make progress on this since it seems that there are other decision makers for this murder in Russian.
CHANCE (voice over); It's these gut wrenching scenes in the Ukrainian City of Mariupol, provoking wide international school maternity hospital devastated by Russian forces. According to Ukrainian officials, killing at least three people inside including a child horrific images are circulating like this one of pregnant women blooded in the attack.
Still, the Russian Foreign Minister is insisting this was a legitimate strike on a far right Ukrainian militia, the - battalion, not a war crime.
SERGEI LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: At the meeting of the UN Security Council, 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 the nurses out of it.
CHANCE (voice over): But in cities across Ukraine, trapped civilians are desperately escaping the fighting. These are the latest scenes from Irpin north of Kyiv, where the city's Mayor says nearly half the population has already fled with no peace inside. Ukraine's capital is empty as Russian forces advance.
COOPER: That was Matthew Chance in Kyiv reporting for us. Joining us now from the Netherlands CNN's Natasha Bertrand who has new reporting tonight on the state of the battle as seen from the air Natasha you flew in one of the NATO planes earlier that was conducting a surveillance mission. Where was that and would you see?
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. So we flew in a NATO aircraft that was conducting a surveillance mission over the Polish Ukrainian border, kind of looking at what the Russian activity was in Ukrainian airspace.
And what they saw is that there are a lot of Russian made aircraft that have been taking off from Belarus and entering Ukrainian airspace in order to support those Russian military operations.
The NATO airmen who were on board today told us that they have seen in the last week or so last two weeks since this invasion began, that the vast majority of the Russian made aircraft that is entering Ukrainian airspace to enter this fight is in fact coming from Belarus really driving home just how important Belarus has been to Russia. To help them sustain this conflict. Take a listen to what one NATO technician told me today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you do see activity coming from Belarus going into the Ukraine, but we cannot distinguish whether it is a Russian or Belarusian aircraft. Sometimes there are some periods on the day, which are not on a regular basis where we do have a lot of activity getting in like a larger package with 10 to perhaps 20 aircraft coming in from the Belarusian airspace into Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERTRAND: So interestingly Anderson, they cannot tell via their radar, actually, who is operating this Russian made aircraft, right? The Russians and the Belarusians use the same types of fighter jets. And so therefore, it is unclear whether the Russians or the Belarusians have actually been entering Ukraine. But what is clear is that these missions have been flown into Ukraine in order to support the Russian military operations there, Anderson.
COOPER: All the intelligence that NATO is gathering is they sharing it with Ukraine?
BERTRAND: They're sharing it with NATO allies in real time, and those NATO allies then have, at their discussion, the intelligence that they can then provide to Ukraine directly. So NATO as a block obviously has been very reluctant to reveal that it is in any way, providing weaponry or intelligence to Ukraine because they do not want to be seen by Russia as having entered the conflict here.
But what they told us today when we asked about this intelligence getting to Kyiv, they said that look, all we can tell you is that this is going to our NATO allies, and then it has that is at their discussion, what they want to do with that intelligence.
Of course, the United States and the UK had been very forthright saying that they have been providing such intelligence directly to Ukraine Anderson.
COOPER: Natasha Bertrand, I appreciate it. Thank you. Joining us now is Ian Bremmer, President of the Eurasia Group. His latest book out May 17th titled "The power crisis: how three threats and our response will change the world".
Mr. Bremmer, I know you think Vladimir Putin won't stop until he has taken control of Kyiv and President Zelenskyy is toppled given the resiliency of Ukrainians and Zelenskyy himself has shown how do you see - what do you see the next stages of this, this battle being?
IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, EURASIA GROUP: Well, the next stages are that the Ukrainians are still going to occupy a lot of Ukraine. And they're going to have incredible support, economic, diplomatic and military support from all of NATO, which means that Putin is still going to have a significant fight on his hands.
I mean, the big problem here, Anderson, is that even if Kyiv is taken, and Zelenskyy is overthrown, the fact is, the Putin will be in radically worse position, politically inside his own country, economically in terms of how Russia is doing.
And also geopolitically, especially in Europe, which was supposed to be why he invaded Ukraine to begin with. There's no circumstance under which Putin looks like a winner here. And therefore, it's really hard to figure out any way for him to climb down for negotiations to work.
COOPER: If Vladimir Putin forces I mean, do occupy Kyiv, occupy Kharkiv, you know, there was that old saying in Iraq for about U.S. forces if you break it - I think was Colin Powell's phrase, you break it, you buy it, and you bought it.
It's going to be a huge drain on Russia, to have a suddenly now be an occupier in Ukraine, let alone a guerrilla struggle against the occupier. But just economically dealing with what do you do with Ukraine once you've taken charge of it?
BREMMER: I think it's pretty clear that Putin's original intention was that the Ukrainians were going to fall pretty quickly. He wasn't going to have to kill many civilians at all. He wasn't targeting them in the early days, let's be clear, and he'd be welcomed as the liberator.
We've heard that before, of course, and not just for the Russians. But that is not in any way. The way this is going right now. And so you're, of course very right that he can take Kyiv, but it's not like he's one Ukraine not at all.
It's not like he's able to reestablish the Russian Empire and become Putin the Great, that's not where this is heading. But it's also very hard to imagine that Putin's going to be forced out domestically, at least not anytime soon which means that if you ask me how this looks when it's over my response is what do you mean over Anderson?
There's no time soon that you can imagine that either the sanctions are being removed, or Putin feels like he's in a stable situation, or that we can look forward to even a frozen conflict on the ground in Ukraine.
The Ukrainians aren't going to suddenly say, OK, we're done. And we'll just sit in a rump of the West of the country, while Putin and his forces occupy the rest of it. That's just not on me. The very best scenario here looks to be a minimum of 5 million Ukrainian refugees, and another 35 to 40 million that are occupied directly by a brutal Russian force. That's not stability going forward.
COOPER: Especially 35 million people who hate the occupier. And I mean, with a burning passion, understandably and seem more than capable of maintaining an ongoing - fight, whether it's in cities or in the countryside.
BREMMER: See more than willing and of course, a big part of the problem is that information warfare, which is being one in extravagant fashion, by Zelenskyy all over the world, and so there's going to be an enormous amount of willingness to continue to support the Ukrainians, from the west, from NATO, from Europe, from the United States.
And yet, inside Russia, the average Russian believes that this is a war that is being fought unfairly by the Ukrainians that the Russians have had genocide perpetrated by them again, fake news, by the Ukrainians on the ground in the Donbas.
That the reason the Russian economy is collapsing is because of NATO. It's really hard. We've seen a tiny bit of this in our own United States, Anderson, this is that times 100 for the Russians, vis-a-vis Ukraine, and with that kind of completely different information circle by the Russians and by the rest of the world. How do you possibly bring these two sides together?
COOPER: Yes, Ian Bremmer, I appreciate you being with us. Thank you so much.
BREMMER: Always good to see you.
COOPER: Coming up next report from Mariupol city under siege running out of virtually everything according to reports that people need to survive Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark joins us. And later live reports from Poland where refugees just keep arriving there's only seen on can we're telling their stories ahead.
COOPER: Welcome back! Live from Ukraine late tonight Ukraine's President had this to say about the encircled and besieged City of Mariupol.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: No matter what we will try constantly we will continue to try to bring to Mariupol aid that people so desperately need Ukrainians need.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, the need in Mariupol is beyond extreme CNN's Phil Black has more.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When you hear Ukrainian city is under siege, cut off and under bombardment by Russian forces. This is what that means. No one knows how many people have been killed in Mariupol. But it's too many to allow the care and dignity that usually comes with death.
Relatively few images have escaped Mariupol since the siege began. These were captured by AP Photo Journalist - who says he saw around 70 bodies buried in this trench over two days. They arrived wrapped in whatever people could find in use plastic bags even covered.
And this shows why it's likely there are many more married people suffering from above, before and after satellite images reveal extraordinary devastation in commercial and shopping areas residential neighborhoods too.
Russian munitions are steadily wiping out this city. It's already unlivable. There is no food, water or power made up of person, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says a child in Mariupol has died of dehydration, probably for the first time since the Nazi invasion.
During a meeting in Turkey, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister says he asked his Russian counterpart for a humanitarian corridor to allow people to leave Mariupol.
KULEBA: Unfortunately, Minister Lavrov was not in a position to commit him to it, but he will correspond with respective authorities.
BLACK (voice over): That means Sergei Lavrov has to ask his boss, but Russia's top diplomat was comfortable repeating Russia's explanation for bombing a maternity hospital in Mariupol on Wednesday. The Russian version says there were no patients or staff in these buildings, just soldiers.
This was the reality captured in the moments immediately after the blast. And obviously pregnant woman is stretched from the side. Another hurt, bleeding walks out carrying what she can. Russians often honor the bravery and determination shown by their own citizens who were besieged by Nazi forces in the Second World War. Now Russia is inflicting that same suffering on the people of Mariupol, Phil Black CNN, and London.
COOPER: Let's get some perspective on these Russian siege tactics. Joining us Retired Army Four Star General and Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark General Clark thanks for being with us!
You saw Phil Black's report these just horrific facts on Mariupol. I'm wondering what your reaction to this strategically is this simply to destroy any resistance in that vitally important town to the Russians so that they can move in without engaging in street by street combat.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: That's exactly right, Anderson, that is part of what they're doing. They don't have the skills, or the personnel to really do that urban fighting.
But this is also a campaign of intimidation and terrorism. And what they want to do is use Mariupol as the example, to the rest of Ukraine and to the world to show that Putin means what he says. He's going to take it no matter what the cost. He doesn't care about civilian casualties, or the rules of warfare or any humanitarian issues he wants.
He wants what he wants. He doesn't care how many people are killed; he's going to take it. And that coupled with the diplomatic discussions going on with Lavrov, today, just another example of how the Russians operate?
So the diplomatic discussions, I raised hopes in the West, they forestall decisive action by NATO member states and other states. They slow things down with the UN. They give the Russians more time to put the squeeze on. And they also put the pressure on Zelenskyy to explain well, why didn't he or why is he allowing this to continue?
This is all part of an integrated Russian strategy run by Vladimir Putin. This shows the four this is a foretaste of what could happen to Kyiv, if we don't provide the support that's needed and provide that support in the immediate future. I hear a lot of discussions about well, maybe there'll be a guerrilla campaign and things like this.
Yes, that's a great excuse for not providing the support. There have been campaigns of guerrilla warfare for centuries in Ukraine, the last after the Second World War; it was quickly shut, shut down. The Russians aren't us. They don't have human rights, courts of law, they just arrest people shoot them or disappear.
So we shouldn't expect that if Kyiv falls, there's going to be a great wall of resistance that lasts forever and bogs Putin down in Ukraine, it's not going to be that way. These people that are left behind will either dominate or there'll be eliminated.
Look, Anderson, in 2015, when Russia was going into Syria, I heard people in the White House saying, well, let him have the quagmire in Syria, you know, he can't do anything with it. Wrong, Russia's in Syria now. And Israel, our ally that we've done so much for 70 years, won't support us and what we're doing in Ukraine, because they consider Russia occupying Syria as their northern neighbor, and they're afraid.
So don't underestimate the consequences. If we don't provide Ukraine, the military support it needs now, you know, we've had a big and - about this, about these Polish MIGs. We, we just the no fly zone, look what I'm not only inside of things in the Pentagon, I can't tell you what all gives and takes are.
But I will tell you this; there are ways to get significant assets in to help Ukraine. And we must not think that we can somehow let this country slip away and be unaffected by it. The strongest way to defend NATO now is to support Ukraine. It's a stronger opponent against Russia than anything we've got.
And if we let Ukraine slide away and lose cave and Zelenskyy goes, China's watching Taiwan's there, there are other NATO countries that are vulnerable, and America's credibility is on the line. And also the rules based international system is on the line, the place to defend that system is here and now in Kyiv and somehow our military, political leaders got to find a way to do it.
They have got to take the risks, got to keep them in the conflict against Russia. If we do that it is wonderful.
COOPER: It's an interesting perspective and an important one that you say the difference is, you know, when you're fighting a guerrilla against a guerrilla force, if you have - if you don't care about a civilian population, if you don't care about overreacting and just eliminate everybody, it's much harder, it's much easier to defeat a guerrilla force than it is when you have different concerns and concerns about killing innocent civilians. General Clark, I appreciate your time tonight thank you.
Ahead a live update on the mass exodus to escape the war in Ukraine, the latest on the growing refugee crisis from the Polish border next.
COOPER: More than 2 million people have now fled Ukraine in the last two weeks according to an estimate from the United Nations. Now the bulk of them around 1.5 million have made their way to neighboring Poland according to its president. There are also more than a million or so probably think 1.8 was last year I heard internally displaced people inside the country of Ukraine.
Those in Poland they all face very uncertain future including hundreds of thousands of children, number of them orphans. CNN's Sara Sidner is live in the Polish border with the very latest. How busy is the border right now just in the middle of the night?
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: You know, usually it's really busy but there does become a low and we're in that low right now as we wait there are buses lined up, ready for people to come but I want to give you some idea it is negative six degrees, it is incredibly cold.
And I want to show you what's happening because this is one of the scouts' organizations in Poland. They've set up a little tent so that people can be inside put their luggage inside and get warm if you will, I mean not that warm but at least out of the elements.
And then there are people here who have been helping out Anderson and they are giving aid and they're literally living in the tents. They're staying overnight so that when more refugees come flooding in, they will be able to help them and give them medical aid if needed.
I do want to mention that the children because you mentioned them and it is so difficult to see them. We have seen infants being cradled by their mothers. We have seen you know five six seven year olds who are just standing here in line for hours and we have seen every buddy up to you know 17, 18 year olds who are here with their families.
And each one of them has a different story about what they've experienced. We have also talked to a woman who cares for foster kids and orphans, who were orphans and foster kids in Ukraine and suddenly were faced with war. This is just a bit of what she says she experienced when she knew that war had come to their town.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was around 4 am I woke my husband up and told him --. This is war. We started to seal the windows two children started to scream, I was trying to calm him, look at me breathe, we're going to seal the windows, and everything is under control. Now, we need you to stop the panic and help us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: She was with one of those foster children. And you know the child was terrified hearing these huge blasts. And she says, look, we are trained because she as a psychologist for the SOS Children's Village said we are trained that war and sexual abuse she said are the two worst things for children.
They take care of children from all different backgrounds, including those who had been abused in many different ways and those who have lost their parents altogether. Those children we met them and I have to tell you, Anderson, you know they were playing like kids.
But one of them struck me he kept playing with this little ambulance and you could hear him going - over and over and over again. It just It broke my heart Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Sara Sidner, so glad you're there thank you. Just ahead, it is the side of the worst nuclear disaster in history. Moments ago, we learned that Chernobyl now in the hands of the Russians, is worrying Ukrainian officials. Once again, we have details on that coming up.
COOPER: Welcome back! We're live in Lviv, Ukraine. Ukrainian officials now telling the International Atomic Energy Agency that it has lost communications with the now Russian controlled Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which just a day ago, that official said power had been disconnected.
Now there are reports the Russians have restored power, but the IAEA says it cannot confirm that. It also says the loss of power "Will not have a critical impact on essential safety functions". I'm joined now by Michio Kaku, Nuclear Expert and Physics Professor at the City University of New York.
So Professor we obviously have no way of confirming at this point whether power has been restored to the Chernobyl site. The IAEA says even Kyiv has lost communications with the power plant. When you look at the situation, what are you most concerned about at this point?
MICHIO KAKU, NUCLEAR EXPERT: Well, I think potentially this is a disaster waiting to happen. Realize that there are several 100 tons, several 100 tons of high level nuclear waste stored on site from four nuclear power plants. And this is a warzone.
Imagine what happens if a shell goes off course instead of heating an orphanage or a hospital. It is one of the spin coupons. At that point cooling water could be lost temperatures begin to rise, the rise could be polarized and then you would have Chernobyl 2.0.
And just remember that throughout Europe, there's panic buying now of anti-radiation pills. They're fake of course. But in Belgium, in Finland and other countries people are lining up to buy these fake anti-radiation pills because they remember they remember what happened back in 1986.
And so the fact that the Ukrainian government has lost contact with reactor is a very bad sign because we are now operating blind. We don't know what's happening on site?
COOPER: I should point out there are air raid sirens going off now and you hear that automated voice telling people to seek shelter. This is the first time we really had air raid sirens in the last several days here in Lviv. There haven't been direct attacks on Lviv during this conflict.
So there's a little unusual just to hear the sirens in the first time, as I said in several days. Ukraine's Foreign Ministry Professor says that the plants backup generators can only run for 48 hours now the cooling system stopped running. He says radiation leaks would be imminent. I mean, that sounds are that alarmist is that realistic?
KAKU: Well, in the best case scenario, it is alarmist in the sense that they are old. The fuel rods are 20 years old, radiation levels have dropped. However, that was a best case scenario. In a worst case scenario, there could be fires, there could be a firefight shells could go off course and land in a spent fuel pond.
The spent fuel pond is ground zero for a nuclear accident. If a hand grenade or a shell goes off, it could shatter these spent fuel ponds, which were never designed to handle a wartime situation. At that point, cooling water is lost. At that point, temperatures begin to rise, these rods could be pulverized.
And then nuclear waste could then be lofted into the environment and vaporize and dust form. And then we're talking about a nuclear accident of enormous proportions. But then again, then again, that is a worst case scenario.
COOPER: Now according to the IAEA, some 210 workers are being held hostage at Chernobyl, they're reportedly being forced to work at gunpoint in difficult conditions or horrible conditions, limited access to medicine. What does that mean for the upkeep of nuclear safety?
KAKU: That's a very bad indication because you want people who are alert, who can sense emergency situations as they occur. These people have not gotten sleep. They've been working under the gun, as you mentioned, and they're not in top physical form. And they don't want to be there.
In fact, their loved ones are perhaps being killed or sent over to other countries. They don't want to be there. And so I think that's what very dangerous situation because you have to have top people monitoring these things especially in wartime to make sure that the spent fuel ponds are not affected and are not compromised in any way whatsoever.
So that's a very bad indication.
COOPER: Ukrainian officials are raising alarm so for the IAEA has downplayed the potential for major accident. How do you square those two reactions?
KAKU: Well, the IAEA based in Vienna is a branch of the UN. They're trying to give you the best case scenario that everything goes according to plan, and then the situation calms down, because they don't want people to panic. So they're taking the best case scenario. But remember, this is war time, people are dying, that there are fires breaking out there are mortars and hand grenades going off in the vicinity of Chernobyl. And so the Ukrainians I think, are taking a more realistic and practical point of view, saying that things could go wrong. And if things go wrong, then all bets are off. If you have an explosive taking place to spend fuel upon nuclear waste will escape.
COOPER: Yes, Professor, I appreciate your time. Michio Kaku, thank you so much. I spoke by the way the building we're in now they also have an automated system that is now said people should seek shelter downstairs. This is one of those things that people in Lviv face.
Given the fact there has not been a direct attack here it's very difficult to be able to kind of gauge is this just, you know, an aircraft that happened to be coming by or some sort of reason the alarms went off, usually they turn out to be nothing so far. So people kind of weigh the difficulty of getting down to a shelter or staying where they are. It is the middle of the night here after all.
I spoke with one composer here in Lviv who escaped from Kyiv as the assault in the capital escalates. See how here - how he's using his gift of music here to try to help others who storming in.
COOPER: Well, for many here music has been a comfort amid this war from the singing and shelters to playing piano for refugees as they cross over the border. Music has been a beacon of hope for many, including a man named Alexey Shmurak who is using his gift of music to try and help Ukrainians.
COOPER (voice over): It's rare these days that Alexey Shmurak can lose himself in his music. The Ukrainian Composer he recently left Kyiv for the relative safety of Lviv.
COOPER (on camera): How are you doing?
ALEXEY SHMURAK, COMPOSER: I'm alive. And now it is a privilege.
COOPER (on camera): It's a privilege to be alive.
SHMURAK: Yes, it's a privilege to be alive. And it also it is a privilege to be in, you know, more or less normal mind.
COOPER (on camera): The ward takes over the mind and for some people.
SHMURAK: Yes. It's like, you know, very fast, apocalyptic changing of everything.
COOPER (voice over): Alexey is now organizing online concerts to raise money for Ukraine. COOPER (on camera): Is music a way of fighting for you?
SHMURAK: The music is a way of constructing and keeping me in some, you know some normal minds.
COOPER (on camera): Keeping you sane.
SHMURAK: Yes, me playing piano I feel like you know, it's like something like mysterious even religious because I feel like some power is connected with me.
COOPER (on camera): When you play you feel some power?
SHMURAK: Yes, some power. Yes, like me doing something with piano keys with harmonies, sounds and rhythms like it. It makes me more powerful and healthy.
COOPER (on camera): It gives you a feeling of control or power.
SHMURAK: Yes. You know, I understand that. This is like a very beautiful illusion, like, but if it helps, just use it.
COOPER (on camera): And it helped music helps you right now?
SHMURAK: Yes, I think so. I hope so.
COOPER (voice over): Music seems to help other people here as well. On Wednesday in Kyiv, the remnants of the classic Symphony Orchestra performed in Maidan Square. And over the weekend at the Polish border, a German man set up a piano playing music for refugees streaming across.
Alexey often taught and performed in Russia, but that was before the invasion changed everything.
COOPER (on camera): You would no longer work in Russia?
SHMURAK: I will not on the war but even visit Russia or places which Russia occupies or destroys like, you know Belarus and other things.
COOPER (on camera): Do you have relatives from your own family from Russia who support the war?
SHMURAK: Yes, unfortunately. Yes. So I mean, imagine killing Putin and changing Russian government. But what should we do with this people with millions of people that think that Ukraine is not real country that Ukrainians are not a real nation? What should we do with them?
COOPER (on camera): I mean, it is one of the remarkable things that families are divided that there are families, relatives in Russia who don't believe what is actually happening.
SHMURAK: It's even more dangerous. I unfortunately, I know a lot of people in Russia who supports even war against civilians.
[21:55:00] And they like wish death to their brothers, kids, and so on.
COOPER (voice over): There is no telling when or if Russia will turn its artillery toward Lviv. There's no telling how much longer music here will be played.
COOPER (on camera): The war can get much worse.
SHMURAK: I don't want to be like, like Cassandra, who's to say that everything will be worse and worse and then apocalypse. I don't want to be this person.
COOPER (on camera): You can't think like that.
SHMURAK: I don't know. I'm just afraid that I couldn't be right.
COOPER: He's afraid you could be right. We'll be right back.