Return to Transcripts main page

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

NY Times: "Tiger Team" Of U.S. National Security Officials Sketching Out Responses If Putin Uses Chemical, Biological Or Nuclear Weapons; Russian Oligarchs Face Increasing Social Backlash As Coordinated Sanctions And Seized Assets Pile Up; Sen. Booker Brings Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson To Tears. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 23, 2022 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: A significant part of the through line, in tonight's reporting, of the war, in Ukraine, is the performance of Ukrainian defenders, in the face of what initially were feared to be overwhelming odds.

Well tonight, with the war entering its second month, Ukrainian forces, as this outgoing fire, west of Kyiv demonstrates, are still holding their own, and then some.

According to a senior American defense official, they've actually pushed Russian troops, as much as 22 miles farther away, from Eastern Kyiv than just yesterday. And, according to NATO officials, may have taken the lives of as many as 15,000 Russian forces.

They have, of course, paid a large price, as well. More than 900 civilians have now died, according to the U.N., with that number expected to rise significantly. The number of military - excuse me, casualties is not clear. But it's said to be considerable, as the report, by Ivan Watson, in the last hour, from a Ukrainian cemetery, illustrated.

In addition, the Ukrainians remain significantly outgunned, especially in the air. But as CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports, now, Ukrainian pilots are more than answering the call.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Counted out, early in the war, but still going strong. Against all the odds, Russia has not managed to ground Ukraine's Air Force.

We spoke to fighter pilot Andriy, who was in an undisclosed location, and hiding his identity, for safety reasons.

ANDRIY, SU-27 PILOT, UKRAINE AIR FORCE (through translator): At first, Russian pilots dominated in quantity, of fighters, and newer equipment. Now, they're starting to refuse to fly, because we're shooting them down. We try to work with tactics. PLEITGEN (voice-over): Andriy says he flies an Su-27 air superiority fighter. This is video provided by the Ukrainian Military, of the same model, an older plane, but one that's still effective.

ANDRIY (through translator): I shot down Russian planes. Unfortunately, I cannot say which, and how many, and how exactly I shot them down. Air-to-air missiles, ground-to-air missiles were repeatedly fired at me.

There was a flight when we flew three against 24. It means our three fighters repelled the attack of their 24 aircraft.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): It's impossible for us to verify those claims. But, during our interview, we heard what seemed to be a Ukrainian jet taking off.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): Andriy says the U.S. helped teach him, and his fellow airmen, how to beat the Russians.

ANDRIY (through translator): We have our tactics. We conducted the Clear Sky exercise, with our American friends. We now are using some of the tactics, we learned, from the Americans.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): The U.S. and its allies initially believed Russia would own the skies, over Ukraine, just days after their invasion.

But the spokesman, for Ukraine's Air Force says they were ready.


YURI IGNAT, UKRAINE AIR FORCE SPOKESMAN (through translator): We've been preparing, for this scenario, for eight years. It cannot be said that our Military did not think this would not happen. We've destroyed 100 aircraft, and 123 helicopters, already.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): A lot of Russian aircraft have been taken down, by shoulder-launched missiles, supplied by Western allies. But the Ukrainians also still operate longer-range systems, like the S-300.

The Air Force spokesman says, Ukraine wants Western missiles, and U.S. jets.

IGNAT (through translator): I'm talking about NATO Integrated Air Defence Systems, an F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon. They may be unused or decommissioned ones. But they could serve the Ukrainian Military.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): For Andriy, the battle, for the skies, over Ukraine, is personal. Both his mother, and his wife, are helping in the effort, to fend off the Russians, he says, and that he too is willing to sacrifice.

ANDRIY (through translator): Everyone's afraid of being killed. It's one thing to die with honor. Another thing is to die without honor.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): The U.S. has said Ukraine's Air Force remains largely intact, and combat-ready. The battle for the skies, another area, where this outgunned nation, is persevering, against all odds.


COOPER: Fred Pleitgen joins us now, from Kyiv.

I mean, it sounds like morale is high, among the Ukrainian pilots?

PLEITGEN: Yes. You know what? You're absolutely right, Anderson. I would certainly say that it is.

And one of the things that Andriy was saying, he said, at the beginning, obviously, you have the entire Russian Military, coming at you, with Russia's massive air force, and obviously some of the very modern planes that the Russians have.

And, of course, the Ukrainians feared that they would get destroyed, pretty quickly that all their airfields would get destroyed, and they wouldn't be able to operate. But they said, as time went on, they found out that yes, they did have a chance.

And one of the things that he kept pointing out, is he said the training that they had received, on flying, with the U.S., for instance, with that Clear Skies maneuver that they flew together, with the Americans, some of the trainings they got there, really helps them.

They say what they do now is they don't just fly, to try and go out and get the Russians. They analyze everything. They come up with a strategy. They don't get pulled into any sudden moves. And they say that's really increased their survivability. And, as time goes on, they say, they do feel more and more sure.

However, of course, one of the things we have to point out, the Russians have a lot more planes, have a lot more modern planes. And there is, of course, big attrition, also, among the Ukrainian Air Force, as well. So, while they're holding up now, they also say it's not something that's going to go on forever, unless, of course, they get some sort of help.

And we've been talking about, the U.S. has been talking about it, a no-fly zone here is obviously something that's not in the cards, currently. The Biden administration has pointed that out.

But the Ukrainians are saying they believe that they need jets, in some way, shape, or form, in order to keep up the job that they're doing, right now, which so far has been pretty successful, Anderson.

COOPER: Fred Pleitgen, appreciate it. Thank you.

Next to CNN's Ben Wedeman, someone, who's covered conflicts, to a degree that very few reporters have. And been grateful for that experience, many times over the years. He's in Lviv. It's good to have you with us, Ben, tonight. Thank you.

We've had a lot of conversations, like this, over the years, about conflicts. What are your impressions, of what we have seen, thus far, in Ukraine, of where the war is?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, let me preface what I have to say with this. As a child, and then as a journalist, I've covered or lived through about two dozen wars. I covered the bloodbath that was Iraq, the slaughterhouse that was Syria, where we've seen more than half a million people killed.

But what makes this conflict different, is the danger, it poses, to becoming something much wider. You have two major powers, the U.S. and Russia, on opposite sides. The proximity of this war to NATO is - poses huge dangers, the implications of this conflict.

And, of course, I've covered the Middle East, for many years. And, for instance, it's now planting season, in the Ukraine, for wheat and other grains. Countries in the Middle East depend on grain from Ukraine and Russia to survive. If the wheat isn't planted, you could have bread riots, across the Middle East.

If you thought we had supply chain problems, as a result of COVID, this war will dwarf what we've seen, after COVID. So really, it's just the scale and the potential danger of this conflict that really sets it apart, from all the other conflicts, I've covered, or lived through, Anderson.

COOPER: I mean, you've also seen what Russia is capable of, through proxy forces, or directly through their own forces. And that's obviously weighs over all the options, and what may happen next, from the Russian side.


WEDEMAN: Yes. And all you have to do is speak to anybody, in Syria, who's been, on the receiving end, of Russian firepower, or firepower, used by close allies, of the Russians, the Syrian regime. And it is brutal. It is indiscriminate. And it's just - it's hell on earth, if you think of what happened, in places, like Aleppo, a city I used to live in.

And, I think, people in the Middle East, who have experienced this, are watching closely, what's happening in Ukraine, and saying, "Deja vu!"

COOPER: CNN's Ben Wedeman, I really appreciate it, tonight. Thank you, Ben. Appreciate it.

Joining us now CNN Military Analyst and retired Army Lieutenant General James "Spider" Marks. Also, former Defense Secretary, William Cohen.

General Marks, a senior U.S. defense official said today that Russian forces are, quote, "Digging in," and they're establishing defensive positions, to the northwest of Kyiv city center. We've seen that with artillery pieces.

Strategically, what does that tell you? And do you think Ukrainian forces are going to be able to keep control of Kyiv?

MAJOR. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET.), U.S. ARMY, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, what it tells you is that the Russian offensive has stalled. We've been kind of describing that, for a couple of days. They're in transition to a defensive position, which is really giving the Ukrainian forces, an opportunity, to take the fight, to the Russians.

The longer question truly is, can Ukrainians continue to hold Kyiv? The short answer is, in the short-term, absolutely, when you look at the aggregate weight of all the logistics and command and control problems that the Russians are experiencing. So, the Ukrainians have reestablished the initiative.

And that will inject that force, the Ukrainian forces, with enthusiasm, and a real desire, beyond what they've already demonstrated. And it certainly gives the citizens of Kyiv some breathing space.

COOPER: Secretary Cohen, reporting, we had in the last hour, from the "New York Times," this evening, saying that the Biden administration has assembled "Tiger Teams," they call them, at the White House, from all different branches of government, to kind of game out what would happen, if in the event that Russia did use a chemical or biological or even a nuclear option, in Ukraine.

How significant - how important are those kind of meetings? And also, I mean, if there is, say, a chemical attack, which might be the most obvious, or the most likely, what are the options, to respond to that?

WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: Well, I listened, to Ben Wedeman, just a moment ago. And he pointed out the danger that we're now all facing.

To the extent that the Russians decide to use chemical weapons, I think, they will have crossed a threshold, not to mention the nuclear issue, which I'll talk about, in a moment.

But to the extent that they were to use chemical weapons, on the Ukrainian people, I think they've crossed a threshold, at that point, where it's not just NATO that should be concerned about this. But every country in the world needs to be concerned about what Putin himself is doing.

To the extent he uses chemical weapons, what is our reaction? That's what the Tiger Team is trying to plan out now, to war-game it out, so to speak. What would be our level of discomfort, if he were to do that? How many people would he then kill? How do we see that?

All of these questions would then appeal to the emotional reaction, of those, in the West. And the question is, what do we do?

Would we then in turn, say, "Well, under these circumstances, I guess, we're going to start providing aircraft, to the Ukrainian Air Force, to make sure they get control of the skies." What other things can we do to really impose punishment, on the Russians?

But I really believe this, for some time, we have come to the point, where there needs to be some outside intervention. There is no one that's going to go to Putin, in the Russian chain of command, and say, "Mr. President, you made a mistake."

And so, he's sitting at a desk, which gets longer, and longer, every day. And they may have to add a wing on, to the Kremlin, to make it even longer, in the future, to keep people away from him. And so, that is a very dangerous point, in time, as well.

But we need outside help, from the Russians - the Chinese, and the Indians, the two big powers that either buy weapons, from Russia, or buy oil, from Russia. They need to intervene, and get to Mr. Putin, to say, "This can't go on because you're endangering us."


COHEN: As well as.

COOPER: General Marks, U.S. and NATO officials have believed that Belarus could soon join Russia, in its war, against Ukraine. How would - I mean, would that really impact the battlefield that much? Do you know much about the Belarus forces?

MARKS: I don't think it would impact it at all. In fact, it may be a negative value, to the Russian forces.


Look, the Belarusian forces are not very large. They're not sophisticated. Their equipment is older generation, older tanks, older infantry fighting vehicles. They have less than about 50,000 forces.

Granted, we had this great media show, about six weeks ago, where the Russians and the Belarusians were training together, we have no clue what that looked like. Was that really coalition warfare, with combined arms, in a joint force? It wasn't.

And so, if you were to inject Belarusian forces, into this fight, I would think that the Russian forces, the primary concern, they'd have is, "We're going to get shot by these Belarusians."

This is a significant concern. And so, if Belarusians are going to be injected, if I was a Russian commander, I would start very, very precise planning, and demarcation, and unit separation, because I'd be concerned, about what these guys would bring to the fight.

COOPER: Secretary Cohen, I just want to ask you about former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She died today, it was announced.

COHEN: Right.

COOPER: You served together, obviously, in the Clinton administration. How do you think she should be remembered?

COHEN: Well, I knew Secretary Albright, for almost 50 years. And we were very, very close friends. I knew her, as a woman, of great passion, intelligence, commitment to democracy.

She and I helped to edit a study that was done, under the Institute of Peace, and the National Holocaust Museum, here, in Washington, preventing genocide, and going through, and analyzing, what has taken place, in the past, and how we tried to prevent it, going forward.

Well, we're seeing almost a classic case of what Putin is doing, at this point, by leveling cities. He's driven out 10 million people, out of their homes, who have no place to go. And so, I would remember her, as a fierce advocate, for democracy.

And I would say, she's also a happy warrior. She loved what she was doing. And frankly, I loved being in her company, and sharing evenings, with her, here at home, with our families. She was an extraordinary woman, and has made a great contribution, to diplomacy, in this country.

COOPER: Yes, an extraordinary arc, to her life, as well.

Secretary Cohen, thank you. General Marks, as well. Appreciate it.

Coming up next, a closer look at how President Biden's years of foreign policy experience, could inform his approach, to the crisis, today, with the NATO summit, on Ukraine, getting underway. We'll be joined by two writers, deeply versed, on the man, in this moment.

And later, with the yachts of Russians, being seized, and new sanctions in the offing, the question is, is any of it making them feel squeezed enough, to pressure Vladimir Putin? That and more ahead.



COOPER: With the war, in Ukraine, entering its second month, and concerns about what might happen next, deep enough, to call for an emergency NATO meeting, tomorrow, it's hard to overestimate the stakes, in the coming hours, in Brussels, or in the days and weeks ahead, for the region.

Into the crisis comes President Biden, who has certainly experienced the flavor, of such moments, before, as a Vice President, and before that, as a long-serving senator.

Wanted to talk about the President, and this moment, with Susan Glasser, CNN Global Affairs Analyst, and Staff Writer, at "The New Yorker." Also, CNN Contributor, Evan Osnos, who's written a biography, of the President, "Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now."

Susan, how consequential, is this summit, for the President? SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: Yes. Anderson, I just, I've been racking my brain, to think of what's even an example, of a comparable moment, for a recent U.S. president, in going into a summit, with allies, with war, literally, on the borders of NATO itself.

And I think it's almost, without a script, you have to reach back, perhaps, to George W. Bush, and 9/11, and the aftermath of that, in terms of the consequence of the kind of decisions that President Biden has to make, right now.

And again, I'm struck by the fact that he's just been insistent, throughout this crisis, in making alliances, and partnership, with Europe, the foundation of his approach, to Russia, in this crisis. So, it's probably the most important moment, I can think of.

COOPER: Evan, President Biden ran, in part, on his foreign policy credentials. It's really something he prides himself on.

It was interesting, because early on, he was being criticized, in this, in the run-up, to the invasion, for not being proactive enough. And yet, in the end, his ability to bring a unified NATO, to bear, in the conflict, has certainly, I mean, it's been working. The unification has surprised Russia!

EVAN OSNOS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, AUTHOR, "WILDLAND: THE MAKING OF AMERICA'S FURY": Yes. I think that is the name of the game now, unification.

Because the longer this goes on, the more important it becomes, to shore up this unity, this sense of unanimity, across, let's face it, 30-member states. And there is this natural tendency, to say, "Well, the United States needs to be out front, always out front."

And that has to be balanced with something that Joe Biden has believed, for a long time, which is that, in a case like this, you have to let the European politicians, the European leaders, talk to their own people, on their own terms, explain to them why it is that they think this is important.

If the United States is seen to be sort of leading them around, that actually generates more resistance, than it does cooperation. So, what you're likely to see, over the next couple of days, is an effort, like that, to try to make it clear that this is as much a European initiative, as much an initiative, of U.S. allies, as it is simply something, coming out of Washington.

COOPER: Susan, do you think he can continue to keep NATO partners unified?

GLASSER: I mean, look, there are different interests here. You already see different approaches. Germany, not only has been historically more reliant, on Russian gas supplies, for example.

But even, just today, you saw the Chancellor of Germany, saying, "Well, wait a minute. We're not going to ban Russian energy imports, to Germany, right now, because that would be too punitive, on the German people." And that's a very different approach than some of the other NATO allies, and the United States, itself.


So, there are fissures, and you'll see Russia working to exploit them. That's a playbook, right out of the Soviet era, in which there was years of very effectively dividing, Western Europeans, from the United States.

But we're still in the shock moment, I think, of just one month, into this war. It's a crisis that has revealed a lot of business that Europe preferred to ignore, a lot of problems with Russia that they chose not to fix.

And so, I think, in this crisis moment, there's still the opportunity, probably to change course, for President Biden, and to move the Europeans more than he might have been able to do, earlier.

COOPER: Evan, though, in terms of options, I mean, they - I'm not sure how many more sort of sanctions, or what the next step would be, for trying to ratchet up the pressure, on Russia.

OSNOS: Yes. Part of this, Anderson, is about not just the short-term. And you will see some measures to address that. But it's also about the long-term.

It's about coming to grips with a new reality, in which Russia has essentially exited the global system. The invasion of Ukraine was, in effect, the moment when they are no longer treated as a normal country.

And this meeting is partly about rallying the rest of the world, to say, "Look, we have to think about, where does our energy, come from? Beginning to find new sources, so we're not so reliant on Russia."

And most of all, making it clear that if they take the step towards unthinkable weapons that the rest of the world is ready to respond. It really is a new era. And Biden is there to signal as much.

COOPER: Yes. Evan Osnos, Susan Glasser, appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up next, a small Ukrainian sailing club, takes on a Russian oligarch's massive yacht. We'll discuss how this just one example, the kind of unwanted attention that sanctions have drawn, to the wealth of the Russian elite.



COOPER: We want to show you a video, we received, today, of an encounter, in Turkey, earlier this week. Shows a group, reported to be young Ukrainians, carrying Ukrainian flags, and "No War" signs, blocking a yacht, from docking. The yacht is reported to have ties, to one of the more high-profile Russian oligarchs, Roman Abramovich. Just one example of how the kind of attention, sanctions have drawn, to the wealth of these Russian elites.

I'm joined now by Brooke Harrington, Professor of Sociology, at Dartmouth University. Has written about the damage, the sanctions are doing, to Russian oligarchs. She's also the Author of "Capital Without Borders: Wealth Managers and the One Percent."

Brooke, thanks for joining us.

So, we saw that video, just played the Abramovich's yacht being protested. How much of a factor is social stigma, to these oligarchs?


And one of the ways you can tell is that even before Abramovich was sanctioned, anywhere, he was making big public noises, about not only selling his prized Chelsea Football Club, but donating the proceeds, to help Ukrainians. That's the act of a man, who is terrified of becoming a pariah.

COOPER: "The Wall Street Journal" is reporting that President Zelenskyy actually asked President Biden, and other allies, not to sanction Abramovich, because he could be a valuable go-between, with Russia, during talks.

Do you think something like - a gambit like that, if it's true, could actually be effective, at getting Vladimir Putin's ear? How much power do these oligarchs still have?

HARRINGTON: I don't think the oligarchs have the power to tell Vladimir Putin what to do. That's not their role.

But I trust that President Zelenskyy knows what he's doing. And I imagine, if I could try to put myself in his shoes that he might find Abramovich, a useful go-between, to Putin, almost like a cultural translator.

Because Abramovich has lived, a long period now, in the West. And he might be able to sort of translate this thing that seems very hard for Putin to understand, which is why this group of people, he considers Russians, that is the Ukrainians, why would they want to join the E.U., why they want to be part NATO, why they want to live like a Western democracy, instead of like Russians?

COOPER: The oligarchs are obviously facing incredible financial pressure, abroad.

Can sanctions, you think, I mean, compel them, in any kind of way, to really change events, in Ukraine, or to try to affect Russian foreign policy? I mean, if you say - as you say, they don't really have much power, over Vladimir Putin? HARRINGTON: I think, the sanctions have a different function. I'm not sure anyone really believes that Putin is taking advice from Abramovich, or Deripaska, or any of his other oligarchs.

Rather, what the sanctions have functioned to do is two things. One is they've made Putin himself look weak, by causing a split, between him, and his right-hand men.

Because as soon as the sanctions were announced, you had people like Deripaska, and Mikhail Fridman, writing these very carefully-worded sort of mild public statements, saying, "Gosh, I really wish Russia weren't invading Ukraine, right now," stuff that wouldn't even bat an eyelash, in most Western countries, but which are a sign of almost incredible brazenness, and audacity, for one of Putin's oligarchs.

It shows that he has not kept an iron grip, on his men, so to speak. And that's deadly, to someone, who's trying to project an image, of being an all-powerful strongman. It shows he's not invincible.

COOPER: Are there--

HARRINGTON: The other thing--

COOPER: Sorry, go ahead.

HARRINGTON: The other thing is that, if you remember, from the Panama Papers, six years ago, one of the things, they showed was that Putin keeps a lot of his personal wealth, by proxy, in the names of these oligarchs, offshore.

So, it's very possible that these sanctions, which appear to be freezing and seizing the assets of oligarchs, are actually freezing and seizing the assets of Vladimir Putin, himself.

COOPER: Is it still easy for oligarchs, at this level, to hide their money? I mean, in a world, where these sanctions have been installed?

HARRINGTON: There are dozens of tax havens, in the world. And it's almost certain that some of them will be happy to roll out the red carpet, for Russian oligarchs' wealth.


However, one of the things that enables Russian oligarchs, to be influential, in the West, which is their entire purpose, is to have their money, in respectable places. Nobody wants to just be rich. They want to be rich and respectable.

So, these oligarchs, they want to be able to say, "Oh, yes, I have my Swiss wealth manager, and I have my holdings in Monaco." But now, they can't say that anymore, because those tax havens, are expelling Russian holdings, and contributing to the seizure and sanctioning of these oligarchs. It's like they've been expelled from paradise!

COOPER: Brooke Harrington, fascinating. Thank you, really appreciate it. After escaping Ukraine, with her family, one pianist is using the gift, of music, to inspire other refugees. CNN's Miguel Marquez has her story, next.


COOPER: As the city of Odessa was shelled, one pianist, fled Ukraine, and took her family to Romania. That's where she's using her talents, to lift the spirits, of other refugees.

Our Senior Correspondent, Miguel Marquez, is in Bucharest, with the story.




MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pianist Tetiana Shabaieva from Odessa.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Tonight, she's playing for Ukrainian refugees, like herself.

TETIANA SHABAIEVA, FLED ODESSA, UKRAINE: It's very important, I think, because it's a concert that I want to play, for people, and to give my energy.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Shabaieva fled, with her 13-year-old nephew, Nikita, who she's helping raise, her mother, and her 5-month-old daughter, Moniqueamily (ph).

SHABAIEVA: It was too much, for my baby's, too much, because she can't sleep, when it's all the time alarm. And there's bombarding.



SKRYPINIK: When you have bomb (ph), it's very scary.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): They left in a hurry, leaving everything, back home, in Odessa, an historical and strategically important city, on the Black Sea.

SHABAIEVA: Suddenly, I must take the some luggage, put - how I can put all my library that I keep all my life. I have a big library, in my apartment.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): In Bucharest, nearly two weeks now, Moniqueamily (ph) already doing better. SHABAIEVA: On campus (ph) that they have everything that I need for, for life. My baby start to sleep, my baby start to eat.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): But if not for her baby?

SHABAIEVA: But, you know, inside of me, is a fighting. Because if I would not have a baby, I would be, for sure, go and fighting.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Torn between family, and fighting for her country, for now, they're staying in what was the Romanian office, for Greenpeace.

MARQUEZ (on camera): What is it today?

CRISTIAN NEAGOE, GREENPEACE ROMANIA: Today, it's a place, for refugee moms, and their kids and, I don't know, a place, where they can feel safe.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Several organizations help manage about 100 refugees in 60, 6-0, different locations.

The Greenpeace refugee center is the hub. Putin's war of choice, the motivation.


MARQUEZ (on camera): Right.

MATAAESCU: How can we not be here, with open arms and doors?

MARQUEZ (on camera): It strengthens your resolve?


MARQUEZ (on camera): To help?

MATAAESCU: Yes. It's motivating us. Of course.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Yes, right.

MATAAESCU: From angriness, to kindness, somehow.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Shabaieva only had a few days to prepare. Still, each note struck emotion.


SHABAIEVA: Thank you for everyone, who've come, who're helping my country, me, my family, and many families, like I, and my family. Thank you very much.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Shabaieva discovered her hometown came under rocket attack, while she played, making the music more emotional, and the support here, all the sweeter.





Miguel, you've been in Romania now, for several weeks. Is the refugee situation changing there? And if so, how?

MARQUEZ: It is. When we first got here, there were just tons, 30,000 a day, coming across the border, into Romania alone. Now, it's down below 10,000, a day, even lower than that.

But the numbers that are here that were intense, in temporary places, they are now moving, to places, like Bucharest, looking for more permanent space, looking for permanent housing, education, jobs, all this, the healthcare, all this stuff that you need for, not just weeks to live in a place, but months, and possibly years.

That young man that you saw in the story, Nikita, he wants to be an engineer, and hopes to go back, someday, to Ukraine, to help rebuild the country.

I mean, that's the other thing that's interesting, is to talk to these refugees, and realize that if anything, Putin has brought the Ukrainians, together, and that sense of nationalism, belonging, place and home, has never been stronger.


MARQUEZ: Anderson?

COOPER: Miguel Marquez, appreciate it. Thank you.

Back in Washington, the confirmation hearings, for Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, are winding down.

But there were more attacks on the judge, on day three. We'll show you those, as well as the lighter moments, highlights, next.


KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: I take my responsibilities, not only--



COOPER: President Biden's historic Supreme Court nominee, finished answering questions, tonight, from senators, who will soon vote, on advancing her nomination.

Day three of confirmation hearings, for Ketanji Brown Jackson, shaped up to be very tense, at times, but also moving, for many in the room, including the nominee, herself.

CNN's Paula Reid has details.


PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, facing questions, from increasingly hostile Republican lawmakers.

BROWN JACKSON: That's not what I've said, Senator.

REID (voice-over): The hearing was often contentious.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): --to answer a question.


CRUZ: You can bang it as loud as you want!

REID (voice-over): Republican senators, once again, used significant portions, of their allotted time, to focus on Jackson's judicial record, in child pornography cases.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): You're a mother. You seem to be a very nice person. Are you aware of how many images are out there, on the internet, involving children, in sexually compromising situations?

REID (voice-over): Senator Graham repeatedly interrupted Jackson's attempts, to explain previous sentencing decisions.

BROWN JACKSON: No, Senator. I didn't say "Versus."

GRAHAM: That's exactly what you said.

To put their ass in jail. Not supervise their computer usage.

BROWN JACKSON: Senator, I wasn't talking about "Versus."

GRAHAM: You just said you thought it was a deterrent to supervise them. I don't think it's a deterrent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, would you let her respond?


BROWN JACKSON: Senator, every person, in all of these charts and documents, I sent to jail, because I know how serious this crime is. [21:50:00]

REID (voice-over): Senator Hawley's questions revealed Jackson's fatigue, with an issue that was relevant, only to a handful of cases, in her career.

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): You gave him three months. My question is, do you regret it or not?

BROWN JACKSON: Senator, what I regret is that in a hearing, about my qualifications, to be a Justice, on the Supreme Court, we've spent a lot of time, focusing on this small subset of my sentences.

REID (voice-over): Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, admonished his Republican colleagues, for their talking points, appearing to appeal to movements, like QAnon, which peddles false conspiracies, about Democrats and pedophiles.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): Your nomination turned out to be a testing ground, for conspiracy theories, and culture war theories.

CRUZ: And videos.

REID (voice-over): Cruz, Jackson's Harvard Law School classmate, made news, with his question, about the upcoming affirmative action case, going before the justices, next term, where Harvard is a defendant.

CRUZ: You're on the Board of Overseers of Harvard?


CRUZ: If you're confirmed, do you intend to recuse, from this lawsuit?

BROWN JACKSON: That is my plan, Senator.

REID (voice-over): Democratic lawmakers, again, using much of their time, to allow Jackson, to talk about her record, and the historic nature, of her nomination.

BROWN JACKSON: I do consider myself, having been born in 1970, to be the first generation, to benefit, from the Civil Rights Movement.

REID (voice-over): She wiped away tears, as she listened to Senator Booker.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): When that final vote happens, and you ascend onto the - onto the highest court in the land, I'm going to rejoice.


BOOKER: And I'm going to tell you, right now, the greatest country in the world, the United States of America, will be better, because of you.

(END VIDEOTAPE) REID: The committee is expected to vote, on advancing Jackson's nomination, on April 4, with a full floor vote, expected, before the Easter recess.

But, as of right now, it's not clear that Jackson will receive, any Republican support. Senator Cornyn says he's not inclined, to vote for her nomination. Senator Graham, who less than a year ago, voted to confirm her, as a Circuit judge, also appears a likely no-vote.

As for other potential Republican supporters, they either say, they're still thinking about it, or they won't say anything at all, meaning, Anderson, this could be one of the closest Supreme Court confirmation votes, in U.S. history.

COOPER: Paula Reid, appreciate it. Thank you.

Another night of intense bombardment, in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv. The sun will soon be rising there. And with each new day, comes the remarkable resilience, of Ukrainian people, who have not given up, their fight, for freedom. They're an inspiration, certainly. Want you to see something special, next.



COOPER: The Ukrainians are now four weeks, into this attack, on their country. Four weeks of fighting, and four weeks of dying, four weeks of fear, and of resolve. That resolve is something we have all witnessed firsthand. We've all seen it on our screens, all around the world.

A team from CNN Heroes put together a number of images, in recognition of the resolve that we have all been witnessing, to the tune of John Legend's "Never Break."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We came to volunteer because we know that it's our home here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Glory to Ukraine!


We got a good thing, babe Whenever life is hard We'll never lose our way 'Cause we both know who we are Who knows about tomorrow? We don't know what's in the stars I just know I'll always follow The light in your heart

I'm not worried about us And I've never been We know how the story ends

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a full-fledged war. And in a very difficult situation, we all resist, and we will continue to resist.


We will never break We will never break Built on a foundation Strong enough to stay We will never break As the water rises And the mountains shake Our love will remain

We will never




No, no, never We will never

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody wants to be independent, to be free.


No, no, never

The world is dangerous Throw it all at us There's nothing we cannot take



We will never break We will never break Built on a foundation Strong enough to stay

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do have hope. Trust me, we're not one.


We will never break

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are a lot of people fighting.

(JOHN LEGEND'S "NEVER BREAK") As the water rises And the mountains shake Our love will remain

We will never No, no, never We will never No, no, never We will never No, never We will never No We will never No, never We will No

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We will be defending our country, because our weapon is truth, and our truth is that this is our land, our country. This is what I wanted to tell you. Glory to Ukraine!


COOPER: If you're wondering how you can help the humanitarian situation, in Ukraine, you can go to

The news continues. Want to turn things over to Don, who's in Ukraine, tonight.