Return to Transcripts main page

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Ukraine: Russian Warship Docked In Southeastern Port Destroyed; Biden: NATO Has "Never Been More United"; North Korea Fires First Suspected Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Since 2017. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 24, 2022 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: There's new fighting, in and around Kyiv, tonight. A new video shows what it looks like, in some of the most hotly-contested territory, outside the city.

I want you to take a look at some drone video, from Irpin, which the Mayor tonight says is now 80 percent back, under Ukrainian control. That said, as you can see, from the damage, from days of bombardment, including heavy Russian rocket fire, today.

East of Kyiv, the aftermath of a battle that Ukrainian forces say, ended with three Russian tanks, and nine infantry fighting, either destroyed or captured. As one of the tanks crippled, its treads damaged.

A month, into the war, it is certainly not, as Russia's Foreign Ministry claimed today, in their words, "Going according to plan." Thousands of Russian troops know that. And sadly, so do millions of Ukrainian civilians.

CNN's Sam Kiley, joins us now, from Kyiv.

What were you learning, about this heavy fighting, in several directions, around Kyiv?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the most important and significant development, lately, Anderson, has been these claims, by the Ukrainian forces, to have enjoyed some success, in the east and - sorry, yes, the eastern side, the right hand side of the Dnieper River, just outside the satellite town of Brovary. That is the main suburb, if you like, on the eastern side of the river.

Now, this has been a heavily-contested area. It was the area that the Russians were expected to try to kind of attack their way in from about two weeks ago. But as part of the ongoing effort, being made, by the Ukrainians, to push them back, they have been fighting very hard there.

I was there, earlier on, today. There was this sounds, about eight or so miles away, of pretty heavy exchanges of fire. And that's on top of what we've been experiencing, here, in the center of Kyiv, which is seeing and, occasionally, even feeling the blasts, albeit from eight or so miles away, of fighting, around Irpin, in particular, but also Hostomel, and other towns, due north, and satellite towns of the capital.

And again, part of this ongoing effort, by the Ukrainians, to force the Russians back, away from the capital, and trying to establish a series of defensive lines, it hasn't all gone Ukraine's way.

There have been a lot of counter attacks, coming from the Russians, again, particularly, in Irpin. But they are claiming - the government side saying, the Ukrainian side saying that they control about 80 percent of Irpin.

But as you can see, from those pictures, what is left behind, is arguably almost not worth fighting over. And, of course, civilians also trapped in those areas, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Sam, just for our viewers, who have been following this closely, and correct me if I'm wrong, Irpin is the area that we had - that there was a collapsed bridge.

And we had seen Clarissa Ward, a week or two ago, out on the other side of that bridge, helping, along with others, as hundreds, if not thousands, of people, were fleeing Irpin.

And that's the same spot, where the next day, Lynsey Addario, from the "New York Times," took the photograph, of the family, who was killed, by the mortar attack, that was striking the very area, where those people were leaving.

They were leaving, from Irpin, correct?

KILEY: That's absolutely right, Anderson. Irpin, has been kind of not just symbolically, but also tactically, very important, for Kyiv.

It has been, you see there, those hundreds of people, hiding under a bridge that the Ukrainians destroyed, to prevent the Russians being able to cross, into the capital, with their heavy armor.


There was a family of four wiped out, where Lynsey Addario's photographs, and there's also a video, of course, that we showed at the time, and, of course, Clarissa's reporting for that, all added up to this very kind of iconic series of evacuations that have been going on.

But then, the Russians, effectively overran that whole area. But the river flooded, further preventing the Russians, being able to get further into Kyiv. And then, the Ukrainians have counterattacked.

And they've counterattacked with some force. And we've been seeing multiple rocket launching systems. And many, many of them firing this huge amount of furious ordnance, at the Russian positions, to the northern side of Irpin, allowing the Ukrainian infantry, to push in, on the ground.

And yesterday, they announced that they were even able to get police patrols into that city. Amazingly, though Anderson, 4,000 civilians still were living in that area, hiding in bunkers, hiding underground, hiding from Russian troops.

Because there have been reports, and we've been speaking to some people, who've been involved in that battle, privately, of civilians being deliberately shot by Russians, not just there. But also, we heard the same sort of thing in Brovary, when we were over in the hospital, there, earlier on, today.

So, you've got this ongoing big battle picture, in which Kyiv is being, to some extent, saved by the Ukrainians, getting back onto the front foot, regaining the momentum, pushing back, albeit with limited amounts of personnel, against the Russians.

And then, these individual stories of horror, and mayhem, coming, as a consequence, of the ongoing Russian policy, which we've seen on a spectacularly horrific scale, in Mariupol, and Kharkiv.


KILEY: Where today, for example, in Kharkiv, six people were killed, in an attack, on people queuing for food, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Sam Kiley, I appreciate it. Thank you, Sam. Stay safe.

More now on the state of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, and the larger attack, CNN's Phil Black filed this report. And warning, some of what you'll see is, of course, difficult to watch.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Russian Military says it's in control of this port. That fiercely burning ship suggests otherwise.

The landing vessel, Orsk, began exploding, in Berdiansk, not long after sunrise. Other boats and warships can be seen scrambling, to get away from the fire, as debris falls in the water, around them.


BLACK (voice-over): Ukraine says it destroyed the Orsk, and the fire spread to a weapons depot. Ukraine hasn't revealed what weapons it used to carry out the attack.


BLACK (voice-over): At Izium, fiercely fought over territory in the east, a local man inspects what's left of his city, pointing out bodies, when he sees them.


BLACK (voice-over): While shells continue to fall nearby.

Russia's Military says all this is in their control now. Ukraine says the fight for Izium isn't over.

Driving through Mariupol is an apocalyptic experience. Bodies and debris lie on the road. Someone is shooting. The driver slams his foot down, to get away.

Being outside in this besieged city is dangerous. But, after weeks, of Russia's blockade, and constant bombardment, people in Mariupol, have no choice, but to line up, outside, for food.


BLACK (voice-over): This video from Kharkiv proves the risk. It's the panicked aftermath, of a Russian strike, on a parking lot, where people were also waiting for aid. The region's governor says six people were killed.

And this tour is through what remains of Chernihiv, in the country's north. The city's mayor is driving. He says complete carnage has been unleashed here.


BLACK (voice-over): Civilians across Ukraine's towns and cities, are documenting their devastated communities, because they want people, everywhere, to see and understand.

Phil Black, CNN, Lviv, Ukraine.



Let's get the strategic perspective now, in all this. We're joined by Wesley Clark, CNN Military Analyst, retired Army four-star general, and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander.

You see those pictures, Chernihiv, and Mariupol. Those are cities that have been destroyed, like Grozny was destroyed, by the Russians. Do they care about that? I mean, isn't the strategic reason, they want those, is that it provides, ultimately, to get Odessa, and providing some sort of a land bridge, from Crimea?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER, CNN MILITARY ANALYST, SENIOR FELLOW, UCLA BURKLE CENTER: Yes, they'd like to take these - they'd like to take Mariupol, and over at the land bridge. But it's just a battle.

And it's a bunch of people that can be terrified and terrorized. And it would be a huge, like victory, if Mariupol falls, and the Russians would take it, as a tremendous battlefield success, even though really it isn't. It's just murder and terrorism.

[21:10:00] But the strategic point, for the Ukrainians, is that it's tying down Russian forces. And those Russian forces, if released, from the siege of Mariupol, will go and complicate the defense, in Kherson, or in Mykolaiv, or head toward Dnipro. So, there's a strategic reason that the Ukrainians are hanging on to this, despite the slaughter that's going on there.

COOPER: When a city, like Mariupol, has been bombed, to this extent, and ultimately, if Russian forces are able to occupy it, is it possible for other than - I mean, I guess, I think back to like the - those, who stayed behind, in Mosul, who had to be, block by block, hunted down, and largely killed, by Iraqi forces, after not - and I think it took them like nine months, to clear Mosul, of the holdouts.

Is that how - I mean, would there be an active guerrilla campaign, in a city, like Mariupol? Or would it just be bombed, and a few, maybe people sniping? And - since most of the people have left.

CLARK: I think you're not going to see an active guerrilla campaign, in Mariupol, from the outset. What I think you are going to see is groups that come in and infiltrate behind Russian lines, and blow up logistics, and blow up like those ships. That's the kind of campaign that will really upset the Russians.

Now, there may be some individual resistance. But most of the men there are going to fight, until they're out of ammunition. And they're going to do the best, they can, to hold the women and children that are still there, or held up in bunkers, they're going to try to survive.

And I don't think you're going to see a complete surrender, in that city. I think you're just going to see the combat, die off, block by block, as Ukrainians have to retreat. And the longer they hold out, the better it is for Ukraine.

COOPER: What does it tell you that the Ukrainian Military teams was able to destroy a Russian ship, in a Russian-occupied port, in southeastern Ukraine? How significant is that?

CLARK: It is significant. It keeps the Russians off balance, and it may delay some more amphibious operations. But it's only a tactical significance.

What's strategic here, Anderson, is the rate of resupply, that's going in to the Ukrainians, versus the rate of reorganization and refitting that the Russians are doing.

Right now, what we're still talking about, is giving the Ukrainians, defensive weapons. Well, look, you've got the Russians, in country. You not only need defensive weapons. You need offensive weapons.

You're going to have to use armored vehicles. You need more artillery. And especially, you need air cover. Those MiGs that we've been talking about, for two weeks to three weeks, they are desperately needed, by the Ukrainians, to be able to push the Russians out. If the Ukrainians don't push the Russians out? They will eventually be resupplied. They will come in again, around Kyiv, and they'll start the artillery bombardments, in Kyiv.

So, I hear a lot of optimistic reporting, and a lot of pride, in the Ukrainian defense. But this fight is, at least in Military terms, a long way, from being over. And it's going to require lots more resupply than is going in there, because they're not just hunkered down, in their defense. They need to advance.

And, in the attack, you do use more artillery. You have to have armored vehicles. You need more weapons. Then, you've got Javelins and Stingers? That's great. Give them more. But we got to get more of them that in there, if they're going to push the Russians back.

COOPER: General Clark, I appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up next, my conversation with a survivor. In almost every imaginable way, he survived the siege of Mariupol, bombing of his apartment, and even being detained, by Russian troops, and threatened with death.

Later, more on what Vladimir Putin might do next. We'll be joined by PBS Correspondent, Nick Schifrin, the reporter behind the remarkable documentary, "Inside Putin's Russia."



COOPER: As grim as the images, making their way, out of Mariupol, are, and as terrible, as the human toll already is, there are also thankfully stories of survival.

This is one of them. Andrei Marusov's story. He made it out of the city, safely, to Western Ukraine, but not before enduring, what most of us could barely even imagine, and not before running the kind of gauntlet that many wouldn't survive.

I spoke to him, shortly before airtime.


COOPER: Andrei, you were in your apartment, when a Russian bomb hit the building. I know we have a photo that was taken, just a few hours, after it was hit. What was it like when the shell struck?

ANDREI MARUSOV, FLED MARIUPOL, UKRAINE: No, actually, I mean, it struck like at 4, in the morning, when everybody slept. And suddenly that everybody just woke up. And I was afraid to open my eyes, just because I was afraid to see that, OK, the whole building falls on me.

And then, immediately, we heard the voices of people, who were like, there on those floors, upper floors. And luckily, we lived on the third floor, and our door was blocked. So, we couldn't get out, for like an hour or something like that. But other people, they came to the upper floors, and they managed to rescue two people, a woman, and a boy. They were injured. And they brought them to the hospital.

But we could not, in the days - in the coming days, we couldn't find the bodies of two other people. And we still don't know what's going on with them.

COOPER: I understand you were detained by Russian soldiers.


COOPER: What happened?


MARUSOV: Yes. It was the day that I was - I was taking photos, from my smartphone, of ruined buildings, and just with the purpose, OK, I know that, ultimately, they will be brought to responsibility, for destructing and destroying the city, and killing the people. And there is a need for evidence. And so, I did it.

And then, just like five steps, from my house, I was moving - I was stopped by them, searched, and then detained, just because they found those pictures.

And I spent like two hours, three hours, Military - Russian Military Police, came and asked me, OK, who am I? I told them, "OK, guys. I'm a local historian," which is true, actually, that I am.

And then the - OK, then one of the soldiers, who guarded me, just asked the Military, this officer, "OK, what to do with him? It's been already like late night." And that guy told him, "OK, shoot him. We already shot - we already shot two guys, two civilians, today. Then, OK, do it."

And first, I thought that it's just a joke. I mean, like black humor or something like that. But then, the guy led me to the hospital, and met another officer, or guy. I don't know. I mean, it's - there is no light, I mean, in the city. I mean, you cannot see what's going on, when it is night.

And I don't know what happened. They talked for several minutes. And I mean, Kalashnikov was looking just in my chest, and I even thought about "OK, I bet, the chest, then in stomach." Really it's--

COOPER: The Kalashnikov was actually pointing at your chest?

MARUSOV: Yes, yes, yes, kind of that. But he was ready actually, to shoot.

But then, I don't know, something happened. And they not let me in. They led me to - back to the neighboring building, in the basement, and then just told people, who were sitting there, "OK, here is the guy, who is supposed to be a spy. Just keep him until the morning. And the next morning, we will come, and we will do something about him." COOPER: And your parents are still - they're still in Mariupol?

MARUSOV: Yes. As soon as - there is no mobile connection. So, I am calling them, but there is no answer.

And this is actually a key problem for old people, who are kept there. They - you don't know what's going on with them. And they - and they, when they are, when they have their problems, they cannot, like, call for help, or assistance, or something like that.

COOPER: And I understand, you reunited with your son, also?

MARUSOV: Yes, yes, my 12-years-old son, yes.

COOPER: That must have been amazing--


COOPER: --to be able to hug him?

MARUSOV: Yes, yes, yes, because he was, I mean, he was crying, you know? Because they didn't know, for like 20 days, or something like that, what's going on with me?

As soon as like on the 2nd of March, it's been like the first step of Russian Armed Forces. So, they cut electricity, mobile communication, everything, heating, water. And, I mean, this, like almost half a million people were just trapped. And nobody knew outside, OK, what's going on there? What's their destiny?

COOPER: Andrei Marusov, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you so much. I'm so glad that you're with your son.

MARUSOV: Thank you.


MARUSOV: Thank you.

COOPER: Stay strong. Thank you.


COOPER: Coming up, inside Putin's Russia, as NATO Allies worry about, if and how Vladimir Putin may escalate the war, we'll be joined by a reporter, for PBS, who's detailed the Russian leader's rise, and hold on - in power, in an in-depth documentary.



COOPER: NATO's Secretary General said that while today's display of unity, by world leaders, would lower the likelihood of a full-scale war, the events, in the ground, in Ukraine, were, quote, extremely predictable - unpredictable, I should say. Chief among NATO's concerns is what Vladimir Putin may do next, to jumpstart a stalled Military campaign. His actions, often difficult to predict.

About five years ago, PBS NewsHour aired an award-winning documentary called "Inside Putin's Russia." It's really fascinating. It's about the Russian leader's rise to power, his ability, to shape opinion, in his country.

In a moment, I'm going to speak with the correspondent, who reported it, including about the similar way that Putin characterized its last invasion of Ukraine, in Crimea, in 2014.


NICK SCHIFRIN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT, PBS NEWSHOUR (voice-over): The day of annexation, Putin gave a speech combining religion, patriotism, and imperial history. He said the West had been subjugating Russia, and Russia was finally demanding respect.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): If you compress the spring, all the way, to its limit, it will snap back hard. Russia is an independent, active participant, in international affairs. Like other countries, it has its own national interests that need to be taken into account and respected.


SCHIFRIN (on camera): It is impossible to overstate how transformative Eastern Ukraine and here, Crimea, have been, in recent Russian memory.

After the Crimea annexation, Putin's popularity spiked to nearly 90 percent. Russians told pollsters that suddenly they felt like a superpower again. And Russians all over the country mobilized.

SCHIFRIN (voice-over): Solomin went to war because of that collective Russian identity. He believed the Ukrainian government was attacking ethnic Russians.

DENIS SOLOMIN (through interpreter): Those people who were under fire, I identified them as Russian people, who need protection, by those, who can at least hold a weapon.

SCHIFRIN (on camera): What was it about them that you felt, "I need to help them?"

SOLOMIN (through interpreter): Those are the people with the same culture as mine, the same language, the same worldview.

SCHIFRIN (voice-over): He was convinced of that by propaganda. In May 2014, dozens of pro-Russian separatists died in Odessa, Ukraine.

SOLOMIN (through interpreter): It probably became the pivotal moment. There was a lot of information about how people were simply getting beaten and killed.

SCHIFRIN (voice-over): Russian media exaggerated the attack.


SCHIFRIN (voice-over): Even using an actress, to play a victim. We know she was an actress because she appeared in unrelated pro-Russian stories as three entirely different people.


SCHIFRIN (voice-over): And that disinformation campaign convinces the Kremlin's critics the new Russian identity is manufactured, a product of deception and repression.


COOPER: I'm joined now by the correspondent, you just saw, Nick Schifrin, with PBS NewsHour.


Nick, thanks so much for joining us. It's really such a fascinating documentary, you did. You look at Putin's rise to power, as forging of a new post-Soviet Russian identity. It was put together a few years ago, 2017. Do you see parallels, to the way Putin has approached the invasion of Ukraine, now?

SCHIFRIN: Yes. I think we see parallels, literally, in 2014, Russia first invaded Ukraine, and first invaded Eastern Ukraine, in the Donbas - in Donbas, and Donetsk and Luhansk, and also in Crimea. But we also see parallels in terms of how Putin rules.

What we covered back then, and what we all have been covering, Anderson, you included, since then, is a move from what we all call, kind of authoritarian, to what is increasingly dictatorial. The war in Ukraine is clearly overseen, by one man, and one man only. There's very little, if any, room, for dissent, within his circle, let alone society.

And I think some of the trends that we saw, in 2014, of how he talked about Ukraine, how he saw Kyiv, and its rulers, and how he really belittled the idea of Ukraine, and identity, that's only accelerated, since.

COOPER: The past few days have seen the departure of a prominent Putin adviser, Anatoly Chubais, as well as reports that Russia's Defense Minister hasn't been seen publicly, with Putin, since the early days in the invasion. How much you read into that?

SCHIFRIN: Look, it's always dangerous to be a Kremlinologist. You're just a journalist. You're not an actual Kremlinologist.

But a couple things, on Chubais. He's not part of the inner circle. And yet, he is one of the most senior, if not the most senior person, who has left Russia, since the invasion. So, we do have to mark his departure. But we have no evidence that that departure will have any influence on Putin. He wasn't part of the inner circle. He actually opposed Putin in 1999, even though for the last 20 years, obviously, he's gotten back, in Putin's graces. But really, we don't know, if he's going to talk. We don't know, if he has the goods.

And again, we just have no evidence that the people around Putin, one, are really allowed, to speak out, and speak their mind, to him, but two, have any influence, over him, right now. And if there are a kind of a second level of officials, who are doubting the war, if there is, they certainly have no influence on the top echelon around the Kremlin.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, there's been such focus, on oligarchs, and, confiscating yachts, and taking money. Do the oligarchs really have the power that they once did?

SCHIFRIN: Well, I think, if we define oligarchs, as rich Russians, or ultra-rich Russians, of course, there're still oligarchs, and they still have power. And we know a lot of their names, today.

But we have to remember, is the people with money, or who found their money, I suppose, in the 90s? And that's a whole other story about how they got them.

But the people, who emerged, with a lot of money, as Putin came to power, he basically looked at them, and they all - and forced them to make a deal. And that was either he's going to be - they're going to be on his side, and they get to keep their money, or they have to flee. And so, there's lots of examples, of people, who have had to flee, since then.

But there are also, of course, examples of people, who fill the Kremlin, today, who are the lieutenants, if you will, around President Putin. Those people have money. They get money from the system.

There's a huge amount of money, connected to the Military, to Intelligence services that come in - that comes in every day. And those are the people, who are around Putin. And as far as we can tell, those are the very people supporting this war.

COOPER: So, if Putin listens, basically, to people, who are echoing what he wants to hear, all this talk about, building some sort of a diplomatic off-ramp, is that even realistic?

SCHIFRIN: Well, look, I mean, I think, to a certain extent, the off- ramp is something that U.S. officials, I talk to, are trying to figure out. I think very senior members of this administration don't see an obvious off-ramp, right now. And part of the problem is the maximalist goals, with which Putin approached the war.

As far as U.S. officials, were saying publicly, and still believe that Putin barely believes that Ukraine should exist, as a sovereign nation. And certainly, the goals, according to the U.S. officials, I talked to and, frankly, President Putin's rhetoric itself, is regime change, is creating some kind of rump government, in Kyiv. There is a huge gap, between those goals, and the tactical and operational capacity, of the Russian Military, inside Ukraine. And yet, despite that gap, Anderson, as far as anyone I talk to, can tell, there's no evidence that Putin has given up on those goals.

So, if his goal remains, to sack Kyiv, replace the government, in Kyiv, rather than some kind of middle goals that we can talk about more of, having some kind of land bridge, in the south--



SCHIFRIN: --taking over parts of Eastern Ukraine that we've been talking about. Also, until those goals change, there's really no changing the outlook, from the Kremlin.


SCHIFRIN: And unfortunately, that may mean many, many months, of violence, in Ukraine, and Ukraine having to resist a Russian Military that's dug in.

COOPER: Yes. Nick Schifrin, I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

SCHIFRIN: Thank you.

COOPER: World is stepping up pressure, on Vladimir Putin. And President Biden is talking about the response, to the crisis. His call to the world, today, in Brussels, and his new warnings, for Putin, ahead.


COOPER: A show of force of world powers, exactly one month, since Russia began its brutal invasion of Ukraine, NATO, the G7, and the E.U. held crisis summits, today, in Brussels, with President Biden, in attendance.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Putin was banking on NATO being split.

NATO has never, never been more united than it is today. Putin is getting exactly the opposite what he intended to have as a consequence of going into Ukraine.

The single-most important thing is for us to stay unified, and the world continue to focus on what a brute, this guy is.



COOPER: Well this is a critical moment, the West's biggest test, since World War II, and certainly President Biden's biggest foreign policy challenge.

Want to turn to someone, who can put it in perspective, for us. CNN Contributor, and "New Yorker" Staff Writer, Evan Osnos, the Author of "Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now."

Evan, so candidate Biden focused a lot on reunifying NATO, after the President Trump years, his own decades of foreign policy experience. I'm wondering what you make, of how he's doing, in this moment?

EVAN OSNOS, AUTHOR, "JOE BIDEN: THE LIFE, THE RUN, AND WHAT MATTERS NOW," CNN CONTRIBUTOR, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: Well, it's worth reminding ourselves, where we really were, just a few years ago.

You had a U.S. President, who was threatening to withdraw the United States, from NATO. The French President, Emmanuel Macron, talked about NATO, as brain-dead, he said. The Transatlantic Partnership just felt as if it had lost its purpose, for some.

And here we are, today. And it's kind of regained its position as the key instrument, in the world's response, to Vladimir Putin. And that shows both the capabilities of it, and also the limitations.

Look, the capabilities are clear. They've been able to impose these extraordinarily swift and broad sanctions. You see weapons moving in. You see refugees getting support from around NATO. And yet, at the same time, you see what they are not willing to do.

So that's what we've learned. NATO is a powerful instrument. But it also has a limit on what it's willing - on what it's willing to do, in response to what, Boris Johnson today called the agony, and that is the combination of limits and capabilities.

COOPER: How far do you think President Biden will go, in trying to punish Vladimir Putin? He's obviously ruled out military action, in Ukraine. There's been a slew of sanctions. And now, he's suggesting Russia should be kicked out of the G20.

OSNOS: That's the point, where we are now, is it's getting harder. I mean, in some ways, we're facing what are now, the harder questions. He made an important point today, which was that anybody - Vladimir Putin can take anything for a month.

What happens now is what matters. Staying united, meaning that there are not countries, in the E.U., or in NATO that begin to allow Russia greater access, to the international finance system, again.

I'm reminded sometimes these days of what President Biden's mentor, in some ways, his sort of mental inspiration, FDR said, which is our unity is our strength, he said, is our unity of purpose. That is very much on his mind, these days, because well he's not going to be judged tomorrow, or he's going to be judged in six months, and in a year, in two years, on what we were able to do.

COOPER: Well, also given the debacle, of Afghanistan, how much does the success or failure, of the Biden presidency, depend on what happens in Ukraine, or elsewhere, in Eastern Europe, for that matter? OSNOS: That's the key point. I think you're right. We're sometimes told that Americans don't pay that much attention, to foreign affairs, or national security, when we evaluate our presidents. It's not true. What we saw in Afghanistan was that the chaos of that, the cost of that, was reflected in President Biden's standing.

And then, on the flip side, it cuts both ways. Because, so far, in these early days, and we have to start describing them that way, I think, Anderson, as these early days, so far, Americans, and around the world, have been encouraged.

In Europe, I heard an interesting comment, from a contact, in Germany, who said to me, that part of what he has done, is give the Europeans some space. If it looked as if he was the one, who was pulling them there, it would have made it harder for them.

The other thing they've done well so far, is by putting some of this Intelligence out early, letting it be known what Vladimir Putin is going to do, makes it harder for him, to deceive and deflect. That's going to be one of the patterns, you're going to see, going forward.

But it only gets harder, from here, at how chem, bio, nuclear, these are hideous prospects. And today, we heard the United States, and its allies, steeling themselves, for that.

COOPER: Yes. Evan Osnos, appreciate it.

Today, the administration announced the U.S. will take in 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. More than 3.6 million Ukrainians have already fled the country, according to the latest U.N. estimate.

Half of all Ukrainian children have been displaced, according to UNICEF. Many living in other countries, now, with their families, and trying to get through each day. And some have found a great way to cope with the pain.

CNN's Miguel Marquez has details now, from Bucharest, Romania



MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dance therapy, for Ukrainian moms, and their children, fleeing war.

MARQUEZ (on camera): How was the dancing, Igor (ph)?


MARQUEZ (on camera): You're a very good dancer.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): The not-exactly shy Igor (ph) Lutsak, 5.5-years- old, he and his mom, Tetiana, are from Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, suffering indiscriminate Russian rockets, and artillery attacks, since the war's start.

MARQUEZ (on camera): How are you doing? How's he doing?



MARQUEZ (voice-over): "I'm playing soldiers," he says.

His mom adds?



MARQUEZ (voice-over): "Yes, soldiers. He's always saying, 'Air Raid.'"

MARQUEZ (on camera): If me, and you, were playing air raid now, how would we play?


MARQUEZ (voice-over): "Show them how you play," she says.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): "I'm shooting at a tank," he says, "Any tank I can hit."

MARQUEZ (on camera): How do you explain what is happening in Ukraine?


MARQUEZ (voice-over): "He saw everything," she says. "And now, he's repeating it. I think he'll play regular games, when this is over, and he calms down. Games like cars and trains."


MARQUEZ (voice-over): "No, no," says Igor (ph). "It will be the same. I like it."

Igor (ph), his mom, and godmother, are one of dozens of families, being housed, by Jesuit Refugee Service, and the local children's cancer charity, Magic Association.

IRENE TEODOR, JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE: The mothers, we see, they can be tough, when they're with their children. But when they come, and speak to us, privately, they break down.

MARQUEZ (on camera): You are a very good dancer.


SOFIA ORLOVA, UKRAINIAN REFUGEE, FLED DNIPRO: Thank you. MARQUEZ (voice-over): Ylena and Sofia Orlova, 7-years-old, arrived days ago, from Dnipro. Russian attacks have been pushing toward, and hitting the strategic Dnipro region. The city's population, nearly a million.

Orlova and several of her relatives, are now refugees. But not everyone.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): "My son is 18-years-old," she says. "He has an injured leg, but wasn't allowed to cross the border. My son is in Ukraine." She can barely speak the words.

Today's dance class, a welcome distraction.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): "Today, this was a stress relief," she says. "For two days, we didn't eat or sleep. And we're grateful to relax."

The dance instructor, a refugee too. He fled war, in Cameroon.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): "I want them to feel joy," he says. "Because I know how it is to be in their places. It's very hard. It was very hard for me too."

Sofia wanted to dance, in Ukraine, but was too young. Today, a bit of hope.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): "My dream," she says, "came true."


MARQUEZ (voice-over): A simple activity, bringing comfort to moms and kids, refugees, far from home.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, Bucharest.


COOPER: And that's Miguel's reporting, from Romania.

While all eyes, are on Ukraine, today, North Korea, fire what could be their longest range missile yet. A potential sign, it's closer to developing weapons, capable of targeting the U.S. A lot more on that development, next.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: As we continue monitoring the situation, in Ukraine, North Korea is causing concern, after it fired, what is believed to be their first intercontinental ballistic missile, today, in more than four years.

According to analysts, the missile, which splashed down just off Japan's western coast could be the longest range missile, fired by North Korea, yet. Comes, as Western leaders, including President Biden, and the Japanese Prime Minister, were meeting in Brussels, for the G7 summit, to discuss their response, to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Joining us now, from Seoul, CNN Correspondent, Paula Hancocks.

What else do we know about this missile?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we know that this was a significant missile. We've got the information, now, from the North Korean side. They have said that it is a new type of ICBM, intercontinental ballistic missile, a Hwasong-17.

Now, it is believed, according to Military analysts that this is the one that they showed off at a Military parade, back in October of 2020. At the time, those analysts sat up and took notice of, because of the sheer size of this missile.

So, according to Pyongyang, they say it was successful. They say that it is part of their nuclear war deterrent.

And just looking at the numbers that we have, not just from North Korea, but also, from Japan and South Korea, the altitude, 3,800 miles, that is more significant, and it flew higher than the previous one, back in November 2017.

The range was longer as well. It was in the air, for longer, anything between 68 minutes and 71 minutes. So, there is no doubt that it was a more significant launch.

Now, Kim Jong-un was front and center. We have images, from state-run media, of him, with the missiles showing the sheer scale of it. He apparently directly guided it himself.

And there was a response, from South Korea, shortly afterwards. They fired, five missiles, of their own, much smaller missiles, but to show their response, saying that they can take out the area, where this launch came from, should they want to.

Condemned, obviously, wrangly, by the South Korean President, by the Japanese Prime Minister, and by the U.S. President. Anderson?

COOPER: So, any more response from the U.S.?

HANCOCKS: Well, the timing was interesting. You did mention, of course, the Brussels meeting, the security meeting about Ukraine.

This launch happened at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, thereabouts. Usually, these happen, early in the morning. But of course, when it happened, was just about the time that those Western leaders, were starting to meet, in Brussels. So, that timing probably is not coincidental.

It was condemned by President Biden. He was there with Japan's Prime Minister. They did agree to work together to try and hold North Korea accountable.

The State Department has also announced more sanctions. They're sanctioning five individuals, and entities, from North Korea, and Russia that are involved, in the Russia - the North Korean missile program. But, of course, beyond that, it's difficult to see what they can do.

There's half a dozen countries, including the U.S. that are calling for a U.N. Security Council public meeting. But, of course, Russia is on the U.N. Security Council. So, to have any meaningful declaration and, certainly, any sanctions, it's highly unlikely, at this point--



HANCOCKS: --when Russia, and probably even China, are unlikely to want to work together, with Washington.

COOPER: Yes. Paula Hancocks, appreciate it. Thank you.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: CNN will continue to bring the latest updates, from Ukraine. And, for more information, about how you can help, Ukraine humanitarian efforts, go to

The news continues. Want to turn things over to Don, who is in Ukraine, tonight. Don?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST, DON LEMON TONIGHT: Anderson, how're you doing this evening?

COOPER: I'm well. How are you doing? Is it freezing cold, there?

LEMON: I'm doing OK. I'm a little tired, a little cold. It was warm, as you know. It gets warm, and then it gets cold, and it's kind of - it kind of alternates. But I'm interested in then, how you were here, for a couple weeks.

And being here, just talking to the people, I'm always stunned, I am stunned, by their resolve, in a good way. And even though, when I look in their eyes, and I talk to them, it's really uncertainty. They don't know where they're going. Many of them just keep moving west, trying to move away, from the bombs, of the east, and they don't know where they're going, to end up.

But man, the resolve of the folks here, they're just, they don't want what Putin is offering, and they're going to fight tooth and nail--