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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Bucha Prosecutor Shares Photos Of Civilians Killed In Town; Russia Denies War Crimes; Marine Veteran Trevor Reed Expected Back On U.S. Soil Soon; Putin Vows Lightning-Fast Response To foreign Interference In Ukraine; Exclusive: Bucha Prosecutor Shares Photos Of Civilians Killed In Town; Russia Denies War Crimes; UN Secretary- General Talks To CNN After Putin Meeting; Meets With Pres. Zelenskyy In Ukraine Tomorrow; At Least 27 Chinese Cities Under Full Or Partial Covid-19 Lockdowns. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired April 27, 2022 - 20:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It puts me on the street.

YURKEVICH: Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, Miami, Florida.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And thanks so much for joining us. AC 360 starts now.



Tonight, only on this program, my conversation with a man who documented what he saw from his window in Russian-occupied Bucha. What he saw and we have to warn you about what you're about to see where his neighbors, civilians, dead on the street and the sidewalk as well. He was documenting war crimes, risking his own life in the process.

Tonight, you'll hear him talk about why he did it, why it was so important to do what he did and hear as well from the Ukrainian prosecutor, using that man's images and video to try to build a war crimes case.

To that point, this late item for America's Ambassador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice speaking at the U.N., she said the U.S. has credible information that a Russian military unit executed Ukrainians who are attempting to surrender near Donetsk.

She went on to say that images and reports from here suggest that such atrocities are not the result of units or individuals, but instead revealed she says a pattern of systematic abuse.

Also tonight, the return of American, Trevor Reed, held in Russia since the summer of 2019 released today in a prisoner swap in Turkey. His parents spoke to reporters just a short time ago.


JOEY REED, TREVOR REED'S FATHER: It's not going to hit us until we see him.

PAULA REED, TREVOR REED'S MOTHER: I mean, we're excited. We know he's on the plane, but I think we're really going to -- it's going to really hit us when we get to put our arms around him and hug him.


COOPER: For its part today, the Kremlin flexed its economic muscle cutting off natural gas supplies to Poland, as well as Bulgaria. Poland's Prime Minister calling it a direct attack, his words, on the country vowing not to give in to what he called Russian blackmail.

Vladimir Putin, meantime, evoked more nuclear jitters today. He is showing a nonspecific, but certainly ominous sounding threat.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): If someone intends to intervene into the ongoing events in Ukraine from the outside and creates unacceptable strategic threats for us, then they should know that our response to those strikes will be swift, lightning-fast.

We have all the tools for this, ones that no one can brag about, and we won't brag. We will use them if needed. I want everyone to know this.


COOPER: His threat came shortly after explosions in three locations as deep as 200 miles inside Russia, and this is an ammunition depot on fire in the Belgorod region. Again, this is inside Russia, close to the border.

Explosions were also heard in Kursk, and in a town of about 120 miles to the east. We're not claiming credit for them. An adviser to Ukraine's President Zelenskyy said quote: "Karma is a cruel thing." Separately, in an apparent Ukrainian strike in a Russian held city of Kherson.


COOPER: That blast reportedly near the city's main television broadcasting facility. There are a lot to get to tonight. Ukrainian Pravda quoting Russian media saying that Russian channels went off the air shortly after.

Also tonight, a sad coda to the already tragic story of Valeria Glodan, the new mother who said she had found such joy in the birth of her daughter. Today in Odessa, a funeral ceremony was held for Valeria, for her three-month-old daughter, Kira, and Kira's grandmother, who were killed along with five others in a Russian missile strike just over this weekend.

Reporting from Kramatorsk for us is CNN's Sam Kiley who spent the day in a location under nonstop bombardment. Also CNN's chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward joins us with more on how much of a threat Vladimir Putin's warning today could present.

Also, CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Matthew Chance with the very latest on the makings of the prisoner swap for Trevor Reed.

First, Sam Kylie's report.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Severodonetsk on the frontline with Russia, it is an artillery frontline.

KILEY (on camera): Basement. Let's get into the basement.

KILEY (voice over): Local police are delivering aid to civilians unable to leave. There is no time to wait out the bombardment. There is no likely end to the shelling either, supplies need delivering and fast.

She tells me there are three people next door including a granny of 92.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE speaking in foreign language.)

KILEY (voice over): Upstairs, a bedridden woman. She says that normally, they stay in their flat and only use the basement when it is bad.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE speaking in foreign language.)

KILEY (voice over): "Thank you for not forgetting us," she adds.

(on camera): The urgency of these sorts of deliveries cannot be exaggerated. Just in this block, there is mostly old people. One gentleman is dying of cancer in front of his wife. She is saying, she's living in a double hell.


Since we've been here, there have been, I don't know, five, six, eight impacts very, very close. Almost every tree, every corner, every bit of this local neighborhood has got the signs of recent impacts, and Russians are just a kilometer, maybe three away.

(voice over): Russian guns are so close, you can hear the whole arc of their shells.

From Kyiv to Mariupol, from Kharkiv to here, this is the Russian way of war -- pound civilians, flatten cities, and maybe occupy the ashes.

(OLEKSANDER speaking in foreign language.) KILEY (voice over): Oleksander (ph) says, "We're in danger now.

They're shelling us so it could come at any moment and shrapnel could hurt us. We try to hide there in the bomb shelter."

Few months of war has driven these people underground, and there is no end in sight.

The fears, Oleksander confesses, he tries to keep inside, but it creeps out.

(on camera): There is one more delivery that the police have got to make, but every time we tried to get out the front door of this building, there is another impact. There is another one now.

They are saying that the hospital, which is nearby is under heavy shelling. We were planning to go there. We can't get through nor indeed at the moment can we even get out of this bunker.

(voice over): The hospital was hit. Images of the damage done that morning, posted online by the local administration. Officials said that one civilian was killed, others injured and several floors were badly damaged.

The humanitarian effort goes on.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE speaking in foreign language.)

(voice over): This woman asked only for the basics of existence, water and candles for light.

(on camera): Hey, Joe, you do this every day?


(LOGDAN speaking in foreign language.)

KILEY (voice over): Logdan (ph) tells me that most people left here now have nowhere else to go. They've lived here all their lives and don't want to abandon their homes.

(on camera): Do you think the Russians are going to take Severodonetsk?

(LOGDAN speaking in foreign language.)

KILEY (voice over): "Never," he says. "We will stand our ground to the last man. No one will leave here."

That may be a dangerous claim. It is likely that Ukrainians will destroy this bridge to hold up the invasion, and anyone still here would then be trapped in Russian hands.


COOPER: And Sam Kiley joins us now along with Clarissa Ward here and Kyiv. Sam, throughout your piece, you could hear near constant shelling.

What are the types of targets the Russians are hitting in this new round?

KILEY: Well, I think more generally, in this new round of conflict, they're hitting, as we've seen in Mariupol before what they declared was their second phase being launched, they are hitting civilian targets overwhelmingly, I think.

Certainly in Severodonetsk, they were hitting the hospital, then they were hitting, and we saw the evidence of this all over that town banks, street corners, trees were felled, coffee shops, people's homes -- all of them being hit with these indiscriminate shells, which are now being fired from artillery pieces.

They are really very close indeed to that town, and then we expect that pattern to be repeated if they can get away with it elsewhere.

I have to say also that the Ukrainians have been firing back with multiple rocket launching systems, particularly in the direction of Rubizhne, which fell to the Russians. That's just a town a little to the north of where I was, Anderson. They were being hammered back with multiple rocket launchers and the Ukrainians are rushing reinforcements to those frontlines.

COOPER: Clarissa, Vladimir Putin today saying that there would be a lightning response if anyone else got involved in the fighting here. It echoes what Lavrov said yesterday, kind of rattling the nuclear saber.

One of our guests last night said, well, what else do they have to do other than make these kinds of threats? That there is nowhere else for them to go other than make these threats?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was definitely really ominous, Anderson. Some of the language that President Putin, he said, "We have all the tools, including ones that no one can brag about, but I'm not going to talk about what tools those are." So it's unclear, is this sort of psy-ops, if you like, designed to like play on people's fears about the nuclear question?

As you mentioned, the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also saying again yesterday raising the specter of that, is there the possibility that there could be some kind of a Russian strike on a NATO target even? I would say, we don't have reason to believe that concretely at this stage.


But this is all coming on the heels of the Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's words which were very strong, saying that Ukraine can win this war if they have the right support, and we want to give them the right support.

And by the way, the new U.S. policy appears to be now to sort of slowly try to bleed Russia dry throughout this war, and so it could be a response to that, but what exactly he meant by it is really anything discussed.

COOPER: I mean, none of these statements come in a vacuum, they often are in direct response to something else. That's just happened yesterday. You had European countries, dozens of them meeting, the Defense Secretaries meeting, a show of unity, and then you have Lavrov saying, well, talk about nuclear threats.

WARD: And I think there is no question that they had not predicted this response. Going back to the beginning of the war, it seemed that NATO was fragmented about how they wanted to deal with this, and it has been a robust response. It has been united response.

The U.S. is now sort of doubling down on that, and it is clear that the Russians are not happy about it.

COOPER: Sam, I think we heard what sounded like an air raid siren when you were talking before, is that still going on? Is that heard often there?

KILEY: Anderson, this is the sound of spring here in Kramatorsk, it is almost constant air raid sirens. There have been occasional strikes of missiles, probably fired from aircraft or long range missiles. And this is the sort of witching hour in this sort of hour or two, before dawn, when they most often strike just as the sun is coming up.

So we're expecting what are likely to be largely kind of psychological pressure, I think being made, brought to bear here on Kramatorsk, which now I can hear a detonation has just gone out. I suspect that's anti-aircraft fire.

This is a sort of part of the ongoing process, as they, the Russians try to put the squeeze on Kramatorsk, which is in the center of a salient territory surrounded really potentially on three sides by Russia, but with a large gap that the Russians would like to close and close the jaws around this city as part of their campaign, which they say is all now focused on capturing what they call the Donbas, the east of the country and the southern coastline -- Anderson.

COOPER: You know, Clarissa, Sam was showing the police delivering supplies to people who are sheltering at home. You were just in Kharkiv with paramedics visiting people who were in need. I mean, it is extraordinary that under this bombardment, the regular problems of life continue.

Sam, there was a man who has cancer, who needed things in Sam's report. All of that -- all of the drama of regular life continues. Now, just with war on top of it.

WARD: No. And I think people forget this a lot when we went to Chernihiv, which is a couple of hours north of here after Russian forces have been forced to withdraw, and they were finding lots of people who were dead in their homes, not the victims of war crimes, these were people who had heart attacks, who had pneumonia, who had no way to get to the hospital, who had no way of getting medication.

And so there is a sense when you can't really leave your home, and it really is leaving, that simple act of going out to get water for your family can lead to death.

We saw also in Chernihiv in the graveyard that they had dug their family looking for their father, they couldn't find his grave. I said, how was he killed? They said, finally he had to leave to go and get water, and as soon as he left he was killed in the shelling.

So these basic fundamental needs, water, medicine. They are causing, you know, huge amounts of death as well. We won't know for such a long time, and that's what's so hard watching these scenes unfold.

I thought about it as well in Kharkiv when those missiles went off as the paramedics were there, and I thought how many people have been killed in this apartment building even standing by the window? And we don't know about it, because no one is going to knock on the door and they're alone.

COOPER: In Bucha, we saw a man with a sack of potatoes shot to death by Russians because he was trying to bring potatoes home to feed people. People killed on bike going to work.

Clarissa, thank you very much. Sam Kiley, as well, be careful.

Coming up next from the White House to the Kremlin, what went on behind the scenes to when Trevor Reed is released from captivity, and why freeing the other two Americans held by Russia might not be so simple if this could be even called simple.

Later, the remarkable bravery of that resident of Bucha, who documented the horrors of Russian occupation and the Ukrainian prosecutor who is now trying to win justice for the fall, all of that, and my conversation on the subject with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, ahead.



COOPER: More now on Trevor Reed in the prisoner swap that brought him home after more than two and a half years of captivity in Russia, and this is how it happened.

In Turkey, in a scene straight out of a Cold War spy novel, Reed's parents say he was being attended to by doctors on the flight home and they'll determine where is best to take care of him of his medical care.

His mom was asked whether she considers his return the perfect Mother's Day gift.


P. REED: It's absolutely the perfect gift, and when we got the call early in the week, when they said something might be occurring this week and I said, "Am I going to have a Happy Mother's Day?" And they go, "Well, we can't say, but just you know, be ready."

So yes, it's a perfect Mother's Day. Better -- well, not better, but almost as good as the day he was born.


COOPER: Joining us, CNN's Kaitlan Collins at the White House. In London, CNN's Matthew Chance who interviewed the Russian who was traded for Reed. Also, Steve Hall, former Chief of Russia Operations at the C.I.A.

So Kaitlan, what is the latest that you're learning about how Trevor Reed's release came about today?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I spoke to his parents earlier, Joey and Paula, that you saw there talking to reporters. They said they believe really what helped to get this across the finish line, get Trevor Reed's release secured was a conversation that they had here at the White House with President Biden about a month ago.

They had been out here in front of the White House demonstrating, talking about how he was on his second hunger strike, and they believed having that conversation really helped with the urgency of their message of bringing him home.

And when I spoke to President Biden earlier today, he said, this is something he raised with Russians three months ago, and that they have been working on this ever since then trying to secure this release, and so they believe this is something that is often, it is very sensitive to talk about, the details are very delicate, and the White House doesn't often want to disclose them, because of course, there are still other Americans detained in Russia that they'd like to get out.

One thing we should know, Anderson, is the President said it was a really difficult decision here when it came to this release, and that is because of the Russian that they released in exchange for Trevor Reed. That is Konstantin Yaroshenko that they released.

They said that was a difficult decision to make, to send him back to Russia in exchange for Trevor Reed, but obviously, Anderson, it's a decision that President Biden made.

COOPER: Matthew, I mean, the prisoner swap was played on Russian television. It really is like something out of a Cold War, and to see -- we've seen this kind of stuff in movies, one person, you know, both men, basically just kind of passing each other by as they are exchanged.

For Russians, why was it important? Who is this man Yaroshenko?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, look, I mean, they are playing this very big, and they are seeing something of a win as well, because just like in the United States, the case of Trevor Reed has gotten a lot of publicity. Well, the Russian government has made sure that the case of Konstantin Yaroshenko, the Russian national, who you can see there on the airport tarmac in Turkey, sort of in that prisoner swap with Trevor Reed. He is also something of a cause celeb as well. I mean, there's been a

lot of concerns about the way he was detained, he was arrested in a D.E.A. sting operation in Liberia, in Africa. He always complained about how he was treated in custody, accusing the authorities in the United States of torture, although, of course, they categorically deny that.

But I mean, look, the Russians do indeed see this, as you know, something of a diplomatic win. They didn't get everything they wanted. There are lots of other Russians, particularly one, Viktor Bout, a notorious arms trafficker in U.S. custody. They want him released as well, but they didn't get this. And so inevitably, they're playing it as something of a diplomatic win.

COOPER: Steve, how to prisoner swaps of this nature -- I mean, how does it get negotiated?

STEVE HALL, FORMER C.I.A. DIRECTOR OF RUSSIA OPERATIONS: You know, this is largely done with the State Department because of course, they have a special office that takes care of these hostage situations and that is the appropriate way to look at this. This is hostage taking on the part of the Russians, not too different than what the North Koreans do.

They take hostages like this because of course, there is no equivalency here. It's not as though there is some sort of, you know, rule of law in Russia that, you know, investigates these things. And then there's, you know, defense attorneys that fight for the rights of their client. That all happens in the United States, and that is what Mr. Yaroshenko got, but it's not at all what any of the Americans got over there. When Putin wants somebody arrested, they get arrested.

But the State Department handles most of this with the help of other agencies, if they need intelligence support, if they need military support in terms of transportation. The U.S. government has a lot of assets to be able to pull these types of things off.

COOPER: Kaitlan, there are at least two other Americans who are being detained in Russia. There's a Marine veteran, Paul Whelan and a WNBA star Brittney Griner, what do we know about the efforts to release them, to secure their releases.

COLLINS: The White House says that the release of Trevor Reed shows that President Biden is committed to bringing other detained Americans home, but of course, you can see the frustration coming from their loved ones today that they weren't included in this, that they weren't also brought home.

And they say they are very grateful for Trevor Reed's family, that they're very glad that they get to enjoy this and that he does get to come home after this.

But you heard from Paul Whelan's brother earlier, who was saying, I'm so glad for them, but I'm deeply upset for us. And he was raising some concerns about now that this exchange has happened, does that less than what the United States has to offer Russia in exchange for other prisoners, in exchange for his brother, in exchange for Brittney Griner?

And Paul himself put out a statement saying that he felt like he had been left behind because he also was being held on a fictitious charge there, but I think it's just such a difficult situation for them to negotiate.

And as Steve noted, it takes often a long time for these negotiations to go on behind the scenes and so I do think it's a concern. It is obviously a concern with Brittney Griner, something we talked about that the Russians are holding her for leverage, that it is a bargaining chip for them.


And so I think that's a main concern that you hear from loved ones all the time, and certainly one that Trevor Reed's family had before his release today.

COOPER: Matthew, talk about Yaroshenko and that he had been apprehended in Liberia. What was he convicted of? What did he tell you when you interviewed him?

CHANCE: Yes, so he was convicted of conspiracy to smuggle drugs, to smuggle cocaine. It was a D.E.A. sting operation that was -- which he was sort of drawn into, in which there was this plot with drugs from Venezuela to Liberia and onwards to Ghana, another African country.

And he was a pilot in that transportation conspiracy. He never actually smuggled any drugs, but he was arrested when he agreed to do it, and then extradited to the United States and put in prison for -- he was sentenced to 20 years.

And in Russia, that was seen as a massive miscarriage of justice. That was seen as, you know, the United States acting outside their jurisdiction and taking a Russian citizen back to the United States when he hadn't even committed a crime on U.S. soil.

And it was because of that that the Russian Foreign Ministry and Russian officials have been pushing so hard for so many years to get him released.

Just on that issue of whether this sort of erodes the bargaining power that United States has when it comes to other Americans in Russian custody, well, I'd say the flip side of that argument is that well, there's such a bad relationship between Russia and the United States at the moment over the complexity in Ukraine, yet this negotiation still went through shows that the two countries are able to compartmentalize that kind of negotiation, so it can take place, even though in other areas, you know, there are very, very big tensions.

COOPER: Interesting. Yes. Matthew Chance, Steve Hall, Kaitlan Collins, thank you so much.

Coming up, our visit to Bucha, the local prosecutor on a mission for justice after the mass executions, the killings of innocent civilians in his hometown. Also, we meet the man who documented the reality on one street in

Bucha, while the Russians were occupying it, and a widow of a man murdered on his bicycle, that's next.



COOPER: Russian troops pulled out of the town of Bucha about an hour outside Kyiv at the end of March and ever since Ukrainian authorities on the ground and Bucha have been gathering evidence what certainly appear to be war crimes. You're about to meet a man who captured some haunting images that we brought you exclusively last night, he bravely a great risk to himself photograph the results of the shootings of people on the block where he was staying.

You're also about to hear from Bucha's local prosecutor as he works to collect that evidence and any other proof of the evil that came by way of Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers. The evil became the end of Russian guns.

We remind you that some of the images are going to be disturbing but they are crucial, they are evidence. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court told the UN Security Council today that 43 states have referred Russia's war to his agency for prosecution. And that's an unprecedented number. Last night on "360,"he told us there will be a case to enter in due course. This is part of the reason why.


COOPER (voice-over): In Bucha blood still stains the streets when Russian pulled out, this is what they left behind on Yablonska Street, the bodies of several men shot to death, hands tied behind their backs. Further down, this person was shot to death on their bicycle, and another and another and another and another and another.

(on-camera): What happened here?

RUSLAN KRAVCHENKO, BUCHA PROSECUTOR (through translation): Local residents who are killed on the street by the Russian military. They were shot and killed even just going out to the street around their business or going to pick up when it turn eight.

COOPER (voice-over): Ruslan Kravchenko was Bucha's prosecutor. He's now collecting evidence of war crimes.

KRAVCHENKO (through translation): People were killed at this point. There was a woman killed here. They were buddies here and there was a roll just turning left. So there were people riding bicycles who are killed by the Russian military.

COOPER (voice-over): Russia denies it all. They say the more than 300 bodies found in Bucha after Russian troops withdrew were staged. As for these satellite images taken in mid March when Russia was occupying Bucha with show bodies in the exact same locations they were later found on Yablonska Street. Russia says they too are fake. But the evidence already overwhelming continues to grow.

(on-camera): And prosecutors have been gathering evidence for weeks and have now revealed to us that they have photographs and videos taken over the course of several days as the killings occurred here. They say the images were captured by a person in this house on their cell phone camera.

(voice-over): It was through these windows he saw the slaughter. This is one of his first pictures taken on March 5th. Two bodies reportedly killed that day were visible outside his window. On March 6 when this picture was taken, a third body is visible on the street. This video taken on March 7th, shows at least two more bodies.

Ruslan Kravchenko says these images and the data in the camera phone they were taken with provides important proof of exactly who was killed and when.

KRAVCHENKO: It will prove that it was a particular form that the pictures were taken aways and also the time, the location that they were taken. The Russian Federation will not be able to continue saying that this was set up with fakes.

COOPER (voice-over): We tracked down the man who risked his life to take these photos and video we agreed not to show his face.

(on-camera): Were you scared to take pictures? I mean, if they had seen you taking pictures, you could have been killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): Of course there was fear. But I had to prove that was them that they killed people who were civilians. I had to do something.

COOPER (on-camera): Do you remember the first person killed on your street?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): The first one to get killed was the man on the bicycle just the left of my house. On March 6th, there were more dead people, there were seven people dead on the street on March 6th, seven dead people. I couldn't capture all the bodies from the window. There was a wall in the way.


COOPER (on-camera): What do you want to see happen to those Russians to everybody in the chain of command?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): They must be punished. There was a young guy who was bringing potatoes in a bag, maybe for his family. The stores were closed. There was no power, no heating, no water. He wanted to help and he was killed. What does he deserve only punishment.

COOPER (voice-over): But punishing the guilty won't be easy.

(on-camera): There were a number of different Russian units as I understand who were stationed here at one time or another. KRAVCHENKO: (INAUDIBLE).

COOPER (on-camera): You need to try to identify which unit it was what the chain of command was.

KRAVCHENKO (through translation): And it's very important to identify not only the commanders but concrete troops who committed the crimes and have them held accountable.

COOPER (voice-over): Kravchenko says 10 Russian soldiers in Bucha have already been identified using eyewitness accounts along with drone footage and images like this one taken by a traffic surveillance camera not far from Yablonska Street. But whether he can learn the identities of the Russian stationed on Yablonska Street is unclear. The man killed on March 5th on his bike was 68-year-old Volodymyr Brovchenko. His wife Svitlana lives not far away.

(on-camera): Is that him?


COOPER (voice-over): They were married for 45 years and have two kids and three grandchildren.

SVITLANA BROVCHENKO, HUSBAND WAS KILLED IN BUCHA (through translation): We told him not to go to work because there were tanks on the Yablonska Street. We told him not to go. He said no. I have to go to work. I have work to do. I didn't know what to tell you. It's awful. It's awful.

COOPER (voice-over): It is all so awful. The bicycle her husband road is still on Yablonska Street near the spot where he died. She doesn't want it back. The horror of what happened is just too terrible to face.


COOPER: Coming up, we'll look at the crisis in Bucha. With the UN Secretary General he met with Vladimir Putin yesterday, he'll meet with Zelenskyy tomorrow. My one on one conversation with him his first since meeting with Putin is next.



COOPER: We just brought you the story of some of the chilling and newly revealed images from Bucha. Here in Kyiv, I spoke about what happened in Bucha earlier with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, there'll be meeting tomorrow with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. In Moscow yesterday, he sat down with Vladimir Putin hoping among other things to begin to create humanitarian corridors effective ones for the civilians trapped in Mariupol. This is his first and only English language interviews since that meeting with Vladimir Putin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER (on-camera): Were you satisfied with what you heard from Vladimir Putin yesterday?

ANTONIO GUTERRES, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL: Well, I think it was a very useful meeting. First of all, because it was possible to tell President Putin the same things I say in New York, or I'll be able to say here in Kyiv which means that the Russian invasion is against the charter of the United Nations, the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. And that this war must end as quickly as possible. And at the same time, our concerns about violations of international military and law, human rights law, the possibility of war crimes.

So, I could express these concerns very clearly very openly, and at the same time at a very serious discussion on how we can at least minimize some of the most dramatic situations. So I concentrated my efforts in humanitarian aid and evacuations corridors. And in particular, the situation of the civilians that are trapped in the steel factory in (INAUDIBLE).

COOPER (on-camera): In Mariupol. There may be as many as 1,000 civilians in there at last count. The humanitarian corridors, it has been very frustrating obviously for Ukrainians trying to get out. Russia says the corridors are open. And yet Ukrainian officials say they continue to bomb into locations or the quarters may be open but heading only to Russia. Do you believe Vladimir Putin would allow civilians in Mariupol to leave or went to Ukraine?

GUTERRES: Let's be clear, President Putin agreed with me in principle that we would have with the support of the UN and the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross. There are two there the evacuation of those civilians into the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government. And we have been working on the details, at the present moment they are being discussed in Moscow, between the Ministry of Defense and our people. He had also in contact with the Government of Ukraine, to see if we can have a situation in which nobody can blame the other side for things not happening.

COOPER (on-camera): When, you know, some people look at UN and are frustrated that on the Security Council Russia obviously has a veto, and it can stop anything from the Security Council really ruling on what is happening here. What do you say to those who say that the UN is isn't, can't be affected because of that?

GUTERRES: Well, the UN is not only the Security Council, the General Assembly was clear in its positions, and we have 1,400 UN stuff in Ukraine. And we have already distributed different forms of humanitarian aid to more than 3 million Ukrainians. And one of the reasons of my visit is exactly to organize things in order to scale up our action, and to be able to do much more for the Ukrainians that are in such dramatic circumstances.

COOPER (on-camera): As for now though, your sights are trying to focus on what you think may be achievable, just in terms of getting civilians out of desperate situations as opposed to a multi national meeting to try to actually end the war. GUTERRES: I mean, the world will not end with meetings. The world will end -- will end when the Russian Federation decides to end it and when there is after the ceasefire the possibility of a serious political agreement. We can have all meetings but that is not what will end the war.


COOPER (on-camera): What role is the UN playing in terms of war crimes investigations on the ground here because yesterday, Vladimir Putin after your meeting, continued to say things which were not true, saying that the bodies that were found in Bucha was a provocation. And that's a reason why negotiations failed because of the -- this is false images of dead people when it's clear, Russian troops killed civilians in Bucha.

GUTERRES: Since the very first moment when the news of Bucha appeared, I said, we need an immediate, independent investigation. And we need to have accountability. And I must say, I'm very hopeful that the International Criminal Court prosecutor is here that they are investigating. That is the right way to do things. There is also a group of three members of a committee of inquiry of the Human Rights Council. There are monitors and the Office of Human Rights High Commissioner, and they hope that the truth will be fully established, and that responsibilities can be attributed and then the accountability can be effective.

COOPER (on-camera): Finally, General Milley in the United States yesterday said that the international order is under threat, the global order that has held the world together since World War II is under threat based on what is happening here if Russia is allowed to be victorious. Do you agree with that, that that international security is at threat here?

GUTERRES: International order for me is essentially the charter and international law. There was a violation of the charter and international law. It is very important to establish the principles of the charter and to make international law something everybody is forced to abide by.

COOPER (on-camera): Well, just one more question. When you talk to Vladimir Putin, do you use the word war? Do you use the word invasion?

GUTERRES: Look, I say exactly the same things in Moscow that I say in Kyiv. And that I say in New York, and that is how the United Nations can be credible. If we go to each place and say whatever people like to hear in that place we will completely lose credibility.

COOPER: It was Lavrov who raised the specter of nuclear weapons being used? How big of a concern is that for you?

GUTERRES: It is a concern, but I am sure that the world will avoid that risk. I mean, it will be absolutely unacceptable to think about it.

COOPER (on-camera): Mr. Secretary General, thank you. GUTERRES: Thank you very much. All the best.

COOPER (on-camera): I appreciate it.


COOPER: As I said he'll be meeting with President Zelenskyy here in Ukraine tomorrow. We'll continue to bring you updates from Ukraine tonight. But coming up, incredible story of what is going on in Shanghai China, people forbidden to leave their homes due to COVID outbreak, lashing out against authorities trying to break down barriers. Our reporter David Culver is in the country himself stuck in his apartment and living through it all. His report, next.



COOPER: At least 27 Chinese cities and up to 165 million residents are on full or partial lockdowns as officials trying to contain COVID outbreaks. Beijing officials today reported 50 new COVID cases after testing millions of residents across 12 districts this week, 50 new cases. Lockdowns continue in Shanghai with more than 10,000 new cases reported today. China's strict zero COVID policy has been a nightmare for residents, especially in Shanghai, where many have been banned from leaving their homes for nearly a month now. The images from Shanghai are sparking fear across many places in China, Beijing, in particular, with many wondering if they will meet the same fate.

CNN correspondent David Culver, who is in Shanghai under lockdown himself has details.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The calm before the storm. Beijing residents are stocking up, bracing themselves for a potential onslaught of COVID cases.


CULVER (voice-over): Beijing officials calling the matter urgent and grim, ordering nearly 20 million people to get tested three times this week alone. CNN is in the capital city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it doesn't seem to affect daily life. These office workers take a quick test at lunchtime and back to work. They seem calm and prepared.

CULVER (voice-over): But Beijing's preparation is in part due to Shanghai official's disastrous response to an outbreak there. The horror stories from the financial hub a shock to many across China. Officials in the capital determined to avoid the embarrassment of botching President Xi Jinping's zero COVID strategy, especially in the city where he lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are seeing at least on the surface, a more orderly kind of organized kind of effort and even overstocking supermarkets which are still open.

CULVER (voice-over): Open for now, residents know how quickly it can all change. Some Beijing communities already in lockdown, people sealed in a taste of what life is like for most in Shanghai.

Nearly one month of hard lockdown and many Shanghai residents are at a breaking point. Feelings of being caged in amplified when the city recently began installing fences like these to keep people from leaving their apartment buildings. And on the streets more and more barricades going up. Medical resources stretched. The Shanghai hospital workers refusing to help a desperate mother.


CULVER (voice-over): CNN also living through the Shanghai locked down. Outside my door only a paper sealed. A COVID guard sits on watch in my compound, much like the rest of this city exhausted by the extreme containment efforts.

Here the white hazmat suit is the new uniform of authority, the enforcers so much so that this compound even using it as a scarecrow to keep people in check. Since 2020, Chinese authorities have relentlessly turned to harsh lockdowns in hopes of containing COVID. Right now people in more than two dozen cities across China are living in full or partial lockdowns, some border cities have been in months long lock downs with outsiders barely paying attention.


In Shanghai demand for government quarantine space is rising with the case count, exhibition centers, gyms, classrooms, entire office buildings, all taken over to isolate positive cases, and close contacts. And those trapped in their homes, banging pots to vent their anger. One woman heard screaming, give me back my freedom.


COOPER: And David joins me now from Shanghai. David, this is a nightmare. I mean, people screaming from their windows, I want freedom. Let me just ask you first, were you allowed to leave your apartment today?

CULVER: I got a few steps onto my terrace or patio, which is still part of my property. So I'm allowed to be in there. But just really to put out the trash. Generally Anderson, you can at least take a few steps when there's the masks COVID testing, but they've now started doing that at our door. So they don't really even want us leaving our own property at this point. So not much. But yes, that's the reality.

COOPER: But I mean, just to be clear, you don't have COVID, the other people who are locked in their apartments, they don't have COVID. This is just to prevent you from going out and potentially meeting somebody who does. Is that correct?

CULVER: This is what is so maddening about all of this. As I see, even in my neighbor's group chat, you know, we're all talking, we are tested every single day. And for the vast majority, it is negative, negative, negative. And yet they are consistent in keeping us in this lockdown scenario. So yes, we don't have COVID. As far as we know, we're not close contacts with anyone here. And so it's a bizarre reality that they just insist on keeping in place.

COOPER: I mean some people lashing out trying to break down barriers. I mean, understandably, people's emotions are frayed after a month of this. Is that happening a lot around the city? Are those incidents pretty isolated?

CULVER: I think it's indicative of mental health, to be quite honest too. No, it's happening more and more frequently. And it's very rare here in China. You know this well, I mean, there's a level of social acceptance that you don't see a lot of resistance. And so, what we're seeing, not only online, and generally, people are hesitant to post things, but now they're putting a lot more out there. Even though censors are trying to clamp down as best as possible, it's a struggle for them to keep up. But then in person physically resisting, and I can't tell you how many fights I've heard now, in my own community outside the doors, you hear people who are going back and forth with community volunteers, and shouting and screaming, it shows you where emotions are at this point. And for my community and several others, it's been longer than a month, we're now at day 44.

COOPER: And is that -- I mean, is there any timeline on this? How long have you stuck in your apartment for?

CULVER: So I was just looking at one of the state media articles once again today saying that Shanghai is going to ease restrictions, calling this a major step and lifting lockdowns. But Anderson, we have been seeing reports like this now, for at least a couple of weeks, people really aren't buying it. There's a roadmap to get out of this. And that is communities have to go 14 straight days without any new case. What's been happening is as folks have getting closer and closer to that day 14, suddenly a new case pops up and the community says you're going to stay in lockdown for another two weeks.

COOPER: Wow. So its community based, not individuals. This is unbelievable. David Culver, I'm sorry for what you're going through and everybody else there. Appreciate you doing that report. Thank you.

As we've seen, the war --

CULVER: Thanks.

COOPER: -- in Ukraine has gone far beyond strikes on military facilities and troops, there has been reports of atrocities against everyday civilians who have been forced from their homes, had their belongings looted, even executed in the streets, in some cases raped. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has the story of a 16-year-old girls encounter with Russian soldiers, next.