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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Kyiv Mayor Warns Of A High Likelihood Of Shelling As Major Russian Holiday Approaches; CNN Poll: Most Americans Want Roe v. Wade To Stay; CNN Poll: Most Americans Want Roe v. Wade To Stay; Officials Investigating Whether Escaped Inmate, Corrections Officer Have Another Car; Sources: Putin's Reputed Girlfriend On List Of Proposed E.U. Sanctions; Putin's Attempt To Showcase Military Power On Symbolic Holiday. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired May 06, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: The Cuban President saying a gas leak is suspected to have caused the massive explosion. It's a beautiful hotel. I stayed there when I covered then President Obama's historic visit to the country in 2016.

And the hotel has often housed top officials and celebrities for all sorts of visits, Jay-Z, Beyonce, and others.

It's an incredible tragedy and rescue crews are still looking for survivors desperately in the rubble at this hour.

Thanks for joining us, AC 360 starts now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We begin tonight with a war and what the Russians now call liberation and what was that beautiful city called Mariupol.

Russia says they have liberated Mariupol. This is what their liberation looks like. After more than 70 days of missiles and mortars, artillery and tanks targeting hospitals and shelters, cutting off food and medicine from being sent in and stopping women and children from getting out, Russia has destroyed Mariupol.

They destroyed it in their twisted Orwellian logic in order to save it, they say. It may be difficult to see but if you look at the top of this hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, you'll see the unmistakable blue and red Russian flag. It is now in Russian control. This is a new image that just came to us today.

These are also new images from Mariupol, post-Soviet era monuments built when Ukraine was a territory of the Soviet Union, now being restored.

Yesterday, we saw these pictures which Russian citizens are being shown of medal ceremonies for Russian troops and already, there are new Russian language road signs.

Russia which hasn't been able to move quickly on the ground in Ukraine is moving quickly to put their stamp on the city they have destroyed. As you probably know by now, on Monday in Russia, they commemorate their victory over the Nazis in World War Two. A campaign they've tried to link to their fight in Ukraine. It cannot be linked.

In World War Two, the Soviets liberated Auschwitz. They saved lives there. In Mariupol, they've stomped it to the ground. It has been a slaughter.

The question tonight is what more can we expect from Vladimir Putin as he seeks to use this holiday on Monday to spin a long stalled invasion into a victory. Kyiv's Mayor Vitali Klitschko has told residents to take extra precautions because he says in the coming days, there is a high likelihood of missiles shelling in all regions of Ukraine. There are concerns about a possible official Declaration of War or Russian mobilization.

In Kherson, another Russian-occupied town, a visiting Russian official told residents that Russia came to, quote "stay forever." As for the Biden administration, they've chosen Monday as the day that President Biden will sign a bill whose name carries the memories of World War Two as well. The Ukraine Lend-Lease Bill they're calling it designed to make it easier for the U.S. to provide military aid.

Today, the U.S. announced another $150 million in shipments to Ukraine, but for Mariupol, it may be too late.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more on the fighting there and the attempts to save civilians.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice over): Escorted by armor, curtains closed, inside are said to be some of the latest civilians to evacuate the unbridled hell of Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. Yet these are Russian troops escorting them out, not the United Nations who helped evacuate earlier in the week.

Ukrainian soldiers here Friday said one of theirs died and six were injured in an evacuation bid. And while Ukraine said it began a new operation to get people out from under this, the savagery of Russian bombardment at the factory, the U.N. said Friday, a total of 500 people had got out since their efforts began this weekend. Many, many more desperate to flee.

Battered and uninhabitable as much of Mariupol is, still ahead of Monday's Victory Day, it appears the city's drama theater, its basement packed with children when it was bombed by Russia killing hundreds is now being cleared up, excavated.

These satellite images first on CNN, showing rubble visible in April gone in recent days. Vehicles lined up and the ground around the theater cleared to make it more presentable. It's not clear why they are tidying the scene of what many called a war crime.

The warped world of what Russia calls liberation was also on view here in these rare images filmed inside a filtration camp where Ukrainians are held before being forced to go to Russia.

Passports taken, sleeping on the floor or in chairs, illness from the cold, all part of the experience of liberation, according to one woman whose father was there.

And this staged visit, evidence of Russia's rush to assimilate what it has clumsily torn off Ukraine.

This is Kherson, the first city it captured and the man in the beard is Denis Pushilin, separatist leader from Donetsk in the visit suggesting Kherson under Russian occupation where protests are crushed will also be declared a tin pot People's Republic soon.


(voice over): It all has the whiff of empire.

Here, he sits discussing transferring food from Kherson to Russia's separatist areas, watermelons and tomatoes. He might call it trade, Ukraine a food heist.

But Moscow is far from having its way and the costs are heavy. These images CNN has confirmed were filmed in a graveyard in Ryazan, the flags of the Russian Paratroop Division, the elite, and there are many just in this one city.

These are the dead behind the propaganda, with so much rubble in Russia's tiny victories.


COOPER: Nick Paton Walsh joins us now from Kryvyi Rih. Nick, what can you tell us about concerns about missile strikes in Kyiv this weekend that Mayor Klitschko is talking about?

PATON WALSH: Yes, I mean, it's unclear if Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv is acting on some specific Intelligence, but he's told those living in the city to be extra vigilant, to stay indoors if they can see, that there is a potential threat of missile strikes and that will be specifically Sunday and Monday, the day before and the day of Russia's Victory Day celebrations on which frankly, I think all of Ukraine possibly most of the world is on edge to see exactly what Vladimir Putin's next move is.

But in Kyiv, over the next 48 to 72 hours that will likely mean that if you hear an air raid siren, you do actually pay attention to it rather than going about, the sort of normal daily life that appears to have been embraced by the city as I'm sure you're seeing yourself -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Nick Paton Walsh, appreciate it. Thank you.

Joining us now from Moscow, our senior international correspondent, Matthew Chance. So Matthew, let's talk about Monday, this Victory Day parade. In the past, I know you've covered several of them. What can we expect? And how will what's happened in Ukraine affect it, do we know?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think we can expect, you know, a pretty spectacular display of Russian military might, that's what happens every year.

This year, the Kremlin say it's going to be slightly smaller than in previous years, but it's still going to have 11,000 troops marching through the center of the Russian capital. There are still going to be something like 131 different kinds of weapons systems on display, including the jewel in the crown of the Russian military, the intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles. They will be involved as well, as well as 77 aircrafts.

So plenty to be -- you know, to watch in this display, if you want to do that, but also places to be concerned about if you're in a neighboring country, looking at Russia's resurgence militarily and worried about what impact it could it could have on you.

There is also a possibility that Vladimir Putin will use this opportunity to announce something important about what is going on in Ukraine, what Russia calls its special military operation. There's been speculation it could be a formal Declaration of War on Ukraine to enable it to marshal more resources into that fighting.

The Kremlin has pushed back on it, but Anderson, as we know, the Kremlin say they are going to do one thing or say they are not going to do something, then they end up doing it. So, we're waiting to see what actually happens on the day.

COOPER: Well speaking of that, the Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, was asked about a call between Vladimir Putin and Israel's Prime Minister yesterday, which the Israelis in their readout said included an apology by Putin, what did Peskov say?

CHANCE: Yes, an apology, of course, for Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, saying that the worst kind of anti-Semitism is at the hands of Jewish people and suggesting that Adolf Hitler had some sort of Jewish blood, something that's a conspiracy theory that's been widely discredited.

The Kremlin have not admitted that there was an apology is what the Israelis say. They were asked repeatedly again today on a daily conference call, and Dmitry Peskov who is Vladimir Putin spokesman refused to commit to it saying that the only thing they've got to say is what they've already made public, which is this generic list of sort of bilateral issues that the two leaders discussed.

And so it's very embarrassing for that for him because Israel is, of course, one of those countries that has not fully signed up so far to the massive international raft of sanctions against Russia.

And so this kind of diplomatic spat threatened to push Israel more towards that point of view when it came to Russia.

COOPER: Matthew Chance, thanks very much. I'm joined now by retired Brigadier General Peter Zwack, a former U.S.

Defense Attache to Russia and retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, a CNN military analyst.

General Hertling -- sorry, actually just General Hertling today -- how do you see things playing out in Mariupol moving forward?

I mean they have destroyed the city. They said they're liberated, they destroyed it. Now they're trying to clean it up in spots. Bodies, I assume being, you know, have -- there been reports of mass graves, but even just in satellite photographs, it looks like they are literally cleaning up some parts of the streets.


If you destroy a city, and then you are going to claim it as your own, I assume you have to rebuild it.

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, one would assume so, Anderson, and I think it's either that or just a Russification, as they've been doing in some other cities of the parts that haven't been destroyed. And that's what's just so confounding about this entire thing.

You know, the comments about taking over a part of the city that has been completely destroyed, does not have any of the services still available. They've all been destroyed. Electricity, water, sewage, housing, nothing is there anymore.

So if that is what Russia is claiming as a victory, it is a hollow victory, and it's not going to ring true, but again, you're going to probably see Putin pin a bunch of medals on people telling them how they've -- you know, they're the heroes of Mariupol and there are no heroics at all on the Russian side, the heroics are all on the resistance by the Ukrainians as they continue to fight, and they'll likely still be fighting on the ninth of May.

So it's just bizarre from a standpoint of a military victory. It hasn't happened.

COOPER: We had the former Ambassador Ukraine on last night who said that, according to one person he has talked to in the Ukrainian military, at least some of the Howitzers, the artillery that the U.S. has sent is not only in the Ukraine, which the U.S. has already said it is but says it's actually already been brought to bear on the battlefield. Is it clear to you how much the difference that is making or may make down the road?

HERTLING: Well, I know what the M777s can do, Anderson, and how they are exceedingly good at long range fires, and there is the potential for very precise targeting.

So if the Intelligence that is being passed as to where units are, where key targets are, those Howitzers are going to be much better in terms of precision targeting versus area targeting. And what I mean by that, you know, the Russian artillery fire is hitting a large area and hoping to hit a target, what you're seeing now, with these kinds of artillery, these modern technologically advanced artillery pieces coming in, they can become -- they can target very close to where the enemy is.

And when I say close, I'm talking about exceedingly close, more than close enough to spill their coffee. It will kill people, it will ensure that the kinds of targets the Ukrainians are looking to destroy are destroyed, very different than area fire weapons. They're very precise.

And yes, the folks that I'm talking to saying that there are increasingly becoming available on the battlefield, as well as the ammunition that comes along with them.

COOPER: And for Ukrainians, and we know what Russian targets are. For Ukrainian forces, is the target Russian artillery? Is it the Russian equivalent of the Howitzers or whatever the Russian artillery is?

HERTLING: Yes, we've heard a lot about targeting over the last couple of days because of some reports in "The New York Times." What real targeting is, its Intelligence that's gathered from either signals Intelligence or human Intelligence or overhead satellite imagery that is passed to a commander, in this case, an artillery commander or his maneuver commander saying, "What do you want to hit" and target priorities are outlined.

So I would think early on in this stage, you're talking about counter battery fire. That's what I would go after as a commander to shut down those artillery pieces because the Ukrainians know if they can shut off those long range fires, they can stand toe to toe with Russian tanks and infantry. They have shown that over the last two months.

So getting rid of the fires, the long range fires that destroy neighborhoods, that harassed civilians, that fall arbitrarily, that's a critical targeting priority, and then, you know, certainly they can use artillery to go against tanks and infantry, but the Ukrainians had been very adept at going after those with drone strikes, and with close in fires with anti-tank systems.

COOPER: So this is a dumb question, I should know the answer to it, but if the Ukrainians go or if the emphasis in your opinion should be or if you were doing it would be counter battery or Ukrainian artillery firing at Russian artillery, I assume the Russian who would be firing back at Ukrainian artillery. What is the strategy to avoid just being wiped -- having your artillery wiped out once their position is known? I mean, are you constantly mobile with those units?


HERTLING: Yes, getting into a little bit of artillery tactics, which I've commanded artillery.

COOPER: That's why I am asking I'm curious. Yes.

HERTLING: Yes, what they will do is find those targets using radars and the radars are an important part of that package that the U.S. and NATO forces have given. It's not just the guns, it's the radars that come along with it. It will pinpoint the Russian artillery.

The Russian artillery is not as good, ad as you see these -- those grad rockets firing, you can see that even the carriage is bouncing around as they fire weapons. That spreads the round all over the place when it goes down ring.

So when you've got the radars telling you where the targets are, and you've got very technologically advanced system that can hit precisely, you hit those targets. And then I mean, there's a phrase that artillery men use, "shoot and scoot." You fire the weapon and then you get the hell out so you can't get counter battery back on you. That's part of the training that goes along with artillery mastering the battlefield.

They've got to not only know how to lay the guns and hit the targets and hit the radar and connect all of those things to precise targeting, but as soon as they fire up a couple rounds, they've got to get out of there for fear that the Russians will conduct counter fire on them.

COOPER: Great, General Hertling, thank you. I really appreciate it.

Coming up, Justice Clarence Thomas shares his anger at the Supreme Court draft opinion leak, plus new CNN polling on where Americans stand on Roe v. Wade after the leak of what it might mean for midterms, Kirsten Powers and Alice Stewart join us with perspective next.

And later, breaking news on that manhunt for an Alabama inmate and the Corrections officer who went with him or helped him where authorities found their getaway car. Details on that, ahead.



COOPER: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is the latest member of the bench to condemn the leak of a draft opinion that appears to signal a conservative majority is ready to end Roe v. Wade. Thomas said today that government institutions shouldn't be bullied. He told the Judicial Conference that the events of this week are a symptom of that.

Thomas also reiterated his past comments that Justices are obligated to take a fresh look at established precedent. A new CNN polling to show you tonight on abortion. This comes after the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion that calls for overturning Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds of adults surveyed disagreed with the court ending Roe, if that's in fact what they do. That view is shared by a third of Republicans.

Most Americans want Congress to pass a law protecting the right to abortion. Perhaps more notably, the share of registered voters who are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this fall jumped by several points from the days just prior to the leak. That jump was seen in both major parties. In other words, the enthusiasm jumped on each side effectively cancels out the other. What may be more critical for Election Day is this, three-quarters of

those under the age of 45 want row left alone, 68 percent of that same age group wants Congress to codify abortion rights.

With me now CNN senior political analyst and "U.S.A. Today's" Kirsten Powers, also CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Alice Stewart.

Kirsten, what does it tell you that abortion seems to have had, I guess, muted impact on motivating both Republican and Democratic voters leading into the midterms?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think one thing we have to remember is that they are actually -- Roe actually hasn't been overthrown, right? So what's happened is there's been a leak of a draft, which I think has gotten the attention of a lot of people who are the most engaged on this, but not necessarily the entire country.

In the CNN poll, only about half of people said that they had heard a good deal amount about this. So, I think that that's part of it.

I think another part of it is that very few people actually are that focused on the elections at this point. They aren't thinking about the midterm elections unless they are these sort of supercharged people who follow these things very closely.

So I think we have to sort of wait to see how this plays out in terms of getting closer to the elections, and when people have more information.

COOPER: Alice, I mean, even though it might not be a huge motivator right now, as we mentioned, 66 percent of Americans do not support completely striking down Roe v. Wade. What does happen to Kirsten's point when states start passing restrictions that according to this poll, and other polls, a majority of voters do not want?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that's when certainly people are going to reach out to their elected officials and make their opinions known, and that's the great thing about democracy. The closer we are to the people, the more reflective our representation is.

And I think the key here is while the headlines have been this week all on the Supreme Court documents, voters as to Kirsten's point, they have been hit with a leak of this opinion, but have not been flooded yet with ads on television, phone calls, door-to-door knockers and constant barrage of information about the polls.

And speaking with Republican Members of Congress over the last few days, they say initially, their constituents reached out and voiced their concerns about what the states would do. But at the end of the week, these voters are back to focusing on the economy and jobs and crime, and what they see as a litany of policies by the Democrats that they say is harmful.

And we all know that a lot of these elections are about pocketbook issues and the economy. And, you know, to the degree Republicans can keep the focus on that, that's going to be helpful for Republicans.

COOPER: Kirsten, as you know, I mean, there are a number states which have the so-called trigger laws banning abortion that would go into effect immediately if Roe is overturned.

In the wake of the leaked draft opinion, Louisiana -- some state lawmakers in Louisiana have advanced a bill that would classify abortions as homicides, potentially allowing women to be criminally charged for terminating their pregnancies. These are the lawmakers who voted to advance it, seven men.

There are those who also say this bill could ultimately restrict IVF, emergency contraception. What is your reaction to how far some states may go with this?


POWERS: Well, I wish I could say I was surprised, but you know we've seen a lot of things happening that I think many people thought were far, far behind us in terms of our history. And I think that this is the natural consequence of the kind of thinking that has led to the potential overthrow of Roe.

And so, you know, I was saying a lot of people don't -- aren't following this that closely, but a lot of people, even people who are following it closely don't entirely understand just how far this can go and just what the ramifications of overturning Roe would be.

COOPER: Alice, if one believes that abortion is murder, as I think you do, is it then a natural argument that well, if it is murder, that people should be charged with homicide?

STEWART: I think that is a bridge too far in many of these cases, Anderson, what we're going to see moving forward is a more nuanced discussion. It's not simply black or white. I happen to be pro-life, but I do think that there should be exceptions for rape incest and life of the mother.

I think some state laws are way too aggressive with regard to limits they put on when abortion should happen. In my State of Virginia, the third trimester abortions. Many polling data that is with the pro-life community show that nearly 70 percent of Americans do not support late-term abortions, and that's on the books in some states.

So these are the kind of isolated incidents we are seeing in some states, but it is worthy of a broad discussion, but more than anything, what we're seeing in the pro-life community is that they do not want this decision to be left up to nine members of an unelected Court. They would much rather be with their elected officials at the state level.

And we all know that elected officials in California have a different view on this issue than in a state like Alabama or Arkansas. So what we're going to see is laws that more reflect the will of the people.

COOPER: Kirsten? POWERS: Yes, the reason that this can't be left up to the states is

because we don't put people's individual rights and liberty up to votes basically. It is not something that everybody gets to weigh in on and have an opinion about.

Women are people. Women are people with liberty. Women are people with rights, and it's not up to what some individual state -- a person in an individual state thinks, and so that is what is so dangerous about this and these are not outliers.

According to Guttmacher, there are 11 states that are poised to make it illegal also in cases of rape and incest. So, these are not outlier issues, and that means there could be a woman who is facing death -- you know, potential death after being raped and there are people who would let her die rather than get an abortion.

I mean, this is not about being pro-life, I'm sorry, because if you're pro-life, you don't want that to happen to women. And Alice, I do appreciate that you don't want women to die. But unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that feel very, very differently.

And I think that you have to come to terms with exactly the ramifications that this is going to have on people's lives.

COOPER: Alice?

STEWART: And I think it's just important to keep in mind, yes, the life of the mother is extremely valuable and important in this case, but what those in the pro-life community and those that support the pro-life issues, they're looking out for the voice of the unborn and the sanctity of life and the innocent babies, 63 million babies have been aborted since Roe v. Wade was implemented. And many in the pro- life community say that is 63 million too many.

And so the focus certainly should be on the health of the mother, but the life of the baby is paramount and this is what many in the community are working to protect and preserve, and that's clearly what the Supreme Court is doing and saying that since the Constitution didn't specifically address this, that's why they believe Roe v. Wade is egregiously wrong.

COOPER: Kirsten?

POWERS: So, if my 15-year-old niece got pregnant, you would literally stand there and tell her you have to have this baby. Is that what you're telling me?

STEWART: I would say that there are options.

POWERS: She can't take the morning after pill, she can't do anything, she has to -- she couldn't even -- when it's an embryo in the first, you know, six weeks you would tell her, you have to have this baby.

STEWART: I would say that counsel everyone in that situation. I have two nieces myself and I would certainly be with them in this critical time. But the most important thing is to make sure they understand the precious value of life and there are options for them.

In terms, as I said, of adoption and assistance for them if they decide to carry through and keep this baby, but there are many other options aside from abortion that need to be considered in this conversation.


POWERS: I think if you're at the point where you're saying that you would have a child be forced by the law, to carry a pregnancy to term, there's a problem. I don't I mean, I think it's a problem. I think it's a problem if it's a woman. But I do think like I said, it's important to talk about the natural consequences of this kind of thinking. Because I think I think it is more clear when I talk about my 15-year-old niece, though it is actually really bad to do that to a woman who doesn't want to carry that, that pregnancy to term and should have a right to make that decision. You're free to feel however you feel about it, and to do whatever you want to feel do and counsel your family however you want to counsel them. But what we're talking about I think the bigger debate is should the state be forcing 15 year old girls to have babies, should they be forcing mothers who have many children and can't afford to have any more children?

COOPER: Alice Stewart, Kirsten Powers, appreciate the discussion. Thank you.

POWERS: Thank you.

COOPER: Up next breaking news on the manhunt for an Alabama inmate and corrections officer. What authorities say tonight after finding their getaway car.



COOPER: More breaking news tonight of the Alabama inmate and corrections officer who went missing one week ago. According to the Lauderdale County Sheriff, the night before the incident corrections officer Vicky White stayed at a hotel just a short distance from where their getaway car was originally parked. We're also getting new details on that car. The U.S. Marshal Service says the car was found in a tow lot in Williamson County, Tennessee, just a couple hours north of Florence, Alabama, where the investigation began. The Williamson County Sheriff's Office said it was taken their last Friday after they responded to an abandoned vehicle. They found the car locked with no tags or identifying information.

Earlier I spoke with Commander of the U.S. Marshal Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, Chad Hunt and U.S. Marshal for Northern Alabama, Martin Keely.


COOPER (on-camera): Marshal Keely the idea that the suspects only drove about two hours away before they had to ditch their car and it was in such a sparsely populated area. Does that help or hinder your search?

MARTIN KEELY, U.S. MARSHAL, NORTHERN ALABAMA: Well, it's another clue for us. It's another area to move into, to interview people that might have seen some of their activity in that area in the day. We dispatched our people up to Tennessee to do just that.

COOPER (on-camera): Marshal Hunt, the sheriff pointed out that they tried to spray paint the car green, we've seen the photo they didn't do a great job with that along with this suspicion that they had car trouble. And that may be why they ditched the vehicle. What state of mind, I mean, based on your experience, what state of mind, do you think Casey White is in right now?

CHAD HUNT, COMMANDER, U.S. MARSHAL GULF COAST REGIONAL FUGITIVE TASK FORCE: So, you know, what we think is, is that, you know, this obviously was not planned, right? We do believe maybe they had some sort of mechanical issue with the vehicle. As it relates to, you know, the spray paint, you know, we can just come up with theories of why they might have you know, spray painted, you know, certain pieces of the vehicle. There was, you know, what we released in the bolo, that there was some damage to the left rear of the vehicle. So that part was painted. But if you can see the photos, there are some, you know, spray paint in the right rear quarter panel. I really don't know, you know why they did that.

Speaking to his, you know, state of mind, you know, obviously, they probably didn't plan for this. And if they did not plan for this, you know, you know, the risk goes up, you know, did they try to steal another vehicle? Did they have assistance, you know, from somebody else in the area. So, these are all the different things that we're looking at.

COOPER (on-camera): And Marshall Keely, the sheriff said the deputy marshals and other agents had been at the site where the car was towed from all morning canvassing trying to see if there were any witnesses. What sort of train are we talking about in that area?

KEELY: It's a rural area, a very rural area where the vehicle was originally found. Tennessee farming country that that type of area.

COOPER (on-camera): And we know nothing was found Marshal Keely inside the car. So, I guess whatever they had with them, they must have taken. Does it give you any clues as to where they might have gone?

KEELY: Well, there was nothing left in the vehicle. And I think if you look at the totality of this investigation, you can see that the individuals that are responsible, Casey and Vicky, you can see that it was very organized, it was organized and planned in advance. And so they had a plan for escaping the institution, they also had a plan for what to do after they escaped. And so, it's somewhat challenging, but we know that at some point in time, they will make a mistake. There is a witness out there that will come forward and give us information. And we continue to encourage the public to come forward with information.

And we've had some excellent help. And I think that this case will be solved ultimately with some information from the public that will complete one piece of the puzzle.

COOPER (on-camera): Marshal Hunt, I mean, in your experience, you've hunted down a lot of folks, does this make any sense to you? I mean, I just don't logically, this guy's 6'9, she's, you know, had the career that she's had. I mean, ultimately, they're going to get caught. It's not like their master, you know, spies and can just disappear. Does -- do people think they can actually get away?

HUNT: You know, I think everybody might initially think that they can get away. You know, every manhunt that we have, is a little bit different from the other. This one definitely is different and more challenging than maybe some of the ones that we've had, that I've personally had in my career.

I do think, you know, that these, these individuals that pull off escapes like this, they do have a good plan. They have maybe something made in their mind that they're always going to get away with it. But based on my experience and the experience of the Marshal Service, that doesn't hold true.

COOPER (on-camera): Yes. Marshal Hunt, Marshal Keeley, I appreciate you joining us. Thanks so much.

HUNT: Thank you.

KEELY: Thank you, sir.


COOPER: Coming up more on the war in Ukraine and the European sanctions that could soon be coming for the Olympic gymnasts reputed to be Vladimir Putin's girlfriend. I'll talk to a reporter has been investigating her trying to find out details of where she lives, what her life is like which turns out it's a lot harder than you might imagine.



COOPER: Just days ahead of a major Russian holiday important Vladimir Putin, sources say the European Union could soon sanction his reputed girlfriend Alina Kabaeva is very important for reason. She is believed to have been given control over some of that Vladimir Putin's wealth and property. She has also been rumored to be in a relationship with Russian leader ever since he took an interest in her after she won the Olympic gold medal for Russia in 2004. After Putin divorce, his wife Kabaeva began to rise in Russian political circles. She became a deputy in parliament from Putin's party and then went on to control a pro-Putin Media Group.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. was very close to sanctioning her as well but decided to withhold those sanctions. Earlier, I spoke to one of the co-authors of that report, Vivian Salama.


COOPER (on-camera): Vivian, thanks so much for joining us. How close did the U.S. come to sanctioning this woman who's allegedly close to Vladimir Putin and why did they pull back?

VIVIAN SALAMA, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Anderson, it was so close that our understanding it was that in the 11th hour, basically hours, maybe minutes days before they sanctioned her. They decided at the last minute that it would not be a beneficial move for the U.S., they decided that the move would be too, too provocative and escalatory was the exact word the sources used for us. And what they meant by that was that it could basically trigger Putin to take a response that he hasn't necessarily done with other sanctions that we've seen in the past. This is very personal for him. And they felt that this would maybe be something that would better be saved for a moment where they really just wanted to give them a hard punch, even down the line.


COOPER (on-camera): Yes. You said in the article that it could be deemed so personal blow to Mr. Putin that it could further escalate tensions between Russia and the U.S.? Was there -- I mean, the people you spoke with, did they reference any specific intelligence? That this relationship was a red line for Putin, or what I mean, it was their specific knowledge of that?

SALAMA: So, the U.S. government officially describes Kabaeva as Putin's quote unquote, Mistress, although he's not married. And so, you know, if she's known to be his girlfriend, although even officials told us privately that they know that there are other women in Vladimir Putin's life as well. But Kabaeva sort of his steady in terms of they have at least three, maybe four children together. And so, she essentially there was a pronged, as it was described, to me a prong to essentially legitimize sanctions against her.

And so, officials said that, because of that relationship, because of their closeness, because of the fact that they have children together, and Vladimir Putin is also believed to be using her to stash away some of his wealth, the way that it was argued that she did with his daughters, his eldest -- his older daughters, who were sanctioned, a month ago, they believe that she was a legitimate target too. However, they decided that because of the fact that it could trigger some sort of a harsh response from him, because of the personal nature of it, because of the fact also that he's never admitted publicly to this relationship. They decided that they did not want to go that route, essentially, they said that it's not for us to expose the relationship that he's never acknowledged. And so that would trigger harsh response.

COOPER (on-camera): She's also the Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Media Group, which is Russia's largest media conglomerate. So are the sanctions -- were the U.S. and the EU were they sink, you know, considering sanctions, because of her role in Russia's propaganda machine, or was it purely as because of Putin may be hiding assets under her name. SALAMA: There's definitely an argument to be made of her role with the Media Association in terms of the crackdown on the media and the fact that she has essentially backed us and supported this. And certainly, that's something that the U.S. officials, definitely EU officials have looked at. But her proximity to Putin her relationship to Putin has been, essentially, the main argument and the main way of the that the U.S. government has legitimized it's potentially targeting her on the fact that they have three kids together, for them was sort of the icing on the cake, where they said that she is essentially a very fair game target, if only he would publicly acknowledge her. And that is really the one lingering thing that has made U.S. officials, at least to this point, hold back for now.

COOPER (on-camera): If the EU decided to move forward with sanctions. Do you think the U.S. would follow suit or could it be done just by the EU?

SALAMA: A number of sanctions have been done by the EU and then the U.S. has followed days if not weeks later, and so it is not far fetched to say that the U.S. would follow out -- a follow up with us. What we were told throughout the time of our reporting on this was that she is not off the table. She is just someone that they wanted to hold off on. And when they said escalatory they didn't mean never, they just said they were saving it for a moment where they really wanted to give Putin a strong punch and a personal punch.

And so, the fact that the EU now deems this the right time, it's entirely possible that the U.S. could follow suit very soon.

COOPER (on-camera): Wow. Vivian Salama, I really appreciate the reporting. Thank you.


COOPER: Will be on for another hour right after this.



COOPER: As mentioned the top the broadcast, Monday May 9th is a very important and symbolic day in Russia and to Vladimir Putin's attempt to project success and his war in Ukraine.

Our senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is in Moscow has the details on what makes this one day so important to Russia.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nighttime on the cobbles of Red Square, and Russia's military is plotting its next steps. This is a rehearsal for the annual Victory Day parade every May 9th commemorating the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany. It's also a dramatic stage for the Kremlin to showcase its military power, and to celebrate it.


CHANCE (voice-over): I'm looking forward to its grand scale says this Moscow (INAUDIBLE). We will show the power and strength of our country, he says, though, who really needs a reminder.

These are the latest brutal images from Ukraine, where Russia is continuing what it calls it special military operation. The Kremlin says this is also a fight against Nazis. And even though Ukraine has a Jewish president, it's been drilled into Russians that their country's soldiers are yet again, battling fascists. It's a comparison dismissed in the West, but which many Russians seem prepared to accept.


CHANCE (voice-over): Every year I go to these rehearsals says this man who gives his name as Misha (ph). But I think this year it's more special because of the special military operation happening in Ukraine, he says. Today I waved the flag to support our army. But I hope it will end soon, he adds. A hint of awareness perhaps, that the horrific cost.



CHANCE (voice-over): This is what Victory Day is meant to mark. The Soviet Union's role in the Allied victory in the Second World War. Russia sustained millions of casualties, paying an enormous sacrifice. But the power of a military parade to bolster national pride has never been lost on the Kremlin's leaders, instable President Putin whose Victory Day parades have the years heralded Russia's resurgence as a military power.

This speculation this year's parade will form the backdrop for a major announcement on Ukraine. Victory Day still marks Russia's triumphant past. What the Kremlin really wants is to celebrate that elusive victory in the present.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


COOPER: Well up next, as Russia attempts to crush Mariupol, we'll take you to another war font where things are not going nearly as planned for Vladimir Putin. Plus, hear from Americans and a Canadian who are taking it upon themselves to fight for Ukraine ahead.