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At This Hour

Global Outrage Over Russian Attack On Hospital In Ukraine; U.S. Inflation Hits New 40-Year High Of 7.9 Percent Before Oil Spike; Zelenskyy: 35,000 Rescued Through Corridors, But Many Still Trapped. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired March 10, 2022 - 11:30   ET



BETH SANNER, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: We are seeing this now, this kind of siege, operation going on across Ukraine and no willingness to allow humanitarian corridors.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Absolutely. I mean, no places that seen even more than these horrifying -- as horrifying as it is. The bombing and targeting of the hospital in Mariupol is kind of encapsulates all of this, General. I mean, you're seeing civilians, innocent, very vulnerable civilians targeted here. And you say this is also part of the Russian playbook.

MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It is. Just like Beth just said, it is not only part of the Russian playbook to instill terror, chaos, requirements for other aid to come in, you know, when you're talking about a Ukrainian resistance, they have their army and they have the non-army territorial fighters that are trying to defend things.

When you're terrorizing the population, when they're not getting food, when they're being injured like the example of the maternity hospital yesterday, you have to divert resources from the territorial force to help them to get them out. And you're dealing with the requirement to provide manpower in two different places, either in helping the civilian population or fighting against the Russians.

It is the Russian way of war. It creates chaos within the population and terror. We have seen this before. They have used the same kind of techniques in their own country in Grozny and Syria in Transnistria, in other places where they have bombed cities caused the civilians to just be exasperated, please make it stop, having military people or territorial forces come in to help them that they can't fight against the invading armies.

But I think right now Ukraine is balancing in that act pretty well but that's going to become increasingly difficult as they -- as the Russians continue to attack cities and rubble them and basically execute a scorched for -- scorched earth type of campaign plan.

BOLDUAN: You know, that's exactly what I was going to ask. What does it mean for what's next? And you just answered it. It's good to see you, General. Thank you very much. Beth, thank you, as well. For more on how you can help the people of Ukraine go to

Coming up still for us. Inflation soaring to a new high in the United States as consumers pay more for almost everything. How Putin's war on Ukraine will likely make things even worse? That's next.



BOLDUAN: Developing this morning. Inflation in the United States soaring to a new 40-year high, prices increasing 7.9 percent over the past year. This new measure of the state of the economy also does not include the recent surge in oil and gas prices coming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. CNN's John Harwood is live at the White House for us this hour. John, what are you hearing there about yet another sign that inflation isn't going away yet?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the White House had expected this number. Jen Psaki signaled that from the briefing podium the other day. And this is a complication, of course, for the White House, which has been hoping that inflation would moderate over the course of 2022 as we get closer to midterm elections, it's the negative spot in an otherwise bright economic picture, lots of job growth, low unemployment, strong economic growth.

But what we're seeing here is continued effects of the pandemic and you know, you've had a situation where it's partly the result of supply change as the economy starts back up, demand, fueled by all the fiscal relief that the U.S. government, the Biden administration supported for households that have pushed to strain those supply chains even further.

But going forward, you mentioned that these numbers came before the advent of the war. That's going to be a challenge through the course of the year. If gas prices stay high, that makes inflation high. It also complicates the picture for the Federal Reserve, which is trying to manage a reduction of inflation without causing a recession.

The recession risk has risen as a result of the pandemic because higher gas prices, higher energy prices, higher commodity prices overall, are going to put a strain on the economy. So you've got a very mixed economic picture. Good on the employment side, good on the economic growth side, but a real danger for inflation and the economy is still expected to moderate over the course of the year but that outlook has gotten cloudier as a result of this war. Kate.

BOLDUAN: That's a great point. John, thank you very much. So as John's kind of getting out, consumers are paying more for basically everything. In the last two weeks, gas prices especially have jumped a staggering 78 cents given the war in Ukraine. AAA reports the national average is now 400 -- $404.32 a gallon, it feels like $400 for many people. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich is tracking this for us. Vanessa, what are you seeing out there?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS & POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Well, terrible is how one woman described these gas prices to me. We are at $4.32 a gallon nationwide. That is a new record, that's up seven cents just overnight and as you mentioned up almost 80 cents since the Russian invasion of Ukraine just last month.


YURKEVICH: Now this is all coming on top of inflation which has already pushed gas prices extremely high. Moody's Analytics is reporting this morning that American families can expect to pay $1,300 more this year compared to pre-pandemic if gas prices stay where they are right now. We spoke to a driver in Los Angeles, the state with the highest gas prices in the country who says that he drives 450 miles a week for work. He says all of his expenses are growing up.


DAVE LEMOS, LOS ANGELES DRIVER: We're hitting close to about $2,300 over budget on things that we never thought we had even worried about on gas and travel and couriers and stuff.


YURKEVICH: Now, analysts are projecting that we could see $5 a gallon gas nationwide in the next month or so, but, Kate, that is coming before the huge summer rush that we're expecting to see from drivers going on vacation, so that with inflation, with the conflict in Ukraine, it's going to be a very expensive couple of months for the American people, Kate.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Vanessa, thank you very much. Joining me now for more is CNN Business Editor-at-Large and the host of Quest Means Business, Richard Quest. So, Richard, can you give us some -- give us some of your contexts here. I mean, what does this level of inflation mean now that it has lasted much longer than the administration had predicted?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN EDITOR AT LARGE: The seriousness of that very point is that inflation becomes entrenched. And once it's become entrenched, Kate, you start to see it feeding through the wider economy. For instance, people want higher wages, contractors want higher fees. Everybody's bill goes up.

And as those bills go up, so everybody asks for more wages. It's a spiral. And that's what the Fed had hoped to get ahead. Now, bearing in mind, Kate, the Fed was already behind the curve, for good reasons, they wanted to make sure that the pandemic effect have gone in terms of the economy.

However, by being behind the curve, they were slow to raise rates, which they're still expected to do in March and now, of course, the unknown. And remember, it's always the unknowns that get you the exogenous events like this war that's now entrenched inflation, unlikely to keep it tight for the foreseeable future.

BOLDUAN: Is there, you know, a leading theory on like, how much this war is going to exacerbate this problem?

QUEST: No, because you started at 7.8, 7.9 percent and now you've had a few weeks of higher oil prices. They came down a bit overnight but let's see how that factors in. And then you've got just simply supply chain issues, all those issues that we had before that are getting worse.

And finally, you've got U.S. corporations pulling out of Ukraine, or at least suspending their business. Now, this is uncertainty. I can hear viewers saying, well hang on a second, we don't do that much business with Russia. The links are not that great economically.

Russia is a relatively small economy and that's all true but it has ripple effects. Ripple effects into Germany to the U.K. to the rest of the European Union and those will then transmit themselves through Asia across the Atlantic and that's why the Fed will still raise rates, probably when it meets, and then we can expect higher interest rates across the board.

BOLDUAN: Another side of this, I'm curious, in your take, there's -- this growing list of companies pausing or cutting ties with Russia over the war. The latest just this morning, we see is Goldman Sachs, which is the first major Wall Street bank to accept Russia. How big of a deal is that announcement?

QUEST: Again, it depends on the company, depends on how much money they make them, Microsoft, and so it had McDonald's 9percent of profits. So earnings will be down for U.S. corporations. That's true. There's one thing I think we do need to remember at this point, Kate, maybe even get a second is this. There is a view that the war is over there, it's thousands of miles away.

However, I need to emphasize the pain is going to be felt, not the physical pain or the horror, but the economic pain is going to be felt around the world is one simple reason. Our main weapon against Putin besides the Ukrainian military, are these economic sanctions. So by definition, as we deploy that weapon against Putin and Russia, we will feel the effect.

A good example in the U.K. today is Chelsea Football Club owned by Roman Abramovich, who of course was sanctioned by the British government. Chelsea is now effectively frozen with limited abilities to move. And that's what you saw with U.S. corporations over the last couple of weeks. They wanted to make sure they didn't end up in the Chelsea situation, finding themselves on the wrong end of sanctions being frozen in some shape or form and not being able to move forward.


BOLDUAN: Fascinating. Richard, it's great to see you. Thank you. We also have this just in to CNN. Sources telling CNN the Biden administration will be extending the federal mask mandate for public transportation for another 30 days. This applies to planes, trains, buses, and hubs like airports. The official announcement could come as soon as today, but CNN is also learning that the requirement could expire sooner than that 30 days if virus transmission rates drop to levels considered low enough by the CDC. We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: New efforts are underway now to get Ukrainian civilians out of the war zone. Evacuation routes open today in several parts of the country now called Green corridors. But getting people out of the line of fire has become increasingly dangerous. CNN's Matthew Chance filed this report.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): In the chaos of this evacuation, the frantic search for a lost child. From the rush to escape the fighting, an orphan has been left behind. Each bus now desperately checked for a familiar face (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaking a foreign language.

CHANCE (on camera): Hi. Hello. Hi. Do you speak English?

CHANCE (voiceover): For the journey across the front line, the children are well protected against the cold if not the bombs. The older kids with terrified like Cara Natasha (PH) tells me. But the little ones didn't understand the danger they were all in. She says. This is a mass exodus from areas under heavy Russian assault an agreed safe corridor, which hundreds of civilians, entire families are using to escape before it closes, leaving the horrors of the past few weeks behind.


CHANCE (on camera): Nadia. Where have you come from, Nadia?


CHANCE: From Borispyl (PH). She is a town up there. They're not --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. This is a time -- this is a place which was -- which was the very dangerous and there are a lot of Russians and a lot of Chechens. I don't know.

CHANCE: Russians and Chechens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, Russians and Chechens. And they kill our --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- Owner of the house where we sit in.

CHANCE: They killed the owner of the house?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. They killed the owner of the house.

CHANCE: And so you must have been -- and your family over here, you must have been terrified.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know it's terrifying.

CHANCE: Frightening.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was terrified, absolutely terrified. But family is OK.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now we are going to their --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaking a foreign language.

CHANCE: Where --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ten days in the underground.

CHANCE: You've been 10 days underground?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ten days underground.

CHANCE: Oh, my goodness.

CHANCE: Well, there you have it. You know, just one family that has taken this opportunity to escape the horrific situation they find themselves in for the last 10 days or more. And again, you know, take that chance to get themselves and their children out of here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a lot of volunteers who helped with nutrition and warm these --

CHANCE (voiceover): And helping them do that safely. This embattled Ukrainian official tells me is now as much a part of fighting this war with Russia, is killing the enemy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, and we are -- warm food and warm drinks.

CHANCE (on camera): Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a medical crew that helps to manage people that were wounded. We've seen shelled people with broken and ruptured legs here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we have a security force that actually interviews people because we are afraid that Russians may have sent some of their own --

CHANCE: As spies. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this as spies as --

CHANCE: Saboteurs, so ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And saboteurs, yes.

CHANCE: Yes, right here. I know this is happening, of course, all this is happening under the threat, the threat of artillery strikes and gunfire.


CHANCE: That's a real threat, right? No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a real threat but we have no choice because we have thousands of people who really have spent more than a week in the basements with no cellular coverage, with no access to medical assistance, with no food, no lights, no electricity, and they want to flee. They need us to help them.

CHANCE (voiceover): But as the buses leave for the capital, the boom of artillery fire resumes in the distance. The window for this escape from the fighting is closing fast. Matthew Chance, CNN, Kyiv.


BOLDUAN: We say this often, but it bears repeating. The images of this war are so hard to watch but they are important to see, the sheer brutality of Putin's war on innocent civilians in Ukraine on full display. Seeing pregnant women bloodied and bombed-out wreckage of that maternity and Children's Hospital in Mariupol should haunt everyone.

Dazed, covered in dust and ash, some carried out on stretchers, and this attack happened during what was supposed to have been a temporary ceasefire. And then there's this image, a Ukrainian family killed. This mother, Tatiana Perebeinis, and her nine and 18-year-old children had been hiding in a basement when a bomb hit their apartment building.

So, they decided to evacuate thinking it would be safe because, again, it was during a supposed Russian ceasefire. Instead, they were killed in an instant, dying together after being hit by mortar fire in the city of Irpin.


BOLDUAN: In the city of Mariupol there's also this image. Trenches dug to be mass graves. Because there are so many victims at this point, there is no way for families to hold proper burials. And the true death toll so far in Putin's war is far from known. The reality of war is captured in these images, not in the words coming from any government spokesman. They're so hard to watch, but they are so important to see.

Thank you for being here everyone. CNN's breaking news coverage of the war on Ukraine continues with INSIDE POLITICS with John King after this break.