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At This Hour

Ukraine's President Addresses Canada's Parliament; Official: 350,000 People Still Trapped In Mariupol. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired March 15, 2022 - 11:30   ET




VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): -- in which we live, we have to contemplate. We have to see where the next bombing will take place. Your churches (INAUDIBLE), we have a Freedom Square in the city of -- in the city of Kharkiv, our bombing here on, the place where victims of Holocaust were buried and they -- it has been bombed by the Russians.

Imagine that Canadian facilities have been bombed similarly as our buildings and memorial places are being bombed. A number of families have died. Every night is a horrible night. Russians are shelling from all kinds of artillery, from tanks. They're hitting civilian infrastructure. They hit buildings. Can you imagine that there is a fire starting at a nuclear power plant?

And that's exactly what happened in our country. Each city that they're marching through, they're taking down Ukrainian flags. Can imagine someone taking down your Canadian flags in Montreal and other Canadian cities? I know that you all support Ukraine.

We've been friends with you, Justin. But also I would like you to understand and I would like you to feel this. What we feel every day. We want to live and we want to be victorious. We want to prevail for the sake of life. Can you imagine when you -- when you call your friends, your friendly nation and you ask, please close this guy? Close the airspace, please stop the bombing. How many more cruise missiles have to fall on our cities?

Until you make this happen. And they ensure and they express their deep concerns about the situation. When we talk to with our partners and they say please hold on -- hold on a little longer. Some people are talking about trying to avoid the escalation and as at the same time, in response to our aspiration to become members of NATO, we also do not hear a clear answer.

Sometimes we don't see obvious things. It's difficult -- it's dire straits but it also allowed us to see who our real friends are over the last 20 days and as well 8 previous years. I'm sure that you've been able to see clearly what's going on. And I'm bracing all of you. Canada has always been steadfast in their support. If you've been a reliable partner to Ukraine and Ukrainians, and I'm sure this will continue. You've offered your help, your system.

Our earliest request, you supply us with military assistance with humanitarian assistance. You imposed severe sanctions, serious sanctions at the same time received it and unfortunately, this does did not bring the end to the world. You can see that our cities like Kharkiv, Mariupol, and many other cities are not protected just like your cities are protected, Edmonton, Vancouver.

You can see that Kyiv is being shelled and bombed even the front seat of the front kids. It used to be a very peaceful country, peaceful cities, but now they're being constantly bombarded. Basically, what am I trying to say that we all need to do -- you all need to do more to stop Russia, to protect Ukraine, and by doing that to protect Europe from the Russian threat.

They're destroying everything Memorial complexes, schools, hospitals, housing complex, they already killed 97 grandchildren. We're not asking for much. We're asking for justice, for real support, which will help us to prevail to defend, to save life -- to save life all over the world.


Canada is leading in these efforts and I'm hoping that other countries will follow the same suit. We're asking for more of your leadership. And please take more greater part in these efforts, Justin, and all of our friends of our -- of Ukraine. Friends of the truth, please understand how important it is for us to close our airspace from Russian missiles and the Russian aircraft. I hope you can understand, I hope you can increase your efforts, you can increase sanctions, so they don't -- so they will not have a single dollar to fund their war effort. Commercial entities should not be working in Russia.

Probably, you know better than many in any other countries that this attack on Ukraine, it's their attempt to annihilate Ukrainian people, and there is nothing else to it. This is their main objective. It's actually the war against the Ukrainian people and it's an attempt to destroy everything that we as Ukrainians do. It's an attempt to destroy our future, to destroy our nation, our character. You, Canadians, you know very well all this. That's why I'm asking you please do not stop in your efforts.

Please expand your efforts to bring back peace in our peaceful country. I believe and I know that you can do it. And we are building -- we're part of the anti-war coalition and jointly, I'm sure that we'll see results. I would like to also ask our Ukrainian diaspora in Canada. This is a historical moment and we need your support, your practical support.

And we hope that with your practical steps, you will show that you're part of modern Ukrainian history. Please remember, this is a practical, modern-day in history of Ukraine. We want to live, we want to have this. I am grateful to every one of you in the Parliament of Canada who is present there, to every Canadian citizen, I am very grateful to you, Justin. I am grateful to the Canadian people. And I am confident that together we will overcome and will be victorious. Glory to Ukraine. Thank you to Canada.




BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: Watching quite an -- you have been watching quite an emotional appeal from President Zelenskyy to the members of Canada's parliament that began with a lengthy round of applause and a standing ovation and as you just heard, ended with one as well. What we heard from the Prime Minister again, asking for more help telling Canadians that they need to step up, that they need to do more, you need to do more to "President Zelenskyy."

He began each sentence by saying imagine. Imagine your children waking up to the sounds of bombs around them. Imagine your family's living next to an airport whether it's Toronto, whether it's Ottawa being bombed as well, really personalizing this appeal, while also thanking the leadership and the friendship provided from Canadians to Ukraine.

Back with us is former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, John Herbst, and CNN Global Affairs Analyst Kimberly Dozier. So there you heard from him saying, we want to live, we want to prevail for the sake of life. But the one thing that really stood out -- stood out was that asked for a no-fly zone.

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes, we got a preview of what we might hear addressed from Zelenskyy to the U.S. Congress tomorrow, it was a bank shot aimed at the United States, but here, delivered to one of the founding members of NATO Canada, saying, if you stand by and let this violence happen, let us be annihilated. One of the words he used. This will be on your conscience, and Russia will come for Europe next.

I think he's trying to say, you know, if you won't give us a no-fly zone, then at least give us the other things we're asking for. I think that's the unspoken subtext here, making this kind of appeal over the heads of the Canadian lawmakers to the Canadian people so that they'll put pressure on their governments too, to do something to help Ukraine.

GOLODRYGA: Ambassador, I wonder if you agree with Kim, that this is a preview of what we can expect to see in his address tomorrow before the Congress here in the United States. He is such an eloquent and gifted storyteller. By beginning, each line with imagine. Imagine this happening to your cities, imagine this happening to your children, imagine this happening to your families. What do you think the impact will be? And do you think this will ultimately lead to his big ask, and that is a no-fly zone over the country?

JOHN E. HERBST, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE You were smart to call this a bank shot aimed at the United States. And you'll see more of this tomorrow when he addresses our Congress. He's not just a gifted speaker, he has put his life on the line on behalf of his country and that's why the whole world is listening to him and that's just.

He's absolutely right that Putin's aims go beyond Ukraine. He has said he wants to restore Kremlin influence across the space of the former Soviet Union, which includes three NATO allies. That's why it's very much in our interests, as well, is it a moral or amoral posture to provide as much support to Ukraine as possible.

Including those weapons systems that he refers to, we should not be listening to the spin of the Pentagon. That's not what I thought the Pentagon point of view, that's the White House point of view and again, the White House is timid to provide Ukraine the weapons that it wants. The Pentagon made that clear that leaked to Politico the other day that they wanted to send Special Forces into Ukraine to train and the White House shut it down.

The demonstrating where the directions are coming from us, it shouldn't democracy, but we should be sending to Ukraine, not just the MiGs. In fact, they've used -- they've used their Air Force to destroy Russian assets over the past several days, according to Fox News, which is a very, very dependable Ukrainian news source.

We should be sending serious anti-aircraft capacity into Ukraine, we should be sending anti-ship missiles, we should be sending -- we should be providing support with electronic warfare because again, Putin, if he wins in Ukraine, will be looking to come for the Baltics. It's much easier and much better to defeat Putin in Ukraine than in Estonia or Latvia or Lithuania.

GOLODRYGA: I want to bring in CNN International Correspondent Paula Newton in Ottawa, Canada because listen, we just have to say what we just saw that minute and a half if not longer, standing ovation round of applause from the Canadian Parliament there, was quite something to watch.


GOLODRYGA: Also quite something to hear, President Zelenskyy continues to address Justin Trudeau by his first name. You know speaking directly to him asking for more help. Prime Minister Trudeau said that Canada is a country that always supports and roots for the underdog and for what's right over what's wrong. What do you think the response from this speech will be?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, in terms from the emotive point of view for that heartfelt support that so many Canadians feel, it's there and you could see it and hear it in the House of Commons there in Parliament. The problem is Zelenskyy is getting the same from Canada that he is getting from the United States.

And he spoke about excuses, right, in the speech and he knows, he feels his opinion is that sooner or later you will come around. Canada case in point. It was just a few weeks ago, Bianna, that, in fact, Canada had refused to send lethal aid to Ukraine and then had to make a U-turn. So he is looking at history and saying please be on the right side of it. You know, Trudeau also bringing up that 1.4 million Canadians have

Ukrainian heritage and then bringing up the issue of elimination, right? And so many people here within the Ukrainian-Canadian community have been saying, look, this is genocide. And that is the kind of pressure they are bringing to bear to the Canadian government as well to say look, do more.

GOLODRYGA: Canadian Finance Minister also has Ukrainian heritage as well. Paula Newton, Kim Dozier, Ambassador Herbst, thank you so much.

Well, coming up, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are trapped in Mariupol and time is running out to get them food, water, and other essentials. You heard that just now from President Zelenskyy. The Deputy Mayor of Mariupol will join me live coming up next.



GOLODRYGA: Breaking news, Ukraine's President imploring the world to help him bring an end to Russia's bloody war in his country. President Zelenskyy mentioned the besieged city of Mariupol, where about 350,000 people are still trapped in southeastern Ukraine. The onslaught of the Russian attacks there is making the humanitarian crisis worse, many now without food, water, power, and heat. The city council says there are about 2000 cars that have been able to leave the city today.

Joining me now is the deputy mayor of Mariupol, Sergei Orlov. Deputy Mayor Orlov, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today under these difficult circumstances for you and the city.


GOLODRYGA: The world, as you know, has been watching your city under siege since this war began. What can you tell us about the situation on the ground there now?

ORLOV: From a military point of view, Ukrainian army continues to defeat our city. Of course, there are a lot of street battles, there are a lot of fights on our streets, and the situation yesterday was terrible. As we're told, day by day, Russia continues to provide airstrikes to shell through multiple launch rocket systems through missiles with the help of missiles and they're destroying the city. For example, yesterday, we counted 22 aircraft which were bombed in our city and at least 100 bombs they use to bomb our city and the damage is so awful.

So, they're flattened and destroyed and they see to lower center of the city, central market and a lot of buildings. And, of course, we have this not even humanitarian crisis, but the genocide because our people don't have access to anything. And we do not manage this situation, in fact.

GOLODRYGA: Do you have an ability to speak and communicate with residents there now? ORLOV: Yes, it's -- no, it's a short conversation, some SMS messages because there is no way new connection only in some part, we have access to all citizens. And all our conversation, all our talks go on and continuous bombing and shelling.

GOLODRYGA: We are watching videos of that bombardment, as we speak and as you've been speaking, and just to see the city surrounded by Russian troops over the course of these past few weeks, really under siege. Can you confirm the number of people that are still trapped in the city? Is it as high as 350,000?

ORLOV: Yes. I think even a little more, in our estimation from 350,000 to 400,000 citizens are still here in Mariupol.

GOLODRYGA: That is the size of a relatively large city that I know all of our viewers can imagine living in. And what they can't imagine, though, is seeing images like this and young children being evacuated there and led out of buildings by their families. How are people surviving at this point? You mentioned that there's almost no access to water or food or power. What are they doing to stay alive?

ORLOV: We cannot answer in general these questions, so the situation differs.


ORLOV: Some of people could have access through natural water but it's not more than 10 percent of our citizens, so some of water is provided by city council. So we have some tanks and can transfer these tanks to several points in the city, but it's too little. We can provide up to 1/3 of our population the access to water, and they do not have any utility, any food, any medicine, so we -- in the previous days they used, they collect woods they use fire to prepare some food.

And we had an awful case as well, people were preparing in their gardens food. It was shelling and a lot of people were killed while preparing this food together with their child -- children. It's an awful situation. And we had a lot of information, for example, from mothers who are calling us and just telling, I have a child in my arms, I -- and he or her is dying without food. What should they do? And we do not have answers to them, unfortunately.

GOLODRYGA: I don't even know how you respond to requests like that from others that desperate to get aid to their children to stay alive in the year 2022 no less. There had been conflicting reports about a hostage situation at a hospital there. Can you give us more information as to what's going on?

ORLOV: It's new information. We received confirmation from Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. He confirmed that our hospital number two, it's the biggest hospital in the 17th district of our cities, is captured by Russian troops, and Russian army uses doctors and patients as hostages in this building. So we do not have any access to them.

And, of course, it's a war crime in any way. It should not happen. But I cannot even count how many war crimes in the -- in cases of genocide Russia made now in my city. That's why it's one of the cases and surely, international society and Ukraine will punish Russian army for this.

GOLODRYGA: As you talk about this hostage situation at one hospital, we're looking at images of a maternity hospital that was blown up last week by a Russian airstrike. And we now know subsequently that at least two women that we had seen coming out of that hospital, one of them had her baby and survived thankfully, the other died as well as her baby. I'm curious to get your take on how Russian state media and Russian propaganda have treated and responded to images like these, calling them staged? Mr. Mayor, can you hear me?

ORLOV: Yes, now I can hear, OK.

GOLODRYGA: Were you able to hear the question?

ORLOV: No, no, I didn't -- I didn't listen, please, once again.

GOLODRYGA: We're looking at images of these women who had been victimized by that attack on a maternity hospital in Mariupol last week. They were looking at the image right now, the woman who has died following this attack, her baby died as well. I'm curious to get your take, given this heartbreaking news and development and images like that, your response to how Russian state media and the propaganda has treated this and suggested that this was all staged?

ORLOV: No, no. I heard a lot of information for propaganda by Russian so they tell in different sentences. They're talking about assault battalion. They talk a lot but in fact, we have 17 victims who is injured and affected by this airborne being and three killed person, especially in this place. And thanks to God that a lot of patients were in a bomb shelter, on this hospital, either we had much more victims.

So, you know why three days before I sent -- I see such good sentence for Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, he told, you know in our world we have lied, we have big lie, and we have official information of Foreign Ministry -- Foreign Affairs of Russian. So why -- I cannot command such fully words and propaganda. They see in pregnant women and in our child, they see us of battalion -- us of battalion warrior how it could be. They bombed schools, kindergarten, hospital, and we see in every place as well battalion on wars (ph).


GOLODRYGA: Mayor Orlov, we see these images as well and they are heartbreaking, and we are making sure viewers around the world see them on a daily basis. Thank you so much. Please stay safe. And CNN breaking news coverage of the war in Ukraine continues, Inside Politics with John King, starts right now.