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At This Hour
Ukraine: Russian Missiles Strike Lviv, Killing 7; Zelenskyy: Ukraine Won't Give Up Territory To Russia To End War; 2 Teens Killed, 13 Hurt At House Party Shooting In Pittsburgh. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired April 18, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: One of the best moments on television this morning, was to see them together, just incredible. And Jim I know we wish both Richard and Samira as safe and speedy recovery.
And thank you so much for joining us today. I'm Bianna Golodryga.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: And how about that for some happy news to end the show today. I'm Jim Sciutto in Lviv, Ukraine.
At This Hour with Kate Bolduan starts right now.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We do begin with breaking news, which is Russian forces are stepping up their attacks across Ukraine. Russian missiles hit the western city of Lviv, killing at least seven people and injuring nearly a dozen including a child. These are the first reported deaths there since the war began nearly two months ago now.
Ukrainian officials say the strikes caused extensive damage to civilian infrastructure, including multiple residential buildings and a school. Russian forces also launching at least two missiles in Dnipro. Some railway infrastructure was destroyed. No casualties thankfully, are reported there at least yet.
Fighting is also ramping up significantly throughout the East with Ukraine saying that the town of Khmil'nyk has fallen to the Russians after they enter the city with a huge amount of equipment. And in the besieged port city of Mariupol, Ukraine has rejected a Russian deadline to surrender. Russia says that the city will be closed for entry and exit today and any men who remain will be quote unquote, filtered out.
Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Matt Rivers who's live and Lviv on those deadly airstrikes we're just talking about. Matt, what are you seeing there after all of this?
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kate, you know, Lviv has largely been spared some of the horrors that we've seen in other parts of the country throughout this war. And yet this morning, there were multiple explosions in the city, four different airstrikes, Russian launched cruise missiles landing here in the city, four separate locations, three of which being military infrastructure sites, but the fourth was an auto repair shop.
And we know that because my team and I, we went there. We looked at what was happening. We saw the impact crater and the sign above the two buildings that were on fire when we arrived, said auto repair shop. There was no sign of any military base or any strategic target. This was yet another example of Russian missiles, hitting areas that only had civilian populations. The owner of that auto repair shop telling us that multiple of his employees died. They had simply shown up that day for work. And then a missile struck their place of employment.
I spoke to another woman across the street who was washing her face when her window was blown out. She is now considering move to Poland. But it's not just here in the west that we are seeing violence. It is also of course in the eastern part of the country where we are expecting this Russian offensive to begin if it hasn't already. Some over there, Ukrainian officials believing that this Russian offensive in the Donbass region has begun with the head of the regional military administration in the Luhansk region saying quote, I think that the battle for Donbass has already begun multiple intensification of shelling with all types of weapons attempts to break into the cities.
We're hearing from the mayor of the city of Kharkiv a little bit north of there, basically saying that the shelling there has been absolutely intense, nonstop. And in a place like Mariupol, the siege continues. That city under siege by Russian forces for weeks now. Yes, there are still Ukrainian defenders there, but they seem to be on the brink of falling even as they continue to fight. Kate?
BOLDUAN: Yes, Matt, thank you so much for that. I really appreciate it.
And so in an exclusive interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Ukraine's president says that he is not willing to give up any territory in the eastern part of the country to end this war. Zelenskyy says that his military is prepared to fight for the Donbass region, describing it as a battle that could influence the course of the entire war.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: What do you say to people either in Ukraine or elsewhere in the world who say, just give Putin the Donbass, just give Putin, Eastern Ukraine stop the bloodshed, let him have the territory. What would your message be about that? PRES. VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINE (through translator): In the centuries old history of Ukraine, there is the story that Ukraine has either taken some territory or needs to give up some territory. Ukraine and the people of our state are absolutely clear. We don't want anyone else's territory, and we are not going to give up our own.
TAPPER: The Biden administration keeps saying that they're giving you this aid to put Ukraine in a better negotiating position for a diplomatic solution. Is that the goal to put you in a better negotiating position or is the goal to defeat Russia and get them to leave?
ZELENSKYY (through translator): We need to understand that what we want can come at a very high price. And in any case, all these years of war, where is the compromise coming from the Russian Federation? Maybe we can end this war without any conditions. Maybe the war can end without any dialogue or compromise and without sitting down at the negotiating table with the President of Russia.
And you'll understand daily, as I said before, what's the price of all this? It's people, the many people who have been killed. And who ends up paying for all of this? It's Ukraine, just us. So for us, this is a really great cost, if there is an opportunity to speak, we'll speak. But to speak only under a Russian ultimatum, it's then a question about attitude towards us. It's not about whether the dialogue is good or bad. It's impossible.
The sooner it happens, it just means that less are likely to die. But it's not a fact that this would actually be the case for all, not at all. But it's possible, and therefore we should try. We want to liberate our country and take back what's ours. We can fight the Russian Federation for 10 years to take what's ours. We can go down such a path.
BOLDUAN: President Zelenskyy also told Jake that the $800 million in new assistance coming from the United States that it's needed and helpful, but that Ukraine needs more and quickly in order to defeat Russia.
Joining me now is retired Major General Dana Pittard. He's also now a CNN military analyst and Kurt Volker is here. He's a former U.S. ambassador to NATO, former Special Representative for Ukraine negotiations. Thank you both for being here. General, let's start with what I -- where I just left off. With the military aid from the Biden administration, Zelenskyy says that it's never going to be enough. But what is most important in this moment is speed. What is he saying here since our Pentagon team is also reporting there's a concern that the aid could be used up within a matter of days as heavy fighting intensifies in the Donbass?
MAJ. GENERAL DANA PITTARD (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Good morning, Kate. I think what President Zelenskyy is talking about is he needs it now. And it is a matter of timing and speed. And I know that the administration is working hard to get it to them as quickly as possible. But that brings on a bigger question, is it enough?
And it really is not enough to take on Russian forces, and also to protect areas in the western portion of Ukraine that were attacked today. What still needs to be done is for the United States and NATO working with Ukraine is to establish a humanitarian assistance out in western Ukraine, going from Kyiv, or just east of Kyiv, down south to Odessa, and all the way west of the Polish border. And that would be enforced on the ground by NATO troops. And with a no fly zone over western Ukraine. And that would prevent things like the missile attack that we saw the day in Lviv.
BOLDUAN: I'm going to ask you about that in just one second. But ambassador, I mean, you've been involved in talks and negotiations over military aid with Ukraine in the past, what do you think the conversation is? Or where do you think it is among the administration at this point? Because where is or is there a tipping point where the administration kind of gives over more than what more of what Ukraine is asking for?
KURT VOLKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO: Well, it's interesting, because we've been slipping past these tipping points one week at a time. If you remember going back, there was concern about the use of any kind of offensive weapons, then there was saying that we're not going to send them Stinger missiles, then it was not the armed drones. And each step of the way, we've added more and more that we are willing to give them.
Now we're even facilitating the delivery of tanks and APCs and artillery. So we have been dragged into this by the Ukrainians and frankly, by their military success, where we can see that they can use the equipment, rather than starting from the perspective that we should have been giving them everything from the beginning. I hope going forward, we are listening to President Zelenskyy and giving him everything he needs to keep advancing because the Russian forces are in disarray. Now is the time as he says.
BOLDUAN: And Ambassador, you heard in that portion of the interview we played between President Zelenskyy and Jake Tapper that he was saying that they have no plans to give up portions of the country in the east in order to bring an end to the war. What do you think that means for any negotiations?
VOLKER: Well, Russia has not been serious about negotiating from the beginning. They've wanted a Ukrainian capitulation, Ukraine to cede territory to Russia and to denazify Ukraine, as they said. This means that Russia has never been serious. They've -- their objective has been to take over Ukraine. Now they have a more limited objective of taking the eastern part of Ukraine. This is not something any Ukrainian government can agree to. Ukrainian people would never agree to this. And Zelenskyy will come under pressure if even thought about it. So this is clearly Ukraine willing to fight and defend its own territory.
[11:10:09] And at this stage, after all the civilian casualties we've seen, the atrocities that we saw in Bucha, the continued missile attacks against cities such as Lviv and Kyiv, Ukrainian people are saying no more. We need to get our territory back. We need to get Russia out. The ceasefire from 2014, which will have to Russian forces on Ukrainian territory is seen by the Ukrainians now as a precursor to the events that we have this year. So they want the Russians to be out.
BOLDUAN: Yes. Let's talk about the strike as you were mentioning general in Lviv today, because these are now the first deaths reported from strikes in Lviv. And this is a city of relative is the emphasis but relative calm a key city being about 60 miles from the Polish border. Why would they be hitting Lviv in the west right now, when so much focus is clearly now turning to the east?
PITTARD: Well, Kate, there simply was no military value to that strike. It was intended to intimidate. Civilian casualties, it's known that international media is there at Lviv. So it's a way for Russia to send a message not just to Ukraine but to the world that they can hit Ukraine and civilians anywhere they want to. That's why that has got to be stopped.
BOLDUAN: General, thank you as always. Ambassador, thanks for coming in, I really appreciate it.
Coming up still for us, two teens killed in a mass shooting in Pittsburgh house party. Police do not have any suspects in custody at this point. City's police chief joins us next.
BOLDUAN: Also developing this morning, two 17 year olds were killed and several others hurt in a shooting at a house party at a rental home in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Police are looking for multiple suspects, we're told. But at this hour, no one is in custody. There were at least 11 mass shootings reported in the United States just over this holiday weekend. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz joins me now with more on this. What are you learning? What's the very latest on the shooting in Pittsburgh, Shimon?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, this morning, the schools there were on lockdown as police continue to do this search, searching for the gunman they believe seven -- several people opened fire at this party. Now this was a house party. Early Sunday morning when gunfire erupted, they believe as many as 100 shots may have been fired. Two 17 year olds were killed.
And many of the people inside were running for their lives. In some cases were told by police and witnesses that people were jumping out of windows to get away from the gunfire and then even outside gunfire continued. And as I said, police continuing to search for the people who were using guns at this party. We don't know what sparked the shooting. There was some kind of altercation police say and then the gunshots started. Also, interestingly in how police know there have been several, potentially several different guns used here is that they found shell casings belonging to different guns at the scene. And as I said the manhunt there continues.
BOLDUAN: Shimon, thank you so much.
All right, joining me right now on the phone is Pittsburgh's Police Chief Scott Schubert. Chief, thank you so much for jumping on, I appreciate it. What is the latest on the search for the people who did this? Do you have suspects?
CHIEF SCOTT SCHUBERT, PITTSBURGH POLICE: So we're -- our detectives are working diligently on looking at video and doing everything they can so we can identify those who are involved with this situation. As you can imagine, something we don't expect in the city of Pittsburgh, and to have young people shot and two 17-year-olds killed something that's unacceptable for us.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. I mean, the -- everything we're hearing is multiple suspects. Have you narrowed in on how many?
SCHUBERT: No, we don't have that just yet. We're still working is still preliminary with our investigations. But based on the various shell casings on scene, we do believe multiple shooters.
BOLDUAN: I mean, more than 90 shots. I mean, my colleague Shimon says maybe as many as 100 shell casings have been found. Why did this happen?
SCHUBERT: We don't know. There were some sort of altercation. And unfortunately, guns became in play. And we had shootings that occurred inside and outside the structure. So we're trying to piece everything together. And we're asking for the cooperation of the public and those who were there, on what they saw, what they heard, any videos, any pictures to come forward and help us with the investigation.
BOLDUAN: There were a lot of people at this party. I mean, are you getting that kind of cooperation?
SCHUBERT: We have people that are cooperating, obviously, you know, when you have that many people there, there's more that can come forward. And they need to think about the fact that, you know, this could be friends and people they knew that were involved as victims. And we need to get these shooters off the street. These are the people that are causing the most harm in our communities, and we need to make sure we get them off the street now.
BOLDUAN: Is the working assumption that -- I mean, some of these are school aged children. I saw in one report in the Pittsburgh Gazette is that four of the kids injured were public school students. Is that your working assumption? Is that the gunman or students as well?
SCHUBERT: So it's still too preliminary in there. But we know that a lot of the victims and a lot of the ones that were at the party fleeing were appeared to be juveniles. There were some adults as well. So we're still trying to tie together which ones were the shooters. And, you know, our -- obviously our hearts go out to the family members of those who were killed in those who were injured in there.
BOLDUAN: Look, Chief, this isn't just one problem with one house party. This also isn't just a problem for Pittsburgh. I mean, you've spearheaded a whole initiative last year to try and combat gun violence. With some of the stats that I just saw, I mean, there have been 68 shooting incidents just this year in Pittsburgh. And Pittsburgh had 56 homicides last year, which is a nearly 10 percent rise from 2020. I mean, so are you saying, do you consider any of that progress? Are you seeing any signs of progress? Or is it time to reassess
SCHUBERT: Yes. We're always reassessing. I mean, we look through other things that other departments doing across the country and adding it to ours, I mean, obviously, community engagement, so a portion of it, but the strategy of looking for the shooters themselves, the most violent in our community, which is a small percent, and having our outreach workers and the, you know, the work our officers do day in and day out on the streets of the city of Pittsburgh.
But we're focused with everything we have. We were working in cooperation with the FBI, the ATF. We have other local agencies here that are helping us as well, because this isn't just about us, this is about everybody. This is about our community. And it's about all of us coming together. And that includes our stakeholder partners in the law enforcement criminal justice system.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. I mean, but as Shimon said, I mean, schools were on lockdown this morning, Chief, I mean, is Pittsburgh safe with multiple gunmen now out there?
SCHUBERT: Yes, I mean, we're safe. It's just, it's sad that, you know, they had that event, and people came with firearms, the vast majority of them probably came thinking they were going to a party. You know, and I'm sure, you know, if there is people dropping off family members dropping people off, but that young and to have, you know, drugs, guns, and alcohol in that setting, you know, unfortunately, and it leads to this with that many people shot and I'm very thankful. And I'm, you know, one person shot, one person was killed is too many. But we're very fortunate there wasn't a lot more people shot and killed during that that incident on Easter.
BOLDUAN: Considering how many shots were actually fired inside and outside.
BOLDUAN: Chief, thank you so much for coming on. I know the manhunt is underway. We really appreciate it.
SCHUBERT: Thanks, Kate. We appreciate it.
BOLDUAN: Thank you very much. [11:22:46]
All right, coming up for us, Ukraine's President has seen countless atrocities since the war began. But there's one heartbreaking image that he says sticks out as the worst. What he told Jake Tapper about that moment, next.
ZELENSKYY (through translator): This is the most horrifying thing I have seen in my life. I look at this first of all, as a father. It hurts so, so much. It's a tragedy. It is suffering. I won't be able to imagine the scale of suffering of these people, of this woman. It is a family's tragedy. It is a disaster. It is the dreams and the life you've just lost.
I can't watch it as a father only because all you want after this is revenge and to kill. I have to watch it as the president of the state where a lot of people have died and lost their loved ones. And there are millions of people who want to live. All of us want to fight. But we all have to do our best for this war not to be endless.
BOLDUAN: That was Ukraine's President Zelenskyy telling CNN's Jake Tapper how he felt watching one of the most heartbreaking images from this war.
And by now, you have probably seen this video showing a Ukrainian mother discovering the body of her young son and he had been dumped in a shallow well near Kyiv, located on the route of the Russian retreat from the capital region. It is almost just too painful to watch. But it is the reality of what many, many families are dealing with from Putin's senseless war on Ukraine, the reality of what they're facing day in and day out.
Joining me now is a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Ambassador, thank you for being here. She's also the author of the new book "Lessons from the Edge: A Memoir." You've spoken very passionately about the strength of the Ukrainian people throughout this world on what they've been able -- how resilient they are. But when you see that mother and you hear President Zelenskyy's reaction, how much longer do you think they can actually hold on?