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The Lead with Jake Tapper

U.S. Imposes New Sanctions On Putin's Daughters, Russian Banks; Horrors Of The Russian Occupation Revealed In Borodianka; Displaced Ukrainians Shelter In School Near Hungarian Border; Polish President Likens Russian "Massacres" To Genocide. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired April 06, 2022 - 16:00   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Yeah, just hands off the fox. Stay away from the fox.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Yeah. It seems to be no fear here.

CAMEROTA: That's a brazen fox right here.

BLACKWELL: A brazen fox.

All right. THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: I am standing on a roof top looking out on Lviv on day 42 of Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine.

I'm Jake Tapper. Welcome to this special broadcast of THE LEAD live from Western Ukraine.

Today, the United States government announced new sanctions on Russian individuals and financial institutions, a direct response to the atrocities our teams have seen with their own eyes, in Ukrainian cities such as Bucha and Borodianka where innocent Ukrainian civilians were bound and murdered, their bodies tossed out like trash.

President Biden this afternoon saying this about the decision.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Civilians executed in cold blood, bodies dumped into mass graves, a sense of brutality and inhumanity left for all the world to see unapologetically. There's nothing less happening than major war crimes. Responsible nations have to come together to hold these perpetrators accountable and together with our allies and partners, we're going to keep raising economic costs and ratcheting up the pain for Putin and further increase Russia's economic isolation.


TAPPER: Holding the perpetrators accountable, he said, even accountability, we should note, if it were to ever come cannot erase the tragic human cost of this war, and we should warn you, some of the images we'll show you in today's broadcast are quite graphic and disturbing.

Fighting is ramping up in Eastern Ukraine and Ukrainian officials say this is the aftermath of Russian shelling of a school where humanitarian aid was being distributed in the town of Vuhledar, what appears to be blood on the ground and on the building. Local military leaders saying at least two people were killed in that attack.

And this is what's left in Mariupol, one of Ukraine's most besieged cities, the city council says after the international backlash Russia faced over the atrocities in Bucha, Russian soldiers now using mobile crematoriums in an effort to erase any of their war crimes disposing of the corpses of the innocent civilians they have killed.

And the Mariupol mayor making this haunting comparison, quote: The world has not seen the scale of a tragedy like in Mariupol since the Nazi concentration camps. The Russian fascists turned our whole city into a death camp, unquote.

The Pentagon said today that by its assessment, Russian forces have now completely withdrawn from areas around Kyiv but officials warning Putin has not necessarily given up on trying to capture that capitol city, U.S. and allies now preparing for the possibility that Putin's army may try to reinvade the Kyiv region if they win the military battles unfolding in the east of the country.

CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour traveled to Borodianka today. She joins me now live from Kyiv.

And, Christiane, full withdrawal from around Kyiv means we are now getting even more of a look at the barbarism and devastation that the Russian forces left behind.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: That's exactly right, Jake, and, of course, in places like Bucha where as you say the bodies were simply left on the ground in the open, places like Borodianka it's much more because of the relentless and indiscriminate bombings of buildings that have caused so many deaths there.

So we visited Borodianka as in fact, they begin now to try to start digging any bodies out of these apartment buildings and homes that we saw practically leveled.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): Welcome to Sasha's restaurant, it says, only Sasha's is no more, nor are any of the apartments in this block above. A dining table and chairs, a jacket blowing in the wind, still intact -- the only visible reminders of the families who lived here. The crows caw above this city of Borodianka, perhaps they sense the death here.

It is clear that the heavy destruction is mostly along the main streets. It appears the Russian armored columns simply opened up with heavy machine guns and artillery as they rumble through town.

Brick by brick, today, the digging starts, trying to find civilians, or their bodies, buried beneath the rubble when even their basement shelters were turned into graveyards.


On this corner, they're looking for at least four missing from this block alone, says Victoria Ruvan (ph) who's with the rescue team.

We have never seen anything like this. It is very difficult for us, she says, and not only for us, but for the residents of Borodianka. It is a great tragedy because of an ill-disciplined force with a license to kill.

So this is Vladimir Putin's idea of liberating a fraternal brotherly nation. So, I think he's doing all this because he loves Ukrainians or as many believe, he is motivated by a rising hatred and anger at their westward loving democracy, at their resistance, and at their refusal to come under Russia control.

And as afterthought, a bullet to the head of Ukraine's cultural here, the great poet Taras Shevchenko, not even statues are immune.

Amid all this distraction, the summary executions, Ukrainian flag flies proudly in the central square. For good measure, these Ukrainian soldiers are pulling out a captured Russian tank that was dug in. They say they'll use this and anything else the invaders have left behind to fight them in the villages, in the towns, in the fields, and all the way back to the Russian border.


AMANPOUR (on camera): Now, in order to achieve that, Jake, which is what they say they want to do and they will do, many of the military analysts now whether NATO, whether around the world in the United States, say that right now is a crucial window of opportunity. Right now, as Russia is on the back foot regrouping, trying to take the east, push back from Kyiv, unable to take this city, push back from Chernihiv right now, if the west is serious about taking this war as a strategic objective, as an existential objective.

Now, they have to flood the Ukrainians with all the military hardware and training and equipment they need if they are to hold the line in the east -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, CNN's Christiane Amanpour live in Kyiv, thank you so much as always.

President Biden this afternoon outlining the new package of sanctions the U.S. is imposing on Russia on what Biden calls war crimes in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, actions include freezing all U.S. assets of Russia's largest financial institutions, Sberbank, and its largest private bank, Alfa Bank, banning any new investments in Russia by people in the United States, and new sanctions on Russian elites, including on Putin's two adult daughters. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: Just in one year, our sanctions are likely to wipe out the last 15 years of Russia's economic gains. We're going to stifle Russia's ability and its economy to grow for years to come .


TAPPER: Joining me now to discuss is Daleep Singh. He's the White House deputy national security adviser for international economics.

Daleep, thank you so much for joining us.

So, we know the Russian military is targeting civilians. We've known now for weeks, for months that they've been committing horrific acts. I have to say, I know this the strongest sanctions ever imposed on Russia but I'm surprised that there are even any sanctions left to impose. Why hasn't the U.S. just hit the button to exact every possible economic punishment?

DALEEP SINGH, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER FOR reporter: Jake, today to be with you.

You're right, the sickening brutality on display in Bucha is just the latest reminder of the despicable nature of Putin's regime and, look, we've taken four actions today that intensify what's already as you say, the most severe economic sanctions ever levied on a major economy.

Let me walk you through the actions. The first -- the first thing we did is the most potent financial sanction on by far the largest financial institution in Russia. Sberbank is the main artery in the Russian banking system. It controls a third of all assets in the Russian banks and by blocking the bank, which means freezing all assets which touch the U.S. and preventing it doing any business with the U.S., what we're going to do is make sure there's less capital in Russia, lower growth and more isolation.

The second we've done is we banned any new investment into Russia and that will make sure that the mass exodus of the private sector from Russia, more than 600 multinational companies and growing will endure. And with the exit of those companies will also be the loss of private sector know-how, private sector skills, private sector talent and will ensure that the money going out of Russia doesn't get replaced by new money going in.

The third action we took is we tightened the screws on Russia's -- on the central bank sanctions we imposed on Russia. And so, any money that Russia had in the U.S. banking system can no longer be used to honor its debt obligations and that gives Russia a very stark choice, either it has to come up with dollars that are held in Moscow to make its debt payments or it will face defaults. If it defaults, that will cause generational harm to Russia in terms of borrowing costs, investment going into Russia and its growth profile.

[16:10:07] It will become a financial pariah.

And, lastly, added to the individual sanctions, including Putin's daughters, Lavrov's wife, and a number of members of the Russian security council.

TAPPER: Right, and that's powerful, but you didn't answer my question, which is why weren't we already doing that? I mean, it's not as if Bucha is the first bad thing Putin has done in Ukraine in the last two months. I mean, why are we not just giving him the maximum, just a complete blitz?

SINGH: Well, first of all, Jake, we're moving in lockstep with allies and partners. So, today's actions done in line with EU and the G7. And second of all, sanctions on themselves are not a stand-alone solution, they work when they're embedded in a broader strategy.

And you know what those elements are. We're doing all that we can to help Ukrainians fight for freedom. We're doing all we can to fortify NATO's eastern flank. We're doing all we can to help Europe accelerate its diversification away from Russian energy, and it's combination of those actions that gives us strategic leverage and we hope will lead to a diplomatic resolution of these atrocities and this crisis.

TAPPER: Isn't it true that the only way to really deter him or to stop him from the massacre that is are being committed against the Ukrainian people -- and I'm meeting them here in Ukraine, I'm meeting these people, and we went to a Ukrainian military funeral today. Isn't it true the only way to stop them is completely get the rest of the world to stop buying Russian fuel? Isn't that really the only thing that can deter him?

SINGH: Look, that's the next -- that's the next big step. We've already banned Russian energy, Russian oil, Russian coal, Russian natural gas in the U.S. We are -- we are in discussions with the rest of the world to follow suit.

You're right, oil and gas revenues are the main source of export revenue that Putin has left, and we think over time, we are going to degrade Russia's status as a leading energy supplier. We worked with Germany to shut down Nord Stream 2. We've cut off energy technologies that Russia needs to maintain its oil and gas production.

And as we say, took action to ban imports of Russian energy from the U.S. So this is going to take time, but ultimately we think we'll close down any export revenues Russia has through oil and gas.

TAPPER: A senior administration official told CNN today the U.S. is targeting Putin's adult daughters because the Biden administration believes Putin may be hiding some of his assets with them. Do you know exactly what Putin might be hiding with his adult kids?

SINGH: Well, this is a classic ploy by the Russian kleptocracy. They do hide as edits with family members, children, wives and all parts of the global financial system and they show up in the kind of assets we're trying to seize, luxury homes, private jets, fancy cars and so that's why we're designating family members of Putin, as well as Minister Lavrov.

These people also happen to have prominent roles in the Russian economy and the Russian war machine. So they need to be held accountable.

TAPPER: I don't think I'm telling you anything you don't know when I tell you might want to look into other relationships that Putin and Lavrov have, if you want to look for other moneys, maybe people who aren't in his immediate family if you know what I mean.

SINGH: No options are off the table, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Daleep Singh, thank you so much. Appreciate your time.

SINGH: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: How to house feed, educate and care for millions of new citizens in the matter of just weeks. CNN's Dana Bash talks with president of Poland, that's coming up.

Plus, he was at a children's hospital an hour before it was bombed by Russian forces. What the doctors he works with are doing now. That's next.



TAPPER: We're back with our world lead, CNN has obtained from a Ukrainian official, new who horrific images of Russian forces shelling a children's hospital in Mykolaiv on Monday. You're watching the moment Putin's army bombed an ambulance outside that hospital, seemingly part of a barbaric pattern.

According to the latest account from Ukraine's government, Russia has targeted at least 258 hospitals, 258 and 78 ambulances.

Joining us now, Michel-Olivier. He's the head of Ukraine mission of Doctors Without Borders. His team of medical professionals witness firsthand a number of these incidents.

Michel, thanks for joining us.

You're in Odessa right now, but you had a team of four doctors at the hospital in Mykolaiv when that bombing happened. How are the doctors doing now?

MICHEL-OLIVIER LACHARITE, URKAINE HEAD OF MISSION, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: So we have a team of four people. All of them were safe, in fact were attending or going to a meeting to kick-off some primary healthcare activity in the city of Mykolaiv, and suddenly the hospital and whole area was fating shelling. So, they ran in garage, they jump in the pit, and they try to get safe.

However, the whole area was bombed. So we witnessed directly, and discriminated on the residential area of Mykolaiv in the middle of the day.

TAPPER: And what else did they other than the bombing? Was anybody -- was anybody hurt? Was anybody killed in that bombing that they know of?

LACHARITE: So the Mykolaiv council report nine killed and 61 other people injured. We can't confirm these figures. Immediately after the shelling, there is a gas leak and smell, so our four staff ran away to escape the scene.


And while they were escaping, they saw dead bodies on the road and a few wounded.

From what we can see, there were several explosions over an area, a few hundred meters. There is no huge (INAUDIBLE). So this I think two cluster bombs.

TAPPER: So your team was there to meet with health authorities in that city. Were they still able to assess what hospitals in that area, what their most urgent needs are?

LACHARITE: In fact the situation in Mykolaiv radically contrasting from one moment to the other. I'm sure you've seen the best state in the cities in Ukraine, in Mykolaiv, even if the front line was there a few weeks ago, the whole city has been preserved. So the situation is alternating between normal life moment with people going for coffee, living as usual, and for 10 minutes, they are -- there is this moment of extreme violence with bombing in the middle of the day or the middle of the city, and that lasts for minutes and this is exactly what we've witnessed last Monday.

TAPPER: How do you even begin to prepare your medical professionals to deliver aid in a war zone where there is absolutely no reluctance to target or kill aid workers?

LACHARITE: The first point is we try to be a totally honest and transparent with the risk that they are -- they might face, so I think one of the key points is to be -- to share all the information we have, so this is an individual for the institution, we always try to wait, the risk-benefit of what we're doing.

And this situation is very complex in Ukraine as there is a robust health system, a lot of generosity with a lot of supply entering Ukraine. There is a lot of staff well-trained, hospitals are functioning.

So to find an area in this situation and to add a big added value compared to these indiscriminate bombing is very difficult and complex for our association.

TAPPER: And a reminder for our viewers, if they want to help the important work of Doctors Without Borders, you can give and take any contribution, if you go to to help.

Michel-Olivier in Odessa, thank you so much, really appreciate your time and all the work you do.

When bunk beds replace desks turning schools into shelters to comfort Ukrainian kids and their families fleeing, the ravages of war, that's next.



TAPPER: We're back with our world lead and relief for hundreds of Ukrainians from the besieged city of Mariupol. Today, the Red Cross helped these individuals reach the relative safety of Zaporizhzhia, some 140 miles away. These are just some of the more than 7 million internally displaced Ukrainians.

And as CNN's Matt Rivers reports, housing, feeding and clothing these exhausted victims of Putin's war often happens only if an entire community rallies around them.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The convoy gets loaded up several times a week. Workers with Hungarian Baptist aid making the 7-mile drive from Budapest, destination, western Ukraine.

Today, they're headed to Berehove, a quaint town just across the border than become a magnet for Ukrainians fleeing the war. Upon arrival, supplies unloaded by some of the kids staying at this shelter, what used to be a school.

Inside classrooms, bunk beds replaced desks and photos of former students hang on the wall above the tiny shoes of the kids staying in the room today. Like little Yeva and her mom, Diana. They fled Kyiv weeks ago, leaving behind her husband to fight the Russians.

She said we stood there and cried at the train station. My daughter was so mad at him, she thought he was leaving us. He said Yeva, come give me a kiss, but she wouldn't.

Yeva just too young to understand the sacrifice her dad is making like so many other children here scarred by the war. Even in this safe place, air raid sirens still go off.

So down here in the school's basement, using this as a bomb shelter and school's director says they're coming down here on average a couple dozen times every week. Even though no bombs have fallen in this area, when the children come down here, so many of them are still traumatized so for instance the other day it was raining outside, was a clap of thunder and a lot of the children screamed, the director said, because they thought it was a bomb.


Aid continues to flow into Berehove, in the beginning of war, it was largely a stop for refugees fleeing to other countries. Now, they're staying put. BELA SZILAGYI, PRESIDENT, HUNGARIAN BAPTIST AID: Those who are arriving, they want to stay for the long term. And it certainly requires different kind of hosting.

RIVERS: For the Hungarian Baptist aid, more refugees means more needs for everything else, including helping hands.

DANIEL NAGRUDNY, PHARMACIST & HUNGARIAN BAPTIST AID VOLUNTEER: It's not really like a war. For me, I feel like it's a genocide of Ukrainians.

RIVERS: Pharmacist Daniel Nagrudny came to help from Philadelphia, the son of Ukrainian immigrants.

NAGRUDNY: As people come together and come to the country and try to help out. Something gets done.

RIVERS: It is definitely the spirit at a nearby church where a tiny volunteer operation has ramped up to hundreds of meals served every day as refugees decide to stay long term. The reasons can vary -- everything from hope that the Ukrainian army will prevail to simply not wanting to live in a foreign country.

For Diana, back at the school, the reason to not flee to neighboring Hungary was simple. She says, we feel like we're closer, somehow closer to my husband. I will go back the moment it is safe for my children.


RIVERS (on camera): And, Jake, you know, these people in this shelter were so traumatized by these atrocities that they're seeing in other parts of Ukraine. Many wouldn't even speak to us on camera. Even Diana would not give us her last name for fear that their loved ones in other parts of Ukraine could be targeted by the Russians -- Jake.

TAPPER: CNN's Matt Rivers in Budapest, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Is Putin essentially blackmailing all of Europe with this unprovoked war? Hear what the president of Poland has to say. He spoke with my colleague CNN's Dana Bash exclusively, and that's coming up n next.



TAPPER: In our world lead, President Biden today said, quote, major war crimes are being uncovered in Ukraine, and that, quote, responsible nations need to hold the Kremlin accountable for what they're doing and for what they've done.

Now, some of those responsible nations that Biden presumably was talking about share borders with Ukraine, and bombs have fallen within miles of their land. My "STATE OF THE UNION" co-host Dana Bash joins us now live from

Warsaw, Poland, where she spoke exclusively today with the Polish president, Andrzej Duda.

And, Dana, what did he tell but the abject horrors happening next door?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, President Duda told me that Volodymyr Zelenskyy is actually a very good friend of his. That they talk at least every day, sometimes multiple times a day. And President Duda said when he saw the images of President Zelensky touring Bucha, he saw the look on his face and saw the horror.


BASH: President Zelenskyy says, point blank, it's genocide. Do you agree?

PRES. ANDRZEJ DUDA, POLAND (through translator): It is hard to deny this, of course. And this is a crime which fulfills the features of a genocide, especially if you look at the context of different conversations that are being conducted. We hear about denazification of Ukraine. It is nonsense. It is rubbish. It is an obvious black Russian propaganda.

This is just false -- looking for a false pretext in order to carry out a massacre, in order to kill people. And the fact that civilians are being killed, shows that's what the goal of the Russian invasion is. The goal of that invasion is simply to extinguish the Ukrainian nation.

BASH: Your prime minister recently criticized French President Macron for continuing to talk to Vladimir Putin. He said, nobody negotiated with Hitler.

DUDA: I'm not surprised that Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, in that situation where he saw the pictures from Bucha, the massacre caused by the Russians, the murders which they submitted. I'm not surprised that he spoke out in a very emotional way, because this is a very emotional statement, a typical emotional statement.

But it's hard to deny for many years in the European Union, we heard voices. One has to be in dialogue with Russia. We have to conduct dialogue with Russia.

Russia attacked Ukraine in 2014. There was a time when Russia attacked Ukraine for the first time. Before that, Russia attacked Georgia.

But those attacks were not provoked. They were every time they were brutal attacks. And every time we heard, we have to have dialogue with Russia. Dialogue with Russia makes no sense.

BASH: But if you don't talk to Vladimir Putin, how can the war end?

DUDA: One has to present very tough conditions to Vladimir Putin. One has to say, unless you meet these conditions, we don't have anything to talk about. We are going to provide support to Ukraine decisively.

We are going to increase sanctions regime, because if you conduct a dialogue, we do not achieve anything, it is only gained by time by Russia. Russia only gains because it presents itself in the world as somebody who wants to hold a dialogue, with whom you can talk.

However, on the one hand, they are saying that they want to speak. They're trying to show their civilized face. On the other hand, they're murdering in the most savage way, despicable way. And these are the facts.


BASH: Do you think comparing Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler is appropriate right now?

DUDA: It is a fact that Russian soldiers have murdered hundreds of people in Bucha in recent days. It is a fact that most probably they have also murdered hundreds of people in other places, at least thousands of murdered people.

So, can you say that such a leader is a normal leader in a contemporary world? Is it a leader of the contemporary world who others could acknowledge and accept? Or is he a criminal who has to be punished in a severe way? I think the answer is obvious.

BASH: I want to ask you about sanctions. The war in Ukraine has been going on more than six weeks. Are these sanctions working?

DUDA: Of course, sanctions should be stronger, especially given what we were able to see in Bucha. There is a question how to stop that. And the sanctions regime should be strengthened. I have no doubt whatsoever about this.

This, of course, is a very complex task. What would be most efficient would be such economic sanctions, which would lock Russia the possibility to sell its carbohydrates first and foremost, oil and gas.

First of all, oil because oil is the basis from which Russia generates most of its income to the budget. Gas to a lesser extent. Oil, crude oil is in (INAUDIBLE). The problem, however, is that for some countries -- well, this is fundamental for them.

BASH: The German finance minister said today, at this point, energy sanctions would cause too much harm to Germany's economy.

DUDA: Well, this is a broader problem to ask the Poles, because right from the start, we were fighting against joint investments by Russia and Germany, investments in Nord Stream 1, Nord Stream 2. We were opposed to both pipelines because to us, they're not so much the economic nature, but they were obviously political projects.

Their goal was to circumvent the territory of Poland, to bypass the Baltic countries, to bypass Ukraine, so that Russia could gas blackmail against these countries in Central Europe, as it indeed against Ukraine and the beginning of the 21st century. So we protested against that all the time.

BASH: It sounds like you're saying I told you so about all the dependents that Germany in particular, built on Russian energy. The word blackmail -- do you believe Russia is black mailing Germany right now?

DUDA: I think that, as a matter of fact, Russia is blackmailing not only Germany. Right now, Russia is blackmailing, in fact, the entire Europe. The fact that we're saying it is impossible to impose embargo on Russian gas, it is not possible to impose embargo on Russian oil right away, yes, because Russia today is saying additionally, pay me in rubles. Now I demand that you pay me in rubles.

Why? Because Russia believes that this is profitable. That it is going to raise the value of its currency. That now amidst all the sanctions, it will improve the economic situation.

I believe these sanctions are going to be efficient in their majority but they will bring effect in six months time or longer time. The Russian economy will feel them very strongly, because we are speaking about delivery of spare parts for the machines in Russia. Russia is part of the globalized economy in the world.


BASH: And some 2.5 million refugees have crossed the border from Ukraine here to Poland. And President Duda is extremely proud of the way Poles have welcomed Ukrainians with open arms. They've tried to incorporate them, giving them information and the ability to have issues here that they have issues here in Poland, that can get them fixed. They are staying mostly in private homes.

Still, Jake, the question is, how long can this country sustain that kind of influx? The answer appears to be, there isn't an answer yet. That's both from President Duda who I spoke with, and the mayor of this big city where I am, the capital city of Warsaw -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Dana Bash, thank you so much. We should know more of your interview with the Polish president. It will air at 6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

Dana Bash reporting live from Warsaw for us, thank you so much.

Coming up, a very personal side of this war and the toll it is taking on Ukrainian couples forced to put their country before their own families. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our world lead, the human impact of Putin's brutal war cannot be summed up just with number of estimated deaths or injuries. It's also felt in the devastating emotional trauma of Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes and abandon their lives and in some cases, take up arms to defend their countries. CNN's Brianna Keilar joins me now.

And, Brianna, you spoke with a family here in Lviv whose father is away fighting on the front lines. And the impact it is having on them. Tell us about it.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah, that's right. For every person, every Ukrainian who's on the front line, there are so many more at home supporting them. They're worrying about them.

And this is a war about them. It's about the future of their country but it's also the future of their families, including the family that we spoke to.



KEILAR: What is on your mind?

LIUBA, HUSBAND IS FIGHTING FOR UKRAINE ON THE FRONT LINES (through translator): I feel angry. Sometimes I'm angry at him that he rejoined the army again. But more often, I'm angry at the very fact this war is happening.

My son was waiting for his dad to come back from the war eight years ago. Now my daughter has to wait.

KEILAR (voice-over): Back in 2014 after Russian forces first invaded eastern Ukraine, Liuba held down the home front as well, while her husband Mikhail served for more than a year in the Ukrainian military.

LIUBA: He is a veteran of war. He's on the short list of reserves that goes in the first wave.

KEILAR: Mikhail received a call from his old unit asking him to join immediately.

Liuba, who is pregnant with the couple's third child, had been hoping she would weather this war with her husband. Instead, he deployed the day after Russia invaded and she moved her 9-year-old Semen (ph) and 5-year-old Yustyna out of their home in the center of Lviv to her sister's, on the outskirts of the city where they are safer.

How are the kids doing? How do they make sense of it?

LIUBA: My kids, they know that the war is happening. They know that their father is in the military. Semen is going through this as an adult. He understands everything. Yustyna will sometimes run to me and cry and say she's afraid her dad will be killed. But I always explain that our dad is big and strong.

KEILAR: Uliana, Liuba's sister, isn't just hosting her niece and nephew. She is running supplies to the front line, to have their father's military unit just like she did in 2014. ULIANA, LIUBA'S SISTER, BRINGS SUPPLIES TO TROOPS ON THE FRONT LINES

(through translator): It was a really funny story. I had to bring washing machines to the military unit because they didn't have a way to wash their clothes.

KEILAR: This time, Uliana trekked 1,000 kilometers to deliver night vision goggles, long underwear, even a car and a drone to Mikhail's unit. She only saw him a few minutes, long enough to snap these pictures. The front line was too dangerous to stay any longer.

LIUBA: I was very worried when she went the first time, a couple weeks ago, because the front line right now is not a clear line, because the air strikes can happen anywhere. So the front line is very blurred.

KEILAR: Even Pupa, the family dog is a veteran of war. In 2014, Uliana took Pupa, then a puppy, to serve with Mikhail's reconnaissance unit. She's seen here sleeping with him on a personnel carrier. Now he comforts his children while he is away fighting.

SEMEN, FATHER IS FIGHTING FOR UKRAINE ON THE FRONT LINES (through translator): I think our dad is protecting all of us very much. And I think he didn't want to do this. That's what he had to do.

YUSTYNA, FATHER IS FIGHTING FOR UKRAINE ON THE FRONT LINES (through translator): When he comes back, I want to buy a big cotton candy and I don't want him to go to the war. And I want all of us to stay together.

KEILAR: It's all they home for. It is what they fear this war may take from them.

What do you worry about?

LIUBA: That he will not come back.

KEILAR: Liuba, what are your hopes for the future?

LIUBA: First of all, I hope when it is time for the third child to see this world, that my husband will be back from the war. That the war will end by that time. And that the war will end with our victory, because if we don't win this war, then probably in 15 to 20 years, my son will have to go to the next war and defend our country.


TAPPER: Brianna, I'm sitting here watching this piece and thinking, you are also a military spouse. Your husband is in the Army. He is the father of your children and you've been pregnant as he went off to fight. It reminded me a lot of what you have gone through.

KEILAR: Yeah, talking to her, I felt -- and it is part of reason I sought out the story -- I felt kindred with her in some ways. She said she was angry with her husband which is natural, if displaced, you know. She's really angry at the war. She talked about how he would call and tell her he's warm and he's

getting good food. But it was sporadic how he was calling her. And I think she suspected, as I would in that case, that he's not telling her the full story, right?

But there were some ways, there was no way I would compare myself, because just the danger and the casualties in this war, how sudden it has been and how horrific it has been and how widespread it's been, I can't even imagine what she's going through.

TAPPER: And also the risk to her and her kids.

KEILAR: That's right.

TAPPER: Which is not something that you have necessarily felt with your husband abroad in Afghanistan.

KEILAR: That's exactly right.

TAPPER: All right. Brianna Keilar, thank you so much. A very special report. We appreciate it.

How using drones can make YouTube videos can help train Ukrainian citizens to help document evidence of war crimes. That's next.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

TAPPER: And welcome back to this special broadcast of THE LEAD live from western Ukraine. I'm Jake Tapper. I'm standing on a roof top looking out on Lviv on day 42 of Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine.

We begin this hour with a new assessment from the Pentagon. Russian forces near Kyiv and Chernihiv have completely withdrawn, a U.S. defense official tells CNN. But what those Russians have left behind is a gruesome path of destruction. Innocent Ukrainian civilians bound, murdered, tossed on the streets like trash.

Now, the U.S. is imposing new sanctions on Russian banks, and some members of Russia's elite, including Putin's two adult daughters.