Return to Transcripts main page

Don Lemon Tonight

Russian Forces Killing More Innocent People In Ukraine; White House Issue Warning Of Biochemical Attack; Refugees Welcomed By Romanians; Thousands Stuck In Mariupol Without Basic Necessities; Vladimir Putin May Or May Not Trigger Nukes; Ukraine Repeats Their Plea Of No-Fly Zone. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired March 09, 2022 - 22:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: I recently had a very personal conversation with CNN's Clarissa Ward about the personal side of covering this conflict for CNN. It's a CNN podcast called Tug of War, you can open your camera on your phone right now and scan the QR code on the bottom of your screen for a link to listen to it. Or you can find it in your favorite podcast app wherever you listen to podcasts.

We talked a lot about the importance of bearing witness to all that's happening here, and what it's like for her doing this, you know, week after week, month after month, year after year. The horror of it but also the moment of kindness that she has witnessed, the extraordinary perseverance of people here and what it's like to be a war correspondent.

It's a fascinating conversation. I hope you can listen to it. Stay with CNN for the latest from Ukraine. The news continues. We're going to turn things over to Don for DON LEMON TONIGHT. Don?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Anderson, I know it's been a long day for you but I want to talk about these images that we are seeing, one of them just coming out, the sort of the cradle to grave destruction of the Ukrainian people and what they're calling a mass genocide.

Of course, the pictures that you showed earlier from the maternity ward, and these new pictures are in, mass graves in Mariupol of Ukrainians burying their own in these mass graves because they have to do it quickly so that they can get back to the fight.

And then again, Anderson, as I said, the women in the maternity ward, the babies in the maternity ward, Ukrainians bearing witness, and really the victims of just mass destruction, it is overwhelming and just abominable.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, to see mass graves is a horrific thing. You know, we saw them in the tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2000 -- in 2005. You know, in a situation like this when obviously the ground is frozen, it's difficult to bury, there's -- the city is under siege, there's danger of being outside, digging graves, and you have large numbers of fatalities in a short amount of time, it can become overwhelming.

And for a number of reasons, they end up using mass graves and it's horrific to see. It is, again, one of the, you know, there's little dignity often in war, and that is one of the indignities of war.

LEMON: Yes. Amen. Anderson, thank you very much, we'll see you tomorrow. Get some rest, be safe. I appreciate it.

So, this is DON LEMON TONIGHT. And of course, this is our breaking news.

Let's put this up before I go on with this. Put the pictures back up. This is what we're dealing with, mass graves, and these are Ukrainians who are burying their own people, and they're doing it because they don't really have time to do individual funerals, and say, and really say good-bye to their loved ones.

They've got to put them in the ground, get back to the fight, and get back to the struggle to try to make sure that more people, more of their own people won't die in this.

I know that it's hard to watch, but this is what happens in war, and this is why we are covering this 24 hours a day, live here on CNN so that you can witness for yourself what these people are dealing with. As they say, I know it's a cliche, war is hell. It's certainly true.

And a warning tonight, we are seeing that, but the horror could get even worse that the Ukrainian people are seeing and dealing with, much, much worse.


The White House is warning tonight that Russia could use chemical weapons in Ukraine. The White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeting, we should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine or to create a false flag operation using them. It's a clear pattern.

That as we're just learning, we're just hours away from a high stakes meeting, the first since the invasion began between the foreign ministers for Ukraine and Russia, and the vice president Kamala Harris is in Poland for meetings in the midst of the mess over Poland's plan to get MiG-29 fighter jets into Ukraine, and the Pentagon's rejection of that plan.

Meanwhile, Russia is doubling down on its attacks. There's new video tonight of air strikes in the city of Zhytomyr. The city's mayor saying that a power plant and a civilian building were hit. And there is fighting in the streets in the city of Mykolaiv. Ukrainian troops armed with soldier fired missiles -- shoulder fired missiles, excuse me, there's explosion, and no word on whether any of the soldiers were injured there.

But the disturbing video we're getting from Mariupol, a city under siege shows the depravity of what Vladimir Putin is doing to Ukraine. The complete disregard of lives of innocent civilians, a maternity and children's hospital bombed, and it's almost hard to tell what you're looking at. The destruction is so total there.

Look at the rubble. Windows completely blown out. Broken glass, but in the moments before this happened, pregnant women, mothers, babies, they were here. They were in that maternity ward. We can see what looks like a pink changing table there.

This is -- this was a hospital where babies are supposed to come into the world, and this is the world they were born into. An injured pregnant woman making her way down the -- making her way down the stairs after the attack. Another being carried out on a stretcher. She looks absolutely shocked by all of this.

A medical worker walking past a blood-soaked bed in the midst of rubble. This is a satellite photo of the hospital before the attack. And this is the size of the massive crater left after it was attacked. Look at that.

Can we play those again? This is a before that we're going to look at. That's a before, and this is the size of the crater afterwards. Yes, you're seeing someone standing inside it. That's how big it is, how horrible the destruction is.

The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls the bombing proof of a genocide of Ukrainians taking place, and demands to know what kind of country destroys maternity wards.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): Children's hospital? Maternity ward? Why were they a threat to Russian federation? What kind of country is Russian federation that is afraid of hospitals? Afraid of maternity wards and destroys them.


LEMON: Straight now to Ukraine, CNN's Michael Holmes, he is live for us in Lviv. Kaitlan Collins at the White House for us this evening. Hello to both of you.

Michael, the latest horror to come out of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a maternity hospital bombed. It is unthinkable. And this comes as President Zelenskyy reiterates his calls for a no-fly zone. What are you hearing tonight on the ground?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we talked a lot about Mariupol, haven't we, Don, and you know, how it's been pretty much surrounded. How important it is strategically for the Russians to link up forces from Crimea in the south to those breakaway republics in the Donbas in the north.

But utter outrage in this country and around the world at what happened to that hospital in Mariupol. You just heard President Zelenskyy there, he says the bombing is proof of a genocide of Ukrainians taking place in that video message he posted on Telegram last night. Yes, Russia, trying to get its message straight, frankly, the Russian

ambassador to France said it wasn't Russia, basically saying we didn't do it, and then the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman incredibly accusing Ukraine of using that hospital for combat positions and clearing out patients ahead of time, but you're looking at the videos and the photographs, they clearly show otherwise.

Those images of, you know, wounded heavily pregnant patients being carried out after the bombing staff as well. Bodies being collected, you know. And by the way, Don, the World Health Organization yesterday said they have verified 18 attacks on health care facilities in this country. Health workers, ambulances and so on.


The denials, the deflections they're pretty easy from Russia when civilians are hit like this. But you know, the notion that somehow Ukrainians would carry out this sort of outrage on themselves are pretty hard to swallow, and the videos, you know, belie those denials, Don.

LEMON: Kaitlan, the White House is warning that Russia could use chemical weapons in Ukraine. If so, could this change the U.S. or NATO involvement at all?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's not clear yet. They haven't said either way what a red line essentially would be for the United States, for NATO when it comes to this. Of course, so far, the very clear line from the White House has been they are not going to U.S. forces involved what's happening on the ground in Ukraine.

And when you look at those images that Michael is just showing us, it is hard to imagine how it could get much worse than bombing a hospital where pregnant women are then escorted out on stretchers. But the White House is concerned tonight, Don, it's just that, that potentially President Putin could be preparing to use biological or chemical weapons in Ukraine.

And this came in a Twitter thread from the press secretary Jen Psaki. It came after several days of accusations from Russian officials that the United States was developing biological weapons in Ukraine. Jen Psaki said that it's false, and she said that it's a conspiracy theory that's been echoed by Chinese officials in recent days.

But while they're saying it's not true, Don, their concern is that Putin is following a track record that you've seen him before, which is accusing someone of doing something that he himself is preparing to do to then try to claim that it was not Russia that did it. As if they were just saying that it wasn't Russia that bombed this hospital, instead trying to frame it as a Ukrainian issue here.

And I think the concern here at the White House is that he could be following in a track record that he has used before. He has used chemical weapons on people before. He has attempted to assassinate people who have stood to him in Russia before. Alexei Navalny of course is in a penal colony at this time. And so, I

think that's a concern here from the White House. One thing I will say, Don, it's not clear if that's a U.S. intelligence assessment that is saying that this is a likelihood that Putin is going to do this or the U.S. is just tracking and following steps that he has taken before leading up to instances like this one, and they are trying to put this warning out there saying this is something you should be prepared to potentially happen in Ukraine.

LEMON: Michael, we have been talking a lot about Mariupol. It's very difficult to get into and out of that city or even communicate with people there. Doctors Without Borders is having to communicate with their staffers via audio recordings because of how unreliable and dangerous it is there.

They shared with us a dispatch that they got from within the city. Listen to how this staffer describes the situation under siege.


UNKNOWN: In Mariupol, now there is no drinking water at all and nowhere to take it, People are looking for different sources of water from the ground like springs in the park, also people collecting water from the roof when the snow melts. And because this night there was snow, people collect wood to cook their food. Explosion continues.

And especially very, very bad situation with elderly people, or people with disabilities or long live people. They cannot find even food and they cannot create a fire for themselves to cook their food. So humanitarian, humanitarian disaster here in Mariupol continues. And the very, very bad situation with people with children, because they need much, much more different supplies and hygiene and they cannot find it anywhere now.


LEMON: I mean, Michael, it is awful. No drinking water, no food, many people are trapped. What are you hearing about people trying to get out of the country?

HOLMES: I mean, the numbers just get worse, Don. I mean, Mariupol, as you just played, the mayor says 1,300 dead there alone, we can't confirm those numbers. There are images coming out of Mariupol of mass graves, just burying people in trenches. It's just horrible, and you know, we can't confirm the 1,300, but, you know, we do know that there are many, many dead there. There are thousands still trapped inside what is an ongoing hell.

Nationally, at least 2.1 million people have now fled the country, most of them to Poland. Half of them, around half of them children. Horrific numbers but, you know, what's worse is every humanitarian spokesperson I spoke to says two things, they say they've never seen anything like this in this time frame, and secondly, that it's going to get so much worse.

The other thing, too, in this country, Don, this country is a major exporter of wheat. And one of the -- one of the things that's going to be happening in this country, I was talking to the boss of the World Food Programme yesterday on my show, and he was saying that there is going to be a hunger crisis in this country overall, and the world better take notice, too, because there is going to be a shortage of wheat around the world as well. Two major exporters of wheat, Ukraine and Russia, Don.


LEMON: Yes. Michael, those images of the mass graves, I mean, it is just awful. One image after the other. One video, one picture, the next is more horrific than the one before.

Kaitlan, thank you. Michael, thank you. I appreciate it. Michael, we'll see your coverage later on live here on CNN by the way. Thanks a lot.

So, the world watching in horror as what seems like one atrocity after another takes place in Ukraine, and seeing pregnant women -- women bloodied and on stretchers, shocked and horrified the world. The mayor of Mariupol says what happened at children's hospital is pure evil.

CNN's Sam Kiley has more now.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're really stretched, whatever cars you have, send them here, he says air strike, maternity hospital, this was Russia's response to a global appeal for a cease fire to evacuate a city of a million people, a bomb dropped next to a maternity hospital in Mariupol.

It's hospital number three. Inside, a frantic search for survivors. Early reports say that there were more than a dozen injured. A miraculous outcome to an attempt to a mass killing at a place where lives should begin. Many women and children had already fled to underground bunkers after a week of Russian bombardment.

Ukraine's president renewed his pleas for NATO to drive Russia from his nation's skies after the hospital air strike.


ZELENSKYY (through translator): Everything that the occupiers do with Mariupol is already beyond atrocity. Europeans, Ukrainians, citizens of Mariupol, today we must be united in condemning this war crime of Russia.


KILEY: Evacuations from other towns have been more successful but still very limited. Around 700 people mostly women and children were bussed out of Enerhodar (Ph), the site of Europe's biggest nuclear reactor, which was captured recently by Russia.


UNKNOWN (through translator): The shops are empty, there's nothing there. Not enough medical supplies, we're tired. We need to eat and rest.

KILEY: It may seem extraordinary, but these are the lucky ones. They have escaped from the shadow of a nuclear power station and the clutches of Russian troops, but in comparison to what people are enduring in Mariupol, this is good fortune.

Yulia Karaulan volunteers at a refugee center in Zaporizhzhia set up to receive people fleeing her hometown of Mariupol. It's empty. She has been waiting a week for news from home of her husband Evgeni (Ph), and daughter Yesa (Ph). This morning she got a brief call.

How is your daughter doing?

YULIA KARAULAN, VOLUNTEER, HOMETOWN IN MARIUPOL: My daughter told me she loves me.

KILEY: Of course, she does.

KARAULAN: Actually, how she's alive, it's a miracle. She is doing like all of the children doing now in Mariupol, almost no food, no drinking water, no electricity. It was minus 5 this night. They have no heat. They are sitting in cold basement in some coats.

KILEY: Hersimal (Ph) family is living in a bomb shelter with hundreds of others. She says they can only survive another few days. Then they will have to surface. Perhaps to face more of this.

Sam Kiley, CNN, Zaporizhzhia.

LEMON: All right, Sam, thank you very much.

I'm going to bring in journalist and author Sebastian Junger. He says history may be on the side of Ukrainians in this war. Interesting I want to hear about that. But by the way, his latest book is "Freedom." Sebastian Junger joins me now. Thank you. I appreciate you joining us.


LEMON: You know, with all of the lives, the destruction of the lives of the Ukrainian people up ended, it is hard to imagine how much worse this Russian invasion could get.


LEMON: Then you have a bombing at a maternity ward and a hospital, it is horrific.

JUNGER: Yes. The first war I was in was in Sarajevo in Bosnia in '93, and it reminds me a lot of that, you know, a modern western army encircling cities and just bombing them because they can't take them on foot.

LEMON: And the new pictures we have now of mass graves. And these are mass graves of Ukrainians burying their own because they have to get back out and fight, they can't do individual burials and funerals. JUNGER: Yes. Yes. I mean, seeing that kind of harm come to other

people is extremely traumatic to anyone involved, journalists, other citizens, it's way more traumatic than being in danger one's self, and that the kind of thing the people involve in that. I mean, the people that had to bury the corpses they will be suffering those effects a long time.

LEMON: We've heard from the White House that Russia may start using chemical weapons, how does this change things? This is a warning from the U.S., but how would it change this war, this invasion?

JUNGER: I mean, they're terrifying. Right? I mean, I'm sure to people on the ground, I think if he wants to clear out large areas of Ukraine, chemical weapons would probably do it. I don't know where that would land him internationally. Assad very well might have used chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein did. Their regime survived that, so I don't know.


LEMON: And what does -- what does that change? Does that do anything for the U.S. response, for NATO? Does this change the way they react, if you start using chemical weapons on people, when we thought this horror wouldn't happen, and then the thought of chemical weapons, Sebastian.

JUNGER: Well, there was a response when Assad seemed to use chemical weapons, there was a response by the Trump administration, I think it was, right? And, but now we're talking about a nuclear armed country.


JUNGER: So, the calculations are different. I don't, you know, I don't know, I mean, I don't work at that level, but I assume -- I mean, the stakes couldn't be higher.

LEMON: Right.

JUNGER: Right, and you also don't know who's bluffing and when. So.

LEMON: Fareed Zakaria was on last night, he said, listen, we -- you have to remember, both players or the United States, there are a number of players involved in this who can destroy the world several times over enough with nuclear weapons.

JUNGER: Right.

LEMON: I mean, and that was really chilling, and it's true. He's absolutely right.

JUNGER: Yes. I mean, it's a strange power, though. It's like having a hostage, your power comes from having a hostage and threatening to kill the hostage, where if you kill the hostage, suddenly you have no more power.

LEMON: Right. JUNGER: So, it's a very strange kind of power to have. Nuclear weapons are a lot like that.

LEMON: Yes. Listen, I talked about your Vanity Fair article when we were bringing you in here, it's a, the headline says can Ukrainian freedom fighters stand up to the Russian military. History suggests that they can, and you say successful underdogs have three things in common, and Ukraine has all of them. What are they?

JUNGER: Yes. So "Freedom" is about how underdog groups can defeat greater powers, and fortunately they can or there would be no freedom in the world. The world would be basically made up of huge fascist mega states and it's not.

So, the things that I looked at and this goes from insurgencies all the way to political movements, the civil rights movement, the labor movement in this country, things like that. So, it's not just war, but the three things that you need is first of all you need a sort of historical context where you're fighting for freedom.

Freedom is one of the few things that people will die for. They will die to defend their families, their community, and they'll die to make sure that the people they love are free. In fact, the word freedom is derived from medieval German for beloved.

LEMON: These were women who are -- these women were training even before, men and women training even before the war --


LEMON: -- to fight.

JUNGER: Yes. So that's another component in successful underdog groups is involving women, particularly in mass movements. Women have a huge amount of moral authority that men don't always have and even despots are sometimes reluctant to kill them in public in mass numbers.

I looked at the labor movement in Massachusetts in 1912 and this one very frustrated police captain said one cop can handle 10 men in the street protests, but it takes ten cops to handle one woman because there's a social sanction against using violence against women that sometimes helps the cause.

And finally, the third thing that you need, absolutely need is fearless leadership, when you have leaders who are not willing to die --

LEMON: Zelenskyy.

JUNGER: Zelenskyy. Exactly. When you have leader who aren't willing to die or for that matter, platoon commanders in a -- on a battlefield, it never works. Zelenskyy clearly is willing to die, and it comes down to the definition of like are you a Ukrainian, to be a Ukrainian means staying and fighting. I looked at a street gang in Chicago in the 1960s to be in the vice

lords is to stay and fight if your brothers are in danger and if you don't, you're not a vice lord. And it comes down it's a very elemental human thing.

LEMON: Sebastian and I were talking about as we were watching the story there, Sam Kiley, we were talking about it puts everything into perspective about what we deal with in this country and the luxuries and the good fortune that we have to be here.

JUNGER: Yes. I mean, look, they ordered every male in Ukraine to stay, to stay and fight, right, I mean, talk about in this country though, we call it government overreach. In Ukraine, it's called heroism.

LEMON: Thank you. It's always a pleasure to see you.


LEMON: I wish it was under better circumstances.

JUNGER: Yes. Thank you very much.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

More than two million refugees fleeing Ukraine, two trains packed with people arriving in Romania late tonight. And CNN is on the scene there right after this.



LEMON: The refugee crisis in Ukraine growing by the day. tonight the U.N. saying more than two million people have fled the country. Most are seeking safety in Poland, but many are also heading to other surrounding countries including Romania.

And that's where we'll find CNN's Miguel Marquez in the capital of Bucharest. Miguel, hello to you. I understand there are multiple trains carrying refugees arriving there tonight. What are you seeing?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's one that has just come in, and another one that's been delayed substantially it looks like, but the one that just came in, we've been here the last two mornings, and we've seen that same train come in with just hundreds and hundreds of mostly refugees, it seems coming in from the north of Romania.

Today wasn't as crowded. The Romanians, I have to admit are also, they seem to be getting much better at handling the flow of this. They have lots of volunteers here, they break them into groups. They move them into different groups.

I mean, this van, for instance, pulled up a short time before the train arrived. It brought fresh food and coffee and everything that they will need for the people who have arrived here. They took them to two different parts of the train station, seemingly depending upon where they're going.

I did notice on the board this morning there's a train directly to Budapest and Hungary. So, one of the big problems they have had with moving people around is some of them don't have documents, it's very hard to get across borders, Romania was paying for a ticket to the Romanian border but refugees had to get across Hungary, and Slovakia, and Poland, and then to Germany, wherever they were going.

So, it was a very difficult long arduous trip. It seems a lot of those issues, those paperwork issues are starting to go away, and they're starting to get very good at dealing with people. Here in Bu --

LEMON: Bucharest.

MARQUEZ: -- Bucharest, they're also opening a -- the a -- the largest public space they have here in the event they need it for refugees. They can hold up to 2,000 people, Don.


LEMON: Miguel, thank you. Miguel, just so you know, we lost your video there. You froze for a bit, but we could hear you loud and clear. Our thanks to Miguel Marquez. He is in Bucharest.

So, is there still a chance for diplomacy to stop the bloodshed in Ukraine, and what would it take to stop Vladimir Putin. I'm going to ask the former ambassador to Ukraine. He's next.



LEMON: Just unbelievable. That shocking video from Zhytomyr, Ukraine, the mayor there says a Russian air strike hit a civilian building and power plant in the city today. Only last night the mayor said strikes destroyed an apartment building and textile factory in Zhytomyr.

Tonight, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has renewed his calls for western leaders to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine following the bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol.

Joining me now is William Taylor, the former ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Taylor, I appreciate you joining us.

You saw and heard that brutal air strike there. Seems to be getting more brutal as the days go on, which is why tomorrow's meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine is so critical. That meeting is just hours away. Do both sides have enough incentive right now to make any sort of a deal?

WILLIAM TAYLOR, FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: Well, Don, the Russians have problems. The Russians have problems at home. The Russians have problems in Ukraine. At home, their economy is just being hammered. The Russian people are aware of the problems that this war is causing for them, and they are also starting to see their sons and daughters come back to be buried.

So, President Putin has problems at home, which is an incentive for him to look somewhere else. He's got problems in Ukraine. His military is not doing well. His military is stalled and its main effort, Don, its main effort is Kyiv, and here it is in Ukraine it's day 15. It's day 15.

People thought, he thought, I'm sure President Putin thought in two days he'd be in Kyiv. Two days he would be in charge of the country. Well, that hasn't happened because the other thing that's going on in Ukraine is the incredible resilience of the Ukrainian people. Incredible resilience of President Zelenskyy who is leading the Ukrainian people.

You've described these in your reports of how the Ukrainians are reacting, and they are -- they have never been stronger, they have never been more determined. They have never been more committed to that freedom that Sebastian Junger talked about. And they've never had better leadership, they have never had better leadership than they have right now.

So, they've got a lot going for them, and the discussions between Foreign Minister Lavrov and Foreign Minister Kuleba might be critical but it's only if President Putin has finally figured out that he's got problems.

LEMON: You know, you talked about President Zelenskyy and his leadership, he has signaled that he is ready to consider discussing the status of Crimea and other contested regions. If he were willing to cede them to Russia would that be a deal worth making? I mean, there's an argument that rewards Putin for this invasion, but would it be worth it from Ukraine's perspective to stop this all-out war?

TAYLOR: So clearly, a ceasefire is what -- what Ukraine needs. Ukraine needs to have a ceasefire so that their people, their citizens, Ukrainians are not being killed going forward, and you've shown how they are being killed. So, a ceasefire is really important.

However, Ukrainian people are also committed to Ukraine's boundaries of sovereignty, Ukraine's territorial integrity. Those are not just words for them. Ukraine is really a place, it's and a land, it includes Crimea and it includes Donbas.

So, I think they will be reluctant, very reluctant to give up their territorial integrity. They may agree to disagree for a long time. I would be surprised if they agree to forego Crimea.

LEMON: Ambassador, the mayor of Mariupol is asking for the skies over Ukraine to be closed. You're one of almost 30 foreign policy experts asking President Biden to establish a limited no fly zone over humanitarian corridors. How exactly would that work?

TAYLOR: Well, Don, it's a good question. First of all, we want to raise this issue in a humanitarian context, and Mariupol gives us exactly that context. You couldn't have a more horrific humanitarian situation than that. So, if there is an agreement for some kind of humanitarian ceasefire,

humanitarian corridor that would allow -- allow civilians to leave and to go to someplace that's safer, then that agreement ought to be the basis for no flying, no military contact over that corridor.


And it's a recognition, we're trying to make the recognition to make it clear that this is an important aspect. If it's a no-fly zone, that's one thing, but somehow to deny the Russians the ability to attack from the air, humanitarian corridors, it might be other missile systems. It might be other weapons systems that would do this trick.

The Brits have suggested something just today that might be able to solve this problem or at least address this problem, but it's the problem of Russian aircraft over humanitarian corridors, and other places of course, but especially over humanitarian corridors that we're trying to address.

LEMON: Ambassador Taylor, thank you so much. We'll see you soon. Be well.

TAYLOR: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Air strikes hitting hospitals, schools, homes, including my next guests, but Ukraine is fighting back. Stay with us.



LEMON: So, President Zelenskyy says at least 17 people were wounded in the bombing of a maternity and children's hospital in the besieged city of Mariupol. The horrifying scenes sparking international outrage.

Zelenskyy asking tonight why this hospital was a threat to Russia, and renewing his plea for more help from western allies as the humanitarian situation worsens.

Dmytro Gurin joins me now. He is a member of the Ukrainian parliament. And we're so glad that he's here with us this evening. Thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us.


LEMON: As I understand, your parents have been sheltering from Russia shelling in Mariupol, and we know the maternity hospital there was bombed. You say your childhood home and your school were bombed as well. Can you speak to us about how dire the situation is for Ukrainians stuck in the city?

GURIN: My parents are in Mariupol. There is no heating. There is no electricity, water, gas, cell phone, no mobile networks, and any communications, transport. Supply of food, supply of water. Supply of medicines, and minus (Inaudible). LEMON: Yes.

GURIN: So below freezing, and they live in the basement. My building where I grew up was hit by artillery. My school, my university was destroyed by air bombing. And in this territory, there is no any military infrastructure, and never were. And because of constant shelling, all this -- all this infrastructure, civilian infrastructure cannot be repaired.

Bodies are on the street already. We have in Mariupol mass graves. Yesterday it's more than 30 people. Today it's 50 people. And it's a medieval siege, it's a humanitarian disaster because people melt snow to have water, and in three to five days, the food will be over in the city. And the hunger will begin.

And it's more than 300,000 people. It's around 350 to 400,000 people. And a week ago, we have ordinary war, and we asked you, all of you, USA and NATO countries and European Union, we asked to help, and you helped.

LEMON: If you can --

GURIN: But now it's not an ordinary war anymore. It's now just a terror of residential areas and civil people.

LEMON: You said not just an ordinary war anymore, it's just -- it's terror, you said, of peaceful people. When was the last time you spoke with your parents? Are they OK?

GURIN: I know that they're alive. That was in midday yesterday. I have -- I talked with them three days ago. There is no cell phone network there. There are only several spots in the city where I can go to catch a mobile network. And because of shelling it's pretty -- it's really dangerous. And really, it's not the war anymore.

If you are just pretending now, it's a war, so, you're accomplices, and President Zelenskyy said what was it, a maternity hospital. It is military infrastructure, is my university or the building of my parents is military infrastructure?

All the buildings around the building where I grew up was hit by artillery, all of them, every one of them. They're all district where 150,000 people live, where I grew up, near the sea. It's totally destroyed. It has to be demolished after the war.

LEMON: Well, Dmytro, I want you -- I want to continue speaking with you and I can feel your passion and I want to know -- I wang to know what's happening with other families and what about these places where people are hiding, how much longer they can do it.

And I want to also show you some of the images and get your response right after this break. Don't go anywhere. We'll be back with Dmytro.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: So back with me now a Ukrainian member of parliament, Dmytro

Gurin. So, Dmytro, you know, we have these new satellite images showing the before and after images of the devastation of Mariupol from this invasion. Homes, grocery stores, shopping malls all destroyed. I mean, these are not military locations.

And then we have this new video from earlier this week. It's of protesters in Kherson showing remarkable courage and anger in the face of Russian occupiers. Listen to this.

So, you have the destruction and then people showing incredible courage, even if Russia can take Ukraine, in the face of resistance like this, could they ever hold it?


GURIN: In Kherson, they have 400 people yesterday. The Russian special police and that means all these 400 people are dead as of now. And they took prisoners and they don't, you know, they don't put them in jail. Trust me.

And that means that it's the same terror and in Mariupol they're mining escape routes. They shoot their cars, civil cars that are trying to go out from the siege. They are shelling their convoys of humanitarian corridors.

And trust me, in two years, they will ask you, everybody will ask themselves, what did we do when Putin started to just kill these people because these people resist. And you need to ask your children, the (Inaudible) children in 10 years what did you do when Putin just decided to kill millions of people? It's not just an ordinary war anymore. We all resist we will win so he decided to kill us all.

LEMON: Dmytro, we -- are you still there? I think he's still there. Dmytro, I wasn't sure if your shot had frozen. Listen, we really appreciate you joining us. We -- your courage is commendable and please come back and update us on what's happening in Ukraine. Thanks so much, OK?

GURIN: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you.

Refugees flooding across borders, civilians taking up arms as Russian shelling becomes more indiscriminate and more destructive. Stay with us.