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Don Lemon Tonight

Shelling Heard In Kyiv As Russian Troops Move Closer To Kyiv; Woman Flees Ukraine And Travels To U.S. To Give Birth; Kleptocapture Task Force Targets Russian Oligarch Yachts And Assets; Ukrainian Violinist Posts Videos From Kharkiv Bunker; How Some Americans Are Impacted By Inflation. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 11, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST (on camera): This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. Our breaking news, shelling heard over the last few hours in Kyiv as Russian forces close in on the capital. That as Russia is intensifying its airstrikes on cities across Ukraine, causing severe damage in the city of Dnipro and destroying numerous buildings and causing casualties.

And Russia widening its assault into Western Ukraine, attacking a strategic airfield in the city of Lutsk just 70 miles from the border of Poland, which is a NATO ally.

Tonight, Ukraine President Zelenskyy rallying his nation in a social media posting.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (on-screen translation): Today, everyone is gaining glory for Ukraine. In his or her place. Shows the world who Ukrainians are and what strength we have. Hold our ground! Hold on!


LEMON (on camera) (on camera): Straight now to CNN's Hala Gorani. She is live for us in Lviv tonight. Hala, hello to you again. Shelling heard in Kyiv tonight hours after Russian strikes hit two cities in Western Ukraine. Check out this video from Lutsk.



UNKNOWN (on-screen translation): Five forty-five.

LEMON: Wow, unbelievable there, Hala.


LEMON (on camera): It appears Putin's forces are expanding their attacks. What are you learning?

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, they're expanding their attacks westward. The initial phase of the Russian offensive was focused more on the southern cities in Ukraine. There was sort of a static column of armored vehicles outside of Kyiv that looks to have dispersed and reformed closer to the city center.

There is concern there, for the Russian forces are planning some sort of offensive on Kyiv, where our chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward reported hearing heavier and louder explosions near the capital.

Westward, the westward expansion of the Russian military offensive is interesting because it is going as far as Dnipro, which had not suffered heavy bombardment before. They are hitting, the Russians from the air, a factory, as well as with artillery a primary school, we understand from witnesses on the ground.

You mentioned Lutsk, a severe damage to the airport there, as well as the Ivano-Frankivsk, another important city there in Western Ukraine.

So, obviously, the Russian offensive is expanding, but there is still resistance. It's important to note that no big city like Kyiv has fallen to Russian forces yet, but it is a tough battle for the Ukrainian resistance fighters, Don.

LEMON: There's also heavy shelling, Hala, in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv. This video shows an explosion at a large apartment complex. How dire is the situation there?

GORANI: It's dire because Mykolaiv is a very important strategic target for the Russian forces. They need to take it on their way to Odesa to secure all the important strategic locations on the Black Sea in order for them to have just one continuous swath of territory that they control.

But the Ukrainian fighters there are resisting, though it is becoming a tougher and tougher fight. As far as civilians are concerned, it's becoming uninhabitable in many parts of that section, that part of Ukraine there for them.


As we mentioned earlier, Russian forces are striking civilian targets and that is sort of a tactic that we've seen in other battlegrounds, including in Syria where entire cities become uninhabitable to civilians.

They are, therefore, cleansed from the area, diverting military resources to tend to civilian casualties and civilian evacuations. This is something we're seeing the Russians employ yet again in Ukraine.

LEMON: Hala, thank you. We'll see you on our continuing live coverage in about an hour here on CNN. Thank you so much. I want to bring in now CNN military analyst and retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. General, thank you so much for joining us. New shelling tonight in Kyiv. U.S. Intelligence points to Russia gaining momentum on their siege of the city that had been stalled for a few days. What do you make of the new dynamic there?

MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST, FORMER ARMY COMMANDING GENERAL: I'm going to push back on the premise, Don. I don't think they have overcoming that stalling in the north, in the northeast, and from the east. They have had different three prongs of attack on the city of Kyiv. All reports are they are still about nine to 10 miles out. If they have moved, it's been very slightly.

Ukrainian resistance, both the Ukraine army and the territorial defense fighters, have repeatedly engaged. There are indicators that they have done extensive damage to a Russian regimental tank attack that was coming from the east.

The Russians have not secured their what's called the lines of communication. In other words, their supply lines. They might be able to get to the city of Kyiv, but truthfully, they are not going to occupy it.

Having said all that, we've seen the shelling of major cities, the artillery, the missiles, the rockets continue to come in, but that -- you can't hold ground, you can't occupy space with artillery strikes.

You can terrorize the citizens, you can certainly cause a lot of damage, which is happening, you can cause chaos and an attempt by the citizens of the city to flee, but there are no Russian forces other than in the city of Kherson in the south that are truthfully occupying any cities yet. The Ukrainian fighters and the resistance have pushed back against that.

And because we're hearing explosions in the dark does not necessarily mean that they are shelling. It could be tank-on-tank battles, antitank weapon systems versus tanks. That is what appears to be going on.

A lot of reports from the Ukrainian general staff is saying they continue to force the Russians to pull back, they continue to see damaged Russian equipment, abandoned Russian equipment. So, it's a tough fight on the ground. And what we continue to focus on, unfortunately, is the artillery strikes, the missile strikes on the city.

LEMON: General, Russia striking an airfield in the city of Lutsk just 70 miles from the border of Poland, this quite frankly is the closest Russian assault has gotten to the NATO borders. How much more dangerous is this situation becoming? Because listen, if it gets close to a NATO or if it happens to spill over into a NATO area, that could -- that could certainly rachet things up.

HERTLING: Yeah. I'm confused by the strike on Lutsk. All indicators were that it was cruise missiles fired from Russian bombers at both Lutsk and Dnipro and other cities. The thing about Lutsk, Don, it's -- I've actually been to that city and it is a gorgeous city, mid-century, you know, that dates back to the 1200s. It has several ports. But the key to Lutsk is sort of like Gettysburg. It has roads coming in from six different directions: north, south, east, and west. It has a railroad that runs through it on to the Polish border. And during World War II, it was a Polish city. And the Russians hate the Poles.

So, this may have just been an attempt to show, with these three cruise missiles, a very bizarre strike with no ground forces coming afterwards. It may have just been another terror strike to show Ukrainians, if you think you're trying to get to the border of Poland and be a refugee, we're still going to continue to strike. But that's not that difficult to do. There are no forces in the north in Belarus to back up that strike.

So, it was a couple of errant missiles. You know, the Russians may have thought that that airfield there may have been part of the lines of supply for western lethal aid coming in from Poland. Truthfully, I can't figure it out and they didn't seem to hit any targets there. It's just three missiles on an airfield. That doesn't make sense to me.

LEMON: The capital seems to be, obviously, the main objective here, but there are so many different fronts in the war right now. Do you think Russia is being effective in their strategy?


As you said, whatever, you know, just happened to Lutsk, that it was -- you didn't see a strategy, it didn't make sense to you. There's a difference between power and effectiveness when it comes to military, right?

HERTLING: Yeah -- no -- you're absolutely right, Don. And one of the principles of war, I hate to get geeky on you, but one of the principles of war is mass. You have to put the mass of your force on specific targets.

And what has confused me from the very beginning, right now Russia has four lines of approach. They've got the main access to Kyiv, they're continuing to strike into Kharkiv, they're still focused on the Donbas area, and some of their better successes have come in the south.

But the forces -- I mean, we were amazed at the 190,000 forces around the border. When you start spreading it -- and again, I'm going to remind everybody, the map we're looking at, it's 800 miles from east to west in Ukraine. It's about 400 miles from north to south.

So, when you put relatively few, I'm going to say 190,000 forces, and you're trying to take cities of three million, 1.5 million, 600,000 in the south at Mariupol, another million at Odesa, you can't hold that with the number of forces you have, especially if you don't have supply lines to back it up.

So, just looking at this campaign, I'm going to repeatedly say, this is true incompetence at both the strategic and the operational level of war for the Russians.

And to add to that, they don't have the tactical competence at the troop level, the guys that fight the battles, the tankers, and the infantry. What we're seeing repeatedly is people running away, people deserting their equipment, rolling into zones where there's a lot of antitank missiles, a lot of tanks destroyed, a lot of prisoners so far.

The casualty rate on the Russian side is extensive. I don't want to go into that because you don't want to talk body count or any of those kinds of things, but I would suggest morale is extremely low on the Russian side.

They've been in this fight for now 16 days. The temperatures are freezing. The snow is terrible. The roads are muddy. All the things that contribute to an army failing are in existence here. They're not getting food, fuel, or ammo. They've had problems with their supply lines.

And I just think, as they -- and let's just take Kyiv as an example. If you look at the city of Kyiv, a city of three million people, and you draw circumference around it, it's a 30-mile circumference around that thing. If they're attacking it even with 40,000 troops, they won't be able to encircle the city. Even if they start bombarding it with missiles and artillery and rockets, they will cause damage, but they will never be able to control that city, mark my words on this.

LEMON: General, thank you. Very informative. I appreciate it. We'll see you soon.

HERTLING: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: We're also learning that the mayor of the southern city of Melitopol, Mayor Ivan Fedorov, was detained in the city center by about 10 people who reportedly put a plastic bag on his head. That is according to the Ukrainian parliament's official Twitter account. President Zelenskyy spoke about it late tonight calling it a crime against democracy.

Let's talk about that and more. Joining me now is Ivanna Klympush- Tsintsadze. She is a member of the Ukrainian parliament. Thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us, Ivanna. Thanks so much.


LEMON: Explosions heard in Ukraine's capital tonight. You're in Kyiv right now. What is it like?

KLYMPUSH-TSINTSADZE: Well, the explosions and the sirens are going off, as I see, across the whole country, and that corresponds to the south and north and the west and center of Ukraine. Never easy.

Never -- it's pressing psychologically on people. A lot of people are trying to flee. Those who have been holding in the city, that have been staying and that have been -- hoping that it will be ended sooner than the 16 days. But the situation right now is still worsening. We're happy that at least some people from the towns around Kyiv, we have been able to evacuate, but we've been discussing other directions.

And you haven't mentioned Mariupol, which is under siege already for 12 days. The situation is dire over there. We are in direct touch with the mayor of Mariupol.

And Russians already for five days in a row or six days in a row have been promising to allow for the ceasefire and for the corridor of people to leave from this city.


So, people are gathering, sitting in the buses the whole day, and the corridor is not given. So, humanitarian situation there with no heat, no electricity, no food supplies, and so on is extremely, extremely difficult for people. But they are holding.

Like in Kherson, people are -- people -- that city is occupied by Russians but people are taking Ukrainian flags, going out to the city center to actually protest against those occupiers. And they are not accepting the humanitarian assistance or some food that they are bringing -- that the Russians are bring into the city.

So, in Kherson, just by their behavior, they are showing Russians to leave.

LEMON: The resistance --

KLYMPUSH-TSINTSADZE: So, the resistance, the mood is really strong.

LEMON: Listen, I -- you know, it has been said by military experts and people who, you know, with far more knowledge than me, that Vladimir Putin and the Russian military did not expect this type of resistance.

And by the way, we have a reporting from Mariupol about people, you know, boiling -- melting snow, I should say, for drinking water. There's no food. There are no supplies. They need help there.

And I want to know about Kyiv as well because you get a sense of how many people are still in Kyiv. Are there enough resources there?

KLYMPUSH-TSINTSADZE: Well, it seems that the city is becoming like a fortress. It's emptied during the day. You can see the lines near the pharmacies. You can -- because, Don, if you are working, you can see also the lines in some of the food stores. But basically, otherwise, people are trying to not go out to the city, to the streets. And the lines of defense are around the city with territorial defense and with the armed forces that are standing around the city.

So, people are trying to help each other. The mood among those who have stayed in the city is very united. People are trying to be useful, each and every one in their place. So, if someone can volunteer just to bring water to an elderly nearby, they are doing do this, if they can go and try to get some medicine for them.

But there is already a shortage of medicine. There is already a shortage of basic products because the lines of supply are also scarce. Only from few sites you can in some additional supplies.

LEMON: Yeah. Ivanna, thank you so much. Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, I really appreciate you joining us. Be safe and come back for an update. Thank you so much.


LEMON: So, take a look at your screen, everyone. Do you remember this picture? A pregnant women forced to flee after an utterly outrageous assault on the Ukrainian maternity hospital? We've got good news on her story tonight.

Plus, you're going to meet another Ukrainian mom-to-be who fled to New York City to have her baby.




LEMON: Tonight, a story of hope out of the devastating and deadly attack on the maternity hospital this week in Mariupol. You remember this photo of a pregnant woman who survived the shelling by Russian forces? Her name is Mariana (ph). Well, last night, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl who she has named Veronica. At another hospital in besieged Mariupol, she gave birth to Veronica.

And another story of hope tonight, a pregnant woman from Kyiv, who is two weeks away from giving birth, managing to fleet the violence of Ukraine and traveling all the way to the U.S. to have her baby.

So, more now on all of this from CNN's Brynn Gingras.


OLESYA OSTAFIEVA, PREGNANT WOMAN WHO FLED UKRAINE: We bought it yesterday for my girl.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mom-to-be Olesya Ostafieva is in New York City after fleeing the violence in her hometown, Kyiv. She came here looking for safety. Her due date just two weeks away.

OSTAFIEVA: It's cute.

GINGRAS (voice-over): Olesya tries to not be stressed. But it's not easy, as she shows us pictures of the home she left behind.

OSTAFIEVA: Last picture from peace, life in Kyiv.

GINGRAS (voice-over): This is the baby's room.

OSTAFIEVA (voice-over): Yeah.

GINGRAS (voice-over): It's all pink, ready for the arrival of her little girl. The balloons from her baby shower held the night before the invasion.

OSTAFIEVA: It was 5:00 a.m. in the morning, and I wake up with this bomb.

GINGRAS (on camera): The sound of a bomb woke you up?

OSTAFIEVA: Yeah. It was shock for me. We don't -- didn't know what we can to do, what we must to do.

GINGRAS (voice-over): She and her sister initially decided to stay, believing they would be safe in Kyiv, even as they spent four nights in a bomb shelter with dozens of strangers, and she says the hospital where she planned to give birth, bombed.

OSTAFIEVA: I understand that I need a safe place for baby born.

GINGRAS (on camera): What were you feeling through all of this? You're nine months pregnant, trying to escape bombing.

OSTAFIEVA: A lot of stress. So, I forgot about all pain.


I know that I need to came to border.

GINGRAS (voice-over): It took four days for the sisters to reach Poland. And with some convincing from her friend, Anna Arima, Olesya eventually came to the U.S. to give birth, bringing with her just a few newborn outfits she bought from a market in Western Ukraine.

OSTAFIEVA: So, I saved these things for memory and for understanding that never again. We want peace. We want to be safe.

GINGRAS (voice-over): Olesya says she realizes how lucky she is to be here as so many others are left behind.

We called her friend who is a doctor at a maternity ward in Kyiv. He told us babies are being born daily underground in a bomb shelter. Anna and Olesya are working to help other women escape.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): They are in a bus now.

GINGRAS (voice-over): Alongside a network they say of more than 70 people across the world who have ties to Ukraine.

(On camera): Do you think people like Olesya will be able to actually go home? Do you think that actually will happen?

ANNA ARIMA, HELPING UKRAINIANS FLEE THEIR COUNTRY: It's no other way. It's for sure it will be a victory. The only question is how expensive in terms of lives and destroyed cities and destroyed objects it's going to be.

GINGRAS (voice-over): Olesya now waits for her little baby to arrive.

OSTAFIEVA (voice-over): Smiling.

GINGRAS (voice-over): She really is smiling!

OSTAFIEVA (voice-over): Yeah, yeah.

GINGRAS (voice-over): Despite her country at war --

OSTAFIEVA (voice-over): Her room waiting for her in Kyiv.

GINGRAS (voice-over): She remains hopeful that she will return to Ukraine soon and introduce her parents to their first grandchild, Kira, a name that fittingly means strong woman.

Brynn Gingras, CNN, New York.


LEMON (on camera): Thank you, Brynn. I appreciate that.

It's called the Kleptocapture Task Force, enforcing sanctions and seizing yachts from Russian oligarchs. Will it put the pressure on Putin?




LEMON: So, breaking tonight, the yacht of Russian oligarch Andrey Melnichenko seized in an Italian airport. Italian Finance Police say that the yacht is worth more than $578 million. It's manufacturer calling it one of the largest super yachts in the world.

That as new details are merging tonight on the Justice Department's Kleptocapture Unit, a task force set up to get after, to go after those yachts, jets, and the real estate of Russian oligarchs.

And we are learning that the unit will also focus on financial institutions and other entities that enable the oligarchs to move their assets to hide from sanctions.

So, joining me now, former CIA agent Alex Finley, who has been tracking the movements of oligarchs' yachts. It's a fascinating story, Alex. We thank you for joining us. You are in Barcelona where a lot of these yachts dock, and because of that, you have had a front row seat to their movements. What have you learned since you started tracking them?

ALEX FINLEY, FORMER CIA AGENT: There's been, like you said, a lot of movement. Most of the yachts that are here have left or are preparing to leave. They look like they're preparing to leave. Sort of the crown jewel that was here in Barcelona was "Solaris," which is one of Roman Abramovich's yachts. He -- Solaris left Barcelona on Tuesday afternoon. Thursday morning, the U.K. announced their sanctions on Abramovich. Some may say that's a coincidence.

And yes, we've been watching from here. But you can also track a number of the other yachts online. A lot of people now are doing that.

LEMON: Yeah. And there are a number of stories out there of how these yachts are disappearing. You've been watching these yachts dip in and out of ports for weeks now, and you say that they're continuously trying to find friendly ports. Can these oligarchs avoid the sanctions placed on them by the West?

FINLEY: Well, that's a good question. For those yachts that are in Europe, that's up to the European authorities to make those decisions of whether or not they act. The Italians have acted. This is now the third yacht that the Italians have frozen. I don't think we're using the word "seized" because I don't think the government can sell the boat or do anything with the boat. It's just that nobody can access the boat.

There's been another one that was taken in France and another in Germany. But a number of them are still here, including some that are -- who the beneficial owners are under sanctions of either the U.K, the E.U. or the U.S. But a number of them have left.

There was one that was here in Barcelona called "Galactica Supernova." She left even before the sanctions started. She left about two weeks ago now. So, I think the owner was anticipating what was coming.

And a lot of these ships now are on the move or we already seem them in the Indian Ocean. Some we've lost track of, like I said, because they're don't -- their AIS, which is their tracking system, for some reason isn't pinging. There are some legitimate reasons why that might be, but there are also some more nefarious reasons why that might be, including somebody who doesn't want to be found.


LEMON: I mean, if you look at the one that's out there now, look at how big that boat is. It's hard to kind of see unless you compare to -- that was a carnival cruise ship and that boat was just as big as the carnival cruise ship. I mean, these things are enormous.

FINLEY: Russian --

LEMON: Go on.

FINLEY: Sorry. That one is "Dilbar." That one belongs to Alisher Usmanov. That's the largest privately on yacht. It is not the longest. "Eclipse" -- within the Russian feet, "Eclipse," which is Roman Abramovich's other yacht, is the longest. But "Dilbar" there is the largest by gross tonnage.

LEMON: Incredible. Russian has been referring to the sanctions as economic war. What kind of impact do these asset seizures have over in Russia?

FINLEY: Well, the idea behind them is to, frankly, make life a little bit more miserable for these people. The oligarchs have played a central role in helping Putin with his destabilization activities, which helped get us to this point where Putin decided to invade Ukraine. A number of the things like interfering in U.S. elections and in European elections, the oligarchs have had a real role in that.

While at the same time, they've been, you know, duplicitous, where they have been spending their money and taking full advantage of the very democracies that they have been working to destabilize.

So, taking their assets and forcing them not to live here anymore is making them choose. Either you support a dictator or you support democracy. And the two-faced game needs to end now.

LEMON: Alex Finley, thank you. I learned so much. We appreciate it.

FINLEY: Thank you.

LEMON: Sheltering in a bunker in heavily bombarded Kharkiv, but Russian bombs aren't stopping one violinist from honoring the victims who have been lost.







LEMON: Amid the violent sounds of Russia shelling of Kharkiv, a young concert violinist plays beautiful music in a basement shelter, posting her mini concerts on social media, inspiring people around the world with songs such as Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."



LEMON: It is beautiful. Violinist Vera Lytovchenko joins me now.


LEMON (on camera): Vera, thank you for joining. It is so beautiful, what you do. I really appreciate you joining us, and I'm so appreciative of what you've been doing. Thank you.


LEMON: You know, your city has been hit with heavy bombing. I understand that you spent a few weeks in a dark basement with your neighbors. So, how are you all doing?

LYTOVCHENKO: Oh, we are now doing well. I feel okay. We have comfortable shelter. We have electricity. We have a kitchen. We have food. So, we are okay. But many people don't have shelters at all. Many people in Kharkiv don't have food, don't have medical, don't have electricity and water. So, I think we are lucky people. We have food and shelter.

LEMON: It really puts everything into perspective, doesn't it? You know, all of your videos are made inside that bunker, that location, and the war outside, it is such a contrast to how beautifully you play. And you even dress up like you're going to an event. What made you start filming these?

LYTOVCHENKO: I have begun filming after I watched my student in the metro station in the underground. (INAUDIBLE). And I saw it and I decided and said, if my student, 18 years young, can do it, she's so great, so maybe I can do something like this and decided to play mostly for my neighbors to support them and then for my friends, to let them know that I'm alive, who are watching my video. (INAUDIBLE).


I have -- so many people text me (INAUDIBLE). It gives me more strength to stand all this nightmare. So, thank you.

LEMON: Yeah. We're having a little bit of a hard time hearing you, so I don't know if there's an echo in there, but maybe if you can speak up, but we are going to continue to go because your story is so beautiful.

Before the invasion, you played for the Kharkiv City opera orchestra, and you taught music lessons. What do you see for your future and the future of your country? Can you think that far ahead?

LYTOVCHENKO: For now, my only dream is for this war to stop. And we want this war to stop. And then we dream of rebuilding our city, our country. Ukrainians don't want to be refugees. All my friends want to return home, return to their cities and rebuild our culture, our economic, our lives, and just live our normal lives.

LEMON: We can hear you loud and clear now. So, thank you for speaking up. Are you in a bunker now? Where are you?

LYTOVCHENKO: Yes, I'm in a bunker.

LEMON: You're in the bunker.

LYTOVCHENKO: They have been bombing all day long. It's safer to stay here.

LEMON: Are you -- are you going to stay in Kharkiv? Have you thought about leaving?

LYTOVCHENKO: I thought about it. But I decided that I will stand here. I will stay here. I will not leave. This is my home. This is my land. And I have many friends who still stay here. I will not leave them. And I don't want to leave my city. So, yes, I stand here and I try to do all to help my friends and my people.

LEMON: Do you have your violin with you?

LYTOVCHENKO: Not now. It's in a box because it's not very good air for violin.

LEMON: Yeah. I got you. I was going to ask you to play, but no such luck for us. But we have your beautiful videos and we heard from you and your beautiful spirit. And we're thinking about all of you. Please be safe, and thank you so much. Keep up the great spirits and come back any time on the program. Thank you.

LYTOVCHENKO: Thank you so much.

LEMON: Thank you.

So, for more information about how you be help humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, go to







LEMON (on camera): Skyrocketing gas prices hammering drivers. Rents going through the roof. Rising inflation is hitting Americans really hard.

CNN's Ed Lavandera has more.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For a cold, hard lesson on inflation, step into the refrigerator where Karina Gudino Wollangk stores the food supplies she just bought for her pop- up food stand business in Phoenix, Arizona.

KARINA GUDINO-WOLLANGK, OWNER, DOWN TO GET TACOS: So usually, it would be the boneless would be about a dollar a pound. Right now, it's $1.84 a pound. This cheese used to be $9. Right now, it's like $14.56.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Two years ago, Karina opened up "Down to Get Tacos," catering special events. Inflation has upended her business.

(On camera): Have there been events where you just lost money?

GUDINO-WOLLANGK: Oh, 100 percent. (INAUDIBLE) from today. LAVANDERA (voice-over): As we look over some of the week's receipts, Karina explains the hardest impact of inflation on a small businessowner is how unpredictable her world has become. The demand for her business is there. Everything else is a nightmare.

(On camera): And that makes it hard for someone like you to run your business?

GUDINO-WOLLANGK: Correct. It makes it unbelievably difficult for us to predict any pricing. I can't even say I'm going to charge you a certain price right now because, in three days, it's probably bound to change. You know? And it's never for the better.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Phoenix, Arizona, has one of the highest inflation rates in the country. The latest statistics show it's three percentage points higher than the national average for cities. And that makes life harder for people living on fixed incomes, like Jerreldine Spencer.

JERRELDINE SPENCER, ARIZONA RESIDENT: This was the first one I ever did.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): As she shows us her painting skills, Jerreldine tells us she lives on $1,700 a month in social security. She says she pays $600 in rent and at least $300 a month pays for needed kidney and blood pressure medications. The rest of her bills like home utilities, car fuel, and groceries, she finds depressing.

(On camera): How hard is it living on a fixed income?

SPENCER: It is hard. And I feel so sorry for my friends that just don't have this kind of money as much as I do because they're much worse off than me.

KATIA SCHVARTZ, PHOENIX RESIDENT: So, my commute is about a block and a half. Real nice.

LAVANDERA (on camera): So, you can walk to work?

SCHVARTZ: I walk to work. It's the best.

LAVANDERA (on camera): That is a cheap bill.

SCHVARTZ: Oh, I love it.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The walk home from the ceramic shot where Katia Schvartz works might save her money on gas.

SCHVARTZ: This is my humble abode.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): But the nights after work are filled with dread searching for a new place to live. In four months, Katya's rent for this 300-square-foot apartment is going to jump from $670 a month to just over $1,000.

[23:55:02] (voice-over): She says her paycheck won't cover it.

SCHVARTZ: I would consider living in my car, yes. I would. Though my sister would never allow it.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Phoenix home prices have skyrocketed in the last year. Apartments Katia can afford are so far away that paying to gas up her car would then be too much.

(On camera): I would imagine that battling this at this stage in your life is --

SCHVARTZ: It's really hard. It's really hard. It's -- it makes me feel useless. Like I'm not (INAUDIBLE).

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Are you worried that --

Katia says she's at stage one panic levels, and the thought of what happens next makes her quiver.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.


LEMON (on camera): Ed, thank you so much. And thank you for watching, everyone. Our live coverage continues.