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Don Lemon Tonight

Heavy Explosions Heard In Kyiv As Russia Expands Its Assault; Anti-War Protester Interrupts Russian State TV News Broadcast; UN: More Than 2.8 Million Refugees Have Fled Ukraine; Russian Forces Attack Healthcare Systems In Ukraine. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 14, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. Our breaking news: Russian forces broadening their attacks on major Ukrainian cities and ramping up their shelling of Kyiv today, including apartment buildings that the explosions heard in the capital tonight. But a senior U.S. Defense official saying Russian troops have not yet encircled Kyiv despite nearly three weeks of trying.

And a senior U.S. Defense official saying while Russian shelling across Ukraine is fierce, almost all Russian advances remain stalled.

We are going to get right now to CNN's Hala Gorani. She is live for us in Kyiv. Hala, hello to you. I want to put -- in Lviv, excuse me. I want to put up this new video tonight showing an explosion of residential buildings in central Kyiv. It is unbelievable. And you can see a person in the foreground walking in the direction and then quickly turning around. Is the assault on Kyiv getting worse?

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is intensifying in the suburbs. The Russians are inching closer, but what's important to note is that Ukrainians are able to hold their ground in the center.

You are seeing these very dramatic images that you are showing our viewers of buildings, residential buildings, in many cases, targeted by Russian artillery. The goal for Ukrainians now is to keep the center of Kyiv, the city itself, out of range of Russian artillery. And so far, they've been able to do it.

Also, Kyiv is difficult terrain when it comes to the Russian invasion effort. There are rivers. There are bridges. They have managed, the Ukrainian resistance forces, to block some of these very important access points into the Ukrainian capital.

So, as far as the battle of Kyiv is concerned, as oppose to what is happening in the south, you are seeing a stalled Russian effort, but it is focused now on the suburbs and is causing a lot of pain to the civilian populations in that part of the country.

LEMON: Hala Gorani live for us in Lviv. Hala, we will pick up our coverage -- live coverage in just about an hour in CNN. Hala, we will see you then. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Now, I want to bring in CNN national security analyst James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence. Director Clapper, thank you so much for joining.

Let's discuss. Moscow has asked China for economic and military assistance. It's unclear whether China intends to provide it, but they say that they are open to it, according to CNN sources. What happens if they do?


LEMON: Uh-hmm.

CLAPPER: Is that --

LEMON: Yes, assistance.

CLAPPER: Well, first of all, I think this has actually set off a debate in China. I read a very interesting piece today by a prestigious Chinese think tanker, that it was -- that laid out what the -- what the real stark choices are for China.


I think in the end, they will treat this request if it was made, because both parties have denied it, but let's assume it did, I think the Chinese response will be much like the way they are with North Korea, and that they will provide -- they will provide some help, but not everything that the Russians want.

And I think this whole situation, in Ukraine, has made the Chinese very uncomfortable. This is not what they bargained for when they signed their -- signed up to their brand pact. And I think they're having second thoughts.

So, what I would anticipate is that the Chinese may provide nonlethal kinds of assistance. For example, I'm given to understand the Chinese asked for food or that Russians asked the Chinese for food for the Russian soldiers.

LEMON: MREs, which are --

CLAPPER: They might provide that, but I think the Chinese are going to be very careful about providing any kind of weaponry or equipment that could show up on TV screens in Ukraine. I don't think they want to do that.

LEMON: Yeah. MREs, meals ready to eat, is what you're talking about. so, you don't think they want -- what happens if that -- what does that say about the state of the Russian army, though, if they are asking for MREs?

CLAPPER: Well, that has to be -- and this is obviously a reason the Russians, for their part, would deny these requests. This has to be -- it is a huge embarrassment. In fact, the performance of the Russian army in Ukraine has been a huge embarrassment. The vaunted modernization of the Russian army, well, not so much.

And so, just the fact that they have to ask their ally, China, for help this quick -- you know, we're not even into these three weeks and the Russians are already appealing to the Chinese for help. So, that's a very damning commentary on -- as to the efficacy of the Russian army.

LEMON: They're both denying it, right? China is denying it. Russia is denying that they asked. But, again, that's what our sources are saying.

CLAPPER: That probably indicates that the request was actually made, the fact that they're both denying it.

LEMON (on camera): Right on. Director Clapper, the Pentagon press secretary was on -- John Kirby, was on with Wolf earlier and asked what the downside would be -- what the downside would be to U.S. directly providing jets to Ukraine. Watch this.


JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY, ASSISTANT TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS: One of the downsides is -- our Intelligence Community has assessed and told us that for the United States to provide fighter aircraft could be misconstrued by Mr. Putin as an escalatory measure and could spin the conflict to a higher level than it is right now.

And I think we can all agree that having the United States and Russia involved in an escalatory conflict, two nuclear powers, is not only not good for the world, of course, but it's not good for the people of Ukraine.


LEMON: So, first, director, do you agree with Kirby's assessment that Putin would see providing planes directly as an escalatory measure?

CLAPPER: Well, I can understand the case. But I'll tell you, Don, to me, there is a little bit of a logic disconnect here because we've already provided thousands of stingers, anti-aircraft weapons, javelins, anti-tank weapons which have resulted in the deaths of thousands of Russian soldiers and the loss of a lot of equipment. I'm hearing estimates up to 30 percent of the equipment that the Russians brought into Ukraine is gone or destroyed or captured.

So, you know, these fighters, and my thinking has changed on this, going from Poland to Ukraine, I don't find -- and of course, the claim is that they won't be effective. Well, if that is the case, then why are we so worried about this being escalatory?

Again, I have to sympathize with the position the administration is in here because they are trying to walk a very tight wire here and not escalate. But I'll tell you, it is, I think, growing onerous to me, at least, where we are reacting to Putin's rules of engagement and we're not setting out what the rules of engagement that we think ought to prevail.

LEMON: What do you think that is?

CLAPPER: I'm sorry?

LEMON: What do you think that is?

CLAPPER: Well, I think, you know, it's this no -- we are responding to Putin's red lines all the time. And hopefully, we're going to assert ourselves and establish some red lines. For example, the use of chemical weapons. I think, you know, the administration made it clear that there will be severe consequences. I am sure, I trust, that they're going to live up to that.

So, again, my thinking has changed a bit on this. If the Ukrainians think they need these fighters, then we should give some consideration to that.


Now, that said, I have to acknowledge that we haven't seen much fighter activity on the part of the Ukrainians, so there's probably a reason for that. I think they already have 56, or at least before the combat started, 56 MiG-29s. Well, they haven't been flying them as best I can tell a whole lot.

So, it that because of the threat posed by the Russian air defense system? I don't know. But I think the general principle here of being -- I understand the reason for conservatism, but I think at some point, we are going to have a confrontation with the Russians. It is not a question of if.

LEMON: It's when.


LEMON: Yeah. Right on. I agree. You said that from the very beginning, you know. So, we shall see. Hopefully, that won't happen. But, yeah, I think you could be right. Thank you, director. I appreciate it. We'll see you soon. Be well.

CLAPPER: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Let's discuss now. Joining me is journalist and author Sebastian Junger. He is -- his latest book is called "Freedom." Thank you. Good to see you again.


LEMON: Do you want to respond to anything he said?

JUNGER: Actually, I couldn't hear it.

LEMON: You couldn't hear it? Oh. He is saying that -- what he said was, we continue, meaning the U.S. and NATO, continues to respond to Putin's directive, right? And his red line. And at some point, we need to set our own, especially --


LEMON: -- when it comes to chemical weapons. And he believes possibly we should be supplying --

JUNGER: Right.

LEMON: -- more things than we're supplying because the equipment that we've already given to NATO or given to the Ukrainians have helped to kill Russian soldiers already.

JUNGER: Right. God, I mean, that's -- you know, that's pretty high- level stuff. I mean, I think whatever is terrifying is nuclear war. And, you know, their defensive weapons. If Putin used them in an offensive way, it would be a gross violation, obviously, and maybe no one is crazy enough to do that, but what a gamble. You know, I don't know. We don't know.

LEMON: Yeah. That is the whole point of it.


LEMON: The Ukrainians are fighting really hard for their freedom. I don't know if you saw -- you know, we had a couple on --


LEMON: I mean, it is unbelievable.

JUNGER: Amazing, yeah.

LEMON: Their cities are getting shelled. People are dying. Millions have left the country. What will it mean for the western world if they fight valiantly but democracy is ultimately crushed by an authoritarian power?

JUNGER: Well, I mean, it will be enormously demoralizing. But, you know, you have to understand that once -- if the Russians managed to occupy Ukraine, then the hard work for them has really begun, because occupation is very, very difficult and costly. The Russian economy is tiny. This 44 million Ukrainians -- it's very, very difficult to pull off.

I mean, the English couldn't even keep control of Ireland, 50 miles off their coast. A really backwards agrarian country at the time. They won the first -- they won the fighting, basically, during the Easter Rising in 1916, but they could not keep control of the country and eventually gave them their freedom. So, I'm not sure they can pull this off in the long term.

LEMON (on camera): I want you to listen to something. This is very disturbing. It is a warning from U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Here it is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: Raising the alert of Russian nuclear forces is a bone-chilling development. The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility.


LEMON (on camera): So, it is 2022 and there are warnings of nuclear war. Are we heading back to a Cold War mentality?

JUNGER: I mean, if Putin stays in power, possibly. But we've been through this before in the past decades. The Cuban missile crisis, for example, and there have been other times. I think the nuclear system is built, sort of designed to absorb this kind of tension. It has done it before.

I also think that, you know, Putin has an enormous amount of power in Russia because he has the backing of the oligarchs. He has made them rich. He has the backing of the military at the point where people -- powerful people feel like he is actually threatening the future of Russia. I think there may be some constraints on his power.

LEMON: You said if Putin stays in power. That didn't go past my ears.

JUNGER: Yeah. Well, I mean, who knows? I mean, you know -- I mean, its -- dictators don't fare that well.

LEMON: I want to ask you about Brent Renaud, the American journalist killed by Russian forces in Irpin. President Zelensky extended his condolences to Brent's family, writing in part, the people of Ukraine who are fighting against the Russian to defend their homeland and democracy in the world, are mourning with you. May Brent's life, service and sacrifice inspire generations of people all around the world to stand up in fight for the forces of light against forces of darkness.

You knew Brent. What do you want to say about Brent and what do you think of that message from Zelenskyy?

JUNGER: A very beautiful message. And, you know, there are hundreds, thousands of reporters out in the world and have been for decades risking their lives, sometimes dying to report the truth.


And criminals like Putin do not like the truth. And that's why the press needs to keep pursuing these stories.

I started an organization called Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues to give freelance war reporters medical education so they could intervene in frontline situations and can save each other's lives.

And Brent wasn't the first one. Just about 10 years ago, as was James Foley, who was killed by ISIS. And now, Brent is gone. It is absolutely a terrible thing. But without these people, without the freelancers, particularly, we would not know what's going on.

LEMON: To his family, what do you say?

JUNGER: Oh, my God. I can't imagine. I lost my good friend Tim Heatherington. Similar circumstances in Libya. And, you know, it's 10 years and I'm still getting over it. I just can't imagine as a son or a brother or a friend. It's crushing.

LEMON: Thank you, Sebastian.

JUNGER: Thank you.

LEMON: Appreciate you being here. Sorry that you're dealing with that and the family, especially Brent's family.


LEMON: Everyone is affected. Thanks so much.

I want you to check this out. Ukrainian has a new postage stamp and it is called Russian warship, go F yourself. Yes, it is. The design was selected as part of the competition to pay tribute to the 13 Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island who refused to surrender to Russian troops when the war began.


UNKNOWN (on-screen translation): I am a Russian military ship. Repeat, I am a Russian military ship proposing to put down arms immediately to avoid bloodshed and unjustified deaths. In worst case you will be hit with a bomb strike. I am repeating, I am a Russian military ship, propose to put down arms or you will be hit. Acknowledge. (Bleep).

UNKNOWN (on-screen translation): (Bleep) it as well.

UNKNOWN (on-screen translation): Just in case.

UNKNOWN (on-screen translation): Russian warship, go (bleep) yourself.


LEMON (on camera): And there you go. The Snake Island soldiers were initially feared dead, but the Ukrainian Navy released a statement saying the troops were alive and well, but were forced to surrender due to the lack of ammunition. But their defiance and that phrase has become a rallying cry for Ukrainians defending their country.

President Zelenskyy saying tonight that he is grateful to Russians who protest, like the woman who crashed a live Russian news broadcast with a sign saying, no war, stop the war, do not believe propaganda, they tell you lies here. An extraordinary act of bravery in Vladimir Putin's Russia. But will Russians listen?




LEMON: Tonight, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky saying he is grateful to Russians who are not afraid to protest and who tell the truth about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Zelensky also saying he is grateful to Maria Ovsiannikova, the Russian Channel One employee who held an anti-war sign, interrupting one of Russia's major state television broadcasts. Here she is explaining her actions before she ran out on to that set.


MARIA OVSIANNIKOVA, RUSSIAN CHANNEL ONE EMPLOYEE (through translator): This happening now in Ukraine is a crime. And Russia is the aggressor country. And the responsibility for this aggression lies in the conscience of only one person. This man is Vladimir Putin.

My father is a Ukrainian, my mother is Russian, and they have never been enemies. And this necklace on my neck is a symbol of the fact that Russia must immediately stop this fratricidal war so our fraternal nations will still be able to reconcile. Go to the rallies and do not be afraid. They cannot arrest us all.


LEMON (on camera): So, joining me now is Julia Ioffe, founding partner and Washington correspondent for Puck News. I mean, Julia, wow, hello to you. That was pretty brave of her to do that. You saw that video, the Russian Channel One employee protesting the war on state TV. An incredible act of bravery. What did you think when you saw that? What did you think?

JULIA IOFFE, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT AND FOUNDING PARTNER, PUCK NEWS: I thought basically the same thing you did, which is that -- I mean, this is really incredible. This is the flagship of Kremlin propaganda. Channel One is entirely Kremlin-owned.

This was somebody who worked there, who had been silent, you know, whether she had been in disagreement or agreement with the Kremlin's politics or what, you know, the lies that have been coming from the screen of the television station she worked for, and finally it seems she had had enough.

What I thought was she is doing this at great risk to herself. This was not going to end well for her. And she probably knew that and did it anyway.

LEMON: Well, she was detained. We hear her attorney has not been able to get in touch with his client. That's what he says.

IOFFE: That's right. And we know that she's been charged already for violating that law that was passed just the other week by the Russian parliament, which carries a sentence of up to 15 years for, basically, the wording is something like, denigrating the actions of the Russian military.

You know, she must have known that. Everybody in Russia knows that, who is in the news business or in the media business. I won't say she was in the news business. But I also thought was remarkable was -- that in her statement, the part you didn't play, is that she said that she was sorry. That she felt great regret and shame that she had been working at Channel One for such a long time.


That she allowed lies to come from the television screen. And she said she was ashamed that she had helped zombify the Russian people. That was also really striking to me.

LEMON: That is -- that's huge. You're right to point that out. This crackdown -- you know, you said she could face up to 10, 15 years. I mean, this crackdown on free speech is so brutal. Protesters have been arrested just for holding up blank sign. What is Putin so afraid of, Julia?

IOFFE: He doesn't want people to know what his army is actually doing in Ukraine. You know, it was one thing to send the Russian army to flatten Grozny, which, for Russians was, even though was part of Russia, was not -- was seen by many Russians as kind of foreign. It was a Muslim republic, the people were not Slavic, and so, you know, people could kind of get used to that.

When Putin sent troops and planes to Syria, it was far away, again, a Muslim country, they don't really care. But this is Ukraine. This is -- this would be like the U.S. doing this to Canada. Like, obliterating Ottawa and Vancouver.

And there are so many families like Maria Ovsiannikova who are blended families, who, you know, one person is Ukrainian, one is Russian, or they have relatives on both sides of the border, friends on both sides of the border. When she said it is fratricidal war, she is absolutely right.

And so, for Russians to see what their army is doing, that it is killing pregnant women, that it is killing children, that it is killing old people and purpose bombing and shelling residential buildings, I don't know that they would support that. I don't know that they would stay home and that they will suffer all the economic consequences that this war has brought on the Russian people through the sanctions.

Because on Russian TV, on places like Channel One, Russians are being told that there are no civilian casualties, the Russian troops are being greeted as liberators, and that they're being very careful to protect civilians, and that this war is not against the Ukrainian population, that this war is to deliberate the average Ukrainian person from the so-called Nazis that had seized power in Kyiv on behalf of the United States. And so, when people hear that over and over again, a majority of Russians support the war, would they support it if they knew what the Russia military was actually doing? I'm not sure that they would.

LEMON: Haven't they figured out that the president of Ukraine is Jewish and -- I mean, none of it makes sense, even from the start. This is outlandish. But they are saying the Nazi occupation. It's just bizarre. I got to run, Julia, but go ahead. I'll give you the last word.

IOFFE: Okay. I was just going to say that, you know, this is -- they've been listening to this trash for 22 years. Just in a year, Fox News was able to convince 40 percent of Americans that Donald Trump actually won the 2020 election. So, it is actually not that hard to convince people of crazy things if you kind of wall them off and that is all the information they're getting.

LEMON (on camera): Yeah. Julia, thank you very much. I appreciate you joining us. Thank you so much.

Nearly three million refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine with no idea when they can return home or if there will even be a home to return to. That is sparking some fight (ph) back.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And you are willing to die for Ukraine?

We all die, he says. Then adds, I am afraid to die, but I am not a coward.





LEMON (on camera): The Pentagon warning Russia is broadening its targets in Western Ukraine after airstrikes hit a large military bases 12 miles from the border with Poland. Thirty-five people were killed and at least 130 were hospitalized.

So many Ukrainians have been fleeing to the West to escape intense shelling in other parts of the country. And the U.N. estimates nearly three million Ukrainians have fled the country altogether. Hundreds of those refugees are passing through Romania.

Miguel Marquez has their story tonight.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): They arrived by the hundreds. Normal Ukrainian citizens one day, refugees the next.

VALENA PAVLIN, REFUGEE FROM KHARKIV, UKRAINE: This is stressful, yes, because we have no idea what to do, where to go, and when we will be able to return to our homes.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Pavlin is from Kharkiv, Ukraine's second biggest city, which has been devastated by Russian artillery and rockets.

When I was packing my clothes, she says, I thought it would all be over in three days. For many, just arriving on Romanian soil, emotional. One woman cries as a volunteer hand her a bottle of water.

DENIS STAMATASCU, RESTAURANT OWNER AND VOLUNTEER: The Romanian people are mobilized and help these people.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Romanians stepping up, trying to make the Ukrainians feel a little bit at home.


(voice-over): Denis Stamatascu closed his restaurant in Constanta. He now serves meals free to refugees.

STAMATASCU: We closed the restaurant and we are coming here to help these people. Chicken, pork. Chicken, pork.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): And all those getting out, a few going back in. Alexander Pahomenka (ph) is returning to Mykolaiv. Russians have hammered the city.

MARQUEZ (on camera): And you are willing to die for Ukraine.

We all die, he says. Then adds, I'm afraid to die, but I am not a coward.

Tatiana Buketava (ph) from Odesa, along with her daughter, Mitoslava (ph), their dog and two cats, she says they left because of what they heard was happening in places already controlled by the Russians.

I've heard about the violence, she says, and the killings of peaceful people without any reason. She added, I had to leave. I was too stressed about it happening to me and my daughter.

(On camera): So, Romania officials said the number of Ukrainian refugees coming across the border has actually decreased in the recent days. But the concern are those refugees that are internally displaced inside Ukraine. They say that they are moving toward the border, tens of thousands in some cases in some areas. And as the Russians move west, Romanian officials and other countries are concerned that there will be another tidal wave of refugees. Don?


LEMON (on camera): Miguel Marquez, thank you very much. Appreciate it. The situation around Kyiv getting more dire by the day as Russian forces ramp up their assault. One Ukrainian parliament member risking his life to help his countrymen and women. He joins me next.




LEMON: So, the mayor of Kyiv touring the destruction in his city from a Russian airstrike. The city bus was blown apart.

And joining me now, Sviatoslav Yurash, a member of the Ukrainian parliament. It is good to have you back on. Thank you. Are you doing okay?

SVIATOSLAV YURASH, MEMBER, UKRAINIAN PARLIEMENT: Thank you, Don. I'm very far from okay as I basically woke up before your call because of a massive explosion somewhere nearby.

LEMON: Yeah. I wanted to know what the situation is like in Kyiv tonight, because I understand there was -- just a short time ago, you heard a large explosion. Talk to me more about that.

YURASH: Well, first, I didn't start my evening with that. A friend of mine was working with journalists. An American journalist here in Kyiv has disappeared and her correspondent actually was badly mauled in the airstrikes by the Russians near Kyiv. The correspondent now is in serious condition in hospital in Kyiv. My friend, the operator, the cameraman who I know very well also disappeared. So, we didn't just start with explosions.

The explosions basically erupted somewhere nearby in downtown Kyiv. After we finish, I'll go and find out what exactly happened. That's the reality of Kyiv every day.

LEMON: Earlier in the day, you were out around Kyiv, witnessing the damage firsthand. What did you see out on your patrol today?

YURASH: I was not so much on patrol. I was visiting various troop stations, trying to be useful to them in many ways and also bringing (INAUDIBLE) supplies to the populations living there. I was in city of (INAUDIBLE), and that is basically on the pathway from the western border to Kyiv, a city that faced active tank battles on scenes since the battle of (INAUDIBLE), the second world war.

And essentially, every single street that is destroyed, you can see bodies there, you can see people who essentially are battling for their lives. The basements lack the necessity of basic needs. It is as close to hell on earth as you can imagine.

LEMON: You mentioned supplies. Are supplies still making their way into the cities? Have Russians stop anything from getting to you?

YURASH: Well, basically, the point is that we are keeping those roads open. And (INAUDIBLE), which is so destroyed, still is under our control. But the basic point is that we are keeping the supply routes open because we do not allow Kyiv to be sieged. We won't allow the city of millions to not to receive all the support that the world is giving. Thanks to YouTube.

LEMON: The mayor said last week that about one-third of the residents have been able to leave. What will happen in Kyiv? What will happen in Kyiv if -- to Kyiv's remaining civilians if they aren't able to get out?

YURASH: The point is that the reality of the indiscriminate shelling that Russia uses right now is that anything is unfortunately possible here. But most civilians now in Kyiv are getting ready, getting prepared and turning Kyiv (INAUDIBLE). The city is full of check points, full of defenses, full of means to try and beef back whatever Russians throw at us.


Because again, this is our capital. We are fighting for it until the very end. There is a reason why the president, the government (INAUDIBLE) still here.

LEMON: You know, just hours from now, Russia and Ukraine will resume -- this will be the fourth round of negotiations. Do you have any hopes that these talks will get Russia to stop its invasion?

YURASH: All the talks have provided is for humanitarian corridors, which Russia has ignored, anyway, and shelled at every single chance they got, killing Mariupol, for example, tens of thousands of people at the moment. So, the point is that as far as the negotiations with Russia are concerned, I do not hold trust to anything that it produced because Russia, basically, show is capability to only (inaudible) the situation.

LEMON: You know, the Ukrainian president, President Volodymyr Zelensky, going to address Congress here in the U.S. in a virtual meeting on Wednesday. What do you expect him to ask from the United States?

YURASH: That will happen anyway just in a long time from now. Too many, many pictures and videos of children killed, civilians killed, buildings destroyed. What is basically said about no-fly zone, about direct support, as an impossibility will happen, as we know too well from recent history, just with all these casualties that will need to happen.

America needs not to repeat that very old saying, that America does the right thing after its resourceful other options. We appreciate all we receive right now, but what we face is an onslaught by the biggest country in the world, by its second biggest army in the world, and with so very much more.

LEMON: Sviatoslav Yurash, thank you. We hope you stay safe, and we hope to have you back to continue this. We will see what happens after those discussions. Hopefully, they will be fruitful, but, as you said, the round of talks, none of it has paid off so far. Thank you very much.

YURASH: Thank you very much.

LEMON: Hospitals bombed, health workers killed, medical supplies cut off. Russia's invasion of Ukraine now creating a new crisis: Getting care to the sick and the wounded.




LEMON: Russia's invasion having a devastating impact on Ukraine's healthcare system.

Just last week, a brutal attack on a maternity hospital in Mariupol. The World Health Organization is calling for -- quote -- "an immediate cease -- cessation, I should say, of all attacks on healthcare in Ukraine."

They say that 31 attacks on healthcare have been documented, including 24 on healthcare facilities, five on ambulances. Those attacks have led to at least 12 deaths, 34 injuries.

So, joining me now is Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization. So glad to have you on. Thank you very much. This is a very important story and thank you for the work that you do.

These attacks on Ukraine's hospitals and ambulances are heartbreaking. You are there on the ground. How dire is the situation right now with all this destruction on Ukraine's healthcare systems?

TARIK JASAREVIC, SPOKESPERSON, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Thank you very much for having me. Some 1,000 health facilities are in the areas where control has changed or in the vicinity of conflict lines. So, in these areas that are under attack, there are increased number of people who are injured, who need trauma care.

In many areas, it is difficult access to healthcare facilities either because of insecurity or because of damaged infrastructure. And on top of it, we have these horrible attacks on healthcare that simply must stop.

Attacks on a healthcare are not only a violation of international humanitarian law, but they are also depriving people of a basic healthcare. Now, healthcare facilities have to be protected. People have to feel safe in hospitals, in addition of receiving medical care.

Just yesterday, we talked to a doctor in Kharkiv, seeing people who are wounded with shrapnels, with pieces of glass from explosions. They are seeing children with acute respiratory illnesses because they sleep in cold. Now, he is saying the spirit is still high among healthcare workers. They are also volunteers who are trying to help. They are still working around the clock and they are able to treat everyone. But as the time goes on, things may change. We may see -- and we are likely to see shortages in medical supplies. We are likely to see more of these horrible attacks on health. And we need to do everything we can to support health system in Ukraine so Ukrainian health workers who are doing heroic job can continue to save lives.

LEMON (on camera): Are you worried that people -- listen, let me play this. This is audio from Doctors Without Borders describing the situation there. Here it is.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): There is no drinking water and any medication for more than one week, maybe even 10 days without drinking water and medication.


(voice-over): We saw people who died because of lack of medication and there are a lot of such people inside Mariupol, and many people who were killed and injured and they're just lying on the ground and neighbors just digging the hole in the ground and putting their bodies inside.


LEMON (on camera): It is unbelievable. Are you worried that people will die because they don't have access to medical supplies or clean drinking water?

JASAREVIC: We are seeing these reports and these are shocking reports from Mariupol. For example, where patients are laying on the ground where only electricity that is available is -- available in operating rooms. In other parts of facilities, there is no more electricity.

Now, we have to ensure the access to these places. We have here from Lviv where I am speaking to you from, we have sent and dispatched medical supplies to eastern parts of Ukraine. And from there, we try to send surgical kits, essential medical kits to all these areas that are under attack. Now, to some areas, we have been able to this material. But to others, we still don't have access. And Mariupol, unfortunately, is one them.

We definitely need access and we call for cessation of hostilities. WHO has publicly called on Russian Federation to commit to a ceasefire that would -- that would allow unhindered access to humanitarian aid.

LEMON: Sorry. We hope that you get the help that you need. Unfortunately, we are out of time for now. We are going to continue our live coverage. But we will have you back. I hope that they are able to get those supplies and let's hope that -- that people don't continue to die in this. Sadly, it will -- it will probably continue. But thank you very much. We appreciate you joining us. Thanks so much.

And thanks for watching, everyone. Our live coverage continues.