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Don Lemon Tonight

President Zelenskyy To Address U.S. Congress; President Biden Meeting With NATO Leaders; A Mother's Plea For Her Son's Safety; Kyiv Bracing For A Massive Attack; U.S. Remain Consistent Of Not Allowing No-Fly Zone; No Assurance Of Safety On The Road; Jail Time Expected For A TV Host. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired March 15, 2022 - 22:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Stay with CNN for the latest from Ukraine. The news continues. Right now, I want to turn things over to DON LEMON TONIGHT. Don?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Anderson, before I let you go, a couple questions for you. Because I understand Kyiv is under a curfew tonight. Air raid sirens are going off there --


LEMON: -- I understand just moments ago, and explosions are being heard in the suburbs surrounding it. It's the capital city. Are they bracing for a rough day?

COOPER: Yes, you know, it's a 35-hour curfew, so it's not just the kind of the normal nighttime curfew, which is in most cities even here in Lviv, so certainly, that would seem to be an indication that they are expecting something, whether it is a Russian offensive, a Ukrainian offensive, it's hard to actually know, but certainly they want people indoors so they're not dealing with a lot of civilians out on the streets. And one can interpret that in a lot of different ways.

LEMON: Yes. It's already tomorrow there, so to speak, Wednesday. We know that Zelenskyy is going to speak with Congress in just a few hours. Today he spoke to officials in Canada, some of what he said, and then we'll talk about it. Here he is.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): You all need to do more to stop Russia, to protect Ukraine, and by doing that to protect Europe from Russian threat. They're destroying everything, just and all of our friends of our -- of Ukraine. All friends of the truth, at least understand how important it is for us to close our air space.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: He wants a no-fly zone. He's been saying close the air space. He's determined to keep the international support coming. Is it working, Anderson?

COOPER: Well, I mean, certainly there's a ton of international support coming. And a lot of it has been incredibly effective, the Javelin missiles, the Stinger missiles, it's one of the reasons Russia hasn't been using their airplanes, their -- you know, what should be an air superiority. They haven't been using it to their full extent because of the existence of anti-aircraft weapons.

The problem is for President Zelenskyy and all the people of Ukraine, is that a lot of the shelling that we've been seeing in residential buildings is coming from artillery pieces, some of it very long range away. You know a no-fly zone would not stop artillery fire, missile fire from the land.

It could get the U.S. -- you know, one of the concerns the U.S. has and European countries have is that it could get the U.S. directly and NATO directly in a war with Russia. And certainly, if you start having U.S. planes or NATO planes taking out Russian artillery batteries, it's hard to imagine how that is not a direct confrontation.

LEMON: Right on, Anderson. Thank you very much. We'll see you tomorrow. Be safe.

So, I want to bring in now Kaitlan Collins. Kaitlan is at the White House where there's growing pressure on President Biden to do more to help Ukraine in the face of Vladimir Putin's brutal attack.

Kaitlan, good evening to you from Washington, in Washington. President Biden will unveil a new military assistance program, package, I should say, tomorrow as early as tomorrow after President Zelenskyy's address to Congress. He's also going to be in Brussels next week to meet with NATO leaders. What are we going to hear? What can we expect?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there is a lot going on here, so I'll start with tomorrow where you are going to hear from President Zelenskyy tomorrow morning addressing the U.S. Congress. That is going to be broadcast live, so we will all get to see what he says, and if it follows suit with what he's been saying to other governments, of course, he's been asking the west for more assistance.

Saying thank you for what you've sent so far, as Anderson was just noting it has really helped them, obviously, but saying that they need more to come. Because obviously this isn't ending anytime soon.

And so, President Biden will speak just a few hours after President Zelenskyy does. He's going to announce $800 million in new security assistance to Ukraine. That is this military equipment that we have seen going in, not just from the United States but from other NATO allies as well.

And so, I am told that President Biden will get specific tomorrow when he talks about this 800 million in new funding, what exactly that is going to. We are told, though, Don, we don't expect it to be two of the biggest things that Zelenskyy has asked for so far. One is creating a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

President Biden has basically flatly rejected that saying if American pilots are there, shooting at Russian aircraft, that that could lead to World War III. The other thing is more planes. He wants more fighter jets for the Ukrainian air force. As Anderson was saying, they haven't fully used all the capability that they have so far, something the Pentagon has highlighted.

The White House has said they believe it's just too high risk to be able to do that and try to get those planes there. but this $800 million we should note is coming in new funding that President Biden signed earlier today. And Don, he talked about just how important this funding and was speaking to members of Congress when he made these remarks.

LEMON: Yes. Kaitlan Collins at the White House.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Putin's aggression against Ukraine has united people all across America, united our two parties in Congress and united the freedom loving world, and an act with urgency and resolve that we are doing right now that you've provided me the ability to do.


COLLINSS: So, Don, we'll see these remarks from President Biden tomorrow. Then next week he is going to head to Europe. He's going to Brussels for this pretty extraordinary meeting with the other members of NATO, the other leaders of NATO, I should say, that has been put together very quickly by the head of NATO.

They'll be meeting in Brussels next Thursday. One big question of course is whether or not President Biden gets close to the Ukrainian border while he's there. If he goes to Poland to potentially come face-to-face with some of the refugees, we know they're in the millions now that have fled Ukraine amid this invasion.

LEMON: All right, Kaitlan Collins at the White House. Kaitlan, thank you very much.

As you know, you've been watching. This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. Thank you for joining us.

Our breaking news, CNN's team on the ground in Kyiv hearing air raid sirens blasting tonight. Explosions in the suburbs kicking off at nightfall. The capital city in the middle of a 35-hour curfew right now. Residents are under lockdown there. Only allowed to leave their homes to go to bomb shelters.

But what kind of a shelter is there in homes that have been absolutely pounded again and again by Russian attacks. At least four buildings in residential areas across Kyiv to the east north and west of the city's center hit by Russian attacks in the space of just an hour today.

Elderly people evacuated, some unable to stand, needing to be carried from the wreckage of what used to be their homes. Firefighters battling to put out fires that just seem to be everywhere. Officials say at least four people were killed in the shelling today.

And that is Kharkiv in the east, the mayor tells CNN his city was hit 65 times in one day. Hundreds of residential buildings destroyed. An evacuation interrupted by more shelling, people running for cover. In Kherson, Russian tanks rolled down the streets of the city as people tried to go about their daily lives.

In Mariupol, a city under siege, Ukrainian officials say more than 2,500 civilians have died. Some 350,000 still trapped in a city in ruin. An official accuses Russian troops of holding people captive in Mariupol at a hospital there. Patients being treated in the basement.

There's a lot to get to, but I want to bring in now the former defense secretary William Cohen to give us some information on his perspective on all this.

Secretary, thank you. Good evening to you.

So, President Biden will unveil a new package of military assistance for Ukraine, including anti-tank missiles. He's going to do that tomorrow. But what will stop short of a no-fly zone or fighter jets there? That's what he's saying. No fly zone, he's not going to do it. Fighter jets not going to do it.

The New Work Times is citing two European diplomats that Zelenskyy plans to ask the U.S. for armed drones and mobile air defense systems that can hit high flying planes, long range antiship missiles and communication jamming equipment. Is Biden under pressure to step it up?

WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I think he is. I think that members of Congress are asking him to do more. I think the world community basically absent the Russians and China together are asking him to do more. The question is he's got to make the decision how do I calibrate this. How do I weigh the risk and benefit?

I think if President Zelenskyy is asking for armed drones, we ought to get them armed drones. Frankly, the distinction between providing aircraft that are in Poland right now to Zelenskyy, President Zelenskyy, it's almost metaphysical to sanction, for me to say we can provide some anti-aircraft, you know, capabilities, but not air --

LEMON: But not air.

COHEN So but nonetheless, the president is the one in charge and his administration to make that distinction. What's the risk, what's the benefit? Most of the information I've heard is that the risk is higher than the benefit because most of the artillery now is coming, all of the fire that's being used now is coming from artillery and missiles, which aircraft are not going to be helped to take down.

So, I think the president has the information. He has to make the call. I can sit here on the sidelines and say what I would recommend. All of us who are commentators don't have the responsibility. So that's why he's elected. That's his responsibility, and hopefully we can give him more encouragement, but ultimately, he has to make this decision.

LEMON: Listen, we've gone through similar before with Crimea and also with Republic of Georgia. Putin has to stabilize the world in unthinkable ways with this unprovoked war against Ukraine now. So when President Biden meets with other NATO leaders next week in Brussels, what concrete things need to come out of that meeting?


COHEN: Well, maintaining solidarity. What Russia has been unable to do, I should say, what Putin has been unable to do is break the solidarity that President Biden has established with NATO.

Remember, we have enough problems here at home trying to decide what decision we make here in terms of domestic policy or foreign policy. Think about all of these countries now who are democracies, holding their people together saying, yes, we have to stay the course even though it's going to cost us economically and in other ways.

So, he has to hold them together, and by showing up, he's saying we're all here together. We've got to hold the line together, and my package will hopefully, you know, be -- let's call it operation dash. We've got to move even more quickly and get as much equipment in as possible before there is any potential closure and encirclement of Kyiv.

So, I think he's going to rally all of our NATO allies, say stay the course. Yes, you have a population you have to be accountable to. On the other hand, we're seeing a humanitarian disaster taking place, unfolding before our eyes. And I think all of the countries are going to be there. We saw three of the NATO countries in Kyiv today. That's pretty brave of them to risk their own lives in going forward.


COHEN: So, I think the solidarity is there and the president is only going to emphasize it even more.

LEMON: Well, the Secretary of State, Tony Blinken was on with Wolf, Wolf Blitzer earlier today. Watch this and then we'll discuss.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: President Biden has been very clear that one thing is for sure, is that we're going to avoid getting into any kind of conflict with Russia and certainly avoiding anything that bring us to World War III.

Some of Russia's loose talk about its nuclear weapons is the height of irresponsibility and it goes against everything that we've said, including that Russia said over many years about how a nuclear war is not winnable, something that was reaffirmed as recently as the meeting between President Biden and Putin this summer in Geneva.


LEMON: Listen, I know, you know, people keep saying, you know, World War III, if you ask the Ukrainian people and some people in the other region, they would say we're already in World War III. No one wants to see a nuclear war. But is the U.S. response to Zelenskyy's request for more jets or a no-fly zone being driven out of a fear of direct confrontation with Russia?

COHEN: Again, to establish a no-fly zone, you have to have a no drive zone as well. Because assuming you can dominate the skies, that means taking out aircraft. It means also taking out the ground support that they have. So, you have a no-drive zone, no-fly zone. Would that bring us closer to a confrontation with Russia? It could.

I remember when John Kennedy, when President Kennedy gave a speech at the University of Maine back in 1963, he is quoting at that time 1914, the former chancellor of Germany looked to his successor, and he said how did this all happen, and his successor said, if one only knew.

And Kennedy cited that comment in terms of the United States risking a war with the Soviet Union, a nuclear war. And he didn't want to have the responsibility of saying, if we ever have a nuclear war, and somebody from the ashes to say how did this all happen. for anyone to say, if we only knew.

President Biden knows that history, so his responsibility is to keep us safe, to keep our allies safe. To protect our friends as best we can without jeopardizing the lives of the United States and our allies and the world. Yes, --


LEMON: Understandably so. But what is, Secretary, with all due respect, what is to stop Putin? It seems like Putin doesn't care about sanctions. The U.S. and NATO keep saying tougher, stronger sanctions. Putin seems to be embarrassed by the performance of his military, and so he is ratcheting it up, and it doesn't matter how many people he kills.

So, then, if, you know, if we keep drawing red lines or keep saying it, what is to stop him? It seems like there are no levers in place that will stop him.

COHEN: He does care about sanctions. If the information is true, he's going with a tin cup to the Chinese saying help me out. Help me out economically, help me out militarily. So, yes, he's feeling a great deal of pain. He should be embarrassed by the performance of his military. But that doesn't mean that we just move in and confront him militarily and then risk this thing spinning out of control.

We have a responsibility to avoid that. I think what President Biden is doing with the right thing, with the NATO countries doing the right thing, and we're giving as much help as we can, and we're doing it without causing at least a potential confrontation. At some point in time, we may come to a different conclusion that's worth confronting him. At this point I think the answer is no.

LEMON: Secretary, I always learn a lot when you're on. Thank you so much. We'll see you soon. I appreciate it.

COHEN: Pleasure.

LEMON: Thank you.


Just imagine how frightened you'd be if a member of your own family were detained by Russia. That's what one American family says happened to their son. They say he got on a bus from Kherson, a city occupied by Russian forces and hasn't been heard from since. We're going to talk to his mom next.


LEMON: So, tonight, a Wisconsin family says their son has been detained by Russian authorities in Crimea. American Tyler Jacob was trying to flee the war in Ukraine and had boarded a bus from Kherson where he was living. His family has not heard from him since Saturday.

So, Tyler's mother, Tina Hauser joins me now. Tina, good evening to you first. I'm sorry that you haven't been able to be in contact with your son. We appreciate you joining us. Tell us about your son and why was he in Ukraine, and why did he want to leave?

TINA HAUSER, TYLER JACOB'S MOTHER: Thank you for having me. Tyler went over there in search to find his girlfriend, and have a relationship with her.


He moved over there in November of 2020, and he became an English teacher over there to teach the Russ -- Ukraine how to speak English instead of Russian, and they got married in January, and then shortly after that here we are with the war.

LEMON: Boy. You know, Tyler decided to get on a bus leaving Kherson. Where was the bus headed? Do you know?

HAUSER: We do not know the direction or, you know, the area exactly where it was all going to be going to. All he told me is, mom, they're going to go into Crimea.

LEMON: And --


LEMON: -- why, why did his wife and stepdaughter not go with him?

HAUSER: Because the buses were all set up just for the foreigners, so he had to leave his wife and daughter behind.

LEMON: So, it was set up just for you said the --

HAUSER: The foreigners that were in the country.

LEMON: -- the foreigners.

HAUSER: So, yes

LEMON: Yesterday you heard that Tyler's bus was stopped at a security check point in Crimea, and Russian state media actually has video of him going through a security -- or going through security at a check point. We're not going to use that Russian state media video tonight, but you have seen it. What do you see in that video?

HAUSER: I see fear. I see worry. He just wanted to be able to get free so he could get his wife and daughter out eventually, but I can see that he's very scared and was very worried about getting stopped and contained like he was.

LEMON: Tyler told the Russian news crew that he was pretty sure that he could ride on a charter flight with people to Turkey and that someone was watching over him. That's a quote, "someone was watching over him." Do you know more about those plans and who was involved?

HAUSER: Well, when he talked to me Saturday morning, he told me that he was debating on going or not, but then they made him get on the bus because it was for the foreigners to get out of the country. He didn't tell me where he was going, who he was all with.

I found out from his wife yesterday that she knew some of the people that were on the bus and set it up so he was safe with one of them, and they got in contact yesterday together to find out where my son was.

LEMON: So, his friend told you that he did not get back on the bus with everyone else. What did they say happened to him?

HAUSER: No. They said that when the Russians came back to take him off the bus that they all started yelling at him, don't take him. Why are you taking him? Bring him back to us, and he just had to keep going with the Russians.

LEMON: What was the last thing you heard from Tyler? Did he -- did he call or text you? What did he say or write?

HAUSER: He -- we talked briefly, quickly at 4.30 in the morning here on that Saturday, and my last text was to him was a picture that I sent of his dog that we are taking care of and that I told him that I loved him and to be safe and let me know when he gets to a safe place. And that he didn't even -- I don't know if he even read that or not.

LEMON: So, he has not responded and on the text, it will say delivered, sometimes read. Does it indicate that to you at all?

HAUSER: No, because we use a special chat room, and it does not show if it's been delivered. It shows that it's been delivered, but it doesn't show when it gets read.

LEMON: OK. Senator Amy Klobuchar has gotten involved with tracking, trying to track him down. What are U.S. officials doing to find him?

HAUSER: I haven't heard a whole lot from them. They've been just getting ahold of me and asking me all kinds of questions. I've sent the picture messages back to them so they can see the communication that we've been having.

I sent the video that my daughter-in-law sent me of the interview that Tyler had on Saturday before he was detained, so they have everything that I have can provide from pictures of him. They have his passport information, everything that I can think of to give to them they have now, and I'm just now waiting to see what the next step is.

LEMON: I want to ask you, CNN is broadcast all over the world where there's a chance it's not being shown in Russia, there's also a chance that Tyler or Russian officials see this interview. So, what's your message?

HAUSER: I just want to make sure -- I want to see a video of my son to make sure he's safe and healthy and that he knows that mom is doing her best to bring him home, and I miss him and I love him.


LEMON: People are watching this and they don't know the anguish of what your family is dealing with.

HAUSER: It's very hard. I usually cling to my phone waiting for a text or a call, and when you don't get it, you don't know. And it's that unknowing feeling. This is my worst nightmare. I wish it was me over there instead of him.

LEMON: Tina, we're so sorry, but we're hopeful with you and if there's anything we can do to get the word out and hopefully this interview someone will see it, and you'll get some information and you'll get some good news.

Look, I'm a momma's boy, and I can't imagine my mom dealing with this, and so I don't know what you're feeling, but I understand. Thank you, you be well. OK? You take care of yourself.

HAUSER: All right, thank you very much.

LEMON: We'll be right back.



LEMON: Just take a look at this video. It's in the city of Kharkiv. Hundreds of buildings and dozens of schools destroyed. The mayor says Kharkiv was hit with 65 strikes in just one day.

CNN's Erin Burnett spoke to him earlier. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

IHOR TEREKHOV, MAYOR, KHARKIV, UKRAINE (through translator): Unfortunately, shelling continues both in the center part of Kharkiv and in suburbs. It just continues incessant shelling and firing and it seems like it has actually increased towards the evening. And we had more air strikes and it seems like more of them actually hitting at residential blocks and buildings infrastructure of the city, so basically the situation is dire.


LEMON: Well, tragically Kharkiv is just one of the Ukrainian cities dealing with dire circumstances tonight.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on the situation in Mykolaiv.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: This is the road down which Russia's war of annihilation may lurch. And its emptiness speaks only of what is to come from Russian held Kherson up here to the vital port of Mykolaiv. They know what it is to be in Russia's way.

"Out of 18 homes, 10 are left in our village," she says. No electricity, gas, water, or heat. "The only ones left are those who can't leave," another adds. They're young, edgy, guns raised. Unsure who we are. Press written on our vests and our press cars slowly calms them down and they apologize.

But this is not an army in full control of its destiny. The trenches are where the rockets land every night, some are from Odessa, Moscow's eventual target here. Others from just down the road.

He's saying his house is just over there?

UNKNOWN: That's Mykolaiv.

WALSH: It's important to see what tools Ukraine has been left with by a world that seems so concerned. They fight for their homes, but tell me they captured Russians who seemed unaware why they were even here. "They said they can't understand what's going on." He said, "they can't go back because back there they're being shot for retreating, so they advance or surrender."

Dust in Mykolaiv has sounded this way for weeks, but unbroken morale takes different forms, and this is a police chief driving a birthday gift to the governor with a captured Russian machine gun soldered onto it. It does not distract from the seriousness of the twilight world in which his colleagues work. A

Any drunk or man changing his car battery after curfew could be a Russian saboteur they fear. There really is no way to check by looking at phones and in trunks. The city is dark, bar their lights and the flash of a distant enemy's bombs.

An urgent hospital call for blood has gone out. They rush to help. The savagery of Russia's targeting measurable in how dark this four-floor hospital keeps itself at night. Invisible not from a power cut but to avoid Russian bombs.


Mykolaiv has been fearing encirclement for days. There is heartbreak for those who leave. Amid the shared agony, still a leave. Amid the shared agony, still a tussle to get onto to buses to Moldova. The men stay.

UNKNOWN: Yes, this is my wife Zenia (Ph) and my daughter Varvara (Ph).

WALSH: And she goes to Poland?

UNKNOWN: She go to Poland because I have to come back. Of course, I have to come back.

WALSH: And what will you do?

UNKNOWN: I go to the -- this is my country. This is my country. What I must do, Poland, no Poland, this my home.

WALSH: And there is heartbreak for those who stay, Svetlana lost her husband in a rocket attack Sunday that killed nine outside a shop.

UNKNOWN (on screen text): In a moment, everyone gone.

WALSH: The violence here is a chain of moments of blinding grief.

UNKNOWN (on screen text): The rockets landed and my husband just exploded and the blood came out from his head. And he is still lying there in the blood. And they took me here. In pieces.

WALSH: Pieces left to wonder alone.

Now, Don, I should point out that the tension there, the grief, all of that is feeding hundreds of miles away here in the situation in the third largest city in Ukraine of Odessa. We have been hearing sirens here. During the day there have been reports from local military officials of shelling in the settlements outside of this key city.

The concern really is the possibility that Russia would launch some sort of broader invasion against the huge city where I am standing. That could be catastrophic. It has been long threatened, but as pressure builds on Mykolaiv, the concern here is something is more imminent. Don?

LEMON: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

She didn't expect the war to escalate, so she stayed in Ukraine's capital, and now it is too dangerous to get out. I'm going to speak with a Ukrainian in Kyiv right after this.



LEMON: The people of Kyiv under a 35-hour curfew as Russia steps up its deadly campaign of air strikes. The U.S. says Russia has launched around 1,000 missiles since the invasion began, and that has Ukrainians facing harrowing decisions about whether to stay or try to flee west.

My next guest decided to stay in Kyiv with her daughter rather than risk the dangers on the road. Kristina Korban joins me now. Kristina, thank you for joining us. We really appreciate it.


LEMON: So, let's talk about this. I'm sorry to be talking to you under these circumstances. I know the nights there in Kyiv have been very tough. There have been more explosions and sirens tonight, so how are you holding up?

KORBAN: I'm all right. We're all right. We're very fortunate to have, you know, made it this long through all of this and be relatively safe while being in the epicenter of it all. But it's definitely overwhelming, it's definitely exhausting emotionally, tolling, so you know, hard to say exactly how we are. But we're OK.

LEMON: Yes, you're there, and you know. We see the videos, right? That's how we can -- that's the only relation we have to this. So, the videos of devastated residential buildings coming out of Kyiv, it's heartbreaking really. What has life been like in the city just over the last several days?

KORBAN: I mean, it's pretty dead outside, obviously. If you're in the center of town, there are sirens going off at all hours, you're told to go underground or seek shelter. If you're in safer parts of town, you would just using your own best judgment. Obviously, during the day you can go outside, but there is risk involved, so you have to be careful, so even like going to the store, you're always risking something potentially because there's things flying and falling from the sky. I've seen it with my own eyes, and it's not the best thing to look at.

LEMON: Look, the question many people for you might have is, why did you stay? Why did you stay? So many people got out. You have a daughter, she was just two years old, and you were trying to avoid having to leave at all costs. So tell me about why you made the decision to stay?

KORBAN: Well, at this point and even very early on because so many people were fleeing right away, it's just the roads are so blocked. The borders congested. It's pure mayhem, even just trying to get across a border safely. Some of my relatives that did go, it took them six days just to get to a neighboring country, which should have been a six-hour drive potentially.

So just things like that and having a toddler makes it that much more difficult, and then obviously you shouldn't drive during curfew hours, so you have to make stops, account for potential danger, maybe run out of gas, maybe you run out of food. You never know who or what will be on your path when you're going, and it's potentially very, very dangerous.

LEMON: You also tell us so, Kristina, this is your home and you shouldn't have to go. Do you believe Ukrainian forces can keep Russia out of the city?


KORBAN: Yes, I do. I feel like we're doing a pretty fantastic job at it, and I have strong hope and belief that we will hold them off.

LEMON: If Russia keeps bombarding the city and the situation keep deteriorates even more, do you think there will come a point where you'll decide to leave?

KORBAN: Well, obviously, it's a decision that we visit and revisit on a daily basis. Obviously, we have time to freak out, and we're like, OK, should we go. But then we re-evaluate, we're like, no, it still seems dangerous. We're relatively OK, but obviously, if, you know, if something lands super close to us or we feel that there's personnel that is not safe around us, then, yes, we probably will have to throw our bags in a car and leave 100 --

LEMON: Yes. Because you just don't know. I mean, you don't know what you're going to experience when you leave, as you're trying to leave.

KORBAN: Exactly. It could be worse than just staying put.

LEMON: Yes. As I understand, it's not just you and your daughter. That you have several family members staying with you. How has that been? How are they?

KORBAN: They're good. I mean, it's definitely different. We've never, you know, been huddled under one roof like this, special under these circumstances, but it does feel better being together. It feels a little safer knowing that we're together and not maybe spread out all over town and worrying about one another. So that's a relief in a certain sense if that makes sense.

LEMON: Yes. Yes, it does. And look, you and the people of Ukraine never asked for this war, and yet violence is knocking on your door.


LEMON: What's your message tonight to people watching and/or listening?

KORBAN: My message has pretty much stayed the same. It's that if it can happen in a, you know, free, democratic country like Ukraine, then it can essentially happen anywhere, so it's just something I think people should think about. Ukraine did not want this, like you have stated and we're a peaceful country, and it can definitely happen anywhere. But we are definitely very grateful for all the love and kindness we've been shown from all the other countries. It's really beautiful. LEMON: How much longer do you think you can hold out?

KORBAN: Here in Kyiv?

LEMON: Yes. yes.

KORBAN: I mean, we'll see, day by day. I really can't say.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you, Kristina. We wish you the best. You be safe, you and your family. OK?

KORBAN: Thank you. You too.

LEMON: Thank you.

She protested Putin's war on prime-time propaganda TV, and now we know what happened to her. That's next.



LEMON: The Russian TV journalist who staged an anti-war protest during a live news broadcast could be in a heap of trouble. She was questioned for more than 14 hours and now authorities are looking to see if she broke the harsh new censorship laws which carry heavy prison sentences.

In the meantime, she has been found guilty of an administrative offense and faces a fine for an anti-war video that she recorded before her TV outburst where she denounces Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine.

More tonight from CNN's Nic Robertson.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): These are editor Marina Ovsyannikova last moments before arrest. Bravely protesting Russia's war in Ukraine. Her banner, no war. Do not believe the propaganda, they tell you lies here. Seen live by hundreds of thousands of Russians on the state's prime propaganda channel, Channel One.

In court, the following day found guilty of an administrative offense. Organizing an unauthorized event, fined 30,000 rubles, about $280. An apparent reference not to storming the set but to a video she posted on social media shortly prior calling for protests.

MARINA OVSYANNIKOVA, HELD ANTI-WAR SIGN ON RUSSIA CHANNEL ONE (through translator): Go to the rallies and do not be afraid, they can't arrest us all.

ROBERTSON: Russia has banned all anti-war protests but they continue. More than 900 arrested this past weekend, almost 15,000 since the war began according to an independent human rights group. Most getting a beating, a fine, and overnight detention. Unclear if the Kremlin is trying to minimize Ovsyannikova's extraordinary primetime protest or she'll face stiffer charges later.

Initially, state media reported, investigators were considering charges under Russia's new draconian laws that prohibit what it calls disseminating false information about Russian forces and can carry a maximum of 15-year jail sentence.

Ovsyannikova, whose father is Ukrainian and mother Russian, appears to have expected to be silenced. Her pre-recorded social media post pulling no punches.

OVSYANNIKOVA (through translator): What is 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.

ROBERTSON: That she was allowed to speak following her conviction perhaps unexpected. Her harsh treatment in detention, likely not.


OVSYANNIKOVA (through translator): The interrogation lasted for more than 14 hours. I was not allowed to contact my relatives or provide them with any judicial help. I was in a rather tough situation. All the comments will be made tomorrow. I just need to rest today.

ROBERTSON: The question for some now is her protest an indication Putin's propaganda machine is faltering.

UNKNOWN: No matter where, whether she had spent days preparing for that or hours, it definitely shows a change in the mood of those working on Russian state TV.

ROBERTSON: The continuing street protests show how many Russians remain ready to put their liberty on the line. Heartwarming for Ukrainians but so far, the numbers nowhere near the tipping point for the Kremlin.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


LEMON: All right, Nic, thank you very much for that. A curfew in place for Kyiv as Russia strikes the city. President Zelenskyy addressing the U.S. Congress in just hours. Stay with us.