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Don Lemon Tonight

Russia Continues Attacks Into Ukraine; U.S. Unsure Whether Russia Has A Top Commander As Russian Forces Appear Disjointed; Senate Begins SCOTUS Hearings For Ketanji Brown Jackson; Will Refugees Have Anything Left To Return To? Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 21, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. I am live in Lviv, Ukraine. Russia is intensifying its attacks on civilian targets all across this country.

And tonight, President Joe Biden confirming that Russia is using powerful hypersonic missiles, which he says are almost impossible to stop.

Local officials in Kyiv say Russian forces bombarded a shopping center, killing at least eight people. And in the besieged city of Mariupol, one official says Russian bombs are falling every 10 minutes.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy says Mariupol is being decimated by the constant shelling.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): Hardworking on the city of Mariupol, which has been destroyed by the occupiers and being reduced to ashes, but it will survive.


LEMON (on camera): We are also getting new satellite images into CNN showing Russian military vehicles and artillery positions in Mariupol. And you can see smoke rising from building -- burning apartment buildings.

CNN's Phil Black has the latest on just how dire the situation has become in the city.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Between the shelling and air strikes in Mariupol, people emerged to do what they can for the living and the dead. This man says he hopes these graves are only temporary, that the bodies will be reburied someday. They spent much of their time sheltering in what remains of the buildings and often beneath them.

Basements offer some protection, but little comfort. This woman says they have enough food and firewood to last a week.

Around 300,000 people in Mariupol are living like this. Those without homes are crowding together in large buildings.

Over the weekend, an art school with around 400 people inside was bombed and destroyed.

This video gives a sense of what these large shelters are like. It's from a theater where around a thousand or more people were staying, mostly women, children, the elderly. Days later it was blown apart in a suspected airs trike. The Russian word for children, marked out in huge letters outside, provided no safety.

Katerina Yerskaya lived across from the theater and delivered food and other aid to the people hiding out there. She tells us, it's difficult to describe the sympathy she felt for them. They were terrified, cowering in horror at the sounds of planes overhead, always afraid of a bomb dropping.

Alevtina Shvetsova lived under Russian attack in Mariupol for 21 days. This is not just a city, she says, this is my homelife. She survived without power in freezing conditions with little food, with eight other members of her family, until the building was hit. They pulled dead neighbors from the rubble and decided to leave the city.

Alevtina says she can't imagine life without Mariupol. She will return. But now in her burning city, there are lots of people, lots of children under the rubble. Others are in shelters.

The journey out of the besieged city is slow and dangerous. But every day, relatively small numbers are leaving whatever way they can along what are supposed to be agreed corridors. A local official says some people have been fired upon, others have had their vehicles seized at Russian checkpoints.

The people of Mariupol have no good options: Stay and endure the horror of Russia's bombardment or face danger and uncertainty, leaving all they know behind.

Phil Black, CNN, Lviv, Ukraine.


LEMON (on camera): All right, Phil. Now, to that -- some of that disturbing video out of the Ukrainian city of Kherson, Russian troops opening fire on protesters. It is hard to watch.

Ben Wedeman joins me now. Ben, thank you so much. What are we learning about these attacks on these innocent protesters?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've been in touch with a woman. We can only identify her by the name of Elena (ph), who actually shot some of this video. And she said that this has been going on every day at noon at Kherson, which has been occupied by the Russians, the only major city occupied by the Russians since the beginning of March.


And they've been going there, chanting, go home, basically protesting peacefully against the Russians.

Now, in the past, sometimes, the Russians soldiers were shooting in the air. But today, they threw stun grenades on the protesters and fired live ammunition at people in the crowd. We see some video of a man who is bleeding profusely from his leg.

But this just shows that even if the Russians are able to take control of certain areas, the population simply is not accepting their presence.

LEMON: Yeah, absolutely. There are also some conflicting reports about how many Russian soldiers have died in this war. What is the latest on that?

WEDEMAN: Well, we have an interesting twist on this story. Today, a pro-Kremlin tabloid published attributing information to the Russian ministry of defense that 9,861 soldiers have been killed in this war. Now, that is more than the American estimate of around 7,000. And we've only heard one figure from the Russians, that was on the 2nd of March, that 498 Russian soldiers had been killed.

So, this really drives home the high cost -- 9,861 people is far more than the Americans lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.

LEMON: In such a short time. Yeah, in such a short time.

WEDEMAN: Not even a month.

LEMON: You have been -- Like me, you have been going around talking to so many of these people who are here in Lviv, who have fled other parts of this country. Do you have some new reporting on everyone helping these refugees? People are helping these refugees and they're -- they need a lot of help and there's a lot of folks out there helping them. What do you know?

WEDEMAN: Well, we went to a distribution center where we saw something I have never seen before in 30 years of covering conflicts, is that ordinary people from across Europe have been throwing supplies they have collected from their communities in their cars and driving more than a thousand miles in some cases --


WEDEMAN: -- to bring supplies. We spoke to one woman from France. Three times she has come here. And this is just something that the Ukrainians are shocked by.

LEMON (on camera): Yeah. Here it is.


WEDEMAN (voice-over): Sometimes, the kindness of strangers comes in boxes and bundles. Blankets, food, diapers, bottled water. Svetlana Gajaev drove a thousand miles from France to deliver aid to Ukraine.

Our small town of 2,000 people has already sent three shipments of supplies here, she tells me.

Okay. All right.

Michael Jaipur left his family in London to pitch in at this distribution center in Lviv.

MICHAEL JAIPUR, BRITISH VOLUNTEER: What inspired me was seeing the women and children suffering, in distress. Even the men. And seeing them being pushed out of their homes and leaving everything behind. I just had to come out and give them the help with my two hands and my two feet and do the best that I can. And hopefully, it's helping them.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Lviv's art palace is a hive of activity. Taken over by volunteers overcome by a delusion of donations.

(On camera): Relief supplies continue to arrive at this distribution center and others like it around Lviv from ordinary citizens and from abroad. Amidst the bitterness of this war, the milk of human kindness hasn't soured.

(Voice-over): In the basement, Dr. Victoria Paryk sorts through thousands of boxes of medicine.

VICTORIA PARYK, DOCTOR: We are really thankful to them because our pharmacies are empty.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Those in need come here for help, which goes only so far to dull the pain.

We feel the support, says Zenaida Novolka (ph), but without tears, it's impossible to think about my home, about my city, Kharkiv, which is completely destroyed.

And even the kindness of strangers can't change that.


LEMON (on camera): I mean, Ben, this is extraordinary. And these people have no idea -- they don't know where they are going to end up. You have this extraordinary amount of people helping them. But there are so many people. This is the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II. Where are all these people going to end up? Where are they going to go? Because they may not ever be able to come back and they may not want to come back.

WEDEMAN: That's the big question. And, you know, increasingly, I read that the United States is considering facilitating and allowing Ukrainians to come to the United States. Now, I tell you, it is a bit ironic. I covered the 2015 refugee crisis in Europe where we saw the doors shutting for all these people coming from the Middle East. But this time, the doors are wide open.

LEMON: Yeah. Ben, thank you very much.


(on camera): We appreciate it.

Up next, Ukraine's capital city under a strict curfew tonight in the wake of a destruction of a shopping center. Is there any chance of a diplomatic solution in the face of destruction like this?


ZELENSKYY (through translator): I think that we have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating, possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third world war.





LEMON: I just want to tell you, if you hear that hum in the microphone, it is just -- the sound of a city. It's really mechanical equipment at a neighboring building. So, it is not a siren or anything but it is just some mechanical equipment we have no control over. It's just a little buzz you'll hear in the audio.

So, surveillance video capturing the moment a Russian missile hit a shopping center. This is in Kyiv. At least eight people were killed. The Russian defense ministry says that they directed the attack because -- they claim that the shopping center was being used by Ukrainian forces to hide rocket launches. Ukraine is dismissing those claims.

So, let's discuss now. Inna Sovsun is here. She is a member of the Ukrainian parliament. We are so happy that you're here to join us to explain to us what's going on. Thank you so much. The video out of Kyiv shows mass, mass destruction. Do you think it's safe to return to your home in the capital when the curfew ends?

INNA SOVSUN, MEMBER OF UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT: Well, it is nowhere safe here in Ukraine. Not a single village is out of danger. So, Kharkiv is the same. I think the reason why they imposed a two-day curfew -- and I was actually planning to go back last night but they introduced this two-day curfew and I had to stay here in the Western Ukraine.

But the reason why they are doing this is because, apparently, some major battles are taking place in northwest of Kyiv. And also, they're trying to find those infiltrator groups that Russia has sent to Kyiv.

LEMON: I want to get your take on the dire situation in Mariupol. A Ukrainian official says that bombs are falling every 10 minutes. But the city just won't surrender. Do you expect Mariupol to fall? Would that give Russia a major strategic victory?

SOVSUN: Well, the situation in Mariupol is just terrifying. I was just yesterday, five in the morning here in Ukraine, I was reading some letter from a boy. Apparently, a dad sent a boy home in an evacuation bus and gave a letter with him saying that the name of this boy is Dima (ph). His mother died on March 9th. There was a scheme where the dad has buried the mom. Apparently, it was just a way to keep the memory. And this is just terrifying. I'm just terrified.

So, it is like (INAUDIBLE). It is like Aleppo. And we understand that it would be very difficult for Mariupol to stand and defend the city. They are doing everything they can but it's very difficult to get support there because the city is so much encircled.

So, we should do everything in our power, but we believe there are very different scenarios, including the one where we will have to fight back for the city.

LEMON: And Russian officials say more than 62,000 residents from Mariupol have been rescued and taken to Russia. They are pushing up claims about mass atrocities by nationalists. But Mariupol city council says that the people weren't rescued, that they were taken. What is the truth here? Do we know?

SOVSUN: Well, what we heard twice from the Mariupol city mayor -- and I have to say that he is the person with a very good reputation among males in Ukraine. He is trustworthy. He has been studying abroad. He is in dire situation right now. So, I -- and I know him personally as well. And I know if he is saying that, that is based on fact. That he knows that.

That Russians are taking Ukrainian decision from Mariupol, sending them to what they call, apparently, the infiltration camps. And then, after those filtration camps, they have been sent over to distant areas in Russia where they have been forced to sign papers that they would work for free for two or three years there.

That is like the Nazi concentration camps. And we are seeing it all over again. I never thought that it would be something that we should be reporting about. But that is what we hear.

And also, additionally, after that news came through, we also learned from another source, from the regional administration, that Russians have taken 2,389 children from the next (ph) region. We don't know where they are. They have just taken those children from orphanages or from families who wouldn't, apparently, help them. And they have just taken the children. And also, we don't know where those Ukrainian children are in Russia right now.

LEMON: Inna, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy says that he is open to negotiations with Putin. But do you believe that there's a diplomatic off ramp here that doesn't involve your country giving up territory?

SOVSUN: No. I have to be honest. I wish there were.


Trust me, there is nothing more than, you know, that I want than going back to my life as it was a month ago. But I don't think that is possible. I don't think Putin will admit that they are not winning on the ground because they are not -- they won't accept the situation in Mariupol, which is very specific. They actually are unable to proceed any further in any other region of Ukraine.

But Putin is not the one admitting to the reality. I think he will continue to fight. And I think the solution to this war will be found militarily, not diplomatically. Diplomatic solutions are now only working for establishing humanitarian corridors. But even that has very limited success.

Just yesterday, the Russians have opened fire on 20 buses evacuating children from Mariupol. Several children ended up in hospitals. We are still waiting to know about their fate. This is the kind of people we're dealing with. The people who are opening fire, knowing specifically there were only children traveling in those buses.

So, can anyone believe a diplomatic solution can be found with people like this? I don't think so. I appreciate the president doing everything in his power to do this, to find a solution. But frankly speaking, I'm afraid we shall have to continue the fight in order to, you know, to save our national interest and to save our country.

LEMON: Inna Sovsun, member of Ukrainian parliament, thank you very much. We appreciate it. Stay safe.

SOVSUN: Thank you.

LEMON: The Russian military bogged down outside of Kyiv. U.S. sources calling Moscow's operation disjointed in the face of Ukrainian resistance. Now, there are fears the war is headed toward a bloody stalemate.




LEMON: Ukraine mounting an extraordinary defense against Russia's invasion. Earlier tonight, CNN spoke to a Ukrainian pilot, who talked about his willingness to keep fighting.

JUICE, UKRAINIAN AIR FORCE PILOT: I was trained for this. I was ready for this war. And I was preparing for this war as well as my coeds. So, all of us are ready to fight. Just -- these power jets are our guns. Even in the field with rifles. So, our people, including me, we are ready to fight Russians and we are ready to defend our country.


LEMON (on camera) (on camera): So, joining me now to discuss, CNN national security analyst Steve Hall. He is a former CIA chief of Russia Operations. Also, retired Major General Mike Repass. He is a former commander of U.S. Special Operations Forces in Europe. We are happy to have both of you on. Thank you. Good evening.

General, NATO says that the Ukrainian army has fought Russia to a stalemate even though the Ukrainians are outgunned and outnumbered. Why is Ukraine fighting so much better than even many western analysts expected?

MICHAEL REPASS, RETIRED U.S. ARMY: Well, great question, Don. Thanks. It's very simple, I think. They were very well trained since 2014 through -- not only the U.S. but the NATO trained mission (ph) that was there in Ukraine. They worked at the individual all the way up to the large unit level.

We found that we had excellent leadership in the modern area (ph) here and they were very well prepared for this. They knew that this was coming. They prepared for it quite well. Planning wise, equipment wise, leadership wise.

LEMON: Steve Hall, a U.S. official today confirming Russia is using unclassified communications. Why would they not have stronger classified channel available and how big of an issue is that?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it's a huge issue, Don. I mean, obviously, they do have better stuff available. But, you know, we saw this in 2008 in the Georgian war as well where, you know, sort of the best laid plans -- you know, the Russians train and prepare for using encrypted communications on the battlefield just like modern militaries do.

But as often is the case, you know, when things actually get rolling, when your first contact with enemy forces, a lot of times, the first thing that goes is security. And in this case, communications security. It's a big deal because, of course, the Ukrainians can pick up or have a capability to pick up those encrypted communications that the Russians are not using.

So, if they operating in the clear, they'll be able to listen to them. They'll be able to react tactically to what they learn from the Russians talking to each other, whether it's on cell phones or whether it is on encrypted radios.

LEMON: General, sources are telling CNN that the U.S. has been unable to figure out if Russia has a dedicated military commander overseeing their invasion of Ukraine. What impact would that have on a military operation of this scale?

REPASS: We have to designated and sustain main effort. That applies not only to combat forces but also to the logistics capabilities.

[23:29:59] As we are seeing now, we've got three primary pushes (ph) into Ukraine. One from the north, one from the east, and then one from the south going after very subjective (ph) there.

It's hard to tell what the main effort is because they haven't sufficiently weighted it either with combat forces or with logistical sustainment.

So, an overall commander, his job is to identify what must be done and which receives a priority because everybody can't get the same amount of support. In this case, I think that they tried to do everything equally well. And as it's turned out, they have done everything equally unwell or equally bad.

LEMON: Yeah. Ukraine says that they have killed five Russian generals so far. Any military general being killed in combat is rare, right? I mean, what does this tell you about the state of Russia's military, general?

REPASS: It tells me that the senior leaders feel compelled to get up to the front to lead their troops. This is an indication that they don't have the small unit leadership that they need to be effective at the tactical level.

We've had other analysts on. They have talked about this. And I would say that I agree with them. The bottom line is, when things go badly upfront, the senior leaders go up to try to sort things out. Of course, that puts them in harm's way.

I would also say, credit to the Ukrainians that they have been looking for these guys. It's not only the generals, but also the senior colonels and senior leaders at the brigade or regimental levels that they have taken out. It's a stunning number of senior leaders that they have taken out.

LEMON: Steve, a Russian tabloid published -- and then, it later removed, a claim that the Russian ministry of defense reported almost 10,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine with even more wounded. I mean, Russia has kept a very tight grip on any information about the war inside their country. What does it mean to you that this was reported, of course, and then it was deleted? Reported, deleted. It's an extraordinary number as well.

HALL: Yeah. It is really -- there is no good answer for this on the Russian side of it. So, either as the Russians, I believe, either intimated or actually came out and said, oh, no, that number is false because we're actually hacked in some maligned force to put that information in there.

So, if that's really true, which I doubt, it shows that the Russians don't have a whole lot of control cyber wise over the Russian press, which is really nothing more than an instrument of the Kremlin and extremely important to Vladimir Putin. So, that would be a bad thing.

Or if it's actually just a mistake, somebody actually put it up and shows it's a whole lot of lack of discipline in that particular Putin- run newspaper.

Or a third option, equally bad for the Russians, is somebody actually tried to just get that information out there to leak it from inside, because obviously, almost 10,000 dead from the Russian military is a very bad piece of news for Russia and something that Putin would not want the man on the street in Russia to hear about.

LEMON: Steve Hall, General Repass, thank you both. I appreciate it.

HALL: Thank you.

LEMON: A lot more straight ahead on the war in Ukraine. But we are also following another very important story. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court, wraps up day one of her confirmation battle.




LEMON (on camera): Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee opening historic hearings for President Biden's Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson. If confirmed, Judge Jackson will be the first Black woman to sit on the high court. And though her confirmation wouldn't have a significant impact on the balance of the court, that is not stopping some Republicans from previewing their attacks on her record. What this.


KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, U.S. SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: I decide cases from a neutral posture. I evaluate the facts, and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me without fear or favor, consistent with my judicial oath.

I have dedicated my career to ensuring that the words engraved on the front of the Supreme Court building, equal justice under law, are a reality and not just an ideal.


LEMON (on camera): So, Republican members of the committee are already saying that they planned to closely scrutinized Judge Jackson's judicial record. More tonight from CNN's Jessica Schneider.


SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): I understand the importance of zealous advocacy. But it appears that sometimes this zealous advocacy has gone beyond the pale.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Will you follow the law? But does your record indicate? JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Republicans rolling out their lines of attack against Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on the first day of her confirmation hearings.

Senator Josh Hawley leading the charge, laying out several cases when Jackson, while a federal trial court judge in D.C., used her discretion to hand down lighter sentences for child pornography offenders than prosecutors requested.

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): The United States versus Hawkins. The federal sentencing guidelines recommended a sentence from 97 to 121 months in prison. Prosecutors recommended 24 months in prison.


Judge Jackson gave the defendant three months in prison.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Judge Jackson will likely lay out her reasoning for the lower sentence when she answers questions as hearings continue this week. Senator Hawley, on Monday, rejecting one likely argument Jackson will make.

HAWLEY: Some say that the federal sentencing guidelines are too harsh on child sex crimes, especially child pornography. I'll just be honest. I can't say that I agree with that. The amount of child pornography in circulation has absolutely in recent years.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): After Hawley's Twitter tirade last week laying out cases when Judge Jackson deviated downward from guidelines from the U.S. sentencing commission, the White House said the sentences in five of the seven cases were the same or greater than what the U.S. Probation Office recommended. And criminal defense attorneys say that nationwide, it has become the norm for judges to issue sentences lower than both sets of guidelines.

MARTIN SABELLI, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS: She is not an outlier. She is sentencing consistent with the vast majority of federal sentences -- judges rather -- and you could see that from the number and type of departures or variances that she includes in her sentences.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Just last year, the U.S. Sentencing Commission issued its report on child pornography offenders, noting that that 59% of the offenders have their sentence downgraded.

The Sentencing Commission writing this and it's 2021 report, there had been a steady increase in the percentage of sentences imposed below the applicable guideline range in non-production pornography cases, which indicated that courts increasingly believed the sentencing scheme for such offenders was overly severe.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin saying Senator Hawley should be aware of that trend.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): As a matter of fact, if you take a close look at his own state and his own pick for federal judge on the same issue, you are going to find the same pattern.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Republicans are also questioning Jackson's time advocating for detainees at Guantanamo Bay both as a federal public defender and while in private practice.

SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): You use your time and talent not to serve our nation's veterans or other vulnerable groups, but to provide free legal services to help terrorists get out of Gitmo and go back to the fight.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): But defensive attorneys and even former Obama administration officials are stepping up to defend Jackson's record in that realm, saying she had a duty to provide a vigorous defense no matter her client. Judge Jackson saying this during the first day of her hearing.

JACKSON: I hope that you will see how much I love our country and the Constitution, and the rights that make us free.

SCHNEIDER (on camera): Republicans are promising to stay away from personal attacks, but the hearings will get a lot more intense tomorrow and Wednesday when the question and the answer portion will go on for hours. Don?


LEMON (on camera): All right. Jessica, thank you very much for that.

I want to bring in now CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams. Elliot, good evening to you. What are Republicans on the committee trying to signal with these lines of attack? They seemed bizarre.


second, Don. You know, Cory Booker, senator from New Jersey, today used the word "joy" when talking about this nomination.

And he just taking a minute to just bask in the moment and how special this nomination is for America, and the fact of seeing a Black woman up there. And before getting into this sort of silly season of the back and forth over the politics, I think all Americans should embrace that fact.

Now, to your question as to what Republicans are trying to do, they don't really have a clear line of attack against the nominee. She has got sort of this unimpeachable record as a judge and a jurist and an attorney.

So, it's a broader fight about, you know, you heard them talking about critical race theory today, you heard talking about crime and child porn and so on. This isn't really about the nominee. It's about the 2022 and 2024 elections.

LEMON: Yeah, and about defending terrorists. I mean, you're an attorney.


LEMON: You have to -- don't you have to defend your --


LEMON: -- zealously defend your client no matter who or what they've done?

WLLIAMS: Well, it's two different things, Don. Look, she is supported by the fraternal order of police, the biggest policing organization in the world, 356,000 members who are sworn law enforcement officers. She is supported by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. These are all big law enforcement organizations. They are seeing something that these senators are not when it comes to who is soft on crime or not.

So, you know, I think this is one where you could trust what police officers have to say. More importantly, Don, I'm a former prosecutor. Public defenders and defense attorneys made me and my colleagues do our jobs better. So, we should all be grateful for the zealous advocacy of people like Judge Jackson when she was in private practice.

If you don't like the fact an unpopular defendants get representation, go to North Korea or Iran or Russia or places like that where they don't respect defendants.


So, again, it is all a distraction from the nominee (INAUDIBLE).

LEMON: I want to ask you about a group of retired federal judges, including (INAUDIBLE) -- excuse me. Group of retired federal judges, including Republican appointees writing to the committee tonight in defense of Jackson's record on child pornography sentencing, and writing, and I quote here.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's record in individual cases is entirely consistent with the nationwide pattern described by the U.S. Sentencing Commission and what the DOJ prosecutors or U.S. court probation departments have recommended.

What is Josh Hawley trying to accomplish with these attacks? It just --


LEMON: -- makes him seem really small.

WLLIAMS: Yeah. Look, if you say the world's child porn --

LEMON: Petty is a better word.

WLLIAMS: Well, look, Don, if you to say the words "child pornography" enough times, it's horrific conduct and it gets in people's head. The simple fact is it doesn't apply to this nominee in the way that they wanted to.

You know, when it comes to how many times where cases are overturned, it was like -- it is two percent, the rate at which her cases -- decisions that she writes get overturned. And that is better than a lot of her colleagues on the court.

She is just not an outlier. And like these judges have said, these decisions that she was putting down were perfectly in line with what other federal judges around the country are doing.

Now, look, I don't want to make this a rubber stamp for Judge Jackson, and she should answer questions about her record fairly and honestly and on the record, but the simple fact is, you know, you look at the resume, it is just an unimpeachable nominee.

LEMON: I completely agree. When you bring in all of these odds sort of flames and you say, you know, representing terrorists and child, you know, pedophiles or whatever it is, it just -- it starts to get into the sort of QAnon conspiracy theory realm. That's all I'm saying.

WLLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, look, these are words that get into people's heads. Anyway, good night, Don. Stay safe.

LEMON: Yeah. All right. Thank you very much, Elliot. We'll see you soon.

Family members left behind. Homes turned to rubble. Now, some Ukrainian refugees are wondering if they'll have anything left to return to.




LEMON: At least 10 million people forced to flee their homes in Ukraine following Russia's invasion. Many Ukrainians relocating within the country. Millions of other Ukrainians crossing borders out of Ukraine.

CNN's Miguel Marquez has more on the refugee crisis in Romania.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ludmyla Zhidik, her two teen daughters, and her father arrived last night.

Our beautiful parks, our beautiful square, she says. Everything is ruined.

From Kharkiv, a city punished by Russian artillery and rockets, a school teacher, Sofia Zhidik, has some savings but not much. Their three-day journey brought them to this shelter run by the city of Bucharest. I'm shocked war is possible in 2022, she says. Everything was good. I could walk with my friends. I love my home city. It was very difficult to leave.

Sofia's sister says it's hard to believe their lives have been thrown into such enormous uncertainty.

ANASTASIA ZHIDIK, FLED KHARKIV: I really miss my house, my country, my city. And I hope that this war is going to finish.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Andrei Tesmann, a furniture maker, had his own business. He is here with his wife, kids. In all, a family of eight and their chihuahua, Bruno.

(On camera): Do you know when you will go home?


MARQUEZ (voice-over): A friend sent video of what their home now looks like.

This is your home?

TESMANN (voice-over): It's my home. This is my room. Bedroom.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Bedroom.

TESMANN (voice-over): It's my bedroom.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Unlivable. The entire neighborhood destroyed by possibly a rocket or artillery fire. Nothing to go back to.

(On camera): At 60 years old, are you starting over again?

I don't want to, he says. But I have to.

His son is in Florida. The family has inquired about visas to travel to the U.S. But so far --

We haven't tried to apply for visas, he says. His wife adds, my son sent several messages to embassies and to people in Washington, D.C. The message they got back? America does not accept refugees for now.

The Biden administration looking for ways to speed up applications. For now, World Vision is helping these refugees. And tens of thousands more in Romania alone, their needs deepening.

ANDREA BUJOR, WORLD VISION, ROMANIA: The people that are coming now, these people really, really need help. And there are a lot of people. We were at the border. I was at the border. I talked to a lot of people that didn't have any money, any plan.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Julia Muliarchuk and her eight-year-old son, David, named for David Beckham, from Kyiv, arrived two weeks ago.

[23:55:04] (on camera): When you decided to leave, how long did you have to pack?

JULIA MULIARCHUK, REFUGEE FROM KYIV: Well, I had around three hours.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Three hours?

MULIARCHUK: Yes. Yes. Yes.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): A few bags, documents, and family photos. Who is this?

MULIARCHUK (voice-over): It's me and my husband 10 years ago.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): She calls her mother in Kyiv every morning.

MULIARCHUK: It is always like, hello, mom, are you okay? And we talk and talking. She is saying, yes, it seems like it's been quiet, and then speaking to my husband and my friends.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Like a full-time job?


MULIARCHUK: Not a full-time job. But you have to be sure that everyone is okay because it's nothing for sure now. Nothing.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): She wants to go home. But when?

(On camera): When do you think you can go home?

MULIARCHUK: Only God knows when. Nobody knows.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Miguel Marquez, CNN, Bucharest.


LEMON (on camera): All right. Miguel, thank you very much.

And thank you for watching, everyone. Our live coverage continues right after the break with Hala Gorani.