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Don Lemon Tonight

Chechnyan Fighters Help Ukrainian Forces; Russia Admits They Did Not Get What They Want; Ukrainians Shelter Under A Train Station; Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Grilled By GOP Lawmakers; War Separates Families In Ukraine; More Dead Bodies Buried From War. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired March 22, 2022 - 22:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN HOST: And I'm just listening in the last moments I had it in my ear here in Ukraine.

And Senator Marsha Blackburn was asking the potential jurist the definition of a woman and talking about critical race theory, it is the new, become the new buzz term, like acorn did or antifa and on and on and on. It's really, it's amazing to watch someone who is a, quite frankly, an intellectual giant, be questioned by people who have really no idea about the law and what judges actually do, Laura.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Well, you know, it reminds me, and I can't remember who said it but a paraphrase of to my equals, I debate, to all others, I teach. I think she is teaching a number of people today in her conversations.


COATES: But I think what's also interesting as you mention the point, what you're really seeing here is the conflation of so many different issues that are in the national and political zeitgeist but what we want of our Supreme Court justices is to not dip their toe in the pool of politics and that's been one of the biggest issues we've seen over time with this Supreme Court. The idea of are they truly apolitical or are they an extension of political, you know, beings.

And so, it's interesting to think about this discussion and the dynamic at play, but she, you know, how difficult it must be to sit there, spine straight, hands folded together, and have to listen and wait for the moment where she has to then teach.

LEMON: Yes. Well, I spoke to my mom just before, you know, I have to keep in touch with her since I'm over here. And she said, she's paying close attention --


COATES: I'm sure you do. of course, you better be 10 times a day.

LEMON: Yes, she's like --

COATES: Are you kidding me? Yes.

LEMON: It is, and she said, you know, I've gone through what she's gone through and I can see it in her face, and I know what she's thinking and she just sits there.

I am, I don't -- I'm not that classy as she is because I probably would have said something or when they asked me the question if it was a ridiculous one, I would have just said looked at them and said no comment, next question. So, we're going to keep --


COATES: Well, we all know the Don Lemon head look that you do and the spray, it's a pause before you smile, we all know that look, we're familiar with it.


COATES: I suppose you are classy but we do know the Don Lemon look.

LEMON: Thank you, Laura. I appreciate it. We're going to keep an eye on that as well.

COATES: Stay safe.

LEMON: And we're going to take you through what's happening here in Ukraine. Thank you, Laura. We'll see you tomorrow.

This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. We're live with two huge stories. We're here in Ukraine and back in the U.S. as well as Laura and I have been talking about the historic confirmation hearings of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and how she's defending herself from some pretty relentless Republican attacks. We're going to have more on that in just a moment so make sure you stay tune for that.

While here in Ukraine, forces are now fighting to take back territory from the Russians. The Pentagon says there are indications Ukraine is going more on the offensive now. I want you to just take a look at this. It is new video tonight. It is from the outskirts of the capital city of Kyiv. It is an intense firefight along a rail line just northeast of the city.

Ukrainian politician who posted the video claim that the fighters are Chechyans who are now taking up arms to defend Ukraine. CNN by the way could not independently verify that report but we have geo -- geolocated the video and what it shows is an up-close graphic view of this war.


LEMON: There you have it. The realities of war. And meanwhile, just 40 miles west of Kyiv, Ukraine says that they have taken back the devastated city of Makariv following 24 hours of fighting.

[22:05:02] Kyiv regional police released this video. CNN has geolocated it as showing Makariv and its surroundings. And in Kyiv, plumes of smoke darkening the sky. CNN's team hearing explosions and air raid sirens reportedly concentrated around the northern part of the city where Russian forces are.

But it seems harder Ukraine fights back, the more brutal Vladimir Putin's forces are. In Mariupol, the deputy mayor says that 90 percent of the infrastructure has been destroyed. A senior U.S. defense official says Russia is firing on the city from ships in the Sea of Azov.

And there's new video tonight showing the launch of cruise missiles from a vessel located off the coast of Crimea just west of the city of Sevastopol. The missiles headed towards Ukraine.

But in a stunning interview, you have to watch this, a stunning interview with CNN today, Vladimir Putin's chief spokesman refusing to rule out the use of nuclear weapons, claiming they can be used if there's, what he calls, an existential threat for Russia. Watch.


DMITRY PESKOV, KREMLIN SPOKESPERSON: We have a concept of domestic security. If it is an existential threat for our country, then it can be used in occurrence with our concept.


LEMON: I want to bring in now CNN's Sam Kiley in Kyiv, and Ben Wedeman is here with me tonight in Lviv. So happy that both of you can join us. Thank you so much, gentlemen.

Sam, I'm going to start with you. We have this video of an intense firefight between Ukrainian forces and Russia's military on the outskirts of Kyiv, are Ukrainian forces gaining ground around the capital?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: According to their own ministry of defense, we don't have directly ability to verify this, but according to the Ukrainian ministry of defense, they are successfully pushing back against the Russian forces that are gathered to the west, the northwest and, indeed, the east of the city.

Now this footage we're showing our viewers at the moment comes from the east of the city, it's a group of ethnic, allegedly Chechnyan fighters, or certainly Muslim fighters, there are a number of Muslim units within the Ukrainian armed forces, a lot of them Chechyans who object to the rule of Kadyrov there, the Russian puppet.

But elsewhere to the west, we've had the conquest or reconquest according to the Ukrainians of Makariv, and certainly we've seen very, very heavy bombardment particularly in the north, northwest of the city about 10, 15 kilometers from where I'm standing here, all afternoon, most of the morning, and into the night. Very heavy bombardments there, which in all probability, mostly Ukrainian weapons attacking Russia.

Because I've also been speaking to some fighters on the ground that they've been saying that they have been capable of punching at least into pockets of the Russian controlled area. And the Ukrainians are also talking about establishing three lines of defense to protect the city, Don.

LEMON: There's also video tonight, Sam, of a plume of smoke rising in the northwest of Kyiv. Is it clear -- is it clear, my question is, as to what that may be from?

KILEY: Well, there are a number of plumes of smoke. That was from some kind of substantial missile or artillery strike. Soon after that image was filmed, there was a series of explosions that were audible and visible, smaller explosions in a line along the horizon.

This is an area not very far from Irpin, Don, the area where you saw those refugees coming across the downed bridge about a week and a half ago amid scenes of incredible desperation, a whole family killed by a Russian mortar when that was going on.

This, the Irpin River is now swollen, it's a lot more flooded. That is creating problems for the Russians as indeed is this Ukrainian counteroffensive which has been going on now for the better part of a week. And today, we're in a 36 -- halfway through, a bit more than halfway through a 36-hour curfew in which everybody has been ordered off the streets completely across the whole of the Ukrainian capital so that the military can get to their work and arguably able to move around without being spied upon.

Because there's no question here in the minds of the Ukrainian authorities that there are plenty of spies around to reveal to the enemy the movements of their military, Don.

LEMON: I want to bring in now Ben Wedeman. Ben, you've been tracking the humanitarian crisis and the refugees coming to Lviv. What are you hearing?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they continue to struggle the Ukrainian authorities to deal with this influx of refugees, it's not quite as bad as it was a couple weeks ago but there are still about 200,000 refugees or displaced people here in Lviv.


We heard President Zelenskyy say that Ukraine in the last two weeks received about 100,000 tons of humanitarian goods. So, they're doing OK. But we did speak with -- I spent a lot of time yesterday with refugees or displaced people who said that more than anything, they're worried about the people they left behind.


WEDEMAN (voice over): I'm not so well, says Natalya (Ph) who led a choir back home, I'm nervous. I'm worried about my parents and my friends who has parents in Mariupol whom she hasn't heard from for 20 days.

She shows us video of a performance before the war shattered their lives. The choir has gone silent, the light at the end of this tunnel is receding.


WEDEMAN (on camera): And of course, you know, we're now four weeks, we're entering our fifth week into this war and many of these people who have been patient, who have put up with so much are worried that this could go on for a long time.

LEMON: Day to day and the kindness of strangers, that's what they're living off of. That's how they're living what they're living off of

WEDEMAN: That's right.

LEMON: It's awful. Ben, thank you very much. We appreciate you very much bringing us those stories.

I spoke with retired general and the former CIA director David Petraeus earlier about what is happening on the ground in Ukraine. I want you to take listen to that.


LEMON: General, thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciate it.

Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov acknowledge today that he -- to my colleague Christiane Amanpour that Vladimir Putin hasn't achieved his aim in Ukraine and also refuse to rule out the use of nuclear weapons if Russia faces an existential threat. What are your assessment of those two very significant comments from someone so close to the Russian leader?

DAVID PETRAEUS, FORMER DIRECTOR, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: Well, Don, good to be with you and thanks for your great reporting from Ukraine. It's an extraordinary admission from someone close to President Putin and it's really quite an extraordinary effort to rattle the nuclear saber.

Once again, having heard Vladimir Putin do that himself a couple of weeks ago, a reminder again of the arsenal that Russia has to which it has access, perhaps even a veiled reminder that their doctrine is one that causes them to escalate, to deescalate, if you will.

So again, it's quite worrisome, and again, I think validates some of the concerns that we have heard from individuals like the NATO secretary-general and President Biden when certain ideas like no-fly zones, and transfer of MiGs through the U.S. to Ukraine have been proposed.

LEMON: Listen, as a general I've got to get your perspective on this, at least for assessment of the fight right now, is it a stalemate or does Ukraine have the upper hand here? PETRAEUS: I think it's a bloody stalemate and I have to underscore

and highlight the word bloody, because on the one hand, the Ukrainians have basically stopped the Russians in many areas. They have inflicted enormous losses on the Russians. By some estimates now, in the first, whatever, 27, 28 days of this campaign, the Russians have lost nearly twice as many soldiers as we lost in 20 years in Iraq and those were very, very tough losses. I can tell you.

Beyond that, would be many more who would be wounded, the losses in weapon systems and vehicles are really quite extraordinary and it's clear that Russia is scrambling to try to find replacements in the eastern military district, in Georgia, in Syria, from mercenaries, from friendly forces, if you will.

So, they're in a very tough spot. They have extended the tours of their conscripts that would have ended in April, the one-year service conscripts, to longer. Obviously, a terrible effect on morale, and then they're bringing the nuke prop of conscripts on early.

So, they have an awful lot of challenges but they also have an awful lot of fighter power. So, the Ukrainians have extraordinary determination, motivation, actual skill, resourcefulness and so forth, and heart. And the Russians have a great deal of artillery, rockets, missiles, and even bombs. And they're making use of those.

And then, at the strategic level, Don, I think you have to describe this as a bit of a battle of attrition, almost between two capitals, Moscow where Vladimir Putin is watching his economy, his financial system be really hammered and where also there has to be an undercurrent of real resentment as what has happened, that rejection at the decisions he has made.


LEMON: The U.S. and NATO officials tell CNN that they believe that Belarus could soon join Russia in its war against Ukraine. One source says it could happen within days. What kind of an impact would that have on this war?

PETRAEUS: Well, it could be very challenging. The question is whether the Belarusian soldiers would really have their hearts in. There are an awful lot of reports that they do not want to fight, they see what's happening to the Russians.

President Lukashenko himself is reported to have very little enthusiasm for this. He has to know that he will be hammered with the same sanctions, the same economic and financial actions, and of course, his country has much less in the way of the resources that Russia has that could enable them, perhaps, to withstand at least some months of this.

LEMON: General, I had the opportunity a few days ago to speak with Secretary Lloyd Austin. He said that the Russians are making multiple missteps in this war. Ukraine said that they have killed five Russian generals so far and sources tell CNN the U.S. doesn't even know if Russia has a dedicated military commander overseeing their invasion. Could the United States be doing more to help the Ukrainians exploit

those weaknesses?

PETRAEUS: Well, there's always more than can be done, Don, without question. I think the secretary who I served with, of course, he worked with me twice in Iraq when he was a three-star and then when he is a four-star as well, and was an extraordinary commander there.

He also observed that the Russians were feeding their soldiers into a woodchipper. And I don't think that's not an inappropriate analogy, but certainly there could be more. And again, I suspect that the U.S. is exploring more. Again, we've just committed another billion dollars, a huge amount of money just in one week just in defense assistance and then some 13 billion in overall assistance.

The game changer that I'm watching to see is, will have to do with the impact of the so-called switchblade drone, this is manned portable, it's launched out of a tube, it expands, it's essentially a suicide drone. It's electric so you can't, battery powered, you can't hear it. And it can loiter above with a soldier looking at it and guiding it at the feed and then have it dive on to an enemy after about 25 or 30 minutes or so, quite accurate, it can lock on to a target.

I'm told that the first hundred of these that are in this initial package will be the smaller warheads which are more for personnel than vehicles, but if more of these can be fed in, this could be of enormous assistance as the Ukrainians are carrying out these local -- local counterattacks such as the one you described northwest of Kyiv in the past 24 hours.

LEMON: General David Petraeus, we appreciate having you and of course, just we love getting your perspective. Thank you so much.

PETRAEUS: Pleasure, Don. Thanks for -- thanks for your great reporting.

LEMON: Today's marathon Senate confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to Supreme Court just wrapping up. I want to get straight to CNN's Paula Reid for the very latest.

Paula, thank you so much for joining us. We're waiting for it to warp up. I had just a few more folks to get to and we went on the air and now they're done, at least Marsha Blackburn needed to wrap up. So, it was a very long day for Judge Jackson, what key questions did she face, Paula?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: You're right, it was an extremely long day, over 13 hours of questioning. This was the first opportunity for lawmakers to grill the nominee. But Don, she had a good sense of what was coming after lawmakers made their opening statements yesterday, which is what we saw at the opening of today's hearing.

She issued a preemptive defense against one of the key lines of GOP attack, accusing her of being soft on crime, specifically child porn offenses but even her preemptive defense didn't stop some GOP lawmakers from spending most of their allotted time on this issue. Let's take a listen.


KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, U.S. SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: As a mother, and a judge who has had to deal with these cases, I was thinking that nothing could be further from the truth.

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): Judge, he was 18, these kids are eight. I don't see what sense they're peers. I've got a nine-year-old, a seven- year-old, and a 16-month-old at home and I live in fear that they will be exposed to, let alone, exploited in this kind of material.


JACKSON: This particular defendant had just graduated from high school. And some of, perhaps not all, when you're looking at the records, but some of the materials that he was looking at were older teenagers, were older victims attempting to take into account all of the relevant factors and do justice individually in each case.


REID: But Senator Hawley, a likely 2024 presidential contender did not seem terribly interested in Judge Jackson's analysis. Instead, using her record as a dog whistle to appeal to QAnon which of course has a strong focus on Democrats and pedophilia.

LEMON: Judge Jackson also faced these questions over critical race theory. Why, why is that even brought up, Paula?

REID: So great question, Don. Look, Hawley is not the only 2024 likely contender and Senator Ted Cruz brought up critical race theory, even using props, he came with some charts, even some children's books as he grilled the judge about this issue. And interestingly, Don, it was one of the few times during the entire hearing that Judge Jackson appeared visibly annoyed. Let's take a listen.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): You agree with this book that is being taught with kids that babies are racist?

JACKSON: Senator, I have not reviewed any of those books, any of those ideas. They don't come up in my work as a judge, which I am respectfully here to address.


REID: She repeatedly noted that critical race theory is not something that she studied and had nothing to do with her work on the bench. But again, using this hearing to seize on an issue that could likely appeal to Republican voters in 2024 primaries.

LEMON: All right. Paula Reid keeping close watch for us. Paula, thank you very much. I appreciate it. Next, I'm going to talk to the man known as the sherpa for Judge

Ketanji Brown Jackson. I want to ask former Senator Doug Jones about how the judge is dealing with Republican attacks like this?


CRUZ: Do you agree with this book teaching kids that babies are racists?




LEMON: Former Senator Doug Jones making his way to our camera to talk to us about being the sherpa for the possibly soon to be justice. We'll get to him in just a moment.

In the meantime, we're going to stick with some news that's happening here in the Ukraine region, many residents of Kharkiv, the heavily bombed city in eastern Ukraine, they've been forced to leave their homes and they are seeking shelter in the city's subway systems, subway stations.

Kharkiv's metro system was designed during the Soviet era as a nuclear shelter and is now serving as a safe haven for Russia's constant shelling of the city's buildings above ground.

Now those photos were taken by photojournalist Wojciech Grzedzinski for Washington Post and he joins me now. Thank you, Wojciech. We appreciate you joining us.


LEMON: Hi. So, these photos that you took of Kharkiv's subway station we see tents, we see blankets being used as mattresses, people bundled up in winter coats, walkway handles used to hang clothes. People have been living underground for so long that they began to develop a routine. This is surreal. Tell us about it.

GRZEDZINSKI: Yes, it's completely surreal. This is like, those people are trying to get any normality in this subnormal situation that they're being brought into. You know, it's amazing how they're trying to make their life more comfortable, how they're trying to make this life more normal so they're organizing themselves, they're saying that they're just like one big family.

You can also see the flowers in there, they've been brought by some volunteers, to older women staying in the train, in the subway system, right. So, there are platforms there to trains on the stations that people with families are staying together like in big flats and there are also people that are staying just in the spaces like in each space between those trains. LEMON: If you're at home and just listening to this I would really

urge you to look at your screen, these images from Wojciech Grzedzinski from the Washington Post are really extraordinary. I mean, you said that they're developing routines, Wojciech. I hear the subway P.A. system announces when food arrives. What do they hear and talk to me about the help from volunteers?

GRZEDZINSKI: Well, if it wasn't for the volunteers, they would need to go out many times and they would need to risk their life, because every time they go out of the subway this is like they're risking their life. Because there might be -- there might be a shelling, they might be get killed. So, volunteers are bringing hot food twice a day so this is the time that they can go out, stand in queue, and also, they are bringing like everything which is needed there just to survive, just to live in the area.

LEMON: I think -- I think we had this image up already, but you took a photo of a man on the subway escalator. His name is Sergay Miranovich (Ph), he's worked in Russia 27 years, he says that he can't understand what happened to Russia and he remembers it being a peaceful country.


LEMON: Are you hearing that sort of sentiment a lot?

GRZEDZINSKI: Yes, there's a lot of sentiment, especially with coming from the people that lived in Russia, and they're asking the question, what happened with this peaceful country, what happened with this peaceful nation that they remember that they have great memories with. So, they cannot understand what this, you know, what turned them into killing, like, their own friends because they're still thinking that they are friends.


LEMON: Yes. One photograph in particular was really striking is tulip sitting in the window of a subway car, it really captures the semblance of normalcy in the most frightening and not normal of times. What was happening there?

GRZEDZINSKI: There was 8th of March which is International Women's Rights Day and volunteer brought flowers to each woman in this train station, this subway station just to feel them happy, just to feel them a little more like women, little less like victims of this war.

LEMON: Yes. It's hard to take my eyes off of these photographs. They're really extraordinary. There's another one that you took, it's disturbing, its body bags piling up outside Kharkiv's morgue and it shows the sheer devastation of the cost of Russia's unprovoked war and really you have to ask, and for what?

GRZEDZINSKI: Excuse me, I didn't hear you, something disconnection.

LEMON: I just said it shows how devastating this unprovoked war is and people are asking and for what? And that was my question to you, the body bags that you showed piled up.

GRZEDZINSKI: Very good question, but I don't have an answer for this. I don't know, it's unprovoked. It's very bloody, and it affects mostly, this is like the first we're uncovering that the civilians are mostly targeted.

So, in Kharkiv, and in the morgue, you can see a lot of bodies. Really, a lot of bodies, civilian people being brought every day. There are like 50 people, 50 dead people that Ukrainians being brought to this morgue. So, the chief director of the morgue is saying that they don't have more coffins, don't have any more body bags. They're just asking for all like, rags just to cover the bodies because the situation is really critical there. So, they're asking, basically, for any help that could be provided.

LEMON: Wojciech, I'm going to try to run those and see if I can get the -- our producers to run those again later in the show, maybe we can close with them or something. But your work is extraordinary. I want you to be safe and keep doing the great work. Thank you so much, Wojciech Grzedzinski, did I -- did I butcher your name or did I get it kind of close to what it is?

GRZEDZINSKI: Yes, you got it good.

LEMON: Thank you, Wojciech. Be safe. I appreciate it.

GRZEDZINSKI: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Next, the man they call the sherpa for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, former Senator Doug Jones, fresh from today's hearing. What he thinks of those relentless Republican attacks on the judge.



LEMON: So, we have more breaking news tonight on another story, today's marathon Senate judiciary committee confirmation hearing for President Biden's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson just wrapping up for the day. Judge Jackson testifying about the significance of her nomination to the highest court in the land.


JACKSON: I am here, standing on the shoulders of generations of Americans who never had anything close to this kind of opportunity. From my grandparents who had just a grade school education but instilled in my parents the importance of learning. And my parents who I mentioned here many times already, who were the first in their families to get to go to college. So, this nomination, against that backdrop is significant to a lot of people --


LEMON: Let's bring in now White House nomination adviser for legislative affairs and former senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, and our former colleague here on CNN as well. Doug, thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us to talk about this.

A long day on Capitol Hill for Judge Jackson, and you, by the way, how do you think she did?

DOUG JONES, WHITE HOUSE NOMINATION ADVISER FOR LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Don, she did great. I mean, America got to see an absolutely amazing jurist. I mean, her qualifications, her background, her experience, her family, her faith was all on display. She handled it very, very well. Everything, tough questions, the easy questions, it was a long day for everybody but I think this was a very good day for her, and I hope America sees exactly why the president nominated her, that America will be getting a justice for everyone in this country.

LEMON: Well, Judge Jackson, I mean, she certainly offered strong rebuttals to GOP senators over her record on child porn cases and you know, this manufactured outrage over critical race theory. Let's listen to this and then we'll discuss.


HAWLEY: Do you think that these -- that these laws are too tough, that we're too tough on sex offenders? Explain what you meant in this case in 2013, and it seems to be the same thing you said many years ago.


JACKSON: Senator, it's not the same thing I said many years ago. Many years ago, as a law school student, I was evaluating a new set of legislation, state laws, about registration and I was analyzing them as law students do.

As a mother, and a judge who has had to deal with these cases, I was thinking that nothing could be further from the truth. These are some of the most difficult cases that a judge has to deal with.

CRUZ: Do you agree with this book being taught with kids that babies are racist?

JACKSON: Senator, I do not believe that any child should be made to feel as though they are racist or as though they are not valued or as though they are less than, that they are victims, that they are oppressors. I don't believe in any of that.


LEMON: You know, that -- that pause kind of said everything in when she took that deep breath, but you served with these senators. What are they trying to do here? And talk to me about how you think the judge handled it.

JONES: Well, I thought she handled it extremely well, Don. You know, look, a lot of these are political questions. You've seen these before, and those are questions that are going to end up in tweets, they're going to end up in policy statements for a campaign, but the fact of the matter is there are so many good things that came out of this today.

You can cherry pick anything, but what came out so strong was a 10- year record as a judge, clerking for three different judges in the federal court system, a Democratic district judge, a Republican court of appeals judge, and a Democratic Supreme Court justice.

What came through was her work on the sentencing commission, that was unanimous with conservative commissioners working with her, and they had unanimous decisions on that. What came through was her ability to really think through and answer the questions and making sure people understood her approach to judging.

And I think that that's the critical component of this. And by the way, that the school that she was a board member of that Senator Cruz was referring to, you know, Don, that school was founded in 1945 by a group of white parents and black parents who didn't like segregated law and they see wanted their kids to have a more diverse education.

So, they created this school, to allow for school integration 10 years before Brown versus Board as opposed to so many of the private schools that popped up around this country to promote segregation and to maintain segregation. That's what that, and she said, there was not -- has not been a single parent that has come to her to complain about any of these books which by the way, there's -- if you really want to check, there's been a lot of conservative members of Congress who have sent their kids to that school.

LEMON: Well, and that school speaks to the Jewish and black alliance that really helped during the Civil Rights movement and that needs to be galvanized and reignited again in this country. So, I think you're right about that. It was started by, that school started by Jewish parents and black parents who said we don't want to deal with this, we don't want our kids to be segregated. And I think that's a -- I think most of America can agree that is and was a good thing.

JONES: Right.

LEMON: As someone who is helping with the process, we could see you sitting right there behind her in the hearing. Did you expect these sorts of attacks and how did you prepare for it?

JONES: You know, we knew that there were things that would be a line of some people, will call it attacks, other people will just say it was a line of very rigorous questioning about her views and about her background.

You know, her background is always and her record is always fair game. What's not fair game is when you just kind of cherry-pick things out that mislead. And so, we saw this starting to build as we were coming to the hearing. So, I think she was ready for it. You can never quite be prepared to just sit there and take it as someone really kind of pontificates about it.

But the fact of the matter is she was very forthright in her answers, she really kind of explained what it means to be a judge and how to judge, that's why, Don, that the federal -- the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Chiefs, all of these conservative lawyers and former retired federal judges, including, you know, Judge Griffith who introduced her on the court, that's why they support her. They see someone who follows the rule of law and judges fairly and impartially as she says without, you know, without fear or favor.

LEMON: Doug, thank you so much, and please tell her we're thinking about her and we'd love to have her on this program when this process is over. Thank you very much. Thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate it.


JONES: I'm sure you would, Don, I think everybody would. But hey, look, my friend, you stay safe where you are. OK?

LEMON: All right. Thank you very much. You stay safe where you are. I could double for you. Thank you, Doug. I appreciate it.


LEMON: The war are tearing families apart. Mothers and children escaping to relative safety right here in Lviv, while their husbands and fathers, they fight. I spoke with some of them today and I'd like you to meet them. That's next.


LEMON: A top Pentagon official saying today there are signs Ukrainian forces are going on the offensive trying to take back territory from Russian forces. And that means most families are experiencing separation. Husbands and fathers called to the front, called to the front -- called to fight on the front lines while mothers seek safety for their children.


Today I met some women whose families have been torn apart by this unprovoked war.


LEMON: This is when he came home from war?

Oksana Buhel has lived in Lviv for her entire life. But for now, without her husband Max who is fighting in southern Ukraine.

You miss him?


LEMON: You miss dad?

UNKNOWN: Yes. LEMON: She and her two children sleep in this hallway in case of an

airstrike and worry. One of the countless families across Ukraine separated with a spouse at the front.

BUHEL (through translator): I try to track if he's online and get very worried if he hasn't been online.

LEMON: So, you check just to make sure he's OK.

BUHEL (through translator): Yes. I'm very worried when I get calls from unknown numbers.

LEMON: What do you worry the unknown phone number is?

BUHEL (through translator): I'm afraid someone I don't know will call and tell me some bad news.

It's sad.

LEMON: What's the hardest thing?

BUHEL (through translator): That it's indefinite. And you can't influence anything. You try to monitor the news but you can't do anything. That and the uncertainty.

LEMON: Oksana and her children Zlata (Ph), 7, and Stanislav, 4, are relatively safe in Lviv. But as other cities across Ukraine turn into front lines, other families have a difficult choice to make.

TATIANA NIKABADZE, FLED KYIV WITH HER SON (through translator): If not for my son, I wouldn't be here.

LEMON: Tatiana Nikabadze and her son Nikita fled from their home in Kyiv, where Nikita's father is fighting.

NIKABADZE (through translator): For every mother the most important thing is to keep their child safe.

LEMON: So, you would have stayed in Kyiv if it weren't for your child?

NIKABADZE (through translator): Most likely, yes.


NIKABADZE (through translator): Because it's my home. My family and relatives are in Kyiv.

LEMON: Here in Lviv, 10-year-old Nikita is trying to adjust to life with war. Do you worry about him?


LEMON: What do you worry?

NIKITA NIKABADZE (through translator): That he doesn't get hit. NIKABADZE (through translator): When we first came to Kyiv, I asked

what he wanted for his birthday. And he didn't say toys. He said I want -- I want this day to be done.

LEMON: Everyone is dreaming of the day the war ends. What's the first thing you're going to do when you see your dad?

NIKITA NIKABADZE (through translator): I will hug him.


NIKITA NIKABADZE (through translator): I'll say I'm happy he returned.

LEMON: And you?

NIKABADZE (through translator): I will hug him and say thank you.

LEMON: Thank you for what?

NIKABADZE (through translator): Thank you for staying strong. Thank you for bringing peace. Thank you for risking everything for us. Our people and our country.


LEMON: Something that was very striking to me as I am getting to meet people here and going around the city is that all of a sudden, overnight, without warning many mothers here, thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of mothers here became single moms overnight and they have to fend for themselves and their children no matter how many children they have. But they are pulling together with the help of family members and even neighbors.

And you heard the woman there saying -- I asked her, I said when the air strikes -- when the air sirens go off, what do you do? Do you go to a shelter? She said we sleep in the corridor of our apartment in the strongest part of the apartment as if they're getting ready for a hurricane or tornado as we do in the United States.

They sleep there. She said it's tough to wrangle two children in the middle of the night every time there's a siren going off to get them to safety. So that's what they're doing.

Coming up, we're going to have a reality check on what Ukraine is dealing with. CNN's Ivan Watson is at a military cemetery showing us the toll of Russia's invasion. That is next.



LEMON: After four weeks of Russia's bombardment of cities and towns in Ukraine and Ukrainian forces fighting back, casualties are mounting on both sides. Ukrainian and Russian soldiers are dying.

Tonight, CNN's Ivan Watson on the high human cost of this war.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This military cemetery brings home the stark reality Ukraine has been living with for years. All of these crosses, they mark the graves of Ukrainian servicemen who've died fighting against Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region since 2014.

And on this side, we have new graves. And they're devoted to casualties from Russia's invasion of Ukraine that was launched on February 24th of this year. One of the fallen is Mikhail Zadiraka (Ph), born in 1997, just 25 years old. And if you come over here, you see something else which is a reminder of how grim this conflict is. The authorities have dug dozens of additional graves, anticipating the likelihood of more casualties in this terrible conflict.


This refrigerator truck represents another side of this war. It's parked outside a city morgue.