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Don Lemon Tonight

Multiple New Videos Reveal The Aftermath Of Battles; Pentagon Provides White House With Options For More Troops For Europe Ahead Of NATO Trip: NATO: Up To 15,000 Russian Soldiers Killed In Ukraine War; Employee At Children's Hospital In Kyiv Documents Horrors Of War. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 23, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST (on camera): This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. I'm live in Lviv, Ukraine. Just in the past hour, we've gotten multiple new videos that reveal the aftermath of the battles as Ukrainians are trying to push Russians out.

First, Izyum, southeast of Kharkiv, cut off from nearly all communications as the intense battles begun last month. And in Chernihiv, northeast of Kyiv, seeing some of the most intense shelling, badly damaged building lining rubble-strewn streets, fire still burning, filling the air with heavy smoke.

We are going to take a closer look at all of these videos in just a moment.

Now, late tonight, CNN teams on the ground in Kyiv witnessing a barrage of outgoing fire by Ukrainian forces against Russian military positions, northwest of the capital.

A senior U.S. defense official saying Ukrainian forces are pushing back Russian troops east of Kyiv by more than 15 miles in one day.

President Joe Biden arriving in Brussels tonight for a series of meetings with American allies beginning with an emergency NATO summit meeting tomorrow.

Ukraine's president putting out this message for Biden and NATO leaders just tonight.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE: The war of Russia is not only the war against Ukraine. Its meaning, is much wider. Russia started the war against freedom as it is. This is only the beginning for Russia, on the Ukrainian land. Russia is trying to defeat the freedom of all people in Europe, of all the people in the world.


LEMON (on camera): And NATO estimating up to 15,000 Russian troops may have been killed in Ukraine, thousands more wounded or missing.

And CNN reporting exclusive details from inside a meeting between U.S. and Russian defense officials. Those details revealing morale problems in Russia's military all the way up to the top ranks.

I want to begin with CNN's Ben Wedeman. He is live here in Lviv with us. Ben, thanks for joining us. So, let's go through some of these videos. I will narrate some of them so you can tell -- the new videos coming into CNN late this hour, what they tell us about this battlefield. Let's put it up now.

In this new video, it's from the mayor of Chernihiv, 90 miles northeast of Kyiv. They're driving through this destruction. He says that their cemetery can't handle all the dead. It's horrific. What else are you learning here?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The mayor is saying that they have refrigerator trucks full of dead bodies, that they have had to dig up old cemeteries to bury other bodies. This is a town that has been ruthlessly pounded by the Russians.

And, I mean, really, this is just the flip side of the failure of the Russians to make progress on the ground. So, they're doing the Grozny option, referring to the first Chechnyan war where they are just pounding towns and villages in the hopes that they will somehow submit.

But as we've seen so far in this war now, beginning just now the fifth week, is that submission doesn't seem to be on the cards for the Ukrainians.

LEMON: And Chernihiv has sustained really some of the most intense shelling since the war started. I mean this video just shows the magnitude of the destruction and the danger that it's not over yet.


WEDEMAN: In no sense whatsoever. I mean, despite this news that in addition the NATO is estimating that as many as 15,000 Russian soldiers killed, they're talking about between 30 and 40,000 totaled killed, wounded, missing in action, and captured. That's out of a fighting force of somewhere between 150 to 200,000 initially.

And military analysts will tell you, when 10% of your unit is knocked out, either dead or wounded, you stop functioning properly. And I think that's why we're seeing they are resorting to this brutal sort of medieval method, siege method, of just pounding these towns because they just can't take them.

LEMON: I can't take my eyes off of the video. It's just astonishing. And listen, there's also this new video. This is from Izyum, Ukraine, about 72 miles from Kharkiv. It is very disturbing. There is mass destruction there. There are bodies lying the streets.

I mean, this has been the site a pitched battle, cut off from communications for least a week now, while the Ukrainians try to beat back Russians. What can we learn from this video, Ben?

WEDEMAN: That there is no mercy in this war. That there is nothing that won't be hit. And it's random. I saw this in Syria. There is not a lot of smart bombs being used. There is no sort of tactic other than just sheer, brute force to try to bring Ukraine to its knees. It's mind-boggling.

LEMON: Obviously brute force and this is all about terrorizing, right, and not being precise about in what you're trying to accomplish. These are images -- more devastating images from Izyum. This man taking the video said that this is our park, I'm in shock, they're just killing everywhere, there are corpses in the street.

What is going to happen to the people who used to live there? Those were quotes from him.

WEDEMAN: Yeah. I mean, we understand that many of these towns, there is almost nobody, no civilians left.

LEMON: Right.

WEDEMAN: As we've seen, more than 10 million people are either internally displaced or have left the country. These towns are uninhabitable, many of them, as a result of these bombings because they're not just destroying buildings, they're destroying the infrastructure.

LEMON: Infrastructure, right.

WEDEMAN: You know, the water, the gas, the electricity in many of these towns is long gone.

LEMON: Uh-hmm. The mayor of Kyiv says that at least 264 civilians, including four children, have died in the city since the beginning of this invasion, not to mention hundreds of injured. What is the latest?

WEDEMAN: In Kyiv, it does appear that the Ukrainian forces are counterattacking. They're counterattacking in a way that we haven't seen in the last four weeks. They've made progress in pushing the Russian forces back, but the Russian forces continued to use their bluntest weapons to try to, perhaps, somehow stop this advance by the Ukrainian forces, who are outnumbered in many respects, but they have one important thing on their side: determination.

LEMON: Determination. You've seen your share of war zones. This is horrific.

WEDEMAN: This is -- this is just in terms of the numbers, within one month seeing this death toll, the death toll on the Russian side as well, that is something I have not seen before.

LEMON: Ben Wedeman, thank you. I really appreciate it.

More video now. This is Mariupol. It is hard to imagine that just weeks ago, it was a bustling city with hundreds of thousands of people. This mass destruction coming as President Joe Biden president is in Brussels for high-stakes summit with NATO allies. Ahead of these meetings, the Pentagon is giving the White House options for potentially adding more U.S. troops to Eastern Europe.

CNN's Oren Liebermann is covering the story live from the Pentagon. Oren, good evening to you. We're not talking about troops in Ukraine, but possibly neighboring countries. What kind of options is the Pentagon talking about laying out here?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: NATO allies, especially those in Eastern Europe, have asked for a greater U.S. presence. The question, how does that happen? And it is not simply a unilateral decision from the United States. It is not a decision President Joe Biden will make on his own. It's one he will make with his NATO allies, and after these discussions.

The Pentagon has presented a number of different possible plans. One is to send more troops into Eastern Europe to buttress that eastern flank, to put in more troops there and you get a sense of these different options, and essentially to reinforce and bolster the defenses of the countries there on the eastern flank.

A second option would be a more structured rotational presence within NATO forces. That would be U.S. troops going into NATO forces, NATO units, and essentially contributing a greater portion of those forces coming from the United States. So, that would be a second option.


The third option, the high and expensive option would be to build a new traditional military base in Eastern Europe. Again, that would be the eastern flank facing Russia. That perhaps viewed as not as likely simply because of the expense of that.

But all of these are different possibilities as NATO looks to make sure it is ready to handle what would be any sort of new or potential future Russian aggression.

It's worth remembering, Don, before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, there were some 80,000 U.S. troops on permanent and rotational deployments in Europe. That number over the course of the last few months has gone up to 100,000. Perhaps we will see it go up further still.

LEMON: Oren, CNN is also learning about a rare face to face meeting between U.S. and Russian defense officials. We're told that U.S. officials reported in a readout that there was a revealing moment with one of Putin's generals. Tell us about that.

LIEBERMANN: So, you are exactly right. This is a rare meeting that happened last week in Moscow in the defense ministry. Russia and the U.S. have had a deconfliction line when it comes to Ukraine, but that line hasn't really been put to use aside from daily tests here and there. So, an in-person meeting, especially in the defense ministry in Moscow is rare indeed. We got a readout of this where two defense attaches there gave their impressions of the meeting. So, it's only a partial view of what happened in there and it's not a complete picture, but it is fascinating.

In this meeting, amongst others, was with Russian Major General Yevgeny Ilyin. He has dealt with Americans before. He is known for being stoic. He normally brings notes and hits his talking points and doesn't stray far from that. This time, he did, according to the readout, and that is what makes this unusual.

Towards the end of the meeting, according to the readout, one of those in the meeting sort of casually asked about the general's Ukrainian background. That is where I want to bring up this graphic. You will get a sense of sort of how quickly this went sideways from the perspective of the two defense attaches who were in the meeting.

The attache wrote in the readout, the fire in his eyes and flustered demeanor left a chill down the spine. That is the sense of his reaction to the question about Ukraine in answering that.

Meetings with Russian officials are typically scripted, but the two attaches said they had never -- quote -- "witnessed such an outburst by Russian counterparts at an official meeting."

The readout from the officials concludes, at the very least, it's clear that morale problems amongst Russian forces are not limited to frontline troops.

So, Don, we've been talking about morale on the ground in Ukraine amongst Russian troops. The impression of those defense attaches at this meeting were that those morale problems go pretty much all the way up, even to those who are used to facing and dealing with Americans. Perhaps a slip here, a crack showing the morale problems throughout the Russian military.

LEMON: That was illuminating. Thank you, Oren Liebermann. I appreciate that.

So, there is drone footage to see and it's showing the extent of flooding in the Irpin River basin northwest of Kyiv. The overflowing river is a big problem for the Russians. If Vladimir Putin's forces can't cross it, they can't take Kyiv from the west.

So, I want to bring in now retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. General, happy to have you again. Thank you for helping us through this. Good evening to you.

A senior U.S. defense official tells CNN that the Ukrainians have pushed back Russian forces east of Kyiv. Originally, it seemed like Russians would take Kyiv within, you know, days, but four weeks into this war, do you think Ukrainian forces can hold out -- can hold on to their capital?

MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST, RETIRED LIEUTENANT GENERAL: I said one week into the war, Don, that they could. It's a very well- trained force. I have a great deal of respect for them, worked with them quite a bit, and also have a great deal of -- I don't say disrespect but understanding of the way the Russian force is.

Your comments just now, I think, represents the folks that are in the Kremlin, understanding what their army has been through over the last 15 years in terms of slashes and cuts and corruption.

So, you are seeing a very corrupt force with a lack of training, with a lack of discipline, with a poor approach toward combat. That being the Russian force go up against the force, the Ukrainian force that over the last 15 years has transitioned into a very modern and western organization with a good leadership, good will of the soldiers, and that is making all the difference on the battlefield.

Going to what you just showed in terms of the flooding of the Irpin River, that was done by the Ukrainians as well as knocking out bridges. They knew what they had to do because they're fighting on home turf. They know how to trap the Russians in different places. They actually flooded those floodplains to do those kinds of actions.

You are seeing the Ukrainian forces protecting the capital of Kyiv because they know that is the priority objective for Mr. Putin. He has to take the capital in order to replace the government.


They would not allow him to do that. What you are also seeing now, and I haven't heard this all day long today, as Ukrainian forces are pushing the Russians back away from Kyiv, what they are doing is pushing them beyond artillery fire zones. So, you know, they can't shoot towards the city anymore if they're 50 to 60 miles back. So, it's a priority mission for the Ukrainians to push the Russian forces as far north and northwest as they can to keep the city from falling under artillery and rocket fire.

LEMON: I want you to respond to something because you reminded me of something that the mayor of Lviv said when I spoke to him today. You talked about the corruption. He talked about the corruption not only in Russian government but also in the Russian military.

He said he is not surprised that they're having problems here because he doesn't believe that the military is as modernized as people would like to believe. And also said, look, he doesn't believe that anyone should test it, but he thinks that the Russian nuclear arsenal may be overrated. How do you respond to that?

HERTLING: That could be true, Don, but I'm not going to bet on -- I'm not going to put a $5 bet on that one, you know. I would have said --

LEMON: He said similar response.

HERTLING: I would say the military conventional force is going to have problems in this assault because they didn't have enough forces, they had terrible leadership, bad logistics, no NCL core (ph), and untrained soldiers. Okay, you can account for all that, but things can happen on the battlefield. But when you start betting on the com (ph) for nuclear forces, that's not a risk anymore, that's a gamble. And you don't know the outcome of what it is going to be. So, you have to concern yourself with the fact that, yeah, you may believe they might not shoot nuclear weapons or chemical weapons, but you better damn well be prepared for it.

LEMON: Yeah. His sentiments were the same as yours when it comes to the nuclear part of it, but definitely, he did talk about the same thing that you said about the corruption in the Russian military and that they are not as modernized as people think that they are.

Thank you, general. I appreciate your time.

HERTLING: If I can add one thing to that, Don.

LEMON: Sure, go ahead.

HERTLING: The Ukrainian army was the same about 15 years ago. There was a lot of hold over generals from the old Soviet model and training. They had corruption within the government. But over the last 15 years, they addressed that and they've turned around. You've seen some of that today. They're a much younger parliament, much younger generation of soldiers. They're doing things more with a modernized approach to training and leadership.

LEMON: General Hertling, always a pleasure. Thank you.

HERTLING: Same here, Don. Thanks.

LEMON (on camera): Do the Russian people know how many of their sons, their brothers, and fathers have died in Vladimir Putin's Ukraine war? And what will happen when they find out?


JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY, ASSISTANT TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS: We've seen increasing indications that morale and unit cohesion is a problem. And yes, that absolutely translates into potential military effectiveness issues.





LEMON: Senior NATO military officials saying today up to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since the Ukraine war began just 28 days ago. But the estimate, the overall total could be anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 Russian soldiers killed, wounded or missing all together. So, joining me now, the former Russian television host, Stanislav Kucher. We appreciate you joining us, Stanislav. Good evening to you. These numbers are absolutely stunning. Do Russian people have any idea about these stunning numbers?

STANISLAV KUCHER, FORMER RUSSIAN TELEVISION HOST: Well, they definitely have heard or read about the numbers, but most Russians just do not believe them because the defense ministry officials say that the numbers are a lot lower. They are talking about hundreds of officers killed in action.

And they're not talking about any missing in action at all. And they're talking about -- well, at the most, 150 killed in action and couple hundred wounded. So, those are the numbers from the official briefings of their representative of the defense ministry.

But, of course, there are leaks to the press and even to Kremlin- controlled newspapers like -- there is this Vladimir Putin's favorite newspaper called (INAUDIBLE). And on their website, just a few days ago, they wrote and that paragraph blasted on their website for several hours and you can still find it in their archive, that according to the defense ministry report, 9,800 Russian soldiers have been killed.

Later, (INAUDIBLE) explained that number, the fact that number appeared in their pages as a result of --

LEMON: They said they were hacked, right?

KUCHER: Yeah, by hackers, hackers' attack. But still, you can still find that number in their archives by just getting on their website.


So, a lot of Russians are getting the information. It is a matter of whether they believe it or not.

LEMON: Listen, it is more than just information. How would you explain this? If thousands of young Russian soldiers are fighting in Ukraine and not coming back, I mean, parents, neighbors, friends are going to find out. What impact might that eventually have? You can't hide that, can you?

KUCHER: Well, you're absolutely right. I was a teenager when the Soviet troops were fighting in Afghanistan. And the official version was that they were fulfilling their peaceful military duty. And in newspapers and on television, we saw them planting trees in Afghanistan.

But I lived in a small town called (INAUDIBLE). And like every other week, we would receive coffins from Afghanistan. We knew those guys where our ex, you know, schoolmates, just a few years older than me. So, that is how the people will learn the truth about what was going on in Afghanistan back then. That is exactly what is happening now.

The official propaganda, yes, they are saying that there are a lot less victims than the Ukrainians are reporting, and that yes, the Russian troops are actually fulfilling their military duty there with their special military operation, they are not bombarding Ukrainian cities, and so on. You know that rhetoric very well.

LEMON: Yeah. Stanislav, also this, Russian state news agency, TASS, is reporting that Putin's special climate envoy, Anatoly Chubais, stepped down. Reuters is reporting that he left his post and left the country over the war in Ukraine. We are talking about a long-time Kremlin insider. Have you interviewed him before? What does his departure mean?

KUCHER: We are actually -- we are talking about -- it is not just somebody from Putin's entourage. Anatoly Chubais is the symbol of the epoque. He is the father of Russian reforms of the 90s. He is the father of Russian privatization. He was one of those young reformers who changed Russia from a socialist Soviet Russia to a new capitalist, freedom-oriented country.

And Anatoly Chubais was, in late 90s, he was one of the two first deputy prime ministers who worked together on those reforms and were called young reformists. He and Boris Nemtsov. They were very good friends. I'm sure Boris Nemtsov rings a bell. He is that very Russian politician opposition leader who was assassinated, shot in the back in front of the Kremlin in February of 2015. And so, Anatoly Chubais was the other guy.

But unlike Nemtsov, Chubais tried to sit on two chairs to straddle two worlds. He became one of Putin's close partners already in the new Russia. He was head of state-controlled huge corporations. He became the symbol of somebody who survive through the 90s and then survive the 2000s and was a part of Putin's entourage. And so, that is why it is very important that he left the country now.

Today, in a lot of Russian telegram channels, you can see a picture of Chubais withdrawing money from an ATM machine in Turkey. Of course, --

LEMON: He's trying to get out. Listen, the question is, are you seeing any signs? Does this show you -- is this reflective of any signs of frustration within President Putin's leadership ranks, Stanislav?

KUCHER: Well, absolutely. Absolutely. At least it is a sign of the frustration of those who have not been members of the FSB clan because Chubais was considered more or less liberal. Even as Putin's friend, still a liberal friend.

And the fact that he decided to leave the country shows that, call it whatever, rats leaving the sheep, but it is definitely a sign of frustration and a fight of the elites.


LEMON: So, if he is withdrawing money from Turkey, does that mean he's gone all together?

KUCHER: I am pretty sure he is. I mean, look, a man of his rank is resigning officially. And Peskov, Putin's press secretary, confirms that. And then, you find Chubais in Turkey. Well, what is it? Just a vacation? I hardly doubt that.

Honestly, I would not be surprised if Chubais appeared, say, tomorrow or one of the next days with a very serious statement. I have already read some of the -- well, those are anonymous reports. According to those reports, Chubais may come up with a very serious statement about Putin's --

LEMON: Okay.

KUCHER: -- plans probably. So, we will know from that statement whether he's gone for good --

LEMON: Well, thank you --

KUCHER: -- from Russia or for just a while.

LEMON: Thank you, Stanislav. We appreciate it. We will see. We appreciate it.

The battle for Kyiv is intensifying as Ukrainians appear to push back Russian forces near the capital. A Ukrainian member of parliament who is there today joins me. That's next.




LEMON: We are just a few hours away from NATO's emergency meeting on the crisis in Ukraine. And tonight, President Zelenskyy is sending an urgent message to NATO leaders, saying, the world must stop the war in Ukraine.

Joining me now is Oleksiy Goncharenko, a member of the Ukrainian parliament. Oleksiy, thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us. You've been traveling all over these past few days. Where have you been? What have you seen?

OLEKSIY GONCHARENKO, MEMBER OF UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT: Hello. Yes, just yesterday, I was in Chernihiv which is the city to the northeast from Kyiv. By the way, one of the oldest cities of Europe with churches, 1,000 years old. Just imagine this. And this city is now completely blocked by Russians.

Last morning, a Russian aircraft bombed the last bridge, (INAUDIBLE) Bridge, in the city which connected it with outer Ukraine. After this, more than 100,000 people there are blocked. For more than a week, they don't have electricity, centralized water heating, gas. Just imagine the awful situation there.

And because Ukraine still has not received the modern air defense systems, aircraft, Russian aircraft just bomb this bridge. And now, the city is completely blocked. And the corridors by which people are leaving the city we're bombed by mortars, by Russian mortars. That's what I see by my own eyes, and that is absolutely awful.

In my Facebook, you can find the pictures of Chernihiv. For example, a crater five meters depth, just imagine this, from Russian ballistic missile which hit the children's library in Chernihiv. It's so awful and we really need air defense just to stop this terror from the skies.

LEMON: Well, Ukrainian troops have been engaged in a counteroffensive in and around the city. Do you feel more secure in the city's defense tonight?

GONCHARENKO: Yes, fortunately, and thanks to our army, thanks to God, we can now counterattack Russians, and this is what we're doing in the southern part of Ukraine and around Kyiv. It is important for millions of people who live in Kyiv because Russian artillery which is staying just close to Kyiv, just 20 and 30 kilometers, is shelling at residential areas.

So, it is important to save thousands of lives, just to push them out from Kyiv, and our army is doing this now. Fortunately, we are very happy with this, and we hope that they will continue to do this.

But for massive counterattack, the massive counteroffensive, which our army is capable of, the problem for us is Russian dominance in the air. We are holding the ground and we even can counterattack on the ground. But in the air, Russians are much stronger. And that's why we need aircraft which we are so desperately asking, this Polish old Soviet MiG, which I don't know why we can't receive for all these weeks.

Today, we have -- this time -- just this time, one month ago, this big invasion started. It is already one month of awful genocide in the middle of the Europe in 21st century.

LEMON: Oleksiy, we thank you for joining us. Be safe, please.

GONCHARENKO: Thank you very much.

LEMON: Russia's invasion of Ukraine hurting the country's most vulnerable, and that is children. One Kyiv hospital worker documenting the truth of Vladimir Putin's war by documenting the horrors she is seeing.



LEMON: I want to turn now to the Ukrainian woman taking up her camera to document how the war is affecting civilians, especially Ukrainian's most vulnerable, in a hospital in Kyiv. Now, look at this photo.

[23:44:56] She has posted this, showing a young mother who had used her own body to shield her baby from shelling. It is a powerful image that struck a core around the world in recent days.

So, I want to bring in now the woman who took that picture, the press secretary of Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital, Anastasiya Magerramova. We thank you for joining us. We appreciate it.

Anastasiya, your city has been under siege for weeks now. And while many of your fellow Ukrainians are taking up arms, you are using your camera as a weapon, really. Tell us how important it is for you to get these images out there.

ANASTASIYA MAGERRAMOVA, PRESS SECRETARY, OKHMATDYT CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: Yes. Thank you. I live in hospital, the biggest children's hospital in Ukraine now. I try to film everything what I see. Every day, I see injured children, wounded children, children with (INAUDIBLE) in their legs, in their arms, in their heads.

I use my phone to capture it because I want the world to know the truth, what is happening now in Ukraine, that children are suffering, civil people are suffering. The girls -- as you can see, for example, this girl, we took the shrapnel, this shrapnel from her leg recently, and it's not okay.

LEMON: Oh, my goodness.

MAGERRAMOVA: It's a really terrible thing.

LEMON: Anastasiya, I want to talk about this -- say again, you are cut off?

MAGERRAMOVA: Yes. I want to say, every day, we see injured children. We want the world to know the truth. So, thank you for speaking with us because we want the world to know the truth, how it is terrible in Ukraine now. The children are suffering and it's not okay. And we want the world to help us, help our country to stop it.

LEMON: Yeah, I apologize for it. There is a delay between us. Let's talk more about this picture. It's of a young mother named Olga. Olga used her body to shield her baby daughter from shelling. This picture has been seen all over the world now. Can you tell us, this family story, please, Anastasiya?

MAGERRAMOVA: Recently, we got this family. They were injured. This woman covered her one-month baby, one month daughter. Her name is Victoria, this little girl.

She just took her to feed her baby and a rocket got into their house. The Russian rocket got into her house not far away. And she covered her baby with her body. She got 25 injuries. And she was wounded and our surgeon made few operations, surgeries. And she saved her baby. But baby is okay. Her husband was wounded. He was wounded but the baby is okay.

LEMON: Why do you think this picture struck such a chord with so many people?

MAGERRAMOVA: I don't hear you.

LEMON: Why do you think so many people were drawn to this picture, that it affected so many people?

MAGERRAMOVA: Because she is like Madonna with her baby. Ukrainian mothers -- save her baby. She could die but saved her baby, you know. It is really passionate. When I saw and when I heard the story, I was crying because I can't imagine what she went through when it happened.

They were really terrified. When they came to the hospital, they were in shock. They didn't expect that rocket got into their yard. And she was crying also. But now they are okay and we hope everything will be okay.

LEMON: Well, we are so happy that you could join us. We hope that they're okay, and we hope that you're okay as well. Please stay safe, Anastasiya Magerramova. Thank you. We appreciate your pictures. Very nice.

MAGERRAMOVA: Thank you, too. And I just wanted to show you piece of rocket that we found at children's hospital recently. A rocket got into the house not far away from our hospital and this is a piece of this rocket.


It's not okay that rockets are flying near the children's hospital.

LEMON: Thank you. You're right, it's not okay. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. We will be right back, everyone. Thank you.


LEMON: In Kharkiv, nearly 1,000 homes have been destroyed. But in the midst of the destruction, there is this.




LEMON: Beautiful. Cellist Denys Karachevtsev performing "Bach" on the rubble-strewn streets of Kharkiv, his hometown. Playing his heart out to raise funds for humanitarian aid and restore the heroic city he loves.

Our live coverage continues.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) UNKNOWN (voice-over): This is "CNN Breaking News."

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Hello and welcome to our viewers around the world this hour and also in the United States. I'm Hala Gorani reporting live from Lviv in Ukraine.