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Don Lemon Tonight

Picture Tells A Thousand Words; CNN Team Caught In Fight; Russia Calls Facts As Fake News; Russian Oligarch's Wealth Seized By Spain; SCOTUS Soon To Have First Female Black Justice. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired April 04, 2022 - 22:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Well, if the Russians thought that their atrocities were going to get the Ukrainian people to sit down and shut up and surrender, this is what we saw when we entered Lviv. On the right you see a sign welcoming us to the city. That's Lviv in Ukrainian. On the left this massive sign that reads Russian occupier go f yourself. That's the big banner right there.

But I got to say, it does feel, Don, like we are entering this new -- this new -- a new phase kind of that, the slaughter of civilians, what we saw in Bucha, it's not an errant missile strike, it's not an accident. This is execution-style killing of innocent civilians.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Yes. And let's hope those who are responsible are held accountable as much as, as many as they -- as much as can be, I should say. Jake, thank you. I'll see you tomorrow. Get some rest, my friend. Back tomorrow night. Thanks so much.


Our breaking news. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who will address the U.N. Security Council tomorrow by the way, warning of untold civilian casualties in liberated Ukrainian cities.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): There is already information that the number of victims of the occupiers may be higher in Borodyanka in some other liberated cities. In many villages of the liberated districts of the Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy regions, the occupiers did thinks that the locals had not seen even during the Nazi occupation 80 years ago. The occupiers will definitely bear responsibility for this.


LEMON: The world reacting in horror tonight to what we have seen in Kyiv, the suburb of Bucha. Civilians facing a brutal cruel enemy and paying a terrible, terrible price for it. And I have to warn you it is painful to look at these pictures that I'm about to show you. They are graphic and disturbing. Yes, the warning we give you to tell you that you should brace for it,

brace yourself, but can you ever be prepared for this? For people, for human beings killed and left in the streets where they fell? For the world to see and bear witness?

Look at that. Russian troops retreated and this is what they left behind. Some people shot execution style. Some allegedly tortured. One man there surrounded by what looks like his groceries, a bag of potatoes spilled in the road.

Another next to a bicycle. A dog sitting beside him. Some people with their hands still tied behind their backs.

Ukraine's foreign minister says that the horrors in Bucha are, quote, "just the tip of the iceberg." It's hard to believe the apparently cruelty, the inhumanity. And that's exactly why it is important not to look away. That's tough.

Look, when I was there and I spoke to -- on my last day there, the journalist, Mariska (Ph) who works for one of the news networks, some of the things quite honestly, she was surprised that the American media could even show on television. For them, there is an editorial decision. They make an editorial decision by saying, by wondering if the people there are dealing with too much to see these images.

And so, we had a conversation about I said we should show them so that the world could see the horror, we shouldn't cover it up. That's why people would support them. That's why people, the U.S. citizens, the U.S. government, NATO would give them what they needed in order to fight this war.

And I do think it's important to see those images, that we can't turn away. It is why we have a free press and why we want to continue to be able to have a free press so that we don't end up in a situation that's nearly as horrible as what is happening in Ukraine because of Russia.

Someone loved these people that you saw there in those images. Not just images. It's real. They had people that they loved, right? They lived. And now they are dead. It took less than six weeks for their suburb to turn into a hellscape.

The images you are seeing with your own eyes are the truth of what is happening in Ukraine right now. The truth of what Vladimir Putin is doing.

President of the United States Joe Biden saying that the death and destruction in Bucha is a war crime and calling for Putin to stand trial.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: He is war criminal. We have to gather all the details so this can be -- actual have a war crime trial. This guy is brutal. And what's happening in Bucha is outrageous. (END VIDEO CLIP)


LEMON: People in Bucha doing what would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago, collecting the dead bodies of their neighbors.

CNN's Phil Black has more now. Phil?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, this is more than just the indifference to civilian life. We have seen throughout this war, through Russia's continuous bombardment of people's homes and other non-military targets, what we are hearing from Bucha and other areas Russia recently pulled back from, what the disturbing images show is that civilians were targeted, deliberately killed. Some execution style. Some tortured as well.


BLACK (voice over): There is little point closing the back doors of this van. It's stopping frequently, picking up those who didn't survive Russia's brief occupation of Bucha. Each person is photographed. Where possible, I.D. is checked. And where necessary, bindings are removed.

Their clothes, their belongings and in some cases their restraints all indicate these people were a threat to no one in the moments before they were killed. In normal times Sviatoslav Venchenka (Ph) is a painter. Now he collects bodies. "This one was carrying potatoes, he says. You can see they are all civilians and snipers shot them all in the head. This is how they were having fun."

Tatyana Valibirivna (Ph) weeps beside her husband's shallow grave. She says he was taken from their home and weeks later found in a basement, tortured, mutilated, shot in the head. Ukraine's defense ministry released this video of another basement in Bucha.

A CNN team visited the site and saw five dead men. Their hands were tied. Most were shot in the head and legs. President Zelenskyy came to Bucha and walked its streets saying, it's very difficult to negotiate with Russia when you see what they have done here.

Ukraine says it will investigate Russia's war crimes. The European Union says it will help. No need, says Russia because all of this has been staged. A resident says this equally sincere message was scribbled with lipstick in a Bucha home by a Russian soldier. Thanks for the warm welcome, it says. Sorry about the mess.

Russia's mess. The extraordinary suffering. Death and trauma inflicted during just a few weeks of occupation is only starting to be understood. For those who live through it, it's unlikely to ever be forgiven.


BLACK (on camera): Russian officials have denied its forces were responsible in a series of statements insisting everything you just saw and more is fake, that it's been staged. But western governments are absolutely of the view that no one else could be responsible for these atrocities. These communities were under Russian occupation.

The concern here in Ukraine is that what we're seeing in Bucha is a small window into what may have been happening in Russian-occupied areas across Ukraine from the very earliest days of the war. Don.

LEMON: Phil, Phil Black, thank you so much. I appreciate that. I want to bring in now photojournalist, a photojournalist whose powerful pictures in the Washington Post bring home the horror of Vladimir Putin's war in Bucha. Heidi Levine is her name and she joins me now. Hi, Heidi, how are you?

HEIDI LEVINE, PHOTOJOURNALIST: I'm fine. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. This is also an important opportunity to show the world what actually is happening here.

LEMON: Yes. Look, Heidi, we've got to warn you about these photos that you took in Bucha. It is -- they are incredibly graphic. It shows volunteers collecting bodies and placing them in bags.


LEMON: Tell me more about what you witnessed, please.

LEVINE: I saw -- I counted the bodies of eight males. Some of them had their hands bonded behind their backs. The volunteers were cutting the tape. It was clear plastic. Their hands were really heavily bonded behind their backs. You could clearly see that these men were civilians. I saw that many of them had been shot in the head. Some were shot in the waist area.

And one by one the volunteers put them in body bags and then carried them to a white van and loaded their bodies up. It was -- it was a horrific scene, and, unfortunately, I think we are just scratching the surface of the horror that is unfolding during this war.


LEMON: Yes. Yes. There is another photo that you took in Bucha and it shows a woman standing outside her damaged home with her fists up in the air.


LEMON: Her name is Larissa Svenko (Ph).


LEMON: What did she tell you about her interaction with Russian forces?

LEVINE: Well, she told me that, I mean, first of all, she never fled. And she has been living under this horror since February 27th she said. She said that her son even counted -- let me back up and explain.

I mean, all of this fighting on her street was just, you know, you couldn't even count how many Russian military vehicles were in between this road of houses on either side. And she told me that her son even counted at one time 72 vehicles. And the troops, the Russian troops actually entered her house, she said, and demanded her documents, demanded her cellphone, and told her that she's -- she should consider herself very lucky because any other troops would have shot her in the head.

She was bunkering down in the basement, but she could see from a window that her neighbor's house was on fire. She told me that one of her neighbors had tried to stop one of the Russian tanks and they just shot him. And, I mean, the stories are just -- it's really hard to imagine that these stories are even true.

I mean, we are in Europe. This is 2022. And the more stories we're listening to, it's just -- it becomes more horrific as we -- as people tell us about what they endured. Living under Russian occupation here.

LEMON: Look, there is another photo. Let's talk about the photo and then I'll talk to you about this later. Talk to me about this other photo you took in Irpin, a woman from Bucha sitting amongst destroyed cars waiting for help to cross under a destroyed bridge -- bridge. Where was she going?

LEVINE: Yes. Well, she was fleeing Bucha in the very beginning when the Ukrainian forces were liberating Bucha and she was disabled. You can see that she is with a walker. She was actually trying to flee. It was a day that a lot of elderly people were being helped out by volunteers.

It was freezing that day. She was sitting, as you can see, in the middle of all of these cars that are upside down and burned. There was missile strikes on this bridge. I had been covering this bridge area for weeks. And she just was waiting for a really long time. She spoke of horrific circumstances. She talked about people seeing her neighbors killed.

Another woman I met also was disabled and she was in the back of a van and had a letter to her son written with a phone number. People -- these people were in shock. But you could see that they were grateful to finally escape the conditions that they had been living under.

It was not easy. You have to understand that a lot of people didn't want to leave. They suspect want to leave their houses. They had nowhere to go. They didn't have money. Many of the people, especially the elderly, are disabled. And they stayed.

And, you know, to the very end in Bucha. We met -- I met a lot of people that had stayed because they just felt that they had no choice. And no way to escape because a lot of the people that were trying to escape and flee towards Irpin were killed on the way. I mean, I saw another man that had been killed as well laying amongst all of his groceries on the road towards Irpin. So, I mean --


LEMON: Is this the guy with the potatoes there? You know, you can see the potatoes in his bag? It was like a plastic grocery bag that may -- I mean, I'm sure there were a number of folks like that.

LEVINE: No. This is a different man. And he actually had -- the man I'm talking about actually had a white band on his arm. So, you know, of course, you know, a white flag, a white band, a white tie on a car is a sign that you're a civilian and you're trying to flee in peace.


You're not a threat. And as we have seen, civilians were deliberately targeted.

LEMON: Just slaughtered. You also took a photo in Bucha of Ukrainian soldiers walking in front of destroyed Russian vehicles. Did you learn anything from the people you spoke to about what the fighting was like to do this kind of damage?

LEVINE: Well, back to Louisa, she, I mean, can you imagine that all of those vehicles were just right in front of her house? So, they, you know, this population was living under bombardment for weeks. I mean, the Russians were in there since February 27th. They were trying to hide in their basements. There was no cellphone connection.

And you know, when you're down in the basement, people don't want to -- even if there was electricity, you don't want to turn it on because you don't want the troops to know that someone is in the house.


LEVINE: So, people are just living in complete fear. And as we see, have suffered so much loss. They have lost their homes. They've lost their loved ones. They've lost their neighbors.

LEMON: Yes. It's -- Heidi, it's a -- I don't even have words. You are very brave to be there shooting it. Everyone is sorry for what the folks are dealing with. But we appreciate you documenting this and chronicling it so people know what's going on. Thank you.

LEVINE: Well, thank you. Thank you very much.

LEMON: Be safe. Please be safe.

LEVINE: Thank you. You, too.

LEMON: So, I want to go now to CNN military analyst and retired air force colonel Cedric Leighton. So, Colonel, thank you.

Before we talk about what's happening, what I was going to tell Heidi is that, you can talk -- when you talk to the Ukrainian people, they try to be strong. They don't want to cry. They don't want to show emotion until the passion comes in and they get very animated when you ask them about Vladimir Putin. I have a group of students who I interviewed today who are here in the

United States, now refugees, and they kept -- you know, I got to study, do this, I'm worried about my mom, I'm going to do, and then the moment you ask them about Vladimir Putin they all break down and they start crying and they tell you he's a monster.

And that's -- for my CNN Plus show I will interview them. But pretty much everybody I interviewed, is like they have a particular ire, and for good reason, for Vladimir Putin. They hate him. Hate him.

CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, I could only imagine, Don. I mean, this is, you know, one of the most tragic things that has ever happened anywhere in the world. And for it to happen in a place that we never expected to happen like Europe, you know, in the 21st century, that, you know, I think is compounds the feeling that they have and I think many of us share that feeling, actually.

LEMON: Yes. So, let's talk about the photo. The interview I just did in the photos we just saw. So, you got this human, this hideous human carnage who are also seeing the shells of Russian armor in Heidi's photographs from Bucha.

And you look at, you know, I asked Frederik Pleitgen, I'm going to talk to him a little bit later on, but I've been talking to him and I said all of these tanks, these are all Russian tanks. So, talk to me about this. What are you able to tell from these photographs?

LEIGHTON: Right, Don. Well, this is, the top vehicle here is actually a BTR-80, which is an armored personnel carrier. And these areas right here, these axles are actually for tires. There are four of them. They are huge tired that are normally on this. All of this has been burned off. Every single one of these tires is gone.

Underneath this BTR-80 is a T-72 Russian tank. You can see the tracks right here that are also basically destroyed in, you know, some kind of a fire that they -- these vehicles obviously, experienced. But the big thing here is that these vehicles must have been subject to some kind of an attack, probably from the Ukrainians, maybe from one of their drones because this kind of chaos that you see right here is not the hallmark of a disciplined convoy.

What it is, is chaos, panic, you know, one vehicle running into the other and people fleeing probably from the scene of this. You know, it speaks -- it speaks volumes to what happened in Bucha and what happened to the people on that street as well as the soldiers, obviously, in these vehicles.

You know, the national security advisor Jake Sullivan saying today, colonel, Russia is revising a war aims and that the next phase of the invasion will focus on surrounding and overwhelming eastern Ukraine. How long and brutal could this next phase be?

LEIGHTON: Well, Don, it could be fairly long and fairly brutal. What you are looking at here is a displacement of forces. This is very interesting right now because all of this is light yellow. That means Ukrainian controlled. [22:20:05]

This is the first time that we've seen it to this extent on these maps that we have been showing you for the last few weeks. The Russian forces are, of course, in red. And the ones that were here, the Russian forces that used to be here, have gone north into Belarus and northeast into Russia.

So, what the idea is that they will come around and join the forces that are already in these northeastern areas of Ukraine and also the separatist forces in Donetsk this region right here. If they do that, that could affect Kharkiv, that could also affect, depending on how they disburse their forces, it could also perhaps give impetus to the Russian forces in the south to go north into Dnipro.

If they do that, if there's a junction of Russian forces at Dnipro that could potentially cut off Ukrainian forces that are trying to protect the eastern flank of Ukraine. So, this is a danger area for the Ukrainians right here and that's something that the Ukrainians are going to have to be very careful of.

They may want to execute a tactical withdrawal in order to minimize the risk to their own forces in this case. But it's a dangerous situation for them and this is a potential that they might have to deal with.

LEMON: Yes. When and how does this all end? That's -- those are the questions. Thank you, Colonel. We appreciate it.

LEIGHTON: You bet, Don. You bet.

LEMON: One very close call for CNN's teams near Mykolaiv. Their heart pounding last-minute escape caught on camera. You'll see the whole thing next.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Down here, John. Down here. Keep on rolling. You see it over there?




LEMON: So, you must watch this. It is a heart pounding situation today for a CNN team near Mykolaiv. Narrowly escaping incoming Russian artillery fire. And I want to turn right away now to CNN's Ben Wedeman.

Ben, man, man. It's good to see you. It's good to see that you're OK. I just saw you a couple of days and you got me worrying here. But your team experienced what Ukrainians have to deal with every single day. What happened? WEDEMAN: We were on our way to not the front. We wanted to go behind

the front. We were driving along this great open area and we saw some Ukrainian troops and in some trenches by the road. We got out. We wanted to know where -- how far the Russians were. It turns out that they were much closer than we thought.


WEDEMAN: This is an area where there has been a fair amount of outgoing as well as incoming artillery, down the road is a town that has been fought over for several days by Russian and Ukrainian forces. In these vast open spaces, the Russians seem far away. They're not.



WEDEMAN: Down here, John, down here. Keep on rolling. You see it over there?

We hugged the earth. Two more artillery rounds.


WEDEMAN: Our cameraman John Torigoe keeps rolling. Alrighty. So, we had two incoming rounds responding to artillery that's been firing in the Russian directions. Those shells came close pretty to us. No one has been injured. The officer tells the translator Valeriia Dubrovska we need to go now.

VALERIIA DUBROVSKA, TRANSLATOR: They said, go away. Like, hid and run!

WEDEMAN: OK, OK. I don't think it's safe. I hope the car is OK.

UNKNOWN: Are you ready to leave?

WEDEMAN: Yes, let's go. And so, we run with full body armor to the cars. One car can't move. Peppered with shrapnel. We're losing -- we're losing petrol.

DUBROVSKA: I can't --

WEDEMAN: No time to lose. Throw it in the back. Driver Igor Tiagno (Ph) razor-focused on getting us to safety. His car also hit.

UNKNOWN: Go, go, go, go, go!

UNKNOWN: Let's go!

UNKNOWN: Go, go, go!

WEDEMAN: All right. Now we are trying to get out of this area as quickly as possible. Our other car completely destroyed. Crammed into this small car we approach closer ground.

KAREEM KHADDER, CNN PRODUCER: We are getting into a hard cover then we'll take a (Inaudible).

WEDEMAN: Producer Kareem Khadder checks the damage to the car. The soldiers we left behind are still out there. We could leave. They can't.


WEDEMAN: And as we were out there, this city, Mykolaiv, was being hit yet again by missiles. In fact, we were woken at 7 o'clock in the morning by large explosions. The first Russian missile strike of the day.


In the afternoon, there was another strike on the market, killed nine people, wounded a total of 46 on Monday. These strikes are Mykolaiv are becoming much more regular and, as we've seen, much more deadly. Don.

LEMON: Ben, my goodness. Russian forces have been trying to take Mykolaiv for weeks. Unrelenting shelling there they have been facing. Is there a sense that the battle there is going to get a whole lot worse if Russians concentrate their focus away from Kyiv?

WEDEMAN: The expectation is they are focus their forces more on the east in the Donbas region. But what we've seen is that the Russians have been significantly pushed back from the outskirts of Mykolaiv, but nobody in this city is under the impression that the threat has gone away.

We have seen city workers cutting down these massive trees in the main boulevards of the city. The intention is to use the large trunks to basically fortify trenches and barricades around the city. The feeling is that whatever is going to happen, the Russians want to punish this city for successfully repulsing the initial Russian assault early in the early weeks of the war. So, nobody is ruling any possible additional further Russian offensive against Mykolaiv. Don.

LEMON: Ben, this is what you do. You have been on numerous battlefields and in war zones. What -- you had your wits about you. What were you thinking though? I mean, this was -- this could have gone south really quickly.

WEDEMAN: I don't want to tell you how close it actually was. But, you know, in situations like this the worst thing you can do is panic. Fear is good. You should be afraid in these situations because fear is really what protects you. But you just have to keep your head because you know you've got to get out of there. You've got to get to safety as quickly as possible. And I have to say the entire crew kept its head focused. We got out safely. We lost a car, but we got out safely.

LEMON: Yes. Damn the car. I'm glad you guys are all safe. The lives are what we are concerned about. And I'm so happy that you are all safe. Great work, Ben. Please be safe, all of you, OK? Thanks so much.

WEDEMAN: Thanks, Don. LEMON: Russia trying to claim the horrific scenes in Bucha are fake

but the evidence is undeniable. Now the world wants to know will Vladimir Putin ever face justice?



LEMON: A warning. This next video graphic and disturbing, mass graves in the town of Bucha giving the world a closer look at the atrocities as Russian forces retreat. But despite what we have seen with our own eyes, Russia is working overtime to keep what is happening from reaching the Russian people.

So I want to bring in now Julia Ioffe. She is the founding partner and Washington correspondent at Puck. Julia, it's good to have you on to talk about this. I mean, this is, you know, what is happening in Bucha is just unbelievable. I mean, many towns, it is appalling. Bucha and also many towns it's appalling.

But the Russians are calling these images fake. They say the whole scene is staged. And they are threatening to arrest and jail anyone who disseminates information about the atrocities. Tell us how Russian media is reporting this because you've been spending some time watching, you've been paying a lot of attention to Russian media.

JULIA IOFFE, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, PUCK: Yes, it's really wild. You know, from the outside at first you think, God, it's the same lazy response, it's fake, it's a provocation. And what they mean by provocation is a false flag attempt, something to discredit Russia.

But I've just spent the last two evenings watching Kremlin TV cover this, and I have to say, you know, if I had no other information, if I were sitting somewhere in a rural part of Russia or in a small city and I wasn't seeking out independent information and this was just all around me, I would totally believe it because they don't just say it's fake.

They just start showing videos where they say, look, the corpse moved a hand or the corpse was wearing a white armband which means that it was Russian, so, therefore, it was shot by Ukraine -- shot Ukrainians.

And they provide these elaborate explanations that, again, if you have no other -- if you are in an informational vacuum, which Russian increasingly is, I would say is, I would believe it. And I'm sure a lot of Russians who watch TV, especially older people who trust the television, older people who believe that Russia and Ukraine should be one country as they used to be for hundreds of years, I would believe it.

LEMON: That's why it's so important. I mean, having been there, the importance of a free press. You cannot -- you cannot overstate it. You cannot understate it. You cannot --

IOFFE: That's why Putin doesn't want a free press, right?


LEMON: Yes, that's why he doesn't want information getting out. That is a good lesson for us, especially what is -- with what we have been dealing with, the assault on the free press in this country recently.

I mean, Russia says when they -- when they controlled Bucha, no civilians were killed. But look at these. Just released satellite images from Maxar Technologies on the right you see the satellite images taken on March 18. On the left corresponding bodies on the street. How important is this in a war crimes investigation you think, Julia?

IOFFE: I think it will be important in a war crimes investigation, but I don't know how far that war crimes investigation will go. You know, are we ever going to see Russian military personnel or even senior members of the Russian government or even Putin himself on trial? I highly doubt it.

Putin seems to be somewhere deep inside of Russia, either in Moscow or in a bunker somewhere. I can't imagine how he would be gotten out of there and brought to trial.

The other thing is that, you know, we saw this before in the summer of 20 -- in July of 2014. Russian-backed separatists with the help of the Russian military and special services accidentally shot down Malaysian airlines flight 17 which was full of civilians. Nearly 300 people were killed. This was right over eastern Ukraine.

And the E.U. led by -- led by the Netherlands, which had the most citizens onboard, led a thorough investigation that took many years that really laid out the evidence extremely convincingly, like you could not -- there was no bones you could pick there. Russia had its own investigation. They did their own presentation that showed all kinds of other theories.

You know, they put on a defense, you know, a defense argument that just muddy the waters and nobody went to trial for that. Nobody was punished. And Russian people, according to the polls, believed their government's version. So, we're still going to have this totally bifurcated picture of what the outside world believes about Russia, when Russians inside Russia believe about themselves.

LEMON: Yes. Julia, we always appreciate having you. Our time is short tonight. We apologize, but we'll have you back very soon. Thank you so much.

IOFFE: Sure.

LEMON: Thank you.

The KleptoCapture task force makes its first seizure. Now one Russian oligarch is down. A $90 million luxury yacht.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: So tonight, a luxury super yacht owned by a Russian oligarch

is in the possession of the Spanish government which seize the $90 million vessel at the request of the DOJ. American officials say the owner of the yacht has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Let's discuss now. CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd is here. I always want to say Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. So, Vladimir Putin we're talking about.

Hi, Phil. Let's talk about this.


LEMON: A Russian billionaire is saying bye-bye to this $90 million super yacht. For rich oligarchs, are they feeling the squeeze on the assets? Is that going to help end this war?

MUDD: I think it will help. I mean, I think that's only half the question. If you look at what you got to do in a case like this, the same thing we do in an all-out war against Al Qaeda years ago.

This is python policy. You go after them on the war field. You give the Ukrainians weapons. You stop trading in rubles. You try to stop the transfer of oil and particularly gas to western Europe. And then you go after friends and family who have acquired their money through corruption.

So, I think it will work. I think people around him are going to start to say, wow, my yacht is gone, I can't travel, I can't pay for my kid's school in London. That said, Don, the other half of this is you don't have a choice. If you are sitting around the situation room and somebody says why don't we sanction the oligarchs, even if you don't think it will have a tremendous impact you have no choice, you got to do it, Don.

LEMON: Yes. Listen, I have heard both sides of this. I mean, I've heard what you are saying and other folks saying, yes, if you believe that you don't understand the way, you know, the oligarchs work in the -- you heard that before, right?

MUDD: Yes. But again, say you are sitting around in the situation room. And I've been there many times. Someone says we have a lot of options to go after Vladimir Putin and some of them are significant. For example, anti-tank weapons for the Ukrainians. Some of them are more per peripheral, going after the money of his associates. What do you say, no?


MUDD: So, I don't really care about critics who say it doesn't work. I'd say sit in the White House and say we are not going do it.

LEMON: Yes. So, Viktor Vekselberg, the Russian billionaire that owns this yacht that we were just showing, he says that he has close ties with Putin. He had already been sanctioned by the United States. Do you think that these mega rich guys are talking to Putin about the fact that it's getting a lot harder to spend their money or do they fear him too much to do that? I mean, you know, that they can't send their kids to private school, as you said. Do you think they're talking to him about it?

MUDD: No, if you look at what's happening in the past few weeks, if you look at, for example, how Putin humiliated his intelligence minister for questioning him in public, if you look at what the stories that have come out about defense officials saying they won't speak to Putin.

If you look at the environment minister who left a few weeks presumably because he was afraid. There is no way I presume that an oligarch would look at Putin and have a different reaction than those government officials who have seen an ex-KGB officer and sit back and say I'm not telling him the truth. That's one problem here. The truth is not going to penetrate. And even these people aren't going to tell Putin, I don't think.

LEMON: Phil Mudd, thank you, sir. Talk to you soon.

MUDD: Thanks.

LEMON: All right.

Here at home Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is on the path to be confirmed as the first black woman on the Supreme Court this week, and three GOP senators are bucking their party to support her.



LEMON: Later this week, the Senate is expected to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court. Today, in a procedural mood the Senate voted 53 to 47 to advance her nomination to the floor. Three Republicans, Senators Susan Collins, Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski voting with Democrats in support of Judge Jackson. Romney and Murkowski announcing just today that they support her.

Collins had announced last month that she would vote to confirm. Senator Murkowski also telling CNN that when she and Judge Jackson met privately, she apologized for how the judge was treated by some of the Republicans on the Senate judiciary committee whom Murkowski says launched unwarranted personal attacks on the judge. Stay tuned.


Terrific toll of the war on full display in Ukrainian town of Bucha. Now President Zelenskyy is warning it could be even worse in other parts of the country.


LEMON: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. The Pentagon now saying it is seeing more activity by Russian forces

in eastern Ukraine, especially in the Donbas region and that Russia is likely hoping to capture the city of Kharkiv. But as Russian troops from the areas around Kyiv, the world is witnessing scenes of horror in the town of Bucha. The video is graphic and it's hard to watch.

Bodies of civilians lying in the streets. Many of the victims shot at close range. Some with their hands tied behind their backs. Ukraine's president calling it genocide. President Biden saying this.



BIDEN: He is a war criminal. But we have to gather the information, we have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue the fight, and we have to gather all of the detail so this can be actual to have a war time trial.