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CNN Visits Lviv Children's Hospital Amid Russian Invasion; NATO Chief: No NATO Planes In Ukrainian Airspace; Gas Prices Spike 11 Cents A Gallon Overnight. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired March 04, 2022 - 10:30   ET




JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: The fighting in Ukraine has yet to reach us here in the city of Lviv. So the Children's Hospital has taken in more than 100 of the nation's smallest and most vulnerable cancer patients from other parts of the country.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Our colleague CNN's Anderson Cooper spoke with a doctor who has barely slept in three days and warns the hospital will soon face shortages of vital drugs.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): He's trying to get as many kids as possible into hospitals in Poland to save their lives.

DR. ROMAN KIZYMA, WESTERN UKRAINIAN SPECIALIZED PEDIATRIC MEDICAL CENTER: A lot of them will die in the nearest future because of these shortages of drugs. And these treatment breaks and not only for cancer, but a lot of other things. And we know that and we are desperate.

COOPER (voice-over): The rooms here are crowded conditions are less than ideal.

KIZYMA: We have the constant air alarm, like we had four of them last night, I guess. And we --

COOPER (on camera): Air raid sirens.

KIZYMA: Yes. And then we have to have all these kids grabbed and taken into shelter.

COOPER: So every time there's an air raid siren, you have to, even if it's a false alarm, you have to bring them.

KIZYMA: Yes, yes, it is a mess. And it is looked like I've never seen that like in the movies. You know, a lot of both kids and mothers crying and they are just running somewhere.

COOPER: What game are you playing? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dragon.

COOPER: How do you play?

(voice-over): Eight-year-old Alexi (ph) has brain cancer. He'd been making good progress in Kyiv until the war stopped his treatment. He got here four days ago with his mother Lita (ph). How are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It is difficult. Because we've gone through such a long way of treatment, we have been getting treatment for a year now. And then we had such a little step left to make to the finishing line to the happy end, this dream abruptly stops.

COOPER (voice-over): Tomorrow, she'll take Alexi (ph) by bus to a hospital in Poland. She's left her other children behind in Kyiv.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My youngest is three and my oldest is 16. They have to stay there and my heart is breaking. I am grateful that we can go and continue the treatment and help my child who really needs it right now. But on the other side, I am so worried as I'm leaving my two other kids behind.

COOPER (on camera): That is an impossible decision to have to make.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes, but we have made it so far in the treatment and I have strong belief that our treatment will be successful.

COOPER (voice-over): In another room, we met Bagdan (ph).

(on camera): Is this your truck?

(voice-over): At two, he survived a heart attack, a stroke, and stomach cancer. Now eight, the cancers come back. His mother Natalia (ph) is with him around the clock.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We have only gone through one course of chemotherapy. Now we are doing more blood tests. So far, the results are not good. They're preparing for the second course of the therapy. You know it is very difficult now. And when the sirens go off, the doctors come and disconnect him from the treatment.

COOPER (on camera): What is it like to be a mother trying to protect a child during this war?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It is so difficult. I cannot just put it into words. Do you understand it is impossible to put it into words because every mother wants their baby to be housed.

COOPER: How do you explain what is happening to an eight-year-old?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I am trying not to involve him too much in the situation, not to traumatize him. When we are running, he asks if we can take a break as he wants to walk a bit. He wants to walk around his room a bit as he is constantly bedridden getting the treatment. At first, when we were going down to the bunker, he was getting very scared. What is going on? Everyone is running to hide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in Foreign Language).

COOPER: It's scary to see the other people who are scared. You're very brave.

(voice-over): There is no shortage of bravery in this place. These kids, these moms, they've been fighting for years.

Anderson Cooper, CNN, Lviv, Ukraine.


SCIUTTO: Those poor children. Our next guest is setting up emergency response activities here in Ukraine as well as dispatching medical teams to neighboring countries that are receiving a whole heck of a lot of refugees from here. Kate White is the emergency program manager for Doctors Without Borders. Kate, I imagine you have joint challenges now, right, because you have to provide medical care to all the people in this country of 40 million that already needed medical care like those children and then you have civilians who are now becoming the victims of war. Does Ukraine have the resources for this? Is the world providing the resources it needs?


KATE WHITE, EMERGENCY PROGRAM MANAGER, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: I think any country in this situation wouldn't necessarily have the resources for this. I mean, we are talking an extreme disruption to our health system where there was significant needs there previously. And now on top of like those cancer cases that you heard in the previous story, there's diabetes patients, hypertension, on top of all of that, you have those who've been acutely impacted by the war in terms of trauma.

And it's something that creates a massive burden on a system, which will be struggling, which will, is struggling to cope, because it has all of these patients coming in. And then on top of that, due to the conflict itself, people are struggling to access health services as well.

HILL: You know, there's so much that you just brought up there and what you said there's the access to both healthcare and to critical medical supplies, also the mental health needs, the trauma, that is ongoing and will continue. What are the biggest challenges for you as an organization right now in terms of making sure that people have access to both those supplies and to the care?

WHITE: I mean, you say it already in your in your question, the biggest challenge is access. So people have challenges to access health care. And we have challenges due to the nature of the conflict, to be able to access those health facilities, and also get bring supply through the country. So it's not about just getting supplies in to Ukraine, it's about having the ability to move it round to the areas that need it most.

SCIUTTO: Yes, in the midst of a war. Kate, about a million people have already fled the country, it's a country of 40 million, many more will likely follow those million. Is there any estimate of how many, is there preparation, are organizations like yours and the surrounding countries ready to take in this refugee flow? I mean, it far outpaces what we saw out of Syria so far, just so quickly.

WHITE: Yes, I mean, it's only really been a week since the escalation of this conflict, and more than a million people have crossed according to UNHCR. A few days ago, there were predictions that it might be in the vicinity of 2.5 to 4 million people. However, no one really knows the extent of what it will look like. What we do know right now is that all of the countries surrounding Ukraine are scaling up in terms of their response. We are extraordinarily lucky that we're able as MSF to be in all of those countries.

But I have to say that in terms of the organizations that are responding, there's this incredible spirit of humanity to really support the people that are crossing out. It's immense. What I worry about, though, is how long will that hold for because when you have such an incredible burden on your system of people coming in, in such a short space of time, that generosity of spirit sometimes starts to fail.


HILL: Kate White, appreciate you joining us this morning and appreciate everything that you and your colleagues are doing. Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Yes. And we're going to certainly do our best to keep the attention on those needs.


Still ahead this hour, NATO's best options to help Ukraine as the Secretary General, warns a no fly zone over Ukraine, it's not on the table.


HILL: Just into CNN, a senior U.S. defense official now says Russian forces have advanced closer to Kyiv that they're now roughly 15 miles outside the capitol. Also this morning to NATO Secretary General standing firm, a NATO no fly zone is not an option.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: The only way to implement a no fly zone is to send NATO planes, fighter planes, into Ukraine airspace, and then impose that no fly zone by shooting down Russian planes. I believe that if we did that, we'll end up with something that could end in a full fledge war in Europe.


SCIUTTO: Joining us now Professor Michael Kimmage of the Catholic Universities, a specialist in U.S.-Russia relations and Kim Dozier, she's a CNN Global Affairs analyst. Kim, the U.S. and NATO, they are supplying the Ukrainian military with some powerful weapons, shoulder fired missiles, javelins, meant for tank and armor and stingers meant for targets in the air. Also intelligent sharing, but not -- they're not going to do a no fly zone. They don't want to go head to head with Russian forces there and as the Secretary General said and the, you know, the risk of war. Are there options beyond what the U.S. and NATO are doing now short of a no fly zone that would supply the Ukrainians with additional support?


KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, I hate to say there's not much. They could send in something like Patriot missile batteries, something that could help deter Russian air attacks. But the fact of the matter is, by not leaving some of those U.S. or NATO forces behind that could run some of those systems, they don't have time to train the Ukrainians up in the middle of a hot fight on some of these sophisticated anti-air type defenses.

And, you know, from the moment they decided to pull all the troops out, this was a sort of, you know, what they're providing them buys the Ukrainians time. But the Russian army is conducting its standard operation and circling cities, cutting them off, leaving the communications on so that they can gather intelligence on where the best targets are. But barraging the cities to drive the civilians out, and just leave the hardcore behind and then mop them up.

HILL: You know, Michael Kimmage just mentioned this, this sort of standard operating procedure for Russia. What we're also seeing, you know, as our colleague, Nick Paton Walsh, was just reporting is this as he referred to this fake movie, and how quickly this effort has been rolled out from the Russian playbook, to bring in aid to sort of create this fake narrative of what's going on and that Russians are being welcomed with open arms. How effective is that going to be though for Putin as he continues this and we know as the propaganda continues in Russia?

MICHAEL KIMMAGE, SPECIALIST IN U.S.-RUSSIA RELATIONS & COLD WAR HISTORY: Well, certainly internationally, it's going to be completely ineffective. I think it's safe to say that Putin has lost political arguments internationally. He's lost it absolutely. I think it will be to a degree effective in Russia for a while, you cut down here in Russia and punitive measures for anybody who departs from the party line. So that will last for a while, but it probably won't last forever. The question is, if lasts long enough for the Russian military to see the interim.

SCIUTTO: Michael as Bill Browder last hour, and he of course has tremendous experience in Russia, he's now a target of Vladimir Putin himself. And I asked him is the possibility of a palace coup at all realistic, and he made the point that Putin is paranoid, and he's keeps himself away from any threat, even those long tables we've seen as he meets with people not so much about COVID, but about protecting himself, Bill Browder said from the possibility of assassination. I wondered, do you see the possibility potential for an internal challenge to his leadership?

KIMMAGE: I think it's remote. I think Putin has built in Russia a machine that only he can run. So that's a built in disincentive for anybody who might disagree with his policies or want to see him removed. It's a disincentive to act against him. So it's very, very difficult, but obviously, he's putting his whole system under tremendous strain. So it may break if not quite --

HILL: Michael Kimmage, Kim Dozier, really appreciate both joining us this morning. Thank you.


Just ahead, the tangible impact being seen, being felt here in the United States in regards to Russia's attack on Ukraine, the average price of gas spiking 11 cents overnight as you can see some really extreme prices. These numbers out of California, more than $7 a gallon in some places. What else can you expect? That's next.


HILL: We're seeing some pretty remarkable spikes in the price of gas continuing to climb here. The largest price increases we've seen since Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. The latest spike 11 cents overnight. CNN's Matt Egan joining me now. So without an outright ban on Russian oil imports, right, there's some bipartisan support. But I mean, how would that, as we look at these prices rise, how would that impact prices further?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Is banning Russian oil into the United States probably wouldn't be that big of a deal for the simple reason that we don't really use much Russian oil here. Just 90,000 barrels per day were sent into the United States by Russia in December. That's less than 2 percent of total U.S. oil imports. The bigger question is whether or not there's outright sanctions put on Russian oil because that would mean not only the United States wouldn't use it, it would mean that virtually no one would be able to.

Russia is a big player in the oil market. Our allies in Europe use a lot of Russian oil so that would be a bigger deal. In the meantime, people just don't know what's going to happen with sanctions. So no one really wants to touch Russian oil, refiners, shipping companies, trading companies, banks, there's been like this de facto ban on Russian oil that's driven up oil prices and prices at the pump.

The national average up to 3.84 a gallon, highest level in nearly a decade, as you mentioned 11 cent increase overnight. I haven't seen anything like that since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Nine states are already at $4 a gallon. New York, Pennsylvania became the latest, California first state ever to record an average north of $5 a gallon. Prices are probably going to keep going up because oil prices have gone up.


HILL: Yes.

EGAN: At some point, this is going to start to slow down the U.S. economy. Maybe some people don't take road trips. They don't go out to eat. We're not there yet. But we got a lot closer in just the last few days.

HILL: Eleven cents overnight is, you know, I mean that you definitely can't ignore.

EGAN: It's amazing.

HILL: Matt, yes, I appreciate it. Thank you.

And thanks to all of you for joining us today. I'm Erica Hill in New York.

SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto in Lviv, Ukraine. We will continue to bring you all the news from the ongoing war here in Ukraine at this hour with Kate Bolduan will start right after a quick break.