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Mass Shooting In U.S. Grocery Store; Russia Fails To Cross Key River; U.S. Promising More Aid To Ukraine; Ukraine's Humanitarian Crisis; Finland To Join NATO; Housing The Displaced In Lviv. Aired 5- 6a ET
Aired May 15, 2022 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hello, welcome to watching us here and around the world, I am Kim Brunhuber.
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GRADY LEWIS, SHOOTING EYEWITNESS: I'd seen the guy go in Army style, bent over, just shooting at people. And I heard him shooting at people and then I saw three people laying down.
And I didn't have a phone on me, so I was just screaming for somebody to call the police.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: Another deadly mass shooting in the United States as officials are calling it "racially motivated."
Plus the last day of the ministers of foreign affairs in Germany. Finland is expected to announced it intends to join. We are live in Berlin in the coming hour and Helsinki with the latest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Kim Brunhuber.
BRUNHUBER: We begin with another mass shooting. Ten people were killed when an 18-year-old white male opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in a largely African American neighborhood. Witnesses describing a scene that's horrifying and heartbreaking. Police are calling the attack racially motivated.
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SHERIFF JOHN GARCIA, ERIE COUNTY, NEW YORK: This was pure evil. It was a straight up, racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community, outside of the city of good neighbors, as the mayor said, coming into our community and trying to inflict that evil upon us.
I urge everyone to stay calm. And we are there to protect the citizens of Erie County and Buffalo. We'll be out there along with the City of Buffalo Police Department patrolling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: The suspect Payton Gendron has been charged with first degree murder. Investigators reviewed a 180-page manifesto written by the shooter, in which describes his perceptions of the dwindling size of the white population.
The suspect drove to Buffalo heavily armed, wearing tactical gear and a camera, livestreaming his activities. In the news conference following the shooting, the mayor explains how the shooter came from outside the community to commit the crime.
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MAYOR BYRON BROWN, BUFFALO, NEW YORK: The shooter was not from this community. In fact, the shooter traveled hours from outside this community to perpetrate this crime on the people of Buffalo, a day when people were enjoying the sunshine, enjoying family, enjoying friends, all manner of happy activities.
People in a supermarket shopping and bullets raining down on them. People's lives being snuffed out in an instant for no reason.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: Joining me from Buffalo is Mark Sommer, a reporter with "The Buffalo News."
Thanks so much for being with us.
Just to start, what more are we learning about exactly how this terrible crime unfolded?
MARK SOMMER, "THE BUFFALO NEWS": What we know right now is that, at approximately 2:30 Saturday afternoon, at a busy Tops supermarket, in a predominantly Black neighborhood, the shooter showed up. He was dressed in body armor, he had a military helmet with a camera for livestreaming.
And, of course, he had a high powered rifle that he used for his killing spree. He shot a few people in the parking lot. He went into the supermarket. There was a retired -- recently retired Buffalo policeman, working security. They exchanged gunfire. The officer was killed.
And then the shooter went inside and started shooting people. As you can imagine, there was all kinds of chaos, people trying to elude the shooter. One woman talked about falling down a few times as she ran toward the back and got out an exit door.
There was an employee who was working in the milk cooler, when he heard the shots, so he didn't leave there. He just hoped the door wouldn't be opened with someone shooting at him. So it was just a horrific, horrific scene.
The shooter eventually came out of the supermarket. He put a gun to himself, he was going to -- it appeared like he was threatening to shoot himself. But the police tackled him and arrested him. And he has been arraigned.
BRUNHUBER: And now that alleged perpetrator, self described white supremacist, what more are we learning about him and the possible reasons behind this?
SOMMER: Sure. He reportedly left behind what appears to be a 180-page manifesto and he is only 18 years old, let's remember, which is pretty amazing.
SOMMER: It is a very, very detailed manifesto. Some of it is more lucid than some that I have seen in the past when I've read these things: virulent racism and anti-Semitism.
He seems to reserve more hatred for Jews than anyone else in this manifesto. He is a practitioner of something called the great replacement theory. He talks a lot about that in the manifesto. That has been something promoted by white supremacists for a long time. And it is something heard on right wing talk radio routinely.
The idea is basically that white Americans are being intentionally removed from the United States, U.S. white citizens being removed by immigrants into this country. You know, it is a view that he must just live in the dark corners of the web.
But four days ago, the Associated Press did a poll to see what the Americans thought about the so-called great replacement theory. And they found that one-third of Americans saw some believability in this idea, this generally discredited idea.
BRUNHUBER: Yes, shocking how mainstream it has become. Now you've covered the community for a long time. The community there must be so shattered by this absolute horror.
How are they coping with the grief and the anger here?
SOMMER: There is a lot of anger. Down at the supermarket today, people were really furious. And there is just shock, there is dismay, people are horrified. It is the kind of thing that you read about in another city, another town, another part of the world.
And you never think that it will happen in your own backyard. You know, sadly in this country, it is just a month ago that we saw the mass shooting in Brooklyn. But it has become routine in the United States of America.
One would never have thought that, not that many years ago, that something like this could become routine. So you know, with all the other emotions, just heartbreak, sheer horribleness of what happened, the thought that somebody could be so deranged that they would want to go in and kill innocent people like this.
BRUNHUBER: Absolutely. Well, listen, we'll have to leave it there. But Mark Sommer with "The Buffalo News," thanks so much for being with us.
SOMMER: Sure thing.
BRUNHUBER: We are hearing more from people close to the Buffalo supermarket. Here is what an eyewitness had to say.
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MARK MANNA, UNITED FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS: I hear that somebody came in heavily armed. Just walked in and started shooting. I spoke to one of the workers on my way here and she said that, you know, her family members are calling her and her co-workers and it was just like something out of a war movie.
Just non-stop shooting. People running, screaming. The person was in tactical gear, a lot of guns, a lot of some kind of armor or something. So it looks like -- I'm not going to speculate -- but it seemed like somebody came here on a mission.
And again, you know, the big picture is that these poor workers, who come here every day to punch a clock and just put money in their pockets, it's terrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: As leaders and organizations have been voicing their anger and condemnation over another shooting allegedly driven by hate, President Biden said, "Any act of domestic terrorism including an act perpetrated in the name of a repugnant white nationalist ideology is antithetical to everything that we stand for in America."
The Council on American Islamic Relations released a statement saying that, "We condemn both the white supremacist terrorist attack targeting Black men and women in Buffalo today and the racist rhetoric that has sparked such violence again and again."
And from the NAACP, "This is absolutely devastating, our hearts are with the community and all who've been impacted by this terrible tragedy. Hate and racism have no place in America."
We'll have much more from Buffalo coming up later here on CNN. We'll have more details about how the tragedy unfolded, including a look at that hate-filled manifesto that was left behind.
First, a sea change is underway: Finland moves closer to NATO membership.
Plus a tough journey, worth it in the end. Stay with us.
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BRUNHUBER: Ukraine's foreign minister announced more aid is being sent after meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Berlin. In the Ukrainian capital, the president is calling on the United States to formally declare Russia a terrorist state.
President Zelenskyy met with a small delegation of U.S. senators. Zelenskyy says the visit was an important show of solidarity. Here he is.
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VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I held talks today with a delegation of U.S. senators led by Senate Republican minority leader, Mitch McConnell, in Kyiv. I believe that this visit once again demonstrates the strength of bipartisan support for our state, the strength of ties between the Ukrainian and American nations.
We discussed various areas of support for our states, including defensive and financial, as well as tightening sanctions on Russia. I expressed gratitude for this historic to renew the lend-lease program. I called for the official recognition of Russia as a terrorist state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: While that is playing out in the capital, Ukraine forces --
BRUNHUBER: -- you can see this drone images here, remnants of destroyed military vehicles at a key river crossing.
In Odessa, airstrikes are targeting civilians. Officials are warning residents to stay away from the beaches because of sea mines flowing offshore.
We have our correspondents covering the conflict from every angle. Sara Sidner is live in Odessa. Fred Pleitgen is in Berlin, Nic Robertson is in Helsinki and Gustavo Valdes is in Lviv.
We begin with Sara.
You are covering those strikes there on civilian targets.
What more can you tell us?
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are civilian targets, soft targets, not military targets. So civilians here are watching and worrying about what may be next. We have been through the mall that was hit by a missile last week.
There have been at least more than a dozen missile strikes that have come this way, this port city. One of the reasons why this city is so strategically important is it has a port here. It supplies food but also military weapons to Ukraine.
You also have the economic importance of this place. This is where people used to come here for things like going to the resorts and visiting and the economic boom over as people were fleeing this place, once missiles started to strike here.
There is a great deal of concerns about the beaches. There are mines that people can no longer go and enjoy themselves in the city. But people are trying to fight back in their own way.
If they are not a part of the military, they're trying to go about their normal lives. Businesses, some of them are open here. There are people on the streets, trying to do their daily tasks and living their lives, as sort of a resistance to Russian attacks that happened here.
But the city strategically and militarily, economically important to this region. Odessa is had long time ties with Russia. A lot speak Russian here. But more and more people trying to switch their language to Ukrainian, cognizant of their anger toward Russia now.
BRUNHUBER: Sara Sidner, thank you.
Russia's war on Ukraine is rewriting the security map for all Europe. In an hour, Finland's leaders are expect to announce they want to join NATO. Sweden is expected to follow suit. Foreign ministers gathered for a final day of talks in Berlin to signal their support for Finland.
That move would be a major blow for Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has long claimed that the expansion of NATO is a threat to Russia's security. But Germany's foreign minister said Putin only had himself to blame.
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ANNALENA BAERBOCK, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): I want to be very, very clear. It is not NATO that has pushed Sweden and Finland to join but the actions of the Russian president have pushed Finland and Sweden, because they want to continue to live in peace with their neighbors, into this alliance, if they join together, which I would very much support.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: All right, let's bring in Fred Pleitgen live in Berlin.
What's the latest?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely right. Antony Blinken met with the NATO foreign ministers, notably of Ukraine. And so far all we have is a tweet from the Ukrainian foreign minister, talking about what apparently was spoken about at that meeting.
He said, met with secretary Blinken in Berlin, more weapons and aid on the way to Ukraine. The U.S. is the largest supplier to the Ukrainians, very important for the Ukrainians.
It is unclear whether or not that means of any sort of extra aid on top of what we already know has been approved or coming. Certainly, the Ukrainians say they are very thankful.
Also very important the second sentence where she says, we agree to work closely together to ensure Ukrainian food exports reach consumers in Africa and Asia. That is a huge topic, food security in the wake of this war. And Russia obviously not allowing food exports.
That's also seen as a big security issue by NATO and, of course, worldwide as well as these countries trying to find other ways of exporting those food stocks internationally.
PLEITGEN: It is a huge, huge topic here in Berlin, at the NATO meeting and it was at the G7 meeting as well.
It seems the Ukrainians seem to be pleased with Secretary of State Blinken. They're taking the time to meet. And those weapons are on the way and other aid as well.
This NATO foreign ministers meeting is important, with Finland and Sweden on the cusp of joining the alliance. We are keeping an eye on that as the morning unfolds.
And whether or not Turkey is going to give their blessing to that; when the foreign ministers were arriving, there did seem to be some confidence that they could make a bridge of those gaps that are still there.
BRUNHUBER: Thank you so much for staying on top of that, Fred Pleitgen in Berlin.
More Ukrainians fleeing as Russia's invasion continues. The U.N. says over 6 million refugees have fled. These people from Mariupol finally reached Zaporizhzhya on Saturday. Hundreds of cars arrived in the city after waiting three days.
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NIKOLAI PAVLOV, MARIUPOL EVACUEE (through translator): There were lots of elderly people among us, who had heartaches from time to time. Sure, it was tough. People went through hard things before. They were nervous. The trip was devastating but it was worth it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: For more we are joined by Anastasia Radina, Ukrainian parliament member and she's speaking to us from Kyiv.
Where do you understand discussions with regards to trying to get more people out of Mariupol?
ANASTASIA RADINA, UKRAINIAN MP: As of now, we are trying our best to negotiate primarily to evacuate those who are heavily wounded from the plant. We are not seeing any commitment from Russia. We have been trying for many, many days and still no options seem to be a success.
Negotiations are continuing but, at the same time, Russia is doing airstrikes on the Azovstal plant. They are continuing to endanger the lives of those servicemen, who are still there.
BRUNHUBER: And I referred to Turkey, they're trying to help negotiations here.
What role may they play in trying to extract the fighters from there?
RADINA: They are offering their assistance but, as of now, Russia is not open to that option. As of now, this is still not happening. Negotiation in process and those servicemen besieged in the Azovstal plant and still suffering and, at the same time, doing their best to fight.
BRUNHUBER: Turning to the political angle here, Mitch McConnell led a delegation to meet with President Zelenskyy.
What are you hoping that comes from U.S. officials?
We heard they had some concrete promises of aid.
RADINA: First of all, we do hope this additional aid package is adopted early next week, starting basically Monday and Tuesday. This is special. We are thankful for that. We hope assistance of that package comes soon.
But while we are very thankful for all the support we are getting, there are still more support that we need and that we are still not getting.
What do I mean?
I mean we are still in need of more NATO style weaponry. We need training for our servicemen for them to use these weapons. With the Soviet style weapons, we are not going to win this war. We are not going to save lives of those suffering in Mariupol.
The issue of fighter jets is still being discussed after three months of fighting. And tens of thousands of civilians' lives lost and this is still not a successful negotiation. While we are thankful --
RADINA: -- and we do appreciate a lot of the assistance the we already received, we are still not at the point when we can say enough has been done to help Ukraine win this war.
BRUNHUBER: There is plenty of lip service from both sides of the aisle. But Republicans are holding up funding for Ukraine and Republican opposition to Ukraine aid, when you look at the number of Republicans voting against it, is only growing.
Do you get the sense that you are losing some political momentum here in the U.S.?
RADINA: I don't think we are losing political momentum. But I think we do have to urgently move from lip service to heavy weaponry on the ground. The only way to get humanitarian assistance to Mariupol is to provide heavy weaponry for Ukrainian army.
As of now it is only Ukrainian army that can actually help those Ukrainians in occupied territory. Some obstacles appeared on political landscape, what Russia is doing. And they are deporting and basically kidnapping Ukrainian citizens to Russian territories, trying to force them to fight against their Ukrainian army on the side of Russia.
While we are talking and discussing some political obstacles, Russia is introducing filtration camps and concentration camps on occupied territories. Russia is basically leaving citizens of Mariupol without basic food supply. They are not letting humanitarian assistance from Ukraine to come in.
They are offering 3,000 of food packages daily for a population of 150,000 people, who are still there, basically, leading to starvation of Ukrainians while politicians are talking. This is just unacceptable.
BRUNHUBER: Yes, the situation is desperate and desperate action is needed immediately. We appreciate your perspective on this. Anastasia Radina, thank you so much.
If you would like to safely and securely help people in Ukraine who need shelter, food and water, go to cnn.com/impact and you can find several ways to help there.
Ahead, more on the deadly shooting in Buffalo, New York. We'll speak to an expert of the hatred and extremism that inspired the attack.
And the message was clear: my body, my choice. Organizers say this is just the beginning. We'll have more, stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and all around the world, I am Kim Brunhuber.
We are turning to the deadly shooting in Buffalo, New York. An 18- year-old white male has been charged with murder after he opened fire on a grocery store. Most of the victims were African American. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating this as both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism. New York's governor condemned the suspect and the hatred behind the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D-NY): And it is my sincere hope that this individual, this White supremacist who just perpetrated a hate crime on an innocent community will spend the rest of his days behind bars and heaven help him in the next world as well.
Yes, I'm angry. I've seen violence from guns on the Brooklyn subway. Now in the streets of Buffalo, it has to stop. It has to stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: He was heavily armed and wore a camera for livestreaming on Twitch. The live video feed was removed less than two minutes after the violence began.
Joining me from southern California, Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism as well as a militia group researcher.
Thank you so much for being here on this sad day. Brian, in terms of the alleged perpetrator, the victims and the way this was carried out, sadly, it seems to be part of a familiar and tragic pattern.
BRIAN LEVIN, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF HATE AND EXTREMISM: It is a horrifying, familiar, tragic pattern. We had testified before Congress about this kind of risk going back for many years.
Indeed, last year before the Senate, I said the most prominent extremist fatal threat today in the U.S. are white supremacists and far right extremists. Unfortunately, we had this chain, with many young people posting manifestos.
And that's what happened in this case. It is very similar, along with instructions for would-be extremists down the line. These are folks in a vertical chain as opposed to the traditional horizontal chain, where people are operating contemporaneously in a formalized group at the same time.
Now we seeing this chain, where one killer terrorist inspired another white supremacist killer. This is around the world, it is a transnational movement.
BRUNHUBER: Explain why replacement theory is the idea inspiring the most mass violence in white supremacist circles these days.
LEVIN: Excellent point. This is the last leg in an escalation of violence against African Americans here in the United States. In June 2020, we had the worst month ever for anti-Black hate crimes. The violence has gone up since then as well. What we didn't have is this kind of mass killings. [05:35:00]
LEVIN: Our recent study shows not only in 2020 did we have the worst month ever for anti-Black hate crime, it went longer and it was associated with the social justice protests.
Then it is mutable through a variety of theories and conspiracies and scapegoating and the latest one involves immigrants. This is a combination, if you will. And it is adaptable to whatever country you are in. So whatever immigrant or minority is in that country, this replacement doctrine fits. And it came at a time of escalating anti- Black hate crime, as you said, what we saw was African Americans were associated with socialists and destroying cities, even though 95 percent of the protests were peaceful.
Then African Americans stole the election and now that theory, that was the funnel on top of these white supremacists, looking at these demographic changes as what they call siren calls. It has been going on for years but it's accelerated most recently.
BRUNHUBER: Let me ask you one of the other troubling aspects, the fact that it was livestreamed.
Is this another trend you are talking about here, a feedback loop of this online hate and people being radicalized and acting on it and inciting others to do the same?
LEVIN: Well, first of all, social media platforms are not bound by the First Amendment. They are terms of service with all the users. We saw this kind of livestreaming with the terrorist who targeted mosques in New Zealand back in 2019.
We saw with the synagogue in Germany. What these terrorists do, they not only inspire but they actively try to assist with regard to tactics, including this latest one, where advice is given.
BRUNHUBER: Brian Levin, thank you so much for joining us.
LEVIN: Thank you.
BRUNHUBER: Tens of thousands of people rallied in cities across the U.S. on Saturday in support of abortion rights.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do we want?
What do we want?
BRUNHUBER (voice-over): Crowds marched with signs of my body, my choice. Demonstrations fueled by the possibility the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade decision.
The final ruling should be released in weeks.
Should the court overturn Roe v. Wade? CNN's Polo Sandoval has more from New York.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The New York Police Department clearing the way for a massive march that started in Brooklyn, made its way over the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and ended here in Lower Manhattan.
In a massive rally, what we saw were pro abortion right activists standing against this possible reversal of Roe v. Wade decision.
Also, according to one male participant in Saturday's event, also standing in solidarity, showing support for women living in various states in the U.S., where state officials would likely make abortion illegal, should we see that possible reversal -- Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.
BRUNHUBER: Ahead, a major announcement is coming up soon in Helsinki.
Plus, the full story of the song contest Eurovision, stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: The Russian military has performed so poorly Britain's defense ministry estimates it may have lost a third of their combat forces it had when it started the war.
In Eastern Ukraine, heavy shelling has flattened many towns across Luhansk. The Russians failed to make any major gains on the ground in the Donbas since launching its new offensive.
An attempt to advance across a river failed disastrously.
Russia's war on Ukraine is prompting a historic shift in Europe's security map. Finland is expecting to announce it wants to join NATO and Sweden is expected to make a similar announcement soon.
NATO foreign ministers gathering for what's known as the family photo. Most are ready for Finland and Sweden to join the alliance as quickly as possible. That's a major blow for Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has long claimed the expansion of NATO is a threat to Russia's security.
But Finland is only trying to bolster their own security and not trying to inflame tensions with Moscow. We'll continue to bring you the story. For more now, let's bring in Nic Robertson from Helsinki.
You are at the palace there. Really a seismic announcement we are expecting soon.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It is. It is clearly telegraphed by the prime minister and the president. The country had needed time to consult politically and with the public to talk about this issue and talk to NATO and talk to potential allies and partners.
They said it was very, very clear that Finland is better off and more secure in NATO, quite simply, because as part of a greater military alliance, that means there is a lesser likelihood of there being conflict in this area.
Finland would bring strengths to NATO. This decision should be made quickly without delay.
What we are expecting to hear here, the prime minister and the president laying out a few more details on that. Clearly, stating the government's position that Finland should join NATO. They'll take questions and answers.
ROBERTSON: But we know it's because they feel that President Putin had become unpredictable, that he invaded Ukraine. They took that as a step change in the Kremlin's attitude.
And also there has been this historic lack of deep trust between the nations. So the final step of what will happen in the Finnish process will be accomplished in the next couple of days. The parliament will begin to debate.
And how long it debates before it takes a vote, that depends on how long and how many politicians want to speak. But it is expected to happen very, very quickly, Kim.
BRUNHUBER: And, Nic, you mentioned these historic tensions with Russia. For years, it must have been fairly dormant.
How has the current war raised that sense of threat at the border?
I know you have been doing a lot of reporting there in Finland.
ROBERTSON: You know, you have people here in Finland, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, who would cross the border regularly and go and work in Russia.
You had people who are married to Russian citizens. But what has happened over the past really year or so has been a degradation in the level of trust between the two countries. It was not good but it was workable.
But it was Russia signaling that NATO could not expand and that Finland and Sweden did not have their own sovereign right to choose their defense alliances. That signaled a step change.
So along that border now, far less traffic. The country is down to 10 percent of border traffic pre-COVID days and the only people allowed to cross over are people who have spouses on the other side of the border and dual nationals.
BRUNHUBER: Interesting. And we'll keep covering this story throughout the morning. Nic Robertson in Helsinki, thank you so much.
Ukraine is celebrating a victory today in the Eurovision song contest. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER (voice-over): Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra paying tribute to their frontman's mother.
President Zelenskyy posted, congratulations, saying, "Our music is conquering Europe." Eurovision is must-see TV in Europe. Some singers became international stars. Belarus and Russia were banned from competing this year. But there were no big watch parties in Kyiv, which was under curfew.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: More than half a billion people and counting, that is the latest projection from Johns Hopkins University about how many people have contracted COVID worldwide since the pandemic began. And more than 6 million have died.
But looking ahead, the White House says that the U.S. is in for another massive surge this fall and winter. Officials are predicting 100 million new cases, even though some analysts question that number. A former COVID response official tells CNN that it is way too early to put the coronavirus behind us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DEBORAH BIRX, FORMER WHITE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: The fact that since this January 1st, 175,000 Americans have died, just in the last 4.5 months, that is five times any annual flu deaths.
So we need to take this five times more seriously than we take flu. And we need to lay out to the American people the common sense things that they can do in a surge.
And I'm a little bit disappointed that people have been talking about a fall and winter surge. I'm worried about the summer. And the summer surge that could start within the next three to four weeks across the South.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: China's set to ease COVID-19 restrictions in Shanghai as cases decreased on Saturday. The city will gradually reopen beginning Monday. This includes restaurants, markets, shopping malls and more. Shanghai has been under a strict lockdown for over six weeks.
As Lviv became a safe haven for Ukrainians fleeing the war, the influx of people put pressure on the city's housing. We'll take a look at how they're trying to solve that problem. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: Lviv has taken in some 200,000 Ukrainian displaced by war. A city architect came up with some solutions for housing. Gustavo Valdes reports.
GUSTAVO VALDES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tatiana Villanova (ph), displaced with her current living arrangements, a modified shipping container, where she lives with her four children.
ANNA VILLANOVA (PH), UKRAINIAN REFUGEE: I have been in worse places.
VALDES (voice-over): For weeks, she lived in a collective shelter in Lviv, a city hosting an estimated 200,000 displaced Ukrainians.
VILLANOVA (PH): Our home was bombarded and destroyed.
VALDES (voice-over): Her husband stayed behind to fight. For now, this enclave within the city park is her community.
Anton Kolemieytsev wants to improve housing for the evacuees. He's the chief architect of the city of Lviv.
ANTON KOLEMIEYTSEV, LVIV CITY CHIEF ARCHITECT: At least 50,000 will stay here for a year or longer time.
VALDES (voice-over): This project will house mothers with young children and the elderly. The containers are financed by the Red Cross. He says between new construction and relocation of apartment buildings, the city can provide affordable housing for the new residents but he needs money.
KOLEMIEYTSEV: We don't have to wait until the war ends. The solutions we have and the problems we have here need solutions right now.
VALDES (voice-over): He estimates about $1 billion will be needed in the next couple of years to avoid a crisis. He's not asking for an handout. More like an affordable loan to allow refugees to make payments and eventually own their own property.
Tatiana (ph) is hoping to move to the new building but she's now focused on caring for her children and the arrival of her fifth child, relieved that she's in a better place that when her daughter was born in a bunker.
VILLANOVA (PH): There were missiles flying and bombs exploding everywhere.
VALDES (voice-over): It was 2014, when separatists backed by the Russian army invaded Eastern Ukraine. Her baby boy will be named Viktor as in the victory, she says. Her country will eventually achieve -- Gustavo Valdes, CNN, Lviv.
BRUNHUBER: Again, if you would like to help people in Ukraine who need shelter, food and water, please go to cnn.com/impact, you can find several ways to help.
That wraps it up for CNN NEWSROOM. I am Kim Brunhuber. For viewers in North America, "NEW DAY" is next. For international viewers, it's "INSIDE THE MIDDLE EAST."