Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Zelenskyy Warns Russia Planning to Bomb Odessa soon; Recent Polls Show Majority of Finns Now Want to Join NATO; Nearly 5,000 Anti-War Protesters Detained in Russia Sunday; ICRC Operations Director on Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine; Piano Man Playing for Peace Greets Refugee. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 07, 2022 - 11:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: This hour the ferocity of the Russian assault on Ukraine intensifies as European leaders warn the

continent must now prepare for 5 million refugees. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome back to our continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Russian news sharing is keeping many people from getting out of some of these Ukrainian cities, and it's keeping food and other supplies from

getting in. That's according to Ukraine's Foreign Ministry. These are said to be Russian tanks taking up positions just west of Kyiv.

Russian forces here have fired into the capital. And here's a look at Russia's advanced from the north south and the east. Meantime, Ukrainians

are fleeing by the thousands. This is a refugee camp in Moldova. But other people inside Ukraine haven't been able to leave because of shelling many

of them are running low on food and other supplies.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry says Russia is trying to force evacuees to Russia, or to Belarus. Well, Russia says it will discuss humanitarian

corridors as they call them during a third round of talks with Ukraine now underway. A higher level meeting is planned this week in Turkey.

But with hundreds of civilians being killed in this conflict, many are on the move within Ukraine trying to get out of the danger zones. They're

giving up their homes, their friends almost everything they own. CNN's Sam Kiley has more on their desperate attempt to just get to someplace safe.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A collective breath is held as a long awaited evacuation train slows to a

halt the odds of getting out determined by access to a carriage door. Police struggled to contain the crowd all are desperate to flee west. The

mass evacuation from Zaporizhzhia is part driven by the recent capture of a nuclear power station by Russian invaders.

Here they're being backed by the control room over a public address system to stop their attack on the six reactor plant the biggest in Europe. They

say you are endangering the security of the entire world attention stop shooting at a nuclear hazardous facility attention stop it. There is now a

disregard as much for nuclear safety as civilian lives in cities across the country being bombarded by Russia.

KILEY (on camera): Scenes like this have not been seen in Europe since the Second World War in the 20th century, the mass evacuation of civilians from

a major city it's been accelerated here, because the people now believe based on the evidence that they've seen elsewhere in Ukraine, that it is

civilians who are now going to be targeted in Vladimir Putin's invasion.

SERGIY SAMKO, ZAPORIZHZHIA RESIDENT: When Russian troops came closer to Zaporizhzhia I decided it was better to get my family out before they

entered the city itself.

LATONA SAMKO, UKRAINIAN REFUGEE: We hope that we can make it on the train today because this morning people didn't let us in even though we have a


KILEY (voice over): This is a war that separates lovers and parts husbands from their wives, fathers from their families. Ukrainian men here between

18 and 60 cannot leave. They're needed for the fight.

KILEY (on camera): You're staying here?


KILEY (on camera): So this is goodbye temporarily. Well, I hope in a week or two, you can be back together again.

KILEY (voice over): More than a million Ukrainians have fled their homeland so far, but more still are enduring these freezing conditions in the hope

of a train to safety. Who's at is staying on. He's a former paratrooper in the Soviet Army.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I made Molotov cocktails. I have great rifles. I'm a hunter with 40 years of experience. I have a metal left from the USSR I'm

staying. I hate them all the invaders because of this, not to mention the fact that my grandson was born for a week in Kharkiv.


KILEY (voice over): Those people who make it on board now face a 600 mile journey to Lviv. For those who don't, time and luck, maybe running out.


ANDERSON: Well, Sam is joining us now live, Sam, Ukrainian security officials warning that Russia is planning to encircle the city where you

are, which will mean what effectively?

KILEY: It would mean, Becky, I think two things first is that it would mean that the Russians have managed to break through the defense of the - down

in the south, Odessa has not yet been attacked. And indeed, the siege of Mariupol continues to focus a lot of Russian troops.

So I think this is a worst case scenario. I think, here in the city, there's much more concern that the Russians might be able to break the

contact that the city has with the rest of the country with the West of the country, and particularly the capital as the Dnieper heads north south, it

then goes north west towards the capital and roads driving east are the way out for so many people in the east of this country.

And if those were to be cut by the Russian forces, they would bottle up vast amounts of population, a million and a half people still trapped under

shelling in Kharkiv, at least half a million people in Mariupol Dnieper where I am a similarly sized city.

You've got a number of very major cities on this river and in the east part of the industrial heartland of Ukraine with very large numbers of people

still, even though the numbers of people climbing, that are climbing to the number of climbing getting out of the country is astronomical. It's up to

1.7 million now, already out of the country.

When I was doing that report, it was only a million that were about 24 out just over 24 hours ago, astronomical numbers of people are moving. And that

just shows how desperate people are to get away Becky.

ANDERSON: And you were there talking to people's who've - people whose lives have just been completely turned upside down. I mean, for the lucky

ones, and let's call them lucky ones, those who can get on these trains. And we're showing the images now as you rightly point out lucky enough to

be standing in front of the entrance to that train the door to the train is it opens, they may they may get out.

What's left, I mean, how are people coping? You spoke to a lot of people in that report? You'll have spoken to many, many others? What's the sense from

those that you speak to about what happens next, the personal sort of sense of what happens next?

KILEY: I think there are a number of stages to that, Becky. You've got the initial stage. For example, here in Dnieper, we've been speaking to three

brothers two of those brothers have already sent their families, their wives and children out of the country one has elected to remain behind with

his family, but it's a daily decision as to whether or not he puts them on a train or gets them into a car to travel that 600 or so miles to Lviv to

safety across into Poland or into Hungary or possibly to Romania all of those journeys are very fraught, but they're not impossible.

Then you have the people in places like Mariupol who simply cannot move they're completely besieged on their - at the whim of the Russian

authorities who today, in an almost cynical move said that they could escape that they would have to escape into Russian held territory.

The Russians made the similar offer to Kharkiv and Kyiv, none of which are likely to be taken up except for by tiny minority of people. And then

you've got the people in places like Kharkiv, Northern Kyiv, who cannot move because they're under permanent bombardment and for them it's just a

question of running building to building bunker to bunker and trying to stay alive.

ANDERSON: It does seem absolutely remarkable. Thank you, Sam for your reporting. Stay safe yourself. Sam Kiley is on the ground. The Ukrainian

Port City of Mykolaiv has come under Russian attack this video showing an apartment building in flames.

The Regional Governor saying Russian troops have entered the airport the Mayor warning civilians not to touch unexploded ordnance. Nick Paton Walsh

shows us how the city's fighters have been battling back. I have to warn you. His report does contain disturbing images.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Putin needs it but he's having real trouble getting it. Drive to the last

Ukrainian position outside the Port City of Mykolaiv and you can see the mess made of the Kremlin's plans.

Even the Russian propaganda says it's from the de-nazification they ridiculously claimed to be acting is charred its occupants, captured or

dead their missiles on display along with their names.


WALSH (voice over): Further down this road are the rest of the Russian tanks but one was left behind. And now farmers, pensioners, and bemused

locals are picking it over. The model may be newer, but the Empire it seeks to restore is long gone. He is just saying it goes forward but doesn't turn


WALSH (on camera): The same can't be said for its crew who fled. Ukrainians here a little gleeful this keeps happening that they left the tank or they

needed to do that right. OK they didn't have much of a choice there.

WALSH (voice over): Then a warning.

WALSH (on camera): Is the helicopter come in?

WALSH (voice over): A helicopter is spotted and we have to leave. Rushing in the weapons this state has hit the Russian Goliath with again and again.

But the Kremlin is sure to impose a cost on anyone it can. Grad rockets have slammed into homes regularly.

This woman thinks she has broken her back. The house collapsed on me she says and then they pulled me out. There are no other patients in this

hospital. All the injured treated here died in their beds we're told, including one 53-year-old man brought in on Sunday morning. Across town,

the rockets apparent cluster munitions that seem to fall just anywhere.

WALSH (on camera): Is it another rocket landed up the street here.

WALSH (voice over): From cars to vegetable gardens. At the morgue, the toll is growing at least 50 bodies they told us 20 of them incinerated in a

Russian missile strike on the naval port of a - they said the bodies so often of the elderly, who would have survived being a Soviet citizen but

not this.

He has worked here 13 days straight and is from Crimea where Russian state propaganda still calls this a special operation against Nazis. They show us

the corpse of a Russian soldier and ask us to film him up close which we don't do loading here setting deep and lasting with each body in the



ANDERSON: And I want to bring in Nick momentarily because right now the next Russian target may be Odessa. President Zelenskyy warning Russia is

preparing to bomb the port city that is home to some 1 million people. We saw these images last week of residents preparing sandbags as a defense.

Now Odessa is known as the Pearl of the Black Sea and Nick Paton Walsh joining me from there.

Mr. Zelenskyy calls it a city of warmth and generosity now Nick in Russian crosshairs, describe what you are seeing and hearing?

WALSH: It's very much been on edge for a number of days, although that's all this sort of pierced with a foundation of nothing really having

happened much in the city itself. We've heard a couple of bangs in an urban landscape over the last couple of hours or so it's quite hard to tell to be

honest what those were?


WALSH: We've heard sirens during the day intermittently, so marks changes from the calmness of the past week or so. And it is unclear really where

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is getting his intelligence. The bombing here is imminent.

And I think in this statement, he very much leant upon the fact that this is a place that's normally in peaceful times home to rich Russians on

vacation, Russian speaking, very friendly place, and he switched to Russian and he spoke to say that they simply had to choose between slavery and

freedom, the Russian people in the weeks ahead.

There are barricades up here, as you mentioned, and a sense of foreboding because of the military activity along the Black Sea Coast, Kherson to the

furthest eastern part on end up from the Black Sea has fallen to the Russian military. It was the first to do that a lot of protests there.

It's not going well. But certainly they are in control of that city physically. If we move down the Coast towards Mykolaiv, that's not the case

the Russian military's been trying to get into that city repeatedly over the past week to 10 days or so it's blundering frankly, their attempt, they

seem to get stopped at every occasion, vehicles taken off them, as you saw in that report.

They're unclear what the strategy really is maybe brute force will eventually win out but you don't really understand what they're going to do

when they get into the city center with a thriving city that really does not want them there.

A lot of shelling, a lot of it hitting civilian areas and that I think is a harbinger potentially for those people in Odessa who worry quite when the

focus may be here. Amphibious landings have been warned about airstrikes, everybody on edge and the feeling that surely it can't be that nothing

happens here Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh reporting, Nick, thank you. Well, still ahead upholding humanitarian law in the face of humanitarian disaster. We speak

to the Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross about how it's getting help to people in Ukraine? Plus, well Finland finally join NATO

I'll speak to the Finnish Foreign Ministers his country weighs its options and boosts security amid Russia's attack on Ukraine.


ANDERSON: Welcome back! Russian and Ukrainian officials holding a third round of talks at an undisclosed location in Belarus after two previous

rounds and without a breakthrough on the war in Ukraine. Turkey says the foreign ministers from both countries are now also set to meet on Thursday

in Turkey but Ukraine only says that's a possibility that is being considered.

Well as Russia intensifies its attacks in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden are stepping up their security cooperation and NATO now inviting both countries

to conversations about the Ukraine crisis. Well, in the recent diplomatic flurry, the Finnish Foreign Affairs Minister Pekka Haavisto also speaking

with the U.S. Secretary of State over the weekend.

You can see them both here on the sidelines of NATO Foreign Ministers meeting on the current security situation in Europe. Pekka Haavisto the

Finnish Foreign Minister joining us live from Helsinki in Finland.


ANDERSON: It's good to have you, sir. My first question is simply this is NATO membership seriously being considered by Helsinki at this point?

PEKKA HAAVISTO, FINNISH FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, there's maybe more popular support for the NATO membership now in Finland. Finns are very security

orientated people. But currently we have the good enhanced cooperation with NATO together with Sweden. We are part of the NATO partnership and really

on Friday took part to the NATO meeting in Brussels as well. And I'm at - there.

ANDERSON: The majority of your people are looking at NATO membership. That's certainly what the polls are showing. Let me just bring up a recent

poll that suggests a majority often, Finns are in favor of joining NATO, 53 percent supported 28 percent don't, 19 are unsure, and that's after years

of neutrality.

We certainly haven't seen polls like this in the past, it does seem like the sentiment is changing and shifting towards a defense alliance with the

west. Do you expect that to happen anytime soon? I know we're talking about closer kind of conversations more of a narrative at this point. But is NATO

membership a realistic at this point?

HAAVISTO: That actually we have had for years, you know, security white paper which the parliament has been adopted. The NATO - option or

possibility to join NATO. And the NATO's open door policy has been always important for us.

And this is the first time when we have majority in our opinion polls, majority of our population support into NATO membership. So of course, this

is a topic that certainly will be discussed by the parliament.

But if you think the current crisis now in Ukraine, I think we have to now concentrate to find a peace in peaceful solution in Ukraine, and then the

security, the systems will certainly be made right later.

ANDERSON: To your mind, I'm just going to press you one more time on this. To your mind, do you see Finland becoming part of the NATO alliance anytime


HAAVISTO: Well, that's a possibility. But it's really, you know, it's not only up to Finland, it's, of course, up to the NATO members, there are 30

countries that have to accept new members and so forth. But this is the first time this issue is seriously debated in Finland, because of this

majority of the population. And actually political parties are now discussing the topic as well, quite interestingly.

ANDERSON: Your president was in Washington over the weekend meeting with Joe Biden, sending a signal of Finland's close ties to the U.S. Finland

also of course shares a massive land border with Russia, you have in the past had decent relations with the Kremlin.

Where does Finland stand at present? And how has the Ukraine invasion changed your relationships both with Washington and indeed with the

Kremlin? Can you describe those for me?

HAAVISTO: Well, first with the Washington of course, it's important that Finland already lost the automatic decision to renew our Hornet fighters

with more than 60 F-35 fighters. So we have very close military material cooperation with U.S.

And what was agreed between our presidents, President Biden and President - in Washington was even deeper cooperation on the material support and

material links to U.S. So I think we have very close ties with U.S. on this defense issues. Regarding Moscow, of course, we are a neighbor; we hope our

border remains peaceful and so forth.

But in the current circumstances, of course, Finland joined all those European Union countries that are extremely concentrated, concerned about

what happened in Ukraine and of course, had a very strong words to condemn this attack by Russia towards Ukraine.

ANDERSON: Do you worry about that border between Finland and Russia becoming an issue? I mean, do you worry about a threat from Russia at this


HAAVISTO: Well, of course, this time, the Russian behavior what we see in Ukraine poses a threat for the whole Europe. I think that's the reason why

first time ever European Union, reacted and innovate reacted at all countries together, started to support Ukraine started to send material

help to Ukraine and so forth. And we have seen actually more united European Union that for years.

ANDERSON: The EU's top Diplomat Josep Borrell says that Europe needs to prepare for 5 million refugees from Ukraine. How many refugees is Finland

willing and able to let in? And what more can Finland do at this point to support Ukraine?


HAAVISTO: There are more than 1 million refugees already in Poland. And of course, we have indicated that we are also ready to take refugees from

Ukraine, also to Finland. And I think this there's a very wide solidarity in Europe now for refugees coming from Ukraine.

At the same time, when we see that humanitarian corridors are negotiated so that people could get out from the bomb floor and circled cities, of

course, we are looking at what we can do to do through the humanitarian organizations on the ground in Ukraine.

And for example, to our Red Cross and humanitarian help, we are ready to help the Ukrainians wherever we can guarantee to access.

ANDERSON: The French president has called the use of the term humanitarian corridors by the Russians today, moral cynicism. I just want to press you

on the refugee issue. Can you put a number on the amount of people that Finland is prepared to process in Finland from Ukraine?

HAAVISTO: We'll be certainly speaking about the thousands. If we now looked at the first firsthand, the neighboring countries are taking Poland,

Moldovan and so forth. We can speak about the thousands of people who are then probably arriving into other European countries.

But at the same time, actually the issue of the humanitarian corridors, I fully agree that it's not only the way of people leaving their cities, but

there might be many people who cannot leave, for example, in hospitals and elder people, and so forth. So there should be a humanitarian access, of

course, to the civilians during this kind of crisis and we are ready to help.

ANDERSON: Sir, we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for making the time to speak to us today.

HAAVISTO: Thank you.

ANDERSON: The Finnish Foreign Minister. Well, Russia setting its sights on Kyiv and targeting civilians in nearby cities. We'll get you to the

Ukrainian Capital, up next and then putting their own freedom at risk to protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin cracks down on anti-war

demonstrators, their story is up next.


ANDERSON: Ukrainian officials say there has been heavy fighting today in several areas near Kyiv as Russian forces pushed towards the capital. This

video shows Russian tanks taking up positions among civilian apartment blocks in Irpin just outside Kyiv. We're about to show you how intense

Russia's bombardment is, this next video is disturbing.


ANDERSON: Well, Irpin has come under intense shelling in recent days, leaving several people dead. On Sunday, Russian striking checkpoint killing

a family with two children as they tried to flee. CNN Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance is in Kyiv, in Ukraine, and we are seeing more

and more of these indiscriminate attacks by Russians.

The videos that we've seen are truly heartbreaking. What else are you hearing about what is going on? And just how far are the Russians

effectively from the center of Kyiv? Give us a sense of what we understand to be the military assault at this point?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, look, the military assaults has been progressing very slowly. But there has been

some, some gradual, there have been some gradual gains that the Russians are making, particularly in the south of the country.

But when it comes to around the city itself, in the north, and in the northwest of Kyiv, around that, that place Irpin, where we just saw that

terrible video from, that's been a place where obviously there have been hundreds, if not thousands of people over the course of the past 24 hours,

trying to get out trying to evacuate the city.

There have also been military activities taking place to the west of the city as well. And only today I was at a location well, to the south of Kyiv

where there has been a bit of military activity as well on some artillery rocket fire into civilian areas.

And what's clear about all of those scenes, and all of those directions is that first of all residential areas are being hit. If not, if not targeted,

you know, there is very little regard, it seems at the moment for the protection of civilian lives, by the Russians.

And secondly, that this strategy of surrounding the entire capital and putting pressure on the population here and on the government here, of

course, which is mostly hold up here in central Kyiv, to come to the negotiating table and to capitulate in some way.

Well, that strategy is proceeding apace, even if it's not going as quickly as perhaps the Kremlin may have wanted it to in the first place. And so,

you know, we are seeing a gradual ratcheting up of military pressure on the civilian population and on the authorities here in Kyiv. And the

expectation is, is that as the city is encircled, that will only continue and get worse. And the civilian casualties which you've seen a lot of

already will only spiral upwards.

ANDERSON: Much talk of assassination attempts or potential assassination attempts on President Zelenskyy. You've spent some time with him; you've

taken some opportunities to talk to him over the past 12 days. To your mind, is this a man who could be convinced to leave at some point in order

for his life to be saying should he believe that his life is in imminent danger?

CHANCE: I mean, look, I mean, he's already been offered that option. And you remember famously, he said, look, I'm not looking for a lift, I'm

looking for weapons, when he was asked whether he wanted safe passage out of the country, you know, will that change - no one's speaking about that

right now.

But you know, obviously, as the pressure mounts, the pressure will increase on him to make a decision could be a life or death decision from his point

of view about what, what he wants to do.

I think there's another interesting diplomatic development as well, which is the Russians have spelt out a bit more clearly, some of the things they

want to see Ukraine commit to, if this war is going to come to an end, one of them is they want neutrality.

And other thing is they want some territorial concessions from Ukraine, they want them to acknowledge Crimea to be part of the Russian Federation.

And they want to acknowledge that, you know, the independence of the two rebel Republic's in the east of the country.

And so, you know, those are three things neutrality and these territorial concessions. You know, these are some things that politically it's very

difficult for the Ukrainian government to accept at the moment. But as the military pressure increases, that calculus might change.

ANDERSON: Matthew Chance is on the ground for you folks, Matthew, thank you. Well, thousands of people in Russia have taken to the streets to

protest the war. A human rights group says almost 5000 demonstrators at various anti-war rallies across Russia on Sunday were picked up by police.

And it estimates more than 13,000 protesters have been arrested since the Russian invasion began on February the 24th.


ANDERSON: CNN's Nina dos Santos watching that for us freedom of speech being curtailed in Russia that is absolutely clear Nina.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes and quite severely so, so imagine the fact that we can see, Becky, that there have been these 5000 people

nearly arrested. Protestors you pointed out there in 147 cities, human rights groups may be able to observe that but you can't necessarily report

these things freely at the moment.

So freedom of speech has been curtailed, after of course, freedom to protests had been increasingly curtailed over the last few years, many

Russia watchers might observe. But just last week, the lower house of parliament passed a law which further tightened freedom of speech,

particularly with regards to describing the conditions on the ground in Ukraine, describing the fact that this was an invasion.

And essentially that Ukraine and Russia were now at war. Those types of conversations are things that are not allowed to people not allowed to have

at the moment without facing potential time in jail. And we also saw really ominous scenes over the weekend of people being stopped in the streets in

big cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg.

And asked to hand over their phone to security officials, who then apparently went through and read some of their messages, seemingly to check

whether or not any of these banned words had been used in messaging, including encrypted apps, like for instance, WhatsApp and so on and so


So this is really concerning people in Russia. It's also very much limited the ability of the Free Press in Russian language to operate as they do.

What you saw at the end of last week was TV Rain, the last independent journalist TV outlet resigning on mass and it's journalists deciding to

turn off their signal and replace it with something else, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. Nina dos Santos is on the story for you. Thanks, Nina. Well, plenty of turbulence on the oil markets prices soaring to their eyes level.

In 13 years, the surge sparked by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who told CNN the U.S. is working with its European allies to look into the

possibility of banning Russian oil imports over the intensifying invasion of Ukraine and that is fueling supply fears.

Well, there's word the Biden Administration is weighing the possibility of easing sanctions on Venezuela, for example, so that that country can begin

producing more oil and selling it on the international market.

That's certainly according to a person with direct knowledge of that matter. Meanwhile, the British Prime Minister says it's time to move away

from dependence on Russian energy, have a listen to this.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's completely the right thing to do to, to move away from Russian hydrocarbons from dependence on Russian

hydrocarbons. But we've got to do it step by step. So far, the success of the west has been in the unity that we've shown.

I think we're all increasingly united in the view that we've got to move away now from Russian hydrocarbons. We've got to do it together. We've got

to make sure that we have substitute and substitute supply and that's what we're, we're working on as well.


ANDERSON: You see British Prime Minister speaking about an hour ago. Well, a lot more from Ukraine itself up next, including, as thousands flee the

capital of Kyiv and other areas. We talked to the International Committee of the Red Cross about what is this growing humanitarian crisis.



ANDERSON: Moral and political cynicism. That is our France's President has described Russia's offer of "humanitarian corridors in Ukraine". Emmanuel

Macron said that without full ceasefires to protect civilian statements from Moscow about said corridors are, "hypocritical".

He said the priority needs to be getting people out of the conflict zone as soon as possible. Well, these corridors are increasingly becoming a matter

of life or death for people in Ukraine earlier. 2000 people were evacuated from the town of Irpin which is northwest of Kiev. CNN was there to capture

the moment residents became refugees, have a look at this.


CLARRISA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This is a train that is going to be taking people to the relative safety of the west

certain city of Lviv and it has just been a chaotic scene here. For the last few minutes people have been waiting some hours for this train.

There's been a lot of arguing about who's able to get on it. You can see people are just packed in there. People were originally calling for

instance, we just women and children, a man tried to get on the train. People started screaming at that man.

You can see over here, a number of people still just trying to pack onto this train. They've got their pets. They've got their family members. These

are scenes that we've seen playing out across the country, but we were at the train station about a week ago.

And it was nothing like this scene. There is definitely an intensive occasion, urgency as people are trying to get out of the country out of the

city as we're seeing this push on the northwest and western parts of Kyiv.

These trains are now packed full of people who are desperately trying to get out of the city. As the sense and the fear grows, that Russia is sort

of tightening its noose moving down across the south and towards the southern western part of the city, which would then mean that this city is

totally encircled.

The fear is that they will lay siege to it. These people some of them have been waiting here for hours. They've been pushing, shoving, desperately

trying to get out. And it's just awful.

To see the fear in people's eyes, they're just frantically trying to get their loved ones out. We've seen a lot of families saying goodbye to each

other. And they're hoping that they will be able to get to the safety of the Lviv.


ANDERSON: Well, that's Clarissa Ward reporting. The International Committee of the Red Cross has also been hitting out tweeting on Sunday, "people are

living in terror in Mariupol for example, desperate for safety. Today's attempt start evacuating an estimated 200,000 people has failed.

The failed attempts underscore the absence of a detailed and functioning agreement between parties to the conflict". Dominik Stillhart is Director

of Operations at the International Committee of the Red Cross and he joins us from Geneva.

This is a really important point, isn't it? President Macron, the French President has described as moral cynicism the offer that Russia has made of

these "humanitarian corridors". Has the ICRC be in any way involved in the organization of these evacuation opportunities?

And if not, do you agree with President Macron and his description of what the Russians are doing at this point?


situation especially in Mariupol, where we have teams on the ground is desperate, especially after two failed attempts of getting out to safety.

The town has been without water, without electricity. Food is becoming increasingly a problem.


STILLHART: And that is why it is so extremely important to get the parties to an agreement that is concrete actionable and precise for these people to

be able to bring themselves into safety.

And that is precisely what we have been trying to do over the past three, four days, talking to both parties, urging them not just to, you know, to

have an agreement in principle, that will break down immediately when people start moving because it lacks precision, it lacks actionable


And that is what we are trying to achieve. So far, the parties have failed to have that sort of precise agreement. And that is why people are in the

type of desperate situations that we see now, for instance, in Mariupol.

ANDERSON: So let me just press you a little bit here, because as an organization, you have access to both as you're saying both to the

Ukrainians and the Russians.

What is the latest from your conversations with both sides? I mean what and who is holding things up at this point? Because you know, we're running out

of time here, aren't we, civilians needed to be evacuated?

STILLHART: Absolutely, they need to be brought in safety, especially from towns where the fighting has been so intense as it is in Mariupol.

And the issue for now, is that we despite all our conversations with both parties, the parties haven't agreed military to military, you know what

exactly the agreement is about that will finally and hopefully bring relief to the people who are what waiting just for one thing to get out of the

hell that these towns have been torn into in the past 10 days.

ANDERSON: Have the Russians made any good faith efforts at all to open genuine evacuation corridors at this point because they had the opportunity

to do that don't they? They say they open several today.

They say those go to Belarus or Russian territory, clearly not likely to be where anybody trying to evacuate is going to want to go. Is that a

plausible attempt to offer safe passage to civilians fleeing Russian bombardment?

STILLHART: Well, look, these are the type of extremely difficult choices that civilians will and have to make in exceptionally difficult

circumstances. But the point of these corridors with one, you know where, where there isn't an agreement of what the corridor should be with the

Russian saying it's going that way.

The Ukrainian say it's going the other way, is exactly the illustration of the lack of an agreement that is actionable and that we can facilitate on

the ground. Our teams are on the ground, in the line of fire, ready to facilitate whatever agreement the parties will reach. They were ready

yesterday, they are ready today. They will be ready tomorrow, but for this and the agreement needs to be reached between the parties.

ANDERSON: Sir, thank you for your time and really important to hear your perspective. Extremely important to hear where the ICRC stands in

negotiations well, certainly in conversation with both Ukrainians and the Russians at this point in trying to open these evacuation corridors.

It's important to hear that your colleagues are on the ground. And you know, describing as you suggest, hell on earth for people who are just

trying to get out of harm's way, thank you, sir. Well, just ahead. Grace notes for peace how one man is trying to help Ukrainian refugees with




ANDERSON: The U.N. says that more than 1.7 million people have been forced to flee Ukraine since the Russian invasion. Let me just pause for one

moment and let that sink in. Its invasion has been 12 days and 1.7 million people have been forced to flee.

We've been showing you what that kind of heartbreak looks like. One man in Poland is trying to ease the suffering somewhat with music. CNN's Sara

Sidner shows us how he is playing the piano for peace, have a listen.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Now refugees are flooding over the border instead of just screaming over the border.

Poland now officially has taken in 1 million refugees running from the war in Ukraine, but when they arrived at this particular border stop here, in

Medyka, Poland, they hear something we're expected to hear.

SIDNER (voice over): As the worlds newest war refugees step into Poland from Ukraine, they arrive to an unexpected sound, a man at the Medyka-

Poland border crossing playing his heart out just for them.

DAVIDE MARTELLO, PIANIST: I'm just trying to welcome all the refugees and I know that all those people that hear bombing, guns shooting, cannons and


SIDNER (voice over): Davide Martello traveled from Germany.

MARTELLO: The peace is starting right here.

SIDNER (voice over): A piano man for peace.

MARTELLO: I have a trailer and I just drove like 17 hours straight. I turned the music barrel out so they can hear me everywhere. That does not


SIDNER (on camera): Your purpose here is to bring peace through music.

MARTELLO: Yes, that's my message just peace through music.

SIDNER (voice over): And the message is received. This is another stop on the piano man's peace tour.

MARTELLO: Taksim Square 2014 and Ukraine to Donetsk, Afghanistan with the Army --.

SIDNER (on camera): I know one place that you've been because I saw you there.

MARTELLO: Minneapolis, two years ago.

SIDNER (voice over): Sure enough in 2020 after the police murder of George Floyd. There he was with his piano healing hearts at George Floyd Square.

MARTELLO: Music is the perfect medium to restore peace, I think.

SIDNER (voice over): Nearly two years later and 5000 miles away, he plays for the newly heartbroken in Medyka, Poland is next up Lviv, Ukraine.


MARTELLO: Before I die or something happens I at least want to do something. Maybe I can soften Putin's heart with music because everybody

loves music. I bet Putin loves music too.


SIDNER: And we've learned that Davide has made it to Lviv, Ukraine, he is going to play in the train station there and then make his way back. Sara

Sidner, CNN on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

ANDERSON: Well, it's a very good evening from us.