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Connect the World

Bombing Taking its toll on People in Mykolaiv; Kalin: Turkey Intends to Mediate any Possible Future Russia-Ukraine Talks; CNN Speaks to top Aide to Ukrainian President; Ukrainians Await Updates from Loved Ones as Attacks Persist; UK Adds Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich to Sanctions List; Chinese State Media Pushing Russian Misinformation. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 10, 2022 - 11:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Well, this hour, a glimmer of hope in diplomatic efforts ending by, quite frankly hitting a brick wall.

I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back to "Connect the World" here on CNN our continued coverage of the invasion of Ukraine and the tragedy across the

country nowhere more apparent today than in the besieged City of Mariupol.

Officials there now reporting three people killed one of them a child in the Russian bombing of a maternity hospital. Images of the aftermath

Wednesday stark and disturbing pregnant women seen at the blast site shell shocked and bloodied, one carried away on a gurney.

And that hospital not the only location attacked in that city. This video shows a huge crater in the center of Mariupol near a theater in Park. The

Mayor telling CNN Wednesday at least 1300 civilians were killed. And there are more disturbing images victims of the Russian attacks being buried in

mass graves there.

Officials say Russian forces have been bombing an evacuation corridor meant to get people out safely. While all of this is going on the top Russian and

Ukrainian diplomats sat across from each other in a sterile room in Turkey, a meeting that ended without any agreements on either a ceasefire or

humanitarian issues. The Ukrainian Foreign Minister hinting that his Russian counterpart had no real authority to make a deal.


DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We also raised the issue of a ceasefire 24 hour ceasefire to resolve the most pressing humanitarian

issues. We did not make progress on this since it seems that there are other decision makers for this murder in Russia.


ANDERSON: In so many places in Ukraine, we are seeing civilians people just trying to get through their daily lives getting caught up in this war. So I

want to start this hour with CNN's Nick Paton Walsh, who was in Mykolayiv live where activities like going to work can turn into a bloodbath.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL EDITOR (voice over): This is probably when Russian forces tried to cut off Mykolayiv, pushing to

its north to encircle it. Ukrainian shells here, not holding them back.

The Governor told locals to bring tires to the streets which they did fast. And in the dark Russia's punishment of just about everyone here did not let

up. An airstrike flattened this warehouse. And if you needed proof the Kremlin seeks to reduce all life here. 1500 tons of onions, beer and

pumpkins were an apparent target for a military jet. So - in the back bedroom when a missile hit - built this home himself 43 years ago, and

knows he lacks the strength to do so again. She says she doesn't even have her slippers now. The hospitals are steeped in pain. They're corridors

running underground. Svetlana lost three friends Tuesday, when Russian shells hit the car they were traveling in to change shift at the disabled

children's home. When she ducked she saved her life. She names her three dead friends. Mykolayiv was badly burned by a missile in his yard. Moscow

targets hospitals and so they perversely need their own bomb shelters where sick children wait for the sirens to end. He is 12 and alone but he doesn't

know the reason his father is not here just now is because he is burying his mother and sister. [11:05:00]

WALSH (voice over): Sonia has shrapnel in her head, causing her to spasm explains they were outside taping up the house windows when the blast hit

while all the time trying to get Sonia to keep still. Outside it is cold and loud. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: In that report on Mykolayiv live filed by Nick Paton Walsh who is with us from Odessa this evening. And CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is in Turkey

with more on today's talks. Nick, let's start with you. We got a real sense of just how bad things are in Mykolayiv right where you are now what's

going on?

WALSH: In Odessa we've had a more I think edgy day than we've seen for quite some time here. A lot of sirens going off a local military official

talking about how a Russian ship off the coast had five shots in their opinions trying to assess what Ukraine's defense systems would do in


But in the last hour or so down the coastline there we have what may have been anti-aircraft gunfire hard to tell but enough for it to be quite

distinctive from what we've been hearing over the past days. So elevated concerns here that maybe the long vaunted operation that many have warned

amphibious landing perhaps or airstrikes or some sort of bombardment against this the third largest city in Ukraine is key port might be a foot

hard to tell.

The success Russian troops seem to be seeing in other parts of the south limited perhaps we may not know the full picture and certainly in Mykolayiv

where you saw that brutality meted out by them. Many locals there consider that to be a reflection of the frustration Russian forces are feeling about

trying to get into the city center.

They simply can't do it. And so instead, they're using heavy weapons to bombard residential areas. The local regional head there - came on a

Telegram channel talking about Ukrainian losses at checkpoints over the past 24 hours, but also saying that Russian army had been heavily bombarded

by airstrikes.

And even offering a kind of cheat sheet for Russian soldiers have they wanted to surrender themselves him claiming that they could advance they

didn't want to advance and they didn't want to also go back because they faced arrest.

But hard to verify those claims it's still none of it detracts from the fact there is still intense fighting for Mykolayiv and residents courts, or

possibly even targeted by Russian heavy weapons. Still, though, I think escalated tensions here and what all that fight for the Black Sea Coast is

really about as the main Russian speaking City of Odessa, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick describing thank you, Nick! Jomana, the reality on the ground and it is so clear that a ceasefire any potential ceasefire is so

necessary at this point. Of course, we have both Ukrainian and Russian Foreign Ministers in Turkey today. You were there and reporting from that

meeting and nothing happened.

I want to discuss Turkey's role as mediator before I get there I just want our viewers to have a look at what was a tense exchange between you and the

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson let's just have a look at this.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): I'm asking you --?

MARIA ZAKHAROVA, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON: You ask me I'm answering. I'm just giving you what it is like - I don't -


ANDERSON: Just describe that atmosphere if you will before we talk about Russia's role as mediator.


KARDASHEH: Well, Becky this was a casual encounter we had gone up to register names to ask questions to Foreign Minister Lavrov, during his

press conference. And I just happen to ask the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, if she had anything to say about the attack

of the bombing of the hospital in Mariupol, and she was directing me to their statements describing this as fake and a provocation.

And she really was insisting that I take a look at what she described as the anti-fake that they had published today, asking me to look at some

edited video that she said proves that this was fake, basically saying that the images that we have seen of bloodied pregnant women, that really

heartbreaking, shocking scene that has really stunned the world, insisting that that was fake.

And, you know, I asked her again, if they're insisting on their position that they are not targeting civilians. And again, she's saying that we the

Western media have chosen to be blind to the reality of what's been going on in Ukraine for the past eight years.

You know, what I found really shocking, Becky, is that this the same kind of terminology that we have been hearing from Russian officials, you know,

while we've covered Syria for the past decade or so, the past seven years of Russian involvement in the conflict there and the bombing campaign where

we've seen health facilities time and time again, bombed.

I've lost count of how many hospitals have been struck in Syria over the years, and you hear the same words fake provocation, and that, you know, it

was not them.

ANDERSON: Yes. Sergei Lavrov not willing to admit that there is a conflict in Ukraine today. So it didn't look as if those talks were ever going to go

anywhere. And they didn't go anywhere. And what's Turkey's role here? How important is it?

KARADSHEH: Well look, I mean, Turkey has really been trying to play a very big role here on the diplomatic scene for past few weeks. You know, Becky,

the Foreign Minister and President Erdogan has been really working the phones calling world leaders, they have been speaking with officials, they

have been speaking to both the Ukraine and Russia to try and bring both to the negotiating table.

They have offered to host talks between Presidents Zelenskyy and Putin time and time again, really, Turkey here trying to take advantage of this good

and really strong relationship that it has with both countries. You know, Turkey is obviously very unique in its position. It is a NATO country that

has been criticized a lot in the past, it's actually been hit by sanctions for its close ties with Russia when it comes to the defense sector.

And also it does have a very strong relationship as well, with Ukraine. It's provided Ukraine as well, with armed drones over the past couple of

years, which has angered Moscow. So it really has been trying to, you know, staying on neutral grounds and trying and bringing both sides together.

And we've heard the foreign minister today saying, look, one meeting is not going to lead to miracles, but they are hopeful that this is one

significant step in the right direction, at least for now, Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely Jomana Karadsheh is on the story for you. And of course, today's meeting in Turkey was not the first diplomatic effort to

fall flat Germany, France and Israel have also been trying to play the role of mediator between Ukraine and Russia.

Well, earlier I spoke to the Turkish Presidential Spokesman about the efforts to halt the bloodshed and whether the two sides will agree to more

talks. This is our conversation.


IBRAHIM KALIN, TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON: So we see this meeting today that took place in Antalya, with our Foreign Minister hosting the

meeting, as a first step in the direction of having more political negotiations that will prepare the ground for a strategic, hopefully,

finally, comprehensive strategic negotiation between the leaders.

Of course, we don't want to raise the expectations. We went into that meeting the full understanding of the realities on the ground. And the

reality on the ground is that the war still going on humanitarian corridors are not being effectively implemented because of violations by the Russian


But when you are in a war situation like this multilateral diplomacy is always important, useful, critical to minimize the damage of war to stop

the war aggression sooner rather than later.

ANDERSON (on camera): Will you be mediating more talks between the Russians and Ukrainians?

KALIN: We intend to. We make our services available. Our President has spoken to both President Putin and Zelenskyy couple of times since the

beginning of this war. The Ukrainian side is willing to have their strategic level discussions with the Russian counterpart President Vladimir



KALIN: I don't know when that will happen honestly when the Russian side will feel comfortable enough or ready to engage in this kind of talk.

Minister Lavrov said today, President Putin doesn't shy away from meeting President Zelenskyy. I take it as a good sign that, you know, there is some

ground, you know, for maybe a possibility of that meeting taking place at some point in the near future.

I hope that, as I said sooner, rather than later, but we will continue to play this role as a facilitator, a final decision to end this war will have

to come from President Putin. All other technical and political discussions are important, they will prepare the way for that final meeting or

comprehensive meeting and decision to take place.

But at the end of the day, its President Putin, who will make the final call on this. But the fact that Turkey is a NATO member has facilitated a

talk and meeting in the - big of this war. I think that's really important that needs to count for something.

ANDERSON (on camera): When we last spoke, you said that Turkey was not going to impose any sanctions on Russia. In the past week, we have seen a

dire humanitarian catastrophe unfold, hospitals, maternity wards; shelled images of pregnant women, injured, what more can the Turks do at this

point, to put pressure on Moscow?

KALIN: The humanitarian side the toll, of course, is horrible. I mean, this mindless work has to come to an end. We are coordinating efforts for port

evacuations, we are sending medical aid, we are sending other types of aid. They are important, of course, but let's be honest and realistic they are

not sufficient to stop this war. We are focusing on the strategic goal of stopping this war.

ANDERSON (on camera): OK.

KALIN: And that requires a lot of statesmanship that requires a lot of careful, sophisticated diplomacy. Attending to that human tragedy, at the

same time is a duty of all of us as human beings.

ANDERSON (on camera): Will you abide by sanctions imposed by the West yes or no?

KALIN: At the moment, we are not considering to impose sanctions on Russia because we want to keep the trust channel open. We want to keep the lines

of communication open with Russians. And of course we don't want our economy to be affected.

ANDERSON (on camera): The Ukrainians are pushing for EU membership. There is some appetite for that amongst EU members at present. How will Turkey

respond should that EU membership actually come through given that Turkey has been pushing for EU membership for years?

KALIN: Of course, we will welcome that, but with a rather bittersweet taste in the sense that you know we've been trying to become a full member in the

EU for the last almost 60 years and we are still maintaining EU membership is a strategic goal for Turkey.


ANDERSON: Ibrahim Kalin there speaking to me earlier some important stuff in there. Well, just ahead Ukraine won't surrender a single inch of

territory that declaration from a top aide to President Zelenskyy. I'm going to ask him about the Russia Ukraine meeting in Turkey up next.



ANDERSON: Well, they met face to face but they aren't Seeing Eye to eye. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sat down with his Ukrainian

counterpart a short time ago in Turkey but their talks produced no progress, at least on a ceasefire or humanitarian corridors instead Lavrov

once again made unsubstantiated claims about Ukraine and Nazism.

While Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the world "A broad narrative flirty have conveyed today, they will continue their aggression

until we surrender". Will Igor Zhovkva is the Deputy Head of the Office of the Ukrainian President. And he joins me now from an undisclosed location

in Ukraine.

Sir thank you talks today between Russia and Ukraine's Foreign Minister ended with no breakthrough. Why what happened?

IGOR ZHOVKVA, DEPUTY HEAD, OFFICE OF UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Well, there are several reasons. First of all, I have to admit that we were not putting

much expectation into these concrete negotiations. You know, we are negotiating for at least several days in the format of delegation between

Ukraine and Russia, unfortunately, with no real results.

Today, two ministers met and this is really good thing that they met. But unfortunately, we can say that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia is

not the person who is making the final decision. And the final decision to stop war to make a ceasefire at the beginning to withdraw troops is made

only by one person.

So you're rightfully saying that there were no measured results. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia tried to raise the issue of humanitarian

corridor, which unfortunately, is not the case for Mariupol as of today. You know, Mariupol is suffering from the humanitarian disaster, starting

from practically the first day of war.

You remember what happened yesterday when airstrikes Russian Armed Forces were hit on maternity hospital, there's an awful 17 people wounded three

died and one small child, the girl. So unfortunately, today's negotiations really brought no results.

But again, I have to reiterate, we are ready to diplomatic solution. My President is ready to talk to President Putin directly with the help of

international mediators. But we will not put any compromise we will not make any compromise to the Russian position during these negotiations.

ANDERSON: Right. OK and I want to talk about that. But let's talk about this proposal by the President to sit down with Vladimir Putin. Has there

been any outreach from the Russian President to President Zelenskyy this point.

ZHOVKVA: For the time being, no. I haven't heard anything from Russia President personally or from his aides. They are saying the last one that

he heard was we had still to work under the format of two delegations working. Like I told you, we had three rounds of negotiation.

But look, even the agreements reached during these negotiations are not held. There humanitarian corridors only slightly started to work as of

yesterday, but today wants to reiterate the major corridor from the Mariupol, which in a circle, which is you know, being kept in custody by

Russian forces is not working for the time being. So again, we are ready to talk to President Putin anytime he is ready.

ANDERSON: Your Foreign Minister described the narrative from the Russians as simply they will continue their aggression until we surrender. You're

clearly not going to surrender are you?

ZHOVKVA: Ukraine will not surrender to Russian Armed Forces.

ANDERSON: So what is it that you want? What do you what will the offer to Putin be at this point? You've been reported as saying that you are open to

Ukraine's neutrality status, for example, which is a demand of the Russians? Can you just explain where President Zelenskyy is at this point?

ZHOVKVA: Very simple. Again, we are realistic and we are ready to talk about neutrality or - status. If NATO block is not ready for the time being

to accept Ukraine, once again, everyone says among the allies that they're not ready to accept Ukraine.

At the same time, we do need a higher security guarantees for Ukraine for these awful wars for this awful aggressions not to repeat in future. Just

to remind you in 1994, we had deprived ourselves from the third largest nuclear potential and we were given a Budapest Memorandum a piece of paper,

which never, you know, been used neither in 2014 when Russia started aggression in Donbas and in the Crimea nor today.


ZHOVKVA: So we want to sit at the table not only with President Putin but with the larger states of the world like the U.S. the Great Britain,

Germany, Britain, all our neighbors, and to establish the system, you may call it the security system of Europe and the renewed security system of

Europe with a higher security guarantees for Ukraine and for the region. In this case, we are ready to talk on the things we are talking about.

ANDERSON: EU leaders will be meeting in Paris today, what are Ukraine's expectations from that summit?

ZHOVKVA: Ukraine's expectations are very simple. On 28th of February, my President summoned an application for EU membership of Ukraine. So we

expect today a bold and the brave decision from the EU leaders from the all the leaders who are gathering today in their side to start the procedure of

entering Ukraine into the EU and to finalize this procedure in a very quick future.

Fighting at the forefront of Europe fighting for the sake of France, Germany and other EU members I think my country might be a Ukrainian people

deserve to become a part of the European family. Ukraine deserves become to become a part of the European Union.

We do not want to hear about bureaucratic procedures, any possible checks or whatever. We are ready to talk about - criteria. But let's add other

criteria to these set of criteria a security criteria. Ukraine is now fighting for the security of Europe.

So when President Macron talks about possible European security, how can he talk about possible European security without having President Zelenskyy at

the table without having President Zelenskyy and Ukraine in the European Union?

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Well, these are live pictures coming to us. Tonight, sir, it's good to have you on thank you very much indeed talking to us

there from an undisclosed location. Well, from danger to safety Ukraine says it is opening more corridors as they're known these aren't evacuation

corridors to get civilians away from the fighting. We'll have a live update from Kyiv after this.


ANDERSON: Well, against the backdrop of more bombings more fighting and the scramble to get more civilians to safety. European leaders are signing a

two day summit on Ukraine and that begins shortly in Versailles. Let me just get you there.

These are live images it's looking really quite spectacular isn't it? These leaders are expected to discuss Europe's energy supply and Ukraine's bid to

join the EU.


ANDERSON: That's what we were just talking about with Zelenskyy's aid. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris meantime is visiting NATO ally Poland. She

says Russia's actions have had an unintended consequence.


KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: We are very clear. The NATO alliance is stronger and Russia is weaker because of what Putin has done. That is very



ANDERSON: That's Kamala Harris' trip comes just after the U.S. rejected a Polish plan to get jets to Ukraine and as Ukraine's President Zelenskyy

repeats his calls for no fly zone over his country. Well, his newest pleas for help prompted by the bombing of a children's hospital and maternity

wards many people including world leaders using words like horrifying and depraved to describe that attack in the City of Mariupol.

We are about to air some images that you may find disturbing. So I'm going to give you a moment to turn away if you - if you don't like the idea of

that. These images do show some of the pregnant women and staff who were hurt in that blast.

Local officials say three people died you can see there is blood and an awful lot of rubble a few hours before that bombing Russia's Foreign

Ministry claimed Ukrainian combat troops were holed up in the hospital and had expelled patients and staff. That is clearly and patently not true.

Ukraine's President says what happened is indefensible, and that his troops would never commit a war crime like this, even in the separatist regions.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Children's Hospital, maternity ward why were they a threat to Russian Federation? What kind of country is

Russian Federation that is afraid of hospitals afraid of maternity wards and destroys them? A strike on a maternity hospital as a final proof a

proof of genocide of Ukrainians is taking place.


ANDERSON: Well, World Health Organization counts 24 attacks on healthcare facilities in Ukraine since the start of this invasion two weeks ago,

leading to at least 12 deaths and 17 injuries. My colleague Sam Kiley filed this report a bit earlier on the maternity hospital bombing in Mariupol and

efforts to get people across Ukraine out of harm's way have a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SAM KILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): We were really stretched whatever cause you have sent them here. He says

airstrike maternity hospital. This was Russia's response to a global appeal for a ceasefire to evacuate a city of a million people. A bomb dropped next

to a maternity hospital in Mariupol. It's hospital number three. Inside a frantic search for survivors early reports say that there were more than a

dozen injured a miraculous outcome to an attempt to a mass killing at a place where lives should begin. Many women and children had already fled to

underground bunkers after a week of Russian bombardment. Ukraine's President renewed his pleas for NATO to drive Russia from his nation's

skies after the hospital airstrike. ZELENSKYY: Everything that the occupiers do with Mariupol is already beyond atrocity Europeans, Ukrainians

citizens of Mariupol today; we must be united in condemning this war crime of Russia. KILEY (voice over): In fact, evacuations from other towns have

been more successful, but still very limited. Around 700 people, mostly women and children, were bused out of - the site of Europe's biggest

nuclear reactor, which was captured recently by Russia. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The shops are empty. There's nothing there not enough medical

supplies retired. We need to eat and rest. KILEY (on camera): It may seem extraordinary, but these are the lucky ones. They've escaped from the

shadow of a nuclear power station and the clutches of Russian troops but in comparison to what people are enduring in Mariupol this is good fortune.

KILEY (voice over): Yulia Coriolan volunteers and refugee center in Zaporizhzhia set up to receive people fleeing her hometown of Mariupol.

It's empty. She's been waiting a week for news from home of her husband --. This morning, she got a brief call. KILEY (on camera): How's your daughter

doing? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My daughter told me she loves me. KILEY (on camera): Of course she does. [11:35:00]

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually how she's alive. She's doing like all of its children doing now in Mariupol almost no food, no drinking water, no

electricity. It was minus five this night. They have no heat and cold basement and some courts. KILEY (voice over): Small families living in a

bomb shelter with hundreds of others. She says they can only survive another few days. Then they will have to surface perhaps to face more of

this. Sam Kiley, CNN, Zaporizhzhia.


ANDERSON: Well, Ukraine open to let more people get out of the danger zone by opening new evacuation corridors in several parts of the country. Now

these would allow people to escape the cities in the south which are surrounded by Russian forces.

President Zelenskyy said nearly 35,000 people were rescued from Sumy, the Kyiv region - on Wednesday. CNN's Matthew Charles is in Kyiv with the

situation there today, Matthew.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky thanks very much. Well, there's been fierce fighting, in fact to the East of the

Ukrainian Capital with some dramatic and horrific scenes of a Russian tank column that has been pounded by Ukrainian forces, as Russian forces attempt

to continue that strategy of encircling the capitals that fierce fighting, continuing as well.

The humanitarian corridor has been opened up in the north of the city, allowing terrified residents to stream across the frontlines and get

themselves and their families to safety.


CHANCE (voice over): In the chaos of this evacuation, the frantic search for lost child. The rush to escape the fighting an orphan has been left

behind. Each bus now desperately checked for a familiar face.

CHANCE (on camera): Hello, hi. Do you speak English?

CHANCE (voice over): For the journey across the front line the children are well protected against the cold if not the bombs. The older kids with

terrified Natasha tells me but the little ones didn't understand the danger they were all in she says.

This is a mass exodus from areas under heavy Russian assault. An agreed safe corridor, which hundreds of civilians entire families are using to

escape before it closes leaving the horrors the past few weeks.

CHANCE (on camera): Where have you come from Nadia?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a place which was the very dangerous and there are a lot of Russians and lot of Chechens.

CHANCE (on camera): Russians and Chechens?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes Russians and Chechens. And they kill our owner of the house where we sit.

CHANCE (on camera): They killed the owner of the house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes they killed the owner of the house.

CHANCE (on camera): And so you must have been and your family over here. You must have been terrified.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was terrified absolutely terrified. But family is OK. We are going to the--

CHANCE (on camera): You've been 10 days underground?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 10 days underground.

CHANCE (on camera): Oh, my goodness. Well, there you have it. You know, just one family that has, you know, taken this opportunity to escape the

horrific situation they found themselves in for the last 10 days or more. And again, you know, take that chance to get themselves and their children

out of here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a lot of volunteers who helped with nutrition and warm these savages.

CHANCE (voice over): And helping them do that safely. This embattled Ukrainian official tells me is now as much a part of fighting this war with

Russia is killing the enemy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Warm food and warm drinks. We have a medical crew that helps to manage people that were wounded. We've seen shelled people with

broken and ruptured legs here. And we have a security force that actually interview people because we are afraid that Russians may have sent some of

their own in this as spies as saboteurs.

CHANCE (on camera): And all this is happening of course, all this is happening under the threat, the threat of artillery strikes and gunfire.

That's a real threat right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a real threat, but we have no choice because we have thousands of people who really have spent more than a week in the

basements with no cellular coverage with no access to system medical assistants with no food no lights no electricity and they want to flee.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They need us to help them.

CHANCE (voice over): But as the buses leave for the capital, the boom of artillery fire resumes in the distance. The window for this escape from the

fighting is closing fast.


CHANCE: Well Becky, that window has still remained open, at least for this day. It's the third day in a row, there have been hundreds, if not

thousands of people streaming out of those suburbs and those small towns to the north of the Ukrainian Capital, as Russian forces push slowly but

surely, into those residential areas.

And of course, the big concern is that Russia may double down and may increase the amount of force it's applying to the situation, particularly

because it's had some battlefield defeats. And that may have a devastating impact on the civilian population that remains in the city back to you.

ANDERSON: And just for our viewers sake, two weeks ago, if we had said that half of Kyiv's population would have gone, that would have seemed

unfathomable, but that's the situation now, isn't it briefly?

CHANCE: Well, it's what the Mayor of Kyiv says. It's a population of, you know, maybe 3 million people in this city. I mean, he's making the point

that a large percentage about half of that population may have already left for the most part they're taking the train or taking their cars to the west

of the country and leaving Ukraine.

You know, there's a huge obviously we recovering this huge exodus of people from this country, but you're right, the city the capital is emptying out

in preparation for what could be a really ferocious Russian onslaught.

ANDERSON: Matthew Chance is in Kyiv thank you. Well, the Russian billionaire who owns Chelsea FC finds himself on sanctions list. How will

these sanctions against Roman Abramovich though help affect Chelsea players and fans we're going to get you to the stadium after this?


ANDERSON: Well, the British government is that it's Chelsea Football Club Owner Roman Abramovich to sanctions list over Russia's war in Ukraine.

Abramovich and six other Russian oligarchs will have their UK assets frozen and no one in the UK can do business with them.

Well, the football clubs' matches will continue, but fans won't be able to buy new tickets after the British government gave Chelsea Football Club a

special license. Well, joining us now from Chelsea's home stadium of Stamford Bridge in London is World Sport Anchor, Amanda Davis.

I mean, this club has been in the community since 1905. That's 117 years and employs hundreds of people. How will the sanctions impact those clubs

staff the players the fans?


ANDERSON: What's the story?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes, Becky is actually the club's 117th birthday today, March the 10th. Not quite the birthday celebrations they

were hoping about because suddenly this is not just about winning football matches to any more.

This is answering questions about how this club runs and survives on a day to day basis? The club actually playing both men's and women's first two

matches today a small saving grace for them that they are taking place away from Stamford Bridge.

But you talk about this special license what we do know the club are able to continue playing their games. They're able to continue paying their

staff and their players. But what they're not able to do conduct transfers sign new players sell club merchandise.

There's a sign on the door of the club shop here it is firmly closed saying because of the regulations that is now no longer able to take place the

hotel on the grounds here at Stamford Bridge isn't able to take reservations anymore.

You actually if you walk into the hotel lobby aren't able to buy food and drink you know, in the grand scheme of the big picture and what is

happening the life and death playing out in Ukraine. These are not important issues, but they do make the running of a football club on a day

to day basis very tricky indeed.

It raises questions about the future of the likes of club captain Cesar - his contracts up at the end of the season. There are limits on how much the

club can pay in terms of traveling expenses as they head for example to their game in France next week.

The UK government say they are working with the Premier League in order to be able to for the club to take to carry on moving forwards. The club

though have asked for more special exemptions to be able to do that in a competitive way Becky.

ANDERSON: Amada is at Stamford Bridge thank you. Well, as the Western world rolls out more sanctions, more embargoes in an unprecedented show of unity

in the face of Russian aggression others with close ties to Russia less willing, it seems to level anything more than appeals for de-escalation and


Let's take a closer look at one of the reasons why Saudi Arabia and the UAE the two powerhouses in the Gulf have been hesitant to jump in line with

their longtime allies in Washington and the West.

Well, there are other geopolitical considerations here at the heart of the Gulf relationship with Russia is OPEC Plus. The agreement led by Saudi

Arabia and Russia that effectively controls oil the world over. OPEC is a group of oil producers formed in 1960, while OPEC Plus was created to bring

in other oil producers like Russia into the fold.

Now the Biden Administration has been lobbying its partners in OPEC to increase production in order to stave off the worst effects of taking

Russian oil out of the market and this supply shock.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We share an interest in ensuring the stability of global energy supplies. And we've had very constructive

engagements with those interests in mind. Just yesterday, I spent up a fair bit of time on the phone with my Emirati Counterpart. We're all talking

regularly. I've regularly met with my Saudi Counterpart, including in Munich, just a few weeks ago.


ANDERSON: Well, yesterday, we brought you news that the UAE is in favor of increasing oil production and will encourage OPEC to consider higher

output. The U.S. Ambassador to Washington telling CNN, the UAE has been a reliable and responsible supplier of energy to global markets for more than

50 years and believes that stability in energy markets is critical to the global economy.

Well, those were strong words, but it's uncertain whether they will act unilaterally to ramp up production?


AMENA BAKR, CHIEF OPEC CORRESPONDENT: Why don't they take unilateral action? And the reasoning behind that is that they want to keep unity with

within this group, and they don't want Russia to step out or leave the OPEC Plus group would be this would be a big loss.

ANDERSON (on camera): Why just explain why?

BAKR: --the Gulf producers they would be losing. I can tell you that. I mean, OPEC Plus is a very effective market managing tool, and without the

weight of Russia in the group, it would be less effective.


ANDERSON: Well, later the UAE Energy Minister reiterated the country's commitment to OPEC Plus which effectively means the ball is back in Saudis'

courts on whether it will land on the U.S. or Russian side in all of this?


ANDERSON: Meantime, Moscow's propaganda machine puts U.S. on alert why the White House is warning that Russia could use chemical weapons in Ukraine or

manufacture a new false flag operation that uses them that after this?


ANDERSON: Well, ever since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine 15 days ago, the Kremlin has gone on immediate offensive spreading propaganda

and limiting people's access to information and this tactic goes back years.

We'll CNN's David Culver examined weeks of Chinese media reports from even before Russia's invasion began and found a sort of partnership of

propaganda in defiance of the West have a look at this.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): China's national broadcaster CCTV looking increasingly like Russian state television these days. Its

anchors parroting the Kremlin, calling the invasion of Ukraine, a special military operation its stories, highlighting Moscow's grievances against

Kyiv and its Western allies along with Russia's military progress on the battlefield they rarely mentioned their fierce resistance and growing

suffering and war torn Ukraine.

Publicly Beijing stresses its impartiality and the conflict even indicating its willingness to be mediator coverage and it's strictly controlled state

and social media tells a very different story. CNN combing through Chinese TV and digital news reports in the first eight days of the Russian attack,

along with thousands of social media posts from the outlets.

CULVER (on camera): Our findings, China has largely adopted Russia's talking points, actively helping the Kremlin disseminate its version of the

bloody war to millions here and beyond.

CULVER (voice over): The Chinese Foreign Ministry has yet to respond to our request for comment. But remember Russian President Vladimir Putin's last

foreign visit before he launched the invasion was here to China, following the 38th meeting between Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping since 2013.

And just hours before the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, the two governments declared a partnership with no limits. China and Russia has

increasingly close ties had included coordinating their message on the global stage. Such coordination it now appears has drawn Beijing into

playing an important role in the Kremlin disinformation campaign.

On February 26th, after two nights of Russian bombardment, Zelenskyy shared a video of himself on the streets of Kyiv. Russian officials quickly allege

that Zelenskyy had fled the country and the video was pre-recorded.

Less than 15 minutes later, CCTV flashed a news alert claiming Zelenskyy has left Kyiv initially without any attribution. More than 160 Chinese

state media outlets reposted the CCTV alert. A #RussiasaysZelenskyyhasleftKyiev later got more than 510 million views on

Chinese social media Weibo.

And yet, it was not true. Perhaps most damning, and internal memo purportedly from state run publication, Beijing News surfaced online two

days before the Russian invasion even started. The memo directed staff not to publish anything negative about Russia or pro west.

It was mistakenly posted on the outlet social media accounts before being set to private and eventually deleted. CNN research has found that China's

major state media outlets appear to be following that playbook.


CULVER (voice over): Of the most re-tweeted post on Weibo from February 24 through March 3, more than 46 percent contained pro Russia comments

compared to less than 5 percent with pro Ukraine statements. Roughly 35 percent of the post included attacks on the U.S. and its allies.

With reports by Russia state media outlets being banned in many Western nations and Moscow, enacting its own great firewall to censor dissenting

voices domestically, Chinese state media is spreading and amplifying Putin's narrative on air and online, around the clock and across the globe.

David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.


ANDERSON: And thank you for joining us. CNN continues after this with the latest on Russia's invasion of Ukraine for minute by minute updates do head

to or use the CNN app. I'm Becky Anderson from the team working with me here and those working with us around the world. It is a very good