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Russia Accused of Targeting Health Care Facilities; Recently Released Female Soldiers Tortured by Russians; Over 7 Million Internally Displaced in Ukraine. Aired 10-10:40a ET

Aired April 06, 2022 - 10:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): I'm Becky Anderson. We're in Abu Dhabi on April 6th. Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.

It's day 42 of Russia's long and cruel war on Ukraine. We're seeing more worldwide outrage, sanctions and more brutal tactics and attacks by Moscow.

Ukrainian officials say major fighting is underway in the eastern part of the country. In Kharkiv region, Russia carried out 27 strikes on

residential areas overnight.

The military governor of Luhansk is urging several towns to evacuate while they can. Officials say air defense systems shot down two Russian cruise

missiles in the Western Lviv region. No casualty have been reported.

Earlier today, Ukraine's deputy prime minister announced Russia agreed on 11 humanitarian corridors after nearly 4,000 people were evacuated on

Tuesday; meantime, The U.S. will announce sweeping new sanctions against Moscow. The Ukrainian president urging Ireland to follow suit.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Would like to ask you to convince E.U. partners to introduce more rigid sanctions

against Russia that would really make sure that the Russian war machine will stop.

We have to put an end to trading with Russia. We have to cut ties of Russian banks to the global system, cut the sources of their income from

the oil that they use for their weapons and for the killing.


ANDERSON: Security video shows the moment shelling hit a parked ambulance in Mykolaiv, outside a children's hospital.

This heartbreaking image comes from the outskirts of Kyiv, a little boy, aged 6, stands in his back yard with his hands in his pockets near his

mother's grave.

We've got correspondents around the region. Ivan Watson is in Eastern Ukraine. Phil Black will join us later from Lviv. Salma Abdelaziz is in


First, to Borodyanka near Bucha, another city where brutality against civilians is coming to light. CNN's Fred Pleitgen got a first-hand look at

the widespread devastation there.

As I've said on many occasions over the last 40-odd days, a warning: some of the images and details his report are graphic and disturbing.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the war that Russia has unleashed against Ukraine, few places have suffered

more than Borodyanka, occupied by Vladimir Putin's troops since late February, recently taken back by Ukraine's army.

Borodyanka was held by the Russians for a very long time. And just to give you an idea about the scale of the destruction, you have houses like these

that were completely destroyed.

But if we look over here, you can see that even large residential buildings have been flattened. This entire building was flattened. It was connected

with this one before. But now, there's absolutely nothing left of it.

And the Russians made sure to show they owned this town, painting the letter V on occupied buildings, even defacing Borodyanka's city

administration. V is the letter the Russians used to help identify their forces that invaded this part of Ukraine.

Oksana Kostychenko and her husband just returned here and found Russian soldiers had been staying in their house. She says they ransacked the


"Alcohol is everywhere," she says, "empty bottles in the hallway under things.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): "They smoked a lot, put out cigarettes on the table."

They also showed us the corpse of a man they found in their back yard, his hands and feet tied, severe bruises on his body, shell casings still


Russia claims its forces don't target civilians, calling reports of atrocities "fake" and provocations. But these body collectors are the ones

who have to remove the carnage Russia's military leaves in its wake.

In a span of less than an hour, they found a person gunned down while riding a bicycle, a body burned beyond recognition, and the man still stuck

in his car, gunned down, with bullet holes in his head and chest. He was believed to be transporting medical supplies, now strewn near this road.

"The most awful thing is, those are not soldiers laying there, just people, innocent people," Hennadiy says.

"For no reason?" I asked.

"Yes, for no reason, killed and tortured for no reason," he says.

The road from Kyiv to Borodyanka is lined with villages heavily damaged after Russia's occupation, destroyed tanks and armored vehicles left behind

but also indications of just how much firepower they unleashed on this area.

The Russians say this is a special operation, not a war, and that they don't harm civilians. But look how much ammunition they left behind, simply

in this one single firing position here. This is ammunition for heavy weapons with devastating effects on civilian areas.

That devastation cuts through the towns and villages north of Kyiv, where the number of dead continues to rise. Now that Vladimir Putin his armies

have withdrawn, Ukraine's leaders still believe many more bodies could be buried beneath the rubble -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Borodyanka, Ukraine.


ANDERSON: NATO foreign ministers are gathering in Brussels to discuss what more they can do to bolster Ukraine's efforts against Russia. The killings

in Bucha and other cities have galvanized support for Ukraine. The European Commission pushing for a fifth sanctions package against Moscow, including

oil and gas sanctions.

E.U.'s foreign affairs chief says the alliance has paid Russia the equivalent of $38 billion for energy since beginning of the war.


JOSEP BORRELL, E.U. HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS & SECURITY POLICY (through translator): We have given Ukraine 1 billion euros. It

might seem a lot but 1 billion euros is what we pay Putin every day for the energy he provides us.

Since the beginning of the war, we have given them 35 billion euros. Compare that to the 1 billion euros we have given to Ukraine in arms and



ANDERSON: Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson monitoring the meeting, joining us from NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Let's start with what foreign ministers think they may do next with regard providing Ukraine with what it needs to fends off this cruel attack or

these cruel attacks.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, what they are looking at is how Russia is reorganizing or regrouping its forces and

refocusing on the south and east of the country and a recognition at NATO that the sort of tempo and what they need to do has changed.

It's going to last long, a lot longer, the fight. They need to make sure they have got the supply lines, logistic supply lines, in place, to make

sure the forces have enough fuel, helmets, enough flak jackets, enough medical supplies, all the sorts of things that a regular military would

have in place to fight a war.

This has been put together in a hurry. Still, the focus is -- and we heard this from U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken last night -- another $100

million to be spent on those armor piercing anti-tank, anti-armor weapons systems, like the Javelin that've been so effective so far in stopping

Russia's advance.

But there's a recognition at NATO that what Russia does now, rather than potentially extend itself along long supply lines that don't work, that it

can dig itself in and work along from more traditional front line positions and can test what the Ukrainians can do.

There's a recognition that the Ukrainians may need more hard armored vehicles; potentially, tanks. There has been reports of those potentially

being supplied. We know the Australians just a few days ago said they will be supplying the Ukrainian forces with armored vehicles.

So it's change in nature of the conflict, reflecting the fact that this will last long.


ROBERTSON: And making sure that NATO is doing and is ready to help sustain, over the longer term, the Ukrainian forces, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, as we hear an uptick in support for Ukraine, as these images emerge, of Bucha and other places. We've heard from President

Zelenskyy once again today, cut off Russia's sources of income completely, he said speaking to Ireland's parliament, imploring lawmakers to lean on

the E.U. to do more.

It is finally going after Russia's energy.

What is the E.U. doing?

What's left?

ROBERTSON: There's a lot left. Josep Borrell, the high representative vice president there, the most senior E.U. diplomat, put it in very stark terms.

A million in aid to Ukraine and at the same time about that on energy supplies to Russia. That's a lot.

The E.U. is looking, the commissioner said they are looking at banning coal. Coal is -- sort of comes in at about $4.3 billion a year to Russia.

You can see that is a tiny fraction of the overall energy spent from the European Union to Russia.

And it's seeing that money is going in and it's available for Russia to use to fight and prosecute this war. So there is a real desire to try to cut

off the energy supplies.

But as we keep hearing here, it has to be balanced against the pain that whole nations within the European Union can withstand. Some are more

dependent on Russian gas than others.

The European Commission is saying we'd like to get to gas and oil. Perhaps oil will be more likely, about $25 billion per quarter going to Russia. But

as you say, a lot left to go.

The European Union also looking at targeting four significant Russian banks, stopping vessels from using E.U. ports, stopping exports to the tune

of about $10.9 billion; semiconductors and quantum computers fall into that category. So it's trying to do more but it's limited. Very clearly

divisions over what the next moves can be.

ANDERSON: Yes. And we got to watch that because we have a united Europe to date. But the issue of energy and its impact on Europeans is something

they're concerned about. Thanks, Nic.

The U.S. is expected to announce a new round of sanctions on Wednesday that could target his adult children and hit Russia's banking and energy

sectors. A U.S. official said the moves would send Russia, "further down the road of economic, financial and technological isolation." Jeremy

Diamond is tracking this for us.

What are we talking about?

What are the most serious sanctions being discussed?

And do U.S. officials think any of this is going to make a difference?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It was just two days ago that President Biden argued that Russia has committed war crimes, as the

new images of civilians being targeted and killed in the city of Bucha, just outside of Kyiv, emerged.

The president vowed additional sanction will be coming this week. Now we expect to see the sanctions being unveiled today. They include a ban on all

new investments in Russia, expanded sanctions against financial institutions, including Russia's largest financial institutions, Sberbank

as well as Alfa Bank.

Sanctioning Russian government officials and family members. We are told they are expected to include Putin's adult children. There are two

daughters that we know of that Putin has and he has acknowledged.

Those two daughters expected to be sanctioned by the U.S. government today and potentially also by the European Union. That's because U.S. officials

have repeatedly underscored the fact they are trying to act in lockstep with the European Union, with the Group of Seven nations around the world.

And we are expecting many of these sanctions will be done in coordination with those countries as they come down today.

ANDERSON: We been down the sanctions road before. We know there's been a huge impact on Russia.


ANDERSON: But we're continuing to see Russia's aggression. So as far as a deterrent, the war goes on.

We know Joe Biden wants the E.U. to go full throttle against Russian energy. Europe is not united on how to do that, certainly not in the

punitive way that Joe Biden hopes they would do.

Do U.S. officials think this will make a difference to what Vladimir Putin's strategy is and whether or not he will choose to end this war

anytime soon?

DIAMOND: We've asked U.S. officials that at the White House a number of times. The short answer is yes, over the long term. They also said it will

take time to grind down the elements of Russian power within the Russian economy, to hit their industrial base and grind down the levers of power

that are keeping Russia's war machine going.

We have already seen some impacts on their economy but they expect these sanctions, as they continue to escalate them -- and we have seen them

continue to ratchet up the sanctions, week by week, Russian atrocity by Russian atrocity.

But it's not just about trying to change Russia's behavior; it's about trying to impose costs and make clear that Russian atrocities and war

crimes in particular will not go unpunished -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Jeremy Diamond is at the White House, thank you.

Just ahead, CNN has been given permission to speak with some of most severely wounded Ukrainians. How they're fighting for their lives as well

as their country.

And the pope demonstrates his support for Ukraine and his anger over the suffering of civilians. More after this.




ANDERSON: Bucha, Mariupol and now Mykolaiv: some of the places devastated by the Russian invasion on Ukraine.

In Mykolaiv, local officials say Russian troops shelled a children's hospital on Monday. Security footage appears to show the moment they hit an

ambulance parked outside. A team from Doctors without Borders was nearby and confirmed the attack at the children's hospital.

The World Health Organization says Russia has been targeting hospitals. Ivan Watson is live in Zaporizhzhya.


ANDERSON: Tell us what it is you witnessed, Ivan.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a glimpse of the physical toll this conflict is taking on both soldiers and civilians. I

have to warn viewers, the images in this next report are disturbing and graphic.


WATSON (voice-over): Shattered bodies in the intensive care unit of a Ukrainian hospital. Men and women from the Ukrainian military whose war

wounds are so catastrophic, they need machines to breathe.

These deeply uncomfortable images, a glimpse of the physical toll this conflict is taking on both soldiers and civilians.

WATSON: The general director of the hospital says that after the first couple of days of this new war, at least 30 medical personnel resigned

because of just the trauma of seeing these kinds of injuries up close.

WATSON (voice-over): A soldier named Yuri wants to communicate.

WATSON: He can't speak because he's still on a ventilator. He has regained consciousness after 11 days in a coma.

WATSON (voice-over): We won't identify him because doctors say his family does not yet know of his injuries.

WATSON: He has one child.

WATSON (voice-over): A daughter, he signals, 13 years old. Writing in my notebook, Yuri tells me he's been in the military for two years.

WATSON: The doctors say that he has a very good chance of surviving very serious shrapnel injuries to his body.

We were given permission to film here provided we not name the hospital nor the city that we're in and that's because the Ukrainian authorities fear

that that information could lead to the Russian military directly targeting this hospital.

WATSON (voice-over): In every room here, there's a patient whose bones and tissues have been ripped apart by flying metal.

WATSON: Vladimir (ph) is a volunteer. He signed up on the second day of this war in 2022.

WATSON (voice-over): This electrician turned volunteer comes from the Russian-speaking city of Kharkiv. Three days ago, a battle left him with

two broken arms and wounds to the stomach.

WATSON (voice-over): Vladimir (ph) says his sister lives in Russia and he no longer communicates with her. I asked why. He said that she believes

that the Ukrainians are enemies. And this is a family that is split apart by this war and different narratives of who started it.

Vladimir and the soldier with the fresh amputation lying next to him both insist that only force can stop Russia's war on this country.

Down the hall, I meet a young civilian, also horrifically wounded.

WATSON: Dima (ph) is 21 years old.

Where are you from?


WATSON (voice-over): Dima (ph) is a recent university graduate, photographed here with his mother, Natasha. My mother died when this

happened to me, he says, adding, I've cried enough already. I'm calmer now.

He says on the night of March 9th, he and his mother were hiding in the bathroom of a two-story house in the center of Mariupol when they heard war

planes overhead bombing the neighborhood. Mother and son were hiding in the bathroom, shortly before 1:00 am, he says, when the bomb hit the house.

When he woke up, his legs were gone. He never saw his mother again. During my visit, a friend gives Dima (ph) a phone.

WATSON: This is the first time he's seeing the building where he and his mother were sheltering when they were hit. The red car here that is

destroyed in front of the ruined building was his mother's car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Of course, I get angry. I get sad. I get depressed at times but I can't lose my cool because those who did

this to me, they probably want me to sit here crying and weeping.

WATSON (voice-over): Don't let the silence in these halls fool you. There is deep, seething anger in this hospital at the country that launched this

unprovoked war on Ukraine.


WATSON: Becky, I'd like to direct viewers to this security camera footage from the southern city of Mykolaiv from the beginning of the week, of the

potential cluster bombing of parked ambulances at a children's hospital in Mykolaiv.

That is some of the evidence, that is some of the justification for why the authorities do not want the hospital that I visited to be identified or

located, because there seems to be a pattern of deliberately bombing.


WATSON: Russia is deliberately bombing hospital and health care facilities. In fact, the United Nations has counted about 84 strikes on

health care facilities since Russia invaded Ukraine, attacks that have killed at least 72 people and wounded many more -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Ivan, you are on the ground in Zaporizhzhya now.

What do we know about the 500 civilians who arrived today, escorted by the ICRC?

WATSON: They arrived a couple of hours ago. A member of the Red Cross team said they tried for five days to get from here to Mariupol. At one point

they were detained overnight before they were released.

They were detained by the Russian security forces, that control the gates to that shattered city and the surrounding countryside.

The Russians are besieging Mariupol. In the end, they were able to help escort a convoy of about seven buses and dozens of privately owned vehicles

full of Ukrainians, that were fleeing Russian controlled territory and probably originally Mariupol to arrive here. Take a listen to what a

spokesperson from the team told me just a few hours ago.


LUCILE MARBEAU, SPOKESPERSON, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS: First you really see the emotion, the relief when the buses arrived. We

arrived yesterday. Some people were waiting since 5:00 in the morning. Once they were in the buses, many started to cry. But it was cries of relief


And some don't really know exactly where they will be going. Some also are still extremely anxious for those that they have left behind, of course. I

was talking about this teenager; her parents are still there. There's almost no connectivity.

So how is she going to know if they are safe and well?


WATSON: Under siege by the Russian military for a month, people there living for weeks without heat, electricity, running water, telephones,

internet, hiding in basements from constant bombardment by the Russian military.

The conditions there have prompted the Mariupol city council to suggest that there are now, being used by Russians, mobile crematoria, that the

Russians are burning bodies left in Mariupol to cover their tracks. We cannot independently confirm that.

But the conditions inside that the evacuees described are nothing short of nightmarish -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Ivan Watson is on the ground. Thank you for your reporting. It's so important.

If you would like to help people in Ukraine, there may be a need of food, shelter, water, medical supplies. Please go to You'll find

several ways you can help.





ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

The Ukrainian president demanding Ireland put more pressure on the European Union for more rigid sanctions on Moscow. He earlier told the Irish

parliament that Ukraine can't tolerate indecisiveness after everything Russia has done in Ukraine.

European has hesitated to ban Russian energy imports but it's set to impose a fifth round of sanctions that includes cutting off Russian coal imports.

It's also looking at bans on oil and gas. Foreign ministers from NATO and G7 are gathering in Brussels on the matter.

Amid the relentless Russian bombardment, relief for some, a group of Ukrainian POWs. They returned home as part of a prisoner exchange with

Russia. Christiane Amanpour spoke with several about their treatment in Russian captivity in what is this exclusive report.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Back home and free, these former Ukrainian prisoners of war, once held by

Russian forces are greeted by friends and colleagues in Kyiv.

Freedom for now is the drag of a cigarette, walking on home turf, even if that means using crutches. Bags of food are handed out to the more than 80

former Ukrainian POWs released in a prisoner exchange with Russia.

It's a welcome meal and a moment to decompress and reflect on what many here say was the physical and mental abuse they endured in Russian custody.

One POW named Gleb says he was captured nearly a month ago while evacuating civilians. He was beaten by Russian soldiers.

GLEB, FORMER POW (through translator): They hit me in the face with machine gun butts and kicked me. My front teeth were also chipped.

AMANPOUR: Anya and Dasha were in the same unit. It was shelled by Russian troops, who they say tried to break them, making them shout "Glory to

Russia." And they shaved their heads, telling them that it was for hygiene purposes.

ANYA, FORMER POW (through translator): Maybe they were trying to break our spirit in some way.

DASHA, FORMER POW (through translator): It was a shock. But then we're strong girls, you know?

AMANPOUR: Dmytro says he was taken by Russian soldiers in Mariupol and suffered daily beatings during his captivity.

DMYTRO, FORMER POW (through translator): They would beat us five to six times a day for nothing. They would just take us into the hallway and beat

us up.

AMANPOUR: It's an ordeal and it will take time to heal, both mentally and physically, though many say they want to go back to their units and

continue fighting.

But, before that, Gleb shows us a slip of paper with what he says are the phone numbers of loved ones of prisoners still held captive by the

Russians. He says he will tell the families they're still alive and not to give up hope -- Christiane Amanpour, CNN, Kyiv.


ANDERSON: Across Ukraine, more 7.1 million people have been internally displaced by this war. The war is only 40 days old and we're talking over 7

million people internally displaced. That's a 10 percent increase first since first surveyed by the International Organization for Migration three

weeks ago.

Today 11 humanitarian corridors are open in Eastern and Southern Ukrainian. A deputy prime minister said more than 3,800 people were evacuated on

Tuesday through the corridors.

The U.N. reports more than 4.2 million people have now fled Ukraine. Let's get to our report with Salma Abdelaziz.

Poland now hosting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees. Many more people have come in through Poland and have gone elsewhere. There's a lot

that clearly goes into caring for so many people.


ANDERSON: What are you seeing on the ground there?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, 2.5 million refugees already in Poland. That could swell to 3 million. When we talk about

refugees, they are no means static. These are essentially nomadic families.

All these people you see around you here, I can promise you, the first question they get when they are bumped into is, where do I spend the night?

Where do I go next?

What happens next to me and my family?

This train station is no longer just a transport hub. It's essentially a waiting area, a place for people to get a moment to figure out what they

will do next.

I'll bring you over here because we just expected another train. More refugees are flowing. Volunteers have set up juice boxes for the kids. They

want to make sure the families know they are cared for.

When they arrive, they will try to help them have a plan.

Look at this sign. It offers a place to sleep, food, a place to get a break. One to five days is more planning than a lot of the refugees have at

this stage. Let's break it down.

A family, when you get here, what is needed is money. The United Nations has just opened up a program offering cash assistance. But only a few

thousand people have registered. In order to get the program, you have to go to Warsaw, because it's yet to open up to other cities.

You have children.

Where will the children go to school?

There's estimates that up to 700,000 children will need education here. There's so many logistical questions. And the people coming now are coming

from most affected areas, really, really with no idea where they will spend the night.

ANDERSON: Salma Abdelaziz on the ground. Thank you.

Pope Francis making a statement without saying a word. Have a look at this.


ANDERSON (voice-over): The pope holding up a war-stained Ukrainian flag in his general audience at the Vatican. He did appeal for an end to the

atrocities, like the carnage in Bucha. Francis is also criticizing failures by international organizations to bring an end to Russia's war on Ukraine.


ANDERSON: The Ukrainian president echoed those sentiments at the U.N. Security Council yesterday. Delia Gallagher is live for us in Rome.

That was a very powerful image.

Was it a surprise to you and those who are keeping a keen eye on the pope's behavior and what goes on at the Vatican?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, no. Absolutely not. We see, from the start of this war that increasingly, as it's gone on, how

plugged in the pope is with what's happening day-to-day there.

When held it up, he said it was brought to me from Bucha. So he has the connections with people that are coming, that are telling him about what's

happening on the ground. He kissed the flag as he was closing it.

And he said the massacres, the images of the massacre there were horrifying. He called it a martyred city. He is signaling he is very much

in tune with what is happening day-to-day in Ukraine.

He called up some Ukrainian refugee children, who have visited throughout the past weeks, up onto the stage with him.

He said these are the fruits also of war, displaced children. He handed them some chocolate Easter eggs. So typical Pope Francis in the last weeks,

absolutely showing from the Vatican that he is in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and calling for an end to the violence.

ANDERSON: Delia, thank you.

We're taking a short break. Back after this.