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Connect the World

Ukrainians Mark Orthodox Palm Sunday in Shadow of War; Ukraine: Seven Killed by Russian Military Strikes in Lviv; Ukrainian Forces in Mariupol Reject Russian Order to Surrender; Escalating Tension over Upsurge in Israeli-Palestine Clashes; Border Guard: More Cross into Ukraine from Poland than out; Chef: Charity Cooking Again after Kharkiv Kitchen Destroyed. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired April 18, 2022 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Well, this hour, Russia is bombarding cities across Ukraine with at least four missile strikes in the

Western City of Lviv. That has served until today as a safe haven. I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome back to "Connect the World".

Hell on earth those words coming from the Ukrainian Marine Commander in Mariupol. In a letter written directly to Pope Francis about what it is

like to be in that southern port city now? An Advisor to the Mariupol Mayor describing what it is a day-long Russian bombardment of a giant steel


It's the last large base of operations for Ukrainian forces in the besieged city. The Commander who wrote the letter to the Pope saying women and

children and babies now living in bunkers in the plant with the injured, dying every day because they are without medicine, food or water he says

the time has now come when praying is not enough.

Well, scenes of death and destruction in Mariupol after Russia's Sunday deadline for Ukraine to surrender the city past. This video coming to us

from France to CNN is not in Mariupol. Russia spreading out attacks across Ukraine today the Lviv Regional Military Governor as I said reporting at

least seven people killed in that Western City in multiple missiles strikes.

He says all the targets hit were non-military, including a tyre repair shop. Attacks also intensifying across Eastern Ukraine these pictures from

- France press showing the aftermath of strikes in Kharkiv Russia also hitting villages not previously targeted in the Zaporizhzhia region which

borders Donetsk.

And another city that Russia has targeted Dnipro in East Central Ukraine; the region's military governor saying two missiles hit that city on Monday

CNN's Clarissa Ward is there and she joins us now. And Russia intensifying its shelling then across the countries in cities like Kreminna in Kharkiv

and Dnipro where you are, what do we know at this point?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had said that this Russian offensive in the East would

begin any day now. It's certainly not looking the way many had anticipated.

If anything, things seemed to be stalling quite quickly. We are seeing, as you mentioned an intensification of shelling, particularly in the Donbas

region in those frontline towns, one of which we just visited the other day of day of - where we saw and heard a steady stream of bombardment

throughout the day.

But they haven't yet been able to push into any major towns. There were reports earlier from Luhansk military authorities that they had moved into

Kreminna, which is one of those frontline towns that there was heavy street to street fighting but in other areas near the town of Izyum, Ukrainian

forces reporting that they had actually managed to take back some villages.

There has been heavy bombardment once again in Kharkiv. That has really been ongoing now for some time with residential blocks being shelled day in

day out multiple reports of civilian casualties. Here in Dnipro the situation is relatively calm.

There were those two strikes that you mentioned that took place overnight, those reportedly targeting some kind of infrastructure installation on the

outskirts of the town. But you can probably see behind me, life is going about relatively normally here in the city of nearly 1 million people.

And that's important, Becky, because this is the place where many of those who are being evacuated from areas like the Donbas region are being taken

to. It's considered a place of relative safety Becky.

ANDERSON: As these pockets these incidents continue of a salt. Orthodox Palm Sunday being observed that as the war rages on, and you've spoken to

people who have been celebrating that event, what have they been telling you?

WARD: We traveled to the town of Sloviansk, which was the site of a pitch battle between Ukrainian forces and Russian backed separatists some eight

years ago and these people have lived under the shadow of war for some eight years now.


WARD: But what they're seeing coming towards them, and reading in terms of this renewed offensive in the east that Russia is poised to launch or

perhaps has already begun to launch and it's just not going exactly according to plan is really creating a very distressing and difficult

situation for people as they try to work out what to do, where to go and how to get out?


WARD (voice over): At the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sloviansk an ardent prayer from worshipers under the shadow of Russia's war. We ask for Your

Mercy, Lord. Please hear us. They have gathered here for Orthodox Palm Sunday, carrying willows instead of palms per the Orthodox tradition.

It's supposed to be a celebration of Jesus's return to Jerusalem. But there is little joy in this congregation. Ukrainian officials say this city will

be a decisive battleground in Russia's imminent offensive in the Donbas region.

The streets are getting emptier as the fighting gets closer. Those still here are being urged to leave. The air raid siren is an unrelenting whale.

WARD (on camera): You can't hear it because the sirens are so loud what we've heard a steady stream of booms coming from that way in the distance

but as you can see, people here are just used to it.

WARD (voice over): The children continue to play. The adults try to stay strong. This group is awaiting an evacuation bus to the safety of Western

Ukraine. Raisa (ph) tells us she's taking her grandchildren to Lviv. Their mother died three years ago.

You hear what's happening here she says my husband still at home. His health isn't good enough to make the journey. Her granddaughter offers some

support. Oh, grandma, she says I love you. She is full of anguish that the international community has failed to rein in Putin. When they show the

children killed I can't I cry she says? Why can't they stop this one idiot? If they will send me I will shoot him.

Seven weeks into this ugly war there is no end in sight. Havel is saying goodbye to his wife Olga. She doesn't want to let go of him. Scenes of

separation that have become all too familiar everything will be OK the organizer tells her comforting words that masks a grim reality.


WARD: Now authorities in Sloviansk are telling people that they really need to leave this town. But a lot of residents like - who you just saw there at

the end, are afraid to go partly because they worry about what will happen to their homes if they do leave.

They've seen the scenes that were left behind after Russian forces finally, were forced to retreat from their failed northern offensive. They've seen

how homes were looted, how everything was robbed. And these are people who do not have a lot of money. They do not have a lot of options.

They are desperately hoping to try to protect what they can however they can. And so many more Becky even who do want to leave, who simply don't

have the resources or the means to get out. And I would say it's worth underscoring that the logistics and infrastructure in the east is just not

at the same level that we saw, for example, in the suburbs of Kyiv.

When areas like Bucha and Borodianka and Irpin were being pummeled and people were being moved quickly out of those areas to secure places where

they could seek refuge. That is not happening on quite the same level here in the east for a number of reasons, Becky.

ANDERSON: The spirit of that nine year old - I love you, remarkable. Thank you, Clarissa. We mourn the fighting in Eastern Ukraine I want to get a

perspective now from Ben Wedeman who is in Kramatorsk today.

Before we talk about where you are, Ben, let's just start with Mariupol. We are not on the ground. Let's be quite transparent about this. So it is

very, very difficult to understand what is going on in that southern port city but we know it is absolutely besieged by the Russians.


ANDERSON: Officials there have rejected a Russian deadline to surrender. What do we understand to be going on the ground there?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky, yes, we must stress that we can verify the information that's coming out of there.

But a deadline imposed by the Russians at 1p.m. yesterday, local time expired.

They said that if any, if the men with weapons do not surrender, they will be in the words of the Russian Ministry of Defense eliminated. And what

we're hearing from officials who are aware of the situation in Mariupol, they say that the town is being sealed off, none of the residents are

allowed to enter or exit.

And they will be filtered that word meaning that they will be biometrically scanned that without the right kind of paths you cannot walk out in the

streets. Men will be given the choice between joining the Russian army cleaning up the rebel and those who do neither will be detained and sent to

what are called filtering centers.

The fate of those who end up in those centers is unknown. Some officials are claiming that as many as 31,000 residents of Mariupol which has an

original population of 450,000 are already in these so called filtering camps.

As far as the military action goes, there are still scattered pockets that are controlled by Ukrainian forces, concentrated in the Azov steel factory

complex, which is quite large.

It has come under steady air and artillery bombardment, the troops; we believe are still holding out but given the amount of firepower that is

raining down upon them. It's not at all clear how much longer they'll be able to hold out. Becky?

ANDERSON: And briefly, you're in this eastern city of Kramatorsk. What's going on there? What's your perspective from there?

WEDEMAN: Well, as you can see, there's very little life on the streets. More than two thirds of the population is left overnight, a Russian caliber

or cruise missile slammed into the city. Fortunately, it was into an open field.

As far as we know, there were no injuries, but it caused a fair amount of damage in the immediate area. Early today we had another meeting with the

Mayor of Kramatorsk. And he told us as we've heard from many other officials in the area, that no area in the Donbas region is safe for

civilians anymore.

He has urged day after day, people to leave now because perhaps at some point, it may be too late. But there are a few stubborn people still

holding on. Becky?

ANDERSON: Ben is in Kramatorsk. Ben, thank you. Matt Rivers is in Lviv in western Ukraine, where the death toll from Russian strikes overnight has

risen as I understand it to seven Matt, the details if you will?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's exactly right, Becky, and those are the first civilians killed in Russian strikes here in Lviv since the

war began, despite their having been strikes previously, although not for a few weeks now. This is the first time that they have turned deadly here in


It was this morning that here in the hotel, we were awakened by some of these explosions. We chase down various plumes of black smoke both my team

and other teams based here at the hotel.

Four different strikes across the city according to Ukrainian officials, three of them hitting military installations with the force hitting where

we ended up which turned out to be an auto repair shop.

And we knew that because when we arrived, that's what the sign above the two smoldering on fire building said it was an auto repair shop, no sign of

a military target in sight. Yet another example of Russian airstrikes targeting civilian infrastructure that has nothing to do with the military.

Speaking to the owner of that auto repair shop, he told us that several of his employees were killed as a result of this strike. We saw the impact

crater it was at least five meters across.

Multiple other people they're sent to the hospital with serious injuries. And we spoke to another woman across the street Becky, who told us that she

was washing her face when her window was shattered. And now she is considering moving to Poland as she put it to save her own life.

This is happening in Lviv, which is a city that had largely been spared of the horrors that you just heard. Clarissa and Ben talk about, we're in the

western part of the country, still probably the safest part of the country, or at least one of.

And yet even here we are seeing isolated Russian attacks you know that have taken more than a dozen lives at this point.


ANDERSON: Matt Rivers on the ground for you. Thank you, Max. You've heard from Matt and Clarissa. And of course Ben Wedeman in what is the first 15

minutes of the second part of their shows.

Still ahead on "Connect the World" is Russia pounds cities across Ukraine. And I talked with a Ukrainian lawmaker who says there is more at stake here

than just human rights. Plus can you believe what you hear about the war?

Well, we will go to a country where some people are relying on Russian media. OK, Russian propaganda. Now others are fighting back.


ANDERSON: A reminder of what we are following this hour, crews looking for more victims after waves of Russian missile strikes on the western

Ukrainian city of Lviv overnight. Authority says at least seven people have been killed and 11 injured.

This building used to be a tire repair shops. CNN's Jim Sciutto was on the scene where another missile hit a few hours ago.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the scene of one of the missiles strikes this morning. You can see the emergency responders back here. But

as we arrived, another air raid signal went off the soldiers concerned that this will be a secondary strike on the same target. It's one of five

missile strikes so far today in Lviv and they're expecting more.


ANDERSON: Well, my next guest is Ukrainian lawmaker who was also in Lviv during those strikes. She says what's happening in Ukraine is not so much a

violation of human rights. She says it's a violation of human dignity and also a violation of human lives.

Halyna Yanchenko joining us now from Lviv and you were in the city when the Russians struck. Just describe what you felt and saw.

HALYNA YANCHENKO, UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: It's actually difficult to describe after what happened in railway station in Kramatorsk Donetsk

region just two weeks ago, when a number of people were killed by Russian Mizel. It was a Mizel of massive destruction.

So it was staffed with like additional staff to kill as many people as possible. And then we see two weeks after they're hit, they're trying to

hit railway station yet in another city in Lviv, which is one of the very western parts of the countries.

These are the war crimes because it is prohibited by any you know, any treaties and any rules and regulations. It is prohibited to hit civilian


But to hit railway station when a whole bunch of people are trying to evacuate through railway and we are talking about woman, children and older

people in majority.


YANCHENKO: This is this is not only, you know, a war crime, these are atrocities. And these Russian atrocities can be stopped with only one

measure heavy weapon, which Western leaders, Western politicians, including USA, will send to Ukraine.

We see that Putin and Russian army don't understand any language. Any language of diplomacy, any language of you know, just like human logic or

human behavior, the only language they understand is force, unfortunately, and they are talking with this language with Ukraine. They're hitting--

ANDERSON: You are in Lviv.

YANCHENKO: Yes, you'll see just railway station why people are evacuating. And they are trying to kill as many Ukrainians, as many people, as many

civilians, as they only can.

ANDERSON: You're in Lviv of course, which is - let me just stop you there for one moment, you're in Lviv, which was until now assumed to be

relatively safe. That is, of course not the case in other places, as you rightly point out, not least, for example, in Mariupol.

I don't know how much detail you have on what is going on in that southern port city. We cannot verify information coming out of there. We are not on

the ground, as you all know, what do you know, at this point about what we believe to be over 100,000 people still on the ground there?

YANCHENKO: Yes, well, this situation in Mariupol, but not only Mariupol, but in other number of countries, including Kharkiv, a big Ukrainian city

with over a million of people is being under constant shelling.

Mariupol of course, the situation in Mariupol is the most tough, because nowadays, we consider that about 95 percent of the city is ruined, is you

know, just no more buildings, no more residential houses and stuff like that.

People are hiding, and people are basically living in the underground in the basement of plants of some like, I don't know, the buildings that are

still there in Mariupol. And it's a huge number of people still a huge number of civilians.

The situation is very hard there because Russians have - the city and people are not only under constant shelling. People don't have food and


ANDERSON: The president has said no concessions, no compromise in the east. How concerned are you about what will happen next?

YANCHENKO: Well, it's actually difficult to comment because we are talking about people. And we are talking about people in incredibly hard

circumstances. Once again, we don't have access to Mariupol and Russian soldiers are blocking the access to Mariupol.

So there is no way to even pass food and water to people who are stuck in Mariupol. So we can only imagine that a number of people in Mariupol are

nowadays dying from hunger and dehydration.

In Europe, the cause of Russian aggression because of Russian war, people, civilians, again, woman, children, elderly people who have nothing to do

with, you know, military stuff with war, they are dying from hunger and dehydration. Children are dying from dehydration, because Russians behave

themselves like animals to civilians.

And they don't let any humanitarian aid to be provided to Mariupol citizens but they don't let Mariupol citizens, Mariupol civilians out of city


ANDERSON: Halyna, I've got to leave it there.

YANCHENKO: The only way to resolve this situation is heavy weapon, so we can liberate the city and we can liberate you know, the waste to Mariupol.

ANDERSON: I understand.

YANCHENKO: So heavy - is very needed now.

ANDERSON: And your message is very, very clear. And we really appreciate your time and I can hear that you're very emotional and rightly so. But

listen, thank you for making time for us today, this Monday.

Well, as Russia prepares to intensify its attack on Ukraine - it is also intensifying its propaganda campaign and it's not just inside Russia. CNN's

Scott McLean tells us the Kremlin is finding a receptive audience across the border in Estonia.



SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In Eastern Estonia, the vast birch forests and open planes dotted with industry and concrete apartment

blocks can feel a lot like Russia. Most people are ethnically Russian, many signs are in Russian, and Russia itself is just across the river.

And the Estonian border town of Narva, more than 86 percent of the population speaks Russian.

MCLEAN (on camera): Even on this side of the river native Russian speakers make up a substantial chunk of the Estonian population, one of the many

lasting legacies of the Soviet era.

Many older people don't speak Estonian well, and in the absence of a whole lot of Russian language media in Estonia, Russian state media has been left

to fill the void, giving people a steady dose of Kremlin propaganda.

MCLEAN (voice over): That is until the start of the war in Ukraine, when Estonia blocked many Russian news outlets and TV channels decision that

came with plenty of controversy.

VLADIMIR ZAVORONKOV, NARVA CITY COUNCIL CHAIRMAN: Why I'm not agreeing because I think a great democracy doesn't come to fray in any propaganda.

MCLEAN (on camera): Many people here are buying some systems to pick up Russian channels.

ZAVORONKOV: It's not the way, Restricting in is not the way.

MCLEAN (voice over): Antennas are suddenly a popular item at electronic stores for Russian speakers to easily pick up Russian TV channels. Others

watch online through VPNs. Ilya Federov and his father Oleg have an even better set up in their home right across the river from Russia.

IIYA FEDEROV, NARVA RESIDENT: Basically, this is just the lineup of the channels; people usually get in their Russian households as well.

MCLEAN (voice over): They've got this TV hooked up to a Russian satellite dish and other to an antenna, both picking up all the Russian channels,

though some they'd rather not watch.

FEDEROV: I can only watch then 15 seconds maximum because the levels of aggression and paranoia and lies just blaze and lace is crazy.

MCLEAN (on camera): A lot of people here are still very connected to Russia. Do you think that they believe everything that the Kremlin is

saying about the war in Ukraine?

OLEG FEDEROV, NARVA RESIDENT: I don't just think I know there are a lot of people who think Russian state media is the truth. But for sure, it's a lot

of false news and lies, and only a minority in Narva doesn't believe Russian propaganda.

MCLEAN (voice over): Some of those true believers are reluctantly tuning in to this channel. ETV Plus was launched in 2015 to give Russian speaking

Estonians access to reliable news about their own country and the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't have propaganda. We can make news about corrupted ministers or presidents in our country or politics. Many Russian

journalists can do it.

MCLEAN (voice over): On Friday, ETV Plus reported on the sinking of Russia's flagship, the Moskva, giving both Ukraine's claim that its

missiles on the ship, and the more benign Russian version that it sank after a fire.

Since the channels launch ETV plus's ratings have made gains but gaining trust is much tougher.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many our viewers are ready to blame us, ready to charge us because they don't believe us. But we are ready to speak with

them. I don't want to judge them. I am ready to wait. I'm ready to give those people a time to make them believe me.

MCLEAN (voice over): Scott McLean, CNN, Narva, Estonia.


ANDERSON: You're watching our continuing coverage of Russia's war in Ukraine. Well, coming up, fresh unrest of Jerusalem is most sensitive holy

site and look at the recent upsurge in violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Plus violence also gripping Sweden around the weekend's religious holidays I'm going to speak to a Swedish MP Leila Ali Elmi about her fight against

the far right movement. That is after this.



ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching "Connect the World". And before we get back to what is our continuing coverage of Russia's invasion of

Ukraine, which we make no apologies for. It's an extremely important story.

We'd like to get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar from around the world and tensions are ramping up in Jerusalem's

old city. Half your weekend meant for religious rituals.

It was a special weekend for Jews for Muslims and for Christians, a rare overlapping of religious holidays marred though, by new clashes between

Israeli security forces and Palestinians.

And this happened in and around Jerusalem's most sensitive holy site, the Al Aqsa Mosque compound. Sunday's violence follows a fierce confrontation

Friday at the site as part of a recent upsurge in violence. Well, CNN's Hadas Gold now, with how this latest wave of unrest began.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Which should have been a uniquely holy weekend for Muslims, Christians and Jews, marred by violence

in the Old City of Jerusalem? It began Friday at dawn clashes at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount, holy to both


Israeli police entering the site using stun grenades, rubber bullets and batons. In response they said to Palestinians throwing rocks and launching

firecrackers, a mass of people fleeing the scene.

More than 150 Palestinians and three Israeli officers injured the worst unrest at the holy site in a year. Police later entering the mosque itself

to make arrests they said to keep the calm and allow freedom of worship.

Their presence is seen as incredibly provocative and offensive by Muslims. As just a few 100 meters away, Christians gathered to mark the Western Good

Friday following the Stations of the Cross, the sounds of violence echoing in the background as the faithful offered prayers at the Church of the Holy


At the Damascus Gate, one of the main gates used by Muslim worshippers to enter the Old City, police at one point blocks the way, the tensions and

crowds growing.

Before people were allowed through for lunchtime prayers and beyond which passed off peacefully? But by Sunday morning, the brief calm had broken, 19

injured and fresh clashes at Al Aqsa as Israeli police entered the compound again they said to clear of young Palestinians gathering stones aiming to

disturb visits of Jewish groups to the site on what was the second day of Passover.

The violence seeping out, public city buses often used by Jews to get to the holy sites attacked with rocks, seven people injured. A group of Jewish

men attacked on their way to the Western Wall policing they made several arrests in both cases.

Israeli police officer hitting a man at the Aqsa compound at the young boy screams out in fear. Such videos are adding to the already sky high

tensions in the days leading up to the violence in Jerusalem.

As the Israeli military conducted what they said we're counterterrorism raids in the West Bank, in response to a series of attacks in Israel that

killed 14 people. 14 Palestinians killed this month in the West Bank shot by Israeli soldiers, all of it piling on the pressure.


GOLD (voice over): By Sunday evening, the United Arab list party, the first air party to fully enter the Israeli government announced they were

freezing their membership and the coalition to protest police violence at Al Aqsa, deepening the political problems with the Israeli government that

had already lost its razor thin majority as the city continues to simmer, far from settled. Hadas Gold, CNN Jerusalem.


ANDERSON: Well, violence around the holy holidays not limited to the Holy Land, Arab countries are condemning the burning of the Quran by a Danish

far right leader. Violent clashes erupted.

So it's across southern Sweden over the weekend as counter protesters took to the streets against what was an anti-Muslim rally. Well, Nada Bashir

joins me now from London. And just lay out if you will what we understand to have happened over the weekend?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Yes, well, there's been a far right Danish political group sort of going for in Sweden taking part in rallies. It is

the hardline political movement led by a pretty far right political figure --.

He has been well known to have very, very anti-immigrant Islamophobic stance that is a central point of his party. They were holding rallies in

Sweden that is said to have triggered what we're seeing now, which was those violent riots, those counter protests that broke out over the


There were, there was widespread shock, really this political group taking part, as you mentioned, in burning the Quran that is the holiest text in

Islam --. This isn't the first time this group has done and they have done it for the political leader of the hardline group is well known for this

sort of political stunt.

He is often called for other countries to do the same in Europe. Well, what is important to note here is of course, this is reflective of a wider trend

of moving towards the far right in Europe.

But also, another key point to note here is that the police are still investigating these rights. And while it is said that these were counter

protests against this far right rally, police have said that there may have been some members of criminal gangs, criminal individuals who are taking

advantage of the situation and they are still investigating the exact cause of these riots. So that is still unknown.

But we do know that at least 26 people have been arrested as a result of that violence we saw over the weekend that has been widely condemned by

politicians across Sweden.

ANDERSON: Nada, thank you. My next guest is a Swedish Member of Parliament, the first lawmaker in Sweden to wear a hijab. Shortly after her election in

2018, she said and I quote, "my getting elected is caused a lot of reactions from the racists they weren't really ready for it. But here I


Well, that's Leila Ali Elmi; she joins me now live from Stockholm. And I want to get reaction, firstly, from you to these riots that we have seen

over the weekend and what you understand to have happened?

LEILA ALI ELMI, SWEDISH MP, GREEN PARTY: First and foremost, thank you for having me. And I want to begin with condemning the violence against police

and the massive destruction to public, to public, to the public.

And I think it's the reason for the riots are as your other guests were pointing out, it is criminals and gang members that are behind these riots

and the violence against the police and the destruction so, yes.

ANDERSON: The burning of this Quran by an individual who has form, let's be quite clear about this, who has form and very little support, certainly

when he tried to run his party, you know, within the mainstream, but how reflective do you believe he is and his views are of wider society?

ELMI: I don't think he reflects the wider society's opinion. This is an extremist, this is a racist man. He's an ethno nationalist. They have to

understand who is Rasmus Paludan, and why is he burning the Quran?

It's not the - issue is not that he's burning the Quran. It's why is he burning the Quran, his whole idea is that Islam should be extinguished as a

religion. He believes that Muslim people are not human beings.

And he doesn't believe that the Muslim Swedes or the Nordic Muslims belong in more northern Europe. And so this is apparently a very apparently racist

man. And this is if you look at the context of these things happening, you can see the rise of far right parties in Europe.

And he's a part of that movement. And this is the thing; we have to look at the context and Islamophobic context that these things are happening in

because Muslim people in Sweden face a lot of Islamophobia.


ELMI: We have Swedish Democrats, top leaders in the parliament calling an Islam, a despicable religion. We have states in Sweden where they have

forbidden the hijab in schools. So this is happening in a very Islamophobic context.

But I also want to underline that this violence and the writing is nothing, is not condemned. It's not supported by the Muslim community here in

Sweden. So these are actually gangbangers that already have anger towards the police.

And they are using this situation to attack the police and use it as a platform to --use violence against the police.

ANDERSON: Yes, you said you're getting elected, you said you're getting elected. Sorry, I just want our viewers to hear your response to this

caused a lot of reaction from racists in Sweden.

I just want you to explain what sort of reaction you got, what kind of hurdles you faced, and the sort of challenges that you continue to face


ELMI: My election, I received a lot of hate and a lot of racism from the far right, and the Nazi movement here in Sweden. And it's a threat, hate,

and all that. And for me, it's like it's not only me, I'm a politician.

This is something that most people in Sweden today actually do. People do feel this discrimination, the hate and the polarization in this country

growing. And it's not something I faced as only as a politician. I think this is something a lot of immigrants and refugees in Sweden face.

ANDERSON: What do you believe government policy should be at present in order to try and lessen this sort of discriminatory racist behavior? I

wonder what you believe the source of this move to the right is in Sweden and this anti-immigrant sentiment.

And what can be done because Sweden has typically been viewed as a sort of paragon of equality and very sort of accommodative of immigrants of people

from different places, creeds and colors.

ELMI: Sweden is an it's a great country, there's a lot of good, it's a lot of positive things and absolutely there's not only negative things

happening in Sweden. But we have to remember here is that we have to look at because Rasmus Paludan is using freedom of speech.

And he's using loopholes to bash and discriminate towards minorities in Sweden. So we have to actually look at, OK, what is allowing this to happen

and look how we can, how we can manage that.

So people like Rasmus Paludan and extremist people do not use freedom of speech, to propagate and, and to hate on and discriminate other people. So

I don't have all the answers today. But I think it's really important to look over that.

ANDERSON: I'm going to need to take a very short break at this point. It's been a pleasure having you on, I'm sorry, it is on a subject which is so -

I'm just sorry, that it's a subject that I wish we weren't talking about. We are talking about it. It's important.

And next time, I hope that we will be talking about something a lot more positive. Thank you very much indeed for joining us. Well, up next, escape

to enemy territory or die. The tough choice one Ukrainian family made to flee to Russia and how they reunited with loved ones in Poland.



ANDERSON: Well, right now Russia and Belarusian trucks carrying humanitarian aid and energy are still allowed to operate in the United

States. Let me say that again in the European Union.

They are exempt from the EU ban on Russian and Belarusian truckers which set off a dash to the Polish border over the weekend. Trucks lined up on

the road out of Poland and into Belarus with some waiting for eight hours on Sunday.

Well meantime, the Polish border guards says that on Friday and Saturday, more people crossed into Ukraine from Poland than those coming out of

Ukraine was Russia's invasion of that country intensifies.

More than four and a half million Ukrainians have left the country since the fighting began, but one family had a roundabout journey. CNN's Salma

Abdelaziz covered the family's remarkable journey. She joins us live from Poland near the border with Ukraine and just explain if you will.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Becky. So there are thousands of Ukrainians right now living in towns and villages and cities

that are Russian occupied that are controlled by Putin's forces.

And if these Ukrainians want to escape the daily bombardment, the airstrikes the siege that they live under, if they are fortunate and

fortunate here is an extremely relative term.

There's really only one way out, and that's towards Russia towards the country that's encircling them, but once they're - how do you get out of

Russia? How do you get to safety? Do you end up stranded?

We followed one Ukrainian American woman as she tried to get her family here to pull it, take a look. We follow this one family as it tried to get

to safety here in Poland. They had quite the journey because where they are from Becky is Izium, a city that is again controlled by Russian forces

encircled and besieged their only way out was towards the country. That's troops for bombing them. Take a look.


ABDELAZIZ (voice over): Mila Turchyn does not trust the man she's about to me. He is a smuggler. She's anxious looking for her mom and sister hoping

they are here. It's Fida her sister, brief joy. But there's no time to hug her mom.

The smuggler wants to be paid now. 500 U.S. dollars for the pair, much more than most families fleeing war can afford.

We pull away with her mom Luba. We don't want our presence to cause problems. Away from our camera, Mila is extorted for more cash, getting to

safety is dangerous. This is the story of one family's escape into Russia after its troops bombed and occupied their city.

They are from Izium, a city under siege. Mila's phone was filled with videos like this. Living in Cleveland, Ohio, she had no way to call her

family. No way to find out if they were alive.

ABDELAZIZ (on camera): So this is your room.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): We first met Mila a day earlier at this refugee shelter where she volunteers.

MILA TURCHYN, UKRAINIAN-AMERICAN VOLUNTEER: Somebody saw that missile actually hit my backyard. And I was crying so bad. I just didn't know.

Maybe they they're already there.

ABDELAZIZ (on camera): How did you deal with that?

TURCHYN: I came to Poland to take that energy and convert it into something.


ABDELAZIZ (voice over): She finally got a call, but it was not from Izium.

TURCHYN: I heard them for the first time after a whole month. I was so torn. I was happy they live. But I was terrified that they're in Russia.

And I don't know should they be happier? Should they be sad?

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): Mila's only option she says was to hire a smuggler to drive her family from Russia to safety here in Poland.

TURCHYN: Somebody from Poland gave me a number of people who transferred smuggling basically, because obviously it's dangerous, dangerous activity

in Russia, very dangerous.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): Now they are reunited. But how did the victims of Putin's war end up in Russia? Desperate to flee, they tell us they could

only find one way out. A private driver offered a ride to the Russian border.

TURCHYN: Now, they fill me into details and it actually was even worse than I thought. I already was terrified.

ABDELAZIZ (on camera): Are you scared to go to Russia?

TURCHYN: We were more afraid to stay where they were, because it was hell and they needed to go somewhere to escape that.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): Thousands of Ukrainians have faced the same. Many say they had no choice. It was go to Russia, or die.


ABDELAZIZ: Now, Becky, what is unique about this family story is they had Mila, a Ukrainian American who had access to cash, who had access to the

internet, who was able to work out a way to get them out of Russia.

But Ukrainian officials tell us there are thousands of other Ukrainians stranded in Russia unable to get out. Their fate remains uncertainty,


ANDERSON: Salma Abdelaziz is on the border, Salma, thank you. Up next, feeding the hungry in a warzone and risking your own life to do it. Folks

at a charity kitchen in Kharkiv were doing just that when a Russian missile hits.

Humanitarian Chef Jose Andres tells us what happened next, be prepared to be inspired.


ANDERSON: Well, everybody is doing whatever it takes. Those are the words of the founder of World Central Kitchen after Russia bombed a Kharkiv

restaurant this weekend that partners with his humanitarian group.

Despite the missile attack, he says workers are back cooking in a secret location. It's important to point out the world central kitchen says it's

been serving about a quarter of a million meals a day since the invasion began and it is not letting this attack stop them.

Well, my colleague John - interviewed Serge Jose Andres a little earlier. Here's what he had to say.


JOSE ANDRES, FOUNDER, WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN: The good report is that the four members of the restaurant that was badly damaged by the missile strike

in - Kharkiv. They are all primary good spirits. The injuries were taking care of and they are almost joking that they want to go back to cooking.

The good news is that yesterday all the team with the help of - in Kharkiv, they move all the equipment that was saved to a new location, and they're

going to be cooking today and tomorrow.


ANDRES: This is the spirit that you have here in Ukraine. Everybody spends on everybody's doing whatever it takes to do something to what they say is

to win this war.


ANDERSON: Inspirational stuff, folks, thank you for joining us this Monday. I'll be back with the team same place, same time tomorrow. CNN continues

after this.