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Erin Burnett Outfront

Ukraine Releases Video From Nuclear Plant Attack; U.S. Amb: Russian Forces Closing In On 2nd Plant; Source: U.S., NATO Believe Russia Poised To "Bombard Cities Into Submission," Likely Causing Significant Civilian Casualties; Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) Discusses About His Take On Situation In Ukraine And President Zelensky's Request Of No-Fly Zone; U.K.: Russian Forces Likely Encircling Mariupol Amid Strikes. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired March 04, 2022 - 19:00   ET



STEPHEN J. RAPP, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE, WAR CRIMES ISSUES: No more summits, no more hope of visiting his 10s of billions of dollars of property. And I think in the end, you'll make him quite dispensable as the leader of Russians.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The Kremlin has categorically denied committing any war crimes in Ukraine. Wolf?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Brian Todd reporting, thank you very much.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, new video from inside the nuclear plant in Ukraine under attack, an alarming announcement with pleas to the Russians to stop shooting. This as Putin's forces move toward a second nuclear plant tonight.

Plus, a reporter on the ground in Ukraine lucky to be alive after coming face-to-face with a Russian tank. His firsthand account OUTFRONT tonight.

And the race against time to save the war's most innocent victims, CNN is on board a train full of children who are weak and who are sick trying to escape Ukraine. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with the breaking news, the Russians closing in on a second nuclear reactor according to the United States. This as CNN is getting the first images from inside Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant as it was being attacked just hours ago. The Ukrainian government releasing video from inside the plant which is the largest nuclear plants in Europe. Here's the chilling message that we are hearing now for the first time.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through interpreter): You guys on. You're endangering the security of the entire world. Attention, stop shooting at the nuclear hazardous facility. Stop shooting at a nuclear hazardous facility. Stop shooting at a nuclear hazardous facility. Attention, stop it.


NORAH O'DONNELL: Stop it. Workers are now being held at gunpoint at that plant by Russian soldiers according to Ukrainian officials. There's confusion over exactly what is happening and what happened inside that plant. A U.S. official said that sensors around Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant are not indicating radiation leakage. Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations though says that data from the plants automated radiation monitoring system 'doesn't work'. So they're not even able to tell what the situation is.

The ambassador also says that there hasn't been a shift change for workers since Thursday morning. At this hour, Putin's troops are closing in on a second nuclear power plant which is the second largest nuclear facility in Ukraine. According to America's ambassador to the U.N. earlier today, Putin's forces are now just 20 miles from Yuzhnoukrains'k nuclear power station, that is in the south of Ukraine.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield called the threat to the facility with three nuclear reactors imminent and it all comes as we are getting new video from just outside the capitol of Kyiv tonight. A woman watching as her house burns to the ground. According to the United Nations, more than 330 men, women and children are dead more than a thousand injured. Overall, we have no idea of the casualty numbers in Ukraine. Let's just say the truth, nobody knows how bad it is.

In northern Ukraine, just look at this, graphic video, bodies lying in the streets after an attack. Everything for as far as the eye can see in this entire video completely destroyed and covered in dust and debris. And we're seeing more images now of civilians taking self defense classes. Young men practicing throwing Molotov cocktails. I talked to a young man there today who was actually making them.

And this jarring image, children learning to use AK-47 assault rifles. And despite being outnumbered and outgunned, a member of Ukraine's territorial defense forces, who I talked to today, showed up right on the first day. He is there and he is still training. Training is going on in the country. They're not just taking them, giving them a gun and saying go out and fight. They are still training, complete command and control functioning there and that is in the face of the constant Russian bombardment. Ukrainians who don't have any experience fighting in the battlefield are right now getting training before going out.

Sam Kiley begins our coverage tonight OUTFRONT Dnipro, Ukraine which is about 70 miles north of the nuclear power plant now under Russian control. So Sam, tell me what more you're learning. SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, as you

referenced there in the introduction to your piece, very dramatic video emerging as the people running that nuclear power station begging, demanding that Russian troops stop firing on that facility. Now according to the Ukrainians, a training area just outside the main part of the facility was hit. They also allege, we have no independent verification of this, that tanks fired, main battle tanks fired into the facility.

We do know from our own video analysis that it was hit with some kind of missile, did cause a fire. This has got a number of reactors but also a storage facility for used rods which, of course, a highly radioactive.


And simultaneously almost with that breaking news coming from the United Nations and warnings from the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations that Russian forces are closing on the southern Ukraine nuclear facility, which is about 200 miles west of here. All of this coming at a time when the campaign in the north of the country from the Russian perspective is looking like it's stalling here in the south.

Although, it's bloody and brutal, there are a number of cities like Mariupol now completely surrounded, Kherson reportedly fallen to the Russians and now this very important nuclear power station. The issue, of course, with the power station is that it needs electricity to continue to function and also it provides electricity very widely across the country.

So it's both a very vulnerable point but also a strategic asset to the Russian, something that is causing consternation across the entire world is following statements coming from President Zelensky here in Ukraine calling it an act of terror by Russia and demands internationally that the International Atomic Energy Authority be allowed to get in there and take a look at what's going on.

At the moment, they are saying they don't believe that there's been any significant or any detectable leakage at all. But the point being that the crew there that is running that control room has been there for more than 36 hours at least, there are no crew changes. They are being held at gunpoint, as indeed, are the group that are in charge of the Chernobyl, the disastrous remains of the Chernobyl power station, which exploded in the 1980s causing fallout across Europe and Russia.

The people there running that have been held for more than a week, again, the Ukrainian government calling them hostages, but they're basically essential workers that the Russians can't risk allowing to leave for fear that there won't be anybody there to keep the systems under control and, of course, risking the ultimate horror, which will be some kind of nuclear meltdown. Erin?

BURNETT: All right. Sam, thank you very much. It is deeply disturbing. I want to go now to retired Army Major General James 'Spider' Marks,

Steve Hall, former CIA Chief of Russia Operations and Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. Thanks to all.

So Daryl, let me just start here with - there's a lot that Sam was just going through. One nuclear power plant under Russian control, big fire there last night, shooting, Russians now within imminent - striking distance, according to the U.N. ambassador from the United States and you've got a one shift going 36 hours at that largest plant. They're being held hostages. I mean, they're not allowed to leave.

Chernobyl now, that happened on the first day. So the people who are there protecting that massive fallout are also hostages. When you put all this together, how worried are you?

Daryl KIMBALL: Well, it's very concerning, as horrific as the conflict has been so far, we may not have seen the worst of it from a humanitarian perspective, the casualties and we're in still a very tenuous situation with the Zaporizhzhia power plant. Your reporting lays it out very well, the International Atomic Energy Agency Director this morning, I know this man, Rafael Mariano Grossi, he sounded very stressed, because he knows that this conflict is going to go on for some time and these plants are vulnerable.

As your reporting said, it's not just the reactor which is heavily fortified. Probably it cannot be penetrated by shells or bullets, but it's the electric power to the plant for the cooling systems that prevents a steam explosion or even a meltdown, it's also the spent fuel rods that are not as well guarded.

So as Russia approaches these facilities, as they take over more territory, we may see more incidents like we saw last night and it's urgent that Russia respond by allowing the shift workers to change the International Atomic Energy Agency to verify that operations are not at some dangerous point.

BURNETT: Yes. I mean, you've got people working under duress as hostages for 36 hours in nuclear power plants. I think we can all understand the human factor, the human risk factor of what could happen here as it goes up by the hour.

Steve, I want to play more of the video, because we're just getting it in from inside the nuclear power plant where there was the firefight just hours ago. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through interpreter): Stop shooting immediately. You're threatening the security of the whole world.


BURNETT: We're also seeing video of damage from heavy weapons on the elevated walkways between the reactor buildings and so we're going to show that to you now. I mean, that's heavy damage. Steve, what do you even make of the fact that this is happening?


We've now had a fight at Chernobyl, reports of reports of elevated gamma levels. They're unclear what the situation is. Now, a fight here, an actual damage and approaching another power plant, how do you think this is even happening? They know where these plants are? They know exactly where they are, they're like heading for them.

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes. What can you say about the Russian army and this just kind of how they do things, the sort of Western idea that there's so many precautions, so many safety measures that are taken by modern armies, and Russia is just not one of those. Put on top of that, that, obviously, with the original Chernobyl meltdown, the Russians at the time, the Soviets don't have a particularly great record of being transparent about what's going on at a nuclear power plant that they control and right now they control this one at the barrel of a gun.

So to state the obvious, although there have been - my understanding is there are indeed sensors, not just inside this particular plant, but also strewn across Europe precisely to figure out whether things are blowing on air currents, the radioactive materials and so forth. My understanding is those as of now are still reporting that there has been no issue.

But needless to say, high explosives and nuclear power plants just don't go very well together.

BURNETT: Gen. Marks, so we're seeing this happening in front of our eyes, missile attacks, destruction of civilian areas, which has now become a clear strategy. It's happening in every city they're attacking and it's happening consistently and it's happening in civilian areas.

Tonight, the Ukrainian President Zelensky condemn NATO's decision to rule out the implementation of a no-fly zone. That they're not going to do it and they've been adamant about that. And the Secretary of State Antony Blinken said any kind of a no-fly zone could lead to full-fledged war in Europe and that they've been adamant that the United States is not going to go to Russia in Ukraine. Is there any point, General, where you think the NATO or the U.S. will get militarily involved?

JAMES MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Erin, the way they will get militarily involved is if there's some spillover. I don't know that that would be an accident, but if there was an engagement that caused any forces in any of our NATO partners to be engaged in this, if Russia made a mistake, which they are liable to do, let's be frank.

What you've described - if I can - for a second, what you've described and what we've seen, taking place at that nuclear power plant should not be surprising. The Russian application of force, military force is an extremely blunt instrument. And the only reason America does extremely well in combat is because we have noncommissioned officers who know what they're doing and have been schooled at various levels to put discipline in order into this incredible chaos of combat.

And the Russians simply don't have that. So you see this indiscriminate fire in a nuclear plant, if their intent was to shut it down, so that the rest of the folks that are using that power to generate their shops in their homes are going to be cold and in the dark, I got it, that would be a military application of force, but not to shoot and wreck it and then let all those nuclear rods just melt down.

So the application of force by the Russians is indiscriminate and we're going to see that increase over the course of time. NATO has to be incredibly disciplined, not to get overzealous to cross that threshold to create this potential for a World War III. We've got to be very, very precise in our application of force and we can support the Ukrainians as we have and we can up that. We can up that and to keep all the NATO partners out, but leaning in a way to be effective.

BURNETT: So Daryl, NATO said today that Russia has used cluster bombs, which is - they're banned in Ukraine. The sort of stuff that they used in Syria, cluster bombs there. We've obviously seen the thermobaric weapons moved in. We have not confirmed their use, although there have been reports, but we have not confirmed that. How far do you think Putin would go right now, Daryl, given what we know to have happened and what we know he has in country?

KIMBALL: Well, the real question is given the problems the Russian military's had in recent days, how much more application of force, particularly in the urban areas, is Putin going to authorize. We may not have seen all of the weaponry that they can bring to bear here. We also need to keep in mind that Russia seems to have a goal of replacing the independent democratic elected government of Ukraine with another government, which is hard to imagine how it's going to have any legitimacy. But they're leaving behind a war zone.


Cluster munitions are particularly dangerous, because they produce terrible effects on civilians long after a conflict is over. So it is hard to tell here at this stage in this conflict where it's going to go, as I said. I think we haven't seen the last of the nuclear plant problems. As the general said, we may have military to military incidents between NATO and Russian forces, which could be very escalatory. I think it's a good sign that yesterday the Pentagon announced they had opened up military to military channels for deconfliction.


KIMBALL: Let's hope that works well.

BURNETT: So Steve, can I just ask you what Putin is waiting for? I'm not even talking about nuclear weapons, which is obviously an important conversation. But I mean, I'm talking about his conventional arsenal. He's basically hasn't even started to use his air force. We know that, obviously, the forces he have on the ground, there's been a lot of disappointment, there's been a lot of disorganization, there's been a lot of morale issues, supply issues, logistics, okay.

But he hasn't used a lot of what he has in his arsenal, literally. Why not, Steve?

HALL: Yes. And I defer to the Spider if he's got some thoughts on this as well. The military - excuse me, the air force thing is a little bit of a conundrum. But it seems to me the direction we might be going in here is if the Putin regime can withstand and survive the withering sanctions that the West has imposed, not to mention the isolation, the North Korea like isolation that they're looking at, then I think eventually we are going to get to the point where the full force of the Russian military is probably going to be able to defeat the conventional forces of the Ukrainians, but then you're looking at this really ugly, extended sort of insurgency that I think the Ukrainians are more than happy to get going and I don't know how the Russians can win that kind of insurgency.

BURNETT: They are and they are just so dedicated, we haven't heard a single person waver, even those now separated from their families, sleeping on floors, getting ready to fight. I'm not hearing it. They're ready to go. Thank you all very much.

And OUTFRONT next breaking news, CNN just learning that the U.S. and NATO believe Russia is now poised to bombard Ukrainian cities into submission. Bombarding cities into submission is targeting civilians. And the terrifying moment, a reporter in Ukraine came face-to-face with a Russian tank.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...


BURNETT: More of that report coming up. Plus, she and her family are hunkered down in down in Kharkiv as her city has been decimated by the Russians. She is OUTFRONT. You will see what she saw in her city.



BURNETT: Breaking news, Russia is now poised to bombard cities into submission. Those are the exact words from a senior Western intelligence official, who also told our own Natasha Bertrand that it could mean a significant number of civilian casualties. As I said, bomb cities into submission, bombard.

President Zelensky meantime slamming NATO for refusing to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine. He calls the lack of one, a green light for further bombings and he tells NATO that now any death is on NATO's hands.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through interpreter): All the people who would die from this day will also die because of you, because of your weakness, because of your disunity.


BURNETT: This is just hours after Secretary of State Blinken defended the United States strong opposition to a no-fly zone.


ANTONY BLINKEN, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: That could lead to a full-fledged war in Europe. President Biden has been clear that we are not going to get into a war with Russia.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now Democratic Congressman, Jason Crow, sits on both the House Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, also a former Army Ranger who served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and visited Ukraine in December. So Congressman, I appreciate your time.

This new reporting from Western intelligence official, I'm just reading here these words exactly, that Russia is poised to 'bombard cities into submission'. That is a huge escalation from what we've seen. But what we're already seeing is a willful focus on civilians, civilian deaths. We don't know how many and that is exactly what's happening and now it's going to be even worse. What more should the United States do?

REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): Well, Erin, I agree with the administration's assessment that a no-fly zone is untenable. And as much as I would like to put a no-fly zone in place, which I very much would like to do, to help level the playing field for the Ukrainians and help them fight and survive, we have to be honest about what that means.

But that means is sending United States fighter jets and NATO fighter jets up into the sky to fight and shoot down Russian fighter jets. That's an act of war and going to put the United States and NATO at war with Russia. We would have the two world's biggest nuclear powers at war in Europe with one another. That is not a tenable result.

Now, there are things we can do, many things we can do, some of which we already are that are short of that, that can help level that playing field for the Ukrainians and give them the fighting chance. They've shown the will to fight, the will to survive. They're doing incredible work.

But if we help give them the tools, I think that we'll continue to do that, namely, provide as many surface to air missiles, MANPADS, these are stingers and there's other types of surface to air missiles that other countries are providing as well. Give as many of those as we can, train them, equip them, get them into the hands of Ukrainians now, so that is that bombing campaign begins and intensifies. They're shooting Russian planes out of the sky. Every time 10 go up for sortie, only five come back. The Russian will may be able to keep that up for so long. BURNETT: And you believe that that will work? I mean, I know you're

giving me just an example, but I mean the scale of what you just suggested, that there's going to be enough support going into the Ukrainians and training going into the Ukrainians that 10 Russian fighter jets could come in and only five come back. You think that that sort of ability to fight back is what's going to happen here in a very short period of time?


CROW: Well, nothing that is sure fire in war. War is very unpredictable and we've already seen lots of surprises in the last week out of this war, namely the underperformance, the vast underperformance of the Russian military and significant mistakes and the problems that they're having. Number two, the over performance of Ukrainian military. And number three, the incredible response by the international community and the NATO coalition and the sanctions that have been imposed.

A week ago today, I don't think many people were thinking any three of those things were going to happen that way that they did happen. So there's a lot of things that aren't predictable at this point, but if we can flow those weapons into the hands of the Ukrainians, they've shown the will to fight and survive, they're holding them there and we have to give everything we can to them short of going to war with Russia.

BURNETT: One other thing happened today that caught our attention and that was the response from the U.S. to the power plant crisis in Ukraine, the largest power plant in Europe occupied by Russian forces. As you know, we understand that the people who have been on shift there have been on shift for 36 hours, they're being held hostage and not allowed to leave. It's a bad situation at that to say the least. We know another nuclear plant, you've got troops approaching and you've got hostage situation at Chernobyl as well.

So the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv tweets, Congressmen, "It is a war crime to attack a nuclear power plant. Putin shelling of Europe's largest nuclear plant takes his reign of terror one step further." So that was the tweet from the US Embassy in Ukraine, but the State Department sent a message then to embassies around Europe saying all - do not/not retweet Embassy Kyiv's tweet on this being a possible war crime. If you've retweeted it, unretweet it ASAP. What's going on here? I mean, why won't they call it a war crime?

CROW: The administration is following protocols and they're being careful with their language, because there are international bodies that actually make those designations and conduct those investigations. But I think that there are many more crimes that are going on this and there are plenty of war crimes that are occurring that we can call out, that I'm willing to call out, at least, the rockets, the indiscriminate bombing, the potential thermobaric weapons being used attacking power plants. In my view, there's no doubt that these are war crimes and we should make sure that we're prosecuting them as such.

BURNETT: Right. All right. Well, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

CROW: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, a reporter trying to escape the violence in Ukraine ending up face to face with a Russian tank. His remarkable story is next.

Plus, I'll speak to a woman who is still in Kharkiv, second biggest city in Ukraine being decimated by Russian airstrikes. What is she witnessing tonight?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't wish anyone to see that and feel the scares ...




BURNETT: The Russian military closing in on another key port city in Ukraine, Mariupol. It is in southeastern Ukraine. It's right near the Russian border, part of you know what had been originally discussed and as maybe Putin wants is the land bridge between Crimea and the Donbas. Well, it's being exposed to intense Russian strikes and likely been encircled by Russian forces. That is what's the latest intelligent is from the U.K. defense ministry.

John Irvine with our affiliate ITV is in Mariupol and showed how he and his crew came face to face with the Russians.


JOHN IRVINE, ITV REPORTER (voice-over): Without electricity, water or fuel, we could no longer report from inside Mariupol, so we decided to join what would be the last convoy to escape.

The city has a large Greek community, and Athens had tried to secure safe passage for a ragtag of Greek diplomats, citizens and foreign journalists. With Mariupol just five miles behind us, tanks suddenly appeared in the midst. We hoped they were Ukrainian but they were not.

We filmed the Russians as surreptitiously as possible. I can count four Russian tanks. Thankfully, the crews -- come appear to be quite relaxed. Somebody from our lead vehicle has gone to chat, to convince them that we are who we say we are, innocent convoy, leaving Mariupol for safety. You can see the Z on one side of the tanks. I can, anyway. They are definitely Russian.

At one point, the tank terry turned our way. We were staring down the barrel. It's not clear what spook them but something definitely did. And suddenly, some of the Russian soldiers to the right and left of the tank were kneeling and aiming their rifles at our convoy. Thankfully, the situation eventually calm down. They then checked our

IDs, searched our vehicles and allowed us to proceed. It took a while to drive through with turned out to be a large, Russian armored column.

Dozens and dozens of vehicles, armored personnel carriers, tanks, lorries, hundreds of men.

Their presence confirmed that Mariupol is indeed encircled. And it's taking a pummeling.

To the Russian-speaking people of this region, it must feel as if these Russian soldiers are guilty of fratricide.


John Irvine, ITV news in eastern Ukraine.


BURNETT: I want to bring in John Cipher, former CIA deputy chief of Russian operations.

John, when you see that piece and what he experienced, tell me what is your takeaway?

JOHN SIPHER, FORMER CIA DEPUTY CHIEF OF RUSSIAN OPERATIONS: The first thing is, I don think it was very wise they filmed that. Very easily, the Russians can look at their phones, they could've take that as a bad sign of things could've gotten worse. In war zones, and I've been in war zones, you have young kids, you have kids perhaps from the countryside and have never seen foreigners, you have language differences. Everybody is scared. You don't know who's drunk. Life is on a razor's edge in those situations. It's really quite scary.

You can imagine with the citizens of the Ukraine are going through every day. You see people around you don't know if they're going to end up shooting you or not, you don't know which way to go, what's to say. And so, you know, that's like people are living every day now.

BURNETT: It gives you a feel of the tear of it, of course, as journalists, you know, the first thing we try to do is shoot surreptitiously at a window to document. But the moment that John Irvine, the reporter there, documents that Russian tank, and what happened sort of when they went from being calm to not calm, I just want to play how he described it again for you.


IRVINE: At one point, the take turret turned our way. We were staring down the barrel. It's not clear what them but something definitely did. And suddenly, some of the Russian soldiers for the right and left of the tank were kneeling and aiming their rifles at our convoy.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: So, obviously it turned very quickly. That can happen in a military setting, but in the context you are talking about. Young soldiers, what do you think possibly could have spooked them, or does this seem like any military would act that way? Or not?

SIPHER: Yeah, our military, which is far more professional than Russian military if you look at some of the videos from Iraq and places like that, you never know who is at the car. You never know if the cars going to come at you, if it has a bomb attached. You do not know who is hiding around the car around the edges.

So, a situation can go for peaceful to going quite violent very, very quickly. So, we see in the States. Sometimes, police get scared of a situation and it gets out of control, even professionals. And in the Russian case, you know, the Russian soldiers have shown himself to be less than professional quite often.

BURNETT: Yeah, that's for sure. Thank you very much. I appreciate your perspective.

SIPHER: Sure, glad to help.

BURNETT: Next, the fear of living in a war zone.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here is a place for children. I hope they really didn't have victims here.


BURNETT: The woman speaking in that video is in hiding in Kharkiv with her family. And she's OUTFRONT next.

And more breaking news. Going after those billionaires, another Russian oligarch's yacht just seized this time in Italy.



BURNETT: Breaking news, a senior U.S. defense official warning there will be five far more civilian casualties in Ukraine, as Russia appears poised to, quote, bombard cities into submission.

OUTFRONT obtaining this video that shows complete destruction in Kharkiv's historic Freedom Square, as Russia carries out devastating strikes in the city.

And OUTFRONT now, Tetiana Ovcharova, who took that video and remains in Kharkiv with her parents.

Tetiana, thank you so much for your being able to speak with us tonight and tell us what is happening. Your city has been under assault, bombed for nine days. What are you seeing and hearing tonight? TETIANA OVCHAROVA, KHARKIV RESIDENT SHELTERING IN PLACE: The previous

two days, three days, were horrible before us. It was a horror dream. But today, things -- I heard some explosions, but it looks for me it is from the air -- not from aircrafts but from land. So, I believe it is some tanks, or I don't know, like, what it was, but it wasn't from air. And it was -- closer than before. But anyway, it's awful what is happening.

BURNETT: I know the silent itself can create such fear. You don't know what is coming.

You've taken several videos that show the major damage to the town center of Kharkiv from the Russian strikes. I'm showing them now, Tetiana, so people can see them. This is what you saw in your beloved city, shattered windows, storefronts blasted and gone. I know you are emotional, so emotional when you saw school. I just want to play your video and what you said on that video when you saw that school.

Here it is for our viewers to see.


OVCHAROVA: Here is a place for children. I hope they really didn't have victims here. --


BURNETT: Tetiana, it must be just so -- how are you --

OVCHAROVA: Yeah. It's not like the school is a place where people or really children, you know, can learn something, to play music or be artists or sing or dance. So, it's like the time to play and I took a picture at the exact name of this place to make sure they can record like this (INAUDIBLE). And when I saw this, I didn't take pictures, but I saw some costumes, you know? Like some colorful costumes for shows, I don't know, for like dancing and music classes (ph).


It is awful. I really hope no one was there at that time. I know that after this explosion, we had like ten people die. And more than 35 needed help -- more than 35 people. So -- and I'm not sure if there were children among them. It's awful.

BURNETT: I know that the pictures that we have seen, what you are showing -- this is targeting civilians. And we can all see it now for our own eyes, Tetiana, the stores, schools, apartment buildings, cars, houses.

Do you have any plans to leave, yourself?

OVCHAROVA: For me, I want to, I really want to. But my parents, they really do not want. People want to go somewhere where they feel safe, where they don't hear explosions, where they don't know like what will be next. Because not -- I don't know if you could hear, some explosion. You cannot be prepared for this. And when you sleep and you woke up from alarm -- because you want, you

are waking up from something that made your house, huge buildings shaking. And you think, okay, the next one may be in your house. You don't know this. And many people died already. And you feel powerless, you cannot do anything.

BURNETT: Tetiana, think you so much for talking to me. Please, everyone who was watching, your thoughts and their prayers as you endure this, this anguish. Thank you.

OVCHAROVA: Thank you for having me here, Erin. Take care.

BURNETT: And next, the Russian air strikes forcing critically ill children to evacuate their hospital beds in Ukraine. You will see them as they travel by train to get out of the country.

Plus, breaking news, Italian authorities tonight seizing the Russian oligarch's yacht, $71 million yacht, yet another one seized to punish Putin.



BURNETT: We are just learning that the U.S. flew B52 bomber over NATO's eastern flank today and exercises with the German and Romanian militaries, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its second week, it comes more than 1.2 million people have fled Ukraine in just the past nine days, a stark reminder of the escalating humanitarian crisis that we are facing. The vast majority of these refugees have gone to Poland.

Some of them are credibly vulnerable, sick children forced out of hospital beds and now in desperate need of medical care.

Arwa Damon is OUTFRONT on a train traveling from Kharkiv to Poland.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A train speeds to the darkness and crosses the Ukrainian border into Poland. Most of these children are from hospices in and around Kharkiv. It had the best palliative care for children in Ukraine, now, one of the areas most intensely bombarded. The carriages filled with a sort of a motion that is too intense, too incomprehensible for words.

But it is also filled with so much love. Love among strangers, seen in the tenderness of the touch of the medical team. The whispered words of, you are safe now. Love of a mother, who will take up superhuman strength just to keep her child safe.

Hi, Victoria. Hi, oh, look at that smile!

Victoria, who has cerebral palsy can't sit up. Her mother, Era (ph), doesn't know what to say. She has so much pain in her soul. Her tears just don't stop. They had to get closer to the border with Poland before the

humanitarian train could pick them up. Era carried Victoria for three days, through the panic of others trying to flee. Train so packed, she could not even put her down until now.

Dr. Eugenia Shuskovich (ph) worked to bring the families together inside Ukraine, to get on this train organized by the Polish government, and Warsaw Central Clinical Hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): I just have a storm of emotions. My biggest fear did not come true.

DAMON: It's a trip that could've killed any one of these children. Even without a war. That reality had the medical team so understandably anxious, we were not permitted to film anything until the children were safely on board and stabilized.

How old are you, Sophia (ph)?

Five, thank you.

SOPHIA (translated): Mom, what do I say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): What do you want to say?

SOPHIA: To say there is war there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): Then say it.

SOPHIA: It's war there. And now we'll live in another hospital.

DAMON: While the train was heading towards safety, Era heard her town was bombed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): My husband, my mom, sister, everyone. My dad. Nobody is picking up the phone. There are just the beeps, and that's it.


DAMON: Era follows quietly as Victoria's carried off the train. They are now away from their home, that was filled with such love. A home and family that may no longer be.


DAMON (on camera): And, Erin, it was so moving and so heartbreaking to be on that train. And the medical staff really is not taking a break. They are planning for the next evacuation. Because just in the Kharkiv area on its own, we were told by the doctors there that they were around 200 children in hospices receiving palliative care.

BURNETT: Arwa, thank you so much. Such important reporting so people can see this and understand the scale. Thank you.

And next, our breaking news continues. The Italians now targeting it appears to be the wealthiest family in Russia seizing a major asset in Italy. We'll tell you about it.


BURNETT: Breaking news, Putin's deadly invasion costing one of Russia richest men, his $71 million yacht. The Italian financial police have now seized the ship which belongs to Russian businessman Alexei Mordashov. "Forbes" had him prior to the crisis worth $29 billion, the wealthiest family in all of Russia.

Obviously, that was before the complete and utter crash but still the wealthiest family in Russia. This yacht in Italy seized, reportedly equipped with a helipad, and obviously, another massive yacht, as his assets around the world now are seized.

Thanks for joining us.

Our breaking news coverage continues now with "AC360".