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Erin Burnett Outfront

Ukraine Fighter Inside Steel Plant: Strikes "Non-Stop" Today; Mayor Tells U.S. Four "Filtration Camps" Around Mariupol Being Used To Process Ukrainians Before Being Sent To Russia; Exclusive: Ivanka Trump's Testimony Has Proven Useful To Jan 6 Panel In Confirming Actions In WH During Riot; Grand Jury Selected In Probe Of Trump Election Interference In Georgia; Vulnerable Dems Push Back On Biden Lifting COVID Border Rule; Ukraine: Russians Can Only Advance In Areas They've Destroyed. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 02, 2022 - 19:00   ET


RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And he believes they have more video evidence that they plan to release to the public within the next 24 hours, hoping to help them get a little closer to these two who are on the run.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: All right. Let's hope. Ryan Young on the scene for us. Ryan, thank you very much.

And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the tense fighting tonight in and around a steel plant where hundreds of Ukrainians are holed up. A commander speaking to OUTFRONT from inside the plant tonight saying the attacks right now are non-stop and the situation inside with regard to food and water desperate.

Plus, the most innocent victims of the war, children targeted in Bucha, stories of snipers shooting repeatedly as children tried to escape to safety.

The CNN exclusive tonight, we're learning just how much help Ivanka Trump is giving to the January 6 Select Committee and how her hours of testimony may actually end up being key to the investigation. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, under attack: Russia intensifying its assault on a sprawling steel plant where thousands of Ukrainians are holed up. I just spoke to a commander there who says the strikes have literally been nonstop over these past few hours. Yet despite the attacks, Ukrainian fighters say they still hope to evacuate several 100 people, which includes still in that plant, the commander tells me, 20 children.

As you can see though, there is heavy black smoke rising over the area where the plant is located. It is, of course, in the area of Mariupol. And tonight, Russia is claiming the Putin forces have reached to the outskirts of the plant and are now purportedly carrying out a step by step clearing operation.

Well, Captain Sviatoslav Palamar, who is at the plant pushed back on Russia's claims.


CAPTAIN SVIATOSLAV PALAMAR, STATIONED INSIDE MARIUPOL'S AZOVSTAL STEEL PLANT (through interpreter): All of the buildings that they're showing or might be showing, they are adjacent to the territory of the Azov steel plant. And as of now, the entire plant territory is under our control and our defense is along the perimeter of the Azov steel plant and we are holding the defense.


BURNETT: You're going to hear much more of my interview with Captain Palamar in just a moment. And meanwhile, at this hour, roughly 250 miles to the west in Kherson, Russia's intense military campaign is taking out civilian targets with rocket propelled grenade launchers. This is according to Ukrainian officials who are there and the pictures show the destruction. This is just outside the city of Kherson. Well, Matt Rivers is OUTFRONT in Ukraine tonight in Kyiv. And Matt, what is the very latest on the ground tonight?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So we are watching very closely, Erin, what is going on in Mariupol in terms of evacuations, that is the story going on right now in Ukraine. And you really have two different evacuation operations ongoing or at least trying to be ongoing.

On the one hand, you have operations that are centering on really the entire city that is controlled by the Russians. That would - is where we're seeing the most successful evacuation operation undergoing, which is what happened today. We've seen dozens and dozens and dozens of civilians making their way eventually to the City of Zaporizhzhia, which is in Ukrainian held territory.

On the other hand, you have that steel plant, which alongside all those fighters, including the captain that you spoke to, there are also civilians inside that steel plant essentially trapped. There are much fewer of those civilians have been able to get out of there, because it remains a target for Russia. This despite the fact that Putin said a week or two ago that he wasn't thinking that he was going to storm that steel plant, well, apparently, that has now changed.

That, of course, not the only fighting going on in Ukraine. We're watching very closely what is happening in the east around the city of Kharkiv, for example. The second largest city in this country where Ukraine has actually been able to take back several settlements in that area that Russia managed to take. And this is more indicative of what's going on in the east.

We're not seeing any sort of large scale Russian gains by any means. It's very incremental, any progress that the Russians have made and a very interesting report out from British intelligence today talking about the fact that of the 120 or so battalion tactical groups that Russia committed to this war, these are some of their main fighting units, some 25 percent, of those, according to British intelligence, Erin, are now combat ineffective. Meaning, they can't do what they are supposed to do because of what's happened. And some of the groups who are the best troops that Russia has, special forces troops are the units that are seeing the highest rates of attrition.

So Russia continuing to have issues with its combat troops in the east, not making the kind of ground - making up the kind of ground that Russia would clearly want to have done by now.

BURNETT: All right. Matt, thank you very much. OUTFRONT now, Captain Sviatoslav Palamar. He is Deputy Commander of Ukraine's Azov Regiment and currently is inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.


And Captain, I appreciate your time. One can only imagine the situation you're in. What is happening inside the plant right now?

SVIATOSLAV PALAMAR (through interpreter): So it has really been busy today and over the night as well. The strikes have been going on non- stop. It's been vessel artillery, and tank artillery, and volley artillery and every three, five minutes there were air bombardment and they also made several attempts to attack, but our guys managed to oppose them and killed five occupiers.

However, the most important is that the center of all of this is that there are still civilians who are sheltering in the plant and yet the enemy continuously is bombing.

BURNETT: Captain, I know you're talking about that there are people who are trapped. You can hear their voices. You can't see them, so I know you know in the mass space under that plant, you don't know everything. But from what you understand and for you and your regiment, do you have enough food and water?

PALAMAR (through interpreter): Well, if you are talking about my regiment, specifically, then I have to say, yes, that we are extremely short on supplies in terms of water and food. I cannot tell you for sure how much is left for how many days, but I can assure you that we are saving. We're saving. We're very careful with our water and food, and especially ammunition.

But besides we also sharing water and food whatever we have with the civilians. And if it comes to worse and we run out of food, we'll be catching birds, and we'll be doing everything just to stand for ...

BURNETT: Captain, I have to ask you one other question and I know it's difficult to ask, but do you think that the Russians would respect any rules of war, Geneva Conventions, if you were in a situation where they captured you and your regiment? Do you think you would be able to be treated respectfully as prisoners of war or what do you think they would do? PALAMAR (through interpreter): You know, only few days ago, you must

have heard about this that five soldiers were captured and one - there were some from the territorial defense and one of them was ours and that was on the 19th of April. And then a couple or two, three days later, Russian sent an image of our soldier to his mother, where she can see her son who had been tortured by the Russians and this just one of the many war crimes that they have been committing. And this is already a proven fact that they're not honoring those conventions, and they are killing and torturing prisoners of war.

Just to add to that, unlike Russian soldiers, we are treating prisoners of war differently since the first days of this war. We've had prisoners of war with us here in the plant and we have provided them conditions to survive. In fact, we are sharing with them our provisions. They have the same conditions as we do. We've got an officer tank commander and two other servicemen which are in the same conditions as we are.

BURNETT: Captain Palamar, thank you very, very much.

PALAMAR (through interpreter): Goodbye.

BURNETT: And that's where they are tonight and they say they will fight and they will fight until the end, because if they were in any situation to consider doing anything else, you've heard him describe how the Russians have treated Ukrainian prisoners of war.

OUTFRONT now retired Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, the former Commanding General for Europe and the 7th Army. General, you hear the commander, the fight has obviously been devastating for all of Ukraine. This plant though, has become a focal point for the world and you have these - the commander and his troops and those civilians, 20 children, who are there surviving against all odds and fighting on.


What is the plight at this plant costing Russia?

MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Erin, first, if I could start off by saying that was a powerful interview with Captain Palamar. The courage and heroism of that group that's fighting in that small facility is just been phenomenal. It will live on in Ukrainian and world history.

The plight, you pointed out so very well in the interview where you said what will Russia do if you're captured. They - Russia does not abide by the rules of land warfare. So they will either kill or torture these individuals as they take them prisoners.

So these individuals know what they're going through. It will be very difficult for Russia to clear this objective as you started off in your piece with them, because what we are used to do in the U.S. Army as we got into Afghanistan was look at subterranean attacks and how to clear buildings. And what we found very interesting was, the attacker in those kinds of situations suffers great casualties. When you look at the Azovstal steel plant, it goes down six storeys

below ground and it's the size of a city about the size of Vilnius in the Baltic countries. So you're talking about a huge underground city with a lot of capabilities to attack the aggressors, and that's what they're going to do as they go in the cities. But it will be tough to sustain themselves for food and ammunition supplies.

BURNETT: Yes. I mean, that obviously seems to be his greatest fear and his greatest concern is the dwindling supplies.

So Ukraine, overall, General does appear to be making some gains. All right. A senior U.S. defense official says Ukrainian forces have pushed Russian forces, about 25 miles to the east of Kharkiv over the past day or two, so what do you read into that?

HERTLING: What I read into it is exactly what the Ukrainian forces are doing. They are counter attacking any kind of reconnaissance enforced by the Russian military. They are doing it in the north primarily around Kharkiv and also in the area around the northern pincer, as we call it, of that shoulder. The attempted to double envelop.

So the north is - there are some great battles going on there. The Russians are not achieving their objectives in the northern part and truthfully they're not achieving their objectives in the southern part, because of these heroes of Mariupol. They are confining the Russian forces and not allowing them to attack to the north and the exact - and the axis of advance that they're looking at.

What you have to look at, Erin, as you look beyond the PowerPoint map that we have on CNN, the roads, the rivers, the bridges, the mountains, all the things that are in this area are very difficult for military operations. And the Ukrainian is - the Ukrainian forces are using it to advantage. It is their home turf. They understand what's going on and truthfully in my view, the Russians are not - they're continuing to not do very well in their combined arms maneuver.

BURNETT: Yes. That is so well said. I mean, one Ukrainian soldier telling me and he was from outside Kyiv and he is now in Donbas, but it was - he doesn't need Google Maps to know where he is and just a poignant way of saying it.


BURNETT: Thank you so much, General. I always appreciate your insight and analysis.

HERTLING: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, the gut wrenching stories of Russian troops targeting innocent Ukrainian children.


SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: "These children were scared. They were all screaming," she says, "and ask the soldier to help us. I was begging them, saying, 'Don't you have kids of your own?'"


BURNETT: Plus, a CNN exclusive, we're learning New details tonight about Ivanka Trump's testimony to the January 6 Select Committee and talk to two reporters who sat down with the former president, Trump worried?

And warrant now for the arrest of a corrections officer who is accused of helping a murder suspect escape. The two now considered dangerous and possibly armed.



BURNETT: Evidence tonight of four filtration camps now set up outside the besieged city of Mariupol. That's according to the mayor's office there. The U.S. says these centers are being used to process Ukrainian civilians before they are forcibly taken out of Ukraine to Russia.

This as our teams on the ground are hearing accounts of what Putin's forces are doing to the youngest victims of this war. Sara Sidner is OUTFRONT tonight in Kyiv and a warning that the videos that you're about to see in her report are disturbing. The families, though, want you and the world to see their faces.


SIDNER (voice over): Sixty-eight-year-old Galina stands over her seven-year-old granddaughter's fresh grave. This is only the second time she's been able to visit the remains of her sweet funny girl since the Russians rolled into town, snuffing out life as casually as putting out cigarettes.

These are the faces of the children of Russia's war on Ukraine. Two sisters, the family says were shot in a Russian attack in Bucha, 11- year-old, Lita (ph), flinches in pain hospitalized. Her seven year old sister, Anastasia (ph), lies motionless beside her. She'd never regained consciousness.


SIDNER (on camera): Tell me about your granddaughter.



SIDNER (voice over): "Nastia," she says, calling her granddaughter by her nickname, "she was so nice. Everyone loved her where we lived. She loved me and always asked me to sing a song for her."


SIDNER (on camera): Will you sing the song that your granddaughter loved for us?

GALINA: (Foreign language).


SIDNER (voice over): She refuses because the song that used to bring them both joy only brings her pain now. She was there to witness the murder of seven-year-old Anastasia (ph) and the wounding of a second grandchild who remains hospitalized. She says a Russian sniper shot through their vehicle from these woods as the entire family, seven children and three adults, tried to escape the Russian siege of Bucha.


GALINA: (Foreign language).


SIDNER (voice over): "These children were scared. They were all screaming," she says, "and I asked the soldier to help us. I was begging them saying, 'Don't you have kids of your own?'"





SIDNER (voice over): Funeral director, Anna Kalinichenko says theirs is a story that has played out again and again around here.


SIDNER (on camera): What are these families enduring?

KALINICHENKO: (Foreign language).


SIDNER (voice over): "Russians would not let them bury loved ones at the cemetery. People had to bury them in their own backyards first then later at the cemetery."


SIDNER (on camera): The family, she says, have to endure two burials. They have to go through that pain twice.


SIDNER (voice over): At the cemetery these days, Ukraine's old war heroes are being joined by young war victims. In Bucha alone, the local prosecutor says at least 31 children were killed by Russian forces, 19 injured. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER (off camera): Are these war crimes being committed?

KALINICHENKO: (Foreign language).


SIDNER (voice over): "War crimes, yes, that will never be forgiven, neither in heaven nor on Earth, they must burn in hell." Seething anger pours from her lips. She's seen too much death, too many fresh graves all at once, including the burial of 15-year-old, Anya (ph), alongside her mother, both shot and burned to death in their car after encountering Russian tanks as they tried to flee Bucha.


KALINICHENKO: (Foreign language).


SIDNER (voice over): "It was a nice happy family. The mom gave all her love to her children." Anya's (ph) 14-year-old schoolmate says the Russians killed a girl with a warm smile and big talent. The art Anya (ph) made, a reminder of the beauty she brought to the world at such a young age.




SIDNER (voice over): "They wanted to save themselves and they were shot just because Russians wanted to do so. Those bastards don't know why they came here, but they had fun doing it."

In Anastasia's (ph) case, her grandmother says her son-in-law has already talked to authorities. But for now her once bright, lively granddaughter is alone. Her final resting place awaits her remains. Anastasia will finally be beside her own mother who died of cancer not long after Anastasia was born.


BURNETT: Sara, I can only imagine what it was like to see that and document it. When you hear a story like this and there was a moment when you said - when she says don't you have children too, to the Russian soldiers, do you have any sense or is anyone that you spoke to of how many soldiers may have been involved in war crimes in Bucha alone?

SIDNER (on camera): Officials there believe at this point that they can - they're trying to identify about 10 soldiers or Russian soldiers. One of which we are now hearing but have not confirmed may have been identified, finally, but there are these 10 people who they call the despicable 10 that they are trying to investigate and talking to people we know that investigators have been out knocking on doors.

And as I said in the story that the son-in-law, that grandmother there, actually was interviewed by investigators for this case in particular. But there are just so many stories like this and you can imagine it's overwhelming to the prosecutors, to the investigators trying to figure out whether or not a war crime has been actually committed and then who did it.

BURNETT: Sara, thank you very much.

And next, a CNN exclusive, new details tonight on just how helpful Ivanka Trump has been to the January 6 Committee.

And a surprising twist and the manhunt for a murder suspect, a corrections officer who vanished with him is now also wanted. What she told other officers before the two disappear?



BURNETT: Breaking news, a CNN exclusive, we are learning tonight that Ivanka Trump's nearly eight hour testimony to the January 6 Select Committee has been very helpful to investigators, you heard me right, both by confirming what was taking place in the White House as the instruction was unfolding and in shedding light about former President Trump's state of mind that day.

That is what January 6 Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson is telling our Chief Political Analyst, Gloria Borger. And Gloria, joins me now. And Gloria, look, he's not saying this lightly ...


BURNETT: ... and Ivanka Trump is obviously a very polished and poised person. But you - he wouldn't say it if it weren't what he thought and you wouldn't expect her to do anything that would hurt her father. That's what Thompson is essentially saying she did. Tell us more.

BORGER: Well, he did say, Erin, that while she didn't give away any trade secrets, while she was interviewed for all those eight hours, she did answer questions directly and succinctly. She didn't offer information, but when she was asked a question, she answered it.

Let me tell you what he said. He said, "There were questions asked about what she was doing at the time that the insurrection was occurring at the Capitol, and she told us. They asked certain questions about her awareness of what her father was doing, and she told us. So in that respect, we've been able to systematically, with our depositions and interviewing of witnesses, we've been able to fill in a lot of the gaps."

And the gaps he's talking about, Erin, are those White House call log gaps.

BURNETT: Right. BORGER: Usually kept by the diaries (ph). Now, just as important, let

me add one more thing that Thompson told me, he said that her testimony kind of supported the fact that the president was told he had to do something to stop the January 6th insurrection. That he had to be public with it, he had to be direct.

So she confirms the scene inside the White House, which is people presumably herself, going to the president saying, look, you have to do something and there are other witnesses who have said she spent a lot of time with the president that day.

BURNETT: So former President Trump, as you've reported extensively, Gloria has asked many of his former advisors not to cooperate and they have gone along with that.

BORGER: Right.

BURNETT: They're facing contempt charges for doing what he wants. So why did Jared Kushner, by the way, and Ivanka Trump both decide to testify?

BORGER: Well, according to a source close to the family, they decided because they had been subpoenaed that it wasn't going to be a contentious interview.


That they could answer questions. And remember, Jared was just coming home from a trip that day. It was really Ivanka who was inside with the president that day -- that they could answer questions directly without hurting their father. And I believe they believed that that is what they did and what the committee gets out of it is corroboration saying, okay, Ivanka spent time with her father and said -- and her father did X and then she confirmed that.


BORGER: So that, in and of itself, I'm sure the committee lawyers knew would be really crucial for them, and clearly, the chairman of the committee thinks that it was really important.

BURNETT: Well, it's interesting and to your point, I think it's important for people to remember you have hundreds and hundreds of people testify, right?

BORGER: Right.

BURNETT: So in a sense, you don't need to have somebody important tell you everything but if they give you the right slivers can help a lot.

BORGER: Exactly.

BURNETT: Gloria, thank you very much.

With Gloria's reporting there, it comes amid even greater legal threat to Trump in Georgia where a 27-member grand jury has just been selected to investigate whether Trump and allies broke the law when they tried to overturn the 2020 election results. You remember the call with the secretary of state saying call me one more vote than the amount I lost by and I win the state.

OUTFRONT now, Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns. They are the authors of the excellent new book, "This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America's Future", which is out everywhere tomorrow and, obviously, includes discussion of so many, until your book, unheard tapes and conversations about what happened that day.

So, let's just start with this situation in Georgia. Jonathan, you sit down with the former president for your book.


BURNETT: Do you think he's worried that he could face criminal charges in this probe in Georgia?

MARTIN: Well, he never portrays any concern about legal jeopardy. He is the sort of face of -- or the picture rather of confidence. That's the Donald Trump brand that he sort of dismisses any questions about -- his challenges politically or in the legal realm.

But clearly, this is something that he does spend time thinking about and look no further, Erin, than the comments he constantly makes about whether it's in Georgia or here in New York. The prosecutors who are examining his affairs, he's always criticizing and disparaging the inquiry. So, obviously, it's on his mind because those statements don't lie.

BURNETT: Right. So, now, okay, as we talk about elections, you're coming in here into these crucial primaries for midterms. Tomorrow is a crucial GOP Senate primary in Ohio, right? This is the JD Vance situation.

MARTIN: Right.

BURNETT: Trump endorsed JD Vance, who obviously had been nasty to him, horrible critic of his, but he's now become one of his biggest proselytizers.

Over the weekend, Trump makes headlines because he confuses JD Vance with Josh Mandel, and the wonderful JD Mandel, at a rally. Let me play it.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: We've endorsed Dr. Oz. We've endorsed JP, right? JD Mandel and he's doing great. They're all doing good. I think Vance is doing well.


BURNETT: JP, JD, Mandel, Vance, hey, what's in just a couple of letters here, Alex? I mean, do flubs matter and how much is at stake for Trump tomorrow night?

ALEXANDER BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I don't know if it's something like that is going to be decisive in Ohio. But it's a very, very close race, and Vance needs to close for the president to go in have the headline be, he kind of bumbled his own candidate's name probably not super helpful.

Erin, that race is one of the episodes that we zoom in on in our book because it shows the way Trump has reasserted himself after January 6th, in the way candidates from across the GOP, including former critics of his like JD Vance have come to kiss the ring in Florida.

There's an infamous scene last year where the major candidates in Ohio, including Vance, including Mandel went down to Mar-a-Lago and engaged in that apprenticeship courtship of the former president.


BURNS: And this includes a candidate like Vance, who used to be a critic of Donald Trump, another candidate in the race, Jane Timken, who told people right after January 6th, I am done with Trump and in a matter of months, they're down in Florida kissing the ring because they think that's the way to win.


MARTIN: So much of our book is about 2021 and this drift back among a lot of Republicans to Donald Trump's embrace. And we chronicle page after page, how even though in the moments after January 6th, a lot of them, including Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell, were talking tough in private, even some cases in public.

BURNETT: Yeah, you got the tapes.

MARTIN: We have the tapes. It was a matter of time.

And they all came back to Trump, because their voters like Trump and so they're bowing to their voters. And it's one of the most extraordinary stories of our time. A disgraced former president, twice impeached, still has a grip on the Republican Party. And in our book, we explain why that is at great length.


BURNETT: And so, you know, you have him possibly going to run again. It certainly seems -- it certainly looks that way, Alex, from where we are, and then that puts a lot of pressure on Biden who also has a lot at stake here in the midterm.

So, today, the former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer makes a prediction in a new op-ed.

He writes: In a little over six months, Republicans will likely win the House and Senate. As important as Election Day 2022 will be, what happens the next day will be more significant. That's the day the Democrats will turn on President Biden. It's inevitable. The stop Biden drumbeat will grow everyday, whether it takes weeks or a few months, until Biden acknowledges reality and declares he will not run for re-election.

Is he right?

BURNS: Look, what I think he's right about is there's an open secret among Democrats that there's a great deal of concern about whether Biden can, and will, and should run for re-election. I do think there's really good reason to be skeptical the Democrats would turn on the president that way because --


BURNS: -- again, one of the things we've seen over and over again in recent years is that Democrats have a much stricter command and control hierarchy in their party. They do not like internal conflict. They do not relish blood sport in the way the Republican primary voters and Republican candidates do.


BURNS: The question would be, are there people in the Democratic Party who at some point decide that it's time to communicate diplomatically to Biden, you know, sir, maybe it's time to think about, you know, riding off into the sunset.

But the other dynamic here is they are terrified of Donald Trump running again and Joe Biden is terrified of Trump running again.


BURNS: Not because he's such a strong candidate but concerned what it would mean for the country, and he has said, Erin, publicly, several times, that if Trump runs again and he's more likely to run again.

BURNETT: Well, that's the thing you, is like you can't say one thing to me and the other to him.

So in the book you write this issue, that he's got President Biden, every option of running unless he changes his mind, he'll be 81, of course, at the next election.

So, you write: Though none would say so openly, this is all about your reporting, Biden's age was a constant subject of private discussion among Democrats, particularly those who had known him for a long time. Biden's voice remains sharp and authoritative on matters of policy, but his stories were longer and more repetitive. He tired more easily, traveled less, and took longer to recall people's names.

MARTIN: I think, to be candid with you, that this is an enormous story that is constantly talked about in private by Democrats in Washington and other parts of the country, but because the right wing media has so fixated on Biden and Biden purportedly having cognitive issues, it has made it always impossible for Democrats to talk about in any public way because that's what the other side is so fixated on.


MARTIN: This has this perverse affect on chilling what is a real conversation by the way in private. So much of this book, Erin, is the gap between private conversations and public discussions.

BURNETT: Right. So, on both sides it sounds like you're talking about that, yeah.

MARTIN: Certainly when it comes to Trump, but my goodness, is that ever true with Democrats and Joe Biden.

And it's not like they're going to push for the trap door like Ari Fleischer suggests. It's more like they're looking at their watch, they're tapping their foot, and they're clearing their throat, and they're waiting for Biden to say something or do something about whether or not he's going to run again and the clock is ticking.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much.

And again, everybody, available tomorrow, "This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America's Future".

And wonderful to see you both in person. By the way, I love the sartorial selection. Those ties, and both -- on both --

MARTIN: In bookstores tomorrow, Tuesday.

BURNETT: It is in bookstores tomorrow.

MARTIN: Folks can buy it in person. Very exciting.

BURNETT: In person.

All right. And next, what is the plan? That question for Biden is coming from Democrats who are breaking from him specifically, in this case, on border policy.

And we're going to take you to one Ukrainian village where an effigy of a Russian soldier greets people as they are slowly returning to what is left of their homes.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If there's a building in these homes not t damaged by fighting, we haven't seen it yet.




BURNETT: Tonight, pulling no punches. Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona, a Democrat, calling on the Biden administration for not being prepared of a surge of migrants expected at the southern border in just weeks. He's one of nearly eight dozen Democrats sounding the alarm about Biden's plans to end Title 42, which allows officials to turn away migrants at the southern border.

Kasie Hunt is OUTFRONT.


SEN. MAGGIE HASSAN (D-NH): Hi, everyone. I'm here in Nogales, Arizona, right at the Mexican border.

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST (voice-over): Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan filming this video almost 300 miles away from her home state in New Hampshire. She went because the Biden is planning to lift a pandemic era rule that allowed border officials to turn migrants away more than 1.7 million times over the last two years. It's set to happen in May, just months before she'll face votes in the midterm elections.

HASSAN: I'm going to keep pushing the administration to develop a really strong strategic plan for how we will secure our borders when Title 42 is lifted.

HUNT: Right now, about 7,000 migrants are being apprehended everyday, the highest in years, and Department of Homeland Security says that number could double or even triple if Title 42 is lifted.

ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: It is our responsibility to be prepared for different scenarios and that is what we are doing.

HUNT: But so far, more than a dozen members of the president's own party expressed concerns of the administration lifting Title 42.

Border state senator Mark Kelly of Arizona says there isn't a good plan.

SEN. MARK KELLY (D-AZ): There hasn't been enough preparation. There hasn't been a plan put in place.

HUNT: So the administration has no plan?

KELLY: Well, they've got a little bit more of a plan as of a couple days ago. But it's still not sufficient. We have this arbitrary gate, about 30 days from now, where this policy is supposed to go away and we see that increase numbers and it hasn't even been decided where the facility would be.

HUNT: Wow, so you're saying thousands of people would come across the border and at this point --

KELLY: We have no place to put them. We don't have the basics of how are you going to handle 18,000 individuals a day, safely, and, you know, in occurrence with our ethics and principles. That plan I haven't seen yet.

HUNT: Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar putting it bluntly.

REP. HENRY CUELLAR (D-TX): Right now, some of the actions by the administration is not helping Democrats.


HUNT: But President Biden is pressing ahead under intense pressure from immigration activists. They feel they were promised a sharp break from the draconian policies and inflammatory rhetoric under former President Donald Trump.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is the first president in the history of the United States of America that's somebody seeking asylum has to do it in another country, that's never happened before in America.

HUNT: In New Hampshire, Hassan is facing some of that backlash from the left over her trip to a border wall that Trump championed.

MARIA PEREZ (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE REPRESENTATIVE: What happened to you? You tokenized us to talk negatively about the previous administration, but now you're utilizing immigrants to win some votes. Shame on you!

HUNT: But Hassan has another challenge, winning over independents in a general election.

CROWD: Build that wall! Build that wall!

HUNT: Republicans across the country are dialing up their criticism of Democrats on immigration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As the real Trump conservative, I will fight to finish this wall, secure this border and crack down on the drug cartels.

HUNT: Those ads could get even tougher for Democrats if images like these taken during the last border surge blanket American airwaves again because of a massive surge this summer.


HUNT (on camera): Immigration activists are privately expecting the nation's courts to keep Title 42 in place well past May and possibly even past the midterm election. Louisiana judge blocked the administration from lifting Title 42 after 20 states sued to keep the administration from doing it -- Erin.

BURNETT: Wow. All right. Kasie, thank you very much for that report.

And next, we're going to travel to one of the hardest hit towns in Ukraine to see the staggering damage from Putin's inspiration. .


RIVERS: This is probably somebody's kitchen. You can see an oven there, pots and pans, a microwave.

Plus, a massive search underway for a corrections officer who disappeared with a murderer suspect.



BURNETT: A Ukrainian official saying Russian forces are decimating Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, and destroying every settlement they encounter in the region. The official adding, Russian troops are only advancing in, and I quote, the areas they have completely destroyed.

Matt Rivers is OUTFRONT after visiting another village that was leveled by Russian artillery.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the entrance to the Ukrainian village of Moschun, an effigy twist in the breeze, a uniform stripped off a dead Russian soldier, stuffed and hung from a tree.

People hate Russia here, because of what it did. The tiny town northwest of Kyiv has been leveled. Russian bombs, rockets, bullets, destroyed streets after street after street.

This was the site of some of the most intense fighting of the war so far on. Their drive towards Kyiv, the Russians attacked soldiers and civilians alike here. Ukrainian bunkers, alongside ordinary houses, shelled relentlessly, to devastating effect.

This was probably somebody's kitchen. You can see an oven there, some pots and pans and a microwave.

I mean, this isn't a big city, but the scale of destruction in this village is on par with anything else we've seen across Ukraine. I mean, this house gets hit with artillery, subsequent fire, just look. It's eviscerated. If there is a building in this village that hasn't been damaged in this fighting, we haven't seen it yet.

VALENTINA FURSA, RESIDENT OF MOSCHUN, UKRAINE (through translator): Boom, boom, boom, fire, fire. It was everywhere, it is a nightmare.

RIVERS: Valentina Fursa has lived in Moschun for years and has never known war until it landed on her doorstep and forced her down into a neighbor's basement.

How scared were you?

FURSA: We were very scared. My heart was beating very fast. We thought we would die there. The Russians fired indiscriminately.

RIVERS: The fighting only eased when Russia withdrew from the entire Kyiv region. Valentina, emerging from the basement to find shell casings in her garden, and whatever else the Russians left behind.

So, all these things she said the Russians left behind, there she is washing her hands, another cup of some kind here, this is some sort of lifejacket that he Russians used. Even here, you've got old mailboxes, with things left inside that you can see.

For nearly two months after the fighting, residents stayed away. A trickle have now started to return. To them, Russia is lasting effects here more than just bullet holes and bomb craters.

Not only do people who were trying to rebuild so often have to start from scratch, but there remain so many minds and pieces of -- that people are considering closing down this town for a few days until they can clear it.

It's open for now, which meant Valentina Marhonos could come back home for the first time in weeks. But the weather was nice, so her niece and nephew played on the swing. Different than the last time they were here, when they hid in a basement, as bombs destroyed everything above.

Is it difficult to think about that?

VALENTINA MAHORNOS, RESIDENT OF MOSCHUN, UKRAINE (through translator): I don't even know it to say.

RIVERS: What we can say is that this tiny town has turned into a symbol, of sorts. A village mercilessly attacked that in the end, stood its ground, a microcosm, perhaps, of the country in which it lies.


RIVERS (on camera): And, Erin, that town is only about 50 miles or so from where I am standing right now in the center of Kyiv. There are soldiers that we spoke to that said the Russians if they had been able to take that town, there would've been street fighting, right where I am right now.


That town is key to Ukraine winning the battle of Kyiv.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much for that report, Matt.

And, next, a corrections officer vanishes with a murder suspect just days after she filed for retirement and sold her home.


BURNETT: Tonight, manhunt in Alabama. An arrest warrant now out for an Alabama correction officers allegedly involved in the escape of an inmate who was awaiting trial for capital murder. Vicki White was last seen Friday when she said she was taking inmate Casey White, the two are not related, but said she was taking him for mental health evaluation at the county courthouse. There was no mental health evaluation schedule for the inmate that day.

A county sheriff telling CNN that the two appeared to be in cahoots.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SHERIFF RICK SINGLETON, LAUDERDALE COUNTY, AL: She's certainly an accomplice. You know, she took him out of the jail, out of the detention center. And, you know, it's obvious from the evidence that we have gathered that this was not -- that he did not kidnap her.


BURNETT: Well, the manhunt continues. Casey White meantime was serving 75 years in prison.

Thanks so much for joining us. You can watch OUTFRONT anytime on CNN Go.

"AC360" starts now.