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First Move with Julia Chatterley
At Least 53 Deaths Reported in Chernihiv since Wednesday; Biden Speaks with President Xi Amid Ongoing Russia-Ukraine War; Putin: Our Guys will Shield each other in the Battlefield; City Council: 60 Civilians Killed in Kyiv Since War Began; Ukraine, Russia Continue to Hold Diplomatic Talks; Schwarzenegger Records Video Message to Russian People. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired March 18, 2022 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: You're watching CNN. I'm Eleni Giokos. We begin with the latest on the crisis in Ukraine. The key Western
City of the Lviv that has largely been spared from Russian attacks hit by missiles today, the missile struck aircraft repair plants near the airport.
The Ukrainian military says Russia launched six missiles towards Lviv, but two of them were intercepted by its air defense system. In the Capital
Kyiv, at least one person died after debris from an intercepted rocket sparked fire at a residential building.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military says it has launched a counter offensive to gain control of the suburbs of Kyiv. And this comes as the UK reports
the Russian military is still struggling. The British Defense Ministry says Russia continues to face logistical problems, and that it's been prevented
from resupplying for troops with even basics like food and fuel.
Ukraine claims more than 14,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, and CNN is unable to verify that claim. The most recent figure released by Russia
in early March was around 500. Meanwhile, the leaders of the U.S. and China are holding a crucial phone call right now.
Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping are discussing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as U.S. officials say Beijing is weighing whether to provide
military or financial assistance to Moscow. More now on todays attack on the key western city of Lviv. We've got CNN's Scott McLean near the area
where those missiles struck and have this detailed report.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And this was frankly a wake-up call for the city of Lviv bombs have not fallen within the city limits before until
today. Air raid sirens went off just after six o'clock local time. minutes after that you could hear explosions from the city center shortly after
that black smoke rising in the horizon once we figured out where those strikes had actually hit we came here.
This is not far from the Lviv airport, we were able to get a vantage point from the top of this traffic bridge which runs under - runs over some train
tracks and we're able to see a building just beyond the runway that was on fire.
Officials say that that building was an aircraft repair facility. They say that six missiles were fired by the Russians. Two of them were struck down
and it's important to point out that even when missiles are struck down the risk is not over.
We have seen previously in Kyiv for the last two days missiles being shot down and landing in civilian areas landing on apartment buildings. What was
remarkable to see earlier today is that people were using this bridge pedestrians were using this bridge because they had blocked off the road as
if nothing had happened.
People by and large expected bombs the first bombs in the Lviv to fall near the airport because this is have happened before in other cities in Ivano-
Frankivsk in Lutsk. Here's what one man told me about what he saw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were some explosions. I heard the noise and then look right away and I saw a column of smoke rising.
MCLEAN (on camera): Even with bombing you feel safe to stay here as well?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don't know. Where would it go?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN: Now incredibly, the Governor says that only one person was injured in this attack and not seriously. The Governor also said that the Russians
ought to have known that Lviv has become a humanitarian hub for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing violence in other parts of the country. He says
that it is proof that for the Russians, nothing is sacred, not women, not children, not migrants.
GIOKOS: The Ukrainian government says nine humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians have been agreed for Friday one of two allows people to
leave the besieged City of Mariupol. We continue to wait for updates on the people who were in that Bomb Theater turned sheltering officials were
unable to provide any earlier today. Fred Pleitgen has more on the plight of Ukrainian civilians; we must warn you his report contains some graphic
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As Vladimir Putin's military rains, bombs, rockets and artillery on Ukraine,
civilians are paying the highest price scores killed and maimed.
In Chernihiv North of Kyiv rescue workers dig out the bodies of an entire family killed when a residential building was hit. Dozens more civilians
lost their lives in attacks. The Ukrainian government now confirming that U.S. Citizen James Whitney Hill was among those killed.
PLEITGEN (voice over): I asked Chernihiv's Mayor to tell me about the situation in his city.
VLADYSLAV ATROSHENKO, CHERNIHIV MAYOR: The intensity of shelling has increased. It's been indiscriminate, apparently random. We're not talking
about certain military infrastructure buildings being bombed. In reality, houses are being destroyed; schools and kindergartens have been destroyed.
PLEITGEN (voice over): This graphic video shows the gruesome aftermath of an attack on people waiting in a bread line in the same town. Witnesses say
at least 10 civilians were killed. Russia's military cynically claiming it wasn't them.
MAJ. GEN. IGOR KONASHENKOV, RUSSIAN ARMY: All units of the Russian Armed Forces are outside Chernihiv blocking the roads and no offensive actions
are being taken against the city.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Other cities are getting shelled as well. One of the hardest hit Mariupol in the Southeast. Several were killed and wounded
mostly women and children when maternity ward and children's hospital were hit last week.
And then the main theater where the U.S. believes hundreds of people had taken shelter was bombed. A small miracle the bomb shelter under the
building held up helping some of those inside survive. Though it's still unclear how many?
Authorities say efforts to pull people from the rubble are being hindered by the total breakdown of public services and the threat of further Russian
attacks. Aerial images show the building was clearly marked as having children inside leaving Ukraine's Defense Minister irate.
OLEKSII REZNIKOV, UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: You can see from the maps from the drones that are around this there's a big letters of children were
written so the pilot of the plane which was throwing the bombs could see and still in spite of that, this monster has bombed the theater.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Russia has denied it was responsible for the attack and the Russians claim they only target military installations, sending out
this video of them allegedly destroying Ukrainian howitzers. But the UK's Defense Ministry says the Russians are increasingly hitting cities with
heavy and less accurate weapons because they're simply running out of precise munitions as the war drags on, experts believe it will only get
MASON CLARK, LEAD RUSSIA ANALYST, INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF WAR: They're very intentionally targeting water stations and power supplies and internet
towers and cell phone towers and that sort of thing in a very deliberate attempt to make it more difficult for the defenders to hold out and try and
force them to capitulate.
PLEITGEN (voice over): But despite bringing massive firepower on civilian areas, the U.S. and its allies say Russia's offensive in Ukraine has
stalled and recent territorial gains have been minimal, Fred Pleitgen CNN, Lviv, Ukraine.
GIOKOS: More than 3 million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homelands since the start of the Russian invasion. The great majority of
them seek shelter in Poland where authorities there are warning that their ability to care for everyone is at breaking point.
Melissa Bell is on the Polish/Ukrainian border. Breaking Point, Melissa hearing that it is devastating because you're still seeing a big influx of
refugees. We know that a lot of money has been, you know, allocated to assisting people on the border. But it's all about capacity. And it's all
about getting people the assistance they need. What are you seeing on the ground?
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Eleni it is also that so many European leaders, so many European countries were essentially caught pretty
flat footed by the Russian invasion, which is remarkable when you consider how long intelligence agencies that have been warning about it.
But I suppose it's a difficult thing to prepare for, from one day to the next such vast numbers of people suddenly crossing a border. And we were
speaking to the Town Mayor here, the Town of Przemysl where we are at the Polish/Ukrainian border one of the main crossing points for Ukrainian
You mentioned that 3 million figure 2 million of them have come through Poland. So it's a lot of people are all together. The mayor of this town
was saying look, in the early days of the war, in those first few days, there were some 55,000 refugees crossing into this town through places like
this train station every single day.
Now this is a population in this town of 60,000. So essentially, the town's population was doubling every day in those first few days of the war,
imagine, Eleni the logistics, the food, the shelter, the manpower that it takes to cater for that amount of people arriving with literally what they
could carry as they fled the violence.
Now, that has continued there is still a great deal of solidarity. And what we're talking about is mainly just ordinary people coming together to try
and help. We continue to see that you see people arriving in their cars here at the train station with truckloads full of food and saying we just
want to be able to help so nearly more than rather three weeks into this war that solidarity is pretty intact, but it is just becoming a question of
The local mayor was saying to us today look, we've really been doing everything we can but these efforts couldn't really last more than three
weeks to a month and beyond that it's going to be up to the Polish government and the European Union to do a lot more to bring resources to
this part of the world.
GIOKOS: But also a better sense of logistics to help the refugees in their onward journey. Another point Eleni, which I think was interesting that he
was making, was that most of these refugees are, of course women and children who have left their fighting aged men behind.
They believe that this war will be one; they want very much to go home. And so their intention for many of them, some have headed further into Europe,
where they've been able to logistically for some of them, the aim is to stay as close to the border as they can, so that they can get home as
quickly as they can Eleni.
GIOKOS: Alright, Melissa Bell, thank you very much. Good to have you on the show. All right. As we mentioned earlier, Presidents Joe Biden and Xi
Jinping are holding a critical phone call on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. U.S. officials say Beijing is deciding whether or not to provide military
or financial aid to Moscow.
The U.S. has indicated China would pay an economic price if it supports Russia, and goes beyond rhetoric. David Culver and John Harwood joins me
now to discuss this further. David, I want to start with you because this is going to be an interesting time in terms of the shift of power globally
that if China chooses to support Russia that could mean a fundamental shift.
And I guess it depends on in terms of which allegiance it wants to take. And I'm sure it's not taking lightly to the warnings from the U.S. as well.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Eleni, they've been trying to kind of go out this neutral ground playing both sides, if you will, and really
picking just one enemy. And that's been the U.S. I should point out by the way, state media here just flashing as I'm looking right now that this
meeting is underway, this phone call between President Biden and President Xi.
But the reality is that the longer that this war goes on; the more difficult to position President Xi is in in trying to stay neutral.
China's, as I pointed out, frequent target has been the U.S. and the U.S., for its part has said that they're going to be issuing consequences against
China, should they side with Russia militarily or economically.
And China's here pretty much acknowledged Russia's so called legitimate security concerns. And domestically, what we have seen is that they have
been essentially playing out the Chinese version, if you will, of what the Kremlin is putting out propaganda wise. So they're helping each other
But what China's now navigating very carefully, is the possibility of feeling economic pressure from the sanctions put on Russia. And that might
explain some recent actions taken by China that may not be sitting well with Putin. They include China's doubling the Ruble trading range against
the Chinese Yuan.
So that essentially has allowed the Ruble to just continue plummeting in value. And China also reportedly refused to send aircraft parts to Russia,
as they badly need them. And Beijing based investment banks have been halted programs in Russia and Belarus.
But Washington and the EU, they want to see more. And how they engage here, including this phone call that's right now underway with China is going to
be key. China does not respond well to being told what to do, especially when they're balancing this very difficult decision of betraying their
neighbor, if you will, and the ideological allegiance that they have with their fellow autocracy, Russia, so as to side with the West.
But in siding with the West, Eleni, they may also be protecting the Chinese economy, which has slowed dramatically. And we know that economic stability
here translates into social stability. So rocking that is a very precarious situation.
GIOKOS: Yes, absolutely. I mean, such a good point, right? China doesn't like being told what to do. Let's not forget the realtor coming out of, you
know, multi-year trade war John. I want to bring you in here because, you know, in the lead up to this phone call, we know for a fact that the U.S.
has won China; if they get involved that there will be economic ramifications. So what is Joe Biden stance going to be?
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well Eleni, what President Biden and his team believe, is that China made a bet early on that this
would be a quick, successful war for Russia. They see that that bet has gone bad and they're uncertain as to what to do now.
Do they double down on support for Russia? Or do they pull away? David indicated some signs that maybe they're pulling away a little bit,
President Biden is going to try to press on that uncertainty and persuade China that it would not make sense to double down and, you know, David was
outlining the divergence in China's stance on the world stage.
On the one hand, politically, they're an autocracy, and so they sided with autocracies. But economically they run with the democracies to big
industrial democracies. And at some point, you might have to choose between your interests there and the Chinese have a huge stake in the economic
status quo in the world.
And that could be disturbed if they further side with Russia on this conflict and President Biden's trying to prove that from happening.
GIOKOS: All right yes so we know Xi Jinping and Joe Biden currently on a call discussing the war Russia and Ukraine. We'll be catching up with you,
David Culver and John Harwood a little later to get the details of that call. Thank you very much for your analysis.
Now in Moscow, a big celebration is underway marking the eighth anniversary of Russia's Annexation of Crimea. Take a look at these pictures. Eight
years ago, Russia annexed Crimea and to give us a little bit of insight we've got Nada Bashir standing by for us.
It was also eight years ago that we saw defiance from Ukrainians that forced Viktor Yanukovych at the time the President, who then fled to
Russia, and that's when we saw Russia's really big political and military moves into Crimea. Tell us what's going on in terms of the celebrations at
a time where Russia has not fully invaded Ukraine.
NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Eleni, this could really only be seen as a carefully orchestrated and timely, a bit of PR from Russia, as we have
seen crowds packed into Russia's Olympic Luzhniki Stadium, really celebrating the annexation of Crimea, the eight year anniversary of that,
all the while, while Russia is continuing to threaten the territorial integrity of not only now Eastern Ukraine, but across much of the country
now, including the Capital Kyiv.
So really seeing these quite shocking pictures from Moscow now crowds packed in waving the Russian flag, a celebration of this annexation video
is shown really celebrating the Russian military. But of course, this is important timing for Russia, we have heard reports from NATO, and other
Western officials that morale within the Russian military, and even support from within Russia is waning.
We have also, of course, in protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg, against the war. So this is really a show by the Kremlin to really bolster that
support for the country, for the military, and for what it has described as a military operation in Ukraine.
But of course, this is a full scale war targeting you see civilian infrastructure and bringing the country really to a standstill now. But of
course, these pictures will come as quite a shock to those in Ukraine, seeing the celebration of annexation, which of course, fought about what
we're seeing now just eight years ago.
And of course for those in the Donbas region, which has been hit particularly hard by Moscow's invasion. This will of course, be difficult
to watch. Now we are hearing reports that members of staff from the Kremlin other state officials were actually pressured to attend this rally, they
were buzzed in, CNN hasn't been able to independently verify these reports.
But of course, this does fit into the narrative of the idea of Russia pushing this PR campaign as a sort of last ditch effort, as we see that
lowered of morale within the troops and, of course, a show of really opposition to the war by protesters within Russia as well Eleni.
GIOKOS: Yes Nada, I mean, it's - I have to say it's pretty surreal seeing these images, the celebration of the annexation. And this has been part of,
you know, the sort of Russian propaganda machine in terms of justifying its invasion into Ukraine, and we know that they've been calling it a special
They continue to do that on the public stage. And there you have it that is President Vladimir Putin speaking right now at this rally. Let's listen in
- I don't think we have translation, but let's just listen into those.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: --when they went to the referendum in Sebastopol Crimea on 17th of March 2014. And they wanted to be reunited
with their historical motherland, Russia, they had every right to do so and they achieved their goals. Let's congratulate them on this great occasion.
Over this time, Russia has done a lot to raise Crimea is Sebastopol we have to do things that are not immediately obvious. They have fundamental
nature, gas supply, power supply, utilities, and restoration of the road networks, building new roads, new highways, and bridges.
We had to pull Crimea from degrading position and condition that Crimea and Sebastopol were in when they were part of a difference which funded these
territories on a residual basis.
PUTIN: But that's not the matter. The matter is that we know what to do next? How to do it, and at what expense? And we will implement all our
plans. But it isn't merely a matter of these decisions. Crimean and the people of Sebastopol did right when they put a barrier in the way of
nationalism and not an extreme nationalism.
Because what was going in those territories is still going on people who live in Donbas also disagreed with the, with the coup and immediately
punitive operations were carried out against them. And more than one, they were sunk into a blockade of and constantly shelled.
They were subjected to air strikes. And this is what we call genocide. And to raise people suffering, and this genocide was the main reason, the main
motivation and the main objective of the operation that we began in Donbas and Ukraine, this was the objective.
And this is when I think of the Bible; there is no greater love than if somebody gave their soul for their friends. And we can see the heroic deeds
of our guys in the course of this operation. These words from the Holy Scripture, of Christianity are something that is very dear to those who
profess this religion.
But everything is down to the fact that this universal value for people and all the confessions of Russia, and for our own people, above all, above all
for our own people, and the best conformation, how our guys are fighting in the course of this military operation, shoulder to shoulder helping and
supporting each other.
And if the need comes, they will shield each other in the battlefield from the bullets as brothers. We have not had such unity for a long time. It so
happened, that the beginning of the operation nearly by accident coincided with the birthday.
GIOKOS: All right, you're seeing live pictures from Moscow. We just heard from President Vladimir Putin on the eight year celebrations of the
annexation of Crimea, today's 18th of March. And I still have Nada Bashir with me.
Nada, I want to just repeat some of what President Putin said that Crimea is reunited with historical motherland and let us congratulate them. And he
says, we know what to do next, and we will implement all our plans. He's basically reiterated and he's also justified what the next moves are, and
he, you know, again, spinning the line of Nazism and that he's there to save Ukrainians.
BASHIR: Yes Eleni, you had the he's celebrating the annexation of Crimea likening that now to this special military operation, as he's described it
in Ukraine, as he said, trying to - the Donbas region of what he's described as Nazism fascism, of genocide. Now, of course, this is
completely false. This has been proven this has been verified not only by CNN and other outlets, but also by NATO and other human rights
BASHIR: We know now that President Putin the Kremlin and the Russian forces are targeting civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, threatening the
territorial integrity of the country.
But let me just go back to a few of the things he said he was praising Russia's infrastructural support for the Crimean region for the development
there. He talks about, you know, the heroic deeds of the Russian forces.
Now, of course, as important, as we have heard reports from NATO from the U.S. and other Western officials, that morale is certainly waning amongst
Russian troops. We have in our own investigations, and CNN revealed that several Russian troops weren't even aware that they were heading into
Ukraine, and truly believed that they were taking part in military exercises.
There have been some anecdotal reports or even troops abandoning their tanks and weapons that have broken faced with huge logistical challenges
according to NATO and other Western officials. But clearly Putin there driving home that message trying to reunify the country, and he did say
that Russia hasn't had at this level of unity in such a long time.
But that is a difficult really to believe given the fact that we have seen really outstanding protests in both Moscow in St. St. Petersburg and other
parts of Russia, really severe crackdown on free press in Russia as well. And we've seen some pretty drastic action by other journalists in Moscow
So clearly, this is all part of the Kremlin's pretty tight run PR campaign trying to push their narrative forward, he even invoke the Bible and talks
about the Russian troops defending their men and defending those vulnerable within Ukraine.
But clearly, as we have seen over the last few days, both in our reporting, and in the warnings from NATO and other Western officials that this so
called special military operation is a full scale war targeting civilians threatening the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
And it does seem as though President Putin is really trying to bolster and rally the support of the Russian people in a time where the country is
looking pretty divided Eleni.
GIOKOS: Absolutely, yes and, you know, interesting to hear Vladimir Putin speaking because it is at a time as well, where Russians are being targeted
and attacked and arrested if they oppose or speak out against the war, so this as you say, very important messaging for him to try and drive his
statement home. Thank you very much, Nada great to have you on the show.
All right, now coming up next, we'll be joined by a Former Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine for the latest situation in the country. Stay with us.
GIOKOS: Welcome back! Ukraine's Western City of Lviv hit by Russian missiles it's the first attack within the city limits since the war began.
The missile struck an aircraft repair plant near the airports. Meanwhile, in the Capital Kyiv, attacks on civilian targets continue. The City Council
says 60 people; including four children have been killed so far.
And take a look at this video just one of the many tragic images from this war. This is a man crying next to the body of his mother after an attack in
Kyiv. Alina Frolova is Deputy Chair of the Think Tank Center for Defense Strategies. She's also Former Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Alina
thank you so very much for joining us.
I mean, you're in Kyiv right now and we know that there's you know, it's a city under attack the Russians have been trying to encircle completely and
the stark warning is if there's no way in an art that means that the city literally has only just a few weeks before it runs out of supplies.
I want you to give me a sense of what you're going through and how you know the Ukrainians are trying to hold the city?
ALINA FROLOVA, DEPUTYCHAIR, CENTER FOR DEFENSE STRATEGIES: Well actually, it's not the complete right situation the Kyiv is not around it actually
they never attempted to make in the full circle.
So they trying to execute from different directions but till now they didn't make any substantial progress. Actually, they were moved out from
those small towns which are around Kyiv and which they occupied like a few weeks before.
And in the suburbs of Kyiv they use the same tactics as they use in Mariupol. So they take the small towns and they absolutely devastate the
infrastructure. They have a huge missile attacks on the small towns of - the civilian housing.
They keep in the civilians like in basements without food without water and that's like just 70 kilometers' from Kyiv or 60 kilometers from Kyiv and
that sounds awful because till now we finally open the green corridors and people - not all of them but most of them can be evacuated and we just
listen to these stories and that's like completely.
However, I should tell you that Kyiv is not surrounded. Kyiv is ready and we do not have any information which will like show us a military personnel
that Kyiv will be captured or occupied. It's not possible for Russian to occupy Kyiv now from point of view of operational activity I mean, the
military one dimensional.
Not from the point of view that the all the population which faces in Kyiv absolutely ready to make resilient.
GIOKOS: So in terms of - I want you to give me a sense of what it's like every day? Are you hearing more and more air sirens and we hear it - I mean
we're seeing some really devastating pictures of again casualties and this while there are big negotiations in terms of creating humanitarian
FROLOVA: Kyiv actually it's quite big city. Yes, we have a constant like alert that multiple alerts within the day there are some days which we can
have just like a few like four or five or but mainly that's much more. We all already know how the sounds of missiles? How it is coming?
We all know aware in the air defenses working by sound. So that's like a reality in which we live in and now they are yes they specifically started
to target also civilian districts with the missiles attack. However, they are not very successful in Kyiv thanks God and our military because we have
not met air defense here.
And so they mainly - air defense is like completing their job well. Now we have a much worse situation with Mariupol and Kharkiv where the like a
complete city is destroyed like Mariupol.
FROLOVA: And where the people just cannot go out of it.
GIOKOS: Alina, you know, we were just showing our viewers footage of the eight year celebrations in Moscow right now of the annexation of Crimea.
And it's pretty surreal; I have to say, watching those pictures.
And I want, you know, to cast our memories back to 2013, 2014, whether the, you know, the resolution and the steadfastness of Ukrainians in Kyiv, you
know, forced Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country at that point, and that's when we actually saw Russia coming in to next Crimea.
I want you to give me a sense of how that trauma that experience that sacrifice has created a stronger resolve in terms of dealing with what
we're seeing today.
FROLOVA: Well, from Ukrainians point of view, we've perfectly understand especially now that we did absolutely the right thing, because otherwise we
wouldn't become a part of Russia and leaving all this like, I didn't know this is.
So me, the Soviet Union or beginning of Soviet Union, when you just across out from your life, all the contemporary achievements, all the innovations
and development and just stay in some kind of old world, which became reality.
So Ukraine is absolutely sure that we did right choice. And yes, you're absolutely right, that there are a lot of flashbacks to that situation.
When you understand sometimes it's helped. Because in situation now when you think that there is no hope, you just remember how you were standing at
Maidan surrounded by all those people who are just overcoming power and force, which was weapon.
And you thought that time that there is no excess. But we are here, and we are now and we still live. And it means that you have always solution. And
we fight because we believe that our nation is absolutely independent and united and we fight because we believe in better now and better future for
GIOKOS: Alina, thank you very much for your insights. And please stay safe and we looking forward to getting an update from you very soon. Thank you
FROLOVA: Thank you.
GIOKOS: Take care. Thank you. Last week's horrific airstrike on a maternity hospital in Mariupol is an ever present reminder of the toll of this
conflict and it's what it's doing and taking innocent Ukrainian civilians. A CNN investigation has found no military justification for the attack. And
that's despite Russian claims to the contrary as Katie Polglase reports.
KATIE POLGLASE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Kharkiv is - now Mariupol. Despite being an apparent war crime medical facilities have been repeatedly
hit by Russia since its invasion of Ukraine. And with each hit a new justification. For Mariupol Russia set the stage days before the attack
VASILY NEBENZYA, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: The armed forces of Ukraine have set up a fire position there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Expelled the staff and patients from the maternity hospital and equipped combat positions in it.
POLGLASE (voice over): CNN has found zero evidence such military positions were present in Mariupol's maternity and children's hospital on the
afternoon of March 9th, and it was civilians that emerged from the buildings. Pregnant women injured and distressed.
City officials say 17 people including children, women and doctors were injured. Since then at least five people have died. CNN built a model that
revealed many signs that civilians were still using this hospital and therefore it was not a justifiable military target.
This satellite image taken just hours before the attack shows cars parked outside. This is the crater left behind war crime investigators truth
hounds told CNN it is consistent with a 500 kilogram high explosive bomb dropped from an aircraft.
Just meters away this sign reads children's diagnostic consultancy unit. According to the hospital website, it has children with immune diseases
among other illnesses. Over here is where people began emerging after the strike. Women heavily pregnant being carried with arms draped over the
shoulders of others, helping them get out of the chaos.
And here firemen can be seen running inside assisting people to escape. The internal devastation is significant the voice you're hearing isn't one of
the survivors speaking to "Associated Press" who gave birth shortly after.
POLGLASE (voice over): Another seen here being stretched out later died alongside her new born baby. These women's stories have epitomized the
tragedy unfolding in Ukraine. And yet even their suffering has been questioned, with Russian officials claiming on Twitter and news programs
that they must be actors.
ALEXANDER VASILIEVICH SHULGIN, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: This is only one woman rushing down the stairwell. Here she changed clothes. And she has
been brought on the stretcher.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're showing this to me but if you have any real evidence.
SHULGIN: Yes, it is real evidence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you show it to me? I'm just a journalist. Why don't you show it to the United Nations?
POLGLASE (voice over): Well, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov returned to the original line. This attack was justified.
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: This maternity hospital had already been seized by - battalion and other radicals. All the pregnant
women, all the nurses, all the service personnel were already expelled from there.
POLGLASE (voice over): As these attacks on hospitals, clinics, even ambulances continue, CNN is tracking each one. In total, we have verified
14 incidents across Ukraine. The World Health Organization has now confirmed 44 and with each hit the ability of people in Ukraine to get
medical help during this conflict is made more and more difficult. Katie Polglase, CNN London.
GIOKOS: And coming up after the break, I speak to the Former Prime Minister of Finland as Nordic countries rethink their security amid the ongoing
crisis in Ukraine.
GIOKOS: Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia's negotiating position is becoming more realistic as a fourth round
of talks between the governments continued. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later said although the talks were difficult, there is hope
of reaching a compromise.
Meanwhile, some countries like Finland, which shares a land border with Russia are rethinking their own security and having active discussions
about joining NATO. Alexander Stubb, Former Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Finland joins me now. Sir, really good to have you on thanks so
much for joining us!
GIOKOS: You've said in the past on CNN that every action whatever Putin does it's all part of a big plan. And we know that he's been very nostalgic
about the Former Soviet Union. When you see an attack 43 miles away from the Polish border, what do you think that tells us about Putin's next move?
ALEANDER STUBB, FORMER FINNISH PRIME MINISTER: Well, we don't know what his next move is going to be? What we have to understand that he is very
unpredictable. And he clearly has one vision, and that is of a great or historic Russia, which basically means that he wants to take over Belarus
And he doesn't seem to stop with anything. I mean, at the moment, he is basically slaughtering his brother sisters, and his cousins in Ukraine. So
I think we have to be vigilant, both those countries who are in NATO, those who are outside.
GIOKOS: We know that, you know, we've also known that Finland, in a way has always had joining NATO in its back pocket, as you know, as a resort, and
you've even got a military that's compatible with what NATO requirements are.
You know, do you think that Finland should be joining NATO right now? And do you think that Putin has just tipped the balance of power in the region
that now it's inevitable?
STUBB: Yes, I think the starting point here is that the European security situation has changed pretty much permanently. So on one hand, we have an
authoritarian, totalitarian and aggressive Russia. On the other hand, we have an alliance of democracies, somewhere between 30 and 35 in Europe,
somewhere in NATO, and some are in the EU.
Now, what Finland is doing at the moment, is basically testing the waters. You know, what is the pathway toward NATO membership? You know, we used to
be 50 percent of the population against 20 in favors now the latest opinion polls gives 62 percent in favor of NATO membership 16 against.
So for me, I think, you know, this is a done deal. The train has left the station, our application for NATO membership is not days or weeks away, but
I think we're talking more like months, rather than years.
GIOKOS: How do you think that the, you know, Vladimir Putin is going to react to that? Because one of his big gripes is the fact that he's saying
NATO has moved too far east. And that's a security risk for him.
And a lot of his demands when it comes to the negotiating table is that NATO shouldn't lean so far east and he wants to see Ukraine, saying that
they're not going to join any block, and they're going to remain independent?
STUBB: Sure, there's going to be a reaction either way. So basically, if we stay outside, there's going to be a reaction and we can't count out the
type of action that he's taken in Ukraine. If we go in, I think from four sources Putin, Lavrov - we've heard the word so you know military,
technical military repercussions.
But that's just the risk that we have to take. You do have to remember, though, that Finland fortunately didn't cut its defense expenditure after
the Cold War. As a matter of fact, we have a very strong standing military; including F-18 fighter jets just purchased another 64 F-35s. And we're very
NATO compatible, so I wouldn't be worried from that perspective.
But one thing I do want to add is that this is not all about NATO. Remember, for Putin, it's about his legacy. He did not want to see the
European vindication of Ukraine. He didn't want to see Ukraine moving towards a liberal democracy and an international community. That is why
he's reacting in the way in which he is NATO is just one part of it.
GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, I have to say that, you know, we were just watching footage of the eight year celebrations of the annexation of Crimea in
Moscow, and Vladimir Putin spoke and he said, you know, we have to congratulate them that they've reunited with the historical motherland.
So it speaks to the nostalgia that you're talking about. But what really is like you've got to read, you know, between the lines, he says, we know what
we need to do next, and we need to implement all of our plans. What do we read into this?
Because if you look at how, you know, Putin's narrative has changed from last year. No, we're just doing military exercises is nothing to worry
about, to now full scale invasion and war. Are you worried that the he's definitely thinking about doing more than just invading Ukraine?
STUBB: It's hard to say, you know, I was Foreign Minister in 2008 I mediated peace in Georgia, and as a consequence, ended up getting a
ceasefire agreement in five days, and two frozen conflicts. 2014 I was Prime Minister ended up having a frozen conflict in Crimea.
I thought this would end with a frozen conflict in Luhansk, and Donetsk, but it didn't. So he sort of went the full way. And at this stage, we don't
know where it's going to stop. I mean, his stated aims are threefold. Number one, take over Ukraine, number two, push back the frontiers of NATO,
East and Central Europe, as you mentioned, and then number three, keep Finland and Sweden outside of NATO.
STUBB: But to be honest and I'm not a military expert it isn't looking very good from his perspective should have been over in 24 hours a day.
GIOKOS: So do you think that China getting into the frame any way giving assistance to Russia is going to complicate the balance of power going
forward? Is that a worry for you?
STUBB: Yes, it's hard to say I mean we still have to see where China is going to really go on this. It has, in my mind, three options. One is to
support Russia, that will actually have ramifications with you know, the global balance of power clearly.
Then secondly, it's it sort of stays neutral and hover sits on the fence. And the third one is that it supports the West. I don't think it's a very
comfortable situation for China to be in, in the sense that for China, Russia, economically, it's just a thorn in the side, it doesn't really
matter that much.
It's the Belt and Road Initiative, and the value chains that they have with the rest of the West that matter more. So it'll be interesting to see where
China pivots as they move towards their party congress sometime in October and November.
GIOKOS: Prime Minister Alexander Stubb thank you very much for joining us. Great to have you on and I appreciate your insights and your analysis great
to have you on. All right and still to come, on "First Move".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, ACTOR: Your lives, your limps you're futures are being sacrificed for as senseless war condemned by the entire world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: Arni is back with a message to the Russian people more coming up.
GIOKOS: Taking it directly to the Russian people Legendary Actor and Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has recorded a video message
making an emotional plea to end the war and trying to cut through state propaganda. And if there's anyone who Vladimir Putin might listen to well,
it's Arni he is one of the only 22 people the Russian President follows on Twitter.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I know that your government has told you that this is to de-Nazify Ukraine de-Nazify Ukraine this is not true. Ukraine is a country
with a Jewish President, a Jewish President I might add, whose father three brothers were all murdered by the Nazis. Ukraine did not start this war.
Neither did nationalists or Nazis.
Those in power in the Kremlin started this war. This is not the Russian people's war because of its brutality. Russia is now isolated from the
Society of nations. You're also not being told the truth about the consequences of this war on Russia itself.
I regret to tell you that thousands of Russian soldiers that have been killed. They've been caught between Ukrainians fighting for their homeland
and the Russian leadership fighting for conquest.
SCHWARZENEGGER: This is not the war to defend Russia, that your grandfather so your great grandfather's fought. This is an illegal war. Your lives,
your limps your futures are being sacrificed for us senseless war condemned by the entire world. Let me close with a message to all of the Russians who
have been protesting on the streets against the invasion of Ukraine.
The world has seen your bravery. We know that you've suffered the consequences of your courage. You have been arrested, you've been jailed
and you've been beaten. You are my new heroes. You have the strength of - you have the true heart of Russia.
GIOKOS: Alright, we are going to live press conference of Volodymyr Zelenskyy the President of Ukraine, let's listen in.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: --that meets the basic needs of the society. War is not a time for bureaucrats from different departments
to complicate people's lives. We would like to simplify customs clearance of all the goods that Ukrainians need now.
This means that we need to lift taxes and excise duty for the time of the war. And we can do that. It means that we need to remove customs officers
who don't understand the needs of more time. We can do this quickly too. Our borders must be open to everything Ukrainians need, and I shall await
decisions by the end of the day and support from the parliamentarians because everything must work for Ukrainians now for our states for defense,
not for the ambitions or fears of bureaucracy.
Everything must be for the Defense of Ukraine. Today I awarded 138 servicemen, Ukrainian armed forces including - to Alexander, Commander of
the Land Forces since the full scale invasion of Russia he has been leading the defense of Kyiv.
Thanks to his professional and courageous action the enemy has been repelled from the capital. And more than 30 towns in Kyiv region have been
freed from the occupier - Commander of the Tank Battalion in Defense of Donetsk region has dealt - he has dealt significant losses to the enemy and
took to his advance.
Also Sergeant - he personally evacuated, the wounded from - and Mariupol. Thanks to her heroic deeds 31 defendants have been rescued. She continues
to work in Mariupol. Glory to all our heroes, glory to you!
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Well, you've just been listening to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaking. It was a
short speech announcing that Ukrainian borders must be open for everything that Ukrainians need.
He is speaking there about concerns on supply chains ensuring that adequate goods and services are getting in and out of this country which of course
is under attack under assault by Russia. More than 30 towns though he said have been freed from what he called the occupiers and saluted the bravery
of those Ukrainians who are fighting for the country.
We're going to get you to the UN Security Council where the U.S. Representative is speaking let's listen in. Well, apologies for that we got
there a little late. I'll get you exactly what was said shortly. You are watching CNN.