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First Move with Julia Chatterley

Large Explosions Heard in Kyiv During City Curfew; Russian Court Gives Jailed Kremlin Critic Navalny 9 Year Sentence; Javorcik: Ukraine is Breadbasket, this Year's Harvest will be Lower; Investigators: Asset Tracker is "Most Comprehensive Public Database of Oligarch assets to Date"; Flexport Founder: NPO World has less Resources, More Stress; Mother Recounts having to flee with Young Children. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired March 22, 2022 - 09:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST: You're watching CNN. I'm Eleni Giokos. And we begin with the latest on Russia's war on Ukraine. Ukrainian forces have regained

control of a town about 30 miles west of the Capital Kyiv. That's after days of heavy fighting.

The military says the Ukrainian flag was raised once again in the city of - as Russian troops retreated. And meanwhile, Kyiv is still under curfew

until Wednesday morning local time. Now in the Port City of Mariupol Ukrainian National Guard officer telling CNN bombs are falling every 10


President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the city is being "Reduced to ashes". On Monday, Ukraine rejected Russian demand that Mariupol's defenders surrender

the city. Now in Russia, a pro Kremlin tabloid published reports that the Russian Defense Ministry had recorded nearly 10,000 troop deaths in this


Now that figure is almost in line with the Pentagon's estimates. But the tabloid later removed that report claiming it had been hacked. Meantime,

President Zelenskyy addressed the Italian Parliament earlier, urging Rome to give its support to more sanctions on Russia.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Those who order the war and those who provoke it, almost all of them use Italy as a holiday resort, so don't

be kind to murderers. Block their funds; block their assets, all of - for all of those who are using this money for war. Let them use it for peace.


GIOKOS: Senior International Correspondent Fred Pleitgen joins us now live from Kyiv with a situation in the Ukraine Capital in Kyiv. Fred I want to

delve into what happened in Makariv. And I think this is really important because it shows, you know, just the fierce fighting that we've seen since

the start of the war, but the Ukrainian ability to gain back some of this ground. How significant is this in terms of securing Kyiv?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'd say it's extremely significant, not just in terms of securing Kyiv, but then

also for the Ukrainians to fight back and try to push back some of those Russian forces.

And it certainly seems as though, from what we're seeing that indeed, the Ukrainian forces have managed to get into that town of Makariv. As you've

noted, it's about 30 to 35 miles west of Kyiv. And of course, that's also a pretty important route to try and link of the Ukrainian Capital to the West

of the country, which of course, is sort of fallback ground for Ukrainian forces as they conduct their operations against the Russians who are

invading the Russians.

Of course, for their part they've been trying to encircle the Capital Kyiv over the past couple of weeks Eleni and this is really a big blow to them,

because it obviously makes it so much more difficult and certainly shows that the Ukrainians are able to win ground back.

Nevertheless, from where I'm standing right now and hearing right now over the past couple of hours Eleni there has been a massive battle raging,

raging in the outskirts of Kyiv in the northern outskirts. We've been hearing it we've been seeing it, there's massive plumes of smoke. There are

explosions that we're constantly hearing as well over the past couple of hours.

And we're also hearing sort of machine gun fire that actually seems to be pretty close to the actual capital itself. That battle is raging. It's

unclear whether or not what we're hearing around here, whether or not that's some sort of Ukrainian counter offensive or whether the Russians are

trying to push once again?

The Ukrainians claiming that they've shot down a Russian missile that was shot towards the Ukrainian Capital, they say that the remnants of that

actually landed in the Dnipro River so right now there is really a full on battle going on in the northern outskirts of Kyiv.

Well, at the same time, as you noted, the Ukrainian forces are saying that they are keeping the Russians at bay and also launching some counter

offensives as well, which of course, are very significant indeed.

GIOKOS: Absolutely. Look, we know that you're in a curfew at the moment and you're in Kyiv right now. Fred I'd like to you for you to give us a sense

of what it's like for civilians in terms of sort of everyday ability to move around get access to food and water and whether there's concern that

the situation of being able to get goods in and out might change or and we've of course, let's qualify this. We've seen incredible, a fierce

fighting and defenses from the Ukrainian military.

PLEITGEN: You know, of course, it's extremely difficult for the civilians here in the city and even more so in some of the other cities here in this



PLEITGEN: If you look at Mariupol for instance which is absolutely - under absolute siege and where people are having trouble getting anything to eat

to drink, also with electricity and heating, as well. And Kharkiv also is another city that is very much, of course, really on that frontline battle

zone with Russian forces conducting some offensive operations there.

If you look at Kyiv itself, it certainly is difficult also, for the citizens here to get the things they need for daily life. Obviously, some

grocery shops are still open, but pretty much everything else is closed. And then, you know, the people who live fairly close to the frontlines, we

were in one of those places yesterday where a Russian rocket hit.

A lot of those people sleeping in their cellar, some of them sleeping in subway stations, just to make sure that if their building is hit, that they

are not there and, and wouldn't be wounded or even killed, if that were the case, very difficult to move along some of these checkpoints.

And of course, the other thing that you have is you live here you have that constant rolling thunder of explosions that happen, you know, at all hours

of the day, end of the night. So it certainly is something that right now for the citizens of this city and of other cities, obviously very

traumatizing, very difficult time to go through.

But at the same time, it does seem as though the morale of the people here is very high. And certainly the Ukrainian forces still obviously very much

saying that they want to continue to defend and then also launch those counter offensives as well. So I would say the morale of the citizens and

of the Ukrainian military still is extremely high.

GIOKOS: Incredible to hear that, thank you so much Fred to you and your team for bringing us this important reporting great to see you. Let's have

more now from Phil Black in Lviv on that Russia newspaper reports of our trip losses, which fell wow, I mean 10,000 troop losses, which is in line

with what the Pentagon is saying.

The tabloids saying that they were hacked, which is interesting, if you think about how many people this piece of information might have touched

because we mustn't forget these are still Russians that are fighting and losing their lives and number that could resonate with many families right

now when they just don't know where their family might be.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Eleni. So this was the Russian Tabloid - it published a report very early Monday morning just after midnight in

which yes, it quoted these very specific numbers. It talks about the Ministry of Defense having recorded almost 10,000 soldiers killed in

Ukraine, the specific figure it gave was 9,861 and it talked about a further 16,153 people being wounded.

This report stayed up posted live for pretty much the whole day until late on Monday when it was removed. And - said soon after that that it had been

hacked and false information had been inserted into the report. President Putin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was asked about this, he declined to

comment saying that all matters regarding soldier casualties are a matter for the Ministry of Defense.

But the Russian Ministry of Defense hasn't given any official updated figure for some time for not since the start of March, really March the

second. The notable thing about all of this, as you point out is the death figure of around about 10,000 matches very closely with what the U.S. State

Department estimates in terms of likely casualties among Russian soldiers.

It says up to around that number up to around 10,000 Russian soldiers was thought to have lost their lives in this war so far Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes. And Phil I mean, we know that it's been incredibly demoralizing for the Russian military, for Vladimir Putin. And

specifically, because you've seen the Ukrainian military take back a key city. But in retaliation, we've seen an increase in bombardment.

And one thing that number does also tell us in terms of 10,000 soldiers lost is that Putin is willing to throw as many resources as he possibly can

to try and win this war.

BLACK: That is the general feeling of this war so far certainly, if you accept that it hasn't gone the way Russia planned it to go. And that is the

overall analysis from experts and governments around the world that the plan was to win this war very quickly to take the capital probably replaced

the government.

None of that has happened in the sense that we've seen no significant population centers; no major cities have been captured. The general

assessment is that the Russian invasion has stalled. But that does not mean that Russia is showing any less commitment to this conflict. Quite the

opposite it appears to be accepting the very high casualties that it appears to have suffered so far.

And yes, as you point out, the analysis is that and indeed the reports from the ground suggest that although when they close - when they fight in close

range to one another, the Russians are having certainly a tough fight of it. And that is something of a demoralizing factor for the Russian forces.


BLACK: What they are doing in order to compensate is to fire their munitions from a great distance at an increasing rate, sometimes in a

targeted way, often indiscriminately and the reports of that sort of bombardment increasing from around the country Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right, Phil, thank you very much. I appreciate your insights. Now, the UN reports nearly one in every four people living in Ukraine has

been forced from their home by the Russian invasion. More than 3 million have fled the country, and nearly 6.5 million others are internally

displaced. CNN's Ivan Watson spoke with one family from Mariupol about their ordeal.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Children at play frolicking in an arcade meant to host games of laser tag. But these

are not normal times. The owners here have turned their children's entertainment business into a makeshift shelter, a place to house dozens of

Ukrainians who just fled the besieged port city of Mariupol.

DMYTRO SHVETS, FLED MARIUPOL: The last couple of weeks were like a hell.

WATSON (voice over): Dmytro Shvets his wife Tanya and their daughter escaped Mariupol on Thursday. They endured weeks of Russian bombardment

from artillery and airstrikes.

SHVERTS: Each 15, 20 minutes you can listen the airplane. It was like targeted and then the --.

WATSON (voice over): Tanya kept a journal, March 2nd day seven of the war nothing's changed she writes no electricity or heat, and there's no running

water now as well. They lived in the basement and when they emerged, Tanya took photos and videos of their apartment building, pockmarked with bullet

holes, unexploded shells in residential streets. Desperate people looting a bomb damaged store for food.

SHVETS: The problem is water. There is no water to drink.

WATSON (voice over): They scavenged for drinking water pulling buckets from street sewers.

SHVETS: We were taking the water from the rainwater, taking them - waiting for the rainwater.

WATSON (voice over): Heavy shelling on nearby houses Tanya wrote on March 5th, we all went to sleep with a thought of how to survive and stay alive.

One day a shell exploded near Dmytro as he stood in line for water.

SHVETS: Bomb fell down and killed like three people in front of us. One guy was without head that was like taking the water. Another one in the line

was like a half of the head. And the last one was killed with my own eyes like not in a general lack of three people completely I saw killed and we

were making the grave for them.

WATSON (on camera): You dug the grave for them?


WATSON (voice over): Finally, it was all too much.

SHVETS: The last day I saw my father because my mother was completely destroyed mentally. I mean, it was like a complete depression. We're

sitting in the cellar and even she haven't let the sellers in at the beginning of the war, we're just staying inside unfortunately. And the last

day I saw my father and he begged me like please guys leave somewhere. I don't know where just escaped this escape this and he was crying.

WATSON (voice over): Dmytro and his wife and daughter piled into a car with friends and spent 15 hours driving through Russian front lines to escape

the siege of Mariupol. Their parents refused to leave.

SHVETS: I don't know if I'm going to see my parents or listen to my parents again. It's like leaving from day to day. Today we are alive tomorrow maybe


WATSON (voice over): In the relative safety of this arcade built to entertain children. The kids welcome the escape from the conflict. I really

want to say hello to other children Tanya's seven year old daughter of says, and they want the war to end quickly.

Her parents appear haunted clearly traumatized. Tanya gets a call from her mother in Mariupol weeping and saying goodbye because she fears she will

not survive the night Ivan Watson, CNN Dnipro, Ukraine.


GIOKOS: Let's take a look at some other stories making headlines around the world. A court in Russia has found jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny

guilty of fraud and contempt of court. He's been sentenced to nine years. Navalny is already serving a 2.5 year sentence in a prison camp for charges

he says we're made up to hurt him politically. Nada Bashir has more from London for us.

Nada, this verdict - it comes as no surprise for the people that have been watching Alexey Navalny's case. Tell me about the sentencing nine years I

know the prosecution was looking for slightly more.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Yes, absolutely. He has been sentenced to at least nine years that is the information that we've been hearing just

coming in in the last hour.


BASHIR: But as you mentioned there the prosecution had been seeking around 13 years in a maximum security penal colony. But we know for now that it is

at least nine years, but his spokesperson and his team have raised some serious concerns about Alexey being moved to this maximum security penal


He's already been serving a 2.5 year sentence at a penal colony just outside of Moscow. But now his team are concerned that this could mean

practically no access to Alexey Navalny if he is moved to this maximum security penal colony.

And now, because we know that the Russian authorities have accused Alexey Navalny of widespread fraud, but he and his team have maintained throughout

this process that this decision has been politically motivated. Now in January Alexey Navalny and several members of his top aides in his

opposition movement were designated extremists.

They were added to Russia's extremist and terrorist Federal Register. His opposition movement was already deemed to be an extremist organization and

shut down. But his team has maintained that this is all part of efforts by the Kremlin to really tighten their grip on opposition into silence Alexey

Navalny is one of the key opposition figures in Russia Eleni.

GIOKOS: Nada Bashir thank you very much for that updates. Now you're looking at live pictures from today's confirmation hearing for Joe Biden's

Nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ketanji Brown Jackson is being questioned for the first time by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

If confirmed, she will be the first black woman on the Supreme Court.

Now rescue workers are combing through difficult mountain terrain trying to find survivors from a China Eastern plane crash or for at least clues about

what brought the Boeing 737 down? They have not yet found the planes' flight data or cockpit voice recorder.

And coming up a sustained Ukraine in the short and longer term European financial institutions are preparing significant amounts of money to help

rebuild and using star power a brokerage company partners with Hollywood actors to get aid to Ukraine.


GIOKOS: Welcome back! The U.S. Federal Reserve is becoming increasingly worried about how Russia's war on Ukraine will impact inflation?


GIOKOS: Fed Chair Jerome Powell warning Monday that the Central Bank may have to get even more aggressive in fighting higher prices, suggesting a

faster pace of rate hikes. Powell's comments triggered a fresh round of volatility on Wall Street Monday. But U.S. stocks futures are higher today.

And in Europe as well, we're in the green. Now, oil prices have also turned higher Brent Crude and U.S. Crude rose 7 percent on Monday, and that's on

word that the EU is discussing a ban on Russian energy imports.

Now from the threat of energy and food shortages to concerns of a trade and supply chain disruptions the global economy will be feeling the effects of

Russia's Ukraine invasion for months, if not years. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is offering more than $2 billion in aid to

countries whose economies are affected by the war.

And it is offering financial and logistical help to Ukrainian businesses. And it says it is ready to help Ukraine rebuild when conditions allow.

Beata Javorcik joins me now she is the Chief Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Beata thank you very much for joining


Incredible to see the money that is on the table in terms of assisting Ukrainians, the neighboring countries, we're seeing millions of people that

are currently fleeing their homes and seeking refuge. There are so many things that come up here.

It's firstly ensuring that the aid is given out and disseminated quickly. And then I'm sure in the back of your mind as an economist, you're thinking

about how many steps Ukraine is going to take backwards as this war rages on.

BEATA JAVORCIK, CHIEF ECONOMIST, EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: Thank you Eleni, pleasure to be joining you today. Indeed, the

war has caused enormous suffering to the people of Ukraine, as well as enormous damage to the Ukrainian infrastructure.

According to the Ukrainian government, the damage to buildings, bridges roads, has reached two thirds of GDP or $100 billion. Half of businesses in

Ukraine have shut down. So the economic cost to the country is enormous. And it certainly the country will be put a few put back in terms of its


But of course, the consequences of this war will be felt all over the globe, from Polish municipalities, which are trying their best to handle

the influx of 2 million refugees to Middle East and Africa where people are facing much higher grain prices to American farmers who are facing higher

costs of fertilizers.

And even if the war ended today, the economic consequences will be felt well into next year. And that's because Ukraine is a breadbasket. And at

this time of the year Ukrainian farmers should be sowing and planting. And they are not doing that. And that means that this year's harvest is going

to be lower.

GIOKOS: I mean I'm so glad you spelt it out for us like that, because even President Zelenskyy warned of the food crisis and inflation and he said

that this year's yields are completely going to be hampered by the war. But importantly, you know, when we hear stories from Mariupol were you seeing,

you know, Zelenskyy said this, that the city is being turned to ash, this is a port city, this is such an important artery for the country, you're

saying that the effects are going to be felt globally?

How much of this do you think the markets, you know, global - the global economy has actually priced in? Because it feels like we don't really know

what rainfall at this point?

JAVORCIK: Well, if you look at wheat prices, they are already in inflation adjustment, adjusted terms at the level we last saw in 2008. And in 2008,

we had a series of export restrictions on agricultural commodities. We had had huge spikes in food prices that led to political instability and

protests in 40 countries around the world.

So this year, Ukraine has not sold all of its harvest yet. As you rightly mentioned, shipping in the Black Sea is not functioning properly, many

shipping companies don't dare to go there. And food prices are already high. And what worries me is that countries may react to that with

restricting exports of agricultural commodities.


GIOKOS: Yes, if that happens?

JAVORCIK: And if that happens, we may see a further increase in food prices. So we may see a domino effect and artificially created scarcity,

which will hit poor countries, poor people, and may lead to further instability and of course, inflation.

GIOKOS: The revenues that are still funding Putin's war, sale of oil and gas, it's a tough one for the Europeans. It's basically a noose in terms of

energy security, should Europe incur this incredible pain to try and hurt Putin so that they stop inadvertently funding this war.

JAVORCIK: It is a very difficult choice, simply because we have global oil markets, but markets for natural gas are local. So while the U.S. has not

seen much of an increase in prices of natural gas, Europe, in Europe, gas prices are at all-time high.

So it is very difficult to make this choice. It's very difficult to obtain gas from other places, because you need infrastructure to do that, though

industry --

GIOKOS: Very quickly, because we're running out of time. I want to talk about Chornobyl, you know, you guys have been so important in terms of

rehabilitating Chornobyl, it was a long term project. Are you worried about what you're seeing in terms of the risks around it?

JAVORCIK: We are very concerned because lack of access to fuel that may - that calls, for instance, spent radioactive material or a straight rocket

may cause damage. So certainly, we are very concerned.

GIOKOS: Beata thank you very much for your insights really important conversations to be having about the contagion effects of this. I much

appreciate for your time.

Chornobyl: Thank you.

GIOKOS: All right, we're going to a short break and when we return, we continue our coverage of the Ukraine war stay with us.



GIOKOS: Welcome back! Here's a recap of the latest developments in the war in Ukraine. The Ukrainian army says it has regained control of a town of

about 50 kilometers West of Kyiv. The Capital remains under curfew until Wednesday morning local time.

In an address to the Italian Parliament President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged lawmakers to support more sanctions on Russia and pro-Kremlin news outlets

cited a Russian Defense Ministry - show that nearly 10,000 of its soldiers have been killed. It later took down that reports claiming it had been


Now you U.S. President Joe Biden says the next escalation by Vladimir Putin could be a "Fairly consequential cyber-attack on the United States", the

White House has urged companies to beef up their cybersecurity. And it comes as OKTA, which provides software that companies rely on to

authenticate users said it's investigating a possible data breach, although there's no suggestion its Russia related.

We've got CNN's Arlette Saenz joining us now from the White House. Arlette we know that OKTA is not Russia related. That's what we know for now. But

this is an interesting warning, because this might be the next step in terms of escalation of tensions. And of course, in terms of the war that

we've seen playing out in Ukraine, what more do we know?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it really is Eleni. And President Biden yesterday said that it's not a matter of if but when Russia

will decide to launch cyber-attacks on the United States? And yesterday, he issued a very stark warning to private companies, urging them to beef up

their cybersecurity defenses in the wake of possible threats coming from Russia in the cyber realm.

Last night, the president was speaking with CEOs and business leaders, urging them to step up their security defenses, saying that it is a

patriotic obligation for them to do so. Now, the top cyber official here at the White House said that there's not a specific credible threat at this

moment, but that they have seen Russia engaging in preparatory activity that includes scanning websites looking for possible vulnerabilities in


But if Russia were to go down this route, it would certainly open up a new phase in this crisis. This is a top concern to the White House as Russia

has the cyber capabilities to possibly wreak havoc on American companies and critical infrastructure.

The federal government has said that they are taking steps themselves to ensure that their systems are predicted and are asking private companies

and sectors with ties to critical infrastructure to take those same steps in turn.

Now last week, the administration briefed companies and sectors who could be impacted, offering advice with the steps that they can take. But right

now President Biden has insisted that Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown this willingness to engage in cyber warfare, and that it's part of

his playbook that he might try to unleash, especially as he is getting pushed back up against the wall as the invasion in Ukraine is not going the

way that he has planned.

And as he is still reacting to those punishing sanctions that the U.S. and Western allies have imposed on his country Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, Arlette, thank you very much for that update, Arlette Saenz there at the White House. Now the West hopes that sanctioning Russia's

riches will help pressure Vladimir Putin and perhaps stop him from further escalating the Ukraine crisis now a nonprofit reporting network is a

shining light on the opaque world of the oligarchs they've launched a Russian asset tracker.

We've got Anna Stewart joining us now Anna look, when you've got sanctions in play, and you've got debilitating, you know, sanctions against the

richest. There's, you know, you've got people wanting to find loopholes, and assets and money being moved around. What is this nonprofit showing us?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: It's an absolutely fascinating website that's been put together by a network of media outlets, and they are listing 17.5

billion assets that they say, are owned by various Russian oligarchs.

Now, currently, we can show you the website is based on a list of oligarchs with links to President Putin, as given by the Anti-Corruption Foundation,

which has led by the opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who of course has now jailed.

They say they're going to add more names to it and more assets. You can see that some very familiar names Roman Abramovich, for example, minimum asset

welfare at over $8 billion. His net worth early this year was actually reported to be over 12 billion and he has been sanctioned by the EU, the UK

and Canada.


STEWART: Now if you click on to his profile we can show you just some of the assets that this website alleges he owns for instance an $89 million

seaside estate on the French Riviera. You can see another one in Santa Pei, a lake house in Austria, a helicopter.

And honestly if you scroll down this website says that there are some 81 assets identified as belonging to Roman Abramovich. And this website, I

mean, this is not something that CNN can really confirm in terms of who has these assets. And that is why this website exists.

It is incredibly hard. Even a Super Yacht, which is widely reported to be owned by an oligarch, is often almost always owned by a shell company with

dummy director's registered offshore, opaque layer after opaque layer. So this website hopefully may help authorities track some of those assets.

GIOKOS: It just shows you know who's operating in the gray and how easy it is for, you know oligarchs to operate in the gray? But is it going to make

a difference? I even came across another, you know, operation that's looking at where the private jets are going, and also tracking the


So I think, you know, the question is, how can anyone respond to some of the tracking that we're seeing of these assets?

STEWART: It's incredibly hard. And even if you do freeze the assets that are easily visible in the West, like a super yacht or a private jet, that

is probably the tip of the iceberg in terms of some of these people's wealth. And they have had, well, weeks now since the invasion to shift and

shared assets, but actually years since the annexation of Crimea.

So in terms of financially punishing oligarchs, and people were linked to President Putin, I doubt it's really going to work. But it will put

pressure on them. They are now unable, many of them and their families to travel to the west; they're no longer able to holiday there. Their kids may

not be able to be educated in the schools they've got used to in the UK or in the U.S.

So there's some pressure there. And we have actually seen three oligarchs now come out and speak out against the war in Ukraine, and that's fairly

unprecedented so in terms of the pressure on President Putin, of course, which we won't really see. Perhaps it is working.

GIOKOS: Alright, Anna, thank you very much fascinating. And a programming note for you. Coming up in 4.5 hours-time on Amanpour an exclusive

interview with Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov and that's at 6 pm London time and 9 pm in Moscow.

And coming up millions of Ukrainians have been forced to leave their homes as ware rips through the country. I'll be speaking to the CEO of a company

that's coordinating efforts to bring aid to refugees stay with us.



GIOKOS: The United Nations says Russia's war on Ukraine has driven 3.5 million people out of the country; the vast majority are heading west. Now

if you include those who are displaced, but still in Ukraine that number jumps to at least 10 million that's almost a quarter of Ukraine's

population forced out of their homes.

The UN says more than 90 percent of those who have left Ukraine are women and children, and they are at a heightened risk of gender based violence

and other forms of exploitation and abuse. And then staying with the refugee crisis and the U.S. Company Flexport is now using its resources to

send much needed aid to refugees affected by the war.

Flexport is a global logistics platform that has been working to ease supply chain pressures brought on by the pandemic. Now celebrities like

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have been directing donations from a GoFundMe Campaign to support Flexport efforts.


MILA KUNIS, ACTORS AND PHILANTHROPISTS: We just want to say that we hit our goal.

ASHTON KUTCHER, ACTOR: Over $30 million rose.

KUNIS: Over 65,000 of you donated. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the support. And while this is far from a solve of the problem, our

collective effort will provide a softer landing for so many people as they forge ahead into their future of uncertainty.


GIOKOS: Now millions of dollars have been raised. But there is so much more work that needs to be done and the Founder and CEO of Flexport Ryan

Petersen and joins me now. Great to have you on Ryan, congratulations on all the work that you've been doing!

I want you to give me a sense of just how much you've moved so far? How many a goods you've been able to get to the bordering countries of Ukraine

to assist the refugee crisis?

RYAN PETERSEN, FOUNDER & CEO, FLEXPORT: Yes, I know. Thanks for having me on. And you're the reason we started, isn't it so much of the

aid that's delivered in a humanitarian crisis like this ends up in the landfill, because the wrong products are shipped to the wrong place at the

wrong time.

And they're not partnering with local on the ground aid agencies and those providing hands on distribution and care to make sure that the right goods

are shipped to the right place. So we've been partnered with UNICEF Project Cure, which is one of the largest aid organizations in the world doing

exactly this kind of work.

And Project Hope, as well as Airlink so a number of really established nonprofits. What Flexport students providing them with free shipping. So

they want to deliver anything to those areas to help refugees. And we're operating under the principle of neutrality that, look, we're not getting

involved in this conflict.

We don't want any of these people to be targeted as combatants because we're just helping refugees helping those who have been displaced. We

shipped already, just in the first week, we shipped several plane loads worth of cargo from the United States, this is a hospital beds, pallets of

things that are needed at these refugee camps that diapers, things like feminine hygiene products, things like this, that maybe go overlooked, but

actually are what they're telling us is needed on the ground.

And then we'll be shipping lots more goods in the years to come. The reality is that this is in many years journey; you have heard refugees

displaced for over 20 years.

GIOKOS: Look, I mean, look, supply chains are really fascinating. And I think for so many people, you know, it goes over their heads if they you

know, give money or support a cause they don't really know how their impact is made on the ground?

I want you to take us through that supply chain and how you find the right routes in terms of getting things to people that needed as efficiently and

as quickly as possible.

PETERSEN: Yes, and the key word is chain, right? Because there are many different organizations that need to come together. And this is a hard

problem in the for profit world where companies have all the resources in the world and are making a profit on the transactions. And the nonprofit

world they have less resources, and they're operating under more stress, more emotion.

So it's a very hard problem. The first step is work at start from the end, is those who are doing on the ground needs assessment. In this case, that's

UNICEF, it's the United Nations logistics cluster, what are the actual products, they need to make sure that they're the stuff that we deliver

them is what's needed, because if stuff goes to waste, that's OK, in a crisis like this, as long as the right stuff does get there.

But the problem is it clogs up the channels, it makes it difficult to deliver if a truck is backing up, and nobody knows what's inside it and

you're sorting through boxes, it just slows everybody down. So starting from the end is the first principle and get what do they want? What do they

need right now?

And then actually getting stuff to Poland, Moldova, Romania, neighboring countries, that straightforward Flexport does that every day on the behalf

of thousands of for profit companies. It's you know, we've got partners with great very generous airline partners Atlas Air has donated to this

campaign generously.

We're trying to do as much as we can domestically within or at least within Europe, because air freight is quite expensive but you know in an emergency

if that what it takes going back to corporate donors so big companies that have these goods and aid agencies that have stocks of these goods.


PETERSEN: And getting them delivered on time. But the hardest part is needs assessment--

GIOKOS: So you're showing the logistic. Yes, you're in the logistics game. I want to know about last mile. So you're helping neighboring countries?

How do we solve the problem of getting goods to people that really needed in Ukraine?

And then you also mentioned that you want to sort of stay neutral on this in terms of sanctions against Russia are you stopping routes around Russia

and importantly, in terms of how this is impacting your business?

PETERSEN: Yes, so --

GIOKOS: Apologies, Ryan. We're going to have to we're going to have to do this again. Unfortunately, we have to go to the breaking news. A UN

Secretary General Antonio Guterres is speaking live right now. We're taking you to the UN Headquarters.

ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: --invasion of the sovereign territory of Ukraine, in violation of the UN Charter. It was done after

months of building up a military force of overwhelming proportion along the Ukrainian border since then; we have seen appalling human suffering and

destruction in cities, towns and villages.

Systematic bombardments that terrorize civilians, the sharing of hospitals, schools, apartment buildings and shelters and all of it is intensifying,

getting more destructive and more unpredictable by the hour. 10 million Ukrainians have been forced from their homes and they're on the move, but

the war is going nowhere fast.

For more than two weeks, Mariupol has been encircled by the Russian army and relentlessly bombed, shelled and attacked for what? Even if Mariupol

falls, Ukraine cannot be conquered city by city, street by streets, house by house.

The only outcome to all these is more suffering, more destruction, and more horror as far as the eye can see. Ukrainian people are enduring the living

hell and the reverberations are being felt worldwide with skyrocketing food, energy and fertilizer prices, threatening to spiral into a global

hunger crisis.

Developing countries were already suffocating under the burden of COVID, and the lack of access to adequate financing. Now they are also paying a

heavy price as a result of these wars. At the same time, we cannot lose hope.

From my outreach with various actors, elements of diplomatic progress are coming into view on several key issues. There is enough on the table to

seize hostilities now. And seriously negotiate now. This war is unwinnable sooner or later it will have to move from the battlefields to the peace

table and that is inevitable.

The only question is how many more lives must be lost? How many more bombs must fall? How many Mariupol must be destroyed? How many more Ukrainians to

be killed before everyone realizes that these - winners only losers?

How many more people have to die in Ukraine? And many people around the world will have to face hunger for these to stop? Continuing - is morally

acceptable. Believe in simple and terribly nonsensical? What - from this podium of almost one month ago, should be even more evident today?

Any measures, but even this calculation, it is time to stop the fighting now and give this a chance. It is time to end this absurd war. Thank you.

GIOKOS: All right, that is UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and speaking about how he believes that the war should end now that give peace

a chance. And then he really spoke quite strongly about the food insecurity that could be facing so many countries around the world, specifically, the

poorer countries talking about the inflationary impact of this war of the sanctions on Russia but importantly, the fact that Ukraine is a breadbasket

and now has been crowded out of the world economy.

Also importantly, he mentioned the 10 million people that have been displaced and of course, the refugees that have left Ukraine, and he asks a

question, how many more Mariupol should there be before they cease the war?


GIOKOS: So many interesting points there but a message that has been repeating since the start of this war. All right, I'll have more news on

this right after the break stay with us.


GIOKOS: According to the UN Poland is now one of the world's largest recipients of refugees with more than 2 million as of Tuesday. CNN's Ed

Lavandera shows us one Polish couple opening their home to dozens of people fleeing from the war.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The children enjoy a game of hide and seek with a young boy hiding in the corner. But they're not

siblings. They're new friends brought together by war and the goodwill of - and his wife - they opened their home to this Ukrainian family who escaped

the war zone less than a week ago.

LAVANDERA (on camera): When did you decide to help Ukrainian refugees?

LAVANDERA (voice over): Since the war started this when - has taken in 46 people. This truck driver who recently recovered from cancer says helping

Ukrainian refugees is something he has to do.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Why have you opened up your house to so many people?

JAROSLAW SWIECICKI, POLISH HOST FOR UKRAINIAN REFUGEES: Because sure this is in Polish tradition I think that open our hearts and to open our homes

for someone who is in need.

LAVANDERA (voice over): And he's quick to think of the little things that make his guests feel at home. Yulia Grishko is in Poland with her seven

year old son four month old baby along with her elderly parents. Today is her birthday.

She wanted us to see the gifts she received from our host's blue and yellow flowers, Ukraine's national colors. Yulia and her family escaped from the

Eastern Ukrainian City of Dnipro last week, the fighting has intensified around their hometown.

LAVANDERA (on camera): So on March 13th, at 5:30 in the morning, a Russian fighter jet flew over your home. What were you thinking in that moment?

LAVANDERA (voice over): She says this was the turning point I realized that I could no longer endure it. At that moment I thought I had to save my

children. Yulia is a police officer at home. She was on maternity leave when the war started.

Now it's up to her to figure out what to do next as the war drags on, but she says her heart is in Ukraine with the family she left behind. My heart

stayed at home she says I'm scared for my relatives. But thank God I'm in a warm place surrounded by kindness and have inner peace.


LAVANDERA (voice over): This family here in Poland will you always consider them part of your family?

LAVANDERA (voice over): Yes she says they have already become part of our family. On this night, far from home, Yulia was treated to a birthday cake

surprise, and the lovely version of the song - the traditional Polish birthday song. Yulia tells us her only wish is for peace and the end of war

so her family can return home. Ed Lavandera, Poland.


GIOKOS: And incredible acts of kindness during tough times. Well, that's it for the show. Thanks so much for watching I'm Eleni Giokos. "Connect the

World" with Becky Anderson is up next, stay with CNN.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: I'm Becky Anderson. Hello and welcome to "Connect the World". Over the next two hours folks we are going

to take you to Kyiv Ukraine's Capital still under curfew.