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Russian Forces Continue Invasion of Ukraine Despite Recent Promises to Drastically Reduce Military Activity around Kyiv; Russian Officials Indicate Increased Military Activity in Donetsk and Luhansk in Donbas Region of Ukraine; Collins is First GOP Senator to Back Biden's Supreme Court Pick. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired March 30, 2022 - 08:00   ET



SCOTT GALLOWAY, CNN+ HOST: In big tech, who I'm very critical of, a lot of them don't see the threats that their organizations present because they themselves have never been threatened. And I recognize that there are certain threats that I may not understand all the dimensions. So when the father of a transgender child who likely sees this on a lot of different levels that I don't asks you to do something, I think you should be inclined to say yes. I don't think I need to double down on wearing women's clothes. If I can't be Cher on the show, that's OK.

And I think our society right now suffers from too many people who double down on their views and their, quote-unquote, principled reaction. I think we need more citizenship and more of us to say I want to be an ally for other dads and I want to be a warrior for kids. So I was appreciative of the moment, but you can see I was really rattled in processing it, because no one likes to -- no one wants to hear that they might be making things worse for children. But it was definitely, quite frankly, it was a moment for me in front of 3,000 people as you can see when you watch -- if you watch the clip.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: I think it's really easy in a moment like that for people to double down, as you said. But it was amazing to watch the self-examination, which I know that we are going to be seeing a lot of on your show. And I really appreciate you discussing this with us. Scott Galloway, thank you so much. I do want to tell our audience, you can watch Scott, you can watch all of this and more on Scott's new show "No Mercy, No Malice with Scott Galloway" including for himself, as you were going to see there. That's going to stream every Tuesday on CNN+.

And NEW DAY continues right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. It is Wednesday, March 30th. I'm John Berman in Lviv in western Ukraine. Brianna Keilar is in Washington.

The breaking news this morning, Russian forces continue to target Ukrainian cities from the sky, despite the Russian promise to scale back the war. Skeptical western leaders and Ukrainians are calling for less talk and more action from Russia. Just last night, artillery and rocket fire was heard in Kyiv. A senior Ukrainian official tells CNN there were no areas without sirens. The Pentagon says don't be fooled by the idea of Russian forces pulling back from the capital. They're just repositioning. Moments ago, the mayor of Kyiv said the Russians are not letting up.


VITALI KLITSCHKO, MAYOR OF KYIV, UKRAINE: We received yesterday information right now the Russian forces move away from Kyiv. It is not true. Whole night we listen to attacks, and we listen to huge explosion east of Kyiv and north of Kyiv. The people died, still died.


BERMAN: That was the mayor of Kyiv. Earlier this morning I spoke with the mayor of Chernihiv. This was the other area where Russia specifically said it would scale back operations. But listen to what the mayor told me.


MAYOR VLADYSLAV ATROSHENKO, CHERNIHIV, UKRAINE, (through translator): They are saying about reducing intensity, they actually have increased the intensity of strikes. Yes, today, we've had a colossal mortar attack on the center of Chernihiv, 25 people have been wounded and are now in hospital. They're all civilians. So whenever Russia says something, this needs to be checked carefully.


KEILAR: So we also have some new footage, as you're seeing here, from Irpin, which is a suburb of Kyiv, and this is the first that we have seen from this key battleground in weeks. The Ukrainians say they pushed the Russians back. There you can see the cost there, you saw it just there. This is an unrecognizable suburb. There are bodies there lying in the streets, destroyed playgrounds. In the port city of Mariupol there's some new satellite images that show entire city blocks, look at this, homes and buildings just obliterated, just leveled. CNN has every angle of the war covered this morning.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jeremy Diamond at the White House as Russia claims it is drawing down its military operations around the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, those claims being greeted by heavy skepticism by U.S. officials, including President Biden, who said yesterday that he won't read anything into these Russian claims until he sees what they actually do on the ground. He says we'll see if they follow through with what they're suggesting.

Now, U.S. intelligence has noticed some movements of repositioning at least of Russian forces around the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, but U.S. officials are skeptical that there is anything more but a repositioning here, a tactical repositioning perhaps, but certainly not yet enough to see a broad strategy shift. U.S. officials are also similarly skeptical of what appears to be some progress between Russian and Ukrainian officials during those talks in Istanbul, but once again, U.S. officials say their focus on Russian actions, not their words.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Fred Pleitgen in Kyiv. And there's some disturbing new video coming out of the suburb of Irpin. It shows houses completely flattened, cars destroyed and bodies laying in the street. Irpin is very much a frontline town. It was highly contested between the Ukrainians and the Russian military. The Ukrainians now say that they have won it back, but say it's also still way too dangerous to enter.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Phil Black in Lviv, western Ukraine. The U.S. State Department updated travel advisories for Russia and Ukraine, warning Americans they may be targeted for detention by Russian security officials. It says there are continued reports of U.S. citizens being singled out by the Russian military in occupied Ukrainian territory, or when crossing into Russia and Belarus. The advisories warn against any travel to Russia and Ukraine. And they urge Americans already there to get out immediately.

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Isa Soares in London where authorities have seized a superyacht they say belongs to an unnamed Russian businessman with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The vessel is currently docked in London and it's worth an estimated $50 million, and it includes what builders call an infinite wine cellar as well as a fresh water swimming pool. It is the first yacht to be seized in British waters since Russian sanctions were enacted. And U.K. officials have described the yacht's ownership as, quote, deliberately well hidden. It sails under the Maltese flag, but it's registered to a company based in the Caribbean.

KEILAR: Joining us now is Miro Popovich. He is a U.S. citizen, a veteran of the U.S. military who is now fighting in Ukraine. He's in Kyiv, really not far from that area where we just saw the new video coming out of Irpin where it shows an area isolated, decimated. Miro, just tell us how things have been here in the last day or so.

MIRO POPOVICH, U.S. CITIZEN FIGHTING IN UKRAINE: Hi, Brianna. In the last day or so, as you mentioned Russia looks like they pulled their military away. So our job now is to carefully, carefully check that, because everything that Russia says needs to be double-checked. And it is really dangerous to go into Irpin now, has to be done very slowly because there may be a lot of traps. Yes, but that's it. Our main goal right now is to take back full control of Irpin. It's the city outside of Kyiv.

KEILAR: So where -- not specifically, but what are you doing right now? We see you in a vehicle driving around there.

POPOVICH: Right now, I'm with three beautiful girls and we are on the way to pick up some gear for our team, and I'm here just like a security guard. KEILAR: You're helping them all as part of the territorial defense

force, and as an officer as you have been deputized. You mentioned whatever the Russians say, you have to check it, because what they're talking about is drastically reducing military operations. Has there been shelling?

POPOVICH: You know what, sort of, but I wouldn't say drastically. But there has been a little bit less. But we still have sirens, we still have bombings and stuff. They don't -- they never stop. Maybe it is a little bit less. But what we think and what we have to be ready for is possibly they're just regrouping, repositioning, and it's just a pause. They're just taking a little break and trying to regroup. That's what we think. And we are -- we are ready for any outcome.

KEILAR: So I imagine your hope is that they're actually retreating and maybe covering a retreat. But it's also possible that they're just covering with some of this artillery fire, a readjustment of troops, right, for different approach. And that may be your concern.

POPOVICH: Yes, yes, there is the concern, and that's what we are ready for and that's what we are preparing for, because they say that they are retreating, but it's not a first time their statements are false or a lie. So we have to be ready for that. And that's what we're doing. We're getting some gear, we're getting ready.

KEILAR: You seem happy, Miro. You seem optimistic.

POPOVICH: You know what, you have to be happy, have to be optimistic, because I believe in our victory. I believe that what we're doing is right. We're defending our homeland. We're defending our freedom. And in the end, at the end, we're going to win. We have big support from U.S., from Europe, from everyone. Unfortunately, our sky is not closed yet.


I wish they closed our sky because they still keep bombing civilian neighborhoods. And you saw that they leveled Mariupol, basically completely. They are bombing Kyiv, Kharkiv, they bombed Lviv a few days ago. I wish they close our sky. But I am positive, because I know we're going to win.

KEILAR: Well, Miro, I'm glad to check in with you again. We will continue to check in with you. All of our best to you and also to the women that you are there with as you are going about your day. We appreciate it. Thank you.

POPOVICH: Thank you. Bye-bye.

BERMAN: So new video just in, this is drone footage out of Donetsk. You are seeing a heavily damaged residential building, workers standing on top of the building trying to salvage what they can. No word on whether anyone was injured. What is notable about this location is that while the Russians are talking about scaling back operations in some parts of the country, not here, not in Donetsk, not in the Donbas region. They have actually said they could enhance operations there, so the damage you're seeing right now in Donetsk, these pictures could soon get worse.

More pictures just in near Kharkiv, a Ukrainian can be heard saying we are pushing them back. You see burned military hardware, also you can see damage to houses and cars.

All right, joining me now is Nina Khrushcheva, Professor of International Affairs at New School in New York. She's also the co- author of "In Putin's Footsteps, Searching for the Soul of an Empire across Russia's 11 Time Zones." Professor, as always, so great to have you on. What's Putin up to? What's Russia up to with these claims of scaling back operations in certain places, what do you think?

NINA KHRUSHCHEVA, PROFESSOR OF INTERVIEW AFFAIRS, THE NEW SCHOOL: Well, they actually didn't claim that much. They said that they are considering they may scale back operation around Kyiv and Chernihiv. But at the same time very quickly Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it doesn't mean that we are going to start a ceasefire. So they, whatever is happening there is really not something that they say they are doing immediately.

They also claim, as you just mentioned, that Donbas will continue, will be the center of that operation. I think that has changed because now what it seems, because originally, as you remember, the operation was, the special operation was about Donetsk and Luhansk. So now they're back to this kind of conversation.

So it is possible that slowly but surely because they are not really advancing in Ukraine as much as they thought they would be and as quickly, they're retreating back to their original argument. So when they "liberate," and I put it, of course, in quotes, when they free Donetsk and Luhansk as they said they would from the beginning, they can say that operation is successful.

So it doesn't mean they're going to stop fighting and bombing and destroying Ukraine. But I think it's beginning to look like a way out, that that operation has been successful, we achieved our objectives, that is, we're liberated, Donetsk and Luhansk, and now we can move on with whatever other plan there is.

BERMAN: One of the reasons U.S. officials and Ukrainian officials think that the Russians are saying there may be scaling back around Kyiv or Chernihiv is because they're being pushed back from there. They haven't had the success. They failed in their goals around those places. How does Vladimir Putin explain failure typically? Does he ever admit anything like that?

KHRUSHCHEVA: No, and no. Exactly, it is not going as well. It is now, what, 35th day of the operation was supposed to last three days. So clearly it is way overdrawn. And I think that's what I mentioned, I think now that is a preparation, it's not to scale back or move out. It's a preparation to claim victory. That is originally, it was all about Donetsk and Luhansk. It's all in the rhetoric. The rhetoric was very cleverly put together at the beginning. It's not a war. It's all about the brothers in Donetsk and Luhansk. So they can actually retreat back. I don't know how long the continuous fight will be, but they already are preparing the claim of victory when there is no victory. But they can sell it as such.

Professor Nina Khrushcheva, always an education to have you on. Thank you so much for being with us. Appreciate it.


BERMAN: New reports that Ukraine is asking for 500 Javelins and Stingers a day. What the U.S. is now doing to help.

And overnight, the State Department warning Americans in Ukraine and Russia are at risk of detainment by Russian authorities. We're going to speak to a Minnesota native who was imprisoned for 10 days and is finally free.


And moments ago, an out of this world display of unity, one American and two Russian cosmonauts return to earth together.


BERMAN: A new warning issued overnight from the State Department that Americans in Ukraine and Russia may be singled out for detention by Russian officials. That's exactly what happened to Minnesota native Tyler Jacob while attempting to get out of the port city of Kherson. He was taken off a bus by Russian soldiers and imprisoned.

After ten days of detainment, he is finally free, and Tyler Jacob joins me now.

Nice to see you. And I'm sure from your standpoint nice to be seen.

What were you doing there and why couldn't you get out?

TYLER JACOB, AMERICAN TEACHER IN UKRAINE WHO WAS RELEASED FROM CUSTODY: So, I mean, like you said, was leaving Kherson and at the -- when I get to Arminsk (ph) -- like I went through everything perfectly fine, they stamped my passport, gave me everything I needed, and I was assuming that with -- since there was a bunch of foreign nationals that were leaving, I would get humanitarian right of passage through Russia.

But I was the only American amongst all Turkish and Iranian people. And so, they thought I was an American spy, so they detained me for ten days.

BERMAN: They detained you. What was that moment like when you were sort of pulled aside?

JACOB: So, the -- there was normal, they pulled me in, questioned, sent me out to the bus and came back because they forgot to do fingerprints and things and then sent me back out and then the buses were about to get ready to leave and they're, like, yeah, we need more questions from you. And the leader of the group that was on my bus, he came in and told him go away, we're sending the buses, we'll bring him when we're done questioning him. And I sat in that questioning room until 6:00 in the morning on

Sunday. And then they're finally, like, yeah, we're going to take you so you can get some sleep and then the following day, they had a court hearing for me. And they charged me. The moment I knew that, my heart sank, like I'm going to be stuck in Russia here forever.

BERMAN: I'm going to be stuck in Russia forever. You were really that worried, you were worried you might never get out, or at least not for a while.

JACOB: Right. And the first they said ten days, but I was, like, I know how Russia works and I know they don't like Americans, so I was definitely concerned about being there for years, not months, or not days.

BERMAN: And what was the confinement like? How were you treated?

JACOB: So the treatment was actually really good. Like, after the first two days of the people that shuttled me around and the people in Arminsk, I was moved to Simferopol, and there they treated me very well. The facility was relatively new, but, I mean, it was a small space for three people to stay in, and the toilet was a hole in the ground with metal beds.

It wasn't comfortable, but the people were super nice to me. They're excited I was an American.

BERMAN: I mean, so, we knew because we were talking to Senator Amy Klobuchar in Minnesota, but how is it that you got out?

JACOB: So with their help and everything, that really helped squish them to make sure they knew I was just an American who came to teach in Ukraine. I wasn't anything crazy. But I knew from the beginning that I had to serve those ten days, and after the ten days, I was fine.

But the people that questioned me, they helped me get a train ride from Simferopol to Moscow and Moscow is the only city in Russia that was able to fly outside of Russia, and there is only two cities you can fly to and that's Dubai or Istanbul.

BERMAN: And I do understand you had a moment where you were reunited with your wife and daughter. What was that moment like?

JACOB: Oh, my goodness. The joy inside my chest when I saw those two, again, was just unexplainable. And my wife came out of the cafe that we were meeting out and came out and gave me a hug for a good minute or two outside. And when I saw my daughter, she came running over to me, I picked her up and hugged her and carried her back to the table. That was one of the greatest feelings.

BERMAN: Tyler Jacob, I'm not sure you'll ever have the lows or the highs that you just had over the last few days. I'm so glad you're safe. Thank you so much for being with us. Enjoy, enjoy this freedom and enjoy your wife and daughter.

JACOB: I will. Thank you, guys, for having me.

BERMAN: So, sources now tell CNN that U.S. troops in Poland have been providing Ukrainians with instructions on how to use new weapons. Stand by for new reporting.

And brand-new satellite images, an entire city blocks of Mariupol just obliterated. We're live on the ground. New reporting from Ukraine, next.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KEILAR: Breaking just moments ago, Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson is going to get a yes vote from at least one Republican senator. That would be Susan Collins, who has told "The New York Times" that she will support Jackson's confirmation to the Supreme Court.

"EARLY START" anchor and attorney at law, Laura Jarrett, with us on this fascinating development here, Laura. I had talked to Doug Jones, the Sherpa for Ketanji Brown Jackson, and he wouldn't say that they were going to get a Republican.

Here they are.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR, EARLY START: Well, we have been watching for this one, of course, because Republican Susan Collins had voted for Judge Jackson in past. Obviously, when she had been nominated to be on the federal appeals court, she voted in favor of her. And so, now, we see she's doing it again.

We heard her praise Judge Jackson, unlike some of other Republican colleagues. So it is interesting now to see the official confirmation. The other ones to watch for, of course, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska also voted for the judge before. We'll see if she does so again.

And keep an eye on Mitt Romney. He's ambiguous about what he'll do on this. Now, Susan Collins being first official confirmation interesting to see whether some of her other colleagues follow suit.

KEILAR: Yeah, it is going to be very interesting because we learned that some Republicans who often tend to lend their support to Democratically nominated folks like Lindsey Graham, he said no, Laura. This has been part of the process on both sides of the equation. It's been the norm until recently.

JARRETT: Yeah, it had been the norm. Although things, obviously, you know better than anyone, Brianna, had changed in Washington quite a bit. Lindsey Graham, saying no, and being quite hard on the judge, even though he too had voted in favor of her when she had been nominated previously to the federal appeals court.

I think we have a statement in here from Susan Collins, just in now, if we can get it up, I can try to read it for you. It says I don't expect that any of the justices I am going to agree with on every decision, that's impossible, she said. But I do want them to be able to be devoid of prejudgment, partisanship, preference, and to be impartial and rule consistent with legal precedent, the language of the law and the Constitution.

So, interesting to see how she's framing it.



; Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson is going to get a yes vote from at least one Republican senator, and that would be Susan Collins, who has told "The New York Times" that she will support Jackson's confirmation to the Supreme Court.>