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New Day

Ukrainians Forced to Flee to Moscow; Celtics Stun Nets; Teen Missing for 3 Years is Found; Updates on the Battle in Ukraine; Zelensky on Never Again. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired April 18, 2022 - 06:30   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Ukrainians in the eastern city of Izium are living in fear for their lives, under constant Russian bombardment by Moscow's troops. Now thousands have been forced to flee to the country that is bombing theirs because that is the only way out.

JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's Salma Abdelaziz live at the Poland/Ukraine border with more.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Imagine this, for tens of thousands of Ukrainians living in occupied Russian cities, living under bombardment and shelling every single day, they are essentially cut off from Ukraine, even on their native soil. They tell us that if they're fortunate, and fortunate is a relative term here of course, there's only one way out, and that's towards President Putin.

But once you get to Russia, how do you get to safety here in Poland? Take a look at one family's harrowing journey.


ABDELAZIZ (voice over): Mila Turchyn does not trust the man she's about to meet. He is a smuggler. She is anxious, looking for her mom and sister, hoping they are here.

It's Vita, her sister. Brief joy. But there's no time to hug her mom. The smuggler wants to be paid now. $500 U.S. dollars for the pair. Much more than most families fleeing war can afford.

TURCHYN: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE). He doesn't want -- he doesn't want us --

ABDELAZIZ: We pull away with her mom, Luba. We don't want our presence to cause problems.

Away from our camera, Mila is extorted for more cash.

LUBA, FLED FROM IZIUM, UKRAINE (through translator): Hell. It was pure hell.

ABDELAZIZ: Getting to safety is dangerous. This is the story of one family's escape into Russia after its troops bombed and occupied their city.

They are from Izium, a city under siege. Mila's phone was filled with videos like this.

Living in Cleveland, Ohio, she had no way to call her family. No way to find out if they were alive.

ABDELAZIZ (on camera): So this is your room.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): We first met Mila a day earlier at this refugee shelter where she volunteers.

TURCHYN: Somebody saw that missile actually hit my backyard. And I was crying so bad. I just don't know. Maybe they're dead already there.

ABDELAZIZ (on camera): How do you deal with that?

TURCHYN: I came to Poland to take that energy and convert it into something.

ABDELAZIZ (voice over): She finally got a call, but it was not from Izium.

TURCHYN: I heard them for the first time after whole month. I was so torn. I was happy they alive but I was terrified that they're in Russia. And, I don't know, should I be happy or should I be sad?

ABDELAZIZ: Mila's only option, she says, was to hire a smuggler to drive her family from Russia to safety here in Poland.

TURCHYN: Somebody from Poland gave me a number of people who transferred -- smuggling, basically. It's obviously -- its's dangerous activity in Russia. Very dangerous.

ABDELAZIZ: Now they are reunited. But how did the victims of Putin's war end up in Russia?

Desperate to flee, they tell us they could only find one way out. A private driver offered a ride to the Russian border.

TURCHYN: Now they fill me in the details and it actually was even worse than I thought. And I already was terrified.

ABDELAZIZ (on camera): Were you scared to go to Russia?

VITA, FLED FROM IZIUM, UKRAINE (through translator): I think I'm more afraid to stay where they were because it was hell and they needed to go somewhere to escape that.

ABDELAZIZ (on camera): Thousands of Ukrainians have faced the same. Many say they had no choice. It was go to Russia or die.


ABDELAZIZ: Now, the thing about this family, about Mila's family, is that they had Mila, who is a Ukrainian-American, who had access to cash, who was able to contacted them. There are thousands more Ukrainians, probably in Russia, unable to reach their families, stranded in the country that's bombed and besieged them with no way out.

AVLON: Salma Abdelaziz. Thank you very much, Salma. Great reporting, as always.

GOLODRYGA: So, we do have some more on our breaking news.

CNN's Clarissa Ward live from Dnipro, where a Russian strike hit overnight.


We are going to speak with her on the ground.

Plus, a prominent Kremlin critic who called the Putin government a regime of murderers is detained in Russia. His wife is speaking out. She's going to join us ahead here on NEW DAY.

AVLON: And, back in the United States, drama in Boston as Kyrie Irving gives fans the bird and a few choice words. That's next.


AVLON: On to sports. The Celtics stun the Nets in game one of their playoff series with a series buzzer beater.

Andy Scholes here with this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Andy, tell us all about it.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, what a game. You know, in the hundreds of playoff games the Celtics have had at home in their history, this was the first time ever they won one on a buzzer beater.


And they were down one in the closing seconds. Jaylen Brown has it, over to Marcus Smart. He pumps fakes, then finds a cutting Jayson Tatum, who spins beautifully around Kyrie Irving. Lays it in at the buzzer. The Boston crowd is going absolutely nuts. Celtics win 115-114 to take game one of the series.

Now, Kyrie was amazing in this game. He scored 18 in the fourth quarter, finished with 39 points. But he was going at it with Boston fans all game long, flipping them off on multiple occasions. And Kyrie said after the game, he's not just going to take it from Boston fans in this series.


KYRIE IRVING, BROOKLYN NETS GUARD: When people start yelling (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and all this stuff, there's only so much you can take as a competitor. And, you know, we're the ones expected to be docile and be humble and take a humble approach. Nah, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that. It's the playoffs. This is what it is. You know, I've -- I know what to expect in here and it's the same energy I'm giving back to them.


SCHOLES: Yes, a fine is likely coming Kyrie's way, John, but he doesn't seem to care.

And I'll tell you what, watching him go at the fans and him scoring so much in that fourth quarter, I mean, it was a lot of fun to watch. This is going to be one great series moving forward.

AVLON: I mean, look, man, I mean, watching The Garden explode like that is crazy. But Kyrie Irving, it is impossible for him to be not controversial. That's just what he does. It's the air we breathe.

SCHOLES: He's had quite the season, yes.

AVLON: Unbelievable.

All right, thank you so much, Andy. Be well.

SCHOLES: All right.

AVLON: We are following the breaking news out of Lviv. At least four Russian missile strikes hit warehouses and a tire repair shop. Seven are dead, 11 are injured. We're on the ground with the latest.

KEILAR: Plus, an emotional discovery. He went missing for three years and now the search is finally over.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My sweetheart's alive. Oh, my God.


KEILAR: What happened to Connerjack Oswalt and where authorities find him.



KEILAR: Connerjack Oswalt vanished without a trace three years ago from his California home. Police body cam video showed the incredible moment that deputies discovered the Autistic teen shivering outside of a gas station in Utah.

CNN's Camila Bernal has more on this emotional reunion.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My sweetheart's alive. Oh, my God.

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Deputy body cam video capturing the cries of a mother who was searching for her son for nearly three years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just grateful that he is safe, he's alive and we have our son back.

BERNAL: Now 19-year-old Connerjack Oswalt was reported missing in Clear Lake, California, in September of 2019.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The missing person photo that we located was this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then the photo that came from Nevada for the arrest was this.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little bit older, but, yes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what stood out to me was the ears.

BERNAL: He was more than 700 miles from where he was last seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look like you're shivering.

BERNAL: Authorities in Summit County, Utah, had been receiving calls about a young man wondering the area with a shopping cart for several weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's your shopping cart at?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was stolen (ph).

BERNAL: He was not breaking the law, but deputies said he had refused their help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to come sit in his car and warm up for a minute?

BERNAL: On April 9th, a little warmth made a big difference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to sit in my front passenger's seat where it's warm. BERNAL: They scanned his fingerprint and a dispatcher later pulled

through pages and pages of missing children and finally came across Oswalt. Authorities contacted his mother and she told them he had a distinctive birthmark on his neck. Deputies found it. Then his stepfather went to Utah to identify him in person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honestly, I'm still dumbstruck by the whole situation.

BERNAL: And when it was confirmed, his mom's reaction, bringing the room to tears.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you go get him, please?

BERNAL: Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles.


KEILAR: She must have wondered if she would ever see him again. You know, she must have been coming grips to that.

AVLON: She must have assumed he was dead. I mean for three years, and an autistic child, a teenager, that is a crazy story. And we're going to find out more details about just what his journey has been the last three years, but you can't help but be brought to tears by that.


AVLON: And the professionalism of the police officers, too, and the compassion.

KEILAR: Definitely.

AVLON: It's extraordinary.

KEILAR: We do have some more on our breaking news.

Ukraine says the eastern town of Kreminna has fallen to Russian forces, as Russia begins its new onslaught in the region.

AVLON: Plus, a manhunt underway after another mass shooting in America. From birthday parties, to malls, this is CNN's special live coverage.



KEILAR: Overnight, the western Ukrainian city of Lviv bombarded by Russian missiles. Authorities reporting that multiple lives were lost here, including that of one child.

CNN's reporters are covering the latest.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: I'm Nada Bashir in London.

And in yet another blow to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. A senior Russian military commander, Major General Vladimir Frolov, has been killed according to a Russian official. In a statement on Saturday, the mayor of St. Petersburg said the general had died in battle in Ukraine. His funeral was held over the weekend in St. Petersburg, marking the latest in a series of senior Russian military officials to have been killed over the course of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. A trend some western officials have said may have contributed to low troop morale within the Russian armed forces.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ben Wedeman in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine where overnight a Russian Kalabur (ph) or cruise missile hit the city. No injuries in this case, but there's a lot of bombardment outside.

Meanwhile, in the city of Mykolaiv, the residents there have gone now for five days without water after a Russian strike hit the main pipeline feeding the city, forcing people to get their water out of the river.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Matt Rivers in Lviv, Ukraine, where Ukrainian officials said on Monday morning that Russian missiles had struck four different sites across the city of Lviv. At a mid-day press conference, officials said that three of those sites that were struck were varying warehouses ,while the fourth site was a tire repair shop.

As for casualties, these numbers could certainly change, but as of that mid-day press conference, at least seven people reported killed across all four missile strike sites and at least 11 people injured, including three of them critically. Four of the injured coming from that tire repair shop. It has been several weeks since the city and the region of Lviv have been hit by missile strikes.


KEILAR: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke with CNN's Jake Tapper on State of the Union in an exclusive interview and discussed why he believes a lesson of the Holocaust has not been learned.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: You lost ancestors in the Holocaust. Every year on Holocaust Remembrance Day politicians put out statements that say never again, never again. Those statements must seem really hollow right now to you. When the world says never again, do they ever mean it?

PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINE: I don't believe it at all after we -- we seen what's going on in Ukraine.

If you are our friends or partners, give us weapon, give us hand, give us support us, give us money and stop Russia, kick Russia. You can do it.


KEILAR: Joining us now is former State Department Middle East negotiator and CNN global affairs analyst Aaron David Millar.

Aaron, what did you think about what he said? You know, never again. He's essentially saying never again is OK, maybe, maybe just this once again.

AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, I think he -- he reflects and political reality, Brianna. I mean this isn't the first time Zelenskyy has deployed this connered (ph) never again trope. He did it before the German parliament last month and in a much criticized address to the Israeli Knesset he seemed to compare what was happening in Ukraine to the Nazi Holocaust and challenged Israeli lawmakers not to navigate a line between good and evil, right and wrong.

And, look, you know, it's a political reality. Never again has literally become, I've said this before, ever, ever again. From the Nazi Holocaust, to Cambodia, to Rwanda, to Darfur, to Sudan, to Congo, to Syria, to Myanmar, to the Uighurs. And now we're watching the president himself call this genocide. We're watching mass killing, crimes against humanity, atrocities, war atrocities play themselves out in the wake of Putin's savage and brutal attack on Ukraine.

So, I think he's reflecting reality even while he challenges the international community, sort of naming, blaming, and shaming them to at least be aware of the inconsistencies, hypocrisies and anomalies that occur in the deployment of that -- of those two words.

AVLON: Aaron, do you think it's a genocide?

MILLER: You know, at first I reacted sort of hesitantly because I think I confused genocide with scale. That is to say in order to be genocide, something has to be a massive killing. And I think, according to the definition, genocide also has to do with intent. And I think there's no doubt in Putin's words and his deeds, he's committed himself to this sort of suppression, if not destruction of Ukraine, the Ukrainian people, and the state as a legitimate entity.

So, yes, I mean, I think you've got to name something. And it's important that we do, even though the international community is going to be very risk adverse.

And look, you know, President Biden calls it genocide. But he knows as well as anyone that if you want to stop mass killing, in this particular case, and in some of the others, you have to deploy American or NATO military power. You have to literally stop the Russians. And he's not prepared, in my judgment, understandably, given the risks of confrontation and escalatory (INAUDIBLE) in Russia to do that. So we're left in a kind of moral vacuum here. And it's -- we either don't use this word again or we somehow phrase or we somehow find a way to give it meaning.

KEILAR: Yes, the intent, I think you're so right, the intent here very clear.

Aaron David Miller, thank you for being with us this morning.

AVLON: Thank you.

KEILAR: And NEW DAY continues right now.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.