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New Day Saturday

Russia Says It Struck Major Oil Refinery in Central Ukraine; Zelenskyy: Russian Troops Slowly Pulling Out of Northern Ukraine; Moscow Pushes for Trade with India as Sanctions Bite; U.S. Small Business Owners on Edge Due to Inflation; Source: WH Record Keepers Appeared to be "Iced Out" Days Before Riot; Couple Greets Ukrainian Refugees at Polish Train Station with Cups of Soup; Will Smith Resigns from the Academy After Slapping Chris Rock. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired April 02, 2022 - 06:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Buenos dias. Good morning. It is Saturday, April 2nd. I'm Boris Sanchez.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Boris. Nice to see you.

SANCHEZ: Good morning, Laura. Always great to be with you.

JARRETT: I am Laura Jarrett in for Christi Paul today. Thank you so much for joining us this weekend.

We begin this morning with the latest developments in Ukraine. Russia says it struck a major oil refinery in central Ukraine today. Targeting facilities that store fuel for Russia -- Ukrainian troops. The move comes on heels of new video showing what could be the first Ukrainian air strike on Russian territory since the start of this invasion. Russia says a strike by Ukrainian helicopters caused a huge fire at a fuel depot in Belgorod. Ukraine won't confirm or deny that its forces actually carried out the attack.

SANCHEZ: Meantime, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that Russia is preparing to carry out more air strikes in eastern Ukraine. As Zelenskyy says, that Russian troops are gradually withdrawing from areas in the northern part of the country. Listen.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The occupiers are withdrawing forces in the north of our country. The withdrawal is slow, but noticeable. Somewhere they are expelled with battles. Somewhere they leave positions on their own.


JARRETT: Now as Russian troops pull out of some areas. We are getting a closer look at the carnage left behind. We caution you, some of these images are graphic and disturbing.

SANCHEZ: Yes. This is from a village of Bucha on the outskirts of the capital of Kyiv. And you could see from the driver capturing footage that there are bodies littering the road, left lying in the street where they fell. It's unclear at this point from the video whether these bodies are civilians or military officials, but we know that one person was killed while just riding their bicycle.

We want to get the latest now from inside Ukraine as we hear that Russian forces are slowly pulling out of the northern part of that country.

JARRETT: Yes. That's right. CNN correspondent Phil Black joins us live from Lviv, Ukraine.

Phil, good morning. NATO warns that Russian forces are repositioning rather than withdrawing. A little nuance there. What are you learning about Russian troop movements right now?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's the working assumption, I think both from Western officials and those in Ukraine as well, Laura. So there is clear evidence now that yes, Russian forces are pulling back in the north of the country. It's particularly noticeable in the northern outskirts of the capital Kyiv, as you've been touching on there.

These are areas that are now suddenly eerily quiet after weeks of really intense fighting and bombardment. They have pulled out and left behind these devastated scenes that you've been talking about there. That doesn't mean that they are safe to return to. That's something that the Ukrainian government came to push because they talked about unexploded ruinations, deliberately left mines and explosives that are set to go off in the event that people, whether they'd be civilians or Ukrainian soldiers disturb them.

So evidence that they are pulling back. We could also see it from space. Satellite images clearly show that there were positions where Russian forces would dug in as they try to encircle the capital Kyiv. They are now simply gone.

As you heard President Zelenskyy say, in some cases, they're leaving voluntarily. They're just walking away from these hard-fought positions. In other cases, they are being pushed back.

But the reason why these are being talked about in a very serious way and without any sense of celebration is what you touched on then, Laura. And that is the belief that these forces are simply going to resupply and then go straight back into battle probably in the east of the country, which is now believed to be the focus of Russian operations as it tries to gain absolute control of that eastern Donbas region, Laura.

SANCHEZ: And, Phil, there are more Ukrainians that are scheduled to be evacuated from some hard-hit areas today. But for example, in Mariupol, thousands are still trapped, and the city is rubble at this point. What can you tell us about what's happening there?

BLACK: More than 100 thousand are still there, Boris. So it's believed to be an ongoing horrific humanitarian nightmare. Once again, today, humanitarian corridors have opened out of Mariupol. A number of other cities that are within Russian-controlled - Russian-controlled territory or very close to battlefronts and intense fighting.

But the problem is, these are just for private vehicles. People who can get out using their own methods of transportation. What they haven't had a lot of success with so far is getting empty buses in, notably to Mariupol and getting large numbers of people out.


It seems they had some success yesterday with around 2,000 or so getting out by a bus from Mariupol. That is something of an achievement. But at the same time, it is completely inadequate when you consider the number of people that are still trapped in this blockaded, besieged, bombarded city living with very little food, water, heat, and enduring constant fighting and shelling and so forth.

So those efforts will continue. The Red Cross was hoping to get some aid into that city yesterday. It wasn't able to do so. It will try to do so again today.

SANCHEZ: All right. Especially complicated because multiple times as these humanitarian corridors have been set up, the ceasefires that are supposed to hold simply don't. And then there's bloodshed amid what's supposed to be an evacuation.

Phil Black from Lviv. Thank you so much.

So again, the Pentagon says that Russian troops are currently repositioning. Just over a month into Putin's war in Ukraine, Russia's military appears to be moving to the east and back north toward Belarus.

JARRETT: That's right. CNN's Oren Liebermann has more on this apparent shift.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The Pentagon has said over the last couple of days that about 20 percent or less of Russian troops have been repositioning from Kyiv moving to the north. We now have a better sense of what that looks like.

In satellite images, we can see Russian forces have left the Antonov airport in Hostomel, about 18 miles northwest of the city's center of Kyiv. It was a major victory for the Russians when they took that airport on the first day of the war. Russian attack helicopters and transport helicopters essentially overwhelming Ukrainian forces there and taking it very quickly. But that was as close as the Russians would get from the northwest approach or assault on Kyiv. Ukrainian forces able to hold on from there.

In the past couple of days and weeks, the Pentagon has said that Russian forces have stopped advancing and have essentially moved into defensive positions. And from the satellite images, we were able to see that the Russians have built defensive berms around their military equipment and their artillery as they continue the assault on Kyiv.

Now, of course, that has changed. Russian forces repositioning, perhaps withdrawing, moving north in the Belarus and we see that in these satellite images. Ukrainians also having success in other areas around Kyiv. For example, the town of Bucha, not far from Hostomel, northwest of Kyiv. The mayor there saying that town has been liberated and is now free of Russian forces.

The U.S. says that this is not a withdrawal by the Russians but instead a repositioning or refitting, moving into Belarus so that they can be used elsewhere. Perhaps in the Donbas region, the southeast of Ukraine, so that Russian forces can concentrate there and draw some sort of victory with the Russian assault stalled in many other places around Ukraine.


SANCHEZ: Oren Liebermann from the Pentagon. Thank you so much for that update.

Let's dig deeper now on the Russia - on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We have with us this morning Major General Michael Repass. He was commander for U.S. Special Operations Forces in Europe. We also have with us CNN global affairs analyst Kim Dozier, who is also a contributor at "TIME" magazine. Thank you both for getting up early for us on this weekend morning.

General, I'd like to start with you. We hear these reports of Russian troops slowly but noticeably moving out of northern Ukraine. The Pentagon believing that Russian forces maybe regrouping in Belarus. What is this shift tell you about the strategy from the Russians and what they might be doing?

MAJ. GEN. MICHAEL REPASS, U.S. ARMY (RET.): So the strategy that they initiated violated numerous principles of war. First, they did not designate a sustained main effort. So they violated the objective principle of war. Having said that, they're now repositioning where they can apply sufficient mass to the things they must have.

The thing that they must have is a must have a land bridge between Donbas and down to Crimea. That's been the case all along, but they've had this expedition up to Kyiv, which was not essential to their strategy to begin with. I think they've realize that now. They're dragging their forces -- literally dragging their forces back to Belarus to regroup and rearm.

Reports out of Belarus says that vehicles are showing up there. They're shot up, damaged heavily. A number of vehicles are being towed, et cetera. So you're seeing a bedraggled force struggling into Belarus to give refitted and rearmed.

So whatever shows up in eastern Ukraine is going to be a shell of whatever it was when it stepped off on the 24th of February.

SANCHEZ: General, you make the case that the Russian forces contradicted basic war strategy. What does that tell you about this effort and the thinking and the Kremlin?

REPASS: It tells me it's muddled. It was - it was governed by emotion and fanciful ideas rather than channeling military planning and logic.


They attacked on three axes. They had insufficient combat power of sustainment to support those three axes. They're now going down to two axes. Perhaps even down to one so they can seize that eastern part of Ukraine.

SANCHEZ: Kim, I want to get your perspective on the intelligence that was revealed this week that Vladimir Putin is apparently being misinformed by his advisers about the situation on the ground in Ukraine. You argue that the United States and its allies is trying to embarrass Putin and even using this release of intelligence to sow distrust within the Kremlin. Help us understand what that means.

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, a large part of the Russian population can't see news on a regular basis, but the senior leadership and the elite parts of the Russian national security apparatus surely can. And so, this will add to the finger-pointing and the blaming within the Russian command structure as to who's at fault for what General Repass described as a poorly planned and insufficiently resourced operation to take Ukraine. Somebody told Vladimir Putin that this could be done in a matter of days or weeks with the forces that they had arrayed, and it hasn't worked out that way.

SANCHEZ: Yes. It appears that this intelligence underscores the case that the general was making that the Russians went in, anticipating a very different fight. Kim, I do want to get your thoughts on the role that India is playing in this conflict because just this week, a Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, visited New Delhi. There was an offer from the Russians to sell oil at a very discounted price to India, and simultaneously, a top U.S. official also visited India and warned that there would be economic consequences for anyone that tries to conduct certain kinds of trade with Russia in order to alleviate the sting of sanctions. Walk us through your thoughts, your perspective, on where India stands between the West and Russia.

DOZIER: Well, India is in a very awkward position in that it's had a long close relationship with Russian military. Its generals have trained in Russia military academies. Most of its weaponry has been purchased from Russia.

And also, if you talk to Indian officials, they say that Putin has not ever let them down, whereas they were very disappointed by the U.S. withdrawal and the manner of withdrawal from Afghanistan, which they thought undercut a government that was very friendly to India and left it to Pakistan.

One thing that people might not know also is that Ukraine and Pakistan -- Pakistan being one of India's archnemesis is they have a very close relationship. They've done a lot of military trade. So from India's perspective, aiding Ukraine isn't its national interest but it doesn't want to say that too publicly because it also wants to keep good relations with the United States.

SANCHEZ: And so, how does the United States then try to balance that relationship and try to perhaps tilt the scales? I mean, India is one of the largest democracies -- it is the largest democracy in the world. And this is being cast by the West as a battle between democracy and authoritarianism.

DOZIER: Well, they -- they try to maintain that balance by not pushing too hard. I was just talking to a diplomat from another regional country yesterday who said the U.S. is being a lot tougher on us than they are on India, allowing India to get away with a lot more right now because they don't -- Washington doesn't want to press Delhi into giving them a firm no on this. That would make it even harder in the future.

So this is - this is where you thread the needle of diplomacy and you ask them to go as far as they can. Remember, also, India can be another way to talk to Moscow and keep those lines of communication open.

SANCHEZ: All right. General, one quick final question to you. I thought this was really interesting. These reports of a Russian fuel depot being targeted by Ukrainian helicopters. The Ukrainians are declining to confirm or deny the allegation that they went after it. How do you interpret that?

REPASS: So first, I interpret the strike as a brilliant move. It puts Russia on notice that they don't have absolute sanctuary in Russia. It's absolutely a great psychological move and a great practical move because a lot of the fuel feeding their war machine in Ukraine comes from that fuel depot. So they did it a very good job if in fact Ukraine turns out to instruct that. I interpret it as a good move. I don't see any problem with it whatsoever.

The secrecy on the Ukrainian side is obvious. They have to protect their capabilities.


If they're trying to do other things inside of Russia, we're not going to know about that until after the fact. So they need to keep operational security at all costs.

SANCHEZ: Perhaps a preview of more Ukrainian attacks in Russian territory. We have to leave the conversation there. Major General Michael Repass, Kim Dozier, appreciate you both and you insight very much.

DOZIER: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: We still have plenty more ahead from Ukraine. A vacation turned humanitarian mission. Later this hour, you're going to hear from one couple who was vacationing in Poland when the war began. And they've now extended their vacation to help refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine.

JARRETT: Yes. You don't want to miss with that.

And they weathered pandemic shutdowns, but some small business owners say the soaring costs of goods and gas is threatening their survival now. How they're fighting to keep the doors open.

Plus, former President Trump's diarist tell all to the House committee investigating the insurrection. How White House record keepers were iced out leading up to January 6th?

And Will Smith resigns from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nearly a week after slapping Chris Rock across the face of the last weekend's Oscars. How the academy is now responding, and the consequences Smith could still face.



JARRETT: This morning, some encouraging news for America's economic recovery. The unemployment rate fell to a new pandemic low of 3.6 percent, and the labor market added another 431,000 jobs in March. President Biden touted this and insisted that the job gains will help rising inflation.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNTIED STATES: And more and more Americans get jobs -- as they do, it's going to help to ease the supply pressures we've seen. And that's good news for fighting inflation, it's good news for our economy, and it means that our economy has gone from being on the mend to being on the move.


SANCHEZ: Despite some positive news on jobs, inflation does remain high, and for one bakery in the Atlanta area, a fight to survive pandemic-era shutdowns now means fighting to survive the rising costs of goods and gas.

CNN correspondent Nadia Romero has their story.


NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every step of the baking process now costs more.

KASCHA ADELEYE, CO-OWNER, KUPCAKERIE: When you look at your cost of goods sold and you're like whoa.

ROMERO: Almost eight years ago, Kascha and Henry Adeleye started Kupcakerie in East Point, Georgia. Their baking business almost a bust during pandemic shutdowns.

K. ADELEYE: So that first two weeks was probably the scariest time of my life period because we just did not know.

ROMERO: But Kupcakerie has kept baking and surviving. The president touting booming job growth nationwide, wages up, unemployment down. Georgia Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler says to state an example of record-breaking bounce back.

MARK BUTLER, GEORGIA COMMISSIONER OF LABOR: You take a look right now in Georgia. We have, you know, been breaking records in a lot of the different sectors like, you know, we're talking about professional services, health care, you know, warehouse and transportation. And so, you know, we're doing really good all the way around.

ROMERO: But inflation plagues the economy. Deliveries carried Kupcakerie through COVID. But now, skyrocketing gas prices soured the sweet treats.

K. ADELEYE: Gas prices are ridiculous. So we had to, you know, increase our delivery cost for the first time ever.

ROMERO: And baking staples.

K. ADELEYE: The cost for each cupcake at this point.

ROMERO: And 2019, Kupcakerie would pay about $18 per 15 dozen eggs. Now -

HENRY ADELEYE, CO-OWNER, KUPCAKERIE: They are $55 for 15 dozen.

ROMERO: Cream cheese about $6 per 3 lb. loaf. Now -

H. ADELEYE: $11 per loaf. So almost double the price of that.

ROMERO: Their bottom line just didn't add up.

H. ADELEYE: Last year, we actually had our busiest year ever in our lowest profit margin ever as well.

ROMERO (on camera): How does that happen?

H. ADELEYE: Just everything's going up like ten-fold.

UNKNOWN: Your total will be $39.81.

ROMERO (voice-over): So for the first time, Kupcakerie's cupcakes now cost 5 to 10 percent more.

K. ADELEYE: If you want a cupcake, we have to - we've got to charge the cost to make them.


ROMERO: Customers take note.

BUDGETT-PRICE: I did frequent another bakery where their cakes are -- they're nice, but the prices are excessive. So again, another reason for me to come and have the opportunity to try something different at a cost that I feel is inviting.

ROMERO: A recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey shows most small business owners have raised their prices due to inflation while also making big changes to attract a strong workforce.

BUTLER: I still think there are ways off to figure out what the landscape is going to look like because there have been so many resets when it comes to the cost of goods, the cost of doing business and wages.

ROMER: Where they be number two on the way, the Adeleyes fight to open a second Kupcakerie location despite their challenges.

H. ADELEYE: Some days you can't sleep at night when you see the numbers, but we're a business and we know we have to stay in business.

ROMERO: Nadia Romero, CNN, East Point, Georgia.


JARRETT: Still ahead for you, we've learned that Jared Kushner spent more than six hours talking to the January 6th Committee. President Trump's son-in-law has been said to have even volunteered information. So what happens next on this? We'll discuss that after that break.



JARRETT: Welcome back. Sources tell CNN White House record keepers may have been iced out in the days leading up to January 6th. In an interview with the House Select Committee, President Trump's presidential diarist says White House officials started providing fewer details about Trump's calls and visits just days before the Capitol riot.

One source told CNN, the lack of information was quote, "A dramatic departure. And all out of the ordinary."

This just the latest in a string of developments in the January 6th investigation.

Joining me now to discuss is congressional reporter for "Politico," Nicholas Wu. And Michael Zeldin, a former federal prosecutor and Robert Miller's former special assistant at DOJ. Nice to have you both for this conversation.

Michael, first to you, on this news about the White House diarist and why it matters. I think this actually comes down to intent as the entire investigation, especially from the Justice Department's perspective, has to come down to what certain officials and perhaps the former president intended with some of their actions. If, in fact, the diarist was iced out as CNN has in its brand-new reporting, what does that tell you as a former prosecutor?

[06:30:00] MICHAEL ZELDIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, it could be one piece

of the puzzle of how you prove the president's intent. And if one evidence of that is the exclusion of the diarist so that Trump could act with less transparency, then that would be part of this effort to prove that Trump was acting with intent to purposefully try to prevent the transfer of power in an orderly fashion. So you're absolutely correct, Laura. This would be a piece of that intent puzzle.

JARRETT: And, Nicholas, you know, we've got the lawmakers trying to piece together what happened with this seven-hour gap in the call logs on January 6th. We know that perhaps the president was in the Oval Office using aide's phones instead of in the residence where there would actually be a log. But you combine that now with the fact that the diarist was iced out. Does Congress or lawmakers have other options for getting this info? How worried are they?

NICHOLAS WU, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, "POLITICO": Lawmakers have stressed out throughout this whole investigation that even if they're missing parts of the puzzle like this, they have other ways to get at it. And the important thing to remember here is that there are other parts of this whole record that have already been out there. We already know that Trump called Jim Jordan several times on January 6th.

Even and things that weren't reflected in this call record. And we can see the committee do what we found out about their interviews trying to piece together what happened during these hours by talking with key officials and aides around -- in the Oval Office at the time. For example, you know, we know that the committee, you know, talked to Ben Williamson, right, who is a top aide to Mark Meadows in order to get a picture of what was going on in the Oval Office and what the chief of staff was doing that day.

And so, even if they don't get exactly every witness they need, they have other ways to piece together the narrative around that.

JARRETT: So speaking of witnesses, Nicholas, the committee also we know, interviewed Jared Kushner this week, the president's son-in-law obviously and former aide. How does the committee view him as a witness? How critical is he to sort of putting together the jigsaw pieces here, or is his wife more important?

WU: Kushner was a pretty big guy for the committee. He's probably one of the closest members of the president's inner circle to have been interviewed by the committee so far. But we have to remember that he wasn't actually in the White House for most of January 6th. He was flying back from a trip in Saudi Arabia. But his involvement in this perhaps is related to the lead up to January 6th.

We have several different books about what -- about Trump's efforts overturning the election, and we know that Kushner had been asked to help intervene to help tell the president that he had lost the election. And so this is, again, part of the committee's attempts to build the entire story of what happened here, not just the January 6th, the lead-up to it, the election fraud conspiracies that percolated for him. And he is someone who can help tell that narrative. And it seems to be

that he was actually a cooperative witness on Thursday. It wasn't a total surprise that he would show up. But the fact that he did testify for what seems like it was an hours-long interview, the fact that he appeared to be a relatively forthcoming witness, that lawmakers afterwards called valuable. You know, this is an important thing for the committee, and it could be a step towards unlocking the testimony of his wife, Ivanka Trump who was actually around the president that day.

JARRETT: So, that's what's happening with the committee's work. You've also got the Justice Department's investigation which we now have a better picture of the ways in which it's expanding. And the attorney general has been under, I would say a significant amount of public pressure to do something on that. He spoke about that, yesterday. Michael, I want you to listen to this, and then we'll talk about it.


MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Look, the only pressure I feel, and the only pressure that our line of prosecutors feel is to do the right thing. That means we follow the facts in the law wherever they may lead.


JARRETT: So, Michael, he says he doesn't feel any pressure, and perhaps that's true. But we now know that a grand jury has been empaneled, we know that grand jury is issuing subpoenas, so perhaps the work is speaking for itself.

ZELDIN: It is exactly speaking for itself. And you and I discussed previously that he should not succumb in any way to the pressure of the politicians for him to act. He's got to act when the facts require him to act. And in this case, what he is doing is widening the aperture on the lens that he is looking through, and that is to include the planning of the rally, the payment of the people who attended the rallies and the VIPs, and how people got there.

And that broadened aperture will allow him to make a decision about who did what and whether what they did was criminal, because remember, his mandate is to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the evidence that is before him.


It's not a political exercise like January 6th where you can only, you know, create inferences and the like.

JARRETT: Right --

ZELDIN: Merrick is under a very different standard, so he has to be very careful here.

JARRETT: Yes, all right, Nicholas Wu, Michael Zeldin, appreciate your insights this morning, thank you for getting up.

ZELDIN: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Coming up, we're going to speak to a couple who is greeting refugees as they enter Poland with a hot cup of soup and a warm smile. What they're seeing every day at the train station as more refugees flee Ukraine, searching for safety. We'll be right back.



JARRETT: Since the war in Ukraine began, millions of refugees have crossed into Poland. Most arrived at train stations with few belongings, just what they can carry with them. So many people want to help refugees, but they don't know how. Jon Wheeler and Agata Rybarczyk figured out a way. The couple lives in France, but they were visiting Poland when the war began. So they started bringing cups of soup to their local train station every day to feed the new arrivals, and they haven't stopped since.

They join me now live from Chelm, Poland. So nice to have you both on the show this morning. You're doing incredible work. Jon, tell me how this all started. How did this begin? You now find yourself a line chef on the front-line making soup for refugees.

JON WHEELER, FEEDING REFUGEES AT UKRAINE'S BORDER: Yes, we -- so we were in the western side of Poland visiting Agata's mom when the war broke out. And we said to ourselves we really want to help. And we tried to think of what we could do. And Agata had the idea of making soup because her aunt has a restaurant, so she called her aunt, and her aunt said, she was also getting requests for help. And so we kind of joined our forces, we drove across the country and we started the next day --


WHEELER: On February 28th.

JARRETT: It's just incredible. Agata, how many people do you think you're actually feeding each day? Are we talking hundreds?

RYBARCZYK: Yes, we're talking hundreds, we're actually done now. We delivered 8,807 soups.



JARRETT: And what do --


JARRETT: People say when you show up with this hot cup, and it's freezing outside and they're hungry and they're tired, what do people say to you? RYBARCZYK: You know, I -- it's very different. Because people are

different, right? They are very often tired as you said. But they are very happy and there's something similar between Polish people and Ukrainian people, they really like soup. And there -- and there are -- this is -- you know, this is maybe a little thing, but I think it's a very important thing. After tired -- after when you're tired and you cross so many hours on the train, you just feel much better, right?

And so just they smile. And I think it's a certain type of relief as well, because they feel that they're safe now, and that they are somewhere where they don't have to worry so much, though they still have very different reflexes. For example, not really a long time ago, I delivered soup to a lady and I said to her, when she changed the train, she said, can I have a soup? I gave it to her and I said, open the window, please, because like this you can have more air, and instead of doing that, she closed the window and she closed the shutters as well.

So, I asked her, oh, maybe you misunderstood, can you close the window -- can you open the window, and she said, oh, I'm sorry, I thought that I have to close it because I thought it needs to be closed like before. So, you know, it's very different --

WHEELER: Because they were blacking out the windows, and they couldn't -- they couldn't open the windows or open the curtains.

RYBARCZYK: Yes, so sometimes, you have a beautiful smile and thank you, and sometimes the sorriest are coming up, and that we are very happy that we can -- we can be there for them. And this is what we can deliver.

JARRETT: Yes, and it's a small gesture, but it clearly means so much. When people have lost everybody and they're just looking for a sense of familiarity and a little sense of comfort. Jon, other than food, what other items do people say they need the most right now?

WHEELER: Well, what we're seeing right now especially is, there are so many kids coming in, and they -- you know, they came in with their clothes and maybe a few things, but they don't have like school supplies and -- or anything like that. So they're going to some of the local schools around here, but they don't have anything to study with, and they don't have money for school lunch, and you know, it's too much for these little towns to kind of support them.

So, we've started -- just yesterday, we gave some backpacks full of school supplies to some kids who really needed it, and we found out that, I think ten more kids need --

RYBARCZYK: Need that --

WHEELER: Need the same thing. So we're looking for ways, other ways to help because this problem will be going on for a long time.

RYBARCZYK: I think if you -- if you will get in on our Facebook, you could see -- maybe you're showing images now. You know, people are coming in here with nothing. Some of them they are just -- they just stood up and they had to go. They did not want to go, but they had to come here. And so, sometimes they -- you know, they need a better pair of shoes as well because they just went out and this is what they have.

This one little pair of shoes and they have swollen legs and they cannot use it anymore.


You know, this -- sometimes they need milk because we have a very -- like a lot of newborn children coming here, and the mothers, they need to -- you know, they need the milk. So it all depends -- very often, they're asking as well for water, and this is very -- this is something that touches me a lot, because --

WHEELER: It's so -- it's so primal and so --


WHEELER: Primitive.



RYBARCZYK: So, you know, we need everything. And I think that's what's really important as well to say is that, you know, we were here since the 28th of the last month, and the trains are still coming. We have -- I'm sorry, you were saying?

JARRETT: No, please continue. You said the trains are -- you said the trains keep coming.

RYBARCZYK: Yes, they are. And, you know, since the beginning of the war, we received in Poland, 2,400,000 people --


RYBARCZYK: And so, we have trains each day. And each day we need something.


WHEELER: Really --

JARRETT: It's just incredible. You two are doing amazing work. Hats off to you. I want a cup of that soup, it sounds delicious.


RYBARCZYK: I'll be happy to give it to you.

JARRETT: No, stay where you are, the people need you.

(LAUGHTER) Agata Rybarczyk and Jon Wheeler, thanks for everything that you're

doing and thank you for coming on and telling your story. And if you would like --

RYBARCZYK: Thank you so much --

WHEELER: Thank you so much --

JARRETT: And if you would like to help them, you can check out their GoFundMe page by searching "hot soup for Ukrainian refugees". We'll be right back.



ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Andy Scholes in New Orleans. The site of this year's men's final four, and this is arguably the most anticipated final four of all time. You've got four- storied programs, Duke versus North Carolina, the great rivalry for the first time ever in the NCAA tournament, and, of course, coach K's legendary career is coming to a close in the next couple of days. Will he go out on top? Well, yesterday after practice, I spoke with coach K and asked him how he was feeling and about tonight's big rivalry game with the Tar Heels.


MIKE KRZYZEWSKI, HEAD COACH, DUKE UNIVERSITY: It's great because both programs are two of the greatest in the history of the game, and, you know, it's an honor always to compete against them. But the game isn't about a rivalry, it's about getting to the championship. And then the rivalry is there and familiarity and all that. But you can't get caught up with that. You've got to get caught up with advancing.

SCHOLES: The NCAA tournament always has Cinderellas, but after 42 years, how special would it be if you got a fairy tale ending here in New Orleans?

KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I would rather -- I'd look at it as that. My ending -- as a coach, you're always in the moment with your team --


KRZYZEWSKI: And I'm thankful that they've taken me this far on their bus, and let's see if the bus keeps going through Monday.


SCHOLES: All right. In the meantime, UConn is back in the women's championship game after edging defending champions Stanford 63-58 last night, it's going to be the Huskies' 12th trip to the game and they have never lost when they get there. They're going to play South Carolina who is looking for their second title, they rolled past Louisville 72-59. In the other final four game, UConn-South Carolina tomorrow night at 8:00 Eastern in Minneapolis. Back here in New Orleans, coach K, Bill Self and Jay Wright, well,

they have all won it before. Hubert Davis, he's the rookie on the sidelines here at the final four, and he's doing quite well in his first year. And yesterday, I got the chance to speak with all four coaches and asked them how important leadership has been to their team's success this season.


KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I went to the greatest leadership school in the world, the United States Military Academy. And I studied leadership. You know, leadership is about connecting with the people you have the honor to lead, and I always have to connect with young people. So I have to be in their culture as much as I can, and that keeps you young. I'm 75, but I've been in young moments my whole life.

BILL SELF, HEAD COACH, KANSAS: We've got great leadership on our team. We're older. We've been through some stuff, and we've had some pitfalls and certainly had to grow and respond from that. So, you know, all I do is just kind of tell them where to be and when to be there.

JAY WRIGHT, HEAD COACH, VILLANOVA: We want our guys to learn that about life. You know, that we don't have control of what happens to us, but we have control of how we react to it. We have control every day when we wake up in the morning what's our attitude going to be. We learn to play basketball that way too. You know, you make a mistake, the ref makes a bad call, next play, you've got to -- you control what your attitude is on the next play.

HUBERT DAVIS, HEAD COACH, NORTH CAROLINA: Having the opportunity to play in this atmosphere is not given, and I want them to enjoy this. As I said before, this is a place of thankfulness and appreciation, and I want them to have big smiles on their faces, and I want them to have memories that last them a lifetime.




JARRETT: Actor Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after slapping Chris Rock at Sunday's Oscar ceremony.

SANCHEZ: Yes, so, what does that actually entail, the resignation? CNN's Chloe Melas explains.

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Good morning. Will Smith resigning late Friday night after Will Packer; the director of the Oscars gave an explosive interview to "Good Morning America" in which he said, that he actually thought that the slap was a joke like many Americans and many people watching the Oscars last Sunday. Will Smith and his emotional statement reading in part, "the list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance and global audiences at home."

He goes on to say, "I betrayed the trust of the Academy, I deprived other nominees and winners at their opportunity to celebrate.