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New Day Sunday
Talks Between Ukraine And Russia To Resume Monday; Zelensky Urges Ukrainians To Keep Up The Resistance; Humanitarian Crisis Erupts As 1.5-Million-Plus Refugees Flee Fighting; New York Community Stands In Solidarity With Ukraine; Companies Worldwide Pulling Back From Russia Over Ukraine Invasion; Zelensky Says Russia Is Preparing To Bomb Port City Of Odessa. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired March 06, 2022 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Kaitlan Collins in for Christi Paul this morning.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, Kaitlan. Great to be with you.
I'm Boris Sanchez. Thanks so much for waking up with us on this busy Sunday morning. It is March 6th.
COLLINS: And it is a busy morning indeed.
We begin with Russia's relentless attacks in Ukraine, still ongoing as you're waking up this morning, with a third round of talks between Ukraine and Russia schedule for tomorrow, according to a Ukrainian negotiator.
But for now, the onslaught has continued amid allegations that the Kremlin is targeting civilians and committing war crimes. This video from Ukrainian national police shows the aftermath of an airstrike about 50 miles from the capital of Kyiv, and you can see the absolute destruction on the ground following these strikes.
SANCHEZ: And as we look at these images, it's important to keep in mind just this morning, there was shelling at an evacuation point for civilians trying to escape in the Irpin district. Media organizations at the scene say that at least three civilians were killed including two children. We should note, CNN is still working to independently confirm those reports.
Now, despite these attacks, President Volodymyr Zelensky says that Ukrainians will keep fighting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINE (through translator): Ukraine which we know, love, protect, and will not give up to any enemy, when you don't have a firearm, but they respond with gunshots and you don't run, this is the reason why occupation is temporary. Our people, Ukrainians, don't back down. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is speaking out following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bennett says there's a moral duty to make every attempt to assist Russia and Ukraine with these ongoing negotiations. His office as a prime minister has also spoken with Ukrainian President Zelensky three times in the last 24 hours alone.
SANCHEZ: CNN is covering all angles of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We have reporters fanned out all over the continent. Natasha Bertrand is in Brussels following the response from western nations. Arwa Damon is at the border of Ukraine and Poland with a firsthand look of the growing refugee crisis.
But let's begin with Alex Marquardt. He's not far from the capital of Kyiv at a village where Russia apparently launched a series of attacks.
And, Alex, you were sharing with us this morning that there are no military targets in this area. This is a residential neighborhood.
MARQUARDT: Boris, this village is about 6 miles, 10 kilometers from the closest military installation. There's no reason that if Russia is trying to avoid civilians, that there should be any strike anywhere near here. We've talked so much about the efforts that the Russians are going to take these cities. But there's destruction and there are attacks well beyond those cities and towns and villages like this one.
This strike happened on Friday afternoon, about 3:00 p.m. I'm standing now in the rubble of this man's home, that man with the gray beanie. That is Igor. And he's been picking through this wreckage with his friends and neighbors for the past two days trying to find whatever is salvageable. He's been putting this clothing aside, finding shoes and other valuables. Whenever he finds anything that he wants to take away, he puts it in his car. Just over there is his beautiful black dog who is resting in the rubble.
Boris and Kaitlan, it's an absolutely heartbreaking story. Igor lost five family members and a friend. His wife and a friend were sitting in a car. His daughter, 12 years old, was in a wheelchair. And they were killed.
And you can see here where this strike happened. It is a huge crater in the ground with all kinds of personal items strewn about, toys, tinsel from celebrations. Igor there on the other side of that crater has found sense we've been here two of his cats, which he then took and put in that yellow car there just to the left.
And so this really shows you the extent to which normal Ukrainians of all ages in all different sizes of towns and villages are being --
COLLINS: And we just lost Alex's signal. But, I mean, Boris, that loss he is showing us, it's hard to even fathom what these people are going through when you see and you hear these accounts of him losing his daughter, losing his wife, losing so much not just material possessions but those who are your closest loved ones.
And, Boris, we should note this comes as the United Nations is now calling this the fattest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. More than 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine have fled into these neighbors countries in the last 10 days according to the U.N. refugee agency.
CNN's Arwa Damon is along Poland's border with Ukraine.
And, Arwa, you've been covering this for days on end and you're seeing these people where Alex was talking about those who tried to stay in their homes, and now you're talking to people who everything they've owned is everything they're carrying with them right now.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is, Kaitlan. What we're starting to see is this sort of sad rhythm that starts to play out in reception centers like this one. The buses arrive, people file off exhausted, mostly women and children.
But then there is this pretty incredible effort of an army of volunteers to provide them with food, water, diapers, toys, for the children, clothing to replace everything it is that they've had to leave behind.
But you also need to remember that just because someone has managed to reach safety, that are so far from being even remotely okay. Those who have been able to flee, the vast majority of them, are just utterly wracked and consumed with guilt and fear, fear for those who were left behind, guilt because they had to actually make that impossible decision.
For the vast majority, it's really boiled down to saving their children. But they've left their men behind, their husbands, their sons, their fathers. Conversations here start to take on a different and perhaps to a certain degree unique feel because you have to also keep in mind that Poland and Ukraine, the populations, they're quite close.
And so conversations here are no longer about, hi, how are you today. It's, hi, oh, my friend called me. He's decided to go to Ukraine to fight. Or, hi, my relative inside Ukraine, we haven't been able to get ahold of them. So the way that the war is percolating over the borders, permeating over the borders, that is having a separate impact on the polish population here who's also now trying to figure out how to absorb these hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who are coming across the border.
But it's also worth noting that when it specifically comes to this conflict in Ukraine, the reception that we're seeing for refugees from all of Ukraine's neighboring countries, that's quite different from previous receptions that we've seen for refugees from other parts of the world in the past. And I have to say, it's quite heartening to see that at least in this conflict, refugees are, in fact, welcome. COLLINS: Yeah, and very few silver linings. We should note the White
House has asked Congress for a $10 billion aid package to help with the humanitarian aid efforts.
And so, Arwa, thank you for bringing us that reporting.
SANCHEZ: Secretary of State Antony Blinken is oversees right now meeting with European allies. And this morning in Moldova, Blinken addressed the growing refugee crisis and the appeal from Ukrainian President Zelensky for more aid from the United States and its NATO allies.
CNN's Natasha Bertrand is live in Brussels, Belgium.
And, Natasha, what is the message that Secretary of State Blinken is bringing him with him as he's making these stops and meeting with people who literally have war in their doorstep?
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Kaitlan, well, it's primarily a message of solidarity, that the U.S. stand behind the eastern-flanked allies who feel extremely threatened by Russian aggression towards Ukraine right now. It's a message of supporting the humanitarian crisis as well, that the U.S. is going to send financial assistance to help these eastern-flanked countries including Poland and Moldova to shoulder the burden of the massive influx of refugees they're seeing.
Of course, over 700 thousand have fled into Poland, over 300,000 into Moldova. It's an extremely massive crisis here, and particularly when it comes to Moldova, they're a particularly small country. They do not have all the resources to shoulder this.
So, what Blinken was reiterating over the last two days in Poland and Moldova is that the U.S. stands behind themselves especially when it comes to Russian aggression. Now, when it comes to what kinds of weaponry NATO and the U.N. are prepared to send to Ukraine to help them fend off this massive Russian onslaught, the secretary of state did say earlier today that they're in talks, the U.S. is in talks with Poland to provide additional fighter jets to Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We're in very active conversation with Ukrainian officials, with the government, President Zelenskyy, Prime Minister Kuleba who I saw yesterday and others to get an up-to-the-minute assessment of their needs. And as we get that assessment, we're working on seeing what we and allies and partners can deliver.
We are looking actively now at the question of airplanes that Poland may provide to Ukraine and looking at how we might be able to backfill should Poland decide to produce those -- to supply those planes.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BERTRAND: Now, President Zelensky has been urging the United States to provide those fighter jets given that the Ukrainian airspace is still contested and that they might be able to have some sort of edge of the Russians if they were provided those fighter jets. Right now, they have a shortage.
So, this is something they're going to look at. Of course, he did not provide a timeline on when those jets might be provided, Kaitlan.
SANCHEZ: Natasha Bertrand from Brussels, thank you so much.
PAUL: Joining us now is Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee.
Congressman, thank you for getting up with us early this morning. I know it's a bit early in Tennessee.
I do want to ask about the call President Zelensky had with U.S. lawmakers yesterday where we were told by sources that he said a ban on Russian oil imports here in the United States would help, but I know this is something you said you support.
But I guess the question for people watching is whether or not this is gaining real traction and what you're hearing from other lawmakers about the chances of this actually coming to fruition.
REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): I think there's a bipartisan support in the house, and I think in the Senate as well, for this ban. People don't think we should be supporting Russia in any way whatsoever.
When we buy their product, and their main product is oil and gas, that's what they have -- I think John McCain once said Russia was two service stations with a military. That's their economy.
Their economy is less than the state of Texas. It's not a big economy even though it's a big country. Anything we can do to stop their economy from functioning as it normally does would be helpful and appropriate and I support it.
COLLINS: And the concern I guess coming from the White House, what we hear from officials is doing that could affect the market. It could raise gas prices, and that is something the White House would likely get blamed for, not Congress.
And so, what would you say to White House officials who make that argument?
COHEN: Well, Congress is on the ballot in 2022, White House not until 2024. So I think that's kind of strange for them to be thinking that way, and without a House or Senate, they're not going to be very much of a White House.
But the truth is we should be thinking about the fact that when Americans go to fill up their cars, that they should think about sticking it to Putin when they put that gas handle -- the gas in your gas tank, it's going cost a little more. Part of it will be because of Russia. Just stick it to Putin. COLLINS: And I want to ask you about something else Zelensky said
yesterday. He's been very critical of the decision from NATO to not establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Now he's kind of switched to asking for planes, saying Ukrainian pilots will do the fighting and the flying, but they need help getting aircraft.
I wonder if this is something you believe the United States needs to put more effort behind and basically granting other countries to provide them with the planes that Ukrainians are trained to fly in.
COHEN: I definitely think we should do that. I would even consider supporting the no-fly zone if the American government decided to do it. I understand the risk/reward there. With Putin, we don't know what his frame of mind is and where he is with his health and everything else.
He could unleash a nuclear weapon. I don't think he would, but it's hard to do anything, gambling on the reactions of a man who's not acting in a reasonable manner. Right now Ukrainians are sitting ducks for the air war and the attacks on their cities, and that's what Russia does is they totally carpet bomb a city. Kyiv is, I'm sure, coming up next. At least if we can give them airplanes, they will have a fighting chance.
It doesn't help with missiles or artillery, but it helps with airplanes, and I think we should definitely do that, no question.
He mentioned Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Romania all have those types of planes that Ukrainian pilots are trained on, which are, you know, Russian MiGs.
COLLINS: Yeah. Those Soviet airplanes. What else stood out from President Zelensky yesterday?
COHEN: President Zelensky is probably the bravest man right now in this world. A leader who is remarkable to listen yesterday. He talked about some of the horrors that have gone on, the dangers of Russia taking over nuclear facilities and what might happen there intentionally or unintentionally. They are the purveyors of Chernobyl.
He talked about the children that had been killed. He talked about a mayor who'd been assassinated by Chechens. He mentioned the fact that he knew he was on the list. He was number one and his family was number two and there was sabotage crews coming in.
There's some group named Wagner, which is a group of mercenary that Putin has employed, put 400 of them into Ukraine at one time. Three have been taken out. There have been three attempts to take the president's life already, and they've been neutralized. And then the Chechens come in, his friend Ramdan -- Ramzan over there who's a mean, mean guy, and is a president of a country and is allegedly responsible for killing Boris Nemtsov, Putin's opponent by the Kremlin as a birthday present for Putin. These are cold, sick, deranged human beings. They have no concern for
children. They have no concern for seniors, the disabled, anybody. It's just a matter of winning.
And Putin -- he had no fear of Ukraine invading. He had no fear of NATO invading. This is his isolation and his being totally monopolized by the idea that the Soviet Union coming down in 1991 was a terrible thing.
He's a KGB agent and he wants to go down in history along with Peter the great. And to do that, he needs to expand the Russian land area and influence and empire, and that's what he's doing. The fact that people are dying, it's all for his legacy, how people would think of him when he's dead.
It's sick. I said earlier in a meeting he ought to have a vodka, a bloody (ph), some caviar, and chill.
COLLINS: Did President Zelensky tell lawmakers on this call yesterday that he was worried this might be the last time you see him alive?
COHEN: I don't recall that. I think -- you know, I don't think he said that, no. I think I heard somewhere he said anybody who would say they would be concerned about possibly being killed, saying people want to kill you. I don't think he said that on the call.
He told us that his people -- his people were humane, they could have responded with missiles after missiles came in to Ukraine from Belarus and they could have done it when missiles came in from Russia, but they doesn't do it because that's not the kind of people they are. They're just and reasonable like the West and the Russians aren't.
They're like animals with this carpet bombing and these attacks and killings of innocent civilians. It was an historic call, and I was pleased to heart directly from him. He mentioned cutting off MasterCard and Visa, and that happened yesterday afternoon. So, the call had an immediate positive effect.
He said these people are not operating like people should in a civilized society and should take all the civilized things they have away if them, which is part of the retail process of purchasing goods with MasterCard and Visa.
We need to hit them with every sanction possible. I wish we could hit them even harder because what they're doing, it's just utterly cruel, and they're going to continue to kill people in Ukraine. The Ukraine army's going to stand up and be effective in thwarting their efforts in fighting the cities but there's going to be a lot of death and destruction.
COLLINS: Utterly cruel is the pretty accurate way to put it.
Congressman Steve Cohen, thank you for joining us this morning to tell us about your phone call with President Zelensky.
COHEN: Kaitlan, good to be with you. Thank you. SANCHEZ: So, earlier this morning, we gave you the perspective of those refugees who fled Ukraine. Now we want to share with you the stories of some of those who decided to stay behind including the city of Kherson. The mayor there tells us the Russian troops are everywhere after they took over the city in southern Ukraine.
The occupation has forced a lot of residents to go into hiding, including one mother named Oleksandra Zhovtyuk. She's a mom of three who's been hunkered down with her family in her grandmother's home.
Earlier this morning, we talked to her how she's coping and the difficulty of explaining this crisis to her young children.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLEKSANDRA ZHOVTYUK, UKRAINIAN CITIZEN: My oldest child, she's 7 years old. So, yes, she understands everything. She's, you know, worried all the time. She wakes up at night.
For the first couple of days, we stayed at my grandma's house. And they were bombed everywhere. Like this area was very, very terrible situation over there. So we heard everything. So, she was like terrified.
But my middle child, she's 4 years old. She doesn't understand. She thinks like it's a game, you know. I'm talking to her like she needs to be -- she needs to listen to me and all this stuff, but she's like running around, and it's okay because I don't want her to be in stress all the time.
My youngest son, he's 1 year's old. He's sleeping right now. He doesn't understand everything, but I think he feels something is going on but he does not sleep very well because of all this situation.
But I'm hoping my kids will forget about this like a nightmare I'm hoping. The most horrible thing right now is we are occupied and we're like isolated from another -- you know, like the whole country. So they don't let Ukrainian people go into our city. So there's not much left in the stores.
I managed to find -- when all this started, I was like, oh, my god, there might be no water, you know, so I need to buy something that cooks very fast for kids like cans, like kids' porridge or whatever this stuff.
So I bought as much as I could. I was one person, me, in the store. I couldn't carry a lot of things. For now, we have food, but I don't know for how long this will last. Maybe like for a week or so.
But there are seven people here, so we all have to, you know, eat. We're just hoping and praying that something will come up and they will at least let Ukrainians bring us food.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: We want to thank Oleksandra for sharing her story with us. There are millions of people like her all over Ukraine, and they will soon be struggling to get just basic necessities. You might be in a position to lend a helping hand, so we want to offer you information as to how you can do that.
You can go to CNN.com/impact. There are links there to reputable vetted organizations that can help make a difference, and even the smallest gesture on your part goes a long way.
NEW DAY comes back after a few minutes. Don't go anywhere.
SANCHEZ: After two rounds of talks that failed to produce any tangible results, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators are meeting for another round of talks tomorrow in an effort to bring an end to hostilities in the region.
I want to bring in retired Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt to discuss the latest developments in Russia's invasion of Ukraine. He was the assistant secretary of state for political and military affairs during the Bush administration.
General, we're grateful to have your expertise this morning.
BRIG. GEN. MARK KIMMITT (RET.), FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL-MILITARY AFFAIRS: Sure.
SANCHEZ: I first want to ask you about these humanitarian corridors that have been set up. Russia says several of them are open for residents of two of Ukraine's southeastern cities, residents who want to leave, but we've heard multiple reports now that the corridors have had to be shut down during evacuations after Russia was accused of breaking a cease-fire agreement.
What's your reaction to that?
KIMMITT: Well, I'm not surprised at all because this is classic Russian actions. They like the advertisement, the messaging of saying they'll open humanitarian corridors, but they have so little control of their troops on the ground, that inevitably, that's a more dangerous proposition as those people in the corridors are often shot upon when the cease-fires break.
SANCHEZ: General, I also want to get your thoughts on this request from Ukrainian President Zelensky for old Soviet jets that are in the possession of European allies. He's essentially pleading with American lawmakers to try to get those jets from European allies, the U.S. would then reimburse them.
How effective would that be to retaining some level of air superiority in Ukraine? KIMMITT: I think that's a pretty good idea. The idea of a no-fly zone
is bad for any number of reasons, most importantly because it wouldn't work to go after the artillery that is causing so much of the trouble, but if you can get those aircraft in there, and the Ukrainian pilots are trained on them, the Russians right now have very, very vulnerable supply lines.
The only thing that's keeping these operations going is that the Russians are able to get ammunition, food, and fuel to their troops out front, and they're really not doing that very well. So if those lines of supplies can be interdicted by these aircraft, I think that's a good proposition, and I think that would make a significant difference on the ground.
SANCHEZ: General, there are some estimates out there that CNN is working to confirm. This is coming from Ukrainian officials that by their estimates, some 10,000 Russian troops have been killed in combat since the start of this invasion only ten days ago. Does that number surprise you?
KIMMITT: It really doesn't. Again, if you take a look at those long lines they're operating on, that 40-mile convoy alone should give you an idea how far it is from the Belarusian border down to the front lines. There are numerous opportunities for those Ukrainian javelins and for those Ukrainian sniper rifles and the weapons alone just out on those supply lines as well as that front line combat that we're seeing.
I can't speak to whether that number is correct or incorrect, but that would not surprise me at all.
SANCHEZ: General, given what we've seen Vladimir Putin do previously, he's been accused of committing war crimes in Syria and Georgia before that, given that these convoys appear to have stalled, that perhaps the invasion is not going as the Kremlin had planned, what's your assessment of how far he's willing to go in Russian/Ukrainian opposition?
KIMMITT: Well, first of all, I think it's important to note he is seeing success in the south. His troops have taken Kherson with an eyeball now towards Odessa. The movements toward Mariupol to link up that land bridge between Russia and Crimea is going well.
It's only in the north where the situation seems to be a little bit slower than they would like. But remember, Russian tactics are like a bulldozer. Whether that bulldozer is moving at 20 miles an hour or 5 miles an hour, whether the operations are going as fast or as slow as he'd like, the Russians are still making slow progress, but steady progress.
So, in my mind, Putin is sitting in the Kremlin right now, pretty happy with how things are going. He would have liked them to go faster, but the pace and the fact that the initiative is on the side of the Russians right now indicates to me that the Russian general staff is probably pretty pleased with where things are right now.
SANCHEZ: Imagining that anyone would be happy or pleased with some of the images we've been seeing out of Ukraine is an unsettling thought.
SANCHEZ: Retired Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, we appreciate your time. Thanks for spending part of your weekend with us.
KIMMITT: Sure, Boris.
COLLINS: Still to come this morning, communities around the world are watching in horror. That includes one in Brooklyn that is home to Russian and Ukrainian immigrants. How they're supporting one another through this desperate time, next.
SANCHEZ: Amid the Russian invasion, communities around the country are rallying around Ukraine.
COLLINS: In New York's Brighton Beach, home to both Russians and Ukrainians, the community has been stunned by President Putin's attacks and now they say they're banding together to show support for the Ukrainian people.
CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nicknamed Little Odesa, it's predominantly Russian speaking. It has been shaken by the conflict that we're seeing in Ukraine. We are, however, seeing these Ukrainian shows of support on street corners. And for one local shop owner, even shedding its Russian branding in one show of solidarity.
(voice-over): In south Brooklyn's neighborhood of Brighton Beach, Russia dominates every day life, for the language is spoken, to the Cyrillic signage.
MICHAEL LEVITIS, RUSSIAN-AMERICAN RADIO HOST: You can live here your whole life and not speak a word of English.
SANDOVAL: But lately says Moscow native, Michael Levitis, it's the support for Ukraine that is prevalent in this eastern European enclave in New York nicknamed Little Odesa, after the Ukrainian seaport. Brighton Beach is home to one of the largest Russian-speaking communities outside of Europe.
LEVITIS: Right now, everybody is Ukrainian. Right now, everybody is Ukrainian as a show of solidarity. People are posting in their storefronts, on Facebook, Ukrainian flags.
SANDOVAL: On light posts. LEVITIS: On light posts, to show that we are, the people of Ukraine,
we're against the war, and we want the bloodshed to stop as soon as possible.
SANDOVAL: Levitis stays in close contact with fellow Russian Americans both online and on air as host of a talk radio show.
LEVITIS: No one is supporting what Kremlin is doing. Some people are understanding, and they regret that negotiations did not go the way Putin wanted. But nobody is supporting this military action and bombing of innocent people.
SANDOVAL: Questions about how to get humanitarian aid to Ukrainians caught in the conflict dominate his show. He's also heard from local business leaders, one of whom is shedding Russian branding right off his storefront.
Bobby Rakhman had the name "Taste of Russia" taken down just this week.
BOBBY RAKHMAN, SHOP CO-OWNER, BRIGHTON BEACH: It just wouldn't be the right thing to do to keep the name.
SANDOVAL: A Ukrainian flag now hangs in the bustling shop's window while a new name is considered.
LEVITIS: A lot of businesses are changing their name to show solidarity with Ukraine or taking out the Russia from their name so that their customers would not boycott them or confuse them with Russian-owned businesses which right now are under very heavy sanctions.
SANDOVAL: As New York City's subway thunders overhead, life seems to go on along this stretch of Brighton Beach Avenue, but it does so amid worries half a world away, one that feels especially close to home here.
SANDOVAL (on camera): In addition to those local efforts, we have heard from both the city of New York and also the state of New York announcing their plans to help many of these Ukrainians resettle as refugees here in the United States. No doubt, Kaitlan and Boris, many of them turning to neighborhoods just like this one for some safety and peace.
COLLINS: Polo Sandoval, thank you for that report.
Following the invasion of Ukraine, Formula 1 terminated its Russian Grand Prix contract, and it's just one of many companies to pull business from the country, in a way that seemed almost inconceivable before. Up next, we'll tell you more about how Putin's actions are threatening his own economy.
SANCHEZ: Visa and MasterCard have announced they will suspend all transactions and operations within Russia. Both credit card companies are among a growing list of corporations that have abruptly pulled out of Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. In response, Russia has been trying to stop the exodus with new capital controls that were announced this week.
Let's discuss the economic ramifications of the invasion with CNN global economic analyst and associate editor, Rana Foroohar. She's also a global business columnist and an associate editor for "The Financial Times".
Rana, always great to have you on. Appreciate you getting up early for us.
So, Visa, MasterCard, Ford, Nike, a number of international companies cutting ties with Russia or at least scaling back operations. How badly is that actually going to hurt Vladimir Putin and the oligarchs versus the rest of the population of Russia?
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: That's a great question. I think it's going to hit both of those categories pretty hard. These sanctions are amongst the toughest we've ever seen, certainly the toughest since Iran's sanctions.
It's very unusual actually for this amount of multinational companies to be pulling out in sync both in the U.S. and Europe. And this kind of speaks actually to the power of U.S. led financial networks. U.S. led to multinational corporate power. These are very powerful networks and they're going to hurt Putin.
The one downside, though, and it's very hard. In this war there hasn't seemed to be a win/win situation because as Russia is more isolated from the Western financial system and Western companies, it's going push it more into the arms of China. Already, you've seen China picking up the slack, buying more Russian grain, more Russian oil, pulling Russia closer to its financial network.
Ultimately, I expect that you're going to see really kind of a bipolar world in which you have a U.S./European-led system and you have a China-led system of which Russia is a part.
SANCHEZ: That is fascinating. I'm glad you mentioned Russian oil because President Zelensky of Ukraine has called for a ban on the purchase of Russian oil and gas assets.
The White House is hesitant to take that step in part because it could cause a disruption to the global oil market. What would that look like from your perspective?
FOROOHAR: Yeah. Well, you know, just a couple of numbers first. Russia accounts for 10 percent of global oil reserves. So that's a big disruption. I mean, if you saw all of that supply pulled off the market and there were nothing to buffer it, no increase in coal power or nuclear power, I think you'd absolutely see oil prices going above 150, probably close to 200.
Now, already, you know, I'm talking to folks in the administration. I'm talking to different policymakers in various countries. Allies are trying to finding a plan to buffer Europe, in particular over the next couple of years. We've got to get them over this winter and next winter.
But then the big question is where do you go from there? Europe cannot be dependent on Russian energy. Nobody can be dependent on Russian energy going forward. So, what is that going to look like? Are we going to use more U.S. shale production to fill the gap? Are we going to come up with some nuclear clean tech solution?
I mean, these are going to be answered over the midterms to make sure we don't end up in that situation again.
SANCHEZ: Yeah, and the hard reality is the political calculus because if gas prices skyrocket along with inflation at its highest in some 40 years, ultimately, what can lawmakers in the United States try to do to not only reduce inflation but try to keep this pain at the pump from affecting the average American?
FOROOHAR: You hit the nail on the head when you said political. I have already fielded calls from certain lawmakers saying what's inflation going to look like around the midterms, and my answer is it's going to be higher. That's not only because of oil, Boris, but food prices. Russian and Ukrainian wheat account for about 25 percent of the world's wheat supplies.
The last time there was a big loss of production in those countries in 2010, there was a poor harvest, it led to the Arab Spring because there wasn't enough food around the world.
We could be looking at a lot more turmoil and a lot more inflation before the situation gets better.
SANCHEZ: The global supply chain and the economics of one geography versus another, it all has an enormous impact and could have tremendous ramifications here at home.
Rana Foroohar, it's always great to get your perspective. Thanks so much.
FOROOHAR: Thank you.
COLLINS: We're now hearing this morning from President Zelensky saying that Russia is preparing to bomb Odesa. That is that critical port for Ukraine on the Black Sea. We have that story after a quick break.
COLLINS: This just into CNN: in a new statement on Facebook, Ukrainian President Zelensky is warning that Russia is preparing to bomb Odessa, a critical Ukrainian port city near the Black Sea. Switching between making his appeals in Ukrainian and Russian, Zelensky urged Russian people to make a choice between, quote, life and slavery. He says if Putin acts, it will be a war crime, a war crime of historic nature.
As we continue to follow more on what Zelensky is saying this morning, here are some of the other top stories we're also following for you:
Six people including two children have died after a tornado hit Madison County, Iowa, on Saturday, just southwest of Des Moines.
The National Weather Service gave an initial estimate. It was an EF-3 tornado with wind speeds of at least 136 miles per hour.
SANCHEZ: This morning, Pope Francis has weighed in on Russia's attacks on Ukraine. He called war, quote, madness. This was during his address at St. Peter's Square. He said the Vatican is willing to do everything it can for peace.
Francis said he's already sent two cardinals to Ukraine to assist humanitarian efforts. He's also called for a return to respecting international law. Notably, he also thanked journalists who risk their lives to report on the war.
COLLINS: Thanks so much for starting your morning on this very busy Sunday with us.
SANCHEZ: Kaitlan, a pleasure to have you. Don't go anywhere because there's plenty more news ahead.
"INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY" with Abby Phillip is next. Have a great rest of your week.