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New Day Sunday

Ukraine: Russian Airstrikes Hit Military Base Near Lviv; Scholz, Macron Urge Immediate Ceasefire In Call With Putin; Biden Directs Another $200m, Including Weapons, In Aid To Ukraine; Poroshenko: Ukraine Is Providing The "End Of The Russian Empire"; Southeast Expected To See Record-Breaking Cold Temperatures. Aired 7- 8a ET

Aired March 13, 2022 - 07:00   ET




JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Sunday, March 13th. And I'm Jessica Dean, in for Christi Paul this morning.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Great to you with you, Jessica, and thank you so much for starting your Sunday with us. I'm Boris Sanchez.

We begin in Eastern Europe and air raid sirens that blared across Ukraine early today as Russian forces carried out a spate of missile attacks.

CNN crews there reporting hearing multiple explosions.

DEAN: Russian troops bombed an air base near Lviv as they inch closer to the Ukraine's capital Kyiv. We're getting word from the regional government in the area that 35 people were killed. More than 130 wounded in that attack.

The Russian defense ministry released this video said to show Russian paratroopers taking control of an airfield in Ukraine, but it's not clear when or where this video was shot, and CNN is still working to confirm if it accurately reflects the situation.

SANCHEZ: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that humanitarian corridors that have been set up to evacuate civilians are currently working. He says more than 12,000 people were able to evacuate yesterday, though the attacks continue. According to the Ukrainian defense ministry, seven civilians including women and at least one child were killed by Russian troops as they tried to escape their village.

DEAN: And a simply sobering reality here. President Zelenskyy saying some towns simply no longer exist. Images from the village of Makariv, about 30 miles west of Kyiv, show significant damage to apartment buildings, a school and a medical building.

SANCHEZ: We want do get you an live update what is happening in Ukraine. So, let's take you near Lviv where CNN's Salma Abdelaziz has been reporting.

Salma, what can you tell us about the strike on the airport not far from where you are?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: So it's actually a huge military base I'm just outside of right now. This is a base where more than 30 missiles hit. We understand from the latest information, 35 people killed and more than 130 people injured.

I just want to give you a sense where I am. You can see here. There's troops just preparing. We're only a few miles away from the base and behind them is a children's playground, Boris and Jessica, because this whole village, all the surrounding areas here, all they do really, is work on that very massive military base that, again is just five miles from me. Very close to the Polish border.

Now, why is it so important that this military base is struck? Well, if you ask Ukrainian authorities, this is their forward-operating base for connecting to their allies in the West. It was just a few months ago that that base, again, behind me here, hosted joint exercises between U.S. troops and Ukrainian forces. It is this base that was considered to be in a safe place, close to the Polish border, again, all the way west in the country.

Now, of course, that safety screen completely blown by more than 30 missiles striking at the heart of it. We've been trying to get access. But as you can imagine, even the public roads all around this area are closed. Families are shaken. They spent hours in bomb shelters last night, Jessica -- Jessica and Boris.

DEAN: All right. Salma Abdelaziz on the ground for us in Ukraine. It's a good context there. Thanks so much.

SANCHEZ: Diplomatic efforts to end the Russian onslaught in Ukraine still ongoing. Among the latest is a phone call between Vladimir Putin, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron.

CNN's Melissa Bell joins us now live from Paris.

And, Melissa, there wasn't much progress made on these calls gauging from the readouts. However, there is hope potentially further talks could happen down the road, right?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I mean, certainly the French president says he's going to keep speaking to Vladimir Putin just to keep that line of communication open, and Elysee sources say, look, although they found President Putin determined to obtain his objectives in Ukraine, this as Scholz and Macron speaking to him yesterday, the fact that he continues to engage with two Western leaders leads the Elysee to believe there is some hope at least at some point that a negotiated solution might be possible, that diplomacy might still work.

[07:05:11] The fact that Putin continues to engage they think is the only good sign they see for the time being. Now, there are also those negotiations that have been carrying on, Boris, between Russian and Ukrainian delegations directly. They've been carrying on by video link these last few days. We understand from an adviser to President Zelenskyy speaking on Belarusian state media that there will be a fourth round of negotiations possibly this coming week.

And there were some hints of progress. At least from the Ukrainian side in terms of those contacts that have been continuing to take place, but President Zelenskyy saying on Saturday they had stopped exchanging ultimatums and at least now started to talk about actually some of the points that they might discuss when they come face-to- face. There is some hope there.

But, of course, even as the Russian advances continue, even as those attacks continued on the city, what Elysee said after that phone call, Europeans are looking at fresh sanctions next week. They've been meeting in Brussels to look at what more pressure to put on Vladimir Putin to try and bring him to the negotiating table and want to make it as hard economically as they can in order to open up the diplomatic channels still further, Boris.

DEAN: All right. We'll keep an eye on that. Melissa Bell for us in Paris, thanks so much from Paris.

SANCHEZ: Meantime here in Washington, D.C., President Biden is directing another $200 million in military assistance to Ukraine.

Let's get you to the White House now and CNN's Jasmine Wright.

Jasmine, what exactly is included in the aid?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Boris, items U.S. officials believe will provide immediate military assistance to Ukraine as it faces this onslaught further aggression from Russia. Remember, President Biden has promised continuously he will provide Ukraine with military support and humanitarian support in face of this Russian aggression.

And so, we can look at this $200 million release essentially from the State Department stockpile as him doing just that. And so, an official told CNN yesterday, that it includes anti-armor, anti-aircraft systems and small arms in support of Ukraine's front line defenders.

And now, this is a second kind of such release from the State Department that Biden ordered in just a few months. We know this earlier this year, he ordered another for $350 million. And at the time, U.S. officials told CNN that was the largest president's drawdown ordered in history. And again, that went to Ukraine as the U.S. tried to support its sovereignty.

So, an official told me yesterday that last payment of $350 million plus this latest $200 million basically comes to about $1.2 billion that the U.S. provided support to Ukraine from the specific stockpile in just the past year. Now, Boris and Jessica, we know the president authorized this from the State Department after speaking to President Zelenskyy in about an hour-long phone call and talked about a multitude of things including the situation on the ground, the battleground assessment that Zelenskyy offered to Biden there in Ukraine.

And no doubt, Zelenskyy has been really putting pressure on the U.S. to try to establish a no-fly zone above Ukraine. Something that U.S. officials basically struck down and not happening because it would amount to basically another world war when it comes to enforcement.

Still, again, the U.S. believes that this latest release will be something that is very helpful for the Ukraine as it once again faces Russia in fighting for its own sovereignty -- Boris, Jessica.

DEAN: Jasmine Wright at the White House for us this morning. Thanks so much for that reporting.

And here with me to discuss further is Emma Ashford. She's a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

Emma, it's great to see you and good morning to you.

I want to talk about your latest piece in foreign affairs first, because you write that the coming weeks could be, quote, "more perilous and that the west and Russia may be entering into the terminal stages of an insecurity spiral." what are you most concerned about at this point?

EMMA ASHFORD, SENIOR FELLOW, THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL: Well, I think, you know, we've had a lot of conversations in recent days about what more the West can do to help Ukraine? Can we set up a no-fly zone? Send more weapons and planes. Without thinking how much we're already doing.

We're already sending arms. We've got sanctions that are perhaps as harsh as anything seen in recent decades, and, you know, Russia is liable to respond at some point. So, the challenge for policymakers is how to continue helping Ukraine without risking accidentally starting a broader conflict between NATO and Russia.

DEAN: Right. And we just heard Jasmine's reporting from the White House.


We know that the Biden administration made is clear they don't want boots on the ground or in the air, as it were. You're also adamant a no-fly zone is not a good idea, that creating one is tantamount to going to war buy Russia. Walk us through that. Help people understand why you believe that?

ASHFORD: So a no-fly zone sounds easy in principle. In practice what it means is putting up American planes, NATO planes, over Ukrainian air space. Striking Russian air defenses that could shoot those planes down, and if any Russian planes violate the no-fly zone, shooting them down's in its practical implication, we are talking about sending American or NATO forces into combat with Russia to set up that no-fly zone which is why the White House I think has very right said this isn't going to happen.

DEAN: right. Where they have to defend that air space and then you are in essence going to war with Russia, and that further escalates this when everyone is trying to de-escalate it.

Do you think that the sanctions -- that's what they're doing right now, of course, to deescalate the situation and to penalize Putin -- do you think it's enough to change Putin's mind or to move him? And what else can be done? I hear you saying, thinking what else can be done? I hear that you're saying, we're thinking about what else what can be done, and you're seeing a lot is already being done right now.

ASHFORD: Yeah. There aren't many good options left. Some of my colleagues at the Atlantic Council it last week did a report looking at remaining options. Unfortunately, they're all high escalation risk, low payoff for doing so.

So what is left is, you know, we have the sanctions on, they're very severe. That may factor into Russia's calculus, particularly if we can find a way to lift those in a gradual way in exchange for Russian concessions in ending this conflict. But I think it is going to take probably changes on the ground before we see Russians or Ukrainians able to come to some kind of deal to end the conflict.

DEAN: And what do you make of the talks happening? We know that the French president, the German chancellor spoke with Putin yesterday. More talks are expected going forward. What do you think is the best case scenario to get out of those talks, and what purpose do you think they're serving right now?

ASHFORD: Right now, the talks are largely, I think, serving the purpose of keeping the lines of communications open for when a deal might be possible nap is. That is a good thing. I'm concerned more aren't engaged in that process.

There will come a time and Russians performance, Ukrainians better than average performance. There will come a time when both sides are willing to actually talk about the substantive issues and we're starting to see that process happening. Things like future status of Ukraine in NATO, weapons on the Ukrainian territory, the status on Crimea. So, those both sides feel that they reach at point where they're able to actually talk about those things, that's when diplomacy becomes more useful.

DEAN: And where do you think or what happens if -- you know, the administration, President Biden, has warned that Russia could deploy chemical weapons here? If that happens, what does the U.S. do? What does NATO do? And how do they keep from escalating this towards World War III?

ASHFORD: You know, that is the extremely difficult position in which policymakers find themselves. We have to remind ourselves, the United States has not dealt with this kind of peer competitor, a great power like Russia, that has military capacity and nuclear weapons, you know, chemical, biological weapons. We haven't dealt with this error in the last 30 years.

We have to think more like we did during the Cold War, and that is to say balancing what we can do against the risk of escalating into a broader war. And I think the president was quite clear yesterday and the day before that we will not engage militarily inside Ukraine.

I think the unspoken statement there was, regardless of the question of chemical weapons, which is unfortunate. It's certainly detrimental to norms trending use of chemical weapons moving forward, but again, the question of whether its' worth a war with a nuclear armed state is one that policymakers I think really can't take lightly.

DEAN: Right. Emma Ashford, thanks for your insight and analysis this morning. Appreciate it.

SANCHEZ: We have a developing story to bring you now. CNN learned a bus in Italy carrying around 50 Ukrainians overturned early this morning killing at least one person and injuring several others. Firefighters on the scene say the bus went off the road on a highway near the town of Cesena, and the person died after being trapped under the bus. Fortunately, no other vehicles were involved in the accident.

Coming up, President Biden is sending millions more in military aid to Ukraine, but is it enough to end the Russian invasion?


Congressman Mike Waltz of Florida joins us next to discuss that and much more.

Stay with us.


SANCHEZ: House and Senate leaders say Congress will act quickly after President Biden announced U.S. plans to suspend normal trade relations with Russia. Taking away Russia's most favored nation status could lead to higher tariffs and other economic barriers for the country. The move does require approval by Congress. Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the house will take up a bill this week and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also expects the Senate will act soon.

Let's bring in Republican Congressman Mike Waltz of Florida to discuss Russia's invasion of Ukraine. He's a member of the House Armed Services Committee and he's someone who knows combat as well. He's a former green beret.

Congressman, grateful to have you this morning.

You recently wrote on Twitter you believe Vladimir Putin will continue to escalate attacks on Ukraine, possibly using chemical weapons, even weapons of mass destruction.


I'm wondering what that assessment is based on? Intelligence you've been briefed on?

REP. MICHAEL WALTZ (R-FL): Well, Boris, obviously, I can't get into the details of intelligence but I can tell you it's a real concern, and this is a long -- Russia has a long history of escalating to that point. I think we've seen it in Syria over the years where Russia repeatedly staged false flag attacks. Actually used minor chemical agents on Assad's forces and on its own forces to then justify retaliation with much more severe chemical agents.

And the reality is, we let him get away with it for years. And the Russians, whether in Chechnya, Afghanistan, Syria, and now in Ukraine, the Russian doctrine is to avoid getting bogged down in tough urban warfare where their forces can be attrited fairly easily and they make up for it through devastating cities block to block.

Rather than clearing them with infantry, they are going to clear them with artillery, bombing, and if they continue to be frustrated possibly with chemical weapons.

SANCHEZ: So, you made an allusion to the red line that former President Obama drew in Syria on the use of chemical weapons that essentially went unpunished. If Vladimir Putin deploys chemical weapons in Ukraine, in your mind, is that grounds for a military intervention?

WALTZ: Well, I certainly think the president needs to stop telling Putin what he will and won't do. We need to get into, inside Putin's thinking, inside his calculus and start deterring rather than reacting.

That would include, one, making it clear to everyone in that chain of command down to the private pulling the trigger up to senior generals, that they will be held accountable for war crimes, but importantly, the president should put all options on the table when it comes to response.

Putin doesn't want a war with the United States either. He knows he would lose and he knows where that would go for his grip on power, but if we continue -- just yesterday the president said, well, we'll have a very serious, a very tough response to the use of chemical weapons but in the same breath, said no U.S. forces at all in Ukraine.

I think you tell him all options on the table and deter him going down that road up front rather than promising a reaction after he's devastated the Ukrainian people with the use of WMD.

SANCHEZ: So, your calculus is that leaving that option on the table, that President Biden dismissing doesn't want World War III, he doesn't want U.S. troops in Ukraine. Your perspective is that that would deter Putin, and not escalate the situation and not cause him to overreact?

WALTZ: I mean, we have -- look, we have to absolutely be very careful here, but we have such a fear of escalation that we continue to give Putin this space to escalate further and further and further. At some point, we do have to draw that red line and we have to do it with credibility and do it with, you know, with the world having understand that we have the will to back it up.

And I just don't see that coming from the White House at this point, and, therefore, Putin thinks he can get away with it. Look, it's built into Russian doctrine to be able to use small, low-yield tactical nuclear weapons on the premise that we won't escalate further. And I think Putin believes -- he got away with it in Syria and that he can get away with it again in Ukraine and we need to disabuse him of that notion up front.

SANCHEZ: I think one of the keys to what you just made as an argument is the will to act. Part of the reason I think President Obama didn't respond with force in Syria had to do with public support.

According to recent polls, there's little support for U.S. intervention in Ukraine. How do you, perhaps, sell that to the American people? The possibility of another foreign war?

WALTZ: Well, I'd like to see that poll re-issued and ask the question, if Russia is using chemical and biological weapons on civilian populations, can we have a world where a power like Russia is getting away with that and where does that slippery slope go?

So, you know, we have to be very careful how these polls are asked, and how they're -- how the questions are approached. But I think end of the day, we've seen overwhelming support to help the Ukrainians defend themselves.


And, look, that doesn't mean 100,000 boots on the ground to respond to a chemical weapon attack. There are things we can do through cyber, there are things we can do through long-range fires to stop their capability, whether that's in an airfield as we did in Syria in 2017, or otherwise. But I think if you go to the American people and say, should we stop Russia from using chemical weapons on a civilian city, then you'd see a different level of support.

SANCHEZ: Congressman, I know you are very focused on China's rise in the world, and I've spoke ton experts who believe they may be the linchpin in preventing Vladimir Putin from further action in Ukraine because in a sense give him an out in a number of different ways, but specifically with economic sanctions. There's an understanding that China would lessen the degree to which sanctions put pressure on the Kremlin.

Some of your colleagues on Capitol Hill called for legislation that would punish China for any steps that would alleviate that crunch. Do you believe the U.S. should engage China on that level?

WALTZ: Well, if we're serious about sanctions on Russia, then I think we have to be serious about the loopholes. And China's not only providing a back door from the economic sanctions, they're actively helping Russia circumvent them. For example, both Visa, MasterCard, American Express, rightly pulled out from processing payments across the Russian economy. Chinese banks have stepped in. We already know the back door in terms

of oil and gas. In fact, Russia and China signed a new oil and gas deal just before the Olympics. But they're also helping in information and propaganda space. They're helping in the diplomatic space.

And I would like to see us move forward with tougher secondary sanctions on Chinese entities that are helping Russia avoid these sanctions. Otherwise, you know, they're just going to have a back door. They're going to have loopholes and it's going to greatly diminish their effect.

SANCHEZ: And there's no question that the Chinese leadership is watching what's happening in Ukraine with a focus how the West responds and how the West may respond looking at Taiwan into the future.

Congressman Waltz, we're going to leave the conversation there. Appreciate you spending part of your Sunday with us.

WALTZ: OK. Thank you, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

DEAN: As Russia intensifies its assault on Ukraine and launches an attack on a key military base, there are big questions about Putin's next move. We're going to talk to a military expert about that, next.



SANCHEZ: Former Ukrainian president is urging the world to not trust Vladimir Putin and he vowed that Ukraine will not give up as Russian troops are now estimated to be roughly 15 miles away from the center of Kyiv.

DEAN: During an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Poroshenko claims Ukraine is providing end of the Russian empire and says Putin's first mistake was overestimating his own Russian army.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "AC360": Russian officials say their forces are some 15 miles from Kyiv, slowly moving in the outskirts. What do you make of the security situation right now in Kyiv? Do you believe Kyiv can be encircled by Russian forces? Do they have the capabilities?

PETRO POROSHENKO, FORMER PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE: Look, I'm in Kyiv, in the center of Kyiv. And you are right, maybe in 15 miles, we have the Russian tanks. But they are not moving because Ukrainian armed forces stop it, and during last seven days cannot move one single meter ahead. But we have less and less ammunition, and we do not allow, we are not giving up. We are not -- forgive the Putin, this type of things and I am absolutely confident that we will fight in every single house, every single street and every single quarter in Kyiv, in Kharkiv, in Chernihiv, in all of the cities be hell for the Russian soldiers and would be, at the end of the day, the hell for Putin.

And with this situation, just the more you help us to increase the effectiveness of Ukrainian armed forces, the weaker would be Putin, and this why the security of the whole world, security of U.S., security of U.N., security of NATO would be higher. Please, we need to be united.

The same way like Putin do three mistakes. Mistake number one, he always makes his army and we demonstrated, I am proud of president created this army in 2014. Point number two, he underestimated Ukrainian armed forces.

And point number three, he underestimated unity of Ukrainians that he cannot blow up, cannot break our unity, and he underestimated the unity of the whole world, because after the 24th of February, the transatlantic union, European unity, unity of the whole world demonstrated in general assembly of the United Nations.

But only five nation support Russia, Syria to North Korea, and this is the basis of their support, and 141 nations support Ukraine, and Ukraine now providing the beginning, the end of the Russian empire.


DEAN: All right. Let's bring in retired Brigadier General Kevin Ryan, former defense attache to Russia.


He's also a senior fellow for the Belford Center at Harvard Kennedy School.

Good morning. Thanks so much for being with us bright and early today.

Let's talk first, we heard a little about it in that interview we just showed. But the bulk of Russia's invasion forces is now about 15 miles outside of Kyiv. At this point, do you believe Russia is still aiming to encircling capital and cutoff or is a full advance in the city still in the cards, do you think?

BRIG. GEN. KEVIN RYAN (RET.), FORMER DEFENSE ATTACHE TO RUSSIA: Well, I think both of still in the cards. They are obviously moving to encircle Kyiv. The question, whether they try to go into the city and fight block to block, neighborhood to neighborhood. They may not need to do that, if they encircle the city and hold it under siege for a week or more, they may be able to use that as leverage and in any kind of a cease-fire or diplomatic discussion.

SANCHEZ: General, you have a perspective I don't think I've heard very much before. You say that you think Putin may be ending this campaign sooner rather than later. What has given you that indication?

RYAN: Well, I'm watching the way the Russian military is fighting, the land that they're focused on, the objectives that they want. I'm also seeing how the Russian military is doing with those operations. I think they are fully committed, as you mentioned. Over 90 percent of their invasion force inside the borders of Ukraine.

They're having great difficulty, not just in, say, overcoming fierce defense, which is tough, but their own internal unforced errors going on inside their own operation logistics, close air support, communications are being intercepted in the open.

So, a lot of problems. I think that Putin doesn't need all of Ukraine to accomplish his goals. He doesn't need western Ukraine, a place where people who don't want to be in his new republics or in a territory that he annexes. People from those regions can go into this western Ukraine and he can rid of them.

DEAN: And, General, we've heard from the White House. They've warned that Putin may try to use chemical weapons in his attack of Ukraine. There is fear this is going to get worse before it ends with Russia potentially manufacturing a pretext to unleash those chemical weapons.

What's your opinion? Do you think that Putin will cross that line, and how do you think that would change the West's posture in all of this?

RYAN: Well, I don't think -- I don't think Putin will cross the line of chemical weapons, because of all the reasons your previous two guest, outlined. The fact it would make him a, clearly a war criminal. It would put him in the same sentence as Assad is in.

Having said that, we have to respect the fact that Russia still has a chemical capability. They have shown that by using Novichok around the world. They have chemical troops that train frequently. So, they have ability to do this, protect their own troops.

It is possible they could use a weapon of mass destruction. A chemical weapon, and if they do use a weapon of mass destruction, which chemicals weapons are, then I think the United States should review its policy about interference in this war and its posture. What it's going to do, whether it establish as no-fly zone, et cetera. I think those things should all still be on the table.

SANCHEZ: Respectfully, General, this is a leader that wasn't shy about poisoning dissidents with radiation in other countries. He supported the Assad regime, as you noted, as it used chemical weapons on its own people, but your assessment is that Vladimir Putin is unlikely to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, because it will make him a war criminal. He's apparently using cluster bombs in Ukraine. There's evidence of that.

His reputation is what might prevent him from using chemical weapons? I want to better understand your assessment.

RYAN: No, I don't think it's just his reputation. I think it is, it's a factor of what will the West respond with. If he uses a weapon of mass destruction, then despite frequent comments by the West that we will not put soldiers in Ukraine or dedicate NATO force there's. We won't ship the MiGs. All of these things that we won't do, I think they go back on the table and there's a good chance that we will begin to become more involved in this conflict.


But that would be a definite escalation. I don't think Putin wants that escalation. He wants to, to take the territory he's aiming for now. He wants to destroy as much of the Ukrainian military as he can and then declare a victory of sorts, and begin to assimilate the lands that he's acquired. the strategic land along the Black Sea and in the eastern part of Ukraine.

So, yes. He can still elect to do this with chemical weapons, and there's nothing -- it's not really about his reputation. It's about what would be the consequences of doing that.

DEAN: All right. Brigadier General Kevin Ryan, we got to stop it there, but thank you for your insight. We appreciate it.

RYAN: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Thanks, general.

Vandalism and threats and a decrease in customers. How some businesses both Russian and Ukrainian in the United States are facing issues over Putin's invasion.



SANCHEZ: Russian restaurants in the United States that once proudly displayed the country's heritage say they're now seeing backlash amid the war in Ukraine.

DEAN: Some have gone as far as changing their names.

CNN's Jason Carroll reports.


VLADA VON SHATS, CO-OWNER, RUSSIAN SAMOVAR RESTAURANT: I'm going to show you the table. That is called the Brodsky table.

This is the special table. People actually call and reserve just this table.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Not these days. Russia's invasion of Ukraine increasing worries about empty tables and fewer bookings at this restaurant in New York City's theater district.

VON SHATS: Sixty percent of business is down overnight. Just wake up one day and your business is done. Nobody's here.

CARROLL: Vlada Von Shats is the co-owner of Russian Samovar with her son. It's been in the family for three generations. Her family defected from what was then the Soviet Union to New York when she was a child. Her stepfather co-founded the restaurant with ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and Russian poet Joseph Brodsky. VON SHATS: Everybody escaped the same evil, and they found a little

space of heaven here.

CARROLL: But now, this little piece of heaven is facing the wrath of hell on earth half a world away.

VON SHATS: Calling us Nazis, fascists.

CARROLL: People leaving messages --

VON SHATS: Leaving messages on our machine. Our sign kicked in.

CARROLL: Never mind Von Shats is married to a Ukrainian and many who work here are Ukrainian. All she says people see is the word "Russian" and lash out.

It's not just here. In Washington, D.C., the famous Russia house vandalized, threatening messages left at a Russian restaurant in San Diego.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You kill my uncle and aunt, and family! You distrusting Russians!

CARROLL: The restaurant's owner is Armenian and most of the staff Ukrainian. Similar messages sent to Chicago's Russian Tea Time restaurant where just like the other restaurants some of the employees are Ukrainian.

VADIM MUCHNIK, PARTNER, RUSSIAN TEA TIME: We really feel pain. We have a waitress whose mother is hiding in bomb shelters in Kyiv.

CARROLL: Some Wisconsin supermarkets have discontinued sales of Russian vodka. In Las Vegas, a bar owner is dumping Russian-made vodka. Back in New York, there's no more McPutin's. Von Shats' children changed the name of their take-out restaurant and delivery business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe they're calling it Chi Chi's Chicken.

CARROLL: But the Von Shats say they will never change the name, Russian Samovar.

You think you can survive this?

VON SHATS: Yes. With a lot of help from our friends, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time will tell. This place has lasted through a lot.


CARROLL (on camera): Vlada's son also wanted to make this a teachable moment. He said he wanted to teach people that oftentimes if they are lashing out at Russian businesses, they are also lashing out at the people who work there who might be not only Russian but Ukrainian or Romanian, some of the very same people who actually support Ukraine. Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.

DEAN: Snow, frigid temperatures and deep freeze warnings across the country. Millions are people are walking up to severe winter weather. We'll have the latest for you.

That's next.



SANCHEZ: You know, Jessica, I was optimistic that severe winter weather was behind us. Sad to report that I was wrong. Frigid temperatures.

DEAN: You're wrong, and I'm sad, too, Boris. You were right.

SANCHEZ: Frigid temperatures gripping much of the country this morning, especially here in D.C., sub 25-degree temperatures. At least 25 million people under freeze warnings.

DEAN: So, let's bring in CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar.

Allison, any sign that warmer weather might be on the way considering it is, what, March 13th?


And I will say, Boris, remember what you just said five months from now absolutely miserable with the heat from the summer and can't wait for it to be winter again. We all go through this. And, yes, a warm-up on the way. Wait another day or in some places about two days.

We've got the freeze warnings in effect for a lot of southeastern states this morning. The important part there, not only cold for you but agricultural purposes, too. A lot of things started to bloom in the southeast and now potential of 40 cities having possible low temperatures for this morning.

Now, one thing to note. When we get into the afternoon, it rebounds, but, man, a chilly start for the day. 25 Atlanta, 23 for both Nashville and Washington, D.C., looking about 22 in Cincinnati.

But you also you have to factor in the wind, too, because in a lot of these areas still looking at wind gusts 10, 20, even 30 miles per hour. Feels-like temperature is much cooler.


Looking at Nashville, feels like it's 13 this morning. Feels like 4 in Detroit. Like 17 in Atlanta. Cool temperatures there. Look at the warm air, it is coming back. Just have to wait about another day or two, especially across the Southeast. Jacksonville, Atlanta and Nashville, back to normal tomorrow.

SANCHEZ: Spring just about a week away. Can't wait to get there.

Allison Chinchar from the weather center, thank you so much.

DEAN: And thank you for starting your Sunday morning with us.

SANCHEZ: Great to be with you this weekend, Jessica. Don't go anywhere.

"INSIDE POLITICS WITIH ABBY PHILLIPS" starts in just a few minutes.