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CNN Live Event/Special

President of 8 EU Nations Urge Talks on Admitting Ukraine; Major Oil Companies Cut Ties with Russia; CNN Speaks to Vice President of European Commission; Roku Removes Russian Outlet RT from Store in Europe; Russia Imposing Capital Controls to Prevent Corporate Flight; CNN Interviews Ukrainian President Amid New Russian Attacks. Aired 11a-11:50a ET

Aired March 01, 2022 - 11:00   ET




JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST: You're watching CNN. I'm Julia Chatterley in New York. And we continue our special coverage of the humanitarian crisis and the economic cost of war in Ukraine.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: And I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. Also ahead this hour how this crisis has shaken up geopolitics, uniting the U.S. and Europe behind a common cause. But Western nations have failed to secure unequivocal condemnation of Russia's invasion of Ukraine from the rest of the world.

We'll explore why coming up. First, let's get you a look at the latest headlines. And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky calls a Russian missile strike in Kharkiv an act of undisguised terror. At least 10 people were killed in the attack on a government building in Ukraine's second largest city. Dozens more are injured.

The Interior Ministry says two missiles struck the building with the second heading after rescue teams arrived. More casualties are expected as rescuers clear out the rubble. ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers toured the area after the attack.


DAN RIVERS, ITV NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You can see complete devastation here. The top of this building behind me has been completely taken out and just rubble all over the streets, and people wandering around assessing the damage.

Clearly we're not going to loiter here long, but it seems like Russia has switched tactics from trying to hit military targets at the beginning of this war to now trying to take out symbols of the Ukrainian state. At the moment though the response from the Ukrainians has been one of complete defines.


ANDERSON: Well, a television tower in Kyiv has been attacked after Russia's military issued an ominous warning about strikes on the city. A statement leads to the state run TASS news agency said high precision, Russian weapons would hit Ukraine State Security Agency and other operations center and it warned residents who live in the area to leave.

Well, that statement coming as a 65 kilometer long convoy of Russian military vehicles approaches the city. Satellite images show smoke from what appears to be burning homes left in the convoy's path. U.S. officials have told lawmakers in classified briefings they fear the sheer size of Russia's deployment will overcome what has so far been fierce Ukrainian resistance.

Well, President Zelensky received a standing ovation after his speech to the European Parliament he called on European Union leaders to prove their solidarity with Ukraine a day after asking the EU to immediately admit Ukraine to the bloc his impassioned speech via video link managed to choke up the English translator take a listen.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: We're fighting just for our land and for our freedom. This fights the fact that all large cities of our country are now blocked. Nobody is going to enter and intervene without freedom and country.

And believe you mean every square of two days, no matter what it's called. It's going to be called today, Freedom Square in every city of our country. Nobody's going to break us. We are strong, we're Ukrainians.


ANDERSON: Yes. At least eight Eastern European nations want to get Ukraine into the EU as soon as possible. The Presidents of all three Baltic nations plus Bulgaria the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia have published an open letter. They are calling on fellow member states to make Ukraine a candidate for admission to the EU now and to start the process for making it an official member.


ANDERSON: Well, CNN's Natasha Bertrand is in Brussels for us and Natasha becoming an EU member frankly is complicated and it's going to be sad will likely be seen as provocative in this highly charged atmosphere. Are these calls for fast tracking Ukrainian admission realistic at this point?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN REPORTER: Well, it depends on who you ask. Now, of course, those eight member states that did publish that open letter last night calling for the EU to fast track Ukrainian membership believe that it is possible others do not.

Others say that Ukraine has to go through the same process as every other member states, even considering the dire circumstances that Ukraine is facing right now and perhaps because of those circumstances.

In fact, I was just speaking to a German member of European Parliament here. And he said that clearly Ukraine is not in a position right now to join the European Union does not meet those standards, and that any negotiations that will take place, are going to take quite a long time as they have for every other member state that has sought to join.

So right now Zelensky has been pleading, of course, with the European Union to fast track that membership, but it remains unclear whether that is actually going to happen at the European Commission President did say that the that Europe and Ukraine are closer now than they ever have been. But it's going to take a very long time for them to come to an agreement about any kind of EU membership.

ANDERSON: Yes. Well, a standing ovation from his European audience, of course today. But that solidarity the Ukrainian President is concerned is not enough, as far as Europe and these NATO allies are concerned and given what is happening on the ground his of his appeals at this point, are of course, and for more is he like - what more is he likely to get at this point?

BERTRAND: Well, the EU did just sign off on a massive package that essentially will send lethal defense equipment to the Ukrainians for the first time, over $500 billion worth of weaponry being sent to Ukraine over the coming days and weeks from the European Union .

Member states themselves have stepped up in the recent days and weeks in some cases for the first time, including Germany for the first time agreeing to send lethal military equipment to the Ukrainians to fend off the Russian aggression. What Zelensky has said is that he needs ammunition.

He needs fuel. He needs more weaponry like anti-tank missiles, air defense systems, in order to maintain Ukraine's momentum over the Russians. We have seen that Ukraine has been over performing the Russians have not been doing as well.

They seem to have stepped up their aggression now. And now Ukraine needs this equipment more than ever, they say and so where whereas Ukraine's EU membership may not be on the table immediately. The EU is trying to send this message of solidarity by sending them equipment, financial assistance, humanitarian assistance that they need to get through this conflict.

ANDERSON: Natasha is in Brussels for you with very, very latest. Let's get you an update on the economic impacts of this Russian invasion. Now, Julia's got that for us from New York, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Thanks, Becky. Hopes and prayers for Ukraine amid the uncertainty I think reflected in a flight to safety across financial assets. Just take a look at their safe havens like gold, the U.S. dollar and government bonds all advancing today.

The epicenter, though, of the concern remains the oil market still excluded from financial sanctions, which is key but it remains a potential pawn in the broader battle. U.S. oil prices climbing above $102 a barrel for the first time in more than seven years in the session earlier today all this of course, just adding to the broader and existing inflationary fears I'm showing U.S. stocks there too just to give you a sense, once again, we're seeing heavy losses in Europe where investors are and have greater exposure to Russia.

Global companies with ties to Russia and its consumers who continue to voice their disapproval including firms like Disney, Netflix and Warner Media, the parent company of this network, they're limiting the content available in Russia.

And the sense I think the broader sense of isolation there grows the Ruble, hit a record low on Monday of course, we are above that today. But key signs like the stock market that remains close today. And still, the exodus continues.

Russia now preparing capital controls to stem the flight of multinationals like BP and Shell who said they're cutting ties with the country too. Anna Stewart joins me on all of this. Anna and the key for me actually was some comments that came from one of the oligarchs, Mikhail Friedman, who was quoted as saying, you simply can't sell assets in Russia right now because there are no buyers and this is exactly what the sanctions were hoping to create and what capital controls are then instigated to stand.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Yes, and the capital controls being proposed here are really a desperate measure a last ditch attempt to stop capital leaving the country. And of course, we're still seeing that the stock markets are closed in Russia and maybe frankly all week while they work out what they're going to do to stop the outflow of capital.

So this is being proposed according to Russian state media, it was announced by the Prime Minister in Russia a temporary ban on Western companies taking money out of Russia, through divestments. And of course, as you say, it follows a whole slew of announcements from all sorts of companies, particularly the energy ones looking to do just that.

The Central Bank has been backed into a corner at this stage, the Ruble looking higher today, but it's still down 25 percent from the end of last week, so it's still severe lows there. They've doubled the interest rate. But really, the tools they would usually use at this stage are being curtailed by the West by sanctions, over 50 percent, I believe, of their foreign reserves are held overseas, those are frozen.

And as you say, selling on any other assets to try and shore up the Ruble will be incredibly difficult given the sort of smorgasbord of financial restrictions and sanctions already in place. Very interesting those according to the Russian state media, the prime minister said this temporary capital control policy is being introduced to help foreign investors saying that under political pressure to exit Russian investments, some are I will, agree with that. Some are facing sanctions, but others are just trying to take a stand, I think.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, talk about that, because we are seeing more and more companies now stepping forward, and either taking a stance or making adjustments simply to route around the region.

STEWART: Yes, I mean, it's hard to keep up. We've had so much corporate news over the last 24 hours, but across all different sectors we're seeing lots of exits in Russia, essentially, so we can bring you a pilot.

Well, we've got shipping latest news from Maersk just a few hours ago; they're stopping all container shipping deliveries to Russia. Just imagine how that will complicate the trade picture, or further complicate the trade picture I should say.

Energy we've already spoken about BP, Shell, Total and Equinox ditching investments, although Total just says it won't be making any new investments in Russia. So a slight nuance with them. With cars, Volvo General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, they're all going to stop selling cars in Russia.

And for Renault, which actually has a plant in Russia, they are suspending production. And then you've got the companies because I'd say lots of those are looking at sanctions either directly or indirectly. But then you've got these the entertainment giant's Disney, Netflix and our parent company Warner Media feels like they're almost taking an ethical stance.

So Disney, for instance, stops all film releases in Russia and our parent company Warner Media, pulling the new movie "The Batman" from Russia as well. Taking a stand, it's probably good for PR as well, if we're going to be cynical about it.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's a great point, a mix of all of the things going on here. Anna Stewart, thank you so much. Now as Anna was discussing the exodus from Russia continues. Total Energy is the latest firm to say it will not invest in new projects in the country.

This comes after Shell announced an exit from Russian operations, including the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline, and earlier this week, BP said it was exiting it's a 20 percent stake in Russian state oil firm Rosneft.

Meanwhile, in the big news of the day, the U.S. and its allies have agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil from the strategic petroleum reserves. All eyes now on President Biden ahead of his State of the Union address later today.

And if we can pull up oil prices, I can show you the reaction that's having in the market and joining us now Mike Sommers, President and CEO of "The American Petroleum Institute", Mike, great to have you with as you can see an immediate reaction in the oil markets.

That announcement and all prices are going in the wrong direction. And I think the message is here, and I've just done the calculation. What we're seeing is a release of the equivalent of five days of Russian or production? It's a symbolic move, but it's a drop in the proverbial oil ocean your view on this?

MIKE SOMMERS, PRESIDENT AND CEO AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE: Yes, absolutely Julia. I will say that the SPR is really built for just these kinds of moments of international crisis. This is an appropriate use of the SPR during this time of really a world crisis in energy markets that has come as a consequence of their Russia Ukraine conflict.

I think too often the United States uses the SPR as more of an ATM than it does as a relief valve during times of international crisis. So I think the Biden Administration has appropriately used the SPR. But at the same time, we think it's more important that we get more U.S. energy on the market as quickly as possible.

And that has to come with change policies here in the United States so that we can get those energy products to these vulnerable markets soon.

CHATTERLEY: Great point and we can talk about this because you've just called it a relief bow but there's no relief in the market, the markets going in the opposite direction because it recognizes this is not enough.

And I think one of the fears out there is that while right now energy has a carve out from the sanctions, there is a possibility that this is the nuclear option and I'll carefully call it that is used how high might all prices for example go Mike in that instance? Have you done any analysis?


SOMMERS: Well, we are very concerned about and again, that's one of the reasons why we have the SPR in place. But I think you pointed out that, you know, 60 million barrels is really about 60 percent of what the world uses every single day.

So the world consumes about 100 million barrels every single day. So we need other sources of energy, which is why it's important that the United States as the world energy leader continue to put more supply on the market.

But there have to be policies put in place here in the United States to encourage that. And unfortunately, over the course of the last year, we've seen the opposite put being put into place by this administration. So I actually just sent a letter to Secretary Granholm on a couple of things that they can do immediately to encourage American development of energy during this time of crisis. CHATTERLEY: And Historian Niall Ferguson, then the CEO of Citadel, Ken Griffin wrote a great op-ed in the past week saying Europe needs to replace Russian gas with examples like American LNG. And if you compare LNG created or meat and extracted in the United States to Russian, its far cleaner, the controls and regulations are higher.

The problem is the regulations in the United States are restricting that and not allowing it. How quickly could Europe reduce its reliance on Russia by utilizing supplies from the United States of LNG, for example, how quickly in an ideal scenario could this be ramped up, Mike?

SOMMERS: Well, I will say that the United States has really stepped up to the plate here. In fact, the United States, you know, continues to be one of the top suppliers to LNG to the European market. About 50 percent of U.S. LNG is now going to Europe when a month ago, it was only 37 percent.

But again, we need policies in place. In fact, just last week, the United States imposed new regulatory requirement requirements on new LNG facilities and on pipelines. That is the exact opposite message we should be sending. We also know that there are about six applications for new LNG facility sitting at the DOE. Now, we need to get those done as quickly as possible to meet the moment here for our European allies.

CHATTERLEY: We have to find a way to produce more gas, not less, but do it in a cleaner way. And somehow get that message across particularly given the backdrop of the crisis here. We're seeing some of your members and some of your former members restricts their investments, cut their investments, and even leave their investments and try and get out a big one in the case of a BP for example, are you promoting that? Are you pushing your members to cut all ties with Russia?

SOMMERS: Well, certainly individual company is going to be making those decisions. And we're monitoring that closely. At the same time, we need to make sure that the world can continue to get the energy that they need, particularly again, our European allies to be able to get that energy that they need during this time of crisis.

The United States wants to continue to step up to the plate. In fact, I will say that in the Permian Basin, our most prolific basin, we've reached record numbers of production just in the last month, rig counts continue to go up week on week.

American producers are stepping up and responding to this time of crisis, and will continue to do so to meet the moment and to ensure that Europeans have access to safe and affordable energy from the United States.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, and responding to oil prices too. Mike, good to chat to you Mike Sommers, President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute sir thank you, Becky!

ANDERSON: Thank you. A television tower in Kyiv has been attacked after Russia's military issued an ominous warning about strikes in the city. Alex Marquardt is near Kyiv and he joins us now what do we know at this point?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, what we do know is that it's clear that Russia is stepping up its attacks on the Ukrainian Capital. We have just learned as you mentioned that there was a strike in the area of the Kyiv TV tower that is very much within the city limits.

So that is some of the closest bombing to the center that we have seen so far. And it comes as the Russian Ministry of Defense says that it is going to be targeting essentially information based structures. It says it's going to be going after the SBU which is the Ukrainian security services, as well as the 72nd main center for information and psycho psychological operations.

We're not exactly clear where these different installations are. But those were the ones that were named by the Russian Ministry of Defense. They said that they're going to be targeting those in order to suppress information attacks against Russia.

So here you have at least Russia admitting that they are going on the offensive against the information outlets. This is something that has been long feared that Russia would try to shut down communications try to shut down the power.

This does appear to be at least the beginning of that so there could be some very dangerous hours ahead for the 2.9 million residents of Kyiv. At the same time Becky we are monitoring this huge convoy that is coming at Kyiv from the north.


MARQUARDT: All of these vehicles came across from Belarus, a convoy that that we thought initially was three miles long has now stretched to some 40 miles or 60 kilometers long. That is just to the north of the city. It contains artillery tanks, troops, of course, armored vehicles. And so there is a great amount of concern about attacks on Kyiv, both from the air and of course from the ground, Becky.

ANDERSON: Sees attacks and indeed the Russian invasion continue. Thank you, Alex. Ukraine, demanding Fast Track admission to the European Union, just ahead will speak to the Vice President of the European Commission about how the block is standing with Ukraine member or not.


ANDERSON: Ukrainian President Zelensky is telling European leaders to prove that they are with Ukraine. On Monday he signed an official request for Ukraine to join the EU. Now several countries including Estonia, Bulgaria, Latvia and Poland have also signed a letter urging the EU to grant immediate candidate status to Ukraine to start negotiations.

Now it does appear the EU is stepping up to help Ukraine, it's set to vote on applying a law that has never been used before to host Ukrainian refugees, UNHCR says 660,000 people have fled into neighboring countries.

So far, the EU has also pledged an additional $560 million for the humanitarian consequences of the war. Well, my next guest says this, "Europe today reaches another Hamiltonian moment. This time for Common Foreign and Security Policy standing by Ukraine shaping a geopolitical EU that truly protects.

Vice President of the EU Commission, Margaritis Schinas joins me now live from Brussels. The EU may be standing by Ukraine but it cannot protect the people of Ukraine from the overwhelming superiority of Russian forces.

Bearing down for example on Kyiv, a television tower there has just been attacked after Russia's Military issued an ominous warning about strikes in the cities. I just want to get firstly your response to what we are seeing and hearing on the ground as we speak.

MARGARITIS SCHINAS, EUROPEAN COMMISSION VICE PRESIDENT: Becky, there is no doubt that this is a difficult day and it may be an even more difficult night. We are following developments on the ground very closely. And we are activating everything we have at our disposal in our remit to be able to help our Ukrainian partners.

We do these different levels. We are about to announce blanket protection status for all those fleeing war in Ukraine that would give them automatic access to our health, education, housing and war markets.


SCHINAS: And parallel to that, we announced that for the first time ever, we will use EU funds to buy weapons that can be then shifted to Ukraine so that we can help them in these difficult moments. These are unprecedented steps. We have never done this in the past. And this is the -

ANDERSON: President Zelensky has asked or appealed for a couple of things specifically. Will Europe consider his request for a no fly zone to stop further bombardment by Russia and if not, why not?

SCHINAS: This is something that is not within the remit of the European Union. This is NATO. As you know, NATO is the operational arm for all these measures. We have taken measures concerning the closure of similar space for all Russian aircrafts of all types. And we are exploiting every inch of our competence to help.

ANDERSON: Prove it, says President Zelensky, who has reiterated his call for Ukraine to be admitted as a member of the European Union, take a listen.


ZELENSKY: We are facing also to be equal members of Europe. I believe that today we are showing everybody that's exactly what we are. The European Union is going to be much stronger with that. So that's for sure. Without you, Ukraine is going to be lonely. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Do you believe that there is wide support across the EU for that request for membership and if not, why not?

SCHINAS: Yes, I do. There is widespread support for Ukraine to be a member of the European Union. No one in the European Union forgets that democracy in Ukraine was born on the - after people young Ukrainians were shot at for where we need you flags and made done.


SCHINAS: We do not have short memories in Europe. So we know that Ukraine is part of the family. And they are absolutely right and legitimate in their request to formally join the European Union. And I'm confident--

ANDERSON: And they want that request fast track. Are you going to support that request being fast tracked? And if so how long will that take?

SCHINAS: Well, we have already said that this is a very welcome development Ukraine applying for membership, will have in practice already given access to the single market for all European for all grain and exports, visa free travel, blanket protection status.

And we are confident that our heads of state and government when they next meet, they will also decide to set up the process in a pace that will allow for Ukraine to accede to the European Union soon.

ANDERSON: Soon by which you mean when?

SCHINAS: Look, there is no set timetable in pre accession negotiations. And this is something that no responsible person who is knowledgeable of who you procedures would offer just like that, as an opinion. This is a very complex process. What matters today politically, I think that there is an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Ukrainian request for accession. And this is very telling that it matters a lot.

ANDERSON: Sir with that, we'll leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us.

SCHINAS: Thank you, Becky.

ANDERSON: Ahead on - we'll talk more about the refugee situation. We'll have more than the desperation as people try to flee war in Ukraine.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back. I'm Julia Chatterley in New York.

ANDERSON: I am Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi for you. Let's get you back up to date on where things stand on the ground in Ukraine. The southern port city of Mariupol is under constant shelling. That's according to the mayor there who says "We are fighting to the last bullet".

The Russian backed separatist's leader in Donetsk says he expects his forces to surround Mariupol sometime today. Some 400,000 people live in that city. As well as bombs and bullets, the Ukrainian defense minister says the Kremlin is also planning a large scale information and psychological operation.

He says it's intended to "break the resistance" of Ukrainians and the Ukrainian army with lies. And will use fake documents and videos, he said. Well, America's top diplomat is condemning the Kremlin for killing civilians in Ukraine.

A short time ago, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the U.N. Human Rights Council that Russian strikes are "hitting schools, hospitals and residential buildings" and he also floated the idea of kicking Russia off the council. Julia?

CHATTERLEY: Thanks Becky. The fight for Ukraine is having repercussions across the airwaves and online. Roku the latest company to curtail access to the Russian state controlled news channel RT. It's been removed from brokers channel but only in Europe.

It follows similar moves by TikTok and Meta, Facebook's parent company. Meanwhile, Disney is pausing the release of its theatrical films in Russia too. Brian Stelter joins us to discuss Brian, great to have you with us.

The response from the social media platforms to me is the most interesting thing here because they're clearly coming under pressure to limit state controlled media access, the sharing of media to on social media. How do you rate the response at tackling disinformation in particular?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Right, this is this is accelerating what these platforms have been talking about for years; they've been under pressure to fight misinformation and disinformation. And now they're under tremendous pressure from the EU, from other governments from users.

Quite frankly, Julia, I think companies of all sorts are being forced to choose sides right now. And most are choosing Ukraine side. And that's the connective tissue between Facebook and Google taking steps to diminish the presence of Russia today and state run content from Russia.

That's the connection between Google and Facebook all the way to Disney and our parent company, Warner Media and other Hollywood studios, pausing or pulling films in Russia. So essentially, that shunning of Russia by much of the world includes these large corporations, whether you're an oil company, or whether you're a Hollywood studio, we're seeing a lot of these companies taking sides choosing sides and choosing the Democratic side in Ukraine. There will be repercussions, however, and those repercussions are hard to picture. So these companies are walking a very fine line. But I think for now, as you said we are seeing something that is quite dramatic with this diminishment of access to Russian state owned content.

And by the way, we've just received a statement in response from Russia today saying in part the establishment the so called establishment is "terrified of the mere presence of any outside voice". So they're basically arguing we are just an alternative, we're just presenting an alternative.


STELTER: And look, when I turned on Russia today for a few minutes yesterday, they were talking about us, they're talking about CNN, and they were ignoring the actual war that's unfolding. So some of what they do is disinformation.

Sometimes it's just about turning a blind eye and being in denial about what's going on. But clearly Facebook, Google, Twitter, even TikTok, even Roku, you mentioned Roku, one of the TV distributors, that makes your internet connected TV work, all of them basically siding against Russia and against Russia today.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. And that tells you something. I mean, trust at this moment is so important, Brian. And it brings me to a story that we ourselves covered many times in the last few days, it was the story about the 13 Ukrainian soldiers that were defending Snake Island, and we heard the recording of their voices telling Russian forces to eff- off.

And then we believed and the president said he believed that they die too fast forward to yesterday, and the belief is actually that they're alive and well. I know you've covered this fog of war reporting issue where things may present themselves later that are different. How do we handle this? And how should this is handled? What do you --?

STELTER: Right. And the reason why everyone knows that fog of war cliche, because it is true, it is very real. In fact, I would argue the fog is getting even denser in an era of so much information, because you do have accurate reports coming in people trying to portray information the best they can brave reporters on the ground from our network and others.

But then you also have people who are sharing content that's out of date that might be years old. In the case of something like Snake Island, you have military reports that are as accurate as they can possibly be at the time.

But in an environment where the fog is so dense, they just don't know what happened. They just don't know the reality. I think two things are true, Julie, its incredible first of all, that that audio came out in the first place, and that audio became a rallying cry for much of the world. The message from those soldiers, its Nick Island was showing up on protest signs in Washington within hours. That's how connected our world is. We've moved from having a world of 10 sets of eyes to 10,000 sets of eyes. But that doesn't always mean we can see clearly. We have to remember that right now.

CHATTERLEY: We do, Brian, great to chat to you. Thank you.

STELTER: Thanks.


ANDERSON: Well from TikTok videos and tanks in Belgrade to telegram clips of strikes near Kyiv, social media footage, of course, playing a key role in the news coverage for the battle for Ukraine.

But making sure the images are real, is crucial amid a misinformation campaign. Here's Investigative Researcher Katie Polglase with an explanation of how CNN separates the truth from fiction.

KATIE POLGLASE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE RESEARCHER: Social Media footage has played a key role in our coverage of Ukraine making us able to identify military movements and also possible attacks.

But it's also really important that we understand the footage is real and accurate and current and so, one of the ways that we've been doing this is by geo locating that footage. And here's an example of how our investigative team has been doing that.

It was an alarming scene. Russian helicopters flying suspiciously low over an area just a few kilometers outside of Ukraine's capital Kyiv, with large dark plumes of smoke rising. The man filming says about 20 of them flew by.

And at the time this video first started circulating on social media February 24. It was not yet confirmed the Russians were anywhere near Kyiv. So our investigative team began looking to verify it. So the most important thing is to establish that this footage is recent.

We used reverse image search engines to check the video had not been circulating before February 24. It had not. With that confirmed, we needed to establish the location. Social media post mentioned Hostomel Airport 25 kilometers outside of Kyiv. So we started there.

Using Google Earth and Yandex maps, a Russian search engine equivalent, we zoomed in on the airport and began looking for possible locations. What we then wanted to do was to geo locate it, and to geo- locate it; we did what's called a panorama.

So we created various screen grabs from the footage that looks significant. And we've hold up various different shots from the footage that showed us key identifiable structures. The main most notable one was this yellow building here.

And there's a small rooftop structure as well. You can also tell that there are some white houses and a gray structure here to the right. Using the screen grabs, we then went back to our Google Earth to find any situation, any location near the airport that matches that description.

And luckily, we found this, here's the yellow structure, and there's multiple white houses. And there's also a great structure nearby as well. And because of that arrangement because of the way they're situated, that had to be the location near the airport where this footage was filmed, so we know the date and we also know the location of that footage.

Now with that verified, we were able to put that footage to use. And so we sent this footage to CNN's Matthew Chance. And shortly afterwards he travelled to where we're geo located on a map.


POLGLASE : And he was then applied for CNN, creating an iconic moment where he was at the airport with Russian soldiers interacting with him and identifying that they were already so close to the Capital .

ANDERSON: Well, that's Katie Polglase from our investigative units reporting for you then, certainly explaining how we verify the truth. Coming up, Ukraine facing an economic crisis as the Russian attack continues. We speak to Ukraine's former Minister of Finance about the impact the war will have on Ukraine and its people that is next.


CHATTERLEY: Welcome back. Early today the Russian Prime Minister announced potential capital controls designed to stop an exodus of foreign businesses from the country. Yet there are those that believe the west still could do more in terms of sanctions on the Russian economy. Meanwhile, Ukraine suffers a humanitarian and an economic crisis as a result.


DARIA KALENIUK, CO-FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ANTI- CORRUPTION ACTION CENTER: You're talking about more sanctions Prime Minister, but Roman Abramovich is not sanction. He's in London. His children are not in the bombardments. His children are there in London.

Putin's children are in Netherlands, in Germany, in mansions, why all these mansions seized, I don't see that. I see that my family members that my team members, I say that we are cried. We don't go where to -- . This is what is happening Prime Minister.


CHATTERLEY: That was Daria Kaleniuk, Executive Director of the Anti- Corruption Action Center. And I think Boris's face said it all there. My next guest said what's happening shouldn't happen in the 21st century.

Joining us now is Natalie Jaresko. She was Ukraine's Finance Minister from 2014 to 2016, Natalie, thank you for joining us. I don't think anybody who watched that could fail to be removed, moved by what they saw. And I know it's personal for you too. You have family there, you have friends there you went back to your country to try and help. How does watching that make you feel?

NATALIE JARESKO, FORMER UKRAINIAN MINISTER OF FINANCE: It makes me feel like you can't stand to wake up anymore in the morning. The fact of the matter is this is the worst possible war that could happen in the year in Europe. And it is horrific. It is simply horrific.

Right now, just a few moments ago, Russia bombed the TV tower in the area near it in Kyiv, hitting Babyn Yar. Babyn Yar is location of Nazi atrocities in 1941, killing tens of thousands of Nazis, as well as gypsies, Ukrainians and others. We've returned full circle today.


CHATTERLEY: Natalie, I, it takes my voice away. I know you're speaking to people there. What are they saying to you? How do they think this ends?

JARESKO: There are two sides to it. Number one, everyone I know is fighting in one way or another with informational tools, pulling people together helping one another, supply chains of getting help to those who need help, join the territorial defense.

Everyone is doing everything they humanly can, no one is giving up. But at the same time, you're forced to take their children and go to the bomb shelter multiple times a day sleep at night and underground subways. I can't tell you how psychologically terrorizing what is happening are going on there.

CHATTERLEY: Do you think the west is doing enough? Natalie, in terms of the sanctions, we've seen a carve out for the energy sector, the Europeans obviously very reliant on Russian energy. I'm speaking to you in terms of someone who understands and senses what people are suffering there.

But also, as a former Minister of Finance, you can see the pressure now that the Russian economy is facing as a result.

JARESKO: It's not enough. We've gotten a good start the most meaningful sanctions to date have been the sanctions against the Central Bank of Russia, which is what's causing what you described earlier, the capital controls as well as a major devaluation in the Russian currency.

But it's not enough. And there should be no exceptions. We should be sanctioning all the state banks of Russia and Belarus, we should be sanctioning all of the oil and energy companies, oil and gas companies, excuse me, and we should go.

As my friend and colleague Daria Kaleniuk said to you, we should go and we should be sanctioning all of the elite. And I mean, the entire Duma, the entire National Security Council, the entire government of Russia, Belarus. And the wealthiest 100 oligarchs until people separate themselves from Putin, who started this war, this unprovoked war, we need to sanction all of them. And sanctions need to be effective immediately, not later in March, not in a month, but immediately.

The hope is that people will start to influence Putin, and he will stop. And then, in addition to that, frankly, speaking, every business person, we talk the talk of ESG principles all the time, we need to divest from Russia, and we need to boycott Russia.

Right now the United States, the UK, and the European Union together, are buying about a $700 million a day in Russian goods, oil, gas, chemical steel; we are financing the war indirectly. We can't finance this war for him. We need to stop.

CHATTERLEY: I mean, someone would argue it is direct, Natalie, and I think you raise a great point about this is the time if you have ESG principles, now's the time to stand up. Talk to me about Ukraine. How long on an economic on a humanitarian basis, can they afford to continue to fight?

JARESKO: They will fight to the last breath. In terms of the economy, it's at a stop as you can well imagine. This war is strangling the economy closed off the ports. Very important to the world because Ukraine is a major food producer, the second largest grain exporter after the United States of America.

This isn't going to hurt only Ukraine, the Middle East, Africa, China all imports Ukraine, Ukrainian grains. If we can't export, that grain will not be in the marketplace. The currency is weakened, but not anywhere near what it was in 2014 when I was Minister of Finance or what is happening right now in Russia.

There hasn't been a panic. And I have to say that the leadership in Ukraine President Zelensky and his leadership have been extraordinary in providing confidence to people so as to avoid that kind of panic.

But basically, there are certain cities that are completely surrounded right now or are primarily surrounded and getting food into those cities and medical equipment is going to be hard. There are groups that have established themselves, typically outside the Polish border to bring supplies into the country. But travel is getting more and more difficult in certain areas.

CHATTERLEY: Natalie, I thank you for your time and our hearts are with you and everyone involved at this moment. Natalie Jaresko, former Ukrainian Minister of Finance, thank you. All right, coming up after the break fleeing from war will take you to the Ukraine Poland border as hundreds of thousands of families search for safety.