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CNN TONIGHT: Ukraine President Zelenskyy To U.N. Security Council: "Dissolve Yourself" If You Won't Punish Russia; Top U.S. General: World Is "Becoming More Unstable"; Lviv Soccer Club Owner Vows To Change Jobs, "Become A Sniper". Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 05, 2022 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Committee Chairman, Bennie Thompson, says she answered questions. Though, he says, her answers were not especially "Broad," his words, nor overly "Chatty," also his word. In addition, the Chairman noted that he's not aware she invoked her Fifth Amendment rights.

In the committee's request, to meet with her, lawmakers said they wanted to know about her efforts, to get her father, to stop the violence. They also want, her take, on his, quote, "Mental state," in the days following January 6. As you may recall, she was with her dad, most of the day, and she was in the Oval Office, for key meetings.

Stay with CNN, for the latest, from Ukraine. The news continues. Let's go to Jake Tapper, and CNN TONIGHT.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Anderson, thank you.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Jake Tapper. And I'm live, from Ukraine.

I'm going to warn you, right now, much of what you're going to see, this hour, is graphic, and can be disturbing.

And that's exactly what, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was driving home, today, in his direct challenge, to the world. "Now that you can see what Russia did, in places, such as Bucha, Ukraine, what will you do?" he said.

Zelenskyy did not hold back, in his first address, to the United Nations Security Council, since the beginning, of this Russian invasion. He methodically detailed Russia's heinous atrocities, calling them the worst war crime, since World War II.

Then, Zelenskyy showed them, to help make the case, for further actions. Zelenskyy called for the U.N., to act immediately, to adhere to its charter, to maintain peace around the world, or to not exist at all.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Where is the security that the Security Council needs to guarantee? What is the purpose of our organization?

Either remove Russia, as an aggressor, and a source of war, so it cannot block decisions, about its own aggression, its own war.

Or, if there is no alternative, and no option, then the next option would be dissolve yourself, altogether.


TAPPER: Russia, as you might remember, holds veto power, as one of the five permanent members, of the U.N. Security Council. But Zelenskyy warns, it's turning its veto into essentially a license to kill.

According to the United Nations, at least 1,480 civilians have been killed, so far, by Russians, in Ukraine, and close to 2,200 injured. Those are just the bodies that have been discovered, so far. And they're not just being found, in places, like Bucha.

Zelenskyy notes, the death toll, is likely even higher, in other liberated towns, like Borodianka, which is also on the outskirts of Kyiv. New footage shows, that town has been destroyed.

Meanwhile, here, in Lviv, this western city has been something of a safe haven, for many Ukrainians, fleeing from the east, and the south, and the north, and the center of the country.

I met a number of displaced citizens, today, who came here, from Kyiv, and elsewhere, with their children, seeking safety. That includes two women, named Natalia (ph) and Maria (ph). Maria's (ph) husband works for the police, around Kyiv. He stayed behind. He tells her, each day, on the phone, about the horrors, he is witnessing, back home.

Here's a piece of what they wanted the world to know.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The war in Ukraine, is real. And it is true that people are being killed. It is very hard. It is true.

We want the world to know that the Russian soldiers are making safari, out of Ukrainian children. They are killing and raping women, and they are killing young men, so that they won't be able to fight, against them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We are very grateful to those who deliver the truth. Please do not stop. Do not get used to this war. Speak the truth.


TAPPER: And that is why we are here, to tell you that truth. Joining us now from the region, they escaped, as our Chief International Anchor, Christiane Amanpour. She is in Kyiv. She was just in Kharkiv, yesterday. That's to the east of Kyiv--


TAPPER: --where there have reportedly been dozens of long-range missile strikes, Russian missiles, over the last day. Christiane has some new reporting, on newly-freed Ukrainian prisoners of war.

Christiane, thanks for being with us. Your team got exclusive access, to dozens of Ukrainian soldiers, each with their own harrowing accounts. What can you tell us?

AMANPOUR: Well, Jake, they came from various parts of Ukraine, where they had been fighting, and therefore captured.

I was in Kharkiv, just yesterday, and for the previous 24 hours. There was quite a lot of artillery.

But it seems that at least then, the Russians were not trying to take the city, again. But we just don't know what will happen, as they move and concentrate further east. And soldiers are concerned, what happens if they get captured?

We were given very brief access, to a group of about 86 POWs, who were released. And that happened, because of the negotiations that are sporadically underway, between Russia and Ukraine.


And they told us, what had happened to them, once they were captured, and they were able to talk freely, upon their release, here, in Kyiv.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): Back home, and free, these former Ukrainian prisoners of war, once held by Russian forces, are greeted by friends, and colleagues, in Kyiv. Freedom for now, is the drag of a cigarette, walking on home turf, even if that means using crutches.

Bags of food are handed out to the more than 80 former Ukrainian POWs, released, in a prisoner exchange, with Russia. It's a welcome meal, and a moment to decompress, and reflect, on what many here say, was the physical and mental abuse they endured, in Russian custody.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): One POW, named Gleb, says he was captured nearly a month ago, while evacuating civilians. He was beaten, by Russian soldiers.

GLEB (through translator): They hit me, in the face, with machine gun butts, and kicked me. My front teeth were also chipped.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Anya and Dasha were in the same unit. It was shelled by Russian troops, who they say tried to break them, making them shout "Glory to Russia." And they shaved their heads, telling them that it was for hygiene purposes.

ANYA, FORMER PRISONER OF WAR: Maybe they were trying to break our spirit in some way.

DASHA, FORMER PRISONER OF WAR: It was a shock. But then, we are strong girls, you know?


AMANPOUR (voice-over): Dmytro says he was taken by Russian soldiers, in Mariupol, and suffered daily beatings, during his captivity.

DMYTRO (through translator): They would beat us five to six times, a day, for nothing. They would just take us, into the hallway, and beat us up.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): It's an ordeal, and it will take time, to heal, both mentally and physically. Though, many say, they want to go back, to their units, and continue fighting.

But before that, Gleb shows us a slip of paper, with what he says are the phone numbers, of loved ones, of prisoners still held captive, by the Russians.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): He says he will tell the families, they're still alive, and not to give up hope.


AMANPOUR: Now, Jake, right after that conversation, they went back to their units, for all sorts of care, including mental health care, and perhaps further debrief.

And it has emerged, according to the local Ukrainian prosecutor, that of the women, there were 15, who were captured.

Some of them went on to say that they had been forced to strip naked, in front of men, forced to squat, some of them, forced to recount, very loudly, Russian propaganda. Generally humiliating stuff, under interrogation. That's the latest, we've learned about some, in that group, the females there.


TAPPER: And Christiane, there are these new images, out of Mariupol that show just the massive level of destruction, there. We know, of course, tens of thousands of Ukrainians, remain trapped, in the city. These are civilians.

What more can you tell us?

AMANPOUR: Well, I mean, looking at that - looking at those images, I mean, it's Stalingrad, isn't it? It's just absolutely awful.

Today, I spoke to Red Cross spokesmen here. They've been trying, for days, to get humanitarian aid in, and civilians out. It has not happened yet. They've been prevented, from doing it. They keep trying, and they will keep trying to do it.

And they have to take something into the people there, who now, the local authorities, who remain, say Mariupol is really now, teetering, on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe. And, as we know, it remains very firmly, in the Russian sights, in order for them, to build that strategic bridge, between the east and the southern territories that they occupy.


TAPPER: Thank you so much, Christiane Amanpour, in Kyiv, Ukraine.

As Ukraine demands that the world hold Russia accountable, let's get some perspective, from the United States. John Negroponte is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He's a former Director of National Intelligence, under President George W. Bush.

Thanks for joining us, Mr. Ambassador.

So, we heard Ukrainian President Zelenskyy today, challenging the United Nations body, to expel Russia, from the U.N. Security Council. How likely is that, to happen, do you think? And what would be the significance?


Because, to expel a country, from the U.N., you have to have a proposal, from the Security Council, to the General Assembly, which would then vote on it. And obviously, Security Council is not going to be able to muster those - the support of Russia itself, and will veto any such idea.

So, it's not realistic, as a proposal. But I think that the point is, what more can be done, to try to discourage, and deter, Russia, from doing what it's doing?


And, I think, the sanctions approach, the actions, by the United States, and the other willing countries, a coalition of the willing, if you will, particularly the European Union, those are the kind of things that are going to have an effect, on their behavior. I think it's the E.U., today, by going after the Russia's coal exports, took a good first step.

But I think if we're thinking of this country, as committing war crimes, and committing all kinds of heinous acts, well then, if that's the case, which it is, then why not go after their oil exports? We shouldn't - Europe shouldn't be spending several hundred million dollars a day, buying Russian energy exports that then simply turn around, and finance their war effort. So, I think, we need to concentrate in the first instance, on the ways to hurt them in the immediate.

Reform of the U.N., and changing the United Nations, and the Security Council, and all of that might be, something to debate, later on, when the dust settles. But you can't get it done now.

And one last point about that, Franklin Roosevelt, when he agreed, to have a signup, for the United Nations, he insisted, he was absolutely adamant, and so was the Congress that we have for provision - provision for the veto, in the U.N. Security Council.

So, we too, were insistent on that, to protect what we thought were our essential interests. And I think Roosevelt thought that he would have not gotten Treaty ratified, by the Senate, if he had not obtained provision, for a veto.

So, it's important to other countries, as well as the Russians.

TAPPER: Take a listen to what we heard from U.N. Ambassador Thomas- Greenfield, today, citing credible reports that thousands of Ukrainian citizens, including children, had been taken to so-called filtration camps.


LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Reports indicate that Russian Federal Security agents are confiscating passports and IDs, taking away cellphones, and separating families, from one another. I do not need to spell out what these so-called filtration camps are reminiscent of. It's chilling, and we cannot look away.


TAPPER: The Ambassador is also calling for Russia to be removed from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Can any tangible action, against Russia, come from that, though? Or would that be purely symbolic?

NEGROPONTE: Well, I think it'd be important, it would further erode their prestige, and their standing, at the United Nations.

I think another thing we can do, is to try to work with some - on some of the countries that have refused or declined to condemn Russia, for what it's done. I'm not talking about China. We know that China's problematic, and a problematic issue.

But, for example, democratic India? A country that we have been cultivating, in recent years, and talked about the Indo-Pak relationships, and the QUAD of India, Japan, Australia, and the United States, and East Asia Pacific region, supposedly, a new and important strategic partner. And they won't condemn the Russians.

Well, that's a mistake. And, I think, we ought to work on other countries of that kind, to try to deepen Russia's sense of isolation.

But I come back to the point, I think, cutting off their energy exports, is probably the most effective single thing that can be done, in the short-term.

TAPPER: Key to the effort, to hold Putin, and the military commanders, responsible, for these atrocities, holding them accountable, is to get the Russian people, to give him up.

But we keep hearing, and just most recently, overnight, Putin spinning and lying, about what's going on, including spinning, about his country's economic hardships. He's saying that's a result of a global food shortage, not because of Western sanctions.

Is there any way that the Western world can pierce Putin's propaganda bubble, especially given how popular he is at home, which seems to only be increasing?

NEGROPONTE: Well, I think, in part, by inflicting military pain, and economic pain, on them, the body bags, the number of people who've been killed, they can - you know, you remember Lincoln saying about, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool them all the time.

And, I think, that as these deaths and casualties go up, the losses go up, the economic pain increases, I think, the word is going to get around, and people are going to have a view.


What exactly can change the internal situation, in Russia? I'm not certain. Could it be the military, who will just find it harder and harder, to carry out some of his orders? Or will it be the economic and the casualties, that pain that will cause him to change his mind?

I think, at some point, I'm not sure he can bear this kind of cost, indefinitely. And, at some point, things, we might see a change take place. But I see no alternative, to persisting, at this particular point in time.

TAPPER: Ambassador John Negroponte, thank you so much, for your time, tonight. We really appreciate it.

NEGROPONTE: Thank you.

TAPPER: You heard the plea, from one of those displaced Ukrainians, with whom I spoke, earlier in the show, asking those who deliver the truth, about this war, "Please don't stop."

We're going to bring in two of our greatest truth-tellers, ahead, who have witnessed the horrors, of this war, up close, while bringing us the truth. Fred Pleitgen, and Matthew Chance, bring us more facts, to debunk, some of the ugly fiction, about this Russian invasion. That's next.



TAPPER: We're back, live, from Lviv, Ukraine. Here, the reality of the war, as is undeniable, as the air-raid sirens that serve as a regular reminder, of the devastation that could be just over the horizon, or in the next town, or about to fall from the sky.




TAPPER: In just a few days, here, I've seen the fear, and uncertainty, and sorrow, of moms, desperately trying to get their kids, to safety.

Yet, even as our correspondents, bring the truth, to you, the facts that they see with their own eyes, and to the world, the Kremlin continues to feed its citizens, and everyone else, lies.


SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): Nobody is going to attack the people of Ukraine. I will stress: read what Putin said. No strikes on civilian infrastructure.


TAPPER: Our Fred Pleitgen, is witnessing the truth, while Matthew Chance covers, the lies being fed, to the Russian people, by the Kremlin.

Thanks for joining us.

Fred, you were in Borodianka, today. What did you see there? What are the facts, in this town that had been held, by Russian troops, for nearly a month?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the facts are, are attacks on civilian infrastructure, on a large scale, in Borodianka, but also in other places as well.

In fact, Jake, one of the things that we did today, is we drove, from Kyiv, all the way to Borodianka, which is about, say, about 70 kilometers. That's, I mean, about 50 miles. And every single town that we went through, we saw the same exact picture. Destroyed houses, destroyed infrastructure, of other nature.

You see some of the pictures here that we filmed in Borodianka, earlier today, with entire apartment blocks, flattened, in that area. The other thing that you also see, as well, is a lot of destroyed Russian tanks.

So, there's essentially two narratives that, I think, are becoming crystal clear, as this war drags on.

And one of them is the fact that the Russians got beaten badly, by the Ukrainian military. You see some destroyed Ukrainian - Russian military vehicles, right there. And, in many cases, got beaten very, very badly.

And then the fact that many civilians were harmed, in all of this. And that's something that I think you're going to see a lot more of, in the coming days.

So Russia, certainly at least here, around the Kyiv area, has lost, at least the battles here. And, in the meantime, they've also caused a lot of harms to civilians, as well, Jake.

TAPPER: And Matt, you've walked through the remains of family homes, after they were hit, by Russian airstrikes. How does the Kremlin explain, attacks on civilians that are so clearly obviously happening?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, look, I mean, what the Kremlin does is adopt a strategy, Jake, that we've seen it adopt, whenever it's accused of malign activity, for the past several years.

Whether it's the meddling in American elections, whether it's the poisoning of opponents, and the killing of dissidents, it adopts this strategy of categorical denial. It simply flatly it, through every channel it has available, to it, and every platform, says "This is not true. This did not happen. You are wrong."

And it's exactly that strategy they're using when it comes to the killings of civilians, in Bucha. It's saying that this is a staged attack. It's saying that this must have happened, after Russian troops withdrew, from the town, north of the Ukrainian capital.

And even the photographic evidence, the satellite photographs, and the video drone reports that indicate that cannot be the case? That's not enough to sort of unseat the officials, in Russia, and its propaganda machine. They're just continuing to insist that this was something they did not do. And it is simply a fate episode.

TAPPER: Fred, that's exactly what happened, in Bucha, which you witnessed firsthand.

PLEITGEN: Yes, that's exactly what happened, and what is continuing to happen, with some of the things that Russian officials are saying. We heard Sergey Lavrov. We heard the Russian Ambassador to the U.N.

But, quite frankly, on the ground there, we witnessed what really happened. And we saw the aftermath, of what really happened. And we were brought down, into a basement that the Ukrainians say, was used as an execution chamber. We saw five dead bodies.

And it was absolutely clear that the compound that this basement was in, had been used, as a Russian military base, while they occupied that area. There were Russian shooting positions there. There were Russian military meals there. There were Russian maps there. Everything was there.


And it was clear that those bodies had been laying there, for a while, namely, before the Ukrainians had taken that territory back. And that's something that, again, that we've seen, in various places, as we've been moving around this area.

In fact, just today, we were with a group of people, who unfortunately, have to collect these bodies. And we saw a person, who was gunned down, on a bicycle, a body burned beyond recognition, someone who was still stuck, in their car, after having been shot, while trying to escape, from Russian forces, while they were still in control of that area. And the people had, you know, the body collectors had to pry him out of that vehicle. It's something that's happening on a large scale here.

And when you speak, to the Ukrainian authorities, you speak to the Ukrainian people, who are in these towns, they say that the soldiers, from the Russian Federation, who were there, acted in utter disrespect, of the Ukrainian state.

We saw them deface some buildings here, and paint the "V" that they use here, in this area, the Russians did, for that - to identify their military vehicles, and paint that over Ukrainian flags, to show that they were in charge. And also deep disrespect, for Ukrainian civilians, as we saw, for instance, in Bucha, but in so many other places, in this area, as well, Jake.

TAPPER: Fred Pleitgen, Matthew Chance, thanks to both of you. Appreciate your time, this evening, for all of the Kremlin's bogus claims, about directing its fury, at just military targets.

Take a look. A Russian strike on a children's hospital. Those are ambulances getting shelled. No one on Earth would mistake them for tanks.


TAPPER: I'll bring in a Member of the Ukrainian parliament, whose family is among the millions, living in fear. That's next.



TAPPER: Disturbing new evidence, of attacks, on hospitals, and on medical workers, in Ukraine.

This video, released by military officials, in Ukraine, appears to show a bombing, outside a children's hospital, in Mykolaiv, on Monday.


TAPPER: Two parked ambulance hit, in the blast. Ukrainian officials say Russian forces are behind the attacks. Doctors Without Borders says four of its team members were wounded, as they tried to enter, an oncology hospital, a cancer hospital, in Mykolaiv. The group says several explosions went off, near their team, who witnessed at least one body, and several injured, as they ran for cover.

I'm joined, tonight, by a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, Andrii Osadchuk. He's in Kyiv.

Thank you so much for joining us.

You evacuated your three daughters, your wife, and your mom, from Kyiv, when the conflict started. How are you doing? How is your family holding up?

ANDRII OSADCHUK, UKRAINIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Yes, good evening. Thank you very much for having me here.

Yes, I was lucky, to take my family, out of Kyiv, on the 4th. I think they are bombarding of the city.

It was challenging for us, like for anybody else. So, it was very difficult journey, from Kyiv, first, to Lviv. It took us, I think, 27 hours. In a normal life, it takes seven, as maximum. But it was 27 hours journey, to Lviv. And then I was able to move daughters, out of Ukraine, to the safe place.

Now, they, like millions of other Ukrainians, somewhere in Europe. So some good people in France, give them hospitality, so they have accommodation, in France, by the way, free of charge. And that's a good example of how many of families, in Europe, helping Ukrainians, showing that we are one big European family.

TAPPER: You've been bringing attention, to the Ukrainian children, who could not make it out. What are you hearing, from families, who have not been able to evacuate?

OSADCHUK: We all shall understand the big picture of humanitarian drama in Ukraine. Because yes, almost 4 million Ukrainians left the country. And everyone shall understand that it is mostly women, with kids, and babies, and older people. Because all men are in Ukraine.

But yes, millions of others of women and kids, they are still inside of the country. I would remind everyone that Ukraine is a 40-million huge country, in the center of Europe, and millions are - is under the risk.

Yes, we defeat Russians, next to Kyiv. We defeat Russians in the north and northeast. But we still have no clue what is happening in the hundreds and dozens of villages and cities in the south, and in the east.

And after everything, what we saw in Bucha, Irpin, Borodianka, and other small cities, around Kyiv, all this massacre, and all this nightmare, we are absolutely sure that the same pictures will be in all other temporary-occupied towns, and villages, of Ukraine. And, yes, kids in particular, and women, are on the huge risks. Because for one side, we have a lot of reports on the killed kids and babies. From another side, we know for sure that rapes is one of the weapon, of Russian army.

Myself, as a member of the Law Enforcement Committee of the Parliament, we're separately dealing with the rapes now, because, for the last week, we've got so many reports, on cruelty, against women and girls.

TAPPER: What's your message, for the Russian people, so many of whom don't believe these images are real?

They're being told, by Sergey Lavrov, and Vladimir Putin, and the Kremlin, and propagandists and allies that those propagandists have, all over the world, they're being told, this isn't real.

What's your message to them?

OSADCHUK: First of all, I would like the civilized world, to understand what's going on. If you look back, to the history, of modern Russia, and to the history, of the Soviet Union, all their internal and external policies, were always built on lies.

They were lying everywhere, every time, to their partners, to their friends, to their competitors, to their own people. Russian leaders, they were lying to themselves. So lies is their DNA. That's the problem.


And again, the West is underestimate the cruelty of not only Russian leadership, but out the Russian culture. And, believe me, I am not overestimating this.

From another side, everyone in the West will understand one simple thing. It took Adolf Hitler just less than seven years to convert Germans into cruel Nazi, before he started the second world war, in 1937. He came to power in 1933.

Vladimir Putin was building fascist regime, in Russia, for 22 years. It was 22 years, of non-stop Russian propaganda, which was blaming the West, in all the scenes, which was clearly anti-NATO, anti-United States.

And unfortunately, the paramount majority of Russian citizens, they believe that Putin is right.

And we see a lot of reports, the hundreds of reports, from the ground, from Russia, when regular citizens, they are so paranoid, with all this propaganda, that they continue to support everything, what is happening in Ukraine.

Many of them are saying that, "Yes, Ukraine shall be demolished. Yes, we shall stop this, by stopping Ukraine, as a country, and things like that." So unfortunately, I do not agree with many politicians, in the West, and in United States, in particular, who are saying that there is a bad Putin and good Russian people. Unfortunately, 22 years of Russian propaganda, of fascist propaganda, is doing its terrible job.

So, that's why I call the West, and I call the United States, to stop talking to Russia leadership, and to do our job, to prove war crimes, and to increase sanctions, on Russia. It's the only thing what they will understand.

TAPPER: Member of Parliament, Andrii Osadchuk, thank you so much, for your time, this evening. We really appreciate it.

Is the world about to become a far more dangerous place than it already is? Tonight, the new warning, from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about Russia, and China. Plus, how U.S. troops could step up their presence, in Eastern Europe. That's next.



TAPPER: And we're back live, from Lviv, Ukraine. The scope of pain, we are witnessing here, is often excruciatingly personal.

But the top American General today, presented Congress, with a wider, more troubling context. He calls the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the, quote, "Greatest threat to peace and security in Europe, and perhaps the world," in more than four decades.

The Joint Chiefs Chairman, with this prediction, for where this leaves the world.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: We are now facing two global powers, China and Russia, each with significant military capabilities, both, who intend to fundamentally change the rules-based current global order.

We are entering a world that is becoming more unstable. And the potential for significant international conflict between great powers is increasing, not decreasing.


TAPPER: I'm joined now by retired Major General James "Spider" Marks.

General Marks, thanks for being with me. I guess the first question I have is, do you agree with General Milley?

MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST, U.S. ARMY (RET.): I do, Jake. I think what he is saying is crystal clear.

Look, the Chinese, we've watched the Chinese, over the course, the last couple of decades. Their military growth has been phenomenal. They have an expeditionary military, an expeditionary navy.

Their development of nukes, which they've declared, they're going to increase, and increase, in terms of their fighter aircraft, et cetera. They have absolutely described what they want to do, and are going about the business too.

The Russians, on the other hand, had this military development that they've been a part of, over a couple of decades, it's now been exposed, as being inept, primarily because the leadership is inept. That doesn't degrade what General Milley said, in terms of the threat that exists, right now.

So, completely in agreement that General Milley is spot on. We're at a point, a tremendous inflection point, where the United States has got to be able to stand up, and create partnerships that have some robust capabilities, with limited time, for reaction, as what we're seeing, in Europe, right now.

In particular, look at the Baltics. That's a primary concern. As we all understand, if we're not present, if we don't have great robust Intelligence, if we can't see the leading indicators, of what Russian kinetic activity, might look like, in that region, it's too late to respond.

We have to have a physical presence. So, we have to be able to be very, very mobile, but we have to be there, in certain capacities.

TAPPER: So, just to bring our audience, up to speed, General Milley today called for permanent troop presence in - of U.S. troops, in these Eastern European countries that are NATO allies that sometimes have small troop presences, U.S. troops, or rotations, here and there. I'm talking about Latvia, Lithuania, Poland.

But you agree with Milley, saying that there should be bases there, U.S. bases, so to deter Russia, from invading them?

MARKS: Yes, in particular, I do, Jake, in particular, what's required, fundamentally, and what the United States - I can speak for the Army.

The Army has a Forward Corps headquarters. That's in Poland. And what that means is that's a Command and Control plug. It's a portal, where you have great capacity, to see and decide. And then, you can call forward, those rapidly-deployable forces, as necessary.

What we're seeing now, is that we have little space, to deal with, terrain, if you will. Not unlike what the Israelis have been dealing with, for 4,000 years, right? They have very little room, to respond. So, they have an incredibly robust Intelligence capability. And they have essentially a nation under arms.


And so, there are rules that need to be established, within these various nations that get them more on a military footing, some type of conscription, some type of mandatory military presence, but also NATO membership need to be forward presence. And then, you can have the discussions, about what those capabilities, look for.

Clearly, you need to have a defense capability. You need to have some immediate defensive capabilities. And you need to have some long-range strike capabilities. And all of that is dependent upon very solid Intelligence, and Intelligence that we can share.

TAPPER: Thank you so much, General Marks. Good to see you, as always.


TAPPER: Amid all this horror comes so much, so many displays of humanity, so many incredible stories, all over the country, including here, in Lviv. We're going to take you inside a local soccer club that I visited, today. That's where some civilian heroes, are helping displaced strangers, feel, at home. That's next.



TAPPER: We continue now, with our live coverage, from Ukraine, where 11 million Ukrainians, and counting, have been forced, to leave their homes, since Vladimir Putin's assault, on civilians, began.

The United Nations says more than 4 million Ukrainians have fled this country, and well over 7 million remain inside the borders, but have been forced, from their homes, internally-displaced persons, is what they're called.

Many are finding refuge in this western city of Lviv, where I am, right now. Today, my team and I visited a minor league soccer club, where the owner has opened his doors, to his new home team, Ukrainian families, families he desperately hopes to protect.


TAPPER (voice-over): Under the watchful eye of this lion, a local soccer team mascot, 3-year-old Yana (ph), exhausted, finally sleeps. Yana (ph) has fled Donetsk, with her mother, and big sister, her aunt, and cousins. It is no longer safe for her, there.

But here, in Lviv, residents, like Ukrainians, across the country, are opening their homes, and businesses, to fellow citizens.

TAPPER (on camera): Vulnerable families, fleeing their homes, seeking refuge, wherever they can find it, including for this 3-year-old girl, and this 4-year-old girl, at this soccer club, in Lviv.

TAPPER (voice-over): The Galician Lions are a minor league soccer club. Their fierce fighting spirits, so far, more successful, off the field, than on.

Team executives say, their offices, emblazoned, with Lion logos, has offered a resting place, for hundreds of refugee families, such as this one, stopping in, on their way, to the border, into Poland. TAPPER (on camera): It must be very difficult to be a mother, and protect your children, at a time, like this, when there are horrible things happening?

ANASTASIA, FLED TO LVIV WITH FAMILY (through translator): Yes, it is both physically and psychologically difficult.

TAPPER (voice-over): Anastasia tells us she was a pharmacist's assistant, before the war. Her sister-in-law, Katia, an accountant. Their husbands remain back east, as their journeys likely continue soon, out of the country. Now, they say, they are open to any job, and any safe way of life, for their family.

KATIA, FLED TO LVIV WITH FAMILY (through translator): I was also a bookkeeper, worked at a company. I'm also ready to take any job.

We left, because of our children. We left our town, because we were afraid of their psychological state. We have a war, there. And we were very scared.

TAPPER (voice-over): Their oldest children, 11-year-old Yegor, and 9- year-old Valeria (ph), seem sad and confused.

TAPPER (on camera): How was the journey?

YEGOR, 11-YEARS-OLD, FLED WITH FAMILY TO LVIV (through translator): It was very long. But I'm very happy now that we are in a safe place.

TAPPER (on camera): What do you miss the most?

YEGOR (through translator): I miss my grandmother, and I would like to be back in my town. Because here, every things looks very unfamiliar to me, unknown.

TAPPER (on camera): It must be tough being a kid, and having to go through, all this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): A bit.

TAPPER (voice-over): They are after all, only 11 and 9. But they find themselves having to comfort their much younger siblings.

TAPPER (on camera): Yegor, what do you tell your little sister, in the other room, when she gets worried?

YEGOR (through translator): I tell her everything is going to be fine, and that it will end soon.

TAPPER (voice-over): Relatively, these children are lucky.

Thousands of Ukrainians, including the nation's youngest, have been killed, in Putin's brutal war. Innocent civilians murdered, in their hometowns, in their homes, many more in danger, of being next.

And that is what motivates soccer club owner, Oleg Smaliychuk.

OLEG SMALIYCHUK, SOCCER CLUB OWNER (through translator): I want to change my profession. I bought a rifle. I want to become a sniper.

I believe, after what we have seen, what happened in Bucha, the number has increased ten-folds, of people, like me, who want to join.

TAPPER (voice-over): He wants to join the Ukrainian military, he says, and go to the frontlines.

SMALIYCHUK (through translator): I definitely want to go, where I can avenge our children.

TAPPER (voice-over): Upstairs, he began to show me the sniper rifle, and ammunition, he purchased.

And as if we needed any more evidence of the threat, the people of Ukraine find themselves under, constantly, the air-raid siren, went off, while we were speaking.

Oleg did not stop. And instead, continued loading the bullets, ready to go to war for the children, under the Ukrainian flag, and under the watchful eye of the Galician Lions.



TAPPER: The club owner also told me, he thinks Germany's reluctance, to completely shut off Russian gas imports, is partly to blame, for the ongoing war. Those, of course, will be the sanctions that Putin probably fears the most.

We'll be right back.


TAPPER: Thanks for watching. I'll be back, again, tomorrow night, at 9 P.M. Eastern, for CNN TONIGHT, live from Ukraine.

And I will see you tomorrow afternoon, on "THE LEAD," beginning at 4 P.M. Eastern.

"DON LEMON TONIGHT," starts right now. Hey, Don?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST, DON LEMON TONIGHT: Hey, Jake, before I let you go, man, that soccer owner, you interviewed, in that report, quite a character. Tell me more. What else did he have to say?

TAPPER: Well, it's interesting. I asked him about Putin, and how angry he is at Putin. And obviously, he's very angry at Putin.

But he also had some words, for former German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.