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Hala Gorani Tonight

Russian Forces Escalate Attacks On Civilian Areas; Foreign Ministers Of Ukraine And Russia Set To Meet In Turkey On Thursday; People Frantically Try To Board Train From Kyiv To Lviv; Czech Republic Declares Emergency To Manage Refugees; Moldova Struggles To Accommodate Refugees; Russia Detains Thousands Of Anti-War Protesters. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired March 07, 2022 - 14:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everybody, I'm Hala Gorani, we're coming to you live from CNN in London. This hour, the White House is

set to give a press briefing as Russia's devastating invasion of Ukraine continues. We'll monitor that for you and bring you any news-worthy lines.

In the meantime, let's get to the very latest. Russia is trying to bomb Ukraine into submission using human lives as leverage after it failed to

achieve its demands at a third round of talks in Belarus. Take a look.

We are seeing new attacks on cities and towns across Ukraine today. Russian forces renewed their assault on Mykolaiv, a key southern port as well as

Kharkiv to the east. And they are tightening the noose around Kyiv, attacking several districts outside the capital as they continue to

advance. Now, this video, take a look, this video shows Russian tanks taking up positions near civilian apartment blocks in Irpin.

These are civilian areas. Officials in another suburb say 13 people were killed when a bakery was shelled today. And as the death toll grows, the

top diplomats of Russia and Ukraine have agreed to meet for the first time since the war began. Sergey Lavrov on the left and Dmytro Kuleba; the

Ukrainian foreign minister are scheduled for talks Thursday in Turkey. Our Nick Paton Walsh has been doing some incredible reporting from southern

Ukraine. He joins me now live from Odessa with more on this relentless Russian military advance. What did you see, Nick?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, Hala, it is extraordinary to see how blundering, frankly, and so far, not particularly

successful the Russian military's moves along the Black Sea coast to have been. And yes, in the far eastern city of Kherson from the Black Sea, they

are in control. They're seeing a lot of civil disobedience here in Odessa, they have yet to make any move in despite warnings of amphibious landings

and air strikes.

Even from the President of Ukraine just last night In the town of Mykolaiv though, it is sort of the center of the Black Sea coast that Ukraine

controls. There's been a lot of pitched fighting, and as far as we could see so far today, civilian casualties from rocket strikes that hits

residential buildings that killed one person and injured three from what we could tell from speaking to hospital officials. But local officials talked

about a relatively successful day in which they claimed to have taken control over the international airport again.

But it's been back and forth over the past days, and we saw over the weekend just the toll that's taken on civilians in that large port city. I

should warn you the report you're about to see does contain some graphic images.


WALSH (voice-over): Putin needs it, but he's having real trouble getting it. Drive to the last Ukrainian position outside the port city of Mykolaiv,

and you can see the mess made of the Kremlin's plans. Even the Z Russian propaganda says it's from the denazification they ridiculously claim to be

enacting. Its chart, its occupants captured or dead. Their missiles on display --


WALSH: Along with their names.

(on camera): Says the army of Russia.

(voice-over): Further down this road are the rest of the Russian tanks, but one was left behind, and now farmers, pensioners and bemused locals are

picking it over. The model may be newer, but the empire it seeks to restore is long gone.


WALSH (on camera): He's just saying it goes forward, but doesn't turn around.

(voice-over): The same can't be said for its crew who fled. The Ukrainians here a little gleeful this keeps happening.

(on camera): That they left the tank or?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They needed to do that.

WALSH: Right, OK, they didn't have much of a choice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They -- yes, they didn't have another choice.

WALSH: I see.

(voice-over): Then a warning.

(on camera): There's a helicopter coming.

(voice-over): A helicopter is spotted and we have to leave. Rushing in the weapons, this David has hit the Russian Goliath with again and again.


But the Kremlin is sure to impose a cost on anyone it can.



WALSH: Grand rockets have slammed into homes regularly.



WALSH: This woman thinks she has broken her back.


WALSH: "The house collapsed on me", she says, "and then they pulled me out." There are no other patients in this hospital. All the injured treated

here died in their beds, we're told, including one 53-year-old man brought in on Sunday morning.


WALSH: Across town, the rockets' apparent cast ammunitions that seem to fall just anywhere.

(on camera): So, another rocket landed up the street here.

(voice-over): From cars, to vegetable gardens. At the morgue, the toll is growing. At least, 50 bodies, they told us, 20 of them incinerated in a

Russian missile strike on the Naval port of Alchevs'k, they said. The bodies so often of the elderly who would have survived being a Soviet

citizen, but not this.

Ruslan has worked here 13 days straight and is from Crimea where Russian state propaganda still calls this a special operation against Nazis.


WALSH: They show us the corpse of a Russian soldier and ask us to film him up close, which we don't do. Loathing here, setting deep and lasting with

each body in the ground.


WALSH: Hala, It is just hard to understand, to be honest, exactly what the Russian strategy is around these coastal cities on the Black Sea, quite

whether they feel that somehow the sustained presence in Kherson, they'll stop locals protesting their presence. There doesn't seem to be enough

Russian troops there to actually exercise control over a city of that size. In a place like Mykolaiv, these persistent, sort of blundering -- I can't

speak for the precision of the Russian operation because it is hard to have total visibility over.

But they do seem to again and again be trying to get in similar rounds and failing and losing armor, losing people and leaving behind key parts of

equipment. There's sort of a joke, frankly, that a lot of the troops in Mykolaiv are finding the best weapons they're getting are actually from the

Russians that have been left behind.

And so, when you think about a city the size of Odessa, where there's enormous Russian-speaking population, its barricades, its very western-

looking modern youth population, it is hard to imagine quite what any sensible end game could be for Moscow here, if they do indeed want to have

control over all of Ukraine.

That seems a far-fetched idea at this stage, given how badly almost two weeks of this invasion has gone so far. It's been exceptionally bloody and

brutal and indiscriminate in how it's targeted civilians, but doesn't seem to be getting Kremlin its gold. And so, you do have to wonder quite whether

the strategy remains the same, essentially voicing their frustration by firing shells at civilians or whether there's some other negotiable or

change in the strategy, which may bring an end to this. Hala?

GORANI: Yes, that is the question. I mean, we know that Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Kuleba will be meeting on Thursday in Turkey. That

was announced by Turkish officials. Is there even the tiniest bit of hope that there's some sort of off ramp there that the Russians will just try to

just ask for something deliverable and bow out?


Because this military invasion of theirs, as you've described so well, is not going according to plan.

WALSH: Yes, I mean, it's important to remember that when we've seen Russian negotiating in Syria and in Ukraine in '14 and '15, that is --

GORANI: Yes --

WALSH: Often used as a means in which to buy pause to pursue a military goal. So, it was important to remember that when Russia is negotiating or

engaging in diplomacy, it's not often in good faith. It doesn't mean to say this time that they haven't seen their own military campaign is not the

lightning advance across the country which they perhaps assault themselves it would be.

There were some indications from Kremlin officials today that they might be content with essentially the separatist areas in Crimea, kind of being let

go of by the government in Kyiv, with a promise that they won't join NATO and that would end the military campaign.

But that in itself has always been a tough sell for --

GORANI: Yes --

WALSH: Any government in Kyiv at all, particularly given how NATO membership or essentially -- is essentially in the constitution. So, it's

going to be tough in Turkey, but it may also be that Moscow is beginning to realize its position is not as strong as it thought it would be two weeks

in --

GORANI: Yes --

WALSH: And they may have a change of heart, but frankly, reading Vladimir Putin's mind, the guy who decided this was a good idea in the first place

is tough. Hala?

GORANI: Absolutely, Nick Paton Walsh, thanks very much live in Odessa. Russian shelling is apparently indiscriminate rather than targeting

military installations, Russia is forcing families of civilians to run, and then destroying the homes they leave behind. Matthew Chance takes us into

one of those houses in a town 80 kilometers outside of Kyiv.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, well, we've come inside one of the places that was affected by what was apparently random

artillery or rocket fire into this residential neighborhood. And you can see just how -- just how shattered the lives of the family here were. Look,

I mean, the windows have all been blown out obviously, all their belongings have been left behind as if they're going into hiding.

There's a picture up there of what seemed to be -- some of the people who lived in here. It was a family with some children. Apparently, they've

survived this which is good. But, of course, when you look at the situation and the way that Russians have been shelling residential areas across the

country, so many people haven't survived. And this is interesting, come and have a look. It's the -- it's the children's bedroom.

You can see over here, look, the bunk beds, the roof that's fallen down on to the top of them when that shell hit. And of course, in the panic, and in

the evacuation, the kids have left all their toys up here. You know, and it just shows you that no matter where you are in this country with Russia

attacking tanks and cities across it, lives are being shattered.


GORANI: Matthew Chance there. Well, it's been a horrific 48 hours for people in Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians, but

our reporters on the ground have witnessed scenes and uncovered evidence that contradict that claim. CNN's chief international correspondent

Clarissa Ward met people running for their lives. She and her team, Producer Brent Swails and photo journalist Scott McWhinnie even heard in

the distance Russia's bombs falling on the town of Irpin.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): There has been a steady barrage of artillery since we got here just over an hour ago,

and a never-ending stream of people just desperately trying to cross to safety.

(voice-over): Natalia tells us she was injured just a couple of hours earlier. "We tried to get some stuff out of our apartment", she says, and a

shell or something hit, and I got hit by trap mill(ph)." Still in shock, she dismisses the pain and walks away unaided. Others need more assistance.

Soldiers carry a make-shift stretcher to ferry an elderly woman to safety. President Putin has said his army is not targeting civilians. But the

exodus from Irpin tells a different story.


GORANI: So they say they're not targeting civilians, but we have disturbing video from Irpin, that shows exactly why those people were so desperate to

leave, and I must warn you that this is graphic. It shows the moment that a family died in a Russian air strike.






GORANI: You can see soldiers run to the other side of the street after the blast to help the victims. They call for a medic, but it was too late.

Civilians. This is the aftermath of a different strike. The man you see picking through the rubble lost multiple family members. A CNN team visited

that village, Markhalivka, they report that it had no strategic or military importance. So why are the Russians targeting it?

CNN has also seen evidence of cluster munitions. Weapons that create an initial blast but also contain smaller bombs that spread out. The world

condemns the use of cluster bombs. They are banned under the Geneva Conventions because they kill more civilians. And that is what's happening

in Ukraine right now. Still to come tonight, the rising costs of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in the global markets. Oil prices are hitting levels we

haven't seen since 2008, Richard Quest joins me in the studio.

And a little later, the massive refugee crisis that the war in Ukraine has created. We'll talk with the Czech Republic's foreign minister and the

mayor of Prague. They are in a refugee processing center, and they'll be joining us live.


GORANI: The U.S. and its European allies are looking into banning Russian oil imports, and now oil prices are soaring unsurprisingly. Brent crude

reached its highest level since 2008 at one point today, it also looks like Iranian crude won't be hitting the global market soon since Iran's 2015

nuclear deal has not been revived yet. So, that's not easing prices. U.S. gas prices are not just pennies away from an all-time high, meanwhile, more

western companies including Netflix are now suspending business in Russia.

"QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" anchor Richard Quest joins me now in the program. So let's talk about -- so, the U.S. is saying let's think about banning Russia

while Germany is not at all on board with this. Obviously, a huge portion of its energy needs comes from Russia.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: I think the first question is, can you?

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: I mean, it's fine to talk about it, but is it simply feasible? Is it realistic?


And the view is at the moment, no, it's not realistic to --

GORANI: Even for the U.S. to go solo?

QUEST: For the U.S. possibly because of the huge domestic -- for Europe now. It's not realistic to stop those imports of Russia oil and natural

gas. And I think you're seeing that in the price. The price may be elevated, but it will be much higher if a ban was realistically likely to

come in. It's not going to happen in the short-term because the attendant damage on western economies and our own economies will be very high.

GORANI: What kind of damage will we see even with just the increase in gas prices and energy prices that we're seeing now?

QUEST: OK, as it's --

GORANI: With inflation also rearing its --

QUEST: Which of course --

GORANI: Ugly head --

QUEST: Is already out there.


QUEST: But we see where the inflation is coming from here. It's -- the trick will be, if you like, to ensure it doesn't become systemic, it

doesn't bed in. Now, we've already got this high inflation from the pandemic which is bedding itself down. If you get another dose of

inflation, then policy makers will be very concerned. Not so much that, that they can't deal with it. But that, when the war is over, please, God,

sooner rather --

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: Than later, that they have to take stronger measures. Expect the Fed to still raise rates at its meeting in March because it has to.

GORANI: Now, the economic collapse in Russia, even if there's a reversal --

QUEST: Yes --

GORANI: Of all these sanctions, this is going to take a very long time --

QUEST: Tall --

GORANI: This is -- it absolutely -- Putin is demolishing his own economy.

QUEST: He is demolishing it, and even again, please, God, the war stops tomorrow or tonight, it would still take months, if not years to put things

right. The infrastructure of Ukraine will be the first thing. But also in Russia, how do you open up the economy after you've slowly started to pull

it apart? Remember, the Russians are printing their own cash.

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: That's inflationary.

GORANI: Of course, and the central bank does not have access to fundraising operations outside of its own borders any more --

QUEST: Nor does it have full access to its war chest if you like --

GORANI: Right --

QUEST: Or rainy day fund.

GORANI: And that's a question about how Putin finances this whole -- you know, operation --

QUEST: Oil. The question is, will somebody else buy the oil if the West pulls back on its purchases?

GORANI: And --

QUEST: Will China pick up the slack? Well, a lot of countries won't because they'll be worried about sanctions and the U.S. relationship. There will be

a buyer, but they won't get this price.

GORANI: So, what about these big corporations --


GORANI: Pulling out of Russia? Apple, Netflix, TikTok, all the big ones leaving --

QUEST: They're pulling out for several reasons.

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: Firstly, can they legally operate there?


QUEST: Now, that might be the most pusillanimous reason to actually pull out because they're saying, are we affected by sanctions? Can we transfer

the money? Can we send the goods in? The second reason, their staff. Can we actually work there realistically? And the final and perhaps the most

laudable reason, morality. They will say we don't want to be there. Very few companies are staying there.


QUEST: Most are leaving, and they're cloaking themselves in all these different reasons.

GORANI: Well, because some of the companies announced they were leaving before it became obvious that it would --

QUEST: Oh --

GORANI: Cost them in terms of sanctions to operate there --

QUEST: Right, but --

GORANI: So they really positioned themselves as kind of taking a moral --

QUEST: Yes, but let's take Maersk for example --

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: The shipping company.


QUEST: Maersk positioned itself because all these companies, they don't want to be on the -- they're not going to take the risk of sanctions.

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: They're not going to take the risk of being caught up in the middle of it. A lot of it is not going to have the biggest effect, but it's very

symbolic. For example, the credit cards, Visa and MasterCard. If you're using your cards within Russia --

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: It doesn't have any effect because --


QUEST: They have a national clearing house. But any international cards, all those oligarchs who've got Russian bank cards, they won't be able to

use them.

GORANI: So, let me -- OK, so if an oligarch, not just oligarchs by the way, I mean, you have law-abiding middle class Russian --

QUEST: Yes --

GORANI: People who want to travel abroad who may own property or companies or have interests abroad. What happens to them? If they leave Russia and

fly to -- I mean, obviously, they can't directly fly. They might fly through Azerbaijan or another country. Can they access their money?


GORANI: Not at all?

QUEST: Well, if they are trying to --

GORANI: If they have an account with HSBC --

QUEST: Yes --

GORANI: Let's say --

QUEST: Of course, they can, yes --

GORANI: I'm not seeing what --


QUEST: If they have a western bank account --

GORANI: Yes, indeed.

QUEST: If they have a western bank account, yes, they'd operate normally.


QUEST: The sanctions are not against those persons.

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: The sanctions aren't -- you know, it's a western card issued to a person who is not sanctioned.


QUEST: However, if they had a Russian card from a Russian bank --


QUEST: That is being sanctioned, then no, it won't work. You'll put -- you'll put it in the machine and it just won't --

GORANI: No, quite, but --

QUEST: Give you any money --

GORANI: Many of these Russian citizens do have western --

QUEST: Then they'll -- but then, is the person sanctioned? If the person isn't sanctioned --

GORANI: Right --

QUEST: The card will work perfectly.


QUEST: Yes --

GORANI: And there's no issue with travel? OK, so --

QUEST: Not yet. Not yet.

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: But then you would be -- then you would be penalizing the whole country. You would be penalizing the people --

GORANI: Of course --

QUEST: Who travel and are Russians and living in London who are not oligarchs and --

GORANI: Of course --


QUEST: Who are going about their lawful, proper business. They will carry on with their daily business, except if they have to transfer any

remittances to or from Russia.

GORANI: So, quick last one.


GORANI: Those individuals who are sanctioned, who may own mega mansions in London.


GORANI: Are those getting seized --

QUEST: Yes --

GORANI: Or not?

QUEST: They're getting -- well --

GORANI: And then how?

QUEST: The problem is, and I know you --

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: Want me to breathe. The problem is the complexity of a sanctions regime.


QUEST: So, for example, the Germans thought they'd taken a yacht, well, maybe not. The French have taken -- yes, let's not so fast. If you look at

the oligarchs, properties are being seized, but more importantly, Hala, properties are now under question.

GORANI: Yes --

QUEST: So all the assets of these oligarchs, nobody knows, can I sell it, can't I sell it? Will it be seized, won't it be seized? You want to go and

buy a nice big house or an apartment in Kensington that might be seized by the authorities, good luck to you.

GORANI: Well, if I had a spare 40 million pounds -- no.


Thanks very much, Richard --


GORANI: Quest for that, and we'll see you at the top of the hour --

QUEST: You will --

GORANI: In London on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS". All right, back to the humanitarian disaster. Evacuation efforts are intensifying in Kyiv as

Russian forces try to advance. People are urgently trying to board trains. We're seeing these scenes on platforms at train stations in Kyiv and

they're trying to go to Lviv in the western part of the country.

It has been a desperate scene with large crowds pushing their way into rail cars and family members saying their good-byes. And it's very difficult to

watch these images without tearing up. CNN's Clarissa Ward has this report.


WARD: This is a train that is going to be taking people to the relative safety of the western city of Lviv. And it has just been a chaotic scene

here. For the last few minutes, people have been waiting some hours for this train. There's been a lot of arguing about who is able to get on it.

You can see people are just packed in there. People were originally calling for it to be just women and children. A man tried to get on the train,

people started screaming at that man.

You can see over here, a number of people still just trying to pack onto this train. They've got their pets. They've got their family members. These

are scenes that we've seen playing out across the country, but we were at the train station about a week ago, and it was nothing like this scene.

There's definitely an intensification, an urgency as people are trying to get out of the country, out of the city as we're seeing this push on the

northwest and western parts of Kyiv.

These trains are now packed full of people who are desperately trying to get out of the city as the sense and the fear grows that Russia is sort of

tightening its noose, moving down across the south and towards the southern, western part of the city which would then mean that this city is

totally encircled, and the fear is that they will lay siege to it.

These people -- some of them have been waiting here for hours, they've been pushing, shoving, desperately trying to get out. And it's just awful to see

the fear in people's eyes. They're just frantically trying to get their loved ones out. We've seen a lot of families saying good-bye to each other,

and they're hoping that they will be able to get to the safety of Lviv.


GORANI: All right, Clarissa Ward there on the platform at the train station in Kyiv. Still to come tonight, Ukrainians are not just trying to escape to

western Ukraine, hundreds of thousands are fleeing the country altogether. We'll look at the refugee situation right now and talk with top Czech

officials about how that country is mobilizing to accommodate them.




GORANI: Facing frigid temperatures and an uncertain future, women, children, and the elderly are trying to get out of Ukraine and there are

thousands. These pictures from just across the Polish border show the reception refugees are receiving once they cross into the country. Poland

has taken in the greatest number of refugees so far, more than 1 million.

All told the U.N. Refugee Agency says more than 1.7 million people have fled into neighboring countries since the war began, more than 200,000 on

Sunday alone and the number is increasing by the day.

The Czech Republic does not border Ukraine but is just to the west of Poland and Slovakia which do. It has already taken in some 30,000 Ukrainian

refugees. And it has now declared a state of emergency to prepare to take in thousands more.

Joining me now from the new refugee center in Prague is Jan Lipavsky. He's the Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic and Zdenek Hrib is the mayor of

Prague. Thanks, gentlemen, for joining us. Let me ask you, one of the figures I saw, Foreign Minister, was that 5,000 Ukrainian refugees are

coming into the Czech Republic every day. How are you managing to process them?

JAN LIPAVSKY, CZECH FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER: And that number is maybe higher. So, hello from Prague. We have already, like, 100,000 refugees,

which are being taken care of by our system.

GORANI: Yes. And Mayor Hrib, what -- where are you now? Can you tell our viewers that it looks like a very big arena where you are in Prague? Can

you describe how -- what the setup is like to welcome these desperate refugees?

ZDENEK HRIB, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC MAYOR: Yes, Hala. Well, this is our assistance center. We've created this assistance point to be operating

24/7. This is basically a waiting room for the people who are waiting for the registration procedure to receive the visa and then also health care

insurance number. But there is a lot of people who want to undergo this procedure. We're doing over 3,000 people per day. We have already helped

15,000 people in this assistance center. So it's a quite a lot of people. And --

But we are doing maximum to make it as comfortable as it is possible. So they're waiting here, the children can play.


There are also small places for children to play and here are -- here they are basically filling in the forms they need to present at the registration


GORANI: So, are you -- Foreign Minister, are these Ukrainian citizens going to be allowed to stay in the Czech Republic? And if so, for how long?

LIPAVSKY: Yes, those people are getting visas, which are currently for the period of one year, but it can be extended as if the war would be there.

But the purpose is just for the period of war. So this is what we have decided on a governmental level. And I expect that there will be some

European solution to the whole migration crisis in the end of the day.

GORANI: Yes. And mayor, where are they sleep -- I mean, once they're processed at the center, where you are coming to us live from, where do

they then go? Do they go to private homes? Or do they go to shelters? Where do you house them?

HRIB: Yes, well, the problem is that now the housing capabilities, the accommodation capabilities, are now full in Prague. So if they need an

accommodation, which is roughly 20 percent of the people coming here to the assistance center, we refer them to another region. There is still place in

the accommodation capabilities in other regions, so we refer them to the regional assistance center.

In those regions, we arrange the transfer of those people by buses, which are provided by our firefighters, the evacuation buses. So this is all

arranged, nobody stays outside in the cold winter without no shelter.

GORANI: Sure. Well, you are doing an amazing service to those refugees coming from Ukraine. Foreign Minister, I don't have to tell you, there was

some criticism of your country's reluctance to welcome Syrian refugees, you only welcomed a few dozen, and then suspended the resettlement program

altogether. How do you respond to people who say you're treating both crises very differently, even though the refugees were going through the

same trauma? How would you respond to people saying this?

LIPAVSKY: You know, there's a Czech historical experience with 1968 when we got occupied by Soviet forces by Russians, and basically every Czech

citizen knows someone from Ukraine. So because there was a large Ukraine community working and living and studying in the Czech Republic before this

sickening Putin's war, so we are ready to help them. And we are doing maximum of what we can do, because this is something which is very natural,

though, to open our house to -- and help people and show our solidarity.

GORANI: Well, we wish you good luck, and we hope that the people who've been forced to flee can return to their homes in a peaceful Ukraine. Thank

you very much for joining us live on CNN. Jan Lipavsky is the Czech foreign minister and the mayor of Prague, Zdenek Hrib. Thank you to both of you.

To the southwest of Ukraine, the tiny and relatively poor country of Moldova is also seeing a flood of refugees. CNN's Ivan Watson is just

inside Moldova speaking with families who've just crossed leaving their lives and, in some, cases, their loved ones behind.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a family that has just crossed the border from Ukraine into Moldova. They came from the town of Nikolai

Kuleba, a scene of some pretty intense fighting. And they are some of the hundreds of people that we've seen crossing this border in just the last

couple of hours, in the cold, in the snow flurries, people with very little children in strollers, and now suddenly, refugees.

The amount of humanity that has crossed the borders from Ukraine into Moldova in just the last week and a half more than 230,000 people. I spoke

with Moldova's Prime Minister who predicts this situation will get much, much worse.



NATALIA GAVRILITA, MOLDOVAN PRIME MINISTER: So every eighth child in Moldova is now a refugee, so about three-fourths of the refugees are

actually staying with families. A lot of Ukrainians have friends or relatives in Moldova, but also regular people have just taken in Ukrainian

families into -- and invited them into their homes.

WATSON: Complete strangers?

GAVRILITA: Yes, absolutely.

WATSON: Do you think the refugee exodus will get worse in the days and weeks ahead?

GAVRILITA: I'm afraid so.


WATSON: The Moldovan government is providing free transports for people from the border. They have opened their doors to these Ukrainian refugees.

But Moldova is a small country, and clearly needs help with this. I spoke with one grandmother who was holding her 4-month-old granddaughter, who

said her home had been destroyed by Russian troops in the town of Nikolai Kuleba and she blamed Russia for this uprooting of humanity for the

uncertainty and fear and trauma that her family has been put through.

She used the Russian government's words against them, she said, Moscow says it has come to liberate us. Look at how we're being liberated from our

homeland. Ivan Watson CNN, on the Ukraine-Moldova border.


GORANI: Well, what about what's going on inside of Russia? We're hearing many reports of mass arrests of people who've been protesting the invasion

of Ukraine and risking their freedom and physical safety to do so. Salma Abdelaziz joins me now with more on what's going on. These human rights

groups who are monitoring this are saying that there have been thousands of people participating in anti-war rallies at great personal risk.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely. So we're hearing from this independent monitoring group, Hala, they tracked detentions in Russia. And

they say, on Sunday alone, more than 4,600 people were detained for being involved in protests across 140 cities, more than 140 cities in Russia.

This monitoring group also says, since the start of the invasion in Ukraine, more than 13,000 people have been detained for being involved in


Now on the part of the Russian Interior Ministry, they say that there has been 3,000 arrests for people involved in unauthorized activity. Look, what

we're trying to find out here is, what is the extent of the dissent against President Putin's invasion of Ukraine? And it's very difficult to ascertain

that for a couple of reasons. Of course, many people are fed on a diet of state media, propaganda is closely controlled by the Kremlin. That means

the information people are receiving is limited.

You do have this young generation of people who have access to social media, access to more information. But as you can see, they face detention,

they face arrest if there's any dissent against President Putin, there's been new laws passed just in the last several days that human rights groups

essentially make it same -- makes it impossible to report accurately and fairly on what's happening inside Russia.

Here's the bottom line, there might be dissent inside Russia. We don't know the extent of that dissent. We know thousands of people are being arrested.

But that has yet to change President Putin's mind.

GORANI: But interestingly, also you have celebrities who are speaking out. I mean, sports people, and TV hosts, and the rest of it inside of Russia,

we didn't see that with Crimea, we didn't see it that in 2014. This is kind of a new development. So -- that dissent at the more visible public levels

also interesting.

ABDELAZIZ: Absolutely. And you do wonder how much does an ordinary family in Russia know? Do they hear these voices of dissent? Or is state

propaganda to limit it for them to get that information? And remember, again, this tightening noose around the Kremlin, it's not just about


It's not just about demonstrations. It's about sanctions. It's about public protests. It's about this voice, this growing anger against President

Putin. But what are we seeing on the ground? Intensification of military action. So, so far, that has very little into dissuading the Kremlin from

their moves.

GORANI: Right. No impact on the fighting on the ground. Thanks very much, Salma Abdelaziz for that.

And still to come, a Ukrainian man is piecing through what's left of his life after Russian shelling destroyed his home and killed his entire

family. We'll hear from him next.



GORANI: The U.S. says Russia is deliberately attacking civilian areas in Ukraine, places with no military value like residential areas, hospitals,

even humanitarian escape corridors. By the way, we saw this in Syria when the Russians were helping the Assad regime crush the opposition. They did

the -- very much the same thing. Too many Ukrainians are losing everything including their loved ones.

Alex Marquardt shows us a village that's been torn apart by Russian shelling and speaks to a man whose grief is overwhelming.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: This small country road is now lined by piles of rubble, burned out cars, collapsed homes and

a deep crater where a Russian missile struck. The attack caught on a village security camera hit the home of Igor Mozharev in a small village of

Mykhailivka about 15 miles south of Kiev, where he lived with his family.

Now they're gone. Killed in an instant. Five family members and a friend, including his 12-year-old daughter who was disabled in an accident with a

drunk driver. His wife just 46 years old, and his son-in-law, the father of his grandchildren.

Today, Mozharev, black eye and face bruised, picked through the debris trying to find belongings and documents. There was a brief moment of

happiness when he found one of his missing cats. But the reality of how his life is forever changed has not yet sunk in.

There is simply no explanation for all of this destruction, for the deaths that happened right here. There is no military target around four miles.

This isn't a strategic village or town that needs taking. So as the Kremlin continues to deny that they are targeting civilians, it is indiscriminate

attacks like this one that show the reality of what is going on here.

Olga lives down the street. She points to a mat that was used to carry the children out of the rubble.


It's too much for Olga, and for millions across Ukraine who are in utter disbelief about what is happening to their home. Praying and pleading for

the violence to end. Alex Marquardt, CNN, Mykhailivka, Ukraine.


GORANI: Yes, many, many people around the world are still very much in utter disbelief at what's happening. Go to for information

on how you can help. Still to come tonight, the story of a bride and groom at a checkpoint just outside Kiev who decided there's no time like the

present. We'll be right back.


GORANI: While Ukrainians are enduring the unspeakable horrors of an unprovoked war on them, hundreds of civilians have died and millions of

lives upended, but in the middle of all of this, there are always, if you look for them, signs of hope and love. Paula Newton shows us a wedding that

even a war could not stop.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is love in a time of war. A military chaplain led the ceremony taking place near a checkpoint in Kiev since both

bride and groom are part of Ukraine's territorial defense unit. The venue may have been unconventional but still rings were exchanged, vows were

made, and a blessing bestowed on the happy couple who have been together for 20 years. They say an official marriage never meant much to them until


Valerie says we decided to get married because we live in challenging times. You never know what's going to happen tomorrow. His bride, Lesia,

adds we need to live in the moment. We must take as much as we can from life.

Members of their unit attended the ceremony holding white roses. And what's a wedding without cake, a champagne toast, and there was even an honored




VITALI KLITSCHKO, KYIV MAYOR: I want to give a present for everyone but the present, for every Ukrainian that finishes, it's every Ukrainian have just

one goal, to stop the war, to stop the keep the killed civilian, people, a woman's, it's huge hope for everyone not just in Ukraine.


NEWTON: A fleeting distraction and the bloodshed in Ukraine, a reminder of what the country is fighting for. Paula Newton CNN, Atlanta.


GORANI: Finally, in Lviv, a display of the spirit of Ukrainians, one bookstore has shifted its function. It is now making camouflage netting.

The people there are taking clothing donations and cutting them into pieces to turn them into camouflage. While they work, they listen to the radio for

news about what's happening on the ground.

Some of those making the net say they've lost contact with their families, but that they are still in the midst of all this anxiety, working to help

the soldiers and other civilians close to the frontlines. Thanks for watching. I'm Hala Gorani. Do stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is