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Hala Gorani Tonight

Mariupol Rejects Russia's Demand To Surrender; At Least Eight People Killed In Attack In A Kyiv Mall; Biden's Supreme Court Pick Faces Senate Confirmation Hearing; Biden's Supreme Ct. Pick Speaks At Confirmation Hearing; Rescue Operation Underway After Plane Crash In China; Nazi Concentration Camp Survivor Killed By Russian Forces. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired March 21, 2022 - 15:00   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, and welcome, I'm Max Foster at CNN in London. Tonight, no surrender despite a devastating siege.

Ukrainians in Mariupol are defying Russian demands to lay down their arms today. A military officer says bombs are falling every ten minutes, laying

waste to the strategic port city. One of the latest target was an art school that was sheltering hundreds of people. Their fate is unknown.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls the assault on Mariupol a terror that will be remembered for centuries. He says Ukraine will never bow to Russian

ultimatums, in Mariupol or elsewhere. EU's foreign policy chief is accusing Russia of a massive war crime in Mariupol. Weeks of attacks have destroyed

apartment buildings, shopping centers, hospitals and other civilian infrastructure. Officials estimate 80 percent of homes in the city are


Hundreds of thousands of residents are still trapped without water, heat or power, as food supplies run low. A regional official says families fleeing

Mariupol by car today came under artillery fire, leaving two children critically wounded. The European Union says it's ready to impose more

sanctions on Russia. Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell spoke to reporters today in Brussels.


JOSEP BORRELL, FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF, EUROPEAN UNION: What's happening in Mariupol is a massive war crime, destroying everything. Bombarding and

killing everybody in an indiscriminate manner. This is unthinkable. We have to condemn in the strongest terms.


FOSTER: Let's have some insights into what's happening on the ground in Mariupol. I want to bring in Lieutenant General Mark Hertling; he's a CNN

military analyst who previously served as the commanding general of the United States Army Europe and the Seventh Army. Thank you so much for

joining us. Of course, we're not on the ground there, but we could see what's happening. What sort of strategy do you think the Russians are


MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Max, this is a fascinating turn in the campaign. We expected this. Now, the Russians have not been able to

achieve any of their operational or tactical or even strategic objectives. So, what they're doing is they're ravaging the cities. This is a form of


They're trying to force the will of the people of Ukraine to give up. They couldn't do it in terms of a one-on-one fight against their Ukrainian army

and the territorial, so what they have done is, they have turned to this dastardly attempt at trying to coerce the Ukrainian citizens to overcome

their will. It's not working.

You can see the power of the civilians. The power of the government of Ukraine willing to stand up under this devastating pressure. It's just

unfortunate. It is terrorism and it is, in my view, a war crime.

FOSTER: Well, we're watching people leave the city, they're having to do so on foot. Some of them are being allowed out. But the Ukrainian argument

is that they just don't trust the Russians even when they say they're going to create corridors, because they keep, you know, being found to lie on

that. They're still attacking people leaving the city. I mean, what do you think of the fact that Ukrainians are refusing to surrender? Is this

something that will affect the wider war?

HERTLING: Well, it's a combination of things. As you said, the lack of trust is certainly well-founded. Isn't it? This is the way the Russians

have conducted warfare in several cities. But to continue to strike against women and children, the civilians, the older people who are trying to get

out in humanitarian corridors, it's just -- it's just horrific.

But I think what we're seeing is the Ukrainian army and their territorial forces, their so-called militias, are continuing to fight and they're

willing to continue to fight against the Russians. And truthfully, in my view, they have the upper hand. They have -- they have turned the Russians

at every instance. They have done masterfully in terms of their tactics, and the Russian military has shown themselves to be inept in every aspect

of warfare and every aspect of conducting this fight.

The unfortunate part is that civilians are being caught in this cross fire. It is the way Russia has conducted business in places like Chechnya, Grozny

and throughout Syria, truthfully. They've attempted to push Russian -- or excuse me, they've attempted to push local civilians from one city to the

next, and even when they do move to those cities, they continue to conduct artillery strikes on their personnel. So, this is not unexpected, Max. We

have changed -- the Russians have changed from a war of annihilation to a war of attrition because they could not execute their campaign plan.


FOSTER: And there's also concern that people leaving Mariupol are being forced -- when they're allowed out, they're being forced into Russian

territory. Is this a familiar tactic?

HERTLING: It is. It is certainly a familiar tactic. We saw this in repeatedly moving -- local Syrians -- local Syrian populations from town to

town. Then those individuals thought they were in a new safe haven and the Russian and the Syrian forces would just come in, bomb them again and

strike them with artillery and force them to move to the next town until they were eventually wiped out. It's an attempt at sowing confusion. It's

an attempt at sowing chaos.

But I'd say one more thing, what it also is attempting to do is cause Ukrainian forces to make a choice between, to continue their fight against

the Russians versus protecting their own citizenry. And unfortunately, in these kind of cases, the diversion of valuable resources like engineers,

folks that regain electricity, people that will provide food, comfort, buses are all taken away from the Ukrainian military in order to support

the civilian population, and we have seen this before, certainly.

FOSTER: Lieutenant Mark -- Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, thank you so much for joining us with your insight. Well, we're going to move --


FOSTER: Further north now to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. A curfew is now in effect there, Russia continues to bombard the city, targeting

residential and business areas. The latest airstrikes destroyed a shopping mall. A Ukrainian prosecutor general says at least eight people were

killed. CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports from Kyiv.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This area of Kyiv was hit overnight into Monday, and certainly, the ammunition that was

used here seems to be absolutely massive. If we go forward, we can see over there is a mall and the parking lot of the mall where you can clearly see a

gigantic impact crater right in the middle of that parking lot. Also, there's buildings around it.

That tall building absolutely destroyed in that entire mall complex. And the buildings around here, a lot of them were badly damaged as well. What

we're hearing from the city council here in Kyiv, is they say that so far, they know of eight people who have been killed in this explosion, and

several buildings, of course, damaged including a school and a kindergarten as well. What's not clear is what exactly the military objective of all of

this may have been.

There certainly doesn't seem to be any military infrastructure close to here or at least, we haven't seen any, and also, this appears to be very

much a civilian area. One of the things that we found very remarkable here is, we are currently on the 11th floor of a building that is, you know,

pretty far away from the explosion.

We found this piece of shrapnel. This piece of shrapnel, we did not find that here on the front of the building, this went through this entire

apartment and was then found in the hallway, went through the front door, and, of course, this would have been extremely deadly for anybody who was

in its path.

The people who live here told us they bought this place about three months ago. It's a new building. Luckily, they weren't here when the explosion

took place. But if we pan down, we can see the destruction that was wrought by all of this. Obviously, a lot of glass that was broken, whole windows

blown out, and of course, anybody who would have been laying in this bed in the bedroom would have been in severe danger of massive injuries and

possibly death, especially with so much shrapnel flying around.

This is very much part of the current ongoing battle for Kyiv. The U.S. and its allies say the Russians are not making much progress in that battle and

certainly increasingly using heavy weaponry that every once in a while certainly does land in civilian areas. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kyiv, Ukraine.


FOSTER: Let's get more on the siege of Mariupol now from our Ivan Watson, he's following developments tonight for us from Dnipro. Ivan, we are

getting some stories, aren't we, from people who have managed to escape. And what are they telling the wider world about what's going on inside the


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they described living through conditions that were like hell. That besieged city was the target of daily,

hourly, almost every ten minutes bombardment from Russian artillery on the ground, from Russian warplanes bombing the city as well. And we are getting

increasingly accounts of what residents and defenders are describing as bombardment coming from warships in the Sea of Azov.

The seas of port city. So residents describing that throughout the weeks of the siege that they endured, services gradually disappeared such as

electricity and heat and running water and internet and cell phone signals. So, there were in an information black hole. People were hiding in the

basements of their buildings under the ongoing bombardment, having to venture out into danger to try to scavenge for food and for water.


And in some of those instances, artillery shells came in and killed people. So, one escapee who got out on Thursday, described having to bury three men

who had been waiting in line for water when a shell landed, having to bury them in the courtyards of the apartment buildings and marking their graves

with a crude cross from two wooden sticks.

So just an absolutely grim situation, and the regional head here of the area in Ukraine just issued a statement saying that two children are in

critical condition right now after their vehicles came under fire while trying to escape from Mariupol in two different places.

There are thousands of people who have escaped in their own cars, but as we're seeing, it is a dangerous thing to do, because the combat is still

under way, and despite multiple demands for Mariupol's defenders, Ukrainian defenders to surrender, they refused to do so right now. The siege

continues, and civilians are still caught in the middle. Max?

FOSTER: We heard earlier from Mark Hertling, that this is -- the strategy they're using there has echoes of what they did in Syria, you know, taking

a city down effectively, and then they'll move on to other cities, and that's how they eventually take over whole areas, whole countries. But at

the same time we heard from him and we've heard from Intelligence sources that it's pretty clear the Ukrainians are really struggling -- the Russians

are really struggling in their campaign right now. So, how is wider Ukraine preparing for the next onslaught after Mariupol?

WATSON: I mean, we're seeing a massive mobilization of a population. Everywhere you go, in Ukrainian-controlled territory, there are

checkpoints. There are guards. There are volunteer efforts on the civilian front, and then there is a mobilization of men to go into the territorial

defense forces, to go into the military, and there simply aren't enough flak jackets, for example, and helmets and weapons for everybody who is

volunteering right now.

So there's a massive mobilization. There seems to be a collective just revulsion at what Russia has done. Russia has chosen this war,, and

invasion, which it claims is kind of a preemptive move to prevent Ukraine from being a potential threat in the future to Russia. For the Ukrainians

today, this is an existential thread. They have been invaded by their much larger, much more powerful enemy which is targeting civilians, cities and


And We see that in Mariupol. You brought up the past Russian tactic of destroying cities. I saw that with my own eyes what had happened in the

Chechen capital of Grozny. Part of the Russian federation at the end of the '90s, a campaign led by Vladimir Putin at that time when I drove through

Grozny after the fighters had been expelled from there, with Russian military forces. It looks like a parking lot, it had been completely


And who knows how many civilian people died in the basements of that city. It was subsequently rebuilt, but that is a tactic that Russia seems to be

using as we speak around the city of Mariupol, and the people that are hiding n the basements, they get their phone calls out every once in a

while to their children outside who just escaped, and they say, oh, my God, If it was hell before, it's even worse now.

And we know of one woman who called her daughter and said, "good-bye", weeping. because she did not think she would survive the night's of Russian

bombardment. I might conclude this by saying that the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, is on record saying the Russian

armed forces do not bomb Ukrainian cities. That is not true. Max?

FOSTER: Demonstrably. Thank you so much, Ivan, in Dnipro. Still to come tonight, a NATO summit over Ukraine happens later this week. U.S. President

Joe Biden just wrapped up a phone call with multiple world leaders who want a coordinated response. And we look at the challenges faced by aid agencies

as they try to help Ukrainians in need. A conversation with a representative of the Red Cross coming up.



FOSTER: Downing Street says Moscow was behind hoax calls to two British ministers, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The calls happened last week. Wallace says on Twitter that he hung up as soon as he realized he was talking to an impostor pretending to be the

Ukrainian prime minister. The British government also says there was an attempt to contact Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, but that call was


U.S. President is now telling U.S. businesses to harden their cyber defenses immediately. He says the Russian government could soon carry out

malicious cyber activity against the U.S. Chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins joins us now. A reminder that this isn't a war just being

fought on the ground and it doesn't just affect Ukraine.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Certainly. And the White House has warned repeatedly that this is something that Russia could

do based on a response to the sanctions carried out and imposed on Russia, not just by the United States, but also by other European leaders as well.

But something seems to have shifted in their calculus of how imminent or likely this is.

And that is why President Biden has just now issued this new warning, saying that the private sector companies need to make sure that they have a

vigilant and robust cyber defense, because they say that there is evolving intelligence that shows Russia could choose to carry out a cyber attack.

Now, the White House said there is no specific evidence that a certain cyber incident is expected to happen on critical infrastructure.

Obviously, that's a major concern here in the United States, because often the government puts out these warnings about certain cyber defense methods,

but you don't always see the companies carry them out. And that is the concern that the government has about those. The basically equated it to

having a house and leaving your door unlocked. Having a house with a lock and having a house with a lock and alarm.

And obviously, the last case is the one they prefer for these private companies. And so, this is a new warning coming from the White House, and

it comes after you saw earlier today, President Biden had this big call with his counterparts in Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Ahead of this visit this week, which is going to be maybe one of the biggest of his presidency. He's going to be sitting down, having these

urgent talks with allies.

The White House did just tell reporters there will certainly be deliverables, which means those concrete outcomes coming out of this

meeting, but they say they're still finalizing what exactly those deliverables are going to look like.

FOSTER: Lots of sympathy for Zelenskyy and his team, because he is on this onslaught of these stories we're getting out, place like Mariupol. It's so

desperate. And people do want the West to do more, but when you say in terms of deliverables, will it be, you know, military help and support in

some way or?

COLLINS: It seems almost certainly that it won't be, based on what U.S. officials have said so far, because we know while President Biden there,

for example, Poland is going to -- is expected to introduce this proposal, its humanitarian mission proposal that would involve forces going into

Ukraine to help in the areas where the fighting isn't happening.


But the White House has said repeatedly, U.S. forces are not going into Ukraine. Top NATO officials have said repeatedly, NATO officials -- NATO

forces are not going into Ukraine. And so, it seems very unlikely that they've shifted it all in their thinking on that, even though it is

something Zelenskyy has called for, it's something other Ukrainian officials have called for. And one person we should note who is also not

expected to go to Ukraine is the president himself.

Because you've seen some current and former officials out of Ukraine saying that it would be a good showing of solidarity if Biden did visit. But the

White House has pointed to the fact that it's an active war zone, that they're telling regular American citizens not to go into Ukraine. And so it

seems very unlikely that President Biden himself would visit while he is in Europe this week.

FOSTER: OK, Kaitlan at the White House. Thank you very much indeed. Now, a number of people in Ukraine who have been forced from their homes because

of this war, a staggering 10 million according to the U.N. That's almost a quarter of Ukraine's total population of those 10 million, around 3.5

million have fled to neighboring countries. There are so many people willing to give, but so few ways to get humanitarian relief, frankly, to


Francesco Rocca; the president of the Red Cross is in Romania right now, overseeing efforts to both care for refugees and get supplies to those in

need. So far, more than half a million refugees have crossed from Ukraine into Romania. Francesco Rocca joins me now live from Romania. We're just

hearing there from Kaitlan at the White House how, you know, the western powers led by President Biden are going to make big promises on aid and

support to Ukraine. What do you want? What do you need?

FRANCESCO ROCCA, INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS & RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES: Well, first of all, I've been -- just spent two days with the

colleagues of the Ukraine and Red Cross. The most important need, that is the humanitarian corridor from Mariupol. If you look at the current

situation. Then, of course, if you look at the mid--term and long-term solutions, we know the support because there are millions, as you just told

a few seconds ago, that they're stranded all over Ukraine.

Blast doors or OK in the neighboring countries and all over Europe. So, but in this moment, our main concern is about access to Mariupol, not only to

evacuate people, but also to provide relief for all those that don't want to leave. The -- we're talking about hundreds of thousands of people.

FOSTER: But you're not going to get that access, are you? Surely, in the middle of -- you know, we were talking earlier about the kind of strategies

Russia uses in these situations. They are closing off the city, they are bombing it. And as you say, people need basic food stuffs but also

medicine. But you're not going to get in there. Are you?

ROCCA: No, we are not able to reach the Ukrainian Red Cross to get in with the colleagues of IFRC are still waiting for the green light on both sides.

And this is not only about food. We have to remember that we have been without -- the people who are living in that area are without electricity,

current water. So, they are in need of that routine, not only about food, and living in terrible and unbearable situation, I would say.

FOSTER: Are countries doing enough in terms of humanitarian aid? Are they getting things -- you know, support to you quickly enough or are they all


ROCCA: Well, I think -- I think that, of course, in these moments, in all the western countries, but I would say all over the world, we are seeing a

lot of solidarity. So, the issue, I think, in the short term would be not a big one or in terms of logistics. But we are improving and improving about

it, but we are concerned about the mid and long-term response, because if the situation won't be fixed in a few days, then we are talking about

people who will be stranded in the country for a long time.

And also inflation is a -- and the prices are rising also in Ukraine. And so many people are in need of food, and we are not talking now about

Mariupol, but those who are living in Kyiv, in Lviv, being --

FOSTER: Right --

ROCCA: Inside(ph) all the regions --

FOSTER: OK, Francesco Rocca, appreciate your time, thank you very much, indeed for speaking to us. We do just want to cross over to the U.S. Senate

with Joe Biden's pick for the Supreme Court, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson giving her opening remarks. Let's listen in.

KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINEE: Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Grassley, and distinguished members of the Judiciary

Committee, thank you for convening this hearing and for considering my nomination as associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.


I am humbled and honored to be here, and I am also truly grateful for the generous introductions that my former judicial colleague Judge Tom Griffith

and my close friend Professor Lisa Fairfax have so graciously provided. I'm also very thankful for the confidence that President Biden has placed in

me, and for the kindness that he and the first lady and the vice president and the second gentleman have extended to me and my family.

Today will be the fourth time that I've had the honor of appearing before this committee to be considered for confirmation. Over the past three

weeks, I have also had the honor of meeting each member of this committee separately, and I have met with 45 senators in total. Your careful

attention to my nomination demonstrates your dedication to the crucial role that the Senate plays in this constitutional process, and I thank you.

And while I'm on the subject of gratitude, I must also pause to reaffirm my thanks to God, for it is faith that sustains me at this moment, even prior

to today, I can honestly say that my life has been blessed beyond measure. The first of my many blessings is the fact that I was born in this great

nation. A little over 50 years ago, in September of 1970, Congress had enacted two Civil Rights Acts in the decade before, and like so many who

had experienced lawful racial segregation firsthand, my parents, Johnny and Ellery Brown, left their home town of Miami, Florida, and moved to

Washington D.C. to experience new freedom.

When I was born here in Washington, my parents were public school teachers, and to express both pride in their heritage and hope for the future, they

gave me an African name, Ketanji Onyika, which they were told means "lovely one". My parents taught me that unlike the many barriers that they had had

to face growing up, my path was clearer. So that if I worked hard and I believed in myself in America, I could do anything or be anything I wanted

to be.

Like so many families in this country, they worked long hours and sacrificed to provide their children every opportunity to reach their God-

given potential. My parents have been married for almost 54 years, and they're here with me today. I cannot possibly thank them enough for

everything they've done for me. I love you, mom and dad. My father in particular bears responsibility for my interest in law.

When I was 4, we moved back to Miami so that he could be a full-time law student, and we lived on the campus of the University of Miami Law School.

During those years, my mother pulled double-duty, working as the sole bread winner of our family while also guiding and inspiring 4-year-old me. My

very earliest memories are of watching my father study. He had his stack of law books on the kitchen table while I sat across from him with my stack of

coloring books.

My parents also instilled in me and my younger brother Ketaj(ph), the importance of public service. After graduating from Harvard University,

Ketaj(ph) started out as a police officer, following two of our uncles. After the September 11th attacks on our country, Ketaj(ph) volunteered for

the army and eventually became an infantry officer serving two tours of duty in the Middle East. Ketaj(ph) is here today providing his love and

support as always.

And speaking of unconditional love, I would like to introduce you to my husband of 25 years, Dr. Patrick Jackson. I have no doubt that without him

by my side from the very beginning of this incredible, professional journey, none of this would have been possible. We met in college more than

three decades ago, and since then, he's been the best husband, father and friend I could ever imagine. Patrick, I love you.


William, Patrick's identical twin brother is here as well along with his wonderful wife, Dana (ph).

Also here from Park City, Utah, are Patrick's older brother Gardie and his wife Natalie. And last but certainly not least, my very dear in-laws, the

matriarch and patriarch of the Jackson family, Pamela and Gardner Jackson, have traveled here from Boston to be with me today.

I'm saving a special moment in this introduction for my daughters, Talia and Leila. Girls, I know it has not been easy as I've tried to navigate the

challenges of juggling my career and motherhood. And I fully admit that I did not always get the balance right. But I hope that you've seen that with

hard work, determination, and love, it can be done. I am so looking forward to seeing what each of you chooses to do with your amazing lives in this

incredible country. I love you so much.

There are so many others who are not here today, but whom I need to acknowledge. I have a large extended family on both sides. They are

watching from Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado, and beyond. I also have incredible friends, three

of my college roommates came here today to support me, and I have so many other boosters, from Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Harvard undergrad,

Harvard Law School, and all throughout my professional and personal life.

I've also had extraordinary mentors, like my high school debate coach, Fran Berger, may she rest in peace. She invested fully in me, including taking

me to Harvard, the first that ever really thought of it, to enter a speech competition. Mrs. Berger believed in me, and, in turn, I believed in

myself. In the category of great mentors, it was also my good fortune to have had the chance to clerk for three brilliant jurists, U.S. District

Judge Patti Saris, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Bruce Selya, and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. These extraordinary people were exceptional

role models.

Justice Breyer, in particular, not only gave me the greatest job that any young lawyer could ever hope to have, but he also exemplifies what it means

to be a Supreme Court Justice of the highest level of skill and integrity, civility, and grace. It is extremely humbling to be considered for Justice

Breyer's seat, and I know that I could never fill his shoes. But if confirmed, I would hope to carry on his spirit.

On the day of his Supreme Court nomination, Justice Breyer said, "What is Law supposed to do, seen as a whole? It is supposed to allow all people,

all people, to live together in a society, where they have so many different views, so many different needs, to live together in a way that is

more harmonious, that is better, so that they can work productively together." I could not have said it better myself.

Members of this Committee, if I am confirmed, I commit to you that I will work productively to support and defend the Constitution and this grand

experiment of American democracy that has endured over these past 246 years.

I have been a judge for nearly a decade now, and I take that responsibility and my duty to be independent very seriously. I decide cases from a neutral

posture. I evaluate the facts, and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me, without fear or favor, consistent with my

judicial oath.

I know that my role as a judge is a limited one, that the Constitution empowers me only to decide cases and controversies that are properly

presented. And I know that my judicial role is further constrained by careful adherence to precedent.


Now, in preparing for these hearings, you may have read some of my more than 570 written decisions, and you may have also noticed that my opinions

tend to be on the long side. That is because I also believe in transparency, that people should know precisely what I think and the basis

for my decision. And all of my professional experiences, including my work as a public defender and a trial judge, have instilled in me the importance

of having each litigant know that the judge in their case has heard them, whether or not their arguments prevail in court.

During this hearing, I hope that you will see how much I love our country and the Constitution, and the rights that make us free. I stand on the

shoulders of many who have come before me, including Judge Constance Baker Motley, who was the first African American woman to be appointed to the

federal bench and with whom I share a birthday. And like Judge Motley, I have dedicated my career to ensuring that the words engraved on the front

of the Supreme Court building, "Equal Justice Under Law," are a reality and not just an ideal.

Thank you for this historic chance to join the highest Court, to work with brilliant colleagues, to inspire future generations, and to ensure liberty

and justice for all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Judge Jackson.

FOSTER: A deeply personal and patriotic statement there from Biden's Supreme Court Justice nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, personal because she

very much spoke to her family, her upbringing, how she ended up in this very top of her game, really, in the legal field. She said "My parents were

public school teachers, and to express both pride in their heritage and hope for the future, they gave me an African name, Ketanji Onyika, which

they were told means lovely one.

My parents taught me that unlike many barriers that they had had to face growing up, my path was clearer, such as if I worked hard, and believed in

myself in America, I could do anything or be anything that I wanted to be. And she's proven that to be possible, just in this moment, this nomination

and possibly of her appointment to the Supreme Court. And that will be an inspiration to so many others as well, which is something she also spoke


Now still to come tonight, a desperate attempt to reach the crash site of a China Eastern flight. What we know about what happened next.



FOSTER: A very difficult rescue operation is underway after a China Eastern Airlines plane crashed. 132 people were on board the Boeing 737. State

media report limited accessibility to the site and bad weather are hampering rescue efforts. The plane was on its way from the southwestern

city of Kunming to Guangzhou when it crashed in the mountains in the south of the country. Will Ripley has the latest for us from Taipei. Some very,

you know, upsetting images and obviously the families of the forefront of our minds.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. 132 people who were undoubtedly involved in an unsurvivable crash. We can we can say with

certainty that this crash killed everybody on board, 123 passengers, nine crew members, because there's just no way that they could have survived

based on what witnesses are describing, which is a plane, essentially in a freefall and nosedive straight towards the ground.

There's a video that's surfaced. It's closed-circuit video out of China. CNN can't verify the authenticity of the video, can't verify if this is

indeed this China Eastern airliner, but it does show what witnesses describe, a plane with no smoke plume, straightforward nose diving into the

ground, followed by a deafening explosion, flames, a huge smoke plume.

And this is in a crash site that is very remote. You're talking about a mountainous area, densely forested, only one narrow pathway in or out

according to the local fire department with mountains on three sides, no electricity. So even getting to this spot, which also is now being affected

by bad weather, is very difficult for the team of investigators that have been deployed directly by the Chinese President Xi Jinping who put out a

statement shortly after this crash saying that he's shocked and calling for it calling for a massive probe into what caused this crash.

The type of aircraft that's involved here, a Boeing 737-800, is complicating matters as well. In fact, you know, the 737 Max, which is a

totally different model of aircraft, had its own very questionable safety record after some -- after a series of crashes. And Boeing's been trying to

make improvements. China still doesn't allow the Max in the air, but they were allowing the 737-800 to fly. It's one of the most commonly used

narrow-body aircraft in the world.

Now China is grounding all Boeing 737-800s as well, as they look into what may have caused this plane to go down carrying those people. The worst air

disaster in China in more than a decade, Max. China had a slew of crashes back in the 1990's. But they've really improved their safety record in

recent years. In the past two decades or so, they've had a relatively good track record. It's been since 2010, the last aircraft fatality that China

recorded, that was when 44 passengers die when a plane overshot the runway.

So the fact that you have the Chinese president involved, you have an American company Boeing now involved, their website has gone black and

white, just like the airline's website as well, you know, in -- as a mark of respect for this investigation for these victims, and for their

families, who now are no longer asking the question. Are there survivors? Because sadly, the answer is no. But they want to know, could there even be

remains found. If this plane was really going 400 miles an hour when it went straight into that mountain, Max, aviation experts I'm speaking would

say it may be unlikely that even the passengers themselves might -- could be identified. It's a really horrific situation as these crashes often are,


FOSTER: Yes. OK. Will, thank you.

New flight tracking data from Flightradar24 shows the plane plunge more than 25,000 feet, seven kilometers, in less than two minutes. The plane had

been at the cruising altitude of 29,000 feet when it started a rapid descent. Data shows the descent stopping briefly near 10,000 feet, then

resuming. Data was lost at 3,200 feet. A mining company close to the crash site appears to court, all of this on closed-circuit cameras, an aircraft

plunging to the ground.


As Will said though, CNN hasn't been able to independently confirm the authenticity of this video or that the aircraft is China Eastern Flight

5735. But no one's arguing with it either. David Soucie is a CNN Safety Analyst and a former safety inspector for the U.S. Federal Aviation

Administration. He joins us now via Skype.

Obviously, you know, this is the work of the investigators now for them to take over. But from the data that we were just talking through there, and

the way this plane came to the ground, what would you be looking at right now?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: the first thing I'd be looking at, you can tell from those videos, if they are indeed legitimate, which we have no

reason to believe they're not at this point. But you can see that the aircraft actually does make a small turn as though it's spiraling. And that

would indicate to me, at first, I thought that it might be a German wings type situation with a suicide.

But in order to do what this aircraft did would have taken an extraordinary effort by both of the pilots. So in this case, I'm leaning more towards

some type of catastrophic failure. There's not a lot to go from on that. But first thing we'd be looking for, of course, is the cockpit voice

recorder and the data recorder. And I understand there might be some damage to those right now. But we're still early in the investigation.

FOSTER: But you're certainly looking at, you know, the steering being forced forward somehow. And you're saying you don't think that's down to a

human factor, you're saying it's down to a technical factor the way it was, you know, nose down directly?

SOUCIE: Yes, if it had gone down directly, that's correct. But I have a suspicion now after a little bit more information that I have that the --

that it's possible that if -- when the engines had gone out, and if the pilot turned the wrong direction, it could cause a spiral event which,

which means that it would stall towards that direction. And if that happened, the aircraft would have then become inverted. And then at that

point, if the pilot was pulling up, it would still actually drive the nose down. It's kind of hard to explain that. But basically, what happens is the

aircraft starts to spiral.

In that case, they wouldn't have necessarily been pushing forward on the control yoke to try to intentfully do this. So I've kind of narrowed it

down to two possibilities. One would be the intent, which is less likely at this point. But then the other would be the spiraling response to indirect

thrust pattern in the aircraft itself.

FOSTER: You're --

SOUCIE: So it's way too early to speculate but that's, too, now.

FOSTER: We saw a break in the fall as well, didn't we, according to the data. That may suggest that the pilot was trying to resolve it on the way


SOUCIE: Yes, and there is an opportunity to do that, you'd have to have the wherewithal at that point, if you're doing that downward spiral, to

actually reduce the thrust on the strong engine still, if it was an engine failure, and you'd have to have the wherewithal to do that you only have a

couple of minutes to react. And so if he had done that, and then counteracted the movement of turning towards the bad engine, then he would

have had that ability to try to rectify it.

But if it was already too far down, if the inertia has already exceeded to the level that it appears to have been, I'm not sure that it was

recoverable at that point, either.

FOSTER: Well, we're seeing the sort of conditions that the rescuers are having to work in, very remote area, bad weather as well, we understand it

now as well, according to Will. I mean, are there stories of survival in these extraordinary situations?

SOUCIE: You know, there is one story of survival that we had in the Sioux City accident, the people that survive that accident, but that was a much

different situation. And the tail of the aircraft, the pilot did a good job of trying to set that down. This is not one of those type of events, the --

you look at the site and the location of where this is, you can see it's much more similar to an accident investigation that I was involved with in

Colorado Springs, which was a 737 that went directly 90 degrees into the ground as well.

And there was no survivors and no possibility of even identifying some of the remains of the people that were on the aircraft. And that that accident

seems similar to this one in the impact zone. And the outcome of that explosion.

FOSTER: Our thoughts, as I say, are with the families at this time not having the information that they need. David Soucie, thank you.

SOUCIE: Thank you.

FOSTER: Still to come tonight, a 96-year-old man was killed by Russian forces after surviving four concentration camps during the Holocaust.



FOSTER: A 96-year-old man who survived four Nazi concentration camps during World War II has been killed in Ukraine on Friday by a Russian strike.

Boris Romanchenko's granddaughter says he was living in an apartment block in Kharkiv that was targeted by Moscow's forces. The Buchenwald Memorial

Institute says it is stunned and that he had worked intensively on the memory of Nazi crimes.

In 2012, he read an oath at a ceremony marking the liberation of Buchenwald, devoting to -- devoted to creating a new world where peace and

freedom reign.

Russia's indiscriminate bombing campaign has meant increasingly that innocent children are suffering the consequences. Among the most

vulnerable, dozens of orphaned babies and toddlers who have survived a Russian bombardment, but remain in extreme danger. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz



SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are too tiny to understand the meaning of war. But these orphans are already victim to its cruelty.

They're among the 71 children that were rescued from the hard-hit northern city of Sumy. Many are disabled, all under the age of four, some requiring

constant medical attention.

"These are the kids from a Sumy orphanage," the doctor in the video says. "They were evacuated yesterday, and miraculously they brought them here to

Kyiv. Their journey was very difficult." He says.

For two weeks, caretakers sheltered the babies and toddlers from Russian bombardment in a basement. And when a humanitarian corridor finally opened,

they made the dangerous journey here to the Capitol. Each little one arrived with an orange tag with minimal details. Name, birth date, and

their most urgent medical needs.

We were able to track down four of the children now Kyiv City Heart Center. Over shaky video connection, the staff told us of their harrowing journey.

All the children were packed across just four ambulances with only two doctors among them.


NURSE OKSANA, KYIV CITY HEART CENTER: Just for baby in the car journeyed from Sumy to Kyiv during the six hours with our doctor and just the driver.


ABDELAZIZ: Now the babies are receiving the medical attention they require. But with Russian forces shelling Kyiv, they're still not safe.


Nurse Oksana has a simple plea.


OKSANA: Children, don't die.

ABDELAZIZ: You don't want children to die?

OKSANA: Yes, yes.


ABDELAZIZ: But in an unprovoked war, where the most innocent are targeted, there are few guarantees. Salma Abdelaziz, CNN Lviv.


FOSTER: If you'd like to help people in Ukraine who may be in need of shelter, food, or water, please go to, you find several ways

you can help.

Our coverage of the crisis in Ukraine continues. I'll be back with QUEST MEANS BUSINESS after this short break. Do stay with CNN.