tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN March 14, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PDT
journalists and targeting the innocent, it is depraved. it tells you what's happening on the ground there. that's the story we're seeing every single day in ukraine. >> a disregard for human life. it is playing out moment by moment. cnn's coverage continues right now. right now a fourth round of attempted peace talks is under way, but the fact is on the ground, russia's brutal assault across ukraine not letting up. in the capital city of kyiv, an attack on a residential area has killed at least one person, an attack like so many we've seen in the country. a very good morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. >> i'm erica hill. several heavy explosions reverberating across the city this morning. the damage you see here on your
screen is apparently the result of a russian missile intercepted by ukrainian air defense batteries. meantime in the besieged city of mariupol, we're told that city completely surrounded. there's new video showing russian tanks firing at residential buildings. officials say 2,500 people have been killed across that city so far. among them this pregnant woman and her baby injured when a maternity hospital was bombed last week. >> russia says it's only striking military targets. the facts, your eyes tell a different story. this is what we're seeing in the south. intensifying attacks in the west of the country, too, a barrage of russian missiles struck a military base 11 miles from ukraine's border with poland, a nato ally. those missiles left dead and injured. satellite images show that the ukrainian military stopped an attempt by russian forces to
cross the irpin river on a pontoon bridge. cnn following every major development across ukraine as well as here in washington. cnn chief international correspondent clarissa ward is in the capital kyiv. clarissa, it was an active morning there. you heard a lot of explosions and saw missiles streak through the sky. tell us what's going on exactly. >> reporter: there's been a lot of fighting this morning, jim. in fact, the microphone won't pick up on it here. there's still a continuous rumble going on in that direction. it sounds not just like incoming, but also outgoing because ukraine forces have certainly been putting up quite a fight against the russian forces as they try to encircle the capital. you mentioned those three loud explosions that we heard late this morning ukraine time. they came from that direction, and what we believe they were is
essentially a ukrainian missile defense system trying to take down a russian jet. my cameraman was able to capture an image of the contrails of that jet plane. it doesn't appear it was taken down. we certainly heard a lot of noise as those ukrainian missile defense systems were activated. also this morning, as you mentioned, a very close call for residents in a building in obilon which is a key suburb, really just five steps on the ground, on the metro from here oochs. this is a residential apartment building. one person was killed, several injured. but when you see the damage to that building, jim, you really -- frankly, it's a miracle there weren't more people killed. having said that, millions -- it's believed 2 million people have already fled the city of kyiv, although there are thousands of people pouring in
every day from the suburbs which continue to be hit hard. one more thing you mentioned those negotiations between ukrainian and russian delegations. they have been under way. president volodymyr zelenskyy put out another video statement where he said, quote, that the meeting is on going, everyone is waiting for news and we will report this evening. this is the fourth time ukrainian and russian delegation have held these talks. obviously this time they're not in person. it's being done over video conference. but still, a huge amount of expectation, not necessarily i should say optimism, but certainly anticipation, hoping this could potentially bring about some kind of a cease-fire, although people are waiting to get their hopes up, jim. >> clarissa, appreciate it. thank you. want to bring in cnn international correspondent scott mclean who is live in lviv t. mayor's office in mariupol
has said that civilians are finally able to get out of the city through a humanitarian corridor. what more do we know about that corridor? >> reporter: finally a little bit of good news from mariupol, a city that's been under siege for a week or more. many people have been sheltering in frigid cold basements. the international red cross says many people are running out of food if they haven't already run out of food. obviously it's a dangerous situation for adults. it's even more dangerous for children. so the mayor's office now saying there is a working humanitarian corridor out of the city through to zaporizhzhia. it has to go through one russian-controlled area. for the time being, the mayor's office says some 50 private vehicles have been able to get out via that corridor. we don't have an update at this stage of the game as of the status of the humanitarian aid which ukraine has been trying to
send into that area. at last word it was stalled about 50 miles outside of the city. it is badly, badly needed. the red cross has been serving as a mediator between the two parties on the ground to try to implement these corridors have been pleading with the sides to agree on the specifics of where and when these corridors will be operational and to respect whatever it is that has been agreed to. it's been very difficult to get information as to who has agreed to what. we know that last wednesday there was an agreement in place for about 12 hours for there to be a cease-fire to allow people to get out. on that day the russians bombed a hospital. we're just finding out today one of the pregnant women who was photographed on that day, both her and her baby had died. the surgeon who tried to save their lives in the aftermath said they did an emergency c section to try to at least save the baby. he was taken out without any vital signs. resuscitation on both of them obviously failed. it is a dire situation there in
mariupol, but perhaps a little bit of good news coming. one other thing to mention, erica, obviously where i am in lviv feels like a million miles away from where clarissa is in kyiv and certainly from what they're experiencing in mariupol. this could be any european c capital on any day of the week. i spoke to one family from kharkiv who sent a week in a cellar. as the russian air strikes get closer and closer to lviv and inch further and further west in ukraine, a lot of these people here may soon be headed for the exits. >> scott mclean, that is a sad fact. it's been something of a lifeboat, the city of lviv. good to have you there. please stay safe. as russia expands its military assault across ukraine, a senior u.s. official says russia has asked china for military assistance in ukraine. i'm told moscow's request
includes military drones. we're also told russia is seeking economic assistance from china as well. cnn national security correspondent kylie atwood from the state department. this is potentially significant if china were to accept this request, it would put russia and china on one side of the war in ukraine, u.s. and nato on the other. do we know china's response yet? >> a u.s. official i spoke with indicated that china had responded but wouldn't detail what that response actually looked like. jim, it's significant these reports are out there today because national security adviser jake sullivan is meeting today with his chinese counterpart. rest assured that this coppic is going to come up in those discussions. i want us to listen to what jake sullivan, the national security adviser said to dana bash over the weekend about how clear the united states has been with china about the consequences they will face if they provide economic or military support to russia at this time.
>> we are communicating directly privately to beijing that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions, invasion efforts or support to russia to backfill them. we will not allow that to go forward and allow there to be a lifeline to russia from these economic sanctions from any country anywhere in the world. >> now, it's also significant the timing of these requests that we are reporting that have come from russia to china. they came after the invasion already occurred. u.s. officials have said they believe china knew that russia was planning this invasion. but the fact that these requests came into china after russia was already embarking on this invasion is significant. we don't know exactly why those requests came at that time, but, of course, we have reported that russia has faced logistical problems, fuel shortages and the like as it has gone forth where this invasion.
i also want to note that the u.s. -- excuse me -- the chinese embassy spokesperson here in washington said they had no idea about these requests and said it's china's intent for this to not turn into a full-blown crisis, to try and maintain it. jim. >> we'll be watching to see what happens there. thank you. joining us retired army brigadier general peter zach. when we look at a potential for chinese involvement, we have stern warning from jake sullivan there would absolutely be consequences. realistically what would those consequences be and are they enough to deter any chinese involvement or help from russia? >> good morning. yes, the russia-china relationship is key to parse out. let's remember that around the 4th of february -- my god, just
five, six week ago. vladimir putin was in beijing for the opening of the beijing winter olympics. to some of us he appeared to be a bit obsequious, obviously knowing in his mind that the russians were going to launch after the olympics. i have no idea what was said or not said, but i do believe that the message from the chinese was, whatever you do, don't mess with our olympics. china is a so-called strategic partner of russia. that doesn't mean it wants to go to war on behalf, but it is being uncomfortably in my mind dragged into something. china, unlike russia, is very integrated into the global market. sanctions and measures will certainly, if you will, stunt,
if you will, chinese long-term plans and they do think long. but lastly, china would see itself weakened, isolated if russia actually were to badly fail because they have each other's back diplomatically, economically and in the worst case militarily. what that means and how far the chinese would go, we all don't know which is why it's right that people are having or will be having hard discussions with xi jinping's regime. >> general zwack there's been a public debate about the support. the latest over whether to supply these polish fighter jets. i've been told that that is less impactful than air defense systems. that those have proven more crucial to ukraine's military defense and that is the focus now, not just the stinger
shoulder-fired missiles, but perhaps mobile more sophisticated surface-to-air missiles. do you agree those weapons systems are more impactful and should be the focus rather than fighter jets? >> yes. i'm on the record at being against at this time a no-fly zone and actually having our fingerprints, putting in mig 29s and all that. we have to pull back, and i pull my own mind back. my god, russians are in the middle of a continuing, unprovoked brutal aggression of a peaceful country. yes, i'm all for the sanctions. but something more increasing needs to happen. yes, you can bring in platforms into western ukraine, lviv and in that area. but the russians, we just have to be ready.
the russians will come after them. we have to be ready for the consequences even if they were to go cross-border to interdict platforms coming over. >> how much of that planning is actively happening right now? i think we're hearing a couple of different messages out of washington. we're seeing a real push from members of congress, perhaps a slightly more reserved reaction in some cases from the administration. give us a sense, based on your experience, how ready is the u.s., how ready are nato partners if for some reason there is a russian attack? we keep hearing about the protections in place. but realistically what's happening right now? >> i think that increasingly -- >> frustrated by the fact that his forces are not making the kind of progress that he thought they would make against major cities including kyiv, that he's expanding the number of targets, that he is lashing out and that
he is trying to cause damage in every part of the country. >> general, sorry about that. we inadvertently rolled a bit of sound of jake sullivan making that point again. please continue what you were saying. >> we all have to be flexible. i want to emphasize that this should not be about the u.s. and nato. this is the u.s. and europe, and there are other nations in the eu, neutrals, that this is the time, everybody needs to be focused. yes, there is -- i think what we're seeing with the hit of the training ground which has been open for 25-plus years, plus this is where ukrainians have been involved in afghan peacekeeping with us and nato and iraq. this is far more than just a nato staging base. it's a partnership, a lot of neutral countries have trained in there. yes, the russians are now taking the conflict into western
ukraine. they know in their minds to finish it, they've got to finish the west which is even harder core than the east. if kyiv falls, there's no guarantee that the conflict is going to stop because of western ukraine, its proximity to european nations. so we're far from over. >> no question. it shows the nationwide am ambitions of russia as they carry out missile attacks across the country. brigadier general richard zwack, thank you so much. i spoke to volunteers from countries around the world including the u.s. who have been stepping up offering to fight, in some cases die, to defend ukraine. the reason they are putting their lives on the line for a country that's not even their own, that's just ahead. also, fourth round of peace talks under way. up next we'll speak to kurt
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the ukrainian side of launching that missile. >> people caught in the crossfire, sometimes the target of russian fire. right now a fourth round of talks between ukrainian and russian negotiators are on going. ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy calls the talks, understandably, difficult. this comes after several more civilians were killed in a series of russian attacks across ukraine over the weekend. some seem deliberately aimed at civilians. joining us the former u.s. ambassador to nato, kurt volker, now a senior adviser for the atlantic council. good to have you on this morning. thanks for taking the time. >> thank you. >> you've been involved in your share of talks, discussions, including with the russians. do you see these negotiations between russia and ukraine, given that russia's positions remain the same and its military advance remain aggressive, do you think they're good-faith talks or a delay tactic by russia? >> i think that they are delay
tactic, if you will, or just a window dressing for russia's military aggression. they have no serious interest in finding a solution right now. they are pressing their military further and further toward kyiv and other cities. i think they're becoming more desperate as they reach for additional tactics such as bombing civilians and talking about bwus. >> speaking of russia's desperation, if you want to call it that, or at least need, it's our reporting that russia has reached out to china for military and economic assistance. the kremlin's request i'm told includes a request for military drones. does this make what to this point has been theoretical talk about expansion of the war to something involving a world war-like conflict, to have russia and china on one side and the u.s. and nato on the other. what are the dangers? >> this is a huge danger.
i don't think the chinese, i don't think they want to get sucked into this. they wouldn't mind helping russia on the financial side because they have an advantage to breaking up the western-led economic order of the world. militarily they'll be cautious. if they were to become more involved, that would be one more element of internationalization of this. putin has already used the territory of belarus, and i would not at all be surprised to see he ends up hitting nato forces even by accident as we're supplying the ukrainians and he's trying to knock out those supplies. >> you're aware of the public debate right now about the level of u.s. military assistance for ukraine. you're sending a whole host of weapons that have had an impact on the battlefield but have taken a no-fly zone off the table, also sending these mig 29s from poland to ukraine. do you believe there should be more aggressive u.s. military assistance, and to what degree
without stepping up to the point of american planes, for instance, shooting down russian planes? >> first off, concerning the mig 29s, i do think that is an important step to take still. i just got word over the weekend from a friend in ukraine who has a friend who was shot down in his plane. he survived. he's a pilot. he needs a new plane. i think we should try to provide them. we should also provide air defense systems and shore-to-ship systems. this attack on the base was a cruise missile from the ship. ukrainians have to back those ships away from the coast and take some out if possible. on the no-fly zone, i do support this. i think what we're seeing with the attacks on civilians is unconscionable. i do accept there's a much greater risk coming into direct contact with russian aircraft. here i think the communication has got to be very clear, we are
not seeking a conflict with russia, but we will defend ourselves if attacked. >> you were, of course, a veteran of the trump administration and testified during the impeachment of trump for his withholding of military stains to ukraine in 2019. this, of course, was in the midst of russia's first invasion of ukraine as well as occupation of crimea. as you look back on that now, do you believe that the president connecting that military assistance to political help was unacceptable and impeachable? >> i'm not going to pass judgment on impeachment. the house and the senate already played their roles on that. in terms of military assistance, as you know, itches one of the people arguing that we needed to continue and increase this. indeed, it was partly because of my efforts and those of others that we got the javelins into ukraine in 2017. we should have increased even more, and it's taken really only until this war in ukraine, russia's aggression that we are
finally upping the assistance. we should have done it long ago. >> do you believe that the president is standing in the way of assistance -- the former president weakened ukraine in the face of russian aggression at the time? >> as a practical matter, we never held up the assistance. as you know, there was a decision made by the president to put a hold on notifications to congress about assistance, and within about two months we got that lifted. i think it was a mistake to do that, and we reversed it. the arms did not stop flowing. it was just still never enough. as you said, the political signaling there is terrible. >> ambassador kurt volker, we appreciate you joining the program this morning. >> thank you. ahead, all hands on deck. russia's non-stop attacks on ukraine now threaten many people from around the world. i spoke to u.s. marines as well as others in ukraine putting their lives on the line to help defend the country.
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more news this morning on ukraine. cnn has learned that ukrainian president zelenskyy urged president biden during their latest phone call to impose more economic sanctions against russia, also to cut russia's access to international waterways. that would be a significant step. >> cnn's jeremy diamond live at
the white house this morning. what more do we know about that call? >> reporter: president biden and president zelenskyy we know spoke for about 49 minutes on friday as president biden was prepared to announce the latest tranche of sanctions against russia, including the most favored nation status as a trading partner which would damage and impact russia's economy. now, multiple sources familiar with that call say that zelenskyy, while he did thank president biden for those additional moves, he also pressed biden to go further, to cut off russia from international trade, to continue targeting the russian elite and to also try closing off russia's access to international waterways. those are several steps we know zelenskyy has been pressing u.s. officials are. so while we know he thanked him for those measures, he's urging them to go further. the united states is providing
ukraine with additional defensive materials, this weekend president biden approved an additional $200 million in arms and equipment for ukraine. that comes on top of $350 million authorized last month, bringing the total to $1.2 billion of u.s. defense assistance to ukraine over the past year. president biden has made very clear that he's going to continue to provide defensive weaponry to ukraine even providing other types of weapons like these fighter jets have not yet come through for ukraine. president biden also making clear he's going to continue to impose more economic costs on putin, saying on friday he's going to continue to squeeze putin, not just the u.s., but also in coordination with u.s. allies. >> i'm told at the pentagon, the focus less on the fighter jets and more on additional air defense systems. jeremy diamond, thanks very much. thousands of people from around the world are answering ukrainian president zelenskyy's call for foreign fighters to join the war against russian forces. so far officials in ukraine tell
me more than 20,000 volunteers and veterans from 52 countries have expressed interest in ukraine's international legion, as it's known, of fighters. in ukraine over the last month my team and i met some of those volunteers from several countries including the u.s. here is what we found. >> one of the bloodiest wars in europe since world war ii is drawing thousands of foreigners to join the fight. cavy, he goes by his military call sign, tells us he's a canadian and veteran of the war in afghanistan. >> when putin rattled the nuclear sabre, he threatened the whole world with fire. canada is right in between the u.s. and russia. that's where all these missiles that he's threatening with are going to be flying over. that's what brings me here. >> cavi is far from alone. >> there is more than 20,000 of
the military serving all over ukraine. >> roman, we asked we don't show his face for security, vets the background of all foreign volunteers. >> many of them had very good experience, even in hot spots, serving in hot spots. now it may be -- nowadays there are less of these experienced soldiers and many of them are more volunteers. they have some military experience serving in peacetimes. >> their resumes range from combat experience to no military training at all. brian, a 25-year-old from minnesota, says he served two years with the marines in okinawa, japan. >> i'm a u.s. marine. if i have to die to help these people, i will. >> ogs car from sweden has no formal military training. >> we're here to help people. hopefully it's going to be over before we reach the fronts, before we fire a bullet or save someone with medical resources.
that's the best for everyone. if that's what it comes to, we'll be there. >> david, 33 from canada, says he can help fix tires to keep ukrainian military vehicles on the road. >> if it's black and round and made out of uber, i can fix it. one of the most important things of the gears of war is keeping it moving. >> all volunteers get at least some training. while some can contribute on the battlefield, others may never see combat. >> some don't need the training and some do. as i have been told by the military, some of them remain there in this unit, in this military unit because they are not apt to this military service and they can't go to the war. >> one additional concern, the risks of deploying and arming thousands of foreign fighters around the country. >> they might be dangerous
because such people are always dangerous, but we try to check them. we try to check their biography, try to check their past as best we can. >> one desperate and urgent need are volunteers with combat medical experience. that's what brought sky barkley, a u.s. marine and mish nair to ukraine along with six other americans. >> you enrolled after 9/11 imagining the war was going to be there. did you ever imagine yourself witnesses a war in ukraine, in europe? >> no. it's totally different. this does not compare to a slow simmering insurgency. it doesn't even compare to what we saw with isis because you're talking about -- the sheer amount of missiles being launched across the country, the ability of the russians to reach out across hundreds and hundreds of kilometers and kill from that kind of distance. >> mattie, another member of sky's medical team is a travel nurse from missouri, hear to help and willing to put her life on the line to do it as she's
done before in iraq. >> yeah, it worries me a little. but i just have a heart for these people. i really want to help them. i don't see my life more valuable than their life. >> ukrainian officials made clear this is not a calling for adventurers or weekend warriors. it is service against a massive and ruthless invading army, and thousands have already answered the call. >> the training that the ukrainian military is able to offer foreign volunteers is limited. after all, the war is already under way on ukrainian soil. they will get three to 14 days of basic training, and it's not a short-term commitment. those members who come to fight, they're asked to sign on for a year commitment in ukraine. erica, it's for the long term. >> it is remarkable. i think it helps put into context, to hear from so many of
them from so many different places as to why they feel they need to be there and how they believe they can help. such a great piece, jim. thank you. >> thanks. tributes this morning pouring in for an american journalist killed by russian forces in ukraine. a close friend spoke with cnn this morning. stay with us. that's next.
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ukraine. brent renaud, an award-winning filmmaker and journalist was shot and killed by russian forces this weekend. his reporting partner, jose arredondo was shot as well. >> what happened to you? >> we were -- recrossed the first bridge in irpin. whoa were going to film other refugees leaving, and we got into a car, somebody offered to take us to another bridge and we crossed a checkpoint and they started shooting at us. so the driver turned around. they kept shooting. my friend is brent renaud. he's been shot and left behind. >> they're talking to him there as he's being treated for a gunshot wound. cnn chief correspondent brian stelzer joining us now. brian, this shooting, but several other shootings of journalists in ukraine in recent weeks, all took place as the journalists were not doing outrageous things.
they were not cowboys on the front lines, they were doing things like this team, filming refugees which our own teams have been doing as well. what does that tell us, not only about this shooting but the dangers of this war? >> that everybody is a target in this battle zone. a pair of danish journalists writing for "the daily beast," a team from sky news suddenly attacked when driving down the road. and now this team that was making a documentary about refugees simply trying to do their jobs and tell the stories of everyone else that's in the conflict zone. now brent renaud's death is sparking shock and sorrow and calls for accountability. sheila nevins who packed his projects for hab said his work was always so brave and honest. here is what one of renaud's best friends said, christof putzel told our colleague brianna keilar earlier today -- >> he had been working on a
documentary for the past year about migrants and refugees all over the world. so when this happened, obviously knew it was going to happen, so he headed over there immediately. brent was as careful as they come, yet as courageous as they come. i'm still processing that he's not coming home. >> renaud's family and friends working on getting his body home to the united states. meanwhile, you showed that video of colleague juan who was wounded in the attack. he was a teacher at columbia university. i'm told columbia is working on getting arredondo back to the u.s. as well. he was wounded as you see from this video inside the er. he'll be making his way back to the u.s. as well. >> heartbreaking. >> i was going to say the same thing, heartbreaking. it's an important reminder of just how ruthless all of this has become in ukraine. brian, thank you.
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this news just in to cnn. president volodymyr zelenskyy of ukraine will give a virtual address to congress this wednesday at 9:00 a.m. according to a letter sent to house and senate members by speaker nancy pelosi and majority leader chuck schumer, a chance here for a foreign leader and one at war now to address u.s. lawmakers
about the situation on the ground, perhaps ask, erica, for more help from the u.s. we'll be watching closely. >> absolutely, we'll definitely watch that closely. new this morning, officials say a series of shootings targeting homeless men in new york city and washington, dc are linked. police say they believe this man is behind at least five shootings, with similar circumstances, two men are dead in the wake of those shootings. brynn gingras following this for us. what more do we know, especially about this potential connection? >> two dead, others wounded over a nine day period between dc and new york city and those department, police departments both of those cities along with federal agents at the atf are trying to apprehend this person but share resources, possibly more cases linked to this person but let's go through exactly what police have found out. this is sort of a ticktock happening. the first, the man lived.
tooif days later on the eight, the man lived but then the third shooting march 9th in dc, authorities telling us they found a man who's believed to be homeless and his remains were found and determined he had gunshot and stab wounds and then police believe this suspect came here to new york city and just over the weekend, on march 12th, this saturday, two men were shot within 90 minutes of each other. one of those men has died. the second one is wounded and again, police now linking all of these incidents together. i want you to hear from the mayor of new york city about this case. >> the cases are clear and horrific. intentional act of taking a life of someone that appears because he was homeless. the video is chilling to see cold-blooded act of murder. homelessness turning into a
homicide. we need to find this person. >> you heard the mayor talk right there about surveillance video. that's where they get these images from but it is chilling, shows the actual shootings of the incident here in new york city. we're going to actually hear from the mayor both from new york and dc later today about more updates on this case but i'm being told by the nypd, they're all instructing officers to do wellness checks. people perceived to be homeless get them inside into shelters for their safety. >> brynn, appreciate it, thank you. jim? heavy fighting and explosions under way right now in the ukrainian capital of kyiv as russia and ukraine engage in what they're calling peace talks, the war certainly progressing. we're live on the ground with the latest. you'll want to see it coming up.
>> i'm jim sciutto. heavy explosions pulsating across the capital of kyiv this morning as ukraine fights desperately to hold off a russian attempt to surround the capital. this damage we're seeing there apparently caused by a russian missile intercepted by ukrainian air defense batteries, shows you the danger to civilians there. that's not the only sign of ukraine's continuing resistance. satellite images show how ukrainian forces stopped an attempt by russian vehicles to cross the irpin river on this pontoon bridge you see there. al
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