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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  April 2, 2022 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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able to be in attendance and sort of a submerged commission that took place and now the real thing with all the pomp and circumstance. we heard some of the music earlier. but you see there the president arriving, lots of folks in position and in attendance waiting to hear what the president has to say as well as dr. jill biden who will be speaking about the commissioning of this submarine called the "uss delaware." it is a nuclear-powered submarine and we hope to hear more about the significance of this day from the president and the first lady. we'll continue to watch those pictures and take you back to delaware live as the president and the first lady arrive. for now, let's turn to ukraine where there are heartbreaking new developments today. ukrainian officials say a new round of russian shelling is hitting evacuation convoys and
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interrupting rail traffic in eastern ukraine. russian forces launched a series of strikes targeting a key oil refinery in the central part of the country and it comes just a day after russian officials say ukrainian helicopters swooped into russia to destroy a fuel depot. ukrainian officials still have not confirmed nor denied that they would be responsible for that. overnight, ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy giving an update on russian troop movements saying putin's forces are slowly but noticeably moving out of the north of ukraine. this morning, ukraine's flag hoisted proudly over the chernobyl nuclear power plant, once again, weeks after the facility was captured by russian forces. and there are new satellite images showing russian troops leaving a strategic airport outside of kinyiv which was
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captured on the first day of this invasion and all of this happening as new evacuations are under way in several besieged eastern ukrainian cities. seven corridors set to open today. this after thousands escaped the violence on friday. but over 100,000 still remain trapped in the ravaged city of mariupol. we have team coverage of all of these developments. ed lavandera is in the key southern port city of odesa. let's begin with cnn's phil black who is in lviv. phil, nato warned that russian forces are repositioning rather than withdrawing. what more can you tell us about what happened happening? >> yeah, that's right, frederica, ukrainian and western governments are very certain that the russians are pulling back as they said they were going to do. there's now clear evidence that that's happening as zelenskyy has said, it is most noticeable around the capital of kyiv where there were positions that the russians had maintained -- that
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they had fought for really fiercely in order to try and encircle the capital. they know really do appear to have given up on that plan. you can see it in satellite images from space. these fortified dug-in positions have simply been abandoned. that's what president zelenskyy says. some have been given up, others have been expelled or forced back as a result of ukrainian counterattacks. this is not a point of celebration here because the belief is, that these forces are going to replenish probably across the border in belarus and then they're going to be reassigned to combat positions and they believe that's what the russian -- the russian military is going to focus on. expanding its control in the east and the south and really consolidating that control, digging in there, in such a way that it could be very difficult to remove them. we've heard from a presidential adviser today. unless ukraine gets bigger, heavier weapons. they believe that sort of scenario is one that the
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ukrainian government is not currently -- ukrainian military, i should say, is not currently equipped to deal with, will not be easy to drive them in that case. meanwhile, russia has continued its campaign of striking fuel supply and storage areas all across the country. there was another one just this morning in the central ukrainian city. this is simply the latest, as i say, in a series of strikes. there was one here in lviv, just a week ago and it has been part of this concerted effort by russia to really knock out the ukrainian military's fuel supplies in the hope of destabilizing their ability to further defend the country. and it does, as you touched on, come just one day after a strike on a russian fuel supply point in russian territory in the city where attack helicopters were responsible for and yet here we are more than 24 hours later and the ukrainian government is
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still approaching this in a pretty vague, ambiguous way, insisting that it can neither confirm nor deny that ukraine was responsible for carrying out a strike as seemingly as bold as that. >> phil black, thank you. ed lavandera in odesa. russia launched a few missile strikes on friday. what more can you tell us about what's happening there? >> reporter: friday night we heard a minute-long barrage of air defense system blasting into the sky here over the city of odesa, a key port city. we understand from various military officials in ukraine that those three missiles were fired from the crimea peninsula toward the odesa region. exactly what was struck or if those missiles were intercepted, we don't know at this point. military officials saying that russia did not strike the intended targets. that's what they're saying so
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far. also, that there are several people wounded on the ground. but many more details than that have not really been exactly clear. but it really does come as a shock to this city after having enjoyed several days of relative quiet here. this strike last night here in odesa kind of reinvigorating the feelings of concern, as many people here in the odesa region bracing to try to figure out what's going to come next in this process of russian forces regrouping, resupplying and that sort of thing and trying to figure out where they're going to go next, frederica. >> thanks to both of you. appreciate it. joining me right now to talk more about the latest developments on the war in ukraine is susan glasser, a cnn global affairs analyst and a staff writer for "the new yorker." good to see you. president zelenskyy says russian troops are slowly moving out of ukraine. the pentagon believes russian
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forces are regrouping in belarus. so how do you assess what's happening? >> yeah, well, those are obviously not incompatible. basically what's happened is a little bit more than a month into the woar, russia has been driven back from kyiv and from one of its central objectives in the conflict which was to decapitate the regime and to take its capital city and that is a remarkable defeat for russia. now, it doesn't mean that the war is over. it doesn't mean that the war will end in an overall defeat for russia. but i think that's one thing we can say pretty confidently is that they have pulled back from attacking kyiv right now and that's really something that would have shocked a lot of people if you said it at the beginning of the war. >> and then, of course, these newest reports from ukrainian officials that russia is shelling evacuation convoys, which is supposed to be, you know, off limits and that's taking place in luhansk.
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this demonstrates the negotiations are rather futile. russia, vladimir putin cannot be trusted. what should the international community be doing? why does it continue to have hopes, i should say, on continued negotiations? >> look, you know, in the end, wars do end through political means, through negotiations. and so it's always worthwhile to talk even if there's very little hope in the outcome for both sides. i think you're right to be skeptical right now because of putin's failure to achieve any, any of his stated objectives in the -- launching this war of aggression so far, it's hard to see him climbing down and just sort of walking away from it in some kind of negotiation. there's not even a fake victory for him to claim yet. and so i think that's why you see this focus on acquiring territory in order, potentially, to establish that pretext. but then there's the problem for president zelenskyy which is to say at this point, negotiating away any territory does not just
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potentially open up pursuant to come back in a few years and gobble up more of ukraine. it's very hard to see that we're close at all to any kind of negotiated end to the war right now. >> russia says ukrainian helicopters struck a fuel depot in southern russia yesterday. ukraine still hasn't confirmed nor denied it. if it is true, it would be the first military strike in russia by ukraine, again, if it is true. how does that elevate this conflict? >> look, i think it's a dramatic -- it's a sort of moral booster for ukraine. it's a signal and a very unwanted one to putin that we will come after you. but it has the feel of, you know, the -- it's not a new front, per se. i don't think you're going to see ukraine doing a lot of cross border attacks, but it sends a powerful message to russia which is, we're not going to sit here
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and take it. >> of course so much is hard to believe what comes out of russia and so the u.s. has revealed this week that intelligence has -- that it could be the case that putin is being misinformed by his own advisers about how russia is doing in its invasion of ukraine. what's behind releasing that kind of information? >> well, you know, throughout this conflict, we've seen, i think, a real change in behavior on the u.s. side and almost realtime releasing of infor information. before the war they did that in order to persuade skeptical americans and european leaders that the war was happening. you'll recall that there are many commentators as well as senior officials in allied governments who just didn't believe that putin was going to use that army of 190,000 troops on ukraine's border. partially it had this purpose before the war of convincing people it was going to happen.
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now i think you see it as a front in the information war in part to needle vladimir putin and say we are making fun of how badly you misestimated and did not understand the state of your own military and the will of the ukrainian people to resist you. that's an enormous intelligence failure. remember that putin, former kgb lieutenant colonel, that's a pretty big insult, the idea that he's misinformed and he doesn't have proper intelligence. >> and now we're at the five-week point with russia invading ukraine. are the sanctioning making a huge impact? >> well, it's, you know, increasing, unfortunately, opaque what's happening in russian society. one of the terrible side effects of this war has been that it offered the excuse in the pretext for vladimir putin to destroy much of what remained of independent media inside russia and many independent journalists
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have had to leave the country fearing that they would be thrown in jail under this harsh new rule where you can't call the war a war in russia anymore. our information sources, unfortunately, are limited and there's a sense that it would take longer term. remember, russia is a major energy and oil and gas superpower in the world. that's its power. china and india and others have not cut them off. and so they still have major sources of revenue and also the europeans are still buying a certain amount of russian energy. >> and while you were talking, we were looking at some images of people lines up, large crowds, people lining up and grabbing what appeared to be rations. who would ever have thought to have seen images like this? >> well, unfortunately, there's a long and terrible history of the russian people bearing the brunt of their leaders catastrophic mistakes and this may well be a situation where ordinary russians, once again,
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are forced to absorb, you know, hardship as a result of disastrous leadership in the kremlin. >> all right. susan glasser, always great to see you. thank you so much. >> thank you. here in the united states in just a few minutes, president biden delivering remarks at the port of wilmington in delaware at the u.s. navy's commissioning of a nuclear-powered submarine. cnn's oren liebermann is live for us there in wilmington. you explained earlier that this ship has actually already been commissioned but now in a more formal way with people in attendance, including the president and the first lady. the significance of this particular nuclear-powered submarine? >> reporter: of course, not only the significance of the timeline, that sort of shifting timeline because of covid, the "uss delaware" was actually commissioned in april 2020 with the first u.s. navy ship to be commissioned at sea submerged.
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it was simply a matter of the times there, right at the beginning of the covid pandemic. there wasn't a chance for the ceremony we're seeing here behind us, part of the tradition, the history and the culture of the navy. so that will happen today. that ceremony getting started here behind me, the lieutenant commander speaking a moment ago. the world has changed between april 2020 and now. as we watch what happens with russian's invasion of ukraine and that's what we're waiting to hear. will president joe biden in his remarks make any mention of that, especially one day after the -- his administration authorized another $300 million in security assistance to ukraine. so that's what we're looking for. in terms of the ceremony itself, we'll hear from a few speakers, not only biden, but first lady jill biden. she's the sponsor of the submarine which mean she plays an important role in the submarine's history, its milestones like this one, and she becomes a part of the submarine. we expect to hear from the navy secretary and some others throughout the course of this
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commissioning ceremony and then you'll see the sort of traditional end to this when all of the sailors, some of whom are standing behind me, run onto the submarine and it's commissioned. this is being called a commission commemoration because the commissioning itself happened a couple of years ago. this is what we would normally see as part of the -- as part of the ceremony, as part of the circumstance, as part of the history behind this submarine behind me. the submarine itself has a crew of about 135. to give you an idea of scale, it's about 370 feet along, if i remember correctly, and that's what we're seeing here. the "uss delaware," again, a virginia class attack submarine, the speeches should start in just a little bit as the ceremony gets under way. we'll listen and keep you posted here. >> okay. things are under way. the delaware governor was just introduced. and then i wonder, too, oren, as we're waiting for the president who was just introduced as well, at least verbally, i'm wondering if this ceremony is kind of dual
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purpose. a, was there a decision that this was absolutely necessary particularly after covid, it was a submerged commissioning of this ship, but the other purpose is that this is the u.s.'s opportunity to flex its muscle, particularly during this russian invasion of ukraine. is that a stretch or is there some correlation? and there's the president. i'll have to cut you off if the president starts to speak. you go for now. >> reporter: there is, of course, a message behind any of these commissioning ceremonies, especially with a tool, a weapon, as powerful as a u.s. attack submarine, and that's a message not only to russia, but to the world, the power of the u.s. military force. was it necessary in terms of the culture and the tradition and history behind the navy, yes, this will be a part of any commissioning. we do expect to hear the 21-gun
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salute in a moment. i may have to cover my ears. again, it is part of that message about what the u.s. is capable of that you see this sort of commissioning ceremony and you see the importance behind it to the history of the navy and to the future of the navy here. >> also i want to bring in as we do listen now -- and there's the 21-gun salute. we'll give you a break for now. i want to bring in the former secretary of the u.s. navy. you're in a position where you will be able to hear more clearly despite the 21-gun salute there. what is your thinking about the commissioning of this nuclear submarine right now, even though it already had a ceremonial commissioning two years ago, as oren explained, and now who is the more formal commissioning. why is this important and who does this best serve? >> well, it's the -- the commissioning of a ship is an important milestone in its life
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and the fact that it was administratively commissioned a couple of years ago, you need the ceremony. you need the visual of this happening. and as was explained before, the order that the sponsor, jill biden, in this case, gives at the end of the ceremony, bringing the ship to life and the sailors running on board, that is a very powerful image and message of the american military, about our readiness and about the advanced weaponry that we have. but also the great submarines that we have. i was privileged to name the "uss delaware" and name jill biden as the sponsor and it's really important that this is happening and wonderful to see. >> i love that you said that.
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it really brings this vessel to life. it's a virginia class attack submarine. is there anything more you can tell us about what that means? i mean for those of us who are unfamiliar with the various classes of submarine, what's the distinction here? >> there are two basic classes of submarines. one, our ballistic missile submarines. that's our nuclear deterrent. they're called boomers. and then there are the fast attack submarines, like this one, like the virginia class. and they are cutting-edge, they are absolutely by a long shot the best submarines in the world. their nuclear-powered. they can go and deploy for basically for as long as is necessary and they can stay submerged for as long as is necessary. >> wow. so who gets to serve on this virginia class attack submarine?
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it sounds, just by your description, i mean, what an honor to be deployed on this type of submarine. >> well, you have a community in the navy and when you join either as an officer or enlisted and you have to volunteer for submarines. so the entire crew has to go through a huge amount of training. the officers on the ship have to go through nuclear power school, they have to go through submarine school, the enlisted have to go through a very, very tough regimen to do this. and our submarines are the best of the best. we've been -- since the mid-'50s. in spite of all of the naysayers
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who said you can't develop a nuclear power plant on a submarine, there has never been an accident, never been a nuclear problem with a submarine. >> it's incredible. i mean, the best of the best, as you say. you got to be a special breed among a special breed to be able to serve on a submarine. i've had an opportunity to visit a docked nuclear submarine. i couldn't handle it. claustrophobia, but all of our service members are in a class in and of themselves. so, secretary, we're going to take a short break for now, is my understanding, and then when we come back, perhaps the president will be speaking and, of course, we'll take that live. we'll be right back. lactaid is 100% real milk, just without the lactose. so you can enjoy it even if you're sensitive to dairy. so anyone e who says lactaid isn't real milk is also saying mabel here isn't a real cow. and d she really hates that.
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do your eyes bother you? my eyes feel like a combo of stressed, dry and sandpaper. strypaper? luckily, there's biotrue hydration boost eye drops. biotrue uses naturally inspired ingredients. and no preservatives. try biotrue! live pictures again in wilmington, delaware, you see the president of the united states and first lady dr. jill
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biden there sitting as they're listening to the remarks from delaware governor john carney. soon the introduction being made for the president and his remarks that will soon be made. all of this with the commissioning -- really the second commissioning, this one the first onland commissioning of the "uss delaware." when those remarks happen, we'll bring them to you live. meantime, new hope today for the humanitarian crisis in ukraine. several evacuation corridors are expected to open. that's according to ukraine's deputy prime minister. just last night, a massive convoy carrying civilians from war-torn mariupol arrived in zaporizhzhia. cnn's ivan watson shows us what they meet when they arrive. >> reporter: the ukrainian authorities are here waiting, police checking the documents of the new arrivals. there is a war very much under way, a deadly war and serious
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national security threats. after people are processed here, there is a major volunteer and city government effort to welcome the newly arrived evacuees to give them temporary shelter, warm meals. people are tired. there are little kids who have been on this bus for at least 11 hours. little kids who have witnessed a modern-day siege and perhaps the destruction of their homes and explosions in just a terrible environment. now, the international community of the red cross is trying to reach the city of mariupol itself and failed. said it was not allowed -- permitted to go through. there are still believed to be about 100,000 or more citizens, civilians of mariupol still trapped there in the combat zone as well as a force of ukrainian troops that are still holding out against a vastly larger
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number of russian military forces that have encircled the city and besieged it for weeks now. so while this is a glimmer of hope after many failed attempts to evacuate civilians, there's still a lot of work to be done to protect the people still trapped in the combat zone. these are some of hundreds if not thousands of exhausted ukrainian civilians who have just been evacuated after an incredibly long journey by bus from russian-occupied territory and from the combat zone around the city of mariupol. so you have dozens and dozens of buses which left the russian-occupied city around noon and it wasn't until around 11:00 p.m. that they finally reached zaporizhzhia which is supposed to be only about normally 2 1/2 hours drive away. so what's going on right now is
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after a very difficult journey, people who have endured weeks of artillery bombardment and air strikes in their home city and fled it had not been allowed to travel further. they've finally been brought here to ukrainian-controlled territory. for some people here, this is a family reunion. >> heartbreaking images. i ivan watson, thank you so much. many ukrainians are staying in their besieged country trying to help their fellow ukrainians. don lemon visited a shelter put together by quick-thinking young ukrainians. >> this was a studio and tiktok room.
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now it's still shelter. >> reporter: when bombs started falling on her country, this 29-year-old knew she had to act. >> one day, morning, 24 of february, we woke up and we understand that the war is coming, all territory of ukraine. >> reporter: everything changed? >> everything changed. >> reporter: they set up a shelter in a building she calls the wild house. a coffee shop and bar along with a clothing shop. upstairs, a performance space. all of it used to shelter evacuees when the war began. >> we are who are young, who feel that he can be not just passive on this war w, we decid what we can do. we have place and we understand that a lot of people like our friends started to come to lviv and they need place to stay.
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next day we take first things that we can take from our place, like pillows, like medicine, food. >> reporter: they provided housing for more than 300 people. >> there was big table. you can take some tea, coffee, everything was free. >> reporter: now evacuees live here. across the hall from a barbershop. this is one of the people stranded here, unsure if or when he'll be able to return to his home in the donetsk region. >> i dream about this, but it's very hard i think some years i need wait. >> reporter: but he's grateful to have a safe place in lviv, found through his friends.
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>> thanks god, thanks friends, thanks lack of faith i find this place. >> reporter: as the war continues, he's working to place the displaced in an informal network of 20 small shelters across the city. >> we want to give caring support and other people. >> reporter: doing good in the midst of the bad. >> when people, kids, families, they're in danger, you need to do the best what you can. so we did. >> don lemon, thank you so much. all right. at any moment now we will hear the remarks coming from the president of the united states and dr. jill biden. they're all at this ceremonial commissioning of a nuclear submarine named "uss delaware." we'll be right back.
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all right. the job market is red hot. employers added 431,000 jobs in march. the unemployment rate is now at a pandemic low, 3.6%. president biden said yesterday that rising inflation is still the big battle right now. >> more and more americans get jobs as they do. it's going to help ease the supply pressures we've seen. that's good news for fighting inflation. good news for our economy and it means that our economy has gone from being on the mend to being on the move. >> for now, though, inflation is
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inflicting real pain on everyday americans. i think everyone is feeling the pain, whether you're at the pump or whether you're in the grocery store. cnn's nadia romero is with me right now. you spoke with one small business owner and what are some of the concerns that are being expressed? >> yeah, it's hard because there's so many layers when you look at the economy, fred. we have the president telling us how we have this great job growth, businesses are booming all across the country. but when you look at another layer, when you talk to those small business owners, they say they're being impacted by inflation at just dramatic rates. we went to one metro atlanta bakery. they've been in business for seven or so years and they're seeing the price of just about everything go up for them. basic ingredients. you try to make a cupcake without flour or sugar or butter, all of those things have sometimes -- at some points doubled over the past couple of years and they're still trying to figure out how to make a profit and not pass on so much of that down to their customers.
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so listen to one of the owners talk about what it's been like for her not just ingredients but also keeping together a good workforce. >> ingredients for sure. and then, you know, also when you are busier, labor goes up and we want to pay our employees a competitive wage. so that in turn increases labor costs. it kind of all hit at one time. but definitely ingredients, like i said, the bill ended up doubling what it had been when pre-covid. >> that hurts. >> when you listen to just how every line item has gone up, so we sat down and went over their invoices and even the owner, her husband, said to me, i can't believe it. seeing it in black and white makes it even more real. they've had to raise their prices just a little bit, gas prices are affecting them. they deliver cupcakes. come right to your door. but it costs them more now because of gas prices in every way they're being impacted. >> that's a tough decision that
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a lot of business owners are having to make. they are feeling the real pinch of higher prices for all of their ingredients and they're debating on whether to raise some of their prices because they don't want to lose their customers and they also have to pay their employees. >> they do. and this is a small business owner, right? they don't have a bunch of investors lined up. they can't waiver the storm as well as a big box store. raising their price, their customers may notice and they could easily go to a different store. they're hoping that their customers will be loyal. they are expecting baby number two. they're also expecting to open up their second cup cakery too. >> thank you so much. all right, at any moment now, president biden will speak at the ceremonial commissioning of a nuclear submarine named for his home state of delaware. the "uss delaware."
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of russia's invasion of ukraine, you'll remember those images of russian tanks entering chernobyl, the site of the worst accident in nuclear history. and now in the recent hours there's been questions raised about the state of russian soldiers that departed the chernobyl area in recent days, within the last 24 hours, in fact. there is a statement from the state-owned nuclear agency in ukraine saying that they believe that russian soldiers had built fortifications and dug trenches in the forest. that's an area that saw the worst fallout from that accident. radiation levels have dropped drastically since then. but the agency says that those soldiers were panicked before they left. cnn couldn't independently verify that assessment, but
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there is a worry that they could have had some level of radiation exposure. the head of the international atomic energy agency spoke to cnn on friday saying there were some levels of raised radiation, but after so much time since that accident, if levels overall in chernobyl are low. they are requesting information from the russians about possible exposure and he's looking to go to the site as soon as possible. david mckenzie, cnn, london. >> thank you, david. at any moment now president biden will speak at the ceremonial commissioning of a nuclear submarine named after his state, the "uss delaware." we're listening in and we'll take you there live. made fresh! the only thingng fresher than their bread is the guy readingng this. subway keeps refreshing and refreshing and refreshing a and re- frank is a fan of fast. hehe's a fast talker.
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right now, we want to take you to wilmington, dell aware, and the ceremonial commemoration of the "uss delaware." >> i'm joe biden. i am jill's husband. it's always a good day when i get to celebrate delaware or spend time with service members and their families or introduce jill. that's a trifecta in my book. senator carper, senator coons, congresswoman rochester, commander, all the crew members and families of the "uss delaware," i'm genuinely honored to be with you.
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this latest ship to carry the "uss delaware" is part of a long tradition of serving our nation proudly and strengthening our nation's security, security of the united states of america, not just us but our allies and partners around the world as well. in fact, it's already been doing that for some time. so i just want to say thank you to everyone, to everyone involved in bringing this submarine to service, for those at keel, for those sailors who will crew it through all the years to come. i want you to know that i've had an incredible partner. jill has watched over the progress of the "uss delaware" for years. the daughter of a nave signalman during world war ii, the mother of a member of the delaware national guard, the grandmother of children who have experienced having their father deployed away from home for years at a time. she always holds our military and their families in her heart,
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and that is not hyperbole. that's real. i'm deeply proud of the work she's doing as first lady joining forces initiative she started with michelle obama when she feels vice president and now carries on. as first lady, she's been to more military installations around the world. she's hosted more than 20 events for military families. and she's working to expand economic opportunities for military spouses who, by the way, in the worlds of keats, they also serve not just stand and wait. help military kids for the support they need and to make sure survivors and caregivers have the resources they deserve. it's a true passion for jill and for our entire family. as your commander in chief, i believe it is our sacred obligation as a nation to prepare and equip those troops
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that we send into harm's way and to care for them and their families when they return home. now, now it's my honor to introduce your first lady, the sponsor of this great vessel, jill biden. [ applause ] >> the president of the united states there introducing his wife, who's been working really hard on this "uss delaware" over the years. it's already been commissioned once at sea and now this formal commissioning of the vessel right here on land. i want to bring in cnn pentagon correspondent oren liebermann with more information on how this came to be. cnn white house reporter jasmine wright. former u.s. secretary of the navy, ray maybis. oren, the significance of this
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more formal xhiging after it was already commissioned at sea. >> well, this is part of the navy's history, part of a ship's history. a ship is not just a thing to the navy, it is a she, a living being, and this becomes part of its story and life, which is part of the explanation why this is so important. first lady jill biden is the sponsor. she has taken part in that story, the milestones of the ship for it to get to this point. even if isn't the commissioning itself which took place back on april 2020, a couple years ago, it is still an incredibly important milestone for the ship, for vips, for the guests, the crew of the ship itself. when it was commissioned a couple years ago it was the first ever to be commissioned at sea submerged. it was simply a matter of the times because that was right at the beginning of the covid pandemic when the world pretty much shut down. in better times, this ceremony is able to take place with the "uss delaware." we heard from president joe
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biden a minute ago. interesting what he talked about and didn't talk about. he chose not to talk in any direct way about russia's invasion of ukraine. he did make reference to the importance of u.s. naval power and the u.s. military helping to secure the u.s. and its allies, but he didn't go further than that. he spent much of the rest of his speech introducing his wife, jill biden. she is speaking behind us with her role not only with the ship but what she does professionally and the importance of today's event for her, the crew, the ship, and others. >> jasmine, you are traveling with the president. is this the expectation that's the most we'll hear from the president, his introduction of his wife, dr. jill biden? or is it anticipated there will be an opportunity, perhaps not right there on stage, but another opportunity as you and others with the white house travel with the president that he will be making any other remarks? >> reporter: well, there are
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always potentially opportunities for president to speak, say if he goes to church later on today, if he wants to answer questions from reporters. in terms of his remarks, oren is right, he talked about first lady jill biden's excessive attention really, incredible attention to military members. he said she has hosted more than 20 events for military families as first lady but also what he didn't talk about, ukraine. we know it's something certainly top of mind for both the president and the white house at large, constantly as weeks have gone by and since the russian e invasion, week by week the president has talked to not only allies in europe from italy, from germany, beyond to president zelenskyy of ukraine, having some of those just that week. the last time, fred, we saw the president engaging with troops in a personal matter is when he
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took that trip to brussels and poland to shore up the alliance that the u.s. has with its nato allies. when he talked to military members in poland, including 82nd airborne division, he said what they are fighting for is a wider fight between democracies and ol far i cans, but also he said it is a fight to see exactly what the future is going to look like for the children, the future of freedom here. this is something always that the president says is top of his mind, the security. he touched a bit on it but he did not make ta direct link to ukraine. he touched a bit on security as well as the security at large here. >> former secretary of the navy is back with us. mr. secretary, i love what you were talking about earlier with this virginia class attack submarine. you said this is a fast-attack submarine. there's nothing else like it. the best of the best will be serving on this submarine. explain to everybody why it is
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so important to add yet this vessel, the "uss delaware," to the navy's arsenal of ships. >> naval power is the foundation of america and of our country and of our military. and these virginia class-attack submarines give us the ability to do so many things. they have a minority leader of missions including delivering special forces like s.e.a.l.s to patrolling the world's waterways undetected, and it gives us a military edge, gives us protection for this country. the fact this one is named delaware and has the first lady as sponsor, because a sponsor becomes an integral part of the ship and will be a part of that
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ship's life for as long as it is in the fleet. but this -- these sorts of ships, they're more expensive than conventional submarines, but they give us an edge, and you never, ever want to send united states sailors or any troops into a fair fight. >> thanks to all of you, former secretary of the navy ray mabus, oren liebermann, jasmine wright. appreciate it. we'll continue to monitor and listen and watch. thanks for being with us. hello again, everyone. thanks for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. we begin in ukraine. russian forces launching a series of new attacks as civilians try to escape. ukrainian officials say russian shelling in eastern ukraine hit evacuation convoys and railways. the russians also striking a key
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oil refinery in the central part of the country. these new assaults coming just a day after russian officials say ukrainian helicopters crossed into russia for the first time destroying a fuel depot. ukrainian officials not yet confirming nor denying responsibility for that attack. and then overnight, ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskiy giving an update on russian troop movements, saying putin's forces are slowly but noticeably moving out of the north of ukraine. this morning, ukraine's flag back over the chernobyl nuclear power plant once again, weeks after the facility was captured by russian forces. and new satellite images show russia's military abandoning a strategic airport outside of kyiv, which they captured on the first day of the invasion. all this happening as new evacuations are under way in several besieged eastern ukraine cities. seven corridors are set to


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