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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  April 11, 2022 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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eriv -- captions by vitac -- from western ukraine. we start with intensified attacks on the eastern part of the country. the pentagon is cautioning that russia's new offensive in the south eastern donbas region, that itself has not yet begun in their estimation. but cnn is visiting the northeastern town of kharkiv today. that's just some 25 miles from the border with russia. and north of the donbas region. local military leaders report a barrage of russian attacks over the last day there.
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mostly bombings, it appears. at least 11 civilians were killed including a 7-year-old ukrainian child. even more horrific news from the key port city of mariupol which has been under a relentless russian assault for weeks now. the ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy making this grim assessment today. >> translator: mariupol lies destroyed. tens of thousands have been killed there and still the russians won't end their offensive. they want to make an example out of mariupol as a city ruined. >> today i'm learning that nine volunteer drivers working to evacuate ukrainians from mariupol have been detained by the russian military. as of now, they remain missing. the head of the ukrainian organization help people says ten drivers have been trying to get civilians out of that besieged city. when their vehicles were stopped by russian soldiers who demand that had the evacuees and the
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mini buses go to russia, the drivers refused. they were detained. the head of the ngo lost contact with nine of the drivers. one was released and said they were interrogated with brute force, fed poorly, kept under appalling conditions. we should note we can't independently verify these claims. the group says it has been in contact with the ukrainian government. cnn chief international correspondent clarissa ward joins us live from kyiv. you traveled east of the capital of kyiv to towns that russians had occupied for most of the war but they have now withdrawn. what is the new reality on the ground there? >> reporter: well, these people are just starting to emerge from a brutal nightmare. the harrowing accounts that you hear in the towns that we visited, you can their air raid siren. that's not something we're hearing so often in kyiv these days. in these two villages to the east of kyiv, in the chernihiv region, they reported at least
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six young men were executed without any specific reason. one young woman is missing. there were arbitrary detentions. people were blind folded. forced to remain in their cellars for weeks and weeks on end. as they described absolute terror coming under heavy bombardment. not having food, not having water, not having electricity. and only just now really starting to emerge from this nightmare and try to put their lives back together again. ukrainian soldiers returning from the front. jubilant after a humiliating defeat for russians forces in the north. in the neighboring villages, exhausted residents are emerging from their homes. after five weeks of russian occupation, and the horrors that came with it. on day four of the war, this peaceful community became a
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front line. and nowhere was offlimits. russian forces transformed the local school into their base. principal natalia shows us the carnage that was left behind. he's saying they were using this as a toilet as well. the main entrance is now spattered with blood. the scene of heavy fighting. russian soldiers took cover in classrooms and treated their wounded with whatever they could find. >> so you can see they were eating here. these are some russian military rations. >> reporter: walking the ravages highways, she said she is still in a state of shock. what wasn't destroyed was looted. we are for education. education is the future. our students, she says.
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it's such a shame that our occupiers didn't understand this. why steal everything? this is a school. in several classrooms, there are signs that some of the russian soldiers felt ashamed of their actions. a message on a chalkboard. >> it says forgive us. we didn't want this war. >> reporter: but for giveness will be hard to come by here. the local cemetery, valentina takes us to the graves of six men who authorities say were executed by russian forces on the day they arrived. it is so hard to get over this, she says. they murdered them. valentina says the russians held on to the bodies for nine days before dumping them at the end of the village with instructions to bury them quickly. we dug very fast so they wouldn't shoot us, she says. but there was shooting over
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there and heavy shelling. among the dead, her neighbors, brothers igor and oleg. outside the family home, we meet their mother olga. for days, she thought her sons were in hiding. until a neighbor called her with the devastating news. the agony and the grief are still very raw. they were very good boys, she says. how i want to see them again. do you have any idea why the russians would kill your sons? who knows? there was a bridge that was blown up and somebody shot at a russian drone. the russians were searching the village and rounding them up on the street. six boys. i don't know anything else.
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a few streets away, katarina is also looking for answers. her daughter, victoria, a school teacher, was taken by russian soldiers on march 25th. they said they found information on her phone about their forces, she says. they told me she was in a warm house. that she was working with them and she would be home soon. but victoria never came home. we hope that she will get in touch, katarina says. with somebody somewhere. in this small community of 2,000, it seems no street has been spared. the invaders marked their newly seized territory with graffiti and battle markings. >> a z on their frig.
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>> reporter: but brave residents like her carry out resistance. we kept it, we kept it, she says. showing the ukrainian flag given to her husband for his military service. we hid it. a bold risk in anticipation of this moment when russian troops would be forced to retreat. and the villages would finally be free. >> reporter: now, a lot of those russian troops who were responsible for these atrocities, not just obviously this one but in a number of towns and villages and kyiv suburbs as we have seen unfolding, horrifying scenes. they will now be redeployed. they have left the country. they are heading east and they will be part of this major offensive that russia is preparing in the east, in the donbas region. so the fear is that these are
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not isolated events. that we may see more of these horrors, and that we will only really know about them once russian forces are pushed out once again. because so many areas that continue to be under russian control, these times of atrocities are playing out on practically a daily basis. and because journal i haves and aid workers and independent observers can't get into those areas, we are just not able to see the full scale of them which is frankly a chilling thought, jake. >> clarissa ward live in kyiv. thank you so much for that report. to the northeast, already face reg lentless shelling. what might be on the horizon, an eight-mile convoy of russian tanks and artillery. u.s. officials are warning russia has appointed a new general to direct the war. he is known as, quote, the butcher of syria.
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our reporter went to kharkiv today to see the defense station first hand and we the ukrainians who refuse to leave despite the warnings from their own government. >> reporter: you can see all around us the sheer devastation is the crater from where a bomb was dropped two days ago. north of here, about 25 miles away is inside russia. that's where the russian positions are shelling. that's where they're throwing devastation and death into places like this in kharkiv, into civilian areas. most of the people who have been able to evacuate have already left the city. those that remain have told us, it is because they believe that nowhere in ukraine is safe. they wouldn't speak on camera because they're worried what will happen when and if the russians finally arrive. and that is what u.s. and ukrainian intelligence officials believe is about to happen. they believe russian troops are amassing. that was just a motor strike.
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as we were talking. it is about the third or fourth that we've heard. it is coming from that direction over there. we're continuing to hear strikes. imagine what it is like to live here. imagine what it is like to be in one of these apartments. to have been unable to evacuate, hearing that every day since this war began. knowing that you cannot evacuate. knowing that as one woman told us, there is nowhere safe here in ukraine. u.s. and ukrainian intelligence officials say that they can see russian forces amassing just the other side of the border. some 25 miles to the north of kharkiv. they believe that they are amassing to come here and to come here as soon as they can. cnn, kharkiv. >> our thanks for that report from ukraine. coming up, building the case to punish putin.
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we'll go along for the ride here in ukraine as investigators collect evidence of war crimes and talk to witnesses who describe the atrocities they saw first hand. plus, president biden's candid conversation with a u.s. ally who still has strong business ties to russia. stay with us. my garden is my creativeve outlet. find more ways to grow at ready to style in just one step? introducing new tresemme one step stylers. five professional benefits. one mple step. totally effortless. styling has never been eier. tresemme. do it th style.
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we're back in lviv where you can hear behind me air raid sirens have just gone off as happens relatively frequently during the week. every day here in ukraine brings new and horrifying pictures and stories of russian atrocities. murder, rape, genocide. i just got off the phone with an international lawyer today. he was in bucha where excavators discovered the bodies of a woman and her two children, all murdered. this is in the center, and here in a bigger grave 40 bodies have been discovered. they're using drones to map the
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area. he said it is just grim discovery after grim discovery. over the week, the ukrainian government said more than 4,000 individual criminal cases already have been opened by the county's prosecutor general. i'm going to talk to her in a moment. first, our visit to a small town over the weekend where we met with some of the prosecutors who are methodically gathering evidence to make a case against russia. about 90 minutes outside lviv at this pink school, up the stairs, past the paw prints, in this great school classroom, there is a war crimes investigation underway. ukraine's prosecutor general's office has deployed teams of investigators to villages and shelters nationwide with a mission. build a case strong enough to punish russia in international courts. ukrainians who have fled their homes and are willing to testify are asked to give detailed
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accounts of the language, uniforms, timing and actions of those who wronged them and destroyed their lives. >> translator: the main idea of it is to officially set the status of these people as crime victims, for example. because they will get their right for compensation in the future. >> reporter: irina was a chief ecological prosecutor in southeastern ukraine before the invasion. but since march 28th, she's been collecting war stories from people, sheltering in the west. even as her own village remains under russian control. >> translator: after i moved here to the relative safety in western ukraine, i heard the call from the prosecutor general's office that this group would be created, so i went and joined. i didn't hesitate even for a second. >> neither did this person, a witness from bucha. >> translator: it was important for me to tell but also hard to tell. i'm still shaking. >> he's a long time paramedic
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who said he helped the wounded back home. >> translator: there were people watching the equipment, moving along the street and they were shot at. two people were running into a cellar and one of them was killed. >> he along with his family, sheltered at home for ten days. >> translator: me, my son and my brother were in the house and my wife and daughter were in the cellar. >> he said he had a pitchfork ready to defend his 25-year-old daughter and his son. >> if they came into my house i would use the pitchfork to kill them. if i got killed, it would be easier. i don't need to see my dearest suffering from the russians. >> his friend in the making the village was not as lucky. >> translator: she called me on the 26th or 27th of february. she has a mentally ill, disabled son who went out on the street to look at the tanks and the machines and they shot him dead. >> translator: how many died and who knows how many will die? >> 63-year-old natalia is a retiree from kharkiv who testified today about the brutality she witnessed by
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russian soldiers. >> translator: i can't say a good word about these people. i can't even call them people. maybe they have no brains at all. i don't know what they're thinking and how their mothers are bringing them up and giving meat to this war. >> she said she sheltered in her basement for six days. the windows have been blown out of her house and her sister is dead. >> translator: she had a heart attack in the cellar where she was hiding because of the big stress. >> still, natalia is not sure her story or any reparation for it means much. >> translator: how can they be punished? i don't think that they will be punished severely. only god can punish them. what they have done, it cannot be repaid by any money. >> by now, most have seen horrific images of war crimes on cnn and other news outlets. but there is much more too horrifying to show and much more news media have not seen that is being added into evidence.
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with a click, witnesses can upload videos and photos to this website. created by the prosecutor general's office of ukraine. the interviews, however, are done in person. >> translator: people often cry during their questionings and so on and it is much easier for the personal in the same room to connect to the people being questioned and to find a better line of investigation. >> the sad truth, this part of the world has a lot of experience when it comes to such prosecutions. lviv university, in fact, is the alma mater of the two lawyers who came one the legal couldn't cements of prosecutions at nuremberg for genocide and crimes against human an. in fact, one of those former law students here was working with the allied powers in 1942, preparing for those prosecutions at the same time members of his family here in lviv were being rounded up and killed because they were jewish. those ideas and laws hammered
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out between u.s., british and soviet powers to go after nazi crimes will now be used to go after the grandchildren of those soviets. >> translator: i call russians cockroaches now and i want to destroy the cockroaches. i want to crush them fore. >> he said he would join the military if he could. >> i would fight but my eyesight is minus nine. i wouldn't see. >> instead, he's giving the court a clearer view of what the russians have done. >> translator: yes, i can't help any other way. >> with us now from kyiv is the ukrainian prosecutor general, irena. thank you so much for joining us. you personally toured borodianka. tell us what you saw. >> good evening. dear friends, thank you. yes, i was in borodianka, i was in bucha several times. tomorrow i will to go bucha
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again. we are still exhuming the dead bodies from the mass grave. actually, what we see, now, we see a lot of war crimes, actually, it is not only war crimes. now we can say about a lot of crimes against humanity. and you mentioned, we have 4,000 cases of war crimes. now, we are not proud but we have 5,800 such cases. and with every day, we started more and more such proceedings. >> 5,800. wow! the ukrainian prosecutor general's office, your office put out a statement saying 183 children have been killed. 342 children injured since the invasion. you've said as a lawyer, you want to be professional. you don't want to be emotional.
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i have to say, that must be very difficult when you hear these stories and see these photographs that are so horr horrifying, we can't share them on tv. >> it is extremely difficult. you spoke about figures. they are not correct. we can't count correct, for example the we don't understand what has happened in mariupol just now. and how many kids are dead inside mariupol. that is why, of course, a lot of ukrainian children are dead. a lot injured. most of them are now leave ukraine and try to save lives abroad. and all these great loss of life of ukrainians, actually. it is very hard for us, because it is still not finished. it is still bombing.
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it is still shelling. attacks, for example, now in luhansk, in kharkiv, we have bomb attacks. >> the cases that you're building. mo more than 5,800 cases and as you said, that doesn't include mariupol and other parts of the country that the russians are still in effect in control of. is this for prosecutions against individual russian soldiers? prosecutions against russian commanders? prosecutions against vladimir putin? or all the above. >> i want to say that what about mariupol? we started to proceed the common case. we don't know concrete facts. but common case, for example, as a bomb in maternity hospital in mariupol, all the cases we started. because we have some refugees,
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you know, that people could have from mariupol. we knew some facts from the witnesses. what about our suspects? actually, we understand that our national jurisdiction is very important to us. we want to prosecute these war criminals in our ukrainian courts, named by ukraine. but, of course, for us, it is a lane of international criminal court. what we have now in ukraine. we do everything on the international law, under common law. that's why we have now more than 500 suspects. concrete individuals. it is top military, top propaganda agents, russian federation whom we suspect absolutely started this war,
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continuing this war. and of course, we understand that in the russian federation, now is under functional unity for nationality legislation. it is president, when he is still president, then minister of foreign affairs, and prime minister. this is rule. that is why we understand this is people for this period is sorry, functional immunity. but from other side, absolutely possible to take them to responsible by instruments of international criminal courts. that is why we document evidences for all big fish, what really do everything for this war and who wanted this war, who started this war, and who
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continued this war. >> ukrainian prosecutor general, thank you so much. really appreciate your time. >> thank you very much. goodbye. coming up next, the sensitive connection that has compelled so many people in poland to help ukrainian refugees any way they possibly can. stay with us. refresh italiano subway now has italian-style capicola on the new supreme meats and mozza meat. just like my nonna makes when she cooks! i dot cook. wait, what? it's a good thing he's so handsome. subway keeps refreshing and refre- bath fitter doesn't just fit your bath. we fit your life. when you're tired of looking at your tired old bath, we fit your style, with hundreds of design options. when a normal day is anything
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continuing with our world lead, the united nations says the number refugee who's have fled ukraine because of vladimir putin's ruthless, brutal invasion has surpassed 4.5 million people. at least 2.5 million of the refugees have crossed into neighboring poland where jewish families have their own haunting memories of war and genocide. as kyung lah reports, many of the same families are opening their homes to ukrainians seeking shelter and safety. >> the jewish quarter is almost over here. >> reporter: this is his neighborhood. the white one? it's a path to his family history. >> my grandma was born and raised. >> reporter: he lives a block away from where his jewish grandparents lived before the
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holocaust. >> that's my grandma and her mom. >> reporter: she was separated from her husband and child. the nazis executed her at the death camp. of the 6 million jews murdered in the holocaust, around half were killed in the polish concentration camps. but his great grandfather escaped the horror, sheltered by a nonjewish family. >> we are alive because of someone, and thanks topic help other people. the apartment is one bedroom apartment. >> reporter: his home has little space. >> we are sleeping here. that used to be our bed. and we gave the bed to our ukrainian guests. >> reporter: it is enough to share with a ukrainian mother and child. the third family he has taken in since the war began. >> i just felt this part of me. and i don't know if it is faith or tradition. it is just part of me.
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i have to. >> it is our time to do what we needed to have done for us 80 years ago. >> reporter: michael is chief rabbi of poland. in warsaw, the jewish community has plunged in to help in this humanitarian crisis. offering everything from childcare to food and housing, counseling. and polish lessons. she says jewish philanthropphil mostly american, have donated about $100 million to help ukrainian refugees no matter where they are or whatever faith they practice. the effort is centering on poland where in world war ii, the majority did not help. >> half the jews killed during the holocaust were from poland. >> reporter: so given that complicated history, how does that motivate the jewish community today? >> it clearly has an added need
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for those who are jewish, understanding this is what my grandparents needed. if we still have somewhere in our hearts a sadness that more people didn't help, it needs them to push us to do more to help now. >> reporter: you're volunteering here. he feels his country changing as poland welcomes almost 2.5 million ukrainians. his great grandmother's home is now a shelter for refugees. you think about what would have happened if more of your family had been protected. had been taken in. >> grateful, someone like me helping my grandparents, my cousins during the holocaust. yeah. that would be wonderful. i would have much greater community next to me to have a great big family in warsaw, a
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jewish family. and to survive the war, that would be most beautiful. beautiful thing. >> reporter: that $100 million raised worldwide again predominantly by american jews. that money is going into the childcare and the language lessons you saw in the story. i spoke to those women being helped. none of them are jewish. one of those ukrainian refugees, she didn't even know it was a jewish organization that was helping her out. so after seeing the worst of humanity in ukraine, here in poland they are seeing the grace of the jewish community. jake? >> kyung lah in poland. thank you. at the white house, president biden acts after months of pressure to do more to address gun violence. his plan to tackle what are called ghost guns. that's next. unlike ordinary memory supplements,
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president biden speaking candidly with indian prime minister modi in a virtual meeting today. that's what we're told by the white house. pressing him to take a hard line against russia's invasion. a critical meeting comes as india tries to maintain a neutral stance on putin's brutal invasion on ukraine. india condemns the brutal attack on ukraine. a senior administration official told cnn that there was this candid exchange of views during today's meeting. tell us more what you're
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learning. >> reporter: yeah. russia is looming over this entire conversation president biden was having with the indian prime minister. their trying to get them off the fence when it comes to this russian invasion. they have abstained from the key votes at the u.n. they've continue ever continued to snap up russian oil. so during this call today, we're told president biden told prime minister modi, he did not believe it was in india's interests to continue buying the russian oil in the quantities that they have. the white house has downmayed just how much oil they are getting from india. he also sought to reassure him on the concerns about how many military hardware they get from russia saying there will be alternative methods to get that and to continue that if they were to speak out against this invasion. which they have declined to do so far, jake. because the little preview of the call we heard so far today that reporters were in the room for. you heard the prime minister talking about these atrocities being committed in ukraine, saying they are very worrying for india. he hesitated to correctly call out russia for committing the
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atrocities. so you are seeing the white house work this behind the scenes but they haven't been applying that much pressure publicly, even though at times they have expressed frustration over how india has handled this. >> this afternoon, the administration announced the new nominee for the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms. they also talked about new regulations on what they call ghost guns. these are untraceable, essentially, without serial numbers with parts made from purchasing them online. >> reporter: he was talking about the criticism he's gotten for these new rules. they've been working through the system for about a year now. they are new rules that would clarify the part of the guns that you can order online or print at home using a 3d printer and then assemble at home to make firearms. they want to make them easier to regulate and trace. oftentimes, they don't have a serial number with them and the president talked about the criticism he's gotten for the
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new rules. >> this rule that i'm about to announce, it is being called extreme. extreme. let me ask you. is it extreme to protect police officers? extreme to protect our children? extreme to keep guns out. hands of people who couldn't even pass a background check? look. the idea that someone on a terrorist list could purchase one of these guns. is it extreme? it isn't extreme. just basic common sense. >> reporter: jake, he also called on congress to pass a broader gun control legislation. of course, that is something not even close to happening so far. he did talk today about a new nominee to lead the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms. this is his second try to get it confirmed through senate. they had to withdraw the last person nominated after it was clear he wouldn't get enough congressional support. they are going to try again this time. we should note, there has not
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been a confirm director of the amp tf in seven years. the white house is hoping they will be successful this time around, jake. >> at the white house for us. thank you. coming up, the loud late night screams. what might be the breaking point for the people of shanghai despite the record number of covid cases. [limu emu squawks] woo! new personal record, limu! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, libertyty. ♪
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in our health lead, china's government is coping with a coronavirus surge that is getting worse despite the rather harsh lockdown policy. shanghai reported more than 26,000 new cases on sunday. that's the fourth consecutive day the new cases have topped 20,000. because we're talking about the chinese government, which does not believe in transparency in any way, we do not know if these higher case numbers are also resulting in higher number of hospitalizations and deaths which of course are the key indicators. far more so than cases. this spread comes despite a strict, even draconian lockdown in this city of 25 million people. david culver is among those forced into lockdown in shanghai. and david, people are shouting from their balconies. they can't stand it. they're running out of food. it sounds just awful. >> reporter: and jake, the videos emerging from across the city, they say it all. i'll pause here.
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you can listen to the frustration and anger and pain that is being evoked. [ yelling ] >> reporter: people sealed inside their homes. this has been like no other lockdown. the scale alone of the population here puts this beyond wuhan in 2020. and most shocking is that this is happening here in the city's cosmopolitan and affluent hub. the door behind me, that's my exit to the alley. a couple nights ago i heard them taping my door, placing a paper seal to keep it closed. some buildings with positive cases, they're actually locked from the outside with a bicycle lock or even pad locks. this has gone on for more than three weeks that has led to massive food shortages and it is really difficult to source basic necessities. you have doors closed. delivery drivers like us are also in lockdown. neighbors are coming together. they're trying to source directly from suppliers, buying in bulk. and there have been for some a
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few government handouts but not enough. it has led to the really harsh demands from people saying, that they are starving. those are some of the literal words we are hearing. we are starving, we are starving. >> beyond the health and psychological impacts, david, what is the wider economic impact? >> reporter: yeah. well, this is china's leading financial center. some of the largest sea of airports are here. several weeks of this have really already shocked the economy. they place more strain on global supply chains. not to mention, this will further fuel inflation. it is impacting hundreds of international company, too. many of have which regional headquarters in shanghai. and tesla's giga factory has come to a hampton apple suppliers, not able to operate. and starbucks, another american company, likely to take a big hit from closures in this massive metropolis alone. yet much of what is happening here. it is not based in health
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security so much as a politicized approach by beijing to save face and keep control. coming up, a media executive spent years trying to fight russian disinformation online. now he is taking it to a whole new level and confronting russians face to face and he will join us next. (mom) delightful. (vo) with no trade-e-in required. (dad) i love it. (vo) what's not to love! verizon is going ultra, soso yu can get more.
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welcome back to this special broadcast of "the lead" live from lviv. it's day 47 of russia's brutal invasion of ukraine. we begin with the russian assault on eastern ukraine. the pentagon cautions the new expected attack has not yet begun. in the northeast, kharkiv and its regions, 11 are dead including a 7-year-old child. in mariupol, ukraine's president said russian forces are trying to turn the port city into ruined city saying tens of thousands have been killed after six weeks of heavy russian bombardment. they are continuing to urge evacuation but many are getting trapped in the fighting and russian forces are blocking access to some towns. today i'm learning nine volunteer drivers working to evacuate ukrainians out of mariupol have been detained by the russian military.
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they've been missing since late march. we can't independently verify these claims but the volunteer group called help people has been in and contact. meanwhile, they are warning russia has now appointed a new general to direct the war after troops failed to take leave. he is known as the butcher of syria. with me now, phil black to discuss it all. let's start with the new russian general. his name has been dubbed the, quote, butcher of syria. a u.s. defense official said that doesn't necessarily mean that russia is, quote, poised for greater success. from where i sit, it means the ukrainian people might be feeling even more painful. >> you can say there's been plenty of brutality in russia's campaign so far. no shortage of that. either way, regardless of who is in command here, the ukrainian