tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN April 28, 2022 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
the city, one struck a 25-story apartment building, causing damage and a fire that was put out. search and rescue operations are under way say officials, but the tally is that six people were injured. president zelenskyy says this is a russian aterm to humiliate, in his words, the united nations. of course, he had just wrapped up a meeting with the u.n. secretary-general when these strikes took place. one of his advisers tweeted that on tuesday, antonio guterres was in moscow meeting with putin, and today, explosions above his head. postcard from moscow? the timing is interesting, because you recall earlier this week, russia launched a series of strikes aimed at ukraine's rail infrastructure in several places across the country. those strikes came just hours after the u.s. delegation of secretaries of state and defense had left the country safely by rail. jake? >> local authorities in mariupol
are warning that the city is vulnerable to epidemics given the appalling unsan itary conditions. tell us more about that. >> reporter: the mayor calls the conditions right now medieval. perhaps up to 100,000 people still there, no power, no water, you have had people there for more than two months. add to that the lack of food, the rising temperatures, and also thousands potentially of uncollected bodies. and the city council says this is a recipe for disease outbreak. diseases like cholera, e. coli, dysentery, things like that. each take war out of the equation, and the major says that people will die, plain and simple. the u.n. secretary-general, as i mentioned earlier, was in kyiv today. he's making it his mission to broker some kind of a deal to get people out from under that sprawling steel plant in mariupol. he left moscow with at least an agreement in principle for vladamir putin to work with the u.n., to work with the red cross
and ukraine, to come to some kind of an agreement. today, he says there are intense discussions taking place for this to happen. the conditions here are not exactly ideal. the police chief of mariupol said that last night there were some 50 different air trikes, one of the heaviest nights of air strikes. and now, there's rubble in places, people are trapped underneath that rubble, as well. new video from ukrainian troops shows what the conditions are like, they say, underneath of that plant, what they're describing as a field hospital. cnn can't verify the video or the volume of strikes, but, again, even without those air strikes, the conditions there are grim and getting worse. jake? >> scott mcclain reporting live from lviv, ukraine. the ukrainian military says russian forces are exerting intense fire on the battle fronts. the dividing lines are rapidly shifting between ukrainian resistance and russian control.
>> reporter: if moscow had any surprises left in this war, it is along here. the other side of the river has been russia's for weeks. but here, the western side is caught in the fast changing landscape of this week's push. that's the prize over there, the river, up past which on the left side bank here, the russians are trying to push, wanting control of both sides of that vital part of ukraine. here, we are told there are a handful of russian tanks, just over a kilometer away on the outskirts, pushing, probing. but ultimately kept at baby ukrainian forces that still hold the town. here under the threat of rocket fire, planting onions. >> translator: i'm here until victory.
[ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: her 80-year-old mother and her are staying here. her mother says she's not going anywhere, and she's not going to leave her alone. all her windows are blown out, she says. ukrainian forces who don't want their positions filmed are dotted around the town. as to other signs of innocent lives lost here, rockets peeking out from under the water. and this boat, in which 14 civilians tried to flee russian occupation on april 7th. four of them died, when moscow's troops opened fire when it was 70 meters out. yet still, the desperate keep fleeing. this morning, these women left behind their men to defend their homes. >> translator: we ran, ran early
in the morning. they didn't let us out. we're shields for them. they don't let us out. by foot and bicycle we go. in the fields we ran. our soldiers were two kilometers away, and we ran to them. they take what they need. they take cars and draw "zs" on everything. >> reporter: and they unwanted guests demanded food and milk at gunpoint, they had a glimpse of their warped mindset. they say they've come to liberate us, that's what they told us. they say america is fighting here, but using the hands of ukrainians to do it. that's what they say. another claim to be fueled by the violence of the long war with separatists in the east. in general, the militants say you've been bombing us for eight years. now we bomb you. across the fields, artillery
swallow whole once happy worlds. now, things are certainly moving fast in this area of the russian southern offensive. the ukrainian military admit thing has been some russian progress around the town or the area of mykolaiv north of kherson, the first city for russia to occupy, where officials there, backed by russia's troops there, talk about the ruble being introduced in days. russia's currency. and also freshly installed pro-russian military leaders there in that town, talking about how it cannot go back to its "nazi past." that's the rubbish notion put around by russia, that they're fighting nazis here in ukraine. so definite moves by russia to stamp its control on kherson, and to try and push around through the southern countryside here, whether this town i'm standing in, that hometown of president volodymyr zelenskyy is their ultimate target, we don't know.
they may head further east. it's unclear, but there's a lot moving in the open countryside we're seeing here. that river, such a vital part, splitting it in two. >> nick paton walsh, thank you so much. joe biden today calling on congress to approve a $33 billion fundamental spending bill, and he wants it as quickly as possible. kaitlan collins, does he have a sense of whether or not it will pass and have bipartisan support? >> reporter: generally, they are confident that something will pass, but when something passes remains to be seen. because that's where things get complicated after joe biden made this announcement saying they want this $33 billion in funding for ukraine. they believe that's what would last ukraine through the end of the fiscal year. of course, it's now in the hands of congress and out of the hands of the white house. it remains to be seen how they handle this. so far, congress has had this issue with qucovid-19 funding,
these deep disagreements. so that's where it comes into place, how they try to pass this request from president biden. lawmakers have been supportive of sending military and economic assistance to ukraine, with humanitarian assistance. that's what is included in this package, but do they pass that package by itself or in tandem with the covid-19 funding that the white house has also requested. the white house said they continue have to going the. that might make it more come my k -- complicated. when this passes is critical, because the white house says joe biden only has $250 million in his drawdown authority, meaning $250 million worth of weapons that he can send to ukraine. >> oren lieberman at the pentagon, sources tell cnn the goal is to pass this package before memorial day about a month away. how quickly can the aid move to ukraine if and when it passes?
>> the goal of this weapons package, the biden administration has said, is to make sure weapons keep flowing in an uninterrupted fashion. we have already seen the administration dramatically increase the speed at which this is possible. a process that used to take weeks from figuring out what's on the list, to reviewing, to getting approval, to actually sending is now down to at least 72 hours. and the u.s. is flying eight to ten flights a day of military and other equipment towards ukraine to get into that flight as quickly as possible. that's the goal, to keep it going at that speed. there's billions here, first in drawdown authority, which pulls from d.o.d. stocks, but also in the ukraine security assistance, which is buying it from arms manufacturers and having it go right to ukraine. >> the biden administration outlined a proposal to make it easier for the u.s. government to liquidate assets seized from russian oligarchs and use that money to support ukraine. what more do we know about that proposal? >> this would be a pretty big
expansion of the legal powers the united states has. what they want is to give him this authority, when they have this russian yachts, wherever these russians have, that they seize them and liquidate them. sell them off and use what they make for that as resources to go to ukraine. this is something they've been hinting at behind the scenes. jake sullivan said they wanted to make sure these assets just didn't go back to the russians. that's something that merrick garland had said, the attorney general. the question whether it makes it into this package remains to be seen. it wasn't a non-binding solution that the house passed, because what they're saying is this is important. they make sure these russians oligarchs, who joe biden has talked about, benefit from putin's brutality, don't receive more of these benefits in a way that they have. if it does get passed, it would create a very interesting precedent going forward. >> and today, the nato secretary-general said nato is prepared to support ukraine for years in this war, if necessary.
years. is the pentagon able to sustain this current flow of weapons for years? >> as they send in these weapons, they have certainly kept an eye, the pentagon that is, on u.s. stocks and inventories, making sure that in sending all this equipment over, they insist it does not affect u.s. military readiness. but they have been aware since this didn't end in the weeks or days the kremlin wanted, this could stretch on for months or longer. so that's something the u.s. is keeping an eye on in its own stocks and reserves of weaponry in europe and throughout. >> thanks to both of you. coming up next, the pressure on poland, particularly on schools in poland, as that country struggles to make room for ukrainian refugees and kids. plus, the political fight for controlling congress and how that has democrats and republicans going to new lengths. stay with us. r whatchya... line? need. liberty biberty— cut.
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in our world lead, more than 5.3 million people have fled ukraine since russia's invasion began in february according to the united nations. the majority heading to neighboring poland. while warsaw has accepted hundreds of thousands of ukrainians fleeing the war, cnn's erica hill reports some schools are running out of tables and chairs to accommodate this influx of refugee children. >> reporter: new school, new language, new country. >> translator: we followed the needs. when we opened these classes, we didn't know what it would be in a week, in a month. >> reporter: through nor 50
ukrainian refugees enrolled at this warsaw high school. bringing the student population up to 700. it's elena's first day. e lisha is a few weeks in, and happy to be back in class. >> it's given me some space or given me the feeling of safety that i'm safe here, i'm in my normal life. >> reporter: in warsaw alone, the mayor's office estimates the city has taken in more than 100,000 children, with 17,000 already enrolled in public school, the question now is, how many more will come? >> it's a big problem for us, because we don't know how many students go to warsaw and go to other schools. >> reporter: warsaw was already short 2,000 teachers before russia invaded ukraine. the city needs more staff, and money.
>> translator: this is a huge challenge for us. a good heart, willingness to help, and volunteering are not enough. >> reporter: and yet, they're finding ways to make it work. polish students are paired with their new ukrainian classmates. local families have donated supplies. the school provides breakfast and lunch. in lviv, mariana taught german. officially, she's now a tutor. yet it's clear this mom of three, who also fled the war, is so much more. >> translator: we don't just speak ukrainian, we speak the language of emotions and the language of what we go through. >> reporter: comfort amidst the uncertainty. is it good to meet other ukrainian kids? >> yes. because you're not alone, and
young speak in your language. so it's good. >> reporter: while there are more smiles every day, the principal says he can't forget what lies beneath. >> translator: we have some who escaped in the middle of the night, in their pajamas, from the basement where they were. >> reporter: the school is a welcome distraction. it's also a reminder of how much their lives have changed. >> translator: in our hearts, we want to start a new school here in september at home, and we really hope for that. >> reporter: jake, just to give you a sense of what their days are like, the principal said they're not supposed to look at their phones during class. but one day a boy picked his up and learned his school back in ukraine had been hit. at that moment, the rest of the
class started looking for information on their classmate's school. and also checking on their own families and their own schools. jake, that became the lesson for the day. >> erica hill reporting live from warsaw, poland. thank you so much. coming up next, the business of war. how u.s. defense contractors stand to make big bucks as the u.s. supplies ukraine with weapons. stay with us. ♪ we believe there's an innovator in n all of us. ♪ that's why we build technology that makes it possible for every business... and every person... to come to the table and do more incredible things. boom! i won't be cleaning mold and mildew next week. thanks to this. did you know lysol dinfectant spray can actually prevent mold and mildew growth? spray it everyeek to break the cycle.
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lucrative, new deals for u.s. defense contractors. look, one can support military aid to ukraine. and also wonder who is going to be getting rich off of this? >> reporter: as russian troops poured across ukraine's border, kicking off the russian invasion in late february, something else was happening at the same time in new york. the stock prices of the biggest u.s. weapons manufacturers spiked. many eventually climbing to their highest point in years. >> war is good business for parts of the economy. historically. it doesn't mean the defense contractors cynically want it. i know a lot of people in these companies, and they're as heart broken by the war in ukraine as the next person. but war is good business. >> reporter: the latest american weapons shipment to ukraine include systems like scores of 155 millimeter how witizers and
javelins and stingers going to ukraine's battlefield. >> sometimes we will speak softly and carry a large javelin, because we're sending those in, as well. >> reporter: javelins are made in part by raytheon, whose ceo said they expect to benefit for the need to replenish u.s. stocks. >> we don't apologize for making these weapons. the fact is, they are incredibly effective in deterring and dealing with the effect that the ukrainians are seeing today. eventually we will have to replenish it and see a business over the next few years. >> reporter: araytheon and seve other companies met with the pentagon about not just supplying ukraine, but replenishing u.s. and allied inventories. >> i'm not going to deny that these kinds of conflicts can
help certain conflicts. it's the reality of the situation. but we should be glad to the help we want to help ukraine, that we have the base to produce this stuff with such high quality. >> reporter: the biden administration alone has contributed almost $3.5 billion of military aid to ukraine, in the two months of russia's war. compared to the pentagon's 2023 requested budget for weapons, that's just 1.2%. critics say the pentagon and contractors could use the ukraine conflict to justify bigger bumdgets and more weapon sales. >> my concern is, will it be at a reasonable cost, will the contractors gouge the taxpayer, and also will there be ancillary changes in our military spending that don't really relate to ukraine but are used because of the fear related to the russian invasion to spend on things that really don't have to deal with
the defense of europe. >> reporter: there are also concerns about where the billions of weapons are going. once they crossed the border into ukraine, officials say the u.s. has no way to track the weapons. nor, of course, where they end up in the long run. >> once it gets into ukrainian hands, it's up to the armed forces to decide where it goes, what unit gets it, when, if it's stored at all temporarily. that is up to the ukrainians to decide, not the united states. >> reporter: in the $33 billion of funding that joe biden requested for ukraine, over a third of it, $11.4 billion, was allocated to replenishing the u.s. weapons inventory, and for ukraine to buy more weapons. that's where this new business for these weapons company also come from, and the concern now is whether these company also take advantage of this crisis and this moment to raise their prices. >> alex, thank you so much for their report. a campaign pledge. coming up next, joe biden's
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democrats are going to need some serious fuel to avoid catastrophic election voices. today, nancy pelosi and chuck schumer laid out their plan to win over voters rs by lowering prices and picked a common enemy. take a listen. >> what is causing the increase in gas prices? number one is market manipulation and big oil, not giving a break. that is what we're focusing on. >> cnn's lauren fox joins us live. how are democrats able to stay on message on this? >> reporter: well, that was the message from leadership, jake, but the message from some rank and file earlier this week, is joe manchin held a meeting to
come with a strategy. after four months, when joe manchin torpedoed build back better, you have democrats grappling with what the message is. inflation is a problem, immigration is a problem. yet democrats are all over the map in terms of how to fix those issues. i asked senator joe manchin if he thought the democrats had a cohesive strategy. he said i have always had a cohesive message, not in sync with the other 49. that's something you hear from meblgs who say there's not much time left. a lot of members are saying it's up to me at this point to go back to my district and state, run against washington, and speak out for whatever i think my voters need. that is the strategy a lot of democrats deploy, but they say there isn't a co-see hiv message right now from their leadership and democrats at large. >> senate republicans and democrats are sparring over
ukraine funding. is biden's $33 fbillion proposa going to pass? >> it will take time. you heard republicans say they went to look through this proposal. they have concerns about the divide between military funding, as well as humanitarian funding. saying they think ukraine is going to need more money for weapons than might be in the supplemental. you also have to write this legislation. that takes a lot of time. so don't expect this to come up next week, especially because the house is already gone for a week-long recess. senate democrats and republicans are going to continue having discussions next week. but this could take several more weeks, jake, to put together, despite the fact that the president said he wanted this done quickly. >> lauren fox on capitol hill, thanks so much. let's bring in our panel. so let me ask you, you just heard democrats, their message is going after big oil, pelosi and schumer going after big oil. should that be the focus for the
midterms? >> we heard from joe biden that it's putin's price hike, saying that inflation and rising gas prices which were happening before the war in ukraine, and that's holding up. we know that oil and gas companies are making record profits, choosing to pass off that money to their investors to pay off debt. it is not reflected in the sticker price at the pump. so to direct american ire at gas prices away from the president onto oil and gas companies is not only sound policy, but could be a politically winning message. >> jonah, another huge issue is immigration, especially all the illegal immigration. joe biden stirred up opposition on both sides of the aisle when he tried to get rid of this trump era rule that allowed quicker deportation because of the pandemic known as title 42. this is arizona congressman greg
stanton grilling the department of homeland security secretary earlier today. >> putting more pressure on a system that can't handle it, risks creating a full-scale humanitarian crisis on american soil, for which the white house and your department will be solely responsible. no person who cares about migrants should want this. it's clear that the federal government is not prepared. not even close. >> that's a democrat. >> right. >> that's what a swing state democrat is saying, howco gent an issue is this? and is it as big an issue if you're not in a border state? >> i think it's becoming -- look, we just had maggie hasan, running for senate re-elect in new hampshire, do an ad from the border. so this has national resonance. i think part of the problem with biden and the democrats generally, is it -- i feel i
should have brought by fonzi lunchbox. it's like the '70s all over again, where every bad problem is a metaphor for other bad problems. and you can't just sort of isolate any win and contain it as an issue without taking into fact that just generally it feels like people aren't in charge and the democrats don't know what they're doing. i'm not saying the republicans do know what they are doing, but they have the luxury of saying you guys own all three branches of government right now. it's on you to fix it. and the title 42 thing, it's a real catch 22 for him. on the one hand, democrats definitely need the base to be roused and show up. on the other hand, if they want to win moderates and centrists, they have to do things on immigration that the base does not want them to do, like the student loan problem. i don't think there's a way to
fix whatever reference you want to use here. >> student loan debt. here's joe biden's comments today on student loan debt. take a listen. >> i am considering dealing with some debt reduction. i am not considering $50,000 debt reduction. but i'm in the process of taking a hard look at whether or not there are -- there will be additional debt forgiveness, and i'll have an answer on that in the next couple of weeks. >> what do you think? >> this election cycle, democrats have to figure out who they want to be. are they going to try to win back non-college educated white men. if not, yes, there's an easy appeal to make to millennial voters, black women who carry the majority of student loan debt. 43% of people who have college loan debt, 90% of the black population. so that's a coalition biden can
tap into. student loan debt for this generation is a pocketbook issue. >> jonah, i want to get your reaction to this from senator mitt romney. "democrats considering forgiving trillions in student loans, other bribe suggestions, forgive auto loans, mortgages? what could go wrong?" is that the right response for republicans trying to counteract this? >> i think mitt romney makes a very good point about auto loans. most people don't have student debt because most people don't go to college. most of the people do, have manageable amounts. a lot of the student debt has to do with grad schools and other -- i don't want to say irresponsible, but things i don't feel the average taxpayer should be on the hook for. if you want to have a broad-based populist loan forgiveness program, and i'm not supporting this, forgive pem's auto loans for people who make less than $50,000 a year.
because that would go to -- that would have a much more democrademocrat ic appeal. but the democratic party is becoming the party of educated el elites. and when you have people like aoc being the faces of student loan forgiveness, and i don't mean this in an ethnic way, but young, elite, radical progressives who are claiming to be -- taking this very sort of egalitaran position, we've told them go to college and you'll do better. college graduates make more money. >> that's the key part, the cultural disconnect is a generation was told if they went to college, they would get good-paying jobs. instead, they have been saddled with predatory loans, where young graduate from college and
20 years later you have not even tackled the principal. millennials are the first generation that is working longer hours, making less money, and unable to advance economically compared to previous generations. so it's not just a matter of did you know what you signed up for and are you paying your debt that you owe the american government does take into account predatory housing loans. and has regulations in place to address that. these are predatory student loans with promises of a better future, saddled onto 18-year-olds who were given no fiscal education of what this means. >> and i want to get your thought, jonah, about governor kemp signing several erducation bills, one limits the discussion of race, out of the playbook of florida. do democrats need to counteract
these bills, these pushes from republican governors do you think? >> i don't know how. david shore, one of his arguments is there are some issues that don't help democrats very well. so maybe they shouldn't talk about them. it seems to me, this is one of them. i haven't studied the actual bills, what they do or don't do. but at the end of the day, what kemp is trying to do is just win a primary. and this is signaling at that level. my hunch is there will be court challenges and they won't last long. but the press releases read fine to me. but press releases for a lot of laws read fine until you look at the details. >> what they are doing in georgia and florida, they're trying to make a big swing to play to a conservative base. it's different than what trump did, because it's not about personal vendettas but changing the course of society.
but swinging at disney, like if you're going to come for big mouse, you should know what you're doing and be able to win. so that's a change that when they come for these big conglomerates that every family watches it and knows and understands disney, they're up against something very different and more powerful than the democratic party. >> thank you so much. good to see you both. my next guest came out of romania with a message to her country. a close ally of russia. stay with us. under budget too! and i get seven days to love it or my money back..... i love it! i thought online meant no one to help me,e, but susan from carvana had all the answers. she didn't try to upsell me. not once, because they're not salespeople! what are you...? guess who just checked in on me? mom... susan from carvana! [laughs] we'll drive you happy at carvana. waxed. natural. sensitive.
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against ukraine, belarus has only strengthened ties with moscow and become a key launching pad for russia's air and ground operations against ukraine. belarus is led by president lukashenko described as putin's puppet and cracked down on mass protests after he claimed victory in a widely disputed election marred by fraud. joining us is the person who challenged him, belarusian opposition leader. thank you so much for joining us. you've met with senior congressional leaders, both democrats and republicans and just come from meetings at the state department and with white house officials, what did you guys all talk about? >> so, first of all, i -- wanted to see how the situation in belarus, how important our country in this war against dictatorship. we got information about
participation of belarusian but some are against the war. those people are fighting with ukrainians against russian invasion, people, they're active inside the country. they are disrupting real ways to stop russian equipment going into ukraine. but we need support. we need assistance in our fight and on the one hand we have to create multiple points of pressure on the regime to sanction regime because they share the full responsibility for this war. on the other hand, we need assistance to movement to our resistance, to civil society of belarus to keep strong, to keep healthy and, of course, political isolation of lukashenko is extremely necessary and to hear sometimes he is called as president, he
wasn't elected by our people. he usurped the power. >> you called for the u.s. and european union to place harder sanctions on lukashenko for his part. what did you discuss with the biden administration officials and congressional leaders today? what more would you like to see happen? >> as i said, lukashenko has to share the full responsibility for the war in ukraine and he has to be open for stronger sanctions on lukashenko's regime, the same strength as on russia but different on structure. now, also we -- >> sorry. go ahead, i'm sorry. >> we need more support for our resilience because our active people inside belarus are
fighting against regime. now they're fighting also against kremlin because now our country is defector of military occupation of russian troops and we ask our allies to demand immediate withdrawal of russian troops from our territory. >> so much of europe depends on russian energy. do you think this war can ever end as long as european allies such as germany are still pumping billions of dollars into the russian economy? >> this is a challenge for democratic countries as well, but i see unity. the see decisiveness of democratic world to resist dictatorship and i am sure that democratic countries will put all the efforts, you know, to somehow survive without russian
gas, without russian oil. i think that the world is prepared to leave without russian supplies. >> so belarus as you know, it is providing the government of belarus is providing important aid to putin in his war against ukraine and belarus has been a key strategic staging ground for russian troops. how would you characterize support among the people of belarus for this participation for this assistance in russia's war against ukraine? >> lukashenko drag our country into this war but belarusian people are against this war. our people, our soldiers don't want to participate. don't want to join russian army because we, you know, ukrainians are our friends, they are our brothers and sisters and the
soldiers don't have morale to fight against them. we don't understand why they have to die for ambitions of lukashenko and putin. and the belarusian people wanted to show our support to ukrainian people with this active actions inside belarus. you know for a year and a half we have been fighting against dictatorship and we have thousands of political prisoners, but despite of this, people went to the streets, hundreds of thousands of people went to the streets to show the attitude to this war. thousands have been detained and tortured in jails, but we said it's our obligation to support ukraine because the fate of ukraine and fate of belarus are deeply interconnected. without ukraine there will be no free belarus and vice versa. >> sviatlana, thank you so much. we're going to take a quick
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and it's only available to comcast business internet customers. so boost your bottom line by switching today. comcast business. powering possibilities.™ to our viewers in the united states and around the world welcome to s.w.a.t. the situation room." we have breaking news. in our health lead a blow to the tobacco industry that health officials say could save thousands of lives in the united states. today the fda proposed a new rule to ban menthol from cigarettes and flavored cigars in the u.s. highly addictive, studies show people who smoke menthol cigarettes have a harder time quitting compared to quitting regular cigarettes. this means people smoke them longer which puts them, of course, at greater risk for tobacco-related diseases. tobacco companies have aggressively marketed menthol products to young people and to african americans, menthols are the cigarette of choice for 85% of black smokers compared with
30% of white smokers. the ban is not yet in effect. if finalized the fda cannot and will not enforce the ban on individual consumers. can you follow me on facebook, instagram, twitter and the tiktok @jaketapper or download our podcast wherever you get your podcasts. our coverage continues with one mr. wolf blitzer in "the space room." see you tomorrow. ♪ happening now, breaking news, russia attacks the ukrainian capital for the first time in weeks. president zelenskyy now says five missiles hit kyiv during the u.n. secretary-general's visit to the city. was the kremlin sending a message? we'll get an update on the state of the war from the pentagon press secretary john kirby. also breaking, president zelenskyy is vowing to punish russians responsible for war crimes in bucha, promising t