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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  May 12, 2022 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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walgreens, walmart, limiting the number of cans customers can buy in each transaction wolf. >> very tough, heartbreaking to even think about it. thank you brian tod for that reporting. to our viewers, thank you very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room," erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, live from kyiv, as russia issues a chilling warning. official says putin, quote, will put out more air and ground defenses if countries join nato. just how much ukrainian forces are relying to win on the battlefield, plus federal process kurlts reportedly launched a grand jury investigation on trump, how did classified documents end up in mar-a-lago and serving documents
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just days before the election, who is kathy bartlett and could she win? and good evening, welcome to a special edition of "outfront," live from kyiv tonight i'm erin burnett and russia with a new warning and a massive show in force. this comes as the u.s. is flexing its military muscles 700 miles south of ukraine. thousands of troops from america's allies join americans for military exercises in north macedonia, at some point, hundreds of paratroopers to the sky to demonstrate how quickly the alliance could respond to an attack. while it's important to note these exercises were planned for putin's invasion, it's always the option to hold them up, the u.s. with that and other exercises since the conflict began, no doubt the message was aimed at putin and it comes as former president dmitri medvalev
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gave a warning, quote, that russia will strengthen the number of air defenses and ground and air forces as well as naval forces if sweden and finland join nato. they probably will, finland in the next week, signing monday. tensions ramping up in a big way as war is now if its 78th day. here in kyiv, we're seeing a vicious back and forth with cities and towns with putin being pushed back in the north but appearing to make some gains in the luhansk region and donbas where one military official says ukraine's front lines have, quote, significantly deteriorated. melissa bell is here with me in kyiv and, you know, alyssa you see this serious back and forth. where are we? >> it is significantly deteriorating. you see in the last few weeks, of course, erin, the
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concentration of russian forces backing the strong holds they've tried to extend from, with territorial gains but coming across really difficult terrain and you're talking about a long river that goes from russia down through southeastern ukraine back to russia where they're kb getting bogged down. some of those areas, it's important to remember this town of some 100,000 people and many have fled but even now, 15,000 people cowering in their basements waiting to see if this town will fall or not. along this river, russian forces tried to cross twice today, ukrainian forces tried to blow up the pontoons, they did manage to make that crossing further east and heading north but it is that bogged down nature of that forces that is that dangerous. what's that meant? extra shelling because as one ukrainian leader said today, they shell, they destroy, and then it is into the scorched earth that they head. and of course, that means
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casualties, means more damage and for the time being a fairly static frontline with a lot of damage being done. the good news for ukrainian forces is because they've had to concentrate that manpower around that eastern area to try to make those gains, have had to take some of it away from kharkiv and that, of course, means some relief, some ukrainian gains for the north of that so it is much closer to the russian border. that use for russia with the first russian/civilian cross-border death as a result of shelling today but does mean some relief for the populations of kharkiv, for the last couple of months, erin, seen a constant shelling. that artillery power raining down on them and causing tremendous damage to both the city and of course -- >> yeah, civilian life so much damage there, melissa bell, thank you very much here in kyiv and it is there in kharkiv as melissa mentioned that see some of the aftermath of attacks on civilians and these are indiscriminate cluster munitions, it's a war crime if
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they were intentionally targeted and now after a two-month long investigation, cnn can reveal the commander responsible for these attacks, tieing specific generals to specific crimes has been incredibly thorough but it is these actually carrying out war crime investigation. investigative correspondent bager has this exclusive report and you may find some of the images in her report disturbing. >> reporter: a devastation of civilian homes and lives, through the last two months we've witnessed atrocities in ukraine. >> more strike very, very close, they want us to stop moving. >> reporter: while we know these are russian actions, it's been difficult to draw a direct line from individual atrocities to a specific russian commander until now. cnn can exclusively reveal that this man, colonel general
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alexander geravalov commander of western russian military district is the commander responsible for this, munitions targeting civilians in east ukraine, a war crime under fragzal law. >> you can see more artillery rockets apparently fired from russian territory towards the territory i would say, you can hear this right now. >> this is the start of the war. cnn international correspondent fred pleitgen witnessed artillery fired from within russia toward the city of kharkiv. sam kiley was in kharkiv. can hear the shelling. >> you can feel the concussion against the glass. >> reporter: we soon learn from experts, this is what they're capable of delivering. cluster bombs. one such rocket releasing many smaller explosives, scattering bombs, amplifying the
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devastation. these attacks, captured on social media both in kharkiv and both from the same day, are a clear example of their indiscriminate nature. when used in this fashion against civilians, it's considered a war crime. the use of smirch rockets are key in our findings of who is responsible because they're unique to one unit here, one commander. after months of forensic work, we can reveal the trail of evidence leading to geravalov, using social media videos to guide us, return to the scene of the attacks, focusing on february 27th, when three civilian targets were hit and eight more on february 28th. we start in the neighborhood of kharkiv. there is slhrapnel from those missiles fell on our neighborhood she tells us, takes
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us to see a smirch rocket that fell 200 yards from her apartment in this once affluent area. i remember the whistling sound of the missiles. i know that the missiles were frieg and they were accompanied by fighter planes or drones. you can see the hole it came through, the way the rocket bulked when it hit the car, you can also clearly see that this is a smirch. it's not the only rocket coming from this direction on this day. less than a half mile down the road, another hit. this kiosk, that water cooler, key land marks. the bodies landed here on this road. those you see is where the cluster mew cluster ammunition embedded. another smirch launching cluster bombs. we know this because one of the
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unexploded bombs was found 180 yards away. notice the date, 2019. stoppe stopped selling arms to ukraine in 2014, this confirms this is a russian cluster bomb. another half mile away, another strike, more suffering and no sign of any legitimate military targets. people were looking for food and something just hit, and people started running here, she says, this is the exact moment of impact. frame by frame, you can see the scale of the rocket and proximity to innocent civilians. we are here in kharkiv. notice the five hits along this line from the 28th. they're pretty much in a line apart from three here which line up with the hits from february
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27th. we can trace these lines 24 miles upon the convergence here, across the border in russia well within the range of a smirch rocket. we have a satellite image from the 27th showing launching position. notice the plume of smoke and tell-tale burn marks of a smirch launch, in krwith this information, we can tell you who is firing this munition, according to open source information from cnn, military experts and intelligence sources, they are the only unit in this district equipped to launch smirch rockets and only the commander has the authority to order the 79th artillery brigade to launch the rockets. one expert told cnn smirch is a
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district level asset, there are very few of them in the russian armed forces, therefore are dedicated to special missions at the order of a military district commander. colonel general geravalov is this commander and no stranger to the brutal tactics of atrocities targeting civilians. they're very similar to what we saw in syria in 2016 so it shouldn't come as a surprise that geravalov also led russian troops in the siege. he is the architect of the devastation you see here. for leveling aleppo, was awarded the highest honor, hero of the russian federation, yet syrians have documented his war crimes. despite the direct lie from the
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impunity the world afforded russia and syria to the atrocity suffered here by civilians today, the question remains, what will the world do to stop this cycle? the russian ministry of defense hasn't responded to our request for comment but given the concerns around the u.s.'s action on geravalov and other russian general that is they wouldn't respond to specifics put continue to track and assess other war crimes and abuses. it is so clear, though, erin, especially where you are now, that things could have been possibly very different if more had been sooner on geravalov and others. erin. >> absolutely. nema, thank you so much for that. it is sbreshlgsincredible, the that report. now to investigative journalist of belincap, you may know him
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because he uncovered the culprits of the poisoning of navalny, all documented in the cnn film, navalny, which of course, christo, you were a central figure. also in ukraine doing work on that, were you also surprised what nema uncovered and was able to show? how this targeting of civilians was done? >> first of all, good evening and thank you for inviting me back to your show erin, i am absolutely not surprised at all. actually, lieutenant -- general geravalov is known to us and something that might have to also be mentioned is he is a general to gerasimov the staff of the russian army so his position is very high in the russian pyramid and a possible forensic indictment of what cnn
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has just shown about him will have an extremely powerful message because he's one of the top guys in the russian military, he's not just regional commander. we've seen the same level of directed targeting of civilians come not only with cluster munitions, seen the same in something we're working on at the moment which is guided missiles, cruise missiles. we see the directions, the instructions for launching such missiles come from the top, from three star generals and often are directed not necessarily by mistake to residential and civilian areas. one is to wonder but this is just a mistake or incompetence or is this part of the terrorizing policy the russian army seemed to be pursuing? >> you're saying these are coming from three star level
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commanders. do you believe orders to target civilians or to do this is coming from even higher? i mean is putin himself involved? >> we can only imagine what is happening in the mind of a dictator who thought he was waging a war that would last a week and now bogged down in something he has no way out of and it is quite possible, we don't have the evidence, quite possible he himself has decided that given the lack of any plausible cause for him in terms of victory that he's instructing a revenge, or vengeful tactic of terrorizing the population of ukraine. >> yeah, i mean certainly you hear about soldiers putting mines under carpets but when you start to see them in a whole in so many places in so many ways it certainly looks quite different. i know you're also looking at who is providing the
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intelligence to putin. what are you finding? >> there has been a change. obviously, the lack of success, illusion of success and the obvious failures of the army had led to some rethinking of who putin can trust. whereas in the initial stage of the war and in the months and years preceding the war he trusted completely the fsb, in particular the fifth service of the fsb with providing intelligence on ukraine. those were the guys that misled him that ukraine is ready to or the russian army's liberators so gradually we see he has changed that source of intelligence from the fsb to goe the military intelligence, known for other famous assassination operations, like in 2018, but we see in
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2014, 2015, he transitioned. putin passed on the role of the key intelligence gathering in ukraine to the fsb and obviously, moving it back to the military intelligence. >> all right, christo, thank you very much, i appreciate your time and, of course, everyone appreciates all of your work. next, a ukrainian soldier shows me how they're using drones to have crucial gains on the battle field here. it is a story you'll see only "outfront." to think you. plus a major move by january 6th select committee, members of congress including house leader kevin mccarthy.
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tonight, a story you'll see only "outfront." a member of an elite drone unit here in ukraine showed us up close just how drones are so unbelievably effective here at taking out russian targets, how are they doing it, where are they doing it, and now the unit is getting a major boost and getting that boost from young ukrainian video game lovers. >> we use this strategy of 10 days of intelligence, making -- >> which is you doing the drones. >> group of eight people. i was the guy flying and the guy, actually my security details just watching so i will do the kill. >> while you're controlling the drone. so you're flying the drone, they're sort -- you do that for 10 days, then you map out. >> yeah, exactly.
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got this map. >> this is the map of the town we're standing in, he made it using his drone. you can see he circled target after target after target in red. here's what happens after that. >> we invite a drone that can sustain in the air for two hours and i will send it with them. i was pointing them where they need to fly and they have connection with artillery and we are working on each target like so we put our primaries on step by step just like, it's kind of fun to be honest. >> standing at the site of vlad's first big strike. >> how many of them were there? >> i think around 20, 30 people. >> 20 or 30. >> yeah. and at least 10 of them was killed here. >> the drones, in another
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village, shown here by cnn drone, man told russian soldiers occupying his house were given bonuses of cigarette cartons to shoot down ukrainian drones. >> they give russians programs so that russians see it from we're where starting and where we end up and once it happen to us that we were attacked like right away. just the drone was landing and the next, like, in 30 seconds, land mine was like, 30 meters away. >> it was a moment, vlad says, much like this one. >> this is a whole road from where i fly up, where i went and everything. seemed -- >> a chinese company makes both the dji drone vlad uses and the sa software program, ariscope that
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tracks what the drone does. that's what vlad says is what russians are using for drone war fair. >> how are you able to do that without the information of them knowing. >> so we now have a strategy. you don't turn your drone on, you walk away from the group couple hundred meters, you turn the drone on, coming back away from the drone, you're flying really, really low like 10 meters and only next to the position you're going up, making the search like the pictures, the video and coming back in very, very different direction so they can't track you in a straight way. but now, just as nobody know how to work with that before, and this is the price we pay for having this tactic now. >> vlad says there is american drones russians can't track. he wants a lot more of those.
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>> there is like, you have in your infantry, a lot of guys need to go into the village. imagine how easier there is a drone in front of them telling hey there is guns, vehicles a group of enemy on the left. now in each or two we have a guy with a drone. it's funny to say but most of these drone guys is just young nerds who used to play video games. >> right, and now the skills -- >> yes, it's key, and, you know, most of like if they are just youngest guy like 18 years old nobody will send them like to be in the villages but they can do their job sitting from like five kilometers away just, it's kind of fun for them. >> now deputy commander shenko moved up the ranks fast, proof being fast and nimble is rewarding here. >> they are like do you know how to fight drones? yes of course
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and once they give me actually drone i was taken to a place and tried -- >> just on your own practicing. >> yeah, i didn't tell them i only did it once in my life but, you know. >> you learned on the fly. wow. >> i think, many think, it's pretty easy. the main thing in this is just to stay calm. >> incredible story and those drones are just so front and center in absolutely everything here. i want to add that what that villager told me, you know, of the russians getting the cartons of cigarettes shooting down the drones said the russians would sit in the garden and try to shoot down drones and it was so hard because they were so tiny and rarely able to shoot them down. just an incredible development in this story. next, federal prosecutors ramping up an investigation into whether trump mishandled classified documents, plus an election denier who repeatedly questioned whether barack obama was a muslim, in fact said he
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break news, the justice department has launched a grand jury investigation into whether classified documents found at donald trump's mar-a-lago home were mishandled. this, according to sources telling cnn. in recent days the national archive was subpoenaed with the materials included in 15 boxes of documents that trump took with him to florida, development coming as trump faces several legal challenges including a criminal probe into his efforts to overturn georgia's election results. ryan "outfront" on capitol hill, a lot more developments. what are you learning about this investigation tonight? >> that's right, kaitlan collins confirming the justice department taken this step of subpoenaing the administration to get these classified documents that they believe there's a possibility donald trump tampered with and took to mar-a-lago in violation of the law. and this doesn't come as a
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surprise. the national archives actually requested this investigation weeks ago. they wanted to see if there was something wrong with the way this was handled and in addition to that, there was a congressional committee, the oversight committee that was interested in getting this material for themselves for their own investigation and the department of justice had gotten way of that happening. so this is the next step in this process. the new york times is also reporting today the department of justice is also going to issue subpoenas for members of the trump administration white house during that period of time where this tampering may have taken place so they can get answers but again, this is no longer just a theoretical conversation about whether or not the president may have done something wrong. there is no actual action taken place in the department of justice is increasing their efforts as it relates to this investigation. >> and ryan, it's also a major escalation from the jirks janua committee, subpoenaed five sitting members of congress
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including mccarthy. what do you know about that? >> that's right, we were wondering sometime if this would happen, five sitting republican members of congress including kevin mccarthy, andy biggs, mo brooks, jordan and scott perry now all under subpoena, all five men asked to voluntarily cooperate with the january 6th committee, all turned the committee down but the committee believes they have information that is central to their investigation. that's why they've taken this dramatic, really unprecedented step of issuing them subpoenas. the question is, erin, will they comply and if they don't, what mechanism exists to force their compliance? today the january 6th committee members did not have answer to that question. erin. >> of course, the time and clock is ticking for them. ryan, thank you so much for all that reporting. now to ellie honig, cnn senior legal analyst and u.s. attorney with the district of new york so
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eli, when you take the issue of being subpoenaed on, trump taking documents to mar-a-lago, what does it say to you? >> well erin, this tells me the justice department believes there could be, and i stress that, could be, some level of criminality here. as a federal prosecutor, if you're going to issue a grand jury subpoena you can't do that based on nothing, you have to have president condication, som belief that there has been a crime. i think what prosecutors are going to be focused on here is that it is a federal crime to remove or destroy classified documents, we know the documents were classified but have to show, a, a person knew they were classified, and also have to show a person knew that was wrong so that's where i think d.o.j. is really going to be focusing here on the criminal side of things. >> yeah, so now let's go to january 6th and the new subpoenas coming from there.
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what do you think about that? do you think that there will be any cooperation or testimony from any of these individuals and does it matter? >> no, i do not think any of these five individuals will comply with the subpoenas. they've already declined the polite nonsubpoena request from the committee to testify and the problem is as you alluded to, we're 28 days away from these hearing beginning, there's no realistic way the committee can go into court and get a judge, and force them to justify, no realistic way to hold contempt, still said, this is an important statement from the committee, and will give the ability to say we subpoenaed them, they refused, what are they hiding. watch for the committee to say that a lot during the hearings. >> thank you, very much as always. >> thanks.
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next a woman entering the republican senate contest, incredible in the final hours, this is her false conspiracy theory about barack being muslim is coming back. who is kathy barnette? and a speak to mother desperately worried about her son, trapped inside the mariupol steel plant with a serious head injury. ♪ ♪ ♪ introducing the all-new infiniti qx60. take on your wild world in style. ♪
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republican primary, in large part because of this woman, kathy barnet, author and conservative agitator, saying, quote, barnett will never win the general election, according to a poll, now locked in a tie with oz and mccormick, the more main stream candidate in the race. gained traction after talking about her mother, was raped and impregnated with barnett at 11 years old, barnett points out that she is alive because she didn't get an abortion. "outfront" tonight, philadelphia reporter, she's at a barnett campaign event in a suburb in philadelphia. thanks so much, only fives days left until election day. how much momentum does barnett
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have tonight. >> well the story of the campaign five days away is she has a lot of momentum. she entered this space, like, i don't think people saw her as a front-runner. it was all about oz and david mccormick and now in most polling they're running a tight three-way tie for first. she's had a couple endorsements come her way and seems like, you know, the last few days have just been about everyone tried to bet her, her opponents trying to attack her. suddenly running in a tight three-way race for first. >> just incredible what's happened here. and i guess one of the things as you've been reporting on abortion rights taking center stage in these final days. kathy barnett has been speaking about her life story saying she was born to a woman who was raped at the age of 11. >> i shared my story because of my story has the opportunity to
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save even one life, how could i not share it? my life was valuable then. i was a person then. i took no part in how i was conceived and yet there i was and so i'm very grateful that our nation's having that discussion. >> how much does her personal story seem to be resonating from your reporting? >> reporter: i think it's a huge part of why she's doing so well. you know, she talks about her personal story every chance she gets, really injected it into every opportunity she had when she was in the debates we saw and when you're running against two multimillionaires who have come from new jersey and connecticut, something she always reminds voters, having a personal story like her's, growing up very poor, having been, as we just heard her say, as she describes, the product of rape, i think it's a really compelling story that are resonating with a lot of voters
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and i hear them retell her story to me when i ask them kind of what do you think about her, what do you love about her? >> that's interesting that that stands out so much they repeat it to you. so some of her past comments are coming to light though, cnn just reporting something she said and i'll quote that. she said we have a president in office right now, barack hussein obama, this was back in 2015, and continued, i tried to mention his name as much as possible, thinking at some point a light bulb will go off in someone's head, don't we get it? obama is a muslim, read another tweet. in 2016, continues, obama is a muslim doing muslim things. that's what we do know, there's obviously a lot we don't even know. what do your sources tell you about her past? >> reporter: she's getting attacked on everything. there's obviously a lot of
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problematic antiislam comments she's made on social media, some homophobic things she said on social media, you know, she's also been attacked for not being completely supportive of donald trump in certain tweets so it sort of runs the gambit and also for saying pause tchb things about protesters after george floyd murder. so it's kind of, really feels like, you know, people are trying to vet her in this moment, opponents are trying to attack her with anything and see if they can stop what momentum she has. >> all right, thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> reporter: thank you. and "outfront" next, i'm going to speak with a mother of a soldier trapped inside the mariupol steel plant, desperate for information tonight, learned her son suffered a shrapnel
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wound to the head. spoke to her in kyiv, and here in kyiv, see how life is right now despite the constant loud reminders of war. advancnced safety system ever. ♪ ♪ to celebrate salonpas day and our mission to improve people's lives through topical pain relief powerful, long-lasting patch for muscle and joint pain, get your free sample at hisamitsu at fidelity, your dedicated advisor will help you create a comprehensive wealth plan for your full financial picture. with the right balance of risk and reward. so you can enjoy more of...this. this is the planning effect. for people living with h-i-v, keep being you. and ask your doctor about biktarvy. biktarvy is a complete, one-pill,
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tonight, ukraine's prime minister saying difficult negotiations are underway for fighters from the steel plant. their families are desperately waiting for answers. valin tina's son inside the plant and the last time she had contact with him was april 3rd. >> when i asked honeim to send photo, he said he had not change, but sent the photo. he had a wound to the head. on his forehead. and his eyes went deep. i asked what was wrong with you.
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he replied that he had a shrapnel wound to the head and a contusion. i asked, what number was that? he answered, now, it is his eighth. do you know if he's been able to receive any sort of medical care or have, has the ukrainian government been able to tell you anything since i know you haven't been able to speak to him? >> there was also news from his comrades that he was wounded. he stayed in the basement. and when i wrote to his commander and said that i do not need geolocation, but i need to know whether he is alive, wounded or in captivity. he told me that he had no information. >> do you believe that he will be able to come out of that plant? >> i believe that he is in there.
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he said he was a paramedic. the guys there need me. i say you're wounded. you cannot and he answered, people without arms and legs are wounded and i have arms and legs so i'm fine. the wounded who were left without arms, legs in such unsanitary condition. they are hungry. they drained the water from the batteries and gave the seriously injured to drink. >> excuse me. >> i know he won't leave his boys in a difficult moment. he won't leave them. he will be with them to the end. and he cannot be taken prisoner.
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he took an oath always faithful. his comrades talked to me and told me, thank you for your son. because all ukrainians should be equal to him. i was pleased. >> as a mother, it's so hard to imagine your fear and your agony right now. but are you proud of him? >> this is my pride. i am proud of my son. even before the war when i met him, i walked with my head proudly raised. he is a defender of his home land. he did not go to another country to kill someone. he went to defend his land. his son. his wife. me as a mother. a sister. he went to defend all the
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people. yes, this is my pride. >> i know that you work at a plant and you are going to work every day amidst all this worry. here in kyiv, life is going on. is it hard to see all of this? >> it is difficult. you look like this, i look at it as if there is no war, but the thought does not leave me. my son is in danger. >> and she read me the last text exchange that she had with na sk zar. she sent him, i talked to your comrade. everyone should be equal to you. you are my pride, dear son. his reply was thank you. she says that is the last thing
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people here in kyiv have adjusted to a world where sirens warning of incoming cruise missiles don't stop life. this even as people here are personally impacted by the devastation we witnessed in town after town around the city. places where we saw the definition of human resilience. in those towns, children play. a mother who lost a child feels love. and life forces its way through. today, i met 11-month-old sofia in a kyiv park. her mother is working in canada for the summer and she was with her dad, alexi. >> i have not many job, but i, i
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remain in kyiv because we are waiting for great construction ukraine after this war. >> to rebuild. >> what can i say more? >> alexi's emotion rising unexpectedly. he's ready to rebuild. the day and his child are so beautiful. there is also a great and painful sadness here. "ac 360" starts now. >> less than a month before public hearings are scheduled to begin, the panel charged with investigating the president his