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tv   CBS Overnight News  CBS  February 28, 2022 3:30am-4:00am PST

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this is the cbs "overnight news." >> good evening. thanks for joining us. tonight, the pentagon is criticizing vladamir putin's decision to put his nuclear forces on high alert as "unnecessary and escalatory" this as u.s. and european allies seek to further punish russia for its invasion of ukraine. still, russian forces are pushing deeper into ukraine, resistance has reportedly been fierce, and in some places, the fighting street to street. but russia's forces are advancing. these new satellite images you
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see there show columns of military equipment 40 miles outside the capital of tv. and closing in. today, ukraine's president volodymyr zelenskyy agreed to negotiations with russian officials without preconditions. as the fighting rages, the united nations reports nearly 400,000 people have fled the country, most of them women and children. we begin tonight on the ground in ukraine with cbs' holly williams. >> reporter: in just a few short days, ukraine has transformed into a war zone. one russian missile hit an oil depot on the outskirts of the capital kyiv early this morning, according to ukrainian officials. and just 20 miles from the russian border, they've been fighting on city streets. the ukrainian authorities saying they're still in control. yesterday in kyiv, the battle came very close to us. we're hearing a lot of gunfire.
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obviously fighting taking place, we think about three blocks from here. we went inside a private hospital, which is now canceled all elective surgeries. instead, this doctor told us they have prepared to treat combat injuries. why are you staying? you could leave. >> it's my home. i'm in my own country. i was born here and i will live here for all my life. >> even if that means dying here >> if it means fighting for my home. >> reporter: ukraine's resistance has been determined, and may have taken moscow by surprise. video shared online shows killed and captured russian soldiers and destroyed russian military hardware. ukrainian volunteers have taken up arms and made molotov cocktails at the request of their government. >> now we're doing this, and it seems like the only important thing to do now. >> reporter: many ukrainians
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have been living a subterranean existence. sleeping in subway stations to shelter from russian missiles and air strikes. and nearly 400,000 have already fled the country, according to the united nations. lines at border crossings stretch for miles. today, we met olga and their baby daughter, as they tried to cross into neighboring moldova. >> we have apartment, we have kindergarten, we have normal life in kyiv. and we don't want to go. but it's dangerous to stay here. >> reporter: today, ukraine's foreign minister said that vladamir putin had so far failed to achieve any of his goals in this invasion, with russian forces not yet in control of any more ukrainian cities. jericka? >> holly williams for us, thank you. joe biden has been handling the crisis from delaware this weekend. that's where we find cbs news senior white house and political
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correspondent ed o'keefe. ed, it's been a busy weekend. >> reporter: it sure has, jericka. the biden administration says that vladamir putin's latest moves are another example of him trying to scare the world, and why unity against his invasion of ukraine is so critical. from the united nations -- >> president putin is continuing to escalate this war in a manner that is totally unacceptable. >> reporter: to nato. >> this is dangerous rhetoric. >> reporter: much of the western world is standing strong against russia's invasion of ukraine. >> i haven't seen this kind of unity since 9/11. >> reporter: the most forceful response so far, a decision to kick most russian banks out of the international banking system and plans to restrict the country's central bank. >> this makes it very difficult for president putin and the russian government not only to do business, but also to help fund a greater expansion of their military. >> reporter: u.s. and european allies plan to target russian oligarchs with ties to president
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vladamir putin, who shield his wealth in offshore accounts, real estate, and even yachts. >> i love this because it's personal. vladamir putin has shown he's a thug, a despot. >> reporter: most democratic and republican lawmakers support steps taken so far. >> this is very good news and the kind of thing we ought to be doing. >> reporter: but some say joe biden should be doing more. >> it's time for the president and some of our european partners to quit pussyfooting around. i know that they say they have sanctioned 80% of the banks in russia. vladamir putin controls 100% of the banks in russia. >> reporter: the biden administration says it will take about a month for full sanctions to be felt. >> can the government in kyiv hold on for a month? >> the president of ukraine has indicated that they're going to be fighting back constantly, and it is our plan to support their efforts. amid all of this, the president is preparing to deliver his state of the union address tuesday night.
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what do we expect to hear from him? >> reporter: notably, in an interview today, his chief of staff said that unlike most state of the union addresses, this is going to focus more on national security and foreign policy given the situation in ukraine. but expect to hear him talk about his passage of historic infrastructure and economic recovery legislation, he'll call on the senate to confirm his supreme court nominee. he's likely going to set the tone for democrats as they prepare to run for re-election later this year. >> ed o'keefe in delaware, thank you. today, the united states asked americans in russia to consider leaving immediately. our correspondent is in moscow with the latest. >> reporter: tonight, vladamir putin raised the stakes between russia and nato to the highest degree. by ordering his army to put nuclear forces on high alert. western countries aren't only taking unfriendly actions
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against our country in the economic sphere, he said, but top officials from nato members made aggressive statements regarding our country. ordinary russians are trying to speak out against the war their leader has waged. often, at their own personal risk, as over 3,000 people have been detained during protests since thursday. >> i'm so shocked. i just can't help crying. >> reporter: crippling sanctions imposed on russia's financial institutions already sewed panic here. on sunday, banks targeted by the u.s. and the eu have been working overtime to service long lines of people trying to withdraw their live savings. people here are worried about being isolated from the rest of the world, not being able to travel abroad or buy the devices they used to. most of all, they're unnerved by the uncertainty each new day of this war brings. jericka? >> mary, thank you.
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this is the cbs "overnight news." i'm jericka duncan in new york. thanks so much for staying with us. ukraine's president says he has little hope for today's scheduled peace talks with russia, as the russian army continues its offensive in ukraine, the two sides have agreed to send negotiators to the ukraine/belarus border without preconditions. now, the meeting comes as russian president vladamir putin raised the stakes by putting his nuclear forces on high alert. putin claims this is in response to aggressive actions by the united states and its nato allies. he was a virtual unknown when he came into power 22 years ago,
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and to this day, he remains a mysterious figure. lee cowan has more. >> reporter: vladamir putin. he's as different from his predecessor, president boris yeltsin, as in two political actors could be. yeltsin believed in democracy for russia. vladamir putin just pretended he did. during his more than two decades in power, putin's anger and disdain for the west has been simmering. yet, on the world stage, he largely kept a lid on it. >> most people believe that he was a pragmatic authoritarian ruler, and he certainly he was very careful in the way he acted. >> reporter: angela stint is one of many who have been sensing that something in putin has changed. >> two years of isolation during the pandemic maybe has affected him. his grip on reality is somewhat
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less than it was, or he's a risk taker. >> he's grown more resentful, nor isolated, more furious at almost everybody and everything. >> reporter: david remnick covered russia for "the washington post" and won a pulitzer prize for his book. if you had just one word to describe vladamir putin, what would it be? >> i think at this point, isolated. politically isolated from contrary advice. isolated as much as he can manage it from his own population. and isolated from reality. >> reporter: putin was a young kgb officer, stationed in east germany in 1989, when the berlin wall came crashing down. putin saw the fall of the soviet union a short time later as the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 21st century.
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it was as if he himself had been humiliated. he took this all personally? >> yes, we all take it personally, but we don't invade countries as a result. >> reporter: putin was virtually unknown in 1999 when he rose to power. he quickly set about setting his image as a dynamic and charismatic leader. >> strength and power are everything to vladamir putin. every interlockular that comes to see him is made to wait three, four, six, seven, eight hours. that's all about this novel he's writing in his head about the great putin. >> reporter: he's gone toe to toe now with five u.s. presidents. all the while growing more uneasy of democracy. seeing it as a scourge, sweeping closer to russia's sphere of influence. any form of public uprising, no matter how small, he believed, had the west behind it pulling
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the strings, and that he was the ultimate target. >> you should strike first, hit first. >> reporter: in 1999, he called on the russian military to attack separatists from the russian republic of chechnya, branding them as terrorists who deserved no mercy, and he gave them none. when gay rights protests erupted in the leadup to the 2014 winter games in sochi, putin saw it as an attempt by the west to embarrass him during his big moment. the crackdown was relentless. it was that same year that putin invaded and subsequently annexed crimea, using the unmarked russian troops who came to be known as the little green men. but even then, some worry that that occupation was just a morsel. it wouldn't satisfy his appetite for power. his full-scale attack on ukraine this past week proved vladamir putin's hunger shows no sign of abating. >> this is a disaster, and it's
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a disaster that's unfolding every day, and it's a chapter that will be written in blood. >> that, again, was lee cowan reporting. some here in the united states are wondering how the situation between russia and ukraine even became so toxic. mo rocca has a look back at the history of that relationship. >> reporter: since its independence in 1991, ukraine has made many hard-earned gains. pulitzer prize winning historian ann applebaum has written about russia and ukraine. >> it's no the ukraine any more than you would say the germany or the france. >> reporter: not according to vladamir putin. >> the state today hasn't been built in ukraine. >> reporter: who all but denies ukraine is its own country. >> it is an inherent part of our own history, culture and space.
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>> reporter: russia with the country it calls its little brother, can claim this way, way back. >> in the middle ages, there was a civilization based in kyiv. russia and ukraine trace their origins back to that state. >> reporter: that civilization is said to have been founded in the ninth century by vikings. >> it's many centuries ago, and much has happened since then. the vikings also had a role in the creation of england and the coast of france and it's a very long time ago. >> so if the vikings claimed ownership over france, it would be a dubious claim. >> it's as dubious for the russians to claim control over ukraine. >> reporter: fast forward to 1793, when the bulk of what is now ukraine, became part of the russian empire.
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>> ukraine was like ireland in the united kingdom. it was a subordinate part of a greater empire. >> reporter: during the revolution, ukraine fought for independence. it lost. and in 1992 was subsued into the communist state. >> it always had its own language and status inside the ussr. >> reporter: but within a decade, soviet leader josef stalin, fearful of an independent minded ukraine, brought down the hammer. >> he decided to take the land away from the peasants and gave it to the stake and there was very strong opposition to that in ukraine. >> reporter: the atrocity that began in 1932 would come to be known as the ukrainian ex-termination from hunger. >> so it was an artificial famine.
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that means it was a famine caused not by crop failure, not by insects or drought. it was a famine that was created by the soviet state. political activists went from house to house in rule krukrain and confiscated food. they knew that meant people would die, and they anticipated that would happen. >> reporter: between 1932 and 1933, some 4 million ukrainians starved to death. in a 1984 documentary, one survivor called the horror. >> translator: i saw a child picking a stalk of wheat, trying to eat the unripe grains. that was a very serious crime. this was a government order. to punish anyone, even to death by execution. >> people survived by eating
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frogs, toads, mice. they ate the bark of trees. >> is it true some people resorted to cannibalism? >> yes. it was reported, and in moscow, people knew that there was cannibalism in ukraine, yes. >> reporter: a second wave of stalinist terror involved the arrest and murder of ukrainian intellectuals, artists, even writers of dictionaries. is it right that they eliminated a letter from the ukrainian alphabet? >> yes. they changed the way it was written to be more similar to russian. >> you mentioned so many h horrific details. that detail i find humiliating to take the language and expunge a letter. >> the attempt to eliminate ukrainianness and the sense of identity and nationhood has been a russian policy since the 19th century. it was the czar's policy, it was stalin's policy, and now it's
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putin's policy. putin believes an independent, sovereign democratic ukraine is a threat to him personally and his personal power. the one thing that putin genuinely fear is grassroots democratic movements. and the most important way to push back is to eliminate that ukrainian state. >> are ukrainians thinking, not again? >> there's a famous poem by the ukrainian natnatal "calamity." just as we were beginning to get along, calamity strikes again. its democracy and sense of nationhood was growing stronger, and now this disaster has befallen them. and this feeling they may be dragged back into some horrific stalin era up at 2:00am again? tonight, try pure zzzs all night. unlike other sleep aids, our extended release melatonin helps you sleep longer.
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whiz, is giving old facemasks a new life, recycling them into wireless phone chargers. taking inspiration from hollywood's "wally robot" who wa left to clean u planet, he recited -- created a machine doing the same. >> these plastic waste, especially the masks, is almost 100% made from plastic >> reporter: all that plastic creates a hard shell, which is made into a wireless charger using electronic parts. >> this is a function that everyone needs or wants. especially during the pandemic. >> reporter: bank executive cindy lynn saw her recycling efforts pay off, after asking employees to hand over their used masks. she says, we collected around 10,000 of them, and they were
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studies have found that listening to music can benefit our mental health. nancy chen paid a visit to an orchestra from the musicians themselves are the ones benefiting from the tunes. >> reporter: there's been plenty of high and low notes for those on stage here at boston's storied symphony hall. but when they perform together, there's simply harmony. what does music bring to your life? >> music brings to my life everything. >> reporter: he was once a music director at julliard and conducted around the world. >> i was able to learn and memorize complete symphonies overnight. >> reporter: but then he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder,
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which cost him work. >> the constant up and down. . >> reporter: along with his wife, he started this orchestra, for people with mental illness, and those who support that. musicians like josh santana. what have you found with the orchestra? >> playing music is so powerful when you are all joined by a common mission. >> reporter: the new england based orchestra has inspired ensembles around the country. all with this focus, ending the stigma. >> we're not trying to be the greatest orchestra in the world. we're just trying to create community. >> reporter: a community orchestrating inclusion and appreciation. >> and that is the "overnight news" for this monday. for some of you, the news continues. for others, check back with us later for cbs mornings, and follow us on line at
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cbsnews.com. reporting from the broadcast center in new york city, i'm jericka duncan. this is cbs news flash. i'm elise presson in new york. the united nations general assembly and security council will hold emergency meetings about the russian invasion of ukraine monday. the emergency session allows members to speak ahead of a resolution vote expected in the coming days. it's the body's first emergency session in decades. nearly 6,000 anti-war protestors in russia have been arrested since russia began its assault on ukraine. the arrests have been tracked in 51 cities across the soviet nation. google maps has temporarily some tools in ukraine, which show live conditions of busy places. the move hopes to protect the
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security of local residents. for more news, download the cbs news app on your cell phone or connect to tv. i'm elise preston, cbs news, new york. it's monday, february 28th, 2022. this is the "cbs morning news." war zone. ukrainian forces continue the fight against russia's military as both countries agree to meet today in hopes of brokering a peace deal. president biden's response. why u.s. sanctions against russia won't be felt immediately. no to war. people in russia protest their own country's invasion of ukraine, but thousands of demonstrators are ending up in handcuffs. well, good morning, and good to be with you. i'm anne-marie green. this morning, gunfire and explosions in and around ukraine's capital are more subdued than in recent days, but
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that doesn't mean the violence is ratcheting down.

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