'Your World' on Ukraine war, China's Russian dilemma

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This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 18, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: All right, Vladimir Putin defending his invasion of Ukraine and maybe wincing at all the global notoriety the Ukrainian president is getting, when he never leaves Ukraine, talking to one major legislative body after another of the greatest powers on Earth, as Vladimir Putin tries to explain to a packed crowd in a Moscow stadium that he means no harm, that he is doing good, that he is fighting the good fight, even as that good fight is turning awfully deadly and getting awfully close to a NATO country.

In Lviv today, in the western part of the country, a mere 40 miles from the Polish border, the missiles were flying and people were dying.

Right now, Mike Tobin and Lviv, Ukraine with the latest from there, Mike?

MIKE TOBIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Neil, as you mentioned, for the first time, the -- first time in several days, the relative peace of the western part of the country was shattered, as cruise missiles rained down here perilously close to NATO's eastern flank.

What they were after was the Lviv state aircraft repair. What that facility does is customize MiG-29s, so they can be used by the Ukrainian air force.

Maxim Kozytskyy, the regional administrator of Lviv says the airstrikes were launched from long-range bombers over the Black Sea. Six of the missiles were launched. Four of them got through. Two of them were intercepted by Ukrainian air defenses. The Ukrainian air force says one of the reasons the cruisers was way able to get through is because they flew so low.

They are the Russian X-55s, with a price tag of about a million apiece. South of here, the town of Mariupol, the situation is quite desperate. You know that theater that was being used as a bomb shelter took a direct hit from a Russian aircraft. Some sort of munition was dropped directly on it. People were in that bomb shelter at the time. It was clearly marked that children, women and children, were in that facility.

The problem now, what we're hearing from local politician Serhiy Taruta is that the rescue crews coming to get the people out of that facility are being fired upon. So the rescue crews can't get into the facility. Some of the people have been rescued.

But as far as the other people who are trapped, maybe buried beneath the rubble, we know that there were some people on the first floor, as well as in the basement of that facility. The rescue crews can't get to them, can't get them out.

It is an absolutely apocalyptic scene in the town of Mariupol. The mayor says 80 percent of the housing has been destroyed. You know that they have been resorting to a mass graves in that town simply because they are overwhelmed by the number of dead they have to deal with.

The people who are escaping that town, the accounts that we're getting from them are that the humanitarian cease-fires aren't holding, but that people aren't waiting any longer. They quite literally are running for their lives under fire, anything to get out of this besieged town of Mariupol -- Neil, back to you.

CAVUTO: Mike, thank you very much, Mike Tobin in Lviv, where, all of a sudden, the attention has shifted to the western side of the country.

The read from the former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker.

Ambassador, always good to have you. Within 40 miles of the Polish border, that's pretty close. What did you make it?

KURT VOLKER, FORMER U.S. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR UKRAINE: It is.

I think a couple of things here. First off, we're talking about long-range bombers and missiles. We're not talking about ground forces or utility or rocket fire, because they can't get close. So this is a signal that the military advance has stopped.

Second, it's risky to send missiles that close to NATO territory, knowing that, if you hit NATO territory, NATO might respond. So they're willing to take that risk and pay that expensive price tag for these missiles because they know that, if the MiGs come in, they will be customized for the Ukrainian air force. And that will add to Ukraine's firepower, so they're trying desperately to avoid that.

These are signs of weakness coming from Russia, weakness in their military effort, not signs of strength.

CAVUTO: All right, now, this area that they hit was where a lot of this aircraft repair would happen. So it was by design.

But I'm wondering, do you think, given the proximity to the Polish border, that the Russians don't think there would be a response to something like that, if a missile went down or went over the border?

VOLKER: Well, it's a combination. I think they're willing to take the risk that their systems are accurate, and so they wouldn't hit there. But then, if it did, they're probably counting on a proportionate response, a missile strike-back, not a major NATO response. They may be right about that. But they may be wrong about that.

But I think they're willing to take the risk.

CAVUTO: Ambassador, as you know, the president had a one-on-one, a conversation, a fairly long one, two hours, which, even allowing for translation, is a long phone call back and forth with the Chinese leader.

I spoke to Britain's ambassador to the United States, Karen Pierce, about that. And she set it up as a sort of a moment in time, where China has to decide, where do you want to be? I want you to react to this, the British ambassador.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO: It doesn't sound like a country that's dialing things back either in support of what the Russians are doing. I don't know about military support, but certainly in doing what the U.S. and maybe, by extension, other NATO countries want.

What do you make of that?

KAREN PIERCE, BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: If I were thinking of an alliance with China, if I were a developing country, and I saw big Chinese support for Russia, I'm afraid I'd think twice about why China was doing that and whether I really wanted an alliance with a country that professes to be on the side of sovereignty, and yet condones and possibly tries to help Russia in its illegal actions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO: It comes down maybe to their economic interests too, Ambassador.

What she seems to be saying is, stand up for something, China, and, if you don't, your vagueness isn't helping you. What do you make of it?

VOLKER: Yes, very interesting her comments, as well as the Chinese ambassador's op-ed in The Washington Post, if people have not read that.

China does not like what Russia is doing to Ukraine. They see Ukraine as a sovereign country, a U.N. member state, and don't think that Russia's actions are acceptable or justified in attacking them. But they don't want to break with Russia. They also agree with Russia that a Western-led liberal economic order in the world is something that China wants to break. They want to replace it.

So if they can help Russia with sanctions-busting to evade those sanctions through financial transfers and trade that could both benefit China and also weaken the Western order, they would like that. So they're in a delicate position here.

Finally, they don't want China's desire to reabsorb Taiwan as seen as parallel with Russia's attacks on Ukraine. They view Ukraine as a sovereign country, but they don't view Taiwan is a sovereign country. They view it as an integral part of China. And they don't want to destroy Taiwan in order to take it over. They want to absorb it over time.

So they're trying to draw a distinction here. And I think the reason the phone call was so long today was to explore, where are China's limits? What will they do? What will they not do? And can we encourage them to differentiate in that way in their thinking?

CAVUTO: Ambassador, we're getting dribs and drabs out of what exactly transpired in the conversation today.

But we're told that Xi Jinping had told the president that China didn't want to see a Ukraine war. The war reference is something that even Russia avoids.

VOLKER: Yes.

CAVUTO: Don't call it a war.

They did. And I'm wondering, if that is the case, the significance of that.

VOLKER: Yes. Yes, it is.

The Chinese are very careful when choosing their words, and they have now chosen to call this war. He did so also in his phone calls with Strzok and Macron in Europe. They also aired video in China of Russian snipers shooting civilians in line for bread in a city in Ukraine, Chernihiv, which offended Lavrov to the point that he turned his playing around, and was going to visit Chinese, and few back to Russia instead.

So they are clearly trying to show some distance with Russia's decision to attack a sovereign state and the methods that Russia is using.

CAVUTO: Finally, Ambassador, sometimes, we can read a lot more about the government's intent in Russia coming from various spokesman or ministers.

And this is a tweet that came from Hua Chunying, China's assistant foreign minister, who had said -- and I think, Ambassador, this was before the formal phone call between the two.

"The claim that China's on the wrong side of history is overbearing. It is the U.S. that is on the wrong side of history."

Now, if he's saying that in a tweet, and that is the view of China on this whole dust-up here, then China is looking at us as the perpetrators here, or at least making a big deal out of this, which I would think is rather obvious.

VOLKER: Yes.

CAVUTO: But what do you make of that?

VOLKER: I read that a little bit differently. I think that what -- when we say they're on the wrong side of history, we're saying that they're supporting the aggressor, and not the victim, and the victim is actually going to survive and prevail, so they're getting Russia wrong.

When they say on the wrong side of history, I think what they're saying is, United States, you're a declining superpower, you're going to have to get used to the fact that China is a rising power in the world.

And I think that's a very different conversation. And I think we may be talking past each other a little bit on that.

CAVUTO: I had said it was the final one. I lied, because, as the money nerd here at FOX, Ambassador, I always think that China keeps a closer eye on its markets than it does even wars.

And it doesn't want that happen to itself what has gone on with Russia, being isolated and financially now shoved in a corner by the world. It doesn't want that, because it's 20 times the economic power that Russia is, and it doesn't want to risk that.

Do you think that will ultimately decide how far it goes here?

VOLKER: I do. I think that is one big factor. They care about that.

Another big factor is that they feel time is on their side, and they don't need to break things in order to advance. Russia is desperate. And they see that. And I don't think the Chinese respect Russia very much. China has worked very hard at lifting up its economy, taking people out of poverty. It does not respect human rights. It does not respect democracy.

It has designs in its region. But it is also very proud of its economic achievements and is not going to sacrifice them.

CAVUTO: Do you think it's embarrassed by Putin?

VOLKER: Oh, definitely embarrassed.

I don't think they believed that Putin would be this ruthless, this brutal, and this incompetent, as the way this military operation has unfolded. I think everybody thought Russia had this powerful military and would roll in a couple days, and that has not happened.

CAVUTO: No, it has not.

Ambassador Volker, very good catching up with you, our former U.S. ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker.

Before we take a very quick...

VOLKER: Thanks so much.

CAVUTO: Thank you, sir.

Before we take a quick break here, markets ended up closing one of its strongest weeks we have seen since November 2020. By the way, it wasn't only our markets. It was the same in Europe. They seem to be sensing from this that things could stabilize, that, even in the face of higher energy prices, the economies in all these nations, especially our own, are holding up pretty well.

For example, in the case of the Nasdaq, those technology stocks that had been slammed into bear market territory, they're up 10 percent from their lows. Now, they're still down. But the impression at least on this week that was strong for us and strong for much of the Western world was, we will get through this. Let's just hope they're right.

Stay with us. You're watching "Your World."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: All right, all eyes right now on exactly what the Russians do following their getting a little too close for comfort to the Polish border today in this bombing campaign in Lviv.

Now growing talk that they're also going to get a little bit more ruthless, if that is even possible.

How the Pentagon is reading all of that with Jennifer Griffin right now -- Jennifer.

JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Neil, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, wrote to a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations that he assesses that, as the Russians face stiff resistance in Ukraine, Moscow may rely more on the threat of nuclear weapons.

Quote: "As this war and its consequences slowly weaken Russian conventional strength, Russia likely will increasingly rely on its nuclear deterrent to signal the West and project strength to its internal and external audiences."

The Russians are facing stiff resistance, and Russian soldiers are experiencing food and fuel shortages. They remain largely stalled on the ground and are becoming more reliant on missile attacks, like the one we saw near the Western city of Lviv early this morning.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was in Bulgaria today visiting NATO allies. He's -- he was in Slovakia yesterday, where Slovakia his defense minister said his country would like to send S-300s to Ukraine, but would need backup support to bolster its own defenses if it sends them.

Today, the Dutch Defense Ministry said it would install Patriot missile defense systems in Slovakia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Communicate together, learn how a weapon systems work, so that, when the time comes, we don't have to guess at this.

And the other thing we do when we're doing things like this is, we create trust. And you can't surge trust at the 11th hour.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: In Moscow today, an unusual moment for the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, who, as he addressed a packed stadium rally to mark the anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea, the sound system mysteriously went down just after he began talking about that invasion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PUTIN (through translator): It so happened that the beginning of the operation coincided quite accidentally with the birthday of one of our most outstanding...

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: The Russian government said it was the result of a -- quote -- "technical glitch" on the server -- Neil.

CAVUTO: Still wondering, Jennifer, what happened to that sound person, though.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: But we will see

Thank you, Jennifer, very, very much, Jennifer at the Pentagon.

To General David Perkins right now, the retired U.S. Army four-star general, served this country with great bravery.

General, thank you for taking the time.

This rally essentially that Vladimir Putin had in Moscow and his pushing this point that it was thrust on him by Ukraine, not himself or Russia, what did you make of that?

GEN. DAVID PERKINS (RET.), FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think he's getting a little bit of envy of all the attention that President Zelenskyy is getting around the world.

Plus, I think it shows that he's concerned that he's not making the advances that he needs to. Desperate people do desperate things. So it is getting, I think, much more brutal than maybe even he thought it would have to be, and therefore is trying to sort of rewrite history, as he seems to do often.

CAVUTO: You know, that has been sort of like the good news, bad news on this.

The good news, at least if you don't want him like taking over the world, is the trouble he has had in Ukraine. The bad news is, the trouble he's having in Ukraine might make him desperate and do even worse stuff. What do you feel?

PERKINS: Well, I think that's one of the things -- and we heard Secretary Austin talking about it and others -- that they had planned -- and then some of their plans had been leaked a couple of weeks ago -- this was going to be a quick move to Kyiv. They were going to sort of take out the leadership and install their own puppets.

And now it has become bogged down, a term used often. They're not making the progress they need to. And so you can see them lashing out in different directions. I think part of these attacks in the West you saw, going after the MiG repair facility, trying to interdict the supplies coming from Poland, they are trying to find something that works.

And each thing they try seems to not work particularly well. So, I think there has to be concern about, what is the next thing they're going to try and try to be in front of that?

CAVUTO: General, Putin has had a lot of close calls, and whether they were deliberate or not, I mean, this time within 40 miles of the Polish border, cutting it close to take out this aircraft facility, but the two hits on nuclear facilities, including the one that was within 1,500 feet of taking out, at Chernobyl, the reactor, to say nothing of reports of drones that crash outside Ukraine, one into Poland, one, I believe, in Romania.

It doesn't take much to make this thing blow way out of proportion, no pun intended. What do you think?

PERKINS: Yes, Neil, well, I mean, as a military leader, that would be my concern, because the Russian military has not shown itself to be particularly good, not particularly professionally well-led.

And, definitely, their planning and intelligence seems to be way off. You would think they would have much better intelligence about that part of the world, since they live there and have been involved in Crimea for so long. But they seem to not understand well what are some of the key command-and- control targets, which one -- which targets give them military leverage.

And, therefore, they just lash out at anything that they can hit, or they just lash out many times probably not even knowing what they are going to hit.

CAVUTO: Real quickly, General, you saw the large crowd in this Moscow stadium. Obviously, President Putin is trying to assure Russians he still has their support, he still has their interests at heart.

But all of this could go away if, frustrated by the economic hit that Russians are experiencing, they tire of all of this, or, worse, images of body bags coming home of soldiers from this. How much support do you think he still has at home? Are there indications that might be waning?

PERKINS: I think the latter point, Neil, you just made is probably going to have a bigger impact. And that is the rate of casualties.

The -- I have seen reports anywhere from 400 and up a day. The -- even if you take the lowest estimates, they have exceeded the casualties the U.S. took Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

And so, while he may be able to suppress for a while the truth of what's going on, eventually, those numbers are going to have an impact. And people will start seeing that disconnect between a staged rally and what they're seeing within their own families.

And I think that is going to have a bigger impact than maybe even a long breadline, which, unfortunately, the Russians are quite used to.

CAVUTO: Yes, you're right about that. That's very interesting.

General David Perkins, thank you, sir, very, very much.

PERKINS: Thanks, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, in the meantime, what did come of that two-hour phone conversation today? We still don't know a lot. It's more the Chinese giving us an update on what they say happened.

Jacqui Heinrich at the White House as to what the White House is still, well, not saying as to what happened -- Jacqui.

JACQUI HEINRICH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you, Neil, what we did not get from that call.

It appears that the president walked away without getting any guarantees from China that it's not going to help Russia or any condemnation from China about what is going on right now in Ukraine.

The White House says they still have concerns that were expressed yesterday that the Chinese may provide material support to Russia to help its war in Ukraine. And they also would not say whether the Chinese referred to the invasion as an invasion.

But the Chinese readout which was very lengthy, referred to it as the crisis in Ukraine. So, glean from all of that no guarantees that they won't help and that they're not probably referring to this as an invasion.

The White House has declined to say specifically whether the president asked China if they intend to help Russia, the press secretary saying that the U.S. has made clear what the consequences will be if they do that. The White House has said sanctions are on the table. And the Chinese Foreign Ministry has had a lot to say about that.

They tweeted this morning: "Sweeping and indiscriminate sanctions would only make the people suffer and could trigger serious crises in global economy and trade, finance, energy, food and industrial supply chains, crippling the already languishing world economy and causing irrevocable losses."

Now, on aid to Ukraine, the rest of this briefing, the president has faced quite a lot of criticism that, when he does take action, he ends up doing it too late. There have been people pointing to sanctions on Russia, on sending Stingers and Javelins, on banning Russian oil. His critics and those who are aligned with him have said that he's taken action a little bit too late on that.

And there's now this continued pressure for the U.S. to facilitate the transfer of those Polish MiG fighter jets. Jen Psaki told me a couple days ago that the Stingers and the Javelins that we have sent so far are defensive weapons, but MiGs are offensive weapons.

So I asked her how then we are classifying the new armed drones that we just announced we're sending. Listen to her answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: ... sending to Ukraine is security assistance, all of it, and weapons that they are effectively using to defend their country against Russian aggression. And that is how all of this material would be categorized.

HEINRICH: In that sense, then, wouldn't MiGs also be defensive, since Ukraine is defending itself from attacks from Russia?

PSAKI: Well, again, this is all assessments made by our Defense Department. Those type of planes would be a different category of military assistance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HEINRICH: So, from that, it does not sound like there's been any shift within the administration their openness to facilitating the transfer of MiGs, but the pressure does continue, especially from Capitol Hill -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, Jacqui, thank you very, very much.

Jacqui Heinrich at the White House here.

Meanwhile, we're getting some new drone video in that shows the lengths of this destruction on the part of these Russian airstrikes and more, we're told, to come.

The read on where this is going -- after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: Three-point-two million refugees as we speak. And more, at the rate of now almost 300,000 a day, are coming, more than half to Poland.

Poland today saying, you know what? We need help fast, please, now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Imagine that on -- on 4:,00 a.m., each of you, you start hearing bomb explosions, severe explosions.

Justin, can you imagine hearing, your children hear all these severe explosions?

President Biden, you are the leader of your great nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.

Ronald Reagan, once said in Berlin, "Tear this wall down."

I want to tell you now, Chancellor Scholz, tear down this wall. Give Germany the leadership that you deserve and which will make future generations proud. Help us. Help the peace. Help each Ukrainian stop the war. Help us to stop it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO: He doesn't need to go talk to a stadium in his country to rally support. Just a Zoom camera will do, talking to the powers that be in the United States, in Canada, in Germany, next week in Japan, the European Union, and on and on, packed audiences that are watching him and following with standing ovations for a message from a Ukrainian leader that's as simple as this: Freedom is at stake, not just in my country, but down the road, if you don't do something about it, maybe yours.

The read from John Herbst, the senior director at the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

Ambassador, the difference between his approach and the reaction to what he's saying, and Vladimir Putin trying to fill a stadium in Moscow to assure local support for what he's doing couldn't be more dramatic. What do you think?

JOHN HERBST, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: Yes, the difference between an adoring crowd and a claque. And all Putin's got is a claque, because his policy is bankrupt. And he understands that he's on the defensive.

And he's trying somehow to find a way out of the trap he put himself right into.

CAVUTO: And now I'm wondering -- it's interesting, because, particularly, when he spoke to the U.S. Congress, he did that with almost a Spielberg- like film to show the horrors that are unfolding in his country, to spur them along, to offer the air support that right now they're reluctant to.

But it seems, Ambassador, with almost each and every passing day, they're coming closer to that, with these very smart drones that can do a lot of damage and take down planes. But because of this constant pounding on his part, he's getting more of what he wants. What do you make of that?

HERBST: He is a superb communicator.

But, of course, he has a very important and compelling message to tell, that Ukraine was attacked with -- having -- without having done anything wrong, and that the attack by Russian forces, since they cannot destroy the Ukrainian military, is designed to destroy the Ukrainian civilians, and to thereby compel the Ukrainian people to give up.

And even with that, he's failing. He, Putin, is failing.

And Zelenskyy is shaming the West into providing the support they should have provided months ago. The Biden administration did a good thing this week, agreeing to send these drones and agreeing to help Ukraine get these S-300 anti-aircraft, high-altitude anti-aircraft missiles. But this should have been done literally months ago, and there is more we should be doing.

But the West and especially the White House have been cautious, overly cautious. They have been deterred by Putin's nuclear brandishing of weapons, as opposed to saying, hey, we're every bit as strong, in fact, much stronger than Russia. And we will not give up on our interests, in this case, supporting Ukraine with more weapons, just because Putin likes to threaten.

CAVUTO: Do you think, maybe given the clumsy nature of this invasion on the part of Putin and his soldiers -- it's been deemed disappointing, and the great, vaunted Russian army doesn't look so threatening anymore -- that that might galvanize more Western support for air cover, because they don't think Putin is up to expanding this war?

He can barely control what's going on in Ukraine, which he can't.

HERBST: Well, I think that's a smart observation.

And maybe, little by little, that sort of logic is working. But we still see far too much timidity. I mean, just before I got on, you were quoting Jennifer Psaki saying, well, we can provide those MiGs because that's offensive weapons.

Frankly, it's offensive to hear that nonsense. Ukraine is fighting for its life against a much more powerful force. We have said we're not going to use our troops. That's fine. So, let's give them everything else. And let's not make sophistic distinctions between offensive and defensive weapons, when the Russians are slamming Ukrainian citizens, not just from within Ukraine, but from without Ukraine.

CAVUTO: Ambassador, thank you very much for those reminders. We forget that.

John Herbst, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

HERBST: Thank you.

CAVUTO: We will be monitoring that very, very closely.

In the meantime, monitoring what we're doing to make up for Russian oil that will soon be officially off the market. But talking to other dictators about getting still more?

After this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO: Some of this country have said we're dealing with one despot to counter the actions of another despot.

CARLOS VECCHIO, VENEZUELAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: It doesn't make sense that an ally of Putin would be now the option for, for example, oil supplier.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO: Here's the weird thing about dealing with Venezuela right now to get some of their oil.

We are now recognizing Maduro as the head of Venezuela. Our ambassador from Venezuela to the United States represents Juan Guaido, who we see as the leader of that country, but it's with Maduro that we're trying to get this oil.

It's so confusing and so weird, but no weirder than talking to the Iranians about cobbling together a deal so we can get oil from them to make up for the oil we pretty soon will not be getting from Russia.

Dan Hoffman is probably just throwing up his arms here, but the former CIA station chief in Moscow, FOX News contributor kind enough to share his insight now.

It is weird, Dan. That's all I can say. It's just weird.

DAN HOFFMAN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, yes.

Look, the Iran nuclear deal was a bad one in 2015. It's still a bad deal. Even if the Biden administration has resisted Russia's efforts to get a sanctions cutout, it still doesn't deal with -- there's still sunset clauses on Iran's nuclear program. There's none of those -- there's those sunset clauses, I should say.

It doesn't deal with Iran's ballistic missile capability or their state sponsorship of terrorism. Also of great concern was Iran's demand that the United States withdraw the designation of the IRGC -- that's Iran's military arm -- from state sponsorship of terrorism.

So the Trump administration put that designation on, rightly so. And they took action against Qasem Soleimani as a result. And if we -- if we eliminate that, at Iran's request, I think that's a real problem for our national security. So there is concern here about the Biden administration kind of backing themselves into a corner and allowing Iran to take advantage of a situation where we want to get some short-term help on the oil market, and we're willing to give up far too much than we should.

CAVUTO: Yes.

And even if you're trying to appeal to the environmental progressives in your party, if you try to tap Venezuela's reserves and strike a deal with Maduro, they have among the dirtiest refining operations in the world. So you're getting even more environmentally unsafe oil, and if that's your issue, than you had here before, even with Russia, to say nothing of our own oil supplies, largely untapped, since Keystone.

What do you make of all of this?

HOFFMAN: Yes.

And added to that was that when President Biden was campaigning, he really put human rights out front and made it clear, at least during the campaign and in the early days of his presidency, that human rights, that was going to be a major consideration when he was making foreign policy.

And what we're seeing right now is a real conflict between our interests and our values. And the administration, I think, is having a hard time kind of reconciling the two.

CAVUTO: Yes, I could see that.

Dan Hoffman, thank you very, very much.

By the way, oil prices were up on the day, not that it worried markets. We're back over $100 a barrel. And there's no indication that even getting oil from Iran or Venezuela is going to change that math very, very much.

All right, when we come back, talk about math and some staggering numbers on a day all the major markets around the world were advancing, 3.2 million, the number of refugees right now fleeing Ukraine, and those numbers are going up fast -- after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: Ukrainians trying to find shelter.

Right now, 3.2 million have fled Ukraine or in the process of doing so since the war began. But a lot of Americans trying to help say there's got to be something that can be done.

Well, a couple of Harvard kids have found an app for that. It's their app.

Nate Foy with more on what they have come up with -- Nate.

NATE FOY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Neil, there's a clear need on this. And these two Harvard freshmen teamed up to create a Web site called Ukraine Take Shelter, which simplifies and facilitates the housing process for these refugees.

So I want to show you that Web site, what it looks like for people logging on. You get to the home page. Simply type in your location, and then you're matched up with your options for a safe place to stay.

Refugees and potential hosts can filter using location, language, other details that would help them find the perfect match. I want to show you the teens who designed this site. They did it in just three days. They launched the site on March 2, so it's been live for just over two weeks now. It's been translated into a dozen languages. And, right now, it has over 20,000 listings.

Of course, security is a big concern. And that's something they're working on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARCO BURSTEIN, UKRAINE TAKE SHELTER: Have a very thorough reporting process where we can take down illegitimate or inappropriate listings.

We give all of our refugees a detailed guide on how they can verify the host that they're talking with to make sure that they're legitimate and that the person that they're maybe speaking with on the phone is the same person that they're going to be meeting up with in person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOY: Avi and Marco say they're starting to work with international aid organizations, and they have hopes to expand the Web site to include transportation services, possibly flights, even job assistance services.

They tell FOX News they're not making a penny off the site -- Neil, back to you.

CAVUTO: Amazing.

Nate Foy, thank you for that, and very inspiring.

To Jeff Paul. He's in Warsaw, Poland, right now, where I think they might want to give that app a look. He's been monitoring the overwhelming number of refugees, more than half, by the way, who have made Poland their choice to get out.

What's the latest there, Jeff?

JEFF PAUL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Neil, think about the size of Phoenix, Arizona and imagine that city's entire population being forced to pack up and move.

And in a sense, when you compare it to the situation with how many people from Ukraine are coming to Poland, that's exactly what's happening, around two million people. And many of them end up right here in the capital city of Warsaw.

And, often, as we're seeing with our own eyes, when they show up here, they only have the clothes on their back. So they need a lot of essentials like clothes. But as we found out from one local volunteer operation in Warsaw, it goes beyond the necessities of clothes. They have set up the donation room to look like a store to give the feeling of shopping.

An organizer points out, when people are deprived of their personal belongings, a part of them feeling human is taken away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAROLINA SULEJ, VOLUNTEER: You give them their personal things, once again, you give them their confidence back. You give them this sense of home that they carry with each other, because they have nothing left.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: We spoke with one Ukrainian mom who had to escape with her 8-month- old son in a caravan, writing the word "Children" on their car in Russian, so they wouldn't be targeted.

She says she is beyond grateful for the Polish people, who've done so much. While she feels safe in Poland, she is still worried about all the family she's been forced to leave behind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANASTASIA KARAKURT, UKRAINIAN REFUGEE: Just now, my brother called me and he told me, Russian tanks stay in my street in front of my home. Where is my father? Where is my grandmom?

That's why now I'm little bit feeling like afraid of -- my family, and I don't know what is going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: That mother we spoke with says, if it wasn't for her 8-month-old son, he would still be in Ukraine fighting the Russians -- Neil.

CAVUTO: Jeff Paul, Warsaw..

Thank you very much, Jeff.

In the meantime, here, Lviv used to be spared all the attacks that were going on pretty much everywhere else in the country, but now, in Ukraine, the Western portion of the country, including Lviv, is now a target.

Someone who lives there, a resident, who is not leaving there -- after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAVUTO: Lviv under attack, and the Russians who attacked it were really targeting an aircraft repair facility that's barely 40 miles from the Polish border. But it did untold damage and a great number of deaths.

The read from someone who is living there and taking all of this in, but not leaving there.

Dasha Vovk is a Ukrainian resident and kind enough to join us now.

Dasha, how are you holding up.

DASHA VOVK, LVIV RESIDENT: Hi, Neil.

I'm holding up pretty well, considering the circumstances.

CAVUTO: Yes, I mean, I'm sure you heard all of this. And the world is hearing all of this.

But, obviously, there's a new attack line on Vladimir Putin's part. What are you hearing? What are folks with you saying and fearing comes next?

VOVK: Well, yes, this morning, there was an attack on a factory near Lviv just, like, I don't know, four miles from Central Lviv.

I was asleep. And, honestly, I didn't hear a thing. I did hear an air -- air siren. But I decided not to go down to a bomb shelter. But then somebody called me and said that I should go because there is an explosion happening. So I decided to go. And I stayed there for like 30 minutes.

Yes, I heard some stories from people that heard these explosions this morning, and that some of their homes were a little bit even shaking from that explosion.

The people here are just waiting to see what's going to happen next, honestly. It's really hard to predict anything. So, people are just trying to live day by day. But we are definitely going to keep fighting. And we definitely believe in our victory.

CAVUTO: Do you think that Vladimir Putin is targeting civilians? He says he's not, but it almost seems that's exactly what he's done.

VOVK: Yes, I think he does exact opposite of what he's saying.

He is targeting civilians. He's targeting residential buildings in Kyiv. We have seen videos and pictures what he has done in Mariupol, in Kharkiv, in Chernihiv, all over Ukraine, actually.

CAVUTO: Yes.

VOVK: So, nobody here really believes him.

And we stopped believing him and what he says in 2014, when he invaded Ukraine for the first time.

CAVUTO: Yes, I think I can't blame you, Dasha.

Please be safe, Dasha Vovk, Ukrainian resident, living in Lviv through all of this.

We will have more coverage on this beginning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time tomorrow, as this air raid continues.

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