Ukrainian kids provide a moment of levity during heartbreaking interview from basement in Kyiv


On Wednesday, once again interviewed Olena Gnes, who has been sheltering in a Kyiv basement since Russia invaded Ukraine three weeks ago. Each time Cooper has interviewed Gnes throughout the war, she’s had her four-month-old daughter with her. This time, her seven-year-old daughter and five-year-old son were by her side, and due to the in Kyiv because of Russian bombardment, they had a lot of pent up energy.

What began as the kids making faces as their mother spoke, quickly turned into both of them jumping at the camera and growling.

“They are full of energy and they don’t know where to give this energy,” Gnes said, later adding, “For children it’s pretty, pretty hard. And they feel how stressed we are, adults, and they hear what we are talking about, so yes, they are pretty stressed. But they are coping with this invasion pretty well.”

The children’s antics caused both Cooper and Gnes to laugh, providing a brief moment of levity in an otherwise tragic situation. The interview took place just hours after Russia in the besieged city of Mariupol that was sheltering hundreds of people, including children. Gnes and her kids are just one example of the kind of humanity that Russian President is wiping out on a daily basis in Ukraine.

Anderson Cooper 360 airs weeknights at 8 p.m. on CNN.

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