This week in 60 minutes, Reporter Scott Bailey reported from Odessa, Ukraine, Where he followed the efforts of the World Food Program of the United Nations. This is Pelly’s latest trip to Ukraine to cover the Russian war there.
Shortly before Bailey and the 60 Minutes team arrived in Odessa for this week’s report, Russian forces destroyed an apartment building in the city. The missile strike, which killed eight people including a three-month-old infant, came the day before Eastern Orthodox Easter.
Billy met Odessa mayor Gennady Trukhanov, who told Billy that because he was born in the Soviet Union, he struggled to understand what Russia was doing now.
“I could not imagine that the Soviet people would do such a thing,” Mayor Trukhanov told Bely. “But today I see what Russian soldiers are doing. Russian soldiers are raping our women today. Russian soldiers are killing children. And Russian soldiers are killing defenseless civilians today. Therefore, we all understand today that we have no other chance than to resist aggression, to win and drive them out of our land.”
Across the border, many Russians seem unable – or unwilling – to understand what their forces are doing in Ukraine. At a World Food Program food distribution site in Odessa, the 60 Minutes team met Hana, a woman from Mariupol who told Bailey that her parents lived in Russia. When you communicate with them on the phone, you try to explain to them what is happening in Ukraine.
“When you tell them about events, or what happened, they don’t get that information, or they don’t want to hear the gist and understand that it’s true,” Hanna explained.
What her family refuses to hear is that her home was surrounded, bombed and destroyed by Russia. The News agency It reported that Ukrainian officials say more than 100,000 civilians are still trapped in Mariupol, with little food, water and heat.
Although Odessa was not affected as much, Russia still hits it regularly. While Billy and his team were on the ground, Russian missiles destroyed a bridge across the mouth of the Dniester River. According to ReutersThe bridge connects mainland Ukraine to the Odessa region near the mouth of the Danube and will give Ukraine a link to continue exporting goods if Russia closes the Black Sea ports. Saturday, fresh Russian missile attack Destroyed runway at Odessa airport.
In his reporting around the country, Bailey said he saw something he hadn’t seen in his years covering conflicts around the world: the mass destruction of civilian neighbourhoods.
When he interviewed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at his compound in Kyiv in April, he visited Beli Bucha, the site of the Russian massacre of civilians. There, behind the Church of St. Andrew and the Pyervozvannoho All Saints, Bely stood on the edge of a sandy ditch, where he saw the victims hastily and incompletely buried before Russia withdrew.
“It’s the most shocking thing I’ve seen anywhere in the war in my entire career,” Bailey said. “It’s industrial madness.”
The video above was produced by Brit McCandless Farmer and Will Croxton. Edited by Will Croxton and Robert Zimet.