Heartwarming moment CNN correspondent interrupts report to help Ukrainians make their way through rubble

CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward unintentionally became the story Saturday while doing a live report outside of Kyiv amidst the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ward, who is no stranger to expressing herself during a broadcast, joined John Berman on “New Day” from the site of a destroyed bridge reportedly to the northwest of Kyiv in Irpen, Ukraine.

The tweet from Ukrainian parliamentary body Verkhovna Rada reads in part, “The occupiers blew up the railway tracks! We urgently ask all people who were waiting  for the evacuation from the Irpen railway station to move to the Novoirpin highway, where they will be evacuated by bus to Kyiv.”

As people marched out from the rubble behind her, Ward explained that they had been experiencing seven straight days of bombardment. With a large number of elderly among them, she pointed out they “are only just leaving their homes, and they’re leaving them reluctantly, and they’re leaving them with the knowledge that they might not be able to go back to them.”

Viewers were struck as Ward intermittently stopped reporting back to Berman to instead lend aid and comfort to those elderly Ukrainians who were gingerly making their way along the rubble-strewn path. Ward could be heard speaking in Russian as she directed passersby to safer routes of travel.

“They’re visibly distressed,” Ward continued as another elderly pair approached from the background of her broadcast.

“These people are the lucky ones,” she expressed before switching to Russian once more and helping a woman with her bag. After clearing the difficult part in the path, Ward returned the bag and left the woman to carry on with a word of comfort and a gentle touch on the back.

“A lot of these people have no idea where they’re going to go,” Ward told Berman as she began to conclude her broadcast. “Once they cross this bridge, they know that they’re in relative safety once they do it, but they don’t have any idea where they’re going to go.”

The reactions from those who witnessed Ward’s compassion were incredibly supportive of the correspondent.

Ward, who was lauded by colleagues in the industry like Emmy Award-winning reporter Caitlyn Penter as “the gold standard of reporting,” may be remembered for her candid remarks during the botched Afghanistan withdrawal.

Recounting the stories of Afghans so desperate they had taken to throwing their infants over razor wire-topped walls in hopes of them reaching safety, Ward reflected on a statement President Joe Biden had made where he said of the troop withdrawal, “I don’t think it was a failure.”

“I think a lot of people outside that airport, particularly those taking the kinds of extreme actions we’re talking about,” Ward said at the time, “would like to know if this isn’t failure – what does failure look like exactly?”


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