GEOFF BENNETT: Good evening, I'm Geoff Bennett.
Tonight on "PBS News Weekend," Ukrainian officials say they've won the battle for Kyiv.
But Russia is repositioning its forces already launching a new offensive in eastern Ukraine.
Then state lawmakers across the country are tightening voting rules, we take a look at how that could affect this year's midterm elections.
And a new documentary from the "PBS NewsHour" spotlights the struggles of many Americans after being released from prison.
MICHAEL CEVALLO, In and Out to Prison: There's so much more to this life than, you know, sitting in a cell.
GEOFF BENNETT: All that and more on tonight's "PBS News Weekend."
(BREAK) GEOFF BENNETT: In Ukraine, Russian forces are preparing for a new phase of the war in the east and south.
To oversee it, Russian President Vladimir Putin is assigning the same general who previously led Russia's punishing campaign in Syria.
And in Kyiv visiting Western leaders have made new pledges for weapons but the country's leaders say they need even more and faster.
Special correspondent Simon Ostrovsky reports from Kyiv.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: In the eastern city of Barvinkove, soldiers and volunteers wait for war.
VITALII, Ukrainian Army Lieutenant Colonel (through translator): During World War II the biggest tank battle happens here and I think history will repeat itself.
It will be a lot of troops, it will be a fight.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: Some of their equipment is older than they are, but the soldiers make do.
ALEKI GOLUBNICHIY, Ukrainian Army Reserve (through translator): Ancient or not, the main thing is it works.
In our hands, everything works even a stick machine.
We use everything we're given.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: According to satellite images, Russian tanks are moving to the south and east.
They'll focus on the Donbas region, parts of which are already controlled by pro-Russia separatists.
Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba.
DMYTRO KULEBA, Foreign Minister, Ukraine: Ukraine won the battle for Kyiv.
Now another battle is coming, the battle for Donbas.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: Unable to topple the capital city, Russian troops left a trail of destruction.
Each day brings shocking new discoveries.
LUDMILA ZABALUK, Head of the Dmytrivka Village Department (through translator): They tortured them threw them in the water.
You can see where they threw them, animals beasts, there's no other way to say it.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: Despite the barbarity, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he would continue to negotiate with Russia.
He also urged Western allies to speed up weapons deliveries.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, Ukraine President: All day sent, all this equipment, all this weapon they sent already us, I think it is -- for some of these kinds of equipments it's too late.
SIMON OSTROVSKY: And in Vatican City, Pope Francis commemorated the start of Holy Week by calling for peace.
POPE FRANCIS, Head of Catholic Church (through translator): Christ is once more nailed to the cross in mothers who mourn the unjust deaths of husbands and sons.
He is crucified and refugees who flee from bombings with children in their arms.
He will lay down your arms and start an Easter truce.
GEOFF BENNETT: And Simon joins me now from Kyiv.
Simon, we heard in your report the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister say that Ukraine had won the battle of Kyiv.
Do residents there feel that way?
Do they feel safe now?
SIMON OSTROVSKY: I think residents here are still recovering from the shock of what's happened because every day there's just another shoe that drops in terms of bad news about where new graves are being found and where new victims are being found.
And so people are very much still trying to recover Ukrainian forces here, which were instrumental in defending Kyiv and defeating the Russian force that came down in this direction from the north, are now being transferred to positions in that area.
So, the Ukrainian military is now recalibrating, and people living in this region are having to come to terms with what happened here while the war continues.
GEOFF BENNETT: We also heard accounts today of Russian forces looting homes and stores and occupied parts of Ukraine.
What have you seen?
SIMON OSTROVSKY: Well, I've visited several towns where Russian forces have been and each one of them except for the cities where fighting was too heavy to loot, the looting was nearly universal.
We went to a little place called Ozera, near Hostemel, which was the site of really fierce fighting, but in Ozera itself, most of the houses are still intact.
That's from the outside.
But once you go inside, you see what the Russian soldiers actually did to residents' property.
Some of the residents I was speaking with there told me that they literally backed the truck up into the yard of many of the houses and just unloaded everything that was inside those houses of any value, put them in the back of the -- in the back of the truck and drove away.
Houses were completely ransacked, expensive audiovisual equipment was taken.
Everything down to the silverware was even taken.
A woman told us in the Chernihiv region that they had taken even the clothes and the underwear.
Her husband, who was standing next to her when she was telling me this was wearing the only clothes that he had left after the Russian soldiers had gone through their house and used it as a base for a couple of weeks after the villagers fled.
GEOFF BENNETT: Special correspondent Simon Ostrovsky reporting for us tonight in Kyiv.
Simon, thank you.
And a note our coverage of Ukraine is supported in part by the Pulitzer Center.
In today's headlines, French president Emmanuel Macron will again face far right leader Marine Le Pen in that country's presidential runoff.
Her strong showing is a sign of the continuing appeal of nationalistic and xenophobic rhetoric in France.
After polls closed today in the first round of voting, Macron maintained a narrow lead over Le Pen, that's according to early projections.
The runoff will take place on April 24.
Political uncertainty in Pakistan after a dramatic no confidence vote early Sunday removed Prime Minister Imran Khan from office, crowds flooded into the streets of Islamabad following the decision.
Khan claims his ouster is part of a Western conspiracy, and he called on his supporters to protest.
The interim prime minister will be selected by Pakistan's Parliament tomorrow and the general election will take place later this year.
Khan is expected to run.
And in Mexico, voters are taking part in an unorthodox presidential recall the first of its kind there.
Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador launched the recall himself, asking voters to decide whether he should be removed from office.
Critics say the move is really an effort to energize his supporters after a series of political scandals.
And President Biden's chief medical officer Dr. Anthony Fauci says the uptick in COVID-19 cases across the country is no surprise as the U.S. ease its pandemic restrictions.
He says Americans are going to have to use their own judgment about what's safe going forward.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: This is not going to be eradicated and it's not going to be eliminated.
And what's going to happen is that we're going to see that each individual is going to have to make their calculation of the amount of risk that they want to take in going to into a den isn't going to functions.
GEOFF BENNETT: Fauci noted, however, that if there's an uptick in hospitalizations, the U.S. may need to, quote, revert back to masking indoors.
And TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz who was running for the U.S. Senate and Pennsylvania gained a critical endorsement last night from former President Donald Trump.
DONALD TRUMP, Former U.S. President: Dr. Oz, great guy.
It's a good man, Harvard educated, tremendous, tremendous career.
GEOFF BENNETT: A number of Trump allies are backing a different GOP candidate Dave McCormick, and the first candidate Trump endorsed in the race, Sean Parnell dropped out and made domestic abuse allegations.
Still to come on "PBS News Weekend," a new Documentary from the NewsHour team looks at the problems facing the formerly incarcerated and what it means to feel seen and movies, TV and music.
We hear from students about the importance of representation in media.
Late last month, Arizona's Republican governor signed a bill requiring proof of citizenship to vote in presidential elections.
Voting Rights Advocates say it could make it harder for some 200,000 Arizonans to cast their ballots.
It's the latest move and a coordinated effort by Republican lawmakers nationwide to tighten voting rules ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
This past week I spoke with Jessica Huseman, the editorial director of Votebeat about these changes.
Jessica Huseman thanks for joining us.
So Arizona governor Doug Ducey, as you know, he's signed legislation to expand U.S. citizenship voting requirements in his state.
It's a measure that critics warn will jeopardize the voter registrations of thousands of Arizona residents.
But this requirement, as I understand it has been on the books since 2004.
And then back in 2013, the Supreme Court said it was not permissible in federal elections.
So help us understand the motivation behind this law.
And in whether or not it's constitutional.
JESSICA HUSEMAN, Editorial Director, Votebeat: Sure, of course, there are a couple of states that have attempted to do this, Kansas and Georgia are the other two, Alabama also had floated around the edges of this in the past.
And universally, it has been ruled by federal courts to be unconstitutional, and specifically to violate the NVRA, which was the Voter Registration Act that dictates how people can register for elections across the country.
And Federal law says that you must be able to use a federal form in order to register for federal elections, the federal form does not require documentary proof of citizenship.
And so courts have repeatedly ruled that any barriers or requirements that go beyond that form are not permissible in federal elections.
And so after Arizona instituted this in 2004, they were doing it for both state and federal elections.
In 2003, the Supreme Court again said that that was not permissible.
And so they split federal and elect federal and state registration from each other.
And so you don't have to present documentary proof of citizenship in Arizona to register for federal elections.
You do for the state and Arizona is essentially knowingly bucking federal law and previous court precedent in order to pass this law.
GEOFF BENNETT: All right, so that's Arizona, walk us through some of the other biggest latest moves by states to change voting laws ahead of this year's primaries.
JESSICA HUSEMAN: You know, you've seen a lot of it, I think that one of the biggest thing that's happening in the last couple of weeks is that several states have made moves to ban private grants to election administrators.
So, election administrators are either banned outright or entirely restricted from accepting private money to administer elections.
And on one hand, that's not a terrible idea.
I mean, you -- we don't necessarily want the richest people in America calling the shots and how we dictate our elections or administer them.
But I do think that states are not coming forward with funding on their own.
So in 2020, Mark Zuckerberg donated almost $350 million, which election administrators relied on almost exclusively to pull off an election during a pandemic.
Now that states have banned those private donations, they have not also increased their own funding.
So I'm talking to election administrators across the country, who are really at a loss as to what they're supposed to do.
If they can't get private funding, and the federal government and the state and local governments are not putting up the money themselves, they're just left with fewer dollars.
GEOFF BENNETT: I was just going to ask you that if this is a role for Congress to play.
We know that voting legislation, voting rights legislation on the federal level has basically stalled.
But could Congress have a more of a role in in funding local elections?
JESSICA HUSEMAN: Yes, absolutely.
You know, last year, the local election administrators were convinced that they were going to get $10 billion over 10 years in the budget that was passed last summer.
They did not get that.
Nancy Pelosi, as we reported pull that at the very last minute.
That number has resurfaced again in President Biden's proposed budget.
He has again proposed $10 billion over 10 years to be distributed to local election administrators.
But, you know, Congress doesn't have to listen to the President.
The President's proposed budget gets thrown in the trash can almost every year.
And so there's really no compelling need for Congress to act on what President Biden has recommended and we're already seeing pushback back from seven Republicans who do not want to give more money to election administration this go around.
GEOFF BENNETT: What's that old saying when it comes to budgets, the White House proposes and Congress disposes.
Jessica Huseman, editorial director of Votebeat.
Appreciate your time.
JESSICA HUSEMAN: Thank you so much.
GEOFF BENNETT: For the past few years, the NewsHour has been reporting on the issues facing the formerly incarcerated, like finding a job, housing and health care.
Next week, those issues are front and center in a PBS NewsHour documentary called Searching for Justice: Life After Lockup.
Let's take a look.
MICHAEL CEVALLO: I never planned to go back.
So every time it's been extremely devastating, this time when I went to jail this time, I must have anguished.
I'm talking about anguished for days.
I could not I could not believe it.
I just knew that this is not.
This is not right.
This is not where I want to be.
This is not what I want for my life.
There's so much more to this life, then, you know, sitting in a cell, and which ruined, you know, I lost, you know, just the normal things that people lose when they go to jail.
It's part of the process, I guess.
WOMAN: What are those normal things for people who don't know?
MICHAEL CEVALLO: Everything.
The normal things that you lose when you go to jail is everything.
I mean, your whole life.
So, whether it be a marriage, family, kids, finances, you know, people can say, you know, money, you know, don't make you happy?
Well, not having money doesn't make you happy, either.
And that's what's scary, you know, saying, because now I'm out here.
And I don't know, I'm just not set up for anything.
I'm not set up for any financial situation.
GEOFF BENNETT: This past week, I spoke with NewsHour's chief correspondent and host of the documentary Amna Nawaz.
So Amna, tell us more about this documentary, what were the questions that you and your team were trying to answer?
AMNA NAWAZ, NewsHour's Chief Correspondent: So Geoff, I think most people know I've heard before that the U.S. incarcerates more people than any other country in the world, right?
Something like 70 million Americans now have an arrest or criminal record.
And so there's a lot of stories about life inside prison.
But you should also know that 600,000 people get out every year, and what happens to them.
So our colleagues of producers, Mike Fritz, and Frank Carlson spent about two years looking into just that, following the lives of four people, including Michael Cevallo, the man who just -- we just heard from there, to see for those tens of millions of Americans, What is life like after you've served your time.
And what we found was that that time in prison or jail for most of these people, really haunts them for long, long, long after their free.
The rules and the regulations that greet them on the outside limit where they can work and how they can live and how they compare.
And so we spent a lot of time with them, not just trying to understand who they are today and how they're living today.
But what led to their incarceration in the first place.
GEOFF BENNETT: You mentioned Michael Cevallo.
So we saw in the clip, who else did you follow?
Tell us more about who else we'll meet in this documentary.
AMNA NAWAZ: Yes, so a bit more about Michael.
He is 53 years old, and we should know he has now spent most of his life behind bars and with no support or trading inside.
So basically, every time he gets out, he really struggles to build a life and to reconnect with family and to find work and get his footing.
You'll also meet a woman named Rachel Schuyler.
She is 32 years old.
She is now fighting to get her daughter back.
She lost custody after her last conviction.
Rachel really struggled with addiction and had massive childhood trauma early in life.
She was never, never really able to get any kind of help for and this system just keeps putting her back behind bars.
You'll meet a man in Michael Plummer, who was convicted of murder when he was 17.
He was just released in 2020.
And now he's trying to reconnect with his now adult daughter and a granddaughter he's met for the first time and he's working two jobs and trying to make ends meet and trying to build a life at the age of 42.
And you'll also meet a woman named Renee Wyatt.
Now, Renee struggled with addiction and with homelessness.
She has been in and out of jails and prisons for much of her life.
And she became kind of the exception to the rule.
You know, she beat the odds, she got out and she stayed out.
And she's now using her experience in prison to try to counsel and support women who have similar stories too.
So every single person we met though, Geoff, we should note, every single person had a history of trauma or instability.
Every single one of them had a parent who either struggled with addiction or had been previously incarcerated.
Studies show these are patterns, right, and these are patterns that our system freely does more to reinforce than it does to break.
GOEFF BENNETT: Wow.
What do you hope that people will take away from this documentary after they watch it?
AMNA NAWAZ: You know, watching these folk stories, you're not just going to meet them, you're going to really get to know them, you're going to get to understand them, you're going to see the whole picture of their lives, not just -- not just their time behind bars, you know, these people are so much more than their criminal records.
But really, oftentimes society sees just that.
And only that even after they're out.
So we now know, tens of millions of people, more than any other nation are basically written off because of their crimes, right, they're not able to participate, let alone integrate into the world around them after they've done their time, after they have paid their debt to society.
That's because our system is just continue to punish them long after they're free.
So, we hope that people will watch we hope they'll get to know these folks, and we hope that maybe they'll stop and wonder, can we do better?
Can we be better?
GEOFF BENNETT: Well, I will tell you, I will be among those watching this documentary.
Amna Nawaz, thanks so much for your time.
It's great to have you.
AMNA NAWAZ: Thanks, Geoff.
GEOFF BENNETT: Searching for Justice: Life after Lockup airs Wednesday night at 10 Eastern nine Central right here on PBS.
We take a look now at how diversity in media and entertainment affects young people.
Our Student Reporting Labs program, which leads journalism training in middle and high schools around the country asked teenagers why representation in pop culture matters to them.
ELOISE PEARSALL, Haldane High School: There's a lot about pop culture that is pretty negative, but it can also help you find out who you are in this world.
I told my parents last night and they were actually okay with glee was a big part of me accepting and discovering my sexuality.
In Glee was great at showcasing LGBTQ plus representation.
And so it quickly became my comfort show.
SAMANTHA CASAS, Northview High School: Grey's Anatomy the show freshman year, I was still trying to find ways in how to make other people see me and love me as me.
PHIN PONCE, Howard W. Blake School High School: The fact that Loki from the series Loki on Disney Plus is gender fluid.
A lot of people don't know what gender fluidity is.
And it's hard to try and explain it to them when they have no examples.
And it's difficult to try and be their example.
SHAKIRA, Singer: It's also going to be a reminder of the heritage of this country, which is one of diversity.
JOSE DELGADO, Oakland Military Institute: When Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performed in the Super Bowl halftime show, I remember being so proud because these people are part of my culture, and a part of my race.
And I felt seen, I felt embraced.
MOHAMMED MUSAED, Oakland Military Institute: Especially like to TikTok.
I follow a lot of Arabic content creators, and it just helped me connect better with my roots.
I used to think that doesn't really matter, like seeing people look like you're doing good things, but it really does help.
TABARIK MAYYAHI, Cudahy High School: Probably Aladdin, I felt really appreciated because it shows Middle Eastern culture.
I came here in like second grade to a completely different country and culture.
And I felt the need to fit in with my classmates who were mostly white.
AMELIA FERRARI, D.C. International School: Grand Army, some shows are really overplayed and drug usage and partying.
But this one focuses more on mental health and actual issues that like teenage girls and guys might be going through.
ANNA ARRINGTON, Forest Hills Junior-Senior High School: In the Netflix show called Tiny Pretty Things.
There's a lot of dark points in the show with dancers developing eating disorders, and a lot of people don't like to talk about it, but I myself struggle sometimes with stuff like that.
And I think it's a really good thing that the show brought attention to that.
SARAH DEAL, D.C. International School: One stereotype is that many Asian women are all cute and small and can't stand up for themselves.
But in squid game and Shang chi, many female characters showed that they were strong and they could fight and like stand up for themselves.
RAHA MURTUZA, Richard Montgomery High School: In Spider Man 2: Far From Home, I have seen one portrayal in particular that most accurately portrays a Muslim girl.
The here is this girl and she's able to have fun and be free and Europe and still wear his hijab showing that the two can coexist.
HALLELUJAH DEBRETSION, Oakland Military Institute: Black Panther had started a whole bunch conversation.
That's why it's very important to have diverse characters to for people to feel represented and also to start more conversation.
OSCAR PEREZ SANCHEZ, Rouse High School: The more I care become more accepting, which is obviously something that makes everyone overall better people.
GEOFF BENNETT: Finally tonight, we want to share some of the amazing work done last year by photo journalists around the world.
Here are a few of the winners of the 2022 World Press Photo Contest, which were recently announced.
First up, this image captures protesters in Myanmar using homemade slingshots to fend off military resistance.
The photo was taken by an anonymous photographer for the New York Times.
This next image shows how indigenous Australians use fire to protect their homeland.
That's by Matthew Abbott for National Geographic and Panos Pictures.
And this last photo from Canada commemorates children who died at the Kamloops Indian residential school created to force indigenous children to assimilate.
It was taken by Amber Bracken for the New York Times.
And that's "PBS News Weekend" for tonight.
On Monday's NewsHour, the head of the UN's refugee agency discusses the consequences of millions of Ukrainians fleeing Russia's invasion.
I'm Geoff Bennett.
Join us online and again here tomorrow evening.
For all of us at "PBS NewsHour Weekend, "thanks for spending part of your Sunday with us.