Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

UK says Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilians ‘must be investigated as war crimes’

A Ukrainian soldier is seen on a road where a missile destroyed a highway in Irpin, Ukraine, April 1, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has called for Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian civilians to be investigated as war crimes, saying there appears to be growing evidence of “appalling acts” committed by Kremlin forces in towns such as Irpin and Bucha.

“Their indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians during Russia’s unlawful and unjustified invasion of Ukraine must be investigated as war crimes,” Truss said in a statement.

“The UK will fully support any investigation by the International Criminal Court, in its role as the lead institution for investigating and prosecuting war crimes.”

—Sam Meredith

Russia’s actions near kyiv ‘look exactly like war crimes’, says Zelensky adviser

A man walks with bags of food in Bucha, northwest of kyiv, on April 2, 2022.

Ronaldo Schmidt | AFP | Getty Images

Russian forces could leave behind evidence of war crimes as they retreat from territories near Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, an adviser to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a BBC interview.

Sergey Nikiforov said the images from Ukrainian towns such as Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin are “really difficult to describe” and “heartbreaking”.

Nikiforov told the BBC that Ukrainian forces had found mass graves, people with their hands and legs bound and the bodies of executed civilians with bullets in the back of the neck. CNBC has not been able to independently verify these claims.

When asked if what was discovered could constitute war crimes, Nikiforov told the BBC: “I have to be very careful with my wording, but it sounds exactly like war crimes.”

—Sam Meredith

Russia’s chief negotiator says talks on draft peace treaty will resume on Monday

Russian Presidential Assistant and Head of the Russian Delegation Vladimir Medinsky.

Maxim Guchek | AFP | Getty Images

Russian chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said talks on the draft peace treaty would resume on Monday, stressing that the Kremlin’s position on Crimea and Donbass remains unchanged.

His comments appeared to challenge earlier reports suggesting sufficient progress had been made to allow direct contact between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian Vladimir Putin.

“The Ukrainian side has started to address issues related to a neutral and non-nuclear status in a more realistic way, but the draft treaty of agreements is not ready for submission to a summit meeting,” Medinsky said in a statement. Telegram message, according to a translation.

“I will say it again and again: Russia’s position on Crimea and Donbass is UNCHANGED, he added.

—Sam Meredith

Most animals in shelter near kyiv died due to Russian invasion, NGO says

Most of the animals kept at a shelter near kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, died as a result of the Russian invasion, according to animal rights group UAnimals.

The NGO said in an online post that of the 485 animals housed in the shelter in Borodyanka, a settlement northwest of Kyiv, only 150 survived.

The volunteers were able to access the animal shelter for the first time since the early days of the Russian invasion, they added, thanking those involved in the rescue operation.

“The animals are exhausted and in serious condition,” UAnimals said in a statement posted on Facebook, according to a translation.

“From the start of the war, the animals were abandoned, without food or water. Due to the occupation, it was extremely difficult to get there.

—Sam Meredith

Hungarians go to the polls in the shadow of war in Ukraine

Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, leaves a booth after marking his ballot at a polling station in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, April 3, 2022.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Polls opened across Hungary early on Sunday as voters in the central European country were faced with a choice: try their luck with a diverse coalition of Western-looking opposition parties or grant the nationalist prime minister Viktor Orban a renewed term with a fourth consecutive term.

The contest is expected to be the tightest since Orban came to power in 2010, thanks to Hungary’s six main opposition parties putting aside ideological differences to form a united front against his right-wing Fidesz party.

Recent polls suggest a close race but give Fidesz a slight lead, making it likely that undecided voters will determine the winner in Sunday’s vote.

— Associated Press

Black smoke rises in the sky over Odessa after a series of loud explosions

Images show thick black smoke covering the skies of Odessa, a port city on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, shortly after missiles hit the area.

A woman walks in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa as smoke fills the sky following a series of loud explosions.

Bulent Kilic | AFP | Getty Images

Airstrikes rocked Ukraine’s strategic Black Sea port of Odessa early Sunday morning, an Interior Ministry official said, after kyiv warned that Russia was trying to consolidate its troops in the south.

Bulent Kilic | AFP | Getty Images

Journalists and residents watch as smoke fills the sky over Odessa.

Bulent Kilic | AFP | Getty Images

-Sam Meredith; Getty Images

Evacuation tries to get people out of the besieged city of Mariupol to continue

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said work would continue on Sunday to evacuate residents of the beleaguered port city of Mariupol.

“Seven buses will attempt to approach Mariupol, accompanied by the International Committee of the Red Cross,” Vereshchuk said in an online video, Reuters reported.

Vereshchuk reportedly said 17 buses were ready to evacuate people from Mariupol and Berdyansk.

A convoy of Red Cross aid workers turned back on Friday after saying it had become impossible to continue their mission to facilitate the safe passage of civilians.

—Sam Meredith

Missiles hit the port city of Odessa in southern Ukraine

Smoke rises after an attack by Russian forces in Odessa, April 3, 2022.

Bulent Kilic | AFP | Getty Images

A series of explosions were heard in the strategically important port city of Odessa in Ukraine, with the city council reporting a missile attack on infrastructure.

“The enemy launched a missile attack on Odessa,” Odessa City Council member Petro Obukhov said via Facebook. “One of the goals was an infrastructure installation. We won’t forget or forgive anything.”

It comes after several journalists reported smoke rising into the sky on the Black Sea coast following a series of loud explosions in the early hours of Sunday. CNBC has not been able to independently verify this information.

Washington Post correspondent Isabelle Khurshudyan, who is based in Odessa, said via Twitter: “Heavy explosions in downtown Odessa right now. My hotel room windows just rattled. I don’t don’t know what it was.”

Separately, ITV correspondent Richard Gaisford reported that smoke was rising in the sky over Odessa following a series of explosions.

—Sam Meredith

Russian forces target eastern and southern Ukraine, warns Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses members of the Dutch parliament via video link, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine March 31, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that Russian forces are seeking to capture areas in the east and south of the country.

“What is the goal of Russian troops? They want to take over both Donbass and southern Ukraine. What is our goal? Protect us, our freedom, our land and our people,” Zelenskyy said in his last speech.

He said that while Ukrainian forces had regained control of communities in Kyiv and Chernihiv, Russian forces had reserves to increase pressure in the east.

“We are strengthening our defenses in the eastern direction and in the Donbass,” Zelenskky said.

—Sam Meredith

Russian airpower shifts to southeast Ukraine, UK ministry says

A Ukrainian soldier walks past the remains of a downed Russian helicopter near Kharkiv on March 31, 2022.

Chris McGrath | Getty Images

Russian air activity has increased in southeastern Ukraine over the past week as invading forces shift their efforts to that part of the country, the The UK Ministry of Defense said in its Daily Intelligence Update.

However, Ukrainian anti-aircraft capabilities still pose a “significant” challenge to Russian fighter jets and helicopters, which were unable to locate and destroy Ukrainian air defense units, the ministry said on Friday. evening.

“Russia’s inability to find and destroy air defense systems seriously hampered its efforts to gain broad air control,” the ministry said, “which, in turn, significantly affected its ability to sustain the advance of its ground forces on a number of fronts.”

The southeastern part of Ukraine would include the port city of Mariupol, which was largely destroyed by the Russian siege.

Russian ground forces attacking in the north have been pushed back from the capital Kyiv over the past week.

—Ted Kemp

Ukraine claims to have regained control of kyiv for the first time since the start of the Russian invasion

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov tours Ukrainian military positions, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, outside kyiv, Ukraine March 25, 2022.

Ukrainian Ministry of Defense | Reuters

Ukraine said it had regained control of kyiv for the first time since the Russian invasion began.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar wrote that “the whole Kyiv region is liberated from the invader.” Reuters reported that there was no immediate Russian comment on the allegation, which could not be independently verified.

Russia left behind heavy damage, destroyed tanks, destroyed buildings and dead bodies, even as it retreats, according to the Reuters report. Russia described the retreat as a symbolic effort as part of the peace talks.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a morning video address on Saturday that dangers remained even as Russian forces left parts of the country. He said that some retreating troops were laying mines or booby traps. CNBC was unable to independently verify this report.

— Melissa Repko

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