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Latest Developments in Ukraine: April 5


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (center) walks in the town of Bucha, just northwest of Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, on April 4, 2022.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

For the latest developments of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, all times EDT:

10:51 p.m.: U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp INTC.O said on Tuesday it has suspended business operations in Russia, joining a slew of companies to exit the country following its invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported. The company, which had last month suspended shipments to customers in Russia and Belarus, said it has implemented business continuity measures to minimize disruption to its global operations.

“Intel continues to join the global community in condemning Russia's war against Ukraine and calling for a swift return to peace,” the company said. International Business Machines Corp IBM.N too had suspended shipments as Ukraine urged U.S. cloud-computing and software companies to cut off business with Russia. Servers from IBM, Dell Technologies Inc DELL.N and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co HPE.N top the market in Russia, where companies and government agencies have relied on technology developed by the West as the basis for their owned-and-operated IT systems.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal year 2023 defense budget, in Washington, April 5, 2022.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal year 2023 defense budget, in Washington, April 5, 2022.

9:25 p.m.: The top U.S. military officer is warning that the war in Ukraine will likely last years, raising concerns that the world "is becoming more unstable and the potential for significant international conflict between great powers is increasing, not decreasing."

During testimony in front of the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley called Russia's invasion of Ukraine "the greatest threat to peace and security of Europe, and perhaps the world, in (his) 42 years of service in uniform."

Asked by lawmakers what could have stopped Russian President Vladimir Putin from attacking Ukraine, Milley said the only defense possible may have been to put U.S. forces inside the country, which he would not advise because it would have risked an armed conflict with Russia.

8:50 p.m.: In his daily night-time video address to the nation late Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russian forces are still trying to push deep into Ukraine in the east, but the Ukrainian army is holding them back.

And, he said, Ukraine is aware Russia is preparing for another offensive. Ukraine is outnumbered in troops and equipment.

“We don’t have a choice – the fate of our land and of our people is being decided,” he said. “We know what we are fighting for. And we will do everything to win.”

8:12 p.m.: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin defended the U.S. response to the war in Ukraine on Tuesday in an exchange with a Republican lawmaker who said the Pentagon overestimating Russia's military capability, Reuters reports.

"Has it occurred to you that Russia has not overrun Ukraine because of what we've done? And our allies have done?" Austin asked rhetorically to Rep. Matt Gaetz before the House Armed Services Committee.

Austin and other U.S. officials say support from the U.S. and its allies to Ukrainian forces, along with their strong will to fight, has thwarted Russia's plans for a swift victory in a campaign now in its sixth week.

7:51 p.m.: Dressed in their bride and groom finery, a Kharkiv couple who have volunteered as medics since the start of the war were married on April 3 in the northern Ukrainian city, the scene of heavy bombing until recently. RFE/RL has their story from Kharkiv.

7:17 p.m.: Russia's invasion of Ukraine has internally displaced 7.1 million people in the country, a new report says. The report by the Organization for Migration (IOM), which covers data from March 24 to April 1, found that the number of internally displaced people increased 10% since the first round of the survey two weeks prior. "People continue to flee their homes because of war, and the humanitarian needs on the ground continue to soar," said IOM Director General António Vitorino in a press release.
6:44 p.m.: People are still only able to flee the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol on foot or by private car as efforts to organize mass evacuations by bus to safer parts of Ukraine have failed, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said. Efforts to evacuate civilians - some with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) - have repeatedly broken down, with both sides blaming each other, Reuters reported.

In an online post, Vereshchuk said seven buses trying to get to Mariupol had not managed to make its way through a Russian blockade. Russia's defene ministry said Ukrainian forces had "cynically disrupted" the evacuation effort, Tass news agency cited a senior official as saying.

Speaking earlier on national television, Vereshchuk said buses could not reach the first part of the evacuation route from Mariupol, which is "nearly 80 km (50 miles)- people have to either walk or find a way to make this journey in a private car."

Russian cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov is seen outside the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft after he landed with fellow Expedition 66 crew members Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos, and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on M
Russian cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov is seen outside the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft after he landed with fellow Expedition 66 crew members Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos, and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on M

6:11 p.m.: U.S. astronaut Mark Vande Hei, who came back from the International Space Station a week ago, said Tuesday that the relationships between the U.S. astronauts and the Russian cosmonauts was positive on the station, despite the invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions placed on Russia by the U.S. and its allies.

"About my relationship with my Russian crewmates, they were, are and will continue to be very dear friends of mine," the American Vande Hei said during a press conference in Texas Tuesday.

"We supported each other throughout everything," he said. "And I never had any concerns about my ability to continue working with them."

5:25 p.m.: Update: Reuters is reporting that the Azburg, a Dominica-flagged cargo ship hit by Russian missile strikes in the port of Mariupol, sank on Tuesday. The ship, which was believed to be empty, was hit by two missiles on Sunday, the Dominica Maritime Administration said. It was fired on again on Monday. The crew of 12 evacuated to other vessels nearby; one crew member needed medical care.

4:50 p.m.: Journalists with The Associated Press are reporting seeing dozens of battered or burned bodies of civilians in Bucha, a town outside of Kyiv. Ukrainian officials have said at least 410 civilians have been found dead so far.

4:00 p.m.: A children’s summer camp in Ukraine is the site of another grisly atrocity. In a basement in the town of Bucha, near the capital Kyiv, there were bodies with their hands tied behind their backs and bullet holes in their heads. The Ukrainian authorities said it was a war crime committed by Russian forces. Borys Sachalko has this report for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

3:42 p.m.: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West on Tuesday of trying to derail negotiations between Russia and Ukraine by fueling “hysteria” over alleged war crimes by Moscow’s forces, Reuters reported.

Kyiv and the West say there is evidence - including images and witness testimony gathered by Reuters and other media organizations - that Russia committed war crimes in the Ukrainian town of Bucha. Moscow denies the charge and has called the allegations a “monstrous forgery.”

FILE - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a news conference after his talks with representatives of Arab League nations, in Moscow, Russia, April 4, 2022.
FILE - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a news conference after his talks with representatives of Arab League nations, in Moscow, Russia, April 4, 2022.

3:26 p.m.: VOA's Heather Murdock went to the town of Bucha, outside Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, and has this report on civilian deaths and destruction found there after Russian troops retreated from the area.
WARNING: This report contains graphic images that some may find disturbing.

Shock and Heartbreak After Ukraine Retakes Kyiv Region
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3:11 p.m.: The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says it is gathering evidence of possible war crimes committed by Russian forces in the Ukrainian town of Bucha. U.N. rights chief Michelle Bachelet has expressed horror at the images of civilians lying dead on the streets of Bucha, a town on the outskirts of the capital, Kyiv. Her spokeswoman, Liz Throssell, says photos of bodies that have been desecrated are extremely disturbing. VOA’s Lisa Schlein reports from Geneva.

2:59 p.m.: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Tuesday held a Twitter chat with his followers and answered questions on a variety of topics, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to the United Nations Security Council, his government’s position that Russia should be suspended from the U.N. Human Rights Council, the European Union’s proposed fifth package of sanctions against Russia, Ukraine’s gratitude for international support, and efforts to prosecute Russia for war crimes.

2:56 p.m.: The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, met with European Union ambassadors in Geneva Tuesday to discuss humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, according to a post on Twitter. The gathering reiterated the need to respect international humanitarian law and expressed concern over a disinformation campaign against the ICRC which may endanger some of its staff on the ground.

2:42 p.m.: Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said in a statement on Tuesday that its team witnessed Russian strikes during a hospital visit on April 4 in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, and managed to take cover and escape unharmed. "Several explosions took place in close proximity to our staff over the course of about 10 minutes," said Michel-Olivier Lacharité, MSF head of mission in Ukraine. At least 11 people were killed and 61 wounded in a rocket attack on Mykolaiv on Monday that hit a bus stop and shopping area, Ukrainian human rights ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova said on Tuesday.

2:22 p.m.: Four media outlets blocked in Russia for their coverage of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine have filed lawsuits against media regulator Roskomnadzor and the Prosecutor-General’s Office. The Setevyye Svobody (Network Freedoms) Telegram channel said on Tuesday that editors for Mediazona, Republic, Taig.Info, and Lentachel had filed lawsuits against decisions to block their sites with the Tver district court in Moscow, adding that lawyer Leonid Solovyov will represent the media outlets in the court. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this report.

2:14 p.m.: A foreign-flagged merchant ship was hit by a Russian navy missile in the besieged southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol with one crew member needing medical care, a Ukrainian official said on Tuesday. The Dominica-flagged cargo ship Azburg's engine room was hit by a missile late on Monday, said Viktor Vyshnov, deputy head of Ukraine's Maritime Administration.

"The ship was burned and all 12 crew members were evacuated to another ship. One crew member needed medical help which was given to him and he was evacuated," Vyshnov told Reuters.

He did not know if the ship was carrying any cargo. British security company Ambrey Intelligence said separately the vessel arrived in Mariupol on Feb. 23 and was unable to leave Ukrainian waters because of the closure of the port.The vessel's Malta-based owner could not be reached for comment. Russian officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

1:58 p.m.: Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a grave miscalculation by invading Ukraine, triggering a conflict that could ultimately spill over its borders, possibly igniting a larger conflagration, a former presidential adviser and Kremlin spin doctor has said. In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Georgian Service, Gleb Pavlovsky said Putin's decision to invade Ukraine on February 24 made "no political sense." He added,"Nobody, including myself, realized just how maniacally obsessed he must have been with Ukraine. We underestimated the extent of decay of the Russian government."

1:36 p.m.: The European Union on Tuesday ordered 19 Russian diplomats to leave host nation Belgium for “engaging in activities contrary to their diplomatic status,” Reuters reported. “Based on the decision by High Representative Josep Borrell, 19 members of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the EU in Brussels have been declared personae non gratae for engaging in activities contrary to their diplomatic status,” the bloc said in a statement. The decision to revoke the immunity of the diplomats at Russia’s mission to the EU follows similar decisions by a host of EU countries, including France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Spain, accusing Russian envoys of spying. The EU said its decision was also in protest at reports of civilian killings in Ukrainian towns that were under Russian control.

1:21 p.m.: The U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Tuesday that, in cooperation with humanitarian partners, it delivered eight trucks of critical supplies for people in the city of Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine’s Luhanska oblast. “The convoy brought food rations, flour, plastic sheeting, and blankets for some 17,000 people, as well as four hospital electricity generators,” amongst other items, the U.N. said. Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator Markus Werne added, “we will continue to deliver here and to cities across Ukraine but what we require is protection of civilians and continued access.”


12:41 p.m.: On Tuesday, Reuters compiled a report setting out the latest information about Russia's oligarchs and the current status of their assets.

12:22 p.m.: A great deal has been written about high-tech, high-precision weapons in Ukraine's battle against Russia's invasion. But Grad rocket systems, a technology many decades old, are also playing a role in the fight. Both the Russian and the Ukrainian militaries have this truck-mounted multiple launch rocket system in their arsenals. Correspondent Roman Pahulych spoke with a Ukrainian Army unit operating a Grad launcher in the country's east and has this story for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

12:13 p.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made remarks to the media Tuesday before traveling to Brussels for a meeting of NATO and G7 foreign ministers aimed at supporting Ukraine and increasing pressure on Russia.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to members of the media before departing for Brussels from Andrews Air Force Base, Md., April 5, 2022.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to members of the media before departing for Brussels from Andrews Air Force Base, Md., April 5, 2022.

“As this Russian tide is receding from parts of Ukraine, the world is seeing the death and destruction left in its wake,” he said. “What we’ve seen in Bucha is not the random act of a rogue unit. It’s a deliberate campaign to kill, to torture, to rape, to commit atrocities,” he added. Blinken said there is determination around the world "to make sure that one way or another, one day or another, there is accountability for those who have committed these acts, for those who ordered them.”

11:48 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the United Nations Security Council Tuesday that "accountability must be inevitable" for Russia as he accused Russian troops of committing "the most terrible war crimes" since World War Two. Zelenskyy showed a short video of burned, bloodied and mutilated bodies, including children, in Irpin, Dymerka, Mariupol and Bucha, Reuters reported.

He questioned the value of the 15-member U.N. Security Council, which has been unable to take any action over Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine because Moscow has veto power, along with the United States, France, Britain and China. "We are dealing with a state that turns its veto at the U.N. security council into the right to (cause) death," Zelenskyy said in a live video address, urging reform of the world body. "Russia wants to turn Ukraine into silent slaves."

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the council: "We've heard once again a huge amount of lies about Russian soldiers and military."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy appears on a screen as he addresses the United Nations Security Council via video link during a meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., April 5, 2022.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy appears on a screen as he addresses the United Nations Security Council via video link during a meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., April 5, 2022.

11:22 a.m.: The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, on Tuesday addressed the U.N. Security Council meeting on Ukraine, beginning by sharing stories of Ukrainian refugees she had met on her recent trip to Moldova and Romania. “I saw with my own eyes the refugee crisis caused by Russia’s unconscionable war,” she said. “I met with women and children who had fled Ukraine, who stuffed their lives into backpacks and left the only home they had ever known. These were sobering conversations.”

Thomas-Greenfield also said “there are some stories we will never get to hear” referring to civilians killed in a brutal fashion in Bucha and elsewhere in Ukraine. “As we work to independently confirm the events depicted in these images, I would remind this Council that based on the currently available information, the United States has assessed that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine,” she said.

She renewed her call for Russia to be removed from the U.N. Human Rights Council. “Russia’s participation on the Human Rights Council hurts the Council’s credibility. It undermines the entire UN. And it is just plain wrong,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “Let us come together to do what is right -- and to do right by the Ukrainian people.”

10:55 a.m.: U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths, who is seeking a humanitarian truce in Ukraine, said "we have a long road ahead of us" after meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow this week. "Perilous conditions are hampering our efforts to access civilians - or for them to access us. Civilians must be allowed to move to safer areas without the fear of attacks," Griffiths told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. He said he hopes to travel to Ukraine on Wednesday to meet with Ukrainian officials, Reuters reported.

10:48 a.m.: In remarks to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, political chief Rosemary DiCarlo called for the release of all those detained in Ukraine, including journalists, members of civil society, and local officials. As of March 30, the UN Hunan Rights Office has documented the arbitrary detention and possible enforced disappearance of 22 journalists and members of civil society in Kyiv, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia, VOA’s Press Freedom Editor Jessica Jerreat reported. Since the Russian invasion, seven journalists have been killed and at least 15 others came under attack, DiCarlo said.

10:28 a.m.: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the U.N. Security Council Tuesday, saying “The war in Ukraine is one of the greatest challenges ever to the international order and the global peace architecture, founded on the United Nations Charter.” He added that he was “deeply shocked” by images of civilians killed in the war and noted that “serious damage” was being done to the global economy, and particularly to vulnerable people and developing countries. “The war in Ukraine must stop — now,” Guterres said. “I urge the Council to do everything in its power to end the war and to mitigate its impact, both on the suffering people of Ukraine, and on vulnerable people and developing countries around the world.”

10:23 a.m.: European and international donors agreed on Tuesday to extend $762 million in aid to Moldova, Europe's poorest country, which is hosting more than 100,000 refugees from Ukraine at a time of soaring energy prices. Speaking after a donor conference she hosted in Berlin, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Germany would work to help Moldova free itself from its dependency on Russia for energy supplies. With fewer than 3 million people, Moldova has taken in more refugees fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine per head than any other country, Reuters reported.

10:18 a.m.: Latvia ordered the closure of two Russian consulates in the country and told staff to leave the country, Reuters reported Tuesday. "The decision was taken in solidarity with Ukraine in its fight against the unprovoked and unjustified military aggression and war started by Russia," the foreign ministry said in a statement. The consulates in the towns of Daugavpils and Liepaja will have to close. Staff will have to leave by the end of April, the statement said.

10:03 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that if Russia withdrew its troops to positions it held before it invaded Ukraine, that would be a victory, for now, The Kyiv Independent reported. He said that fighting to retake the Donbas region, occupied since 2014, “would cost us 40,000 or 50,000 of our best trained people, and the enemy would return next month,” it reported. Zelenskyy, speaking during a group interview with several Ukrainian journalists Tuesday, rejected Russia’s claims that its invasion of Ukraine was aimed at “denazification and demilitarization.” He said, “We told them to forget about it. We will not even discuss it,” The Kyiv Independent reported.

9:52 a.m.: Israel’s prime minister says he is shocked by the gruesome images emerging from the Ukrainian town of Bucha, but he has stopped short of accusing Russia of being responsible or calling the atrocities a war crime. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told reporters Tuesday that “we are, of course, shocked by the harsh scenes in Bucha. Terrible images, and we strongly condemn them.” With Israel one of the few countries to have good relations with both Russia and Ukraine, Bennett has emerged as a mediator in efforts to end the war, and Bennett has been measured in his criticism of the Russian president, the Associated Press reported.

9:49 a.m.: The United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on Tuesday accused Russia of lying about its treatment of civilians in Ukraine and said it will support efforts by the International Criminal Court to ensure that those responsible for war crimes in Bucha and elsewhere in Ukraine are held accountable.

9:47 a.m.: The United Nations Human Rights office on Tuesday said there have been at least 3,675 civilian casualties in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on February 24. It reported 1,480 deaths (including 123 children), and 2,195 injuries (including 183 children). The Human Rights office attributed most of the casualties to shelling and airstrikes, and it noted that the actual figure is likely much higher.

9:45 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will speak to the U.N. Security Council for the first time Tuesday, after the gathering receives briefings from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, U.N. political chief Rosemary DiCarlo, and U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths. The meeting is expected to focus on what appear to be deliberate killings of civilians in Ukraine by Russian troops. VOA’s U.N. Correspondent Margaret Besheer is monitoring events.

Watch the meeting live starting at 10 a.m. EDT:

9:28 a.m.: Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says seven humanitarian corridors will be open on April 5 to evacuate civilians from several hard hit areas, including the southern port cities of Mariupol and Berdyansk. Vereshchuk said in a post on Telegram that those leaving the cities will be able to do so only via private transportation and will be able to travel to the city of Zaporizhzhia, which is under Ukrainian control. Other corridors will open from the city of Tokmak in the Zaporizhzhia region, and the cities of Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Popasna, and Hirske in the Luhansk region, she added. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this report.

9:14 a.m.: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday he expects more atrocities to come to light in Ukraine as Russian troops continue to retreat from areas around Kyiv, The Associated Press reported. Stoltenberg rejected Russian assertions that the atrocities were staged. He said that “these atrocities have taken place during a period in which Russia controlled these areas. So they are responsible.”


8:36 a.m.: The President of the European Union Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on Tuesday proposed a fifth package of sanctions against Russia which, she says, is waging a “cruel, ruthless war” in Ukraine. In a video clip shared on Twitter, she outlined six new measures including an import ban on coal from Russia, a full transaction ban on four key Russian banks, a ban on Russian transporters accessing EU ports and roads, further export bans in technical and mechanical fields, specific new import bans, banning Russian companies from public procurement, and further sanctions on individuals.

8:14 a.m.: A team from the International Committee of the Red Cross has been released after being held by Russian forces in the Ukrainian town of Manhush, while trying to reach the Russian-besieged city of Mariupol, Reuters reported Tuesday. The ICRC team was sent back to the city of Zaporizhzhia, which is under Ukrainian government control. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday Ukraine's efforts to push back Russian troops from Mariupol were facing difficulties and that the military situation there was "very difficult." He said Turkey had proposed a plan to help remove the wounded and dead from the city but cautioned that the initiative depended on the will of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Each side has blamed the other for the failure of repeated efforts to open "humanitarian corridors" to deliver supplies to Mariupol and evacuate civilians. The city’s mayor says up to 170,000 people are trapped without power and have limited food.

8:09 a.m.: The flow of "bloody money" to Russia must stop, Kyiv's mayor said on Tuesday as the West prepared new sanctions on Moscow after dead civilians were found lining the streets of a Ukrainian town seized from Russian invaders. "Every euro, every cent that you receive from Russia or that you send to Russia has blood, it is bloody money, and the blood of this money is Ukrainian blood, the blood of Ukrainian people," Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko, dressed in military clothes, told a mayors' conference in Geneva via video link. Russia denies targeting civilians and said the deaths had been staged by the West to discredit it. Sanctions already imposed have isolated Russia's economy but its gas is still flowing to Europe, Reuters reported.

7:57 a.m.: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke at a press briefing ahead of a NATO foreign ministers meeting on the Ukraine crisis.

7:45 a.m.: Solomia Fedishin is drying her husband’s freshly laundered Ukrainian Army uniform. The 19-year-old is trying to cope after his death in a Russian air strike. She says she needs to be strong for the son that she will soon give birth to, and bring up as a widow. She told her story to Current Time, a co-production of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and VOA.

7:41 a.m.: Attacks against Russian and Ukrainian migrants in Germany have risen since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in remarks made available on Tuesday. Faeser told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung this week that since the end of February 308 anti-Russian offences were recorded by police, including 15 acts of violence. “Offences against Russians and Russian facilities are on the rise,” she said. Some 250,000 Russia-born migrants and 150,000 people born in Ukraine lived in Germany before President Vladmir Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, Reuters reported.

7:36 a.m.: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Tuesday that there is “total determination” from all 27 European Union countries for sanctions against Russia that could target oil and coal over evidence its troops deliberately killed Ukrainian civilians. Europe’s dependence on Russian oil, natural gas and coal means finding unanimity on energy measures is a tall order, but the reports of the killings outside Ukraine’s capital Kyiv have increased pressure for tougher EU sanctions, The Associated Press reported.

7: 22 a.m.: Some Ukrainians are swapping their regular jobs for journalism, many of them becoming “fixers” and assisting media companies from around the world who are in the country to cover the war. In journalism-speak, fixers are local people who work closely with foreign reporters on everything from securing interviews, translating, and booking hotels to more crucial work including advising on possible threats and no-go areas. Often these are journalists already established in their home country. But some are new to the profession — and learning on the job while navigating a war zone. VOA’s Sirwan Kajjo has the story.


7:16 a.m.: A growing number of European nations have announced they are expelling Russian diplomats, Reuters reports. Sweden will expel three Russian diplomats for spying, Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Tuesday. "It is because they are not following the Vienna Convention and they are undertaking illegal intelligence-gathering operations," Linde told reporters. France, Belgium and the Netherlands have recently expelled Russian diplomats over alleged spying activity. Spain will expel some 25 Russian diplomats and embassy staff from Madrid, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said on Tuesday, in response to alleged war crimes by the Russian military in Ukraine. Denmark and Italy also announced Tuesday they were expelling Russian diplomats. Russia will give an appropriate response, TASS news agency quoted Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.

6:50 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says there is "no other choice" than to negotiate an end to the war with Russia, even if it's difficult to do amid signs that Russian forces may have committed atrocities against civilians. Speaking in an interview with Ukrainian journalists that was broadcast on state television Tuesday, Zelenskyy called the events in Bucha "unforgiveable," and that "all of us, including myself, will perceive even the possibility of negotiations as a challenge." The interview comes a day after Zelenskyy made an emotional trip to Bucha outside the capital, where Ukrainian officials say the bodies of civilians have been found, many of them shot in yards, streets, and homes. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this report.

6:31 a.m.: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell will travel to Kyiv this week for a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, an EU spokesman said on Tuesday. The meeting will take place "prior to the pledging event #StandUpForUkraine on Saturday in Warsaw," EU spokesman Eric Mamer wrote on Twitter. Von der Leyen on Monday tweeted that she spoke with Zelenskyy “about the murder of civilians in Bucha and elsewhere” and that “the EU is ready to send Joint Investigation Teams to document war crimes in coordination with the Ukrainian Prosecutor General."

6:20 a.m.: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Tuesday met with Poland’s Minister of Climate and Environment to coordinate their cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is providing advice and assistance to maintain safety and security at Ukrainian nuclear facilities, and to discuss Ukrainian-Polish energy projects.

6:15 a.m.: Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer plans to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiyy in Ukraine in the coming days to discuss humanitarian and political support for the country, his office said in a statement on Tuesday according to Reuters.

“For security reasons no further details of this trip can be announced for the time being,” the statement said, adding that the two men had had a phone conversation on Monday evening.

5:30 a.m.: Italy has expelled 30 Russian diplomats because of security concerns, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday, and Russia was set to retaliate, according to TASS, Reuters reported. A number of other Western governments have taken similar steps following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Italy summoned Russia’s ambassador to the foreign ministry on Tuesday to tell him that the diplomats were being expelled.

“The measure is in agreement with other European and Atlantic partners and is necessary for reasons linked to our national security and in the context of the current crisis caused by the unjustified aggression against Ukraine on the part of the Russian Federation,” Di Maio said in a statement. Russia will give an appropriate response, TASS news agency quoted Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.

5:00 a.m.: Denmark’s Foreign Ministry says the country is expelling 15 Russian intelligence officers who worked at Russia’s Embassy in Copenhagen.

The ministry said the Russian ambassador was informed of the decision on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported. It said Denmark strongly condemned “Russia’s brutality against Ukrainian civilians in Bucha” and stressed that “deliberate attacks on civilians are a war crime.” The officers have two weeks to leave Denmark. Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said, “they pose a risk to our national security that we cannot ignore.”

4:30 a.m.: Reuters reported that the United States Treasury blocked Russia from using reserves it holds at American banks to make more than $600 million in sovereign debt payments, raising the prospect of a Russian debt default. Reuters has the story.

3:30 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiyy said on Tuesday holding negotiations with Russia was the only option for his country although the possibility of having talks was now a “challenge.” But in comments broadcast on national television, he said it was possible that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin would not personally hold talks, Reuters reported.

3:00 a.m.: A top official in the global campaign against the use of land mines is urging Russia to halt the use in Ukraine of these weapons that too often kill and maim civilians, The Associated Press reported.

Alicia Arango Olmos, Colombia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva and this year’s president of the state parties to the 1997 convention banning the production and use of land mines, expressed deep concern at media reports that Russia is using land mines in its war in Ukraine. She pointed to Human Rights Watch which said on March 29 that Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal technician located banned ant-personnel mines in the eastern Kharkiv region a day earlier.

The rights group said Russia is known to possess the type of mines that were discovered, but Ukraine doesn’t have them. Arango Olmos told a news conference Monday that Ukraine is one of the 164 state parties to the convention, but Russia is not. Monday was the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

2:30 a.m.: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine becomes deadlier by the day, with world leaders accusing Russia of war crimes as video out of the Kyiv suburb of Bucha shows people shot and left dead in the streets. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has more.

Warning: This video contains graphic images and may not be suitable for all viewers.

Biden Calls for Additional Sanctions in Wake of Bucha Carnage
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2:00 a.m.: Ukrainian forces have retaken key northern terrain, forcing Russian forces to retreat from areas around the city of Chernihiv and north of the capital Kyiv, British military intelligence said on Tuesday.

Low-level fighting is likely to continue in some of the recaptured areas, but reduce this week as the remainder of the Russian forces withdraw, the defense ministry said in a regular bulletin on Twitter. Many of the withdrawing Russian units are likely to require significant re-equipping and refurbishment before they redeploy for operations in the country's east, the ministry added. Reuters could not immediately verify the report.

1:30 a.m.: The U.N. Security Council is expected to focus a meeting Tuesday on the killings of civilians in Ukraine, a day after U.S. President Joe Biden said Russian leader Vladimir Putin should face a war crimes trial.

Tuesday’s session includes briefings from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths, as well as an address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Britain holds the rotating presidency of the council this month, and its U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward told reporters the issue of civilian killings during the Russian invasion of Ukraine would be “front and center.”

1:15 a.m.: The Japanese government flew 20 Ukrainian refugees into Tokyo on Tuesday in a high-profile show of support for the international effort to help Ukraine by a country that has long been reluctant to take in foreigners. The 20 - aged from 6 and 66 and including 15 women — are not the first Ukrainian refugees to arrive in Japan since Russia invaded their homeland on February 24 — but they are the first to be flown in on a special government plane on a trip arranged by Japan’s foreign minister, Reuters reported.

“The government of Japan is committed to provide the maximum support to these 20 Ukrainians to help them live with a sense of peace in Japan, even though they are far away from their home county,” Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters in Poland shortly before he and the refugees set off for Japan.

12:00 a.m.: In the wake of Russia's withdrawal from towns surrounding the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, residents say they are heartbroken by the death and destruction left behind. The Ukrainian government has said evidence appears to show that Russia has committed war crimes. VOA's Heather Murdock reports from Kyiv and Vinnytsia in Ukraine.

Shock and Heartbreak After Ukraine Retakes Kyiv Region
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Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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