For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.
Recap of April 6
* The Pentagon said Wednesday it assessed that Ukraine could win the war against Russia, even as U.S. officials speak of the risk of a protracted conflict.
* Hundreds of people are believed to be dead and buried under destroyed apartment buildings in the town of Borodyanka.
* The governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, said Wednesday that Russia has shelled residential buildings in the area and that 10 high-rise buildings were on fire in Sievierodonetsk.
* The Ukrainian Red Cross society distributed 4,200 hygiene kits in the town of Uzhhorod.
* The U.N. World Food Programme on Wednesday completed its first food distribution to 12,000 people in the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv.
* The U.N. General Assembly is set to vote Thursday on whether to remove Russia from the Human Rights Council because of its action in Ukraine.
* Sanctions imposed on Russia over its war in Ukraine should give China a "good understanding" of the consequences it could face if it provides material support to Moscow, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said.
* Hungary has broken ranks with the European Union, saying it will accept Moscow's demand that gas supplies be paid for in rubles.
* Ukraine will need a reconstruction plan after the war with Russia similar to the one the United States offered to Europe after World War II, European Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn said.
For the latest developments of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, all times EDT:
9:18 p.m.: “This is just an attempt to hide the evidence and nothing more. But they will not succeed, because they killed a lot.”
-- Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, quoted in The New York Times, saying that Russian soldiers are hiding the bodies of those they've killed.
7:45 p.m.: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the House Financial Services Committed on Wednesday that Russia should be expelled from the Group of 20 major economies forum, Reuters reported.
Yellen told lawmakers that Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the killings of civilians in Bucha "are reprehensible, represent an unacceptable affront to the rules-based global order, and will have enormous economic repercussions in Ukraine and beyond."
7:16 p.m.: U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland said Russia’s disinformation about its war against Ukraine needs to be exposed.
She said the Russian lies include blaming Ukrainians for things Russians have done, even “the war crimes we see on the ground.”
Nuland was in Cyprus on a five-nation tour to strengthen ties and rally support for Ukraine, The Associated Press reported.
6:43 p.m.: A few Ukrainian troops have learning how to operate Switchblade drones, single-use weapons that fly into their targets and detonate on impact, a senior U.S. defense official disclosed on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
The Ukrainians arrived in the United States for regular military education programs before Russia's invasion on February 24.
"We took advantage of the opportunity to pull them aside for a couple of days and provide them some training, particularly on the Switchblades," the senior U.S. defense official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Until now, the United States and NATO have had to limit the weaponry they send to Ukraine to the systems Ukrainian forces knew how to operate before Russia's invasion.
6:12 p.m.: Rich countries will tap 120 million more barrels of oil from emergency reserves in a bid to calm crude prices that have soared following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.
The move includes 60 million barrels to be released by the United States, which has recently announced it would tap its strategic oil reserves, Agence France-Presse reports.
5:50 p.m.: The parents of a former U.S. Marine held captive in Russia pleaded for information about him on Wednesday, expressing fears about his “rapidly declining health” and that “something terrible” had happened to him.
Joe and Paula Reed, who met last week with President Joe Biden about the plight of their son, Trevor, 30, said in a statement that it has been five days since he was last heard from, in a Friday phone call with his girlfriend.
Trevor Reed is serving a nine-year term after being convicted of endangering the lives of two police officers while drunk on a visit to Moscow in 2019. Reed denied the charges. The United States called his trial a "theater of the absurd.”
5:12 p.m.: Since the start of Russia’s invasion, millions of Ukrainians have fled their homes, leaving behind animals in shelters and zoos. Now it is up to dozens of volunteers and international groups to care for them. VOA’s Mariia Prus has the story. (Warning: this story contains graphic images that some viewers may find disturbing)
4:44 p.m.: After a sharp plunge in value at the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Russian ruble has recovered much of its value against other world currencies, a change made possible by aggressive capital controls put in place by the government in Moscow and a continual stream of payments for the country’s oil and gas exports. But as VOA’s Rob Garver reports, the ruble’s strength in the face of sanctions may be illusory.
4:01 p.m.: The Pentagon said on Wednesday it assessed that Ukraine could win the war against Russia, even as U.S. officials speak of the risk of a protracted conflict, Reuters reported. "Of course they can win this," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told a news briefing. "The proof is literally in the outcomes that you're seeing everyday ... absolutely they can win."
3:48 p.m.: The town of Borodyanka, outside Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, was severely damaged by Russian air strikes. According to Prosecutor-General Iryna Venediktova, there were a high number of civilian casualties because of the heavy fighting there. Collapsed buildings have not been cleared and the number of victims has not yet been determined. Levko Stek traveled to Borodyanka and listened to locals’ stories about what Russian troops did there. He has this story for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
3:27 p.m.: Sanctions imposed on Russia over its war in Ukraine should give China a "good understanding" of the consequences it could face if it provides material support to Moscow, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said on Wednesday.
Sherman said the "range of sanctions" and export controls coordinated among U.S. allies and partners against Russian President Vladimir Putin, the country's economy, and oligarchs, should serve as an example for China's leader Xi Jinping. "It gives President Xi, I think, a pretty good understanding of what might come his way should he, in fact, support Putin in any material fashion," Sherman told a House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, according to Reuters.
3:16 p.m.: Hundreds of people are believed to be dead and buried under destroyed apartment buildings in the town of Borodyanka, scene of Russian bombings during the month of March, The Kyiv Independent reported Wednesday. Home to 12,000 people, Borodyanka and the nearby villages were retaken by Ukrainian forces on April 1, when Russian troops withdrew from the region, following weeks of intense fighting around the capital Kyiv.
2:48 p.m.: Ukraine will need a reconstruction plan after the war with Russia similar to the one the United States offered to Europe after the Second World War, European Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn said on Wednesday. Under the post-World War Two U.S. scheme known as the Marshall Plan, the United States granted Europe the present-day equivalent of some $200 billion over four years in economic and technical assistance. "I think that what we need for Ukraine, at the end of the day, is an updated model of the Marshall Plan," Hahn told a news briefing. Hahn said it would help Ukraine recover quickly, rather than over decades, from the massive destruction by the Russian army and would lead to a faster convergence of Ukraine with the European Union, Reuters reported.
2:23 p.m.: The Ukrainian Red Cross society distributed 4,200 hygiene kits in the town of Uzhhorod and shared a photo on Twitter Wednesday of one of the families that benefited.
2:06 p.m.: The U.N. General Assembly is set to vote Thursday on whether to remove Russia from the Human Rights Council because of its action in Ukraine. Two-thirds of the 193 member states would have to vote in favor of removing Russia. The council, which is based in Geneva, is largely symbolic, but it can authorize investigations into human rights violations. Russia is in its second year of a three-year term on the council.
1:46 p.m.: Hungary has broken ranks with the European Union, saying it will accept Moscow's demand that gas supplies be paid for in rubles.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has opposed any EU sanctions on Russian oil and gas or Western arms shipments through Hungarian territory to Ukraine, told journalists on Wednesday that he had agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin that if asked, Hungary would pay for gas shipments using the Russian currency. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has the story.
1:28 p.m.: Twelve days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, U.S. President Joe Biden urged all U.S. citizens staying or living in Ukraine to immediately leave the country. And though many have, other Americans remain in Ukraine and have no plans to leave. VOA’s Anna Kosstutschenko has the story.1:17 p.m.: Olympic gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte swam in a red-dyed pond outside the Russian Embassy in Vilnius on Wednesday to protest against Russia’s war in Ukraine, The Associated Press reported. The performance called “Swimming Through” was organized by a local art community. The pond was dyed red with environmentally friendly paint to resemble blood, according to the organizers. “It’s crucial that we keep acting, spreading truthful information, volunteering, protesting, donating, and pressuring our governments to take action,” Meilutyte said on Instagram.
1:05 p.m.: State-owned Ukrainian Railways said on Wednesday there were a number of casualties after three rockets hit a rail station in eastern Ukraine, damaging buildings, tracks and rail stock. "There are casualties," it said in a statement, without providing detail on the number of victims or the location of the attack, Reuters reported.
1:01 p.m.: The governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, said Wednesday that Russia has shelled residential buildings in the area and that 10 high-rise buildings were on fire in Sievierodonetsk, The Kyiv Independent reported. Earlier, Ukrainian authorities had urged civilians to evacuate.12:48 p.m.: An international agreement under negotiation at the United Nations this week seeks to reduce harm to civilians by curbing the use of heavy explosive weapons in cities, towns and villages, VOA’s Lisa Schlein reported Wednesday. The Ukrainian city of Mariupol is one of the latest examples of a populated area that has been turned to rubble by the relentless use of heavy explosive weapons. The International Network on Explosive Weapons, a coalition of non-governmental activists, says tens of thousands of civilians are killed and wounded every year using explosive weapons in populated areas. It says civilians comprise 90 percent of the victims. Activists are calling on negotiators to set new standards to reduce harm to civilians. They say the new international agreement also should contain commitments to assist the victims and families of those killed and injured, and to address the long-lasting humanitarian impact of explosive weapons.
12:21 p.m.: NATO Spokesperson Oana Longescu said Wednesday that the meeting of foreign ministers focused on Russia’s war in Ukraine is underway.
NATO Foreign Ministers are also expected to discuss the development of NATO’s next Strategic Concept, a roadmap for the Alliance’s continued adaptation in a more dangerous world, she said in a statement. Foreign Ministers from Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, and Georgia are taking part in the meeting, as well as the EU High Representative. NATO’s Asia-Pacific partners – Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea – will also participate, she added.
Ahead of the meeting, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg spoke with journalists at length. “We have seen no indication that President Putin has changed his ambition to control the whole of Ukraine and also to rewrite the international order,” he said. “So we need to be prepared for the long haul,” he added.
12:04 p.m.: The United States assesses that Russia has now completed its withdrawal from around Kyiv and is believed to be refitting and resupplying its troops for an expected redeployment into Ukraine, a senior U.S. defense official said on Wednesday. "We are assessing that all the Russians have left," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that the U.S. assessment was completed in the past 24 hours, Reuters reported.
11:56 a.m.: Roman and Leonid Butusin were born in Vladivostock, in Russia’s Far East, but both died fighting for the Ukrainian Army against Russian forces. At their funeral, people knelt on the street in a mark of respect. “They were real Ukrainians,” said one mourner. Their father moved the family to Ukraine in 2014, feeling disgusted by Russia’s seizure of Crimea and support for separatists in the country’s eastern Donbas region. Also a soldier, at the funeral he said he would soon be returning to the front line.
11:35 a.m.: Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that civilian killings in Ukraine had made peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv more difficult but that he expected more negotiations, possibly eventually between foreign ministers. Speaking at NATO before a meeting with his counterparts, Cavusoglu also said the alliance was aware of Ukraine's demands for more weapons and allies were looking to step up help, Reuters reported.
11:18 a.m.: U.S. prosecutors are working with their European and Ukrainian counterparts to help collect evidence of possible Russian war crimes in Ukraine, Reuters reported. Justice Department officials this week met with their counterparts at Europol and Eurojust to develop a plan to work together and are separately helping a top Ukrainian prosecutor with evidence collection as well, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Wednesday.
"This department has a long history of helping to hold accountable those who perpetrate war crimes," Garland told a news conference on enforcement actions targeting Russian oligarchs and the Russian government. "Today, we are assisting international efforts to identify and hold accountable those responsible for atrocities in Ukraine," Garland added. "And we will continue to do so."
Garland also had a warning for Russians trying to evade sanctions, VOA’s Patsy Widakuswara reported. “It does not matter how far you sail your yacht, how well you conceal your assets, how cleverly you write your malware, hide your online activity,” Garland said, adding the Justice Department will “use every tool available to find you.”
11:13 a.m.: The U.S. Justice Department has charged Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev with violating sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, saying on Wednesday he provided financing for Russians promoting separatism in Crimea. Attorney General Merrick Garland said authorities had also disrupted a type of global malicious computer network known as a "botnet" controlled by a Russian military intelligence agency. "The Justice Department will continue to use all of its authorities to hold accountable Russian oligarchs and others who seek to evade U.S. sanctions," Garland told reporters in Washington. The department last month launched a federal "KleptoCapture" task force that is working to further strain the finances of Russia's oligarchs to pressure the country to cease its invasion of Ukraine, according to Reuters.
11:02 a.m.: The European Commission sent out advice to Ukrainian refugees via Twitter on Wednesday, advising them how to stay safe while on the move.
10:52 a.m.: The German government presented a major package of reforms Wednesday to boost the production of renewable power as part of its efforts to meet its climate goals and become independent of energy imports from hostile nations such as Russia, The Associated Press reported.
“In sum, this package will lead to a significant increase in renewable energy,” Economy and Energy Minister Robert Habeck told reporters in Berlin. Germany wants to stop importing oil and coal from Russia this year, and gas by mid-2024, said Habeck. He acknowledged Germany still has to make a huge effort to meet its ambitious climate goals and will likely miss some short-term targets.
10:48 a.m.: Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense on Wednesday published video footage that it said proves that Russia ordered its soldiers to dig fortifications near the Chernobyl nuclear facility, in a nearby radioactive zone, when it controlled the area. Russia later withdrew its forces from the area, and there have been some early, unconfirmed reports that Russian soldiers serving near Chernobyl may be suffering from exposure to radiation.
10:41 a.m. : The U.S. on Wednesday announced a new set of sanctions on Russia’s political and economic systems, in concert with toughened sanctions by its European allies. “As long as Russia continues its brutal assault on Ukraine, we will stand unified with our allies and partners in imposing additional costs on Russia for its actions,” a statement from the White House said. The U.S. is imposing “full blocking sanctions” on Russian banks and state-owned enterprises, and sanctioning family members of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and others, while noting “we reiterate our commitment to exempting essential humanitarian and related activities that benefit the Russian people and people around the world.”
10:24 a.m.: Turkish military diving teams safely detonated a floating naval mine in the Black Sea, the defense ministry said on Wednesday, the third such mine found in its waters since the Ukraine war. Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of laying mines in the Black Sea, and in late March, Turkish and Romanian military diving teams defused stray mines in their waters. The Black Sea is used for shipping grain, oil and oil products. Its waters are shared by Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, and Turkey, as well as Ukraine and Russia. The stray mines pose risks for ships passing through the Bosphorus and could cause damage if they hit vessels, especially crude oil ships, Reuters reported.
10:16 a.m.: Borodyanka is among the towns hardest hit by war in Ukraine, and locals say they fear Russian troops will return with even more violence in the coming weeks and months. VOA's Heather Murdock visited Borodyanka and has this report.
WARNING FOR VIEWERS: This report contains graphic images that some may find disturbing.
9:59 a.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes in Brussels Wednesday, and the two condemned atrocities committed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Bucha and elsewhere in Ukraine, according to a statement issued by the U.S. State Department. They said that together with other allies and partners, “we will continue to impose severe sanctions on the Kremlin for as long as it carries out its brutal and unprovoked war in Ukraine.”
9:51 a.m.: The sight of tied bodies shot at close range in the Ukrainian streets of Bucha do not "look far short of genocide," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday, according to Reuters. The deaths in Bucha, outside Kyiv, have triggered a global outcry and pledges of further sanctions against Russia from the West. "When you look at what's happening in Bucha, the revelations that we are seeing from what (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has done in Ukraine, which doesn't look far short of genocide to me, it is no wonder that people are responding in the way that they are," he told reporters. "And I have no doubt that the international community - Britain very much in the front rank - will be moving again in lockstep to impose more sanctions and more penalties on Vladimir Putin's regime."9:47 a.m.: Ukraine's Defense Ministry published a video on Wednesday showing “massive destruction” in Borodyanka, a town northwest of the capital Kyiv with a pre-war population of 13,000, The Kyiv Independent reported. Russian forces had until recently occupied the area but pulled back after meeting fierce resistance. "They wanted to do the same with the whole of Ukraine. But our army fought back," the ministry wrote.
9:32 a.m.: Ukraine on Wednesday told residents of the country’s eastern regions to evacuate “now” or “risk death” due to a feared Russian attack, Agence France-Press reported. “The governors of the Kharkiv, Lugansk and Donetsk regions are calling on the population to leave these territories and are doing everything to ensure that the evacuations take place in an organized manner,” deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk wrote on Telegram.
9:27 a.m.: Ukraine’s Red Cross society on Wednesday thanked the CharityDAO, a decentralized charitable organization, for its first donation – made in cryptocurrency.
9:24 a.m.: Germany is in confidential discussions with Kyiv about possible security guarantees it could offer Ukraine to ensure its safety after Russia's invasion, Chancellor Olaf Scholz told the Bundestag, according to Reuters. Ukraine has proposed that as an alternative to NATO membership, something Russia insists it cannot accept, individual countries like Germany, Turkey or China could offer guarantees with a similar effect. "We are in talks on guarantees with Ukraine," he told Germany's Parliament. "These talks are confidential."
9:12 a.m.: The U.N. World Food Program on Wednesday completed its first food distribution to 12,000 people in the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, Executive Director David Beasley said on Twitter.
9:01 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pushed Wednesday for more resolute action enacting sanctions against Russia, as the United States and European Union prepared more punitive measures and NATO foreign ministers gathered in Brussels to discuss additional responses to the Russian invasion, VOA News reported.
"When we are hearing new rhetoric about sanctions... I can't tolerate any indecisiveness after everything that Russian troops have done," Zelenskyy told Ireland’s parliament in a video address. He reiterated his criticism of European leaders that he says are more concerned with how potential bans on Russian energy imports will affect their economies than the welfare of the Ukrainian people.
The United States is expected to announce new sanctions Wednesday, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki saying the U.S. was coordinating with the G-7 and European Union on measures that would send Russia “further down the road of economic, financial and technological isolation.” She said, “this will include a ban on all new investment in Russia and increased sanctions on financial institutions and state-owned enterprises in Russia and sanctions on Russian government officials and their family members.”
European Council President Charles Michel said Wednesday that a new EU package would include a ban on coal imports. “And I think that measures on oil, and even gas, will also be needed sooner or later,” he said.
8:57 a.m.: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke with the media ahead of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers Wednesday. His remarks were carried live on Twitter.
8:51 a.m.: The European Union and the United States are considering placing sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin's two daughters as part of a new package of punitive measures for Russia's war in Ukraine, an unprecedented move by Western governments trying to pressure Moscow. The decision has not been finalized, according to four European and U.S. officials with knowledge of the discussions, and the two women could be left off the new list. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this story.
8:28 a.m.: India has condemned the killing of civilians in Ukraine, marking the first time New Delhi has publicly criticized actions blamed on Russia but also said that Moscow continues to be a critical economic partner. So far Delhi has refrained from censuring its long-time ally Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, despite mounting pressure from the United States and its allies. VOA’s Anjana Pasricha has this report.
8:06 a.m.: People in Severodonetsk, in eastern Ukraine, have been under Russian bombardment since February 24. Volunteers trying to help people evacuate find many unsure about whether it’s safer to leave the city or stay there. Serhiv Horbatenko has this report for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
7:34 a.m.: As gruesome videos and photos of bodies emerge from the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, Kremlin-backed media are denouncing them as an elaborate hoax – a narrative that journalists in Ukraine have shown to be false. Denouncing news as fake or spreading false reports to sow confusion and undermine its adversaries are tactics that Moscow has used for years and refined with the advent of social media, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.
7:23 a.m.: The Kremlin said on Wednesday that peace talks between Russia and Ukraine were not progressing as rapidly or energetically as it would like, Reuters reported. "The only thing I can say is that work (on the talks) is continuing," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call when asked about the prospect of another round of negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv.
Russia has accused the West trying to derail peace talks with Ukraine by fueling "hysteria" over allegations of war crimes by Moscow's forces following their retreat from the Kyiv region. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Moscow believed the war crime accusations were timed to derail the negotiating process.
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."
7:11 a.m.: A pile of six burned and blackened corpses, seen by Associated Press journalists, were just the latest gruesome scene to emerge from Bucha, Ukraine. It was not clear who the people were or under what circumstances they were killed. One blackened body had arms raised, the face contorted in a horrible scream. The skull of another had a bullet hole in the left temple. The small blackened foot of a child could be seen in the tangle of charred bodies. “It’s horrible,” said Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, at the scene.
7:06 a.m.: An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team has led a convoy of buses and private cars carrying more than 500 people to Zaporizhzhia after the civilians fled the besieged Ukrainian town of Mariupol on their own, the ICRC said on Wednesday. "This convoy's arrival to Zaporizhzhia is a huge relief for hundreds of people who have suffered immensely and are now in a safer location. It's clear, though, that thousands more civilians trapped inside Mariupol need safe passage out and aid to come in," Pascal Hundt, the ICRC's head of delegation in Ukraine, said in a statement.
6:57 a.m. : The European Commission on Wednesday released a speech by its president, Ursula von der Leyen, where she said Russia is committing war crimes, and made the case for more sanctions.
6:46 a.m.: China says the reports and images of civilian deaths in the Ukrainian town of Bucha are “deeply disturbing” and is calling for an investigation, The Associated Press reported. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Wednesday that China supports all initiatives and measures “conducive to alleviating the humanitarian crisis” in the country and is “ready to continue to work together with the international community to prevent any harm to civilians.” The killings in Bucha may serve to put further pressure on Beijing over its largely pro-Russian stance and attempts to guide public opinion over the war. China has called for talks while refusing to criticize Russia over its invasion. Reid Standish with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has been tracking China’s response to the crisis, and has this analysis.
6:38 a.m.: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that people caught up in crises around the world cannot pay the price for the war in Ukraine. He called on the G20 group of nations and international financial institutions to “increase liquidity and fiscal space so that governments can provide safety nets for the most vulnerable.”
6:21 a.m.: Britain’s Foreign Minister Liz Truss released a video on Twitter Wednesday detailing some of the humanitarian assistance that the U.K. government has provided to Ukraine so far, including food, medicine, generators and other items. She added that 20 ambulances are now also being sent to Ukraine to help “bring lifesaving care” to Ukrainians remaining in towns and cities under attack from Russian bombardments.
6:15 a.m.: Taiwan’s government said on Wednesday it was tightening export curbs to Russia as part of sanctions on the country for its invasion of Ukraine, detailing rules to prevent technology and chips from being using for military purposes. Reuters has the story.
5:40 a.m.: Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said Wednesday that his country appreciates a sanctions package by the European Union against Russia. However, he called on the EU for more action “to stop Putin” saying, “difficult times require difficult decisions.”
5:05 a.m.: President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia is deliberately provoking a food crisis, using hunger as a “weapon,” Reuters reports.
4:15 a.m.: Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned “the massacre of Bucha” and held up a Ukrainian flag that was sent to him from the town where tied bodies shot at close range, a mass grave and other signs of executions were found, Reuters reported.
“Recent news from the war in Ukraine, instead of bringing relief and hope, brought new atrocities, such as the massacre of Bucha,” he said at the end of his weekly audience. “Cruelty that is increasingly horrendous, even against civilians, defenseless women and children. They are victims whose innocent blood cries out up to heaven and implores: ‘Stop this war!’” he said.
3:55 a.m.: Head of Ukraine’s gas transit operator said its losses due to war amount to hundreds of millions of euros, Reuters reported.
3:40 a.m.: The governor of Russia’s Kursk region on the border with Ukraine said Wednesday that Russian border guards were fired at with mortars on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.
Governor Roman Starovoit said on the messaging app Telegram that the border guards returned fire and that there were “no casualties or destruction” on the Russian side as a result of the incident. The Ukrainian military has not yet commented on the allegation, and the AP could not independently verify.
3:15 a.m.: The European Union will have to introduce measures against imports of Russian oil and even gas at some point as a way to pressure Moscow to stop its invasion of Ukraine, the chairman of EU leaders Charles Michel said on Wednesday.
“I think that measures on oil and even gas will also be needed sooner or later,” Michel told the European Parliament, Reuters reported.
2:46 a.m.: The world must act to stop the mass murder in Ukraine, British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
“This is mass murder on an unprecedented scale in Europe. We haven’t seen the likes of this I think since 1995,” he told BBC television. “I don’t want to be commemorating another genocide in Europe years from now. We have the power, the world has the power to stop this, and it must act.”
2:00 a.m.: Russian forces overnight struck a fuel depot and a factory in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region, and the number of casualties remains unclear, the region’s Governor Valentyn Reznichenko said Wednesday on the Telegram messaging app, The Associated Press reported.
“The night was alarming and difficult. The enemy attacked our area from the air and hit the oil depot and one of the plants. The oil depot with fuel was destroyed. Rescuers are still putting out the flames at the plant. There is a strong fire,” Reznichenko wrote.
In the eastern Luhansk region, Tuesday’s shelling of Rubizhne city killed one and injured five more, Governor Serhiy Haidai said Wednesday on Telegram. The Russian military continues to focus its efforts on preparing for an offensive in Ukraine’s east, according to a Wednesday morning update by Ukraine’s General Staff, with the aim “to establish complete control over the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.”
Parts of the two regions have been under control of Russia-backed rebels since 2014 and are recognized by Moscow as independent states, the AP report said.
1:30 a.m.: The United States announced $100 million in military aid for Ukraine as NATO foreign ministers gathered in Brussels for two days of talks about the Ukraine conflict.
“The world has been shocked and appalled by the atrocities committed by Russia’s forces in Bucha and across Ukraine,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement late Tuesday announcing his authorization of aid. “Ukraine’s forces bravely continue to defend their country and their freedom, and the United States, along with our Allies and partners, stand steadfast in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the assistance would “meet an urgent Ukrainian need for additional Javelin anti-armor systems, which the United States has been providing to Ukraine and they have been using so effectively to defend their country.”
12:46 a.m.: Heavy fighting and Russian air strikes continue in the encircled Ukrainian city of Mariupol, British military intelligence said on Wednesday.
“The humanitarian situation in the city is worsening,” the defense ministry said. “Most of the 160,000 remaining residents have no light, communication, medicine, heat or water. Russian forces have prevented humanitarian access, likely to pressure defenders to surrender.” Reuters could not immediately verify the report.
12:00 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday that at least 300 civilians were tortured and killed by Russian troops in the town of Bucha, and he called for a Nuremberg-style tribunal to investigate and prosecute Russian war crimes in his country. VOA’s Senior Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.