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Latest Developments in Ukraine: April 8


Casualties are laid out next to a platform after the bombing of a railway station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, Ukraine, in the Donbass region, on April 8, 2022.

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

Recap of April 8
FIGHTING
* A senior U.S. defense official said that the U.S. assessment is that “Russia did strike the train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine.”
* Russia’s Defense Ministry called reports that Russia was responsible for an attack on the train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, a “provocation.”
* Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Friday called the attack on the Kramatorsk train station “deliberate slaughter.”
* Ukraine is bracing for a "massive breakthrough" attempt by Russian forces in the Donbas region.
HUMANITARIAN
* The U.N. humanitarian office is moving aid eastwards in Ukraine and plans aid convoys to the rebel regions of Luhansk and Donetsk next week as fighting shifts.
* U.N. health officials have warned that more people in Ukraine will start dying from chronic diseases and preventable illnesses than from war injuries the longer the conflict goes on.
DIPLOMACY
* The European Commission chief and the EU's top diplomat met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Friday to offer financial and moral support.
SANCTIONS
* The European Union Friday agreed on a fifth package of sanctions against Russia for its unprovoked war against Ukraine, including measures banning the import of coal and closing off EU ports from Russian vessels.
ECONOMY
* Russian citizens are spending on average 40% of their disposable income on food - about twice as much as they did before the Russia-Ukraine war, the director of the U.N. food agency's Russia liaison office said.

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

10:41 p.m.: U.S. news show 60 Minutes said it will feature Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday.

8:18 p.m.: The Pentagon has determined that some of the Russian combat units that retreated from the Kyiv area in recent days are so heavily damaged and depleted that their combat utility is in question, a senior U.S. defense official told reporters at a briefing Friday.

The official described these units as “for all intents and purposes eradicated,” with only a small number of functioning troops and weapons remaining. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal U.S. military assessments, did not say how many units sustained such extensive damage.

The official said some combat units that withdrew from the Kyiv area are beginning to move toward the Russian towns of Belgorod and Valuyki for refitting and resupplying before likely deploying to the Donbas region.

7:59 p.m.: Russia's justice ministry said on Friday it had revoked the registration of 15 foreign organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, Reuters reports.

The Russian units of the organizations "were excluded due to the discovery of violations of the current legislation of the Russian Federation," the ministry said in a statement.

The decision was announced days after New York-based HRW said it had found "several cases of Russian military forces committing laws-of-war violations" in Ukraine.

7:40 p.m.: A-list stars from film, TV, sports and music, including Bruce Springsteen, Hugh Jackman, Elton John, Jon Bon Jovi, Jonas Brothers and Billie Eilish, have signed up for a social media campaign to show support for Ukraine.

The social media rally Friday organized by Global Citizen calls on governments, institutions, corporations and individuals to help fund humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and other regions of the world, The Associated Press reports.

Celebrities are being asked to use their social media accounts to publicize the effort, using the hashtag #StandUpForUkraine.

7:05 p.m.: The United States on Friday broadened its export curbs against Russia and Belarus as it seeks to increase pressure on them following the invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reports.

President Joe Biden's administration restricted restricting access to imports of items such as fertilizer but also flights of American-made aircraft that are owned, controlled or leased by Belarusians from flying into Belarus "as part of the U.S. government's response to Belarus's actions in support of Russia's aggressive conduct in Ukraine."

6:22 p.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for harsher sanctions and more weapons in the wake of the missile strike on the train station in Kramatorsk that left dozens dead.

"We expect a firm global response to this war crime," Zelenskyy said in a video posted late Friday.

"Any delay in providing ... weapons to Ukraine, any refusals, can only mean the politicians in question want to help the Russian leadership more than us," he said, according to Reuters.

5:57 p.m. Under a shattered crescent hangar at Ukraine's Gostomel Airport the world's largest plane lies buckled and broken.

The Antonov An-225 Mriya, a cargo-lift plane with an 88-meter wingspan, the largest of any aircraft in operation, has been mauled by blasts.

The plane — Mriya means dream in Ukrainian — was once a source of national pride but it was reported destroyed on the fourth day of the fight for the airport.

"We are talking with a destroyed Dream as a backdrop," Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky told Agence France-Presse, standing before the crippled giant striped with the yellow and blue of the Ukrainian flag.

5:18 p.m.: As Turkish military dive teams this week safely defused their third floating naval mine in Turkish waters since March 26, some maritime experts said the explosives still pose a threat to Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait. “If these mines were broken loose as claimed, the risk continues even in the Bosphorus [Strait],” Bora Serdar, a retired staff colonel from the Turkish Naval Forces, told VOA. “It wouldn't be a surprise if at least a few mines went in the strait."

4:44 p.m.:

4:02 p.m.: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said Friday the food price index rose a record 12.6% from February to March, in part due to shocks from the war in Ukraine. "Prices for staple foodstuffs such as wheat and vegetable oils have been soaring lately, imposing extraordinary costs on global consumers, particularly the poorest," FAO Director General Qu Dongyu told the organization's council. He warned that vulnerable consumers and countries face decreasing purchasing power because of increasing food costs and rising fuel prices. VOA’s Margaret Besheer has this story.

3:51 p.m.: Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has set off on a one-day trip to Ukraine during which he will meet President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv on Saturday morning, his office said in a statement on Friday. Neutral Austria has been providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine as well as helmets and body armor for civilians rather than weapons. Nehammer, a conservative, has been visibly moved by telephone conversations with Zelenskyy and says he wants to show support, Reuters reported.

3:42 p.m.: As the Ukrainian army enters towns around Kyiv following the withdrawal of Russian troops, they have been able to examine the wreckage of the world's largest plane, the Antanov AN-225 Mriya, which was destroyed during the fighting. VOA reporter Malik Mansur was at the airport in the town of Hostomel, home to the transport aircraft, which is recognized as the world's largest cargo aircraft. The Kyiv Independent shared a photo on Twitter Friday.

3:28 p.m.: Russia's Foreign Ministry says it is expelling Bulgarian and Polish diplomats in a tit-for-tat move after Sofia and Warsaw sent home Russian diplomats last month. Russia has declared two Bulgarian diplomats and 45 Polish embassy and consulate staff "persona non grata" in retaliation for the equivalent number of expulsions from the two countries, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

2:26 p.m.: The U.N. Secretary-General on Friday condemned the strike on the Kramatorsk railway station in eastern Ukraine, as well as other attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure. “They are gross violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, for which the perpetrators must be held accountable,” his spokesman Stephan Dujarric said in a statement. The UN chief reiterated his appeal “to all concerned to bring an immediate end to this brutal war,” the statement said.

2:03 p.m.: A senior U.S. defense official briefed journalists on the latest developments in Ukraine Friday. The official said that the U.S. assess “Russia did strike the train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine.” He said the U.S. is “not buying” Russian denials about the missile strike, and says the train station was hit by a Russian SS21 ballistic missile, likely because it was seen by Russia as a strategic transportation hub. VOA National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

1:54 p.m.: A Ukrainian woman living in Argentina has been struggling to reach her loved ones back home. VOA’s Gonzalo Banez Villar has this story.

Ukrainian Woman in Argentina Struggling to Reach Loved Ones Back Home
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1:26 p.m.: European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said the deaths of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha showed the "cruel face" of Russian President Vladimir Putin's army, Reuters reported. Speaking to reporters in Bucha, von der Leyen, wearing a flak jacket, said "The unthinkable has happened here.” Looking visibly moved, she said, "The whole world is mourning with the people of Bucha, and they are the ones who are ... defending the border of Europe, defending humanity, defending democracy and therefore we stand with them in this important fight."

1:12 p.m.: Forensic investigators began exhuming a mass grave in Bucha on Friday, wrapping in black plastic and laying out the bodies of civilians who officials say were killed while Russian troops occupied the town just northwest of Kyiv. Ruslan Kravchenko, from the prosecutor's office in Bucha, said they had exhumed 20 bodies, 18 of whom had firearms and shrapnel wounds. He said two women had been identified, one of whom had worked at a supermarket in the town center. "There are witnesses who can confirm that these people were killed by the Russian forces. Without any reason, they were just walking down the street or being evacuated," he told Reuters.

12:47 p.m.: Russia has declared the British think tank Chatham House an "undesirable" organization amid its ongoing crackdown on international and domestic NGOs, media, and democratic institutions, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported. In statement Friday, the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office gave a standard explanation for the move, saying that the organization’s activities pose “a threat to the Russian Federation's constitutional order and security." Chatham House, officially known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is a more than century-old research institute based in London focused on international affairs.

12:11 p.m.: Ukrainian leaders on Friday accompanied visiting European Commission and European Union officials to Bucha, Ukraine, according to The Kyiv Independent. Civilian bodies discovered there show signs of torture and execution, which Ukraine’s government blames on Russian troops who recently withdrew from the area. Russia denies that its forces target civilians.

11:54 a.m.: A shipment of valuable art destined for Russian museums that was seized on the Finnish-Russian border can be released under an amendment to sanctions that went into effect on Friday, Finnish customs officials said. The artwork and artifacts – which were returning to Russia from Italy and Japan, where they were on loan – have a total insured value of around $46 million, The Associated Press reported. Finland’s customs agency said the Foreign Ministry can grant a permit enabling the release of works of art.

11:16 a.m.: Opinion polls show Russians support President Vladimir Putin and the war on Ukraine. But among academics, social scientists, and close watchers of Russian social trends, some polls showed signs of something else: a Russian reluctance - or even fear - of speaking frankly and honestly to pollsters. Mike Eckel with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this report.

10:48 a.m.: Ukrainian officials on Friday revised casualty figures upward following a rocket strike at a railway station packed with civilians fleeing the threat of a major Russian offensive in the country's east. Regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said the death toll rose to 50 from an earlier reported 39 as some of the several dozen wounded had died after being taken to medical centers. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said no Ukrainian troops were at the station. "Russian forces (fired) on an ordinary train station, on ordinary people, there were no soldiers there," he told Finland's parliament in a video address. The White House decried the "horrific and devastating images" of the station attack.

10:43 a.m.: A child's blood-spattered toy, suitcases, and charred cars littered the railway station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, on Friday after a Russian rocket attack that struck when around 1,000 people were waiting for a train to evacuate them to a safer part of the country. Serhiy Horbatenko with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this video from the scene.

Warning: Viewers may find some of the video footage disturbing.

10:24 a.m.: Authorities in Ukraine have reached out to the International Commission on Missing Persons to help put names to bodies that might otherwise remain anonymous amid the fog of war. A team made up of a forensic pathologist, forensic archaeologist, and an expert on collecting DNA samples from bodies and from families to cross-match, is expected to travel to Ukraine early next week, Director-General Kathryne Bomberger told The Associated Press on Friday. They will help identify the dead, but also document how they died – information that can feed into war crimes investigations in the future.

10:05 a.m.: The U.N. Children’s Fund Ukraine Representative Murat Sahin on Friday condemned the attack on the Kramatorsk train station in eastern Ukraine. "We do not know yet how many children were killed and injured in the attack, but we fear the worst,” the UNICEF official said in a statement. The UNICEF team was delivering supplies near the train station when the attack occurred, he said. "Civilians, particularly children, must be protected from harm."

9:52 a.m.: The German government on Friday unveiled a package of loans and other financial assistance to help companies hit hard by the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, The Associated Press reported. The package includes loans of as much as $109 billion to cover the credit risks taken by Germany’s energy industry as the country scrambles to replace imports of Russian oil, gas and coal. Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the package was necessary because “there are companies and sectors that won’t survive this period if we don’t help them.”

9:41 a.m.: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov on Friday to discuss “the needs of the Ukrainian military to defend its country,” VOA National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin reported.

9:38 a.m. : The U.N. refugee agency says it is beefing up its humanitarian aid operation both inside and outside of Ukraine for millions of refugees forced to flee their homes in the face of intensified fighting and increased brutality by Russia’s military forces, VOA’s Lisa Schlein reported Friday.

UNHCR spokesman Matthew Saltmarsh says reception and collective centers are being expanded to receive more internally displaced people. Delivering aid remains challenging in places of active fighting. Nevertheless, he says aid workers continue to try to reach besieged areas, such as Mariupol and Kherson.

“The latest such convoy was on the sixth of April, where UNHCR was among those carrying aid to Sievierodonetsk in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. For weeks, people there have endured relentless shelling and shortages of basics like water, gas, and electricity,” Saltmarsh said. “Our team was able to deliver solar lamps, blankets, hygiene kits, baby formula and tarpaulin sheets,” he added.

9:12 a.m. Russian citizens are spending on average 40% of their disposable income on food - about twice as much as they did before the Russia-Ukraine war, the director of the U.N. food agency's Russia liaison office told Reuters. Oleg Kobiakov of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said many Russian households are now resorting to crisis coping strategies as much of their income goes towards basic needs like food. "People are postponing plans like going to college or buying a house. They're saving in case they lose their job, in case of death," he said.

9:01 a.m.: Ukraine’s war has ignited protests in Peru, as anger over inflation goes global, Reuters reported Friday. “The cost of a family’s basic daily needs has brutally gone up,” Marcelo Gonzales told Reuters, surrounded by hundreds of angry residents in the western village of Villacuri. He said he is tired and angry about rapidly increasing living costs in his dusty village on Peru’s desert coast. Inflation in Peru has reached its highest level in a quarter of a century, hammering people already hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic since early 2020.

8:52 a.m.: Stores in Istanbul, once filled with Russian and Ukrainian shoppers, are now experiencing hard times because of the war in Ukraine. The conflict is also causing prices for food and fuel in Turkey to rise. VOA’s Behzod Muhammadiy reports from Istanbul.

Istanbul Businesses Suffer Heavy Losses Because of Ukraine War
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8:37 a.m.: Slovakia has donated its S-300 air defense system to Ukraine to help it defend against Russia's aggression, Slovakia Prime Minister Eduard Heger said Friday. Ukraine has appealed to Western nations for air defense equipment to help repel a Russian military onslaught that is now in its second month. Heger, who was visiting Kyiv Friday, also said that Slovakia's own defense was secured. NATO member Slovakia has been operating one battery of the S-300 air defense system, which it inherited after the break-up of Czechoslovakia in 1993, Reuters reported.

8:28 a.m.: President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen that the missile attack on civilians at a Ukrainian train station Friday was “despicable” and that she will offer her personal condolences to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The European Commission chief and the EU's top diplomat are in Kyiv Friday to offer financial and moral support for Ukraine.

8:21 a.m.: The European Commission President Ursuala von der Leyen and Josep Borrell, the EU's chief diplomat, arrived in Kyiv on Friday after travelling by train from Brussels. Von der Leyen told reporters the most important message she was bringing was that there "will be the EU path" for Ukraine. "Our goal is present Ukraine’s application to council this summer," she said. Six weeks into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, she pledged her support for Kyiv to "emerge from the war as a democratic country", something, she said, the European Union and other donors would help with. It was a message echoed by Borrell, who also told reporters the visit was a signal that "Ukraine is in control of its territory" and the government was still in charge.

8:18 a.m.: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is calling for a war crimes tribunal against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, German magazine Der Spiegel cited Steinmeier as saying. "Anyone who has responsibility for these crimes will have to explain themselves," Steinmeier told Der Spiegel in an interview, Reuters reported.

8:01 a.m.: A Russian strike on a railway station in Kramatorsk has killed at least 39 people, according to Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko, The Kyiv Independent reported Friday. At least 87 more were wounded, many of which are in critical condition, the governor reported. The spokeswoman of the Donetsk Oblast administration, Tetiana Ihnatchenko, said on national TV that the numbers of casualties are likely to grow.

7:56 a.m. : Ukraine said it aimed to establish up to 10 humanitarian corridors to evacuate trapped civilians on Friday, but civilians trying to flee besieged Mariupol will have to use private vehicles, Reuters reported. The 10 planned safe corridors announced by Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk were all in southern and eastern Ukraine. Vereshchuk said 4,676 civilians had been evacuated from Ukrainian towns and cities on Thursday. Ukrainian officials say Russian forces have been regrouping for a new offensive, and that Moscow plans to seize as much territory as it can in the eastern part of Ukraine known as Donbas bordering Russia.

7:48 a.m.: U.N. health officials have warned that more people in Ukraine will start dying from chronic diseases and preventable illnesses than from war injuries the longer the conflict goes on. The World Health Organization said that health workers in Ukraine were continuing to deliver care in the face of unimaginable human suffering and in areas of total devastation. WHO is calling on Russia to enact an immediate cease-fire and to grant unhindered access of humanitarian assistance for those in need. VOA’s Lisa Schlein has the story.

7:41 a.m.: The U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, Osnat Lubrani, retweeted the latest U.N. figures on civilians impacted by the war and provided a link to the Ukraine Humanitarian Impact Situation Report updated this week.

7:30 a.m.: The U.N. humanitarian office is moving aid eastwards in Ukraine and plans aid convoys to the rebel regions of Luhansk and Donetsk next week as fighting shifts, spokesperson Jens Laerke told a press briefing on Friday. "We have in our planning convoys to go there I understand already next week. Whether that happens or not depends on the security situation," he said, calling the regions that Russia has recognized as independent states, "areas of heightened humanitarian concern". International U.N. staff are planning to return to Kyiv in the coming days following the withdrawal of Russian troops from nearby areas. More humanitarian hubs were also being set up further east, such as Dnipro. "The idea is to get as physically close to people most in need as possible," Laerke said.

7:24 a.m.: U.N. humanitarian aid chief Martin Griffiths visited Ukraine and Russia this week where he met with both parties and discussed arrangements for a possible humanitarian ceasefire to the six-week old conflict. While there is no commitment for a ceasefire yet, the U.N. said Griffiths would continue to seek agreement on localized ceasefires. After visiting Bucha Thursday, where he saw a mass grave containing 280 bodies, Griffiths said Friday on Twitter “That ceasefire is imperative.”

6:58 a.m.: Is Russia committing genocide in Ukraine? David Simon, a professor of political science and director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University, spoke to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Todd Prince about this question, why it matters, and why Russia’s power on the UN Security Council is a problem.

6:42 a.m.: Ukrainians in Chernihiv are cleaning up after the Russian Army stopped its attacks and turned its attention to Ukraine's east. Russia's air force bombed residential areas and a church. Correspondent Maryan Kushnir toured the destruction in the city, which is located in northern Ukraine near the borders with Belarus and Russia. He has this story for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

6:35 a.m.: Testimony and other evidence of suspected war crimes in Ukraine after Russia's invasion must be collected from fleeing refugees so the acts will not go unpunished, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said on Friday. "We have all seen the pictures, the videos of the result of war crimes. And unfortunately I think that we are going to see even more," she said at a news conference in Prague with the Czech interior minister, Reuters reported. "It is so important that these war crimes will not go unpunished,” she added.

6:31 a.m.: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed new Western sanctions against Russia but called for further measures, including a full embargo on Russian oil and gas sales, blocking all Russian banks from the SWIFT banking system and closing ports to Russian vessels and goods, VOA News reported.

6:17 a.m. : The European Union Friday agreed on a fifth package of sanctions against Russia for its unprovoked war against Ukraine, including measures banning the import of coal and closing off EU ports from Russian vessels. The newly adopted sanctions target six main themes: Russian coal, financial transactions, transport, imports and exports to Russia, and excluding Russia from public contracts and European funds. The bloc said in a statement, noting that work on further sanctions against Moscow is already under way. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this report.

6:16 a.m.: Russia’s Defense Ministry called reports that Russia was responsible for an attack on the train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, a “provocation.” The ministry said in a statement that the missiles used in the strike, Tochka-U, were used only by Ukraine’s armed forces and that Russian troops had not made any strikes against Kramatorsk on Friday, the New York Times reported.

6:10 a.m.: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Friday called the attack on the Kramatorsk train station “deliberate slaughter” and shared a photo of the aftermath on Twitter. “Russians knew that the train station in Kramatorsk was full of civilians waiting to be evacuated,” he charged.

6:04 a.m.: In a video shared by the Ukrainian government of the aftermath of a strike on a train station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, the inscription “for the children” could be seen scrawled in white lettering on the of the missile, The New York Times reported. Unconfirmed reports say 2 kids were among the dead at the train station.

Ukrainian police inspect the remains of a large rocket with the words 'for our children' in Russian next to the main building of a train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, that was hit by a rocket attack, killing at least 35 people, on April 8, 2022
Ukrainian police inspect the remains of a large rocket with the words 'for our children' in Russian next to the main building of a train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, that was hit by a rocket attack, killing at least 35 people, on April 8, 2022

6:02 a.m.: The European Commission chief and the EU's top diplomat will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Friday to offer financial and moral support, Reuters reported. Travelling by train from Brussels to Kyiv, Josep Borrell, the European Union's chief diplomat, told reporters the visit was a signal that "Ukraine is in control of its territory". He also said the trip would allow the bloc to outline the measures the EU has taken to "isolate Russia" over its six-week-old invasion of Ukraine. Borrell and European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen are the latest Western leaders to visit Kyiv after the prime ministers of Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic travelled to meet Zelenskyy last month.

5:42 a.m.: The Washington Post reported the Russia's invasion means Ukraine is unable to export grain -- and that means trouble for the rest of the world. Countries that count on Ukrainian wheat include Pakistan, Lebanon and Egypt. If Ukraine can't export its grain, food prices could spike and hunger could soar around the world, the Post reported.

5:32 a.m.: CNN reported that Ukraine plans to open 10 humanitarian corridors Friday.

5:20 a.m.: Japan said it will expel eight Russian diplomats, becoming the latest in a string of countries taking such action.

5:10 a.m.: The New York Times reported that the EU has banned Russian coal imports as part of new sanctions.

5 a.m.: CNN reported that Ukraine is bracing for a "massive breakthrough" attempt by Russian forces in the Donbas region.

4:42 a.m.: The state rail company said a Russian rocket strike at a train station in Kramatorsk killed more than 30 people and injured more than 100.

4:35 a.m.: The BBC reported that a missile strike on a rail station in eastern Ukraine has killed or injured dozens.

4:17 a.m.: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov issued a statement calling Ukraine's latest peace proposal "unacceptable." He said accused "Ukrainian neo-Nazis" of "committing atrocities" against Russian prisoners of war.

4:01 a.m.: CNN reported that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, are heading to Kyiv, Ukraine.

3:27 a.m.: Amnesty International on Thursday said new testimony indicates that Russia committed war crimes in Ukraine.

“In recent weeks, we have gathered evidence that Russian forces have committed extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings, which must be investigated as likely war crimes,” said Agnès Callamard, secretary-general of Amnesty International, in a statement.

“Testimonies shows that unarmed civilians in Ukraine are being killed in their homes and streets in acts of unspeakable cruelty and shocking brutality.

“The intentional killing of civilians is a human rights violation and a war crime. These deaths must be thoroughly investigated, and those responsible must be prosecuted, including up the chain of command.”

3 a.m.: CNN reported that Ukraine plans to open 10 humanitarian corridors Friday.

2:18 a.m.: The U.K.'s Ministry of Defence, in its latest intelligence update, said that Russian forces have pulled out of northern Ukraine. Some of those forces will be sent to fight in eastern Ukraine as Russia continues to attack the eastern and southern parts of the country.

1:31 a.m.: Reuters reported that Bernard Zonneveld, a Dutch national who's chairman of Russian aluminum giant Rusal, called for an investigation into possible war crimes in Bucha, Ukraine.

12:02 a.m.: Al Jazeera reported that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russia plans to use the corpses of Mariupol victims for propaganda. "They are going to show the victims in Mariupol as if they were killed not by the Russian military, but by the Ukrainian defenders of the city," he said. "To do this, the occupiers collect corpses on the streets, take them out and can use them elsewhere in accordance with the elaborated propaganda scenarios."

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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