April 22, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Ivana Kottasová, Travis Caldwell, Andrew Raine, Lianne Kolirin, George Ramsay, Adrienne Vogt, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:13 a.m. ET, April 23, 2022
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2:47 p.m. ET, April 22, 2022

Turkey hopes to bring Russian and Ukrainian presidents to Istanbul for direct talks

From CNN's Yusuf Gezer and Mohammed Tawfeeq

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks to the press after performing a Friday prayer at Hz. Ali Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 22, 2022.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks to the press after performing a Friday prayer at Hz. Ali Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 22, 2022. (Isa Terli/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is expecting to hold phone calls with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts in the next 48 hours with the hope of meeting them both in Istanbul to end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

"The result is positive; it's not exactly as we wanted, but it will be better. We're not without hope," Erdogan said from Istanbul on Friday following a question about the ongoing Ukraine-Russia peace talks. "I hope that they accept our invitation, and we can bring them together in Istanbul."

Turkey has a unique profile and position. Besides being a NATO member, the country also has maritime borders with both Ukraine and Russia. Plus, Turkey is Russia's largest trade partner in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The country has competed and cooperated with Russia through conflict zones in Syria, Libya, and Nagorno-Karabakh in recent years.

1:40 p.m. ET, April 22, 2022

Biden administration is not engaged in active prep to re-open US embassy in Kyiv, sources say

From CNN's Kylie Atwood

US President Joe Biden's administration is not engaged in active preparations to re-open the US embassy in Kyiv, following the UK’s announcement that it will resume its diplomatic mission in the capital city soon, according to three sources familiar with the ongoing conversations. 

US State Department officials remain concerned about the possibility of a Russian strike that could accidentally hit the structure or US personnel, the sources said. The officials are less wary of specific targeting of the US mission, but so long as the errant missile threat remains, they are not going to move back into Kyiv. 

But the department is actively assessing the situation on the ground. 

“We are constantly reassessing and evaluating the security situation because the safety and security of our employees is our top priority,” a State Department spokesperson said Friday.  

For many State Department officials, the memories of Benghazi – when a US ambassador was killed in an attack on the US diplomatic compound – are a constant reminder of the need to be overly cautious, two of the sources said. 

The State Department ended operations at the US embassy in Kyiv over a month ago. The spokesperson said they looked forward to re-opening the embassy when able.

“We don’t have specifics on timing, but our team is actively planning and we very much look forward to resuming embassy operations in Ukraine to facilitate our support to the government and people of Ukraine as they bravely defend their country,” the spokesperson said. 

1:36 p.m. ET, April 22, 2022

Amsterdam Trade Bank, subsidiary of Russian Alfa Bank hit by US sanctions, declared bankrupt

From CNN’s Livvy Doherty in London

Amsterdam Trade Bank (ATB), a subsidiary of Russia’s Alfa Bank, was declared bankrupt on Friday, according to a statement by the Dutch Central Bank (DNB), citing a court order.

According to the statement, the Amsterdam Central Court ordered the bankruptcy of ATB on Friday, leading the DNB to activate a deposit guarantee scheme for account holders. 

The US Treasury announced on April 6 that it would be imposing “full blocking sanctions” on Alfa Bank, Russia’s largest private bank. As part of those sanctions, six subsidiaries, including ATB, were blocked for “being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Alfa-Bank.”

Eligible account holders at ATB are covered by the Dutch deposit guarantee scheme up to a maximum of 10,000 euros per person, and it has 23,000 private account holders, the DNB said. The full amount guaranteed by the scheme totals around 700 million euros.

4:26 p.m. ET, April 22, 2022

UN secretary-general will meet with Putin on April 26 in Moscow 

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, speaks to the press about the current situation in Ukraine at the United Nations Headquarters on April 19, 2022 in New York City. The Secretary General called for an immediate cease fire during the Holy Week and the opening of humanitarian pathways to freedom for Ukrainians.
Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, speaks to the press about the current situation in Ukraine at the United Nations Headquarters on April 19, 2022 in New York City. The Secretary General called for an immediate cease fire during the Holy Week and the opening of humanitarian pathways to freedom for Ukrainians. (John Lamparski/NurPhoto/AP)

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “will be received by President Vladimir Putin” on Tuesday, April 26 after having a working meeting and lunch with the foreign minister of Russia, the UN said.

"The Secretary-General will visit Moscow, Russian Federation, where, on 26 April, he will have a working meeting and lunch with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and will be received by President Vladimir Putin," according to a UN statement.

On Wednesday, a UN spokesperson said Guterres was requesting separate audiences with Putin in Moscow and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine to discuss the urgent need to bring about peace.

Guterres would like “to discuss urgent steps to bring about peace in Ukraine and the future of multilateralism based on the Charter of the United Nations and international law,” according to a statement from UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

12:30 p.m. ET, April 22, 2022

It's just past 7 p.m. in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know.

Investigations into allegations of civilian deaths in Kyiv, Bucha and elsewhere continue as more evidence emerges.

Meanwhile, civilians remain trapped in Ukrainian cities like Mariupol and Luhansk, with no new evacuation corridors established Friday. Mariupol's mayor told CNN in an interview that "one clear day of cease fire" is needed to evacuate civilians sheltering in the Azovstal iron and steel plant in the besieged city.

Here are the latest developments on Russia's war in Ukraine:

  • Russia's land bridge ambition: Russia has revealed that the goal of its invasion of Ukraine is to take "full control" over southern Ukraine as well as the eastern Donbas region, and establishing a land corridor connecting Russia to Crimea, the peninsula it annexed in 2014. Ukrainian officials described heavy fighting throughout the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in addition to at least 20 injured in "intensified" shelling in the southern Mykolaiv region.
  • Mass graves: Ukrainian officials say they have identified mass graves outside the city of Mariupol. The claim is supported by photos collected and analyzed by US satellite imagery company Maxar Technologies that appear to show more than 200 new graves to the west of Mariupol.
  • No way out: No evacuation corridors in Ukraine have been agreed with the Russians due to "danger on the routes," Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Friday. The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, said he "strongly urged" for immediate humanitarian access and safe passage from Mariupol and other besieged cities in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday. The European Union's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, also called for evacuation corridors in Mariupol to be created "immediately."
  • Bodies examined: Forensic investigators are examining 1,084 bodies of civilians found in the Kyiv region following the withdrawal of Russian forces, according to the police.
  • A call for larger NATO presence: Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has called on NATO to send more troops to eastern Europe including to his own country.
  • Killings in Bucha: UN human rights officers have documented the "unlawful killing, including by summary execution, of some 50 civilians" in Bucha, a town on the outskirts of Kyiv, the UN Human Rights Office said Friday.
  • Luhansk evacuation disrupted: Serhiy Haidai, the head of the Luhansk region military administration, said Friday that Russian shelling disrupted an attempt to evacuate civilians from the heavily contested eastern Ukrainian town of Rubizhne, stopping a bus from reaching the town.
  • UK PM on Putin's prospects: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday that Russia has a "realistic possibility" of winning the war in Ukraine, calling the situation there "unpredictable" at the moment.
  • Ukraine alleges Russian orders were given to kill POWs: Ukraine’s military intelligence on Wednesday released a purported communications intercept of Russian armed forces referring to an alleged order to kill Ukrainian prisoners of war in the city of Popasna in the eastern region of Luhansk, which is bearing the brunt of Russia’s renewed attack. It appears to feature Russian soldiers saying: “Keep the most senior among them, and let the rest go forever. Let them go forever, damn it, so that no one will ever see them again, including relatives.”
12:23 p.m. ET, April 22, 2022

EU's top diplomat calls for evacuation corridors to be created "immediately" in Mariupol

From CNN's Sarah Diab in London and James Frater in Brussels

High Representative Josep Borrell speaks at a European Council meeting in Strasbourg, France on April 6.
High Representative Josep Borrell speaks at a European Council meeting in Strasbourg, France on April 6. (Philipp von Ditfurth/picture alliance/Getty Images)

The European Union's top diplomat, High Representative Josep Borrell, called for evacuation corridors in Mariupol to be created "immediately with necessary ceasefire assurances, from Azovstal and other areas of the city to other parts of Ukraine" in a written statement on Friday.

"Free and safe access for those delivering humanitarian assistance must be ensured, in line with basic human rights principles and international humanitarian law," he urged.

Borrell commended Ukraine's "efforts to finding a diplomatic solution for the evacuation of civilians" but said the EU regrets "that Russia is not reciprocating."

In the statement, Borrell also highlighted the urgency of the situation, saying:

"For weeks now, the world has borne witness to a cruel, illegal onslaught in Mariupol by Russia leading to wide-scale destruction of the city, including atrocities against civilians, under a twisted pretext of 'liberating' the city." 

"Thousands of its inhabitants have been deported to Russia or forcibly displaced to the non-government-controlled areas of Ukraine," he said.

Borrell added that over 100,000 civilians remain in Mariupol, including as many as 1,000 who have taken refuge at the Azovstal steel plant and are defended by Ukrainian Armed Forces.

11:22 a.m. ET, April 22, 2022

International swimming body suspends Russian Olympic champion for attending Putin rally

From CNN's Sammy Mngqosini in London 

Evgeny Rylov competes at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.
Evgeny Rylov competes at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) – swimming’s governing body – announced on Thursday that it had suspended two-time Olympic champion Evgeny Rylov for nine months for attending a rally hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in March. 

“The FINA Bureau met today and acknowledged the decision of the FINA Disciplinary Panel to suspend Evgeny Rylov (RUS) from all competitions and activities organized or sanctioned by FINA, including any International Competition on the FINA World Aquatic Calendar, for a period of nine months, following Mr. Rylov’s attendance and conduct at an event held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on 8 March 2022. Mr. Rylov’s suspension took effect on 20 April 2022,” according to a statement

Rylov, a gold medalist in the 100 meter and 200 meter at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, earlier pulled out of the June 18 to July 3 world championship in support of banned Russian athletes. 

The statement also confirmed that Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials will not be invited to any FINA competitions for the remainder of 2022. 

CNN has reached out to Rylov as well as Russian and Belarusian swimming federations for comment. 

10:56 a.m. ET, April 22, 2022

At least 20 injured in Ukraine's Mykolaiv region in past 48 hours, official says

From CNN's Katharina Krebs

At least 20 people were injured in Mykolaiv region in the past two days in attacks by Russian troops, the head of Mykolaiv regional council, Hanna Zamazeeva, said in a Telegram post on Friday.

"Fortunately, there are no children among the victims," she added. 

Zamazeeva said the victims were taken to regional hospitals.

10:48 a.m. ET, April 22, 2022

Netherlands says it is "firmly committed" to ending Russian energy imports by end of 2022

From CNN’s Benjamin Brown in London

The Netherlands is “firmly committed” to ending the import of Russian oil and gas by the end of the year, Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy Policy Rob Jetten said Friday.

The Dutch government will subsidize energy companies to fill its Bergermeer gas storage facility to 70% capacity by the end of the year, spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Pieter ten Bruggencate told CNN Friday.

Subsidies were necessary as an incentive to import gas at current price levels, ten Bruggencate said, adding that the Netherlands would make an estimated 623,000,000 euros (about $672,000,000) available.

The state-owned energy firm Energie Beheer Nederland would top up the remaining capacity should the subsidy program not prove sufficient, ten Bruggencate added.