April 27, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Maureen Chowdhury, Jessie Yeung, Seán Federico O'Murchú, Ben Morse, Jeevan Ravindran and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 0406 GMT (1206 HKT) April 28, 2022
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2:49 a.m. ET, April 27, 2022

Blasts reported in 3 Russian regions bordering Ukraine 

From Svitlana Budzhak-Jones and Hannah Ritchie

Blasts were heard early Wednesday in three Russian regions bordering Ukraine, local authorities and Russian state media reported.

The depot fire in Belgorod: The blast was followed by a fire at the ammunition depot in the village of Staraya Nelidovka, about 10 miles north of the Ukrainian border, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on his Telegram on Wednesday. He added that there were “no casualties among civilians.”

Explosions in Kursk: In the region of Kursk, residents “heard explosions” around 2:45 a.m. local time. The governor, Roman Starovoyt, said the details surrounding the explosions are still "being clarified," but that there were no casualties or destruction.

The Kursk explosions come just two days after two Ukrainian drones were shot down by Russian air defense crews in the region's village of Borovskoye, according to Starovoyt. 

Bangs heard at dawn in Voronezh: Two loud bangs were heard by residents in the Shilovo neighborhood of the Russian city Voronezh at 4:40 a.m., according to Russian state media TASS, citing authorities. 

"A civil defense and emergency response team and a team of the Russian Emergencies Ministry are currently at the site of the incident. An Investigative Committee official is about to arrive," a district civil defense and emergency official reportedly told TASS.

Voronezh is located roughly 200 miles from the Ukrainian border and is a major military and transport hub. 

Russian officials have repeatedly accused Ukraine of mounting cross-border attacks on fuel depots and military installations, claims which Ukrainian government agencies say are intended to stoke "anti-Ukrainian sentiment."

CNN could not independently confirm that there was no damage to residential buildings, or that there were no civilian casualties following Wednesday’s explosions.

2:11 a.m. ET, April 27, 2022

A key bridge near Odesa has been struck again in a missile attack

From CNN's Tim Lister and Julia Kesaieva

This file photo from Oct 30, 2019 shows the bridge across the Dniester Estuary in Odesa, Ukraine.
This file photo from Oct 30, 2019 shows the bridge across the Dniester Estuary in Odesa, Ukraine. (Ukrinform/Future Publishing/Getty Images)

The chairman of the Ukrainian railway network, Oleksandr Kamyshin, says another missile has hit a rail and road bridge linking the port city of Odesa with the far southwest portion of Ukraine.

"Today at 6:45 a.m. a second rocket attack on the same bridge across the Dniester Estuary in the Odesa region took place," Kamyshin said.

There were no injured railway workers, he said.

"The damage to the infrastructure can be determined after the air alert," he said.

The bridge had been struck by a Russian missile attack on Tuesday, city authorities said -- essentially cutting off the region as it's the only link between southwest Ukraine and the rest of the country. Repair work had just started when the Wednesday strike hit.

1:24 a.m. ET, April 27, 2022

Russia's Belgorod region extends high "terrorist danger" threat level

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy and Josh Pennington

The Belgorod region, which neighbors Ukraine, is extending its high "terrorist danger" security level status through May 10, according to a notice published on a local government website.

The yellow security status — which has been in place since April 10 — is the second-highest alert level, as it signifies authorities have information suggesting the real possibility of a terrorist act, according to the Russian government. 

The regional government is asking citizens in the region to not attend mass gatherings and to bring their identification documents when they go out. Setting off firecrackers and fireworks is also forbidden by the order.  

The extension comes as a fire broke out Wednesday at an ammunition depot in the village of Staraya Nelidovka, which is about 10 miles south of the city of Belgorod. It's unclear how that fire began, but several military installations in the region have caught fire or exploded since the war in Ukraine began.

Russia has accused Ukraine of being responsible for some of the past fires and explosions at Russian military installations. 

12:12 a.m. ET, April 27, 2022

Russia will no longer host the 2023 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship

In this file photo from April 26, 2016, the headquarters of the International Ice Hockey Federation is seen in Zurich, Switzerland.
In this file photo from April 26, 2016, the headquarters of the International Ice Hockey Federation is seen in Zurich, Switzerland. (Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann)

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced Tuesday that it will relocate the 2023 World Championship from Russia, which had previously been awarded hosting rights. 

The tournament had been scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg in May 2023. An alternative host nation will be determined next month, according to the IIHF.

 “The decision to relocate the event was taken primarily out of concern for the safety and well-being of all participating players, officials, media, and fans,” the IIHF said in a statement.
“As was the case with Council’s earlier decision to withdraw the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship that was to be held in Omsk and Novosibirsk, Russia, the Council expressed significant concerns over the safe freedom of movement of players and officials to, from, and within Russia.”

In February, the IIHF moved to ban Russian and Belarusian national and club-level teams from IIHF competition and also stripped Russia of its hosting rights for the World Junior Championship in 2023.

12:00 a.m. ET, April 27, 2022

It's 7 a.m. in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

As heavy fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, tensions are also rising in neighboring Moldova after a series of unexplained explosions in the breakaway region of Transnistria — prompting some to warn Russia may be eyeing the territory.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Kherson referendum: Many civilians are fleeing Kherson, located in southern Ukraine, ahead of what Ukrainian leaders have called a sham referendum staged by Russia. Kherson and its surrounding areas were the first to be taken by advancing Russian forces early in the war, and Russia now plans to hold a vote in the region to try to show popular support for the creation of a new entity called the Kherson People's Republic.
  • Fighting in the east: Russia is continuing efforts to surround Ukrainian forces in the east of the country, a Ukrainian presidential advisor said Tuesday. Heavy fighting is continuing in Donetsk and Luhansk, with Russian missile attacks having damaged a school, a hospital, and other civilian infrastructure, according to Donetsk officials.
  • Tensions in Transnistria: Ukrainian officials are claiming that a spate of unexplained attacks in and around neighboring Moldova suggest Russia may be trying to open a new front in the two-month war. In Transnistria, a breakaway territory in Moldova that isn't recognized internationally, there was a rocket attack on Monday and unexplained explosions on Tuesday -- leading the Moldovan president to call an emergency meeting of the country's security council.
  • Russian oil embargo: Russian energy giant Gazprom will shut off gas supplies to both Bulgaria and Poland's state-owned gas companies after the two countries refused to pay in rubles. Russia delivered an ultimatum last month for countries to pay their energy in rubles or risk being cut off from vital supplies.
  • The nuclear question: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that the carelessness of Russian troops who occupied the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant signals the danger of Russia using nuclear weapons. Also on Tuesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he does not expect Russia to use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
  • Diplomatic efforts: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow on Tuesday for about an hour. Guterres will head to Ukraine later this week to meet Zelensky and the Ukrainian foreign minister. Meanwhile, the US State Department confirmed that some diplomats had temporarily returned to the Ukrainian city of Lviv on Tuesday.
  • Foreign aid: Germany has agreed to deliver anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine, the first time it has provided this type of heavy weaponry during the war. Meanwhile, the US Defense Department has established a control center in Germany to coordinate shipments and “streamline the delivery” of military assistance to Ukraine.
11:55 p.m. ET, April 26, 2022

An ammunition depot in Russia's Belgorod region is on fire, regional governor says

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy, Josh Pennington and Hannah Ritchie

An ammunition depot is on fire in a rural village in Russia's Belgorod region, said regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov on his Telegram Wednesday.

"According to preliminary information, an ammunition depot is on fire near the village of Staraya Nelidovka. No damage has been incurred by residential buildings and houses. There were no casualties among the civilians," Gladkov said.

Staraya Nelidovka is about 10 miles north of the Ukrainian border, and about 10 miles south of the city of Belgorod. 

CNN cannot independently confirm that there were no casualties or damage to residential buildings.

11:55 p.m. ET, April 26, 2022

Zelensky: Russia is trying to destabilize region through occupation of breakaway region in Moldova

From CNN’s Mitchell McCluskey

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia is trying to destabilize the region through military activity in Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria.

“This is just one of the steps of the Russian federation. This is happening to destabilize the region and threaten Moldova,” Zelensky said when asked by a journalist during a joint press conference in Kyiv with IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi on Tuesday.

“This is showing that if Moldova supports Ukraine this is what’s going to happen,” he said.  

In recent days, Ukraine has accused Russian troops of firing missiles and conducting operations in Transnistria.

When asked about the number of Russian troops present in Transnistria, Zelensky said Ukrainian armed forces are “prepared and not afraid” to deal with a new front of the military invasion.  

“With regard to certain Russian troops that are constantly present in the temporarily occupied territory — this has been so for many, many years. We know they’re on alert, just waiting for the order,” Zelensky said.

12:25 a.m. ET, April 27, 2022

Germany has agreed to send heavy weapons to Ukraine. Here's why that is significant

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová, Stephanie Halasz and Ulrike Heil

Germany will provide Gepard anti-aircraft systems, similar to the one seen here.
Germany will provide Gepard anti-aircraft systems, similar to the one seen here. (Sven Eckelkamp/IMAGO/Reuters/FILE)

Germany has agreed to deliver anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine, the German Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday, a move that underscores a major shift in its approach to providing military help to Ukraine.

The commitment to deliver the Gepard anti-aircraft systems was announced by Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht during a meeting of international defense officials at the Ramstein US Air Force base in Germany.

"We decided yesterday that we will support Ukraine with anti-aircraft systems ... which is exactly what Ukraine needs now to secure the airspace from the ground," Lambrecht said during the meeting.

Why does this matter? This is the first time Germany has agreed to provide this type of heavy weaponry to Ukraine as it fights off the Russian invasion. The Gepard systems were phased out from active duty in Germany in 2010.

Germany initially resisted calls to provide weaponry to Kyiv, agreeing only to provide humanitarian help and medical equipment. That approach was in line with Germany's decades-long policy of not supplying lethal weapons to crisis zone.

Just months before Russian President Vladimir Putin order the invasion into Ukraine, the then new German government agreed to include the restrictive arms export policy into its coalition agreement.

But facing pressure from allies and the German public, the government was forced to overhaul the rules. By late February, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Germany would start delivering some weapons to Ukraine, although at that point he insisted on calling them "defensive."

He also announced Germany would start pumping more money into its own armed forces.

First such investment was publicly confirmed last month when Germany announced it would buy 35 US-made F-35A fighter jets.

Read more here.

12:22 a.m. ET, April 27, 2022

Exclusive: New drone video shows Russian military vehicles and forces on Bucha street strewn with civilian bodies

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy and Sandi Sidhu

(Obtained by CNN)
(Obtained by CNN)

Despite Russia's repeated denials they were responsible for any carnage in Bucha, located outside Kyiv, Russian military vehicles and forces were seen on a Bucha street near civilian bodies, new drone video obtained exclusively by CNN shows. 

CNN has geolocated and confirmed the authenticity of the videos, which were taken by a drone on March 12 and 13. CNN is not naming the individual that took the video over concerns for their safety.

A Russian military vehicle is seen sitting at an intersection in the video from March 13. CNN has identified three objects in the video — just down the street from the military vehicle — are the same bodies that were seen in the video from April 1 and satellite images taken by Maxar Technologies on March 18.

Additional drone video from March 13 shows another Russian military vehicle traveling further up the street, in the direction of the bodies.

In the March 12 video, a number of Russian soldiers are seen around a military vehicle parked outside of a house, just down the street from the bodies. It's unclear what they are doing at the house.

CNN asked the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

International outrage: Russian officials — President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov — have repeatedly claimed that the videos and satellite images that show bodies in Bucha are fake.

This drone video is the first piece of evidence to emerge from Bucha that shows Russian vehicles and troops operating on the street, where the bodies were found by Ukrainian forces when they retook the town on April 1.

The images that emerged from Bucha after Russian forces retreated have drawn enormous outrage from the international community. It also prompted some leaders, including US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, to call the atrocities that took place in Bucha war crimes.