March 30, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Maureen Chowdhury, Travis Caldwell, Seán Federico O'Murchú, Lianne Kolirin and Sana Noor Haq, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, March 31, 2022
27 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
9:36 a.m. ET, March 30, 2022

Russia has used banned anti-personnel landmines in Ukraine, according to Human Rights Watch

From CNN's Chris Liakos

A landmine set up by Russian army is seen on a street in the Lukâyanivka frontline, eastern of Kyiv, Ukraine, March 28.
A landmine set up by Russian army is seen on a street in the Lukâyanivka frontline, eastern of Kyiv, Ukraine, March 28. (Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Russian forces fighting in Ukraine have used banned anti-personnel mines in the eastern Kharkiv region of the country, according to Human Rights Watch.

The international organization said that the anti-personnel mines were located by Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal technicians on March 28.

“Russia is known to possess these newly deployed landmines, which can indiscriminately kill and maim people within an apparent 16-meter (52 feet) range,” HRW said, adding that Ukraine does not possess this type of landmine or its delivery system.

“Countries around the world should forcefully condemn Russia’s use of banned antipersonnel landmines in Ukraine,” said Steve Goose, the arms director of Human Rights Watch. “These weapons do not differentiate between combatants and civilians and leave a deadly legacy for years to come.”

The 1997 international Mine Ban Treaty comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of anti-personnel mines. Russia is not among the 164 countries that have joined the treaty, said HRW.

“Russia’s use of antipersonnel mines in Ukraine deliberately flouts the international norm against use of these horrid weapons,” Goose added.

CNN cannot independently verify this information. CNN has asked the Russian Ministry of Defence for a response to the report.

8:39 a.m. ET, March 30, 2022

China's foreign ministry: "China-Russia withstood test of changing international landscape"

From CNN's Beijing bureau and Irene Nasser in Hong Kong

Following a meeting between the Chinese and Russian foreign ministers, China said the two countries' relations have withstood the new test of changing international landscape.”

“China is ready to work with Russia to take China-Russia relations to a higher level in the new era," China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Anhui Province.

In a statement, Wang Yi also voiced support for Russia and Ukraine “in overcoming difficulties and continuing peace talks” as well as for “efforts made by Russia and other parties to prevent a large-scale humanitarian crisis."

“In the long run, we should draw lessons from the Ukraine crisis, respond to the legitimate security concerns of all parties based on the principle of mutual respect and indivisibility of security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture through dialogue and negotiation,” Wang Yi added.

More background: China is walking a tightrope as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. While officials have said the Chinese president was alarmed at what has taken place since Russia invaded, there is little to indicate China is prepared to cut off its support entirely. The Chinese Communist Party leadership is not all in agreement regarding how to respond to Russia's request for assistance, said a source. Two US officials said that China's desire to avoid economic consequences may limit its appetite to help Russia.

"There is real concern by some that their involvement could hurt economic relationships with the West, on which China relies," said one of the sources.

Officials are also monitoring whether China provides some economic and diplomatic relief for Russia in other forms, like abstention votes at the United Nations.

8:19 a.m. ET, March 30, 2022

Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron says Putin is "effectively a war criminal"

From CNN’s Cece Armstrong in London

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to CNN on March 30
Former British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to CNN on March 30 (CNN)

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron said Russian President Vladimir Putin is “effectively a war criminal,” and stressed that the UK “must do our bit economically, just as the Ukrainian armed forces are doing their bit militarily.”

Cameron urged the US, Britain, European countries and others not to attend the upcoming G20 summit in November in Bali, Indonesia, if Putin is invited and able to attend.

It is unthinkable for, you know, an American President to have to sit next to someone who is effectively a war criminal. Who is indiscriminately bombing and shelling civilians in their homes and schools and hospitals. It should be unthinkable,” he told CNN’s John Berman,

Cameron said the UK must do “everything else we can” to help Ukraine aside from military action, including increasing pressure on Russia with sanction.

“We’ve also got to recognize that while we can’t put our own troops in, and while we can’t operate a no-fly zone for fear of making this conflict go wider, we must do everything else we can,” Cameron said.

Cameron also detailed two occasions during his time in office when he believed President Putin “flat-out lied.” He said that the international community should “judge [Russia] by their deeds. Do not believe their words.”

“I remember one was him lying about the presence of Russian troops in the Donbas in 2014,” Cameron said. “Another occasion was about the fate of the Malaysian Airliner MH17 that was shot down over Ukraine.”

Some background: Cameron's remarks come nearly two weeks after US President Joe Biden also called Putin a "war criminal."

It was the harshest condemnation of Putin's actions from any US official since the war in Ukraine began on February 24. Previously, Biden had stopped short of labeling atrocities being documented on the ground in Ukraine as "war crimes," citing ongoing international and US investigations.

But on March 16, speaking with reporters at an unrelated event, Biden affixed the designation on the Russian leader, saying, "I think he is a war criminal."

However, other Western leaders have been more reticent in their condemnation of Putin.

At the beginning of March, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Russia's actions in Ukraine qualify "as a war crime," but he didn't refer to Putin as a war criminal himself.

CNN's Sam Fossum, Kevin Liptak, Gabby Gretener and Sarah Diab contributed reporting to this post.

8:04 a.m. ET, March 30, 2022

It's 3 p.m. in Kyiv. Here's what to know

Ukraine says that Chernihiv has come under "colossal attack," while Russia says that there has been "no breakthrough" in negotiations being held in Istanbul.

If you're just joining us, here's the latest on the war in Ukraine:

  • Chernihiv attack: The mayor of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv dismissed Moscow’s claim of a scale-back in operations, following what he describes as a "colossal attack." The city was “under fire” from Russian airstrikes while shelling continued through the night, according to Viacheslav Chaus, head of the Chernihiv regional administration. 
  • "No breakthrough": Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday there were no breakthroughs following a round of Russia-Ukraine in-person negotiations in Istanbul but welcomed Ukraine’s written demands.
  • Disabled children: About 80 disabled children, some accompanied by their guardians, have arrived in the border town of Przemyśl, Poland, after being transferred from the central Dnipropetrovsk region on Tuesday. A CNN team on the ground saw ambulances and crowds of paramedics waiting for the children at the train station earlier in the day.
  • Belgorod explosions: Explosions in Russia's Belgorod region late Tuesday night may have occurred because of a fire at an ammunition depot, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Wednesday, citing preliminary information. 
  • Refugees: More than 4 million people, or almost 10% of Ukraine’s pre-war population, have fled their home country since the start of the Russian invasion in late February, the UN says.
  • Evacuation corridors: Ukraine and Russia have agreed on three evacuation corridors for the day, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister said Wednesday. Vereshchuk announced one corridor for the evacuation of Mariupol residents and delivery of humanitarian aid to Berdyansk, one route for humanitarian aid delivery to and evacuation from Melitopol, and another for a column of people in personal vehicles from Enerhodar to Zaporizhzhia.
  • Russian units return to Belarus: Some Russian units have returned to Belarus after suffering heavy battlefield losses in Ukraine, according to the UK. The units will need to reorganize and resupply in Belarus, in what the MoD said was an indication of the logistical difficulties Russia is having in Ukraine.

Here's a look at the map of Ukraine as it stands amid the Russian invasion:

8:42 a.m. ET, March 30, 2022

Putin's war has triggered an exodus out of Russia — but the escape options are shrinking

From Carlotta Dotto and CNN Staff

From Moscow to the Siberian oil capital of Novosibirsk, and from the intellectual hub of St. Petersburg to the nuclear submarine base of Murmansk, Russians are searching for a way out in anticipation of a grim future in a country torn apart by isolation, censorship and belligerence.

"On February 24, everything changed, our lives were divided into before and after," said Veronica, a 26-year-old digital marketer who lives in Moscow. She gave a pseudonym to protect her identity.

She didn't want to make a rushed decision as she watched her friends and acquaintances abruptly packing their bags and breaking rental agreements, days after they learned that Russia had attacked Ukraine.

Instead, she went to anti-war protests in the Russian capital.

New legislation was passed in Russia in early March that can send people to prison for up to 15 years for posting or sharing information about the war that the authorities deem to be false. They made it illegal even to use the word "war," Veronica said.

The last straw for her, however, was the reaction of the wider Russian population who she thinks largely "believe TV propaganda."

"I was screaming that it was time for us to protest, to go to rallies, to write complaints to deputies -- instead, people went shopping on IKEA's last business day," Veronica said. "I don't want to live with people like that, they broke my heart."

It doesn't matter where we go, we just want to escape," she told CNN.

Read the full story:

7:16 a.m. ET, March 30, 2022

"No breakthroughs" in negotiations, says Russia

From CNN’s Lindsay Isaac and Lianne Kolirin in London

Talks between delegations from Russia and Ukraine at Dolmabahce Presidential Office in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 29.
Talks between delegations from Russia and Ukraine at Dolmabahce Presidential Office in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 29. (Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday there were no breakthroughs following a round of Russia-Ukraine in-person negotiations in Istanbul but welcomed Ukraine’s written demands.

“It is positive that the Ukrainian side has at least begun to formulate concretely and put down on paper what it proposes,” Peskov told reporters on a regular conference call.
“As for the rest, we cannot yet state anything promising, no breakthroughs. Lots of work ahead,” he added.

Peskov went on to say that the head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, is expected to give an update later on Wednesday about the results of the bilateral talks held in Istanbul Tuesday.

Some background: Talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Istanbul, Turkey, on Tuesday covered an array of important issues, including the future of the eastern Donbas region, the fate of Crimea, a broad alliance of security guarantors and a potential meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

8:18 a.m. ET, March 30, 2022

About 80 disabled children arrive in Poland from Ukraine by train

From CNN’s Sarah Dean and Nadiya Rodkina in Przemyśl, Poland

About 80 disabled children, some accompanied by their guardians, have arrived in the border town of Przemyśl, Poland, after being transferred from the central Dnipropetrovsk region on Tuesday.

More than 100 people in total arrived in Przemyśl on Tuesday evening on the train, a spokesperson for the local Podkarpackie Voivode region, Michał Mielniczuk, told CNN on Wednesday.

They were then transferred to a reception center in the city of Stalowa Wola, with 26 children taken via ambulance, Mielniczuk said.

A CNN team on the ground witnessed a row of ambulances and crowds of paramedics waiting for the children at the train station earlier in the day.

The children will stay for about three days in Stalowa Wola, where they will receive aid and support, before being taken to Germany, Mielniczuk added.

80 disabled children evacuated from Ukraine to Poland via train on March 30.
80 disabled children evacuated from Ukraine to Poland via train on March 30. (Rzeszow Government)

Some background: The European Disability Forum, a pan-European NGO, estimates 2.7 million people in Ukraine have disabilities.

According to Inclusion Europe, another NGO, around 261,000 people in Ukraine have learning difficulties that make them extremely vulnerable to the conflict.

At least 100,000 of them, mostly children, live in care homes and institutions. Their chances of getting out of the country are slim.

CNN's Ivana Kottasová and Yulia Kesaieva contributed reporting to this post. This post has been updated.

6:34 a.m. ET, March 30, 2022

Explosions in Russia's Belgorod region may be due to fire, says governor

From CNN's Nathan Hodge in Lviv

Explosions in Russia's Belgorod region late Tuesday night may have occurred because of a fire at an ammunition depot, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Wednesday, citing preliminary information. 

Blasts were reported late Tuesday near the village of Krasny Oktyabr, not far from the border with Ukraine. Gladkov said there were no casualties from the incident and that there was no damage to residential buildings. 

"We are waiting for an official announcement from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation," Gladkov said on Telegram.

10:00 a.m. ET, March 30, 2022

Chernihiv under "colossal attack" despite Moscow’s claim of scale-back in operations, mayor tells CNN

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac and Lianne Kolirin in London

Mayor of Chernihiv Vladyslav Atroshenko talks to CNN on March 30.
Mayor of Chernihiv Vladyslav Atroshenko talks to CNN on March 30. (CNN)

The mayor of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv has dismissed Moscow’s claim of a scale-back in operations, following what he describes as a "colossal attack."

His words came as it emerged that the city was “under fire” from Russian airstrikes while shelling continued through the night, according to Viacheslav Chaus, head of the Chernihiv regional administration. 

In an interview with New Day's John Berman, the city's mayor Vladyslav Atroshenko hit out at Russia's claim on Tuesday that it planned to "drastically reduce" its military assault on Chernihiv and the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

This is yet another confirmation that Russia always lies," he told Berman.

Watch the interview:

Russia made the claim on Tuesday following talks it had with Ukrainian representatives in Turkey. The suggestion appeared appeared to show signs of progress towards an off ramp to the conflict.

But according to Atroshenko, hostilities actually increased in Chernihiv since the claim was made.

He said: "They're saying reducing intensity, they actually have increased the intensity of strikes. Today we have a colossal attack on the center of Chernihiv. Twenty-five people have been wounded and are now in hospitals. They're all civilians. So whenever Russia says something, this needs to be checked carefully."

In an interview posted on Telegram on Wednesday, Chaus said the situation in the region had not changed despite claims by Russia.

He said Russian troops had carried out strikes on the city of Nizhyn, destroying “civil infrastructure” as well as “libraries, shopping malls and many residential buildings,” while in Chernihiv there is “no electricity, no water, no heat and no gas.”

Communications are down with “no possibility to restore them,” making it difficult to reach isolated villages, he added.

There are villages where Russian tanks are stationed. We know that there are our people there and the situation is the worst there, because we are not able to get there and bring either medicine or food.”

Ukrainian troops are prepared and are fighting back against Russian troops in the Chernihiv region, he added.