April 4, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Melissa Macaya, Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Travis Caldwell, Helen Regan, Ben Church, Jason Kurtz and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 2:01 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022
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3:55 a.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Macron wants complete stop of coal and oil exports from Russia to EU after Bucha "war crimes"

From CNN’s Joseph Ataman and Elias Lemercier

French President Emmanuel Macron attends the France Inter 7/9 radio broadcast at the Maison de la Radio in Paris, France, on April 4.
French President Emmanuel Macron attends the France Inter 7/9 radio broadcast at the Maison de la Radio in Paris, France, on April 4. (Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron said it’s “his wish” to see a total block on Russian exports of coal and oil to the European Union “this week," following the discovery of what he described as “war crimes” in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

Speaking Monday on French broadcaster France Inter, Macron said there are “very clear signs” war crimes have been committed in Bucha and, “it’s pretty established that it’s the Russian army” who are responsible for them.

“We can’t let it slide. We must have sanctions that dissuade with what’s happened there (in Bucha), what’s happening at Mariupol,” he said.

Macron said that he would have discussions with his European partners this week regarding further sanctions.

“Those who are behind these crimes must answer for them,” he said.
“We must send the signal very clear that it’s our collective dignity and it’s our values that we defend,” he added. “There’s no peace without justice."

France stands ready to assist Ukraine in its investigation of the events in Bucha, Macron said, yet he refused to state if Russian President Vladimir Putin should face trial over what happened there.

2:56 a.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Odesa hit by overnight airstrike, Ukraine official says

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva in Lviv

The southern port city of Odesa was hit by an airstrike overnight, a military administration official said Monday morning.

"Several missiles hit one of the districts in Odesa, one object was hit," said Serhii Bratchuk, spokesperson of the operational staff of the Odesa regional military administration.
"Further information is being clarified."

A fuel depot was hit in Odesa early Sunday by Russian forces. Bratchuk said there were no casualties in that incident.

Some context: Odesa has been a place of relative calm during the Russian invasion and a haven for displaced Ukrainians from areas that have seen the worst fighting. But Odesa has been bracing for a Russian attack for weeks, with its city center full of anti-tank barricades to fortify against an invasion.

2:52 a.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Bodies of at least 400 Ukrainian civilians found in Kyiv region, with fears of many more to come

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva in Lviv and Maria Kostenko in Chernivtsi

A satellite image shows a grave site with an approximately 45-foot long trench in the southwestern section of the area near the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints, in Bucha, Ukraine, on March 31.
A satellite image shows a grave site with an approximately 45-foot long trench in the southwestern section of the area near the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints, in Bucha, Ukraine, on March 31. (Maxar Technologies/Reuters)

The bodies of civilians in the Kyiv region continue to be discovered following the departure of Russian forces, with at least 400 found so far, Ukrainian officials said Monday citing preliminary information.

Efforts to find local residents who stayed behind under Russian occupation have been hampered by the presence of mines, Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskiy said in televised remarks.

"I’ve talked to rescuers. They’ve made paths to some houses," he said.
"In other towns (in Kyiv region), the paths are mined. Rescuers say they are moving step by step now, and do not name the number of civilians killed. This figure will obviously be counted in hundreds. Many locals are reported missing. It is being established who was abducted or tortured by the Russians, who disappeared and did not return."

Naming locations such as Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel, interior ministry adviser Vadym Denysenko said approximately 400 civilians have been found dead in the Kyiv region but stipulated those figures were preliminary and would be updated.

2:28 a.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Ukraine foreign minister calls for ICC investigation into Bucha killings

From CNN's Angus Watson

People react as they gather close to a mass grave in the town of Bucha, just northwest of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, on April 3.
People react as they gather close to a mass grave in the town of Bucha, just northwest of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, on April 3. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called on the International Criminal Court to investigate the apparent killing of civilians in Bucha, northwest of Kyiv.

Sharing an interview with the UK's Times Radio on social media, Kuleba said Sunday, "I take this opportunity to call on the International Criminal Court and international organizations to send their missions to Bucha and other liberated towns, in cooperation with Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, to collect all the evidence of these war crimes.”

Kuleba accused Russian troops of killing civilians “out of anger” while occupying and later withdrawing from Bucha.

Some context: Shocking images show at least 20 civilian men’s bodies strewn across the street in Bucha following the withdrawal of Russian forces from the area. A mass grave was also discovered in the town. A CNN team saw at least a dozen bodies in body bags piled inside the grave, with Bucha's mayor saying there could be up to 300 victims buried on site.

Leaders across the European Union and NATO were quick to denounce the civilian deaths, with some calling for accountability and investigations for war crimes. Russia has dismissed photos of the dead as fake.

Read more about Bucha here:

2:31 a.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Russia refocusing offensive into the Donbas with Wagner mercenaries: UK Defense Ministry

From CNN's Akanksha Sharma

A man says goodbye to family before the train leaves the eastern city of Kramatorsk, in the Donbas region of Ukraine, on April 3.
A man says goodbye to family before the train leaves the eastern city of Kramatorsk, in the Donbas region of Ukraine, on April 3. (Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian military forces are "continuing to consolidate and reorganize as they refocus their offensive into the Donbas region in the east of Ukraine,” the UK Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update Monday.

“Russian troops, including mercenaries from the Russian state-linked Wagner private military company, are being moved into the area,” the MoD added.

Some context: The update comes after US officials familiar with the latest US intelligence assessments said Russia has revised its Ukraine war strategy to focus on trying to take control of the Donbas and other eastern regions, with a target date of early May.

British officials have noted throughout the last week that fighters from the Wagner mercenary group would likely be used by Russia, in large part due to low morale among Russian forces and the stalled efforts of their invasion.

1:25 a.m. ET, April 4, 2022

At least 1,417 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russian invasion began, UN says

From CNN's Travis Caldwell

A woman walks past graves of local residents killed during the fighting in Mariupol, on April 3.
A woman walks past graves of local residents killed during the fighting in Mariupol, on April 3. (Stringer/Reuters)

As of Sunday, at least 1,417 civilians have died in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began, the UN Human Rights office (OHCHR) said Monday.

Of those who died, at least 121 were children, according to OHCHR. At least 2,038 civilians have been injured.

"Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes," OHCHR said in the statement.

Many of the killings occurred in Ukrainian-controlled parts of the country, which have suffered heavy bombardment from Russian forces — including areas in western Ukraine far from the frontlines. At least 67 of the deaths occurred in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk self-declared republics, according to the statement.

The UN OHCHR warned the civilian death toll is likely to be much higher.

"Especially in government-controlled territory and especially in recent days, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration," the agency said.

12:50 a.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Analysis: Latest atrocities in Ukraine were inevitable and won't be the last

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

Never again, the phrase often uttered after crimes against humanity, in practice, almost never means never again.

Sickening scenes of mass graves and murdered civilians in Ukraine this weekend, revealed by the pullback of Russian troops from Kyiv, are jolting the world back to some of humanity's cruelest outrages.

Perhaps there's a slim chance that such horrific footage will come to be emblematic of a turning point in the war by catalyzing more robust Western action and a new diplomatic commitment that could turn the tide of the conflict further against Russia.

But the only conceivable way that Ukrainian civilians could be made safe is if Western forces intervene in the conflict or Russian President Vladimir Putin suddenly calls off his onslaught.

Neither is likely to happen — not least because the West has imposed limits on its own action to avoid a direct conflict with nuclear-armed Moscow. And the Russian leader has always seen the lives of civilians in his way as cheap.

Still, the evidence of atrocities underscores a tragic realization that such evil is not simply the historic legacy of long-past wars.

Read the full analysis here:

12:12 a.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Russian forces are "actively withdrawing" from Sumy region, governor says

From CNN's Aliza Kassim

Russian forces are "actively withdrawing" from the Sumy Oblast in northeastern Ukraine, according to the regional governor, and taking their equipment with them.

Last week saw an influx of Russian troops between Bilopillya and Konotop — located to the northwest of the city of Sumy — where they "were shooting indiscriminately and terrorizing the population," said Dmytro Zhyvytsky, head of the regional administration in the Sumy region, on his Telegram channel on Sunday.

"Our troops were chasing them out of the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions and inflicting losses, Konotop area is not 100% free of the Russians. The Ukrainians are gradually finishing them off," Zhyvytsky said. 

Sumy region lies 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the border with Russia and was one of the first cities to have been attacked as part of the Russian invasion. 

The city of Sumy is where close to 1,700 students were forced to hide in their hostels as the invasion began.

12:00 a.m. ET, April 4, 2022

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

International condemnations continued Sunday after shocking images emerged from the town of Bucha, just northwest of Kyiv, with Western leaders calling for war crimes investigations and increasing sanctions on Russia. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said an independent probe into the killings was "essential."

Here are the latest headlines from the war in Ukraine:

Mass graves and civilians "executed": Images from AFP on Saturday show the bodies of at least 20 men found strewn across a street in Bucha, which Ukrainian officials say had just been liberated from Russian forces. The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed the extensive footage was "fake." CNN reporters also observed a mass grave in the town, with Bucha's mayor saying that there could be up to 300 victims buried on site. Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk told Reuters the civilians had been "executed."

Zelensky outrage: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for an end of Russian "war crimes" in a video address Sunday, and for Russian leaders to be held accountable for the military's actions. "I want all the leaders of the Russian Federation to see how their orders are being fulfilled." He earlier called the events in Bucha "genocide."

Hungary's Orban calls Zelensky an "opponent": Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in his victory speech his re-election sends a message not only to the European Union, but also to Zelensky, who he named along with a host of other perceived grievances as "opponents." Orban is known as an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On the ground: The besieged city of Mariupol is still a hotbed for fighting and airstrikes and remains a "key objective of the Russian invasion," the UK's Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence report. The southern coastal city of Odesa came under attack Sunday, with a local official saying a Russian missile strike had hit "critical infrastructure." The northern city of Chernihiv is about 70% destroyed following an assault by Russian troops, the city’s mayor said. And the regional military governor of Kharkiv said Russian forces had fired on a district, causing civilian casualties.

Filmmaker killed: Lithuanian documentary filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius was killed in Mariupol, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s information agency reported Sunday on Twitter. His 2011 documentary “Barzakh” focused on Russia’s war in Chechnya and earned him the Amnesty International Film Prize.