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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7:17 p.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister: "Putin will lose this war"

From CNN's Jason Kurtz

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is the most-dramatic event since World war II.

“This is not just a disaster. Everything that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and his cronies and his soldiers so-called did to Ukrainian people, this is war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Yatsenyuk told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

The biggest question, Yatsenyuk said, is what ultimately happens to Putin and his army.

“How to bring to justice personally Putin and every single commander in the chain, and every soldier who committed these atrocities against the Ukrainian people,” he detailed.

Though the Russian president currently appears to be acting free of any recourse, Yatsenyuk predicted Putin’s reign will end in failure.  

“I still believe that Putin will lose this war … This is the war against the free world. This is the war against actually every human being. This is the war against freedom,” he told Tapper. “He is to lose this war but we need to prepare right now … I believe we need to urgently launch a kind of joint-investigative group in order to be prepared to bring to justice Putin, and to see Putin sitting behind the bars.”

6:39 p.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Kosovo prime minister says Russia is "definitely" committing war crimes

From CNN's Bianca Nobilo, Jessie Gretener and Jaya Sharma

(CNN)
(CNN)

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said in an interview with CNN on Monday that Russia is "definitely" committing war crimes in Ukraine.

"These horrible crimes that we all see happening in Eastern Ukraine are definitely war crimes, and it is up to investigators to also prove crimes against humanity and genocide," Kurti said while speaking to CNN's Bianca Nobilo.

"I believe that [the] Kremlin has been ordering all of this war machinery into these crimes against unarmed civilians," Kurti said, adding that Vladimir Putin should face an international tribunal. 

The prime minister also said Kosovo is bolstering its defense budget and capabilities in case of Russian interference or spillover conflict in the Western Balkans. 

4:49 p.m. ET, April 4, 2022

CNN team near Mykolaiv just meters away from incoming artillery rounds 

From CNN's Ben Wedeman, Kareem Khadder and John Torigoe near Mykolaiv

A CNN team at a crossroads just south of Mykolaiv, near the town of Oleksandrivka, was just meters away from incoming artillery rounds on Monday, leaving their vehicle destroyed.

The team managed to leave moments later, experiencing what regular Ukrainians are living daily during this war.

CNN's Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman, producer Kareem Khadder, photojournalist John Torigoe, translator Valeriia Dubrovska and their team had stopped at the crossroads to speak with a few Ukrainian soldiers who were behind a berm. As Wedeman was filming a standup wearing full body armor, they witnessed a "very large incoming round impact uncomfortably nearby and took cover." The impact was about 150 meters away from their location. 

The team hit the ground as another round came in.  

"We hugged the ground and then ran for the cars. We jumped in our Mitsubishi Pajero, but it was destroyed. The car wouldn’t start. At least two of the tires were flat. All the windows shattered. The tank was punctured and leaking diesel and other fluids," Wedeman reported. 

The team ran to their other vehicle, which also had damage due to shrapnel, got in and drove off.  

None of the CNN team was injured.

Russia's bombardment of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine near the Black Sea continued on Monday as it has for weeks, with strikes through the morning and afternoon there.  

Last Tuesday, more than 31 were killed following a Russian strike on the office of the regional military governor of Mykolaiv.

Watch the moment:

4:21 p.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Pentagon: Shipments from $800 million security package arrived for Ukraine over the weekend

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

Shipments from the $800 million security assistance package for Ukraine from the US arrived “over the course of the weekend,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said during a briefing on Monday. One package is arriving “in the next 24 hours,” Kirby added.

“We’re prioritizing the kinds of capabilities in those shipments that we know Ukrainians need the most: Javelins, stingers, UAVs, so all of that is being prioritized,” Kirby said.

The Department of Defense announced another $300 million package of “additional assistance activities under authority provided by the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI),” on Friday, according to a DoD release.

Kirby said the $300 million package, which will have to be bought from contractors and is not coming from US stockpiles, is just “another tool in the toolbox” to help Ukraine.

“That we’re applying USAI is just another tool in the toolbox, it does not connote some sort of shortage that effects US readiness at this stage,” Kirby said.

4:53 p.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Tijuana officials open a sports complex to house the overflow of Ukrainians seeking asylum in the US

From Rosalina Nieves and Rosa Flores

City officials in Tijuana, Mexico, have opened a sports complex to house the overflow of Ukrainian migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border in search of asylum in the United States.

Enrique Lucero Vazquez, the director of Tijuana’s immigration services, says that about 2,000 Ukrainians are currently in Tijuana — both near the border crossing with the United States, and at the “Unidad Deportiva Benito Juarez” sports complex.

In recent years, the facility has been used to house the Central American caravans arriving in Tijuana.

Vazquez says in January and February, an estimated 10,000 Ukrainians and 25,000 Russians arrived in Mexico, mostly by plane and with tourist visas.

After Russia attacked Ukraine, some Ukrainians started making their way to Tijuana to seek US asylum, said Vazquez.

The sports complex that was opened to house Ukrainians has a capacity of about 500 people and features showers, bathrooms, and internet access. Food, meanwhile, is being provided by non-profit US organizations.

Vazquez says that at present, between 300 and 400 Ukrainians are being processed by US immigration authorities each day.

According to Vazquez, about 3,000 migrants from other nationalities are in Tijuana’s 25 shelters waiting for Title 42 to lift. About 1,500 of those are from Central America and Haiti, and the other half are mostly Mexican nationals, Vazquez says.

4:05 p.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Lawmakers urge Biden administration to expand weapons being sent to Ukraine

From CNN's Jeremy Herb

A bipartisan group of more than three dozen lawmakers is pushing the Biden administration to expand the weapons being provided to Ukraine’s military amid continued demands from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to help his country with more weapons to defend itself against Russia, according to a letter obtained by CNN.

Democratic Reps. Andy Kim of New Jersey and Jason Crow of Colorado and GOP Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan spearheaded the letter sent to President Joe Biden on Monday urging the US to provide more weapons, including long-range surface-to-air missiles, fighter aircraft and anti-ship missiles. The lawmakers say their request is based off a wish list Ukrainian officials provided Capitol Hill last week obtained by CNN laying out 17 areas where Ukraine is seeking additional assistance.

The lawmakers’ request also includes increasing the supply of Stinger anti-air and Javelin-anti-tank missiles that Ukraine is running low on, as well as drones that have a greater range so Ukraine can “better disrupt Russian supply lines and counter Russian siege tactics, especially in Eastern Ukraine.” 

“We recognize that the United States and its allies and partners have already provided substantial military aid, in response to the Russian invasion, including a portion of the $13.6 billion in emergency funds through the fiscal 2022 Omnibus Appropriations bill,” the lawmakers wrote. “However, Ukrainians are clear that more needs to be done for Ukraine to win this war.”

The Biden administration has said the US and NATO allies are providing Ukraine with weapons at a historic pace, sending hundreds of millions worth of equipment since Russia’s invasion began in February. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that there would soon be 10 anti-tank weapons systems in Ukraine for every Russian tank in Ukrainian territory.

US officials have emphasized they are providing Ukrainians with weapons they can use while suggesting that some of the requests – like fighter jets – aren’t as practical as other needs.

The lawmakers, however, argued that Ukraine is running low on its fighter aircraft. “Ukraine has more than enough pilots trained to fly additional aircraft if supplied,” the letter said. “Additional aircraft would also allow Ukrainian forces to provide a more adequate defense of urban areas like Kharkiv and Mariupol, where numerous civilian casualties have occurred following Russian attacks.”

3:39 p.m. ET, April 4, 2022

US will issue additional sanctions against Russia this week, White House says

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

The US will announce new sanctions against Russia this week, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday.

“You can expect further sanctions announcements this week. And we are coordinating with our allies and partners on what the exact parameters of that will be, but yes, this week we will have additional economic pressure elements to announce,” Sullivan told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins during the White House press briefing.

Responding to recent violent images of atrocities allegedly committed by Russian forces in Bucha, Ukraine, US President Joe Biden told reporters earlier Monday that he was “seeking more sanctions” against Russia and would be announcing them shortly.

He did not label the killings a "genocide” but said they were a “war crime,” calling for a trial to take place against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

3:47 p.m. ET, April 4, 2022

US national security adviser says images from Bucha show "now is not the time for complacency" 

From CNN's Betsy Klein

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on Monday.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on Monday. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

White house national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday that horrific images from Bucha, Ukraine, of the latest atrocities committed by Russia against Ukrainian civilians underscore that “now is not the time for complacency,” stressing the importance of ongoing US support for Ukraine. 

“The images from Bucha so powerfully reinforce now is not the time for complacency. The Ukrainians are defending their homeland courageously, and the United States will continue to back them with military assistance, humanitarian aid and economic support,” Sullivan told reporters at the White House.

The Biden administration, he added, is “working around the clock” to fulfill security assistance requests from Ukraine, detailing US and allied response so far and hinting at forthcoming “additional military assistance in the coming days.” 

“We expect additional new capabilities to be delivered in the near future. We can't always advertise what is being delivered out of deference to our allies and partners or for operational sensitivities, but we are moving with speed and efficiency to deliver,” he said.

The US has committed $1.65 billion in weapons and ammunition to Ukraine since Russia invaded and a total of $2.3 billion since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, according to Sullivan. He cited US-produced air defense systems and anti-tank systems, as well as laser-guided rocket systems, Puma unmanned aerial systems, and armored multipurpose vehicles among the supplies provided to Ukraine from the US and other allies.

As he concluded his remarks, Sullivan emphasized three constants over course of the war: “First, Russia will continue to use its military to try to conquer and occupy sovereign Ukrainian territory. Second, the Ukrainian military and people will continue to effectively and bravely defend their homeland. And third, the United States will stand by them for as long as it takes.”

3:30 p.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Here's what you need to know about Russia's culture of military brutality

From CNN's Nathan Hodge

Ukrainian soldiers examine destroyed Russian military vehicles in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha on Monday, April 4.
Ukrainian soldiers examine destroyed Russian military vehicles in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha on Monday, April 4. (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

The grotesque pictures emerging from the Kyiv suburb of Bucha are some of the strongest evidence yet of apparent war crimes by Russian forces in Ukraine: Dead civilians on the street, some with hands bound and shot execution-style, others apparently mowed down at random.

For anyone who has followed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s way of war, it’s a depressingly familiar pattern. Russia’s military has a culture of brutality and scorn for the laws of armed conflict that has been extensively documented in the past.

“The history of Russia’s military interventions – be it in Ukraine or Syria, or its military campaign at home in Chechnya – is tainted with blatant disregard for international humanitarian law,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“The Russian military repeatedly flouted the laws of war by failing to protect civilians and even attacking them directly. Russian forces have launched indiscriminate attacks, used banned weapons and sometimes apparently deliberately targeted civilians and civilian objects – a war crime.”

That statement, made less than a month before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has proven sadly prophetic.

Read more about this here.