April 5, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Melissa Macaya, Jason Kurtz, Maureen Chowdhury, Aditi Sangal, Helen Regan, Travis Caldwell, Ben Church, Lianne Kolirin and Seán Federico O'Murchú, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, April 6, 2022
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3:00 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

"Difficult" situation in Luhansk region as Russian shelling continues, military governor says

From CNN's Maria Kostenko in Chernivtsi

The situation in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine is "difficult" amidst heavy Russian bombardment, according to Serhii Haidai, chair of the Luhansk regional military administration.

"Neither rescuers nor ambulance doctors can reach some districts of Popasna and Rubizhne in Luhansk region," he said. "The shelling is very heavy, street fighting continues. In Rubizhne, the dead are buried in the yards."

Some context: The Russian military has said it is focusing its efforts on the eastern Donbas region following a withdrawal of forces from around Kyiv and northern Ukraine.

Haidai said last week attempts had been underway to evacuate civilians from small towns in his region, even without such agreements with the Russian side.

2:49 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

Japan to provide additional aid to Ukraine and neighboring countries

From CNN’s Mayumi Maruyama and Junko Ogura

People take part in a fundraising demonstration to support Ukraine in Tokyo's Shinjuku district on March 26.
People take part in a fundraising demonstration to support Ukraine in Tokyo's Shinjuku district on March 26. (Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images)

The Japanese government will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and neighboring countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Tuesday.

The funds will be used to support medical and food assistance efforts, the ministry said in a statement, as well as for those displaced and in other countries such as Poland, Moldova and Romania.

This will bring the total amount of aid provided to $200 million since the first package was announced on March 11, the ministry said.

“The Government of Japan will continue to provide support for and stand by the people of Ukraine who are facing hardship, in collaboration with the international community, including the G7 members,” according to the statement.

Some of the nine international and Japanese organizations that have received funds include the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), according to the ministry.

2:57 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

Here are the latest developments in Bucha, the Kyiv suburb ravaged by Russian occupation

Ukrainian servicemen walk down a destroyed street in Bucha, Ukraine, on April 4.
Ukrainian servicemen walk down a destroyed street in Bucha, Ukraine, on April 4. (Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images)

As Ukrainian forces reclaimed the areas around Kyiv, the horrors of what life was like for residents while under Russian occupation soon came to light.

The discovery of civilian bodies strewn across streets as well as a mass grave in the northwest suburb of Bucha has stirred international outrage, with many Western leaders calling for war crimes investigations and increasing sanctions on Russia.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Zelensky visits Bucha: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he wants to "show the world" what happened in Bucha, vowing that the country will "not pause" until it finds those accountable. Speaking on possible future peace talks with Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, Zelensky added, "It's very difficult to negotiate when you see what they have done here.” 
  • CNN team witnesses removal of bodies: Ukrainian officials showed international media the removal of five bodies from a basement in Bucha. A CNN team visited the basement before the removal and saw the bodies which were in an advanced stage of decomposition. Five men had been tortured and executed by Russian soldiers, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, Anton Gerashchenko, told CNN on the ground. CNN cannot independently verify Gerashchenko’s claims.
  • Authorities are combing through Bucha: Civilian and military investigators are working to document alleged crimes committed by Russian troops in liberated towns around Kyiv, Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said. Forensic inspectors, explosives technicians, K-9 teams and doctors are involved in site inspections, and there are more than 50 National Police officers and prosecutors involved in Bucha alone, she said. Efforts are underway to search for witnesses and victims and to collect photo and video evidence, officials said.
  • More bodies may be found: A volunteer told CNN during the removal of those in the basement that they have been recovering bodies in large numbers, saying, “It’s in the hundreds, not dozens.” The volunteer and his unit showed CNN the body bags of at least 30 people who had been recovered on Sunday, plus an additional nine on Monday, including the five found in the basement.  In Bucha, Zelensky said there were more than 300 people killed, but that the total number of casualties will likely increase as the whole city is checked. To date, 410 bodies of slain civilians have been removed from Kyiv region and 140 of them have already been examined by prosecutors and other specialists, according to Venediktova, who called the scenes "crucial evidence of brutal war crimes of the Russian Federation."
  • Satellite images undermine Russian denials: The Russian Defense Ministry claimed a video showing bodies of civilians in a Bucha street was “fake” and “staged,” yet new satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies shows the bodies had been present since at least March 18, when Russia was in control of the town. Russia held Bucha until March 31. CNN has reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.
  • “War crime,” Biden says: US President Joe Biden called the atrocities committed by Russia in Bucha a “war crime” but declined to label it a genocide, adding that he is looking into more sanctions on Russia and would announce them shortly.  White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday that “now is not the time for complacency,” stressing the importance of ongoing US support for Ukraine. 
  • Ukrainian deputy PM warns of future Russian atrocities: If Putin and Russian forces are not stopped, more atrocities such as those in Bucha may be in store for Ukrainians, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday. “People are dying, they are dying of hunger, thirst, severe wounds, airstrikes, thousands of them are being killed. It is a genocide, against the Ukrainian civilians. And Putin, he realizes that he cannot stop the Ukrainian army, and that’s why he has another tactic. He is torturing and raping Ukrainian civilians, women, and this is what's his so-called second army is doing. They are fighting against the civilians, and we seem to just be watching powerless against them.”
  • Bucha "could be replicated on a very large scale," HRW chief warns: Kenneth Roth, the head of Human Rights Watch, told CNN on Monday that the images emerging from Bucha are “sickening” and warned that it “could be replicated on a very large scale.” In an interview with CNN's Becky Anderson, Roth said "the message we're trying to send to the Kremlin is that, here's the evidence of these atrocities taking place. If you want to avoid criminal responsibility, rein in your troops.”

12:41 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

Analysis: How to negotiate with someone who could be a war criminal is Ukraine's dilemma

Analysis from CNN's Zachary B. Wolf

When the war criminal is a world leader, how do you negotiate with him?

The mounting evidence of Russian atrocities -- over the weekend, it was in the town of Bucha outside Kyiv — led US President Joe Biden to say Monday that Vladimir Putin must be put on trial.

"We have to get all the details so this can be an actual — have a war crime trial," Biden told reporters in Washington. "This guy is brutal and what's happening in Bucha is outrageous and everyone's seen it."

That truth is complicated by the hard fact that this war is most likely to end through negotiations with Putin, whose hold on power in Russia seems absolute.

When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky toured the wreckage in Bucha, he noted the obvious.

"It's very difficult to negotiate when you see what they have done here," Zelensky said.

Read the full analysis here:

9:37 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

Analysis: The West is running out of ways to punish Putin

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

Western outrage, new sanctions, and promised state-of-the-art weapons came too late to save the man found shot dead next to his bike on a grassy bank outside Kyiv.

The man was pictured in a weekend of horrific imagery from Ukraine.

He was one of many blameless civilians whose destiny randomly collided with President Vladimir Putin’s barbaric invasion. Scenes being revealed as Russian troops pull back from Kyiv are causing searing flashbacks to atrocities last visited on Ukrainians by the Nazis in World War II.

This is one snapshot of the bloody price Ukrainian civilians are paying for Putin’s obsession with Russia’s Cold War humiliation, and it encapsulates how global responses to crimes against humanity – short of military action – struggle to keep pace with a vicious on-the-ground war.

The sense of revulsion about what is happening in Ukraine produced new momentum to hold Russia accountable on Monday.

But the awful tragedy being revealed in Ukraine is that all of the measures the West is prepared to contemplate to punish Moscow and impact the long-term course of the war cannot do much to save civilians being targeted now.

Read the full analysis:

9:37 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

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

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the number of civilian casualties may be much higher in other cities liberated from Russian control as an increasing number of leaders — including US President Joe Biden — say atrocities allegedly committed by Russian forces in Bucha are a "war crime." 

Here are the latest developments on the war in Ukraine:

  • Satellite images refute Russia's claims: New satellite images from Maxar show that the bodies of dead civilians in Bucha had been laying in the street for weeks, including when the town was under Russian control. Russia claimed the videos and images from Bucha were "fake" but the new pictures show objects on Yablunska street match the exact locations where bodies are seen in the street in the video.
  • Zelensky warns of worse atrocities: The number of civilian casualties may be much higher in Borodyanka and other liberated cities, Zelensky said on Monday. In Bucha, Zelensky said there were more than 300 people killed, but that the total number of casualties will likely increase as the whole city is checked.  
  • US to impose new sanctions: The US will announce new sanctions against Russia this week, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. Responding to recent violent images from Bucha, Biden said he was “seeking more sanctions” against Russia and would be announcing them shortly. He said the killings were a "war crime" and called for a trial to take place against Putin.
  • Zelensky to address UN: The Ukrainian President will address the United Nations Security Council Tuesday morning, a spokesperson confirmed to CNN. The address will take place during the council’s 10 a.m. ET briefing on Ukraine.
  • Bucha: Ukrainian officials showed international media the removal of five bodies from a basement in Bucha. A CNN team visited the basement and saw the bodies before removal. Five men had been tortured and executed by Russian soldiers, according to Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister. CNN cannot independently verify Gerashchenko’s claims.
  • Mariupol convoy held up: Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister said a convoy of seven buses headed for the besieged city of Mariupol had been stopped in the Russian-held city of Manhush. Earlier in the day, the mayor of Mariupol said that more than 100,000 people required evacuation from the city, saying it was "on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe."
  • CNN team under fire: 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 damaged. None of the team was injured. Russia's bombardment of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine near the Black Sea continued Monday as it has for weeks, with strikes through the morning and afternoon.
2:02 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

Satellite images show bodies laying in street while Bucha was under Russian control

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

Satellite images show the bodies have been on the street in southern Bucha, since at least March 18.
Satellite images show the bodies have been on the street in southern Bucha, since at least March 18. (Satellite image ©2022MaxarTechnologies)

New satellite images from Maxar Technologies show the bodies of dead civilians in Bucha had been laying in the street for weeks, including when the town was under Russian control.

The New York Times first published the images on Monday.

Disturbing video showing the bodies in Bucha was geolocated, authenticated and reported on by CNN on Friday. It came to light the same day Ukraine declared the town liberated from Russian troops.

Objects seen in the street on the satellite images match the exact locations that bodies are seen in the street in the video.
Objects seen in the street on the satellite images match the exact locations that bodies are seen in the street in the video. (Satellite image ©2022MaxarTechnologies/From Facebook/CNN illustration)

In response to the footage of Bucha on Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed the video was "fake" and "staged." It said the video, photos, and the allegations of war crimes were "another provocation."

"During the time the settlement was under the control of the Russian armed forces, not a single local resident suffered from any violent actions," the ministry said.

But the satellite images refute that claim from the Russians: Objects seen in Yablunska street on the satellite images match the exact locations that bodies are seen in the street in the video. The satellite images show the bodies were on the street in southern Bucha since at least March 18, when Russia was in control of the town. Russia held Bucha until March 31.

CNN has reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.

11:51 p.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Zelensky warns civilian casualties may be higher in other liberated cities after Bucha

From CNN’s Mitchell McCluskey

(Office of the President of Ukraine/Facebook)
(Office of the President of Ukraine/Facebook)

The number of civilian casualties may be much higher in Borodyanka and other liberated Ukrainian cities than Bucha, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on Monday. 

“There is already information that the number of victims of the occupiers may be even higher in Borodyanka and some other liberated cities. In many villages of the liberated districts of the Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions, the occupiers did things that the locals had not seen even during the Nazi occupation 80 years ago. The occupiers will definitely bear responsibility for this,” Zelensky said.

In Bucha, Zelensky said there were more than 300 people killed, but that the total number of casualties will likely increase as the whole city is checked.  

Zelensky underscored the importance of journalists documenting the aftermath in liberated Ukrainian cities. 

“We provide maximum access for journalists to Bucha and other liberated cities of Ukraine. For hundreds of journalists from around the world. And we are interested in having thousands of journalists there. As many as possible! For the world to see what Russia has done,” he said. 

Zelensky cautioned that Russia will try to cover up the traces of violence committed in Bucha and other cities. 

“They are trying to distort the facts. But, as then, they will not succeed. They will not be able to deceive the whole world,” Zelensky said. 

Zelensky repeated his plea to be sent more weapons to fight Russian forces.

“I emphasize once again: Ukraine must get all the necessary weapons to drive the occupiers out of our land as soon as possible, to liberate our cities. And if we had already got what we needed - all these planes, tanks, artillery, anti-missile and anti-ship weapons, we could have saved thousands of people,” he said. 

8:30 p.m. ET, April 4, 2022

CNN team witnesses removal of bodies from a Bucha basement

From CNN's Vasco Cotovio, Frederik Pleitgen, Byron Blunt and Daria Markina in Bucha, Ukraine

Bodies found in the town of Bucha were gathered to be buried on Monday.
Bodies found in the town of Bucha were gathered to be buried on Monday. (Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Ukrainian officials showed international media the removal of five bodies from a basement in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv recently retaken by Ukrainian forces.

A CNN team visited the basement and saw the bodies before removal. They were in advanced stage of decomposition.

Five men had been tortured and executed by Russian soldiers, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, Anton Gerashchenko, told CNN on the ground. CNN cannot independently verify Gerashchenko’s claims.

The men were found in an area held by the Russian military until a few days ago. Several foxholes, trenches and positions for armored vehicles were still visible around the site, as were leftover Russian rations. Several "V" letters — informal symbols for the Russian military campaign — were also painted at the entrance to the territory. 

The dead men had their hands tied behind their backs and most of them had several gunshot wounds, not just to the head, but also to the lower limbs. There were several cartridge casings on the floor next to the bodies. 

Volunteers removed the bodies and placed them in body bags, which were later taken away.  

A volunteer told CNN they have been recovering bodies in large numbers, saying, “it’s in the hundreds, not dozens.” The volunteer and his unit showed CNN the body bags of at least 30 people who had been recovered on Sunday, plus an additional nine on Monday, including the five found in the basement.  

That unit is one of several operating in the outskirts of Kyiv.