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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11:09 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

NATO gathering evidence to hold Putin accountable of "war crimes" in Ukraine, US ambassador to alliance says

From CNN's James Frater in Brussels  

US Permanent Representative to NATO Julianne Smith said Tuesday that the alliance is gathering evidence to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin and his team accountable for “war crimes” in Ukraine.  

“What we have to do is collect the information we need to hold Putin and his team in Moscow accountable, and you can do that through multiple paths there of course is the ICC path. There's a United Nations option. There are multiple ways to do that,” she said at a news conference in Brussels.   

Answering a question about how United States will help with the investigation to the alleged war crimes committed by the Russian forces in Ukraine, Smith said, “First and foremost, what we want to do is ensure that we expose the truth and in order to expose the truth and fully understand what is happening on the ground we need to collect as much information as possible.”  

“We are now relying on first-hand accounts from Ukrainian citizens. We are seeing some international organizations, NGOs are starting to collect information as well. Putting together a narrative, trying to put together some sense of what has gone on, as we've looked again at these horrific images coming out of Bucha, but, but possibly in other locations as well,” she added.   

Smith cautioned that it is “too soon to say definitively what happened” in Bucha and other cities where alleged war crimes have been committed by Russia, but added that “we're quite confident that […] we will be able to put together the evidence we need to hold Putin accountable.”  

She said that one of NATO’s strategies to take preventive actions in Ukraine has been to try to get out ahead of Putin’s “strategic choices." 

“If you call them out on what we believe they might be planning maybe that alters, his calculus, a little bit," the ambassador added.  

11:00 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

Zelensky asks UN Security Council to hold Russia accountable and provide guarantees to Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the United Nations Security Council in New York City on April 5.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the United Nations Security Council in New York City on April 5. (UNTV)

In his Tuesday address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the United Nations Security Council to provide security guarantees to Ukraine.

"Where is the security that the Security Council needs to guarantee? It's not there. Although there is a Security Council. So where is the peace? What are those guarantees that the United Nations need to guarantee?" he asked in his speech.

Speaking through a translator, he stressed accountability for Russia "must be inevitable."

"I would like to remind you of Article 1, Chapter 1 of the UN Charter. What is the purpose of our organization? Its purpose is to maintain peace," he said. "And now the UN Charter has been violated literally, starting with Article 1. What is the point of all the other articles?"

Calling the Russian actions as "war crimes," Zelensky said he wants full and transparent investigations. He added:

"Maximum access for journalists, maximum cooperation with international institutions, involvement of the International Criminal Court — complete and full accountability. I'm sure that every member state of the UN should be interested in this. For what? In order to punish once and for all those who consider themselves privileged and believe that they can get away with anything."

"So, show all the other potential war criminals in the world how they will be punished if the biggest one is punished," he urged the UN Security Council.

10:59 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

Zelensky calls for Russian military members to be tried for war crimes against Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appears on screens as he addresses the United Nations Security Council via video link during a meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, on  April 5.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appears on screens as he addresses the United Nations Security Council via video link during a meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, on April 5. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for members of the Russian military and "those who gave them orders" to carry out attacks in Ukraine to be tried for "war crimes." 

He called for any Russians who have given "criminal orders" and "carried out them by killing our people" to be brought before a tribunal, similar to the Nuremberg trials that occurred after World War II when Nazis were put on trial. 

11:30 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

Zelensky tells UN Security Council: "World has yet to learn the full truth" of horrors unfolding across Ukraine

From CNN staff

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that the horrors found in Bucha after Russia’s withdrawal there may also emerge in other cities across Ukraine. 

“Now the world can see what the Russian military did in Bucha while it was under their occupation, but it has yet to see what they have done in other occupied cities,” the president said during his remarks. 

He also demanded accountability, saying Ukraine was suffering the worst war crimes since the end of World War II with Russian troops targeting civilians with artillery and air strikes, creating mass starvation by blockading cities. 

“The massacre in our city Bucha is only one of many examples, unfortunately, of what the occupiers have been doing in our land for the past 41 days. And there are many more cities, similar places, where the world has yet to learn the full truth," Zelensky said.

10:59 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

Zelensky says that Russians "will blame everyone just to justify their own actions"

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appears on a screen as he addresses the United Nations Security Council via video link during a meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, on April 5.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appears on a screen as he addresses the United Nations Security Council via video link during a meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, on April 5. (Andrew Kelly

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the UN Security Council that he expects Russians "will blame everyone just to justify their own actions" in Ukraine.

"They will say that there are various versions, different versions, it's impossible to establish which ones of those versions is true," he said, speaking through a translator, via videoconference. "They will even say that the bodies were, of those were allegedly thrown away and all the videos are staged, but it is 2022 now." 

Zelensky said "we have conclusive evidence that there are satellite images" that show what really happened during the attacks on Bucha, adding, "we can conduct full and transparent investigations."

10:59 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

Zelensky says "there is not a single crime" that Russians "would not commit" in Bucha

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the United Nations Security Council on April 5.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the United Nations Security Council on April 5. (UNTV)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky opened his remarks to the UN Security Council by addressing what he witnessed in Bucha, saying of the Russians who attacked the Kyiv suburb, "there is not a single crime they would not commit there."

Speaking through a translator, Zelensky said:

"The Russian military surge and purposefully killed anyone who served our country. They shot and killed women outside their houses when they just tried to call someone who is alive. They killed entire families, adults and children, and they tried to burn the bodies. I am addressing you on behalf of the people who honor the memory of the deceased every single day and the memory of the civilians who died, they were shot and killed in the back of their head after being tortured. Some of them were shot on the streets." 

He said that the Russians killed civilians in Bucha "just for their pleasure." 

"They cut off limbs, slashed their throats, women raped and killed in front of their children. Their tongues were pulled out only because the aggressor did not hear what they wanted to hear from them," Zelensky added.

He said these actions are no different than "other terrorists." 

10:59 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

NOW: Ukrainian President Zelensky addresses the United Nations Security Council

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the United Nations Security Council on April 5.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the United Nations Security Council on April 5. (UNTV)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is now addressing the United Nations Security Council.

Earlier today, he spoke about the need for "serious players who are ready to go all the way" when it comes to security guarantees.

"We need serious players who are ready to go all the way. We need a circle of countries who would within 24 hours provide us with any weapons," Zelensky said.

He also cast doubt on the possibility of meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin after he accused Russia of genocide. Zelensky paid a visit to the Kyiv suburb of Bucha on Monday, an area where shocking images of civilian bodies strewn on the streets emerged over the weekend. During the visit he said that it was "very difficult to negotiate" with Russia "when you see what they have done here."

10:41 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

Road between Kyiv and Chernihiv reopens, regional military governor says

From CNN's Olga Voitovych in Lviv

The road between Kyiv and the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv has reopened, the Chernihiv regional military governor said Tuesday. 

"Yesterday we resumed the route [between Chernihiv and Kyiv], thanks to the Operational Command North, to the military. There is a direct connection between Kyiv and Chernihiv now. We will open a few more routes, as the traffic is very high," said Viacheslav Chaus, head of the Chernihiv regional administration, in remarks on national television.

Russia's military announced a pullback from the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions following a meeting last week between Ukrainian and Russian delegations in Istanbul.

"Chernihiv and especially the villages around Chernihiv need humanitarian aid," Chaus said. "People are free to leave. We have not set restrictions on entry yet, but I have asked residents of the region and Chernihiv itself not to hurry to come back, because Chernihiv is limited in resources — electrical cables are damaged, there is no water supply. There is no need to come back home now. Let us put things in order in the city, in the cities nearby, and then it will be time to come back."

The discovery of murdered civilians in areas retaken by the Ukrainian military from the Russians has sparked outcry, particularly after evidence came to light of a massacre in the Kyiv suburb in Bucha. Chaus warned that evidence of possible war crimes would surface in the Chernihiv region.

"A lot of settlements were destroyed in our region. Mostly these are settlements near the city of Chernihiv, where the enemy lived in our houses, and our people were in basements, they were tortured and killed," he said. "These are in the settlements of Nizhyn and Pryluky districts, the situation there is also critical." 

Chaus added, "many innocent children were killed. [There were] moral, psychological traumas … The day before yesterday, I was in Yahidne, a village 10 to 15 kilometers (six to nine miles) from Chernihiv. People sat in basements there, they were rarely let out. The children wrote the words of the anthem of Ukraine on the walls at night there … It's awful."

10:38 a.m. ET, April 5, 2022

Putin: Russian fuel and seeds supplies need to be regulated

Certain supplies, including fuel and seeds, should be regulated by the government, President Vladimir Putin warned Russia in a televised address. But he blamed it on global shortages of food and not on western sanctions against Russia. 

“It is clear that this year, against the backdrop of a global food shortage, we will have to be more prudent in our food supplies abroad, namely, to monitor carefully the parameters of such exports to countries that are clearly hostile towards us,” Putin said in a televised address at the agricultural industry meeting.

Putin said the manure market is already regulated by the government, and it is necessary to control the supply of fuels, seeds and pedigree stock to the country.

“In conditions of external restrictions, a most important issue is the availability of modern equipment and repair parts,” he added.

Western sanctions against Russia were laid because of “mistakes in the economic, energy, and food policies” of developed countries, which led to higher prices and lack of food supplies, Putin claimed.

“Against the background of minimal food supplies in the world, new sanctions are being imposed, the work of enterprises and logistics of fertilizer supplies from Russia and Belarus are being blocked, and our own fertilizer production in the West is falling due to high natural gas prices, which is also, in fact, the result of the activities of our partners in the West,” he said.

“In these current conditions, a shortage of fertilizers on the global market is inevitable,” he said, adding, “Not all countries will be able to buy the necessary amount of fertilizers for the current season, which means that crop yields will also decrease.”

Despite all of these negative factors, Putin claimed Russia has “food self-sufficiency.”

“For the main food groups, our domestic market is fully provided with its own food, its own production, and for some goods, such as sunflower oil, grain, the capacities of domestic enterprises cover the demand in excess and very good export potential for Russia has emerged,” he said.