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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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.

8:03 p.m. ET, April 4, 2022

Biden calls for war crimes trial after Bucha images surface

From CNN's Allie Malloy and Maegan Vazquez

President Joe Biden on Monday said the atrocities allegedly committed by Russian forces in Bucha, Ukraine, are a "war crime" and called for a trial to take place against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The US President did not, however, label the killings a "genocide" but said he was looking into additional sanctions against Russia.

Biden said the images coming from Bucha warranted calling Putin a "war criminal," adding, "but we have to gather the information. We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue the fight and we have to get all the details so this can be an actual — have a war crime trial."

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said later Monday that the US hasn't yet seen evidence of "systematic" killings that would warrant designating what's underway in Ukraine a genocide.

"Based on what we have seen so far — we have seen atrocities. We have seen war crimes. We have not seen a level of systemic deprivation of life of the Ukrainian people to rise to the level of genocide," Sullivan said during a White House press briefing.

But the images from Bucha, Sullivan said, underscore that "now is not the time for complacency," stressing the importance of ongoing US support for Ukraine. He said the administration is "working around the clock" to fulfill security assistance requests from Ukraine, detailing the US and allied response so far and hinting at forthcoming "additional military assistance in the coming days."

Read more:

11:20 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

(CNN)
(CNN)

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.