April 6, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Maureen Chowdhury, Mike Hayes, Jason Kurtz, Aditi Sangal, Meg Wagner, Travis Caldwell, Helen Regan, Seán Federico O'Murchú, Amy Woodyatt, Jack Bantock, Lauren Said-Moorhouse and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, April 7, 2022
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10:58 p.m. ET, April 6, 2022

NATO foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss the war in Ukraine. Here's the latest

Left to right: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss pose for a photo at NATO headquarters in Brussels on April 6.
Left to right: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss pose for a photo at NATO headquarters in Brussels on April 6. (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/Reuters)

Foreign ministers from NATO member states are meeting in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss sanctions against Russia and ways to support Ukraine.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his NATO counterparts, plus foreign ministers from non-NATO countries, including Australia and Japan.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Grim warning: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned the war could stretch on for years, as Russian President Vladimir Putin wants "to control the whole of Ukraine." He added that over the next few weeks, officials expect Russian forces to resupply with fuel, food and other supplies, with the aim of launching a brutal new offensive in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
  • Possibility of re-invasion: It remains unclear what Putin's long-term goals are, a senior US defense official said. But despite the recent shift in strategy and several rounds of Russia-Ukraine peace talks, the US and its allies are preparing for the possibility that Putin could try to reinvade the Kyiv region once he completes his objectives in eastern Ukraine, assuming he has enough manpower and equipment left to do so, US and European officials told CNN.
  • UK's stance: At a dinner Wednesday night, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the "age of engagement with Russia is over," and "we need a new approach to security in Europe based on resilience, defense and deterrence." She added that she is working with her G7 counterparts to impose more sanctions on Russian banks.
  • Oil embargo: Lithuania's foreign minister called the European Union's proposed sanctions on Russia "disappointing," comparing them to sanctions on candles or firewood. He called for the bloc to impose an oil embargo on Moscow, adding: "If we're serious about our reaction to massacres of Bucha and other cities that are being uncovered, then we have to be serious with our sanctions."
  • Canada's summons: The Canadian foreign minister said Canada will summon Russia's ambassador in Ottawa over the allegations of mass murder of civilians in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, by Russian soldiers. 
10:48 p.m. ET, April 6, 2022

Russian ambassador claims US sanctions against banks cause direct harm to "ordinary citizens"

From CNN's Masha Angelova

Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov speaks at an event in Washington, DC, in 2019.
Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov speaks at an event in Washington, DC, in 2019. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

New US sanctions against Russia are “a direct blow to the population of Russia, to ordinary citizens,” Russia’s ambassador to the US said Wednesday.

“The (Biden) administration's non-stop attacks in the form of sanctions demonstrate the true aspirations of the United States,” said Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov in a post on the Russian Embassy’s Telegram channel.
“Puzzling are the attempts of the United States to make it difficult for us to service our public debt. We see in these efforts as a desire to tarnish the reputation of Russia, which, despite the economic barriers being built by Washington, continues to fulfill its debt obligations in good faith and in a timely manner,” Antonov said.

His response comes as US President Joe Biden announced new sanctions Wednesday targeting Russia’s biggest financial institutions — Sberbank and Alfa Bank — as well as individuals, including President Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters and the wife and daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The move from Washington is in response to the civilian deaths discovered in parts of Ukraine that were previously occupied by Russian forces.

"We will keep raising the economic cost and ratchet up the pain for Putin and further increase Russia's economic isolation," Biden said, describing the civilian deaths as "major war crimes."

Read more about the US sanctions:

10:24 p.m. ET, April 6, 2022

Taiwan unveils new sanctions against Russia, targeting high-tech exports

From CNN's Akanksha Sharma

Taiwan has imposed fresh sanctions against Russia that target the export of 57 high-tech commodities, the island's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said in a statement Wednesday. 

The items include designated telecommunications equipment, integrated circuit parts and variable-frequency drives that can be used for both civil and military purposes, according to Taiwan’s state-run Central News Agency (CNA). 

The sanctions are effective immediately, MOEA said, adding the expanded export controls are in line with international sanctions to “enhance regulations on the exportation and flow of strategic high-tech commodities (SHTC) to Russia.” 

“Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine has posed a clear threat to international peace,” MOEA said.

Exporters must apply for licensing with the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) to export the listed commodities to Russia, according to MOEA.

Read more about Taiwan's role in global tech amid international tensions:

9:34 p.m. ET, April 6, 2022

Peru protests show the wide impact of Putin's war

From CNN's Stefano Pozzebon and Catherine E. Shoichet

Police officers in Lima, Peru stand in front of a burning street vendor structure during a demonstration against Peruvian President Pedro Castillo. The protests began over rising fuel and fertilizer prices triggered by the Ukraine conflict, but have expanded in scope.
Police officers in Lima, Peru stand in front of a burning street vendor structure during a demonstration against Peruvian President Pedro Castillo. The protests began over rising fuel and fertilizer prices triggered by the Ukraine conflict, but have expanded in scope. (Angela Ponce/Reuters)

An ongoing wave of violent protests in Peru shows how the Russian invasion of Ukraine is affecting markets around the world, sparking unrest and deepening political divides.

Rising fuel costs originally triggered the protests, which started last week, but quickly intensified into large anti-government demonstrations with marches and road blockades.

By Wednesday, at least six people had been reported dead over days of protests, according to Peruvian authorities, as officials called for calm and struggled to contain the situation. At least nine major roads in the country remained blocked by protesters.

Why Peru? While the South American country has been a fertile ground for protests in recent years, this crisis was triggered as a direct consequence of the war in Ukraine.

Consequences of Putin's war: The Russian invasion of Ukraine — and global leaders' consequential decision to isolate Russia from the world's oil markets —  sent the price of oil soaring. And for Peru, the impact has been particularly severe.

Compared to other countries in the region, such as Argentina or Venezuela, Peru imports most of its oil. That left it more exposed to the recent spike, hitting the economy just as it was recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns.

As a result, Peru's inflation in March was the highest in 26 years, according to the country's Institute of Statistics. The segment most exposed was food and fuel, with prices up 9.54% since last year, the Peruvian Central Bank reported.

With prices rising so fast, it didn't take long before protests started spreading across the country. And on March 28, a group of transport workers and truck drivers' union called for a general strike to demand cheaper fuel.

Read more:

8:00 p.m. ET, April 6, 2022

US admitted 12 Ukrainian refugees through resettlement program in March, according to State Department

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

The United States admitted 12 Ukrainian refugees through the refugee resettlement program in March, according to newly released data from the State Department. 

Resettlement to the US is a slow and cumbersome process and the dozen Ukrainians who came through the program last month likely applied years ago, before Russia invaded Ukraine.  

“Refugee resettlement is meant to be a permanent durable solution that requires an average of 18-24 months of processing time. Resettlement may not be the most appropriate pathway for those seeking temporary safe harbor until they can return home,” a State Department spokesperson previously told CNN. 

Dozens of Ukrainians are often resettled to the US monthly, but the closure of commercial airspace in war-torn Ukraine led to canceled flights and kept Ukrainians prepared to come to the US as refugees from coming, according to refugee advocates. Their flights are gradually being rebooked from other countries. 

As of March 31, the US has admitted just over 700 Ukrainian refugees this fiscal year, the data shows.

The US, meanwhile, has committed to accepting up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees through a range of pathways. The details of those plans have not yet been released and officials anticipate many Ukrainians fleeing will stay in Europe.

7:35 p.m. ET, April 6, 2022

"The age of engagement with Russia is over,” UK Foreign Secretary tells NATO

From CNN’s Mia Alberti

The "age of engagement with Russia is over,” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said at a dinner with NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on Wednesday, according to a statement from UK Foreign Office released ahead of the dinner.

In her remarks, Truss told her NATO counterparts that the "NATO-Russia Founding Act is dead and it is time to cast off an outdated approach to handling Russia,” the foreign office said.

The Act, signed in 1997, rules that "NATO and Russia do not consider one another adversaries", according to the original document.

“The age of engagement with Russia is over. We need a new approach to security in Europe based on resilience, defense, and deterrence", Truss said.

Truss’s remarks come as NATO foreign ministers convene in Brussels to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to the statement sent to CNN, Truss underlined that NATO cannot allow "security vacuums" at the alliance's Eastern borders and should "rethink" support for countries "caught in the web of Russian influence" such as Georgia, Moldova, Sweden and Finland. 

The foreign secretary also urged her partners to toughen sanctions and arm Ukraine "quickly and decisively ... to ensure Putin fails."

Truss also said she is working with her G7 counterparts to impose more sanctions on further Russian banks, according to an op-ed published in The Telegraph on Wednesday. In the article, Truss defended increasing NATO spending and presence in Eastern Europe.

"For NATO to remain at the vanguard of global security, it must be bold. As President Eisenhower, the alliance’s first supreme commander, said: “History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid,” the Foreign Secretary wrote.

7:16 p.m. ET, April 6, 2022

“We must do everything” to restore Ukraine’s economy, Zelensky says

From CNN's Hira Humayun

(from Zelensky/YouTube)
(from Zelensky/YouTube)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stressed the need to revive Ukraine’s economy following the Russian invasion, in his nightly address posted to social media on Wednesday night.

He said he had a meeting with the members of the Cabinet of Ministers in Kyiv, adding, “We must do everything possible to restore the work of domestic enterprises, trade activities, and revive small and medium-sized enterprises throughout our territory where it is safe and possible to work.”

Zelensky said the economy is also a “frontline” on which Ukrainians fight for their freedom.

“Now we need to be as creative and bold as possible in solving economic issues,” he said, “It depends not only on government officials and the central government in general. In general, it also depends on all leaders at the local level, on the political and business communities.”

He went on to say, “If we need to relocate businesses from certain areas, we have to do it. If we need to update legislation and give businesses more room for development, MPs must do so quickly. If we need to create special conditions for the return of people, and the security situation in a particular area allows, every leader at any level must make every effort and do everything possible to return people to such safe areas.”

The Ukrainian president called on community areas where there is no direct threat of confrontation with Russian forces to do everything possible for residents to return, for people to go back to work and to restore normal life as much as the security situation allows.

He renewed his call on western nations to ramp up sanctions, saying if there is no “really painful” package of sanctions, and if there are not much-needed weapons supplied to Ukraine, “it will be considered by Russia as a permission. A permission to go further. A permission to attack. A permission to start a new bloody wave in Donbas.”

“We are preparing for a further reduction of Russia's military potential. Manpower and equipment. We will fight and we will not retreat. We will look for all possible options to defend ourselves until Russia begins to seriously seek peace,” he said.

Zelensky also said some politicians are still “unable to decide how to limit the flow of dollars and euros to Russia from the oil trade so as not to jeopardize their own economies.”

“The embargo on Russian oil supplies will be applied anyway,” Zelensky said, “The format will be found. The only question is how many more Ukrainian men and women the Russian military will have time to kill, so that you, some politicians - and we know you, can borrow a little determination somewhere.”

7:14 p.m. ET, April 6, 2022

Zelensky says hundreds of children in Russian-speaking regions have died in Russian attacks

From CNN's Josh Pennington, Mariya Knight and Hira Humayun

(from HaberTurk)
(from HaberTurk)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said hundreds of children in Russian speaking regions have died in Russian air strikes, in an interview with Turkish outlet HaberTurk, posted to the President’s Facebook on Wednesday.

“They say that they are protecting Russian-speaking people. But what is happening in Mariupol, in Melitopol, what happened in Berdiansk and Kharkiv, there are a lot of Russian speakers [in these cities],” Zelensky said, “And they told these people that they were coming to defend them.”
"Hundreds of children in these Russian-speaking regions have been killed by their airstrikes," he said.

Referring to the mass graves found in Bucha, Zelensky said Russian attempts to discredit Ukrainian information will not work and that the “hundreds of corpses speak otherwise.”

He said there are mass graves with Ukrainians on Ukrainian territory and that Russia came into Ukraine to “wage war” adding that this “cannot be justified in any way.” 

“The mass grave in Bucha, is one of these, among which were children. Children cannot be considered militants. This is impossible to hide.

We saw that some of them were missing body parts, there were people with their hands bound. There were rapes, with witnesses. And we intercepted a large amount of audio. All of this is a testament to their unabashed Nazism. And they know that they are the Nazis.”

Zelensky called for the Russian army and political leadership that planned and ordered the invasion to be punished for their “war crimes.”

“It's impossible to blame just one person for all these war crimes. But the international community should know. The Russian Federation should know that these mass atrocities were caused by the order of many people and many structures, and by many political decisions, and there is no way that those responsible will escape punishment,” he said.