April 6, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

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See inside a Ukrainian hospital filled with soldiers and civilians
04:34 - Source: CNN

What we covered

  • The “age of engagement with Russia is over,” the UK’s top diplomat told NATO foreign ministers as they meet in Brussels to discuss the war in Ukraine. Despite Moscow shifting its military focus to the east of the country, NATO’s chief said the war could last years as Russia still wants “the whole of Ukraine.”
  • Ukrainian officials say major fighting is underway in the east, with the regional military governor of the Luhansk region urging civilians to evacuate some towns.
  • President Joe Biden said “major war crimes” are being discovered in Ukraine as the US imposed new sanctions on Russian financial institutions and Kremlin-linked individuals, including President Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed hundreds of children in Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine have died in Russian airstrikes.
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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.

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. 

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

Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov speaks at an event in Washington, DC, in 2019.

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:

President Joe Biden speaks about the March jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, April 1, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Biden says 'major war crimes' being discovered in Ukraine after he announces new sanctions on Russia

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

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.” 

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:

Images of mobile devices at the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) Museum of Innovation in Hsinchu, on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. TSMC reported a sixth straight quarter of record sales, buoyed by unrelenting demand by Apple Inc. and other customers for chips produced by the worlds largest foundry. Photographer: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tensions with Beijing throw spotlight on Taiwan's unique role in global tech

Peru protests show the wide impact of Putin's war

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.

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:

Riot police and demonstrators clash during a protest against Peru's President Pedro Castillo after he had issued a curfew mandate, which was lifted following widespread defiance on the streets, as protests spiralled against rising fuel and fertilizer prices triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Lima, Peru April 5, 2022. Picture taken April 5, 2002. REUTERS/Alessandro Cinque

Peru protests show the wide impact of Putin's war

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

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.