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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10:20 a.m. ET, April 6, 2022

Ukraine war could last for years as Putin still wants the "whole of Ukraine," NATO chief says

From Amy Cassidy in London

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks as he arrives for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on April 6.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks as he arrives for a meeting of NATO foreign ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on April 6. (Virginia Mayo/AP)

Although Russia is now concentrating its assault on eastern Ukraine, NATO has seen “no indication” that Russian President Vladimir Putin's aim of controlling the whole country has changed, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters before a meeting in Brussels of foreign ministers of NATO allies, Stoltenberg also warned the war in Ukraine could last for years.

“We have seen no indication that President Putin has changed his ambition to control the whole of Ukraine and also to rewrite the international order, so we need to be prepared for the long haul,” he said. “We have to be realistic and realize that this may last for a long time, for many months or even years.”

The foreign ministers of NATO countries are meeting Wednesday and Thursday to discuss ramping up support for Ukraine.

Kyiv has been calling for tanks and fighter jets on top of the defense systems already provided by the West.

“I will not go into all details of exactly what kind of weapons equipment allies are providing, but I can say the totality of what the allies are doing is significant, and that includes some heavier systems combined with lighter systems,” Stoltenberg said.

He warned the Ukraine war will have long term security implications for Europe regardless of when it ends. 

“We have seen the willingness by President Putin to use military force to reach his objectives. And that has changed the security reality in Europe for many, many years," the secretary general said.

10:18 a.m. ET, April 6, 2022

At least 1,563 civilians killed since Russia's invasion of Ukraine started, UN says

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy and Chris Liakos in London 

A resident searches for the graves of relatives in a cemetery in Chernigiv, northern Ukraine, on April 5.
A resident searches for the graves of relatives in a cemetery in Chernigiv, northern Ukraine, on April 5. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)

At least 1,563 civilians have been killed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The UN agency has recorded 3,776 civilian casualties in Ukraine so far: 1,563 killed and 2,213 injured, it said in its latest update posted Wednesday. 

The OCHCR reiterated its belief that "the actual figures are considerably higher as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration."

It listed Mariupol and Volnovakha (Donetsk region), Izium (Kharkiv region), Popasna (Luhansk region), and Borodianka (Kyiv region) as examples of places where there have been "allegations of numerous civilian casualties."

On Tuesday, OHCHR spokesperson Liz Throssell spoke of the UN's condemnation of images that emerged last weekend of civilian bodies strewn across the town of Bucha, saying they showed "all the signs" that civilians "were directly targeted and directly killed." 

10:00 a.m. ET, April 6, 2022

At least 89 killed, including children, in Kyiv since invasion

From CNN's Katharina Krebs in London

At least 89 people have been killed, including four children, and 167 homes damaged in Kyiv since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Kyiv City State Administration wrote in a statement on a verified Telegram page on Wednesday.

Another 398 people, including 20 children, were injured in the war.  

Since Feb. 24, Russian troops have damaged 44 schools, 11 administrative buildings, 26 kindergartens and an orphanage.

In addition to that, two sports facilities, five social facilities, 17 health care facilities, 10 cultural facilities and 48 facilities of transport infrastructure were hit by Russian attacks. 

The administration urged its residents not to lose vigilance and to take shelter at the first signs of air alarms.  

"It has become safer in Kyiv today, but the threat of air strikes remains," the statement read.

Those who left the capital are asked to refrain from returning for the time being.

10:11 a.m. ET, April 6, 2022

US will announce sanctions on Putin's adult children today

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins 

Katerina Tikhonova, deputy director of the Institute for Mathematical Research of Complex Systems at Moscow State University and daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is seen on a screen as she takes part in a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on June 4.
Katerina Tikhonova, deputy director of the Institute for Mathematical Research of Complex Systems at Moscow State University and daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is seen on a screen as she takes part in a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on June 4. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters)

The US is expected to announce it is sanctioning Russian President Vladimir Putin's adult children when it rolls out the new sanctions package today, according to sources familiar with the package.  

CNN reported last night that the US could apply sanctions on Putin’s adult children as early as Wednesday, according to a western official familiar with the plans. Putin has acknowledged two adult daughters.

The Biden administration is also eyeing an expansion of sanctions on Sberbank, Russia’s largest financial institution, and Alfa Bank, another large lender, the official said.

10:04 a.m. ET, April 6, 2022

France pledges Russia will not go unpunished for Bucha killings

From CNN’s Simon Bouvier and Elias Lemercier in Paris

France's Secretary of State and Government's spokesperson Gabriel Attal holds a press conference after the weekly cabinet meeting at The Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris, France, on April 6.
France's Secretary of State and Government's spokesperson Gabriel Attal holds a press conference after the weekly cabinet meeting at The Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris, France, on April 6. (Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images)

France has called the deaths of civilians in Bucha, Ukraine, “a new step in horror” and has vowed to ensure such an act “does not remain unpunished.”

France is also in favor of a tougher sanctions regime against Russia, French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said during a news conference on Wednesday.

“After these massacres, we must go further,” he said. “President [Macron] has told President Zelensky that we have no taboos in terms of sanctions, and he repeated that we are ready for drastic measures on imports of Russian coal and oil.”

Asked by a journalist why France wasn’t blocking natural gas imports from Russia, Attal said that sanctions were “being discussed and worked on at the European level,” and added that it is easier for “us French who only depend on it for 20% [of energy needs] than for other countries who depend on it for 50, 60 or even 100% of theirs.” 

France “has always said that we are in favor of taking sanctions to the maximum level possible, and dialogue continues at the European level,” he said. 

10:45 a.m. ET, April 6, 2022

US Treasury secretary warns of "enormous" economic repercussions from war in Ukraine

From CNN’s Matt Egan

Treasure Secretary Janet Yellen appears before the House Financial Services Committee on April 6 in Washington, DC.
Treasure Secretary Janet Yellen appears before the House Financial Services Committee on April 6 in Washington, DC. (Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Wednesday about the economic shockwaves set off by the war in Ukraine, including disruptions to the flow of food and energy.

“Russia’s actions represent an unacceptable affront to the rules-based, global order, and will have enormous economic repercussions in Ukraine and beyond,” Yellen said in prepared remarks for a hearing before lawmakers.

The war – and the West’s response – have already sent food and energy prices soaring and have raised concerns about an economic slowdown or even recession.

Appearing before the House Financial Services Committee, Yellen described Russia’s invasion as “brutal and unprovoked” and emphasized the Treasury Department is committed to holding Russia “accountable for its actions.”

“Globally, spillovers from the crisis are heightening economic vulnerabilities in many countries that are already facing higher debt burdens and limited policy options as they recover from Covid-19,” Yellen said.

The Treasury secretary noted that Russia and Ukraine together account for nearly one-third of the world’s wheat exports.

“Russia’s invasion disrupted the flow of food for millions of people around the world and caused prices to spike,” Yellen said. 

Yellen said Treasury will press multilateral development banks to speed up food aid to “vulnerable” countries.

Energy prices have been driven higher by concerns about supply from Russia, the No. 1 exporter of crude oil in the world. 

“We are witnessing the vulnerability that comes from relying on one fuel source or one trade partner,” Yellen said, which is why it is imperative to diversify energy sources and suppliers.

9:39 a.m. ET, April 6, 2022

EU working to approve new package of sanctions against Russia "very quickly," source says

From CNN’s Chris Liakos

European ambassadors are meeting in Brussels to debate the European Commission’s proposal on new sanctions against Russia.

According to an EU source, there is an agreement to adopt this package very quickly, but there are a lot of technical questions, which “is normal as it is a very dense package,” according to the source.

The source said that the ambassadors are going to work with member states all day and are expected to meet again tomorrow to examine some adjustments with the aim of reaching an agreement as soon as possible.

The European Commission on Tuesday proposed a fifth package of sanctions against Russia, which aims to “cut even deeper into the Russian economy."

The proposed measures include among other things an import ban on coal from Russia worth 4 billion euros per year (or about $4.3 billion).

8:30 a.m. ET, April 6, 2022

It's 3:30 p.m. in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

A NATO foreign ministers meeting will take place in Brussels today, as US officials warn that Russia's war in Ukraine could be entering a protracted new phase. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was "an important moment" to coordinate with allies and partners "on a number of fronts."

Recent advances by Russian forces in Kharkiv could be setting the stage for the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk to become the next target of the offensive, according to a report issued by military experts at the Institute for the Study of War. They say these efforts could give Russian troops potential paths to cutting off Ukrainian forces in the east and advancing further into the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

And the world is continuing to react to alleged atrocities committed by Russian forces in recent weeks on the outskirts of Kyiv.

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine today:

  • More than 160 children dead: At least 167 children have been killed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but that number is likely higher, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address to the Irish parliament on Wednesday. 
  • Russia targets 'fuel storage' in strikes: The Russian military announced a series of strikes around Ukraine in the Lviv, Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovsk and Dnipropetrovsk regions, targeting what they described as fuel storage and supply bases around the country, after Ukrainian officials earlier confirmed strikes and explosions overnight in those regions.
  • Heavy fighting in the east: Ukrainian officials said major fighting was underway in Ukraine's east, with the regional military governor of eastern Luhansk region urging civilians to evacuate some towns. This comes as 11 evacuation corridors in the eastern and southeastern regions of the country and have been agreed by Ukraine and Russia
  • 500 flee Mariupol: A convoy of buses and private cars carrying more than 500 civilians who had fled Mariupol has arrived in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Wednesday.

  • New horrors: Images from the town of Borodianka following the retreat of Russian forces include bodies of civilians left in the street with signs of torture, including one man with a gunshot to the head, Ukrainian police and residents say, as well as ransacked homes. Borodianka, on the northwest outskirts of Kyiv, was hit by intense shelling and airstrikes before it was occupied by Russian troops on Feb. 28.
  • Female soldiers "tortured": More than a dozen female Ukrainian soldiers captured by Russian forces were "subjected to torture and ill-treatment in captivity," according to a Ukrainian human rights official.
  • US to impose new sanctions: The United States could announce sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s adult children as early as Wednesday, according to a Western official familiar with the plans. The move is among new measures in coordination with G7 nations and the EU that will include a ban all new investment in Russia, increased sanctions on financial institutions, and penalties for government officials and their family members, according to an administration official.
  • EU ban on Russian coal: The European Commission proposed a phased ban of $4.3 billion worth of Russian coal imports per year as part of a fifth package of sanctions designed to further diminish Putin’s war chest. More details on the new round of punitive measures, including the coal ban timeline, are expected Wednesday.
8:35 a.m. ET, April 6, 2022

Netherlands detains 14 Russian-owned super yachts, freezes hundreds of millions in assets and transactions 

From CNN’s James Frater in Brussels

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (on screen) addresses the Dutch House of Representatives in The Hague on March 31, in hopes of getting support in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (on screen) addresses the Dutch House of Representatives in The Hague on March 31, in hopes of getting support in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (Bart Maat/ANP/AFP/Getty Images)

The Netherlands has detained 14 super-yachts with Russian ownership, frozen 516 million euros ($563 million) assets and blocked 155 million euros ($169 million) in transactions as part of the sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Wopke Hoekstra said Wednesday.

In a letter to the Dutch Parliament, Hoekstra explained 12 yachts were currently under construction at five shipyards in the Netherlands for “so-called Russian ‘ultimate beneficial owners.’”

While some of the owners do not appear on the European sanctions list, “due to the current export measures, these vessels are not allowed to be delivered at the moment," he said, adding that “the ownership structures of these yachts are under further investigation.”

In addition to those 12, Hoekstra said two yachts under maintenance at Dutch yards had been placed under stricter customs supervision, and “the relationship of one of these yachts to a person named on the European sanction lists is being investigated.”

Since the first sanctions were introduced, “almost 30,000 containers in transit to Russia/Belarus have been stopped,” at the Port of Rotterdam, and they were investigated to “determine whether they fall under the sanctions measures,” he added.

Of those investigations approximately 5,500 containers have been held on suspicion of containing luxury goods with a value of 300 euros ($350) per item. “If that is the case, these goods may not be sent to Russia/Belarus,” said Hoekstra.

Dutch customs officials have also made 3,300 checks on cargo shipments. Following investigations, nine shipments were held as they included, “parts for diesel engines, equipment for the oil industry and cryptographic goods (data security),” noted Hoekstra, adding that, “these goods are returned to the exporter and therefore not to the originally specified destination.”