Russia invades Ukraine

By Aditi Sangal, Joe Ruiz, Helen Regan, Ivana Kottasová and Sana Noor Haq, CNN

Updated 12:19 a.m. ET, April 10, 2022
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6:27 p.m. ET, April 9, 2022

Zelensky thanks UK for sending more lethal aid including anti-ship missiles, armored vehicles

From CNN's Hira Humayun and Michelle Velez

(Ukrainian Presidential Office)
(Ukrainian Presidential Office)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the United Kingdom and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday for providing military support to Ukraine. 

In his nightly address posted to social media, Zelensky said, “Boris was among those who didn’t doubt for a minute whether to support Ukraine. The leadership of Great Britain, in providing our country help in defense and also leadership in the sanctions policy, will always be in history. 

“Ukraine will always be grateful for this to Boris and Britain,” Zelensky said. 

Johnson met with Zelensky in a surprise Saturday visit to Kyiv to outline the UK's plan to provide further financial and military support. 

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted the UK is sending additional “lethal aid” to Ukraine, including 120 more armored vehicles; new anti-ship missile systems; and $130 million in high-grade military equipment.

"I'm grateful to the United Kingdom that continues and intensifies the sanctions and also provides a significant support of Ukraine by reinforcing our defense capacities,” Zelensky said at a joint press conference with Johnson earlier on Saturday, 

“The other democratic Western countries should follow the example of the United Kingdom," Zelensky said.

Later on Saturday in his nightly address, Zelensky said: “Boris Johnson was today very specific also in his responses to my questions, as always. And we have already established with him what help Great Britain will provide for rebuilding Ukraine after the war. The British are ready to lead the restoration of Kyiv and Kyiv region.” 
4:49 p.m. ET, April 9, 2022

It's 11 p.m. in Kyiv. Catch up on the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine war

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, center left, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, walk in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 9.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, center left, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, walk in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 9. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/AP)

If you're just joining us, here's what you need to know about where things stand with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign leaders travel to Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky:

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a visit to the capital on Saturday as a show of "solidarity with the Ukrainian people," according to Downing Street.
  • Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer also met with Zelensky on Saturday.

Some diplomatic operations begin resuming in Kyiv:

The European Union announced Saturday that it would resume diplomacy out of the capital. Italy also announced it would move back its embassy to Kyiv from Lviv, where it had relocated as Russian aggression escalated in the country. Slovenia reopened its embassy in Kyiv on March 28, according to Slovenia's Foreign Ministry.

Radiation levels in Chernobyl:

Petro Kotin, the head of Ukraine's state nuclear power operator Energoatom, visited one of the sections of the so-called Red Forest in Chernobyl's exclusion zone along with specialists and observed "abnormally high" radiation in areas where the Russian troops dug trenches and tried to build fortifications.

Based on data, a statement said, "all the occupiers who were based in and entrenched in the Red Forest, in almost 30 days, should expect radiation sickness of varying degrees of severity."

An update on casualties:

All the people injured in the railway station strike on Friday have been evacuated from the city, with most moved to the regional center of Dnipro, and some to Kyiv, a local hospital official in Kramatorsk told CNN. A total of 80 adults and 19 children were injured, with 20 of the injured in serious condition. Ukrainian officials have said 52 people were killed in the strike.

At least 176 children have died and more than 324 have been injured as a result of Russian aggression, the Ukrainian Parliament, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, said in a tweet on Saturday. The figures are not final as destruction in hard-hit areas continues to be assessed, it added.

3:40 p.m. ET, April 9, 2022

"Abnormally high" radiation where Russians dug trenches in Chernobyl's Red Forest, nuclear power operator says

From CNN's Mariya Knight in Atlanta

A dosimetrist measures the level of radiation around trenches dug by the Russian military in an area with high levels of radiation called the Red Forest, in Chernobyl, Ukraine on April 7.
A dosimetrist measures the level of radiation around trenches dug by the Russian military in an area with high levels of radiation called the Red Forest, in Chernobyl, Ukraine on April 7. (Gleb Garanich/Reuters)

Petro Kotin, the head of Ukraine's state nuclear power operator Energoatom, visited one of the sections of the so-called Red Forest in Chernobyl's exclusion zone along with specialists and observed "abnormally high" radiation in areas where the Russian troops dug trenches and tried to build fortifications.

In a statement on Telegram, Energoatom said, "abnormally high rates of radiation were recorded" in the area.

Indications of external irradiation were 10-15 times higher than normal, and that possible internal radiation received from contact with the soil surface could be 160 times more than the norm, he added.

"Another factor of internal irradiation is Alpha pollution formed as a result of fragments of irradiated nuclear fuel, graphite masonry scattered on this section of the Red Forest" after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster," the statement read. "These fragments are now located at a depth of 40-80 centimeters, while the occupiers dug deeper. When inside the human body, this type of radiation has an effect tens and hundreds of times more powerful than that from gamma and beta radiation."

"So all the occupiers who were based in and entrenched in the Red Forest, in almost 30 days, should expect radiation sickness of varying degrees of severity," it added.

In a separate statement, Energoatom said Russian troops who occupied the territory of the Chernobyl plant "also looted and destroyed the offices and laboratory of the Institute for Nuclear Safety. They took away computers, office equipment, smashed or destroyed laboratory equipment and measuring devices, and looted garages with vehicles used to deliver scientists to research sites."

2:17 p.m. ET, April 9, 2022

Ukraine's Zelensky calls for more pressure on Russia after meeting UK's Boris Johnson in Kyiv

From CNN’s Mariya Knight and Larry Register in Atlanta

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy listens, during a meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in Kyiv, on April 9.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy listens, during a meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in Kyiv, on April 9. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling for “even more pressure” on Russia with assistance to Ukrainians in “defense, as well as sanctions.” 

Zelensky made the comments during a joint news conference with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson following their meeting in Kyiv after the latter traveled to Kyiv on a surprise visit.

Other countries should follow the example of the United Kingdom, Zelensky said, adding it is time “to impose a full embargo on Russia's energy sector, to increase the provision of weapons to Ukraine.”

“We need to further strengthen our anti-war coalition. We hope that London will play a key role in this process," he said.

Zelensky said the two leaders also talked about rebuilding of Ukraine.

“Together, we will be rebuilding our country and our cities," he said.

3:03 p.m. ET, April 9, 2022

All 99 injured in the Kramatorsk railway strike have been evacuated to other cities, official says

From CNN's Ben Wedeman in Donetsk region, Ukraine

Calcinated cars are pictured outside a train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, that was being used for civilian evacuations, after it was hit by a rocket attack killing dozens, on April 8.
Calcinated cars are pictured outside a train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, that was being used for civilian evacuations, after it was hit by a rocket attack killing dozens, on April 8. (Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images)

All the people injured in the railway station strike on Friday have been evacuated from the city, most moved to the regional center of Dnipro, and some to Kyiv, a local hospital official in Kramatorsk told CNN.

A total of 80 adults and 19 children were injured. 20 of the injured are in serious condition.

Ukrainian officials have said 52 people were killed in the strike.

1:56 p.m. ET, April 9, 2022

More than 10 billion euros raised for people fleeing Russian invasion in global pledging event

From CNN's Nina Avramova and Radina Gigova

A woman waves to say good bye to her husband as she leaves on a bus in Kramatorsk, Ukraine on April 9.
A woman waves to say good bye to her husband as she leaves on a bus in Kramatorsk, Ukraine on April 9. (Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images)

The “Stand Up for Ukraine” global pledging event and campaign aimed to help Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion has raised more than €10 billion since its launch on March 26, the European Commission said in a statement Saturday. 

From the total funds, €1 billion come from the European Commission and €1 billion in a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to cover the needs of the people displaced by the violence in and outside Ukraine, according to the statement. 

The "Stand Up For Ukraine" online pledging event concludes a broader social media campaign launched by the European Commission and the government in Canada that "answers a call for support launched by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky," according to the statement. 

“The solidarity of countries, companies and people worldwide offers some light in this dark hour," EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in the statement. "We will continue providing support. And once the bombs have stopped falling, we will help the people of Ukraine rebuild their country. We will continue to Stand up for Ukraine.”

"Whether it's food, water, shelter, or medical aid – we will continue to have your backs and provide the assistance you need at this time. We are standing up for Ukraine," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in the statement. 

2:17 p.m. ET, April 9, 2022

Ukraine's state railway leaves symbolic seats vacant in memory of Kramatorsk victims

From CNN's Oleksandra Ochman in Lviv

Ukrainian servicemen stand next to a fragment of a Tochka-U missile after Russian shelling at the railway station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on Friday, April 8.
Ukrainian servicemen stand next to a fragment of a Tochka-U missile after Russian shelling at the railway station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on Friday, April 8. (Andriy Andriyenko/AP)

Ukrzaliznytsia, Ukraine's state railway, will leave seat number 52 vacant on trains across the country in memory of the 52 people killed in in a Russian missile strike on a train station in Kramatorsk, it said in a statement Saturday.

"The brutal murder of 52 Ukrainian civilians by a Russian missile at the Kramatorsk railway station cannot be forgotten," the statement read. "Today, April 9, Ukrzaliznytsia is leaving seats No. 52 empty in several trains across the country in memory of those killed in Kramatorsk. Instead of passengers, flowers will go in their places today."

An Ukrzaliznytsia official said earlier Saturday the railway had evacuated 3.5 million people since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

12:45 p.m. ET, April 9, 2022

Russian forces strike nitric acid tank amid heavy shelling, says Luhansk regional governor

From CNN staff

Russian forces had hit a storage tank holding "remnants" of nitric acid, sending up a plume that he said was not a threat to the local population, Serhii Haidai, the head of Ukraine's Luhansk regional military administration, said Saturday.

"There were some remnants of nitric acid — around three tons," he said in televised remarks. "The local population is not under threat, as the impact zone around the acid tank is not more than 550 meters. Thank God, there wasn't that much acid left." 

A video posted on Haidai's official Telegram channel showed an orange plume in the sky from the site of the shelling. 

Haidai also reported heavy Russian shelling of communities of Rubizhne, Popasna and Hirske.

Ukrainian authorities were continuing evacuations of civilians, one day after a Russian missile strike on a train station where Ukrainian civilians had assembled to evacuate from the eastern Donbas region, he added.

"We have changed the railway stations for evacuation, I'm not going to name those, but we have changed them and the evacuation is ongoing," he said. 

"It's difficult to say how many people are still staying, because there is constant shelling and people are hiding in the shelters," Haidai said. "But in total, only 30% of population of all region has stayed."

12:30 p.m. ET, April 9, 2022

Ukrainian military claims to find dead Russian servicemen in common grave

From CNN staff

The Ukrainian military's Office of Strategic Communications posted a photo Saturday that purports to show dead Russian servicemen left behind in a common grave after fighting in Ukraine's northeastern Kharkiv region.

"The myth is that the Russians do not leave their dead," the statement read. "When clearing the settlement of Vilkhivka, a common grave of the occupiers was discovered by soldiers the 92nd Mechanized Brigade near Kharkiv." 

CNN could not immediately verify the authenticity of the photo, which shows at least 10 bodies in Russian uniform.

"We don't leave ours behind" is one of the unofficial slogans of the Russian war in Ukraine. 

The statement claimed that soldiers of the 92nd Mechanized Brigade and volunteer detachments near Kharkiv destroyed two Russian battalion tactical groups on March 30. 

Fighting has continued in the region of the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

It was "being shelled practically all day long" and a Russian offensive was expected in Kharkiv region, from direction of Izium, Vadym Denysenko, an adviser to the Interior Minister of Ukraine, had said in remarks on national television Saturday.

"Russians continue to build up the forces on this direction," he said. "We understand that one of the key tasks of RF [Russian forces] is to reach Donbas, Donetsk region, or to be more specific Slovyansk and Kramatorsk from Izium side. So this is one of the most difficult directions as of today."