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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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."

12:33 p.m. ET, April 9, 2022

Zelensky to Boris Johnson: 'Welcome to Kyiv, my friend!'

From CNN's Radina Gigova in Atlanta

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 9.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 9. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Saturday, the Press Service of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine said on its official Twitter account Saturday. 

Johnson "is one of the most principled opponents of the Russian invasion, a leader on sanctions pressure on Russia and defense support for Ukraine. Welcome to Kyiv, my friend!," Zelensky is quoted as saying in the caption. 

The press service also released several photos from the unannounced visit showing the two leaders holding a meeting. 

Johnson also tweeted about the meeting on Saturday, saying the meeting with Zelensky in Kyiv was "a show of our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine."

"We're setting out a new package of financial & military aid which is a testament of our commitment to his country's struggle against Russia’s barbaric campaign," Johnson said in a post that features a photo of the two leaders shaking hands.

Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer also traveled to Kyiv and met with Zelensky on Saturday

On Friday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell also traveled to Ukraine to meet with Zelensky and Ukrainian officials.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 9.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 9. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/AP)

12:39 p.m. ET, April 9, 2022

Austria's chancellor calls for war crimes investigation, more sanctions following Zelensky meeting

From CNN's Radina Gigova in Atlanta

Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer speaks at a press conference on April 9 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer speaks at a press conference on April 9 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer said Saturday his country is military neutral, "but we understand we have to help where injustice and war crimes take place."

Austria supports European Union sanctions against Russia and the bloc is ready to implement more sanctions, Nehammar said at a joint news conference Saturday in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Nehammer will visit the town of Bucha on Saturday, which he called "a place of war crimes."

"We have to make those war crimes known to the UN and international justice must begin investigating and fight these crimes," he said. 

Zelensky thanked him for the support Ukraine has received so far and reiterated his call for more sanctions on Russia. 

Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak during a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 9.
Austria's Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak during a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 9. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

11:24 a.m. ET, April 9, 2022

At least 176 children have died, more than 324 injured due to Russian aggression, Ukrainian Parliament says

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac in London

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. 

"These figures are not final, as work is underway to establish them in places of active attacks, in the temporarily occupied and liberated territories," the Parliament said.

CNN cannot independently verify these figures.

11:21 a.m. ET, April 9, 2022

YouTube terminates Russia’s lower house of parliament channel

From CNN’s Alex Hardie, Radina Gigova and Nina Avramova in London

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin speaks during the session of the Duma on April 7 in Moscow, Russia.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin speaks during the session of the Duma on April 7 in Moscow, Russia. (Contributor/Getty Images)

YouTube has terminated Russia’s State Duma [lower house of parliament] YouTube channel due to recent US government sanctions, Google confirmed to CNN on Saturday.

“Google is committed to compliance with all applicable sanctions and trade compliance laws," a Google spokesperson said. “If we find that an account violates our Terms of Service, we take appropriate action. Our teams are closely monitoring the situation for any updates and changes."

Russia’s telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor demanded that Google lift the restrictions and explain the reason behind them, Russian state news agency TASS reported on Saturday.

The watchdog demanded that Google "immediately restore access to the Russian State Duma’s ‘Duma TV’ YouTube channel”, adding that blocking it “impedes the free flow of information," according to TASS.

In response to previous YouTube restrictions, Russia’s telecom watchdog banned Google advertising and access to Google services including Google Search and Gmail in Russia on Thursday, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported Saturday.

10:54 a.m. ET, April 9, 2022

British PM Boris Johnson meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv

From CNN’s Alex Hardie and Max Foster in London

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in this photo shared by the Embassy of Ukraine to the UK.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in this photo shared by the Embassy of Ukraine to the UK. (Embassy of Ukraine to the UK/Twitter)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Saturday.

“The Prime Minister has travelled to Ukraine to meet President Zelenskyy in person, in a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people. They will discuss the UK’s long term support to Ukraine and the PM will set out a new package of financial and military aid,” a Downing Street spokesperson said. 

The Embassy of Ukraine to the UK tweeted a picture of Johnson sitting opposite Zelensky at a table.

10:19 a.m. ET, April 9, 2022

"There are no words for the horror I've seen in Bucha," European Commission chief says

From CNN's James Frater and Radina Gigova

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen looks at bodies pulled from a mass grave in Bucha, Ukraine, on Friday, April 8.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen looks at bodies pulled from a mass grave in Bucha, Ukraine, on Friday, April 8. (Rodrigo Abd/AP)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described what she saw during her visit to the Ukrainian town of Bucha as "horror" and reiterated her "admiration" for the Ukrainians who are fighting the Russian invasion.

“There are no words for the horror I've seen in Bucha, the ugly face of Putin's army terrorizing people," von der Leyen said during a global 'Stand Up For Ukraine' event in Poland's capital of Warsaw on Saturday. “I have so much admiration for our brave Ukrainian friends fighting against this. They are fighting our war."

“It's our fight that they are in, because it's not only Ukraine fighting for its sovereignty and integrity, but they're also fighting for the question whether humanity will prevail, or whether heinous devastation will be the result," von der Leyen said. 

She traveled to Kyiv on Friday along with EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials. 

Zelensky and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also spoke at the 'Stand Up For Ukraine' event.

Zelensky praised the courage of his compatriots and reiterated his call for additional military and financial assistance.

"Russian leadership failed to account for one fact. The fact that it attacks the other largest country in the world, Ukraine, the largest by its courage. We are not afraid of massive missile strikes, Russian aircrafts and never-ending tank columns," he said said. 

“We're here today to answer President Zelensky's call for the international community to ​mobilize in support for Ukrainian refugees and all Ukrainians," said Trudeau. 

9:42 a.m. ET, April 9, 2022

The European Union is resuming its diplomatic presence in Kyiv. Italy will follow

From CNN's Radina Gigova in Atlanta and Nicola Ruotolo in Rome

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 8.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 8. (Adam Schreck/AP)

The European Union is resuming its diplomatic presence in Kyiv after moving it temporarily to Poland following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the bloc announced Friday. 

EU Ambassador to Ukraine Matti Maasikas "is returning to Kyiv to enhance EU presence and ensure support to our Ukrainian partners," the bloc said on its official Twitter account Saturday. Maasikas expressed his own positive thoughts on Twitter.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell traveled to Ukraine on Friday to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukrainian officials.

"With this visit, the European Union is returning to Kyiv," Borrell tweeted Friday. "And I mean this literally: our Head of Delegation is back here, so that we can work even more directly and more closely with our Ukrainian partners, ensuring support for Ukrainians."

Italy also intends to reopen its embassy in Kyiv after Easter, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said Saturday. 

"Ambassador [Pier Francesco] Zazo and our embassy have never left Ukraine — it is in Lviv, in the west of the country. But now the time has come to give a big signal to the Ukrainians ... and thank them for kicking out the Russian troops from Kyiv," Di Maio said speaking to the press in Volla, near Naples.

The foreign minister said some Italian citizens have remained in Kyiv and "are safer thanks to the Ukrainian resistance."

Slovenia has also reopened its embassy in Kyiv since March 28, according to Slovenia's Foreign Ministry.