Dnipro airport destroyed by Russian attack, Regional military governor says
From CNN staff
Valentyn Reznichenko, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration, said the airport in the east-central Ukrainian city of Dnipro had been destroyed in a Russian strike, without providing extensive details.
"And one more attack on the airport in Dnipro," he said "There is nothing left of it already. The airport and the infrastructure nearby have been destroyed. But rockets keep flying."
Reznichenko said information about casualties was being clarified.
The airport was hit previously by Russian forces. Reznichenko said on March 15 that a Russian missile strike had put the runway out of use and damaged a terminal building.
Lesia Vasylenko, a Ukrainian MP, said on Twitter that the latest strike "leaves no infrastructure and destroys everything around the airport. Such a shame, as the airport was completely renovated just last year. All the investments and all the efforts completely wrecked."
8:34 a.m. ET, April 10, 2022
Pope Francis calls for Easter ceasefire and "real negotiations" for peace in Ukraine
From CNN's Nicola Ruotolo in Rome and Radina Gigova in Atlanta
Pope Francis called Sunday for a ceasefire in Ukraine for Easter, and urged "real negotiations" for a lasting peace.
As he led a Palm Sunday service in St. Peter's Square, Francis condemned the war in Ukraine, calling it "a war that every day puts before our eyes brutal massacres and cruelty committed against unarmed civilians." It was the first Palm Sunday service that members of the public had been able to attend in the square since 2019, after two years of Covid-19 restrictions.
"Put away your weapons, start an Easter truce, but not to reload your weapons and start fighting again, no," the Pope said. "A truce to achieve peace, through real negotiations, also willing to make some sacrifices for the good of the people."
"In fact, what victory will be the one who plants a flag on a pile of rubble?" he added. "Nothing is impossible for God."
In his homily on Sunday, Francis condemned "the folly of war," and referenced those killed in the fighting as well as the many refugees fleeing violence.
"Christ is once more nailed to the Cross in mothers who mourn the unjust death of husbands and sons," the Pope said. "He is crucified in refugees who flee from bombs with children in their arms."
He added: "He is crucified in the elderly left alone to die; in young people deprived of a future; in soldiers sent to kill their brothers and sisters."
8:38 a.m. ET, April 10, 2022
Regional official: Locals rally in Russian-occupied Kherson
From CNN Staff
Yurii Sobolevskyi, deputy head of the Kherson Regional Council, said locals held a "peaceful rally" Sunday in the Russian-occupied city of Kherson that was dispersed by Russian forces.
"Today in Kherson a peaceful rally took place in front of the Yubileiny concert hall to commemorate the victims of Russian aggression," he said on Facebook. "As expected, the occupiers dispersed it."
He added that locals were participating in rallies at "great risk," saying locals faced intimidation and the threat of disappearance.
CNN was not immediately able to verify the rally or its turnout. Ukrainians opposed to Russian occupation have held a series of rallies in cities in southern Ukraine.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Sunday said Russians in the town of Nova Kakhovka in Kherson region had used local printing houses to prepare brochures, booklets and posters in preparation for an apparent referendum on the establishment of a so-called "Kherson People's Republic."
Separatists in eastern Ukraine held referendums in 2014 on the formation of "people's republics," in voting that was dismissed by Ukraine and Western countries as a sham.
Serhii Khlan, a member of the Kherson regional council, said Russian sympathizers holding Russian tricolor flags had tried to organize a rally in the city of Nova Kakhovka, posting a photo on Facebook that he said showed a very small turnout compared with a pro-Ukrainian rally.
"This is all you need to know about the probability of a Kherson People's Republic in the Kherson region," he said. "This will not happen, because this is Ukraine!"
8:46 a.m. ET, April 10, 2022
Zelensky says he discussed additional Russia sanctions with German Chancellor Scholz
From CNN's Radina Gigova in Atlanta
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday he spoke on the phone with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the two discussed possible new sanctions on Russia, as well as defense and financial support for Ukraine.
"Had a phone conversation with @OlafScholz. We emphasized that all perpetrators of war crimes must be identified and punished," Zelensky said on his official Twitter account.
"We also discussed anti-Russian sanctions, defense and financial support for Ukraine," he said.
Read the tweet:
7:55 a.m. ET, April 10, 2022
Russia and Ukraine conduct third prisoner swap, officials say
From CNN’s Amy Cassidy and Nathan Hodge
Russia and Ukraine carried out a third prisoner swap on Saturday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk announced on Telegram.
“Twelve of our service personnel are coming home, including one female officer. We have also secured the release of 14 civilians, including nine women. In total, 26 of our people,” she wrote.
Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova confirmed the swap on Sunday, writing on Telegram: “Among them are four employees of Rosatom and our valiant servicemen. This morning they landed on Russian soil. Family and friends will see them soon!”
Among the Ukrainian prisoners was Hanna Havrylina, mayor of Hremiach village in the northern Chernihiv region, according to Vereshchuk, who posted a picture of herself with Havrylina on Telegram on Sunday.
“She is back home as a result of yesterday’s prisoner exchange,” said Vereshchuk. “A brave and resilient woman. A true leader of her community. Yesterday I had the honor of meeting Ms. Havrylina in person.”
7:36 a.m. ET, April 10, 2022
Zelensky-Putin meeting possible, but only after expected battle for the Donbas, says Ukrainian official
From CNN's Kostan Nechyporenko in Vasylkiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would likely meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin only after an anticipated major battle for the eastern Donbas region, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Sunday.
"Ukraine is ready for big battles," Podolyak said in televised remarks. "Ukraine must win them, particularly in Donbas. And after that, Ukraine will get a more powerful negotiating position, from which it can dictate certain conditions. After that, the presidents will meet. That may take two or three weeks."
Ukrainian officials have said they anticipate a major offensive in the Donbas by Russia, which has announced a shift in military strategy focusing on the country's east.
7:18 a.m. ET, April 10, 2022
US police agencies are sending protective gear to Ukrainian civilians, in what experts call an unprecedented move
From CNN's Emma Tucker and Zachary Cohen
The governors of Iowa and Nebraska announced last week that they will donate police protective gear, including military-grade equipment such as helmets and vests, to Ukraine to help civilians defend themselves against Russia's invasion.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said his state would send 550 pieces of protective gear, while Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said her state's department of public safety and 18 law enforcement agencies would provide Ukraine with 860 pieces of gear.
The agencies join a growing list of police departments -- from California to Ohio to Vermont -- that are donating non-lethal police gear to aid Ukrainian civilians, according to a CNN review of state-by-state efforts and interviews with some of those involved.
Among the agencies contacted by CNN, and the non-government groups gathering supplies, none have said they're collecting weapons or ammunition.
Many of the police departments involved in these efforts are working with charity organizations and former members of the US military. Some sources with direct knowledge of the varied efforts -- but who are not involved -- spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity due to concerns about potential legal questions the initiative could raise.
It's unprecedented, experts say, for US law enforcement agencies to donate police protective equipment and military-grade gear to a foreign country involved in an ongoing war. The effort also raises questions about the roles of police departments and whether, as domestic law enforcement agencies, they should send equipment to a foreign conflict outside of their jurisdiction.
Because there's no central coordinating group, there's not an easy way to say what's being shipped or whether it's subject to export regulations.
The Ukrainian American Coordinating Council (UACC), a non-profit organization, is at the center of one effort to send regulated, military-grade and police protective items to Ukraine, including ballistic helmets, hard plates, soft armor inserts and vests, the group says.
Ukrainian refugees in Poland get mental health support
By Dana Bash and Abbie Sharpe in Warsaw, Poland
Eight-year-old Yana was going to gymnastics class six days a week at home near Odessa, Ukraine.
Now, she can only practice by herself on a patch of open floor in a refugee center here in the Polish capital.
Yana is one of millions of Ukrainian children coping with change: forced to leave her home, her passions and her father behind in the aftermath of Russian President Vladimir Putin's brutal invasion of their country.
"There were explosions there and stuff like that," she said quietly, recalling that she heard more than she actually saw.
"I'm just not afraid of it very much," she added.
Her mother, Liudmyla Bats, said Yana is very strong and said she hopes that when her daughter tells her she is doing OK, she really means it.
But sitting in her bathrobe after a welcome shower at the Arena Ursynów, a sports complex now used to temporarily house Ukrainian refugees, Bats talked about her own trauma.
"Even here, every time when I hear some sounds and when the airplane is flying, I'm afraid," she said.
Bats and her children are benefiting from the well-documented generosity of the Poles -- shelter, food, even a table well-stocked with pencils and paper for Yana to use while attending virtual school on her phone.
But less known is the help Polish leaders and private organizations are providing Ukrainian refugees dealing with what we can't see: the mental health of the mostly women and children who crossed the border.
Russia announces strikes in Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv and Kharkiv regions
From CNN's Nathan Hodge in Lviv
Russian forces have carried out missile strikes in Ukraine's Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv and Kharkiv regions, the Russian Ministry of Defense said Sunday.
"During the night in the village of Zvonetske -- Dnipropetrovsk region -- high-precision sea-based missiles destroyed the headquarters and base of the Dnipro nationalist battalion, where reinforcements from foreign mercenaries arrived the other day," Russian defense ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.
"High-precision air-launched missiles in the area of the settlement of Stara Bohdanivka, Mykolaiv region and at the Chuhuiv military airfield [in Kharkiv region] destroyed launchers of Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems identified by reconnaissance."
CNN could not immediately verify those claims.
Earlier Sunday, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration, Valentyn Reznichenko, said there had been "sirens almost every hour" and that a Russian strike on the regional capital of Dnipro had destroyed infrastructure.
The Russian military routinely claims that it is targeting "foreign mercenaries" and "nationalist" formations in Ukraine as part of its public-relations messaging around the war in Ukraine and denies targeting civilian infrastructure.