April 13, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Helen Regan, Matias Grez, Jeevan Ravindran, Laura Smith-Spark, Maureen Chowdhury and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, April 14, 2022
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5:22 a.m. ET, April 13, 2022

UN records 1,892 civilian deaths in Ukraine since beginning of war

A view of a cross and coffin prepared for a funeral of a civilian killed by the confilict in Bucha, Ukraine, on April 12.
A view of a cross and coffin prepared for a funeral of a civilian killed by the confilict in Bucha, Ukraine, on April 12. (Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images)

At least 1,892 civilians have been killed and 2,558 injured since the war in Ukraine started in February, according to the United Nations.  

The number of recorded deaths includes 478 men, 308 women, 30 girls, and 52 boys, as well as 71 children and 953 adults whose sex is yet unknown, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said in a statement Tuesday.

“Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes,” it said.

The actual casualty figures could be considerably higher due to a delay in reports from some locations, the OHCHR added. These include areas such as the besieged southeastern city of Mariupol, where "figures are being further corroborated."

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine has reported a higher number of child fatalities. In a statement Wednesday, it said 191 children had been killed and more than 349 injured since the Russian invasion began.

6:48 a.m. ET, April 13, 2022

It's noon in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

A volunteer rests after loading plastic bags that contained corpses of civilians killed by Russian soldiers, in Bucha, located on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 12.
A volunteer rests after loading plastic bags that contained corpses of civilians killed by Russian soldiers, in Bucha, located on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 12. (Rodrigo Abd/AP)

US President Joe Biden has described the atrocities in Ukraine as "genocide" for the first time, saying "it's become clearer and clearer that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is just trying to wipe out even the idea of being Ukrainian."

French President Emmanuel Macron declined to refer to Russian actions in Ukraine as "genocide," however, saying: “I would be careful with such terms today because these two peoples [Russians and Ukrainians] are brothers.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials say nearly 200 children have been killed and more than 300 others injured since Russian's invasion began.

Here are the latest developments on the war in Ukraine:

  • Questions over chemical weapon use: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he cannot say with certainty if chemical weapons were used in the besieged city of Mariupol. His comments follow unverified reports of a possible such strike in the city. The US and the UK said they were working to verify the details but have not confirmed their use.
  • Biden labels atrocities "genocide": The US President said the atrocities being uncovered in Ukraine qualify as genocide, a designation he’d previously avoided but said he now believes is warranted as scenes of devastation emerge from towns previously overrun by Russian troops. It was a dramatic rhetorical escalation in the US view of what is happening on the ground and garnered near-immediate praise from Zelensky. The US government rarely uses the term genocide.
  • Macron declines to use term "genocide": In an interview with public broadcaster France 2, the French President rejected the use of the term "genocide" to describe Russian atrocities in Ukraine. “I want to continue to try, as much as I can, to stop this war and rebuild peace. I am not sure that an escalation of rhetoric serves that cause," he said.
  • Nearly 200 children killed in conflict: Some 191 children have been killed and 349 others injured in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, Ukrainian prosecutors said in a news release on Wednesday. The burnt bodies of a 16-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy were found in the villages of Borodianka, northwest of Kyiv, and Korolivka, in western Ukraine, the statement added.
  • No evacuation routes opened: There will be no evacuation corridors for civilians in Ukraine on Wednesday, the country's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a statement. Vereshchuk blamed Russian troops for creating a dangerous situation along the routes.
  • Russia begins redeploying forces: Satellite images captured on Monday show Russian forces redeploying and moving into eastern Ukraine. The deployments consist of dozens of armored vehicles, troops with tents and support equipment, the images appear to show.
  • Negotiations flounder: Putin said peace talks with Ukraine had hit "a dead end" and vowed he "will not stop military operations" until Moscow succeeds. He appeared next to his ally, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. According to Zelensky, "negotiations are extremely difficult" but "they are ongoing."
  • Putin ally held: Viktor Medvedchuk, a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician and oligarch, has been detained in a "special operation," Zelensky said. The President has proposed swapping Medvedchuk for captured Ukrainian prisoners of war. Prior to Russia's invasion, Medvedchuk had faced allegations of treason in Ukraine.
  • European presidents to meet Zelensky: The presidents of the Baltic states and Poland are on their way to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, to meet with Zelensky.
  • New US military assistance: The US is expected to announce it is sending hundreds of millions of dollars in new military assistance to Ukraine soon, according to two sources familiar with the package. The final amount is expected to be close to $700 million.
  • On the ground: The Ukrainian military reported heavy fighting in the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia on Tuesday, saying a five-hour battle took place in the Polohy district as Ukrainian forces tried to liberate the area. Polohy is northeast of the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol. The Pentagon assesses that Mariupol remains contested amid Russia’s bombardment.
3:48 a.m. ET, April 13, 2022

Russian Embassy in US says comments on possibility of Moscow using chemical weapons are "provocative"

From CNN’s Clare Sebastian and Sophie Jeong

The Russian Embassy in Washington said statements by US State Department spokesman Ned Price about the possibility of Russia using chemical weapons in Ukraine were "provocative" and "idle," in comments posted on Facebook late Tuesday.

"We took note of the provocative statements made by Press Secretary of the U.S. Department of State Ned #Price at a briefing on April 12,” the embassy said.
“Ned Price once again distinguished himself by his idle talk, not substantiated by a single piece of evidence.”

The embassy said the Russian armed forces “do not and cannot have any chemical warfare agents at their disposal because our country eliminated all chemical weapons stockpiles back in 2017.”

“The information confirmed by the Russian Defence Ministry on the preparation of provocations by Ukrainian radicals with the use of chemicals is disturbing. We also have questions about the origin of these substances,” the embassy added. 

The comments were in response to Price saying the US is “concerned" that Russia "may seek to resort to chemical weapons,” during a briefing on Tuesday.

3:47 a.m. ET, April 13, 2022

Macron rejects use of the term "genocide" to describe Russian atrocities in Ukraine

From CNN’s Simon Bouvier in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at a campaign event in Strasbourg, France, on April 12.
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at a campaign event in Strasbourg, France, on April 12. (Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron refused to describe Russian actions in Ukraine as "genocide" in a television interview with public broadcaster France 2.

Asked whether he, like US President Joe Biden, would use the term "genocide" for the killing of Ukrainians by the Russian military, Macron said: “I would be careful with such terms today because these two peoples [Russians and Ukrainians] are brothers.”

“I want to continue to try, as much as I can, to stop this war and rebuild peace. I am not sure that an escalation of rhetoric serves that cause,” he added.

“What we can say for sure is that the situation is unacceptable and that these are war crimes. We are living through war crimes that are unprecedented on our soil — our European soil.”

The French President, who is currently running for re-election, also noted France’s cooperation with Ukraine to investigate the alleged war crimes.

“Russia has unilaterally started an extremely brutal war, it has now been established that the Russian army has committed war crimes and we must now find those who are responsible,” Macron said.

Some context: Biden said Tuesday the atrocities being uncovered in Ukraine qualify as genocide, saying "it’s become clearer and clearer that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is just trying to wipe out even the idea of being Ukrainian."

It was a dramatic rhetorical escalation in the US view of what is happening on the ground in Ukraine, which Biden has previously deemed war crimes.

The US designation does not carry any legal ramifications but does carry significant weight as Biden seeks to rally countries behind a strategy of isolating and punishing Moscow.

Other world leaders, such as the UK's Boris Johnson and Poland's Andrzej Duda, have also used the word "genocide" to describe Russian actions in Ukraine.

3:25 a.m. ET, April 13, 2022

Twitter users are exposing China's pro-Russian sentiment, and Beijing is not happy

From CNN's Simone McCarthy

Editor’s Note: A version of this story appeared in CNN’s Meanwhile in China newsletter, a three-times-a-week update exploring what you need to know about the country’s rise and how it impacts the world. Sign up here.

Anonymous Twitter users are exposing the extreme nationalism and pro-Russian sentiment circulating online in China — and Beijing is not happy about it.

Scores of screen-grabbed posts from China’s most popular social media platforms have been translated and shared on Twitter in recent weeks, making revealing reading for Western audiences who typically don’t access these sites.

Among those posts: a prominent military blog falsely claiming a Russian attack on a train station in Kramatorsk was actually carried out by Ukraine, a well known media commentator dismissing the atrocities in Bucha, and a vlogger with hundreds of thousands of followers using a misogynistic term for Ukraine.

The posts appear courtesy of anonymous Twitter users who say their aim is to expose Western audiences to the true extent of pro-Russian or nationalistic content on China’s heavily censored platforms.

Read the full story:

2:31 a.m. ET, April 13, 2022

No evacuation routes open in Ukraine on Wednesday, deputy prime minister says

From CNN's Maria Kostenko in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

There will be no evacuation corridors for civilians in Ukraine on Wednesday, the country's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a statement.

Vereshchuk blamed Russian troops for creating a dangerous situation along the routes.

"Unfortunately, we do not open them today," she said. "In Zaporizhzhia region, the occupiers blocked evacuation buses, and in Luhansk region, they are violating the ceasefire."

Vereshchuk said Russian forces "not only disregard the norms of international humanitarian law, but they also cannot properly control their people on the ground."

"All this creates such a level of danger on the routes that we are forced to refrain from opening humanitarian corridors today," she said.
2:25 a.m. ET, April 13, 2022

Nearly 200 children killed since Russian invasion began, Ukrainian officials say

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva in Lviv

Rescuers search for victims in the rubble of two high-rise apartment buildings in Borodianka on April 11.
Rescuers search for victims in the rubble of two high-rise apartment buildings in Borodianka on April 11. (Mykhaylo Palinchak/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

Some 191 children have been killed and 349 others injured in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, Ukrainian prosecutors said in a news release on Wednesday.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office said several children have died in recent days due to shelling in northeastern and southern Ukraine

The burnt bodies of a 16-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy had been found in the villages of Borodianka, northwest of Kyiv, and Korolivka, in western Ukraine, the statement added.

Children are also among the casualties from shelling in the northeastern city of Kharkiv, the statement said. A 15-year-old girl was also seriously injured when a munition hit a residential building in the southern Kherson region.

2:14 a.m. ET, April 13, 2022

Satellite images show Russian forces deploying in eastern Ukraine

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Deployment of troops and vehicles seen in the west of Soloti, Russia on April 11.
Deployment of troops and vehicles seen in the west of Soloti, Russia on April 11. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

Satellite images captured by Maxar Technologies on Monday show Russian forces redeploying and moving into eastern Ukraine.

A number of military deployments were observed along a major highway and the corridor that leads from the towns of Soloti and Valuyki in western Russia's Belgorod region, toward the Ukraine border.

The deployments consist of dozens of armored vehicles, troops with tents and support equipment, the images appear to show. They can be seen in the satellite images in fields and farms west of Soloti and near the Russian towns of Dubrovka, Biriuch and Leonovka, which is about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the Ukraine border. 

A Russian military convoy is seen in Bilokurakyne, Ukraine on April 11.
A Russian military convoy is seen in Bilokurakyne, Ukraine on April 11. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

Across the border in eastern Ukraine, several convoys of military equipment were seen along a highway near Vilkhuvatka. Additional military convoys were also seen on Monday in and near the Donbas region near the Ukrainian towns of Bilokurakyne and Kyslikva, according to Maxar.

A Russian military convoy is seen in Kyslivka, Ukraine on April 11.
A Russian military convoy is seen in Kyslivka, Ukraine on April 11. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies)

Together, the convoys contain more than 200 vehicles and include tanks, armored personnel carriers, towed artillery and support equipment, Maxar said.

Some context: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Russia would launch full-scale combat actions in the east, but said: "We are ready." It comes as Russian troops pour into Ukraine, with a large column of military vehicles also seen heading in the direction of Donbas.

2:00 a.m. ET, April 13, 2022

Presidents of Poland and Baltic states on their way to Kyiv to meet Zelensky

From CNN's Teele Rebane and Sophie Jeong

The presidents of the Baltic states and Poland are on their way to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The party includes Polish President Andrzej Duda, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda, Latvian President Egils Levits and Estonian President Alar Karis, according to a Twitter post from Karis on Wednesday.

They will meet with Zelensky during their visit to "show strong support to Ukrainian people," Karis said.

Key topics to be discussed in the meeting will be providing aid to Ukrainian civilians and defenders and the investigation of alleged war crimes, according to Estonia's presidential office.

President Karis will return to Estonia on Thursday, his presidential office said in a statement.