April 14, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Maureen Chowdhury, Adrienne Vogt, Meg Wagner, Helen Regan, Travis Caldwell and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, April 15, 2022
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10:02 a.m. ET, April 14, 2022

Pentagon: "There was an explosion" on the Russian warship but US can't assess at this point if missile hit it

From CNN's Jamie Crawford

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby speaks with CNN on Thursday.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby speaks with CNN on Thursday. (CNN)

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told CNN that “there was an explosion” on the Russian cruiser Moskva, but added the United States cannot assess at this point if the ship was hit by a missile.

Russia said its warship "remains afloat" after a fire detonated ammunition on board, while Ukrainian officials said the Moskva was hit by Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles and has sunk.

“We’re not quite exactly sure what happened here. We do assess that there was an explosion — at least one explosion on this cruiser — a fairly major one at that, that has caused extensive damage to the ship,” Kirby said.  

Kirby said the damaged Russian warship is afloat and "making her own way across the Black Sea."

“We assess that the ship is able to make its own way, and it is doing that; it's heading more towards now we think the east. We think it's probably going to be putting in at Sevastopol for repairs, but we don’t know what exactly caused that,” Kirby added.

Kirby said the ship had been operating with a few other Russian vessels about 60 miles (about 96 kilometers) south of Odesa.

"The explosion was sizable enough that we picked up indications that other naval vessels around her tried to come to her assistance, and so eventually that wasn’t apparently needed. So she is making her own way across the Black Sea and we’ll continue to try and monitor this as best we can," he added.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Thursday that the battleship was badly damaged on Wednesday as a result of either “incompetence” or a successful attack by the Ukrainians.

“We’ve been in touch with the Ukrainians overnight who said they struck the ship with anti-ship missiles,” Sullivan told an audience at the Economic Club of Washington, DC “We don’t have the capacity at this point to independently verify that, but certainly the way that this unfolded is a big blow to Russia.”

“This is their flagship, the ‘Moscow,’ and they’ve now been forced to admit that it’s been badly damaged,” Sullivan continued. “And they’ve had to kind of choose between two stories. One story is that it was just incompetence, and the other is that they came under attack. And neither is a particularly good outcome for them.”

Sullivan said that when the president went to NATO a few weeks ago, he indicated to allies that the US was looking to facilitate the supply of coastal defense and anti-ship capabilities to the Ukrainians “and that is being actively worked.”

CNN's Natasha Bertrand contributed reporting to this post.

8:56 a.m. ET, April 14, 2022

Here's what's in the new US security package for Ukraine

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

US President Joe Biden speaks on Tuesday, April 12.
US President Joe Biden speaks on Tuesday, April 12. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky the US was sending his nation an additional $800 million worth of weapons, ammunition and other security assistance.

It comes as US officials warn of a potentially bloody new phase in the ongoing war, focused on the eastern regions of Ukraine as Russia withdraws its troops from the area around the capital Kyiv.

"The Ukrainian military has used the weapons we are providing to devastating effect. As Russia prepares to intensify its attack in the Donbas region, the United States will continue to provide Ukraine with the capabilities to defend itself," Biden said in a statement.

Biden detailed the new announcement in a midday telephone call with Zelensky that lasted for about an hour.

According to the Pentagon, the US is providing Ukraine with:

  • 11 Mi-17 helicopters
  • 300 Switchblade drones
  • 18 Howitzers and protective equipment to guard against chemical attacks
  • 200 M113 armored personnel carriers
  • 10 counter-artillery radars
  • 500 Javelin anti-tank missiles
  • 30,000 sets of body armor and helmets

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the $800 million package was intended to "meet urgent Ukrainian needs for today's fight" as Russian forces shift the focus of their attack to eastern and southern Ukraine. He said the weapons would begin being sent to Ukraine "as soon as possible," noting that previous security assistance had been sent in as little as four to five days after security packages were approved.

As of Tuesday night, two sources said helicopters had been removed from the assistance list, though Biden said in his statement they were ultimately included. Ukraine had initially asked the White House at the last minute not to send the helicopters, indicating they wanted more time to assess whether they'd be useful. But during Wednesday's phone call, Zelensky told Biden his country needed them, so they were put back in the package, a source familiar with the matter said.

The Mi-17 helicopters that were added to the package had been earmarked for Afghanistan, Kirby said.

The $800 million shipment brings the total amount of military assistance the US has provided to Ukraine to more than $3 billion. Ukraine's 2020 defense budget was only about $6 billion, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. In less than two months, the US has provided nearly half of that in security assistance, underscoring the pace at which the White House has worked to send in weaponry and equipment.

Read more about the military aid here.

11:15 a.m. ET, April 14, 2022

The war in Ukraine could be devastating for global food security

By CNN's David McKenzie and Matias Grez in London

Employees package bread at a bakery in Khartoum's al-Matar district, on March 17.
Employees package bread at a bakery in Khartoum's al-Matar district, on March 17. (Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)

CNN visited the Philips Atakele Bakery in Lagos, Nigeria where the intense work was, until recently, profitable and worthwhile.

However, rising inflation in Nigeria and the war in Ukraine could significantly impact production and soaring costs mean the bakery can only produce half of what it used to.

"Entirely this year, precisely around the time of the bombing of Ukraine, it has affected the supply of yeast which has affected our primary item of production which is white wheat loaf," Abigail Olufunmilayo Phillips, the bakery's manager, told CNN. The cost of flour is also volatile, she said.

"Our flow has been very expensive, the prices are changing constantly."

According to the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine provide around 30% of the wheat and barley consumed globally.

Russia is also one of the world's largest producers of fertilizer. If the war drags on, economists warn that fertilizer costs could stop some farmers from expanding their crops to make up the shortfall of supply.

On the field of battle in Ukraine, farmers will struggle to plant crops and Ukrainian export ports remain blockaded by Russian warships.

While the United Nations forecasts that grain and vegetable oil prices increases could affect countries globally, there is particular concern about several countries in Africa, countries that are heavily dependent on Russian and Ukrainian imports for their food security.

"The war is starting at one of the worst times," Wandile Sihlobo, chief economist at the Agriculture Business Chamber of South Africa, told CNN.

We were already in a recovery mode. Apart from that there were already inflationary pressures across the world.

"Africans are spending a lot on fuel and a lot on food and at this current moment this is a tough time for the continent."


8:16 a.m. ET, April 14, 2022

Kremlin says condition for potential Putin-Zelensky summit is an agreement document

From CNN staff

The condition for a possible meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is an agreement document ready for the two leaders to sign, the Kremlin said Thursday.

“In principle, President [Putin] never refused such a meeting [with President Zelensky], but certain conditions must be prepared for it, namely, the text of the [agreement] document [to sign],” Peskov told reporters on a regular conference call.

“For the time being, there are no updates to report here,” Peskov added.

Since the start of Russia's invasion, Zelensky has repeatedly called for talks with the Russian president, but there have been no talks at the highest level so far. 

8:01 a.m. ET, April 14, 2022

Netherlands instructs firms not to pay for Russian gas in rubles

From CNN's Benjamin Brown in London

A view of the Liquified Natural Gas import terminal in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Feb. 23.
A view of the Liquified Natural Gas import terminal in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Feb. 23. (Federico Gambarini/picture alliance/Getty Images)

The Dutch government has instructed energy companies in the Netherlands not to pay for Russian gas in rubles in accordance with European Union sanctions, spokesperson for the economics ministry Pieter ten Bruggencate told CNN Thursday.

The Dutch government had previously made clear that payments in rubles would violate sanctions but reiterated its instructions to firms after ongoing Russian calls for payment in rubles, ten Bruggencate added.

Some background: Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country would seek payment in rubles for natural gas sold to "unfriendly" countries, and British and Dutch wholesale gas prices jumped after the announcement.

At the time, a spokesperson for Dutch gas supplier Eneco, which buys 15% of its gas from Russian gas giant Gazprom's German subsidiary Wingas GmbH, said it had a long-term contract denominated in euros and could not "imagine" agreeing to change the terms.

7:31 a.m. ET, April 14, 2022

UN warns world is on the brink of a "perfect storm" as Ukraine war escalates multiple global crises

From CNN's Matias Grez in London

The United Nations Secretary-General has warned that the world is on the brink of a "perfect storm" as the war in Ukraine exacerbates an already struggling global economy.

In a press release Wednesday, the UN said the war could lead to a "three-dimensional crisis" of food, energy and finance -- areas that have already been hit hard by Covid-19 and climate change.

"We are now facing a perfect storm that threatens to devastate the economies of developing countries," António Guterres said.

"The people of Ukraine cannot bear the violence being inflicted on them.

And the most vulnerable people around the globe cannot become collateral damage in yet another disaster for which they bear no responsibility."

The report says Russia and Ukraine provide around 30% of the wheat and barley consumed globally, with Russia also the world's top natural gas exporter, second-largest oil exporter and a significant producer of fertilizers.

The UN says up to 1.7 billion people in 107 economies are likely to feel the impact of at least one of the three crises, with those in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean particularly at risk.

A UN brief proposes numerous short to long term recommendations to help avert global crises, including moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy, G20 countries and banks providing funding to the least developed nations, and limiting export restrictions on food.

"We need to pull developing countries back from the financial brink," Guterres added. "The international financial system has deep pockets.

Above all, this war must end. We need to silence the guns and accelerate negotiations towards peace, now.

"For the people of Ukraine. For the people of the region. And for the people of the world."

7:45 a.m. ET, April 14, 2022

Russian cruiser Moskva "remains afloat," Russian Ministry of Defense says

From CNN's Nathan Hodge in Lviv

Russia has said its warship "remains afloat" after a fire detonated ammunition on board, provoking conflicting reports from Russian and Ukrainian authorities.

The Moskva guided-missile cruiser's "main missile armament was not damaged," the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement Thursday, adding that "there is no open fire. Explosion of ammunition has been stopped."

The ministry said "the source of the ignition on the cruiser Moskva has been localized," and the cause of the fire was still being established on the flagship of its Black Sea fleet.

On Wednesday, Ukraine's regional administrator from Odesa state, Maxim Marchenko, claimed in a Telegram post that Ukrainian forces hit the ship with "Neptune" missiles, causing serious damage to it.

Ukraine's Operational Command South also said in a statement Thursday that the Moskva was hit by Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles. 

"In the Black Sea operational zone, Neptune anti-ship cruise missiles hit the cruiser Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet -- it received significant damage," the statement said. "A fire broke out. Other units of the ship's group tried to help, but a storm and a powerful explosion of ammunition overturned the cruiser and it began to sink."

However, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed Wednesday that the warship Moskva was evacuated after a fire onboard detonated ammunition, seriously damaging the vessel, according to Russian state media.

Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said "we can't figure out what happened," suggesting confusion over what occurred.

In Thursday's statement, the Russian ministry said the "crew of the cruiser was evacuated to ships of the Black Sea Fleet in the area," and measures were being take to tow the cruiser to port.

The Russian statement gave no information about casualties. 

Due to large storms over the Black Sea obscuring satellite imagery and sensory satellite data, CNN has not been able to visually confirm the ship has been hit.

But analysts who spoke to CNN noted that a fire on board such a ship can lead to a catastrophic explosion that could sink it, and said it strikes hard at the heart of the Russian navy as well as national pride -- comparable to the US Navy losing a battleship during World War II or an aircraft carrier today.

According to the Defense Ministry, the Moskva is a missile cruiser that was built and commissioned in 1982.

CNN's Olga Voitovych in Lviv contributed reporting to this post.

7:00 a.m. ET, April 14, 2022

It's 2 p.m. in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

The Russian Navy cruiser Moskva, bottom, is seen in port in Sevastopol, Crimea, on April 7.
The Russian Navy cruiser Moskva, bottom, is seen in port in Sevastopol, Crimea, on April 7. (Maxar Technologies)

Today marks 50 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and there has been a marked shift in Moscow's approach. Ukrainian officials have warned for days they expect a major offensive by Russian forces in the eastern Donbas region.

French military spokesperson Col. Pascal Lanni said Wednesday Russia is potentially preparing for a "large-scale offensive" in the east in the coming days.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Russian warship evacuated: Conflicting reports have emerged from the Russians and Ukrainians about an incident involving a Russian warship in the Black Sea. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed the Moskva was evacuated after a fire onboard detonated ammunition, seriously damaging the vessel, according to Russian state media. But Odesa state regional administrator Maxim Marchenko claimed Ukrainian forces hit the ship with "Neptune" missiles, causing serious damage to it.
  • Bridge destroyed as Russians crossed: A Ukraine special-operations unit destroyed a bridge as a Russian convoy crossed it while it headed toward Izium in southeastern Kharkiv region, the Command of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed in a statement Thursday. They said the Ukrainian unit destroyed the bridge with an explosive charge as a convoy of a Tiger armored vehicle and several trucks crossed it.
  • Nearly 200 children now killed: Some 197 children have died and 351 have been injured during the war in Ukraine, the country's prosecutor general said Thursday, citing figures from juvenile prosecutors. Bodies of children aged four and 10 were found along with the burnt body of a 17-year-old boy in Hostomel and Bucha, officials said.
  • New, heavier weapons: For the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US is providing Kyiv with high-power capabilities, including Mi-17 helicopters and 18 155 mm Howitzer cannons. The new weapons package represents the starkest sign to date that the war in Ukraine is shifting, to deal with the type of fighting that’s likely to take place in the Donbas region — open terrain rather than the close fighting in urban and wooded areas. The EU has also approved an additional 500 million euros for military equipment for Ukraine.
  • Evacuations resume: Nine evacuation routes for civilians to leave besieged Ukrainian cities have been agreed for Thursday, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a Telegram post. Vereshchuk said there were no evacuation routes on Wednesday, adding Russians blocked buses in the Zaporizhzhia region and violated the ceasefire in the Luhansk region.
  • The fight for Mariupol: The commanders of two Ukrainian units defending besieged Mariupol said they were able to join forces, as Russia claimed advances in the city. It comes as Ukrainian forces remain blockaded inside Mariupol. The Russian military has repeatedly claimed to have taken strategic positions in the city, but has also faced stiff resistance. On Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said Mariupol's commercial seaport had been captured. CNN was not independently able to verify that claim.
5:51 a.m. ET, April 14, 2022

Discussions with Russia "ongoing," Ukraine presidential advisor says, with focus on guarantors

From CNN's Olga Voitovych in Lviv

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak speaks to the press in this file photo from March 29, after the first talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Istanbul.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak speaks to the press in this file photo from March 29, after the first talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Istanbul. (Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said in televised remarks that consultations were "ongoing" on a potential roadmap to peace, but added that a sticking point remains the number of countries that would act as security guarantors for Ukraine.

"Consultations on what legal obligations need to be made, how it will be in terms of a multilateral treaty are ongoing now," he said in televised remarks.

Podolyak added: "We have to understand that the Russians categorically do not want to increase the number of countries that can be guarantors of security. It is important for us to have as many of those countries as possible."

Some background: At a recent meeting in Istanbul between Ukrainian and Russian teams, negotiators hammered out very preliminary agreements about the possibility of neutral status for Ukraine, but protected by international security guarantees.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week described that negotiating process as being at a "dead end," but Podolyak said work has continued.