April 24, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Joe Ruiz, Maureen Chowdhury, Mike Hayes, Simone McCarthy, Amy Woodyatt, Amir Vera, Helen Regan and Andrew Raine, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, April 25, 2022
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12:30 a.m. ET, April 24, 2022

Ukrainian intelligence: Russia plans to conscript Ukrainian civilians from occupied regions

From CNN's Hira Humayun

Ukrainian intelligence has accused Russia of planning to conscript Ukrainian civilians from the occupied regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, according to a Saturday UK military intelligence update. 

“This would follow similar prior conscription practices in the Russian-occupied Donbas and Crimea,” the statement read.

The statement said under Article 51 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, occupying powers cannot compel “protected persons" -- which, in this context, includes civilians in occupied territories -- to serve in its “armed or auxiliary forces." Additionally, pressure or propaganda aiming to secure volunteers to enlist is not allowed. 

“Any enlistment of Ukrainian civilians into the Russian armed forces, even if presented by Russia as being voluntary or military service in accordance with Russian law, would constitute a violation of Article 51 of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” the UK Ministry of Defense statement said. 

12:44 a.m. ET, April 24, 2022

Leaders who plan to visit Ukraine "should not come with empty hands," Zelensky says 

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq in Atlanta 

Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, holds a press conference at the Independence Square metro station in Kyiv, on Saturday, April 23.
Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, holds a press conference at the Independence Square metro station in Kyiv, on Saturday, April 23. (Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that leaders who plan to visit Ukraine "should not come here with empty hands." Zelensky made the comments when asked about what he expects from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's visit to Kyiv on Sunday.

"Why is it important for leaders to come to us? I will give you a pragmatic answer; because they should not come here with empty hands. We are waiting not just for presents or cakes; we are expecting specific things and specific weapons," Zelensky said during a presser in Kyiv.
"That's why we will be able to get an agreement with the United States or some part of the package of armament which we agreed before. This is why I believe this is a positive signal," he added.

"The same about the leaders of other countries; they know we discussed these things in quietness, as our diplomats say, it's quiet diplomacy. I don't like very much, but it exists," Zelensky said.  

"We will be happy to see you, but please bring to us the assistance which we discussed, which you have or which you have the opportunity to bring," Zelensky said. He added, "that's why the visit from the US is very important."  

12:45 a.m. ET, April 24, 2022

8 dead in Russian missile strikes in Southern Ukraine, Odesa mayor says

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva in Lviv

People react as they leave a multi-store building in Odesa after Russian troops strike, on Saturday, April 23.
People react as they leave a multi-store building in Odesa after Russian troops strike, on Saturday, April 23. (Oleksandr Gimanov/AFP/Getty Images)

Odesa Mayor Hennadii Trukhanov said in a statement on Telegram a total of eight people were killed in the port city after Russian missile strikes. 

"Behind my back is what Russians call a military target," he said. "A residential building that they for some reason call a military object. Eight people died. A three-month-old child is among them. She hadn't seen life yet. You [Russians] are monsters, burn in hell."

In a separate statement, local authorities said rescue work was still underway in a damaged residential building. A total of 86 people were been evacuated, and rubble was still being dismantled.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a news conference 18 or 20 people had been injured in the strike.

12:29 a.m. ET, April 24, 2022

Ukraine claims Mariupol citizens forcibly deported to Far East region of Russia

From CNN's Hande Atay Alam and Nathan Hodge

Ukraine officials claimed on Saturday that Russia has forcibly deported Mariupol citizens to Primorsky Krai in Russia's Far East region. 

"Russia sent forcibly deported citizens of Ukraine from Mariupol to the Primorsky Krai - 8,000 kilometers from the homeland," said Lyudmyla Denisova, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, in a Telegram post.

According to Denisova, volunteers told her a train arrived in the city of Nakhodka on April 21 with 308 Ukrainians from Mariupol, including mothers with young children, people with disabilities and students.

Denisova also included photos showing the Ukrainian citizens' arrival at the train station in her Telegram post.

Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to Mariupol's mayor, also claimed on April 21, "the Russians brought 308 deported Mariupol residents to Vladivostok."

The Mariopul mayor's official telegram post said 90 out of 308 deported residents were children.

"People were accommodated in schools and dormitories. Later it is planned to send them to different settlements of the Primorsky Krai," the mayor's Telegram post reads.

Photo and videos published on a Russian local news portal in Vladivostok, vl.com, also showed evacuees from Mariupol arriving by train. 

Denisova also claimed Mariupol residents were sent by bus to temporary accommodation in the city of Wrangel and were expected to receive new documents that will allow them to work in Russia.

"The occupying country of Russia grossly violates the provisions of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, which prohibits the forced relocation or deportation of persons from the occupied territories," Denisova added in her Telegram post.