April 8, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Amy Woodyatt, Ben Church, Melissa Macaya, Jason Kurtz and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, April 9, 2022
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12:32 p.m. ET, April 8, 2022

Japan will expand sanctions against Russia, banning imports of coal and vodka, prime minister says

From CNN’s Emi Jozuka and Kathleen Benoza in Tokyo

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, on April 8.
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, on April 8. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFP/Getty Images)

Japan will expand its sanctions against Russia, banning Russian imports such as coal and vodka and freezing assets held by major banks such as Alfa-bank and Sberbank, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a news conference on Friday.

The new sanctions will also reduce coal imports and new investments in Russia, in line with measures taken by other G7 nations, Kishida added. However, he gave no specific timeline for the phase-out of coal imports, saying Japan used coal in various fields, including electric power and cement, and added Tokyo “will need to take into account those fields and each of their situations.”

Kishida condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine as unforgivable “war crimes” and said they violated international humanitarian laws.

He said Tokyo’s punitive measures against Moscow are part of Japan’s efforts to stop an escalation of violence and end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as soon as possible.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly named one of the Russian banks that will be sanctioned by Japan. The bank is Alfa-bank.

6:46 a.m. ET, April 8, 2022

French President says war in Ukraine "will not stop in the days to come"

From CNN’s Simon Bouvier in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron gives an interview to RTL radio in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, on April 8.
French President Emmanuel Macron gives an interview to RTL radio in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, on April 8. (Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that there is little hope of the war in Ukraine ending soon.

“This war unfortunately will not stop in the days to come,” Macron told French station RTL Friday.

He pointed towards May 9 as an “important day” for the Russian military, calling it almost “certain that for President Putin May 9th must be a day of victory.”

“I think they will concentrate their efforts in the Donbas. I think we will live through very difficult scenes in the days and weeks to come in the Donbas,” Macron said.

Some context: Ukrainian officials say heavy fighting is underway in the east of the country, with shelling reported throughout the Donbas region, ahead of what they are warning may be a major Russian offensive. 

Macron warned that the next few weeks will not likely “lead to many diplomatic concessions from Russia.”

Humanitarian assistance complicated: Macron also highlighted how humanitarian efforts by France, Greece, Turkey and the UN are facing “a lot of difficulties because “there is a total refusal on the Russian side.”

8:08 a.m. ET, April 8, 2022

It's 2pm in Kyiv. Here's what we know about the war in Ukraine.

Around 30 people were killed and 100 injured in a Russian missile strike on a railway station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, where civilians were waiting for evacuation trains to safer regions of the country, authorities say. Children are among the dead, according to regional police.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials say heavy fighting is underway in the east of the country, with heavy shelling reported throughout the Donbas region, ahead of what they are warning may be a major Russian offensive. 

  • US sends more weapons: The US has committed more than 12,000 anti-armor systems, 1,400 anti-aircraft systems and “hundreds” of suicide drones to Ukraine, the Biden administration announced on Thursday evening. It comes after the US approved on Tuesday another $100 million in weaponry for Ukraine drawn from its inventories, bringing the total US assistance to Ukraine to about $1.7 billion since the start of Russia’s invasion.
  • Fears for Ukraine's east: Ukrainian officials say major fighting is underway in the east, with the regional military governor of the Luhansk region urging civilians to evacuate some towns. The region's state administration head said all medical institutions and hospitals in Luhansk had been destroyed by Russian forces. Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said “the battle for Donbas” is underway and will be reminiscent of World War II. Russian shelling has also continued in the city of Kharkiv, seriously damaging a gas pipeline, according to the regional military governor.

Here's a look at the situation on the ground as Russia attacks eastern Ukraine:

  • Borodianka situation "much scarier": Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the situation in the Kyiv suburb was worse than in Bucha, warning there were "more victims of Russian invaders." He said similar atrocities were seen in the southern city of Mariupol. His speech came after 26 bodies were found under the rubble of two houses in the town, according to Ukraine’s prosecutor general.
  • Sanctions and expulsions: New sanctions introduced by the UK target the “lavish lifestyles of Putin’s daughters,” the government said in a statement published on Friday. The UK announced that Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova and Maria Vladimirovna Vorontsova, the daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as Yekaterina Sergeyevna Vinokurova, daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, will be subject to travel bans and asset freezes.
  • Meanwhile, Japan will expand its sanctions against Russia, banning Russian imports such as coal and vodka and freezing assets held by major banks such as Alphabank and Sberbank, as well as expelling eight Russian diplomats.
  • French President says war in Ukraine "will not stop in the days to come": French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that there is little hope of the war in Ukraine ending soon. He pointed towards May 9 as an “important day” for the Russian military, saying it was almost “certain that for President Putin May 9th must be a day of victory," and that Russia will concentrate their efforts in the Donbas region.
8:08 a.m. ET, April 8, 2022

Around 30 dead, 100 injured in Kramatorsk railway station strike, Donetsk regional police say

From CNN's Olga Voitovych in Lviv

Ukrainian soldiers clear out bodies after a rocket attack at a train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, on April 8.
Ukrainian soldiers clear out bodies after a rocket attack at a train station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, on April 8. (Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images)

Donetsk regional police said around 30 people were killed and 100 injured in the Russian missile strike on a railway station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, where civilians were waiting for evacuation trains to safer regions of the country.

"Russia hit the railway station in Kramatorsk today," police said in a statement.
"The rocket hit the temporary waiting room, where hundreds of people were waiting for the evacuation train.
"This is another proof that Russia is brutally, barbarically killing the civilian Ukrainians, with one goal only -- to kill."

Kramatorsk railway station has been a crucial hub for evacuation of civilians from the Donbas region.

Police said first responders are continuing to work at the scene.

"It is already known there about 30 dead people, including children, and about 100 injured," the statement read. "Assistance is being provided to all who need it."
5:49 a.m. ET, April 8, 2022

Russian aluminum giant calls for impartial investigation into Bucha "crime"

From CNN’s Chris Liakos in London

A man works to catalog bodies of civilians killed in and around Bucha before they are transported to the morgue at a cemetery on April 6, in Bucha, Ukraine.
A man works to catalog bodies of civilians killed in and around Bucha before they are transported to the morgue at a cemetery on April 6, in Bucha, Ukraine. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The chairman of the Russian metals firm Rusal has called for an impartial investigation into the killing of civilians in Bucha.

What happened? Shocking images of the carnage in Bucha were captured by Agence France-Presse on Saturday, the same day Ukraine declared the town liberated from Russian troops. Accounts of alleged Russian atrocities are emerging as its forces retreat from areas near Kyiv following a failed bid to encircle the capital.

The town of Bucha has endured five weeks of near-constant firefights. Now officials and human rights groups are blaming the civilian deaths on the departed Russian forces.

“Reports from the Ukrainian city of Bucha shocked us. We believe that this crime should be thoroughly investigated. We support an objective and impartial investigation of this crime and call for severe punishment for the perpetrators. No matter how hard it may seem in the context of ongoing information war,” Rusal Chairman Bernard Zonneveld said in a statement earlier this week.

Zonneveld’s statement did not address who may be responsible for the atrocities but went on to say that “such incidents make this terrible tragedy all the more traumatic.”

“We all wish an early end to this fratricidal conflict, which destroys lives, families and entire cities. And we want those responsible for such crimes to be punished appropriately,” the statement reads.

Zonneveld, a Dutch citizen, added that Rusal is calling for an early peaceful resolution of this conflict “to preserve priceless human lives and return to normalcy.”

The founder of Rusal, Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who has called for peace in the past, said on Telegram last week that the war is “madness” and could have already been resolved through negotiations.

 Read more on the killings in Bucha:

8:09 a.m. ET, April 8, 2022

At least 27 killed, 30 injured in missile strike on Kramatorsk railway station, regional spokesperson says

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Nathan Hodge in Lviv

Burnt out vehicles are seen after a rocket attack on the railway station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, in the Donbas region of Ukraine, on April 8.
Burnt out vehicles are seen after a rocket attack on the railway station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, in the Donbas region of Ukraine, on April 8. (Hervé Bar/AFP/Getty Images)

Tetiana Ihnatchenko, spokesperson for the Donetsk regional administration, said at least 27 people, including two children, were killed and 30 people were injured in a Russian missile strike on a railway station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk.

"This information is confirmed by rescuers and police for now," she said in remarks on national television. "The numbers will be much higher."

Kramatorsk railway station has been a crucial hub for evacuation of civilians from the Donbas region.

"[Evacuations] have been going on since February 26, and the Russians knew that thousands of people are there every day," Ihnatchenko said.
"I believe that's what they were counting on."
5:34 a.m. ET, April 8, 2022

Japan to expel eight Russian diplomats over war in Ukraine, foreign ministry says

From CNN’s Mayumi Maruyama and Emiko Jozuka in Tokyo

Japan will expel eight Russian diplomats and officials due to the war in Ukraine, foreign ministry spokesperson Hikariko Ono said at a press conference on Friday.

The diplomats are from the Russian Embassy in Japan and the officials from the Office of Trade Representative.

“Russia’s denial of mass murder of civilians, calling it fake news by Ukraine, is part of Russia’s propaganda and is categorically unacceptable” the spokesperson said.

Earlier, Japan’s minister of economy, trade and industry announced that the country will gradually reduce imports of Russian coal in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Some context: Japan's announcement comes as European leaders plan to phase out Russian coal imports in response to harrowing scenes in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv.

5:19 a.m. ET, April 8, 2022

Russian shelling continues in Kharkiv, amid fighting around Izium

From CNN's Olga Voitovych in Lviv and Nathan Hodge

Smoke rises from the Kulinichi bread factory after it was hit by shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, onApril 7 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Smoke rises from the Kulinichi bread factory after it was hit by shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, onApril 7 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Peter (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Russian forces have shelled the city of Kharkiv, the regional military governor said Friday, amid continued heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine

"Over the last 24 hours, Russian occupation forces have fired 48 times with artillery, mortars, tanks and multiple rocket launchers in Saltivka, Piatyhatky, Oleksiivka, Derhachi and in the city center," Oleh Syniehubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, said on Telegram.

"As of now, there are 15 injured in Kharkiv and in the district."

Syniehubov said shelling seriously damaged a gas pipeline, and that emergency crews were working at the scene.

The shelling of Kharkiv comes amid heavy fighting in the southern part of the region. Ukrainian authorities have urged civilians to evacuate a number of cities and settlements in eastern Ukraine.

"Fighting continues in the Izium direction," he said. "We continue evacuation, in particular from Barvinkove and Lozova."

Some background: Recent advances by Russian forces around Kharkiv could be setting the stage for the eastern city of Sloviansk to become the next target of Russia's offensive, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank.

8:09 a.m. ET, April 8, 2022

"Dozens" dead and injured after missile strike on Kramatorsk train station

From CNN's Ivan Watson, Olga Voitovych and Khrystyna Bondarenko

Civilians board a train as they are being evacuated from combat zones in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, in eastern Ukraine, on April 6.
Civilians board a train as they are being evacuated from combat zones in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, in eastern Ukraine, on April 6. (Andrea Carrubba/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Two missiles have struck the train station in the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, the head of Ukraine's national rail system, Oleksandr Kamyshin, said on his official Telegram channel Friday.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of Donetsk regional military administration, confirmed that first responders were reporting "dozens" of casualties following the attack.

"Russian fascists hit the Kramatorsk railway station with an Iskander missile strike," Kyrylenko said on Telegram.
"Police and rescuers are reporting dozens of dead and injured."

Kyrylenko said thousands of people were at the station during the missile strike, amid the evacuation of residents from the Donetsk region to safer areas of Ukraine.

"The rashists [Russian fascists] knew well where they were hitting and what they want: they want to take hostage as many peaceful people as possible, they want to destroy everything Ukrainian," he added.

The eastern city of Kramatorsk was one of the first places to be targeted by the Russian military when the invasion of Ukraine was launched on February 24.

This post has been updated.