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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10:04 p.m. ET, April 7, 2022

Kremlin spokesperson admits to "significant" Russian troop losses in Ukraine

From CNN’s Martin Goillandeau

A Ukrainian serviceman walks amid destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha on Wednesday, April 6.
A Ukrainian serviceman walks amid destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha on Wednesday, April 6. (Felipe Dana/AP)

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov briefly admitted Thursday that Russia had suffered “significant” losses of its troops in Ukraine, calling it “a huge tragedy” for the country in an interview with Sky News.

Asked whether the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kyiv and its region could be seen as “a humiliation” for the Kremlin, Peskov said using those words would be “a wrong understanding of the situation.”

“We have significant losses of troops and it’s a huge tragedy for us,” Peskov admitted, before claiming the reason for Russia’s withdrawal from the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions was “an act of goodwill during the negotiations between the Ukrainian and Russian delegations.” 

Peskov added that Russia did so to “lift tension from those regions in order to show Russia is really ready to create comfortable conditions for the continuation of the negotiations.”

Some context: CNN has been unable to verify how many Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine. Last month, pro-Putin Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda reported the toll was 9,861 — multiple times higher than official figures from the Kremlin. The figure, which was attributed to the ministry and later retracted by the paper — which claimed it was hacked — was not confirmed by the Kremlin.

US and NATO officials estimated last month that Russian casualties range from between 3,000 and 10,000. Ukrainian officials have claimed the toll is even higher.

8:33 p.m. ET, April 7, 2022

Video appears to show execution of Russian prisoner by Ukrainian forces

From CNN's Nathan Hodge, Eoin McSweeney and Niamh Kennedy

CNN has geolocated a recent video that appears to show the execution of a Russian prisoner by Ukrainian forces following recent fighting in the Kyiv region.

The video — first verified by the New York Times — shows a group of soldiers with Ukrainian patches and blue arm bands on a road following a firefight. The bodies of at least four men in Russian uniform are lying on the pavement. Three of them have head wounds and blood is pooled around the body of a fourth, who has a jacket pulled over his head and seems to be rasping.

"He's still alive," says one man, in Russian. "He's gasping."

A soldier points a rifle and fires two shots at the body, pauses, then fires another. The body stops moving.

A person narrating to the camera then turns to film a Russian infantry fighting vehicle with a "V" marking similar to that seen on Russian military hardware operated by many units in Ukraine. "A little trophy," the man says.

Someone off camera says, "Slava Ukrayini!" — glory to Ukraine, a patriotic greeting, and a bearded man steps in the frame and replies, "Glory the heroes," the standard reply.

The exact time and date of the video, which appeared on a pro-Russian Telegram channel, is unclear. The location of the video matches that of a video published on Twitter by Ukraine's Ministry of Defense. That video, posted on April 2, shows a blasted Russian armored column. "Handiwork of Ukrainian defenders in the Kyiv region," the caption reads.

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8:20 p.m. ET, April 7, 2022

Russian troops discussed killing civilians in intercepted radio transmissions, source says

From CNN's Luke McGee, Nathan Hodge, Lauren Kent, Claudia Otto and Nadine Schmidt

Germany's foreign intelligence service told a parliamentary committee Wednesday that it has intercepted radio communications where Russian soldiers talked about shooting soldiers and civilians in Ukraine, a source with knowledge of the meeting said.

The briefing was the top item at the Wednesday meeting, the source added.

Those intelligence findings — first reported by Der Spiegel — appear to implicate Russian troops in a pattern of apparent war crimes despite denials from Moscow, most recently in the indiscriminate killing of civilians in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

Der Spiegel reported that the BND, Germany's foreign intelligence agency, intercepted Russian radio chatter about the killing of civilians in Bucha, and that some of the conversations could be tied directly to specific killings in Bucha that have been documented since news first emerged of an apparent massacre there.

German intelligence has satellite images that point to the involvement of Russian troops in the Bucha killings, the Washington Post reported, citing an unnamed intelligence official, though the paper said the radio transmissions have not been linked to that location.

News of the German intelligence assessment comes amid massive international outrage over Bucha and a growing body of evidence that points to the Russian military's involvement in the indiscriminate killing of civilians in Ukraine.

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