Russia invades Ukraine

By Aditi Sangal, Joe Ruiz, Helen Regan, Ivana Kottasová and Sana Noor Haq, CNN

Updated 12:19 a.m. ET, April 10, 2022
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4:41 a.m. ET, April 9, 2022

Evacuation routes adjusted after Kramatorsk strike, regional military governor says

From CNN's Julia Presniakova, Sophie Jeong and Matilda Kuklish

Kramatorsk train station seen following the attack on Friday.
Kramatorsk train station seen following the attack on Friday. (Fadel Senna/AFP)

The military governor of Ukraine's eastern Luhansk region said evacuation corridors for civilians were "being adjusted" following a Russian missile strike on Kramatorsk train station on Friday.

Speaking on national television, Serhii Haidai said: "Unfortunately, after yesterday's disaster from Kramatorsk, our evacuation routes are being adjusted, but we are ready, we will continue to evacuate people."

Haidai said shelling was continuing across the region.

"All settlements are being shelled," he said. "The most difficult areas are Rubizhne, Popasna and Hirske community. The Hirske community is shelled from morning till night, constantly, the enemy has not stopped at all, they are fired on with all kinds of weapons, and by aircraft as well. Fighting continues in Popasna and Rubizhne."

On Saturday, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, announced on Telegram that 10 evacuation corridors have been agreed.

In the Donetsk region, she said there would be one corridor from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia for private vehicles.

In the Zaporizhzhia region, Vereshchuk said four corridors, from Berdiansk, Tokmak, Enerhodar and Melitopol to Zaporizhzhia would open for private vehicles and buses.

In the Luhansk region, Vereshchuk named five corridors to Bakhmut, coming from Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Popasna, Rubizhne and the village of Hirske.

Some background: At least 50 people, including five children, were killed and almost 100 injured in a Russian missile strike on a train station used as an evacuation hub in the eastern city of Kramatorsk on Friday. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the strike was "another war crime of Russia, for which everyone involved will be held accountable." 

Kramatorsk is a key railway evacuation point for civilians looking to flee heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have also warned that Russia is readying a major offensive in the eastern Donbas region. 

CNN's Christiane Amanpour and Jo Shelley contributed reporting to this post.

2:04 a.m. ET, April 9, 2022

Russia complains to Turkey about Ukraine's use of Turkish drones

From CNN's Isil Sariyuce, Jomana Karadsheh, and Masha Angelova

Russia has complained to Turkish officials about the Ukrainian military using drones manufactured in Turkey.

Speaking at a media briefing on Friday, a Turkish official said Ankara had told Moscow that Turkish drone-maker Baykar Technologies is a private company and Ukraine's purchase of the devices had been completed before the war.

According to CNN reporting, Ukrainian officials have been touting Baykar's Bayraktar TB2 drones as one of the most effective weapons in their arsenal.  

Last week, CNN gained rare access to the Baykar production facility in Turkey for an exclusive interview with its chief technology officer, Selcuk Bayraktar.

Bayraktar, who is also the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the drone was "doing what it was designed to do and upgraded to do." 

1:32 a.m. ET, April 9, 2022

Finland and Sweden could soon join NATO, prompted by Russia's war in Ukraine

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler and Natasha Bertrand

Finland and Sweden could soon join NATO, moves that would likely infuriate Moscow and that officials say would further underscore Russia’s strategic error in invading Ukraine.

NATO officials told CNN that discussions about Sweden and Finland joining the bloc have gotten extremely serious since Russia’s invasion.

US senior State Department officials said the matter came up at this week’s NATO foreign ministerial, which was attended by the foreign ministers from Stockholm and Helsinki.

Officials said the discussions underline the extent to which Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion has only served to reinvigorate and unify the NATO alliance — the exact opposite of Putin’s stated goals before the war began.

Some context: The Russian President had demanded that NATO cease expanding east and admitting new members, accusing the bloc of threatening Russian security. Instead, NATO has increased its support to Ukraine and is preparing to welcome new members.

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12:33 a.m. ET, April 9, 2022

Biden signs sanctions bills targeting Russian oil and trade with Russia and Belarus

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

President Joe Biden on Friday signed two bills levying further sanctions on Russia and Belarus, the White House announced.

The sanctions mark the administration’s latest move to punish the two countries for Russia’s ongoing deadly invasion of Ukraine — and the first time the sanctions in response to the war have come from Capitol Hill.

One bill suspends normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, punishing the countries by paving the way for higher tariffs on imports from them. The other prohibits energy imports from Russia, including oil, coal and natural gas.

The Senate unanimously passed the two measures Thursday morning. While the House voted overwhelmingly to pass the legislation, the bills faced more opposition there.

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12:00 a.m. ET, April 9, 2022

It's 7 a.m. in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the Russian missile strike on a train station that killed at least 50 people a "war crime" and vowed that everyone involved would be held accountable.

Here are the latest developments on the war in Ukraine:

  • Train station attack: At least 50 people, including five children, were killed and almost 100 injured in a Russian missile strike on a train station used as an evacuation hub in the eastern city of Kramatorsk on Friday. Zelensky said “all the efforts of the world” will be directed to establish who was responsible for the attack and how it was coordinated. He also urged a "firm, global response to this war crime."
  • Russian pressure for a win: The Russians are feeling “self-imposed pressure” to achieve some sort of victory by May 9, according to two European officials. May 9 is the day Russia celebrates Victory Day over Germany in World War II. With one month to go, the officials say Russia is regrouping and shifting its forces to southeastern Ukraine with the aim of achieving some sort of regional victory.
  • Regrouping in the east: Ukrainian officials continue to warn about what could be a major Russian offensive set to take place in the country's east. Ukraine’s Chief of Defense Intelligence said Russian troops are regrouping in Belgorod and plan to advance toward the eastern city of Kharkiv. "They will try to finish off the city of Mariupol and only after that, they might try to initiative advances towards Kyiv," he said.
  • "Crazy" scene at Chernobyl: CNN was given exclusive access to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, for the first time since it came back into Ukrainian control. Radiation levels in a room used by Russian soldiers is higher than normal — officials say it's from small particles and dust that the soldiers brought into the building. Drone footage shows trenches dug by Russian soldiers in the nuclear contaminated Red Forest, officials say. And on the edges of that area, CNN saw a Russian military ration box that exhibited radiation levels 50 times above naturally occurring values.
  • Rights groups kicked out of Russia: The Russian Ministry of Justice said it has revoked the registration of 15 representative offices of international organizations and foreign NGOs, including that of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. It comes as several NGOs accuse Russia of committing crimes under international law.
  • Bodies found in Kyiv region: In Bucha, the scene of a massacre of civilians following the withdrawal of Russian troops, 164 bodies have been found so far, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said. In Makariv, Russian forces have killed 132 civilians, the town's mayor said, adding nearly all of the town's infrastructure has been destroyed.
11:32 p.m. ET, April 8, 2022

Russian missile attack on Ukrainian train station killed dozens of people. Here's what we know

Damaged vehicles are seen outside a train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine after it was hit by a rocket attack on Friday.
Damaged vehicles are seen outside a train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine after it was hit by a rocket attack on Friday. (Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images)

At least 50 people, including five children, were killed after Russian forces carried out a missile strike on a railway station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, that was being used by civilians trying to flee the fighting, Ukrainian officials said Friday.

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

Here's what we know about the attack:

  • Some 98 people were wounded, including 16 children, said Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the regional military administration in Donetsk.
  • Kyrylenko said a Tochka-U ballistic missile was used in the attack.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the "Russian military hit the railway terminal," where crowds of people were waiting to be evacuated on trains.
  • Local police said rockets struck a temporary waiting room, where "hundreds of people were waiting for the evacuation train."
  • The head of Ukraine's national rail system, Oleksandr Kamyshin, said two missiles hit the station.
  • Some 8,000 people per day had been going to the station to evacuate during the past two weeks. As many as 4,000 people were there when the missile struck, the mayor of Kramatorsk said.
  • A journalist at the scene described the blast as a "powerful wave ... as if something just hit you on your head. And your legs couldn't keep you any longer."
  • Inside the station, the attack caused panic and confusion with people afraid of more potential strikes, he said.

What Russia said:

  • The Russian Ministry of Defense issued a statement denying it launched the attack, calling the strike a "provocation."
"All the statements of representatives of the Kyiv nationalist regime about the alleged 'missile attack' by Russia on April 8 at the railway station in Kramatorsk are a provocation and absolutely do not correspond to reality," the statement said.

Fact check:

  • The Russian statement mirrors recent denials of the indiscriminate killing of civilians in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.
  • The Pentagon said it finds “unconvincing” claims from Russia that its forces were not involved in the strike. “Our assessment is that this was a Russian strike and that they used a short-range ballistic missile to conduct it,” said spokesperson John Kirby.

Global response:

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called the attack a "deliberate slaughter," saying Russian forces knew the station was “full of civilians.”
  • Zelensky called it a "war crime" and vowed accountability from those involved. “We expect a firm, global response to this war crime," he said.
  • World leaders condemned it, with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres saying the strike and other attacks on civilians "are gross violations of international humanitarian law."
  • The US State Department said it was "yet another example of the Russian government's unjustified brutal war sowing senseless death and destruction in Ukraine."
9:57 p.m. ET, April 8, 2022

Ukrainian mayor says 132 civilians killed by Russian forces in Makariv, near Kyiv

From CNN's Josh Pennington and Hira Humayun

A Ukrainian man named Maxim prays next to a body of a male left at an abandoned Russian camp near Makariv, Ukraine on April 7.
A Ukrainian man named Maxim prays next to a body of a male left at an abandoned Russian camp near Makariv, Ukraine on April 7. (Daniel Brown/Sipa/AP)

Russian forces killed 132 civilians in Makariv, in the Kyiv region, the town's mayor said on Friday as Ukrainian officials continue to assess the extent of destruction around the capital and north of the country.

Local officials collected the bodies and said they had been shot by Russian forces, Mayor Vadym Tokar told Ukraine's Parliament TV.

Nearly all of Makariv's infrastructure has been destroyed, he said, adding that apartment complexes and other buildings were bombed and a hospital destroyed.

“More than a month now we are without electricity, water, gas, without telephone lines. We don’t even have essential goods at home,” Tokar said.

Makariv, he said, has been hit by a “medical catastrophe," with all doctors having been evacuated.

He also warned that people in the town need to be careful as mines are scattered in the fields.

“Our deforested areas are heavily littered with mines, and so we will work first on demining these areas before we can begin the full-fledged restoration of our infrastructure,” he said.

The town has been receiving aid and citizens are going out into the streets and doing what they can to clear the rubble, the mayor said.

Before the invasion, about 15,000 people lived in Makariv, but now fewer than 1,000 remain. Tokar said residents are gradually returning and the town is slowly recovering.

According to preliminary estimates, about 45% of Makariv has been destroyed, Tokar said.

9:26 p.m. ET, April 8, 2022

Zelensky says everybody involved in Kramatorsk attack will be held accountable

From CNN's Hira Humayun

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a video broadcast on Friday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a video broadcast on Friday. (Ukrainian Government)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said everyone behind the Russian attack on the Kramatorsk train station will be held accountable.

“This is another war crime of Russia, for which everyone involved will be held accountable,” he said in his nightly address on Friday, adding that Russian state propaganda tried to blame Ukrainian armed forces for the attack.

“We expect a firm, global response to this war crime," he said.

Zelensky confirmed previous reports from the head of Donetsk region military administration, that at least 50 people were killed in the attack, including five children.

“Like the massacres in Bucha, as well as many other Russian war crimes, the missile strike on Kramatorsk must be one of the charges at the tribunal, which is bound to happen,” he said.

The Ukrainian President said “all the efforts of the world” will be directed to establish minute-by-minute “who did what, who gave orders, where did the rocket come from, who was carrying it, who gave the order and how the strike was coordinated.”

“Responsibility is inevitable,” he said.

8:04 p.m. ET, April 8, 2022

Ukrainians shocked by "crazy" scene at Chernobyl after Russian pullout reveals radioactive contamination

From CNN's Vasco Cotovio, Frederik Pleitgen, Byron Blunt and Daria Markina

Russian soldiers ransacked the room where staff were sleeping, looting some of their belongings, according to a shift manager at the Chernobyl site.
Russian soldiers ransacked the room where staff were sleeping, looting some of their belongings, according to a shift manager at the Chernobyl site. (Vasco Cotovio/CNN)

The sudden ear-piercing beep of a radiation meter fills the room as a Ukrainian soldier walks in. This is where Russian soldiers were living at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and radiation levels are now higher than normal.

There's no visible presence of the source of the radioactive material in the room, but Ukrainian officials say it's coming from small particles and dust that the soldiers brought into the building.

"They went to the Red Forest and brought radioactive material back with them on their shoes," soldier Ihor Ugolkov explains. "Other places are fine, but radiation increased here, because they were living here."

CNN was given exclusive access to the power plant for the first time since it came back into Ukrainian control.

Officials at the plant explain the levels inside the room used by Russian soldiers are only slightly above what the World Nuclear Association describes as naturally occurring radiation. One-time contact would not be dangerous but continuous exposure would pose a health hazard.

"They went everywhere, and they also took some radioactive dust on them [when they left]," Ugolkov adds.

It's an example of what Ukrainian officials say was the lax and careless behavior of Russian soldiers while they were in control of the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster. The area around Chernobyl, namely the Red Forest, is still the most nuclear contaminated area on the planet, with most of the radioactive particles present on the soil.

Ukrainian officials have released drone footage of what they say were trenches dug by Russian soldiers in that area, which is particularly radioactive. At a safe location, on the edges of that area, CNN saw a Russian military ration box that exhibited radiation levels 50 times above naturally occurring values.

Russian soldiers held Chernobyl for a month and are thought to have been operating in contaminated areas most of the time.

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