April 10, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Joe Ruiz, Maureen Chowdhury, Mike Hayes, Simone McCarthy, Brad Lendon, Rob Picheta and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, April 11, 2022
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10:16 p.m. ET, April 10, 2022

More than 4.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine, UN says

From CNN’s Talia Kayali

People wait for a bus as a children looks at the sky, a day after a rocket attack at a train station, in Kramatorsk, Ukraine on April 9.
People wait for a bus as a children looks at the sky, a day after a rocket attack at a train station, in Kramatorsk, Ukraine on April 9. (Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images)

More than 4.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia's invasion began on February 24, most crossing borders into neighboring countries, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“The escalation of conflict in Ukraine has caused civilian casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure, forcing people to flee their homes seeking safety, protection and assistance," the UNHCR said in a statement on Saturday.

Poland has welcomed the highest number of refugees, at nearly 2.6 million. Romania, Hungary and Moldova together have accepted nearly 2 million Ukrainian refugees.

“In light of the emergency and the scale of humanitarian needs of refugees from Ukraine, an inter-agency regional refugee response is being carried out, in support of the efforts of refugee-hosting countries," the UNHCR added.

9:16 p.m. ET, April 10, 2022

Ukraine carries out staff rotation at Chernobyl nuclear power plant, where Russians left equipment destroyed

From CNN's Akanksha Sharma 

A general view shows the New Safe Confinement (NSC) structure over the old sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine November 22, 2018.
A general view shows the New Safe Confinement (NSC) structure over the old sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine November 22, 2018. (Gleb Garanich/Reuters)

Chernobyl nuclear power plant staff have rotated for the first time in three weeks, the UN nuclear watchdog said on Sunday, citing Ukrainian authorities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it's only the second time that staff have changed since the invasion began.

The shift change was important "for the safe and secure operation of the (Chernobyl power plant), which was controlled by the Russian military for five weeks until they withdrew on 31 March," IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

Destroyed equipment: Ukraine told the IAEA that the plant's analytical laboratories for radiation monitoring were “destroyed and the analytical instruments stolen, broken or otherwise disabled,” according to the IAEA.

“While it is very positive that Ukrainian authorities are gradually restoring regulatory control of the (Chernobyl) site, it is clear that a lot of work remains to return the site to normality," Grossi warned.

Petro Kotin, the head of Ukraine's state nuclear power operator, also said in a statement last week that Russian troops "looted and destroyed the offices and laboratory of the Institute for Nuclear Safety," saying they "smashed or destroyed laboratory equipment and measuring devices, and looted garages with vehicles used to deliver scientists to research sites."

Some context: Chernobyl, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, fell into the hands of Russian troops in the first week of the war in Ukraine, in late February. 

On March 31, Russian troops announced their intention to leave and handed over control to Ukrainian personnel. The plant is now back under the control of Ukrainian authorities.

On April 6, Ukrainian authorities released new drone video showing abandoned Russian military positions, including vacant pits and trenches — in a highly radioactively contaminated area of the uninhabitable exclusion zone near the plant.

9:19 p.m. ET, April 10, 2022

"They started a full-scale war and act as if we are to blame," Zelensky says in Sunday address

Office of the President of Ukraine
Office of the President of Ukraine

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed his nation Sunday, calling Ukrainians “the bravest people of the best country in the world.”

“We are coming to an end of another week," Zelensky said in his speech, which he has given regularly during Russia’s attack on the country. "Our fight for freedom, for the state. Another week that Ukraine stayed alive, despite all the efforts of Russia to destroy us. We are fighting. We are defending. We are repelling the attacks."

Zelensky said the nation is doing all it can to win the war and accused Russian leadership of "lying" in efforts to shift the blame away from them.

“When cowardice grows, everything turns into catastrophe," he continued. "When people don’t have the courage to recognize their mistakes and apologize, to conform to reality, and to see that they are turning into monsters."

The Ukrainian president said Russia has lost touch with reality, acting as aggressors yet blaming Ukraine for the actions committed by Russian troops, including the killings in Bucha, the missile strike on the train station in Kramatorsk, and "every destroyed city and burnt village." 

“They have destroyed the lives of millions. They started a full-scale war and act as if we are to blame for this,” Zelensky continued. 

He added Russia, fearing defeat, will launch more full-scale combat actions in Ukraine’s east. 

“But we are ready,” the president said, promising Ukraine will ensure it has enough weapons and demand stronger sanctions against Russia so that justice will be served.

Moments prior to his address, Zelensky said he honored "18 defenders of Ukraine" -- including members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Special Communications Service and police officers -- for their heroism. He also thanked the journalists sharing the truth of what is unfolding in the country.

“The truth will win and Ukraine will win," Zelensky said. "This is for certain. Glory to Ukraine.”

4:01 p.m. ET, April 10, 2022

It's 11 p.m. on Sunday in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

From CNN Staff

A Ukrainian policeman walks past damaged vehicles outside a train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on April 8.
A Ukrainian policeman walks past damaged vehicles outside a train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on April 8. (Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images)

The death toll in the Kramatorsk, Ukraine, train station strike rose to 57, the head of the Donetsk regional military administration said Sunday.

"As of 11 a.m. today, April 10 [the total is] 57 dead, 109 injured," Pavlo Kyrylenko said. "Those with minor injuries have been released to go home, the heavily injured are being transported to safe regions and being provided with the necessary aid." 

Clean-up operations at the site of the blast have begun. CNN saw workers wearing plastic gloves gather scattered human remains. Others looked through papers and documents that were strewn across the station. Plastic bags filled with food lay on the ground, alongside shredded hats, gloves and shoes.

Several points of impact from the strike were visible, including what appeared to have been a direct hit on a car. Pools of blood and a deceased dog, partially covered by white sheeting, lay by the tracks.

Here are more of the latest headlines from the Russia-Ukraine conflict:

  • Ukraine's foreign minister says Russia's initial plan for the invasion "failed": Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Russia's initial plan of the invasion of Ukraine "failed" and that "history will demonstrate whose plan will prevail," after Russia appointed a new general to lead its military invasion. When asked to comment on the appointment of Russia's Army Gen. Alexander Dvornikov to direct the war in Ukraine, Kuleba said, "now they have another plan, but we have our plans." He added, "Whatever Russia is planning to do, we have our strategy and this strategy is based on the assumption that, on the confidence that we will win this war and we will liberate our territories."
  • Russians may be preparing a major offensive in the east of Ukraine: Ukrainian officials say major 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. Ukraine's defense intelligence chief on Friday told CNN that Russian troops are regrouping across the border and plan to advance toward Kharkiv. Officials have urged the evacuation of civilians from the region, as Russian forces shift focus to southern and eastern Ukraine. Satellite images collected and analyzed by Maxar Technologies show an eight-mile-long military convoy moving south through the eastern Ukraine town of Velkyi Burluk on April 8. The town sits to the east of Kharkiv, close to Ukraine’s border with Russia.
  • Former CIA director says battle in eastern Ukraine "will be quite a fight" as Russian forces group Retired Gen. David Petraeus, the former CIA director and commander of Central Command who also oversaw the war in Afghanistan until 2010, said that Ukrainians can expect "quite a fight" as Russian forces are preparing for a "massive breakthrough" in eastern Ukraine.
  • Ukraine foreign minister: "Extremely difficult" to think about negotiations after Russian attacks in Kramatorsk, Bucha: Kuleba said Sunday it would be "extremely difficult" to even think about negotiations with Russia, after the missile strike in the eastern city of Kramatorsk and the atrocities committed in the town of Bucha. "It's extremely difficult to even think about sitting down with people who commit or find excuses for all these atrocities and war crimes, who have inflicted such a horrendous damage on Ukraine," Kuleba said in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."
  • US Rep. Cheney says missile strike against Ukrainian train station "clearly is genocide": Rep. Liz Cheney said Sunday morning that she thinks the missile strike on the Ukrainian train station this week “clearly is genocide,” and said that European countries need to “understand that they’re funding that genocidal campaign” through the purchase of oil and gas from Russia. “I understand the economic consequences to countries in Western Europe if they were to impose a kind of oil and gas embargo that the US has imposed against Russian oil and gas – but they need to do it.” Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" that the US should increase its own production of oil to aid Europe, but added, “they need to understand that every single time, every single day that they are continuing to import Russian oil and gas, they’re funding Putin’s genocide in Ukraine.” 
  • US national security adviser warns new Russian general could carry out further civilian attacks: NSA Jake Sullivan warned that the US expects Russia’s new top general directing its war in Ukraine to carry out further brutal attacks on civilians. “This particular general has a resume that includes brutality against civilians in other theaters, in Syria, and we can expect more of the same in this theater,” Sullivan told Tapper on "State of the Union." “This general will just be another author of crimes and brutality against Ukrainian civilians.”

3:17 p.m. ET, April 10, 2022

Ukrainian official: Izyum "hottest spot" in Kharkiv region

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva in Lviv

Oleh Syniehubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration called Izyum the "hottest spot" in the northeastern province, amid ongoing fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces, 

"The 'hottest spot' remains in Izyum, where UAF [Ukrainian Armed Forces] are having success in combat," he said in televised remarks.

Syniehubov claimed a "big enemy military equipment convoy that was moving towards Izium direction was destroyed" by Ukrainian forces, but provided no further specifics. CNN could not verify that claim. 

Ukrainian officials have warned in recent days of efforts by Russian forces to reinforce their presence in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, which border Kharkiv region. 

2:44 p.m. ET, April 10, 2022

Death toll in Kramatorsk train station strike rises to 57, says Donetsk regional military administration

From CNN staff

A man lays flowers at the Kramatorsk railway station after the Russian missile strike in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on April 9.
A man lays flowers at the Kramatorsk railway station after the Russian missile strike in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on April 9. (Andrea Carrubba/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The head of the Donetsk regional military administration said Sunday the death toll from a Russian missile strike on the train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, had risen to 57. 

"As of 11 a.m. today, April 10 [the total is] 57 dead, 109 injured," Pavlo Kyrylenko said. "Those with minor injuries have been released to go home, the heavily injured are being transported to safe regions and being provided with the necessary aid." 

1:25 p.m. ET, April 10, 2022

Austria's chancellor says he'll meet with Putin on Monday in Moscow

From CNN's Radina Gigova and Nadine Schmidt

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer addresses a joint press conference in Berlin on March 31.
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer addresses a joint press conference in Berlin on March 31. (Stefanie Loos/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said Sunday he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday.

"I will be meeting with Vladimir #Putin in Moscow tomorrow. We [Austria] are militarily neutral, but have a clear stance on the Russian war of aggression against #Ukraine," Nehammer said on his official Twitter account

Nehammer also called for evacuation corridors, a ceasefire and a "full investigation of war crimes."

He said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, EU leaders and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have been informed about the meeting with Putin. 

11:30 a.m. ET, April 10, 2022

Ukraine's foreign minister on new Russian general: "They have another plan, but we have our plans"

From CNN's Radina Gigova in Atlanta

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on April 7.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on April 7. (Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/AP)

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Sunday that Russia's initial plan of the invasion of Ukraine "failed" and that "history will demonstrate whose plan will prevail," after Russia appointed a new general to lead its military invasion. 

When asked to comment on the appointment of Russia's Army Gen. Alexander Dvornikov to direct the war in Ukraine, Kuleba said: "'now they have another plan, but we have our plans."

"Whatever Russia is planning to do, we have our strategy and this strategy is based on the assumption that, on the confidence that we will win this war and we will liberate our territories," Kuleba said in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."

11:25 a.m. ET, April 10, 2022

Trudeau and EU chief pledge support for Ukrainian refugees

From CNN’s Devan Cole

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers a statement to media with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels, Belgium on March 23.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers a statement to media with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels, Belgium on March 23. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday pledged to support Ukrainians fleeing their country amid Russia’s invasion, saying Canadians and Europeans are willing to continue taking in refugees.

“We've already taken in over 14,000 and we're continuing to do many, many more,” Trudeau told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

“When I was in Warsaw a few weeks ago, I heard from people who don't want to go too far from their husbands, their families back in Ukraine, but are also looking at -- if this does go on as long as it might, they need solace and a secure place to go and Canada will always be there for as many as choose to come to Canada,” he added.

Von der Leyen told Tapper on the same program that “it is amazing to see the open hearts and the open doors of the European people mainly in the front-line countries like Poland, Hungary, Czech, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, just to name a few. They are very much willing to take these refugees in -- more than 4 million.”

“Yesterday I was in Kyiv. I saw President Zelensky and I promised to him that we're going to take good care of the refugees until they can return safely home. That is very important to rebuild their country,” von der Leyen said.

More than 4.5 million Ukrainians have fled the country, according to statistics from the United Nations, with more than 2.5 million going to Poland.

Trudeau also weighed in on the question of whether Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine, saying that though images out of cities like Bucha showing civilians brutally killed are “horrific,” the question is something that “will be determined.”

“Obviously, the messages we're seeing, the stories of what Russian soldiers are doing, not just the murder of civilians, but the systematic use of sexual violence and rape to destabilize and have the greatest negative impact on the Ukrainian people as possible, is absolutely unforgivable and unacceptable,” he told Tapper. “And that's why the global community is going to and is responding so strongly.”