Latest news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

The Kremlin warns that Russia will soon demand payments in rubles for other exports

Saint Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin Tower can be seen on Red Square in Moscow.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has warned that Russia will soon demand payments in rubles for other exports, saying that severe economic sanctions imposed by the West has precipitated eroding confidence in the dollar and the euro.

“I have no doubts that in the future it will be expanded to include new groups of goods,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by the RIA news agency as saying.

Peskov’s statements referred to Moscow’s statements frequent demands The so-called “unfriendly” countries pay for Russian natural gas in rubles.

The United States and its international allies have imposed an unprecedented barrage of economic sanctions against Russia, in an attempt to isolate the Kremlin after its unprovoked attack on Ukraine.

– Sam Meredith

Several missile strikes hit the southern Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv, the mayor said

Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich reported that several missile attacks hit the southern port city of Ukraine.

“Our friends, we have several missile strikes in the city. We are collecting data now,” Senkevich said via Telegram, according to a translation.

It comes shortly after a series of explosions was heard in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa, sending thick black smoke covering the sky. Like Mykolaiv, Odessa is a strategically important port center on the Black Sea coast.

– Sam Meredith

Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy said that grain exports in March fell sharply

Summer wheat harvest in Chernihiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, August 10, 2017.

Vincent Mundy | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy said, according to Reuters, that Ukraine’s grain exports in March were four times lower than their levels in February as a result of the unprovoked Russian attack.

The ministry said Gran’s shipments abroad last month included 1.1 million metric tons of corn, 309,000 tons of wheat and 118,000 tons of sun oil.

– Sam Meredith

Britain says Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilians ‘must be investigated as war crimes’

A Ukrainian soldier on the road with a missile crashing into a highway in Irbin, Ukraine on April 1, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has called for Russia’s attacks against Ukrainian civilians to be investigated as war crimes, saying there appeared to be mounting evidence of “horrific acts” by Kremlin forces in towns such as Irben and Bucha.

“Their indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians during Russia’s unlawful and unjustified invasion of Ukraine should be investigated as war crimes,” Truss said in a statement.

“The UK will fully support any investigations by the International Criminal Court, in its role as the primary institution involved in the investigation and prosecution of war crimes.”

– Sam Meredith

Zelensky’s adviser says Russia’s actions near Kyiv “look exactly like war crimes”

A man walks with bags of food in Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, on April 2, 2022.

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In an interview with the BBC, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russian forces may be leaving evidence of war crimes behind as they withdraw from areas close to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

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Sergei Nikiforov said the photos from Ukrainian towns such as Bucha, Hostomil and Irpin were “difficult to describe” and “heartbreaking”.

Nikiforov told the BBC that Ukrainian forces had found mass graves and people had their hands and feet tied, and had executed the bodies of civilians with gunshot wounds to the head. CNBC has not been able to independently verify these claims.

Asked if what was found could amount to war crimes, Nikiforov told the BBC: “I have to be very careful with my wording but it looks exactly like war crimes.”

– Sam Meredith

Russia’s chief negotiator said talks on a draft peace treaty would resume on Monday

Assistant to the Russian President and head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky.

Maxim Gocek | Afp | Getty Images

Russia’s chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said talks on a draft peace treaty will resume on Monday, stressing that the Kremlin’s position on Crimea and Donbass has not changed.

His comments appeared to challenge previous reports that there had been enough progress to allow direct contact between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The Ukrainian side has begun to approach issues related to the neutral and non-nuclear status more realistically, but the draft treaty of agreements is not ready for submission to a summit meeting,” Medinsky said in a post on Telegram. Translation.

“I will repeat it over and over again: Russia’s position on Crimea and Donbass has not changed,” he added.

– Sam Meredith

Most of the animals in a shelter near Kyiv died due to the Russian invasion, a non-governmental organization said

Most of the animals kept in a shelter near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv have died as a result of the Russian invasion, according to animal rights group UAnimals.

Of the 485 animals housed in the shelter in Borodyanka, a settlement northwest of Kyiv, only 150 survived, the NGO said in an online post.

They added that volunteers were able to reach the animal shelter for the first time since the early days of the Russian invasion, thanking those involved in the rescue operation.

“The animals are exhausted and in serious condition,” UAnimals said in a statement posted to Facebook, according to a translation.

“Since the beginning of the war, the animals have been abandoned, without food or water. Because of the occupation, it was very difficult to get there.”

– Sam Meredith

Hungarians go to the polls in light of the war in Ukraine

Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, leaves the booth after marking a ballot paper at a polling station in Budapest, Hungary, on Sunday, April 3, 2022.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Polls opened across Hungary early Sunday Voters in the central European country faced a choice: seize the opportunity to forge a diverse, Western-looking coalition of opposition parties, or give nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán a renewed mandate for a fourth consecutive term.

It is expected to be the closest competition since Orban took power in 2010, thanks to the six main opposition parties setting aside ideological differences to form a united front against his right-wing Fidesz party.

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Recent polls suggest the race is tough, but give Fidesz a slight lead, making it more likely that undecided voters will determine the winner in Sunday’s vote.

– News agency

Black smoke was seen rising over Odessa after a series of powerful explosions

The images show thick black smoke covering the skies of Odessa, a port city on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, shortly after missiles hit the area.

A woman is seen walking in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa as smoke fills the sky after a series of powerful explosions.

Bulent Kilic | Afp | Getty Images

Air strikes rocked Ukraine’s strategic Black Sea port of Odessa early Sunday morning, an Interior Ministry official said, after Kyiv warned that Russia was trying to bolster its forces in the south.

Bulent Kilic | Afp | Getty Images

Journalists and residents look at the smoke filling the Odessa sky.

Bulent Kilic | Afp | Getty Images

– Sam Meredith; Getty Images

Evacuation attempts continue to get people out of the besieged city of Mariupol

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Irina Verychuk said work will continue on Sunday to evacuate people from the besieged port city of Mariupol.

“Seven buses will attempt to approach Mariupol, accompanied by the International Committee of the Red Cross,” Vereshchuk said in an online video.

Vereshuk reportedly said 17 buses are ready to evacuate people from Mariupol and Berdyansk.

A Red Cross convoy of humanitarian workers turned around on Friday after it said it had become impossible to move forward with its mission to facilitate the safe passage of civilians.

– Sam Meredith

Missiles hit the coastal city of Odessa in southern Ukraine

Smoke rises after an attack by Russian forces in Odessa, on April 3, 2022.

Bulent Kilic | Afp | Getty Images

A series of explosions was heard in the strategically important port city of Odessa in Ukraine, as the city council reported a missile attack on an infrastructure facility.

“The enemy launched a missile attack on Odessa,” Petro Obukhov, a member of the Odessa city council, said via Facebook. “One of the goals was to create infrastructure. We will not forget or forgive anything.”

This comes after several journalists reported that smoke was rising in the sky on the Black Sea coast following a series of powerful explosions in the early hours of Sunday. CNBC has not been able to independently verify this information.

Odessa-based Washington Post reporter Isabel Khorshodian said via Twitter: “Thunderous explosions in downtown Odessa now. My hotel room windows shook. It’s not clear what this is.”

Separately, ITV correspondent Richard Gaisford reported that smoke was rising in the sky over Odessa after a series of explosions.

– Sam Meredith

Zelensky warns that Russian forces are targeting eastern and southern Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Russian forces are seeking to seize control of areas in the east and south of the country.

“What is the goal of the Russian forces? They want to seize Donbass and southern Ukraine. What is our goal? Protect us, our freedom, our land and our people,” Zelensky said in his last speech.

He said that while Ukrainian forces have regained control of the communities in Kyiv and Chernihiv, Russian forces have reserves to increase pressure in the east.

“We are strengthening our defenses in the eastern direction and in the Donbass,” Zelensky said.

– Sam Meredith

The British Ministry said that the Russian air force is shifting to southeast Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldier passes by the remains of a downed Russian helicopter near Kharkiv on March 31, 2022.

Chris McGrath | Getty Images

Russian air activity over southeastern Ukraine has increased in the past week as invading forces divert their efforts to that part of the country, The British Ministry of Defense said in its daily intelligence update.

However, the ministry said Friday night that Ukraine’s anti-aircraft capabilities remain a “big” challenge for Russian warplanes and helicopters, which have not been able to locate and destroy Ukrainian air defense units.

“Russia’s inability to find and destroy air defense systems has seriously hampered their efforts to gain large-scale control in the air,” the ministry said, which in turn greatly affected its ability to support the advance of its ground forces on a number of fronts. . “

The southeastern part of Ukraine would include the port city of Mariupol, which was largely destroyed by the Russian blockade.

Russian ground forces attacking in the north have been driven out of the capital, Kyiv, over the past week.

– Ted Kemp

Ukraine says it has regained control of Kyiv for the first time since the start of the Russian invasion

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov visits Ukrainian service personnel sites, as Russia’s offensive on Ukraine continues, outside Kyiv, Ukraine March 25, 2022.

Ukrainian Ministry of Defense | Reuters

Ukraine says it has regained control of Kyiv for the first time since the start of the Russian invasion.

“The whole Kyiv region has been liberated from invaders,” Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday. Reuters reported that there was no immediate Russian comment on the allegations, which could not be independently verified.

According to a Reuters report, Russia left behind heavy damage, wrecked tanks, destroyed buildings and corpses, even as it withdrew. Russia has described the withdrawal as a symbolic effort that is part of the peace talks.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a morning video address on Saturday that risks remain, even as Russian forces leave parts of the country. He said that some of the withdrawing forces were laying mines or booby traps. CNBC was unable to independently verify this report.

– Melissa Rybko

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