Russia-Ukraine live news: US wants Russia expelled from G20

  • Kyiv appeals to NATO for more weapons as the alliance meets in Brussels.
  • Russia says it has destroyed fuel storage facilities in four cities as it refocuses its offensive on eastern Ukraine.
  • Moscow’s troops have completed their withdrawal from around Kyiv, the United States says.

Here are all the latest updates:

Russians killed 11 civilians for ‘target practice’, ex-minister alleges

Ukraine’s former interior minister has accused Russian snipers of shooting dead 11 civilians in the town of Hostomel, near Kyiv, for “target practice”.

Citing testimony from local residents, Arsen Avakov alleged in post on Telegram that the troops had dragged the civilians’ bodies to a garage on the town’s Sviato-Pokrovsk street after they were killed.

He posted accompanying footage which appeared to show several corpses in an undisclosed, indoor location. Avakov did not specify the date on which the alleged incident took place or provide any other further details.

There was no immediate reaction to the allegation from Moscow and Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify Avakov’s claims.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Vinnytsia, Ukraine.

Ukrainian official warns of ‘last chance’ to flee Russian attacks in east

A regional governor in eastern Ukraine has warned citizens there that time is running out to flee from Russia’s offensive as Moscow moves to seize control of the region.

Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Luhansk, said in a post on Facebook that all villages in the area were currently under attack.

“These few days may be the last chance to leave,” he added, cautioning that Russian forces were “trying to cut off all possible ways of taking people out.”

‘Borodyanka is worse than Bucha’: Reporter

A Ukrainian journalist who visited the town of Borodyanka, northwest of Kyiv, has alleged that the number of civilians killed there is “worse than in Bucha”.

Roman Bochkala said in a post on Facebook on Wednesday that Russian forces had destroyed all of the town’s housing amid their offensive, alleging they had “wanted everyone to die.”

“People who were hiding from the air strikes were killed. The basements of multi-story buildings became a trap,” he said.

Bochkala added that it would take two or three days for rescue workers to retrieve the bodies from under the rubble that is strewn across the town.

His claims came after Ukraine’s prosecutor general said on Monday that the number of civilian casualties in Borodyanka may outweigh those in Bucha, where dozens of non-combatants have been found dead.

Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Vinnytsia, Ukraine.

Ukraine announces 10 humanitarian corridors

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister says Kyiv is aiming to evacuate civilians from several regions in the country’s south and east via 10 humanitarian corridors on Thursday after agreeing on the routes with Russia.

Iryna Vereshchuk said in a post on Telegram that civilians from the Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions will be evacuated to the cities of Zaporizhzhia and Bakhmut.

She added that residents trying to leave the besieged, southeastern port city of Mariupol would have to use their own vehicles.

Efforts to get convoys of buses into the city to deliver aid and evacuate tens of thousands of residents trapped there have repeatedly failed.

Russia air attacks focused on the east, Ukrainian official says

Russian air attacks are now mainly focused mainly on areas in eastern Ukraine, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said.

Oleksiy Arestovych said in a televised address that Moscow’s forces were trying to encircle Ukrainian troops in the region.

He added that Mariupol was holding out despite fierce bombardment and that he believed Russia’s efforts to seize full control of the region, swaths of which are already held by Moscow-backed separatists, would be in vain.

Mini map showing Mariupol's location within Ukraine

Russia says it destroyed fuel storage facilities in four Ukrainian cities

Russia’s defence ministry says its forces destroyed four fuel storage facilities in the Ukrainian cities of Mykolayiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Chuhuiv overnight.

The ministry said the facilities were used by Ukraine to supply its troops near the cities of Mykolaiv and Kharkiv, as well as in the eastern Donbas region.

There was no immediate reaction to the claims from Kyiv.

Ukraine urges Hungary to ‘get on the right side of history’ over Russia

Ukraine has accused Hungary of undermining European Union unity over the bloc’s stance on Russia’s invasion after Budapest said it was prepared to pay in roubles for gas exports from Moscow.

“If Hungary really wants to help end the war, here’s how to do it: stop destroying unity in the EU, support new anti-Russian sanctions, provide military assistance to Ukraine, and not create additional sources of funding for Russia’s military machine,” Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said.

“It is never too late to get on the right side of history,” he added.

UK says Russian ‘artillery, air strikes’ continue along Donbas line of control

Russian “artillery and air strikes” are continuing along the Donbas line of control, the United Kingdom’s defence ministry has said in its latest intelligence update on the war.

The ministry said the main focus of Russian forces was “progressing offensive operations in eastern Ukraine”.

Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 7 April 2022

Find out more about the UK government’s response:

🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦

— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) April 7, 2022

Shell says Russia exit has already cost up to $5bn

Shell says its decision to pull out of Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine has already cost the international energy giant as much as $5bn.

The reduced value of Russian assets, credit losses and “onerous” contract terms will cut earnings for the first three months of the year by between $4bn and $5bn, the company said in a statement.

Energy companies are under pressure to cut ties with Russia because oil and natural gas exports are crucial earnings sources for Moscow.

A Shell logo is seen on a fuel pump
Shell has announced plans to fully withdraw from Russia [File: Kacper Pempel/Reuters]

Ukrainian foreign minister makes NATO weapons appeal

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called on NATO member states to provide Kyiv with more weaponry as it faces down Russia’s offensive.

“My agenda is very simple. It has only three items on it. It’s weapons, weapons, and weapons,” Kuleba told reporters at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels as its member states’ foreign ministers gathered to discuss ways to shore up support for Kyiv.

“We know how to fight. We know how to win. But without sustainable and sufficient supplies requested by Ukraine, these wins will be accompanied by enormous sacrifices. The more weapons we get and the sooner they arrive in Ukraine, the more human lives will be saved.”

Met with Secretary General @jensstoltenberg at NATO HQ in Brussels. I came here today to discuss three most important things: weapons, weapons, and weapons. Ukraine’s urgent needs, the sustainability of supplies, and long-term solutions which will help Ukraine to prevail.

— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) April 7, 2022

Mayor of Bucha says 90 percent of victims shot, not shelled

Nearly all of the Ukrainian civilians killed in Bucha were deliberately shot, the town’s mayor, Anatoly Fedoruk, has alleged.

“Almost 90 percent are bullet shots, not shrapnel,” Fedoruk told the Deutsche Welle broadcaster, contesting Russian claims that the victims were killed by shelling from the Ukrainian side.

He said that by Wednesday night, the bodies of 320 dead civilians had been found, but the number keeps growing because many bodies have been buried or left in parks and squares of villages outside Bucha.

Russia called the photos and videos of Bucha victims “fake”, claiming they were concocted by Ukrainian forces that entered the town after weeks of Russian occupation.

Reporting by Al Jazeera’s Mansur Mirovalev in Vinnytsia, Ukraine

Austria says it is expelling four Russian diplomats

Austria is expelling four Russian diplomats for acting in a way incompatible with their diplomatic status, a spokeswoman for the coutry’s foreign minister has said, joining a group of European Union countries that have taken similar action this week.

Unlike those other EU countries, which include France, Italy and Germany, the spokesperson for Alexander Schallenberg did not say the move was because of Russian forces’ actions in Ukraine.

The three diplomats working at Russia’s embassy and one based in Salzburg must leave the country by April 12, she said.

EU’s top diplomat says new Russia sanctions imminent

The European Union’s top diplomat has said a fifth round of sanctions on Russia, including a ban on coal imports, could be agreed on by the bloc imminently.

“Maybe this afternoon, or tomorrow at the latest,” Josep Borrell told reporters as he arrived at a NATO meeting.

Australia to impose sanctions on 67 Russians over Ukraine

Foreign Minister Marise Payne has said that Australia was imposing sanctions on 67 Russians over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Today, I’m announcing 67 further sanctions of Russian elites and oligarchs, those close to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin who facilitate and support his outrageous actions,” she told reporters as she arrived at NATO.

Russia says it launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Four civilians killed in Donetsk city of Vuhledar, governor says

The governor of Ukraine’s Donetsk region has said Russian shelling killed four civilians queueing up for humanitarian aid in the city of Vuhledar. Another four were injured, Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram.

He added one more civilian was killed in the settlement of Ocheretyne.

Putin’s daughters targeted in US sanctions: Who are they?

The latest round of sanctions by the United States on Russia have drawn renewed scrutiny to the family life of Russian President Vladimir Putin, unveiling two new targets: Katerina and Maria, his eldest daughters.

Despite Putin’s domination of Russian politics, he rarely talks about his family and little is known about his personal life or children.

Katerina and Maria have never confirmed publicly the Russian leader is their father. Putin’s marriage to their mother Lyudmila, who was once part of the cabin crew with national carrier Aeroflot, ended with divorce in 2013.

Read more here.

Russian elites won’t be able to stop the war in Ukraine, expert says

Elites close to Russian President Vladimir Putin who disagree with the invasion of Ukraine won’t be able to influence the situation, a Russian political scientist has told an independent news program.

Speaking on exiled Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s YouTube channel, Valery Solovei said some of the elites wanted Russia “to get out” of Ukraine “at any price”. But he stressed it was impossible for them to unite and change Russia’s position on Ukraine.

“They fear each other. And they don’t fear for nothing. That’s because they know if they say anything in the company of three people, two of those people will sell them out.”

Solovei is the former head of the Public Relations Department at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He resigned for unspecified reasons. Russian authorities previously detained him for anti-Kremlin rhetoric and protest participation.

US Senate to vote on ending normal trade with Russia

The US Senate will vote on Thursday to end normal trade relations with Russia and to ban the importation of its oil. Both bills have been bogged down in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he wished the vote could have happened sooner, “but after weeks of talks with the other side, it’s important that we have found a path forward”.

The trade suspension measure paves the way for US President Joe Biden to enact higher tariffs on certain Russian imports. The bill banning Russian oil would codify restrictions Biden has already put in place through executive action.

Putin’s actions are detestable. He must be held accountable.

Tomorrow morning, the Senate will vote to strip Putin’s Russia of permanent normal trade relations with the United States, and we will take action to ban the import of Russian oil.

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 7, 2022

US sanctions will hurt people says Russian ambassador

US sanctions in relation to Sberbank and Alfa-Bank are a “direct blow to ordinary Russians”, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov has said.

The ambassador called sanctions “non-stop attacks” and said the US was trying to tarnish Russia’s reputation by making it difficult for it to make debt payments.

Russian teacher faces prison after telling students of bombings in Mariupol

A teacher in the Russian town of Penza is facing a fine of three to five million roubles ($36,500-$61,000) or five to 10 years in prison after telling her students about Russian forces bombing Mariupol.

US government-funded news organisation Radio Liberty reported the teacher, Irina Gen, was interviewed by an agent of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) after her students posted her lesson online. She has been charged with spreading “fake news” about the Russian army.

“He insisted that I confess to spreading fakes on purpose. But I was one hundred percent sure that all this was true,” Gen told Radio Liberty.

The Russian parliament toughened its “fake news” laws in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine. Under the legislation, those who “knowingly” spread so-called false information about Russian state bodies operating abroad face fines and a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

Gen told Radio Liberty she was “in for a painful trial”.

UN to vote on suspending Russia from its human rights body

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will vote on Thursday on whether to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield brought the move for Russia to be stripped of its seat on the 47-member council, in the wake of videos and photos of corpses strewn along the streets of Bucha, near Kyiv.

UNGA Spokeswoman Paulina Kubiak said the assembly will meet to vote on the resolution to suspend Russia at 10am on Thursday. The resolution’s approval requires a two-thirds majority of assembly members that vote “yes” or “no”.

Ukrainian serviceman amid destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha
Ukrainian serviceman amid destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, April 6, 2022 (Felipe Dana/AP)

US House passes bill to collect evidence of war crimes in Ukraine

The US House of Representatives has passed legislation calling on the federal government to detail its efforts to collect evidence of war crimes committed in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Legislators backed the measure by a vote of 418-7 after gruesome reports of atrocities in towns around Kyiv, particularly Bucha. US President Joe Biden previously said a “war crimes trial”could be held over the civilian deaths in Bucha.

Six GOP House members voted against a bill that would require the State Dept to report and preserve evidence of war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

Tom Massie (KY)

Scott Perry (PA)

Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA)

Warren Davidson (OH)

Andy Biggs (AZ)

Paul Gosar (AZ)

— Kristin Wilson (@kristin__wilson) April 6, 2022

Russian forces ‘dismiss’ Zaporizhzhia mayor: Kyiv Independent

The Kyiv Independent news website says Russian forces have dismissed the mayor of Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhia Region, Dmytro Orlov, and installed a regime-friendly head.

Enerhodar is the location of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant where a fire broke out in March after shelling. The town has been partially occupied by Russian forces.

According to Energoatom, the operator of nuclear power stations in Ukraine, a deputy of the Enerhodar city council was chosen as head of the city administration “by an illegal order”, the Kyiv Independent said on Twitter.

Al Jazeera could not verify this information.

Key moment for citizens of Russia: Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has spoken directly to Russian citizens saying now is the time for them to decide whether they are for war or peace.

“Everyone in Russia who will not demand an end to this shameful war and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine has no future,” he said in his nightly national address.

“It is better now, demanding peace, to lose something, to somehow face the Russian repressive machine than to be equated with the Nazis for the rest of your life,” he added.

‘Very small’ number of Ukrainian troops get drone training in US

Ukrainian soldiers are being trained in the US to operate the Switchblade drones that Washington is supplying to Kyiv, a Pentagon official has said.

Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby said a “very small” number of Ukrainian troops – less than a dozen – who were already present in the US before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, are being trained.

“We took the opportunity, having them still in the country, to give them a couple of days’ worth of training on the Switchblades, so they can go back … to train others in the Ukrainian military,” Kirby said, adding that 100 drones have been sent to Ukraine.

Delay on Russia oil embargo decision is costing lives: Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has blasted Western leaders for being too slow to agree to impose an embargo on Russian oil – at the cost of Ukrainian lives.

“Some politicians are still unable to decide how to limit the flow of petrodollars and oil euros to Russia so as not to put their own economies at risk,” Zelenskyy said in a video.

“The only question is how many more Ukrainian men, how many more Ukrainian women, the Russian military will have time to kill in order for you, certain politicians – and we know who you are – to find some determination.”

Zelenskyy added that Moscow was making so much money from oil exports that it did not need to take peace talks seriously and called on the “democratic world” to shun Russian crude.

Russia has completed withdrawal from around Kyiv: US official

The US has assessed that Russia has completed its withdrawal from around Kyiv and is refitting and resupplying its troops for an expected redeployment into Ukraine, a senior US defence official said.

“We are assessing that all the Russians have left,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that the US assessment was completed in the past 24 hours.

But the official said Kyiv remained under threat, even if Russian ground troops had left the area. “The threat of [a] ground invasion [of Kyiv] is clearly gone for the moment … but it’s not clear what their longer-range goals are,” the official said.

Ukrainian refugees continue to stream to US-Mexico border

Ukrainian refugees have continued to make their way to Tijuana, Mexico, as they wait to cross the border into the United States, and temporary shelters have sprung up in Mexico.

“This is very nice, really very nice. We have food. We have sleep,” Anastasiia Derezenko, a Ukrainian refugee, told the Associated Press news agency from a shelter run by a charity called Agape Ministries.

“For us, it’s difficult – a little cold at night … But you know it’s not dangerous. We stay without worry. Because we think about our people who stay now in Brovary, in Kyiv, in Bucha, in Irpin,” she said.

Coordinator Alex Fedorchuk said that 2,000 refugees have already made their way through the shelter to date.

IMF cuts Japan’s growth forecast amid Ukraine war fallout

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut Japan’s economic growth forecast and urged policymakers to consider preparing a contingency plan in case the Ukraine crisis derails a fragile recovery.

“Escalation of the Ukraine conflict poses significant downside risks to the Japanese economy,” the IMF said in a staff report.

The IMF said it now expects Japan’s economy to grow 2.4 percent this year, lower than a projection for 3.3 percent expansion made in January.

Ukraine war is descending towards ‘brutalisation’: expert

Jonathan Leader Maynard, an expert on genocide and war crimes at King’s College in London, has said that there is now evidence that the war in Ukraine is seeing an increasing “brutalisation”.

“To some extent all wars involve significant civilian suffering, but this kind of severe violations of the laws of war is not universal, it is specific to certain conflicts,” Maynard told Al Jazeera.

“The evidence so far would suggest that this has been much more widespread in areas of Russian occupation particularly against civilians but there have been a few isolated crimes that appears to show Ukrainian forces engaging in violations of the law of war as well,” Maynard said in reference to a recent video that emerged that appeared to show Ukrainian soldiers shooting a captured Russian soldier.

Putin’s daughters hiding president’s wealth: US officials

US officials have said that Putin’s two adult daughters, Katerina and Maria, are hiding his wealth.

“We have reason to believe that Putin, and many of his cronies, and the oligarchs, hide their wealth, hide their assets, with family members that place their assets and their wealth in the US financial system, and also many other parts of the world,” a senior US administration official said.

“We believe that many of Putin’s assets are hidden with family members, and that’s why we’re targeting them,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Read more here.

More than 1,000 people evacuated to Zaporizhzhia: Red Cross

An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team says it has led a convoy of buses and private cars carrying more than 1,000 people to Zaporizhzhia after the civilians fled Mariupol on their own.

“This convoy’s arrival to Zaporizhzhia is a huge relief for hundreds of people who have suffered immensely and are now in a safer location,” Pascal Hundt, the ICRC’s head of delegation in Ukraine, said in a statement.

“It’s clear, though, that thousands more civilians trapped inside Mariupol need safe passage out and aid to come in.”

US treasury secretary says Biden wants Russia out of G20

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that Russia’s aggression will have “enormous economic repercussions in Ukraine and beyond” and that President Joe Biden wants Moscow expelled from the Group of 20.

“President Biden’s made it clear, and I certainly agree with him, that it cannot be business as usual for Russia in any of the financial institutions,” Yellen said. “He’s asked that Russia be removed from the G20, and I’ve made clear to my colleagues in Indonesia that we will not be participating in a number of meetings if the Russians are there.”

Her comments at a US House Financial Services Committee hearing raised questions about the future of the G20, which has been the premier global economic and policy forum since the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

Read more here.

Janet Yellen
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says Biden wants Russia out of the G20 [Evan Vucci/AP]

US sanctioning relatives of Russian officials in push to seize assets: White House

The US is imposing sanctions on the relatives of Russian officials to prevent them from concealing their assets, the White House has said.

Washington has imposed sanctions on Putin’s two adult daughters as well as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s wife and daughter.

“We’ve seen a pattern over time [that] President Putin and Russian oligarchs stash assets and resources in the bank accounts of their family members. And so, this was an effort to get at those assets, and that’s why these individuals were sanctioned,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

FBI says it disrupted Russian hackers

US officials have said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) disrupted thousands of routers and firewall appliances away from Russian military hackers.

“Fortunately, we were able to disrupt this botnet before it could be used,” US Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

An unsealed and redacted affidavit described the unusual operation as a preemptive move to stop Russian hackers from mobilising the compromised devices into a “botnet” – a network of hacked computers that can bombard other servers with rogue traffic.

Boston Marathon restricts Russian and Belarusian runners

The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) has said that Russian and Belarusian athletes who were accepted through open registration to the Boston Marathon and reside in their home countries will not be allowed to compete in this month’s event.

“We are horrified and outraged by what we have seen and learned from the reporting in Ukraine,” BAA President and CEO Tom Grilk said in a statement. “We believe that running is a global sport and, as such, we must do what we can to show our support to the people of Ukraine.”

Runners who are Russian and Belarusian citizens but reside outside either country will be permitted to compete but not under the Russian or Belarusian flag.

Russia faces ‘genocide’ charge, but experts urge caution

Images of corpses lining the streets and bodies stuffed into plastic bags in Bucha, near Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, have shaken the world, raising calls for credible investigations and accountability.

But the explosive “genocide” charge levied by Ukrainian and foreign government officials against Russia over the killings has proven contentious.

Legal experts say it is too early to determine whether genocide has occurred in Ukraine, stressing that while the term is politically damning, other human rights violations are also serious and should not be ignored.

Read more here.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read all the updates from Wednesday, April 6 here.

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