1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Germany, UK condemn 'atrocious' train station strike

April 8, 2022

At least 52 people now dead after a rocket strike in eastern Ukraine as civilians tried to evacuate to safer parts of the country. German and British leaders expressed horror over the attack.

Blood stains are seen among bags and a baby carriage on a platform after Russian shelling at the railway station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine
Thousands of civilians were reportedly at the train station when it was hit by a rocket attackImage: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Telegram channel via AP/picture alliance
  • Rockets hit an eastern Ukrainian train station used by civilians to flee war
  • Scholz says Germany could be independent from Russian oil this year
  • EU chief von der Leyen vows to expedite Ukraine membership bid
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy points to war crimes in Borodyanka
  • Microsoft claims to have disrupted Russian hacking
  • Russian-appointed Mariupol "mayor" claims 5,000 killed in the city

We have closed these live updates. Please head to our new article for all the latest developments.

Ukraine demands global response to train station missile strike

Ukraine demanded more weapons to be sent to the country after it accused Russia of a missile strike on a train station in the city of Kramatorsk.

Ukrainian authorities said that the strike killed 52 people.

Kramatorsk lies in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region. The city has been the region's de facto administrative center since pro-Russian separatists took over the city of Donetsk in 2014.

Strikes on station 'a deliberate attack'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the strike a deliberate attack on civilians.

"We expect a firm global response to this war crime," Zelenskyy said, adding that Ukrainian authorities would make sure to establish who gave the order for the strike in order to hold those behind it responsible.

"Any delay in providing... weapons to Ukraine, any refusals, can only mean the politicians in question want to help the Russian leadership more than us," Ukraine's president went on to say in a Friday night video address.

Zelenskyy also called for an energy embargo on Russia and for Russian banks to be cut off from the global system.

"It is energy exports that provide the lion's share of Russia's income and allow the Russian leadership to believe in their impunity," Zelenskyy argued.

Map: Ukraine, with Kramatorsk toward the east of the country, just north of Donetsk

US restricts Russian access to fertilizers, other goods

The United States has restricted Russia and Belarus' access to imports of fertilizers and pipe valves, among other goods.

The US Commerce Department said it will begin requiring Russians and Belarusians to get a special license when seeking to obtain a host of goods from US suppliers. The department also pledged to deny those licenses.

The US government also restricted flights of American-made aircraft that are owned, controlled or leased by Belarusians from flying into Belarus.

DW Business – America

At least 52 people now dead in Kramatorsk rocket attack

The death toll in the missile strike at a train station in eastern Ukraine has risen to at least 52 people, with a number of children among the dead. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that 300 people had been wounded and said the attack exhibited "evil with no limits."

Russia has denied being behind the attack which has illicited a furious response.

Ukraine says over 6,600 people evacuated on Friday

More people were able to flee through humanitarian corridors on Friday compared to the day prior, Ukrainian officials said.

A total of 6,665 people were evacuated from cities across Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in an online post.

The figure is up from Thursday, which saw 4,600 able to escape embattled areas.

Bucha mass grave contained over 60 bodies

At least 67 people were buried in a mass grave on the grounds of a church in the town of Bucha outside Kyiv, the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office said.

Investigators began exhuming the grave earlier on Friday, starting the early stages of what Ukrainian authorities say will be a war crimes case.

According to the prosecutor general, some of the victims had bullet wounds.

"This means that they killed civilians, shot them," Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said.

The prosecutor general's office is investigating civilian deaths in Bucha and other mass casualties involving civilians as potential war crimes.

Russia has denied involvement in the deaths and says images have been staged, but has not provided proof of their claim.

Ukrainian servicemen stand guard next to bodies that were exhumed from a mass grave in Bucha
Ukrainian investigators began exhuming bodies from the mass graves on the grounds of a church in BuchaImage: Janis Laizans/REUTERS

NGOs criticize Russia's move to shut offices

Rights organizations criticized Russia's decision to close the offices of 15 international NGOs that were still operating in the country.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation, which has ties to Germany's Green Party, works to promote democracy — and was one of the nine German organizations that has been forced to shut.

"Unfortunately, the Russian government under President Vladimir Putin has pulled this country in the opposite direction [of democracy] for many years," read a statement from the foundation.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) were also among the organizations forced to close operations in Russia.

"You must be doing something right if the Kremlin tries to shut you up," read a comment by Amnesty International secretary general  Agnès Callamard.

US says Russia used short-range missile to strike train station

The Pentagon said that Russian forces were behind a rocket attack earlier on Friday that struck a train station in Kramatorsk.

"Our assessment is that that this was a Russian strike and that they used a short-range ballistic missile to conduct it," US Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby said.

The strike killed 50 people in the eastern Ukrainian city, hitting a station that was used by civilians fleeing fighting.

Russia has denied responsibility for the strike.

Pools of blood can be seen on the ground of a train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine after a rocket hit the site
At least 50 people were killed, including five children, when a missile struck a train station in the eastern Ukrainian city of KramatorskImage: Seth Sidney Berry/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa/picture alliance

War pushes food prices to record high, says UN

Food prices around the world reached an all-time high last month due to fallout from Russia's invasion in Ukraine, the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said on Friday.

The FAO'S Food Price Index, which tracks international prices for food commodities like grain, rose by 12.5% in March compared to February.

The index is now at its highest since the agency began tracking prices in 1990.

The FAO said the war in Ukraine is largely responsible for the jump in prices for wheat and coarse grains.

Russia and Ukraine are among the world's main breadbaskets — accounting for a major share in exports of wheat, corn and vegetable oil.

EU sanctions Putin's daughters in new measures

The European Union officially enacted a new round of sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine on Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's two adult daughters appear on the bloc's updated blacklist — meaning they face asset seizures and travel bans in the EU. Another 18 companies were also added to the list.

Putin's daughters, Maria Vorontsova and Ekaterina Tikhonova, were also hit with US sanctions earlier this week.

The sanctions package, which was published in the EU's Official Journal, was given the political go-ahead from member-states on Thursday.

Kombobild Katerina Tichonowa, Wladimir Putin, v Maria Vorontsova
Putin has long been secretive about his two daughters, Ekaterina (left) and Maria (right), and hadn't given their full names in publicImage: Eastnews/imago/Mikhail Klimentyev/SPUTNIK /AFP/Dmitry Feoktistov/TASS/picture alliance

Russia shuts down Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch

Russia shut down the local offices of 15 international organizations, including rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The Justice Ministry removed the organizations from its list of foreign NGOs, saying the move was due to "violations of the current legislation of the Russian Federation."

The statement did not provide any details on the violations.

Nine German organizations were targeted in the move, including the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The organizations are founded by and associated with Germany's major political parties.

The move comes just days after HRW said it had evidence of "Russian military forces committing laws-of-war violations" in Ukraine.

Mayor says over 130 civilians shot in village near Kyiv

The mayor of Makariv, a village west of Kyiv, said 132 civilians were found shot to death.

Mayor Vadim Tokar told Ukrainian television that most of the bodies were found in mass graves, and that 40% of the Makariv was destroyed.

He said Russian soldiers were behind the civilian deaths, although the information could not yet be independently verified.

A view of a bridge damaged as a result of shellfire in Makariv, Ukraine
This bridge in the village of Makariv is one of many sites severely damaged by shellfire, with the local mayor saying over 40% of the village is destroyedImage: Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images

EU promises more funds for Kyiv, diplomatic staff to return

The European Union is supporting Ukraine with more funds and to also bring back its diplomatic staff, the EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell said.

Speaking at a press conference in Kyiv, Borrell said the bloc hopes to free up an additional €500 million ($543 million) in funds for Ukraine to enable them to buy arms and weapons.

He added that the EU plans on bringing back its diplomatic staff to the Ukrainian capital in a sign of solidarity.

"Our delegation is coming back to Kyiv," Borrel said alongside EU chief Urusla von der Leyen and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 

"I'm sure other delegations and embassies will follow," he said.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell attends a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine
The EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, accompanied EU chief Ursula von der Leyen on her trip to UkraineImage: Janis Laizans/REUTERS

Borussia Dortmund will play charity match against Dynamo Kyiv

German football club Borussia Dortmund will play against the Ukrainian champions Dynamo Kyiv in a charity match on April 26. BVB, currently second place in the Bundesliga, will host the game in Dortmund.

All proceeds are going to an organization that provides direct aid to Ukrainians in need due to Russia's invasion. Dortmund's coach Marco Rose said his team was in the process of choosing an organization which "makes sure that Ukrainians in need are helped directly."

Dynamo Kyiv are set to play a series of charity matches against top European football clubs under the motto: "Play for peace! Stop the war!" The first such game will take place on April 12 against the Polish champions Legia Warsaw.

Von der Leyen offers Ukraine 'first positive step' in journey towards EU membership

Speaking following talks in Kyiv, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen offered Ukraine a first step towards advancing its membership bid in the bloc.

"My message today is very clear — Ukraine belongs to the European family," von der Leyen said.

Handing over a document to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the EU chief said it was "an important step towards EU membership. Where your path towards the European Union begins."

"We stand ready to support you in filling out this questionnaire," von der Leyen said, adding: "It will not be, as usual, a matter of years, but rather a matter of weeks" to complete this step.

The questionnaire, she explained, forms the basis of an opinion that gets passed on from the European Commission to the European Council, which will then decide the next steps.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Von der Leyen vowed to speed up the process for Ukraine to seek membership in the EU during talks with Zelenskyy in KyivImage: JANIS LAIZANS/REUTERS

International outcry grows over rocket strike on train station

More world leaders have expressed shock over a deadly missile strike that hit a train station where evacuees had gathered in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk.

US President Joe Biden accused Russia of being behind the strike, calling it a "horrific atrocity."

French President Emmanuel Macron also condemned the "abominable" attack, saying that families carried no weapons but only "prams, toy dolls, baggage" as they were trying to flee.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry expressed "great sadness" over the deadly attack, saying the incident highlights "the importance and urgency of establishing humanitarian corridors."

Von der Leyen vows 'justice' after visiting Bucha

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited the Ukrainian town of Bucha to view the site where hundreds of civilians were killed.

The EU leader viewed 20 bodies that were exhumed from a mass grave and lit candles for the victims.

"It was important to start my visit in Bucha. Because in Bucha our humanity was shattered," von der Leyen wrote in a tweet.

"Those responsible for the atrocities will be brought to justice. Your fight is our fight," she added.

Von der Leyen is the first western leader to visit Bucha, a town outside the capital Kyiv where civilians were found dead in the streets and buried in mass graves. Moscow denies Russian troops were responsible and claims images from the scene were staged, but has not provided evidence for their claim.

The EU chief is also holding talks in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Russia expels 45 Polish diplomatic staff

Russia has declared 45 Polish staff from embassy in Moscow and general consulates in Irkutsk, Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg as "persona non grata." They must leave Russia by the evening of April 13, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

According to the ministry, the decision was made in retaliation for Warsaw's expulsion of 45 Russian diplomats from Poland in late March.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has also announced the expulsion of two Bulgarian diplomats in response to the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from Bulgaria in March.

Johnson and Scholz address the conflict after talks in London

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are holding a joint-press conference in London, after holding talks on the war in Ukraine.

Johnson called the train station attack in Kramatorsk "unconscionable." He also said Britain would deliver further military assistance to Ukraine, including air defense and anti-tank missiles.

Scholz described the rocket strike in Kramatorsk as "atrocious" and the latest horrific event to happen in this "cruel war."

Johnson, who spoke first, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had failed to divide Europe, but rather forced the continent to re-arm together.

Scholz: The sanctions are working

With regards to untangling European dependence on Russian fossil fuels, Scholz said Germany is working to become "independent from [Russian] oil."

Scholz added that Germany will be able to substitute Russian oil imports already this year — "but this isn't easy" and that there is "infrastructure that needs to be built first."

DW correspondent Charlotte Chelsom-Pill said the issue of Europe's reliance on Russian fuel imports was the main sticking point in today's talks.

"Germany is a lot more reliant on Russian gas imports than the UK, it gets 40% of its gas from Russia — by contrast, the UK gets just 4%," she said speaking from London.

Unlike Germany, the UK exploits considerable oil and gas reserves of its own.

DW's Charlotte Chelsom-Pill reporting from London

The German chancellor also said that criticism levied against French President Emmanuel Macron over his talks with Putin was "unjustified."

"He tries to make his contribution that we have the opportunity to achieve a ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops," Scholz said.

Johnson said that talks with Putin "do not seem to be full of promise."

"My own view is that I am deeply skeptical [of the negotiations with Putin], and I'm afraid cynical now, about his assurances," the prime minister said.

Warsaw summons French ambassador over Macron comments

Poland said it called the French ambassador in Warsaw after French President Emmanuel Macron called Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki by "a far-right anti-Semite who bans LGBT people."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lukasz Jasina wrote on Twitter, "As a result of assertions by the French president in an interview with Le Parisien, Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau decided to summon the French ambassador."

The comments were made ahead of the first round of Sunday's French presidential election in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper.

The first diplomatic spat among EU nations since Russia invaded Ukraine follows a week of the two leaders trading barbs over Macron's repeated phone calls to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Earlier in the week, Morawiecki had asked Macron, while speaking to reporters, "How many times have you negotiated with Putin and what have you achieved?" He went on to say "nobody negotiated with" dictators like Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, or Pol Pot — though in truth for a time they did.

Death toll rises in missile strike on train station

The death toll from a rocket strike on a train station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk has risen, Ukrainian officials said.

At least 50 people have now died as a result of the missile strike, said regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. 

Some 12 people were killed at scene of the strike, while a further 38 later died from their injuries in hospital, Kyrylenko said.

Five children were among those killed, he said.

The station in Kramatorsk had been used by civilians fleeing fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Charred cars are seen outside of a train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine after it was hit by a rocket attack
Charred cars could be seen outside the train station in Kramatorsk, where rockets struck earlier on FridayImage: FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images

Kramatorsk mayor says evacuation by road beginning

Kramatorsk local authorities were starting to evacuating residents by buses and cars, according to the mayor of the city Oleksandr Honcharenko.

"Today we are starting an emergency evacuation of people with all public transport, all private transport. We are looking for drivers. Approximate 30-40 drivers are needed as of today," Honcharenko said during an online briefing.

Earlier on Friday, Ukraine said Russian missiles struck the train station in Kramatorsk. The civilians came to the train station to be evacuated to safer parts of the country.

EU freezes €29.5 billion in Russian assets

EU governments have frozen €29.5 billion (roughly $32 billion) in assets linked to Russian individuals with ties to the Kremlin, the European Commission said on Friday.

The frozen assets include bank accounts, boats, helicopters, real estate, and artwork, valued at almost €6.7 billion.

Additionally, the EU has blocked approximately €196 billion worth of transactions, it said.

However, the Commission had no estimate for the total value of oligarchs' assets in the European Union.

Slovakia provides Ukraine with S-300 air-defense system

Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger confirmed that his country has provided Ukraine with an air-defense system S-300.

"Ukrainian nation is bravely defending its sovereign country and us too. It is our duty to help, not to stay put and be ignorant to the loss of human lives under Russia’s aggression," Heger wrote on Twitter.

At the end of March, the US Patriot air defense system was deployed in Slovakia as a replacement for Soviet-designed S-300.

NATO ready to provide Ukraine with weapons for years to come

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was ready to supply Ukraine with weapons for the fight against Russia for years to come.

Speaking to BBC radio, Stoltenberg said, "Allies are ready to provide even more and also more modern and heavier weapons."

NATO foreign ministers on Thursday agreed to accelerate arms deliveries.

"We're not going to let anything stand in the way of getting Ukrainians what they need, and what we believe, to be effective," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said after the meeting in Brussels.

He spoke of "new systems" but declined to go into details about what specific systems he was referring to.

Ukraine's foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said Kyiv urgently needed weapons, including air defense systems, artillery, armored vehicles and jets.

Zelenskyy calls for European embargo on Russian oil

Addressing the parliament of Finland, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy informed lawmakers about the rocket strike in Kramatorsk and asked them to honor the memory of the victims with a minute of silence.

"Russian forces hit the train station in Kramatorsk, [firing] on an ordinary train station, on ordinary people, there were no soldiers there," he said.

The Russian army can commit the Bucha-like atrocities in any other city, Zelenskyy said.

"You have all seen what the Russian military has done in Bucha. But they do such 'Buchas' every day — from Kramatorsk to Mariupol, from Kharkiv to Kherson," the Ukrainian leader said.

Zelenskyy called on Europe to stop paying for oil from Russia by accumulating money in special accounts Russia will not have access to.

"How much longer can Europe ignore the need to impose an embargo on oil supplies from Russia? I ask you to raise this issue loudly to everyone in the European Union so that the necessary solution can finally be found," the president said.

Zelenskyy thanked Finland for providing Ukraine with defensive support and asked for further arms supplies and sanctions.

"We need the weapons that your EU partners have. We need effective, powerful sanctions against Russia and such a sanctions cocktail that will be remembered as Molotov cocktails," he said.

Finland's government website and those of several ministries were hit by a cyberattack at the same time that Zelenskyy gave a video address to the parliament of the country, its government reported.

Can trade with Russia go on?

EU, UN, and other diplomats return to Kyiv

The head of the EU delegation to Ukraine, Matti Maasikos, returned to Kyiv to reestablish Europe's diplomatic presence there.

The EU representation was completely evacuated from the country a day after the start of the war.

Maasikos was expected to resume his post in the Ukrainian capital with a small team.

He traveled on a train with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the bloc's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to Ukraine.

Their trip is intended to show solidarity with Ukraine and meet with its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres' spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said the United Nations would also reestablish its presence in Kyiv after the temporary redeployment of key personnel.

Many other diplomats were still operating from the western city of Lviv.

45% of Germans want more action on Ukraine

Russia, Belarus, slammed with another round of EU sanctions

The European Union on Friday officially passed heavy economic sanctions on Russia and Belarus, the fifth of such a package since the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian coal and other solid fossil fuels will be banned in the EU from August 2022, according to a statement.

Russian businesses linked to the Ukraine war, oligarchs, high ranking-Kremlin officials as well as four Russian banks were hit with immediate asset freezes and a ban on bank and crypto transactions.

The sanctions follow alleged atrocities committed by Russian troops in Bucha and other parts of Ukraine.

Josep Borrell, EU's foreign policy chief, said the goal of the sanctions is to "stop the reckless, inhuman and aggressive behavior of the Russian troops."

Other materials from a wide range of industries were cut off too, including Russian wood, cement, fertilizers, seafood and liquor.

Meanwhile, ports, roads and highways within the EU will now be off-limits to Russian and Belarusian vehicles, excluding those transporting food and medicine or used in a humanitarian context.

Russia and Belarus will also no longer have access to the Union’s jet fuels, and advanced technology equipment, including quantum computers.

Are Russian gas and oil sanctions next?

Russia an 'evil that has no limits,' Zelenskyy says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called Russia an "evil that has no limits" following a rocket attack on a train station in eastern Ukraine. The governor of the Donetsk region said 39 people were killed and 89 wounded.

In a Facebook post, Zelenskyy said Russian forces hit the Kramatorsk railway station, where thousands of Ukrainian civilians were waiting to be evacuated, with a Tochka-U missile.

About 4,000 people, most of them elderly, women and children, were at a railway station when it was hit, Mayor Oleksander Honcharenko said.

"Lacking the strength and courage to stand up to us on the battlefield, [the Russians] are cynically destroying the civilian population. This is an evil that has no limits. And if it is not punished, it will never stop," Zelenskyy said.

Russia denied responsibility for the attack. 

Personal belongings of victims and burnt-out vehicles after a rocket attack on the railway station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk
Zelenskyy said Russia would not be stopped unless it was punishedImage: Hervé Bar/AFP/Getty Images

Ukrainian negotiator says there will be no temporary ceasefire with Russia

Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podoliak said Ukraine and Russia are "constantly" holding peace talks online, but the mood of the talks had changed after the atrocities in Bucha and other towns near Kyiv came to light.

"This is not a question of actual negotiations, but the emotional background on which these negotiations are conducted. Ukrainian society is now much more negative about any negotiating concept that concerns Russia," Podoliak said in an interview with the online publication RBC-Ukraine.

He also ruled out a temporary ceasefire with Russia.

"A temporary truce with the Russian Federation is always a way to further escalation and war," he said. "It cannot be. A temporary truce is an incentive for Russia to take further aggressive action."

According to Podoliak, Ukraine will not accept "Minsk-3" or "Budapest-2" (the reiterations of the Minsk agreement of 2005 or the Budapest memorandum of 1994. – eds.).

"In the historical perspective, even in the short term, all these "Minsks" lead to great tragedies. All these agreements will not work without real preventive mechanisms to prevent war," Podoliak said.

Propaganda and fakes designed to manipulate us

Rocket attack hits train station in eastern Ukraine

Two Russian rockets struck the train station in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine. According to the Ukrainian state railway company, more than 30 people were killed and over 100 were wounded.

The civilians came to the train station to be evacuated to safer parts of the country.

"Thousands of people were at the station during the missile strike, as residents of Donetsk region are being evacuated to safer regions of Ukraine," Governor of Donetsk oblast Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote in his Telegram.

He said he thought Russian forces aimed to keep civilians from fleeing.

Russia did not immediately comment on the reports of the attack or the casualty toll. Moscow has denied targeting civilians since invading Ukraine on February 24.

War to cut Ukraine's harvest by 20%

Ukraine's grain harvest will likely fall by about one-fifth of last year's total, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Friday.

The Russian invasion and ensuing war have hit farmers hard, shrinking cultivated land area and reducing critical fuel supplies, the leader said.

Officials said that with limits placed on grain exports, they do not expect the smaller harvest to affect the domestic food supply.

But North African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries that depend on Ukrainian grain are already feeling the impact, the UN's food agency warned this week.

Food prices are soaring and prolonged fighting could "seriously escalate food insecurity globally," said Qu Dongyu, head of the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Alongside Russia, Ukraine was one of the world's biggest corn and wheat exporters before the war.

Its fertile regions of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Odesa have been occupied by Russian troops at one time or the other since February.

Many farmers have also been displaced or joined the military.

Map showing Russia's advance in Ukraine as of April 7, 2022

Russia claims it struck a foreign fighters' base near Odesa

Russia's Defense Ministry says it destroyed a base used by foreign fighters near Odesa.

"High-precision missiles from the Bastion coastal missile system near the village of Krasnoselka, northeast of Odesa, destroyed the foreign mercenaries collection and training center," the Russian news agency Tass quoted Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov as saying.

There was no immediate confirmation from Ukrainian authorities, but Odesa city officials earlier wrote on Telegram that the southern city was hit by missile strikes and "infrastructure facilities in the Odesa region were affected."

After Russia invaded Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited foreign volunteers to fight alongside Ukrainians.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that around 20,000 foreign fighters from 52 countries had volunteered.

Foreign fighters support Ukrainian army

Ukraine aims for 10 humanitarian corridors for fleeing civilians

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said officials have negotiated 10 routes to evacuate citizens from besieged cities in Ukraine following days of talks.

Residents from the heavily devastated southeastern Mariupol may now leave the city and head west to Zaporizhzhia, Vereshchuk said in a statement.

Those trapped in the Russian-occupied towns of Berdyansk, Tokmak and Energodar have also been directed to head west.

In the eastern Donetsk region, residents close to the administrative city of Bakhmut may also head there.

Residents will have to travel in their cars, however, the statement said. The drive is about three to five hours.

EU's von der Leyen and Borrell traveling to Kyiv

In a show of support, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and bloc's diplomatic chief Josep Borrell were traveling to Ukraine.

They were due to meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv for talks.

Both European leaders shared pictures of their trip on social media.

The visit comes ahead of a solidarity event in Warsaw on Saturday.

It is the second such trip from EU officials. European Parliament President Roberta Metsola went to Ukraine last week.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to meet British PM Boris Johnson in London

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz travels to London to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday.

The meeting would focus on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Both countries are part of NATO and the G7 and support sanctions against Russia.

Johnson has been very vocally urging Europe to move away from its reliance on Russian energy imports.

Germany has supported an EU coal import ban but said ending gas and oil imports would take longer.

Liberated town of Borodyanka in ruins

UK says Russian troops need 'significant replenishment' before redeployment

British military intelligence said Russian forces would need " significant replenishment" before being ready to deploy to eastern Ukraine.

In its latest intelligence update, the UK's Ministry of Defense said Russian forces have now fully withdrawn from northern Ukraine to

Belarus and Russia, and would need at least a week "minimum" before they are redeployed to fight elsewhere.

It said the shelling of cities in the east and south continued.

Russian forces have advanced further south from the strategically important city of Izium which remains under their control.

Nobel-winning editor Dmitry Muratov attacked in Russia

Russian Nobel-winning editor Dmitry Muratov was attacked with red paint on a train from Moscow to Samara.

He said his attacker shouted: "Muratov, take this for our boys," in what he believes pointed at criticism of his newspaper's stance on Ukraine.

Novaya Gazeta announced late in March it was suspending operations for the duration of what it referred to in quotation marks as "the special operation'' in Ukraine, the term that Russian authorities insist the media must use for the war.

Muratov had publicly criticized President Vladimir Putin's war against Ukraine.

US bans exports to three Russian airlines

The US Commerce Department said that it had imposed a ban on exports to three Russian airlines for flying in violation of sanctions.

The state-owned airline Aeroflot, as well as the carriers Azur Air and Utair, were banned from receiving American goods for the next 180 days.

"Any companies that flout our export controls, specifically those who do so to the benefit of Vladimir Putin and the detriment of the Ukrainian people, will feel the full force of the department's enforcement," US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement.

According to the statement, the airlines had operated flights within Russia and to countries such as China, Vietnam, Turkey, India and the United Arab Emirates without seeking US permission as sanctions require.

Japan to impose further sanctions on Russia, reduce coal imports

Japanese Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda said on Friday that Tokyo plans to gradually reduce its imports of Russian coal with the long term aim of eventually phasing imports out entirely.

Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had announced further sanctions after reports of atrocities in Ukraine, which Kishida referred to as "war crimes."

Japan's prime minister said that the country was in consultation with the other G7 countries to determine what sanctions to impose on Russia.

NATO has to prepare for "what if" scenarios

Russian aluminum firm calls for Bucha investigation

The chairman of Russian aluminum giant Rusal, Bernard Zonneveld, called for an impartial investigation into killings that took place in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

"We support an objective and impartial investigation of this crime and call for severe punishment for the perpetrators," Zonneveld said in a statement on Rusal's website.

Zonneveld said that he was "shocked" by the reports of atrocities in Bucha and called for the conflict to end "as quickly as possible."

Last month, Rusal founder Oleg Deripaska said that the conflict in Ukraine was "madness" and would bring shame on generations to come.

US blacklists two Russian state-owned firms

The United States has blacklisted two Russian state-owned enterprises, the US Treasury Department said.

The two firms are the United Shipbuilding Corp (USC) and the Alrosa diamond mining company.

According to the US Treasury, Alrosa is the world's largest diamond mining company and is responsible for 90% of Russia's diamond mining capacity, while USC develops the majority of Russia's warships.

The move denies the enterprises access to the US financial system. The Treasury said it was "cutting off additional sources of support and revenue for the Government of the Russian Federation."

Scene at Borodyanka 'much more horrific' than Bucha  — Zelenskyy

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the situation in the town of Borodyanka outside Kyiv is worse than the discoveries made in the town of Bucha.

 "They have started sorting through the ruins in Borodyanka," Zelenskyy said in his daily national address on Thursday. "It's much more horrific there, there are even more victims of Russian occupiers."

Invading Russian forces pulled out of the region around a week ago. Ukraine has accused Russia of committing atrocities in the areas troops occupied. Moscow has denied that its troops are targeting civilians and claims images of dead civilians have been staged.

'We're getting some very, very distressing reports': DW's Nick Connolly

Pro-Russian 'mayor' of Mariupol claims 5,000 civilians killed

According to the Mariupol city administration established by pro-Russian forces, 5,000 civilians have been killed in fighting in the city.

Konstantin Ivashchenko, appointed "mayor" by pro-Russian forces, told the Russian state news agency TASS that according to experts 60 to 70 percent of apartments in the city had been destroyed or damaged.

Ivashchenko estimated that at least 250,000 people have left the city.

Ukrainian authorities say that there are still 100,000 people in the city and estimate the number of casualties to be in the "tens of thousands."

Are Russian forces in a better position to make gains in the Donbas region?

Microsoft says it disrupted Russian hacks

US tech giant Microsoft claims to have disrupted hacking attempts by Russian military spies.

The spies were attempting to break into Ukrainian, EU and US targets, according to the company. Microsoft attributes to the attacks to a group it calls "Strontium."

In a blog post on Microsoft's website, the firm said that a group was using internet domains in an effort to spy on US and EU government bodies and think tanks, as well as a number of Ukrainian institutions including media organizations. Microsoft did not provide further details as to who the targets were.

Microsoft said that it was taking legal and technical action to seize control of domains controlled by Strontium, and had obtained a court order that allowed it to take over seven domains on April 6.

Summary of events in Ukraine-Russia crisis on Thursday

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the country would need to use the full transition period of 120 days in order to implement a ban on Russian coal.

The European Council said late on Thursday that the bloc's latest sanctions package has been given the political green light.

The package includes an EU embargo on Russian coal imports, as well as an import ban on Russian wood and vodka.

Following a debate, a majority of the UN General Assembly voted to suspend Moscow from the body's Human Rights Council. Some 93 members voted in favor of suspending Russia, while 24 voted against.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said members agreed to boost weapons supplies for Ukraine.

The mayor of the Ukrainian city Dnipro, Boris Filatov, called for women, children and the elderly to leave the city.

The World Health Organization said there were "no assurances that the war will not get worse." WHO confirmed 91 attacks on health care providers, including ambulances and hospitals.

G7 foreign ministers condemned "in the strongest terms the atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces in Bucha and a number of other Ukrainian towns."

rs, lo, sdi/kb (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)