Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Zelenskyy says it’s possible there will be no meeting with Putin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has suggested a meeting with Russia’s Putin may not happen.

Metin Aktas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says it’s possible that talks with Russia’s Vladimir Putin will not take place, according to Reuters.

Speaking in an address broadcast on national television, Zelenskyy reportedly said it is not a question of whether or not talks with the Kremlin will be held, but how strong one is at the negotiating table.

— Sam Meredith

US stops Russian bond payments in bid to raise pressure on Moscow

The US has stopped Russian bond payments in a bid to ramp up the pressure on Moscow.

– | Afp | Getty Images

The United States stopped the Russian government on Monday from paying holders of its sovereign debt more than $600 million from reserves held at American banks, in a move meant to ratchet up pressure on Moscow and eat into its holdings of US dollars.

Under sanctions put in place after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, foreign currency reserves held by the Russian central bank at US financial institutions were frozen.

But the Treasury Department had been allowing the Russian government to use those funds to make coupon payments on dollar-denominated sovereign debt on a case-by-case basis.

— Reuters

Red Cross workers after being held during attempt to release people from Mariupol

Residential buildings that were damaged during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 3, 2022.

Pavel Klimov | Reuters

A team of humanitarian workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross has been released after being held during an attempt to reach the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, according to Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk.

A team of ICRC representatives seeking to evacuate people from the besieged city of Mariupol had been held in nearby Mangush, Vereshchuk said, but after negotiations, they were released and sent to Zaporizhia — roughly 200 kilometers away.

Vereshchuk said that despite the Kremlin’s promises, Russian forces had not allowed anyone to travel to Mariupol. Vereshchuk said seven humanitarian corridors were in place on Tuesday.

— Sam Meredith

Putin is not ready to give up on the war in Ukraine, Brookings Institution says

Russian President Vladimir Putin is not ready to back down even though his army is doing much worse than expected, according to Angela Stent, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

“He’s not willing to give up obviously, he’s going to keep striking,” she told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.”

Stent said Russia is not serious about peace talks yet, and Putin will not give up on his goal of weakening Ukraine.

“If he can’t subjugate it, at least make it very difficult for what’s left of the government in Kyiv to function,” she said, adding that Putin also wants to take over the Donbas region fully. The Donbas is a breakaway region in eastern Ukraine which includes Donetsk and Luhansk, two pro-Russian self-proclaimed republics.

“He would like to do that in time for May the 9th, when the Russians will have their parade in Moscow commemorating victory in World War II,” said Stent, referring to what Russian call “Victory Day.”

— Abigail Ng

Zelenskyy says Borodyanka atrocities may be even worse than those in Bucha

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said more than 300 were killed and tortured in the town of Bucha, a suburb near the capital of Kyiv.

Ronaldo Schmidt | Afp | Getty Images

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that reported atrocities in Borodyanka, an urban settlement near Kyiv, could be worse than the devastation seen in Bucha.

Speaking in his nightly address to the Ukrainian people, Zelenskyy said more than 300 were killed and tortured in the town of Bucha, a suburb near the capital of Kyiv. However, the number of victims of Russia’s onslaught in Borodyanka could be even larger.

“We already have information that in Borodyanka and some other freed towns, the amount of victims can be even larger,” Zelenskyy said via Telegram, according to a translation.

“The occupiers will be held responsible. We are already doing everything as fast as we can find all the Russian soldiers involved in these crimes,” he added.

— Sam Meredith

Ukraine warns Russia preparing offensive to establish full control over Donetsk, Luhansk

Families prepare to board a train at Kramatorsk central station on Monday to flee the eastern city in the Donbas region.

Fadel Senna | Afp | Getty Images

Russian forces are preparing to launch an offensive in eastern Ukraine, seeking to establish full control of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

According to the statement, Russian forces are continuing to block the northeast city of Kharkiv, with “constant shelling” destroying residential areas and infrastructure.

Russian forces have launched massive artillery and airstrikes on the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said. Russian troops were also reported to have shelled the southern city of Mykolayiv with cluster munitions prohibited by the Geneva Convention.

— Sam Meredith

China’s foreign minister speaks with Ukrainian counterpart for the first time in a month

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, on a phone call state media said was made at Ukraine’s request.

This is the first reported high-level conversation between the countries since March 1, when Kuleba asked Beijing to use its ties with Moscow to stop Russia’s invasion, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said at the time.

Wang repeated China’s message that peace and stability should be achieved through negotiation, according to state media.

Kuleba tweeted: “Grateful to my Chinese counterparts for solidarity with civilian victims.”

“We both share the conviction that ending the war against Ukraine serves the common interests of peace, global food security, and international trade,” he added.

— Chelsea Ong

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo