Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Oil and gas measures against Russia needed ‘sooner or later,’ EU’s Michel says

European Council President Charles Michel gestures as he speaks during a debate on the conclusions of the European Council meeting regarding Russian invasion of Ukraine during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, on April 6, 2022.

Frederick Florin | AFP | Getty Images

European Council chief Charles Michel told the European Parliament that “measures on oil and even gas will also be needed sooner or later” against Russia, in addition to the coal import ban being discussed by the EU.

The new sanctions package proposed by the EU will require approval by all 27 member states. While it’s the fifth round sanctions levied against Russia by the bloc since its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, critics say it needs to go further and ban Russian oil and gas imports, which bring Russia billions of dollars in revenues weekly.

The EU relies heavily on Russia for its energy needs, importing roughly 40% of its gas and 37% of its oil from the country in 2020.

— Natasha Turak

Hungary’s government summons Ukraine ambassador over ‘insults’

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends an interview for the representatives of Ukrainian media, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine April 4, 2022. Picture April 4, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

Hungary’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Ukraine’s ambassador for what it said was insults from Kyiv over Hungary’s position on the Russian invasion.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto demanded that Ukrainian leaders “stop their insults directed at Hungary and acknowledge the will of the Hungarian people,” referencing President Viktor Orban’s recent landlide reelection after he refrained from criticizing Vladimir Putin directly and expressed opposition to energy sanctions on Russia. Hungary relies heavily on Russian gas for its energy needs.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has criticized Hungary’s leadership, calling the country a “Russian branch in Europe” while telling EU leaders to “stop listening to the excuses of Budapest.”

Szijjarto pushed back on the comments, pointing out that Hungary has taken in hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees, acknowledged Ukraine’s sovereignty and condemned the Russian invasion. Orban has not vetoed EU sanctions on Russia thus far.

— Natasha Turak

US to impose fresh sanctions, ban all new investment in Russia

Washington is scheduled to announce on Wednesday new US sanctions that would ban all new investment in Russia, sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The measures will also sanction Russian state-owned enterprises and financial bodies, as well as Russian government officials and their family members, the sources said.

The sanctions package is taking place in lockstep with European Union allies and the G-7 nations in response to allegations of war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

— Natasha Turak

EU readies new sanctions on Russia, targets coal imports

An aerial view of a dry bulk terminal of German company Hansaport, who is specialized in handling coal and ore, in the harbor of Hamburg, Germany, August 1, 2018. Picture taken through a plane’s window August 1, 2018.

Fabian Bimmer | Reuters

Russia faces a fresh raft of sanctions from the EU after evidence of alleged atrocities committed against civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha emerged.

The EU is set to reveal the new sanctions this week, which will include a ban on coal imports.

“We will impose an import ban on coal from Russia, worth 4 billion euros ($4.39 billion) per year. This will cut another important revenue source for Russia,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced Tuesday.

The EU imported 19.3% of its coal from Russia in 2020, according to data from the European statistics office.

— Natasha Turak

Russian airstrikes continue, humanitarian crises in Mariupol

A local resident walks near an apartment building destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 31, 2022.

Alexander Ermochenko | Reuters

Russian airstrikes are continuing in the besieged eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, the UK’s defense ministry said Wednesday.

“The humanitarian situation in the city is expanding,” a statement from the ministry posted on Twitter said, adding that the roughly 160,000 residents still trapped in the city have no electricity, heat, water, or the ability to communicate with the outside world.

Russian forces have prevented humanitarian access, the ministry said, in what it described as an effort to pressure the city to surrender.

— Natasha Turak

Boris Johnson tells Russians: I cannot believe is acting in your name Putin

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the media during a press conference following a NATO summit on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on March 24, 2022.

Pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on Russians to “find the truth” and “share it.”

“Your president stands accused of committing war crimes. But I cannot believe he’s acting in your name,” Johnson said in a video directly addressing the Russian people.

Speaking in both Russian and English, he said: “The atrocities committed by Russian troops in Bucha, Irpin and elsewhere in Ukraine have horrified the world.”

He went on to outline the alleged atrocities of Russian troops: civilians massacred, women raped, bodies burned and “dumped in mass graves, or just left lying in the street.”

Ukrainian officials say that more than 300 civilians were tortured and killed by Russian troops in the town of Bucha outside Kyiv, made only after Moscow pulled out of those areas.

Graphic media images also revealed corps of civilians in the streets — some with their hands and legs tied up — while satellite images captured mass graves.

Russia has been waging information warfare alongside its military operations.

The Russian people have been “fed a steady diet of propaganda” by Russian-state media, according to NBC News’ Ken Dilanian. The Kremlin has labeled the unprovoked and unwarranted war in Ukraine a “special military operation.”

“The reports are so shocking, so sickening, it’s no wonder your government is seeking to hide them from you,” Johnson said.

“But don’t just take my word for it,” he added, calling on them to access independent information via VPN connection. “And when you find the truth, share it.”

— Charmaine Jacob, Joanna Tan

Intel suspends all business operations in Russia

Intel said April 5, 2022 that it has suspended all business operations in Russia.

Paco Freire/Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Intel has suspended all business operations in Russia, the US chipmaker announced.

“Intel continues to join the global community in condemning Russia’s war against Ukraine and calling for a swift return to peace. Effective immediately, we have suspended all business operations in Russia,” the company said in a statement.

This follows the company’s move a month ago to suspend all shipments to Russia and Belarus.

“We are working to support all of our employees through this difficult situation, including our 1,200 employees in Russia,” it said.

Intel joins a list of growing software companies that have stopped operations or shipments to Russia, including Oracle, SAP, and IBM.

— Chelsea Ong

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo