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April 3, 2023 - Russia-Ukraine news

Super Admin 187 May 31, 2023

10:00 p.m. ET, April 3, 2023

Our live coverage for the day has ended. Follow the latest Ukraine news here or read through the updates below.

9:39 p.m. ET, April 3, 2023

From CNN's Tim Lister 

The preventive detention hearing for Daria Trepova, who was detained in connection with the explosion at a cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia, will take place on Tuesday at Basmanny District Court in Moscow, according to Russian state news agency Vesti.

Russian authorities detained Trepova, 26, claiming she was involved in the blast that killed well-known military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky at a café in St. Petersburg on Sunday.

8:23 p.m. ET, April 3, 2023

From CNN's Richard Roth in New York

Linda Thomas-Greenfield at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC on March 1.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC on March 1. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Monday described Russia assuming the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) presidency this month as "an April Fool's joke."

"But the truth of the matter is, it's a rotating seat. We expect that they will behave professionally. But we also expect that they will use their seat to spread disinformation and to promote their own agenda as it relates to Ukraine, and we will stand ready to call them out at every single moment that they attempt to do that," Greenfield added.  

Greenfield said she is not surprised if the Russians asked the foreign minister to come to UNSC headquarters in New York but also said council does work beyond Ukraine.

"We haven't decided yet on what our attendance levels will be, but we intend to carry out the business of the Security Council during this month. The Security Council does more than Ukraine. We work on many issues, and we again expect that Russia will carry their presidency in a professional way, but when they don't, we will stand ready to call them out," Greenfield said. 

5:44 p.m. ET, April 3, 2023

From CNN staff

Vasily Nebenzya, Russian ambassador to the United Nations, dismissed concerns that Russia could fairly be the president of the Security Council for April during the ongoing war in Ukraine.

He said there were no complaints in February 2022 when Russia was last president of the council, while Russia invaded and pointed out that the US was president of the council in 2003 — the year Iraq was invaded. 

The ambassador said as long as world order is maintained, there will not be any change in UN procedures that might lead to a change in Russia's status. 

Russia took over presidency on Saturday of the UN's top security body, which rotates every month.

Here are the latest headlines:

  • Newly published video shows moment of explosion that killed Russian journalist: The video shows the moments running up to an explosion that killed Russian military journalist Vladen Tartovsky in a St Petersburg café on Sunday. The 25-second video shows Tartovsky putting a statuette given to him at the event into a box after passing the microphone to another man. He places the statuette back into the box and then covers it with what appears to be paper wrapping. As he presses down the paper, there is an explosion.
  • More than 500 children have been killed in Ukraine since the war began, UNICEF says: At least 501 children have been killed in Ukraine since February 2022, when Russia launched its full-scale invasion, said Catherine Russell, executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). “Another tragic milestone for Ukraine's children and families," Russell tweeted on Monday. Russell warned the real figure is “likely far higher” than the numbers verified by the UN agency.
  • Finland's official accession to NATO is historic, alliance chief says: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said it will be historic when the military alliance raises the Finnish flag for the first time at its headquarters on Tuesday after it was announced that Finland was joining the alliance. “This is a historic week. Tomorrow we will welcome Finland as the 31st member of NATO, making Finland safer and our alliance stronger. We will raise the Finnish flag for the first time here at NATO Headquarters,” Stoltenberg said, speaking in Brussels Monday.
  • Ukraine receives first tranche of $2.7 billion from new IMF program, finance minister says: Ukraine has received the first tranche of $2.7 billion from a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko tweeted Monday. The IMF regularly makes emergency loans to countries in crisis. On Friday, the IMF approved a new four-year extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of around $15.6 billion as part of a $115 billion total support package for Ukraine. 
  • Ukraine war has cost $2.6 billion in damage to heritage and cultural sites, UNESCO says: The war in Ukraine has cost an estimated $2.6 billion of damage to heritage and cultural sites in the country, the UN cultural body UNESCO said in a recently published report. The report, which covers one year of war in Ukraine between February 24, 2022, and February 24, 2023, was a joint assessment conducted by the Ukrainian government, the World Bank, the European Commission and the United Nations.
  • Ukrainian military says dozens of enemy attacks along the front lines have been repelled: The Ukrainian military has reported little change to the front lines but heavy fire from Russian forces at various parts of the front line in the Donetsk region. The General Staff said that more than 45 enemy attacks had been repelled over the past day, with the focus on Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Mariinka. It said there were 17 air strikes and more than 20 strikes by multiple launch rocket systems.
8:53 p.m. ET, April 3, 2023

From CNN's Tim Lister

People walk past a portrait of Russian military journalist Vladen Tartovsky, who was killed in a cafe explosion in Moscow, Russia on Monday.
People walk past a portrait of Russian military journalist Vladen Tartovsky, who was killed in a cafe explosion in Moscow, Russia on Monday. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

Newly published video shows the moments running up to an explosion that killed Russian military journalist Vladen Tartovsky in a St Petersburg café on Sunday.

Tatarsky died when a blast tore through the cafe where he was appearing as a guest of a pro-war group called Cyber Front Z. Prior Russian media reports suggested that Tatarsky may have been killed by a device hidden in a figurine presented to him by a woman before the blast.

The 25-second video shows Tartovsky putting a statuette given to him at the event into a box after passing the microphone to another man.

He places the statuette back into the box and then covers it with what appears to be paper wrapping. As he presses down the paper, there is an explosion.

In the last two seconds of the video, Tartovsky is pixillated, but the rest of the scene is not.

More to know: The well-known Russian blogger was killed in what appeared to be an audacious attack on a high-profile pro-Kremlin figure, officials said.

Authorities said they were treating the case as suspected murder.

At least 32 people were injured in the blast, with 10 people in serious condition, state media Ria Novosti reported, citing the Russian Ministry of Health.

6:58 p.m. ET, April 3, 2023

From CNN's Richard Roth in New York

Vasily Nebenzya speaks at the UN headquarters in New York on February 22.
Vasily Nebenzya speaks at the UN headquarters in New York on February 22. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya on Monday scoffed at concerns that his country could fairly be the president of the Security Council for April during the war in Ukraine.

Nebenzya pointed out that the US was president of the council in 2003 — the year Iraq was invaded. 

He said there were no complaints in February 2022 when Russia was last president of the council, while Russia invaded. 

The ambassador said as long as world order is maintained, there will not be any change in UN procedures that might lead to a change in Russia's status. 

Russia took over presidency on Saturday of the UN's top security body, which rotates every month.

2:58 p.m. ET, April 3, 2023

From CNN’s Sugam Pokharel in London 

Ukraine has received the first tranche of $2.7 billion from a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko said in a tweet Monday.  

The IMF, which regularly makes emergency loans to countries in crisis, on Friday approved a new four-year extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of around $15.6 billion as part of a $115 billion total support package for Ukraine.  

The program aims to “anchor policies that sustain fiscal, external, price and financial stability and support economic recovery, while enhancing governance and strengthening institutions to promote long-term growth in the context of post-war reconstruction and Ukraine’s path to EU accession,” the IMF said in a statement

The program also helps Ukraine to carry out "more ambitious structural reforms," it said.

The Extended Fund Facility (EFF) loan is the first major conventional financing program approved by the IMF for a country involved in a large-scale war, Reuters reported.

The risks to the arrangement are “exceptionally high,” said Gita Gopinath, first deputy managing director of the global lender.  

“The success of the program depends on the size, composition, and timing of external financing on concessional terms to help close fiscal and external financing gaps and restore debt sustainability on a forward-looking basis under the baseline and downside scenarios,” she added.  

2:37 p.m. ET, April 3, 2023

From CNN’s Alex Hardie in London

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday assured Moldova of Berlin’s support on its path to accession to the European Union as Moldovan and American officials allege Russia of trying to weaken the government in Chisinau.   

"Moldova is part of our European family. In the summer, we granted it candidate status. And I very much welcome how resolutely Moldova has tackled the necessary reforms that are indispensable for EU accession,” Scholz told a news conference in Bucharest, Romania alongside Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Moldovan President Maia Sandu. 

“Moldova can be sure of our support on this path. I assured the President [Sandu] of this once again today. Moldova does not stand alone, but receives massive international support," the German chancellor continued.  

Scholz expressed “great concern” about reports of alleged Russian attempts to destabilize Moldova and said Germany would do its “utmost” to support Moldova in arming itself against “attempts of destabilization by Russia.” 

In February, Moldova’s President Sandu accused Russia of planning to use "saboteurs who have undergone military training and are disguised as civilians" to destabilize the country — claims which were rejected by Russia’s foreign ministry as “unfounded.”  

According to White House officials, the US believes that Russia is working to weaken the Moldovan government, as it continues to seek closer ties with the European Union. 

"The sovereignty and territorial integrity of any state is inviolable. This requirement of the Helsinki Final Act and other agreements under international law was also signed by Russia. And it is still valid. Therefore, we do our utmost to support Moldova in arming itself against attempts of destabilization by Russia," Scholz said. 

Speaking at the same event, Sandu said that “it is very important, and I am happy that Moldova is a dialogue partner with Romania and Germany. The projects we are involved in together are very useful for our people and will strongly lead us to the accession (to the European Union).” 

CNN's Radina Gigova, Anna Chernova and Natasha Bertrand contributed reporting to this post.

2:13 p.m. ET, April 3, 2023

From CNN's Jessie Gretener in London   

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke during a press conference to present the next North Atlantic Council (NAC) Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on April 3.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke during a press conference to present the next North Atlantic Council (NAC) Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on April 3. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday that the alliance has not seen any changes in Russia’s nuclear posture since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced late last month Moscow’s plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus.   

“We monitor very closely what Russia does. But so far, we haven't seen any changes in their nuclear posture that requires any change in our nuclear posture,” the NATO chief said, while answering questions from reporters on the topic at a news conference in Brussels.  

Stoltenberg described Putin’s announcement as a “pattern of dangerous, reckless nuclear rhetoric.”  

“President Putin tries to use nuclear weapons as a way to prevent us from supporting Ukraine… intimidation, coercion to stop NATO Allies and partners for supporting Ukraine in their right to defend their own country,” he said.   

“We will not be intimidated. We will continue to support Ukraine,” Stoltenberg continued.