/Rocket attack on Ukraine train station kills over 30 trying to flee, over 100 injured – CNBC

Rocket attack on Ukraine train station kills over 30 trying to flee, over 100 injured – CNBC

More than 30 killed, 100 wounded in Russian rocket attack on Ukraine railway station

More than 30 people were killed and over 100 injured in a rocket attack on a railway station in eastern Ukraine where families and individuals were waiting to evacuate to safer parts of the country, the national railway company said.

Two rockets hit a train station in the city of Kramatorsk, currently an evacuation point for thousands of civilians trying to flee intensifying Russian bombardment.

“According to operational data, more than 30 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded in the rocket attack on Kramatorsk railway station,” Ukrainian Railways said via Telegram.

“This is a deliberate blow to the passenger infrastructure of the railway and the residents of Kramatorsk.”

Moscow denied involvement in the strike, and denies targeting civilians despite well-documented evidence to the contrary.

— Natasha Turak

NATO chief says Finland is ‘welcome’ to join the military alliance

Finland is “welcome” to join the U.S.-led NATO military alliance, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, amid the prospect of the Nordic country applying for membership.

Local media outlets have shown Finnish support for NATO membership hitting a record high following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

“The message from NATO and from me is that it is for Finland to decide,” NATO’s Stoltenberg told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble.

“We will respect the decision regardless of what the conclusion will be, but if Finland decides to apply for membership, I am confident that NATO allies will warmly welcome them — and we can quite quickly make the decision to have them as a member of the allies.”

— Sam Meredith

Putin might turn to weapons of mass destruction if Russia fails to win in eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin might turn to weapons of mass destruction, like chemical or tactical nuclear weapons, if he fails to gain a “conventional forces victory” in eastern Ukraine, said Niall Ferguson, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

If Russian forces are too weary to accomplish a decisive victory over the next few weeks in the Donbas, Putin might find himself in an “extremely difficult” situation without an obvious off-ramp, Ferguson told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday.

The Donbas in eastern Ukraine is the site of two breakaway regions where Ukrainian forces and Moscow-backed separatists have fought since Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014.

With Russia and the United States — the two countries with the largest nuclear arsenals in the world — on the brink of conflict, Ferguson said this is a “much more dangerous” situation than most people appreciate.

Russia has said it is at war with the West because of the economic sanctions it has imposed on the country.

“That’s why although I think we’re not on the brink of World War III, we can’t rule that scenario out completely,” Ferguson said.

— Chelsea Ong

Russian forces in northern Ukraine have ‘fully withdrawn’ but will be redeployed, UK ministry says

Road service workers clean debris around a burnt Russian tank and vehicle on a road west of Kyiv, on April 7, 2022, during Russia’s military invasion launched on Ukraine.

Genya Savilov | AFP | Getty Images

Russian troops that had invaded the northern part of Ukraine have “fully withdrawn” to Belarus and Russia, the U.K. Ministry of Defence said on Friday.

In an intelligence update, the ministry said at least some of those units will be transferred to the eastern part of Ukraine to fight there. Moscow is widely expected to shift the focus of its offensive to the Donbas region, where Russia has engaged in military adventurism for years.

However, the redeployment of those much-depleted Russian units — which were defeated by determined Ukrainian resistance around Kyiv and elsewhere — is not expected to happen easily or quickly.

“Many of these forces will require significant replenishment before being ready to deploy further east, with any mass redeployment from the north likely to take at least a week minimum,” the British ministry said.

Meanwhile, Russia continues to shell cities in the east and south of Ukraine, the ministry said.

Russia denies that it uses artillery barrages to attack Ukrainian cities, despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.

— Ted Kemp

Kremlin spokesman admits ‘significant’ Russian troop losses in Ukraine

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has admitted that Russia has suffered “significant” casualties in its invasion of Ukraine.

“We have significant losses of troops, and it’s a huge tragedy for us,” Peskov told Sky News Thursday night.

Ukrainian forces have surprised leaders and military experts the world over in their ability to push back on Russian military advances six weeks into the war, though both sides have suffered high casualty numbers.

NATO estimates that Russia’s death toll could be as high as 15,000 troops, while Moscow last announced its casualty figures on March 25 at 1,351 deaths.

— Natasha Turak

Ukraine tells NATO that Donbas battle could be like World War II

Residents run near a burning house following a shelling Severodonetsk, Donbass region, on April 6, 2022, as Ukraine tells residents in the country’s east to evacuate “now” or “risk death” ahead of a feared Russian onslaught on the Donbas region, which Moscow has declared its top prize.

Fadel Senna | AFP | Getty Images

The fighting to come in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region will be reminiscent of battles during World War II, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has told NATO.

“The battle for Donbas will remind you of the Second World War, with large operations, maneuvers, involvement of thousands of tanks, armored vehicles, planes, artillery — this will not be a local operation based on what we see in Russia’s preparations to it,” Kuleba said.

“Either you help us now — and I’m speaking about days, not weeks — or, your help will come too late. And many people will die, many civilians will lose their homes, many villages will be destroyed, exactly because this help came to late.”

The focus right now is to get Russia to leave Ukraine, says think tank

The current focus for NATO and its allies is to get Russia to end its war, says Jonathan Katz, director of democracy initiatives and a senior fellow with The German Marshall Fund of the United States.

“The more that Russia is isolated from the international system, the less damage they can do,” Katz said.

While countries cut economic ties with Russia, “more important right now is to get Russia to stop, to end its violence, to leave Ukraine,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Friday.

On Thursday, the United Nations voted to remove Russia from its seat on the Human Rights Council, following reports Russian troops raped, tortured and killed Ukrainian civilians.

— Charmaine Jacob

EIU warns Asia-Pacific remains vulnerable to fluctuations in commodity prices, despite less direct exposure to the war

Asia-Pacific countries may be less exposed to the war in Ukraine compared with other regions, but they could still see less direct hits in areas ranging from commodities to tourism and weapons, according to a new report from the Economic Intelligence Unit.

Russia and Ukraine account for a significant proportion of global supply of some food commodities, such as wheat and fertilizer. Any jump in prices will be a concern for Asia, given the region’s high levels of dependence on energy and agricultural commodity imports, warned the EIU.

Russia is also the world’s second-largest arms supplier and is a major source of arms for China, India and Vietnam, the research firm pointed out.

The report also listed which countries in Asia-Pacific would be most and least affected.

— Weizhen Tan

Biden has authorized more than $1.7 billion in security aid to Ukraine since war began

Ukrainian servicemen load a truck with the FGM-148 Javelin, American man-portable anti-tank missile provided by US to Ukraine.

Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images

The Biden administration has approved more than $1.7 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in late February, according to the White House. The U.S. has provided a total of $2.4 billion to Ukraine since the beginning of Biden’s presidency.

The Pentagon also confirmed that all of the anti-armor and anti-air systems from the two weapons packages announced in March have been delivered to Ukraine. The Defense Department added that the U.S. is working to “identify additional weapons systems to help the Ukrainian military.”

Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy has requested “longer-range anti-aircraft systems,” the Pentagon said.

More than 30 nations have sent Ukraine security assistance. Here is the firepower the U.S. has committed thus far, according to the Defense Department:

— Amanda Macias

Pro-Russian forces fight in Mariupol

Pro-Russian forces search houses and inspect streets in the southern port city of Mariupol.

Service members of pro-Russian troops carry out a search of a house during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 7, 2022.

Alexander Ermochenko | Reuters

A service member of pro-Russian troops checks the documents of a local resident during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 7, 2022.

Alexander Ermochenko | Reuters

A local resident looks on as service members of pro-Russian troops inspect streets during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 7, 2022.

Alexander Ermochenko | Reuters

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