Russia-Ukraine live: Europe agrees to ban Russian coal | Russo-Ukrainian War

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will meet European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Kyiv.
  • The United Nations General Assembly has voted to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, citing concerns about human rights abuses in Ukraine.
  • Russia responded by saying the move was illegal and politically motivated.
  • The US Congress passes a ban on Russian oil imports and suspends Russia’s “most favored nation” trading status.
  • The European Union has agreed to ban coal imports from Russia, an official said.
  • The Kremlin has admitted to having suffered “significant” troop losses in Ukraine.
(Al Jazeera)

Here are all the latest updates:

Pink Floyd members reunite to record a song for Ukraine

British rock band Pink Floyd will release a new song on Friday to raise money for humanitarian aid in Ukraine, featuring the voice of a Ukrainian singer who left an international tour to fight for his country and was injured .

Single “Hey Hey, Rise Up” – Pink Floyd’s first new original music in nearly 30 years – was recorded last week and features vocals by Ukrainian band Boombox’s Andriy Khlyvnyuk, which was taken from an Instagram post.

“Then I saw this amazing video on Instagram, where he stands in a square in Kyiv with this beautiful golden-domed church and sings in the silence of a city with no traffic or background noise because of the war,” said guitarist David Gilmour on Pink Floyd’s website.

“It was a strong moment that made me want to put it to music.”

Number of Ukrainians Arriving at Mexico-US Border Doubles Fewer

The number of Ukrainians arriving at the US-Mexico border seeking asylum in the United States has more than doubled in less than a week, officials said.

Lying on plastic mattresses, hundreds of Ukrainians, including families, have waited this week in an overcrowded shelter run by the local government in the Mexican border town of Tijuana.

Enrique Lucero, director of immigration services for the Mexican city of Tijuana, said about 2,829 Ukrainians were waiting, more than double the 1,200 counted last Friday. Almost two-thirds of them were in shelters, the rest in hotels and churches, he said.

Ukrainians at the US-Mexico border
Ukrainians who fled to Mexico amid the Russian invasion of their homeland wait to board a bus to be transported to the port of entry of El Chaparral on the Mexico-US border for enter the United States, Tijuana, Mexico [Quetzalli Nicte-ha/Reuters]

UN Rights Council suspension shows Russia as ‘international pariah’: Biden

Biden hailed the UN’s vote to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council as a “significant” step that shows Moscow has become an “international pariah”.

“Russia has no place on the Human Rights Council,” Biden said in a statement. “After today’s historic vote, Russia will not be able to participate in the work of the Council or spread disinformation there as the Council’s Commission of Inquiry investigates human rights violations and abuses committed by the Russia in Ukraine.”

Russia acknowledges ‘significant’ troop losses in Ukraine

Russia appeared to give the most damning assessment of its invasion yet, describing the “tragedy” of mounting troop losses and the economic hit it has suffered since the war began in late February.

“We have significant troop losses,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Britain’s Sky News newspaper.

“It’s a huge tragedy for us,” he said.

EU approves Russian coal embargo, official says

The European Union said it approved an embargo on Russian coal as well as the closure of ports in the bloc to Russian ships.

An official from France’s European Council presidency said the measures spearhead a fifth round of “very substantial” sanctions against Moscow, which will also include a ban on high-tech exports.

The coal ban is expected to cost Russia $4.4 billion (4 billion euros) a year, the EU’s executive commission has said.

US Congress votes to suspend Russia’s commercial status and enacts oil ban

The US Congress voted overwhelmingly to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and ban imports of Russian oil.

“We in Congress must do everything we can to end the slaughter of innocent civilians, the utter destruction of cities and the assault on democracy in Ukraine,” Representative Richard Neal said.

The measures now go to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

Learn more here.

US plans to starve Russian ‘war machine’: official

The US is stepping up sanctions on Russia to starve its ‘war machine’ of money, US Treasury Assistant Secretary Wally Adeyemo said, but added that cutting Moscow’s main source of funding – exports – will take time.

“This means that Russia will be deprived of the capital it needs to develop its economy, but also to invest in its war machine,” Adeyemo said in an interview with Reuters news agency.

“Because of our ability to produce energy at home, we were able to ban Russian oil imports to America quite quickly,” he said. “It’s going to take them longer, but what they’re doing is reducing their addiction over time.”

UN aid chief ‘not optimistic’ on Ukraine ceasefire

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said he was not optimistic about securing a ceasefire to end fighting in Ukraine following high-level talks in Moscow and in Kyiv.

“I think it’s not going to be easy because both sides, as I know now… have very little trust in each other,” he said in an interview with Associated Press.

“I’m not optimistic,” he added later.

Russian Nobel laureate Muratov attacked with red paint

Russian co-winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize Dmitry Muratov says he was attacked on a train with red paint, in apparent protest at his newspaper’s coverage of the Russian invasion from Ukraine.

“They poured oil paint with acetone all over the compartment. The eyes burn a lot,” the investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta told Muratov, quoting him.

Photos posted by the newspaper on the Telegram messaging app showed Muratov with red paint on his head and clothes and around his sleeping compartment on a Moscow-Samara train.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read all of the Thursday, April 7 updates here.

Mary I. Bruner