U.K. intelligence suggests that Russian forces are preparing for what is expected to be a large and more focused push on expanding control in the east of Ukraine. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also warned that Russia has deployed tens of thousands of troops to "prepare new attacks."
Meanwhile, the U.K.'s foreign secretary said late Monday that her government was working "urgently" to verify details of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
In the U.S., Defense Department press secretary John Kirby said the Pentagon was also closely monitoring the reports.
Putin and Lukashenko have a new false narrative about the atrocities in Bucha
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his closest ally, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, are promoting a new false narrative about who's to blame for the murders, rapes and torture of hundreds of civilians in Bucha, Ukraine.
They insist it was not Russian soldiers who went on a month-long rampage of looting and killing, even as witnesses, satellite imagery and forensic evidence have suggested otherwise.
The real culprits are British operatives who conducted a "psychological special operation" in the leafy suburb of Kyiv, Lukashenko claims without evidence.
Lukashenko and Putin spoke at a space launch facility in Vostochny, in Russia's Far East. It was Putin's first public appearance outside of Moscow since Russia launched its brutal Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
The British Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
— Chelsea Ong
S&P chief economist on how a Russia-Germany 'trade rupture' could cause a financial shock
A "trade rupture" between Germany and Russia could set off a macro financial shock, S&P Global's chief economist said.
German manufacturing – one of three global manufacturing centers besides the U.S. and China — could be dented as a result of the rupture, Paul Gruenwald told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia."
"Looking at a downside scenario … there's kind of several different ways to play that but we think the one that would really move the macro needle is some sort of trade rupture between Russia and Europe,"
"That would feed through to ... lower GDP, lower employment, lower confidence — and then we would get a kind of a macro financial shock out of that. So that's the sort of scenario we're worried about that could move the needle," he warned.
— Weizhen Tan
Biden says Putin's war in Ukraine 'sure seems' like a genocide to him
President Joe Biden says the mounting evidence of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine is starting to look to him like something worse than isolated war crimes. It looks like genocide, the president said.
"I called it genocide because it has become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being able to be Ukrainian," Biden said late Tuesday evening.
"The evidence is mounting. It looks different than last week. More evidence is coming out literally of the horrible things that the Russians have done in Ukraine," he said.
Hours earlier, Biden had shocked the world by calling Putin's war a "genocide" for the first time.
Speaking at an event about inflation in Iowa, Biden said to the audience, "Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank, none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide a half a world away."
A White House adviser quickly went on TV to clarify that Biden's words did not reflect a change in U.S. policy towards Ukraine.
Biden acknowledged that the legal definition of "genocide" was separate from his impression of what's going on in Ukraine.
Nonetheless, the president did not revise his initial assessment. "We're going to only learn more and more about the devastation, and we'll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies" as a genocide under international law. "But it sure seems that way to me," said Biden.
The statement drew immediate praise from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who tweeted at Biden moments after he spoke on the tarmac.
— Christina Wilkie
Biden calls Putin's actions in Ukraine 'genocide'
In remarks in Iowa, the president blamed Putin for recent price hikes at the pump. "Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank, none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide half a world away," said Biden.
The president had stopped short on April 5 of calling the atrocities in Bucha a genocide, when asked by reporters whether Russian actions there fit that definition. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said then that the killings documented so far in Ukraine did not rise to the level of "genocide" as defined by the U.S. government.
The State Department has a lengthy internal process for determining if mass killing amounts to genocide, including collecting evidence over a period of time.
— NBC News
Russian troops patrol the Mariupol Drama Theatre
Russian soldiers patrol the Mariupol Drama Theatre, which was hit by an airstrike on March 16.
Editor's note: These pictures was taken during a trip organized by the Russian military.
Ukraine says Russian cyberattack sought to shut down its energy grid
Russian military hackers tried and failed to attack Ukraine's energy infrastructure last week, the country's government and a major cybersecurity company said Tuesday.
The attack was designed to infiltrate computers connected to multiple substations, then delete all files, which would shut that infrastructure down, according to Ukraine's summary of the incident.
ESET, a Slovakia-based cybersecurity company working to help secure Ukrainian infrastructure, said in a summary of the attack that it was conducted by the same arm of Russia's military intelligence agency, GRU, that had previously successfully executed similar attacks in 2014 and 2015.
In both of those incidents, some residents of Kyiv temporarily lost power.
— NBC News
Zelenskyy posts photo of captured pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the apparent capture of Viktor Medvedchuk, a pro-Kremlin politician who was living in Ukraine under house arrest on treason charges but allegedly escaped shortly after Russia launched its invasion.
"A special operation was carried out thanks to the SBU," Zelenskyy wrote in Russian on his verified account on the social media platform Telegram, referencing Ukraine's Security Service. "Well done! Details later. Glory to Ukraine!"
Above that caption, Zelenskyy posted a photo showing a disheveled Medvedchuk seated by a radiator with his hands clasped in handcuffs.
Medvedchuk was the leader of a pro-Russian opposition party in Ukraine and a staunch opponent of Kyiv's appeals to join NATO.
— Kevin Breuninger
New Russian military convoy spotted in Eastern Ukraine, Pentagon says
A senior U.S. Defense official told reporters on a call that a new convoy of Russian vehicles is approximately 37 miles north of Izyum, in eastern Ukraine.
The town of Izyum lies on a major road between Kharkiv and the Russian-separatists areas of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to share new details from U.S. intelligence reports, said the Pentagon believes the miles-long convoy is working to resupply Russian forces.
Satellite images of the convoy emerged as the Kremlin appears to reorient its war in Ukraine to the east after failing to seize Kyiv.
"We do assess that it's moving but not at breakneck speed," the official said, adding that it was not clear how many vehicles are in the convoy and how fast it is traveling.
The official added that is not entirely clear where the convoy is going but reiterated that Western intelligence reports assess Russia will soon intensify its military campaign in eastern and southern Ukraine.
— Amanda Macias
Russian strikes on Mariupol intensify
The coastal Ukrainian city of Mariupol is taking the brunt of Russia's ongoing siege as Western security officials warn that the Kremlin will soon intensify its military campaign there.
"It's obvious that the Russians want Mariupol because of its strategic location," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, noting that it's a major port city that gives them "unfettered and unhindered land access between the Donbas and Crimea." The two territories are held by Russia and Russian-back separatists.
Kirby said the Pentagon has observed Russian forces focus a lot of their strikes on Mariupol and on the Donbas area.
"I don't have perfect knowledge of every missile or long-range fire that the Russians are firing into Mariupol. It continues to be under attack from airstrikes," Kirby added. Earlier in the day, a senior U.S. Defense official told reporters on a call that since the Kremlin's Feb. 24 invasion, Russian forces have launched more than 1,540 missiles into Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials claimed on Monday that Russian forces have used chemical weapons in Mariupol.
— Amanda Macias
UK prime minister tells Biden about surprise visit to Kyiv
President Joe Biden held a secure 45-minute call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson this morning, just days after Johnson returned from a surprise trip to Ukraine.
Johnson told Biden he was "humbled" by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's "strength and resolve" af