Ukraine: 23 dead in Russian strikes on a city, the head of the UN “appalled”

Ukraine: 23 dead in Russian strikes on a city, the head of the UN “appalled”

The UN Secretary General said: landed » and the European Union denounced new ” atrocities » Thursday after Russian strikes on a city in central Ukraine that left at least 23 dead, a ” openly terrorist act” for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

In Vinnytsia, a city far from the front lines, well west of the capital kyiv, the images published by the Ukrainian Emergency Situations Service showed dozens of charred carcasses and a building of about ten floors devastated by the explosion and the fire that followed.

Ukrainian relief reported Thursday evening 23 dead, 29 missing, 71 people hospitalized and more than a hundred injured treated on site.

According to the Ukrainian military, three missiles » affected the car park and this commercial building in the center of the city, housing offices and small shops. They were fired from submarines in the Black Sea, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuri Ignat said.

This day demonstrates once again that Russia must be officially recognized as a terrorist state. (…) No other country in the world allows itself to destroy peaceful cities and ordinary human lives every day with cruise missiles and artillery”Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday evening, noting that a medical center had been destroyed.

He said three children under the age of ten were among the 23 dead, “and unfortunately this is not the final number” because ” dozens of people are missing” and there are ” seriously injured”.

He called again for the creation of a special tribunal as well as a ” compensation mechanism » and new sanctions against Moscow, believing that it was ” time for the democratic world to enshrine all of this in appropriate legal instruments”.

Earlier, he had denounced the fact that “ Russia kills civilians, kills Ukrainian children, fires missiles at civilian targets where there is nothing military. What is it, if not an openly terrorist act? ».

The Russian Ministry of Defense, quoted on Telegram by the editor-in-chief of the public media group Rossia Segodnya, Margarita Simonian, claimed to have targeted Vinnytsia “ the Officers’ House, where Nationalists had been deployed”.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, landed »recalling that the organization condemned “ any attack against civilians or civilian infrastructure”according to his spokesperson.

The EU blasted the ” barbaric behavior” of Russia.

These atrocities in Vinnytsia are the latest in a long series of brutal attacks targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure.”, said in a press release the head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell and the European commissioner for crisis management Janez Lenarcic. ” There can be no impunity for the violations and crimes committed by the Russian forces and their political leaders”.

“Special Court”

These new strikes came precisely at a time when a conference on crimes committed in Ukraine was being prepared in The Hague, organized by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the European Commission and the Netherlands.

In a videoconference intervention, Volodymyr Zelensky called for the creation of a ” special court » responsible for judging the crimes of Russian aggression against Ukraine ».

At the same time, the OSCE expressed alarm at Moscow’s treatment of Ukrainian civilians in ” filtration camps » to determine possible links with the armed forces. ” If so, these people are separated from others and often simply disappear.”underline the experts of the OSCE in a report.

For several weeks, Russian strikes away from the front lines had been relatively rare.

But the war is now raging around cities like the strategic port of Mykolaiv (south), near the Black Sea, which was hit early Thursday morning by a ” massive missile strike » for the second consecutive day.

Ukraine, for its part, has launched a counter-offensive for several weeks to retake Kherson, the only regional capital captured by Moscow since February 24. While the front line remains relatively stable, these attacks are increasingly powerful, with new US and European rocket systems targeting arms depots.

Total Victory »

The main battles, however, remain concentrated in eastern Ukraine and the Donbass, an industrial and mining basin that Moscow has promised to completely conquer.

According to the governor of the Lugansk region, Sergey Gaidai, the massive artillery and mortar attacks continue (and) the Russians try to break through to Siversk and open the way to Bakhmut”where a civilian died in shelling overnight from Wednesday to Thursday.

The pro-Russian separatists supported by Moscow claim for their part to be close to winning a new victory there, a few days after taking several important cities.

Siversk is under our operational control, which means that the enemy can be hit by our fire throughout the area”said a separatist official, Daniïl Bezsonov, quoted by the Russian news agency TASS.

AFP was unable to independently confirm this information.

A little further north, in the region of Izioum, we dig when it’s calm, we hide when it pulls”told AFP a Ukrainian soldier in labyrinthine trenches several tens of meters long built by the Ukrainian army, to the sound of artillery fire.

One of the officers stated, however, that ” the situation is under control”claiming that the Russian army was no longer advancing in this area and that the objective for Ukraine was now ” total victory”.

Hope on cereals

On Wednesday, during a meeting of military experts in Istanbul, Russia and Ukraine also made progress on the thorny issue of blocking grain exports from Ukrainian ports.

Of the ” really substantial progress” have been achieved, commented Antonio Guterres, hoping that a ” formal agreement » may soon be concluded and evoking ” a beacon of hope to alleviate human suffering and hunger in the world”.

The negotiations launched more than two months ago aim to export through the Black Sea some 20 million tonnes of grain blocked in Ukrainian silos, particularly in Odessa, while facilitating Russian exports of grain and fertilizers.

Ukraine is one of the world’s leading exporters of wheat and other cereals and time is running out as rising global food prices pose the risk of famine, particularly in Africa.

The war in Ukraine is the ” biggest challenge » for the global economy, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday, ahead of a G20 meeting in Indonesia.

Oil prices also briefly slumped by more than 5% on Thursday, falling to levels not seen since the start of the war, carried away by fears of a global recession in a context of record inflation in the United States and in the euro zone. euro.

President Emmanuel Macron has warned that the conflict in Ukraine will “ last » and that the French should be prepared to do without Russian gas, which Moscow uses as ” war weapon “.

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