Ukraine: at least 15 dead in a strike on a building

Ukraine: at least 15 dead in building strike

UPDATE DAY

Ukrainian rescuers on Monday continued to search for survivors in the rubble of an apartment building gutted by a Russian strike that killed at least 15 people in eastern Ukraine, where forces Russians are trying to consolidate their hold. 

The strike occurred overnight in Chassiv Yar, a town of some 12,000 people in the Donetsk region, which Russian troops are seeking to conquer.

AFP journalists saw dozens of rescuers busy themselves in the rubble of the partially destroyed building, helped by a mechanical digger.

“During the rescue operations, 15 bodies were discovered on the spot and five people were able to be extracted from the rubble”, indicated on Facebook the local emergency services, specifying that they had established contact with three people trapped under the ruins.

“At least 30 people are under the rubble,” Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram. The four-story building was hit by a Russian Hurricane missile, he said.

“I was in the bedroom, I came out and everything started shaking, falling apart. What saved me was the wave of the explosion which propelled me, bloody, into the toilet,” testified a resident interviewed by AFP, refusing to give her name.

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According to Mr. Kyrylenko, at least 591 civilians have been killed and 1,548 others injured so far in the Donetsk region since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24. On Friday, he said that Moscow was preparing “new actions” in the East.

In his Sunday evening speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned “all those who order such strikes, all those who carry them out targeting our ordinary cities, our residential areas, kill absolutely deliberately”, and promised to bring to justice.

The Russian army, which announced in early July that it had taken control of the Lugansk region, is now targeting the Donetsk region to occupy the entire Donbass mining basin.

Offensive preparations

This has been partially controlled since 2014 by Moscow-backed separatists after the Russian annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

In Donetsk, “there are signs that enemy units are preparing to step up combat operations in the direction of Kramatorsk and Bakhmut”, indicated the Ukrainian general staff in its update on Monday morning.

The Ukrainian army reported numerous bombardments throughout the eastern Ukraine, but a break in Russian ground attacks.

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“The enemy in our operational area remains behind the lines of defense, does not advance by land, does not have the possibilities and capabilities to create new strike groups,” Operational Command South said early Monday. .

In Kharkiv (north-east), the second largest city in the country, Governor Oleg Synegoubov reported on Telegram new missile fire which hit an “educational establishment” and a house, making one injured.

“The Ukrainian army is holding its own, repelling attacks from various directions,” President Zelensky said. “But, of course, there is still a long way to go before Russian casualties actually cause such a pause.”

Ukrainian forces struck a Russian base in the occupied southern region of Kherson, a report said. indicated the Ukrainian general staff, without giving more details.

For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense accused in a statement on Saturday the Ukrainians of installing men and weapons in schools and civil buildings in several localities of the Donetsk and Kharkiv Territory.

Fires in the fields

Several Ukrainian officials also accused the Russian forces of setting fires in the fields with their fire to destroy the crops.

At the same time, the authorities installed by Russia in Kharkiv indicated that “the campaign harvesting (of wheat, editor's note) had begun in the liberated territories of the region”, according to the Russian agency Ria Novosti.

Ukraine: at least 15 dead in building strike

Ukraine: at least 15 dead in building strike

Ukraine has been accusing Russia for weeks of stealing its wheat crops from the occupied regions to sell it illegally on the international market.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed that Russian restrictions on Ukrainian grain exports may have contributed to unrest in Sri Lanka, sparked by severe food and fuel shortages.

“We see the impact of this Russian aggression manifesting itself everywhere,” Blinken told reporters in Bangkok. He again called on Russia to let some 20 million tonnes of grain out of Ukraine.

On Monday, the Russian giant Gazprom begins maintenance work on the two Nord Stream 1 gas pipelines in the morning, which carry a large quantity of its gas still delivered to Germany as well as to several other countries in Western Europe. .

This ten-day stoppage of the two pipes, announced a long time ago, was in theory only to be a technical formality. But in the context of the war in Ukraine and the showdown between Moscow and the West over energy, no one can bet on what will happen next.

“Putin is going to turn off the gas tap for us.. . but will he reopen it one day?”, worried the most widely read daily in Germany, Bild, on Sunday.

Moscow continues at the same time to tackle independent information. At the request of the prosecution, the site of the German newspaper Die Welt has been blocked in Russia, adding to the growing list of sites banned by the media policeman Roskomnadzor, Russian agencies said on Sunday. Since the beginning of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, the German newspaper had started publishing content in Russian.