Ukraine: 23 dead in new Russian strikes in Vinnytsia, the head of the UN “appalled”

Ukraine: 23 dead in new Russian strikes in Vinnytsia, the head of the UN “appalled”

The strikes targeted civilian buildings. A young child is among the killed. The European Union and the UN have condemned “atrocities”.

STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE OF UKRAIN

The UN secretary general said he was “appalled” and the EU denounced new “atrocities” on Thursday after Russian strikes on a town in central Ukraine that left at least 23 dead, an “act openly terrorist” 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.

According to the Ukrainian army, “three missiles” hit the parking lot and this commercial building in the center of the city, housing offices and small businesses. They were fired from submarines in the Black Sea, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuri Ignat said. “Every day 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?”, said Volodymyr Zelensky immediately after the strike which occurred at the end of the morning in a region of the country hitherto relatively spared by the war.

The Russian Defense Ministry later explained in a statement that these Kalibr missiles hit the “officers’ house” in this city where a meeting of the “Ukrainian Air Force Command was held with representatives of foreign arms suppliers “. “Because of this strike, the participants in the meeting were eliminated,” he added. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for his part said he was “appalled”, recalling that the organization condemned “any attack against civilians or civilian infrastructure”, according to his spokesman.

The EU slammed Russia’s “barbaric behaviour”. “These atrocities in Vinnytsia are the latest in a long series of brutal attacks targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and EU commissioner for conflict management said in a statement. Janez Lenarcic fits. “There can be no impunity for the violations and crimes committed by the Russian forces and their political leaders”.

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”. Before the conference in The Hague, attended by the Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs of EU countries, he reported 20 dead “including three children” and “many” wounded.

Ukrainian relief then revised this toll upwards: 23 dead and 39 missing. The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba, present in The Hague, denounced a new “Russian war crime”. At the same time, the OSCE was alarmed by Moscow’s treatment of Ukrainian civilians in “filtration camps” to determine possible links with the armed forces.

“If this is the case, these people are separated from the others and often simply disappear”, underline the experts of the OSCE in a report.

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