Russian attack kills 25 civilians on Ukraine’s Independence Day, Kyiv says

KYIV: A Russian strike kills 25 civilians as rockets hit a station and a residential area in the east Ukraineofficials in the capital Kyiv said, as the country marked its Independence Day under heavy shelling.
The death toll has risen from an initially reported figure of 22 after three more bodies were recovered from the rubble in the town of Chaplyne as rescue operations there ended, aide to Ukraine’s President Kyrylo said. Tymoshenko said on Thursday.
The Vyshgorod area, just north of Kyiv, was also hit by rockets, but there were no reports of casualties, regional official Olexiy Kuleba said. Telegram channel.
Rocket and artillery attacks on frontline towns, such as Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Nikopol and Dnipro, followed the President. Volodymyr ZelenskyyHis warning of the risk of “Russian provocations” ahead of the 31st anniversary of independence from the Moscow-dominated Soviet Union on Wednesday.
August 24 also marks six months since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, beginning Europe’s most devastating conflict since World War Two.
As rescue operations unfolded in Chaplyne, residents of this small town, located about 145 kilometers (90 miles) west of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, grieve for their loved ones amid the pile of rubble. ruins of their ruined houses.
Local resident Sergiy lost his 11-year-old son in the strike. “We looked for him there in the rubble, and he’s lying here. Nobody knows he’s here. Nobody knows,” he said as he crouched beside his naked body. his own body.
The Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately comment on the attack. Speaking in Uzbekistan, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu repeating Moscow’s line that it deliberately slowed down what it called “special military operations” in Ukraine to avoid civilian casualties.
Russia denies targeting civilians. It also says that railway infrastructure is a legitimate target as it serves to supply Western weapons to Ukraine.
Commenting on the attack, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Twitter: “Russian missile attack on a train station full of civilians in Ukraine fits the pattern of brutal action. We will continue together. with partners around the world stand with Ukraine and seek accountability for Russian officials.”
Wednesday’s holiday celebrations were cancelled, but many Ukrainians marked the event by wearing the national costume’s signature embroidered shirts.
Ukraine declared its independence from the disbanded Soviet Union in August 1991, and its population overwhelmingly voted in favor of independence in a referendum that December.
Air raid sirens sounded at least seven times in Kyiv during the day, although there were no strikes. Ukrainian authorities said air raid warnings were sounded 189 times across the country on Wednesday, more than at any other time during the six-month conflict.
Zelenskyy and his wife, Olena, joined religious leaders for a service at Kyiv’s 11th-century church of St Sophia and laid flowers at the memorial to fallen soldiers.
The 44-year-old leader said Ukraine would retake Russian-occupied areas of eastern Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014.
Far from the front line
Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian drone in the Vinnytsia region while a Russian missile landed in the Khmelnytskyi region, the regional government said, both west of Kyiv and hundreds of kilometers from the front line. . No damage or casualties were reported.
Citing local sources, public broadcaster Suspilne TV reported early Thursday about explosions near the Antonivsky bridge over the Dnipro river in the southern Kherson region, a major supply route for troops. Russian team in the region.
Ukraine’s southern military command also reported missile attacks on the Nova Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro River, another important Russian supply route in the Kherson region.
Reuters could not verify battlefield accounts.
At a session of the United Nations security council on Wednesday, Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia reiterated Moscow’s rationale for its actions, saying its aim was “de-militarization and demilitarization denuclearization” of Ukraine to eliminate “obvious” security threats to Russia.
Moscow’s position has been dismissed by Ukraine and the West as a baseless pretext for a war of imperialist aggression.
Our President Joe Biden On Wednesday announced nearly $3 billion in arms and equipment for Ukraine in Washington, bringing his administration’s total commitment in military aid to more than $13.5 billion.
Russia has made some progress in recent months after its troops were pushed back from Kyiv in the early weeks of the war.
Ukraine’s top military intelligence official, Kyrylo Budanov, said on Wednesday the Russian offensive was slowing down because of mental and physical fatigue in its ranks, and the resource base was “depleted. ” by Moscow.
Russian forces have seized areas to the south, including those on the shores of the Black and Seas of Azov and large areas of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions that make up the eastern Donbas region.
The war has left thousands of civilians dead, displaced more than a third of Ukraine’s 41 million people, ruined cities and shaken the global economy, causing food shortages. essential and drive up energy prices.

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