Russian missile attacks on Ukrainian cities continue, once again involving the civilian population. A Russian missile struck a six-story residential building in the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine earlier today, destroying it in part. An elderly woman has been pulled out of the rubble so far, while there is still no news of any victims. Two people died in the village of Zolochiv, also in the Kharkiv region, following a Russian bombing.
Yesterday the war had registered the first massacre of civilians since the Russians concentrated on the offensive on Donetsk. Three missiles gutted a building in the town of Chasiv Yar, causing at least 18 deaths, but the toll is likely to be provisional because dozens of people are struggling among the rubble, including a girl. Perhaps yet another tragic aiming error by the invading army, which in the following hours claimed to have hit some American weapons hangars right in the area.
The Russian firepower, which for days has hit half of the oblast still in the hands of the Ukrainians, in the night struck a residential area of Chasiv Yar, a village of about 12,000 inhabitants 50 km south of Kramatorsk. Arriving at the scene, the rescuers found the side of a crumbling five-story building. 15 lifeless bodies and 6 survivors were extracted from the rubble, but more than 20 people were reportedly trapped, including a nine-year-old girl, according to the testimonies of those who managed to communicate with three of them.
Another apartment building was also hit in the raid, and the roof was partially destroyed, but no casualties were found, emergency services said. Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the regional military administration, said that the massacre was caused by two or three Russian rockets: “Yet another confirmation of the crimes of the Russian Federation and that they are bombing residential areas”, the denunciation of him. Moscow, on the other hand, while not commenting on the specific episode, reported in the daily bulletin that it had “destroyed 17 command posts, four missile system batteries and two hangars near Kostyantynivka, where US-made M777 howitzers used to bomb residential districts of Donetsk “. Kostyantynivka is not even 20 km away from Chasiv Yar. It is not excluded, therefore, that there was a trajectory error, if it is true that the attack was carried out with Uragan rocket launchers, as the Ukrainians claim. In fact, these are Soviet-era vehicles, 50 years old, which the Army is making use of due to the lack of more modern weapons.
What happened in Chasiv Yar raises the number of civilians killed over the weekend in Donetsk to at least 20, in a phase in which the Russians are insisting with artillery towards Sloviansk targeting the city from the north (Izium) and from the east (Lysychansk). And also targeting the E40, the main road linking Donetsk and Kharkiv: an “important target” for the advance in the region, British intelligence explained. Furthermore, according to pro-Moscow separatists, an offensive has started against the city of Siversk, again in the direction of Sloviansk (where the Russians have claimed to have hit a NATO ammunition depot, killing “up to a hundred soldiers” ). For the general staff of Kiev, however, the resistance inflicted further losses on the enemy in terms of means and men. On the southern front, the defense forces also claimed to have successfully attacked Russian army positions in the Kherson territory. In the north-east, the governor of Kharkiv reported a new raid on the region that hit a school and a house, injuring one person.
Ukraine is gathering a million fighting forces equipped with Western weapons to recover the southern territories occupied by Russia. This was announced by Defense Minister of Kiev Oleksii Reznikov in an interview with the Sunday Times. Stating for President Volodymyr Zelensky gave orders to develop plans for the liberation of coastal areas, considered vital for the country. “We understand that it is politically necessary. The president has instructed the high command to develop the plans, and the general staff will communicate what is needed,” explained Reznikov.