Ukraine’s Zelenskyy accuses Russia of ‘terror’ as missiles rain down

KYIV: Missiles have fallen Ukraine killing many civilians and injuring dozens in construction areas as the weekend began, prompting the President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to accuse Russia of state “terrorism”.
Attacks on a southern resort town left 21 people dead and dozens injured after rockets hit apartments and an entertainment center in Sergiyvka, 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the Black Sea port of Odessa. miles) to the south.
A neighbor told AFP on Saturday that rockets hit residential areas in Solviansk in the central Donbas region, killing a woman in her garden and injuring her husband.
Witnesses said Friday’s attack is believed to have used cluster munitions that were scattered over a large area before detonating, hitting buildings and people outdoors.
The attacks came after Moscow relinquished positions on a strategic island, posing a major obstacle to the Kremlin’s invasion.
Victims of the Sergiyvka attacks include a 12-year-old boy, Zelenskyy said in his daily address to the country, adding that about 40 people were injured and the death toll could rise.
“I insist: this is a deliberate, targeted act of terrorism by Russia – and not some mistake or an accidental missile attack,” Zelenskyy said.
He added: “Three rockets hit a nine-story apartment building, in which no one concealed weapons and military equipment.” “Common people, commoners, live there.”
‘The Wicked Way’
Germany quickly condemned the violence.
“The cruel way in which the Russian aggressor caused the deaths of civilians and once again talks about collateral damage is inhumane and cynical,” said German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit.
The attacks followed global outrage earlier this week when a Russian attack destroyed a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, central Ukraine, killing at least 18 civilians.
Chairperson Vladimir Putin denied its forces were responsible for that attack, and Moscow did not immediately comment on the air strikes in Odessa.
On Friday, Zelensky hailed a new chapter in relations with the European Union, after Brussels recently granted Ukraine candidacy in the EU. Kyivpush to join the 27-member block, even if membership could be years away.
“Our journey to membership will not take decades. We should hurry down this path,” Zelensky told Ukraine’s parliament.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyentold Ukrainian lawmakers by video link, saying membership was “at hand” but urged them to work on anti-corruption reform.
Norway, which is not an EU member, on Friday announced $1 billion in aid to Kyiv, including reconstruction and weapons.
And the Pentagon says it is sending a new $820 million weapons package, including two air defense systems and more ammunition for the Himars precision missile launchers that the United States began delivering last week. last month.
– Spat soup – In a decision to further cool ties between Kyiv and Moscow, the United Nations cultural agency has inscribed Ukraine’s tradition of borshch soup on its list of endangered cultural heritage.
Ukraine considers the nutritious soup, often made with beets, to be its national dish, although it is also widely consumed in Russia, other former Soviet Union countries and Poland.
UNESCO said the decision was adopted after a rapid process spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said on Telegram.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: “Hummus and paella are recognized as the national dish of several countries. Everything is subject to Ukrainianization.”
– Phosphorus bomb
On Thursday, Russian troops abandoned their positions on Snake Island, which became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance in the first days of the war, and set aside shipping routes. near the port of Odessa.
The Russian Defense Ministry described the withdrawal as “a gesture of goodwill” intended to demonstrate that Moscow would not interfere in UN efforts to organize protected grain exports from Ukraine.
But on Friday night, Kyiv accused Moscow of carrying out attacks using incendiary phosphorus bombs on the ledge, saying the Russians could not “respect even their own claims”.
In peacetime, Ukraine is a major exporter of agricultural products, but Russia’s invasion has destroyed arable land and has seen Ukrainian ports seized, razed or blockaded – raising concerns. food shortages, especially in poor countries.
Western powers accuse Putin of using the trapped harvest as a weapon to increase pressure on the international community, and Russia is accused of stealing grain.
Ukraine on Friday asked Turkey to seize a Russian-flagged cargo ship that Kyiv alleges had departed from the Kremlin-occupied port of Berdyansk.
As fierce fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, officials say schools in the Ukrainian capital will reopen at the start of the school year on September 1 for the first face-to-face classes since. since the online lessons after the invasion began.
Olena Fidanyan, Kyiv’s head of education and science, said the soil around schools would be tested for explosives and school bomb shelters would be re-equipped with necessary items.

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