(Chassiv Iar) Russian forces continued to shell eastern Ukraine on Sunday, killing at least 15 people in a strike that ripped open an apartment building in Chassiv Iar, according to Ukrainian authorities.
The strike occurred at night in this small town of some 12,000 inhabitants. According to the rescue services, 24 people are still under the rubble, including a child, while five others have been rescued from the debris.
The four-storey building was hit by a Russian Hurricane missile, Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region that the Russian army is seeking to conquer, said on Telegram.
AFP journalists who arrived on the spot after the strike saw the partially collapsed building, rescuers and a backhoe working to clear the area.
“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 toilets, ”testified a resident interviewed by AFP, refusing to give her name.
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.
Deliberately targeted “civilian objectives”
The Russian army, which announced in early July that it had taken control of the Luhansk region, is now targeting Donetsk to occupy the entire Donbass mining basin.
It has been partially controlled since 2014 by separatists backed by Moscow after the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula.
“The brutal Russian artillery strikes do not stop for a day, Sloviansk, Bakhmout, Avdiivka…”, condemned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday evening, again calling for “modern and powerful” weapons to defend themselves.
Mr Zelensky accused Moscow of hitting “deliberately, intentionally, simple houses, civilian objects, people. There are victims, dead, injured.
For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense accused in a statement on Saturday evening the Ukrainians of installing men and armaments in schools and civilian buildings in several localities in the territory of Donetsk and Kharkiv.
Several Ukrainian officials have 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 harvest campaign [de blé, NDLR] started in the liberated territories of the region,” according to the Russian news agency Ria Novosti.
Ukraine has been accusing Russia for weeks of stealing its wheat harvests in the occupied regions to resell it illegally on the international market.
The staff of the Ukrainian army reported Sunday, as the day before, many Russian bombardments but almost no ground assaults by Moscow forces.
Kyiv assured for its part to have targeted two “command points” and Russian depots in the region of Chornobaivka (South). Ukrainian forces also claimed responsibility for a strike on a Russian base in the occupied Kherson region (south), without further details.
In Kharkiv (north-east), the country’s second largest city, Governor Oleg Synegoubov reported on Telegram new missile fire which hit an “educational establishment” and a house, injuring one person.
Other Russian strikes are reported in particular near Siversk and Sloviansk (East) as well as in the Mykolaiv region (South).
“High-precision ground weapons struck a temporary deployment point of the Ukrainian Armed Forces artillery unit and an ammunition depot on the territory of the ceramics factory in the city of Sloviansk,” the statement said. Russian army. “Up to 100 people” were killed and “more than 1,000 artillery shells for US-made M777 howitzers and around 700 rockets for Grad MLRS” were destroyed, she added.
The “ambassador” in Moscow of the separatist Luhansk Republic, Rodion Mirochnik, said on Telegram on Sunday morning that in the Donetsk region an offensive had been “launched against Siversk from the North” and that the locality of Grygorivka had was “captured after fighting”.
“Our troops continue to carry out military operations to liberate Serebrianka”, another locality in the region, he added.