(Chassiv Yar) The death toll from the Russian strike that hit a residential building in Chassiv Yar, eastern Ukraine, on Sunday rose to 26 dead, Ukrainian relief said.
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“A total of 26 people have been found and extracted from the rubble since the start of the work, and nine people have been rescued,” the local branch of the Ukrainian Emergency Service said on Facebook.
Rescuers did not say how many people were still under the rubble.
Chassiv Iar, a small town of 12,000 inhabitants, is located in the Donetsk region which is the priority objective of Russian troops after their claimed capture of the neighboring region of Luhansk.
AFP journalists who arrived on the scene on Sunday after the strike saw the partially collapsed building, rescuers and a backhoe working to clear the area.
On Monday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said “more than 300” Ukrainian fighters were killed in a strike on Chassiv Yar but did not mention the apartment building hit. speaking instead of a high-precision missile “having destroyed a deployment point” of the Ukrainian army.
“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 Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko, at least 591 civilians have been killed and 1,548 injured so far in the Donetsk region since the Russian invasion began on February 24. On Friday, he said that Moscow was preparing “new actions” in the East.
In his Sunday evening speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned “all those who order such strikes, all those who carry them out targeting our ordinary cities, our residential areas, kill absolutely deliberately”, and promised to bring to justice.
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.
In Donetsk, “there are signs that enemy units are preparing to intensify combat operations in the direction of Kramatorsk and Bakhmut,” the Ukrainian general staff said in its update on Monday morning.
The Ukrainian military reported heavy shelling throughout eastern Ukraine, but a pause in Russian ground attacks.
“The enemy in our operational area remains behind the defense lines, does not advance by land, does not have the possibilities and capabilities to create new strike groups,” Operational Command South said early Monday. .
Strikes on Kharkiv
At the same time, six civilians were killed and 31 injured on Monday in Kharkiv (northeast) in strikes that hit the city on Monday morning, the regional prosecutor’s office said.
« Vers 10 h, le pays agresseur a tiré des tirs d’artillerie à partir de systèmes de lance-roquettes multiples sur des zones résidentielles », a-t-il indiqué dans un communiqué : « 31 personnes ont été blessées dont deux enfants de quatre et 16 ans. Six civils, dont un jeune homme de 17 ans et son père, ont été tués ».
Dans son discours de dimanche soir, le président ukrainien Volodymyr Zelensky a condamné « tous ceux qui ordonnent de telles frappes, tous ceux qui les exécutent en visant nos villes ordinaires, nos zones résidentielles, tuent de manière absolument délibérée », et a promis de les traduire en justice.
« L’armée ukrainienne tient bon, repoussant les attaques dans diverses directions », a déclaré le président Zelensky. « Mais, bien sûr, il reste encore beaucoup à faire pour que les pertes russes provoquent réellement une telle pause ».
Les forces ukrainiennes ont frappé une base russe dans la région méridionale occupée de Kherson, a par ailleurs indiqué l’état-major ukrainien, sans donner plus de détails.
De son côté, le ministère russe de la Défense a accusé samedi dans un communiqué les Ukrainiens d’installer des hommes et des armements dans des écoles et bâtiments civils dans plusieurs localités du territoire de Donetsk et de Kharkiv.
Incendies dans les champs
Plusieurs responsables ukrainiens ont également accusé les forces russes de provoquer avec leurs tirs des incendies dans les champs pour détruire les récoltes.
Dans le même temps, les autorités installées par la Russie à Kharkiv ont indiqué que « la campagne de récolte [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.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed that Russia’s restrictions on Ukrainian grain exports may have contributed to unrest in Sri Lanka, sparked by severe food and fuel shortages.
“We see the impact of this Russian aggression manifesting everywhere,” Blinken told reporters in Bangkok. He again called on Russia to let some 20 million tonnes of grain out of Ukraine.
On Monday, the Russian giant Gazprom begins maintenance work on the two Nord Stream 1 gas pipelines in the morning, which carry a large quantity of its gas still delivered to Germany as well as to several other countries in Western Europe. .
This stop for 10 days of the two pipes, announced for a long time, was in theory only to be a technical formality. But in the context of the war in Ukraine and the showdown between Moscow and the West over energy, no one can bet on the future.
“Putin is going to close the gas tap for us… but will he ever open it again? “Worried the most widely read daily in Germany on Sunday, Picture.
At the same time, Moscow continues to attack independent information. At the request of the prosecution, the site of the German newspaper Die Welt has been blocked in Russia, adding to the growing list of sites banned by media constable Roskomnadzor, Russian agencies said on Sunday. Since the beginning of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, the German newspaper had started publishing content in Russian.