Ukrainian leader accuses Russia of ‘terror’ in missile strike

kyiv

On July 1, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of engaging in state “terror” by accusing Moscow of launching missiles at a southern resort town that left 21 dead and dozens injured.

Missiles slammed into a building and recreation center in the town of Sergiyvka about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the Black Sea port of Odessa, which has become a strategic flashpoint in the dragging war now for more than four months.
The attacks came a day after Moscow abandoned its positions on a strategic island in a major setback to the Kremlin invasion.
Among the dead was a 12-year-old boy, Zelensky said in his daily address to the nation, adding that around 40 people had been injured and the death toll could rise.
“I insist that this is a deliberate and deliberate Russian act of terror – not some kind of mistake or accidental missile launch,” Zelensky said.
“Three missiles hit an ordinary nine-storey building, in which no one was hiding weapons, no military equipment,” he added. “Ordinary people, civilians, lived there.”
Sergiy Bratchuk, deputy head of the Odessa district, told Ukrainian television that the strikes were launched by planes from the Black Sea and fired “very heavy and very powerful” missiles.

Germany quickly condemned the violence.
“The cruel way in which the Russian aggressor takes the death of civilians head-on and again talks about collateral damage is inhumane and cynical,” German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said.
The attacks follow global outrage earlier this week when a Russian strike destroyed a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, central Ukraine, killing at least 18 civilians.
President Vladimir Putin denied his forces were responsible for the attack and Moscow had no immediate comment on the Odessa strikes.
On Friday, Zelensky hailed a new chapter in his relations with the European Union, after Brussels recently granted candidate status to Ukraine as part of Kyiv’s efforts to join the 27-member bloc, although the membership is probably years away.
“Our journey to membership should not take decades. We should take this path quickly,” Zelensky told Ukraine’s parliament.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, speaking to Ukrainian lawmakers via video link, said membership was “within reach”, but urged them to work on anti-corruption reforms.
Norway, which is not a member of the EU, announced on Friday a billion dollars in aid for Kyiv, in particular for reconstruction and armament.
And the Pentagon said it was sending a new arms package worth $820 million, including two air defense systems and more ammunition for the Himars precision rocket launchers the US has started. to be delivered last month.

In a move that immediately heightened tensions between Kyiv and Moscow, the UN’s cultural agency put the Ukrainian tradition of cooking borscht soup on its endangered cultural heritage list.
Ukraine considers the hearty soup, usually made from beets, a national dish although it is also widely eaten in Russia, other countries of the former Soviet Union and Poland.
UNESCO said the decision was approved after an accelerated process prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
We “will win both in the borscht war and in this war,” Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said on Telegram.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova joked: “Hummus and pilaf are recognized as national dishes of several nations. Everything is subject to Ukrainianization.

On Thursday, Russian troops abandoned their positions on Snake Island, which became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance in the early days of the war, and abandoned shipping lanes near the port of Odessa.
The Russian Defense Ministry described the retreat as “a gesture of goodwill” intended to demonstrate that Moscow will not interfere with UN efforts to organize protected grain exports from Ukraine.
But on Friday night, Kyiv accused Moscow of carrying out strikes using incendiary phosphorus munitions on the rocky outcrop, saying the Russians were unable to “respect even their own statements”.
In peacetime, Ukraine is a major agricultural exporter, but the Russian invasion has damaged farmland and seen Ukrainian ports seized, razed or blockaded, raising concerns about food shortages, especially in poor countries.
Western powers have accused Putin of using the booby-trapped crop as a weapon to increase pressure on the international community, and Russia has been accused of stealing grain.
Ukraine on Friday asked Turkey to stop a Russian-flagged freighter that Kyiv said left the Kremlin-occupied port of Berdyansk.
As heavy fighting continued in eastern Ukraine, officials said schools in the Ukrainian capital would reopen at the start of the school year on September 1 for the first in-person classes since classes were suspended. uploaded after the invasion began.
Olena Fidanyan, head of Kyiv’s education and science department, said territories adjacent to schools will be checked for explosives and school bomb shelters will be replenished with essential supplies.

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