Russia vows new attacks on Kyiv, where 900 civilians were found dead

April 16, 2022 01:42 pm | Updated 01:59 pm IST - LVIV

Representational photo of the remnants of a house, that residents say was destroyed by Russian shelling, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine.

Representational photo of the remnants of a house, that residents say was destroyed by Russian shelling, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Zelenskyy called for “the democratic world” to ban Russian oil. While U.S. lawmakers and U.S. President Joe Biden have enacted such a ban, Europe relies more heavily on Russian energy supplies, and the U.S. has been working to keep India from stepping up its use of Russian energy

The governor of the Lviv region in western Ukraine reported air strikes in the region on Saturday morning.

Maksym Kozytskyy said on the Telegram messaging app that Russian Su-35 aircraft took off from the Baranovichi airfield in Belarus and carried out missile strikes in Lviv.

Ukraine’s air defense system shot down four cruise missiles, Kozytskyy said.

He didn’t offer any details about possible casualties or damage.

Key developments in Russian invasion of Ukraine 2022

Washington: Ukraine is sending top officials to Washington for next week’s spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, where discussion will focus on the Russian invasion and its impact on the global economy.

Atlanta: CIA Director William Burns says no one “can take lightly” the threat that Russia could use tactical or low-yield nuclear weapons but he has seen no “practical evidence” suggesting it is imminent.

Speaking to an audience Thursday at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Burns said that “potential desperation” from Russian leaders to portray a victory in Ukraine increases the risk to the use of nuclear weapons.

“None of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low yield nuclear weapons,” Burns said. “We don’t.”

Rome: The war in Ukraine loomed over the traditional Good Friday procession at the Colosseum in Rome because the Vatican’s choice of a Russian woman as one of the cross-bearers angered Ukrainians.

Participants in the solemn torchlit procession in the ancient arena Friday night took turns carrying a plain, tall and slim cross as part of the commemoration of Jesus’ suffering and death by crucifixion.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican and the archbishop of Kyiv earlier this week denounced the Vatican’s plan to have a Ukrainian woman and a Russian woman carry the cross together during the procession. They objected to projecting what they saw as the idea of reconciliation while Ukraine is ravaged by war unleashed by Russia.

The Vatican didn’t respond to the protests. Pope Francis has denounced the Feb. 24 invasion and attacks on Ukraine as a ‘sacrilege’ but has refrained from naming Russia as the aggressor.

Other faithful applauded the decision to pair the two women. They work together in a palliative care section of a Rome hospital and are friends.

Kyiv: Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in an online posting that Kyiv was struck early Saturday in the Darnytskyi district in the eastern part of the capital, saying there were “explosions.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday that existing sanctions on Russia are “painful” but not yet enough to stop the Russian military.

Zelenskyy called for “the democratic world” to ban Russian oil. While U.S. lawmakers and U.S. President Joe Biden have enacted such a ban, Europe relies more heavily on Russian energy supplies, and the U.S. has been working to keep India from stepping up its use of Russian energy.

“In general, the democratic world must accept that Russia’s money for energy resources is in fact money for the destruction of democracy,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to his nation.

He also said: “The sooner the democratic world recognizes that the oil embargo against Russia and the complete blockade of its banking sector are necessary steps towards peace, the sooner the war will end.”.

Elsewhere in southern Ukraine, he said Russian troops who occupy areas around Kherson and Zaporizhzhia were terrorizing civilians and looking for anyone who had served in the army or the government.

“The occupiers think this will make it easier for them to control this territory. But they are very wrong. They are fooling themselves,” Zelenskyy said.

He added: “The occupiers’ problem is not that they are not accepted by some activists, veterans, or journalists. Russia’s problem is that it is not accepted — and never will be accepted — by the entire Ukrainian people. Russia has lost Ukraine forever.”

Indignant over what it called Ukrainian strikes in Russian territory and following the stunning loss of its Black Sea flagship, Moscow threatened renewed missile attacks on Kyiv, where authorities said the bodies of more than 900 civilians were found outside the capital. Most had been shot dead, police said, and likely “simply executed”.

Russian forces prepared for a renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine, and fighting also went on in the pummelled southern port city of Mariupol, where locals reported seeing Russian troops digging up bodies. In the northeastern city of Kharkiv, the shelling of a residential area killed seven people, including a 7-month-old child, and wounded 34, according to regional Governor Oleh Sinehubov.

Early Saturday, Kyiv’s eastern district of Darnytskie was struck, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in an online posting. He said rescuers and paramedics were on the scene. He warned residents who have fled the capital not to return for their safety.

In the towns around Kyiv, said Andriy Nebytov, who heads the region’s police force, bodies were abandoned in the streets or given temporary burials. He cited police data indicating 95% died from gunshot wounds.

“Consequently, we understand that under the (Russian) occupation, people were simply executed in the streets,” Nebytov said.

More bodies are being found every day under rubble and in mass graves, he added, with the largest number found in Bucha, more than 350. According to Nebytov, utility workers gathered and buried bodies in the Kyiv suburb while it remained under Russian control. Russian troops, he added, had been “tracking down” people who expressed strong pro-Ukrainian views.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russian troops occupying parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions in the south of terrorising civilians and hunting for anyone who served in Ukraine’s military or government.

“The occupiers think this will make it easier for them to control this territory. But they are very wrong. They are fooling themselves,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address. “Russia’s problem is that it is not accepted — and never will be accepted — by the entire Ukrainian people. Russia has lost Ukraine forever.”

Officials think 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian troops have died in the war, Zelenskyy told CNN in an interview. He said about 10,000 have been injured and it’s “hard to say how many will survive.” More violence could be in store for Kyiv after Russian authorities accused Ukraine of wounding seven people and damaging about 100 residential buildings with airstrikes in Bryansk, a region bordering Ukraine. Authorities in another border region of Russia also reported Ukrainian shelling Thursday.

“The number and the scale of missile attacks on objects in Kyiv will be ramped up in response to the Kyiv nationalist regime committing any terrorist attacks or diversions on the Russian territory,” Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

Russia used missiles to destroy a facility for the repair and production of missile systems in Kyiv, Konashenkov said. The Ukrainian state arms manufacturer, Ukroboronprom, said Russian forces struck one of the missile workshops at the Vizar plant, located near Kyiv’s Zhuliany airport.

Ukrainian officials have not confirmed striking targets in Russia, and the reports could not be independently verified.

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