Russian shelling hits south Ukraine - GulfToday

Russian shelling hits south Ukraine


This picture shows destroyed residential buildings in the town of Izyum, Ukraine, on Saturday. AFP

Shelling hit southern Ukraine late on Saturday, while Russia sought to defend its seven-month war even as it moves to escalate the conflict with the expected annexation of regions in the east and south that its forces have seized.

Ukraine and Western countries say referendums on joining Russia in territories Russia has captured are a sham designed to justify their annexation and the ramping up of hostilities with newly drafted troops after recent battlefield losses.


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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addressed the UN General Assembly and the world's media on Saturday, casting opposition to Russia's assault on its neighbour as limited to the United States and countries under its sway.

Nearly three-quarters of countries in the assembly voted to reprimand Russia and demand it withdraw its troops shortly after the Feb. 24 invasion that Russia calls a special military operation.

Residents clear the rubble of their destroyed house as a result of the shelling in the village of Moshchun, Ukraine. AFP

Russia's military campaign has killed tens of thousands, left some Ukrainian cities wastelands and triggered Russia's biggest confrontation with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Ukraine and Russia traded blame for missile strikes and shelling in various parts of the south and east.

Ukraine's military said early on Sunday that Russian forces had launched dozens of missile attacks and air strikes on military and civilian targets, including 35 "settlements", in the past 24 hours.

Russia denies targeting civilians. Its RIA state news agency, citing unidentified sources, said earlier that Ukrainian forces shelled a granary and fertilizer warehouses.

Reuters was unable to verify either sides' claims.

An elderly man restores the destroyed roof of a barn after shelling in the village of Moshchun, Kyiv, on Saturday. AFP

The votes on becoming part of Russia were hastily organised after Ukraine recaptured large swathes of the northeast in a counter-offensive this month.

Ukrainian officials said people were banned from leaving some occupied areas until the four-day vote was over, armed groups were going into homes, and employees were threatened with the sack if they did not participate.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the votes would be "unequivocally condemned" by the world, along with the mobilisation Russia began this week, including in Crimea and other areas of Ukraine occupied by Russia.

Russia maintains that the referendums offer an opportunity for people in those regions to express their view.




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