Russia accuses Ukraine and its Western allies of committing war crimes - GulfToday

Russia accuses Ukraine and its Western allies of committing war crimes


Photo used for illustrative purpose.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday accused Ukraine and its Western allies of war crimes in connection with the shelling of two hospitals in Russian-held parts of Ukraine.

The ministry made the accusation a day after Russian officials said 14 people died when a hospital in the Luhansk province settlement of Novoaidar was struck.

They said shells also fell on the territory of a hospital in Nova Kakhovka, a Russian-occupied city in Kherson province where a strategically vital bridge across the lower reaches of the Dnieper River is located.

“The deliberate shelling of active civilian medical facilities and the targeted killing of civilians are grave war crimes of the Kyiv regime and its Western masters,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“The lack of reaction from the United States and other Nato countries to this, yet another monstrous trampling of international humanitarian law by Kyiv, once again confirms their direct involvement in the conflict and involvement in the crimes being committed.”

Russian state TV aired footage of what is said was the damaged hospital in Novoaidar. It said rockets hit the pediatric department of the two-storey building.

“There are no military factories here. There are no military vehicles, no tanks. Who did you shoot at?” the state TV reported quoted Olga Ryasnaya as saying, identifying her as a pediatric nurse. Novoaidar is located in Luhansk province, which is almost entirely under the control of Russian forces or Russian-backed separatists.

Russian and separatist officials alleged the hospital was deliberately targeted. Russian President Vladimir Putin is open to contacts with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz though has no phone call scheduled with him, a Kremlin spokesman said.

Scholz, who last week approved providing Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukrainian forces, was quoted in a published interview as saying he would speak to Putin again but the onus was on the Russian leader to withdraw troops from Ukraine “to end this horrendous, senseless war...”

Ukraine on Sunday carried out an “attack from a HIMARS multiple rocket launcher on a railway bridge across the Molochnaya river”, the Russian-installed head of the region, Yevgeny Balitsky, said on social media.

“Four people from the railways brigade were killed, five were injured,” Balitsky added. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the situation at the front as “extremely acute,” especially in the eastern Donetsk region where Russia is stepping up an offensive.

Zelensky condemned the idea of neutrality in sports at a time when his country’s athletes fight and die in war, while their Russian counterparts might be allowed to compete. Ukraine imposed sanctions on 182 Russian and Belarusian companies, and three individuals, in the latest of a series of steps by Zelensky to block their links to his country.

Russian shelling of residential areas in Ukraine’s southern city of Kherson left at least three people dead, local authorities said on Sunday.

In the Zaporizhzhia region, also in Ukraine’s south, Russia-installed officials said four people were killed in a railway bridge strike that they blamed on Ukraine. The front in southern Ukraine has been considerably quieter recently than in the east, with Moscow withdrawing from Kherson city in November last year. But the key city and regional capital of the eponymous Kherson region is still subject to frequent Russian shelling.

“Enemy artillery pounded the city’s residential areas,” the Kherson regional administration said on social media. The attacks left three dead, two men and one woman, and six others wounded, the administration said.

Mourners gathered at a Kyiv church on Sunday to honour Andrew Bagshaw, one of two British volunteers who died as they were evacuating civilians from fierce fighting in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Bagshaw, 47, and Chris Parry, 28, were reported missing in early January after having set out for the town of Soledar, which saw heavy fighting in recent weeks between Ukrainian and Russian forces. Their families confirmed their deaths this week, with a statement from Bagshaw’s relatives saying the pair “were attempting to rescue an elderly woman from Soledar... when their car was hit by an artillery shell.”


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