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Ukraine and UK say Russia uses mass casualty weapons

KYIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian and British officials warned on Saturday that Russian forces are relying on weapons capable of causing mass casualties as they attempt to make progress in capturing eastern Ukraine and fighting relentless and protracted exhaust the resources on both sides.

Russia Ukraine War

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky leaves a joint press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Kyiv on Saturday. Natasha Pisarenko/Associated Press

Russian bombers likely launched heavy anti-ship missiles dating back to the 1960s in Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defense said. The Kh-22 missiles were primarily designed to destroy aircraft carriers using a nuclear warhead. When used in ground attacks with conventional warheads, they “are highly inaccurate and, therefore, can cause severe collateral damage and casualties,” the ministry said.

Both sides spent vast amounts of arms in what became a bitter war of attrition for the eastern region of coal mines and factories known as Donbas, straining their resources and stockpiles.

Russia likely uses the 6.1-ton anti-ship missiles because it lacks more accurate modern missiles, the British ministry said. He gave no details on the exact location where these missiles would have been deployed.

As Russia also sought to consolidate its hold on territory seized so far in the 108-day war, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine ” is what happens when the oppressors trample on the rules that protect us all.”

“That’s what happens when great powers decide their imperial appetites matter more than the rights of their peaceful neighbors,” Austin said during a visit to Asia. “And it’s a glimpse into a possible world of chaos and turmoil that none of us would want to live in.”

GOVERNOR: FLAMETHROWERS USED IN LUHANSK

A Ukrainian governor has accused Russia of using incendiary weapons in a village in the Ukrainian province of Lugansk, southwest of the bitterly contested cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk.

While the use of flamethrowers on the battlefield is legal, Serhii Haidai, governor of Luhansk province, claimed that nighttime attacks in Vrubivka caused extensive damage to civilian facilities and an unknown number of casualties.

“At night, the enemy used a flamethrower system – many houses were burned down,” Haidai wrote on Telegram on Saturday. The accuracy of his claim could not immediately be verified.

Sievierodonetsk and neighboring Lysychansk are the last major regions of Luhansk province remaining under Ukrainian control. Haidai said the Russians destroyed railway depots, a brick factory and a glass factory.

The Ukrainian military said on Saturday that Russian forces were also to launch an offensive on the city of Sloviansk in Donetsk province. Donetsk and Lugansk together form the Donbass,

Moscow-backed rebels have controlled self-declared republics in both provinces since 2014, and Russia is trying to seize territory still in Ukrainian hands.

ZELENSKY CALLS FOR MORE EU ​​SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA

During a visit to Kyiv by the top European Union official, Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky called for a new round of “even tougher” EU sanctions against Russia.

Zelenskyy called for the new sanctions to target more Russian officials, including judges, and hamper the activities of all Russian banks, including gas giant Gazprom’s bank, as well as all Russian companies helping Moscow “in any way.” any way”.

He spoke during a brief press appearance with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the heavily guarded presidential office in the Ukrainian capital. Von der Leyen was on his second visit to Ukraine since Russia invaded its neighbor.

The two men discussed Ukraine’s aspirations for EU membership. Zelensky, speaking through a translator, said Ukraine “will do everything” to integrate into the bloc.

“Russia wants to divide Europe, wants to weaken Europe,” he said.

Von der Leyen said the EU’s executive arm was “working day and night” on an assessment of Ukraine’s eligibility as an EU candidate. The aim is to have the review ready to be shared with the bloc’s 27 existing members by the end of next week.

Zelensky and some EU supporters want Ukraine quickly admitted to the EU. Von der Leyen described the accession process as “a path based on merit” and called on Ukraine to strengthen its rule of law, fight corruption and modernize its institutions.

She hailed Ukraine’s “strength and resilience” in the face of Russia’s “horrible and atrocious” invasion and said the EU would help rebuild the country.

RUSSIA CREATES COMPANY TO SELL UKRAINE GRAIN

Russian officials based in the Zaporizhzhia region of southern Ukraine have set up a company to buy local grain and resell it on behalf of Moscow, a local official told the Interfax news agency on Saturday.

Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of stealing grain from Ukraine and causing a global food crisis that could lead to millions dying from starvation.

Yevgeny Balitsky, the head of the pro-Russian Interim Zaporizhzhia Administration, said the new state-owned grain company had taken control of several facilities.

He said “the grain will be Russian” and “it doesn’t matter who the buyer is”.

It was unclear whether farmers whose grain was sold by Russia were paid. Balitsky said his administration would not forcibly appropriate the grain or pressure producers to sell it.

The head of the Ukrainian presidential office accused the Russian army of bombing and burning grain fields before the harvest. Andriy Yermak claimed that Moscow was “trying to repeat” a Soviet-era famine that claimed the lives of more than 3 million Ukrainians in 1932-33.

“Our soldiers put out the fires, but the (Russian) ‘food terrorism’ must be stopped,” Yermak wrote on Telegram on Saturday.

The accuracy of his claims and those of Balitsky could not be independently verified.

RUSSIAN PASSPORTS FOR RESIDENTS IN UKRAINE

Russian forces occupying parts of southern Ukraine began distributing Russian passports to local residents on Saturday.

In the Kherson region, 23 residents accepted Russian passports, including the new Moscow-based governor, the Russian state news agency its Moscow-based governor, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported. .

“For me, this is truly a historic moment. I have always believed that we are one country and one people,” the news agency quoted Governor Volodymyr Saldo as saying.

Russian forces have also started issuing passports in the occupied city of Melitopol, according to Russian news agency TASS. A Telegram message by TASS cited a local official based in Russia as the original source of the information.

He did not say how many residents had applied for or obtained Russian citizenship.

Melitopol is located outside Donbass in the Zaporizhzhia region, which is still partly owned by Ukraine.

NUMBER OF CHILD DEATHS

Nearly 800 children have been killed or injured in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion, Ukrainian authorities announced on Saturday.

According to a statement from the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, at least 287 children died as a result of military activities, while at least 492 others were injured. The statement stressed that the figures were not final and were based on investigations by juvenile prosecutors.

The office said children in Ukraine’s Donetsk province suffered the most, with 217 dead or injured, compared to 132 and 116, respectively, in Kharkiv and Kyiv regions.

CIVILIAN DEATH BY EXPLOSION ON THE BEACH

Odessa city officials said on Saturday a man was killed by an explosion as he walked to a beach on the Black Sea, where landmines are a growing concern.

The city council said via Telegram the man was there with his wife and son, despite warnings to stay away from beaches in the area. He was testing the temperature and depth of the water when the explosion happened.

Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of laying mines in the Black Sea.


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Post expires at 6:01pm on Wednesday June 22nd, 2022

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