Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of terrorizing and killing civilians after airstrikes on Ukrainian cities on Tuesday.
e said one person was killed in a rocket attack on an apartment building in the southern city of Mykolaiv, but gave no further details on victims.
“Ukraine is under fire from the occupiers. They continue to do what they do best – terrorize and kill civilians,” he wrote on the messaging app Telegram. “The terror state will not change anything for itself with such actions. It will only confirm its destructive and murderous nature, for which it will certainly be held accountable.”
The latest attack on a city came hours after the United States warned it would hold Russia accountable for war crimes.
The missile, which caused one of three explosions in the south city in the early hours of Tuesday morning, completely destroyed a wing of the downtown building and left a huge crater in its wake.
A fire brigade commando pulled the body of a man out of the rubble, the witness said.
Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear power company on Tuesday accused Russia of “kidnapping” two senior employees at the Russian-held Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.
The head of information technology at the power plant, Oleh Kostyukov, and Oleh Oshek, an assistant to the director of the power plant, were arrested on Monday, Energoatom wrote on the Telegram app on Tuesday.
“Nothing is currently known about their whereabouts or condition,” Energoatom said in a statement.
Monday brought Russian airstrikes on the capital Kyiv and other cities, killing at least four people, the second wave of airstrikes in a week.
The Russian attacks followed pushes by Ukrainian forces east and south and after an Oct. 8 explosion on a bridge connecting mainland Russia with Crimea — the peninsula Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
“Right now there is a new Russian drone attack,” Zelenskyy said in a video address on Monday evening. “There are (drones) that have been shot down.”
Interfax Ukraine news agency said Telegram users reported explosions in the town of Fastiv outside of Kyiv, as well as in the southern port of Odessa.
US President Joe Biden’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, told reporters the White House “strongly condemns Russia’s missile attacks” and said the attack “continues to demonstrate Putin’s brutality.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in what he called a “special operation” to root out the so-called dangerous nationalists.
Ukrainian forces have put up a fierce resistance, using weapons supplied by the United States and its allies, which have also imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia to force it to withdraw.
Mentioning a $725 million military aid package announced for Ukraine last Friday, Jean-Pierre said the United States would stand by the Ukrainian people “for as long as needed.”
“We will continue to order Russia to pay and hold her accountable for her war crimes,” she said.
A pregnant woman was among four people killed in an attack on an apartment building in Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. Ukraine’s Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi said there had been deaths in other cities but didn’t give a full number.
Black smoke was billowing from the windows of the Kyiv apartment building and rescue workers struggled to put out the flames.
“I’ve never been so scared… It’s murder, it’s just murder,” said Vitalii Dushevskiy, 29, a grocery delivery courier who rents an apartment in the building.
Russia denies attacks on civilians. The Defense Ministry said it carried out a “massive” attack on military targets and energy infrastructure across Ukraine using high-precision weapons.
Ukraine said the attacks were carried out by Iranian-made “suicide drones” that fly to their target and explode. The United States, Britain and France agreed that by supplying drones to Russia Iran would violate a UN Security Council resolution approving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six powers.
Iran on Monday maintained its denial that it is supplying the drones to Russia, while the Kremlin has not commented.
The White House accused Iran of lying when it claimed Iranian drones were not used by Russia in Ukraine.
Asked for comment, the Iranian mission to the United Nations reiterated a government statement on Friday saying it supports compliance with the UN Charter and the UN’s efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine .
Several EU foreign ministers on Monday called for sanctions against Iran over the drone transfer to Russia.
Ukraine’s military said it had destroyed 37 Russian drones, or around 85 percent of the drones used in attacks, since Sunday night. Reuters was unable to independently verify this balance sheet.
In Russia itself, a Russian warplane crashed into an apartment building in the southern city of Yeysk, engulfing apartments in flames and killing up to 13 people, Interfax news agency reported.
The Su34 fighter-bomber crashed during a training flight after one of its engines burst into flames, Tass reported, adding that the pilots bailed out.
Russia’s state investigative committee said it had opened a criminal case. Yeysk is separated from occupied Russian territory in southern Ukraine by a narrow stretch of the Sea of Azov.
Russia and Ukraine, meanwhile, on Monday carried out one of the largest prisoner swaps of the war, exchanging a total of 218 detainees, including 108 Ukrainian women, officials from both sides said.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/zelensky-says-russia-doing-what-it-does-best-killing-innocent-civilians-as-missile-strike-hits-another-apartment-block-42074790.html Zelenskyy says Russia is “doing what it does best – killing innocent civilians” as another block of flats is hit by rockets