Missiles hit Vinnytsia in central Ukraine, killing over 20 people including three children, as EU officials convene in The Hague to discuss atrocities in Ukraine on the 141st day of fighting.

Russian forces are stepping up artillery and missile attacks in eastern Ukraine, primarily in Donetsk province after overtaking adjacent Luhansk.
Russian forces are stepping up artillery and missile attacks in eastern Ukraine, primarily in Donetsk province after overtaking adjacent Luhansk. (AFP)

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Strikes on Ukraine's Vinnytsia draw condemnation as toll rises

The fatalities in Russian missiles strikes on Vinnytsia in central Ukraine have risen to at least 23 people including three children, rescuers have said, updating the earlier toll of 20.

Charred remains of upturned cars surrounded by burnt debris were seen in images distributed by officials next to a business gutted by a fire with brown smoke billowing nearby in the midday attack.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was "appalled" by the attack and condemned strikes "against civilians or civilian infrastructure", while the EU slammed it as an "atrocity". Both called for accountability.

Zelenskyy urges 'special tribunal' to probe Russian assault

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for a "special tribunal" to investigate Russia's assault, addressing a conference at The Hague focused on atrocities in Ukraine. He said such a tribunal could ensure the "fair and lawful punishment" for "all Russian criminals".

"Existing judicial institutions cannot bring all the guilty parties to justice. Therefore, a special tribunal is needed to address the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine," Zelenskyy told the gathering via video link.

Organised by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the European Commission and the Netherlands, the event at The Hague was aiming to ensure that crimes committed since the Russian invasion do not go unpunished. The ICC opened an investigation into "war crimes" in March, not long after Moscow's February 24 campaign in Ukraine.

Ukrainian official proposes commission to help track weapons

A senior Ukrainian official has proposed creating a special commission to help track weapons received from Kiev's foreign allies.

Andriy Yermak, the head of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office, made his proposal following signs of concern abroad that criminals might steal some of the weapons and smuggle them out of Ukraine for sale on the black market.

The Financial Times, quoting Western officials, reported this week that NATO and European Union states are pushing for better tracking of the weapons supplied to Ukraine.

Ukrainian military strikes with Western arms disrupt Russian supply lines: General

Ukraine is using Western-supplied long-range weapons and 155mm "smart" shells to hit Russian ammo dumps and supply lines, forcing Moscow to rethink how it supplies fuel and ammunition to the front line, a Ukrainian general has said.

Ukraine said earlier on Thursday its forces had struck two military checkpoints and a landing point in a town in Russian-occupied territory in southern Ukraine, the latest attack Kiev says its forces have carried out deep in areas held by Russia in the last two weeks.

General Oleksiy Gromov told a news conference that Western-supplies of weapons were critical to Ukrainian strikes and singled out US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) that Kiev began receiving last month. HIMARS have a longer range and are more precise than the Soviet-era artillery that Ukraine had in its arsenal.

We are decreasing the enemy's potential, hitting his logistics supply, hitting his ammunition...The enemy is being forced to change its system for supplying ammunition and fuel

Ukrainian General Oleksiy Gromov

Brazil's Bolsonaro: I know how the Ukrainian conflict could be resolved

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said he knows how the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could be "resolved" and that he will pitch his suggestions to Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with whom he is set to have a phone meeting next week.

"I'll tell him my opinion, what I think...I know how it could be resolved. But I won't tell anyone," Bolsonaro told reporters while on a visit to the northeastern state of Maranhao. "The solution to this case would be like how Argentina's war with the UK ended in 1982," he said.

Argentina and Britain fought a short conflict in 1982 over sovereignty of the Falkland Islands in the south Atlantic, known in Argentina as the Malvinas. It began in April 1982 when Argentine troops landed on the British-controlled islands, and Britain sent a naval task force to retake them. The poorly equipped Argentine troops stood little chance and surrendered two months later.

OSCE sounds 'alarm' on Ukraine 'filtration centres'

A report by the world's largest security body has expressed "grave concern" about alleged mistreatment of tens of thousands of Ukrainians at so-called filtration centres set up by Russia in Ukraine.

"There are reports indicating that people are subject to harsh interrogations and humiliating body searches in such centres," said the 115-page report, calling the setting up of such centres an "alarming" development.

It added those found to have collaborated with Kiev "often simply disappear" with some being allegedly transferred to Russian controlled territories, where they are detained or even murdered. The report is based on a mission of three experts under the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) covering the Ukraine conflict from April 1 to June 25.

Separatist leader says two killed in Ukrainian strike on bus station

Two people have been killed when Ukrainian forces shelled a bus station in the separatist-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, a separatist leader has said.

In a post on Telegram, Denis Pushilin, head of the self-proclaimed, Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), said that two civilians had been killed and three wounded when the bus station was struck by a howitzer.

Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko accused Russian forces on social media of striking the centre of Donetsk but pinning the blame on Ukraine.

Ukraine's occupied Zaporizhzhia eyes Russia 'referendum' in autumn

Moscow-backed separatist authorities in the southeastern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhia say they plan to stage a referendum on joining Russia this year. The southern Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia have been largely under Russia's control since the first weeks of Moscow's military intervention.

"We will organise a referendum this autumn," said Yevgeny Balitsky, head of the Moscow-installed administration in the occupied part of the region of Zaporizhzhia. He insisted the plebiscite will be "transparent".

"We want to join Russia as the region of Zaporizhzhia," he told reporters during a briefing organised by the Russian defence ministry and attended by AFP news agency.

Russian strikes on Vinnytsia an open act of terrorism: Zelenskyy

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has lashed out at Russia over missile strikes that have killed at least 20 people, on Vinnytsia in central Ukraine.  The Russian military has not confirmed the strike.

"Every day, Russia kills civilians, kills Ukrainian children, carries out missile attack on civilian facilities where there is no military target. What is this if not an open act of terrorism?" Zelenskyy asked.

A Russian submarine in the Black Sea fired Kalibr cruise missiles at the city, and three children were among the dead, authorities in Ukraine said. They added that 20 people were killed after three missiles hit an office building and damaged nearby residential buildings, revising the death toll upwards.

Putin approves tough legislation on ‘foreign agents’

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a number of new bills, including legislation that broadens the definition of "foreign agents" and introduces prison terms for calls to act against national security.

A bill on "foreign agents", which will come into force on December 1, was published by the government. 

According to the new legislation, anyone "under foreign influence" or receiving support from abroad — not just foreign money — can now be declared a "foreign agent" in Russia.

Kremlin: Work still to be done on EU Kaliningrad transit deal

The Kremlin has said there is still work to be done over a European Union ban on the transit of sanctioned goods to the Russian territory of Kaliningrad.

"Work and contact will continue, because there are still a number of questions to be answered," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Brussels said earlier this week the transit ban only affected road, not rail, transit, and Lithuania should therefore allow Russia to ship sanctioned goods like concrete, wood and alcohol across EU territory to its Kaliningrad exclave.

Ukraine must recognise ‘territorial reality’ for peace: Russia

A top Russian official has said Moscow would respond positively should Kiev be ready to resume peace negotiations, but that Ukraine must accept the "territorial realities" of the situation, the Interfax news agency has reported.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said Kiev must provide a clear response to Moscow's proposals that Ukraine accept "non-aligned" and "non-nuclear" status in order to strike a peace deal.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy would also have to recognise Russia's control over Crimea and the status of the breakaway "people's republics" in Donetsk and Luhansk, Interfax reported, a day after Kiev ruled out territorial concessions.

Russia claims it downed Ukrainian jets, destroyed US-supplied weapons in eastern Ukraine

Russia's defence ministry has said that its air force had downed two Ukrainian fighter jets and destroyed a collection of US-made M777 Howitzers in eastern Ukraine.

In its daily briefing, the defence ministry also said it had struck a factory in the southern Zaporizhzhia region with Kalibr cruise missiles, destroying Ukrainian combat vehicles.

Rescuers work at a site damaged by shelling building in Vinnytsia, Ukraine.
Rescuers work at a site damaged by shelling building in Vinnytsia, Ukraine. (AP)

Nations discuss coordinating probe on atrocities in Ukraine

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor has called for an “overarching strategy” to coordinate efforts to bring perpetrators of what the West and Kiev calls "war crimes" in Ukraine to justice. 

“The simple truth is that, as we speak, children, women and men, the young and the old, are living in terror,” ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan said as he opened a Ukraine Accountability Conference in The Hague.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the attack against Ukraine, his military forces have been accused of abuses ranging from killings in the Kiev suburb of Bucha to deadly attacks on civilian facilities, including the March 16 bombing of a theatre in Mariupol that an investigation established likely killed close to 600 people.

Ukraine: Russian missile strike kills 12 south of Kiev

Russian missiles have struck the city of Vinnytsia, killing 12 people and wounding 25 more in what Ukraine’s president called “an open act of terrorism” on the country’s civilian population in areas with no military value.

Ukraine’s national police said three missiles hit an office building and damaged nearby residential buildings in the city located southwest of the capital Kiev. The missile strike ignited a fire that expanded to engulf 50 cars in an adjacent parking lot.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a child was among the dead. He suggested the attack was deliberately aimed at terrorising civilians.

Ukrainian military launch new attack on Russian forces in southern Ukraine

Ukrainian forces have hit two military checkpoints and a landing pad in the second strike this week on a Russian-held area in southern Ukraine, Ukrainian officials said.

The new attack on Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region killed 13 "occupiers", Serhiy Bratchuk, spokesperson for the Odessa regional administration, quoted the Operational Command South as saying. He cited no evidence for the death toll.

Ukraine's military said on Tuesday that an attack by its forces on Nova Kakhovka had killed 52 people.

Report: Russian forces enter Ukraine's Siversk city

Russian troops along with a local militia have entered the Ukrainian city of Siversk, which is under their operational control, according to the Russian state-owned TASS news agency. 

"The allied forces have already entered Seversk (a city in the Donetsk region). I can say that the city is under our operational control. Mopping up operations are under way. Siversk will soon be totally liberated from Ukrainian troops," TASS said, citing a source. The report couldn't be independently verified. 

Ukraine's armed forces said in their briefing note that Russia had not conducted any new assaults on the frontline that includes Siversk, but that the town had been fired upon by artillery.

For live updates from Wednesday (July 13), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies