Russian missile kills 15 people in eastern Ukraine, focusing on Donbass

On Sunday, a Russian rocket hit an apartment building in eastern Ukraine, killing at least 15 people as Moscow’s forces sought to consolidate their grip on the Donbas.
“During the rescue operation, 15 bodies were found at the scene and 5 people (alive) were removed from the rubble,” the Chasov Yar city emergency service said in a Facebook post.

The governor of the Donetsk region, Pavel Kirilenko, said earlier in Telegram that at least 30 people were under the rubble of a four-story building.

The building was partially destroyed during the strike, and AFP correspondents saw dozens of rescue workers sifting through the rubble with a mechanical backhoe.

According to emergency services, rescuers managed to make contact with three people under the rubble.
After fighting long battles in the last areas of the neighboring Luhansk region, Russian forces have now focused their attention on Donetsk, seeking to take control of the entire Donbass.
A resident of Chasy Yara, who did not give her name, showed the wreckage of her apartment to AFP reporters.

“Yesterday, at 11 or 10 pm, I was in the bedroom, and when I left, everything started to rattle and crack,” she said.

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“The only thing that saved me was when I ran here because right after that it all collapsed.”

Hours earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had denounced what he called Russia’s deliberate shelling of civilian targets.

Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia is purposefully attacking the residential sector

The Donetsk region was under relentless shelling and Russian ground attacks were all but halted, the general staff of the Ukrainian army said on Sunday.

Ukrainian forces struck a Russian base in the occupied southern region of Kherson, they added, without elaborating.

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According to Kirilenko, on Saturday, as a result of shelling in Donetsk, three people were killed and 23 were injured.
Strikes were also reported in Kharkiv, a second city in northeastern Ukraine, where attacks were carried out on an “educational institution” and a residential building, injuring one person, according to Oleg Sinegubov, the region’s governor.
Mr. Zelensky condemned the large-scale Russian bombing in an address on Saturday evening.
“In just one day, Russia struck at Nikolayev, Kharkiv, Kryvyi Rih, settlements in the Zaporozhye region,” Zelensky said.

According to him, Russian strikes were “completely deliberate” and “purposefully” delivered to the residential sector, hitting “ordinary houses, civilian objects, people.”

“Such terrorist acts can only really be stopped with weapons that are modern and powerful,” he added, thanking the United States for its latest military aid package.
Washington has signed a $400 million package, including four additional highly mobile artillery missile systems in addition to eight existing and precision-guided artillery munitions that have not previously been delivered to Ukraine.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Russia’s restrictions on Ukrainian grain exports may have contributed to caused by a severe shortage of food and fuel.
“We are seeing the consequences of this Russian aggression everywhere,” he told reporters in Bangkok.

Echoing a demand he repeatedly made, Blinken urged Russia to allow an estimated 20 million tons of grain to leave Ukraine, which Moscow invaded in February.

Meanwhile, Russian officials in the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine have announced the start of harvesting “in the region’s liberated territories,” Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Sunday.

Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of stealing wheat crops from the occupied eastern regions in order to illegally sell it on the international market.

Canada to return turbines and extend economic sanctions

On Saturday, Canada agreed to supply Germany with turbines needed to service the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, despite sanctions against Russia.

Ukraine has urged Canada not to return turbines that are undergoing maintenance at a Canadian site owned by German industrial giant Siemens.

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Gazprom cut supplies through the pipeline, citing a delay in the return of components and raising fears of gas shortages in Germany.
Canada “will grant Siemens Canada a time-limited and revocable authorization to return the refurbished Nord Stream 1 turbines,” Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said.

Canada also announced on Saturday its intention to extend economic sanctions against Russia to industrial production.