A delusional Vladimir Putin has again insisted that Russia is not bombing Ukrainian cities, despite fears that 100 people are buried under rubble after an apartment block near Kyiv was struck and after a cluster bomb attack on the city of Chernihiv which killed 49.
Putin, speaking on a call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz this evening, dismissed all reports of Russian attacks on apartment buildings, schools and hospitals as ‘fake’ – a day after going on TV to accuse Ukrainians of using civilians as ‘human shields’ while vowing not to back down from his attack.
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As he spoke, emergency services in Ukraine warned that around 100 people could be buried in rubble after a rocket strike cleaved an apartment in the city of Boradyanka – 30 miles from Kyiv – in two, with rescue workers unable to get to them. Officials in Chernihiv also raised the number killed in a cluster bomb attack to 49.
Increasingly desperate warnings are also coming from the surrounded city of Mariupol, in the south, where the mayor has warned the city is being ‘simply destroyed’ by Russian artillery – with water, electricity, and heating cut off while food is also running low. He has begged for a ceasefire to allow civilians to evacuate.
A shell fragment also landed in the grounds of President Zelensky’s country house, though he is not thought to be there and no damage was caused.
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Meanwhile Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, claimed that Russian troops have raped women in cities they have already captured. He did not give evidence to back his claim, but Ukrainian media reported that eleven cases of rape had been reported in Kherson – the only major city captured by Russia after more than a week of fighting.
Russia has been increasingly waging a war of terror against Ukrainian civilians after attempts to rapidly capture the country failed. Indiscriminate shelling of major Ukrainian cities has been taking place, leaving hundreds of innocents dead.
And the attack showed no sign of letting up today, as Mykolaiv, in the south of Ukraine, came under attack with Russian forces moved within striking distance of the city centre. The city is located just a few miles from Kherson, which fell to Putin’s men earlier in the week, along the road to Odessa – Ukraine’s third-largest city and main port.
However, reports emerged on Friday evening that an attack on an airport on the outskirts of the city had been repulsed, with Ukrainian forces digging in for fresh fighting overnight.
But Ukraine’s military did managed to pull off some successes. Two Russian jets were downed near Volnovakha, in the east near Donetsk, while Ukrainian special forces also ambushed two of the Kremlin’s tank columns at Hostomel and Brovary, leaving large numbers of troops dead and destroying vehicles.
Kyiv says Russia has now lost around 9,200 men in the fighting, along with hundreds of tanks, almost a thousand armoured vehicles, and dozens of helicopters and jets.
It came after Russia launched an attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant overnight, killing three guards and sparking a fire that raged in the facility for four hours before emergency crews were eventually allowed to extinguish it once Putin’s men had taken control.
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