Ukrainian officials have released heartbreaking final texts purportedly sent by a Russian soldier to his mother before he was killed in combat.
The Security Service of Ukraine published the messages from the unidentified soldier on Monday as the conflict raged on for a fifth day.
“I’m scared, we’re hitting everyone, even civilians,” the soldier wrote in Russian. “We had been told that people would welcome us here but they jump under our vehicles, not letting us pass. They call us fascists.
“Mom, it’s so hard.”
The soldier told his mother that he is no longer in Crimea doing training exercises and says: “We were told that [civilians] would welcome us.”
When the mother asked if she could send him a package, he replied that “the only thing I want now is to hang myself”.
Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya read a portion of the messages at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly and said they were sent moments before the soldier was killed. It is unclear how he died.
The tragic messages - which have only been verified by Ukrainian sources - came as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces were accused of killing a child and two adults by dropping bombs on a pre-school in the city of Okhtyrka.
The strike may constitute a war crime, human rights organisation Amnesty International said.
Agnès Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty, said: “It is stomach-turning to see an indiscriminate attack on a nursery and kindergarten where civilians are seeking safe haven.”
Drone footage from the scene shows cluster munitions struck at least seven locations on or near the building, Amnesty said.
Two injured or dead civilians are also visible.
Also on the fifth day of Russia’s invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky applied for his country to join the European Union as his representatives met with Russian counterparts to discuss the possibility of a ceasefire.
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