Liveupdated1656768143

Ukraine news – live: Probe over ‘terrible war crime’ after apartment strike near Odesa

Volodymyr Zelensky labels Serhiivka attack ‘deliberate direct Russian terror’

Namita Singh,Andy Gregory
Saturday 02 July 2022 14:22
Comments
Moment Russian missile hits Ukrainian shopping centre

War crime investigators in Ukraine are sifting through the wreckage of a nine-storey apartment block near Odesa destroyed by a Russian strike reported to have killed 21 people.

Ukraine’s prosecutor-general Iryna Venediktova said investigators were recovering fragments from missiles and taking measurements to determine the trajectory of the weapons, believed to have been Soviet-era anti-ship missiles.

The UK ministry of defence said it believes Russia was resorting to the chaos-inducing projectiles “likely because of dwindling stockpiles of more accurate modern weapons”.

Germany warned Vladimir Putin must be “held to account” over the strike, which Volodymyr Zelensky described as “deliberate direct Russian terror”. Russia has denied targeting the building, insisting “the Russian Armed Forces do not work with civilian targets”.

Meanwhile, Ukraine again accused Russia of dropping phosphorus bombs, this time on Snake Island, just a day after Moscow claimed to have retreated from the Black Sea outpost in a “gesture of goodwill”.

Mykolaiv residents were urged to remain in shelters on Saturday as the mayor warned of “powerful explosions” in the southern city.

1656768143

Hit by all kinds of weapons: The bloody battle for Ukrainian city of Lysychansk rages

Our international editor David Harding has more details on the battle currently raging over Lysychansk, the last stronghold of resistance in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk province:

Hit by all kinds of weapons: The bloody battle for Ukrainian city rages

Lysychansk is the last Ukrainian stronghold of resistance in the province of Luhansk, in the east of the country

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 14:22
1656764045

UK condemns ‘exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians’

The UK government has condemned “the exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians for political purposes”, after two British men were charged with being mercenaries in Ukraine.

Cambridgeshire aid worker Dylan Healy, 22, and military volunteer Andrew Hill have been charged with carrying out “mercenary activities”, officials in the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic said, according to Russian state media Tass. The outlet claimed both men were refusing to co-operate with investigators.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is understood to be actively investigating and is providing support to the men’s families, with a spokesperson saying: “We condemn the exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians for political purposes and have raised this with Russia.

“We are in constant contact with the government of Ukraine on their cases and are fully supportive of Ukraine in its efforts to get them released.”

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 13:14
1656762665

Turkey urged to detain Russian ship carrying ‘thousands of tonnes of Ukrainian grain'

Kyiv has urged Turkey to detain a Russian-flagged cargo ship carrying grain mounted from a Ukrainian port seized by Russia, my colleague Namita Singh reports.

Ukrainian foreign ministry officials believe that the 7,146 deadweight tonnage (DWT) Zhibek Zholy had loaded the cargo of some 4,500 tonnes of grain from Berdyansk, reported Reuters citing Ukraine’s foreign ministry officials.

Russian ship carrying Ukrainian grain stalls in Turkey’s waters

Earlier in a letter dated 30 June, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office had written to Turkey’s justice ministry informing them about the “illegal export of Ukrainian grain” on its way from Berdyansk to Turkey’s Karasu.

The prosecutor general’s office also requested Turkey to “conduct an inspection of this sea vessel, seize samples of grain for forensic examination, demand information on the location of such grain” in the letter, as it offered a joint investigation with the Turkish authorities.

Yevhen Batytskyi, Russia’s newly appointed governor of the occupied territory of Zaporizhzhia took to Telegram to announce the departure of the ship from Berdyansk, on the Sea of Azov, the BBC reported. He added that 7,000 tonnes of grain would be shared with “friendly” countries.

Turkey urged to detain Russian ship carrying Ukrainian grain

Ukraine suspects grain was loaded from a port seized by Russia

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 12:51
1656760943

Investigators probe ‘terrible war crime’ after Odesa apartment strike

Investigators have sifted through the wreckage from the Russian airstrike on an apartment building in the village of Serhiivka, near Odesa, which killed 21 people.

Ukrainian prosecutor-general Iryna Venediktova said investigators were recovering fragments from missiles and taking measurements to determine the trajectory of the weapons.

“We are taking all the necessary investigative measures to determine the specific people guilty of this terrible war crime,” Venediktova said.

Volodymyr Zelensky said three anti-ship missiles struck “an ordinary residential building, a nine-story building” housing about 160 people. The victims of Friday’s attack also included four members of a familystaying at a “typical” seaside campsite, he said.

‘I emphasise – this is a deliberate direct Russian terror, and not some mistake or an accidental missile strike,” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly address on Friday.

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 12:22
1656758825

Russia claims to hit five Ukrainian command posts

Russia claims to have destroyed five Ukrainian army command posts in the Donbas and Mykolaiv regions.

Moscow’s defence ministry said the targets had been struck with high precision weapons. It also claimed to have hit three storage sites in the Zaporizhzhia region, and a weapons and equipment base at a tractor factory in Kharkiv.

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 11:47
1656756521

Impounded tanker at centre of Iran-Greece diplomatic row ‘released’

An Iranian-flagged tanker seized by Greece in April – part of whose cargo was confiscated by the United States – has reportedly been released.

The ship was being towed from the island of Evia to the port of Piraeus today, Reuters cited Greek coast guard officials as saying, following a two-month long diplomatic impasse.

In April, Greek authorities impounded the Lana and its oil cargo with 19 Russian crew members on board near the coast of Evia, due to sanctions following legal action by the US.

While that decision was overturned on 10 June due to complications regarding the boat’s ownership, it remained impounded by another firm over debts owed for towing services. But the tanker, which has engine problems, was officially released after the amount owed was paid off, legal sources told Reuters.

The removal of oil from the Lana prompted Iranian forces last month to seize two Greek tankers in the Middle East Gulf and sail them back to Iran after Tehran warned of “punitive action” against Athens. They have not yet been released.

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 11:08
1656754583

Russia launching intense attack on Lysychansk, regional governor says

Russian forces are hammering the city of Lysychansk and its surroundings in an all-out bid to seize the last stronghold of resistance in the Luhansk region, its governor has warned.

“Over the last day, the occupiers opened fire from all available kinds of weapons,” Serhiy Haidai warned on Saturday.

Ukrainian fighters have spent weeks trying to defend the city and to keep it from falling to Russia, as neighbouring Sievierodonetsk did a week ago.

The Russian defence ministry claimed its forces took control of an oil refinery on Lysychansk’s edge in recent days, but Mr Haidai insisted on Friday that fighting for the facility continued.

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 10:36
1656751565

Day of mourning to be held after strike near Odesa

Residents in the resort village of Serhiivka near Odesa helped workers pick through the rubble of the nine-storey apartment block, a section of which had been destroyed in Friday’s early-morning strike.

Walls and windows of a neighbouring 14-storey apartment block were damaged by the blast wave. Nearby holiday camps were also hit.

“We came here to the site, assessed the situation together with emergency workers and locals, and together helped those who survived. And those who unfortunately died. We helped to carry them away,” said Oleksandr Abramov, who lives nearby and had rushed to the scene when he heard the blast.

Serhiy Bratchuk, spokesman for the Odesa regional administration, said 21 people had been confirmed killed, including a 12-year-old boy. Among the fatalities was an employee of the Children’s Rehabilitation Center set up by Ukraine‘s neighbour Moldova in the resort.

The region will observe a day of mourning on Saturday for those killed during the attack, Mr Bratchuk said.

Reuters2 July 2022 09:46
1656749525

Gerasimov inspects Russian forces involved in war, Moscow says

Russia’s highest-ranking uniformed army officer, Valery Gerasimov, has inspected divisions of Russian troops involved in Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, Moscow has said.

Russia’s defence ministry published photographs of the chief of the General Staff of Russia’s armed forces at work. It was not immediately clear when the visit took place or if Mr Gerasimov had visited Ukraine itself.

The ministry issued a similar statement about defence minister Sergei Shoigu last week.

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 09:12
1656747473

Russia accused of potentially ‘symbolic attack’ as western leaders pledge support for Ukraine

A series of strikes on residential buildings in recent days have prompted allegations that Russia may be using the attacks to send a message to western leaders as they gathered at various fora this week.

Three days after EU leaders agreed to make Ukraine a candidate for membership, at least six people were killed after missiles struck Kyiv, in what mayor Vitali Klitschko suggested was “maybe a symbolic attack”.

The former commanding general of US army forces in Europe, retired Lt Gen Ben Hodges, went further in connecting the attack and the meetings, claiming: “The Russians are humiliating the leaders of the west.”

A day after the Kyiv attack, as G7 leaders met in Germany to discuss further support for Ukraine during their annual summit, Russia fired missiles at a crowded shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, killing at least 19 people.

The timing of both attacks appeared to be juxtaposed with the European meetings of Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Olaf Scholz and Emmanuel Macron.

Mr Putin and his officials deny that Russia hit residential areas, and say the attack on the Kremenchuk shopping centre was directed at a nearby weapons depot.

Andy Gregory2 July 2022 08:37

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in