Day 138 of the Invasion of Ukraine: 15 Civilians Killed after Russian Shelling in Chasiv Yar
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
15 killed in shelling of a five-story building
At least fifteen people have been killed in shelling of the town of Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region, while the fighting also extends to other towns in it outside the control of Moscow and the separatists.
The missile strike on Chasiv Yar destroyed three buildings in the city near nearby factories, disaster and emergency services reported. According to Ukrainian media, the people living there are mostly factory workers. Several people were pulled from the rubble, but according to the governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kirilenko, at least 24 people, including a nine-year-old child, were trapped by the debris yesterday afternoon.
According to the Ukrainian rescue services, the buildings were hit by four projectiles, possibly referring to Iskander missiles. Kirilenko previously explained that "Uragan" systems were used.
The Russian Ministry of Defense did not report this attack, but on Saturday it spoke of a hangar destroyed by American M777 155mm howitzers.
The city is with a population of 12 thousand people is about 20 km southeast of the city of Kramatorsk - one of the three key in the battle for Donbas.
Moreover, Chasiv Yar was only one of the targets of the shelling on the weekends, after Ukraine announced attacks on other settlements - Soledar, Ugledar, Seversk. More attacks were also reported in the otherwise controlled Luhansk region.
In his video address last night, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that all those involved in the shelling of Ukrainian cities will be found, "absolutely all of them". According to Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, he has ordered an operation to retake southern Ukraine, most of which is also under Russian control.
Earlier, the leader of the self-proclaimed and Russian-recognized "Donetsk People's Republic" Denis Pushilin announced that three civilians were killed and 11 more injured as a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces. TASS quotes the authorities in the DPR, according to which Ukraine also fired on Donetsk, but there are no reports of casualties.
Ukraine liquidated 10 Russian officers in Chernobayevka, destroyed 4 ammunition warehouses in Kherson
More than 10 Russian officers were killed during an attack by the Armed Forces against enemy positions in the Chernobayevka region, announced the head of the office of the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, Oleksiy Arestovich.
On Monday morning, the Operational Command "South" of the Armed Forces of Ukraine also announced a successful attack in the Kherson region on the territory occupied by Russia. Four ammunition depots were hit and destroyed in the strike.
"Our rocket artillery units carried out a heavy strike on a command post of the National Guard (Rosgvardiya) near Kherson and destroyed four ammunition depots in different areas of Kherson region." - said the communique of the command, quoted by Interfax. In this attack, Ukraine estimates the losses of the Russian army at 15 manpower and 60 units of military equipment, mostly armored vehicles and command and staff vehicles. Missile and anti-tank systems and other military equipment were also destroyed.
On Sunday, representatives of the Ukrainian authorities also reported shelling of a military base of the Russian Armed Forces in Kherson itself. With a precise hit, a base on Pestel Street was destroyed, and an unknown number of Russian soldiers died under the rubble.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Air Force of the Ukrainian Army, Yuriy Ignat, announced that for the first time in two and a half months, in the last 24 hours, Russian aviation did not enter the airspace over Ukraine.
“Zelensky ordered us to retake southern Ukraine”, the defense minister said
Ukraine is raising a military force of one million with Western weapons to retake the Russian-occupied south. President Volodymyr Zelensky has issued such an order and the army command is preparing plans for its implementation.
This was announced by the Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov for the Times newspaper. In his first interview with a British newspaper, he said that "this is politically very necessary for our country".
"After the General Staff has done their job and they say they need X, Y and Z to complete the task, my job is to let the partner countries know what we need, the generals explain why they need such a weapon and we make the political decisions," he added.
In a month and a half of hard work with his British colleague Ben Wallace, Ukraine's parting with the 30-year-old Soviet armament began, and the first 155-mm guns according to NATO standards, volley fire systems and high-tech drones were delivered, Reznikov also shared. However, he is not happy with the pace at which the promised weaponry is arriving and says that every day of waiting for the Western howitzers is costing the lives of 100 Ukrainian soldiers.
But Reznikov added that Western countries began to accelerate supplies after Ukraine proved it could fight, and the strength of the Russian military was initially overestimated.
"I was trying to explain that after 8 years of hybrid warfare, we have over 400 thousand veterans plus their relatives around the world. Working from Poland to Portugal, they decided to come back to defend their homeland." On the tenth day of the war, 130,000 Ukrainians enlisted in the Territorial Defense Forces, assisting the army.
"We are a people of the free world and with a real sense of justice and freedom. We have about 700 thousand people in the armed forces plus national guard, police, border troops... that's about a million."
Two battalions of Ukrainians are already being trained in Britain as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's promise to train 10,000 Ukrainians every three months.
Reznikov spoke of an "anti-Kremlin coalition" and that he is confident that even old allies of Vladimir Putin such as Hungary and Kazakhstan are distancing themselves from him. "I am convinced that in the next few years we will see a process of calls for sovereignty of parts of the Russian territory. The Russian Federation will end up as different states - Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, etc."
A former commando, Reznikov also says that he was ready to negotiate with his Russian colleagues, but realized that they were afraid of Putin. "When I'm a negotiator, I have the mandate, but also the flexibility to maneuver, to bargain, to try to find a solution for all sides, to try to convince them so that we all win. And I know that my president will support me. Their side shows no flexibility - it's as if an FSB officer has a gun to their foreheads. They are repeating Putin's words, taking the path of propaganda. They will not compromise."
Reznikov says that he was surprised when Zelensky offered him the position of Minister of Defense in November.
"I still believe that I am not a politician, but I try to perceive myself as a public servant. In November, I made a deal with the commander-in-chief of the army, Gen. Zalyuzhny - I told him that I am a lawyer, not a military commander. Tell me what you need, for to protect our country better, and I'll try to get it to you, to convince our partners to give us those things."
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