- Russia says it is stepping up its operations to protect prisoners
- The southern city is the latest target for long-range bombing
- Ukraine says about 40 people have been killed in bombing since Thursday
- The G-20 meeting was overshadowed by war, and no statement was agreed
Kyiv (Reuters) – Russia has ordered its forces in Ukraine to step up operations, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday, as the country was bombed with missiles, the latest in a series of bombings that Kyiv says have killed dozens. in the last days.
The region’s governor, Oleh Senhobov, said the missiles hit the northeastern town of Chuhiv in the Kharkiv region in the latest strikes, killing three people, including a 70-year-old woman, and wounding three others. Read more
To the south, regional governor Valentin Reznichenko said that more than 50 Russian Grad rockets landed on the city of Nikopol, on the Dnipro River. Emergency services said two people were killed.
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Ukraine says about 40 people have been killed in such attacks on urban areas in the past three days.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on its website that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had ordered military units to intensify their operations to prevent strikes on eastern Ukraine and other Russian-controlled areas.
She said that Shoigu “given the necessary instructions to increase the movement of groups in all areas of operation in order to exclude the possibility of the Kyiv regime launching massive missile and artillery strikes on civilian infrastructure and residents of settlements in Donbass and other regions.”
The ministry said Shoigu issued the order after hearing reports in a command center from generals who command the “south” and “centre” command groups of Russian forces operating in Ukraine, as well as other commanders.
It was not clear from the statement, or the silent footage provided, exactly when the meeting took place or whether Shoigu and the leaders were in Ukraine at the time.
Ukraine said on Friday that Ukrainian missile strikes using Western-supplied systems have destroyed more than 30 Russian military logistics centers in recent weeks and significantly reduced the likelihood of a Russian attack. Read more
war of attrition
While the focus of the war, now in its fifth month, has shifted to the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, Russian forces have been hitting cities elsewhere in the country with rockets and missiles in what has become a growing conflict of attrition.
Moscow, which launched what it called its “special military operation” against Ukraine on February 24, saying it aims to root out what it called dangerous nationalists, it is using high-precision weapons to undermine Ukraine’s military infrastructure and protect its security.
Kyiv and the West have portrayed the conflict as an unjustified attempt to reoccupy a country freed from Moscow’s rule with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilian areas, despite mounting evidence that its missiles have hit residential areas across the country.
In one of the recent attacks that angered Ukraine and its Western allies, Kalibr cruise missiles launched by a Russian submarine into the Black Sea hit an office building in Vinnytsia, a city of 370,000 people about 200 kilometers (125 miles) southwest of Kyiv, on Thursday. Read more
Kyiv said the strike killed at least 23 people and wounded dozens. Among the dead was Lisa, a 4-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was found among the rubble next to a stroller. Soon, photos of her pushing the same stroller spread, which her mother posted on a blog less than two hours before the attack.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the strike on Vinnytsia was directed at a building where senior officials of the Ukrainian armed forces were meeting with foreign arms suppliers. Read more
Reznychenko, the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, which includes the two cities, said in a Telegram that Russian missiles hit the city of Dnipro, about 120 kilometers north of Nikopol, late Friday evening, killing three people and wounding 15 others.
Video footage on social media showed thick black smoke rising from buildings and burning cars. Read more
Russia said on Saturday it had destroyed a factory in Dnipro that makes missile parts.
Conflict divides the G-20
The war dominated the meeting of G-20 finance ministers in Indonesia. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said differences over the conflict prevented finance chiefs and central bank governors from issuing a formal statement, but they agreed that the deepening food security crisis must be addressed. Read more
“This is a difficult time because Russia is part of the G-20 and doesn’t agree with us on how to describe the war,” Yellen said.
Western countries have imposed tough sanctions on Russia, accusing it of war crimes in Ukraine, a charge Moscow denies. Other G-20 countries, including China, India and South Africa, have been more muted in their response.
In one fallout from the conflict, a blockade restricting Ukraine’s grain exports has sparked warnings that it could put millions in poor countries at risk of starvation.
Despite the bloodshed, both Russia and Ukraine described progress toward an agreement to lift the blockade in recent talks. The Turkish mediator said an agreement could be signed next week.
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Reporting by Reuters writing desks Raju Gopalakrishnan and Alex Richardson; Editing by William Mallard and Francis Kerry
Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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