The President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, called on Thursday for a “special court” to be installed to investigate the Russian invasion of his country, where at least 23 people, including three children, died in the last few hours after Russian missile attacks against a residential area of the central-western city of Vinnitsia, according to the Ukrainian authorities.
“The existing judicial institutions cannot bring all the guilty to justice. Therefore, a special court is needed to deal with the crime that constitutes Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” Zelensky said. at a war crimes conference in The Hague.
The president participated by videoconference in the forum of the Conference for Accountability in Ukraine, organized by the Netherlands, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the European Commission, in which the court’s chief prosecutor promoted a “global strategy “.
The ICC, the only international court to try individuals for war crimes, opened an investigation in Ukraine shortly after Russia launched a military intervention in the country, sending dozens of investigators to collect evidence. However, it does not have jurisdiction to prosecute the aggression in Ukraine because neither side is among the court’s 123 member states.
In parallel, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the police reported that three missiles had hit an office building, damaged nearby apartments and set fire to dozens of cars in Vinnitsa, 270 kilometers southwest of kyiv.
Later, the rescue services raised the first balance of 20 dead to 23 and reported that the search for another 39 people continued.
Zelenski again accused Russia of “terrorism” for attacking a civilian area where, he claimed, there was no military target.
“Every day, Russia kills civilians, kills Ukrainian children, launches missiles at civilian targets where there is nothing military. What is this but an open act of terrorism?” the Ukrainian president denounced on Telegram, the news agency reported. AFP.
“These atrocities in Vinnitsa are the latest in a long series of brutal attacks against the population and civilian infrastructure,” the EU denounced.while the UN secretary general, António Guterres, said he was “terrified” by the bombing.
For her part, the editor-in-chief of the state media group Russia Segodnya, Margarita Simonian, stated on the same social network that the Russian Army had reported an attack on “the officers’ house, where nationalists had been deployed.”
The images published by the rescuers of the city of Vinnitsia, where 370,000 people live, capital of the homonymous province, They showed burned cars next to a building of about 10 floors burned and destroyed by the explosion.
The official of the Ukrainian Presidency Kirilo Tymoshenko explained that The attack had been carried out with Kalibr cruise missiles launched from Russian submarines in the Black Sea, south of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the governor of Vinnitsia, Sergii Borzov, reported that Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses had shot down another four missiles over the area.
Russia announced last May the beginning of an offensive to “liberate” the Donbass, a region in eastern Ukraine made up of the provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk, after withdrawing the troops it had deployed around northern kyiv at the end of March.
Currently, Local militias together with Russian troops dominate half of Donetsk and last week announced the capture of Lisichansk, the last large unoccupied city in the eastern province of Luhansk.
The pro-Russians, who fight alongside the Russian Army, said Thursday that they had taken “operational control” of the town of Siversk, in Donetsk, in its advance towards the cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, the two largest held by Ukraine in that province.
“Siversk is under our operational control, which means that the enemy can be hit by our fire in the whole area,” said a pro-Russian rebel official, Daniil Bezsonov.to the Russian news agency TASS.
Siversk is about 30 kilometers east of Kramatorsk, although about 58 if you go by road.
However, according to Serguei Gaidai, governor of the Lugansk region, “massive artillery and mortar attacks continue (and) the Russians are trying to advance towards Siversk and open the road to Bakhmut”, where a civilian was killed in shelling the early this Thursday.
North of Donetsk, on the border Jarvok province, more specifically in the city of Izyum, an area of trenches, the Ukrainian troops reinforced the defenses.
“We hide when they shoot, and we dig when it’s quiet,” said a 25-year-old Ukrainian military man, nicknamed Moryak.
Kharkov is a strategic point given that a route that comes from France passes through this province and that, in Ukraine, joins it with Lugansk, capital of the province of the same name, and that is essential for any offensive that Russia wants to undertake in Donbass.
Ukraine has received weapons from Western countries and the European Union (EU) recently expressed concern that they are being smuggled out of the country.
Fearing the EU, a Ukrainian presidential adviser called on lawmakers to set up a committee to monitor weapons receipts.
Western-supplied weapons will be “registered and sent to the war front,” the head of the Ukrainian presidency Andriy Yermak proposed on Telegram.
Russia also focuses its strategy on southern Ukraine. In the province of Mikolayev, the homonymous city, near the port of Odessa, on the Black Sea, was the target of a “massive” bombardment that damaged two schools, transport infrastructure and a hotel, reported the Ukrainian Presidency.
“Two schools, transport infrastructure and a hotel were damaged,” the Presidency said in its daily report.
Despite the fact that several rounds of negotiations have been tried without success to end the conflict, the delegations yesterday achieved some progress on the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, where some 20 million tons are currently blocked.