22 civilians are killed in a Russian attack on Ukraine's Independence Day, according to officials in
As the nation celebrated its Independence Day while being heavily shelled, a passenger train was set ablaze in eastern Ukraine, according to officials in Kyiv.
As Ukraine celebrated its Independence Day while being heavily shelled, a Russian missile attack in the east of the country claimed the lives of 22 civilians and destroyed a passenger train.
Before the 31st anniversary of Ukraine's independence from the Moscow-dominated Soviet government on Wednesday, President Volodymyr Zelensky had issued a warning about the possibility of "repugnant Russian provocations," and public celebrations were postponed.
The occasion fell exactly six months after Russian soldiers invaded Ukraine, starting the most destructive conflict in Europe since World War Two.
Zelensky claimed that rockets struck a train in the small town of Chaplyne, located about 145 kilometers (90 miles) west of Russian-occupied Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, in a video presentation to the UN Security Council.
"Today's agony is caused by Chaplyne. At this time, 22 people have died "He added that Ukraine would hold Russia accountable for what it had done in a later evening video address.
Later, Zelenskiy's aide Kyrylo Tymoshenko claimed that Chaplyne had been shelled twice by Russian soldiers. In the initial attack, a boy was killed when a missile struck his home, and 21 people died later when rockets hit the train station and ignited five train cars, the official said in a statement.
An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by the Russian defense ministry. Russian officials deny targeting civilians.
"The missile attack by Russia on a railway station in Ukraine that was full of civilians fits a pattern of horrors. Together with partners from around the world, we will continue to stand with Ukraine and demand that Russian leaders be held accountable "On Twitter, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a statement.
According to Oleksiy Arestovych, a presidential adviser for Ukraine, the Russian military bypassed Kyiv on Ukraine's vacation and instead launched artillery attacks against frontline towns like Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Nikopol, and Dnipro.
On Twitter, Mykhailo Podolyak, a different presidential adviser, added, "Massive shelling of Ukraine on Independence Day."
NO PUBLIC CELEBRATIONS
Separately, Kyiv informed international legal authorities of Russian preparations to try seized Ukrainian soldiers from the Azov Regiment in Mariupol, as described by U.N. officials on Tuesday.
After weeks of ferocious shelling as they encircled Ukrainian holdouts at the Azovstal steel plant, Russian forces captured the port city in April.
Zelensky made it plain that Kyiv would "never, ever" contemplate peace talks with Moscow if the trials went forward, according to presidential adviser Arestovych.
Ned Price, a spokesman for the U.S. Secretary of State, claimed that the illegal procedure would be a "mockery of justice."
SOMBER INDEPENDENCE DAY
In August 1991, Ukraine proclaimed its independence from the crumbling Soviet Union, and in a referendum that December, a resounding majority of its citizens supported freedom.
The Aug. 24 public holiday was not observed, but many Ukrainians observed the day by donning traditional clothing, particularly embroidered shirts.
At least seven times during the day, air raid sirens were heard in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, even though no strikes took place.
In Kyiv's St. Sophia church, built in the eleventh century, Zelenskiy and his wife Olena Zelenska attended a service with religious leaders and lay flowers at a memorial to fallen troops.
The 44-year-old leader declared that Ukraine would retake the Crimean peninsula and other eastern Ukraine regions that Russia had annexed in 2014.
MISSILE STRIKES FAR FROM THE FRONT LINES
Russian missiles reportedly landed in the Khmelnytskyi area, and Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian drone in the Vinnytsia region, according to local authorities. Both incidents occurred west of Kyiv, hundreds of kilometers from the front lines.
No injuries or property damage were reported, and Reuters was unable to confirm the reports.
The use of civilian targets by Russian forces has been denied on numerous occasions. At a conference in Uzbekistan, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that Moscow has purposefully slowed down what it calls to as its "special military operation" in Ukraine to prevent civilian casualties.
Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia reaffirmed Moscow's justification for its activities in Ukraine at a U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday, saying a "special operation" was required to "denazify and demilitarise" the nation to remove "clear" security threats.
Ukraine and the West have rejected Moscow's position as an empty justification for an imperialist war of invasion.
INCREASING WESTERN SUPPORT
As part of the "largest tranche of security aid to date," according to U.S. President Joe Biden, approximately $3 billion in weaponry and equipment will be provided to Ukraine. Under Biden, the US has given Ukraine military assistance worth more than $13.5 billion.
After its troops were driven out of Kyiv in the first few weeks of the war, Russia has made very little progress in recent months.
Kyrylo Budanov, the chief military intelligence official for Ukraine, claimed on Wednesday that Moscow's "exhausted" resource base and low morale in its ranks were to blame for the slowdown in Russia's offensive.
Large swaths of the eastern Donbas region's provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as the Black Sea and Sea of Azov beaches, have been taken over by Russian soldiers.
Thousands of civilians have died in the conflict, which has also driven more than a third of Ukraine's 41 million residents from their homes, destroyed towns, and rocked the world economy by leading to shortages of basic food staples and an increase in energy costs.