Ukraine war latest news today: Russia accused of ‘terrorism’ as 19 killed in Odesa apartment strike



Moment Russian missile hits Ukrainian shopping center

Ukraine has accused Russia of carrying out “terrorism” after 19 people, including two children, were killed in a missile strike on an apartment block.

Video of the pre-dawn assault showed the charred remains of a nine-story buildings in the small town of Serhiivka, close to Odessa in southern Ukraine.

“A terrorist country is killing our people. In response to defeats on the battlefield, they fight civilians,” Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said.

The Kremlin has denied Moscow targeted the building, insisting “the Russian Armed Forces do not work with civilian targets”.

The attack comes after Russian forces with drawn from the strategically important Snake Island on Thursday, a move Ukrainians hoped would ease the threat to nearby Odessa.

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Death toll from Odesa apartment block strike rises to 19

Ukraine authorities now say 19 people have died, including two children, in a Russian strike on an appartment block near Odessa.

“A terrorist country is killing our people. In response to defeats on the battlefield, they fight civilians,” Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said.

The Kremlin has denied Moscow targeted the building, insisting “the Russian Armed Forces do not work with civilian targets”.

The attack comes after Russian forces with drawn from the strategically important Snake Island on Thursday, a move Ukrainians hoped would ease the threat to nearby Odessa.

Tom Barnes1 July 2022 11:13

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Russia-backed separatists say they will start using death penalty from 2025 in new criminal code

Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine where two Britons and a Moroccan have been sentenced to death say the death penalty will start being used from 2025, according to an updated criminal code of the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

The DPR has had the death penalty on its statute books since 2014, but no legislation outlining how to enforce it until now. Rights group Amnesty International, which tracks the use of the death penalty worldwide, has not recorded any instances of official executions in the region.

A court in the DPR in June sentenced two Britons – Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner – and Moroccan Brahim Saadoun to death for “mercenary activities” after they were captured fighting with Ukrainian forces. Their lawyers say they will appeal the decision, which was handed down after a hasty non-jury trial with no access for independent or international media.

It was unclear what the new rules – outlined in an updated version of the DPR’s criminal executive code that was published on the website of the breakaway entity’s legislature – would mean for the men. Their lawyers were not immediately available for comment.

The new criminal code, in effect from Friday, also states that the death penalty should be carried out by firing squad and that the head of the Russian-backed separatist republic has the final say on issuing pardons to anybody sentenced to death.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said on Thursday it had issued an order to Russia to ensure that the men do not face the death penalty. The Kremlin said it was not bound by rulings from the ECHR, from which Russia has pulled out since it launched its invasion of Ukraine.

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Moscow denies striking apartments near Ukraine’s Odessa

The Kremlin dismissed allegations that Russian missiles had struck an apartment building near the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa early on Friday.

Ukrainian authorities said Russian missiles had hit an apartment building and two holiday camps, killing at least 18 people and wounding dozens.

“I would like to remind you of the president’s words that the Russian Armed Forces do not work with civilian targets,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call with reporters.

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Russian forces capture Lysychansk oil refinery, Moscow claims

Russian state sources are claiming troops have captured the Lysychansk oil refinery, the second-largest refinery in Ukraine.

The state-owned RIA news agency quoted Russia’s defense ministry as saying the refinery was now under its control, although details could not be immediately verified.

Russia has been targeting the refinery since May, but had upped its offensive in the area in recent days.

Tom Barnes1 July 2022 10:42

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EU flag raised in Ukrainian parliament

The EU flag was raised in the Ukrainian parliament after the country was granted candidate status to join the bloc.

MPs applauded at the flag was carried into the Verkhovna Rada by soldiers on Friday morning.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told Ukraine’s parliament the country now had a “very clear European perspective” but the road to EU membership will take time and require hard work, in a speech on Friday.

EU leaders last week granted Ukraine candidate status to join the bloc, formally opening a process that is expected to take years before it becomes a member of the union that now comprises 27 countries.

Tom Barnes1 July 2022 10:27

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More photos emerge from deadly apartment bombing

Ukrainian officials have released more images showing the damage caused by the bombing of an apartment block near Odesa this morning.

(AP)

(via REUTERS)

(AP)

(AP)

Tom Barnes1 July 2022 09:52

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Ukraine releases more footage of missile strike on mall

Ukraine has released new footage of shoppers diving to cover the moment a Russian missile hit a busy mall.

Video captured by CCTV cameras shows terrified customers running for their lives moments after the attack at the Amstor mall in Kremenchuk, central Ukraine on Monday.

A missile can be seen flying towards the building in footage from outside the shopping centre. Seconds later, a huge explosion takes place, throwing debris high into the air.

Before the strike, shoppers can be seen calmly browsing busy stores and walking around the exterior of the mall.

The footage calls into question Russia’s claims the mall was “non-functioning” and was being used to store ammunition.

Tom Barnes1 July 2022 09:32

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Russia ‘a state sponsor of terror’, Ukraine says after apartment strike

Ukraine says Russia should be recognized as a state sponsor of terrorism following a missile strike on an apartment block this morning left at least 18 people dead, including two children.

Video of the pre-dawn attack showed the charred remains of buildings in the small town of Serhiivka, located about 30 miles southwest of Odesa. Ukrainian news reports said missiles struck a multi-story apartment building and a resort area.

“[Russian] terrorists attacked Odessa region last night. According to Operational Command South and Odesa RMA, at least 18 people died,” Ukraine’s defense ministry said on Twitter.

“These are the same X-22 missiles that were fired at the mall in #Kremenchuk. It’s time to officially recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.”

Tom Barnes1 July 2022 09:07

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Ukraine ‘now has clear European perspective’, EU’s von der Leyen says

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Ukraine now has a “very clear European perspective” following the European Union’s decision to grant the country candidate status to join the bloc, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said in a speech to the Ukrainian parliament.

“Ukraine now has a very clear European perspective. And Ukraine is a candidate country to join the European Union something that seemed almost unimaginable just five months ago,” von der Leyen said in a speech by video-link to the assembly on Friday.

“So today is first and foremost. A moment to celebrate this historic milestone, a victory of determination and resolve and a victory for the whole movement that started eight years ago on the Maidan,” she added.

Tom Barnes1 July 2022 08:40

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Children among 18 dead in apartment block strike, Odesa officials say

Russian missile attacks on residential buildings in Odessa early Friday killed at least 18 people, including two children, authorities have said.

The deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Kirill Tymoshenko, said 18 people died, including two children.

A spokesman for the Odesa regional government, Serhiy Bratchuk, said on the Telegram messaging app that another 30 had been injured.Ukrainian news reports said the target of the missile attack was a multi-story apartment building and a recreational area.

Tom Barnes1 July 2022 08:24


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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