War in Ukraine, day 682 | Eleven dead in Pokrovsk, targeted by a Russian strike

(Kyiv) At least eleven people were killed, including five children, on Saturday during a Russian strike targeting the town of Pokrovsk and its surroundings, in eastern Ukraine, a new deadly attack in the midst of an escalation of bombings.

Strikes with particularly heavy tolls have multiplied since the end of December in Ukraine and Russia, a sign of an increase in violence while the conflict has lasted for two years, with a generally frozen front.

“The Russians struck the region with S-300 missiles, killing eleven people and injuring eight others, mainly in Pokrovsk and Rivne” (a town located in its metropolitan area), Vadim Filachkine, governor of the Donetsk region, said on Telegram. .

He released photographs showing rescuers working around debris. According to him, the strike damaged six houses in Pokrovsk and one in Rivne, in which a family of six was staying.

According to the emergency services, six people, including two children, could be under the rubble of two affected buildings.

“The Russians simply struck ordinary residential buildings, private houses,” denounced President Volodymyr Zelensky, assuring that no Russian strike “will remain without consequences”.

The town of Pokrovsk, which had 60,000 inhabitants before the war and which is located around fifty kilometers from the front, had already been hit by a deadly bombing in August 2023, which left nine dead and 82 injured.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, an adult and two children were injured in shelling in the Kherson region in the south, one person died in Toretsk, near Bakhmut, and another was killed and two injured in Nikopol, in the south. ‘East, according to the respective regional authorities.

Escalation of strikes

In the territories occupied by Russia, two people were killed by Ukrainian bombings on Makiïvka and Gorlivka, in the east, during an attack which also left several injured, local authorities installed by Moscow said.

Russia also claimed to have shot down four Ukrainian missiles targeting Crimea, a peninsula annexed in 2014 and regularly targeted by strikes by Kyiv’s forces. It also said it destroyed six Ukrainian naval Neptune missiles over the Black Sea.

For its part, the Ukrainian army claimed to have struck the Saki air base in western Crimea, the peninsula being an important nerve for the logistics of Russian forces in Ukraine.

Strikes have increased on both sides in recent days, with Russia having massively bombed Ukrainian cities on two occasions: Friday December 29 (55 dead) and Tuesday (six dead).

Ukraine, for its part, has repeatedly targeted the Russian town of Belgorod, 50 km from the border, including notably during an unprecedented attack last Saturday, which left 25 dead.

These attacks also left hundreds injured.

“Don’t stay silent”

In Belgorod, faced with the risk of Ukrainian bombings, the authorities canceled the nighttime celebration of Orthodox Christmas, after having already extended the school holidays until January 19 and suggested that the inhabitants of this town of 300,000 souls evacuate.

These unprecedented measures for a large city in Russia are a blow to the ambitions of the Kremlin, which has always strived to give the image that the conflict does not directly affect the daily lives and security of Russians.

Another thorn in the side of the authorities, women of Russians mobilized to fight in Ukraine in September 2022 on the orders of Vladimir Putin carried out a symbolic action of protest at the foot of the walls of the Kremlin on Saturday by placing flowers on the flame of the unknown soldier.

Because anger is brewing despite the fear among the companions of those mobilized who are demanding their return from the front, a sensitive subject for the Kremlin which has until now been careful not to repress this nascent movement as it does for any other challenge to its policy. .

“I feel like we’re bothering them. But no one will stay silent. We will go out every day, every Saturday, we will lay flowers” ​​to draw attention to their situation, Paulina, mother of a one-year-old child, told AFP.

“At some point, it will be impossible to ignore us,” she added, saying she wanted to “find (her) husband, the father of (her) child. »

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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