War in Ukraine, day 710 | At least 20 dead in Ukrainian bombing in occupied eastern Ukraine

(Moscow) A Ukrainian bombing which hit a bakery in the occupied city of Lysychansk, in the east of the country, left at least 20 dead, Russian authorities announced, who said they feared more victims.




Lysychansk, in the Luhansk region, fell to Russian forces in the summer of 2022 after a violent battle.

The front in eastern Ukraine has barely moved in months, but fighting remains bloody and shelling has intensified on both sides this winter.

IMAGE PROVIDED BY THE RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this photo taken from a video released by the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry on February 3, 2024, an Air Force Mi-28N combat helicopter fires rockets at a target in a location unknown in Ukraine.

“In Lysychansk, employees of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry found the bodies of 20 people under the rubble,” the ministry wrote on Telegram messaging.

The same source published a video of rescuers working in the dark, extracting a body from the rubble before discovering an injured woman who was carried away on a stretcher.

The ministry said earlier it planned to continue the search “all night” and that rescuers had so far “rescued 10 people” from the rubble.

Leonid Pasechnik, the Russian-installed governor of Luhansk, accused Kyiv forces of targeting a busy bakery that he said is known for having fresh bread on weekends.

A man in “serious condition” was hospitalized in the city of Luhansk, according to pro-Russian authorities.

The Russian news agency RIA Novosti published a video of a destroyed building, where we also see rescuers pulling a completely crushed car out of the rubble.

The one-story building bore a large sign with the name “Restaurant Adriatic” and appeared completely destroyed, reduced to rubble.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Western weapons were used in the bombing and said it hoped for “swift and unconditional condemnation” of the attack from international organizations.

Lysychansk, located 15 km from Ukrainian-controlled territory, had a population of 111,000 people before the Russian offensive began.

Russian forces took control of it in the summer of 2022, as did its twin city of Sievierodonetsk, after one of the most brutal battles since the start of the offensive in February 2022.

Drones shot down

On the Ukrainian side, the air force declared on Saturday that it had shot down nine of the 14 drones launched by Russia in southern and central Ukraine during the night from Friday to Saturday.

“Ukraine destroyed nine enemy drones in the Dnipro, Odessa, Mykolaiv and Zhytomyr regions,” the Kyiv Air Force said.

Most of the Iranian-made Shahed drones targeted “energy infrastructure” in the central Dnipro region, where thousands of people are without electricity, according to the same source.

The power outages mainly affected Kryvyi Rig, the hometown of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The governor of the Dnipro region, Serguii Lysak, said that 15,000 residents of Kryvyi Rig were without electricity after the drone attack.

Since beginning its offensive in Ukraine, Russia has targeted the country’s energy infrastructure, leaving thousands without heat during an intense campaign last year.

For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised his troops for striking Moscow’s forces far from the battlefield, “both on land and at sea.”

The statement comes two days after Kyiv announced it had destroyed a Russian warship off the coast of Crimea, and as a fire hit a major refinery in the Volgograd region of southwest Russia on Saturday, after a drone attack claimed by Ukraine.

“Following the fall of a downed drone, a fire broke out in the Volgograd refinery,” without causing any casualties, local governor Andrei Botcharov said on Telegram.

At the start of the morning, the emergency services, cited by the TASS agency, affirmed that the fire had been extinguished.

The fire at the refinery in Volgograd was the “result of a successful drone attack by the SBU”, the Ukrainian security services, a Ukrainian security source told AFP.

Owned by the giant Lukoil, the refinery claims on its website to be “the largest producer of petroleum products in the Southern Federal District”, which brings together eight regions in southwest Russia.

Since the start of the offensive against Kyiv in February 2022, Russian territory has been regularly targeted by strikes and drone attacks attributed to Kyiv.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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