At least 12 people, including a child, have died after Russian missiles hit another Ukrainian city Insertthe latest atrocity against the civilian population.
Three rockets hit an office block and nearby residential buildings in the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia – 450 miles from the front line in the Donbass – on Thursday morning.
The video shows fires burning in the parking lot next to the building, an empty baby stroller lying on the street as medics load the injured into ambulances.
President Zelensky called Russia a “terrorist country”, condemning the attack, which followed repeated strikes on civilian areas across the country.
Three Russian missiles hit an office building in downtown Vinnytsia today, a Ukrainian city hundreds of miles from the current front line
Civilians, including a child, were among those killed in the latest Russian strike on residential areas
Firefighters help put out cars blown up as Russian rockets hit the western Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia on Thursday
The photo shows the heavily damaged remains of an office building in the center of Vinnytsia after being hit by Russian rockets on Thursday morning
Vinnytsia, 450 miles from the front line in the Donbass, is just the latest city to be hit by a series of Russian airstrikes targeting civilians
Vinnytsia. Rocket strikes in the city center. There are wounded and dead, among them a small child,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Every day, Russia destroys the civilian population, kills Ukrainian children, directs rockets at civilian objects where there is nothing military.
“What is this, if not an open terrorist act? Inhumans. A killer country. A terrorist country.”
Russia has stepped up attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine as its offensive in the east stalled after capturing two key cities in late June and early July.
Ukraine says Putin’s men are taking an “operational pause” before resuming their offensive, but that hasn’t stopped them from raining down death from a distance.
The first such strike destroyed the Kremenchuk shopping center on June 27, killing at least 20 people and leaving 36 others missing.
Russia has tried to deny that it hit the mall, arguing that it fired at nearby military facilities, including a factory and railway, and that the “collateral” damage was caused by a fire that spread to the mall.
But CCTV footage clearly showed that a Russian anti-ship missile, originally intended to destroy US aircraft carriers, had crashed into the building.
This was followed by an attack on an apartment building in Mykolaiv on June 29, which killed at least eight people, and another in Odessa on July 1, which killed 18 people.
On July 9, Russia bombed a residential building in the town of Chasau Yar, killing at least 47 civilians in one of the bloodiest attacks on innocent war participants.
During the night, two residential buildings were damaged by explosions in the city of Donbass, one of them partially collapsed, the other was badly damaged.
Rescue efforts are still ongoing, although hopes of finding survivors have all but faded. The death toll is still updated daily.
The next target was Kharkiv, a series of rocket attacks in the early hours of July 11 destroyed a school and several other residential buildings.
At least six people – including a 17-year-old boy and his father – were killed in the blasts and 31 others were injured.
Today’s attack on the office block was at least the sixth such attack in just over two weeks, and came despite Ukraine’s chief war crimes prosecutor and European officials meeting to gather evidence for future war crimes trials.
The strike in Vinnytsia is just the latest in a series of Russian bombings of civilian areas in Ukraine that have killed dozens of people.
Firefighters walk through the wreckage of burned cars after a Russian missile hit a Ukrainian office in the city of Vinnytsia
Burnt-out cars and debris from a nearby office building litter the streets of central Vinnytsia after it was hit by Russian missiles
Ukrainian President Zelensky said that there are no military facilities in Vinnytsia and condemned the Russian troops as “inhuman” and “terrorist”.
With more than 20,000 war crimes investigations open and different countries leading the teams, the evidence must be reliable and organized, officials said.
“Just like the climate strategy and the COVID strategy, we need an accountability strategy,” Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra told a meeting in The Hague.
The raw emotion that comes from stories of rape and murder is not enough to bring the suspects to justice, he added.
Russian troops have bombed Ukrainian cities to rubble and left bodies in the streets of towns and villages they occupied after invading in February.
Ukraine claims the death of tens of thousands of civilians. Moscow denies a deliberate attack on them.
There have also been some reports of ill-treatment of Russian prisoners by Ukrainians, although the vast majority of allegations documented by bodies such as the United Nations concern alleged atrocities committed by Russian captors and their proxies.
“While this meeting is taking place, Russian forces continue to commit atrocities in Ukraine with stunning intensity,” said U.S. Representative Uzra Zeya, who attended the meeting.
“Every day the number of war crimes increases: rape, torture, extrajudicial executions, disappearances, forced deportations, attacks on schools, hospitals, playgrounds, residential buildings, grain silos, water and gas pipelines.”
EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders noted that war crimes and genocide suspects are still at large as a result of conflicts in places such as Rwanda, Darfur, Syria, Congo and the Balkans.
Countries trying to document the crimes faced “a gargantuan task, not least because it requires the collection and storage of evidence in the midst of war,” he said.
Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, said that there is reason for hope, as more than 40 states seek to bring measures against Ukraine through the court. The ICC has sent the largest field team in its 20-year history to investigate.
“At such a time, the law cannot be a spectator. Law cannot lie quietly at The Hague… when it is called upon to protect and uphold certain principles essential to humanity.’
Russia withdrew its support for the ICC in 2016 after the court declared Ukraine’s 2014 seizure and annexation of the Crimean peninsula an armed conflict.
The host country of the Netherlands hopes that Thursday’s meeting – the Ukraine Accountability Conference – will agree on the sharing of evidence, a prosecution strategy and the provision of international war crimes expertise to investigators on the ground.
After the February 24 invasion, Ukrainian authorities found two Russian servicemen guilty of war crimes.
Russian separatists have held their own trials, including the death sentences of two British militants and a Moroccan man in what Western countries consider a sham.