Zelensky condemns the Russian “terrorism” where the bombing killed at least 7 people
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday slammed Russian “terrorism” after the recently recaptured city of Kherson was bombed on Christmas Eve, killing at least seven and wounding 58 others, in what Kyiv described as premeditated murder for fun.
After a trip to the United States in search of more weapons to resist Russia’s 10-month invasion, President Zelensky released photos showing streets strewn with burning cars, smashed windows and dead bodies.
“Social networks are more likely to flag these images as ‘sensitive content’. But this is not sensitive content – it is the real life of Ukraine and Ukrainians.”
“These are not military installations… they are terrorist… they are killing for the sake of intimidation and fun,” he added.
Yuri Sobolevsky, deputy head of the regional council, said a missile landed next to a supermarket next to the city’s Freedom Square.
“There were civilians, each living his own life and doing his own business,” he said, referring to a girl selling phone cards, others unloading items from a truck, and passers-by.
There was no news of the incident from Moscow, where President Vladimir Putin said his forces were fighting fascism in Ukraine and resisting the Western threat to Russia’s security.
Russia denies targeting civilians.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the reports from Kherson.
Ukraine retook the city, the only regional capital Russia had occupied since its February 24 invasion, in November. Since then, Kyiv says, Russian forces have intensively bombarded the city across the vast Dnipro River.
In the war, Ukraine drove Russian forces out of the areas around its capital Kyiv and second most important city Kharkiv. Moscow is now focused on holding the areas occupied by its forces in the south and east – about a fifth of the area of Ukraine.
‘Kill with impunity’
While two senior officials put the death toll in Kherson at seven, the prosecutor’s office issued a higher figure of eight. Presidential aide Kirillo Tymoshenko said the attack came from a Grad multiple rocket launcher.
Another aide, Mykhailo Podolak, criticized those calling for Kyiv to seek peace talks with Russia, referring to Moscow’s ongoing bombing of Ukraine’s power grid since October.
Ukrainian officials say Moscow has already fired more than 1,000 missiles at the country’s power grid and warned of a frigid winter with huge deficits in power and water pumping capacity, crippling central heating in most Ukrainian homes.
Podolyak wrote “I will remind those who suggest taking (Russian) ‘peace’ overtures into account: for the time being, Russia is ‘negotiating’, killing the people of Kherson, removing Bakhmut, destroying Kyiv/Odessa networks, and torturing civilians in Melitopol”. .
“Russia wants to kill with impunity. Will we allow it?”
The governor of the Kherson region, Yaroslav Yanushevich, shared a message from the city’s blood bank calling for urgent donations.
According to Ukraine’s prime minister, Kyiv was still recovering from Monday’s missile strikes, which knocked out half of the city’s power supply well into the next day.
On Friday evening, the chief executive of a primary energy provider said Kyiv’s West Bank, which includes the city center and most central government buildings, was still seriously affected.