Easter Saturday began in most parts of Ukraine with an air raid siren. The sirens sounded early in the night. Explosions were heard in the capital Kiev and the western city of Lviv, local media reported.
There is no official confirmation of the explosions yet. Reuters could not immediately verify the reports. According to Ukrainian sources, Russia carried out an air attack on the airport near the city of Alexandria in the central Kirovograd region. Rescuers are busy, Mayor Serhiy Kuzmenko wrote on Facebook. No damage or casualties have been reported so far.
At least ten people have been killed in artillery shelling of the eastern part of the city of Kharkov, Ukraine said. Among the victims is a seven-month-old baby, the State Attorney’s Office announced late Friday night on Facebook. At least 35 people were injured. Several residential buildings on the eastern edge of the city were also damaged or destroyed. The information could not be independently verified. Authorities urged residents to take to the streets only when absolutely necessary.
Ukrainian authorities believe the attacks are retaliation for the loss of Moscow, the leading ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The 186-meter-long rocket ship was hit by two Neptune rockets on Thursday, towards Ukraine, and then sank. The Pentagon has confirmed this. According to Russia, the cruiser was badly damaged in the fire and sank in a storm while being towed to port.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has again called for tougher sanctions on Moscow. “The next package of sanctions against Russia must include completely abandoning Russian oil,” he said in his overnight video message. Zelensky called the current sanctions on Russia “serious”, but not enough. “We demand tougher, more destructive sanctions.” Money for energy from Russia is actually money for the destruction of democracy, Zelenski believes. The war can also be shortened if Kyiv gets all the weapons it needs quickly.
We demand stricter, more destructive sanctions.
Zelensky sees his country facing enormous challenges in places where Russian troops have left or been expelled. According to him, the authorities there continue to restore normal life. The scope of work is ‘really huge’.
“In 918 villages and towns of different sizes, it is necessary to clean mines and then restore the supply of electricity, water and gas. At least 1,018 educational institutions were damaged or destroyed, “Zelenski said. The information could not be independently verified.
Police, post office and local authorities will continue to work, the president said. In the Sumy region in the northeast of the country, rail links have been re-established or will soon be operational with the northern city of Chernihiv. “So far, humanitarian staff has been set up in 338 out of more than 900 places and cities for, among other things, emergency medical care,” Zelenski said.
The Russian military has now withdrawn from the area around the capital Kiev to regroup for an offensive in eastern and southern Ukraine. That attack is expected soon.
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