Wednesday, July 6

Russia-Ukraine war latest: Russian attack kills nine civilians in Kharkiv; Zelenskiy accuses Moscow of ‘genocide’ in Donbas – live | Ukraine

Zelenskiy accuses Moscow of carrying out ‘genocide’ in Donbas

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has accused Moscow of carrying out a “genocide” in the eastern region of Donbas, where the city of Sievierodonetsk is suffering an onslaught of Russian shelling.

Zelenskiy said Russia’s brutal assault on the Donbas could leave the entire region “uninhabited” during his latest national address.

The current offensive of the occupiers in Donbas can make the region uninhabited.

They want to burn Popasna, Bakhmut, Lyman, Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk to ashes. Like Volnovakha, like Mariupol. In cities and communities closer to the Russian border, in Donetsk and Luhansk, they gather everyone they can to fill the place of those killed and wounded in the occupation contingent.

All this, including the deportation of our people and the mass killings of civilians, is an obvious policy of genocide pursued by Russia.

A young boy sits in front of a damaged building after a strike in Kramatorsk in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. Photograph: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

Summary and welcome

Hello. I’m Samantha Lock and welcome to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine.

If you’re just waking up or dropping in to catch up on what’s been happening, here are some of the latest developments:

  • Kharkiv has been hit by fresh strikes amid fears the city is still on Russia’s agenda. At least nine civilians were killed, including a child, and 19 injured, authorities said. “Today, the occupiers shelled Kharkiv again. At the moment, the list of the dead includes nine people. 19 wounded. All civilians,” Zelenskiy said. Residents have been urged to go to, or remain in, shelters.
  • Officials in Ukraine have admitted that Russia has the “upper hand” in fighting in the country’s east. The governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, said just 5% of the area now remained in Ukrainian hands – down from about 10% little more than a week ago – and that Ukrainian forces were retreating in some areas. “The Russian army has thrown all its forces at taking the Luhansk region,” he said in a video on Telegram. “Extremely fierce fighting is taking place on the outskirts of Sievierodonetsk. They are simply destroying the city, they are shelling it every day, shelling without pause.”
  • There are about 8,000 Ukrainian prisoners of war held in the Russian-backed self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, the Luhansk official Rodion Miroshnik has said. “That’s a lot, and literally hundreds are being added every day,” Miroshnik was quoted by the Russian Tass news agency as saying.
  • Russia has deployed mobile propaganda vans with large-screen televisions to humanitarian aid points in the captured city of Mariupol. The Orwellian turn comes as the Kremlin continued to push forward with efforts to integrate newly occupied territories across the south of Ukraine.
  • Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president who is a close Putin ally, has ordered the creation of a new military command for the south of the country bordering Ukraine. The Belarusian armed forces previously said they would deploy special operations troops in three areas near its southern border with Ukraine. Lukashenko has also talked up the role of Russian-made missiles in boosting the country’s defenses.
  • Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, said that “weapons, weapons and weapons again” are what the country needs. “We need more heavy weapons delivered as soon as possible, especially MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems) to repel Russian attacks,” Kuleba said.
  • The US is preparing to send advanced, long-range rocket systems to Ukraine after an urgent request from Ukrainian officials, multiple officials reportedly told CNN. Kuleba said Ukraine’s most urgent need is for multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) to counter Russian superiority in heavy weaponry. Zelenskiy also referred to the weapons as “the systems that are really needed to stop this aggression” in his latest address.
  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy has complained about divisions inside the European Union over more sanctions against Russia and asked why some nations were being allowed to block the plan. “How many more weeks will the European Union try to agree on a sixth package?” Zelenskiy asked in his latest national address. “Pressure on Russia is literally a matter of saving lives,” he added.
  • Russian president Vladimir Putin and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi held a phone call to discuss the situation in Ukraine and the issue of global food security on Thursday. Speaking to journalists after the call, Draghi said he would continue talking to both Moscow and Kyiv to resolve the food crisis, but added that he had little optimism for ending the war. “When asked if I have seen any glimmer of hope for peace, the answer is no,” he said.
  • Russian troops occupying the south-eastern port city of Mariupol have canceled school summer holidays to prepare pupils for switching to a Russian curriculum, according to officials. “The main goal is to eradicate everything Ukrainian and prepare for the new school year, which will be according to the Russian curriculum,” city official Petro Andryushchenko said.

Fighting continues in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region
Fighting continues in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region

Also Read  Ukraine rules out any ceasefire deal that involves ceding territory to Russia | Ukraine

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