A Russian strike on a humanitarian hub is part of a pattern, Ukrainian officials say

by | Jul 14, 2022 | Top Stories

Enlarge this image

Firefighters remove rubble following a Russian airstrike in the central city of Vinnytsia on Thursday that Ukrainian officials said killed more than 20 people and injured dozens more.

Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images

VINNYTSIA, Ukraine — Oksana Urbanska walked through the rubble in the center of her native city Thursday, voicing fury at what she described as a deliberate strike against civilian buildings, including a medical clinic and local shops. “You can see for yourself, this is where regular people were living,” said Urbanska, who works for the State Emergency Services of Ukraine, the organization coordinating rescue operations in Vinnytsia. “There is a baby who died. She and her mom were walking to a school for little kids. There is no military value or object here.” Maksym Budko was one of the civilians in the square when the Russian cruise missiles struck. At least 23 people were killed, including three children, and dozens more were sent to the hospital, the regional emergency service department said. “I was there using the ATM,” Budko told NPR. “I heard the whistle, then I heard an explosion. Everything started falling and flying. I got up and covered my head, then I heard the second blast.” Late Thursday, rescue crews were still digging through rubble. Ukrainian officials said more than 40 people were still unaccounted for.

Enlarge this image

Maksym Budko demonstrates how he covered his head after being thrown to his knees by the blasts of two cruise missiles that struck as he was using an ATM in Vinnytsia.

Brian Mann/NPR

hide caption

toggle caption

Brian Mann/NPR

The attack on this small city, a hub for humanitarian efforts and home to the headquarters for Ukraine’s tiny air force, has shattered the sense of safety here.

The strike involved at least three Kalibr cruise missiles launched from a Russian submarine in the Black Sea, said Serhiy Borzov, the Vinnytsia regional military administrator. While one of the buildings hit Thursday is sometimes used by the Ukrainian military for ceremonial events, local officials said it was most often used for theater performances and religious services.

Yuri Ignat, a spokesman for Ukraine’s air force, told NPR that none of the structures damaged had any military or strategic value. “Russians don’t just want to force the government of Ukraine to surrender,” Ignat said, as he stood in his military fatigues next to the bombed-out buildings. “They also want to force the Ukrainian people to surrender. They want to break us down. But after what they did here, no one is going to surrender.” As the strike hit, allies were in the Hague to discuss war crimes Thursday’s attack came as representatives from more than 40 countries, along with officials from the U.N. Office of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court, had traveled to The Hague to coordinate war crimes investigations in Ukraine.

Enlarge this image

Rescue and clean-up crews scrambled late Thursday to search for victims of the Russian cruise missiles and to clear away debris in Vinnytsia.

Brian Mann/NPR

hide caption

toggle caption

Brian Mann/NPR

“Residential buildings were destroyed, the medical center was on fire. Cars and trams were on fire. This is an audacious act of Russian terror,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking to the gathering by video link. “People couldn’t do that. They are beasts.”
Zelenskyy went on to urge “mandatory and princ …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This