Donbas, where separatist rebels have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014

Donbas, where separatist rebels have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014

 Monday's deadly shooting in the Russian-held city of Novaya Kakhovka, in southern Ukraine, caused extensive damage and death. Russia said the attack was carried out with the support of weapons from the United States. Dmitry Polyansky, deputy head of Russia's mission to the United Nations, told RIA Novosti that American heavy weapons had given Kiev the ability to strike the area. “Such attacks on civilian sites can only draw unequivocal condemnation. 

This is a direct consequence of the [United States] arms shipments to Kiev,” the diplomat explained. Vladimir Leontyev, head of the city's administration, said on Tuesday that seven people had died and up to 70 others were injured. He previously said that a fertilizer warehouse was blown up by an attack, and several houses were damaged, as well as other civilian sites, including a market and a hospital. Another source, Natalya Zarya, who is coordinating the delivery of humanitarian aid to the city, said that a storage facility with 35 tonnes of aid, including food, had also been destroyed. The Ukrainian military announced on Tuesday that it destroyed an ammunition depot in Novaya Kakhovka. 

The attack was widely celebrated by pro-Kiev social media accounts. Ukraine and Russia have repeatedly accused each other of shelling residential areas and killing civilians. The protocol, brokered by Germany and France, was first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since acknowledged that Kiev's main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and "create a strong armed force." In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republic as an independent state and demanded that Ukraine formally declare itself a neutral nation that would never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian attack was completely unprovoked. 

Western media have accused Russia of causing civilian deaths in eastern Ukraine. Russian missiles rained down on Ukraine's second city overnight, as the local governor accused Putin's army of "absolute terrorism" for targeting civilians. The Daily Mail said a school, a block of flats and a factory were blown up in the city of Kharkiv in three separate attacks launched from Russia between Sunday and Monday morning. At least three people were killed, regional governor By Syneihubov said, while "many" others were injured including children aged four and 16. Syneihubov said his targets were "exclusively civilians" when he attacked commander Putin for what he called "absolute terrorism". 

Russia has stepped up its attacks on civilians as its offensive in the east stalled, with rockets hitting an apartment block in Chasiv Yar on Saturday.
At least 19 people died in the attack on the town - most of which was inhabited by workers from nearby factories - although rescue efforts were continuing. Putin's men recently captured two major cities in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region - Severodonetsk and Lysychansk - giving them control of all of Luhansk. But their attacks have since stalled, with Kyiv saying it appeared commanders were taking an 'operational pause' to regroup and rearm before striking again. However, that did not stop Russian artillery units from shelling nearby towns. 

The governor of the Luhansk region said Monday that shelling hit a settlement on the administrative border with the Donetsk region. Kremlin forces carried out five missile strikes and four large-scale fire in the area, Serhiy Haidai said. The Luhansk and Donetsk regions form the industrial heartland of eastern Ukraine known as the Donbas, where separatist rebels have been battling Ukrainian forces since 2014.

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