Foreign minister calls for ICC investigation and for US to designate Russia as “state sponsor of terrorism.”
The Ukrainian government has confirmed at least 13 civilians killed and 60 wounded in the shelling carried out early this morning by Russian forces with about 20 missiles on the eastern Ukrainian town of Zaporiyia, in what Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba has declared to be an act of terrorism.
“These areas are not for military purposes. The only aim of Russia’s deliberate attacks was to cause death and destruction to the civilian population, to sow terror and fear,” he has lamented in a statement.
In the note, reported on the Foreign Ministry’s website, Kuleba said that “deliberately targeting civilians is a war crime” and that Russia is a “terrorist state” that must be “contained in the most energetic way.”
The minister has urged the International Criminal Court to “urgently send investigators and experts to the site to document evidence of Russia’s war crimes” and the United States to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Finally, the minister urges Ukraine’s partners to urgently deliver more modern air defense (AD) and missile defense (MD) systems to Ukraine. “Deliveries of this vital equipment must be accelerated. These four letters, AD and MD, mean lives for us,” he has assured.
Previously, the president of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, had indicated that among the wounded there were six minors, according to the latest balance sheet released by the president, who has described the bombing as an act of “absolute evil” on the part of Russia.
“Again Zaporiyia. Again, ruthless attacks on peaceful people. In residential buildings, right in the middle of the night. We already know of 12 dead. 49 wounded in hospital, including 6 children. Absolute evil. Inhuman and terrorist. Those who gave this order and those who executed it will, of course, answer to the law and the people,” he said in a statement reported by Ukrinform.
According to preliminary data from the regional Ukrainian authorities, the shelling, which began at around 02.00 am, would have destroyed at least five homes and caused serious years to 40 other residences, according to Mayor Anatoli Kurtev in a message on his Telegram channel, in which he has also conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims.
“Most of the missiles hit residential areas and private buildings in one of the city’s districts. A nine-story building has been partially destroyed. Several infrastructures were damaged, as well as about 20 cars,” he said.
At least eight people have been rescued from the rubble, according to Oleksandr Starukh, Ukrainian military official for the Zaporiyia region. Twenty special equipment units and 85 State Emergency Service personnel are participating in the rescue efforts.