Ukrainian president blasts 'the bloody trail that Russia leaves behind with its shells'
Russian shelling killed 21 civilians in and near the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson on Wednesday, including strikes on a hypermarket, a railway station and crossing, a petrol station and residential buildings, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
Forty-eight people were known to have been injured, Zelenskyy said on the Telegram messaging app. "All civilians! With the day not yet over! In one region!" he wrote.
He described the targets as "the bloody trail that Russia leaves behind with its shells."
Officials had earlier said 12 of the victims were in the city of Kherson, the region's capital, where a hypermarket came under fire as people were doing their morning shopping and explosions tore through a railway station.
Four more were killed in villages outside the main city in attacks from areas of the Kherson region still occupied by Russia. They included three engineers trying to repair damage inflicted on the power grid in earlier Russian bombardments.
Pools of blood and piles of debris lay on the ground outside the Kherson hypermarket, the entrance of which had been heavily damaged and cordoned off, Reuters correspondents on the scene said.
The interior ministry said the victims were all either customers or workers at the hypermarket.
"When the enemy can achieve nothing on the battlefield, it strikes at peaceful cities," Ukrainian military spokesperson Serhii Cherevatyi said.
No comment from Russia
Russia did not comment on the attacks in Kherson, one of four Ukrainian regions it said it annexed last September. Moscow has denied targeting civilians in its invasion of Ukraine that began in February 2022.
Many windows were smashed at the railway station, and at least two survivors were seen being carried out on stretchers. Three women who had been eating at the time of the attack said they took cover under a table.
Moscow has stepped up air strikes on Ukraine in the past few days as Kyiv prepares for a counteroffensive in which it is expected to try to retake occupied territory in Kherson region.
Ukrainian troops recaptured Kherson city last November after nearly eight months of occupation, but Russian troops retreated only as far as the opposite side of the Dnipro River, from where they now shell the city.
Regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin on Wednesday announced a curfew in Kherson city that he said would last from Friday evening to Monday morning for "law enforcement" reasons. He gave no other details.
Elsewhere in Ukraine, Russia used Iranian-made drones during its third attack on Kyiv in six days. Explosions were heard in the capital and elsewhere during the night as Ukrainian air defences shot down 21 of the drones, Ukraine's air force said. No damage or casualties were reported.
More military aid
Also Wednesday, the Pentagon said that the U.S. will send a $300-million US military aid package to Ukraine.
The new package includes Hydra-70 rockets, which are unguided rockets that are fired from aircraft. It also includes an undisclosed number of rockets for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, mortars, howitzer rounds, missiles and Carl Gustaf anti-tank rifles. The weapons will all be pulled from Pentagon stocks, so they can go quickly to the front lines.
The U.S. in recent months has declined to say exactly how much materiel will be sent to Ukraine, but the latest package resembles other previous deliveries. It includes trucks, trailers, spare parts and other maintenance assistance.
This is the 37th package of Pentagon stocks to go to Ukraine since the war began in February 2022, and it brings total U.S. military aid to about $36 billion US.
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca