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17 dead in triple Russian strike on major city in northern Ukraine

Photo: Sergiy Butko Agence France-Presse Rescuers are hard at work in Cherniguiv, after the triple Russian strike.

Anna Malpas – Agence France-Presse, Ania Tsoukanova – Agence France-Presse, Sergiy Butko – Agence France-Presse respectively in Cherniguiv and kyiv

Posted at 10:52 a.m.

  • Europe

At least 17 people were killed and more than 60 injured in a triple Russian strike on Wednesday in Cherniguiv, a large city in northern Ukraine, and President Volodymyr Zelensky once again blamed the lack of aid from the West.

“According to the latest information, 17 people died, two of whom died in hospital,” said the State Emergency Situations Service of Ukraine.

“Sixty other people, including three children, were injured,” he added, adding that rescue work was continuing.

According to the authorities, “social infrastructure, an educational institution, a hospital” and sixteen residential buildings were damaged. On official images, we could see pools of blood at the scene of the tragedy.

Olga Samoïlenko, a resident, told AFP how she and her children took refuge in the corridor of their building for protection when the first missile exploded.

“Our neighbors were already there. We started shouting for everyone to get on the ground. That's what they did. There were two more explosions. We then ran to the parking lot,” said the 33-year-old woman.

AFP journalists on site saw a body being extracted from the rubble as well as the most affected building, an eight-story hotel, parts of which were completely destroyed.

Numerous ambulances and fire trucks were visible at the scene, as well as tents set up by police and rescuers. Cars parked near the epicenter had their windshields destroyed.

President Zelensky stressed that Ukraine did not have enough air defenses to prevent this attack, undoubtedly the deadliest against this historic city located about sixty kilometers from the border with Belarus, Russia's ally, and about a hundred kilometers north of kyiv.

“This would not have happened if Ukraine had received enough air defense equipment and if the world's determination to resist Russian terror had been sufficient,” the Ukrainian leader insisted on Telegram .

Because Russia bombards Ukrainian cities daily with explosive missiles and drones, particularly its energy infrastructure.

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Ukrainian frustration

Faced with Western aid, particularly American, which is running out of steam, Ukraine is faced with a growing lack of means to intercept these devices.

It desperately urges its partners to deliver more weapons and air defense systems.

The reluctance of the allies particularly frustrated kyiv after a massive Iranian air attack on Israel this weekend, successfully repelled, in particular thanks to Western military support, while a crucial envelope of American aid to Ukraine has been blocked for years. month in the American Congress.

“Three days ago in the Middle East we saw what reliable protection of human lives from missiles looks like,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote bitterly on Facebook on Wednesday .

In Cherniguiv, three explosions occurred at 9:03 a.m. local time (3:03 a.m. in Quebec) almost in the city center, according to local authorities.

This city, one of the oldest in Ukraine, founded more than 1000 years ago, had around 300,000 inhabitants before the Russian invasion in February 2024. It was heavily bombed by the Russian army at the start of this offensive and part of the region had been occupied for several weeks.

On the Russian side, military bloggers and media reported a Ukrainian strike during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday on the Russian military base of Djankoi, in the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Alleged videos of the attack, posted on social media, show impressive explosions in the middle of the night.

According to the Rybar Telegram account, close to the Russian army and followed by more than a million people, 12 ATACMS tactical missiles delivered to kyiv by the United States could have hit this target, damaging equipment and a building.

kyiv and Moscow have not yet officially commented.

Media claim to have identified more than 50,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine

The BBC Russian service and the Russian site Mediazona indicated on Wednesday that they had identified more than 50,000 Russian soldiers killed since the start of the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Their count, published in a joint investigation and finalized on April 7, 2024, comes from the exploitation of certain information, such as official press releases, information published in the media and social networks, or collected in going to observe the graves in the cemeteries.

Neither Ukraine nor Russia has published a report on their losses since the start of the war and both media outlets warn that their count does not claim to be exhaustive.

At the end of February, kyiv estimated the number of soldiers killed at 31,000, while the Russian army has only communicated its military losses on very rare occasions and these figures are considered largely minimized.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday invoked “the law on state secrets” and “the special regime” of the Russian invasion of Ukraine to justify the absence official communication on Russian military losses.

Last August, the American daily New York Times, citing American officials, estimated Russian military losses at 120,000 dead. On January 29, in a written response to a parliamentarian, British Defense Minister James Heappey estimated Russian losses at more than 350,000 dead and wounded.

In their investigation, the BBC Russian and Mediazona particularly looked at the fate of prisoners recruited to fight on the front, a contribution “crucial to the success of [the] cannon fodder strategy” of the Russian army, they note.

Tens of thousands of inmates were recruited in Russian prisons, in exchange for a promise of release, notably by the Wagner paramilitary group but also by the regular army.

According to the two media's examination of a sample of more than 1,000 prisoners, half of those enlisted directly by the Russian army had died within two months of being sent to the front. Those recruited by Wagner (until February 2023) died within three months of their enlistment.

Both media also point out that more than 27,300 Russian soldiers died in the second year of the conflict “illustrating the enormous human cost of territorial gains” made by Russia, particularly in the Donetsk region in from January 2023, during the battle of Bakhmout in spring 2023, or even during the large-scale offensive launched last fall and which lasted four months to seize the town of Avdiïvka.< /p>

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116