The Ukrainian president believes that Russia will soon seek, as it did last year, to do so. "destroy" the electrical installations of his country where a Russian strike caused Friday in the northeast the death of a 10-year-old child, the day after one of the deadliest attacks of the war on civilians.
“This winter, Russian terrorists will again try to destroy our electricity system”, warned Volodymyr Zelensky in the evening, who had claimed the day before to have received “clear agreements” from the Europeans to obtain new anti-aircraft defense systems, which Kiev has been demanding for months.
By the end of 2022, Russian forces had systematically bombed Ukraine's critical infrastructure for months, causing massive power outages that plunged millions of people into the cold and the dark.
Friday, at following a strike on Kharkiv, “the body of a 10-year-old child was found in the rubble”, announced Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klymenko, adding that his grandmother had also perished.
The regional governor, Oleg Synegoubov, reported at least 28 injured, including an eleven-month-old baby, a member of the family of the two people killed.
Two buildings were damaged and one building three-story apartment building was destroyed, with police explaining that two Iskander ballistic missiles hit the buildings.
An AFP photographer saw what appears to be the fragment of one of these devices at the bottom of a large crater dug in a street in the city center. Numerous debris litter the arteries where civilian vehicles are overturned or charred.
– A body without a head –
Later, Mr. Synegoubov declared that a residential building had been bombed in Vovchansk, a city near the Russian border that the Ukrainian military recaptured a year ago. An elderly man suffered “severe burns” and two women were injured.
The day before, at least 52 people, including a six-year-old child, were killed in the Kharkiv region, in broad daylight bombardment of the village of Groza, according to a new report from the governor.
A store and a cafe located in the same building and where around sixty people were present had been reduced to ruins.
Friday morning, firefighters cleared the rubble, armed with shovels and diggers.
In the cemetery at the entrance to the village, Oleksiï is present with members of his family to mark out the location of the graves where his brother and his sister-in-law, who lost their lives in the strike, will be buried.
Buildings damaged after a strike in Kharkiv, Ukraine, October 6, 2023 © AFP – SERGEY BOBOK
“I don't know when we will be able to bury them. My brother's body was whole but his wife's had no head,” he told AFP.
In an alley, the grave of soldier Andriï Kozyr is covered with flowers and topped with a Ukrainian flag.
Residents who attended his funeral gathered in the cafe which was pulverized.
“Everyone who was at the funeral died. It happened just after people entered the café,” says Valentina Koziïenko, 73, who lives opposite.
And to wonder: “How did the Russians know that there were so many people there? Maybe someone told them.”
– “War crimes” –
The strike on Groza was denounced by the international community, which called for an end to attacks against civilians.
A rescuer holds a teddy bear while searching for victims in the rubble of buildings after a strike in Groza, on October 6, 2023 in Ukraine © AFP – Genya SAVILOV
According to the UN, “everything suggests “that it was indeed a Russian missile which struck this village of 330 souls before the tragedy.
Questioned about the attack, the Kremlin said on Friday that it only struck “military targets”.
For the head of Ukrainian diplomacy Dmytro Kouleba, these “atrocities prove that global support for Ukraine must be maintained and strengthened”. “Weakening it would only lead to more war crimes of this type,” he warned on Friday.
The question of aid to Ukraine is burning: due to 'a political crisis in Washington, the flow of funds and weapons from the United States could dry up.
– Drone swarms-
A man in front of the body of a victim after a strike in Groza, Ukraine, October 5, 2023 © AFP – Anatolii STEPANOV
The Russian army also sent on the night of Thursday to Friday new swarms of attack drones to strike the center, the northeast and the south of Ukraine.
The Ukrainians claimed to have shot down 25 of these 33 Iranian-made Shahed 131/136.
The governor of the Odessa region (south), Oleg Kiper, said that drones had damaged a grain store in the port of Izmail and set fire to nine trucks.
This Danube port, regularly targeted by the Russians, is important for Ukraine because it is used for exports of agricultural products, particularly wheat.
Russia proceeds every night to strikes against Ukraine, using drones and missiles.
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