Search And Rescue Operations End In Central Ukrainian City Of Uman


Rescue operations have been completed in the city of Uman after a massive Russian missile strike early Friday hit a residential building, killing 23 people, including six children. 

According to Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko, rescue teams recovered 22 bodies from under the rubble, while one victim died later in the hospital. Among the dead were six children, three boys and three girls. Nine people were wounded. A total of 17 people were rescued from the rubble. 

Klymenko said an X-101 cruise missile struck the apartment building, destroying 27 apartments and 33 cars in the blast. 

In Dnipro, airstrikes killed a 2-year-old and her mother. 

The cruise missile strikes that Russia launched Friday against Ukraine “suggest a departure in Russia’s use of long-range strikes,” the British Defense Ministry said Saturday in its daily intelligence update posted on Twitter, concerning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The wave of strikes “involved fewer missiles than those over the winter and was unlikely to have been targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure,” the ministry said. “There is a realistic possibility that Russia was attempting to intercept Ukrainian reserve units and military supplies recently provided to Ukraine.” 

The British ministry said, “Russia operates an inefficient targeting process and prioritizes perceived military necessity over preventing collateral damage, including civilian deaths.” 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday condemned the massive Russian airstrikes, the first such large-scale strikes in months. 

“A missile on Uman, a city that is peaceful, known to the whole world for hosting tens of thousands of Hasidic pilgrims every year. … Only absolute evil can unleash such terror against Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said. 

In a tweet, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs also condemned Russia’s airstrikes on civilians and civilian infrastructure. 

“It is just inexcusable that in places like Uman, far from the front line, civilians were killed while sleeping at their homes. This must stop,” Matthew Hollingworth, humanitarian coordinator wrote. 

Moscow claimed its target was Ukrainian reserve troops that it struck successfully, preventing them from reaching the front lines. Russia supplied no evidence to support this, according to Reuters. 

Zelenskyy reiterated that only heavy, hard-hitting weapons can stop the war and save lives. 

“Air defense, modern aircraft, artillery, armored vehicles are necessary to provide security to our people who are still, unfortunately, in the occupied territory,” he said. “We cannot leave anyone under the power of Russian evil,” he added. 

The latest assessment by the Institute of the Study of War supports Zelenskyy’s assertions. 

“Metering Western support to Ukraine and inadequately resourcing all of the required Ukrainian counteroffensives — not just the next one — will protract Russia’s war and increase the associated risks for the U.S.,” the organization said. 

Crimea attack 

A fire at a fuel storage facility in the Russian-occupied Crimean port city of Sevastopol caused by a suspected drone strike has been extinguished, the Moscow-installed governor Mikhail Razvozhaev there said Saturday. 

Razvozhaev said on Telegram the fire had been contained, adding it would not affect fuel supplies in Sevastopol and that no one had been injured in the fire. He also added that another drone was downed, its wreckage found on the shore near the terminal. 

Ukrainian military intelligence official Andriy Yusov said more than 10 tanks of oil products with a capacity of about 40,000 tons intended for use by Russia’s Black Sea Fleet were destroyed, RBC Ukraine reported. 

He described the blast as “God’s punishment” for the Russian strikes on a Ukrainian city Friday.

“This punishment will be long-lasting. In the near future, it is better for all residents of temporarily occupied Crimea not to be near military facilities and facilities that provide for the aggressor’s army,” RBC quoted Yusov as saying. The official stayed clear of attributing the attack to Ukraine. 

A spokesperson for Ukraine’s armed forces said earlier he did not have any information to suggest Ukraine was responsible for the fire.

EU grain deal

The European Commission said Friday it had agreed in principle to allow the transit of Ukrainian grain to restart through five European Union countries that had banned imports. 

Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia cited concerns that grain from Ukraine that was supposed to be exported to other countries had ended up in their local markets, pushing down prices for local farmers. 

In a tweet, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis wrote that the EU had reached “an agreement in principle” with the five “to address concerns of both farmers in neighboring EU countries and Ukraine.” 

The deal also includes a support package worth $111 million for the support of local markets, Dombrovskis said.


The VOA is the Voice of America

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