Russian forces are slowly advancing westwards, says British defence ministry
The British defence ministry has claimed that many Ukrainians have reportedly been mistreated in filtration camps set up by Russia at a time the Kremlin faces accusations that it is forcibly deporting Ukrainians.
Its latest assessment of the war said Russian forces were also slowly advancing westwards towards the town of Siversk in the Donetsk region.
Meanwhile, Volodymyr Zelensky called Russia a “terrorist state” after a missile strike in Ukrainian city Vinnytsia killed at least 23 people and injured dozens.
The strikes were carried out on Thursday with Kalibr cruise missiles launched from a Russian submarine in the Black Sea, officials in Kyiv said.
“This day once again proved that Russia must be officially recognized as a terrorist state. No other state in the world poses such a terrorist threat as Russia,” he said.
Ukraine’s allies, including the US and more than 40 other countries, on Thursday agreed to coordinate investigations into Russia-led suspected war crimes.
Tropps moving west, UK says
Here is the UK defence ministry’s latest assessment of the situation in Ukraine:
Ukrainians being mistreated in Russian filtration camps, claims UK
The British defence ministry has said that amid accusations of Russia forcibly deporting Ukrainians, many cases have also come out of civilians being mistreated in filtration camps set up by the Kremlin.
“Over 2.5m people have now been evacuated from Ukraine to Russia since the start of the invasion. Russia continues to face accusations that it is forcibly deporting Ukrainians; in many cases Ukrainians have reportedly been mistreated in filtration camps set up by Russia,” the defence ministry said in its latest intelligence update on Friday.
The British MoD has also said that Russian troops are failing to engage in tactical battle.
“Since withdrawing from the strategically located Snake Island on 30 June 2022, Russia has been attempting to deny its use by Ukraine,” the ministry said.
But the airstrikes from Wednesday by two Su-27 Russian fighter jets failed to hit the island, it added. “This follows the pattern of Russian air forces failing to successfully engage in the tactical battle,” the ministry said.
On the war front, the British ministry said that the “Russian and pro-Russian Luhansk People’s Republic separatist forces claim to have entered the outskirts of Siversk in the Donbas”.
“This has not been corroborated, however, Russian forces have been slowly advancing westwards following shelling and probing assaults towards Siversk from Lysychansk to open a pathway onward to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk,” the ministry said, adding that Bakhmut is likely to be the next objective once Siversk is secured.
Russian technocrats also responsible for ‘war crimes’, says Canada
Russian officials at the G20 meet for top diplomats have been told by Canadian finance minister Chrystia Freeland that she held them personally responsible for “war crimes” committed during the course of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, a western official said.
Directly addressing the Russian delegation, Ms Freeland said: “It is not only generals who commit war crimes, it is the economic technocrats who allow the war to happen and to continue.”
The war was the “single biggest threat to the global economy right now”, the Canadian diplomat, whose maternal grandparents were born in Ukraine, told the opening G20 session on Friday.
Britain to help probe ‘real-life horror story’ of Russian war crimes
Britain has announced a £2.5m support package to aid Ukrainian prosecutors including deployment of mobile justice teams and training of forensic teams, of up to 90 judges and UK personnel helping with victims of sexual violence.
Officials have recorded more than 21,900 alleged Russian war crimes which are under investigation at present along with another 11,000 that are termed acts against national security under Ukrainian law, and 800 for acts of looting and theft.
Russia is accused in a new report of carrying out a horrific campaign of killings, rapes and torture in Ukraine as an international summit is held to bring those responsible for war crimes to justice.
World Affairs Editor Kim Sengupta reports:
Use of cluster ammunition by Vladimir Putin’s forces is ‘depravity itself’ says second OSCE report
Russia must be officially recognised a terrorist state – Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky has once again called for Russia to be officially recognised as a terrorist state, this time after a deadly strike in Vinnytsia, a city far behind the frontlines, killed at least 23 people.
“This day once again proved that Russia must be officially recognized as a terrorist state. No other state in the world poses such a terrorist threat as Russia. No other state in the world allows itself to destroy peaceful cities and ordinary human life with cruise missiles and rocket artillery every day,” Mr Zelensky said in his nightly address on Thursday.
He added: “Three children under the age of ten. And this, unfortunately, is not yet the final number. Debris clearance is ongoing. Dozens of people are listed as missing. Heavily wounded are among those hospitalised”.
Mr Zelensky said that one of the Russian missiles destroyed a crucial health facility Neuromed medical center. “There were people inside. Nataliya, she is 40 years old. Tetiana, she is 32 years old. Volodymyr, he is 61 years old. Vira, she is 55 years old. I saw them among the missing. You see, it was not even known what happened to the people who simply went to the medical center…,” Mr Zelensky said.
“And if someone launched a missile attack on a medical center in Dallas or Dresden, God forbid, what would it be called? Wouldn’t it be called terrorism,” the Ukrainian president asked.
Mr Zelensky said that the strike killed a four-year-old girl at the time when a conference on Russian war crimes was taking place in the Netherlands, in The Hague.
“A conference where it was decided what should be done to ensure that every Russian military is punished,” he said.
Russian missile strike at Vinnytsia kills 23
At least 23 people, including three children, were killed after a Russian missile struck Ukrainian city Vinnytsia far behind the frontlines on Thursday.
The western-central city which became Moscow’s latest targets houses the command headquarters of the Ukrainian Air Force and was previously a target in March when Russian used cruise missiles to strike it.
Three children, including a four-year-old girl, were killed in the attack on Thursday, Ukraine’s state emergency service said.
Among the casualties, 71 people were hospitalised and 29 others have been reported missing.
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