RUSSIA STRIKES KYIV DURING UN CHIEF’S VISIT, BIDEN ASKS FOR $33BN FOR UKRAINE

RUSSIA STRIKES KYIV DURING UN CHIEF’S VISIT, BIDEN ASKS FOR $33BN FOR UKRAINE

At least three people were wounded in the strikes in the western part of the city, which were the first in the capital in nearly two weeks, and came after Guterres toured Bucha and other suburbs where Moscow is alleged to have committed war crimes.



AFP | one hour ago

KYIV – Russian forces bombarded Ukraine’s capital late Thursday during a visit by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who decried the “absurdity” of war in the 21st century, as US President Joe Biden asked for $33 billion more to support Kyiv.

At least three people were wounded in the strikes in the western part of the city, which were the first in the capital in nearly two weeks, and came after Guterres toured Bucha and other suburbs where Moscow is alleged to have committed war crimes.

Ukrainian prosecutors said they were investigating 10 Russian soldiers for suspected atrocities in Bucha, where dozens of bodies in civilian clothes were found after Moscow’s retreat, and had identified more than 8,000 alleged war crimes cases.

Those cases involve “killing civilians, bombing of civilian infrastructure, torture” and “sexual crimes” reported during Russia’s occupation of various parts of Ukraine, prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova told a German TV channel.

In Washington, Biden urged US lawmakers to approve his huge aid package, as well as proposed new laws to allow using luxury assets stripped from Russian oligarchs to compensate Ukraine for damage inflicted since Moscow invaded on 24 February.

“The cost of this fight is not cheap. But caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen,” Biden said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed Biden’s proposal as an “important step” and “necessary.”

‘SHOCKING’

In a residential part of Kyiv, AFP correspondents saw one building in flames and black smoke pouring into the air.

“I heard the sound of two rockets and two explosions. It was a sound similar to a flying plane, and then two explosions with an interval of three to four seconds,” Oleksandr Stroganov, 34, told AFP.

Mayor Vitali Klitschko said there had been “two hits in the Shevchenkovsky district”, with one hitting “the lower floors of a residential building”. Three people were taken to hospital, but the extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.

“It is a war zone but it is shocking that it happened close to us,” Saviano Abreu, spokesman for the UN’s humanitarian office who was travelling with Guterres, told AFP, adding that the delegation was safe.

Zelensky said the strikes, immediately after his talks with Guterres, were an attempt by Russia “to humiliate the UN and everything that the organisation represents.”

A Russian military spokesman told reporters that Moscow’s army had conducted air strikes against 38 military targets, destroying seven munitions depots, but made no immediate mention of Kyiv or the wider region around the capital.

Guterres, who arrived in Kyiv after talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, called the war “evil” after visiting Bucha and demanded that the Kremlin cooperate with an International Criminal Court investigation into the accusations.

Prosecutors said the 10 servicemen under investigation are suspected of “premeditated murder”, cruel treatment and other violations of the laws and customs of war during their occupation of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, in March.

At a joint press conference with Zelensky, Guterres admitted the UN Security Council had “failed to do everything in its power to prevent and end this war.”

“This is the source of great disappointment, frustration and anger”, he added.



In Washington, Biden pushed back against increasingly heated claims by Russian officials and state media that Moscow is fighting the entire West, rather than only Ukraine.

“We’re not attacking Russia. We are helping Ukraine

Source AFP

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