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Russia has stepped up their targeting of civilian infrastructure amid a bruising counteroffensive by Ukrainian troops, the UK Ministry of Defense said Sunday.
“As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government,” the UK said in an intelligence update, noting that Russia has attacked civilian targets “even where it probably perceives no immediate military effect.”
Parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Dnipropetrovsk regions were suffering from blackouts last week as Ukrainian forces reentered towns and cities that had been occupied by Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russia was trying to “deprive people of light [and] heat” by attacking critical infrastructure as they retreated.
Four medics were killed and two patients were wounded by Russian shelling at a psychiatric hospital in the Kharkiv region, governor Oleh Syniehubov said on Saturday.
About 450 bodies were recovered this week from a mass grave in Izyum, a city in the northeast region of Kharviv.
“We’re discovering new sites of atrocities and renew evidence of war crimes,” Yuriy Sak, an advisor to Ukraine’s Defense Minister, told Fox News Digital over the weekend. “Men, women children. Some of the bodies were dug out with their hands tied behind their backs.”
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A hospital was also shelled in Mykolaiv, a port on the Black Sea in southern Ukraine, according to officials.
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski and others sent by the Vatican to provide humanitarian relief in Urakine were shot at this week in Zaporizhzhia.
“For the first time in my life… I didn’t know where to run… because it’s not enough to run. You have to know where to go,” he told Vatican News.
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Zelenskyy, meanwhile, pledged to continue Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
“Perhaps it seems to someone now that after a series of victories we have a certain lull. But this is not a lull,” Zelenskyy said Sunday. “This is preparation for the next sequence. For the next sequence of words that are very important to us all and that definitely must be heard.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.