June 30, 2022

Russia marks victory of Soviet World War II as Ukraine condemns school bombings

  • Putin led the celebrations of Soviet victory in World War II
  • At least 60 people have been killed in a Russian shelling at a school in eastern Ukraine
  • The G7 says Putin’s actions are a disgrace to Russia.
  • Mariupol residents leave, soldiers standing in iron jobs

JABORISHIA, Ukraine, May 9 (Reuters) – As Russia prepares to celebrate the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II on Monday, the Kremlin bombed a village school in eastern Ukraine, killing at least 60 people, President Volodymyr Zhelen said.

The governor of the Luhansk region said about 90 people were staying when a school bomb exploded in Pilohorivka on Saturday. read more

“As a result of the Russian strike on Pilohorivka in the Luhansk region, about 60 people were killed, civilians hiding in schools and taking refuge from shelling,” Zhelensky said in his night video speech.

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There was no response from Moscow to the news.

The deputy commander of the Azov Regiment, which was staying at the Azovstal steel plant in the southern port of Mariupol, which had borne the brunt of the 10-week war, begged the international community to help evacuate the wounded soldiers.

“We will continue to fight as long as we are alive to drive out the Russian invaders,” Capt. Svyadoslav Palmer told an online news conference.

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations on Sunday promised to deepen Russia’s economic isolation and “raise” the campaign against the Kremlin-linked elite. read more

The G7 has vowed to phase out or ban Russian oil, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the invasion of Ukraine.

Referring to Soviet Russia’s role in defeating Nazi Germany 77 years ago, the G7 said in a statement that “its actions are an insult to Russia and the historic sacrifices of its people.”

Putin has repeatedly compared the war in Ukraine to the challenge posed by the Soviet Union during the invasion of Adolf Hitler in 1941 – the war against the dangerous “Nazi”-inspired nationalists in Ukraine.

Ukraine and its allies have rejected accusations of Nazism and claims that Russia is fighting for survival against the occupying West, claiming that Putin has unleashed an unprovoked war in an attempt to rebuild the Soviet Union.

In the video address, which was filmed in front of burned-out Ukrainian apartments with footage of Russian missile strikes, Zhelensky said evil had returned, but his country would prevail. read more

Praising the G7 response, Zelenskiy said in his nightly video talk: “The main thing I realize today is that the world is more than willing to help us … It is clear to the whole independent world that Ukraine is the good party in this war.”

“And Russia will lose, because evil always loses.”

On Monday, Putin will lead a parade of troops, tanks, rockets and intercontinental ballistic missiles in Moscow’s Red Square, delivering a speech that could provide clues to the future of war.

Since Putin called it a “special operation” on February 24, Russia has been subject to increasing sanctions since trade was severely hampered and assets confiscated.

In an interview with the Financial Times, foreign policy chief Joseph Borel said the EU should consider using frozen Russian foreign exchange reserves to cover the cost of rebuilding Ukraine after the war. read more

In the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia, 230 km (140 miles) northwest of Mariupol, dozens of evacuees and nearby occupants were waiting to register in a car park set up for evictees.

“Many more want to leave Mariupol, but they can not,” said historian Victoria Andreva, 46, who arrived in the city with her family in mid – April after leaving the bombed home in Mariupol.

“The air here feels different, free,” he said in a tent where volunteers provided food, basic items and toys to the evacuees, many traveling with small children.

A total of 408 people, including 65 children, have been evicted from Mariupol in the past 24 hours, separatists said.

Moscow has played a key role in Moscow’s efforts to annex the Crimean Peninsula, which was captured by Russia in 2014, and in parts of eastern Luhansk and Donetsk, which have since been controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

In the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, half a dozen Russian attacks were repulsed, tanks and armored vehicles destroyed, Luhansk Governor Sergei Kaitoi said Monday.

Interior Ministry adviser Viktor Andrusiv said Ukraine was still waiting to supply more sophisticated weapons and expected more attacks from Russia on Monday.

“We are preparing for rocket attacks today – please take flight warnings very seriously today.”

Several Western officials came to show support for Ukraine on Sunday, including US First Lady Jill Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the German parliamentarian and the Norwegian foreign minister. read more

Bono, the leading player of the Irish rock band U2, and his band The Edge performed a 40-minute concert at a metro station in Kiev on Sunday and praised the Ukrainians for fighting for their independence.

“Tonight, May 8th, shots will sound in the Ukrainian sky, but you will finally be free. They can take your life, but they can never take your pride,” Bono said.

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Additional reporting by Pavel Polyduk in Kiev, Lviv and Oleksandr Kozulin in the Reuters bureau; Written by James Elephant, Lincoln Feast and Himani Sarkar; Editing by Rob Brussel

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