February 4, 2023

Ukraine says four civilians were killed at an aid distribution point east under heavy fire

Ukraine says four civilians were killed at an aid distribution point east under heavy fire

Rescue workers evacuate a person from an apartment building damaged by a military raid, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, seen in Lyschansk, Luhansk region, Ukraine in this photo posted on March 30, 2022. Ukraine State Emergency Service Press Service/Brout via Reuters

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  • Reports of heavy shelling in eastern Ukraine
  • Two people were killed in an aid distribution center – Governor
  • Mariupol is still under siege

(Reuters) – Russian artillery fire killed at least four people and wounded four others at a humanitarian aid distribution point on Wednesday, local officials said, as Russian forces bombed towns, cities and railway infrastructure in eastern Ukraine.

Authorities in the eastern Luhansk region urged civilians to evacuate “as long as the situation is safe,” warning that Russian bombing could cut off escape routes.

Later, the Ukrainian Railways reported a number of casualties after three missiles hit an unspecified railway station in the east, without giving further details.

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Ukraine says the Russian forces that invaded on February 24 are regrouping and preparing for a new offensive in the Donbass region, which includes the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kirilenko shared photos online from the town of Vohlidar, where he said Russian artillery fire had hit a humanitarian aid distribution point.

The pictures showed two women lying on the ground. Another person was seriously injured in the leg and a fourth was seen with blood on his leg as he was being transferred to a rescue vehicle.

In a subsequent post, Kirilenko wrote, “The enemy mockedly shot civilians from Voldar who came to receive humanitarian aid. As a result of the bombing, 4 people were killed and 4 wounded.” killing.

He added that another person was also killed in the bombing of the village of Ocheretin on Wednesday, while four civilians were wounded in a similar raid on another rural settlement.

Russia denied targeting civilians. Reuters was not immediately able to verify Kirlinko’s version of the facts.

Local officials report fighting in many parts of eastern Ukraine, and shelling and clashes are also reported in the south, where the port city of Mariupol is besieged and besieged by Russian forces.

The capture of Mariupol could enable Russia to establish a land corridor between the two self-proclaimed separatist people’s republics of Donbass and Crimea, which Russia captured and annexed in 2014.

Call for evacuation

Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuk said Ukraine was trying to evacuate trapped civilians through 11 humanitarian corridors across Ukraine, but that people trying to flee Mariupol would have to use their own vehicles.

The city’s mayor said last week that up to 170,000 civilians were trapped in Mariupol without electricity and dwindling supplies.

Luhansk region governor, Serhiy Gaidai, said Russian forces now control 60% of the eastern town of Robyzhny and reported 81 mortars, artillery and rockets across the region during the previous day.

“I appeal to every inhabitant of the Luhansk region – to evacuate as long as it is safe to do so,” he wrote in an online post earlier on Wednesday. “While there are buses and trains – take this opportunity.”

Gaidai said railways in the Donetsk region of Donbass were damaged this week and it took several hours to repair them.

“This is another wake-up call,” he said.

Gaidai said separately that Russian forces were destroying “everything in their path” and “would stop at nothing.”

Russia says its “special military operation” aims to disarm and “disarm” Ukraine. The Kremlin’s position is rejected by Ukraine and the West as a pretext for an unjustified invasion. Read more

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Editing by Timothy Heritage and Alex Richardson

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.