Wednesday, 28 Feb 2024

Ukraine vows revenge after family including newborn baby wiped out by shelling

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A mother, father and their two children were among seven people killed during Russian shelling of Ukraine on Sunday.

Artillery shelling in the village of Shiroka Balka, in the country’s Kherson region, killed a husband, wife, and their two children – a 12-year-old boy and a 23-day-old baby girl.

Another resident was killed in the same village, while two men died in the neighbouring village of Stanislav.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to retaliate against Russia for the latest shellings, and offered his condolences to the loved ones of the family which was wiped out.

He added the 12-year-old boy was rushed to hospital but could not be saved despite the best efforts of doctors.

Mr Zelensky released a video update on Sunday evening, saying: ‘Everywhere our warriors retaliate against the occupiers’ terror.

‘There is not a single day where Russian evil does not get our completely fair retaliation.

‘Every occupier destroyed, every piece of Russian equipment burned, fire instead of their headquarters and warehouses, the very eloquent smoke on Kerch bridge and more – all this proves that we will not leave any of Russia’s crimes unanswered.

‘And each of our warriors who gives Ukraine results on the frontline – along the entire frontline, from Kharviv to Kherson – each of our warriors has the opportunity to bring justice to Ukraine.

‘Every time we have something to thank our warriors for, Ukraine becomes closer to justice, closer to victory and Russian murderers on our land come closer to destruction.’

On Saturday, Ukrainian deputy defence minister Hanna Miliar tried to quell rumours their forces had landed on the occupied east bank of the Dnieper river, which runs through the Kherson region.

She said: ‘Again, the expert hype around the left bank in the Kherson region began. There are no reasons for excitement.’

Ukrainian security sources said Kyiv’s forces had made progress in the south on Saturday, claiming some success near a key village in the southern Zaporizhzhia region and capturing other unspecified territories.

Ukraine’s General Staff said they had ‘partial success’ around the tactically important Robotyne area in the Zaporizhzhia region, a key Russian stronghold that Ukraine needs to retake in order to continue pushing south towards Melitopol.

‘There are liberated territories. The defence forces are working,’ General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, commander of Ukraine’s southern forces, said of the southern front.

Battles in recent weeks have taken place on multiple points along the more than 600-mile front line as Ukraine wages its long-awaited counteroffensive.

The Wagner mercenary group has played a key role in Russia’s military campaign, but there is a ‘realistic possibility’ that the Kremlin is no longer providing funding, according to British defence officials.

In its latest intelligence briefing, the Ministry of Defence said it believed Wagner was ‘likely moving towards a down-sizing and reconfiguration process’ to save money, and the Kremlin had ‘acted against some other business interests’ of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.

The officials assessed that Belarusian authorities were the ‘second most plausible paymasters’.

Thousands of Wagner fighters arrived in Russian-allied Belarus under a deal that ended their armed rebellion in late June and allowed them and Mr Prigozhin to avoid criminal charges.

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