As his country celebrated the anniversary of its independence from Moscow-dominated Soviet government, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced that a Russian missile strike on a Ukrainian train station on Wednesday left at least 22 people dead and several others injured.
On Tuesday, Zelenskiy had issued a warning regarding the possibility of “repugnant Russian provocations” on July 4th, which also happened to be six months after Russian forces invaded Ukraine and set off the worst conflict to hit Europe since World War Two.
Zelenskiy claimed that the rockets struck a train in the small town of Chaplyne, located about 145 kilometres (90 miles) west of Russian-occupied Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, in a video address to the UN Security Council. He claimed that four carriages were on fire.
“Today’s agony is caused by Chaplyne. At this time, 22 people have died “In a later evening video speech, Zelenskiy added that Ukraine would force Russia to accept responsibility for what it had done.
“Without a doubt, we will drive the intruders from our territory. In our liberated Ukraine, not a single vestige of this wickedness will survive “declared he.
An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by the Russian defence ministry.
The Aug. 24 public holiday was not observed, but many Ukrainians observed the day by donning traditional clothing, particularly embroidered shirts.
The second-largest city, Kharkiv, was placed under a curfew after days of warnings that Moscow might use Independence Day to launch additional missiles into significant urban centres. This follows months of frequent bombardment.
At least seven times during the day, air raid sirens were heard in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, even though no strikes took place.
Zelenskiy said that when Russia invaded, Ukraine was “reborn,” and that it would finally totally drive out Russian forces in an emotional speech he gave to his countrymen earlier in the day.
“On February 24 at four in the morning, a new country entered the world. It was reborn, not actually born. a people who did not shout, cry, or feel panic. one who didn’t run away. refused to give up. and kept in mind, “He remarked, wearing his signature war fatigues and standing in front of Kyiv’s most prominent independence monument.
In Kyiv’s St. Sophia church, built in the eleventh century, Zelenskiy and his wife Olena Zelenska attended a service with religious leaders and lay flowers at a memorial to fallen troops.
The 44-year-old leader declared that Ukraine would retake the Crimean peninsula and other eastern Ukraine regions that Russia had annexed in 2014.
“We won’t enter into negotiations under the threat of a pistol being pointed at our heads. For us, shackles, not missiles, aircraft, or tanks, are the most terrible iron “said he.
Ukraine’s army high command reported in its evening bulletin that Russian air and missile strikes on both military and civilian targets persisted through Wednesday. It stated in a note without providing any additional information that “Today was rich with air raid sirens.”
Russian missiles reportedly landed in the Khmelnytskyi area, and Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian drone in the Vinnytsia region, according to local authorities. Both incidents occurred west of Kyiv, hundreds of kilometres from the front lines.
No injuries or property damage were reported, and Reuters was unable to confirm the reports.
The use of civilian targets by Russian forces has been denied on numerous occasions. At a conference in Uzbekistan, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that Moscow has purposefully slowed down what it calls to as its “special military operation” in Ukraine to prevent civilian casualties.
Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia reaffirmed Moscow’s justification for its activities in Ukraine during a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, claiming that a “special operation” was required to “denazify and demilitarise” the nation in order to eliminate “clear” security dangers to Russia.
Ukraine and the West have rejected Moscow’s position as an empty justification for an imperialist war of invasion.
In the “largest tranche of security aid to date,” according to US President Joe Biden, Washington would provide Ukraine with over $3 billion in weapons and equipment. Under Biden, the US has given Ukraine security aid worth more than $13.5 billion.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also pledged to provide an additional $63.5 million in military aid, including 2,000 drones, during a Wednesday surprise visit to Kiev.
Ukrainians, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, are an inspiration to the entire globe. “The help of NATO is guaranteed. For however long it takes, “In a video message, he stated.
After its troops were driven out of Kiev in the first few weeks of the war, Russia has made very little progress in recent months.
Kyrylo Budanov, the top military intelligence official for Ukraine, claimed on Wednesday that Moscow’s “exhausted” resource base and the morale and physical exhaustion of its troops were to blame for the slowdown in Russia’s attack.
Armed conflict participants and civilians celebrated the occasion with words of resolve and the hope of victory in the destroyed cities and on the eastern frontlines of the Ukrainian resistance, some of which had abandoned streets under curfew.
In August 1991, Ukraine proclaimed its independence from the crumbling Soviet Union, and in a referendum that December, a resounding majority of its citizens supported freedom.
Large swaths of the eastern Donbas region’s provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as the Black Sea and Sea of Azov beaches, have been taken over by Russian soldiers.
Thousands of civilians have died in the conflict, which has also driven more than a third of Ukraine’s 41 million residents from their homes, destroyed towns, and rocked the world economy by leading to shortages of basic food staples and an increase in energy costs.