Ukraine: Russia strikes the center of Kherson

DISCLAIMER: This article contains upsetting photos that may not be suitable for some people.

Ukraine: Russia strikes the center of Kherson

DISCLAIMER: This article contains upsetting photos that may not be suitable for some people.

Ukraine denounced an act of “terror” and “revenge” after a Russian strike on the Kherson market that left at least seven dead and 58 injured, ten months to the day after the start of the invasion of troops from Moscow.

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“As families in Europe, North America and beyond prepare festive dinners, spare a thought for Ukraine which is fighting evil right now,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kouleba implored on Twitter. .

For his Defense counterpart, Oleskiï Reznikov, the strike on Kherson is "revenge on its inhabitants who resisted the Russian occupation". Kherson was liberated on November 11 by the Ukrainian army after eight months of Russian occupation.

“In the morning, on Saturday, on Christmas Eve, in the city center. These are not military installations. This is not a war by the set rules. It's terror, it's killing to intimidate and (take) pleasure" had previously lambasted President Volodymyr Zelensky on social networks.

According to the Ukrainian presidency and regional governor Yaroslav Yanushevich, "the (Russian) attack claimed the lives of 7 people and 58 residents were injured, 18 of whom are in serious condition".

“The world must see and understand what absolute evil we are fighting against,” Volodymyr Zelensky lamented. "This is the real life of Ukraine and Ukrainians" for ten months of war, he said.

In Ankara, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, whose country mediates between Kyiv and Moscow, admitted that “this war does not seem ready to end easily”.

In Kherson, an AFP team saw many inert bodies strewn on the ground.

"The rescuers tried to save him, but he was not breathing," laments a lady, whose husband, Oleksiï, died instantly. Squatting, staring into space, she holds her husband's bloody jacket in her hands.

According to Leonid Tataryne, a 38-year-old resident, "there was a bombardment on a store, then on the market" central and around, he told AFP.

Oleksandre Koudriachov, 43, is struggling to recover from the disappearance of “Lyocha”, a man who “worked here for 20 years or more. (…) He was selling meat”.

At the time of the strike, "he was out to have a cigarette," he says. "We pulled his body, he was already dead."

Frequented place

Near the Kherson market, AFP saw a man with serious head injuries, his car blown up by the power of the explosion.

A woman, dressed in a red coat, lay lifeless a few meters away, her arms outstretched. A tearful person nearby was being comforted by a paramedic.

Further on, two men were seriously injured at a pedestrian crossing.

Flames also rose from the market, a place frequented on Saturday morning and located in the heart of Kherson.

In total, "66 cars burned" in the strike, according to relief.

The Russian army, for its part, had not reacted at the end of the afternoon.

On Friday, Kherson had already been the target of 74 Russian strikes according to regional authorities, leaving a total of five dead and 22 injured, according to the regional administration.

In the east, Russian strikes are still “regular” on Bakhmout, which the Russians have been trying to take since the summer, the Ukrainian presidency lamented.

$45 billion in US aid

To deal with this Russian offensive, Kyiv has been calling for new Western financial and military aid for several weeks.

On Friday, two days after a visit by Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington, the US Congress passed a sweeping federal services finance bill, $45 billion of which will go to Ukraine.

"It's really not - as the President of Ukraine said the other night - about charity. It's about security, it's about working together," said outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Russian invasion profoundly affects the Ukrainian economy, which is now almost solely focused on the war effort.

The cereal harvest in the country, one of the world's main producers, will fall by around 40% this year compared to 2021, according to an estimate by sector professionals at AFP.

In addition, the Ukrainian justice sentenced to 11 years in prison "two mercenaries" and "two Russian soldiers" accused of having "tortured" three Ukrainian soldiers in early September in the region of Izium (east), the prosecution announced on Saturday. .

“They had been kidnapped and kept in a recreation center without water or food. The occupants hit one of the (soldiers) with a hammer on his bones,” he detailed, adding that “the four men admitted their guilt and apologized.”