Russia claims 14 dead in attack on hospital in eastern Ukraine | War news of Russia and Ukraine

Russia has accused Ukraine’s military of deliberately attacking a hospital in Russian-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine in what it said was a war crime that killed 14 people and wounded 24 patients and medical staff.

There was no immediate response to the accusations from Ukraine on Saturday.

The attack hit a hospital in the settlement of Novoaidar under Russian control, and was carried out using the US-supplied HIMARS missile launch system, the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

“A deliberate rocket attack on a civilian medical facility known to be functioning is without a doubt a serious war crime by the Kiev regime,” it said. “All those who participated in the planning and execution of this crime will be found and held accountable.”

Civilian and military medics worked in the hospital for months, treating the local population and soldiers, it is stated.

Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Russian forces of frequent war crimes in a conflict in which thousands of civilians have been killed and towns and cities reduced to rubble by artillery and airstrikes. Russia denies that it targeted civilians.


‘Another crime’

In other news, three people were killed and more than a dozen wounded after a Russian attack on the city of Konstantinivka in eastern Ukraine, the local governor said Saturday.

“The Russians fired at a residential area, damaged four multi-storey buildings, a hotel, garages and civilian cars,” Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kirilenko said on social media.

Kirilenko said rescuers and police are at the scene, “helping people and carefully documenting another crime of the Russian occupiers on our land.”

Images posted on Kyrylenko’s Telegram account show apartment buildings with windows blown out and debris strewn around the charred remains of the car.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Russia carried out attacks on Konstantinivka with multiple rocket launchers.

Almost a year after the invasion of Ukraine, Moscow is seeking to take control of the entire Donetsk region, which it has already declared to be part of Russia.

‘Deliberate destruction of cities’

Ukraine said this week that Russian troops had stepped up their attacks in the east, particularly on the towns of Vugledar and Bakhmut.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described the battles at Bakhmut and Vuhledar, 200 km (90 miles) to the south, as “extremely acute”.

“The occupiers are not only attacking our positions, they are deliberately and methodically destroying these towns and villages around them,” he said.

Ukrainian troops are in a “fierce battle” with Russian soldiers for control of Vuhledar as the two sides battle along the southern front. Both sides claimed success in a small administrative center of apartment blocks surrounded by flat fields.

“The encirclement and subsequent liberation of this city solves many problems,” said Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk region appointed by Moscow.

But Kyiv said the city, which had a population of around 15,000 before the invasion, was still contested. “Fierce fighting is going on there,” Ukrainian military spokesman Sergiy Cherevaty told local media.

‘Decided strategic action’

Bloomberg News reported that Russia sought to show that its military could turn the tide of the war after months of battlefield failures by launching an all-out offensive.

He quoted unnamed Russian officials and advisers as saying the goal was to score quick victories to gain control of the eastern regions annexed last year to strengthen Moscow’s position in any future peace talks.

The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank agreed with the report.

“This report is consistent with ISW’s current assessment and forecast that the Kremlin is likely preparing to carry out a decisive strategic action – most likely in the Luhansk region – in the next six months with the intention of regaining the initiative and ending Ukraine’s current string of operational successes,” it said is.

“ISW has previously assessed that the decisive strategic action in the Luhansk region could be either a major offensive or a Russian defensive operation to defeat and exploit the Ukrainian counter-offensive.”

One Ukrainian official said it was possible that Russia would time its major offensive near the anniversary of the start of the war last year.

“It’s no secret that they are preparing for a new wave by February 24,” Oleksiy Danilov, head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Radio Sloboda on Friday.

The goal is to capture the entire Donbas – Donetsk and Luhansk – and then “completely go beyond the borders of the regions,” said Danilov.

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