Ukraine: Rocket attack on mayor’s office in separatist Donetsk

Russian state agencies said the mayor’s office in a critical eastern Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Kremlin separatists was hit by a rocket early Sunday morning. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

According to RIA Novosti, the municipal building in Donetsk was seriously damaged by the attack, which local separatist authorities blamed on Ukraine.

Images going viral on social media showed plumes of smoke around the building, rows of blown windows and a partially collapsed roof. RIA Novosti and local media reported that three nearby cars were burned due to the strike.

Kyiv did not immediately claim responsibility or comment on the attack.

Kremlin-backed separatist officials have previously accused Ukraine of multiple attacks on infrastructure and residential targets in occupied territories, often employing US-supplied long-range HIMARS rockets, without providing confirmed information.

A day after the attack, two men from the former Soviet republic opened fire on volunteer soldiers during a target exercise at a Russian military firing range near Ukraine, killing 11 and injuring 15 before killing themselves. The Russian Defense Ministry reported the killings and called the incident a terrorist attack.

The incidents came amid a hasty mobilization by President Vladimir Putin to bolster Russian forces in Ukraine amid a series of battlefield battles following the February invasion. The callup sparked protests and caused hundreds of thousands to flee Russia.

Also on Saturday, a Washington-based think tank lately accused Moscow of conducting a “massive, forced deportation of Ukrainians” that likely amounted to ethnic cleansing.

In its regular online updates, the Institute for the Study of War cited statements made by Russian officials this week that claimed there were “several thousand” children from the southern region occupied by Moscow.

The state RIA Novosti agency reported the original remarks by Russia’s deputy prime minister, Marat Khusnulin, on Friday.

The institute also said that Russian authorities “may engage in a widespread campaign of ethnic cleansing by deporting Ukrainian territory through deportation and re-populating Ukrainian cities with imported Russian citizens, ” violating international humanitarian law.

Russian officials have openly admitted to placing children from Russian-held territories of Ukraine, who they said were orphans, for adoption with Russian families, a possible violation of a major international treaty on preventing genocide. In.

The 1948 Genocide Convention, ratified by more than 140 states, including Ukraine and Russia, defined genocide as “forcibly transferring children of (the target) group”.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said in its regular Facebook update that evictions were taking place in the Russian-held city of Rubizan in the eastern Luhansk region, where Kyiv is retaliated. It did not provide substantiated evidence for its claim.

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