At least eight dead in a Russian bombardment in eastern Ukraine
On the day that marks 500 days since the start of the Ukrainian war, at least eight people have died and 13 have been injured in a Russian shelling of the city of Lyman, as indicated by the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior.
The attacks occurred around 10 in the morning at two crossroads separated by 200 meters and surrounded by small shops and cafes. These are very crowded areas at that time. According to the soldiers interviewed, the attack could also have been carried out using cluster bombs, whose shrapnel killed and wounded the victims.
At one of the two intersections, three burned-out car bodies lay in front of an auto supply store. About 20 meters away, a white Lada car has been vandalized and the ground is covered in a pool of blood with belongings scattered around it, including a shoe, two bottles of water and apples.
At the other junction hit, a beach bar has been destroyed and the ground has been marked with two pools of blood, right next to an umbrella and overturned chairs. A little further on, another pool of blood was seen on the sidewalk, along with another blood-covered white plastic bag containing a bag of new plaster.
"There were explosions everywhere, I didn't know where to hide anymore," Nadia Berezhnaya, 69, told AFP, who was at home opposite the auto supply store.
The city of Lyman, an important railway junction in eastern Ukraine, was taken in October by the Ukrainian army, which this week reported Russian offensives in this sector.
Two people were also killed in a Ukrainian overnight shelling in the Russian-occupied town of Olechky in southern Ukraine, according to local emergency services quoted by the Russian news agency TASS.
According to this source, the Ukrainian army fired dozens of projectiles against this city and other nearby towns.
Ukrainian forces have been engaged since early June in a counteroffensive aimed at retaking Russian-held territories in the east and south.
After more than a month of operations, the gains remain limited, with several hundred kilometers and around ten locations recovered, due to the powerful Russian defense lines.
Ukraine says it will not use cluster bombs it receives from the US in urban areas
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense welcomed today that the United States has decided to send cluster bombs to Ukraine and promised not to use them "in urban areas to avoid risks to the civilian population."
"Cluster munitions will be used only in open fields where there is a concentration of Russian military," explained the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Oleksi Reznikov, on his Twitter account.
Reznikov added that Ukraine will use this type of bomb banned in more than a hundred countries "to break through enemy defense lines with minimal risk to the lives" of Ukrainian soldiers.
The Ukrainian Defense Minister also promised to "keep a rigorous record" of the places where these bombs are used, in order to prioritize the territories in question when cleaning them of explosives "after they have been vacated."
“This will allow us to eradicate the risk of unexploded cluster munition elements,” Reznikov said.
Cluster bombs consist of a container that opens in the air and disperses a large quantity of explosive submunitions or "bomblets" within a radius of between 200 and 400 meters.
Some of these "bomblets" do not explode when they hit the ground and can detonate some time later, putting the civilian population in the area at risk.
Human rights organizations and some governments have criticized Washington's decision to send cluster munitions to Ukraine.
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