Sixty dreaded dead in the bombing of Ukraine’s school; G7 condemns Putin By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People evacuated from Mariupol during the conflict between Ukraine and Russia stand outside a bus near a temporary accommodation center in the village of Bezimenne in the Donetsk region, Ukraine on May 7, 2022. REUTERS / Alexander Ermochenko


By Alessandra Prentice

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (Reuters) – As many as 60 people are feared to have been killed when a bomb hit a village school in eastern Ukraine, the regional governor said Sunday as Russian forces continued to fire the last restraint of Ukrainian resistance in the ruined southeastern part of Ukraine. Port of Mariupol.

The governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Gaidai, said the school in Bilohorivka, where about 90 people were sheltered, was hit by a Russian bomb on Saturday, setting it on fire.

“There is almost no hope that anyone survived. The air bomb exploded in the middle (of the building),” Gaidai wrote on the Telegram messaging app. “In the school there were about 90 people, 27 were rescued. About 60 people were probably killed.”

Reuters could not immediately confirm his account. There was no response from Moscow to the report.

Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Russian forces of attacking civilians in the war, something that Moscow denies.

In Mariupol, the deputy commander of the Azov regiment of the vast Azov steelworks pleaded with the international community to help evacuate wounded soldiers.

“We will continue to fight as long as we are alive to repel the Russian occupiers,” Captain Sviatoslav Palamar said at an online press conference.

More than 170 civilians were evacuated from the Mariupol area on Sunday, bringing the total to about 600 given safe passage during a week-long rescue operation, the UN said.

While the fighting, now in its third month, raged on, with authorities in the eastern Kharkiv region reporting more casualties after Russian shelling, leaders of the group of seven industrialized nations on Sunday promised to deepen Russia’s economic isolation and “exalt” one campaign against Kremlin-affiliated elites.

US President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders held a video call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a show of unity ahead of Russia’s victory day celebration on Monday.

The G7 said it was committed to phasing out or banning Russian oil and condemned President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“His actions bring shame on the historical victims of Russia and its people,” the group said in a statement, citing Soviet Russia’s role in defeating Nazi Germany 77 years ago.

Washington also unveiled another round of sanctions against more leaders and companies as part of a broad effort to isolate Russia and limit the resources used to advance the war. It also announced a new policy of visa restrictions for more than 2,500 Russian military officials and Russian-backed forced laborers in Ukraine, according to a Foreign Ministry fact sheet.


In the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia, about 230 km (140 miles) northwest of Mariupol, dozens of people fleeing the city and nearby occupied areas were waiting to register in a parking lot designated for evacuees.

“There are still a lot of people in Mariupol who want to travel but can’t,” said history teacher Viktoria Andreyeva, 46, who said she had only just reached the city after leaving her bombed-out home in Mariupol with her family in mid-April.

“The air feels different here, free,” she said in a tent where volunteers offered food, basic supplies and toys to the evacuees, many traveling with young children.

In an emotional speech on Sunday for Victory Day, commemorating Europe’s formal surrender of Nazi Germany to World War II allies, Zelenskiy said evil had returned to Ukraine with the Russian invasion, but his country would win.

Putin says he launched a “special military operation” on February 24 to disarm Ukraine and liberate it from anti-Russian nationalism provoked by the West. Ukraine and its allies say Russia launched an unprovoked war.

Mariupol is the key to Moscow’s efforts to connect the Crimean peninsula, which was seized by Russia in 2014, and parts of the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, which have since been controlled by Russia-backed separatists.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin told Telegram on Sunday that he was visiting Mariupol, the country’s most senior government figure, to set foot in the city after weeks of Russian bombing.

Khusnullin, who is in charge of construction and urban development, visited the commercial port there and said it should serve to bring in building materials to restore the city, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry TV channel Zvezda.

A number of Western officials, including US First Lady Jill Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a leader of the German parliament and the Norwegian Foreign Minister arrived in Ukraine on Sunday to show support. A team of US diplomats also arrived in Kiev for the first time since the invasion.

Putin sent Victory Day messages to separatist leaders in Luhansk and Donetsk, saying Russia was fighting shoulder to shoulder with them, comparing their joint efforts to the war against Nazi Germany. “The victory will be ours,” Putin said in a statement from the Kremlin on Sunday.

Russia’s efforts have been hampered by logistical and equipment problems and huge losses in the face of fierce resistance.

On Monday, Putin will preside over a parade on Moscow’s Red Square of troops, tanks, rockets and intercontinental ballistic missiles and give a speech that could give a clue about the future of the war.

The Russians “have nothing to celebrate tomorrow,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told CNN. “They have not succeeded in defeating the Ukrainians. They have not succeeded in splitting the world or splitting NATO.”

Leave a Comment