Russia-Ukraine live updates Russian forces enter Kharkiv, second-largest city, as Putin intensifies invasion
"MOSCOW — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday accused Russia of attacking civilian targets and warned that Russian crimes in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, towns and villages was genocide that “would lead to an international tribunal” for the perpetrators.
Speaking early Sunday, looking tired and unshaven, he said “last night was brutal” in Ukraine: “Shelling again, bombing of residential areas, civilian infrastructure again.
“Russia’s criminal actions against Ukraine have the sign of genocide,” he said. “Russia is on the path of evil,” he said, calling for Russia to be stripped of its U.N. Security Council vote.
“There is not a single — not a single — object in the country today that the occupiers would not consider a permissible target,” he said referring to Russian forces, adding that Ukraine was collecting evidence to refer to an international tribunal.
“They are fighting against everybody, they are fighting against everything alive: against kindergartens, against residential houses and even against ambulances. They use rocket artillery, rockets against entire urban areas where there is no military infrastructure and never has been.”
Speaking with visible anger he listed cities that came under indiscriminate attacks of a kind he said had not seen in Ukraine since World War II: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Vasylkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy.
Russia has denied targeting civilian infrastructure in the course of its invasion. Russia’s Defense Ministry said Sunday it launched long range cruise missiles from ships and warplanes striking “military infrastructure.”
Soon after Zelensky’s speech, Putin issued a prerecorded message of his own on the occasion of Special Operations day and congratulated the nations’ special forces for “their impeccable service” with “special gratitude to those who these days are heroically fulfilling their military duty in the course of a special operation to provide assistance to the People’s republics of Donbass.”
Zelensky addressed the citizens of neighboring Belarus as well, saying the Belarusian leader enabled Russian attacks on Ukraine from Belarusian soil.
“From your territory, Russian Federation troops are launching missiles at Ukraine. From your territory they kill our children, destroy our homes, try to blow up everything that was built over decades. And, by the way, not only by us, but also by our fathers, our grandfathers.
“You decide who you are, you decide who you will be, how you will look your children in the eyes, how you will look each other, your neighbors. And we are your neighbors. We are your neighbors, we are Ukrainians,” Zelensky said. “Be Belarus, not Russia.”