By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV/MOSCOW (Worthy News) – Explosions have been reported in the south and east of Ukraine as the ongoing Russian invasion of the country continued despite a mounting death toll on both sides. The clashes came as advocacy group Amnesty International expressed concerns about how Ukrainian forces are trying to stop the invasion.
Amid the ruins, people in Ukraine’s southern city of Mykolaiv faced new explosions Thursday. They came shortly after the mayor blamed Russia for strikes that destroyed a supermarket and nearby residential building. “I don’t have words,” said heartbroken Olesia, the owner of a destroyed apartment here. “The blast blew the glass out of the frames. We tried to fix it, so it didn’t fall inside. It might fall any second, though.”
Another resident Artem Shevchenko shows what is left of his parents’ apartment overlooking the destroyed supermarket. “We wanted to come home and spend the night here. But somehow, our hearts told us to leave. We left just before the strikes hit,” he recalled.
“You can see the destruction now. We renovated this apartment for our parents. But we had to bury my father because he fell into a coma after one explosion and died,” he added.
They aren’t the only residents suffering. Fresh explosions were also reported Thursday in parts of the eastern Donetsk region occupied by Russian forces.
Yet there is international concern that Ukrainian forces are violating international law and endangering civilians by establishing bases in residential areas. Amnesty International reported such bases, including in schools and hospitals.
However, it stressed that the Ukrainian defenders’ tactics in no way justify what it called Russia’s “indiscriminate attacks” and some Russian “war crimes,” including in the city of Kharkiv.
The fighting came while in Russia, news emerged that Russian prosecutors asked for the U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner to be sentenced to nine and a half years in prison on drugs charges.
Critics say the Kremlin wraps up her politically motivated trial before a possible prisoner exchange.
Griner was arrested just days before Russia invaded Ukraine, which saw an already tense relationship between Washington and Moscow break down.
But prosecutors in the Russian court said Griner’s arrest on drug charges was “fully proven” and demanded she serves nearly a decade in a high-security prison and pay a hefty fine.
A guilty verdict appeared to be a foregone conclusion as Griner’s conviction would be a necessary step towards a prisoner exchange with the U.S.
Yet it would provide some families hope at a time when many mourn the tens of thousands killed in the escalating war.
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