UN Secretary General António Guterres condemned the missile attack by Russian forces on the center of Vinnytsia, a city far from the front line of the Russian war in Ukraine.

“The Secretary-General is appalled by [the July 14] missile attack against the city of Vinnytsia in central Ukraine,” reported the statement by the UN Secretary General.

The statement added: “The Secretary-General condemns any attacks against civilians or civilian infrastructure and reiterates his call for accountability for such violations.”

The European Union (EU) also strongly condemned the attack as an “atrocity” and said it was the “latest in a long series of brutal attacks targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure.”

“There can be no impunity for violations and crimes committed by the Russian forces and their political superiors,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and commissioner for crisis management Janez Lenarcic reported in a statement.

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On July 14, cruise missiles fired from a Russian submarine in the Black Sea hit civilian districts of Vinnytsia, including an office center and residential buildings. At least 23 civilians were killed, including one child in a baby stroller and her mother.

State emergency services said at least 52 people were injured. The city council in Vinnytsya said many of them were in a serious or critical condition. At least 39 people remain unaccounted for.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba reported that three children were among those murdered. In his tweet, he posted a photo of the body of one of the children.

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“This is terrorism,” Kuleba said. “It’s deliberate murder of civilians to spread fear. Russia is a terrorist state and must be legally recognized as such.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky referred to the atrocity in his daily national address. “A girl is among the dead today in Vinnytsia. She was four years-old and her name was Liza. The child was four years old! Her mother is in a critical condition.”

The President Zelensky called the Russian attack in Vinnytsia “an open act of terrorism”.

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“Every day, Russia kills civilians, kills Ukrainian children and carries out missile attacks on civilian facilities where there is no military target. What is this, if not an open terrorist act?” Zelensky added on his Telegram channel.

In an address later to EU officials at The Hague, Zelensky said that Russia fired eight rockets, two of which hit the city center. He led a moment of silence before urging European and International Criminal Court officials to open a dedicated tribunal into Russia’s invasion.

“I believe it is inevitable that the International Criminal Court will bring accountability to those guilty of crimes under its jurisdiction: war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide,” the President added.

 

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