UN says 20 percent more Ukrainian civilian casualties were recorded in March over the previous month

Exactly 604 civilians were either killed or wounded last month by missiles and aerial munitions strikes nationwide as Russia has increased bombardment amid Ukraine’s shortage in air defense capabilities.

Among the casualties were 57 children killed, double the previous month, the UN’s Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine says.

There is documented proof that Russia exclusively targets non-military, civilian areas and has concentrated efforts to strike critical infrastructure, such as power and hydroelectric plants to blackout Ukraine.

Six main thermal power plants and two hydroelectric plants were struck in March, according to state-run Ukrhydroenergo and privately owned DTEK.

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Not immune to strikes are churches, hospitals, schools, residential buildings, hotels, and commercial businesses, such as pizzerias, where foreign journalists and international aid workers can be found.

“Mines and explosive remnants of war killed and injured at least 28 civilians, including seven agricultural workers,” the report added. “The onset of the spring agricultural season increased the risk for farmers as they began working the land.”

A total of 31,366 civilian casualties since February 2022 were listed in the latest UN report, of whom 10,810 were killed.

Ukrainian human rights organizations say those figures are much higher.

Russia Launches Overnight Missile Attack Against Ukraine, Multiple Regions Targeted
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Russia Launches Overnight Missile Attack Against Ukraine, Multiple Regions Targeted

The Ukrainian Air Force reported on the morning of May 30 that air defense units had intercepted 33 Shahed drones and 7 out of 11 launched cruise missiles overnight.

A residential building in Odesa is ablaze on April 29, following a Russian aerial strike that caused 32 civilian casualties, including four killed. (State Emergencies Service of Ukraine)

Thirty-two civilian casualties were reported in Odesa after a Russian aerial attack

Five civilians were killed in the Black Sea port city of Odesa on April 29, following a Russian aerial attack.

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Twenty-eight other civilians were wounded, of whom two were aged five and 16 years old, the city’s mayoral office and the region’s military administration said.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Russian authorities continuously deny specifically targeting civilian areas.

Ukrainian Celebrity chef Kolopotenko releases second English-language recipe book

The Kyiv-based chef who spearheaded promoting the savory beetroot soup called borshch to be designated as part of Ukraine’s “intangible” cultural heritage at the UN is publishing his second English-language recipe book on May 14.

A pre-released book obtained by the Kyiv Post, titled, “The Authentic Ukrainian Kitchen,” highlights his devotion to Ukrainian cuisine beyond the usual staples of varenyky (filled-dough dumplings), borshch (beetroot soup) and holubtsi (stuffed cabbage).

To compile his repertoire of recipes, Yevhen Klopotenko traversed every region of Ukraine to seek out regional tastes, and ingredients and re-read books dating to the 18th century, one of which was written by Ivan Kotliarevsky, who introduced the Ukrainian language in literary form.

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He transformed himself more into an anthropologist during his journey as he sampled regional recipes, including a borsch dish made from boar’s blood in the northwestern Volyn region.

His Kyiv-based restaurant, 100 Rokiv Tomu Vpered, is often frequented by visiting dignitaries, journalists, and tourists. He also owns the Inshi Bistro eatery in Lviv located in western Ukraine. That restaurant provides food to people who are unable to pay.

The recipe book is divided into the categories of “Breads and Dips,” “Appetizers,” “Breakfast,” “Salads,” “Soup and Borsch,” “Main Dishes,” “Sweets” and “Drinks.”

It comes in hardcover and is being sold online for $40.

He calls it a “love letter to the diverse culture and foodways of Ukraine – and a reclamation of the rich culinary customs as they were intended before Soviet influence and collectivization changed the trajectory of the cuisine throughout.”

Klopotenko dedicated his latest recipe book “to all the fallen defenders and those who are fighting for the free future of Ukraine.”

In 2015, he won the Master Chef Ukraine culinary competition, an experience, he said, that didn't satisfy him. He spoke Russian on the show but has since switched to speaking Ukrainian.

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The back cover of Kyiv-based chef Yevhen Klopotenko's latest recipe book in English that is being released next month. (Mark Raczkiewycz)

Zelensky speaks about prisoners of war with commander-in-chief

President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 29 spoke about “the hottest areas” along the frontline with his commander-in-chief, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky.

After meeting with the general staff of all the military and security forces, the president said he addressed the topic of having more Ukrainian prisoners of war released from Russian captivity.

“Today, I also held a meeting of the Staff. The Commander-in-Chief delivered a detailed report,” Zelensky said in his nightly address. “The front line. Our positions. The hottest areas. The supplies we expect. There was also a report by the Chief of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, and representatives of the Coordination Headquarters on negotiations for the release of POWs.”

A March UN report said that Russia continues to “torture” and “execute” Ukrainian prisoners of war amid “credible allegations.”

“Almost every single one of the Ukrainian POWs we interviewed described how Russian servicepersons or officials tortured them during their captivity, using repeated beatings, electric shocks, threats of execution, prolonged stress positions, and mock execution. Over half of them were subjected to sexual violence,” said Danielle Bell who heads the UN human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine.

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Article 13 of the UN’s Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners says they should “be treated humanely.”

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