Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Sunday accused Russian troops of targeting civilians, including children, and called for an international investigation into the conflict.
“What they are doing in Kharkiv, Okhtyrka, Kyiv, Odessa, and other cities and towns deserves an international tribunal. We are documenting their crimes. And there would have been many more of these crimes if it hadn't been for our courageous defenders,” Zelensky said in a video address posted on his Facebook page.
“We have to call a spade a spade. Russia's criminal actions against Ukraine show signs of genocide. I spoke about this with the UN Secretary-General,” he said, arguing that Russia should be stripped of its voting rights on the UN Security Council.
Zelensky said there was “not a single facility in Ukraine the Russian troops would consider an unacceptable target.”
In the capital Kyiv, residents awoke Sunday to find the city still firmly under Ukrainian control, despite two massive explosions some 30 kilometers, or about 18 miles, south of the city lighting up the sky overnight.
Fighting has broken out on the streets of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, after Russian forces entered the city
The Russian Ministry of Defense has previously said it was targeting only military infrastructure, saying in a statement: “The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation do not strike cities and towns, they take all measures to save the lives of civilians.”
But Zelensky said Sunday: “They lied when they said they would not target civilian population. Since the first hours of the invasion, Russian troops have been hitting civilian infrastructure.”
“This is terror,” he added, while Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Russia was committing "war crimes."
“They are fighting against everything and everyone," Zelensky said. "They are [hitting] kindergartens, residential buildings, and even emergency vehicles. They use artillery and missiles against whole residential blocks where there have never have been any military infrastructure. Many Ukrainian cities and towns are surviving in conditions we previously had only during the World War II."
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