Russia accused of 'callous' attacks on civilians as '500kg' bomb drops on homes

7 March 2022, 08:12 | Updated: 7 March 2022, 08:31

People cross a destroyed bridge as they evacuate the city of Irpin
People cross a destroyed bridge as they evacuate the city of Irpin. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Russian troops have been accused of carrying out a "callous, calculated, deliberate assault on civilians" as they carry out Putin's orders in the invasion of Ukraine.

The British ambassador to the country Melinda Simmons said today: "The Russian invasion of Ukraine is more and more a callous, calculated, deliberate assault on civilians."

A war crimes investigation was opened last week and further harrowing incidents emerged over the weekend, including a mother and two children who were killed, and the father was wounded by a mortar shell in Irpin near Kyiv.

Ukraine's president Zelenskyy said yesterday: "Today, a family of four, parents and two children, were killed in Irpin as they were trying to leave the city. We will not forgive. We will not forget."

An 18-month-old boy named Kirill was fatally wounded in the the southern city of Mariupol over the weekend, and there were widespread reports of civilian targets being struck by Russian forces.

Further grim details of the Russians' efforts to target civilians emerged as images from Chernihiv show a 500kg bomb that was dropped on a residential block.

Read more: Zelenskyy warns he 'will not forgive' after civilians massacred fleeing Ukraine

Read more: Russia shells nuclear reactor in Kharkiv amid warnings of 'large-scale disaster'

Ukraine's Foreign minister posted a picture of the bomb on Twitter, writing: "This horrific 500-kg Russian bomb fell on a residential building in Chernihiv and didn’t explode.

"Many other did, killing innocent men, women and children. Help us protect our people from Russian barbarians! Help us close the sky. Provide us with combat aircraft. Do something!"

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's wife pleaded with international media to 'tell the terrible truth' that Putin's troops are killing children "consciously and cynically".

Olena Zelenska posted on Instagram that Russians had been killing Ukrainian children since Putin's forces invaded on February 24.

She pleaded for Nato to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine to "save our children, because tomorrow it will save yours".

She said: "The Russian occupiers are killing Ukrainian children. Consciously and cynically."

In Ukraine, a second temporary ceasefire designed to allow citizens to escape two cities failed to hold, as fresh photographs showed the desperation of those trying to escape the war.

Russia became more isolated from the West as further companies severed ties with the state.

On Sunday, Tiktok blocked its Russian users from posting new videos and Netflix said it was suspending its service in Russia.

Russian forces intensified shelling of cities in Ukraine's centre, north and south, a Ukrainian official said, hitting attempts to evacuate besieged civilians.

Russia has said another ceasefire would start on Monday morning with the opening of humanitarian corridors in several areas, including Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shifted blame for the invasion, saying Moscow's attacks could be halted "only if Kyiv ceases hostilities".

The outskirts of Kyiv, Chernihiv in the north, Mykolaiv in the south, and Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city, faced stepped-up shelling late on Sunday, presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich said.

Heavy artillery hit residential areas in Kharkiv and shelling damaged a television tower, according to local officials.

"This is likely to represent an effort to break Ukrainian morale," the UK Ministry of Defence said of Russian tactics as the war entered its 12th day.

Fighting has caused 1.5 million people to flee the country, which the head of the UN refugee agency called "the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II".

Russia has made significant advances in southern Ukraine and along the coast, but many of its efforts have become stalled, including an immense military convoy that has been almost motionless for days north of Kyiv.

Food, water, medicine and almost all other supplies were in desperately short supply in the southern port city of Mariupol, where Russian and Ukrainian forces had agreed to an 11-hour cease-fire that would allow civilians and the wounded to be evacuated.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Peter Jenkins confessed to sexually abusing young girls over a period of two decades

Teacher who ran church holiday club jailed for string of child sex offences after he handed himself into police

Millions of Brits face fresh water restrictions as Londoners are expected to be hit by a hosepipe ban

Now London faces hosepipe ban: 24m Brits to be hit with restrictions 'by the end of the week'

Cornwall hit by flash flooding as thunderstorms sweep across the UK

Flash flooding and torrential rain sweeps into the UK as record breaking heatwave is washed away

Ikea Shanghai

Shoppers rush the doors in Shanghai Ikea after flash Covid lockdown ordered

The attack took place in Poland Street

Bloodbath near Oxford Street: Man stabbed to death at Korean restaurant in fourth London killing in days

The propagandist posted images of himself at the HQ on Telegram

Ukraine blows up Russia's 'Wagner mercenary HQ' after street sign gives away location

Adele Milloz

World champion ski mountaineer Adele Milloz dies after fall while climbing in the Alps

70 companies in the UK have been trialling a four-day week

UK's four-day week in jeopardy as pilot study gets off to rocky start

The new booster targets both the original Covid strain and the Omicron variant

Omicron booster vaccine authorised for use in UK in world first

Mr Mendy's trial has begun

Man City star Benjamin Mendy and co-accused 'saw women as things to be used for sex then thrown to one side'

Brandon Lewis

Boris Johnson still working and takes ‘red boxes’ on holiday, says Brandon Lewis

Jacob Rees-Mogg has told civil servants to search guests' social media profiles

Trawl guests' social media for 'extremism' and criticism of government policy, Rees-Mogg tells civil servants

Freya the walrus has been killed in Norway after crowds kept getting too close

Freya the walrus put to death in Norway because public wouldn’t stay away

Bus services could be at risk without post-pandemic funding, mayors have warned

Hundreds of bus routes could be axed as communities face being cut off from public transport, mayors warn

Harry and Meghan to return to Britain

Harry and Meghan to return: Sussexes will visit UK next month for the first time since Platinum Jubilee

Anne Heche's life support has been withdrawn after her husband shared a tearful tribute

Anne Heche's life support switched off as ex-husband pays tribute to 'brave and fearless' Hollywood star