Ukrainian village of Ocheretyne left in ruins after Russian barrage

Author: Editors Desk Source: The Guardian
May 4, 2024 at 16:12
Screenshot 2024 05 04 161339
Screenshot 2024 05 04 161339

Kyiv says Moscow forces have gained ‘foothold’ in area north of Donetsk city after pounding depleted defenders


Drone footage shows destruction in Ukrainian village of Ocheretyne – video

The Ukrainian village of Ocheretyne has been battered by fighting, drone footage obtained by the Associated Press shows. The village has been a target for Russian forces in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

Russian troops have been advancing in the area, pounding Kyiv’s depleted, ammunition-deprived forces with artillery, drones and bombs. Ukraine’s military has acknowledged that Russia has gained a “foothold” in Ocheretyne, which had a population of about 3,000 before the war, but says the fighting there is continuing.

Residents have scrambled to flee the village, among them a 98-year-old woman who walked almost 6 miles (10km) alone last week, wearing a pair of slippers and supported by a cane, until she reached the Ukrainian frontline.

Not a single person is seen in the footage, and no building in Ocheretyne appears to have been left untouched by the fighting. Most houses, apartment blocks and other buildings look damaged beyond repair, and many houses have been reduced to piles of wood and bricks. A factory on the outskirts has also been badly damaged.

The footage shows smoke billowing from several houses and fires burning in at least two buildings.

Russia has in recent weeks also stepped up attacks on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city. Four people were wounded and a two-storey civilian building was damaged and set ablaze overnight after Russian forces struck the north-eastern city with exploding drones, the region’s governor, Oleh Syniehubov, said on Saturday.

The four people, including a 13-year-old, were hurt by falling debris, he said on the Telegram messaging app.

Moscow’s forces struck a drone warehouse in Kharkiv that had been used by Ukrainian troops, the Russian state agency RIA reported on Saturday, citing Sergei Lebedev, described as a coordinator of local pro-Moscow guerrillas. His comments could not be independently verified.

Russian forces continued hitting Kharkiv and its surroundings on Saturday, according to updates posted by Syniehubov and other Ukrainian officials on Telegram. One strike hit a civilian business in an industrial district of the city, wounding at least five people, Syniehubov said. A further attack killed a 49-year-old civilian outside his house in Slobozhanske, a village outside the city, the governor reported.

In the Black Sea port of Odesa, which has been repeatedly targeted in recent days, three people were hurt in a rocket attack on “civil infrastructure”, regional governor Oleh Kiper said.

Ukraine’s military said Russia launched 13 Shahed drones at the Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions of eastern Ukraine overnight, all of which were shot down by Ukrainian air defences.

Ukraine’s energy ministry on Saturday said overnight strikes damaged an electrical substation in the Dnipropetrovsk region, causing a brief power cut.

According to Serhiy Lysak, the province’s governor, falling drone debris damaged critical infrastructure and three private houses, one of which caught fire. Two residents were hospitalised.

Russia’s defence ministry said early on Saturday that its forces shot down four US-provided long-range Atacms missiles over the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014. The ministry did not provide further details.

Ukraine has recently begun using the missiles to hit Russian-held areas, including a military airfield in Crimea and in another area east of the occupied city of Berdiansk, US officials said last week.

Long sought by Ukrainian leaders, the new missiles give Ukraine nearly twice the striking distance – up to 186 miles – that it had with the mid-range versions it received from the US last October.

A Ukrainian drone also damaged telecommunications infrastructure on the outskirts of Belgorod, a Russian city about 31 miles from the Ukrainian border, according to the local governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, who did not say what the site was used for.

Hours later, Gladkov reported that five people in Belgorod were hospitalised, with shrapnel wounds and other injuries, after a strong blast on Saturday that also damaged about 30 private homes and caused two fires.

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