The United States and its allies are vowing to hold Russia accountable for crimes committed by its forces since they invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
U.S. Undersecretary of State Uzra Zeya told a U.N. Security Council meeting Thursday on strengthening accountability and justice for serious violations of international law that in nearly 100 days the world has seen Russian forces bomb maternity hospitals, train stations, apartment buildings and homes and even kill civilians cycling down the street.
Zeya said the United States is working with its allies to support a broad range of international investigations into atrocities in Ukraine.
Ireland’s Attorney General Paul Gallagher welcomed efforts over the last three months to support calls for justice in Ukraine, saying Ireland was one of 41 countries that quickly referred the situation in the country to the International Criminal Court.
Gallagher said the ICC has deployed a team of 42 investigators, forensic experts and support staff to investigate Russian crimes and support Ukrainian efforts.
Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused Western nations of “hypocrisy” for suddenly seeking international criminal justice over what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
KYIV, Ukraine —Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the fighting was brutal in the eastern Donbas but there has been “some progress” in the city of Sievierodonetsk, where Russian forces have been tightening their grip. He said it was too early to give specifics.
“It’s the toughest there right now. As in the cities and communities nearby – Lysychansk, Bakhmut and others,” Zekenskyy said late Thursday in his nightly video address to the nation. “There are many cities where the Russian attack is powerful.”
Zelenskyy said Russian forces were mobilizing people from areas of the Donbas that were already under their control and sending them into battle in the first line of attack, with Russian troops coming in behind them.
“The longer the war goes on, the more vile, shameful and cynical things Russia is forever inscribing in its history,” he said.
Zelenskyy said he was thankful to the United States for agreeing to send advanced rocket systems. “These weapons really can save the lives of our people and defend our land,” he said.
According to Zelenskyy, Ukraine is expecting deliveries of modern combat systems from other countries and noted that Sweden announced Thursday it was sending a new package of military assistance.
KYIV, Ukraine — Some 60 percent of the infrastructure and residential buildings in Lysychansk, one of only two cities in the east still under at least partial Ukrainian control, have been destroyed from attacks, a local official said Thursday.
Oleksandr Zaika, head of Lysychansk City Military-Civil Administration, said on an “information telemarathon” cited by the Unian news agency that non-stop shelling had knocked out electricity, natural gas, telephone and internet service.
One of the most critical pathways for supplies and evacuations, the Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway, is still open but under constant bombardment.
Humanitarian supplies are still reaching the city, where shrapnel and mines dot the landscape, he said.
Zaika said 20,000 people are left in the city, down from a pre-war population of 97,000.
Lysychansk is separated by a river from the other city in the region that’s still under at least partial Ukrainian control, Sievierodonetsk. It, too, is under Russian siege.