Russia said it had invited United Nations and Red Cross experts to probe the deaths of dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war held by Moscow-backed separatists.
Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations over a missile strike or explosion early on Friday that appeared to have killed dozens of prisoners in the front-line town of Olenivka in eastern Donetsk.
A senior official in Russian-annexed Crimea accused Ukraine of carrying out a drone attack ahead of planned celebrations to mark Russia’s Navy Day, injuring five and forcing the cancellation of festivities. “An unidentified object flew into the courtyard of the fleet’s headquarters,” Mikhail Razvozhayev, governor of Sevastopol, home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet, wrote on the Telegram messaging app. The Ukrainian defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The mayor of the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, Oleksandr Senkevych said Mykolaiv had been hit by heavy Russian strikes overnight, with two people confirmed killed and three wounded. Senkevych wrote earlier on Telegram that the Mykolaiv strikes were “probably the most powerful of the entire time (of the war)”.
The southern city of Nikopol also came under heavy attack, the governor of Dnipropetrovsk, Valentyn Reznichenko, wrote on Telegram. He said up to 50 Grad rockets hit residential areas in Nikopol on Sunday morning, wounding one man and damaging homes and gas and water pipes.
Ukraine’s government has decided on a mandatory evacuation of people in the eastern Donetsk region, scene of fierce fighting with Russia, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday. He also said the hundreds of thousands of people still in combat zones in the larger Donbas region needed to leave.
Zelenskiy said the country’s harvest could be half its usual amount this year due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“The more people leave the Donetsk region now, the fewer people the Russian army will have time to kill,” Zelenskiy said in a televised address late on Saturday.