Ukraine War Update: Heavy Russian Shelling Kills 15 In Donetsk – Russian artillery and missiles continue to pound Ukrainian cities across the country. To make matters even worse, a missile destroyed an entire section of a large apartment building in Chasiv Yar. The blast killed at least 15 people, while emergency first responders searched the rubble for survivors.
The Latest from Ukraine: What We Know
Emergency workers have already pulled five survivors from the rubble. Emergency workers have established contact with other survivors buried deep in the rubble according to witnesses on the scene.
Chasiv Yar is located in the Donetsk Oblast about 12 miles behind the front lines where the next Russian offensive is expected to begin shortly.
The Ukrainian governor of the region Pavlo Kyrylenko said three Russian Uragan rockets hit the five-story apartment building, while the Russian military also claimed to have leveled a warehouse that housed American-made M-777 howitzers near Kostantinovka.
Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a Telegram post that Russia should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism characterizing the strike as “another terrorist attack.”
In preparation for the next phase of their planned offensive to take the industrial heartland of the Donbas, the Russian military is following their playbook with massive artillery and missile strikes on mainly civilian areas, consisting of the cities of Bakhmut, Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, Druzhkivka, and Kostiantynivka. Other smaller towns and villages are likewise being struck as well.
The rockets targeting Chasiv Yar hit the apartment building at approximately 9:00 p.m. when most people would be in their homes. The missiles used were not precision-guided weapons, so specific targeting is impossible. It was, as has been the Russian tactic of trying to wear down the will of the population to resist.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Russian army had once again targeted civilians on purpose.
“It fired precisely at the residential sector – absolutely deliberately, purposefully, at ordinary houses and civilian objects,” he said in a released statement.
Ukraine’s Zelensky Replacing Several Foreign Ambassadors:
In other news, President Zelensky has fired Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melynk, a week after Melynk, who has been in his post since 2014, gave an interview in which he defended the legacy of a World War II nationalist leader who collaborated with Nazi Germany. He also announced the replacement of Ukraine’s ambassadors to India, the Czech Republic, Norway, and Hungary and said new candidates were being readied for the positions.
Unlike the firing of Melnyk, “This rotation is a normal part of diplomatic practice,” he said in a statement.
Melnyk appeared on a show, “Jung and Nai” on June 29, and defended Stepan Bandera, the leader of a Ukrainian far-right Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists during World War II. The group embraced fascist ideology and collaborated with German forces when they occupied Ukraine. Many of its forces assisted in the roundup and mass murders of Poles and Jews, although Bandera had no part in any of it, having been arrested and held by the Nazis early in 1941.
Melnyk had been an outspoken advocate for the Germans and the West to supply Ukraine with better, and more advanced weapons to defend themselves against the Russian invasion. He once accused German Chancellor Olaf Scholz of acting like an “offended liverwurst sausage” for refusing to visit Kyiv.
Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 19fortyfive.com and other military news organizations, he has covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for over 11 years. His work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.