Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, has claimed that Russian forces have ‘completely destroyed’ Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region and accused Moscow of trying to ‘increase pressure’ with ‘brutal’ and ‘senseless’ bombardments.
In his latest video address on Thursday night, the Ukrainian leader said the Kremlin had intensified its offensive following the withdrawal of its troops from Kharkiv, east of Kyiv putting even more pressure on Donbas.
Zelensky also repeated that Russia was carrying out genocide and said those who ‘give and carry out criminal orders’ would be brought to justice ‘within the international tribunal’.
Speaking in a video posted to his social media account, Zelensky said: ‘In Donbas, the occupiers are trying to increase pressure. There’s hell and that’s not an exaggeration.
‘Donbas is completely destroyed. All this doesn’t and cannot have any military explanation for Russia.’
He added: ‘This is a deliberate and criminal attempt to kill as many Ukrainians as possible, and destroy as many houses, social facilities, and enterprises as possible.
‘This is what will be qualified as the genocide of the Ukrainian people and for which occupiers will definitely be brought to justice.
‘The first trial in Ukraine against a Russian war criminal has already begun and it will end with the full restoration of justice within the international tribunal. I’m sure of it. We will find and bring to justice all those who give and carry out criminal orders.’
Zelensky went on to talk about the ‘constant’ strikes across the country – referencing the ‘terrible’ air and missile strikes in Desna, Chernihiv Oblast.
‘The brutal and absolutely pointless bombing of Severodonetsk – 12 dead and dozens wounded in just one day.
‘The bombing and shelling of other cities, the air and missile strikes of the Russian army – all this is not just hostilities during the war.
‘Russian strikes at the Chernihiv region, in particular the terrible strike at Desna, debris clearance continues, many dead; constant strikes at the Odesa region at the cities of central Ukraine.’ he added.