In the Russian attacks on Kramatorsk, two people died and eight were wounded, Mayor Oleksandr Goncharenko announced. He accused the Russian army of using cluster bombs.
The mayor’s claims from Facebook were supported by journalists from the French news agency AFP. According to their report, at 4 p.m. local time, ten explosions were heard almost consecutively, and then smoke billowed over southern Kramatorsk.
The United Nations has repeatedly warned against the use of cluster bombs since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. They said cluster bombs are used by both sides, as neither Russia nor Ukraine are signatories to the 2008 Convention on the Prohibition of Cluster Munitions.
A cluster bomb consists of many smaller bombs, which, after the cluster bomb explodes in the air after being launched from aircraft or from cannons, scatter over an area several hundred meters wide. Because many do not explode immediately, they pose a significant threat to civilian populations long after conflicts have ended.
Kramatorsk, which had a population of around 150,000 before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year, and another 80,000 in December last year, is close to Bakhmut, which has been a hotbed of conflict for months. The city is a regular target of Russian shelling, and since the Russian occupation of Donetsk in 2014, it has functioned as the regional center of the Donetsk region.
Last April, a Russian missile hit a railway station in Kramatorsk, killing around 60 civilians trying to flee the province.
Russian drone attacks on Lviv
Earlier, the Ukrainian army announced that Russia had targeted targets in the relatively peaceful region of Lviv in the far west of the country in air strikes, according to the French news agency AFP.
In a post on the online Telegram network, the Ukrainian forces announced that the air defense shot down 11 out of 16 Iranian-made Shahed-136 and Shahed-131 aircraft.
According to the Ukrainian Air Force, the Russian military launched the attacks from the Sea of Azov and from the western Russian province of Bryansk.
So far, there are no reports of possible victims of the attacks, but one aircraft is said to have hit critical infrastructure in the Dnipropetrovsk region. Several houses were destroyed and damaged in the fire that then broke out.
The planes also unsuccessfully attacked Kiev, the authorities in the Ukrainian capital announced.
Putin visited Crimea on the 9th anniversary of annexation
Russian President Vladimir Putin meanwhile, on the ninth anniversary of the unilateral annexation, he visited the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.
During an unannounced visit to the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, he visited an art school, accompanied by the Russian governor of the peninsula Mihail Razvozhaevthe coverage of Russian state television is summarized by the German news agency DPA.
Razvozhaev said on the Telegram social network that Putin was not expected, but with the visit “positively surprised“, and emphasized that the Russian president is always with the people of Sevastopol.
On this day in 2014, Putin formally signed an agreement on the annexation of this Ukrainian territory, which is not recognized by the international community.
Biden: The ICC warrant is justified
Meanwhile, the president of the United States Joe Biden responded to the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for the Russian president Vladimir Putin. He marked her as justified.
In a conversation with reporters at the White House, he highlighted the strong message value of such an act, emphasizing that the US does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC.
Biden said it was clear that the Russian president had committed war crimes in Ukraine, the French news agency AFP reported.
On Friday, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin on suspicion of being responsible for the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children from the occupied territories. The court also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-BelovaRussian President’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights.
Otherwise, the ICC cannot act against the Russian leadership, including President Putin, because, like the United States, neither Russia nor Ukraine are signatories to the Rome Statute, which is the court’s legal basis.
Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump signed an executive order in mid-2020 authorizing the imposition of sanctions against ICC officials involved in the investigation into possible war crimes by US soldiers and intelligence agents in Afghanistan.
The then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo because of the investigation of war crimes by the Americans, he attacked the ICC, which he described as “the so-called court”which has revealed itself as a naked body politic by attempting to prosecute Americans.
Scholz welcomed the court’s decision
Even the German chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed the ICC’s arrest warrant for Russian President Putin for alleged war crimes in Ukraine during a visit to Japan. He warned that no one was above the law and said the ICC was the right institution to investigate war crimes.
Švarc Pipan: The warrant for Putin’s arrest is a historic step
Minister of Justice Dominika Švarc Pipan meanwhile, hailed the ICC’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Putin as a historic step in efforts to prosecute those responsible for crimes committed during Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
As the minister wrote in response to Friday’s ICC decision, it is an important signal to the highest Russian leaders, both military and civilian, that they are exposed to international criminal prosecution for crimes committed in the context of illegal Russian aggression in Ukraine, especially since in this first crimes against children are at the fore.
Putin’s travels limited
The warrant also severely limits Putin’s international cooperation and travel outside of Russia, as all 123 countries party to the Rome Statute have an international legal obligation to assist the ICC in carrying out his arrest and handing him over to the court for prosecution, she pointed out.
“At the same time, it is not insignificant that already at the earliest stage 43 countries formally supported the jurisdiction of the ICC to investigate and prosecute crimes in the Russian-Ukrainian war by notifying the court of the situation, in accordance with the Rome Statute,added Švarc Pipan.
Both prime ministers responded to the warrant for Putin’s arrest already on Friday Robert Dove and Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon. They emphasized that Slovenia is among the 43 countries that initiated the initiation of criminal prosecution.
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