Russia Steps Up Bombings in Ukraine Ahead of EU Sanctions Meeting

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Six people were killed in a bombing on Monday (07.18.2022) in the city of Toretsk, eastern Ukraine, where Moscow is intensifying its operations to coincide with a meeting in Brussels where EU foreign ministers want to increase pressure against Russia with new sanctions.

On the ground, a shell attack on a building in Toretsk, a city of some 30,000 inhabitants in the Donetsk region, killed six people, according to local officials. Donetsk is one of two provinces that make up the Donbas mining basin, which Moscow seeks to control.

The attack hit a structure on the outskirts of the city, known as “the house of prayer,” which housed Jehovah’s Witnesses before the war, said a neighbor whose home is 30 meters away.

“I had the window open, there was a huge explosion around 5 in the morning, with stones and dust,” Nadejda told AFP, still shaking. A soldier who prohibited access to the building confirmed the balance but refused to specify whether it was uniformed.

In the past 24 hours, two more people have been killed by Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city near the Russian border, according to Governor Oleg Sinegubov. Attacks were also reported in Mykolaiv and in the Odesa region (south) and in Nikopol (center), on the banks of the Dnieper River.

For his part, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said succinctly that 250 “foreign mercenaries” were killed in a Russian bombardment of the Donetsk town of Konstantinovka.

On July 24, it will be six months since the beginning of the war, without there currently being a global balance of the victims left by this conflict.

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Meanwhile, the pro-Russian militias of the self-proclaimed republic of Lugansk (east) assured this Monday that they have taken “operational control” of the town of Síversk, an important railway junction in Donetsk, considered key by the Russians for the advance of the offensive. in the Donbas.

“Siversk is totally under our operational control. There is fighting in the city and its surroundings,” Vitali Kiseliov, adviser to the Minister of the Interior of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Lugansk, was quoted by the Russian agency TASS as saying on Monday.

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