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Ukraine war: Russia launches second ‘hypersonic missile’ attack – as thousands of Mariupol residents ‘forcibly deported’

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Russia says it has launched a hypersonic missile attack on Ukraine for the second consecutive day, amid claims that thousands of people trapped in a besieged city have been “forcibly deported” to Russian territory.

The weapon – known as Kinzhal, meaning dagger – hit a Ukrainian fuel depot near the Black Sea port of Mykolaiv, a Russian defence ministry official said.

It is the second day in a row that Russia says it has used the missile, which is capable of striking targets 1,250 miles away at a speed 10 times the speed of sound.

In separate attacks, an art school where 400 people were taking refuge in Mariupol was destroyed and authorities in Kharkiv said at least five civilians – including a nine-year-old boy – had been killed by Russian shelling.

People are feared trapped under the rubble of the school building in Mariupol, the city’s council said, but there was no immediate information on the number of casualties.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said the siege of Mariupol – where hundreds of thousands of people are trapped and facing relentless bombardment – is “a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come”.

The situation in Ukraine on Sunday

Key developments:

• Russia says it struck Ukraine with cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea
• Some 56 people were killed after Russian troops opened fire on an old people’s home in the city of Kreminna, Ukraine claims
• Ukraine’s deputy prime minister tells Sky News she believes genocide is being committed against Ukrainian people
• Pope Francis has denounced Russia’s “repugnant war” against Ukraine as “cruel and sacrilegious inhumanity”
• Ten million people have been displaced inside Ukraine or have fled abroad, the UN says
• UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak defends Boris Johnson for comparing Ukrainians fighting Russia’s invasion with British people voting for Brexit

Mariupol residents ‘taken to filtration camps’

Mariupol’s city council said several thousand residents had been forcibly deported into Russian territory over the past week.

It said Russia “illegally took people” from Livoberezhniy district and from a sports club building which was being used by more than a thousand residents as a bomb shelter.

The Kremlin has claimed buses carrying “refugees” from Mariupol began arriving in Russia on Tuesday.

Mariupol’s mayor Vadym Boychenko compared the actions of Russian forces to the Nazis capturing and deporting civilians during the Second World War.

He said: “It is known that the captured Mariupol residents were taken to filtration camps, where the occupiers checked people’s phones and documents.

“After the inspection, some Mariupol residents were redirected to remote cities in Russia; the fate of others remains unknown.

“What the occupiers are doing today is familiar to the older generation, who saw the horrific events of World War Two, when the Nazis forcibly captured people.

“It is hard to imagine that in the 21st century people would be forcibly deported to another country.

“Not only are Russian troops destroying our peaceful Mariupol, they have gone even further and started deporting Mariupol residents.”

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister told Sky News she believed genocide was being committed against Ukrainian people.

Olha Stefanishyna alleged that Russia had committed “nearly all possible war crimes that humanity has seen”, with women being raped and murdered and children killed.

She told Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “I absolutely believe it (is a genocide). I am a lawyer myself and I commit myself to implementation of the decision.”

She added: “Ukraine will resist as long as it is needed to make sure no terror, no genocide is committed on this land in the 21st century.”

Second hypersonic missile strike on Ukraine as attacks launched from seas, says Russia

The Russian military said its latest hypersonic missile hit a Ukrainian fuel depot in Kostiantynivka.

The previous day, the Russian military said a hypersonic missile was used for the first time in combat to destroy an ammunition depot in the Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine.

The fuel depot strike also involved Kalibr cruise missiles launched by Russian warships from the Caspian Sea, according to Russia.

Meanwhile, Kalibr missiles launched from the Black Sea were used to destroy an armour repair plant in Nizhyn in the Chernihiv region in northern Ukraine, it added.

Russia said air-launched missiles also hit a Ukrainian facility in the northern Zhytomyr region where foreign fighters and Ukrainian special forces were based.

Ukraine’s ministry of defence said that its forces had shot down three Russian combat helicopters.

It said Russian forces had spent Saturday focusing on “replenishing current losses, restoring partially destroyed equipment, transferring foreign mercenaries to border areas with Ukraine…” rather than conducting “offensive operations”.

The UK Ministry of Defence said Russian forces continued to encircle a number of Ukraine’s eastern cities and it looked likely Vladimir Putin’s troops would continue to use heavy firepower “to support assaults on urban areas… at the cost of further civilian casualties”.

Siege of Mariupol ‘will go down in history of war crimes’

The attack on the art school in Mariupol comes after Russia bombed a theatre in the city that was being used as a bomb shelter, with more than a thousand people feared trapped.

Officials said 130 people were rescued but many more could remain under the debris.

Mariupol, a strategic port on the Azov Sea, has been encircled by Russian troops, cut off from energy, food and water supplies and faced a relentless bombardment.

Mr Zelenskyy has said the siege of Mariupol “will go down in history” for what he said were war crimes committed by Russian troops.

“To do this to a peaceful city, what the occupiers did, is a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come,” the Ukrainian president said in a video address to the nation.

In a separate speech, the Ukrainian president also criticised the Swiss food giant Nestle, which has decided not to withdraw from Russia for the time being, unlike many other international companies.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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