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Loud explosions hit Mikolaiv; Zelensky accuses Russia of sowing “deliberate terror”

Powerful explosions rocked Mikolaiv in southern Ukraine on July 2, just a day after, according to kyiv, Russian missile strikes left 21 people dead in the neighboring Odessa region. The Ukrainian government accuses Moscow of escalating deliberate assaults on civilians. Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the attacks of its troops destroyed five command posts of the Ukrainian Army both in Mikolaiv and in the Donbass region.

The increase in Russian attacks against the civilian population would be sending a warning message at a time when the West seeks to give Ukraine weapons with greater reach. This was stated by the mayor of kyiv, Vitali Klitschko.

And it is that on day 129 of the war, the anti-aircraft sirens sounded again just before the city of Mikolaiv, which borders the export port of Odessa, was shaken by strong detonations, where a day before at least 21 people died, including two children, for Russian missile assaults. Actions that Moscow denies.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused the Kremlin of sowing “deliberate terror” against civilians; while the Russian Ministry of Defense limited itself to reporting that the actions of its troops hit command posts of the local Army and some weapons storages.

These are the main news of the day:

  • 07:03 (BOG) Ukraine destroys weapons left by Russia on Snake Island

In a Telegram message collected by the Ukrinform agency, Serhiy Bratchuk, a representative of the Odessa regional military administration, reported that the Ukrainian forces have finished destroying the equipment and weapons left behind by the Russian troops after their withdrawal from Zmiinyi Island, also known as like Isla Serpientes, in the Black Sea.

This image courtesy of Maxar Technologies released on June 30, 2022 shows an overview of Snake Island, Ukraine on June 17, 2022. Russian troops have abandoned their positions on this captured Ukrainian island.
This image courtesy of Maxar Technologies released on June 30, 2022 shows an overview of Snake Island, Ukraine on June 17, 2022. Russian troops have abandoned their positions on this captured Ukrainian island. © AFP / Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

Among the items destroyed are a Grad multiple launch rocket system, a Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft defense system, three armored and motorized vehicles, a tanker truck and a cache of other equipment, the official said.

kyiv has seen the departure of the Russians from the island they occupied at the start of the invasion as a victory, while Moscow maintains that it left the islet as a gesture of “goodwill”.

  • 6:27 (BOG) UK condemns arrests of its citizens by pro-Russian separatists

Boris Johnson’s government issued a statement after learning that two other Britons could be sentenced to death after being arrested by pro-Russian separatists in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine.

“We condemn the exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians for political purposes and we have raised this with Russia. We are in constant contact with the Ukrainian government about their cases and fully support Ukraine in its efforts to free them,” said a British Foreign Office spokesman.

Last June, two more Britons and a Moroccan were sentenced to death, after being accused of the same charges related to serving as alleged mercenaries in the conflict.

No date has yet been set for the execution of the sentences and at least two of the men are appealing against the verdict.

  • 6:03 (BOG) Two more Britons captured by Russia would face death penalty

Two other Britons held by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have been accused of fighting as mercenaries, Russian state media reported.

Under this designation, the detained citizens could face the death penalty.

According to a state news agency in Russian-controlled Donetsk, the Britons, identified as Andrew Hill of Plymouth and Dylan Healy, were also accused of “seizing power by force” and receiving “terrorist” training.

Until now it transpires that Hill is originally from the city of Plymouth, southwest of England, and the father of four children.

For his part, Dylan Healy has been working in Ukraine as a humanitarian aid volunteer, according to British media reports, which reported that he and another UK man, Paul Urey, were captured near Zaporizhia while driving to help evacuate a woman and two children.

The men’s backgrounds are likely to have little bearing on the outcome of a trial, which is taking place in the Donetsk People’s Republic, with a separatist government only recognized by Russia and Syria.

  • 5:40 (BOG) Russia claims it has attacked Ukrainian military sites in Mikolaiv and Donbass

Amid accusations from kyiv against Moscow for deliberately targeting civilians, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the actions of its troops in the last 24 hours were directed at military targets.

The ministry assured that its troops destroyed five command posts of the Ukrainian Army in the Donbass region and in Mikolaiv, with high-precision weapons.

He also noted that his military had struck three weapons storage sites in the Zaporizhia region and that the Russian air force had attacked a Ukrainian weapons and equipment base at a tractor factory in Kharkiv, in the northeast of the country.

  • 5:28 (BOG) Powerful explosions shake the Ukrainian city of Mikolaiv

The anti-aircraft sirens sounded again this Saturday, July 2, in Mikolaiv, in the south of Ukraine. “There are powerful explosions in the city! Stay in the shelters!” the city’s mayor, Oleksandr Senkevich, urged citizens.

It is still unknown if these events left fatalities. kyiv says Moscow is intensifying its long-range missile strikes, hitting civilian targets far from the front line of battle.

For its part, Russia claims it has been targeting military sites and denies targeting civilians. However, thousands of non-military people have been killed since Russia launched the war against Ukraine on February 24. An action that Moscow calls a “special military operation” to “demilitarize” and “denazify” the neighboring country.

kyiv’s previous intentions to join NATO, the political-military alliance led by the United States, and its rapprochement with the European Union were trigger points for Vladimir Putin’s fury by ordering the start of the conflict.

With Reuters, AP and local media

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Written by Editor TLN

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