These images purport to show a school in eastern Ukraine that was hit by a Russian incendiary bomb, with a Ukrainian official saying that 200 schools have so far been destroyed by the invading forces.
The images were obtained from Pavlo Kirilenko, the Ukrainian Head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration, who said that they show School Number 6 in Avdiivka burning after it was hit by Russian ordnance during the night of Monday, June 20 and Tuesday, June 21.
Avdiivka is a city in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast region.
Kirilenko added (in English): “Last night, the invaders fired at her with the shells of the RSZO ‘Grad’ with a magnesium charge.”
Magnesium charges are typically used in incendiary bombs and missiles. Incendiary weapons are only expressly banned by international treaties if used against civilian populations.
Kirilenko also said: “This is the third school destroyed by the Russians in Avdiivka. In total, the occupants [have] destroyed about two hundred schools in [the] Donetsk region.
“And not to tell their hellish, rashist propaganda about ‘release’ and ‘denazification’, the truth is that Russian Orcs have come to our land to destroy and kill. Civilians first and foremost.”
Ukrainian forces regularly refer to the Russian troops as ‘rashists’, a combination of the words ‘Russian’ and ‘racist’, and as ‘orcs’.
We contacted Russian and Ukrainian officials for comment but had not received a reply at the time of writing.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is calling a “special military operation.” June 21 marks the 118th day of the invasion.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and June 21, Russia had lost about 34,100 personnel, 1,496 tanks, 3,606 armored combat vehicles, 752 artillery units, 239 multiple launch rocket systems, 98 air defense systems, 216 warplanes, 181 helicopters, 611 drones, 137 cruise missiles, 14 warships, 2,537 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 59 units of special equipment.
Russia has conducted an anti-ship missile exercise in the Baltic Sea amid escalating tensions with NATO member Lithuania after the country blocked the transit of goods to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
Ukrainian forces have said that they have been successfully thwarting fresh Russian attempts to advance in the Kharkiv region of north-eastern Ukraine.
And Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, has urged locals in the Kherson region to evacuate the area so as to help Ukrainian forces “de-occupy” the area.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Ukraine’s southern frontline as Ukrainian forces mount a counterattack in the region to push back Russian troops.
The new head of the British Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, has told British forces that they need to be ready to face Russia on the battlefield and said the British Army now needs to be capable of defeating Russia.
President Joe Biden has promised Kyiv another $1 billion in security assistance and weapons. And General Mark Milley says Russia has lost around 20 to 30 percent of its armored forces during the ongoing invasion.
President Zelenskyy said that a “historic week” has begun as Kyiv awaits a decision from Brussels regarding its EU candidate status.
Zelenskyy, speaking to the African Union on Monday, June 20, also accused Russia of holding Africa “hostage” over grain and fertilizer shortages.
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi held talks in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv with President Zelenskyy on June 16.
Former Russian president and staunch Vladimir Putin ally Dmitry Medvedev has derided French, German, and Italian leaders visiting the Ukrainian capital Kyiv as “fans of frogs, liverwurst and spaghetti.”
On June 8, the European Parliament adopted a resolution recommending that the European Union grant Ukraine the status of candidate country for EU membership. In the balloting, 438 Members of the European Parliament voted in favor of the resolution, with 65 voting against and 94 abstaining.
Independent Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov has auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize medal for 103.5 million dollars, with all the proceeds going to help Ukrainian refugees.
Muratov, 60, is the editor-in-chief of Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which he co-founded in 1993. He has been a vocal advocate for the freedom of the press and argued that it needs to remain independent from state influence.
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