Ukraine Says Russia Bombing School a ‘War Crime’ as 60 Feared Dead

Ukraine Says Russia Bombing School a ‘War Crime’ as 60 Feared Dead

Up to 60 people are feared dead after a Russian strike destroyed a school in Ukraine’s Luhansk region, which Ukrainian officials have called a “war crime.”

In a tweet early Sunday, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said a school sheltering 60 people in the village of Bilohorivka had been shelled on Saturday.

The tweet said Russia “committed this brutal war crime shortly before the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, constantly repeating the tragedy of World War II.”

Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, said 90 people had been sheltering in the school’s basement when the building was attacked. He specified that the building had been hit by a bomb from an aircraft and not a shell.

In a post on Telegram alongside pictures of the devastation, Haidai said “almost the entire village was hiding” in the school’s basement.

Haidai said 30 people had been rescued from the rubble following the strike.

In another post, he reported that two dead bodies had been discovered after firefighters extinguished a blaze caused by the bomb.

“The fire was put out after almost four hours, then the debris was cleared and, unfortunately, the bodies of the two victims were found,” he wrote.

A final death toll will emerge when the rubble is cleared, but Haidai said that “most likely, all 60 people who remained under the rubble of buildings died.”

The governor also said that two boys, aged 11 and 14, had been killed in Russian strikes in the town of Pryvillia, while a 69-year-old woman and two girls, aged 8 and 12, were seriously injured.

“These are the real atrocities of the ‘Russian world’: the cynical shelling of a school with a bomb shelter, the murder of children in Pryvillia. The Russians don’t care who they kill.”

In another post, Haidai said Russian shelling in the village of Shypilovo had struck a building where 11 people has ben sheltering.

The reports could not immediately be verified, and drew no immediate response from Russia. Newsweek has contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.

They come as Russia prepares for Victory Day celebrations on Monday, marking the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.

Western intelligence reports have suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin could use the occasion to formally declare war on Ukraine, which the Kremlin has denied.

In April, U.K. defense officials said Russia “likely desires to demonstrate significant successes” ahead of Victory Day on May 9.

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Last Update: Sun, 08 May 22 09:46:11