Russian forces are attacking Ukrainian residents in their sleep, authorities say

Just hours after Russian defense officials touted an alleged troop withdrawal in areas around the Ukrainian capital, Vladimir Putin’s troops lobbed mortar shells at residential areas in the east of the country where civilians were fast asleep.

A kindergarten in Lysychansk in the Luhansk region was among the affected buildings, according to local authorities, along with several blocks of flats.

“In the morning Lysychansk was rocked by intense fire from the Russian army. There is a significant number of destroyed residential buildings. people who were still asleep [at the time of the attacks] landed among the ruins. Rescuers are trying to save all survivors in time,” Ukraine’s State Ambulance Service said in a statement on Facebook.

Serhiy Gaidai, the head of the regional administration, said at least one person was found dead under the rubble, while at least five people were pulled out alive.

Areas in the Donetsk region were also bombed with Russian fire overnight, with the towns of Maryinka and Novo-Mikhaylovka hit by airstrikes, according to local authorities.

There were reports of Russian troops using white phosphorus ammunition in Maryinka, which could constitute a war crime if used near civilians. The incendiary weapon is known for the severity of the burns it leaves on human flesh.

“The situation in the region is complicated. The night passed with artillery shelling in practically every area. Phosphorus ammunition and airstrikes were used in Maryinka,” said Pavel Kirilenko, chairman of the regional military administration.

The Daily Beast could not immediately verify whether white phosphorus or thermite submunitions, previously reported to be used by Russian troops in Syria, were used.

The attacks come in line with assessments by US and Western officials that the Russian military plans to intensify its attacks further east in the country after suffering setbacks around Kyiv and Chernihiv. The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday promised to “drastically reduce” military activities in these areas.

But even after that claim, which Russia described as a way to boost “mutual trust” during peace talks with Ukraine, shelling was still reported overnight in the Chernihiv region and several Russian missiles were shot down outside of Kyiv, Ukrainian authorities said .

“The Russians publicly stated yesterday that they will reduce their offensive attacks in the Chernihiv and Kyiv oblasts. do we believe them Of course not. And we are prepared for every scenario. We will also meet the enemy in Chernihiv, which we are doing,” said Viacheslav Chaus, head of the Chernihiv region.

Vadym Denysenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister, said early Wednesday that “unfortunately, it is not yet possible” to say that Russian forces have scaled back their attacks.

“We can say that certain units and equipment were transferred to the territory of Belarus. This looks more like rotation and licking wounds than a real cessation of hostilities,” Denysenko said in a live telemarathon on the state of the war.

Russia’s attack on an administrative building in Mykolaiv also continued to escalate on Wednesday, with 12 people now found dead in the rubble and at least 33 injured as rescuers continue to search for survivors.

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