Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky calls Russia's missile strike on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk on Monday an act of terrorism. French President Emmanuel Macron called it a "new war crime" by Russia. On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that Russia was responsible for the attack, which killed at least 20 civilians and wounded 59 others.
"The Russian army does not attack any civilian site," Putin claimed, falsely." We don't have the need for this. We have every capability to detect specific locations; and thanks to our high-precious long-range weapons we are achieving our goals." Russia's Defense Ministry said Tuesday that its "high-precision strike" on a factory storing "Western-made weapons and ammunition" had cause a fire that spread to the "non-functioning" mall. "First-hand accounts from survivors and expert analysis" discredited those claims, The Guardian reports.
Along with the eyewitness accounts, dead and wounded bodies, and satellite imagery, Zelensky on Wednesday released closed-caption TV footage of a Russian missile striking the mall at 3:51 p.m. on Monday. "In this war, Russia has often been accused of lying," said the BBC's Joe Inwood in Kyiv. "Rarely has it been so clearly demonstrated."
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And the bombing of a shopping mall, deliberate or because of poor accuracy, isn't an isolated incident for Russia.
The U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Wednesday released a report documenting 10,000 civilian casualties in Ukraine since Russia invade on Feb. 24, including 4,731 deaths. And the real numbers are "considerably higher," said Matilda Bogner, head of the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. "The high number of civilian casualties and the extent of destruction and damage caused to civilian infrastructure raised significant concerns that attacks conducted by Russian Armed Forces did not comply with international humanitarian law. While on a much lower scale, it also appears that Ukrainian armed forces did not comply with international humanitarian law in Eastern parts of the country."
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