Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said there has not been “a single hour without Russian killings and terror” in the past week.
He made the remarks during his nightly address after Russian missiles struck residential buildings in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk on Friday.
“This is an evil state, and it will lose. To win is our duty to humanity as such. And we will win,” Zelenskyy said.
According to Ukrainian sources, at least nine people, including a two-year-old child, were killed, and more than 20 were injured.
Several houses and high-rise buildings were hit in the strike.
Sloviansk and the nearby city of Kramatorsk are both coveted by Russian forces, currently bogged down in nearby Bakhmut, as they push ahead with their invasion of Ukraine.
On Friday, a British assessment said Ukrainian troops had been forced to withdraw from parts of Bakhmut.
Ukrainian military commanders this week rejected Russian statements that its forces now controlled 80% of the city, saying Moscow’s claims were an exaggeration.
Here are some of the other notable developments concerning Russia’s war in Ukraine on Saturday, April 15
Putin signs bill allowing electronic conscription notices
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation authorizing authorities to issue electronic notices to draftees and reservists.
Russia’s military service rules previously mandated in-person delivery of notices to conscripts and reservists for duty.
Now, local military conscription offices will send notices via mail, which will be considered valid once they are posted on a state portal for electronic services.
In the past many Russians avoided the draft by staying away from their address of record.
The new law fueled fears that the government was considering another wave of mobilization following the one that Putin ordered in the fall.
Germany’s Baerbock discusses war during China visit
The war in Ukraine would again feature high on German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s agenda on Saturday, the last day of her trip to China.
She was expected to discuss the conflict during talks with Chinese foreign policy chief Wang Yi.
On Friday, her Chinese counterpart Qin Gang assured her Beijing would not supply Russia with weapons to use against Ukraine.
Baerbock was expected to touch on the same issues with Wang, who outranks Qin.
“At the top of my agenda on this trip, however, is our interest in bringing the war on our European doorstep in Ukraine to a swift, lasting and just end,” Baerbock said before departing to China.
lo/wd (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)