War in the neighborhood: IPN updates

Vinnytsia: 110 km up to Otaci, 320 km up to Chisinau

Russian missiles have struck a city far from the eastern frontline, killing at least 20 people including three children, Ukrainian officials say.

More than 100 were reported injured in the attack in Vinnytsia, which is south-west of Kyiv and a long way from the heart of the fighting in Donbas.Three Russian missiles hit an office block and damaged residential buildings.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it "an open act of terrorism". The missiles hit the car park of the nine-story office block at around 10:50 (07:50 GMT), Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said.

Residential buildings were also hit in the center of Vinnytsia, which has a population of around 370,000. The Ukrainian presidency said the attack had come from Kalibr cruise missiles launched from a submarine in the Black Sea.

At the Ukraine Accountability Conference in The Hague, Zelensky led a moment of silence before urging European and International Criminal Court officials to open a “special tribunal” into Russia’s invasion.

“I believe it is inevitable that International Criminal Court will bring accountability to those guilty of crimes under its jurisdiction: war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide.”

US Ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, assured that the US remains with Ukraine until it defeats the “brutal aggression”. “While international experts are meeting in The Hague at the Conference on the prosecution of war crimes in Ukraine, Russia is committing another horrific attack, taking the lives of innocent civilians in Vinnytsia”, Brink said.

Arm yourself, Moldova’s, “strategic partner” allows you!

Moldova could be better off seeking good relations with Russia, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, commenting on a statement by Moldova’s President Maia Sandu who pushed for efforts to beef up the country’s army amid an alleged threat being posed by Russia.

"Moldova should not see any threat [in Russia]. This is absurd," Peskov said. "Seeking good, mutually-advantageous and mutually respectful relations with us could be in Moldova’s interests," he added.

Peskov described as irrelevant attempts to compare the relations between Moscow and Kiev and those between Moscow and Chisinau. "Unlike Ukraine, Moldova never turned into an anti-Russian hub <…>. That is a different story," the Russian presidential spokesman said. (details on IPN).

Russia outstrips apartheid system in South Africa

Over the 140 days of Russia's barbaric aggression against Ukraine, almost six times more foreign companies left the Russian market than South Africa during the 20 years of apartheid, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba stated in an online briefing on Wednesday.

“According to the information of our partners at the Kyiv School of Economics, as of the beginning of this week, 1,157 companies have already left the Russian market, 469 have announced the termination of investments... For comparison: during apartheid in South Africa, for more than 20 years, it was only about 200 companies. In 140 days of barbaric aggression, almost six times more pulled out of Russia,” said Kuleba.

Russia misleading about ‘arms smuggling’

In the certain Western mass media, speculative assumptions have appeared on the EU and NATO allegedly expressing concern over the risk of smuggling the weapons supplied to Ukraine by Western partners in order to allow Ukraine to exercise its right to self-defense amid the Russian armed aggression.

“We cannot talk for the NATO, but from EU’s point of view, the Russian propaganda and disinformation attempts are massive and very frequent. Basically anything that comes out of the Kremlin and from the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs, is a massive propaganda and very often simply lies. Parallel to the armed aggression against Ukraine, Russia launched intense disinformation campaigns aimed against Ukraine, the EU and the NATO, trying to justify their illegitimate attack on Ukraine and confuse the public opinion worldwide and manipulate facts all along,” said EU Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Peter Stano.

OSCE returns to Ukraine

The presence of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine will be restored, U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE Michael Carpenter said in an interview with TSN, according to Ukrainian media.

It is a very long story and a long response to the question as to how to resume the work of the OSCE in Ukraine for it to work on all issues that it worked on before, but without the possibility of Russia imposing a veto, Carpenter said. He said he thinks that the presence of the OSCE will be restored in the coming weeks, but probably not more than a month. There is a small presence in Kyiv now, but it will later be restored on a larger scale, he said.

Russia vetoed the work of the mission in Ukraine, in particular, the work of the border observation mission, the Special Monitoring Mission and the Office of the Project Coordinator, Carpenter said.

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