Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky accused Russia on Thursday (05/26/2022) of committing “genocide” in Donbas, the eastern region of the country where the fighting is currently centered.
“The current offensive by the occupiers in Donbas could leave the region uninhabited,” Zelensky said in his daily television address, accusing Russian forces of wanting to “reduce to ashes” several cities in the region.
“They want to turn Popasna, Bakhmut, Liman, Lysychansk, Severodonetsk directly into ashes. Like Volnovakha, like Mariupol,” added the Ukrainian president, according to the local newspaper Segodnya.
“In the cities and communities closest to the Russian border, in Donetsk, in Luhansk, they are gathering everyone they can to take the place of the dead and wounded of the occupying contingent,” Segodnya added.
Russia exercises “deportation” and “mass killings of civilians” in Donbas, Zelensky said. “All this … is an obvious policy of genocide carried out by Russia,” he insisted.
An apartment building was destroyed by Russian shelling in Bakhmut, in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas.
Zelensky’s statements contradict Moscow’s accusations, which justified its invasion by claiming that the Ukrainians were committing “genocide” against the Russian-speaking population of Donbas.
This mining basin in eastern Ukraine, made up of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, has been the scene of a war since 2014 between the kyiv authorities and pro-Russian separatists.
In April, the Ukrainian Parliament had already adopted a resolution describing the actions of the Russian army on its territory as “genocide” and urged third countries and international organizations to do the same.
jc (afp, Segodnya)