A Vatican envoy and his aides narrowly escaped injury after apparently coming under fire while on a humanitarian mission in Ukraine – evidence British officials say shows Russia is ready to expand attacks on innocent civilians.
Vatican chaplain Cardinal Konrad Krajewski said he “didn’t know where to run” during the chilling incident near the town of Zaporizhzhia on Saturday, Vatican New reported. No injuries were reported.
“For the first time in my life, I didn’t know where to run. Because it’s not enough to run, you have to know where to go,” the Polish-born cardinal told the Vatican press service.
Krajewski is in Ukraine for the fourth time since Russian forces began their invasion of Ukraine in February. He was with two bishops – one Catholic, one Protestant – and a Ukrainian soldier to deliver aid and rosaries, the news service said.
Russian blasts hit large parts of Ukraine overnight, officials said on Sunday, with Britain’s Ministry of Defense recently issuing a grave warning about Moscow’s eye on civilian targets.
“Over the past seven days, Russia has increased its targeting of civilian infrastructure even where it likely sees no immediate military effect,” the ministry said in an online press briefing.
“As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely expanded the locations it is prepared to strike in an effort to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government.”
Five civilians were killed in the eastern region of Donetsk over the weekend by Russian attacks; west of it, in Nikopol, several dozen residential buildings, gas pipelines and power lines were hit, according to regional governors. Three people were also injured in nighttime shelling, regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said.
Russian shelling also killed four doctors and injured two patients during the evacuation of a psychiatric hospital from the Kharkiv region to the town of Strelecha, Governor Oleh Syniehubov said.
A hospital in the city of Mykolaiv was also hit by Russian shelling overnight, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said, with two people injured in other parts of the region who came under fire.
Separatist forces in Donetsk have accused Ukraine of killing one prisoner and wounding four after Kyiv-backed forces struck a POW settlement.
The latest casualties come as sickening photos emerged on Sunday showing alleged ‘torture chambers’ being used by Russian forces against Ukrainians. The European Union chief has called for an investigation into possible Kremlin war crimes.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his late night speech on Saturday that “more than 10 torture chambers have already been discovered in the liberated areas of the Kharkiv region, in various towns and villages.”
With pole wires