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What happened during the war in Ukraine this weekend


Here are five important developments from this weekend.

Although the footage left many speechless, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reacted to the footage. “It’s genocide,” Zelensky said Sunday. “The elimination of the whole nation and the people. We are the citizens of Ukraine. We have more than 100 nationalities. It is about the destruction and extermination of all these nationalities,” he continued.

The scenes sparked international outrage, with Western leaders calling for war crimes investigations and escalating sanctions against Russia. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that the numerous images were “false”, saying that “not a single local resident suffered any violent actions” during the Russian occupation of Bucha. US State Department spokesman Ned Price hinted at further US action against Russia coming ‘very soon’ when asked about Zelensky’s demand for greater sanctions of the G7 in response to the latest atrocities.

HRW documents allege war crimes by Russian forces

Rape, summary executions and unlawful violence are among the war crimes allegedly perpetrated by Russian forces against civilians in the occupied Chernihiv, Kharkiv and kyiv regions of Ukraine, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The independent rights group said in a statement on Sunday that it had documented allegations of war crimes, which “include a case of repeated rape; two cases of summary execution, one of six men, the another of a man; and other cases of unlawful violence”. and threats against civilians between February 27 and March 14, 2022.”

“Soldiers were also implicated in the looting of civilian property, including food, clothing and firewood. Those who perpetrated these abuses are responsible for war crimes,” he added.

CNN has not independently verified the details of this information and has requested comment from the Russian Defense Ministry regarding the allegations.

“The cases we have documented represent unspeakable and deliberate cruelty and violence against Ukrainian civilians,” Hugh Williamson, HRW’s Europe and Central Asia director, said in the statement. “Rapes, murders and other acts of violence against persons detained by Russian forces must be investigated as war crimes.”

Odessa under attack

The southern coastal city of Odessa came under attack on Sunday, with a local official saying a Russian missile hit “critical infrastructure”. A fuel depot in the city was still burning Monday morning, according to a CNN crew at the scene, with a witness telling CNN he heard six explosions at the fuel depot before sunrise.

The coastal town was a place of relative calm during the Russian invasion and a refuge for displaced Ukrainians from areas that saw the worst fighting. But Odessa has been preparing for a Russian attack for weeks, with the city center filled with anti-tank barricades.

“Odessa was attacked from the air. Some of the missiles were shot down by our air defense system. In some neighborhoods fires broke out,” Odessa City Council said on its official Telegram account.

Russia steps up attacks in eastern Ukraine

In light of fierce Ukrainian resistance, US intelligence suggests that Russia has revised its invasion strategy to focus on taking over Donbass and other areas of eastern Ukraine, with a target date of early May.

Serhiy Haidai, head of the Lugansk regional military administration, said on Monday that the Russian military had amassed a “significant buildup of troops and military equipment” in the region, apparently in preparation for an offensive push.

“Yes, I can confirm that there is a significant buildup of troops and military equipment preparing for the major breakthrough (in the Lugansk region),” he told state television.

“There was an attempt to break through at Rubizhne last night, our defenders repelled an attack. We are holding on, but we see that there is a large build-up of troops.”

The leaders of the separatist people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, backed by Russia, had previously announced “total mobilization” in the territories under their control.

Haidai said mobilization was underway, but added that new recruits were inexperienced and were “used as cannon fodder”.

The Russian military said it was withdrawing its forces from around Kyiv and the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv to concentrate their efforts in the Donbass region.

Two pro-Russia European leaders set to be re-elected

Hungary’s authoritarian leader and longtime Russian ally Viktor Orban has declared victory in the country’s parliamentary elections, earning a fourth consecutive term in office.

Orban’s Fidesz party was in the lead with 71% of the votes counted, the national electoral commission announced on Sunday evening.

The election campaign was dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which put Orban’s long association with Russian President Vladimir Putin under scrutiny. In his victory speech, Orban called Zelensky one of the “adversaries” he had to defeat during the campaign. Hungary is heavily dependent on Russian energy and Orban has dodged opportunities to condemn Putin’s assault on his neighboring state, complicating European Union (EU) efforts to present a united front against him.

What happened during the war in Ukraine this weekend

Meanwhile, Serbia’s incumbent President Aleksandar Vucic is expected to win Sunday’s presidential election with 59.8% of the vote, according to a projection by Ipsos and CeSID pollsters, Reuters reports. The projection is based on a sample of the partial polling station count.

Vucic ran for a second five-year term on a promise of peace and stability just as Russia invaded Ukraine. This has put Serbia under pressure from the West to choose between its traditional ties with Moscow and its aspirations to join the EU.

Vucic acknowledged that the conflict in Ukraine had affected the campaign and said that Serbia was not considering deviating from its balancing act between applying for EU membership and close ties with Russia. and China, a major investor.

“We will maintain a policy that is important to Europeans, Russians and Americans, and that is…military neutrality,” Vucic reported according to Reuters.

“Serbia will strive to maintain friendly and partnership relations in many areas with the Russian Federation,” he added.

Serbia is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas and its military maintains ties with the Russian military. Although Serbia has backed two UN resolutions condemning the invasion of Ukraine, it has refused to impose sanctions on Moscow, according to Reuters.

CNN’s Tara John, Jonny Hallam, Nathan Hodge, Yulia Kesaieva, Rob Picheta and Balint Bardi contributed reporting.

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