krainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said stopping the invasion of Ukraine is essential for the security of all democracies in Europe as Russian maintained its attack on Eastern parts of the country and authorities said and another mass civilian grave had been discovered near Kyiv.
In his late night address to Ukrainians on Saturday, Zelensky said that Russian aggression “was not intended to be limited to Ukraine alone” and the “entire European project is a target for Russia.”
“That is why it is not just the moral duty of all democracies, all the forces of Europe, to support Ukraine’s desire for peace,” he said. “This is, in fact, a strategy of defence for every civilized state.”
His address came as civilians continued to flee eastern parts of the country before an expected onslaught by Russian troops.
Russian forces fired shells into Ukraine’s Luhansk and Dnipro regions early on Sunday hitting several buildings, wounding one person and causing a fire, officials said.
A school and a high-rise apartment building were shelled in the city of Sievierodonetsk in the besieged region of Luhansk, the region’s governor said. “Fortunately, no casualties,” Serhiy Gaidai wrote on Telegram.
In the central city of Dnipro, one person was wounded when a building was hit. The shelling sparked a fire that was eventually put out, regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said in a post.
A missile hit a building in the Pavlograd district of the Dnipro, Reznichenko said. The Standard could not immediately confirm the reports.
Meanwhile a grave with dozens of Ukrainian civilians has been found in Buzova village near Kyiv, an official said, the latest reported mass grave to be discovered as Russian forces retreat from their offensive on the capital and focus their assault on the east.
Taras Didych, head of the Dmytrivka community that includes Buzova, told Ukrainian television that the bodies were found in a ditch near a petrol station. The number of dead had yet to be confirmed. The report has not been independently verified.
The bodies of 10 civilians were recovered from under rubble in the destroyed city of Borodyanka, near Kyiv on Saturday, said the deputy head of the Ukrainian emergency service in the Kyiv region.
The governor of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine said five people have been killed in shelling in the region – he said four were killed in Vuhledar and one in Novomykhailivka.
Russia has denied targeting civilians.
Boris Johnson travelled to meet President Zelensky yesterday in Kyiv, where he promised new lethal aid for Ukraine including armoured vehicles and anti-ship missiles.
The prime minister left the UK on Friday evening with a small delegation of officials, arriving at the Polish border yesterday morning. He was then escorted to the Ukrainian capital, where he held a one-to-one meeting with Zelensky yesterday afternoon at the Mariinskyi Palace, the presidential residence. The pair were also pictured walking through the streets of Kyiv after the meeting.
Zelensky in his address thanked Mr Johnson and the Austrian leadder for their visits Saturday to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, and pledged further support.
He also thanked the European Commission president and Canada’s prime minister for a global fundraising event that brought in more than 10 billion euros for Ukrainians who have fled their homes.
Zelenskyy repeated his call for a complete embargo on Russian oil and gas, which he called the sources of Russia’s “self-confidence and impunity.”
“Freedom does not have time to wait,” Zelenskyy said. “When tyranny begins its aggression against everything that keeps the peace in Europe, action must be taken immediately.”
More than six weeks after the invasion began, Russia has pulled its troops from the northern part of the country, around Kyiv, and refocused on the Donbas region in the east.
Newly released Maxar satellite imagery collected on Friday showed an 8-mile (13-kilometer) convoy of military vehicles headed south to the Donbas region through the Ukrainian town of Velykyi Burluk.
Western military analysts said an arc of territory in eastern Ukraine was under Russian control, from Kharkiv – Ukraine’s second-largest city – in the north to Kherson in the south.
But counterattacks are threatening Russian control of Kherson, according to the Western assessments, and Ukrainian forces are repelling Russian assaults elsewhere in the Donbas, a largely Russian-speaking and industrial region.
Civilians were evacuating eastern Ukraine following a missile strike on Friday that killed at least 52 people and wounded more than 100 at a train station where thousands were trying to leave.
Ukrainian authorities have called on civilians to get out ahead of an imminent, stepped-up offensive by Russian forces in the east.