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Russian Missile Strike Kills Dozens in Eastern Ukraine: Urgent Need for Peace and Justice

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In a tragic incident that has shocked the international community, a Russian missile strike has killed at least 51 people, including a child, in a village near the eastern Ukrainian city of Kupiansk.[0] The attack, which occurred during a gathering to mourn a fallen Ukrainian soldier, is being described as one of the deadliest attacks against civilians since the conflict began.[1] Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was attending a European leaders summit in Granada, Spain, strongly condemned the attack and called for an end to “Russian terror.”[2]

Zelensky's words reflect the deep frustration and anger that Ukraine feels towards Russia. He described the attack as a “demonstrably brutal Russian crime” and a “completely deliberate act of terrorism.”[3] He emphasized that anyone who helps Russia evade sanctions is a criminal and that those who continue to support Russia are supporting evil.[4] Zelensky accused Russia of using these terrorist attacks to make its genocidal aggression the new norm for the whole world.

The attack on the village of Hroza in the Kharkiv region is believed to have been carried out with an Iskander ballistic missile.[5] Preliminary information suggests that it was a targeted strike, and Ukrainian security services have launched an investigation into the matter.[6] The UN's humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine called the attack a war crime and stated that intentionally directing an attack against civilians is a grave violation of international humanitarian law.

The aftermath of the attack was devastating, with images and videos showing rescue workers sifting through the rubble and carrying away covered bodies.[7] Large piles of bricks, shattered metal, and building materials remained at the site of the attack.[6] Among the victims was a six-year-old boy, and several others were injured.[8] The attack is one of the deadliest in the Kharkiv region since Russia's invasion more than 19 months ago.[6]

The international community has expressed its outrage and solidarity with Ukraine. European leaders, including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, have pledged to provide more aid to Ukraine and support its efforts to strengthen its air defenses. The United Nations has called for an immediate end to attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, stating that such actions are prohibited under international humanitarian law.[9]

Russia has yet to respond to the allegations that it carried out the attack.[10] Moscow has repeatedly denied deliberately targeting civilians throughout the war. However, the evidence and testimonies from Ukrainian officials paint a different picture, one of deliberate and calculated aggression.

The attack on Hroza village serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia and the devastating toll it has taken on innocent lives. It highlights the urgent need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and for Russia to be held accountable for its actions. The international community must stand united against such acts of terror and support Ukraine in its fight for peace and justice.

0. “Russia kills 50 in bomb attack on café, shop in northeast Ukraine” POLITICO Europe, 5 Oct. 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-attack-ukraine-kharkiv-hroza-bombing

1. “Ukraine says Russian strike killed 51 in one of the deadliest attacks of the war” CNN, 5 Oct. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/10/05/europe/kupiansk-ukraine-attack-zelensky-intl/index.html

2. “Russia-Ukraine war: Putins forces massacre at least 51 civilians in Kharkiv market, cafe” Geo News, 5 Oct. 2023, https://www.geo.tv/latest/513159-russia-ukraine-war-putins-forces-massacre-at-least-51-civilians-in-kharkiv-market

3. “Inside one of the deadliest Russian missile strikes of the war” The Telegraph, 5 Oct. 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/10/05/groza-ukraine-russia-missile-attack-war/

4. “At least 48 dead as Russian missile hits grocery store in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region” Ukrinform, 5 Oct. 2023, https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3770287-over-47-people-dead-as-russian-missile-hits-grocery-store-in-ukraines-kharkiv-region.html

5. “Russia Condemned After Dozens Killed in Missile Strike on Grocery Store” Newsweek, 5 Oct. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/russia-condemned-after-dozens-killed-missile-strike-grocery-store-1832432

6. “At least 51 killed after Russian strike in east Ukraine” RTE.ie, 5 Oct. 2023, https://www.rte.ie/news/ukraine/2023/1005/1409182-kharkiv-strike/

7. “Putin's massacre of the innocents…and message to Europe: More than 50 killed in one of the deadliest strikes” Daily Mail, 5 Oct. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12597991/Putins-massacre-innocents-message-Europe-Nearly-50-dead-Russian-rocket-strike-grocery-store-Zelensky-meets-leaders-plead-aid.html

8. “Ukraine war latest: Russia kills 51 people in single deadliest attack against civilians this year” Kyiv Independent, 5 Oct. 2023, https://kyivindependent.com/ukraine-war-latest-russia-kills-51-people-in-single-deadliest-attack-against-civilians-this-year/

9. “World News in Brief: ‘Horrifying' attack on Ukrainian village, autonomous weapons ban, Sudan crisis” UN News, 5 Oct. 2023, https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/10/1141917

10. “Russian rocket attack on cafe and shop kills at least 51 people in Kharkiv, Ukraine says” Sky News, 5 Oct. 2023, https://news.sky.com/story/russian-rocket-attack-on-cafe-and-shop-kills-at-least-51-people-in-kharkiv-ukraine-says-12977580

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