(Last Updated on May 9, 2022 by zimdaily)
EZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine – Around 60 people were killed after a bomb hit a school in east Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said. Earlier, the governor of Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, said 90 people had been sheltering in the building in Bilohorivka, and 30 were rescued. Mr Haidai said a Russian plane had dropped the bomb on Saturday – Russia has not commented.
Luhansk has seen fierce combat as Russian troops and separatist fighters seek to surround government forces. Much of the region has been under the control of Russia-backed separatists for the past eight years.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “appalled” by the reported school bombing Saturday in the eastern village of Bilohorivka and called it another reminder that “it is civilians that pay the highest price” in war.
Authorities said about 90 people were sheltering in the basement. Emergency crews found two bodies and rescued 30 people, but “most likely all 60 people who remain under the rubble are now dead,” Serhiy Haidai, governor of Luhansk province, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Russian shelling also killed two boys, ages 11 and 14, in the nearby town of Pryvillia, he said. Luhansk is part of the Donbas, the industrial heartland in the east that Russia’s forces are working to capture.
As Moscow prepared to celebrate the 1945 surrender of Nazi Germany with a Victory Day military parade on Monday, a lineup of Western leaders and celebrities made surprise visits to Ukraine in a show of support.
U.S. first lady Jill Biden met with her Ukrainian counterpart. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised his country’s flag at its embassy in Kyiv. And U2’s Bono, alongside bandmate The Edge, performed in a Kyiv subway station that had been used as a bomb shelter, singing the 1960s song “Stand by Me.”
The newly appointed acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Kristina Kvien, posted a picture of herself at the American Embassy, and described plans for the eventual U.S. return to the Ukrainian capital after Moscow’s forces abandoned their effort to storm Kyiv weeks ago and began focusing on the capture of the Donbas.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and others warned in recent days that Russian attacks would only worsen in the lead-up to Victory Day, and some cities declared curfews or cautioned people against gathering in public. Russian President Vladimir Putin may want to proclaim some kind of triumph in Ukraine when he addresses the troops on Red Square.