Strike on Vinnytsia came just before the opening of an international conference on war crimes in Ukraine in The Hague, Netherlands.
Firefighters try to put out the flames amid charred carcasses in Vinnytsia.
At least 17 people died and 90 others were injured in a Russian strike on Vinnytsia, a city in western Ukraine that had been relatively spared from the war until then , according to a tally provided by the state attorney general's office.
According to Ukraine's Emergency Situations Service, the strike hit a parking lot near a 10-story commercial building in the center of the city, which houses offices and small repair shops. clothing or shoes.
Images released by Ukrainian rescuers show the charred carcasses of numerous cars, some overturned on the roof next to the building, burned and disembowelled by the fire. explosion.
Many cars were completely burned in the fire following the Russian strike.
The Attorney General's Office claims that residential and administrative buildings also suffered extensive damage in the attack, which it said was carried out by Kalibr missiles from a Russian submarine in the Black Sea.
Vinnytsia, a city of about 370,000 inhabitants, is an important railway hub in Western Ukraine. It is about 270 kilometers southwest of the capital, kyiv, and very far from the front lines in the south and east of the country.
“Every day Russia kills civilians, kills Ukrainian children, fires missiles at civilian targets where it doesn't x27; there is nothing military. What is this if not an overt act of terrorism? »
— Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, on Telegram
The Russian Defense Ministry has not commented on the information from Vinnytsia.
The strike on Vinnytsia came hours before political, diplomatic and judicial leaders from around the world gathered in The Hague, Netherlands, for an accountability conference for crimes committed in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, on February 24.
Called to address the participants by videoconference, President Zelensky called for the establishment of a special tribunal to investigate the Russian invasion of the Russian Federation. Ukraine.
“Current judicial institutions cannot bring all perpetrators to justice. Accordingly, a special tribunal is needed to try the crimes of Russian aggression against Ukraine. »
— Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine
The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kuleba, specifically called for the creation of a special tribunal capable of trying the crime of aggression – the attack by one state against another, planned by a political or military leader – against Ukraine.
All what we want is for the crime of aggression not to go unpunished, he said by videoconference.
As we speak, children, women and men are living in terror, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan said as the conference opened organized by his organization, the European Commission and the Netherlands. We must work together, he hammered.
The ICC opened an investigation into the situation in the country in early March, days after the Russian invasion, and dispatched dozens of investigators there to collect evidence of possible war crimes. /p> Start of widget. Skip widget? End of widget . Back to top of widget?
The ICC, which has been prosecuting the world's worst atrocities for twenty years, cannot prosecute the crime of aggression if this country does not have not ratified the Rome Statute, which is the case of Russia and Ukraine.
European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders for his part recalled that 20 000 investigations have been opened for war crimes in Ukraine. Fourteen European states are investigating these crimes and a joint European investigation team has been set up, he underlined.
Russia systematically denies all the abuses of which his troops are accused: bombardments of civilians, summary executions, rapes. And she accuses Ukraine of war crimes in return.
With information from Reuters, and Agence France-Presse