Russian attacks continued following Putin’s arrest warrant
KYIV, Ukraine — Russian attacks in Ukraine continued after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights.
Ukraine was attacked by 16 Russian drones on Friday night, the Ukrainian Air Force announced in the early hours of Saturday. The Air Force Command wrote on Telegram that 11 out of 16 drones were shot down “in the central, western and eastern regions.” Among the target areas were the capital, Kyiv, and the western province of Lviv.
Serhii Popko, the head of the Kyiv city administration, said that Ukrainian air defense shot down all the drones heading towards the Ukrainian capital, Lviv regional governor Maksym Kozytskyi said on Saturday that three out of six were shot down and the other three hit a district. It borders Poland. According to the Ukrainian Air Force, the attacks were carried out from the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov and from the Russian province of Bryansk, which borders Ukraine.
In its regular update on Saturday morning, the Ukrainian military also said that Russian forces had launched 34 air strikes, one missile strike and 57 anti-aircraft fire in the past 24 hours. According to a Facebook update, falling debris hit the southern province of Kherson, damaging seven houses and a kindergarten.
According to the Ukrainian statement, Russia will continue to focus on offensive operations in the industrial areas of eastern Ukraine, focusing on attacks on Lyman, Bahmut, Avdiivka, Marinka and Sakhtarsk in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region. Pavlo Kirilenko, the regional governor of Donetsk province, said one person was killed and three wounded when 11 towns and villages in the province were shelled on Friday.
Further west, Russian rockets struck a residential area Friday night in the city of Zaporizhia, the regional capital of the partially occupied province of the same name. No casualties were reported, but houses were damaged and a catering unit was destroyed, said Anatoly Kurtev of the Zaporizhzhia city council.
The International Criminal Court said on Friday it had issued an arrest warrant for Putin for war crimes, accusing him of personal responsibility for the abduction of children from Ukraine, along with Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights.
This is the first time that the global court has issued an arrest warrant against the head of one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
The move was immediately rejected by Moscow – and hailed by Ukraine as a major breakthrough.
However, its practical implications may be limited as there is very little chance of Putin being brought before the ICC, as Moscow does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction or extradite its citizens.
UK military officials said on Saturday that Russia was likely to extend conscription. In its latest intelligence release, the British Ministry of Defense announced that representatives of the lower house of the Russian parliament, the Russian Duma, submitted a bill on Monday to change the age limit for men’s conscription to 21-30 from the current 18-27.
The ministry said that many men between the ages of 18 and 21 are currently seeking exemption from military service because they are attending higher education. The change would mean that they would eventually have to continue serving. He said the law is likely to be passed and come into force in January 2024.
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