Insight Iraq

In-Depth News & Views

Iraq News

Russian rockets kill two, as rivals mark Orthodox Easter

Kyiv – Russian strikes on the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Kharkiv killed three people and wounded at least a dozen more, officials said Sunday.

These latest attacks came as Orthodox Christians in Ukraine and Russia celebrated Easter, and as Moscow said its forces had captured another village on the battlefield.

“In Pokrovsk, rocket attacks killed two people and damaged a house,” Vadim Filashkin, Ukraine’s governor of the Donetsk region, said in a post on Telegram.

Pokrovsk is around 60 kilometres (35 miles) northwest of Donetsk city, the Russian-held capital of the region which Moscow claims to have annexed.

Another strike on Monachynivka, in Kharkiv region, killed an 88-year-old woman, said the region’s governor Oleg Synegubov.

Earlier Sunday, the mayor of Kharkiv said in a series of posts on Telegram that at least 10 people had been wounded in an aerial attack on the city around lunchtime.

“The strike hit the central part of the city in an area of residential buildings,” Igor Terekhov said.

Synegubov said Russia had used a guided aerial bomb in the strike. Russia is making greater use of these extremely destructive weapons, which are launched from planes.

A separate overnight drone attack on the city also wounded six, including a child born in 2015, Synegubov said earlier.

Ukraine’s air force said Russia fired 24 Iranian-style “Shahed” drones at its territory overnight, 23 of which were shot down.

– Easter messages –

There appeared to be no let-up in the fighting as both countries marked Orthodox Easter.

On the battlefield, Russia’s defence ministry said its forces had seized the village of Ocheretyne in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, the latest in a string of small territorial gains for Moscow.

Leaders in both countries have used religion and the influential Orthodox churches to rally society behind the war effort.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky published a video message on Sunday from Kyiv’s Saint Sophia Cathedral in the centre of the capital.

Wearing a traditional Ukrainian vyshyvanka shirt, instead of his typical army-style clothes, he said: “We believe that God has a chevron with the Ukrainian flag on his shoulder. Therefore, with such an ally, life will definitely defeat death.”

An exhibition at the cathedral features religion icons painted on ammunition boxes.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin did not explicitly mention the war — that Russia calls a “special military operation” — in his Easter message.

But in a public address to Patriarch Kirill — head of the Russian Orthodox Church, which strongly backs Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine — Putin thanked him for “fruitful cooperation in the current difficult period, when it is so important for us to unite our efforts for the steady development and strengthening of the Fatherland”.

The post Russian rockets kill two, as rivals mark Orthodox Easter appeared first on Iraqi News.