IZYUM, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said towns and villages recaptured by Russian forces were devastated, while a major city on Thursday stepped up efforts to repair damage to its water system from rocket attacks.
Kryvyi Rih, the largest city in central Ukraine with an estimated pre-war population of 650,000, was hit by eight cruise missiles on Wednesday, officials said.
The strikes hit the Karachunov reservoir, Zelensky said in a video address released early Thursday. The water system has “no military value” and hundreds of thousands of civilians depend on it every day, he said.
Oleksandr Vilkul, the head of Krivyi Rih’s military administration, said in a Telegram post that 112 houses were flooded, but that work to repair the dam on the Inhulets River was underway and that “flooding was decreasing”.
Russian forces suffered a stunning turnaround this month after Ukrainian troops conducted a rapid armored push in the Kharkiv region of the northeast, forcing a precipitous Russian retreat.
Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to Izyum on Wednesday – until four days ago Russia’s main bastion in the Kharkiv region – where he watched as the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag was raised in front of the charred city council building.
“Our law enforcement agencies are already receiving evidence of murder, torture and kidnapping of people by the occupiers,” he said, adding that there was “evidence of genocide against Ukrainians.”
“They only destroyed, only confiscated, only deported. They left devastated villages, and in some of them there is not a single surviving house,” Zelenskyy added in the video address.
Russia denies deliberately targeting civilians, and Reuters was unable to immediately verify battlefield reports.
Zelenskyi’s video address was released after he returned to Kyiv from the Kharkiv region and learned from his office that his car had collided with a private vehicle in the capital.
“The president was examined by a doctor and no serious injuries were found,” presidential spokesman Serhiy Nykyforov said in a Facebook post early Thursday.
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said Thursday that Russian forces had launched attacks on several settlements on the Kharkiv front line in the past 24 hours.
However, Ukrainian forces continue to consolidate their control over the newly liberated areas in the region, Britain’s Defense Ministry said in an update on Thursday.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/15/russia-strikes-ukraine-city-water-system-zelensky-tours-reclaimed-areas/ Russia attacks Ukrainian city’s water system, Zelenskyy tours reclaimed areas