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Ukraine war: Kyiv 'manipulating' Russians into arson, Ukrainian military HQ 'struck', Odesa damage

A screenshot from video released by the Russian Defence Ministry Press Service on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023
A screenshot from video released by the Russian Defence Ministry Press Service on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023 Copyright AP/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service
Copyright AP/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

Ukrainian military command hit, claims Russia


Moscow alleged it hit a Ukrainian military HQ in Pokrovsk on Tuesday, after Ukraine accused it of killing seven people by shelling civilian buildings.

An "advanced command centre" was "struck", said a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Security, using the old Soviet name Krasnoarmeisk for the eastern town. 

Ukraine immediately accused the Russians of lying.

"From memory, this is the fourth time they claim something like that," said Sergey Tcherevaty of the eastern Ukraine command centre. 

On Monday evening, two Russian missiles hit centralPokrovsk, killing seven and injuring 81, according to head of the Donetsk military administration Pavlo Kyrylenko.

A dozen buildings that housed a hotel, cafes, businesses, apartments and offices were targeted, he added. 

But a five-story apartment building was most affected, with rescuers searching for survivors in the ruins throughout Tuesday. 

Rescuers are at work near a damaged residential building following Russian missiles strikes in Pokrovsk, Donetsk region.ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP or licensors

Pokrovsk, located 70 km northwest of Donetsk, had a population of 60,000 before the war.

“Today we are overwhelmed with pain, anger, tears,” the Pokrovsk military administration wrote on Facebook.

Dr Jade McGlynn, Research Fellow in War Studies at King's College London, told Euronews in June, Russia was deliberately bombing Ukrainian civilians in a bid to undermine their resolve. 

"The ultimate intention is to break the will of the population so that they will at some point give in and accept Russia," she explained, claiming their bombing campaign was personally "directed" by the Russian President.

"Putin believes the West will give up and Ukrainians will just be grateful for an end to the terror."

Kyiv allegedly manipulating Russians to burn down military offices

Moscow on Tuesday accused Ukraine of coordinating a "massive" phone campaign to manipulate Russians, especially the elderly, into committing arson against military offices inside the country. 

Burnings of public buildings, including army recruitment offices, have been on the rise for several months, fueling speculation about the unpopularity of the Russian invasion and possible underground resistance movements. 

For the authorities, this wave of vandalism is the result of a Ukrainian telephone operation.

In one scenario, callers say they have stolen money from their victims and promise to give them back if they burn down a building, according to the Russian Interior Ministry. 

Alternatively, they make them believe the fire is part of a plan to arrest criminals.


“Sometimes they just threaten them with getting into trouble or even killing their loved ones,” the ministry says.

"Everything ends the same way: The request to set fire to military, transport or banking infrastructure," it continued, claiming such calls have been "massively" reported in the past seven days.

Kyiv content with peace talks in Jeddah

Ukraine said on Monday it was "satisfied" with the summit held in Saudi Arabia over the weekend to which Moscow was not invited.

The meeting - attended by representatives from some 40 countries including China, India and the US - centred on a possible peace agreement to end the fighting in Ukraine.  

"We are very satisfied with the results of the summit," said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's chief of staff Andriy Yermak.


He said a further meeting had been agreed to in principle and that "more countries will participate", "but no exact date has been set". 

Moscow has previously said only Kyiv's surrender could end its offensive. Kyiv wants the withdrawal of Russian forces from all of its territory. 

"We are convinced that a truly comprehensive, lasting and equitable settlement is possible only if the Kyiv regime puts an end to hostilities and terrorist attacks," said Russian Foreign Minister Maria Zakharova. 

The US hailed China's involvement in the talks as "productive", with State Department spokesman Matthew Miller saying "China has a role to play in ending the war". 

"If it agrees to... respects Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty," he added.


A US report from July found Beijing is likely supplying Moscow's war effort in Ukraine with crucial equipment. 

Russian damage in Odesa worse than feared - UNESCO

UNESCO has warned buildings hit by Russian strikes in the historic centre of Odesa suffered "greater damage than initially estimated".

Speaking in Kyiv on Monday, Chiara Dezzi Bardeschi presented the preliminary conclusions of a recent UNESCO mission, where more than 50 shattered buildings in Ukraine's Black Sea city were visited. 

"It is clear that the magnitude of the impact on the historic city centre is wider than initially expected," she said. 

Bardeschi revealed Odesa's Transfiguration Cathedral, the House of Scientists and the Odesa Museum of Literature were among the worst-hit sites, acknowledging their "deep spiritual significance for the people of Odesa."

Libkos/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Firefighters walk inside the Odesa Transfiguration Cathedral, heavily damaged in a Russian missile attack in Odesa, Ukraine, Sunday, July 23, 2023.Libkos/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

Attacks threatened "entire sectors of the historical fabric" of the city, she added.

Odesa's Transfiguration Cathedral, under UNESCO protection, was left badly damaged after Russian missile attacks on the southern port city in July. Russia has pounded Odesa since quitting the Black Sea grain deal.

UNESCO will ask for "urgent funding" to support protecting the city's historic centre, now more fragile due to previous attacks.

The UN body has confirmed at least 274 cultural objects across Ukraine have been damaged since Russia launched its February 2022 invasion. 

It is considering declaring some World Heritage Sites as "in danger", including the Saint Sophia Cathedral and the Lavra Monastery in Kyiv, or the Old Town in Lviv.

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