UKRAINE/RUSSIA: Ukraine is demanding the imposition of the “maximum penalty” on anyone involved in facilitating Russia’s destructive actions. In a tragic incident, a rocket attack on a popular restaurant resulted in the loss of twelve lives, including three minors. The attack was orchestrated by a resident of Kramatorsk who transmitted video footage to the Russian military. Among the victims were a 17-year-old woman and 14-year-old twins, Yuliya and Anna Aksenchenko.
The Kramatorsk City Council has reported that Russian missiles prevented the beating of two angels, while at least 60 others sustained injuries. Ukrainian security forces have detained a local individual described as a “Russian agent.” President Zelensky has affirmed that the suspect, who could face life imprisonment, was apprehended through the collaborative efforts of the security services and police special forces.
Emergency services continue to conduct search and rescue operations in Kramatorsk, a city located in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border. While the city remains under Ukrainian control, its proximity to Russian territory poses ongoing security challenges.
Last year, in April, a missile attack on a train station in the area claimed the lives of over 50 people and caused numerous injuries. The recent rocket attack targeted the Ria Lounge, a popular establishment frequented by foreign journalists and Ukrainian soldiers.
Sergio Jaramillo Caro, a former Colombian peace mediator, was dining at the restaurant when the explosion occurred, causing him minor injuries. He described the surreal experience of witnessing “particles moving in slow motion” as he struggled to comprehend the situation. The incident also occurred near a prominent Ukrainian author whose identity has not been disclosed, prompting Caro to request prayers on her behalf.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro denounced the Russian strike on defenseless Colombians as a violation of international law, prompting a formal protest note from the Russian Foreign Ministry. Valentyna, the owner of a café near the attack site in Kramatorsk, described the devastating scene and the destruction of glass, windows, and doors.
While the Russian defense ministry claimed to have targeted a temporary deployment of Ukrainian commanders in Kramatorsk, the Kremlin maintained that it only carried out military strikes. Yuri Sak, an adviser to the Ukrainian military minister, highlighted the insufficiency of Ukraine’s air defenses in covering its entire territory.
As a result, Ukraine has requested modern fighter jets from its Western allies to enhance its defense against Russian strikes. In response, the US has announced its support, allowing Western allies to deliver F16s and providing pilot training for the aircraft.