Latest from Ukraine: Over 45 countries agree to coordinate Russia’s war crimes investigation

Heavy damage in Ukraine as Sloviansk is hit by Russian shelling

The US, UK and more than 40 other countries have agreed to coordinate investigations into alleged war crimes in Ukraine, shortly after what Kyiv called a Russian missile attack that killed civilians away from the front lines.

The nations – which also include EU states, Canada, Mexico and Australia – signed the political declaration at a conference in The Hague, home of the International Criminal Court.

It came as Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of committing an “open act of terrorism” with a strike on an office building that killed more than 20 people and injured 90 others.

Russian missiles hit the town of Vinnytsia, located southwest of Kyiv and which has become a hub for humanitarian aid.

Officials said they hit an office building, damaged nearby residential buildings and set parked cars on fire.

“Every day Russia destroys the civilian population, kills Ukrainian children, directs missiles at civilian objects,” Zelensky wrote on Telegram after the strike.

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“We have to prepare for the scenario where we have to do without all the Russian gas”, says Macron

President Emmanuel Macron has warned French citizens to prepare for a total cut off from Russian natural gas by supporting alternatives, turning off public lights at night and committing to a period of nationwide energy ‘sobriety’ .

“This war will continue,” he said in a television interview marking France’s National Day, July 14.

“Summer, the beginning of autumn will be very hard.”

“Russia uses energy, like it uses food, as a weapon of war,” Macron said.

“We have to prepare for the scenario where we have to do without all Russian gas.”

Emmanuel Macron has warned France to “prepare”, it may have to “do without all the Russian gas”

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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Dozens of nations pledge to work together in war crimes investigations

More than 40 countries have signed a political declaration to work together on war crimes investigations in Ukraine.

The agreement was reached at a conference in The Hague, seat of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The 45 nations have also pledged €20m (£17m) to help the ICC, as well as the Attorney General’s Office in Ukraine and UN support efforts.

With more than 20,000 war crimes investigations now open and different countries leading teams, evidence must be credible and organized, officials said.

Additional Reuters reports

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Death toll rises to 20 in Vinnytsia

At least 20 people, including a child, were killed in a rare Russian strike on the central town of Vinnytsia, Ukraine’s state emergency services said.

Another 90 people were injured, officials said, Bel Trew Kyiv reports:

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Images of the Vinnytsia Strike

Here are some images from Vinnytsia:

(Ukrainian Emergency Service)

(Ukrainian Emergency Service)

(Ukrainian Emergency Service)

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Vinnytsia strike details

The missile strike hit the parking lot of the nine-story Yuvelirniy office building around 10:50 a.m. local time (0750 GMT), according to the state emergency service.

The attack also destroyed a medical center and involved three missiles, police said.

As below, a death toll of 17 – including two children – is reported.

The city lies about 200 km southwest of Kyiv and is far from the main front lines in eastern and southern Ukraine.

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Seventeen dead in Vinnytsia, officials say

The strike on Vinnytsia is now reported to have killed 17 people and injured around 90 others.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office gave the latest count, saying two children were among the dead.

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Watch: Scenes from Vinnytsia

Here are some scenes emerging from Vinnytsia after the deadly strike:

At least a dozen dead after Russia launches attack on central Ukrainian town

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Full story: At least 12 – including a child – killed in strike on Vinnytsia

At least 12 people, including a child, were killed in a rare Russian strike on Vinnytsia, Ukraine’s state emergency services said.

The city escaped the worst of the Russian bombardment and has become a hub for humanitarian aid as it sits at the crossroads of the east and west of the country, Bel Trew reports from Ukraine:

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Vinnytsia strike is ‘overt act of terrorism’, says Zelensky

Volodymry Zelensky called the strike in Vinnytsia – which reportedly killed 12 people – an “open act of terrorism”.

Ukraine’s national police said three missiles hit an office building and damaged nearby residential buildings in the city southwest of the capital Kyiv.

The missile strike started a fire that spread to engulf 50 cars in an adjacent parking lot.

He is believed to have killed 12 people and injured 25 others.

Ukraine’s president said a child was among the dead and suggested the attack was deliberately aimed at terrorizing civilians.

“Every day Russia destroys the civilian population, kills Ukrainian children, directs missiles at civilian objects. Where there are no military (targets). What is it if not an open act of terrorism? Mr. Zelensky wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Firefighters worked to put out a blaze at a shell-damaged building in Vinnytsia

(AP)

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Eight dead in Vinnytsia strike, officials say

At least eight people were killed in a Russian missile strike on the city of Vinnytsia, according to the Ukrainian president’s office.

Christi C. Elwood