Zelensky condemns Russian bombing of Kherson that leaves 7 dead

(CNN) — Less than three days after the return of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after his crucial visit to Washington, a Russian bombardment in the city of Kherson, in the south of the country, left ten people dead and at least 55 injured.

The figure was confirmed by the deputy head of the Presidential Office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, who added that “doctors are fighting for the lives of the victims.” He also said that 18 of the injured are in serious condition.

“There are no military installations even close. This is a targeted attack on civilians,” Tymoshenko added.

“Law enforcement officers are already investigating this terrorist act,” adding that “the inhumans who gave this criminal order and carried it out will be brought to justice.”

Yaroslav Yanushevych, head of the Kherson region’s military administration, on Saturday called on residents to donate blood to help save the lives of people injured in the shelling.

He also said that the Russians used “Grad multiple launch rocket systems to attack the center of the city of Kherson” and clarified that there were no children among the victims of the bombardment.

Hours after the attack, Zelensky condemned the Russian bombing on Saturday, calling it an act of “terror.”

“The terrorist country continues to bring Russia in the form of bombardments against the civilian population of Kherson. This Saturday morning, on Christmas Eve, in the central part of the city,” Zelensky lamented.

The Russian shelling of Kherson left 7 people dead and at least 58 injured.

The Russian shelling of Kherson left 7 people dead and at least 58 injured.

“These are not military installations,” he wrote on Telegram this Saturday. “This is not a war by defined rules. This is terror, it is killing to intimidate and for pleasure”.

The Ukrainian president published several photos showing the aftermath of the bombing, in which cars are on fire and bodies are seen in the streets.

“Most likely, social media will mark these photos as ‘sensitive content.’ But this is not sensitive content, it is the real life of Ukrainians in Ukraine,” Zelensky said.

“The world must see and understand what absolute evil we are fighting against,” Zelensky added.

The United States evaluates scenarios before a possible Russian escalation

With growing concern that Vladimir Putin will escalate Russia’s war in Ukraine, the US is considering how to respond to a number of possible scenarios, including fears that the Russians could use tactical nukesaccording to three sources informed of the latest intelligence data.

Since the start of the conflict, the US has been developing contingency plans to respond, among other things, to the possibility that the Russian president could escalate to little less than a nuclear attack on Ukraine, through what a The source described it as a “nuclear display”, such as a possible military attack on the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, or the detonation of a nuclear device at high altitudes or far from populated areas.

Officials warn that the United States has not detected preparations for a nuclear attack. However, experts see them as potential options for the United States to prepare for as the Russian invasion falters and Moscow annexes more Ukrainian territory.

Training on Patriot missile systems

So far, the United States has trained approximately 3,100 Ukrainian soldiers to date in different systems, and training on the Patriot missile systems will begin “very soon,” a senior defense official said.

Nearly half of those troops have been trained with M777 howitzers or HIMARS rocket launchers, two of the systems that have been critical to Ukrainian operations during the war. Ukrainian forces have also been trained in vehicle handling, various forms of artillery, drones, and other systems.

The Pentagon will soon begin training Ukrainian personnel on how to operate and maintain the Patriot missile system, officially announced Wednesday during President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Washington.

Although the Pentagon did not specify exactly when the training would begin or how long it would take the Ukrainians to master the complex system, a senior defense official said Wednesday that it would start “very soon” and would take “several months.”

The Patriot system costs between $450 million and $550 million, the Pentagon said, depending on the platform’s configuration. Each missile costs approximately US$4 million.

The United States will also soon begin an expanded training program for Ukrainian forces, including joint maneuvers and combined arms training. This program will train approximately 500 soldiers per month for larger combat operations.

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