Russia-Ukraine war: At least 18 dead in new strike, Zelenskyy brands Trump’s rhetoric ‘dangerous’

The latest updates from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Officials report at least 18 dead in a missile strike on a market in Russian-occupied Ukraine
Officials report at least 18 dead in shelling of a market in Russian-occupied Ukraine

At least 18 people were killed Sunday by shelling at a market on the outskirts of the city of Donetsk in Russian-occupied Ukraine, local officials reported Sunday.

A further 13 people were injured in the strike on the suburb of Tekstilshchik, said Alexei Kulemzin, the city’s Russian-installed mayor. He said that the shells had been fired by the Ukrainian military.

Kyiv has not commented on the event and the claims could not be independently verified.

Emergency services continue to work on the scene, said Denis Pushilin, head of the Russian-installed authorities in Donetsk.

Zelenskyy calls Trump’s rhetoric about Ukraine’s war with Russia ‘very dangerous’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was worried at the prospect of Donald Trump returning to the White House, branding Trump’s claim that he could stop Ukraine’s war with Russia in 24 hours as “very dangerous.”

In an interview with the UK’s Channel 4 New, Zelenskyy invited the former president and front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination to visit Kyiv, but only if Trump delivers on his promise.

“Donald Trump, I invite you to Ukraine, to Kyiv. If you can stop the war during [sic] 24 hours, I think it will be enough to come,” Zelenskyy said.

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Former US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, welcome each other at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland in 2018
Former US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, welcome each other at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland in 2018Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP/File
The Ukrainian leader also shared his concern about the US taking unilateral action that failed to consider Ukraine’s perspective, noting the dearth of details around Trump’s “peace plan.”

Zelenskyy described the former president’s rhetoric as “very dangerous” and appeared apprehensive that Trump’s idea of a negotiated solution might involve Ukraine making major concessions to Russia.

“(Trump) is going to make decisions on his own, without… I’m not even talking about Russia, but without both sides, without us,” Zelenskyy said. “If he says this publicly, that’s a little scary. I’ve seen a lot, a lot of victims, but that’s really making me a bit stressed.”

He added: “Because even if his idea (for ending the war) – that no one has heard yet – doesn’t work for us, for our people, he will do anything to implement his idea anyway. And this worries me a little.”

Trump has repeatedly insisted that he is well-positioned to negotiate an end to the war that has raged for almost two years, saying he has a good relationship with both Russian and Ukrainian leaders. Throughout his political career, he has frequently lavished praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin, including after Moscow’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

UN atomic watchdog warns of mines re-planted near Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant
The head of the UN atomic watchdog has warned that mines had been re-planted around the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, just months after a team of international inspectors reported on their removal.

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi cautioned that the presence of mines in the plant’s buffer zone, between its internal and external fences, is “inconsistent” with the agency’s safety standards, according to a readout published on the organisation’s website. The readout added that an IAEA team dispatched to monitor the plant’s safety had previously identified mines in the same location, but that these were removed last November.

The head of Ukraine’s state nuclear company on Saturday described the alleged planting of mines as “another crime” by Russian forces that have occupied the Zaporizhzhia plant since the early weeks of the war.

In a Telegram update, Petro Kotin of Energoatom said that the situation at the plant “will remain fragile and dangerous as long as the Russians remain there.”

The IAEA has repeatedly expressed concern that the war could cause a potential radiation leak from the facility, which is one of the world’s 10 biggest nuclear power stations. The plant’s six reactors have been shut down for months, but it still needs power and qualified staff to operate crucial cooling systems and other safety features.

A view of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in territory under Russian military control, southeastern Ukraine
A view of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in territory under Russian military control, southeastern UkraineAP/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/File
Russian shelling hits Ukrainian town of Huliaipole
On Saturday, Russian forces shelled the southern Ukrainian town of Huliaipole, wounding a local resident as he stood in his yard, local Governor Yuriy Malashko wrote on Telegram.

Earlier that day, regional Ukrainian officials reported that one civilian was killed and three more suffered wounds as Russian forces on Friday and overnight shelled the southern Kherson region.

In southern Russia, close to the Ukrainian border, an exploding drone slammed into a gas pipeline on the outskirts of the city of Belgorod, regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov reported on Telegram. Gladkov said Ukraine was responsible for the attack, and added that no one was hurt.

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