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Kiev accused of shelling civilian areas of Donetsk, as Zelensky hits out at Russian ‘barbarism’ over Odessa attack

UKRAINIAN forces were accused today of firing banned incendiary weapons at civilian areas after Donetsk was pummelled overnight, leaving at least one civilian dead. 

Missiles rained down on the Kievsky, Kirovsky and Petrovsky districts, according to Russia’s Tass news agency.  

“Shortly before midnight, the armed forces of Ukraine fired rockets with incendiary shells from the Grad multiple-launch rocket systems at the Voroshilovsky and Kalininsky districts of Donetsk,” local officials said. 

“A total of 15 shells and 10 mines were fired.”

Video footage circulating online showed what intial reports indicated was white phosphorus being used in an attack on Russian-controlled residential areas of Donetsk. 

It has subsequently been suggested that it may have in fact been thermite, mixtures of which can be used to make incendiary bombs. 

Using such substances against civilian populations is banned under international law. Neither Ukrainian or Russian forces have made any official comment on the allegations. 

Kiev has accused Russia of using white phosphorus against its troops on several occasions, most recently after Moscow withdrew its forces from Snake Island at the beginning of the month. 

The Ukrainian government also claimed that white phosphorus used by Russian forces attacking the Azovstal steel complex in Mariupol before the defenders surrendered in May. 

One resident was killed and three were injured, including a teenager, as a result of the overnight shelling in Donetsk, separatist forces said. 

Media coverage of the assault on the Donbass region has been limited, but more than 700 civilians have been killed there by Ukrainian shelling, according to local sources and reporters on the ground. 

On Saturday, a protest took place outside the Ukrainian embassy in Ireland, with placards reading: “Ukraine, stop shelling Donetsk, leave Donbass alone.”

“Let them see that we are for Donbass with all our hearts and we are not afraid to express our opinion,” the small group of demonstrators said. 

Ukrainian President Volodomoyr Zelensky has condemned Russia for bombing Odessa hours after signing an agreement to facilitate the export of grain from the Black Sea port. 

He accused Moscow of “barbarism” and said the attack was evidence that President Vladimir Putin’s government could not be trusted to abide by the deal signed in Istanbul on Friday.  

Russia, however, insisted that it had struck a Ukrainian military vessel and a number of US-supplied Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

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