Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday slammed Russia for its deadly attack on the port city of Odessa as he decried Moscow’s decision to bombard civilians on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, which Ukrainians (who are largely Orthodox Christians), celebrate on Sunday, April 24.
“Today was Holy Saturday for Christians of the Eastern Rite. The day between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. It seems that Russia is stuck on such a day,” the 44-year-old.
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“But there will be a Resurrection. Life will defeat death. The truth will defeat any lies, and evil will be punished,” the Ukrainian president vowed.
Commenting specifically on the Odessa attack, Zelensky called Russia a “sponsor of terrorism,” adding, “It is only a matter of time before all Russian murderers feel what a fair response to their crimes is. It is only a matter of time before we can bring all the deported Ukrainians home. It is only a matter of time before all our people all over Ukraine feel what a strong peace is.”
Zelensky’s comments came within hours of the reported attack on Odessa, which left eight civilians, including a 3-month-old baby, dead.
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The attack on Odessa is the latest among a string of similar attacks on civilians and civilian targets across Ukraine: Moscow has been accused of bombing a Mariupol theatre housing women and children and killing at least 300, of carrying out a missile strike on the Kramatorsk train station that killed more than 50, and of carrying out cold-blooded executions of Ukrainian civilians in several cities and piling the bodies into mass graves.
Russia’s indiscriminate attacks on civilians in Ukraine has sparked a wave of international condemnation, and many leaders, including US President Joe Biden, has openly accused Moscow of perpetrating genocide. Meanwhile, several international investigations are underway to determine the nature and extent of alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine, with reports suggesting that Russian troops may well be found to be guilty of executions and sexual violence, among other things.