Baby and grandmother killed in shelling of Avdiivka

A 5-month old baby and his grandmother have been killed by shelling in Avdiivka just a day after Ukrainian police urged the infant’s mother to evacuate. A family of four had been living in a “new house” in the town when it was caught in the fire of an intensifying Russian military campaign; the mother and father were injured in the incident but the baby and his grandmother were killed. The head of the Donetsk regional administration Pavlo Kyrylenko described it as a “terrible tragedy” as he shared footage of the encounter between the mother and Ukrainian police the day before the attack.

The Ukrainian mother “flatly refused” to leave her home despite being implored by the Ukrainian police to evacuate the front-line zone.

It is believed that she was reluctant to relocate her young child and that there were concerns over the costs of having to abandon her home.

In a statement alongside the video of the mother refusing to leave, Mr Kyrylenko said: “This terrible tragedy could have been avoided.

“Just yesterday the police once again persuaded the baby’s mother to think about her son and leave. But, unfortunately, even tough talk did not lead to the desired result – the woman once again flatly refused to leave for a safer place. And today the irreparable happened,” he said.

“Unfortunately, evacuation still seems incomprehensible and unnecessary to some people. But it’s the only thing that can save lives now.

“I appeal once again to the civilians who, contrary to common sense, remain in the front-line zone: evacuate! We provide everything necessary for this. Law enforcement officers risk their lives to save yours – don’t neglect it. Protect yourself and your children.”


Russia ‘squandered’ tens of thousands of soldiers for ‘marginal gains’ in Ukraine

Russia has “squandered” the personnel advantages it enjoyed following Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilisation last September , the British Ministry of Defence has claimed.

In their latest update on Twitter, the MoD said the Russian Chief of the General Staff (CGS) General Valery Gerasimov’s January takeover of the “special military operation” in Ukraine had “failed” as their awaited spring offensive appears to have amounted to little success on the battlefield.

In the first 80 days of Gerasimov’s reign, the MoD said “Russian forces had made only marginal gains at the cost of tens of thousands of casualties”.

Gerasimov took over from Sergei Surovikin, nicknamed General Armageddon, who survived just over three months in the position before being demoted to Deputy Chief of the General Staff following a series of major Ukrainian counter offensive operations that humiliated Russian forces into mass retreats from Kharkiv, in the northeast, and Kherson in the south.

You can read the MoD’s full statement below.

Ukrainian mother refuses to leave house on the frontline

Footage has emerged of a Ukrainian mother refusing to leave her house in the eastern town of Avdiivka, just a day before her 5-month-old baby was killed in shelling.

The woman, who remains nameless and has been blurred, “flatly refused” to leave her “new” home in Donetsk Oblast despite an intensification of Russian military action in the region.

Good morning

Good morning from London. I’m Tom Watling. I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine this weekend. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @TomAWatling

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