World: Retreating Russians could target Ukraine civilians, some fear

Zelenskyy urges Russian conscripts to 'sabotage' military operations and offers protections to those who surrender: 'It is better to surrender to Ukrainian captivity than to be killed by the strikes of our weapons'

  Zelenskyy urges Russian conscripts to 'sabotage' military operations and offers protections to those who surrender: 'It is better to surrender to Ukrainian captivity than to be killed by the strikes of our weapons' Russian President Vladimir Putin's mobilization effort impacts 300,000 reservists, many of whom are going to great lengths to avoid being drafted. Some have even headed to the border, despite facing up to 10 years in prison for desertion.In a video address late on Friday Ukraine time, Zelenskyy said he seeks to "sabotage" Russia's unprovoked efforts to conquer the country.

Russian forces attacked hospitals and fired on a humanitarian entourage from the Vatican in Ukraine over the weekend, fueling fears that Moscow will step up assaults on civilian targets as it suffers military defeats.

Retreating Russian troops are leaving behind evidence that torture was used on civilian prisoners by the occupying forces, Ukrainian officials said.

The major counteroffensive mounted by Ukraine allowed its forces to recapture large stretches of territory in the northeastern Kharkiv region bordering Russia last week, putting pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who vowed to increase his war effort.

Ukraine Situation Report: Top U.S. Marine Praises Battlefield Lessons Learned

  Ukraine Situation Report: Top U.S. Marine Praises Battlefield Lessons Learned Ukraine's military successes bode well for Commandant David Berger's new vision for the U.S. Marine Corps.Especially in Ukraine's empowerment of small unit leaders and its use of surveillance and countersurveillance to target artillery fires. These are two elements that are a big part of Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger’s Force Design 2030 concept to remake the Corps into a forward-deployed, distributed force under the guns of a peer adversary like China.

A cat sits at the entrance of a basement of the train station fortified with sandbags that, according to Ukrainian authorities, was used as an interrogation room during the Russian occupation in the retaken village of Kozacha Lopan, Ukraine, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. © Provided by New York Daily News A cat sits at the entrance of a basement of the train station fortified with sandbags that, according to Ukrainian authorities, was used as an interrogation room during the Russian occupation in the retaken village of Kozacha Lopan, Ukraine, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022.

A cat sits at the entrance of a basement of the train station fortified with sandbags that, according to Ukrainian authorities, was used as an interrogation room during the Russian occupation in the retaken village of Kozacha Lopan, Ukraine, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. (Leo Correa/)

Russia could escalate attacks on civilian targets as it is defeated on the battlefield, the British defence ministry warned Sunday.

“In the last seven days, Russia has increased its targeting of civilian infrastructure even where it probably perceives no immediate military effect,” the ministry said in an online briefing.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky condemns Russia for attacking dam in his hometown

  Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky condemns Russia for attacking dam in his hometown Russian rocket fire destroyed a dam in the largest city in central Ukraine Thursday, a response from Moscow for Kyiv's counteroffensive this month that has retaken thousands of square miles from Russian forces. 1/4 SLIDES © Ukrainian President Press Office/UPI Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits Izyum, Ukraine, on Wednesday. The city was recently retaken by Ukrainian troops.

“As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government,” it added.

A Russian attack killed four medics trying to evacuate a psychiatric hospital in the Kharkiv region on Saturday, according to local officials. Two patients were wounded in the attack.

Overnight shelling hit a hospital in the city of Mykolaiv, a major Black Sea port, the regional governor said.

A member of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine enters in the basement of the train station fortified with sand bags that, according to Ukrainian authorities, was used as an interrogation room during the Russian occupation in the retaken village of Kozacha Lopan, Ukraine, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. © Leo Correa A member of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine enters in the basement of the train station fortified with sand bags that, according to Ukrainian authorities, was used as an interrogation room during the Russian occupation in the retaken village of Kozacha Lopan, Ukraine, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022.

A member of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine enters in the basement of the train station fortified with sand bags that, according to Ukrainian authorities, was used as an interrogation room during the Russian occupation in the retaken village of Kozacha Lopan, Ukraine, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. (Leo Correa/)

A top Vatican envoy and his entourage came under fire while they were handing out humanitarian supplies near the city of Zaporizhzhia, the Vatican news service said Sunday. No injuries were reported.

Ukraine Situation Report: Biden Warns Putin On Nuke Use

  Ukraine Situation Report: Biden Warns Putin On Nuke Use Citing claimed Ukrainian attacks, Putin threatens more severe strikes as Biden warns of U.S. response to nuclear, chemical weapons use.A report from Al Jazeera quoted Putin as he dismissed Ukraine’s Kharkiv counteroffensive and described Russia’s actions as “quite restrained.” Putin claimed recent “sensitive strikes” on Ukraine, possibly alluding to attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure like the recent strike on Kryvyi Rih hydroelectric plant, are a warning of what’s to come.

“For the first time in my life, I didn’t know where to run. Because it is not enough to run, you have to know where to go,” said Vatican Almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, who was among those forced to take cover.

In the wake of Russian troops withdrawing hastily from the Kharkiv region last week, Ukrainian authorities said they found a makeshift prison where detainees had been abused in the village of Kozacha Lopan. Ukrainian forces retook the site, located just over a mile from the Russian border, on Sept. 11.

More than 10 “torture chambers” have been discovered, said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Ukrainian authorities released images of Soviet-era military telephones with extra wires and alligator clips attached that they say Russian forces used to shock prisoners during interrogations.

Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address Saturday that “a room for torture and tools for electric torture” also were found at the Kozacha Lopan railway station.

Ukrainian soldiers carry a coffin with the body of Roman Kosenko, nicknamed Yashka, and an active participant in the 2014 Maidan revolution, who died during fighting with Russian troops in Izyum, eastern Ukraine, during a funeral ceremony at Independence Square in Kyiv on September 18, 2022. © Provided by New York Daily News Ukrainian soldiers carry a coffin with the body of Roman Kosenko, nicknamed Yashka, and an active participant in the 2014 Maidan revolution, who died during fighting with Russian troops in Izyum, eastern Ukraine, during a funeral ceremony at Independence Square in Kyiv on September 18, 2022.

Ukrainian soldiers carry a coffin with the body of Roman Kosenko, nicknamed Yashka, and an active participant in the 2014 Maidan revolution, who died during fighting with Russian troops in Izyum, eastern Ukraine, during a funeral ceremony at Independence Square in Kyiv on September 18, 2022. (SERGEI SUPINSKY/)

“Torture was a widespread practice in the occupied territory,” the Ukrainian president said, comparing the Russians to the Nazis of World War II.

Why Has The Ukraine Counteroffensive Against Russia Been So Successful?

  Why Has The Ukraine Counteroffensive Against Russia Been So Successful? The element of surprise only plays a small part.The news has turned the war on its head and made headlines around the world, as Russians have been pushed out of cities and villages in the north-east of Ukraine.

“They will answer in the same way — both on the battlefields and in the courtrooms,” he added.

Burial sites in some areas where Russian forces were pushed out — such as in the city of Izium where more than 440 graves were found — contain the bodies of civilian adults, children and soldiers showing signs that they died violently, Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive to retake several Russian-occupied cities and villages marks the largest military setback for Moscow since its forces were pushed back from areas near Kyiv early on the invasion, which began Feb. 24.

Ukrainian residents going home to the recaptured border area found their houses bombed and burned, streets destroyed by mortar shells and smashed cars strewn along the roads.

Larysa Letiucha, 56, who left the village of Prudyanka with her family in April, said she returned to discover her house and that of her parents were “a horror” of blasted-out windows, gaping holes, shrapnel and debris. The entire rear of her parents’ home was blown off and missing.

“I still cannot pull myself together,” she said. “Our whole life was invested here.

“I don’t even know when we will renovate and rebuild all of this,” she added.

With News Wire Services

For Vladimir Putin, This Is the Beginning of the End .
U.S. intelligence officials are gun-shy about making predictions. But "Putin has to be contemplating his own survival at this point," says one.Ukraine's victories are the beginning of the end for President Putin.

See also