(Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday that the Russian military has “completely destroyed” the Donbass industrial zone and accused Russia of bombing it as it intensifies its offensive in the neighboring country.
Zelensky accused the Russian military of trying to kill as many Ukrainians as possible and inflicting as much damage as possible, reiterating his charge that Russia was committing genocide.
Zelensky said that as Ukrainian forces moved to liberate Kharkiv region east of Kyiv, Russia was trying to put even more pressure on the Donbass, which is in southeastern Ukraine.
“It’s hell out there – and that’s no exaggeration,” he said in a late-night video speech, adding that 12 people were killed in the “brutal and absolutely senseless bombing” of Severodnetsk on Thursday.
“In the Odessa region, the cities of central Ukraine are constantly under attack. The Donbass has been completely destroyed,” he said.
“This is a deliberate and criminal attempt to kill as many Ukrainians as possible, destroying as many homes, social facilities and businesses as possible.”
(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Ronald Popsky)