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Ukraine's foreign minister accuses Russia of 'war crimes' with attacks on school, orphanage


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Ukraine’s foreign minister on Friday accused Russia of “war crimes” after he said Moscow had attacked a kindergarten and an orphanage – promising the Ukraine would send evidence of the attacks to The Hague.

“Today’s Russian attacks on a kindergarten and an orphanage are war crimes and violations of the Rome Statute,” Dmytro Kuleba tweeted, referring to the agreement that established the International Criminal Court. 

“Together with the General Prosecutor’s Office we are collecting this and other facts, which we will immediately send to the Hague,” he said. “Responsibility is inevitable.”

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The claim came as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow has called a “special military operation,” moved in on the capital city of Kyiv.

Russian troops have entered the Obolon district of Kyiv, Ukraine’s defense ministry reported early Friday.

Kyiv residents reported loud explosions, the Kyiv Independent reported. Ukrainian forces might have shot down a Russian missile in the capital, according to the Ukrainska Pravda news outlet.

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The Kremlin said Friday, via a Russian state-run news agency, that Russian President Vladimir Putin is prepared to send a delegation to negotiate with Ukrainian officials over the country’s “neutral status.”

That was in response to a Friday morning message from Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy, who said he was “not afraid” to engage in talks with Russia, if it could halt the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We heard from Moscow today that they want to talk about the neutral status of Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said. “We are not afraid of Russia, we are not afraid of engaging in talks with Russia, we are not afraid of discussing anything, such as security guarantees for our state, we are not afraid of talking about neutral status.”

A damaged residential building on Koshytsa Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where a military shell allegedly hit, on Feb. 25, 2022. (Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images)

A damaged residential building on Koshytsa Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where a military shell allegedly hit, on Feb. 25, 2022. (Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images)

“Fighting is ongoing all over Ukraine. Let’s sit at the table for negotiations to stop people dying,” Zelenskyy continued.

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Meanwhile, the U.N.’s human rights office says it is receiving increasing reports of civilian casualties in Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s military invasion.

A spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says it has so far verified at least 127 civilian casualties. They include 25 people killed and 102 injured, mostly from shelling and airstrikes. They warned that the numbers are “very likely to be an underestimate.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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