Kremlin rules out Ukraine ceasefire in response to call for truce

Russia bombs areas in Ukraine, Kiev commemorates Bucha

Prime Minister of Slovenia Robert Golop, Ukrainian President and President of Moldova Maia Sandhu, Croatian Prime Minister and his Slovak counterpart Eduard Heger visit the town of Buča. Reuters

Russia used its long-range arsenal to bomb several new areas in Ukraine yesterday, killing at least two civilians and damaging homes, and while Ukrainians commemorated the liberation of Bucha, the Kremlin ruled out halting its offensive on Ukraine despite its ally, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, calling for a truce.

Russia continued its bombardment of Ukraine in the war, which has already entered its second year. Besides killing at least two in Ukraine, another 14 civilians were injured in the early hours of yesterday morning when Russia launched attacks with rockets, missiles, explosive drones and sliding bombs, the Ukrainian presidential office said.

Two Russian rockets hit the city of Kramatorsk in the eastern Donetsk region, damaging eight residential buildings. The office said one civilian was killed and five others wounded across the Donetsk region in the strikes.

Nine Russian missiles hit the city of Kharkiv, damaging residential buildings, roads, gas stations and a prison. The Russians also used explosive drones to attack the Kharkiv region.

Russian forces also shelled the city of Kherson in the south, killing one citizen and wounding two others. The village of Lviv in the Kherson district was hit by sliding bombs that destroyed about 10 houses.

The barrage of rockets also hit the city of Zaporizhia and its suburbs, causing large fires.

The Ukrainian military said areas near Kobyansk, Limansk, Pakhmot, Avdiivka and Marinsk had come under attack.

"A total of 47 attacks by Russian forces were repelled," he said.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commemorated the victims of Russian war crimes committed in the northwestern Kiev town of Bucha with a video on the first anniversary of its liberation from Russian forces.

Zelenskiy wrote on Telegram below a video featuring a recollection of events in Bucha last year: "Symbol of the atrocities of the occupying power's army. We will never forgive. We will punish all the perpetrators."

According to the video, prosecutors recorded more than 9000,1400 Russian war crimes in and around Bucha. More than 175,<> people died and more than <> bodies were found in mass graves or "torture chambers".

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Moscow's only ally in Europe, called for a truce and "unconditional" negotiations to end the war, blaming the West for the conflict. The president of Belarus said that Moscow may deploy strategic nuclear weapons in his country along with part of Russia's tactical nuclear arsenal.

In response to Belarus's proposal, the Kremlin ruled out halting its "military operation" in Ukraine.

"For Ukraine nothing changes: the special military operation is ongoing because it is the only way to achieve the goals set by our country today," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

The spokesman also noted that some aspects of a peace plan put forward by China cannot be implemented because Ukraine follows orders from the West not to negotiate with Moscow. In Geneva, High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk condemned serious human rights violations in Ukraine, which he said had become "shockingly common" 13 months after the Russian offensive began.

"The population is facing enormous suffering, losses, deprivation, displacement and destruction," Türk told the Human Rights Council, everywhere in Ukraine, also stressing the ongoing and profound effects of the crisis on the rest of the world.

In Washington, US President Joe Biden asked Moscow to release Ivan Gershkovich, an American journalist in the Wall Street Journal detained in Russia, while the newspaper called for the expulsion of Moscow's ambassador and Russian journalists from the United States.