The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Strike kills civilians in Vinnytsia; countries pledged $20 million for ICC

Oleksandr, a 52-year-old farmer from Vuhlehirsk, Ukraine, continued to work his field despite the threat. (Video: Reuters)

More than 20 people were killed, including three children, and at least 71 were hospitalized Thursday after Russian cruise missiles struck a crowded business center in the central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia, far from the front lines, Ukrainian officials said. President Volodymyr Zelensky called the attack “an open act of terrorism” against a target with no military value.

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In photos sent to The Washington Post by Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, who said they were taken at the scene, a bloodied child can be seen lying next to a severed adult foot, her legs at an unnatural angle. In another photo, charred remains, barely recognizable as human, lie splayed in the dirt.

Here’s what else to know

  • More than 40 countries, including the United States and those in the European Union, agreed Thursday to work together to assist investigations into alleged war crimes in Ukraine and pledged $20 million to the International Criminal Court.
  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called Thursday for the establishment of a special tribunal to try Russia for its war of “aggression.”
  • Some progress was reported during a meeting between Ukrainian and Russian delegations and U.N. diplomats in Turkey to break an impasse over grain shipments from Ukraine’s blockaded Black Sea ports. The talks amounted to “a critical step forward,” U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said.

War in Ukraine: What you need to know

The latest: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees Friday to annex four occupied regions of Ukraine, following staged referendums that were widely denounced as illegal. Follow our live updates here.

The response: The Biden administration on Friday announced a new round of sanctions on Russia, in response to the annexations, targeting government officials and family members, Russian and Belarusian military officials and defense procurement networks. President Volodymyr Zelensky also said Friday that Ukraine is applying for “accelerated ascension” into NATO, in an apparent answer to the annexations.

In Russia: Putin declared a military mobilization on Sept. 21 to call up as many as 300,000 reservists in a dramatic bid to reverse setbacks in his war on Ukraine. The announcement led to an exodus of more than 180,000 people, mostly men who were subject to service, and renewed protests and other acts of defiance against the war.

The fight: Ukraine mounted a successful counteroffensive that forced a major Russian retreat in the northeastern Kharkiv region in early September, as troops fled cities and villages they had occupied since the early days of the war and abandoned large amounts of military equipment.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.

How you can help: Here are ways those in the U.S. can support the Ukrainian people as well as what people around the world have been donating.

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