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War in Ukraine: Russian missile “graveyard”, Dutch aid and embassy security

origin 1A war prosecutor looks at collected parts of Russian rockets that were used to attack the city of Kharkiv, in Kharkiv, Ukraine on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022. ©AP Photo

A missile ‘graveyard’ in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv contains more than 1,000 missiles and is a reminder of some of the worst damage caused by the Russian invasion.

Local authorities hope they can help provide information for any criminal cases against Russian authorities and soldiers. And one day, perhaps, they will become part of a museum of the country’s atrocities.

The bluish cylinders are lined up in rows according to their size, making for an impressive if shocking sight from above.

Dmytro Chubenko, a spokesman for the Kharkiv region prosecutor’s office, said the rockets had been collected since the first attacks and after some time officials decided to organize them by type.

“This is evidence that an international criminal court would use,” he said during a site visit. You said that some specialists have already come to the city to analyze the material.

The missiles, he added, were used against some important residential areas, such as North Saltivka and Oleksiivka. He said authorities estimated at least 1,700 people had been killed by the shelling, including 44 children, in and around Kharkiv.

In the summer, buildings in areas such as Saltivka were badly damaged, some blackened and some dilapidated. There was virtually no activity, with shops closed and flats destroyed. Winter hasn’t improved anything.

“We have lost everything and it is not at all clear what we can expect in the future,” said Anna, a resident of North Saltivka who left months ago and did not give her last name for safety reasons.

The Kharkiv prosecutor’s office said it would keep the rockets for as long as needed so any expert or prosecutor could take the information they need to use as evidence against the Russians.

The Dutch government has announced a huge support package for Ukraine

The Dutch government has announced a new €2.5 billion aid package for Ukraine for 2023.

“As long as Russia continues to wage war on Ukraine, the Netherlands will continue to support Ukraine,” militarily, humanitarianally and diplomatically, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Twitter, adding that he just spoke on the phone with the Ukrainian president. .

The Hague expects the amount to be needed for military support, support for remedial work and war crimes accountability work.

“The exact use of the contribution depends on the needs of the Ukrainians and therefore on the progress of the war,” Rutte stressed.

The aid for remediation works is intended for the rehabilitation of infrastructure – including energy infrastructure – hospitals, housing, agriculture and demining operations.

Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said last week that the Netherlands had so far provided nearly 1 billion euros in military aid to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24.

Finland asks Moscow for guarantees of diplomatic security

The Finnish embassy in Moscow has asked Russia to ensure the security of the diplomatic mission following an incident this week in which people wearing masks threw bats in the courtyard of the embassy.

The incident did not cause any injuries or damage to the building, the Finnish foreign ministry said on Friday.

But Finland’s deputy head of mission had “asked Russia to ensure the security of the staff and the building, in line with the Geneva Convention on diplomatic relations,” a ministry spokesman said.

A video released on social media — which it was not possible to verify immediately but which would appear to be corroborated by the comments of the Farnesina — shows a group of about 10 people running towards the building, which has the Finnish and European flags on the outside, and they throw several clubs over the fence.