It is day 597 of the war in Ukraine. Russia has shelled the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, killing two, and also launched aerial attacks on eastern Ukraine.
Drones were used to attack the Belgorod and Bryansk regions of western Russia overnight, though no casualties were reported.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has recognised the Holodomor as an act of genocide against the Ukrainan people.
Russian law enforcement officers have searched the homes of lawyers who represented jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny.
Novaya-Europe’s news roundup will brief you on the main developments overnight.
Russian shelling of Kherson kills two, drone attacks launched on Belgorod and Bryansk in western Russia
Air raid alerts were issued in the Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro, Donetsk and Kharkiv regions of eastern Ukraine overnight, the Ukrainian Air Force reported on Friday, warning residents that Russia had been attacking areas around the frontline from the air.
Two people were killed and six were injured in Russian shelling of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin announced on Friday. He said that a total of 49 shells had been used to target residential neighbourhoods, educational facilities, a medical institution, and a factory.
Russian forces also attacked the cities of Nikopol and Marhanets in the Dnipro region with heavy artillery, according to Serhiy Lysak, the Dnipro governor. Another explosion was reported in the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih.
Russia’s Defence Ministry said it had downed two drones over the western Russian cities of Belgorod and Bryansk on Thursday evening. The governors of both regions said that nobody had been injured by the drone debris.
PACE declares the Holodomor to be an act of genocide against Ukrainians
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has recognised the Holodomor, a famine that is believed to have killed up to 5 million people in Soviet Ukraine in the early 1930s, as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people.
PACE also called on its members to adopt similar resolutions in their parliaments and provide military and political assistance to Kyiv to prevent a new Russian-made genocide in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked PACE for its decision in a tweet on Thursday. “Restoring historical justice and paying tribute to Holodomor victims sends a message that justice is inevitable” for all past and present crimes committed by Moscow, he wrote.
The Ukrainian authorities have been pushing for the Holodomor to be recognised as a genocidal act for decades. Since the full-scale Russian invasion of the country started in February last year, Germany, Bulgaria, Belgium, France, Iceland and the UK, as well as the European Parliament, have all officially recognised that the famine was manmade and genocidal.
Navalny’s lawyers have their homes searched
Russian law enforcement searched the homes of the lawyers who represented the jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny in his recent trial for “extremism” on Friday morning, according to a member of Navalny’s team.
Navalny associate Ivan Zhdanov named the lawyers in question as Vadim Kobzev, Igor Sergunin, and Alexey Liptser. The move had been made to completely isolate Navalny from the outside world while in prison, he said.
The lawyers were reportedly detained on suspicion of “participating in an extremist community” and if found guilty could face up to six years in prison.
Russia’s most popular opposition figure, Navalny was sentenced to 19 more years in prison in extremely harsh conditions for the alleged creation of an “extremist community” and for “sponsoring extremism” in August.
Navalny was originally sentenced to 2.5 years on charges of embezzlement in 2021, receiving an additional nine years in prison on similar charges in March 2022.