The city which was home to around 21,000 people sustained days of heavy bombardment by Russian forces and was allegedly captured by the Russian-backed separatists on Friday. However, just hours later, video footage within the city showed much of the city had been gutted as Putin continues his “war of annihilation”.
According to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of the Donetsk region, many of the citizens had managed to flee before the Russian forces arrived but said there was barely anything left of the city.
He told the Ukrainian television channel Direct: “In general, Volnovakha with its infrastructure as such no longer exists.”
The stark message from the governor comes after president Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia will only take the capital city of Kyiv if it “razes it to the ground”.
During his latest speech, Mr Zelensky lambasted NATO over its response to the Russian invasion, claiming the alliance lacked “bravery”.
He added that he doesn’t see a “common consensus” for Ukraine to be accepted into NATO but hinted at the possibility of peace talks with Russia in Jerusalem .
He said: “Our diplomats are discussing details with Russia, and I hope that we will have a real peace process to end the war, but first there should be a ceasefire.
“This will allow us to open humanitarian processes, evacuation of people, and the delivery of water, food and medicines.
“We’re waiting for this process, we’re discussing processes to end this war.
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Referring to peace efforts led by Israel, Mr Zelensky said: “We have a positive stance on the mediation efforts.
“We believe that he can play an important role, because Israel is a special country with a lot of history and a lot of parallels, and Israel also underwent a large wave of migration of Jews from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and all of Europe.”