Mykhayl Shulha, 6, cried and hugged family members next to the casket of his 11-year-old sister Sofia Shulha during Sunday’s funeral, while others paid tribute to a 17-year-old boy.
As mourners held candles, crossed themselves and sang, the priest of the Church of the Icon of the Virgin Mary “Quick to Hear” waved a container of incense over the coffins. He said the deaths hit the entire community hard.
“I live nearby,” said Father Fyodor Botsu. “I personally knew the children, the little ones, from a very young age, and I personally baptized them in this church. I’m worried about everyone since I have children and I’m a citizen of this country and I’ve lived in this city for 15 years.”
He said he prayed “for the war to end and for peace to come to our homes, city and country.”
At the damaged building in Uman, people brought flowers and photos of the victims.
Russia’s 14-month war led to more deaths elsewhere on Sunday.
The governor of a Russian region bordering Ukraine said four people were killed in a Ukrainian rocket attack. The rockets hit houses in the village of Suzemka, nine kilometers (six miles) from the border with Ukraine, Bryansk regional governor Alexander Bogomaz said. He said two other residents were wounded and that the defense systems had shot down some of the incoming shells.
Bryansk and the neighboring Belgorod region have suffered sporadic cross-border shelling during the war. In March, two people were reported killed in what officials said was a raid by Ukrainian saboteurs in the Bryansk region.
Also Sunday, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said his Kherson region in Ukraine came under Russian artillery fire 27 times in the past 24 hours, killing one civilian.
Ukraine’s expected spring counteroffensive could be concentrated in the Kherson region, a gateway to Crimea and other Russian-held territories south of mainland Ukraine. Ukrainian forces drove Russian forces out of the regional capital Kherson last year, a major defeat for Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymy Zelenskyy said the counteroffensive would not wait for the delivery of all promised military equipment.
“I would have wanted to wait for everything that was promised,” Zelenskyy told Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian reporters. “But it happens that the terms (handover of weapons and counter-offensive), unfortunately, do not match a bit. And, I’ll say frankly, we’re keeping an eye on the weather.”
Ukraine especially hopes that it will receive Western fighter jets, but Zelenskyi said that his forces will not delay the counteroffensive because of this, so as not to “assure Russia that we still have a few months to train the planes, and only then they will do it.” let’s get started.”
Zelenskyy said he spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday about the arms supply and was satisfied with its “speed and specificity.”
Macron’s office said he reiterated France’s commitment to provide Ukraine with “all the help necessary to restore its sovereignty and territorial integrity” and spoke of long-term European military aid.
The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, which is leading his country’s battle in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, gave an even more precise timetable for the Ukrainian counteroffensive. The Ukrainian military will launch the counteroffensive on May 15 because by then the heavy rains will have stopped and the ground will be dry enough for tanks and artillery to move, Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a video interview with a Russian journalist published on Saturday.
In other battlefield developments, Ukraine’s Northern Command said the Sumy and Chernihiv regions, which border Bryansk and Belgorod, were hit 11 times overnight Sunday.