Zelenskiy accuses Russia of using phosphorous bombs, terror tactics

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks at a news conference, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 8, 2022. REUTERS/Janis Laizans

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April 13 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday that Russia was using phosphorous bombs in Ukraine and he accused Moscow of deploying terror tactics against civilians.

Adressing the Estonian parliament, Zelenskiy said: "The Russian army is using all types of artillery, all types of missile, air bombs in particular phosphorous bombs against residential districts and civilian infrastructure.

"This is clear terror against the civilian population."

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He did not provide evidence and Reuters has not been able to independently verify his claims.

Russia has denied targeting civilians since it invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 and has said Ukrainian and Western allegations of war crimes are fabricated.

Ukraine has said it is checking unverified information that Russia may have used chemical weapons while besieging the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. But Russia-backed separatists trying to seize complete control of the city have denied using chemical weapons and Moscow has in the past labelled U.S. talk of Russian forces using chemical weapons a tactic to divert attention away from awkward questions for Washington. read more

There was no immediate reaction from Moscow to Zelenskiy's comments.

Zelenskiy also said Russia had been forcibly deporting Ukrainians, again without producing evidence, and called for economic sanctions on Russia to continue, saying they were the only way to force Russia to agree peace terms.

Ukraine should get European Union candidate status and that a visit by the presidents of Poland and Baltic countries later on Wednesday was important as a signal of support to Ukraine, he said.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has killed thousands and displaced millions.

Moscow calls its actions in Ukraine a "special operation" to destroy Ukraine's military capabilities and root out what it views as dangerous nationalists, but Ukraine and the West say Russia launched an unprovoked war of aggression.

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Reporting by Natalia Zinets Writing by Alexander Winning Editing by Hugh Lawson and Angus MacSwan

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