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TOKYO (AP) — Hiroshima on Saturday remembered the atomic bombing 77 years ago as officials, including the head of the United Nations, warned against nuclear weapons buildup and fears grow of another such attack amid Russia’s war on Ukraine.

“Nuclear weapons are nonsense. They guarantee no safety — only death and destruction,” said U.

N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who joined the prayer at the Hiroshima Peace Park.

“Three quarters of a century later, we must ask what we’ve learned from the mushroom cloud that swelled above this city in 1945,” he said.

The United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, destroying the city and killing 140,000 people. It dropped a second bomb three days later on Nagasaki, killing another 70,000. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, ending World War II and Japan’s nearly half-century of aggression in Asia.

Fears of a third atomic bombing have grown amid Russia’s threats of nuclear attack since its war on Ukraine began in February.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, in his peace declaration, accused Putin of “using his own people as instruments of war and stealing the lives and livelihoods of innocent civilians in another country.”

Russia’s war on Ukraine is helping build support for nuclear deterrence, Matsui said, urging the world not to repeat the mistakes that destroyed his city 77 years ago.

On Saturday, attendees including government leaders and diplomats observed a moment of silence with the sound of a peace bell at 8:15 a.m., the time when the U.S. B-29 dropped the bomb on the city. About 400 doves, considered symbols of peace, were released.

Russia and its ally Belarus were not invited to this year’s peace memorial. Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin on Thursday offered flowers at a memorial epitaph in the park and told reporters his country would never use nuclear weapons.

The world continues to face threats from nuclear weapons, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at the memorial.

“I must raise my voice to appeal to the people around the world that the tragedy of nuclear weapons use should never be repeated,” he said. “Japan will walk its path toward a world without nuclear weapons, no matter how narrow, steep or difficult that may be.”

Kishida, who will host a Group of Seven summit meeting next May in Hiroshima, said he hoped to share his pledge with other G7 leaders “before the peace monument” to unite them to protect peace and international order based on the universal values of freedom and democracy.

Matsui criticized nuclear weapon states, including Russia, for not taking steps despite their pledge to abide by obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“Rather than treating a world without nuclear weapons like a distant dream, they should be taking concrete steps toward its realization,” he said.

Critics say Kishida’s call for a nuclear-free world is hollow because Japan remains under the U.S. nuclear umbrella and continues to boycott the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Kishida said the treaty, which lacks the U.S. and other nuclear powers, is not realistic at the moment and that Japan needs to bridge the divide between non-nuclear and nuclear powers.

Many survivors of the bombings have lasting injuries and illnesses resulting from the explosions and radiation exposure and face discrimination in Japan.

The government began to provide medical support to certified survivors in 1968 after more than 20 years of effort by them.

As of March, 118,935 survivors, whose average age now exceeds 84, are certified as eligible for government medical support, according to the Health and Welfare Ministry. But many others, including those who say they were victims of the “black rain” that fell outside of the initially designated areas, are still without support.

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Tags: russia’s war on ukraine russia’s war amid russia’s nuclear weapons nuclear weapons medical support nuclear powers atomic bombing hiroshima continues dropped atomic bomb on saturday amid russia

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The moment Russians obliterated apartment blocks with thermobaric bomb: Terrifying video shows onslaught amid heavy fighting for the Donbas

The Russian military is indiscriminately demolishing blocks of residential housing in Donetsk with terrifying barrages of thermobaric bombs, new video footage has revealed.

The town of Pisky located on the outskirts of Donetsk was obliterated yesterday by Putin's savage thermobaric weapons or 'vacuum bombs', which triggered massive fireballs that completely engulfed rows of apartment blocks. 

Thermobaric weapons spray a mist of highly flammable aerosol moments prior to their detonation.

When the blast erupts, the vapour cloud is ignited and sucks in the air surrounding it, creating higher temperatures and more damaging explosions which endure far longer than conventional blasts.

The harrowing clip shared by pro-Russian accounts on the Telegram messaging app represents yet more evidence of Putin's troops targeting residential areas and civilian centres, contrary to official claims made by Russia's ministry of defence.

It comes as the Russian military relaunched a renewed assault to seize more territory in Donetsk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv regions. 

The town of Pisky located on the outskirts of Donetsk was obliterated yesterday by Putin's savage thermobaric weapons or 'vacuum bombs', which triggered massive fireballs that completely engulfed rows of apartment blocks

This close up image shows residential blocks blown apart as huge flames rage throughout the town and large trails of smoke snake upwards

The harrowing clip shared by pro-Russian accounts on the Telegram messaging app represents yet more evidence of Putin's troops targeting residential areas

The town of Pisky located on the outskirts of Donetsk was obliterated yesterday by Putin's savage thermobaric weapons

After a brief abatement in intensity to regroup and consolidate troop numbers, Russia's brutal assault on the eastern Donbas region began anew this week with a series of devastating attacks as Putin's soldiers attempt to gain more ground in southeastern Ukraine. 

A report from the Land Forces of Ukraine said Russian units are now trying to defend the land they have already gained in the Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson and Kharkiv regions, while trying to slowly advance their positions in Donetsk.

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has claimed the Kremlin's goal is to retake the entire Donbas region from Ukraine, which would require Putin's forces to gain total control of the entire Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. 

An intelligence update yesterday from Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) suggested Russian commanders were facing 'competing operational priorities' in attempting to gain ground in Donetsk while also reinforcing their defences against Ukrainian counterattacks in the south and north east.

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It comes amid reports that the Kremlin is staging covert recruitment operations to replenish the tens of thousands of its troops killed in Ukraine since February 24 to avoid implementing conscription.

Although the Russian defence ministry denies that any 'mobilisation activities' are taking place, authorities seem to be pulling out all the stops to bolster enlistment.

Billboards and public transit ads in various regions proclaim, 'This is The Job,' urging men to join the professional army. Authorities have set up mobile recruiting centers in some cities, including one at the site of a half marathon in Siberia in May.

Regional administrations meanwhile are forming 'volunteer battalions' that are promoted on state television. 

The business daily Kommersant counted at least 40 such entities in 20 regions, with officials promising volunteers monthly salaries ranging from the equivalent of £1,750 to nearly £5,000. 

A Russian Army soldier looks through a sniper rifle scope as she and other soldiers guard a group of foreign journalists visiting a captured Ukrainian checkpoint in Luhansk

Though devastating attacks continue to rock the Donbas region this week, the repeated shelling of Europe's largest nuclear powerplant in Zaporizhzhia (pictured) is arguably the most alarming threat facing Ukraine

A house lies in ruins after the shelling of Russian troops, Kushuhum urban-type settlement, Zaporizhzhia Region

A view of an explosion crater after Russian shelling in a village of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine on August 10, 2022

Though devastating attacks continue to rock the Donbas region this week, the repeated shelling of Europe's largest nuclear powerplant is arguably the most alarming threat facing Ukraine.

Both sides have accused each other of the shelling which has killed dozens of people over the past week and threatened to critically damage the facility which houses several nuclear reactors. 

Ukraine state energy company Energoatom said the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power complex was shelled again today, after yesterday's attacks killed 14.

Energoatom said the plant's area was struck five times, including near the site where radioactive materials are stored, but that nobody was injured and the situation at the plant remained under control.

The clashes have revived memories of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Soviet Ukraine, which killed hundreds of people and spread radioactive contamination over much of Europe.

The Group of Seven industrialised nations (G7) condemned Russia's occupation and called on Moscow to immediately hand back full control of the plant to Ukrainian authorities. 

Ukrainian staff operating the plant must be able to work 'without threats or pressure' and Russia's control of the plant 'endangers the region', the G7 foreign ministers said in a statement.

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