Watch CBS News

Ukraine vows to retake seized land as Russia continues pummelling civilians

Russia continues to bombard Ukraine
Family calls for justice after 70-year-old is killed in Russian strike 01:38

Serhiivka, Ukraine — President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed that Ukraine's forces will retake areas captured by Russia. He says longer-range weapons from the West — like the "HIMARS" mobile multiple-launch rocket systems from the U.S. they're already putting to use — will help Ukraine's troops reclaim the roughly one-fifth of their country that Russia now occupies.

But as CBS News senior foreign correspondent Holly Williams reports, Russia is still bombarding civilian areas deep inside Ukrainian territory, including a recent missile strike that killed retired schoolteacher Vera Maksimenko.

Retired schoolteacher Vera Maksimenko was killed by a Russian air strike in her home town of Serhiivka on Saturday, July 2, 2022. Courtesy of the Maksimenko family

She was killed in her own home in the sleepy town of Serhiivka by an airstrike on Saturday. She lived a peaceful life until it was extinguished by what Ukrainian officials say was a Soviet-era missile designed to destroy warships.

"Mothers of Russia, why do you send your sons to kill our people?" demanded one angry woman as she walked past her slain neighbor's coffin.

Ukrainian military officials told Williams they're investigating the strike as a war crime.

For Maksimenko's friends and family, it's also a mystery. They're struggling to understand why the old lady or her small coastal town near Odesa would be targets for the Russian army.

For 37 years, she worked as a teacher. Her friend told Williams that the kids loved her, but "evil people came to our country and brutally killed her."

"Russia is a terrorist state," her son Dmitriy told CBS News. But he doesn't want revenge. He doesn't want any more violence.

"I don't need killing," he told Williams. "I want justice."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.