Ukrainian and British officials warned on Saturday that Russian forces are relying on weapons able to cause mass casualties as they try to make headway in capturing eastern Ukraine and fierce, prolonged fighting depletes resources on both sides. Russian bombers have likely been launching heavy 1960s-era anti-ship missiles in Ukraine, the UK Defence Ministry said. The Kh-22 missiles were primarily designed to destroy aircraft carriers using a nuclear warhead. When used in ground attacks with conventional warheads, they “are highly inaccurate and therefore can cause severe collateral damage and casualties,” the ministry said. Both sides have expended large amounts of weaponry in what has become a grinding war of attrition for the eastern region of coal mines and factories known as the Donbas, placing huge strains on their resources and stockpiles. Russia is likely using the 5.5-tonne (6.1-ton) anti-ship missiles because it is running short of more precise modern missiles, the British ministry said. It gave no details of where exactly such missiles are thought to have been deployed. In Kyiv, EU chief promises a signal on Ukraine’s bid next week As Russia also sought to consolidate it’s hold over territory seized so far in the 108-day war, US Defence Secretary said Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine “is what happens when oppressors trample the rules that protect us all.” “It’s what happens when big powers decide that their imperial appetites matter more than the rights of their peaceful neighbours,” Lloyd Austin said during a visit to Asia. “And it’s a preview of a possible world of chaos and turmoil that none of us would want to live in.” Governor: Flame-throwers used in Luhansk A Ukrainian Governor accused Russia of using incendiary weapons in a village in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk province, southwest of the fiercely contested cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk. While the use of flame-throwers on the battlefield is legal, Serhii Haidai, Governor of Luhansk province, alleged the overnight attacks in Vrubivka caused widespread damage to civilian facilities and an unknown number of victims. Biden says Ukraine’s Zelensky brushed off warnings of an invasion by Russia “At night, the enemy used a flame-thrower rocket system – many houses burnt down,” Haidai wrote on Telegram on Saturday. The accuracy of his claim could not be immediately verified. Sievierodonetsk and neighbouring Lysychansk are the last major areas of Luhansk province remaining under Ukrainian control. Haidai said the Russians destroyed railway depots, a brick factory and a glass factory. The Ukrainian army said on Saturday that Russian forces also were to launch an offensive on the Donetsk province city of Sloviansk. Donetsk and Luhansk together make up the Donbas, Moscow-backed rebels have controlled self-proclaimed republics in both provinces since 2014, and Russia is trying to seize the territory still in Ukrainian hands. Russia sets up company to sell Ukraine’s grain Russian-installed officials in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region have set up a company to buy up local grain and resell it on Moscow’s behalf, a local representative told the Interfax news agency on Saturday. Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of stealing Ukraine’s grain and causing a global food crisis that could cause millions of deaths from hunger. Yevgeny Balitsky, the head of Zaporizhzhia’s pro-Russian provisional administration, said the new state-owned grain company has taken control of several facilities. He said “the grain will be Russian” and “we don’t care who the buyer will be.” It was not clear if the farmers whose grain was being sold by Russia were getting paid. Balitsky said his administration would not forcibly appropriate grain or pressure producers to sell it. The head of Ukraine’s presidential office accused Russia’s military of shelling and burning grain fields ahead of the harvest. Andriy Yermak alleged Moscow is “trying to repeat” a Soviet-era famine which claimed the lives of over 3 million Ukrainians in 1932-33. “Our soldiers are putting out the fires, but (Russia’s) ‘food terrorism’ must be stopped,” Yermak wrote Saturday on Telegram. The accuracy of his and Balitsky’s claims could not be independently verified. Russian passports for Ukraine residents Russian forces occupying parts of southern Ukraine began handing out Russian passports to local residents on Saturday. In the Kherson region, 23 residents accepted Russian passports, including the new Moscow-installed Governor, Russian state news agency its Moscow-installed Governor, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported. “For me, this is a truly historic moment. I have always thought that we are one country and one people,” the news agency quoted the Governor, Volodymyr Saldo, as saying. Russian forces also started awarding passports in the occupied city of Melitopol, according to Russian state news agency TASS agency. A Telegram post by TASS cited a Russian-installed local official as the original source of the information. It did not specify how many residents had requested or received Russian citizenship. Melitopol is located outside the Donbas in the region of Zaporizhzhia, which is still held partly by Ukraine. Ukraine pleads for more weapons, as cholera spreads Death toll among children Nearly 800 children have been killed or injured in Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s invasion, Ukrainian authorities said on Saturday. According to a statement by the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, at least 287 children died as a result of military activity, while at least 492 more have been injured. The statement stressed the figures were not final and said they were based on investigations by juvenile prosecutors. The office said children in Ukraine’s Donetsk province suffered the most, with 217 reported killed or injured, compared with 132 and 116, respectively, in the Kharkiv and Kyiv regions.