Ukraine said it feared dozens of civilians would be killed or injured after that Russian missile strike A crowded downtown shopping center hit on Monday.
More than 1,000 people were inside at the time of the missile attack, President Volodymyr Zelensky He said.
“It is impossible to imagine the number of victims,” he added. Mail On the messaging app Telegram, he shared a video that showed plumes of gray smoke billowing over a burning building as people and first responders ran in front of it.
ZelenskyThe office said it had confirmed the killing of at least two people and the injury of 20 others, including nine in critical condition.
NBC News has not verified the death toll from the accident, which occurred in Kremenchug, a city in the Poltava region on the banks of Ukraine’s Dnieper River.
Zelensky said the site did not represent any danger or strategic value to the Kremlin. “Russia continues to get rid of its powerlessness over ordinary citizens. There is no point in hoping for adequacy and humanity on its part,” the Ukrainian leader added.
As the mayor of Kremenchug, Vitaly Malitsky, said in Posted on Facebook That the missile strike hit “a very crowded place, which is 100% irrelevant to hostilities.” He added that there were dead and wounded, without specifying the number.
The attack happened just before 4 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET), according to Ukraine’s state emergency service, which said recovery efforts were continuing with the help of 115 lifeguards and 20 pieces of equipment. Efforts also continued to extinguish the flames, which covered more than 110,000 square feet and filled the one-story building that houses the shopping center.
Malitsky said the city has turned a local hotel into a point of contact for those who haven’t heard from friends and relatives. A hotline number has also been established.
National Police Chief Igor Klimenko said he deployed police forensic experts with war crimes investigators to begin collecting evidence.
Russian forces also apparently bombed the northeastern Kharkiv region, according to local Ukrainian officials, who reported three deaths and 15 people, including children. were injured. The authorities said that number is also expected to rise.
The strikes come just a day after Ukrainian officials blamed Russia for the bombing of two apartment buildings in the capital, Kyiv. kill two people.
On Saturday, officials across the country reported multiple missile strikes, indicating that Russia is not limiting its offensive to the eastern region of Donbass, where Moscow has focused its fight against Ukrainian forces in a bid to establish complete control over the region.
This is an evolving story, please check back for more updates.
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