At least 15 people were killed when a Russian missile struck an apartment complex in eastern Ukraine on Sunday as Moscow’s forces worked to strengthen their hold on the Donbas region.
In the town of Chasiv Yar, “15 bodies were found at the scene during the rescue effort, and five people were pulled out of the wreckage alive,” the local emergency service of Ukraine reported on Facebook.
The four-story building was struck by a Russian Uragan missile, and the regional governor of Donetsk, Pavlo Kyrylenko, had claimed on Telegram that “at least 30 others are under the wreckage.”
AFP correspondents at the scene, where responders were sifting through the wreckage with a mechanized excavator, observed that the building had been partially demolished in the strike.
Three persons under the wreckage had so far been reached by rescuers, according to emergency services.
Russian forces are focusing on Donetsk as they attempt to seize control of the whole Donbas region after waging protracted fights to seize the final pockets of the neighboring region of Lugansk.
A Chasiv Yar resident who did not want to be identified when she spoke to AFP said, she was in the bedroom, she came out and everything started shaking.
She said the explosion’s force forced her into the restroom while she was still covered in blood, which is what saved her. I barely made it,” she said.
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The Ukrainian army general staff reported Sunday that Russian ground attacks had all but stopped while the Donetsk region was continuously being shelled.
Donetsk’s governor, Kyrylenko, reported that three people were killed and 23 more were hurt by shelling on Saturday.
According to regional governor Oleg Sinegubov, strikes were also reported in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city in the northeast, where a “educational establishment” and a residence were damaged, hurting one.
In a speech Saturday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced the extensive Russian bombardments.
Russia struck Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, Kryvyi Rig, and the localities in the Zaporizhzhia area on just one day, according to Zelensky.
He said that normal residences, civilian items, and people” were struck by Russian strikes that “absolutely deliberately” and “purposefully” targeted the residential area.