28th June 2022 – (Kyiv) Two Russian missiles have hit a crowded shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, killing at least 16 people and wounding 59, according to emergency services.
“As of now, we know of 16 dead and 59 wounded, 25 of them hospitalised. The information is being updated,” Sergiy Kruk said on Telegram.
The attack on Monday caused a huge fire and sent dark smoke billowing into the sky, footage circulated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy showed.
The Ukrainian leader called the attack “one of the most daring terrorist attacks in European history” and said that many of the more than 1,000 afternoon shoppers and staff inside the mall had managed to escape.
Dmytro Lunin, governor of the central Poltava region, wrote on Telegram that more bodies were likely to be found as rescue workers search through the smouldering rubble.
“It’s an act of terrorism against civilians,” he said, suggesting there was no military target nearby that Russia could have been aiming at.
Aerial photos showed the structure reduced to twisted metal, with workers combing through growing piles of rubble.
Earlier, Zelensky had said “over a thousand civilians” were in the mall when the missiles struck the city, which had a pre-war population of 220,000 people.
“The mall is on fire, rescuers are fighting the fire. The number of victims is impossible to imagine,” Zelensky wrote on Facebook.
A video shared by the Ukraine president showed the mall engulfed in flames with dozens of rescuers and a fire truck outside.
Presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak accused Russia of being a “terrorist state”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, on Twitter, that “the world is horrified by Russia’s missile strike today, which hit a crowded Ukrainian shopping mall — the latest in a string of atrocities”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the attack demonstrated the “depths of cruelty and barbarism” of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
And the French foreign ministry also condemned the attack.