At least 10 people have been killed and dozens wounded after missiles hit civilian buildings in an overnight attack in the central city of Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, a regional governor said.
Serhiy Lysak, of the Dnipropetrovsk region, said the strike involving cruise missiles hit a five-storey residential building early on Tuesday and the area was engulfed in fire.
Kryvyi Rih mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said that said that one person is still believed to be trapped under the rubble and 28 others were wounded.
The devastation in President Volodymyr Zelensky’s home town is the latest bloodshed in Russia’s war in Ukraine, now in its 16th month, as Ukrainian forces are mounting counter-offensive operations using Western-supplied firepower to try to drive out the Russians.
Images from the scene relayed by Mr Zelensky on his Telegram channel showed firefighters battling the blaze as pockets of fire poked through multiple broken windows of a building.
Charred and damaged vehicles littered the ground.
“More terrorist missiles,” he wrote on the social app. “Russian killers continue their war against residential buildings, ordinary cities and people.”
The aerial assault was the latest barrage of strikes by Russian forces that targeted various parts of Ukraine overnight.
That included Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, which was attacked with Iranian-made Shahed drones, while the surrounding region was shelled, local governor Oleh Syniehubov said on Tuesday on Telegram.
He reported that shelling wounded two civilians — a 33-year-old man and 44-year-old woman — in the town of Shevchenkove, south east of Kharkiv.
The mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhov, separately reported that a drone strike damaged a utilities business and a warehouse in the city’s north east.
The Kyiv military administration reported that the capital came under fire as well on Tuesday but the incoming missiles were destroyed.
Videos appeared on Twitter purporting to show the destruction after the incident:
Air defences overnight shot down 10 out of 14 cruise missiles and one of four Iranian-made Shahed drones launched by Russian forces, Ukraine’s General Staff said on its Facebook page.
Meanwhile, the head of Ukraine’s ground troops said the country’s forces were “moving forward” outside the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.
Oleksandr Syrskyi wrote on Telegram that Russian forces are “losing positions on the flanks” while Ukrainian troops were conducting “defensive” operations in the area.
For weeks, Ukrainian officials have been reporting small gains west of Bakhmut, which was largely devastated in the war’s longest and bloodiest battle before Moscow’s forces took control last month.
Over the last day in Ukrainian-held areas of Donetsk, nearly a dozen frontline towns and villages came under increased shelling as Ukrainian troops pushed forward, Mr Zelensky’s office said.
Also on Tuesday, the Russian Defence Ministry published a video showing what it said was a German-made Leopard 2 tank and US-made Bradley fighting vehicle captured from Ukrainian forces.
According to the ministry, the video was shot by Russian soldiers after fierce fighting in the southern Zaporizhzhia, and a soldier is seen pointing at the immobilised vehicles. It wasn’t immediately possible to verify the video’s authenticity.
Like the Bakhmut area, battle zones in Zaporizhzhia are one of several places along the roughly 1,000-kilometre front line where Ukrainian forces have been intensifying their counter-offensive operations.
Vladimir Rogov, an official with the Moscow-appointed administration for parts of Zaporizhzhia that Russia controls, alleged that the Ukrainian counter-offensive had failed, and told state news agency RIA-Novosti that Ukrainian forces “continue to suffer colossal losses when they make new attempts to advance” He did not elaborate, and his claims could not be immediately verified.
Associated Press Reporter – Press Association