Russia-Ukraine crisis: 15 killed after rockets hit Donetsk apartment building

At least two dozen more feared to be stuck under rubble



By Reuters

Published: Sun 10 Jul 2022, 7:14 PM

At least 15 people were killed and two dozen more are feared trapped after Russian Uragan rockets hit a five-storey apartment block in Ukraine's Donetsk region, local officials said on Sunday as rescuers picked their way through rubble.

Ukraine also reported clashes with Russian troops on fronts in the east and south, while Moscow said its forces struck Ukrainian army hangars storing US-produced M777 howitzers, a type of artillery, near Kostyantynivka in Donetsk region.

Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said the strike on the apartment building took place on Saturday evening in the town of Chasiv Yar. The regional emergency service gave the death toll at 15 on Sunday afternoon, adding that 24 more people could still be under the rubble.

"We ran to the basement, there were three hits, the first somewhere in the kitchen," said a local resident who gave her name as Ludmila, speaking as rescuers removed a body in a white sheet and cleared rubble using a crane as well as their hands.

"The second, I do not even remember, there was lightning, we ran towards the second entrance and then straight into the basement. We sat there all night until this morning."

Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram that rescuers in Chasiv Yar had cleared nearly 99 tonnes of rubble from the site of the collapsed apartment block, and that rescue operations were still going on as of 4pm local time (1300 GMT).

Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a Telegram post that the strike was "another terrorist attack" and that Russia should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism as a result.

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Russia, which says it is conducting a "special military operation" to demilitarise Ukraine, denies deliberately attacking civilians.

Luhansk and Donetsk provinces comprise the Donbas, Ukraine's eastern industrial region that has become Europe's biggest battlefield for generations. Russia wants to wrest control of the Donbas on behalf of the separatists that it supports.

Moscow says ejecting the Ukrainian military from the region is central to its operation to ensure its own security, an offensive that has lasted for more than four months and which the West calls an unprovoked crisis.


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