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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Russian missile strike kills at least 11 people in President Volodymyr Zelensky’s home town

Residents sobbed outside the burnt-out apartment block and smoke billowed after the early-morning attack in Kryvyi Rih

Reuters Published 14.06.23, 07:06 AM
Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin. File Photo

A Russian missile strike killed at least 11 people in an apartment building and a warehouse in President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s home town on Tuesday, while Moscow’s forces yielded ground in the early stages of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Residents sobbed outside the burnt-out apartment block and smoke billowed after the early-morning attack in Kryvyi Rih, a half-hour drive from the huge reservoir emptied last week by the destruction of a dam that flooded a swathe of southern Ukraine.

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Officials said at least four people were killed in the apartment building and another six in the warehouse, with at least one more person, feared trapped under the rubble. Twenty-eight were injured.

Broken glass and bricks were strewn across the street and courtyard outside the apartment block. At least five cars were ruined husks.

Survivors described two explosions. Olha Chernousova said she was thrown out of her bed by a violent blast wave. She escaped onto her balcony to wait for rescuers. “I thought I would have to jump into a tree.” “Russian killers continue their war against residential buildings, ordinary cities and people,” Zelensky, who was born in the city, said on Telegram.

Moscow denies intentionally targeting civilians but has repeatedly struck apartment buildings with long-range missiles. After seven months of a huge Russian offensive that yielded scant gains despite the bloodiest ground combat in Europe since World War II, Ukraine began its counterassault last week.

So far the offensive is still in its early days, with tens of thousands of fresh Ukrainian troops and hundreds of Western armoured vehicles yet to be committed to the fight.

Ukraine’s top military command said that air forces destroyed 10 out of 14 cruise missiles Russia launched on Ukraine and one of four Iranian-made drones. After a week of giving little information about its offensive, Ukraine said on Monday it had recaptured seven settlements so far. Troops have advanced up to 6.5 km and seized 90sqkm of ground along a 100 km-long stretch of the southern front line, deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar said.

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