April 21, 2024

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11 killed in a Russian missile attack in the hometown of the Ukrainian president

11 killed in a Russian missile attack in the hometown of the Ukrainian president

  • A residential building and stores were hit by missile strikes
  • President Zelensky condemns the strike on his hometown
  • The airstrikes are the latest of many since the Russian invasion

Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine (Reuters) – Eleven civilians were killed in a Russian missile attack on an apartment building and warehouses in the town of Kryvyi Rih, the hometown of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on Tuesday, local officials said.

Emergency services said four were killed in the apartment building and seven in warehouses where officials said a private company stocked goods such as soft drinks. Mayor Oleksandr Vilkol said none of the targets had military links.

The chief physician of a hospital in Kryvyi Rih told reporters that another 25 people were injured, two of whom had severe burns and were in critical condition.

Residents wailed outside the burning apartment building, which billowed in smoke after the early morning attack on the city in central Ukraine.

Olha Chernusova, who lives in a five-story apartment building, said the explosion woke her up with the sound of thunder and threw her out of bed with a violent wave.

She said, “I ran to my door, but it was so hot… there was so much smoke.”

“What can I do? I was sitting on the porch, afraid I might pass out. No one came for a long time… I thought I’d have to jump into a tree.”

Around her, the street and courtyard were filled with glass and bricks. At least five cars were destroyed as husks.

Ihor Lavrinenko, who lives in a different part of the building, said he heard two explosions.

He said, “I woke up from the first blast, a weak bang, and went straight to the balcony. Then the second blast went over my head, and from my balcony I watched hot debris fall.”

Zelensky, who was born in Kryvyi Rih, condemned the attack.

“Russian killers continue their war against residential buildings, ordinary cities and people,” he wrote on the messaging app Telegram. Terrorists will never forgive and will be held accountable for every missile they fire.”

Russia has repeatedly bombed cities across Ukraine since its full-scale invasion in February 2022, but denies targeting civilians. Moscow has also accused Ukraine of shelling across the border, where Kiev is carrying out counter-attack operations.

The Ukrainian military command said that air defenses destroyed 10 out of 14 cruise missiles and one of four Iranian drones fired at Ukraine last night.

Additional reporting by Lydia Kelly, Ana Proshnica and Aleksandar Vasović; Edited by Timothy Heritage

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