Footage after a Russian missile strike on a crowded mall in the central city of Kremenchuk on Monday was shared earlier by Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office.
The Russian attack killed at least 16 people and wounded dozens more, a senior Ukrainian official said.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said more than 1,000 people were inside when the missiles struck.
Search and rescue teams are digging for those who remain trapped beneath the rubble of a shopping center in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk after the building was hit by a Russian missile on Monday.
Ukraine’s president, Volodoymyr Zelenskiy, said more than 1,000 people were inside the building at the time of the strike. Images from the scene showed giant plumes of black smoke and flames, with emergency crews rushing in to search for victims and put out fires.
Serhiy Kruk, the head of Ukraine’s state emergency service, said at 2am local time on Tuesday: “We continue to work at the site of the rocket attack on the shopping center in Kremenchuk. The main tasks currently performed by rescuers are to carry out rescue operations, dismantle debris and eliminate fires. So far, 16 people have been killed and 59 injured, 25 of whom have been hospitalized.”
Ukrainian war crimes prosecutors told the Guardian earlier that 14 bodies had been found in the ruins, and one person died from their wounds in hospital. At least 40 missing persons reports had been submitted by locals searching for loved ones who had gone missing in the building.
When the missile struck, it ignited a massive fire that took 300 emergency workers more than four hours to extinguish.
Mykola Lukash, from the Kremenchuk district prosecutor’s office, said cranes would be brought in on Tuesday to help lift the collapsed roof of the shopping centre. “We haven’t found any children’s bodies. A lot of bodies are burnt. We need to carry out DNA tests. At the current moment 14 bodies were found here on the site and another one died in the hospital.”
Svitlana Rybalko, the head of communications of the Poltava region State Emergency Service, said the exact number of casualties remained unclear and that “There might be survivors.”
As night fell in Kremenchuk, emergency workers and soldiers combed through blackened debris and twisted metal.
“We pulled out several bodies, but there are definitely more trapped under the rubble,” Oleksii, 46, told a firefighter. “This is normally a very crowded place.”
Hello it’s Samantha Lock back with you as we continue to report all the latest news from Ukraine.
Rescue teams are searching for survivors in the rubble of a shopping mall in central Ukraine after a Russian missile strike killed at least 16 people in an attack condemned by the United Nations and the west
Here are all the major developments as of 8am in Kyiv.
- A Russian missile hit a crowded shopping center in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday, killing and injuring scores of people, Ukrainian authorities said. Serhiy Kruk, the head of Ukraine’s state emergency service, said at 2am local time on Tuesday: “So far, 16 people have been killed and 59 injured, 25 of whom have been hospitalized.” Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said more than 1,000 people were inside the building at the time of the strike and officials are “still establishing the number of people under the rubble.”
- Zelenskiy described the attack on Kremenchuk as “one of the most defiant terrorist attacks in European history”. “A peaceful city, an ordinary shopping mall with women, children, ordinary civilians inside,” he said. “Only totally insane terrorists, who should have no place on earth, can strike missiles at such an object. And this is not an off-target missile strike, this is a calculated Russian strike – exactly at this shopping mall.”
- The leaders of the G7 said Russian president Vladimir Putin’s attacks aimed at civilians were a “war crime” and condemned the “abominable attack” in Kremenchuk. “We stand united with Ukraine in mourning the innocent victims of this brutal attack. Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians constitute a war crime. Russian president Putin and those responsible will be held to account,” a statement read. They said they would “continue to provide financial, humanitarian as well as military support for Ukraine, for as long as it takes”.
- Russian shelling of a residential area in Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, killed at least five civilians on Monday, the regional governor said. A further 19 people were wounded in the attack, Oleh Synehubov said.
- A Russian missile attack also killed at least eight civilians and wounded 21 in Ukraine’s eastern Lysychansk region. “Today, when the civilian people were collecting water from a water tank, the Russians aimed at the crowd,” Serhiy Haidai, Luhansk governor, said on Telegram.
- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said there can be no return to prewar ties with Russia. Scholz said that with its attack on Ukraine, Russia has broken “all the rules, all the agreements we have made with each other on countries’ cooperation” after the G7 summit. He said G7 leaders agree that it has led to long-term changes “which will mark international relations for a very, very long time. So it is clear that, in relations with Russia, there can be no way back to the time before the Russian attack on Ukraine.”
- The UN security council will meet on Tuesday to discuss Russia’s targeted attacks on civilians at the request of Ukraine.
- Nato will increase the number of troops on high alert by more than sevenfold to over 300,000 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said the military alliance’s forces in the Baltic states and five other frontline countries would be increased “up to brigade levels” – doubled or trebled to between 3,000 and 5,000 troops. That would amount to “the biggest overhaul of our collective defense and deterrence since the cold war,” he said.
- UK defense secretary, Ben Wallace, has reportedly written to the prime minister to call for the defense budget to be lifted to 2.5% of GDP by 2028. The leaked request, first reported by Talk TV, emerged on the eve of the Nato summit in Madrid, which will discuss the renewed threat posed by Russia and the anticipated commitment of hundreds more British troops to the defense of Estonia.
- Any encroachment on the Crimea peninsula by a Nato member-state could amount to a declaration of war on Russia which could lead to “World War Three,” Russia’s former president, Dmitry Medvedev, was quoted as saying on Monday. “For us, Crimea is a part of Russia. And that means forever. Any attempt to encroach on Crimea is a declaration of war against our country. And if this is done by a Nato member-state, this means conflict with the entire North Atlantic alliance; to World War Three. A complete catastrophe,” Medvedev told the Russian news website Argumenty i Facty.
- The US is planning to buy and send more medium-to long-range missile systems to Ukraine, including Nasams, an advanced surface-to-air missile system, according to defense officials. The US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, confirmed on Monday the US is in the process of finalizing a package that includes advanced air defense capabilities.
- Putin and his Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, discussed global food security and confirmed their intention to strengthen their strategic partnership, the Kremlin said on Monday. Putin assured Bolsonaro in a phone call that Russia would fulfill all its obligations to supply fertilizers to Brazil, the Kremlin said in a statement as reported by Reuters.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism