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Ukraine: Deadly Russian missile strike hits Kramatorsk

Published June 27, 2023last updated June 28, 2023

Ukrainian officials said at least 11 people died and over 50 injured when Russian missiles hit the crowded center of the eastern city of Kramatorsk. More victims may still be under the rubble.

Aftermath of a Russian missile attack in Kramatorsk, Ukraine
A restaurant building in the center of Kramatorsk was badly damaged by a Russian missile attackImage: UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/REUTERS

Russian missiles struck a crowded area of restaurants on Tuesday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk, killing at least 11 people.

Russia fired two S-300 surface-to-air missiles at the city, Ukrainian police said.

"The bodies of three people, including a minor born in 2008, have been recovered from the rubble. Among the injured was a child born in 2022," the Interior Ministry said on Telegram.

The Ukrainian emergency service said 42 people were injured in one strike, which hit the popular Ria Pizza restaurant.

What we know about the strike on Kramatorsk

The governor of the eastern Donetsk region said two missiles hit the busy area in the city's downtown area.

"Two missiles struck the city of Kramatorsk," regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told Ukrainian television. "This is the city center. These were public eating places crowded with civilians."

Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian president's office, also said that Russians attacked Kramatorsk with two missile strikes. "The first hit was to a restaurant in the city center. The second hit is in Bilenke village in suburbs of the city," he wrote on Twitter.

The strikes occurred in mid-evening. Pictures posted on social media showed parts of some buildings reduced to rubble and smashed building materials scattered on the ground.

Emergency services were at the scene helping the injured.

DW correspondent Nick Connolly, who is in the eastern Donetsk region, said the circumstances of the attack seemed primed to inflict heavy civilian casualties.

"It seems like those casualty numbers are set to climb, unfortunately."

"This was kind of prime time in Kramatorsk, which is kind of the administrative center for the front lines in Donetsk where lots of logistics happens."

"This was the central area where the supermarket is, where the cafes are. It seems like this was an attempt to intimidate people."

Why is Russia targeting Kramatorsk?

Kramatorsk is a major city located to the west of the front lines in the Donetsk region and a likely key objective in any Russian advance to move westward. It lies about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the front line.

The city has been a frequent target of Russian attacks, including a strike on the town's railway station in April 2022 that killed 63 people.

dh/rs (Reuters, AFP)

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