At least 18 people have died in a missile strike on a shopping centre in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday.
Some 1,000 civilians were estimated to be inside the busy mall at the time of the attack President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
The leaders of the G7 group of richest nations – who are meeting in Germany – condemned the attack as “abominable”. “Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians constitute a war crime,” they said in a joint statement.
Russia has been blamed for the attack, which also injured at least 59 people, and there are fears the death toll will continue to rise.
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President Zelensky said on Telegram that 1,000 people were in the mall at the time of the strike.
The mall posed “no danger to the Russian army” and posed “no strategic value” to the Russians, he said.
Footage from the site shows the badly damaged, collapsing building ablaze, and fire crews struggling to contain the flames.
“It is on fire, and rescue workers are trying to put out the fire, the number of victims is impossible to imagine,” Zelensky reported. “People only wanted to live a normal life, which is what angers the occupiers so much. Out of helplessness, Russia continues to hit ordinary people. It is vain to expect it to be reasonable or humane.”
Horror scenes in Kremenchuk, as a Russian missile hits a shopping centre. The man speaking on phone : “people were are the building, the walls are starting to fall in” pic.twitter.com/REDBFmuT3R
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Ukraine: the strike on the shopping center
The city’s mayor, Vitaliy Meletskiy, said in a post on Facebook that the strike hit a “very crowded” place.
He said he was at the scene but did not say what had been hit or how many people had been killed or wounded.
Kremenchuk is an important industrial city in central Ukraine that stands on the banks of the Dnipro River. The city serves as the administrative center of the Kremenchuk Raion in Poltava Oblast.