At least 13 people were killed after a rocket attack on a shopping center in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, officials said. In addition, around 40 people were injured, some seriously, said the governor of the Poltava region, Dmytro Lunin, on Monday evening.
Ukraine blamed Russia for the attack. “The occupiers fired rockets at a shopping center where more than a thousand civilians were staying,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on the Telegram news service.
In a video that Zelenskyj distributed, among others, the burning building could be seen with thick clouds of dark smoke. In the immediate vicinity of the shopping center there are several industrial plants, including a factory for road construction machinery.
According to civil protection, 115 firefighters with 20 fire engines were deployed. According to local authorities, the fire was extinguished in the evening. A largely burned-out building could be seen in a video distributed by Governor Lunin on Telegram.
The rocket hit the building in the afternoon. According to the Ukrainian Air Force, X-22 air-to-surface missiles were used in the attack. These were fired by long-range Tu-22 bombers from the Kursk region of Russia, it said.
Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said a second missile had hit a local sports stadium.
The attack was condemned by high-ranking politicians in the West. “The world is appalled by Russia’s missile attack today that hit a busy mall,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on Twitter. The US would continue to support Ukraine and hold those responsible for atrocities accountable.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also condemned the shelling of the mall. “This appalling attack shows once again the level of cruelty and barbarism the Russian leader is capable of,” Johnson said on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Elmau.