February 24, 2024
Officials report at least 25 dead in shelling of a market in Russian-occupied Ukraine – Boston News, Weather, Sports

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — At least 25 people were killed Sunday by shelling at a market on the outskirts of the city of Donetsk in Russian-occupied Ukraine, local officials reported.

A further 20 people were injured in the strike on the suburb of Tekstilshchik, including two children, said Denis Pushilin, head of the Russian-installed authorities in Donetsk. He said that the shells had been fired by the Ukrainian military.

Kyiv has not commented on the event and the claims could not be independently verified by The Associated Press.

Pushilin said that the area had been hit by 155 mm caliber and 152 mm caliber artillery, and that the shells had been fired from the direction of Kurakhove and Krasnohorivka to the west. He also confirmed that emergency services continued to work at the scene.

In a statement, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs described the strike, which it blamed on Ukraine, as a “terrorist attack.”

“These terrorist attacks by the Kyiv regime clearly demonstrate its lack of political will towards achieving peace and the settlement of this conflict by diplomatic means,” it said. Also Sunday, fire broke out at a chemical transport terminal at Russia’s Ust-Luga port following two explosions, regional officials said. Local media reported that the port had been attacked by Ukrainian drones, causing a gas tank to explode.

The blaze was at a site run by Russia’s second-largest natural gas producer, Novatek, 165 kilometers southwest of St. Petersburg.

In a press statement to Russian media outlet RBC, the company said that the fire was the result of an “external influence.” It also said that it had paused operations at the port.

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Yuri Zapalatsky, the head of Russia’s Kingisepp district, where the port is based, said in a statement that there were no casualties, but that the area had been placed on high alert.

News outlet Fontanka reported that two drones had been detected flying towards St Petersburg Sunday morning, but that they were redirected towards the Kingisepp district. The Associated Press could not independently verify the reports.

The Russian Ministry of Defense did not report any drone activity in the Kingisepp area in its daily briefing. It said that four Ukrainian drones had been downed in Russia’s Smolensk region, and that two more had been shot down in the Oryol and Tula regions.

Russian officials previously confirmed that a Ukrainian drone had been downed on the outskirts of St. Petersburg on Thursday.

In the fighting on the front line, Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced Sunday that Moscow’s forces had taken control of the village of Krokhmalne in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region.

Ukrainian forces confirmed that the settlement had been occupied, but described its capture as a “temporary phenomenon.”

Volodymyr Fityo, spokesperson for Ukrainian Ground Forces Command, said that Kyiv’s troops had been pulled back to pre-prepared reserve positions.

He said that Krokhmalne had a population of roughly 45 people before the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. “That’s five houses, probably,” he was quoted as saying by Ukrainian news outlet Hromadske. “Our main goal is to save the lives of Ukraine’s defenders.”

Russian and Ukrainian forces have continued to fight from largely static positions along the roughly 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) front line throughout the winter.

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Recent Russian attacks have tried to find gaps in Ukraine’s defenses by using large numbers of various types of missiles in an apparent effort to saturate air defense systems.

The massive barrages — more than 500 drones and missiles were fired between Dec. 29 and Jan. 2, according to officials in Kyiv — are also using up Ukraine’s weapons stockpiles.


Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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