Scores Feared Dead After Russian Missile Hits Mall

Zelensky says number of victims in Kremenchuk is 'unimaginable'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 27, 2022 11:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – Scores of civilians were feared killed or wounded in a Russian rocket strike Monday on a crowded shopping mall in Ukraine's central city of Kremenchuk, Ukrainian officials said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Telegram post that the number of victims was "unimaginable," citing reports that more than 1,000 civilians were inside at the time of the attack. Images from the scene showed giant plumes of black smoke from a shopping center engulfed in flames, as emergency crews rushed in and onlookers watched in distress, the AP reports. Ukraine's state emergency service said at least 20 civilians had been wounded, and two of them died.

Zelensky said the target presented "no threat to the Russian army" and had “no strategic value." He accused of Russia of sabotaging "people’s attempts to live a normal life, which make the occupiers so angry." The alleged Russian missile strike carried echoes of attacks earlier in the war that caused large numbers of civilian casualties—such as one in March on a Mariupol theater where many civilians had holed up, killing an estimated 600, and another in April on a train station in eastern Kramatorsk that left at least 59 people dead.

"Russia continues to take out its impotence on ordinary civilians. It is useless to hope for decency and humanity on its part," Zelensky said. Mayor Vitaliy Maletskiy wrote on Facebook that the rocket attack "hit a very crowded area, which is 100% certain not to have any links to the armed forces." The attack came as Russia was mounting an all-out assault on the last Ukrainian stronghold in eastern Ukraine's Luhansk province, "pouring fire" on the city of Lysychansk from the ground and air, according to the local governor.

(Read more Russia-Ukraine conflict stories.)

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