Russian Missile Strike in Zelenskyy’s Hometown Claims Lives and Traps Survivors

by Joshua Brown
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Ukrainian counteroffensive

Reports from regional officials confirm that at least six individuals lost their lives in a Russian missile attack on the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih. The overnight strike targeted civilian structures, leaving several people trapped under the debris. Governor Serhiy Lysak of the Dnipropetrovsk region communicated through Telegram that the attack, executed with cruise missiles, caused significant damage to a five-story residential building, resulting in a fierce blaze.

Initially, three fatalities were reported, but Kryvyi Rih mayor Oleksandr Vilkul later updated the figure to a minimum of six deaths, with concerns raised about seven individuals still trapped beneath the rubble. Authorities had initially indicated that at least two dozen people sustained injuries.

This tragic event, unfolding in President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s hometown, is yet another episode of violence in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, now in its 16th month. Ukrainian forces have been employing military measures supported by Western resources to counter Russian aggression.

Images shared by Zelenskyy on his Telegram channel depicted firefighters battling the inferno while broken windows revealed pockets of fire within the building. The vicinity was strewn with charred and damaged vehicles.

In response to the devastation, Zelenskyy remarked, “More terrorist missiles. Russian killers persist in waging their war against residential structures, ordinary cities, and innocent people.”

The Russian forces unleashed a series of aerial attacks targeting various regions of Ukraine throughout the night. Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, came under assault by Iranian-manufactured Shahed drones, and the surrounding area was bombarded, according to Governor Oleh Syniehubov’s Telegram account. Two civilians in the town of Shevchenkove, located southeast of Kharkiv, sustained injuries from the shelling.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov separately reported that the drone strike had damaged a utilities business and a warehouse in the northeastern part of the city. However, neither Terekhov nor Syniehubov mentioned any casualties within Kharkiv itself.

The Kyiv military administration reported that the capital also faced missile attacks, but their air defense systems intercepted and destroyed the incoming projectiles, resulting in no immediate reports of casualties.

Ukrainian forces continue to make progress outside Bakhmut, according to the commander of the country’s ground troops, Oleksandr Syrskyi, who shared the update via Telegram. He stated that Russian forces are losing ground near the embattled eastern city’s flanks, while describing Ukrainian operations in the region as primarily defensive.

In recent weeks, Ukrainian officials have reported limited gains to the west of Bakhmut, an area that Moscow seized during the longest and bloodiest battle of the conflict.

Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar announced the recapture of seven villages spanning an area of 90 square kilometers (35 square miles) in eastern Ukraine over the past week. Although these achievements mark early successes in the counteroffensive, Russian officials have not confirmed them, and their validity remains difficult to verify amidst the volatile nature of war.

While these gains represent only incremental territorial advances, they emphasize the arduous battle ahead for Ukrainian forces, who will need to fight fiercely to reclaim approximately one-fifth of their country currently occupied by Russian forces.

Follow AP’s comprehensive coverage of the Ukraine-Russia conflict: [link to news coverage]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ukraine-Russia conflict

Q: How many people were killed in the Russian missile attack on Zelenskyy’s hometown?

A: At least six people lost their lives in the missile attack on the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih.

Q: Were there any survivors trapped under the rubble?

A: Yes, there were reports of several individuals believed to be trapped under the debris following the missile strike.

Q: What type of missiles were used in the attack?

A: The attack involved cruise missiles launched by Russian forces.

Q: Did the attack cause any injuries?

A: Initially, it was reported that at least two dozen people sustained injuries as a result of the missile attack.

Q: How is Ukraine responding to the Russian aggression?

A: Ukrainian forces are mounting a counteroffensive, using Western-supplied firepower to try to drive out the Russians.

Q: Has there been any progress in Ukraine’s counteroffensive?

A: According to the commander of Ukraine’s ground troops, there have been advancements outside the embattled city of Bakhmut, with Russian forces losing ground on the flanks.

Q: Did other cities in Ukraine come under attack?

A: Yes, Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, was attacked with Iranian-made drones, and the surrounding region was shelled. The capital city of Kyiv also faced missile attacks.

Q: Were there any casualties reported in Kharkiv and Kyiv?

A: While injuries were reported in the town of Shevchenkove, southeast of Kharkiv, no casualties were immediately reported in Kharkiv or Kyiv.

Q: Is there any verification of the territorial gains claimed by Ukraine?

A: The territorial gains announced by Ukrainian officials are difficult to verify and have not been confirmed by Russian officials.

Q: How much of Ukraine is currently under Russian occupation?

A: Approximately one-fifth of Ukraine’s territory is currently under Russian occupation.

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