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21 Jan, 2024 09:26

Multiple casualties as Ukraine shells Donetsk

The attack targeted a busy market in the capital of Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic, the head of the city said
Multiple casualties as Ukraine shells Donetsk

At least 18 people have been killed and 13 others wounded in a shelling of Donetsk by Ukrainian forces, Aleksey Kulemzin, mayor of the capital of Donetsk People’s Republic, has said.

The attack hit a busy market in the Kirovsky District, in the south-western part of the city, Kulemzin wrote on Telegram.

The mayor decried the shelling as “another dark day in the history of the city.” Ukrainian forces had “wickedly” decided to wreak death and destruction on the civilians of Donetsk to avenge the failures they’ve suffered on the battlefield, he wrote.

In Kuibyshevsky District in the north-west of the capital, a Ukrainian drone also dropped a grenade on repair workers fixing a heating system. One person was injured and an excavator destroyed in that attack, Kulemzin added.

The head of Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin has also confirmed the attack on the market, calling it “horrendous.” First responders and operatives are working at the site, clarifying the data on the dead and wounded in the attack, and searching for fragments of munitions used in the bombardment, Pushilin said earlier on Sunday.

According to the republic’s Joint Center for Control and Coordination, three 155mm-caliber shells, a standard for NATO munitions, were fired at the Kirovsky District shortly after 10am local time (8am GMT) and three more around ten minutes later.

Donetsk, which is located close to Russia’s front line, has been a frequent target of Ukrainian strikes in the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Sunday’s attack, however, counts among the worst suffered by the city, which currently has a population of around 600,000, according to the mayor’s office.

Ukraine’s first deadly bombardment of Donetsk in 2024 took place shortly after midnight on January 1, claiming four lives.

Moscow has repeatedly accused Kiev’s forces of targeting residential areas that have no military significance. Western-supplied weapons such as HIMARS rocket artillery launchers and cluster munitions have been used in attacks on several Donbass cities and villages, claiming numerous civilian lives.