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21 Jan, 2024 11:53

Death toll spikes from Ukrainian shelling of Russian city

The ‘horrendous’ attack claimed at least 25 lives, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic says
Death toll spikes from Ukrainian shelling of Russian city

The number of fatalities from the Ukrainian shelling of a busy market in Donetsk has climbed to at least 25, Denis Pushilin, the leader of Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic, has said.

Some 20 civilians were also wounded in the “horrendous” attack on Sunday, which has left dozens dead, he wrote in a post on Telegram.

Many of the injured are in a serious condition, including with “penetrating wounds in the area of vital organs and traumatic amputation of limbs,” according to the official. Two children who were wounded in the bombardment have been described as being in moderate condition, the regional chief added.

The shelling, which hit the Kirov District in the southwest of Donetsk, was carried out with the use of 152mm and 155mm munitions, Pushilin said.

Earlier on Sunday, the republic’s Joint Center for Control and Coordination said three shells were fired at the Kirov District shortly after 10am local time (8am GMT) and three more around ten minutes later.

The mayor of Donetsk, Aleksey Kulemzin, condemned the attack as “another dark day in the history of the city.” Ukrainian forces “wickedly” decided to bring death and destruction on the civilians of Donetsk to avenge failures on the battlefield, he wrote on Telegram.

Donetsk, which is close to the conflict frontline, and other towns and villages in the republic, have been targeted by Ukrainian forces on almost a daily basis since the conflict between Moscow and Kiev escalated in February 2022. Ukrainian neo-Nazi troops also regularly shelled the city in the aftermath of the 2014 coup in Kiev that prompted the Donetsk region to secede from Ukraine and eventually become part of the Russian Federation.

Sunday’s attack, however, was among the city’s worst.

Ukraine’s first deadly bombardment of Donetsk in 2024 took place shortly after midnight on January 1, claiming four lives. Earlier this week, six civilians were wounded by Ukrainian shelling of the town of Gorlovka, when a kindergarten and a hotel were hit.