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7 Jun, 2024 19:49

Dozens killed, including child, in Ukrainian strike on Russian region – governor

Kiev’s forces have targeted a village shop in Kherson, Vladimir Saldo has said
Dozens killed, including child, in Ukrainian strike on Russian region – governor

At least 22 civilians have been killed in Ukrainian shelling targeting the village of Sadovoe in Russia’s Kherson Region, Governor Vladimir Saldo said on Friday. A nine-year-old child is among the victims, he added.

The attack hit a small shop in a residential area, Saldo said. When locals rushed to aid the victims of the first strike, a second one followed, striking the same area, he said. A total of 17 civilians were killed in the shop and near it and four more people living in the nearby houses lost their lives as well, according to the governor.

At least 15 people were also injured in the strike, Saldo said, adding that five of them are currently in “critical condition.” The shop was full of customers at the time and was destroyed, he stated, branding the attack a “bloody crime” and a “heinous murder.”

According to Saldo, Ukrainian forces first used a guided bomb to strike the shop before hitting the same area with a US-made M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) multiple rocket launcher. Kiev’s Western backers have supplied Ukraine with dozens of such systems, which have been extensively used by its troops throughout the conflict with Russia.

Ukraine has long touted HIMARS systems as high-precision weapons used to strike high-value assets. Russian officials have said they recovered debris from HIMARS munitions after strikes on purely civilian targets on multiple occasions.

Kiev’s troops have been actively targeting civilians in Russian regions throughout the conflict. In mid-May, one person was killed and “many” others injured in another Ukrainian attack in Kherson Region. On that occasion, Kiev’s forces struck a minibus carrying civilians with a drone. 

The Russian city of Belgorod, located not far from the Ukrainian border, has become one of the main targets of Kiev’s attacks. Ukrainian forces bombarded it on New Year’s Eve, killing 25 civilians at a festive event.

The continued strikes targeting the civilian population in Russian border regions prompted Moscow to launch an offensive in Ukraine’s Kharkov Region in an effort to create a buffer zone to curb cross-border attacks.

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that if Ukraine continues to “shell residential areas in border territories,” then Russia “will be forced to create a security zone” to deprive it of the ability to make such strikes.

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