At least 7 dead, 50 hurt as Russia strikes Zelenskyy’s hometown


 A of an apartment building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, July 31, 2023. (Reuters Photo)

At least seven people were killed, including a 10-year-old girl, and more than 50 others injured Monday in Russian attacks on southern Ukrainian cities, according to local authorities. In the city of Kryvyi Rih, home to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, two Russian missiles hit a nine-story apartment building and a university building.

Local authorities believe that more people may be trapped under both buildings. The apartment building that was hit was partially burnt out and in particular danger of collapse, video footage showed.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his condolences to the victims via Telegram and condemned the “Russian terror.”

“Regions of Ukraine are being shelled by occupiers who continue to terrorize peaceful cities and people,” Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian artillery strike on partially occupied Donetsk province killed two people and wounded six in the regional capital, according to Denis Pushilin, the Moscow-installed leader of the illegally annexed province.

Rescue work was ongoing.

In the city of Kherson, which was liberated from occupation in October 2022, an employee of a municipal communal enterprise died Monday morning as a result of Russian artillery fire, according to the local military administration. Two of his colleagues were injured.

In the afternoon, another man was reportedly killed and another injured by a Russian fire there. The greater part of Kherson Province remains occupied by Russian troops.

The city’s military chief, Oleksandr Vilkul, spoke around noon of at least five dead – including a mother and her 10-year-old daughter – and more than 50 injured.

Kyiv drones hit Donetsk

A bus was also hit as Ukrainian forces shelled the city of Donetsk multiple times Monday, Pushilin said.

Neither side’s claims could be independently verified.

A recent Ukrainian counteroffensive, deploying weaponry supplied by Kyiv’s Western allies and aimed at driving Russian forces out of occupied areas, intensified last week. At the same time, Ukraine has sought to take the war deep into Russia, reportedly using drones to hit targets as far away as Moscow.

Ukrainian drone attacks on Russia and Moscow-annexed territory, especially Crimea, have become more frequent. The latest strike, on Sunday, damaged two office buildings a few kilometers from the Kremlin.

Russia has tightened security in the aftermath of that attack, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday, describing the assault as an “act of desperation.”

“The Kyiv regime is in a very, very difficult situation,” Peskov said, “as the counteroffensive is not working out as planned.”

“It’s obvious that the multi billion-dollar resources that have been transferred by NATO countries to the Kyiv regime are actually being spent inefficiently,” Peskov said.

“This raises big questions in Western capitals and great discomfort among taxpayers in Western countries.”

Another Ukrainian drone targeted a district police department early Monday in Russia’s Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine, but there were no casualties, the local governor said.

By Agencies

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