Rescue workers are continuing to search through the rubble at the pizza restaurant in Kramatorsk
A Russian missile attack that hit a crowded pizza restaurant in a city in eastern Ukraine killed at least nine people, including three children, authorities said.
Rescue workers are continuing to search the destroyed building’s rubble following the Tuesday evening attack on Kramatorsk which wounded a further 56 people, the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs said.
Two sisters, both aged 14, died as result of the attack, the educational department of the Kramatorsk city council said.
“Russian missiles stopped the beating of the hearts of two angels,” it said in a Telegram post.
The other dead child was 17, according to prosecutor general Andrii Kostin.
The attack, using what officials said were S-300 missiles, also damaged 18 multi-storey buildings, 65 houses, a number of schools, a shopping centre, an administrative building and a recreational building, said regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
The S-300 is a surface-to-air missile that cannot hit ground targets accurately, but Russia’s forces have repurposed it for loosely targeted strikes on cities.
Kramatorsk is a frontline city that houses the Ukrainian army’s regional headquarters. The pizza restaurant was frequented by journalists, aid workers and soldiers, as well as locals.
It is located in Donetsk, one of four Ukrainian provinces that Russia claimed to annex last September but does not fully control. Russia has also occupied Crimea since 2015.
Ukrainian-held parts of the partially occupied provinces have been hit especially hard by Russian bombardment and are a key barrier to resolving the war.
The Kremlin demands that Kyiv recognise the annexations, while Kyiv has ruled out any talks with Russia until its troops pull back from all occupied territories.
Kyiv recently launched a much-anticipated counter-offensive to take back occupied territory.
Russia, meanwhile, has stepped up its air campaign in Ukraine while the fighting continues along the front line.
Russian forces on Monday and overnight also shelled 16 settlements in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia, the Ukrainian presidential office reported.
It said that a 77-year-old civilian was killed in the frontline town of Orikhiv, and that Russian shelling wounded three people in a nearby village recently retaken by Kyiv.
Also, a Russian supersonic cruise missile hit a cluster of holiday homes in central Ukraine, sparking a fire which injured a child, the presidential office said.
Published: by Radio NewsHub