At least eight people have been killed and 31 others wounded after two Russian missiles hit residential buildings in the eastern Ukrainian city of Pokrovsk in the Donetsk region, Ukrainian officials said.
Videos and pictures released by Ukrainian authorities on Monday showed people sorting through the rubble including at a badly damaged five-storey apartment building. An ambulance was on the scene treating the wounded.
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Donetsk regional Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko reported that eight people were killed in the attacks, including five civilians, two rescue workers and one member of the military, according to the Reuters news agency.
Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said earlier that four civilians died in the first attack and an emergency official was killed during the second attack. Search-and-rescue operations were ongoing, Klymenko said.
Ten members of the Ukrainian security services were among the 31 wounded, most of whom were civilians, officials said.
The strikes damaged a hotel, residential buildings and other civilian structures, Kyrylenko said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in an online statement, accused Russia of trying to leave nothing but “broken and scorched stones” in eastern Ukraine. His remarks accompanied footage of a damaged, five-storey residential building with one floor partially destroyed.
Pokrovsk had a pre-war population of about 60,000 people.
The deadly attack came just a day after officials from about 40 countries gathered in Saudi Arabia to work on a peace settlement for the war in Ukraine.
Russia’s foreign ministry on Monday denounced the two-day talks in Jeddah as not having “the slightest added value” because Moscow – unlike Kyiv – had not been invited. A foreign ministry statement repeated previous assurances that Moscow is open to a diplomatic solution, on its terms, that would end the 17-month-old war and that it is ready to respond to serious proposals.
The Kremlin’s demands include Kyiv recognising Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions, which Russian forces at this point only partially control, and Crimea, which Moscow seized in 2014.
But Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelenskyy, ruled out Moscow’s previous demands, which would give Russia time to dig in deeper in the parts of Ukraine it has occupied. He said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Russian forces must fully withdraw from the occupied areas and there would be no compromise by Kyiv on that.
Alleged plot to attack Zelenskyy
Meanwhile, the Security Service of Ukraine announced on Monday that it had detained an alleged Russian informant who gathered intelligence about Zelenskyy’s trip to the southern Mykolaiv region last month.
It claimed the woman “was collecting data for an air attack during Zelenskyy’s visit”.
The woman attempted to establish Zelenskyy’s route, times and visits in the region. She was detained when she tried to pass the information to the Russians, the statement said, without providing evidence.
Zelenskyy has been a prime target for the Kremlin since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, when he refused to leave Kyiv as Moscow’s forces approached.
He has since played a key role in rallying public morale, including via a nightly video address, and has become a recognisable face across the world as he presses allies and others to help Ukraine.
Also on Monday, Russian shelling struck a nine-storey residential building in the city of Kherson, killing one person and wounding four others, according to regional Governor Oleksandr Prokudin. He said Kherson had endured a “tough night” as the Russians “covered the central part of the city with fire”.
A 57-year-old woman was also killed and four people wounded in the Russian shelling of a village in the northeastern Kharkiv province, Governor Oleh Syniehubov said.