At least 11 people, including five children, have been killed by a Russian missile attack in and around the eastern Ukrainian town of Pokrovsk, according to the regional governor.
Eight people were also wounded when Russian missiles hit the area, Vadym Filashkin, the governor of the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Donetsk region, said on Saturday.
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“The main blow was dealt to Pokrovsk and Rivne in the community of Myrnograd,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
He said S-300 missiles had been used in a series of attacks and one hit a house of a family of six.
Filashkin released photographs showing rescuers working through the debris in the aftermath of the bombardment. He said the attack showed Russian forces were “trying to inflict as much grief as possible on our land”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in his nightly video address, expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and accused Russia of once again deliberately targeting civilian objects.
“And Russia must feel – feel every time – that none of these attacks will end without consequences for the terrorist state,” Zelenskyy said.
The town of Pokrovsk, about 50km (30 miles) from the front line of the fighting, had already been hit by a deadly bombardment last August, which left at least eight people dead and 82 injured.
Earlier on Saturday, Ukraine’s military claimed it successfully attacked the Saki military air base in the west of the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula.
“Saki airfield! All targets were hit!” Air Force commander Mykola Oleshchuk wrote on Telegram.
Russian officials did not comment on the alleged attack but Russia’s Defence Ministry said in the early hours of Saturday that it had successfully downed four Ukrainian missiles over the peninsula overnight.
Later on Saturday, the ministry reported that its air defence forces had shot down six anti-ship missiles over the Black Sea.
Ukraine has targeted Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, since the start of Moscow’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.
North Korean missiles?
Meanwhile, as Russia’s nearly two-year-long war in Ukraine continues, the Kharkiv region prosecutor’s office provided evidence on Saturday that Russia attacked Ukraine with missiles supplied by North Korea, showcasing the fragments.
Russia attacked Kharkiv with several missiles this week, killing two people and injuring more than 60 in one of its biggest missile and drone raids since the start of the war.
“The production method is not very modern. There are deviations from standard Iskander missiles, which we previously saw during strikes on Kharkiv. This missile is similar to one of the North Korean missiles,” Dmytro Chubenko, the spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office, told media as he displayed the remnants.
He said the missile was slightly bigger in diameter than the Russian Iskander missile, while its nozzle, internal electrical windings and rear parts were also different.
On Friday, the United States said Russia was using ballistic missiles from North Korea and seeking close-range ballistic missiles from Iran.
In a post on X on Friday, United Kingdom Defence Minister Grant Shapps warned, “The world has turned its back on Russia, forcing Putin into the humiliation of going cap in hand to North Korea to keep his illegal invasion going. In doing so, Russia has broken multiple UNSC resolutions and put the security of another world region at risk.”
United Nations Security Council resolutions – approved with Russian support – ban countries from trading weapons or other military equipment with North Korea.
While the Kremlin has not yet commented on the recent evidence, relations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un have warmed in recent months, with the two leaders also meeting in person in Russia last September.