At least 25 people were killed and a further 20 were injured in the shelling of a busy marketplace in the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, the head of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” Denis Pushilin announced on Telegram.
“All the injured are receiving the necessary medical care. Among them are also the seriously injured, many of whom have penetrating wounds around vital organs,” Pushilin wrote on his Telegram channel, adding that the “monstrous” attack had taken place on a Sunday when the market area was at its “most crowded”.
Two children are among the dead, according to Russian state-controlled news agency TASS. Eye witnesses reported at least three shells landing in the area. Emergency services are working at the site.
“Today Ukrainian neo-fascists cynically shelled a busy area of the city where many peaceful people gather at the weekend,” the Russian-installed mayor of Donetsk, Alexey Kulemzin, wrote on his Telegram channel. “Given their failures at the front, they have decided to take their despicable revenge on the defenceless inhabitants of Donetsk.”
The attack is Donetsk’s bloodiest since the war in Donbas began 10 years ago. In March 2022, a Tochka-U missile struck the centre of the city and killed 21 people, according to the separatist authorities, although the UN later concluded that in total 15 people died in the attack.