Home World Strike on busy market claims 25 lives in Russia-held Donetsk

Strike on busy market claims 25 lives in Russia-held Donetsk

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Strike on busy market claims 25 lives in Russia-held Donetsk

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Strike targeted bustling area in southwestern suburb of city, less than 15km from Ukraine’s eastern front

People remove debris at a food market following, what local Russian-installed authorities say, was a Ukrainian military strike in the course of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in Donetsk, Russian-controlled Ukraine, January 21, 2024. —Reuters

A crowded market in the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, became the scene of a tragic incident, resulting in at least 25 deaths and 20 injuries on Sunday, as reported by Moscow-backed officials, Reuters reported.

The strike targeted a bustling area in the southwestern suburb of the city, less than 15 kilometres from Ukraine’s eastern front. Shattered storefronts, broken glass, and distressing scenes of bodies on the ground were captured in videos shared by Russian state media. 

Denis Pushilin, head of the region’s Russian-controlled administration, attributed the strike to Ukraine, denouncing it as a “horrific” artillery attack on a civilian zone.

Donetsk resident Tatiana described the chaotic aftermath, recalling the moment an incoming projectile prompted people to seek shelter. “I saw smoke, people screamed, a woman was crying,” she recounted. 

Another resident named Tatiana emphasised the civilian nature of the area, stating, “Where is there anything military here? It’s just a market.” She described the incident as “one of the strongest blows in recent times.”

The toll from this strike marks one of the deadliest incidents in the city since Moscow initiated full-scale hostilities against Ukraine in February 2022. Donetsk, under Russian occupation since 2014, has been a recurrent target of what Moscow alleges as indiscriminate Ukrainian shelling.

Moscow swiftly condemned the attack, labelling it a “barbaric terrorist attack” and asserting the necessity of its “special military operation” in Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasised that security threats and acts of terrorism should not originate from Ukrainian territory.

As a day of mourning was declared in the region, Denis Pushilin revealed that emergency services and forensic specialists were actively working at the scene. The incident comes amid heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine, with both sides accusing each other of escalating attacks on civilian areas.

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