SLOVIANSK — Russian missiles hit residential buildings in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk yesterday, killing at least nine people, wounding 21 and reducing parts of apartment blocks to a tangled mess of metal and concrete.
Emergency services in eastern Donetsk Region, in a statement on Facebook, said the death toll stood at nine at midnight, including a two-year-old child.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of Donetsk Region, told national television earlier that seven Russian S-300 missiles had been fired.
He said there were “no fewer than seven spots hit” in Sloviansk, west of the city Bakhmut, site of the heaviest fighting on the Ukrainian frontline.
Rescue teams searching for victims sifted through rubble through the night, using cranes, ladders and other heavy equipment in the shells of apartments and stairwells. Workers perched precariously on slabs of concrete and moved gingerly up and down ladders.
For some of the shattered apartments, little more than window frames and dangling scraps of plaster remained.
One section of apartments was all but obliterated. A set of crimson curtains remained in place on one balcony.
Much of the work, carried out under night illumination, involved reaching the top of sprawling apartment buildings — the top two floors of one five-storey building collapsed.
Emergency services said more than 50 rescue workers remained at the site.
Kyrylenko said teams had pulled from the rubble one woman born in 1946. A senior official in President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office, Daria Zarivna, had earlier said a child pulled alive from the site of the attack had died on the way to a hospital.
Emergency services said several dozen multi-storey buildings and individual houses were damaged in the assault.
“The evil state once again demonstrates its essence,” Zelenskiy wrote in a separate post accompanied by footage of a damaged building. “Just killing people in broad daylight. Ruining, destroying all life.”
In his nightly video address, issued later, Zelenskiy said not a single hour had passed in the run-up to this weekend’s Orthodox Easter services “without Russian murders and terror. This is the evil state and it will be the loser. Victory is our duty given humanity of this sort.” Sloviansk and the nearby city of Kramatorsk are both coveted by Russian forces, currently bogged down in nearby Bakhmut, as they push ahead with their invasion of Ukraine. — Reuters