A missile attack from Russian forces hit a shopping mall housing several civilians in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on Monday.
After a search-and-rescue operation overnight, Dmytro Lunin, the head of the Poltava region military administration, confirmed 18 persons dead on Tuesday. The Office of the President of Ukraine has now updated the number of deaths to 20.
According to Lunin, about 36 people were still missing and the death toll could rise. CNN quoted Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President, to have said that up to 1,000 people were in the mall before the announcement of the air raid.
“Fortunately, as far as we know, at that time, many people managed to get out. They managed to get out, but there were still people inside – workers and some visitors,” Zelenskyy said.
“Yesterday the occupiers launched an insidious missile strike on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk,” Tymoshenko said. “There were about a thousand people. More than 20 are already known to have been killed and 59 wounded, 25 of whom were hospitalised.”
He also said that there were more than 40 statements from relatives about missing people who may have been in the mall during the shelling.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign affairs minister, called Russia a country of murderers and liars. He decried Russia’s denial of attacking the mall in Kremenchuk.
The Kremlin maintains that it attacked an arms depot which led to a fire that affected the mall.
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