Devastation as Russian rockets hit apartment building in Donetsk: officials

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CHASIV YAR/KYIV – At least 15 people have been killed and two dozen more feared entrapment after Russian Uragan rockets hit a five-story apartment building in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, officials said on Sunday premises as rescuers made their way through the rubble.

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Ukraine also reported clashes with Russian troops on the eastern and southern fronts, while Moscow said its forces struck Ukrainian army hangars storing American-made M777 howitzers, a type artillery, near Kostyantynivka in the Donetsk region.

Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said the strike against the building took place on Saturday evening in the town of Chasiv Yar. The regional emergency service gave the death toll at 15 on Sunday afternoon, adding that 24 other people could still be under the rubble.

“We ran to the basement, there were three shots, the first somewhere in the kitchen,” said a resident who went by the name Ludmila, speaking as rescuers removed a body in a white sheet and cleared the rubble using a crane and their hands.

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“The second, I don’t even remember, there was lightning, we ran to the second entrance and then straight into the basement. We sat there all night until this morning.

Rescuers work at a residential building damaged by a Russian military strike, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in the town of Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, Ukraine, July 10, 2022.
Rescuers work at a residential building damaged by a Russian military strike, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in the town of Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, Ukraine, July 10, 2022. Photo by Gleb Garanich /Reuters

Another survivor, named Venera, said she wanted to save her two kittens.

« I was thrown into the bathroom, it was chaos, I was in shock, all covered in blood, » she said, crying. “By the time I left the bathroom, the room was full of rubble, three floors collapsed. I never found the kittens under the rubble.

Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram that Chasiv Yar rescuers had cleared almost 99 tonnes of rubble from the site of the collapsed building and rescue operations were still ongoing as of 4 p.m. (1300 GMT).

Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in a Telegram post that the strike was « another terrorist attack » and that Russia should therefore be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

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Russia, which says it is conducting a « special military operation » to demilitarize Ukraine, denies deliberately attacking civilians.

The provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk comprise Donbass, the industrial region in eastern Ukraine that has become Europe’s biggest battleground for generations. Russia wants to wrest control of Donbass in the name of the separatists it supports.

Ukraine and the West call the invasion of Moscow a war of unprovoked aggression.

American howitzers

Russian forces attacked Ukrainian positions near the city of Sloviansk in Donetsk but were forced to withdraw, the Ukrainian military said, adding that Russian forces launched a cruise missile attack on the city of Kharkiv, in the northeast, from their side of the border. He gave no details of the damage or casualties.

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Luhansk region governor Serhiy Gaidai said Russian forces were gathering in the area of ​​the village of Bilohorivka, about 50 km (30 miles) east of Sloviansk.

« The enemy (…) is bombing surrounding settlements, carrying out air strikes, but still unable to quickly occupy the entire Luhansk region, » he said on Telegram.

Russia claimed control of the entire Luhansk province last weekend.

The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces destroyed two hangars near the Donetsk town of Kostyantynivka containing the US-made M777 howitzers, which it said were used to shell residential areas in Donetsk.

Russian news agencies quoted separatist officials as saying on Sunday that the Ukrainian military had been shelling Donetsk with NATO-standard 155mm artillery since the morning, injuring two residents.

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Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield accounts.

Ukrainian military spokespersons were not immediately available for comment.

In the south, Ukrainian forces fired missiles and artillery at Russian positions, including ammunition depots in the Chernobaivka region, the Ukrainian military command said.


Ukraine has been buoyed by Western military supplies and tough sanctions on Moscow as it resists the invasion that began on February 24.

But he suffered a diplomatic setback on Saturday when Canada said it would return a repaired turbine that Russian state-controlled Gazprom was using to supply natural gas to Germany.

Ukraine had argued that a return would violate sanctions against Russia and the country’s energy and foreign ministries said in a statement on Sunday that they were « deeply disappointed » by Canada’s decision.

The statement, posted on the Department of Energy’s website, called on the Canadian government to reverse its decision and said returning the turbine would amount to adjusting sanctions on Moscow « to Russia’s whims ».

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