At least 27 people are reported killed in an attack on Donetsk in Russian-occupied Ukraine

Donetsk is one of four regions in Ukraine that Russia annexed illegally in 2022, months after Moscow launched its full-scale invasion.
People walk past bodies of victims killed during the shelling in Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, January 21, 2024.
People walk past bodies of victims killed during the shelling in Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, January 21, 2024.(Photo | AP)

KYIV, Ukraine: Moscow-installed officials said Ukrainian shelling killed at least 27 people and wounded 25 on Sunday at a market on the outskirts of Donetsk, a Russian-occupied city in the eastern part of the country.

Among the injured in the suburb of Tekstilshchik were two children, said Denis Pushilin, the local leader.

Ukrainian officials in Kyiv did not comment on the incident, and the claims could not be independently verified by The Associated Press. Both sides have increasingly relied on longer-range attacks this winter amid largely unchanged positions on the 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) front line in the nearly 2-year-old war.

The artillery shells that hit the area had been fired from the area of Kurakhove and Krasnohorivka to the west, Pushilin said, adding that emergency services responded to the scene.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “strongly condemns all attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including today’s shelling of the city of Donetsk in Ukraine,” according to a UN spokesperson, adding that all such attacks are prohibited under international humanitarian law.

Donetsk is one of four regions in Ukraine that Russia annexed illegally in 2022, months after Moscow launched its full-scale invasion.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also blamed Ukraine and described the strike as a “terrorist attack.”

Also on Sunday, a fire broke out at a chemical transport terminal at Russia’s Ust-Luga port following two explosions, regional officials said. Local media said the Baltic Sea port, 165 kilometers (about 100 miles) southwest of St. Petersburg, had been attacked by Ukrainian drones, causing a gas tank to explode.

The blaze was at a site run by Russia’s second-largest natural gas producer, Novatek.

In a statement to Russian media outlet RBC, the company blamed the fire on an “external influence,” saying operations at the port were paused.

Yuri Zapalatsky, the head of the Kingisepp district on the Gulf of Finland where the port is located, said there were no casualties but the area was on high alert.

News outlet Fontanka reported that two drones had been detected flying toward St. Petersburg on Sunday morning, but were redirected toward the Kingisepp district. AP could not independently verify the reports.

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