Children are among at least eight people killed after a Russian missile hit a busy restaurant in Kramatorsk, Ukrainian officials have said.
A child – including an eight-month-old baby – is also one of 56 others injured in the attack on the city and a nearby village in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on Tuesday.
“At the epicenter of the explosion were also apartment buildings, commercial premises, cars, a post office and other buildings, in which windows, glass and doors were blown out,” the Prosecutor General said in a statement.
The strikes occurred just before 8pm local time, and a rescue operation is currently under way in the city centre.
Tuesday’s attack came exactly a year after a missile attack on a mall in Kremenchuk, which left 21 people dead and injured scores more.
A shopping area near the restaurant was also damaged, an image posted by the Defense of Ukraine Twitter account showed.
Emergency services race to find casualties in the rubble
Video released by a man rushing to the aid of survivors showed injured people being assisted and bystanders, removing rubble as they searched for survivors trapped under the debris.
It also showed a mother holding her injured baby which had blood running down its face from cuts on its head.
An emergency service worker was filmed running to help those hurt.
The White House condemned the “brutal strikes against the people of Ukraine” in response to Tuesday’s attack.
Kramatorsk, with a population of 150,000, has often been targeted by missiles since the start of the war.
It comes just days after a short-lived revolt threatened Putin’s control of Russia in what Ukraine welcomed as a ‘positive’ development in the ongoing war.
The chaos caused by Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s attempted coup on Saturday ended with retreat, but the Kremlin’s scramble to secure Moscow as troops marched to upend the country’s military leadership was greeted “with applause” by commanders of Ukraine’s Eastern Group of Forces.