October 4, 2023

By Mstyslav Chernov | Related Press

KOSTIANTYNIVKA, Ukraine (AP) — The Russian missile that struck Wednesday in japanese Ukraine turned an outside market right into a fiery, blackened smash the place weeping civilians seemed for family members among the many mangled, burned our bodies scattered throughout the bottom.

The blast within the city of Kostiantynivka killed 17 folks and wounded at the least 32 in certainly one of Russia’s deadliest strikes in months, Ukrainian officers mentioned.

“There was no army goal right here. This can be a peaceable neighborhood within the metropolis middle,” Stefan Slovak, who lives in Kostiantynivka, mentioned in a trembling voice.

Behind him had been the remnants of the market, the place charred our bodies may very well be seen on the street, their garments nonetheless burning, close to automobiles engulfed in flames. Behind a market stall holding recent parsley, rescuers discovered a girls in civilian garments together with her head coated in blood.

Photographs taken by Related Press reporters confirmed emergency staff extinguishing fires and tending to the wounded amid the wreckage that included blackened automobiles.

“They’re taking pictures at peaceable civilians. Are we troopers right here? Are we taking pictures at them? No! So why? They’re simply making an attempt to destroy Ukrainian nation,” mentioned resident Nadezhda Negoda.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned the strike was deliberate. He has visited the city many instances on journeys to the entrance line.

“Those that know this place are effectively conscious that it’s a civilian space. There aren’t any army items close by,” Zelenskyy mentioned throughout a information convention in Kyiv with visiting Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

He mentioned the strike displays the scenario on the battlefield.

“At any time when there are any constructive advances by Ukrainian protection forces in that course, Russians all the time goal civilian folks and civilian objects,” he mentioned.

Ukraine’s minister of inner affairs, Ihor Klymenko reported that emergency staff extinguished the flames that burned an space of 300 sq. meters (3,200 sq. ft). Eight market installations and a few automobiles had been destroyed.

About 30 pavilions had been broken, together with 20 outlets, an administrative constructing, an house constructing and a few energy strains, in response to Ukraine’s common prosecutor’s workplace.The assault got here as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kyiv, the place he was anticipated to announce greater than $1 billion in new American funding for Ukraine within the 18-month-old conflict.

Comply with AP’s protection of the conflict in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Related Press Author Hanna Arhirova in Kyiv contributed to this report.