A Russian missile strike on a crowded mall in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk killed at least 10 people and injured more than 40 on Monday, a regional governor said.
“Ten dead and more than 40 people have been injured. This is currently the situation in Kremenchuk due to the missile strike,” said Dmytro Lunin, the governor of the Poltava region where Kremenchuk is located.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said “over a thousand civilians” were in the mall when the missiles struck the city, which had a pre-war population of 220,000 people.
“The mall is on fire, rescuers are fighting the fire. The number of victims is impossible to imagine,” Zelensky wrote on Facebook.
A video shared by Zelensky showed the mall engulfed in flames with dozens of rescuers and a fire truck outside.
Emergency services also published images showing the smoldering remains of the building, with firefighters and rescuers trying to clear the debris.
The Ukrainian defense ministry said the strike was deliberately timed to coincide with the mall’s busiest hours and cause the maximum number of victims.
The Ukrainian air force said the mall was hit by Kh-22 anti-ship missiles fired from Tu-22 bombers from the region of Kursk in western Russia.
“The missile fire on Kremenchuk struck a very busy area which had no link to the hostilities,” the city’s mayor Vitali Maletsky wrote on Facebook.
Lunin denounced the attack as a “war crime” and a “crime against humanity,” saying it was a “cynical act of terror against the civilian population.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on Kyiv’s allies to supply more heavy weapons and impose fresh sanctions on Russia.
“Russia is a disgrace to humanity and it must face consequences,” he wrote on Twitter.
Presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak accused Russia of being a “terrorist state.”
The US ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink said the world would “hold the Kremlin accountable for its atrocities in Ukraine”.