Russia strikes crowded Ukraine shopping mall, says Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky alleged on Monday that Russia had hit a crowded shopping mall in the Kremenchuk region and said the resulting casualties were “impossible to imagine.”
Sharing the video from the strike on his Telegram account, Zelensky said: “The mall is on fire, firefighters are trying to extinguish the fire, the number of victims is impossible to imagine.”
He added that there was “no danger to the Russian army” and that the shopping mall had posed “no strategic value” at all.
According to Zelensky, people at the mall “only wanted to live a normal life, which is what angers the occupiers so much.”
“Out of helplessness, Russia continues to hit ordinary people. It is vain to expect it to be reasonable or humane,” he added.
The video shows a large structure engulfed in flames, with a crowd running outside.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the office of the president, confirmed that two people had died and 20 had been injured in the strike, the BBC reported. Officials say the numbers are likely to rise.
“A rocket attack on Kremenchuk hit a very crowded area, which is 100% certain not to have any links to the armed forces. There are killed and injured people,” Kremenchuk Mayor Vitaliy Maletskiy said on Facebook.
Zelensky is meeting this week with Group of Seven leaders, who are gathered in Germany via video link.
NATO said Monday that it plans to significantly increase its quick-reaction force “to well over 300,000” soldiers.
Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has entered its fourth month and has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people on both sides. More than 8 million Ukrainian citizens have been displaced by the war.
Over the weekend, Zelensky shared an emotional note on the toll of the war on Ukrainians and said that “no Russian missiles, no strikes can break the morale of Ukrainians.”