March 1st, 2024

Officials report at least 18 dead in shelling of a market in Russian-occupied Ukraine

By The Associated Press on January 21, 2024.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – At least 18 people were killed Sunday by shelling at a market on the outskirts of the city of Donetsk in Russian-occupied Ukraine, local officials reported Sunday.

A further 13 people were injured in the strike on the suburb of Tekstilshchik, said Alexei Kulemzin, the city’s Russian-installed mayor. He said that the shells had been fired by the Ukrainian military.

Kyiv has not commented on the event and the claims could not be independently verified by The Associated Press.

Emergency services continue to work on the scene, said Denis Pushilin, head of the Russian-installed authorities in Donetsk.

Also Sunday, fire broke out at a chemical transport terminal at Russia’s Ust-Luga port following two explosions, regional officials said. Local media reported that the port 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, 165 kilometers southwest of St. Petersburg.

In a press statement to Russian media outlet RBC, the company said that the fire was the result of an “external influence.” It also said that it had paused operations at the port.

Yuriy Zapalatskiy, the head of Russia’s Kingisepp region, where the port is based, said in a statement that there were no casualties, but that the district had been placed on high alert.

News outlet Fontanka reported that two drones had been detected flying towards St Petersburg Sunday morning, but that they were redirected towards the Kingisepp region. The Associated Press could not independently verify the reports.

The Russian Ministry of Defense did not report any drone activity in the Kingisepp area in its daily briefing. It said that four Ukrainian drones had been downed in Russia’s Smolensk region, and that two more had been shot down in the Oryol and Tula regions.

Russian officials previously confirmed that a Ukrainian drone had been downed on the outskirts of St. Petersburg on Thursday.


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