Kramatorsk attack: Russian missile strike sends terrified civilians scrambling to find shelter


Kramatorsk, Ukraine
CNN

A fresh barrage of rockets ripped through the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on Thursday, sending flames and thick plumes into the air as screaming civilians scrambled for shelter.

A CNN crew had just arrived at the scene and heard the first blow to Kramatorska. CNN saw the second attack, with two strikes about one minute apart. Two women jumped out of their car and ran screaming as other civilians sought shelter wherever they could. Shrapnel ricocheted off the blast-proof glass of one CNN vehicle.

Medics rushed to the scene to treat at least one injured civilian. The mayor of Kramatorsk, Oleksandr Honcharenko, also confirmed that a strike had taken place in the city and urged residents to stay in bomb shelters.

At least five people were injured in Thursday’s attack, said Pavlo Kirilenko, head of the military administration of the Donetsk region.

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“They damaged 13 two-story buildings, three four-story buildings, a children’s clinic and a school, garages and cars,” Kirilenko said. “The Russians confirm their terrorist status every day,” he said.

“It was a very big explosion, obviously a lot of people ran for cover,” CNN’s Frederik Pleitgen told Connect the World, adding that both of Thursday’s strikes “hit right in the middle of a civilian city.”

Ukrainian authorities believe that Russian soldiers used S-300 missiles to bombard Kramatorsk. Pleitgen added that such weapons are “very inaccurate” when aimed at ground targets.

“When it’s done to reach a densely populated city, it becomes even more dangerous.”

Police officers inspect a crater near the site of a damaged residential building on February 2 in connection with repeated Russian attacks on Kramatorsk.

On Thursday, rescuers work at the site of a Russian missile strike in Kramatorsk.

The renewed attack in Moscow came after Russian forces targeted a residential area with an Iskander-K missile on Wednesday, killing at least three civilians and injuring eight others, local police said. Two of the injured are in critical condition, Honcharenko said.

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Rescuers searched through piles of rubble for survivors after Wednesday’s attack, which damaged eight apartment buildings. Authorities also evacuated people to a local school to seek shelter.

Emergency workers trawl through the debris of survivors in a destroyed apartment building in the center of Kramatorsk on February 1, 2023.

An emergency operation is underway at the site of a destroyed residential building in Kramatorsk.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi condemned the strike and expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

“This is not a repeat of history; this is the daily reality of our country,” he said in a telegram.

“A country bordering on absolute evil. And a country that needs to overcome it to reduce the likelihood of such tragedies to happen again. We will definitely find and punish all the culprits. They do not deserve mercy. ”

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Moscow’s attack on Kramatorsk came after a top Kiev official said Russia was preparing for a “maximum escalation” of the nearly years-long war in Ukraine.

“These will be the defining months of the war,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Sky News in an interview.

“I am aware that the main battles are yet to come, and they will take place within two to three months of this year,” he said.

“Russia is preparing for maximum escalation. It collects everything possible, conducts training and studies. As for the offensive from different directions, I can say at the moment that we are not ruling out any scenario in the next two to three weeks.

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