Russia Strikes Missiles Into Ukrainian Mall, Killing and Injuring Dozens

At least 13 people were killed and more than 40 injured after Russia launched missiles at a Ukrainian shopping mall with over 1,000 civilians inside, the country’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said.

The Ukrainian leader wrote through his official channel on the Telegram messaging app that the death toll was “impossible to imagine” and could rise even more.

Mr. Zelensky said the shopping mall, located in Kremenchuk city, was on fire, but firefighters had rushed to the scene to extinguish the flames.

“The occupiers fired missiles at a shopping center where there were over a thousand civilians,” he stated, adding that it was futile to expect “decency and humanity” from Russia.

The Ukrainian president insisted that the mall did not pose a threat to the Russian military or have any strategic value and accused the Russian government of taking out its impotence on ordinary civilians.

Images shared on social media showed a large number of people outside the mall and long plumes of smoke rising into the sky from inside the building.

Kremenchuk Mayor Vitaliy Meletskiy said the Russian attack had targeted a very “busy” structure with no links to the armed forces. He said the shelling had left people dead and wounded but did not give specific figures.

Later, Poltava region governor Dmytro Lunin confirmed that at least 13 people had been killed and dozens injured in the explosions and subsequent fire.

According to the Ukrainian presidential office’s deputy head Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the Ukrainian security forces launched a rescue operation and transferred nine seriously injured people to nearby hospitals.

Located on the Dnipro River’s banks and about 200 miles from Kyiv, Kremenchuk is an industrial city in central Ukraine and is home to the country’s largest refinery.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the attack on the Ukrainian shopping mall, saying it showed the depths of the Russian leader’s “cruelty and barbarism.”

“Putin must realize that his behavior will do nothing but strengthen the resolve of the Ukraine and every other G7 country to stand by the Ukraine for as long as it takes,” Mr. Johnson commented. Leaders of the world’s biggest nations have gathered in Germany for their annual summit this week, vowing to help Kyiv for as long as it takes.

The attack came after NATO revealed it had planned to deploy more than 300,000 troops to the region to deter Moscow. It’s the largest reorganization of the group’s forces since the Cold War from 1953-1962.