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At least 25 dead in Ukrainian strike on Donetsk market

Photo: Roman Pilipey Agence France-Presse The city of Donetsk in Donbass, located around 20 kilometers from the front line and came under the control of pro-Russian separatists led by Moscow in 2014, is regularly the target of Ukrainian bombings.

France Media Agency to kyiv

January 21, 2024

  • Europe

At least 25 people were killed on Sunday by a Kiev strike on a market in Donetsk, a large city occupied by Moscow in eastern Ukraine, with uncertainty still surrounding the causes of the attack. the fire which broke out overnight at a gas terminal in Russia.

On the ground, the Russian army claimed the capture of a small town in the Kharkiv region, with Ukrainian forces citing an advance of “no strategic importance”.

The city of Donetsk in Donbass, located around 20 kilometers from the front line and came under the control of pro-Russian separatists led by Moscow in 2014, is regularly the target of Ukrainian bombings.< /p>

On Sunday, an attack by kyiv on a market caused one of the deadliest deaths in the city in several months.

“People were screaming, a woman was crying. I saw smoke coming out, the windows of the store were broken,” Tatiana, a local resident, told local Russian media.

“What’s military here ? It’s an ordinary market,” raged another Tatiana, present at the time of the attack. “It’s been a long time since there’s been anything like this.”

Images posted on social media show numerous bloodied bodies lying on the ground, with shards of glass littering the ground.

The regional manager installed by Moscow, Denis Pouchiline, announced at least 25 dead and 20 injured, “including two children”, in the “horrible bombing” on this market “on Sunday, when it is the most frequented.”

Light Russian push

Elsewhere on the front line, the Russian army claimed the capture of Krakhmalnoye, a tiny town in the Kharkiv region (east), thanks to “successfully carried out active operations”.

Although only 45 residents lived in this village before the Russian invasion began on February 24, 2022, Moscow's announcement illustrates the increased pressure exerted by Russian forces in recent weeks.

On Thursday, Moscow had already claimed the conquest of another small town, Veseloïe, in the Donetsk region (east).

kyiv immediately downplayed the Russian takeover. “It’s five houses. They were destroyed by the Russians,” Volodymyr Fitio, a spokesman for the ground forces, assured Ukrainian television.

He noted, however, that Ukrainian troops had been “moved to reserve positions,” where they “now hold the defense, preventing the enemy from further advancing.”

The Kupiansk area, in which Krakhmalnoye is located, had been occupied by Russia at the start of the Russian invasion, until a lightning attack by the Ukrainians liberated the region in September 2022, dealing Moscow's troops a humiliating retirement.

Russia went on the offensive again on this front during the summer of 2023, while Ukraine attempted, without success, a major counter-offensive in the Donbass (east) and the south.

Faced with repeated Russian attacks, the Ukrainian authorities ordered at the beginning of the week the evacuation of 26 localities in the Kharkiv region, where Kupiansk is located, a decision which affected around 3,000 people.

Gas terminal in flames

In an attempt to stop the Russian machine and in retaliation for strikes on its soil, the Ukrainian army has also increased drone and missile attacks on opposing territory in recent weeks.

During the night from Saturday to Sunday, a major fire broke out in a gas terminal in Russia on the Baltic Sea, caused by “an external factor” according to Novatek, the company managing the site. 'Ust-Luga (north-west).

“There are no victims,” the gas giant said in a press release, assuring that the fire was “localized”.

Videos on social media showed high flames and smoke, with a “100 cubic meter” tank on fire, according to the Ria Novosti news agency. Several firefighters were struggling to put out the fire in -10°C weather.

Novatek, like the local authorities, have not given any possible leads at this stage, but all eyes are on kyiv, which remains silent.

Ukrainian forces this week claimed responsibility for two attacks on oil depots on Russian soil, one already in the Leningrad region — where Ust-Luga is located — and the other in the region of Bryansk, very close to Ukrainian territory.

The Russian Defense Ministry, as usual, assured on Sunday that it had “foiled” several Ukrainian drone and missile attacks in recent hours, without mentioning an incident in Ust-Luga.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116