Russian missiles kill at least 23 in central Ukraine, officials say

Ukraine says three Russian missiles hit an office building and damaged nearby residential buildings in Vinnytsia, about 170 miles southwest of Kyiv.


Russian missiles killed at least 23 people in central Ukraine and wounded more than 100 others Thursday, Ukrainian authorities said, in an attack that the president called
“an open act of terrorism” against civilians in locations without military value.

Ukraine’s national police said three missiles hit an office building and damaged nearby residential buildings in Vinnytsia, about 125 miles southwest of the capital, Kyiv. The Ukrainian Emergency Service said 42 people were missing after the airstrike.

A Russian submarine in the Black Sea fired Kalibr cruise missiles at the city, and three children were among the dead, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

The Russian military has not confirmed the strike. But Margarita Simonyan, head of the state-controlled Russian television network RT, said on her messaging app channel that military officials told her a building in Vinnytsia was targeted because it housed Ukrainian “Nazis.”


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested that the attack was deliberately aimed at civilians. The strike happened
as government officials from about 40 countries met in The Hague, in the Netherlands, to discuss coordinating investigations and prosecutions of potential war crimes committed in Ukraine.

“Every day Russia is destroying the civilian population, killing Ukrainian children, directing missiles at civilian objects. Where there is no military [target]. What is it if not an open act of terrorism?” Zelensky wrote on Telegram.

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Vinnytsia is one of Ukraine’s largest cities, with a population of 370,000. Thousands of people from eastern Ukraine, where Russia has concentrated its offensive, have fled there since the start of the war 20 weeks ago.

The missiles ignited a fire that engulfed 50 cars in an adjacent parking lot, officials said. Ukrainian police said people were reported missing. The governor of
the Vinnytsia region, Serhiy Borzov, said Ukrainian air defense systems shot down four missiles over the area.

Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said he thinks the attack mirrors previous ones on residential areas that Moscow launched “to try to pressure Kyiv to make some concessions.”

“Russia has used the same tactics when it hit the Odesa region, Kremenchuk, Chasiv Yar and other areas,” Zhdanov said. “The Kremlin wants to show that it will keep using unconventional methods of war and kill civilians in defiance to Kyiv and the entire international community.”


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Before the missiles hit Vinnytsia, the president’s office reported the deaths of five civilians and the wounding of eight more in Russian attacks over the last day.

One person was wounded when a missile damaged several buildings in the southern city of Mykolaiv early Thursday, Ukrainian authorities said. A missile attack Wednesday killed at least five people in the city.

Russian forces also continued artillery and missile attacks in eastern Ukraine, primarily in Donetsk province, after overtaking adjacent Luhansk province. The city of Lysychansk, the last major stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk, fell to Russian forces at the beginning of the month.

Luhansk and Donetsk together make up the Donbas, a mostly Russian-speaking region of steel factories, mines and other industries.

Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko urged residents to evacuate as “quickly as possible.”

“We are urging civilians to leave the region, where electricity, water and gas are in short supply after the Russian shelling,” Kyrylenko said in televised remarks. “The fighting is intensifying, and people should stop risking their lives and leave the region.”

The British Defense Ministry said Thursday that despite continued shelling in the Donbas region, Russian forces did not make major territorial gains in recent days.

“The aging vehicles, weapons and Soviet-era tactics used by Russian forces do not lend themselves to quickly regaining or building momentum unless used in overwhelming mass — which Russia is currently unable to bring to bear,” the British ministry said.

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Both the Russian and Ukrainian militaries are seeking to replenish their depleted stocks of unmanned aerial vehicles to pinpoint enemy positions and guide artillery strikes.

Both sides are looking to procure jamming-resistant advanced drones that could offer a decisive edge in battle. Ukrainian officials say the demand for such technology is “immense,” with crowdfunding efforts underway to raise the necessary cash for purchases.


In the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region, Moscow-installed officials announced plans to hold a September referendum on incorporating the territory into Russia. Large parts of Zaporizhzhia are under Russian control, as is most of neighboring Kherson.

Kremlin-backed administrations in both areas have declared their intentions to become part of Russia. Separatist leaders in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk “republics” have announced similar plans.