Tue, 26 September 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Four dead in Russian strike on eastern Ukraine restaurant

Update : 28 Jun 2023, 09:38

At least four people were killed and more than 40 wounded in a Russian missile strike that hit a restaurant in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, authorities said Tuesday.

Ukrainian police said Russia had fired two S-300 surface-to-air missiles at the city.

"The bodies of three people, including a minor born in 2008, have been recovered from the rubble. Among the injured was a child born in 2022," the interior ministry said on Telegram.

The Ukrainian emergency service said on Telegram that 47 people were injured in the strike, which destroyed the popular Ria Pizza restaurant.

"There were a lot of people in there – there are children under the rubble," said Yevgen, who had been dining with two friends.

"We were just about to leave," he said, but one of his friends was now "under the rubble", he told AFP after the explosion

Three Colombians, including the writer Hector Abad, who were visiting Ukraine to express their solidarity, were slightly injured in the incident.

A crowd quickly gathered at the site, where fires continued to burn as soldiers and rescue workers searched for other victims.

Donetsk governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said two Russian missiles had struck the city that was once home to 150,000 people, one of the largest still under Ukrainian control in the country's besieged east.

"There was a good crowd" at the restaurant when the missile hit, one of its cooks, 32-year-old Ruslan, told AFP.

"I had just arrived: I was standing there, and then I was buried," he said. "I was lucky."

Natalia, in tears, said her half-brother Nikita, 23, was inside near the pizza oven.

"They can't get him out, he was covered" by debris, she said.

Several buildings nearby were also damaged in the strike on the city, which Russia has often targeted since its invasion in February 2022.

Kramatorsk lies about 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the front line.

"People told me they heard a plane flying, there was a hissing and then an explosion," a 19-year-old Ukrainian soldier who gave his war name as "Ghost", and was nearby when the strike occurred, told AFP.

He quickly entered the restaurant to help rescue workers. "A girl was trapped, injured. They haven't yet been able to get her out," he said. 

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