Ukrainian official says 6 civilians were killed when Russians shelled a town center.

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A Russian artillery barrage killed six civilians on Wednesday and wounded five others in the eastern town of Kurakhove, Ukrainian authorities said, further stoking outrage in the country over Moscow’s invasion.

A brief video clip of the aftermath of the attack showed a street strewn with debris and glass, a fire in a market stall and at least one body lying near a wall. An ambulance and a fire truck arrived at the scene, sirens blaring.

The video was posted on the Telegram social messaging app by the military governor of Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko. It was later reposted on Telegram by President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. The Times verified the location and timing of the video.

“The Russian occupiers struck the center. A market, a bus station, gas stations, and residential buildings came under fire,” Mr. Kyrylenko said in the post, adding: “Another crime of the Russians on our land.”

The United Nations says at least 6,700 civilian deaths have been documented so far in the war, and Ukrainian officials have said the actual death toll is far higher. Russia has regularly hit civilian targets across the country with missiles, drones and shells.

The Ukrainian prosecutor’s office, which has documented Russia’s attacks since Moscow launched its full scale invasion nine months ago, said it had opened an investigation into the shelling.

There was no immediate comment from Russian authorities, and it was not possible to confirm the attack independently. Moscow has denied in the past that its forces intentionally target civilians.

Kurakhove lies in agricultural land just west of the capital of Donetsk Province. The province was one of four that Russia illegally annexed in late September, but it remains largely controlled by Ukraine.

Many civilians, responding to an evacuation request by the government, have left for safer parts of the country, or to go abroad, but others, including many older people, have remained. Both sides have been digging defenses in the Donbas since 2014, when Russian forces and pro-Russian separatists first seized territory.

Authorities in Russian-held parts of the Donbas regularly accuse Ukraine of launching deadly strikes and killing civilians in the territory they control.

They did so again on Monday. Leonid Pasechnik, head of the Luhansk People’s Republic, said on Telegram that three people were killed when Ukrainian forces shelled a hostel that housed construction workers in the town of Alchevsk, which is around 23 miles southwest of the regional capital.

Another pro-Russian local official, Andriy Marochko, said on Telegram that, in all, 10 people had been killed.

There was no comment on the reports from Ukrainian authorities, and it was not possible to confirm the attack independently.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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