(CTN News) – At least 25 people were killed Sunday by shelling at a market on the outskirts of Donetsk in Russian-occupied Ukraine, according to local sources.
According to Denis Pushilin, chairman of the Russian-installed authority in Donetsk, the strike in the suburb of Tekstilshchik injured 20 more people, including two children. He stated that the Ukrainian military launched the shells.
Kyiv has not commented on the event, and The Associated Press could not independently verify the accusations.
Pushilin stated that the area was hit by 155 mm and 152 mm artillery munitions fired from the west towards Kurakhove and Krasnohorivka. He also stated that emergency services were still working at the location.
In a statement, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the strike, which it blamed on Ukraine, as a “terrorist attack.”
“These terrorist attacks by the Kyiv regime clearly demonstrate its lack of political will towards achieving peace and the settlement of this conflict by diplomatic means,” the statement stated.
Also on Sunday, a fire broke out at a chemical shipping terminal in Russia’s Ust-Luga port after two explosions, according to regional officials. Local media stated that Ukrainian drones assaulted the port, causing a petrol tank to burst.
The fire broke out at Novatek’s second-largest natural gas production facility, located 165 kilometres southwest of St. Petersburg.
In a press statement to Russian media source RBC, the corporation stated that the fire was caused by “external influence.” It also stated that it has suspended operations at the port.
Yuri Zapalatsky, the chairman of Russia’s Kingisepp district, which includes the port, said in a statement that there were no casualties, but the area had been placed on high alert.
According to Fontanka, two drones were detected heading towards St Petersburg on Sunday morning but were redirected to the Kingisepp region. The Associated Press could not independently verify the reports.
During its daily briefing, the Russian Ministry of Defence did not mention any drone activity in the Kingisepp region. It stated that four Ukrainian drones had been shot down in Russia’s Smolensk region, as well as two more in the Oryol and Tula districts.
Russian officials had already stated that a Ukrainian drone was shot down on the suburbs of St. Petersburg on Thursday.
Russia’s Ministry of Defence stated Sunday that Moscow’s soldiers had captured the village of Krokhmalne in Ukraine’s Kharkiv area.
Ukrainian forces confirmed that the hamlet had been captured but called the takeover a “temporary phenomenon.”
Volodymyr Fityo, a Ukrainian Ground Forces Command spokeswoman, stated that Kyiv’s forces had been withdrawn to pre-planned reserve positions.
He stated that Krokhmalne had a population of approximately 45 individuals before Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. “That’s five houses, probably,” he said, according to Ukrainian news outlet Hromadske. “Our main goal is to save the lives of Ukraine’s defenders.”
Throughout the winter, Russian and Ukrainian forces fought mostly from static positions along the 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) front line.
Recent Russian strikes have attempted to exploit holes in Ukraine’s defences by employing a high number of different types of missiles in an apparent attempt to overwhelm air defence systems.
The huge barrages—more than 500 drones and missiles were fired between December 29 and January 2, according to Kyiv officials—are also depleting Ukraine’s military arsenal.