The Kremlin on Tuesday, June 28 doubled down in its campaign to demolish Ukrainian civilian homes and businesses far from the fighting lines, as it launched a wave of missile and rocket strikes against the southern port city of Mykolaiv.
Over the weekend of June 25-26, the Russian Federation (RF) fired between 48 and 60 long-range missiles at mostly civilian targets across Ukraine. On Monday, June 27 an RF missile hit a crowded shopping center in the central city Kremenchuk, demolishing the building and causing dozens of casualties.
Vitaliy Kim, head of the Mykolaiv regional defense command, said 11 long-range Russian Federation (RF) missiles launched from the direction of the Black Sea struck largely non-military targets across the city, in a Monday early morning bombardment. Ukrainian air defense units shot down “one” of the missiles, he said.
Russian army ground force fired 220mm Uragan artillery rockets at Mykolaiv as well, said Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych in a statement. The barrage hit shortly after sunrise, he said. Kim said the Uragan strikes killed three Mykolaiv civilians and injured six. One of the dead was a six-year-old girl, and one of the injured, now in a coma, was a three-month old baby, Kim said.
The deadly Mykolaiv strikes came one day after two RF X-22 anti-ship missiles slammed into the central city Kremenchuk in a Monday afternoon strike. One weapon hit a field but the second detonated after hitting a shopping center full of civilians.
According to official estimates made on the morning of Tuesday, June 28, the Kremenchuk shopping center blast killed at least 18 persons, injured 59, and left at least 36 persons missing. Emergency response workers were still digging through rubble and more victims were likely to be found, said Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Serhiy Kruk.
Ukraine’s national security and intelligence agency, the SBU, said in a statement on June 28 that its agents and researchers had begun collecting evidence to identify the RF service personnel responsible for the Kremenchuk attack, so that they might face war crimes charges.
Ukrainian civilians living closer to the battle lines in the Donbas region also were hit by RF fires, as RF forces continued a campaign aimed at capturing the town of Lysychansk, by systematically leveling all buildings Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) units might use for defense.
RF air strikes, artillery fires and rocket artillery bombardments hitting Lysychansk late at night on June 27 and during the early morning hours of June 28 killed eight and injured at least 21 Lysychansk residents, many of whom were severely injured and had to have their arms or legs amputated in hospital, said Serhiy Haidai, head of the Luhansk regional defense command.
Many were injured or killed after an artillery rocket struck near a well where civilians were drawing water, he said. RF forces targeted the crowd with Uragan rockets with the goal of terrorizing Lysychansk residents, Haidai claimed.
RF bombardments of Lysychansk, taking place almost daily since mid-June, have broken water mains, demolished roads, knocked down bridges and turned the town’s central market into rubble.
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