‘No strategic value’ Ukraine reports at least 50 injured, 13 dead following Russian missile strike on Kremenchuk shopping mall
A Russian missile strike hit a crowded shopping center in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday afternoon, killing at least two people and injuring twenty others, the Ukrainian authorities said.
Update. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office reported on Monday night that at least 13 people were killed and 59 were injured as a result of the missile strike on Kremenchuk. Another 40 people have been reported missing.
President Volodymyr Zelensky reported the attack on Telegram, sharing a video of the blaze the strike caused. “More than a thousand people” were inside of the shopping center when it was hit, the president said. “The mall is on fire, rescuers are fighting the fire, the number of victims is impossible to imagine,” Zelensky wrote, adding that the mall was “no danger to the Russian army” and had “no strategic value.”
The exact number of casualties is unknown. At least nine of the wounded are in serious condition, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the President’s Office, reported on Telegram.
Rescue efforts are ongoing. Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said that 115 rescue workers and 20 vehicles were working to put out the fire.
Immediately after the news of the missile strike broke, pro-Kremlin Telegram channels began dismissing the attack as a Ukrainian “false flag.” Some channels also drew comparisons to Bucha, repeating pro-Kremlin disinformation about the atrocities committed against civilians when the town was under Russian occupation earlier this year. Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy, later echoed these claims.
Kremenchuk is located in Ukraine’s central Poltava region, hundreds of kilometers away from the frontline. Russian missile strikes have repeatedly targeted the city’s oil refinery, which was the largest producer of gasoline and diesel fuel in Ukraine. Russian forces have continued to target the refinery even though damage from shelling forced it to stop production in the spring. The most recent strike on the plant was reported by Ukrainian officials on June 18.
Under wartime conditions, it is not always possible for journalists to promptly verify official statements. This is a developing story.