Russian missile hits restaurant in Ukraine's Kramatorsk killing nine

Russian missiles once again pound the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk. Three children are among the nine confirmed killed when one such missile hit a restaurant on Tuesday.

 Kramatorsk after Russian missile strike, February 2023 (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Kramatorsk after Russian missile strike, February 2023
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A Russian missile struck a restaurant in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on Tuesday, killing nine people and wounding 56, emergency services said, as rescue crews combed the rubble in search of casualties.

A second missile hit a village on the fringes of Kramatorsk, injuring five, but the main casualties were at the restaurant, where at least three children were among the dead.

"Rescuers are working through the rubble of the destroyed building and searching for people who are probably still under it," emergency service officials said on the Telegram messaging app.

History of Russian missile attacks on Kremenchuk

A Russian missile also hit a cluster of buildings in Kremenchuk, about 375 km (230 miles) west in central Ukraine, exactly a year after an attack on a shopping mall there that killed at least 20. No casualties were reported in the latest attack.

In Kramatorsk, a city frequently targeted by Russian attacks, emergency workers scurried in and out of the shattered restaurant as residents stood outside embracing and surveying the damage.

 Kryvyi Rih after Russian missile strike, June 2023 (credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Kryvyi Rih after Russian missile strike, June 2023 (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The building was reduced to a twisted web of metal beams. Police and soldiers emerged with a man in military trousers and boots on a stretcher. He was placed in an ambulance, though it was unclear whether he was still alive.

Two men screamed in frenzied tones for a tow rope, then ran back towards the rubble.

"I ran here after the explosion because I rented a cafe here.... Everything has been blown out there," Valentyna, 64, told Reuters.

"None of the glass, windows or doors are left. All I see is destruction, fear and horror. This is the 21st century."

Emergency services posted pictures online of rescue teams sifting through the site with cranes and other equipment.

Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told national television that people were visible under the rubble. Their condition was unknown, he said, but "we are experienced in removing rubble."

Video footage on military Telegram channels showed one man, his head bleeding, receiving first aid on the pavement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly video message that the attacks showed that Russia "deserved only one thing as a consequence of what it has done -- defeat and a tribunal."

Kramatorsk is a major city west of the front lines in Donetsk province and a likely key objective in any Russian advance westward seeking to capture all of the region.

The city has been a frequent target of Russian attacks, including a strike on the town's railway station in April 2022 that killed 63 people. There were at least two strikes on apartment buildings and other civilian sites earlier this year.

Russia denies targeting civilian sites in what it has described as a "special military operation" since invading its neighbor in February 2022.