Russian Missile Strikes, Kills 17 Civilians

Distraught residents searched for loved ones amid the mangled, charred remains spread across the ground after a Russian missile slammed an outdoor market on Wednesday in eastern Ukraine, turning it into a smoldering, blackened waste.

One of Russia’s bloodiest assaults on civilians in months, the explosion in Kostiantynivka killed 17 and injured at least 32, according to Ukrainian authorities.

‘This is a tranquil area in the middle of the city. This area was not a military objective,’ Stefan Slovak, a resident of Kostiantynivka, remarked in a quavering voice.

Charred victims lay in the roadway behind him, their clothing still alight, alongside flaming automobiles that remained on the market. A woman in civilian garb was discovered by rescuers with a bloody scalp behind a kiosk selling fresh parsley.

The Associated Press’s footage depicted a chaotic scene with people lying on the ground, some still ablaze from the fire. While firemen battled the blaze, first responders used blankets and stretchers to carry the injured into waiting ambulances. Some of the bodies were covered with tarps. People in the crowd of onlookers wept and comforted one another.

Heard amidst the chaos were the questions from the civilians.

Why are they firing their weapons against unarmed citizens? Have we been enlisted? Are we firing at them or not?

‘They only want to destroy the Ukrainian people,’ one local, Nadezhda Negoda, claimed.

The strike was intentional, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He has frequented the town during his numerous travels to the front lines. He noted that those familiar with the region know it is a residential one. During a press conference in Kyiv with visiting Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Zelenskyy said, “There aren’t any military forces nearby.”

He said that the strike was a true reflection of conditions on the front.

Zelenskyy said that the Russians would retaliate by attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure whenever the Ukrainian armed forces made progress in that direction.

According to Ukraine’s general prosecutor’s office, some 30 pavilions and 20 stores were destroyed, along with an administrative building, an apartment complex, and electricity cables.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had just arrived in Kyiv to announce over $1 billion in new American support for Ukraine in the 18-month-old conflict when the incident occurred.