UKRAINE: A Russian missile struck a pizza restaurant in eastern Ukraine, causing the deaths of 10 people, including 14-year-old twin twins, and at least 61 injuries. Four of the victims were children.
The Kramatorsk City Council announced the twins’ deaths, stating that “Russian missiles stopped the beating of two angels hearts.” The other two children were estimated to be 12 and 17. The restaurant was destroyed in the strike, reducing it to a twisted web of metal beams.
Ukrainian officials detained a man suspected of aiding Russia in planning the attack on a restaurant. The Ukrainian Security Service believes the employee orchestrated the attack, giving Russians a tour and mentioning the restaurant’s renown. Despite civilian casualties, Russia has claimed that its airstrikes do not target civilian targets.
Residents gathered outside after a devastating explosion in a cafe, observing the destruction and searching for survivors. A Belgian journalist who had just left the restaurant at the time of the attack told the media that he heard two “huge explosions” and witnessed “dead people, people screaming, people crying, huge chaos.”
Rescuers are searching for individuals beneath the rubble of a large restaurant, despite the debris. The death toll has reached 10, with two more remains found. Veronika Bakhal, a spokeswoman for Donetsk region emergency services, stated that rescuers had pulled 10 dead and at least three trapped individuals. Eight people have been pulled alive.
Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko confirmed that people were visible behind debris, but he acknowledged their skills in removing rubble. A second missile hit a village outside Kramatorsk, causing five casualties. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized the strikes, stating that Russia deserved defeat and a tribunal. Kramatorsk, a city in eastern Donetsk, remains under Ukrainian control.
The city has been targeted by Russian attacks, including a deadly one in April 2022 at the railway station. Ukrainian forces launched a counteroffensive against Russian forces, but the main operation has not yet taken place, according to Ukraine’s defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov. Kyiv claimed the mutiny had no effect on the fighting, despite the failed uprising led by Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Alexei Navalny, a jailed Kremlin opponent, attacked Russian President Vladimir Putin in his first remarks after the botched rebellion. Navalny declared the Putin government the greatest threat to Russia. Nato leader Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed the alliance’s readiness to defend its members. Prigozhin, a former Kremlin loyalist, established the most powerful private army in Russia.
Wagner’s soldiers realized their army and people were not with them, according to Putin. Russian authorities are working to disarm Wagner, dropping charges against individual troopers. The Kremlin’s permission for Ukraine’s conflict to transfer back into Russia remains a mystery. The UN claims Russian troops have tortured citizens and murdered at least 77 Ukrainians.
Pope Francis’ representative, Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, visited Russia for the first time since February 2022.