Kiev’s shelling of Donetsk at midnight on Monday killed four people and injured 13, according to local officials
Only violent savages could stoop so low as to attack civilians on New Year’s night, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said, referring to the Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk that left several people dead.
On Monday, minutes after midnight on New Year’s eve, Ukraine’s military launched a rocket strike on the center of Donetsk, firing at least 15 missiles, according to local officials. Denis Pushilin, the head of Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said citing preliminary data that the attack killed four people and injured 13 others.
TASS news agency reported, citing emergency services, that the Ukrainian strike also killed a war correspondent and wounded another journalist, without giving any personal details.
Zakharova condemned the attack, writing on Telegram several hours later that “only terrorist brutes” could unleash a barrage on civilians celebrating the New Year.
According to local media and Russian Telegram channels, some of the projectiles damaged the Donbass Palace hotel in the center of the city. Videos circulating on social media show the damaged facade of the building with shattered windows, and destroyed vehicles parked nearby. Other clips filmed inside the hotel show chaos in rooms and corridors, with tables in the dining hall laden with food in anticipation of New Year’s celebrations.
Other images on social media show several rocket fragments lying on the ground, with one photo depicting a pierced and shattered ceiling in a local kindergarten.
Ukraine has routinely struck civilian targets and infrastructure in Donetsk and other Donbass cities since 2014, when fighting first erupted in the region after a Western-backed coup in Kiev.
The new attack comes on the heels of another Ukrainian barrage on the city of Belgorod, inside the Russian border, which killed 24 people, including four children, and injuring 108 others. Moscow vowed to retaliate, with the Defense Ministry later saying that the Russian military had successfully carried out high-precision missile strikes against Ukrainian military officials who had planned and carried out the attack.