Russia says death toll in Ukraine shelling of Lysychansk rises to 28

Russia's emergencies ministry said 10 people were rescued from under the rubble following what it said was a Ukrainian attack on a bakery

Reuters
Published : 4 Feb 2024, 06:10 AM
Updated : 4 Feb 2024, 06:10 AM

The death toll from what Russia said was a Ukrainian attack on Lysychansk - a city in the Moscow-controlled Ukrainian region of Luhansk - has risen to 28, including a child, Russia's emergencies ministry said on Sunday.

The ministry said 10 people were rescued from under the rubble following what it said was a Ukrainian attack on a building housing a bakery in Lysychansk.

"The search and rescue operation continues," the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app.

The Russian-controlled Luhansk Information Centre said on its Telegram the shelling by US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) occurred on Saturday afternoon.

From the design and colour of the building and a sign matching file imagery of the area, Reuters was able to confirm the location of a video the Russian emergencies ministry shared. It matches a location on Google maps identified as the Adriatic Restaurant on Moskovska Street, Lysychansk.

However, Reuters was unable to independently verify the date of the footage filmed, or of any other details of the report coming out of an area Russia said it annexed in 2022.

Ukrainian officials have not made any statement on the incident.

Russia took control of Lysychansk in July 2022 after months of heavy fighting. Only about a tenth of Lysychansk's pre-war population of 110,000 remain in the city, according to Ukrainian officials.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said "dozens of civilians" were in the building at the time of the attack and that Western weapons were used.

The Russian-controlled Luhansk Information Centre said Ukraine shelled the bakery using the U.S.-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

Russia's state-run TASS news agency quoted a Russian-installed official in operational services as saying the average age of the victims was "35 years, plus or minus five years."

"There are no children among the dead at the moment, but the removal of rubble is still ongoing," it quoted the official as saying.

Earlier, Leonid Pasechnik, put in charge of Ukraine's Luhansk region by Moscow, said dozens of people may be under the rubble.