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Pictures and videos uploaded from the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Monday morning show multiple casualties in what appears to have been a missile strike on the city.
Donetsk is held by Russian-backed separatist forces and is the capital of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
The videos, geotagged by CNN, show that there were at least several deaths on a main downtown street as well as a large number of injuries.
The remains of the missile can be seen at the scene. We still don’t know where it came from and who fired it.
“At the moment, we can speak of the highest number of civilian casualties as a result of a single strike,” DPR leader Denis Pushilin told Russian television.
“About 20 people [died]but the number is updated,” he told Russia 24, calling it a “war crime.”
A local news agency quoted the DPR’s Territorial Defense Staff as giving the same figure.
The DPR People’s Militia accused the Ukrainian side of launching the missile, saying: “Ukrainian armed formations again used the ‘Tochka-U’ tactical missile system in residential areas of Donetsk, in order to [cause] genocide [to] civilians and destroy important civilian infrastructure in the Republic capital. »
The Ukrainian armed forces have the Tochka missile, but it has also been used by Russian and separatist forces in the past. CNN has contacted the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense for comment.
Pushilin separately told Russian state TV channel Russia-1: “We managed to shoot down the Tochka-U tactical missile system, but even the wreckage did so much damage.”
“The worst thing is the loss of civilian lives. People were queuing for the ATM, at the bus stop,” he added.
In addition, the Ministry of Health of the DPR spoke of 23 wounded admitted to hospital.