A Russian airstrike in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, left at least 17 dead, as disclosed by President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The attack, termed by Zelensky as “heinous,” unfolded hours after an unexpected visit to Kyiv by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who ardently pledged support for Ukraine in its battle against Russia.
The incident unfolded in Kostiantynivka, a town in the Donetsk region, home to nearly 70,000 people. It is one of the deadliest strikes in recent weeks, as projectiles tore through the town centre.
Rescue workers sifted through the debris, to provide aid to the wounded. The grim scene was full of by charred vehicles and kiosks, their once-vibrant structures reduced to a harrowing state of disarray.
Interior Minister Igor Klymenko confirmed that 17 people were dead and 32 injured in the attack. The dead included a child too.
President Zelensky accused Russia of intentionally targeting civilians, asserting that no military units were present in the vicinity. He passionately decried the act as “heinous evil,” “brazen wickedness,” and “utter inhumanity.”
In Kyiv, Secretary Blinken, accompanied by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, unequivocally condemned the barbaric attack, reaffirming the United States’ steadfast support for Ukraine’s struggle.
“We will continue to stand with Ukraine until it prevails,” he declared, echoing the sentiment of Western leaders who have recently bolstered their support for the embattled nation.
The US announced a substantial $400 million military aid package, while the European Union also contemplates furnishing Ukraine with additional military assistance, including heavy weaponry.
The relentless war in Ukraine has now persisted for five agonizing months, its resolution seemingly elusive. The United Nations estimates a devastating toll, with over 10,000 civilians perishing and millions forcibly displaced.
The Ukrainian economy bears the scars of conflict, as the hryvnia’s value plummeted by half. Despite international sanctions targeting Russia, the conflict’s termination remains uncertain, posing a significant challenge to the post-Cold War global order. The world watches, holding its collective breath, as Ukraine endures its crucible of suffering.