Kremenchuk Shopping Center Latest Site of Russian Rocket Strike in Ukraine

Dr. E.C. Beuck
Shopping Center in Kremenchuk after Russian ShellingState Emergency Service of Ukraine

A shopping center in Kremenchuk, Ukraine is the latest civilian structure that has been struck in a rocket strike. The strike itself took place just prior to 4:00pm local time. Ukraine’s State Emergency Service has been engaged in recovery efforts with 115 rescuers and 20 pieces of equipment dispatched to help on the ground of the destruction. Major efforts were being conducted to extinguish the rampant flames, which had grown to cover the more than 110,000 square foot shopping center.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine stated in a Telegram post that the number of victims of the attack was “unimaginable,” given that there were more than 1000 civilians from the area inside the shopping center at the time of the attack. At least 10 people have been announced as having been killed, with more than 40 additional civilians being injured as a result of the rocket strike, despite the shopping mall itself having no strategic or military value that would have justified an attack on it by Russian forces.

The rocket strike on the shopping center occurred at the same time that Russian forces have been engaged in a full, all-out assault by land and air on the city of Lyscychansk, the last Ukrainian-held stronghold in the eastern province of Luhansk in Ukraine. The city of Sloviansk, which is situated to the west of Lyscychansk has reportedly been subject to strikes by cluster munitions from Russian forces. Some have speculated that Sloviansk will become the next major battleground between Ukrainian and Russian forces in the area.

Regardless, these attacks echo those from earlier in the conflict that have resulted in mass civilian casualties, specifically the strike against the Mariupol theater suspected of killing around 600 that occurred in March, and the strike on the train station in eastern Kramatorsk that killed at least 59 which occurred in April. The Kremlin has consistently denied the targeting of civilians in Ukraine.

For their part, the G-7 states (USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan) that had gathered in Germany for a three-day summit voiced their support for Ukraine. Indeed, in a joint statement made Monday after a session that saw attendance by President Zelenskyy via video link, the G-7 leaders stated their "unwavering commitment to support the government and people of Ukraine in their courageous defense of their country's sovereignty and territorial integrity." The US in particular has signaled its readiness to provide greater air defense assistance following President Zelenskyy’s request for more such systems after Russian forces hit Kyiv in long-range missile attacks on Sunday.

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Holding a PhD in Political Science, I write about current events and on political topics related to international relations, international law, conflict both between and within states, and the interactions between technology and politics.

Washington, DC

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