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Kramatorsk attack: Russian missile strike sends terrified civilians rushing for shelter

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Kramatorsk, Ukraine

Kramatorsk attack

A new barrage of missiles ripped through the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on Thursday, sending flames and thick plumes into the air as screaming civilians rushed to find shelter.

Kramatorsk attack

A CNN crew had just arrived on the scene and heard the first incoming strike on Kramatorsk. CNN saw the second attack, with two impacts about a minute apart. Two women jumped out of their car and ran screaming as other civilians took refuge wherever they could. Shrapnel bounced off the blast glass of a CNN vehicle.

Kramatorsk attack

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Paramedics rushed to the scene to treat at least one injured civilian. Kramatorsk Mayor Oleksandr Honcharenko also confirmed there had been a strike in the city and urged residents to stay in bomb shelters.

Kramatorsk attack

At least five people were injured in Thursday’s attack, according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk region’s military administration.

Kramatorsk attack

“They damaged 13 two-story buildings, three four-story buildings, a clinic and a children’s school, garages and cars,” Kyrylenko said. “The Russians confirm their status as terrorists every day.”

Police officers inspect a crater near the site of a damaged residential building February 2 amid repeated Russian attacks on Kramatorsk.
Rescuers work at the site of a Russian missile strike Thursday in Kramatorsk.

The new assault on Moscow came after Russian forces targeted the residential area on Wednesday with an Iskander-K missile, killing at least three civilians and injuring eight others, according to local police. Two of the injured are in critical condition, Honcharenko said.

Rescuers searched through piles of rubble to try to locate survivors following Wednesday’s attack, which damaged eight apartment buildings. Authorities also evacuated people to a local school for shelter.

Rescue workers search debris for survivors in a destroyed building in downtown Kramatorsk on February 1, 2023.
An emergency operation is underway at the site of a destroyed residential building in Kramatorsk.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the strike and expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

“This is not a repeat of history; this is the daily reality of our country,” he said on Telegram.

“A country on the border of absolute evil. And a country that must overcome it to reduce to zero the likelihood of such tragedies happening again. We will definitely find and punish all perpetrators. They don’t deserve pity.

Moscow’s attack on Kramatorsk came after a senior Kyiv official said Russia was preparing for a “maximum escalation” in the nearly years-long war in Ukraine.

“These will be defining months in the war,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Sky News in an interview broadcast on Tuesday.

“I’m aware that the main fights are still to come and will happen this year, two to three months from now,” he said.

“Russia is preparing for maximum escalation. It’s putting together everything possible, doing exercises and training. When it comes to an offensive from different directions, for now I can say that we are not ruling out any scenario in the next two to three weeks.

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