The death toll from a Russian missile strike on a residential block in a Ukrainian-controlled town in the Donbas region has risen to 24, authorities said on Monday, marking the latest attack on a Ukrainian civilian site which authorities in Kyiv continue to label as state-sponsored terrorism by Moscow.
On Saturday, Russian missiles struck and nearly leveled a five-story residential block in the town of Chasiv Yar in Ukraine’s Donetsk province which Russian forces are now trying to capture.
According to an update provided by the Ukrainian State Emergency Services on Facebook, the bodies of 24 people have now been recovered from the site—up from 15 on Sunday.
The toll is set to rise further as emergency workers say they have spotted the bodies of at least five others in the rubble.
Workers have managed to rescue nine people from the rubble so far.
In his daily address on Sunday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky once again referred to Russia as a “terrorist state” while on Twitter his chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, called for Russia to be added to the list of “state sponsors of terrorism”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Saturday video address that Russia is targeting civilian residences in “brutal” attacks, which Russia has denied. “We have more proof of Russia’s crimes, that they shell residential areas of any community, whether it’s close to the front lines or not,” Kyrylenko told a Ukrainian television station, according to NBC News. Late last month, at least 21 people were killed after Russian missiles struck a residential building in Odesa, Ukrainian officials said, just a day after a rocket attack on a crowded shopping mall in Kremenchuk left at least 19 dead.
Donetsk and Luhansk, which comprise the southeastern Donbas region, have been the target of attacks for more than a month, as Russian forces try to take control of the Donbas and move west into the interior of Ukraine. Russia took over the final Ukrainian-controlled city in Luhansk last week, and has launched attacks in Donetsk in recent days, including near the town of Chasiv Yar, according to the Institute for the Study of War. President Joe Biden authorized a $400 million military aid package for Ukraine on Friday, including four additional HIMARS rocket launchers that Zelensky said Saturday are necessary to reduce Russian attack capabilities.