10 dead, including 3 kids, as Russian missile hits Ukraine pizza place

The attack on the crowded restaurant wounded another 61 people.
Debris in front of a Ukraine pizza restaurant destroyed by a Russian attack
Posted at 7:43 AM, Jun 28, 2023

Ukrainian authorities arrested a man Wednesday they accused of helping Russia direct a missile strike that killed at least 10 people, including three children, at a popular pizza restaurant in a city in east Ukraine.

The Tuesday evening attack on Kramatorsk wounded another 61 people, Ukraine's National Police said, in the latest bombardment of a Ukrainian city — a tactic Russia has used heavily in the 16-month-old war.

Two sisters, both age 14, died as result of the attack, the educational department of the Kramatorsk city council said. "Russian missiles stopped the beating of the hearts of two angels," it said in a Telegram post.

The other dead child was 17, according to Prosecutor General Andrii Kostin.

The attack also damaged 18 multi-story buildings, 65 houses, five schools, two kindergartens, a shopping center, an administrative building and a recreational building, the regional governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said. 

Rescuers are still searching the rubble for bodies and more survivors.

Officials initially blamed the strike in Kramatorsk on an S-300 missile, a surface-to-air weapon that Russia’s forces have repurposed for loosely targeted strikes on cities, but the National Police later said Iskander short-range ballistic missiles were used.

Fire from an artillery attack in Ukraine

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Kramatorsk is a front-line city that houses the Ukrainian army's regional headquarters. The pizza restaurant was frequented by journalists, aid workers and soldiers, as well as locals.

It's located in Donetsk, one of four Ukrainian provinces that Russia claimed to annex last September but does not fully control. Russia has also occupied Crimea since 2015.

Ukrainian-held parts of the partially occupied provinces have been hit especially hard by Russian bombardment and are a key barrier to resolving the war.

The Kremlin demands that Kyiv recognize the annexations, while Kyiv has ruled out any talks with Russia until its troops pull back from all occupied territories. Kyiv recently launched a much-anticipated counteroffensive to take back occupied territory.

Russia, meanwhile, has stepped up its air campaign in Ukraine while the fighting continues along the front line.

Russian forces on Monday and overnight also shelled 16 settlements in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, the Ukrainian presidential office reported.

It said that a 77-year-old civilian was killed in the front-line town of Orikhiv, and that Russian shelling wounded three people in a nearby village recently retaken by Kyiv.

Also, a Russian supersonic cruise missile slammed into a cluster of holiday homes in central Ukraine, sparking a fire which injured a child, the presidential office said.