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At least 23 dead as Russian missiles strike Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia

At least 23 people were killed Thursday as Russian missiles struck the city of Vinnytsia, destroying dozens of buildings and leaving about 100 people injured, Ukrainian officials said. Photo by Roman Pilipey/EPA-EFE
1 of 3 | At least 23 people were killed Thursday as Russian missiles struck the city of Vinnytsia, destroying dozens of buildings and leaving about 100 people injured, Ukrainian officials said. Photo by Roman Pilipey/EPA-EFE

July 14 (UPI) -- Russian missiles struck an eastern Ukrainian city on Thursday, killing nearly two dozen people, Ukrainian officials said.

At least 23 people, including three children, were killed in the attack on the city of Vinnytsia, Ihor Klymenko, chief of Ukraine's National Police, said.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the final death toll was still being clarified as "the debris clearance is ongoing."

Another 64 people, including four children, were hospitalized, with 34 in serious condition and five in critical condition, according to Ukraine's State Emergency Service. Another 42 people were unaccounted for, SES added.

Three Russian missiles struck a nine-story office building and damaged residential buildings in the city, which is southwest of Kyiv and far from the center of the fighting in the Donbas region, officials said.

More than 50 buildings and more than 40 cars were damaged as a result of the strikes.

"One of the missiles destroyed the Neuromed medical center. There were people inside," said Zelensky.

The Russian defense ministry, which has denied targeting civilian locations throughout the conflict, did not immediately comment on the strike.

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Zelensky on Thursday also called for a special tribunal on Russia's war as "soon as possible," calling the attack "an open act of terrorism."

"No state in the world poses such a terrorist threat as Russia. No other state in the world allows itself to destroy peaceful cities and ordinary human life with cruise missiles and jet artillery every day," he said. "Russia has thus shown its attitude to international law, to Europe and to the entire civilized world."

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States would support investigations into war crimes, saying that atrocities committed amid the conflict were "not the acts of rogue units" but "fit a clear pattern" of Russian forces.

"With each day, the war crimes mount," Blinken said. "Rape. Torture. Extrajudicial executions. Disappearances. Forced deportations. Attacks on schools, hospitals, playgrounds, apartment buildings, grain silos, water and gas facilities."

Blinken on Thursday also demanded that Russia immediately release the hundreds of thousands of civilians it claims the Kremlin has forcibly deported from Ukraine.

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