Emergency services personnel were still working early Wednesday to rescue people at the site of a rocket strike in downtown Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region that killed at least 10 people. Photo courtesy National Police of Ukraine/EPA-EFE
June 28 (UPI) -- A Russian missile strike as people dined at a busy restaurant in downtown Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine killed at least 10 people, including three children, and injured 56 with a major search and rescue operation ongoing, authorities said Wednesday.
The children, two aged 14 and a 17-year-old, and seven adults died when one of two missiles fired at the city hit a shopping area and the Ria Lounge pizza restaurant, a popular watering hole among military personnel, aid workers and journalists, at around 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Citing city authorities, the BBC named the two 14-year-olds as twin sisters Yuliya and Anna Aksenchenko.
The second missile hit a residential area.
"There are still people trapped under the rubble of the pizzeria -- the rescue operation is ongoing," said regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko in a Telegram post.
"Numerous houses, buildings of shops, cafes and other establishments were damaged near the place of impact."
The Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed seven people had been pulled from the rubble and that an infant born last year was among the 56 injured adding in a Twitter post that "search and rescue operations and debris removal continues."
President Volodymyr Zelensky, noting the attack came on the anniversary of a Russian missile strike on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, 180 miles southeast of Kyiv, killing 22 people were killed, condemned it as the act of "savages."
"Each such manifestation of terror proves over and over again to us and to the whole world that Russia deserves only one thing as a result of everything it has done -- defeat and a tribunal, fair and legal trials against all murderers and terrorists," he said in a Twitter post.
The Security Service of Ukraine, a counter-intelligence agency, said it had arrested "an agent of the Russian special services," who was employed at a local transportation company.
"The agent of the Russian Federation will definitely answer to the Ukrainian court. But his detention is also a signal to all other adjusters and traitors who work for the enemy. Remember - the punishment is inevitable," said SSU head Vasyl Malyuk.
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice President, Josep Borrell Fontelles denounced the attack.
"In another demonstration of terror Russia is imposing on Ukrainian civilians, a Russian cruise missile hit a restaurant and shopping center in Kramatorsk. This was a well-known meeting point for international press. Yet again, Russia continues to violate international law and commit war crimes," Fontelles tweeted Wednesday.
Tuesday's attack was the deadliest since a missile strike on the central Ukrainian city of Uman in April killed 23 people after an apartment building was hit.