Ukraine’s National Police said three rockets hit an office building and damaged nearby residential buildings in Vinnytsia, 268 kilometers (167 miles) southwest of the capital. Kyiv.
A Russian submarine in Black Sea fired Kalibr cruise missiles at the city, and 3 children were among the dead, deputy office of the president of Ukraine, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, wrote on the messaging app Telegram. The Russian military has not confirmed the attack.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the attack was deliberately aimed at civilians. The strike comes as government officials from around 40 countries meet in The Hague to discuss coordinating the investigation and prosecution of potential war crimes in Ukraine.
“Daily Russia are killing civilians, killing Ukrainian children, aiming missiles at civilian objects. Where there are no troops (target). What is it if not an overt act of terror? ” Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram.
Vinnytsia is one of the largest cities of Ukraine, with a population of 370,000. Thousands of people from eastern Ukraine, where Russia’s offensive is focused, have fled there since the war began.
Officials said the rocket ignited a widespread fire and engulfed 50 cars in a nearby parking lot. Ukrainian police say people have been reported missing. The governor of the Vinnytsia region, Serhiy Borzov, said Ukraine’s air defense systems shot down four more missiles over the area.
Before the missile hit Vinnytsia, the presidential office reported the deaths of five civilians and eight others injured in Russian attacks over the past day.
One person was injured when a rocket damaged several buildings in the southern city of Mykolaiv early Thursday, Ukrainian authorities said. A rocket attack Wednesday killed at least five people in the city.
Russian forces also continued their artillery and missile attacks in eastern Ukraine, mainly in Donetsk province, after passing the adjacent Luhansk. The city of Lysychansk, the last major stronghold of the Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk, fell to Russian forces earlier this month.
Luhansk and Donetsk together make up the Donbas, a Russian-speaking region dominated by steel mills, mines and other industries.
Government of Donetsk. Pavlo Kyrylenko urged residents to evacuate “as quickly as possible.”
“We are calling on civilians to leave the area, where there is a shortage of electricity, water and gas after the Russian shelling,” Kyrylenko said in a televised address. “The hostilities are intensifying, and people should stop risking their lives and leave the area.”
The British Ministry of Defense said on Thursday that despite continued shelling in the Donbas area, Russian forces had not made major territorial gains in recent days.
The British Ministry said: “Old Soviet-era vehicles, weapons and tactics employed by Russian forces cannot rapidly regain or build momentum unless used in large numbers – which which Russia cannot tolerate at present.”
Both Russian forces and the Ukrainian military are looking to replenish their dwindling drones to pinpoint enemy positions and guide artillery strikes.
Both sides are looking to purchase advanced, anti-jamming drones that could give a decisive advantage in battle. Ukrainian officials say the need for such technology is “huge” with crowdfunding efforts underway to raise the cash needed for purchases.