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Russian missiles hit a crowded shopping mall in central Ukraine with more than 1,000 civilians inside on Monday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
“The occupiers fired rockets at the mall, where there were more than a thousand civilians,” Zelenskyy said in a post on the Telegram messaging app. He added that “the number of victims is impossible to imagine,” in the strike, which took place in Kremenchuk, a city in the Poltava region on the banks of the Dnieper River.
Ukraine’s state emergency services said at least two people were killed and 20 others injured after rocket fire hit the one-story building that houses the shopping center, according to preliminary information. They added that efforts were ongoing to extinguish the fire.
Zelenskyy also shared a short video clip, which has been verified by NBC News, showing plumes of gray smoke rising above a building that was nearly completely consumed in flames, with people and first responders running in front of it.
NBC News has not verified details of the incident or the numbers of any deaths.
The Ukrainian leader said the site did not present any danger or strategic value for the Russian army. “Russia continues to take out its powerlessness on ordinary citizens. It is useless to hope for adequacy and humanity on its part,” Zelenskyy added.
The mayor of Kremenchuk, Vitalii Maletskyi, also said in a Facebook post that the missile strike hit “a very crowded place, which is 100% not relevant to the hostilities.” He added that there were dead and injured, without specifying.
The strike comes just a day after Ukrainian officials blamed Russia for hitting two residential buildings in the capital, Kyiv, killing two people.
On Saturday, multiple missile strikes were reported by officials throughout the country, signaling that Russia was not limiting its assault to the eastern region of the Donbas, where Moscow has focused its fighting against Ukrainian forces in an effort to establish full control of the region.
This is a developing story, please check back for further updates.