Russian rockets kill 15 in Chasiv Yar housing block, Ukraine says

At least 15 people have been killed and more than 20 are feared buried under rubble after Russian rockets struck an apartment block in Chasiv Yar, a town in eastern Ukraine, officials say, BBC reported.

Some victims have been brought out alive. The death toll was given by a Ukrainian emergency services official.

One side of the five-storey building was ripped apart, leaving a mountain of rubble. Chasiv Yar is near the city of Kramatorsk, in Donetsk region.

Donetsk is the focus of a Russian push.

The region’s governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said the destruction was caused by Russian Uragan rockets.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the strikes on the residential block were carried out deliberately.

“After such strikes, they will not be able to say they did not know something or did not understand something,” he said in a video address, adding that “punishment is inevitable for every Russian murderer”.

Rescuers used a crane and picked through the rubble by hand on Sunday, looking for more than 20 people still said to be trapped, including a child.

Video released by Ukraine’s emergencies ministry showed rescue workers pulling a man out from underneath the collapsed building.

Some residents who survived the strike returned to the site on Sunday looking for their belongings.

“We ran to the basement, there were three hits, the first somewhere in the kitchen,” one survivor called Lyudmila told Reuters news agency.

“The second, I do not even remember, there was a flash, we ran towards the second entrance and then straight into the basement. We sat there all night until this morning.”

Another woman, Venera, told Reuters that her apartment had been destroyed in the chaos and that she had been unable to find her kittens under the rubble.

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