At least five people killed in Russian strike on eastern Ukraine city

An image from November 2022 shows a destroyed school yard after Russian shelling in Pokrovsk. Credit: AP

Five people have been killed and 31 wounded after two Russian missiles struck the centre of a Ukrainian city in the eastern Donetsk region.

One of the strikes, which targeted the Ukrainian portion of a region partially occupied by Russia, killed four civilians, and the other killed the deputy head of the regional branch of Ukraine’s State Emergency Service, Ukraine’s Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said.

At least 31 people - including 19 policemen, five rescuers and one child - have been wounded in the attack, the official said.

The strikes damaged a hotel, residential buildings and other civilian structures in Pokrovsk, Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an online statement accused Russia of trying to leave nothing but "broken and scorched stones" in eastern Ukraine.

His remarks accompanied footage of a damaged, five-story residential building with one floor partially destroyed.

Also on Monday, Russian shelling struck a nine-story residential building in the city of Kherson, killing one person and wounding four others.

Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said Kherson had endured a "tough night" as the Russians "covered the central part of the city with fire."

A 57-year-old woman was killed and four people were wounded in the Russian shelling of a village in the northeastern Kharkiv province, Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said.

The deadly attack came just a day after officials from around 40 countries gathered in Saudi Arabia to find a peaceful settlement for the war in Ukraine.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday denounced the two-day talks in Jeddah as not having "the slightest added value" because Moscow wasn’t invited while Ukraine was.

A statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry repeated previous assurances that Moscow is open to a diplomatic solution on its terms that would end the 17-month-old war, and that it is ready to respond to serious proposals.

The Kremlin’s demands include Kyiv recognizing its annexation of four Ukrainian regions, which Russian forces at this point only partially control, and Crimea, which Moscow seized in 2014.

Ukraine has outright refused to consider any of these demands and says it won't consider talks until Russia withdraws from its territory.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...