Russian missile strike on Ukrainian market kills 17 as US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announces new $1billion aid package, as James Mates reports
A Russian missile attack has killed at least 17 people and wounded dozens more in a market in eastern Ukraine, officials have said.
Power lines, 20 shops, an administrative building and the floor of an apartment building were damaged in the blast, that was caught on CCTV.
At least 17 people were killed and 32 more were wounded in the blast, and crews continue to search the rubble for any trapped civilians, authorities said.
Ukraine's minister of internal affairs, Ihor Klymenko reported that emergency workers extinguished the flames that burned an area of 300 square meters (3,200 square feet).
The fatal attack came as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Kyiv and was expected to announce more than $1 billion in new American funding.
Mr Blinken's visit was also aimed at assessing Ukraine’s three month-old counteroffensive and signal continued backing from the US.
CCTV footage caught the moment that the missile hit the market in the Ukrainian city of Kostiantynivka
It comes as some Western allies have expressed concerns about Kyiv’s slow progress in driving out Russian forces after 18 months of war, according to US officials.
"We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs, not only to succeed in the counteroffensive but has what it needs for the long-term, to make sure that it has a strong deterrent," Mr Blinken said.
"We’re also determined to continue to work with our partners as they build and rebuild a strong economy, strong democracy."
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that US assistance to Ukraine “can’t influence the course of the special military operation.”
Mr Blinken arrived in Kyiv for an overnight visit hours after Russia launched a missile attack on the city.
He was expected to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other top officials to discuss the ongoing counteroffensive and reconstruction efforts.
Overnight, Russia fired cruise missiles at Kyiv in its first aerial attack on the capital since August 30, according to Serhii Popko, the head of Kyiv’s regional military administration.
Debris from a downed missile struck a business in the capital, causing a fire and damage, but there were no casualties reported.
In the Odesa region, one person was killed in a Russian missile and drone attack on the port of Izmail that damaged grain elevators, administrative buildings and agricultural enterprises, authorities said.
The war could stretch deep into next year and beyond, according to experts.
Both Russia and Ukraine will have to assess their supply shortages, with more battles of attrition likely over the winter.
Ukrainian forces are advancing without air cover, making their progress harder and slower, while Russia has launched its own push in the northeast to pin down Ukrainian forces and prevent them being redeployed in the south.
Ukraine has adapted its tactics in recent weeks, moving from attempts to bludgeon its way through Russian lines with Western-supplied armor to better-planned tactical strikes that make incremental gains, according to the think tank, Royal United Services Institute.
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