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Russia bombards Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, killing at least two civilians

Russian strikes hit a school in Sloviansk and a residential zone in Kramatorsk on Saturday evening, leaving at least two dead, with more casualties possibly still trapped inside damaged properties.
Ruins of a house in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, destroyed by a Russian missile attack on the evening of 17 February 2024. Photo: Donetsk Oblast Military Administration
Russia bombards Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, killing at least two civilians

On 18 February evening, Russian forces targeted Sloviansk and Kramatorsk in Donetsk Oblast, hitting a school in Sloviansk and an industrial zone and residential area in Kramatorsk, according to Oleksii Kuleba, Deputy Head of the Ukrainian President’s Office. He reported that a family of four, including two teenagers, was likely trapped under rubble in Kramatorsk, where two houses were destroyed and 23 damaged. In Sloviansk, one person might be trapped under the school’s ruins.

Russian forces regularly shell the Ukraine-controlled cities in Donetsk Oblast, often causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure. Cities like Volnovakha, Soledar, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka effectively ceased to exist due to extensive damage from Russian attacks before being overrun by Russian troops. The exact or even approximately accurate number of civilian casualties in Volnovakha and Mariupol is unknown to this day – the authorities failed to organize the proper evacuation of civilians from the war zone there during the hostilities, and these two cities remain under Russia’s occupation to this day.

The head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration, Vadym Filashkin, updated that a rescue operation was underway at the site of the attack on Kramatorsk, and that the State Emergency Service was clearing the rubble. According to him, three people, not four, might be trapped there, according to updated information.

Filashkin said the Russians launched three missile attacks on Kramatorsk around 20:00.

Later reports by the Donetsk oblast head unveiled that the body of a woman born in 1977 was pulled out of the rubble. Then he updated that the rescuers found the body of a 23-year-old man in the rubble of a house, while one more person remained trapped, as the search and rescue operation was still underway.

Filashkin’s latest update as of the moment of publication of this new report says the death toll from the Russian missile attack on Kramatorsk has remained at two as 26 rescuers continued to clear the rubble, searching for one more person who might be trapped in the ruins.

“In Sloviansk, a search operation is underway at the site of the school strike, where a man is believed to be under the rubble. The exact consequences of the strikes will be known later,” he wrote, adding that 24 rescue workers were dealing with the situation in Sloviansk.

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