At least seven including 6-year-old girl killed, 144 injured in Russian missile strike on a theatre in Ukraine’s Chernihiv

A six-year-old girl was among the seven people who were killed as Russia resorted to a missile strike that hit a theatre and a central square in the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said.

A file photo of a Russian strike in Ukraine. Photo courtesy: IBNS

The strikes also left 144 others, including 15 children, injured. 

“I am sure our soldiers will give a response to Russia for this terrorist attack,” Zelenskiy said in a video address. 

The six-year-old has been identified as Sofia, reports said. 

Most of the victims were either travelling in vehicles, crossing the road, or returning from church when a missile hit the city’s landmark Drama Theatre, the Ukrainian president said.

Regional governor Viacheslav Chaus said 41 people were in the hospital on Saturday.

A video posted by the Ukrainian president showed debris scattered across a square in front of the regional theatre, where parked cars were heavily damaged.

A body was briefly seen in the video slouched inside a car.

“Let’s do even more to consolidate the world against Russian terror. Let’s give even more to our state to protect life. Russia must lose this war for life to win,” the president said.

Ukrainian media reported that a public event featuring drone manufacturers had been taking place inside the theatre at the time of the attack. 

The interior minister, Ihor Klymenko, said only that an event had been taking place in the building and that Ukraine’s domestic security service was investigating the matter.

Chernihiv is a historical city known for its medieval churches and its centre has no obvious military significance. 

The Russian border is about 50 miles to the north-east, but the front in the east of Ukraine is more than 300 miles away.

Russia has previously attacked Ukrainian cities with missiles and drones as part of its full-scale invasion launched in February 2022.