Ukraine: Child among 17 dead in suspected Russian missile strike in Kostyantynivka marketplace

At least 17 people, including a child, died after a suspected Russian missile hit a market in Ukraine's Kostyantynivka city, Donetsk Oblast, on Wednesday.

At least 17 people, including a child, died after a suspected Russian missile hit a market in Ukraine's Kostyantynivka. Photo Courtesy: Screengrab from VolodymyrZelenskyy's X page

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared a video footage of the incident on his X page and wrote: "At least 16 people have been killed by Russian shelling in Kostyantynivka, Donetsk region. Russian terrorists have attacked a regular market, shops, and a pharmacy, killing innocent people. The number of casualties could rise further."

"Anyone in the world who is still dealing with anything Russian simply ignores this reality. Heinous evil. Brazen wickedness. Utter inhumanity," he said.

He mourned the death of people in the incident.

Sending out a strong message to Moscow, he wrote on X: "The Russian evil must be defeated as soon as possible."

Russia began the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Kostyantynivka is located close to the front line in eastern Ukraine.

The video shared by the Ukrainian President showed a missile hitting the market at a time when people were busy shopping there.

The attack coincided with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to Kyiv to meet Ukraine's top officials, including Zelenskyy.

Following his meeting with Blinken, Zelenskyy posted on X: "I received @SecBlinken in Kyiv. I am grateful to the American people, both parties of the U.S. Congress, and personally to @POTUS Joe Biden for their unwavering support."

"Ukrainian forces are advancing on the battlefield and we discussed steps to ensure their further successes," he said.

Following his meeting with the Ukrainian President, Blinken said the US would continue to support the war-hit nation.

"Met with President @ZelenskyyUA to convey the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine and its people. We stand with Ukraine, for as long as it takes," he posted on X.

Meanwhile, a top UN humanitarian official in Ukraine on Wednesday strongly condemned the Russian attack.

Other Russian strikes damaged schools and homes in the Zaporizhzhya region, and port and grain infrastructure in the Odesa region.

“I am shattered by the news of a series of attacks that today, once again, have left a path of death and destruction in different parts of Ukraine,” Denise Brown, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine said in a statement.

“It is a truly sad day for Ukraine. This deeply tragic and unacceptable event is just another example of the suffering that Russia’s invasion inflicts on civilians across the country.”

The statement also highlighted that repeated attacks on Ukrainian ports are depriving farmers of their livelihoods and the world of affordable food when millions are facing hunger in the poorest countries.

Over 9,500 killed

The attack on Kostyantynivka is one of the deadliest in recent months.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 up to 27 August 2023, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) recorded 26,717 civilian casualties in the country, including 9,511 killed and 17,206 injured.

These include those killed and injured in both Ukraine-controlled and Russian-occupied territories.

OHCHR believes that the actual figures are “considerably higher”, as the receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are not yet verified.