At least 7 dead and 58 injured in Putin’s chilling Christmas Eve missile blitz on market as tyrant ‘kills for pleasure’
AT least seven people have been killed and another 58 injured after Russian missiles blasted a busy market in Kherson on Christmas Eve.
Sharing horror photos of streets strewn with burning cars, smashed windows and bodies, Volodymyr Zelensky slammed Russia for “killing for the sake of intimidation and pleasure”.
The Ukrainian president said: “Social networks will most likely mark these photos as ‘sensitive content’.
“But this is not sensitive content it is the real life of Ukraine and Ukrainians.
“These are not military facilities… it is terror, it is killing for the sake of intimidation and pleasure.”
On the day marking 10 months since the start of the war in Ukraine, shells rained down on the busy Christmas Eve market in the southern port city, sparking a huge a huge blaze.
Rescuers were seen comforting a distraught man next to a lifeless woman as bloodied bodies were seen strewn across the street.
Footage showed the streets filled with burnt out cars, bodies and smashed glass after missiles rained down on the city.
“Seven people were killed, 58 Kherson residents were injured, 18 of them are in a serious condition,” regional governor Yaroslav Yanushevych said.
Despite Russia’s retreat from the city, Kherson remains within reach of Moscow’s weaponry and under constant threat.
Ukraine retook the city – the only regional capital to be captured by Russia since its February 24 invasion – in November.
Since then, Russian forces smashed the city with missiles from across the vast Dnipro river.
Yuriy Sobolevskyi, deputy chair of the regional council in Kherson, said a missile landed next to a supermarket by the city’s Freedom Square.
“There were civilians there, each of whom lived their own life, went about their own business,” he said.
Two senior officials gave the death toll in Kherson as seven – but the prosecutor general’s office gave a higher figure of eight.
Presidential aide Kyrylo Tymoshenko said the attack came from a Grad multiple rocket launcher.
“While families in Europe, North America, and beyond prepare festive dinners, spare a thought for Ukraine which is fighting evil right now,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.
Among the victims was a butcher named Lesha who had been working at the market “maybe for 20 years or more,” resident Oleksandr Kudryashov said.
“He came out to have a smoke, he was standing right here. We pulled his body, he was already dead,” Kudryashov told AFP, pointing at a bloody staircase.
On Friday alone, the Kherson region was targeted by 74 Russian strikes, leaving five dead and 17 injured, according to regional authorities.
Much of Ukraine is struggling without heat or power after Moscow started targeting electricity and water systems nearly two months ago.
The UN’s human rights chief has warned the campaign has inflicted “extreme hardship” on Ukrainians this winter – and also slammed likely war crimes by Russian forces.
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