At least four people were killed by a Russian missile attack on the southern Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih on Monday, including a 10-year-old girl and her mother, while numerous others were buried beneath debris, according to Ukrainian officials.
A nine-story residential structure with a gaping hole on its side and another four-story building that was on the verge of collapse were both seen in a video shared by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
“Tragic news. Four people have already died in Kryvyi Rih,” Serhiy Lysak, the regional governor, wrote on the Telegram messenger app. Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said they included a 10-year-old girl and her 45-year-old mother.
Lysak said 53 people had been wounded, including five children. Nearly 150 of the building’s residents managed to get out by themselves and 30 were helped out by rescuers, he added.
“Think about it, how many people!!! And they launched a missile at them,” he said.
Zelenskiy, who grew up in the steel-producing city with a pre-war population of more than 600,000, said the strikes had hit a residential building and a university building.
“This terror will not frighten us or break us. We are working and saving our people,” he said on the Telegram app.
More than 200 rescuers were trying to save people trapped under the rubble. Vilkul said there could be as many as eight.
Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said the attack appeared to have been carried out with ballistic missiles.
“This is already a kind of genocidal everyday reality… Kryvyi Rih,” Zelenskiy’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“International law will never work if the aggressor does not see a real power behind it. The power begins with closing the Ukrainian skies with missile defense and air defense systems,” he said.
The West has supplied sophisticated air defence systems that have largely protected places like the capital Kyiv from wave after wave of attacks.
The sheer size of Ukraine makes it hard to ensure the same level of defences across the country, and ballistic missiles are also particularly difficult to shoot down.
Kherson, now a frontline city in southern Ukraine after being liberated from Russian forces in November, was struck at least twice.
An early morning rocket attack killed a 60-year-old utility worker and wounded four others as they were out on the street doing their jobs, the regional military administration said.
A 65-year-old man driving his car was badly wounded in the second strike and died as an acquaintance tried to rush him to hospital, regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on Telegram.