A Russian strike killed more than a dozen people, including a child, in a market in the frontline in east Ukraine, in an attack that President Volodymyr Zelensky described as “heinous evil”.
The projectiles ripped into the centre of Kostiantynivka, a town of nearly 70,000 people in the Donetsk region hours after America’s top diplomat arrived in Kyiv to announce new aid.
Ukraine’s newly appointed defence minister meanwhile vowed to liberate “every centimetre” of territory occupied by Russia in his first comments in the post Wednesday.
Rescue workers picked through the debris and carried some of the nearly 30 wounded for treatment past charred vehicles and kiosks torn to pieces in the blast, according to images distributed by officials.
“Sixteen people have been killed, including one child,” Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on social media following the strike in the market about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the front line.
The industrial Donetsk region has been partially controlled by Kremlin-backed separatists since 2014 and Russia claimed to have annexed in late last year.