Russia-Ukraine war updates: Russian missile strikes in Pokrovsk kill 7, injure scores

The aftermath of Russia’s strike on Pokrovsk, Ukraine, on Tuesday morning.debt…Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Rescuers wrapped up their search for survivors Tuesday after a Russian missile attack on a small Ukrainian town Monday evening appeared to target emergency workers responding to the first strike, 37 minutes after the attack.

At the final toll, officials said seven people died, including one rescuer, and 82 others were injured, including 38 emergency workers and two children. The attack devastated Pokrovsk, about 43 miles northwest of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk and 30 miles from the front line.

After the second attack, Ukraine’s Internal Affairs Minister Ihor Klymenko said the search for survivors was suspended overnight due to concerns that there might be additional strikes on rescuers. Ukrainian officials said at least 12 multi-story buildings were damaged, including a hotel, a prosecutor’s office, a pharmacy, shops and two cafes.

By the time rescue operations were completed on Tuesday, 122 tons of rubble had been removed from the city center, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said.

Photos of the wreckage showed the five-story building with part of the top floor missing and many of its window frames badly mangled. Garbage piled up in the children’s playground. Corleone’s, an Italian restaurant frequented by volunteers and journalists traveling to the frontline, is in ruins.

The subsequent attacks were devastating even for residents who were used to living their daily lives miles from the front lines. It appeared that Ukrainian officials were calling for a “double-pronged attack,” a tactic intended to kill emergency workers or firefighters at the scene of the initial strike.

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The head of the regional military administration, Pavlo Kyrilenko, said authorities received a warning 10 minutes before the second missile strike, which helped prevent an even higher toll.

“If there had been a crowd and no additional measures had been taken in 10 minutes, the consequences would have been much worse,” he said on national television.

President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials praised the heroism of emergency workers and offered condolences to Andrii Omelchenko, a rescuer killed by a second missile.

Mr. who was the deputy head of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in the region. Omelchenko, 52, “gave half his life to service,” officials said.

Russian forces launched another double-whammy attack on a village in Kharkiv region’s Kubiansk district on Monday evening, killing civilians and injuring emergency teams that later came to help, Oleg Sinekubov, head of the regional administration, said.

At least two people were killed and nine others — four of them first responders — were injured, Mr. Sinekupov said.

Anushka Patil And Daniel Victor Contributed report.

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