Russian invasion forces struck the center of Kherson with artillery on Dec. 24, killing eight people and injuring 58, Ukrainian authorities have reported.
The Russians attacked the city around 11:00 a.m., shelling a busy residential area of Kherson with multiple rocket launchers — six civilian cars were hit in the attack.
It took rescuers 40 minutes to extinguish fires that broke out due to the attack. As a result of the strike, civil infrastructure was damaged, including residential buildings, administrative buildings, and motor vehicles.
“People dead, buildings destroyed. City center, weekend, many people on the street,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy Head of the President’s Office wrote on his Telegram messenger channel as news of the deadly artillery strike spread.
The emergency services are working at the scene to deal with the consequences of the enemy attack. Meanwhile, there was an air raid alert in the oblast.
Responding to news of the attack in a Telegram post, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Russian artillery strike was an act of terror and murder “for the sake of intimidation and pleasure.”
“Social networks will most likely mark these photos as ‘sensitive content,’” Zelenskyy said, referring to pictures from the scene included in his post.
“But this is not sensitive content – it is the real life of Ukraine and Ukrainians,” the president said.
“The terrorist country continues bringing the Russian world in the form of shelling of the civilian population. Kherson. In the morning, on Saturday, on the eve of Christmas, in the central part of the city. These are not military facilities. This is not a war according to the defined rules.”
“The world must see and understand the absolute evil we are fighting against,” Zelenskyy added.
Kherson Regional Prosecutor's Office reported that the number of dead as a result of mass shelling in the center of Kherson was eight, and that 17 more civilians were injured, several were hospitalized with serious injuries.
Earlier, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kyrylo Tymoshenko announced the death of at least five people. According to him, another 35 were injured, 16 of them in serious condition.
The State Emergency Service says that the number of dead and injured is still being verified.
Russian troops have regularly shelled Kherson since it was liberated by Ukrainian forces on Nov. 11, following nine months of Russian occupation.
Three city residents were killed as a result of an attack on Dec. 23. The National Resistance Center, a government civil defense organization, said that the Russian army used phosphorus bombs in that attack.
After the attack on Dec. 23, video on social media showed what appeared to be a hail of glowing particles from incendiary munitions descending on parts of the city.
Yaroslav Yanushevych, head of the Kherson Oblast Military Administration, called on residents of the Ostriv district next to the Dnipro River to evacuate on Dec. 22, as the Russian military is constantly shelling the area.
Caution! Sensitive photos.