At least 25 dead in Ukrainian strike on marketplace in Russia

At least 25 people have died in a marketplace after Ukrainian forces shelled the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, local officials said on Sunday.

A further 20 people were injured in the strike on the suburb of Tekstilshchik, Denis Pushilin said, the head of the Russian-installed authorities in the city.

He said the shells had been fired by the Ukrainian military, though Kyiv has not commented on the incident.

“The market was attacked on Sunday, when it is busiest,” said Mr Pushilin said. 

Donetsk fell under the control of pro-Moscow separatists in 2014, and was formally annexed by Russia in 2022.

It has been regularly targeted by Kyiv’s forces since the beginning of the conflict in 2022.

Russian gas producer Novatek said work at a terminal it controls on the Baltic Sea had been suspended following a fire it said was the result of “external influence”.

The fire broke out on Sunday at the terminal belonging to Russia’s largest liquefied natural gas producer, regional officials said.

“According to preliminary information, the fire was the result of external influence,” the company said in a statement.

“The technological process at Novatek-Ust-Luga has been stopped, and an operational headquarters has been established to eliminate the consequences. Damage assessment will be carried out later.”

The Novatek complex, located on the Gulf of Finland about 170 kilometres west of St Petersburg, processes stable gas condensate into fuel and oil, with the port shipping the products to international markets.

There were no casualties, the Leningrad regional governor said. 

Russian news outlet Shot reported local residents had heard a drone operating nearby, followed by several explosions.

St Petersburg-based news outlet Fontanka said at least two drones were spotted in the sky flying towards the city before the terminal caught fire.

The Interfax-Ukraine news agency, citing unnamed sources, said the fire was the result of a special operation carried out by Ukraine’s security services.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine, and the claim could not be independently confirmed.

Russia and Ukraine have targeted each other’s energy infrastructure throughout the latest conflict, in an attempt to disrupt each other’s supply lines and logistics.

On Friday, a drone attack hit an oil depot in Russia’s western region of Bryansk, bordering Ukraine.

(ABC)

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