Moment Russian missile hits Ukrainian shopping centre captured on camera

·3-min read

Images of the moment a deadly Russian missile hit a shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk has been shared by the country’s president Volodymyr Zelensky.

The strike killed at least 18 in the shopping centre alone. Another 59 were injured and 25 were hospitalised while a further 36 people are thought to be missing.

Mr Zelensky posted the harrowing video in an address in which he also claimed a total of 2,811 missiles have been launched against cities across the war-torn nation in a single day.

The footage shows a huge plume of black smoke covering the centre immediately after the missile makes contact.

“The Russian missile hit this object, purposefully. They wanted to kill as many people as possible in a peaceful city, in a regular shopping mall,” Mr Zelensky said.

It came as Ukraine carried out its biggest exchange of prisoners of war since Russia invaded, securing the release of 144 of its soldiers, including 95 who defended Mariupol’s steelworkers, Ukraine’s military intelligence agency said.

The majority of the Ukrainians were badly wounded, suffering from gunshot and shrapnel wounds, blast traumas, burns, fractured bones and amputated limbs, the agency known by the acronym GUR said in a statement on Telegram.

The prisoner swap included the handover of 43 members of the Azov regiment, a National Guard unit that Russia says is a dangerous far-right battalion, a promising sign for Ukrainians hoping for the release of other fighters from the unit.

Footage of the moment a Russian missile hit a shopping centre in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk has been shared by the country’s president (Reuters)
Footage of the moment a Russian missile hit a shopping centre in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk has been shared by the country’s president (Reuters)

Also on Wednesday, Pope Francis called the bombing the latest in string of “barbarous attacks” against Ukraine.

“Every day, I carry in my heart dear and martyred Ukraine, which continues to be flagellated by barbarous attacks like the one that hit the shopping centre in Kremenchuk,” Francis told crowds in St Peter’s Square on the feast of St Peter and Paul.

“I pray that this mad war can soon end and I renew my appeal to persevere without tiring in praying for peace.”

According to those clearing rubble at the site, 60 per cent of the mall was destroyed by the strike with over 400 workers assisting in the effort.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said in an intelligence update on Wednesday that there is a “realistic possibility” that the shopping mall strike was accidental as the missile had been intended for a “nearby infrastructure target”.

The statement added: “Russia’s shortage of more modern precision strike weapons and the professional shortcomings of their targeting planners will highly likely result in further civilian casualties.”

60 per cent of the mall was destroyed by the strike with over 400 workers assisting in the effort (Ukrainian State Emergency Services)
60 per cent of the mall was destroyed by the strike with over 400 workers assisting in the effort (Ukrainian State Emergency Services)

Moscow’s defence ministry said on Tuesday that the blaze at the mall was caused by the “detonation of stored ammunition for western weapons”, said Moscow’s defence ministry, but provided no evidence to back up its claim.

It added: “On 27 June, in the city of Kremenchuk, the Russian aerospace forces delivered a strike with high-precision air-based weapons on hangars with weapons and ammunition received from the United States and European countries.

As a result of a high-precision strike, western-made weapons and ammunition concentrated in a storage area for further shipment to the Ukrainian group of troops in Donbas were hit. The detonation of stored ammunition for western weapons caused a fire in a non-functioning shopping centre located next to the plant.”

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