Kramatorsk attack: Russian missile strike sends terrified civilians scrambling to find shelter

Kramatosk, Ukraine

A fresh barrage of missiles exploded in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on Thursday, sending flames and thick plumes into the air as screaming civilians ran for cover.

A CNN team had just arrived on the scene and heard the first incoming strike on Kramatorsk. CNN saw a second attack, with two impacts a minute apart. Two women jumped out of their car and ran away screaming while other citizens took shelter. A CNN vehicle’s blast-proof glass was blown by shrapnel.

Paramedics rushed to the scene to treat at least one injured citizen. Kramatosk Mayor Oleksandr Honcharenko also confirmed that a strike had been called in the city, and urged residents to stay in bomb shelters.

At least five people were wounded in Thursday’s attack, according to Pavlo Kirilenko, head of the Donetsk region’s military administration.

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“They damaged 13 two-story buildings, three four-story buildings, a children’s clinic and school, garages and cars,” Kirilenko said. “The Russians confirm their status as terrorists every day,” he said.

“It was a huge explosion, obviously a lot of people were running to cover it,” CNN’s Frederik Pletgen told Connect the World, adding that both attacks on Thursday were “a Citizens took place right in the middle of the city.”

Ukrainian officials believe Russian troops used S-300 missiles to bomb Kramatorsk. Platgen added that when aimed at ground targets, such weapons are “very inaccurate”.

“When it’s done to target a densely populated urban area, it becomes even more dangerous.”

Police officers inspect a crater near the site of a destroyed residential building on February 2 amid continued attacks on Russia's Kramatoruk.

Rescue workers work at the site of a Russian missile attack in Kramatoruk on Thursday.

Moscow’s new attack came after Russian forces fired an Iskander-K missile at a residential neighborhood on Wednesday, killing at least three civilians and injuring eight others, according to local police. Honcharenko said that the condition of two of the injured is critical.

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Rescue workers searched through rubble to find survivors of Wednesday’s attack, which damaged eight apartment buildings. Authorities also moved people to a local school for shelter.

Emergency workers pick up debris for survivors in a destroyed apartment building in the center of Kramatovsk on February 1, 2023.

An emergency operation is underway at the site of a damaged residential building in Kramatorsk.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack and expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

This is not history repeating itself. This is the daily reality of our country,” he said on Telegram.

“A country bordering on absolute evil. And a country that must be brought under control to reduce the chances of such tragedies ever happening again to zero. We will surely find and punish all the perpetrators. They undeserving of mercy.”

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Moscow’s offensive in Kramturk comes after a top Kyiv official said Russia was preparing for a “greater escalation” in the nearly years-long war in Ukraine.

“These will determine the months of the war,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Sky News in an interview broadcast on Tuesday.

“I am aware that the real battles are yet to come and they will be within two to three months of this year,” he said.

“Russia is preparing for more and more escalation. It is doing everything it can, doing exercises and training. When it comes to aggression from different directions, I can say that we will see it in the next two to three weeks. I am not ruling out any scenario.


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