At least ten dead in a Russian missile attack on a Kramatorsk pizzeria

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At least ten people have died, including three minors, and another 61 have been injured as a result of a missile launched on Tuesday night against a popular restaurant in the center of Kramatorsk, a city in eastern Ukraine. According to Ukrainian police, Russia fired two Iskander short-range ballistic missiles at this pre-war city of about 150,000. Kyiv has announced the arrest of a Ukrainian man they accuse of leading the attack on the store.

One of the missiles has destroyed the Ria Pizza restaurant, a well-known downtown restaurant frequented by journalists and the military. The dead included two sisters, both aged 14, according to the education department of the Kramatorsk city council. “Russian missiles stopped the heartbeats of two angels,” he said in a Telegram post. The other minor killed was 17, according to Attorney General Andrii Kostin.

Among those who were in the restaurant at the time were Héctor Abad Faciolince, representative of Aguanta Ukraine, a South American movement in support of the country; politician Sergio Jaramillo and journalist Catalina Gómez, who has published for The vanguard some of the best chronicles of this conflict. The three have been slightly injured while having dinner with the Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina, who is in a coma in the hospital, with critical injuries to her skull.

This newspaper has been able to contact his collaborator, Catalina Gómez, this morning, who has declared that she is well, but still shocked by what happened. Gomez is in the hospital with Victoria Amelina. Abad and Jaramillo were in eastern Ukraine to "express to the Ukrainian people the solidarity of Latin America against barbarism and the illegal Russian invasion."


A man cries in the area where the missiles fell

Genya SAVILOV / AFP

In the restaurant, the writers Victoria Amelina and Héctor Abad, the politician Sergio Jaramillo and Catalina Gómez, collaborator of 'La Vanguardia' shared a table.

Héctor Abad is a renowned journalist, author of The oblivion that we will beliterary success of 2020. Jaramillo is a Colombian politician, and one of the main negotiators of the peace agreement signed in 2016 with the FARC guerrillas.

The attack also damaged 18 multi-storey buildings, 65 houses, five schools, two kindergartens, a shopping center, an administration building and a recreation building, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said. Rescuers are still searching the rubble for bodies and more survivors.

Officials initially blamed the attack in Kramatorsk on an S-300 missile, a surface-to-air weapon that Russian forces have reused for imprecise attacks on cities, but the National Police later said Iskander short-range ballistic missiles were used.

Ukraine's Security Service said it had detained a man it suspects led the attack on the restaurant. He would be an employee of the local gas transportation company. According to the authorities, the man filmed the restaurant for the Russians and informed them of his popularity, although no evidence was provided to confirm this.

Located to the west of Bakhmut, a city devastated by the longest battle of the conflict, Kramatorsk has been the target of Russian bombing several times. The deadliest was that of the Kramatorsk station in April 2022, which left 61 dead and more than 160 injured. Kramatorsk has been the de facto regional capital of the eastern part of the country since the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk were captured by pro-Russian separatists in 2014.


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