A tragic incident occurred in the city of Donetsk, the capital of Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), as Ukrainian forces launched a strike, resulting in the death of a child and injuries to more than ten people. The attack took place on September 1, which coincided with the first day of school for children in Russia after the summer holidays.
The Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) reported that a total of 15 projectiles were fired at the area of the Donetsk City mall during rush hour. The mall itself was hit and sustained damage, as confirmed by images shared by the city’s mayor, Aleksey Kulemzin. Initially, reports indicated that more than ten people were injured, including a critically wounded six-year-old girl who was rushed to the hospital. However, a later update from the JCCC sadly revealed that the girl could not be saved.
While it was not specified whether Ukraine used Soviet-made multiple rocket launchers or US-supplied HIMARS systems in the shelling, it was confirmed that cluster munitions and at least three MRLS incendiary missiles were used in another attack earlier that day. Donetsk has been a frequent target of Ukrainian strikes since the conflict between Kiev and the Donetsk and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics began in 2014. The Ukrainian military has established heavily fortified positions around the city, making it vulnerable to attacks.
The intensity of the attacks on Donetsk increased after Moscow launched its military operation against Kiev in February 2022, and the situation escalated further after the DPR, LPR, and Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions voted to join Russia in referendums held last fall. The ongoing Ukrainian shelling has resulted in numerous civilian casualties and significant damage to the city, which is home to almost 1 million people.
This tragic incident highlights the devastating impact of the conflict between Ukraine and the separatist regions on innocent civilians. The loss of a young life and the injuries sustained by others are a solemn reminder of the urgent need for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis. The international community must continue to work towards a diplomatic solution that ensures the safety and well-being of all those affected by the conflict.