Harrowing new footage emerges of Putin's terror strike on shopping centre

28 June 2022, 17:09

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Harrowing new footage has emerged of Vladimir Putin's 'act of terrorism' in which a packed shopping centre in Ukraine was targeted in a missile strike.

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The new clip, filmed in a nearby park, shows panicked civilians running for cover, diving into a lake to dodge shrapnel and cowering behind trees.

The missile strike killed at least 18 and wounded many more.

Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia must be labelled a "state sponsor of terrorism" following the attack.

More than 1,000 afternoon shoppers and workers were inside the building in the city of Kremenchuk.

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Giant plumes of black smoke, dust and orange flames billowed from the wreckage as emergency crews combed through broken metal and concrete for victims.

The regional governor, Dmytro Lunin, said at least 18 people were killed and emergency services reported more than 60 were injured.

G7 leaders condemned the attack in a statement late on Monday, saying "indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians constitute a war crime. Russian President Putin and those responsible will be held to account".

Prime Minster Boris Johnson condemned Mr Putin's "cruelty and barbarism".

The clip shows panicked civilians in a nearby park
The clip shows panicked civilians in a nearby park. Picture: Screengrab

At Ukraine's request, the UN Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting in New York on Tuesday to discuss the attack.

In the first Russian government comment on the strike, the country's first deputy permanent representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, alleged multiple inconsistencies that he did not specify, claiming on Twitter that the incident was a provocation by Ukraine.

Russia has repeatedly denied it targets civilian buildings, even though its attacks have hit other shopping centres, theatres, hospitals, schools and apartments in the war.

The missile strike occurred as western leaders pledged continued support for Ukraine and the world's major economies prepared new sanctions against Russia, including a price cap on oil and higher tariffs on goods.

The US also appeared ready to respond to Mr Zelensky's call for more air defence systems, and Nato planned to increase the size of its rapid-reaction forces nearly eightfold - to 300,000 troops.

In his nightly address on Monday, Mr Zelensky said it appeared Russian forces had intentionally targeted the shopping centre and added: "Today's Russian strike at a shopping mall in Kremenchuk is one of the most daring terrorist attacks in European history."

He said Russia "has become the largest terrorist organisation in the world".

"Russia continues to take out its impotence on ordinary civilians. It is useless to hope for decency and humanity on its part," Mr Zelensky said.

The Russian strike echoed earlier attacks that caused large numbers of civilian casualties: one in March on a Mariupol theatre where many civilians had holed up, killing an estimated 600 people; another in April on a train station in eastern Kramatorsk that killed at least 59.

The attack coincided with Russia's all-out assault on the last Ukrainian stronghold in eastern Ukraine's Luhansk province, "pouring fire" on the city of Lysychansk from the ground and air, according to the local governor.

At least eight people were killed and more than 20 wounded in Lysychansk when Russian rockets hit an area where a crowd gathered to obtain water from a tank, Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said.

The barrage was part of Russian forces' intensified offensive aimed at taking the eastern Donbas region from Ukraine.

To the west of Lysychansk on Monday, the mayor of the city of Sloviansk - potentially the next major battleground - said Russian forces fired cluster munitions, including one that hit a residential neighbourhood.

Authorities said the number of victims had yet to be confirmed.

Russian forces also pummelled other Ukrainian cities, killing at least five people and wounding 15 in Kharkiv and striking the Black Sea port of Odesa, where a missile attack destroyed residential buildings and wounded six people, including a child, according to Ukrainian authorities.