DONETSK, March 14. The falling fragments of a Tochka-U missile have killed at least 20 people, including children, and left another nine injured in Donetsk, Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin told the Rossiya-1 TV channel on Monday.
“Although the Tochka-U missile was downed, its falling fragments caused much damage and civilian casualties, which is the worst thing. People were just standing in line at an ATM machine, there were people at a public transport stop. According to preliminary reports, 20 people were killed and nine suffered injuries. There are children among the dead,” he pointed out.
According to Pushilin, the missile “carried a cluster charge.” He added that “had it not been downed, it would have caused a lot more casualties.”
Eighteen people were taken to the hospital after the missile fired by the Ukrainian military had fallen in downtown Donetsk, the DPR Health Ministry said.
Tensions escalated along the line of contact in Donbass on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics reported the heaviest shelling by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in months, which caused civilian casualties and damaged civilian infrastructure facilities. On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation based on a request from the heads of the Donbass republics. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans to occupy Ukrainian territories and the goal was to demilitarize and denazify the country.