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Russian Separatist Allies Accuse Ukraine Of Shelling Shopping Center In Donetsk

“In Donetsk, a shopping center is on fire after shelling from the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” says the DPR.

The pro-Russian, so-called Donetsk People’s Republic has accused Ukraine of shelling a shopping center in Donetsk.

The Donetsk People’s Republic–DPR–accused Ukraine of shelling the Galaktika hypermarket, located on Shutova street in the occupied city of Donetsk. Footage obtained from pro-Russian authorities of the breakaway region purports to show the building ablaze after being hit by missiles. Emergency services workers can be seen tackling the blaze.

The DPR said today, on Wednesday, August 24, in a statement: “In Donetsk, a shopping center is on fire after shelling from the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

“Today, on August 24, the bloody Ukrainian regime once again confirmed its terrorist nature. Feeling imminent defeat in the current conflict, Ukrainian punishers continue methodical shelling of the republic in order to destroy civilian infrastructure.

“This time, employees and visitors to the Galaktika shopping center, located in the Shiroky microdistrict, were under attack. Eyewitnesses report huge clouds of smoke rising up and visible from different parts of the city. At the moment, the fire brigades of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the DPR are fighting the fire that arose as a result of this criminal shelling by Ukrainian nationalists.”

And the Emergency Service of the DPR said in a separate statement: “Today at 10.00 a.m. on the ‘101’ line, we received a message about the hit of an explosive object on the ‘Galaktika’ shopping center, located in the Kirovsky district of Donetsk on Shutova street.

“Fire and rescue units were immediately sent to the scene of the incident at an increased call number.

“At the moment, employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations are extinguishing the fire on the trading floor, as well as two racks with paint and varnish products on the territory of the summer trading floor. According to preliminary information, the fire area is 5000 square meters [53,819 square feet]. The operational situation is being specified.

“From the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the DPR: 20 departments on fire trucks, 2 ladders, 2 auto-articulated lifts and the fire fighting service of the Crisis Management Center. Also, additionally sent to the place: an air-foam extinguishing vehicle, a fire pumping station, and a hose truck.

“Firefighting continues.”

Shopping center Galaktika burns in Donetsk, Ukraine, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022. The fire arose as a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces. (@nm_dnr/Zenger).

We have not been able to independently verify the claims or the footage.

Zenger News contacted the People’s Militia for further comment, as well as the Ukrainian and Russian Ministries of Defense, but had not received a reply at the time of writing.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Wednesday marks the 182nd day of the war.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and August 24, Russia had lost about 45,700 personnel, 1,924 tanks, 4,243 armored combat vehicles, 1,036 artillery units, 266 multiple launch rocket systems, 147 air defense systems, 234 warplanes, 199 helicopters, 819 drones, 196 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 3,160 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 99 units of special equipment.

Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower, but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.

General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, 49, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said on Monday, August 22, that almost 9,000 Ukrainian military personnel have been killed since the beginning of Russia’s invasion.

Ukraine is marking 31 years of independence from the Soviet Union today, on Wednesday, August 24. The United States is reportedly set to announce $3 billion in fresh military aid to Kyiv.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the Ukrainian intelligence services and the country’s allies have information of an increased threat from Russia, with celebrations in Kyiv canceled. He warned Moscow of a “powerful response” to any attacks on Ukrainian Independence Day.

President Zelensky has vowed to retake Russian-occupied Crimea. He said: “We will return Crimea, because it is our territory. In any way we decide. We will decide it on our own, without consulting any other state.” He added: “It all began with Crimea and it will end with Crimea.”

Shopping center Galaktika burns in Donetsk, Ukraine, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022. The fire arose as a result of shelling by Ukrainian forces. Note: This picture is obtained from the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the DPR (@mchs_dnr/Zenger).

The Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom issued an intelligence update today, on Wednesday, August 24, in which it said: “Today marks the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. Since 2014, President Putin has sought to use a mix of force and coercive diplomacy to increase and solidify Russia’s influence in Ukraine and interfere in its foreign affairs.

“Russia launched a full invasion of Ukraine six months ago, with the aim of toppling the government and occupying most of the country. By April, Russia’s leaders realized this had failed, and reverted to more modest objectives in eastern and southern Ukraine.

“The Donbas offensive is making minimal progress and Russia anticipates a major Ukrainian counterattack. Operationally, Russia is suffering from shortages of munitions, vehicles and personnel. Morale is poor in many parts of its military and its army is significantly degraded. Its diplomatic power has been diminished and its long-term economic outlook is bleak. Six months in and Russia’s war has proven both costly and strategically harmful.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement that it will visit the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant–Europe’s largest–in Ukraine in the coming days, if discussions are successful.

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