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State Emergency Service: Russian missile attack on Chernihiv kills at least 17, injures 60, including children

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Russian forces launched a missile attack on the city of Chernihiv on the morning of April 17, killing at least 17 people and injuring 60, including three children, the State Emergency Service reported.

The aftermath of Russia’s missile attack on Chernihiv, Ukraine, on April 17,
2024. (Ukraine’s State Emergency Service via Volodymyr Zelensky/Telegram)

Two of the victims died later in the hospital, the service said.

Explosions were heard in Chernihiv, located in Ukraine’s north, at around 9 a.m. local time, according to Suspline media outlet.

A 25-year-old female police lieutenant is among the killed, said Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko. She was at home on sick leave when a shrapnel fatally wounded her, according to Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko.

“This would not have happened if Ukraine had received enough air defense equipment and if the world’s determination to counter Russian terror was also sufficient,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Telegram.

Three Russian missiles hit the area near the city’s downtown, according to Chernihiv Oblast Governor Viacheslav Chaus. Civilian and social infrastructure facilities came under attack, Oleksandr Lomako, acting city’s mayor, said.

An eight-story building was destroyed in the attack, while four high-rise buildings, a hospital, a higher education institution, and dozens of cars were damaged, according to Oleksii Kuleba, a deputy head of Ukraine’s Presidential Office.

The number of casualties can increase as the search and rescue operation is ongoing. At least three people are considered missing, according to Klymenko.

“Terrorists can destroy lives only when they first manage to intimidate those who are capable of stopping terror and protecting life. Determination matters. Support matters,” added the president.

“Ukrainian determination is enough. There needs to be sufficient commitment from partners and sufficient support to reflect it.”

Stocks of air defense in Ukraine are low across the country as U.S. military aid funding for Ukraine continues to be held up in Congress. In the meantime, Russia has stepped up targeted attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, overwhelming local air defenses and destroying some of Ukraine’s largest coal-fired power stations.

In August 2023, Russian forces targeted the city center of Chernihiv, killing seven people, including a six-year-old child, and injuring about 180 people.

Chernihiv Oblast is located on Ukraine’s northern border with Russia and was invaded and partially occupied during the beginning of Russia’s full-scale war in February 2022.

Russian forces withdrew from Chernihiv Oblast in April 2022, but due to its proximity to the border, the region has been since attacked near-daily.

By Kateryna Denisova and
Dinara Khalilova