UN condemns deadly attack on Donetsk market

The war in Ukraine

Published 24 January 2024
- By Editorial Staff
UN chief António Guterres calls for an immediate end to attacks on "civilians and civilian infrastructure".

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned an attack on the busy market in Donetsk on Sunday, but has so far not wanted to point out anyone responsible for the shelling that killed at least 27 people and injured over two dozen civilians, including several children.

A spokesperson for the UN chief said in a brief statement on Sunday evening that “the Secretary-General strongly condemns all attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including today’s shelling of the city of Donetsk in Ukraine. Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited under international humanitarian law, are unacceptable and must stop immediately”.

The capital Donetsk in the People’s Republic of the same name, as a consequence of the ongoing conflict in September 2022, de facto became part of Russia, which has been a thorn in the side of Kiev for a long time, and is located about 20 km from the current frontline.

Street scene from Donetsk.

At least 27 civilians killed

The death toll from the shelling of the market has risen to 27 people, according to information from pro-Russian sources in the region.

Additionally, 25 people were injured, some of them seriously, including “penetrating wounds in the area of vital organs and traumatic amputation of limbs”. Two children injured in the bombing are reported to be in a moderately severe condition, authorities said.

The shelling that hit the Kirov district in southwestern Donetsk was carried out, according to Russian reports, using 152 mm and 155 mm NATO-standard ammunition.

“Criminal actions of the Zelensky regime”

Moscow claims that Kiev is behind the attack, which it describes as a “barbaric terrorist act”. Russia’s Foreign Ministry further urges governments and international bodies worldwide to condemn the attack and states that failure to do so would be a sign of “silent approval of the killings of civilians”, which would encourage Kiev “to commit even more bloody atrocities”.

– This again confirms [the West’s] direct involvement in the conflict and makes it complicit in the criminal acts of the Zelensky regime, which has once again displayed its inhumanity and hatred towards innocent people, it continues.

The attack has so far not been commented on by Zelensky’s government. However, the Ukrainian military group Tavria, fighting at the southeastern frontline, claims on its Facebook page that the Ukrainian army was not behind yesterday’s deadly attack. “Donetsk is Ukraine! Russia will have to be held accountable for the Ukrainian lives taken”, they write.

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