24 Aug, 2022 08:54
A huge blaze is raging in the building, local officials say
Ukrainian troops have shelled the Galaktika shopping mall in Donetsk, causing a major fire in the building, Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) emergency officials said on Wednesday.
The staff have been evacuated, and there are no casualties, officials said.
Photos posted on social media allegedly show huge clouds of thick smoke coming from the building.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian forces used NATO-standard artillery shells to bombard residential blocks in Donetsk, killing three civilians, officials said. The office of DPR chief Denis Pushilin took a direct hit, while a hotel where journalists usually stay was also damaged.
Pushilin, who was unharmed, accused Kiev of using “terrorist methods” of warfare.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.