Russian strike kills six, including toddler, in eastern Ukraine 0

Russia shelled a block of flats in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk on Friday, killing six people including a toddler who was pulled out of the rubble but died in an ambulance on the way to hospital, police said.

Sloviansk lies in a part of the Donetsk region that is under Ukrainian control. It is close to territory controlled by Russia.

AFP journalists saw rescue workers digging for survivors on the top floor of a residential building and black smoke billowing from homes on fire across the street.

Authorities earlier said five people were killed but that there was possibly a child under the rubble of the building, a typical Soviet-era housing estate.

“The death toll in Sloviansk has risen to six,” Ukrainian police said on Twitter.

“A child died in an ambulance after being pulled out from the rubble.”

Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska said the child was a two-year-old boy and sent her condolences to the family during this “indescribable grief.”

The street below — including a playground — was covered in a layer of concrete dust and debris, including torn pages from school books and children’s drawings.

Shocked residents

“I live on the opposite side of the street and I was sleeping a little when I heard this huge boom and I ran out from my flat,” 59-year-old resident Larisa told AFP.

“I was really scared and in a state of shock,” she said, adding the impact of the shelling had broken her windows and sent shards of glass flying throughout her home.

“I heard a woman screaming, ‘there’s a child here, there’s a child here.’ She was screaming so much.”

At another impact site in a residential neighbourhood, an elderly woman in a purple cardigan — dazed from the blasts — was gathering blown-off shards of metal from the ground outside a shop.

A resident nearby, who declined to give her name, told AFP journalists the strikes had blown out her windows and dislodged her front door from its frame.

“Usually when this happens we immediately take cover in the bathroom,” she said.

“No one from our side of the building was injured but maybe someone here was,” she added, pointing to a pool of blood next to another entrance of her building.

Sloviansk is 45 kilometres (27 miles) north-west of Bakhmut — the current epicentre of fighting.

Source: AFP