At least nine civilians are dead, including three children, and 56 more injured after Russia launched a missile attack on a busy pizza restaurant in the center of Kramatorsk, Ukraine.
The missiles, which were launched by Russia on June 27, 2023, struck RIA Pizza during a busy period in the mid-evening, at around 7:30 p.m. local time. Video footage of the scene circulated on Telegram and showed injured individuals, including an eight-month-old infant with a head injury, being treated on the ground.
“Russia deliberately targeted crowded areas,” Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Ihor Klymenko, said on Telegram, suggesting that the attack was not a random act but a calculated act of aggression.
According to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office, Russia fired three Iskander missiles, which are mobile short-range ballistic missiles designed to deliver conventional and nuclear warheads with high accuracy and precision. The 9K720 Iskander missile system is highly mobile, allowing it to be rapidly deployed and relocated, making it challenging to track.
Anastasia Taylor-Lind, who was inside the restaurant at the time of the attack, told the New York Times that she heard a “roaring” noise which was followed by the explosion. She told the publication that she felt “hot air” and heard glass breaking and that debris was “flying, clattering and tinkering”.
In the immediate aftermath, she noted the quick response of individuals at the heavily damaged restaurant who provided help to the injured before emergency services arrived on the scene.
“At the epicenter of the explosion were also apartment buildings, commercial premises, cars, a post office, and other buildings, in which windows, glass, and doors were blown out,” the General’s Office said on Telegram.
The White House condemned Russia for its brutal attack and vowed to “continue to stand with Ukraine” and additionally announced a new military package for Ukraine worth up to $500 million. This package should include the usual artillery, missiles, and ammunition as well as 30 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, 25 Stryker armored personnel carriers, and mine-clearing equipment.