Local authorities report that three civilian women have perished after a Russian missile targeted a Ukrainian shelter for those displaced from their homes.
One of many designated “invincibility points,” the one-story structure in Kostiantynivka, eastern Ukraine, offers families escaping active fighting zones a place to sleep, water, electricity, and other necessities.
The shelter is reduced to ruins in the images posted by neighborhood emergency personnel, and a mattress can be seen sticking out from the wreckage.
One of the deceased had fled the nearby city of Bakhmut, one of the conflict’s main frontlines, where tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed.
Russian missile attack kills three women at Ukrainian refuge
Another person was pulled alive from the rubble, while two more suffered injuries in the same blast.
Authorities said a total of seven civilians were killed overnight on Thursday.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office said two of them died in heavy shelling in villages around the Sumy region to the north, where homes, a council building and a school were hit.
Russian officials did not comment on the attacks, which have yet to be independently verified.
There are not known to be any military facilities near the destroyed shelter which might have been a primary target.
Western intelligence services have repeatedly said Russia’s military tactics include the deliberate bombing of civilian targets aimed at breaking the defenders’ morale.
More than 5.3 million people remain internally displaced by the war, which is now in its 13 month, according to the International Organisation for Migration.