An automobile plant in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, was turned to rubble when two Russian missiles targeted the area on Monday, June 27, devastating a neighboring shopping center and killing at least 18 people, officials said.
The Kredmash plant produces road machines and equipment for the production of asphalt, according to the company’s website. According to Ukraine’s public broadcaster, Suspilne, the head of the plant said no military vehicles had been produced there since 1989.
The Russian defense ministry claimed it had targeted a hangars in the vicinity of the automotive plant that contained stockpiles of weapons bound for Ukrainian fighters in Donbass, according to Russian state media. The defense ministry provided no evidence for that claim.
The ministry also claimed the shopping mall was “non-functioning” and ammunition stored there had caused the fire, Russian reports said.
Footage from inside the shopping center showed people trying to escape the smokey ruins while calling out for help.
Immediately after the strikes, President Volodymyr Zelensky said the target posed “no danger to the Russian army” and had “no strategic value.”
Ukrainian officials on Tuesday said personnel were still working through rubble in the area as 36 individuals remained unaccounted for. Credit: Suspilne News via Storyful