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Russian missile kills 7 and injures 90 in northern Ukrainian city amid local holiday

Law enforcement officers inspect the site of a missile strike in Chernihiv, Ukraine, on Saturday.
Anatoli Stepanov
/
AFP via Getty Images
Law enforcement officers inspect the site of a missile strike in Chernihiv, Ukraine, on Saturday.

At least seven people, including a 6-year-old girl, were killed after a Russian missile struck the center of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, Ukrainian officials said on Saturday.

Many residents had just finished a morning of festivities and were leaving church when a blast hit a main square, university and theater building, which was heavily damaged. Ninety people sought medical care after the attack, including 12 children and 10 police officers, according to Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko.

Search-and-rescue efforts continue in Chernihiv, about 45 miles south of the Ukraine-Belarus border. Klymenko said crews are still in the process of clearing debris and extinguishing fires.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who was on a diplomatic trip to Sweden at the time of the attack, said Russia turned an ordinary Saturday into "a day of pain and loss."

"This is what a neighborhood with a terrorist state is," Zelensky wrote on social media.

Since the beginning of Russia's war in Ukraine, Russian forces have regularly aimed missiles and drone attacks at civilian areas of Ukrainian cities. Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to make slow, incremental gains in its counteroffensive along frontlines in the eastern and southern parts of the country.

The attack in Chernihiv occurred on a major Eastern Slavic holiday, known as the Apple Feast of the Savior, to mark the beginning of autumn.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.
Brian Mann is NPR's first national addiction correspondent. He also covers breaking news in the U.S. and around the world.