A powerful explosion rocked a building just 150 feet from a military situation room frequently used by President Vladimir Putin in Rostov-on-Don Thursday.
The blast, which Russia said was from shooting down an air strike, tore apart facades, smashed windows in three buildings and damaged several parked cars next to the headquarters of the Russian Southern Military District, according to The Independent, citing the state-owned RIA news agency.
One person was injured, according to regional Governor Vasily Golubev.
Video footage of the early morning attack showed a massive fireball rising into sky in a developed area of the southern city.
“Look at this: I’m scared to even walk here. Oh Lord, the street is all covered in glass!,” said Araik Krist as he filmed himself walking at 3 a.m. on Pushinskaya Street, an area full of fancy restaurants, according to the outlet.
Rostov-on-Don is only about 60 miles from Ukraine, but has largely been spared from counterattacks because Russia is in control of the neighboring territories.
Four other drone strikes were shot down overnight, including one that was aimed at the Moscow area.
Falling debris from one thwarted attack in Bryansk shattered windows in a train station and damaged cars nearby, Interfax news agency said.
A residential building in Enerhodar was also struck in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine several miles from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, according to Russian-appointed Gov. Yevgeny Balitsky.
Ukraine did not immediately confirm it was to blame, keeping in line with its policy of remaining mum on attacks across the border on its unprovoked invaders.
The counterstrikes came as Russia continued its barrage of attacks on Ukraine’s port city of Izmail Thursday, striking it for the fourth time in five days as part of a campaign to target grain exports.
A truck driver was wounded by drones and grain silos were also damaged, according to the Odesa region’s governor, Oleh Kiper.
Ukraine said it shot down 25 of 33 air strikes overnight, mostly aimed at the Odesa region.
A day earlier, 17 people were killed and at least 32 were wounded after a Russian missile hit a bustling market in the eastern city of Kostiantynivka.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken toured northern Ukraine on Thursday to assess the country’s three-month-old counteroffensive, which has been bolstered by American weaponry.
Blinken said the death and destruction in Kostiantynivka was “what Ukrainians are living with every day.”
“Just yesterday, we saw the bombing of a market, 17 people or more killed,” he said. “For what?”
Blinken toured a school in the village of Yahidne which had been turned into a prison for hundreds of residents by Russian forces at the start of the invasion.
He also visited a facility of the State Border Guards of Ukraine near Kyiv and observed a demining team looking to clear unexploded artillery from a 45,000 square meter site as he announced $91 million in demining assistance aid.
The funds were part of a humanitarian and military aid package that totaled over $1 billion.
With Post wires
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