(NewsNation) — A Russian airstrike struck a shopping mall in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday, killing at least 18, leaving more than 20 missing and injuring several others.
Newly released CCTV footage shows a missile flying before a massive explosion at the shopping center. Another missile hit an automotive factory nearby.
The crowded mall, where many once went for a peaceful escape, is the latest addition to accusations against Russia of war crimes. Authorities in Moscow claim the shopping mall was not their target, and they believed the mall to be empty.
Still, one mall employee speaking to The Associated Press, said there must have been around 1,000 shoppers and employees at the mall when the sirens sounded. According to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, people inside the mall had roughly seven to 10 minutes to find safety when the warning went off, adding that a shelter was across the street.
Also speaking with The Associated Press, Kateryna Romashnya described the airstrike as “terrifying.” She was walking home from work and passing by the mall when the explosion hurled her to the ground.
She said “You have to be a real monster” to destroy a mall. “I don’t have words anymore.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shared that the missile was one of more than 2,800 fired at Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February.
“We have all the evidence of what the Russian military is doing against our people,” Zelensky said Tuesday.
Iryna Venediktova, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, urged Ukrainians to stay vigilant and be prepared to expect a strike every minute.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.