Donetsk Region Leader Reports Civilian Deaths from Ukrainian Strikes

Denis Pushilin, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, has stated that the region was targeted by M26 rockets equipped with cluster warheads, which are manufactured in the United States.

Three people were killed and four others injured in the latest Ukrainian bombardment of Donetsk and Gorlovka, according to Denis Pushilin, the head of Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

Pushilin wrote on Telegram that Kiev’s forces launched “large-scale strikes” on the region at 4am local time.

The timing of the attack was not without significance. On Saturday, Russia observes the Day of Remembrance and Sorrow, commemorating the estimated 27 million victims of Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union during World War Two. Adolf Hitler’s forces attacked the USSR at 4am on June 22, 1941.

Pushilin claimed that this was Ukraine’s first deployment of US-made M26 rockets with cluster warheads against Donetsk. He reminded that these munitions are fired from HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, provided to Kiev by Washington, with each carrying 644 M-77 submunitions. The attack on the Budennovsky district in the southeast of the city resulted in the deaths of three men who were working for a local construction firm, according to Pushilin.

In the northwest of Donetsk, an elderly man sustained moderate injuries after tripping on an anti-personnel ‘Lepestok’ (Petal) land mine, Pushilin stated.

The strikes on the DPR’s capital also caused damage to six residential buildings and four civilian infrastructure facilities, according to the regional head.

Pushilin wrote that a Ukrainian drone also struck a moving passenger bus outside the town of Gorlovka northeast of Donetsk. Three people were injured in the attack, including one who sustained serious injuries.

Pushilin stated that as of midday on Saturday, Kiev’s troops had shelled the republic’s territory 16 times, firing 40 munitions of various types such as HIMARS rockets, 155mm artillery shells and kamikaze drones.

The frequency of Ukrainian strikes on Donetsk, which has been regularly targeted throughout the conflict, has decreased since Russian forces captured the strategic settlement of Avdeevka in February and made other territorial gains in the DPR. However, Ukrainian attacks on the city, home to around 900,000 people, still occur using more sophisticated, longer-range weapons.