Russian ‘guided aerial bomb’ hit Ukraine blood transfusion centre, says Volodymyr Zelensky

A Russian “guided aerial bomb” hit a blood transfusion centre in north-eastern Ukraine, killing and injuring people, president Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

The explosion at the centre in the town of Kupiansk, eastern Kharkiv, occurred late on Saturday.

“There are dead and wounded,” Mr Zelensky said on his Telegram channel. The claims could not be immediately verified.

Mr Zelensky said rescue workers were extinguishing a fire at the scene and described the strike as a “war crime.” He did not say how many people were killed or wounded.

In a message shared across his social media accounts late on Saturday, Mr Zelensky said: “Russia’s guided air bomb against a blood transfusion centre in Ukraine. This evening, Kupiansk community in Kharkiv region. Dead and wounded are reported. My condolences! Our rescuers are extinguishing the fire.

“This war crime alone says everything about Russian aggression. Beasts that destroy everything that simply allows to live. Defeating terrorists is a matter of honour for everyone who values life.”

Russia has not commented on the bombing. It has previously denied deliberately targeting civilians in a full-scale invasion that has killed thousands of people, uprooted millions and destroyed cities.

Kupiansk is a railway hub fewer than 10 miles from the front.

The town was taken by Russian troops in February 2022, during the initial days of the war in Ukraine.

It was liberated during a Ukrainian counter-offensive last September.

The attack on the blood transfusion centre follows the hit on a Russian fuel tanker in the Black Sea.

A Ukrainian security service source told the Interfax agency Ukraine’s security and naval forces were responsible for the attack in its territorial waters using sea drones.

The engine room of the SIG vessel was damaged in the overnight strike in the Kerch Strait, close to the Crimean Bridge. None of the 11 crew members were reported to have been injured in the attack.

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