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Still image from Vido from the press service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry: Rescue workers can be seen here after the attack on a bakery

Photo: Uncredited / dpa

Ukrainian forces have shelled a bakery in the city of Lysychansk in eastern Ukraine, which was annexed by Russian forces. According to the Kremlin, a minister of the occupying authorities was said to have died. The body of the Minister of Civil Defense in the Luhansk Region, Alexei Poteleshchenko, was found under the rubble of the collapsed building, said Sergei Kozlov, the Moscow-appointed head of government of the Luhansk Region.

According to Russian information, a total of 28 people were killed in the attack on Saturday, including a child. Details of the attack were not confirmed by the Ukrainian side, but the attack itself was. According to the Ukrainian city administration of Lysychansk, the bakery is said to have served as a meeting point for fighters loyal to Russia and to supply the front. The Ukrainian military has not yet commented on the strike.

The Russian leadership, which has been waging a bloody war of aggression against Ukraine for almost two years with many civilian casualties, condemned the shelling. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed that Kiev fired on the bakery knowing that there were many civilians there at the time.

Russia itself has long been accused by both Ukraine and international observers of repeatedly deliberately attacking civilian infrastructure such as hospitals or theaters in its conflicts - be it in Ukraine or Syria.

Poteleshchenko, who is now suspected to have been killed, had been in the ministerial post in Luhansk since autumn 2023. Before that, he headed the fire department in the region. The colonel was not a pure civilian. “A combat comrade and friend who passed through the forge of battles in the summer campaign of 2014 has been killed,” Koslow also wrote.

Lysychansk is only around ten kilometers from the front line. The city was captured by Russian troops in the summer of 2022 after heavy fighting.