Russian-Ukrainian War: We will never bow to Russian ultimatums, says Zelenskiy; eight dead in kyiv shopping center strike – live | world news

The six corpses are lined up under an awning covered in garish advertising company logos.

Their bare feet stick out from a black plastic floor mat.

Two of the bodies are stained with blood-covered dirt, horribly twisted and half-naked, a sign that the victims were taken in their sleep.

On Sunday evening, the brand new Retroville shopping center on the northwestern outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, kyiv, was hit by a Russian airstrike which destroyed everything for meters around.

At least eight people died, according to the first official report.

The attack, most likely a missile strike, tore through the southern part of the sprawling mall around 10:45 p.m., rocking the entire city.

“I was just minding my business at home,” said local resident Vladimir. “My apartment shook from the force of the explosion. I thought the building was going to collapse,” he recalls, visibly shaken.

The Russians “probably aimed for the plant a few hundred meters away,” he surmises, pointing to a large white cooling tower in the distance.

Opened in early 2020, just before the arrival of the Covid, the Retroville was the pride of the locals, a temple of therapeutic shopping with 250 shops, Western brands, a multiplex cinema, 3,000 parking spaces.

This area of ​​suburban Vinogradar was once made up of market gardens and vineyards. Now ultra-modern gray towers have sprung up everywhere. Some are still vacant. Others aren’t even finished yet.

Around the destroyed mall, barely a single storefront survived the blast. Shards of broken glass litter the cobblestones at the foot of 20-story buildings.

The parking lot on the south side of the mall is a wreck of mangled cars, twisted metal and treacherously sharp debris.

The Sportlife fitness center and pool, built in the parking lot, have been reduced to a tangle of steel and grimy puddles. Pieces of polystyrene insulation, deformed by the fire, float in the murky water. The acrid smell of burning takes you by the throat. Mud-covered debris sticks to your shoes.

A handful of firefighters and soldiers scour the smoldering rubble of a 10-story building in search of other victims.

“That was where the mall offices were,” a local resident said, pointing to the concrete shell of the building. “Fortunately there was no one inside at the time.”

Everyone who studies the desolate scene agrees that the attack on the Retroville is the strongest to hit kyiv since the Russian invasion began.

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