Twelve killed in Ukraine's Mykolaiv as rocket blasts hole in regional HQ

2 minute read
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

MYKOLAIV, Ukraine, March 29 (Reuters) - A Russian rocket hit the regional administration building in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mykolaiv on Tuesday, killing at least 12 people and wounding 33, the authorities said.

The wounded were pulled from the rubble by rescue workers, who continue to work at the scene, the emergencies service said in an online post.

Footage from the state rescue service showed a gaping hole in a side of the building, with firefighters extinguishing a fire where the rocket hit and the wounded being put onto ambulance stretchers.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

There was a blood patch visible in the debris, and shattered glass and upturned furniture strewn on the floor in the offices inside the building.

"This is just a nightmare. A girl died on my floor. What can I say? Are you kidding? I hugged her, two minutes passed, and she passed," said a woman who was helped out of the building by rescuers.

"They destroyed half of the building, hit my office," regional governor Vitaliy Kim said.

Russian forces have attacked Ukraine's southern ports including Kherson, Odesa, Mykolaiv and Mariupol as they try to cut Ukraine off from the Black Sea and establish a land corridor from Russia to Crimea, the peninsula Russia seized in 2014.

Kim said there was an upside to the strike - it suggested Russia had given up trying to take over the city.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special military operation" to disarm its neighbour. It denies targeting civilians and did not comment on the strike on Mykolaiv.

Ukraine and the West say Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an unprovoked invasion.

Describing the strike, Natalia Novikova, 57, an employee in the department of health in the local administration, said it was "so noisy, people were very afraid. People all ran into the hallway and some are still sitting there because they're still scared. After that the (air-raid) sirens went off."

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Natalie Thomas and Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Timothy Heritage, Janet Lawrence and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.