Ukraine war: Russia hits blood transfusion centre, says Zelensky

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A Russian guided air bomb has hit a blood transfusion centre in north-eastern Ukraine, killing and injuring people, Ukraine’s president has said.

Volodymyr Zelensky said rescuers were now trying to tackle a blaze after the strike on the Kupiansk community in the Kharkiv region on Saturday night.

“Defeating terrorists is a matter of honour for everyone who values life,” he added.

Russia has so far not publicly commented on the reported attack.

In a post on social media, Mr Zelensky described the perpetrators as “beasts” who were seeking to “destroy everything that simply allows to live”.

“This was crime alone says everything about Russian aggression,” he said.

He did not say how many people were killed and injured in the attack.

The BBC has not been able to immediately verify the report.

The city of Kupiansk and nearby settlements were seized by Russian troops in the first few days of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, launched in February 2022.

The area was liberated during a lightning-quick Ukrainian counter-offensive last September.

President Zelensky also said that on Saturday Russia separately carried out a missile attack, targeting an aeronautical company run by group Motor Sich in the western Khmelnytskyi region.

The Russian strikes come after Moscow accused Ukraine of hitting a Russian tanker with 11 crew members in the Black Sea – the second such sea drone attack in as many days.

Russian maritime officials said the engine room of the Sig tanker was damaged in the attack in the Kerch Strait. No-one was injured.

The Kerch Strait connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, separating Crimea – Ukraine’s peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014 – and Russia’s Taman peninsula.

Ukraine has not publicly commented. But a Ukrainian security service source told the BBC a sea drone had been used.

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Watch the sea drone hitting the tanker, according to Ukraine security sources

Watch: Ukrainian sea drone targets Russian tanker. Video, 00:00:22Watch: Ukrainian sea drone targets Russian tanker

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