Twenty-five killed after Ukraine shells Russian-controlled Donetsk, officials say

Twenty-five people were killed and 20 injured when Ukrainian forces shelled the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, Denis Pushilin, the Russian-appointed head of the Donetsk region, said on Sunday.

According to Alexei Kulemzin, the city's Russian-installed mayor, Ukrainian forces bombarded a busy area where shops and a market are located. Pushilin said the city was shelled by Ukrainian artillery. There was no immediate Ukrainian comment.

Reuters photographs and video taken at the scene showed crying people, some of whom said they had lost their relatives, and bodies lying on blood-soaked snow near one of the city's markets.

Pushilin said emergency services were working at the scene and that forensic specialists were trying to collect fragments of the weapons used in the attack.

In Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling the attack "a barbaric act of terrorism" committed by Ukraine, saying it was carried out "with the use of weapons supplied by the West".

"The Russian side categorically condemns this treacherous strike against the civilian population," the ministry said.

Russia, which launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago, has voiced outrage in the past when Ukrainian attacks have killed civilians in Donetsk and other areas. Russia's own campaign of air strikes and heavy shelling, however, has killed thousands of Ukrainian civilians.

Donetsk is one of four regions in Ukraine's east and south that Russia claimed to have annexed in late 2022 in a move condemned as illegal by most countries at the U.N. General Assembly. Russia does not fully control any of the four regions.

Separately on Sunday, Russia's defence ministry said Russian forces had taken control of the village of Krokhmalne in Ukraine's northeastern Kharkiv region.

A Ukrainian military spokesman confirmed that Kyiv's forces had withdrawn from the area, but said the lost territory was tiny and of no consequence for the overall military situation.