At least one person was killed and six injured after missiles fell near an Orthodox cathedral
The Ukrainian forces targeted central Donetks with multiple launch rocket system fire early on Sunday morning, with several projectiles landing in close vicinity of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, forcing an evacuation and disrupting the Orthodox Easter celebrations.
Twenty MLRS rockets were fired towards Donets overnight, according to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) monitoring group.
The shelling took place around 3:25am, just as dozens of Orthodox Christians were leaving the cathedral following the Easter vigil. The explosions forced several panicked people to drop to the ground, while others including children rushed to seek shelter inside the church, according to videos shared on social media.
At least one person was killed and five others injured, according to preliminary reports. One of the victims was an assistant deacon who suffered a shrapnel injury to his stomach upon leaving the service, a witness told RT.
While none of missiles hit the cathedral directly, at least one projectile struck a market less than 100 meters away.
“A powerful shelling and smoke in the area of the Cathedral, where a festive liturgy was being held at the moment,” a representative of the city’s administration told TASS.
Several other facilities in the area of the central square were also hit, the official said, icluding a bus station and a kindergarten, which caught fire as a result.
After a deadly attack on the town of Yasinovataya on Friday, the acting head of Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) had warned citizens to exercise extreme caution “during the holidays” because “the enemy has intensified the shelling.”
The capital of the Donetsk People’s Republic had suffered numerous Ukrainian attacks after rejecting the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev, which intensified weeks before Russia launched its military operation in February 2022, and have taken a heavy toll ever since.
Last October, the DPR was incorporated into Russia together with the People’s Republic of Lugansk and Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, following referendums in which the local populations voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move.