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Russian shelling in eastern Ukrainian city kills 16 and wounds 20, the country's prime minister says

Russia Ukraine War
Posted at 8:25 AM, Sep 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-06 09:25:21-04

KYIV, Ukraine — Russian shelling on Wednesday killed at least 16 people and wounded 20 others at a market in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kostiantynivka, the country's prime minister said.

Associated Press journalists at the scene saw covered bodies on the ground and emergency workers extinguishing fires at market stalls, with blackened mangled cars nearby.

Prime Minister Denys Smyhal said at least 16 people were killed, with 20 wounded. The number of dead was expected to rise.

The attack came as U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited Ukraine’s capital, where he was expected to announce more than $1 billion in new American funding in a display of Washington’s unflagging support for Kyiv’s fight.

Blinken also aimed to assess Ukraine’s 3-month-old counteroffensive and signal continued U.S. backing as some Western allies express worries about Kyiv’s slow progress in driving out Russian forces after 18 months of war, according to U.S. officials.

“We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs, not only to succeed in the counteroffensive but has what it needs for the long-term, to make sure that it has a strong deterrent,” Blinken said during the visit. “We’re also determined to continue to work with our partners as they build and rebuild a strong economy, strong democracy.”

Ukrainian forces are advancing without air cover, making their progress harder and slower, while Russia has launched its own push in the northeast to pin down Ukrainian forces and prevent them being redeployed in the south.

Ukraine has adapted its tactics in recent weeks, moving from attempts to bludgeon its way through Russian lines with Western-supplied armor to better-planned tactical strikes that make incremental gains, according to the Royal United Services Institute, a think tank.