Live: Dozens feared trapped after deadly Russian strike on Ukraine apartment building
Rescuers picked through the rubble of an apartment building in eastern Ukraine searching for two dozen people, including a child, feared trapped after a Russian rocket strike on the five-storey building killed 15 people. Follow the day’s events on our live blog. All times are Paris time, GMT+2.
06:09am: Europe on edge as Nord Stream Russian gas link set for planned shut-down
The biggest single pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany starts annual maintenance on Monday, with flows expected to stop for ten days, but governments, markets and companies are worried the shut-down might be extended due to war in Ukraine.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline transports 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year of gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. It will undergo maintenance from July 11 to 21.
Last month, Russia cut flows to 40 percent of the pipeline’s total capacity, citing the delayed return of equipment being serviced by Germany’s Siemens Energy, in Canada.
Canada said at the weekend it would return a repaired turbine, but it also said it would expand sanctions against Russia’s energy sector.
Europe fears Russia may extend the scheduled maintenance to restrict European gas supply further, throwing plans to fill storage for winter into disarray and heightening a gas crisis that has prompted emergency measures from governments and painfully high bills for consumers.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov dismissed claims that Russia was using oil and gas to exert political pressure, saying the maintenance shutdown was a regular, scheduled event, and that no one was “inventing” any repairs.
05:46am: Dozens feared trapped after deadly Russian strike on Ukraine apartment building
Rescuers picked through the rubble of an apartment building in eastern Ukraine searching for two dozen people, including a child, feared trapped after a Russian rocket strike on the five-storey building killed 15 people.
President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said the attack in the town of Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region was “another terrorist attack” and Russia should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Rescuers used a crane to lift a concrete slab and their hands to dig through the debris on Sunday, while dazed residents who survived the Saturday evening attack retrieved personal belongings and told stories of their miraculous escape.
One woman was seen walking out of the destroyed building carrying an ironing board under her arm, an umbrella and a plastic shopping bag. Others simply watched rescue efforts, fearing the worst as the dead were removed.
“We ran to the basement, there were three hits, the first somewhere in the kitchen,” said a local resident who gave her name as Ludmila.
“The second, I do not even remember, there was lightning, we ran towards the second entrance and then straight into the basement. We sat there all night until this morning.”
Another survivor, who gave her name as Venera, said she had wanted to save her two kittens.
“I was thrown into the bathroom, it was all chaos, I was in shock, all covered in blood,” she said, crying. “By the time I left the bathroom, the room was full up of rubble, three floors fell down. I never found the kittens under the rubble.”
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP, AP)