According to a new report, at least nine people were killed and half a hundred injured in a Russian bombing of a restaurant in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine. Three Colombians, including writer Hector Abad Faciolince and former peace commissioner Sergio Jaramillo, suffered minor injuries in the incident. The attack took place at the Ria Pizza restaurant, a popular spot for soldiers and journalists in Kramatorsk, which is one of the last major Kyiv-controlled urban centers in the east of the country.
According to Ukrainian police, Russia fired two S-300 rockets at the town, which had a pre-war population of 150,000. The Ukrainian Emergency Service reported that the bodies of nine people, including three minors, were recovered, and seven people were rescued alive from the rubble. In addition to the damage to the restaurant, damage to apartments, stores, vehicles, and other buildings was reported.
The three injured Colombians were at the restaurant to express solidarity with the Ukrainian people in the midst of the Russian invasion. Hector Abad Faciolince is an internationally recognized writer, while Sergio Jaramillo is a politician and negotiator of the 2016 peace agreement with the FARC in Colombia. A Ukrainian writer was also seriously injured in the attack.
Kramatorsk has been the target of numerous Russian bombardments and has suffered the consequences of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The city is a major railway junction and has served as the de facto regional capital since the capture of Donetsk and Lugansk by pro-Russian separatists in 2014.
The transfer of Russian paramilitary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin to Belarus after his failed uprising attempt has led to internal divisions in Russia. However, the impact of this on the conflict remains to be seen, and the Kremlin denies that President Vladimir Putin has emerged weakened from this crisis. NATO has reaffirmed its readiness to defend its members and protect its territory in the event of aggression.