Dozens of soldiers were killed after Russian troops attacked a Ukrainian military barracks in the southern city of Mykolaiv, witnesses told AFP on Saturday as a rescue operation was underway.
“No less than 200 soldiers were sleeping in barracks” when Russian troops attacked early Friday, a Ukrainian soldier on the ground, 22 -year -old Maxim, told AFP without giving his last name.
“At least 50 bodies have been found, but we don’t know how many more are in the rubble,” he said.
Another soldier estimated that the bombing could have killed about 100 people.
Authorities have yet to issue an official death.
The military facility located north of the city was completely destroyed after being hit by several rockets Friday morning.
“Orcs yesterday hit our sleeping soldiers with rockets in a cowardly way,” Vitaly Kim, head of the provincial administration, said in a video on Saturday, using Ukrainian nicknames for Russian forces.
“Rescue operations are underway,” he added. He gave no further details, saying he expected to receive official information from the military.
AFP reporters at the site earlier in the day saw the bodies of three people, including shredded bodies removed from under the rubble by rescue workers.
A survivor was also pulled out.
“We are continuing the calculations but it is impossible to know given the condition of the bodies,” a rescuer told AFP.
Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych told local reporters that the city, which had a pre -war population of nearly half a million inhabitants, had been attacked from the neighboring province of Kherson, now under Russian control.
For days, the Russians have been bombing Mykolaiv, located on the road to the strategic port city of Odessa about 130 kilometers (80 miles) below the Black Sea coast.
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