KYIV, Ukraine — Russian missiles slammed into a town in southern Ukraine, killing seven civilians, including children, and wounding dozens more, local authorities reported.

Ukrainian officials published photos of bodies stretched out under picnic blankets in a park in Vilniansk, and deep craters in the blackened earth next to the charred, twisted remains of a building.

Thirty-six people were wounded in Saturday evening’s attack, authorities said, and declared a day of mourning Sunday. Vilniansk is in Zaporizhzhia region, less than 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the local capital and north of the front lines, as Russian forces continue to occupy part of the province.

Local Gov. Ivan Fedorov said that three children were among the dead and nine more were wounded.

In a separate Telegram post hours earlier, Fedorov said that the strike damaged a shop, residential buildings, and an unspecified “critical infrastructure” facility in Vilniansk, which had a population of around 14,300 prior to Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Russia continues to stretch out Ukrainian forces in several areas along the 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) front. Moscow has stepped up airstrikes in a bid to drain Ukraine’s resources, often targeting energy facilities and other vital infrastructure.

In the aftermath of the Vilniansk attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Kyiv’s Western partners to bolster its air defenses and long-range munitions to deter Russian attacks.

In Ukraine’s war-torn eastern Donetsk region, eight civilians died and 14 more suffered wounds on Saturday and overnight, according to local Gov. Vadym Filashkin, as near-daily shelling continues in much of the province. Shelling also killed one civilian and wounded five more over the same period in the southern Kherson region, its governor, Oleksandr Prokudin, reported on Telegram.

According to local Gov. Oleh Syniehubov, four people were wounded in the Kharkiv province in the northeast, the site of fierce battles in recent months as Russia launched a cross-border push that threatened Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry on Sunday claimed its forces overnight shot down three dozen Ukrainian drones over six regions in Russia’s southwest.

Debris from one drone fell on a village in the Kursk region, blowing out windows and damaging roofs and fences, according to a Telegram post by regional Gov. Aleksey Smirnov. In the city of Lipetsk, further north, a drone was shot down as it appeared to target the industrial zone, local Gov. Igor Artamonov reported. There were no casualties in either case.



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