Photos and videos of the attack were shared by Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of Donetsk Oblast in the eastern Donbas region, as well as the Interior Ministry, which showed rescuers working atop the large pile of rubble, which included broken bricks, metal wiring and cement beams at the scene of the half-collapsed building.
“The search and rescue operation continues,” Kyrylenko told Ukrainian television via NBC News. “We have more proof of Russia’s crimes, that they shell residential areas of any community, whether it’s close to the front lines or not.”
Officials said a 9-year-old child was among the 24 individuals believed to still be trapped under the wreckage after first responders managed to establish contact with two of them, the governor confirmed.
Fifteen people were confirmed to have died in the attack, according to Ukraine’s state emergency service.
The missile strike was the latest in Russia’s months-long invasion of Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his country would conduct military operations in Eastern Ukraine during an NBC News translation of a speech addressing the Russian population in Moscow on February 24.
The announcement appeared to serve as the final action ahead of an attack by Putin and the Russian military, which the U.S. and European allies to the neighboring Ukraine have attempted to prevent from taking place through diplomatic discussions.
A Ukraine interior minister confirmed to NBC News via text message that “cruise and ballistic missile strikes” were already underway shortly after Putin’s announcement.
More than 1,000 protesters were reportedly arrested during anti-war protests throughout Russia amid President Putin’s announcement to conduct military operations and ensuing attack on Ukraine, BNO News reported.