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This is the shocking moment a Russian ballistic missile nearly struck a family walking in a Ukrainian city centre on a religious holiday.

According to The Sun, mass casualties have been reported in Chernihiv after the heinous Russian attack, which has killed seven and injured 117 civilians – including 11 children.

The deadly Iskander missiles are meant to be used against military infrastructure and high-value targets, but Russia has unashamedly used them to attack innocent Ukrainian civilians.

A video from CCTV cameras shows the moment the missile blasts through the city centre, leaving a trail of destruction – and narrowly avoiding a family going for a stroll.

A fiery orange inferno can be seen engulfing the road which moments earlier had cars driving along it on a peaceful Saturday morning.

A six-year-old girl has died after suffering intense blood loss, and her mother is seriously injured.

Of the injured, 12 are confirmed to be children, and 10 are police officers.

In another video taken seconds before the attack, a young woman can be seen smiling and posing in a white dress, when suddenly the building behind her explodes and the video cuts off.

Many victims in the attack had been on their way to church to celebrate the Ukrainian Catholic holiday of the Feast of the Transfiguration when the strike took place.

“I understand that their aim was a military event taking place in the building of the drama theatre and that it was their target,” mayor Oleksandr Lomako told the BBC.

“But it is clear that the Russians launching those missiles and those giving them orders in the middle of the day to the civilian city realised that the victims will be primarily civilians.

“There is no other way to interpret it than a war crime against civilians, yet another Russian war crime.”

“It is heinous to attack the main square of a large city, in the morning, while people are out walking, some going to the church to celebrate a religious day for many Ukrainians,” United Nations’ humanitarian co-ordinator for Ukraine Denise Brown said.

“I condemn this repeated pattern of Russian strikes on populated areas of Ukraine, causing deaths, massive destruction and soaring humanitarian needs.”

The building struck by a ballistic missile was allegedly hosting a drone exhibition at the time.

“A Russian missile hit right in the centre of the city, in our Chernihiv. A square, the polytechnic university, a theatre,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said of the attack.

“An ordinary Saturday, which Russia turned into a day of pain and loss.”

Zelensky posted a video from the scene that showed debris around a large Soviet-era building, with parked cars around it that were partially destroyed, smashed roofs and windows blown out.

Another photo shared widely on Twitter appears to show a man lying in a pool of blood following the deadly strike.

Those among the injured and dead are thought to have been heading to the church and drone exhibition in the town centre.

Smoke was seen rising from the Chernihiv Theatre in the town centre, which appears to be at the centre of the strike.

Chernihiv lies 144km north of Kyiv, close to the border of Belarus.

“The enemy shelled the centre of Chernihiv. Preliminarily, a ballistic missile,” the head of the Chernihiv region, Vyacheslav Chaus said on Telegram.

“Five people died. Thirty-seven people were wounded, including 11 children,” Interior Minister Igor Kylmenko said on Telegram, before the death toll rose further.

The attack came after a kamikaze drone smashed into a Russian air base yesterday, more than 1126km away from Ukraine.

“The Kyiv regime carried out a terrorist attack using a copter-type UAV on a military airfield in Novgorod region. As a result of the terrorist attack on the territory of the airfield, a fire broke out in the aircraft parking lot, which was promptly eliminated by fire brigades,” the Russian defence ministry said of that strike.

“One plane was damaged, but there were no casualties as a result of the terrorist attack.”

Earlier this week, the Ukrainian government announced plans for new military fortifications in the Chernihiv region along its border with Belarus.

The region was partially occupied at the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, but was later liberated.

The Chernihiv attack is the deadliest in the region since the city was reclaimed by Ukrainian forces last year.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and has been reproduced with permission.

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