Faces of Putin’s ‘shopping mall victims’ as Russia makes sick claim over ‘staged attack’

Missile attack devastates Ukrainian shopping centre

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A Kremlin propagandist claimed that the attack was staged, possibly with Western help, in order to put pressure on NATO to increase the pace of its weapons supplies. The death toll of the attack has now reached 18. Meanwhile, a total of 59 people are seeking medical help.

Many others are still missing.

G7 leaders, meeting in Germany, called the attack a “war crime” in a statement issued on Monday night.

Loved ones and relatives are desperately searching for those caught in the missile strike, which hit a shopping mall in Kremenchuk on Monday.

Tatyana Brigadirenko, who worked at the Amstor shopping mall, is still missing, with her boyfriend Ihor Ivakhnenko desperately searching for her.

Oksana Poshtarenko, aged 30, was working at household appliances store Comfy at the time of the attack and has not been seen since.

The relatives of two more workers at the store, Yuri Mikitenko and Daniil Sidorov, say they have not been able to contact them since the missile strike.

A desperate message said: “His wife and son are searching for him.

“He has not been in touch since then.

“Maybe some will recognise him, we hope he is alive.”

Konstantin Vozniy, who has tattoos on his left arm and chest, Nikolay Krychkov and Elena Poliakova – who all work at Comfy – are also missing.

21-year-old Sofia Vinnik was working at the shopping mall on Sunday and has not been seen since.

According to loved ones, she has a tattoo saying “Balance” on her hand.

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The daughter of missing shopper Olga Pavlenko shared a harrowing message to social media, saying: “Friends, thank you for your support. I appreciate everyone.

“I will immediately share any information if we find mama.

“But please, do not ask me for news every half an hour.

“I understand you are worrying, but I am not made of steel. Thank you again.”

After the attack, Kremlin propagandist Vladimir Solovyov claimed that the strike was staged by Ukraine.

Speaking on Russian state TV, he said: “Ukrainians do the same trick as always when they need additional [military] help.

“They start screaming – they had Bucha earlier, today they have Kremenchuk.

“Supposedly a shopping mall.

“There are supposedly many deaths, though for some reason there were few cars [in the car park].

“And there were almost 1,000 [dead].

“Then they talked about 100 [dead].

“There are no photos. Everything is as usual.”

The Kremlin made a similar claim in the wake of allegatios of rape and massacrres at Bucha, but the allegations were widely disputed.

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