A wooden roof of a university building in Donetsk caught fire following Ukrainian bombing on Saturday, an emergency official in the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine said.
“As a result of the recent attack on Donetsk, the first building of the University of Economics and Trade caught fire,” Alexey Kolymzin, the Russia-appointed mayor, said on Telegram.
“We’re using 12 water tanks, three ladders and 100 firefighters… The whole roof is on fire,” Alexei Kostropetsky, Russia’s appointed Emergencies Minister for the region Moscow calls the Donetsk People’s Republic said.
Kostropetsky said Ukrainian forces used cluster munitions in the shelling, which caused the fire.
Ukraine, which received supplies of US cluster munitions last month, has vowed to use them only to dismantle concentrations of Russian soldiers.
There was no immediate comment from Ukraine on the alleged bombing.
Kostropetsky said that there were no people inside the building during the bombing.
“The most difficult thing is that the roof is wooden, so the fire spreads quickly,” he added.
On Saturday, Moscow also escalated the pace of its attacks in Ukraine, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced the bloody bombing of a blood transfusion center, which he described as a “War Crime”.
He added, “This war crime says it all about Russian aggression… Monsters destroy everything that allows life”.
In his evening speech, Zelensky maintained a defiant tone, insisting that no matter how many Russian attacks, they will not achieve anything for the enemy.
The Russian strike came after a Ukrainian attack on a Russian oil tanker in the Kerch Strait on Friday night, which led to a brief halt to traffic on the strategic bridge linking Crimea to Russia, as part of the growing tension in the Black Sea.
Russia announced on Saturday that it had sent a fighter to intercept a US Reaper drone over the Black sea.
The number of attacks in the Black Sea has increased from both sides since Moscow refused in mid-July to extend the implementation of a United Nations-sponsored agreement that allowed the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, despite the war that Russia has been waging in Ukraine since February 2022.
For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pledged on Saturday a new round of cleansing of institutions, as part of his ongoing campaign to convince Western partners that things have changed in Kiev, which had a history of rampant corruption.
“Next week will see the continuation of our work in cleansing state institutions of those who tried to bring from the past all those old habits that have weakened Ukraine for so long, for decades,” he said in his speech last night.
Zelensky didn’t give any details about who might be targeted.
He recently expressed dismay at corruption uncovered during a review of military recruitment centers in Ukraine, but in general he is keen on fighting corruption as he pushes to join NATO and the European Union.
On Saturday, he vowed no tolerance for old practices in Ukraine and said some were seeking to profit by putting the state and others at his service.
He stressed that everyone should work only for the interests of the state.