Ukraine says 87 were killed in Russian air strike last week

DAVOS (Reuters) -Eighty-seven people were killed in a Russian air strike in the town of Desna last Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, in what would be Ukraine’s biggest military death toll in a single strike of the war so far.

On the day of the attack, a Russian military spokesman said high-precision, long-range missiles had hit Ukrainian reserves forces at a training centre near Desna, in the northern Ukrainian region of Chernihiv, and at one other site.

Zelenskiy did not specify if the casualties from the attack in Desna were military or civilian. There is a military barracks and training base near the town.

“Today we completed work at Desna. In Desna under the rubble there were 87 casualties. 87 corpses,” Zelenskiy said on Monday during an address by videolink to a meeting of global business leaders at Davos.

Ukrainian authorities had said last week that eight people were killed in the strike. Reuters could not immediately verify the new toll.

At least 52 people were killed at a train station in the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk in April.

Ukrainian authorities have said they believe hundreds were trapped under the rubble of a theatre in Mariupol following a bombing in March, but they were unable to confirm the death toll.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Catherine Evans)