Russian President Vladimir Putin has angrily denied his forces attack civilian infrastructure hours after video showed a Russian missile destroying a block of flats and killing at least three people.
Footage shows the missile hit the top of a residential building in the southern city of Mykolaiv on Wednesday with five wounded as well as the fatalities reported by Ukraine so far.
Local authorities have since launched a rescue effort for survivors while photos from the scene showed smoke billowing from the wreckage of the five-storey building.
Eight missiles struck targets in the southern river port just off the Black Sea, its mayor said on Wednesday, just days after Ukraine said Russian missiles killed at least 18 people at a shopping centre in the central town of Kremenchuk.
Putin has denied responsibility for the attack on the shopping centre and insisted his forces do not target civilians, instead accusing Ukraine of staging the bombings.
Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said the residential building in Mykolaiv appeared to have been hit by a Russian X-55 cruise missile which left the block badly damaged.
Destruction: At least three people have been killed by a Russian missile strike on a block of homes in the southern city of Mykolaiv (pictured), Ukraine, local authorities have said
Photos from the scene show the five-storey building extensively damaged after the blast
Rescue workers launched an operation to comb the debris for survivors on Wednesday
Video from a neighbouring building shows a huge explosion at the top corner of the block followed by large flames as the camera is damaged and knocked out of position.
A second video released on social media by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine showed a dog being rescued from the damaged apartment building using a cradle crane.
According to the post on Facebook, the dog’s owner was rescued by ladder, but the dog was trapped inside the apartment on the fourth floor of the building.
Rescuers used a cradle crane to rescue the frightened Labrador, who took some persuading before he left the apartment.
The location of the video was verified by the building characteristics, surrounding buildings and roads which matched street view and satellite images.
Russian forces struck targets in the Mykolaiv region of Ukraine and intensified attacks on fronts across the country as NATO members met in Madrid to plan a course of action against the challenge from Moscow.
While the mayor of Mykolaiv city said the Russian missile strike killed at least three people there, Moscow said its forces had hit what it called a training base for foreign mercenaries in the region.
Photos and footage from the scene show the top two floors residential building have been completely destroyed as rescuers wade through the wreckage looking for survivors.
The shell which struck the building (pictured) was reportedly one of eight to hit in Mykolaiv
Pictured: The top two floors of the residential building have been completely destroyed
Firefighters were filmed using hoses to extinguish any flames as they worked to make the bombsite safe.
It comes as Russian President Putin scrambled to deny his army were responsible for a missile strike on the Kremenchuk shopping mall earlier this week which killed 18 people, with dozens still unaccounted for.
‘Our army does not attack any civilian infrastructure site. We have every capability of knowing what is situated where,’ Putin told a news conference in the Turkmenistan capital of Ashgabat.
‘Nobody among us shoots just like that, randomly. It is normally done based on intelligence data on targets’ and with ‘high-precision weapons’.
‘I am convinced that this time, everything was done in this exact manner,’ Putin said.
The Russian autocrat was there for the VI Caspian Summit of leaders from Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to discuss ‘topical issues of cooperation in the Caspian Sea’.
As many as 1,000 people were feared to have been inside when it was hit.
Ukrainian president Volodymr Zelensky denounced Russia’s actions as ‘one of the most daring terrorist attacks in European history’. Russia has accused Ukraine of staging the attack.
Igor Konashenkov, a spokesperson for Russia’s defence ministry, said its military fired a ‘high-precision air attack at hangars where armament and munitions were stored’, and the explosion of those weapon caches caused a fire in the nearby shopping mall, which he said was ‘non-functioning’ at the time.
Russian denials have been met with scepticism and debunked by numerous media outlets and open source intelligence analysts.
There is video of CCTV that shows a large missile hitting the the mall at 3.51pm on Monday.