Ukraine's President, Volodímir Zelenski, expressed his deep concern over the incident, hinting that the death toll might rise. He took to Telegram to share his anguish, describing the scene: "A regular market. Shops. A pharmacy. Innocent people. Many injured."
The Ukrainian Prime Minister, Denís Shmihal, revealed that among the deceased was a child. The Ministry of Interior further reported that at least 32 individuals sustained injuries. They also confirmed that the search and rescue operations had concluded.
Mijaílo Podolyak, a presidential advisor, tweeted about the incident, emphasizing the presence of numerous civilians at the site. He, along with other national authorities, shared footage that captured the moments leading up to the massive explosion.
Kostantínovka, which lies in the Ukraine-controlled region of Donetsk, is located near the frontline. Interestingly, this attack coincided with the visit of the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to Ukraine's capital, Kiev.
The UN Coordinator for Ukraine, Denise Brown, vehemently condemned the attack. In a statement, she described it as a "despicable assault" on a bustling market in Kostantínovka. She highlighted the impact on the war-torn community, where numerous adults and children were killed or injured. Brown emphasized that intentionally targeting civilians or civilian objects, or knowingly launching an attack that would result in disproportionate civilian harm, is a war crime. She urged for the respect of international humanitarian law and called for an end to the ongoing devastation in Ukraine.
As of now, Moscow's authorities have yet to comment on the incident.
In related news, Romania, a NATO member, reported discovering remnants of drones on its territory following Russian attacks on neighboring Ukraine. The Romanian Ministry of Defense stated, "Investigators found drone-like debris on the night of September 5th." This discovery was made near Plauru, a village opposite the Ukrainian port of Izmail on the Danube. The ministry plans to conduct technical analyses to ascertain the origin and features of the debris.
Previously, Romania had consistently denied Kiev's claims that Russian drones had fallen and detonated on Romanian soil during an attack on the port of Izmail in Odesa. This region houses the Ukrainian Danube river ports, which Russia has targeted multiple times in recent weeks. Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Dmitro Kuleba, asserted that his government possessed "photographic evidence" of the incident.
Romania's President, Klaus Iohannis, has called for an urgent investigation into the debris. He stated that if it's confirmed that the remnants belonged to a Russian drone, it would be a grave violation of Romania's sovereignty and territorial integrity, especially as a NATO ally.