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Russian Actress Dies on Stage as Ukraine Ramps Up Air Attacks

A Russian actress has been killed by a Ukrainian air attack while performing for Russian troops in eastern Ukraine.

The Russian theatre for which Polina Menshikh, 40, worked confirmed that she was killed while performing on stage in the Donbas region.

The details of the incident could not be independently verified, but military officials on both sides confirmed there had been a Ukrainian attack in the area on November 19.

A Russian military investigator, quoted by Russian state television, said a school and cultural centre had been hit by HIMARS missiles in a village in the Donetsk region referred to as Kumachovo and known by Ukrainians as Kumachove, 60km (37 miles) from the front line.

The investigator said one civilian, of whom he gave no further details, had been killed but made no mention of military casualties. The Russian defence ministry declined to comment and has mentioned no casualties from the attack.

Ukrainian commanders said their forces had struck a Russian military award ceremony, targeting Russia’s 810th Separate Naval Infantry Brigade.

Unverified video footage on pro-Russian Telegram channels showed soldiers watching Menshikh singing on stage with a guitar on the day the Russian military celebrated their missile and artillery forces.

Mid-song, the building was suddenly rocked by a blast and windows can be heard shattering before the lights go out and someone is caught on camera using an expletive.

Ukraine’s Brovdi said the attack was “revenge for the 128th,” a reference to a Russian attack this month on soldiers from Ukraine’s 128th Separate Mountain Assault Brigade, in which the brigade said 19 of its soldiers were killed.

Russian cultural leaders have been urged to visit areas near the front line to show support for soldiers fighting in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin sent troops to invade in February 2022.

Ukraine has ramped up drone and missile attacks on Russian military installations in eastern Ukraine and in and around the Crimean peninsula as it presses a counteroffensive launched in June.

Russian missile defences were reported to have downed 13 Ukrainian drones over Crimea and three more over the Volgograd region in the early hours of Friday, the RIA news agency said, citing Russia’s defence ministry.

Source : Aljazeera