The relatives of people missing after Thursday’s missile strikes on the central Ukrainian town of Vinnytsia have submitted DNA samples to help officials identify the dead, according to a Ukrainian police chief.
“Fourteen relatives of missing persons have submitted their biological samples,” Ihor Klymenko, chief of Ukraine’s National Police, said in a statement on Facebook.
“Our specialists have already conducted more than 200 comparisons of selected DNA profiles. Twelve of the 19 identified persons were recognized with the help of this rapid DNA identification technology,” Klymenko added.
Eight people are still missing, Klymenko’s statement said.
Klymenko also gave details of the three children who died in the attacks — a 4-year-old girl, whose mother is in hospital, and two boys, aged 7 and 8.
“One of the boys was being examined at the medical center at the time of the attack. He died together with his mother. Another was waiting for his uncle in a parked car and got into a fire trap. A relative of this boy was thrown away by the blast wave, now he is hospitalized,” Klymenko said.
Some background: The Russian Ministry of Defense said Friday that the missile attack in Vinnytsia in central Ukraine targeted a military facility at a time when a meeting of the Ukrainian Air Force command was taking place.
At least 23 people were killed in the attack according to Ukraine’s State Emergency Service, including three children. On Thursday, the Vinnytsia head of police, Igor Klymenko, said that “three Russian missiles were aimed at a building with office premises.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba described the missile attack as “terrorism” and a “deliberate murder of civilians to spread fear.”
In the wake of the attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the international community to officially recognize Russia as a terrorist state, saying “Russia has shown its attitude to international law, to Europe, and to the entire civilized world.”
CNN’s Anna Chernova and Chris Liakos contributed reporting to this post.