At least 60 people are feared dead following a Russian airstrike on a school being used as a shelter in eastern Ukraine.
The school, located in the village of Bilohorivka, initially caught fire after being struck on Saturday (May 7) afternoon, Serhiy Haidai, the regional governor of Luhansk, confirmed on his Telegram channel on Sunday (May 8) via NBC News.
Haidai said two individuals were confirmed to be dead while 30 others were evacuated, including seven who experienced injuries.
“Most likely, all 60 people who remained under the rubble of buildings died,” Haidai said via NBC News.
Haidai's comments came prior to a scheduled video call involving Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other leaders of the Group of 7 countries after the president had already issued a warning that Russian forces were expected to intensify their attacks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his country would conduct military operations in Eastern Ukraine during an NBC News translation of a speech addressing the Russian population in Moscow on February 24.
The announcement appeared to serve as the final action ahead of an attack by Putin and the Russian military, which the U.S. and European allies to the neighboring Ukraine have attempted to prevent from taking place through diplomatic discussions.
A Ukraine interior minister confirmed to NBC News via text message that "cruise and ballistic missile strikes" were already underway shortly after Putin's announcement.
More than 1,000 protesters were reportedly arrested during anti-war protests throughout Russia amid President Putin's announcement to conduct military operations and ensuing attack on Ukraine, BNO News reported.