Ukraine war live updates: Explosion at military supply plant near Moscow injures at least 45; UN condemns strikes on Pokrovsk

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In this photo taken from video and released by the Administration of Sergiev Posad municipal district of Moscow region telegram channel on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, smoke rises from the Zagorsk Optical and Mechanical Plant in the city of Sergiev Posad, Moscow Region, about 65 km (41miles) north-east of Moscow, Russia.

Administration of Sergiev Posad municipal district of Moscow region telegram channel via AP

An explosion at an optical-mechanical plant near Moscow injured at least 45 people, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing local officials.

The factory manufactures night vision equipment and binoculars for the Russian military and is part of Russian defense conglomerate Rostec. Russian emergency services blamed the explosion on “workflow violations” and rejected reports of a drone strike.

Separately, two drones were shot down upon approaching Moscow overnight, Russian officials said, in the latest of a growing number of interceptions by the Russian capital’s air defense systems. There were no damage or injuries, the Russian ministry of defense said.

In his nightly address on Tuesday, Zelenskyy said that the death toll from Russia’s Monday strikes on Pokrovsk in eastern Donetsk had risen to nine, with another 82 people injured. A missile reportedly destroyed a popular hotel near the front line.

Denise Brown, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, said she was “profoundly disturbed” by the “horrifying attack” on Pokrovsk, which she estimated hit residential buildings, “killing and injuring scores of civilians.” Brown said missiles struck the same location twice, meaning that front-line workers were hit.

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