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Russian strikes on Kharkiv region kill at least 10, says local official

2 min

Russian strikes killed at least 10 people, including a pregnant woman, and injured 25 others in two separate attacks in Ukraine's northeastern Kharkiv region on Sunday, local officials said.

Police officers inspect the body of a man killed by a Russian missile strike on the bank of a lake, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv, May 19, 2024. Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko

Russian strikes killed at least 10 people, including a pregnant woman, and injured 25 others in two separate attacks in Ukraine's northeastern Kharkiv region on Sunday, local officials said.

It was the latest in what have been constant attacks in recent weeks on Kharkiv city and the region of the same name by Russian missiles and guided bombs as Russian troops have launched an offensive in the northeast of the region.

The first strike on Sunday killed five and wounded 16 in a recreation area just outside Kharkiv, while another five people were killed and 9 injured later in the day in two villages in Kupiansk district.

Local governor Oleh Syniehubov said Russian forces shelled two villages of the district with a self-propelled multiple rocket launcher.

In the city of Kharkiv, Mayor Ihor Terekhov gave the toll of dead and wounded.

"The explosions heard in Kharkiv around noon occurred in a nearby suburb. Two Russian missiles hit a recreation centre where people were relaxing, killing five people and injuring sixteen others," he said on the Telegram messaging app.

Reuters correspondents saw a recreation area destroyed after what rescuers at the scene said was a powerful blast, followed by a second, "double tap" strike about 15-20 minutes later.

A man's corpse lay under the rubble of what just over an hour previously was a busy lakeside restaurant area on a sunny day. A woman stumbled around in shock looking for her handbag in the wreckage.

Valentyna, a 69-year-old woman who lived opposite the resort, was at home when the explosion hit. Blood ran down the side of her face as she cried, saying husband had been killed in the blast.

He had been by the water, she said, gesturing to the area where there was now a crater by the shore, rubble, and corpses.

"To lose my husband, to lose my house, to lose everything in the world, it hurts, it hurts me," she shouted through tears.

"They (the Russians) are animals, why do they need to kill people," she yelled.


After Sunday's attack President Volodymyr Zelenskiy again called on Western allies to supply Kyiv with additional air defence systems to protect Kharkiv and other cities.

"The world can stop Russian terror - and to do so, the lack of political will among leaders must be overcome," Zelenskiy said on Telegram.

"Two Patriots for Kharkiv will make a fundamental difference," he said, referring to Patriot missile defence systems. Air defence systems for other cities and sufficient support for soldiers on the front line would ensure Russia's defeat, the president added.

Yaroslav Trofimko, a police inspector with the Kharkiv police department, said of Sunday's strike:

"There were never any soldiers here… it was a Sunday, people were supposed to be here to rest, children were supposed to he here, pregnant women, resting, enjoying a normal way of life."

He arrived on the scene after the first blast, and was there when the second strike hit the same scene around 20 minutes later.

Ukraine has frequently accused Russia of using "double tap" strikes to kill or injure emergency workers at the scene of strike impacts.

By Max Hunder



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