Ukraine: Dozens killed in attack on Kharkiv

Dozens of people have been killed in Russian missile strikes on Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv, officials say.

“Kharkiv has just been massively fired upon by grads (rockets). Dozens are dead and hundreds are wounded,” the interior ministry said on Facebook.

The attack came on the fifth day of the Russian invasion as negotiators from both sides held talks in Belarus.

Russia is attacking Ukraine on several fronts but its advancement has been slowed by Ukraine’s resistance.

Videos shared on social media showed rockets landing in Kharkiv, what some defence analysts described as typical of a cluster munitions strike on a dense urban area.

Russia had previously denied targeting residential areas.

In the capital, Kyiv, the bulk of Russian forces are about 30km (19 miles) outside the north of the city, slowed by fierce Ukrainian resistance, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.

But street-level fighting continues in several parts of the city. Despite the danger, a two-day curfew has been lifted, with residents emerging from underground shelters to buy food and gather supplies.

Another video circulating on social media showed huge clouds of smoke at a burning shopping centre in Chernihiv, another city that has been under pressure from the Russian offensive.

Kasenya, who spent more than 36 hours underground, told the BBC she had managed to get home. “I can’t describe how I am feeling, I’m happy to stay alive and safe and just have the possibility to see my splendid and beautiful Kyiv,” she said.

Meanwhile, on the northern border with Belarus, Ukrainian and Russian officials have ended their first round of talks.

Hopes for a breakthrough are slim, but Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, said there was a “small chance to end the war”.

A Ukrainian official said both sides would now return to their respective capitals for further consultations before a second round of negotiations.

The UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, said millions of civilians were being forced to huddle in makeshift bomb shelters such as underground rail stations to escape explosions.

Since the invasion began on Thursday, her office had recorded 102 civilian deaths, including seven children – and more than 300 injuries.

“The real figures are, I fear, considerably higher,” she said. -BBC

Show More
Back to top button