Russian Kharkiv strike cools Ukraine

Kharkov (AP), Ukraine — Among the dust, debris, and dead in Kharkov’s Central Freedom Square, Ukrainians saw what happened to other cities on Tuesday. Russian invasion It will not be canceled in time.

Shortly after sunrise, a Russian military attack struck the center of Ukraine’s second-largest city, causing terrible damage to the iconic Soviet-era local government building. Surveillance camera footage showed a fireball swallowing the street in front of the building and several cars rolling in the swirling smoke.

“I can’t see this without crying,” the Witness said in an aftermath video confirmed by the Associated Press.

Emergency officials said at least six bodies had been pulled out of the ruins and at least 20 were injured. The type of weapons used and the number of people killed were not immediately known, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said there were dozens of casualties.

Zelensky called the attack on Freedom Square “a frank and undisguised horror.” No one will forgive. No one will forget. This attack on Kharkov is a war crime. “

This is the first time Russian troops have hit the center of a city of about 1.5 million people, and the residential area has been exposed to fire for days. Ukrainian paramedics said the bombardment in and around Kharkov caused 24 fires, rendering 69 explosive devices unusable.

Also attacked on Tuesday was a tent site in the central square set up to gather aid for Ukrainian volunteer fighters who rushed to defend Kharkov. More recently, as part of that effort, volunteer guards have occupied the local administration building.

It was feared that some of the volunteers might now be among the dead.

The windows of the administration building were blown away. The ceiling had collapsed. Concrete dust added another layer of gray despair. A nearby car was crushed.

There was fresh anger when emergency responders picked up the debris.

“This is for those who have been waiting for peace in Russia, this is what you wanted, is it? Many were injured,” he said.

Russian troops refused to target civilians, despite the abundance of evidence of bombardment in houses, schools and hospitals. “We are taking every step to protect the lives and security of civilians,” Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said Tuesday. “I would like to emphasize that strikes are only for military targets and that only precision weapons are used.”

I’m not sure, but at one Kharkiv hospital, a pregnant woman kept pace in the dark and moved her maternal ward to a bomb shelter. Dozens of newborn screams echoed through the thick concrete walls. The electrical cable is hanging. I put a rolled mattress on the window.

As the bombardment in Kharkov intensified, one family spent the fifth day in another shelter under the city. Water bottles and backpacks were stockpiled in the basement. A military-style helmet was hanging on the shelf, under which the boy saw the phone. Boredom mixed with fear.

“It’s a nightmare and it catches you very strongly from the inside. This can’t be explained in words,” said her mother, Ekaterina Bavenco.

She could hardly believe that the Russian attack was taking place in Kharkov and was tearing the neighborhood.

“A few hours ago, a friend of mine who lives in the suburbs of Gorizont was struck by the house next to her and destroyed several floors,” said Bavenco. “And for a while I had no connection with her. They were horrible, very scary.”

For her family and others still evacuating to the city, the world above was changing too rapidly to understand. Warehouses, houses, garages, cars, everything was burnt.

“Let’s go, Sveta,” urged in a video showing that the Kharkov residential area was bombarded on Monday.

“Go and I’ll catch up with you,” said the woman.

“Leave for God,” the man pleaded.

Other inhabitants were already flowing west, Hope to leave Ukraine altogether..


Follow AP reports of the Ukrainian crisis