Ukrainian officials said the strike had killed six civilians and wounded 16 others in a residential neighborhood in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city.
As firefighters tried to pull people out of the rubble and flames lit up the night sky, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine denounced a Russian missile strike on a residential neighborhood in Kharkiv on Wednesday night as a vile and cynical attack on civilians. He said that Russia, fighting on the battlefield in the east and south of the country, was targeting civilians to advance its ultimate goal of destroying the Ukrainian state. Ukrainian officials said at least seven civilians were killed and another 16 wounded, including an 11-year-old child.
Natalia Popova, an adviser to the Kharkiv Regional Council, told Ukrainian news media that the victims might have included people with hearing impairments. They might not have heard the wail of the alarm warning of the incoming missile, and might not be able to hear the calls of rescuers searching for survivors.
Only hours after firefighters had extinguished the blaze in the Saltivsky district, another Russian missile struck a building in the Slobidsky district as dawn broke on Thursday. As of now, 18 people have been injured in the strike on Thursday, and two of them are children, said Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv military administration, in a statement on Thursday morning. One person was killed. Over the past six months, Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, has been bombarded by a constant stream of incoming artillery, rockets and missiles. Russian forces tried to surround and capture the city early in the war, but failed and were eventually forced back by Ukrainian forces. Russia s eastern offensive is stalled, making no significant progress in the last six weeks, and Moscow has deployed thousands of soldiers to the south to defend against a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Ukrainian and Western military analysts say the Kremlin has never given up on its goal of capturing Kharkiv, which is 25 miles from the Russian border. It tried to force the city into submission, but it didn't have the ground forces to mount a sustained offensive.
The Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor s Office said more than 1,000 civilians had been killed and twice as many were wounded in Russian missile strikes, shelling and other attacks last week. There were 50 killed. When you hear about Kharkiv's pain, it hurts again, he said in a statement on his Telegram channel, posting a video of the aftermath of the strike. The city's mayor, Ihor Terekhov, said Wednesday that Moscow's ability to function despite the Russian attacks was one of the reasons that it continued to try to bring its residents to their knees. The attacks had picked up in recent days, and the mayor said it was a sign of Russian frustration over the city's unwillingness to bend. Today Russian troops shelled Kharkiv with such hatred, with such aggressiveness, such cynical destruction of the city occurs because Kharkiv does not give up, Kharkiv is a Ukrainian city that continues to live, he said. They purposefully destroyed the infrastructure to make Kharkiv residents freeze during the heating season.