Ukraine: Russian strikes leave three dead and around fifty injured in Kharkiv

Ukraine: Russian strikes leave three dead and around fifty injured in Kharkiv
Ukraine: Russian strikes leave three dead and around fifty injured in Kharkiv

Keystone-SDA

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June 22, 2024 – 9:59 p.m.

(Keystone-ATS) Russian strikes left three people dead and around fifty injured on Saturday in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, which is regularly bombed, authorities announced. This after a night already marked by a “massive” attack against the country’s energy system.

The Russian army struck this town, close to its border, using four “guided aerial bombs”, weapons with devastating force, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Telegram.

Three people died, a residential building having been hit, he lamented. Fifty-two other people were injured, including three teenage girls, the regional prosecutor’s office said.

The governor of the Kharkiv region, Oleg Synegoubov, said earlier that four injured people were “in serious condition”, with doctors “fighting for their lives”.

The building was gutted, all its windows blown out. Pieces of furniture and metal were scattered on the sidewalk along it, where a large hole indicated the probable impact of a bomb, near damaged cars.

A resident looked at the extent of the damage, his head in his hands, while rescuers evacuated the injured. The body of a woman was lying in front of a bus shelter, her bag still near her, noted an AFP journalist.

Dmytro, a resident, was in a room where “everything has been completely blown away, nothing is left”. By a miracle, he escaped safely. But he said he was so “scared” that his hands and voice were still shaking.

2400 bombs

The city of Kharkiv is often bereaved by Russian attacks.

Since the beginning of the month, the Russian army has used 2,400 guided aerial bombs, including 700 in the Kharkiv region alone, according to Volodymyr Zelensky.

The president, however, assured Saturday that Ukraine had managed, thanks to its Western partners, to destroy a “Russian missile launcher near the border”, securing the region.

At the end of May, Washington accepted that the Ukrainians would use American weapons to strike, in certain cases, targets on Russian territory close to this area.

This decision followed the launch, in early May, of a surprise ground offensive by Russia in the Kharkiv region, where fighting remains violent.

Moscow said it aimed to create a buffer zone in order to better defend its territory against strikes from kyiv, in particular the Belgorod region, bordering that of Kharkiv.

A civilian was killed there by a Ukrainian strike on a farm, its governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Saturday.

Energy network struggling

During the night, the Ukrainian energy network, already in difficulty, was the target of a new Russian attack. Facilities of Ukrenergo, a Ukrainian operator, were “damaged” in the regions of Zaporizhia (south) and Lviv (west), the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy said.

Ukrenergo said two of its employees were injured and hospitalized in Zaporizhia.

According to the ministry, this is the eighth “massive” attack on Ukrainian power plants in the past three months, leading to frequent power outages as the power grid struggles to withstand targeted Russian strikes.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that it had carried out a “grouped strike” against Ukrainian energy installations, “in response” to attacks by kyiv on its own territory.

Russia, by increasing its attacks, has destroyed half of Ukraine’s energy capacity, according to Mr. Zelensky.

kyiv is calling on its allies to help rebuild its electricity network, a project that requires significant investment, and to provide it with more air defense equipment to counter Russian bombing.

The Russian occupation authorities in the Zaporizhia region also claimed that Ukrainian attacks had damaged a substation of the nuclear power plant, controlled by Russian troops, while ensuring that nuclear security was not affected.

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