Russian forces fired rockets at Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and surrounding countryside, killing at least 15 people, with Kyiv using resources from the main battlefield to protect civilians from the attack. Declared an attempt to force eviction.
Inside Russia, a fire broke out at an oil refinery just 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the Ukrainian border.Russia’s TASS news agency quoted a local official as saying he had been hit by a drone.
Russia’s attacks on Kharkiv, which lasted Tuesday and Wednesday morning, were the worst for weeks in the region, where normalcy has returned to normal since Ukraine pushed back Russian forces in a major counter-attack last month. had been.
“It simply came to our notice then. These were probably more than one rocket launcher.And that’s the effect of missiles, that’s the effect of all missiles, “Kharkiv prosecutor Mikhailo Martush told Reuters on Tuesday in a rural area on the outskirts of the city between the ruins of a cottage.
Medical personnel pulled the body of an elderly woman out of the rubble of a burnt garage and dumped it in a nearby van.
“She was 85 years old. A girl from the war (World War II). She survived a war, but did not succeed in that war,” said her grandson Makita. “There’s no place to run. Grandma herself, she didn’t want to leave.”
Ukrainian officials say 15 people were killed and 16 wounded in shelling in the Kharkiv region on Tuesday, with reports of more casualties in the night and Wednesday morning attacks.
“And if they keep doing that, we have to react – and that’s one way we can move our artillery,” he said. “The idea is to create a big problem to distract us and force us to withdraw the troops. I think it will increase.”
Kharkiv was sentenced to Russian shelling for the first three months of the war, but has largely escaped a Ukrainian retaliation more than a month ago.
The main battlefield is now south of the Donbass region, which Moscow is trying to seize with its separatist proxies.
In Donbass, Ukrainian forces are still battling a large-scale Russian offensive, with Moscow’s only slow progress despite the deployment of heavy artillery in the heaviest ground battle in Europe since World War II. Is.
Ukraine did not immediately comment on the fire at Russia’s Novoshaktinsk oil refinery, which is located on the Russian side of the border with the pro-Russian separatist-controlled Donbass region.
Video footage posted on social media showed a drone flying towards the refinery before a large ball of flames and black smoke rose into the summer sky. No one was injured and the fire was contained, the local emergency service said, citing Interfax.
Ukraine generally does not comment on reports of attacks on Russian infrastructure near the border. In the past, it has called such incidents “karma” for Russian attacks on Ukraine.
Wednesday is celebrated in both Russia and Ukraine as a “day of remembrance and grief,” the anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany. An estimated 27 million Soviet citizens were killed in World War II.
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In Russia, President Vladimir Putin was expected to lay flowers at the memorial. World War II plays a significant role in Russian propaganda about the invasion of Ukraine, which Putin called a “special operation” to uproot the “Nazis.”
Kyiv and the West believe the war is baseless justification for restoring Moscow’s rule over its neighbor and erasing Ukraine’s identity as a separate nation.
“The bombing took place at 4:30 am. The word ‘war’ was banned. Other countries were blamed for the aggression. , Russia began to recreate the bloody pages of history and every single Nazi Step, “tweeted Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podoliak.