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Monday, June 27, 2022
HomeLatest NewsBrutal attack on civilians in Kharkiv: "We will never forgive the Russians"

Brutal attack on civilians in Kharkiv: “We will never forgive the Russians”

Date: June 27, 2022 9:17 pm
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Kharkiv, a city in eastern Ukraine, came under attack again on Tuesday. This time the target was the seat of the regional government. According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, a rocket attack took place on Svobody Square in Kharkiv, as a result of which six people were injured, including a child.

During the day on Tuesday, at least nine people were killed and 37 injured as Russian military forces fired multiple rockets at Kharkiv in what appears to be a change in Moscow’s tactics to bomb civilian areas. The mayor of the city, Igor Terekhov, said that three children were among the dead.

“Today we had a very difficult day. He showed us that this is not just a war, this is a massacre of the Ukrainian people,” Terekhov wrote in his Telegram account. “Rockets hit residential buildings, killing and injuring civilians. Kharkov has not seen such destruction for a long time. And it’s terrible.” He explained that four people died when they left the shelter to fetch water and a family of two adults, and that three children were burned to death in their car.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday called the rocket attack on Kharkiv a “war crime” that killed at least a dozen civilians. “Russian forces have brutally shelled Kharkiv with artillery,” Zelensky said in a message to the nation. “This is clearly a war crime in a peaceful city with peaceful residential areas, not military installations. Dozens of witnesses prove it, (…) that it was a deliberate destruction of the civilian population,” he said.

Other footage shows dozens of Grad rockets raining down on the center of Ukraine’s second-largest city and landing between residential buildings. One resident describes the attack as “terrible” and the worst to date after five days of relentless bombing and a Russian invasion.

Another shocking video shows the aftermath of an attack on the city’s main street, Klochkovskaya. A Grad rocket landed in front of house number 197 and tore off the leg of a woman who went shopping during curfew. He died shortly thereafter.

The attack came despite a phone call between French President Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin in which, according to the Elysee Palace, the Russian president said he was “ready to commit” to stopping attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure while how the peace negotiations took place in Belarus.

“A friend of my brother lives on this street. He saw what happened and heard the noise of the rocket. When he looked out onto the balcony, he saw a woman in agony, with a leg torn off to the side,” says Artem Vladimirovich, a 31-year-old English teacher.

The witness, who did not wish to be identified, took a photo from his balcony. It shows a blood stain and a part of the Grad rocket engine sticking out of the concrete pavement. Several stunned onlookers take photos with their phones.

Other video footage taken on Monday showed Russian rockets strafing the center of Kharkiv, apparently fired from a multiple rocket launcher (or, as it is called in English: a repeating rocket launcher, or MRLA). Flames, smoke and dust are drawn to the sky.

In this impossibility of communication, if you do not see … the heart breaks and a lump in the throat .. our beloved Kharkov .. Lord …

Published by Andrey Zdesenko on Monday, February 28, 2022

The unprecedented onslaught may be in response to Sunday’s events, when Ukrainian forces repelled Russian light armor that tried to enter and take over the city. Its governor Oleg Sinegubov says that Kharkiv is under the control of Kyiv, which is confirmed by residents.

Vladimirovich explains that he took the risk of going outside on Monday afternoon and went with his brother to the train station. According to him, the situation has worsened: “The shelling continues from morning to night. It’s terrible, just terrible.”

“I heard Gradov. They are different from the machine gun fire we are used to and can identify with. On both sides of the road, there are traces of tanks on the asphalt.” More rockets landed near 23 de Agosto metro station, north of the city center, he said.

Vladimirovich says that he is now fleeing the city on a packed train heading west. “I don’t know if my train will arrive,” he says. “I am with many foreigners from India and Pakistan. It’s free. There are no tickets, and we are crammed into the car.”

Planned attacks on civilians

Former Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zagorodniuk said that Russia is now using multiple launch rocket systems to attack civilian infrastructure. Grad attacks are taking place in Kyiv and Mariupol, he says, amid the Kremlin’s frustration that a military breakthrough has yet to occur.

“We believe that Russia will adapt its tactics without changing its strategic plans. This could include rocket and air strikes throughout Ukraine,” he says. And he adds: “In addition, a transition is expected from the “accidental” destruction of civilian objects (kindergartens, hospitals, apartment buildings) to planned terrorist actions aimed at striking civilian infrastructure. The goal is to create panic and force capitulation.”

Kharkiv is a Russian-speaking city with a population of 1.4 million people. Vladimir Putin said he was protecting Russian speakers when he launched his “special operation” in Ukraine last week. This statement is refuted by egregious shelling of residential areas.

“Is this the protection of the Russian-speaking population? We will never forgive Russia for all these deaths,” one of Ukraine’s leading journalists, Christina Berdinsky, tweeted on Monday.

Another video, filmed in Kharkiv, shows a Grad rocket standing in the living room of a dilapidated private apartment. Water falls from a hole in the ceiling. A puddle grows on the ground. The rocket did not explode.

An ordinary apartment in Kharkov today
This is what Russia is doing in Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/SyRTXZvov7

— Ilya Ponomarenko (@IAPonomarenko) February 28, 2022

EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell tweeted that the attack on Kharkiv “violates the laws of war,” adding that “the EU remains steadfast with Ukraine at these dramatic moments.”

Talked to @DmytroKuleba. Yesterday’s shelling of civilian infrastructure in Kharkiv violates wartime laws.

The EU stands unwaveringly on the side of Ukraine in these dramatic moments. pic.twitter.com/gfkBbHCRnB

— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) March 1, 2022

“New Stalingrad”.

By contrast, the country’s capital, Kyiv, was relatively calm as supermarkets reopened and residents were allowed to leave bomb shelters and their homes for the first time since Saturday’s curfew.

Meanwhile, the strategic port city of Mariupol is “holding on,” according to Oleksiy Arestovich, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Residents say this eastern port city on the Sea of ​​Azov is surrounded by Russian troops and under heavy fire.

“We heard planes in the sky. He is covered. We cannot know if they are ours or Russians,” Anatoly Lozar says from the basement where he hides with his family.

Lozar says he helped evacuate civilians after another night of heavy shelling. According to him, Russian warplanes bombed the village of Shirokino, 20 km west of Mariupol, and Ukrainian soldiers were injured.

The city, located on the border with the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, remains under Ukrainian control, he said. And he adds: “We have become the new Stalingrad. We are killing Russians. Some were imprisoned. Families hide in cellars. They are horrified. A large number of volunteers went into the army. We have weapons. We will fight to the end.”

Lozar says attempts were made to evacuate the wounded by helicopter, but they came under fire from the Russians. He says some Russian sabotage groups rented apartments in the city before the invasion and planned attacks.

Russia closer

Despite the slow start of a five-day military offensive and fierce resistance from Ukraine, Russia is moving closer to its strategic goal of capturing a 240-kilometer strip along the Sea of ​​Azov between the Crimean peninsula and Mariupol.

On Sunday, Russian military equipment entered Berdyansk, a small port city of about 100,000 people. The soldiers seized the government building in the city. A crowd gathered on the street to protest and sing the anthem of Ukraine. They also chanted: “Putin is an asshole.”

“Putin is a moron! Putin is a moron!” Ukrainians in Berdyansk are reported to be chanting slogans against Russian troops who took the city last night pic.twitter.com/Mk49qJy0Yr

— Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) February 28, 2022

The Russian news agency Interfax reported that Russian troops had advanced from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson towards the city of Nikolaev.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s State Communications Service said in a Telegram message that a rocket hit a residential building in the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, close to the border with Belarus.

Translated by Julian Knochert.

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