Four killed in Russian air strikes on Ukrainian cities

Olena Harmash and Pavel Polityuk |

Several people have been killed in Russian missile strikes on two Ukrainian cities.
Several people have been killed in Russian missile strikes on two Ukrainian cities.

Russia has unleashed a mass air strike on Ukraine, local officials say, killing at least four people and wounding more than 60 others.

The early-morning missile attacks on Tuesday mostly targeted the country’s two largest cities, the capital Kyiv and Kharkiv in the east.

Three people were killed and 42 wounded in Kharkiv in strikes on apartment buildings, Governor Oleh Synehubov said on Telegram.

Rescue workers were still digging through rubble to search for survivors, Mayor Ihor Terekhov told local television.

He said 30 apartment buildings had been damaged in the strikes.

A building destroyed by missiles
Russian missiles have struck Ukraine’s two largest cities – Kharkiv and the capital Kyiv. (AP PHOTO)

A gas pipeline in Kharkiv was also damaged and was being repaired, state energy firm Naftogaz said.

In Kyiv, Mayor Vitalii Klitschko said 20 people including three children had been wounded across at least three districts, and that several apartments and non-residential buildings had caught fire.

At one site, rescuers tended to dazed and groaning victims as workers swept away debris and broken glass.

Some of the damage had occurred next to the United Nations office in Kyiv, resident co-ordinator Denise Brown said in a statement.

The city’s military administration said doctors were still fighting for one victim’s life.

Reuters journalists reported hearing several waves of explosions in and around Kyiv and saw burning debris falling from the sky.

“Strong explosions, our house … was shaking,” lawmaker Iryna Geraschenko wrote on Telegram.

One person was also killed in the southeast city of Pavlohrad, the regional governor said.

Ukraine’s air force said the military had destroyed 21 out of 41 missiles of various types fired by Russia.

A senior Ukrainian general, Serhiy Naiev, posted a video that he said depicted air defence forces shooting down a Russian missile with a machine gun.

Kyiv has repeatedly called for higher quantities of advanced air defence systems from its Western partners as it struggles to defend itself from the combined Russian strikes.

“The world must understand that this terror can only be stopped by force,” the head of Ukraine’s presidential administration, Andriy Yermak, wrote on Telegram.

Officials in the northern region of Sumy also said critical infrastructure had been damaged by a missile strike on the city of Shostka.

Russia, which did not immediately comment on the attack, has carried out regular air strikes on cities and civilian infrastructure far behind the front line of its almost two-year-old war in Ukraine.

Moscow had accused Kyiv on Sunday of shelling the Russian-occupied eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, killing 27 people. 

Ukrainian forces said Russia bore responsibility for the attack.