Conflicts & War

Russian artillery crushes Kharkiv

By Luis Lidón

Kharkiv, Ukraine, Jun 23 (EFE).- Russian artillery fire is relentlessly grinding down on Kharkiv and its outlying region, flattening refineries, factories, subway stations, schools, houses and churches.

The northern neighborhoods and sleeper towns of Kharkiv have been the most affected by Moscow’s siege due their proximity to the Russian border and the front line.

“Russian occupiers do not stop bombing the civilian population, so once again I urge everyone to be as careful as possible, not to be on the street without urgent need and to hide in shelters if the sirens sound,” the Kharkiv governor, Oleh Synehubov, said on Telegram Wednesday night.


Synehubov added that 10 civilians were killed and 10 more were injured during Russia’s shelling on Wednesday. In Pryshib, a small town in the Izium district, five women were killed.

Since Tuesday, at least 30 civilians have died in the Kharkiv region in different attacks, where multiple buildings have also been destroyed, including a high school, subway wagons that were in storage, houses and industrial plants.

A refinery is also on fire due to a bombing last weekend.

Kharkiv is one of the three most affected regions by the war along with Donetsk and Kyiv.

“A rocket blew through the ceiling when I was in my office,” Petro Zaikin, the director of a boiler provider based on an industrial estate, tells Efe.

Miraculously Zaikin was unharmed in Wednesday’s attack.

The explosion flattened several cars and part of the building where the company’s offices are located. Two were injured – a worker and a neighbor who had cuts due to the broken windows caused by the blast wave.

The projectile used in the attack, which punctured the tarmac, was unknown, but due to its range, it could be a BM-21 “Grad” from a multiple rocket launcher.

The Russian army has been pummeling Kharkiv’s industrial zone, just 40 kilometers from Russia, for some time now.

When asked why he thinks Kremlin forces have targetted this area, Zaikin says that “it’s just bad luck, they’re always bombing.”


After a short stint of relative calm, Russian attacks on Kharkiv have ramped up.

In May, a Ukrainian offensive pushed Russian forces beyond artillery range, allowing the residents who had not already fled — it is estimated around two-thirds of Kharkiv’s 1.4 million population has left the city — to emerge from underground shelters and partially reopen the city.

But Russian troops have strengthened their numbers and may attempt a fresh offensive, according to Ukrainian forces.

Other analysts think Moscow is intent on sending the message that it will not allow life to return to normal in the Russian-speaking city that was once a key industrial Soviet hub.

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