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Russian attack on Kharkiv ‘kills three and injures 23’

Officials said a densely populated area in Ukraine’s second-largest city was shelled.

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Rescuers load the body of a victim killed by Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, July 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)

Rescuers load the body of a victim killed by Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, July 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)

Rescuers load the body of a victim killed by Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, July 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)

Russian shelling pounded a densely populated area in Ukraine’s second-largest city on Thursday, killing at least three people and injuring at least 23 with a barrage that struck a mosque, a medical facility and a shopping area, said officials.

Police in the north-east city of Kharkiv said cluster bombs hit Barabashovo Market. Local officials said the shelling also struck a bus stop, a gym and a residential building.

The bombardment came after Russia reiterated its plans to seize territories beyond eastern Ukraine, where the Russian military has spent months trying to conquer Ukraine’s Donbas region, south of Kharkiv.

The Russian army is randomly shelling Kharkiv, peaceful residential areas, civilians are being killedKharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov

Ukrainian officials recently announced their plans to try to recapture Russian-occupied areas near the country’s southern Black Sea coast.

Kharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov said the attacks early on Thursday targeted one of the most crowded areas of the city, which had a pre-war population of about 1.4 million.

He said: “The Russian army is randomly shelling Kharkiv, peaceful residential areas, civilians are being killed. Be careful!”

The police claim that cluster bombs hit Barabashovo Market could not be independently confirmed.

The Kharkiv region’s governor, Oleh Syniehubov, said four people were in a grave condition and a child was among those wounded in the shelling. Russian forces also have shelled wheat fields in the area, setting them on fire, he said.

Elsewhere, Russian forces shelled the southern city of Mykolaiv overnight as well as the eastern cities of Kramatorsk and Kostiantynivka, where two schools were destroyed after a civilian was killed Wednesday, Ukrainian officials said.

As of early on Thursday, Russian shelling of cities across Ukraine killed at least five people and wounded at least 17 more in 24 hours, Ukraine’s presidential office reported.

When it invaded Ukraine on February 24, Russia quickly seized territory but withdrew from the capital region and north after about six weeks to concentrate on seizing Donetsk and Luhansk, which pro-Moscow separatists have partly controlled since 2014.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told state-controlled RT television and the RIA Novosti news agency in an interview on Wednesday that Russia plans to retain control over more territory, including the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions in the south.

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Ukrainian soldiers ride on a tank on a road in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine (Nariman El-Mofty/AP/PA)

Ukrainian soldiers ride on a tank on a road in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine (Nariman El-Mofty/AP/PA)

Ukrainian soldiers ride on a tank on a road in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine (Nariman El-Mofty/AP/PA)

Analysts from the Institute for the Study of War, a think tank based in Washington, said the Russian offensive in Donetsk was likely to stall before reaching the cities of Sloviansk and Bakhmut.

“Russian troops are now struggling to move across relatively sparsely settled and open terrain. They will encounter terrain much more conducive to the Ukrainian defenders,” their assessment said.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s military reported on Thursday that Russian forces attempted to storm the Vuhlehirska power station in the Donetsk region, but “Ukrainian defenders made the enemy resort to fleeing”.

Ukraine forces also struck a key bridge on the Dnieper River for the second time in as many days, apparently trying to loosen Russia’s grip on the southern Kherson region.

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Maksym and Andrii, both 11, hold plastic guns and salute Ukrainian soldiers at a self-made checkpoint on a highway in Kharkiv (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP/PA)

Maksym and Andrii, both 11, hold plastic guns and salute Ukrainian soldiers at a self-made checkpoint on a highway in Kharkiv (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP/PA)

Maksym and Andrii, both 11, hold plastic guns and salute Ukrainian soldiers at a self-made checkpoint on a highway in Kharkiv (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP/PA)

“Russia is prioritising the capture of critical national infrastructure, such as power plants,” the British Ministry of Defence said on Thursday.

“However, it is probably also attempting to break through at Vuhlehirska, as part of its efforts to regain momentum on the southern pincer of its advance towards the key cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.”

Fighting also persists in the Luhansk region, next to Donetsk, but it has not been fully captured by the Russian military, governor Serhiy Haidai said.


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