A tragic incident unfolded in eastern Ukraine’s city, Kharkiv, when Russian missiles took the lives of a 10-year-old boy and his grandmother on Friday. The brutal strike came shortly after a separate assault that resulted in numerous casualties at a wake in a neighbouring village.
An AFP correspondent present at the site reported that rescue teams in Kharkiv were battling fires near burnt vehicles. The explosion’s aftermath showcased a massive crater in the city’s heart, with remnants of the missile scattered around.
Surrounding multi-storey buildings bore the scars of the missile’s devastating impact. An alarming number of windows had shattered, and the visibly shaken locals moved around what once were bustling housing complexes.
President Zelensky’s Condemnation
President Volodymyr Zelensky mourned the young victim’s death, referring to the missile strikes as further evidence of “Russian terror.” Expressing his sorrow to the bereaved family, Zelensky continued to stand firm against the aggressors.
Later, Kharkiv’s regional governor, Oleg Synegubov, confirmed the sad discovery of another deceased individual and noted that the assault had injured 28 residents. The discovered body was identified as the 68-year-old grandmother of the deceased boy, who had an 11-month-old brother injured in the strike.
Elaborating on the attack’s details, Synegubov recounted how two missiles wreaked havoc upon the city. One missile targeted a central road, while another ignited a raging fire after crashing into a three-storey building, filling the sky with thick, black smoke.
Recent attacks aren’t isolated incidents. Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, has faced constant shelling since Russia’s military incursion in February of the preceding year. Bordering Russia, the city’s strategic importance can’t be overstated.
In his evening address, Zelensky issued a grim warning, anticipating Russia’s attempt to cripple Ukraine’s power grid in the forthcoming winter months. Highlighting the nation’s readiness, Zelensky expressed, “We are fully aware of the danger.”
Village Strike: A Somber Toll
The city’s assault coincided with Synegubov updating the previous day’s missile strike’s casualty numbers in the region. This earlier attack’s victim count rose to 52 following another death in medical care.
The Kremlin reiterated its stance, denying targeting Ukrainian civilians. “Strikes focus on military objectives,” affirmed Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
The Groza village attack garnered international attention and condemnation. Many victims were attending a Ukrainian soldier’s wake. A soldier killed a month after the Russian invasion had been initially buried in Dnipro, a central city. Due to the village’s then-Russian occupation, he was re-interred in Groza, where the subsequent missile strike took the lives of his wife and soldier son.
On Friday morning, rescuers were observed clearing the debris from the obliterated cafe and adjacent store in Kharkiv.