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Russian airstrike hits home improvement store in Ukraine’s Kharkiv, over 200 people reportedly inside

Source: Meduza

On the afternoon of May 25, Russia bombed a large home improvement store in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. The Ukrainian authorities say that hundreds of people were inside at the time of the strike. Over 10 people have been confirmed dead — a number expected to rise as rescue workers clear the rubble. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack, calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “madman.” Zelensky also urged Western governments to provide Ukraine with the necessary defense systems to protect against continued Russian attacks. Here’s what we know about the deadly bombing.

Update: On Monday afternoon, Kharkiv Regional Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported that the death toll from the May 25 strike had risen to 18 people. Another 48 people were injured and five are still missing.

Russian forces dropped two aerial bombs on the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Saturday afternoon, hitting a large home improvement store, reported Kharkiv Regional Governor Oleh Syniehubov. According to the Ukrainian authorities, more than 200 people were inside the store at the time of the strike. A fire broke out at the scene, completely engulfing the building in flames.

At least 14 people were killed and no fewer than 43 were injured, according to the latest data. Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said that “there are many people missing and many wounded.” “It seems this strike was specifically aimed at the shopping center, where many people were present — this is pure terrorism,” he added.

Russia dropped aerial bombs on a shopping center in Kharkiv, Ukraine

Initial reports indicate that Russian forces used UMPB D-30 bombs in the strike, a type they have previously used in attacks on the city, said Dmytro Chubenko, the spokesman for the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office. The Prosecutor’s Office reported that the strike was carried out at 4:00 p.m. local time by Russian Air Force planes in Russia’s Belgorod region. Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said that the fire was contained by 5:45 p.m. local time.

Following the first attack, Russian forces struck Kharkiv’s Central Park, Terekhov reported. According to him, there were no casualties there. Later, Terekhov wrote that Russian troops also hit a residential area in the city center, injuring at least 18 people. A 13-year-old child is among the wounded.

Following the attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky renewed his call for Western countries to strengthen Ukraine’s air defense:

If Ukraine had sufficient air defense systems and modern combat aircraft, these kinds of Russian strikes would become impossible. And that’s why we appeal to all leaders and nations: we need a significant boost in air defense capabilities and sufficient means to eliminate Russian terrorists. This is a task that can only be accomplished together with the world. Every day, we call on the world, saying: give us air defense systems, save lives. Every missed opportunity to support us costs the lives of our people.

The Ukrainian president also expressed outrage over the attack, calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “madman”:

This strike on Kharkiv is yet another example of Russian madness. There’s no other way to describe it. Only madmen like Putin are capable of killing and terrorizing people so despicably. We already know that there are wounded and dead. My condolences go out to their families and loved ones. Everyone affected will receive the necessary help.

The Russian Defense Ministry has not commented on the strike on the store in Kharkiv. However, the Russian state news agency TASS, citing sources in Russian security forces, claimed that a “Ukrainian Armed Forces warehouse, located in a shopping center in Kharkiv, was destroyed.”

Russian forces regularly carry out strikes on Kharkiv using missiles, guided aerial bombs, and drones. On May 10, Russia launched a new ground attack in the border areas of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region.

Russia’s new offensive in the area

Russia launches new offensive in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

Russia’s new offensive in the area

Russia launches new offensive in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

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