Death toll rises to 52 after Russian attack on Ukrainian village of Hroza

A missile slammed into a cafe and grocery store in the Ukrainian village as people gathered to mourn a fallen soldier, the governor said

Published : 5 Oct 2023, 05:18 PM
Updated : 5 Oct 2023, 05:18 PM

The death toll from a Russian missile strike on the village of Hroza in northeastern Ukraine rose to 52 on Friday after another victim died overnight in hospital, the regional governor said.

A missile slammed into a cafe and grocery store in the village on Thursday as people gathered to mourn a fallen Ukrainian soldier.

"Fifty-two people died as a result of this missile attack. One person died in a medical facility," Oleh Synehubov, governor of the Kharkiv region, told Ukrainian television. "People are still there (in hospitals). The injuries are quite serious."

Synehubov said rescuers were still working at the scene of the attack.

Three days of mourning was announced in the Kharkiv region after the deadliest attack in the region since Russia's invasion more than 19 months ago. It was also one of the biggest civilian death tolls in any single Russian strike.

Moscow denies deliberately targeting civilians, but many have been killed in attacks that have hit residential areas as well as energy, defence, port, grain and other facilities.

President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was attending a summit with European leaders in Spain, said that "the Russian terror should be stopped".

"Now we are talking with European leaders, in particular, about strengthening our air defence, about strengthening our soldiers, about giving our country protection from terror," he said in a post on the Telegram messaging app.

Russia has frequently carried out air strikes since the start of its full-scale invasion in February 2022, and Ukraine has launched a counteroffensive in the south and east that it says is gradually making progress.