Russian missile attack on Ukraine's Kharkiv kills five, causes fire

The mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhov, said five others were missing after the strike

Reuters
Published : 21 March 2024, 03:53 AM
Updated : 21 March 2024, 03:53 AM

A Russian missile hit an industrial area in Ukraine's northern city of Kharkiv on Wednesday, killing at least five people and injuring eight while causing a major fire in a printing house, local authorities said.

The mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhov, said five others were missing after the strike. In a later posting on Telegram at about 11 pm local time, he said Kharkiv had come under fresh shelling, with explosions in the city.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the strike underscored the lack of proper air defences in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, and elsewhere, particularly in northern regions near the Russian border.

"Kharkiv needs an adequate number of air defence systems, Sumy region needs it, Chernihiv region and all our regions suffering from Russian terror need it," Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.

"Our partners have these defence systems. And our partners need to understand that air defences must protect lives."

The Kharkiv region, which borders Russia to the north and lies close to the frontline, has suffered regular drone and missile attacks during Russia's two-year-old invasion.

The X-59 missile struck the multistorey industrial building in the afternoon.

"The building houses production facilities and offices. This is an act of terrorism because it was conducted at a time when the vast majority of the people are at work," Volodymyr Tymoshko, head of the regional police, was quoted as saying on a police account on Telegram.

"In addition to the five dead, there are another five who are missing," Terekhov, the mayor, said on Telegram.

"We have identified them, but they are not among either the injured or the dead."

Terekhov said the fire, which had spread quickly, had been almost brought under control at the site.

One of the reasons for the severe fire was that a printing house was located in the building, Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Synehubov said.

A furniture and paint products factory also came under attack, Serhiy Bolvinov, the head of the investigative department of the regional police, said.

Moscow denies deliberately attacking civilians in the full-scale invasion of Ukraine which it launched in February 2022, although many have been killed in frequent Russian air strikes across the country.