Russian forces continue rocket attacks on Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, and the surrounding countryside, killing at least 20 people in a bid to force Kyiv to withdraw resources from the main battlefield to protect civilians from attack. .
- Russian forces resume efforts to target northeastern city of Kharkiv, killing dozens in bombings
- Ukrainian aid crossed a river in the besieged city of Sievierodonetsk earlier this week
- Ukraine and Russia celebrate “Day of Remembrance and Sorrow”, the anniversary of the day Hitler’s Germany invaded the Soviet Union
Inside Russia, a fire broke out at an oil refinery just eight kilometers from the Ukrainian border, following what the refinery described as a cross-border attack by two drones.
In the town of Sievierodonetsk on the main battlefield, where Russia claims to have surrounded Ukrainian forces since last week, scenes filmed by a freelance journalist made it clear that the battle was not over, with Ukrainian troops being able to supply their guard. a river with inflatable rafts.
The Russian strikes in Kharkov – all through Tuesday and continued until Wednesday morning – were the worst in weeks in the region where normal life had returned since Ukraine repulsed Russian forces in a major counterattack last month.
“It was bombed by Russian troops. It was probably multiple rocket launchers. And it’s the rocket impact, it’s the whole rocket collision,” Kharkiv prosecutor Mikhail Martos told Reuters amid the rubble area on the outskirts of the city. .
A World War II survivor was killed by bombing
Doctors transported an elderly woman’s body from the rubble of a burned-out garage to a nearby van.
“There is nowhere to go. Especially the grandmother herself, she did not want to go anywhere from here.”
Ukrainian authorities say 15 people were killed and 16 wounded in the Kharkiv region on Tuesday, and regional governor Oleh Sinegubov described Wednesday morning bombings that had killed at least five other people.
“And if they continue to do that, we have to react – and that’s a way of forcing us to move our artillery,” he said.
“The idea is to create a big problem to distract us and force us to divert troops. I think there will be an escalation.”
In an afternoon military briefing, Ukraine’s General Staff recorded ongoing heavy Russian bombardment of Kharkov and other towns and villages in the area, and airstrikes on the devastated city of Sievierodonetsk, among others.
Russian forces have made slow progress using overwhelming artillery in some of the toughest ground battles in Europe since World War II.
Moscow says Ukrainian forces in Sievierodonetsk are trapped and ordered them to surrender or die last week after the destruction of the last bridge over the Siverskyi Donets River.
However, Oleksandr Ratushniak, a freelance photographer who arrived in Sievierodonetsk with Ukrainian forces in recent days, filmed the aid passing on an inflatable raft.
Inside the ruins of the front line industrial zone, Ukrainian troops fired from the main cannon of a tank. They were smoking cigarettes while hiding from the Russian artillery that exploded outside.
A normal job, said one soldier: “For us it ‘s like digging potatoes.”
A drone attack was reported on a Russian oil factory
There was no immediate comment from Ukraine on the alleged drone strike, which halted production at Russia’s Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery on the Russian side of the Donbass-controlled border with pro-Russian separatists.
The video posted on social media shows a drone flying to the refinery before a large ball of flame rises in the summer sky.
The local emergency service, quoted by Interfax, said no one was injured and the fire was extinguished.
Ukraine has generally not commented on reports of attacks on Russian infrastructure near the border, which it has previously called “karma” for Russian attacks on Ukraine.
In a separate incident, Russian authorities said four people had been killed after a shell exploded at an ammunition depot deep inside Russia.
In southern Ukraine, officials say seven Russian missiles hit the port of Mykolaiv, killing at least one person and causing several large fires.
Global grain trader Viterra said its grain terminal in the port of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine had been hit and burned.
Ukraine and Russia mark the Day of Remembrance and Sorrow
Wednesday was marked in both Russia and Ukraine as a “Day of Remembrance and Sorrow,” the anniversary of the day Hitler’s Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
Russian President Vladimir Putin laid flowers at the flame in memory of the dead.
World War II – in which 27 million Soviet civilians were killed – played a prominent role in Russia’s comments about the invasion of Ukraine, which Putin called a “special operation” to eradicate the Nazis.
Kyiv and the West call it an unfounded excuse for a war that would wipe out Ukraine’s identity as a separate nation.
“Psychiatrists of the future will look at how, after building the cult of World War II for years, Russia began to recreate bloody pages of history and every step of the Nazis,” Ukraine’s presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.
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