Strikes kill 11 in Ukraine region under Russian offensive

Twenty-seven were wounded in strike on a recreation centre, with one employee missing, prosecutors office said

By Agencies
May 20, 2024
Russian military investigators work in a restaurant building hit by recent shelling, which local authorities called a Ukrainian military strike, in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict in Donetsk, May 11, 2024. — Reuters

KYIV, Ukraine: Russian attacks on Ukraine’s Kharkiv region on Sunday killed at least 11 people, said authorities in the border area facing a new offensive by Moscow’s forces.


Russian forces since May 10 carried out a ground assault in the northeastern region, where they achieved their biggest territorial gains in a year-and-a-half.

Their progress had been stopped, Kyiv said -- a claim contradicted by Moscow.

Six people -- including a pregnant woman -- were killed on the outskirts of Kharkiv city by a missile attack launched from Russia’s territory of Belgorod, Ukrainian authorities said.

Twenty-seven were wounded in the strike on a recreation centre, with one employee missing, the prosecutors office said.

“Among the wounded is a police officer and an ambulance paramedic who came to help people after the first hit,” the Kharkiv prosecutors office said.

It accused Russian forces of “once again using the tactic of ’repeated strike’... aimed at killing civilians, law enforcement officers, medics, and rescuers.”

Russia has often been accused of using “double-tap” attacks, in which a second strike follows shortly after the first, increasing the chances of casualties among those responding to the initial incident.

Moscow insists it only targets military infrastructure.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reacted to the strike, saying Russia used its weapons to “terrorise our cities and communities, to kill ordinary people”. Zelensky asked for “two Patriots for Kharkiv (which) will fundamentally change the situation”, referring to the sophisticated US-made air defence system. Shortly after, authorities reported another attack in the Kharkiv region.

“Five civilians were killed and nine injured as a result of shelling of Novoosynove and Kivsharivka villages with multiple rocket launchers,” governor Oleg Synegubov said.

After launching increased aerial strikes, Russia carried out a ground assault in the border region on May 10.