Russian shelling of Ukraine’s second-largest city has killed at least six people and injured 31 including children, the local administrator said, hours after three missile strikes on Kharkiv which the official described as “absolute terrorism”.
Regional governor Oleh Syniehubov said the shelling came from multiple rocket launchers, and those taken to hospital included children aged four and 16.
“Only civilian structures — a shopping centre and houses of peaceful Kharkiv residents — came under the fire of the Russians. Several shells hit the yards of private houses. Garages and cars were also destroyed, several fires broke out,” he said.
Earlier, he said that one of the missiles the Russian forces launched on Kharkiv overnight destroyed a school, another hit a residential building, and the third landed near warehouse facilities.
“All (three were launched) exclusively on civilian objects, this is absolute terrorism!” Mr Syniehubov said.
The strikes came two days after a Russian rocket attack struck apartment buildings in eastern Ukraine, killing at least 30 people.
The strike late on Saturday destroyed three buildings in a residential quarter of the town of Chasiv Yar, inhabited mostly by people who work in nearby factories.
A total of nine people have been rescued from the rubble but more are still believed trapped, emergency officials said.
Russian attacks in the east have continued, with the governor of the Luhansk region saying on Monday that the shelling hit settlements on the administrative border with the Donetsk region.
Kremlin forces carried out five missile strikes and four massive rounds of shelling in the area, Serhiy Haidai said.
The Luhansk and Donetsk regions make up Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland known as Donbas, where separatist rebels have fought Ukrainian forces since 2014.
Russia earlier this month captured the last major stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in Luhansk, the city of Lysychansk.
After the seizure of Lysychansk some analysts predicted Moscow’s troops would take some time to rearm and regroup but Ukrainian officials said there has been no pause in attacks.
(5/6) One woman claimed that personnel of EMD’s 5th Separate Guards Tank Brigade are ‘mentally and physically exhausted’, because they have been on active combat duty since the launch of the ‘special military operation’ on 24 February 2022.
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) July 11, 2022
The British military assessed that Russian troops were not getting necessary breaks.
The Ministry of Defence wrote on Twitter that online videos suggested at least one tank brigade in the war was “mentally and physically exhausted” as it had been on active combat duty since the start of the war in February.
The MoD said: “The lack of scheduled breaks from intense combat conditions is highly likely one of the most damaging of the many personnel issues the Russian (defence ministry) is struggling to rectify amongst the deployed force.”
Also on Monday, the main Russian gas pipeline to Germany began a 10-day closure for maintenance amid European fears that Moscow may not turn the flow back on after its completion.