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Ukraine: Death toll from Russian strike on Kharkov hypermarket rises to 12 dead and 43 wounded

“Pure terrorism.” The death toll from the Russian strike on DIY hypermarket Epicenter in Ukraine’s second city Kharkov rose to 12 on Sunday, a day after the attack, which Ukraine’s president called “despicable” as the Russian army launched ground offensive. in the region.

“As of this morning, we have information that as a result of Russian airstrikes on Epicenter, twelve people were killed, ten of whom have not yet been identified,” the mayor of the city, Igor Terekhov, said in a Telegram. As for the wounded, their number “is 43 people,” he added. The day before, he stressed that “the attack took place in a shopping center where there were many people,” condemning “pure terrorism.”

A little earlier, the governor of the region, Oleg Sinegubov, also said on Telegram that “unfortunately, the number of deaths in Epicenter has increased to 11.” The day before, he said at least six people were killed, about forty others were injured and 16 were missing after the attack, which he said was carried out using two guided bombs.

“Kill and terrorize people”

Footage broadcast on Ukrainian social networks shows the building of the Epicenter hypermarket with a gutted roof, from which a huge column of black smoke is pouring out; firefighters are extinguishing the fire caused by the impacts with water. According to them, the fire covered 10,000 m2, but it was contained.

The Russian state agency TASS, citing a source in the Russian security services, reported that a “military warehouse and command post” were destroyed in the building as a result of the missile attack.

But as far as Kyiv is concerned, Russian forces deliberately attacked civilians. “Russia dealt another brutal blow to our city of Kharkov – a construction hypermarket – on Saturday, in the middle of the day,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in response on his social networks, condemning the attack in broad daylight on “an obviously civilian building.” target. The Epicenter hypermarket chain sells household appliances and household goods.

“Only crazy people like Putin are capable of killing and terrorizing people in such a vile way,” he also accused. According to him, during the strike there were “more than 200 people” inside the hypermarket.

The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmitry Kuleba, also criticized “barbaric war crimes against civilians” on his X account, accusing Moscow of “a heinous strike to ensure maximum casualties.” “He cannot occupy Kharkov, so he is trying to kill him,” he also wrote.

French President Emmanuel Macron, in turn, considered this Russian strike “unacceptable.” “France shares the pain of the Ukrainians and remains fully mobilized on their side,” the head of state wrote on X, regretting the “numerous victims, children, women, men,” “families.”

“Save people”

Separately, a new strike took place in central Kharkov on Saturday evening, leaving 25 people injured in an area where there is a post office, a hairdresser’s and a cafe, Mayor Igor Terekhov said in the latest report, which he said would be a “rocket attack”.

The Ukrainian president once again called on his Western allies to provide his country with more air defense systems. “If Ukraine had enough air defense systems and modern combat aircraft, such Russian strikes would be impossible,” he said. “Every day we appeal to the world: give us air defense, save people.”

Dmitry Kuleba also called on Kyiv’s allies to “act immediately,” starting with “providing Ukraine with additional air defense and supporting Ukrainian strikes on military targets in Russia.” Western partners currently refuse to allow weapons supplied to Ukraine to be used against Russian territory.

The city of Kharkov, home to 1.5 million people before the war and located near the Russian border in northeastern Ukraine, has been regularly attacked by Moscow’s forces, which also launched a ground offensive in the region on May 10. This offensive allowed them to capture several settlements and force Kyiv to send reinforcements to this area. Ukraine, however, assured on Friday that the attack had “stopped.”

Source: Le Parisien

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