Russian Strikes Kill 4, Injure 20 in Ukraine’s Kharkiv

Four people were killed and more than a dozen others injured Thursday by early-morning Russian bombardments on the northeast Ukrainian region of Kharkiv, the governor said.

The attacks come hours ahead of a meeting between the Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN chief Antonio Guterres on the other side of the country and after Russian attacks on Kharkiv a day early left at least seven dead.

Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv has been subjected to persistent Russian shelling since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion in late February.

The head of the Kharkiv region Oleg Synegubov said Moscow’s forces had launched eight missiles from Russian territory at around 0430 local time (0130 GMT) striking western and northern districts of the city.

In the southern Slobidskyi district, “one of the missiles hit a four-story dormitory. The building is partially destroyed. Preliminarily, two people died, 18 got injured, including 2 children. The detailed information is being clarified,” Synegubov said in a statement on social media.

AFP journalists on the scene saw the smoldering remains of several burnt out buildings and twisted wreckage of destroyed vehicles nearby.

Separately, he said, Russian missile attacks on the town of Krasnograd around 100 kilometers (62 miles) south west of Kharkiv had destroyed several residential buildings in strikes that left two civilians dead and two injured, including a 12-year-old.

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Russian forces initially tried to capture Kharkiv early in their assault on Ukraine but were pushed back and have been shelling mostly northern residential districts of the city since.

Moscow claims Ukraine is storing military equipment near civilian infrastructure, a claim Ukraine denies.

The Turkish leader and Guterres brokered a grain export deal between Moscow and Kyiv, allowing grain to exported from Ukraine’s blockaded Black Sea ports.