Russian missiles and rockets have hit the cultural heart of Ukraine’s second largest city in what officials said was a deadly and “cruel” attack.
An opera house, concert hall and government offices were hit in Freedom Square, in the centre of the north-eastern city Kharkiv. Freedom Square is the second largest city-centre square in Europe and a landmark of the city.
At least 10 people were killed and 35 more were injured, local authorities have said.
The attack came as Ukraine’s president said Russia was committing war crimes.
“This is the price of freedom,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
“This is terror against Ukraine. There were no military targets in the square – nor are they in those residential districts of Kharkiv which come under rocket artillery fire,” he added.
Kharkiv has been bombed heavily for days now and 16 people were killed before Tuesday’s attack, Mr Zelensky said. His government accuses Russia of trying to lay siege to Kharkiv and other cities, including the capital Kyiv, where a huge Russian armoured convoy is approaching.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the world must do more to punish Russia for the “barbaric” attack on Freedom Square and residential neighbourhoods, accusing the Russian President Vladimir Putin of committing “more war crimes out of fury, murdering innocent civilians”.
The sixth day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has seen continued attacks on several fronts, but the Russian advance has reportedly been slowed by Ukrainian resistance.
This is my native city #Kharkiv. Freedom Square. Just a short walk from my school. Today I saw this video from surveillance cameras…
My brother was crying. Our city is being destroyed as you read this.
— Inna Sovsun (@InnaSovsun) March 1, 2022