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Russian bombings in Ukraine kill at least 15

KYIV/KHARKIV – Russian forces pounded Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, and the surrounding countryside with rockets, killing at least 15 people, in what Kyiv called an attempt to force it to withdraw resources from the main battlefield to protect civilians from attack.

In Russia, a fire ravaged an oil refinery just eight kilometers from the Ukrainian border. Russian news agency TASS quoted a local official as saying he was hit by a drone.

Russian strikes on Kharkiv, throughout Tuesday and continuing into Wednesday morning, were the worst in weeks in the region where life had returned to normal since Ukraine repelled Russian forces in a major counteroffensive on last month.

“It was a bombardment by Russian troops. It was probably several rocket launchers. And that’s the impact of the missile, that’s the whole impact of the missile,” Kharkiv prosecutor Mikhailo Martosh told Reuters amid the ruins of cottages hit on Tuesday in a rural area on the outskirts of the city. town.

A worker from the War Crimes Prosecutor's Office sustains damage from nighttime shelling that landed on a Kharkiv housing and communal college building as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues in Kharkiv, in Ukraine, June 21, 2022. REUTERS / Leah Millis
An employee of the War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office views the damage caused by nighttime shelling that landed on a building of the Kharkiv Communal and Residential College on June 21, 2022 in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
REUTERS/Lea Millis

Medical workers carried the body of an elderly woman from the rubble of a burned-out garage and into a nearby van.

“She was 85 years old. A child of war (World War II). She survived a war, but she didn’t survive this one,” her grandson Mykyta said. “There is nowhere to run. Especially Grandma herself, she didn’t want to leave here anymore.

Ukrainian authorities said 15 people were killed and 16 injured in shelling in the Kharkiv region on Tuesday, with reports of other casualties from strikes overnight and Wednesday morning.

Ukrainian servicemen march in the industrial area of ​​the city of Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine, June 20, 2022.
Ukrainian servicemen march in the industrial area of ​​the city of Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine, June 20, 2022.
REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak
The housing and communal college building damaged in a recent bombardment in Kharkiv, Ukraine on June 21, 2022.
The housing and communal college building damaged in a recent bombardment in Kharkiv, Ukraine on June 21, 2022.
APE

“Russian forces are now hitting the city of Kharkiv the same way they hit Mariupol before – with the aim of terrorizing the population,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a video address.

“And if they keep doing that, we’re going to have to react – and that’s a way of getting us to move our artillery,” he said. “The idea is to create a big problem to distract us and force us to divert troops. I think there will be an escalation.

Kharkiv suffered punitive Russian bombardment for the first three months of the war, but has been largely spared since the Ukrainian counter-offensive more than a month ago.

The main battleground is now to the south in the Donbass region, which Moscow is trying to seize on behalf of its separatist proxies.

So far, Ukrainian forces in Donbass have largely withstood the Russian onslaught, with Moscow advancing only slowly despite deploying overwhelming artillery in some of Europe’s heaviest ground fighting since World War II. .

There was no immediate Ukrainian comment on the fire that engulfed Russia’s Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery, located on the Russian side of the border with pro-Russian separatist-controlled Donbass territory.

Video footage posted to social media appeared to show a drone flying towards the refinery, before a large ball of flames and black smoke rose into the summer sky. The local emergency service, quoted by Interfax, said no one was injured and the fire had been extinguished.

Ukrainian servicemen hug outside the city of Sievierodonetsk, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, Ukraine June 19, 2022. Picture taken June 19, 2022. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak
Ukrainian servicemen hug each other outside the city of Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine on June 19, 2022, as the Russian attack on Ukraine continues.
REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak
A gas processing plant fire continues to burn behind a wheat field after the plant was hit by shelling a few days earlier in Andriivka in the Kharkiv region amid Russia's attack on the Ukraine continues in Ukraine, June 21, 2022.
A gas processing plant fire continues to burn behind a wheat field after the plant was hit by shelling days earlier in Andriivka in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine on June 21, 2022.
Reuters

Ukraine generally does not comment on reports of attacks on Russian infrastructure near the border. In the past, he has called such incidents “karma” for Russian attacks on Ukraine.

Wednesday is marked in Russia and Ukraine as the “Day of Remembrance and Sorrow”, the anniversary of the day Hitler’s Germany attacked the Soviet Union. An estimated 27 million Soviet citizens died during World War II.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin was to lay flowers at a memorial flame for the dead. World War II plays a prominent role in Russian propaganda about the invasion of Ukraine, which Putin calls a “special operation” to root out the “Nazis.”

Ukrainian servicemen watch as a tank fires towards Russian troops in the industrial area of ​​the city of Sievierodonetsk, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, Ukraine June 20, 2022. Picture taken June 20 2022. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak
Ukrainian servicemen watch a tank fire towards Russian troops in the industrial area of ​​the city of Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine, June 20, 2022.
REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak

Kyiv and the West view this as baseless justification for a war aimed at restoring Moscow’s dominance over its neighbor and destroying Ukraine’s identity as a distinct nation.

“Bombed at 4:30 a.m. Forbid the word “war”. Blaming other countries for the aggression. Future psychiatrists will examine: how after years of building the cult of World War II, Russia began to recreate bloody pages of history and every step of the Nazis,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted.

“The name of the last chapter is known – tribunal.”

Firefighters secure a partially destroyed teaching and laboratory building of a college hit the day before by a rocket in Kharkiv on June 21, 2022.
Firefighters secure a partially destroyed teaching and laboratory building of a college hit the day before by a rocket in Kharkiv on June 21, 2022.
AFP via Getty Images

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Post expires at 3:40pm on Sunday July 3rd, 2022