“Dozens are dying” and that at least 11 people have been confirmed dead, Ole Sinihopov, head of the Kharkiv regional state administration, said on Monday.
He described the attacks in three areas of the Russian-dominated city, which were considered more Russia-friendly, as a “war crime.”
“The Russian enemy is bombing entire residential areas in Kharkiv, where there is no vital infrastructure, as there are no positions of the Ukrainian armed forces that the Russians can target,” he said. In a message on Telegram.
As the bombing began, many Kharkiv residents were lining up at grocery stores and other stores to replenish supplies after being closed for several days.
Mark Hiznay, associate director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch, told the Washington Post that Russian forces used small cluster rockets, which spit submunitions or bomblets, in the attack, according to a video he reviewed.
“This attack clearly demonstrates the inherently indiscriminate nature of cluster munitions and must be categorically condemned,” he said.
Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the open-source group Bellingcat have identified the use of cluster munitions in other Russian attacks in Ukraine over the past two days in what analysts say is a worrying sign that Russia may be resorting to more lethal military tactics. .
“Since Putin’s ‘special operation’ plan to quickly demoralize the Ukrainian army and occupy large cities appears to have failed, we may see a return to the bombing of areas, which has caused a lot of harm to Chechen and Syrian civilians,” the conflict in Moscow Intelligence Team, an intelligence group open source monitoring of the russian army, He said in a tweet on Monday.
Ukrainian officials have given conflicting reports about the death toll.
Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekov said earlier on Monday that the exact number of casualties was still unknown, but at least 15 Ukrainian fighters and 16 civilians were wounded.
Anton Gerichenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, wrote in a Facebook post on Monday that “Kharkiv just came under heavy gunfire by graduates” which resulted in “dozens of dead and hundreds of wounded,” Reuters reported.
He referred to Russia’s BM-21 “Grad” 122mm rockets fired from multiple truck-mounted rocket launchers. Radio Free Europe Correspondent / Radio Liberty Photographed damage to Russian military equipment, including Grad rocket launchers, near Kharkiv on February 25.
The authorities issued a curfew in the city as of Monday afternoon.
The city of Kharkiv, with a population of 1.5 million just 25 miles from the border with Russia, has emerged as a major hub in Russian efforts to advance beyond the East and into the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
The “Washington Post” verified video recordings published on Monday of explosions in the northeastern district of Kharkiv. The attacks come as Russian and Ukrainian delegations held talks on Ukraine’s border with Belarus, Russia’s main ally.
In two verified clips, flashes of light appeared in quick succession as plumes of smoke rose from the ground. A woman watching the hail was heard crying in the background of one of the videos.
The Russian bombing of Kharkiv began accelerating on Saturday evening. After days of largely fighting around Kharkiv, Russian forces briefly took control of the city on Sunday, but were pushed back by Ukrainian fighters hours later.
“Ukrainian forces have put up a very tough fight…but the worst is yet to come,” Michael Kaufman, director of Russian studies at CNA, a Virginia-based nonprofit research and analysis organization, told The Post on Sunday. Russian forces did not [yet] I tried to take Kharkiv, not seriously. ”
He warned that after meeting an unexpectedly strong Ukrainian resistance, Russia would likely increase its air campaign against the densely populated city of Kharkiv.
“In Ukraine now, there is no safe place,” Boris Redin, an activist in Kharkiv, told The Post on Monday. And Putin must be stopped because there will be no safe place on this planet. But we stand and we will win.”
Berger, Kahlan, and Lee provided reports from Washington. Khrushudian reported from Dnipro, Ukraine.
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