War in Ukraine, day 822 | At least six people killed in bombed store in Kharkiv

(Kyiv) At least six people were killed and around forty injured on Saturday in a Russian strike on a DIY store in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, an attack described as “despicable” by the Ukrainian president.

According to the regional governor, Oleg Synegoubov, this Russian attack was carried out using two guided aerial bombs.

“Unfortunately we already know that six people were killed instantly […] Forty people were injured, 16 are missing,” he said.

Images broadcast on Ukrainian social networks show the building of the Epitsentr store with a gutted roof from which a huge column of black smoke escapes, firefighters dousing the fire started by the strikes with water.

According to firefighters, the fire has burned 10,000 square meters, but is contained.

Still in uniform, Lyubov, a store cleaner, recounted how she fled the store.


Firefighters are on site to put out the fire.

“It happened suddenly. At first we didn’t understand, everything went black and everything started falling on our heads,” she said. “Luckily my phone turned on, thanks to its torch I found where I was, but in front of us everything was already burning.”

The Epitsentr store chain sells household appliances and DIY products.

“Russia dealt another brutal blow to our city of Kharkiv – a construction store – on Saturday, in the middle of the day,” denounced President Volodymyr Zelensky on Telegram, condemning an attack in broad daylight on a target “clearly civil”.


Russian state agency TASS cited a Russian security source as saying a missile strike had destroyed a “military warehouse and command post” in the building.

The regional governor indicated that there was “no contact with certain members of staff” and that “according to our information, visitors could still be in the building”.

“Only madmen like Putin are capable of killing and terrorizing people in such a despicable way,” blasted Mr. Zelensky, attacking the Russian president who ordered his troops to attack Ukraine in February 2022.

French President Emmanuel Macron deemed this Russian strike “unacceptable”. “France shares the Ukrainians’ pain and remains fully mobilized alongside them,” the head of state wrote on X, deploring the “numerous victims, children, women, men,” “families.”

Anti-aircraft defense

On Saturday evening, a new strike hit central Kharkiv, injuring 18 people in an area where there is a post office, a hair salon and a cafe, according to the city’s mayor Igor Terekhov.

The Ukrainian president has once again called on his Western allies to provide more air defense systems to his country.

“If Ukraine had sufficient air defense systems and modern combat aircraft, such Russian strikes would have been impossible,” he argued. “Every day we appeal to the world: give us air defense, save people.”

The city of Kharkiv, which had 1.5 million inhabitants before the war and is located near the Russian border in northeastern Ukraine, is regularly targeted by Moscow’s forces, who also launched the 10 May a ground offensive in the region.

This offensive allowed them to seize several localities and force Kyiv to send reinforcements to the sector. Ukraine, however, assured Friday that this assault had been “stopped”.

Russian forces also launched several attacks in the region on Saturday.

They bombed the village of Kupiansk-Vouzlovyi, a railway junction in the Kharkiv region close to the border, injuring five people, the regional prosecutor’s office announced in a statement.

According to the same source, two civilian vehicles, including an ambulance, were targeted by gunfire.

In the same region, Russia bombed the Kupiansk district, damaging a factory and residential buildings, according to the prosecutor’s office.

In the east, in the Donetsk region, a bombing killed a 40-year-old woman and injured four people on Saturday, according to regional governor Vadim Filachkine.

In Russia, the governor of the Belgorod region, bordering Ukraine, said on Saturday that two people had been killed there in a Ukrainian bombing.

“The Ukrainian armed forces fired on the village of Oktyabrsky using a rocket launcher,” Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on Telegram, specifying that a “man and a woman were” fatally “wounded by shrapnel shells”.

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