Four killed and nine wounded as Kharkiv hit by air and rocket strikes

2 March 2022, 10:06 | Updated: 2 March 2022, 12:38

Kharkiv has been hit with missiles as Russia pushes forward with its attack.
Kharkiv has been hit with missiles as Russia pushes forward with its attack. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

At least four people have been killed and nine wounded in Kharkiv after the city was blitzed by air and rocket strikes, the mayor of the city has said.

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The latest attacks began overnight, where reports suggested fighting between paratroopers and Ukrainian soldiers took place at a regional military hospital.

Following the initial attack, air strikes also occurred in the city, targeting police, state agencies and the security service. 

One missile - believed to be intended for police headquarters or the interior ministry - ended up hitting part of Karazin National University, which went up in flames fire earlier on Wednesday. 

Some 21 people died and a further 112 were wounded throughout the shelling in the last 24 hours, according to Ukrainian officials.

Mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhov, later confirmed a further four were killed and nine injured as a result of Wednesday morning's shelling.

Mr Terekhov said: "Kharkiv is a Russian-speaking city. Every fourth person in Kharkiv has relatives in the Russian Federation. 

"But the city's attitude to Russia today is completely different to what it ever was before.

"We never expected this could happen: total destruction, annihilation, genocide against the Ukrainian people - this is unforgivable."

Read more: 'I'm not afraid of Putin': Defence Sec says Ukraine no-fly zone would lead to all-out war

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One clip shared by Ukraine's defence ministry showed the mass destruction taking over the country's second biggest city.

It said: "This is what 'Russian peace' looks like."

The UK's latest intelligence update said: "Heavy Russian artillery and air strikes have continued to target built-up areas over the past 24 hours, primarily focused on the cities of Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol and Chernihiv."

The developments follow a massive rocket strike which took place in the early hours of Tuesday, targeting the region's administrative buildings, which are being used by Ukrainian defenders.

Six people were injured, including a child, according to local reports, after the strike missed its intended target by a matter of metres.

Defence Secretary dismisses calls for no-fly zone

Meanwhile, thousands have begun fleeing Ukraine's capital ahead of a Russian siege, which is expected in coming days.

A 40-mile convoy is snaking its way towards Kyiv with around 15,000 soldiers estimated to be in tow.

However, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on Wednesday that Russia had made little progress on the capital in the last 24 hours due to supply problems and resistance from Ukrainians.

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