Russian Invasion: War in Ukraine: This is the situation

At least six people die in a Russian attack on a hardware store in Kharkiv. Zelenskyy sees this as a manifestation of Russian madness. An overview of the night’s events.

At least six people were killed in a Russian attack on a busy hardware store in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Another 40 visitors or employees of the “Epizentr” were injured, according to official information on Saturday evening.

The fire-fighting and rescue operations continued into the night, and the possibility of further victims under the rubble was not ruled out. According to the Kiev military, Russia also bombed Ukraine from the air with rockets, cruise missiles and combat drones. Kinzhal-type hypersonic missiles were also used, as the Ukrainian Air Force announced on its Telegram channel.

Attacks mainly in Western Ukraine

The targets appeared to be mainly in the west of the country. Explosions were reported from the Khmelnytskyi region, where the important Ukrainian air force base Starokostiantyniv is located. According to the regional administration, a residential building was hit in the Vinnytsia region.

The Lviv region on the border with Poland was also attacked, as the mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadowy, wrote on Telegram. There was no overview of damage and possible victims that night. An explosion was also heard near the capital Kiev, reported the public broadcaster Suspilne. In Kiev, as always when there is an air raid warning, many people sought shelter in the subway and other bunkers.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky saw the attack on the hardware store as “another manifestation of Russian madness.” “Only madmen like (Kremlin chief Vladimir) Putin are capable of killing and terrorizing people in such a heinous manner,” said the Ukrainian president in his daily video address. Zelensky had previously spoken on Platform X of a “brutal attack in broad daylight.” According to him, around 200 people were in the hardware store at the time of the attack.

Large number of missing people

Initial video images showed thick clouds of smoke over the partially collapsed hardware store, in front of which firefighters were trying to extinguish the fire. “We have a large number of missing people,” Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov wrote on Telegram. There was no trace of 16 people until late in the evening, the Unian agency reported.

The prosecutor’s office in Kharkiv spoke of an air strike. Spokesman Dmytro Chubenko explained that highly toxic materials caught fire in the explosions. “A thick, acrid smoke developed that enveloped the entire large shopping center. As a result, the number of dead and injured will probably increase,” he told the Unian agency.

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the attack on the shopping center. “This is unacceptable. France shares the grief of the Ukrainians and remains fully on their side,” he wrote on the X platform.

Later, military administrator Oleh Synehubov wrote that Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region had been hit by a Russian rocket launcher, injuring five residents. The center of Kharkiv was also hit by new Russian attacks yesterday evening. According to Synehubov, 18 people were injured.

Selenskyj again asks for air defence systems

Zelensky renewed his call for more air defense systems for his country. “If Ukraine had enough air defense systems and modern combat aircraft, Russian attacks like this would be impossible.” He addressed the supporters of Ukraine on Platform X: “We need a significant increase in air defense and sufficient opportunities to destroy Russian terrorists.”

He later explained in his video address that another Russian Su-25 fighter jet had been shot down in the east of the country yesterday. But: “If we had more appropriate, more modern air defense systems and aircraft, the Russian Air Force would of course have collapsed long ago, just like its Black Sea Fleet.” Just last Friday, Germany delivered another Iris-T air defense system to Ukraine. Germany has already delivered air defense systems to Kiev, including the IRIS-T and Patriot types.

In recent months, Zelensky has repeatedly asked for more air defense systems. NATO representatives have promised these or at least financial support for the purchase of systems, but so far – with the exception of Germany – this has hardly been implemented. According to Zelensky’s calculations, two Patriot air defense systems are needed for the Kharkiv region alone. Ukraine has been fending off a Russian war of aggression with Western support for more than two years.

Ukrainian attack on Belgorod – four dead

According to official reports, three people were killed in a Ukrainian missile attack on the southern Russian region of Belgorod yesterday. Another twelve residents of the village of Oktyabrsky were injured in the attack, said Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, according to the Russian state agency Tass. The information could not be independently verified.

Kiesewetter calls for air defence over western Ukraine

Meanwhile, CDU politician Roderich Kiesewetter argued that western states should take over air defense over western Ukraine. “A coalition of the willing could extend its own air defense to the western territory of Ukraine in a corridor of 70 to 100 kilometers,” the defense expert told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. “This would relieve the Ukrainian armed forces at this point – they could concentrate on air defense further east in the country.”

In view of the repeated Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities, the Green European politician Anton Hofreiter has spoken out in favor of no longer preventing Ukraine from attacking Russian territory with Western weapons. “This is about protecting the Ukrainian population. Therefore, we should not prevent Ukraine from using the weapons supplied to fend off Russian fighter jets in Russian airspace,” the chairman of the European Affairs Committee in the Bundestag told the newspapers of the Funke media group.

The New York Times recently reported that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wants to advocate allowing Ukraine to strike Russian territory with US weapons. He wants to persuade President Joe Biden to lift the restrictions, it said.


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