Home Europe Russian ‘double strike’ drone attack kills rescue workers in Kharkiv

Russian ‘double strike’ drone attack kills rescue workers in Kharkiv

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KYIV — Russia attacked Kharkiv with at least 15 Shahed drones overnight Thursday, leaving at least four people dead and 12 wounded, local Ukrainian officials said.

Three of the fatalities were rescue workers who died in a “double strike” on a residential building after they arrived to provide assistance, Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on Telegram.

The drone attacks were aimed mostly at residential districts, Oleh Synehubov, the Kharkiv regional governor, said in a separate statement on Telegram. One of the Shahed drones hit a 14-story building, damaging apartments on several floors, according to Terekhov.

Local air defense forces reported shooting down 11 drones.

Since mid-February, Kharkiv has suffered from attacks almost daily, with Russian propagandists openly calling for Moscow’s forces to “erase Kharkiv from the face of the Earth” on national Russian TV.  

In a massive missile assault on March 22, the Russians destroyed most of the city’s electrical substations and damaged the Zmiivska power plant. More than 150,000 Kharkiv residents lost their homes, Terekhov said in an interview with Ukrainian media. There are blackout schedules in the city, with residents going without power for 4-8 hours a day.

Russia launched most of the drones in the recent attacks from the Belgorod region that borders Ukraine. Ukrainian forces have responded with shelling and ground operations against Belgorod.

Independent Russian media website Meduza, based in Latvia, reported in March that Kharkiv might be a target of a Kremlin offensive planned for this summer, citing its individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ukrainian Military Intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov said on Wednesday that the Kremlin is spreading fake news about the “offensive on Kharkiv” to sow panic in Ukraine.

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