Russian drones kill 7 in Ukrainian city of Kharkiv

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Russia launched a drone attack on the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, killing seven people, including three small children, triggering blazes and damaging infrastructure and residential houses, regional officials said Saturday.

Oleh Synehubov, Kharkiv regional governor, said the Russian forces struck the city late on Friday, hitting civilian infrastructure, causing several large fires, and damaging at least 15 residential houses in the east of Kharkiv.

“As a result of the strikes, seven people died, among them three children: seven-, four-years old, and a baby about six- months old,” he said on the Telegram messaging app.

Three people were wounded, he said.

The Ukrainian air force said that air defense and mobile groups of drone hunters shot down 23 out of 31 Russian-launched drones, which were targeting the Kharkiv region in the northeast of the country and also the Odesa region in the south.

In Kharkiv, the head of the local prosecutor’s office, Oleksandr Filchakov, said in a video posted on Telegram that three drones hit the petrol station in Nemyshlianskyi district of the city.

“There was a great deal of fuel and that’s why there are these dreadful consequences from the fire,” Filchakov said.

Firefighters and rescuers worked through the night to cope with the consequences of the strike, extinguish fires, and clear through the debris, officials said.

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Synehubov also said that Russian drones hit a restaurant in the small town of Velykyi Berluk, some 60 miles from Kharkiv. He reported no casualties there.

Reuters was not able to independently confirm details of the attack. Russia did not immediately respond to a request for comment but has said it does not deliberately target civilian sites.

Kharkiv has been under attack regularly since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and has been a frequent target of Russian assaults in recent weeks.

In the Black Sea port of Odesa, the regional governor said a drone attack had injured one person.

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