At least seven dead in two Russian strikes on Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv

By Radina Gigova and Maria Kostenko, CNN

CNN  —  Two Russian strikes have killed at least seven people in Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, officials said, as Kyiv continues to urge allies for more air defenses.

At least one person died and three were injured in a strike on Kharkiv on Saturday afternoon, according to Oleh Syniehubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration.

Among the injured were a 66-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl, he said. An educational facility and residential infrastructure in the city were damaged.

Six people were killed and 11 were injured when Russian forces launched a series of S-300 missile strikes overnight on Kharkiv city, Syniehubov said in an earlier post.

Kharkiv is close to the Russian border and has seen a spate of deadly attacks in recent months. President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak identified Kharkiv as the likely target for a Russian spring offensive in an interview with Politico this month.

Zelensky sent his “deepest condolences” to the families and loved ones of those killed in Kharkiv.

“We must put an end to this terror. It’s crucial to strengthen the air defense for the Kharkiv region. And our partners can help us with this,” Zelensky stressed.

Elsewhere, at least one person was killed Saturday afternoon when a ballistic missile hit the southern port city of Odesa, Ukraine’s Southern Defense Forces said in a Telegram post.

Russian forces also launched missile attacks on the southern city of Zaporizhzhia on Saturday, targeting industrial enterprises, said Ivan Fedorov, the head of the Zaporizhzhia regional military administration.

There were no casualties from Saturday’s attack in Zaporizhzhia but an attack on Friday night left four people dead and 31 injured, he said.

“For the last two days, the enemy has been terrorizing residents of Zaporizhzhia with missile attacks,” Fedorov said. Five missile strikes were launched on the city on Saturday and five on Friday, he said.

NATO allies have agreed to search their arsenals for air defense systems that can be sent to Ukraine following Kyiv’s pleas, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced this week.

“We see what is happening in Ukraine realizing that you need this air defense now,” she said.

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