14 Killed in Russian Strike on Hardware Store in Ukraine’s Kharkiv City

Sun May 26 2024
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KYIV: The death toll from Russian strikes on a hardware store in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv rose to 14 on Sunday, with 43 reported injuries and 16 persons still missing, the regional governor said as rescuers searched the charred debris for bodies.

Oleg Synegubov, the Kharkiv regional governor, provided updates via Telegram, “The number of dead has grown to 14,” as nearly 200 rescuers worked at the scene.

Interior Minister Igor Klymenko said that it took over 16 hours to extinguish the massive fire ignited by the Russian strikes on the Epitsentr superstore.

Forensic experts and investigators are working to identify the victims within the ruins of the store, situated on the northeastern outskirts of Kharkiv. Eyewitnesses recount harrowing tales of the sudden onslaught, with one survivor, Lyubov, a cleaner at the store, recalling the chaos and devastation that ensued.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the daylight assault on what he described as an “obviously civilian” target, denouncing Russian aggression and urging international support for peace initiatives.

Zelensky called upon US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping to personally participate in a planned peace summit scheduled for June in Switzerland. The high-level conference aims to address the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, with Bern facilitating discussions involving 160 delegations.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s air force reported additional missile strikes and aerial bombardments by Russia. Despite Ukrainian efforts to repel Russian advances and counterattack, the toll on civilian lives and infrastructure remains alarmingly high.

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