Kharkiv: Russia sends a message to all of Ukraine by striking these civilian areas in this city
CNN has geotagged and verified 13 incidents involving civilians over the past three days as attacks escalated against Kharkiv, a city of about 1.5 million people. following the resistance of Ukraine.
Most of the attacks took place in the northeastern part of Kharkiv, in the residential area of Saltivka. But other neighborhoods in the northwest, southeast and southwest of the city were also affected. The city’s Freedom Square, the center of public life in Kharkiv, was hit by a cruise missile, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister said.
In 24 hours, 34 civilians were killed and 285 injured, including 10 children, in the Kharkiv region, the Ukrainian state emergency service announced Thursday morning.
CNN has analyzed and verified digital evidence, including videos and photos, of several indiscriminate attacks in Kharkiv.
Three schools hit by shelling in one day
In one clip, a school in the northern district of Saltivka is pictured with a gaping hole in the wall, rubble and broken glass strewn across the yard.
“School number 17 in the city of Kharkiv,” someone can be heard saying in the video. “It flew right here, everything is in ruins, everything has fallen, shrapnel everywhere, everything is in smoke.”
The other two schools hit by the shelling were just over a kilometer (about 0.6 miles) apart, in an industrial district southeast of Kharkiv.
Schools have not been opened since the start of the Russian invasion.
However, 65 people are still holed up in the school’s basement, without electricity or water due to the shelling. They depend on food and water brought in by volunteers, according to Valentyna Butenko, head of the non-governmental organization “The Right to Choose” (Pravo Vyboru).
The school is located 300 meters (about 985 feet) from the epicenter of the explosion in Liberty Square.
Apartment buildings directly affected
On Tuesday, two apartment buildings were directly hit, just outside the City Hospital No. 3 in the city of Kharkiv. The strikes also hit an office building.
In one video, a fire rages in a damaged apartment complex directly opposite the hospital.
“The building is gone,” someone says in the video.
Another video shows children and their families fleeing the apartment complex, and at least two bodies on the ground.
“…animals, just animals,” someone said, seeming to refer to those responsible for the military strikes. “People were driving here.”
“A house,” another person said, adding, “Look what they did.”
CNN could not identify any military targets in the area.
Security camera captures dramatic incident
Five residential neighborhoods in Kharkiv were affected on Monday, according to a CNN analysis.
What appeared to be surveillance footage of an apartment complex on Velyka Kil’tseva Street captured panicked residents rushing to safety as rockets exploded around them.
The intense bombardment – at least eight explosions are seen but more are heard – lasts 20 seconds. As the ammunition rains down, we see people running away. One individual is seen falling to the ground as explosions dot the ground. A parked car explodes after receiving a direct hit. After the hail of beatings stops, the fallen individual appears to be crawling, but then stops moving. Their condition is unknown to CNN.
Apartment complexes on Klochkivska Street in northwest Kharkiv and Vasylia Stusa Street in eastern Kharkiv were also hit on Monday.
Multiple rocket launcher attack near supermarket
The Saltivka neighborhood was also hit by a Multiple Launch Rocket System, or MLRS, on Monday.
CNN geotagged videos show multiple rockets exploding closely together near the Equator supermarket as shoppers rush to safety.
A video shows a rocket booster lodged in the sidewalk of the street, with some people looking on.
According to the Kharkiv city council, this bombardment left one civilian woman dead and 31 injured. The wounded are made up of 15 soldiers and 16 civilians, the town hall said in a press release. CNN cannot independently verify these numbers.
Dan Kaszeta, a defense specialist and research associate at the Royal United Services Institute, a think tank in London, said the footage was consistent with a multiple rocket launch system attack.
“The appearance of at least one image of a rocket booster section lends credence to it being a rocket attack,” he said.
Commenting on this attack, Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of the Interior, declared: “Kharkiv has just been the victim of a massive bombardment from Grad! Dozens of victims”.
He described the situation as “a nightmare”.
CNN’s Tim Lister and Celine Alkhaldi contributed to this report.