Russia Bombs Ukraine Superstore With Hundreds Inside

Vitalii Hnidyi
Vitalii Hnidyi

Russia bombed a hardware superstore in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, killing at least two people and injuring more than 20 others in a huge building where more than 200 shoppers may have been inside, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Zelensky condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin after the “vile” attack on Ukraine’s second-largest city.

“As of now, we know that more than 200 people could have been inside the hypermarket,” Zelensky stated on Telegram after officials reported two victims died in a pair of aerial bomb strikes, adding that the attack occurred “right in the middle of the day.”

“Only madmen like Putin are capable of killing and terrorizing people in such a vile way,” Zelensky added, according to Agence France-Presse. “There were a lot of workers and shoppers inside. Now the fire is on the whole territory.”

Footage from the scene—including some posted by Zelensky on X—showed black smoke engulfing the Epitsentr store as first responders doused flames and people walked away from the wreckage. One man was shown covering a dead person with a sheet in a parking lot.

“If Ukraine had sufficient air defense systems and modern combat aircraft, Russian strikes like this one would have been impossible,” Zelensky wrote in the X post. “And that is why we appeal to all leaders, to all states: we need a significant enhancement of air defense and sufficient capabilities to destroy Russian terrorists.”

Ihor Terekhov, mayor of Kharkiv, said the hardware store’s owner lost contact with 15 employees in the chaos and called the offensive “pure terrorism.” “We have a large number of people missing,” Terekhov wrote on Telegram. “There are many wounded.”

Terekhov, in an interview last week with UK newspaper the Independent, said Russian forces hit the metropolis of about 1.4 million so often it’s “hard to count how many missiles hit the city directly every day.”

“They are constantly shooting and destroying this city,” Terekhov added. “They are killing our people.”

Russia’s daytime strike was the latest assault on Kharkiv since it launched a ground offensive in the region on May 10, leading to the evacuation of more than 11,000 people.

On Thursday, Russian missiles pummeled the area, killing at least seven people in the Vivat printing house, which produced children’s books.

Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the investigative department of the National Security Service in the Kharkiv region, said all seven victims were identified using DNA samples from their relatives.

“Five women and two men—each of them was just doing their job,” Bolvinov said in a post on X, according to newspaper The New Voice of Ukraine.

“This printing house produced children’s books, magazines, school diaries, newspapers, and much more. Now there is no such enterprise in Kharkiv.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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